Welcome to another Berean Perspective Audio Podcast. We are starting a new series on a very important topic, Roman Catholicism. Lately there has been a huge media marketing push with television (tv) commercials and banners promoting the phrase, Catholics Come Home, attempting to bring Roman Catholics back to their church and to convert Protestants. Thus, after seeing so many commercials from Catholics Come Home I went and checked out their site for myself. In this podcast I will deal with their section on the topic of Salvation by Faith Alone vs Faith plus Works, and show why the Roman Catholic Church’s gospel is unbiblical and false.
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What do Roman Catholics believe about Salvation? Is it Faith Alone or Faith plus Works? At Catholics Come Home they emphasis how Salvation is not by Faith alone in Jesus Christ, but it is Faith Plus Works for Salvation. The gospel of the Roman Catholic Church is either true or it is false, there is no in between. Our purpose for addressing Catholics Come Home is not to bashing them, but to address the issue of salvation for Catholics and non-Catholics according to what the Bible teaches.
If you are a Christian I believe this will be helpful for you to get a better understanding what Roman Catholics believe and what they have been taught to believe concerning salvation. If you are a Roman Catholic, my prayer is that this will help you in understanding that God’s Word teaches true salvation, the gospel message of Jesus Christ, is by grace through faith in Him apart from works. Below are notes to read to follow along with the podcast and for you to examine for yourselves.
- Catholics Come Home section on Salvation – click here for link
The first question will be addressed on Salvation by Faith Alone or Faith Plus Works for Salvation
Quote – “First of all, I ask them to show me where in the Catechism, the official teaching of the Catholic Church, does it teach that we can “work” our way into Heaven? They can’t, because it doesn’t. The Catholic Church does not now, nor has it ever, taught a doctrine of salvation by works…that we can “work” our way into Heaven.”
Quote – “Second, I ask them to show me where in the Bible does it teach that we are saved by “faith alone.” They can’t, because it doesn’t. The only place in all of Scripture where the phrase “Faith Alone” appears, is in James…James 2:24, where it says that we are not…not…justified (or saved) by faith alone.”
Quote – “So, one of the two main pillars of Protestantism…the doctrine of salvation by faith alone…not only doesn’t appear in the Bible, but the Bible actually says the exact opposite – that we are not saved by faith alone”
Quote – “Third, I ask them that if works have nothing to do with our salvation…then how come every passage in the N.T. that I know of that talks about judgment says we will be judged by our works, not by whether or not we have faith alone? We see this in Rom 2, Matthew 15 and 16, 1 Ptr 1, Rev 20 and 22, 2 Cor 5, and many, many more verses.”
Quote – “Fourth, I ask them that if we are saved by faith alone, why does 1 Cor 13:13 say that love is greater than faith? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?”
Quote – “As Catholics we believe that we are saved by God’s grace alone. We can do nothing, apart from God’s grace, to receive the free gift of salvation. We also believe, however, that we have to respond to God’s grace. Protestants believe that, too. However, many Protestants believe that the only response necessary is an act of faith; whereas, Catholics believe a response of faith and works is necessary…or, as the Bible puts it in Galatians 5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumsion is of any avail, but faith working through love…faith working through love…just as the Church teaches.”
Catholic Online Website 7 Sacraments click here for link (official Roman Catholic Doctrine)
Quote – “The liturgical life of the Catholic Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Matrimony, and Holy Orders.
The purpose of the sacraments is to make people holy, to build up the body of Christ, and finally, to give worship to God; but being signs, they also have a teaching function. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and object, they also nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called “sacraments of faith.” The sacraments impart grace, but, in addition, the very act of celebrating them disposes the faithful most effectively to receive this grace in a fruitful manner, to worship God rightly, and to practice charity.”
Quote – “The Church Thus Teaches: There are seven sacraments. They were instituted by Christ and given to the Church to administer. They are necessary for salvation.”
- Official Quotes from Catechism of the Catholic Church Below
Roman Catholic Doctrine for Salvation
1129 The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation…. The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Saviour.
980 It is through the sacrament of Penance that the baptized can be reconciled with God and with the Church: “Penance has rightly been called by the holy Fathers `a laborious kind of baptism.’ This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn” (Council of Trent (1551): DS 1672; cf. St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 39, 17: PG 36,356).
1456 All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue. … those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, `for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know.’
1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude.
The quotes from above demonstrate what Roman Catholicism officially teaches concerning the gospel message of Jesus Christ and their views on Salvation. Below are Scriptures from God’s Word on salvation by faith in Jesus Christ without works for salvation, thus showing that keeping the sacraments for salvation is unbiblical and false.
- Scripture References Below from the New American Bible (Catholic Bible Translation)
Briefly I will share why I have chosen to cite Scriptures from the NAB. Firstly, it is the Catholic translation of the Bible and thus I cannot be accused of using a biased translation. Secondly, it is to show that the Bible does teach that salvation is by faith apart from works. Thirdly, cause I want to respect Catholics who may listen to this podcast.
“24 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24
“27 My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29
“10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:10-13
“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; 9 it is not from works, so no one may boast. 10 For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
“9 for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11 For the scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.“” Romans 10:9-13
“7 After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, “My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. 10 Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.”” Acts 15:7-11
“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you 5 who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5
Catholics Come Home website article concerning Salvation by Faith and Works is wrong, inaccurate, and a false gospel according to God’s Word. Our desire is to help any of you whom are struggling in knowing the true grace that is found in Jesus Christ, and to help encourage Christians to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. If you have any questions concerning this podcast and the information shared please let us know.
“But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. (Amen.)” 2 Peter 3:18 NAB