How Do I Get To Heaven?

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1 How Do I Get To Heaven? Tonight s Topics What does Jesus dying and rising from the dead mean for humanity? What is Redemption? What does it mean to be saved by Jesus Christ? Can I lose my salvation and how do I get it back? How do I get to heaven? The Sacrament of Baptism Does it do something? John 3:1-6 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him." Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:1-6 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the is spirit. Acts 2:37-38 & Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the. [ ] So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Answers to Important Questions How do I get this grace of salvation? Faith & Baptism Can I lose my salvation? Yes, through mortal sin Is it possible to get it back once lost? Yes, through confession 1

2 God created us in His Image and Likeness (e.g. Natural Life) Ability to know God & truth Ability to receive love from God Ability to love God & choose good Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil Tree of Life God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. CCC #1 The Fall Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil Tree of Life Prophecy of a Redeemer I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel. (Gen. 3:15) Adam Eve God gave them a share in His Divine Life (i.e. Sanctifying Grace) Communion with God Ability to live forever and go to heaven Harmony with God, in themselves, with each other, and with creation Adam Eve Adam and Eve sin against God s infinite goodness Lose Sanctifying Grace Lose the original covenant Descendants will not be able to be born with sanctifying grace Original Sin Original Sin Loss of Sanctifying Grace (i.e. Divine Life) Missing something essential to why we were created Still made in the image and likeness of God Unconditionally Loved Ontological goodness with priceless dignity Able to seek God What Original Sin is NOT Original Sin is NOT total depravity False belief that the image of God is destroyed in us Truth: We are still in the image of God, but are deprived of original grace and holiness left a wounded, weak nature Original Sin is NOT a minor issue Many believe that you are automatically going to heaven Truth: Original Sin is enough to keep a person out of heaven All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) We need salvation! of God Eternal Divine Person Share One Divine Nature with and + Takes on in Incarnation Human Soul Human Body In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only from the. John 1:14 of God - Jesus Christ Divine Person of the Divine & Human Natures Takes on all our sins Offers and Infinite Act of Love and Obedience to on Cross It is love to the end that confers on Christ's sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. CCC #616 Christ Redeems All Mankind Making it Possible for Salvation Adam Eve Sheol / Hell / Hades Abode of the all the Dead Righteous await salvation Damned can never leave Sheol / Hell / Abode of Dead Righteous can get to heaven He went and preached to the spirits in prison (1 Pt 3:19) AdamEve The Condemned Stay in Hell Forever 2

3 Jesus Christ is the union of God and man in Himself Took on our nature Took on our sins Offered a sacrifice of infinite love for us Outweighed the lack of love and the disobedience of our sins United to Christ in this offering, we can be saved of God - Jesus Christ Divine Person of the Divine & Human Natures Takes on all our sins Offers and Infinite Act of Love and Obedience to on Cross The Righteous in Sheol ascend into heaven with Jesus at His Ascension The Condemned Stay in Hell Forever The is given to the Church to bring salvation to each person, bringing them into union with Christ, as members of His Body, the Church, through faith & baptism Redemption Justification Sanctification Salvation Forgiveness Foundational Questions How can I be saved from death? By encountering and uniting myself to Jesus Christ, the one who conquered sin and death as true God and man How can I encounter and unite myself to Jesus Christ? By grace the free gift of God Through Faith and the Sacraments of the Church, the Body of Christ Foundational Questions Why isn t faith all we need? Salvation requires God s action and not just our belief. We need God s grace If faith was all we needed, then we would be saving ourselves. We need the Grace of Salvation aka Sanctifying Grace What must I do to be saved? The Short Answer - to be saved, you must receive the grace of salvation, aka sanctifying grace or divine life. You must die in a state of sanctifying grace Must have Catholic understand not what is the absolute minimum I need to do Salvation is about a life-giving relationship with God through His grace We want to receive everything that God wishes to give us for our salvation. To reject His gifts, is to reject the Giver 3

