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June 5, 2021 1:03 pm
One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when warming is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect.
And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism glad to be with us today. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson colleague at MRM and for the past several days, Eric.
We've been discussing the doctrine of justification, but as we mentioned earlier in the show. We made it very clear that within the plan of salvation, of course, there is justification that which makes us right with God and then their sanctification that that which separates us unto God and unto his service.
I think many times more than seem to misunderstand where we as Christians are coming from. When we emphasize the gospel of grace they somehow assume that that means that we don't need to have any good works at all, and certainly that's not what Christianity is professing. We certainly should have good works.
In fact, one of the verses that is often brought up whenever a Christian is talking to a Mormon about the subject is James 220 can't count how many times I've had James 220 brought up and basically if we want to understand the context of this passage we go back to James chapter 2 verse 14 where it says, what does it profit my brother and if someone says he has faith but does not have works can faith save him. If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit. This also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say you have faith and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
You believe that there is one God.
You do well, even the demons believe, and tremble, but do you want to know a foolish man that faith without works is dead. Usually when I have a Mormon bring up chapter 2 verse 20. James 220, I'm I'm very quick to say I agree with that and that sometimes I've actually seen that, throws them off as if we don't believe in that.
And certainly we do, what does it profit my brother someone says he has faith does not will have works can faith save him or better to understand that can that kind of faith save him because what James is trying to bring out is the difference between having a saving faith that produces something out of the life of the individual or what's known as antinomianism which he explained that her well it's the idea that you can do whatever you want to do and you know the Bible doesn't teach that at all. It does say in Galatians chapter 5 that the acts of the sinful nature are obvious, and it goes through and explains of things and it says on the other hand we have the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control against these things.
There is no law. When a person becomes a believer he's going to want to do the good works because of what God is done for him, not for earning his salvation, and that II think a lot of people don't understand that were not out trying to to earn brownie points with God were doing it out of deep gratitude and sincere gratitude for what he's done for us what we are doing is clearly showing that there is one thing that God expects that saves us or justifies us and that is where faith we are justified by faith. Paul makes it very clear that I don't know how any latter-day sink and read through the book of Galatians and not understand alloy. That's a really bad book if it's, it's, I've often said it's almost like it was written by Paul for Mormons. Now I know that can't be because there were no Mormons back then, but certainly that same issue was back around that time while you had the Judaizers that you had people who believe that you could be a Christian but she had to follow certain ceremonial parts of the law, such as circumcision and the way you ate and everything like that and Paul went after that very big.
He did not allow for anybody to call it a true gospel. If you can add to the gospel of grace, and you know me again.
Paul is not against good works in Ephesians chapter 2 we quoted that in Ephesians chapter 2 help how I were saved by grace through faith and not by works, but then verse 10 very clearly says that we were created unto good works, not only that but the apostle Paul and if you read through the pastoral epistles I was reading through Titus the other day and was it. It's amazing at how many times he is emphasizing good behavior. He's never saying it has anything to do with whether or not that's going to save run save you if you don't do it. He's merely saying that this is how we should behave.
For instance, in Titus chapter 2 in verse six he says, likewise, exhort the young men to be sober minded in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works in doctrine, showing integrity, reverence, incompatibility sound speech that cannot be condemned that one who is an opponent, may be ashamed. Having nothing evil to say if you and you know what's sad about that because when he says that about that your opponent may be ashamed. Having nothing evil to save you. I have had Morgan's many times look at the bad behavior professing Christians and they've use that against us. And that is shameful, and that should not be because if we really do have we believe to be the truth. We should be living that truth as well.
But again the emphasize emphasis needs to be made.
We don't look at our ability to perform has having anything to do with our status with God. Our justification again that comes by faith.
And as you mentioned very appropriately in Ephesians 210.
