Faith plus Works = Salvation


#1

Just one question. What pacificly do Catholics mean by WORKS?


#2

[quote=allischalmers]Just one question. What pacificly do Catholics mean by WORKS?
[/quote]

The same thing James means by it, and Paul by deeds in Romans 2:6.


#3

You mean that I don’t have to help feed the poor and homeless or give money to the RED CROSS or the Salvation Army or help a little old lady across the street and all that kind of stuff.

allischalmers


#4

[quote=allischalmers]You mean that I don’t have to help feed the poor and homeless or give money to the RED CROSS or the Salvation Army or help a little old lady across the street and all that kind of stuff.

allischalmers
[/quote]

Read James chapter 2 and decide for youself. It’s not that God is keeping a tally of every good thing we do and we reach a certain point, we’re in. However, in Mt 25, Christ said," What you have done to the least of your brethren you have done to me". Thus, charity, is one form of helping the poor. That in itself will not save me though.


#5

Not exactly. The 10 commandments are just the minimum barrier to get started. Helping others and social justice is an important part of being a Christian. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (and if you need more clarification check out the Bible reference at the end that I cite, and ask yourself whether you want to me a sheep or a goat ;)):

**1021 **Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ. The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul – a destiny which can be different for some and for others.

**1651 **Toward Christians who live in this situation, and who often keep the faith and desire to bring up their children in a Christian manner, priests and the whole community must manifest an attentive solicitude, so that they do not consider themselves separated from the Church, in whose life they can and must participate as baptized persons:

They should be encouraged to listen to the Word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts for justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace.-------
[left] 31 “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”[/left]

%between% %between% (Mt 25:31).


#6

OK! what then are the works that save us

allischalmers


#7

Gosh, there are a million types of charitable work that can help others. Whether its financial assistance, spending time, helping kids, teaching, feeding the poor, helping fix up houses for the poor, working to defend people’s rights, helping to elect politicians with Catholic inspiration…there really are a million good things you can do to help others, the neighbors you love, and also have some interest in those activities yourself.


#8

The idea of works means abaoluely nothing if it is not understood in terms of the mutual indwelling of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Works, described by the virtue of charity is doing things selflessly out of love for the other.

Jesus was perfectly obedient to the Father. He gave of himself perfectly out of love for His bride the Church.
That is the kind of love that is talked about in “works”.

Our end goal is not just making it to heaven. Our end is sharing the life of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, by participating in Christ’s divine nature. Just as the Father, Son, and Holy SPirit give love each other perfectly and CHrist gave love perfectly to the Church, so in order for us to live in perfect love in the Trinity in eternity, our love must be that perfect love, that self giving love.

We don’t give that love to earn anything. We give that love because God is worthy of that love and wishes to give us that love and desires that we give that love to him.

If not seen in that context, works is nothing but a talley of you did good vs you did not do good.
Family relationships don’t work that way. Families work on mutual love being freely given.


#9

[quote=Redbandito]Read James chapter 2 and decide for youself.
[/quote]

In the context of James 2, the works James talks about serve a definite purpose; according to James 2, what do you see as the purpose of works?


#10

1Cor 13:1-2;12-13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love is the same virtue here as the word charity, which is also the same as works.
Paul is explicit here, in that love (works)is the greatest of the 3, even greater than faith and hope, for it is love that is freely given through the mutual indwelling of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Not Faith, not Hope, but Love.

I don’t understand why people don’t clearly see that without love, no salvation is possible.
Because salvation is only the entrance into the eternal love relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Salvation is not the purpose of our existence, Love within the Trinity is the purpose of existence.


#11

( James 2: 14-26)
[14]What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?
[15] If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food,
[16] and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?
[17] So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
[18]But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
[19] You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe – and shudder.
[20] Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren?
[21] Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
[22] You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works,
[23] and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God.
[24] You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
[25] And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
[26] For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead. (Emphasis mine)

This is the ONLY passage in the New Testament where the words “faith alone” exist together. Curious that it outright refutes the doctrine of Sola Fide and points up the importance of works in salvation, as if Matthew 25:31-46 isn’t clear and concise enough in the very words of Our Lord.


#12

[quote=sandusky]In the context of James 2, the works James talks about serve a definite purpose; according to James 2, what do you see as the purpose of works?
[/quote]

Okay, James is teaching that works show true faith. But we Catholics insist that James 2:14–26 shows that works are more than mere evidence of faith. Works actually justify. James is speaking about works growing out of faith. If works of faith are not a part of our justification, then it is hard to understand why James would say, as he does, that “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?” (Jas. 2:21). You may remember how Paul said that Abraham was not justified by works but by faith. Paul means that Abraham was not justified by keeping the Old Testament law, while James means that Abraham was justified by doing a work that grew out of his faith in God.

by Kenneth J. Howell, Catholic Answers


#13

So a lot of people show acts of love and a lot of people do realy nice things for people in need. Take people like fireman and policeman who risk their life to save other peoples lives. Alot of these people may never even go to church , what about their salvation?

allischalmers


#14

[quote=allischalmers]So a lot of people show acts of love and a lot of people do realy nice things for people in need. Take people like fireman and policeman who risk their life to save other peoples lives. Alot of these people may never even go to church , what about their salvation?

allischalmers
[/quote]

That is for God to decide, we are not to judge others and we can leave it up to God’s mercy for their salvation. Since we are told to share the truth in love, we have to share the Gospel of Salvation with them and show them the peace they can have in Christ.

