I’m a born again Christian and I’ve been studying the word of God for quite sometime. In the word I see that salvation is by God’s grace through faith in the finish work of Christ on the cross.(Eph. 2:8,9) I’ve been taught through the Southern Baptist, who strongly belief in the Bible as the only true authority, that we can do nothing to merit salvation. It is not through a " system of works" but by God’s grace in response to faith that merits salvation. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians he made this quite clear in Gal. 2:16-21 . So my question to you who read this if we could " work your way to heaven" then why did Jesus die on the cross?
I’ll quote JimG from an earlier discussion…
[quote=JimG]I keep being drawn back to that great scene of the Last Judgment related by the Lord Himself in Matthew 25:31-46.
Jesus as King and judge divides everyone into two groups depending on what they have done or not done! “For as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.”
Note the surprise expressed by both groups.
Now place yourself in this picture, and imagine that one of those being judged should speak up and say, “Lord, there’s no need to judge me on what I’ve done; I was saved on Oct 6, 2004, and accepted you as my personal savior. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done or not done. This whole process is pointless.”
Well, I can imagine it. I just don’t want to be the one saying it to the Lord.
You can attain Heaven by what you believe, but you can be delivered unto Hell by what you do or fail to do.
Peace and God bless!
The Catholic Church agrees with you that we are justified by Grace through faith, and that no one may be “justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ” (Council of Trent, Session 6, Canon 1).
“Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men.” (CCC, 1992)
“Our justification comes from the grace of God.” (CCC, 1996)
“Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved.” (CCC, 2005)
I adress your question in detail in the thread linked below. If you have any further questions, I’ll look for them here.
[quote=Scots]I’ve been taught through the Southern Baptist, who strongly belief in the Bible as the only true authority
Although it is not directly related to the actual topic of this thread, I address this belief here…
st james condems the idea that we are saved by faith apart from good work:“see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone… for as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith aprt from works is dead”(jam2:24,26)luther’s battle cry,"justification by faith alone ",is expressly contradicted by scripture, which explains why he belittled the book of james(a part of god"s infallible word) as “an epistle of straw”.:hmmm: santa maria madre de dios ruega por nosotros. amen
So my question to you who read this if we could " work your way to heaven" then why did Jesus die on the cross?
Since Catholics do not believe we can work our way to heaven, how are we supposed to answer your question?
We do believe we are justified by our works just as Scripture says in :bible1: James 2:24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.; but that does not equate with “working our way to heaven” or earning heaven through our works.
Your born-again sister in Christ,
I had this exact discussion with a friend of mine (a “bible christian”) and when I tried to use Matt 25:31-46 as an example of how we will all be judged, the reply I got was that I was not reading that verse in context since it is referring to the end of times when Jesus will come again. I tried to explain that since we don’t know when that day or hour or second might be, that we should apply the lesson to our present lives. I guess what she is thinking is that she will already be dead when Jesus comes again and she will already be in heaven and since she considers herself already “saved” that the lesson in that piece of scripture is for those unbelievers who are living at the time of Christ’s second coming. ??? I never did follow her logic.
What other response could I have given her?
and i quoted again: “when one starts with the gospel of jesus, i believe it is inevitable that a catholic view of salvation will be developed. we are saved by grace,justified by faith and works. separate the faith from works, and it dies. we can take no credit for our salvation, because both the faith and the works are a result of god’s grace being operative in our lives. god has ordained that this is the method by which we merit salvation. he might have ordained a different way instead, but scripture teaches us he did it this way.” thank you again mr david currie:bowdown: god make me an instrument of your peace bless you all
She believes in the Rapture…a common Protestant belief that dominates Protestantism. They believe that God is going to Rapture the elect prior to the Tribulation and ultimately Christ’s return. However, as Catholics, we know this is not true, because the CCC says other wise. CCC 675 states “Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.” This time will be horrible and will cause even some of the elect to stray away from the Church…it is not possible for this to happen if the elect has already been whisked away by God.
