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What Must We Do to be Saved?. By Doug Krueger. Necessary and Sufficient Conditions. Something x is a necessary condition for y if and only if it is impossible for y to exist without x. For example, having exactly 3 sides is a necessary condition for having a triangle.

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necessary and sufficient conditions
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
  • Something x is a necessary condition for y if and only if it is impossible for y to exist without x.
      • For example, having exactly 3 sides is a necessary condition for having a triangle.
      • Being unmarried is a necessary condition for being a bachelor.
  • Something x is a sufficient condition for y if and only if it is impossible for x to exist without y.
      • Being a cow is a sufficient condition for being an animal.
      • Being under 21 is sufficient to be ineligible to legally buy alcohol.
why isn t the answer clear
Why Isn’t the Answer Clear?
  • The Bible is unclear and contradictory about what is necessary or sufficient for salvation.
  • Many believers hold that the Bible’s point is that one must be saved.
  • They also contend that the Bible spells out exactly how one can be saved.
  • Let’s take a look.
old testament not much help
Old Testament: Not Much Help
  • In the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, NO ONE dies and goes to heaven.
  • “Salvation” by following God’s laws seems to have been confined to this world.
  • Being saved meant being saved from God’s wrath in this life.
  • So let us confine our discussion only to the New Testament.
baptism is a necessary condition for salvation
Baptism is a Necessary Condition for Salvation
  • Mark 16:16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
  • Not just he who believeth, but he who believeth AND is baptized shall be saved.
  • John 3:5: “...except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
  • 1 Peter 3:21: “...this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also...”
  • So it would seem that to be saved one must believe and be baptized.

Belief + Baptism = Salvation

Necessary Condition

Necessary Condition

Sufficient Conditions

st paul disagrees
St. Paul Disagrees

God raised Jesus from the dead.

  • Romans 10:9-10:
    • 9”…the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
    • 10”For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Jesus is Lord.

Resurrection Belief + Statement of Belief = Salvation


Nothing about baptism.

the author of luke acts disagrees and so does jesus
The Author of Luke/Acts Disagrees…And So Does Jesus!

I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Acts 16:30-31 tells us: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...”
  • John 6:47: ”...He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.“
  • No public proclamation required.
  • No baptism required.

Belief in Jesus = Salvation

faith alone is enough
Faith Alone is Enough
  • Some verses are quite clear that we are saved by faith alone.
    • Gal. 2:16: “…a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ...not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified"
    • Romans 3:20: "a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."

Belief in Jesus = Salvation

Belief in Jesus + Works = Salvation

If This is Sufficient

Then This is Not Necessary

what about those commandments
What About Those Commandments?
  • Jesus tells someone what he must do to be gain eternal life:
  • Matthew 19:17: ”...if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
  • One can keep the commandments and not believe in Jesus.
  • Is this a sufficient condition? The context does not clearly show this.
  • But it does suggest that this is a necessary condition.

Keep the commandments!

which commandments just a few
Which Commandments? Just a Few.

So keeping these commandments may not be sufficient for salvation, but they are necessary.

AFTER doing this, it IS sufficient for salvation to sell all you have and give the money to the poor.

  • Matt. 19:17-21: “If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
  •  "Which ones?" the man inquired.
  • Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"
  •  "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
  •  Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
  • No baptism required.
  • No public proclamation required.
  • Not having other gods before YHWH is not required!

Keep 6 Commandments + Give All to the Poor = Salvation

faith alone is not enough
Faith Alone is Not Enough
  • So we are NOT saved by faith alone.
    • In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says: "Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
    • James 2:17: "faith by itself, if it not accompanied by action, is dead."
    • James 2:20: "faith without deeds is useless."
    • James 2:24: "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.”
    • Romans 2:13: "not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”

Belief in Jesus + Works = Salvation

If This is Not Sufficient

Then This is Necessary

empty the nest
Empty the Nest
  • Matt. 19:29:
    • “…And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother (or wife) or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”
  • So leaving one’s family for Jesus is a sufficient condition for salvation.

