States of Grace and justification


#1

Does anybody know of a webpage where I can read a systematic exlanation of the process of justification and judgement?

I am having trouble reconciling these two ideas:

  1. A person may either be in a state of grace or outside of a state of grace. Through baptism does a person enter this state. Through mortal sin does he leave it. Through reconcilliation he enters it again. A person dying in a state of grace goes on to Purgatory and/or Heaven, while a person outside of that state is cast into Hell.

  2. A person is judged based on his works and deeds, and is rewarded with eternal life based on good works, yet eternal damnation based on evil works. (Rom 2:6-8, Rev 20:13-14, Matt. 25, etc.)


#2

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#3

[quote=Lazerlike42]Does anybody know of a webpage where I can read a systematic exlanation of the process of justification and judgement?

I am having trouble reconciling these two ideas:

  1. A person may either be in a state of grace or outside of a state of grace. Through baptism does a person enter this state. Through mortal sin does he leave it. Through reconcilliation he enters it again. A person dying in a state of grace goes on to Purgatory and/or Heaven, while a person outside of that state is cast into Hell.

  2. A person is judged based on his works and deeds, and is rewarded with eternal life based on good works, yet eternal damnation based on evil works. (Rom 2:6-8, Rev 20:13-14, Matt. 25, etc.)
    [/quote]

I am not sure what you have trouble reconciling. They seem like they go together.

If you have sinned mortally but are repentant, you will be forgiven. It isn’t a matter of I;m in, now I’m out, now I’m in. The main thing is whether you love God. If you love God with all your heart mind soul and strength, you will be repentant of your sins. The goal in life is to make yourself perfect through the virtues of Christ; namely humility, chastity, fortitude and etc.

Good works, done in light of the virtues helps to perfect you in this process and it shows your love for God. Evil works cause corruption in your soul. They are a rejection of Grace.

A more preferable way to think of it in my mind is that you are judged based on your love for God and for your neighbor. If you love God with all your heart mind soul and strength you have mastered the virtue of humility(greatest of all virtues) then you will be saved. If you do not love God and are not worried about the virtues, then you will go to hell.

After typing all this out, I am begining to understand what you mean. I think you are struggling with works and Grace. Am I right? As for that, I would say one of two things.

First, it is God’s grace that inspires us to do good works. We have the choice to accept it or to reject it. It acts as our conscience and it gives us the knowledge of truth. Therefore it saves us. But we have the choice to accept it or to reject it.

You know that quote, “all evil needs is for a good man to do nothing”? It is very true because that is exactly what evil is, nothing. When we sit around and do nothing we are rejecting God’s grace. We are losing the virtue that we have. When we act, with the virtues as a goal, we become more Christ-like.

The second option I can think of is, we do good works and we cleanse ourselves from sin, thereby making us more suseptible to the Grace of God. This Grace that God gives us gives us love for Him and instills virtue in us. I read something like this in Walter Hilton’s “Scale of Perfection”.


#4

[quote=jimmy]I am not sure what you have trouble reconciling. They seem like they go together.

If you have sinned mortally but are repentant, you will be forgiven. It isn’t a matter of I;m in, now I’m out, now I’m in. The main thing is whether you love God. If you love God with all your heart mind soul and strength, you will be repentant of your sins. The goal in life is to make yourself perfect through the virtues of Christ; namely humility, chastity, fortitude and etc.

Good works, done in light of the virtues helps to perfect you in this process and it shows your love for God. Evil works cause corruption in your soul. They are a rejection of Grace.

A more preferable way to think of it in my mind is that you are judged based on your love for God and for your neighbor. If you love God with all your heart mind soul and strength you have mastered the virtue of humility(greatest of all virtues) then you will be saved. If you do not love God and are not worried about the virtues, then you will go to hell.

After typing all this out, I am begining to understand what you mean. I think you are struggling with works and Grace. Am I right? As for that, I would say one of two things.

First, it is God’s grace that inspires us to do good works. We have the choice to accept it or to reject it. It acts as our conscience and it gives us the knowledge of truth. Therefore it saves us. But we have the choice to accept it or to reject it.

You know that quote, “all evil needs is for a good man to do nothing”? It is very true because that is exactly what evil is, nothing. When we sit around and do nothing we are rejecting God’s grace. We are losing the virtue that we have. When we act, with the virtues as a goal, we become more Christ-like.

The second option I can think of is, we do good works and we cleanse ourselves from sin, thereby making us more suseptible to the Grace of God. This Grace that God gives us gives us love for Him and instills virtue in us. I read something like this in Walter Hilton’s “Scale of Perfection”.
[/quote]

This is true, but in my understanding a person who simply doesn’t cooperate with God’s Grace is likely sinning venially, but this is not sufficient to reject the Grace outright and condemn a person. Only mortal sin completely rejects God’s Grace.


