What does the Church Teach on Salvation?


Hi. I was wondering what the Church teaches on salvation… how do Catholics believe they are saved? Do they believe that they can do certain things to get to heavan? I’ve always heard that catholics believe they have to “work” to get to heaven Is this true???
It would be great if y’all could tell me what the Church really teaches on this subject. Thanks!


See my posts #'s 13, 14 and 15 on this thread:



Here are a bunch of tracts that explain the Catholic teaching on salvation.


God Bless,



We are saved by grace alone. Thats the short answer.


How do we square this with John 3:16? If Christ is the way the truth and the life, and nobody comes to the Father except through Jesus … how do we say that non Christians may be saved?


Non-Christians, if through no fault of their own have not heard/accepted the Gospel message but have a desire to know God are in some way connected to the Church of Jesus Christ.


My :twocents: …
Catholics believe we are saved if we are in God’s friendship at the moment of our death, if we die in a state of grace.

Because of the sin of Adam and Eve (Original Sin), none of us enters this world in God’s friendship. To enter God’s friendship we must repent of our past sins and wash them away by appealing to the death of Jesus Christ because the death of Jesus Christ is the only expiation for the eternal consequences of sin. We make an appeal to the death of Jesus Christ by believing in our heart, by confessing that faith with our lips before men (see A Statement of Faith, below), and by being baptized with water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Once we have thus entered God’s friendship through Jesus Christ, we continue in God’s friendship by avoiding serious sin and by doing God’s will, that is, by loving God and our neighbor.

Practical expressions of loving God and our neighbor include: private and public (liturgical) prayer, keeping the Ten Commandments, performing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, keeping the precepts of the Catholic Church, etc.

Serious sin must be avoided because serious sin will utterly destroy our friendship with God.

Should a baptized person (a Christian) destroy his friendship with God through serious sin and later repent of the sin, he can wash the sin away by making another appeal to the death of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of Confession, where the repentant sinner confesses his sin to God and to God’s minister of reconciliation (a Catholic bishop or priest), expresses his sorrow for his sin and expresses his firm intention to amend his life and sin no more to God and to God’s minister, and then, if God’s minister judges him truly repentant, the repentant sinner receives forgiveness (absolution) of his sin from God through God’s minister. God’s minister may direct the person newly restored to God’s friendship to perform some kind of penance (such as prayer, fasting, alms-giving, etc.) designed to help him to amend his life and sin no more.

Those who die unrepentant, serious sinners, and thus not in God’s friendship, will not be saved.

Those who through no fault of their own do not know Jesus Christ or his Catholic Church but who nevertheless cooperate with God’s grace and strive to do His will as they understand it by following the dictates of their conscience may be saved.

Those who know that Jesus Christ is Lord and that the Catholic Church is His Church but nevertheless reject Him or His Church will not be saved. In other words, those will not be saved who knowingly reject Jesus Christ or His Catholic Church.

A Statement of Faith:
I believe in God, the Father almighty.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


I know this is in Lumen Gentium & the CCC, but how was this teaching reached? I can’t use this on a Protestant - it seems to go against John 3:16, he’s not gonna accept our catholic documents over the bible!


Is he/she basing salvation on this passage alone? In a nutshell, Catholic teaching is that we must persevere in faith, hope and love to attain Heaven.


Well, if they’re not going to accept it, they’re not going to accept it, especially if they pick out a passage perhaps out of context and base their argument on it.

I guess the counter to that would be 1 Timothy 2:4-6 if they wanted to play dueling bible verses. :shrug:


It’s not about dueling verses, it really is about convincing them, isn’t it? … and we will not be able to convince with Catholic encyclicals and documents.

1 Tim 2

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. 8I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

Does not say non Christians may be saved. Our documents do and while I submit myself to the Church, this doesn’t cut any ice on someone who doesn’t.

Does anyone have any good article/s that might address this?


Yes, but it says the Lord wants all men to be saved, which if one believes the Lord to be omnipotent, what the Lord wants to happen, will happen.

But you’re quite correct; the conundrum is that they will only accept “bibilcal evidence”, but not if it contradicts their arguments. :shrug: Hence the dualing verses predicament.

If they don’t accept it, they don’t accept it. To quote Leonidas in 300 “What can you do?” :wink:


I think there are passages in the bible that implicitly supports our position, there always is! The problem is … I can’t seem to find them now.

‘What can we do?’ … gee … we’ll just have to go Avis on them and ‘try harder’, I guess.

Man … that was corny. I apologise.:stuck_out_tongue:


So, do Catholics believe that God gives His grace freely or do you believe you have to work for it?


God’s grace is a free gift, but we have to freely accept it and have it applied to us.

We don’t believe that we can do anything to earn God’s grace. We don’t deserve this gift. But God loves us and offers it to us anyway, and we can accept His offer through faith (Rom 3:28, etc.) that leads to repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38, etc.)

Once we’ve accepted God’s initial offer, He freely rewards us for doing the works of charity He sets out for us (Eph 2:10). This reward is an increased “participation in the life of God” (CCC 1997): By becoming more like Christ, we are more fully adopted into the divine, loving union shared by the three Persons of the Trinity. Our goal in life – heaven – is a full participation in this union, so God’s choice to reward us in this way actually helps to save us, because it draws us closer to Him.

The important thing to remember is that all of this happens because God wills it. All the grace, mercy, and love are His. We can do nothing to earn these things for ourselves or make ourselves deserving of them. But we can freely accept those gifts and God’s plan of salvation, and this leads us to cooperate with Him so that we can be with Him in heaven.


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