Skip to comments.Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Catholic Response to "Are You Saved?"
Posted on 02/06/2010 8:21:23 PM PST by Salvation
This website surveys the origin and development of Roman Catholic Christianity from the period of the apostolic church, through the post-apostolic church and into the conciliar movement. Principal attention is paid to the biblical basis of both doctrine and dogma as well as the role of paradosis (i.e. handing on the truth) in the history of the Church. Particular attention is also paid to the hierarchical founding and succession of leadership throughout the centuries.
This is a set of lecture notes used since 1985 to teach the basis for key doctrines and dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. The objectives of the course were, and are:
The course grew out of the need for the authors to continually answer questions about their faith tradition and their work. (Both authors are active members of Catholic parish communities in the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Robert Schihl was a Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Communication and the Arts at Regent University. Paul Flanagan is a consultant specializing in preparing people for technology based changes.) At the time these notes were first prepared, the authors were spending time in their faith community answering questions about their Protestant Evangelical workplaces (Mr. Flanagan was then a senior executive at the Christian Broadcasting Network), and time in their workplaces answering similar questions about their Roman Catholic faith community. These notes are the result of more than a decade of facilitating dialogue among those who wish to learn more about what the Roman Catholic Church teaches and why.
The Catholic Response to "Are You Saved?"
The Catholic Christian answers this question in three stages or levels corresponding to the three meanings the words "saved" and "salvation" have in the Bible. (These meanings are found in the previous section, "Salvation: A Biblical Portrait." )
Catholic Christians can respond that they have been saved. This acknowledges the first meaning of "saved" and "salvation" in scripture--Jesus Christ, Savior, by whose act of salvation we are objectively saved--He died, rose from the dead, saved them from sin.
Catholic Christians can also respond that they are being saved. This acknowledges the second meaning "saved" and "salvation" have in scripture--the present experience, God's power delivering constantly from the bondage of sin.
Catholic Christians also respond that they will be saved, that they have hope and confidence that God will give them the grace of perseverance; that they will respond to it; and accept his gift of salvation until their death. This acknowledges the third meaning the words "saved" and "salvation" have in scripture--the future deliverance of believers at the Second Coming of Christ.
Sorry, wrong. School’s not till Monday.
Meanwhile, in James:
14 What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him?
15 And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food:
16 And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit?
17 So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself.
18 But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith.
19 Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou, that faith did co-operate with his works; and by works faith was made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God.
24 Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only?
25 And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving the messengers, and sending them out another way?
26 For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead.
The passage you quote from Ephesians says something other than what you proclaim: it is by the grace of God that we are saved, through faith in Christ: not by works of our own. Yet what of works that strengthen our faith, works that are done in the name of keeping the Commandments of our Lord and Savior? What would you characterize those as?
I submit that the works I mention are not those that we may boast of, as if it was because of us that they have merit: only by the grace of God do such works exhibit and deepen our faith in Christ.
After all, if we are to profess faith in the Lord, we must have faith in His teachings. To do so, we must do works that are good by the grace of God (spreading the Gospel, caring for the poor and downtrodden, loving thy neighbor, and so on), not good by the standard of men.
Only an unsaved person can “deny the Holy Ghost”. The Holy Ghost is what gives conviction of sin. An unsaved person will face this conviction at some point in their lives.
A saved person can “grieve” or “quench” the Holy Ghost by doing something that is sin or not responding to the Holy Ghost’s conviction for service, but they cannot lose the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. Many Christians are led astray through false teachers because of a lack of discernment through grieving or quenching the Holy Ghost, which is truly sad.
Wow, I guess the bible is obsolete in your life now. It sounds like you don't need it anymore. Cool beans.
Who then saves them despite the sin or the "not responding"?
What scripture do you have in support? I get the indwelling part, I am asking about the "saved person" part. Does he stay saved?
I think you may be unintentionally separating the “indwelling” from being “saved”. Christ said that he would send the Holy Ghost (Comforter) to believers after his death and resurrection. Our good works or rituals have nothing to do with it. It is 100% by faith alone, since our works our “filthy rags” to God.
This page should answer your questions more fully. (With corresponding verses)
Sorry, meant to add this link in the last post...
I am so thankful and comforted in knowing the Catholic Church is indeed led by the Holy Spirit thru imperfect men & the Teaching of Salvation clear & plain for all who open their hearts to His Word. Peace :)
“His sacrifice suffices for all our sins (past, present and future) if we have accepted him as our saviour”
So, if you committed a pre-meditated murder of an innocent person, and a bystander shot and killed you so that you died unrepentant, you’d go straight to Heaven, no sweat.
Is that what you believe?
This a a link to a great site and DVD about the common ground between Catholics and Protestants. And the differences. I want to order the DVD. I saw the program on TBN at midnight on Thursday.
