Born Again - The Bible Way

October 4, 2013 | 236 comments

“Have you been born again, my friend?” Thousands of Catholics have been asked this question by well-meaning Fundamentalists or Evangelicals. Of course, by “born again” the Protestant usually means: “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior through the recitation of ‘the sinner’s prayer?”” How is a Catholic to respond?

The simple Catholic response is: “Yes, I have been born again—when I was baptized.” In fact, Jesus’ famous “born again” discourse of John 3:3-5, which is where we find the words “born again” in Scripture, teaches us about the essential nature of baptism:

Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicode'mus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

At this point, a Fundamentalist or Evangelical will respond almost predictably: “Baptism does not save you, brother; John 3:5 says we must be born of water and the Spirit.” The Catholic will then be told the “water” of John 3:5 has nothing to do with baptism. Depending on the preference of the one to whom the Catholic is speaking, the “water” will either be interpreted as man’s natural birth (the “water” being amniotic fluid), and “the Spirit” would then represent the new birth, or the water would represent the word of God through which one is born again when he accepts Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior.

Amniotic Fluid vs. Baptismal Water

To claim the “water” of John 3:5 is amniotic fluid is to stretch the context just a smidgen! When we consider the actual words and surrounding context of John 3, the waters of baptism seem to be the more reasonable—and biblical—interpretation. Consider these surrounding texts:

John 1:31-34: Jesus was baptized. If you compare the parallel passage in St. Matthew’s gospel (3:16), you find that when Jesus was baptized, “the heavens were opened” and the Spirit descended upon him. Obviously, this was not because Jesus needed to be baptized. In fact, St. John the Baptist noted that he needed to be baptized by Jesus (see Matthew 3:14)! Jesus was baptized in order “fulfill all righteousness” and “to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,” according to Scripture (cf. Matt. 3:15; Luke 1:77). In other words, Jesus demonstrably showed us the way the heavens would be opened to us so that the Holy Spirit would descend upon us… through baptism.

John 2:1-11: Jesus performed his first miracle. He transformed water into wine. Notice, Jesus used water from “six stone jars … for the Jewish rites of purification.” According to the Septuagint as well as the New Testament these purification waters were called baptismoi (see LXX, Numbers 19:9-19; cf. Mark 7:4). We know that Old Testament rites, sacrifices, etc. were only “a shadow of the good things to come” (Hebrews 10:1). They could never take away sins. This may well be why “six” stone jars are specified by St. John—to denote imperfection, or “a human number” (cf. Rev. 13:18). It is interesting to note that Jesus transformed these Old Testament baptismal waters into wine—a symbol of New Covenant perfection (see Joel 3:18; Matthew 9:17).

John 3:22: Immediately after Jesus’ “born again” discourse to Nicodemus, what does He do? "... Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized." It appears he baptized folks. This is the only time in Scripture we find Jesus apparently actually baptizing.

John 4:1-2: Jesus’ disciples then begin to baptize at Jesus’ command. It appears from the text, Jesus most likely only baptized his disciples and then they baptized everyone else. 

In summary, Jesus was baptized, transformed the “baptismal” waters, and then gave his famous “born again” discourse. He then baptized before commissioning the apostles to go out and baptize. To deny Jesus was teaching us about baptism in John 3:3-5 is to ignore the clear biblical context.

Moreover, John 3:5 is not describing two events; it describes one event. The text does not say “unless one is born of water and then born again of the Spirit...” It says “unless one is born of water and Spirit...” If we hearken back to the Lord’s own baptism in John 1 and Matt. 3, we notice when our Lord was baptized the Holy Spirit descended simultaneously upon him. This was one event, involving both water and the Spirit. And so it is with our baptism. If we obey God in being baptized—that’s our part of the deal—we can count on God to concurrently “open the heavens” for us and give us the Holy Spirit. 

And finally, it would be anachronistic to read into Jesus’ use of “water” to mean physical birth in John’s gospel. In fact, St. John had just used a word to refer to physical birth in John 1:12-13, but it wasn’t “water:”

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

St. John here tells us we are not made children of God by birth (“of blood”), or by our own attempts whether they be through our lower nature (“of the flesh”) or even through the higher powers of our soul (“the will of man”); rather, we must be born of God, or by God’s power. Notice, St. John refers to natural birth colloquially as “of blood,” not “of water.”

Washing of Water by the Word

It is perhaps an even greater stretch to attempt to claim the “water” of John 3:3-5 represents the word of God. At least with the amniotic fluid argument, you have mention of “birth” in the immediate context. However, the Protestant will sometimes refer to Ephesians 5:25-26 and a few other texts to make this point:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word…

“See?” a Protestant may say, “The ‘washing of water’ is here equated to ‘the word’ that cleanses us.” If you couple this text with Jesus’ words in John 15:3, “You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you,” the claim is made, that “the water” of John 3:5 would actually refer to the word of God rather than baptism. 

The Catholic Response

Beyond the obvious fact that there is nothing in the context of John's gospel to even remotely point to "water" as referring to "the word," we can point out immediately a point of agreement. Both Catholics and Protestants agree that Jesus’ words—unless one is born anew (or, again)—speak of man’s initial entrance into the body of Christ through God’s grace. Perhaps it would be helpful at this point to ask what the New Testament writers saw as the instrument whereby one first enters into Christ. This would be precisely what we are talking about when we speak of being “born again.” 

I Peter 3:20-21: “... in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Romans 6:3-4: "Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were indeed buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life." 

Galatians 3:27: "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

I Cor. 12:13: "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit (See also Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16 and Col. 2:11-13).

If baptism is the way the unsaved are brought into Christ, no wonder Christ spoke of being “born of water and spirit.” Baptism is the instrument of new birth according to the New Testament.

  


 


Tim Staples is Director of Apologetics and Evangelization here at Catholic Answers, but he was not always Catholic. Tim was raised a Southern Baptist. Although he fell away from the faith of his childhood, Tim came back to faith in Christ during his late teen years through the witness of Christian...

The Sword Of The Spirit
Are you ready to do battle against the forces of heresy and dissension that threaten to undermine the Catholic faith? Not sure about the strength of your own shield against such forces? Tim Staples is here to help. An established speaker in the area of defending the faith, he knows just what to say and how to say it when dealing with the slings and arrows of false teaching. In this set, he provides solid arguments for six of the most important teachings of the Catholic faith.

Comments by Catholic.com Members

#1  jay smith - ogden, Utah

The most crucial difference between Catholics and Bible Christians is on the issue of salvation. Catholics view salvation almost entirely as a process, while Christians view salvation as both a completed status and a process. Catholics see themselves as “being saved,” while Christians view themselves as “having been saved.” First Corinthians 1:2 says, “To those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy.” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root. This verse is declaring that Christians are both sanctified and called to be sanctified. The Bible presents salvation as a gift that is received the moment a person places faith in Jesus Christ as Savior (John 3:16). When a person receives Christ as Savior, he/she is justified (declared righteous – Romans 5:9), redeemed (rescued from slavery to sin – 1 Peter 1:18), reconciled (achieving peace with God – Romans 5:1), sanctified (set apart for God’s purposes – 1 Corinthians 6:11), and BORN AGAIN as a new creation (1 Peter 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Each of these is fully accomplished at the moment of salvation. Christians are then called to live out practically (called to be holy) what is already true positionally (sanctified).

October 7, 2013 at 3:59 am PST
#2  Alonso Sanchez - Tres Cantos, Madrid

I didn't know that for Christianity to be biblical the Holy Spirit had to sleep for 1500 years.

October 7, 2013 at 5:38 am PST
#3  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Jay sets up a false either/or proposition and in so doing misrepresents what the Catholic Church teaches. We are not either "saved" or "being saved." Both are true. The Church teaches in agreement with Scripture that Christians "have been saved" through faith and baptism (Mark 16:16; Eph. 2:8-9; Romans 6:3-4), they're "being saved" through cooperation with grace (I Cor. 1:18, I Cor. 15:1-3; II Cor. 6:1), and that they "shall be saved" if they persevere in the Faith (Matt. 10:22; Romans 2:6-7; Gal. 6:7-9).
Jay's emphasis on the past tense concerning salvation, redemption, justification, and sanctification needs to be supplemented with the many biblical texts that emphasize the fact that each of these also have a future and contingent sense to them (see Romans 11:13; Rev. 2:10; Romans 8:23; Rom. 2:14; Matt. 12:36-37; I Cor. 4:3-6; I Thess. 5:23, etc.).

October 7, 2013 at 10:43 am PST
#4  jeffery martin - arroyo grande, California

jay...jay..crickets chirping

October 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm PST
#5  Todd Farris - Mattoon, Illinois

I find it amusing how the "Bible" Christians pepper you with Scripture verses to prove their point and then fail to tell you that the verses being used are out of context. This seems to be the modus operandi for Protestants to prove their points. The verses have to be used in context of the entire chapter, book, and the entire Canon for that matter. Like Alonso, I wasn't aware that the Holy Spirit didn't come into the fray until Luther decided his way of thinking was the only way.

October 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm PST
#6  John Martinez - Walnut, California

Though very interested in all that has been said here, I find it very difficult understanding some of what is said. Is there a way that this information can be explained in a more layman terms? Very interesting though.

October 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm PST
#7  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

I recommend "The Essential Catholic Survival Guide" available here at Catholic Answers. It has a lot more in it than just the matter of salvation, but in chapters 28-30, you will get all the information you need in layman terms.

October 16, 2013 at 9:28 am PST
#8  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Jesus spoke about being born again as the second or twice; one your physical birth- earthly birth (flesh) in water inside your Mother's tommy. Second birth ,second time is from above, a spiritual birth. In it's statement in the scriptures tells us there must be a significant meaning. Jesus says also that we must be born from above. When we are fleshly born of water our Spirit is dead to God but alive to the god of this world(Satan). we have a Sinful NATURE thru Adams sin (not His SIN) but inherited Sinful Nature. see Ephesian 2:1 . You are faced with a serious problem. if you Die in this state you will die spiritually and go to hell. The Bible shows us thru history that there is no solution. We've all sinned and fallen short of God's Glory. If there was something we could Do to save ourselves ,Jesus would not have had to come and make the only sacrifice acceptable by God. When I was dating my wife 55 years ago I spent time with her and we fell in love. I then asked her to marry me -She said yes and we had a wedding and exchanged vows and wore rings to show others that we were married. We " became one ". This is the picture of being born again. In translation from original Greek Baptisim means "to become one with". You hear about Jesus and his Love for you and his willingness to come and save you from you Sins. You spend time with Him and you fall in love and ask him to Be one with you. He already has said YES to you and you askHim into you Heart You have a ceremony and you exchange vows and you are water baptized to show others you are married to Jesus. You were born again when you fell in love and Baptism is the ceremony of showing others you commitment to each other. The bible say's you are a new creation (no who has neve existed before. Your believing and confession of your statement to Jesus is when you are born again, not the baptism ceremony. This is why You must understand what your doing. Babies don't understand. Everyone has to make a decision on there own.

October 18, 2013 at 11:03 am PST
#9  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

You have at least five things wrong here, Dick. First, Jesus never talked about amniotic fluid. He didn't say you must be born and then born again. It's a given that everyone he is talking to has already been born. He says you must be "born of water and the Spirit." This is one event. Baptism.
Second, the marriage ceremony is not "to show others you are married" already. When you exchange vows, that is when your marriage is ratified. It is not just a "show."
Third, baptism is not just "to show others you are married to Jesus" already either. Scripture says baptism is the instrument God uses ordinarily to incorporate us into Christ (Romans 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27; I Peter 3:21).
Fourth, baptism is when we are born again. I would suggest you read my post again and look up the Bible verses I cite to demonstrate this to be so. Never does the Bible say we are born again through saying a prayer or confessing faith in Christ. John 3:5 indicates baptism is when we are born again, though faith is an integral part of this as Mark 16:16 says.
And finally, baptism is said to be "the circumcision of Christ" in Col. 2:11-12. This indicates babies can be baptized (Jewish males were circumcised at 8 days). Just as our Jewish forefathers understood our covenant relationship with God to be familial in nature, so does the New Covenant. St. Peter said baptism is "for you and for your children" in Acts 2:38-39. The Book of Acts and elsewhere speak repeatedly of whole households being baptized when one parent in the home comes to faith (Acts 11:14; 16:15; 31-33; I Cor. 1:16).
Matt. 9:2, 18, 15:22-28, etc. indicate that God accepts the faith of others in situations where a person cannot come to God on his own. A baby has original sin on his soul (Romans 5:12), but needs the help of his parents to come to Jesus and be baptized.

October 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm PST
#10  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Tim: You just don't see it . Again means Twice. Ist time your unfit for Heaven and there is no way to cleans yourself as the scriptures teach." no one was ever justified by keeping the law; we've all sinned and fallen short of the Glory.
John 3:5-7
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ Jesus states that Water = the Flesh is flesh ; your spiritual condition has a Sinful NATURE.You need to have a second birth =Spiritual birth w/ God's NATURE. Spirit is Spirit.
Romans 6:6-11
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. This scripture tells us of the New birth and there are many passages .
John 17:20-22
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: When you are born again you become One with God''s spirit. In my comments NO.8 I mentioned that Baptism is becoming "One With."

