The Gospel vs. Religion

“The Gospel Is Not ‘Old Time’ Religion” from Grace Church.

Pastor Troy Dobbs explains some of the distinctions that differentiate religion from the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this sermon, using Matthew 9:14-17 as his text.

According to Dr. Dobbs, Jesus confronted man-made religion, essentially telling His listeners, “Your system says you’re righteous. Mine says you’re vile and sinful. No way to match those two together…If you hang on to yours…you get death; if you trust Me, you’ll find life” (20:30).

The following list of ten “radical differences” between religion/ritual and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is from the sermon outline provided by Dr. Dobbs. He discusses these points in greater detail beginning at 22:30 in the video above.

The great reformer Martin Luther said that as sinners, we are prone to pursue a relationship with God in one of two ways: The first is Religion. The second is The Gospel. The two are antithetical in every way.

  1. Religion says that if we obey God He will love us.
The Gospel says that it is because God has loved us through Jesus 
that we can obey.
  2. Religion says that the world is filled with good people and bad 
The Gospel says that the world is filled with bad people who are either repentant or unrepentant.
  3. Religion says that you should trust in what you do as a good moral person to be right with God. 
The Gospel says that you should trust in the sinless life of Jesus and His atoning death on the cross to be right with God.
  4. The goal of Religion is to get from God such things as health, wealth, insight, power, and control. 
The goal of The Gospel is not the gifts God gives, but rather God as the gift given to us by grace.
  5. Religion is about what I have to do. The Gospel is about what I get to do.
  6. Religion sees hardship in life as punishment from God.
The Gospel sees hardship in life as sanctifying affliction that 
reminds us suffering is used by God to make us more like Jesus.
  7. Religion leads to an uncertainty about my standing before God because I never know if I have done enough to please God. 
The Gospel leads to a certainty about my standing before God because of the finished work of Jesus on my behalf on the cross.
  8. Religion ends in either pride (because I think I am better than other people) or despair (because I continually fall short of God’s commands). 
The Gospel ends in humble and confident joy because of the power of Jesus at work for me, in me, through me, and sometimes in spite of me.
  9. Religion is about me.
 The Gospel is about Jesus.
  10. Religion leads to death. The Gospel leads to life.

Dr. Dobbs says, “Religion doesn’t cut it with God” (21:00). “God doesn’t save religious people…He saves people who place faith and trust in His Son” (37:00). “Lose your religion; it’s gonna kill ya…Give yourself to Jesus…and you will find yourself right with God” (37:45).

In which system are you trusting?

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Gospel, Salvation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to The Gospel vs. Religion

  1. falcon says:

    There is this myth within religious systems like Mormonism that works brings a reward. In Mormonism the works are serving the religious system. That would mean doing all the callings the system presents to you and participating in religious ceremonies and rituals. The reward, at least in some sects of Mormonism, is spiritual perfection and personal deification.
    I always point out that in the context of whatever Mormon sect a person belongs to, the rules, regulations, prohibitions, sanctions and rewards are defined by the religious system. To that end it’s really a matter, then, of determining what is true. Mormons haven’t even figured out which sect of Mormonism holds the truth except for the idea that it’s the one sect that the particular person participates in.
    Jesus did not come to create a religious system. He came as the Messiah who would provide the perfect sacrifice for sin. He didn’t do that so that people could then gain eternal life if they did the right kind of works. Salvation is a free gift offered to us by God through His love, mercy, benevolence and grace. Through faith we accept that Jesus is who He said He is and we apply the blood of the cross to the door jam of our lives. Just like the Hebrews in the OT who applied the blood of the lamb to their door jams that the death angel would “pass over” their homes and not visit death upon them. This is a type of what was to follow that those of us who apply the blood of the Lamb to our sins will not experience spiritual death.
    There are no works or religious rituals that can be held as effective in saving us. Faith in Jesus alone will bring us eternal life.

  2. Mike R says:

    Great article Sharon .
    In our day , the latter days , the phrase “Buyer beware ” is so apropos because of the rise of
    false prophets and their gospels that Jesus said would come. These men will often advertise that
    their teachings on salvation come from Jesus Himself , that He directs them personally . It’s not
    uncommon to find them declaring that they preach the same gospel as the original apostles did
    2000 years ago —Rom 1:16 . Yet upon examination there appears more to the story since they
    have revised Paul’s gospel of salvation by mixing in additions onto his message thus the
    product they offer is another gospel rather than the one which was efficient to save those
    in Paul’s day , and which is still sufficient today to grant a saving relationship with God and the
    fullest of blessings in heaven with Him after death . This is the ” Good News” that was preached
    by those men who were directed by Jesus so long ago , that gospel of salvation is still mighty to
    save today all who come to Jesus —-Heb 7:25 . Thank you Jesus .

  3. Ralph says:

    The great reformer Martin Luther also said –

    We must sin a little every day to rub our salvation in Satan’s nose.

    As long as we have a strong belief in Jesus we can commit thousands of murders and adultries a day and still be saved.

    He also supported polygamy because he said there was nothing in the Bible against it.

    “Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding.” Meaning, according to Martin Luther, that your fixations on using logic and other evidences to prove your faith is incorrect.

