What is the difference in Protestants being "saved" and Catholic salvation? Part 2

As indicated in the thread title, this is a continuation of the “What is the difference in Protestants being “saved” and Catholic salvation?” thread, as the thread reached the 1000 post limit. ZZ had the last comment in the previous thread - the entire thread of which can be found here.

Simply it is that Protestants believe that a person is saved when they have that special moment when they say ‘Yes’ to Jesus and have an conversion experience that they call being born again. Catholics believe we are saved by becoming born again through our baptism (because it’s not about what we’ve done but what He’s done). However we live in "hope’ of our Salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8), and can have many conversion experiences as we grow in our spiritual lives (when we turn away from God even for a little time, and turn back to God in prayer), until we are finally ‘saved’ by Jesus in heaven (when we reach the beach so to speak). That is is keeping with running the race until we receive the prize (our rewards of heaven). 1 Corinthians 9:24

Thanks for the restart.(or if you will -born again) . In the previous thread we got bogged down with the issue of authority (again) , but i think there are still valuable points to explore. I think we are only beginning to understand each other in terms of soteriology.

One question i would like to make clear is - What is it that actually brings salvation?
It is NOT “praying that prayer”. It is not responding and coming down to the front. A sense of guilt and condemnation are a catalyst, but not faith. The bible says we are saved by faith
and i tthink we both agree, but specifically faith in what? Or maybe i should say" trust". The only thing an Evangelical should trust in is the promise of God. The important thing is to be single minded and not doubt. 2Pt. 1:4 declares" Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature. …" One such verse would be 1Jn1:9. If one were to trust this promise, then without doubt and because of God’s faithfulness and justice, one can be sure he is forgiven. However, the church cannot be sure that someone is actually saved until he brings forth the fruit of salvation. Within the Evangelical communities there is disagreement on what is required, which centers on what is called “Lordship Salvation”. The question being, must one first make Jesus Lord (in your heart) before being saved? My answer would be that it is enough to call on His name, and to simply ask in the name. Ask and you shall receive is what the bible says.

Is there anything here that compares with the Catholic way?

We have all collectively been redeemed by the death of Christ. We with God are working out our salvation as St. Paul says. It is a process. We must cooperate with God. We must believe or try hard to believe and seek the truth. We must pray and follow the Ten Commandments. We must eat His Body and drink His Blood worthily. We must meet Him in Confession and confess our sins to him through the priest. It is very important to love our neighbor as ourselves and perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as much as possible. We will be judged not only on our behavior but our charitable works and love we have while doing them.

Pretty much, the Catholic teaching is that we’re saved by God’s grace - nothing more, nothing less. And God’s grace is imparted on us in several ways - but in a very special way through the Sacraments. It is God’s grace that makes us able to perform acts of perfect charity, for without God’s grace, true charity (that is, self-giving love as opposed to “love” based in self-centeredness) is impossible. Faith is a person’s response to God’s grace, and hope is what allows faith. So, pretty much, having hope in God allows one to believe in God. Believing in God spurs one to accept the graces from God. And it is the grace that God freely gives - but we are allowed to either accept or reject - that saves us.

Catholics believe that God imparts the graces required for salvation at baptism, the ordinary form of which is water baptism. However, there are two other forms of baptism, considered extraordinary (which means outside of the ordinary - not meaning above and beyond the ordinary) forms. These forms of baptism are called “baptism by blood” and “baptism by desire”. Baptism by blood means that an unbaptised person has accepted martyrdom for the Christian faith (see the ending of the movie “The Robe” for an example of baptism by blood - the lead character’s wife, though unbaptized, wishes to be martyred with her husband).

There are two forms of baptism by desire. The first, explicit baptism by desire, occurs if a person dies suddenly while preparing to be baptized. The second, implicit baptism of desire, is for people who never truly had an opportunity to learn about Jesus, yet attempted to follow the law written on the hearts of all people to the best of his/her ability. The idea is that the person would have been baptized if he/she had had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. Implicit baptism of desire is why we Catholics have hope in the possible salvation of those who live in countries where preaching the Gospel is forbidden (such as many countries in the Middle East and many Communist countries) - and also why we have hope in the possible salvation of atheists, who often have a distorted view of the Gospel.

