So I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that I cannot trust Paul. I'm just having an issue with the idea that we can and should earn our salvation. I don't even see how that is possible. I can never be good enough for that, so all I feel is hopelessness. Especially because Jesus took the law even further to be a heart issue. My heart is frequently ugly and hateful. How can I change that and be good enough to please the Lord? And even if I do try, will I ever be able to be sure of my salvation? If I am sure, is it because I am confident in my own righteousness? Also, if I can earn my own salvation, then why do I need a savior? Please understand that I am not questioning Jesus and I love him so much - I just don't understand how all of this fits together. If anyone can help explain things or point me to the correct scriptures, I would so appreciate it!
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Will I ever be good enough?
3 years 8 months ago #9938
You've asked good questions. What is interesting is that most of them are due to Pauline doctrine, such as 'earning salvation' it takes time and study to see the beauty of what Yahshua taught. He said count the cost, Pearl of Great Price and other such things that should telegraph to the reader that there is a price to pay for the walk with Him. Christianity focused everything on 'salvation' whereas Yahshua focused on obtaining the Kingdom of Heaven. It was those that obtained the Kingdom that were and are saved, otherwise what's the point of enduring to the end. I don't have my research tools in from of me, but I wouldn't be surprised if the word 'end' were 'Telios' if so then that means the 'goal' endure to the goal, which is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Yahshua said 'Abide in My Word' if you do this, then understand that His Word is from above and as you abide or are dwelling in His Word you are abiding or dwelling above. It's like the rungs on Jacobs Ladder, one step at a time until reach the top rung.' Simplistic? Yes, quite so, but accurate.
Also just knowing and understanding that your heart is messed up is the biggest step of all. Now you can literally cry out to be filled with righteousness. Being hungry and thirsty for righteousness is huge.
You know as to hopelessness in discovering that Paul preached a 'false salvation' and that now you are coming into the real truth, think of it this way. God just showed you that your house had previously been built on 'sand' and that it was headed for a great fall. But now in His mercy, He has shown you how to build your house on the ROCK. So obviously He did this for you because He really likes you and greatly desires to be your friend, Father, Brother, redeemer, deliverer, and of course He greatly desires to heal your heart. You'll be amazed at the enormity of healing that comes as He writes His Torah, His Commandments upon your heart. "The Sun of Righteousness rising with Healing in His wings.' Those wings are the Ten Commandments and there is tremendous healing in them.
There is much more but no doubt everyone is going to want to answer this in their own unique way.
Worthy and unworthy, what a trap, if you weren't worthy you never would have seen or even desired Truth.
Good enough? Again back to what Yahshua taught, If you will lose your soul/life for My sake and the Gospel you will find it. The soul/life that you lose, is the life that is generated by the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. The soul/life that you find, is the life generated by the Tree of Life. So the fact of the matter is, is not worthy or unworthy, or even good enough, it's a matter of the living and the dead. Even a soul swap if you will. You're swapping the dead soul/life that you had that did not work and caused you all sorts of misery for the living soul born from the Word of Truth. First soul=dead born thru mutation into a fearful lying degenerated reptilian mess. In exchange for that old thing, you get the high flying soul of the Son of God, with all the joy, healing, mercy compassion, forgiveness and every good thing you can think of. Not really a matter of good enough or worthy enough, it's more a matter of how bad do you want it?
For me the question of being good enough relates more to Paul's theology than YHWH's. With Paul it was all a nebulous blur of warm, heartfelt fuzzies. There was no structure or rules that guided you to the narrow path. In fact, the path was practically anywhere you wanted to go as long as you had faith or believed. It has taken a lot of searching to strip away all the nonsense and to be left with something much simpler and straight forward.
We were told to keep on seeking, asking and knocking until we find. Most people have no interest in making such an effort. It can be exasperating and confusing as we pull back the layers of lies. We have to reconfigure our thinking and our lives around the new understanding. It means shedding our old way of life (which was really death) for a new lifestyle of structure based on Laws, but in some ways it is easier, since it delineates exactly what is expected. If we practiced what the Law expects, then we will be acceptable, we will be righteous. And, if we slip, then we have the avenue of repentance. To me this is much simpler, much clearer. Again, few people want to go that route as it means going against the grain of what society expects. For instance, observing the Sabbath on Saturday rather than Sunday.
Due to Paul, there are very few people who actually do what Yahshua asked us to do. Even the Jews don't follow their own Law. Mishayah made some excellent points, but most importantly Paul offers the quicksand, while Yahshua offers the rock solid foundation that leads to life everlasting life.
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How can I change that and be good enough to please the Lord? And even if I do try, will I ever be able to be sure of my salvation? If I am sure, is it because I am confident in my own righteousness? Also, if I can earn my own salvation, then why do I need a savior?
Apart from Yeshua, probably no-one has kept the law as perfectly as Moses. After all, he wrote it! However due to a single sin, he was barred from entering the promised land.
Do we keep the law as perfectly as Moses, or better? The answer is obvious. This is why we still need the Blood of the Lamb, to make up for our many shortfalls. But it is up to us not to abuse it, as Paul urged us to do. We are still expected to keep it as best we can.
The Blood eliminates all the stress over whether we are keeping the law well enough. If we slip up now and again, we remember that our debt has been paid and move on. Of course we should repent as well, but if we fail now and again (which is also a sin), than that shortfall is covered as well.
In late 1997, I was very depressed and getting worse. One afternoon YHVH showed up, and through a series of visions and a question and answer conversation, He led me to repentance and salvation. One of the things I remember is that when He told me that Yeshua had paid for my sins on the cross, I replied "Well I can add my good deeds as well, and get a better salvation". In response He showed me my a vision of my so-called 'good deeds', as piles of rubbish surrounded by much higher piles of sins. So I saw that our need for a Saviour remains.
John the Baptist said of Yeshua "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world". The book of Revelation also mentions "the Lamb who was slain" in at least two places.
Some say that YHVH never intended blood to be shed on our behalf. In my view that's a red herring, because if we allow Yeshua the privilege of atoning for our sins, we avoid the pride which can come if we think we can save ourselves by our own good works. Remember that Moses was described as the most humble man on earth, yet even he had a flash of pride at Meribah, which caused him to sin.
So keep reading the law, do what you can, and don't stress about the rest. Much of it is irrelevant anyway, due to the absence of the temple and authorized priesthood. It's one's attitude which is important, not how well they do the law. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and you'll do just fine.
I'm just having an issue with the idea that we can and should earn our salvation.
Perhaps, a little bit of James, will help clear this up? I know for myself, I was raised Anglican, and we, as well as the Catholics, really drum the concept of, being saved by faith alone. If you went to Catholic school, or have been indoctrinated into their faith, you will have gotten a lot of this, programming, from them. It comes from Martin Luther, a real piece of work that one, hah! James 2:14-26.
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
I would argue that several of these words might have been added later, such as the word, "only" at the end of 2:24.