    He basically sanctioned Hitler’s persecution of the Jews with this one – “Burn their synagogues. Forbid them all that I have mentioned above. Force them to work and treat them with every kind of severity, as Moses did in the desert and slew three thousand… If that is no use, we must drive them away like mad dogs, in order that we may not be partakers of their abominable blasphemy and of all their vices, and in order that we may not deserve the anger of God and be damned with them. I have done my duty. Let everyone see how he does his. I am excused.”

    What else has he taught?

    Oh but that’s OK, you dont belong to anything so you have the freedom to pick and choose what you want to out of someone else’s teachings. But if he is teaching the wrong thing, even if he does have some truth, doesn’t that make him a false teacher. If so doesn’t the Bible tell us to steer clear of that person and all of their teachings?

    Well at least that is what you are all trying to tell me to do about JS and BY and all the other LDS prophets.

  4. Though I recognize the temptation to divert this thread to the topic of Martin Luther, I respectfully ask that the conversation instead be focused on the topic of the video (i.e., the Gospel vs. religion). Thank you.

  5. Mike R says:

    Ralph, you’re comparing apples to oranges . Luther was’nt an apostle , his teachings are to
    be judged by what the original apostles taught , if he fails that test then he can be dismissed .
    If Mormon apostles ( B.Y. ) have failed that test , if they are false apostles [ 2Cor 11:13 ] , then
    what does that do to your alleged priesthood authority ? Does it render it impotent ?
    As far as your statement that “we” don’t belong to anything and therefore we can pick and
    choose whatever we want to believe , goes , that is a rather silly statement .
    For your information Ralph , you need to really consider the fact that you don’t need J.S. ,
    B.Y. or other Mormon prophets , and you don’t need Luther . You/we need the gospel
    of salvation that Jesus’ apostles preached , that gospel is still powerful today to save anyone
    who embraces it —Rom 1:16; Heb 7:25 . Now that good news .

  6. falcon says:

    I don’t know but I find it best to go to the Scriptures to be informed about the basics of faith. What some man says about it might be interesting or even correct, but men have a way of providing opinions that are just that, opinions.
    My spirit is refreshed by God’s Word. A man may expound on God’s Word and illuminate, inform and teach, but at the end of the day it’s my responsibility to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Understanding the Scriptures is both an intellectual and spiritual task. People get led off on all sorts of nefarious journeys by dynamic and persuasive people. Cults and aberrant groups are most often led by men who have an ability to influence people and get them to forget their own responsibilities to search the Scriptures and seek the counsel of God’s Spirit.
    Quite frankly I see this all of the time in groups that I may agree with doctrinally but who advertise a prophet or an apostle who has received a new “Word from the Lord”. Most of it is pretty harmless and serves the purpose of what I’d bill as religious entertainment. There’s a lot of enthusiasm and an emotional buzz but as far as spiritual nourishment, it contains mostly empty calories.
    Mormonism is a two tier religion. The first is a universal salvation which applies to everyone who’s ever lived. The second tier is the one where the religious system and works come into play. Mormons suppose by jumping through religious hoops and over religious hurdles they will earn for themselves the title of “god”. Poor fools!
    There is nothing that can satisfy spiritual hunger like a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The end result is eternal life.

  7. falcon says:

    I think one of the greatest verses in the Bible is when the Philippian Jailer implores Paul and Silas to give him the answer to his question, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Talk about getting to the point! Generally people want to focus on a list of things they must do or things they must not to in order to be considered a “good” person. Paul’s reply gets to the heart of the matter without any beating around the bush. He says that the man should, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”
    That’s just not complicated enough for some people. Surely there must be something that a person must “do” to get right with God. Actually there isn’t! What God wants is for people to believe in Him and accept, through faith, the gift of eternal life He is offering. There are people who just can’t wrap their heads around the concept that God would offer eternal life for free.
    The change that comes in our behavior is the result of being born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ. We never reach sinless perfection that’s why the apostle John writes that if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with each other and the blood of Jesus (continually) cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
    God knows our nature very well. That’s why Paul lamented when he said, “Who shall free me from this body of death?’ He also went on to say that he was doing the very things he didn’t want to do. Despite all of his theological training, his knowledge of the Law and his personal vision of Jesus, Paul couldn’t over come his sin nature.
    Jesus is the answer.

  8. falcon says:

    There is no religion, rite or ritual that can provide for a person, the pathway to eternal life. Jesus said that no one could get to the Father except through Him. Anyone who supposes that Jesus + something else, will get the job done, is fooling themselves. Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make it possible for us to attain eternal life if we were good enough, belonged to a certain group or participated in particular religious rituals. Faith in Him and what He has done for us is the pathway to eternal life. The transformed life we live through the process of sanctification in the Spirit is a result of our spirits being born again.
    The promises of God as found in His Word are irrevocable and cannot be added to by modern day “prophets”. Their words bring death, not life!

  9. shematwater says:


    Anyone who teaches false doctrine, whether they claim authority or not, is a false prophet. Such a man is Charles Darwin, who sought to deny all religion. Such are all the teachers of religion who do not teach the truth. I might even include you in this list, for you are teaching false doctrine here.


    You say “There is this myth within religious systems like Mormonism that works brings a reward.”