However, Catholics also believe that after our baptisms, with every decision we make, every day of our lives, we continue to make the decision on whether to accept or reject God’s grace. A sin, specifically a mortal sin, occurs when we deliberately choose to reject God’s grace and love. A mortal sin is when we deliberately do something that we know is gravely wrong. By committing a mortal sin, we deliberately reject God’s salvific grace. This is why those with mortal sins on their souls at death condemn themselves to Hell - it is because the commission of a mortal sin in and of itself is the rejection of God’s salvific grace.

But, we Catholics also believe that a person can turn back from his/her sinful ways and reaccept God’s salvific grace. We believe that, after baptism (which forgives all sins committed before baptism), this is ordinarily done through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When a Catholic confesses all of his/her mortal sins that he/she can remember in the Sacrament of Confession, and is, at minimum, confessing them due to fear of punishment, then all of his/her sins are forgiven and he/she opens his/her heart to receiving God’s salvific grace once more. By the way - the only sin that God will not forgive is the one that a person refuses to confess to Him.

In all of the other Sacraments, God bestows additional graces which fortify a person’s spirit and help the soul to resist temptations (Communion, Confirmation), persevere through physical suffering (Anointing of the Sick), or serve and evangelize (either one’s family through Holy Matrimony or a small fold of Jesus’s flock through Holy Orders).

Regardless, though, the key is that there is no work that we can do, in and of itself, that will earn us God’s grace. Even believing in Jesus without accepting God’s grace is not enough - as James states in his letter, the demons in Hell believe that Jesus is the Christ, but they tremble in fear of Him. No - God’s salvific grace is freely given to us. The only thing that we have to do is freely accept it, and continue to freely accept it.

Well there you haven’t mentioned anything above about baptism yet the scriptures say to Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Hi! I also noticed you didn’t mention Baptism. “Baptism now saves you” 1 Peter 3:21 “Be Baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” Acts 2:38, “Get up, have yourself baptised and your sins will be washed away” Acts 22:16.
Baptism saves us and we become members of the Body of Christ

You stipulate that accepting grace is a precondition for salvation. Could you show where this was preached in the bible? Paul said “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. Acts16:32 If Paul says this is enough then it should be enough.The demons believe that Jesus is, but they do not trust in him.
Of course everything we receive from God is by His grace, but why is it necessary to specifically “accept” it first?

I think it’s a fundamental difference in how salvation is viewed. Salvation is viewed as a one-time event for most Evangelicals, whereas for the Catholic it is an ongoing and lifelong process. The New Covenant is something ongoing, with requirements and responsibilities that we must fulfill (as far as we are able to). There never comes a point in time when we’ve “finished” or “completed” the New Covenant.

What version are you using Michael? It is leaving things out. You will not have the meaning without all the words and we will be deceived. What Peter actually said in Acts:2:38 according to KJV and others, was “Repent” . Repentance comes before baptism, because by it we are saved. Then we are baptized. There is a comma after repent in this verse. Repent means to change our direction by admitting we are wrong and turning to God in the name of
Jesus Christ. This is the action that saves. Then we are baptised. Baptism is for those who have already repented and have been saved.

In Acts 21:16, you left out “calling on the name of the Lord” Perhaps this does not fit with Catholic tradition, but it doesn’t give us the right to ignore it. Paul says “wash away thy sins”
(how?) By “calling on the name of the Lord”. Then of course, be baptised.

As additional confirmation, I offer Acts11:14, “Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.”
Acts13:39 “And by Him all that believe are justified from all things…”

You are reading your theology into the verse. There’s no separation between the two, nor is there any indication that salvation comes without the baptism. Peter doesn’t say repentance saves you, he says baptism now saves you.

