Saved by Grace Alone

Saved by Grace Alone
 

Imagine a stranger walks up to you and hands you a set of car keys. 

He explains that he has just bought a brand new Ferrari for you, and that it is waiting for you at the dealership. He is giving it to you free of charge, for no reason what-so-ever.  You decide that he is serious and travel downtown to check it out and with rejoicing, discover that the gift is real! 

In this analogy, did you earn the car?  No, it was a freely-given gift that you did not deserve in any way.   And yet, in order to get the car, two things had to happen.   First, you had to put your trust in this man and believe his words; otherwise, you would have laughed and tossed the keys into the bushes!  Second, you had to act on your belief and go to the dealership; how useless to believe the man and yet never bother to get the car! 

Through his death and resurrection, Christ offers us a gift infinitely more valuable than a Ferrari.  He offers the gift of being saved from sin and death, and transformed into adopted sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. He desires to fashion us into new creatures that can be happy with God now and happy with him one day in heaven! 

The car analogy is far from perfect, but it illustrates some important truths about salvation. Like the Ferrari, salvation is a completely unmerited gift. We can never do anything to deserve such a treasure.  This is what Catholics mean when we say we are saved by grace alone.  And yet, we are only able to receive this gift from God by cooperating with his grace in a two-fold manner. We must first respond to Jesus with faith, which is a complete trust in him and in his promises.  We must then put this faith into action through acts of love. 

Jesus himself emphasizes that both faith and love are necessary for salvation.  He often teaches that people must have faith in him in order to be saved, such as in John 5:24 and 11:25.  But he also teaches over and over that we must act upon that faith in order to be saved. Many of his parables have this theme, such as the parables of the Ten Virgins, the Talents, and the Sheep and Goats in Matthew 25.  It is not enough to believe in him without living a life of love, nor is it enough to do a lot of good things and have no faith. 

For more on Catholics beliefs concerning salvation, visit www.CatholicBridge.com. And if you are looking for a place to encounter the Risen Lord, we would like to welcome you home. 

 

 

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