This meetup Bible study stems from the above question. Through Paul’s (Ephesians 2: 8-9) and many more of his verses from the epistle of Romans, emerged the Sola-Fide doctrine of “saved by grace alone through faith alone through Christ alone (works not necessary). Ephesians 2:8-9 states “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Whilst Paul strongly advocates that we are saved by Faith alone – Works are optional—Jesus never taught this. In fact Jesus warns in the Allegory of the Vine and the Branches John 15: 1-2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” Jesus makes it abundantly clear that every branch (believer) which does not bear good fruit (through good works) is cut off from Jesus and finally cast into fire to burn ( John 15:6)
James-- the brother of Jesus--- states "Faith is Dead without works " (James 2:14-26) which questions the doctrine that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
In Romans 10:9-10, Paul goes on to teach “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
But Jesus says something quite different in Matthew 7:21: James 2:14-26 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
In plain words if we are not willing to fight our will, our sinful nature, and do God’s will, which is righteousness and obedience, we CANNOT BE SAVED. As Jesus always did God’s will over His will (John 4:34, John 6:38, John 8:29) we will have to learn to do God’s will versus ours, even as we pick up the cross deny the flesh DAILY and follow Him (Luke 9:23)
In Romans 5:1 Paul is once again saying that we are justified by faith alone: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
But in the parable of Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus issues a strong and unveiled warning that many believers will be condemned on the last day, when Christ is on the judgment seat and He will examine the WORKS (and not faith) of EVERY believer; and the believers whose works were not found satisfactory (not enough obedience) will be condemned. Why was Jesus warning the believers with this parable since if they were already saved by their faith in Him? There should be no doubt after reading this parable that not one is saved by faith alone. Salvation (or damnation) will occur when all our deeds have been examined --along with faith of course.
Jesus in John 14:15 cautions “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (which simply means if we are NOT keeping His commandments, we have no love for Him—how then are we saved?) So you see much like James says , in his epistle, Jesus says the same thing: Obedience is vitally important in the three-pronged salvation doctrine of Jesus Christ which He shares in Matthew 28:18-20 --the great commission -- “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations(FAITH), baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son (BAPTISM )and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (OBEDIENCE). And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Christ’s was a trident salvation doctrine consisting of FAITH, BAPTISM, and OBEDIENCE – followed by a judgment. Book of life will be opened and whoever’s name was found in the Lamb’s book of life will be saved. This is stated very clearly in Revelation 20:12,15.
In Matthew 10: 38 Jesus clearly states" He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” What Jesus is making evident here is that we are not worthy of Him if we are not willing to obey Him. He repeats this in the following words in Luke 6:46 "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?
James the brother of Christ in James 1:22 issues a caveat to the same effect “Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”
Paul in Romans 10:9-10 states
"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."
Howecer when we examine what John the Baptist John 3:36 (NASB) we find that the wrath God remains if a believer simply believes but does not obey
John 3 : 36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Christ Himself was very strong on obedience. Read the Parables of the Rich man and Jesus (Mark 10:17-31) or Jesus and the Teacher of law story ( Luke 10:25-28) To both these gentlemen when they asked Jesus a similar question : "what must I do to inherit eternal life” Jesus does not point at Himself, but at obedience of the law. Why wasn’t Christ telling these people to just BELIEVE in Him for their salvation (as the Churches teach nowadays). Why was He pointing at obeying the Law instead? So if “I believe and I am saved doctrine” is not what Jesus taught, what then IS the salvation doctrine of the Messiah Christ Jesus?
All these and much more will be studied by us together in this meetup.
THE AIM OF THIS MEETUP BIBLE STUDY
The aim then is to impartially examine the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, His red-lettered words in the Bible, and from which it will be abundantly clear what Christ taught,
Christ says in John 8:31-32 “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
It will be an interactive group, so very person may get an opportunity to voice their views --- with love and respect of course :)
So what was the message of Christ? Lets study it straight from the MASTER JESUS CHRIST.
If this resonates with you and if you have an open mind and the heart to neutrally examine what Christ taught, please do come. You are most welcome. And together we will read Christ’s words. His salvation doctrine straight from His red lettered words in the bible, and expedient to study them.
So come friends let us start a new chapter this new year; I believe this could lead to a reformation in the Protestant Churches. Obedience, as Christ strongly commanded, must be a part of salvation doctrine that is being taught today. And you can be part of this friends.
May the Lord Jesus's blessings and wisdom be on all.