This week’s challenge is about salvation by faith:
A standard part of “becoming a Christian” is “accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior.” There are a few choice scriptures which Christians use when explaining how people are saved.
- John 3:16 (NIV): “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
- Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV): “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.”
It’s the standard Christian dogma that people are saved simply by believing in Jesus and accepting His gift of forgiveness. However, Jesus Himself refutes this view in Matthew.
- Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV): “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. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
So, Christians must either adopt a non-standard dogma, or admit that their belief system is wrong. This seeming contradiction within the Bible stands above others simply because it’s at the very core of the religion. Any intellectual within the religion must disbelieve the church’s teachings in order to preserve the church’s religion.
How would you explain this alleged contradiction? Give us your explanation in the comments below, and check back here on Thursday to hear Tim’s answer to this challenge.