ARE WE SAVED BY FAITH ALONE?
William J. DeTucci
Private Roman Catholic
Theologian and Scholar
Can man be saved by faith alone? Can he love God and yet not keep His commandments without loss of salvation and grace? Will man fall into the Protestant trap of saying or believing that they can love God and not jeopardize their salvation by committing sin or heresy? Does the Holy Bible state clearly that man can be saved by faith “alone” without the cooperation of “faith and works” as being necessary for eternal salvation? When a man or woman of the Evangelical Protestant conviction engage in their “work” of “evangelizing,” when is the question not heard: “Brother/Sister, are you saved?” What should one’s reply be? Should one say yes or no to such a question? And what does the Bible, a Catholic Book have to state on these matters?
It cannot be denied that it was under the auspices of the Church of Rome to declare the number and canon (rule) for the Holy Scriptures. In the year 382 AD Pope St. Damasus I, in the Council of Rome decreed the authenticity and canon (rule) of the books of the bible. [footnote #1]
It was not until the “true founder” of Protestantism, Martin Luther that radical changes to the canon of the bible were made by him, of which he took out the Epistle of St. James for it constantly referred to “faith and works” as being necessary to attain eternal salvation in the plan of God.
Martin Luther himself wrote:
“GÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âªto give my own opinion without prejudice to that of anyone else, I do not hold it [the Epistle of St. James] to be of apostolic authorship for the following reasons: Firstly, because, in direct opposition to St. Paul and all the rest of the Bible, it ascribes justification to worksGÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âª” [footnote #2]
To believe that the precondition of the Catholic Church in theological, doctrinal and biblical interpretation was not of itself necessary and needed in the early formation of Christianity and so on, is tantamount to having a household in which all will interpret the rule of the father as not necessary or heedless. The Church that Christ founded (Matt. 16:18-19) was an essential element and the teacher of the early Christians - without which - one could easily be led into heresy and theological error concerning the person of Christ and His teachings. Thus St. Peter [the first Pope of Rome] writes:
“As also in all his epistles [St. Paul’s], speaking in them things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction” (2:Peter 3:16).
This would clearly display why there are so many so-called churches that differ on matters (essential to them or not) on points of Christian doctrine and practice. In America alone there is said to be over 30,000 different Christian confessions of faith all disagreeing on points of doctrine and yet, can all, at the same time be considered Christian?
My dear reader, is this not absurd? Can Christ, Who founded one true Church be divided? Did not Christ (God) testify that:
“And if a house [church] be divided against itself, that house [church] cannot stand” (Mark 3:25).
When Christ founded His Church, He said: “My Church,” (Matt. 16:18). He did not say, “My Churches,” that is, in the plural, but, “My Church,” in the singular. We must keep in mind that the printing press was not invented until the middle of the 15th century by Johann Gutenberg (Catholic) and known for his famous printed Bible, the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome also known as the “Gutenberg Bible.” And before this the bible was not in verses until the early 13th century by the erudite Cardinal-Bishop Stephen Langton (1160?-1228) who did so, and, thanks to the Catholic Church that it is so.
This is to note that the bible was not widely distributed and that bibles were rare and costly things and mostly in Hebrew, Latin or Greek, of which, would make the use hard for the average layman to read without a necessary knowledge of such languages as did St. Jerome have such and was ordered by Pope St. Damasus I in the 4th century to make his famous translation from the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin, of which, are now lost with the exception of St. Jerome’s literal translation from these languages in the Vulgate (Lat. vulgata, common version). In such a case this would further corroborate that most early Christians were illiterate, and so, the proclamation of St. Paul is evident:
“Faith then cometh [not by the bible alone] by hearing [Luke 10:16]; and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
And since most laymen were illiterate at this time of the early Church and even until the late 19th century was there a great gap in reading and writing in general among the middle-class. The need of preachers and also of stain glass windows in depicting historical events were necessary and as reminders to lift ignorance outside itself to the contemplation of God and heavenly things. It is true that man in and of himself cannot save himself, but that, the man that believes all that God has revealed and sincerely does penance and repents of his sins and embraces His true teachings found in His Church (Catholic), can be saved, if he, as Christ said:
“GÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âªshall persevere to the end, he shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13).
