What is Salvation?

OK folks, here I am. Don’t worry. I made my first post in the water cooler forum. I’ll explain to you a bit about me. I’m a Christian. In other words, I’m a child of God. However, I’m not a Catholic, nor do I have any desire to become one. I’m not trying to be disrespectful. I’m just stating the truth. Anyway, because I’m not a Catholic, I am posting this thread in the non-catholic religions forum instead of the apologetics forum or other forums.

I believe there are Christians in the Roman Catholic Church, just like I believe there are Christians in Baptist Churches, Lutheran Churches, Presbyterian Churches and many other churches, too many to be named.

OK, so I’ll ask you guys a question and I’d appreciate your response. What would you guys say salvation is? Is it being saved from sin? Saved from Hell? What? I have an opinion on this and I beleive it is right. However, I want to hear what you guys have to say about this issue before I state my view. Who Knows? I may agree with some of you on a few points. I’m looking forward to reading your responses. Good day now.

I know posts are supposed to be reasonably short, so I’m sorry if my last one was a little on the long side. Moderators, I’ll try to keep my posts shorter in the future.

We are saved from sin, death and the Devil.

In nomine Jesu I offer you all peace,

What is Salvation?

The ultimate meaning of “salvation” for human beings is that we “should not perish, but have eternal life.” We are saved from sin, from the condition of rebellion and separation from God that finally results in eternal death, and saved for eternal life and happiness with God.

The bigger question is, How are we saved? What is it that trues our condition of “death” to a condition of “life”. This is where, as Christians, we struggle.

Peace.

If someone asked me this while I was walking on the street I would simply say “Jesus” but that would be rude here, especially to someone new to the forums, and I suppose it is to the man on the street. When someone asks me if I have ‘found Jesus’ I often reply – “I didn’t realize that he was lost” – to this the person often attempts to explain themselves but just digs a deeper hole. Anyways I digress…

First off, well met and welcome. Your post was far from too long as you can see by mine. The moderators have put a limit on the amount of words per post allowed I believe it to be somewhere around 250. Overall it is pretty lenient in this area.

In regards to salvation – it is one of those things that can be pretty much explained in a few sentences but cannot be fully explained in a 2000 page book.

So in reference to your questions is it saved from “sin” or saved from “hell” I would say yes to both and no to both – depending on the intention.

Anyways I would say that at Baptism is the first time that someone can truly say that they have been “Saved.” From that point on one can only loose being saved or “salvation.” Salvation is the end product. By way of Jesus and the Grace of God we are delivered from sin and spared from death – this is Salvation – that we are saved from ourselves for eternity.

Martin Luther says it so well in his Small Catechism, “What benefits does Baptism give? It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.”

Thanks for the replies guys (or gals).

Salvation can be summed up in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV).

Many Christians, in both Roman Catholic, protestant and orthodox churches, think salvation is getting your sins forgiven. Nothing could be further from the truth. Salvation, as Romans says, is being saved from the wages of sin, which is death by the gift of God, which is life.

On the Cross, Christ took away sin. The whole world is forgiven but is the whole world saved? No. Why? Because Salvation is not found in the death of Christ but in the resurrected life of Christ. Read Romans 5:10 and you will see what I mean. Jesus’ death took away the cause of spiritual death, which is sin. He did this in order to clear the deck for the divine action of giving us life through his resurrected life. He rose from the dead physically so we could rise from the dead spiritually.

Therefore, someone is saved or made alive by putting their faith in Christ and his finished work, which includes the cross AND the resurrection. So much of Christendom preaches a half gospel. This half gospel is that Jesus died for our sins. This is not the Gospel. The Gospel is that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead to give us life.

In conclusion, we are saved by faith in Christ and what he has done for us. We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, however.

In nomine Jesu I offer you peace Gracehawk,

Let’s talk about “Faith”.