And there is no punctuation in the actual Scriptures. Your reliance upon the comma is futile. That is the work of an editor who is adding his own interpretation to the Scripture passage. It’s not part of the actual Scripture.

In Acts 21:16, you left out “calling on the name of the Lord” Perhaps this does not fit with Catholic tradition, but it doesn’t give us the right to ignore it. Paul says “wash away thy sins”
(how?) By “calling on the name of the Lord”. Then of course, be baptised.

So the “washing”, i.e. the actual baptism, removes the sins.

As additional confirmation, I offer Acts11:14, “Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.”
Acts13:39 “And by Him all that believe are justified from all things…”

So the whole household is saved by the faith of the head of the house. Even the children and infants…

What I mean by “accepting” God’s grace is that God gives us free will to follow Him or reject Him. God pours out His grace on all. But we are free to accept His gift or reject it, just as we are able to accept or reject any gift that anyone gives us. He does not force us to follow Him. By deciding to follow Jesus, we open our hearts to accepting His grace, even though He has been offering it to us from the time we are conceived. Yet we cannot be fully open to receiving grace from God if we have sin on our souls, even original sin. This is why we have the sacrament of baptism. For when we are baptized, we die to our old selves in Christ Jesus (as Paul states in 1 Corinthans -“Did you not know that when you were baptized, you were baptized into His death?”), and all of our old sins are washed away.

Unfortunately, even after baptism, we can decide to turn away from Christ. Paul often chides many who have turned away from the Gospel - he tells the Corinthians to stop living in the flesh, stop arguing with each other, avoid the sin of scandal, and to excommunicate a couple in an incestuous relationship. Why? Because the Corinthians erroneously believed that once they had accepted Jesus and had been baptized, that they could do whatever they wanted to do.

Paul also starts his letter to the Galatians stating, “I am shocked to hear that you have so quickly abandoned the Gospel!” - and later in that same letter mentions a time where he had to chastize Peter for not practicing what he was preaching. When we turn away from following Christ, we reject His grace. But He waits for us to return to Him like the prodigal son, who came to his senses and begged his father for forgiveness. When we do this, we reopen our hearts to receive His grace once more.

Rejecting sin (repentance) is the first part of the Baptismal Rite, followed by the profession of faith, followed by the explicit request for baptism (if the person to be baptized is a small child or infant, the parents express these in the child’s name). Only after all three are done is a person baptized. In the Catholic Church (along with the other apostolic Churches and the mainline Protestant churches), a person cannot be baptized if any of the three are absent.

Here’s how it occurs: [Repentance] Do you reject Satan? And all his works? And all his empty promises? (The response to all three questions must be “I do” to continue).

[Profession of Faith] Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried, decended into Hell, rose on the third day, ascended into Heaven, is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will come again to judge the living and the dead? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic (or Christian - if Protestant) Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? (The response to all three questions must be “I do” to continue).

[Desire to be baptized] (Name) Is it your desire to be baptized (if parents on behalf of their children - Is it your desire that (name) be baptized) in the Church? (The response must be “yes” to continue). Only after this third part is completed may the person baptizing say, while either immersing under water, pouring water over the head, or sprinkling water over the head, say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. All in attendance say, “Amen” (that is, “As you say”). The trinitarian formula for baptism is explicitly stated in the Gospel of Matthew.

The reason why all three parts are required is as follows - first, a person must understand that baptism means that he/she is turning away from his/her former sinful life. Second, a person must understand that to be baptized means that he/she professes faith in the Trinitarian God, wishes to follow Jesus, and believes Jesus’s promises. Third, baptism cannot be forced - it is voluntary.

=Karen107;13339394]Simply it is that Protestants believe that a person is saved when they have that special moment when they say ‘Yes’ to Jesus and have an conversion experience that they call being born again.

