04
Mar
09

Worry

 

     In the present economy there are a lot of worried people.  That is why Jesus’ words in Matthew 6: 25-34 are so comforting as he tells his disciples not to worry.  But these words also do something else.  They show us that worry is a sin.

     More than once in these verses Jesus gives the command: “Take no thought”.  Take no thought about food or clothing or tomorrow.   Therefore every time we have “anxious concern” (LDS Bible footnote) about such things, we are going against his command.  We are breaking it.  We are sinning.

     What is even more sobering is that we don’t even have to express those worries.  God knows everything.  He sees into every nook and cranny of our heart.  Therefore all we have to do is be worried – and we have sinned.  We are imperfect.

     And that sin is serious.  Someone once described worry as a little form of atheism.  When we worry we are sending a message that we don’t trust that God will provide for us – that we don’t believe what Jesus says in Matthew 6. 

     Whenever I catch myself worrying, I find myself thanking Jesus for washing that sin away with his blood.  I find myself rejoicing knowing that I am completely forgiven in Him.   Because Jesus has given me his righteousness, I remain confident that God continues to see me as perfect. 

     Compare that to the message of Mormonism:  “Perfection is a word that causes different reactions from many people.  Some people say, ‘Perfection?  Why, that is impossible!’  Others say, ‘Perfection?  I get discouraged just thinking about it!’  Yet would the Lord give a commandment that was impossible for us to keep?  And when he gives a commandment, doesn’t he, as Nephi said, prepare a way for us to accomplish what he commands?  The Sermon on the Mount is the Lord’s blueprint for perfection.”  (The Life and Teachings of Jesus & His Apostles, p. 57)  (Please note:  the command to “take no thought” is part of the Sermon on the Mount.)

      I prefer Psalm 103:12.  “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”  Thank you, Jesus.

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40 Responses to “Worry”


  1. 1 Susan
    March 5, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Thanks Mark………… needed this one today!

  2. 2 ladonnamorrell
    March 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Darn those humble Mormons who don’t think they are perfect yet!
    I believe that perfection is a process and that the Lord WILL open up a way for me to accomplish it. And when I have done my very best, holding nothing back, then I know the Lord will do the rest! That is why every day I do my best to keep the commandments and obey God. He is the author of Salvation to ALL THOSE WHO OBEY HIM.

  3. 3 GERMIT
    March 6, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Nice post, Mark

    somewhere towards the end of PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, Rick Warren draws the contrast between WORSHIP and WORRY. I thought that was helpful, even if they aren’t exact opposites. I for one, am glad to have a Savior who understands, forgives, and (over time) redeems to the uttermost. Some kind of formula where I don’t get God’s grace UNTIL I do my 100% just would not do it for GERMIT.

    Blessings and the shalom of GOD on those who love HIS SON
    GERMIT

  4. 4 Bryant A.
    March 6, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Nice post, Mark

    I believe that perfection can not be obtained except by excepting Christ as my Lord, my God and saviour. For I know he did everything. As Isaiah said, even the most righteous are dirty rags to God. That is why every day I do my best to keep the commandments and obey the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. He is the author on salvation to ALL THAT ACCEPT THAT HE DID EVERYTHING.

    God Bless Us Everone B

  5. March 6, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    The Mormon worshiper is perfect in the moment of repentance. As long as one humbly continues to acknowledge his need to repent and continues to do so, he’s all set.

    The LDS authority quote speaks more to the notion that Jesus’ Atonement does more than just forgive us, it also enables us to do good things.

  6. 6 ladonnamorrell
    March 7, 2009 at 12:12 am

    hey bryant,

    see Hebrews 5:9

  7. 7 ADB
    March 7, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Hebrews 5:9 is a fine verse to quote, provided one reads it with the understanding of what it means to obey, which God himself so clearly and simply spelled out in John 6:29. Apparently Mormons aren’t the first ones to mistakenly believe that works/obedience could somehow even begin to meet any requirement from God.

    When they realize they can’t, even on their best day (to say nothing of how far short they fall on the bad days), I hope Mark’s post here offers comfort for worried, guilt-ridden souls. That is, after all, what Jesus came to bring – not new laws to follow, but rather the comfort of his own righteousness for all who realize that they can’t even begin to obey the way God really demands obedience (i.e., “BE perfect right now,” as opposed to “give it your best shot”).

