Testimony of a New Christian.

Hi please read below Cheryl’s story, Cheryl is someone we met recently at a local LDS ward, this is her story if going from Mormonism to Christ.

TESTIMONY

I CAN STILL BE ME AND WORSHIP GOD!

BY CHERYL HAZELL

 

Hi, my name is Cheryl Hazell and I have been a part of Middlesbrough Community Church (MCC) for just over a year.

So what’s my story? Well I grew up in Stockton-on-tees in an area known as Fairfield with my parent’s.  This wasn’t always a happy household as my parents used to argue all the time and shout at me for what appeared to be no reason as well as I was bullied at school for many reasons such as, not having brand name clothing, shopping in charity shops, being a tomboy and because I did well in some of my classes I was even picked on for that.

Growing up I was brought up to believe in God and saw many answers to prayers even from a very young age.  Despite being brought up in the Mormon Church from the age of 3 and knowing some amazing people my parents weren’t the greatest role models.  My mam smoked and both my parents drank alcohol occasionally as well as tea and coffee which as a Mormon you’re not supposed to do.  As a child I used to have a lot of fun pinching the missionaries badges, hiding and then looking at the stickers on the back.  As a child I used to find church relaxing as I always usually ended up falling asleep on my mams knee.  We had a lot of friends and I was spoilt rotten by various people and loved the attention.  I can’t really remember my Mormon baptism I know I was 8 and was baptised by one of my mam’s friends and someone else.   I went to all the girls camps and although enjoyed them because I was bit of a tomboy I found it difficult to make friends.

I stopped going to Church around the age of 16 and went to live independently in “the world”.  Through this time I saw many answers to prayers including healing of minor illnesses and extra financial support so I knew God was still there and heard everything I said.  During this time at the age of 18 I thought I had met my Mr right despite our ups and downs.  During this time I developed depression and despite being on anti-depressents and planning my wedding I had attempted suicide more than once.  During this relationship I had a beautiful little girl but developed post natal depression.  The relationship broke down after 3 years so I moved back to my parents with my daughter.

I very quickly ended up with someone else whom ended up keeping me so isolated I wasn’t even allowed to my neighbours house for a cuppa.  This was another unstable relationship where my parents ended up calling social social services for various reasons and this added to my mental health issues.  This relationship ended on my birthday 2008 and I tried to get on with raising the kids.

My mental health was so bad that in Jan 2009 I lost custody of my children, ended up in a bed and breakfast, and by the march I was a drunken depressive and just wanted to end my life.  I also knew I had to find a way to sort myself out.  A friend of mine who’d been through all of this with me since I was 17 dragged me to an open day atMiddlesbroughcollege in June 2009.  I enrolled on a foundation degree in business management and even had some friends to house share with.  I had also been to see my GP about getting my medication changed and this was achieved and it really helped me control my emotions and I was able to focus a little better.

In march 2010 I started working at subway and after about 1 month I was on shift one sunny day with a full restaurant and serving customers by myself.  4 young lads were in the queue with shorts n skateboards and by the time they had sat down I had noticed the restaurant was empty.  I took the opportunity to start sweeping the floor and as I started the door closed and I very quickly realised these 4 young lads were Mormon missionaries.  They had arranged to come visit me in my home  and after 3 visits in that week I was back at church that very Sunday.  Part of there “rules” is you confess all sins to your Bishop which I did and very quickly gained a lot of friends.  Anytime I was in need of anything all I had to do was ask and there was always someone able to help.  As the months went by and I progressed with obedience to Mormon scripture I found myself entering the temple and doing baptisms for the dead.

On this day a friend of mine was meant to be delivering a wardrobe to my flat I gave him the keys and his wife drove me to the temple and chaperoned me with another church member. Doing baptism for the dead was an awesome experience as I felt peaceful and felt a huge sense of achievement as your only allowed in the temple if you are following what the scriptures say.   When I got home that evening my entire living room had been decorated and I was overwhelmed with this amazing provision.  However, despite this amazing support, some amazing friends and progressing into the temple I knew something wasn’t right and there was still a big hole in my heart that needed filling and although doing baptisms for the dead was awesome I didn’t feel like it was doing any good for anyone except me as I just love any excuse to be in warm water.

