By grace and grace alone

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by CatholicConvert, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. CatholicConvert

    CatholicConvert
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear Forum Members --

    I am currently reading Christian Perfection and Contemplation According to St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (Published by TAN Books 2003, reprint of first edition printing 1937 - Nihil Obstat F.J. Holweck - Censor Librorum Imprimatur Bishop John J. Glennon)

    In article III, on page 92, I quote the following:

    Further on, in article IV we find the following:

    And further on pages 96 & 97 of same article:

    Futher on in article three, on pages 101 and 102, it is written:

    There is so much more, but a few choice quotes serve my purpose. I offer this with Nil Obstat and Imprimtur showing that this is teaching in line with and not contradictory to orthodox Catholic teaching to show that there is the teaching of grace in the Catholic faith, and indeed, such grace that we, sinful humans that we are, have nothing in and of ourselves which may either merit that grace or obtain salvation on our own

    From beginning to end, it is the work of God. Yet, because we know that man must choose to co-operate with God, we are accused of somehow sabotaging grace and taking a heretical Pelegian stand in which we would somehow attribute our salvation and the gaining of eternal life as being that which we, by ourselves, have done.

    It is by grace that God became man, for He was under no legal obligation to do so. It was grace which bore Him to the Cross and procured His death for all mankind. It was grace which sent and continues to send the Holy Spirit to the earth to call to sinners and woo them. It is grace which makes the sinner respond and grace which makes the saint obey. Without grace, without God's timely and purposeful intervention, nothing can happen in me that would make me look to Jesus as Lord and Savior.

    Regardless of whatever response I will get to this post, let me again say that my obedience (or "covenant keeping", as I have called it) is only a response to His prevenient grace in this issue. It is He Who has chosen to motivate me to obey, but He awaits my response in obedience to His calling. That does not make me the author of my obedience.

    I have offered this post because I have not sufficiently and clearly made my position on this matter known. Somehow, in my feeble attempts to speak on behalf of God's covenant, I have made it sound, according to my critics, that I am trusting in my own efforts, apart from God's gracious intervention, to obtain for me eternal life. May God FORBID that even one atom of my being or will should rest upon my merits exclusive of Christ within working His good pleasure through me!!!!

    I have been so blessed in reading this book. It reminded me that my repentance and return to Christ some 30+ years ago, was nothing of my doing. I was only interested in sin and "having my cake and eating it too". If Jesus could give me peace and not disturb my life, well, great!!

    But He had far more than that for me, for He was not interested in allowing me to continue in my bondage to sin. And through the years that mysterious grace has continued to gently call me and nudge me towards Him and away from those things which are natural to me as a fallen human being.

    And in the end, as all bend the knee and proclaim Christ to be both Lord and God to the glory of the Father, all will acknowledge before Him that by and through Him alone, through the action of mysterious grace, did we obtain eternal bliss.

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed

    [ October 25, 2003, 12:54 PM: Message edited by: CatholicConvert ]
     
  2. Carson Weber

    Carson Weber
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.boerne.com/temp/bb_pic2.jpg">

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,079
    Likes Received:
    0
    Beautiful, Brother Ed!

    I also recommend Reginald the Rigid's Predestination, also published by Thomas A. Nelson.
     
  3. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    5,178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Carson Weber & Catholic Convert,

    Five point Calvinists and someone like me who believes in the absolute security of the Christian as to his promised hope of eternal life, smiles when they see your clear self-deception.

    Your Catholic view in our day, is heavily weighted in Semi-Pelagianism. Grace is given by the Lord but then you must keep up on your 'works' in a myriad of colors and shapes. "Make sure you make your Easter Communion;" like that would impress him of your one holy day of obligation. A love for the Lord and a genuine faith in Him should insure more of a faithfulness to Him in the life of the church. Your system of gathering merit to protect your soul is not an 'all of grace concept.' It is faith plus works like you so readily like to point out with your Book of James.

    James, the half-brother of our Lord, merely wanted us to see that if our faith is genuine, then we will have good works as a result of justification by faith. {Romans 5:1} But, Roman Catholics like to make their ultimate salvation dependent on human 'good works.' Therein is the Pelagian error.

    Your church father's try to portray justification by faith through Christ's grace, but bottom line is they fail miserably because of Roman Catholic teaching and their merit system, as do some Arminian, Protestant Churches.
     
  4. CatholicConvert

    CatholicConvert
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am only about a third through the book and am already blessed immensely. No doubt this one is a "multi-read" publication for my bookshelves.