Wait. So you’re saying that “No, but I AM fully invested,” is NOT the correct answer?
Some simple things take many words to explain. The fault is not in the thing but in words.
No doubt to protect them form the winter of error and misbelief.
And your point?
What a glorious, all sufficient salvation we have in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ!
I like to respond, “Would you like to buy some Cub Scout popcorn?”
“Why do you ask?” is always a useful response, too ... for just about any question!
God wants us to be nothing less than "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pt. 1:4). But how can we do this? For us, the divine life does not "come naturally." We have a human nature, and human things come naturally to us. We eat, sleep, gather together, and mate without having to take extensive lessons beforehand. But the abundant life, perfect happiness -- life in the Family of the Trinity, is not merely beyond our power; it is inconceivable to us."
So, we must be baptized and strive daily to live the life that God lives here on earth -- even though we be sinners, so that we can live the life God lives in heaven.
25 Jesus answered them: I speak to you, and you believe not: the works that I do in the name of my Father, they give testimony of me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me. 28 And I give them life everlasting; and they shall not perish for ever, and no man shall pluck them out of my hand. 29 That which my Father hath given me, is greater than all: and no one can snatch them out of the hand of my Father. 30 I and the Father are one.
So we have those who are His sheep and those who are not. Those who are follow His voice. To follow is to work. End of story, really. You guys took a simple gospel and made it into a get out of jail free card.
I asked you a specific question: if one is not responding to the Holy Ghost that dwells in him, will he be saved?
What you gave as answer is some generic Protestant feel-good fluff. No scripture that your link cites supports what they teach out of their own mouths. For example, your link posits the question "Can a saved person ever again be lost?". Read their "answer". First, they give a categorical "of course not!". Then they explain that "The very nature of the spiritual life that has been receivedeternaland the Divine Source and Agent of that lifeGodforbid drawing the conclusion that a saved person can ever again be lost." Well, that is their philosophical opinion. I have an opinion too, that eternal life can be spent in hell as well as in heaven. So that is not an answer. Then they quote from John 10, incompletely. Who does and who does not receive the eternal life in the sense that God holds them securely, they don't explain. This would be a good time for them to also explain how we have the process of judgment, based on works, described in such detail in Matthew 25, but they don't. Instead, the rest of that silly paragraph is devoted to the question no one is asking, how to call that doctrine.
Not good enough.
Notice the clear language, "NOT as your fathers did eat." How did their fathers eat? By putting the manna in their mouth and chewing. That is not how we "eat" the Bread from Heaven. We "eat" this bread by believing.
Keep in mind that He had already taught at some length that He that believed on Him would be saved. He has already taught that the man that is taught by the Father comes to him and are saved. So to interpret this as other than a metaphor of being saved by His soon to be broken body and his shed blood, is just terribly twisted.
I notice the language. The difference between the Eucharist and the manna is explained right there: manna sustains for a while and then you die. The Eucharist gives eternal life. The Jewish fathers did not receive theeucharist and died. Christians receive the Eucharist and they live. Big difference.
If Jesus meant to say that we eat the Eucharist metaphorically, as you claim, "by believing", why did He not say so? Instead, amidst that exhortation to faith He insisted that the Eucharist is His body and it is "food indeed".
The rest of your post is building up the false dichotomy of physical versus spiritual. That, too, is the result of not reading the Scripture. Christ said in the same discourse two things: the Eucharist is "food indeed" and at the same time "flesh profiteth nothing" from it. That is the very definition of a sacrament: a physical act that profits the spirit.
A heretic is one who knows the doctrines of the Church and prefers his own. I cannot test you on how deep your understanding of Catholicism is (most Protestants I speak to on FR haven't a clue), but the doctrine you seem to like is not scriptural. That is not a good thing.
mark for later
I've never seen it put exactly that way. That is an extremely helpful explanation.
Purgatory is a Vatican invention. It does not exist. People don’t have two chances at salvation.
Small wonder it's right in the gospel then.
Please tell us, what's "purgatory"?
Read the end of Mark. Jesus said, “Whoever believes and is baptised is saved. Whoever believes not is damned.” http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mark%2016&version=KJV
He didn’t say whoever isnt baptised is damned. This shouldn’t be an exercise in trying to prove the other person is wrong.
To “follow His voice” is to follow the unction from the Holy Ghost. Works has nothing to do with it. The Holy Ghost instructs and gives us the thoughts and direction to stay on the path of righteousness. We obviously can rebel against Him and choose to sin, no doubt. But it’s not like one catholic at work told me once, “I can do what I want to do (sin) as long as I go to Mass.” He is completely wrong and willful sin is egregious in the sight of the Lord.
Not trying to be blunt, but your attitude “not good enough” is not someone who has an open mind about these things. Unfortunately, this is the standard attitude of literally dozens of catholic I have encountered in my years. And that is that they are 100% correct, and everyone else is 100% wrong. The Pharisees had this attitude toward Christ Himself. Good luck in your studies.
