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SALVATION EXPOSED TO THE LIGHT OF BIBLE

MORMON SALVATION

LDS teaching on salvation is that Christ’s atonement only covers universal resurrection, which amounts to damnation. They go on to say that the right to forgiveness of personal sins has to be earned by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the LDS organization, plus virtuous living. Furthermore, salvation is available through their church alone, and then only if you have accepted Joseph Smith as God’s true prophet:

Those who gain only this general or unconditional salvation will still be judged according to their works and receive their places in a terrestrial or telestial kingdom. They will therefore be damned. (LDS Apostle McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, page 669). (Author’s italics)

There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, page 670).

There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, page 188.)

The first effect [of the atonement] is to secure to all mankind alike, exemption from the penalty of the fall, thus providing a plan of General Salvation. The second effect is to open a way for Individual Salvation whereby mankind may secure remission of personal sins. As these sins are the result of individual acts, it is just that forgiveness for them should be conditioned on individual compliance with prescribed requirements, obedience to the laws and ordinances of the [LDS] Gospel. (LDS Apostle James Talmage, Articles of Faith, page 87). (Author’s italics)

None of the above teachings will be found anywhere in the Bible. They are exclusive to Mormonism and actually contradict what the Bible teaches. Regardless of this fact, the LDS consistently uses biblical terminology when referring to their teachings, including their teachings on salvation. But in order to fit these biblical terms in with their unbiblical doctrines, they have had to give them completely different meanings (which will not be found in any dictionary). For instance, they call universal resurrection, which they say does not cover forgiveness of sins and amounts to damnation, “salvation by grace.”

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF BIBLICAL SALVATION

“Salvation” as a biblical term means being rescued or saved from both the penalty of sin and its power over us. So it covers the forgiveness of all our sins. And because our sins form an effective barrier between ourselves and a holy God, salvation from sin also has the effect of reconciling us to God, through Christ the Saviour.

Biblical salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone. In other words we don’t have to earn the right to forgiveness of sins. Christ earned the right to our forgiveness on our behalf, by taking the punishment we deserve on Himself in His atonement on the cross at Calvary. The following are just some of the very many verses in the Bible that teach salvation from personal sin by grace through faith in Christ:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, KJV)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV)

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us ….. (Titus 3:5, KJV)

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Colossians 1:14 KJV)

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3, KJV)

God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them ….. (2 Corinthians 5:19, KJV).

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Colossians 2:13-14, KJV). (Italics inserted by writer.)

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12, KJV)

As will be seen, the above scriptures invalidate the following LDS claims regarding salvation:
That we have to earn the right to forgiveness of our personal sins; That we have to believe that Joseph Smith is the true prophet of God; That we have to obey the laws and ordinances of the LDS Church; and That salvation is only available through the LDS Church.

SALVATION THROUGH A SUBSTITUTIONARY SACRIFICE

The Bible is a fascinating book. Concepts that aren’t always all that easy to understand are explained by the use of types and “pictures.” One such concept is salvation from sin through a substitutionary sacrifice.

Nowhere in the Bible has God ever told mankind that they would have to earn the right to forgiveness of their sins. Instead, in the Old Testament He instituted the substitutionary sacrifice. The sinner was required to take an unblemished animal to the altar. Then he had to place his hand upon its head to indicate that it was to be his substitute and would die in his place, to cover his sin (Leviticus 1:4, 4:29,33). This was a picture of the coming, promised Messiah who would sacrifice His life to pay the full penalty for the sins of those who indicate by faith, that He is their substitute sin bearer.

Scattered throughout the Old Testament, starting in Genesis, God gave His people a series of ongoing messianic prophecies. And in fulfillment of those prophecies, in the fullness of time the Lord Jesus Christ came down to earth to give Himself as the final, once-for-all substitutionary offering for sin. He selflessly and heroically took our place on the cross at Calvary and bore the shame, the disgrace and the punishment that we rightly deserve, because of our sins. As Eugene Peterson so aptly puts it in ‘The Message,’ “God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43, KJV)

[John the baptist, who was God’s prophet] seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29, KJV)

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21, KJV)

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree ….. (1 Peter 2:24, KJV)

BAPTISM PORTRAYS SUBSTITUTIONARY SACRIFICE

Besides being a public testimony of the believer’s faith in Christ, Christian baptism is also a symbolic rite that portrays Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice as it applies to the believer. For this reason it was the norm in the primitive church for believers to be baptized immediately after they had come to faith in Christ, and had been spiritually regenerated (Acts 2:41, 8:12, 16:15, 16:33, 18:18, 19:5.)

