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Christian - Christ is the only way to salvation

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Aqualung, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    What does this mean? I here lots of people say that this means that once you beleive in Christ you are saved, and that's all there is to it, and that that's what grace is. I don't beleive this at all. Here are my own personal views on what it means.
    christ is the only way to salvation not because that is the only thing we need to be saved, but "only way" in that nobody else could save us no matter how much they wanted to. I can't save myself. My dad can't save me. George Bush can't save me. Christ is the only way.

    I beleive then that grace comes in. After all we have done, no matter how hard we try, we won't be able to save ourselves, which means that we aren't worthy for salvation. Therefore, there needs to be that grace. Jesus will save us after all we have done, through grace. This does not mean that we can just go around and do whatever we want, and still be able to rely on god's grace. The key phrase there is "after all we have done."

    Jesus does save everybody in that we will all be saved from death. That much is clear. But it is also clear that this salvation is extended toward everyone, not just those that beleive in him. Everybody will be resurected from the dead. Jesus overcame death so that we would not die, and by we it means everybody. This comes from Christ alone, and we don't need to do anything to secure that.

    Another problem with the first way of beleiving is that it does not take into account many things. It says that the only way to salvation is through faith, and that's all you need. But salvation from what, and to what? Everybody will be saved from death in that everybody will be resurected. Is it salvation from the second, spiritual death that will go to the bad people? No. This death is for very few people, for those who willingly take upon themselves the name of the devil.

    Another thing wrong with that way of thingking is that it saves the wrong people. It would save a murderer who happened to beleive in Christ but didn't bother following Christ's example. It woudn't save a person who was born before Christ but followed mosaic law, or someone who happened to be born in a time and place where people just weren't hearing about it, but happened to be living a good life. That isn't fair, and God is a fair God.

    What do other's think about this?
     
  2. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    From:-http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-only-way.html

    Jesus is the only way of salvation because He is the only One who can pay our sin penalty (Romans 6:23). No other religion teaches the depth or seriousness of sin and its consequences. No other religion offers the infinite payment of sin that only Jesus Christ could provide. No other “religious founder” was God become man (John 1:1,14) – the only way an infinite debt could be paid. Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ! “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).


    But, there is also a need to confess your sins and repent:-
    1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    To "confess" one's sins does not mean merely to confess one's sins in general, but rather to identify specifically, and then to agree with God as to their specific sinful character, thus, in reality, repenting (that is, changing one's mind) about them and viewing them as God does. Since Christ's blood has already been shed to cover them, He is faithful to His Word and provides forgiveness in perfect justice.
    There is also a need to be baptised:-
    16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Every true believer should gladly give testimony to his new life in Christ by following Him in baptism. Those who refuse or ignore this command should examine the reality of their professed faith. Baptism is clearly a part of the great commission (Matthew 28:19) and normally is to follow immediately upon true repentance and faith in Christ (Acts 2:38,41). Nevertheless, it is faith in Christ that saves, not faith plus baptism. As this verse says, "he that believeth not"--not he that is not baptized--is unsaved. This is the clear testimony of many Scriptures (John 3:18,36), as well as Christ's promise to the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43).
    :)
     
  3. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    It sounds to me as if you've been hanging around those Mormons way too much! It's obviously rubbing off on you. Great job of explaining! :clap
     
  4. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    Thanks. Now, if somebody who actually disagreed with me would debate with me . . .

    Though it's also definitley good to know that I dind't just make up a whole bunch of stuff that I can't really beleive in either. :D
     
  5. Jenyar

    Jenyar Member

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    Jesus' invitation is extended to everyone, but not everyone will accept: "For many are invited, but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:14). Compare the parable of the wedding banquet. How do we know who are chosen? Only through Christ. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
    Revelation 17:14
    They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."​
     
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  6. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    Ah, Jenyar! So good to see you! You make some good points, and I will try to get to them this afternoon, after my classes.
     
  7. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Nice post, Jenyar;

    Welcome to the forum! perhaps you'd like to post an introduction of yourself on:-
    Are you new to ReligiousForums.com?