  8. 8 Bryant A.
    March 7, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Hey ladonnamorrel,

    I agree with Hebrews 5:9. I also agree with John 6:42-48. Our purpose in life is to Love and Serve God. My God is the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I Love nobody more than him.

    God Bless us Everyone B

  9. 9 ladonnamorrell
    March 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Bryant,

    I think you underestimate the word “Believe”. After all, even the devil “believes” in God. Belief, as the Lord meant it, goes deeper ….it is an action word. It is all encompassing.
    It really means to be totally obedient, converted and love the Lord with ALL that you have.
    That is the kind of belief that gets you eternal life! So, yes, I also agree with John 6:42-48. Aren’t the scriptures wonderful?

    ~LaDonna

    ps why do i feel like i am in a “Christmas Carol” when i read your posts? :)

  10. 10 Bryant A.
    March 8, 2009 at 6:37 am

    Hey again LaDonna,

    Yes the scriptures are very wonderful. There is nothing in life they can not deal with. So as far as our belief goes, Jesus said it best in Mark 11: 22-23. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have Faith in God. For verily I say unto you, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. And in Mat: 17-20 And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. So as you can see, i have a very long way to go in my faith and belief in God. As far as totally obedient I am trying, converted yes, and love the LORD thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might yes.

    God Bless us Everyone LaDonna B

    ps Could be because it comes from the heart. Good night it’s bed time.

  11. March 9, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Seth: I’m not trying to cause strife where none exists, but in rereading the posts for this thread, your comment and Ladonna’s stood out in that I see them as somewhat contradictory; maybe you could (or she could) clear that up.

    First Ladonnas’s quote
    It really means to be totally obedient, converted and love the Lord with ALL that you have

    And then yours
    The Mormon worshiper is perfect in the moment of repentance. As long as one humbly continues to acknowledge his need to repent and continues to do so, he’s all set

    You guys SEEM to have a different view of repentance, and/or the faith that is evident in repentance. for what it’s worth, my own view is much closer to yours (seth’s)

    Blessings on all who’s name is written in the Book of Life
    GERMIT

  12. 12 Geoff456
    March 9, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I think that both Ladonna and Seth are right. Repentence is part of being totally obedient because we are commanded to repent. Being obedient and loving the Lord with all our heart, might, mind and strength is part and parcel of repenting and being humble and faithful.
    The humble follower of God is repentent and obedient.

    ~Geoff

  13. 13 Geoff456
    March 9, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I have a question for Mark. I have only been reading this blog for a short time, but I have noticed that I seldom see you comment. Is there a reason for this?

    ~Geoff

  14. 14 GB
    March 9, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Acts 5:29 ¶ Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to OBEY God rather than men.
    • • •
    32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that OBEY him.

    Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his DEEDS:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in WELL DOING seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
    9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that WORKETH GOOD, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

    Gal. 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not OBEY the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

    Rom 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles OBEDIENT, by word and DEED,

    James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a DOER OF THE WORK, this man shall be blessed in his DEED

    1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

    John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
    29 And shall come forth; they that have DONE GOOD, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

  15. 15 ADB
    March 10, 2009 at 5:03 am

    GB, with all due respect, there’s no need to quote a list of passages that clearly show that obedience is something commanded by God. Christians and the LDS agree on that point. The point on which we disagree is that obedience plays any role whatsoever in our salvation. If Christ is truly our Savior, then it does not. If he is nothing more than a new law giver, then the LDS have it right, and God help us all, because not even on the best of days do I come close to the perfect obedience which he demands. Neither does any other Christian, LDS, or anyone else.

    Jesus is either the law keeper (having lived righteously in my place and crediting his righteousness to me by grace through faith) or he’s a law giver (nothing more than another Moses), but he cannot be both.

  16. 16 GB
    March 10, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    ADB,

    Some people don’t pay attention.

    Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his DEEDS:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in WELL DOING seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

    John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
    29 And shall come forth; they that have DONE GOOD, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

    Law of Christ? Humm.

