The Sufficiency of Christ
So we have looked at the LDS and biblical view of sin and the different origins and effects of this, from both sides we can see that sin is something that to varying degrees seperates people from God and is something that needs to be overcome in order to have certainly of a future eternity with God.
This week starting with the Biblical view we see that Jesus Christ and Him alone is the only way this problem of sin can be dealt with,
Revelation 21:27 says
And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it (heaven), but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Nothing unclean with any sin whatsoever can enter into the presence of God, we as human beings must be before God, perfect otherwise we would be unacceptable to enter into His presence both in this life and the next.
As we saw last time Adam brought this situation upon the world.
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of he one the many died ……..
However the second half of this verse says this:
…..much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
What I want to briefly show is that according to the bible, salvation meaning union with God in this life and the next is freely available as a gift through Christ alone.
Many people have debated and argued over the years regarding which church to join, should I be baptist, lutheran, methodist, free evangelical etc…. Even the story of Joseph Smith the founder of Mormonism starts with him praying to God asking which church to join.
I think the bible shows this is the wrong question to ask, Christianity is so much less a structured religion, and is so much more a relationship with dependance on Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.
For starters He is the truth:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
He is God
Thomas answered and said to Him (Jesus), “My Lord and my God!”
He died and rose again for the sins of the world.
1 John 2:2
And He Himself is the propitiation (meaning He has taken our punishment) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
Faith in Him saves you, not by works but by faith alone.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
This is a basic explanation of this but I am happy to discuss anything in more detail.
A key part of biblical Christianity is the belief that none of our own good charitable, spiritual or any kind of good works can lead us to be saved, salvation only comes from putting our faith completely in Jesus Christ, who though He existed in heaven as God, came to earth as a man and took upon Himself the sins of the world and then rose again so that by us putting our faith in Him we can be born again. (more on that next week)
Through this we can have full assurance of an eternity with God in the hereafter, if its not by faith alone then that means we can contribute to our salvation and it means Christ alone is not enough.
In the LDS view like with many things at first it may sound similar, many people have asked Mormon missionaries “do you believe in salvation by faith alone?”
Mostly they will say yes we do, however this then turns into a change of terminology as to a Mormon salvation means everyone being raised again in the next life for judgement. This happens to everyone regardless of their faith, and they believe that is the part that Christ achieved for us, however they believe that exaltation, which is the top level of the three levels of heaven that Mormons believe in only comes through a great deal of works, this is the aim for most LDS members.
Spencer W Kimball the twelfth president of the Mormon church said this in his book the miracle of forgiveness
“One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.” (pp. 206-207)
In reality what is required of a Mormon for their version of salvation rather than dependence on Christ alone is more like this:
1. We must be baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.
2. We must receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
3. We must receive the temple endowment.
4. We must be married for time and eternity.
In addition to receiving the required ordinances, the Lord commands all of us to–
1. Love and worship God.
2. Love our neighbor.
3. Repent of our wrongdoings.
4. Live the law of chastity.
5. Pay honest tithes and offerings.
6. Be honest in our dealings with others and with the Lord.
7. Speak the truth always.
8. Obey the Word of Wisdom.
9. Search out our kindred dead and perform the saving ordinances of the gospel for them.
10. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
11. Attend our Church meetings as regularly as possible so we can renew our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament.
12. Love our family members and strengthen them in the ways of the Lord.
13. Have family and individual prayers every day.
14. Honor our parents.
15. Teach the gospel to others by word and example.
16. Study the scriptures.
17. Listen to and obey the inspired words of the prophets of the Lord.
Finally, each of us needs to receive the Holy Ghost and learn to follow his direction in our individual lives.
(Gospel Principles (1997 edition, pages 303-304)
Christ alone is not enough for a Mormon to be saved they believe they need so much more, my message to anyone reading this is that Christ alone is enough for salvation, yes going to church is great as it helps you grow, baptism is great as it is a public sign of obedience to God however if you want to get right with God, Christ alone over any church or organisation is the place to look.
And in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
I invite anyone to comment on what I have said and tell me anything I have said that you disagree with