God is good!
I am so thankful for being the clay pot in the hands of an infinite God. As I struggle with doubt and what is truth, God is forever faithful. As I wonder about the ups and downs that mark my spiritual journey I am reminded of the need that I have for a savior. I am reminded that I am desperately in need of someone to pay my debt for the crimes that I have committed and the ones I will commit (even though I wish I would never screw up again). I am humbled at the thought of Christ, God’s own son, coming to this earth and taking my place on the cross so that an infinitely Holy and Just God could be satisfied in the only payment acceptable for my sin. It is a payment that I should pay, but cannot, however it has been paid by my Lord who should not, but did. What Grace!
It is this very concept that marks the Gospel. This is the Good News. It is so simple yet so profound. Everyone has sinned and fallen way short of the standard set by God (Romans 3:23). The punishment for failing to meet God’s standard is death (Romans 6:23). Thankfully, God is not only a God of justice but of love. And as a beautiful demonstration of God’s love: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Words cannot do justice to knowing and believing this truth. Nothing else is worthy of my trust, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If I ever doubt anything it had better not be this. This post is a response to an encounter I had with a Mormon friend. A friend who was very passionate, kind and knowledgeable, yet I believe a little confused. The conversation seemed so ridiculous that we could each look at a verse and see two completely different things. However, He challenged me greatly to re-look at my faith and beliefs. Afterwords, I could not help but come back to the Gospel. It is here that I think Mormonism has done a disservice. By adding to the Gospel they have lowered the significance of God’s sacrifice. My friend in a round about way stated that Satan being at work in this world has tried to thwart the purposes of God, which is the reason Mormon’s doubt the Bible and only trust it if it agrees with their other 3 standard works (Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price). Yet I cannot help but wonder if Satan really is at work would he not want to get back at God by adding confusion and lowering the significance of Christ’s death? What better way to get back at God then to destroy the significance and work of His Son. Not surprisingly this is where every other religion differs from Christianity. For Christianity alone believes that it is only through Christ’s death and resurrection that we are saved, where as every other religion bases salvation on works or some system with hoops to jump through to obtain salvation. The gospel hinges on Christ’s death and resurrection, anything that lowers that in significance moves us closer to not needing his sacrifice and therefore moves us towards thinking that we are not in great need of a savior.
This is where Mormonism is ludicrous. They believe sin to be a good thing or at least not that terrible of a thing!1 For if Adam and Eve did not sin, Christ would have never died. They teach that they did not really sin, but that it was more of a blessing. This goes blatantly against the meaning of sin which simply means to “miss the mark”. If this sin was a blessing it would seem to me like Adam and Eve “hit the mark”. To lower the weight of sin, lowers the penalty of sin. To which one must ask why must Christ die? If sin is really not that bad why would God need to come and die on the cross? Surely, God full of infinite wisdom could have found an easier way to restore our relationship with him! This is why Mormonism is heretical. It strikes at the reason for Christ coming to this earth and distorts the Good News, that Christ died for us. Maybe this is why Paul is so adamant in Galatians 1.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
This post turned into a post way longer than I thought it would. Overall, I was reminded that when I doubt I must come back to the death and resurrection of Christ. If there is something in life worth dying for this is it. Like “Doubting Thomas”, there are those times when it seems foolish to believe, but we are reminded of the scars in Jesus’ nail-pierced hands. To which one can only respond, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:26)