Justification by Faith?


#1

Well, here is the story. I had a debate yesterday after I was returning after mass. Two “evengelical”(protestant) guys walked alongside to “discuss” something about who goes to heaven or to hell. Down the line, I rejected to believe that faith alone saves us. Well, that says that since we already have the right to go to heaven, and it doesn’t matter if we sin. I rejected that straithaway. For I read in St. Paul’s letter to corinthians that if go on committing sin there is no sacrifice of salvation. (I guess I am close to that verse)

I’ve raised many questions such as “It is said that Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead. Whom and Why does he judge?” He says that it’s for the unbelievers. Later, I thought so why is there judgement, they can be damned to hell straightaway.

The guy also talked about Romans 10 where it’s written “when we confess by faith we are saved and justified”.

When I returned back home to read more to defend that. I’ve found the gospels where Christ clearly talks about who is saved and who is not. That everyone who says “Lord Lord” will not enter the kingdom of heaven but who does the will of the Father. Another is an answer to rich young man’s question where Christ says to obey the commandments and later to give the wealth to the poor. Here we see that the works of righteousness that makes us eligible for eternal life.

I find that thing is so wrong and has inclination to sin, but it is said that we are accountable for every word that we speak, we are accountable for the even the gift of talents. It’s there in the gospels!

It’s a kind of debate on justification, salvation, eligibility for heaven.

Any more explanation to back this up?


#2

OK, let’s hope I explain this right. We are saved by Faith alone. When we are baptized, we receive this Saving Grace from Christ, which washes away Original Sin and any sins we’ve committed (At this point, your evangelical friends think “it’s over”. Saving Grace is eternal because no one can take it away).

This Saving Grace is a gift freely given by Christ and there is nothing we can do to earn it. It’s given because of our faith.

Now here’s the rub. Although no one else can take this gift of eternal life away from us, we can choose to give it back, by turning away from God and sinning. That’s when we lose our state of Grace and need to regain it - The Sacrament of Penance and the Holy Eucharist will help restore us to Sanctifying Grace.

Where do works fit in? In Sanctifying Grace, they don’t - case closed. But with Actual Graces (the graces that come with going to Mass, doing Good Works, following Jesus commands, etc.) they are an integral part. Look at the Parable of the talents. The Talents the 3 men are given (notice they are freely given) are Sanctifying Grace. When those men take this grace and do good works, God’s gifts are returned with a profit (these are the prayers and the works that we offer up for God). But when the third man takes the Grace, and buries it in a hole (he doesn’t perform good works, go to Mass, etc.), he is not rewarded with eternal life.

Pretty simple, eh?

Notworthy


#3

Many evangelical/fundamentalist Protestants are fond of strictly using Rom 10:9-10 as a means of trying to prove that all we need is faith alone; that all we need is to profess Christ with our mouths and we will be saved. Notice that these verses in Romans NEVER say anything about repentance either but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need repentance either! Scripture is replete with verses that mention we need repentance, baptism, faith and works.
Those guys proof texted the Scriptures, which doesn’t give justice to the truth. The only time the words “faith” and “alone” are used together in Scripture is in James 2:24 where St. James declares, using a salvific negative that faith alone DOESN’T justify. In other words James is saying “faith alone” doesn’t make us justified.
Perhaps next time you can tell them about these verses and ask them to explain why Scripture also says we need, works, repentance and baptism to be saved?

**

The need for works

:

James 2:17-26 So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.” See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Need for repentance in Scripture:

**Luke 3:3 **He went throughout (the) whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,

Mark 1:4 John (the) Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance

Baptism:

Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. Acts 2:38-41 Peter (said) to them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call." He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.

**Acts 22:16 **Now, why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away, calling upon his name.

1 Corinthians 6:11 That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

1 Peter 3:20-21 who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all,** were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ**
**


#4

Bishophite, I should say that was really beautiful, especially the words from James 2.


#5

[quote=NotWorthy]We are saved by Faith alone.
[/quote]

I liked your explanation NotWorthy - but I don’t think this part is technically correct. I think we can say that we are saved by grace alone.