    I hope you like it here, and I look forwards to 'seeing you around';)
     
  8. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    So far I agree with you. Christ is the only way and we "can't go around and do whatever we want". That's the repentance part which Jenyar already quoted.


    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
    John 14:6

    I believe we do have to do something to secure that. We must believe in Christ. If we reject Christ, we reject his sacrifice and the salvation that is offered.


    I would make the argument that if someone claims a belief in Christ and yet is able to murder, then they're giving lip service only. If someone truly believes in Christ and accepts the salvation He offers, their behavior *will* change. It can't help but.

    I wish I had time to take you up on this part but there are several passages that show that those who have never heard the name of Jesus or lived before the time of Jesus are not held to the same accountability as those of us who have. I did a quick scan on the internet and came up with these links that help explain it:
    http://www.iamnext.com/spirituality/condemn.html
    http://www.gotquestions.org/never-heard.html
     
  9. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    I don't think that's true. Jesus died to overcome the death the Adam brought upon human kind. Just like we can't "choose" to not die, to not follow in Adam's footsteps, we can't "choose" to be resurected. Jesus died so he could be resurected. He was resurected so that everybody would be free of Adam's "punishment" to mankind, eternal physical death. As it says, everybody will stand before the judgemet seat and be judged according to their works. Jesus's resurection was for everybody, and the salvation from the pysical death is for everybody.

    It's only when you get into exaltation that you run into differences. When it says that nobody gets to the father except through me, that means that nobody receives such exaltation, unless they beleive in Jesus and do what he commands.

    His invitation for exaltation is extended toward everyone. In order to be chosen, though, you must do all that God requires (baptism by immersion for the remisison of sins, et al.). But this invitation is not simply for resurection. Everyone will be resurected, since everyone will be stand before his judgemnet seat to be judged.
     
  10. Jenyar

    Jenyar Member

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    This is the heart of the problem. Mormons forget that the belief that everybody would be resurrected was already there long before Jesus came on the scene. That's why when Jesus came there were already two Jewish factions: the Sadducees, who believed there would be no resurrection, and the Pharisees, who believed there would be a resurrection (see Acts 23:8). (What's more, Jesus didn't believe the death that came through Adam's sin was just physical, but I'll get to that below). Here are two prophecies from the Old Testament:
    Isaiah 26:19
    But your dead will live;
    their bodies will rise.
    ... the earth will give birth to her dead.

