- LESSON 36
A study of this lesson should remind
us that we are children of God and encourage us to live worthy of our divine
We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ.
We can be reborn and become joint-heirs
We should live as becomes Saints.
"During Paul's day, Rome was the largest
and most important city in the world. But Paul had not yet been to
Rome when he wrote his letter to the Roman Saints during his third missionary
journey. The overall theme of this letter is that justification--being
reconciled to God and declared righteous--comes through faith in Christ,
not through the works of the law of Moses. Paul began by teaching that
since everyone sins, no one can be justified by works alone. Once
he had established this, Paul taught how justification does come: as a
gift bestowed by Christ's grace on those who have faith in him. Paul
then reviewed the promised blessings that come through justification: peace
with God, hope of receiving His glory, and dominion over sin.
"In the last
few chapters of his letter to the Romans, Paul discussed the moral obligations
of Christians, stressing that the righteous live by faith." (Gospel Doctrine
Teacher's Manual ©1989, p34)
Romans 1:7: "To
all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you
and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Romans 1:16: "For
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the
Paul's epistle to the Romans was specifically
addressed to the Saints.
WHAT ARE SAINTS?
Bruce R. McConkie: "Faithful
members of the Church and kingdom of God on earth are called saints."
(Mormon Doctrine, p667)
HOW DOES A PERSON BECOME A SAINT?
Moses 6:52: "And
he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice,
and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even
in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and
truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under
heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and
whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you."
D&C 20:31: "And
we know also, that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ is just and true, to all those who love and serve God with
all their mights, minds, and strength."
ARE ALL MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH CONSIDERED
Mark 8:38: "Whosoever
therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and
sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he
cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
HOW DO SOME CHURCH MEMBERS DEMONSTRATE
THAT THEY ARE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST?
WHY DO YOU THINK THEY ARE ASHAMED?
HOW CAN WE SHOW THAT WE ARE NOT ASHAMED
OF THE GOSPEL?
1 Peter 3:15: "But
sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer
to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness
Ezra Taft Benson: "Let
us never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ (see Romans 1:16). Let
us never be afraid to do what is right. Let us trust in God and keep His
commandments, for this is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13). I
know, and so do you who have testimonies of the divinity of this work,
that without God's help we cannot succeed, but with His help we can accomplish
anything He asks us to do. And we can do it with a feeling of assurance,
confidence, and with a spirit of serenity which can be a joy and blessing
to all of us." (CR Apr 1954)
READ ROMANS 2:28-29.
Paul talks about being a Jew for outward appearance or inwardly to receive
praise of God.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING
A SAINT "OUTWARDLY" AND BEING A SAINT "INWARDLY"?
One may display the outward forms of
being a Saint by keeping the commandments and participating in the ordinances
of salvation. Such a person may be diligent in living the letter
of law. This is good, but it does not necessarily define the
Matthew 7:15: "Beware
of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly
they are ravening wolves."
HOW CAN AN OBSESSION WITH THE LETTER
OF THE LAW AFFECT OUR FAITH AND SALVATION?
Consider what happened to the ancient
Jews. The Law was to be a schoolmaster to prepare them for the fulness
of the gospel. Their obsession with the Law led many away from the
truth and they were unable to recognize it when it was preached by John
We have been warned in our day about
focusing on specific aspects of the gospel. The ancient Law became
a religious hobby of many. Consider:
Joseph F. Smith: "[Religious]
hobbies give to those who encourage them a false aspect of the gospel of
the Redeemer; they distort and place out of harmony its principles and
teachings. The point of view is unnatural. Every principle and practice
revealed from God is essential to man's salvation, and to place any one
of them unduly in front, hiding and dimming all others is unwise and dangerous;
it jeopardizes our salvation, for it darkens our minds and beclouds our
understandings. Such a view, no matter to what point directed, narrows
the vision, weakens the spiritual perception, and darkens the mind, the
result of which is that the person thus afflicted with this perversity
and contraction of mental vision places himself in a position to be tempted
of the evil one, or, through dimness of sight or distortion of vision,
to misjudge his brethren and give way to the spirit of apostasy. He is
not square before the Lord." (Gospel Doctrine, p116)
Neal A. Maxwell: "Pride,
not meekness, leads to exclusionary hobbies within the Church or the gospel.
Hobbies can give an individual a sense of preeminence, a cause to be lifted
up. There are those in the Church, unfortunately, who like such an edge.
Some such persons resist counsel concerning how they are missing the balancing
dimensions of the gospel. Having conscientiously and effectively pursued
a particular doctrine or portion of the gospel, they may, in fact, have
unusual knowledge in that particular thing. (Alma 32:34.) For them, however,
the incremental process of verification stops, and what has been acquired
becomes a coveted source of pride." (Meek and Lowly, p63)
IN HIS EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS, PAUL SPEAKS
OF JUSTIFICATION. WHAT IS JUSTIFICATION?
READ ROMANS 3:20-28.
We are justified freely by the grace of the Lord.
To be declared righteous, to be reconciled
is the law of justification? It is simply this: 'All covenants, contracts,
bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations,
or expectations' (D. & C. 132:7), in which men must abide to be saved
and exalted, must be entered into and performed in righteousness so that
the Holy Spirit can justify the candidate for salvation in what has been
done. (1 Ne. 16:2; Jac. 2:13-14; Alma 41:15; D. & C. 98;132:1, 62.)
An act that is justified by the Spirit is one that is sealed by the Holy
Spirit of Promise, or in other words, ratified and approved by the Holy
Ghost." (Mormon Doctrine, p408)
READ ROMANS 2:5-10.
God renders to men according to their deeds.
WHAT IS PAUL SAYING HERE TO THE ROMANS?