    Funny thing is that this is also what the Bible teaches.
    2 Timothy 4: 14 “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works”
    1 Corinthians 3: 14 “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.”
    Matthew 16: 27 “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
    Revelation 22: 12 “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
    Consider also the parables in Matthew 25: The sheep are rewarded for their works, while the goats are not. The five wise virgins enter the feast because they did what was needed to prepare. The two servants who works with the talents given them received a reward, while the one who did not work was cast out.
    There are many other places in which it is shown very obviously that we will receive rewards according to the work we do in this life.
    I guess the Bible has myths in it as well.

  10. shematwater says:

    Speaking of the LDS church I would like to correct a few points to have this list more accurately portray the doctrine.
    1. If we obey God He will accept us.
However, he will always love us, even if he has to cast us out.
    2. The world is filled good people who are sinners. These are either repentant or unrepentant.
    3. You should do all you can to follow the commands of God and trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus to be right with God.
    4. The goal is to honor and worship God, and to bring exaltation to all men.
    5. While there are certain requirements in achieving this goal, performing them is a privilege to the faithful.
    6. Hardship in life is one of the trials that all must pass through in order to learn to be like Christ; though God does use it as a punishment when he sees fit.
    7. We have the assurance that if we are faithful we are accepted. There is no doubt or despairing as long as we are doing what we can, as that is all that God expects.
    8. True faithfulness to the gospel leads to humility and meekness as we realize that, even though we have performed what we can, it will never be enough, but we are always dependent on what Christ did for us, and how he works with us to bring us to exaltation.
    9. For us the Gospel is about God and his Son. For God the gospel is about us.
    10. Only through living the gospel as preached by the established religion of God can we gain eternal life.
    This is more accurate to the LDS doctrine. I realize that the original list was accurate to most religious organizations, but it needed some alterations to actually reflect ours.

  11. falcon says:

    Well Shem,
    I think I’ve covered this with you recently, but here it goes again.
    It depends if you’re looking through the eyes of Mormonism or if you’re looking at it in terms of Christianity. Basically, what we get with Mormonism is an “over-lay” of (Mormonism) on the Bible. Mormonism attempts to “mine” the Scriptural text to try and find a justification for itself.
    Christianity flows from the Bible. “Works” have an entirely different meaning in Christianity. Our works do not save us. We’re talking about “salvation”. That’s the topic. Works flow from our faith in Christ. You’re missing that point. Think “salvation”.
    You are a Mormon. You believe you will become a god. You believe this because Joseph Smith said it. It’s not in the Bible. It’s not even in the BoM. The works you do is so you might become a god, have you’re wife serve as a goddess, procreate spirit off-spring, who will eventually inhabit a world you rule and then become gods themselves. That’s the purpose of “works” in Mormonism.
    You need to remember that there is no mention of Mormonism in the Bible, in the writings of the Church Fathers or in the tradition or history of the Church. The premise for Mormonism doesn’t exist.
    Quite simply, Joseph Smith made it up. He was a religious experimenter. He has about as much credibility as any of the other “prophets” who were roaming about during his era. Mormonism has any number of sects that all have prophets and doctrines that they say were revealed to them.
    Jesus is God incarnate. He shed His blood on the cross as a sacrifice for sin. Nothing can be added to that.
    Think salvation.
    If you want to get into a discussion regarding what our works will result in, I suppose we could do that.

  12. falcon says:

    Now, as to your list.
    That is Mormonism, as you understand it. It is not Christianity. We are talking about two different things.
    Now which one is true? If I’m wrong, which I’m not, I still end up with some sort of reward as taught by Mormonism.
    If you’re wrong, you will be separated from God for eternity no matter how good a person you are, how faithful in your religious system you are, or how devote, sincere and pious you are.
    The reason is, you don’t know Jesus and don’t recognize Him for who He is. To you He is a created being, the spirit off-spring of one of the millions and billions of Mormon gods and one of his many wives.
    Simply appropriating the name “Jesus” and applying it to some sort of spirit being, isn’t going to get the job done as far as your salvation is concerned.
    So Shem, do you want to be saved? It’s all pretty simple. You can continue in your religious system that you suppose will reward you by becoming a god, or you can acknowledge God as He is revealed in the Bible and accept His plan of salvation. It’s pretty hard to miss the message in God’s Word.
    You and I can hit the ball back and forth over the net day in and day out for years to come, but it’s pretty much a fruitless proposition.
    If you’ve got confidence you’re on the right track and you’re going to become a god in the after-life then I guess you’re just going to have to chance it.
    Me, I’ll stick with Jesus and the plan of salvation as it appears in God’s Word. My confidence is in the cross of Christ.
    Here, you might enjoy this. Would be great to have you interact with this young man.

  13. TJayT says:

    Listening to Dr. Dobbs sermon I hear so many things we LDS can take away from it. Thanks to Sharon for sharing this.

    I love his statements about fasting at the beginning. How many times have I simply fasted because it was “fast sunday”, forgetting where my heart should really be? And expanding on that, how many times have I just gone through the motions of partaking of the sacrament, letting my kids or the worries of life take my mind from the real reason I should be taking it? How often are my prayers just quick, rehearsed words flowing out my mouth after a long day, with no real intent behind them? How often have I gone to the temple just because it’s ward temple night? Or worse only going that one night a month and made no time the rest of the month, or been almost grudging about going, thinking of all the other things that need done?

    We should always remember that Christ must be the underlying everything w do. I should fast because Jesus has asked me to help my fellow man. Partaking of the sacrament to remember Christ’s death and how he has purified me. Pray to grow close and have a deeper and personal relationship with God. Be excited to participate in temple rites, and seek Christ in all it’s symbolism.


