Justified by Faith Alone cf. James 2:24


In reading Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians 1:10 where he says:“Then you will lead a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way. You will multiply good works of every sort and grow in knowledge of God.” This sure sounds to me that Paul ain’t saying one is justified by faith alone or that good works don’t save one. Seems to me Paul is in agreement with James concerning good works!


spina1953. I’m not sure what you are reading here, but Paul’s words were written to the justified ones, the Colossians. He does encourage them to do good works, but anything beyond that would be “reading into the text” your own preconceived ideas. None of us have the privilege to just say, this verse means this! without actually connecting the dotes on the page. Wouldn’t you think?
Remember what He said to the Church at Ephesus, "For by grace you are saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God and NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast. 2:8,9… only after he finishes his thought on how one is saved, does he go on to encourage works…


Tg Godsway, That sounds to me that you are saying Paul’s Epistles only apply to justified one’s in Colossians only? Did not Paul’s Epistles read in other Churches? So you are saying then good works for the Colossians but for the Ephesus they are saved only by faith? I believe Paul separates good works from work of the Laws of Moses. being that converted Pharisees were teaching and preaching that converted Gentiles had to follow the laws of Moses is what Paul was saying was going to save anyone but by the faith in Christ Jesus, which to me is far different from good works because of the faith one has in Christ Jesus. All through the Gospels Jesus promotes good works and Paul sure was doing good works just as the Apostles were doing in Acts.

I’m sorry but to me to be justified by faith alone is not good enough since it implies one justified without having to do anything with it.I rather doubt Paul and the other Apostles would say that was all one needed just faith and one is suddenly justified and not have to do anything with that faith. I think Paul and james were in accord with their theology and teachings. I also think if one is going to connect the dots they start with the Gospels all through to the Epistles where in the Epistles teach one how to live by the example that Christ Jesus set for all.


Erikaspirit16 attempted to claim faith isn’t necessary for salvation.

Erikaspirit16 appealed to CCC 848 which EXPLICITLY says God gives these people faith.

Erikaspirit16 says CCC 848 says people are saved without faith.

Yet CCC 848 does NOT say that.

Erikaspirit16 hass jettisoned the principle of non-contradiction (here) in order to “win” an argument.

I invite readers here to read for themselves CCC 848 and truthfully discern for themselves what is taught.

Ask yourself if God “leads those” to “faith” . . . Or . . .

as Erikaspirit 16 is attempting to claim, that faith is not necessary?

CCC 848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”

TgGodsway. You said to Erikaspirit16 that this proposition of her’s, does not seem very Catholic to you.

TgGodsway. You and I have had a few differences on this thread, but on the need for faith, you and I stand shoulder-to-shoulder along with the Catholic Church regarding the necessity of faith.


Since Vatican II, there appears to have been a shift in thought about salvation. I think the idea that non-Christians will be judged solely by their works is a stretch. However we cannot know who is moved by grace and who is not. But I think the critical distinction is that we do have to concede that God is at work in Non-Christians also. Even those that rejected him. Isn’t that the point of Romans 1-2?


Like with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, if you take the Protestant notion of Justification vs the Catholic notion of Initial Justification, the two are pretty much in agreement. Where we differ is the Protestant sees salvation ending there where the Catholic sees it beginning there.


…which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Doesn’t that sound like another way of saying they are the will of God?



I think the idea that non-Christians will be judged solely by their works is a stretch.

Not only is it a stretch but people getting to Heaven NEED to have faith.


Since Vatican II, there appears to have been a shift in thought about salvation.

How so?

By the way, I appealed to post Vatican II documentation too in this point (the CCC).


However we cannot know who is moved by grace and who is not.

But I am not proposing, “we know” or “don’t know”.

I am proposing they (we all) NEED supernatural faith, hope, and charity to attain to Heaven.


Yes… it is God’s will that you and I walk in good works… It is God’s will that we seek to love God with all of our hearts and love our neighbor as ourselves. This is our call, as believers. But Paul’s point is that as far as receiving eternal life is concerned, it is gifted to us and not of good works. So then, why should we do good works if those works do not contribute to the gift? Good works should always be done in gratitude for all He has done for us. But there is icing on the cake. We will be judged by our works and given an inheritance based on the quality of our works. … This is why every Christian should be busy working the kingdom of God with every breath.


