14
Apr
09

Death Bed Repentance

 

     In my last post about Paradise I quoted a couple of LDS sources concerning Jesus’ words to the thief on the cross.  For convenience sake I quote them again:  “To the thief on the cross who asked to be remembered after death, the Savior responded to give him what hope he could:  ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise, ‘ That is to say, today you shall be with me in the world of spirits, where you will be taught the gospel and your inquires will be answered. (See Smith, Teachings, p.309)  Jesus did not lend any credence to a death-bed repentance or (sic) the malefactor.  What Jesus did do was give recognition to the seeds of faith and repentance which were evidenced by a penitent man.  As always, the Lord’s efforts were directed toward offering as much hope as possible to one who would turn from darkness unto that everlasting light.”  (Life and Teachings. . .p. 186, emphasis added)

     The LDS Bible Dictionary says this:  “For example, when Jesus purportedly said to the thief on the cross, ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise’, the Bible rendering is incorrect.  The statement would more accurately read, ‘Today shalt thou be with me in the word of spirits’ since the thief was not ready for paradise.”

     I especially want to focus on two things in those quotes.  The first is the statement that Jesus’ words to the malefactor do not give any credence to a death-bed repentance on the part of the malefactor.  I assume that this statement was made in response to the common Christian teaching that people can repent on their deathbeds and, as a result, enjoy living Heavenly Father for all eternity.

     The second statement is one from the LDS Bible Dictionary stating that the thief was not ready for paradise.

     Numerous Mormons here and elsewhere have stated that Mormonism teaches that salvation is all about Jesus and what he has done – that the differences in how Mormonism and Christianity view salvation are really not that major.  It is has been my position, and the position of many other Christians, that the differences are major.  I submit that the quotes above illustrate that difference.

     As a Christian pastor, I have had the privilege of ministering to people on their deathbeds – including some who had shown no interest, much less, faith in Jesus.  But staring in the face of death does something to a person.  On more than one occasion, I had the extraordinary privilege of bringing people the message that Jesus had paid for all their sins – that, through Jesus, they could live with Heavenly Father – that they were saved by grace alone.  And the Holy Spirit caused them to trust that! Through Christ, they were ready for Paradise – the Paradise of living eternally with Heavenly Father.

     Mormonism – “did not lead any credence to a death-bed repentance, . .”not ready for paradise.” 

     Christianity – believe and you will be with God forever – because Jesus has done everything for you.

     To me that’s a big difference.

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108 Responses to “Death Bed Repentance”


  1. 1 GB
    April 14, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    And Jesus said,
    Matt. 7:21 ¶ 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.

    No death bed repentance there. But hey, it was only Jesus speaking.

    James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

    Do the devils go to heaven because they believe as well?

  2. April 15, 2009 at 1:27 am

    GB,

    Are you sure that you are not taking Matt 7:21 out of context? This verse comes at the conclusion of the First Discourse Matt 5:1–7:29 that has a major theme of discipleship. If you read Matt 7:21-23 you see that the people Jesus is talking about in this section are those who beleive themselves to be disciples and have preformed, “mighty works in” Jesus’ name. In it’s context Matt 7:21-23 tell us that even those who claim mighty works and a belief do not gain access to kingdom of heaven if Jesus does not know them (cf. 2 Timothy 2:19).

    It would, I beleive, be a grave error to think that a simple declaration of belief is that is required for salvation. With that said, it would, I beleive, be an equally grave error to think ourselves a better judge of who is in paradise than Jesus. Or as John Calvin said “Whoever is not satisfied with Christ alone, strives for something beyond perfection.”

  3. 3 joelmartin
    April 15, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I bet some Mormons would think that anyone could be ‘saved’ on their deathbed, but what would they mean by it? the LDS Church is essentially universalist, with almost everyone attaining salvation, just not the highest salvation, or exaltation. The deathbed convert would miss out on the highest glory, not on eternal life. I am an Anglican BTW. I’ve written about this here:

    http://livingtext.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/lds-inclusion-lds-exclusion/

  4. 4 markcares
    April 15, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    GB:
    Your comments illustrate the point of my post – that there are huge differences between Christianity and Mormonism. Why then do some members of the LDS Church insist that those differences are minor? That is the question.

  5. 5 GB
    April 15, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Gundeck,

    Am I to understand that you believe that someone who has a “come to Jesus” moment just before death is entitled to the same or greater salvation as one who 1) obviously believed in Jesus because they were promoting works in His name, 2) did mighty works in His name?

    Not only did they believe as much as the “death bed” repenter but demonstrated that belief with action and did both long before it was utmost convenient.

    So if those mentioned in Matt 7 are UNworthy of salvation, then more so for the “death bed” repenter.

  6. 6 Brad
    April 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    GB, it’s most certainly not about who is “entitled” to receive any kind of “greater salvation”, as you put it. That point is not found in Scripture. In fact, if we look at our sinful natures, by our own accord we are “entitled” to hell, where sin is punished. However, God, by His grace and through His Son Jesus, has taken that penalty of sin away from us, if we place our trust in Him. There is no qualifier in the Bible as to when this must happen (early in life or deathbed confessional). 1 Corinithians is clear that some people will get to heaven as those escaping through the fire (e.g. by the skin of their teeth), but they will be in heaven nonetheless. Certain people will receive more heavenly rewards (crowns) when we get there, based on our lives, but that doesn’t garner us any “more” of a salvation. In fact, the Bible speaks about what we will do when we receive these crowns – we will take them off and cast them at Jesus’ feet, in honor and praise of Him.

    Justice is receiving what you deserve – for all of us, that’s hell.

    Mercy is not receiving what you deserve – that is God’s offer of salvation through Jesus.

    Grace is receiving what you don’t deserve – that is heaven, offered by grace, received through faith alone in Jesus Christ.

  7. 7 GB
    April 15, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Mark,
    Your comments illustrate the point of my post – that there are huge differences between your version of Christianity and what Jesus taught. :-)

  8. 8 GB
    April 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Brad,

    However, God, by His grace and through His Son Jesus, has taken that penalty of sin away from us, if we BRING FORTH FRUIT MEET FOR REPENTANCE AND place our trust in Him.

    Mercy is not receiving what you deserve – that is God’s offer of salvation through Jesus TO THOSE WHO REPENT AND OBEY THE GOSPEL.

    There, fixed it for you.

    Something to consider.
    1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

    The only way to know God is to KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!!!

    John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

    Do the logic.

  9. 9 GB
    April 15, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    ‘This does not mean that we ignore insights into human nature that we learn from economic or political analysis. Our charitable giving is made effective when we integrate what we know about people from every area of human knowledge. We know, for instance, that people tend to denigrate that which does not cost them. The “cheap grace” of some kinds of charity must be balanced with the “costliness” of personal investment. This is why charities like Habitat for Humanity emphasize the need for “sweat equity,” which both ennobles the person as not only a passive recipient but also as an active and responsible moral agent. A non-profit charitable model does not mean that houses need to be given away for free.’ From http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?p=1371

    How might this apply to our current topic?

  10. April 15, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    I missed the exchange on the post on “paradise”… but I was under the impression that Paradise means Heaven. I am incorrect on that? I love the parable in the NT when the many workers are hired thru out the day, some come early and some come mid-day and others come towards the end of the day…. but all are paid the same amount. The last as much as the first… to me this parable touches my heart…those who sincerely accept and receive salvation at the end of their lives ( yes even at the point of death) will be in heaven along with those who have served Jesus and received Him from the beginning. ( perhaps from the early days of their lives).

    I am grateful that the Lord does extend eternal life even at the very last possible moment .. the very last breath…. how wonderful & merciful a God we serve!

    Praising Him,
    gloria

  11. April 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    GB,

    I think I might take a different view on a “come to Jesus” moment than you do. Frankly, I am still amazed that anyone is “entitled” to the grace God has promised us. I am not in the position to judge if someones regeneration is true and from God. I cannot judge if the faith that they have in Jesus is true or if the repentance they have is genuine. As I said in my first comment I am not a better judge of who is in paradise than Jesus. If someone makes a credible statement of faith who am I to grant or deny salvation to them? I would assume that if that person was revived from their deathbed then they would show the fruit of the Spirit, they would place themselves under the guidance of a local congregation and join in the life of the Church. I would assume that they would live, with the help of the Holy Spirit, a life according to the will and commands of God.

    Do I recommenced that someone live a licentious lifestyle until they find themselves at the end of their life? No, that formula is, in my opinion, a recipe for disaster. Can I constrain the sovereign God to my preconceived notions of who “entitled” to salvation? No, that is, equally, a recipe for disaster. Looking at the example of the thief on the cross, I am not qualified to rewrite scripture or say that Luke got it wrong. I cannot qualify Luke’s writing with extra-biblical explanations. In fact this example from Luke is in line with both Moses’s and Paul’s teaching that God will have mercy on whom he wishes (Rom 9:15, 16).

  12. 12 GB
    April 15, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Brad,

    You seem to have a problem with my usage of the word “entitled”.

    Let me get this straight. If someone does absolutely NOTHING except confess a belief in Jesus on their death bed, they WILL be saved is that correct?

  13. 13 GB
    April 15, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Gundeck,

    Well if we take Rom 9:15, 16 and add to it 1 Tim 2:3,4, then I guess that none of us “will” have anything to be worried about. :-)

    Can we then just throw away all that Jesus?

  14. 14 GB
    April 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Correction

    Can we then just throw away all that Jesus said?

  15. 15 Brad
    April 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    However, God, by His grace and through His Son Jesus, has taken that penalty of sin away from us, if we BRING FORTH FRUIT MEET FOR REPENTANCE AND place our trust in Him.

    I’m not disputing Mormonism teaches this, GB. I’m disputing that it’s correct teaching.

    Mercy is not receiving what you deserve – that is God’s offer of salvation through Jesus TO THOSE WHO REPENT AND OBEY THE GOSPEL.

    Again, not disputing Mormonism teaches this, only disputing that it’s correct.

    You seem to have a problem with my usage of the word “entitled”.

    Actually, I have a problem with most of what you say, b/c I believe it is Biblically incorrect, just so you know. As you like to say: “there, fixed it for you.”

