14
Jul
08

A Brief Mormon Definition of Salvation

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Have you ever told your Mormon friends that you believe that Jesus saved you and they readily agreed with you? Numerous Christians have shared with me their experience in this — and have been frustrated to no end. They know their Mormon friends believe differently about salvation, but it sure sounds Christian at the surface.

 

The reason for your frustration is that when you do dig deeper you find that Mormonism defines salvation much differently than Christianity does. When Christians talk about salvation, we are talking about how we can go to heaven because Jesus saved us from the punishment of sin by paying for our sins with his death. On the other hand, most Mormons equate salvation with being resurrected, not going to heaven. When Mormons talk to you about salvation, they think of Jesus saving them from the grave. Jesus has provided a way to save them from physical death. That’s why they can agree with us when we talk about Jesus saving us.

 

In sharing their belief about salvation, I don’t think that most Mormons are not trying to be deceptive. This is simply the definition that they were taught and raised up with in the church. Consider this quote from a book for small children. “Jesus was the first to be resurrected and because of him, all the people on the earth will someday be resurrected. That is why we call him ‘Savior’. He saved the world from death. He is the resurrection and the life.” (Talks for Tots, p. 113)

 

The word, “salvation”, is just one of numerous words that are defined differently by Mormons and Christians. Therefore, it is essential, when talking with your Mormon friends, to carefully define key Christian terms and right them down as a reference. That would be the loving and respectful thing to do.

 

My name is Mark Cares and I encourage you to speak the truth in love to your Mormon friends, neighbors and family members.

 

 

 

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17 Responses to “A Brief Mormon Definition of Salvation”


  1. July 17, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Mark
    The bible is exquisitely clear. 1 Peter 3:18-4:6. How could it be any clearer? While He was yet in the spirit world after His crucification Christ went to the spirits who lived during Noah’s time to preach to them. Why would He have done such a thing if their days on earth determined where they would spend eternity? Why would He have done that if His atonement covered everything – if there was no need for anything else? Why would it be necessary to preach to those people if there was no hope for them? Why would He preach to them if there was no repentance after death and thereby the ability to improve their situation post mortem? I suggest because salvation only means to resurrect and that by repentance the dead can improve their lot after death. That is why the Savior went to them – to preach to them the same things to them that He preached on earth.

    I know some biblical commentators will say Christ didn’t descend to hell, but rather He went to them after His ascension. But the Greek for went is poreuomai which is used 117 times in the bible as go, and 11 times as depart, 9 times as walk. The Greek for prison is phulake which is used to mean a place guarded by sentinels. These people (spirits of the dead) were not asleep but were conscious and able to interact. There would be no reason for Christ to preach to them otherwise. These people were not in Heaven and they did not sleep. If they were not in hell or heaven why were they in this prison if all they were doing was awaiting condemnation? If they were not awaiting the resurrection of a physical body why were they not in hell already? Clearly Peter intended to say Christ approached these spirits who were in prison with the divine purpose of preaching the Gospel to them, the same Gospel that says to repent and accept the Gospel and Jesus as the Christ and be retrieved from the awful fate that awaits them otherwise.

  2. 2 markcares
    July 19, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Jack:
    In 1 Peter 3:19 the Greek word translated preach is kerusso which literally means “herald” or “announce publicly”. It is not euaggelizo which means to “preach the gospel”. 1 Peter 3:19 does not say Jesus preached the gospel to those spirits. It doesn’t tell us what he announced to them or why he announced it. Could he not have announced his victory to them, not to bring them to repentance, but to emphasize the completeness of his victory? What a wonderful assurance it is that Jesus so totally vanquished the devil that he could hold a victory procession in hell itself! See Colossians 2:15.
    If “salvation means only to resurrect” why does the Bible so often connect salvation with believing? Romans 1:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9 are just two of many such examples. Does that mean only believers will be resurrected since salvation comes through faith?

  3. 3 JLFuller
    July 19, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Actually kerusso is used as preach 51 times, publish 5 times and proclaim twice in the NT. So using it in its most oft used sense, the Savior preached to them.

