Not as initial conditions, no. (As MacDonald will say, in horror at the idea, “So, in order to be righteous, all you have to do is set your foot on top of that mountain peak up there!” Not very helpful when we’re down here in the valley!) Consider, was Israel ever covenanted with God, or not? Certainly God is reported as thinking they are!–and He with them. Otherwise, He couldn’t be legitimately angry at Israel for being covenant breakers. Yet they were practically never perfect at keeping their covenant, and often very much worse than what we would now consider (or even might still have considered back then) averagely decent. (… … … um… I declare “averagely” to be a real word. )
Are these conditions required of us? Yes–always keeping in mind that the forsaking can only be relative to the objects. The God Who is intrinsically love, cannot actually be expecting us to hate our relatives, spouses and friends. But we must be prepared to choose God over them; in fact we must choose God over them. God first, anything else is secondary at best.
Yet the first thing that God will say to us as His servants will be: go and love everyone else in cooperation with Him. Thus, as the Synoptic saying also goes, he who gives up everything for God shall have it back a hundred fold. God wants to give us everything, and does give us everything–all that isn’t sinful. But we have to seek everything from their Source, otherwise we’re in rebellion. And, just as importantly, we mustn’t try to take–this is the hardest thing of all to learn, I suspect. (It is for me, anyway. ) We must learn to receive, instead of taking. And then, to give.
Are these conditions required of us for salvation? Well, salvation from what? From our sins? Yes, certainly: unless we are perfectly righteous, then we are still being sinful in some way! (Always keeping in mind, however, that someone may be perfectly righteous within the limits that he or she has. A baby, even though cursed with original sin-effect, is perfectly righteous to God. But a baby doesn’t have anywhere near the abilities of, let’s say, a two-year old: who may easily already be sinning, according to her capabilities. A heartbreaking thing to see, as terrible as it is wondrous to see her growing in being righteous, too.)
But, does God require us to do such things, before He saves us from sin? Or, in doing such things, do we save our selves from sin? No, no, no, no. I deny it. The latter is a rank impossibility; the first is just the same impossibility to which is added a contradiction: if God required us to save ourselves from sin before saving us from sin Himself, there would be nothing for God to save us from! But it is ontologically and in every other way impossible for us to save ourselves from sin apart from the One Who is love and fair-togetherness. It would be trying to set ourselves up as an equal and competing ultimate standard: we who are not even a (much less the) interpersonal self-existent unity of fair-together-ing action at the heart and the ground of all dependent reality. God sends Himself as the Holy Spirit into our hearts, leading us to righteousness, bringing us into common union together with each other, and bringing us into communion with the overarching reality of the Father and the Son.
(Even the Eastern Orthodox, who deny the “filioque” doctrine, agree in principle with this doctrine, as far as I can tell. There’s a technical reason for this, I think, having to do with persons interacting with one another either as or else within an overarching field of reality. In order to go much further with this, though, I would have to discuss my metaphyiscal rationale for accepting the filioque doctrine: that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son in a relationship to the Father that isn’t at all the same as the relationship of the Son to the Father–the Spirit proceeds and is not being-begotten; the Son is being begotten, different from proceeding. Even though the EOx agree there must be some real distinction of action, they stumble badly trying to make it out to be anything other than a polysyllabic variation of one or the other, or so I have found. But I am going too far off topic, now. Sorry. )
So, no: God does not require us to be perfectly righteous, before He will save us from anything–especially from our sins! This is love, that while we yet were sinners, God loved us, and acted to save us from our sins. In saving us from our sins, we become righteous, not only growing in righteousness (we would have done that anyway as unfallen persons), but doing justice instead of injustice, which is rather a different kind of growth. God sends Himself as the Holy Spirit into our hearts (and specially so for Christians, or so we are told in scripture–but also for everyone else as well, not to exclude them but to include them, grafting them into the promises to Abraham and even to our earliest rational ancestors); the Spirit acts to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit in us (peace, love, joy, faithfulness, etc.); we either, as responsibly rational creatures, cooperate with the Spirit or not; when we do, the Spirit succeeds in growing the fruits of righteousness in us to be given to one another and also back to God; when we do not cooperate, we’re sinning (at least against God, and probably also against a creation of God’s); when we sin, the Spirit convicts us of sin, through our conscience (which can be a messy and very imprecise business) with the goal of leading us home again to righteousness–also with the goal of curing any effects of sin in our lives (whether we or some other sinner introduced those effects). This is the everlasting fire (“our God”, the Holy Spirit, is often described as fire, and blatantly in Hebrews as “a consuming fire”): the exact same pura eonian operating in the “Gehenna” of condemnation. “For everyone shall be salted with fire! And salt is ideal… Have salt in yourselves, therefore, and be at peace with one another.” (Mk 9:49-50)
Or anyway, this is what I have found. Opinions differ, obviously.
So, in sum, I would answer: “yes”. It is possible to meet the high demand of the passages, but meeting that high demand is not required before God will save us–salvation being a freely given gift of God.
Those high demands are also our destination. Direction first, then perfection. To hit a target smaller than the tip of your sword, first we must be thrusting, then thrusting in the correct direction, then thrusting with some accuracy in the correct direction, then we must be able to hit the target reliably every time we thrust. If we never start to thrust, or insist on thrusting somewhere other than even the basic direction… First we resolve to walk; then we orient ourselves toward the mountain; then we move in that direction; then we find the stairs; then we begin to climb the stairs, starting at the bottom; then we climb the stairs; then we climb the final stair–and then we grow wings and fly. (“We will only perish in the fatal cold and unbreathable air at the top of the mountain,” MacD says. “We must grow wings and learn to fly, if we are to live.” And that takes a miracle.)
Or, as I once saw a stage magician eloquently put it: first we scare the watermelon (throwing a playing card and missing); then we wound the watermelon (throwing a playing card, and nicking a notch in the rind); and then… (launching several more cards into the soft spot left behind by the second card. Though frankly this is more like what the Holy Spirit does to us! )
And until we are totally committed to the covenant God has made with us (and being the living and acting standard of righteousness Himself, to which covenant He Himself is totally committed), then we have not yet been saved. We are not perfect yet, as our heavenly Father is perfect. Until the Bride is faithful to her ever-faithful Husband, the marriage has not been saved, has it? Until then, whenever we sin, we are being adulterers: the marriage relationship is still on the rocks.
So, with qualifications, I would agree with all three of the interpretations that you have reported. I only reject the versions of 1 and 3 which involve the teaching of many rabbis (before and to some extent after the final Diaspora): “if only we of Israel would keep the commandments perfectly, for even one single day, God would have mercy on us and send the Messiah to save us.”
But God loved Israel vastly more than they were expecting. And everyone else as well.
(So, of course, they killed Him for it. In effect, we do the same thing: God loves all of us more than we are expecting, or even are able to recognize; and we abuse His grace, murdering God insofar as we can when we sin.)
11:00pm! Time for bed! Work tomorrow.