We are saved unto good works, we should have those good works, but the problem of course for the Mormon is that they intermingle with should justify them or make them right with God and what should set them apart and they intermingle them in such a way to where if they mess up on the sanctification part. The feeling of loss. The justification part in this is why you have a lot of Mormons who don't know when where they're going to go when they die. And this of course is a question that I'd love to ask where do Mormons like you go when they die based on where you are in light of eternity. If you were to die right now. Do you have the assurance that you would get the best the Mormon religion has for you and Bill what's her answer usually 99% of time that it's it's I hope so. Maybe I think so. Or it's just flat out no and that's sad. It really because this is a Christian you should be able to know these things and I've heard some professing Christians they will let you know that's arrogant, it's only arrogant if you think it has something to do with you. See, that's the point. I think the point needs to be made more talking with our Mormon friends.
It's only arrogant if you think it has something to do with you, but if but we don't believe that we believe that has everything to do with what Jesus did on our behalf and so I want to emphasize that in the conversation whenever Mormon brings up James two 2111.hey, I agree completely with what James is sitting there I don't I don't find a problem with that passage bill so often we find younger people who will say they're not sure they are not doing all they're supposed to do that they have time to do it what's a response. You've often said like on the streets of man tie to such a young person is, what will you know it's interesting that you bring that up because just yesterday at church or the message had something to do with the debt that was owed and and how the man who this huge amount of debt, said be patient with me as if time was going to solve his problem.
Yet he had a debt he could never pay.
It was an insurmountable debt he could never make enough money to pay this debt off yet.
He's pleading with the debtor.
Be patient as if more time is going to solve his problem in many times I out will challenge young Mormons who think that somehow when they get older they're going to be able to overcome this inability to live all the commandments like they're supposed to have that assurance and I challenge them when they go to the Mormon war. The next time to go find the oldest guy they can in the ward and go up and ask him. You feel that you are living all the commandments.
Have you stopped repenting because you do keep all the commandments and do you have the assurance that if you were to die right now you would get the best that our religion has for us and I usually tell them I can almost guarantee you that even the oldest man in your war. The man is been a Mormon. The longest still has doubts about that, why because he is done exactly what we been talking about these past several days.
He is intermingling.
What justifies and what sanctifies him because he's made that awful mistake that assurance goes right out the window and he can't know for sure whether he stood. At first John 513 says we can know that we have eternal life. Couple other verses that I want to throw out here because this is so important.
We gotta go to the Bible to see what it has to say. Philippians 212 says that were supposed to work out our salvation with fear and trembling not work for, exactly. And that's how a lot of Mormons look at that passage that it's actually Paul is saying that you should work for yourself and she's not saying work out work it out with. They're going to be things that we're going to have to work on for the rest of our lives. You know you work out of the baseball swing. You know you're a baseball player in your header but you're working it out you're not talking to stop you from still being called a baseball player but one other passage I think is so important is Galatians chapter 2 and it says this knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of law.
For by the works of the law no flesh be justified.
He goes on and says I do not frustrate the grace of God, for if righteousness come by the law in Christ is dead in vain.
Bill by by saying that our works are necessary to have anything to do with our justification I think is a damnable heresy will it is and I think a lot of Mormons don't seem to understand that even though they like to throw out James 220 I don't find a whole lot of them wanting to go back to James 210 where it says for who whoever shall keep the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he is guilty of all. Merely what James is trying to get across years. Look, if you want to be saved by the law and realize the law is a terrible listener asserted there is no mercy with law. You either follow it all the way or you lose completely and I think Spencer Kimball understood that in his book the miracle of forgiveness.
He seems to understand that quite readily and but a lot of Mormons don't seem to grasp just how awful that is and and you cannot have it both ways and many times they do they want to have the lawn at the same time they want to have grace it doesn't work that way. That's not a consistent understanding of the New Testament.
To be sure. So in the next time you have a Mormon throat. James 220 in your face. Just look at him smile so you know what I agree with that. I'm not always 100% successful at doing everything that I'm supposed to do, but I certainly do believe that I living faith should have works.
It's just that it's not my works that actually justify me in the eyes of God make clear that distinction with your Mormon friend, and I think it would help them better understand where we are coming from and hopefully break down that caricature that stereotype that many of them have regarding the gospel of grace and regarding what Bible believing Christians really really do believe so taken advantage of that situation and explain it clearly to them. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information, guarding his research ministry.
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