How can people read the Bible and still believe they are saved by faith alone?


#1

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. 18But someone 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. 19You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. 20Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. 23Thus the scripture was fulfilled that 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 person is justified by works and not by faith alone. ***25Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? 26For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead. (James 2:14-26)

Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you** evil doers**.’ Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. (Matthew 7: 20-24)

And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. Then he will say to those at his left hand. ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:40-46)

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. (Revelation 20:12-13)

How can Protestants believe that they can be saved by faith alone, the Bible directly and clearly says that it is not so!


#2

The “Mother” of all Sin is PRIDE.

PRIDE Results in DISOBEINCE.

DISOBEDIENCE Brings DEATH.

Today it can start with ARROGANCE followed by PRIDE.[size=2] Such as disobedience to the Church’s stand on Life, contreception and confession.[/size]

A nonCatholic doesn’t want to be faithful to the Pope. These people are full of Pride. They want to believe what they Want to believe, not what they read in the Bible, they interpret to SUIT THEIR DESIRES. IT"S PRIDE THAT STARTS THIS UNBELIEF!


#3

I really don’t think I would simplify it all the way down to just pride. I think a lot of it is simply a lack of knowledge. Society paints such a negative picture of Catholicism to the point where people are afraid to be a part of the Catholic church, and end up knowing very little about it. Everyone is searching to find Jesus and find the church which they think is correct.

Many of the Protestant denominations can be very appealing to people who know little about Christianity. They are very welcoming and are always looking to bring more people in.

I guess I would explain it as a lack of understanding. They rely on scripture alone, denying the fact that the Church is what created the scripture, and denying the fact that Jesus Christ established the Church.

They take a lot of verses which speak of faith and not works, and misinterpret them and take them out of context.

God Bless,
Elizabeth


#4

[quote=Exporter]The “Mother” of all Sin is PRIDE.

PRIDE Results in DISOBEINCE.

DISOBEDIENCE Brings DEATH.

Today it can start with ARROGANCE followed by PRIDE.[size=2] Such as disobedience to the Church’s stand on Life, contreception and confession.[/size]

A nonCatholic doesn’t want to be faithful to the Pope. These people are full of Pride. They want to believe what they Want to believe, not what they read in the Bible, they interpret to SUIT THEIR DESIRES. IT"S PRIDE THAT STARTS THIS UNBELIEF!
[/quote]

What are we so Proud about?


#5

Hermione,

I know of very few Protestants that believe in faith alone saves, exceptions being “non-denominational” and baptists. I know alot of Protestants start by saying you need faith to begin your journey, but not as a catch all.


#6

Hellon Hermione,

I know what you mean. I once backed a Protestant minister deep into a hole with similiar scriptures. Finally the Protestant minister confessed that they (Assemblies of God) do not follow Jesus teachings but only St. Paul. He said that after Jesus died it all changed and now only St. Paul teaches what we “Post ressurection” Christians should believe. Do his followers know this is his plan?

Can Protestants really believe that Jesus’ teachings were only for those who heard His words and died during His three or four years actively preaching? How does one believe in Jesus other than doing what Jesus commanded that we do? Is it not Satan’s job to teach people that they do not have to obey what Jesus commanded? Should not a Protestant Minister make it absolutly clear to thier flock that they are removing all of Jesus teachings before they claim to preach sola scripture? If you thought that St. Paul countered what Jesus said, is it safe to simply eliminate what Jesus said instead of finding out what St. Paul is really saying? Should Luther have based his religion solidly on his misunderstanding of St. Paul’s writings even when he surely realized he had to ignore Jesusn teachings to do so?

Their are many who are blinded by their faith in their Protestant leaders.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#7

[quote=Steven Merten]Hellon Hermione,

I know what you mean. I once backed a Protestant minister deep into a hole with similiar scriptures. Finally the Protestant minister confessed that they (Assemblies of God) do not follow Jesus teachings but only St. Paul. He said that after Jesus died it all changed and now only St. Paul teaches what we “Post ressurection” Christians should believe. Do his followers know this is his plan?

Can Protestants really believe that Jesus’ teachings were only for those who heard His words and died during His three or four years actively preaching? How does one believe in Jesus other than doing what Jesus commanded that we do? Is it not Satan’s job to teach people that they do not have to obey what Jesus commanded? Should not a Protestant Minister make it absolutly clear to thier flock that they are removing all of Jesus teachings before they claim to preach sola scripture? If you thought that St. Paul countered what Jesus said, is it safe to simply eliminate what Jesus said instead of finding out what St. Paul is really saying? Should Luther have based his religion solidly on his misunderstanding of St. Paul’s writings even when he surely realized he had to ignore Jesusn teachings to do so?

