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Are Evangelicals Saved By Works?


Drewm777

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Wouldn't saying a prayer and asking God to save you, technically speaking, be a "work"? Isn't salvation, in evangelical understanding, made contingent upon the individual doing something? i.e., accepting Christ and asking him to forgive you? Would you be saved if you didn't DO that? (I guess the only exception would be strict Calvinists)

If salvation is contingent upon asking for it, aren't evangelicals saved by a work?

I have never had an answer to this that I could understand.

How is this different than requiring baptism or some other ordinance as a means of accepting Christ and/or certain blessings he has made available through his sacrifice?

In other words, is it possible that Christ makes certain blessings available to us that we could never merit or have on our own, but that are contingent upon following a certain law? (ie. baptism for remission of sins, confirmation for sanctification and the gift of the Holy Ghost, sealings for eternal families, etc if you're LDS; if you're evangelical, sincere repentance and a prayer asking for salvation in order to receive salvation)

If such blessings may be contingent on something we do, does that mean that we deserve them, or that we earned them, or that we can say we saved ourselves?

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This is essentially the point I addressed yesterday in my blog. In the post I argue that belief itself could be considered a work, if you really think about it, as thinking requires action, the action of your mind. So unless an EV is a Calvinist or something, even a mental deduction, assent that Jesus is the Christ, could be considered something one must do in order to be saved. Thus, I argue, the debate is more definitional than anything else; we define faith differently. Check it out, Drew, let me know what you think.

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Wouldn't saying a prayer and asking God to save you, technically speaking, be a "work"? Isn't salvation, in evangelical understanding, made contingent upon the individual doing something? i.e., accepting Christ and asking him to forgive you? Would you be saved if you didn't DO that? (I guess the only exception would be strict Calvinists)

If salvation is contingent upon asking for it, aren't evangelicals saved by a work?

Well, I don't think that evangelicals would say that it is the prayer that saves anyone. It's just a common vehicle that people use. The bottom line issue is faith, whether it's expressed in praying out loud or an internal change of heart brought on by the Holy Spirit.

While I can see where you're going, the simplest response I have to this question is that "faith" and "works" are constantly distinguished from each other in Scripture. Nowhere is faith portrayed as a work, although the two are obviously related. Ephesians 2 says that this faith is a gift of God, and is not by works. James says that faith results in good works (or for the LDS interpretation, that faith and works work together in salvation). So they are two separate but related parts of the salvation process.

So in short, exercising faith (and its corellary, repentance) are not works that we do in and of ourselves only. And they in no way merit salvation, any more than opening a birthday present means you earned the present itself.

Make sense, at least a little bit? Good questions though. <_<

Take care, everyone :P

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Well, I don't think that evangelicals would say that it is the prayer that saves anyone. It's just a common vehicle that people use. The bottom line issue is faith, whether it's expressed in praying out loud or an internal change of heart brought on by the Holy Spirit.

While I can see where you're going, the simplest response I have to this question is that "faith" and "works" are constantly distinguished from each other in Scripture. Nowhere is faith portrayed as a work, although the two are obviously related. Ephesians 2 says that this faith is a gift of God, and is not by works. James says that faith results in good works (or for the LDS interpretation, that faith and works work together in salvation). So they are two separate but related parts of the salvation process.

So in short, exercising faith (and its corellary, repentance) are not works that we do in and of ourselves only. And they in no way merit salvation, any more than opening a birthday present means you earned the present itself.

Make sense, at least a little bit? Good questions though. <_<

Take care, everyone :P

I agree 100%! So, the bottom line issue is this: If I am baptized to accept the gift God has given, is that any different than praying to do so? Aren't both, technically, something we DO (unwrapping the present)? Does that mean we earned salvation or that we are only made eligible?

My belief is that no ordinance or sacrament saves me, they only open up blessings to me that are made available and freely so by Christ. I just have to open the gift.

Isn't that the same as your belief in that you have to accept Christ in order to receive the gift?

I get irritated when people say I believe in salvation by works simply because I believe I have to be baptized. I cannot save myself, and I know it. However, I believe I have to accept that salvation, and I can do that through being properly baptized.

Is it true, therefore, that there is still something you have to DO in order to be saved?

Does it follow that if there is something you have to DO that by DOING something you've saved yourself?

I don't think so. I like your analogy of a gift. You have to open it, but does that mean you earned it?

If I am baptized to be saved, does that somehow deny God's grace or Christ's atonement? Isn't it the same as just opening the gift? That's how I see it, and I believe that's what the scriptures teach.

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So in short, exercising faith (and its corellary, repentance) are not works that we do in and of ourselves only. And they in no way merit salvation, any more than opening a birthday present means you earned the present itself.