  4. 4 JLFuller
    July 19, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” In this case, the theme is believing in the Gospel as a means to salvation. I suggest that means in its entirety not just pieces. Ergo, all the principles of the gospel as taught not just one part. Lots of people believe Jesus is the Christ but don’t go beyond that. Just believing in and of itself doesn’t get the job done.

    Ephesians 2:8-98 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” That is pretty clear and is what we LDS believe too. No matter what we do, it is Christ’s atonement that saves us. But if you take its most literal and exclusicve sense, what do we do with “For we are saved by hope…”(Rom 8:24), “…the gospel…by which also ye are saved…”(1 Cor 15:1-3)”we shall be saved by his life” (Rom 5:10). Mormons take it one step and suggest we actually have to do something. We believe we must be obedient too i.e. “faith without works”. But I think we kind of got off track. Were not we talking about salvation vis a vie resurrection? We aren’t so far apart on this one. If you want to come over to http://mormonthing.wordpress.com/ I would be glad to go a little more in depth on this with you. I would do it here but it works better for me there. And you would have a couple other like thinkers to support your way of thinking. Just let it all rip.
    Jack

  5. 5 JLFuller
    July 19, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Mormons and Baptists are a lot closer than some would think. Otherwise, why would 300,000 Baptists have converted? My sense is we exchange members because we are alike in so many ways. We may be more alike than makes either of us comfortable.

  6. 6 JLFuller
    July 19, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    The green Jello and root beer is on me.

  7. 7 markcares
    July 19, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    On kenusso: I have no problem with translating it as “preach” but it does not follow that it means “preach the gospel”. For example Gal 5:11 circumcision is what was preached; in Acts 15:21 Moses was preached. 1 Peter 3:19 doesn’t say that Jesus preached the gospel to them.
    ButI agree. We are off track. The difference is how we define gospel As you state, Mormons take it one step further and say we have to do something. That one step (I would say official LDS doctrine spells out more than one step)makes all the difference in the world and separates Mormonism from Christianity. The Bible clearly links salvation with faith. Look at John 3:16-18. No mention of works or obedience there. Just belief.
    But I am still curious on how you can equate salvation with resurrection, when Mormonism teaches that all will be resurrected regardless of faith but the Bible links salvation with faith?

  8. 8 JLFuller
    July 19, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    It is easily understood when you look at “salvation” as universal. “Exaltation” however is the result of obedience (which is not universal) when coupled with the resurrection. Admittedly the two are used interchangeably but they really are different. This may be explained better by relating the story of the drowning man. The Savior throws the rope to him from the shore but the man has to grab and hold on to it while being pulled a shore. Everyone will be resurrected and get a body just as the Savior had when He was resurrected and ascended. But not everyone will be exalted. Some will be cast into outer darkness (eternal damnation) even though they have been resurrected. By exalted I mean partakers of Christ’s full inheritance i.e. theosis*. That is why Christ was preaching to those in spirit prison. Those who had never heard of Christ or the Gospel should by all rights get an equal chance to learn of the Gospel and accept or reject it.

    You say you are having trouble with Christ preaching the gospel to those in prison. But why else would He be there? What would He be preaching if it wasn’t the Gospel? It is His nature. It is His calling to save mankind or all who will listen and accept. It seems to me He would most likely continue on the other side what He was doing here given there is still work to be done. I think He may very well address those who are condemned to permanent separation and eternal damnation but not until the end of the earth and we have a long way to go before we get there.

    Yes, obedience may sound too simple for what is expected, but disregarding the behaviors outlined in scripture doesn’t work either. They are not throw-a-ways or optional. At least as we understand it.

    One more thing-

    *We may have a different view on whether theosis means god-like or godhood. But Mormons do not believe it means God as co-equal with God the Father. Some commentators think we are polytheists and that we believe in more than one God. That isn’t exactly correct. We believe as the bible says that there are many beings who are gods but there is only one God – the Eloheim. Scripture confirms that. The Hebrew is “Berosheit baurau, Eloheim ait aushamayeen vehau auraits.” Translated it means “The head one of the Gods said, Let us make a man in our own image.” Some translate Paul’s 1 Corinthians 8:5 comments as meaning pagan gods. However the Hebrew translation of Genesis above is clearer. Mormons believe it means gods as in sons of God the Father or those who partake of Christ’s inheritance in its fullness.

