All are sinners, except Christ and one other (according to tradition), yet I make no such claim. I do not believe that works are worthless; I believe that only faith brings salvation, yet that deeds aid in maintaining it, as with the Eucharist, as with so much other. Yet, I no longer believe in Sola Fide, as I once did, it is not biblical, and is false and misleading. We can lose our salvation, the parable of the sower, and so much else is evident of such. We can commit mortal sin (spiritually killing our relationship with God), just as easily as a husband can commit adultery and lose his wife. I sin, not as often as I once did, yet even though I don't sin; it is only by the grace of God. I still am a sinner, and can take no pride over any other. I know that it is only God who has brought me through, even as I often throw myself off the Temple, even, perhaps as Jesus was tempted to by Satan, and endured. It is my pride that causes me to sin, even as I beg God constantly in my heart, and pray that He may purify me, and make me worthy of him in the slightest way.
Confession is the most wonderful, freeing gift. My church is like a hospital, a healing board, a therapy room. It is the church of repentant sinners, truly righteous people, and lovers of humanity. Only through Catholicism, does the bible make any sense to me. I once almost became entirely a Baptist, if I hadn't felt a personal vocation otherwise, I probably would be, and if it wasn't for the good (actually heretical, and really anti-catholic) people at chick publishers' heretical writing, my friends would not have believed horrible things about my own church. In fact, I would not have had to chose between some of my closest friends and my religion. I often had problems as to the authority on which many doctrines are based. Catholics have Papal succession, no one but orthodox Christianity can even claim at this. Eventually, I chose and lost my Baptist friends in exchange for this religion that I'd only attended church for, and while having been blessed with a Catholic upbringing and received all my sacraments before confirmation, which I would only join later, and now of my own choice, I was still largely protestant in my doctrine. I attended my Catholic church instead of the Baptist youth one night, and then attended the youth afterwards. God lead me there, through all these terrible, wonderful events and it was there that I decided I wanted Confirmation, and though I was always catholic in word, and perhaps in my lifestyle, I finally felt at home. I finally was where God wanted me, and for once, with the books the Protestants took out, now in my bible, I saw that the new and old testament truly could, truly did fit together. To me, Paul's doctrine finally made sense, no longer contradicting James, or Jesus, or even Paul himself, who claimed that those who live ("in this way") in sinful lifestyle, would not enter heaven for the severity of some terrible sins, that many of us have perhaps been guilty of (I have been fortunate in this area). Also,
I felt a need to know my faith. After watching the movie Luther, I'd researched Orthodoxy, certain that if all Christianity was as they portrayed Catholicism in Luther's time, then Jesus lied, that His word would never pass away, and that Hades would not overcome the church. I was disappointed to find that the Greek Church had been conquered by the Muslims, who apparently placed whoever could pay in charge of Christianity in their kingdoms. Later I would realize that the bible truly teaches one biblical church to have authority, and that it was Catholicism, later, I'd be told why we believe what we believe, finding out for myself what the truth was, being assured of the authority of my teachers, by my beautiful Gideon’s bible, that had originally brought me back, in my primary school days. I can't say that I was a sinner or wrong and was brought back to truth. Even with my outward delusions, and doctrines, I still had a Catholicism about me, and I know many outside the church, who though not by name, are truly Catholic, yet in Conscience and deed.
After realizing that my Baptist Pastor had no real authority to teach me, I was worried that my fellow Christians, those who were Baptists could perhaps not be in Salvation. I put it to the back of my mind, many seemed more Christian than I, and I was certain they were "saved" (to use protestant terminology), yet it bothered me that the bible seemed to say otherwise.
I began to research it, and came up with baptism of desire, and with Jesus telling his disciples not to stop a man apart from them from preaching (they had rebuked him for doing things in Jesus' name), and Roman's 14 seemed to show me that Protestant were not in danger, for it was ignorance, or weakness of faith that stopped some from living properly, and others were more Catholic than many Catholics. I did not need feel guilty about not trying to make them catholic, and felt better now that I needn't worry for them. It is God who chose his followers, and his decision who he (does/will) save.
It is through submission, even complete submission to God, through Love, and through prayer that we are saved from our sin, yet are never able to claim sinlessness, yet newness, this we claim. It is not some sinner’s prayer, as I once nearly believe, or some empty words that save one, but our true assurance is God, his spirit, and His making us anew, through His grace, not the sinner's prayer that leads to salvation and repentance.
I declare that Jesus is Lord, and believe Him raised from the dead. I could not declare that Jesus is God, the Son of God, who died on a cross and rose again, without being a part of him. I could not obey him, and Love (1 Corinthians 13), unless He was inside of me. It is the grace of baptism, not the water that changes us, yet the water is vital as a physical sign, an assurance of our salvation. I am not free of sin entirely, yet He continues always to purify, to justify me of my continual Venial sins, that happen less than before, but only in grace.