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The Persecuted Church

 

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What work must I do to receive Salvation?

Almost all the religions of the world have a common denominator, they have a works base system of righteousness. In other words they have laws, rules and sometimes manmade regulations one needs to obey to be right with God. There are many other psuedo Christian Churches that also have works in their plan for salvation. Its either for salvation or to maintain it. This is often used as the means to keep one working  for their cause thinking there is no where else to go to serve or know God. This is simply not true.

The worlds religion's have man pleasing God by his own hands and deeds, trying to reach upward to God. Christianity teaches man is unable to reach God by anything we do, so God himself reached downward with his own hand from heaven. He became a man to accomplish the solution of our dilemma which has always been sin. this was done through the person of Jesus Christ.

Can our works give us salvation?

In the Isaiah 64:6 it states of our works our moral inclinations  we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. In other words no one would ever think of using them before God to show their righteousness or being clean. These  like filthy rags (a strong description of used sanitary napkins).

Gods standard is perfection, something we cannot fathom since we never see it or experience it. His perfection is from his own nature, this is why he is separate from his creation.

He has made one way for all mankind to know his love and  forgiveness. This was done through the work of Jesus on the cross, he died for our sins. This is what is called grace, unmerited favor because of what he has done, we need to do no work to receive it. Its all been taken care of. This is what is called the gospel (good news).

There are some who believe this good news to a certain extent. But they will then add on a certain criteria for one to follow afterwards . By doing this they are proposing that having faith in the Gospel is not enough. What if someone is believing the gospel but feels they must do works, such as tithing, witnessing door to door, keeping the 10 commandments, being baptized a certain way etc. to have God accept them? They have then removed themselves from the gospel of grace. All these things are done after we receive the free gift. To get salvation or maintain it by works is then mixing mans ability with God's. Then the gospel, what he has done is said to be insufficient. They may not come right out and say this but in practice this is exactly what they are saying.

Think of it this way. If it was your birthday and a friend came a gave a gift , something that you really wanted you'd be very thankful. but what if you pulled out your wallet and said let me pay you for your gift. That would be a real insult to him. He gave it to you out of love not asking for anything in return.

Lets look at the popular religions that claim to be the Christian church and what they teach about how one receives or obtains salvation.

Roman Catholicism- sacraments-is an outward sign given by Christ to give grace. The entrance to the sacraments begins with baptism which erases original sin. Then one is able to partake of the sacraments as extensions of the redeeming acts of Christ. Then comes confirmation, The Eucharist, confession, holy orders, marriage etc. Again the gospel of grace is muddied over with other activities.

Jehovah's Witnesses- by works-"Working hard for the reward of eternal life. (WT 8/15/1972 p.491) this is why they so diligently go door to door.

What important part do the works play? "Such works will show that you are choosing life." (Loc. cit., p. 251.)

"To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it ." (WATCHTOWER, February 15, 1983, p. 12.)

So having faith on what Christ has done is not sufficient, one must serve the organization and work to receive what Christ already promised is free.

Mormons-  The Gospel of Mormonism is "faith repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, morality, loyalty, tithing, word of wisdom, duty, celestial marriage (Articles of faith)

"Christians speak often of the blood of Christ and its cleansing power. Much that is believed and taught on this subject, however, is such utter nonsense and so palpably false that to believe it is to lose one's salvation. (LDS Tract entitled, What the Mormons Think of Christ, p.31)

"Therefore, acting alone, the grace of Christ is not sufficient for salvation. The works of man -- the ordinances of salvation, the deeds of service and acts of charity and mercy -- are necessary for salvation...," (By Grace Are We Saved: The necessity of God's grace in addition to man's good works, 1989 ed., p. 70

"Salvation is not a gift of God which comes to man through the decree of Deity or through the sacramental action of the Church. It is a gift of God which man must work diligently to achieve," (The Religion of the Latter-day Saints, p. 160).

"We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 25:23)

"Men have work to do if they would obtain salvation." (Doctrines of salvation vol.3 p.91)

Clearly Mormonism has a intricate system of works that is tied into the church structure itself, just like Catholicism. They deny what the bible says "without the shedding of blood there is NO forgiveness of sins. They have works  which are church ordinances that must be strictly obeyed for one to receive salvation. this means one is not saved until they do all these requirements.

