♦ Lordship “salvation” Defined

By the ExPreacherMan Administrators

God’s Word clearly states that salvation is by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

Ephesians 2:8-9: [8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Lordship “salvation” (LS) is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

LS can be overt (one must forsake all of his sins and follow Christ in obedience and discipleship in order to be saved) or VERY SUBTLE (one’s behavior will change once he is saved, one must desire to get better in order to be saved, one must want to have a relationship with Jesus in order to be saved, or one must go beyond mere intellectual assent and actively respond –  do something (such as Rahab opening the door to spies, or Abraham offering Isaac on the altar) in response to God’s message in order to be saved).

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that any of these man-made conditions are necessary for one to receive eternal life. And yet, such things are taught by many churches, ministries, and pastors throughout professing Christendom.

We expose the people who promote LS, because they:

• Keep people lost (Luke 8-12 2 Corinthians 4:4);
• Are accursed (Galatians 1:9);
• Frustrate grace (Galatians 2:21);
• Bewitch believers, rendering the believers ineffective in their Christian lives (Galatians 5:4); and
• Are to be marked and avoided (Romans 16:17 and 16:18)

In addition to the above, LS causes people to focus on themselves, rather than on Christ, for assurance of salvation.

We cannot know whether or not someone influenced by LS is saved. In some cases, they may have never even heard the Gospel presented clearly, and may have never believed in Jesus as their Savior. In other cases, they may have believed in Jesus as their Savior, but have received bad teaching that causes them ongoing confusion. We cannot tell which is which. But, in any case, they need our prayers and they need a clear presentation of the gospel.

One wonders why so many thousands of seeking souls flock to the false message of LS.  Could it be a cultic draw by charismatic personalities who manipulate scripture, relish the attention, fame and (incidentally) the dollars cleverly conned from their followers?

Or, could it be that they walk into the nearest church, and they are sold a false LS gospel?  After all, people naturally want to trust authority figures.  In either case, the person who is fed false LS teaching is being steered away from the truth.

Although this list is by no means complete, following are some of the terms that are associated with Lordship salvation as being requirements for receiving eternal life:

“Repent of your sins”
“Turn from your sins”
“Be willing to turn from your sins”
“Put Christ on the throne of your life”
“Give your life to Christ”
“Commit to follow Christ”

Some proponents of Lordship salvation will allow that salvation is by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, but then will insist that a saved person will show signs of being saved, such as sinning less and doing good works. If these “signs” are not present, they will insist, or at least heavily suspect, that a person has never believed in Christ as Savior.

This thought process can never lead to assurance of salvation, because it is always dependent on how one thinks he is DOING at any given point in time (we put DOING in all caps, because it is a work).  Other folks think that God knows whether or not they are TRYING (we put TRYING in all caps, because it is a work).  Trying will not help you attain eternal life.  Eternal life is a free gift, received when someone trusts in Christ alone for it.

If you think you may be under the influence of LS, and would like to read a clear presentation of the gospel, click here: The Gospel

319 responses to “♦ Lordship “salvation” Defined

  1. Yes, excellent . . . I’ve been thinking this blog’s visitors could benefit greatly from an overview of LS like this one.

    Thank you for taking the time to make it.

  2. Turning from sins, Repenting of sins is to Turn away from Grace in the energy of the natural man that Jesus didn’t do enough to pay for our sins past, present and future.
    Our sin is to be condemned to Hell.

    2 Co_5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

    Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us

    Turn to Grace by faith to the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins knowing you are loved past, present and future. Receive the free gift of eternal life. Gal_3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Practicing Truth in the fellowship of the beloved relationship of Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The blood of Jesus. To cleanse us from all unrighteousness in that fellowship of the beloved.
    The finished work of Christ Jesus is to be our focus, not sin. Perfecting Holiness in the fear of the Lord.

