02
Mar
11

A Sobering Scripture

 

One of the more sobering Scripture passages is James 4:17.  “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”  This passage emphasizes an aspect of sinfulness that people often don’t consider.  The first thing most people think of when sin is mentioned are sinful things they have done.  Often the idea that we sin by not doing something is not that prominent in their thinking.  But this passage tells us that many of our sins are ones of omission.

Stop and think what this passage is saying.  Here is just one application. Every time I fail to love my wife with the same sacrificial love of Jesus, I sin.  That means every time I put my wants before hers (whether in what to eat, what TV show to watch, what activity to do), I sin.  That means whenever I tell her I can’t help her right then because I need time for myself, I sin.  That means when my love for her is not completely perfect, I sin.  All this is sin because Scripture says:  “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”  (Ephesians 5:25).  Jesus never once thought of himself.  He never put himself before us.  And, according to this verse, his love is to be my pattern.  That is just one “good” I know.  But I sadly admit that that is the good that I don’t always do.  How many times a day do I fail to do this?  How many times a week do I fail to do this?  How many times in our marriage have I failed to do this?  Here is one instance that the word countless is not an exaggeration.

Loving my wife as Christ loved the church is just one of hundreds of “good” things that I know.  In fact, it is just one tiny aspect of the good of loving all people.  And that is just one of many good things God tells us to do.  The more I think about it, the more examples of sin come to mind.  Just a few minutes reflection on this passage convinces me that sin is what I regularly do.  It also convinces me that no matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to stop sinning.  There will always be some “good” that I won’t do.

Couple that with something James says a couple of chapters before and the situation becomes even bleaker.  “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (2:10)

Many don’t see the intent or feel the full force of these passages. Scripture tells us that the reason why God gives us such sobering commands, why he has given us the law, is to open our eyes to the seriousness of our sinfulness.  (Romans 3:20).  It’s only after people see the enormity of their sins that they will give up on thinking that they can do anything whatsoever to contribute to their living eternally with heavenly Father.  It’s then, hopefully, that they see the wonderful fact that Jesus has done it all for them – that solely because of what Jesus has done can they live eternally with Heavenly Father.

The less people see their sinfulness, the less value they will attach to Jesus and what he has done for them.  Conversely, the more people see their sinfulness, the more valuable Jesus and his work will be to them.  It all starts with how we see ourselves.  And that is why we need to take seriously these passages.

 

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13 Responses to “A Sobering Scripture”


  1. 1 Echo
    March 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    We won’t understand why we can’t do anthing to be saved until we first realize how far short of God’s “DO” list we fall.

  2. 2 Kent
    March 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    That was my point, that we cannot, on our own merit or power, ever live up to a sinless life in not only one lifetime but in 10,000 live times but the good news is we, if we believe in the true Jesus Christ of the Bible, we can put on His righteousness and not our own.

    My daily prayer is to ask God for help not to sin and rely on His strength and not my own but even then, I still fall short but the good news is it is finished by Jesus’ work on the cross.

    I realize in dealing with Mormons sometimes they take offense that we are not giving their beliefs any respect and some of them take it as an attack on them personally because their beliefs are very important to them.

    But if in fact their eternal salvation is at stake, then we owe it to them to share the true gospel with them and point out that what they are taught is not the same thing the Bible teaches so the beliefs can’t both be right.

  3. 3 Kent
    March 4, 2011 at 12:06 am

    What I don’t understand about the Mormon faith is why do we need continuing revelation and why, if the Book of Mormon, in the words of Joseph Smith, “the Book of Mormon was the most correct book of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book” is why don’t they follow what is taught in it?

    From Mormon 9, the below passages says that God doesn’t change and that He created everything including, the heavens and the earth, which agrees with the Bible, so why does the Mormon church now teach that God was a man first on another planet that progressed to become God if He doesn’t change and nothing existed before He created it? Where would that planet have been if nothing existed yet? Also, if He doesn’t change hasn’t He always been God?