Christaddict - there’s a book entitled “**Not by Faith Alone: A Biblical Study of the Catholic Doctrine of Justification” **by Robert Sungenis that goes into great detail about justification. It’s about an inch and a half to two inches thick. Jimmy Akins also has a book called "The Salvation Controversy" which might be worth your time.

Good luck!


#6

[quote=Dandelion_Wine]I liked your explanation NotWorthy - but I don’t think this part is technically correct. I think we can say that we are saved by grace alone.

Christaddict - there’s a book entitled “**Not by Faith Alone: A Biblical Study of the Catholic Doctrine of Justification” **by Robert Sungenis that goes into great detail about justification. It’s about an inch and a half to two inches thick. Jimmy Akins also has a book called "The Salvation Controversy" which might be worth your time.

Good luck!
[/quote]

This isn’t the easiest topic in the world. In an attempt to simplify what is needed for Salvation; Protestants kinda complicated it more.

The idea of faith alone came about because there was supposedly a teaching in the Catholic Doctrine that Luther said meant men and women could get into Heaven due to merits of deeds. Whether this is true or not I don’t know. He wanted to revise this so that Faith in Jesus Christ not merit of deeds was an essential basis of Salvation.

Now, I am also Protestant (I attend an Evangelical Free Church). I would not say that faith alone gives us Salvation because as was put so nicely here, faith without deeds is dead. What does this mean? This means that faith needs to be shown somehow.

Now, to say that faith is all that is needed is also controversial as grace is also essential for Salvation for if it weren’t for God’s Grace we wouldn’t be allowed entry due to our sinful nature.

It is a combination of things because if we were to say grace alone is the merit for Salvation than all humanity would be saved as all men fall short of the glory of God. If we say faith is all that is needed it takes away from the purpose of grace. The two work in conjunction and deeds are what comes from the faith.

Sorry if this is confusing but I tried my best


#7

[quote=Dandelion_Wine]I liked your explanation NotWorthy - but I don’t think this part [we are saved by faith alone] is technically correct. I think we can say that we are saved by grace alone.
[/quote]

Actually, the proper Catholic understanding is that we are saved by grace, through faith. Period, no “alones” required. In the Catholic understanding, faith, is understood to be obedience (Galatians 5:6, Romans 1:5; 16:26) out of love of God and our neighbor for God’s sake.


#8

Hello Christaddict,

Romans 10 says he who proclaims with his lips and believes (“No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”) The Protestants make up their own false god definition to God’s word Believe . As you have stated, Jesus clearly tells us that those who profess with their lips that Jesus is Lord but do not put into practice what Jesus teaches, will go to hell.

If look for scripture to define God’s terminology Believe it means to obey God. So what does one do when a Protestant or the devil tells you not to believe in Jesus when He tells us to obey God’s commandments if we wish to enter into life? You say, “Get away from me Satan!”.

Please visit Jesus, What Must I Do To Share In Everlasting Life?

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

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.INT PSA 78:32

In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.

NAB JOH 12:44

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. 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."
NAB MAT 19:16

“Teacher, what good must I do to possess everlasting life?” He answered, “Why do you question me about what is good? There is One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied “You shall not kill”; ‘You shall not commit adultery’; ‘You shall not steal’; ‘You shall not bear false witness’; ‘Honor your father and mother’; and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”


#9

One of the problems is that Protestants have changed the definition of faith so that it’s essentially identical to mere intellectual assent to a statement of fact. When you point this out to them they’ll invariably say something like “no, but true faith results in right actions”, which sounds plausible but doesn’t really answer.

I seems to me tha the Catechism uses the word “faith” in two distinct ways. One use indicates the teachings of the Church, the “what” of what we believe.

The other use indicates our response to those teaching, which seems to me to be what is being spoken of by the phrase “saving faith”. In this context, faith is an act of the will in which one turns toward God and away from sin; in which we decide that we will cooperate, with our intellect and will, with the divine grace that God gives us to enable us to comply with the moral law; it is a free response of the human person to the initiative of God; it is a personal adherence of the whole man to the God who reveals himself.

