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    Emanon, Justifaction p.II

    Hello Dave,

    I'm not going to go between the references you've quoted, I'm just going to respond here. Portions of this response are indeed from Catholic Answers, with my own additions and elaboration throughout.

    Faith is only possible with grace. Salvation is only possible with Christ, and his death on the cross purchased for us the graces required for the completion of salvation. Our initial forgiveness and justification are not things we "earn" (CCC 2010). However, accepting Christ and faith in Christ does not remove from you completely, the ability to sin. This journey to complete holiness is an ongoing process. It is not measured in time, but by grace and their works. Jesus is the mediator who bridged the gap of sin that separates us from God (1 Tim. 2:5); he bridged it by dying for us. He has chosen to make us partners in the plan of salvation (1 Cor. 3:9).

    Jesus said it is not enough to have faith in him; we also must obey his commandments. "Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do the things I command?" (Luke 6:46, Matt. 7:21–23, 19:16–21).

    The resources you quote cannot be made to mean "we earn salvation". They talk about graces afforded by us through works. Yes. And these works are only possible with grace. Grace precedes Faith, and either grace or faith precede any work God would consider "meritorious". The preceding Grace is a gift, and unearned.

    I think it's fair to note that CCC 2010 does not say that we earn salvation. Quite the contrary. It says that we merit graces. This is different, though these graces may lead to the completion of our sanctification. I understand the perception of various protestants on the subject though as I used to be one.

    Again the Quote from Trent Session 6 (canon 32), is talking about an increase of Grace.

    Again, the council of Orange says very clearly "The reward given for good works is not won by reason of actions which precede grace, but grace, which is unmerited"

    "The last canon basically forces Catholics to reject the notion that works are just the outworking of a valid faith (Protestant position), they are not "merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained." You seemed to saying you believed close to that."

    I do believe that what perhaps if I'm understanding you correctly, you would call "mere outward signs of faith" can indeed be more than outward signs of faith in that performed through grace (we should still be agreeing thus far) they also merit grace. I think the scripture for our work meriting graces is sound. This is of course if you understand the broader context of Holy Scripture as opposed to citing a handful of individual passages.


    Paul, I'm only sending this excerpt below in case you cannot send your earlier response to my entire email. In case time is an issue, you might want to just respond to these references. Dave (Emanon)
     
     
    But since you make the suggetion that the RCC does not teach that we earn salvation by our own merit and that I did not offer a source to that effect, here are a few sources that I think do make that case: (remember I am not saying that Catholics teach salvation by works alone!)

    “Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God's wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.”

    (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2010).

     

    “If anyone says that the good works of the one justified are in such manner the gifts of God that they are not also the good merits of him justified; or that the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ (of whom one is a living member), the justified does not truly merit an increase of grace, and eternal life, provided that one dies in the state of grace, the attainment of this eternal life, as well as an increase in glory, let him be anathema.”

    (Council of Trent, 6th Session, Decree on Justification, Canon 32.)

     

    The Second Council of Orange declared with St. Prosper of Aquitania and St. Augustine: ‘The reward given for good works is not won by reason of actions which precede grace, but grace, which is unmerited, precedes actions in order that they may be accomplished meritoriously.’ The Council of Trent teaches that for the justified eternal life is both a gift or grace promised by God and a reward for his own good works and merits. As God’s grace is the presupposition and foundation of (supernatural) good works, by which man merits eternal life, so salutary works are, at the same time gifts of God and meritorious acts of man.”

    (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott, TAN Books & Publishers, Inc. Rockford, Illinois, 1974, p. 264.)

     

    If anyone says that the justice (righteousness) received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of the increase, let him be anathema.

    (Council of Trent, 6th Session, Decree on Justification, Canon 24.)

     

    The last canon basically forces Catholics to reject the notion that works are just the outworking of a valid faith (Protestant position), they are not "merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained." You seemed to saying you believed close to that.                                                                       



     

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