Monday, January 27, 2014

Initial Salvation vs. Final Perfection

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (New Testament, 2*Timothy, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The Scriptures make it clear that all people are fallen and sinful. Scripture also says that if it were not for God who makes the first move, all people would remain lost forever.  Fortunately for us, a loving God condescends or reaches down to draw us; rescuing/saving us from our fallen state. God draws us to Christ and Christ lifts us up (John 6:44). 

I think the scriptures make a distinction between an initial rescue, salvation, justification and sanctification and a later "lifting up" and final perfection in Christ that comes only after a life-long process of striving, obedience, devotion, enduring, long-suffering, and consecration.

2 Tim 3:16-17 Paul tells Timothy that the man of God (who has already been saved/rescued) only "may be perfect" , if he makes use (Alma 60:14) of the scriptures for doctrine, correction, reproof, and instruction in righteousness.

A few Evangelicals take issue with LDS salvation because most LDS are really talking about working towards their "future perfection in Christ" and not their initial redemption/rescue/salvation. But LDS should have no problem talking with evangelicals about the assurance in our initial salvation.  Nephi talks about his redemption in the Book of Mormon:

I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell. (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi, 2 Nephi 33:6)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can we add one cubit to our stature? Does sanctification cause works or do works cause sanctification? Does charity cause people to seek not their own or does seeking not your own cause charity? Is it first to look to and have faith in Christ or to look to and have faith in our works? John 15; 5. Nephi says that the labor in which we have to perform is to look to the savior. Many Israelites perished because of the easiness of the way because they would not look to the staff with the serpent on it. Will we also perish because we look to something else first besides the savior?