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4, KJV)

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. (Colossians 2:12-13, KJV)

As a believer, in undergoing baptism by immersion I symbolically re-enact Christ’s death and resurrection. It’s my way of publicly acknowledging that Christ is my Saviour. To free me from the condemnation of my sin, He became my substitute and took the punishment due to me on Himself, on my behalf. So when He died, it was the same as if I had died — He represented me, so “in Him” I died too. As I go under the waters of baptism, it portrays my death “in Him” to the penalty of the Law, as well as to the sinful fleshly life. When He arose from the grave, He arose as my substitute: It was the same as if I had arisen. So as I rise up out of the water, it portrays my resurrection “in Christ,” to a new life, “in Him.” This is what is known as the exchanged life. Paul describes it as follows:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galations 2:20, KJV)

From the moment of his salvation (i.e. his regeneration or new birth), the life of the believer is intrinsically intertwined with that of His beloved Savior.

THE REASON FOR THE OLD AND THE NEW COVENANTS

Had they fully kept all God’s laws and ordinances provided under the Old Covenant, the Israelites would have led a lifestyle that fulfilled God’s requirements for righteousness. But the sad fact was that they were unable to do this. In spite of having God’s laws, as well as His guidance and protection, they still kept falling into sin. The continuous pall of smoke arising from the sacrificial altar where they burned their sin offerings bore mute testimony to this fact.

The problem was not with God’s laws, but with mankind. His laws are good, but we are a fallen people. And try as we may, we cannot live up to His standards of righteousness. Not for long, anyway. No matter how hard man has tried he has never ever been able to overcome his tendency to sin in thought, word and deed.

Reformation, education and social upliftment don’t do the trick either, because the problem is not our environment, lack of opportunities or education; it is our fallen “selves.” Pogo hit the nail on the head when he said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” And as Dr. McGee so aptly put it, “You can take the man out of the slum, but you can’t take the slum out of the man.” It is a sad fact of life that countries enjoying a high standard of living, low unemployment, and excellent educational opportunities, still have overflowing prison cells.

The apostle Paul described his frustrations at one stage with his own personal battle to live a holy life, complaining that he kept doing the things he knew he shouldn’t do and really didn’t want himself to do. And that although in his mind he knew that God’s ways were good and right, he kept straying from them. (Romans 7:7-25).

The Bible makes it clear that because of our fallen natures we do not have it within ourselves to live according to God’s standards of righteousness. In order to bring mankind to the realization of the gravity of his situation and the dilemma he faces, God put into effect the Old Covenant of Law. And as we have seen, even although the Israelites were God’s chosen nation and enjoyed all the privileges and advantages that this entailed, they still failed miserably in their attempts to keep the His righteous laws fully.

That was because Laws and Ordinances didn’t have the power to save anyone. They merely declared the holiness of God and revealed the depravity of mankind. But then they were never intended to save. The epistle of Galations explains that God merely used the Old Covenant of Law as a teacher, to show fallen mankind his utter inability to live according to His standards of righteousness. This in turn revealed his desperate need for a Saviour:

Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (Galations 3:21-25, KJV)

As Lehman Strauss says in his ‘Doctrine of Salvation,’ “The idea of attaining salvation through self-effort and good works is a fundamental characteristic of human nature. But try as hard as one will, he cannot remove the guilt and penalty of his own sins.”

For this reason, in His wisdom and mercy, God has provided a way of salvation through Christ, under the New Covenant of Grace, that was tailor-made for the fallenness of man and caters for every eventuality and possibility. Solely because of God’s undeserved mercy towards us, whosoever trusts in Christ will receive forgiveness of sins, freedom from guilt and reconciliation with God.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, (Romans 8:1, KJV)

THE CONSEQUENCES OF MORMON SALVATION

In spite of the clear and consistent teachings in the Bible on the forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s atoning sacrifice, the LDS Church has deliberately led their membership away from the way of salvation that God Himself has laid down for us, and has decreed that Mormons must earn the right to their own salvation. They insist that this is far better than the way of grace that God Himself has provided. And in spite of the fact that God has proved conclusively that man couldn’t keep the Laws and Ordinances that they already had, the LDS has added more of their own.