  14. TJayT says:


    I can even agree that religion without the Gospel can’t save. As one of our own Articles of Faith states we must have “first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”. I don’t know a single Mormon that would say any of our sacred rites, administered inside or outside the temple could save someone that didn’t first believe that Jesus is there lord and savior, and has become there mediator before God. Without first having that faith all the other things are just filthy rags before him.

    But just because the Gospel isn’t compatible with Man made religion doesn’t mean it’s not compatible with God’s religion. It’s true that new wine couldn’t be put into an old wine skin. But new wine still needs a new skin to be placed into. And Christs teachings needed a new framework to work. A way to easily and successful way to put his teachings and the holy rites into action.

    Being religious for religions sake will never save anyone, Mormon, Evangelical or otherwise. But religion fused with God’s will and the good news will move mountains and save souls.

  15. shematwater says:


    Nice job of not actually addressing the quotes I give. You claimed that it was a myth that our works would be rewarded. I gave several examples where the Bible clearly states that our works will be rewarded. Of all the examples I gave all but one was speaking directly to the final reward that comes at the last judgment. Yet all you have said is “Well, since you’re a Mormon you have to be wrong.” You have not explained why I am wrong, only that since I am a Mormon I am.

    As to your claims concerning our doctrine and motivations, you are again judging us according to your pre-conceptions, seemingly unable to accept that any Mormon could actual believe in Christ and perform these works, not merely to gain a reward, but because we love him. You can’t rap your mind around the idea that something that is required can still be done out of love.

    Christ has said, “If you love me keep my commandments.” (John 14: 15) Can one claim to love God and not keep his commandments? Christ also said “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” (Mark 16: 16) If we are not baptized can we be saved?

    In short, explain to us how the verses I gave do not speak to us being rewarded for our works, rather than just telling us they don’t.

  16. falcon says:

    Who is Jesus?
    What is the Gospel?
    If a person gets that wrong it really doesn’t matter how “spiritual” a person is or how committed to a set of religious principles they are. I must remind you that you are steeped in a religious system. There are dietary requirements, monetary requirements, “callings” requirements, and a lot of temple ritual participation requirements.
    This is so Mormon men can become gods. That’s religion and it doesn’t matter if a person is super sincere about it or doing it out of compulsion. It’s not going to take them where they think they are going.
    I could make-up a religious system with as much credibility as Mormonism.
    Let me tell you a better way. First, find out who Jesus is. Second find out what He did and what it meant. Finally, understand that only a qualified Savior can provide satisfaction for sin.
    News Flash. I don’t belong to a “church” in the formal sense. I belong to Jesus.

  17. falcon says:

    We can trace Christianity back to the first century.
    We can trace Mormonism back to 1829 New York.
    So when Mormonism claims to be a “restoration” of first century Christianity, it’s total folly. Without any evidence of Mormonism going any further back than 1829, what people have to do is put their confidence in a man who said he could see into the ground with a magic rock.
    If it wasn’t so sad, it would be really funny. So, over time, Joseph Smith and those “prophets” who followed him developed a religious system. Now they were pretty smart in that they mixed in just enough Christianity to fool the unsuspecting person.
    The folks who belong to the Salt Lake City sect of Mormonism say they have the real restoration, a claim made by all the other sects of Mormonism. They all trace their beginnings back to Joseph Smith. He’s there go-to guy but some of them are even willing to dump him and any other Mormon prophet they don’t think quite measures up to their concept of Mormonism.
    I trace my faith back to Jesus. He is my Alpha and Omega. He is my Living Water and my Bread of Life. The Holy Spirit lives inside of me as the result of my faith in Jesus. I don’t do religion! I do a personal relationship with Jesus. Anyone who thinks that a religious system has the answers is a fool.

  18. shematwater says:


    God gave the Jews a religious system: It had “dietary requirements, monetary requirements, “callings” requirements, and a lot of temple ritual participation requirements.”
    So, when the faithful Jews adhered to those requirements, being steeped in religion, does that mean they couldn’t be saved either?

    What of the time before Moses, as we read that they still have clean and unclean animals (story of Noah) as well as paid tithing (Abraham and Melchizedek) and even performed rituals (several mentions of sacrifices).
    The ancient patriarchs obviously had a religion as well, so I guess they are all damned.

    But I guess this doesn’t really matter, since God has changed everything around since the time Christ. Before his sacrifice religion saved, but not after, right?

  19. Rick B says:

    Shem, Your responce to Falcon about the Jews just shows you dont read or believe or understand the BiBle. The Nation of Israel and the Jews were created so God could bless them and use them them to show other people that He is real and He would take care of them. All the Laws and rules they needed to obey were for them and them only, not us gentiles.

    If they follwed and obeyed they were blessed greatly, and that would cause people to want to come to know God, then gentiles would and could convert to Judisam, But if the Jews disobyed they were going to be punished for it. Read the OT it is all laid out for you.

    This was not the case with JS and his new man made religion.

  20. shematwater says:


    Really? So God has set up at least two different ways for men to be saved; one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles. This sparks a few questions.