I often found Church robotic and boring and my peers and I would often sit at the back messing around and getting told off for not paying attention.  Despite this though more than once I bore my testimony at the front of church and was asked to speak at various events and even ended up temporary being the Young single adult representative.  This achievement of people trusting me with responsibility was an encouragement but I still wasn’t happy.

In February 2011 I was at one of my regular Thursday evening classes with the 18-30’s at the Mormon Church in Billingham and I went downstairs at the end to visit the adults as I always had done.  Sitting there was Bobby Gilpin who I had met once or twice before at other Mormon events and he was with one of his close friends.  After hanging out with them on n off for a week or so I then met Vicky Gilpin Bobby’s wife and one night of monopoly turned into the 3 of them sitting on one side of the room me on the other and them talking to me about being born again in great depth and quoting scripture “at” me.

I left that evening thinking ‘oh my life I’ve just been Bible bashed’ but the next 2 days I couldn’t stop thinking about it and everything they said stuck in my heart.  I  got in touch with Vicky and said something like I have to come to Church with you.  So that very Sun April 2nd 2011 I went to the Oakwood Joint meeting and heard a sermon about a scripture I had heard many times before but because of what was said and the fact it was being explained differently something in me told me I was home and I had found the truth.  I cried the whole service, could hardly move and at the end of the service all I could say to Vicky was Thank you because, I was speechless (which those who know me know that doesn’t happen to often).

From that Sunday to the next my depression was gone completely. I was off my medication and I felt different.   This happened without prayer. I did my first Alpha course at St Barnabas with various people from MCC and saw people’s lives change including various aspects of mine changing drastically.

My Baptism July 3rd 2011 on that day I was able to walk away from something which I felt trapped in despite doing Alpha and saw a whole new me starting to emerge.

My relationship with God is now amazing and I have gone from being a loud, tomboy who swears and drinks to a more mature , more feminine daughter of the king.  I have been healed of minor illness, my heart for people is huge, I am servant hearted and through this past year have discovered what some of my spiritual gifts are which I am eager to develop.  I very quickly realised that the testimonies I had given in the Mormon church were of God not of Mormonism itself and also quickly realised that doing the baptisms for the dead wasn’t doing anything for anyone except me.  Because I have found the truth I no longer fear my past and am able to deal with challenging life situations with Jesus and amazing people by my side.

If it hadn’t been for Bobby, his wife and other people involved I don’t even want to contemplate what my life would have been like.  I truly believe God would have still led me home but it probably would have taken much longer.

I know who I am in Jesus and I know I am safe, never alone and always listened to not only by Jesus but by the amazing people in my spiritual family who are there for each other know matter what.  I encourage all of you to be a witness at all times weather it be to people of other faith’s or just everyday friends and family because you never know who Jesus will rescue through you.

Thankyou.

As an update to this Cheryl has been Baptised on the 3rd of July at Middlesbrough Community Church, here is a pic and a video.

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19 thoughts on “Testimony of a New Christian.”

  1. Cheryl,

    Praise God that you have seen the falseness of a man made religion and have found the True and Living Christ of the Bible. May he bless you as you become stronger in your new Christian faith!

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  2. I would suggest it is rather you fancy one of your new friends as no one from the previuos relgion (that u have met) was dating you. You need to be very careful about you decision to be baptised. I wonder why you baptism isn’t untill July? Very unusual

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    1. its got nothing to do with a guy actually it is to do with i have found the truth and am now closer to god than ever before to the point where he has changed my heart so much that i am now becoming the person he designed me to be

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    1. Hi Danielle, regarding Gods choosing people that is down to God to act in who He wants and when He wants,

      Romans 9 says regarding salvation

      It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

      Many Mormons have come out of Mormonism and come to a saving faith in Christ, Cheryl is far from unique in this, I think God loves all Mormons and all people, and when He acts in an individuals life as this verse says its not because of something special they have done, but simply because He wants to. I hope and pray that Mormon after Mormon comes to a place where they see that no religious work, ritual or any aspect of perfomance will give them any security in their salvation and they see that Christ alone and trusting in Him is sufficient.