Mormons need to ask themselves where their teaching came from, because it directly contradicts everything that God has taught us about salvation throughout the entire Bible. So it couldn’t have come from Him.

Just as the apostle Paul knew, Mormons also know deep down in their hearts that their lives don’t come up to God’s holy standards. But they placate themselves with the knowledge that going to the second degree of glory after they die won’t be so bad. After all, they have been taught that even the lowest degree of glory is more beautiful than anything they could ever imagine.

However, the LDS story of the three degrees of glory is not the way it’s going to be. They are the deceptions of a false prophet. God never ever gives His prophets revelations that contradict what He has already revealed to us. He is not a God of confusion. His Word is truth, and the main ingredient in truth is its consistency. It never ever changes. Nor is it contradictory. And God’s Word, the Bible very clearly teaches that there are only two final destinations after we die. We will either go to the place where Christ and God are, which is called heaven, or else we will be consigned to eternal separation from both the presence and the influence of God in a place called hell.

Heaven will consist only of folk who have elected to follow God’s ways, including His way of salvation from sin. Those in hell will be folk who would rather do things their own way. And God will allow them this right, eternally, but not in His kingdom of heaven. After all, if those who insisted on doing things their own way instead of God’s way were allowed into heaven, it would eventually become more like hell, wouldn’t it?

It’s not God’s desire that anyone should be end up in hell. But if we choose to spurn His way of salvation in preference to our own ideas, then we will we will end up facing His judgment.

Mormons need to give serious thought to the unlikelihood of their being able to earn the right to the forgiveness of their own sins, in the light of what the Bible reveals; as well as to the eternal ramifications of their choice; bearing in mind that the Bible clearly teaches only two destinations after death — heaven or hell.

The following articles explain the basics of the biblical way of salvation and the error in the LDS teaching on the three degrees of glory:

What is Biblical Salvation?

Biblical Salvation and the way of Christ

The Three Degrees of Glory

You are welcome to contact the writer at the following email address:

reply@bibtruth.com

Copyright 2008 by Mormonism and Biblical Truth. All rights reserved.

http://www.bibtruth.com/light.html

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5 Comments

    • Brook
    • Posted January 29, 2009 at 6:19 am
    • Permalink

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10
    9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
    10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. It then lists several sins that would make one unrighteous. This is an example of something that one must do or in this case not do to enter the kingdom of God. We must do our part to be saved.

  1. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    So you think that your on your way to heaven because you have not committed any of these sins in your life?

    There are over 600 sins listed in the bible http://www.parentalguide.com/Documents/Bible_Studies/Sin_list_part_6.htm

    AND SOME 600+ more that are listed in the law of Moses. There are 4 or 5 list of sins in the bible,,, why do you chose (as a proof text for works salvation) the shortest and easiest to comply with?

    You should really seek the definition of covetousness and ask your self if you have lived your whole life without coveting. AND you should also make sure your law keeping includes all of the laws of God against sin such as,,,

    Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    You should really cue in on Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies and envyings.

    Idolatry is to put anything before God and to diminish God to something less than he really is. If God is just a God among many Gods,,, you have changed the most basic definition of God THE ALL SUPREME BEING,, to just another class of being. SO just going to a Mormon church and believing their teaching of eternal progression,,, you are an idolater

    One of the biblical definitions of witchcraft is rebellion against God. Have you ever rebelled?

    AND Heresy is false teaching,, and since Christianity and Mormonism are polar opposites,,, one of them is heresy,,, and SIN.

    AND MOST IMPORTANTLY you should ask yourself if you have went your whole life with out committing ANY sin. CAUSE the bible says if you break one of God’s laws you have broken them all.

    The wages for one sin IS DEATH,,, just as the wages for a Thousand sins,,,,, is DEATH

    Jas 2:8-1 If ye fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

    Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Gal 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. Gal 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Gal 5:4 Christ is become
    of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

    DID SEE THIS Gal 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. ?????

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It amazes me that this article listed such verses as,,,,,,,,,

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV)

    Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us ….. (Titus 3:5, KJV)

    AND YOU STILL try to say,,,,,, “We must do our part to be saved.”

