Can someone explain to me the idea of good works to gain salvation over the “protestant” views?



An in depth discussion of faith vs. works-and-faith salvation philosophy is going on here:

Right here on the site.



Here is my take on good works. The church, and the bible if read the way I do, says good works are something we all should be doing. There are many examples in the bible of Jesus taking care of others, not only to teach about loving and sharing, but to understand that we should all aim to be like Christ. Catholics teach it, but all dedicated christians strive to live it to be honest. If you are strong in your faith, then by default you do good works. I had this discussion with my neighbor, who is a baptist minister and asked him if he did “good works” after asked about the problems he had with Catholics. He explained he did not believe that is what would get him to heaven however he did believe in helping others as that is what Christ taught. I told him the exact thing, it is like default, if you belive what the bible teaches, you do good works, whether or not that is what “gets you to heaven”, but because it’s the right thing to do as christians. We all pray to the same God, and if you belive in the teachings of Christ, you do good works reguardless of whether or not you think that is your “ticket to heaven”. That is just my opinion…


Luke 23:41 - some Protestants argue that Jesus gave salvation to the good thief even though the thief did not do any good works. However, the good thief did in fact do a good work, which was rebuking the bad thief when he and others were reviling Jesus. This was a “work” which justified the good thief before Jesus and gained His favor. Moreover, we don’t know if the good thief asked God for forgiveness, did works of penance and charity and was reconciled to God before he was crucifi

ed. bless you all:)


In our view, “works” or “deeds” are a natural development from Faith.

It is not enough to know something, or believe something to be true, it must affect us.

If you love your mother (wife, child, whatever) just saying so is not enough. You had better kiss her with passion. When Mom calls, you come over and change the lightbulb, or light the stove, whatever she needs! Those things are the fruit of your love.

When Mom bakes you a tray of brownies it isn’t because she has to, she wants to bake them, it is the fruit of her love.

Works are like that.

Put another way, psychologists can tell us what we value most, or what priorities we have, by observing what we actually do.

The old exercise for people in school was to make a list of goals, then make a list of what they have done and compare them. If one had a listed goal of finishing college, owning a big house and taking caribean vacations every year but dropped out of school, used recreational drugs, partied a lot and showed up late for work often that person really does not have the goals listed correctly, he would be kidding himself. It’s like they just list the goals they were always told they should have and not their own. By their fruits you will know them.

So it’s not enough to say you love the Lord, you have to live it. If you are not doing that you are not sincere!

For example we are called to see Christ in everyone, that means more than just “believing in my Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ”. That means acting out our faith in every encounter.

Anyone who has been married knows that after the courtship and the wedding there is usually a long period adjustment, and the two lovebirds have to actually live out their love, every day. That’s work. :wink:


[quote=Bryan]Can someone explain to me the idea of good works to gain salvation over the “protestant” views?



Perhaps you just wrote too short a sentence but let me clarify something. We are not saved by our works or by our Faith. We are saved by Gods grace and God alone saves us. We are powerless to save ourselves. God did promise us salvation after Jesus judges us if we have Faith.

Works come out of Faith. Works prove our Faith. Faith without works is dead. Show me your Faith without works I shall show you my Faith by my works. Faith is everything we believe and do as Christians.

“f” aith in Jesus does not save as this is a limited faith. A faith in one thing only. It also contirdicts the Gospel of Jesus. If this were true then Mormons and JW’s believe in Jesus as do Jews and Muselms etc…

Faith cannot exist without works (or a desire to do good deeds). Works can exist without Faith.


Work out your salvation with trembling and fear.Phillipians 2:12


I think when we say that good works are necessary for salvation, we mean something different than what most Protestants think we mean.

Many Protestants actually believe that Catholics think they need to perform a certain number of good works to fulfill God’s standards and enter heaven.

That’s not true.

To go ot heaven, all one has to do is die in the state of grace. How to accomplish this cannot be encapsulated in a catchy formula like “Faith Alone.”

First, you have to have sanctifying grace, which God, through no merit on our own part, imparts to us through baptism.

Now, we need to perservere in this grace until death. Our capacity to receive grace is strengthed by Confirmation, and also through the Eucharist. Confirmation completes baptism, and the Eucharist nourishes us.

But good works done by the Christian in the state of grace really do please God, and he rewards these with even more grace. (By “good works” is meant any pious act, like a prayer, pilgrimage, reading the Bible, performing an act of charity, etc.)

The more we have lived the life of grace, the less likely we are to fall into mortal sin, which kills sanctifying grace.

Should we fall into mortal sin, sanctifying grace is restored by the Sacrament of Penance.

So you see, good works are a normative necessity to salvation. In fact, there’s a place in Scripture where even “Faith” is called a “work.”

There are many things which are virtually indespinsible to salvation, but which there is no quota to fulfill in order to be saved.

For example, prayer and Bible-reading. Ask a Protestant if either of these are necessary for salvation.Certainly prayer is necessary, but is there a certain number of prayers one must do to be saved? Of course not! Really you can never do too many prayers or good-works. But you need to do whatever is good so that you stay more firmly rooted in the Rock of Grace, lest the tides of mortal sin sweep you away.

Does this manke any sense?


I once got into a discussion with some “older” women in a bible study. They were saying that what we do and say doesn’t affect others. But it does. And I know that from first hand experience. If someone doesn’t find love among christians, how is that person going to believe that the God preached there loves them? If a person is constantly put down, how are they to learn to value themselves?

What we do *matters! *We can’t say one thing, then do another. It just doesn’t work. We can’t fool God. He sees our hearts. And He can see if we really mean it when we say we follow His commandments. Of course, sometimes people do as well. Just like a pro-life person can’t go out and get an abortion and still call themselves pro-life, we can’t call ourselves christian then act otherwise.


[quote=Christy Beth] Just like a pro-life person can’t go out and get an abortion and still call themselves pro-life, we can’t call ourselves christian then act otherwise.


*“for even as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” *(James 2:26)


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