Jesus is the Cause of our salvation. Because Jesus is both divine and human, He alone can be our Savior, reconciling us with God. He accomplishes this by becoming one of us, dying for our sins on the cross, rising from the dead, and uniting us to Him in His life, death, and resurrection.
“ But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”
Sacraments are the ordinary means Jesus has given us to be united with Him in His life, death, and resurrection. Just as Jesus is both human and divine, the sacraments are physical signs that give the very divine grace they symbolize. Through the sacraments we receive Jesus.
“ 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 Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
“ For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”
Faith is necessary for salvation. God created us to be free individual persons, allowing us to choose and love Him. Faith is our intellect and will accepting God and His grace.
“ But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
4. Reception by Grace:
Grace is the gift of God’s nature to us. If we are accepting this gift through faith and the sacraments, then the rest of our lives and actions will reflect God’s goodness as seen in the person, life, and teachings of Jesus. This is growing in holiness and being purified of everything in us that is contrary to God’s nature. Since we are perfectly united with God in heaven, this purification must happen before heaven either in this life or in purgatory after our death.
1 John 3:2-3:
“ Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”