October 21, 2013 at 6:17 am PST
#11  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Jesus never said you have to be born twice. In John 3:3 he said, "Unless a man is born from above (anothen), he is not able to see the Kingdom of God." Jesus then directs Nicodemus away from the "second birth" idea because Nicodemus was stuck in the flesh. Nicodemus got it wrong when he then asked how a man can climb back into his mother's womb and be born a "second time." Jesus never uses the language of "a second time." Jesus answers Nicodemus and says, in verse five, "Unless a man is born of water and spirit he cannot see the Kingdom of God." This is one event... baptism.
In verses seven and eight Jesus uses "born from above" again. If you want to say "born again" that is fine, but he is trying to get Nicodemus to see that the new birth is not climbing back in the womb, it is being born of the spirit through baptism.
There is no connection between "water" and "flesh" in the text. That is your making. Nor is there a connection between "water" and "birth" in St. John's writing as I said in my post (see John 1:12).
Also, that which is "born of flesh is flesh" is not speaking of birth, it is speaking of living "in the flesh" as he will say again in Mark 14:38 and St. Paul will say in many places (Romans 8, I Cor. 2-3). But I am not a stickler on that. If you want to say "born of flesh" is physical birth that is fine. But being "born of water and spirit" is baptism. That is clear as I said in my post.
We have no problem with your emphasis on the new birth. We agree. We are born from above (or anew) through faith and baptism. This is essential for salvation. Absolutely.
Baptism does not mean "one with." But I would agree that through baptism we are incorporated into Jesus Christ and become "one with him" as Romans 6:3-4 indicates.

October 22, 2013 at 1:46 am PST
#12  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. This is one of many Scripture quotes about the New Birth.
Ephesians 2:1-7
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ . This another one .. Look up the origin of the word Baptisim in the Geek and Hebrew. In your last paragraph you say it doesn't mean one with then you agree with one with . What other kind of birth of the flesh is there that means something else than your physical -natural birth. there is no other way to see this birth as physical. Flesh is physical and If you are dead spiritually to God you need a spiritual rebirth . see scripture quotes above. Reason this out with God's Word. The Natural man cannot understand Spiritual because they have to be discerned by the spirit. The natural man sees spiritual things as foolishness.-1 Corinthians 2:14. God say's" My way's are not your way's." You can be born again and still be Catholic ; but you have to do it God's way. See "Finding New Life" booklet Published by St. Anthony Messenger Press. Impirmatur. Love in Jesus

October 22, 2013 at 6:39 am PST
#13  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

As Catholics, we are born again (or more accurately from John 3, born "from above") through faith and baptism. This is one metaphor that is used in Scripture for our being incorporated into Christ (in fact, if you want a text that actually says "born anew," that is found in I Peter 1:23, not John 3).
Now you are moving to St. Paul and I think you are missing it with St. Paul just as you missed it with Christ because once again you are reading into the text things that are not there. There are different metaphors that St. Paul uses for our being incorporated into Christ and remaining in Christ. But the texts you are using from St. Paul actually have nothing to do with being "born again." Again, there is nothing wrong with using that metaphor. We just have to be careful that we use it the way the biblical text is using it. When Jesus uses "water and spirit" in the context of baptism, you see amniotic fluid. That is a misapplication of the text. You are doing it again here.
In II Cor. 5:17, St. Paul speaks of being "a new creation." This is not speaking of being "reborn," it is speaking of our spiritual "re-creation" whereby we are "reconciled" to God (see verse 18) and we "put on the new man, created after the likeness of God" (see also Ephesians 4:22-24).
In Ephesians 2, St. Paul is using the image of resurrection, not rebirth. St. Paul speaks of being "dead" then "made alive" (see Eph. 2:1-6; 5:14). In fact, he oscillates between the main images of "reconciliation," resurrection and re-creation throughout Ephesians, but he just does not use the image of being born again. You are reading into the text something that is just not there.
Romans 8 and I Cor. 2-3 speak of living "in the flesh" verses living "in the spirit." "The flesh" represents the human person apart from grace, not physical birth. Paul does not speak of either being "born" or being "born again." He is encouraging Christians to continue to live in the spirit rather than in the flesh. "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit... and those that are in the flesh cannot please God... for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live" (Romans 8:5-13).
In Romans St. Paul is saying we have to live in the Spirit and not be enslaved by sin, which leads to spiritual death. Romans 6:16: "Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness" (Gr. - hupokoeis eis dikaiosunen - "obedience unto justification").
As a former Protestant myself, I can appreciate where you are coming from. The misapplication of a few verses in John 3 ends up coloring everything in the New Testament, especially in Evangelical and Pentecostal circles. It is truly amazing how that happens. We just have to try not to allow what ends up being "traditions of men" to nullify the very word of God.

November 19, 2013 at 8:18 am PST
#14  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

In No.9 Blog you state that no where in the bible does it state that to be Born again is thru saying a prayer or confessing Faith in Jesus.. NO WHERE ?
Romans 10:8-12(NKJV)
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. If baptism saves you? Can a Infant believe in their heart-(understanding) unto Righteousness, and able to confess (agree with God's word (Pray)with their mouth unto salvation. Yes it does say it. This is God's way to be saved.- apply it.

December 19, 2013 at 4:26 pm PST
#15  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Baptism in John 3 is the same meaning as 1 Peter 1:23. You stated in Blog #9 that the 1st. Birth is not the Water of the Natural birth , then you say its explained better in 1st. Peter 1:23 Quote:
1 Peter 1:23
Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! This states your 1st. birth came from mortal sperm-( Water) with the sinful nature, which can not enter Heaven. There needs to be a New Birth, one which has God's Nature. The Natural man can't understand Spiritual things until God has changed you in your Heart then you are born again and can discerned the things of God.

December 28, 2013 at 11:05 am PST
#16  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Rom 10:13 "every one who calls on him shall not be saved" is a quote from Joel 2:32 . The prophet envisions a time of judgment and salvation in the messianic age, with the Spirit pouring down on all flesh and a remnant of Israel being saved. This text was the springboard of Peter's inaugural sermon in Acts, where calling on "the name" of the Lord was linked with Baptism (Acts 2:21, 38) In Acts 2:38, after they hear and believe, they ask "what then shall we do?" "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.": The call for conversion is a call for Baptism, the sacrament that takes away sin and confers the Spirit (22:16; Jn 3:5; Tit 3:5). Here and elsewhere Peter insists that Baptism is the sacrament that brings us salvation (2:40; 1 Pet 3:21) Baptism is the instrumental cause of our justification, i.e., the means used by Christ to cleanse us of guilt, fill us with the grace of divine life, and adopt us as children of God.
As for children being baptized, Christ says" let the children come to me" (matt 19:14, luke 18:16) which sounds much like Acts 2 "for all whom the Lord calls to himself".
From a heart perspective (rather than a verse by verse back-and-forth), baptism wasn't instituted by Christ as a means to set a dogmatic chokehold on the faithful. It is simply a beatiful means by which He uses elements and ideas common to man in order to fulfill and instill in us the Justification given us as a free gift through the sacrifice of His son. It is a wonderful sign of God and it should be celebrated venerated and protected. It should not be (and isn't) elevated to the level whereby it in itself does anything. It is the power of God that saves. It is also the power of God that chose to implement this through baptism. In many ways, the idea of saying a prayer to be justified instead of through baptism takes away from Gods mercy imparted to us through a simple baptism and places emphasis instead upon the intellect and man's own ability to comprehend, rationalize, and then pray to be saved. Not that rationalism comprehension and prayer are bad, but it's more of a childlike act to accept Gods gift through baptism then it is to reason your way to a prayer experience. With the heart of a child we come before Him. Regenerated as a new man through the waters of baptism we enter his body as a child. Continuing in faith we grow in love and rightousness through cooperation with his infinite grace. Through this perseverence we can have great confidence that our soul shall find eternal peace and rest with our Father.
Dick, I address much of this to you, because you seem to have the idea that the Catholic view on baptism is flawed. However, it is the view held throughout history by the church, tought by the church's original members, the apostles. It is not a view that detracts from Christ's saving grace; it rather perfectly fulfils it. I too said the "sinners prayer" as a Child. I said it again and again, as I grew up, each time worried that I hadn't had the right level of understanding or faith the previous prayer. That I might not have reached "the age of reason" at the previous prayer. It was the most comforting day in my life when I realize that it wasn't about my reason. It was about childlike faith. And it was precisely in my most childlike state that I was Justified through Christ... As a young and helpless baby being baptized held in my Mothers arms.

February 7, 2014 at 2:54 am PST
#17  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick, I would also like to comment on your use of Romans 10. No where in Romans 10:9-13 does St. Paul say we are born anew through confessing Jesus Christ. The text reads, "if you confess... you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness (Gr. eis dikaiosune, unto justification), and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (eis soterion, unto salvation)... every one who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
The same Greek words are used in speaking to Christians about obedience in Romans 6:16: "Know you not that whoever you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are, whether it be sin which leads to death (Gr. hamartia eis thanaton, "sin unto death"), or obedience which leads to righteousness (hupakoeis eis dikaiosunen, "obedience unto justification")." The implication here is that the confession of Christ must be on-going. It is not a one-time deal (see also Matt. 5:32-33). II Cor. 7:10 tells us that, for Christians who fall into sin, repentance "leads to salvation" (Gr. - "eis soterian") as well. Same words. So Romans 9, in context, is not speaking about how someone first enters into Christ. St. Paul is there talking about an on-going relationship with Christ where we continue to confess Christ so that we will be saved in the future. In Romans 6:3-4, he already told us how we first enter into Christ--through baptism.
Moreover, the phrase "shall be saved" lends itself to an on-going process as well. In Matt. 10:22 we find our Lord saying. "You shall be hated of all men for my name's sake, but he that endures until the end shall be saved." Salvation is often referred to as something contingent upon us continuing to cooperate with the grace of God, continue being faithful, believing, etc. (Romans 13:11, Rev. 2:10, II Cor. 6:1, I Cor. 15:1-2, etc.).
And finally, the point about infant baptism. David makes great points. I would add this: If you believe it to be necessary for salvation to first believe in order to be saved, then that means all babies that die in the womb, all children who die before they have the use of reason, and all those adults who are severely mentally challenged would have no possibility of salvation. We do not believe that. We believe that we are only responsible for what we have the ability to do. In other words, we will not be held accountable for what we could not have known or done (see John 15:22).
Baptism is called by St. Paul "the circumcision of Christ" in Col. 2:11-12. As David mentioned, St. Peter, preaching to thousands of Jews who already understood the idea of a family covenant (they circumcised children) specifically said baptism was "for [them] and their children." We have numerous people who came to Christ and the apostles could say to them that not only them but their entire "households" would be saved. And sometimes before they even knew who or how many or how old the members of their household were. That implies children being baptized (see I Cor. 1:16; Acts 11:14; 16:15; 31). Just as in the Old Covenant with circumcision, in the New Testament parents are commanded to baptize their children and they are responsible to do so.
The thief on the cross is a reminder that we are only responsible for what we can do. He could not be baptized; thus, he could be saved by his desire for Christ. But that does not negate the fact that both faith and baptism are necessary for salvation (see Mark 16:16). If he would have been miraculously brought down from the cross, he would have been required to be baptized. If he refused, he would have been lost.
Faith is essential as well, but only if one had the opportunity to believe. But the point here is the injunctions to believe do not eliminate the possibility of infant baptism. The parents' faith and obedience suffices until the child reaches the age of accountability. We have multiple examples in Scripture of the faith of parents (Acts 2:38-39) or others bringing people who have no ability to believe to Christ and Christ heals them, whether that be the paralytic in Mark 2:5, or the parents bringing their infants (Gr. brephe, "infants") to Christ in Luke 18:16.
The Catholic Church teaches as Scripture does in Eph. 2:8-9, the initial grace of salvation is something entirely unmerited. Baptizing babies is the ultimate example of this. They can do nothing to merit the gift of salvation. However, Eph. 2:10 tells us that once we enter into Christ, we must then perform good works in him that both St. Paul in Romans 2:6-7, and Galatians 6:7-9, and St. James in James 2:24, tells us result in our final justification/salvation.

February 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm PST
#18  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

David: I know what the difference between shall and shall not. Call on and believe is the same; as in the next line, confess with your mouth and believe in your heart and you will be saved. water Baptism and Communion are Pictures to meditate on when remembering his life, death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus said to do this in REMEMBERANCE of me. A Memorial. He said;" it is finished". Meaning Sin has been dealt with; Once, for All, Forever. All you need to do is apply it to your need. Your lost and you need saved. Provision= Jesus. You must get it right. Daniel's 70 weeks state when Jesus comes He will put an END to SIN. Paul writes in Romans 8 that we died to the Law of sin and death. He said to consider your self dead to sin. this is what dying with Christ means. it was us who he died for. He died in our place. He took our sins on Him and he gave us His righteousness; "His ability to stand spotless before GOD." We ARE saved and Justified . Look for all " Past tense" in scriptures. try Ephesian chapter 1.

February 10, 2014 at 9:11 am PST
#19  david pruit - dallas, Texas

I dont know where you get all this. It's not scriptural and it's not Christian. I dont know how people could more clearly and concisely (logically and in spirit) explain these things to yoy. You've been told several times so now I gues it's time to stop arguing. Peace be with you.

February 10, 2014 at 8:40 pm PST
#20  david pruit - dallas, Texas

I dont know where you get all this. It's not scriptural and it's not Christian. I dont know how people could more clearly and concisely (logically and in spirit) explain these things to yoy. You've been told several times so now I gues it's time to stop arguing. Peace be with you.

February 10, 2014 at 8:41 pm PST
#21  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. David; It is obvious that you don't read or study the word of God ,calling it non-scriptural and non- Christian. Confess and believe = Salvation.
Romans 10:8-9
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
This is in your version of the Catholic Bible; just look it up.

Hebrews 10:12-14
But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.
For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Notice: one offering; for Sins Forever; perfected those) . Daniel's prophesy:
Daniel 9:24
“Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. ( This prophesy was given 600 years before it was fulfilled; exactly the day Jesus died on the cross. Jesus put an End to Sin at the cross.
Romans 8:2
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 6:11
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Past tense: Ephesians 1:--verses 3 who HAS; 4 He CHOSE; 6 He HAS MADE; 7 In Him we HAVE; 8 He MADE; 9 HAVING MADE KNOWN; 11 We HAVE OBTAINED; 13 You WERE SEALED, etc. All throughout the epistles things that have been accomplished by Jesus for us.

