Any non-Catholic who tries to parrot the Catholic position by claiming that we believe man can “save himself” is dishonestly setting up a straw man. He is also confounded by numerous Church documents (both ancient and recent) including texts of the Council of Trent, which clearly show that Faith, coming to us through God’s grace, is necessary before man can do anything in relation to his own eternal salvation.
This tells the would-be follower of Christ that the Christian commitment is a serious one and cannot be entered into half-heartedly. It also establishes a requirement for following Christ: self-denial. Self-denial is an act (or a series of acts becoming habitual). If to follow Christ it is necessary to deny oneself, and if following Christ is necessary for salvation (which it is), then self-denial is necessary for salvation. Since self-denial is a work, then at least this work is necessary for salvation. Consequently, the proposition “Faith alone” fails.
The sacrificing of Isaac and the will not to deceive, not even oneself are concepts that seem contradictory in the universal yet are paradoxical in faith.
If speaking good words will justify a man — either by making him just, or increasing the justice in him — then justification is not by Faith alone, but by works too. The Protestant may be quick to add that the “words” our Lord refers to are an affirmation of the Faith that is in one’s heart. In saying this, the Protestant would be correct, but if he were further to conclude that the words uttered have nothing to do with justification, then he is denying the very words of Scripture. In the end, it is still an act (a deed) done by the believer, which “justifies.”
1Co 3:11-15 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— (13) each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. (14) If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. (15) If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Jesus is the only foundation. Without faith it is not the foundation. The place of works built on faith is then made clear. You will be rewarded in the kingdom based on the work you do, but not saved in the first place by good works.
With all due respect, you claim that the article argues for faith alone, yet the next paragraph you argue that we are judged based on our works, too. That is what confuses me. If anything was baed on my works, then I would go to hell and there wouls be no purpose of atonement. Atonement from what?? my . . . good deeds? The cross is those are sinners, not saints, as if there were saints. I am still not convinced of works based salvation because when i read scripture, I doesnt say that. Instead it says that salvation was done on the cross. Jesus paid for actual sins on the cross, that is why he said it was “finished.” If i could crontribute to the works done on the cross, that would be blasphemy and prideful to think that I could somehow take part in my salvation beofre a holy God. The root of the issue is the desire to want to take part in one’s salvation. Thank God that Jesus took my sin and gave me his righteousness (this defeats your position about revelation). With all due respect . . . :) Thank you for allowing this conversation to be civilized guys! with all sincerity. Let us all be humble to recognize that we might be wrong. I will try my best to live by that.