Thursday, July 10, 2008

Children of the Promise

What many ignore about the Bible is that there are a difference between saved beings. Just because you are saved doesnt mean you will be exalted.What am I talking about. I am talking about the Parable of the 10 virgins, the profitable servants, and the sheep and the goats. Remember that the 10 virgins are all believers. But 5 are more valiant than the other 5. The servants are also believers, but 2 come back with what God had given them and added to it, while the 3rd buried his talent and didnt return to God what was given him with "usury," "fruit" or "works." And in the last example, the sheep and goats; both are the possessions of the Shepherd but the sheep will be on the right hand of God while the goats will be divided on Gods left hand.

Paul continues to talk about the fate of the sheep and the goats. Paul talks in Heb 1 and Gal 4 about the difference between being a child of the bondwoman Hagar (Ishmael) or the child of Sarah or a Child of the promise (Isaac). Both will be saved, but only children of the promise will be exalted. Paul goes on to explain that the children of the bondwoman will be ministering servants, who will be made like unto the angels. These will circle Gods throne forever but they will have no increase and no progression.

On the right hand are the children of the promise. These are the sheep. These are they who are the souls of just men made perfect. Or those who are not only justified by Christ but also sanctified by the power of His infinite atonement. The children of the promise are like Christ, to be made "higher than the angels." These are they who will be glorified together with Christ, and will be made heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ to not just circle Gods throne but it in it with Him and become heirs of all things to have eternal increase, to continue to progress eternally and participate with God in the work of creation.

Man doesn't contribute to any of it without Christ. But Christ empowers us to righteousness and our ability to be sanctified and exalted. Also many misunderstand the LDS definition of salvation. It is not just resurrection. There will be those who are resurrected and not saved. But there will also be the wise and unwise virgins, the profitable and unprofitable servants, the sheep and the goats, and those who are considered children of the bond woman Hagar and children of the promise. Those who are saved but not sanctified will be made like the angels, ministering servants. But children of the promise will be like Christ made higher than the angels, will be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ and will be made by the grace of Christ to be exalted like our Heavenly Father.

An easy way to explain the different states of glory is to consider the stages of existence the Earth will go through. Right now the Earth is in a fallen or Telestial state. Earth as it is now is not Outer Darkness because the Holy Ghost has influence on this Earth. During the Millennium the Earth will become paradisiacal and Terrestial in nature. During this stage Christ will reign personally upon the Earth. But this state is also temporary. At the end of the 1000 years, the Earth will become transformed according to John in Revelations and become like a "sea of glass mingled with fire." In this Celestial state, the Earth will nter into the presence of the Father and become part of the Celestial Kingdom and will be the Celestial Home unto the righteous in Christ forever. So to is the resurrection of the dead.

LDS do not believe that Man can contribute one iota to his own salvation without Christ. However by the grace of Christ we can be empowered to become sanctified and repent and saved from our sins and not just saved in our sins.We do not meet God halfway or even partway, but we are empowered by Christs grace to become better, be changed, transformed, and turned away from sin beginning in this world and to be completed in the Millennium.

Some take Nephi out of context when he says, "we are saved by grace after all we can do." After all we can do was in reference to keeping the law of Moses until Christs coming knowing that it was through Christs grace alone that we are saved. But by Christs grace we are empowered to become sanctified, receive sanctifying ordinances, and become saved from our sins and not just in our sins.

No comments: