How does one become saved?
How does salvation affect a person's life?
How does salvation affect a person's condition after they have died?
What would have been the result been of not having the atonement of JesusChrist to save us from our sins?
What is salvation?
To put it simply salvation is the result of becoming at one with God and his laws again. To be forgiven of ones sins and to be washed clean of the consequences and results of them. To be redeemed from the consequences of Adams Transgression and to be brought back into the presence of God through the ressurection.To be with God forevermore.
Thus salvation is two-fold.
#1 The remission of ones sins so that they are found clean before God.
#2 Freedom from the result of Adams Transgression and the reception of a ressurected Body. The Body and Sprit are reunited again never to be divided. The reception of an immortal, incorrupt and glorious body like unto the Body that Jesus Christ obtained through his ressurection. Thus he is the first fruits of those who slept. (Phillip 3:21)
We believe that only Jesus Christ of all mankind who has ever lived has been at one with God throughout his lifetime. He was the perfect example and was a sinless man... in perfect harmony with God and his laws throughout his life. Whereas, everyone else has fallen short of his example and commited transgressions and sins wherein we rebell against God, doing our own will instead of what we know we should do.
Thus all mankind is fallen... all mankind is in a lost state, in a state contrary to the Laws of God. Salvation is the result of becoming at one with God once again.
This can only be done through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Through the plan of happiness given to us by God we can be forgiven of our sins and once more be reconcilled to God.
How then is an individual saved? And who is the example of a perfect/saved individual? Jesus Christ: (A of F 1:4)
We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are:
#1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
God want's ust to believe first - then he will confirm that belief and solidify it. If he were to prove it to us and we were not to belief - our condemnation would be assured.
Remember that no matter what you do - you cannot of yourself atone for the transgression that you have committed!
You are under the penalty of Sin, and nothing you can do, I repeat nothing you can do, can overcome the effects of this. Those effects are Separation from God, and Physical Death.
Our Salvation is based solely upon the Grace of Jesus Christ and our obedience to his qualifications required to receive a remission of sins. He is a God of Truth and Love, and cannot lie, if a person repents they will be forgiven! Mosiah 26:29-31
Although lists don't cut the mustard as far as what true repentance is they can be helpful here is a published list from the Church Website:
Youth - Questions and Answers: TOPIC What do I need to do to repent
“Repentance is a painful process, but it leads to forgiveness and lasting peace. . . . Repentance includes the following elements:
- “Faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The power of sin is great. To become free from it, you must turn to your Heavenly Father and pray in faith. Satan may try to convince you that you are not worthy to pray—that Heavenly Father is so displeased with you that He will never hear your prayers. This is a lie. Your Father in Heaven is always ready to help you if you will come to Him with a repentant heart. . . .
- “Sorrow for Sin. In order to be forgiven, you must first acknowledge within yourself that you have sinned. If you are striving to live the gospel, such an acknowledgment will lead to ‘godly sorrow,’ which ‘worketh repentance to salvation’ (2 Corinthians 7:10). Godly sorrow does not come because of the natural consequences of sin or because of a fear of punishment; rather, it comes from the knowledge that you have displeased your Heavenly Father and your Savior. When you experience godly sorrow, you have a sincere desire for change and a willingness to submit to every requirement for forgiveness.
- “Confession. . . . Essential to forgiveness is a willingness to disclose fully to your Heavenly Father all that you have done. Kneel before Him in humble prayer, acknowledging your sins. Confess your shame and guilt, and then plead for help.
- “Serious transgressions, such as violations of the law of chastity, may jeopardize your membership in the Church. Therefore, you need to confess these sins to both the Lord and His representatives in the Church. . . .
- “Abandonment of Sin. Although confession is an essential element of repentance, it is not enough. The Lord has said, ‘By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them’ (D&C 58:43). Maintain an unyielding, permanent resolve that you will never repeat the transgression. . . .
- “Restitution. You must restore as far as possible all that has been damaged by your actions, whether that is someone’s property or someone’s good reputation. Willing restitution shows the Lord that you will do all you can to repent.
- “Righteous Living. It is not enough to simply try to resist evil or empty your life of sin. You must fill your life with righteousness and engage in activities that bring spiritual power. Immerse yourself in the scriptures. Pray daily for the Lord to give you strength beyond your own. At times, fast for special blessings” (True to the Faith, 133–35).
