AQA GCSE “Grace is the only true path to salvation” Discuss. (12 marks)

Colour Code:

  • Blue – Your argument 
  • Red – Argument against 
  • Purple – Response

In the Christian tradition salvation means to be saved from sin through the act of atonement Jesus made when dying on the cross. How one reaches salvation depends largely on the denomination of Christianity since some would argue it is through the law, some grace, and others Spirit.

In disagreement with the statement, it can be argued that salvation cannot be reached solely on grace alone as that seems to remove any agency away from the individual. Instead, the Catholic Church believe it must be both works and faith which allow an individual to be saved. For example, Catholics believe that sacraments such as baptism and reconciliation (confession) are needed to guide people towards the will of God. The sacrament of reconciliation in particular demonstrates that Catholics should always strive to live a moral life and be prepared to admit their transgressions. This demonstrates that while grace is important for Catholics it cannot be the only path to salvation.

Alternatively, in Protestant traditions it is often believed that God’s grace is the only thing which can save us from Original sin. Martin Luther, who started the movement of the Protestant Reformation in 1517, believed that the Catholic Church were corrupt and that it was not necessary for a Priest to mediate between the people and God. As an alternative, he argued that through the Bible and Faith alone, God’s grace would be imparted on people. What is important to note is Luther and other Protestants did not believe you could earn Grace, it was simply given by God as an unconditional gift.

However, this is not agreed upon by all Christians as it can appear to mean that some people, if not chosen, can be excluded from Christ’s salvation. If God is supposed to be omnibenevolent then it could arguably be more consistent to allow all people to be saved through their good deeds rather than allowing good people to go Hell because of a fall from Grace.

In conclusion, while it is ultimately something all must wait to know until after death, there is enough debate on the matter to question the belief that Grace is the only true path to salvation.

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