      Regarding the Baptism being until July that is just how our church works, we do baptisms every other month with so many at a time, to be fair I agree with you that they should be more often and Cheryl wanted it sooner too, however we don’t in any way see Baptism as what makes salvation happen but rather coming to Christ and putting our eternal hopes in Him. However Baptism is an essential step of obedience.

      Regarding people in our church dating Cheryl I don’t think anyone has, however I will leave her to answer that one.

      Thanks for commenting I appreciate you looking on here and I am certainly not after an argument.

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    2. I am most definately not ‘the chosen one’ I have just recognised the truth about christ before others. We are not saved by works but by grace.

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      1. Cheryl,

        Please don’t listen to anything negative others say to you. When we leave Mormonism it must be because we have sinned horribly or just can’t live up to the standards of the LDS church or like ME above said “it must be because one of your new guy friends.” People who don’t know the Jesus of the Bible can’t possibly understand how you feel. Enjoy the freedom that is Jesus and move on in your true Christian faith! 🙂

        John 14:6
        Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

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  3. “We are not saved by works but by grace.”
    Really? I think the bible and the apostles disagree with you and with itself on that one.

    Saved by works
    (James 2:24) – “You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.”
    (Matthew 19:16-17) – “And behold, one came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
    (Matthew 7:21) Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    Personally I would be more incline to listen to two people who actually knew Jesus and Jesus himself, rather than Paul who never actually met Christ and was after all a man employed to persecute Christians before his expedient conversion. A conversion which of course lead Paul travelling the world, assimilating masses of Pagan doctrine in to church lore and laying the foundation for almost every contentious Christian doctrine since.

    Cheryl works do matter in the spiritual world as even more so in the secular one

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    1. Mr Lions, great to have you comment on my blog how did you come across this blog?

      Regarding your comment although i do have some points of disagreement i would like to start where we do agree, firstly our works do matter, I believe they are the reason why we are saved, we saved by grace loving evangelicals always quote Ephesians 2:8 effortlessly saying that we are saved by Grace not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, I maintain that is true however Ephesians 2:10 says For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, God wants His people doing good works, he does nto want us to claim to be Christian and do nothing. This denies our whole purpose in salvation. So therefore again I am sure we both agree that the individual that claims to be a Christian and acts no differently to the person who does not is by no means saved.

      So where we disagree is on 2 counts, firstly your dismissal of the words of the Apostle Paul claiming they are less significant than the words of James and secondly your point that there is a contradiction between the two and ultimately our works save us.

      So Firstly I would say Pauls words are as valid as the words of any other apostle for a number of reasons. Paul Himself defends His apostleship in 1 Corinthians 9:1-2 here 1Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

      2If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.

      Paul had seen Christ like all of the other apostles, his status as an apostle was as sound as any of the others were.

      Peter Himself who absolutely had seen Christ had this to say of Paul, 15And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

      16As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:15-16)

      Pauls wisdom was given to him, his words were wrote in this wisdom, people it says here have wrest these writings as they do other scriptures to their own destruction. other versions say distort which is what i think that word means, however the point is Peter stands by the God given wisdom of paul and compares his writings to other scriptures, Paul saw Jesus Christ like the other Apostles, he uses this fact to defend his apostleship, i might add do lds apostles today have this claim? And as we see in 2 Timothy 3:16 all scripture is useful for reproof, correction etc, so i think dismissing the words of paul too quickly is a big mistake and as peter says can lead to peoples distruction.

      My second point is that actually there is no contradiction between Paul and James, if there is then there is also a contradiction between James and Jesus as in Luke 7:50 Jesus declares a sinful woman saved on the basis of her faith. The issues is, is this faith a life changing faith leading to works, James says faith without works is dead, i could not agree more,

      James 2:14 says 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?