    Let me get this straight. If someone does absolutely NOTHING except confess a belief in Jesus on their death bed, they WILL be saved is that correct?

    Thankfully, I don’t make the decision as to their salvation – God does. However, based on what the Bible teaches as a whole, then my answer to your scenario above would be yes, IF their belief in Jesus and their confession is truly meant by their heart, which only God would know.

    You like to give verses which support your claims otherwise. I would be curious to have your take on Romans 10:9-10 “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

  16. 16 GB
    April 15, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Brad,

    You said, “Actually, I have a problem with most of what you say, b/c I believe it is Biblically incorrect” and yet you don’t provide ANY Bible verses to back you up.

    If you really believe IN Jesus, THEN you will believe and do what Jesus taught.

    What did Jesus teach?

    Matt 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    Matt 11:20 ¶ Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
    21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

    Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    Luke 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
    3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
    4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
    5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

    Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

    Jesus taught REPENTANCE!

    And what did Jesus teach about Baptism?

    Matt 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

    So Baptism is needed to “fulfil all righteousness”. Sounds like a requirement to me.

    Matt 28:19 ¶ Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    Sounds like a requirement to me.

    Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    Sounds like a requirement to me.

    Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

    Sounds like a requirement to me.

    John3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    Sounds like a requirement to me.

    Acts 2:37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Sounds like a requirement to me.

    Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

    Sounds like a requirement to me.

    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

    Sounds like a requirement to me.

    1 Pet 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

    Sounds like a requirement to me.

    What else did JESUS teach?

    John 14:15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

  17. 17 Brad
    April 15, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    GB, way to punt on the few questions that I asked, the main one being your take on Romans 10:9-10.

    You can give all the verses you want, for as long as you want. If improperly interpreted, as I believe you do, then they won’t mean what they should mean. You must evaluate the Bible as a whole, and each verse in light of the Bible’s overall teaching. Merely taking a verse here, a verse there, doesn’t get you where you need to be, and isn’t hermaneutically proper.

  18. 18 GB
    April 15, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Brad,

    I specifically answered your question, perhaps you missed it.

    One more time, this time a little louder.

    IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE IN JESUS, THEN YOU WILL BELIEVE AND DO WHAT JESUS TAUGHT.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

  19. 19 GB
    April 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Brad: You must evaluate the Bible as a whole, and each verse in light of the Bible’s overall teaching.

    GB: NOT according to the Bible!!!

    Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; HIM SHALL YE HEAR IN ALL THINGS whatsoever he shall say unto you.
    23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

    Also

    Col. 1:18 And he is the ahead of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that IN ALL THINGS HE MIGHT HAVE THE PREEMINENCE.

    Clearly!!! The words/teachings of Jesus have preeminence above all others.

    Even Paul taught the PREEMINENCE of Jesus and His teachings.

  20. April 16, 2009 at 12:26 am

    GB,

    Why would I want to throw away what Jesus said? It is not my denomination that is redefining the statement of Jesus to the thief on the cross. I accept what Jesus said as it was recorded in the infallible inerrant Word of God by Luke.

    If you are insinuating that I am proposing that after a confession of faith there is no need to follow the commands of God then Paul answers your question better than I can, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1, 2).

    In the Reformed tradition repentance is called the twin sister of faith. Someone who is truly regenerated by the Holy Spirit, or born again if you prefer, will demonstrate this in their newly transformed life. Paul commands us to, “walk by the Spirit” and not to, “gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Someone who is regenerated will demonstrate the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22) and those are the people who Jesus Christ knows.

  21. 21 joelmartin
    April 16, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Mormon Professor James McLachlan writes:
    With respect to life after death, the LDS church is a universalist religion. All beings have immortality through the atonement of Christ. Joseph Smith claimed that not only humans but animals and plants have eternal spirits (Moses 3:5, 19; 7:48-49; Abraham 3:18-19). Every creature is immortal, having everlasting life, but “eternal life” is interpreted as deification…all will attain immortality, but only those who learn to love perfectly will attain godhood, eternal life” (Musser and Paulsen, 2007).

  22. April 16, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Gundeck,

    You and I both believe that repentance is a necessary part of the equation at least in some way. So do a lot of other commonly accepted Christians.

    The problem is that many Protestants, when debating with LDS, make their doctrines more extreme than they are in an attempt to differentiate from the Mormons. Thus you’ll get a Christian apologist basically denying the efficacy of repentance at all simply because he’s worried that if he presented his own doctrine correctly, he’d be providing an “opening” for his Mormon opponents.

    Kind of the same story on the Trinity.

    I’ve seen Protestant apologists use radically modalistic language when there are Mormons in the room that they would never use among “fellow Christians” as they see them.

    In a sense, we overcompensate for the perceived deficiencies of the other side.

  23. April 16, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Seth,

    I try to maintain my orthodox Protestant beliefs across the board. Dr. Douglas Kelly a seminary professor at Reformed Theological Seminary told his class when he was covering the order of salvation (I am paraphrasing) that as long as you understand that regeneration comes before faith or repentance it is hard to separate the two. What comes first to penitent heart that is crushed under the weight of sin or the faith in Jesus that enables the believer to know they are rescued from those same sins?

    The Westminster Confession of Faith presents faith and repentance in order in articles 14 and 15. A newly translated Dutch Reformed systematic theology (Concise Reformed Dogmatics) covers repentance first and then Faith. Some writers that I have read make a very good case for faith to proceed repentance others make a fine case in the opposite direction. I beleive that a faithful believer is a repentant believer.

  24. 24 Brad
    April 16, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    GB,

    Are you still going to ignore Romans 10:9-10? You’ve not addressed that one.

  25. 25 GB
    April 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Brad,

    For the THIRD time now.

    I specifically answered your question, perhaps you missed it.

    One more time, this time a little louder.

    IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE IN JESUS, THEN YOU WILL BELIEVE AND DO WHAT JESUS TAUGHT.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

    This “head in the sand” approach isn’t going to work. Just because you ignore my answer doesn’t mean that I didn’t answer you question.

  26. April 16, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Brad, prooftexting to Rom. 10:9-10 does nothing for your argument unless you can explain what is involved in “believing in your heart.”

  27. 27 GB
    April 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Gundeck,

    Ditto to what Seth said.

  28. 28 jm
    April 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Rom 10:4 For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

  29. April 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Smalcald Articles by Dr. Martin Luther + http://www.bookofconcord.org/smalcald.php
    Article III: Repentance

    1] This office [of the Law] the New Testament retains and urges, as St. Paul, Rom. 1:18 does, saying: The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Again, Rom 3:19: All the world is guilty before God. No man is righteous before Him. And Christ says, John 16:8: The Holy Ghost will reprove the world of sin.

    2] This, then, is the thunderbolt of God by which He strikes in a heap [hurls to the ground] both manifest sinners and false saints [hypocrites], and suffers no one to be in the right [declares no one righteous], but drives them all together to terror and despair. This is the hammer, as Jeremiah 23:29 says: Is not My Word like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? This is not activa contritio or manufactured repentance, but passiva contritio [torture of conscience], true sorrow of heart, suffering and sensation of death.

    3] This, then, is what it means to begin true repentance; and here man must hear such a sentence as this: You are all of no account, whether you be manifest sinners or saints [in your own opinion]; you all must become different and do otherwise than you now are and are doing [no matter what sort of people you are], whether you are as great, wise, powerful, and holy as you may. Here no one is [righteous, holy], godly, etc.

    4] But to this office the New Testament immediately adds the consolatory promise of grace through the Gospel, which must be believed, as Christ declares, Mark 1:15: Repent and believe the Gospel, i.e., become different and do otherwise, and believe My promise. And John, preceding Him, is called a preacher of repentance, however, for the remission of sins, i.e., John was to accuse all, and convict them of being sinners, that they might know what they were before God, and might acknowledge that they were lost men, and might thus be prepared for the Lord, to receive grace, and to expect and accept from Him the remission of sins. Thus also Christ Himself says, Luke 24:47: 6] Repentance and remission of sins must be preached in My name among all nations.

    7] But whenever the Law alone, without the Gospel being added exercises this its office there is [nothing else than] death and hell, and man must despair, like Saul and Judas; as St. Paul, Rom. 7, 10, says: Through sin the Law killeth. 8] On the other hand, the Gospel brings consolation and remission not only in one way, but through the word and Sacraments, and the like, as we shall hear afterward in order that [thus] there is with the Lord plenteous redemption, as Ps. 130:7 says against the dreadful captivity of sin.

    9] However, we must now contrast the false repentance of the sophists with true repentance, in order that both may be the better understood.

    Of the False Repentance of the Papists.

    10] It was impossible that they should teach correctly concerning repentance, since they did not [rightly] know the real sins [the real sin]. For, as has been shown above, they do not believe aright concerning original sin, but say that the natural powers of man have remained [entirely] unimpaired and incorrupt; that reason can teach aright, and the will can in accordance therewith do aright [perform those things which are taught], that God certainly bestows His grace when a man does as much as is in him, according to his free will.

    11] It had to follow thence [from this dogma] that they did [must do] penance only for actual sins such as wicked thoughts to which a person yields (for wicked emotion [concupiscence, vicious feelings, and inclinations], lust and improper dispositions [according to them] are not sins), and for wicked words and wicked deeds, which free will could readily have omitted.

    12] And of such repentance they fix three parts contrition, confession, and satisfaction, with this [magnificent] consolation and promise added: If man truly repent, [feel remorse,] confess, render satisfaction, he thereby would have merited forgiveness, and paid for his sins before God [atoned for his sins and obtained a plenary redemption]. Thus in repentance they instructed men to repose confidence in their own works. 13] Hence the expression originated, which was employed in the pulpit when public absolution was announced to the people: Prolong O God, my life, until I shall make satisfaction for my sins and amend my life.

    14] There was here [profound silence and] no mention of Christ nor faith; but men hoped by their own works to overcome and blot out sins before God. And with this intention we became priests and monks, that we might array ourselves against sin.