Satan is the great deceiver - his purpose is to cause us to hide our sins and not to repent of them. Confession is a means by which an individuals sins are no longer in the dark - they are no longer hidden and unseen. Satan wants people to keep their sins hidden to deceive others by not telling and promote fear in the fact that their weaknesses/sins will become known to others. The Lords plan is greater, through confession the devil loses this power over the individual, there is no more fear, nor is their deception, their weaknesses have been shown to others and thus Satan's power over them is removed. Without this Satan, can use fear and deception to cause the individual to maintain his secrecy - to avoid confession and to deny that there is even any sin at all!
I Believe Repentance can best be summed up in the words of Moroni: Moroni 10:32-34
32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
34 And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.#3 Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins;
Why is Baptism Important?
Baptism is a Covenant - between God and Man. Without a covenant there is no power.
“Baptism is a sign to God, to angels, and to heaven that we do the will of God, and there is no other way beneath the heavens whereby God hath ordained for man to come to Him to be saved, and enter into the kingdom of God, except faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, and any other course is in vain; then you have the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
How is a covenant made?
Generally speaking a covenant may have four parts associated with it. (Very much like a treaty in Old Testament Times)
- The ritual/ordinance done through the priesthood – Symbolism involved
- The promise/oath – a promise/commitment to do something, action is required
- The name – the taking upon one’s self a new name or designation – you are different afterwards
- The blessing/reward/protection provided
The gift of the Holy Ghost is the means by which an individual receives Sanctification and Conversion.
- Revealer of Truth - enlightens and brings things to our rememberance
- Sanctifier of Mankind - receive remission of sins
- Empowers Mankind with spiritual gifts
- Confirms and Seals all blessings upon an individuatl
50 Those of the ressurection of the Just
51 Those who receive the testimony of Jesus - believed on his name - baptized after his burial - according to the commandment
52 by keeping the commandments - they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins - receiving the Holy ghost by one ordained to this power
53 Those who overcome by faith - and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise - unto all the just and true
69 Just men - made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant - wrought out this perfect atonement through his own blood
70 These are they who's bodies are Celestial - even the Glory of God - the highest of all.
How does salvation affect a person's life?
One of the results is a remission of sins and a removal of guilt concerning our evil deeds that we have committed. This brings a sense of joy and love toward God and Jesus Christ through which this has occured. It is difficult to put into words the hope, peace, and joy that is brought into ones life by being obedient to God and repenting of one's sins. The knowledge that God cannot lie, that he has prepared a way for us to repent and that we have followed his plan and thus will obtain the gift of forgiveness. We are thus sanctified through obedience and the Holy Ghost, and Justified based upon our following the Law by which a remission of sins is granted.
The result of this is that a change occurs in oneself (through the Holy Ghost)... The desire to do evil and wicked acts is slowly over time removed. Until eventually one becomes as Job one who escheweth evil and desires only to do the will of God. Eventualy we will see as we are seen and know as we are know and be an individual who has been perfected through the atonement and have become like Jesus Christ. This type of person is unselfish, kind, merciful, and seeketh the welfare of others over his own welfare. He is truly a new creature who seeks to do good and not evil... who has the love of Christ (Charity) in his heart. Job 1:1,8 Job 2:3, 1 Peter 3:11, romans 6:4, 1 John 3:2, Moroni 7
The Holy Ghost is the constant companion of those who have received Baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost and who are living righteous lives. This wonderful gift allows the individual to receive greater light and knowledge and to understand the things of God better. Furthermore, it is a comforter and a protection for us to help us live our lives in accordance to God's will. It also gives us power to overcome temptations, as well as provides us Gifts to be used for the benefit of others.
How does salvation affect a person's condition after they have died?
When a Man dies they go to the spirit world (hades). After a time eventually all mankind will be freed from this condition (death - seperation of body from spirit) and will be reunited with their body. Only their body will have been glorified and become imortal no longer able do die and this will be their condition forevermore.)
This condition is described as follows:
2 Nephi 9:12-16
Any individual who is ressurected and yet still remains in their sins will also be brought before the judgement seat of God to be judged of their works. They will be found in their sins, having not obeyed the commandments and laws required for them to become at one with God again and receive a remission of their sins. Furthermore, they will (because they have perfected imortal bodies) will have a perfect knowledge of their wickedness and evil, and their desires, and intents of their heart will be plain before them. They will thus know that God's judgements are just and they will go away and receive the glory and power that they were willing to accept. They are immortal beings never to die again, they have received through the ressurection the glory that they will have and thus is their state affixed. (This being dependant upon their deeds done in the mortal body, and their thoughts and actions therin).
Any individual who is ressurected and having obeyed God's law and being justified by the same will be brought before the judgement seat of God to be judged of their works. They will be found without remorse or guilt, and will be able to stand before God having received a remission of their sins and having become one with God and his laws. They will also have a perfect recollection of all of their actions, thoughts, and intents of their heart. However, they will have received a remission and have thus been forgiven and have no guilt before God. Thus they will dwell in the presence of God forever. This is the final state of the righteous and those who accept the atonement in their lives.
