I personally enjoy scriptures that contain checklist formulas. As we have studied the Book of Mormon this year, we have noticed that there are a lot of these formulas. Jacob 3:1 is such a verse.
“To the pure in heart:
- You look unto God with firmness of mind, and
- Pray with exceeding faith
- He will console you in your afflictions
- He will plead your case, and
- He will send down justice upon those who seek your destruction”
This scripture is very profound. Each of the phrases in the checklist could generate a sermon.
To the pure in heart
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matt. 5:8). “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10)
Look unto God with firmness of mind
“Firmness of mind” is to be resolute, informed, alert, decisive, aware, and unwavering. The opposite is “flabbiness of mind.” This is to be mentally unstable, ignorant, weak, gullible, and wishy washy. “He was so open-minded that his brain fell out.”
As Christ’s disciples we are commanded to “minister according to the word of his command, showing [ourselves to be] of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.” (Moroni 7:30)
Pray with exceeding faith
It is not enough to pray with “mere” faith. We must pray with “exceeding” faith, like Enos and the brother of Jared.
Pray “in faith, nothing wavering.” (Jms.1:6) Pray “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ.” (Mori. 10:4)
The 2,000 stripling warriors were preserved by the “miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith.” Moreover, “their minds were firm, and they put their trust in God continually.” (Alma 57:25-27)
He will console you in your afflictions
God will sometimes deliver us “from” our afflictions. But he will always console and support us “in” our afflictions. “Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes He calms His child.” (John Groberg)
He will plead your case
Christ is the “Advocate.” He is the “Great Public Defender.”
If we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, accept him as our Savior and Redeemer, and follow Him, He will represent us. He will plead our case at the judgement bar. In fact, He will absorb the court costs, fines, and the full price of justice. Because of His love, mercy and grace, He will represent us pro bono.
Of course, can reject Him. We have the right to represent ourselves. We can go pro per. But remember the axiom, “he who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
He will send down justice upon those who seek your destruction
Christ will not only defend us, but He will prosecute those who seek our destruction, including “The Destroyer.”
The Book of Mormon is filled with these little theological masterpieces.
(Other “Sunday Sermons” at: londonedition.home.blog or http://www.londonedition.net)