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What must I do to be saved?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Dan1988, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Dan1988

    Dan1988 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is a common but important question.

    Acts 16:30-31 says "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved"

    But I see many here adding their own conditions to earn salvation.

    My question is do we have the right to add our own conditions, if we feel the Bible left out critical information.
     
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  2. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most today say you must choose to believe. But it's only those who don't believe that must choose to believe. And this type of belief is only mental assent.
     
  3. Butterball1

    Butterball1 Well-Known Member

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    30-and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
    31-And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house.
    32-And they spake the word of the Lord unto him, with all that were in his house.
    33-And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately.
    34-And he brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God.

    Some observations:

    --the jailer was not commanded to "believe only". Faith and faith only are not the same things.
    --when the jailer was told to believe in v31 he had not yet been told what to believe (the word of God) which occurs in v32 per Romans 10:17
    --after being told what to believe in v32 the jailer was repentant (washed their stripes) and was baptized. The implication is speaking the word of the Lord includes the commandment to repent and be baptized. In Acts 2, Peter's gospel sermon included the command "repent and be baptized" and those who believed obeyed by repenting and being baptized had their sins remitted. Since there is just one way to be saved, then the jailers' salvation would be no different those those in Acts 2.
    --the jailer rejoiced after he repented and was baptized (saved), not before.
    --The participle phrase "having believed" (v34) sums up all that the jailer had just done including his repenting and being baptized. Meaning "believed" is used as a synecdoche where it includes repentance and baptism.
    --there is critical information that is given, but it gets overlooked, dismissed.

    Throw an extra in:
    --the fact men are commanded to believe implies the jailer was currently in a lost state of unbelief, (John 3:18), the command implies that men have both ability and responsibility to choose to believe. And since the jailer was able to understand the word of the Lord that was spoke to him and obey it, there is no total depravity.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  4. A.ModerateOne

    A.ModerateOne Member Supporter

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    Dan, you truly pointed out the serious error of "adding" to "earn" salvation. It leads one to seriously wonder if such a person is truly regenerated if he is in some way earning or to some degree working to add to Christ's accomplished redemption. You don't have true faith solely in Christ if you are helping by earning; so can such a person truly be in a state of truly believing in Christ?

    "Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, 'If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.'” (John 8:31-32 RSV)

    That clearly shows that following Jesus is evidence of being a true disciple, not a way to earn it.

    "But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." (Jas 2:18-24 RSV)

    Words usually have more than one meaning and here the key is the word "show". This is not speaking of God declaring one righteous in Christ; but of the believer showing by his life he is righteous in Christ, justified. Merriam-Webster "justified - having or shown to have a just, right, or reasonable basis". This is how the term "justified" is used in: "By no means! Let God be true though every man be false, as it is written, 'That thou mayest be justified in thy words, and prevail when thou art judged.'” (Rom 3:4 RSV)

    This is clearly illustrated by the reference to Abraham's offer of Isaac on the altar!

    Abram was already declared righteous by the LORD in chapter 15 -
    "And he believed the LORD; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness." (Gen 15:6 RSV)

    Abraham's offer of Isaac is seven chapters later , showing that he has been truly justified-
    "And Isaac said to his father Abraham, 'My father!' And he said, 'Here am I, my son.' He said, 'Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?' Abraham said, 'God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.' So they went both of them together." (Gen 22:7-8 RSV)

    The sanctification, our works are just as much of God as any other aspect of our salvation:

    "May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." (1Thess 5:23-24 RSV)

    "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Phil 2:12-13 RSV)
     
  5. IntriKate

    IntriKate Active Member

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    We complicate a simple message and its detrimental. To me its as basic as knowing God made us, walked , talked and had fellowship with us. We sinned, and pushed him away in the knowledge that we did wrong by him, he missed our company so much and in absolute love sent his most precious son to be a sacrifice so we could once again have a relationship without guilt or shame causing us to reject his love. He never left us it was us who hid from him.
    Initially prayer wasn't about problems and talking to him when we needed something, it was just chatting and communing with him about everyday life . How we travelled so far from that is scary. Its always been about a relationship, thats it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  6. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Yes, Faith alone saves. Faith can reveal itself in results/works/fruit but
    it's not a requirement that anybody happens to see your works for confirmation.
    There might not be anybody around you to notice.
     