  17. 17 ladonnamorrell
    March 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    ADB,

    Why is it not possible that Jesus be both the law-giver and the law-keeper? Why would you put limits on God? You totally (like most Christians) misunderstand the LDS belief about works. WE KNOW THAT WE CANNOT GET ETERNAL LIFE WITHOUT OUR SAVIOR!! WE KNOW THAT OUR WORKS WILL NOT BUY US A TICKET TO HEAVEN!! BUT, we OBEY because we are commanded to OBEY!! With obedience comes works….can’t avoid it. Christians want to say that obedience is the RESULT of their love and gratitude for being saved….in a sense making it optional. LDS say: YES, we obey because we love the Lord, but also because we want to be OBEDIENT, IT IS A COMMANDMENT! Since when is that a bad thing? It isn’t the WORKS that save us….it is the DOING, the OBEYING that puts us in the position to use the atonement. The Lord wants us to expend some effort. We see it in the scriptures over and over again. Look at all the action words….believe, do, be, have, choose, bear, lift, take, ALL REQUIRING ACTION. If all that was necessary was to confess the Lord’s name the Bible would be 3 pages long and the Apostles could have vacationed on the beach.

  18. 18 ADB
    March 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    So you see in Christ a law giver. That is unfortunate, as that can only lead one to the conclusion that he is eternally condemned into outer darkness as a result of his deeds not measuring up, which, without even having ever met you, I can assure you, your deeds do not measure up. Nor will they ever.

    Tell me, if Jesus is nothing more than a law giver, then what exactly did he mean when he said, “I did not come to judge the world, but to save it?” (John 12:47).

    Again, quote all the obedience passages you like (Satan himself can do the same thing), but until you can reconcile the demands of perfect obedience with Scripture’s clear proclamation that works in no way save, then you’ve missed the point.

    The irony is that those who are so quick to see in Scripture demand after demand after demand, fail somehow to see that they can never ever meet such demands. And so again we must come back to Christ. If he is a law giver, then I must admit my failure at keeping his laws and acknowledge that anything less than perfect obedience is failure. No, he is not a law giver (again, why would we need another when we already had Moses?)–he didn’t come to judge the world, but to save it.

    And, here’s the great part: because I believe that he did, now we can begin to start talking about good works. Now that I know that his perfect obedience kept the law I couldn’t, I want to do nothing but good works and good deeds. Do those save me? Absolutely not. They are simply outward evidence of inward faith that knows my sins have been paid for in full. From that standpoint I can properly understand every passage you quoted above. My outward actions are nothing more than a reflection of the faith in my heart, which alone saves. The unbeliever, on the other hand, because he does not have faith, is unable to to any good deed whatsoever. But my life is full of them, because Christ is my life. “I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me” (Romans 15:17, 18).

    The more I see the LDS struggle with a biblical understanding of sin and grace and law and gospel, I can’t help but feel that so much of what Paul was writing in reference to the Jews, who thought that works somehow saved, can be appropriated to the LDS as well: “But [the LDS], who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the ‘stumbling stone’ [Christ] (Romans 9:31, 32).

    And so I join with the apostle Paul (and I think Mark Cares as well as all Christians who quote on this site) when he continued, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the [LDS] is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” (Romans 10:1-4).

    I post on this site not because I want to win an argument or belittle someone else or anything at all like that. I post because I know joy and peace that only Jesus gives, joy and peace that I want all to know. Know Jesus … no guilt.

  19. 19 GB
    March 10, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    ADB,

    It is unfortunate that too many people equate Paul’s comments regarding the works of the Law of Moses with the works of faith and obedience (the law of the Gospel).

    One of Jesus’ commandments it to repent.
    Matt. 4:17 ¶ From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

    Matt. 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    Mercy (forgiveness) is given to the penitent.

    Mark 6:7 ¶ And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
    . . . .
    12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

    Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

    Acts 3:19 ¶ Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

    If you want your sins “blotted out” then repent and be converted.

    Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

    Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

    Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

    2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

  20. 20 ADB
    March 10, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    That’s a completely new term to me, “law of the Gospel,” so forgive me for getting hung up on it. It strikes me as an oxymoron. The law requires something of me. The gospel is the good news that Jesus has overcome the law and forgiven my sins. I therefore fail to see how such a thing as the “law of the Gospel” exists. Help me understand where you’re coming from (BTW, flooding posts with passages isn’t always the most effective means of communicating–it would help me tremendously if you could give me one or two passages and spend a little more time explaining how you understand them). I appreciate it.

  21. 21 GB
    March 10, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    ADB,

    The law of the Gospel is referred to by several other names. One of them is “the law of liberty” referred to by James (James 1:15,& 2:12).

    Paul refers to it as “the law of righteousness” in Rom 9.

    He also refers to it as “law of God” and also as “law of the Spirit of life” in Rom 8.

    He also refers to it as “law of Christ” in Gal.

    He also refers to it as “law of faith” in Rom 3.

    Does that help?

  22. March 11, 2009 at 2:46 am

    ADB, you are assuming the required works of Mormonism are meant to merit salvation on their own intrinsic worth.

    I don’t think that is an accurate statement about Mormon scripture.

  23. 23 Bryant A.
    March 11, 2009 at 7:04 am

    This is the work that God requires.

    Jhn 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

    Jhn 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the WORK of God, that ye believe on him whom he haft sent.

    Our other works are to serve God.

    Now on the Law

    Jam 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

    Jam 2:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultry, yet if thou kill (WORRY), thou art become a transgressor of the LAW.

    Now we have all been found guilty of breaking the LAW.

    God Bless us Everyone B

  24. 24 markcares
    March 11, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Geoff:
    The main reason why I don’t comment more is because of time pressures. I do a lot of traveling (just returned from Detroit and will soon be on my way to the Twin Cities). I try and pack those trips as full as possible therefore I don’t have much down time to comment on the blog. When I get home, I often trying to catch up with the stuff that piled up when I was gone. A long answer to your question – but mainly, because of time.

  25. 25 ladonnamorrell
    March 11, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    ADB,

    Why do you put limits on God? Why can’t He be both law giver and law keeper? Who do you think wrote on the tablets on Mt. Sinai? Charleton Heston?

    you said: That is unfortunate, as that can only lead one to the conclusion that he is eternally condemned into outer darkness as a result of his deeds not measuring up, which, without even having ever met you, I can assure you, your deeds do not measure up.

    This makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever. Your conclusion is NOT IN THE LEAST supported by your premises. Why would a “law-giver” be condemned to outer darkness??? Was Moses condemned to outer darkness??

    you said: Tell me, if Jesus is nothing more than a law giver, then what exactly did he mean when he said, “I did not come to judge the world, but to save it?” (John 12:47).

    I believe that Jesus was referring to His role on the earth. He was the Redeemer from the foundation of the world. On the strength of His promise to go through with the Atonement, all mankind has been blessed. He came to SAVE the world.

    you said: “Again, quote all the obedience passages you like (Satan himself can do the same thing), but until you can reconcile the demands of perfect obedience with Scripture’s clear proclamation that works in no way save, then you’ve missed the point.”

    YOU HAVE COMPLETELY missed the point. GRACE makes up the difference. We can not be perfect in every respect on this earth. But should we quit trying? Tell me where in the Bible it says we aren’t supposed to try anymore. Once we do ALL we can, when we give our best, albeit, mortal effort, then the Savior steps in with GRACE. He makes up for our downfalls. GRACE is heavenly help.

    I am glad you aren’t trying to “Win” or belittle anyone. So could you at least try to understand what LDS believe? Don’t put words in our mouth…or attribute doctrine or beliefs to us that are not true. You don’t have to agree. Just try to get it right. :) We are happy to explain what we believe and why. Sometimes the differences between us are tiny and Christians want to make it into a gigantic difference.

  26. 26 ADB
    March 12, 2009 at 1:20 am

    Ladonnamorell,

    My apologies, but perhaps this will clear some things up: my post to which you’re referring was not a response to you, but to GB (sorry I failed to address that at the beginning). That might explain why none of what I wrote makes any sense in light of your post. Sorry–I will get to your post when I get the chance. Know Jesus … No guilt.

  27. 27 ADB
    March 13, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Seth,

    “ADB, you are assuming the required works of Mormonism are meant to merit salvation on their own intrinsic worth.