Their are many who are blinded by their faith in their Protestant leaders.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com
[/quote]

Holy Gak! :eek: That is REALLY messed up! Would you say that this is a good evidence of why Sola Scriptura is such a rotten idea? How can he live with that with a clear conscience? That’s SO far from NT Christianity.
Pax vobiscum,


#8

How can people believe you are saved by faith alone?? hmm how about this:

Romans 4:5: "To the man who does not work, but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

hmm or how about this one:

Romans 4:16: “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace, and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring.”

OR:

Titus 3:5: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy ghost.”

OR:

James 2:23: "And the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.”

OR:

Acts 16:31b : “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

So to answer your question… How can Protestants believe that they can be saved by faith alone??? The Bible directly and clearly says that it is so!


#9

bkniceley,
Did you not read the rest of James 2? I’ll put in bold some key statements for you:

[size=3]14What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your[a]("http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202:12-39;&version=50;#fen-NKJV-30309a")] works, and I will show you my faith by my**("http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202:12-39;&version=50;#fen-NKJV-30309b")] works. 19You believe that there is one God. You do well. **Even the demons believe--and tremble! 20But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?******[c]("http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202:12-39;&version=50;#fen-NKJV-30311c")] 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22**Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?** 23And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."[d]("http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202:12-39;&version=50;#fen-NKJV-30314d")] And he was called the friend of God. 24**You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. **

25Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?     26**For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.** 

[/size]

And FYI, Romans 4 is speaking about those who still believe that it is necessary to uphold the tradition of circumsicision. Go ahead and check every other time faith and not works is mentioned, you will see they all have to do with circumcision.

You cannot take one verse out of a whole chapter and misinterpret it to your purpose.

Look to Matthew 25, where Jesus speaks of those that believed in him, yet were not ready for him when he returned, and he said he did not know them.

How many times did our Lord Jesus Christ tell us that he will judge us according to our actions?

Your passages are taken out of context and your interpretation is more of a misinterpretation.

God Bless,
Elizabeth


#10

bkniceley,
Did you not read the rest of James 2? I’ll put in bold some key statements for you:

[size=3]14What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your[a]("http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202:12-39;&version=50;#fen-NKJV-30309a")] works, and I will show you my faith by my**("http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202:12-39;&version=50;#fen-NKJV-30309b")] works. 19You believe that there is one God. You do well. **Even the demons believe--and tremble! 20But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?******[c]("http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202:12-39;&version=50;#fen-NKJV-30311c")] 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22**Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?** 23And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."[d]("http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202:12-39;&version=50;#fen-NKJV-30314d")] And he was called the friend of God. 24**You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. **

25Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?     26**For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.** 

[/size]

And FYI, Romans 4 is speaking about those who still believe that it is necessary to uphold the tradition of circumsicision. Go ahead and check every other time faith and not works is mentioned, you will see they all have to do with circumcision.

You cannot take one verse out of a whole chapter and misinterpret it to your purpose.

Look to Matthew 25, where Jesus speaks of those that believed in him, yet were not ready for him when he returned, and he said he did not know them.

How many times did our Lord Jesus Christ tell us that he will judge us according to our actions?

Your passages are taken out of context and your interpretation is more of a misinterpretation.
God Bless,
Elizabeth


#11

[quote=Coptic]bkniceley,
Did you not read the rest of James 2? I’ll put in bold some key statements for you:

And FYI, Romans 4 is speaking about those who still believe that it is necessary to uphold the tradition of circumsicision. Go ahead and check every other time faith and not works is mentioned, you will see they all have to do with circumcision.

You cannot take one verse out of a whole chapter and misinterpret it to your purpose.

Look to Matthew 25, where Jesus speaks of those that believed in him, yet were not ready for him when he returned, and he said he did not know them.

How many times did our Lord Jesus Christ tell us that he will judge us according to our actions?

Your passages are taken out of context and your interpretation is more of a misinterpretation.

God Bless,
Elizabeth
[/quote]

Well of course you can’t read the whole thing in context, if you did that it would seem that Christ’s Church was Catholic all along.:smiley:


#12

[quote=bkniceley]How can people believe you are saved by faith alone?? hmm how about this:

Romans 4:5: "To the man who does not work, but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

hmm or how about this one:

Romans 4:16: “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace, and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring.”

OR:

Titus 3:5: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy ghost.”

OR:

James 2:23: "And the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.”

