Wednesday, April 24, 2013

P4 Christianity vs Mormonism: Doctrine of Salvation

1 John 4:4-6 "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error."

The intent of this particular blog series has been to carry out a comparison between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity in an informative yet evangelistic manner.  The one question we have aimed to ask in every post has been: "is Mormonism another Christian denomination or is it a non-Christian system of belief?  In light of 1 John 4:1-6 we have been testing the spiritual claims of Mormonism to see if it is a restored form of the true Gospel.  Thus far the findings have shown Mormonism to be totally incompatible with Christianity in the following three areas:

1. Doctrine of God
2. Doctrine of Jesus Christ
3. Doctrine of the Word of God

We have appealed mostly to an article entitled: "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with your Mormon Friends" , found in the March 2012 issue of "SBC Life" (an online magazine accessible through the website:  Additonally, these blogs have utilized primary source materials from the Mormon website and the Southern Baptist Website  My aim in this entire series has been to balance honesty and fairness with a heart to share the Gospel with those involved in Mormonism. 

Today's post will focus on what Mormonism and Christianity each have to say about the very important subject of salvation.  Again we begin with a quote from the article: "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with you Mormon Friends".

Mormonism vs Christianity on the Doctrine of Salvation
The Doctrine of Salvation - Historic Christianity
"Salvation is release from the guilt and power of sin through God's gift of grace. Prompted by God's love, salvation is provided through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross and is received by personal faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. John 3:1-18; Acts 4:12; 13:38-39; 20:20-21; Romans 3:20-28; 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:8-10"

In Article IV of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 we see the following definition of salvation:

"Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer.....There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord."

As you can see, salvation hinges upon accepting by grace through faith Jesus Christ.  We must in the context of this blog series specify which Jesus, since the Mormon Jesus and the True Jesus are two totally different persons.  Jesus Christ alone is the necessary and sufficient grounds of salvation and faith alone is the sufficient and necessary means of receiving salvation.  So how does Mormonism define salvation?  The article "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with you Mormon Friends" explains:

Mormonism's view of salvation
"The Mormon plan of salvation is built on the premise that all people have eternal life, but only the most faithful Mormons enter the celestial kingdom. Jesus' atonement provided immortality for all people. Exaltation (godhood) is available only to Mormons through obedience to LDS teachings: faith in the god of Mormonism, baptism in the LDS church, endowments, celestial marriage, and tithing.
Additionally, Mormons must keep the "Word of Wisdom" by abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine; attend weekly sacrament meetings; support the Mormon prophet; do temple works; and be active in their support of the church. Some of the blessings given to exalted people include:
1. They will live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
2. They will become gods.
3. They will have their righteous family members with them and will be able to have spirit children also. These spirit children will have the same relationship to them as we do to our Heavenly Father.
4. They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have—all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge (See GP, p. 302).
5. They will receive a fullness of joy.
Baptism or "immersion performed by the living for the dead," provides post-mortem salvation for non-Mormons. This ordinance is "performed in temples" (GP, p. 375)."

The Mormon gospel is so profoundly different from the Biblical Gospel as to be no gospel at all.  The Mormon Jesus who is supposed to be their Savior functions as a backdrop to the true grounds of Mormon salvation: participation in the Mormon system of belief.  The failure of Mormonism to be a saving message is the fact that it believes in the wrong God, revealed by a wrong Jesus, out of a wrong set of books (Pearl of Great Price, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants). 


We have discovered that Mormonism is a non-Christian system of belief based upon its different doctrines of God, Christ, the Word of God and salvation.  I would urge the reader to read the entire March 2012 SBC Life article from which we have been drawing much of our material in this series.  The article covers many other areas that detail the profound differences between Christianity and Mormonism.  I leave the reader with some final tips on sharing the Gospel with Mormon from the resource: "Always Ready, Sharing the Gospel with you Mormon Friends" .

-"Don't hesitate to repeat the basics of the Gospel again and again in your conversation. The Gospel of Christ is "the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16)."

-"Do not feel like a failure if your friend does not come to faith in Christ after a single witness. Very few followers of Jesus were saved the first time they heard the Gospel."

More Tomorrow.....



    The proponents of "FAITH ONLY" salvation like to present the paralytic as an example of one who had his sins forgiven without being baptized in water. Their position is, since Jesus forgave the paralytic without being immersed in water; so then, baptism is not essential, for those living today, in order to have sins forgiven.

    PARALYTIC SALVATION: Luke 5:18-20 And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and set him him down in front of Him. 19 But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus . 20 Seeing their faith , He said , "Friend, your sins are forgiven."

    PARALYTIC SALVATION: Jesus forgave his sin because of the faith of friends.

    Can men today be saved like the paralytic? No, they cannot!

    The paralytic was saved without FAITH.
    The paralytic was saved without REPENTANCE.
    The paralytic was saved without CONFESSING Jesus as the Son of God.
    The paralytic was saved without being BAPTIZED.
    The paralytic was saved without BELIEVING that God raised Jesus from the dead.
    The paralytic was saved without CONFESSING Jesus as Lord and Christ.


    The paralytic was saved before the New Covenant was in force. Jesus had to die before the New Covenant was available.

    Men today have to meet the terms of the New Agreement, that is the New Covenant.

    NEW COVENANT: Hebrews 9:15-17 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16 For were a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who lives made it.

    The apostle Peter told all men how to be saved under the New Covenant. (Acts 2:22-41) A.D. 33 The Day of Pentecost.

    New Covenant terms of pardon.
    FAITH: John 3:16
    REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Luke 24:47
    CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:37
    BAPTISM: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16, Colossians 2:12-13, Titus 3:5, John 3:5, Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3-7

    Was the paralytic saved? Yes, so was the thief on the cross, Enoch, Abraham, and many others before the New Covenant was in force, however, it was the blood of Jesus that washed away the sins of those who died under the Old Covenant.



  2. Dear Steve. Thanks for your response to both this post and the prior one. I would encourage you to look at my response that I left on the previous post that you had made, being that your comments are identical here. Let me make a few additional comments regarding the achievement of salvation, the application of salvation and justification by faith.

    1. First, I think it is vital to understand the work of the cross under two general headings: achievement and application. The New Covenant's promises to save was achieved by Jesus' work on the cross.

    2. Following that achievement, the New Covenant also includes the application of such work by the Holy Spirit in His work of saving faith and repentance in sinners, which results in salvation. Faith and repentance are twin graces given in salvation that simultaneously yield a response of faith/repentance from the sinner.(Acts 13:46-48; 2 Timothy 2:25-26) Unless faith is present, no salvation can be applied. The Spirit's work of applying salvation includes faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4)

    3. The Spirit's work of regeneration/conviction is what simultaneously results in faith and repentance from the sinner. Only when the sinner has expressed faith in Christ's accomplished work can justification take place. Justification is God's judicial declaration to the sinner of "just-as-if-I-never sinned". God credit's all the Christ accomplished in His sinless life and death to the believing sinner. Why? Because while on the cross, the sinner's sinful life and well-deserving death was credited to Jesus. Jesus in effect became our sin bearer, so that by grace through faith all who believe on Him could be declared right with God. (compare 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3-4).

    Your view, if I am understanding it correctly, denies the central truth of justification by faith and thus the Gospel.