Questions about when people get "saved"


#142

No offense but this comparison is ridiculous.

Yes each alone is referencing a different object. However, the object is not the problem with the statement. The destination is the problem.

You are saying you used one mode of transportation to get to one destination, then a different mode to get to a different destination. Then a third mode to get to a third destination.

Well the statement …We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Notice the different prepositions.

Saved is the destination, but you are claiming 3 modes of transportation to get there and claiming each mode is the sole way to get there.

Do you honestly not see the difference?


#143

All the promises of God are received by faith (Hebrews 6:12). I wasn’t aware this would be a controversial idea or something I’d have to prove. Given that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” I don’t see how we can receive anything from God if we do not have confidence in Christ (who is our hope) nor conviction in a God we have never seen.

I don’t know who that is.

Faith is a gift. It is the assurance of our hope and evidence of what we cannot see. We act according to our faith. If I have faith in Christ, I will act accordingly.

What I mean is a situation in which one gets baptized in water without having faith in Christ. For example, you get baptized as a teenager to fulfill family expectations—not because you want to follow Christ. In such a situation, baptism would be an action but not a means of grace because there is no faith accompanying the sacrament.

The act does have spiritual value, but the value comes by grace through faith.

I suppose it is, though I would say that baptism was instituted by Christ therefore we would be wise to follow through with it as he told us to. I think even the Catholic Church recognizes this possibility in some limited situations (I’m thinking of baptism by desire).

At regeneration, which I would say occurs when we receive faith and repent of our sins.

Yes.

Yes, and chastises them when they don’t.

When they are confronted with their need of a savior and forgiveness for sin (for most this would be in a family or church setting) and in response to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit they turn to Christ in faith and repent of their sins.


#144

No. I am not. I am speaking of 3 distinct issues. The first (by grace) is the source of our salvation. It speaks to the source as God who freely offers it to us.

The second is how that grace is made available to us. This is the “through faith” part.

“In Christ” refers to who/what we put our faith–Christ alone.


#145

Which I also agree with.

Yes but I thought you said grace came from Faith Alone and your faith was the only way to merit grace?

If you could expand on how grace plays into salvation I would appreciate it.

But I think this is the part I don’t understand, how are they important and beneficial if they don’t merit grace? Sure we can say they are important and we both agree they are important all I am asking is why? The Church gave me a reason why. It’s because good works merit more grace to prepare us to do more for God. I just want to understand your reason why they are important?


#146

Everything we receive is given freely through faith. That is by grace through faith.

When you put it like that, I’d say they are absolutely of no value. Why should my work be of any value. No matter how much I do I can never fix the fundamental problem that keeps me separated from God. Only something external can do that. Only Jesus can do that.

When I come to him in faith, when I hide myself in him–when his works and thoughts and righteousness and merit becomes mine–then I have found my perfection.

Note, here I am not discounting the importance of working out my salvation. I feel the need to say my work however noble and good merits nothing because it will always be flawed. I must embrace Christ’s work. I must decrease, so he can increase. When I can say truly say, “It is not me but Jesus who lives in me,” then I can be satisfied and assured in what I have done knowing that on the day it is tested, it will be found pleasing.

I think we still misunderstand each other. Everything comes from grace through faith.


#147

I’m speaking to the situation where someone is a member of the church (as in he’s listed on some membership roll in a dusty file cabinet in a church office somewhere) but remains unconverted. He may attend church and do good stuff, but if he doesn’t really have faith in Christ and the love of Christ inside him, he’s no different from an atheist or a pagan.

Christians have always worshiped where they were. The earliest Christians worshiped in houses. We are told that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. I don’t think its a stretch at all to say that an altar is anyplace where you offer yourself to God.


#148

I agree we can’t receive anything from God if we do not have confidence in Christ. That is not something you have to prove it is not controversial. What is controversial is when you add words like “alone” or “all” to your statements. Sure verse 12 says through faith and patience inherit the promises. Wonderful verse faith is important but it doesn’t say faith alone. Hebrews 6 says you will have full assurance of hope if you become imitators of those. If we back up to verse 10 it tells us what to imitate work and love and serving the saints. It shows us we must do good works (WHICH YOU AGREE, I KNOW THIS) but it also says the God is not unjust and will not overlook these good works. If God isn’t overlooking them that means He is looking at that which makes them necessary for salvation.

Wait I thought you said faith gives you grace? Does it or doesn’t it?

Why do you need to have faith to be baptized? I’m not saying you shouldn’t have faith. I’m just curious what does your faith add to the Baptism that makes it efficacious?

Yep we do.

May I ask where you get this from? As you probably know we believe it occurs at Baptism, I’m just curious why you don’t believe we receive it until we receive faith? the reason I ask is how do you know you aren’t just thinking you have faith? Like from an emotional response?

