Salvation free Gift?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by dattaswami, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. dattaswami

    dattaswami Interfaith Forums

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    A Christian devotee, Anil Antony, asked Me some questions just now. He asked whether the salvation is a free gift of God and not based on the work. This is the climax of foolishness. Even in the worldly affairs, a selection board sits and filters the deserving candidate to give the gift. If any body in this world gives a free gift without seeing the deserving qualifications, people will call him as a full mad person. Do you treat God as mad person, who is wiser than the wisest in this world? Jesus asked His devotees to go to villages and propagate His knowledge. Even today the Christian fathers wander all over the earth and they are propagating the diving knowledge by constant lecturers. Is this not work? If salvation is a free gift why should they work? How much divine work Jesus carried on? In Hinduism you can support free gift by saying that a soul might have done lot of good work in the previous birth and the gift may appear as free gift because the soul did not perform any good work in this birth. But Christianity does not believe the re-birth and therefore such possibility of explanation is also ruled out here.

    His another question is that Christianity encourages the praise and prayer of the Lord for certain materialistic benefits. He asks whether such prayer is correct. The answer is that such a stage is not incorrect but it is a lower stage. The LKG class is the beginning of school education. You cannot say that LKG is class is not correct. It is correct but it is lowest. The first step is true but is the lowest step existing on the ground. If you take the case of Jesus, He is in the highest step. He also praised and prayed the Lord but never asked anything for himself. He asked any thing only for the propagation of the fame of the Lord. The lowest step is certainly better than the pit, which is lower than the ground. Thus the beginner is certainly better than the atheist, who does not believe God at all. Even though the beginner is selfish, at least he believes the existence of God.
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    A Christian devotee, Anil Antony, asked Me some questions just now. He asked whether the salvation is a free gift of God and not based on the work.

    The Christian perspective on this is that man can do nothing that warrants salvation as a reward; any 'good work' should be done for its own sake, and not in the expectation of reward, and there is no result in this finite world that can equal the benefits of eternal life.

    Thus salvation is always a gift, and as such God is always free, otherwise we are bound to say that if one does x, then God is obliged to respond y, and thereby God is not free but exists under some human constraint.

    The corollary, as dattaswami points out, is this gift is freely given to those whom God so chooses, by virtue of a life lived, and all scriptures inform man of what is required of him, and what is not.

    Thomas
     
  3. Blessed87

    Blessed87 A restored soul

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    Hey Dattaswami, great question. The basis of most religions is earning some sort of eternal bliss... In order to understand Christianity and salvation, I encourage you to read the book of Romans. Human interpretation that you can receive here and elsewhere is useful at times, but the source of all Christian truth is the Bible. Go to the source, and I pray you will find answers.

    Have a great day!
    Adrienne
     
  4. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    If we who are imperfect, give good things to our children when they ask (and when they do not), then how much more will the Father (who is perfect), give good things to us His children when we ask (and when we do not)?

    I wish to tell you a story. When I turned 35, my father sat me down and spoke with me at length about how he saw our relationship. All and all it was a good and revealing conversation, but there was a point wherein my father became very agitated. We were discussing what parents and children give eachother, and receive from eachother, when he turned to me and said:

    "That is something that never ceased to anger me about you son...you never asked me for a damn thing. Your brothers and sisters asked when they needed things, but you always had to do everything yourself...and even if I offered, you refused."

    Whether I realised it or not (and I didn't), that hurt my dad, that I asked for nothing. I denied him something precious, by refusing to ask for anything. I denied him the need to be needed. I denied him the chance to be a provider. By refusing to accept his help and by refusing to ask for his help, I stunted my own growth as well, and I caused undo strain on our relationship.

    Man and God are the same way. Man needs God, like a child needs parents. God needs man, like a parent needs children. It is a mutually beneficial thing.

    OK, so our clumsy attempt to do or give something back to God, is like a pre-schooler bringing Mom and Dad a finger painting of them on poster board. Not exactly a Rembrandt, but to the parents that receive the "gift" it is one of the most precious things their child can give them, and it goes right on the refrigerator door for all to see.

    And for man to ask God for something, is like all of heaven's hosts holding their breath, because man acknowledged a need, and turned to the Creator to fill that need, which means man is turned toward the face of the Creator. Man is directly addressing his God, and is saying that no one else can fill the bill.

    Rather than being at the lower end of the spectrum, I suspect it is right their at the top...

    "Ask, and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened to you..."

    Quite specific, quite biblical, and not an offer, as much as a statement of fact.

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     

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