Leaving Your Family for Jesus = Salvation

why leave the family love for others should be like hate compared with love for jesus
Why Leave the Family? Love for Others Should Be Like Hate Compared With Love for Jesus
  • Luke 14: 26: "If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple".
  • Matt. 10:34-37 : "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."

This is a necessary condition, but not sufficient for salvation.

what about women
What About Women?
  • 1 Tim. 2:15: “…women will be saved through childbearing—
  • …if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”
  • So a woman must not only have faith, she must conduct herself well, with love and holiness, and she must bear a child in order to be saved.
  • Childbirth a necessary condition for a woman to be saved. Together, these four qualities are sufficient conditions.
  • And baptism for women? Not required.
  • Public proclamation? Not required.
  • Keeping commandments? Doing “works”? Is that part of “holiness”? Not explained.

Motherhood + Faith + Love + Holiness = Salvation

self hate is sufficient
Self-Hate is Sufficient
  • Jn. 12:25: “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”
  • So one that hates his or her own life is saved thereby.
  • Presumably, however, one must hate one’s life for the right reasons, such as being persecuted for the sake of Jesus, etc.

Self-Hate for Jesus = Salvation

enduring being hated by others for jesus works too
Enduring Being Hated by Others for Jesus Works Too
  • Mt. 10:22-3: And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."  This is reiterated in Mark 13:13.
  • Lk. 6:22-3: Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven…”

Hated By Others for Jesus = Salvation

the verdict it s confused at best
The Verdict: It’s Confused at Best
  • Salvation=
    • Belief + Baptism(Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3:5; 1 Pe. 3:21)
    • Resurrection Belief + Statement of Belief (Ro. 10:9)
    • Belief in Jesus(Ac. 16:30-31; Jn. 6:47; Ga. 2:16; Ro. 3:20)
    • Keep 6 Commandments + Give All to the Poor(Mt. 19:17-21)
    • Belief in Jesus + Works of the Law(Mt. 7:21; Jm. 2:17-24; Ro. 2:13)
    • Leaving Your Family for Jesus(Mt. 19:29)
    • Motherhood + Faith + Love + Holiness(1 Ti. 2:15)
    • Self-Hate for Jesus(Jn. 12:25)
    • Hated By Others for Jesus(Mt. 10:22-3; Mk. 13:13; Lk. 6:22-23)
  • Nowhere does the Bible use the phrase "accept Jesus" or similar phrases to describe salvation. To the extent that this phrase is used to denote something other than belief in Jesus, it is not based on scripture.
  • Nowhere does the Bible say that one must have a “personal relationship” with Jesus.
hurdle salvation is a gift you cannot earn or guarantee
Hurdle: Salvation is a GiftYou Cannot Earn or Guarantee
  • Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
  • Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
only god can cause you to listen to him
Only God Can Cause You to Listen to Him
  • If all who listen to the Father and learn from him come to Jesus, and
  • All who come to Jesus are drawn by God,
  • Then it follows that no one can listen and learn from the Father unless he or she is drawn by God.
  • John. 6:44: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day…
  • 6:45: “Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.”

So when someone asks you why you don’t heed the word of God, you can reply:

“God isn’t letting me!”

god sometimes causes people to believe lies so he can damn them
God Sometimes Causes PeopleTo Believe Lies So He Can Damn Them
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
  • So how can any believer KNOW that he or she is not believing one of God’s lies?
  • A believer may be doing what he or she thinks will lead to salvation but it will lead instead to damnation!

According to the Bible, you can’t know when you have God-given truth that leads to salvation or God-given lies that lead to damnation.

is such confusion compatible with an omniscient omnibenevolent being
Is Such Confusion Compatible With an Omniscient, Omnibenevolent Being?
  • Given the supposed importance of salvation, one cannot help but conclude that any god who makes the requirements for salvation so vague and contradictory is just irresponsible.
  • And surely not omnibenevolent, since if he was loving he’d make the requirements consistent.
  • So does the Bible have a clear answer to the question
    • “What must I do to be saved?”?
  • The Bible tells me so—No.