    15] As to contrition, this is the way it was done: Since no one could remember all his sins (especially as committed through an entire year), they inserted this provision, namely, that if an unknown sin should be remembered later [if the remembrance of a concealed sin should perhaps return], this also must be repented of and confessed etc. Meanwhile they were [the person was] commended to the grace of God.

    16] Moreover, since no one could know how great the contrition ought to be in order to be sufficient before God, they gave this consolation: He who could not have contrition, at least ought to have attrition, which I may call half a contrition or the beginning of contrition, for they have themselves understood neither of these terms nor do they understand them now, as little as I. Such attrition was reckoned as contrition when a person went to confession.

    17] And when it happened that any one said that he could not have contrition nor lament his sins (as might have occurred in illicit love or the desire for revenge, etc.), they asked whether he did not wish or desire to have contrition [lament]. When one would reply Yes (for who, save the devil himself, would here say No?), they accepted this as contrition, and forgave him his sins on account of this good work of his [which they adorned with the name of contrition]. Here they cited the example of St. Bernard, etc.

    18] Here we see how blind reason, in matters pertaining to God, gropes about, and, according to its own imagination, seeks for consolation in its own works, and cannot think of [entirely forgets] Christ and faith. But if it be [clearly] viewed in the light, this contrition is a manufactured and fictitious thought [or imagination], derived from man’s own powers, without faith and without the knowledge of Christ. And in it the poor sinner, when he reflected upon his own lust and desire for revenge, would sometimes [perhaps] have laughed rather than wept [either laughed or wept, rather than to think of something else], except such as either had been truly struck by [the lightning of] the Law, or had been vainly vexed by the devil with a sorrowful spirit. Otherwise [with the exception of these persons] such contrition was certainly mere hypocrisy, and did not mortify the lust for sins [flames of sin]; for they had to grieve, while they would rather have continued to sin, if it had been free to them.

    19] As regards confession, the procedure was this: Every one had [was enjoined] to enumerate all his sins (which is an impossible thing). This was a great torment. From such as he had forgotten [But if any one had forgotten some sins] he would be absolved on the condition that, if they would occur to him, he must still confess them. In this way he could never know whether he had made a sufficiently pure confession [perfectly and correctly], or when confessing would ever have an end. Yet he was pointed to his own works, and comforted thus: The more fully [sincerely and frankly] one confesses, and the more he humiliates himself and debases himself before the priest, the sooner and better he renders satisfaction for his sins; for such humility certainly would earn grace before God.

    20] Here, too, there was no faith nor Christ, and the virtue of the absolution was not declared to him, but upon his enumeration of sins and his self-abasement depended his consolation. What torture, rascality, and idolatry such confession has produced is more than can be related.

    21] As to satisfaction, this is by far the most involved [perplexing] part of all. For no man could know how much to render for a single sin, not to say how much for all. Here they have resorted to the device of imposing a small satisfaction, which could indeed be rendered, as five Paternosters, a day’s fast, etc.; for the rest [that was lacking] of the [in their] repentance they were directed to purgatory.

    22] Here, too, there was nothing but anguish and [extreme] misery. [For] some thought that they would never get out of purgatory, because, according to the old canons seven years’ repentance is required for a single mortal sin. 23] Nevertheless, confidence was placed upon our work of satisfaction, and if the satisfaction could have been perfect, confidence would have been placed in it entirely, and neither faith nor Christ would have been of use. But this confidence was impossible. For although any one had done penance in that way for a hundred years, he would still not have known whether he had finished his penance. That meant forever to do penance and never to come to repentance.

    24] Here now the Holy See at Rome, coming to the aid of the poor Church, invented indulgences, whereby it forgave and remitted [expiation or] satisfaction, first, for a single instance, for seven years, for a hundred years and distributed them among the cardinals and bishops, so that one could grant indulgence for a hundred years and another for a hundred days. But he reserved to himself alone the power to remit the entire satisfaction.

    25] Now, since this began to yield money, and the traffic in bulls became profitable he devised the golden jubilee year [a truly gold-bearing year], and fixed it at Rome. He called this the remission of all punishment and guilt. Then the people came running, because every one would fain have been freed from this grievous, unbearable burden. This meant to find [dig up] and raise the treasures of the earth. Immediately the Pope pressed still further, and multiplied the golden years one upon another. But the more he devoured money, the wider grew his maw.

    Later, therefore, he issued them [those golden years of his] by his legates [everywhere] to the countries, until all churches and houses were full of the Golden Year. 26] At last he also made an inroad into purgatory among the dead, first, by founding masses and vigils, afterwards, by indulgences and the Golden Year, and finally souls became so cheap that he released one for a farthing.

    27] But all this, too, was of no avail. For although the Pope taught men to depend upon, and trust in, these indulgences [for salvation], yet he rendered the [whole] matter again uncertain. For in his bulls he declares: Whoever would share in the indulgences or a Golden Year must be contrite, and have confessed, and pay money. Now, we have heard above that this contrition and confession are with them uncertain and hypocrisy. Likewise, also no one knew what soul was in purgatory, and if some were therein, no one knew which had properly repented and confessed. Thus he took the precious money [the Pope snatched up the holy pence], and comforted them meanwhile with [led them to confidence in] his power and indulgence, and [then again led them away from that and] directed them again to their uncertain work.

    28] If, now [although], there were some who did not believe [acknowledge] themselves guilty of such actual sins in [committed by] thoughts, words, and works,—as I, and such as I, in monasteries and chapters [fraternities or colleges of priests], wished to be monks and priests, and by fasting, watching, praying, saying Mass, coarse garments, and hard beds, etc., fought against [strove to resist] evil thoughts, and in full earnest and with force wanted to be holy, and yet the hereditary, inborn evil sometimes did in sleep what it is wont to do (as also St. Augustine and Jerome among others confess),—still each one held the other in esteem, so that some, according to our teaching, were regarded as holy, without sin and full of good works, so much so that with this mind we would communicate and sell our good works to others, as being superfluous to us for heaven. This is indeed true, and seals, letters, and instances [that this happened] are at hand.

    29] [When there were such, I say,] These did not need repentance. For of what would they repent, since they had not indulged wicked thoughts? What would they confess [concerning words not uttered], since they had avoided words? For what should they render satisfaction, since they were so guiltless of any deed that they could even sell their superfluous righteousness to other poor sinners? Such saints were also the Pharisees and scribes in the time of Christ.

    30] Here comes the fiery angel, St. John [Rev. 10], the true preacher of [true] repentance, and with one [thunderclap and] bolt hurls both [those selling and those buying works] on one heap, and says: Repent! Matt. 3:2. 31] Now, the former [the poor wretches] imagine: Why, we have repented! The latter [the rest] say: We need no repentance. 32] John says: Repent ye, both of you, for ye are false penitents; so are these [the rest] false saints [or hypocrites], and all of you on either side need the forgiveness of sins, because neither of you know what true sin is not to say anything about your duty to repent of it and shun it. For no one of you is good; you are full of unbelief, stupidity, and ignorance of God and God’s will. For here He is present of whose fulness have all we received, and grace for grace, John 1:16, and without Him no man can be just before God. Therefore, if you wish to repent, repent aright; your penance will not accomplish anything [is nothing]. And you hypocrites, who do not need repentance, you serpents’ brood, who has assured you that you will escape the wrath to come? etc. Matt. 3:7; Luke 3:7.

    33] In the same way Paul also preaches, Rom. 3:10-12: There is none righteous, there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God, there is none that doeth good, no not one; they are all gone out of the way; they are together become unprofitable. 34] And Acts 17, 30: God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. “All men,” he says; no one excepted who is a man. 35] This repentance teaches us to discern sin, namely, that we are altogether lost, and that there is nothing good in us from head to foot [both within and without], and that we must absolutely become new and other men.

    36] This repentance is not piecemeal [partial] and beggarly [fragmentary], like that which does penance for actual sins, nor is it uncertain like that. For it does not debate what is or is not sin, but hurls everything on a heap, and says: All in us is nothing but sin [affirms that, with respect to us, all is simply sin (and there is nothing in us that is not sin and guilt)]. What is the use of [For why do we wish] investigating, dividing, or distinguishing a long time? For this reason, too, this contrition is not [doubtful or] uncertain. For there is nothing left with which we can think of any good thing to pay for sin, but there is only a sure despairing concerning all that we are, think, speak, or do [all hope must be cast aside in respect of everything], etc.

    37] In like manner confession, too, cannot be false, uncertain, or piecemeal [mutilated or fragmentary]. For he who confesses that all in him is nothing but sin comprehends all sins, excludes none, forgets none. 38] Neither can the satisfaction be uncertain, because it is not our uncertain, sinful work, but it is the suffering and blood of the [spotless and] innocent Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.

    39] Of this repentance John preaches, and afterwards Christ in the Gospel, and we also. By this [preaching of] repentance we dash to the ground the Pope and everything that is built upon our good works. For all is built upon a rotten and vain foundation, which is called a good work or law, even though no good work is there, but only wicked works, and no one does the Law (as Christ, John 7:19, says), but all transgress it. Therefore the building [that is raised upon it] is nothing but falsehood and hypocrisy, even [in the part] where it is most holy and beautiful.

    40] And in Christians this repentance continues until death, because, through the entire life it contends with sin remaining in the flesh, as Paul, Rom. 7:14-25, [shows] testifies that he wars with the law in his members, etc.; and that, not by his own powers, but by the gift of the Holy Ghost that follows the remission of sins. This gift daily cleanses and sweeps out the remaining sins, and works so as to render man truly pure and holy.

    41] The Pope, the theologians, the jurists, and every other man know nothing of this [from their own reason], but it is a doctrine from heaven, revealed through the Gospel, and must suffer to be called heresy by the godless saints [or hypocrites].

    42] On the other hand, if certain sectarists would arise, some of whom are perhaps already extant, and in the time of the insurrection [of the peasants] came to my own view, holding that all those who had once received the Spirit or the forgiveness of sins, or had become believers, even though they should afterwards sin, would still remain in the faith, and such sin would not harm them, and [hence] crying thus: “Do whatever you please; if you believe, it all amounts to nothing; faith blots out all sins,” etc.—they say, besides, that if any one sins after he has received faith and the Spirit, he never truly had the Spirit and faith: I have had before me [seen and heard] many such insane men, and I fear that in some such a devil is still remaining [hiding and dwelling].

