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Faith and Works Are Necessary for Salvation (Part 1)

Tim Staples

Audio only:

How are people saved? Does salvation take cooperation? Who will be saved? Where is the scriptural evidence for faith and works? Why do Catholics believe what they do?

Have you struggled to answer these questions when sharing your faith?

Listen in to learn how Tim Staples approaches having a discussion about salvation.

Cy Kellett: Hello and welcome again to Catholic Answers Focus. I am Cy Kellett your host. Thank you so much for being with us. How do we get saved? How exactly does that happen? What happens before we are saved? What does it mean when we are being saved and how does that function? And what happens once we have been saved and received justification before the Lord?

Cy Kellett: Okay. That’s pretty much the conversation Christians has been having for the last 500 years, and so here to settle it all, we’re going to do it in three parts, is Tim Staples. Tim is the Director of Apologetics and Evangelization here at Catholic Answers. And as you know, he’s the author of Behold Your Mother. A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines. Hello Tim.

Tim Staples: How are you Cy Kellett?

Cy Kellett: I would like to go to heaven. I feel like that’s a reasonable desire. So, how does that all start?

Tim Staples: Yeah. I was recently in the process of setting up a debate with the Protestant minister. And I ended up falling through. And the reason was the premise of the debate was going to be Canon 9 from session 6 of the Council of Trent, which deals with this very topic of justification against the reformers. And Canon 9 says, if I could quote it here, “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning thereby that no other cooperation is required for him to obtain the grace of justification–” now there’s the key there– “to obtain the grace of justification, and that in no sense is it necessary for him to make preparation and be disposed by a movement of his own will, let him be anathema.” And when we were going to prepare for the debate … see Cy, I make it a practice whenever I debate someone, no matter who it may be, to fully disclose what I am going to say. And that surprises people. Because my aim is not to win a debate.

Cy Kellett: How interesting.

Tim Staples: One of the reasons why I don’t like doing debates is too often it’s an ego show. And people are interested in winning debates rather than getting the truth out there. But I will tell you, I fully disclose everything I’m going to say. And of course, because we have the truth. So, I’m not out to win a debate. If I get the truth out there, God’s going to take care of the rest, right? And so, in helping this fellow to understand what the Canon meant, he believed … and by the way, because I get this constantly from Protestants who will use this same Canon 9 here to say exactly what my interlocutor … or my potential interlocutor, he ended up backing out of the debate.

Tim Staples: He thought that this says that we have to do good works in order to merit the initial grace of justification. Because it says, “If anyone says the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning thereby that no other cooperation is required for him to obtain the grace of justification.” So, the false notion among Protestants … and again, not just this fellow I was preparing to debate, I just got another one last week from another Protestant who said the exact same thing concerning this exact same Canon … is they fail to understand that we are not saying, and the council of Trent is not saying, that we can merit the initial grace of justification or the obtaining of justification; simply that we have to cooperate freely as an adult. Now, of course as a baby, you cannot do so you’re dependent upon your family. That’s a separate category. You’re dependent upon the faith of the parents to bring you to the waters of baptism. But we’re talking about adult converts here.

Tim Staples: There is a necessity of cooperation. Now this Canon is written, remember, against Luther and Calvin, who both denied that we can cooperate in the process of coming to Christ. So, in the process Martin Luther famously in his book, Bondage of the Will says in two different places, “We are like a beast. If God gets on our back and rides us, he’ll ride us to salvation. If the devil gets on our back and rides us, he’ll ride us to hell. But the beast has no choice as to who rides him.” A lot of folks don’t know this, including Lutherans that I talk to often. But Luther absolutely denied free will.

Tim Staples: And John Calvin, of course, he took it and put it on steroids because not only does he deny freewill, but Calvin taught Monergism, which means God alone acts in every human action. So that, when Adam fell, it was God who impelled him to fall. God’s the source of evil as well as good for John Calvin, right? So, when Adam fell, even when the devil fell, it was God who impelled them to fall. It was God’s will. They wrongly interpret Isaiah 45:7, “God wills good and wills evil” to mean that God wills even moral evil. Now, Luther didn’t agree with that. Thanks be to God. He wasn’t that crazy. But Calvin was

Cy Kellett: But can I just ask you real quick, is this related to the idea that they were rebelling against the indulgences thing and the idea that you could buy indulgences and all that. And so, they’re just trying to hyper-simplify the whole thing. And so, they reject even any human participation at all. Is that why they did it?

