How to be saved?

We continue our comments on the manuscript sent to us by a Mormon called Stephen.(*)

As we have seen in the introduction and in our answer to Stephen’s chapter one, Mormons have false doctrines about God and about His Word. As the god that a man worships determines whether he is alive or dead spiritually and whether his whole doctrine is right or wrong (“Their idols are silver and gold, The work of man’s hands.””Those who make them will become like them, Everyone who trusts in them.” — Psalm 115:4,8), so we have already proven that the whole document of Stephen Douglas is a manuscript written by a false teacher who has not the doctrine of Christ, as we showed how he doesn’t worship the true God, and his teachings are not biblical teachings, but they clearly contradict all what the Bible teaches. The next chapters will all reflect this false teaching that Stephen Douglas has about the Nature of God, because those who are dead in their sins cannot know God neither receive what comes from His Spirit, including His written Word, the Bible (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14). So Stephen Douglas will surely have a wrong teaching about Salvation, and this is the topic of his second chapter (“The Plan of Salvation”) to which we begin to reply in this article. Mormons have wrong teachings about Salvation and all the truths related to it, because all these truths are in fact one truth which is related to the Nature of God as the SOLE Creator and Savior, as we will see, and a man who doesn’t have the Spirit of God by faith in the true Christ cannot know the truth.

Now, the basic truth that should be understood before we can make any clear idea about what Salvation truly is can be found in the following very important article: HOW TO BE JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD? You need to read this article and/or agree with the biblical teaching about Justification that is detailed in it before you can have a clear idea about Salvation and before you may be able to avoid the poisonous teachings of Mormons and of all heresies and sects and false religions. So before you may be able to avoid the poisonous human-made teachings that Stephen details in his chapter about Salvation, you need to be well instructed in the biblical truth about Justification before God. And this truth is detailed in our article: HOW TO BE JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD? Please, read it carefully.

In this article, I will give a kind of summarized explanation and clarification of what is contained in our article HOW TO BE JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD?, and this will be like a general answer to Stephen’s second chapter which is about Salvation, but in which Stephen tells us of everything except Salvation…

What does “Salvation” mean?

Contrary to what Mormons and all false religions present, to save someone doesn’t mean to tell him of ways by which he may try to save himself, but to deliver him from something from which he has no ability to save himself. An example of this is when you see someone drowning in a river because he doesn’t know how to swim: to save him doesn’t mean to stand there and tell him how to save himself from drowning, but to jump in the water and to pull him out. If you just stand there and give him instructions about how he can save himself when you know for sure that he can’t do it because he doesn’t know how to swim and he has swallowed so much water, you will be a deceiver who doesn’t really want to see that man saved. This is what false religions do: they tell you how to save yourself from sin by your righteousness or good works or faithfulness when the fact is that no one can stop sinning or save himself from sin. The Lord Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say to you, Every one that practises sin is the bondman of sin. Now the bondman abides not in the house for ever: the son abides for ever. If therefore the Son shall set you free, ye shall be really free.” (John 8:34-36) As you see, the Lord didn’t deceive those who were listening to Him: He didn’t tell them that they could save themselves, but He clearly told them that they are bondmen (slaves) to sin and that only the Son (Jesus Christ) can save them and set them free. A deceiver would tell them: Try to do good works in the hope that those good works will set you free from your sins…