These are all actions, things we do in obedience to God. Thus the Apostle Paul says in Romans 1:5 “Through Him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith…”

It’s important to understand that the Catholic view is not that we are a spirit stuck in a body, or a composite of a body, a soul and a spirit as is commonly held among Protestants. God created us as a body/soul unity, not two things stuck together but one whole. As we pray with our minds using words, so we also pray with our bodies using actions. As we submit to God with our wills, so we also submit with our deeds. To speak of “faith” as though it’s separate from “works” is schizophrenic.

This is consistent with the Hebrew understanding of “faith”, the word being “HNWMA”: faithfulness, faithfully, faithful. For example, in Exodus 17:12, there was a battle where the Jews were winning as long as Moses kept his arms raised up into the air, and the text speaks of Moses arms remaining “faithful”, that is, they continued in an action. Other passages use the same Hebrew word to describe the way doorposts hold up a door. Faith is a work, it’s about what you DO and not merely about what you believe.

My wife’s Jewish, and when I was a Protestant I tried to explain the faith vs works thing to her, but she was looking at me like I had two heads. After I became a Catholic I was telling her about how my understanding had changed, and she said “Yeah, that’s what faith is, you sound like a Jew now”.


#10

[quote=jpete79]This isn’t the easiest topic in the world. In an attempt to simplify what is needed for Salvation; Protestants kinda complicated it more.

The idea of faith alone came about because there was supposedly a teaching in the Catholic Doctrine that Luther said meant men and women could get into Heaven due to merits of deeds. Whether this is true or not I don’t know. He wanted to revise this so that Faith in Jesus Christ not merit of deeds was an essential basis of Salvation.

Now, I am also Protestant (I attend an Evangelical Free Church). I would not say that faith alone gives us Salvation because as was put so nicely here, faith without deeds is dead. What does this mean? This means that faith needs to be shown somehow.

Now, to say that faith is all that is needed is also controversial as grace is also essential for Salvation for if it weren’t for God’s Grace we wouldn’t be allowed entry due to our sinful nature.

It is a combination of things because if we were to say grace alone is the merit for Salvation than all humanity would be saved as all men fall short of the glory of God. If we say faith is all that is needed it takes away from the purpose of grace. The two work in conjunction and deeds are what comes from the faith.

Sorry if this is confusing but I tried my best
[/quote]

Amen Jpete79,

Your message was one of charity. We are close my brother. However, we may depart on the issue of how good works that please God are initiated. As a Catholic, I beleive they are required of me by my free will. To put it bluntly, I do not beleive they spontaneously combust from my Faith.

I am a convert from the Lutheran Church MO Synod. I was shocked when I studied Patristic writings, the Catholic Catechism, and Scripture. I found Catholic teaching to make far more sense. Frankly, it did not require me to become twisted like a pretzel in reconciling Scriptural verses that were contrary to “Faith Alone”.

Overall, as a Catholic, I believe that my Faith requires that I place my trust in God’s grace. How can I not trust a God who offered His only Son so that I may be saved? The works I perform of my free will are offered to Him with humility knowing that I am sinfull and cannot please Him on my own accord by any means. Any attempt to obligate God through my works would be futile, yet this does not absolve me from Christ’s calling to love my neighbor and prove it with my actions. You are right, St James does put it nicely.

I pray that God may find me worthy when I finish the race. I pray he may find you worthy as well no matter what Christian denomination you profess.

Yours in Christ,
wpr

Ps I suggest you look critically at the life and writings of Luther. I can tell you I was surprised to find he was not the pure hero I was taught about in my youth. (not all bad though)

Also, I do not beleive the teaching of Salvation by the Catholic Church changed due to Luther. The teaching is today what it was in 1520 as it was in AD 500 and as it was in AD 50, etc.


#11

[quote=wpr]Amen Jpete79,

Your message was one of charity. We are close my brother. However, we may depart on the issue of how good works that please God are initiated. As a Catholic, I beleive they are required of me by my free will. To put it bluntly, I do not beleive they spontaneously combust from my Faith.