    1. Are the Jews still under this obligation, or was it removed? If it was removed than why did God institute it in the first place?
    2. Why are the Gentiles so special in that we don’t need this religious system to be saved while the Jews did? or was it that God was picking on the Jews by giving them more requirements than the gentiles?

    In all honestly, I know perfectly well that there were aspects of the religion given to ancient Israel that were for them, being added to the original gospel law given to Abraham (Galatians 3: 17), and later removed after the atonement of Christ. I never actually denied this.
    My point is this: If God gave a religious organization to the Jews why would he not do so with others? Even before the time of Moses, as I pointed out, the evidence of a religious organization is apparent. I could even describe the religion of the New Testament, as Christ ordained the twelve to be the leaders, assisted by the Seventy; but it is obvious that elders and other leaders were appointed in ever city where there were converts.

    People seem to be intent on separating ancient Israel as some kind of special situation in which God worked with different rules. It makes no sense, especially considering that God is not supposed to be changing.

  21. Rick B says:

    Shem said

    Really? So God has set up at least two different ways for men to be saved; one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles. This sparks a few questions.

    Shem, I never said their was two ways to be saved, One for Jews and one for Gentiles. Again this tells me you dont read the Bible like you claim, or you read it and dont understand it and dont care. You believe a false prophet and choose him over God.

    Shem said

    1. Are the Jews still under this obligation, or was it removed?

    The Bible tells us that their is no longer Jew and Gentile,

    Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
    Gal 3:29And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    Now yes their is still Jews, But we are all saved by the Blood of Christ, we are either Children of God or we are Children of the devil. Now some Jewish people still try and live by the old law and still want to perform animal sacrifices, But as God said, He would rather we Obey not sacrifice.

    Now back in the OT, THEIR was only one way to be saved, Gentiles needed to convert to Judaism.
    All the animal sacrifices were set up since Jesus was not Born and sacrificed for us. The Bible tells us, the Blood of Bulls and Goats is not enough to clean us and keep us clean, so it was an on going sacrifice with animals, yet once Jesus died for us, that ended it. Also the Bible tells us that (Cont)

  22. Rick B says:

    Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world. So God knew before He even created us that we would fall and need to be cleaned, so Jesus was slain for us before the world was created. God knew the Jews and the set up with them was not going to last and be good enough, but it was set up for a time. Read Hebrews for starts, then just read the OT. It is all laid out as to How and why, but this is one of these examples where You say we go read the BoM with the Idea it is false before we even read. I say you miss all of this because you simply wont read the Bible and dont care.

  23. Rick B says:

    Shem said

    2. The world is filled good people who are sinners. These are either repentant or unrepentant.

    How do you figure this is true? According to the Bible, Are hearts are dectiful and desperately wicked. So how does that make us good? Then Jesus said, No one is good but God. Jesus said, No one is good, yet you say we are, Who is correct?

    Then you said some people are unrepentant, so if we really are, then how can we be good? Since we refuse to repent and turn from our wicked ways?

  24. shematwater says:


    First of all, when Christ said that none was good except God he was also excluding himself from that description. As such, to use your logic, Christ is not good either.
    I prefer to use a more sensible reasoning to this verse and say that the term Good in this context means perfect, and thus at the time was only rightly applied to the father.

    Now, while the Bible does have many descriptions of people, very few actually condemn all men as being depraved. Those that do are generally doing so in a comparison with Christ and the Father; which, when compared to them, we are all vilely wicked.

    However, I am not speaking in terms of comparisons with God, but more in comparisons with potentials. We all have a great potential for good, as well as a great potential for evil. The vast majority of people actively seek out the good, and thus they are good people. They are still sinners and are in need of redemption, but that is not the same as being evil.
    No, the average man strive to do what he believes is right, frequently failing, both on accident and on purpose, do to our weakness. This does not make him inherently evil; but rather a good man who is a sinner.

    As to repentance, even those who are not really repentant are still striving to do what they believe is right. They may feel no need or desire to correct their mistakes and rectify the damage they do, but this does not make them inherently evil either.

    So, the world is full of people who are mostly good, but are sinners. Of these there are the repentant and the unrepentant.

  25. Rick B says:

    Shem said


    First of all, when Christ said that none was good except God he was also excluding himself from that description. As such, to use your logic, Christ is not good either.
    I prefer to use a more sensible reasoning to this verse and say that the term Good in this context means perfect, and thus at the time was only rightly applied to the father.

    I dont agree with you that Jesus is saying He is not Good. Jesus in the Bible makes the claim that He is God. The Jews also knew that and that is why they wanted to kill him.

    Also read these verses.

    Psalm 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God.

    Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Psalm 53:1 [[To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, [A Psalm] of David.]] The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: [there is] none that doeth good.
    Psalm 53:2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were [any] that did understand, that did seek God.

    Psalm 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    One problem with Mormonism is you deny original sin.

  26. Clyde6070 says:

    I don’t think you understand. We are all seperated from God. We have a straight and narrow path back to God through Jesus yet at any time we can step off that path. The fall separated us from God but also allowed us to gain a knowledge of good and evil. We have to make the decision between what is Good and what is evil. It is not that we deny original sin it is that we see things differently.

  27. Rick B says:

    Clyde, Funny how you reply to this, but as I said in the Other topic, you guys are strangely silent when you have a topic to set us straight.

    Then you also deny scripture since you say, You dont deny original sin and we must choose what is good and what is evil since the scriptures clearly say,

    Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    I choose what the Bible says over what you say, and this tells me LDS do not read or believe the Bible despite you guys claiming you do.