WHERE DID THE NOTION THAT MEN COULD BE SAVED BY FAITH ALONE WITHOUT THE NEED OF
FAITH AND WORKS FIRST APPEAR?
The heresy that men could be saved by faith alone, unfortunately, has always existed - even before the foundation of the world when - Lucifer (Satan), the fallen angel said in his heart:
“I will exalt my throne above the stars of GodGÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âª” (Isaiah 14:13).
In other words: Lucifer would be the god of his own world, by disobeying the true God and thus becoming his own god in the realm of hell!
WHY DO PROTESTANTS HOLD FAST TO THE FALSE THEORY AND HERETICAL DOCTRINE THAT MEN ARE SAVED BY FAITH ALONE?
They hold to the heresy (error) that men can be saved by faith alone, “unknowingly” from the Devil (his own doctrine) but by the instrument of man from Martin Luther the wicked 16th century heresiarch.
WHO WAS MARTIN LUTHER?
Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a German Catholic monk (Augustinian priest) that had denied on October 31, 1517 A.D. that works (acts of charity and penance for sins, especially committed after sacramental baptism) were not necessary or essential for one’s eternal salvation and a sign of “true” repentance and amendment to restore that, which nailed (the sins of sinners) Christ to the Cross. He held rather to the heresy of stating that man is saved without “faith and works” and that man is saved by faith “alone” in Jesus Christ by being declared such by a personal act of faith in Him without the need to make reparation for the sin or sins committed by the sinner. For example: Once a man is “saved,” according to Luther, he can do nothing to “jeopardize” his salvation, say if he murder’s his neighbor or partakes in an abortion and repents not of it or does not make “restitution” for it and dies in this state, he is still saved. Or, if he commits adultery with his brother’s wife but beforehand-professed faith in Christ he still can (according to Luther) be saved even if he asks not forgiveness after the fact.
One cannot (as Luther did) take the statement of St. Paul in isolation to his own liking without loss of faith and salvation:
“Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35).
But nowhere does St. Paul (in the following verses) mention the word “sin,” for this does sever a man separate from God if it be mortal sin (1:John 5:16). Also, ex-priest Martin Luther married in 1525 AD an ex-nun (Cistercian) by the name of Katherine Von Bora (1499-1552) and in doing so broke his vow of celibacy, as she did as well, that they made to God (Matt. 19:10-12).
WHAT IS THE TEACHING OF MARTIN LUTHER ON
FAITH ALONE COMPARED TO THAT OF
JESUS CHRIST’S TEACHINGS AND DOCTRINES?
CHRIST: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication [premarital sex], uncleanness, immodesty [in dress], luxury, Idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects [false churches], Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of which I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall NOT obtain the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
MARTIN LUTHER: “Sin boldly but believe boldly. Let not your faith be greater than your sinGÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ÂªSin will not destroy us in the reign of the Lamb, although we were to commit fornication a thousand times in one day” (Letter to Melanchton, August 1, 1521, Audin p. 178; also in Werke (Erlangen), XVIII, 260; See lastly The Story of Civilization volume 6, The Reformation, by Will Durant 1957, republished by: MJF Books, New York, NY, p. 374).
CHRIST: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is luxury [debauchery]” (Ephesians 5:1. “Keep thyself chaste [pure]” (1:Timothy 5:22).
MARTIN LUTHER: “Why do I sit soaked in wine?GÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ÂªTo be continent and chaste is not in me” (Luther’s Diary).
-ON GOOD WORKS-
CHRIST: “What will it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but does not have works” (James 2:14)? “For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).
MARTIN LUTHER: “He that says the Gospel requires works for salvation, I say, flat and plain, is a liar” (Table Talk (283), Weimer Edition, II, p. 137; See also The Story of Civilization volume 6, The Reformation, by Will Durant 1957, republished by: MJF Books, New York, NY, p. 373).