  9. July 21, 2008 at 8:39 am

    In advance, I’d like to apologize. I did not take the time to read all of the comments, so forgive me if I repeat something that has already been said.

    As a member of the LDS Church, I hope I can help to clear up this definition of “salvation.”

    When we say the word “salvation” in the LDS Church, it can mean many different things. As you already mentioned, it could mean salvation from physical death. However, we also use the word salvation to mean salvation as sin. This is similar to the definition you gave, “When Christians talk about salvation, we are talking about how we can go to heaven because Jesus saved us from the punishment of sin by paying for our sins with his death.” We, too, believe that this is salvation.

    If you’re familiar with the Book of Mormon, a good verse on this is Mosiah 3:18, “…believe that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.” The atoning blood of Christ will cleanse us of our sins. Thus we see that we do actually equate salvation with having our sins paid for :)

    I hope this clears up the definition a little. God bless.

  10. 10 markcares
    July 21, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    I’m assuming you are referring to Genesis 1:26. If so, I don’t know what you are translating especially “the head one of the Gods.” I pulled out my Hebrew Bible and it is straightforward “God (Elohim) sai”
    Now that you are brought up the subject, I am curious on how you explain the many passages in the Old Testament that talk about the LORD God where Jehovah and Elohim are combined into one name. (i.e. Genesis 2:7) How does that square with the LDS teaching that equates Elohim with Heavenly Father and Jehovah with Jesus?

  11. 11 JLFuller
    July 22, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Mark
    Genesis 2:7 ” 7 And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

    According to Strongs #430 the principle definition of the Greek, as it is used here, is Elohiym which means God or gods. But I am not sure that is what you were after. Correct me if I am wrong but the big question seems to be how to reconcile the Trintarian view of the Trinity with what the bible is clearly saying about Jesus Christ, God the Father and the Holy Ghost as sepertate beings. Am I right?

    Mark 13:32 says God the Father knew someting even Christ didn’t know. “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” This says quite clearly the two are different beings. John 14:28 confirms it too. “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.John 20:17 says it too – “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”

    So – to answer your question “How does that square with the LDS teaching that equates Elohim with Heavenly Father and Jehovah with Jesus?”. If I understood your question correctly I would say the bible says so. That was very good question Mark.

  12. 12 JLFuller
    July 22, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Mark
    On the 19th you said “But I am still curious on how you can equate salvation with resurrection, when Mormonism teaches that all will be resurrected regardless of faith but the Bible links salvation with faith?” The Book of Mormon is unequivocal on the issue of salvation by the grace of Christ. 2 Nephi 10:24 “remember, after ye are reconciled unto God that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved”. There are many other passages as well. But biblical passages say so too.

    Christ admonished us concerning repentance in Matthew 4:17; Luke 12:3, 5. Matthew 11:20-24 talks about condemnation for not repenting. He required his disciples to follow his teachings and commandments (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49) and said that they would be rejected at the Day of Judgment if they did not do so (Matthew 7:21-23). While the Book of Mormon teaching that we are “saved by grace after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23), may conflict with the theology of some modern Christian groups, it is consistent with Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament. http://farms.byu.edu/faq.php?id=22&table=questions.

  13. 13 JLFuller
    July 22, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Mark
    I left a bit out. In conclusion, it seems quite clear that faith alone is not sufficent. You have to do something too. We have to obey Christ’s commandments otherwise mere faith is meaningless.

  14. 14 markcares
    July 23, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Just a couple of points. I have found that many LDS people don’t understand and thus misrepresent the Christian teaching of the Trinity. We do believe that there are three separate persons in the Trinity. That is the tri part of the word. I don’t believe that the Father is the Son or the Son is the Holy Ghost etc. But at the same time that the Bible talks about three distinct persons, it also describes each separately as God, and then on top of it, says there is only one God. 3 distinct and equal persons but one God! I will readily admit that I can’t begin to fathom that. But, this might surprise you, I am glad that I can’t. I don’t want a God that I can understand. I want a God that it is so much greater than myself. I find a lot of comfort in the fact that my God is so great that I can’t begin to fathom him.

