LEADING JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES TO JESUS – Five Simple Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses on Faith and Works
Question 1: Why do we need salvation? Why can’t God accept us just as we are?
JW Response: All people are under the condemnation of death due to sin. (Romans 3:23; 6:23)
Question 2: Why did Jesus have to die to free us from sin? Why isn’t it enough to have our good works outweigh our bad works?
JW Response: It took a “perfect man” to free us from sin. (Romans 5:14-15). Jesus died so that we can receive the “gift” of eternal life. Works cannot save (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Question 3: Yes, I understand that good works cannot save, but doesn’t the Bible say that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-20)? Since faith without works is dead, when it comes to paying off our sin debt, do you think that it would be accurate to say that Christ made the down payment by his sacrifice but that it’s up to us to keep up the installments by our good works?
JW Response #1: Yes, that’s a good illustration of the way it works.
Christian Response: Well, then, how much of the debt is really paid off by Christ’s sacrifice and how much by our works? (This question will help the Jehovah’s Witness recognize that works cannot save and he will likely reply with response #2 below.)
JW Response #2: Well, Jesus paid for our sin through His sacrifice and it is our faith that produces good works in the life of a Christian. But these good works only prove that our faith (which saves us) is acceptable to Jehovah.
Question 4: This sounds good, but I still have a question, “If the evidence of our faith is our good works, how many good works are enough so that we know we will be forgiven and accepted by God?” For example, I know there are Jehovah’s Witnesses who do the door-to-door ministry full time and I imagine there are Witnesses who do very little. Most are probably somewhere in the middle. If I were a Witness, how could I know that I have enough faith that, if I died in the middle of the night, God would find my faith acceptable? I think of Peter, who had enough faith to walk on the water one minute and who almost drowned the next. Jesus said at that point that he had “little faith” (Matthew 14:28-33). How much is enough? How do I know that I am doing enough good works to prove my faith?
JW Response: I know that Jehovah sees your heart. I would think that if you are doing the “best you can,” Jehovah sees this and He will accept you.
Question 5: But how can I know that I’m “doing my best”? If you think about it and are truly honest, can’t you think of more things you could be doing to please Jehovah than what you are doing now? At what point can I be sure that I am doing my best? I can “try,” but how do I know that my “trying” is really “my best”?
CLOSING THOUGHTS: My point is that even while I am trying to “do my best” to please Jehovah, even my best is insufficient because the motivation of my “best” is an attempt to obtain something from Jehovah — that of his “favor” and “approval.” If anything I DO, can cause Jehovah to love and accept me more, how can His love and gift of salvation be said to be free and unconditional? How can I honestly believe that salvation is by faith without works, if it is conditional upon me doing my “best”? Is Jesus sufficient, or is He only a necessary step? If He is truly 100% sufficient for the payment of my sin-debt, why do I need to add “my best” for Jehovah’s acceptance of me?
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