How to gain salvation according to Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Studies in the Scriptures 1 Page 150
The ransom for all given by the man Christ Jesus does not give or guarantee everlasting life or blessing to any man.
JWs teach that there are four requirements to salvation.
- Take in knowledge of God and Jesus
John 17:3 This means everlasting life, their coming to know (Greek word “ginosko”, understood by JWs to mean “taking in knowledge of”) you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
JWs understand “knowing” to mean “taking in knowledge”. It makes the requirement for salvation information rather than relational. The information JWs believe we need to take in refer to their teachings about God and Jesus.
Christians believe that this verse is talking about knowing God in the sense of having a relationship with him.
Matt 1:25 But he did not have sexual relations with (Greek word “ginosko” translated know in many other translations) her until she gave birth to a son, and he named him Jesus. (New World Translation)
Matt 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (King James Version)
The use of “ginosko” in Matt 1:25 clearly refers to relational, rather than Joseph not having any knowledge of Mary.
We have to know God personally in order to be saved. Because if we do not know God pesonally, then He does not know us personally and the Bible says that such people are not saved.
Galatians 4:8-9 Nevertheless, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those who are not really gods. But now that you have come to know God or, rather, have come to be known by God, how is it that you are turning back again to the weak and beggarly elementary things and want to slave for them over again?
To know God is also to be known by Him. Therefore, knowing refers to personal knowledge and not intellectual knowledge.
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’’
These people have knowledge of God but God still does not know them because they never had a personal relationship with Him.
2. Obeying God’s laws or works for salvation.
John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith (Greek word “pisteuo”) in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.
The NWT translates the Greek word for believe “pisteuo” as “exercise faith” because it implies doing works on the basis of one’s belief.
However, if we study the verses that talk about believing, it does not include the idea of works.
Jn 8:24 That is why I said to you: You will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am the one, you will die in your sins.”
Jn 10:38 But if I am doing them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may come to know and may continue knowing that the Father is in union with me and I am in union with the Father.”
Jn 11:27 She said to him: “Yes, Lord, I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
We see that believe is always in facts. When we say that we believe in Jesus, we are saying that we believe in the things Jesus said namely He is God and He came to die for our sins. It is impossible to expand the meaning of the word to include works.
Read more about this topic here.
There are two other requirements that JWs believe are necessary for salvation but these are not supported by the Bible.
3. Joining the Jehovah Witness
4. Loyalty or promoting the teachings of JWs