The Correct Understanding of Faith and Works in the Epistle of James


Link, you may want to restate this.

The Catholic Church teaches that the ceremonies of the Sacraments are gifts of God that promise us will restore us to the state of Sanctified Grace.

Nowhere does the Church teach that that is the ONLY way to gain Salvation, for all things are possible with God!!!


I had to hear the gospel, believe, accept the free gift and repent–my order maybe mixed up but you know what Im saying.:wink: This was all done by God’s grace–which I know we all believe.

I think where we may differ is I believe once I do the above the HS dwells in me and seals me until the day of redemption–which means God never leaves me and I am saved once.

Then I am sanctified(refined by the HS) over my lifetime. I do believe we are judged by our works on judgement day but even though our works(done unto ourselves)will be burned up we will still be entering heaven. Our works(done unto the glory of God) will be rewared in heaven. I dont know what the rewards are but nevertheless they are given. I really dont think too much about this.

Im also sure Im not giving you a detailed theological answer. :o Im giving you the short version.:wink:


Correction, we are not saved “by” either faith or works. We are saved “by” grace. However, James makes it clear that to receive grace/salvation both faith and works are necessary.


I understand where you are coming from but then how do you reconcile Ephesians 2:8-10?
Actually if you read all of Paul’s letter he is very consistent with his message about salvation and it being by grcae through faith and then good works after initial salvation. Im studying Romans right now so this stuff is on my brain.:smiley:


I said…and I will quote, that the Catholic Church says that the sacraments are “necessary for salvation”.

I grew up in the Catholic Church as a child through the age of 24 and was spirtually dead the entire time. I had knowledge and believed ABOUT the things I was being taught but that was about it. I went through all the Sacraments and never really questioned anything (being raised in it)…but was not transformed until I was showed from scripture at a Baptist Church that I could not earn salvation (since this is what I was taught…maybe not in those words but the overall teaching that I received told me this). That I must repent and turn away from sin to Christ as my new Master and to receive his sacrifice as the payment for my sins. Only then, was I tranformed by the power of God.

I was spirtually, dead, but now alive, spirituall blind but now see, spiritually deaf but now hear, spiritually mute but now speak, spiritually lame but now walk…praise God.


Galations 5: 6 Faith “energeo” by love (Or, love gives “energeo” to faith).

James 2: 26 For just as the “soma” is dead without the “pneuma”, so faith without “ergon” in dead.

“Ergon” is first, not second.

It is yelling love/GOD gives energy or LIFE to our belief.

Now, this is what I think it is saying.

Love/GOD causes faith to be alive.

The way you are saying it is faith is causing works.

I do not think that “ergon” is being used that way.

I do not think that works as deeds is correct.

“Ergon” is giving life to faith.

I think that you are putting the cart before the horse.

I am not sure, but I think that is correct.

I am not sure, but I believe that is correct.


I know that…we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. And I have already described what coming to faith is according to scripture.


I was saved in a baptist church:thumbsup: OK back to regular forum talk.:smiley: :wink:


Romans 8: 28 We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

Maybe this is similar to what I am trying to say.


If you have not already read, please do so. It explains the actual Catholic teaching on this matter, and provides extensive Scriptural background. If you want to disagree with Catholic teaching, please do so after reading this, because what you are saying in this thread isn’t quite accurate.:slight_smile:


Hello, I was merely making a clarification. I believe every word of Ephesians 2:8-10. What I wanted to clarify is that faith isn’t the thing that saves you. Grace is the thing that saves you, which is what the Ephesians verses say. Faith in necessary for that Grace to save you (at least once you’ve reached the age of reason) but it’s not the only thing. The words of James and most especially of Jesus show that Faith isn’t the only thing that’s needed to gain eternal life. Works (good actions) are also necessary. But neither Faith nor Works actually do the saving. That is done by God’s Grace alone. :slight_smile:

Remember that to a Catholic you are not actually “saved” until you make it to Heaven. So both Faith and Works contribute to bringing you into a proper state to receive God’s saving Grace.


Well, not all of the sacraments are required. For instance, I’m a woman so I can never receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. :wink:

However, it is correct to say that there are sacraments that are necessary. This is simply because Jesus said they were.