      If you have faith and no deeds can such faith save you? Not can faith save you at all but can such faith save you? The answer is no, but does this faith lead to works then here is the full answer.

      Ephesians 2:8-10

      For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

      We are saved by faith not works so no one can boast, so that you do good works, salvation is by faith and faith alone that is all over the new testament, however good works are a fruit of that faith, how do you know a tree the answer is by its fruit, how do you know a Christian saved by Christ the answer is what flows out of them, you could ask is it by faith and works and Romans 11:6 shows us that if it is by works it is not of grace otherwise grace is no more grace however 2 Corintians 5:17 shows that someone in Christ is a new creation and the way we know that is by what flows out.

      sorry thats a long response but i think this subject is eternally significant and i totally welcome you to have further discussion with me on this,

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      1. Faith does not = Grace, they are separate entities, often confused as similes for one another.
        As you point out Paul (to who I shall return shortly) says we are save by grace alone, BECAUSE of faith.
        Pauls epistles like much of the new testament is written in Greek and the word Χαρις Charis is Greek meaning grace or more specifically thanks, an act of gratitude. In other words Paul says God is showing his gratitude to those who have found him, by excusing them everything , past present and future in return for their continued “faith”, translated from the Greek πιστις (pi’stis) which though most accurately translated as BELIEF has the subtle inference of unquestioning faith because of evidence or proof.
        Therefore faith in Paul’s terms is not blind faith, or religious faith it is proven belief, sought out and rewarded.
        By what right did Paul preach this, what evidence could he provide?
        James However tells us Jesus himself says In James 2: 18-20
        18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
        What does this mean?
        James makes no mention of Grace, he categorically states “I will show you my faith by my works” he sees his faith as a calling to live in imitation of Christ, not as a promise of rewards to come by the Grace of God.
        This too seems to have been Jesus’ own attitude.
        Jesus was REQUIRED to do works to obtain grace, we are admonished to follow his example.
        We are not entitled to God’s grace, we are offer the chance to earn it.
        Now to Paul.
        Paul never did meet Christ, there is no evidence of this what so ever, biblically or otherwise.
        The best that can be said is that he had some sort of alleged experience on the road to Damascus, after which he set out on a world tour, at the expense of the early church and began spreading a gospel that was not in the least like that being preached by Peter, James, Jude, and the others.
        Much of what later would come to be known as Gnosticism sprang from Paul’s evangelical zeal and his willingness to fit the gospel of Jesus in with any thing the locals already believed.
        Examples are Paul ‘invented’ the NAME Jesus.
        Jesus was a Latinisation of Joshua, a name derived from the old testament Joshua, applied to anyone claiming to be a messiah or messiah’s herald.
        This is why Herod Antipas thought Jesus was John the Baptist returned from the dead, Both were being referred to as the Joshua of Galilee.
        Why did Paul do this?
        Because in Latin and Greek the letter J does not exist and so is replaced with the letter I, hence Jesus becomes Iesus, pronounced in Greek as Ie Zues, Child of Zues. Jesus so becomes the child of the already superior Greek God who is noted for sprinkling progeny all over the know world. (Even Julius Caesar claimed to be the Grandson of Zues)
        In Rome he incorporated huge amounts of Mithras worship in to Roman Christianity, including the moveable feast of Ostara (easter) the date of the Mithras winter Solstice (December 25th) the idea that the Hebrew word for an unmarried woman “almah.” Should be read as Virgin (the actual word for Virgin used many times elsewhere in the old testament is “betulah”) Because this fit with existing traditions in Mithras and Zorasteric religions that the son of a God could only be born of a Virgin.
        The list goes on and on.
        So no Paul’s (or Saul, he thought it fitting to use an alias as many Christians and his former Jewish employers all wanted to kill him) is not reliable. He was an opportunist rogue, the Bible makes this perfectly clear by his actions.
        1 Corinthians 9:1-2 here 1Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
        2If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.