Tim Staples: That’s really insightful. Yes. In fact, Luther did not originally reject indulgences. That’s a popular myth. In fact, if you read his 95 theses that he nailed to the church door there in Wittenberg, he still believed in indulgences. In fact, he says in one of his 95 theses, “If we would just listen to Pope Leo, the whole problem would go away.” He was worried about the abuses. And he also did not … his theology was crazy even back then. But the point is, Luther came … I believe it was more of a psychological problem with Luther rooted … now, this is just Tim Staples. But my good friend Ken Hensley, I think makes a really good case for this. He had a terrible relationship with his father. His father would evidently…we only have Luther’s side of the story, but he would beat him and he could never please his father. He could never do enough for his father and that sort of thing. And he himself said he projected that onto God and he would go to confession, walk out of the confessional, and dive back in because he had a thought.

Tim Staples: I think Luther was a tormented individual who came up with this newfangled theology of justification by faith alone because of his own torment, thinking he could never please God. And so, he came up with a theology that says, “I don’t have to. I’m free.” And that theology, though, took a long time in Luther’s life to really work out. Because the ramifications of it became horrible. You can see that in Luther’s early writings where he still … even 1522 in his prayer book, he still has a devotion to Mary and the saints. But eventually that would go. Because look, here’s the key: for both Luther and Calvin, man’s will is entirely passive when it comes to justification. There’s nothing he can do to merit, even cooperating with God’s grace. And so, look, if I can do nothing for my salvation, well, what in the world can Mary or the saints do for me or the mass or anything else?

Cy Kellett: So, it just becomes just a stark: “If God does it, you’re okay. If God doesn’t do it, you are…doomed.”

Tim Staples: That’s right. And this first principle, Cy, leads to all kinds of theological insanity, including the fideism of Karl Barth, and on down to modern times where faith doesn’t have to make sense, right? It can be crazy. Why? Because it’s just a bolt from the blue. Either you have it or you don’t. I mean, it becomes a schizophrenic Christianity that separated from reality. It leads to the American Baptist sort of mentality: “As long as you’re saved, brother, doesn’t matter what happens Monday through Saturday. As long as you’re saved!” It’s that kind of thing. But it begins right here, Cy, in this thought that somehow Catholics are saying here that we can merit the obtaining of justification. Which is not … in fact, what you want to do always is back up. And this is what I said to my friends and I continue to say, it’s just “Back up to Canon 1. Before you read nine, read one.”

Cy Kellett: Okay, read them in order!

Tim Staples: Maybe even read one through eight. But, “If anyone says that a person can be justified before God by his own works, done either by the resources of human nature or by the teaching of the law apart from divine grace through Jesus Christ, let him be anathema.” Right? So, the Church had already declared, you cannot do anything to merit the initial or the obtaining of the grace of justification, right?

Tim Staples: So, what we’re talking about here in Canon 9 is not meriting anything, but it’s the necessity of cooperation in the process of being brought to the waters of baptism. And isn’t this what we see everywhere in sacred scripture? What does scripture say? “Repent!” First thing Jesus says in Mark’s Gospel, right? In Mark 1:15, “Repent and believe the Gospel.” “Repent and be baptized.” Now I’m jumping forward to Acts 2:38. So, that repentance, of course, before the waters of baptism, doesn’t merit anything, right? But it’s necessary and it’s … in fact, if you are repenting, that is a sure sign that the grace of God is already moving you toward the waters of baptism. But you’re not meriting anything. And here, very importantly, Cy, if you go to the Council of Trent session 6 and read, especially chapters six, seven, and eight, and especially seven.

Tim Staples: The council talks about why it’s important we get this right. There is a loss in understanding the importance of the preparation for the sacrament, when you don’t understand that you can even do anything to prepare. See, because it’s in … and we do this in the church with our catechumens through the RCIA program. There’s a reason why it’s developed into a longer period of time. No, that’s not necessary. You can bring somebody in quicker if a pastoral situation arises where a pastor deems it fit. But generally speaking, you want to give them time to prepare. Why? Because to the degree you prepare yourself, and you have sorrow for your sins, that’s the degree the sacrament is going to be effectual in your life.

