Website owner: James Miller
NECESSARY CONDITIONS FOR SALVATION 4/85 Repentance stated to be a necessary condition for salvation. Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matt 4:17) I came not to call the righteous but the sinners to repentance. (Mark 2:17) They went out and preached that men should repent. (Mark 6:12) I say unto you that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance. (Luke 15:7) ... that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. (Luke 24:47) Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out ... (Acts 3:19) Obedience to God's commandments as a necessary condition for salvation. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matt 12:50) If a man love me he will keep my words. And my Father will love him and we will come into him and make our abode with him. (John 14:23) If you keep my commandments you shall abide in my love. Even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. (John 15:10) Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:44) Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandents is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (I John 2:3,4) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. But he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matt 7:27) If we walk in the light ... the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin. (I John 1:7) Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God. But he that doeth evil hath not seen God. (III John 11) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not grievous. (I John 5:1) What does it profit, my brethern, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? ... faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, You have faith and I have works. Shew me thy faith without thy works and I will shew you my faith by my works. Thou doeth well. The devils also believe and tremble. (James 2:14, 17-19) Believing that Christ was the messiah. In many of the statements that Christ made he seems to assert that believing that he is the messiah or that he is the Son of God is a necessary condition to salvation. For example, he told the Pharisees, "So I said to you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (John 8:24) "Believing in God" stated as a condition for salvation Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death into life. (John 5:24) "Believing in Christ" stated as a condition for salvation. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He that believeth on him is not condemned. But he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16,18) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (John 6:47) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. (John 11:25,26) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. And that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 5:24) The most of the scriptures above that present "believing in Christ" as a condition for salvation present it not only as a necessary condition for salvation but also as a sufficient condition i.e. they imply that nothing more is needed. No repentance from sin, no departing from evil, no obedience to God, no godliness or righteousness are specified as being required. Just "believing" is sufficient to get us into heaven. This is perplexing, however, because we also know that even the devils believe and tremble. (James 2:19) There is here a conflict, an inconsistency, a paradox, a source of intellectual confusion, that has plagued Christianity down through the centuries. Even the early apostles (Paul, John, James, etc.) seemed to spend a great deal of time and effort grappling with it. The cause is the difficult inconsistency in the words of Christ himself. On the one hand he taught repentance, departing from evil and obeying God. On the other hand, he often appeared to say that just "believing in him" was a sufficient condition for salvation (which just doesn't seem right or to make good sense). Out of this has come all that the apostle Paul had to say on the subject of Faith and Works, out of it rose Martin Luther's break with the Catholic Church and the rise of Protestantism, out of it has risen the teachings of John Calvin, John Knox and the doctrines of modern evangelicalism. Through the ages it has been the root cause of basic disagreement and conflict between Christians.