Free At Last!
Throughout biblical history, the religious men have had a nasty little habit. Many of them find “religion,” learn the norms and excel up the, shall we call it, “ladder of religious success,” only to hold it over those who find themselves coming to the Lord at a later date. Jesus saved his most damning discourse for this type of people, calling them “hypocrites” and even worse. Later, we read of similar accounts in the New Testament writings of Paul, et al, who tell of so-called “religious” folks who preached that people needed to be circumcised or baptized, etc., to receive salvation. Let me be extremely clear on this one… What is required for salvation is first understanding that you need salvation, and then receiving [accepting, believing] in Jesus Christ alone for atonement. There is nothing you can do to earn it and nothing you can do to buy it. If anyone preaches Jesus Christ + absolutely ANYTHING (including baptism), they are preaching heresy.
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“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.” Galatians 5:1-3