The Sufficency of Christ

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.

Romans 5:15

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:

John 14:6

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

John 20:28

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.


Ephesians 2:8

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.


Colossians 2:10

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

17 thoughts on “The Sufficency of Christ”

  1. “In reality what is required of a Mormon for their version of salvation rather than dependence on Christ alone is more like this:”

    LDS enter into a covenant with God in the name of Jesus Christ. We put our trust in Christ, and agree to do what he asks us to do. That is our part of the bargain. It is only through the grace of Christ that we can accomplish what he asks us to do.

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    1. I think this comment is one I would struggle to disagree with so I wont, I fully agree that through putting your faith in Christ you are agreeing to do what He asks you to do, this ceases to be an obtaining salvation issue but rather an ongoing continuation of the Christian life issue, which certainly does involve obedience and service.

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  2. “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)”

    Have you read that book? I suspect not. Here is the direct continuation of Kimball’s remarks.

    Along with all the other works necessary for man’s exaltation in the kingdom of God this could rule out the need for repentance. It could give license for sin and, since it does not require man to work out his salvation, could accept instead lip service, death-bed “repentance,” and shallow, meaningless confession of sin.”

    Skipping down the page a bit, we read, “This [2 Ne. 25:23 and 3 Ne. 27:19-20] makes clear the two facets, neither of which alone would bring the individual salvation- the grace of Christ, particularly as represented by his atoning sacrifice, and individual effort. However good a person’s works, he could not be saved had Jesus not died for his and everyone else’s sins. And however powerful the saving grace of Christ, it brings exaltation to no man who does not comply with the works of the gospel.”

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    1. Funnily enough I have read this one, was a tough read but I am glad I read it.

      Biblically though no works can lead to salvation and this is more black and white than many realise.

      Romans 4:4-5 4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

      5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

      If you work you earn what you worked for, if you do not work you earn righteousness.

      Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

      Its one or the other, either the LDS church needs to admit their gospel is all of works, or change it to all of grace, saying its both is unbiblical

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  3. “Its one or the other, either the LDS church needs to admit their gospel is all of works, or change it to all of grace, saying its both is unbiblical”

    There is a third option. The false dichotomy between grace and works created by Martin Luther and embraced by his followers misses the mark. It is unbiblical precisely because the notion was utterly alien to both the Jewish and Graeco-Roman worlds.

    “Biblically though no works can lead to salvation and this is more black and white than many realise.
    Romans 4:4-5 4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    If you work you earn what you worked for, if you do not work you earn righteousness.”

    You are misinterpreting this verse. There is a similar statement in Judaism’s Pirkei Avot. “Antigonus of Socho received the Torah from Shimon the Righteous. He used to say: Be not like servants who minister unto their master for the sake of receiving a reward, but be like servants who serve their master not upon the condition of receiving a reward; and let the fear of Heaven be upon you.”
    The point here is the kind of relationship, not that works = evil. One should not see God as an employer who is obligated to give you equivalent wages for your work.
    OTOH grace without works was inconceivable to the ancients. Grace did not mean a free gift which is invalidated by any reciprocal effort. Grace was something done for someone, the proper response was to do something for the giver. In a religious context this meant acts of piety and good deeds. In fact, what we term works were in Paul’s day termed ‘graces’, or hasadim.

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    1. The third option you mention is not really relevant to this discussion however fair enough. I am not going to challenge that one as I dont want to have to spend ages looking into it.

      Oh dear have I misinterpreted things again, doh, well lets have a look.

      The quote you have given while clearly similar is making a very different point to the verse I have quoted. Your quote rightly says when you do something do it out of love or righteous fear rather than seeking a reward. Which is a very good point.

      The verse I quoted is not showing God as an employer but is actually showing how different He is to that as it says if you work you get paid, simple. However then it says to the one who does not work but trust’s God they get righteousness which is the theme of much of the new Testament. For me we are seprated from God due to sin and a lack of righteousness, we must be righteous to be accepted by God. Christ gives us this righteousness by faith in Him.

      As I said its one or the other Romans 11:6

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  4. “The third option you mention is not really relevant to this discussion however fair enough. I am not going to challenge that one as I dont want to have to spend ages looking into it.”

    Not really relevant? It cuts right to the heart of the matter. If my position is correct, then there is utterly no biblical foundation for your declaration that “it is either one or the other.” It rests on protestant dogma.

