I have always been perplexed by this...it's the debate about what saves, "faith" or "works", and yes most christians seem to answer "Faith" because, presumably, no amount of "good deeds" can save you. Which I do not understand. Jesus spend his minister teaching people how to behave in everyday situations, towards other people. That was basically it. The reason I believe jesus is saviour is because he gave us a "roadmap", so to speak, both with teaching and his example, on how to live a spiritual life, which will be the thing that "saves" us. Otherwise, if you don't do the work, what substance does this "faith" has? Is it merely proclaiming "Christ is saviour"? Those are just empty words. I guess I view things a bit differently, when Jesus says, for example, "noone can get to the kingdom of God except through me" I hear "me" as in "following my footsteps and do as I teach". Other christians apparently view it as in, you can't get into heaven if you're not Christian, which, again, if you look into it, what does it mean to "be Christian"? Be part of an official church? Proclaim that "Jesus is Lord"? Praying on your own? As far as I'm concerned, it's about doing the work that Jesus demanded of people. But I digress...
Pretty much the same as I think about Jesus.
It is said that Jesus started "teaching" very late in his life (at the age of 28-30~. He died at 33 and resurrected 3 days later). Before that he lived a perfectly normal life as carpenter to sustain his mother. Which again backs up the notion of having some experience in life before approaching people to speak about religion.
My prior post was a drunk post so it was fairly incomplete (yes I'm not perfect). Any good deed a christian makes must be preceded by God. And God should be above all things in a christian's life. That's to say, above all your passions, in such a way that when the time comes you'll willing to "hate" them in order to embrace God's will or in other words: making God's will your passion. That and faith are gifts, and are veiled by mystery (otherwise it'd be a career and not a religion) which means that we cannot really see nor understand God's will by our own.
To me the whole point of Christianity is to remove ourselves from the place of "gods/emperors of our lives" to let God drive our acts. That doesn't mean to stop making decisions, it just means to be open to the possibility of changing them, to recognize ourselves as imperfect, tending most of the time towards the "things of the flesh" and in need of help from someone who is really much better than us.
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
It doesn't matter how hard we think we try, there is always something we cannot do by ourselves. That what we cannot do by ourselves, if not lend to God, is what condemn us to great sadness, in this life and in the other.