Faith Alone

While believing in Jesus Christ is absolutely necessary for salvation, Christian faith must be lived out with works of love and mercy. A Catholic must also accept God’s truth and obey his Commandments.

Salvation is only by grace as a gift from God through Jesus Christ. Grace not only produces an intellectual belief in Jesus but grace also affects a person’s actions so that they grow in love, leading to good works.

While salvation does not require Old Testament works of the law like circumcision or avoiding certain foods, Jesus commanded his disciples to imitate Him by loving and caring for one another.

While works of charity and mercy are necessary for salvation, salvation cannot be earned by doing good works. The Church condemned this teaching as a heresy in 431 AD.

The thought that salvation requires faith alone (sola fide) only began 500 years ago with the teaching of a German monk named Martin Luther during the Protestant Reformation.

Sacred Scripture contradicts the notion that only faith is necessary for salvation while supporting Catholic teaching on the subject.

A living faith:

Showing and cooperated with faith:

So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone may say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.” See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

James 2: 17-26

Following through with what it means to be a disciple:

Obligated to do what Jesus said to do:

Everything we do in this life matters:

Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. We can lose this priceless gift, as St. Paul indicated to St. Timothy: “Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith.” To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase our faith; it must be “working through charity,” abounding in hope, and rooted in the faith of the Church.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 162

Salvation is by grace:

Participating in the life of God:

Salvation cannot be earned by works:

Following St. Paul, we have seen that man is unable to “justify” himself with his own actions, but can only truly become “just” before God because God confers his “justice” upon him, uniting him to Christ his Son. And man obtains this union through faith. In this sense, St. Paul tells us: not our deeds, but rather faith renders us “just”. This faith, however, is not a thought, an opinion, an idea. This faith is communion with Christ, which the Lord gives to us, and thus becomes life, becomes conformity with him. Or to use different words faith, if it is true, if it is real, becomes love, becomes charity, is expressed in charity. A faith without charity, without this fruit, would not be true faith. It would be a dead faith.

Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 26 November 2008

Participating in grace with works:

Works of love are needed:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

The simple path to peace, joy, and fulfillment:

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