Salvation question


Okay, I’m just checking on something here. When I try to explain salvation to some of my Bible Christian friends, I try to make the distinction that Catholics do NOT think that you can get to Heaven by praying the Rosary enough, “being good” enough, etc. I clarify that Jesus is the only one that can do anything to make us good enough, which He did. We ourselves cannot “earn” our way to Heaven. But I do explain that sin can be the path to us rejecting God, therefore rejecting our salvation, for however long of time – until we repent or until we die. If we repent (in confession) we then “accept” the salvation offered to us once again. I explain how the Church teaches Sanctifying Grace works, basically. I’m trying to show that the Church teaches that “works” are very much a part of the salvation plan, but that they are not what “saves” us necessarily. I kind of paint “works” as being the “rejection” part, bad works, or no works, I guess. Am I making sense here? Am I doing this the wrong way? I’ll wrap it up, “The Church teaches that Grace saves us, that it is our faith that gives us access to that Grace, and that we can reject that Grace through sin.” Am I leaving out positive works too much? In trying to get my point across that we don’t believe that works alone can save us, that we have to “earn it” or “be good enough” etc., am I sending the wrong message?

A lot of times I’ll say, “You think you become a child of God when you accept Jesus into your heart, our Church teaches that we become children of God at baptism, but our goal, to become a child of God, is the same.” Then I’ll go onto say that the other difference is that we believe we can reject salvation (I’m always careful not to say “lose”), and you believe that you’re assured of it, no matter what you do from that point on. I try to draw on the similarities, hoping it will curb some of the defensiveness against the Church. That it’s not really this battle of faith vs. works, that they both play a part. But saying that they “work together” seems to imply that our own works can still somehow make us worthy of salvation, which is not what the Church teaches, correct?

I guess what I’m trying to ask is am I oversimplifying it to them? Or am I telling them something wrong altogether? I don’t know why I’m questioning myself so much all of a sudden.


Not bad BG, not bad at all. It’s actually they who oversimplify the way of salvation.

I have some posts on my blog that may help you a little.

[size=4][FONT=georgia]How Is A Catholic Saved?

[/FONT][/size]Who REALLY Preaches “A Different Gospel”?

Baptism~ Necessary or Not?

The Case For Infant Baptism

I do hope these help.

Feel free to PM me if you need anything else.


I think this is good. Protestants tend to separate “justification” from “sanctification”, where Catholics do not.

Salvation is a free gift of God, but we are commanded to work it out in ourselves. We do this by God’s grace, of course, but it is not a passive process.

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Phil 2:12-13

Most evangelicals will stop quoting at verse 9:

" For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God - 9 not because of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Eph 2:8-10

Catholics recognize that the grace and the works are inseparately connected. We are not saved just to be saved, but so that we can do the good works. We should walk in them. This is the part we do.

“For in Christ Jesus …is faith working through love.” Gal 5:5-6


We cannot earn justification, that is, we cannot earn a pass into heaven, plain and simple. No by faith, not by works. Impossible.

We are justified by grace alone. By only the free gift of grace, which comes from God, can we enter the kingdom of heaven. When we accept the grace (from God) of faith, then only do we have faith. When we accept the grace (from God) for good works, only then are our works beneficial.

Accepting the grace of faith must precede accepting the grace for works. But neither faith nor works earn us the right to enter heaven by themselves. The graces from God are offered first.

Most Protestants believe in what they call “living faith”. That is how they understand that they are not violating James 2. They believe that faith is shown through works. Unless you have good works then how do you know you have faith? You just believe. But like James said, even the demons believe, and tremble.

In truth, Protestants and Catholics believe the same thing when it comes to justification. Grace alone saves, and that grace is shown through faith and works (living faith in Protestant terminology).