Jesus’ first recorded command was “…repent, and believe in the gospel” (MK 1:15), and the New Testament clearly states taht salvation is received by faith in God through Jesus Christ. I am sure we all firmly believe in the importance of faith in accepting God’s gift of salvation. “Truly, truly, I say to you,” Jesus said, “he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judment, but has passed from death to life” (Jn 5:24). Many other New Testament texts affirm that faith in Jesus Christ leads to Salvation. (See Mk 16:16; Jn 3:16; 6:28-29; 11:25-27; 20:30-31; Eph 2:8-10; Thes 2:13.)

What is faith? The New Testament shows faith to be much more than an intellectual assent to the proposition that God exists or that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. This assent may be a first step, but is it sufficient for salvation alone? Even evil spirits recognize and acknowledge Jesus’ true identity. An unclean spirit cries out: “I know who you are, the Holy One of God” (Mk 1:24). James declared, “Even the demons believe - and shudder” (Jas 2:19).

Faith that leads to Salvation is an act of acknowledging our utter dependence on God and committing our lives totally to him. When Jesus spoke about faith, proclaiming, “…believe in God, believe also in me” (Jn 14:1), he meant, “give your whole life to me; follow me; obey me; become my disciple.” True Christian faith means entrusting your whole life to God. It is a commitment to put God first and to do whatever he commands or asks.

Many Christians today equate “faith” with a “decision for Christ” - a conscious, personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of your life. This terminology is used mostly by evangelical Protestants, but Alan Schreck, a professor of Catholic Theology at Franciscan University, asserts that Catholics agree that all mature Christians must make a conscious choice to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and to commit themselves to follow him. Catholics and Orthodox Christians make such a public recomminitment every year when they renew their baptismal promises during the Easter liturgy. The practice of regular, even daily, personal “acts of faith” in Jesus Christ is a part of every Christian tradition.

It is also part of Catholic teaching to consider “faith” as a *way of life *rather than a major decision that happens once, twice, or a few times in one’s life. Catholics realize the importance of the initial conversion and commitment to Christ, but they also emphasize the challenge of living out faith in Jesus Christ every day, by God’s Grace and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. God provides the power (or grace) to live out our faith through may channels: through daily prayer, the sacraments, and our life and fellowship with other Christians. Thus, these means of God’s grace are also significant for our salvation, since they enable us to persevere in our faith and live it out day by day.

This view of “faith” resonates with me because I feel that we are called to a radical “change” in our lives that is not done in the utterance of acceptance of Christ on a cognitive level but is a *way of life *a journey to the foot of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not easy and it requires us to do God’s Will. If doing God’s Will is concidered a “work” then so be it.

Peace.

Chris, of course faith is more than intellectual assent. It’s about total trust and reliance on Jesus and what he has done for us.

Look at it this way. I can look at a chair and believe that it will hold me up and sit in it. However, I do not exercise faith untill I sit in it. This is what it is faith in Christ is like.

As for works, the book of James says that faith without works is dead. But who produces those works? Is it us or the risen Christ who is living his life in us and through us? Of course, it is Christ. Our job is to abide in him. As the Bible says, "Walk in the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."
By the way, the disciples asked Jesus about how they could do all these fancy works. You know what Jesus said? He said the work of God is to believe in the one he has sent.

[quote=Gracehawk]Chris, of course faith is more than intellectual assent. It’s about total trust and reliance on Jesus and what he has done for us.

Look at it this way. I can look at a chair and believe that it will hold me up and sit in it. However, I do not exercise faith untill I sit in it. This is what it is faith in Christ is like.
[/quote]

Peace be with you Gracehawk,

I think St. Paul said it best:

Therfore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. - 2 Co 4:16

We walk this faith as a “daily” turning to him who saves.

As for works, the book of James says that faith without works is dead. But who produces those works? Is it us or the risen Christ who is living his life in us and through us? Of course, it is Christ. Our job is to abide in him. As the Bible says, “Walk in the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

St. Paul said it himself “Christ in me” but let us always renew “day by day” that inner person who is Christ in me. To do otherwise is to lack faith in him who saves.

By the way, the disciples asked Jesus about how they could do all these fancy works. You know what Jesus said? He said the work of God is to believe in the one he has sent.