    I do hope our Protestant friends appreciate rather than take issue with our love of God's grace in our lives. Despite the bad definitions of it, by both myself and many Catholics I have met, it is the defining point of God's work in mankind.

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed


    Just a second or two before I hit my post button, the post from Ray must have popped on the screen.

    Isn't it strange that no matter how much I fall on my knees and tell God that I am dependant upon Him alone, no matter how much I tell others that I am hoping in the grace of God, and no matter how much I try to refine the errors out of my view so that I can be totally dependent upon God for everything, there is always someone looking over my shoulder telling me what I am thinking rather than accepting my words at face value.

    That kind of mind reading is amazing, Ray. Would you care to help me choose some Pennsylvania Powerball numbers for tonight's drawing?

    *sigh* :rolleyes:
     
  5. John Gilmore

    John Gilmore
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    0
    Grace alone is nothing new for the Roman Catholic Church. Faith alone would be something new. Or, rather, it would be returning to something old.

    Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ's saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.
    Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation
     
  6. WPutnam

    WPutnam
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/2122.jpg>

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2001
    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    0
    What an interesting thread!

    Bro. Ed, thank you for your testimony!

    For some, it is apparently "flawed" simply because it comes from the pen of a Catholic!

    God bless,

    PAX

    Bill+†+

    Not riches, but God.
    Not honors, but God.
    Not distinction, but God.
    Not dignities, but God.
    Not advancement, but God.
    God always and in everything.


    - St. Vincent Pallotti -
     
  7. Carson Weber

    Carson Weber
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.boerne.com/temp/bb_pic2.jpg">

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,079
    Likes Received:
    0
    Faith alone

    It's the alone part that grace has a problem with, John. When you take the fiduciary trust in Christ's atonement and place an artificial, forced barrier between this trust and the filial obedience of the Christian (Romans 1:5; 16:26), you're separating what ought not be separated.

    If our justification is our sonship, and if grace makes us sons - not merely declaring us as sons - then we grow in the justification received at baptism as we are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ because we are further immersed with the life and love of the only Son of God.
     
  8. John Gilmore

    John Gilmore
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    0
    Faith is never alone because it bares the fruit of filial obedience. Grace is never alone because it comes to us through Word and Sacrament.
     
  9. WPutnam

    WPutnam
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/2122.jpg>

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2001
    Messages:
    985
    Likes Received:
    0
    Faith is never alone because it bares the fruit of filial obedience. Grace is never alone because it comes to us through Word and Sacrament. </font>[/QUOTE]Sacrament? Which one? Or two? Or more?

    God bless,

    PAX

    Bill+†+


    Christus Vincit! Christus Regnat! Christus Imperat!
     
  10. Carson Weber

    Carson Weber
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.boerne.com/temp/bb_pic2.jpg">

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    3,079
    Likes Received:
    0
    Faith is never alone

    If faith is never alone, then why are you advocating faith alone?
     
  11. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    With the exception of Paul, who was recruited in a manner completely inconsistant with all other conversions in scripture, has there been even one human who has been saved under God's grace that did not have faith? Even one? How about just one?

    Time's up! NO, there has never been a single human being saved who was not saved because of Faith and nothing else...while God's grace prevailed.

    Keep in mind, that the Grace of God has been present with man from the very first man. So if it is grace that saves, virtually every human who ever lived is saved because all have had the Grace of God in their lives. The same cannot be said for faith. However, every man that ever lived who has had faith has been saved!

    So, then it comes back to "how does one get faith?

    Faith cometh by hearing (a human faculty) and hearing by the word of God (that which God provides to persuade man into faith). Where does faith "come" from? Faith is the only thing that human's have that God does not! It comes from within man, it is not superimposed into man by God, but rather it comes from within man due to man's acceptance of God's word. The more of God's word you have in you, the greater will be your faith in God.

    "By Grace and Grace alone"? BIG MYTH! Other than perhaps Paul, NO ONE can name a single person who, lacking faith, was saved by "grace alone".

    Ephesians 2:8,9 is always interpreted wrong because many people in 'high places', many who are stupid beyond comprehension, and who have no greater ability to interpret scripture than average Joe Bloe, claim that the gift of God is grace. That claim couldn't be further from the truth! The truth is that Salvation is the Gift of God, given to ALL who God has shown unmerited favor toward, but only to those who have responded in faith. Salvation through faith in God while grace prevails. Believe it or not!

    By the way, Grace is not a commodity that God hands out like candy! It is something that has been and remains true of God, an Attribute of God.

    Faith is not something that God has, so
    God cannot give faith to anyone, but he can persuade man to believe in Him making God the object of faith.

