Category Archives: Free Grace

Lordship Salvation: Believing in Vain

By johninnc

Galatians 2:21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

The word “vain” appears in the New Testament 38 times. In the context above, vain means “useless” or “ineffectual.”

There are three crucial points to Galatians 2:21.

First, Paul doesn’t participate in frustrating grace, and neither should we.  Nor should we have anything to do with those who frustrate grace.

2 John 1:10-11:

[10] If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
[11] For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Second, to try to be justified by the law is to frustrate grace. Like the word “vain”, the word “frustrate”, in this case, also means to make ineffectual.

Third, there is no law that could provide righteousness to mankind. If there were, then Christ need not have died to pay for our sins.

Galatians 3:21: Is the law against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

As believers in Christ, we know that Jesus has saved us completely. We know that He paid the FULL price for our sins. We know that we didn’t contribute to our salvation by forsaking our sins, confessing our sins, saying a prayer, walking an aisle, committing to reform ourselves, or by allowing Jesus to change our lives.  We know that when we believed in Jesus, we received eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

We know that our righteousness comes from Christ, and not our attempts to keep the law, whether it be God’s perfect law or the Lordship “salvationists'” (LSers) arbitrary laws. In other words, we know that Christ is not dead in vain. We know that He is risen and alive and that we have eternal life through Him.

Romans 3:21-26:

[21] But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
[22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
[23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
[24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
[25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
[26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

LSers frustrate grace by insisting that simply believing in Jesus is not sufficient to either receive, keep, or evidence eternal life. In so doing, they create a false gospel of works, devoid of power to save those who trust in that false  gospel for eternal life. And, for those Christians who are duped into LS after they receive eternal life, they are robbed of any power for Christian living or evangelizing the lost.

In Romans 4, the Apostle Paul confirms that the admixture of faith in Christ PLUS works for eternal life is not possible :

Romans 4:14: For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.

Notice the similarity between Galatains 2:21 and Romans 4:14. If we could be justified by the law, Christ is dead in vain. If those trying to be justified by the law could be justified by the law, then justification by faith is of no effect.

If you ask an LSer what “believe in vain” means, you will likely get some answer that has to do with one’s works. For example, that someone may believe in Jesus, but not have eternal life, because they haven’t turned from their sins, or they haven’t shown sufficient good works. They may throw “faith without works is dead” or “even the demons believe and they tremble” at you. They may talk about “head faith versus heart faith”, or say that “real faith is obedient faith.”

And, yet, we know that LSers don’t keep God’s laws. They may say they are trying, but trying is a work.

Galatians 3:10-11:

[10] For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
[11] But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of works, the PROMISE of works, or the EVIDENCE of works must accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

Lordship “salvation” is no salvation at all. It is belief in salvation by works. It is believing in vain.

For a message of hope that is not vain, click here:  Eternal Life for You

Helping a New Believer Find an Oasis of Grace in a Desert of Lordship Salvation

By johninnc and Jack Weaver

We recently received an e-mail from a fellow grace believer who wants to spread the gospel to people with whom he comes into contact.  Following are excerpts from the e-mail:

When l share the simple plan of salvation and they believe in Jesus to give them the gift of eternal life, what do l do with them to help them grow as christians. lt seems to me that if l send them to a church in my area, they will get this LS teaching…l know that l will have to have a fellowship in my home to encourage and also be encouraged, if you know of a web site that would teach new christians ” what’s my next step” i would love to know about it.

This is a great question.  Many of us do not have a home church, and would not be comfortable steering anyone – much less a new believer – to any church that distorts the gospel in ANY way.

Before anyone begins looking for a church, he should be thoroughly grounded in the gospel.

In addition to the home fellowship that you suggested, below are some recommendations to help new believers grow in grace, and some things to avoid.

1. Suggest that they repeatedly read clear explantations of God’s plan of salvation.  Such resources will remind them of the Biblical truth that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This will also reinforce the truths of eternal security and assurance for the believer in Christ.

We recommend two such resources at ExPreacherMan.

“The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea

http://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/the-gospel.pdf

“How to Be Sure You are Going to Heaven” by Dr. Thomas Cucuzza:

http://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/how-to-be-sure-you-are-going-to-heaven-with-cover.pdf

2. Have them learn to read God’s Word.  Start by suggesting they read through the book of Galatians several times, one chapter per day. The book of Galatians is a defense of the gospel that will help new believers understand the nature of the attacks that they will face from the world of professing Christendom, and the Biblical response to those attacks.

3. Emphasize the importance of  not looking to changes in our lives for assurance of salvation, nor to let the lack of sufficient changes in our lives undermine our assurance of salvation.

