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Not By Works


maklelan

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I read a thread that decided it was going to address the "oneness" of God just for Theophilus, and I thought I'd pitch in on the "not by works" scriptures, just so he knows we're not as dodgy as he often paints us to be.

You and I both know that LDS will claim to accept and believe all the Bible. But actions speak louder than words, and when they repeatedly refuse to address all the "one God only" Scriptures, and refuse to address all the "not by works" Scriptures, and refuse to address all the "eternal security" Scriptures, and refuse to address the "no more prophets" Scriptures, etc. etc., then I think that is significant.

I do believe all the Bible, not just Paul's writings. James has a lot to say about faith and works, but most people ignore it. Calvin ignored it while Luthor recognized it, but then ignored it in the end. Most people who subscribe to the "not by works" litany don't ignore it, but they make it secondary to Paul and dilute it with meaningless rhetoric. Their problem is they decide on their doctrine with Paul and then search for a way to reconcile James with that decision. Paul trumps James for them. If one sits back and examines the two authors in the original language and does not define James' works as identical to Paul's works (they're not the same) then it makes perfect sense.

"Faith" in the scriptures is rarely used to mean a mere belief. Faith is a belief that impels one to action; it is a principle of action. In the Greek "believe" and "faith" connote believing unto action. It means you believe with your thoughts and your deeds. This is why faith without works is dead. If you are not manifestig your faith in your actions you do not have faith. Faith, therefore, must carry a definition that includes righteousness. "Believe" in English means to "hold dear, love." The Greek word pisteuein is not perfectly translated in the word believe. Many insist it needs to carry a sense of action.

For someone to say that mere acknowledgement of Christ's divinity secures eternal, unchanging salvation is to utterly ignore the original Greek. But Paul does use the phrase "free gift." I've heard many say this means salvation is not received through any action or thought at all, but that it is purely arbitrary. Not only does this make a mockery of the rest of the Old and New Testament, but it ignore several considerations. Is salvation ever a "free gift"? Yes. It is a free gist to those who die in their infancy. It is a free gift to those who die without having ever had the opportunity to know God or Jesus. It is a free gift to those whose perception of right and wrong has been perverted because as the direct result of the influence of others. James Talmage calls this "general salvation" and it is extended to all who do not meet the requirements for condemnation (children, unknowing, mentally handicapped). This is a free gift, and it is effected by Jesus' Atonement. "Individual salvation" is that which is gained as a result of faith. This is the salvation that James speaks of.

Ask an Evangelical what happens to babies who die without baptism, or to people who never even heard of God or Jesus and they will say one oftwo things. They will sya that they have no clue, but they have faith God will somehow save them (that's true. He gives them the free gift mentioned by Paul), or they will say that everyone has their agency and should be able to figure the gospel out by observing nature. The latter is ludicrous.

So what works does Paul refer to? The works of the law. What law? The Law of Moses. Sacrifices and blood and incense and offerings do not save. It's not difficult to observe unless you are hopelessly fettered to the dogma that Paul trumps James and if you even imagine otherwise you're going to Hell.

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I read a thread that decided it was going to address the "oneness" of God just for Theophilus, and I thought I'd pitch in on the "not by works" scriptures, just so he knows we're not as dodgy as he often paints us to be.

You and I both know that LDS will claim to accept and believe all the Bible. But actions speak louder than words, and when they repeatedly refuse to address all the "one God only" Scriptures, and refuse to address all the "not by works" Scriptures, and refuse to address all the "eternal security" Scriptures, and refuse to address the "no more prophets" Scriptures, etc. etc., then I think that is significant.

I do believe all the Bible, not just Paul's writings. James has a lot to say about faith and works, but most people ignore it. Calvin ignored it while Luthor recognized it, but then ignored it in the end. Most people who subscribe to the "not by works" litany don't ignore it, but they make it secondary to Paul and dilute it with meaningless rhetoric. Their problem is they decide on their doctrine with Paul and then search for a way to reconcile James with that decision. Paul trumps James for them. If one sits back and examines the two authors in the original language and does not define James' works as identical to Paul's works (they're not the same) then it makes perfect sense.