    I have to also disagree with your statement that “we are saved after all we can do may conflict with the theology of some modern Christian groups”. That conflicts with historic Christianity, and most importantly, with the teachings of Jesus and the Bible. But I am glad that you brought that up. That is by far the most important difference between Mormonism and Christianity. And I do not believe it is a minor difference either. I am sure that you don’t see it as a minor difference either. As you say, you believe faith alone is not sufficient. I, and millions of Chnristians, believe it is. Because of this and other differences, I have to wonder why the LDS Church is trying so hard to identify itself as Christian. Maybe the question I need to ask you is how do you see me? Do you see me as a fellow Christian?

  15. February 4, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Mark Cares:

    On the other hand, most Mormons equate salvation with being resurrected, not going to heaven. When Mormons talk to you about salvation, they think of Jesus saving them from the grave. Jesus has provided a way to save them from physical death. That’s why they can agree with us when we talk about Jesus saving us.

    Timothy:

    According to Paul, Adam’s Transgression (Original Sin which was developed and preached by Augustine) included Sin and Death. The Original Sin is disobedience to the laws and commandments of God. This is what separates us from God. Thus, in this sense, yes, we inherited the potentiality to disobey. However, we are not “depraved” to the point that we are utterly despicable because John 1 does say that men are born into this world with the Light of Christ – which means, they are born with the ability to comprehend and distinguish the difference between what is Morally Right and what is Morally Wrong. In fact, the Apostle Paul opens up Romans with what is known as Natural Theology. The idea that if no Christian preacher were to go to a tribe and preach Christ to them, they are still saved in the sense that they see God in nature and worship according to how they understand and comprehend God. He then contrasts these people with those who worship Nature in the place of a Divine Supreme Being (how do you think the Intelligent Design Argument is substantiated?).

    The point is that Christ did not just come and save mankind from Sin. Nowhere will you find that Christ died on the Cross for Sin. What you will find is that Christ died for Sin as the appropriate and perfect Sacrifice needed – the Law of Moses called this the Atonement Sacrifice. This was the purpose and symbolism that Abraham was commanded to give up his only son, Isaac (which was long before the Law of Moses).

    So, according to your statement there, because Mormon’s equate salvation with that of being cleansed from the transgression of Adam, and being cleansed from our past sins through the Death of Christ, and are able to Rise up with a resurrected body because Christ overcame death and the grave as well – then you are calling several significant bible passages heretical doctrines:

    Paul in Romans 6 says that Baptism is symbolism to Christ’s Death, Burial and Resurrection. Therefore, Paul is in error and preaching a false doctrine according to Mark Cares. Therefore, Mark Cares needs to remove that passage out of his Bible.

    Peter, in Acts 2:38 tells the congregation of people who asked what must they DO TO BE SAVED that they must REPENT, be BAPTIZED FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, and Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Peter, according to Mark Cares, stated a false doctrine of Salvation and teaches a works based doctrine on how those present witnessing Pentecost ought to perform to be saved. Mark Cares needs to cross out Acts 2:38 from his Bible and replace it with the Modern Evangelical Alter Call where Peter says “pray the sinners prayer because you believe on Christ and that is all you need to do to be saved”

    Matthew 22:30 Christ says that in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage because the Sadduccees denied the Resurrection. Another passage that Mark Cares needs to remove from his Bible. It is not Biblical doctrine and true Christian teaching.

    Matthew 27:52, the graves were opened and the saints who slept arose from their graves and entered the Holy City. This was after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Again, another passage of scripture that needs to be removed – again, because Mark Cares says that the Resurrection and the conquering of physical death is not part of the Salvation and Atonement that Christ provided.

    Luke 14:14 talks about being Recompensed at the Resurrection – meaning, man will be judged on how they lived their live after they are resurrected.