        This is a none denial, denial f I ever read one. Look closely he asks first two unrelated questions , the answer to the second on is yes, but he invites it to be the answer to both. This is followed by two rhetorical question, the actual answer to but could only in honesty be “How should I know?”
        Then he admits he is not an apostle, but might as well be to these people as he is all they are going to get. Basically, he invites them to name him ‘their’ apostle, with no authority at all.
        Peter, bless him, was never the sharpest tool in the draw, and in talking about Paul, he is taken in by a charismatic ‘new best friend’ after Jesus left them, but has to admit, even he does not understand what Paul is on about most of the time
        16As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:15-16)

        In other words, I don’t get it, you don’t get it, but Paul seems to know his stuff, so best believe it anyway.

        Finally your remark

        “We are saved by faith not works … however good works are a fruit of that faith, how do you know a tree the answer is by its fruit,”

        Firstly as I have taken some pains to point out faith is not Grace and no one has ever claimed Faith alone is salvation.
        Secondly you imply by this statement that no-one without Christian faith can possibly do good works as good works are the fruit of that faith.
        History is replete of Great men, with differing or no religious faith what so-ever.
        Do you really believe Tomás de Torquemada would have been subject to God’s grace and mercy but Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is damned?

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      2. Mr Lions good to hear back from you, i cant figure out are you a mormon or an atheist?

        Ok you have made a lot of points and i will try and get through them all but let me know if i have missed anything important.

        so you said this:

        Faith does not = Grace, they are separate entities, often confused as similes for one another.

        Yet the bible says this: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–(Ephesians 2:8)

        Yes they are two seperate things but when you put your faith in Christ you are then saved by His grace, as this verse shows, they go hand in hand.

        I think to say that grace or χαρις means that God is expressing thanks to us, opens up a mass of contradictions with the greater context of the bible, such as God being no mans debtor, and from what little research I have done shows that thankfulness is one meaning but there are most certainly others, here are some quotes by scholars on that word (from this link http://www.bible-researcher.com/grace.html)

        “We have to be on our guard against the supposition that grace is an abstract quality; it is an active personal principle, showing itself in our dealings with those by whom we are surrounded. … In the great proportion of passages in which the word grace is found in the New Testament, it signifies the unmerited operation of God in the heart of man, effected through the agency of the Holy Spirit. We have gradually come to speak of grace as an inherent quality in man, just as we talk of gifts; whereas it is in reality the communication of Divine goodness by the inworking of the Spirit, and through the medium of Him who is ‘full of grace and truth.’” — Robert Girdlestone, Synonyms of the Old Testament (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1871), p. 179.

        “Against a still common view it must be stated that in Paul χαρις does not mean primarily a divine attribute (Wobbe, Charis-Gedanke, 32). It does not mean, in good Greek fashion, God’s graciousness, nor concetely his free love (Taylor). It almost always means the power of salvation which finds expression in specific gifts, acts, and spheres and which is even individualized in the charismata.” —Ernst Käsemann, Commentary on Romans, trans. G. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), p. 14.

        “In Paul … χαρις is never merely an attitude or disposition of God (God’s character as gracious); consistently it denotes something much more dynamic—the wholly generous act of God. Like ‘Spirit,’ with which it overlaps in meaning (cf., e.g., [Rom] 6:14 and Gal 5:18), it denotes effective divine power in the experience of men.” —James D.G. Dunn, Romans 1-8 (Dallas: Word Books, 1988), p. 17.

        this webpage goes on to say

        The Biblical Use of the Term “Grace.” The word “grace” is not always used in the same sense in Scripture, but has a variety of meanings. In the Old Testament we have the word chen (adj. chanun), from the root chanan. The noun may denote gracefulness or beauty, Prov. 22:11; 31:30, but most generally means favour or good-will.

        So your defenition of the word grace there is by no means all of the defenition, also common sense suggests in Ephesians 2:8 that cannot be what this means as it goes straight on to say this is the gift of God, which would not be something done as a response to good we have done as then it is not a gift.