OR:

Acts 16:31b : “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

So to answer your question… How can Protestants believe that they can be saved by faith alone??? The Bible directly and clearly says that it is so!
[/quote]

Hello bknicely;

I disagree with your statement. Please reread your quotes carefully. None of them supports your conclusion that Faith *alone * is sufficient for salvation. They only support the conclusion that faith is necessary for salvation. Two very different conclusions.

The verses you quote teach that the manner in which a person approaches their relationship with God is important for salvation. Salvation comes from grace alone, so no one can expect to earn their way into Heaven by performing good works alone. All of the good works in the universe alone will not warrant salvation - on this Catholics and Protestants agree. But that teaching does not release christians from Christ’s mandate to obey God’s commandments and to live a life of charity so that we may perservere to the end (2 Tim. 2:11-13) while we work out our salvation in fear and trembling. Phil 2:12.

We all can agree that faith is necessarily a big part of salvation. But nothing in the bible says that faith *alone * saves. In fact, the only place in the bible that the phrase “faith alone” appears is at James 2:14-24, where James tells his readers that man is justified by his works and NOT by faith alone.

Please consider these verses also:

In 1 Cor. 13:2, St. Paul tells us that faith without love (charity) is nothing (it cannot save). Charity means love of God, and Jesus says that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Jn 14:21. When the rich man asks Jesus what he must do to be saved, Jesus tells him to “keep the commandments.” Mt. 19:16-17. So, from Scripture it is clear that in addition to having faith we must also have charity and keep God’s commandments. Good works are not just some biproduct of salvation. Works are an integral part of our remaining in a state of grace so that - having run the race - we may be welcomed home as good and faithful servants of God.

Peace and charity,


#13

It seems to me that people who insist that faith alone saves make the Bible contradict itself and thus give people further reason to leave Christianity. When James says “You see now that it is by deeds, and not only by believing, that someone is justified,” (New Jerusalem Bible) he means exactly what he says. Martin Luther understood this. That’s why he initially removed the book of James from his version of the Bible, and then referred to it as “that epistle of straw” when he put it back in. Martin Luther had to then completely misread James in order to fit it back into his theology. If you make Paul say that were are justified by faith ALONE, then you make James contradict Paul, which means you believe that God has contradicted Himself. Unless you pull a Luther and decide for yourself that one of the two writers was not inspired.

I have a sister who is Baptist. She said to my mother once that baptism by any other means than full immersion is not vaild. My fiance (who is not catholic but who is more than likely going to convert soon) refuted her very nicely. Her argument went like this: The problem with my sister saying that sprinkling baptism isn’t valid is that Baptists believe in salvation by faith alone, and baptism is a work. If works have nothing to do with salvation, why does it matter if a person’s baptism is “valid” or not (as long as that individual “accepts Jesus Christ into his/her heart as his/her personal Lord and Savior”)? Also, protestants believe that baptism is only a symbol, whereas Catholics believe that baptism is the real washing away of sins. So, again, why does it matter? If faith is all that matters, then we can baptise eachother with waterguns or firehoses and it doesn’t make a difference.

Sorry. I got a little sidetracked there. A few more things:

“Believe” and “accept” are both verbs.

“. . . even the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear.”

“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”


#14

posted by Coptic

I really don’t think I would simplify it all the way down to just pride. I think a lot of it is simply a lack of knowledge. Society paints such a negative picture of Catholicism to the point where people are afraid to be a part of the Catholic church, and end up knowing very little about it. Everyone is searching to find Jesus and find the church which they think is correct.

Many of the Protestant denominations can be very appealing to people who know little about Christianity. They are very welcoming and are always looking to bring more people in.

I would agree.
I would agree that there is more to it than pride for many.

I guess I would explain it as a lack of understanding. They rely on scripture alone, denying the fact that the Church is what created the scripture, and denying the fact that Jesus Christ established the Church.

They take a lot of verses which speak of faith and not works, and misinterpret them and take them out of context.

Most people, like me, didn’t deny the facts, **they just didn’t know the facts, **and are never troubled to seek anything deeper. I would liken it to the little old lady who is Catholic and has a very simple faith and doesn’t bother with anything deeper than her faith in Christ and the intercession of Mary. Content to accept what the priest says and not seek out anything else.

They are not lazy or even in denial, they just don’t notice the discrepencies. I know when I was in Protestant circles, not everyone went to Bible study. More than the Catholics, but not everyone. I did go to Bible studies, I did notice the discrepencies, and when people learned I was a baptized Catholic they would talk about all the things that were wrong in the Catholic teachings. Since I knew nothing about the Catholic Church and its teachings, it was usually a very one sided conversation bashing the Catholic Church. This did not sit right, so I started seeking what Catholics say they believed.

