Justified by Faith Alone cf. James 2:24


The “you” is collective to include lanman who has made a distinction between saving and non saving faith

And yes confession is for those with faith to confess their sins which are works related.

I guess I’ll go back to individual replies because I would guess you and lanman would not agree on several points either.


The three uses of the law:
First, the Law helps to control violent outbursts of sin and keeps order in the world (a curb).

Second, the Law accuses us and shows us our sin (a mirror).

Third, the Law teaches us Christians what we should and should not do to live a God-pleasing life (a guide). The power to live according to the Law comes from the Gospel.”

I guess I’ll go back to individual replies because I would guess you and lanman would not agree on several points either.

Or, just wait for his now.


Well yeah, I would agree, but while we (Catholics) accept that we will always have the inclination to sin (concupiscence), our works, with the help of God’s grace need not always fall to this inclination. So in that sense we should always be striving to change our reaction to concupiscence.


No argument at all.


I still trying to figure out what you are asking but it sounds like “how do I get a saving faith instead of dead, intellectual, superficial faith”? A one sentence answer would be to stop trying to have “Faith” in your own power and instead simply surrender everything to Christ.

In our culture a dead, intellectual, superficial faith most often comes from being religious. It is “believing” in Jesus and checking off a list of things to do that we think makes God from being mad at us because we have the knowledge of what a Christian is supposed to do.

Attended church. Check
Wrote a check to church. Check
Read my Bible every day this week. Check
Prayed every day. Check
Asked God to forgive me for all the sins that come to mind. Check

Repeat over and over again.

However, saving faith is something different. It is coming to a place in life where we surrender to Christ. It is calling out to God from our heart crying “I’m tired of living for myself, I’m tired of carrying around these burdens, I’m hate my sin and what it does to me and those I love, I’m giving it all to You Jesus and no matter what happens from here on out I’m Yours and am going to live for You”.

If we do that (from the heart) then we stop trying to earn Grace, we stop trying to manipulate God by being religious, we stop thinking that if we are good enough then God will not send us to hell… instead Christ becomes our treasure, our “faith” changes from doing things to try and keep out of hell and gain God’s favor and it becomes about how to love God and love others. Our expressions of faith (those things listed above) go from becoming a mechanical thing we do out of obligation or habit and instead becomes a joy and wonder to worship and serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and do things to help grow His Kingdom.


Yes - that and your last 2 paragraphs answers it

What you describe here is probably what Paul is describing as “works of law” in a christian context

In principle I agree, you are describing works righteousness which is a danger, but I would not go so far to say that being “religious” is as negative as you pot it, it can be a very positive thing if approached correctly.


I agree, religion is an expression of our faith and helps us worship and serve God. However, having religion and having faith are two different things. It is possible to be very religious and not have “saving faith” and I would even say it is possible to have a “saving faith” and not be very religious. Each of us have different experiences and teachings that shape our religion. But God works in our heart to shape and give us our faith.



Hey, Jon,

I have genuinely appreciated, and agreed with, much of what you have written lately in this thread. May I simply ask what is preventing you from becoming Catholic?


That is very kind of you.
To answer your question, ecclesiology, not sotoriology. The issue is universal jurisdiction


Hi JonNC, I just wanted to say I enjoys your posts and comments!


I respect your answer.

How do you suppose the Church keep Herself unified in faith and morals, if not through “universal jurisdiction”?


The councils did it for the entire first millennium, the OO notwithstanding


With, through, in, and by the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Holy Father. Without this jurisdiction, look at what happens: schismatic churches, ecclesial communities, etc. - all of which have never once held an Ecumenical Council. Only the Catholic Church, subject to the Pontiff, has been able to, by Papal authority, convene an Ecumenical Council; not the EO, not the Lutherans, Baptists, Anglicans, etc.


Under his primacy, not supremacy. Nicaea canon 6.
But honestly, this issue is so central to Catholic teaching, that I try to avoid it. It is not something that can be resolved by laity, or even by western non-Catholics.


I respectfully disagree. I think that reconciliation to Church unity will be accomplished more at the hands of the laity than clergy; of course, more informally than formally.

“there never is an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at least recognized as such by Peter’s successor”: this applies to every Ecumenical Council for the last 2,000 years. How would any college of bishops be able to remain in doctrinal and ecclesial solidarity if there was not a head that held a supreme position, checks and balances if you will?


You mean, if Catholics are right. It is Catholics who say we are saved by faith. Protestants say you are saved by faith “alone”.

I know a bunch of Protestants who do all kinds of good works. If “you shall know them by their fruits” then the Protestants I have been around my entire life are very fruity.

ROFL! :rofl: Good one! Thanks.

If Catholics are rights and we are saved by both faith and works, then most Protestants I know would fall into that category.

But you aren’t the judge. See, that is the misunderstanding that Protestants have. They think that you can judge who is saved. You won’t hear a Catholic say, “I’m saved by my faith and works!” Never. That is called the sin of presumption. And it is categorized as a blasphemy. Remember what Scripture says about the Pharisee?

Luke 18:The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. 9 He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. 10 “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ 13 But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

But what do Protestants say, all the time? “I’m saved! I’m saved because of my faith alone!”

God is our Judge. Protestants judge themselves. I don’t mean any disrespect when I say that. You don’t wait for God’s judgement. Protestants declare themselves saved and look around and pretend declare who else they judge saved and whom they don’t. Just like you did above when you said:

Protestants who do all kinds of good works. If “you shall know them by their fruits” then the Protestants I have been around my entire life are very fruity.


De-Maria, I have to agree with you for the most part as being Catholic I don’t say I’m saved because i have faith. I do hope in the mercy of Christ for the things I do I should not do and for the things i did not do that I should do. To think I’m saved just because i say I have faith and do good works would be a presumption on my part which is a sin as I was taught. What I do know is the onlys saved are those in heaven or in purgatory who will enter heaven when they have been purified by Christ and made perfect.


Which Protestants? Please site a source. Which Protestants actually say this?


I don’t about De-maria but i for one think its Protestants who belong to fringe churches as I’m not to sure that the main line Protestants Churches think that way I could be wrong but so far as I know its the fringe groups not the main line Protestants Correct me if I’m incorrect Jon.


I don’t doubt that is possible. I object to a broad-bush painting of all western non-Catholics this way. It is unfair and inaccurate.

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