Believe is more than cognitive ascent as you’ve already agreed. Abraham was asked to “God and seek the land I will show you”. Had he not gone, he would not had “true” faith to accept the command of God. Catholics believe that the life of faith is also a life of charity or “good works”. This life of faith is a life of love of God and neighbor that expresses itself in one’s thoughts, attitudes, speech, and actions. Therefore, let us examine the relationship between a Christian’s faith and good works, and their importance for salvation.

Catholics do not sharply separate “faith” and “good works” or charity. By “good works” Catholics do not mean the “works of the law” that St. Paul condemns, but rather the “works” of active charity or love that flows from living faith in Jesus Christ. Those who follow God will do whatever God commands or asks of them, and their “works” truly will reflect their faith. This is the point that St. James was making in his letter:

Waht good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (St. James 2:14-17 NAB)

In other words, Catholics believe that true faith will express itself in a person’s “works” - the way the person actually lives. Is this understanding biblical? Jesus and the New Testament authors insist that people will be judged not only by their faith, but according to their actual conduct or works. Jesus warned, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (St. Matthew 7:21). A number of other passages speak of the role of good works in salvation (see Mt 16:27; Rom 2:5-10; Cor 5:10; Jas 2:14-26; Pt 1:17).

Even the apostle Paul, who strongly corrects those who try to justify themselves before God by performing “works of the Law” (strictly observing all the Jewish traditions), also states: “For he [God] will render to every man according to his works…” (Rom 2:6), and “we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body” (2 Cor 5:10).

In summary, when the Catholic Church speaks of good works as a “means of salvation,” it is expression a belief found in the Bible: Genuine faith requires an active response, which is charity, love or good works. Paul called this “faith working through love” (Gal 5:6).

Peace.

Welcome Gracehawk;

Why do I get the feeling that you’re going to tell us all that we are saved by faith alone? :slight_smile: That doctrine is unbiblical.

There is a very good explanation of the Catholic understanding of salvation on the Catholic Answers website, under the Library heading “Salvation.” I think it will answer your general questions.

I would just like to add to the discussion on this thread that Catholics do not believe that one can get to Heaven by the power of their own works. We believe we are saved only by the grace of God, and that it is through God’s infusion of grace that we are able to perform salvific works. In other words, you don’t get into Heaven just for “being a good person” as so many christians (including Catholics) seem to believe. Salvation is from God alone.

BTW - Catholics also understand that those who are properly baptized in Christ, even though baptized in other faith traditions than Catholicism, are also joined to Christ’s Church. Thus, Catholics believe there are christians in every protestant denomination that shares the same baptismal tradition that is described in scripture, and that they are properly our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Peace,

[quote=Gracehawk]Thanks for the replies guys (or gals).
In conclusion, we are saved by faith in Christ and what he has done for us. We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, however.
[/quote]

Hello Gracehawk;

I knew it! You’re here to convince Catholics that what Christ taught to the Apostles, and what the Apostles passed on to us through the ages to the present day is wrong, and that it wasn’t until 1500 years after the death of Christ that Martin Luther and John Calvin “figured out” what Christ *really * meant when he preached on salvation. While I appreciate your zeal for your faith, I believe you have been misguided by the traditions of men - i.e. protestantism - and specifically the doctrine of sola fide.

Nowhere in Scripture does it say that we are saved by faith alone. (Except of course in the versions of the Bible created by Martin Luther in which he actually changed Scripture to support his argument for sola fide.)

When Paul says were are justified by faith apart from works of law, he is teaching that the works of the Old Testament Mosaic law, such as circumscision, could not bring salvation. In the New Testament, faith does not bring salvation by itself. It only brings salvation provided that it is made alive by charity. "Saving faith is active faith: it is “faith working through love.” (Gal. 5:6.)

In 1 Cor 13:2, Paul tells us faith without love (charity) is nothing - i.e. it cannot save. Charity, which means love of God, includes keeping His commandments. (Jn 14:21) When the rich man asked Jesus what he needed to do to acheive salvation Jesus told him to keep the commandments. (Mt. 19:16-17.) It is clear from Scripture that faith *alone * is not enough for salvation. We must also have charity and keep God’s commandments.