Right, He didn't. That is the Catholic teaching: the judgment is by our works, and the sacraments strengthen us to do them.
To follow His voice is to follow the unction from the Holy Ghost. Works has nothing to do with it
You mean the unction one receives at the Confirmation? Yes, in a way.
I disagree that "works has nothing to do with it". To follow means to do certain works and not do other works.
one catholic at work told me once, I can do what I want to do (sin) as long as I go to Mass.
No, if that is how he indeed put it, he was not helpful to you. Eternal security of salvation does come from receiving the Eucharist at Mass, but one must receive it, as the Bible teaches, "worthily", which is a tall order. But the question was, where does the Protestant concept of security of salvation come from. I can explain the correct doctrine any time, but wouldn't you want to defend what you believe?
There are many things Catholics agree with the Protestants about. After all, Protestantism emerged from Catholicism and retained certain truths. Further, the Protestants often know and defend their faith better than the Catholics, and we Catholics should learn from them that kind of attitude. "Be always ready to explain the hope that is in you", St. Peter said. But when a doctrine is wrong, it is wrong. We are not saved by faith alone; we are not saved till we are dead and justified. What you teach is the sin of presumption, in this case, presumption of salvation, especially destructive if "faith alone" is taught right next to it. We can probably agree on very many things, but on this one I am 100% correct and you are not. I understand that it is not pleasant to hear, but then it is a discussion forum and presumably you came here to discuss something.
Purgatory is an invention by the Vatican. Ask them.
I ask you because your #73 betrayed ingorance of what purgatory is.
When I don’t understand something I try not to post opinions about it.
You say that as a true Catholic! Let the Vatican interpret!
As I stated earlier, good luck in your studies.
This statement is in one of the Gospels? Could you give a citation, please?
The formal definition of a sacrament is "outward sign of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification" (Catholic Encyclopedia: Sacraments)
Yes, the Creeds came about because of many heresies. They are very specific, especially the Nicene Creed.
Won’t you be happy when we can once again say, “Credo” — “I believe”?
Sure, here it is:
III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY
1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.604 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:605
- As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.606
1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."607 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.608 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:
- Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.609
604 Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1304; Council of Trent (1563): DS 1820; (1547): 1580; see also Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000.
605 Cf. 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7.
606 St. Gregory the Great, Dial. 4, 39: PL 77, 396; cf. Mt 12:31.
607 2 Macc 12:46.
608 Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 856.
609 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Cor. 41, 5: PG 61, 361; cf. Job 1:5.
And think of all the saints who fasted and were only sustained with the Holy Eucharist! The stories are amazing.
Only those souls who are completely pure will enter the realm of heaven.
Otherwise, souls will have a purifying period for their smaller/venial sins, yet know they are bound for heaven.
Otherwise at the moment of their death, they will know they are cast into hell.
Pure — heaven
Slightly impure — Purgatory to redeem those impurities
Stained with grievous sin — hell.
Won’t you be surprised when you find out there is a Purgatory?
It’s in the Scriptures even though you won’t see the word, Purgatory.
Of course, one does not see the word Trinity either. Yet we believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
IMHO, Christianity doesn’t make living the saved life hard, rather our scarred thinking processes, consequential of sin in our life, tempts us to make our life difficult if we fail to remain in fellowship with Him.
I expect to spend quite some time in Purgatory. If I’m lucky. :)
In 1 Cor 13, St. Paul says, “Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you...” That’s a big IF and it makes clear that St. Paul felt you could lose your salvation if you did not LIVE the word of God.
It may be easier for some to do than others. Not everything tempts the same people to the same degree, and not everyone has habitual sins as much as the next person.
But being both sinner and saint every day, having to fight off our old nature every day (Paul) and putting on the armor every day, still sinning and not even being aware, it is so easy and natural to do,
it is difficult to live a Christian life. The comfort we take in that we know we are forgiven when we genuinely are sorry and ask makes us unafraid to continue on, or feel we’ve hopelessly lost salvation.
Repentance is returning our face to Him, not feeling sorry.
He is the object of our faith.
He’s known every sin we would ever commit, so we don;t fool Him by being sorry and really meaning it, but rather our sin is simply missing the object He provides for us to aim at when we think and act. When we repent, we are returning to Him in our thinking, through faith in what Christ performed on the Cross.
At least we will know we are bound for heaven. But the wait will be horrendous in my opinion.
Amen to that! We need to live it each and every day to the best of our ability.
Like your tagline. Too many of us end up in that “stress” category.
You can help me wash dishes.
If you only went to Spanish liturgy, you would say “Creo”! Except maybe in Spain; the “Misa Flamenca” uses “Creemos,” “we believe,” and it’s an approved variant.