    9:9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?
    9:10 And now if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not God of miracles.
    9:11 But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.

    Also, why does the Mormon Church now teach that God has a physical body when the Book of Mormon teaches that God is a spirit which agrees with the Bible? Again, the passage below says that God created everything hence there were no planets for God to have been a man on before God created them.

    Alma 22
    22:9 And the king said: Is God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem?
    22:10 And Aaron said unto him: Yea, he is that Great Spirit, and he created all things both in heaven and in earth. Believest thou this?
    22:11 And he said: Yea, I believe that the Great Spirit created all things, and I desire that ye should tell me concerning all these things, and I will believe thy words.

    In addition, why does the Mormon Church now teach that we have another chance to repent after we die when the Book of Mormon teaches in the passage below that if we die in our sins, the spirit of the Lord is withdrawn from us and we are handed over to the devil? It states this is the final state of the wicked so that would mean that no we don’t have another chance after our lifetime on Earth.

    Alma 34
    34:34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
    34:35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.

    Am I mis stating the teaching of the Mormon Church? Because missionaries have told me that God was a man first who progressed to be God, that God has a physical body, and that we have a chance after our life on Earth. But, again, where could He have been a man first if planets didn’t exist yet?

    I prefer to rely on Jesus Himself without all of the extra stuff piled on as He truly doesn’t change as He is truly the same yesterday, today, and forever.

  4. 4 Ralph Peterson
    March 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Mormon 9 is referring to God’s character and method of dealing with mankind, not His physical nature.

    2 Ne. 29:9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

    Even Christ changed physically. He went from a being of spirit only to a being of a spirit housed in a body of flesh and bones. Did He change in this process? Is this the kind of change referred to here?
    Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

    God, the Father has a physical body of flesh and bones, just like Jesus has a body of flesh and bones. Having a body of flesh and bones doesn’t preclude being a spirit. Just as you are a spirit, housed in a physical body of flesh. It is the spirit that gives the body life.

    James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    ” . . . why does the Mormon Church now teach that we have another chance to repent after we die . . . ”
    This is an inaccurate representation of our teaching that the gospel is taught to the spirits of the dead. This is a Biblical doctrine.
    1 Pet. 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

    1 Pet 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
    20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

    There is no conflict here. If you are unwilling to repent in this life, you will have the same unwillingness when you are dead. You are the same person. If you are willing to repent in this life but didn’t have the knowledge of the gospel then you will have the opportunity to hear and accept it.

    “Am I mis stating the teaching of the Mormon Church?”
    Yes.

    “. . . where could He have been a man first if planets didn’t exist yet?”
    We don’t believe in “creatio ex nihilo”.

    The creation account in Genesis is only part of the story.

    Moses 7:31 And behold, the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him face to face. And the Lord God said unto Moses: For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me.
    32 And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.
    33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.
    34 And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.
    35 BUT ONLY AN ACCOUNT OF THIS EARTH, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.

  5. 5 Echo
    March 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks for the clarification Ralph, your explanations make sense.

    Ralph said: ” If you are unwilling to repent in this life, you will have the same unwillingness when you are dead.”

    A quote from the LDS definition of REPENTANCE from lds.org…

    “ABANDONMENT OF SIN. Although confession is an essential element of repentance, IT IS NOT ENOUGHT. The Lord has said, “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them AND FORSAKE THEM” (D&C 58:43).”

    The LDS teachings lead to the fact that Everyone MUST forsake ALL SIN or they are considered “unwilling to repent”. They must forsake ALL SIN in THIS LIFE or be fully possessed by the devil for eternity…

    From the BOM…

    Alma 34
    “34:34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
    34:35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.”

