ARE YOU SAVED?
HOW A CATHOLIC MUST RESPOND.
“ARE YOU SAVED?”
This is a typical question a fundamentalist or Born-again Christian poses to Catholics. As we all know they (the Born-again and some fundamentalist/evangelical protestants, and other sects) believe that their salvation comes from -the Lutheran tenet which posits that- the mere acceptance of Jesus as their Savior: the so-called “faith alone” (sola fide) position would be sufficient in order to be saved.
This position, HOWEVER, is ERRONEOUS and NOT BIBLICAL
from the CATHOLIC viewpoint.
If confronted with the question, HOW SHOULD A CATHOLIC REPLY TO THE ABOVE QUESTION based on a correct understanding of the Holy Scriptures?
Scott Hahn, a former Protestant pastor who converted to the Catholic faith after a long search for the truth, provides an excellent response.
“The Catholic should reply:
‘As the Bible says, I AM ALREADY SAVED (Rom 8:24, Eph 2:5-8),
but I’m also BEING SAVED (1Cor 1:18, 2 Cor 2:15, Phil 2:12), and
I have the HOPE THAT I WILL BE SAVED (Rom 5:9-10, 1 Cor 3:12-15). Like the apostle Paul, I am WORKING OUT MY SALVATION IN FEAR AND TREMBLING (Phil 2:12), with the HOPEFUL CONFIDENCE IN THE PROMISES OF CHRIST (Rom 5:2, 2 Tim 2:11-13).’”
Dear brethren in Christ, below you have the citations of the above scriptural texts taken from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) and my thoughts regarding the Catholic reply:
I AM ALREADY SAVED
- Rom 8:24 – FOR IN HOPE WE WERE SAVED. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes[p] for what is seen?
- Eph 2:5-8 – 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
I AM BEING SAVED
- 1Cor 1:18 – For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, BUT TO US WHO ARE BEING SAVED IT IS THE POWER OF GOD.
- 2 Cor 2:15 – 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those WHO ARE BEING SAVED and among those who are perishing;
I have the HOPE THAT I WILL BE SAVED
- Rom 5:9-10 – Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, HAVING BEEN RECONCILED, WILL WE BE SAVED BY HIS LIFE.
- 1 Cor 3:12-15 – 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. 14 IF WHAT HAS BEEN BUILT ON THE FOUNDATION SURVIVES, THE BUILDER WILL RECEIVE A REWARD. 15 If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; THE BUILDER WILL BE SAVED, BUT ONLY AS THROUGH FIRE.
I am WORKING OUT MY SALVATION IN FEAR AND TREMBLING
- Phil 2:12 – 12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING;
With the HOPEFUL CONFIDENCE IN THE PROMISES OF CHRIST
- Rom 5:1-2 – Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and WE BOAST IN OUR HOPE OF SHARING THE GLORY OF GOD.
- 2 Tim 2:11-13 – 11 – The saying is sure:
IF WE HAVE DIED WITH HIM, WE WILL ALSO LIVE WITH HIM;
12 IF WE ENDURE, WE WILL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
Note that the above-cited Scriptural texts are sufficient enough to refute the born-again Christian’s way of argumentation which consists in citing scriptural passages to prove their position that Catholics aren’t assured of salvation as they are when they accept Jesus as their Savior. However, the Holy Scriptures point otherwise.
With the above Scriptural citations, CATHOLICS HAVE THE JOYFUL ASSURANCE OF THEIR SALVATION through a LIVING FAITH AND HOPE IN JESUS CHRIST, manifested by A LIVING LOVE FOR GOD CARRIED OUT BY OUR FREE COOPERATION WITH GOD’S GRACE THROUGH DEEDS OR WORKS OF LOVE WHICH ARE COHERENT WITH OUR FAITH AND HOPE, and NOT just a MERE ACCEPTANCE OF JESUS AS OUR SAVIOR.