Coming from you Cathoholic, I will consider that a compliment. Why does Erikspirit16 not see the need for faith?


I was hoping Erikaspirit would have stick around a little longer. Some Catholics took Vatican II as a shift in thinking regarding salvation. Not quite universal salvation but in that direction. A shift from few are saved to many are saved. Not sure if that was the case here but I’m guessing so. Lumen Gentium was the document.


Historically the Church has held the position “No salvation outside the Church”

Vatican II softened this a little by saying salvation is possible for non-Christians. Also, a lightening on the attitude toward Protestants acknowledging that while the individuals who caused a schism were heretics, the individuals born into the particular denomination are not necessarily heretics. Also acknowledged was the fact that they were still connected to the Church through Baptism even if they would not readily acknowledge this.

Also, I think there was a shift towards universal salvation not so much in the teaching of the Church but in the beliefs held by some of its members as there appears to be some wiggle room in the interpretation of Vatican II’s documents. As the Church historically moved from the absolute declaration of “No salvation outside the Church” to an acknowledgement that there can be exceptions, this opened the door for more liberal interpretations.


spina1953. Your argument is almost nonsensical. I think you want so badly to have works in the equation that some of your statements are contradictory. For instance when you say the gospels promote good works, of course they do. So does the rest of the bible. So what? We’re talking specifically about how one receives eternal life, do works play a part or not? The gospel of John, known as the evangelistic gospel, records more narrative about receiving eternal life than Matthew, Mark and Luke combined. Interesting, when we read this gospel the only condition Jesus gives to receive eternal life is to “believe.” Not one verse even hints of works. see John 3:15,16,18; 3:36; 5:24; 6:40; 6:47 Now Combine that with Paul’s many teachings including Eph. 2:8,9. This is the word of God.


Matt 7 21

Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

So what is the will of the Father?

Ephesians 2 10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


The will of the Father is to believe in His Son for eternal life. This belief will cover your all of your sins’ penalty and God will adopt you as a son. The gospel is simple and pure.


So His will is not that we should walk in good works as Ephesians says?

Also consider John 3 23-24

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.


If you are talking about the narrow subject of how one becomes eternally saved, works are excluded from Jesus teaching. If you are talking about becoming a disciple, earning an inheritance, or just simply doing good works in gratitude, that is another story. All of us are called to do good works.


tgGodsway, You can think that way its just your opinion. True the Gospels do promote good works and is that not a part of Faith? I would like to think so. I do think good works play a part in one’s eternal life, since without it faith really has not real meaning as anyone can say they have faith but if they are doing nothing with it what good is there in that? Doing good works is more I believe allowing God to do His work through a person which is to say man then is in partnership with God. One does not take credit for doing good works God had prompted one to do. Is not doing good works God’s will? I would think God would want us to do good works to our fellow man just as we would want someone to do for us. Doing good works is not about trying to be saved by it but done out of love for God. Most of which I see on Paul’s Epistles is that converted Pharisees are teaching something different from what Paul is teaching. Converted Pharisees were about the law and rituals being the way to be saved while Paul is speaking against that that faith saves and if one has faith good works abound.


I am a Catholic who meets w/group of Evangelical Protestants for discussions. We’ve talked re faith v works. To me, key to the issue is (1) Christ’s summarizing the commandments under (a) Love of God, and (b) love of neighbor, i.e., works,
human effort. (2) Note the censuring and praising that is contained in the parables and in the Epistles, when
one buries one’s talents or doesn’t dress for the wedding feast, etc. and the condemnations and praise to the communities for what they have done and what they have not done, i.e., works. Recall the words of John, Revelation, in the introductory address to the communities or Paul’s censuring communities/praising them for their doings or not-doings. For some reason Luther’s dictum ends up as a mantra in some Protestant communities (not all though!) that we are saved by faith alone. A protestant friend of mine said I can never make myself worthy of being saved, only faith an do that? He’s partially right. Pope Benedict said, we are saved by faith and by charity (love) and hope.


So what is the origin of this interpretation of the Bible? Who first expressed this line of teaching?

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