From the Catholic stand point Jesus say water and spirit. Jesus gave us a visible sign that we could use to make this happen. The sacrament of Baptism. Take the baby baptize them, boom you know they receive sanctifying grace. Cause Jesus said so. He said here’s the sacrament getter done.

But from the standpoint of Baptism doesn’t get it done unless you have faith, how do you know?

But you don’t believe God rewards us when we obey?


#149

Grace comes from God. This grace is applied to our lives through faith. Faith does not merit grace for us (you can’t merit something that is free). Faith is just the delivery method. We act according to our faith, which puts the grace we’ve been given to work and in the process we grow in grace.

They are the fruit of faith. They are the direct result of us becoming more like Christ, of our souls being healed.


#150

I think you hit the nail on the head here. I think this is where we are talking past each other.

You say your work has no value. But I say it has tremendous value because once we come to faith our works are through Christ. How can anything through Christ have no value?

You say your work can never bridge the separation between you and God. But I say once your works are going through Christ they bring you closer and closer every day.

You say…When I come to him in faith, when I hide myself in him–when his works and thoughts and righteousness and merit becomes mine–then I have found my perfection. But I say AMEN and this is happening in this life now, not after we die. His works don’t just become ours but they get fused with ours and make our works into supernatural works.

You say…I feel the need to say my work however noble and good merits nothing because it will always be flawed. I ask how can they be flawed now that they are attached to Christ?

You say… I must decrease, so he can increase. When I can say truly say, “It is not me but Jesus who lives in me,” then I can be satisfied and assured in what I have done knowing that on the day it is tested, it will be found pleasing. I ask isn’t this happening now. Isn’t Jesus increasing right now as we speak. If He is increasing in us how can our works merit nothing. If Jesus is in us right now then our works are His works which would mean you are in essence saying Jesus works merit nothing.

If Jesus is in us our works are Jesus works. This is how much God loves us, He rewards us for the work that He is performing. Isn’t God an awesome God?

God Bless


#151

Do you suspect that this is the standard case, or an exceptional case? Your argument proceeds from this premise, so I can only interpret your statements as meaning that the normative situation is that there are Christians out there who have been baptized, have received grace, who receive grace in order to perform works of supernatural virtue… but do not believe.

That’s hardly a believable argument to make.

In fact, what it says is that it’s possible to receive grace, and then act on that grace… but that this grace is sterile in terms of the acts that it enables. That’s not a reasonable argument. Worse, your case asserts that Jesus’ grace is ineffective in believers who perform good acts. :frowning:

Yet, where the Christians worshiped, they celebrated the Eucharist – their table for the Eucharist was an altar. You’re claiming something different, it seems: you’re claiming that “no altar” == “altar”, and that just doesn’t stand up to reason. :man_shrugging:


#152

Grace comes from God. This grace is applied to our lives through faith. Faith does not merit grace for us (you can’t merit something that is free). Faith is just the delivery method. We act according to our faith, which puts the grace we’ve been given to work and in the process we grow in grace.

They are the fruit of faith. They are the direct result of us becoming more like Christ, of our souls being healed.
[/quote]

This is muddling. Confusing. I understand you are trying to explain Protestant’s doctrine of faith alone but there are so many pages of it already and we have no clearer picture.

You said grace comes from God.

You said faith is a gift.

Simple understanding of them therefore they come from God.

And you said faith alone, not good work.

Since both grace and faith are gifts, aren’t they must be received from God?

Aren’t then that receiving them can be constituted as good work?

I have to say all of these are very confusing.


#153

Above my pay grade.I know that Jesus said there would be tares among the wheat.

I never made such an argument and how you got that from what I said is beyond me.


#154

How is receiving a free gift work on my part?


#155

I agree with this.

Yes, he is. I understand your view, but I think this different way of looking at the role of works in salvation will remain an intractable problem between Catholics and Protestants.

Oddly enough, as an Arminian I’d probably be considered Catholic-lite by many Calvinists.


#156

Um, the fact you accept that gift?


#157

Totally agree. But just a little food for thought. When all is said and done would you rather be the one giving more glory to God or less glory to God.

From the Catholic view point we believe once we are in Christ and He in us, our good works are rewarded with more grace. We believe this additional grace from God gives us the ability to do even more works and come closer to Him. We believe in

Philippians 2:13, “God is the one, who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire (faith) and to work.”

We believe that it’s all God, the more grace He gives the more faith we have, which he rewards with more grace. We can use this grace to do good works, which He rewards us with even more grace to perform more good works, which He rewards with more grace. Every thought, every action, every word it’s all because of God and for His glory. None of it is wasted or worthless.

