Catholics often get accused of contradicting the Bible because they believe we’re saved by works, not by faith.
So which is it?
Let’s answer this question once and for all: We’re saved by faith.
But not faith that is alone. (Shout-out to Scott Hahn for phrasing it that way.)
Making an act of faith (even declaring Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior) doesn’t depend entirely on you. That’s because faith is a gift. It’s a power you receive from God. This tends to get lost in Catholic-Protestant debates.
Still, we’re not off the hook for good works. We ought to love our neighbors and strive to make the world a better place. That’s “faith working through love,” as St. Paul puts it (Galatians 5:6).
But we shouldn’t have the impression that God’s going to tally all the good versus bad things we’ve done in this life and then decide whether to let us through the pearly gates. That’s not how being saved “works” (pun intended).
All right, so we are saved by faith as a gift. That means a good follow-up question to think about (or pray about) is: What have you done with this gift that’s been given to you?