The church endlessly contends that their doctrine of salvation is consistent with freedom from the law, with God’s love and grace, and the denial of salvation by works. Yet, in most every case, the church’s definition of salvation involves man’s obedience to certain requirements. Obedience by its nature involves a legal system (rewards and punishments) and laws (requirements). Laws restrict and restrain; they don’t promote freedom, which by definition is the lack of enforced restraint.
Salvation by obedience logically necessitates action on someone’s part. They must do something to comply and escape the consequences of non-compliance. Salvation happens when the individual acts.
No amount of “wordsmithing” has ever or will ever change the fact that salvation by obedience is based on human capability to get the story straight and then to act correctly.
As long as the church says that salvation is not of works, but yet I have to do something to be saved, I’ll continue to be confused. Some may see a meaningful difference between works which earn righteousness and actions which bring about righteousness, but I’m afraid those look and sound essentially identical to me. They also sound like a formula for failure, given all of OT history.