    43] It is, accordingly, necessary to know and to teach that when holy men, still having and feeling original sin, also daily repenting of and striving with it, happen to fall into manifest sins, as David into adultery, murder, and blasphemy, that then faith and the Holy Ghost has departed from them [they cast out faith and the Holy Ghost]. For the Holy Ghost does not permit sin to have dominion, to gain the upper hand so as to be accomplished, but represses and restrains it so that it must not do what it wishes. But if it does what it wishes, the Holy Ghost and faith are [certainly] not present. For St. John says, 1 John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, … and he cannot sin. And yet it is also the truth when the same St. John says, 1:8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

  30. 30 Brad
    April 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    GB,

    More of the same from you, but that’s OK, we’ve come to expect it.

    I asked you to specifically address Romans 10:9-10, as it relates to your assertion regarding whether baptism is necessary for salvation. You insist you’ve done so (as you have insisted in the past that you’ve answered questions, when you haven’t), though all you’ve done is give a GENERAL answer to a SPECIFIC question. That’s not “specifically” addressing the text, that’s ducking the question, while still trying to fool the readers that you have answered it directly, which you haven’t.

    Based on that, I can only assume 2 things: either you don’t know how to specifically address the verses, or you do, but don’t want to, b/c it leads us to a discussion you don’t wish to enter. Either way, you HAVEN’T specifically addressed it.

    It’s OK, I’m used to it from you, and from other Mormons who also refuse to answer questions directly. I just don’t see how you’re able to honestly say you’ve answered it directly, when you haven’t, but somehow you fool yourself into making yourself comfortable with it.

    The human, sinful side of me wishes that I can see you on the day when God judges all, to give you a nice “I told you so, you should have listened.” However, the Christian side of me perishes at that thought, knowing what awaits…

  31. 31 ADB
    April 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Joseph S.

    While a bit lengthy, what a breath of fresh air to review a most pertinent excerpt from the Lutheran Confessions … thanks!

  32. April 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Brad, there’s not really much point in answering your question until you are willing to explain what “believing in your heart” means to you.

  33. 33 GB
    April 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Brad,
    More of the same from you, but that’s OK, we’ve come to expect it.

    I answered you by specifically addressing Romans 10:9-10, as it relates to your assertion regarding whether baptism is necessary for salvation. You insist I haven’t done so (as you have insisted in the past when I’ve answered questions, when you haven’t acknowledged it), though all you’ve done is ignore the answer to your question. I have “specifically” addressed the text, that’s NOT ducking the question, while you still try to fool the readers that I haven’t answered it directly, which I have.

    Based on that, I can only assume 2 things: either you don’t know how to understand the answer, or you do, but don’t want to, b/c it leads us to a discussion you don’t wish to enter. Either way, I HAVE specifically addressed it.

    It’s OK, I’m used to it from you, and from other anti-Mormons who also refuse to acknowledge answers to questions directly. I just don’t see how you’re able to honestly say I haven’t answered it directly, when I have, but somehow you fool yourself into making yourself comfortable with it.

    So with that, I will ask you a question.
    Can you really believe in Jesus without believing what He taught?

  34. 34 Brad
    April 16, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    GB, please provide the post reference where you SPECIFICALLY responded to my question on how you interpret Romans 10:9-10. Should be fairly easy to do, since you say you’ve responded specifically to it. I must just be overlooking your SPECIFIC response, so I’d appreciate you pointing me to the post where you do so.

    Thanks.

  35. April 16, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Brad, is this a private fight? Are the rest of us invited?

    Because regardless of whether you think GB answered you or not, I did.

  36. 36 GB
    April 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Brad,

    I answered your question in post #16, #18 and #25

    Seth answered your question in post #26 and #32.

    Apparently you don’t think that “IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE IN JESUS, THEN YOU WILL BELIEVE AND DO WHAT JESUS TAUGHT.” is specifically applicable to Rom 10:9-10.

    Please explain WHY it isn’t specifically applicable.

  37. 37 Brad
    April 16, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Brad, is this a private fight? Are the rest of us invited?

    Because regardless of whether you think GB answered you or not, I did.

    Seth, you didn’t answer it at all – you asked for clarification, and said there was no point in even answering it until such clarification was received. Not an answer.

    As soon as I have GB’s answer (which I don’t), I’ll be happy to field further questions on it.

  38. 38 Brad
    April 16, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    I answered your question in post #16, #18 and #25

    In post #16, there’s not a single reference or explanation of Romans 10:9-10.
    In post #18, there’s not a single reference or explanation of Romans 10:9-10, only a reference to #16, which itself does not contain a reference.
    In post #25, there’s not a single reference or explanation of Romans 10:9-10, only a reference to #16 and #18, which themselves do not contain a reference.

    So no, the question hasn’t been answered. However, if in posts #16, #18 or #25 I missed your specific reference to or explanation of Romans 10:9-10, please feel free to quote in those posts where the reference is.

    Seth answered your question in post #26 and #32.

    In post #26, Seth noted the question wasn’t worth answering, in his opinion, until further clarification was given. No answer was given.
    In post #32, the same thing was said as in #26. No answer was given.

    However, I’m not looking for Seth’s answer, GB – I’m looking for yours.

    Apparently you don’t think that “IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE IN JESUS, THEN YOU WILL BELIEVE AND DO WHAT JESUS TAUGHT.” is specifically applicable to Rom 10:9-10.

    It doesn’t answer the question I asked, which is in relation to baptism being necessary for salvation, as it relates to Romans 10:9-10. The question I asked has nothing to do with what Jesus taught – it has to do with YOUR interpretation of Romans 10:9-10, which you haven’t given. You still are trying to divert attention – in the process, you’re making an easy answer difficult.

    Please explain WHY it isn’t specifically applicable.

    I didn’t ask about applicability of what Jesus taught to that passage – I asked for YOUR interpretation of Romans 10:9-10, specifically as it relates to baptism being necessary for salvation. You haven’t supplied that answer.

    If you were to say “give me your interpretation of John 10:30″, and I were to say “I think we should follow everything Jesus said”, that would NOT be giving you an answer to your stated question. However, if I explained what I think John 10:30 means, THAT would be answering your question. I’ve asked for an explanation of Romans 10:9-10 from you, not a general statement about whether we should follow what Jesus said.

  39. April 16, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    You’re welcome ADB!

    Personally, from my Reformation viewpoint faith alone in Christ’s active and passive obedience is the only thing by which a just and holy God can declare a sinner to be righteous, but it is important to realize that a living faith (fides viva) will manifest itself in obedience otherwise it would be a dead faith. It would be impossible for true faith to not want to manifest itself in obedience to Christ!

    Smalcald Article XIII. How One is Justified before God, and of Good Works.
    1] What I have hitherto and constantly taught concerning this I know not how to change in the least, namely, that by faith, as St. Peter says, we acquire a new and clean heart, and God will and does account us entirely righteous and holy for the sake of Christ, our Mediator. And although sin in the flesh has not yet been altogether removed or become dead, yet He will not punish or remember it.
    2] And such faith, renewal, and forgiveness of sins is followed by good works. And what there is still sinful or imperfect also in them shall not be accounted as sin or defect, even [and that, too] for Christ’s sake; but the entire man, both as to his person and his works, is to be called and to be righteous and holy from pure grace and mercy, shed upon us [unfolded] and spread over us in Christ. 3] Therefore we cannot boast of many merits and works, if they are viewed apart from grace and mercy, but as it is written, 1 Cor. 1:31: He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord, namely, that he has a gracious God. For thus all is well. 4] We say, besides, that if good works do not follow, faith is false and not true.

  40. 40 GB
    April 16, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    “Personally, from my Reformation viewpoint faith alone in Christ’s active and passive obedience is the only thing by which a just and holy God can declare a sinner to be righteous, but it is important to realize that a living faith (fides viva) will manifest itself in obedience otherwise it would be a dead faith. It would be impossible for true faith to not want to manifest itself in obedience to Christ!”

    Well said Joseph!

    Apparently Brad would take exception to it though. It appears that in his mind one can believe in Jesus without believing and doing what He taught.

  41. 41 GB
    April 16, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Brad,

    Rom 10:9-10 (within the context of the whole chapter) teaches that salvation comes through righteousness (obedience to God’s commandments) to those who truly believe (in the heart unto righteousness) in Christ. As I said before, to truly believe in Christ you must believe Him AND follow His teachings (which include the necessity of Repentance and Baptism, you know, to fulfill all righteousness).

    Can you truly believe in Christ (in your heart unto righteousness/obedience) and NOT believe and follow what He taught (righteousness/obedience)?

  42. April 16, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Learn to multi-task Brad.

  43. April 16, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    The LDS KJV’s subheading for Roman’s chapter 10: ” Salvation comes thru rigteousness”.
    I read thru the entire chapter — not once does it state that salvation comes thru righteousness. This is an LDS interpretation to what Romans 10 states.

    I think the LDS use a different dictionary when it comes to words like salvation and righteousness. We use many of the same terms, but completey different dictionary. Salvation for the LDS means something completely different than it means for Christians.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  44. 44 GB
    April 17, 2009 at 1:05 am

    Gloria:I think the LDS use a different dictionary when it comes to words like salvation and righteousness.

    GB: You “claimed” to have been LDS for 19 years. I guess it wasn’t true after all, otherwise you would know which dictionary we use.

    Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, AND shalt BELIEVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be SAVED.
    10 FOR WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND with the mouth confession is made unto SALVATION.

    It is very clear that salvation comes through righteousness (obedience to God’s commandments) to those who truly believe (in the heart unto righteousness) in Christ.

  45. 45 Jessica
    April 17, 2009 at 1:32 am

    Baptism is inevitable for the one who has put their faith in Christ alone for salvation. If a person was not baptized I would question whether they were really a disciple of Christ. But there’s a huge difference between saying works should follow salvation and saying works are required for salvation. The object of one’s trust can be so easily misled from the Savior to some ritual or ordinance that has no saving power. I recently had someone tell me I wasn’t saved because I didn’t believe baptism saves. I said, “do you mean to tell me that when I was baptized in water after putting my faith in Jesus alone to save me, I am not saved (according to you) because I was trusting in JESUS to save me instead of the water???”

