salvation

Based on Catholic doctrine, what does the Roman Catholic Church state that is required for a Catholic to be “saved”?

I am having a very difficult time finding a definitive answer to this question. I have searched multiple resources. Can anyone help?

I believe the requirement for salvation is simply to be in a state of grace at the moment of your death. Some of the more educated around here can correct me if I’m mistaken.

Simple answer: Believe on the Lord and thou shalt be saved.

More complicated. Catholics don’t use the terminology you want. To say I am saved, past tense, done deal is not what Catholics say. Catholics believe we can ‘lose’ our salvation. At any time during our walk with Christ, we can choose to walk the other way. We can’t know what the future will hold. Most Catholics would say I am working out my salvation through fear and trembling.

Catholics do not believe we can earn our way to heaven. Saving Grace is a free gift from God but we are free to reject it at any time.

“Are you saved?” asks the Fundamentalist. The Catholic should reply: “As the
Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5-8), but I’m also being
saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be
saved (Rom. 5:9-10, 1 Cor. 3:12-15).” “I am redeemed,” answers the Catholic,
“and like the Apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling
(Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2,
2 Tim. 2:11-13)–but not with a false “absolute” assurance about my own
ability to persevere (2 Cor. 13:5). And I do all this as the Catholic Church has
taught, unchanged, from the time of Christ.”

cin.org/archives/cinapol/199804/0183.html (very bottom)

“Are you saved?” asks the Fundamentalist.

Good answer you gave to this. The next question most fundamentalists will ask is, “When were you saved?” They are looking for a lightning-bolt moment in your life, as if this is the only true conversion experience. I am tempted to reply, “I was saved about 2000 years ago on a hill outside of Jerusalem.”

Scott

[quote=JGC]“Are you saved?” asks the Fundamentalist. The Catholic should reply: “As the
Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5-8), but I’m also being
saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be
saved (Rom. 5:9-10, 1 Cor. 3:12-15).” “I am redeemed,” answers the Catholic,
“and like the Apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling
(Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2,
2 Tim. 2:11-13)–but not with a false “absolute” assurance about my own
ability to persevere (2 Cor. 13:5). And I do all this as the Catholic Church has
taught, unchanged, from the time of Christ.”

cin.org/archives/cinapol/199804/0183.html (very bottom)
[/quote]

What a wonderful answer. I wish I could commit all that to memory but just my luck, having done so, no one would ask. I’d be ready though, wouldn’t I? :yup:

[quote=JGC]“Are you saved?” asks the Fundamentalist. The Catholic should reply: “As the
Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5-8), but I’m also being
saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be
saved (Rom. 5:9-10, 1 Cor. 3:12-15).” “I am redeemed,” answers the Catholic,
“and like the Apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling
(Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2,
2 Tim. 2:11-13)–but not with a false “absolute” assurance about my own
ability to persevere (2 Cor. 13:5). And I do all this as the Catholic Church has
taught, unchanged, from the time of Christ.”

[/quote]

Yes, I agree that this is a good quote, and worth sharing with our evangelical/fundamentalist friends.

But when they ask us, “Are you saved?” more often than not they are asking us whether we have a living, vital, and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Is He more than just a concept to us, more than just an historical example? Is He in fact our living and loving Lord and Savior? How do we express our relationship with Him? Is He an intimate Friend, or a passing acquaintance? These are very valid questions, and our answer to them might be a little more personal than the above quote would indicate. Catholics might be unaccustomed to verbalizing the answers to these questions, but as one who grew up in an evangelical Protestant home (and who still lives in the Bible Belt), this is really what “enquiring minds want to know!”

As Catholics, we should allow ourselves to be challenged by the question, not dismiss it out of hand. We should be more comfortable in “giving a reason for the hope that is in us, with gentleness and respect.” We should be able to openly talk about how we experience the presence of Christ in our lives through prayer, through Scripture, and especially through the Sacraments (most notably the Holy Eucharist). In doing so, we will convince our evangelical friends that our faith in Jesus is real and heart-felt.

One must certainly comply with the sacraments of the church. And that means continued penance and receiving our blessed Lord at the mass. But these things must not be done in ritual, but in loving faith towards God or else your heart is not right with God.

[quote=JGC]“Are you saved?” asks the Fundamentalist. The Catholic should reply: “As the
Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5-8), but I’m also being
saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be
saved (Rom. 5:9-10, 1 Cor. 3:12-15).” “I am redeemed,” answers the Catholic,
“and like the Apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling
(Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2,
2 Tim. 2:11-13)–but not with a false “absolute” assurance about my own
ability to persevere (2 Cor. 13:5). And I do all this as the Catholic Church has
taught, unchanged, from the time of Christ.”

cin.org/archives/cinapol/199804/0183.html (very bottom)
[/quote]

I like this. But I will throw in what a clasical Protestant would ask? So you believe Christ saves you but you don’t believe he will sustain you until your salvation is brought to completion? In other words initial justification depends wholly on God. But ultimate Salvation depends on us. I think this is where Catholics get accused of trusting on their own works for salvation. I am not saying it is a fair accusation, vut you can se where it can come from. To those form a different perspective it appears you have a lack of faith in God to keep you in a state Grace. Which then leads to the question: who are you trusting to save you? Jesus/ yourself? Or both?

Mel

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