You may also want to re-read about the judgment of the nations at Matthew 5:31-46. That is a clear indication that salvation is not from faith alone, but from an active faith working in charity with the grace of God.

James even condemns the idea of salvation through faith alone. “See that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone… For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.” (Jam 2:24, 26.) (Interestingly, Martin Luther called James an “epistle of straw” to belittle James’ condemnation of the doctrine that salvation came from faith alone.)

The Catholic Church teaches we are saved by God’s grace alone. Grace enables us to have the saving faith that works in love (Eph. 2:8-10.) All good works must be done in the grace of God to have any supernatural value.

[Note to all: The above is paraphrased from Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham’s discussions on Apologetics published by San Juan Catholic Seminars. It’s a useful set of booklets on Catholic Apologetics for the beginner like me.]

Peace

Chris B, although I disagree with much of the content in your post, I must say that it had a kind tone to it and I thank you for that.

Robert, In your second response to me I detected some hostility from you. I don’t it’s right for you to judge my motives. You don’t even know me. If I’ve misunderstood you, then please let me know. I’m sure you’ve all figured it out that I’m not a Roman Catholic ( I said outright that I wasn’t) but I’m not here to engage in ugly arguments. In other words, I plan on following the rules of these forums, which include being respectful to one another. Robert, could you please do the same?

Now, you made tons of points citing scriptural verses. You might think I’m copping out but I don’t have much time these days and so, I can’t take the time to refute every point you make that disagrees with my assertion. However, if you want me to answer certain claims that you make, either post it one at a time on here or private message or email me, because I don’t have time to write posts that are as long as books.

OK, I’ll leave you with this simple question. It certainly does seem to me that you guys are saying that we’re saved by both faith and works. Well, if that’s the case, how do you know if you’ve done enough works to earn Salvation? If any of you were to die tomorrow, would any of you be sure where you would spend eternity?

Grace Hawk,

See if this helps you ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/FAWORKS.HTML

[quote=Gracehawk]Chris B, although I disagree with much of the content in your post, I must say that it had a kind tone to it and I thank you for that.
[/quote]

In nomine Jesu I offer you continued peace Gracehawk,

Although I am only in RCIA (Rite of Christian Intiation of Adults) of the Catholic Church I have learned a great deal of the claims of the Catholic Church and that of her doctrine.

As a Catholic, we are asked in Vatican II to engage in ecumenical dialog with our brothers in Christ, which you appear to be. My readings of Vatican II instructs me that Salvation to by Grace through faith but that such is only the beginning of our journey from a life of the flesh to a life of the spirit. We recognize the salvific grace extended to all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and have been Baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Thus we are brothers in God’s Salvific Plan for all men.

We enter into ecumenical dialog, not because we fail to recognize your Salvation but that we believe the fullest expression of Christ’s Salvation is found within the Catholic Church. Now, I know that such claims can be annoying to Protestants but it what we believe and what we extend to all our brothers in Christ.

It is not my task to bring you to the Catholic Church for that I leave to the Holy Spirit to workout in you in His good time but I am always willing to share Catholic Claims and to listen to those of my brothers in Christ who are not Catholic for, once again, Vatican II recognizes the unique gifts of the Holy Spirit found among our Protestant Brothers and Sisters are truly God Given and of value to each of us.

Were we differ I wish to present the Catholic Claims for your reflection. Were we find ourselves in common let us rejoice.

OK, I’ll leave you with this simple question. It certainly does seem to me that you guys are saying that we’re saved by both faith and works. Well, if that’s the case, how do you know if you’ve done enough works to earn Salvation? If any of you were to die tomorrow, would any of you be sure where you would spend eternity?

This is something often misunderstood, even among Catholics but “good works” are borne out of our faith but that faith is a opening of the human heart to God and is not always known so at times good works may well manifest before overt proclaimation of Christ as our Lord and Savior is made. Only the Holy Spirit understands fully His own working within the human heart but we are taught this for our greater understanding of His nature.

Peace.