Thus, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, that his judgements and mercy are just and proper and that the result and the condition that they are receiving is correct.
What would have been the result been of not having the atonement of Jesus Christ to save us from our sins?
If the atonement had not occured then all mankind would have been in a lost and fallen state.. having gone contrry to the will and laws of God. There would have been no-one to pay the penalty of our sins, or Adams transgression. Thus the following would have occured:
All mankind would be under the penalty of sin, and thus have died and never been ressurected.
Everyone would be found filthy before God and shut out of his presence. (the penalty of sin is death - spiritual (seperation from god) and temporal seperation of spirit from body)
We would each and every one of us become like unto the devil (a disembodied, unrepentant, rebellious spirit thrust out of the presence of God) forever having no hope or possibility of redemption. There would be no hope, no possibility of redemption and no future.
We could truly say as some do... that it is today to live eat and be merry for tommorrow we die and that is the end. Lie, cheat, steal and the strong should survive, while the weak are nothing but to be crushed under the strong's foot. For there is no hope and death is the end.. before the final dreadful judgments of God are put into place.
Thus, we glory in the Love and Mercy shown upon us by Jesus Christ and his atonement. Who can say to much concerning him and his life... His supremacy is in all things. His majesty, mercy power and love are beyond mere men such as you or I to comprehend. Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but through him save them from their sins. He could have condemned us you know... He could have lived a good life and thus proven that it was possible to be truly obedient to God.
Thus showing that we should have been able to do it and because of our weakeness and frailties unable to do so.
Thus condemning the world justly so... He did it why couldn't we?
But that was not his purpose... his purpose was to provide all of us the opportunity to become clean, and like him.
Who can say to much concerning him!!! I glory in my redeemer and the hope and love he showed for us. He will and has to this point subdued most enemies under his feet... and eventually when he comes again will finally and completly subdue all enemies under his feet.. when time is no more and his work is finished!!
I thank you for the opportunity to bear my testimony of my saviour to you. I am grateful for the love he has shown for us... and am trying to be a disciple of his ways.
I pray that we all may learn of him, learn his words, follow his laws and commandments, and eventually be saved in God's presence forever!! I truly believe that he is a God of Justice, and Mercy, and that he cannot and will not break his own laws. Thus the punishments, and rewards are affixed and it is up to us to take advantage of his plan for us and thus receive a remission of our sins.
2 Nephi 9:5-30
- But they who with confidence endured [these things] are now heirs of glory and honour, and have been exalted and made illustrious by God in their memorial forever and ever. Amen.
- Clement says regarding those who become deified that “’they will be enthroned along with the other gods, who are set first in order under the Savior.’” Note that the “other gods” are clearly subordinate to the Savior, but yet are still entitled to be designated “gods.” [George W. Butterworth, “The Deification of Man in Clement of Alexandria,” Journal of Theological Studies 17 (1916): 157-69, on page 161, quoting Stromateis 3.41.23-5.]
IRENAEUS (A.D. 180)
- For the Lord is the good man of the house, who rules the entire house of His Father; and who delivers a law suited both for slaves and those who are as yet undisciplined; and gives fitting precepts to those that are free, and have been justified by faith, as well as throws His own inheritance open to those that are sons.
- ...but man receives advancement and increase towards God. For as God is always the same, so also man, when found in God, shall always go on towards God.
- ...and to whomsoever He shall say, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you for eternity,’ (Mat. 25:34) these do receive the kingdom for ever, and make constant advance in it...
- our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, of His boundless love, became what we are that He might make us what He Himself is...
- Melvin Lawrenz writes that a primary image of salvation for John Chrysostom is “that of human nature itself seated on the royal throne of Christ: ‘It is a great and wonderful thing, and full of amazement that our flesh should sit on high, and be adored by angels and archangels.’” Notice that worship by the angels is offered to those deified mortals on their thrones.
- Christoph Cardinal Schonborn quotes from another Homily of John Chrysostom: “’God gave us a share in his throne. The sitting at the right hand is the greatest honor, with nothing to equal it. This statement holds true of us also: we too are to sit with him on thrones…. Think of where Christ sits on his throne! ‘Above all principalities and powers! And with whom are you to sit on the throne? With him!’” Once again, notice that the ‘principalities and powers’ are subject to these deified mortals.
- Origen said that God could, if He chose, create other worlds after this one.
- Theodore Askidas, Bishop of Caesarea (ca. 540 AD) went so far as to suggest that those who are deified will join in creating other worlds.
