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Faith alone


bluebell

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I know this topic has been done to death-especially lately-but there is one thing that keeps being said by many non-LDS Christians that i want some clarification on. I'd like to stick specifically to this arguement since there are so many other threads right now where every other aspect of the issue is being discussed.

Basically, many non-LDS Christians keep telling me that salvation is through faith alone. They say, specifically, that LDS aren't saved because we do not believe that salvation is through faith alone.

My question is, isn't teaching that salvation comes through faith alone contradictory to what the bible says about it? The bible teaches that faith, being alone, is dead.

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

And as a part of that question i want to know, can dead faith save anyone?

I would really like all those who have used the 'salvation through faith alone' arguement against LDS to share their thoughts on this, because from my understanding, such a teaching is anti-biblical.

Thanks.

:P

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I was told a long time ago that "express mention of a thing excludes all others".

To say "faith alone" excludes all others, including "works".

To say "grace alone" excludes all others, including "faith".

So statements like "by grace alone through faith alone" are just gibberish. But like a lot of political speech of late, it sounds lofty.

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My question is, isn't teaching that salvation comes through faith alone contradictory to what the bible says about it? The bible teaches that faith, being alone, is dead.

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

And as a part of that question i want to know, can dead faith save anyone?

I would really like all those who have used the 'salvation through faith alone' arguement against LDS to share their thoughts on this, because from my understanding, such a teaching is anti-biblical.

Thanks.

:P

What this single verse does is destroy the notion that works are a product of salvation.

If anything works could be claimed to be a product of faith but that isn't even correct.

Works are a product of a commitment.

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I know this topic has been done to death-especially lately-but there is one thing that keeps being said by many non-LDS Christians that i want some clarification on. I'd like to stick specifically to this arguement since there are so many other threads right now where every other aspect of the issue is being discussed.

Basically, many non-LDS Christians keep telling me that salvation is through faith alone. They say, specifically, that LDS aren't saved because we do not believe that salvation is through faith alone.

My question is, isn't teaching that salvation comes through faith alone contradictory to what the bible says about it? The bible teaches that faith, being alone, is dead.

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

And as a part of that question i want to know, can dead faith save anyone?

I would really like all those who have used the 'salvation through faith alone' arguement against LDS to share their thoughts on this, because from my understanding, such a teaching is anti-biblical.

Thanks.

:P

Well salvation by faith alone leaves out the basic "ten commandments". let alone much other instruction as the nessecity of baptism to be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven e;t;c;;;; ;)

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Well salvation by faith alone leaves out the basic "ten commandments". let alone much other instruction as the nessecity of baptism to be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven e;t;c;;;; :P

Yep. And the faith alone crowd has never heard of these commandments. Where might one find these?

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What this single verse does is destroy the notion that works are a product of salvation.

If anything works could be claimed to be a product of faith but that isn't even correct.

Works are a product of a commitment.

Yep. The faith alone crowd has never heard of this verse. Is James even in the Bible?

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I can see how open everyone is for clarification.

I am open for clarification of that scripture that is coherent.

I just don't see away for faith being alone to save you if faith being alone is dead per James 2:17.

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I was told a long time ago that "express mention of a thing excludes all others".

To say "faith alone" excludes all others, including "works".

To say "grace alone" excludes all others, including "faith".

So statements like "by grace alone through faith alone" are just gibberish. But like a lot of political speech of late, it sounds lofty.

And yet it makes perfect sense to millions of people. So millions get it and you don't - where might the problem lie?

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Yep. The faith alone crowd has never heard of this verse. Is James even in the Bible?

Some people wanted to remove it because they couldn't reconcile that verse of scripture because it went against what they claimed.

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Yep. The faith alone crowd has never heard of this verse. Is James even in the Bible?

So, if i'm understanding you right, because the 'faith alone' crowd reads the bible, and knows about this scripture, we should assume that their use of 'faith alone' is biblical.

Considering all the scriptures that the 'faith alone' crowd throws bible reading, bible believing LDS members direction, isn't this line of reasoning a huge double standard?

And, to the point, can you answer the OP questions so we can understand your point better?

:P

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And yet it makes perfect sense to millions of people. So millions get it and you don't - where might the problem lie?

Uh, are you serious hoops?

The mormon understanding of the bible makes perfect sense to millions of people as well. So, millions of people get it but you don't-using your logic above, that means the problem is with you, right?

:P

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And yet it makes perfect sense to millions of people. So millions get it and you don't - where might the problem lie?

Perhaps it isn't that they get it but that they ignore it.

BlueBell hit the nail on the head.

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Uh, are you serious hoops?