  46. April 17, 2009 at 3:00 am

    GB,

    I think you should do some reading on the Greek word “dikaiosune”. This may help you understand where people are coming from when they speak about Rom 10:10. We may in fact be using different dictionaries.

  47. 47 ladonnamorrell
    April 17, 2009 at 3:54 am

    Gloria,

    It really disturbs me that you act like the “LDS” are foreign to you and you don’t know what “they” believe. “they” have a different dictionary????

    YOU were (i am still a doubter) a member for 19 years and you share your home with “one”!?!

    I picture you holding the KJV out in front of you while pinching your nose in disgust.

    LaDonna

  48. April 17, 2009 at 5:35 am

    This is quite a remarkable story of death-bed repentance.

    God bless.

  49. April 17, 2009 at 5:45 am

    ladonna,

    Honestly, would you please put a sock in it about gloria’s “Mormon credentials?”

    It’s getting really annoying, and is also irrelevant to the discussion anyway. I don’t care what kind of Mormon she was. OK? Enough is enough.

  50. 50 Brad
    April 17, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Rom 10:9-10 (within the context of the whole chapter) teaches that salvation comes through righteousness (obedience to God’s commandments) to those who truly believe (in the heart unto righteousness) in Christ. As I said before, to truly believe in Christ you must believe Him AND follow His teachings (which include the necessity of Repentance and Baptism, you know, to fulfill all righteousness).

    Finally, an answer. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? Your interpretation is dead wrong, but nonetheless, you did provide an answer at long last. You have so many presuppositions within your interpretation it’s hard to even wade through. You presuppose (incorrectly) that “righteousness” comes from obedience to God’s commands – how was righteousness credited to Abraham, according to the Bible? Through his faith, not his works. Was his faith made evident BY his works? Absolutely, which is exactly what James speaks about. But was it his works that credited him righteousness? No, the Bible says it was his FAITH.

    Romans 10:9-10 doesn’t say anything about obeying God’s commands being necessary for our salvation, so it’s quite interesting how you arrive at your conclusions. According to the passage, what must we do? Confess and believe – that’s it, and that’s all. It doesn’t make any mention of obeying commandments, being baptized, following ordinances, going to a temple, anything. Confess and believe. Now, where you go wrong (and where many Mormons go wrong), is they then make the assumption that because that’s ALL Christians believe is necessary for salvation, that we DON’T believe that commandments must be obeyed, that we must be baptized, etc… Nothing could be further from the truth. I have been baptized – it was the first thing I did after salvation, in obedience to God’s command. I also follow God’s instructions and will for my life to the best of my ability, b/c I believe that’s important. However, NONE of that gains me salvation – rather, they all flow from a salvation I already had, and a desire to serve God and do what He said to do. Christians don’t think works are unimportant – you can’t read James and get that impression. We just don’t think they have any bearing on salvation, b/c the Bible simply doesn’t teach that. Good works, obedience, follow AFTER salvation, not as a condition OF salvation. That makes all the difference in the world!

    How are we justified? According to the passage, by believing in our heart. Not by baptism, works, etc…

    How are we saved? According to the passage, by confessing with our mouth. Not by baptism, works, etc…

    Clearly, you believe works are important. I don’t argue that point – never have. We are clearly commanded to do good works in Scripture, and in fact if one is saved, then good works should naturally flow out of that salvation. No argument here. However, to say they are necessary for salvation, simply misinterprets the Bible. I don’t expect you to agree, so I believe we’ll have to agree to disagree, but I wanted you to see the other side of the viewpoint.

    Can you truly believe in Christ and NOT believe and follow what He taught?

    No, I don’t believe you can. I would say we agree on that point. However, that still doesn’t mean that it’s the obedience to the commands, or any other works, that save – it’s still the faith alone that saves. Again, Abraham is a great example. It wasn’t his works that were credited to him as righteousness – it was his faith. Did works flow from that faith? Absolutely, as they should for any with faith. But the works don’t save, and CAN’T save – the faith does.

  51. 51 Brad
    April 17, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Apparently Brad would take exception to it though. It appears that in his mind one can believe in Jesus without believing and doing what He taught.

    Nope, never said that. See post #49.

  52. 52 Brad
    April 17, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Learn to multi-task Brad.

    Not a question of ability, Seth, only desire.

    Brad, there’s not really much point in answering your question until you are willing to explain what “believing in your heart” means to you.

    GB finally gave an answer (still not sure why it was so hard, but whatever), but I said I’d reply when he did, so I will.

    “Believing in your heart” is pretty self-explanatory, Seth. You would have to be careful to not read too much INTO that statement. In my heart, do I believe that Christ is who He said He is, and died to save me? Yes – I have believed in my heart. If you would then ask what I do BECAUSE of that, well, yes, I do follow His commands, b/c He has told us to. But that flows FROM my belief in the heart, which has justified me – the works haven’t justified me before God, they only prove it to man.

  53. 53 Brad
    April 17, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, AND shalt BELIEVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be SAVED.
    10 FOR WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND with the mouth confession is made unto SALVATION.

    It is very clear that salvation comes through righteousness (obedience to God’s commandments) to those who truly believe (in the heart unto righteousness) in Christ.

    Even in the KJV, it doesn’t “say” or “mean” anything different than in the NIV.

    It doesn’t say that salvation comes “through” righteousness (“justified”, in the NIV). It says that “with the heart, man believes UNTO righteousness.” What impunes the righteousness (e.g. being justified)? The belief. It says it point blank right there in v. 10. You have read something into the verse that isn’t there.

  54. April 17, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Good morning, Ladonna.

    Well it looks like you still enjoy a good mud sling and a stone throw. That’s ok, if that makes your day so be it. I personally don’t get into personal attacks. It’s not my style of dealing with people. I guess I just believe Jesus tells us to take the higher road.

    I just wanted to go on record and personanlly state that I have a KJV Thomas Nelson Study bible, and no I do not “pinch my nose” when I read it. It’s well love and well used. :)
    ——————–
    GB,

    “rigtheousness” to Christians means being “right with God”, and the only way one can be “right with God” is thru His son, thru Jesus. It is with our “heart” we believe and are justified. We need to believe unto beling “right with God”… not unto being this great person full of good works and doing alms. That is not what this verse is saying. Again, I believe we are using a “different dictionary”. I say that with all seriousness. That is the words that the LDS use , mean something totally different than how we Christians define it. We are not going to agree on what they mean.

    I love the NIV version of this verse:

    “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

    We need to have such a “heart belief” in Jesus as Messiah and Savior that it leads us to confess with our mouth and thus receive salvation.

    Again I say this verse has nothing to do with personal ‘acts of good’ or ‘righteousness’ as the LDS view it to mean.

    Sincere regards,
    gloria

  55. 55 GB
    April 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    All,

    Ah, what a difference a translation makes!

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

    King James Bible
    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    American King James Version
    For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

    American Standard Version
    for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    Bible in Basic English
    For with the heart man has faith to get righteousness, and with the mouth he says that Jesus is Lord to get salvation.

    Darby Bible Translation
    For with the heart is believed to righteousness; and with the mouth confession made to salvation.

    English Revised Version
    for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    For with the heart man believeth to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

    Weymouth New Testament
    For with the heart men believe and obtain righteousness, and with the mouth they make confession and obtain salvation.

    World English Bible
    For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    for with the heart doth one believe to righteousness, and with the mouth is confession made to salvation;

    The word translated “righteousness” in English is “dikaiosynē” in the Greek. According to Strong’s it means;

    1) in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God

    a) the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God

    b) integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting

    2) in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due

    Of the 92 times it is used in the New Testament (KJV) it is translated “righteousness” every single time.

  56. 56 GB
    April 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Also, what does Jesus say about being right with God?

    Matt. 7:21 ¶ 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.
    • • •
    24 ¶ Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
    • • •
    26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

    Also see Luke 6:46-47.

    John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
    21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

    And since we seem to be spending a lot of time in Romans, what did Paul say first to the Romans?

    Rom 2:6 (God) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
    9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

    It is UNWISE to disregard what the rest of the Bible says regarding this matter and only take a small portions of Paul’s words.

    As Peter said.

    2 Pet 3:15 And 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;
    16 As 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.

  57. April 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing those passages with us GB. The language of the bible is beautiful. The words of our Lord are life. He truly is living waters and the bread of life.
    I also loved all the passages you shared from various translations on Romans 10:13
    Each one pretty clearly states the same thing. We need to believe with our hearts unto “rigth-eousness” and with our mouth confess unto salvation. Our hearts truly need to believe without a doubt that Jesus is what makes us “right with God”, and with our mouth confess. Our righteouness is truly as Isaiah says “filthy rags” but in Christ and thru Christ we may truly become “right-eous”.

    I completely agree that as disciples of our Lord Jesus we are to obey Him, and do as He says. If you love me “keep my commandments”. What I am debating is that I do not believe it is our “obedience” that saves us. It is HIM alone that saves. By His grace I am saved, not of works, and by HIS grace I can be “right with God” . If I am right with God there is going to be fruit to follow. The Lord tells us by their fruit ye shall know them. The fruit of a saved, person regenerated and santified is outlined beautifully in Galatians 5.

    That is what concerns me with many of the LDS I see posting here. They claim to have Jesus in their hearts – but yet I see very little fruit. The name calling, sarcasm and plain down right unkindness is rather telling.

    Jesus said is so beautifully when He said that this is how they shall know you are my disciples if ye have love one to another.

    Love, is the hallmark of a true Christian.

    Jesus has called me to LOVE.

    That is how others will know that I am HIS.

    As I said before I am praying for you and other LDS.

