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We Believe in Grace

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I have heard and read many explanations on the relationship between grace and works, yet I never fully understood until I read today the Ensign article "Salvation: By Grace or by Works?" by Gerald N. Lund. Now I can tell my mainstream Christian friends we do believe we are saved by grace. If they ask how works is involved, this passage explains it well:
Paul said we are justified through and by faith (see Gal. 2:16; Rom. 3:28), which is the first principle of the gospel. In other words, faith is the principle that activates the power of the Atonement in our lives, and we are put back into a proper relationship with God (justification) as faith activates that power. . . . [A]nother analogy can help us see more clearly the role faith and works play in achieving salvation:

We are like a powerhouse on a mighty river. The powerhouse has no power residing in itself; the potential power rests in the energy of the river. When that source of power flows through the generators of the power plant, power is transferred from the river to the power plant and sent out into the homes (lives) of others. So it is with faith. The power to achieve justification does not reside in man. Man requires the power of the atonement of Christ flowing into him. If no power is being generated, one does not—indeed, cannot—turn the generators by hand (justification by works); but rather, an effort is made to remove those things which have blocked the power from flowing into the generators (working righteousness as a result of faith). With this background then, one can understand why the scriptures clearly stress that faith includes works (see James 2:17–26); that is, obedience, commitment, and repentance—these are the works of faith that open up the channels so that the power of the atoning sacrifice of Christ can flow into us, redeem us from sin, and bring us back into the presence of God. Disobedience and wickedness dam those channels. (How literal is the word damnation!) The righteous works in themselves do not save us. The atoning power of God saves us. But our righteous works, activated by our faith in the Savior, are the condition for the operation of that power. Thus, each of us has something to say about whether he will be able to seek the gift and power of the Atonement in his behalf.
Another line that stuck out to me stated, "When one is given the gift . . . of the Holy Ghost, he has overcome spiritual death to a degree, for he has come into the presence of one member of the Godhead." I had never thought about the gift of the Holy Ghost like that before. What a gift indeed!

Challenge: Read the article so you can better understand grace and works and be able to share your knowledge with those who do not understand or think we do not believe in grace.

Comments

DAD said…
we used this for scripture study tonight. love you so much!
Anonymous said…
Interesting personal journey to understanding grace:

My Maturing Views of Grace
BY E. RICHARD PACKHAM

What is the relationship between grace and works? The answer to this question has taken me a lifetime to appreciate.
Mom
August 2005 Ensign

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