"Works" Salvation?


#1

Excerpt from 1345 in the CCC:

“Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so **that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.” **

As a Catholic growing up, it was this kind of language that really made me believe that I have to earn salvation and favor with God. Do you not agree that this type of teaching fosters a “works” salvation (works being the means of our salvation?? Truly, the commandments were not given that we might obtain salvation through them but that the knowledge of sin would come by them. That is the first and foremost purpose of the law/commandments. Otherwise, I as a Christian, now love His law and live by it - out of love for Him and to please Him…not as a means of salvation.

Romans 3:20 KJV 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Looking for comments.


#2

My comment is, why are some Protestants so obsessed with what they see as “works salvation”? What difference does it make? Does having the wrong idea in one’s head cancel God’s saving grace?


#3

Well…in light is the scripture reference, you cannot be justified with this attitude.

Luke 18:10-13 KJV 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

The obsession has to do with the answer of a Catholic to - “Do you have eternal life?”…When they boast of their keeping commandments and their good deeds…the gospel must be given.


#4

So Catholics are Pharisees? Catholics thank God that they are not sinners as other men are? Do you have any clue what rubbish that is? Have you ever been to a Catholic Mass where we we all confess that we are sinners, and call out “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy”?

Now answer my question, please. Does having a wrong theological idea in one’s mind cancel God’s saving grace? If so, is it not you who are preaching works salvation, with the works being a correct intellectual understanding of the mechanics of salvation?


#5

I think you are misreading the catechism. See

.

PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS FOR USING THIS CATECHISM

18 This catechism is conceived as an organic presentation of the Catholic faith in its entirety. It should be seen therefore as a unified whole. Numerous cross-references in the margin of the text (numbers found at the end of a sentence referring to other paragraphs that deal with the same theme), as well as the analytical index at the end of the volume, allow the reader to view each theme in its relationship with the entirety of the faith.

You shouldn’t pull a quote out of context and use it to blast the whole church, when 1345 doesn’t even pertain to works versus faith.

You should look in the appropriate place for concepts:

1996 Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.

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.

But there’s too much to place in one post. Those who taught you Catholicism, if they taught works-righteousness instead of the prevenient grace of God, have much to answer for.

You need to get out of the habit of yanking sentences out of context to prove some point. Catholics believe in works, but these are only works that God empowers them to do, by an act of His grace.

You are glorified in the assembly of your Holy Ones, for in crowning their merits you are crowning your own gifts. 59

2006 The term “merit” refers in general to the recompense owed by a community or a society for the action of one of its members, experienced either as beneficial or harmful, deserving reward or punishment. Merit is relative to the virtue of justice, in conformity with the principle of equality which governs it.
2007 With regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man. Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality, for we have received everything from him, our Creator.

Do not accuse the Catholic Church of teaching something it does not teach. What individual teachers teach in individual Catholic churches often is radically different from Catholic teaching. For example, I had a heretical RCIA teacher who denied the Trinity - which is why I walked out of RCIA.

You are setting up a straw man attack on the Catholic Church.


#6

I am merely speaking of the attitude…I did not say that Catholics go around doing what that Pharisee did. The boastful attitude is what I speak of…the attitude that is contrary to the humility in the beginning of the Beatitudes.

Out of context? Maybe so…but we certainly see mixed messages…and I as well as the other Catholic folk that I talk to witness to the overall teaching that seems to indicate a works-based salvation. That is all I have…I do not want to drag this out.


#7

What could be more boastful than to claim that one is saved no matter what one does?

But please, answer my question. Does having a wrong theological idea in one’s mind cancel God’s saving grace? If so, is it not you who are preaching works salvation, with the works being a correct intellectual understanding of the mechanics of salvation?


#8

I always love the OSAS argument. I could be an abortionist, but if I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior, I can go on killing babies because I’m saved no matter what I do.

Don’t hold your breath for an answer Mike. He’s not really looking to discuss anything. He’ll ignore you and then start making other accusations against the Church.

He’ll always be on the offensive. He’ll never defend his position because he hasn’t thought them through. He just says what he’s told to say by Pastor Billy Bob.


#9

As quoted the catechism is perfectly consistent with scripture. Try reading the catechism in light of the following scriptures:

Romans 2:6-7
For he will render to every man according to his works:
to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;

Colossians 1:21-23
And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you are serving the Lord Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:8-12
…inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I could go on and on providing scipture along these lines that make it appear, if misunderstood, that we simply earn our salvation. The problem is in mistakenly isolating scriptural passages as well as isolating passages from the catechism. Each has their totality and both make it clear that we are saved by grace through the merits of Jesus Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection, by faith and works, but not by faith alone.


#10

I’ll ask you to read www.soladeiverbum.com/gracealone.shtml if you haven’t already; it gives the Churches official teaching on this matter very clearly with extensive Scriptural support.


#11

There is no mixed message…only those outside the church who take things out of context in order to make a deceptive case against the Catholic faith.

This is the same thing that happens with a great many n-Cs/a-Cs who take passages of scripture out of context in order to make a case for their errant doctrines and against those things taught by the Christian church for 2,000 years in order to make their errors over the last 500 years appear less wrong.