4. Suggest they read ExPreacherMan articles and comments.

5. Have them listen to online sermons from sources that you have evaluated and are convinced are reliable.  We recommend Dr. Cucuzza’s sermons.  See link below:

http://northlandchurch.com/go/downloads

6. Warn them to avoid playing “Russian Roulette” with books, sermons, and websites that claim to be teaching Christianity. There is more bad teaching out there than good.

7. Make yourself available for questions – within reason. Some people will fail to do things they need to do to grow in grace, or will do things to undermine their faith (see number 6) and be pretty shaky. Challenge people to take an active role, and not just have you feed them.

8.  Pray that God will provide for them, and for you, a church in which the gospel is taught clearly, consistently, and without contradiction. If you are unable to find a church, don’t despair.  ExPreacherMan is available as a place for fellowship, discussion and encouragement for people who have church homes, as well as for those who don’t.

9.  Let them know to never let down their guard and to maintain vigilance. Avoid any church where there is evidence of Calvinism or Lordship “salvation.” Many churches and pastors will claim to believe in grace, but their words will betray them.   Consider the following from one false teaching mega-church:

From “Core Beliefs:

Those who put their faith alone in Christ for Salvation are children of God and heirs of eternal life.

From the Senior Pastor’s blog:

Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.

10.  Tell them to share the good news with others.

Want to know the good news?  Here it is:  Good News!

There is No Such Thing as Lordship Salvation

By johninnc

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 Greek.

It’s time to stop pretending that Lordship Salvation (LS) is part of the Christian faith.  

LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of works, the PROMISE of works, or the EVIDENCE of works must accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

LS is, at its core, salvation by works – salvation by faith in Christ plus adherence to some arbitrary set of rules.

LS is a false gospel. No one has EVER received eternal life by believing a false gospel. Therefore, no one has ever received eternal life by believing in LS.

Following are some of the more common false LS beliefs that are masquerading as tenets of the Christian faith:

Lottery System – the Calvinist belief that whether one spends eternity in Heaven or in Hell is just based on the luck of the draw.

Let’s See, or Later Salvation – another part of the Calvinist family of heresies, also known as “perseverance of the Saints.” Under this errant belief, a “true believer” is someone who endures in faith and good works until the end of his life. If one fails to do this, it proves he was never saved to begin with.

Less Sin – this one centers on the direction of the believer’s life. If he sins less than he used to, then he is headed in the right direction and must be saved. If not, the converse is true.

Lesser Sins – the belief that some sins are worse than others – usually in the form of “somebody else’s sins are worse than mine.”

Lower Standards – at the heart of this error is belief that behavior, feelings, or good intentions have anything whatsoever to do with getting into Heaven. This replaces God’s perfect Law with an inferior man-made law that the adherent to this heresy believes is good enough.

Lampoon Saints – the practice of pointing people away from the salvation available EXCLUSIVELY by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by ridiculing the concept. This includes use of pejorative terms like “easy believism”, “greasy grace”, and “sloppy agape.”

Does LS stand for anything that I would advocate? Yes! Let’s Stop!

Let’s stop pretending that we are “on the same page” with Lordship “salvationists”!

In his sermon entitled “Understanding the Two Natures, Pt 1, pastor Tom Cucuzza of Northland Bible Baptist Church made the following appeal:

Let’s stop making excuses for people who use these phrases. It is wrong and they need to stop it. Don’t say: “well they said that, but, you know, they say a lot of good things.” No, let me tell you something. If they say these things, they are giving a false plan of salvation. Here’s some of the things you’ll hear:

(Note: the following are selected excerpts)

“If you’re really saved, you will hate the things you once loved, and love the things that you once hated.”

“If you haven’t forsaken all of your sin, you were never really saved to begin with. You had a head belief, not a heart belief.”

“If you haven’t repented of all of your sin, you are not saved yet. You have to really quote/unquote mean business with God and repent of all your sins.”

“If you’re still desiring the things of the world, you are probably not saved.”

“You can’t go to heaven if you’re hanging onto the world.”

“If Christ is not Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all.

“If you are practicing sin, you are not saved.”

“If you’ve grown cold towards the Lord, you were probably never truly saved to begin with.”

“If you do not endure and persevere as a Christian to the end of your life, you were never a real Christian to begin with, because all true Christians endure to the end.”

The stark reality is that there is NO SUCH THING as Lordship Salvation.  There are lots of Lordship “salvationists”.  But, there is no such thing as having been saved by believing Lordship “salvation”.