  7. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No we do not have the right to add to the Gospel. We do have the right to defend and discern when others are adding dogma to the established doctrines set forth by Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His Apostles. Blessings.
     
  8. Basketball

    Basketball New Member

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    Believe on Jesus Christ. Have faith and trust in Lord Jesus to save you.
     
  9. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    We are told to do lots of thinks throughout our Christian life, so what happens if we just boldly refuse to do those things?
     
  10. Dan1988

    Dan1988 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Whilst all men are commanded to repent and believe, God knows and we know that all me will not repent and believe. So only those who God gives the gift of repentance will believe, since nobody seek after God. All have gone astray.

    If God doesn't draw a person to Himself and regenerate him, that person will never decide to turn from his sin (which he loves above all things), repent and give his life to the God he hates.

    Everyone is born with a sin nature, as such we would never choose to go against our nature and force ourselves to turn from our sins, repentant believe. The bible doctrine of election and predestination is evident from the book of Genesis right through to the book of Revelation.

    To deny this doctrine you would have trample over and deny around 120 clear Bible verses stating that God chooses to save some and pass by others.

    It comes down to a question of God's sovereignty, He is either sovereign over all things (including salvation) or He's not. If it comes down to mans choice, then that would make God a cruel God who offered eternal paradise only to those with a high enough IQ to figure out that eternal paradise is better than eternal lake of fire.
     
  11. Dan1988

    Dan1988 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I recently left Roman Catholicism to join a Reformed Baptist Church, so I'm having to relearn everything I was taught.
    My family and friends and Parish Priest have all tried to show me that I've been deceived. They say things like "how can you believe in a God, who creates people for the sole purpose of casting them into the lake of fire to be tormented forever".
    It's very difficult to reason with people who haven't studied the Bible, none of them know what the Bible actually says about the topic but they're quick to rule out any possibility that God might be sovereign over all things including salvation.
    Most "Christians" approach the Bible with an idea of what God has to be like according to their own expectation. When the Bible says something which doesn't fit their view and expectation, they feel the need to twist it's meaning to make it conform to their preexisting ideas.

    We are supposed to conform ourselves and obey God's Word, not the other way around where we twist it around to conform to our own dictates.
     
  12. Dan1988

    Dan1988 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with you, it's not complicated and people do complicate the simple gospel message so it becomes a different message altogether.

    2 Corinthians 11:3 (KJV) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

    We can see in the above scripture, God is not the author of confusion. The gospel message is simple but the "Serpent and His Minions" seek to confuse people by complicating simple Bible doctrine.
     
  13. Dan1988

    Dan1988 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Lord Jesus Christ is the only One who saves, He gives His elect the gift of faith. Faith may be the enabling force which God gives to His children so they can serve Him faithfully.
     
  14. Dan1988

    Dan1988 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pure and simple, Jesus never burdened us with impossible requirements and demands
     
  15. Dan1988

    Dan1988 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If we refuse to obey, it simply shows that we were never saved and our profession of faith was the Judas type
     
  16. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Abraham and Noah were saved specifically by Faith.
    But I appreciate the mind washing that comes from New Testament churches.
    It's not harmful.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  17. A.ModerateOne

    A.ModerateOne Member Supporter

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  18. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    So, why would not obeying means you are not saved?

    Did you sin, yesterday?

    How can you personally know if your “faith” is solidly true or just something you made up in your head to feel satisfied?

    The Bible gives lots of examples of inquirers being told to: do, believe, behave and react in different ways at the moment, so it seems very individualized, dependent on where the person is in their spiritual life at the time.

    We like to think we can do stuff including “believing” to be saved, but it is God who saves us by judging our hearts. We know, we are saved by the guarantee God provides us, which is the indwelling Holy Spirit. How do you know the Spirit is within you?
     
  19. A.ModerateOne

    A.ModerateOne Member Supporter

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    Hi Dan! You wrote, "Most "Christians" approach the Bible with an idea of what God has to be like according to their own expectation. When the Bible says something which doesn't fit their view and expectation, they feel the need to twist it's meaning to make it conform to their preexisting ideas." ...

    You'll notice in these threads that people will also 'read into' your articles or posts things out of their own minds as well, twisting what you write to turn it into a straw man argument. Sometimes you're left scratching your head wondering whatever happened to reading with comprehension. :)
     
  20. Hmm

    Hmm Well-Known Member

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    It's a very good question. What answer do you give them?
     
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