    I don’t think that is an accurate statement about Mormon scripture.”

    To clarify, I don’t see Scripture (God’s Scripture, not Mormon Scripture) making any connection whatsoever between works and salvation. It matters little to me if one makes the point that works merit salvation on their own intrinsic worth or if they somehow merit salvation on some lower level. What I take away from reading Scripture (again, God’s, not Mormon) is that works in no way have anything to do with meriting salvation.

    “And if by GRACE, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:6). To me this passage doesn’t allow for this concept of starting out with works and finishing with grace, which is my impression of Mormon teaching.

    Know Jesus … no guilt.

  28. 28 GB
    March 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    It is interesting that the only verse in the Bible that has both “faith” and “alone” is:

    James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    And we also have these.

    James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    • • •
    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
    25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

    It is always interesting to me that those who quote Romans with regard to grace nearly always fail to mention the ground work Paul laid down first.

    Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his DEEDS:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
    9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
    11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
    12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
    13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    Peter puts it this way.
    1 Pet 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

    John says it this way.
    1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

    And JESUS said,
    John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
    29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    WOW!!!

    It looks like Jesus, Peter, James, John, and Paul disagree with Paul.

  29. 29 ADB
    March 13, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    GB,

    I wholeheartedly agree that faith without works is completely dead and is no faith at all. However, I also believe faith is ALWAYS accompanied by works. Faith alone saves, but faith is never alone. It is always accompanied by works, as the Holy Spirit brings those out in us. Does that mean works save? Not in my book (the Bible).

    As for the rest of the post, thanks for pointing out the important groundwork Paul first laid out in Romans. Of course he had to use the law to point out the failure of people to keep it. Only when one is painted into a corner by the law (“do this, do that”) does he realize that his works can’t possibly save him. Enter grace. Doesn’t that make Romans 11:6 such a beautiful passage? And yet time and again, rather than finding the comfort of knowing grace alone saves, the LDS are so quick to come up with “yeah, but” passages that take them back to the law.

    If one properly understands the role of the law (it shows my sin) and the good news of the gospel (it shows my Savior), then it is quite easy to see how Jesus, Peter, James, John, and Paul are all on the same page.

  30. 30 ADB
    March 13, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Ladonna,

    Grace does not make up the difference. Grace IS the difference.

    Know Jesus … no guilt.

  31. 31 GB
    March 13, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    ADB,

    I am still looking for that verse that says “grace alone”. I haven’t found it yet. Please let me know where it is when you find it yourself.

    Ok.

  32. 32 GB
    March 13, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Does that mean works save?

    What did Jesus teach?

    Jesus said. (Matt 19:17) And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    Humm that is interesting, no mention of works there just obedience. Did Jesus ever mention grace in this context?

    Jesus said. Matt 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
    (see verses 31-46 for full context).

    Humm. No mention of works there either, just righteousness (obedience).

    Jesus said. Luke 10:25 ¶ And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
    26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
    27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
    28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: THIS DO, and thou shalt live.

    No works there either, just obedience.

    So then what can we conclude?

    If we keep God’s commandments, He will give (grace) us eternal life. If we disobey, then no gift (grace) is given. Eternal life is a gift (grace) to the obedient. Obedience to God’s commandments doesn’t EARN us eternal life, but it does qualify us (according to His word) to receive the gift (grace) of eternal life.

    So rather than trying to condemn those who are teaching obedience to God’s commandments, you should be joining them.

  33. 33 ADB
    March 13, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    GB,

    Those seem to be more of the “yeah, but” passages you so like to refer to. At any rate, from your last post it seems that you make a distinction between works and obedience. What is that distinction? I’ve more or less taken the two as synonymous as far as their connection to salvation is concerned: neither one has a place in salvation.

    As for a passage that speaks of grace alone, why don’t you try starting at Genesis and reading through Revelation? Surely you can’t miss it–it’s everywhere. The whole context of Scripture is dripping with grace alone. Read through Romans. Read through Galatians. What does Paul spend so much time on in those letters? He goes out of his way to make it abundantly clear that the law/works/obedience don’t save. I know you have a different definition for what “faith” and “believing” mean, as you like to attach some sort of required obedience to either definition. However, I can’t see how anyone can get that reading anything from Paul, who goes out of his way over and over and over and over again to point out that faith has nothing to do with the law (i.e., obedience or works–cf. Romans 3:20, for just one example). How on earth can anyone miss that???