    Let us get the terminology straight, as we do come from a time and culture different to that of the New Testament. Protestants term good deeds and acts of worship as works, right? However, what were they termed in Paul’s day?
    Graces- hasadim. Judah Goldin explains hesed as a “word expressing the phenomenon of “loyalty”, “devotion.” It is, as A. Lods put it, “a very comprehensive word, which, for the want of an adequate equivalent, we are obliged to translate, now by piety, now by mercy, love or grace: it corresponds fairly closely to the Latin pietas…” Taken literally, the term gemilut hasadim is an action that represents a doing something in return, which doing is expressive of a loyalty- or less clumsily, gemilut hasadim is an act by means of which one demonstrates his response to someone, in obedience to him or out of loyalty to him. In short, it really is an act of piety. And strictly speaking, any action- it need have nothing to do with charity, sedakah, at all- any action which an individual carried out as a fulfillment of a divine command, was an act of gemilut hasadim.”
    Judah Goldin, “The Three Pillars of Simeon the Righteous.” Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 27:43-58.
    “The Hebrew hesed (plural hasadim) is usually translated as “grace” or “loving-kindness,” but sometimes also as “mercy” or “love.” An act of hesed is an act of kindness done neither to repay a debt nor for the sake of gain, but freely and purely out of love.” (Warren Zev Harvey, “Grace in Judaism,” Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, Vol. 1, ed. Yudit Kornberg Greenberg, ABC-CLIO: 2008)
    “Not only did Abraham do acts of hesed, but he commanded his descendants and followers to do likewise. According to a statement of Rabbi Judah bar Nahamani (Babylonian Talmud 1948, 8b), gemilut hasadim is the distinguishing characteristic of the children of Israel, who hold to the covenant of Abraham. Rabbi Judah cites God’s words regarding Abraham: “For I have singled him out, that he may instruct his children and his posterity, to keep the way of the Lord, by doing what is just and right.” (Genesis 18:19) It would thus seem that the very purpose of the covenant of Abraham is gemilut hasadim, which is “the way of the Lord”; that is, the purpose of the covenant is moral imitatio Dei (Maimonides, Hilkhot De’ot 1:6-7).” (Harvey, 2008)

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  5. Now lets turn to the social setting.

    “For anything outside the ordinary, the person sought out the individual who possessed or controlled access to what the person needed and received it as a favor…If the patron granted the petition, the petitioner would become the client of the patron and a potentially long-term relationship would begin. This relationship would be marked by the mutual exchange of desired goods and services, the patron being available for assistance in the future, the client doing everything in his or her power to enhance the fame and honor of the patron…remaining loyal to the patron and providing services whenever the opportunity arose” (David A. DeSilva, Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 96-97. )
    “It was this state of dependence…that formed one’s identity as a client. In exchange for receiving these needed goods from the patron, the client was expected to give back to the patron.”
    “a client could hardly give something from himself, and therefore could only give of himself to the patron…The importance of returning a favor for a favor was one of the strongest, and most persistent, aspects of the Greco-Roman world…A failure to reciprocate would endanger the client’s access to the needed resources from the patron.”
    “Grace must be met with grace; favor must always give birth to favor; gift must always be met with gratitude. An image that captured this for the ancients was the picture of three goddesses, the three “Graces,” dancing hand in hand in a circle…From [many] ancient witnesses, we learn that there is no such thing as an isolated act of grace…Only a gift requited is a gift well and nobly received. To fail to return favor for favor is, in effect, to break off the dance and destroy the beauty of the gracious act.” (ibid)

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  6. “Oh dear have I misinterpreted things again, doh, well lets have a look.”

    Yes lets.

    The verse you quoted is decrying *contractual* relationships. Such relationships require precise evaluations of favours. In other words, if I give donations to 50 poor and needy every month, then God is obliged to give me X amount of my share in the world to come.
    “No one gave a gift to God, thus initiating a reciprocal relationship (Rom. 11:35). The initiating was done by God (Rom. 5:6, 8, 10). All are recipients of God’s initiating beneficence, and all are obligated to God…Christians are to present the remainder of their lives to God as a reasonable return (see also 2 Cor. 5:15).” (David A. DeSilva, An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation(Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 618.)
    Now please do explain why my quote from Avot is irrelevant.

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  7. And faith could not have been divorced from DOING, IE from works. Faith is not an intellectual assent, faith is a commitment, a call to action which displays loyalty.

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  8. “How many different angles are you going to try to ignore what is in front of you?”

    Hello, Mr. Pot! Kettle here.

    I’ve already pointed out to you that what we in modern English term works were in Paul’s day actually called graces. You are confusing terminology and ignoring, nay substituing the ancient context with a modern one. So far you have consistently refused to address any scholarship I have provided.

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    1. I will have a look at them, I am currently at work and just replying on my phone, however the bible teaches this in so many places and I trust the bible as scripture over any other author. However I will look, the issue here is that you do not trust the bible, you have such strong preconceptions that anything it says seems to go through a filter. If that’s the case then there is not much I can say to you.

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  9. that if you lose your life for my sake, you shall find it, I meant lose it from your sense of self-salvation by being under the law.” Truely our weak & beggarly atmetpts to keep the law as a means to be blessed and right with God blinds us from the reality of true humility in receiving everything dieing to self-salvation brings. As you stated, when we are ‘totally helpless’ we will empty any and all self-righteous atmetpts to save our life by trying to keep the law. Grace is heavens ‘open arms’ inviting all who are tired of self-salvation by the law and are ready to find their lives by losing it out from under the law through Christ, by Christ and in Christ! I love you!

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