Jim continues our conversation from my previous posts. He says, “Do you believe that Jesus is God? That it is only through him that we are saved? That there is nothing that we can do on earth, no “good deed,” that will make us deserve or achieve eternal life?”
Yes, Jim. I believe that. I am powerless to save myself. It is only through the Grace of Jesus Christ that we are saved. I think the difference is maybe our terminology and what we consider “saved”.
I think that through the Grace of God I am saved. I am saved from everlasting death. Jesus Christ, He is my Savior. He has saved me from death by and through his Grace and the Resurrection.
However, being saved from our sins I believe is different. I think that it is clear that we are not saved from our sin by doing nothing. James 2:14-26 concludes that faith without works is dead. “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” It might be easy to be confused since Paul taught in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by grace through faith. Yet in Matthew 7:21 we read that “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father, which is in heaven”. It says we have to do the will of the Father. In other words we have to keep the commandments and repent. Mathew 5:16 says to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” God wants us to do good works. We will not earn our salvation, but we must follow Jesus Christ and His commandments. These are our works.
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. To be forgiven of our sins, we must keep the commandments. We must repent. We must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20. This is the works that we are commanded to do. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Act 2:38.
We will be judged according to our works. (Revelation 20:13). In other words, we will be judged if we have kept the commandments of God. We need to follow the example of Jesus Christ. We can’t save ourselves. The Grace of God does that. It is through that Grace that we are saved from our sins. Jesus has paid the price for our sins, but we must in turn come unto Christ and repent of them, and then follow Him; follow His commandments.
Yes Jim, Jesus is God. He came to earth. He did the will of the Father. He atoned for our sins in Gethsemane. He was crucified. He arose the third day overcoming mortal death. Jesus saves us all through His grace. I think that we mostly believe the same things. Maybe the terms we use are slightly different. I appreciate our conversations. I think that you would enjoy meeting with the missionaries or coming to one of our congregation meetings. My brother, we are united in our love and reverence for our Savior Jesus Christ. May God the Almighty be with you.