Thursday, February 26, 2009

1 Nephi 10:17 Opposing Views on the Work of the Holy Spirit.

1 Nephi 10:17
“And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father concerning the things which he saw in a vision and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the son of God-- and the son of God was the Messiah who should come—I Nephi was desirous also that I might see and hear and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.”
Now this is curious, “All who diligently seek him.” The problem with this is that no one does, not according to the Bible. Romans 3 :11 summarizes from Psalm 14:1-3, and Psalm 53:1-3 saying “ none is righteous, no, not one, no one understands, no one seeks for God.
The actual picture the Bible presents is the other way around. God is the mover. God is the one who seeks us. The Holy Spirit seeks us and gives us faith. Only after the Holy Spirit has worked faith and righteousness in us, do we ever seek God. But the Holy Spirit is not a gift to those who “diligently seek him.” Rather seeking him in faith is the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is impossible for us sinners to even begin to seek God on our own. Which prompts Luther to write “I believe I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ or come to him, but the Holy Spirit has called me by the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, sanctified and kept me in the one true faith.” Luther writes that in the meaning to the Third Article of the Apostle’s Creed, in the Small Catechism. He bases this proposition after a careful study of the condition of man, and the work of the Holy Spirit in the Bible. He sees verses like Romans 3:11 and understands that no one seeks for God.
But also verses like the following:
1 Cor. 2:14 (ESV)
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Ephes. 2:1 (ESV)
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
Romans 8:7 (ESV)
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.
I think these verses are enough to establish that according to the Bible man does not seek the Holy Spirit, it would be impossible for him to do so, as he has a sinful mind that is hostile to God. He is dead in his trespasses, and I don’t find to many dead people seeking anything. Faith which causes a man to seek God is a gift of the Holy Spirit. This will be seen from the following passages.
1 Cor. 12:3 (ESV)
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit.
And we see comparing this to Romans 10:10 that saying or confessing that “Jesus is Lord” goes hand in hand with the gift of faith.
Romans 10:10 (ESV)
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
That faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit is even more evident from Ephesians 2:8-9
Ephes. 2:8-9 (ESV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
So it isn’t that we diligently seek God, or the Holy Spirit that he is given to us. That would be making the gift contingent on works, and it would no longer be a gift. But rather the Holy Spirit comes to us through the Gospel.
Romans 10:14-17 (ESV)
But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? [15] And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" [16] But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" [17] So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
It becomes apparent quite quickly that the “Book of Mormon” and the “Bible” are at odds with each other. They have two different and diametrically opposed messages. One says you are to seek the Holy Spirit, the other says the Holy Spirit seeks you. You are left with a choice, the” Bible”, which Mormons claim to believe in also, or the “Book of Mormon. “ Both can’t be correct. But we have the testimony of Jesus for the Bible.
Luke 24:25-27 (ESV)
And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! [26] Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" [27] And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
John 5:39 (ESV)
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
The missionaries at the door the other day told me that the Book of Mormon was a supplement to the Bible, an addition to it. But this “addition” contradicts what it is added to. It wants to supplant, not supplement. There is a difference. I’ll go with what I know, and we both claim to be true.


Steve Martin said...

Great post!

I will use this entire post...not just to refute Mormons...but also non denominationl denominations stepperd in Baptist theology.

Thanks Bror!

- Steve

PS - no moe funny(?) aka's...some people on another blog thought I had nefarious motives in doing so.
So there goes that fun. I will bear with the failings of the weak.

Bror Erickson said...

Yes I find it quite peculiar, but many so-called christian churches teach almost the same exact things as the mormon's when it comes to salvation. You have to choose, commit you life etc. They even sound the same when they rely on experiences to prove the validity of the faith, or liver shivers to prove they have the Holy Spirit.
I often notice the Baptists around here compete with the Mormon's for shows of righteousness in the paper. It is a shame when you read an article in the paper written by a "pastor" and Christ is not mentioned once, but you are told to stop drinking.

Anonymous said...

There are Baptists who believe in self-sanctification? Why?

Anyway, reading the book of mormon is like eating a sawdust sandwich. Dry and with no nourishment. I hope I don't need to read it again. Mormons amaze me. To swallow the whole schpeil, I can almost understand being born into it, but converting?
Baptists do not believe in self sanctification. Read the BF&M 2000

Bror Erickson said...

There aren't enough confessions to cover what every baptist congregation believes. But I have run into plenty who certainly do believe in self-sanctification, and it is a problem that effects most American denominations on account of the Wesleyan infection as common to American theologians as boot rot to WWI soldiers. So don't go telling me what they do and don't believe. You can't speak for all of them. And I am still puzzled as to why they waste a page and a half of free space in the paper telling me that alcohol is bad and forget to mention Christ.