TRADITION: "I can work my way to Heaven"
TRUTH: "For by grace are ye saved through faith"
There are only two kinds of religion in the world. Those that are based on salvation by works and the one that provides salvation by the grace of God through faith. If performing works are the way to Heaven, just how many works does it take to pay the sin debt you owe to the God of Heaven? The Catholics say you must be baptized to be cleansed from original sin and keep the 7 sacraments in order to go to heaven. The Jehovah Witnesses teach that what men have done and their obedience or worthiness is what saves them. Mormons (Latter Day Saints) teach obedience to the gospel, baptism, and laying on of hands, plus a life of good works is necessary for salvation. The Seventh Day Adventists teach the keeping of the law must be accomplished as evidence of salvation. The Church of Christ teaches that you must be baptized to be saved, but baptismal regeneration is not taught in God's Word. The thief on the Cross was not baptized but Jesus told him, "This day thou shalt be with Me in paradise" thereby promising him eternal life without baptism. Many of the mainline denominations, Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians etc. have abandoned the Bible as their source of doctrine and instead preach a "social gospel" teaching that doing good deeds or works as the way of salvation.
However, the Bible clearly teaches that salvation is provided solely by the grace of God: "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."(Ephesians 2:8,9) "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."(Titus 3:5-7) "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present woorld; Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all inquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."(Titus 2:11-14)
So, then the grace of God is the prime mover in salvation. Faith "not of ourselves" is the activity of man, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour of all mankind through His atoning death on the Cross. This paid the sin debt every man owes to God the Father. The Scripture also states: "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."(Romans 6:23) Even though man owes God the debt of sin, God Himself, provides the gift that no man could work for to provide payment, no man except the God-Man, the Sinless Son of God. The only one Who could provide a sacrifice acceptable to God was God in the Flesh the Saviour Jesus Christ! God provided a Gift that man must receive: "But, as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."(John 1:12) By faith we believe and receive the Gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ!
Which one will it be for you, The Tradition of Works or the Truth of Grace? It will most definitely determine your eternal destiny! Believe God and His marvelous Truth of Grace found abundantly in His unchanging Word: "For by grace are ye saved through faith".