Category: Faith and Works (page 1 of 5)

Do We Have to Earn Our Salvation?

Bible teach Ch 19

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

Can we earn our salvation by our works?

The Watchtower’s answer to that question is, “No.”

Based on that, an unsuspecting Christian might well think, “Oh, I guess the Watchtower accords with Paul.”

Not so!

Ask Jehovah’s Witnesses this question: “Do we have to prove worthy by our works in order to obtain salvation?”

If they are honest, they should answer that question, “Yes.” Continue reading

Our Need for Inner Transformation

Bible teach Ch 19

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

“Bible Teach”, Chapter 19, paragraph 7 (p. 186) says, “As described in the Bible, love for God is much more than a feeling… The Bible teaches: ‘This is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome.’ (1 John 5:3). To be genuine, love for God must bear fine fruit. It must be expressed in actions.”

What the Watchtower fails to understand is that none of this is possible without the inner transformation provided by the new birth (see The New Birth Approach from my book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways, pp. 131-133).

You can drive the point home by asking the Witnesses to tell you honestly how they think they are doing at keeping all of Jehovah’s commandments. Are they certain if they died tonight that Jehovah would consider them worthy to be resurrected? Continue reading

Is God’s Love Conditional?

Bible teach Ch 19

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

With the Watchtower’s emphasis on works, it’s not surprising that the title of the last chapter of the book comes from a partial quotation from Jude 21—“Remain in God’s Love.” Continue reading

Supposed Requirements of Prayer

Bible teach Ch 17

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

Paragraph 2 (p. 164) states, “If we want Jehovah to listen to our prayers…we must pray to him in the way that he approves.”

Although a Christian wouldn’t disagree with that statement, I’m struck by how much of the Watchtower’s teachings are phrased like provisions of a law code.

For example, paragraph 5 (p. 166) says, “For our prayers to be favorably heard by God… we must meet some basic requirements.” Continue reading

The Focus—Jesus or Us and Our Works?

Bible teach Ch 15

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

You may recall that in an earlier post, I wrote, “Watchtower study books repeat a number of points in the various chapters, so you may also have to repeat some points in various contexts or during several different sessions in order to get across your thoughts to the Witnesses. That’s fine, but don’t alienate them by beating a dead horse.”

That advice is especially applicable to this chapter.

Chapter 15—“Worship That God Approves”—doesn’t contain any new doctrinal teachings. Instead, it brings together things the book has already taught in an effort to convince you that the Watchtower religion is the only true religion and that you should join it.

So as you go through the chapter with the Witnesses, you’ll need to consider which points you have adequately challenged in your earlier discussions and which require reinforcement. Continue reading

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