If we do acts of charity and love out of vanity or just trying to be good enough without love then we are not letting God work through us and not really doing much. It is like me praying in the street so everyone can see how good a Christian I am, is that for God’s glory or for my own?

In Christ
Scylla


#15

[quote=allischalmers]So a lot of people show acts of love and a lot of people do realy nice things for people in need. Take people like fireman and policeman who risk their life to save other peoples lives. Alot of these people may never even go to church , what about their salvation?

allischalmers
[/quote]

Hi Allis,
Let’s stop and think of your question in light of all the passages that I cited already and add one more from the book of Acts of the Apostles that should help answer your question.

The whole chapter of Acts 10, is about Cornelius & his household, right? Look what it says about him right off the bat.
“1 And there was a certain man in Caesarea, named Cornelius, a centurion of that which is called the Italian band; 2 A religious man, and fearing God with all his house, giving much alms to the people, and always praying to God.”

Then as a result of that, what does it next say happens to him?

“3 This man saw in a vision manifestly, about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming in unto him, and saying to him: Cornelius. 4 And he, beholding him, being seized with fear, said: What is it, Lord? And he said to him: Thy prayers and thy alms are ascended for a memorial in the sight of God”

This guy is not a Christian, but obviously God knows him and then what does God tell him to do?

“5 And now send men to Joppe, and call hither one Simon, who is surnamed Peter: 6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side. He will tell thee what thou must do. 7 And when the angel who spoke to him was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a soldier who feared the Lord, of them that were under him. 8 To whom when he had related all, he sent them to Joppe.”

So, the rest is (as they say) history. Now tied in with the passages that I mentioned, I would have to say that if someone is of a good heart that God seems to set a precedent for going in search of them.

Did not Cornelius righteous deeds merit him more grace from God and guidance therein? So then it seems that his works did indeed have something to do with his salvation.

Catholicism does not teach that works save us, but that without them one cannot be saved. The passages that I have cited seem to back that up, but the assertion that Catholicism is a works based salvation is in error.

It is my humble opinion that Catholicism offers the only Biblically correct view of works in the context of salvation. People who disagree rob themselves and others of the motivation to serve others as Jesus commanded us.
Pax tecum,


#16

[quote=allischalmers] Take people like fireman and policeman who risk their life to save other peoples lives. Alot of these people may never even go to church , what about their salvation?

[/quote]

God makes that judgement.


#17

I run a business and many of my venders send me Christmas cards routinely each year. One of my long time venders who services our appliances not only sent me and all my employees Christmas cards but he also sent inserts bashing Catholics (those who follow satan by believing they can be saved by good works.) I was very disappointed that he would try to send anti-Catholic propaganda not only to me but also to my employees. My first reaction was to go out and find a new appliance man…preferably Catholic. But after thinking and praying about it, I went to Catholic Answers search and typed in “works”. I printed four of the articles and I am on my way to the post office to send him some “truth” about the Catholic position on good works. :thumbsup: Thank you Catholic Answers!!


#18

[quote=onetruechurch]I run a business and many of my venders send me Christmas cards routinely each year. One of my long time venders who services our appliances not only sent me and all my employees Christmas cards but he also sent inserts bashing Catholics (those who follow satan by believing they can be saved by good works.) I was very disappointed that he would try to send anti-Catholic propaganda not only to me but also to my employees. My first reaction was to go out and find a new appliance man…preferably Catholic. But after thinking and praying about it, I went to Catholic Answers search and typed in “works”. I printed four of the articles and I am on my way to the post office to send him some “truth” about the Catholic position on good works. :thumbsup: Thank you Catholic Answers!!
[/quote]

smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/23/23_11_61.gif


#19

[quote=allischalmers]So a lot of people show acts of love and a lot of people do realy nice things for people in need. Take people like fireman and policeman who risk their life to save other peoples lives. Alot of these people may never even go to church , what about their salvation?

allischalmers
[/quote]

It is up to God. He searches their hearts. However, maybe you are asking if the nice things they did could get them into heaven. If they are rejecting Jesus/grace/Holy Spirit somehow in their hearts (God knows this, not us), those nice things are not going to get them into heaven. The things we do apart from God don’t merit heaven. We could save a million lives apart from God, but that would not merit heaven for us. Deeds we do in Christ have a real, but only dependent sort of merit. Jesus has the real deal merit.


#20

Hi allischalmers,

Why don’t you tell us what you think salvation is?

Thanks,
Gene


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