I am a convert from the Lutheran Church MO Synod. I was shocked when I studied Patristic writings, the Catholic Catechism, and Scripture. I found Catholic teaching to make far more sense. Frankly, it did not require me to become twisted like a pretzel in reconciling Scriptural verses that were contrary to “Faith Alone”.

Overall, as a Catholic, I believe that my Faith requires that I place my trust in God’s grace. How can I not trust a God who offered His only Son so that I may be saved? The works I perform of my free will are offered to Him with humility knowing that I am sinfull and cannot please Him on my own accord by any means. Any attempt to obligate God through my works would be futile, yet this does not absolve me from Christ’s calling to love my neighbor and prove it with my actions. You are right, St James does put it nicely.

I pray that God may find me worthy when I finish the race. I pray he may find you worthy as well no matter what Christian denomination you profess.

Yours in Christ,
wpr

Ps I suggest you look critically at the life and writings of Luther. I can tell you I was surprised to find he was not the pure hero I was taught about in my youth. (not all bad though)

Also, I do not beleive the teaching of Salvation by the Catholic Church changed due to Luther. The teaching is today what it was in 1520 as it was in AD 500 and as it was in AD 50, etc.
[/quote]

Thanks for the response.

I can’t speak for all Protestants but I think I get misunderstood alot due to the 5 Solas.

I believe that our deeds are out of free will and obedience to God. I don’t think that once we believe in God all of the sudden we do everything perfect. If that were the case once a person was born-again they would never sin. The idea of faith and deeds does indeed have a free will portion to it. When I say our deeds show our faith, it is because we want to do the deeds because we want to glorify God (which I consider to be the main purpose of life). It is indeed an act of obedience that has us do this and Paul defines that in Romans Chapter 6.

As far as Salvation goes, I believe its a simple process in how to accept this gift. First, we must realize we are sinners before God and don’t deserve to be in His presence. Next, we must understand that God was willing to pour out His wrath on His only Son, so that He can love us. Third, we must whole-heartedly accept His Son as our personal Savior because he was unblemished and did not sin. Why I say, whole-heartedly is because when we realize we are sinners and accept Christ as our Savior; then He gives us the Gifts of Salvation and Sanctification (or Holiness as some Bibles put it). Salvation is the immediate gift that will lead us to Heaven and Sanctification is the gift of purifying ourselves here on Earth before that point. This is where the idea of the deeds exemplifying the faith comes to play. We are being obedient and giving way to the desires of God instead of the desires of ourselves.

I also say I am an advocate of once saved always saved. Mainly, God says that He will give us eternal life if we believe in His Son. Therefore, it is His gift that is not taken back. It is eternal not temporary.

So, I say unto you, if you are a believer (and I believe you are)…that God WILL find you worthy when you finish the race He set in front of you and I can’t wait to see you in Heaven to talk to you about that race.

God Bless


#12

Amen again Jpete79,

You are almost Catholic! Close, very close. All the way up to your sentence…“Salvation is the immediate…” we were in complete agreement.

Beyond that point we split. I’d like to suggest to you that the idea of our good works “sanctifying us on earth” in the context of “faith alone saves as a one time event” and “works sanctify” is simply not biblical. It is a required theological outgrowth of “Faith Alone”. It sounds nice, but it does not measure-up to Scripture.

This is the main aspect that I referenced when I said I had to twist the Scriptures like a pretzel to arrive at Sola Fide as a Lutheran. For me, Sola Fide is decidedly not biblical. There are simply too many verses that completely contradict the premise.