  28. Rick B says:

    I want to add also that the Bible tells us that if we have broken one law, we are guilty of breaking them all. So even if all I have ever done was lied one single time, them I am also guilty of murder, adultery, Theft, You name it.

    Then add to that, Jesus said, If I have anger in my heart towards my brother, I am guilty of Murder, or if I even look upon a women to lust I am guilty of adultery. So if this means we are all guilty of Murder, adultery, Theft, Etc, how can we be good? Do good people Murder? Cheat on their wives? Steal? Etc?

  29. shematwater says:


    Look at your passages again. None of them say that people are not good. What they say is that people are not righteous, and thus is very true. We aren’t righteous, for we have all sinned. That is well proved.
    However, being righteous and being good are not the same thing. Being good is seeking out the good and avoiding the evil. Being righteous is to be successful at this. That is what you are not comprehending.
    General life experience shows clearly that the vast majority of people want to be good and are striving to do as much good as they can. They do not always succeed and many do not understand what the good is; but they are still trying to do it. These people are not righteous as they do not succeed, but are constantly sinning in many ways. This is why we need the atonement, so that through the Grace of Christ those who are good can be made righteous.

    Speaking of what Christ said, let us look at it.

    Mark 10:18
    “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.”
    Luke 18:19
    “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.”
    Matthew 19:17
    “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God…”

    Now, if you are right and he meant this to apply to him, as he was God, then why does he correct the man in the first place? The man calls him good. If the man was right He should have just answered the question. The fact that he corrects the man proves that he is not including himself.

  30. Rick B says:

    First off read Romans, It talks about how we are not rightous. Then Jesus is God and I know you deny that, and then Romans also says

    Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    None are good, none doeth good.

    Then the Bible says,

    Jer 17:9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    If are hearts are like this, than how can we be good? When you say being good is seeking out the good and avoiding the wicked, that all sounds fine and dandy but we can all put on an act and “Do Good” to be seen of men, but when we are alone, or in private with friends thats when we can be ourselves and watch porn, plot murder, smoke pot, break into houses. We can even be seen in public and lie and do things like that. Our hearts our evil even if if do good things.

    Again as a side note, I love the questions you choose to target and the topics or questions you avoid, and yes I heard it all before about why you dod what you do, but I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

  31. Clyde6070 says:

    You wrote
    1. If are hearts are like this, than how can we be good? When you say being good is seeking out the good and avoiding the wicked, that all sounds fine and dandy but we can all put on an act and “Do Good” to be seen of men, but when we are alone, or in private with friends thats when we can be ourselves and watch porn, plot murder, smoke pot, break into houses. We can even be seen in public and lie and do things like that. Our hearts our evil even if if do good things.

    You don’t seem to understand that we have the ability to not do the things you stated.
    If you want to be that way you can.

  32. Rick B says:

    There is a few problem with what you said.
    1. The Bible says none of us are Good, No not one. So you guys can claim otherwise, but I will trust the Bible over you.

    2. You said we have the ability to not do the things I stated.
    The problem with this is, No one has ever done this except Jesus, Out side of him, we have ALL SINNED and fallen short of the glory of God. And one we sin even once, even some thing that we might feel is a small sin, like simply having an angry thought in our hearts, we then have broken all the laws and are guilty of breaking them all as Jesus said. So I will hold to what the Bible teaches over what you teach and believe.

    Add to that, You guys cannot agree on who is write, what is doctrine or many other things, so since you guys are clueless on those issues, I have no reason to believe or trust you know what your talking about, especially when you guys cannot agree.

  33. Clyde6070 says:

    We seem to be talking past each other. You also seem to be flogging the dog. I know that there is no one good but God. Eph. 6:11 says Put on the whole aarmour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    You said
    If our hearts are like this, than how can we be good? When you say being good is seeking out the good and avoiding the wicked, that all sounds fine and dandy but we can all put on an act and “Do Good” to be seen of men, but when we are alone, or in private with friends thats when we can be ourselves and watch porn, plot murder, smoke pot, break into houses. We can even be seen in public and lie and do things like that. Our hearts our evil even if we do good things.
    If you are following God’s word then you don’t do what you stated in the past paragraph. Your behavior should be just as good in public as well as in private. I see that habits develop that are bad but they can be overcome. The armour of God should fit you. If I were to meet you personally I should be able to ask myself what makes you tick and see how you see things that can’t be expressed in writing.
    I hope I expressed myself well enough that I get some type of understanding from you. Something in ephesians seemed to make a good on what you were saying and all I could remember was 6:11.

  34. Rick B says:

    I’m glad you agree their is no one good but God, Yet not all LDS agree with that.
    I know LDS deny Original sin, Yet if you deny this then that means we are all born perfect and good and some how then go bad. The Bible tells us were all born sinners, but if Original sin is a false teaching, then how can the bible claim we are all born sinners?

    Then if we all born good, how come Even young children lie? Did parents teach them that? Do you teach your kids to say No? Why must we teach them to say Yes and teach them not to lie?

    You claim we dont have to commit all the sins I listed, AND while we dont have to do them, we still do, why do you think First John 1:9 says, IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS. Why is the word IF in their?