God has given us a historical picture of Salvation in the Old Testament: When the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt, they did not have the power to save themselves from the slavery to Pharaoh’s authority. Now, if God who wanted to be their sole King told them to save themselves out of Egypt’s slavery and to serve Him (worship Him) alone, that would be like asking them the impossible. It’s the same when you ask someone to save himself from sin to serve God alone… God is not cruel to ask something like that, but He is a loving God who wants to save us from sin in order that we may serve Him alone. And indeed, after God saved the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt by His power and not by their human powers, then, and only then, He asked them to worship (serve) Him alone, as only then they had the ability to do so by God’s Grace. Thus we read the following introduction that God makes before giving the children of Israel the Ten Commandments that they had to obey under the Old Covenant: “I am Jehovah thy God, who have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” (Exodus 20:2) Many people read the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 without paying good attention to this very essential introductory sentence. God tells the children of Israel that they can now worship Him alone as their Lord BECAUSE He has saved them from the bondage of Pharaoh! He doesn’t ask them to keep those commandments IN ORDER to be saved from the slavery of Egypt! And in order to reach the Land of Promise they should keep believing that they can’t do it by themselves, but that it is GOD who will save them from their enemies just as He saved them from Egypt, without any merit in them: “Hear, Israel! Thou art to pass over the Jordan this day, to enter in to possess nations greater and mightier than thou, cities great and walled up to heaven, a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard [say], Who can stand before the sons of Anak! Know then this day, that Jehovah thy God is he that goeth over before thee, a consuming fire; he will destroy them, and he will cast them down before thee, and thou shalt dispossess them and cause them to perish quickly, as Jehovah hath said unto thee. Thou shalt not say in thy heart, when Jehovah thy God thrusteth them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness Jehovah hath brought me in to possess this land; but for the wickedness of these nations doth Jehovah dispossess them from before thee. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thy heart, dost thou enter in to possess their land, but for the wickedness of these nations doth Jehovah thy God dispossess them from before thee, and that he may perform the word which Jehovah swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Know therefore that Jehovah thy God doth not give thee this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiff-necked people.” (Deuteronomy 9:1-6)

It is the same under the New Covenant, but concerning sin. Egypt was a picture of sin, and the slavery of Egypt was a picture of our slavery to sin. As we have seen above, Jesus said that only the Son can set us free from this slavery. We can’t do it by ourselves. The only way to be free is to rely on Christ to save us from the bondage of sin (cf. John 8:34-36) and to bring us safe to the House of the Father pictured by the Promised Land (cf. Jude 24). True faith means not to boast that Christ does that for our merits or righteousness, as we have seen in the passage quoted above from Deuteronomy 9:1-6. It is not because of our righteousness or faithfulness or godliness that God saves us and makes us reach the final glorification and stand before Him blameless, but because of His Righteousness and Faithfulness to His promise in Christ Jesus. It is by this faith that we have all what there is in Salvation (Justification, Sanctification and Glorification), because the whole of Salvation is by the Grace of God and not by any merit in us (cf. Ephesians 2:8-10).

We will see later how Mormons refuse all of this biblical truth as they want to add their righteousness and faithfulness to the finished Work of Christ on the cross (“It is finished!” — John 19:30). For now, let us make clear how we can be saved:

How we can be saved (the Plan of Salvation in brief)

God has told us clearly in His Word, the Bible, how we can be saved. Contrary to what sects like Mormonism teach, what God says is undoubtedly true and without any equivalent, and it should not be obscured with vain human teachings and philosophies that cannot be supported by the Bible (as is the case with Mormon teachings that are wholly based on the teachings of their false prophets as evidenced by the lack of biblical support in the whole of Stephen’s document). Let’s read together what God says about Salvation:

* God created all things by His Word

God created all things from nothing. He created them, and He didn’t just make them from things that would have previously existed without His creative act. For more details about this, please read our article In the beginning God created…

“It is I that have made the earth, and created man upon it; it is I, my hands, that have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” (Isaiah 45:12)

“In [the] beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things received being through him, and without him not one [thing] received being which has received being.” (John 1:1-3)

“because by him were created all things, the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or authorities: all things have been created by him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)

“And they, having heard [it], lifted up [their] voice with one accord to God, and said, Lord, thou art the God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them (Acts 4:24)

“Thou art worthy, O our Lord and [our] God, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy will they were, and they have been created.” (Revelation 4:11)

* God created man in His image, according to His likeness

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over the whole earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth. And God created Man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

