Beneath the Tangles isn’t your typical aniblog. While we certainly discuss anime – lots of it – our purpose goes further than that, beneath the tangles of entertainment and animation. We seek to look at what we believe are spiritual truths as they are demonstrated through anime. We also want to engage our readers in discussion related to religion and spirituality, to encourage people to dig deeper into faith and question what they believe to be true.
To help accomplish as much, I’ll be doing a biweekly series asking questions related to Christianity, religion, and/or spirituality. Through November, I’ll post every other Wednesday, positing questions that I hope will give you pause and maybe stir some discussion.
Today’s questions are about salvation:
- How is salvation (in a religious sense) attained?
- What does your religion teach about salvation?
- Do you have personal perspective about salvation different from that which conventionally taught?
Please comment below with your responses as we engage each other about faith.
9 thoughts on “Come and See: How Do You Attain Salvation?”
My religion is Christianity. The perspective I would like to offer it that God came down from heaven and I can’t work my way up there. If anyone could, then there was no purpose for God to send His Son Jesus. The word “attain” according to the dictionary is defined as “to obtain (as a goal) through effort”. I cannot attain salvation through my own efforts. No matter how hard I try, how sincere or committed I am to attaining salvation, I fall short because my efforts are not 100% sinless on my own. (not even close!)
I can only receive the salvation that Christ offers because He paid the price for my sin. This is why salvation through Christ is a gift, and why it was bought with a price. Christ paid it, and gave it. Romans 6:20 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The destination of Heaven does not have alternate routes. Jesus, in Whom Christianity was founded said in John 14:6 “No man comes to the Father except through Me.” This is why His stance is so polarizing. You either stand with Him or against Him (Luke 11:23) You either find salvation in Him or are lost without Him.
For me salvation is personal. I once was darkness but became light (Eph 5:8). I once was God’s enemy, but He redeemed me(Col 1: 21-22) and I once was lost and am found (Luke 15). What comfort I have in knowing that my salvation is not based on my own imperfect efforts, but on His perfect obedience to the Father’s Plan. For GOD so LOVED the World….
Thanks for the reply, Chris, and for providing so much scriptural support.
Amen to Chris’s post. As a Christian, I believe that we are saved through faith alone by grace alone through Christ’s work alone (Eph 2:9). Salvation is a free gift, not a human decision (John 1:13). Salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). These things can be tough for many to accept, but these are the things God has said clearly in His Word.
Too many people try to justify their own thoughts apart from the Bible, using scripture to match their own thoughts, rather than going to scripture first. Thanks for the commentary, Tommy!
I’m a Christian, but I feel like I have a different perspective on salvation because I live in a culturally primarily Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist. Christianity is so very different, and real Christians are so different from other religions, especially in terms of how they see the poor and lower class people. Hinduism teaches that people who are in lower stations of life got their by their own doing, that they deserve what they got. Christianity teaches that we’re all equal and sin leads to starving children and pain. As a result, Christians have a lot more of a reason and motivation to help uplift the downtrodden.
That was off-topic. But leading off of that: Christianity gives me the amazing freedom to know the God I serve. The veil between God and man was torn by Jesus on the cross. I no longer have to live in fear with a silent heaven. I have open communication. This forgiveness, this cleansing, and this love is something no other religion has.
And it’s epic. 🙂
Thanks for the comments, Mercy, and for your unique perspective!
Essentially, there is no other way to the Father except through Jesus Christ, so I agree with what the commentators above have said in that regard. But, salvation is a gift, which requires it to be accepted by the persons to whom it is offered. Some are like those whom the king invited to his banquet, but then offered excuses (Matt. 22: 1-14).
After the soul accepts Christ, it remains for the soul to persevere during trial and not to forsake the Faith: “These [trials] have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7). Persevering through trials makes one grow into maturity in Christ (Eph. 4:14-15) and become a true son of God through doing the Father’s will as Christ did (Matt. 12:50).
Good works, the food of the soul, are necessary for perseverance in faith (James 2:20). The parable of the sower describes people who receive the faith with joy but then fall away (Matt. 13:21). But, he who perseveres until the end shall be saved (Matt. 24: 13). But, in everything the grace of God is at work in order to lead people to salvation (Philippians 2:12-13).
And so, even though Jesus Christ offers us salvation and effects our salvation, being saved truly is an attainment on the part of the saved, because God does not save us without our will and our faith suffers from temptation. I think that this is completely in line with the Catholic Church’s teachings, as you might expect!
That’s interesting how you phrase that, coming from someone with the Protestant background I have. I think that we essentially believe the same thing when it comes to God’s role in salvation and our own, though we term and phrase these ideas differently.
That’s probably true. Catholics also emphasize good works. But if you ask whether any good work on part of a human being is enough to enter heaven, the answer is no. Only the Passion of Christ could gain the grace necessary for a soul to enter heaven. On the other hand, a grave sin could deny a soul entrance into heaven if it dies unrepentant of it, but God forgives anyone who is sincerely sorry.
And so, the emphasis on good works is for maintaining the faith. As St. Gregory of Nyssa put it: “Once the race of virtue ends, the race of evil begins.” And the path of evil leads to such hardness of heart that the soul not only despairs of God’s mercy but does not even want to be saved. And so, faith and good works go together.