In a conversation with an Evangelical Christian they at one point commented with this.
《 I don’t ever see Jesus saying “give your best effort”. And, when He talks about eternal life, I don’t see Jesus ever combining effort/works/commandment keeping and believing. I only see one or the other. What do you make if that?》
The following is what I make of that
You’re welcome to take those views.
I see God requiring us to love and serve Him with all our heart might mind and strength (give our best effort everything we have)
If we don’t love God with all our heart might mind and strength we are failing.
And need something to save us from failure.
The other thing is that our effort, commandment keeping etc, they are part of believing, they are part of faith, they aren’t something foreign to or separate from faith they are facets of it.
If one claims faith and trust in Christ and isn’t a doer of the word, their faith is merely lip service and they will say “Lord Lord…” and be told He never knew them.
Obedience isn’t an addition to faith it is the very core of it. It isn’t a separate thing. It is simply a facet of it That’s they way I see Christ, James, Paul, John, Peter, and all the Holy prophets speaking about. It isn’t do this and this and this plus believe.
It is if you believe you’ll do, this and this, and this
And those that don’t do that aren’t believers or those that cease doing them are cut off the vine So where you see it as a this + that scenario when I describe it I see that view as totally foreign not only to my mindset, but to what the scriptures describe.
The condemnation of works in the NT is a condemnation of thinking:
1. That if we do xyz God will owe us Salvation or eternal life
2. That we can do enough and become enough to earn eternal life on our own.
That’s what Paul condemns not the righteousness and obedient living of discipleship.
Paul declares that such a life is necessary and that if one claims to be a believer they have to do those things, and that such things are a part of the whole of belief.
Christ declares it too, that’s why He says we must take up our Cross, put His yoke upon us, be ye therefore perfect etc.
Because faith or fidelty (the word used in Greek), staying true to something (Christ) is what saves us. You can’t stay true to Christ if you aren’t doing what He asks, becoming what He desires, and walking the path He walked, relying on Him and the power of His Atonement to cleanse us, strengthen us, enlarge our capacity, provide mercy and forgiveness then you don’t truly have “faith” or fidelity to Christ.