Take a sampling:
Mat 7:21~23, 10:22~33, 24:12~13
Mark 9:43, 10:21~23, 13:22
Luke 8:13, 12:43~46
John 12: 47~48, 15:6
Acts 13:43~46, 20:29~30
Romans 2:6, 8:12~13, 11:20~22
1 Cor 3:17, 6:8~9, 9:27~10:6, 10:11~12, 15:1~2
2 Cor 5:20~6:2, 11:3, 12:21~13:5
Gal 5:19~21, 6:7~9
Eph 5:5~6 Phil 3:10~16, Col 1: 21~23, 1 Thes 4:1~8
2 Thes 2:13~15, 3:6~14
1 Tim 4:1, 5:15, 6:10~21
2 Tim 1:15, 2:12, 2:17, 4:10, 4:16
Titus 1:16, 3:10
Heb 2:1, 3:1~6, 3:12~14, 4:1, 4:11~14, 6:4~6, 11~12, 10:26~27, 35~38, 12:1~3, 12:14~17, 25~29
Jame 1:14~16, 21~22, 2 (entire), 4:4, 5:9

I do understand a list can be put together that makes it seem as if all that is required is Faith. However, I submit the burden is to prove biblically that all of the above are not at odds with such a list. An attempt to reconcile this problem is the Protestant “works sanctify” theory. It may sound plausable, but nowhere is it found.

I’ve been where you are. I spent my life beleiving that the Bible taught “Faith Alone”. I would not expect you to drop the matter all together so quickly.

Another writer suggested a book by Robert A. Sungenis called “Not by Faith Alone”. It is excellent. Mr. Sungenis is a former Evangelical and Catholic convert.

Pray, ask the Spirit to lead you.


#13

[quote=christaddict]Bishophite, I should say that was really beautiful, especially the words from James 2.
[/quote]

Thanks for the nice comments, but I can’t really take credit for every word I used; I’m just parroting what I’ve heard over the years from the experts. I’m a convert to Catholicism and used much, if not all of the arguments that were used against you. It was after a real honest juxtaposition of Protestantism and Catholicism that the Holy Spirit lead me into the fullness of Christian truth :slight_smile:


#14

Another writer suggested a book by Robert A. Sungenis called “Not by Faith Alone”. It is excellent. Mr. Sungenis is a former Evangelical and Catholic convert.

It is a real good book. Also, not to be retentive, but Robert Sungenis is a former Evangelical but he is a revert not a convert since he was raised Catholic, left and then returned :slight_smile:


#15

[quote=wpr]Amen again Jpete79,

You are almost Catholic! Close, very close. All the way up to your sentence…“Salvation is the immediate…” we were in complete agreement.

Beyond that point we split. I’d like to suggest to you that the idea of our good works “sanctifying us on earth” in the context of “faith alone saves as a one time event” and “works sanctify” is simply not biblical. It is a required theological outgrowth of “Faith Alone”. It sounds nice, but it does not measure-up to Scripture.

This is the main aspect that I referenced when I said I had to twist the Scriptures like a pretzel to arrive at Sola Fide as a Lutheran. For me, Sola Fide is decidedly not biblical. There are simply too many verses that completely contradict the premise.

Take a sampling:
Mat 7:21~23, 10:22~33, 24:12~13
Mark 9:43, 10:21~23, 13:22
Luke 8:13, 12:43~46
John 12: 47~48, 15:6
Acts 13:43~46, 20:29~30
Romans 2:6, 8:12~13, 11:20~22
1 Cor 3:17, 6:8~9, 9:27~10:6, 10:11~12, 15:1~2
2 Cor 5:20~6:2, 11:3, 12:21~13:5
Gal 5:19~21, 6:7~9
Eph 5:5~6 Phil 3:10~16, Col 1: 21~23, 1 Thes 4:1~8
2 Thes 2:13~15, 3:6~14
1 Tim 4:1, 5:15, 6:10~21
2 Tim 1:15, 2:12, 2:17, 4:10, 4:16
Titus 1:16, 3:10
Heb 2:1, 3:1~6, 3:12~14, 4:1, 4:11~14, 6:4~6, 11~12, 10:26~27, 35~38, 12:1~3, 12:14~17, 25~29
Jame 1:14~16, 21~22, 2 (entire), 4:4, 5:9

I do understand a list can be put together that makes it seem as if all that is required is Faith. However, I submit the burden is to prove biblically that all of the above are not at odds with such a list. An attempt to reconcile this problem is the Protestant “works sanctify” theory. It may sound plausable, but nowhere is it found.

