I would like to help Emanuel regarding his/her “Grace of God not good works” letter to the editor on your paper, 05th April 2017.
In Ephesian 2:5-9, I know exactly, this is where you’re referring to in your letter. Few lines from there I quote “…….For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is a free gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” End quote.
It is evident that none of our works or anything we can do can affect the grace of God, which is a free gift. But this does not alter the fact, as we have pointed out from the writings of Paul, that the “righteous judgement of God…. will render to every man according to his deeds.”
What then is this grace Paul speaks of by which we are saved, being saved “not of works, lest any man should boast”?
Grace represents what Jesus has done for us that we could not possibly have done for ourselves, among which are included:
1. He created this earth upon which we are privileged to live and gain experience (See John 1:1-4).
2. He atoned for the transgression of our first parents, which brought death into the world, thus bringing to pass the resurrection from the grave, or the reuniting of our bodies and spirits in the resurrection (See 1 Corinthians 15:22).
3. By giving us his everlasting gospel “he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (See Hebrew 5:9).
All these glorious gifts, and many more that could be mentioned, come to us through his grace as free gifts and not of works, lest any man should boast (See Ephesians 2:8-9).
Nevertheless, to obtain these “graces” and the gift of eternal salvation, we must remember that this gift is only to “all them that obey him.” (See Hebrew 5:9)
Paul’s further thinking on this matter is conclusive: “Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (See Galatians 6:7)
Take the farmer, as an illustration/analogy. No matter how much land he owns, he cannot expect to reap unless he sows. But when the farmer has prepared his land and sowed his seeds, cultivated and irrigated the land and harvested the crop, is he entitled to all the credit? He did all the work and is entitled to reap as he has sowed, and the result of his effort will be his reward. BUT no matter how hard he may have worked, he could not have harvested his crop through his own effort, since there are other factors to be considered:
1. Who provided the fertile soil?
2. Who put the germ of life into the seeds he planted?
3. Who caused the sun to warm the soil, causing the seed to germinate and grow?
4. What caused the rain to fall or the snows to fill the watersheds to give drink to his growing crops?
None of these things could the farmer have done or supplied for himself. They represent the free gift or grace, and yet the farmer will reap as he sowed.
Emanuel have freely taught that salvation might be obtained as by the snap of the fingers. Emanuel believe that salvation comes through a lip confession of a belief in Christ, even though not accompanied by obedience to his commandments and works of righteousness.
Such doctrine is out of harmony with truth Emanuel.
Because of the truths I just shared of grace of God and good works, I testify to you that YES, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is in the sense of a Christian Church. And may this helps anyone who may have so much misunderstanding of the above mentioned doctrine.
As a seeker of truth, I invite you to pray about it and may the light of Christ and Holy Ghost testifies these Christian truths in your heart. Peace,