    Daniel 12:2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
    So the concept of universal judgement was already established, and it requires that everybody appear before the throne of Judgement, where God would separate the goats from the sheep. So everyone, good and bad, will be resurrected to be judged by the words of Christ. This is what Corinthians refers to:
    1 Corinthians 15:21-22
    For since by man came death, by man came also resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.​
    Mormons think this means that Christ simply reversed the effects of Adam's sin and nothing more. But Jesus doesn't. He goes on to say whom God adopts as sons - his brothers and sisters - implying that only the people God chooses to call children have the right to call Him "Father", and are no longer sons of Adam. Paul picks up on this, saying we inherit eternal life from God because we are heirs of Christ and not heirs of Adam or the laws that point out sin (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29). So we must find out what inheritance Jesus left. Was it just physical life to counter physical death?
    John 5:25-27
    I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.​
    What does it mean the Jesus has authority to judge? If all He came to do was to achieve universal "life" for everyone, why must He still judge? No doubt Mormons think this refers to exaltation, but Paul tells us "Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living" (Rom. 14:9). And there is also no sign of exaltation apart from "life" in what Jesus says next. He only confirms the prophecies of Isaiah and Daniel:
    (28-29) "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned."​
    God resurrects everyone, but not everyone inherits eternal life.Like Paul says: "But the gift is not like the trespass" (Rom. 5:15). Jesus himself makes this distinction. The everlasting contempt or condemnation of God was called the "second death" by the Rabbis (Targum to Deut. 33: 6; Targum to Isaiah 14:19; 22:14; 65:6,15,19; Jer. 51:39). This is what Revelation 20:6 and :14 refer to. On the other hand, Jesus states "whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John 11:26). It's obvious He wasn't referring just to physical death (since our sinful bodies are still like Adam's, and "in Adam all die"). Therefore his disciples would say a believer just "falls asleep" (like when Stephen was martyred in Acts 7:60); a believer's resurrection ("Christ's resurrection" or "the first resurrection") is no more traumatic than waking up. But a sinner lives in fear, expecting judgement at his resurrection, and tries to earn his salvation, because he doesn't have Christ to intercede for him - he has only his own actions to speak for him...
    Rev. 20:11-15
    Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened (1). Another book was opened, which is the book of life (2). The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books (1). The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life (2), he was thrown into the lake of fire.​
    Now we come to the throne of Judgment on the Day of Judgment. This is where all people would have appeared finally whether Jesus came or not (the only alternative is that everyone remained dead, i.e. to believe like the Sadducees in no resurrection. Or do Mormons believe that without Jesus only the innocent would have been judged, or only the guilty - how can they be innocent or guilty before they have been judged?) Here we find all the dead, "great and small" - and two sets of books (which I marked 1 and 2). The dead (which means everyone who hasn't already "died with Christ" - Rom. 6:8) are judged by a whole library of books, because they contain everyone's deeds. The book of life, on the other hand, only contains names: the names of everyone whose robes (deeds, Rev. 19:8) have been washed clean by Christ's blood (Rev. 3:5; 7:15).

    I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? (Gal. 3:2-5)​
    The only invitation Jesus extended was to receive life by the Son, being justified before God and reconciled with Him. The only obstacle to this was sin, as pointed out by the law. What obstacle is there between someone who has been cleared of all sin, and God himself, according to the Bible? None whatsoever. Then we are exactly as God wants us to be (because that's all He required with his law), no more, no less. Like Paul says: "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies".

    If one believes Mormons, in order to be chosen one must meet a new set of criteria. Where a Jewish priest used to sprinkle people with blood to justify them before God, now a Mormon priest must baptise someone for their faith to be justified. What's changed? In Mormonism, God did not step forward, He stepped back. First He invited us to have "life in the full" (John 10:10), now we are further invited to be "exalted" (become fuller than full?). Where Israel longed for nothing but salvation of their souls and the justification of their faith, we must now long for exaltation, apart from faith. Faith "only" gets us saved... actually no, even those who don't have faith are "saved". To Mormons, our faith is only take us halway there if it doesn't conform to their standards - Christ did all He could, but only they can justify our faith, because they have the "proper authority". How is this different than how things used to be? Did Israel's religious duties cause them to be saved, nevermind exalted? No. Why should religious duties achieve anything more today? Trying to doing "all God requires" was precisely the problem, and Jesus made sure we understood "all God requires" goes far beyond being dipped in water by the proper authority and bringing the correct sacrifices at the right places.

    The key difference is that in Christianity, faith contains works. In Mormonism, faith excludes works. In the Bible, we're justified "apart from all we can do" (Rom. 3:28), in Mormonism it's only "after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23). In the Bible, Jesus heals completely (Mark 3:5) and saves completely (Heb. 7:25); in Mormonism, we are still left incomplete after Jesus has done his work.

    Paul concludes - and this ties in with what I pointed out earlier - "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." To make grace into a new set of laws is to deny grace all the same - it's to try clothing ourselves with righteous deeds and not with Christ.
     
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  11. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Keep posting such good 'stuff' Jenyar, and you'll make a reputation for yourself - a very good piece!:)
     
  12. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    I never forgot that in the least. I just don't see what bearing it has on the debate, because what you seem to forget is the knowledge that all the people who cared to look had that there would be a redeemer and a saviour, as shown by the many, many prophesies and types of him in the OT.