God created man in His image, i.e. having all the moral ability (including wisdom and purity) to communicate with Him. This doesn’t mean that God has a body like us (as Mormons speculate), because an image doesn’t need to be exactly like the reality in all aspects. Indeed, an image comes to present a reality in a concrete form. As we read in Genesis 1:26-27, God created man in His image, and this is directly related to the fact that he created them male and female, because in the holy institution of marriage God would give in a bodily form an image that concretely presents His Nature of love as a Spirit. Of course, the most perfect image of God in bodily form was in Christ in whom all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form (cf. Colossians 2:9). So the idea of God having a body is totally wrong, because Jesus made it clear that God should be worshiped in spirit and in truth, and not be limited in a physical place and with physical forms of worship, because He is Spirit and not physical (cf. John 4:21-24). If God had a body, He would not need to be incarnated (have a body and come in bodily form in Christ); He would just come in the body that He would already have.

Those who speculate about what being created in the image of God should mean will not be able to give you biblical references that can back up their views, but here are the biblical evidences that explain what I have written above. Indeed, when we read about the image to which we were restored, we understand what that image was about which Moses writes in Genesis 1:26-27 and which was corrupted by sin:

“and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him (Colossians 3:10)

So the image of God is about a true knowledge.

“and [your] having put on the new man, which according to God is created in truthful righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)

So the image of God is about truthful righteousness and holiness.

As we will see some paragraphs later, it is Jesus Christ who is the true image of God in whom we were restored to the true image of God, as He is given to us by God as Wisdom and Righteousness and holiness which are what the image of God is:

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who has been made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and holiness, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30)

So God created man in His image, with wisdom and purity and true knowledge (note that true knowledge doesn’t mean full knowledge of all things, but a true and right knowledge of the things that man knew and the ability to know more things in a true way). This image also means that man had a free will to make conscious choices. And as man was made in the image of God, so God placed all the physical creation that He had made under his dominion:

“When I see thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and stars, which thou hast established; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and splendour. Thou hast made him to rule over the works of thy hands; thou hast put everything under his feet (Psalm 8:3-6)

We see this truth in the ability of man to rule over animals and the resources of the universe by his wisdom and knowledge (science). But man corrupted this image by sin… And thus sin entered the creation (as the creation is subjected to man’s headship). Thus by sin the creation was corrupted and dead, man included (as the head). Thus man became the slave of sin, and Satan became the head or the god or the ruler of this sinful system called the world (2 Corinthians 4:4). All the abilities of wisdom and purity and true knowledge were corrupted in man, and thus he began to use his abilities against God and he began to make false conclusions from what he knew with science (an example of this is evolutionism which is not true science — not true knowledge — but which man thinks is the only true conclusion from the scientific data that he has, because his knowledge is now used to deny God the Creator). The whole creation became corrupted, and an evidence of this is in the violence that we see in the animal world and in the rebellion and ferocity of animals against man. This is described in the following passage of God’s Word:

“For the anxious looking out of the creature expects the revelation of the sons of God: for the creature has been made subject to vanity, not of its will, but by reason of him who has subjected [the same], in hope that the creature itself also shall be set free from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:19-21)

So this is our state:

* Our state

God says that all humans are sinners and are separated from God:

“according as it is written, There is not a righteous [man], not even one” (Romans 3:10)

“for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

“For we were once ourselves also without intelligence, disobedient, wandering in error, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another.” (Titus 3:3)

“in which ye once walked according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience: among whom we also all once had our conversation in the lusts of our flesh, doing what the flesh and the thoughts willed to do, and were children, by nature, of wrath, even as the rest” (Ephesians 2:2-3)

So unlike the books of false religions, the Book of God, the Bible, gives a truthful description of our state: We are fallen and lost sinners who cannot please God. Even if we want to be put on balance and have our works tested to see whether we will be able to have more good works than bad works, God who knows our hearts and their intentions says:

“TEKEL, Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting (Daniel 5:27)

* The need for a radical inner change

We need a radical inner change that God calls the new birth and which is far deeper than a simple change of habits or of ways of life.