Remember: whenever Paul says "the law"
he is referring to the Law of Moses.
have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely
by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus".
WHY CAN'T WE BE JUSTIFIED BY WORKS ALONE?
All have sinned and our works cannot
pay for those sins.
HOW CAN WE BECOME JUSTIFIED?
is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works?
Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is
justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
READ ROMANS 5:1-2.
Justified by faith.
We then can become justified and partake
of the redemption of Jesus Christ as we exercise the law of faith.
Justification comes not as a result
of performing the works of the LAW, but through faith. In Romans
2:29 Paul talks about the circumcision of the heart. Works are a
manifestation of our faith and change of heart. Good works are an
inevitable result of faith.
A man may perform good works (live the
Law) and will be blessed, but if he has not had that circumcision of heart
(Paul) or change of heart (Alma) he cannot be justified.
Good works are an inevitable manifestation
of faith. Without good works, there is no faith.
Good works may lead one to the obtaining
There can be good works without faith,
but there is no faith where there is not good works ("faith without works
Joseph Smith: "To
be justified before God we must love one another: we must overcome evil;
we must visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and we
must keep ourselves unspotted from the world: for such virtues flow from
the great fountain of pure religion, strengthening our faith by adding
every good quality that adorns the children of the blessed Jesus, we can
pray in the season of prayer; we can love our neighbor as ourselves, and
be faithful in tribulation, knowing that the reward of such is greater
in the kingdom of heaven. What a consolation! What a joy!" (TPJS,
Romans 4:16: "Therefore
it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might
be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that
also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all."
JST Romans 4:16: "Therefore
ye are justified of faith and works, through grace, to the end the promise
might be sure to all the seed; not to them only who are of the law, but
to them also who are of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all."
READ ROMANS 5:3-5.
Paul glories in tribulation.
WHY DID PAUL GLORY IN TRIBULATION?
It may help us develop patience, experience,
WHAT DO YOU THINK IT MEANS TO GLORY
We should consider it an opportunity
for growth and a means to aid us in strengthening our faith.
Neal A. Maxwell: "One
of the functions of the tribulation of the righteous is so that 'tribulation
worketh patience.' (Romans 5:3.) What a vital attribute patience is if
tribulation is worth enduring to bring about its development!"
(Notwithstanding My Weakness, p67)
WHAT DETERMINES WHETHER OUR TRIALS STRENGTHEN
OR WEAKEN US?
Baptism & Sin
READ ROMANS 6:3-7.
Baptism likened to Christ's death and resurrection.
READ ROMANS 6:16-18.
Servants ye are to whom ye obey.
WHAT COMPARISON IS PAUL MAKING?
Our baptism is a similitude to the death,
burial, and resurrection of Christ.
When we are baptized we bury the sinful
person and our "body of sin" is destroyed.
As the resurrected man is free from
the pain of death, so also is the truly penitent and baptized man free
from the bondage of sin.
ROMANS 8:5-14. To be carnally minded is death.
IN WHAT SENSE DO WE BECOME CAPTIVES
WHEN WE SIN?
This life = we lose personal discipline
and we may end up in a downward spiral.
Next life = Romans 6:23: "For
the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord."
WHAT DOES IT MEAN
TO BE CARNALLY MINDED?
When we choose
to not live by the Spirit.
KNOWING THE CONSEQUENCES
OF BEING CARNALLY MINDED, WHY ARE SOME OF US THIS WAY?
It is challenging
to live in a world where the things of the world often appear attractive.
Bruce R. McConkie:
"Even members of the Church who have not
forsaken the world, and who have not bridled their passions (Alma 38:12),
are yet in a carnal state." (Mormon
HOW CAN WE ELIMINATE
THE CARNAL FROM OUR MINDS AND HEARTS?
Live the gospel.
Isn't this what the battle is all about?
Read the Book
quoted Marion G. Romney in his April 1986 General Conference address:
"If we would avoid adopting the evils of
the world, we must pursue a course which will daily feed our minds with
and call them back to the things of the Spirit. I know of no better
way to do this than by reading the Book of Mormon."
(Ensign, May 1986, p4)
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN
BLESSED WHEN YOU CHOSE TO BE SPIRITUALLY MINDED?
On a personal
note, every good and positive thing that has happened in my life came as
a result of striving to be spiritually minded. The negative things
in my life have been a result of turning away from the Spirit and being
carnally minded. One of the greatest gifts of being spiritually minded
is the inner peace that comes from living by the spirit and keeping all
We Are Children
READ ROMANS 8:16-17.
We are the children of God.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO KNOW THAT
YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD?
WHAT DOES THIS IMPLY ABOUT YOUR CAPACITIES
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A JOINT-HEIR
Delbert L. Stapley: "In
the important doctrinal discourse known as the 'King Follett Sermon' the
Prophet Joseph Smith, referring to those who 'shall be heirs of God and
joint-heirs with Jesus Christ,' described joint-heirship as inheriting
the same power, the same glory, and the same exaltation, until an individual
ascends to the station of Godhood and rises to the throne of eternal power,
sharing the rewards with all the faithful who have preceded him. A joint-heir
legally inherits and shares all equities and gifts in equal interest with
all other heirs. Nothing is excluded nor adjusted in value between the
participating joint-heirs." (CR, Apr 1961)
What other church or philosophy teaches
this great principle?
READ ROMANS 8:35-39.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
A QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF: COULD YOU
BEAR THAT SAME TESTIMONY?
IF SO, WHAT HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR
YOU TO BEAR THAT TESTIMONY?
Attributes of True
READ ROMANS 12:9-21.
Lesson 37: Hebrews
Bible Dictionary, "Pauline Epistles: Epistle to the Hebrews," pp746-747
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