    Your religion is a religion founded on FEAR Ralph. When a person trusts in the Bible alone for truth, there you have a religion founded on PEACE, not fear. Peace flowing out of the realization that God’s perfect love for all of us drives out ALL FEAR. 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

    Do your sins cause you fear? They should! Only forgiveness can erase fear.
    You (that is the LDS) earn forgiveness by forsaking your sins. This requires you to be fully sinless to be fully forgiven. That creates fear because you’re not perfectly sinless and therefore not fully forgiven. In actuality, you are saved from the “final state of the wicked” by overcoming ALL your sins. He who has not overcome ALL his sins is not fully repentant.

    The bible teaches something very different from that. The Bible teaches that we are saved from the “final state of the wicked” through the blood of Jesus. His blood has washed away all our sins. WE are fully forgiven.

    The LDS people are their own Savior from sin. Think about that. You are saved because of something you have done. (you must overcome your sins) The LDS JST states: “God does not justify the ungodly”

    Christians trust in Jesus as their Savior from sin. Think about that. You are saved NOT because of something you have done but because God alone has saved you. The Bible states: “God justifies the ungodly”

    2 Timothy 1:9 “who has saved us and called us to a holy life—NOT BECAUSE OF ANYTHING WE HAVE DONE but because of his own purpose and grace.”

  6. 6 jm
    March 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Ha Echo;

    I wanted to see if Ralph our my wife would answer your question. I have asked my wife the same question. She told me she did not want to be saved. I took this to mean that it dose’s not matter what is true our not,it was all about the church. They can not see that no Church can save you. And yes she did LIE. This is not her e-mail it has alway’s been the whole family’s

    God Bless BEA

  7. 7 Echo
    March 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Would you and your wife be willing to email back and forth with me offline?

    Blessings!
    Echo

  8. 8 jm
    March 10, 2011 at 3:40 am

    This response is from jma and I never said that I did not want to be saved because I have already been saved by my savior Jesus Christ. And I did not lie this is my email, it is my name and no I do not want to email with Echo offline. I am at peace and I do not live in fear because of the teachings of my church. The Savior is the head of my church and I have nothing to fear from him. This will be my last entry to this blog site because of the twisting of peoples ideas and words to suit the purpose of others. I wish you all the best,

  9. 9 Ralph Peterson
    March 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    “no I do not want to email with Echo offline.”

    I don’t blame you. He typically results to personal attacks when he gets painted into a corner.

    I don’t even read his posts any more.

    Maybe, in the future, IF he can be civil, I might reengage him in discussion. But for now I am totally ignoring him.

    I wish you all the best as well.

  10. 10 Echo
    March 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    jma. Thank you for joining us while you did. Your Savior Jesus warned about false prophets and false teachers. May his word be your guide to keep you safe from them.

  11. 11 Echo
    March 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Ralph said: “I don’t blame you. He typically results to personal attacks when he gets painted into a corner. I don’t even read his posts any more. Maybe, in the future, IF he can be civil, I might reengage him in discussion. But for now I am totally ignoring him.”

    Your statement is a sin against this commandment: Exodus 20:16 “Thou shalt not bear false testimony against your neighbor.”

    The one who is “uncivil” and is guilty of engaging in “personal attacks” is the one who sins against his neighbor. The evidence of your unrepentant sin is scattered throughout this blog.

    1 John 3:8 “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.”

  12. 12 jm
    March 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Echo yes I will email with you. This is from BEA. Yes she did lie. The only reason it was in her name when we set up this internet, I told her I did not care who’s name was on it. This was the only email we had. This will also be my last blog on her account and computer. JMA this is for you to (Your statement is a sin against this commandment: Exodus 20:16 “Thou shalt not bear false testimony against your neighbor.”) See what I mean (I am at peace and I do not live in fear because of the teachings of my church.)

    God bless

  13. 13 Echo
    March 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    BEA You can contact me through the website below, click on the “feedback” button…. Just ask for Echo

    http://www.truthinlovetomormons.com/feedback/feedback.htm

    God Bless!


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