    2 Co_7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

    Eph_4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

    2Co_5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

    License to sin you may say? you don’t have permission to sin
    you are free to make the right choices but sometimes “you just can’t fix stupid ”

    Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
    Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    2 Co_5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

    ANOTHER gospel presupposes some strength, some ability to please God, in the natural man. God’s Gospel declares that when “we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

    God’s plan of salvation for man;

    All men are sinners (Roman 3:10; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:23; James 2:10; Jeremiah 17:9).
    The penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:20).
    Man must be perfect to enter heaven (Revelation 21:27).
    Man can do nothing of himself to obtain this perfection (Ephesians 2:8,9; Galatians 2:21; Romans 4:5).
    God provided a Sin-bearer and imputes to man His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9, Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 3:18).
    Man needs only belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior for salvation (John 3:16; John 1:12; Acts 16:31).
    Man can be certain of his salvation now, and that his salvation cannot be lost, because eternal life is eternal (John 6:37-39; 10:28; 1 Peter 1:5; Hebrews 10:10-14; 1 John 5:13).
    If you will believe that Jesus Christ paid for your sins, God promises that he will give you everlasting life. Trust Him today.

  3. Praise God that He paid for my sins. I could not do it. Too many trying to do just that… sadly.

  4. Jayne Otterson

    Eric Ludy promotes this false teaching.

  5. Jayne,

    Thanks for your visit and comment. You are very perceptive.

    Yes, Eric Ludy is not a familiar name but he appears to be a up-and-coming leader in the deadly Calvinist and Lordship Salvation movement.

    Thanks and we encourage you to visit regularly.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  6. Lordship Salvation does not teach the following:

    “LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life.”

    People do not make their faith result in eternal life. Our works do not make our faith result in eternal life. LS teaches a person gets a changed life after God justifies him, but that changed life is not what gets him into heaven. His changed life does not make his faith result in eternal life. LS does not teach that our performance or promise of good works is what gets us into heaven. We are not saved on the basis of our performance or promise of good works.

  7. Reader, you said: “LS teaches a person gets a changed life after God justifies him, but that changed life is not what gets him into heaven.”

    My comment: A person gets eternal life once he trusts in Christ alone as his Savior. His life may or may not change – that is dependent on the degree to which he remains in the Word and walks in the newness of life.

    John 8:31-32:

    [31] Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
    [32] And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    Romans 6:4: Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

  8. If we are saved but can’t find any change in our life, it may be because we maid a list of priority changes that should occur in our life and nothing seems to change in the top of it. But God has a different and hidden list of priority changes and he can see the changes he is doing even if we can’t.

    I will even say that if we trust in Christ alone to be saved, our life has already completly changed because I can’t find any bigger change possible in our life than changing our mind from believing we can save ourself to believing that only Christ can save ourself.

    By the way when someone believe, he doesn’t have to be afraid of not producing fruit because the faith comes from the word of God (Rom 10:17) and God promised that his word will always produce fruit (Isaiah 55:11). Then each time we hear the word of God and believe it, changes occur in our life even if we don’t see it.

  9. Jonas, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I am in total agreement that there is no greater change than going from being spiritually dead to receiving eternal life by grace through faith in Christ!

    Being a fruitful believer is dependent on remaining in the Word:

    John 8:31-32:
    [31] Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
    [32] And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    In addition, we are admonished to be diligent to avoid being unfruitful:

    2 Peter 1:5-9:

    [5] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
    [6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
    [7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
    [8] For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    [9] But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

  10. I have a brother who believes in LS and I talked to him about his beliefs. I need some help in responding to him. He said that Simon in Acts 8:9-24 made a profession of faith in Christ, but since his life was not changed, his profession of faith in Christ was not genuine. The apostle Peter finds out about his false profession and tells him to repent of his wickedness. My brother said that a changed life is not the condition of receiving eternal life. He said that a changed life is the result of receiving eternal life and that if one’s life is not changed, then one’s profession of faith is not genuine.

