For Non-Catholic Christians: Is obeying the Ten Commandments necessary for salvation?


I have talk toa Baptist who claims that going to Church is not mandatory. I told him it is because it is in the Commandment. “3. Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy.”

He said it doesn’t said Church so it doesn’t imply it. I find his reasons rather weak since Christians are called to God to worship him weekly.

I have also meet some Non-Catholic Christians who say don’t believe in the Ten Commandments. That only Bible reading and having faith is necessary. I don’t know about you but this sounds close to relativism…

What are your views. Do you believe the commandments are necessary for salvation?

As a Catholic, I believe it is. For Jesus said, “If you love me, obey the commandments.”


My brother-in-law is a Baptist. He fell away from the Church about 16 years ago. He says that he should go to church on Sundays otherwise he isn’t right with God.

But I keep telling Him that he is sometimes more “Catholic” than some Catholics are. My brother-in-law is a good Christian but he has one drawback. His Pride. Which is pretty sad. :frowning: So I pray for him so that God can open his eyes to the Truth of the Church that he left. He left the Catholic Church because he was not catechised. If one thing is going to keep him away from the Catholic Church, it’s his pride. He can’t stand to tell anyone that they were right and he was wrong.

My Baptist brother-in-law also says that we do not have to do any “works” to be saved, including praying. So that falls in the category of “not obeying the Ten Commandments.” I guess they think they are the “Ten Suggestions” or something. :whacky:

edit: Are you back home Manny!! :wave: :slight_smile: Welcome Home!


A couple of things here. First, I would question your friends understanding of Faith. If one has Faith, he will as Peter puts it, “Long for the Word as newborn babies long for milk”. If one has Faith, he will have a need to be with fellow Christians and do the will of God. If your friend does not feel the need to attend church or follow God’s commands, I would seriously question his Faith. Living Faith will produce living works, because it changes the person to want to do God’s will above his own. The Faith Alone doctrine, simply states that no amount of works will gain anyone heaven. If one does works to gain heaven, these are dead works of the Law. No can achieve heaven on their own, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). Faith Alone is putting your entire life in Jesus. As my pastor says, “As one who lives in Texas are call Texans. So is one who lives in Christs is called Christian”. This is shown in Scripture with the thief on the cross. He is a man that has done nothing but believe and put his faith in Jesus, and he joins Jesus in heaven. Having saving Faith will produce works as stated by James, “Faith without works is dead”, but it is the Faith which saves.

As for not attending church being required for salvation, with Faith Alone doctrine, attending a church is not a requirement. The third commandment does not say you must attend church. It says to keep the day holy. Would someone that spent the day honoring God by doing His will, helping others, or studying Scripture not be keeping the day Holy? For the same reasoning, would someone that goes to church just because it is a sin not to really be keeping the day Holy? If I did not feel the desire to attend church, or if I attend purely out of obligation, I would questions my Faith and see if I am only giving Lips service to God.

With the commandments, if obeying all the commandments were a requirement for salvation, we would all be doomed. No one is without sin. Faith Alone doctrine states that Faith is the only necessary thing for salvation. Nicodemus was about as close to following the law as you could get, and he still stood condemned. Jesus states many times that “believe in Him” for eternal life. This is what John’s Gospel is all about. But having Faith will make you desire to follow all God’s commands and produce good works. Again, if one does not have the desire to be obedient to God’s will, I would question his faith. As you have stated Jesus’s saying “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” This does not say keep my commandments and be saved. It says, “IF you Love me, you will keep”. This is the Faith Alone doctrine. If you have saving Faith, you will keep His commands and do His will. But it is only this living Faith that is necessary for salvation.

I hope this helps


Protestants have many differing views on the issue of the Sabbath but none that I know of believe that by keeping the Ten Commandments you are saved. Most Scripture-believing Protestants believe you are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. I say “Scripture-believing” only to distinguish them from those who wear the name Protestant and are so liberal as to believe that there are many ways to salvation and that Jesus happens to be just one way.

My personal view on the 4th commandment is that we now keep the 4th commandment when we cease from our own efforts to save ourselves and find our rest (our Sabbath rest) in Christ. Thus it is not the day that matters, it is the Person, Jesus, that matters. This is not to say that attending Church or the Mass is not important. It most certainly is. To say that you can be a Christian and not attend Church or the Mass is an oxymoron.

