There’s a particular question that our Protestant friends often use when they are evangelizing—the question, “Have you been saved?”
How should we respond to this?
The basic thing they are asking is whether you have a relationship with God and have received his saving grace.
If you’re a Catholic, you have, and so if you don’t have time to discuss the matter, you could simply say yes, and leave it at that.
But there’s more to the question, and that presents you with an opportunity to lead your evangelistic friend into a deeper understanding of the Bible’s teaching on salvation.
You see, asking the question, “Have you been saved?” envisions salvation as an accomplished event that lies in your past—as something that has already happened.
Sometimes, the Bible speaks of salvation this way. For example, in his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul twice tells his Christian readers that “by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5, 8).
That speaks of salvation as something that occurred in the believers’ past.
But this is not the only way that the Bible speaks of salvation. For example, in his letter to the Philippians, Paul tells his readers to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
This speaks of salvation as something that is ongoing—something that is still being worked out.