    I wish you all a lovely weekend. I am going to be flying out to be with my parents and siblings for my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary! Please pray for my husband that he will be able to have the patience and love to take care of our 10 children while I am gone. I am trusting God will take care of all the details, but my “mama heart” still gets concerned when I leave the kids for long periods of time. I know I know.. I need to trust God and let go. :)

    God bless,
    gloria

  58. April 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    And again, this starts to sound like a chicken-and-the-egg sort of discussion.

  59. 59 GB
    April 17, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    B: how was righteousness credited to Abraham, according to the Bible?

    GB: By works of righteousness.

    James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

    Abraham believed God BY obeying Him by offering Isaac his son upon the alter.

    So Brad, now answer the question.

    Can you truly believe in Christ and NOT believe and follow what He taught?

  60. 60 GERMIT
    April 17, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Gloria: Wow…..I’m the seventh of nine, so my mom knows your world…..well, minus one at least…. I’m praying that Dad gets super-infused; have a great weekend.

    GERMIT

  61. April 17, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    GB, why did God credit righteousness to Abraham before he brought forth his works of obedience? In Genesis 15:6 God reckoned Abraham righteous by faith before he offered his son Isaac on the altar and before he was circumcised.

    I think when we read justification in Romans and James it is helpful to keep in mind who the target audience is. In Romans Paul is talking about how a sinner is to be considered righteous before God’s perfect standard, and that is by faith in Christ’s work apart from our works. James is talking about how we are to live out our faith and demonstrate that faith by works of obedience.

    Probably beating a dead horse, but thought I would add my 2 cents :).

  62. 62 GB
    April 17, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Joseph: why did God credit righteousness to Abraham before he brought forth his works of obedience? In Genesis 15:6 God reckoned Abraham righteous by faith before he offered his son Isaac on the altar and before he was circumcised.

    GB: Good question. Here is another good question.

    Was Abraham obedient to the commands of the Lord (righteous) prior to Gen 15:6?

  63. April 18, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Was Abraham obedient to the commands of the Lord (righteous) prior to Gen 15:6?

    I would say that yes indeed Abraham was obedient to God’s commands prior to Genesis 15:6, particularly in Genesis 12:1-4, but a few verses later in the same chapter we see Abraham trying to pass off his wife as his sister, which would definitely not be following God’s commands. As I recall Abraham did this twice but the Lord stopped him from screwing the promise up :). So Abraham was still a sinner and saint at the same time – simul justus et peccator.

    GB, I’m not sure if you use AOL instant messenger, but if you want I have a link in my blog profile to my AOL screen name so if you AIM me I can send you files mp3 files in which R.C. Sproul talks about the topic of faith and works from a Protestant perspective. I found his lecture helpful and it might give you a better idea of what Protestant theology teaches regarding this. Let me know what you think :).

  64. 64 faithoffathers
    April 18, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Question to non-LDS. What is God’s purpose in interacting with His children? Why are we created? What are His motives? Honestly.

    This question is fundamental to the faith vs. works discussion. How? Here is another question- what is the role of works? Why do we do them? Is it 100% to show gratitude? Does God really not require our works?

    From my perspective, God is most interested in WHAT His children become. I do not think He needs my gratitude or attention. Rather, I need them. Everything He does for His children is designed to help them BECOME something (set aside the idea of deification or becoming a god). This is very much like the motivation of an earthly parent, but a perfect version of that motive.

    If our works fulfill only a peripheral or unessential role, God’s motive must be something other than seeing us become greater beings. I say this because in order for us to become great, we must work. There is no way around this. It is true of athletes, musicians, scientists, economists, politicians (well, I won’t go that far), physicians- everybody. An un-exercised muscle does not grow.

    Effort and God’s blessing makes people great. Everybody has dreams or wishes. But only those who act and work and sweat become truly great.

    In saying all this, I am not saying our works save us- they don’t. I simply believe God is all about the process of us BECOMING. And when we exert our greatest effort, the power of the atonement has a synergistic effect upon our efforts- it makes possible our exponential growth. This is consistent with everything we see in nature.

    The idea that our works are not absolutely required is completely contrary to this truth. It truly makes no sense. It completely ignores human nature and eternal law in my opinion.

    fof

  65. April 18, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    What is God’s purpose in interacting with His children? Why are we created? What are His motives?

    We were created in the image of God and made to reflect His character. For me it helps to imagine a mirror that is made to perfectly reflect the sun, but original sin has smashed this mirror into billions of tiny fragments so they can no longer reflect the sunlight (God’s character) like they are supposed to. When God regenerates a soul he brings these shattered pieces together and they being to reflect the image of God, although not perfectly in this life. Christ was the exact image and representation of the likeness of God, he reflect perfectly God’s very character, and it is my belief that the Holy Spirit is transforming believers into little “Christs.”

    “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NASB)

    “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NASB)

    “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” – 1 John 3:2-3 (NASB)

    I think the idea of theosis captures the concept beautifully.

    In the words of Saint Irenaeus: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man, so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.”

    Saint Athanasius states it more directly: “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God”.

    This makes my heart race with eager anticipation :)!

  66. 66 faithoffathers
    April 18, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Joseph S.,

    The question of WHY still persists. Why does God want a bunch of mirrors reflecting His character and greatness?

    Thanks.

    fof

  67. April 18, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    FoF,

    The answer is rather obvious, God does it for His own glory so the people who he has redeemed never cease to praise His holy name.

    “Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.” – Psalm 79:9

  68. April 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Ps 86:9 – All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.

    Isa 42:8 – “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.

    Isa 43:7 – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

  69. 69 jm
    April 18, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    What is God’s purpose in interacting with His children? Why are we created? What are His motives?

    Simply put it is to LOVE and to SERVE GOD. Serving God in this world, is to help take care of his children. In the next world I do not know, will find out when we get there.

  70. April 18, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    “FoF, The answer is rather obvious, God does it for His own glory so the people who he has redeemed never cease to praise His holy name.”

    Yeah Joseph, but doesn’t that seem to be a rather conceited and self-centered thing to do to you?

  71. 71 faithoffathers
    April 19, 2009 at 3:45 am

    This is where the fundamental difference lies. Yet it is rarely recognized in all our arguing about faith vs. works. To me, the LDS vision of who God is and His motives not only makes a million times more sense, it views God as being a truly selfless, generous being, yet one we all can relate to.

    Christ often related the relationship between earthly parents to Heavenly Father. (Give a gift of a stone or fish) Any loving, decent parent feels a deep, sincere desire to see their child succeed FOR THAT CHILD’S SAKE. I believe this is the core motive of God. He is anything but self-seeking.

    fof

  72. April 19, 2009 at 4:38 am

    Seth and FoF, I would commend to your reading a good systematic theology book on the Christian doctrine of God. I recommend Dr. John Frame’s “The Doctrine of God” http://www.amazon.com/Doctrine-God-Theology-Lordship/dp/0875522637/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240115488&sr=8-1. The book is massive at 992 pages!

    I’m not trying to evade your remarks, but I sense a useless exchange of words starting to form.

  73. April 19, 2009 at 4:41 am

    You’re probably right.

    992 pages?

    Yeesh.

    I swore off books that long after I graduated from law school.

    I keep a full copy of the bankruptcy code on my desk of course. But I only read small sections of that at a time. I’d have to be nuts to read the whole thing.

  74. 74 jm
    April 19, 2009 at 4:56 am

    God is LOVE, Love is self-seeking. The more Love you have the more you seek. Any loving, decent parent would rather see his children Loved and Happy. This is the core motive of God.

    God is LOVE

  75. April 19, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    jm, are you LDS? Just curious.

  76. April 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Frame, J. M. (2002). The doctrine of God. A theology of lordship (123). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

    The New Testament often presents the Christian life in terms of an indicative and an imperative. The indicative emphasizes the sovereign work of God, and the imperative emphasizes our obligation, our responsibility. For example, in Colossians 3:1–3, we read:
    Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
    “You have been raised” is the indicative; “set your hearts on things above” is the imperative. God raised us; we could not have raised ourselves. But Paul expects us to make a decision to give priority in our hearts and minds to the affairs of God. The Christian life is a wonderful gift of God, but it is also a spiritual battle that warrants great exertions.7 As in Philippians 2:12–13, the sovereign gift of God motivates our exertions. Never in Scripture is there any hint that God’s sovereignty should encourage passivity or sloth.
    The book of Revelation shows over and over the wrath of God poured out upon Satan and his hosts. Satan is responsible for what he does. Nevertheless, God is on the throne. He anticipates what Satan does and limits it according to his plan.
    Why do the biblical writers find it so natural to bring these themes together, a conjunction that seems so paradoxical to modern readers? Why does Paul in Philippians 2:12–13 actually appeal to God’s sovereign working in order to motivate our responsible activity? Here are some suggestions as to why this linkage makes sense in the context of a biblical worldview:
    1. As we saw in chapter 5, God’s sovereignty involves not only his control over everything, but also his authority, his evaluation of everything. He is the supreme standard, the source of all value. Control and evaluation are two aspects of lordship, mutually implicative. It is therefore not at all surprising that they should be conjoined in Scripture. By his control, God foreordains our actions; by his authority, he evaluates them. Because of that authority, we are answerable to him, responsible. Far from being inconsistent with God’s lordship, therefore, our responsibility is based upon it.
    2. God’s promises of success motivate believers to act in accord with those promises. Theoretically, of course, someone might respond to such a promise by relaxing and waiting passively for God to do it all. Two opposite responses to the certainty of God’s promises, then, are theoretically possible. But taking action to further God’s goals is not an irrational response to revelation, and it is eminently rational when we consider that our obedience is not only commanded, but also a tool by which God accomplishes his purposes. Those who obey have the joy of being God’s instruments—and of reaping his rewards.
    3. When we are most aware of God’s providential control over us, we are most aware of the necessity to live responsibly before him. When we are overwhelmed by his grace and love—or by his wrath and judgment—we are powerfully impressed with our need to repent and believe. When we are amazed at God’s work within us, we are motivated to work out our own salvation. Note that in Philippians 2:12–13, we are to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling.” “Fear and trembling” in Scripture is worship, the typical response of a human being to the presence of God. The presence of God with us and in us motivates us to take responsibility. In the presence of the great king, we dare not refuse his commands.8
    4. Without God’s control over the universe, there could be no human responsibility. We live in a theistic universe, governed by a person, not by impersonal forces. Since God has planned, made, and governed all of nature and history, he has evaluated every event according to his perfect standards. If God did not exist, however, there would be no moral standards. Matter, motion, time, and space alone do not impose obligations.9 And if God did not control everything that happens, then he would not be the ultimate interpreter, the ultimate valuer, of everything. The value of some things would then be independent of God, which is to say that they would have no value. Our responsibility, then, would be confused by two or more sources of value, possibly by two or more equally ultimate standards. Or we would be morally responsible in some areas of life, but not in others. But in Scripture there is one standard; we are to do everything for God’s glory.
    5. Scripture is therefore not nearly as concerned as we are to promote our self-esteem. We would like to believe that the meaning and significance of our lives depend on what we do for ourselves, without any outside influences or constraints. In Scripture, however, the goal of human life is to glorify God. Our dignity is to be found not in what we do, but in what God has done for us and in us. Our meaning and significance are to be found in the fact that God has created us in his image and redeemed us by the blood of his Son. The biblical writers, therefore, are not horrified, as modern writers tend to be, by the thought that we may be under the control of another. If the other is God, and he has made us for his glory, then we could not possibly ask for a more meaningful existence.

