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Do Catholics believe..

that salvation is a gift or that you have to earn it?

Please only answer this if you are a catholic

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Asked by luvnmy3kid at 1:30 PM on Jan. 2, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (9)
  • Its a little bit of both. According to the Bible, Jesus died for our sins, regardless of what we have done. That is considered a gift. But also, to recieve forgiveness, you have to ask for it. Its up to us if we want to be forgiven. It all goes both ways.

    Answer by LaurenKaye29 at 1:36 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • but does it have anything to do with going to church, taking communion, doing good things, etc?

    My husband is catholic and I'm not and I've asked questions about what he believes and he really can't answer what I ask. He seems to know nothing about what he believes even though he's been catholic his whole life.

    Answer by luvnmy3kid at 1:43 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Catholics believe that salvation is a free gift from God. There's nothing we can do to earn our own salvation - we are saved only because of God's grace. But Catholics do understand that good works have "merit". So we believe that people are saved by grace alone, just not faith alone.

    And good works only have merit because of God's grace. Only if a person performs a good work in response to God's grace and as a result of faith does it have any 'merit'. And it is only because of Christ's sacrifice that we not have the possiblity of eternal salvation.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains what Catholic teachings. Chapter 3 is about "God's Salvation" if you want to read more about it.


    Answer by eringobrough at 1:57 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • luvnmy3kid: but does it have anything to do with going to church, taking communion, doing good things, etc?

    Most people do these things in response to God's grace and because of faith.  Going to church, receiving Holy Communion, doing good works or other actions in and of themselves do not earn our salvation.  But it's not enough to just believe in Jesus Christ and not do these type of things.

    Another article "Grace: What It Is, What It Does" explains how Catholics understand the idea of God's grace.


    Answer by eringobrough at 2:02 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • What no one has mentioned yet is that salvation begins with being baptised within the catholic church when you are born. Then as long as you follow all the rules laid out and go through all the steps (forgot the correct term), like baptism, communion, Confession (forgot the proper term) and Confirmation, you are on the correct path to 'salvation'. And also, if I remember correct (s you might be able to tell I no longer am a catholic) catholics don't really use the term salvation, that I think, tends to be more of a new term. It falls more under Eternal Life.

    Answer by first-one at 6:05 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Catholics believe that "faith without works, is dead" (James 2:17 I believe...). They believe you can't just be "saved" and then be fine the rest of your life. You have to do good works, help others in need etc- pretty much emulate Jesus and how he helped the sick and poor. Of course you have to believe in Jesus and the bible etc, but that alone won't work. Thats what I was always taught, growing up Catholic. Even though I am not christian now, I still like their doctrine on that and try to still be a good person, and help where I can.

    Answer by abigail824 at 8:15 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • It's kinda like you start out with a full bank account which you can use in good ways on activities which enrich your life and add to your state of grace, or which you can fritter away on depleting, stupid things and end up troubled and impoverished in your soul. ... Doing things "for the glory of God" is actually very uplifting and gives you a lot of strength for daily tasks and keeping cheerful.

    Answer by waldorfmom at 4:15 AM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • Most catholics don't know how to say what they believe or where to explain it in the bible because they never are subjected to the bible. Pick any catholic church. The only bible you will find will be the one on the pulpit. They usually just believe what ever their priest tells them.

    Answer by Chrissy629 at 7:59 AM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • Chrissy629:   You do understand that at every Sunday Mass there are 4 different readings from the Bible don't you (and 3 different bible readings on weekday Masses)? Catholics hear those readings when they attend Mass.  They text is written in misselettes available at the entrance of the church or in the pew.  Just because the word 'Bible' does not appear on the front doesn't mean the text isn't from the bible. 


    Answer by eringobrough at 11:11 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

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