Thursday, April 10, 2008

Post 3 - Works Required Of Those Saved By Grace

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(A Relative): Hi!
A couple of comments about Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:23. If grace only applies after all you can do, how do you know when you have done enough? Have you truly done ALL you could do? If not, then it would seem that grace would not apply.

(Neil) I believe it is very challenging to do ALL the Lord expects of us. However, we need to keep on doing what He wants us to do. For sure the "Marvelous Gift of the Grace of Christ" gives us the desire and courage to forge forward through all the challenges we meet in this life to the end of our lives. If we accept the grace of Christ, and prove ourselves worthy and continue becoming more Christlike we don't have to worry about whether or not we have done ALL He wants us to do. He will, by His spirit, and by the power of His grace, guide us forward to the end of our lives, giving us reassurances along the way, that we are on the path to salvation and prompt us to make the changes we need to make.

(A Relative) A Christian rejoices in grace as presented in the Holy Bible. (Neil) I believe a Christian should rejoice in grace, but at the same time he strives to be obedient to Christ as presented in the Holy Bible and in other sacred scriptures.

(A Relative): Good works are a *result* of grace, not a way to achieve it.
(Neil): If all good works are a *result* of grace, why did The Apostle, Paul write all he did about Charity in First Corinthians, 13. Why didn't he just simply write "that if you are blessed with the grace of Christ the result will be that Charity will come automatically." Wasn't Paul trying to help us to desire developing the quality of Charity?

Why didn't the Savior in Matthew 5:48 just say: "Accept my grace and all will be well" instead of
Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
And why did the Savior teach the apostles: " in
John 13: 34 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
 We just don't automatically "love one another as Jesus loves us." His ability to love goes way beyond any of our present abilities to love. That is a challenge that isn't met automatically by grace, but it does take much guidance by the gift of the Holy Ghost. However, without the grace of our Savior we would not have the motivation to move forward spiritually. It also takes much effort, prayer and years of learning.

(A Relative): "You do not pay for a gift. Grace is not a license to sin, but if you truly love God, you will want to please Him.

(Neil) That being so, don't we need to study all the scriptures to know how to please Him. We must learn the commandments he has given us. We must believe that the power of His grace is sufficient to give us the desire to learn and then the ability to keep His commandments."

Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 25:23. "By grace are we saved after all we can do."  
The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It is very much needed in our day.

(Neil) I will now comment on the two scriptures you listed, one at a time:

(Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
This scripture applies to each of us. By the Spirit, we each must strive to keep His commandments and live as Christ and His apostles and prophets have taught us to live. Again, these qualities don’t come automatically because you feel or know that you accept the grace of Christ. If they did come automatically, why then (I'm repeating myself) does the Savior and his apostles and all the prophets teach us how to live righteously?
(Eph. 2) By Grace are Ye Saved is given in this scripture. The apostle Paul was teaching the Ephesian Saints that just by living the Law of Moses and all of the ordinances given by Moses, people were are not saved. The Grace of Christ is an absolute necessity. Without the Grace of Christ all of these performances required of ancient Israel do not benefit anyone.

The commandments given us by Christ and His apostles and prophets are a different matter. They must be obeyed so that grace, (or in other words, the atonement of Christ) can save us.
Ephesians 2: 8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

That last verse is very meaningful. God expects us to produce good works, but those good works are not automatically produced by us because of the Grace of Christ. We cannot boast of our good works, because they would amount to nothing were it not for the grace of Christ. We keep the commandments given us because we love Him for what he did in atoning for our sins and imperfections, and for the blessings of Eternal Life which He promises us.

So let's look again at the scripture you referred to in your comment in my blog: "Have You Really Read the Book of Mormon",
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."
Notice the words: "be reconciled to God" doesn't that means keeping His commandments and accepting His grace in my view. The Bible and the Book of Mormon agree!

I'm not writing this to prove that I'm right, I'm writing all of this because you and your family are very dear to me and my wife. May the Lord bless you in your righteous efforts.


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