  77. 77 jm
    April 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Joseph; NO

    Jhn 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

    Even when we were nailing him to the cross. He still Loved all of us. Think how great
    a Love this is. If this had been me, every body would have been dead right then.

    God is LOVE

  78. 78 GB
    April 20, 2009 at 3:54 am

    Joseph,

    God imputing righteousness to Abraham because he exercised his faith and believed God when He promised a posterity greater than the number of visable stars when there was no way that it was humanly possible is another way of saying “thy sins be forgiven thee”.

    And for you to claim that Abraham wasn’t under the Lord’s command to claim that Sarah was his sister (which she was), is you puting something into the text that isn’t there and you are imputing sin and disobedience to Abraham without any evidence.

    I appreciate your kind offer. I understand quite well the protestant position of faith and works, even though there is not consistency throughout the protestant world. I just don’t find that it reflects the full teachings of the New Testament.

  79. 79 GERMIT
    April 20, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    FoF: you wrote

    The question of WHY still persists. Why does God want a bunch of mirrors reflecting His character and greatness?

    this question makes perfect sense if GOD and we are essentially the made of the same stuff; this is where your position and ours go separate ways; the parent child analogy in the bible is just that , an analogy, and all analogies have limits, I’d say you’ve gone beyond the limit here. What WOULD be narcissism and a fixation on self in humans is not for GOD, because HE is other than us, and HE knows we operate better when “fixed upon” HIM. HE can therefore command that of us, and it’s the best situation for us, no human (other than the GOD-man Jesus) could make this kind of claim.

    this might not seem a satisfactory explanation to you, but thot I’d throw it in the mix

    good to hear from you

    GERMIT

  80. April 20, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Germit, maybe that works for you. But I’m afraid it doesn’t for me.

    Even if God is fundamentally different from humans, he is still the God of humans. Which means he has to be something admirable – TO US. If he isn’t admirable to human beings, then it’s just not going to work – on a purely practical level.

  81. 81 faithoffathers
    April 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Germit,

    Thanks for the response. But I am not sure I follow you. What does it matter whether we are the same species or kind of being as God? Bottom line according to Joseph S. is that God desires to have us be mirrors of Him. My driving question is why? Why the desire to have us reflect Him? Make sense?

    My contention is that He is bigger than that. It is that His motivation is to have His children BECOME something great (i.e. something much greater than what we started out as). My claim is that there is a deeper reason for all His work than just having creations that reflect His greatness. And (I think this is cool), it is something that we can relate to as parents.

    Just thots.

    fof

  82. 82 GB
    April 21, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    FOF

    Speaking of becoming, I think you will find this interesting.

    Read (the interlinear English) in verse 14 here http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/exo3.pdf

  83. April 22, 2009 at 4:35 am

    FOF, again I cite.

    Ps 86:9 – All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.

    Isa 42:8 – “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.

    Isa 43:7 – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

    Man was created to bring God glory, pure and simple. Man is not the measure and end of all things, God is and to suggest otherwise is pure blasphemy.

  84. April 22, 2009 at 5:51 am

    No Mormon does suggest that man is the full measure and end of things Joseph.

  85. 85 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Hello FOF,

    You asked the non LDS here, “why” God created us.

    The answer: Rev.4:11

    ” Thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power: for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

    ” All things were created by Him and *for* Him” Col 1:16

    Simply put we were created by God for His pleasure.

    I love the passage when the Lord tells Moses that he is going to lead His people out of Egypt. He tells Moses very clearly “why” he ( moses) has been raised up:

    ” And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth”. Ex. 9:16

    God used moses to not only lead the people out of bondage but to show thru Moses HIS power — and that HIS name may be glorified, exalted and declared.

    God created us to glorify Himself. To bring glory to Him.

    We should praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people make mention that HIS name be exalted.” — Isaiah 12:4

    For Christians it’s all about Him. It’s not about us. It’s about bringing glory to the Father and to the Lamb.

    Jesus said it well when He said ” let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven”.

    ” Herein is my father glorified when you bear much fruit”. John 15:7

    The purpose of my life is to glorify my God.

    To exalt His name. To make mention of HIS greatness before all men.

    That is why I was created.

    The purpose of our “works” or “fruit” is to glorify GOD. Jesus said that plainly.

    That fruit – those good works are not for us but for God’s glory.

    When I became a Christian, a born again believer I realized this life is not about “me” becoming something…..it’s about God. I am about HIS work, not mine. It’s about HIS glory, not mine. My life’s goal and ambition is to lift up and glorify the name of the Lord.

    Simply put, it’s not about me… It’s about Him.

    Kind Regards,
    gloria

  86. 86 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 5:30 am

    Hell seth,

    You asked / mentioned that perhaps God is “conceited or self centered” to create people for His pleasure, for His glory who will never cease to praise His holy name.

    This may appear odd to LDS readers – but truly that is what the Bible teaches.

    We were created for His pleasure, for His glory. Rev 4:11

    Simply put folks, this life is not about “us”. It’s about HIM.

    That is what Jesus came to do – the work of His father and that work was fulfilled on Calvary. When a person realizes that Jesus did that work for them, a sinner, an undeserving filthy wretch….. well then it’s not so hard to imagine an eternity of praising the Lamb and singing ‘ Holy Holy Holy, Lord God almighty which was and is and is to come’. Rev. 4:8

    When I realized what Jesus did for me — how can I not help but praise His holy name?

    The Word of God teaches us that God created us for His pleasure.

    He did not create us so we can become a God like Him.

    When you read the book of Rev. it so clearly shows us what heaven will truly be like, and yes, we will be singing HIS praises!

    He is GOD — He is not a man. He is not self centered or conceited. Men are self centered and concieted.

    Personally I think the LDS vision of progression and becoming a “god” is vain and conceited. It was that exact thinking that got Lucifer kicked out of heaven when he declared that ” he would be *like* the most high” Isaiah 14:14 Lucifer also wanted “exaltation”. Verse 13

    God is God. We can not even begin to understand His ways. Isaiah 54:8-9

    I personally , am looking foward to an eternity of praising HIS holy name,

    Gloria

  87. 87 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Hello FOF,

    Do you not think that God desires His name to be exalted and glorified?

    Do you not believe that God used Pharoah for that express purpose – to glorify Himself before Egypt and the Israelites?
    He hardened Pharoah’s heart so “his signs and wonders could be multiplied” Ex. 7:3

    He raised up Moses so that His name would be declared thru out all the earth. Ex. 16:16

    I love Psalm 46:10

    ” Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth”.

    We are truly to Praise the Lord, call upon HIs name, declare His doings, and make mention that HIS name be exalted! Isaiah 12:4

    God delights in our praise, our worship and our adoration.

    When I was LDS — I beleived god had once been a man, who had “progressed” to becoming God. I beleive the LDS vision of God is one of “human become god” .

    As a Christian I know realize God has always been God and will always be God. There is none other. He says He knows of NO other God. Isaiah 44:8, 43:10
    He is not a man. ( Hosea 11:9) He is GOD.

    That is a fundamental difference.

    Sincere regards,
    gloria

  88. 88 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 5:49 am

    I am reminded of the passage in Isaiah that speaks of Lucifer – and his great fall.

    ” How art thou o Lucifer son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground which didst weaken the nations. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend unto heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit also upon the mount of congregration in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most HIGH”. Isaiah 14:12-15

    Lucifer wanted to “become” something great… something “big”.. and he wanted to be “like” the Most HIGH ( God himself).

    And we can read where he will end up:

    ” Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell to the sides of the pit”. verse 15

    Lucifer, the “annointed cherub” ( Ez. 28:14) was “lifted up” in pride.

    And where will that get him?

    To the pit of hell.

    This idea of “becoming” something great has been around for millenia.

    That is the lie from old Lucifer himself.

    Something to chew on,
    Gloria

  89. April 24, 2009 at 6:09 am

    That line has never worked on me Gloria.

    Just because Satan said it doesn’t mean there wasn’t some truth in it. LDS teaching has always been that Satan spoke a half-truth in the Garden.

    This sort of stuff may make you feel self-justified in decisions you’ve already made, but it does nothing to convince anyone who didn’t already agree with your position to begin with.

  90. April 24, 2009 at 6:13 am

    No gloria, it’s about more than just God.

    The fact that you and I exist is pretty solid evidence that it’s not just about God. If it were just about God, he would be the only thing that exists, and you and I would not be having this conversation.

    But since we are having this conversation and since we do, in fact, exist, that indicates pretty strongly that it is about more than “just God.”