The Sabbath was the sign of the Covenant. The people labored for six days, but on the 7th day they rested from their labors and found rest in God. Humans are always laboring to save themselves in some form or fashion. But in salvation, we cease from our own efforts and find rest in the atoning work of Christ. Thus, the sign of the Old Covenant is fulfilled in Christ.

Again, this is just my personal understanding of the Mosaic Law and God’s moral code. This is not to say that the Ten Commandments are not binding upon us. They are. But the 4th Comandment, the sign of the covenant was placed in the moral code for a reason.

Many Protestants will say that Christ did away with the Ten Commandments. But God’s moral law can never be done away with. It must always be obeyed and fulfilled somehow. Other Protestants will say that Sunday is the Christian Sabbath. But this is to misunderstand the nature of the Covenant Sign embedded in the Moral Law.

We keep the Ten Commandments because we love Christ, not in order to love Christ or to be saved.


I think the big difference from my own personal experience is legalism. The Catholic Church is very ordered and has a clear set of Church laws including going to mass every week.

The baptists and other protestant churches reject all forms of law in relation to the Church. They feel that “rules” can never replace faith. They feel that the law of Moses ended on the cross and all forms of legalism are wrong. If the scripture is the central authority then who is to say what must be done?

I found a great deal of comfort in the fact that the CC has rules. I actually feel like I’m in a Church. When it comes to obeying the ten commandments thats more an issue of mortal sin. What is necessary for salvation is to live in truth and reconciliation through confession as we grow in faith within the Church.

The protestants are right about the law ending. We don’t make animal sacrifices like we did in the OT. Now we go to the cross and are forgiven. It’s too bad the Protestants don’t realize that God would never start a Church with no laws and leave it floating in the wind of personal interpretation.



I find it hard to believe for Non-Catholic Christians not to obey the commandments.

From my understanding, faith is not enough to gain salvation. James said that “faith without works is dead.”

To be save, we have to do something in order to be saved. Faith alone is a weak doctrine. In the Bible it speaks about keeping the commandments to gain eternal life. No where in the Scripture does it say, “Don’t obey the commandments, nor does it said to stop observing the sabbath.”

Even though Protestants are not Catholic, I do feel they should keep the commandments because Jesus said so.

Indeed, Jesus did away with animal sacrifices and Mosaic Dietary Laws, but our obligation to worship him publicly and other of the ten commandments remain with us to this very day.


How do you explain the salvation of the thief on the cross? He was just hanging there with Jesus, unable to do any works. What did he do other than believe to gain his salvation? He did not attend church, was not baptized of water, confess any of his specific sins, and broke many of the commandments. But all he did was confess that Jesus was Lord and confess that he was not worthy of any mercy, and put his faith in Jesus for salvation.


I agree with you; keeping the commandments is necessary. Jesus never abrogated the Ten Commandments; He only made it stricter and harder. The Ten Commandmenst is the minimum. Therefore it is necessary



The Baptism of Desire

The baptism of desire (baptismus flaminis) is a perfect contrition of heart, and every act of perfect charity or pure love of God which contains, at least implicitly, a desire (votum) of baptism. The Latin word flamen is used because Flamen is a name for the Holy Ghost, Whose special office it is to move the heart to love God and to conceive penitence for sin. The “baptism of the Holy Ghost” is a term employed in the third century by the anonymous author of the book “De Rebaptismate”. The efficacy of this baptism of desire to supply the place of the baptism of water, as to its principal effect, is proved from the words of Christ. After He had declared the necessity of baptism (John 3), He promised justifying grace for acts of charity or perfect contrition (John 14): “He that loveth Me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.” And again: “If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him.” Since these texts declare that justifying grace is bestowed on account of acts of perfect charity or contrition, it is evident that these acts supply the place of baptism as to its principal effect, the remission of sins. This doctrine is set forth clearly by the Council of Trent. In the fourteenth session (cap. iv) the council teaches that contrition is sometimes perfected by charity, and reconciles man to God, before the Sacrament of Penance is received. In the fourth chapter of the sixth session, in speaking of the necessity of baptism, it says that men can not obtain original justice “except by the washing of regeneration or its desire” (voto). The same doctrine is taught by Pope Innocent III (cap. Debitum, iv, De Bapt.), and the contrary propositions are condemned by Popes Pius V and Gregory XII, in proscribing the 31st and 33rd propositions of Baius.


