What is required for salvation - is Faith alone sufficient - or are works required?
Do we Earn our way to heaven?
Does requiring Works, i.e. baptism, laying on of hands for holy ghost etc. obedience to the commandments mean that an individual is actually "Earning" their way to heaven?
Let us talk about the term "Earn". If I am to say that I can Earn my way to heaven.. then what I am really saying is that by my own efforts, my own actions, and through my own capability I can receive the reward of living in the presence of God.
If this were so... we would be denying the atonment of Jesus Christ and its importance in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If this were so... we would be denying that all mankind are in a fallen state, that all are fallen, that all are lost, and would forever be lost were it not for the atonment of Jesus Christ.
We believe that throught the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the Laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
Were it not for the atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind would be in a fallen and a lost state.
For all have fallen short of the glory of God and all have sinned.
Thus all are under the penalty of the breaking of the commandments of God, which penalty is death and seperation from God.
Therefore, it is impossible for any man to earn his way to heaven... for they have all sinned.. and as such are under the penalty of the law! (Save Jesus Christ!)
The justice of God cannot be denied... anyone who is unclean may not return to the presence of God.
No man having committed sins and being of the seed of Adam and thus temporal and going to die can save himself and cause himself to return to the presence of God... save it be through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
No man can earn his way to heaven... since this would deny the justice of God in punishing the sinner.
No man can claim the right to be in the presence of God having committed Sin... being unclean!
It is through the atonement of Jesus Christ ALONE... that an individual may receive a remission of their sins, as well as be ressurected and be redeemed from the consequences of Adam's transgression.
Therfore, when an individual is said to qualify himself to receive a remission of sins... that same individual cannot claim that he has earned the right to return to the presence of God. For were the atonement of Jesus Christ not in effect, the acts and deeds of the individual attempting to qualify himself to receive a remission of sins would be in vain and of null effect!!
Rather, because God has commanded that all men everywhere have faith in his Son, exercise that faith by repenting of all their sins, and by being baptised, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.. and if they do so they will receive a remission of their Sins. Because God has commanded/promised this... and because these requirements were put into effect by him and are taught to his people through prophets and scriptures... then the man who is obedient to the commands and words of God can lay claim on the blessing that is thus promised to him. This man who is obedient, who obeys God's word, and who actually does what God has commanded may lay claim to the blessing, the receipt of a remission of ones sins... and justly so!
Did he earn it? No... for he is under the penalty of sin and is thus damned.. and Justly so (were it not for the atonement).
Did he qualify for a receipt of a remission of sins? Yes... for he was obedient to what he had been told to do to receive this blessing!
Is he forever and eternally indebted to the atonment of Jesus Christ and the Plan of God that allowed him to receive a remission of his sins and once again return to God's presence? Yes...
Oh... the greatness of the Plan of God.. the mercy and the knowledge of him who is mighty to save!
Can we say to much concerning Jesus Christ and his atonement!!
Can you not see that it is through his Grace that we are saved?
Can you not see that it is our obedience to his commands that qualify us for salvation, and that this does not discount or diminish the grace given to the sinner by God and his Son?
Can you not see the mercy... and the justice of God in punishing the sinner and rewarding the righteous for their deeds in being obedient to God?
Can you not see that this truly is the Gospel of Jesus Christ... that it is taught in the scriptures and that it is fair, just and merciful to all?
The doctrine of Salvation through grace and faith alone... no requirements at all... save some confession.
(with works following... perhaps... if the individual is so inclined... And even worse the once saved always saved doctrine!!)
The doctrine of damnation to all who do not accept Jesus Christ in this life. (What an unjust God to damn those who know not anything concerning him or his plan!)
The doctrine of nullifying the accoutability of mankind for their own actions and sins because they are "Saved" and need not fear. (Thus allowing sin to go unpunished and thus nullifying sin and its consequences)
The doctrine of no pre-existence and the creation of man from nothing with no eternal nature/charactersitcs of the individual... for God created us... is he not then responsible for the actions of his creations... how then is free-agency truly free? Are we not made in the way God wants us... and as such are not we merely doing as we have been created? (Pre-destination!! and the destruction of agency)
2 Nephi 9:5-40... please read this... it is such a wonderful representation of the absolute and complete necessity of the atonement of Jesus Christ and the reason why it is through Jesus Christ that any man is saved! not by any earning of his own...
Are there requirements for salvation?
Furthermore, I do not see how it is biblical in any sense of the word to state that Baptism is not required.
Does it not clearly state:
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
How more plain can it be... does anyone discount that these verses speak of Baptism? If so... show me for I can get no other interpretation out of them than that. Furthermore, these are not the only scriptures concerning the necessity of baptism and the commandment to be baptised... It is not a doctrine based upon a select few scriptures... as some would state concerning baptism for the dead. How can we discount the evidence that it is a requirement?