I have been Catholic for 49 years and have seldom heard the word “salvation” spoken by Catholics. I think Protestants use that word more. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) in paragraph (parag.) we see “salvation” is the power of God given to those who have faith.It is the central object of Jesus Christ.(CCC parag 124)

CCC parag 169, Salvation comes from God alone, but because we recieve the life of faith through the Church she is our mother: because she is our mother she is also the teacher in our faith.

What does “salvation” do? It allows us to avoid the pains of hell and to achieve heavenly bliss.:clapping: By the way, “saved” is another Protestant word we Catholics seldom use.

[quote=Gracehawk] What would you guys say salvation is? Is it being saved from sin? Saved from Hell? What? I have an opinion on this and I beleive it is right.
[/quote]

Being saved from sin, will save you from hell, just what bus you take to get there is another story.

Salvation is eternal life with Jesus Christ. Romans 6:23 says -

[size=2]For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Salvation exists in 3 phases.

1 - The Saved - These are all folks who obey the gospel. [size=2]1 Corinthians 1:18 -

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved

it is the power of God. [/size]
[size=2][/size]
[size=2]2 - Those who are saved must continually work on their salvation. [size=2]Phillipians 2:12 -

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation

[/size] with fear and trembling.[/size]
[size=2][size=2][/size][/size]
[size=2][size=2]3 - In the end Christ will choose the ones that will enter Heaven. Not all that have obeyed the gospel (Section 1) will enter Heaven. - [size=2]1 Peter 1:9 -

Receiving the end of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls.

[/size][/size][/size]

[quote=Gracehawk]Chris B, although I disagree with much of the content in your post, I must say that it had a kind tone to it and I thank you for that.

Robert, In your second response to me I detected some hostility from you. I don’t it’s right for you to judge my motives. You don’t even know me. If I’ve misunderstood you, then please let me know. I’m sure you’ve all figured it out that I’m not a Roman Catholic ( I said outright that I wasn’t) but I’m not here to engage in ugly arguments. In other words, I plan on following the rules of these forums, which include being respectful to one another. Robert, could you please do the same?

Now, you made tons of points citing scriptural verses. You might think I’m copping out but I don’t have much time these days and so, I can’t take the time to refute every point you make that disagrees with my assertion. However, if you want me to answer certain claims that you make, either post it one at a time on here or private message or email me, because I don’t have time to write posts that are as long as books.

OK, I’ll leave you with this simple question. It certainly does seem to me that you guys are saying that we’re saved by both faith and works. Well, if that’s the case, how do you know if you’ve done enough works to earn Salvation? If any of you were to die tomorrow, would any of you be sure where you would spend eternity?
[/quote]

Dear Gracehawk;

No personal hostility was intended. I was being neither sarcastic nor facetious in my prior comment that I believe you to be sincere in your beliefs. So, please understand that my comment was not intended as a personal attack on you, nor did I intend to appear hostile to you personally. I have no reason to believe that you are anything other than a sincere christian searching for truth by debating religious issues with people of other faith traditions. So, to make it clear, I respect you for your zeal and your faith, and I did not intend to come across as personally hostile.

That being said, however, we are engaged in the defense of our respective beliefs, and I am extremely opposed to the false doctrine of sola scriptura. I personally believe it is dangerous for persons to believe in the *assurance * of salvation from faith alone - a faith that is not active and alive as I discussed previously. So, from time to time I may appear to be somewhat aggressive in my comments against sola scriptura. I will work on my tone in the future, to avoid hurt feelings, and I thank you for your constructive criticism.

On the form of your response to my prior post, please feel free to respond to my argument in piecemeal fashion if you do not have the time to prepare one longer response. I too am time restricted, so I understand your predicament. :slight_smile:

As to your final question, it’s not a matter of the number of works one performs that determines salvation, but whether or not a person dies in a state of grace. Grace is from God alone and no amount of work we do as humans can put us in a state of grace. Only God’s grace saves.

Catholics have a reasonable - but not absolute - assurance of salvation if they put faith in God, follow his commandments, and live a life of faith, working in God’s grace. The Scriptures clearly teach this, when considered in their totality and in the proper context.

