Error of the Cults is the Evidence for the Church

We like to take pride in our accomplishments. Yet, the bible teaches that “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags,” (Is 64:6). It seems very counterintuitive that salvation is not something you can earn with your good behavior but it is a free gift from God (Eph. 2:8). This is an idea that appears in no other world religion, unmerited grace.  Because this is just not the sort of idea men would come up with, I believe it is an authenticating characteristic of Christianity. Yet, surely our behavior counts?

Cults like Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses make good works the means of salvation. Joseph Smith was brazen enough to add to God’s word in his best selling creative work of fiction, The Book of Mormon. He wrote, “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). You can boast in that! It is the way of the world and exactly what one would expect in a manmade religion. In converse, Christianity makes salvation the means of good works not the mechanism.

James the brother of Jesus wrote, that “faith without works is dead” (Jms. 2:17). He makes a strong case that faith is not some sort of “get out of jail free card.” Cults often use this argument by James to justify their works based salvation. It may seem that James is contradicting Paul’s teaching, yet really he is not. James’ point is not that works are the basis for salvation but the result of it. This is confirmed in Jesus’s teaching.

In John 15, Jesus teaches that he is vine and we are the branches. Branches are worthless apart from the vine, thus apart from salvation our good works are futile. Yet he says he chose us to bear fruit and that everyone who abides in him will. In fact, He taught that works serve as proof that we are indeed his, “bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (Jn. 15:8b) Good works are done out of joy, gratitude and love not fear. The primary work Jesus assigned us was to carry the Gospel to the nations and make disciples (Mat. 28:19-20).

Finally, works carry the message.  As Christians we are “ambassadors for Christ, God is making his appeal through us” (2 Cor. 5:20). There are so many empty promises in this fallen world. Apart from our witness, how can anyone know that Christianity is true (Rom 10:14)? Actions speak louder than words. The way we carry ourselves is an important way the Holy Spirit authenticates the gospel to the outside world. In doing apologetics it is essential to be cognizant of not only 1 Peter 3:15 “make a defense” but to read the passage through to verse 17, “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.“

About Cris Putnam
Logos Apologia is the ministry of Cris D. Putnam. The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory and to bring that life-changing truth to everybody who wants to know.

Comments

  1. Shelley says:

    Very good post. I believe that in order for us to truly accept Jesus as our savior we have to have some understanding of our sinful condition and how completely helpless we are when it comes to God allowing us to become one of His children. God’s glory is so incomprehensible to us that we actually start to consider that we could actually measure up by our good works. Our fallen condition has left us helpless to save ourselves and it took God Himself to offer up a perfect sacrifice that will satisfy his wrath. That has to say something about how completely corrupt we are and how we never had a chance to measure up w/o God offering himself as a perfect sacrifice for our imperfect souls. Dieing to self is the only way we can inherit the Kingdom of God seems so contrary to our human nature that most people refuse to believe it and yet how “simple” it should be!!

  2. Sharon says:

    Good Morning..
    I have just watched one of your vids. With ken klien saying that ‘it is not fair’ that he should pay for what adam and eve has done is reflected in what the Lord has said..ie..’if you do not follow in the unrighteous footsteps of your fathers, the curse will be lifted from you…’. I believe God had a number of issues with the laws He set down before Christ..He Himself wiped them out and made new ones because those old Laws were ‘not working’. Jesus Himself took on these Old Laws and found out that we could not become perfect through them..He lived here to gain a true understanding on what humans went through…A True, Righteous, Gracious, Understanding, Loyal Prince who became a King. Would you expect any less of King full of Wisdom?
    Mary also had to endure many things as Jesus did..ie..
    Luke…34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) SO THAT THE THOUGHTS OF MANY MAY BE REVEALED.
    (Not unlike the verse in the Song of songs…’and before I knew, my soul had become as a chariot for my noble people’.)

    My point is, that God may have even agreed with that statement..’it is not fair’ as He changed the whole situation for us (along with many of the other laws) Why would He have changed it and given us a chance if He agreed fully that it was fair? Who are we to judge Ken Kliens feelings on this matter?

