The Merits of Jesus

The Book of Mormon also teaches that it is by Christ’s merits alone, and not our own, that we are saved.

“Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise” (2 Nephi 2:8).

“And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save” (2 Nephi 31:19).

“And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king” (Alma 22:14).

“And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son” (Alma 24:10).

“And if ye believe on his name ye will repent of all your sins, that thereby ye may have a remission of them through his merits” (Helaman 14:13).

“And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith” (Moroni 6:4).

These scriptures teach us that it is the merits of Christ that save us, not our own. Fallen man cannot “merit anything of himself.” Even after baptism we are to rely “alone upon the merits of Christ” and not our own merits for our salvation. Truly, it is Christ and his merits that save.

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3 thoughts on “The Merits of Jesus

  1. But how do we reconcile that with the doctrine that we too must have merit and works for our salvation?
    The way I see it…it is when we do His works that we make His merits our merits.
    In other words, When we are doing the works He would do…we really aren’t working b/c it is Him that is working through us.

  2. jayflow22,

    Great questions and insights. I basically agree with what you have said.

    I believe in substitutionary righteousness. When we repent of our sins, are baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and are born again, Jesus’ righteousness–his merits–become our own. In God’s eyes, we are his Son. We thus become “the sons of God” as spoken of in scripture time and time again. So, ultimately, we are still saved by his merits, and not our own.

    In return, we are expected to keep our covenants and continue repenting before God of our sins.

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