Skip to comments.Catholic Biblical Apologetics; The Knowledge of Salvation
Posted on 02/07/2010 4:34:55 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 Knowledge of Salvation
Some Evangelical Protestant and Pentecostal Christians believe that an individual Christian can have a certain unmistakable knowledge, an assurance from God, that one is saved.
Roman Catholic Christians believe that a Christian can have a firm hope and confidence of salvation, but that no one can know of one's final salvation with absolute certainly. This fact is amply affirmed in the New Testament.
Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Foundation: Apologetics Without Apology
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Foundation: An Incomplete Picture
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Foundation: Dearly Beloved Catholic Brothers and Sisters
Being Catholic and Christian: Faith and Salvation
Catholic Biblical Apologetics:Being Catholic & Christian:Faith and Salvation-Authoriative
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Being Catholic & Christian: Apostolic Confessions of Faith
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Post-Apostolic Confessions of Faith
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Salvation: A Biblical Portrait
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Salvation: "Being Saved"
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Catholic Response to "Are You Saved?"
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Knowledge of Salvation
The idea that we can absolutely be sure of being saved - to the point where we can casually say ‘once saved always saved’ - with no work on our part to live a life according to the Will of God just strikes me as belittling Christ’s Sacrifice.
The Holy Spirit works continually through the elect to work God’s Will in the lives of the saved. The idea of a “carnal Christian” is nonsensical and unBiblical. At the same time those who are saved are eternally saved or else it DOES belittle Christ’s sacrifice (”Those God has given Me I will in no wise cast out.”) If we can lose or work our way to Heaven - what need of Christ? Justified ONCE, sanctified continually.
We have to do our part too.
Not everyone who hears the Word of God produces/is saved.
MATTHEW 13:18-23 18Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
That passage, if you look at the context, is not talking about believers. Believers cannot lose their salvation (wouldn’t be worth much if you could earn or lose it, would it?) It’s by grace we are saved. Period. Yes, there are people who hear and know, but reject the Gospel. They were never “believers.”
Very true. The only believer in that parable is the one where the seed is accepted and understood and it produces fruit.
What I find interesting is that parable shows that the fruit or works from the seed come AFTER accepting the seed. Those with a works based idea of salvation, seem to think they can do some kind of works to produce the seed or earn the seed. Nothing like that is in that parable.
The parable also goes hand in hand with the book of John which talks about Jesus as the Word. (The seed in the parable is the Word or Jesus.)
You are right on the mark. And your point is excellent. It’s a tough parable, to be sure - and can strike fear in the hearts of the saved if they misinterpret it. Thanks be to God there is nothing we can do to earn - and thereby to lose - our salvation!! His love knows no bounds and I am awed by His goodness to me. Thanks for the post.
Where did you come up with the rejecting God line?
Our own spiritual growth (Thanks be to Jesus Christ) is the constant work I do day after day. Praying, reading Holy Scripture, almsgiving, going to daily Mass, serving the homeless, bringing food for the hungry, comforting those who are mourning, giving of my time by answering the phone at church before Thanksgiving and before Christmas, tithing, etc. etc.
It is only because I have a deep-rooted faith in Jesus Christ that I can do these things. The faith always has to come first — and then these things are possible.
So sad that you find ministering to others as rejecting God.
“Love God” “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Just what Christ talked about in the Beatitudes in my way of thinking.
John 3, is followed by john 14-12,12. “Otherwise believe for the very works’ sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do”
luke: And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26. He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27. And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28. And he said to him: Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
17. And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18. And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
what about the Christians at corinth, that paul writes to that have left the faith? at one time they believed. as He said, “no one can take them our of my hand”, but that does not cover them leaving Him on their own accord.
and, whereas John 3 sez, believe and you will be saved, John 14 sex that following the will of God is essential to “belief”. the other parts echo Pauls “ i run the race to the end”, “persevere”, or as Jesus said, “keep the commandments”.
Under “once saved, always saved”, you don’t believe that any action on your part can lose your salvation, which is not Biblical in any way. There is an efficacy for good works, just as there is a punishment for sin.
I’m sorry, but that’s just wrong. If you can lose your salvation then Christ’s sacrifice is contingent on your ability to “keep it” rather than on what He has done. That is grace - and why we cannot earn salvation. Yes, there is a sanctification process - which is lifelong and SHOWS that we are HIS, but it is NOT to be confused with Justification - which occurs once - based on Christ’s sacrifice for us. If you can lose salvation, that implies you must do something to earn it. You cannot. Christ is either sufficient or He is not. “My sheep hear my voice and they know me.” Once saved always saved is absolutely Biblical and what is found throughout scriptures. (Romans confirms this over and over - for instance 11:6, 3:20). Also see: John 5:24, Ephesians 2:8-10, Hebrews 6:4-9, 1 John 5:13, John 3:15-18, 1 Peter 1:5. For the discussion of losing one’s salvation, and continuing to sin (which some see this Biblical doctrine as endorsing) see: 2 Corinthians 13:5, and 1 Corinthians.
In summary, if one cannot earn salvation and there is nothing one can do to get it, one cannot lose it. Otherwise, as Scripture says, Christ’s sacrifice is deemed insufficient and in so thinking we put Christ to the cross again and again. (See above Hebrews passage).
See other post where these and other Scriptures are given as evidence that we cannot earn our salvation.
Great post, armydoc.