February 12, 2014 at 8:32 am PST
#22  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,

You claim Romans 10:8-9 says "Confess and believe = Salvation." But then you quote it and it doesn't say that. It actually says, by your own quotation of if, “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." It doesn't say you are saved, it says you "will be saved." There are other things the Bible says we also must do in order to be saved. You can't just cherry pick verses and forget about the rest. The Bible also says we have to keep confessing Christ, or as Scripture says it, we must "hold fast to our confession of faith" (see Heb. 4:14; 10:23; Matt. 5:32-33, etc.). So yes, we must confess faith in Christ to be saved, but we must continue to confess Christ. We also have to take Matt. 10:22 that says, "You shall be hated of all men for my namesake, but he that endures until the end shall be saved." Rev. 2:10 says, "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life." And I could give you 20 more such examples.

Yes, Hebrews 10:14 says "He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified," but what is the context? Hebrews 10:1-11 focuses on how the sacrifices of the Old Covenant could "never take away sins" because they were of an inferior nature (see verses 1-4). They had to be offered over and over again as well. Jesus' sacrifice was offered once and for all. His sacrifice is perfect. That is what is being said. Christ's sacrifice means "he is the propitiaton for our sins, and not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:1-2).
However, what you are failing to see is that the blood of Jesus that takes away our sins, and continues to take away our sins must be applied to our lives by our choosing to "walk in the light as he is in the light" and by "confessing our sins," for example (among other things we must do), as I John 1:7-9 says. Christ's perfect and infinite sacrifice will not save us unless we accept what he did for us. And not just once, but daily (Luke 9:23; see again I John 1:7-9).

Another example of how we must continue to choose to participate in what Christ did for us on the cross is found in the Eucharist. Jesus said, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood you have no life in you" (John 5:53). "The cup which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread when we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?" The blood of Christ will not continue to cleanse us unless we choose to walk with him as I John 1:7-9 plainly says, and unless we receive him worthily in communion (I Cor. 11:27-29).

We agree that Jesus "put an end to sin at the cross" on the objective level. But unless we confess our sins, we will die in our sins as I John 1:8-9 indicates. You are not getting the difference between Jesus' objective sacrifice which is of infinite merit and our applying that sacrifice to our lives by saying yes to God.

You also take Romans 8:2 out of context. Yes, it says, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." But you have to keep reading. It also says we must continue to walk in the spirit and not fall back into a life in the flesh, "... in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit... for if you live according to the flesh you will die, But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Romans 8:4-14).
In Galatians 6:7-9, St. Paul really sums it up:
"Be not deceived God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that shall he reap. For he who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap death; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lost heart."

We agree that Jesus died so "that we might become the righteousness of God in him" as II Cor 5:21 says. But notice it says "that we might become." Again, that implies that if we sin, we have to ask for forgiveness in order to be forgiven as I John 1:8-9 says. We become unrighteous if we sin and we have to be cleansed on our sins (I John 1:8-9; I John 3:7-8; I Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-5, etc.) Our souls can become tarnished. That is why St. Paul would say, "Having these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (II Cor. 7:1).

We also agree with you that there are a lot of verses that indicate we have been saved through faith and baptism (Eph. 2:8-9; I Peter 3:21, etc.). We as Catholics believe we "were baptized into Jesus Christ" just as Romans 6:3-4 says. But we take all of Scripture. Scripture also says we are "being saved" indicating salvation does not only have a "past" sense to it, but it is also an on-going process (I Cor. 1:18; cf. Romans 13:11, I Cor. 15:1-2, etc.). Moreover, we also see it in the future indicating it has a future and contingent sense to it as well. We have to take all of these Scriptures. Notice, we "will be saved" if we endure faithfully until the end (Matt. 10:22; Acts 15:11; Rev. 2:10, Matt 24:45-51, etc.)

So we agree that Jesus is our savior. He obeyed where I could not. He suffered and died for my sins because I could not. He paid a debt that he did not owe because I owed a debt I could not pay. However, according to the Scriptures, through his sacrifice, he empowers me to be able to cooperate with what he did so that I can then participate in my own salvation and the salvation of others "in him, with him, and through him" (Romans 11:36). "Apart from [Christ, I] can do nothing" (John 15:5; Eph. 2:1-7). But in Christ "I can do all things" (Phil. 4:13, John 14:12).

I can't save myself apart from Christ, but in him, I can save not only myself, but those that hear me as well (I challenge you to read I Tim. 4:16, I Cor. 9:22, Romans 11:14, I Cor. 7:16, James 5:19-20, Col. 1:24, II Cor. 1:6, and I could give you more, that say precisely what I said above). I can do all of this because I am a "co-laborer with Christ" as St. Paul said it in I Cor. 3:9. I am nothing, and I have nothing to boast about apart from Christ, but in Christ it is a whole new ballgame (I Cor. 1:31).

February 12, 2014 at 12:24 pm PST
#23  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Tim: "If you" means you haven't yet. So that means you will be. After you believe and cofess you are saved. very simple to understand. The Bible was written by many persons led and directed by the Holy Spirit over a long period of time; in many books to different people. The Gospels were written of a period before the new Testament. Jesus lived in Old testament times. The Church age did not start until Acts (1st. century). Every thing in the old Testament was under the law of Sin and Death. Moses's LAW was the Law of Death. Paul's revelation is what we are to follow TODAY. We are under GRACE and Righteousness. The reason I seem to cherry pick as you call it; The scriptures have links of truths connecting each other to add to the understanding. God has hidden truth from those not seeking it. You discount the importance of the Epistles. and this is where we are to live out of.
John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:19, 20
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Romans 8:2
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Hebrews 9:26-28
He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. ( Notice: He has put away Sin as prophesied in Daniel 9. and To those who eagerly wait for Jesus ;He will appear apart from Sin. When you Die then the Judgement. Even tho the Scriptures say exactly were NOT saved by WORKS ; Jesus paid it all. Once we have received our salvation -Then we are to Word out our Salvation. Go into all the world and make disiples; loving one another etc. Jesus wants us to Cry out to Him to be Saved because He knew you could not save your self and He went all the Way for you.
1 John 3:4-9
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. ( Notice In Him)
Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. Practicing Righteousness. Must be important. Can't find it in your Catechism

February 18, 2014 at 9:25 am PST
#24  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Dick, you28 comments in #23 can all be brought into question by citing one passage: "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. (James 2:14-17). And by "cherry pick" I think Tim is referring to how you seem to be using a specific verse only to prove a certain point, but you are ignoring all the OTHER verses that speak on the topic, and also the context in which that verse is cited.
For instance, you would likely quote Romans 3:28 to "counter" the above verse " For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law". The great thing about being Catholic is that we dont have to scratch our heads about those seemingly contradictory verses (and there are many others). Rather, we can accept all the verses in the bible, and understand them as their meant to be - in unity of dogma, amd not in confused uncertainty.

February 19, 2014 at 5:37 pm PST
#25  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Faith comes by Hearing, Hearing by the word of God. When you Read God's Word your hearing Him speak. Finding Truth you Believe what it says and you activate it. (with out activating it Faith is Dead. Works applied after Faith COMES. Works for Salvation is applying anything that YOU do trying to WORK YOUR WAY to Heaven and Eternal Life. Without Jesus's provision for your salvation; Your WORKS are called Dead Works and you need to repent of those. Once you are saved by Jesus only those same Works are called Good works. Works W/O Jesus= Dead Works; Jesus + works = Good work
Hebrews 6:1
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, For it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without Faith.

February 20, 2014 at 8:19 am PST
#26  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Therefore by your own reasoning faith AND works are required for salvation. And this is exactly what the catholic church teaches.
Man cannot "work his way to heaven". Afrer initial salvation or as you call it "activation" we are to continue in "good works" which are only possible through cooperation with Christs grace, which is a result of our continued state of faith. BOTH are necessary, and you cant have one without the other. They are 2 sides of the same coin.

February 20, 2014 at 11:55 am PST
#27  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Therefore by your own reasoning faith AND works are required for salvation. And this is exactly what the catholic church teaches.
Man cannot "work his way to heaven". Afrer initial salvation or as you call it "activation" we are to continue in "good works" which are only possible through cooperation with Christs grace, which is a result of our continued state of faith. BOTH are necessary, and you cant have one without the other. They are 2 sides of the same coin.

February 20, 2014 at 11:55 am PST
#28  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

MY reasoning did not say that at all. Before your saved Works are call Dead works. After your saved they're called Good works. Salvation is a free Gift. You don't have to pay for a FREE GIFT. Works you pay for; there's a WAGE involved. the wages of sin is eternal death, but the gift of Jesus is Eternal Life. Before you are born again there is no Grace (Mercy) applied; only Judgement for your Sins ( Wages). Only Jesus is the Answer. I owed a debt I could not pay,He paid a debt He did not owe;
I needed someone to wash my sins away.
And, now, I sing a brand new song,
"Amazing Grace." Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.

February 20, 2014 at 4:20 pm PST
#29  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Dick, I want to summarize what you are saying and point out which parts agree with and disagree with the Catholic position:
1) "Before you[re] saved Works are call Dead works" - AGREED (or as Paul might call them, "Works of the Law").
2) "Salvation is a free Gift, You don't have to pay for a FREE GIFT" - AGREED.
3) "Works you pay for; there's a WAGE involved" - Which works are you talking about? Dead or Good works? To Clarify, Works you GET PAID for. You "receive a WAGE" for them.
4) "the wages of sin is eternal death, but the gift of Jesus is Eternal Life" - AGREED. But by your own statements, you must agree that the wages of GOOD WORKS is NOT eternal death, but eternal LIFE in Christ.
5) "Before you are born again there is no Grace (Mercy) applied; only Judgement for your Sins ( Wages)" - AGREED. We are all subject to the ORIGINAL SIN of Adam before being born again.
6) "Only Jesus is the Answer" - AGREED!
7) "I owed a debt I could not pay,He paid a debt He did not owe;
I needed someone to wash my sins away......Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay" - AGREED!

So where is the disconnect!? The disconnect is that you seem to think Catholics believe things that they actually don't. In 1) you seem to think that Catholics believe that (by your definition) "Dead Works" save you. Catholics DO NOT believe this!
This is what I was trying to say in #27. Good works (works you perform after your salvation, that you can only do because you already HAVE faith, and are only possible THROUGH GRACE) play a continual role in our lives as NEW BEINGS (made new because we are BORN AGAIN) and they are INSEPARABLE from our FAITH. They continue Christ's work in us, called "Sanctification". The disconnect is that often, Catholics still call sanctification "salvation". Sanctification is Christ's continued work in us to bring us ever and ever closer to Him, to help perfect us, to infuse us with His perfect love, and drive every last bit of attachment to this world and its ways out of us. And also to drive it out if it starts to creep back in. It's not through our own power that this happens. Its all Him. But we have to CHOOSE to let him work in us.
This leads to the next disconnect, which is that it IS possible to LOSE your salvation. I know you won't agree, but Tim explained it in #22, and it's in the Bible, so you are REQUIRED to believe it. Sorry. You don't get to re-interpret these, or omit them, or pull out a single verse that seems to contradict them, such as Heb 10:14. (Heb. 4:14; 10:23; Matt. 5:32-33, Rev 2:10, Matt 10:22, Luke 9:23; I John 1:7-9, Galatians 6:7-9).

The next disconnect, which ties into the subject of this thread, is when #5) is applied/occurs. Again, it's in the bible over and over again, so same rules. You can't omit the verses you don't like or just find 1 that seems to contradict them and use it to prove your own point. You are born again when you are baptized. Now, again, don't go on thinking that Catholics believe that God is bound by the motions or action of baptism. God isn't bound by any of the sacraments. He gave them to us for US. They are physical signs by which HE CHOOSES to impart His Supernatural work IN US. He can choose to do this any way He wants. He chose the Sacrament of Baptism to impart Justification of our sins to us, and our re-birth into the mystical body of Christ as NEW MEN. So, can he choose to impart Justification by another means. Certainly so! and Catholics hold fast to this, noting that certainly man are "baptized by desire" or "by blood". Does this mean we shouldn't be baptized? Certainly not! For Christ TOLD US TO DO IT! It's not for Him, it's not "a work" that we do of our own power in order to "gain" his Love and Mercy. That's not the point, and that would be a heresy (if that's what the Catholic church taught, which it isn't). Baptism Saves By the Resurrection of Christ. (1 Peter 3:21). Does it say anywhere that saying the sinners prayer "saves you". Does the Bible say that "you must ask Jesus into your heart and this will save you"? It does not. That is because Christ CHOSE to use baptism. Not a prayer to ask him into your heart. (Note that this type of prayer is certainly great, and advantageous, and even "salvific" in the sense that it fosters "sanctification", or continual life IN CHRIST, and CHRIST IN YOU).

I feel like at this point in the discussion you need to be very clear about what it is you think Catholics believe. Because so far in these threads, what you've stated shows that you do not seem to actually know what the Catholic church teaches (even though you used to be Catholic, so this is somewhat surprising). As a newer Catholic myself, I've found that it's pretty easy to search out good sources that discuss what the Church actually teaches. I think it's important that if you are going to continue in these conversations, you need to be getting your facts about what the Church teaches from a good source, rather than making assertions about what you think the church believes (and just because you WERE Catholic, does not mean that you actually understood what the Church teaches). When you do make arguments in these threads, you set up a "straw man" and then knock it down. This is pointless if we're going to have real dialogue. I hope you consider this, so we can continue to dialogue about our differences in a coherent, logical, and reasonable manner.

