Biblical Evidence of Salvation as a Process | National Catholic Registry


(All KJV verses unless otherwise specified as RSV.)

The following is part of my book, Apocalypse! : 1001 biblical answers to theological questions. I used a technique of providing Bible passages (usually one verse, sometimes a few together) that would be “answers” to a large number of one-sentence questions.

I think somewhere deep inside me, I may have also vaguely remembered, in particular, The Catholic Catechism in Questions and Answers (New York: Doubleday Image, 1981), by my mentor, the late Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ He divided his book into broad categories, then subcategories, and 1,701 individual questions. His answers were relatively simple “catechetical” answers that presented the basic Catholic teachings or “answers”.

Works that “simplify” theology as much as possible for the masses will tend to be of this “summary” nature. The question is whether simplification is generally a good thing or a bad thing. I think it’s obvious that it’s a good thing. There is always time to delve into questions as a student or seeker progresses in their theological understanding.

Faith and Works: Two Sides of the Same Coin

How do we know that faith and works are linked and inseparable?

James 2:17-20, 26 Likewise faith, if it has no works, is dead, being alone. [18] Yes, a man can say: You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. [19] You believe there is only one God; you do well: the demons also believe and tremble. [20] But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? . . . [26] For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

Is faith itself described as “working”?

Galatians 5:6-7 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails, nor uncircumcision; but faith that works through love.
[7] You ran well; who kept you from not obeying the truth?

Is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit tied to our obedience? not only belief?

Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses to these things; and so it is with the Holy Spirit, which God has given to those who obey him.

Must we obey the gospel to be saved?

1 Peter 4:17-18 For the time has come when judgment must begin with the house of God: and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? [18] And if the righteous is barely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?

Do we prove that we are Christian believers by keeping the commandments?

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments.

Salvation as a process

Do we have to “endure” to be saved?

Matthew 10:22 . . . whoever endures to the end will be saved.

Does Saint Paul strive for salvation?

Philippians 3:11-14 If by any means I could attain the resurrection of the dead. [12] It’s not as if I had already reached, neither of them were already perfect: but I pursue after, if that allows me to apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. [13] Brethren, I do not consider myself to have grasped; but I do one thing, forgetting the things that are behind, and tending towards those that are ahead, [14] I run towards the goal for the price of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.

Can salvation be nearer or farther from us?

Romans 13:11 And this, knowing the hour, that it is now high time to awake from sleep: for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed.

Can we “grow” toward salvation?

1 Peter 2:2 (KJV) As infants, aspire to pure spiritual milk, so that through it you may grow up to salvation;

Do we have to “persevere in the faith” to be saved?

Colossians 1:21-23 And you, who were once alienated and enemies in your spirit by evil works, he is now reconciled [22] In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless and blameless in his eyes: [23] If you continue in rooted and established faith, and do not stray from the hope of the gospel, you have heard. . .

Must one remain “steadfast to the end” to be saved?

Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold fast to the end the beginning of our trust;

Do we need to “hold fast” to salvation?

Hebrews 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our profession.

Do we need to “continue” in faith?

James 1:25 But whoever examines the perfect law of freedom and abides therein, not being a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, that man will be blessed in his doing.

Do we have to be faithful until death to be saved?

Revelation 2:10 Do not be afraid of these things that you will suffer: behold, the devil will throw some of you into prison, that you may be judged; and you will have ten days of tribulation: be faithful until death, and I will give you a crown of life.

Can our “crown” be taken away from us if we are not vigilant?

Revelation 3:10-12 Because you have kept the word of my patience, I will also keep you from the hour of temptation, which will come upon everyone, to try those who dwell on the earth. [11] Behold, I come quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one takes your crown. [12] Whoever overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. . .

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