So long as passages of the CCC or the Word of God are taken out of all context in order to make statements like this OP does then there will always be people alleging mixed messages and such.

In the context of the rest of the CCC and Catholic teaching…there is no confusion…no controversy…no “mixed messages”. Just like the New Testament teaches, works have a place in our salvation, but Catholics who know their faith and are not deceived by people waving Bibles are not at all confused about this because they believe and practice the New Testament Christian faith.


#12

Yet in respect to salvation RCism does believe and teach those works are meritorious in respect to gaining one’s salvation. And for this reason, contrary to the Gospel message presented by Christ and the Apostles, a RC is never assured of salvation during this life time.

However, according to Apostolic teaching (especially Pauline), the works required for salvation (reconciliation, redemption, propitiation) were accomplished entirely by Another, the Man Christ Jesus, through His substitutionary sin-sacrifice on the cross (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:11; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; Rom. 3:24; 1 Cor. 1:30; Rom. 8:25; Heb. 2:17; 1 Jn. 2:2; 4:10). And that finished work is appropriated by God, in full, to the believer at the time of personal belief in Christ (Jn. 3:14-18; 5:24).

(1) In respect to salvation the teaching of RCism is notoriously inconsistent: what it builds up it tears down; what it gives it takes away again. (2) In respect to divine salvation one is not allowed to commingle grace and works:

Rom. 11:6 “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”


#13

As opposed to the common Protestant phenomenon of “getting saved” again and again because of doubts that it really took.

But at least this man is assured of salvation:

amazon.com/Losing-Faith-Preacher-Atheist/dp/1877733075


#14

The Catholic Chuch, from the very beginning of Christianity has been professing the very biblical teaching -

James **2:**26 For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

You can say that faith alone is what saves. It is not. God’s Grace alone saves. As far as faith alone, the two words appear together only one time in the bible -

**James 2:**24 See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

If you profess to be a bible believing person, then you must live by this standard.
Faith and works act in combination. Neither is exclusive. This is what the Catholic Church teaches, it is biblical, and I don’t think that you could find a Catholic of any real understanding of the faith to agree with the faith alone doctrine.

If you were once a Catholic and are now of another faith, it is because you were duped.

Neither faith alone nor works alone are taught in the bible.

Subrosa


#15

in respect to gaining one’s salvation. And for this reason, contrary to the Gospel message presented by Christ and the Apostles, a RC is never assured of salvation during this life time.

(1) In respect to salvation the teaching of RCism is notoriously inconsistent: what it builds up it tears down; what it gives it takes away again. (2) In respect to divine salvation one is not allowed to commingle grace and works:

Rom. 11:6 "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."This is all some man’s theology based upon cherry picked passages from the Bible. Notice that you never see any of these preachers speak on Matthew 25:31-46, where Our Lord very plainly tells the people that they will be judged based upon what they have and have not done during their lives and not merely on some profession of faith that was made at some point in their life. In fact… Christ repudiates that Christianity Lite that asserts that our works are without merit in this same passage saying that He may well say to them that He never knew them.

The only inconsistency is in the teachings of the myriad n-C churches that offer a soft and easy Christianity that removes the responsibility for obedience unto good works from their gospels. I call that a different gospel if ever there was one.

The Catholic Church has not, never has, and will not ever teach a salvation by works, and those who even hint that we do are enjoying beating up a strawman that has no substance in fact.


#16

[Linkowski;1989117]Excerpt from 1345 in the CCC:

“Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so **that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.” **

As a Catholic growing up, it was this kind of language that really made me believe that I have to earn salvation and favor with God. Do you not agree that this type of teaching fosters a “works” salvation (works being the means of our salvation?? Truly, the commandments were not given that we might obtain salvation through them but that the knowledge of sin would come by them. That is the first and foremost purpose of the law/commandments. Otherwise, I as a Christian, now love His law and live by it - out of love for Him and to please Him…not as a means of salvation.

Romans 3:20 KJV 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Looking for comments.

That quote from the Catechism is right one and in no way “works” salvation. Works salvation is seeking God through your personal good works like those in Matthew 25:41-46 where the condemned because what they “did” was either for their own glory or they didn’t obey the moral law of Christ. Works salvation is a heresy called pelagianism or semi-pelagianism that the Catholic Church condemned in the 6th century. Calling Catholicisms theology “works salvation” is nothing new. The Church dealt with that heresy back in 529 AD at the council of Orange…
CANON 18. That grace is not preceded by merit. Recompense is due to good works if they are performed; but grace, to which we have no claim, precedes them, to enable them to be done.
CANON 19. That a man can be saved only when God shows mercy. Human nature, even though it remained in that sound state in which it was created, could be no means save itself, without the assistance of the Creator; hence since man cannot safe- guard his salvation without the grace of God, which is a gift, how will he be able to restore what he has lost without the grace of God?
CANON 20. That a man can do no good without God. God does much that is good in a man that the man does not do; **but a man does nothing good for which God is not responsible, so as to let him do it. **

Furthermore, Jesus said if you don’t “obey” the commadments (Mt 19:16-19) by faith then you will not receive eternal life. Paul speaks of the “obedience of faith” in Romans 1:5 and 16:26 as sort of book end statements; both are coupled together and BOTH are needed for salvation. Works also are needed as Mt 25:34-40, James 2:17,2:4, Phil 2:12,Gal 5:6, and many other verses tell us.


