In our earlier blog, we had seen how the letters of Paul were contrary to what Christ taught. Many ignore the contrary teachings of Paul as just a misunderstanding of Paul’s letters. Here we will look deeper into the false doctrine of Paul and how it leads many astray from the true doctrine of Christ. This is so important because these doctrinal differences can cost salvation.
Paul’s easy path to pseudo-salvation
According to Paul, Christians are saved by God’s grace through faith and not by any works they do (Eph 2:8-9). The only thing that is required for salvation is faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 10:9-10). This excludes their effort to be righteous otherwise it will not be grace and counted as debt (Rom 4:4). This doesn’t mean they aren’t righteous because faith is imputed for righteousness (Rom 4:5). All the other good works they do are work of God in them for His good pleasure (Phil 2:13).
This is one of the reasons Paul uses the analogy of adoption where God adopts Christians for which they can’t do anything to get adopted (Gal 4:5).
Jesus Christ’s difficult path to true salvation
According to Jesus, we must be counted worthy by God to attain salvation (Luke 20:35). To become worthy, we must practice righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees to enter the kingdom of Heaven (Matt 7:21-23; Matt 5:20). Jesus is very serious about the requirement of being righteous and holy (Rev 3:4-5). We are required to be sinless to abide in His house (John 8:34-35). Jesus even taught to cut off anything that causes us to sin to become righteous and holy. This includes even our own eyes, hands and feet (Matt 18:8-9). The way that leads to life which Jesus taught is through a narrow gate and difficult path (Matt 7:13-14).
This is one of the reasons Jesus uses the analogy of born again where we are required to be born of God (John 1:13; John 3:5), being without sin (John 8:34-36).
Where does this lead to?
Those who follow Paul’s teachings will have faith but no works required by Christ to enter life. These followers of Paul will insist on the grace of God from Paul’s letters. They teach that God will make them righteous by imputing their faith when they are saved and transform them slowly to be Christ-like. They teach that no one can be holy and righteous as expected by God, hence they are clothed by His righteousness by just having faith.
Those who follow teachings of Christ will have faith with works and obey what Jesus taught. They insist on the requirement of each one’s righteousness and holiness to enter life. Unless a person is fully transformed to be born again by not sinning anymore, they cannot be saved. They teach that Jesus came into this world, living a normal life in the flesh as a human showing that man can live holy and righteous as expected by God. It is only because of our righteousness and holiness we will be allowed to enter into His kingdom.
Paul’s letters deceive many to assume that they are in the path towards eternal life if they commit fewer sins than what they committed previously, which they consider as a sign of God working in them and they are growing in holiness and righteousness. Jesus, however, preached zero tolerance towards sin. He instructed to even cut our body parts that cause us to sin so that we can enter life without sinning than to commit sin and enter hell as a whole.