The mormon understanding of the bible makes perfect sense to millions of people as well. So, millions of people get it but you don't-using your logic above, that means the problem is with you, right?

:P

With a critical difference - mormons require additional scripture to make their case.

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With a critical difference - mormons require additional scripture to make their case.

But you require ignoring certain scriptures to make yours-so doesn't that even things out?

I mean, after all your posts on this thread, and repeated requests for it, you haven't yet actually explained how the 'faith only' belief works with the scriptures that have been presented.

:P

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With a critical difference - mormons require additional scripture to make their case.

The only thing that has been quoted in this thread is james 2:17. Which you still have failed to bring a good argument against it.

James 2:17 destroys the idea of "works are a product of salvation". That verse of scripture isn't in the BoM or the D&C. But the bible, and you already knew that, so you have have set up another straw man. No cookie for you either.

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And yet it makes perfect sense to millions of people. So millions get it and you don't - where might the problem lie?

The doctrine of salvation by faith alone (or grace alone, there does not seem to be a great difference in the use of the phrases by Evangelicals) is misunderstood by a vast mnumber of mainstream Christians themselves, so I don't think you can fault us for having difficulties with it. The doctrine of salvation by grace alone taken to its logical conclusion is nothing more than pure predestination. The varieties of salvation by grace/faith alone usually are not really by grace/faith alone. They usually require some sort of work, even if something basic like confessing that Jesus is the Christ, or accepting Jesus as your personal savior or similar acts. Occasionally I've been told by proponents of such views that such actions (confessing or accepting) are not works, which leads one to asK what works are in the first place. Both Mormons and many mainstream Christians believe that, to some degree or another, whether or not we are saved will be influenced by our own choices, whether that be a choice to "accept" Christ as our savior or a choice to enter into a covenant with Him to sincerely try to keep His commandments.

Unless you believe that our salvation comes about solely based on the arbitrary (I have a feeling some will get upset at me for that word, but I can't think of a better way to describe it) predestination of God, you accept that some form of "works" are required for salvation.

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My question is, isn't teaching that salvation comes through faith alone contradictory to what the bible says about it? The bible teaches that faith, being alone, is dead.

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

And as a part of that question i want to know, can dead faith save anyone?

I'm wondering if there isn't some misunderstanding about what having faith actually means. Not that I consider myself an expert on the subject. But this is my opinion.

In James, who has more of an affinity for works than other authors, he is talking about the living entity of faith. Faith is not wishing. Faith is not hoping. Faith is alive and the reason it lives is because it is a self sustaining entity (when practiced correctly.) It is difficult to find an analogous situation. You can say you have faith alone, as in only needing faith for salvation, but if you truly have faith then you also have works. You may be ignorant of the fact that the works you perform are because you have a living faith. You can also say or think you have faith, but if there is no profession of that faith then in actuality it is dead or truly alone and what you think you have is not faith.

LDS put more emphasis on the works, but hopefully acknowledge that works will not get you salvation.

EV put more emphasis on faith, not expressly explaining that works come as an expression of that faith.

Faith and works can not be separated. One without the other invalidates the former and leaves it dead, as far as salvation is concerned.

Saying "saved by faith alone," makes me think that it is either said in ignorance or that works as the profession of faith is assumed.

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Saying "saved by faith alone," makes me think that it is either said in ignorance or that works as the profession of faith is assumed.

You could be right that it is said in ignorance, but hoops has specifically claimed that the 'by faitih alone' crowd is very familiar with this scripture so the 'ignorance' card is a bit hard to accept.

Also, i don't know how one can logically suggest that 'saved by faith alone' means that works are assumed to be a part of the equation. If someone goes to so much trouble to highlight the 'alone' part of the equation, is there grounds to assume they don't reallly mean 'alone'?

Unfortunately, so far, no one who claims to believe in this doctrine has bothered to address the OP and the one non-LDS Christian who did post quite a few times, never managed to actually say anything relevant (which makes it hard not to think the lack of discussion isn't because they have no way to validate the belief when confronted with that verse-i'm not ready to assume that yet though) so we are kind of left with just guessing where they are coming from.

:P

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And yet it makes perfect sense to millions of people. So millions get it and you don't - where might the problem lie?

AND the political speech of late makes sense to millions of people as well, that doesn't change the fact that it is gibberish.

PS. I notice that your response is consistent with the logical fallacy of "ad populum". Is that the best you can do?

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Let's get our audience right first:

James 1:1 tells us he is writing to jews.

James 1:3 (I believe) tells us he is writing to believing jews.

believing jews have heard the Kingdom preached and believed in Jesus as King/Messiah. These jews are still operating under works based theology and are still hopeful for the ushering in of the Kingdom - acts 2-3.

