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Catholic Apologetics


Chapter 11 -- Sola Fide


 

Many Protestants believe we are saved by faith alone-that love or good works play no part. This human tradition is called 'Sola Fide', which is Latin for 'faith alone'. The assumption is that Jesus paid the price for our sins, so we don't have to. We simply have to believe in Jesus, and nothing else matters.

Contrary to Protestant claims otherwise, the Catholic Church has never taught, does not now teach, and will never teach salvation by good works alone (Sola Bene Facta). The Catholic Church has always taught we are saved by grace with faith working through love-thus a combination of grace, faith and works.

A partial study of Scripture verses lends support to Sola Fide. A partial study of Scripture verses lends support to Sola Bene Facta as well. However, a more complete Scripture study nullifies both.

Grace, Faith and Works

There are three considerations in salvation-grace, faith and works. Works are sometimes referred as 'deeds' or 'love'. For the purposes of Sola Fide, 'deeds', 'works' and 'love' address the same consideration.

As discussed earlier, we are saved by grace. If we had only a combination of our own faith and works, none of us would attain salvation. We do not have enough faith; we can never do enough good deeds to be perfect as He is perfect. God's mercy is required to bridge the gap. Paul captured this concept when he wrote:

Eph 2:8 -10 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. 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.

Stating these verses again, "for by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; grace is the gift of God; grace is not from works, so no one may boast."

Paul Emphasizes Faith to His Gentile Audience

Paul's emphasis is on faith in these verses. He tempers the emphasis by immediately reminding us that we are created for the good works that God has prepared. Paul doesn't want us to think that good works alone will get us grace; faith is also important.

As we read Paul's epistles, we see he emphasizes faith, but nowhere does he claim that faith alone is sufficient. Indeed, he addresses the necessity for works often.

Gentiles of Paul's time were told repeatedly, by well-intentioned but misinformed Jews, that Gentiles were excluded because of their faith-only Abraham's descendants would inherit salvation. Paul's writings emphasize the Christian faith of Gentiles makes them Abraham's descendants. He acknowledges that works (deeds, love) are also required, but Paul knew of the early struggle many Gentiles experienced regarding faith, so he drilled it into them in his epistles.

We see this struggle in Galatians. In the third chapter, Paul is exasperated with the teachings given the Galatians by Jews who mandated following the Levitical law rather than the faith taught by Paul. He begins with:

Gal 3:1-5 - O stupid Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? I want to learn only this from you: did you receive the Spirit from works of the law, or from faith in what you heard? Are you so stupid? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so many things in vain?--if indeed it was in vain. Does, then, the one who supplies the Spirit to you and works mighty deeds among you do so from works of the law or from faith in what you heard?

The Galatians were being told they were doing things incorrectly, that they needed to circumcise and obey the cleansing rules and such. The Galatians wanted to do the right thing, so they tried to do both what Paul said and what these other Jews were telling them, only there was a conflict-they couldn't do both. Now they are confused. Paul is telling the Galatians (gentiles) to focus on faith. He doesn't want them to be deluded by arguments about the Levitical law, which only confuse and deny the truth for the gentiles. After first setting the theme of Gentile faith vs. Levitical law, Paul then addresses the faith/works issue:

Gal 3:10-12 - For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law." And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for "the one who is righteous by faith will live." But the law does not depend on faith; rather, "the one who does these things will live by them."

Paul is telling the Galatian Gentiles no one is justified before God by the law (works). Following the law doesn't require proper faith, but proper faith will produce obedience to the law. Again, Paul wants to emphasize that they are not saved by works alone. Compare that with Paul's epistle to the Romans, where he states:

Rom 2:13 - For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified.

Here, Paul restates the works requirement in reminding us that the doers of the law (works) will be justified. Jews are Paul's main audience in Romans. They don't have the faith issue common to Gentiles as described above. Again, he does not state that we are justified by works alone. To see this more fully, as well as Paul's tireless reconciliation of Gentile and Jewish faith, let's look at several verses surrounding Rom 2:13.

Rom 2:5-16 - By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, who will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness. Yes, affliction and distress will come upon every human being who does evil, Jew first and then Greek. But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, Jew first and then Greek. There is no partiality with God. All who sin outside the law will also perish without reference to it, and all who sin under the law will be judged in accordance with it. For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified. For when the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature observe the prescriptions of the law, they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the law. They show that the demands of the law are written in their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even defend them on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge people's hidden works through Christ Jesus.

The Jews emphasize works of the law. Paul explains the gentiles don't even have the law, and yet when their natural character is to observe the prescriptions of the law, it shows they have the law written in their hearts.

Paul states God will repay everyone according to his works (deeds): eternal life for good works, wrath and fury for wickedness. In the last verse, we are told God will judge people's hidden works. Good deeds are not just nice, they are necessary.

Paul is writing to people of faith-the Christian Jews in Rome. He is trying to convince them the gentiles don't need the Levitical law to be saved. If they sin without reference to the law, they perish. If Jews sin in reference to the law, they perish. Likewise, if the gentiles never heard of Leviticus, yet observe the law by nature, they will be saved, just as the Jews who obey the law. He states there is no partiality with God. There are no exceptions noted for those who have faith alone.