The commandments are not how we are saved, yet we still should keep them.“Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy” is not the same as “Go to church every Sunday” The Sabbath wasn’t even Sunday… it was Saturday. Sunday is the Lord’s Day.

The ten commandments are not requirements for salvation they are the fruit of the saved. If you love God and are saved you will follow God’s COmmands.

Really there are two of them: Mark 12
’Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these."

If you are truly saved you will follow those two commands of God. If you are not saved you won’t be capable of following them. You cannot become saved by following them since you can’t do them when you aren’t saved to begin with.


You said he did not do any work? Oh, my friend. You are wrongly mistaken. From my understanding on the thief in the cross, I understand it as a first confession. The thief confessed his sins.

Other Catholics may have different point intrepetation, but most Catholics here will tell you that keeping the commandments is necessary.

Let me read you the text.

Luke 23:39-43.

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other thief rebuke him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we received our due reward of our deeds; but this man has not done nothing. And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

The thief speak openly of his sin, and that he justly condemn for the crime of stealing.

The thief did do something.

In general, confession when confess contritely to God, all the sins are forgiven. Jesus in his ministry forgive people sins. What is sin? It is any violation of the Ten Commandments.

If we break the law, we must confess our sins, and have them forgiven. For Catholics, the Sacrament of Reconciliations grant us assurance that our sin is forgiven. The priest in the person of Christ, forgive the sins of the penitant. The priest own power cannot forgive the sins, but God uses the priest as a vessel to forgive the sinner’s sin in the following, “I absolve you from your sins, in the Name of the Father, and Of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Non-Catholic Christians don’t have it (except the Orthodox) and they prefer private confession to God. How can they be certain if their sins are forgiven? Do they rely on faith that God forgive their sins?


What if you don’t follow them and just say, ten commandments is not necessary nor any I can fornicate because I am assured that I am saved. My sin was already forgiven but I believe that having a active sexual lifestyle feels. God understands that.

I don’t see the logic in that. I do see the connection on the Protestant prospective on not obeying the commandments and OSAS.


Excellent answer…:thumbsup:



“There are three ways in which sins are forgiven: in baptism, in prayer, and in the greater humility of penance; yet God does not forgive sins except to the baptized” (Sermons to Catechumens on the Creed 7:15 [A.D. 395]).

“I do not hesitate to put the Catholic catechumen, burning with divine love, before a baptized heretic. Even within the Catholic Church herself we put the good catechumen ahead of the wicked baptized person. . . . For Cornelius, even before his baptism, was filled up with the Holy Spirit [Acts 10:44–48], while Simon [Magus], even after his baptism, was puffed up with an unclean spirit [Acts 8:13–19]” (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:21:28 [A.D. 400]).

“That the place of baptism is sometimes supplied by suffering is supported by a substantial argument which the same blessed Cyprian draws from the circumstance of the thief, to whom, although not baptized, it was said, ‘Today you shall be with me in paradise’ [Luke 23:43]. Considering this over and over again, I find that not only suffering for the name of Christ can supply for that which is lacking by way of baptism, but even faith and conversion of heart * if, perhaps, because of the circumstances of the time, recourse cannot be had to the celebration of the mystery of baptism” (ibid., 4:22:29). *
“When we speak of within and without in relation to the Church, it is the position of the heart that we must consider, not that of the body. . . . All who are within [the Church] in heart are saved in the unity of the ark [by baptism of desire]” (ibid., 5:28:39).

“[According to] apostolic tradition . . . the churches of Christ hold inherently that without baptism and participation at the table of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the kingdom of God or to salvation and life eternal. This is the witness of Scripture too” (Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of Sin, and the Baptism of Infants 1:24:34 [A.D. 412]).