“It is needful that ye should be born anew.” (John 3:7)

This radical change is a conversion from sin to God and from the sinful system called world to Jesus Christ. It’s not just an amelioration or a moral evolution. God is not content of “christianizing” people and their habits. So this conversion is not a change of religion, but the conscious reception of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (the Good News of His death for our sins and of His Resurrection for our justification — cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4), and this is related to the confession of sins before God and the reception, by faith, of the expiatory work of Jesus Christ which He has done on the cross. Thus Jesus Christ is honored by the converted person as his only Lord and Savior and God. So this conversion includes repentance which, contrary to what false religions teach, is the once for all turning from sin to God. Of course, this will result in a lifelong walk in repentance, refusing and hating what is evil, confessing it to the Lord, and walking in righteousness. This radical repentance is detailed and illustrated in many passages of God’s Word. Let’s read together some of them:

“I will rise up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee (Luke 15:18)

“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent (Acts 17:30)

“Then he opened their understanding to understand the scriptures, and said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved the Christ to suffer, and to rise from among the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all the nations beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:45-47)

“but have, first to those both in Damascus and Jerusalem, and to all the region of Judaea, and to the nations, announced that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.” (Acts 26:20)

Do not say that because you have not murdered anyone or because you have never stolen then you are not a sinner and that you will deserve Heaven; that’s blindness. Do not think that your good works can save you; look what the Bible says about our good works:

“And we are all become as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have carried us away” (Isaiah 64:6)

Only the blood of Christ opens our way to God our Creator who is Holy and does not accept any sin in His Presence. If you have never murdered or stolen, then you are innocent before the laws of your country, but not before God who knows the hearts and the intentions of the heart. If you think you are without sin, i.e. righteous, then you can’t repent, and thus you will be lost forever:

“I am not come to call righteous [persons], but sinful [ones] to repentance.” (Luke 5:32) (Read more about this here)

“Yet you said, ‘I am innocent; Surely His anger is turned away from me.’ Behold, I will enter into judgment with you Because you say, ‘I have not sinned.'” (Jeremiah 2:35)

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us [our] sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)

This is a sure promise of cleansing from all sins if we confess our sins and turn from them to God by faith in Jesus Christ:

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto Jehovah, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)

“for the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.” (Luke 19:10)

“Faithful [is] the word, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am [the] first.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

* An urgent necessity

“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30)

“for he says, I have listened to thee in an accepted time, and I have helped thee in a day of salvation: behold, now [is the] well-accepted time; behold, now [the] day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

“Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)

The decision should not be postponed. Tomorrow may be too late:

“He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and without remedy.” (Proverbs 29:1)

“Boast not thyself of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what a day will bring forth.” (Proverbs 17:1)

The precautionary principle states that any situation that may risk to lose a human life should be avoided for all cost. If this short human life on earth is so important that it should be preserved for all cost, then how much more is it important to make your soul safe from the eternal damnation! If you don’t apply the “precautionary principle” for your soul, then you are without excuse…

“how shall we escape if we have been negligent of so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3)

* The Way of Salvation

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but have life eternal. For God has not sent his Son into the world that he may judge the world, but that the world may be saved through him. He that believes on him is not judged: but he that believes not has been already judged, because he has not believed on the name of the only-begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men have loved darkness rather than light; for their works were evil.” (John 3:16-19)

“He came to his own, and his own received him not; but as many as received him, to them gave he [the] right to be children of God, to those that believe on his name; who have been born, not of blood, nor of flesh’s will, nor of man’s will, but of God.” (John 1:11-13)

Jesus Christ gave His life for us by His free choice, because of His love for us; no one had authority over His life other than Himself as He is God:

“On this account the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have authority to lay it down and I have authority to take it again. I have received this commandment of my Father.” (John 10:17-18)