It is easier to show how our beliefs are alike than to try and prove that they are wrong. Faith must lead to works for one to be justified. Our belief in justification by grace through faith and works is just more logical (faith required? yes. works required? yes.) and more compatible with the Bible when you understand that Paul, when he refers to works and boasting, is comforting the gentiles that they don’t have to follow the way the Jews came to believe was their ticket to heaven (following the works of the Levitical Law to the letter). Paul was absolutely correct that we cannot boast of getting ourselves into heaven by our works. Those works are only ours by the grace of God (literally) and without his grace we never would be able to accomplish them.

I hope that clears things up. The whole argument of faith vs. faith and works, since the reformation, has really been just a big misunderstanding. For the most part, we believe the same thing.


Good. I mean I thought I was right, but I was also a little suspicious that in trying to be non-confrontational about it I sugar coat it and make it a little bit too similar. Being confrontational is not going to work, in my opinion. I guess I look at it as I can put it out there, but I can’t make them believe. Just wanting to make sure I’m putting the right thing out there.


Let me see if I can take a stab at this…:wink: . As a convert to the Catholic faith I have always tried to find things to compare between Catholic & Protestant, as well as try to understand different denominations along the way by comparing one to another.

For instance I started in a Baptist background and wound up in a Lutheran before it was over. I was able to compare the two groups. For instance, Fundamental Baptist is the equivalent of Wisconsin Synod Lutheran…both are fundamentalist. American Baptist is equivalent to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA)…both are liberal, etc.

I also was able to do the same thing w/ doctrine. For instance not ALL protestants are evangelical in doctrine. Episcopalian (Anglican), Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, and I’m sure some others all accept the idea of salvation as a process, whereas evangelicals and fundamentalists would equate salvation to conversion (only 1/3 of the biblical model).

To better understand this I studied the views and realized that according to Scripture and Catholicism (imagine that!..LOL) Salvation consists of past, present, & future tenses. I have been saved upon conversion (for lack of a better term) when I intitially established a relationship w/ Jesus (through baptism according to the Church), I am *being saved *as I ‘work out my own salvation w/ fear & trembling’ through the process of sanctification, and I *will be saved *on the last day when I am glorified when the Lord returns to judge the living & the dead.

I could be wrong, but this is my understanding. Perhaps to simplify it, salvation consists of conversion, sanctification, & glorification. Obviously works play a significant role in at least one of those (sanctification). No, works cannot ‘convert’ us to Christ, but they can help sanctify us since they are not possible w/out God’s sanctifying grace w/out which we could do nothing.

Anyway, that’s my take…hopefully it is also in compliance w/ the Church’s doctrine on salvation. If not, I will need to modify my understanding. :wink:


The big word Protestants get hung up on in the Catechism is “merit”, where in short the CCC says we are able to merit salvation for ourselves.

Trouble is, the passage they use out of context is surrounded by carefully worded doctrine that says that there is nothing we can do by ourselves to gain salvation.

Merit, in the CCC’s context, means that we cooperate with God’s plan of salvation. Having free will, of course, we are free to reject it so in that sense we “merit” salvation by accepting Christ’s saving grace.


I got this from your blog about how a catholic is saved–
“Repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38 & 22:16) and then following Christ, (John 14:15, Matthew 10:38, 16:24, & 25:31-46, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23) which is a lifelong journey and not the oversimplified “plan of salvation” as presented by some non-Catholic communities.”

What is the "oversimplified “plan of salvation”?

Where do all the other doctrines and practices fit in? For example can a catholic be saved if she rejects the marian doctrines? Can a catholic be saved if he does not believe in purgatory or indulgences?


Do you imagine that some people are saved “differently” than others? Do you think that Catholics are saved in some manner other than non-Catholics?

Catholcs believe that we are to live a life worthy of our calling, and to bear works that befit repentance.

A simplified view is that one may pray the “sinners prayer” and once they give their heart to Jesus as their personal lord and savior, they are saved for eternity, no matter what they do after that.

Jesus instructed the Apostles to “teach ALL that I have commanded”. Catholics do not find it within our purview to take anything out of what He taught.