Tim Staples: Now, we don’t want to fall into a heresy here and say, “Well, wait a minute Tim. Are you saying then that the sacrament doesn’t work ex opera operato?” That is, “Out of the working, it has worked.” No, of course. But preparing ourselves … I like to use the image from St. Teresa of Avila, that some of us are thimbles and some of us are large containers, right? To the degree we prepare ourselves and we’re sorry for our sins, we open ourselves up, so that when that unmerited gift of justification comes to us, we will be enlarged to where we can receive more of God’s love and more of God’s grace.

Cy Kellett: So, you’re cooperating with the grace that’s prompting you?

Tim Staples: Yes.

Cy Kellett: So that you can be better received … prepared to receive the grace that saves you?

Tim Staples: Absolutely. And that’s crucial to understand. I find a lot of Catholics don’t understand that either in our age of the joint declaration on justification, which sometimes gets greatly exaggerated. There were great things that happened in there. But you don’t want to jettison all of this theology … I had one fellow, actually he was a bishop. We were in an airport together and he said, “Well, I thought we agreed now…” I would never name him. He’s a wonderful man. “I thought we agreed now completely on justification.” And I said, “Your Excellency, no. Let me explain this to you.” And he thanked me and we became friends, in fact, a wonderful bishop.

Tim Staples: But a lot of folks don’t understand that, hey, yeah, tremendous things happen. The Lutherans agree we’re not Pelagians. That’s a good thing. And the Lutherans, at least in some sense, acknowledged that there does need to be preparation, which originally they rejected, although it’s still kind of nebulous and needs to be worked out more. But here’s the bottom line, Cy: we need to understand as Catholic Christians, especially any that are catechumens, that if you don’t repent … see, baptism doesn’t work like magic, right?

Tim Staples: If you don’t repent of your sins, let’s say you have a person, a catechumen. And he’s living in sin with his girlfriend, right? He’s living in sin. And he says, “Oh, we’re fine. I can keep doing that because I’m about to be baptized, man. It’s all going to be taken away.” No! You know what’s going to happen? If you’re in that state and you don’t tell the priest, you don’t tell the folks, “Well, I’m still living in sin,” and you go to the waters of baptism, you will receive the seal of baptism. Because it does work ex opera operato, meaning it works out of the working. You can guarantee it has worked. So, you have the seal; but you will not receive the sanctifying grace.

Cy Kellett: Wow. Think about that. Yeah.

Tim Staples: And in a sense, folks, this is why it’s such a sacred time to prepare for receiving any sacrament, but for baptism as well. In that state, you’ll go a lower place in hell if you don’t end up repenting. Because now you have much more responsibility than you did before. Cut to Lumen Gentium paragraph 14, it’s a sobering chapter.

Cy Kellett: I gotta get this guy out of hell. So, just so I know. Now, later he realizes “This was wrong, what I did.” He goes to confession and confesses it. Now the sanctifying grace will pour into his soul?

Tim Staples: It kicks in gear. And to the degree he’s sorry, right? We go again, and that’s why it’s very important, folks, when we’re going to confession, when we’re receiving any sacrament, that we really take it seriously. Because our preparation, whether it’s baptism or going to receive the Eucharist every day, even if we’re in a state of grace, most people understand this, right? It’s the degree that you are prepared, that’s what you’re going to get, right? You don’t just receive magically, “Oh, I received Jesus. Wow.” Yeah. But it’s the degree that you’re sorry for your sins. Venial sins that you … and most importantly, how much do you love God? Are you putting God first in your life?

Tim Staples: That’s why folks … we have so many Catholics who will say, “Oh I went to Catholic Church for 14,000 years and I never got anything.” And I said, “What did you put into it?” “Well, I didn’t learn anything.” “Yeah. Well did you have wax in your ears?”

Cy Kellett: Because they were preaching it every Sunday.

Tim Staples: Were you listening? See, and so that’s really the importance here of Canon 9, is understanding what we clearly see in sacred scripture: that we have to prepare ourselves, we have to repent, we have to be sorry for our sins, understanding that it’s the grace of God that even enables us to do that. But we cannot merit until we enter into Jesus Christ. And this is why you find for example, in Acts 7:51, St. Stephen would say to the elders of Jerusalem, who are about to kill him, “You do always resist the Holy Spirit.” He was preaching the Gospel to them and God gives him this revelation. I believe he was like Padre Pio on steroids. I mean, he could see their souls.