“He that believes on the Son has life eternal, and he that is not subject to the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides upon him.” (John 3:36)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that he that hears my word, and believes him that has sent me, has life eternal, and does not come into judgment, but is passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)

“but these are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

“He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself; he that does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness which God has witnessed concerning his Son. And this is the witness, that God has given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life: he that has not the Son of God has not life.” (1 John 5:10-12)

“being justified freely by his grace through the redemption which [is] in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24)

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1)

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“knowing that ye have been redeemed, not by corruptible [things, as] silver or gold, from your vain conversation handed down from [your] fathers, but by precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, [the blood] of Christ, foreknown indeed before [the] foundation of [the] world, but who has been manifested at the end of times for your sakes, who by him do believe on God, who has raised him from among [the] dead and given him glory, that your faith and hope should be in God.” (1 Peter 1:18-21)

The Lord Jesus Christ gave His life for us, shedding His blood on the cross because of our sins, for that is the principle of atonement that God had previously explained:

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” (Leviticus 17:11)

As the wages of sin is death, i.e. present and eternal moral and spiritual separation from God (cf. Romans 6:23), so Jesus Christ paid the Ransom to save us from that eternal damnation by giving His life for us on the cross. No one took His life, for He is the Life; He gave His life for us by His authority, and that was the Ransom that He paid for our sins, as He loved us.

Please, read the following passages in God’s Word that describe the sufferings through which the Lord passed in order to save us and the dark hours of atonement: Matthew 27:11-52; Mark 15; Luke 23:32-53; John 19.

The Lord gave His life as a Sacrifice for you and me, and He did that to reconcile us with God our Creator from whom we are separated because of our sins:

“and all things [are] of the God who has reconciled us to himself by [Jesus] Christ, and given to us the ministry of that reconciliation: how that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their offences; and putting in us the word of that reconciliation. We are ambassadors therefore for Christ, God as [it were] beseeching by us, we entreat for Christ, Be reconciled to God. Him who knew not sin he has made sin for us, that we might become God’s righteousness in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1)

Peace with God means reconciliation with God. It is only when we put our faith in Christ alone, and not on any merit in us or on good works that we think we do, that we are justified and we have peace with God our Creator.

The Lord Jesus rose again from the dead; death is overcome! Now, in Christ, we can live the life of Resurrection through His Spirit who dwells in those who are reconciled with God by His blood.

Thus in Christ Jesus, who is the true image of God, we are a new creation in which the original image of God of holiness and righteous and true knowledge is restored:

“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3)

“who is image of the invisible God, firstborn of all creation” (Colossians 1:15)

“But we all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by [the] Lord [the] Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

“and having put on the new, renewed into full knowledge according to [the] image of him that has created him (Colossians 3:10)

“and [your] having put on the new man, which according to God is created in truthful righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)

“For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has before prepared that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9)

“who himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, in order that, being dead to sins, we may live to righteousness: by whose stripes ye have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)

(By understanding the image to which we are restored we understand what is that image of God in which we were created originally, as we have seen above, and which cults like Mormonism cannot understand as they have a wrong idea about God as the Creator and the Savior; they are in error concerning Salvation and the restoration to the image of true holiness and righteousness).

* A gratuitous Salvation: This Salvation is a GIFT

“for we reckon that a man is justified by faith, without works of law.” (Romans 3:28)

“For ye are saved by grace, through faith; and this not of yourselves; it is God’s gift (Ephesians 2:8)

“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.” (Romans 11:6)

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

You need to receive this gratuitous Gift of Salvation as a gift, without claiming that you can pay its price with your good works and/or your righteousness and “good” heart or “good” motives. It is only the blood of Christ that can purify you once for all from all your sins:

“by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)

“For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)

As Christ has suffered for our sins, has died, has risen from the dead and is now in Heaven at the right hand of God, then He is living! You can go to Him in prayer and ask Him to save you from the guilt and punishment and slavery of sin to serve the true God, restoring in you the true image of God in all holiness and righteousness and true knowledge in Him. Please, do not harden your heart when you hear the Lord calling you to repent:

“To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:7)

“that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from among [the] dead, thou shalt be saved. For with [the] heart is believed to righteousness; and with [the] mouth confession made to salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)

Is there any excuse for rejecting Christ?

