By Rocky Hulse May 2013
If you were to ask a Mormon if they believed in grace, their response would be: “Of course we do.” Ask your Mormon friend: “Does this verse reflect your belief of grace?”
2 Nephi 25:23 “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
The above verse is from the Book of Mormon, they will have to say yes. Then ask, “Does this verse also reflect your belief of grace?”
Moroni 10:32 “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.”
Once again, the above the verse is from the Book of Mormon, so they’ll have to agree it reflects their view of grace.
Then ask, “Would you agree that to “deny one’s self of all ungodliness, is to show forth one’s personal righteousness?” This is a very straightforward and difficult statement to deny.
Then ask, “What does the Bible teach us about our own righteousness?”
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Ask, “What does the Bible teach us about seeking righteousness?”
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;”
Ask, “Whose righteousness is expressed in 2 Nephi 25:23?”:
“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
The only answer that they can give is self, or personal righteousness.
Ask, “Whose righteousness is expressed in Moroni 10:32?”:
“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.”
Again, the only answer that can be given is self, or personal righteousness. Ask your Mormon friend: “Have you done all you can do? Have you denied yourself of all ungodliness?” If they say “no,” which they should, your reply is: “Then His grace isn’t sufficient for you, and you will die in your sins.”
Ask your Mormon friend: “What does Mormonism teach about dying in your sins?”
1 Nephi 10:21 “Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever.”
The answer is very clear: you will be cast off forever. Ask, “What does the Bible say about law and sin?”:
James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
So, ask your Mormon friend: “Do you keep the whole law?” They can only truthfully answer: no. Then say, “If you offend in one point, you’re guilty of it all. If you don’t keep the whole law ‘ye must be cast off forever.’”
What did Jesus teach about the law and sin?
Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
“Be” is in the present tense. It means “right now” in this “present moment, be perfect.” Ask your Mormon friend: “Are you right now, in this present moment, perfect?” They will have to answer: “No.” Then your comeback is: “As a Christian, ‘right now, in this present moment,’ I am perfect; not in my person, in His!”
Do not let the discussion get away from you at this point. Make it clear that you view yourself as a sinner saved by His grace; however, according to the Bible, as a Christian, you are perfect in His righteousness.
I believe this is the most beautiful verse in the Bible:
II Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
As a Christian, God does not see my sin. He sees the cloak of Jesus’ righteousness wrapped around me. As a Christian, I am sinless; not in/of myself, but in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Mormons don’t get this – they don’t understand this. They are taught from infancy, that they must “work out their own salvation”; that they are saved by grace “only after all we can do.”
Let your Mormon friend hear from you the wonderful fact that because of your belief in the finished work on the Cross, that you are free from the weight of your sin. Yes, you know, and are aware of your own sin:
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
God knew we would all sin. He showed his love for us by providing the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ, to take our sin upon Himself, therefore, providing a way for us to be perfect, in Him. So, right now, in this present moment, as a Christian, by believing on the name of Jesus Christ, I am perfect in Him.
Ask your Mormon friend: “Do you know, right now, in this moment, that you have eternal life?”
I John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Say to your Mormon friend: “As a Christian, I know I’m saved, right now, in this present moment because I’m not depending on me; I’m depending on Him! When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, His righteousness became my righteousness. So when God looks at me, he doesn’t see my sin, He sees the cloak of Jesus’ righteousness wrapped around me.”
Continue with your Mormon friend: “Unlike you my friend, I am free in Jesus Christ. I’m saved, and in this very moment I know that I have eternal life in Jesus Christ, unlike you my friend, who must depend on your own personal righteousness. You know you fail each and every day. You have no assurance of eternal life. That must be very difficult for you? How do you deal with the “not knowing?”
Christianity = Jesus’ Righteousness
Mormonism = Personal righteousness
The Bible clearly addresses those who believe in their own righteousness:
Romans 10:3-4 “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
Only one person ever fulfilled the Law: the God-man, Jesus Christ (Mt 5:17). Tell your Mormon friend: “Jesus Christ fulfilled the law for me because I have placed my faith in Him. He is the ‘end of the law for righteousness’ for me; but He is not the ‘end of the law for righteousness’ for you, because you are trying to ‘establish your own righteousness.’”
The Bible clearly addresses someone who trusts in his own righteousness:
Ezekiel 33:13 “When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he committed, he shall die for it.”
Ask your Mormon friend: “Do you know that you have everlasting life?”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Tell your Mormon friend, “That’s me. I’m a “whosoever.” I believe on Him and he gives me everlasting life!
Your Mormon friend may accuse your belief accordingly: “Your salvation, your grace, is just a license to sin!” Simply tell them, “No it is not. I understand my awful sinful state and that I am the reason the nails were driven through his hands and feet. Overwhelmingly I understand the debt I owe my Lord and Savior and it makes me want to serve him. He went to the Cross freely for me. How could I now make His sacrifice my license to sin? I can’t!
Ask your Mormon friend: “Do you live a more Godly life than Paul, the greatest missionary the world has ever known? Are you spiritually stronger. Is your faith stronger, than he who was beheaded for his faith in Jesus of Nazareth?” Your friend must answer: No.
Then quote them the following scriptures by Paul: Romans 7:19 “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Also: Romans 7:24-25 “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Paul, he who the Holy Spirit used to write two thirds of the books of the New Testament, struggled with his sin nature. Are we any different? The omniscient Father knew from the foundations of this world, that we would need a Savior and he provided. He knew that we could not master our flesh and provide our own righteousness before him (filthy rags).
When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane He made the following statement to his apostles that exactly reflects the state of mankind: Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Simply tell your Mormon friend the truth: “I am so thankful that my salvation rests in His righteousness not mine! What about you?”
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