February 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm PST
#30  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Dead Works are things you do to please God such as Giving to the Church or the Poor; helping your neighbor; being a usher or singing in the choir; altar boy; taking some one to the doctor or grocery; etc. If you are not born again your cut off from God and His benefits. But when you are born again you are connected ( Redeemed or bought back) and your same works become Good Works.
Ephesians 2:1-3
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. ( You were dead,once walked,etc. and were by NATURE--- But)
Ephesians 2:4-10
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Saved by Grace, Gift of God Not of Works, walk in them) Don't tell me about Works has something to do with salvation. Only Jesus finished Perfect work can save us. ( Not of yourself.) Works after you salvation is NOW Good Works. The scripture in 1st. corth. is about Works.
1 Corinthians 3:9-15
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.
According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
(each one’s work) will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and (the fire will test each one’s work,) of what sort it is.
If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a ( reward.) Gold, silver ,precious stones indures = Reward.)
If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. When we are persecuted for our faith; which is the baptism of Fire Jesus spoke of in Luke 12:49-50 He was Killed for His Faith. when persecution come Our Works will be tested -Wood, hay, stubble will not stand thru the test but Gold, Silver and precious Stones Will stand and you are still Saved Even the ones who Have Jesus but didn't build out of the correct things. This is not about purgatory. You only Have to ask someone in authority in the catholic church about saved+Works, without telling them in advance. Ask any Catholic.

February 21, 2014 at 6:02 pm PST
#31  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Ok.... im sorry I do not follow you. Doesn't seem like you are arguing or responding to anything I'm saying. I'm going to stop posting on this thread to you. God bless.

February 21, 2014 at 7:42 pm PST
#32  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

David, I am concerned about you making Heaven. When studying God , I study the real thing. Jehovah Witness's have their Books, Translations, theology written by their own Members and follow after men. the Bible is always on the back burner. same with Mormons, see list in "Kingdom of the cults". Any theology that keeps people from seeing the truth. I study the real thing. Once you are born Again you can understand spiritual things. Until then you can't understand because they have to be spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:13-14
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Ask Jesus to come into your Spirit and save you then it will happen. Pray for God's kind of Wisdom. (One of the Gifts of the Spirit) and the light will come ON.

February 22, 2014 at 8:46 am PST
#33  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Dick, Ive been an evangelical born again bible believing Christian since day 1 of my life. Ive been baptized. Ive said the sinners prayer. Ive prayed my whole life for wisdom. Ive read the bible and been in bible studies since I could read. So you arent teaching me anything new. Ive heard all your type of rhetoric and weak arguments be before. Ive been in your shoes and made the same arguments. God led me to His church by calling me to a closer relationship with Him and His Church. So thank you for worrying about my salvation, but I could say the same thing to you. But I wont. God is calling you and and in the end will judge each mans heart. All I can do is tell you your theology is is wrong, and you are mistaken on a few points. The rest is between you and God.

February 22, 2014 at 10:52 am PST
#34  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Dick, Ive been an evangelical born again bible believing Christian since day 1 of my life. Ive been baptized. Ive said the sinners prayer. Ive prayed my whole life for wisdom. Ive read the bible and been in bible studies since I could read. So you arent teaching me anything new. Ive heard all your type of rhetoric and weak arguments be before. Ive been in your shoes and made the same arguments. God led me to His church by calling me to a closer relationship with Him and His Church. So thank you for worrying about my salvation, but I could say the same thing to you. But I wont. God is calling you and and in the end will judge each mans heart. All I can do is tell you your theology is is wrong, and you are mistaken on a few points. The rest is between you and God.

February 22, 2014 at 10:52 am PST
#35  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Thank you David. And thank you all. Oremus pro invicem (Latin for "Let us pray for one another)!

February 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm PST
#36  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

David; I believe you are Born again. Your Spirit is Now perfect but you Mind has to be Renewed. Bible say's the there are Babies in Christ and their not able to eat the Meat of the word; their still on the milk of the Word. Seems we are in agreement on a lot of things. NO. 29. It's apparent you could not have be a Christian since you were one year old; because your not born that way and you have to comprehend what you asking God to Do. Tim has stated this in his blogs before. To show that you don't know that your saved by Prayer and asking Jesus into your Heart ( Spirit) see
Romans 10:8-10
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. ( Notice you confess with your mouth and believe in your Heart.)
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:13
For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” ( To call is to Pray. ) (Notice YOU;YOUR) You can do this if your able to comprehend what you are asking. Do it when your able. Your parents can't say it for you either and the church can't believe it for you. God knows the situation and he has babies covered until they can do it themselves. Nice quote" your not teaching me anything new. Obviously you can't receive any thing. My theology is wrong is it ; it's all scripture.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (Notice the deep things of God) AMEN

February 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm PST
#37  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
You can't say David's, "Spirit is now perfect..." You don't know that. St. Paul tells the Christians in Corinth (and he includes himself), "Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God." Our spirits become defiled when we sin as Christians, according to St. Paul. And "no unclean thing can enter into heaven" (Rev. 21:27; Hab. 1:13). That defilement must be cleansed. You really need to meditate on God's word and get away from all of these man-made traditions you keep attempting to foist upon us.
Second, when you say David "could not have be[en] a Christian since [he was] one year old..." once again you are wrong. Becoming a Christian is not something we merit by our works. We enter into Christ through an entirely unmerited gift (Eph. 2:8-9). Baptism is the instrument God uses to communicate that gift. St. Peter tells us that gift is for children (Acts 2:38-39) and we find out from St. Paul in Col. 2:11-12 that baptism is "the circumcision of Christ." Babies were circumcised. So should Christian babies be baptized.
Third, if you say "you have to comprehend" God in order to be saved and you have to "confess" Christ to be saved, then all babies who die will go to Hell. That is absurd!
For adults, it is required that they make a profession of faith. But that is not required for babies because babies do not have the ability to make a profession of faith. You are only responsible for what you can do. When you say, "God knows the situation and he has babies covered until they can do it themselves," where does the Bible say that? You just quoted Romans 10:9-13 as an absolute and said everyone has to confess Christ, and then you say millions and millions do not have to confess Christ to be saved. But when Catholics say Romans 10:9-10 does not apply to babies you say we are wrong. You make no sense.
The bottom line here is this: Though babies cannot profess faith in Christ so they do not have to in order to be saved: parents can have their babies baptized, so they are responsible to do so. And this leads to my fourth point in answering your comments.
When you said, "Your parents can't say it for you either and the church can't believe it for you," that is simply not true. This is the point in circumcising babies. The parents believe for the babies. How often do we see it is the faith of others that provides for those who cannot believe for themselves. This happens in dramatic fashion when God raises the dead through Elijah, Elisha, St. Peter, and St. Paul. The person who is dead cannot believe for themselves. We see this in Matt. 9:2 as well. When Jesus saw the faith of the ones carrying the paralytic, he forgave the sins of the paralytic. So it is with the baptism of babies.
Don't get so hung up on "works" in thinking that we have to do something in order to receive the initial grace of salvation. It is entirely unmerited. Baptizing babies is the ultimate example of that. It is only after baptism that we can begin to "call on the name of the Lord" and merit eternal life as Romans 10:9-13 says (see also Romans 2:6-7; Gal. 6:7-9).

February 27, 2014 at 7:24 am PST
#38  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Jesus Died in our place for our sins: past, present, future. we are free from the law of sin and death. we have liberty under the grace and righteousness IN CHRIST JESUS. If you are saved you did that of your own Faith, Believing ,and confessing who Jesus is and making a confession of faith. Christians have no Spiritual parents . Eternity is a Gift, as you state in you comments; not of Works . You miss quoted me ;I never said I was hung up on Works as a requirement for Salvation. It is unmerited . you keep going back and forth. which is it ?

February 27, 2014 at 7:09 pm PST
#39  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Hello Dick,
I am not going back and forth. The initial grace of salvation is entirely unmerited. We demonstrate this in baptizing babies. A baby can do absolutely nothing to merit anything. However, once we enter into Christ, "we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works" as Eph. 2:10 says. We can only merit because of Christ working in us.
Of course you are not going to say you are hung up on works, but you are. You seem to think a baby can't receive the circumcision of Christ because he has to first do something. No, he doesn't. He received a pure gift from God.
Yes, Jesus died for all of our sins, past, present and future. In fact, I John 2:1-2 says he died for all of the sins "of the whole world." That is not at issue.
What is at issue is your failure to understand that his sacrifice cannot be applied to our lives unless we cooperate with his grace. Once we enter into Christ we must choose to "walk in the light" (I John 1:7) in order for his blood to continue to cleanse us. We must "confess our sins" in order for him to "forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That is what you are not seeing. Read I John 1:7-9 and I think you'll at least see what I mean.

February 27, 2014 at 10:24 pm PST
#40  Kelly T - Wickliffe, Ohio

Doesn't a person have to make a conscious decision for him/her self? How can parents make the decision to follow Christ for their child? Where is the free will and what happens if someone who was baptized as a baby renounces Christ as an adult?

(I am currently going through RCIA and I have tons of questions.)

Thanks!

February 28, 2014 at 11:09 am PST
#41  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Kelly; Yes babies are covered up to the age of accountability. then they are responsible for believing and confessing Jesus. Jesus then comes into your Spirit and becomes one with you.
Romans 10:8-10
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Water baptism is a witness of your statement of faith of what happened earlier in you Spirit. (as an example:) When I started dating my wife, I spent Time with Her and I fell in Love with Her. I believe she was my help mate. I confessed my Love for her and ask her to marry me. This is when we became one in each other. Then we had a wedding ceremony and we exchanged Rings as a public statement of our commitment to each other and those witnessing. Your Love for Jesus comes before water baptism. Water baptism does not save you . Only Jesus Saves.
Ephesians 2:4-6
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

February 28, 2014 at 2:29 pm PST
#42  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Kelly,
No one can make a decision for someone else to follow Christ. A baby can't "follow Christ" until he or she reaches the age of accountability. That is not what we are talking about. We are talking about parents deciding for their children that they are going to be Christians. This is a great gift that God gives to the child through the parents apart from anything the baby can do. It is a pure gift of God.
Think of the analogy of the Jewish faith. A child was circumcised at the age of eight days and at that point they became a Jew. "But didn't they have to choose to "believe in God and in his servant Moses?" (see Ex. 14:31) Of course they did. Remember, King David (and Abraham) was an example for us of Justification by faith in Romans 4 but he still had to be circumcised or else he would have been "cut off from [God's] people" (Gen. 17:14).
It is not a contradiction; it is a great gift to receive baptism as "the circumcision of Christ" as a baby. That baby is incorporated into Christ, not just into the nation of Israel, and he receives many gifts that will be there to help him when he reaches the age of accountability.
But of course, each of us must choose to follow Jesus when we reach the age of accountability and we can, at any time, choose to reject our inheritance as Hebrews 12:14-17 says of Esau.
And remember this, Kelly. We make all sorts of choices for our children. That is an essential part of being a parent. We don't wait for them to come of age to choose their names, food, clothes, doctors, medical care for their bodies, schools (as they get older), etc. They can change all of those things when they get older, but we don't wait for them. We have a responsibility towards them. And so it is with the faith. We "train up a child" in the way of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6) even as they get older so that when it comes time they will hopefully choose correctly.

February 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm PST
#43  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
Where does the Bible say "babies are covered up to the age of accountability?" It says they cannot sin personally because they don't know the law (Romans 7:9) and because they don't know what is right and wrong (Romans 9:11), but Scripture also says, "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." Romans 5:12 says, "For by one man, sin and death come upon all," and that "we were by nature children of wrath" (Eph. 2:2-4).
That means there is something called original sin that must be taken away and that is why (part of the reason, anyway) we have infant baptism.
You say, "Water baptism is a witness of your statement of faith of what happened earlier in you Spirit," but that is not what the Bible teaches. It says, "baptism now saves us," in I Peter 3:21. It says, "We are buried together with him through baptism" in Romans 6:3 (see also Acts 2:38; 22:16; Gal. 3:27; Mark 16:16). Why do you quote Romans 10:9-10 that says confessing Christ leads to salvation, but you don't cite Mark 16:16 that says "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved," or Matt. 10:22 that says, "... he that endures until the end shall be saved?" Same words. Baptism and enduring until the end is just as much necessary for salvation (in the final sense) as is confessing Christ's with our lips, according to the Bible. You are only giving a partial picture.
Where does the Bible say you became married to you wife "when [you] confessed [your] Love for her and ask[ed] her to marry [you]?" Where does the Bible say that is "when [you] became one in each other." And then the wedding ceremony was merely a symbol? Really? Can you give the verses for this?
Actually, it is the public exchange of vows that brings about a ratified marriage and then the consummation brings about a consummated and indissoluble union. Of course you have to love one another and freely commit to Christ and each other in the sacrament, but the sacrament is confected in public, not when you are out at the park somewhere and saying, "I love you." Otherwise, there's a whole lot of folks married out there but they don't know it!
In the same way, the Bible never says baptism is a mere symbol representing something that already happened. It is a symbol that brings about what it symbolizes. It is not the mere "cleansing of dirt from the flesh," as St. Peter says in I Peter 3, that we are talking about here - faith and the proper intention must be present, but faith and baptism work together in bringing a person into Christ.
I am taken by how little you back up anything you say with Scripture. You quote Ephesians 2:4-6, which tells us how God loved us, saved us, and raised us up, and we agree on that. What you don't do is show the verses of Scripture like Romans 6:3-5 that show the instrument God uses to bring this about along with faith.

February 28, 2014 at 8:53 pm PST
#44  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

From what I have experienced when dealing with Protestants on this issue of "born again" is that the term is confused with conversion. Maybe at some point in their life they did not take Jesus as serious as they should have, then boom, the lights come on and all of a sudden they can't get enough of Jesus. That is the emotional moment that they claimed they were "saved" or "born again." By that reasoning they believe being saved is a moment and not a process. Without pounding me with many snippits of Scripture, is this true Mr. Martin? Must a person have a "born again" moment to achieve salvation?