    It imply’s we wont confess. Why do we keep building more jails and adding more laws to the books if we are so moral and good? Why does the divorce rate even among believers go up if we are so good?

    Why is the porn industry so huge if we dont watch it and are so good?

  35. Clyde6070 says:

    We get to a point where I don’t explain things well. We are seperated from God due to the fall. To me, we are here to find out what is good and what is evil. Happiness and sadness, Joy and grief also figure into our learning process. We can be taught by our parents not to do things. our course in life is set by our upbringing.
    You seem to have a poor choice of words. We never have to commit sins. It seems to me that it’s just the way the world is that makes the sins we commit possible. When Jesus said I am from above and you are from below or something similar to that to me he is saying we aren’t thinking lofty ideals that he thinks but we can but are stuck in our earthly thought.
    The last paragraphs point out a flaw in our society but I remember what my daughter said to me ‘I don’t want to watch that.’ It may be as simple as that but we are affected by our society.

  36. Rick B says:

    You are correct and thats great, But that does not mean anything. Adam and Eve were created in perfection and still sinned. So do we blame bad potty training or and over bearing dad?

    We even read in the OT some kids were born to very vile and wicked parents, but still served the Lord, others were born to very godly parents and became some very vile and wicked people. My point is, we are born sinners and we are sinful. Yes we can do good things and not sin, but reality is, once we break one law, we are law breakers and no longer good. Jesus did not come to die for good people, He died for vile wicked sinners.

    Jesus was the only person ever born perfect and sinless, we are not born perfect and sinless and simply fall somewhere along the line, we are born fallen and sinful. Thats my point.

  37. shematwater says:


    We know your point. What you are failing to grasp is ours.
    Good is used in different ways in the Bible.
    The young man that called Jesus good was using this as an adjective that is synonymous with perfect.
    You also quote Romans 3: 12 in which it is used as a verb, and is thus more synonymous with righteous. Those that do good are righteous.
    However, we are using the term as an adjective that describes those who seek out good.

    Given these three definitions it is easy to get confused. So let us try once more.
    There is only one who is Good, or who is perfect, and that is God.
    There are none among us mortal men who do good, or who are completely free from sin and are thus righteous.
    However, the vast majority of people seek out the good and strive to live by it, and thus are rightly described as being good.

    Now, I know you want to limit the definition of the term so that you can deny what we are saying, but I am not going to allow that. The term is being rightly used by us and nothing you say will change that.

    As to original sin, your concept of it destroys the justice of God as it brings the penalty of one man’s action on all men.
    Now, no man is born perfect, and that has never been taught. We carry the mark of the fall in us for we are mortal. However, we are all born innocent, and those who die in this innocence are made perfect in Christ. We are born fallen, but not sinful. That comes later.

  38. shematwater says:

    Speaking of society, since you brought it up, I don’t think your perceptions are very good. You seem to only want to see the evil and thus ignore the good.
    People smoke pot: Most of them do not understand that doing so is bad. They think that it is good, and thus they are still seeking out the good.
    Divorce Rate is up: Most people do not understand the sacred nature of marriage, having had false teachers for most of their lives, and thus divorce does not appear to be bad to them. They are still seeking the good.
    The same can be said of most everything that is wrong with our society. It is the small minority that has succeeded in clouding the minds of others so that they do not know that they are doing wrong. The people are still good people and are actively seeking out what is good. The problem is that they don’t always know where to find it, and have been taught false principles concerning it.

  39. Rick B says:

    Shem said

    As to original sin, your concept of it destroys the justice of God as it brings the penalty of one man’s action on all men.

    The Bible says

    Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    The Bible teaches Original sin, LDS reject it and the Bible, I will believe the Bible and what it says over you and what you think.

  40. Clyde6070 says:

    Maybe you can understand this? As an LDS I do not reject the Bible. There are many good things in the Bible, Hints of preexistence, of what you can do to be good, of how you can improve your behavior and other things. You can believe what you want to believe. You don’t have to believe what we see in the Bible. You might try to understand it.

    12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
    When adam ate the forbidden fruit he did not die in the way we see it. A spiritual death-Seperation from God and so he would not eat of the tree of life anymore He was banished from the garden. Because of what Adam did we all are seperated from God. No more tree of life, hence no more immortality.

  41. Rick B says:

    Clyde, I also feel sorry for you, LDS do reject the Bible. Just because you claim to read it means nothing, When it is clear in what it teaches and you claim it is missing parts and needs other scriptures added, then your reject it.

    Plus what you feel about original sin makes no sense, we died both in a spiritual sense, our souls died that day until we are born again, but also the psychical death came upon us and that takes time, some in the OT lived 900 plus years, but now we live to at best 120.

    Then after the flood of noah, the entire earth was destroyed and so was the tree of life. So once the garden was destroyed and no longer did we have the tree of life, then their is no fear of eating from the tree, so we should be born perfect and stay that way, and what Paul said then would make no sense if what you say is true since the tree of life is no longer around.

  42. shematwater says:


    You are not getting it, but are continually refusing to understand what we are saying. Let us analyze the verse in question.

    Romans 5: 12 “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—”

    Sin came into the world by one man. This is telling us that the act of Adam and Eve caused us to enter a fallen state in which sin is rampant.
    Death came through sin. This is not talking about physical death. It is talking about spiritual death. When we sin become spiritually dead.
    Death is on all men for all sin. This is explaining that since we have all sinned we are all spiritually dead.