4 Grace CCC Glossary The free and undeserved gift that God gives us to respond to our vocation to become his adopted children. As sanctifying grace, God shares his divine life and friendship with us in a habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that enables the soul to live with God, to act by his love. As actual grace, God gives us the help to conform our lives to his will Two Types of Grace Sanctifying Grace Divine Life dwelling in us Grace of Justification / Salvation Child of God Temple of the Indwelling of the Trinity Member of the Body of Christ Member of the Church Infused Faith, Hope, and Charity & gifts of the Forgiveness of sins Eternal Life now & in heaven We can grow in sanctifying grace Actual Grace - Help in the moment to do something good Repentance / Conversion Grace to perform meritorious good works while in a state of grace Charismatic gifts like healing or the gift of tears Inspiration in prayer or while reading Scripture Moved to forgive others We can receive actual grace even when in mortal sin (like repentance) Sanctifying Grace in the Bible John 14:23 If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. 1 Cor. 6:11 But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the of our God. Justification = sanctification = caused by baptism John 6:47 he who believes has eternal life. Not just at death, but something we have now 2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. Sanctifying Grace CCC The grace of the confers upon us the righteousness of God. Uniting us by faith and Baptism to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, the makes us sharers in his life. CCC Sanctifying grace is the gratuitous gift of his life that God makes to us; it is infused by the into the soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. How to get? Baptism! Romans 8:9-11 Any one who does not have the of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his which dwells in you. 4

5 Titus 3:4-9 when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. Ephesians 2:4-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God -- not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. We do not earn our salvation by works of the law Not saved by faith alone either. We are saved by grace! Created for good works Ephesians 2:4-10 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Answers to Important Questions How do I get this grace of salvation? Faith & Baptism Can I lose my salvation? Yes, through mortal sin Is it possible to get it back once lost? Yes, through confession 1 Peter 3:18-21 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 1 Peter 3:18-21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him. 5

6 Other Scriptures Romans 6:3-4 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the, we too might walk in newness of life. Colossians 2:12-13 you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses The Effects of Baptism The Forgiveness of sin original & personal A New Creation, A Child of God Temple of the Indwelling of the Trinity A Member of the Kingdom of God, the Church Receives an Indelible Mark Sanctifying Grace Infused Virtues and Gifts of the Non-Denominational Thinking Just accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and you will be saved Protestant Belief Sola Fidei Faith Alone Martin Luther added word alone to Romans 3:28 Some go so far as to say all your sins, past, present, and future are forgiven Problem: If you accept Jesus as your Lord, you must do what He tells you He must be Lord in action, not just word We need everything Jesus tells us we need Saved by Faith Alone??? James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder. Mt. 7:21 Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my who is in heaven. Mt. 10:22 & Mt. 24:13 But he who endures to the end will be saved. Can You Lose Your Salvation? Protestant Belief: Once Saved, Always Saved Rooted in belief of total depravity man has lost all goodness and is totally corrupt Salvation = imputed righteousness Luther Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. Truth: Sin can break our communion with God Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Is it possible to lose salvation In the Gospels, Jesus makes it clear that only those who persevere until the end will be saved. Mt. 7:21 Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my who is in heaven. Mt. 10:22 & Mt. 24:13 But he who endures to the end will be saved. 6

7 Is it possible to lose salvation St. Paul, the preacher of grace, does not have assurance of his own salvation. 1 Cor. 9:27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. Rom. 11:22 - provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off. Heb. 6:4-6 & 10:26-29 speaks of the judgment awaiting those who had received the and then fell away. Scripture on Salvation Hebrews 10:26-27 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Mortal Sin 1 John 5:16-17 If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal. Mortal Sin Mortal sin destroys charity and the divine life in the soul. It is possible that faith will still remain, but it is a dead faith, not animated by love. Even the devil has faith, but not love. James 2:19 -- You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder. Venial sin does not drive out the divine life in the soul, but offends and wounds charity, forming vice and leading to the possibility of greater sins. Can You Lose Your Salvation? CCC 1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God. How Do We Get It Back? John 20:22-23 he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." The Sacrament of Reconciliation Aka Confession 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 7

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