Not all protestants, by any stretch. I cannot point to a single conversion experience. I was born again one month and one day after I was born. Faith begins in that moment, as we receive the Holy Spirit, forgiveness of sins, indeed God’s grace.
From that point, by the Spirit’s power, faith has grown in me, through the hearing or the Word, and reception of the sacraments.

Catholics believe we are saved by becoming born again through our baptism (because it’s not about what we’ve done but what He’s done). However we live in "hope’ of our Salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8), and can have many conversion experiences as we grow in our spiritual lives (when we turn away from God even for a little time, and turn back to God in prayer), until we are finally ‘saved’ by Jesus in heaven (when we reach the beach so to speak). That is is keeping with running the race until we receive the prize (our rewards of heaven). 1 Corinthians 9:24

And I would say Amen to this, if you add that running that race is not possible without the Holy Spirit, and His work of faith in us.

Jon

Would you agree that none of this is possible by our own actions, but that we our cooperation is only possible by His continued grace?

Jon

The problem with all this, even though everything you require is good, is that it leaves out the preaching of the gospel through which the HS works to convince us of our lost estate. If we only have mental ascent to these things, we will not receive. One must first be convicted that he is spiritually bankrupt and all we can do is throw ourselves on the pure mercy of God. That is what we observe in every salvation story in the bible, except for the “rich young ruler” in Mt.19 who just wanted to add Jesus to his spiritual portfolio. He said “what lack I yet?” His heart was not empty. We cannot just “add” Jesus. Ps. 34:18 says"The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." When we are truly broken over our sin is the time one is ready and God can work. I remember my tears when I asked God to forgive and save me. I remember how desperately lost I felt. I remember how God’s love and blessed forgiveness washed over me. You cannot schedule that in the church bulletin. That is why scripture calls for the “foolishness of preaching”. When the heart is then empty, all we need do is ask, and God will move. The Bible says “Ask and thou shalt receive”.
It is man that wants to complicate it. Each time Jesus ministered salvation it was profoundly simple.:wink:

Jon I suppose you are right forgive me, but you are from a more traditional religion base and I believe understand the same as Catholics about baptism. Or do you? I noticed you didn’t mention baptism, unless that’s what you were referring to as you being born again one month and one day after you were born? I’m just used to many non-Catholics on forums such as these who have another viewpoint on what it means to be born again. It’s refreshing to hear someone who believes as we do on baptism? I would also say that running the race is not possible if not for the work of the Holy Spirit moving one to the finish line but also us allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us .:slight_smile:

I think this shows the difference in our beliefs. Both of us believe that we must receive Jesus in our heart yet, one leaves the Church out and one includes the Church. And I’m not talking about a building but people United in Christ… The Church is the body of Christ which we join as one with Jesus Christ at the table of our Lord. And that is just one way we join together in the family of God as one… We sing, we pray, we make offerings to God of ourselves, we minister each other, and on and on… We receive healing through the Church…Well, those who receive the Holy Spirit do not keep it to themselves but really the Holy Spirit is meant for others whom we encounter, and that is how Jesus Christ encounters others, through the faithful…

Why do you think there is no preaching in the CC? We call it the Homily, but it is still preaching a sermon

You are selecting and isolating scriptures to get support for your tradition zz.

Here is what the scriptures are saying.

Acts:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
NOT baptized

Acts:3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted that your sins may be blotted out…
NOT baptised

Acts10:43 To Him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.
The very words of Peter.

Acts13:39 And by Him all that believe are justified from all things…
NOT baptism

Acts17:30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to REPENT…
Not be baptised

1Cor1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel…

Acts 19:4 “Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after…”
John’s message was not baptism but repentance.

2Thes.2:13 “…God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Holy Spirit and belief in the truth”.
NOT baptism

1Pt1:23 “Being born again, …by the word of God…”
NOT baptism

Rm10:10 “For with the heart, man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

From this it is clear that salvation is obtained through heartfelt repentance, verbally expressed as an appeal to God.

It will not work to make the bible say different things. God’s word is consistent or it is not His word.

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