Tim Staples: This was St. Stephen right at the point of martyrdom, and he just, wow. “You do always resist the Holy Spirit.” And of course it was prophetic because they would kill him. But the point is the grace of God was being offered to them right then through one of the great preachers of in the history of the Church, Deacon Stephen, I mean he was full, the scripture says he was full of grace and full of the spirit. Can you imagine? I mean, the power of that moment, and yet we can reject all of that, and they did.

Tim Staples: Jesus Christ in Matthew 23:37, weeps out … well in Luke’s version he weeps. But in Matthew’s version, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets. How often I would have gathered you as a hen would gather her chicks. But you refused.” And then he looks at that temple. Can you imagine the power here? If you read down to chapter 24:1, he looks at that glorious temple and he says, “You see this temple? Not one stone will be left upon another.” It’s going to be decimated. Why? “Because you did not realize the time of your visitation.” That’s what preparation is all about. And this is why it’s kind of important. Because God’s grace is there as we’re preparing.

Tim Staples: Translate this to the mass. As we go through the mass, the mass is designed, directed by God, I believe, 2000 years of tradition, it’s so beautiful in preparing us to receive the Eucharist. We go from the penance, right? “Lord, I’m not worthy,” and so forth. We go through the illumination of the word ultimately to get to union with the Eucharist. But it’s really up to … God can’t put a gun to our head, nor can the Church. If we just sit there during mass, guess what? You’re not ready. Because you did not know the time of your visitation. Do we realize that? That on judgment day we will stand before God, and if we are in that number that sat there through the liturgy, we hear the words of St. Stephen and all the great saints and Jesus Christ himself, all doing exactly what the Holy Spirit was doing 2000 years ago to that crowd that was about to kill Stephen, the same words that Jesus spoke to the Jews when it says he weeps and he says, “I would have gathered you. I wanted you. Please come to me,” and you did not? Oh my goodness. The judgment upon us is daunting. But at the same time we can rejoice as Catholics to know, “Wow.” Let’s not look at this as, “Oh my gosh, I’m scared.” But this is how much God loves us. He’s giving us chance after chance every day at mass. He gives us the liturgy. He gives us opportunity after opportunity. And really all we need to do is say yes.

Cy Kellett: So, in that section from the council of Trent. The word “obtain” there, then, it doesn’t mean, “I did all of these good works and therefore God saved me.” But it means that “When God came to me, I cooperated so that I could obtain-”

Tim Staples: So that I could obtain the grace completely unmerited. And now we’re going to get to the next part, where once we say “Yes,” all heaven breaks loose, right? I mean, we’re in a state … and by the way, the Council of Trent is so beautiful in the chapters leading up to the Canons. The way it describes it is gorgeous. But we are in a state, as St. Paul describes in Ephesians 1:1-3, “You who were dead in your trespasses and send you who were by nature children of wrath.” Jesus describes it in John 15:5, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” We are dead in our sins, we’re by nature children of wrath. We’re in bondage to sin, death and to the devil as a result of original sin. We’re in bondage. That’s the message. We can do nothing. We can’t merit. Why? Because we don’t have the principle of all merit in our hearts yet. And that is the charity of God.

Tim Staples: And when we come to Christ, the grace of God explodes into our being and empowers us. Imagine, I mean folks, to get a hold of this, right? It’s life changing. Jesus says in John 15:5, “Apart from me… nothing. You can do absolutely nothing.” But what happens after you get in him? Look at the change. John 14:12, Jesus says, “You will do greater things even then I did.” Look at what Paul says, “Children of wrath by nature, children of wrath-” But what happens when you get in Christ? Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me,” including meriting eternal salvation.

Cy Kellett: Wow. So, that’s the “before” and it primarily comes down to: we have the ability to refuse or to cooperate.

Tim Staples: Exactly.

Cy Kellett: Just because we’re going to do … we have two more of these conversations, but before we finish this one, it strikes me as you say it, that for me, if I just were to tell you the workings of grace in my life. I say “Yes” a little bit. You know what I mean? It’s not a no. But it’s “Yes” a little bit. And so, then it’s cycle after cycle of … I actually kind of feel God wears me down a little bit. And so that the, yes … okay. Next time I go through this-

Tim Staples: The hound of heaven, the Holy Spirit.

Cy Kellett: So, it’s not always … at least for me, I would say it’s not … okay, I cooperated. I’m saved. Now, just its glory all the time. It seems like I cooperate a little bit. I got saved. But I could’ve gotten saved more. And then I gotta say yes next time.

