Grace "Alone", Faith "Alone", Christ "Alone"


#1

Ya know. Sometimes it seems to me that the protestants just put their heads between their shoulders, and refuse all logic and reasoning. Or is my brain stuck on something, that it shouldn’t be?

Awhile back I had a debate on another forum about this phrase quoted on entry to this topic. I pointed out that the phrase “Grace Alone, Faith alone and Christ alone” is the very definition of an Oxymoron. Since if you say Grace alone, then how does faith enter the picture? Or if you say Faith Alone, then how does Grace enter the picture? I mean after all the word “Alone”, has a definition in the English language. It is very clear, it means alone, it means nothing else.

Why do our protestant brethren insist on saying this? Frankly, I’m mystified.

Chipper


#2

[quote=Chipper]Ya know. Sometimes it seems to me that the protestants just put their heads between their shoulders, and refuse all logic and reasoning. Or is my brain stuck on something, that it shouldn’t be?

Awhile back I had a debate on another forum about this phrase quoted on entry to this topic. I pointed out that the phrase “Grace Alone, Faith alone and Christ alone” is the very definition of an Oxymoron. Since if you say Grace alone, then how does faith enter the picture? Or if you say Faith Alone, then how does Grace enter the picture? I mean after all the word “Alone”, has a definition in the English language. It is very clear, it means alone, it means nothing else.

Why do our protestant brethren insist on saying this? Frankly, I’m mystified.

Chipper
[/quote]

I was recently told that Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura) doesn’t really mean ‘alone’, it includes tradition. I didn’t buy it, but how can I argue if someone says that is what they believe?

I don’t want do what is done by so many protestants when thay tell Catholics, “no, that’s not what you believe, I know what you believe!”

Yours in Christ.


#3

At the very least, they need to explain what is accomplished by what in a lone manner, so as to avoid looking completely nonsensical, as you have pointed out.

Such elucidation would also foster thoughtful discussion.


#4

[quote=Ignatius]I was recently told that Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura) doesn’t really mean ‘alone’, it includes tradition. I didn’t buy it, but how can I argue if someone says that is what they believe?

I don’t want do what is done by so many protestants when thay tell Catholics, “no, that’s not what you believe, I know what you believe!”

Yours in Christ.
[/quote]

They may mean that tradition is useful, but that only Sacred Scripture is the final authority, which is a common tactic to avoid adressing the logical problems of Sola Scriptura.

To refocus the discussion, you need to ask them “What else besides Scripture can serve a the final authority?”


#5

When Protestants who use the phrase “Scripture Alone” really mean by that is “Scripture Supreme or Primary.” Alone is an unfortunate word that doesn’t really describe their position.

It’s rather like our using the title “Co-redeemer” for Mary which sounds to Protestant ears like we are putting Mary on equal footing with Christ. A better term would be “Sub-redeemer” or “Co-worker with Christ,” which is what we mean. (Please, no discussion of this issue, it’s just an example.)

What we need to help them see is that the Bible doesn’t interpret itself even within their faith communities. Someone in their body of believers teaches the others what true doctrines they will accept and uses the Bible to back up his/her position. To them the Bible is a proof-text for their beliefs.

For Catholics, the Magisterium teaches us what is proper doctrine and dogma with the Bible as the witness to the truth being taught.

The mind set and language stands between us, as well as concepts about authority, who has it and why.


#6

[quote=Della]When Protestants who use the phrase “Scripture Alone” really mean by that is “Scripture Supreme or Primary.” Alone is an unfortunate word that doesn’t really describe their position.

[/quote]

Aw. The crux of the problem. It all centers around the word “Alone”. The saga continues, “Grace alone, faith alone, christ alone, and Sripture alone”. I’ll add another at the bottom.

It must be that since they’ve separated from the True Church, they are feeling quite “ALONE”. So they have to avoid it’s true meaning.

So now we add a new “Alone” to their pile of “Alones”, the new one is “Their interpretation Alone”.

Now we have "Grace alone, Faith alone, Christ alone, scripture alone, and my interpretation alone.

Regards,
Chipper


#7

Here’s what they mean:
:coffeeread:
Ephesians 2:8-10. Paul.
8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

We are made blameless and worthy by our faith in the historic shed Blood of Jesus, The Word of God, and the continual sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:4-8. Paul.
4 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared:
5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”

Our “works of righteousness” follow us after Jesus saves us.

We do not do works of righteousness (in order) to get saved.

Ephesians 2:8-10. Paul.
8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Romans 4:5-8. Paul. (Romans, chapter 4)
5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies [redeems] the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered;
8 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.” -Psalm 32.
(Apart from works, and prescribed penances.)

1 John 5:10-15. John.
“He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God: has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us everlasting life, and this life is in His Son.
12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have everlasting life.
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have everlasting life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

In the New Testament, Luke, the writer of the Book of Acts bears out the fact that Paul (Saul) was an adamant fanatical Jew of Jews, who persecuted the first Christians; but then had a miraculous conversion to Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 1:8-11. Paul.
8 “Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”
(A “Gentile” is any non-Jew.)

2 Corinthians 5:17-18. Paul.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…”

“…that through death He [Jesus] might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the Devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
–Hebrews 2:14-15.

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” –Jesus. John 8:36.

:hmmm: Which raises the questions:

Do Catholics believe that these Scriptures are what they are to believe in, from now on? :yup:

Or, would it be a sin to do so? :banghead:


#8

In the Gospel of John, chapter 17, Jesus prays to the Father for us.
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
23 I in them, and You in Me; that they be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24 Father, I desire that they also whom you gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world…”

John 10:27-30. Jesus.
27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one…”

I believe that I am in good hands!
Believe, and pray with me.

Romans 10:9-13. Paul.
“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.”
13 For, “whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” -Joel 2:32.

