Salvation, do I simply do nothing as some people would suggest? Is it really that easy?
Timothy Barret: What must *I* do to obtain and maintain my salvation (and please provide me the exhaustive list of everything that I must do, please, if possible).
Lenny Alt: Timothy, thank you for your very excellent question. I will answer your question if you will answer my question first. What must you or I do to inherit everlasting life with God in Heaven? I will make it easy for you. I won’t ask you for an exhaustive list. Personally, I don’t think you can answer this question correctly. On the other hand if you can, then you will have answered your own question.
Timothy Barret: The answer to your question is nothing, for Jesus did it all. We are saved by grace, not works (Eph 2:8-9). And please do not assume I will get an answer to a question incorrect. It is arrogant and condescending.
Lenny Alt: Timothy, to your credit, you did give a verse of the Bible that has to do with salvation; faith versus works of the law (Eph 2:8-9). Yes, you are correct, Jesus did it all and He also answered my question, something you did not do. Here is the question again; What must you or I do to inherit everlasting life with God in Heaven? How did Jesus answer it? Jesus said,
"If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
The rich young man asked Jesus,“Teacher what good must I do to gain eternal life?" He answered him, ‘Why do you ask me about the good? There is only one who is good.’ If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt. 19:18). And then Jesus went on to list several of the commandments.
Also, in the context of the commandments Jesus spoke against man-made tradition. "However, Jesus rebuked the usurping and undermining of scriptures through man-made tradition when He said, "The worship they offer me is worthless; the doctrines they teach are only human regulations. You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions . . . In this way you make God's word null and void for the sake of your tradition which you have handed down" (MK. 7:7, 8, 13, J.B.V.)
The 4th commandment, honor your father and mother: What were those man-made human regulations (indicated by three dots above) that were in violation of the 4th commandment. “And he said to them, ‘How ingeniously you get round the commandment of God in order to preserve your own tradition! For Moses said: Honour your father and your mother, and, Anyone who curses father or mother must be put to death. But you say, “If a man says to his father or mother: Anything I have that I might have used to help you is Korban (that is dedicated to God),” then he is for bidden from that moment to do anything for his father and mother” (Mk. 7:9-12 J.B.).
No one can keep the commandments. Are they liars? There are still others who make the statement, “no one can keep the Commandments!” Jesus doesn’t say that; the Apostles do not say that; the Bible does not say that anywhere. They are coming from a man-made tradition that is in violation of the commandments. You can't know Jesus without following the commandments!
1 John says that people who claim to follow Jesus and don't keep the commandments are liars.
“The one who says,“I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:3). Will you keep the commandments or will you be a liar, devoid of truth? Why would Jesus and the Bible ask us to keep the commandments if we couldn’t do it? The fact is this, we can keep the commandments and when and if we fail, He is faithful to forgive us.
“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 Jn. 3:22).
“The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us (1 Jn. 3:24).
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1Jn. 5:3).
Fr. Martin Luther's tradition: People who make the statement; “no one can keep the commandments” may have the very best of intentions; however, they don’t seem to realize that this statement is at odds with Scripture. This of course begs the question, with the Bible being so insistent on keeping the commandments, where does the man-made tradition come from that insists that no one can keep the commandments? Some traditions go back to the time of the Protestant Reformers and other traditions are much newer. This particular tradition goes all the way back to the dissident Catholic priest, Fr. Martin Luther.
What must you or I do to inherit everlasting life with God in Heaven; Timothy Barret says, “Nothing, for Jesus did it all” and Jesus says, “keep the commandments.” Who will you follow? Will you follow Timothy and do nothing, or will you follow Jesus who tells us to “keep the commandments.” Yes, Jesus did it once and for all and for all time; now it is time for us to do our all.
Will you follow Timothy's tradition and do nothing, or will you follow Jesus who tells us to “keep the commandments.”
Jesus took up His cross and now it is our turn. Easy Christianity says, Jesus did it all and we do nothing; however, real Christianity listens to Jesus who said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Lk. 9:23).