"Faith" in the scriptures is rarely used to mean a mere belief. Faith is a belief that impels one to action; it is a principle of action. In the Greek "believe" and "faith" connote believing unto action. It means you believe with your thoughts and your deeds. This is why faith without works is dead. If you are not manifestig your faith in your actions you do not have faith. Faith, therefore, must carry a definition that includes righteousness. "Believe" in English means to "hold dear, love." The Greek word pisteuein is not perfectly translated in the word believe. Many insist it needs to carry a sense of action.

For someone to say that mere acknowledgement of Christ's divinity secures eternal, unchanging salvation is to utterly ignore the original Greek. But Paul does use the phrase "free gift." I've heard many say this means salvation is not received through any action or thought at all, but that it is purely arbitrary. Not only does this make a mockery of the rest of the Old and New Testament, but it ignore several considerations. Is salvation ever a "free gift"? Yes. It is a free gist to those who die in their infancy. It is a free gift to those who die without having ever had the opportunity to know God or Jesus. It is a free gift to those whose perception of right and wrong has been perverted because as the direct result of the influence of others. James Talmage calls this "general salvation" and it is extended to all who do not meet the requirements for condemnation (children, unknowing, mentally handicapped). This is a free gift, and it is effected by Jesus' Atonement. "Individual salvation" is that which is gained as a result of faith. This is the salvation that James speaks of.

Ask an Evangelical what happens to babies who die without baptism, or to people who never even heard of God or Jesus and they will say one oftwo things. They will sya that they have no clue, but they have faith God will somehow save them (that's true. He gives them the free gift mentioned by Paul), or they will say that everyone has their agency and should be able to figure the gospel out by observing nature. The latter is ludicrous.

So what works does Paul refer to? The works of the law. What law? The Law of Moses. Sacrifices and blood and incense and offerings do not save. It's not difficult to observe unless you are hopelessly fettered to the dogma that Paul trumps James and if you even imagine otherwise you're going to Hell.

The shed blood of Christ Jesus on the cross has saved us. Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.

redeemed

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Sorry redeemed, but that sounds so much like "cheap grace" to me.

Well urrner when ya meet Christ tell Himyou think that His shed blood on the cross was of no effect.

redeemed

Why would he say any such thing to the Savior? That is not what he was implying.

Tell you what, when you meet Christ, tell him "Hi! I whored, I drank, I cheated, lied, stole, and murdered. I refused to follow your example in life, but you died on the cross for me so let's go meet the Big Man!"

Somehow I don't think any such statement would fly.

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Ahhh, no. Without his Atonement, I couldn't get back into his presence or even God's presence. I couldn't even be resurrected. I couldn't be cleansed of my sins without the Atonement.

Where do you get the idea that I thought otherwise?

Hi urrner, i talked of Jesus on the cross and you came back with "sounds like cheap grace"

redeemed

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Sorry redeemed, but that sounds so much like "cheap grace" to me.

Well urrner when ya meet Christ tell Himyou think that His shed blood on the cross was of no effect.

redeemed

Why would he say any such thing to the Savior? That is not what he was implying.

Tell you what, when you meet Christ, tell him "Hi! I whored, I drank, I cheated, lied, stole, and murdered. I refused to follow your example in life, but you died on the cross for me so let's go meet the Big Man!"

Somehow I don't think any such statement would fly.

Hi doc, i Have fell well short of being worthy, but yes i do put my trust in what Christ has done for me.

Psa 103:10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

Psa 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, [so] great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

Psa 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, [so] far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Psa 103:13 Like as a father pitieth [his] children, [so] the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

redeemed

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The shed blood of Christ Jesus on the cross has saved us. Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.

redeemed

I believe what you said. I think all LDS do.

Are you inferring that is all there is to it?

That all we have to do is know He is our Savior... without acknowledging He is also our Lord?

Have you ever had a Lord?

Do you know what the "word" Lord means?

How would you acknowledge someone as your Lord?