#5

[quote=Lazerlike42]This is true, but in my understanding a person who simply doesn’t cooperate with God’s Grace is likely sinning venially, but this is not sufficient to reject the Grace outright and condemn a person. Only mortal sin completely rejects God’s Grace.
[/quote]

Venial sin leads a person to hell by making a person more succeptible to sin and vice. It causes the loss of virtue.


#6

[quote=jimmy]Venial sin leads a person to hell by making a person more succeptible to sin and vice. It causes the loss of virtue.
[/quote]

Oh I understand that. The thing is that by the teaching of the Church a person could commit all the venial sins in the world and not cooperate with Grace in that way all they want, but so long as they don’t sin mortally they won’t be condemned. I realize it is unlikely that a person would sin venially all they want and not sin mortally, but lets imagine a person who does this. He is still in a state of Grace despite having done many bad things and few if any good things because he has never sinned mortally. How is he judged by his deeds when the very fact that he is in a state of Grace saves him from Hell?


#7

[quote=Lazerlike42]Oh I understand that. The thing is that by the teaching of the Church a person could commit all the venial sins in the world and not cooperate with Grace in that way all they want, but so long as they don’t sin mortally they won’t be condemned. I realize it is unlikely that a person would sin venially all they want and not sin mortally, but lets imagine a person who does this. He is still in a state of Grace despite having done many bad things and few if any good things because he has never sinned mortally. How is he judged by his deeds when the very fact that he is in a state of Grace saves him from Hell?
[/quote]

Sin that is done in opposition to God is mortal sin. Pretty much all venial sins areby habit or something like that. They are not directly against God. Also spiritual sloth(one of seven deadly sins) is a mortal sin. If you are not working on your spiritual nature, that could easily become a mortal sin and send you to he. That means if you are not attempting to cleanse yourself of these venial sins, then you could go to hell.


#8

[quote=Lazerlike42]Oh I understand that. The thing is that by the teaching of the Church a person could commit all the venial sins in the world and not cooperate with Grace in that way all they want, but so long as they don’t sin mortally they won’t be condemned. I realize it is unlikely that a person would sin venially all they want and not sin mortally, but lets imagine a person who does this. He is still in a state of Grace despite having done many bad things and few if any good things because he has never sinned mortally. How is he judged by his deeds when the very fact that he is in a state of Grace saves him from Hell?
[/quote]

You could continue to sin venially, but if it is done with disregard for God, it can easily become a mortal sin due to spiritual sloth. This is part of the reason for Purgatory, it cleanses us from the attachment to these sins. I would say though that you must be carefull though because they will lead to much bigger sins and it becomes a slippery slope to hell.


#9

[quote=Lazerlike42]Oh I understand that. The thing is that by the teaching of the Church a person could commit all the venial sins in the world and not cooperate with Grace in that way all they want, but so long as they don’t sin mortally they won’t be condemned. I realize it is unlikely that a person would sin venially all they want and not sin mortally, but lets imagine a person who does this. He is still in a state of Grace despite having done many bad things and few if any good things because he has never sinned mortally. How is he judged by his deeds when the very fact that he is in a state of Grace saves him from Hell?
[/quote]

A man, if he is honestly attached to these sins and truely loves God, then he will be accepted into heaven. He will go through a purgation in order to cleanse himself of it. If he has pride and does them just with a lack of care for God, then it certainly becomes a mortal sin due to pride and sloth. This certainly does become a rejection of the grace of God because Grace gives us inspiration to act. Grace is virtue.


#10

Let me ask this a different way.

Catholic apologists often point out that in Rev 20:13-14, Romans 2:6-8, Matthew 25, and so on, that it says things like, “The dead were judged according to their works.” They point out that if it things really worked the way Protestants believe, it would read, “The dead were judged according to whether they had faith alone.” Well then, why doesn’t it say, “The dead were judged according to their state of grace?”


#11

There are works that are dead (sin), and works that are living (the corporal and spiritual works of mercy). One can only do the works of mercy if one is living in a state of grace, but one certainly does not need to be in a state of grace to do the works that bring eternal death! Those that are judged to be righteous because of they manifested the works of mercy are necessarily in a state of grace.

Time and again Jesus tells us that good works are necessary for our salvation. For example: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.
John 15:5-6
The good fruit produced by the branches are the works of mercy and the fruit of the spirit. Note that the branches that do not bear fruit are pruned from the vine by the vinedresser and “thrown into the fire and burned.”

At the final judgement the sheep and the goats are going to be separated. The test for determining whether one is a sheep or a goat is whether or not one has manifested the works of mercy in his life. (Matt 25:32-46). The righteous are those that manifested the works of mercy. Their reward is eternal life. The unrighteous are those that did not manifest the works of mercy. Their reward is eternal punishment.

The thing is that by the teaching of the Church a person could commit all the venial sins in the world and not cooperate with Grace in that way all they want, but so long as they don’t sin mortally they won’t be condemned.

Having a relationship with Jesus as Lord is necessary for one’s salvation. The lukewarm are those that merely go through the motions of being a Christian, and they have no reason to believe that they will be saved: So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.
Revelation 3:16


#12

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