WestwardHo -— Catholics would not at all disagree with you that by his Cross and resurrection He made salvation possible and opened the gates of heaven. But don’t forget He also said ‘Whatsoever you DO to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.’ So yes. He DOES expect us to do something for our fellow man. Can we agree that it is by God’s GRACE that we are saved? i.e. He doesn’t ‘have to’ save any of us. But He still has expectations of us that if we really know Him, we will do our best to do His will. And His will, apparently, involves ‘DOING’ unto others! We must try and assist God in His work when we can. Try re-reading the apostle James. What is faith without good works?
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
There are many godless philanthrophists. They can do good works til the cows come home, but their works will not save them.
There are true believers who are not in a position to do good works...the thief on the cross, Lazarus the beggar...who being dead, yet speaketh...
I’m an old lady. A nobody, making no big claims to anything.
But I know this, when I think I’m doing a good job on a good work it usually ends up looking pretty useless. Then there are the times it comes to me that some good has resulted from something I did but wasn’t aware that I’d done anything. In that, I realize God had caused me to “walk in a work He had ordained for me.”
Those works do not earn me salvation, or a right standing before God. They are evidence that God has put His Spirit in me, and He is fulfilling His Word in Eph 2:10.
It’s not about us. It’s all about God’s glory and what He does in the lives of His children.
We have this Treasure in an earthen vessel.
When I “discovered” Eph 2, those verses about being dead in my sins described me perfectly. But, when Christ declares me “Raised and seated in the Heavenly places” I still cannot take in the wonder of that. And so, my continual prayer is that The Lord Jesus would teach me what that means, and that I would do the works He has ordained for me.
Nothing I do on my own is worth squat. I can no more compose good works on my own than I can make this dead corpse of sin alive in Christ if He doesn’t do the work.
This isn’t about being Catholic, or Baptist or any other group. It’s about taking God at His Word, and measuring everything by His Word.