Many Christian denominations promise salvation just by professing Jesus Christ and passing through the baptism ritual. Too often Christian Scientists assume they are a child of God just by claiming it! What utter nonsense!
The apostle Peter illustrates: he declared that Jesus was Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus praised him for his divinely inspired recognition. Shortly after, when Jesus announced to his disciples his impending brutal treatment and death, and Peter contradicted him with “No way is that going to happen to you,” Jesus rebuked him and addressed him as Satan!!
Later, after Peter declared he would never leave Jesus, sure enough, he denied him three times just prior to the crucifixion. To Peter’s credit, he never gave up. He kept the high goal before him, and each time he stumbled, he got up stronger than before. Even years later, when Paul rebuked him for his duplicitous behavior towards the Gentile Christians, there is no indication he reacted.
Peter was not entitled. He was not exempt from making mistakes and suffering the consequences. His early recognition of the Christ was not his ticket into heaven! It did, however, empower him to work out his own salvation.
Let this be a lesson to us as we proceed to a higher understanding. From “The Allegory” by Mary Baker Eddy - (NOTE: here Christian Science has nothing to do with church or denomination, but refers solely to the Way that Christ has shown us):
"He alone ascends the hill of Christian Science who follows the Way-shower, the spiritual presence and idea of God. Whatever obstructs the way, — causing to stumble, fall, or faint, those mortals who are striving to enter the path, — divine Love will remove; and uplift the fallen and strengthen the weak. Therefore, give up thy earth-weights; and observe the apostle's admonition, 'Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those which are before.' Then, loving God supremely and thy neighbor as thyself, thou wilt safely bear thy cross up to the throne of everlasting glory."
Recommendation: If you have 15 minutes, it will be well-spent listening to "The Allegory"