I’ve been where you are. I spent my life beleiving that the Bible taught “Faith Alone”. I would not expect you to drop the matter all together so quickly.

Another writer suggested a book by Robert A. Sungenis called “Not by Faith Alone”. It is excellent. Mr. Sungenis is a former Evangelical and Catholic convert.

Pray, ask the Spirit to lead you.
[/quote]

I will make a few arguments (and none that you have to agree with). I admit that at the moment (because I normally post from work), I cannot look at all the Scripture references but I will when I can (I still have a whole thread to catch up on as well :eek: )

Anyways, the idea of faith being a one-time deal is indeed Biblical. Christ’s sacrifice was a one-time sacrifice. Its intention was to solely absolve us of sins when we believe in Him. This act of submitting to death and the one-time resurrection is what conquers death for all of us who believe.

Also, Christ lived giving life to others through miracles and curing disease. When He cured diseases, He stated believe in me or have faith in me or your faith has saved you. This is also symbolic of how we are cured of our disease of death by believing in Him. Now the idea of sanctification is there as He normally would also say repent and sin no more (though as humans we know that is impossible; it is a willful event).

Last, the man on the cross next to Christ. Was it in faith alone that he was saved? Christ offered him Paradise on ONE CLAIM.

What do I need to inherit eternal life?

Believe in the Lord your God with all mind, heart and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.

Do you think God would offer eternal life only to take it away? He gives us the Spirit to make sure it doesn’t disappear.


#16

We are not saved by faith alone. We are indeed saved by grace alone though. Faith is mandatory in our salvation but certainly not the only thing necessary.

I wish protestants would just agree to this one. Most mainstream protestant churches believe that faith is essential and without good works or deeds, our faith is really not true. (James 2:24) That is what we believe too. They have such a hard time saying that our deeds are very important too. Why is that?


#17

Look at it this way. In the Old Testament, Israel taught us a lot about God’s relationship with us. When they were faithful, they were awarded with his Grace. When they turned away, they were punished. But they were allowed to repent and change their ways, and God awarded them with their Grace. This cycle went on (I believe) 7 times in Judges I & II alone!

God is the same way with us. Our Salvation is a process, that we can achieve if we believe (and obey), or we can lose if we wander away.

Notworthy

P.S. Why did Jesus give the Apostles (and thus the church clergy) the power to forgive sins, if Jesus handled it all in one fell swoop??? Yes, he died once for all our sins, and we get the Graces from this Sacrifice during our Baptism. But he only died once, and hence, we only get this blanket forgiveness only once. After that, the process begins and we have need of a clergy that forgives sins.


#18

[quote=jpete79]I will make a few arguments (and none that you have to agree with). I admit that at the moment (because I normally post from work), I cannot look at all the Scripture references but I will when I can (I still have a whole thread to catch up on as well :eek: )

Anyways, the idea of faith being a one-time deal is indeed Biblical. Christ’s sacrifice was a one-time sacrifice. Its intention was to solely absolve us of sins when we believe in Him. This act of submitting to death and the one-time resurrection is what conquers death for all of us who believe.

Also, Christ lived giving life to others through miracles and curing disease. When He cured diseases, He stated believe in me or have faith in me or your faith has saved you. This is also symbolic of how we are cured of our disease of death by believing in Him. Now the idea of sanctification is there as He normally would also say repent and sin no more (though as humans we know that is impossible; it is a willful event).

Last, the man on the cross next to Christ. Was it in faith alone that he was saved? Christ offered him Paradise on ONE CLAIM.

What do I need to inherit eternal life?

Believe in the Lord your God with all mind, heart and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.