But 'works' (the kind that many mainstream Christians would accuse LDS of believing saves them) also are not things we do in and of ourselves only and neither do we believe they merit salvation.

In LDS belief, works are how we 'rsvp' to the invitation that Christ gives us to gain eternal life.

I guess what i'm saying is-how is the LDS belief about faith and works and salvation really different than your belief about it?

:P

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But 'works' (the kind that many mainstream Christians would accuse LDS of believing saves them) also are not things we do in and of ourselves only and neither do we believe they merit salvation.

In LDS belief, works are how we 'rsvp' to the invitation that Christ gives us to gain eternal life.

I guess what i'm saying is-how is the LDS belief about faith and works and salvation really different than your belief about it?

The differences are in that for us, God entices and we choose to work. Free-will and meeting the requirements.

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BCSpace,

That would be a difference between us and Calvinists, but there are many free-will evangelicals. The question for me is: How do Mormons believe in salvation by works?

How is this the same or different than free-will evangelicals?

I submit that the basic concepts in both groups are practically the same and that there's just misunderstanding.

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LifeOnaPlate:

I read your blog. Great entry with some great clarifications. I highly recommend it to everyone! :P

Thank you.

In LDS belief, works are how we 'rsvp' to the invitation that Christ gives us to gain eternal life.

I guess what i'm saying is-how is the LDS belief about faith and works and salvation really different than your belief about it?

<_<

Exactly. It's more definitional, if you ask me.

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I guess a better way to ask the question is this: Is Salvation conditional or unconditional in Evangelical thought? In LDS teachings we say:"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." Or in other words we are saved by the Atonement of Christ...on conditions of obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. I believe one of the primary differences in the two beliefs is one of agency. We believe that through the atonement of Christ we can be obedient to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. Our salvation is both unconditional and conditional in LDS thought. It is unconditional in the since of our resurrection and going to a Kingdom of glory, yet it is conditional in the since of eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom of God. Yet eternal life itself is still a gift of God. Hence:

(D&C 14:7) "And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God."
The idea that you can be "saved in your sins" is a Satanic one, we can only be saved from them. We are saved on conditions of repentance and repentance means to change. The Apostle John taught the great importance of keeping the commandments:
(1 John 2:1-6) "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."
This is saying that if we are truly a follower of Christ, one who knows Him, then we will keep His commandments. It is saying the identical thing that is said in D&C 14, we must keep the commandments to have the gift of eternal life.
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Well, I don't think that evangelicals would say that it is the prayer that saves anyone. It's just a common vehicle that people use. The bottom line issue is faith, whether it's expressed in praying out loud or an internal change of heart brought on by the Holy Spirit.

While I can see where you're going, the simplest response I have to this question is that "faith" and "works" are constantly distinguished from each other in Scripture. Nowhere is faith portrayed as a work, although the two are obviously related. Ephesians 2 says that this faith is a gift of God, and is not by works. James says that faith results in good works (or for the LDS interpretation, that faith and works work together in salvation). So they are two separate but related parts of the salvation process.

So in short, exercising faith (and its corellary, repentance) are not works that we do in and of ourselves only. And they in no way merit salvation, any more than opening a birthday present means you earned the present itself.

Make sense, at least a little bit? Good questions though. :unsure:

Take care, everyone :P

rhino Faith is a "work" "we" do see 1 Thess 1:3 - "Your Work Of Faith" I agree that Faith is a "Gift" from GOD but "We" access/activate/make alive that Faith. The Thessalonians " Works of Faith" that was acknowledged by Paul was no different than the requirement of "Works of Faith" of the Ephesians/Philippians/Colossians/Romans or any other N.T Individual or Congragations in the cities addressed in the Bible. rhino we all need "pistis". May Grace rain on you this day. In His Debt/Grace, Tanyan. Sorry I did not post any material from your favorite web site !, <_< Love ya man.

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I guess a better way to ask the question is this: Is Salvation conditional or unconditional in Evangelical thought? In LDS teachings we say:"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." Or in other words we are saved by the Atonement of Christ...on conditions of obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. I believe one of the primary differences in the two beliefs is one of agency. We believe that through the atonement of Christ we can be obedient to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. Our salvation is both unconditional and conditional in LDS thought. It is unconditional in the since of our resurrection and going to a Kingdom of glory, yet it is conditional in the since of eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom of God. Yet eternal life itself is still a gift of God. Hence:The idea that you can be "saved in your sins" is a Satanic one, we can only be saved from them. We are saved on conditions of repentance and repentance means to change. The Apostle John taught the great importance of keeping the commandments:This is saying that if we are truly a follower of Christ, one who knows Him, then we will keep His commandments. It is saying the identical thing that is said in D&C 14, we must keep the commandments to have the gift of eternal life.