And as for misinterpretation, unless someone is dissatisfied with a particular denomination, they aren’t aware that other Christian denoms interpret it differently. As someone who lives in a small town, when I became dissatisfied with the infighting, I had to pick a different denomination or drive 60 miles. It was then that I realized that different denoms had different interpretations. It started to bother me and I got tired of people telling me to “just ask the Holy Spirit to guide me”. That’s what everyone was doing, yet they were coming up with different “truths” of the “Holy Spirit”.

My opinion is that many are just ignorant of the facts, not denying the facts.

God Bless,
Maria


#15

ok you just said salvation comes from grace alone… and thats what the thread is asking… “believe they are saved by faith alone”. And yes jesus christ did say he is going to judge us by our actions… however if we recieve salvation we are forgiven by him. And ill highlight some bold key statements from the passages for you… Acts 16:31b : “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” So we are saved from believing in christ alone… says it right there and there is no way you can take that out of context. The passages you have mentioned are what takes place after we recieve christ and are saved by faith. If we have faith we are saved and in turn do those good works u mentioned. If we dont have faith we are not saved and therefore do not do good works.


#16

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

No one said faith was not necessary. Obviously you have to believe in order to be saved. Yet that is not it, as stated in James even the demons believe and tremble! Are they too saved?

And yes jesus christ did say he is going to judge us by our actions… however if we recieve salvation we are forgiven by him.

Okay, one does not receive salvation while you are alive, yet when Jesus comes back in all his glory is when we do. While we are alive, we should be striving on a day to day basis to obtain salvation. Therefore we are being held accountable for our actions until the day we die or until the day Jesus comes back, (which ever comes first).

Church history from day 1 has preached that faith and works go hand in hand and together are necessary for salvation. That is what St. Peter and St. Paul established in what is now the Catholic Church, and that is what St. Mark established in the Coptic Orthodox Church. Why do you question the teachings of the Apostles?

Faith** is** necessary for salvation, but faith alone is not enough.

God Bless,
Elizabeth


#17

[quote=Hermione][snip]How can Protestants believe that they can be saved by faith alone. . . .
[/quote]

Because they are deluding themselves.


#18

[quote=bkniceley]And ill highlight some bold key statements from the passages for you… Acts 16:31b : “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” So we are saved from believing in christ alone… says it right there and there is no way you can take that out of context.
[/quote]

You are the one who added the word “alone” there. It doesn’t say “alone.” Again, as I said in my earlier post, if you make any part of the Bible say that we are saved by faith ALONE, then you make that part of the Bible contradict James, who says “You see now that it is by deeds, and not only by believing, that someone is justified.” That’s in the New Jerusalem Bible. Maybe you’ll find the New American Bible a little clearer: “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Can you say that we are justified by faith alone and not contradict the Bible? Nope. Sorry.


#19

That’s why Martin Luther wanted to get rid of James.


#20

[quote=bkniceley]"Believe
[/quote]

on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." So we are saved from believing in christ alone… says it right there and there is no way you can take that out of context.

Hello bknicely,

Please show me the scriptures you are using to define God’s biblical term “believe”. I have studied the scriptures from one end to the other and God’s term “believe” almost always means to obey God by doing what the Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit, tell us to do.

Please show us the scripture you use to think that God’s biblical term “believe” does not mean to do what Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit tell us to do.

Please visit Believe for a study of God’s use of the term “believe”.

NAB JOH 3:36
Whoever believes in the Son has life eternal. Whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure the wrath of God.


NAB LUK 8:13
Those on the rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. They have no root; **they believe **for a while, but fall away in time of temptation.

NAB JOH 8:31
"[font=Arial]If you live according to my teaching, you are truly my disciples; then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial][/font][font=Arial]NAB JOH 12:24[/font]
Jesus proclaimed aloud: “Whoever puts faith in me believes not so much in me as in him who sent me; and whoever looks on me is seeing him who sent me. I have come to the world as its light, to keep anyone who believes in me from remaining in the dark. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I am not the one to condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save it. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words already has his judge, namely, the word I have spoken it is that which will condemn him on the last day[font=Arial]. For I have not spoken on my own; no, the Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to speak. Since I know that his commandment means eternal life, whatever I say is spoken just as he instructed me.”[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial][/font]NAB MAR 1:15
Reform your lives and believe in the gospel!


NAB LUK 9:35
Then from the cloud came a voice which said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.

NAB ACTS 3:22
For Moses said: The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own kinsmen: you shall listen to him in everything he says to you. Anyone who does not listen to that prophet shall be ruthlessly cut off from his people.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


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