Fritz6976. K’s response to you was pretty typical.
There were so many errors from K, I wasn’t sure where to start.
Here are a few suggestions (but I might ask them more “diplomatically” than I am putting forth here. I am laying this out so explicitly as there may be “lurkers” here reading this that need a more “undiplomatic” explanation. If you use these arguments in your follow up letter to K, I’d probably tone the rhetoric down slightly (but not too much):
K. Do you HAVE to have “faith” to be saved? Why isn’t faith “adding to the work of Christ?”
Can Christ “work” IN YOU and THROUGH you? If He does isn’t that “grace”.
Do you believe that works can be sown in the flesh. Do you believe that there are other “works” not sown of the flesh that can come from Christ?
St. Paul seems to see the difference between works done on your own (in the flesh) and works done in grace.
GALATIANS 6:7-8 7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Do you believe K, that he who sows to the Spirit, will from the Spirit reap eternal life? Or is this merely a “signpost” for others to see?
Is it “optional”?
K No Christian ever really says that the works we perform are more important the grace of Christ.
Can’t they go hand in hand? Why divorce grace from works?
And if “works” are so unnecessary, WHY bother “accepting Jesus into your heart as “personal Lord and Savior”?
And why K, did you say in your original letter to me that . . . .
K - Now, at Shepherd we would definitely say that a huge component to our faith in God is that we are obeying what He commands us to do.
WHY bother with “works” being a “huge component to our faith”. (If faith is necessary, is it “biblical” to divorce faith from “works”? If it is "Biblical, why does St. Paul talk of the OBEDIENCE of faith in Romans 1:5 and Romans 16:26?)
K. You also said:
K - For them (the Catholics), salvation is about more than the grace of Christ. Included in grace for salvation is church attendance, consuming the host, confessing sins to a priest, prayer, and others. Without these works, a Christian will be hard-pressed to find salvation.
Regarding “Church attendance” if we fail to meet together “as is the habit of some” does the Sacrifice of Christ remain for me?
HEBREWS 10:23-27 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For** if we sin deliberately** after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.
You pointed out about Catholics “consuming the host”.
But what if Catholics say, “Consuming the Host” IS a grace? Does that do away with grace too?
K - The Council of Trent existed as a reaction to the growing Protestant Reformation, which accused the Catholic Church of among other things teaching a works-dependent salvation. That’s why the Protestant Movement went the opposite direction and started preaching the doctrine of sola gratia, salvation only by grace.
If this is true, why do the Eastern Orthodox religions also teach the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Why do THEY have Confession to a Priest. Why do THEY (at least) claim Apostolic authority? The Eastern Orthodoxies are not “Papists”.
When did they invent these teachings?
K - Now, my misquotation of Ephesians 2:8. You’re nitpicking me . . .
No. I called you on your faith ALONE invention.
K - But having read Ephesians 2:9-10, I must disagree with your view of what Paul is saying there.
Even pretending you are correct K, don’t you need “repentance” to get to Heaven? (if you need repentance, then it isn’t“faith ALONE” is it?) How about “hope”? Don’t you need to have a hope to get to “Heaven”.
If the answer is “yes”, why hold to a doctrine of “justification by faith ALONE?”
If the answer is “no” why would St. Paul tell us in “hope” we are saved? Why would St. Peter on Pentecost tell people to “repent!”?
ROMANS 8:24 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
K - Now, you could counter by going to James and say that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17).
I don’t need to go to James here. We can see from using only St. Paul’s writings, that we are not justified by faith ALONE K.
Why say something St. Paul never says?
WHY would St. Paul say (in 1st Corinthians 13): Of faith, hope, and love (charity), the greatest of these is “love”?
If St. Paul affirmed justification by faith ALONE, he should have said: Of faith, hope, and love (charity), **the greatest of these is “faith” **because that’s ALL you need to be saved!
But St. Paul doesn’t say that. Why not K?