Tuesday, June 12, 2012

TSP 21: What does it mean to be "saved"? What is the role of works in salvation?

"Are you saved?"

Many popular Christian descriptions of "salvation" amount to little more than "fire insurance"--i.e., getting out of the fires of hell. A closer look however reveals that New Testament soteriology however is far more involved than that. Here I look at the way the New Testament describes "salvation". I also look at the role of "works" in "salvation".

Listen on iTunes or click the link below. Look for more information on this podcast over at the corresponding post at TheSacredPage.com 

Feel free to leave your comments below.

TSP 21: What does it mean to be "saved"? What is the role of works in salvation?

1 comment:

De Maria said...

Hi Mike. I agree with most of what you said, but I had some problems with some of what you said. I've identified those below.

No Mike. 42 minutes into your webcast, you said that the Catholic Church teaches that "initial salvation is by grace alone." I believe that is false. Do you have a reference?

First, I've never seen where the Church mentions such a thing as "initial salvation". Second, nor have I ever heard that the Church says that salvation of any kind is by grace "alone". In order for me to believe this statement, I'd have to see the Catholic Teaching myself.

45 minutes into your cast, you said that the Catholic Church teaches that we can do "works that are meritorious for salvation." I think that may be an error also. Trent VI, Chapter VIII says, "....none of those things that precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification."

However, I believe what the Church means is that although our works do not have any intrinsic value from us, God imbues them with value because we are His children. And perhaps that is the same as when you said that "God crowns His own merits".

At 54 minutes, you said, "we are not saved as hired laborers". This is accurate, but I don't think you expressed the idea properly. St. Paul is the origin of this statement, I believe. And he was referring to the fact that the Jews were the hired help. Jesus refers to this in the parable of the labourers in the Vineyard (Matt 20). The Jews are they who made an agreement with God (Ex 19:8). They are the labourers. We, the Christians, are those who came later and were paid with little or no labour at all. And that is a metaphor for the Sacraments.Read more.

Mike, you ask:
What does It mean to be "saved"? I believe the answer to that question is "to enter into eternal life". And I further believe that for the Jews and all non-Catholics, that means coming before God's judgement seat in the after life. But for Catholics, that means receiving the Sacraments. Read more.

What is the role of works in salvation? I believe you precisely explained. They are prerequisites.Read more. Ex 20:6 and Rom 2:13 summarize that idea beautifully.


De Maria