“For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? for what should a man give in exchange for his soul? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him shall the Son of man also be ashamed when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:36-38)

“And the world is passing, and its lust, but he that does the will of God abides for eternity.” (1 John 2:17)

* An assurance

“And this is the will of him that has sent me, that of all that he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up in the last day.” (John 6:39)

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them life eternal; and they shall never perish, and no one shall seize them out of my hand. My Father who has given [them] to me is greater than all, and no one can seize out of the hand of my Father.” (John 10:27-29)

“But to him that is able to keep you without stumbling, and to set [you] with exultation blameless before his glory” (Jude 24)

“who are kept guarded by [the] power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in [the] last time.” (1 Peter 1:5)

“For which cause also I suffer these things; but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep for that day the deposit I have entrusted to him.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

“having confidence of this very thing, that he who has begun in you a good work will complete it unto Jesus Christ’s day” (Philippians 1:6)

“Whence also he is able to save completely those who approach by him to God, always living to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

“The steps of a man are established by Jehovah, and he delighteth in his way: though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for Jehovah upholdeth his hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24)

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us [our] sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)

“Whoever has been begotten of God does not practise sin, because his seed abides in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been begotten of God.” (1 John 3:9)

As the one who is justified by faith in Christ has received a new humble nature (“poor in spirit” — cf. Matthew 5:3 — i.e. he doesn’t think that he has any spiritual merits or riches because of which he can be considered righteous before God), so he doesn’t boast of being able not to sin and thus to deserve to be declared righteous by God on the account of his good works. On the contrary, he keeps walking by that same faith by which he was justified: he confesses that he has sinned, and God cleanses him from all sins, and thus he keeps walking in the righteousness which is by faith, and not in self-righteousness that relies on self-merits and good works in order to be justified before God. It is in this way that the one who is born of God does not sin, and cannot sin, i.e. he does not sin the sin of self-righteousness that leads to death, but keeps relying on Christ for justification before God. We have a sure promise of this in the verses that we read above and in many other passages of God’s Word. In this way Christ keeps us in faith until He makes us stand before Him blameless, not relying on our righteousness (which is sin). We have a sure promise of reaching the fullness of this Salvation, as we have read above. The one who has real faith in Christ believes these promises and does not rely on his ability to keep himself blameless in faith until the end, but on the power of Christ alone.

* A life of walk in holiness and righteousness

If you have received the Gospel of Jesus Christ as presented above (i.e. as it is presented in the Word of God), then you have passed from death to life and from darkness to Christ’s marvelous light. As a result of this Salvation, you have become a totally new creature in Christ and your life will be filled with the evidences of the Righteousness and holiness of Jesus Christ which are in you, i.e. good works. Good works and your walk in righteousness will be the evidence or the result of your Salvation, and not the cause of it. And thus, as you rely on Christ alone for your justification when you will stand before the judgment-seat of God, and not on your good works, then you will walk in righteousness and in the good works that God has beforehand prepared so that those who are saved would walk in them, and you will be sanctified by this faith more and more day by day until you reach the final Salvation, the Glorification with Christ in Heaven. This process of practical sanctification is not an optional addition to your Salvation, but it is inherent to the nature of that Salvation and to the nature of that faith through which you are saved. In other words, if you are truly justified by faith, then you will surely be conformed to the image of Christ more and more each day. All this is by God’s Grace alone, and not by any merit in us. As a result of the work of His Grace in you, you will live by faith and your life and words will witness for Him.

