Galatians 3: The Law, The Promise, & An X-Mormon

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Stope, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Stope

    Stope
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    (Hi all! Im a brand new member and this is my first post!)

    Im currently reading through Galatians with my wife who is a Christian but an X Mormon and the questions she brings up are interesting and so for that reason I have taken up pen (keypad) and pose them to the brothers and sisters here:

    1. We know that it is faith plus nothing that saves us, HOWEVER, as anathema as it is, is someone actually DAMNED for believing (either on purpose - like Mormons teach, or on "accident" - resulting from human natures bend towards feeling they have something to do with their salvation)? My wife suggested "Perhaps the belief in works and faith is just a gross error like other errors that many evangelical Christians believe/subconsciously believe)?". Thoughts?

    2. This second and final question is very specific towards Mormon belief and that is: Mormons believe that there are 3 levels of "heaven" and they believe most all "ethical" people are "saved" from hell by faith only (actually they dont even think they need to have faith in Jesus for this general "saving"), but in order to attain the highest "salvation" ("Celestial Kingdom"/"Exaltation"... becoming a "god"...) they are required to do certain "ordinances" (laws/works like tithing, ethical living, getting married in the temple, etc.), without which they cant attain the highest "level of heaven", but they would still be "saved" at a minimum by faith apart from works. The question then is, is there anything that teaches (and its hard because I have to prove a negative that Joseph Smith made up), that there FULL salvation/best case scenario standing with Jesus/God is resulting from faith alone?
     
  2. Stope

    Stope
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    (Hi all! Im a brand new member and this is my first post!)

    Im currently reading through Galatians with my wife who is a Christian but an X Mormon and the questions she brings up are interesting and so for that reason I have taken up pen (keypad) and pose them to the brothers and sisters here:

    1. We know that it is faith plus nothing that saves us, HOWEVER, as anathema as it is, is someone actually DAMNED for believing (either on purpose - like Mormons teach, or on "accident" - resulting from human natures bend towards feeling they have something to do with their salvation)? My wife suggested "Perhaps the belief in works and faith is just a gross error like other errors that many evangelical Christians believe/subconsciously believe)?". Thoughts?

    2. This second and final question is very specific towards Mormon belief and that is: Mormons believe that there are 3 levels of "heaven" and they believe most all "ethical" people are "saved" from hell by faith only (actually they dont even think they need to have faith in Jesus for this general "saving"), but in order to attain the highest "salvation" ("Celestial Kingdom"/"Exaltation"... becoming a "god"...) they are required to do certain "ordinances" (laws/works like tithing, ethical living, getting married in the temple, etc.), without which they cant attain the highest "level of heaven", but they would still be "saved" at a minimum by faith apart from works. The question then is, is there anything that teaches (and its hard because I have to prove a negative that Joseph Smith made up), that there FULL salvation/best case scenario standing with Jesus/God is resulting from faith alone?
     
  3. HankD

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    We really don't know what the deep recesses of the heart hold/believes.

    Being a former Catholic, while making my 2 year exodus from Rome, I mouthed the dogma of prayer to saints, salvation through sacraments, transubstantiation, etc ... while all the while believing in my heart that Jesus Christ alone was my ONLY hope plus nothing, minus nothing.

    HankD
     
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  4. Van

    Van
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    Hi Stope, good for you to search scripture and the views of other believers to answers to your questions.

    Rather than address the possible mistaken teachings of Mormon's, let me try to address what scripture teaches concerning your questions.

    Your first question, as I understand it, is do we have to believe the "right" things or else be damned for believing some wrong things. The answer is no, no one is saved for believing the right list of things. Romans 4:4-5 tells us that if we believe in the promises of God, as Abraham did, God will credit our faith, and worthless as it might be, as righteousness. Recall the commandment, love God with all your heart, mind and soul - your everything ? Or recall where Jesus separates the goats from the sheep. Did He ask if we were pre-trip, or Calvinist leaning, or Trinity believing? Nope Rather did our love and devotion to God result in doing what we can to take care of our brothers and sisters in Christ?

    Plenty of scriptures teach we should cling to and teach the pure gospel, and not some other gospel, - believing what scripture actually teaches is a good thing for the ministry of Christ.

