The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or sometimes affectionately referred to as Mormons, teaches that salvation is the gift of God, predicated on the atonement of Christ, and that man can do nothing of himself to earn it.
And Mormons, like most people, dislike having their beliefs deliberately misrepresented. Mormons do believe in salvation by grace, even salvation by grace alone. Mormons also believe in salvation by grace through faith, but not salvation by grace through faith alone.
Salvation is any sense is a free gift from God. Man can do nothing to earn it. We cannot save ourselves. But the anti-Mormons will continually berate Mormons on this concept, even though the Mormons have recent scripture that states: “And we know the justification through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is just and true” D&C 20:30
Mormons take upon themselves the name of Christ, and are saved by grace through faith just as many other Christian religions believe.
But God’s grace is conditional…..to receive God’s grace is to live under the acceptance of that grace. God’s grace must be fully accepted in order to be fully received. As with any gift given, it can be rejected. So therefore it must be fully accepted.
Faith is often viewed by anti-Mormons as nothing more than a belief that Jesus can do something about a person’s problem with sin. Grace is a given, but Mormon’s do not let it remain stagnant, and are encouraged to follow the path of grace instead of just standing still and celebrating. For faith to be real, it must bring forth good fruit, works, and obedience. This concept is clearly taught in the bible, see Acts 6:7, Luke 8:15.
I will address two concepts that the anti-Mormons adhere to that are not biblical, the first being, We are saved by grace alone, without works or obedience, and the second being, salvation is instant and permanent. The anti’s believe in the concept of once saved, always saved.
Salvation by grace through faith alone is not a Bible teaching. This thought came about through the Reformation, and in particular, by Martin Luther. This concept was unknown until the sixteenth century among Christians, until Luther introduced this doctrine by inserting the word “alone” into Romans 3:28. So therefore, whenever the anti-Mormons see the words “faith” or “Grace” in the Bible, they also insert the word “alone” into their speech.
In James 2:14 we read: “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?” . And again we read, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead; being alone.” James 2:17 And one more in James 2:24: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified and not by faith only.” What is amazing, is that the anti-Mormons love to preach literal translation of the Bible to suit their needs, but not when it contradicts their own teachings. Because, according to James, works and faith are inseparable for salvation, including justification.
The most popular scripture verse that the anti-Mormons love to cite is found in Ephesians 2:8-9 which reads : “For by grace are ye saved though faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Interestingly, Mormons do not have a problem with this verse. Mormons believe salvation is the gift of God predicated on the atonement of Christ, and that works will not save anyone. Grace becomes effective through active faith, as opposed to dead faith, and it is dependent on two things: continuing in the works of faith and continuing steadfastly in the faith of Christ.
Now if the anti-Mormons would read the next verse in Ephesians, they will read, “ For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Thus we were created unto good works, and that we should walk in them, not maybe walk in them, or perhaps walk in them, or might walk in them, but should walk in them. It is amazing what one can learn when we don’t lean on just one verse in the Bible, and not take things out of context, but believe in the Bible as a whole truth.
In 1 John 2:4 we read, “ He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Faith is active and includes good works. Being saved instantly by faith makes a mockery of this verse. Giving lip service to faith and declaring that we are already saved because we have faith in Christ is not salvation. What we obey demonstrates our true faith.
I will continue with this discussion tomorrow. IMHO