John 6:53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

Catholics understand these verses to be referring to the sacraments of the Eucharist and of Baptism. So since Jesus clearly describes these actions as necessary to “enter the kingdom of heaven” and to have “life in you” the Church is perfectly correct in saying they are necessary for salvation.


Thank you for explaining. I look at it this way: All humans from Adam right down to the last person standing before the judgement throne is judged based on works–right? We both agree on this point. So what makes us any different from the person who goes to hell and the person who goes to heaven. There has to be a deciding factor other then woks because if it is works then what is good enough right? Im sure you agree with that.:thumbsup:

The deciding factor is faith. You either have it or you dont. Those who have faith enough to believe that everything that Jesus did is true–will be the ones going to heaven. Those without are those condemned to hell. Not my rules but God’s.

Do you see my point?

P.S. Ill leave you alone now. Sorry didnt mean to pull anyone into a debate:o


Exactly. As Catholics, we consider ourselves too meager before God even for our faith to save us. We believe that we are saved purely by Grace. The faith that saves us is itself a Grace, as are the works. We are saved by Grace, and that Grace is faith that God gives us. We can’t even do that on our own.


I agree we are saved by grace through faith. So apparently we need to have faith that any of this is even real. But your right it does come from grace:thumbsup: Your also right that we cant even have faith unless God gives us the grace first. AFter all, God is the one who draws us to Him we dont even seek Him on our own.

WOW–we are utterly and lovingly and totally dependent on God for ALL things.:love: Sorry I just had one of those God moments as I was writing.:smiley: :wink:


I see you’re point, but I think it’s rather the other way around. Everyone who is judged by God will either have believed in Him or not, will either have had faith or not. Works are the deciding factor in all of Jesus’ parables and sermons. And God decides what is good enough.


Link, may I respectfully ask you that if you weren’t taught in those words, then don’t use those words. You’ve been told quite often that the Catholic Church does not teach Salvation by Works. If you believe we do, then you can show us in the Catechism where this is taught.

That I must repent and turn away from sin to Christ as my new Master and to receive his sacrifice as the payment for my sins. Only then, was I tranformed by the power of God.

This is the same that the Catholic Church teaches. Why weren’t you listening then?

I was spirtually, dead, but now alive, spirituall blind but now see, spiritually deaf but now hear, spiritually mute but now speak, spiritually lame but now walk…praise God.

Link, I’m very glad that you have found the Lord. But your tone seems to indicate that since you couldn’t find the Lord in the Catholic Church, then it was the Church’s fault. How, then, do you explain all the Catholics on this Board that are as full of His Love as you are?



I am serious in saying this…that what we need to do is make our rounds through several neighborhoods and take inventory on the way Catholics respond to the question, what are you basing your statement…“I think I will go to heaven” on…I will make the guarantee that they will base it on their good life and not on the very sacrifice of Christ…hoping only in the mercy of God and not in their own goodness.

There are many “good” people out there that do good works…but the difference is the blood…

Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

That was the difference at Passover - it was the blood and nothing else. And the true fact of the matter is that those people that God truly saves do work for we are saved unto good works…

Joh 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We cannot take the end of Matthew 25 out of context as you would rail on those who would take Romans 10:13 out of context…

Ro 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

There must be a total reliance on the substitutional sacrifice of Christ for salvation and no other.

Faith and works are inseparable when the faith is living faith - fruitful and persevering.


Galations 5: 6 Faith “energeo” by love (Or, love gives “energeo” to faith).

James 2: 26 For just as the “soma” is dead without the “pneuma”, so faith without “ergon” in dead.

“Ergon” is first, not second.

“Ergon” is giving life to faith.

“Ergon” or “energeo” comes from LOVE!

God/LOVE is now in our hearts.


Asking for a consensus of opinion is irrelevant in the same way as canvassing a neighborhood to ask n-Cs the same thing. Consensus of any group does not indict the veracity of the actual teachings, whether the people polled answer correctly or not.

My experience with many n-Cs over all the years has been that many say they know the Bible and are Christians, but often they express beliefs that range from just ignorantly incorrect all the way to outright heresy.

The same would probably prove true of Catholics, but not (generally) here at CAF where you have a fairly large number of faithful, knowledgeable, and practicing Catholics.

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