Practices are a matter of applying doctrine. They are very entrenched in culture and history. The manner in which one goes about bearing fruit that befits repentance is governed by their state in life, place of habitation, and exposure to these practices. In the first 7 centuries, for example, monks prayed all the 151 psalms every day. Later, for purposes of simplification, the Rosary was substituted for this practice in some communities. There are still communities that pray all the Psalms, or some of them daily. The Rosary is a Latin practice, and is not found in the Eastern Churches, where other practices are used that yield similar results.


Ultimately, what it comes down to is that I would say that a person who utterly falls away was not born of God…you would say that they were but they lost their standing as a child of God through unbelief and sin. We both agree on the necessity of perseverance with fruit bearing with the root being faith in Christ as Lord and Savior. I do not disjoin justification and sanctification but I also do not call it (justification) a process as the CC would. Justification is an event…it is when one passes from death to life…it is at the time they are born again…at the hearing of the gospel united with faith and repentance. This is the work of God.

For we **have become **partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, (Hebrews 3:14 NAS95)

If one does not persevere…it can only be concluded, based on this and other passages, that they never became a partaker with Christ…not that they were and lost it. Perseverance is the evidence of salvation.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NAS95)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and **shall not **come into condemnation; but **is passed **from death unto life. (John 5:24 KJV)

If you read 1 John, you realize that those that are born of God will persevere…they must and they will…they will keep the commandments, they will love the brethren, they will not practice sin, they will practice righteousness, they will overcome the world…

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4 KJV)

Those who are born of God are the children of God and will do the will of God. All others who have an outward association with Christianity but eventually fall away were never born of God…

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (1 John 3:6 KJV)

Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. (3 John 1:11 KJV)



This may also be a problem your friends are running into - I know, as a Protestant, we tend to have an initial notion that Catholics separate faith from works. You have made it clear that is not what you or other well taught Catholics believe at all! However, it is a misconception that many Protestants have, from either being fed these misconceptions by others (not just Protestants, but moreso from secular friends), or from coming in contact with misinformed Catholics.

However, I think it is important to note that both the Protestant churches and the Catholic Church teach that faith PRECEDES works. I think that we may have a different notion of how this occurs - not quite sure - however, I remember talking to my Catholic boyfriend about this specific topic. Yes, Protestants will say that faith alone is all one needs to gain salvation. However, Protestants also believe that faith without works is dead. We do believe that faith in Jesus will fill us with the Holy Spirit, giving us a heart to desire His will and to serve Him and His people - that is, to do works. So, I think Protestants will be hesitant to say that faith and works brings salvation because we don’t want to give glory to ourselves for doing good works - it is faith that precedes the works, because it is the faith from grace that gives us the Holy Spirit to do such works for His glory. Does that seem to make sense?

So, it is not that we don’t believe in works as being necessary for our faith - we just tend to focus more on the faith aspect first and foremost - because that is what occurs first before the works. Yes, as a Protestant, I believe others are able to do good works APART from faith, but it in no way matches the works that are produced from God, who can infinately do greater works through humans than any human beings can do on their own.
:slight_smile: God bless


Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1 NAS95)

and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; **and these whom He justified, He also glorified. **(Romans 8:30 NAS95)


There is a lot of misunderstanding out there of what Catholics believe about this subject. I think there are several reasons for this. For one thing, the Church’s teaching on this often isn’t taught clearly even to Catholics. For whatever reason, it isn’t a subject that is emphasized from Catholic pulpits as much as it is in Protestant churches—it’s pretty much taken for granted by Catholic teachers that the average Catholic doesn’t need to know the subject that much in depth.

As a Catholic involved in apologetics and teaching Adult Religious Education, I can see the fruits of this mistaken attitude in that many Catholics cannot articulate the Church’s teaching on salvation. Many, in fact, end up leaving the Church convinced that the Church teaches a form of crass works-righteousness or a semi-Pelagianism. This isn’t helped by the fact that some of the non-Catholic “churches” they end up in have an equally distorted view of what Catholics believe and thus their erroneous misconceptions are reinforced. I was listening to a local Christian radio show recently in which a man was giving his testimony, saying he used to be a Catholic “but was now a Christian” and was happy he now didn’t have to worry about being “good enough” and “didn’t have to work his way to heaven.” He mentioned a lot of other things he said the Church taught that clearly pointed to the fact he was, if nothing else, a victim of poor catechesis.