[quote=DVIN CKS]I had this exact discussion with a friend of mine (a “bible christian”) and when I tried to use Matt 25:31-46 as an example of how we will all be judged, the reply I got was that I was not reading that verse in context since it is referring to the end of times when Jesus will come again. I tried to explain that since we don’t know when that day or hour or second might be, that we should apply the lesson to our present lives. I guess what she is thinking is that she will already be dead when Jesus comes again and she will already be in heaven and since she considers herself already “saved” that the lesson in that piece of scripture is for those unbelievers who are living at the time of Christ’s second coming. ??? I never did follow her logic.
What other response could I have given her?
[quote=Scots]In the word I see that salvation is by God’s grace through faith in the finish work of Christ on the cross.(Eph. 2:8,9)
What do you mean by “the finish work of Christ on the cross” and be specific please.
dumspirospero…So, how would you go about disproving the “rapture theory”? I know just saying that the CCC says so, isn’t going to do anything.
[quote=DVIN CKS]dumspirospero…So, how would you go about disproving the “rapture theory”? I know just saying that the CCC says so, isn’t going to do anything.
Not to speak for dums, but here’s a good start: There is no such as a pre-tribulational Rapture taught any where in the Bible.
– Mark L. Chance.
Brothers and sisters in Christ:
I think St. Paul, in Eph 2:8,9, contrasts salvation by grace and salvation by works–and not salvation by faith and salvation by works.
He is saying salvation comes from grace, which is a gift of God–not a reward, not for something we did. If salvation can be had by works and not by God’s grace, we would boast about it so much we could say “God had nothing to do with it. We did it all alone–without his help.”
But salvation is not had by works but by grace. Anyone who believes he is saved by works and not by grace is in error. Salvation by works is a false teaching, a heresy called Pelagianism.
As for Gal 2:16-21, I see the same point St. Paul made in the previous passage in this passage. Once again, he contrast salvation by grace and salvation by works. Note the opening: “. . .(yet) who know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. . .” and compare it with the opening in the previous passage “. . .For by grace you have been saved through faith. . .”
Why are we justified through faith in Jesus Christ? Grace, “. . .the gift of God. . .”;that’s why! By believing in Christ, we receive His grace, which justifies and saves us! Even our believing in Christ, our faith in Him is a grace! If anyone thinks that works justifies, that works saves–and not grace–then what is grace for? If we don’t need grace, then what is believing in Christ for? If we don’t believe in Christ, then He “. . .died for nothing.” Clearly, we would be in error if we think like this.
However, what is this “faith” St. Paul referring to. St. James describes this “faith” in Jm 2:14-26. He says true faith is not without works because “. . .just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” and “. . .a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. . .” And true faith, I repeat, is a grace–". . .the gift of God. . ."
I just realized something. The good thief on the cross, he did not only believe (although believing can be considered a work) but also did a good work. What did he do? In Lk 23:40-41, he, “. . .rebuking him, said in reply, ‘Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.’”. The good thief rebuked the other one for demanding to be spared from a just punishment for his sins; is this not admonishing the sinner–the bad thief? By speaking out that our Lord “. . .has done nothing criminal. . .” and thus implying that He should not have received any sentence at all; is this not admonishing the sinners–the Jews, the Romans and all men and women of all times? Is not admonishing the sinner a work of mercy, a spiritual work of mercy?
Again, we can look to the Gospels to see what Christ himself had to say about it:
John 5:28 Wonder not at this: for the hour cometh wherein all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God.
John 5:29 And they that have done good things shall come forth unto the resurrection of life: but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.
Notice our Lord isn’t talking about whether or not one has faith, but rather about the works that one does. By reading all of the New Testament, and not just (a misinterpretation of) Paul’s letters, it is evident that works play a part in salvation.
(By the way, the quotes are from the Douay-Rheims Bible…I just downloaded e-sword, so I’ve been playing around with my new toy