March 2, 2014 at 5:05 am PST
#45  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Christopher: I know you won't believe this since it is a snippit of GOD'S WORD which all Catholics ignore because you follow Man's Tradition. I'll quote it again.
Romans 10:9-13
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” This quote say's it will happen when you believe and confess. It is not a process. We are to Love and serve the Lord after our one time experience. If you do Works to add to what Jesus totally provided for your salvation , you are not saved.
Romans 6:7-11(NKJV)
For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:7-11(NKJV)
For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord . A lot more happens when you receive Jesus in the twinkling of your eye ,the Holy Spirit comes and lives in you. your sinful Nature is gone and you become a new creation in Christ Jesus and God says He will remember your sin no more as far as the East is from the West. Your spirit is now Perfect and is Sealed and Preserved Forever. (Reckon or consider is a Faith Statement)
Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
not of works, lest anyone should boast. Not of Works for your salvation. Apply works after you Saved. Kelly; Study
2 Corinthians 5:19-21
that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Not Imputing and Jesus became Sin for us. we received His righteousness. If this Happened after our Death it would be of no purpose. Tim ; You show your ignorance in denying the Truths of Gods word. Stop fighting against such Love.

March 2, 2014 at 6:16 pm PST
#46  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Mr. Martin, thank you for your answer and letting me know that you do indeed believe salvation is achieved in a single "born again" one time moment. Does that single moment mean a persons struggle for salvation is over at that point?

If that is the case, and from your answer above you are making the claim that the one time "born again" happens to be the moment we are saved, then that would also have to be the exact time God has judged us, correct? Is our confession our judgment or do we get saved before we are judged? Can you please answer that in simple terms.

March 3, 2014 at 5:00 am PST
#47  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Eternal security is the work of God which guarantees that the gift of salvation, once received, is forever and cannot be lost. The Bible truth of eternal security emphasizes God’s activity in guaranteeing the eternal possession of the gift of eternal life. It relates to those the Holy Spirit regenerates, and its veracity does not rest on feelings , experiences or common sense.’ (Quote of Charles Ryrie, professor at the Dallas Theological Seminary.) When you’ve exhausted all the effort to attain Heaven, and all has failed, and you finally cry out to God; “Jesus save me ,I’ve tried every thing to be holy and be sinless, I turn my life completely over to you, do something with my life.” Who’s responsible for me when I ask to be Righteous in His sight? relates to those the Holy Spirit regenerates, and its veracity does not rest on feelings , experiences or common sense.’ (Quote of Charles Ryrie, professor at the Dallas Theological Seminary.) When you’ve exhausted all the effort to attain Heaven, and all has failed, and you finally cry out to God; “Jesus save me ,I’ve tried every thing to be holy and be sinless, I turn my life completely over to you, do something with my life.” Who’s responsible for me when I ask to be Righteous in His sight. Salvation is a free gift of God to us. It was His idea . What do you do with a Gift from anyone? You receive it with thanksgiving. The blessing of receiving it ,is the Giver is blessed more than the receiver. You give back to God yourself. You are a Child of God; your in the Family. The Prodigal Son left His fathers house , lived it up ,ran out of money, wanted to return to slop his Father's Hogs. His Father saw him coming and rejoiced and had a great party. The Father put a ring on His son's finger signifying his family's authority. You see the son was out of fellowship but was never out of the family. God only ask you to do one thing in your life and that is to receive the Gift.

March 3, 2014 at 7:46 am PST
#48  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Mr Martin, you still did not really answer my question but rather gave a long drawn out answer with another persons quotes. Based on everything you have said in all that you have posted, the conclusion I come to is that you are saying that as soon as a person confesses that Jesus is their Lord and Savior that they are saved at that very moment. If that is the case then that would have to be the very moment their soul has been judged. What I want to know is a yes or no answer, is that the moment our souls are judged by God and our ticket to heaven is punched? Also can a person lose their salvation once they have professed Christ as their Lord and Savior?

March 3, 2014 at 7:59 pm PST
#49  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

And yes Mr. Martin we both agree that eternal salvation is the work of God and is a free gift from God. That is exactly what the Catholic Church has taught for two thousand years!!

March 3, 2014 at 8:07 pm PST
#50  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Yes Christopher you are eternally sealed at the moment you ask Jesus to save you. and you will not come under judgment. romans say's There is NO condemnation for those who are IN Christ Jesus. If the Catholics believed this they would not believe in Purgatory. They don't believe in being secure. scripture states we are already seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. He is our substitute ; where He is we are also.

March 4, 2014 at 7:43 am PST
#51  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, thank you for the short answer and being blunt. So if what you say is true, then there is no need to ever repent again for any future sins, repentance would serve no purpose if a person is already saved. Am I right on this Dick?

March 4, 2014 at 6:19 pm PST
#52  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

If you are born again (In Christ) sin does NOT keep you out of Heaven ; has no bearing on your eternal security. Jesus paid for you sin's, past, Present, and future. There will be judgment for what you have or have not done for the work of helping others to bring them to the saving knowledge of Jesus. It will deal with receiving Rewards or lack of rewards; but not with where you will spend eternity. This is true. Don't ask for man's answers. Ask God . the answers are in his Word not in the catechism.

March 5, 2014 at 7:15 am PST
#53  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, you say the answers are in the Word of God, but the problem is your understanding of God's Word and mine have different meanings. Also, there are thousands of other denominations that disagree with you. Where is a person to find the real truth? I have no doubt about your intentions but I have the best of intentions too. Where are two Christian brothers who disagree suposed to take their argument? I am going to read and meditate on the Word of God, then I am going to compare what I read to what you have been telling me. Thank you once again, and may God bless you even if you do not agree with the Catholic Church. Even though we do disagree on theolgy we stand united in Christ and we both seem to be far from the influence of secularism.

March 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm PST
#54  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
You say, "If you are born again (In Christ) sin does NOT keep you out of Heaven ; has no bearing on your eternal security. Jesus paid for you sin's, past, Present, and future."
And yet, I John 1:8-9 says, "If we say we have no sin, we are liars... If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
You say your future sins are already forgiven. The Bible says otherwise. Can you see why we Catholics have to go with the Bible instead of following you?

March 6, 2014 at 5:02 am PST
#55  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, you say all we have to do is believe on the name of Jesus and we are instantly saved, further more, you state that once we do so, we can not loose our salvation.

Jesus says... "Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, 'Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who do the will of my Father who is in Heaven."

Those are very straightforward and strong words straight from the mouth of the one who is doing the saving! I believe I will side with Jesus on this one. If Jesus tells me ONLY THOSE WHO DO THE WILL OF HIS FATHER will enter heaven, then there can be no doubt, He means what He says. If I refuse to do His will I can not enter Heaven. Plain and simple, absolutely blunt and to the point.

What Jesus says makes sense in so many ways. First of all, we all have been given the gift of free will and at no time in our lives is this gift revoked. We are never ever forced to love God. If we are free, and we truly are, because love can not be forced, then there is only one logical conclusion, I am free to accept and do the will of Christ one day, or free to forsake Christ and reject His will the next day, if that is what I choose to do. It is a huge, and I do mean an error of epic proportion to believe God forces us to love and be with Him if we chose not to.

After some meditation and thought on this, I have come up with two good examples. First is the one who I think is the biggest example of all, Satan. At one time he accepted and worshiped God, later he chose to reject God and was permanently cast out of Heaven. We can't say Satan never accepted and loved God, because God created all things good and God created all entities and creatures to love and worship Him. In other words, Satan chose to do the will of God at one time, and then later he chose to do just the opposite and made the choice of freely rejecting God's will, he instead put His own will above that of God's.

The second bad apple, Judas! He also accepted Christ and chose to follow Him at one time, and later chose to betray Christ because of greed. There is the key phrase, he CHOSE TO BETRAY his Savior of his own freewill, he chose not to repent. He was never forced to become a disciple and follow Christ, he chose to do so, just as he chose to betray Christ. He obvisously loved Jesus because he knew he messed up and tried to return the silver, and he was so heartbroken he hung himself! We all have the same choice, even after we profess that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we can repent and accept God's saving grace or we can walk away with a bag full of sins and deny our Lord's forgiveness.

With just a little reasoning and amateur philosophy it is easy to conclude that Jesus is right, not everyone who has at one time proffessed that Christ is their Lord and Savior is worthy of or guaranteed eternal salvation...only those who continue to do His Fathers will, just like Jesus says. Did forget that Jesus said if we did not forgive one another then neither will the Father forgive you? How will you go to heaven if you are not forgiven? You just can't stop loving, repenting, and forgiving! If you stop those three things then it is your will you follow, not the will of God!

One more time..."ONLY THOSE WHO DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER!!! Those are the words of Jesus, not mine, and not something the Catholic Church made up over the years.

LESSON: God gives us a choice, His will or our will. At no time in our lives does God rescend this choice, love is free, not imposed because we make a one time profession, we have to always follow through with that profession or it is a proffession made in vain. If you keep your commitment, God will keep His, and if you all of a sudden refuse to accept Christ as your Savior...well then God will surely grant you your wish!

March 6, 2014 at 10:52 am PST
#56  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Sory for the long post above but somethings are worth saying. One more question Dick, do you think Catholics will be damned for eternity for being Catholic? I cant wait to hear the answer to this one!!! Don't be affarid to answer that one, it certainly won't offend us, we are use to it.

March 6, 2014 at 10:57 am PST
#57  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

To do the will of the father in Heaven is to believe and accept and confess Jesus. Have you read about the unforgiveable sin?
Matthew 12:31-32
“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. The Holy Spirit's job on the earth is to woo sinners into the Kingdom. Jesus is the only Way to Heaven. When you reject God's plan; you are blaspheming the Holy Spirit and you won't make it. The train will leave without you.
John 8:24 Jesus Said;
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” To believe is to understand or comprehend His reason for coming and what He was to accomplish, and the means to do it. He had Christopher Travis on His mind when He died; and for everyone who ever lived.

March 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm PST
#58  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, first of all it is obvious you are avoiding my question. Second of all, you are welcome to borrow my Bible that has the full Scriptures and not just a few verses highlighted in it. You seem to be very against the Catholic faith and you take the easy way out when you are challenged on what you post. I will ask you for a staight answer one more time...is it your understanding that Catholics will fall short of heaven? Are we doomed for being Catholic? How about an educated answer, a yes or no followed by a brief explanation. If you do not belive we are doomed what sense does it make for you to be on this site putting down our faith?

March 7, 2014 at 7:41 pm PST
#59  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Yes --as I stated above---The train will leave without you. Can you understand that? Or You'll die in your sins. Is that clear enough? Where did I avoid you question? I am using a Catholic Bible to quote. obviously you can't interpret your own Bible. There is no Difference of my quote and your bible. Just misinterpretation on your part; Stating " you have full scriptures" how silly. This is a blog site. I'm not putting down your faith; I am sharing biblical TRUTH with you readers. I was where you are right now, but thank God I will be eternally Greatful. The Holy Spirit living IN ME is my witness that it is true.

March 8, 2014 at 7:46 am PST
#60  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, I figured if I asked you enough questions it would lead to this point. Now I can show you how flawed your theology is and how bad you have contridicted yourself. I do not do this to argue with you but rather to help others who are seriously studying the Catholic faith so they can get a glimpse at why picking out a couple Scripture verses and ignoring the rest can be very mIsleading.

You say over and over that if a person professes Christ as their Lord and Savior that they are instantly saved, that is when we are judged, and any sins after that does not matter. If that is the case then alleluia, all Catholics are already saved!!! We profess our faith in Christ, not just every Sunday, but also at every Mass we attend! We even take it one step further, WE PROFESS THE ENTIRE HOLY TRINITY!!!!! The Catholic Church has been doing so for over 2000 years!!!! I thought you might have known that since you said you were once Catholic. Yes sir, every time we profess the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed we profess Christ as our Savior! That is why we go to Mass, not just on Sunday's, but many of us daily...we are not going for fellowship, we go to worship Christ...AS OUR LORD AND SAVIOR! Now what are you going to say, that we aren't holding our mouth right, not saying the exact right words, or that we don't have Christ in out hearts? You see, by your own admission you say sin doesn't matter after we are saved, if that is the case then what does it matter how we interperet Scripture, we don't need it any more if we are already saved. According to you it's done, it is finished, we are judged before death, nothing else matters! So why are you so worried about Catholics not understanding your theology? Do you claim to be the judge of Catholic hearts and intentions?

You say you have not been putting down the Catholic faith but you have when you act like you have the Holy Spirit and we do not. You have no clue what great works and miracles our Lord is performing through us, CATHOLICS! Not only have you put down the Catholic faith, you said Tim was ignorant because he understands Scripture different than you. If that wasn't enough, you now tell me the train will leave without me, which is the polite way of saying I am going to hell. Well if I'm going to hell I'm going in the train founded by Jesus Christ in 33AD, it is His train and I am not dropping off now or ever!

March 8, 2014 at 7:43 pm PST
#61  david pruit - dallas, Texas

Amen Chris! Dick also stated in 57: "To believe is to understand or comprehend His reason for coming and what He was to accomplish, and the means to do it." But... as James puts it in James 2:19 "You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder." and they even professed him as Lord in Mark 3:11 "Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!”.
"Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren?" (James 2:20).
I will agree with Dick that it is possible to have an "intellectual faith" that is not rooted in the heart. It is a danger we all face, that our hearts would become hardened like those of the Isrealites. We must pray, yearn for, cooperate with Christ's grace , so that he might fill our hearts with His love.
"And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." 1 Co 13:2.
It's been a fun blog gentleman. I feel even more grounded now in my Catholic faith, so thank you for that, and may God bless you as He continuously calls you closer to Himself and back into His church. I have no doubt that you love the Lord our God and I can be thankful that we can be brothers in Christ. Let us never forget that it is to the world we owe our testimony, lest we get too wrapped up in discussing amongst ourselves. I think I've said my piece so I am going to bow out for now. Carry on!

March 9, 2014 at 6:26 am PST
#62  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

David, God bless you my fellow Catholic!! I guess this blog has run it's course and I too am done with it. I certainly hope Dick understands that we Catholics do profess our faith in Christ and that we know He is our Lord and Savior. As a matter of fact that is the good news, the Gospel that our Lord Jesus commissioned the Church to proclaim to the whole world, and the Church has done a magnificant job and continues to do so regardless of the attacks She endures everyday. Like Jesus promised...the gates of hell will not prevail!!!

