Protestants frequently claim that St. Paul teaches that we are saved by faith alone. This is based upon their understanding of Romans 3:28:
Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
However, St. Paul taught many other things which should show that the Protestant understanding of that verse is in error. Otherwise, St. Paul would be contradicting himself. Let's go to the book of Galatians.
6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
If this is true, how does it fit in with the faith alone theology? In Catholic Teaching, it fits perfectly. To sow is to work. If we sow with our good works, we will reap eternal life. That is how it fits in the Catholic Teaching.
Let us read further:
Gal 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression,
Being caught in a TRANSGRESSION means being caught in a sin against the Law, St. John explains.
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is thetransgression of the law.
Therefore, this verse confirms that the Law is still in effect.
you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.
This support given to the brethren is part of the Commandment to love one's neighbor.
Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
This avoidance of temptation refers to the temptation to transgress the law, i.e. sin.
Gal 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
The law of Christ is the law of love which fulfills the law of the Commandments:
Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Gal 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
This is actually a reproval of those who claim to be saved without awaiting God's judgement. In other words, a rejection of so called, once saved always saved. As the Apostle states elsewhere:
1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
But if we continue reading the entire Chapter, we see how plainly St. Paul teaches faith and works:
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For every man shall bear his own burden.....
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Now, I don't believe there are any COINCIDENCES in Scripture. Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit. So lets look at verse 15:
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
And compare it to:
Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neicircumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
Is that merely a coincidence? Note the first half of those three verses. Circumcision, representing the Old Law and Uncircumcision, representing the New Law. That is, to say, the Sacraments, are considered nothing. If what?
If we don't become a "new creature". That is, if we don't repent of our sins and amend our ways.
If we don't put "our faith to work in love." That is, we don't do the works which God ordained.
If we don't "keep the Commandments." That is, if we don't avoid sin and love our neighbor.
The Sacraments are nothing!?
I sense an objection coming from Catholics. Yes, the Sacraments are nothing, IF....
This is from the Catechism:
837 Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but 'in body' not 'in heart.'
Notice that a Catholic may observe all the precepts of the Church and yet lose his salvation, if he does not persevere in charity.
And this is the Teaching of St. Paul. We reap as we sow.
Romans 2: 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Can anyone deny that St. Paul teaches faith and works?