Lets look at some of the non -Christian religions

Islam-depends upon good works. There is no sacrificial work of Christ on their behalf. One is either predestined to Allah's favor or wrath, but one can never know or be confident of  it.

God loves those who cleanse themselves. every soul will be paid in full what it has earned. {In the day of judgment} they whose balances shall be heavy with good works, shall be happy, but they whose balances shall be light are those who shall lose their souls." Sura 23:104-105

Again it is a system of self works which means they believe they can be good enough for God to accept them on their own. This is the common denominator of all the religions, yet they all have some different rules to obtain it.

Hinduism- salvation by yoga and meditation self enlightenment as well as doing good deeds to change ones karma.

Buddhism- salvation by denying ones desires by doing this they are delivered from suffering and a candidate to enjoy the beyond.

Eightfold path consists of: 3 sections Wisdom, Ethical conduct, ethical disciplines. "Be lamps unto yourselves. Be a refuge unto yourselves. DO not turn to any external refuge.... Work out your own salvation with diligence" (Mahaparinibbana-sutta 2.33; 6:10; from the Pali Canon)

While all these religion do curtail sinful actions in some degree, none of them have the ability to change ones heart. They can help reform a person in this life but what of afterwards?

The jailer cried out to Paul this question. "What must I do to be saved? Paul said," believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved."

The only work God will accept is the work of Christ nothing else will help in salvation. Because Christ is God who came from heaven to do the necessary work for man. The Bible says let every man be a liar and let God be true.

As the Pharisees who prided themselves on their works asked Jesus in John 6:28-30    "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?

The Pharisees who were probably the most religious group of people in all biblical history, maybe even the world, asked Jesus point blank about doing God's work. Jesus pointed to himself, saying to believe in him whom God sent. This went right over their heads because they proceeded to ask about proof of who he is by a demonstration of power. Do a miracle and we'll believe! But He denied them this exhibition and reminded them of the miracles of provision their forefathers saw in the wilderness. That too was never enough.

So we can't look to the outer good or manifestation of power to know if someone is of God. Jesus said if you want to do God's work it begins with him and believing His word and believing in His work.

The bible never gives a standard of how much work is needed for one to be in a right relationship with God for the simple reason that it cannot apply for salvation. In 1 Corinthians 3:15 it tells us of a man whose works are all burned yet he still has salvation. So works do not merit anything in relationship to salvation. They do for commendation later but one needs to begin with their being right with God before they can do God's work.

Why do people opt for looking at their own works instead of accepting Gods grace. Its easier to look at ones self obedience to gauge how they are doing than to rest in another ones work for them. Works foster the pride in man. It has us believing that we can do what is needed to have God accept us.

The Gospel is the opposite of mans ability to please God by his works. It is God's personal work for man-- it is grace, a gift freely given.

The gospel is the evangelion, the good news of God to man. He will not judge us if we accept the work that he has done. This good news is only found in Christ.

It is the giving of God, it is for man, it is free. We don't deserve it and we can never earn it, but because of his marvelous love he is willing to give it. Your part is only to accept it. It will never burden you nor have you strive, it will free you to be the person God made you to be. 

Ephesians2:8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God . not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works." From faith proceeds our works.

Titus 3:5 says, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us through the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit."

God has given only one way for man to come to him. He became the way for us to come by the crucifixion of Christ. Accomplishing what man could not. All we have to do is abandon our own deeds to be accepted by him. 

So what works must you do to receive salvation? NONE

You must Believe (have faith) in the gospel,  receiving his love gift to us. Its simple yet profound. Won't you accept his offer today.

What is the Gospel?

Read 1 Corinthians15:1-4; John 1:12,3:16-19 to understand what Christ offers you.

Common characteristics of Cult     8 Marks of Heresy 
     How to Recognize if you are in a Cult   What about Jms.2:17
   What Happens after you leave How to find a Church home
   Beware of false Prophets     Help my child has just joined a Cult!
  works for Salvation   The GOSPEL The One true Church
 Another Jesus  Why do we find people in Cults  

 

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