– A new creature in Christ, created for good works; good works are the sure fruit of righteousness and not the cause of it:

“So if any one [be] in Christ, [there is] a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has before prepared that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

“being complete as regards the fruit of righteousness, which [is] by Jesus Christ, to God’s glory and praise.” (Philippians 1:11)

“[As to] every branch in me not bearing fruit, he takes it away; and [as to] every one bearing fruit, he purges it that it may bring forth more fruit. Ye are already clean by reason of the word which I have spoken to you.” (John 15:2-3)

“Sanctify them by the truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17)

If you have already received by faith the Gospel of Jesus Christ (His Word), then you are already clean. God will cleanse you more and more (purging) so that you may bear more fruit; it is not by doing good works that you will be clean; you’re already clean because of the Word which Christ spoke to you. It is by this Word which you received by faith that you are already clean, and thus you will bear fruits. And as you bear fruits by faith, God will cleanse you more and more practically so that you may bear more fruit. Thus you will surely be conformed to the image of Christ, because God has predestined all whom He justified to be conformed to the image of His Son:

“Because whom he has foreknown, he has also predestinated [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, so that he should be [the] firstborn among many brethren. But whom he has predestinated, these also he has called; and whom he has called, these also he has justified; but whom he has justified, these also he has glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30)

In the Old Testament, before giving the children of Israel the Ten Commandments to obey, God told them that He has saved them from the bondage of sin (cf. Exodus 20:2). And even their good works He worked them for them as they relied on Him (had faith) so that they may have peace (cf. Isaiah 26:12). And as they were entering the Land of Promise, He told them that they were not entering there because of their righteousness or faithfulness, but because of his promise and faithfulness (cf. Deuteronomy 9:1-6). It is the same under the New Covenant, but concerning sin. Egypt was a picture of sin, and the slavery of Egypt was a picture of our slavery to sin. Jesus said that only the Son can set us free from this slavery (cf. John 8:34-36). We can’t do it by ourselves. The only way to be free is to rely on Christ to save us from the bondage of sin (cf. John 8:34-36) and to bring us safe to the House of the Father pictured by the Promised Land (cf. Jude 24). True faith means not to boast that Christ does that for our merits or righteousness, as we read in Deuteronomy 9:1-6. It is not because of our righteousness or faithfulness or godliness that God saves us, but because of His Righteousness and Faithfulness to His promise in Christ Jesus. It is by this faith that we have all what there is in Salvation (Justification, Sanctification and Glorification), because the whole of Salvation is by the Grace of God and not by any merit in us (cf. Ephesians 2:8-10). It is because God justifies by faith in Christ the ungodly and not the godly (cf. Romans 4:5 and Romans 3:26), and the unfaithful and not the faithful, and the sinner and not the righteous, that the one who is justified will surely be godly and faithful and righteous by Christ’s Grace that he received, and keeps receiving grace upon grace from the same source. How can he be godly if he doesn’t receive the grace of godliness by faith? How can he be faithful if he doesn’t receive the grace of faithfulness by faith? How can he be righteous if he doesn’t receive the grace of Christ’s Righteousness by faith? Because in us there is nothing good, and we need the Grace of God to be saved. It is all by God’s Grace which we receive by faith alone, and thus good works result certainly. It is always grace upon grace that we receive, and not good works that we do by our righteousness:

“for of his fulness we all have received, and grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

We receive all from the fullness of Christ, grace upon grace. We don’t just escape from the judgment of God by faith in Christ, but we also become new creatures who walk in righteousness. We live a life of repentance and reliance on the Grace of God alone, and not on any righteousness in ourselves. We wait for the hope of righteousness by faith alone, and not by works (for more details about this future aspect of righteousness, please read our article: Are we already righteous or not?) If you boast of having the hope of being called righteous before God by your good works and merits, then you don’t really have what you boast that you have (i.e. you did not really receive the Grace of God, the Gospel of Christ):

“So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.” (Luke 8:18)

Those who think that they can be sanctified by their works after having been justified by faith alone are called foolish (senseless) by the Word of God:

