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trialworksorfaith ( ** )

Works or faith? — Section 33

Are we to be judged by works or faith?

Representative of a Christian church:
I learn from writings in the Mormon church that we shall be judged by our works, yet in Ephesians 2:8-9 we read, “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, let any man should boast.”  Also, Acts 16:3 tells us that Paul told the Philippian jailer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  Romans 1:16-17 also adds that the Gospel of Christ is the “power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.”  In the light of these passages, why does your church preach of ‘works’ as leading to salvation?

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
You may remember that Peter said that Paul’s writings concerning salvation were hard to be understood.  This might be why Martin Luther wrote to Philip Malanethon (to be found in Christian Apologies) the following: “We must sin as long as we are in the flesh — sin cannot separate us from God, even if we were to commit a thousand adulteries and as many homicides”.  We read, however, in 1 John 2:4 the following, “He that saith, I know him and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”.  I think that the doctrine of being saved by grace alone is one of the most misunderstood doctrines in the world today.  Revelation 20:12-13, speaking of the judgement day, informs us that all were judge “according to their works”.  Matthew 16:27 tells us of Christ’s declaration that “…the son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works”.  Paul said in Philippians 2:12, “Work out your own salvation through fear and trembling.”  We are “saved by grace after all we can do”, states the Book of Mormon, beautifully linking these two great principles.  The Jews were firm believers in the “works of the law” and so these great apostles of Christ would often write to them and tell them that their works alone would not save them.  We are all going to be saved by the grace of Christ, but be reward for our works done in the flesh.  Christ did provide three main works to show that it ws by his grace we could be saved, and therefore, erased our personal boasting.  These three works we could not have done for ourselves, and thereby we are saved by his grace.  1) He created the earth upon which we are privileged to live (Colossians 1:16-17)  2) He atoned for the transgression of our first parents who had brought death into the world, thus bringing about resurrection from the grave, or the reuniting of the body and the spirit (1 Corinthians 15:22 and James 2:26)  3) By giving us the everlasting Gospel “…he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”  (Hebrews 5:9)

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