Twenty Facts about Grace and Works.

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  1. Grace is defined as God’s choice to take on flesh and die for those who would turn to him.  The ‘gracious’ part was his choice to lay down his life. Titus defines this the best. Titus 2:11-15
  1. John writes that God’s Love is defined as sending his son into the world not because of our love for him, but his love for us.  This, again, is the true meaning of Grace.  I John 3:16, I John 4:9, I John 4:10
  1. ‘Salvation by grace’ does not imply there is nothing we have to do because Jesus died on the cross. On the contrary, Grace necessitates that works exists, according to Titus 3, and others.  Paul clearly states that it wasn’t our works that caused him to want to die for us, but that in coming to him, we must have good works.  Titus 3:4-8
  1. For those capable of repentance (i.e. accountable by age, mental capacities, etc.,) faith alone, or rather only acknowledging that He lives, does not constitute saving faith.  Faith that saves becomes the response to the awareness that He lives, and results in a changed life.  This becomes the works—living in love to all, sacrifice to those in need, turning from worldly lusts, and obedience to God’s word—by which we are and will be judged. James 2:15
  1. Grace, i.e. God’s choice to provide the atonement, must be responded to by humans with faith and repentance.  Alma 16:217
  1. It is not because of our works that we can have salvation, but simply the proof by which our faith and repentance will be judged.  Those who remained faithful in the work required by Jesus and endure to the end will find the blood of Jesus atoning for their sin and stand on the right hand of God; however, those who showed no works meet for repentance will not receive the atoning blood of Jesus.  Matthew 25:35.  Notice that works because of repentance are what exalt, and lack of works are what condemn humanity—just like Jesus said it would be. Remember, in the day of judgment those on his right hand are found there because of their works in response to their faith.
  1. To Believe on Jesus means to follow him and obey.  Many ‘believed’ that Jesus existed—they saw him in person—but of those who would not follow after him, was said ‘they did not believe on him’.  John 12:37.
  1. There is a place prepared for the unrepentant so that they may come to Christ via repentance. (Genesis 6:30).
  1. Many Christians today confuse the abolition of the works of the Law of Moses, which Paul writes about profusely, with the works required by Jesus Christ.  Paul and James write, often within the same chapter, regarding how the works of the (Mosaic) Law were done away, (see more) but the works of Christ will be required. Romans 4:16; James 2:15
  1. Paul’s discussion of not being ‘justified by the works of the Law’ and others, are mere examples of the same (above) Galatians 2:16
  1. Nephi said it best:  We are saved by Grace, after all we can do.’ 2 Nephi 11:44
  1. There is no work great enough, or repentance sincere enough, that could have merited eternal life on its own. Alma 19:94, Alma 9:54, Alma 9:55, Alma 16:217
  1. Even the saints at Ephesus, to whom Ephesians 2:8 was written, showed their works (proof) of repentance and were baptized. (Acts 19: 9, 1-6)
  1. Paul, who warned the Galations against works (of the Mosaic Law), also commands the people that only those who have been baptized unto Christ (‘a work’ in some Christians’ bible) have truly ‘put on’ Christ. Galatians 3:27
  1. Many will have part in the first resurrection because of their faith and repentance alone Revelation 20:6. Their baptism and gift of the Holy Ghost, if lacking, will come during the Millennium, if it hasn’t occurred in this life. 
  1. Paul wrote to many Jews and former Jews regarding the completion of the Mosaic law.  This is why there is so much discussion regarding Grace and works in the New Testament.  Many didn’t understand and rejected Paul for it.  On the other hand, Nephi’s people understood that the Mosaic Law pointed toward Jesus, and when he came, needed little convincing that the Law of Moses was completed.  In their generations after Jesus, one finds no discussion of grace and works in the ‘New Testament of the Book of Mormon.’  Why?  Because it wasn’t needed.  Everyone new and understood the truth.
  1. Ephesians 2:8 is not the beginning of the journey, but the end of the journey. Ephesians 2:8 can’t be read without Ephesians 2:9-10, which states that we were created by God unto good works.

 

  1. It wasn’t a lack of faith that expelled Adam and Eve from Eden and consigned mankind to spiritual separation from God; indeed, it was willful rebellion against the commandments of God.  It is turning from that rebellion and keeping the commandments that allows Jesus’ blood to atone for our sins. After all, it is not as if Adam and Eve stopped ‘believing’ in God--they consciously chose to put their ideas, their mind and will, above God’s.  (Satan had this same problem).  Rather repentance is rendering of our self-will unto God’s will, turning from our inward lusts to outward love for Him. 
  1. We will be judged by our works. Revelation 20:12, Revelation 20:13
  1. The bible teaches that It is not our sin that makes Jesus our advocate, but our subsequent Repentance which brings the advocate of Jesus Christ. (I John 2:1)
  1. The bible teaches that if we say we have fellowship with Jesus and yet walk in darkness, (i.e. do not follow obediently after Jesus’ ways), we are liars. (I John 1:6)  This indicts those who verbally claim salvation but have never been changed in their heart to show a new life outwardly.
  1. Being born again refers more to the change in heart to have no more disposition to do evil than it does the physical act of being baptized. (Mosiah 11:186-190)
  1. The bible teaches that people can ‘fall from Grace,’ that is to say, fall away from Jesus. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
  2. Jesus taught us to live by denying ourselves worldly lusts, and live righteously. Titus 2:12 Grace doesn’t cover the unrepentant sinner.