    Whoever god chooses to be heirs of him, he will choose because they lived like Jesus, following his every example (such as becoming a member of the melchizedek priesthood). God won't just choose any passing "christian" to be his heirs. He will choose the ones that prove themselves worthy of inheriting the celestial kingdom. Also remember that verse about "in my fathers kingdom ther are many masions." I don't remember where that is.

    So what is the problem with thinking that all shall live. Since adam caused death, physical death, to befall EVERYBODY, so did Christ allow that EVERYBODY should at least be resurected.

    No disagreement there.
    That's not what I think at all. He did much more than that. But that was certainly one of the things he did.
    You're right about that. But this refferrs to what will happen during Jesus's millenial reign, during which the unriteous will be punished in hell for the 1000 years, and then be resurected into the lowest degree of heaven.
    A good argument for my cause is that this everlasting second death is only spoken of in conjuction with those who willfully go against god.
     
  13. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    [PART QUOTE=Aqualung].
    ......"A good argument for my cause is that this everlasting second death is only spoken of in conjuction with those who willfully go against god."...............[/PART QUOTE]

    Good post, again, aqualung; however your last sentence while it is 'politically correct', I do not personally accept. I believe that God will accept us all in the end.:)
     
  14. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    Throughout the New Testament Gospels, Jesus acknowledged Himself being the only path to a relationship with God. You either believe Him to be true or think He was the biggest fraud in history. Trying to rationalize it any other way is futile in my opinion. I think what He said throughout scripture is very straight-forward with no ambiguity. :)
     
  15. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Given time, I think even the most hardened disbeliever will learn to love God - besides, I said that that was my personal view. You are as entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. I do not see an ever loving God as not giving everyone as many chances as that person needs.And that is my personal opinion, again. The Focus always returns to LOVE; God Loves.:)
     
  16. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    Michel, I agree with you that God is a loving, merciful and graceful God, but He is also a just God and if you believe Biblical Scripture to be the ordained Word of God, it is pretty clear that God will give man and woman every chance to repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, but there will reach a point of no return as Paul speaks to in Thessalonians and as John wrote about through his visions of the end times in the book of Revelation. Jesus discussed this and taught this to his followers throughout the New Testament that there will be a great judgement when all is said and the done, a judgement of the just and a judgement of the unjust. No matter how loving God is, He is also fair and just and His Word will not return unto Him void. :)
     
  17. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I hope and pray that there will never be a need for him to deny any soul from heaven; I truly hope that everyone will believe - however long it takes.:)
     
  18. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    Even those who purposefully rejected christ and his teachings? Well you, sir, are utterly wrong!:D
    I think this is entirely true, too. One of the things mormons get a lot of flack about is thinking that most people will be saved. But I still think there are those who just don't care, even though they know what the rewards are if they do.
     
  19. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    Not in order to be chosen for life, but to be chosen for exaltation into the highest degree of glory. (Are you by any chance a JW?) How can you say that everybody will inherit exactly the same degree of glory, especially in light of John 14:2 (the verse I mentioned earlier about the mansions)? Do you think that people just get to pick their own mansion, entirely based in desire and not how they acted? People who choose christ will certainly be resurected into a great glory, better than anything else you can imagine, but those who take all that time to follow the ordinanced will get that much more.
    Matt 3:15 "suffer it to be so now...to fulfill all righteousness." Even Jesus needed baptism, and shoudn't we strive to follow him, especially in something that he did "to fulfill all righteousness"?
    28:19 "teach all nations, baptise them." not teach all nations, and then if they want, you can go ahead and baptise them, but you don't need to.
    Mark 16:16 "he that beleiveth and is baptized shall be saved."
    John 3:5 "except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cann ot enter into the kindgom of God."
    Acts 2:38 "repent and be baptised every one of you." Don't you think repentences is necessary, and therefore baptism, too?
    10:48 "commanded them to be baptised"
    etc.
    To say that baptism isn't necessary is to fly in the face of the sriptures, not just "my scriptures" but yours as well.
     
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  20. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    here's a quote katzpur made which well sums up a few points:
     
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