If you are not sure of heaven, and would like to be, please click on the following link: Let’s Start

Lordship Salvation: Looking for Evidence While Denying Proof

By johninnc

John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

The Bible teaches that anyone who believes in Jesus as Savior receives, at the moment of belief, eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The Bible does not teach that there is any evidence of salvation, other than whether one has trusted in Christ alone for eternal life.

Lordship “salvation”, on the other hand, involves the endless search for evidence of salvation – even while explaining away the proof of salvation.

Let’s first review what Lordship “salvation” (LS) is:

LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of works, the PROMISE of works, or the EVIDENCE of works must accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

Now, let’s evaluate three examples in which the Bible says someone believes, and yet LSers will deny that the people in question have  eternal life.

Soil number 2 in the parable of the Sower

Luke 8:13: They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

The Bible CLEARLY and unambiguously says these people believed. As such, they have passed from death unto life (John 5:24).

This is is not good enough for the unflinching LSer. No. The lack of perseverance of people represented by soil number 2 convinces the LSer that such people were never saved.

Consider the following quote from J.D. Greear, pastor of the multi-campus Summit Church in Raleigh, North Carolina:

They remain in the church for a period of time. But, they do not endure when the sun of persecution comes out and will not in the end be saved. 

Believers who do not confess Christ

John 9:23:  Nevertheless among the chief rulers many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

The Bible says these people believed. What other evidence should we need?

But, that’s not good enough for the intrepid LSers.  For example, another huge North Carolina church – Calvary Church in Charlotte – has something contradictory to what the Bible says.

Calvary says that one  must confess Christ in order to be saved.  From their “Articles of Faith”:

We believe that all who receive by faith alone, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and who confess Him before their fellow men, are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God. 

Demas

Philemon 1:24: Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. 

2 Timothy 4:10: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Paul describes Demas as a fellow laborer, but later says Demas has forsaken him for the world. Demas is a Christian who did not persevere.  According to the Bible, anyone who believes in Christ has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited – no matter what happens in their life down the road.

What would the Southern Baptist Convention – a group of 50,000 cooperating churches – have to say? Following is an excerpt from”The Baptist Faith and Message”:

All true believers endure to the end. 

What does “endure to the end” even mean? Did Demas “endure to the end”? Was Demas a “true believer”?

Jack Weaver sums it up this way:

LSers insist on evidence by works to scare their followers – by promising them a false sense of security based on the evangelist’s idea of a sufficient (but indeterminate and never defined or enumerated) quality and quantity of works as proof to the evangelist or his cohorts. 

In other words, LSers are so hung up on works providing evidence of salvation that they will deny irrefutable PROOF from scripture that someone is saved.

 Does your church teach that you should look for evidence of salvation (other than whom one is trusting to get to heaven) and deny, or explain away, proof from the Bible that someone was saved?

If you don’t know, find out.  And, if the answer is yes, get out.

For what God’s Word says about how to receive eternal life, click here:  The Real Story

My Story: What This Fellowship Of Believers Means To Me

By John and Jack, Administrators

This article will be somewhat different than our norm. Our Goal at ExPreacherMan has always been to share with you the simplicity of the Gospel of Salvation in Jesus Christ alone — and to expose those who would pervert that Good News message.

If you, as a friend of ExP feel so inclined, we would appreciate you telling us and our readers in a short note, what ExPreacherMan means to you. Your note may include your thoughts of how ExP has helped you understand God’s Word, His Grace, salvation, your assurance of salvation, your encouragement, helping get you out of LS, Calvinism, etc. We know all of our readers will be thrilled and encouraged.

A short time line of ExPreacherMan:

  • 2006 was the first year.
  • 2011 we added Bruce Bauer as a co-Administrator. We were so thankful for him and saddened when he resigned due to his other ministry pressures. Thanks Bruce, the Lord used you wonderfully.
  • 2013 John came on board as co-Administrator. [Jacks comment: We are so thankful for John and Jane.]

 Since we launched ExP, we have been blessed by the Lord with:

  • Over 609,000 total views of the web site.
  • Viewers from 53 different countries in just the last seven days, many more in entirety.
  • Views ranging from 400 to 600 or more views per day.
  • ExP has 256 personal subscribers who have signed up to receive notices of our posts.

We see so many folks have been positively influenced by ExP, including your ExP administrators who have been encouraged. The Lord has blessed this ministry by your participation.

We will appreciate you telling us your short story to encourage us and our readers.

Thank you!!!

