I was listening to Charles Stanley a few mornings ago, and he said…‘There’s nothing I need to do, to get into Heaven. Jesus paid my sin debt in full. I’m already forgiven for my sins.’ Ok…as a Catholic, I believe that Jesus’ death on the cross is what ultimately makes Heaven ‘available’ to any of us…HOWEVER, what puzzled me was Dr Stanley went onto say that ‘I don’t have to work for it.’ Now, just so we are on the same page, as a Catholic, I don’t believe that there is anything I can do, to replace the awesome gift Jesus gave to mankind…His own life for its sins. That being said though, it seemed like Dr Stanley was implying that there are ‘other’ religions that believe one needs to do something or act like something to gain eternal salvation. Again…I personally do not believe that I can ‘work’ or ‘earn’ my way into Heaven. The price has been paid by Christ…but, what IS my responsibility as a Christian to accepting His love for me?
Paul said, ‘‘Faith without works is dead.’’ Now, what type of works does he mean? He means…to ‘say’ we are saved or born again, we also must live the Christian life. If we act a completely different way than we preach…then, will God still accept us? If I break the commandments, yet preach to high Heavens…‘I’ve been saved…’ will I be saved?
What is the Protestant belief about that? I look forward to hearing from you.
I have seen this brought up before… as a protestant I wanted to throw in what I have been taught…
Yes, Faith without works is dead. But as we all know (catholic and protestant alike) you can’t work your way into Heaven. So where does that leave us? Faith, with a capital ‘F’, is more than just believing. Our Faith is our being, who we are, what we see, what we do, and ultimately what and who we portray God to be to those who haven’t opened their eyes and hearts to Him. Our Faith cannot be evident and live on in us without obeying God’s Word and Commandments. Here is where the ‘works’ come into play. You can’t have Faith without ‘works’ because 'F’aith brings works naturally. Because God is a part of WHO I am I could not have Faith in Him and claim that Faith without trying to follow Him and His Word. Does this make any sense? I have a tendancy to muddle my thoughts sometimes…
unfortunately , and htis is not a personal attack on any one or any denom, but pride and ignorance. MOST protestandts i know have Know ideat why they are protestants, and believe catholicism to be something different than christiantity… i a speaing on a human level, not doctrine levels ] ALOT of catholics don’t even know what the Church teaches.
From being on these forums it seems that Protestants are afraid of legalism. Anything that has to do with works are bad. If I am wrong on this than I apologize as I know there are many different Protestant denominations. They feel Catholics take it too far and our faith is “man made”. When in reality, and I mean no offense here, it takes a lot more faith to be Catholic. We believe that the Eucharist is Christ. We believe once baptised we are a member of God’s Church. We believe in the power of Confession. We believe in the sacrament of Confrimation. We believe that holy saints can join in us with prayer as one Body of Christ. That takes a lot of faith. I however am in no way judging Protestants faith in Christ.
I read your post…and I thought to myself this sound just like what I read in Pillar of Fire; Pillar of Truth! Here is short quote from Pillar of Fire; Pillar of Truth
[quote=Pillar of Fire; Pillar of Truth]Jesus said it is not enough to have faith in him; we also must obey his commandments. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do the things I command?” (Luke 6:46, Matt. 7:21–23, 19:16–21).
We do not “earn” our salvation through good works (Eph. 2:8–9, Rom. 9:16), but our faith in Christ puts us in a special grace-filled relationship with God so that our obedience and love, combined with our faith, will be rewarded with eternal life (Rom. 2:7, Gal. 6:8–9).
Paul said, “God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work” (Phil. 2:13). John explained that “the way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3–4, 3:19–24, 5:3–4).
Since no gift can be forced on the recipient—gifts always can be rejected—even after we become justified, we can throw away the gift of salvation. We throw it away through grave (mortal) sin (John 15:5–6, Rom. 11:22–23, 1 Cor. 15:1–2; CCC 1854–1863). Paul tells us, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).
Read his letters and see how often Paul warned Christians against sin! He would not have felt compelled to do so if their sins could not exclude them from heaven (see, for example, 1 Cor. 6:9–10, Gal. 5:19–21).
Paul reminded the Christians in Rome that God “will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life for those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness” (Rom. 2:6–8).
Sins are nothing but evil works (CCC 1849–1850). We can avoid sins by habitually performing good works. Every saint has known that the best way to keep free from sins is to embrace regular prayer, the sacraments (the Eucharist first of all), and charitable acts.
This is the real difference between Catholics and Protestants. Protestants don’t think you can work your way to hell nearly as easily as Catholics think they can. (And OSAS people would say a real Christian can’t work their way to Hell at all.)
The difference between Prots and Catholics is that Prots say we are saved by faith alone, and Catholics teach that we are saved by GRACE alone. Big BIG BIG difference.
What is grace, where does it come from, how do we “get” it, what does it do? Once you answer those questions, “works” become a mute issue.
We are saved by grace, i.e. the infinite unmerited favor of God. Grace is available to us most easily through the sacraments, it cleanses us from sin and it empowers us to resist sin and to do good works.
Works do not save us, never have and never will, they can’t. Because, salvation comes first and works (the result of being saved) come after.
How do we know this? Because we practice infant baptism. A baby is baptized (saved if you will) before it even knows what sin is. A baby couldn’t do a good work if you paid him cash money. So the baby receives the grace of baptism, is in a state of grace, is saved and subsequently does good works.
Charles Stanley was correct, there is nothing we need to do to get into heaven. But he doesn’t appear to have addressed the flip side of the question: what about the things we WANT to do because we are saved? If there is nothing a saved person WANTS to do, I think it would be fair to question whether or not he is truly saved.
I disagree with faith alone meaning Without grace. we are saved by Grace Through Faith. Sola Fide was ment to exclude works in Justification, not to exclude EVERYTHING except faith. The Solas were not ment to be seperated.
What I see Mr Stanley claiming is that we are all saved. Even those who do not believe.
The debt, our redemption, is paid(redeemed) in full. But our salvation is more than what Jesus did, we also must accept this redemption to be saved, ie have faith and as the Church would put it… have FAITH (saved via a Formed Faith by living the theological virtues of Faith Hope and Charity. Faith being an intelectual assent, and FAITH including the works that come from a Formed Faith.)
As James also writes, even the Demon believe in the existence and actions of Jesus. Believe that we are saved by that, but they do not become saved because they know this intellectually, but are damned because they reject the love and forgiveness and do not approach God with a humility that is part of having a Formed Faith.
Works are important though once you accept Christ.
1 Peter 2
2:11. Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul,
2:12. Having your conversation good among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may, **by the good works which they shall behold in you, glorify God **in the day of visitation.
2:13. Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God’s sake: whether it be to the king as excelling,
2:14. Or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of the good.
2:15. **For so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: **
2:16. As free and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God.