    Luke 24:39, Christ appears and states that he is not a spirit but a resurrected being. Christ never rose from the Dead because, after all God can’t have a physical body of flesh and bone that is a glorified resurrected being because of the Trinitarian Doctrine. God is One Being in three separate essence and personages comprising the same substance. This is according to the Nicene Creed and modern Evangelical Interpretation. Christ therefore is wrong here. Mark Cares says so.

    John 5:29 talks of those who have done good will be resurrected unto Eternal Life. Wow, this is Mormon Doctrine, it is False and Heretical the Apostle John definitely was preaching a false teaching here. Mark Cares says so because man is only saved from his sin and not from sin and death.

    John 6:54, will be raised up in the last day. Another resurrection passage.

    John 11:25 – Christ declared that he is the RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE: Apparantly he was wrong and self-delusional – Mark Cares says this is Anti-Biblical and Anti-Christian and false (read what he said in the above quote if you don’t believe me, they are his own words).

    Acts 2:24 God raised Christ up and loosed the pains. Who did God raise up? Jesus Christ. Peter must have been wrong here as well.

    Acts 4:33 Apostles witness the Resurrection of the Lord – apparently they were deluded and really did not see this happen.

    Acts 17: 32, resurrection of the Dead – Man is not saved from Physical Death – Mark Cares says so, Christ only saves men from Sin on because he died on the Cross. Again, his own words not mine. He disagrees with this passage as well.

    Acts 24:15 Paul talks of the Resurrection of the Dead – BOTH THE JUST AND THE UNJUST. Which means, according to Paul Believers and Unbelievers will be resurrected. But, again, according to Mark Cares, Paul is wrong here as well because he believes that Modern Evangelical (or his branding of it – teaches that Christ died for the Sinner to save man from sin and not Sin and Death).

    Acts 26:8 Paul again says that God will raise the Dead. Mark Cares disagrees with this biblical passage because, again, Christ came to save man from sin and not from sin and death.

    Romans 6:5 We shall be in his likeness of his resurrection (referring to the Baptism of Immersion as a similitude of Christ’s DEATH, BURIAL, and RESURRECTION). Again, another passage of the Bible that Mark Cares says Christ did not really preach and teach.

    Romans 8:11, Paul says that our mortal bodies will be quicken. Resurrected.

    1 Corinthians 6:14 God will raise up by his own power. The same power God the Father used to Raise up Jesus Christ.

    1 Corinthians 15 – the Resurrection Passage where the Apostle Paul disputes and resolves the debate as to whether or not there is going to be the resurrection of believers and unbelievers alike.

    2 Corinthians 1:9 we are to trust in God who raises the dead…. Why should we if being Resurrected is not linked to the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

    Ephesians 2:5 – being quickened with Christ.

    Philippians 3:21 change our vile (mortal) so that it will be fashioned like unto his (Christ’s). But Christ can’t have a physical body of flesh and bone because this means Christ was resurrected and resurrection is not part of the Salvation package of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

    1 Thessalonians – the Dead in Christ will rise First (First Resurrection).

    2 Timothy 2:18 erred that the resurrection has already occurred.

    Hebrews 11:35 that they might obtain a better resurrection – wait a minute, how does one attain a better resurrection? This must mean that there are different rewards and inheritance that are not as better as the other. What is this better resurrection? Oh Wait, Resurrection from physical death is not part and parcel to the plan of salvation.

    1 Peter 1:3 We have a lively hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Not a lively hope in his death, but by His RESURRECTION… but Peter is wrong because our Hope is in the Christ who hung on the cross not on his Resurrection. According to Mark Cares.

    1 Peter 3:21 – Peter teaches that believers are saved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ… Peter is wrong here as well, because as Mark Cares says, Resurrection is not part of the Gospel of Grace and the Salvation of Mankind.

    1 Jn 3:2 – When Christ appears, we shall be like him. Meaning we will also have a glorified resurrected body of flesh and bone – but, according to Mark Cares, this is not pure Biblical Doctrine, nor is it part of the Gospel of Grace.

