1. What is salvation?
Salvation is the FREE GIFT of God through Jesus Christ. God did not intend suffering and death, but through SIN, particularly from the disobedience of our first parents (ADAM AND EVE), death and suffering entered the world. Every man who is born inherits this sin. Inheriting this sin means that men are born weak and susceptible to sin, to doing evil instead of good. We are imperfect. And no matter how we try to be good and reach perfection, we are UNABLE to. By our own works alone, we cannot save ourselves. God thus sent His Only Begotten Son JESUS CHRIST to save us and give us eternal life. Since we are unable to ASCEND to God, it is God Himself who DESCENDED to where we are to save us and show us the way to life. JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. – John 3:16, WEB-BE
– Jesus Christ paying the price for our sins.
– God coming down to save a people who cannot save themselves.
– God giving eternal life to those who will accept His gift of salvation.
– God giving forgiveness to those who will confess their sins, repent and ask for forgiveness.
– God revealing the fullness of His love through His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ.
– God overcoming death itself for us to give us eternal life.
– God with us and suffering with us, letting us know we are never alone.
– God healing the world with His love.
2. Are good works unnecessary to salvation?
If we truly believe in Jesus, this faith must be seen and confirmed in our works. For how can we say that we truly believe when we do evil deeds? To believe in Jesus is to do as He commanded us, to love one another as He has loved us. When you truly believe in someone, you follow his teachings. The fruit must be seen in your life. It is like when you are traveling and you get lost and someone tells you that he knows the way. If you truly believe that person, you will follow his instructions. Otherwise, you will remain lost. Further, you must follow the correct directions to the very end, until you get to your desired destination. This is the proof that you have truly believed in your guide. Your faith must stand up to the very last step. If you turn back, how can you say that you have truly believed?
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will tell me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’ Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’
“Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
-Matthew 7:21-27, WEB-BE
Behold, one came to him and said, “Good teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”
He said to him, “Why do you call me good?* No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He said to him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder.’ ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ ‘You shall not steal.’ ‘You shall not offer false testimony.’ ‘Honour your father and your mother.’ And, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’”
-Matthew 19:16-19, WEB-BE
Whoever doesn’t do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn’t love his brother. For this is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; unlike Cain, who was of the evil one, and killed his brother. Why did he kill him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s righteous. – 1 John 10-12, WEB-BE
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. Whoever loves the Father also loves the child who is born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments. For this is loving God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith. – 1 John 5:1-4, WEB-BE
What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food, and one of you tells them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled;” and yet you didn’t give them the things the body needs, what good is it? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness;” and he was called the friend of God. You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith. In the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.
-James 2:14-26, WEB-BE
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision amounts to anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love. – Galatians 5:6, WEB-BE
Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practise such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom. – Galatians 5:19-21, WEB-BE
But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgement of God; who “will pay back to everyone according to their works:” to those who by perseverance in well-doing seek for glory, honour, and incorruptibility, eternal life; but to those who are self-seeking, and don’t obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrath and indignation, oppression and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. – Romans 2:5-9, WEB-BE
“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’
“The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’
“Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most certainly I tell you, because you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
-Matthew 25:31-46, WEB-BE
3. Can we lose our salvation?
We are saved by Jesus Christ, God’s Only Begotten Son. By His perfect sacrifice and offering of His life, we are given salvation, a free gift we can receive by faith and thanksgiving. Like all gifts however, this gift must be willingly received. This gift must also be cherished and taken care of. Let us remember that gifts can be refused. Also, even after we have received it, we can be so careless as to lose it or even have the ingratitude to throw it all away and insult the one who gave the gift to us.
Let us also remember Judas who was even among the twelve apostles who had been with Jesus. No one could have thought he’d be the one to betray Jesus. He was called to be among the twelve. He saw Jesus’ miracles. He may have even performed miracles in Jesus’ name! Who could say then that Judas was not a believer? In the end however, he fell away.
So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and arguing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without defect in the middle of a crooked and perverse generation, amongst whom you are seen as lights in the world, holding up the word of life; that I may have something to boast in the day of Christ, that I didn’t run in vain nor labour in vain. Yes, and if I am poured out on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice, and rejoice with you all. In the same way, you also rejoice, and rejoice with me. – Philippians 2:12-18, WEB-BE
“Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child. Children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake, but he who endures to the end will be saved. – Matthew 10:21-22, WEB-BE
See then the goodness and severity of God. Towards those who fell, severity; but towards you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness; otherwise you also will be cut off. –Romans 11:22, WEB-BE
Let’s consider how to provoke one another to love and good works, not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as you see the Day approaching.
For if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgement, and a fierceness of fire which will devour the adversaries. A man who disregards Moses’ law dies without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think he will be judged worthy of who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance belongs to me,” says the Lord, “I will repay.” Again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
-Hebrews 10:24-31, WEB-BE
For if, after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb, “The dog turns to his own vomit again,” and “the sow that has washed to wallowing in the mire.” – 2 Peter 2:20-22, WEB-BE
Every man who strives in the games exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore run like that, not aimlessly. I fight like that, not beating the air, but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected. – 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, WEB-BE
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those along the road are those who hear, then the devil comes, and takes away the word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; but these have no root, who believe for a while, then fall away in time of temptation. That which fell amongst the thorns, these are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. Those in the good ground, these are those who with an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it tightly, and produce fruit with perseverance. – Luke 8:11-15, WEB-BE
Culled from Catholic Answers.