Podcasts, Religious Movements, Roman Catholicism

Catholics Come Home P1 Salvation by Faith Alone or Faith Plus Works – Berean Perspective Podcast

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.

Listen Now

Click here to download audio (right click to “Save As…”)

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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 youwho 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

  • Conclusion

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.

Kelly Powers

“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

Discussion

8 thoughts on “Catholics Come Home P1 Salvation by Faith Alone or Faith Plus Works – Berean Perspective Podcast

  1. Hi Kelly,

    The Catholic Church teaches what the apostles taught and what the Bible teaches: We are saved by grace alone, but not by faith alone (which is what “Bible Christians” teach.)

    Jesus said it is not enough to have faith in him; we also must obey his commandments. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do the things I command?” (Luke 6:46, Matt. 7:21–23, 19:16–21).

    We do not “earn” our salvation through good works (Eph. 2:8–9, Rom. 9:16), but our faith in Christ puts us in a special grace-filled relationship with God so that our obedience and love, combined with our faith, will be rewarded with eternal life (Rom. 2:7, Gal. 6:8–9).

    The promise of eternal life is a gift, freely offered to us by God (CCC 1727). Our initial forgiveness and justification are not things we “earn” (CCC 2010). Jesus is the mediator who bridged the gap of sin that separates us from God (1 Tim. 2:5); he bridged it by dying for us. He has chosen to make us partners in the plan of salvation (1 Cor. 3:9).

    Paul said, “God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work” (Phil. 2:13). John explained that “the way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3–4, 3:19–24, 5:3–4).

    I hope this helps in your search for the true Gospel message.

    Posted by cjg | February 22, 2013, 2:26 AM
  2. Hello CJG:

    Thanks for coming and sharing a comment. I hope you were able to listen to the whole podcast.

    You said, “The Catholic Church teaches what the apostles taught and what the Bible teaches: We are saved by grace alone, but not by faith alone (which is what “Bible Christians” teach.)”

    Well, a simple reply is that the”Bible Christians” ref is accurate in the sense that “Faith Alone” does save in Jesus Christ. However, as I have shared, it is not just a mental consent or thought, but rather a way of life in Christ. This podcast focused primarily on showing that the RCC does in fact teach a false “Works Gospel” message for salvation.

    I would encourage you to take the time to check out the part 2 podcast which focuses primarily on the “Faith Alone” perspective in Jesus Christ.

    “17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (NASB 2 Peter 3)

    Posted by Kelly Powers | February 27, 2013, 10:04 AM
  3. Hi, I just wanted to say that the Catholic church doesn’t teach that you can buy your place in heaven by doing good works. What you have provided here Kelly is a total misrepresentation of catholic church teaching. I have been a catholic all my life & I can assure you “works salvation” is not taught by the catholic church, nor do i know of any catholic who believes they can buy there place in heaven. Are good works necessary for salvation thus making “faith alone” a false gospel? ABSOLUTELY! But the catholic church is not talking about a legalistic work motivated purely by the individual for the purpose of gaining salvation. The catholic Church teaches that Grace alone saves & that it is necessary for our salvation that we cooperate with that Gods grace. This cooperation with grace is a the good works the catholic church is referring to. It is a good work produced in us believers by Gods Grace as st Paul says:
    “God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work” (Phil. 2:13). In John 3:21 Jesus says “whoever lives according to the truth comes into the light so that it can be clearly seen that his WORKS have been done in God”
    Here Jesus is describing faith as an action (living according to the truth) & further defines it as a WORK!

    Posted by JO | March 1, 2013, 4:20 PM
  4. Hi Jo. I respect you and believe you believe what you shared in response. My request to you is, could you prove how the official statements from the Catechism of the Catholic Church which I have posted and spoke of in this podcast don’t teach works required for salvation?

    Also, can you prove that a person whom has put their faith and life in Jesus Christ, and have trusted Him for salvation through the work of the cross and resurrection, and he or she does not perform the sacraments from what the Roman Catholic Church Magisterium has instituted necessary for salvation.

    That would be most appreciated.

    Kelly

    Posted by Kelly Powers | March 1, 2013, 6:08 PM
  5. Hi Kelly, regarding your first request; i think you missed my point. I agree that the Catholic church does teach that WORKS are necessary for salvation! I showed in my previous post that this is consistant with what scripture says…refer to John 3:21 & Phil.2:13.

    What I disagree with is your misrepresentation of this teaching. The Catholic church does not & never has taught “works righteousness,” that through good works one can earn salvation?

    The Church teaches that it’s God’s grace from beginning to end which justifies, sanctifies, and saves us. As Paul explains in Philippians 2:13, “God is the one, who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.”

    Notice that Paul’s words presuppose that the faithful Christian is not just desiring to be righteous, but is actively working toward it. This is the second half of the justification equation, and Protestants either miss or ignore it.

    James 2:17 reminds us that “faith of itself, if it does not have work, is dead.” In verse 24 James says, “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” And later: “For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (2:26).

    The Council of Trent harmonizes the necessity of grace and works: “If anyone says that man can be justified before God by his own works, whether done by his own natural powers or by the teaching of the Law, without divine grace through Jesus Christ, let him be anathema” (Session 6; can. 1).

    The Council fathers continued by saying, “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema” (Session 6: can. 9).

    Posted by JO | March 1, 2013, 11:44 PM
  6. As for your second request Kelly, well this is taking our discussion in a totally different direction, shouldn’t we finsih our works discussion 1st? In any case in answer to your request I would like to refer you to http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/what-no-salvation-outside-the-church-means

    I would like to point out though that a person who fully puts his faith & life in the hands of our Lord Jesus & trusts in Him alone for their salvation listens to His Church….the Catholic church.!

    Posted by JO | March 2, 2013, 12:41 AM
  7. First of all, Jo, the Council of Trent is completely man-made. (I am a born again Christian by the way.) True Christians can care less about what the Council of Trent says. Do you want to know why? It’s because true Christians put their faith in the Bible 100%. They do not put their faith in what man says.
    Secondly, no church can have the ability to issue an anathema against those who disagree with them. Did Jesus and his disciples go around issuing anathemas? Of course, not! They preached the truth of the gospel and the way to salvation. The issuance of anathemas is to keep people trapped inside the Catholic Church.
    Lastly, a person who fully puts their faith and life in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ won’t need the Catholic Church. One of the major problems of the Catholic Church is that they love to claim that they are the one true church. That claim is entirely false because NO church can authorize salvation. Only God can authorize salvation. The only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ alone. Jesus never ordained a church. So I suggest you toss out Council of Trent and start reading the King James Version Bible yourself. The Catholic Church itself teaches many false doctrines that go directly against the teachings of the Bible.

    Posted by Ang | May 16, 2013, 12:53 AM
  8. Hi Ang, thank you for sharing.

    Ang, would you be so kind as to give me the scripture reference which says that the Bible alone is the sole rule of faith?

    Ang, who do you suppose it was that determined the canon of scripture giving you the bible you hold in your hand?

    Ang, what do you make of :

    Submit to the authority of Christ’s church; “Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings…obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:7-9,)

    and;

    Eph 3, 9 … to enlighten all men, what is the dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God, who created all things.

    10 That the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to the principalities, and powers, in heavenly places, through the church,

    11 According to the eternal purpose, which he made in Christ Jesus, our Lord: …

    What is the history of your church Ang? Why do you even belong to a church if all you need is the bible?

    Posted by JO | May 22, 2013, 4:59 AM

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