#17

You have been corrected numerous times on your misunderstandings of Catholic teaching yet you persist on misrepresenting scripture and Catholic teaching on the subject of salvation. Commingling grace and works? Please go back to the threads we’ve shared and read everything that myself and others presented to you concerning grace in the life of the Christian. Even faith is a work and believing is something we do. Faith is also a gift by way of grace. Scripture attests to these two dimensions of fatih and in our past exchanges you were given all of the scriptures that confirm these truths.

Just go back and read Ephesians 2:8-10 and get a real good grip on verse 10. Once you’ve done that you’ll get it.


#18

[apophasis;1989719]Yet in respect to salvation RCism does believe and teach those works are meritorious in respect to gaining one’s salvation. And for this reason, contrary to the Gospel message presented by Christ and the Apostles, a RC is never assured of salvation during this life time.

The word “merit” in Catholic theology comes from the Latin word meritum which means “reward” NOT strict earning, only Jesus Christ can earn any good in the strict sense. We earn merit (reward) more grace as we cooperate with God’s grace, 1 Cor 3:9, 2 Cor 6:1, Romans 8:28 so you are using the word “merit” as a strict earning definition which ONLY applies to Christ Jesus.
Also, that one is saved in a punctiliar only fashion, then absolutey assured of salvation is anti-thetical to Scripture Matthew 10:22" if you endure to the end to be saved"
Notice is says “if” which is a conditional statement.
Matthew 7:21 "not everyone who says Lord Lord will be saved but those who do the will of the Father.
1 Cor 10:12 "Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall"
1 Cor 11:27 Paul says…“I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified”

However, according to Apostolic teaching (especially Pauline), the works required for salvation (reconciliation, redemption, propitiation) were accomplished entirely by Another, the Man Christ Jesus, through His substitutionary sin-sacrifice on the cross (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:11; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; Rom. 3:24; 1 Cor. 1:30; Rom. 8:25; Heb. 2:17; 1 Jn. 2:2; 4:10). And that finished work is appropriated by God, in full, to the believer at the time of personal belief in Christ (Jn. 3:14-18; 5:24).

Monergyism isn’t Scriptural, cooperating with God’s grace is.
"The Bible is a synergist book because in the most literal sense possible it uses synergistic language. One cannot denounce the language of synergism without denouncing the language of the Bible. For example, in Mark 16:20 we read: “And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with [sunergountos] them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.” Here we havea declaration that God worked with the apostles in their ministry of preaching. This of itself shows that the language of men cooperating with God cannot be considered unbiblical. (The Salvation Controversy, Jimmy Akin page 90)


#19

Right that’s why I knew people in my former Baptist Church who would get baptised twice by the same preacher (some three times) because they just didn’t “think” they believed the first time.
What many Protestants will say about those who “fall away” is that this person never believed to begin with. Yet this is unreasonble, for how does one know that person actually believed or not? The “fruits” of that person could have been good thus showing his faith, until that person freely “chose” by his own volition to turn his/her back on God. I remember listening to a song years ago called Once a true believer by Michael W. Smith (the Protestant singer and writer). The words went like this…

Michael w. smith

"Once a true believer
Once there was a fire in your soul
You were the epitome of blessed faith astir
With thirst for holiness
And hunger for the word
Now you move in other circles
To the beat of different drums
And I see only glimpses of the one you used to be
The inspiration that you were to me
Chorus:
I miss the way his love would dance within your eyes
I miss the way his heart was the soul of your life
And somewhere in the saddest part of heavens room
Our father sheds a tear for you
Hes missing you, too

Some are calling you a prodigal
Some arent calling you at all
But far away someone is calling you back home"

So what if that “missing person” doesn’t find his/her way back home? Does that mean they didn’t believe in the first place?
I don’t think so and if we judge a persons heart without knowing it, then we are putting ourselves in the place of God.


#20

**
You left out Romans 3:29-31**

29.- Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentile also? Yes, of the Gentile also, since God is one; and he justify the circumcised on the ground of their faith and the uncircumcised through their faith. Do we then overthrow the the law? By no means! On the** contrary**, we uphold the law.

The Catholic Church affirms that God’s grace saves you. How do we show this? Through our faith in Jesus demonstrated by our deeds. This is show in Abraham. He has faith and he demostrated his faith in God by offering his son as a sacrifice. It is not faith OR works. It is both. Faith without works is dead, likewise works without faith is also dead.

**How does this work? It is because through the love of God, that received the grace by with Jesus has given us. For we must love God first with all our heart, mind, body, and soul. God demands actions.

Second, during the Second Coming, Jesus in his glorified form will judge you by deed. “When I was hungry, you feed me, when I was thirsty, you offer me drink…when you did it to the least of my brethrens you did it to me.”

We are not judge by faith. Do you assumed by faith alone, you’ll be exemptt from God’s Judgement? **


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