    However, you will notice that Paul is not saying that we are born sinful or dead. He is saying that sin exists in this world, that we all have partaken of it, and thus death has spread to us.
    This is what you are not getting. You are trying to claim this verse teaches we are born sinful when it doesn’t. It teaches that sin exists and at the moment we partake of sin than we become dead. We are not born in that state but enter into it when we sin.

    Now, the physical death is an entirely different matter that has absolutely nothing to do with what Paul is talking about here.

  43. Rick B says:

    I in fact do get it, what I get is, LDS deny original sin and reject the truth of the Bible.

    If in fact we are all born Good and simply sin along the way, then this idea poses a lot of problems, and No LDS can give a good answer. Now you might find an answer or make something up, but who are you? Are you a prophet? are you a leader that I should listen to?

    If you give me an answer, then back it up from the Bible, and give me quotes from Prophets who answered these questions. If you give me your opinion, then tell me it is your opinion and tell me why I should belive your opinion., Other wise feel free to avoid this topic.

    No one knows the exact time line from Adam and Eve till Noahs ark and the flood. But the rough time line is about 2,000 to 4,000 years. How is it possible that not one person was born and raised and lived a perfect life? How was it they all fell into sin? Why did Adam and Eve not teach them and tell them they needed to remain perfect? It got so bad that God called the entire world eveil and felt the need to destroy all life, Minus 8 people. But they also were not perfect.

    Then after the world started again, we have about 2,000 years or so till the time of Jesus. Again not one person was able to remain perfect and all fall into Sin, How is this possible that out of billions, if not trillions of people that were born perfect and Good, could not remian that way? Jesus did it, and He was the only one. But we also know that He was born (cont)

  44. Rick B says:

    He was born to die for us. But why did He die? He died to redemm us from our Sin. How can we be sinners in need of a saviour if we have not been born yet? Jesus died for those that would be born 100, years, 1000 years and even 2000 years and on after He was born and Died.

    How come even JS who was supposdly a tool of God not be born perfect? What about Mary, She was not perfect and Jesus Rebuked her. Do Mormons tell their children they are born perfect and do whats needed to help keep them that way? If so is this taught somewhere or are you just saying that?

    Also If Jesus was perfect, how come He did not teach that we simply need to remain perfect, and that it is possible to do this. Sorry Shem, like it or not we are all born sinners.

  45. shematwater says:


    You make no sense and fail to consider all the facts. You seem to think that because we do sin than that proves we were born sinners. That is like saying that a person who breaks his leg has proven that he was born lame.
    You are also confusing the terms Perfect with Sinless. These are not the same. We are all born sinless, but none of us are born perfect. Because of this imperfection we all succumb to sin at some point, and thus become sinful, in need of a savior.
    This is also why children are saved by Christ without baptism, because they are still sinless, and thus he is able to make them perfect.
    You need to understand this distinction before you claim to understand our doctrine. We believe in original sin, in that through that original act of Adam and Eve we are all born imperfect and subject to sin. This is what is taught in the Bible. We do not believe that original sin means we are all born sinful, only imperfect.

    The exemption to this is Christ we was not only born sinless but perfect, allowing him to remain sinless for his entire life.

    In other words, you don’t get it as you refuse to understand the terminology.

  46. Rick B says:

    No shem, You dont get it because you dont want to get it, You want to believe in a false prophet, you want to believe you will be a god with many wives and in the end, you will only really believe after you die and go to hell for all of eternity.

  47. shematwater says:


    Again with no answer. You seem to be slipping. I thought it was the Mormon’s who didn’t know how to handle the tough questions.

  48. Rick B says:

    Unlike Mormons who keep making things up so they can get the last word in, I can only tell you what the Bible says, and if you reject it, then so be it, I wont start making things up and saying things just to appear smart with the use of many words. It’s the Bible and the Bible only for me.

  49. shematwater says:


    That’s funny. You make things up all the time in regards to the LDS church and its doctrine. Why not for your own?

    However, if you insist on only quoting the Bible I would be satisfied with a quote that says we are all born sinful, if you can find one.
    Of course you know you can’t, and you know it. All you can do is give a verse that you believe says this, if interpreted how you think it should be interpreted. As such I can give an alternate interpretation and show how it doesn’t mean that at all. So there is little point in it.

    This leaves you with the comment of “Well, you’re just rejecting the Bible, and that is your problem.” Of course, this is said with the understanding that I am not rejecting the Bible, only your interpretation of it, as you know full well that I believe completely in the Bible, when properly understood.

  50. Rick B says:

    Shem, I dont need to make stuff up about your religion, Your prophets do a good enough Job of that all by themselves. Second of all, I use quotes from your prophets and teachers, If you dont like them, then thats not my problem, but you dont need to accuse me of an issue you have with your teachings.

    As far as the issue of sin, First off, as I said, The Bible tells us, Death came to all from one man, then it says, ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF God. So how can all sin, or the Bible claim, all have sinned if they have not been born yet? Also by saying all have sinned, then if as you say, we are born good, and perfect, than that goes against what the Bible says, since all have sinned. It seems were not even given a chance of being good or not sinning if we are all sinners.

    Then even King David said,

    Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

    He was saying he was born a sinner and born in sin. If you reject all these verses and what they say, then thats on you.

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