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Thread: What works are we to do to ensure we have eternal life?

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    What works are we to do to ensure we have eternal life?

    If this topic has previously been discussed please link me to the thread/s.

    I believe we are saved by grace through faith unto good works. The book of Revelation is full of, "I know your works..." and the theme of accompanying works together with salvation is strong throughout scripture.

    What works are we to be doing to ensure that we inherit eternal life? It would be good to to think that Jesus answers this question completely in John 6:28-29, but the answer is obviously so much more.

    John 6:28-29:

    28 They then said, What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?]

    29 Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].

    Then there are scriptures such as Mathew 25:31-46:

    31 When the Son of Man comes in His glory (His majesty and splendor), and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.

    32 All nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them [the people] from one another as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats;

    33 And He will cause the sheep to stand at His right hand, but the goats at His left.

    34 Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you [g]favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

    35 For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you [h]brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and [i]lodged Me,

    36 I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me [j]with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me.

    37 Then the just and upright will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You something to drink?

    38 And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You?

    39 And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You?

    40 And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [[k]in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me.

    41 Then He will say to those at His left hand, Begone from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!

    42 For I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink,

    43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me and entertain Me, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me [l]with help and ministering care.

    44 Then they also [in their turn] will answer, Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?

    45 And He will reply to them, Solemnly I declare to you, in so far as you failed to do it for the least [[m]in the estimation of men] of these, you failed to do it for Me.

    46 Then they will go away into eternal punishment, but those who are just and upright and in right standing with God into eternal life.

    Just thinking, Jesus would of course not be in prison for any criminal act and so him being in prison can only be if he was there unjustly. Visiting believers in prison who are there because of the Gospel would be a work to do, but to visit criminals in prison who deserve to be there?

    Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and visiting the sick are clearly works which our salvation hinges on?

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    If we have the saving belief of John 6:28-29, we will quite naturally do the works of Mt. 25:31-46. See also James 2:14-26.
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  3. Amen Thoughtful Monk amen'd this post.
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    Oops....... mossrose's Avatar
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    Our salvation hinges on no works of ours. The thief on the cross is the perfect example of this fact. Works show that our salvation is real, which I believe is what OBP is saying.

    Works are a natural outpouring of the change that salvation makes in a believer. And not all of us have the same opportunity to do the good that other people may have. God will use us where we are to do those good things that are brought to our attention.


    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

  5. Amen One Bad Pig, Thoughtful Monk, Cow Poke amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    If we have the saving belief of John 6:28-29, we will quite naturally do the works of Mt. 25:31-46. See also James 2:14-26.

    I agree with OBP. A good question is what's the reason Jesus gave this speech.

    I think He was attempting to get His audience to recognize the importance of thinking about and then helping others. The ones on the left probably never really thought about another person or assisting them. The ones on the right did.

    To be saved does require one to think beyond the self. By getting people to think about others, Jesus may be hoping they will then start to think about God.

    I know this isn't a standard view of salvation. However one has to fit this passage into the process of salvation. Right now as I think about it, I'm not sure how it fits.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    My time to be on TWeb is unpredictable. It may take a few days for me to see your post and respond.

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    "I know your works" is addressed corporately to the seven churches and has to be read in that context. Of course, there are still exhortatations to individual believers (including the most famous verse in there, Revelation 3:20).

    There is a list of sins that will keep people out of heaven later in the book (Revelation 22:15): "Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood." But the focus on positive works is more addressed to individual churches, who are warned that they are at risk of dying (or in the case of the church in Sardis, are already dead).
    "Technology has, in an enhanced way, given mockers a platform to set society on fire with polarizing speech. Internet culture privileges those whose insults are click bait." - Timothy Keller

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  9. Amen mossrose amen'd this post.
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    1 Corinthians 3:12-15:

    If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
    I think the context of these verses is probably limited to work done to further God's kingdom and not just all works, but I could be wrong.
    "Technology has, in an enhanced way, given mockers a platform to set society on fire with polarizing speech. Internet culture privileges those whose insults are click bait." - Timothy Keller

  11. Amen NorrinRadd amen'd this post.
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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Here is another instance where Jesus seems to talk about doing something to inherit eternal life:

    Source: Luke 10:25-28

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    © Copyright Original Source


    But note here the emphasis on love, thus (especially in regard to God) on relationship. Love also shows up in the parable of the sheep and the goats, where people are ministering to Jesus. To know God is to love him, and to love him directly and through his people, is to have eternal life. Thus when Jesus says to unbelievers "Depart from me", he adds, "I never knew you."

    "Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness—in the hope of eternal life..." (Titus 1:1-2)

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  13. Amen Esther amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Here is another instance where Jesus seems to talk about doing something to inherit eternal life:

    Source: Luke 10:25-28

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    © Copyright Original Source


    But note here the emphasis on love, thus (especially in regard to God) on relationship. Love also shows up in the parable of the sheep and the goats, where people are ministering to Jesus. To know God is to love him, and to love him directly and through his people, is to have eternal life. Thus when Jesus says to unbelievers "Depart from me", he adds, "I never knew you."

    "Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness—in the hope of eternal life..." (Titus 1:1-2)

    Blessings,
    Lee
    I have know many Christians. I think it's less than 10 that to my perception have approached loving God with ALL their heart, soul, strength, and mind. I don't think any achieved it. I certainly haven't. I don't think that claiming that loving God will produce your salvation.

    Like the other passage, I think Jesus is showing the standard of what it takes and when you think it through, one realizes it's an unachievable standard. Again I come back to salvation is a gift of God and not a work of a person.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    My time to be on TWeb is unpredictable. It may take a few days for me to see your post and respond.

  15. Amen mossrose amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Here is another instance where Jesus seems to talk about doing something to inherit eternal life:

    Source: Luke 10:25-28

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    © Copyright Original Source

    Perhaps Jesus preached this because technically it was still Old Testament law which was works based? He hadn't died and resurrected yet.

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