Dick, thank you my fellow Christian for buiding upon my Catholic faith and opening my eyes even more to the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed. There was a little more emphesis on the creed this morning as I gazed upon all the other Catholics in perfect union with one another as we professed our faith as one. God bless you and see you on another blog.

March 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm PST
#63  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Chris: Jesus has done all that He is going to do. He said," it is finished". And He sat Down. He is the propitiation for our sin problem. The bible says; we have all sinned and fallen short of the kingdom. Confession is a WORK that You are doing to cleans yourself of your sin, when Jesus already accomplished it. You need to just thank Him for his sacrifice. If you Do anything to cleans yourself like being absolved by a priest, doing penance, lighting candles, praying for or to the dead, burning inscence, etc. If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that ONLY Jesus( being the Door) cleanses you from all unrighteousness. you will go straight into Heaven. I am not saying these things -- God said it; no greater truth than we can stand on than His. that settles it. God forbids man to speak to the dead. we are to speak only to GOD. It teaches by the Holy spirit that any communication with the dead is with demonic spirits. Your in perfect union with one another alright. the word tell us that there is a form of Godliness, but denying the Power. And from such People turn away. Their always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

March 11, 2014 at 7:26 am PST
#64  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
With all due respect, you are directly contradicting Scripture in a least four clear ways. But before I get to those, I want to be clear that the Catholic Church agrees that Jesus "is the propitiation for our sins, and not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:1). But that does not mean everyone in the world is going to be saved. Why? Because there is something we have to do in order for what Jesus did on the cross to be effectual in our lives. This leads to your errors above:
1. You said, "Jesus already accomplished [our salvation]. You need to just thank him for his sacrifice." We certainly should thank him, but there are two points to consider. First, giving thanks is something WE MUST DO according to I Tim. 2:1-4. Second, that is not all we have to do for salvation. We have to "repent" (Acts 2:38), be obedient (Acts 5:32; Heb. 5:8-9; Romans 6:16), "endure until the end" (Matt. 10:22; Rev. 2:10), confess our sins (I John 1:9) and "walk in the light as he is in the light" (I John 1:7-9) in order to have our sins forgiven and in order for the blood of Christ to continue to cleanse us of all sins.
2. Yes, Jesus said "It is finished" in John 19:30. But he had already told us what he "finished" in John 17:4, the work the Father gave him to do "on earth." But obviously, he had not been resurrected yet, which justifies us according to Romans 4:25, and he had not ascended where he continues to intercede for us until the end of time, according to Heb. 7:24-25. And he also did not "finish" what we have to do in accepting him and living for him.
3. You said "I am not saying these things -- God said it." And yet, virtually all you do is bloviate your traditions of men without backing it up with Scripture. The fact that "Jesus is the door" and "believing in your heart" is necessary for salvation does not exclude all of the other things the Bible says are necessary for salvation.
4. You say "God forbids man to speak to the dead," and yet Jesus did in Matt. 17:1-3 and Luke 9:31 (see also Deut. 34:5, which says Moses died). As Catholics, we follow Jesus, not you, Dick. Scripture teaches members of the body of Christ "need" each other (I Cor. 12:21). We need the prayers of our brothers and sisters in heaven because the Bible says so (see also Rev. 5:8; Heb. 12:22-24). We are not communing with the dead, we are speaking to those who are alive in God (see Luke 20:38).
It seems to me you have a "form of godliness, but you deny the power thereof" to transform us into members of Christ's body who can then minister to one another in Christ. It is God who set it up this way, not us. Jesus loves to use members of his body to heal one another by the power of the Holy Spirit at work within them. And because "neither death, nor life, nor angels..." can separate us from Christ and from one another, that ministry goes on in the next life. Members of the body minister to one another as long as they are members of the body.

March 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm PST
#65  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Very well said Tim, I just wished Dick could read the Bible as a whole instead of isolating texts. There are many things Jesus says we must do, or must not do for salvation, He would not have said those things if He did not mean it. Just because Jesus said one thing does not cancel out everything else He said. That is the beauty of Catholicism, it does not divide nor isolate, it is the fullness of truth, it isn't a either or, it is complete!

March 12, 2014 at 8:20 pm PST
#66  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

The Bible is full of Promises and answers to our questions. I quote verses of scriptures to address our subjects. As soon as I quote something from God's mouth; if it contradicts your belief you get offended. Point 1-you miss quote Me. I said Jesus has done all that is necessary for us to accomplish our payment for sin. I did not say anything about; We don't have to do. We do. Believe, confess and receive. we can't be saved by anything we must do, Jesus paid it all. We must WORK out our Faith after were saved. Either way works don't save us. Point 2- you miss quote me. My statement was ( that Jesus's work is done). Jesus is our only Advocate and Intercessor between God and Man. To believe in part of who Jesus is, but reject his total mission is saying you don't know who He is. To deny His ability to cleans you of ALL your Sin is to deny Him as Savior.
Matthew 7:21
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. To believe is to believe it ALL. Point 3- I always back up with scripture. You probably don't recognize it. Point 4- witchcraft - Divination- séances , using mediums, all are dealing with the dead which in actuality are satanic spirits mimicking the dead. truth is that it is not possible to communicate with the dead. Jesus could because of who He is. Can separate us from Christ and one another, that the ministry goes on in the next life is not a quote in the scriptures. woop's It should read:
Romans 8:39
nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

March 13, 2014 at 7:58 am PST
#67  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Truth to you is a one way street, truth to me is much greater than my 46 years here on earth. How could I possibly compare my blink of an eye forty something years to the over 2000 years of the Catholic Church, THE Church established by Christ to bring the Gospel to the entire world. When the Bible is seperated from the Church there is chaos and confussion. There is no doubt that you believe the Bible speaks to you alone and the other billion of us Catholics are incabable of understanding it. Your always quoting Scripture to fit your sola beliefs and ignore the rest of Scripture such as Christ telling us the gates of hell will never prevail over his Church, that the Church is the Body of Christ, that if you persecute the Church you persecute Christ, that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth, that the Church has the authority to bind and loose, that the Church can retain or forgive sins, that if two brothers disagree that they are to take it to the Church. No where in Scripture does it say Dick Martin is the pillar and foundation of the truth! I already know what your next move will be...to discredit the Church, to make it disapear, to say it went apostate, to say it is corrupt, to say it is an invisable body. The TRUTH is Christ founded a Church and He has never came back to end His Church! So no matter what else you say, the Church established by Christ takes priority over Dick Martin, and over me!

March 14, 2014 at 6:31 pm PST
#68  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

The Church will tell you that the Church is the truth. Just as you did. How brilliant is that . GOD says that the Word is TRUTH; Jesus is the TRUTH and The Holy Spirit is TRUTH. The TRUTH should never be contradicted with Man's thoughts and ideas. The gate of Hell will prevail against a church:
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Wide is the superhighway that leads to destruction and many will go in that way. Narrow is to path to Eternal life. The Catholic Church is the Largest denomination in the Christian world. We will have to wait to see who is left behind at His coming; that is a Judgment of it's own. If you're left you better take a second look where Truth comes from.

March 16, 2014 at 11:57 am PST
#69  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

No Dick, SCRIPTURE and the CHURCH tell me what is the truth, not one or the other. In case you do not believe me here it is straight from the letter of St. Paul to Timothy...

"But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, WHICH IS THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, THE PILLAR AND THE FOUNDATION OF TRUTH."

How much clearer can it get than that? I would say it is a brilliant assurance from God to let me know where the truth is!!! And if you want to know how sturdy and how long that Church will last maybe these Words from the founder, Jesus Christ, will clue you in...

"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, AND THE GATES OF THE NETHERWORLD SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT."

And yes Dick, Jesus is the Church, so when you persecute the Church, as St. Paul once did, you persecute Christ. And yes, the Holy Sprit is Truth, that's why when Scripture tells us the Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth we must accept it no matter how much our personal opinions differ from it, it is called humility.

You say the Catholic Church is the largest denomination, that is a very inaccurate statement...the Catholic Church is not a denomination, it is THE Church founded by Jesus Christ. I don't have to take a second look where the truth comes from, God already tells me that, and I am humble enough to accept it at face value. Anyone who separates the Word of God from the Church, the Body of Christ, creates his own church in his own image, and that is the reason there are now over 30,000 denominations who can not agree even with one another over the interpretation of Scripture. The results speak clearly.

March 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm PST
#70  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

The Church is built on the cornerstone ( Jesus Christ ) and the teaching of the Apostles ( Foundation Stones) which is both the Truth. These are the pillar and Foundation of the Church in the beginning but tradition and man's ideas spoiled the whole barrel. Denominations are a spin off of the body of believers from the apostate church at that time. In the early three centuries the church founded by Jesus. Then it became corrupt and the true believers split from ( the main group who followed a Man and his teachings and false ideas- selling God's FREE gifts for money to further their Kingdom and became the largest DENOMINATION thru till the present. I am not saying that there are no saved Christians in the catholic Church; there are. Ask some Catholics in the parking lot after Mass sometime-Without schooling them in advance and you'll get a multitude of different answers. They are not sure of their final destination. the answer I got was'"I am going to party with all my friends in Hell for eternity. I never missed a Sunday service other than being sick or in the hospital. Just being Catholic in title or born into does not save you or your universal Church. You have to have a personal changed relationship. Jesus said "Seek Me first and all these thing will be added to you." Sounds Liberating. A very basic teaching the Church has not caught onto is," the purpose of the Law and it's conclusion or fulfillment IN JESUS."

March 17, 2014 at 7:27 am PST
#71  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
You just have the hardest time simply accepting what the Scripture teaches. Our brother pointed out the fact that St. Paul says, "the church [is] the pillar and foundation of the truth," and rather than just accepting that, you mumble:
"The Church is built on the cornerstone ( Jesus Christ ) and the teaching of the Apostles ( Foundation Stones) which is both the Truth. These are the pillar and Foundation of the Church in the beginning..."
Huh?
But I do agree with you that your "tradition and man's ideas spoiled the whole barrel." That is exactly right. And that is exactly what you do every time you add your traditions to the Revelation of God given to us 2,000 years ago.
You say, "the early three centuries the church [was] founded by Jesus, then it became corrupt..." The problem is, the Church of the first three centuries believed essentially the same things Catholics believe today. So if you want to be in that Church, you need to be Catholic.
If you want to follow Jesus, you need to also be in union with his body, which is the Church (Eph. 1:22-23). Unfortunately, you are following an amalgam of various traditions of men taught by men like Luther, Calvin, and most of all, the traditions of Dick. When you are finished running the gamut on all of these opinions of men, the Church will be waiting with the fullness of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The same one you left years ago in order to follow your own mind, or what you think the Bible says.

March 17, 2014 at 11:42 am PST
#72  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, what are your intentions for spending so much time and energy blogging against the Catholic faith? You say the Church went apostate in the 300's yet history does not show this at all. What history does show is a Church doing exactly as Christ commanded, bringing the Gospel to the entire world. This Church you claim to be apostate brought Christ to billions who never knew Him, that includes individuals, whole families, barbaric tribes, whole cities, and even nations and whole continents. This so called apostate Church built whole communities all over the world where it's members dedicated their entire days and lives to prayer and worship 24 hours a day. Yes this Church you call apostate built other communities that devoted themselves to serving their neighbors who had diseases such as leperacy and the plauge. This so called apostate Church developed education systems for all, not just for the wealthy, but for the masses of people of all races, religions and creeds. The college system, the universities was an invention of the Catholic Church. This so called apostate Church invented hospitals and cared for eveyone. They have given care to and saved billions of lives. Lo and behold, this Church you call apostate also has built thousands of orphanages, taking in babies and youths who had lost their parents or were simply rejected and tossed to the streets by their parents. Yes, this Church you call apostate is the largest charitable organization on the planet. We are there at every crisis and natural disaster that comes along. We are there at every humanitarian crisis, feeding the hungry and caring for the wounded and sick, giving shelter to the homeless. This Church you call apostate offers more graces through the Sacraments and Her worship is the same now as it has always been, and if you do not believe me, read Justin Martyrs description of Mass from the year 165. There is no way a Church could have lasted so long with so many attacks from within and from the outside world if Christ had abandoned Her. She has outlasted every Kingdom and nation and is the oldest living institution on earth. No other institution has done more charity and offered so much for the world than this Church you call apostate. The love and charity of Christ shines above all and His Church is a reflection of that love! Your darn right I'm proud of my faith! And your darn right I will be by Her side until my very last breath! I'm not so selfish to believe it is about me and a Bible because the true Church of Christ isn't meant to be hidden under a basket, no sir, it was meant to be a beacon of Light set upon a mountain for the whole world to see!!! Now what has the church of Dick accomplished or plan to accomplish other than trying to sink this beautiful ship that has been the fisher of men for over 2000 years? Good bye Dick and God bless, you will be in my prayers. No need to respond with your favorite Scripture quotes or opinions of apostasy, you will be wasting your time.

March 18, 2014 at 4:44 am PST
#73  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

The "Catholic Jesus" is unable to save sinners completely and forever and returns to the earth daily, under the appearance of a wafer, to be worshipped and re-presented as a sacrificial victim for the propitiation of God’s wrath (1367; 1374-78; 1405; 1414).Roman Catholicism declares: "Baptism is necessary for salvation" (1257). It is the "sacrament of regeneration" at which time Catholics are "reborn as sons of God" (1213, 1214). "Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift" (1216).Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation" (846). (Note: On Dec. 6, 2000, Pope John Paul II denied this doctrine by stating knowledge of "Christ and His Church" is not necessary for salvation. Roman Catholics not only need works for salvation, but they are condemned by the Council of Trent if they deny works are necessary: "In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints...In this way they [Catholics] attained their own salvation.Catholics believe the death of Christ only provides an opportunity to attain eternal life. The Roman Catholic Church cites the need for purgatory and indulgences to atone for what Christ was able to do on Calvary’s cross."The Roman Pontiff, enjoys infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful, he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. 882 The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone" (85). Catholics redefine grace as the merited favor of God: "We can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life" (2027 Since I have wasted your time Quoting Scripture. I thought I'd QUOTE your authoritative copy of your Catechism full of error; contradicting GOD'S Word.