    =====================================

    Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

    Pro 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

    ———————————————————————–

    It is Jesus blood that saves,,, NOT OUR WORKS LEAST ANY MAN MAY BOAST

    Jesus’ blood ATONED FOR OUR SINS. (Rom. 3:25)
    Jesus’ blood established FORGIVENESS. (Matt. 26:28; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:18-22; Rev. 1:5)
    Jesus’ blood has granted us CLEANSING FROM SIN. (Heb. 9:14, 22; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 7:14)
    Jesus’ blood has given us JUSTIFICATION. (Rom. 5:9)
    Jesus’ blood has made us HOLY. (Heb. 13:11-12)
    Jesus’ blood has MADE PEACE with God for us. (Col. 1:20; Rom. 5:11; Eph. 2:16)
    Jesus’ blood has BROUGHT US NEAR to God. (Eph. 2:13)
    Jesus’ blood gives us CONFIDENCE to approach God. (Heb. 10:19)
    Jesus PURCHASED us with His blood. (Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:12; 1 Pet. 1:18; Rev. 5:9)
    Jesus’ blood secured for us ETERNAL LIFE. (John 6:53-56)
    Jesus’ blood FREED US UP to obey God. (Heb. 9:12-14)
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Salvation is by imputation and substitution and being “in Jesus”

    2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed
    away; behold, all things are become new.

    Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
    and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved
    me, and gave himself for me.

    Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    ==================================================

    Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

    Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    These two scriptures show the phrase “dead works” in context indicates that this means that man cannot be justified by the works of the law, but only by the blood of Jesus Christ.

    In other words “repentance from dead works” is the doctrine that we must repent from trusting in our own dead works to save us. Instead, we must trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

    Galatians 2:16 – “man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ… for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”
    Ephesians 2:8-9 – “not of works”
    2 Timothy 1:9 – “not according to our works”
    Titus 3:5 – “not by works of righteousness which we have done”
    Romans 3:21-22 – “by the works of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight”
    Romans 4:4-5 – “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.”
    Isaiah 64:6 – “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags”

    • Brook
    • Posted January 29, 2009 at 1:08 pm
    • Permalink

    Repentance is how one receives the atonement. The point is that we can not just say we accept Christ and not pursue repentance of our sins.

    One can’t just stand behind some of the Bible’s teachings (saved by Christ’s sacrifice) while ignoring the others that say we must obey him and that we must do more to accept his sacrifice that say that we believe. The entire Bible must be reconciled with itself.

    Matthew 7:21
    21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    James 2:14
    14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

    Both grace and works are necessary. To characterize the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as believing that their efforts alone were sufficient to be saved is to know nothing of them.

    The Bible is full of references to faith and works both being necessary. Sometimes an author addresses faith for those that are trying to get recognition for their works. Sometimes an author addresses works when some are teaching that saying they are Christians is sufficient to save them.

    Our effort is NOT sufficient to be saved, but it IS necessary.

  2. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Well with Mormons and other cults we must cut to the chase and define terms. Firstly we should deal with the differences of the term “SALVATION” between Mormons and Christians. So lets see if your faithful to your cults teaching on giving us your definition of salvation. Both of them. We can talk more if you define your terms.

    AND also I did not say that Mormons or anyone else as you say I did,,,
    ”believing that their efforts alone were sufficient to be saved”

    I know Mormonism better than most Mormons and I would never claim such a thing. The BOM claims that grace saves AFTER ALL WE CAN DO.

    You guys are 180 out. Not only do you put works before salvation,,, but reduce grace to a stepping stone to works salvation. AND IT IS A WORKS SALVATION,,, and remember,,, grace only comes,, AFTER,,,,,, all you can do.

    Now to the term repentance. There are 6 biblical words translated “repentance”. Not one of them means to turn totally away from sin. AND the most frequently used and most significant to a believers salvation is “Metanao” which means,,,,

    G3340 metanoeō From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): – repent.

    So define your terms and we can have more verbal jousting without you actually addressing directly any claims made in the article or my response.

    THEN YOU SAID “The Bible is full of references to faith and works both being necessary. Sometimes an author addresses faith for those that are trying to get recognition for their works. Sometimes an author addresses works when some are teaching that saying they are Christians is sufficient to save them. Our effort is NOT sufficient to be saved, but it IS necessary.”

    Well as long as you define your terms to avoid the semantical dancing word games that are common to Mormon apologist,,, we can continue.


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