You mean like these ?-[sHHHH, don't tell rhino I am posting this from this site] http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/kingdom.htm

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You mean like these ?-[sHHHH, don't tell rhino I am posting this from this site] http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/kingdom.htm

:P<_<:unsure::ph34r::angry: That has to be the funniest site I have ever seen! Especially the ad for the book on "conditional salvation"! I guess the divide is not as wide as they claim, at least on that site. :blink:
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For this discussion when we talk about salvation, I think we should limit the word to mean salvation in it's fullest sense, that is, in the Celestial Kingdom. I don't like talking about salvation in terms of resurrection especially. I think it distracts from the question at hand, which happens to be:

If evangelicals believe they have to do something to receive the free gift of salvation (i.e. repent and ask God for salvation), how are they different from LDS? We say you have to do something as well, namely the follow the principles and ordinances of the gospel. Of course, neither view takes as it's stance that what they do is what saves them. Rather, Christ saves us after certain conditions are met on our part.

If this is salvation by works, then evangelicals are also guilty.

So, why accuse us of believing our works save us? WE DON'T BELIEVE IT ANYMORE THAN THE EVANGELICALS. I'm sick and tired of people saying that my belief is that I must save myself. That is simply not true, it does not line up with scripture (ancient or modern) and is not the teaching of the Church. However, we MUST accept salvation and that means there are certain things we have to do (works) in order to receive the gift.

What say ye evangelicals?

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haha, why the heck do you love that site so much?

Responds to Once Saved Always Saved/Salvation as Non Conditional/You must Do nothing/Do Not anything to remain in The Covenant of Christs Sacrifice on our behalf. From a non LDS Christian perspective. In His Debt/Grace, Tanyan.

My thought exactly. I dont get it.

See my comments above. Tanyan.

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Wouldn't saying a prayer and asking God to save you, technically speaking, be a "work"? Isn't salvation, in evangelical understanding, made contingent upon the individual doing something? i.e., accepting Christ and asking him to forgive you? Would you be saved if you didn't DO that? (I guess the only exception would be strict Calvinists)

If salvation is contingent upon asking for it, aren't evangelicals saved by a work?

I have never had an answer to this that I could understand.

How is this different than requiring baptism or some other ordinance as a means of accepting Christ and/or certain blessings he has made available through his sacrifice?

In other words, is it possible that Christ makes certain blessings available to us that we could never merit or have on our own, but that are contingent upon following a certain law? (ie. baptism for remission of sins, confirmation for sanctification and the gift of the Holy Ghost, sealings for eternal families, etc if you're LDS; if you're evangelical, sincere repentance and a prayer asking for salvation in order to receive salvation)

If such blessings may be contingent on something we do, does that mean that we deserve them, or that we earned them, or that we can say we saved ourselves?

It cant be a work because its probably "non matter" or incomprehensive of time, or something similar?

:P

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In reformed theology we state that there is nothing you can do to merit God's grace including marching down an aisle and praying a prayer.

We are dead in our sins and God quickens us to life. See Cornelius etal, while Peter was still teaching they were saved.

The question is what is the source of our belief? RT states that God initiates our spiritual understanding and that apart from His work in our life we have no hope.

Yes, Lazarus came forth, but if Christ had not called him what could he have done on his own?

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In reformed theology we state that there is nothing you can do to merit God's grace including marching down an aisle and praying a prayer.

We are dead in our sins and God quickens us to life. See Cornelius etal, while Peter was still teaching they were saved.

The question is what is the source of our belief? RT states that God initiates our spiritual understanding and that apart from His work in our life we have no hope.

Yes, Lazarus came forth, but if Christ had not called him what could he have done on his own?

There is nothing you can do to merit Gods grace? Well the origanil question was..Do you not have to

beleive in him? Isnt that "doing" something to merit his grace? is that not a work.

:P

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There is nothing you can do to merit Gods grace? Well the origanil question was..Do you not have to

beleive in him? Isnt that "doing" something to merit his grace? is that not a work.

:P

Hello Friends,

Although I have never claimed to be "evangelical", I believe according to the Bible that "Belief" is not a work.

Consider Romans 4:4-5; Belief is contrasted with works:

"4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

John 6:29 associates belief with "work", but only in the sense that God is the one doing something - not us.

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."

Therefore, to answer your question, "Are Evengalicals Saved By Works?", I would have to say "Yes".

We ["evangelicals"] are saved (given eternal life) by the works of Jesus Christ and not our own.

Mark Taylor

Pensacola, Fl.

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