I have given this question so much thought through the last decade, and I have an answer that many/most Christians would not/never agree with. But, it is biblical and it is fully supported by Jesus and I pity those who would say I am wrong. This is my 100th post and I thought that I would make it a thought-provoking question post.
“What must one know to be saved?”
Think long before you answer. Think deeply before you answer. I challenge you to remind yourself of the fruit of the Spirit as Paul mentions in Galatians 5 (22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self control. Against such things there is no law). I also want you to place yourself back in the days of Jesus and imagine that you have laced up your sandals, pulled tight your robe, and are following after Jesus on His journey around Galilee and Capernaum in the biblical narrative. Around you are many types of people; nay-sayers, questioners, believers, young, old, children, babies. Then Jesus stops and gets asked a question about who is the greatest in the Kingdom. Jesus calls a child over to himself and says:
Matthew 18:3 (LEB)
3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you turn around and become like young children, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven!
Now, what is your answer to my question? Are you summoning up a long list of do’s and don’t’s? Are you putting together the Sunday School /seminary answer of “you must repent, you must believe, etc.?” Well, let me give you my take and I believe Jesus’ take on salvation and being IN Him, In Christ.
What did that little child understand about Jesus? What could he have possibly known about Jesus? What would/did Jesus require of that child to be greatest in the Kingdom? Did Jesus require them to have a highly evolved and highly complex theology about “The Christ” and the Father and the Spirit, along with a detailed set of beliefs, details that have eluded and excluded most of the human race from God and Jesus according to the church, both throughout the Middle Ages up to and including the modern era?
Or, did this child, and Jesus’ expectations for entry into the Kingdom focus on Jesus’ love and how He loved people? I believe the answer ot the question is simply “love!” Jesus expects us to love as a child loves. That is really all a child could understand about Jesus, that He is love and loves unconditionally! I believe it is as simple as that. The more light we are given the more we can love God and others, but I do not believe anyone has to have a developed understanding of Jesus beyond “God is love, Jesus is Gd, Jesus is love” and live in that belief and share that belief with others through our actions in life.
Reader, I love you with the love of Christ and am trying to live more of that love everyday. I fail but I am striving to be more like Christ in this simple way since I believe it is the most important thing we could ever pass on to one another and help each other with. Be blessed in the warmth of His love today. I pray I have given you hope and help straight from the mind of Christ today. As always, feel free to share with me the edification Christ has given you and the love He has given you that I too, may be blessed by it. Let me know what your heart speaks regarding this issue. And let’s praise God together for it!
Amen and Amen!