    Revelation 20:6 – Those who participate in the first resurrection are blessed and HOLY… WHAT!!!??? They are Blessed and Holy….. Oh, but this is false as well.

    Now, this is just the New Testament Passages that touch on those passages which reference the doctrine of the Resurrection and how it is part of the Atonement and that Christ conquered sin and death together.

    So, who is right? According to the Bible, Mark Cares is exposed as a false teacher of a false doctrine of a false Christianity that is Anti-Christ.

    It is right there in the Bible. How can you dispute it? You can’t dispute the word of God can you? Unless well, you interpret it with modern Evangelical goggles that state man is saved from their depraved sinful state because God saves man and man can’t do anything to save himself and resurrection is not part of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

    As for me, I put my trust in what the Bible says, not what Mark Cares seems to think the Bible Says, and yes I am Mormon and I am proud to be a believer in Jesus Christ who is Saved from Sin and Death.

    Can any Christian testify that Christ saved them from Physical Death? No, because Christ did not save us from Physical death, but Sin only.

    Isn’t delusions of Grandeur fun?

  16. July 19, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Having recently listened to Glenn Beck’s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm0h0AFM5Vw&feature=related) comments on Atonement…I’m further convinced that Mormon’s are rightly called Mormons and not Christian.

    Beck tries hard to unite himself to the historic apostolic faith in the Gospel, but ends up showing his hand when he adds “the Golden Rule” to the “Good News” :
    1) To receive his salvation, you accept his forgiveness of sins and live your life according to his will. That’s what every Christianity, Christian church in the country, in the world believes! This is biblical.
    2) You accept his forgiveness and then you live your life according to his will. Meaning, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you!” That’s what it means!

    As Mark has rightly said here, Mormonism at a glance appears “biblical” (according to the Christian bible) but upon further investigation is found wanting. Theirs, like all false religion, is ultimately hinged upon the works of the so-called “believer” as the “ultimate” cause for justification. Whereas, the Christian Scriptures (pre-100 A.D. apostolic writing) clearly proclaim that justification is by faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ alone. Not Jesus plus anything!

    The entire body of Mormon doctrine is not in keeping with the historic, biblical doctrine of the Gospel (1Tim.1.10-11).

    As for water baptism being essential to salvation (justification)…the Apostle Paul thought differently: 1Cor.1:17 “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

    Mormonism is fundamentally a distortion of the Gospel, so too anything that adds to the historic, finished redeeming work of Jesus Christ: Gal.1:6-7 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” Jesus plus anything is nothing!

    Any teaching that supports this ‘Jesus+something’ doctrine is erroneous; it is simply not Christian that a true believer must add one work to Christ’s finished work in order to be justified before the one and only Holy God in all existence everywhere: Gal.2:14-16 “But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”

    The Apostle Paul made quite clear that genuinely justified before God by faith in Christ’s work will likewise bear fruit in keeping with the Gospel, as they are made partakers in the New Creation that began in Christ’s personal, historic resurrection: Gal 2:19-21 “For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” NOTE: The “good works” to be found in the true believer are those that Christ brings about thru the Holy Spirit’s abiding within that believer, not by the mere striving of the individual believer. The life the believer lives is NO LONGER their own.

    Obedience in the believer’s life is for the sake of the Gospel, not in order to justify oneself before God: Phil.1:27 “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” And yet, it is the Gospel itself that possess the power of God for all of salvation (justification, sanctification, glorification): Rom.1.15-17 “So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.””

    Those who are counted righteous (justified) in God’s sight become so only by faith in the Gospel (Christ’s personal and perfect work, 2000 years ago!) and go on “living” and “growing” by this same faith in the Gospel: 2Cor.3:17-18 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

    Once again, the Apostle Paul made quite clear that there will be no other Gospel whereby one can be saved from God’s wrath (propitiation) than the one he preached: Gal 1:8-9 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”

  17. 17 markcares
    July 21, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Matthew:
    Thanks for the comment. I have been away fro a week. That is why it took me a few days to approve your comment and then also reply to you.
    Blessings as you enjoy being perfect in and through Christ


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