“Those who, though they have not received the washing of regeneration, die for the confession of Christ—it avails them just as much for the forgiveness of their sins as if they had been washed in the sacred font of baptism. For he that said, ‘If anyone is not reborn of water and the Spirit, he will not enter the kingdom of heaven’ [John 3:5], made an exception for them in that other statement in which he says no less generally, ‘Whoever confesses me before men, I too will confess him before my Father, who is in heaven’ [Matt. 10:32]” (The City of God 13:7 [A.D. 419]).


I cannot even imagine a person who truly loves God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength behaving in such a way on any sort of regular basis. It would not be loving God much, now would it? A person who does not love God obvoiusly dosn’t have Faith in Him.

You are talking about antinomianism. I don’t know of any Christian denomination that subscribes to antinomianism. Accusing all protestants of it is a bit extreme.

I am not OSAS, but I do know that even the vast majority of OSAS people are not antinomianists.(sp?)

Protestants believe what you are describing is heresy, same as you do.


:confused: I know that Protestants and Catholics number the commandments differently. And I also know that Protestants add one commandment (which is included in the first commandment for Catholics), and combine another one for the (I think) 9th. Maybe you could’ve just said what the commandment is instead of saying “4th commandment.” Unless you wanted to stress the difference in numbering. The 4th commandment for us Catholics is “Honor thy father and thy mother.”

I found this article from the Catholic Encyclopedia about the Ten Commandments;

The system of numeration found in Catholic Bibles, based on the
Hebrew text, was made by St. Augustine (fifth century) in his
book of “Questions of Exodus” (“Quæstionum in Heptateuchum
libri VII”, Bk. II, Question lxxi), and was adopted by the Council of
Trent. It is followed also by the German Lutherans, except those
of the school of Bucer. This arrangement makes the First
Commandment relate to false worship and to the worship of false
gods as to a single subject and a single class of sins to be
guarded against – the reference to idols being regarded as mere
application of the precept to adore but one God and the
prohibition as directed against the particular offense of idolatry
alone. According to this manner of reckoning, the injunction
forbidding the use of the Lord’s Name in vain comes second in
order; and the decimal number is safeguarded by making a
division of the final precept on concupiscence–the Ninth pointing
to sins of the flesh and the Tenth to desires for unlawful
possession of goods.


The thief speaks openly that he was sinful, not openly about only a single sin, “we received our due reward for our deeds”. The “deeds” here is plural. Though he was sentenced for stealing, I would suggest to you that he is repenting from all his failings.

I agree as I stated in my post:

But all he did was confess that Jesus was Lord and confess that he was not worthy of any mercy, and put his faith in Jesus for salvation.

I repenting is implied in putting Faith in Jesus Christ, but I would explicitly say this here. So the thief did what for salvation?

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

My question to you, what did the thief not do for his salvation?

Not to be picky here, by it would be more accurate to say that repenting from sin leads to forgiveness of sin. I believe there is a slight difference in contritely and repent. Contritely shows remorse, but repent shows such remorce that one changes and turns from it.

Again not to be picky, but Sin is not just the violation of the Ten Commandments, it is a disobedience of God’s will. Remember Jesus gave us the two commands that provide the foundation of God’s commandments. Love God above all and Love everyone as yourself.

When one sins, he must repent from the sin for them to be forgiven.

This is fine, but a question here. Jesus is alive and well. We are Christians, and being so we are in Jesus and Jesus is in us. Jesus is our the High Priest. Why is the need to confess your sin to a man, priest, instead of repenting from your sin to the Jesus, the High Priest? Also, confessing a sin to anyone, but not repenting from it, does not lead to forgiveness. And if a Christian does repent of the sin, and is forgiven of the sin due to the repentance, what is the purpose of confessing it to a priest?

Yes, because this is what Scripture teaches. This is an interesting statement. What do you have faith in for the forgiveness of your sins?


This is fine, but a question here. Jesus is alive and well. We are Christians, and being so we are in Jesus and Jesus is in us. Jesus is our the High Priest. Why is the need to confess your sin to a man, priest, instead of repenting from your sin to the Jesus, the High Priest? Also, confessing a sin to anyone, but not repenting from it, does not lead to forgiveness. And if a Christian does repent of the sin, and is forgiven of the sin due to the repentance, what is the purpose of confessing it to a priest?

