required threshhold of faith required for Christians to be saved is not clear
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the bible says if you confess with your mouth jesus is lord, and beleive in your heart that he was raised from the dead you will be saved. it also say if you believe in the lord you will be saved. it also has all kinds of other statements.
i'm sure if you do these, that is sufficient. but what about various other scenarios, like the content of 'sinner's prayers' that dont include those things?
what or where exactly is the threshhold?
if you believe he existed or is God is that enough? probably not cause the bible says demons do likewise.
what about a list of of common beleifs? that you rely on him generally, that he is your savior, that you are a sinner, that he is lord, tha he rose from the dead, that he was incarnated, that he is God, that he is the son of God, that you believe you are saved (plenty of christians say you must believe you are saved, or you aren't saved), substitutionary atonement v 'christus victor' etc etc.
ask different christians, get a different answer, almost every time. they just have 'gut feelings' but dont have firm answers. see past debates from me on this topic, and you'll note a different answer pretty much every time.
some say you have to admit you're a sinner and that he is your savior. what if you believed all the other things and not these? or what if you believe you're a sinner, and that he's a savior, but not that he's God, or a various type of atonement belief. eg, chrsitaus victor v substitutionary.
some say that he is God is required, some say legal substitution is mandatory.
and how do you demarcate the requirements for those who are new to the faith, and those who are really knowledgeable? it might be seen a okay for a newbie to miss a thing or two, but less understandable for the expreinced etc. does this come into play?
so what's the magical formula?
I believe that there is no "magical formula" for being saved. Many Christians feel that they need to do something to be saved, much like the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16. He "became very sad" Jesus turned his world upside down by telling him to leave his possessions and follow him. However, our faith should be more like Zacchaeus in Luke 19:6. Zacchaeus dropped everything he was doing and "welcomed him gladly."
Kyle Idleman, in his book Not a Fan, puts it this way: "We want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close as it requires sacrifice." Jesus did not call us to just do good things like the ruler, but to sacrifice for him like Zacchaeus. As he says in Matthew 16:24, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." I believe that this is as close to a "magical formula" for getting to heaven as possible, but the ultimate decision lies with God.
I now turn over the virtual podium to Pro.
Idleman, Kyle. Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.
"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."
and this is ambiguous, cause it doesn't establish what it means to be a disciple, to deny themselves, or to take up their cross and follow him.
Denying oneself and taking up one's cross is referring to the sacrifice that Jesus expects. Following him is just that -- following him. Not just doing good things, but going all-in for him.
I would like to thank Pro for coming up with this debate. It was very interesting and really got me thinking.
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