Grace Ecumenism

We all seek approval and validation. And it is a stark warning to each of us. Each of us is torn by a myriad of emotions. And to us, many of these emotions are invisible and unseen by us . . . because we are in the middle of them. They can taint our view of reality. Whether it is the pain of recognizing that someone we loved is probably in Hell, or the need for validation, or any other emotional motive, Satan stands ready to seduce each of us from the purity of the gospel, one inch at a time.

Ron Shea wrote the above words in reference to the cross-less gospel movement of the late Zane Hodges, Robert Wilkin, and the Grace Evangelical Society.

But his warnings extended to other areas as well:

This Crossless Gospel is not the only heresy we will see in our lifetime. Throughout our lives, each of us will be targeted by the enemy. And he will seek to sift each of us like wheat in a moment when we are weak. A moment when we deeply need an income to support our family, and a church or teaching job comes available, but at a cost. A moment when our dignity as a theologian has been abased, and we covet the validation of another. A moment when we have been rejected, and covet the love and acceptance of someone we can see and hear and touch.

Stand strong my brethren. The battle is not behind us. It is in front of each of us. And we do not know where the ambush for us has been set.

I believe that one of the ongoing assaults on the true universal church is people and ministries posing as defenders of grace, but who in reality are not clear on the gospel.

Their tactics are the same as the tactics of anyone who wants to gain acceptance within a group. They press the flesh. They find common ground. They attend the same churches and conferences that we attend. They are all around “stand up” kind of guys. We like them.

In other words, they come among us secretly.

2 Peter 2:1: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

When warning signs come about the doctrines they teach, we overlook them. After all, they’ve been coming to Christian gatherings for years. They say they are free grace (who doesn’t). They have keen insight into things with which we are fascinated. They use the same language that we use. They believe in the premillennial rapture. They are experts in Biblical prophecy. They believe everything we do – except for the gospel.

When Christian brothers point out their heretical assaults on the gospel, we overlook them. We tell the brothers that they are mean-spirited. We choose sides with purveyors of heretical doctrine over the truth of the gospel. We choose to overlook their errors.

And so continues the Ecumenical Grace movement.

But we who know and proclaim the Truth of the Gospel of God’s Grace MUST stand steady and faithful to that Truth. We must not waver but expose the lie when it rears its ugly head.

1 Corinthians 2:5: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

“I Give Unto Them Eternal Life”

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John10:28:  And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 

My family and I recently traveled to France for vacation. Among our stops were the beaches of Normandy, on which the allied invasion of France began on June 4, 1944 (D-day), and the American Cemetery. These sites held particular significance for me, as my father was among the soldiers who fought in the Normandy campaign. He and my mother were able to visit Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-day about a month before we were there.

The American Cemetery tells the stories of many of the brave soldiers who fought and died to liberate Europe from the grip of tyranny. There Is also a chapel at the  Cemetery. The chapel contains an altar that tells the story of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice to save mankind. The altar has an inscription that reads:

“I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH”

This brief inscription, which quotes Jesus, is extremely well-chosen. It’s eleven words affirm many Biblical truths that are central to the gospel,including the following:

Jesus is God

The Bible says that God grants eternal life. So, if Jesus gives eternal life, it follows that He is God.

John 1:14:  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Belief in the Deity of Christ is essential to believing in Him as Savior.

John 8:24: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if  ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Eternal life is a gift

The Bible calls eternal life a gift – unmerited favor.

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

“Faith” is not the gift of God, as Calvinism mistakenly teaches. The gift of God is eternal life.

Jesus is not only necessary for eternal life. He is enough. Believing in Jesus as Savior means believing that our good intentions or good works have nothing to do with receiving eternal life. Neither does their presence or absence prove whether or not we possess eternal life. We must trust in Christ alone as Savior in order to receive eternal life. Faith and works do not mix for receiving, or retaining, eternal life.

Romans 11:6: And if by grace, it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise, work is no more work. 

Eternal life is available to everyone 

Who is the “them” to whom Christ gives eternal life? The Bible says that anyone who will believe in Christ as Savior will receive eternal life.

John 20:31: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.  

The God of the Bible did not choose some to receive eternal life while consigning others to hell. The Bible says that God desires that everyone be saved.

1 Timothy 2:4: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

Eternal life is eternal

The doctrine of eternal security of Christians is taught throughout scripture. Eternal security is a necessary conclusion of grace. We cannot work our way into eternal life, and we cannot work our way out of eternal life.

Ephesians 1:13-14: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Every one of the soldiers who has defended our freedom on the battlefield deserves our gratitude.

Jesus Christ died for our sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead. He gives us eternal life. How infinitely more He deserves our love and gratitude.

If you want to know more about how to receive eternal life, please click this link: http://www.expreacherman.com/eternal-life-for-you/