I have a few questions about the Bible. I’ll list them here.

1. Why do some theologians who have studied the scriptures for years
still preach many different denominations/religions and salvation by works?

People teach and believe false doctrine primarily because they were
“raised up” in these false teachings and because it is always easier to
look at the Bible through one?s pre-conceived biases than to take a clear
look at what it says. We are all human, and we are all subject to the
same prejudices. All of us must consciously train ourselves to view the
Bible with open eyes, to consider all view points and to ask with the
heart of a child, “What is God saying here in the Bible?” I would
admonish you to consider in what ways you are like those you would
criticize as being enslaved to false teachings. I say that not to
criticize but to recognize that we are all pre-disposed to believe what we
were taught. I am definitely in that group as well. I would suggest as a
help that you study the Bible first and foremost, but that you also spend
some time studying the writings of the very early church fathers. You can
use such writers as Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp and others to give
you a fresh perspective on how those taught by the apostles understood the
writings of the apostles.

2. What LAW must Christians keep today according to Jesus besides love?
Is the rest of the Bible just supposed to be a guide for life?

I would hesitate to use the word “Law” to describe what God expects for
those who are in Christ to do, as the word “Law” carries with it some
baggage from the Old Testament. Nevertheless, the idea of “Law” in the
New Testament is found in such passages as 1 Corinthians 9:21 “To those
not under the law, I became like one not having the law (though I am not
free from God?s law, but am under Christ?s law). The general tone of the
Bible is to imply that a law is something which, if we do not obey it, we
are punished. That is not the general spirit of the New Testament, and
one must even interpret 1 Corinthians 9:21 in this light. Grace in Jesus
Christ opposes law in the general sense (Colossians 2:13-21 for example).

Let me take the liberty of rephrasing your question. Under grace, the
question you are asking seems to be the wrong question. The rephrased
question is: What does God want me to do, now that I am saved (or even
if you are not yet saved)? God wants you to love the Lord with all your
heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.
These are the two greatest commandments. God wants you to humbly approach
him and to read his Word, the Bible, and to sincerely, with all your
heart, attempt to put what you read into practice, whether it involves
avoiding evil, or doing good. If you take this approach, the Bible
becomes your “guide for life,” as you say.

3. I have faith in Jesus, and I have let Him change my life, and He has
dramatically. Am I saved?

The simple answer is that I do not know. Simply by what you say, I am
not sure. Many claim to have faith in Jesus, and to have changed their
lives because of this. Our Mormon friends would say the same, and there
is little question that the Mormons are not true Christians, as their
belief is clearly heretical. Some questions:

Have you taken a look at the cross of Christ, taken responsibility for the
fact that your sins put him there, and sincerely repented of your sins on
that basis?making a radical decision to do your absolute best to stop
Have you looked at the cross of Christ and made a decision to take up that
cross personally (Luke 9:23), making Jesus absolute Lord and ruler of your
life (Luke 14:23-35)?
Having done those things, as is amplified by Acts 2:36,37, did you follow
this repentance by being immersed in water in baptism? (Acts 2:38)?

If all this is true, then the words of Acts 2 would apply to you ?for the
forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. If
you have any questions about this, you should study these ideas out, and
seek a fellowship of Christians who subscribe to this concept of salvation.

John Oakes

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