The Sacraments

I have a question as someone who was raised Catholic and now is Evangelical, relearning Catholicism. I understand that Catholics believe that the Sacraments are Grace. My problem is that God’s grace was given to all who accept Him and ask him. These actions are not necessary, nor are they the only way of obtaining His grace. So why are they all so necessary?

In Galatians 5:1-6. Christ died to set us free from sin and from long lists of laws and regulations. This freedom does not allow us to fall back to our sinful natures or do as we please, this would be obviously wrong. Making Christians keep these laws are wrong in themselves and no one is bound to them. I don’t think these are necessary for being saved. Trying to be saved by keeping the law and being saved by grace are two entirely different things. In Galations 5:2-4, " Christ will be no value to you at all" means that Christ’s provision for our salvation will not help us if we are trying to save ourselves by the need to ‘follow the law’. All we can do is accept his gracious gift through faith. THe Sacraments cannot be used to try to earn God’s favor or grace. Luke 17:15-19, Here, Jesus healed ten lepers. Since 9 of them didn’t thank him, one did, one did and God bestowed his grace upon him because he asked. There are many examples in the bible where people had to come in order to get it. When one asks with a true heart, God gives his grace freely. Where did these organized acts comr from?. In Galations 3:23-25. Here, the “supervision of law” is pretty self-explanatory. Do we need this? what the law teaches is the need for salvation; this provided by God’s grace.The Old testament, still applies today, revealing God’s nature, his will for us, moral laws, and guidelines to live. But we can’t be saved by keeping the law, we must trust in Christ and Christ alone. The emphasis cannot be on the laws, but in Christ and your relationship with Him.

Please help, and please be charitable, show me where I am wrong.

We need all the Grace we can get for the ‘Journey’ that’s why he left us His beautiful Sacraments.

[quote=Annunciata]We need all the Grace we can get for the ‘Journey’ that’s why he left us His beautiful Sacraments.

I agree that we need all the Grace we can get. I need more substance than this though.

I think if you think of them as gifts instead of laws, it will help your understanding. As someone who for years, (and still does) confessed to God in my bedroom, my sins, I would know they were forgiven. When they come back sometimes and I would remember them, people told me that God has forgiven them, and it was just Satan. Now, as a person who goes and confesses my sins to God, has God forgive my sins as set down by Christ (Jn 20:23) I am truly freed from them. They never come back to “haunt” me as before.

The sacraments are gifts of God to us. Not laws we must follow.

Your sister in Christ,


Tom - thanks for the question, and i wish i had more time to respond, but at this moment i dont so forgive my attempt if it doesnt atleast help some.

First, Paul in Galatians isnt talking about Sacraments. His refering to the law and works of the law was refering to the something else. and at that obviously not the 10 commandments. Or are we not to hold to does either?

When using a scripture (or 2 or 3) you have to look at the context and also the whole of Scripture. In this case, just look at the whole of the New Testament.

If Paul says we are saved by grace thru faith…but then Peter (1pet 3:20) say “Baptism now saves you” then what are we to do?

Both inspired Scripture by the same Holy Spirit.
Paul writing to Christians who still held to Judaic ritual laws (here lies the problem, they were trying to impose these added old covenant laws on new converts).

Peter writing to Christians in general.

Or even use Pauls same writing and put it up against Jesus’ own words in John 3.

“Truly, Truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he CANNOT enter the kingdon of heaven.” (Arguing this verse anyways one wants, context is clearly a baptism reference).

how about in John 6:

“Truly, Truly, I say to you, that unless you eat my body and drink my blood you will have no life in you and I will not raise you on the last day.”

Actually, stay within the Gospels (just the 4 or even just 1 if you like) and tell me that Jesus didnt give many commands to his followers. And to use any verse over the words of our Lord would be a poverty.

We can believe in Jesus, whole heartedly. giving our lives to and for Him in all things forever on this earth…and if we dont forgive our neighbor…then what?

We HAVE TO forgive ALL the time. sounds like a command or a law that Christians MUST keep.

Now Sacraments are not grace. They give grace. Jesus, who I assume you believe to be God, FREELY chose these as ways to give grace. Yes we receive grace by other ways (e.i., prayer), but that still doesnt discredit the reception of grace via the sacraments.

in Christ Jesus


There is a movement on to return Sacraments to a community celebration. This grace that Jesus gives, not only helps the individual, but also the whole faith community. Baptisms are being conducted during Sunday Mass, so that the community may also have their faith renewed with the newly baptised. The same should be true of all the sacraments. When a member of the faith community is confirmed or is married, everyone who can possibly be there, should be there. Also if there is an Ordination or Religious Vows being taken, the whole parish should turn out. We are one in the spirit, we are one in the lord.

Deacon Tony SFO

Each sacrament provides a specific kind of Grace. The Catechism lists two kinds of grace – sanctifying and actual grace.

2003 Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. There are sacramental graces, gifts proper to the different sacraments. There are furthermore special graces, also called *charisms *after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning “favor,” “gratuitous gift,” "benefit."53 Whatever their character - sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues - charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church.54

The graces or charisms of the particular sacraments are unique to each sacrament.

When we are married we have the marital graces we can call upon to help us be better wives or husbands. Wow, coool huh? It was helpful for me and others as we learned.

My favorite quote about the sacraments is from the late Father John Hardin "While all the sacraments confer grace, the Eucharist contain the author of grace, Jesus Christ, himself. "


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