James takes much of previous to 2:17 explaining how God's law is a high law, than mere adherence to the law is not enough - one must have true repentance which is believing that Jesus is the Messiah/King.

But you will note that James is extolling these believing jews to do good works - and they are ALREADY believers. No where does james tell us that one can lose one's salvation by not performing good works. Please cite it if you can.

Nevertheless, I know of no one who believes that works are unimportant. Do not sbc congregations do good works? Why would they? Do not RCC do the same - to a degree that puts both sbc and lds to shame? Do not many others do the same.

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I am open for clarification of that scripture that is coherent.

I just don't see away for faith being alone to save you if faith being alone is dead per James 2:17.

I don't know of a better analysis of this topic than Stephen E. Robinson's book Believing Christ. If you haven't read it, put it at the top of your reading list. Here is an excerpt:

". . .for Latter-day Saints, the doctrine of grace does not mean that we are saved by grace alone; that is, without participating in the process in some degree, nor does it mean that salvation is totally without conditions. If that were true, salvation would be something that just fell out of the sky and happened to us--like getting struck by lightning or winning the lottery. [We] do not believe that grace is either random or irresistible, or that salvation is a unilateral decision on God's part (predestination). God may be predisposed in our favor, he may put within our reach what was once beyond us, and he may remove every obstacle in the way of our salvation, but he will not force us down the path he has cleared, nor will he save us without our consent. The gospel covenant is provided by sheer grace, but it must be entered into by choice" (p. 68).

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Let's get our audience right first:

James 1:1 tells us he is writing to jews.

I truly don't mean to nitpick or start out the conversation by disagreeing, but because i know this is a big point in a lot of your arguements, i have to point out that first, LDS believe that when one covenants with Christ through baptism they become adopted into the house of israel, and second, since timonthy teaches that all scripture is profitable, i don't think we can rightfully suggest that the entire book of james does not apply to us today because of the first verse.

However, from your point of view, which is what i want to understand, it's interesting to see that the way you approach the book of james is to begin with the assumption that he's not speaking to you.

James 1:3 (I believe) tells us he is writing to believing jews.

O.k.

believing jews have heard the Kingdom preached and believed in Jesus as King/Messiah.

Can we really assume that about 'scattered Jews'? Jesus preached in a pretty small area. I don't know that it's logical to assume that james' audience heard Jesus speak or have any stronger grasp of Jesus' teachings than the gentiles who converted.

These jews are still operating under works based theology and are still hopeful for the ushering in of the Kingdom - acts 2-3.

I'm not seeing that, but alright.

James takes much of previous to 2:17 explaining how God's law is a high law, than mere adherence to the law is not enough - one must have true repentance which is believing that Jesus is the Messiah/King.

O.k., that i can completely agree with.

But you will note that James is extolling these believing jews to do good works - and they are ALREADY believers. No where does james tell us that one can lose one's salvation by not performing good works. Please cite it if you can.

First, i think you are missing james' point. He's deliverying a sermon to believers, yes, but it obviously still applies to them. James isn't teaching that one can lose salvation if they don't do good works, he's teacing that one isn't truly saved if works (not good works, just works) isn't a part of their belief in Christ.

And i specifically said that he's not saying 'good works' but just 'works' because i think, for our discussion, that's an important thing to understand. When i hear the phrase 'good works' i usually think of works as in being kind or giving service, ect. I don't think that the terms 'works' and 'good works' are interchangeble in the scriptures.

'Works', to me, are doing what Christ has said we must do to access His grace, as opposed to the parts that Christ does-the works of faith, repentance, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

It seems clear to me that it is THAT kind of work that james is speaking of-obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel such as baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and whatever else specific commandments that Christ gives to us.

I believe james is speaking of those kinds of works, and not 'good works' because of what he says about them-

~James specifically states that a man is justfied by works and not faith alone (there again he teaches specifically against the 'saved by faith alone' doctrine),

~he teaches that it was only through a work that abraham's faith was made perfect,

~he teaches that the scripture was fulfilled (that abraham 'believed') when work was added to his faith.

We know we are justified when we enter into the Covenant with Christ and He imputes His righteousness to us. Therefore, the only way that works could be a part of the justification process is if they were a part of either making that Covenant, or keeping it.

Nevertheless, I know of no one who believes that works are unimportant. Do not sbc congregations do good works? Why would they? Do not RCC do the same - to a degree that puts both sbc and lds to shame? Do not many others do the same.

Why do atheists do good works?

We aren't discussing whether or not works are important, we are discussing whether or not works have a part in our salvation.

:P

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