Thoughts and Truth from the Impossible Life

Salvation and Works

Does the LDS church have everything 100% correct? Of course not. Does any denomination or church have everything 100% correct? Of course not.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:26

I believe.

Regarding the idea of works being necessary:

1 John 1:7-10
1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

John is instructing us about the obligation we have due to receiving atonement through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness does not remove from us the obligation to keep the commands of God. The law of God is not done away once we are under the blood of Jesus Christ. His death paid for our past sins. Though His death will pay for sins committed after our original forgiveness, we are urged not to break God’s laws. Sinning without serious regard and deep appreciation for Christ’s death brings us into danger of committing the unpardonable sin (Hebrews 10:26, 28-29). A disciplined and robust effort to obey God’s commands witnesses to Him the depth of our appreciation for the grace He gives through Christ.
Consider the words of Christ in Luke 9:23-24:

23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

–The words of Christ in Matthew 19:17.
The truth is that we are saved by the grace of Christ which is offered to us through a covenant, a two-way contract: if we accept Christ and do our part, following and obeying him, then Christ does everything else, forgiving us, cleansing us, healing us, and giving us power to return to the presence of the Father – not because we earned it, but because we accepted the terms upon which he offers his infinite grace and mercy. Even in the days of Moses, the Lord proclaimed that God “shows mercy to those that keep his commandments” (Deut. 5:10), a principle that has not changed. The mercy or grace offered through a two-way covenant with Christ is implied in the Third LDS Article of Faith, and in the teaching of the prophet Nephi who wrote in 2 Nephi 25:23:

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

The Church’s emphasis on personal responsibility and the need for self-disciplined obedience may seem to de-emphasize the role of Christ’s grace; however, for Latter-day Saints, obedience is but one blade of the scissors. All of LDS theology also reflects the major premise of the Book of Mormon that without grace there is no salvation: “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Ne. 25:23). The source of this grace is the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ: “Mercy cometh because of the Atonement” (Alma 42:23).

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Only Two Abrahamic Faiths

An interpretation of the borders (in red) of t...As the correct lineage of God’s chosen people as prophesied to the patriarch Abraham is through his son Isaac, the son that God intended to be His people, only Judaism and Christianity are truly Abrahamic religions.

Called “the father of the faithful” (compare Romans:4:11), Abraham obeyed God’s instruction to leave his native Ur and move to Haran.

Notice his example of unquestioning obedience: “Now the LORD had said to Abraham ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing …’ So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him …” Hebrews:11:8 adds: “And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”

God was working with Abraham to establish him and his descendants in the land of Canaan (later called the Promised Land and often referred to as the Holy Land, this is modern Israel).

At the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, this area was ideal for God’s chosen people, who were to be an example to the rest of the world (Deuteronomy:4:5-8).
On arriving in the new land, God promised Abraham that He would give the land to his descendants, (Genesis:12:7) His chosen people, Jews and Christians.

“And the LORD said to Abram,… ‘Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever’” (Genesis:13:14-15).

God added: “And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered” (verse 16). Significantly, God later changed Abram’s name to Abraham (Genesis:17:5). His earlier name meant “high (exalted) father.” God renamed him “father of a multitude,” saying, “I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you” (verse 6).

At the time these prophecies must have seemed ironic to Abraham, for his wife Sarah was barren. Her infertility was to be very significant in the development of the modern Middle East. God promised Abraham in Genesis:15:4 that he would have an heir: “one who will come from your own body.”

Impatient, Sarah told Abraham to take her Egyptian handmaid Hagar and to produce a child by her. This took place “after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan” (Genesis:16:1-3). Thus, Ishmael and his descendants are a product of Abraham’s disobedience.

Abraham’s first son is born

“So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes” (Genesis:16:4). The relationship between Sarah and Hagar quickly deteriorated and Hagar fled. But a divine message was given to Hagar, telling her to return. It also reassured her that her son would have many descendants—but descendants with traits that would be evident throughout their history: “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count … You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael [‘God hears’], for the LORD has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers” (verses 10-12, New International Version).

Summary: God’s people are the descendants of the promise, of Isaac. The Abrahamic faiths are ONLY Judaism and Christianity. The opposition in all things come through the disobedience of Abraham, his son Ishmael. “his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers“. This is Islam and it is NOT of the promise and thus NOT an Abrahamic faith.

December 17, 2011 Posted by | Christianity / God, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments


To be content, just think how happy you would be if you lost everything you have right now and then got it back again.-Unknown

The Apostle Paul said it this way: “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). And that was a mouthful for a guy who was beaten, put in prison, stoned, shipwrecked and chased out of town after town. Yet, do you find it difficult to be content even in the lap of luxury? Attitude, that’s the difference. What’s needed is an inner attitude, an unshakable conviction that, regardless of the circumstances which life may send your way, with God’s help you can triumph in your troubles, if not over them. To triumph in your troubles is really the only victory you need, “for great is your reward in Heaven” (Matthew 5:12).

In the first century, the Apostle Paul demonstrated this principle. Here’s what he wrote to his brethren in the city of Philippi: “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). And Paul had been in some miserable circumstances. On one occasion he was falsely accused, beaten and thrown into prison, where he was shackled hand and foot. He was put in the inner prison (which we’d call the maximum security cell). But at midnight, of all things, Paul was singing. And he wasn’t wailing the words to “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” either. He was singing praises to God (see Acts 16:25)! What a fantastic attitude in such dire circumstances. But if your heart is right with God, circumstances just don’t count. Now, that may not sound very revolutionary the first time you hear it, but the idea grows on you. It suggests a truth that everyone has to wrestle with sooner or later: Until you’re able to be happy in every situation, you can’t really be happy in any situation.

How did Paul learn to be content in any set of circumstances? Did he learn it through his own human self-sufficiency? No way! Rather, he said, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…. I can do all things through Him (Christ) who strengthens me.” (“Making Things Right,” Paul Faulkner.)

There have been many of My children who have lived before you who faced great hardships, handicaps, and difficulties, and yet they allowed Me to use them. They were cheerful and happy despite the things that life had brought their way. They were overcomers!-But they would have never lifted a finger, never changed anything, never gone anywhere, never been anyone, if they had allowed their usefulness to be swallowed up by negativity and discontent.

Be an overcomer! Be a world changer! Be something for Me, because I need you! I need you to be free of negativity so that I can use you for My glory, so that I can work through you to love and reach others! Be content! Be free! Be positive! Be praiseful! That’s the secret to happiness! (Jesus speaking in prophecy. Originally published April 2006.)

Trust! Stop fretting and fussing and fighting and kicking and refusing to be happy and content with what you are and what you have! Once you are truly content-and this contentment only comes through total yieldedness to Me and acceptance of My plan-then I can give you more. I can then give you more blessings, more love, more friendships, relationships, even greater attractiveness and charm. When you are relaxed, restful, trusting, content and at peace with Me and with yourself the way I have made you, then your natural beauty, charm and love can [show]. You will not be so concerned and preoccupied and wrapped up in yourself and your own worries and wants and fears and phobias, but you will be looking out and around, looking to give others joy and peace. (From Jesus with Love, Book 2)

Back it up…
(All Bible verses are taken from the New King James Version, unless noted otherwise.)

Philippians 4:11-12 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

1Timothy 6:6-8 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

Hebrews.13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

January 30, 2011 Posted by | Christianity / God, Daily Gospel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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