On another level, I think it is possible to show that Catholics and Protestants don’t differ on this topic as much as people think they do. In the centuries since the Reformation, however, the terminology and teaching emphasis has become so particular to each group, that, essentially, we are talking about the same thing but in different words! This is bound to be confusing in any conversation between Catholics and Protestants on this (or any other) subject, but in recent years there have been attempts by various persons and groups to try to iron out the language barriers, without smoothing over or ignoring real differences. I have two real good book recommendations: The first is by a Catholic, Jimmy Akin, and it is called The Salvation Controversy. The other is by an Evangelical Protestant named Mark Noll and is called Is The Reformation Over? Both of these books make the same point: that Catholics and Protestants have more in common than they think they do.

I think it’s also possible to make the argument that the original Reformers were not so much reacting against Church teaching on salvation, as they were against the poor catechesis and abuses of their particular time and place. If you look at what the Church really taught about salvation at that time (and not just the abuses) it was essentially what the Church has always taught before then, and what it teaches now. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. (John 16:16; John 3:36; 6:40 et al). “Since “without faith it is impossible to please [God]” and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life ‘But he who endures to the end.’” (Dei Filius 3:ds 3012; cf. Mt 10:22; 24:13 and Heb 11:6; Council of Trent: DS 1532.)

Basically, the Church’s teaching is this: We are saved by grace alone, through faith. The Catholic understanding of faith includes both placing our trust in Christ AND obeying him—what St. Paul calls the “obedience of faith” (Romans 1:5 and 16:26). The Church teaches that everything having to do with our salvation is God’s grace. Even our original conversion is God’s initiative and an entirely unmerited gift of his grace—we cannot even take the first step without him. It is indeed 100% God’s work, but, respecting our free will, he allows us to cooperate in our own salvation through faith and charity.

I’ll speak about it more in depth later, but basically the place of works as they relate to our salvation is as (1) a response to God’s grace (obedience) and (2) as a means to grow in holiness (sanctification). God sends us the grace (and the opportunity) to perform a good work. By being responsive to God’s grace, we please him because of our obedience, and we grow in holiness. The holier we become, the less likely we are to fall into sin. Failure to respond to God’s grace is disobedience and a failure to grow in holiness. If we continually refuse to respond to God’s graces, we run the risk of falling into serious sin. And, as you know, the Church teaches that if one dies in serious, unrepented sin, he or she cannot be admitted to heaven. It is important to remember that good works that are not done in faith and by God’s grace—on human power— do not avail anything. You do not get into heaven just by “being good.”

Continued next post…


Continued from previous post…

This is basically the place that works has in salvation: obedience and sanctification. The Church does not teach that salvation is attained by being “good enough” to get into heaven; it isn’t a “scale” that if you do more good works than bad you get in; we cannot put God in our debt by what we do. Here’s just one excerpt from the Catechism:

2010 Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God’s wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.

For a more in depth treatment of how God’s grace works in our lives to save us, I’d highly recommend seeing the sections in the Catechism that addresses this subject (Sections 142—165; 1987—2029). Here is an article from Catholic Answers that may also be helpful:

Grace: What It Is and What It Does

An Extremely Short Explanation of How Are We Saved: It’s All Grace

First of all, we need to clarify what our Savior Jesus Christ did and did not come to earth to accomplish.
–>Christ did NOT die on the Cross in our place for our individual sins, past, present and future
(NO “Substitutionary Atonement”). This is a Protestant error.

