No, not conformity, as there are 23 different Rites with different language, practices, customs and theological perspectives. Conformity is not required. What creates unity is adherance to the Apostolic Teaching All these different “unconforming” Rites embrace the One Faith that was handed down to us from the Apostles.
And we also recognize the Orthodox as holding to the One Faith, yet they have never, and do not now, make an effort to “conform” to the Latin Rite.
So when Paul wrote to the Ephesians about eternal life and said,
“For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God v9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
the part that says, through faith … “not of works” please explain what he meant by not of works.
I always find it very revealing when people leave out V. 10.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— 9 not because of works, lest any man 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. Eph. 2
Engaging in the works God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them is not to be separated from the grace by which we are saved through faith. The good works “complete” our faith. The faith is produced in us by grace, and the works for which we were created are also a work of Grace. They are not the basis of our salvation, but they are also not separated from it.
That is not far from the traditional evangelical view. I think the big difference is the answer to “why”. Why do we do Good Works? The Protestant/Evangelical would say something like, “I do works because Christ has changed my heart and my affections so that I now Love God and Love others. Christ loves me so much that I want to show His love to others by ministering and witnessing about Him and His love and grace”.
For an evangelical, what we do is rooted in who we are, that is an adopted Child of the King who loves us more than we can ever image. When we come to faith our identity is changed and who we are (our hearts and affections) is changed and what we do is a result of this change.
so…then the question is…do you do good works as a result of a change of heart?
Justification By Faith
By Dr. William Marshner
The Church Fathers and their successors, the Scholastic Doctors, took the trouble to work out such a metaphysics because the existence of grace as a real entity in man—ontic grace—was and is the foundation, without which the whole Catholic understanding of justification makes no sense. The Protestant Reformers, however, impatient with metaphysics, preferred not to cope with such an entity and denied its existence.4 To them it seemed simpler to say that grace is something wholly in God, namely, His favor towards us. But then, if grace is not something real in man, our “justification” can no longer be conceived as a real change in us; it will have to become a sheer declaration on God’s part, e.g. a declaration that, thanks to the work of Christ, He will henceforth consider us as just, even though we remain inwardly the sinners we always were. Hence, the Protestant doctrine of “forensic” or “extrinsic” justification. Now watch what happens to our own act of faith: it ceases to be the foundational act of an interior renewal and becomes a mere requirement, devoid of any salvific power in its own right, which God arbitrarily sets as the condition on which He will He will declare us just. Whereupon, watch what happens to our good works: they cease to be the vital acts wherein an ontologically real “new life” consists and manifests itself; they become mere human responses to divine mercy—nice, but totally irrelevant to our justification—or else they become zombie-like motions produced in us by irresistible divine impulses, whereby God exhibits His glory in His elect.
God doesn’t make us do anything. What he does is stir our hearts and change our affections. We do good works because we love God and love others.
If my wife tells me to buy her a diamond necklace is that an act of love? Maybe, maybe not. It could just be buying her a necklace to keep her from getting mad at me or being disappointed in me. If I see a diamond necklace and think “Wow! my wife would love that” and surprise her with the necklace, then it is unquestionably and act of love.
He has it backwards. Faith is the foundational act of Christian life. . When we come to faith is the moment God moves us from being dead in our sin to alive in Christ. It is when God makes us a new creation in Christ and adopts us a Children. It changes our hearts, it changes our desires, Christ becomes our treasure and following Him and bringing Him glory becomes our purpose. Faith is when we die to self and start live for Christ. Faith is what keeps us in Christ Grace and gives us the desire and strength to deny ourselves daily and live for Him.
Faith is our deep love, trust and surrender to Christ. Faith is what puts the why into the what.
Why do we worship?
Why do we volunteer at our church?
Why do we serve others?
Why do we pray for others?
Why do we support missionaries?
Why do we give to help the poor?
Why do we teach?
Why do we comfort those that are hurting?
The answer to all of those questions (and many more) is because of our deep love, trust, and surrender to Christ. If we answer anything other than that to those questions then we need to examine our hearts to see if we really have faith.
yes ot is ideal if we can always do good because we are regenerated and put pf love but really dping good benefits us even if we are not in the ideal frame of mind . as jesus showed with the two sons, doing os mote important than feelings pr wprds. scrpyre says hewjp dpes gpod -mpt anpit the motive
Is it possible to be loving if you aren’t in love? Is it possible to be trusting if you don’t trust? Is it possible to be faithful without faith? I supposed we could fake it for a while, but eventually our true self will emerge.
I didn’t say anything about an emotional experience that comes and goes or romantic feelings.
True love is loving even when you don’t “feel loving”. There is times that I don’t feel very loving about my wife. However, I’ve never stopped loving her. Love is more than a feeling that comes and goes. It is an awareness or mindfulness of the relationship and it’s importance that never leaves us.
Once we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit and come to Christ in faith, it is the Holy Spirit that gives us this mindfulness, awareness, and thankfulness of our relationship with Christ. It is God working in and through us.
That is what I mean by “our affections are changed”. The Holy Spirit brings the things of God to mind in our day to day lives. It is also the fruits of the Spirit being made manifest in our lives. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control are all works of the Spirit in our life that go beyond any ability to have those attributes from our “will” alone.
It is from this change in our affections that our good works are born.
The Christian does good things because of the Love of Christ that is living in him that compels him to love others. The things they (Christians and Non-Christians) do may look similar. However, the atheist/non-believer does what he does for personal reasons (everything from building a good reputation, cultural expectations, to the genuine love and care for a cause). However, the Christian does what he does to show the love of Christ to the world and to bring God Glory.
Edit to add- when I said “our works are born” I was speaking of followers of Christ as our. Not mankind in general. Mankind has a myriad of reasons for what they do.
The gates of hell are not “death”. Those who die in the Lord do not pass through the gates of hell. The gates of hell are the abode of evil. Jesus has promised that the abode of evil will not stand against the Church. If error were to be taught, the faithful would be misled through the gates of hell.
We get infallibility out of Jesus’ promise that the Holy Spirit will lead us into “all Truth”. Infallibility is based on the Holy Spirit, not the fallible persons who are members of the Church.
We can all benefit from the gift, so long as we remain in unity with them.
It goes by the name Catholic, because this was the description that Luke gave it in his gospel. By the end of the first century it had become a formal name.
Yes, all who are in Christ are in His One Body, the Church. Some are imperfectly joined, as they have embraced heresies. There is One Faith (one doctrine/teaching) and it is preserved infallibly by the Holy Spirit in the Church.