Friday, February 22, 2013

Faith and Works

Jörg Klebingat, Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence, October 2014 General Conference
Choosing this day whom you will serve is lip service only—until you actually live accordingly (see Joshua 24:15).

Luke 6:46
 46 ¶And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Matthew 7:21
21 ¶ Not every one that asaith unto me, bLord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that cdoeth the dwill of my Father which is in eheaven.

Luke 9:62
62 No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Once you have accepted Christ as your Savior, if you cease to do his work you are not fit for the kingdom of God.
John 5:28-29 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the agraves shall bhear his voice,
29 And shall acome forth; they that have done good, unto the bresurrection of life; and they that have done cevil, unto the resurrection of ddamnation.

Those who have done good will be raised to life. Those who have done evil will be raised to death. Good things are those things which God has commanded us to do. This includes, but is not limited to, believing that Christ is the Son of God and our Savior.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, The Way of the Disciple, General Conference, April 2009
"It is not enough merely to speak of Jesus Christ or proclaim that we are His disciples. It is not enough to surround ourselves with symbols of our religion. Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessings of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes."

Daniel 9:4 4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my aconfession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, bkeeping the covenant and cmercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

Matthew 3:13-15

13 ¶ Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be abaptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, aSuffer it to be so now: for thus it bbecometh us to cfulfil all drighteousness. Then he suffered him.

If it was necessary for Jesus to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness, then why would it not be necessary for us? What was the purpose if not to show us the way? He had no sins to wash away.

Matthew 6:24

24 ¶ aNo man can bserve two cmasters: for either he will dhate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and emammon.

If we are not doing good works and serving God we are serving Satan. Can we accept Christ and serve Satan?

Matthew 7:13-14

13 ¶ Enter ye in at the astrait bgate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to cdestruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because astrait is the bgate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto clife, and few there be that find it.

The way is narrow. Yet we have so many churches having their own doctrines.

Matthew 12:36-37

36 But I say unto you, That every aidle bword that men shall cspeak, they shall give daccount thereof in the day of ejudgment.
37 For by thy awords thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

It would appear that the judgement will be a judgement of assignment and not of determining how big our house will be in the eternities. If we disobey and don't repent we are condemned and not just get a smaller mansion.

It says that our words will justify or condemn us. Not just our faith.

The chapter goes on to tell of witnesses that will rise and witness to whether we obeyed God or not. These witnesses will be used to condemn us if we have been slothful and have not repented. This would appear to apply to everyone including those that have taken Jesus name upon them. I would reason that there would be more expected of those that took on them the name of Christ rather than them getting a free pass to do whatever they want.

Matthew 19:16-17

16 ¶ And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have aeternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none agood but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into blife, keep the ccommandments.

Mercy is for those that love him AND keep his commandments

Mark 16:16

16 He that abelieveth and is bbaptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be cdamned.

It says he that believes AND is baptised shall be saved. Two points. One, you must do something as well as believe to be saved. Two, one of those things is baptism.

James 1:26

26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his atongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is bvain.

If one does not do the works listed, their religion is in vain. If there religion is taking upon them the name of Christ then that would be in vain without doing the listed works.

1 Timothy 2:15

15 Notwithstanding ashe shall be saved in bchildbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and choliness with dsobriety.

They will be saved if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. Why would one have to do these things to be saved if we are saved by faith alone?

2 Peter 3:9

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is alongsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should bperish, but that all should come to crepentance.

We must come to repentance or we will perish. Repentance is something we must do in addition to saying that we accept Christ.

Obedience and repentance are the hands we receive the atonement with.

Hebrews 5:8-9

8 Though he were a Son, yet alearned he bobedience by the things which he csuffered;
9 And being made aperfect, he became the bauthor of eternal csalvation unto all them that obey him;

"eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" We must obey Him if we want to be saved.

John 3:5

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be aborn of bwater and of the cSpirit, he cannot denter into the kingdom of God.

One can not enter into the kingdom unless they do something, which is be baptised.

Doctrine and Covenants 59:6

6 Thou shalt alove thy bneighbor as thyself. Thou shalt not csteal; neither commit dadultery, nor ekill, nor do anything flike unto it.

What are things that are like adultary? Pornography, speaking irreverently about sex, watching television programs where people are having sex out of marriage, and so forth.

Mosiah 4:16-18

16 And also, ye yourselves will asuccor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the bbeggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
17 Perhaps thou shalt asay: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

We must take care of each other or we must repent.

Revelation 3:15-16

15 I know thy aworks, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art alukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will bspue thee out of my mouth.

If we are apethetic, lukewarm, Then he will put us from Him. If we do not sin, but we do not do good then we will be separated from God.

Revelation 3:21

21 To him that aovercometh will I grant to bsit with me in my cthrone, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

If we overcome, as He overcame, we will sit with him on his throne not float on a cloud playing a harp. Overcome not just say that we believe in him.

Revelation 22:14

14 Blessed are they that ado his bcommandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Those who do the commandments may partake of the fruit of the tree of life, which is eternal life and may enter into the kingdom of God.

Romans 1:18

18 For the awrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, bwho chold the truth in dunrighteousness;

The previous few verses talk about living faith to faith, which could be misinterpreted to support the faith only doctrine. He follows with verse 18. The wrath of God comes against those who hold the truth with unrighteousness.

Romans 2:6-7

6 Who will arender to every man baccording to his cdeeds:
7 To them who by apatient bcontinuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and cimmortality, eternal life:

One must seek eternal life in patient continuance, not just say we believe.

2 Nephi 25:23

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.

We must do our part and God does what we fall short. Much like a father might ask his son to work if he wants a bike and after he judges that the child has done his best he pays however much the child is short.
It reminds me of a couple of sayings that I have heard for years even by people that are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "God helps those who help themselves" and "Pray as though everything depends on God and work as thought everything depends on you."
Our work is not sufficient to save us, but it is necessary.

Hebrews 12:2
2 Looking unto Jesus the aauthor and bfinisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him cendured the cross, despising the dshame, and is set down at the right hand of the ethrone of God.

He is the finisher of our faith. He finishes it after we do our best.

James 2:14-26
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my afaith by my bworks.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham abelieved God, and it was imputed unto him for brighteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Faith in Jesus and works go hand in hand. If you are not performing good works and keeping his commandments then you have no faith. Your faith is dead.

Ephesians 2:8-9

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

The works do not save you, but the faith is not present without the works. The atonement overcame physical death brought about by Adam and spiritual death brought about by our own disobedience. Even if we lived a perfect life we would not be able to be saved without the atonement, but we can only partake of that atonement, that grace, by exercising faith and obeying the commandments. Yes we may fall, but we get back up, repent, and obey. We may do this thousands of times in our lives, but we have the potential to improve. That is also part of that grace, where he makes us stronger than we would be alone. See James 2:14-16 for a discourse on faith not being present without works.

1 Timothy 4:16

16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

" thyself"" is an interesting phrase, since many would say that one is saved by faith only. Now just like we can not take those scriptures about being saved by faith and think that faith is the only thing that we need to be saved, we also can not just take this passage and assume that preaching the gospel is the only thing we need to do to be saved. The point is that if we are not doing our best to do the things that God has asked us to do we can not be saved."

Matthew 6:12, 14-15

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

To be forgiven of our sins we must do something. One of those things is to forgive others.

James 4:17

17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. It then lists several sins that would make one unrighteous. This is an example of something that one must do or in this case not do to enter the kingdom of God. We must do our part to be saved.Exodus 20:6
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Mercy to those that love Him AND keep His commandments.

Works and faith are much like study and revelation. Both are necessary to accomplish the goal.

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