    Know Jesus … no guilt

  34. 34 ADB
    March 13, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    GB,

    BTW, I do teach and encourage good works, and don’t condemn anyone else who would. When I share the gospel with someone, they can’t help but want to do good works when they hear the wonderful news that they will be in heaven on the blood and merit of Christ alone.

    What I can’t allow is anyone to twist the Scriptures into somehow implying that such obedience is necessary for salvation. To do so is to rob our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of everything he’s done as our perfect Substitute. Rather than pointing out the many passages that supposedly connect obedience with salvation, what might be more beneficial for you is to try to rule out the passages that clearly speak of salvation as having nothing to do with works or obedience.

  35. 35 Geoff456
    March 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    ADB,

    How can we “rule out” scriptures? There are at least as many scriptures that connect works and salvation as those who separate them. Where do you get the authority to “rule out scripture”?

    The definition of grace is: divine help or assistance. Without it we would be lost….of course the scriptures are “dripping” with it….that is the GOOD NEWS!!

    ~Geoff

  36. March 14, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Guilt itself can be a blessing.

  37. 37 ADB
    March 15, 2009 at 3:40 am

    Geoff,

    If one passage of the Bible says we’re saved by grace and not works (cf. Ephesians 2:8, 9) and another says we’re judged on the basis of our works (see any of GB’s posts–he favors those passages), then there seems to be some conflict. What I mean by “ruling out” is simply taking the time to somehow explain that the passages that say we’re saved by grace and not works don’t actually mean that we’re saved by grace and not works. I simply notice the LDS posters love to post passages that emphasize works/obedience/requirements/etc., but don’t spend nearly enough time explaining how passages like Ephesians 2:8, 9 can’t really mean what they say (that grace saves, not works).

    Also, I have a hard time seeing how your definition of grace is really any good news at all.
    If grace is “help” that’s going to make up for my failure to be perfect, but only on the condition that I’ve tried my darndest to be good, how will I ever know if my best efforts were enough? I prefer grace the way the Bible speaks about it–God’s unmerited and unmotivated love for us. We’ve done nothing to earn it, and nothing to move him to give it to us. It’s simply a free gift. That definition of grace leaves me without any worry at all.

    Know Jesus … no guilt.

  38. 38 ADB
    March 15, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Seth,

    I’d agree–guilt is a blessing. As the law works guilt in our hearts, it leads us to cling not to our vain attempts at measuring up to God’s standards, but rather to Christ alone for salvation. And as the Holy Spirit leads us to that understanding, guilt has served its only purpose–it drove me to Jesus. At that point, I am no longer a slave to guilt, but to Jesus. Thus, know Jesus … no guilt.

  39. 39 geoff456
    March 15, 2009 at 3:48 am

    ADB,

    Where does it say that you don’t ever have to worry? Life is a test. We are put here to prove that we will love and obey the Lord. Grace is a major blessing! It is everything! We are asked to give 100% and then the Lord gives HIS INFINITE 100%.
    I would say that is very good news!

    As for “knowing” the end result…that will be determined at judgment. If we do our very best, then we can approach the throne of God with confidence.

    ~Geoff

  40. 40 ADB
    March 15, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Geoff,

    Matthew 6:25-34 (see the start of this thread). Read those verses, but don’t water them down to something less than the command that they are. Jesus commands us not to worry. To worry is then to break that command. To break that command is punishable by eternal death and separation from God forever.

    Your approach to judgment shows the HUGE difference in our definitions of grace. You hope you can approach the throne of God with confidence if you’ve done enough (which you will NEVER EVER know; in fact, if you’re honest with yourself and don’t water down all of God’s impossible demands, you’d come to the conclusion that you are nowhere near what God demands, even with your best efforts!). I, on the other hand KNOW I can approach the throne of God with 100% certainty that I will be with him forever. Christ says so. Know Jesus … no guilt.


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