Do you think God would offer eternal life only to take it away? He gives us the Spirit to make sure it doesn’t disappear.
[/quote]

Well buddy I wish I could agree with you, I wish I could have that open easy way, where I just have say the sinner’s prayer and sit back, relax and may be look at some “stuff”, anyway I’m going to heaven, right? I wish it was so easy for all of us to enter heaven, we are holy anyways. But, my body is the temple of God. And He dwells in me (when we are righteous). When we do that immoral sin, (don’t want to take the name for it’s shameful) … when we are doing that sin (as you said as humans we know that is impossible; it is a willful event) … I’m really sorry to say God is no longer in us … there is someone else sitting in there … and you could easily imagine whom I am referring to … Neither does the Holy Spirit dwell … I don’t say God abandons us (if that is the case we are as good as dead) The grace isn’t there but the love is, when we look at the indescent picture … at the first glance we trip a bit
…the second glance will seal the doom … layer by layer we are loosing the grace … (the second glance itself says that we are stuck in ) When we do that again consience gets blunt and what we do is deemed right. It isn’t sin anymore.

All I am trying to say is that we have been given the free will … or else we will be more like a robots … completely unable to take decisions either good or bad. We are responsible to go to hell, neither God nor satan is. Through our willful consent we can choose to die. Or else there won’t be Hell, he could just lock the doors of Hell and drive everyone to Heaven.

“For GOD so loved the world that He gave his only-begotten Son, that those who believe in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting.” John 3:16

It seems at first glance from that verse, that all one has to do is to believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. Again, when the verse is understood from the original Greek text, this is not the case at all. When the underlying Greek wording is analyzed, their argument is lopped off from the vine as yet another fruitless branch would be.
The Greek word used here for “believe”, is “Pisteuvw”, or when transliterated into English is “Pisteuo”. This Greek word means, to believe, to rely on, and to “obey”. To “obey” involves works, which means we must bear good fruit.

I’ve heard that straight from you, you have quoted that when you said

… love your neighbor as yourself … what’s that? the golden rule and the essence of Christianity, it’s the works of righteousness. The second part of the Ten commandments when they are condensed into two, as the Lord said.

One christian scorned at a Jew “You have crucified Jesus!” The Jew, calmly replied “Yes, we crucified him, but once … you crucify him every day”

Whoa! think about that … yes, we crucify him everyday with our sins. I tell you brother, it really hurts. You don’t need to believe what I say, but turn away atleast from the false inclination. I know when we “believe” when we are going to heaven anyways, the satan is telling there isn’t any hell anymore for ya … you committed sin? … chill out, it doesn’t harm you (and there are a long list of excuses that the reason provides to say that we didn’t do wrong … and the devil completes his job at making us forget that.)

… lot more to say … catch ya later

Are you Saved?


#19

Hello Jpete79,

Is it possible that we may discuss/debate this without malice? If so, I’d like to continue. If not, if I am offending you, please tell me.

Pjs2Ejs was quite correct in his/her reply. Salvation is only possible through God’s grace. However, I’d like to take it further as I understand we likely agree on that point. I also agree with Christaddict and Notworty (well said).

The two biggies are sola fide and once saved always saved. I said earlier sola fide is not biblical and once saved always saved is also non-biblical. In fact, I think irrevocable salvation makes no sense at all in light of clear Scripture. Many protestant denominations do not profess this belief. But, it’s fine to say such things, but quite another to show you biblically. I’ll do my best. I beg your charity as I am no theologin. This will take more than one post of course, so more will come later.

I said earlier I think you are almost Catholic. I believe you are very close. You may just not know it yet. You did mention you believe good works are necessary, but I assume you think only in terms of what you called “sanctification” or perhaps to “prove your faith”? You did mention sanctification in your last post. Is it fair to use that as your basis for salvation…?

Faith => Imputed Rightiousness => Assured Irrevocable Salvation
ð Good works sanctify?
And/or
ð Good works prove your faith?

To begin, you noted the theme of repentance in Christ’s works as a symbol of sanctification. You were not entirely clear, but I’d still like to b reach the subject. (I u n derstand you are limited by time in your posts, so I’m not judging your lack of clarity to mean your own lack of understanding.)

One point is that the repentance at times comes before the miracle is performed and/or the sins forgiven and in others repentance is not mentioned. Here are a few examples. Read the context later as more may be clear.

Take the case of the good thief in Luke 23. He professes that he fears God (faith) and he repents (work) by his admission that his punishment is just. Christ responds by showing the depths of his mercy.