Believe: The Promise.

          Dear Jesus,

I know that I am a sinner, and so undeserving of Your mercy.
But I call upon You now with all conviction, and I ask You now to please forgive me all of my sins, for You know them all.
You are the only One who can forgive me, and take away my sins.
You are the only One that can save me from sin, death, Hell, and the wrath of God (by that one and only historic Sacrifice You made for us, in Your Body and Blood, while on the cross).
And, I thank You now for bearing the cross for us, paying the ransom in full, and setting us free from Satan’s lies and strongholds.
Thank You for forgiving me, redeeming me, saving me, and granting me everlasting life, as You have promised.
Only You can save us from our sin’s penalty.
(We cannot save ourselves, and, there is no Church or religious work of ours that can save us.)
I give thanks, and all the glory to You Jesus, Your Father, and the Holy Spirit!
Use me to reach others with Your Gospel!
In Your Name Jesus, I will pray, and praise You! Amen.

The Greek word “Gospel” does mean: “Good News!”

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23.

“Repent, and thou shalt be saved.” “Alrighty then!” -Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.

“…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” -John 3:15.

“…that through death He [Jesus] might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the Devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
–Hebrews 2:14-15.

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” –Jesus. John 8:36.

Paul and Barnabus preach the Gospel. Acts 13:48:
“Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord.
And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”

(This calls for a celebration!)
:yup: :clapping: :dancing: :extrahappy: :bowdown2: :amen: :blessyou:


#9

Mat 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Mat 25:42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
Mat 25:43 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.'
Mat 25:44 Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?'
Mat 25:45 Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'
Mat 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Jas 2:15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,
Jas 2:16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?
Jas 2:17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Jas 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
Jas 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder!
Jas 2:20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?
Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?
Jas 2:22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;
Jas 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”–and he was called a friend of God.
Jas 2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Jas 2:25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
Jas 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

I know many that claim to have faith, yet do not have works. They are condemned by the Word.

If these works naturally followed us after coming to faith why did Jesus see fit to warn us? If our works have no role in our salvation why did Jesus say the following?

Mat 25:34 Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Mat 25:35 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,
Mat 25:36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
Mat 25:37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
Mat 25:38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
Mat 25:39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'
Mat 25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Matthew 25 makes no sense if we are forced to do good in our faith. No, we can choose to do good or not. If we do not we are condemned. If this were not true He would not have extended to all the promise of Matthew 25:34-40. Why would Jesus hold out something that was not obtainable by all?

In your faith you need to heed the words of Christ and obey. Faith alone is empty.

Pax

Willis


#10

To keep it simple it could be stated that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, based on Christ alone.

In other words we are saved by grace alone (God’s free gift) which we accept or receive by faith alone (not by works that come later) because of Christ alone (His sacrifice on the cross was all sufficient to provide the gift).


#11

I might add the other two "solas’ of the Reformation.

God’s glory alone. We are saved for the purpose of showing God’s glory and that we may glorify Him.

Scripture alone. Everything that we need to know to be saved is clearly contained in Scripture. (This does not mean that all Scripture is clear, but that the necessary things are. It does not mean that all knowledge is contain in Scripture but that that necessary things are.


#12

If I were to hear the topic phrase spoken by a Protestant, I would certainly assume it to mean what SyCarl has said.

Believers in Christ should (and I believe the true followers will) also do good works, but scripture is clear these have no saving power. We clearly receive salvation because of our faith in Christ. It’s because of God’s grace (unmerited favor) toward us that we receive it. We don’t earn it. It’s a free, undeserved gift which is the result of our faith in Christ.

Works, which indeed come after and beyond that, are not strictly required for salvation. However, it is also my firm belief that the holy spirit, which indwells us, causes a change of heart, so to speak, which will cause our works to reflect the presence of the holy spirit within us. Is it possible to resist this? Yes. However, I think the reason for a lack of works in the lives of a great many is that they aren’t truly saved in the first place.


#13

looks like those last 2 are the same thing…


#14

We believe the Bible contains the Scriptures that are cannonical - right?
And, that the Lord will do the right thing with every soul on Judgment Day - right?
I believe a person has to be actually saved themselves, before they can share the Gospel with others - right?
Our sins were judged at the Cross when Jesus died for us.
Our works will be judged at the Judgment seat of Christ, where we will suffer loss, or be rewarded.
Now, does anyone wish to refute that?


#15

First, I am told that if I believe in Christ and say the “Sinner’s Prayer” (which is not in the bible) I am guaranteed salvation. Then I am told that if I don’t show fruit I was not really saved.

That doesn’t make sense. If the free gift is there and I take it how can I not be saved???

With all the exhortations from Christ and Paul to do the right thing, run the good race, and etc. I really have to question the efficacy of this sinners prayer and faith alone thing.


#16

Catholics also agree we are saved by Grace. Catholics would say it as we are saved by Grace, faith working through love.:slight_smile:


#17

Saved by grace and mercy through faith, and not by works is the Gospel that the first christians preached.
Then the dogmas (the little fine print at the bottom, and the footnotes on the side) were attached by the RCC “fathers.”


#18

And, if I didn’t know any better, I’d need Jonnie Cochran to get me saved…


#19

You need to re-read the Epistles.

As an example;

1Pe 3:21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Here we have an Apostle who believes that baptism is salvic! Or do you not count baptism as a work?


#20

“Baptism.”

Are we talking about water baptism, or God baptizing (giving us the Holy Spirit)?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Jesus said,
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him?”

King James Bible
Jesus said,
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

It appears that the Holy Spirit is for the asking.
It is God’s free gift, just like eternal life is a free gift.

Yes, we do want folks to follow in water baptism, but aparently, we can be saved before then…as that happened in the Book of Acts…


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.