I like to quote Scripture in which Jesus himself granted his apostles the authority to forgive sins.

“As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” (John 20:21), just as the apostles were to carrying Christ’s message to the whole world, so they were to carry his forgiveness: “Truly, I say to you whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loose in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18)

This power was understood as coming from God. "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and to give us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18), Indeed, confirms Paul, “we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor 5:20).

Some say that any power given to the apostles died with them. Not so. So power must have, such as the ability to write Scripture, spiritual society had to be passed down from generation to generation. If they cease, the Church would cease, except as to make disciples of all nations.

God has send Jesus to forgive sins, but after his resurrection, Jesus told the apostles. "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. And when he said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Received, the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained. (John 20:21-23). This is the one of only time time we are told that God breathed on man, the other being Genesis 2:7, when he made man a living soul. It emphasizes how important the estabment of the sacrament of penance or reconciliation.

I like to quote John Martignoni in his two min apologetics, in the question of the confession.

*Question: Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest, rather than going directly to God?

Answer: Well, the quick answer is because that’s the way God wants us to do it. In James 5:16, God, through Sacred Scripture, commands us to “confess our sins to one another.” Notice, Scripture does not say confess your sins straight to God and only to God…it says confess your sins to one another.

In Matthew, chapter 9, verse 6, Jesus tells us that He was given authority on earth to forgive sins. And then Scripture proceeds to tell us, in verse 8, that this authority was given to “men”…plural.

In John 20, verses 21-23, what is the 1st thing Jesus says to the gathered disciples on the night of His resurrection? “Jesus said to them, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’” How did the Father send Jesus? Well, we just saw in Mt 9 that the Father sent Jesus with the authority on earth to forgive sins. Now, Jesus sends out His disciples as the Father has sent Him…so, what authority must Jesus be sending His disciples out with? The authority on earth to forgive sins. And, just in case they didn’t get it, verses 22-23 say this, “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’”

Why would Jesus give the Apostles the power to forgive or to retain sins if He wasn’t expecting folks to confess their sins to them? And how could they forgive or retain sins if no one was confessing their sins to them?

The Bible tells us to confess our sins to one another. It also tells us that God gave men the authority on Earth to forgive sins. Jesus sends out His disciples with the authority on earth to forgive sins. When Catholics confess our sins to a priest, we are simply following the plan laid down by Jesus Christ. He forgives sins through the priest…it is God’s power, but He exercises that power through the ministry of the priest.*

Yes, because this is what Scripture teaches. This is an interesting statement. What do you have faith in for the forgiveness of your sins?

To answer your question, yes I have faith to have my sins forgiven because I believe Jesus granted priest the authority to forgive sins. Though it is not faith alone because I do not believe in the Faith Alone doctrine.


So if you are not saved by Faith Alone, what did Jesus mean in Luke 7:50?

Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.


Show me where in the Bible does it teach that we are saved by “faith alone.” They can’t, because it doesn’t. The only place in all of Scripture where the phrase “Faith Alone” appears, is in James…James 2:24, where it says that we are not…not…justified (or saved) by faith alone.

So, one of the two main pillars of Protestantism…the doctrine of salvation by faith alone…not only doesn’t appear in the Bible, but the Bible actually says the exact opposite - that we are not saved by faith alone

Third, I ask them that if works have nothing to do with our salvation…then how come every passage in the N.T. that I know of that talks about judgment says we will be judged by our works, not by whether or not we have faith alone? We see this in Rom 2, Matthew 15 and 16, 1 Ptr 1, Rev 20 and 22, 2 Cor 5, and many, many more verses.

Fourth, I ask them that if we are saved by faith alone, why does 1 Cor 13:13 say that love is greater than faith? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

As Catholics we believe that we are saved by God’s grace alone. We can do nothing, apart from God’s grace, to receive the free gift of salvation. We also believe, however, that we have to respond to God’s grace. Protestants believe that, too. However, many Protestants believe that the only response necessary is an act of faith; whereas, Catholics believe a response of faith and works is necessary…or, as the Bible puts it in Galatians 5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumsion is of any avail, but faith working through love…faith working through love…just as the Church teaches.

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