What Does It Mean to Be Saved “In and Through” the Grace of God?

A friend pointed out to me today that the phrase “in and through” appears seven times in the Book of Mormon, always in reference to Jesus Christ. He wanted to know the significance of the phrase.

Here are the seven passages:

  1. Lehi: “Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth” (2 Nephi 2:6).
  2. Jacob: “Remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved” (2 Nephi 10:24).
  3. King Benjamin: “There shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:17).
  4. King Benjamin: “[Everyone must] humble themselves and become as little children, and believe that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:18).
  5. Abinadi: “Ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?” (Mosiah 16:13).
  6. Alma: “This holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son” (Alma 13:5).
  7. Alma: “There is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ” (Alma 38:9).

The phrase “in and through” doesn’t appear in the King James Version of the Bible, but there are a number of passages which refer to being saved “in Christ” or “through Christ.”

What does it mean to be saved “in Christ?”

When Jesus told His apostles at the Last Supper, “Abide in me,” He was encouraging them to maintain the same close relationship with Him which they had enjoyed during His mortal ministry. He would soon be gone, but He wanted them to remain unified with Him, so that they could continue to benefit from His sanctifying influence (John 15:4).

The apostle Paul wrote, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). To be “in Christ” is to be changed by Christ, to trade our selfish desires for His pure desires, and to have our sins washed away by His cleansing power.

After achieving that kind of relationship with Him, we want to sustain it over time. As with any relationship, we need to dedicate time and energy to it. We also need to be aware when we are beginning to distance ourselves from Him and make course corrections as needed.

What does it mean to be saved “through Christ?”

The apostle Paul recognized that Christ’s grace had not only cleansed him, it had also increased his capabilities. “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound,” he said. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

The word “through” is a dynamic word. It suggests forward motion toward a goal. We are saved “through Christ” as we actively strive to do good and receive His empowering influence along the way.

Some good things we are incapable of doing on our own. When prophets tell us that there is “no other way nor means” to obtain eternal life except through Jesus Christ (Mosiah 3:17, Alma 38:9Helaman 5:9), they are telling us that we cannot save ourselves. We can choose to walk on “the strait and narrow path,” but we will only reach the end of that path by “relying wholly upon…him who is mighty to save” (2 Nephi 31:19).


 

Today, I will be grateful that I can be saved “in and through” Jesus Christ. I will remember that His atonement makes it possible for me to overcome the sins which distance me from God and which harm my relationship with Him. I will also remember that His atonement empowers me to overcome every obstacle and to achieve my full potential.

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