From the Protestant perspective. Works merit nothing. Sure they are important and help us grow in faith but they don’t merit anything and we just do them to grow in faith, not because God gave us something to do them. Where’s the glory in that?

On a final note you said…

I just wanted to point out when we say merit we don’t mean purchase. In the strict sense merit can mean purchase or earn. So if that is what you mean by merit I would agree only Jesus can merit. However, in the second century the Latin term for merit was used as a synonym for the Greek word for reward. So when we read Romans 2:6 For God will reward (merit) every man according to his works. We understand why the Catholic Church teaches we can merit grace.

Merit means rewarded and yes grace is a free gift. There is no conflict in God rewarding us with the free gift of grace for loving God and loving neighbor.

So yes you can merit (be rewarded with) a free gift. Because you can’t purchase a reward.

No conflict.

I love having these dialogues with you. You are by far the most charitable non-Catholic I have spoken with. You push me to dig for a deeper understanding.

Thank You

God Bless


#158

That’s a good attempt at skating from responsibility from the claims you’ve made here, but I’m not letting you off the hook that easily… :wink:

Here’s why it’s an important question and one you must answer if your claims are to be taken seriously: you’re making the claim that it’s possible for someone to believe in Christ, be baptized, receive Christ’s grace, act in accordance with that grace (i.e., do good works), and yet not be saved. If that’s an exception to the normal course of things, then your argument doesn’t hold up. (It’s like saying that the rule is wrong because of one exception, and then describing the situation in terms of the one exception rather than in terms of the 99,999 normative cases).

On the other hand, if it’s the normative case, then we’ve got a real problem, which is where your next comment comes into play…

No, you didn’t make that argument explicitly – but it’s the logical inference from your argument. Look at your claim, again. We’re not talking about an instance of an ‘Ananias and Sapphira’, where two Christians fail to accept the grace God’s given them, and therefore, fail to do good works (and, in fact, do evil works). No… your claim is the opposite: you’re claiming that there are Christians out there indistinguishable from any others – that is, Christians who have (and I’ll repeat myself here, for the sake of emphasis)

  • believed in Christ
  • accepted him in their hearts as their Lord and Savior
  • been baptized
  • received grace from Christ
  • cooperated with that grace, and performed acts of supernatural virtue

BUT… you claim that although they’ve done all these things, they’re not saved.

There are only two possible conclusions we can draw:

  • there is no such thing as ‘security’: if we have faith, do all we’re commanded to do, and yet be condemned, then there’s nothing we can look to in order to assure ourselves we’re on the path of salvation

or

  • Jesus lied when He told us how we could attain to heaven.

You can see the problem here in your claims, can’t you? Either your claims are incidental – and therefore, don’t describe soteriology accurately – or, your claims are normative – and therefore, tear down the edifice of Christ’s teaching.

There’s one other possibility, of course: your claims are in error. (In all charity, that’s the one I’ll take as my conclusion, if you don’t mind. :wink: )

Blessings,
G


#159

I think we are saved in a moment of belief, or through our Christian parents (Infant Baptism). Its basically called a State of Grace.

But we can lose that position in God, through disbelief and its sin.

We can know our present state, but we cant know our future state.

In the end, God judges our lives, and whether we repented from disbelief/sin and did what is right. We are called to do that for our salvation from above.


#160

:face_with_raised_eyebrow:

That is not what I’m saying. I’ve never said any of that. What I have said is this:

The hypothetical church member is not saved. He’s not even being saved, because he does not have faith. My point was and still is that you can be a member of a church and still not be saved. You can even be a “good person” and still not be saved.

No, I’m not. What I was talking about was specifically those who are church members but do not believe in Christ (they might intellectually believe he exists, but they haven’t put their faith and hope and trust in him), have not accepted him in their hearts, and have rejected his grace. That’s who I’m talking about.

I can see we have a communication problem. If that’s my fault, I apologize.
All I was saying is that being a good person and a church member is meaningless if you have not put your faith in Christ.


#161

Let me start by saying that I do agree with the “point” you are making here.

But I wanted to jump back in here because i missed this the first time you posted it.

You said…

Which we all agree on.

The you said…

This I don’t agree with.

I’m not saying that the church member’s deeds apart from grace can atone for sin. I’m saying even with faith the good deeds can’t atone for sin. All atonement for sin comes from Christ’s finished work on Calvary. This is Catholic teaching. When we say works are necessary for salvation we aren’t saying they atone for our sins.

Are you under the assumption we believe good works atone for sin?

We don’t even believe our faith atones for sins. Only Christ sacrifice atones for sins. He doesn’t need our faith to accomplish this.

I’m wondering if this is were the differences are?

God Bless


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