  1. Jesus did die for us, but it does not become a substitute for our death (physical death). Even with faith we must still undergo physical death.
  2. Regarding the wrath deserved for our sins: Our sins deserve eternal condemnation in hell (spiritual death). Jesus does not substitute for us in the sense that He takes that punishment for us. He is not undergoing eternal condemnation in hell for our sins.
    –>Christ DID die on the Cross to take away the sin (in general) of the world (John 1:29). This is what we call “the Redemption.” Thus, thanks to Christ, all men everywhere are redeemed and are able to come to the saving knowledge of God (1 Timothy 2:4).
    · What Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary also made possible is for each of us who are redeemed to (1) respond to God’s initiative (grace), (2) place our faith in Jesus’ sacrifice and his promises, and (3) be baptized. God can make exceptions to this (because he himself is not bound by his own requirements and can save anyone anyway he wants to), but normally speaking, all three are necessary for us to be saved. The role each plays is as follows:
  1. Baptism
    · Initial justification where our sins are washed away. As a Sacrament, baptism is an efficacious sign that really accomplishes what it signifies. By water and the Holy Spirit, we are “born again” to new life (John 3:5); sanctified and made holy and fit for heaven (1 Corinthians 6:11). This is called sanctifying grace. If we were to die in this state, we would go to heaven.

  2. Sanctification
    · After baptism, we want to remain in sanctifying grace since if we die in any other state we will not go to heaven. We do this by relying on “prompting” graces (called actual graces) from God to do good (virtue) and avoid evil (sin). If we respond to God’s grace, we will remain in sanctifying grace. This is the primary sense in which we are “saved by our works”—it is entirely due to the grace of God with our cooperation. The more graces we respond to, the more we grow in holiness (sanctification), and the surer we are headed for heaven. In this, also, we are, by cooperating with God’s grace, being obedient to the commandments of Our Lord.
    ·If we fail to respond to God’s grace, especially if we fall into habitual venial sin, we run the risk of eventually falling into mortal sin. If we do, sanctifying grace dies in us and we are no longer “in a state of grace”—if we die in that state we cannot go to heaven.
    ·Even if we have fallen in that state, God lovingly sends us graces to urge us to repent and to confess our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are then restored to sanctifying grace. This is how our justification can be seen as ongoing.

  3. Final Perseverance
    · Finally, if through the obedience of faith we remain faithful to God and respond to the graces he has given us through our lives to do good, avoid evil (and repent and confess our sins if we don’t), we will die in the state of sanctifying grace and be with God forever in heaven. This is the theological virtue of hope where—if we place no impediments of our own making by our bad free will choices—we have confidence that our loving God can and will be true to his great and precious promises to us.

Thus, (1) We have been saved by grace (through faith and baptism), (2) we are being saved (through responding to God’s continual graces); (3) and we will be saved (by final perseverance). No “working our way to heaven” here—it’s all grace.



Continued from previous post…

Aren’t We Saved By “Faith Alone”?

Protestants often point out the following:

For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. --John 3:16 (KJV)

What do Catholics say to that? We say: “Amen!” like we say to everything in the Bible. But what does Jesus mean here by “believe”? Go down further in this chapter, and you will find out:

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him. --John 3:36 (KJV)

Disobeying God is not following his commandments. Both faith AND works (by God’s grace, not our own power) are necessary.

*“Yeah, but what about…" *

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. --Ephesians 2:8,9 (KJV)

Keep in mind that St. Paul is speaking here, not about good works in the sense of fulfilling the Ten Commandments and avoiding evil, but about the works of the (Levitical) Law. Please read the entire chapter in context and you’ll see that it concerns St. Paul’s ongoing disputes with the “Judaizers” or “circumcision party” (see Acts 15). Same for the other famous “faith alone” proof-text, Romans 3:28.

Consider this: If good works sprang up “naturally” out of faith, as some Protestants like to claim, almost the entire New Testament (which, recall, was addressed to believers) would be almost superfluous, since it constantly commands believers to do certain good actions and avoid certain evil ones.

**It bears repeating: **Works are not the direct cause of our salvation; we aren’t saved by the works themselves, even those done as a response to and under the power of God’s grace.