The Fundamentalist/Evangelical Protestant/Born-again position of “FAITH ALONE” WITHOUT WORKS OF CHARITY IS ERRONEOUS FROM THE BIBLICAL VIEWPOINT AND DOES NOT SUFFICE FOR ONE’S SALVATION. Hence, DO NOT LET YOURSELF BE DECEIVED.
GOD WANTS US ALL TO BE SAVED BUT WE HAVE TO WORK HARD AS WELL BY COOPERATING WITH HIS GRACE IN ORDER TO DO THE WORKS WHICH HE HIMSELF EXPECTS FROM US ON MANY OCCASIONS, AND WHICH ARE COHERENT WITH OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AND WHICH MANIFEST OUR LOVE FOR HIM. These ideas are shown in the above-cited Scriptural passages wherein St. Paul stresses that we are saved, being saved, hoping to be saved and working out our salvation to be saved, with the hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ.
IN OTHER WORDS, SALVATION IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS (and this is logical since our freedom is not absolutely fixed in a good for always. Rather, we need to struggle to say “no” to evil and “yes” to God and to the good we have before us). CHRIST HAS GAINED FOR US OUR REDEMPTION BUT WE MUST APPLY IT TO OUR PERSONAL LIFE. THAT IS WHY GOD MADE US AS FREE RATIONAL CREATURES: TO MAKE USE OF OUR FREEDOM TO DO GOOD AND TO LOVE HIM IN EVERY MOMENT OF OUR LIFE. AND THIS SUPPOSES FREE HUMAN ACTIONS = WORKS!
NOT ONLY FAITH, BUT WORKS OF LOVE AS WELL ARE NEEDED IN ORDER TO BE SAVED.
HENCE, IF ASKED: ARE YOU SAVED? CATHOLICS SHOULD SAY:
“YES, I AM SAVED, BEING SAVED, HOPING TO BE SAVED AND WORKING OUT MY SALVATION TO BE SAVED, WITH A LIVING, HOPEFUL AND LOVING FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, MANIFESTED IN DEEDS WITH AND THROUGH THE HELP OF GOD’S GRACE AND MERCY!”
OTHER THAN THAT, IT WOULD BE PRESUMPTION (which is a sin against the theological virtue of hope) TO SAY WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY THAT ONE IS SAVED JUST BY THE MERE ACCEPTANCE OF AND FAITH IN JESUS AS SAVIOR, for Our Lord Himself said in Matthew 7:21.23
“21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’”
Have a great week ahead! Fr. Rolly A.
SEE AS WELL:
12th Sunday O.T. (C). A CHRISTIAN LIVES FOR CHRIST AND LIVES CHRIST’S LIFE.“FAITH ALONE” WITHOUT WORKS IS NOT BIBLICAL. https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/06/17/12th-sunday-o-t-c-christians-live-for-christ-live-christs-life-faithalone-solafide-without-works-is-not-biblical/
IS THERE A PROBLEM IF CATHOLICS ATTEND PRAYER MEETINGS & “NON-DENOMINATIONAL” BIBLE STUDIES ORGANIZED BY SECTS? YES, THERE IS. https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/06/15/is-it-ok-for-catholics-to-attend-prayer-meetings-or-non-denominational-bible-studies-organized-by-sects-no-its-not/
SAFEGUARD YOUR CATHOLIC FAITH! AVOID ACTIVITIES ORGANIZED BY SECTS in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/06/13/safeguard-your-faith-avoid-activities-organized-by-sects/
21 REASONS WHY THE “SCRIPTURES ALONE (SOLA SCRIPTURA)” IS UNBIBLICAL, MAN-MADE, ERRONEOUS AND MUST BE REJECTED in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/06/09/twenty-one-reasons-to-reject-sola-scriptura-j-peters/
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH FOUNDED BY CHRIST HAS ALL THE NECESSARY MEANS FOR SALVATION. WHY SETTLE FOR LESS OR NONE BY JOINING OTHER GROUPS OR SECTS? in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2016/06/08/the-catholic-church-the-true-church-founded-by-christ-why-settle-for-less-be-faithful-beware-of-the-false-prophets-and-sects/