Watch this short clip from the movie, Dead Man Walking, where Susan Sarandon’s catholic nun character describes a false gospel of works for salvation. If we participate in our own ‘redemption’, we are rejecting God’s grace. Salvation cannot be attained by works, because we are ALL tainted with sin. Jesus was the sinless Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world – John 1:29
It is simple to be saved. God made it that way, because we are saved by grace in faith in Jesus Christ.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:it isthe gift of God:9 not of works, lest any man should boast – Ephesians 2:8-9
Jesus repeatedly tells us to believe in Him for eternal life. The word ‘believe’ can be found 85 times in the Gospel of John.
The Word of God exhorts us to walk in the spirit after we are born again with God’s spirit upon believing in Christ’s finished work on the cross, but this is a personal choice on the believer.
Some Christians may never read the Holy Bible in their entire life, but our life may never have received the blessings that we would have received had we fellowshipped with God. We may be chastened of the Lord, or even taken home early, but will forfeit the rewards that would have been given to us in Heaven.
Salvation is what God had done for us through His only begotten son, Christ Jesus, while sanctification or discipleship is a process that cannot be performed through the flesh, because this may lead to self-righteousness and pride over other Christians who may be living carnally. Salvation and discipleship are separate, and works must never be attached to salvation, which is a gift of God to whosoever believes upon Jesus Christ’s work. To add works to salvation is to teach an accursed gospel.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any manpreach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed– Galatians 1:8-9
We should submit to God by growing in grace by reading the living Word, and over time we will be changed. God is pleased with our progress, but we all have the old flesh that wars against the Spirit.