But we ARE saved by works in the sense that if we don’t do the good works that God has set before us to do, or do evil works (mortal sins) in defiance of God’s clear prescription, this is disobedience and, as Jesus said in the passage above, the disobedient cannot be saved. Also:

[God] will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to 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. (Romans 2:6-8)

Another, secondary, way doing good works saves you is that when you occupy yourself with walking in God’s ways, you leave less room to fall into sins. When you head off even venial sin, it is harder for it to become habitual and lead you into serious sin:

No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one. Rather, each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15)

Occupy your minds with good thoughts, or the enemy will fill them with bad ones. Unoccupied, they cannot be. -St. Thomas More

Hope that helps. :slight_smile:


I am not sure this is the case. I am not certain what you mean by “standing as a child of God”. For example, the prodigal son is clearly the Father’s son, but he has rebelled, and left the father’s house. If he does not repent an return, he is still his father’s son, but he has squandered his inheritance, and is no longer a member of the household.

Indeed justification, sanctification, and glorification are ALL the work of God. The difference, I think is that Catholics believe one is born again in baptism. But we agree that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word, and that one must repent (turn away from sin, an toward God) in order to be saved.

And so to Calvanists conclude, but this rendering does not take into account all the the evidence. Scripture is clear that one can become a partaker, then fall away.

12 Take care, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
Heb 3:12-13

They are addressed as 'brethren", and it is clear that one cannot “fall away” unless one has been partaking. Evil and unbelief separate one from the grace by which we are saved.

But clearly it is possible to be joined with Christ, then to separate oneself again.

Heb 6:2-8
3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt. 7 For land which has drunk the rain that often falls upon it, and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed; its end is to be burned.

I have heard Calvanists say that this passage refers to people who were never believers, which does not make any sense at all. Clearly they were repentant, enlightened and partakers of the HS. The heavenly gift here is communion, and only believers were admitted to it. You can’t “apostasize” if you were never partaking in the first place!

If they remain…

I agree, but these passages are not talking about “outward association”. They are referring to “partakers” those who have received the grace, and practicing the life of Christ.

The Apostle speaks here of a lifestyle of sin. He does not mean that a person who is in Christ never sins, but that such a one has left the sinful lifestyle for a godly lifestyle. Just as easily, on can go back to that sinful lifestyle, abandoning Christ who sacrificed Himself for them.




But we ARE saved by works in the sense that if we don’t do the good works that God has set before us to do, or do evil works (mortal sins) in defiance of God’s clear prescription, this is disobedience and, as Jesus said in the passage above, the disobedient cannot be saved.

Is exactly what I was trying to say, but you said it much better, thank you. I was worried that I was somehow downplaying the importance of works and implying that it’s only in us NOT doing them do they have any role in salvation, which wasn’t what I meant. But you’ve said it very clearly here.


I also try to make the distinction between redemption and salvation – as I understand it, so let me check my understanding. I can actually remember this from grade school religion classes (can you age me by my not calling it catechesis?). It’s simplified for young children, but it makes great sense:

“When Adam and Eve committed original sin, their actions resulted in the doors of Heaven being closed. So even when the Jews believed in God and obeyed Him, the doors were closed and they couldn’t get in. When Jesus died, He opened the doors. He made it possible for us to enter in. He didn’t die so that every single one of our individual sins didn’t matter any more. He didn’t erase the presence of sin from the world, but He defeated it and delivered us from it’s penalty by giving us the ability to walk through the doors (gates, whatever :slight_smile: ).”

From this, I’ve always assumed that there is a difference between redemption and guaranteed salvation. Am I wrong here? I mean, Jesus didn’t make sin non-existent, or the fact that it has consequences.


What is the gospel message in catholicism? What must a catholic believe to be saved and a member of the church?


One begins with baptism, which is the initiation into the Kingdom of God. After that, one begins learning and practicing all that Jesus commanded.

Matt 19:16-19
"Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good.** If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” **18 He said to him, “Which?” And Jesus said, “You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

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