Understanding Roman Catholicism
Salvation Through Good Works
To be saved, Catholic doctrine requires the continual performance of good works.
"Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved." Pg. 222, #837
These works include baptism (pg. 320, #1257), various sacraments (pg. 292, #1129) plus many additional works.
Once again the teachings of Catholicism oppose God's Word, which states that salvation cannot be earned, but is a free and undeserved gift of God:
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" Titus 3:5
The Bible repeatedly states that salvation comes through faith-never by good works:
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Romans 3:28
"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith…" Galatians 3:8
How do we become God's children?:
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:26
The Pharisees and good works
The religious Pharisees were convinced that performing good works would earn them salvation, but Jesus set them straight. In Mark's gospel, the Pharisees and scribes asked Jesus:
"Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?" Mark 7:5
In response, Jesus chastised them:
"Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." Mark 7:9
What a tragedy! By elevating tradition above God's Word, the Pharisees had actually rejected the commandment of God. Jesus also accused the Pharisees of:
"Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition…" Mark 7:13
This is exactly what the Catholic church does by elevating church tradition above the Word of God.
The Pharisees were convinced that salvation was obtained by performing good works, but good works can never save anybody:
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." Galatians 2:16
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" Romans 5:1
Good works aren't enough
Many who stand before God will think they should enter heaven because of their good works. Jesus tells us in His Word:
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven… Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" Matthew 7:21-22
How shocked they will be when they hear Jesus respond:
"I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:23
How tragic! Millions of Catholics never learn that good works cannot save them until after they die. But after death is too late. At that point they are already doomed to an eternity in the lake of fire.
The Apostle Paul makes another important statement concerning good works:
"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Galatians 2:21
In other words, if you could earn heaven through your good works, then Jesus suffered that horrible death on the cross for nothing.
But He did not die in vain. Scripture declares that Jesus gave His life because there is no other way for our sins to be forgiven:
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18
Jesus repeats this same truth:
"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life…" John 6:40
Roman Catholic friend, you must make another decision. Either you will believe God's Word and accept the free gift of salvation through faith alone in Jesus Christ, or you will believe the traditions of the Catholic church, that salvation must be earned through continual good works.
You cannot choose Catholic doctrine and God's Word because both disagree with each other.
My prayer is that you will make the right choice. If you choose to receive the God's free gift of salvation, before the end of the book, we will explain how you can do it:
"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." John 6:29