Tim Staples: Exactly. St. Paul puts it this way, “I tell you the truth in Christ Jesus, I die daily.” In fact, Jesus says in Luke 9:23, “Unless you take up your cross once-” Is that what he said? No, “DAILY.” I’m trying to sneak some versus past these people, but you keep catching me. But no, he doesn’t say once. Not at the … going to Billy Graham crusade and you get saved. Praise God, I’m saved and it’s all over. That is not scriptural, my friend. “Unless a man take up his cross daily and follow me, he cannot be my disciple.” So, we have to understand that, yes, in our lives we’re going to fall. We’re going to fall at times. Now I pray you’re a St. Therese of Liseux and never fall mortally in your entire life. But I’m betting you will. Probably many of us fall into mortal sin here and there. Like Jimmy Carter. I have to say Jimmy Carter: “I’ve been faithful to my wife, but I must say, not always in my mind.” I remember when Carter said that.

Cy Kellett: I do. Yeah.

Tim Staples: You gotta love the guy’s honesty, anyway. But the point is, whether we fall venially or mortally, we understand and we need to understand our ongoing need for grace to overcome, whether it’s mortal sin or venial sin. We are powerless to be able to overcome them on our own. And so, again, I get back to this point. Now let me say this about the preparation. When our Protestant friends … and this is what’s so devastating about their false theology. When they attribute to us the error of saying works are necessary, because we say you have to cooperate, we’re saying, “Well, you have to do good works to merit the initial grace of justification,” what they end up doing is exactly the error of Martin Luther.

Tim Staples: They condemn works carte blanche to say, “See, you can’t do any good works whatsoever. And you’ve even admitted that your work’s can’t merit the initial grace of justification, right? So, you’ve even admitted that,” and they ended up carte blanche eliminating all works as necessary in any sense whatsoever, and that is so radically contrary to what we see in sacred scripture. Because really, though we don’t call them works, and you notice the council of Trent uses the terms “cooperation,” “…no other cooperation is required for him to obtain the grace of justification, and that in no sense it is necessary for him to make preparation and be disposed by movement of his will…”

Tim Staples: And there’s a reason why we don’t use the term “works” leading up to justification. It’s because St. Paul doesn’t. St. Paul, whenever he talks about works, either … and this is why it’s so beautiful what Canon 1 says … either works done by nature or works of the law, they’re condemned. It’s always a bad thing. For example, Ephesians 2:8-9 talks about works done by nature. It says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It’s a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.” That’s talking about works before entering into the waters of baptism and receiving justification. He saying “No, because that would be from yourself.”

Tim Staples: That would be saying you don’t need Jesus because you can do works from your own nature to obtain the grace of justification. That is specifically what Paul is talking about. You can’t do works done by nature. Jesus himself would say … similarly, in John’s Gospel there in John 1:12, “It’s not by the will of man, or the will of the flesh, but by the will of God.” You must be born of God. Not of the will or the flesh but of God. You cannot do anything pleasing to God unless you are born of God. And John 1:12 eliminates the idea of the human will or even the lower appetites that is not by the will of the flesh or the will of man. That is, the lower nature, the lower appetites, or even the higher nature, the intellect.

Tim Staples: There’s nothing you can do to merit anything from God. You must first be born of God before you can merit anything. See, but what happens is, Luther in particular, and this has crept its way into all Protestant theology, he eliminated not only the cooperation and the preparation, which he called that absolute blasphemy to say that we would have to prepare ourselves in any sense whatsoever. He called that blasphemy. But he went beyond that and said, “Even after the grace of justification, all works are sinful even after justification.”

Tim Staples: Now, most Lutherans today would not agree with Luther on that. But the Council of Trent actually responds to that. Because that’s how extreme Luther went in his vehemence against works. So he ends up eliminating all works whatsoever. And Cy, I gotta say this. You end up, in Lutheran theology, destroying faith. You destroy religion. You destroy the foundation of everything we are as human beings when you do that. Why? Because faith itself has to be understood as both a work of God and a human work.