March 18, 2014 at 6:31 am PST
#74  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

How un-Christian can you get dick! Nothing you said is worth responding to, just plain sad!

March 18, 2014 at 7:07 pm PST
#75  david pruit - dallas, Texas

When you say "Catholics redefine grace as the merited favor of God"... did you just make that up? You are interpreting the catechism kind of like how you quote the bible. Mere paragraphs before 2027 which you only partially quoted, it says " 2021 Grace is the help God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his adopted sons. It introduces us into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life."
Then again its pretty crystal clear that we do not merit anything without Christ: "2020 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism" and finally "2025 We can have merit in God’s sight only because of God’s free plan to associate man with the work of his grace. "
So stop making it sound like you know what you're talking about when it comes to what Catholics believe. Just ask and read and there are plenty of people here that can explain what we believe (rather than making it up and then writing it like it's true). You should limit yourself to talking only about what you know, and that is only your particular opinion and personal interpretation of the bible (your tradition) which doesn't agree with over 3/4 of all Christian belief (not just today but since the beginning of the Church and throughout history).

March 19, 2014 at 4:28 am PST
#76  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

It's obvious You only study "your commentaries and Your theology; Pope quotes". Never Understanding and comprehending the precious Word of God. His Sheep hear His voice and follow. It's not being un-Christian but un- Catholic. The whole of the Christian world defines Grace as Unmerited Favor. It's a total Gift of God. I don't believe in Tradition if it denies the Truth and plan of God. My Mother was told by her priest that because she was over age 65 that she didn't have to come to confess her sins ever again. He told her that her sins weren't serious enough- God wasn't interested. Her sin were those of a child. Is this what Catholics Believe? 828 is another statement of your not knowing the scriptures. The faithful is not striving to conquer sin. Jesus already accomplished that for us. Merited Favor is Partial Benefits of Grace which the Church teaches ;Denying Jesus complete eradications of you SINS. If you believed in Unmerited Favor that would give honor to Jesus which is Due and there would be no Purgatory. Merited Favor is adding something you have to do to attain Heaven . there is no dirt on you when Jesus is done with you. Why would I trust anyone to Interpret the bible for me who can't receive the very basics of Christianity correct? Chris ; you say nothing is worth responding too. that's because these comments are from your ( other than the Bible) Book. Truth stands on it's own. False statements have to be backed by another False statement. God would not have given us His work and not being able to understand it. anyone who can read can understand. Proven in our pre school classes. Love in Jesus.

March 19, 2014 at 8:09 am PST
#77  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
I appreciate your honesty in saying you believe "The Catholic Jesus is unable to save sinners..." That's being honest.
But I believe you are wrong. Jesus (and St. Paul, I should add) is the one who said he was giving us his body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist for our salvation (John 6:53; Luke 22:15-19; I Cor. 10:15-17; 11:27-29).
It is a radical truth that Jesus communicates to us to be sure. In fact, in John 6, when Jesus reveals both his divinity and the Eucharist, the unbelieving multitudes rejected both. In verse 41, they said, "How can this man say he came down from heaven." Thank God you believe at least that. But in verse 52, they said, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" You are in the camp of the unbelievers. We Catholics have to remain with Jesus and believe his word (see verse 68).
It is amazing, and requires great faith to believe that Jesus would humble himself not only in the Incarnation (II Cor. 8:9), and in his humiliating death (Phil. 2:5-10), but he continues to humble himself even further taking upon himself the form of bread and wine to be consumed by us so that we can be one with him. It sounds crazy, I know. But that is how much Jesus is in love with us!
I appreciated you quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church (except when you misquoted it, of course). It is truly a remarkable book that gives an incredibly biblical exposition of our Catholic Faith.
Like with Scripture, you were great when you were quoting the Catechism, it was when you gave your interpretations of things that you got into trouble.
For example, you misrepresented Pope John Paul II, who in a General Audience on Dec. 6, 2000 said, in paragraph 5:

"All the just of the earth, including those who do not know Christ and his Church, who, under the influence of grace, seek God with a sincere heart (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 16)..."

Pope John Paul II did not deny any Catholic doctrine here. He referenced Lumen Gentium 16, which teaches that people who do not have an explicit knowledge of Christ and/or his Church can be saved through Christ and the Church if they do not knowingly reject the truth, but follow the light and grace they have wherever they are.
The Church speaks just as her Lord does who said "I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me" in John 14:6, but then says, in John 15:22, "If I had not spoken to them, they would have no sin; Now I have spoken to them, their sin remains," teaching us that we are only responsible for what we know. The two verses do not contradict each other, they complement each other, just as the teaching of Trent is not contradicted, it is complemented by the teaching of Vatican II and John Paul the Great.
And yes, we are condemned if we deny that works are necessary for our salvation and justification not just because the Council of Trent says so, but because Jesus Christ says so in Matt. 12:36-37, St. Paul says so in Romans 2:6-7, and Gal. 6:7-9, and St. James says so in James 2:21-26.

And it is not only the Council of Trent that says. "In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints..." the Bible says it in Col. 1:24, II Cor. 1:6, Rev. 19:8, etc.

And not only "Catholics" say we can "attain our own salvation" in cooperation with God's grace, but St. Paul says it in Col. 1:24; II Cor. 1:6, I Cor. 9:22; Romans 11:14, I Cor. 7:16; I Tim. 4:16; James 5:19-20, etc.
We just believe the Bible as Catholics, rather than believing Dick's traditions.
Yes, the Catholic Church teaches Purgatory, but so does St. Paul in I Cor. 3:11-15. Yes, the Catholic Church teaches the infallibility of the Pope, but so does Jesus in Matt. 16:18-19; Luke 22:29-32; John 21:15-17, and the book of Acts in Acts 15:7-12.
Yes, the Church is the "pillar and foundation of the truth" (I Tim. 3:15); the instrument whereby the "manifold wisdom of God is revealed (Eph. 3:10), and the infallible instrument whereby Jesus Christ has chosen to communicate his truth when there are disagreements in the Church (Matt. 18:15-18).
You also do not understand the Catholic teaching on grace and merit. You quoted CCC 2010, by the way, not "2027" as you said, but just like you like to quote part of biblical texts, you only quoted part of the paragraph. It begins by saying, "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." This is entirely biblical (Eph. 2:8-9, Gal. 2:16, etc.). It is only then that it says, "Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase in grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life." That too is entirely biblical. Apart from Christ, or before we enter into Christ, we can do nothing (Eph. 2:1-4; John 15:5), but after we enter into Christ, we can save "ourselves" and "others" (I Tim. 4:16; I Cor. 9:22; James 5:19-20; Col. 1:24; II Cor. 1:6; I Cor. 7:16, etc.) by the power of Christ working in us and through us.
That means when we pray or offer sacrifices in Christ for ourselves and others, we believe it to be effectual, meaning God gives graces through those prayers and actions which contribute to our salvation as well as others. However, this has to be understood properly. As St. Paul said it in II Cor. 1:6: "If we suffer it is for your salvation and consolation which is made effectual by your enduring the same sufferings that we suffer." We merit grace for others to save them, but they have to then apply those graces to their lives in order for them to be effectual in their lives as St. Paul said.
By the way, not only did you fail to quote the right paragraph from the Catechism, but you did not quote what it actually says. You skipped a whole lot. But we'll forgive you!

March 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm PST
#78  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
In response to your #76:
The Catholic Church does teach that grace, in a strict sense, and as a first principle, is entirely unmerited. It is a gift of God. But the Church and the Bible also teaches that we must open the gift. Jesus says it like this, in Rev. 3:20: "Behold I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and sup with him and he with me." We have to open the door. And remember the gift of Jesus standing at the door does not cease to be a gift because we have to open the door, but we do have to open it... and every day (Luke 9:23).
And this is entirely biblical. Eph. 2:8-9, Gal. 2:16, etc. say the initial gift of salvation is entirely unmerited as I cited above when I quoted CCC 2010. This simply means that before we enter into Christ, we can merit absolutely nothing as Jesus said in John 15:5 and Eph. 2:1-4 and 8-9 says. However, after we enter into Christ, we can then merit reward from God that includes, according to St. Paul, "glory, immortality, and eternal life" (Romans 2: 6-7), and not only for ourselves, but for others as well, as I said in my last post.
Whoever that priest was who told your mother she doesn't have to confess her sins any longer is not teaching what the Catholic Church and Jesus teaches. The Catholic Church teaches we must confess all of our mortal sins that we are aware of (CCC 1447). Perhaps that priest discerned something in your mother's life like she is confessing things that are actually not sinful. I don't know. But the Church teaches as the Bible does, that if we commit sins, we must ask for forgiveness for them.
You say, "The faithful [do] not strive to conquer sin?" Really? Of course we do! You say its because Christ has already conquered sin? Well, of course he did. But now he empowers us to be "more than conquerors in him who has loved us" (see Romans 8:35-39). Read also Heb. 12:3-14 about "resisting" sin and being disciplined in our lives. And check out how many times the Bible says we are called to "overcome" or "conquer" in Christ who "conquered" before us (Rom. 8:37; Heb. 11:33; Rev. 2:7; 10-11; 17; 26; 3:4-5, which says explicitly we are to "conquer" by not "soiling our garments" with sin; 12; 21; 12:11, etc.)
Now, of course it is Jesus who first conquered for us as Rev. 5:5 says, but we are then called to "conquer sin, the flesh and the devil," in and through Christ.
You claim we are adding to what Jesus did. You are wrong. We are obeying Jesus, in Jesus, and we only act in Jesus, overcome in Jesus, merit in Jesus, save souls in and through Jesus, as the Bible teaches. I have given you scores of Bible verses to back each Catholic claim up.
Man, you are missing it on the very basics of Christianity here. I would only ask you this, "Why would I trust you to interpret the Bible for me when you can't receive the very basics of Christianity correctly?

March 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm PST
#79  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Tim, he can't receive the basics because he can not see past himself. You will not get any sound information or conversation out of Dick at all, he distorts and twists the truth of what the Catholic Church really believes. He speaks in half truths and uses misguided isolation of Scripture to fit his motives. You know where a persons heart is when they can not agree with one thing our faith teaches. He also will not acknowledge what a gift to the world the Catholic Church is and has been, all he wants to do is tear it down along with us, thus him telling me I'm going to hell and calling you ignorant. I have no doubt he loves Jesus and is passionate about Him, but he needs to understand so are we. Oh well, God bless his heart.

March 19, 2014 at 6:32 pm PST
#80  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

It's so obvious that all of the Bible believing, Born again, Holy Spirit lead believers can SEE those who follow a man, or a book that takes 1st. Place before the Word of God; and try to mix the bible and "OUR TRUTHS" What a gift to the world. God's way is so obvious and simple to understand . a little leaven can leaven the whole lump. The truth seem twisted and distorted, misguided half truths, isolating scripture to fit their motives, such as 1 Corth. 11-15. Which is about receiving rewards or lack of rewards for our Good or Bad works here on earth, tested by persecution for being who you are and what your doing for the kingdom, as we build our lives on Jesus and the teachings of the Apostles. Has nothing to do with becoming ready for Heaven -Jesus purified you completely.. your either clean or dirty. God bless their hearts.

March 21, 2014 at 8:01 am PST
#81  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, we are Bible believers too, but unlike you we still believe in Christ's promise of a Church that the gates of hell can never prevail over.

March 21, 2014 at 7:22 pm PST
#82  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

You talk about interpreting your Catechism. then you call scripture that I quote verbatim; 1/2 truths. you say they are snippets of twisted and isolated to fit my motives. Non- Christian Religions always follow after Man's way's and a Book that takes precedent over the Word of God. They take very understandable and make it of non-effect. God said, "I send out my word to accomplish the purpose it is sent out to do. It will not return too me void. God's Word is the ONLY thing that's INFALLIBLE. Just read about the failures the Catholic Church has made in it's History about Faith and morals. The promise is to all Believers not an organization ( The Church).

March 22, 2014 at 5:59 am PST
#83  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
In answer to your #80:
You say "God's way is so obvious and simple" Once again, God does not agree with you. II Peter 3:13-16: "But according to his promise we wait for the coming of new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace (Notice, St. Peter says we have to strive to be found without spot or blemish. We don't automatically already possess it by faith alone). And ***** the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this (salvation) as he does in all his letters. THERE ARE SOME THINGS IN THEM HARD TO UNDERSTAND, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction." According to St. Peter, there are some things, specifically concerning salvation, that are "hard to understand." Again, he and the Holy Spirit don't agree with you.
You say "Bible-believing... Holy Spirit-led believers can see those who follow a man." I agree. You are exactly such a man. You follow yourself and your fallible interpretations of what you think the Bible says.
You then say I Cor. 3:11-15 "has nothing to do with becoming ready for heaven," and yet the text disagrees with you. Verse 15 says, "If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself WILL BE SAVED, but so as through fire." "Will be saved" means "getting ready for heaven."
You say "Jesus purified you completely... you are either clean or dirty." We agree that Jesus purified us in the sense that his sacrifice is objectively sufficient to purify the whole world from all sins. But subjectively, we have to apply what he did on the cross to our lives. Thus, the Bible disagrees with you and say we Christians must be continually purified by our cooperation with God's grace in our obedience and walking with the Lord (see II Cor. 7:1; Rev. 3:3-5; I Peter 1:22; I John 1:7-9, etc.). Scripture says we need to continue to be cleansed and forgiven as Christians (I John 1:7-9).
Moreover, it is obvious that I Peter 3:11-15 is referring to the judgment after death because "the day" is used all over the New Testament for "the day" of judgment (Matt. 10:15; 11:22; 24; II Peter 2:9; 3:7, or "the day" of the Lord (I Thess. 5:2; II Thess. 2:2; Acts 3:20; I Cor. 5:5; I Cor. 1:8; II Cor. 1:14; Phil. 1:6; 10; 2:16; II Peter 3:10), "the day" of wrath (Rom. 2:5), or shortened to just "the Day" (I Cor. 3:13; Heb. 10:25).
Thus, folks are being purified or "saved" from minor sins and defects after death in fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi 3:1-3.