  91. 91 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Hi, seth. I am not here to try to convince anyone of anything.. the work of conviction & convincing is solely the work of the Holy Spirit. ( John 16:8, John 15:26) I can’t convince. That’s not my job. But the fact does remain that Satan ( Lucifer, the Cherbub) did seek to exalt “his throne” and to be “like” the most high. That is the truth, Seth. It’s so clearly spelled out in the Bible. A “half truth” is a lie. Lucifer lied to Eve, and he also was full of it when he presumed he could exalt himself and become like God. Impossible. The pit is there for him one day and for all who follow in his footsteps. That is what the Bible teaches very very clearly. Isaiah 14:15

    Sincere regards,
    Gloria

  92. 92 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Seth,

    You say that life is more than about “God”.

    You mentioned that if it was all about God we wouldn’t be here ….

    Well you do recall how God sent the flood do you? He repented of ever having created humans. That’s pretty major, don’t you think? All but Noah and his sons and their wives were saved in that flood. Everyone else gone. Fortunately God promised to never do such a thing again. But He IS God and He did flood the earth and everyone in it except a few souls. I do believe God loves us, Seth. He wants us to receive the free gift of salvation. But the Bible clearly teaches that we were created for HIS pleasure. Not for our pleasure, but His. Rev. 4:11 I am so blessed be His creation and to spend my life glorifying HIS name. Jesus told us the purpose of our fruit was to “glorify” God, not ourselves. John 15:6,

    Where does the bible teach that it’s about “us”? Where does the bible state that this life is about “becoming something great?”

    Where does it state that we were created to progress to something bigger?

    I guess I just don’t see where in the Bible this kind of philosophy is taught.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  93. April 24, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    “Where does the bible teach that it’s about “us”? Where does the bible state that this life is about “becoming something great?””

    Every time the Bible mentions a human being. Every time the Bible calls one to behave better.

    You don’t see it, because you are ignoring the clear context of the ENTIRE Bible story and seeing only what you want to see.

    If the Bible were only about God, he would be the only one in it. The Bible gives almost EQUAL air time to its human subjects.

    This is glaringly obvious gloria. Without humans, there is no Bible and there is no story to be told. Just a lonely, bored God wondering how he’s going to spend the afternoon.

  94. 94 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Good morning, seth.

    I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    The Bible does state over and over again that we are to exalt Him, to Praise Him and it clearly states that we were created for His pleasure.

    I shared various passages from the Word of God that points over and over again how God uses humankind to glorify Himself and how the purpose of our lives is to glorify our Father in Heaven. Jesus taught that repeatedly. We are to let our lights ‘shine’ so our Father in Heaven can be glorified, not ourselves.

    Jesus said is very clearly seth – “herein is my father glorified when you bear much fruit”. John 15:6

    I think this is an area that LDS radically differ from Biblical Christianity.

    LDS believe they are here to be tested , and to receive the saving ordinances of the LDS gospel.

    Christians beleive that they were created for God’s will and pleasure. I cite Rev. 4:11 again.

    The focus of the LDS gospel is “self” ( becoming, progressing, improving, etc) where the focus of Biblical Christianity is GOD. For christians the purpose of our lives is to bring honor and glory and praise to the King of Kings. It’s not about us.

    My fruit and my works are to glorify my Father, not myself.

    This is something I see as radically different between LDS and Biblical Chrisianity.

    God doesn’t need us, Seth. We need Him. His dominion would continue forever and ever with our without us.

    It is we humans who have fallen miserably short and are in desperate need of His redemptive mercy, love and most of saving grace. That is the message of the Bible. A fallen people in need of Christ. Christ doesn’t need us – we need Him. Desperately need Him.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  95. April 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    gloria, if God didn’t need us, we wouldn’t exist.

    It’s all just plain old logic.

    And I don’t deny that we need him. We do.

  96. 96 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    That’s the thing Seth, We can’t understand God logically. HE is God. If we could understand Him logically and wrap our minds around His mind and His thinking He would no longer be God – but a man. That is why some are attracted to the LDS version of God. He was once a man, who progressed to becoming a god and therefore thinks as men do, but in a more elavated and progressed manner.
    That is so radically different than how Christians view God. He is not a man, never has been. The bible is so very clear on that one. God was never a man, Seth. Hosea 11:9

    For His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways. Isaiah 54:8

    I personally am awed and overcome by knowing that I don’t have to understand my God. He is GOD and always will be. He doesn’t have a mind like mine. I simply can not understand all His ways. If I did He would cease to be God.

    Again, I beg to say I agree to disagree. Our views about “who” God is and His very nature are radically different. That is why so many Christians do not see LDS as Christian, based on the fact that their beliefs about the nature of who God is does not jive with what the Bible says who God is.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  97. April 24, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    If we cannot think about God logically gloria, then we have no basis for talking about him at all and this blog is a pointless and futile exercise.

    A human being cannot believe in something that cannot be comprehended.

  98. 98 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Who says that we have to comprehend God logically with our finite limited human mind?

    How can you or I wrap our finite little minds around the works and wonders of God?

    How can we begin to understand seth how He created this beautiful earth?

    How can we begin to understand how God “breathed” life into the first man Adam?

    How can we begin to understand how Jesus died and then rose from the dead?

    How can we comprehend how our bodies will be changed and we will live forever and never die and have no sorrow, no tears, no pain , etc?

    Can you comprehend these things, seth?

    I sure can’t.

    I don’t even begin to be presumptious to say “Yeah, I udnerstand all of God’s works, deeds and wonders. ”

    That is what makes HIM GOD.

    Perhaps you may not be able to believe in something you can not comprehend, but you most definately can’t speak for all of humankind seth.

    For christians all over the world, thru all generations of time have declared that God’s works and ways are great and unsearchable.

    O the depth and the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and his ways past finding out! Romans 11:33

    With all due respect, I really think we may be talking about a different being all together.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  99. April 24, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Gloria, we have to be careful with our words here. I do not currently understand everything there is to know now, or every will be revealed about mathematics. But that does not mean that it cannot EVER be comprehended. Mathematics is capable of being comprehended, even if no one does currently comprehend it fully. Even if no one EVER comprehends it fully, it is still something that can theoretically be understood.

    Even if God cannot be fully understood by any living human being, he must be logically coherent. The principles which comprise him must be logical. They must be such that they potentially COULD be understood, even if, in reality, God is too big to be fully understood by any of us living on this planet.

    If you are going to pull the Evangelical cop-out here and say “God doesn’t need to make logical sense,” then we really do have no basis for even talking about him in the first place.

    I might as well declare God to be a chicken feather, who both exists and doesn’t exist, on the far side of the moon, stuck in a little bottle in my pocket, attempting to create a rock so big he cannot lift it.

    The “mystery” defense is a nice convenient excuse. But it’s a conversation-stopper. It gets us nowhere.

    If God defies logic, then you and I have no basis for believing in him. And certainly no ability to discuss him.

  100. 100 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Hi, seth. I really do appreciate you taking time to discuss this with me. For me personally , I can’t speak for all Christians, but for me personally this idea of “who” God is and His very nature is at the heart of what I believe seperates Biblical Christianity and the LDS beliefs about “who” God is.

    Seth, the bible is so clear on this one. The passage from Isaiah and Romans both clearly state the His ways are “past finding out” and unsearchable are his judgements. Romans 11:33 Issaiah says His ways are not ours.

    For me personally and for millions of other Christians the Bible stands at the final word and authority.

    That is what God’s Word states, and that is where I rest my case.

    I don’t believe we are going to agree on this one, and that’s ok. I respect that we disagree and appreciate the dialogue.

    Kind regards,
    gloria

  101. 101 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Seth,
    I sent a reply but somehow it didn’t make it. :)

    I really don’t think we are going to agree on this one seth.

    The bible is so clear here. His ways are past finding out — Romans 11:33, His judgements are unsearchable, and His ways are so much higher than ours, Isaiah 54. You may say and think as you wish, and I am glad you have that freedom, but the Bible clearly speaks on this issue of “who” God is and His very nature.

    Our beliefs about “who” God is and His very nature are radically different, Seth.

    I am grateful we live in a nation where we are free to worship whom we wish. I for one am so very thankful my God sits on His throne and rules and reigns and has always been God. I don’t need to worry about understanding every single thing He does. I trust that what He does is just, and right and good. I may not understand everything He does, and that’s ok for me.

    I am content to know that My God has my very hairs numbered ( go figure how logically He can know that?) and is watching over me.

    I love the song ” Our God is an aweseme God.”

    He truly is,

    gloria

  102. April 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Yeah, but all that verse says is that God is beyond being fully understood by the human mind. Which I agree with by the way. But that doesn’t mean he can be logically exempt. He still has to make sense WHEN he is understood.

    God cannot be a circular triangle for instance, no matter how much power he has.

  103. 103 gloria
    April 24, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counselor? Romans 11:34

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

    For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 54: 8-9

    God’s sovereignity and omniscience are extolled by the statement that His thoughts ( purposes, intentions) and ways ( derakim or “directions) are higher than ours. While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purposes. Therefore, He reveals Himself to men by His word which shall not return to Him void. ( in vain) .

    Seth, God’s word ( which shall not return to Him void, but is shall accomplish that which HE pleases – Isaiah 54:11) states very clearly that He can not be completely understood. He is not a human who thinks the same way we do so there are going to be things that we can’t understand or comprehend which He can and does.

    Again, I really think the bottom line here is that we are really talking about 2 different beings. The God you are describing is very different than the one I am speaking of or the one the Bible declares.

    With all due respect & sincere regards,
    gloria

  104. April 24, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    See comment #102.

    I already addressed this point gloria.

  105. 105 gloria
    April 25, 2009 at 2:47 am

    Hi, seth. I think you may not understand what I am saying, and that’s ok. We see God very differently Seth. The Bible clearly teaches about the nature of God. The LDS views on the nature of God are very different then what the Bible teaches. I don’t see any point of going on because you are not going to agree with what I am saying or what the Bible says “who” God is and His very nature and character.

    So as I said before I kindly agree to disagree.

    Have a great night, seth.

    Gloria

  106. April 25, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Well, I don’t think you understand what I’m saying either.

    You have a good night too.

  107. May 6, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Hi, interesting post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for sharing. I will certainly be coming back to your site. Keep up the good posts

  108. 108 David
    April 22, 2010 at 1:57 am

    It is a big difference indeed. That makes it all the more important to be with the group that has the correct doctrine.


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