        Your point about James i think is more a rehash of your previous points, yes James does not mention grace but as I said before he asks the question can such faith save a person who does no works, the answer is no but James leaves the door wide open to ask what about a person whose faith does produce works, i ask you can such faith save that person, James leaves the door open for a yes, context must be seen in the context of scripture, James words are an infinitly helpful addition to pauls words.

        you said this

        Jesus was REQUIRED to do works to obtain grace, we are admonished to follow his example.

        My friend I would love you to back this one up. And explain what you mean by this.

        Ok then you said this:

        Paul never did meet Christ, there is no evidence of this what so ever, biblically or otherwise.
        The best that can be said is that he had some sort of alleged experience on the road to Damascus, after which he set out on a world tour, at the expense of the early church and began spreading a gospel that was not in the least like that being preached by Peter, James, Jude, and the others.

        Now you are right in the initial account in Acts 9 i would say there is not a clear indication of whether Paul saw Christ, i never actually realized that before, however in Acts 26 we get further dialogue from Pauls vision of Christ.

        Acts 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;

        Jesus states here that he appered to Paul and that he will be a minister and a witness of these things He has seen and of things Jesus will reveal to Him, there is biblical evidence here to show Paul did in fact see Jesus, Acts 9 just doesnt particularly indicate either way.

        Ill be honest I dont know greek or latin so I am not going to pretend i have an answer to your point about Jesus and I etc, however i think for you to say Paul admits he is not an apostle is just selective reading, Paul is justifying the reality of being an apostle, its like me saying am i not a human, have i not hands and feet. Paul saying am I not an apostle, have i not seen Christ, because of the reality that He has. As well as this ever letter Paul writes he introduces as being an apostle.

        Regarding your peter point, interesting, obviously i disagree Peter after the pentecost experience certainly underwent a massive change and from preaching to thousands and seeing them respond you can see his character becomes much more strong and authoratative, as well Peter is reffering to others rather than himsaelf in not understanding these things so i guess you are speculating but there is nothing to support you in that.

        Your final point.

        “We are saved by faith not works … however good works are a fruit of that faith, how do you know a tree the answer is by its fruit,”

        Firstly as I have taken some pains to point out faith is not Grace and no one has ever claimed Faith alone is salvation.
        Secondly you imply by this statement that no-one without Christian faith can possibly do good works as good works are the fruit of that faith.
        History is replete of Great men, with differing or no religious faith what so-ever.
        Do you really believe Tomás de Torquemada would have been subject to God’s grace and mercy but Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is damned?

        Ok so I think your point about faith not being grace is correct however it doesnt take much bible reading to see the connection and that faith brings about the grace of God in your life, i would say you have simply avoided this.

        Secondly yes absolutely, all of the world without Christ is lost, people are by nature children of wrath (ephesians 2:3) and are seperate from God, without trusting in Christ however good they may look to the world they are still seperate from a perfect God and in need of the righteousness only faith in Christ can bring, another clear biblical statement on the matter is this.

        Romans 4:5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

        Who would have thought it, not working brings about righteousness, and as i said before in Luke 7:50 Jesus responds to someones faith with “your faith has saved you”, Paul is not as far off as people say, its just they like to pick individual statements and ignore the rest.

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  4. Dear Bob

    I am student of religion, especially Christian denominations.
    I spent some time as a Mormon investigator but always found to much to be implausible and just plain ridiculous about the religion of the latter day saints to ever become seriously involved with it.
    However I have many similar doubts about orthodox Christian denominations, finding that many of the arguments, for example, that discredit the book of Mormon can just as easily be applied to the Gospel of Matthew.

    My belief in the infeasibility of the doctrines of Paul, also stem from many doubts, historically and doctrinally about the man and his works.

    I stand by my contention that Paul never met Christ, either before for or after his resurrection because he never openly say he did. Not once in any of his letters and teachings.