Until next time, peace (and apologies if I offended),

Hey Robert, thank you for clarifying yourself. I’m sorry if I seemed a little hostile myself in saying you seemed a little hostile.:smiley:

I’ll respond to your arguments in peacemeal fashion but in the mean time, could you and/or one of the other posters here elighten me about how Roman Catholics can be fully assured of their salvation. Or in Roman Catholicism, is it impossible to fully assured of one’s salvation?

[quote=Gracehawk]Hey Robert, thank you for clarifying yourself. I’m sorry if I seemed a little hostile myself in saying you seemed a little hostile.:smiley:

I’ll respond to your arguments in peacemeal fashion but in the mean time, could you and/or one of the other posters here elighten me about how Roman Catholics can be fully assured of their salvation. Or in Roman Catholicism, is it impossible to fully assured of one’s salvation?
[/quote]

Peace be with you Gracehawk,

Let me say that Martin Luther, the first proponent of “Once Saved, Always Saved” offered a unique exegesis for interpreting Holy Scripture which was simply not found among the generations stretching from the apostolic age to the onward until its genesis with him. Of course, one must also recognize that Luther struggled greatly to establish such a exegesis in the face of the “whole of the Scriptures” which is why he rejected the deuterocanonical books as well as some of the New Testament.

Martin Luther had developed his theory that only those books that taught his exegesis of Justification by Faith Alone should be accepted as part of the canon. However, he didn’t work out this theory until after he had lost a debate with a Catholic (either Cardinal Cajetan in 1518 or Johann Eck of Ingolstadt in 1519 AD), when 2 Maccabees 12:43-45 was quoted to refute Martin Luther’s “Faith Alone.” His standards were also the reason for claiming that Hebrews, James, Jude, and the Book of Revelation were also not to be considered as fully the Inspired Word of God. (Although, evidently the Lutherans of the 17th century added these NT books back into their canon.)

In Luther’s German translation of the Bible, he took Hebrew, James, Jude and Revelation and placed them at the end of the New Testament. He categorized them as inferior to the rest of the Bible. He also had done this with the seven Deuterocanonical Old Testament books. (Until recently, the Deuterocanonical books called “apocrypha,” were still in many Protestant Bibles, but in a separate section at the end.)

The book of James contradicts Luther’s principle of Justification by Faith Alone. James 2:24 says “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Rather than change his theology, Luther just denied that, James the Apostle, was the author of James and removed it from his canon.

In his preface to James he claimed,

“But this James does nothing more than drive to the Law and to its works. Besides, he throws things together so chaotically that it seems to me he must have been some good, pious man, who took a few sayings from the disciples of the Apostles and thus tossed them off on paper…In a word he wanted to guard against those who relied on faith without works, but was unequal to the task.”

In his preface to Hebrews, Luther said,

“We should not be deterred if wood, straw, or hay are perhaps mixed with them [precious notions], but accept this fine teaching with all honor.” ( Luther’s works. Volume 35 Word and Sacrament I, pages 395-397 ed. E.T. Buchman [Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1960.])
In Luther’s commentary on Revelation he wrote, “Everyone may make up his own mind as regards this book. As for me, I have a personal aversion to it and that is enough.”

In another translation of Martin Luther’s writings, “Martin Luther: Selections from his Writings” Dillenberger, page 35, we read in the Prefaces to Luther’s German Translation of the New Testament in 1522 in regard to the epistle of St. James:

“Firstly, because in direct opposition to St. Paul and all the rest of the bible, it ascribes justification to works, and declares that Abraham was justified by his works when he offered up his son. St. Paul, on the contrary, in Romans 4:3, teaches that Abraham was justified without works, by his faith alone, the proof being in Gen. 15:6 which was before he sacrificed his son. Although it would be possible to save the epistle by a gloss giving a correct explanation of justification here ascribed to works, it is impossible to deny that it does refer Moses’s word in Gen. 15 (which speaks not of Abraham’s works but of his faith, just as Paul makes plain in Romans 4) to Abraham’s works. This defect proves that the epistle is not of Apostolic provenance.”

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