As our Lord, should we do what He tells us to do?

We must "know" but we also must "do".

At least that's what I believe, personally.

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Paul Ray,

We must "know" but we also must "do".

Man's Merit is Due to God's Grace and Secondly to Man's Collaboration.

God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes: "For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" [Phil 2:13; 1Cor 12:6]

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Paul Ray,

We must "know" but we also must "do".

Man's Merit is Due to God's Grace and Secondly to Man's Collaboration.

God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes: "For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" [Phil 2:13; 1Cor 12:6]

Okay, yes, I agree with that idea too.

When I do something good, then it is God acting through me.

When I say something good, it is God.

Do you have a problem with the idea of becoming God?

"There is none good but one, that is, God."

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urroner,

Sorry redeemed, but that sounds so much like "cheap grace" to me.

Grace did not come cheap ...

Suppose I built a house and it cost me years of hard labor and sweat to build that house. Now, suppose I invite a persin to live in that house. I still continue to do all the work in the house. I clean it, stock the pantry, pay all the bills, I do everything and he does nothing. To him, the house is cheap. To me, it isn't.

cheap: costing very little; relatively low in price; inexpensive

No, the Atonement wasn't cheap for Christ, but for those who believe that they have to do nothing to gain it, it cost them nothing, therefore it's cheap.

Paul Ray,

Do you have a problem with the idea of becoming God?

I have a problem with the Mormon teaching that we can become a Creator like God. Men are creatures. God has unlimited power, men depend on God for their limited power.

How much is possible with God?

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Paul Ray,

Do you have a problem with the idea of becoming God?

I have a problem with the Mormon teaching that we can become a Creator like God. Men are creatures. God has unlimited power, men depend on God for their limited power.

Yes, but who can stop God from using us to do His will... and helping all of us to actually do it.

And as you said, it is God who is working through us.

Would you deny the power of God?

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Paul Ray,

Do you have a problem with the idea of becoming God?

I have a problem with the Mormon teaching that we can become a Creator like God. Men are creatures. God has unlimited power, men depend on God for their limited power.

We are His offspring according to Acts. You don't believe in the book of Acts? Do your offspring grow up to be men and women like youself or dogs?

Acts 17:29

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Paul Ray,

Do you have a problem with the idea of becoming God?

I have a problem with the Mormon teaching that we can become a Creator like God. Men are creatures. God has unlimited power, men depend on God for their limited power.

We are His offspring according to Acts. You don't believe in the book of Acts? Do your offspring grow up to be men and women like youself or dogs?

Acts 17:29

I'm going to jump ahead just a little bit now and anticipate what might be his answer:

We can be "pro-creators" of something God already created, but we don't really "create" anything.

Most people have enough sense to know there is a difference.

But with God can't we do anything?

If it is God's will that we create children once we are all someday in heaven, then who could stop us from ever doing God's will?

I think someday I'll create many "things", with God, but really it will be God working through me. :P

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What is the purpose of the next life? Is it to follow God around and sing loudly?

Is God's only purpose to create thing that praise Him and nothing else? Does God have a need to create things? Why does God create anything?

Some might say He has a desire to create us and that's good enough, but a desire denotes a lack of something and what could God lack?

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Hammer,

You don't believe in the book of Acts?

I believe this is off-topic ...

You are still believing wrong then. The line between Christ doing as He has seen His Father do, relates to His being physical. That was called into question.

So if anyone took it off topic, it was you. I am just following up leaving no stone left dusty.

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I like the car analogy that was posted on this subject a few weeks ago.

The atonement was a gift for each of us (all being undeserving). But rather that teleporting us to our destination, it is more like an automobile. We still have to drive the car, follow directions, maintain and feed the car, etc. With our effort and following the Lord's map, we can get to our destination.

Let me be very clear, that without the car none of us could reach the desired destination. Man could not construct the car and man could not hike the distance.

In LDS theology, grace is sufficient to bridge the gap that we cannot bridge. However, grace is not meant to substitute for obedience and works, nor is it meant to replace man's agency.

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