In closing Chapter 3 of Galatians, where Paul is addressing mostly Gentiles, Paul concludes:

Gal 3:23-29 - Before faith came, we were held in custody under law, confined for the faith that was to be revealed. Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian for Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian. For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendant, heirs according to the promise.

Now that Christ has come, we are no longer under the Levitical law. Thus, Paul reasons, Jewish law does not trump Gentile faith. But, we see, taken as a whole, the entire chapter reasons that both faith and works are required to receive the grace of salvation.

James Emphasizes Works to His Jewish Audience

Very early in Church history, there were those who espoused Sola Fide. James addresses this issue at great length. James had to emphasize works, but nowhere does he state that works alone are sufficient. James specifically addresses those who espouse Sola Fide:

Jas 2:14-26 - What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Indeed someone might 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 pulls no punches. He makes his case clear. There are not many other ways to say it. If the Epistle of James is a part of the New Testament, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that works are required for salvation. The only place in the Bible where the words 'faith' and 'alone' appear in the same sentence is here, where James states, the Holy Spirit states, the Word of God states we are justified by works and not faith alone. Again, although he makes a strong case for works because of his audience, nowhere does James state we are justified by works alone. Works are necessary just as faith is necessary.

Comparing Faith and Works

Let's look at several verses that seem to support Sola Fide, which are listed first, and compare them to several other verses that seem to support Sola Bene Facta, which are listed second.

Rom 3:27-28 - What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out. On what principle, that of works? No, rather on the principle of faith. For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

Jas 2:17 - So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Paul addressed the Roman Jews on the Christian faith vs. Levitical Law issue. James addresses the Jerusalem Jews on the faith vs. good works issue. Paul states we are justified by faith, but James states faith without works is dead. Note, neither states anything about faith alone. Both verses are true if faith and works is true.

Rom 4:13-14 - It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes from faith. For if those who adhere to the law are the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.

Rom 2:13 - For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified.

In the first set of verses, Paul notes the Levitical law did not even exist at the time the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants. Thus, righteousness comes from faith, not works of the law. Paul implies if Sola Bene Facta is true, faith is null and the promise is void. In the second set, which is from the same epistle, Paul supports justification by works. As before, nothing here demands faith alone or works alone; both verses are true if faith and works are true.

Rom 10:8-13 - But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we preach), 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. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. For the scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Matt 7:21-23 - 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. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?' Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'

Note, in the first set of verses, Paul requires a good work-confessing with the mouth that Jesus is Lord. But, setting that aside for the moment, in the first set of verses, Paul still does not say that believing God raised Jesus from the dead alone is sufficient (faith). It is only a factor. Jesus Himself spoke the words of the second set of verses. He says that believing Jesus is Lord is not enough. As we see comparing both sets of verses, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will not necessarily be saved; one must still do the will of the Father in heaven (works). Faith alone does not reconcile both sets, faith and works does.

Acts 16:30-31 - Then he [the jailer] brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved."

Matt 19:17 - Now someone approached him and said, "Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?" He answered him, "Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."

Luke records that Paul states if the jailer believes in Jesus, he will be saved, not only him, but his whole household. There is a discussion of faith (belief). Yet Jesus states you must keep the commandments to enter into life. There is a discussion of works. Is Paul saying Sola Fide, or is he saying belief in Jesus is a step? Is Jesus saying Sola Bene Facta, or is He saying keeping the commandments is just a step? If the Holy Spirit is the author of both sets of scriptures, then faith and works must be true.

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

Heb 12:14 - Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

John states that if you believe in Jesus you might be saved (faith alone?). Paul (or whoever wrote Hebrews) states without holiness, no one will see the Lord (works alone?). As before, a closer look reveals that John still does not say faith alone, and Paul still does not say works alone.

1 John 5:12-13 - Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life. 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 5:3 - For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments.

John authored both sets of verses, in fact, they are from the same chapter, yet the first favors Sola Fide and the second Sola Bene Facta. For both to be true, faith and works must be true.

There are many more possible comparisons, but using similar analyses as above, they all return the same verdict-both faith and works are required to receive God's grace for salvation.

Dispelling Sola Fide

As was stated earlier, there is no faith tradition that believes we are saved by works alone. There is no further need to disprove it here. The remaining verses and analyses continue to dispel Sola Fide.

Phil 2:12-13 - So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work.

Why would Paul tell the Philippians to "work out their salvation"? The Philippians have faith. If Sola Fide is true, there is no need to "work" anything. And why does Paul state to work out our salvation "with fear and trembling"? If we are already saved, why fear and tremble? And Paul states God works in us for us to do works. Why would God want us to do works if only faith is necessary? If Sola Fide is true, this verse is useless and misleading.

Gal 5:19-25 - Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ (Jesus) have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.

If Sola Fide is true, why does Paul warn the Galatians they will not inherit the kingdom of God if they do the works of the flesh? And why does Paul say the fruit of the Spirit is all those good works? Paul even states if we live in the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit in doing those good works.