March 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm PST
#84  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Yes wise one, you are so above the Catholic Church and its 2000 years of bringing the Gospel to the world. We will all leave our faith and follow you Dick. You are the sole interperter of Scripture while the rest of us just don't get it. All of us Catholics will burn for not seeing it Dicks way, we are all Pope zombies with minute IQ's.

March 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm PST
#85  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
In answer to your #82:
You say, "Read about the failure the Catholic Church has made through the centuries." I don't know what you mean by "failures," but one of the many reasons why I'm Catholic is the fact that the Catholic Church has never contradicted herself in infallible teachings in 2,000 years of history. There is no human explanation for that. Only God can be the source of that kind of integrity.
You said "only God's word is infallible." Not so. The Church is infallible. "Whatever you (the Church) bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 18:18). The Church has the power of heaven to back her up whenever she speaks definitely. The only way she could be wrong is if heaven (or God) could be wrong.
In fact, I would argue that technically speaking, the Scriptures are more than infallible. They are inspired and inerrant. Every word is God-breathed. Infallibility is a negative gift. The Church "can't err" in matters of faith and morals where she "binds something on earth." Inspiration and inerrancy is a positive gift where we believe every word of Scripture to be "god-breathed" (II Tim. 3:16). The Church is not "inspired" in that sense; Scripture is inspired.
And finally, when you say "the promise" of binding and loosing is "for all believers" and not the Church, once again, the Bible disagrees with you. The Church says if three or four believers can't agree about something, they must take it to "the Church" and "the Church" will hand down the truth of the matter "binding" all involved by the power of Christ at work in the Church (Matt. 18:15-18). That means "binding and loosing" is not for "all believers." In fact, if everyone has the power to bind and loose then no one would really have the power to bind and loose.
Moreover, I would say of "the keys of the kingdom," the same thing. If everyone has the keys, no one has the keys, because everyone would have the same authority so when there is a disagreement, no one could settle the dispute. That is in opposition to what we see in Scripture in Matt. 18:15-18, Acts 15:24-28, etc.

March 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm PST
#86  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

The Church has never contradicted Itself is true. Why would anyone admit that they contradicted it's self. but the Church Has contradicted the Scriptures , that's not infallibility. Changing the scriptures to suit yourself or making New statements contrary to God's direction is spiritual suicide. In Your blogs are false statements and non- Christian statements that all the 8,000 denominations agree on. The Church that Jesus is coming back for is the " Born again" one's. the Church that realizes they can't attain Heaven on their own. We rely on having the Righteousness of Jesus which gives us His Free Gift at the moment we become " IN HIM". Scripture says If your In Him ; when were absent from the body were in the presents of the Lord.

March 25, 2014 at 11:55 am PST
#87  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
We agree that we can't attain heaven on our own. We need the grace of God to be able to merit heaven. In fact, as I've pointed out, we cannot merit in any sense the initial grace of salvation that we receive through faith and baptism (Eph. 2:8-9). We can only begin to merit when we enter into Christ, but even then it is not on our own. It is only in and through Christ that we can "do all things" as St. Paul said in Phil. 4:13, which includes meriting (or being rewarded) eternal life as St. Paul said in Romans 2:6-7; Gal. 6:7-9, etc..
I would suggest you read my blog post entitled "Arguing From a Non-Existent verse" for my answer to your use of "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" (which, by the way, the Bible never says, II Cor. 5:6-8 says nothing of the sort).

March 25, 2014 at 9:56 pm PST
#88  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

2 Corinthians 5:6-8(NKJV)
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.( Is to be; and to be;) This is of the sort. Where will you be when you absent from the body? I did not quote it verbatim. I did not show Book, chapter or verse. To be " In Him" when your absent from the body at the same time you are present with the Lord. To be saved is a one time event in your life when you become the Righteousness of God in Christ. A bulls-eye on a target Is called hitting the MARK ( Jesus). When you miss the mark it's called Sin. The Greek definition of sin is missing the Mark. Very close to the Mark keeps you out of heaven. When you fire a Gun it's purpose is to propel the bullet and it leaves residue on the gun ,barrel, and even you hand. When Jesus died there was NO RESIDUE of sin is left on your spirit, to be cleansed later so you could enter heavens gate. This is a doctrine of the Church to control you and your finances even after your death. Millions of dollars for Masses said and selling Indulgences for the dead were appropriated for building the Vatican.
Matthew 7:13-14(NKJV)
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. 10 million Catholics in the U.S.A. Many who go in by it.

March 27, 2014 at 10:23 am PST
#89  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
The text of II Cor. 5:6-8 does not say "to be absent from the body is the be present with the Lord." What St. Paul is certain about is that "while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord." That is certain. He then says "we would rather (eudokoumen mallon, in Greek, which means "we are desiring rather") be away from the body and at home with the Lord." Who wouldn't be? He then says, "we make it our aim to please him" so that we can one day be with him in heaven. That is a far cry from your distortion of the text.
You ask where I will be when I die? I answer like St. Paul. God is my judge, not you, me, or anyone else (I Cor. 4:3-6).
You say "no residue of sin is left" on the spirit of Christians. Even if they sin, they are perfect before God. Hogwash. II Cor. 7:1, St. Paul says, "Having these promises dearly beloved let us cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit..." The Bible disagrees with you.
There are actually close to 70 millions Catholics in the U.S. not 10 million.

March 27, 2014 at 8:26 pm PST
#90  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

You are right Dick, narrow is the gate, and diffulcult is the way. You say that on one hand while you say something just the opposite on the other hand. The gate becomes much wider and the road very easy if all we have to do is profess Christ as our Lord and Savior to obtain and never lose our salvation as you say. You should be so excited for all of us Catholics since we do this so often. Instead you seem very worried about Catholic doctrines. Why the fuss and worry from you if you feel salvation is that easy? There is no logic or reason in the points you are trying to make, only contradiction.

March 28, 2014 at 4:26 am PST
#91  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Chris; My destiny is secure. It's your destiny I don't want for you. That makes my point logical and reasonable. I am concerned about leading Catholics down the Wide road to destruction. It's the narrow road that leads to everlasting Life, and few find it. I was reading about Pope Pius ix stating Infallible declarations about Mary being Sin free at Birth and that anyone arguing or disagreeing the point would be excommunicated and would be damned to Hell. don't ever express in words or writing to question this dubious doctrine. Both St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine Are both in Hell by Papal Decree. Quote " Therefore the Blessed Mother was not sanctified before Her birth from the Womb" and he also cites Augustine "The sanctification, by which we become temples of God, is only for those who are Born again. But no one is bron again, who was not born previously. Thus the Virgin Mary was not sanctified before her birth from the Womb. Two of History's theologians are in Hell. wow

March 29, 2014 at 6:35 am PST
#92  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick, once again you prove to everyone who reads this blog that you do not even believe in your own erradict theology. The church of Dick said many, many times that all you have to do is profess Christ one time as our Lord and Savior and our eternal salvation is one and done, secure forever. I think what you are really trying to say is you believe that is true....as long as a person is not Catholic. So which is it Dick? Saved or not saved by a profession of faith?
Do any of.you, my fellow Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ deny that Christ is your Lord.and Savior?

And one more.thing Dick, you are not God and can not judge my eternal destiny nor yours, that is reserved for God alone, not the church of Dick.

March 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm PST
#93  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
In answer to your #91:
You've made what is a very common mistake. Before the Church "binds something on earth," Catholics are not bound by it. Because the Church did not declare infallibly on the matter of the Immaculate Conception until 1854, there was legitimate disagreement in the Church as to its particulars. Thus, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas are not in Hell. They have been declared to be in heaven by the Church. They never rejected something that the Church definitively declared.
But again, yours is a very common mistake.

March 29, 2014 at 6:19 pm PST
#94  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Chris; I have continually said ; you need to Believe who Jesus is and then confess with your mouth that you receive his sacrifice for salvation. I have said that their are born again people in the Catholic Church who are Saved and fit into Scriptural salvation. I compared Catholic teaching on being saved and the Bible's way. Big difference. Most Catholics Have to Go thru Mary to get to Jesus. NOT. Jesus said, "Only thru ME can you enter Heaven". Any other Way - you won't make it. What happened on the cross? What happened 3 day's in the Grave? What is Jesus doing Now in Heaven? The Pope did declare infallibility towards both Saints for disagreeing with the Immaculate Conception; Punishable by Papal decree to be in Hell. The church has done this in the past to other Saints. Joan of arch was burned at the stale for refuting authority. 50 yrs. later the Church admitted they had made a mistake and dug up her bone and made her a Saint. SWEET. If you know the Word you are able to know if someone is a believer or not .
1 Corinthians 2:13-16
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. If you are "Born again", which you are not according to your definition You are still a Natural Man and can't understand Spiritual Things ; they have to be spiritually discerned. I can judge all things . I have the Mind of Christ- The anointed one. The one who lives in Me. We have become "One with". This is the Gospel of GRACE.

March 31, 2014 at 6:53 am PST
#95  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Dick there is no sense in saying another word to you. We Catholics know who Jesus is and what He did for us.

March 31, 2014 at 7:19 pm PST
#96  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dick,
In response to your #94:
This is my last post on this thread. I am sure I will see you on other threads, but I think there is nothing else to say in this one.
You say "you need to Believe who Jesus is and then confess with your mouth that you receive his sacrifice for salvation." We Catholics say amen to that. But we cannot ignore the many other biblical texts that tell us that is not all we must do (Mark 16:16; I Peter 1:22; Romans 6:16; Heb. 5:8-9; Matt. 10:22, Rev. 2:10; I John 1:7-9, Romans 8:17; Col. 1:24; Luke 9:23, etc.).
You ask, "What happened on the cross?" We've answered this over and over again. Jesus died for our sins. He is "the propitiation for our sins, and not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:1-2). But what Christ did on the cross must be applied to our lives through our cooperation. We must accept it every day of our lives (Luke 9:23).
You ask "what is Jesus doing now in heaven." He is interceding for us (Heb. 7:24-25) and he invites us to intercede as well because we are in him (I Tim. 2:1-2).
You not only claim authority in interpreting Scripture, but now you claim to know more than the Pope about Catholicism. The Pope has never declared St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas to be in Hell. They are both declared to be in heaven. I already explained the fact that Catholics are not bound to believe something until the Church "binds it on earth." The Church has not declared on the matter of the Immaculate Conception in the fifth and thirteenth centuries. There was still much freedom in the Church on the matter when Augustine and Thomas were alive.
St. Joan of Ark was condemned in an illegal proceeding. She appealed to the Pope and corrupt persons involved in her trial did not obey the Church. That is one reason among many that the Church immediately investigated what happened and declared her to be a saint. It was not the Church that condemned her; it was corrupt members of the Church who did so against the teaching and discipline of the Church.
At any rate, I have enjoyed the discussion. I will not be commenting on this thread any more.
God Bless!

April 1, 2014 at 6:57 am PST
#97  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

NOT of WORKS -- DEAD WORKS--GOOD WORKS
Ephesians 2:8-10
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Not of yourself; A Gift; Not of Works lest anyone Should BOAST; Created IN CHRIST JESUS for GOOD WORKS.
Hebrews 6:1-3
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
And this we will do if God permits. . We should not leave the foundational thing of Christ before moving on to more mature things. Such as ( "Repentance from Dead Works".) Dead Works are things we do for God that we think will earn us favor. God doesn't even Hear you UNTIL you call out for Jesus to reconnect you dead spirit to His Spirit. (Born Again). We need to Repent of thinking your Dead Work ***** for anything. When You get Born Again You are one with God and your Works become GOOD Works. Your already Saved and then your Works are for REWARD- + or - in Heaven.
Galatians 2:16
knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (DEAD)- Works before you're Born Again is of non-effect. After you're Born Again ;GOD notices your (GOOD) WORKS and Rewards you for them. Even Dead Works are noticed by God for a lack of Rewards after your Saved . This is ABOUT MATURITY as a Christian. Can't mix Salvation and Maturity. You are saved let's move on into maturity. Not that you are being saved + Works .
1 Corinthians 3:11-15
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Jesus is our Corner Stone +foundation of the Apostles. It's about Building our Temple ((Maturing) With what materials -GOOD WORKS such as silver, gold, precious stones. - or wood, hay, stubble. The testing is our Tribulation. Jesus went thru the fire of being who He said He was; But He was victorious -See
Luke 12:49-51
“I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!
Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. Jesus was tested by FIRE because of Who He was. This is called the BAPTISM of FIRE. Notice that in 1Corth. 11-15 It is about Building or maturing, can only take place in this Life. It speaks of our WORKS when tested some will go thru the test and some will be burned up. YET you will be SAVED. You WERE Saved then tested for your Reward. Works has nothing to do with Salvation. Jesus paid the PRICE for you; in your place. With JESUS you have Eternal Life -Without Jesus you have Eternal death. chose you this Day who you will follow.

April 2, 2014 at 6:55 am PST
#98  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

God bless you too Dick and thanks for your thoughts on this thread even if they were random and incomplete and self authenticated.

April 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm PST
#99  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

If you can't say anything Nice Don't say anything.. Everything was and is the Word of God. "Your Thoughts are not My thoughts; My way are not your way". God can Bless you too if your Spirit is alive. see Random scriptures Eph. 2:1-3. Be one with Jesus. Eph. 2: 4-10. Your commentary makes it incomplete. No comment on #97 .. It speaks to your "Salvation by Works".

April 3, 2014 at 7:02 am PST
#100  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

I was thinking the same thing when you twice told me I was going to hell.

April 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm PST

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