- Dionysius the Areopagite suggested long ago that nothing could be more divine than to become ‘a fellow worker with God.’ Some are purified, he wrote, some purify others; some are being perfected, while others complete the perfecting initiation for others.
- The idea that the redeemed may help to save others is common in the patristic writings. Fortino quotes John of Damascus who says that the oil used during baptism makes us “anointed” [christous], transforming us into Christs.
- Ronald Heine, in his study of Gregory of Nyssa, states that such a one “becomes able to help others to salvation.”
- Turner quotes Methodius: “’Those who are deified become not merely Christians, but Christs.’”
- James T. O’Connor quotes the same from Augustine: “Not only do we become Christians, we become Christ.”
- Thomas Hopko quotes Basil: “’Spirit-bearing souls, illumined by Him, finally become spiritual themselves, and their grace is sent forth to others. From this comes knowledge of the future, understanding of mysteries, apprehension of hidden things, distribution of wonderful gifts, heavenly citizenship, a place in the choir of angels, endless joy in the presence of God, becoming like God, and, the highest of all desires, becoming God [theon genesthai].’” Notice that this illumination, though beginning in this life, continues into the next, where the redeemed are eventually deified.
- Cipriano Vagaggini quotes Cyril of Jerusalem: “’Baptized and clothed in Christ, you are engrafted on the Son of God…. Since you have become sharers with Christ, you may rightly be called christs.’”
- Walter Burckhardt quotes Cyril of Alexandria as having written that one who is redeemed “’shall come close to God and be of His family, and prove capable of saving others in time to come.’”
- Over one hundred years ago J. D. Davis wrote an intriguing article on the possibilities of sanctification after death. He concluded by writing: “who shall say that God may not safely go on creating new beings whom the host of those who are already perfected by trial and experience shall teach and train, thus filling up the great universe of God, whose limits no human eye has ever yet discovered? Nay, more, may he not go on forever enlarging and forever peopling this universe with happy beings?”
- Martin Luther defined the Christian as ’a Christ to the other,’ that is, to his neighbor.
- Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical Mystici Corporis (June 29 1943) wrote, in paragraph 46, that we are to “look to our Divine Savior as the most exalted and the most perfect exemplar of all virtues… [and to] bear witness by their conduct to His teaching and life;” he then cites I John 3.2. Paragraph 59 states that “it is for us to cooperate with Christ in this work of salvation, ‘from one and through one saved and saviors.’”
- In 1967 Pope Paul VI stated that the saved in heaven may “cooperate in saving their brothers.”
- Jesus taught that “he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14.12). Thomas Oden remarks that this is “one of the most astonishing statements reported of Jesus.”
- Justin Martyr wrote that the Father teaches us “by the word to do the same things as Himself.”
- May we not ask: If the redeemed are to be enthroned with Christ, and do greater works than even Christ Himself did, is it not possible to conclude that they will at least also do the works of Christ—create additional worlds as He had done, and is still doing? May they not people those new worlds, and teach their inhabitants, and ultimately redeem those who are willing to keep the commandments, and live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God? Maximus the Confessor wrote that “all that God is, except for an identity in ousia [substance], one becomes when one is deified by grace.”
- Philip A. Khairallah presents some interesting thoughts on the above ideas. He is a priest of the Melkite Rite, of the Holy Orthodox Church of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem, in communion with the Church of Rome. He cites II Peter 1.4, and Athanasius, and then writes that “the one and only aim of human life on earth is union with God and deification.” “Marriage is eternal…. [and] is another channel God has given to us for our deification.” He writes that “parents have a responsibility to their children in aiding them to grow in faith and wisdom, to achieve responsible adulthood, so that they too may seek their deification.”
- Cardinal Danielou wrote that one of the two purposes of creation is the “divinization of man.”
- Marta Ryk wrote that “Orthodoxy believes that God out of love created man for deification and theosis is the goal of every Christian without exception.”
- Lumen Gentium, a document from Vatican II stated that “the eternal Father, in accordance with the utterly gratuitous and mysterious design of his wisdom and goodness, created the whole universe, and chose to raise up men to share in his own divine life.”
- In 1987 a group of Eastern Orthodox theologians wrote: “The value of the creation is seen not only in the fact that it is intrinsically good, but also in the fact that it is appointed by God to be the home for living beings. The value of the natural creation is revealed in the fact that it was made for God (something which is beautifully expressed in Orthodox iconography), i.e., to be the context for God’s Incarnation and humankind’s deification, and as such, the beginning of the actualization of the Kingdom of God. We may say that the cosmos provides the stage upon which humankind moves from creation to deification.”
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