    Salvation is the only thing that God can give to man, and he does so to those who believe.
     
  12. KenH

    KenH
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    32,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wrong, Yelsew. Anyone who is saved is saved by grace alone for without God's grace NO ONE can be saved. Period.

    Furthermore, if we are not saved by grace alone, then you are inserting works into the salvation plan of God, and you are extremely in error to do so. And you are saying that God's efforts on man's behalf are not sufficient for salvation, again showing you to be in error.
     
  13. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Carson, there is but one ingredient, that if missing, results in NO man being saved. And that one singular, individually identifiable ingredient is FAITH. FAITH alone determines whether or not one is saved. Therefore it is Faith alone that saves.
     
  14. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Wrong, Yelsew. Anyone who is saved is saved by grace alone for without God's grace NO ONE can be saved. Period.

    Furthermore, if we are not saved by grace alone, then you are inserting works into the salvation plan of God, and you are extremely in error to do so. And you are saying that God's efforts on man's behalf are not sufficient for salvation, again showing you to be in error.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Why don't you prove me wrong? If I am wrong it should not be difficult for one who knows the truth to do.

    Name me one person who was saved by grace alone. or grace plus anything...except faith. If you can proved that person is saved, then you may have something by which to prove me wrong...But you cannot!

    Ken, Who are you to declare that FAITH is a work? Where in scripture is FAITH declared to be a work?

    It requires not even one ERG of energy, which is a measure of work, to have faith. Faith requires No effort on man's part, you either have it or you don't.

    It sure irks you that God did not work his plan in accordance with what you are willing to believe.
     
  15. John Gilmore

    John Gilmore
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    0
    Faith clings to Jesus' cross alone
    And rests in Him unceasing;
    And by its fruits true faith is known,
    With love and hope increasing.
    Yet faith alone doth justify,
    Works serve thy neighbor and supply
    The proof that faith is living.

    Salvation Unto Us Has Come, Paul Speratus, 1523
     
  16. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    Romans 12:3
    For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

    There is nothing that you have or ever will have that was not given to you by God.
     
  17. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Trying2understand,
    BUT, the very least we "MUST DO" is rightly think about God, and about man the way God created him to be. We must reason in the truth, about the truth! We must never think of ourselves as anything but the created.


    Granted, we are the created not the creator! 'nuff said!
     
  18. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting discussion. In the book I am currently reading the author made a interesting observation that at least I, personally, have overlooked. It is clear from Eph. 2:8 that we are saved by or because of grace and grace alone. Now for some reason I always read the rest of the verse like faith and works were the two things being contrasted. However, when the author wrote about it, it became clear to me (and maybe I am just slow or have not used my brain much) that it is grace and works that are being contrasted. Mere works are not the means of God's grace. It is faith, true faith, not just some mental exercise. True faith ALWAYS shows itself through works. It was like a lightbulb went off for me. Faith and works are not competing ideas, but rather intimately connected. You can have works without faith, but it is impossible to have true faith without works. Thus James says, "So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead." (James 2:17, RSV)

    And this whole notion of faith alone is beginning to disturb me a bit. I have always accepted it, but looking at Scripture, I see no support for it. Over and over Christ talks about what people do. And the only "faith alone" I have seen so far (if you know of other passages, please, share with me) is James 2:24 (RSV): "You see that a man is justified by works and not faith alone." Do works alone justify? No. Does faith alone justify? No. But faith with works seems to do the job. To my finite, fallible mind, it definitely does not appear to me that James is referring to works alone, but seems to be assuming faith when he makes this statement in verse 24. It appears clear to me from the whole chapter that it is faith + works, not faith only, nor works only. Now, the book of James no longer seems to be a thorn in my side or a problem, but refreshing and invigorating. Faith in the Scriptures is a real, live, tangible thing that is active in our daily lives!

    Just some thoughts that needed to be sorted through, tweeked, enlightened, etc.

    In Christ,
    Neal
     
  19. John Gilmore

    John Gilmore
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is no conflict between Paul and James. We are saved through faith alone not works. But faith must produce good works or it is dead.

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:8-10
     
  20. neal4christ

    neal4christ
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    I never said there was a conflict. [​IMG] However, where does it ever say "faith alone" in Scripture the way you are using it? Another thing, is it really faith alone? Isn't faith alone dead? Does dead faith do any good? Really, think of what you are saying. You say faith alone, but then you put a disclaimer on it. If we had no works that lined up with faith, would that be effective enough to mediate salvation to someone?

    In Christ,
    Neal
     

Share This Page

Loading...