    Salvation starts where we are, warts (mistaken understandings) and all. As we grow in Christ, hopefully with study, prayer, meditation and the thoughtful advice of others, the Holy Spirit will guide us toward truth.

    As for your second question, again let me address what I understand scripture teaches.

    First heaven is spoken of in three different ways in scripture. One, as the atmosphere, where clouds and birds exist. The second "heaven" refers to space, where the sun, moon, and stars exist. The third heaven refers to the abode of God. When scripture says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, the location in view is the third heaven, Paradise, where God the Father, and at His right hand, God the Son sit on the throne.

    There is only one salvation, either you have been transferred into Christ spiritually, and have been spiritually born anew, or you haven't. Now scripture does teach that after we are born anew, a new creation created for good works, we are to earn rewards by diligently serving Christ as ambassadors.
    But even if we mess that up, we still enter heaven as one escaping from a fire. On the other hand, some will enter heaven "abundantly" and will be greeted by Jesus saying "welcome home, faithful servant."
     
  5. Don

    Don
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    Perhaps the way to consider this is, what are you placing your trust in? If you're placing your trust, and thus believing, in your faith PLUS your works, then your salvation is not of faith alone.

    Since you're going through Galatians anyway, take a long look at 2:8-10. A lot of studies and programs tend to stop with 2:8-9; verse 10 puts an additional explanation on it, that agrees with the teachings we find in James. We are saved to do good works, not because of them. Works come after salvation, not before.
     
  6. Van

    Van
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    Spot on Don!
     
  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Hello Stope. Welcome to the forum. :)
    Ultimately, God will decide who is saved and who isn't, but you will have read Galatians 1:8-9. False doctrine is very serious and teaching it even more so (James 3:1).

    We are saved by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. The question is, where is your faith? Is it in your baptism, your good deeds, your generous giving, or anything else but Christ and Him alone? There is a disease which is sin and there is a remedy which is Christ; anything else is drawing you away from the truth and from the Saviour.
    I think you might do well to read Colossians. 'Beware lest anyone cheat you [or 'take you captive'] through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him' (Colossians 2:8-10). Nothing else needed.

    The first test of any teaching is whether it exalts Christ or man.
     
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  8. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Good to meet you Stope!

    First, Paul said "let him" be accursed, meaning, he wanted the Galatians to regard them as such, or let them be considered as such. Paul could not pronounce final condemnation on anyone. Remember in Rom. 9:1 he "could wish" himself accursed if that would save his Jewish brethren after the flesh, but he could not do that.

    Second, salvation is first of all an internal revelation of Christ in your heart (2 Cor. 4:6; Mt.16:17; Gal. 1:16-17; Jn. 17:3) as your sufficient sole hope of salvation. This is God's work within you completed within you at that point of faith (Jn. 6:44-45).

    Third, the Galatians could be "bewitched" or deceived mentally and led astray into a works mentality and so fall from THE DOCTRINE of grace mentally. However, true children of God have the permanent indwelling teacher (1 Jn. 2:29) who will never stop bearing witness of Christ's complete sufficiency (Gal. 3:2-5).

    Fourth, there is a point in time where true believers actually were converted from sin to Christ and actually trusted in him turning from all else (Gal. 3:1-6).

    First, in every true child of God there is point in time and conscious point where they believed "in the truth of the gospel." Being led into doctrinal error may come afterwards but there will always be a conscience previous point where Christ alone was embraced by faith. Any person who does not have a point in time where faith in Christ alone was their conscious hope of salvation - are still lost even
    in spite of their profession.


    .

    The Bible does teach a third heaven (2 Cor. 12) but the first is where the birds fly, the second is where the stars are.

    With regard to salvation Jesus repeatedly gave only two alternatives (1) repent or perish (Lk. 13:3,6) and (2) that all humans were on one two ways; the way to destruction (Mt. 7:13) or to life eternal (Mt 7:14). Paul clearly taught after death comes the judgment without second chances (Heb. 9:27)
     
  9. Aaron

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    My question is, why is she an ex-Mormon? What was it she believed and no longer does? That will help answer your question.
     

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