1 Peter 4:17-19 - For it is time for the judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, how will it end for those who fail to obey the gospel of God? "And if the righteous one is barely saved, where will the godless and the sinner appear?" As a result, those who suffer in accord with God's will, hand their souls over to a faithful creator as they do good.

You must "obey the gospel of God" (works). It is hard to be saved, even for the righteous. It states you hand your soul over to God as you do good works. Sola Fide?

Gal 6:2 - Bear one another's burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.

If Sola Fide is true, if works play no part whatsoever in our salvation, why does Paul tell the Galatians to bear burdens to fulfill the law of Christ?

Gal 6:9-10 - Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith.

If Sola Fide is true, why does Paul tell the Galatians they will reap their harvest if they do good and do not give up? Why must they do good?

Rev 20:11-15 - Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death.) Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire.

If Sola Fide is true, why does John reveal the dead are judged according to their deeds?

Heb 10:24 - We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.

If Sola Fide is true, why are love and good works of any value?

Matt 22:37-40 - He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

Jesus commands us to love God and neighbor--the statement is in the imperitive tense. He says the whole law and the prophets depend on this love. He says these are the greatest commandments. Sola Fide?

1 John 2:3-6 - 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. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live (just) as he lived.

John says to be sure we know him we must keep his commandments (works). If we don't keep His commandments, we don't know Him and the truth is not in us. If we don't keep His commandments, and the truth is not in us, can we be saved? Sola Fide?

Matt 5:14-16 - You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

Jesus says they must see your good deeds. Sola Fide?

1 John 3:7-24 - Children, let no one deceive you. The person who acts in righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous. Whoever sins belongs to the devil, because the devil has sinned from the beginning. Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is begotten by God commits sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot sin because he is begotten by God. In this way, the children of God and the children of the devil are made plain; no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother.

For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, unlike Cain who belonged to the evil one and slaughtered his brother. Why did he slaughter him? Because his own works were evil, and those of his brother righteous. Do not be amazed, (then,) brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Whoever does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

(Now) this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts before him in whatever our hearts condemn, for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything. Beloved, if (our) hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God and receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us. Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit that he gave us.

John says if we sin (works), we belong to the devil. No one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, and anyone who does not love his brother. Whoever does not love remains in death. Sola Fide?

Luke 6:46-49 - "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' but not do what I command? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a person building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed."

We must do what the Lord commands (works), or suffer the consequences. Note, this was Jesus Himself speaking. Sola Fide?

1 Cor 13:13 - So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

If love (works) is greater than faith, how can Sola Fide be true?

Matt 25:31-46 - "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?' He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

This is strong scriptural support for the necessity of good works. Jesus does not mince words. "You gave me food…you gave me drink…you welcomed me…you clothed me…you cared for me…you visited me in prison." These are all good works. Those who did not do any of these things are told to "depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." There are no statements of reprieve for those of faith. Sola Fide?

Gal 5:2-6 - It is I, Paul, who am telling you that if you have yourselves circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. Once again I declare to every man who has himself circumcised that he is bound to observe the entire law. You are separated from Christ, you who are trying to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Right up until the last three words, Paul emphasizes faith. At the end, he acknowledges the necessity for love. Once again, this is the Christian faith vs. Levitical law discourse seen so often in Paul's writings. As much as any other, these verses explain the Catholic position that we are saved by grace, with faith working through love. Sola Fide?

Luke 9:23 - Then he said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Why take up your cross? If Sola Fide is true, why suffer at all? Sola Fide says you are already saved--you don't need to do anything else. And Jesus doesn't say take up your cross once, he says daily. Sola Fide?

Rev 14:13 - I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," said the Spirit, "let them find rest from their labors, for their works accompany them."

If the works of the dead accompany them, are works irrelevant? Sola Fide?

Matthew 25:14-30 - "It will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; o another, two; to a third, one--to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master's money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.

The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come; share your master's joy.' (Then) the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, 'Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come; share your master's joy.' Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, 'Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.' His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?

Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'

If God gives us gifts and we use them (works), we will be rewarded with greater gifts in heaven. If we are lazy or inactive with our gifts, knowing that God wants us to use them, we not only lose the gifts, we are excluded from the banquet. If we are excluded from the banquet for failing to do works, Sola Fide can not be true.

Must You Be Catholic to be Saved?

Acts 4:11-12 - He is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.' Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

Luke writes no other person can save you-only Jesus. Jesus, and no other, is the long-awaited Messiah. You can not look to any other person to bring you salvation.

John 10:9 - I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.

Jesus states whoever goes through Him will be saved, thus agreeing with the verse from Acts shown above. Jesus does not say He is the only way to salvation; here He states He is one way. However, God can always save you, as Paul shows below.

Rom 2:13 - For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified.

Paul implies if you never hear of Christianity, you can still be just in the sight of God if you observe the law in your heart.

CCC 1260 - "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery." Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

The Catholic Church teaches not only do you not have to be Catholic to be saved, you can be saved if you are not even Christian.

Parting Comment

The evidence is overwhelming. This is but a sample of Scripture verses dispelling of Sola Fide. Sola Fide is not Scriptural. It is a human tradition that opposes God's word. We are saved by grace, with faith working through love.


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