Tim Staples: Luther eliminated the human aspect of it, right? Because Luther says, “No, it’s a bolt from the blue.” It’s purely a divine gift. And that’s why you can do nothing whatsoever to cooperate to receive it in any sense. Because it’s a bolt from the blue, right? So, the idea of … think about this. Faith, by definition, is a theological virtue. It’s theological because it comes from God, but it’s also a virtue. We have to act in it. How many times does the Bible say “Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life.” I like the example in John chapter 10, if you remember, when Jesus declares himself to be God, proving, as I often say here ad nauseum, Jesus proved he never read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Because you don’t run around in first century Israel and say, “Hey, I and the Father are one.” Yeah. You know what I mean? Oh my gosh. They immediately pick up rocks because he just declared it.

Tim Staples: And by the way, Archbishop Fulton Sheen makes a great point in his book, his masterpiece, Life of Christ, Which I still say is his best. I mean, I haven’t read all 75 of his books. But of the ones I’ve read, I mean Life of Christ is just glorious. But he makes the point there when Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” The term “one” is in the neuter. You’d think it would be in masculine because “I and the Father,” Father and Son, it would be in the masculine. But it’s actually a neuter which indicates to us he’s communicating the fact “I and the Father and not one person,” right? Because their persons would be “He.” But they share the one divine nature. Which is neither man nor woman.

Tim Staples: But anyway, I just thought I’d throw that in as an added bonus. But the point is, Cy, when he declares himself to be God, of course they want to kill him. If you skip down there to verses 37 and 38, what he says in essence, he says to them, “Guys, I know you can’t believe this. But if you can’t believe my words, believe for the work’s sake. You’ve seen me raise the dead. You’ve seen me heal. You’ve seen me walk on water. Hey, you know anybody else has done that? Never. Has anybody ever or since walked on water?” All right, but the point is he’s saying you have to choose to believe. Faith is not a pure … just a divine gift. It is a divine gift. But it’s also something you have to choose to do.

Tim Staples: Luther eliminates that whole aspect of faith, and he destroys faith as what it is in essence: a theological virtue. In the same way, religion. Religion is not only a gift that we receive. Obviously our Catholic faith went before us, Cy, but it’s also something we have to do. But Luther says, “That’s blasphemy. You can’t say-” This is one of the reasons why he destroyed the mass. He said “The mass is the greatest of all of the Papists’ errors.” He said in fact in multiple different works that this is the gravest evil of all. And the reason? Because the mass implies you and I have to do something. We have to offer the mass. Yes, it’s a gift, and Luther says no. That’s why he believed in the Real Presence, but not the mass as a sacrifice. Because the Real Presence is there and we just passively receive it. There’s nothing we can do.

Tim Staples: But we say no to the degree you prepare yourself, and you offer your sacrifices with Christ, that’s the degree you’re going to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And so ultimately, religion also becomes entirely passively received gift rather than something we do. And obviously St. James didn’t get the memo here. Because in James chapter one, what does he say?

Cy Kellett: True religion.

Tim Staples: “True religion, pure and undefiled, is to visit orphans and widows and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” Another reason why Luther just didn’t like James.

Cy Kellett: That’s very inconvenient when the Bible disagrees with your theology. But they always had the option of throwing out books of the Bible. Tim, we got two more of these conversations to do. But we can take away: the Lord prompts us, we respond to those promptings. We must prepare ourselves to receive the fullness of His grace.

Tim Staples: We must. And from my Catholic friends, I mean, we’ve got such a blessing to have the truth. We have true theology man. “And truth by nature makes you free,” says Jesus in John 8:32, right? If we as Catholics learn this stuff and really apply it, we see, oh my goodness, yes. We have to believe as if everything is dependent upon God, but we have to work as if everything depends on us. And if we really get a hold of these truths from the Council of Trent, in fact, all the truths of our faith, but just meditating on these beautiful chapters of the Council of Trent, and then you read the Canons and decrees and really take them to heart, they are absolutely life-changing. One of … I’m not going to oversimplify because we’re not gnostics here. We’re not all about knowledge, right? Knowledge is great. We need knowledge. But knowledge isn’t everything. But I’ll tell you what, it’s empowering when you know the truth. “And my people,” says sacred scripture, “do perish because of lack of knowledge,” says the prophet Hosea.

Cy Kellett: Tim Staples has been our guest. We’re going to continue this conversation. So, join us again next week of Catholic Answers Focus. And if you like Catholic Answers Focus, go ahead and share it with other people. We’d appreciate it if you would. Just send them over to CatholicAnswersLive.com where they can sign up for Radio Club and find out every time we post one of these Catholic Answers Focus conversations. We’ll see you next time, God willing, on Catholic Answers Focus and Catholic Answers Live.

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