What is it? Where does it come from? How do we obtain it?
It has been a main source of topic for me as of late. Each Mormon I talk to tries to tell me that it is from within us. That it is a work we perform with our own free will and that we should try to have more faith.
They tell me that our faith in Jesus comes into effect only after we have done good works. Then we can start thinking about faith. In the same breath, they claim that faith in Jesus is essential if you want to go to heaven.
Since there are people even in the Christian community who have some tendency towards works for salvation, me included at times, I have decided to explore this subject.
Hebrews 11:1 says ‘Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’. The Greek word for this is pis’-tis. It is the reliance upon Christ for salvation. It is the reliance upon the truthfulness of God.
The Hebrew word for faith is emuwnah. It means steady or truth.
In Habakkuk 2:4 it says ‘Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith’.
In these two verses we see that truth is a key phrase here. Therefore, we believe that God is telling us the truth in His Word. That believing in His Son will save us. Our lives actually mean something not only to Jesus, but to God as well.
So where does this faith come from?
Go back into your memory banks and think about the day you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior. I remember the overwhelming feeling of humbleness and brokenness I had in my heart. I could not fathom why I had not accepted Him sooner. What was I thinking before that time? I finally took comfort in knowing I was saved, born again by God’s mercy. I knew then that I loved Him.
Then there was the period that my quote, unquote, intelligence stepped in. Okay, I’m saved, I’m going to heaven and I was just living out the remainder of my days.
The more I studied, the smarter I thought I was. I had all this knowledge just floating around in my head and I could quote scripture, but there were still these lingering doubts in my head.
Why couldn’t I have faith in Him like all of the other Christians I knew? They seemed to have an endless wealth of it. They never questioned anything; they just took it all on faith. I asked God to show me where they got this. I thought that if I worked hard enough, or studied more I would have it nailed down, not realizing that I could not force myself have faith in Him.
Then God, in His bountiful grace showed me through His Word that He was the provider of my faith.
Hebrews 12:2a says; ‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.’
The key words here are author and finisher. In the Greek the word for author is archegos, the transliteration being; the chief leader or captain. The Greek word for finisher is teleiotes meaning the state of completion or perfection. Now read with me in Hebrews 5:9; ‘And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.’ The word author in this verse is aitios; meaning the causer. He is the giver of all good things and the constant provider for us all!
Ephesians 2:8 says; ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God’
I am constantly using this scripture with the Mormons in telling them that it is faith, not works which saves them. So not only is salvation a gift but your faith as well. The LDS Church says 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 problem that I’ve noticed over the years is that after being told all your life that you’re not going to heaven if you don’t have faith and you can’t have faith if you don’t have works, then my friend you soon believe that you’ll never be good enough! In Mormonism this is true; you’ll never be good enough for the Mormon god. You’re never told where the faith you need comes from, just that people have it and you need it as well.
The LDS Church has made it their job to sound Christian. This type of grammar to the untrained Christian or non-Christian alike is why the church claims so many converts into their fold each year. We need to be aware of what Jesus says so that we are not deceived!
Take a moment here and read between the lines of the verse from Nephi. We labor diligently; we are saved only after all we can do. In other words from the mouth of a Mormon, ‘we are worked unto death’. It completely takes away the meaning of grace. There’s no reason for grace if you need to work for everything.
Furthermore, there is no reason for God to intervene.
We have this ministry to point to the glory of God and His great mercy upon us. We want you to know that if you’re a member of the LDS faith we love you deeply and we’re fully aware of how much you love Jesus. But my friend, you’ve been deceived and want to encourage you to think upon the simple things of the Bible. The things mentioned here are great places to begin!
One other thing to think about is this; with the Bible we can go to the original Greek and Hebrew to see what the full transliteration of every single word used. Because the Book of Mormon claims the original text was written in ‘Reformed Egyptian’ and has since been lost, we have nothing to go to for the definitions to back it up. This is problematic for two reasons.
The first reason being is that the Book of Mormon keeps changing. The changes are not typographical in nature but grammatical; therefore the whole meaning of the text changes along with it. Secondly, which book are you going to place your faith into?
When the meaning of a sentence changes, the understanding of who God is must change as well.
If we can’t trust God to be the same all the time, then how do we know with certainty that we are saved, how do we know what to expect from Him and what does He expect from us collectively as well as individually?
As always I ask the Mormon to take an objective look at this. Can you go back to the original “Reformed Egyptian” to gain a deeper understanding of God’s word and to know that what is being said matches up with the rest of this work? If not then why keep trusting in this god?
We’re praying diligently for the Mormon people and hope they will come to know the truth.
With Love in Christ;