    Just something to chew on…

    13for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

    Romans 14
    Do Not Criticize Other People
    One person believes it is right to eat all kinds of food.[a] But another, who is weak, believes it is right to eat only vegetables.3 The one who knows that it is right to eat any kind of food must not reject the one who eats only vegetables. And the person who eats only vegetables must not think that the one who eats all foods is wrong, because God has accepted that person.4 You cannot judge another person’s servant. The master decides if the servant is doing well or not. And the Lord’s servant will do well because the Lord helps him do well.
    5 Some think that one day is more important than another, and others think that every day is the same. Let all be sure in their own mind.6 Those who think one day is more important than other days are doing that for the Lord. And those who eat all kinds of food are doing that for the Lord, and they give thanks to God. Others who refuse to eat some foods do that for the Lord, and they give thanks to God.7 We do not live or die for ourselves.8 If we live, we are living for the Lord, and if we die, we are dying for the Lord. So living or dying, we belong to the Lord.
    9 The reason Christ died and rose from the dead to live again was so he would be Lord over both the dead and the living.10 So why do you judge your brothers or sisters in Christ? And why do you think you are better than they are?

    Do Not Cause Others to Sin
    13 For that reason we should stop judging each other. We must make up our minds not to do anything that will make another Christian sin.14 I am in the Lord Jesus, and I know that there is no food that is wrong to eat. But if a person believes something is wrong, that thing is wrong for him.15 If you hurt your brother’s or sister’s faith because of something you eat, you are not really following the way of love. Do not destroy someone’s faith by eating food he thinks is wrong, because Christ died for him.16 Do not allow what you think is good to become what others say is evil.17 In the kingdom of God, eating and drinking are not important. The important things are living right with God, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.18 Anyone who serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God and will be accepted by other people.
    19 So let us try to do what makes peace and helps one another.20 Do not let the eating of food destroy the work of God. All foods are all right to eat, but it is wrong to eat food that causes someone else to sin.21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that will cause your brother or sister to sin.
    22 Your beliefs about these things should be kept secret between you and God. People are happy if they can do what they think is right without feeling guilty.23 But those who eat something without being sure it is right are wrong because they did not believe it was right. Anything that is done without believing it is right is a sin.

  3. Sharon says:

    Freedom In Faith..

    Abraham felt this faith and was justified by it…a freedom from fear and doubt.
    Would you eat the food sacrificed to idols?

    We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom ALL things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom ALL things came and through whom we live.

    7 But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. 9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

    As the Lord has said~’offer your food up to Me and who else can touch it?’

    Thankyou Lord.

  4. Sharon says:

    I will repeat this as it is the answer to my question…Would you eat the food sacrificed to idols? Would it be wrong? or do you have enough faith to overcome what satan is saying..the fear he is instilling in the weak?..Faith like Abraham..knowing that NOTHING has the power to come between yourself and God..and PERFECT Faith…

    9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of YOUR FREEDOM does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
    10 For if anyone with a weak conscience sees YOU, WHO HAVE THIS KNOWLEDGE, EATING IN AN IDOL’S TEMPLE, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

    As the Lord has said~’offer your food up to Me and who else can touch it?’

    Thankyou Lord.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      Sharon you are missing the point. Ken is openly mocking the clear teaching of scripture. The doctrine of original sin is a non negotiable item in the Christian religion. Ken is perfectly free to deny it but that puts him in the category of non Christian or apostate Christian. I clearly evidenced this with scripture. Ken not only said it wasn’t fair he claims we were all once fallen angels and we are here on earth to work off our sin committed as angels. The bible flatly contradicts this saying we inherited Adams sin. This is an old heresy and has been condemned as such, Ken is a heretic, he deserves rebuking.

      You are also misguided in saying we are not to criticize those who teach false doctrine.

      “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, ” (2 Timothy 3:16)

      “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. ” (Jude 3)

      What I did was to contend for the faith by correcting and reproving him with scripture. Ken is leading people astray by promoting heresy. It is what are called to do.

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