“O senseless Galatians, who has bewitched you; to whom, as before your very eyes, Jesus Christ has been portrayed, crucified [among you]? This only I wish to learn of you, Have ye received the Spirit on the principle of works of law, or of [the] report of faith? Are ye so senseless? having begun in Spirit, are ye going to be made perfect in flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain, if indeed also in vain? He therefore who ministers to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, [is it] on the principle of works of law, or of [the] report of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Know then that they that are on the principle of faith, these are Abraham’s sons” (Galatians 3:1-7)

Indeed, if you boast of your good works, then you think that Christ died in vain, and that’s foolishness:

“I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness [is] by law, then Christ has died for nothing.” (Galatians 2:21)

If you can save yourself by your good works, then why did Jesus die?…

So those who are truly justified in Christ will be humble people who know that their works do not deserve to be counted for them as causes of righteousness, because as Jesus said:

“Thus ye also, when ye shall have done all things that have been ordered you, say, We are unprofitable bondmen; we have done what it was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)

– Formerly darkness, but now light; we are to be witnesses of this radical change that Christ has done in us:

“for ye were once darkness, but now light in [the] Lord; walk as children of light, (for the fruit of the light [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth,) proving what is agreeable to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10)

“But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)

“and [your] having put on the new man, which according to God is created in truthful righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)

If you have been truly saved, you will not be able not to tell anyone about the amazing Grace of Him who saved you and gave you the eternal life. Your whole life will be a witness of that!

– We are being renewed day after day to be more like Christ, being restored to that image of the One who created us originally in purity and holiness and who has created us again in Christ in holiness and purity:

“and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (Colossians 3:10)

“But we all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by [the] Lord [the] Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

– All this is worked by the Lord in us as we communicate with Him, reading and obeying His Word by faith and not by self-righteousness or by works of our righteousness, and praying to Him as we rely solely on His Grace to reach His Glory, and as we have fellowship with those whom He has saved:

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27)

“as newborn babes desire earnestly the pure mental milk of the word, that by it ye may grow up to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2)

“But to him that is able to keep you without stumbling, and to set [you] with exultation blameless before his glory” (Jude 24)

“Children, let no man lead you astray; he that practises righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1 John 3:7)

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall come to pass to you.” (John 15:7)

“Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24)

“and let us consider one another for provoking to love and good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the custom [is] with some; but encouraging [one another], and by so much the more as ye see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

~~~

As you see, God has clarified very well in His Word His Plan of Salvation. This Word of His Salvation has been presented to you here fully backed up by the Word of God. While in the documents of false religions (example: the document of Stephen), you can only find human speculation about what Salvation should mean, and nothing of what they speculate is backed up with the Word of God. We have seen this in our previous replies to this Mormon document, and we will still see it in the coming replies, if the Lord wills.

Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ

___

Posted in: Religious Movements / Mormonism
This is part 13 of the series: Answer to a Mormon’s manuscript

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2 Responses to How to be saved?

  1. So, this is the answer to my manuscript? Where are any quotes from my book for you to argue? You claim I believe salvation comes from my works, yet you did not post any of my text to make an argument. All I see is a multitude of words with attached verses in red to make it really long, all without any real argument to what I wrote.

    Anyone reading this is welcome to send me an email so you can read what Latter-day Saints actually believe on the subject.

  2. Stephen,

    This was a general reply to your chapter two, and its purpose is to present to readers the real Plan of Salvation in contrast to your false dream of what that Plan is. For replies to each of your statements in each chapter, you can go to our other articles. For instance, in chapter two we have already begun to answer your false statements in the next articles written as replies to this chapter two. It seems you have not read them yet. Please, go and try to answer them.

    And when you say that we say that you believe “salvation comes from my works”, you prove to have misunderstood what the Bible means with the word “works”. It doesn’t only mean things you do… It’s about personal merits. Read our articles, and you will understand, if you really want to know the truth.

    Grace be with you!
    Disciple of Jesus Christ

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