CHRIST: “And be not liars against the truth. For this is not wisdom, descending from above: but earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:14-15). “Lie not one to another: stripping yourselves of the old man with his deeds” (Col. 3:9). “The Lord hatethGÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âªa lying tongueGÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ÂªA deceitful witness that uttereth lies” (Proverbs 6:16-19). “A thief is better than a man that is always lying: but both of them shall inherit destruction” (Ecclesiasticus 20:27).
MARTIN LUTHER: “To lie in case of necessity, or for convenience, or in excuse, would not offend God [heresy], who is ready to take such lies upon Himself” (Eisenrach Conference, July 17, 1540).
CHRIST: “Whosoever shall put away [divorce] his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery” (Mark 10:11-12).
MARTIN LUTHER: “As to divorce, it is still a moot [debatable] question whether it is allowable. For my part, I prefer bigamy [From the Latin bigamus twice married; bi-+ in Greek +ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Âº+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¼+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â»+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ marriage. In Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1931): Act of ceremonially marrying one person when already legally married to another.]” (Dewette, Vol. 2, p. 459).
-ON FREE WILL-
CHRIST: “But woe to that man [Judas] by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born. And Judas that betrayed him, answering, said: Is it I, Rabbi [teacher]? He saith [Jesus] to him: Thou hast said it” (Matthew 26:24-25). “Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted by God. For God is not a tempter of evils, and he tempteth no man” (James 1:13).
MARTIN LUTHER: “Judas’ will was the work of God; God by His almighty power moved his will as He does all that is in the world” (Taken from the Latin work: De Servo Arbito - Against man’s free will).
Martin Luther (the heretic) clearly brought about a revolt in Christianity and was in evident contradiction to the true gospel of Christ (God). Man’s religion does not come from man but from God alone. On June 15, 1520 AD, Pope Leo X issued a bull, Exsurge Domine, which condemned forty-one statements by Luther, ordered the public burning of the writings in which these heretical doctrines appeared, and exhorted Luther to return to the sheep fold of Christ, His Church Catholic. On February 18, 1546 AD Luther died a heretic before God and man. Nowhere in the Holy Bible do the words “faith alone” appear in any sentence in the bible. On the contrary: “Seest thou, that faith did co-operate with works; and by works faith was made perfect” (James 2:22). The very book (James) that Luther denied condemned him as it does all Protestants. Interesting enough “all” Protestants use the King James Bible, which contains the book of St. James - do they deliberately neglect these and other verses?
Lastly, who founded your religion?
1. Greek Schismatic Church founded by Photius (man) 9th century and in 1054 AD by Michael C(K)erularius.
2. Lutheran Church founded by Martin Luther (man) 1517 AD.
3. Anglican Church founded by Henry VIII (man) in 1532 AD.
4. Baptist Church founded by John Smith (man) 1606 AD.
5. Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ (God and Man) in the year 33 AD upon St. Peter (Matt. 16:18-19) the rock (John 1:42) outside of which there is no salvation (Matt. 18:17).
[1.] See the text of Decree of Damasus which may be found in: Mansi, Vol. 8, pp. 145-147; in Minge, Patrologia Latina, Vol. 19, pp. 787-793; also in: Henry Denzinger’s Enchiridion Symbolorum, B. Herder Book Co. translated by Roy J. Deferrari 1954, article 84; and lastly in: William A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1, Liturgical Press, Minnesota 1970, pp. 404-406.
[2.] Martin Luther [Preface to the Epistles of St. James and St. Jude], Selections from his writings, edited and introduction by John Dillenberger, Anchor Books, New York 1961, p. 35; also in: The Reformation Writings of Martin Luther, volume II, The Spirit of the Protestant Reformation, translated and edited by Bertram Lee Woolf (London: Lutterworth Press, 1956), pp. 306-8; and lastly see: Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church - The German Reformation, Vol. VII, WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. [originally 1910] Michigan, reprinted in 1995, p. 35, n. 2.
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