The woman who washes Jesus’ feet in Luke 7 also shows sincere repentance and love. Jesus says “her many sins have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love.” Love for Christ and her unbelievable sincere repentance are rewarded. Further, the story shows us the contrast between the haughty Pharisee who shows no love or repentance yet claims to be a man of God. This is indeed a rich story.

The paralytic in Mark 2/Luke 5 seems to have been cured to prove Jesus’ divinity to the Pharisees; repentance is not mentioned. Yet, Christ forgives their sins for there faith in that they took great measures to get their friend in front of Christ. “When He saw their faith, he said, as for you your sins are forgiven.”

The woman with the blood disorder seems to show us the depths of trust God desires. She is rewarded with healing by a simple touch. Yet after she explains what happened, Christ says “your faith has saved you, go in peace.” No mention is made of forgiving her sins or repentance. She has just explained that she has been cured, so are we to believe that Jesus meant “your faith has saved you eternally and irrevocably”. How so?

Jairus’s daughter is brought back to life by Jesus by his mercy. Jesus said, “just have faith and she will be saved”. Shall we then conclude that our faith can save others in terms of eternal salvation? Or shall we say God rewarded Jairus for his faith? The girl is raised just after it is said in Lk 8:53 “And they ridiculed him, because they knew she was dead”. Only Peter, James, John and her parents were in the room. They seem to show lack of faith. Yet in his mercy Jesus raises the girl.

In fact, in each case the text is silent concerning eternal salvation let alone irrevocably so. You may read “their faith justified them irrevocably” into the text yourself, but you are simply applying a preconceived notion.

Rather each story seems to tell a different and valuable lesson. Look first for what is primarily taught. Refrain from making an unwarranted leap to sola fide. Look to other Scripture as well. I’ll show you some tomorrow that are utterly contrary to “once saved always saved” and sola fide.

I’ll have more later. This is enough to start.


#20

[quote=Dandelion_Wine]I liked your explanation NotWorthy - but I don’t think this part is technically correct. I think we can say that we are saved by grace alone.

Christaddict - there’s a book entitled “**Not by Faith Alone: A Biblical Study of the Catholic Doctrine of Justification” **by Robert Sungenis that goes into great detail about justification. It’s about an inch and a half to two inches thick. Jimmy Akins also has a book called "The Salvation Controversy" which might be worth your time.

Good luck!
[/quote]

While I did get a lot from Sungenis’ “Not by Faith Alone”, I do not think it is the best explanation of the Catholic view of justification or salvation. It is probably the most comprehensive though, and I definitely recommend it.

I find the problem to be that he tries to focus his argument too much on the legal aspects of justification. This is more Protestant than Catholic. The Catholic view of salvation is better understood from a familial perspective. Salvation is not a contractual obligation to God. Salvation is not merely being saved from Hell. Salvation is being saved for God’s family. It is the process of being made into an “adopted son” (Gal 4, Rom 8, etc.). C.S. Lewis makes a good distinction between being begotten and being created. Something that is begotten shares it’s begetter’s nature. Thus, Jesus was the “only begotten son of God”. We beget children, we do not create them. We create a clay pot, but we do not share our nature with it. Thus, we were not true sons, because we did not share God’s nature. And just like I couldn’t adopt my dog as my son, God could not adopt us because we did not share His nature. So, Jesus becomes incarnate. Through the hypostatic union he unites His nature to our’s. Thus, through Him, we “become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), and can rightly be declared His adopted sons.

As for once saved, always saved, it would clearly eliminate such an unbiblical doctrine. For just as the in the parable of the prodigal son, the son forfeited his inheritance, so too can we forfeit our inheritance as sons. However, a truly REPENTFUL son will always be forgiven by his father, just as in this parable. Thus, it is not a one time event, but a constant turning and saying “I do” to our beloved.

Now, we are the Bride of Christ. So, we do have an INITIAL wedding. This is called our initial justification. However, just like in an earthly marriage, it is not a one-time “I do”, but an “I do” in everything I think, say and do. It is this way for the rest of my life, or my marriage shrivels up into nothing. So to, with our marriage to our Bridegroom (Christ).


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