Rebuttal: Faith without good works, is dead.
What the Bible Says
Can we agree that the words “do” and “does” imply some form of action? Well…
What the Church Teaches
In Other Words
The works in Ephesians 2:8 is the initial call from God. He supplies the free gift of faith through his love and mercy, in the present, resulting from a past action. The works in Ephesians 2:10 are the results of faith working in us, as a future action after baptism. Note, “Do you want to be shown you foolish fellow, that faith apart from works is barren” (Eph 2:20). It is precisely because of God’s mercy that I am even able to do good works. Not my will, but his will be done. Catholics who know their faith, also know that they cannot earn salvation. They understand that it is a free gift from God. That gift is the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten son. However, we can choose to reject it.
This is what the Church teaches and what Catholics profess to believe, every Sunday:
"I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen."
This is orthodoxy, the Credo in which Catholics have been praying since the very beginning. This Credo became official in Nicaea, the Ecumenical Council. This council of the Catholic Church was held in 325 AD in order to extinguish the heresy of Arius. Aryanism, a heresy which arose in the fourth century completely denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ. It is from this council that ALL Christians become enlightened to enjoy the doctrine of the Trinity. Thanks, Catholic Church.
Having to 'earn' salvation is NOT what the Catholic Church solicits. If someone gets the facts wrong, it’s not the Church to blame. Example: If you were told by an uninformed Catholic that the reason for their piety such as prayers, fasting, feeding the poor, frequenting the Sacraments, being kind to people and the like, is to accrue points with the Father - you were misinformed. I apologize. This is the reason why many people turn away from the Catholic Church – not because the Church is wrong, but because it is wrongly represented. I myself have been guilty of, and victim to, false representation. Please, go to the source and get the truth about Her (The Church’s) orthodoxy.
The Catholic Church, I assure you, believes and teaches it is only by His passion and death we are saved, and so it is His mercy (Love) for us that saves us. But it doesn’t end there; we must cooperate with God’s mercy and live the Golden Rule. We must do good works, not as the means to earn heaven, but to bring Christ to others and demonstrate our mercy towards our brothers and sister. Surely you can understand this - remember the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25: 14-30.
God shows us his love and mercy, and he calls us to show our brothers and sisters love and mercy. We have been saved through faith; and this is not our own doing, it is a free gift from God. Not because of works, lest any man should boast ,you cannot save yourself. I will say it again, Catholics who know their faith understand that they cannot earn their way to heaven! But, Catholics also understand that “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them” (Eph 2:8-10). Our sinful works crucified Christ. Our good works glorify Him, here on earth. Let us pick up, carry our cross, and follow Him.
Keep These Additional Scriptures in Mind
These are the good deeds, of a Catholic, and we are to DO them, because of Christ within each person. Remember when Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of the brethren, you do to me” (Mt 25: 40). It is NOT to earn salvation, but to express evidence of faith, in obedience to Jesus, and glory to God.