    In the acts thee are three accounts of the Damascus incident, in all three, Paul sees a flash and is blinded, sees nothing but claims to hear a voice.
    In Acts 9 no one else sees or her anything, the witnesses think he has been taken ill.
    In Acts 22 Saul’s own account is given, almost word for word as it is in acts nine but with a little more elaboration.
    The report in the acts of Jesus appearing to Paul in Acts 26 like the previous accounts says Paul only saw a light and heard a voice claiming to be Jesus and as in both other accounts no one else present saw or heard anything.
    Moreover these accounts are written not by Paul but by Luke, his one time companion, known to have travelled with Paul in 50 AD.

    Now bare in mind in his letter to the Galatians the apostle Paul recounted to his readers the account of his escape from Damascus. He states that this escape occurred during the rule of Nabataean King Aretas this firmly dates his conversion as between 34 and 36 AD.

    Talking about this incident in his letter to the Galatians 1 Paul says

    15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased
    16 to reveal His Son IN me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles,

    So Paul writing in the Galatians letter date A.D. 60 does not think it is important enough to mention that he has met the resurrected Jesus?

    Note that Paul here himself, in his own hand say not to him but in him. As we say to day he found Jesus in his heart, he did not meet him. Surely else wise he would have said so.

    The Acts of the Apostles was written by Luke between ad 70 and 90, verifiable by his correspondent and historical facts mentioned in the texts.
    Paul Died tortured and then beheaded by the Emperor Nero in Rome in A.D. 67.
    Which begs the question why did neither Luke nor Paul think to mention this important fact in writing for at least 13 years.

    The answer seems all to obvious, Luke was by AD70 writing for a wealthy Roman Benefactor Gaius of Corinth and needed to establish his credentials. So Paul the former sinner suddenly gets to have met the resurrected Jesus.

    The dispute about Grace over Works was the major cause of the reformation and the rise of Protestantism in all it’s forms. But the modern argument goes far beyond The Catholic contention of works (sacraments) to good works generally, just as the reformist Doctrine of Grace was overly simplistic and necessarily lead to inevitable predestination and preordained damnation and salvation only of the elect.

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    1. Interesting, I will spend some time on this just and come back to you as I have not looked into the history of this issue before and this may be a good reason for me to do have a deeper look into it, thanks for commenting

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  5. all i’m gonna say to you mr lions is since becoming a christian and getting baptised god has done so much in my life i know he is real and when i have been praying either alone or with people and it gets answered straight away theres no one else it can be god is my daddy in heaven and jesus is the gateway back to him.

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    1. Dear Cheryl
      If that is all you wish to say, then I am glad you decided to say it. However, my advice to you is to continue to investigate and to learn exactly what being a Christian entails.

      When you accept Baptism and membership of a church, you make a commitment and accept an affiliation that labels you as one who will be seen by the world as an adherent to a set of belief and doctrines.

      A follower of a particular God and a respecter of his ways.

      Make sure you know what these are because by these will you be assessed and judged by the world at large.

      When you Pray consider the consequences to others if your prayers are answered and question why God would favour your wishes over theirs, and if when they pray he favours their wishes over yours?

      When you pray in confidence that if you “Ask it shall be given unto you” and it appears it has been granted to you, ask then why God does not re-grow the arm of an amputee or miraculously restore the house of a flood victim and consider that you may simply be looking at life through rose tinted glasses in the light of your conversion.

      If God is your Father in heaven consider what sort of father would condemn his other children (your brothers and sisters) to eternal agonising punishment for simply not choosing to agree with him one hundred percent of the time, a punishment he would up until recently have believe righteous to be visited on you, personally yourself, until you capitulated to his threats.

      Ask yourself honestly these things and then decide if you can honestly agree with and love such a God before committing yourself further to the title of Christian.

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      1. Now then Mr Lions, this is not bad advice I hope Cheryl and all Christians consider these things, I for one am happy to love and follow a perfect God that accepts me and loves me and changed me, despite me being sinful and undeserving, I hope when I pray God keeps His will ahead of mine, I hope I continue to put His ways before mine and I am proud to be a part of the church of Christ, baptized as Christ was, and forever carrying the title of Christian.

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