Religion Is All about How We Live, and the Religious Way to Live Is to Do Good (Continued)

Even so, there are many people in Christian churches who teach that it is faith alone that saves, and living a good life or doing what is good has nothing to do with it. They even go so far as to teach that living an evil life or doing what is evil does not damn those who have been justified by faith alone, because they are in God and in grace. Strange as it may seem, though, despite the fact that this is what they teach, they still have an acknowledgment (which comes from that widespread perception bestowed by heaven) that people are saved if they live a good life and damned if they live an evil life. We can see this acknowledgment in the prayer that is read to people who are taking the Holy Supper in churches in Britain and in Germany, Sweden, and Denmark. It is common knowledge that there are people in these countries who teach faith alone. The prayer that is read in Britain to people taking the sacrament of the Supper is the following.

The way and means to be received as worthy partakers of that Holy Table [the Holy Supper] is, first, to examine your lives and conversations [dealings with others] by the rule of God’s commandments, and wherever you shall perceive yourselves to have offended either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail your own sinfulness, and to confess yourselves to Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life; and if you shall perceive your offences to be such as are not only against God, but also against your neighbors, then you shall reconcile yourselves to them, being ready to make restitution and satisfaction according to the utmost of your power, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other, and being likewise ready to forgive others that have offended you, as you would have forgiveness of your offences from God’s hand; for otherwise the receiving of the Holy Communion does nothing else but increase your damnation. Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer of God, or a hinderer or slanderer of his Word, or an adulterer, or be in malice or envy or in any other grievous crime, repent of your sins, or else do not come to the Holy Table; lest after the taking of that Holy Sacrament the Devil enter into you, as he entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquities, and bring you to destruction of both body and soul.

from Life/Faith, Sections 4-5


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