    My brother also said that 1 John tells us that there are some marks of a true Christian. He said that 1 John 2:29 says that if you practice righteousness, then that is evidence of being born again. He said that 1 John 3:14 says that loving the brothers is a mark of having been given eternal life.

    Even though my brother said those things, he still believes that faith in Christ is the only condition for receiving eternal life. He denies that making a commitment to obey Christ and give up sinning are conditions for eternal life. He says that certain things give evidence that one is saved, but those things are not the condition of receiving eternal life. How would you respond to my brother?

  11. Henry, welcome and thanks for your question!

    Trying to convince LSers of their error is a daunting task, because they have often been blinded to the truth and have hardened their hearts. It is possible that your brother is a believer who has fallen from grace, but it is also possible that he has never trusted in Jesus alone as his Savior.

    I would start by praying for your brother: that he would open his heart to the truth of God’s Word; that the Holy Spirit would work in his heart to convict him of his unbelief if he has never trusted in Christ as his Savior; that if he is a believer, that he would grow in the knowledge of grace, and that he would give up his errant beliefs.

    Then, I would use God’s Word to discuss the following concepts with him:
    1. The gospel (John 3:16, Romans 4:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
    2. The truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:20; Romans 11:6)
    3. The truth of eternal security of the believer (John 6:37-39; John 10:28)
    4. The truth of assurance for the believer – that a believer can know for certain that he will go to heaven, no matter what happens in his life (John 5:24)

    I would ask your brother if he understands and believes the above. If he says that he does, you might ask him to consider whether his LS beliefs are consistent with his stated belief in the gospel.

    Let’s go through some examples:

    You said: “My brother also said that 1 John tells us that there are some marks of a true Christian. He said that 1 John 2:29 says that if you practice righteousness, then that is evidence of being born again. He said that 1 John 3:14 says that loving the brothers is a mark of having been given eternal life.”

    My comment: If what your brother says is true, how would a new believer know he has eternal life? He would not yet have any of these so-called “marks of a true Christian.” He would not yet have had any time to “practice righteousness.” He would not yet have had any time to love his brothers in Christ. In fact, the new believer might not even know any brothers in Christ. You might ask your brother why God, who can read minds, would need any evidence of whether or not someone is a believer.

    You said: “My brother said that a changed life is not the condition of receiving eternal life. He said that a changed life is the result of receiving eternal life and that if one’s life is not changed, then one’s profession of faith is not genuine.”

    My comment: You might ask your brother the following question: “If you live the rest of your life without changing one iota, without doing one good work, will you go to heaven?”

    If he says “yes”, then ask him why he says that if one’s life is not changed, then one’s profession of faith is not genuine.

    If he says “no”, he is not trusting in Christ – you would need to go back to Step 1.

    Henry, I have already prayed that your brother will open his heart to God’s Word!

    P.S.: I think Simon (Acts 8:9-24) was a believer.

  12. Welcome Henry
    God is at work in your brothers life in that you found an Oasis of Grace here and you have a concern for him to discover the “Truth of the Gospel”.
    My prayer for your brother is he would discover the “Truth of the Gospel” .

    Strive to be “an Original Voice” of who you are in Christ Jesus when talking to others of the Simplicity of Christ Jesus Death burial and resurrection for salvation.

    Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves

    for Me coming out of calvanistic lordship salvation that was ground into me . I witnessed Pillars and board members of a long time IFCA Church split family and friends over Lordship salvation. that shocked me for the “Truth of the Gospel” and discovered Curtis Hutson “Another gospel ” on youtube . Later on in my journey I discovered Expreacherman and Clear Gospel Campaign . In still intrigues me how the Word of God can bind a person up and set people free. I discovered to read the bible for myself and be a berean also discovered with the simplicity of the Gospel I can tune out 98% of whats out there in the religious world system .

    Luk 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
    Luk 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
    Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
    Luk 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
    Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

  13. Does everyone here believe what Curtis said? quote: “Turning from sins, Repenting of sins is to Turn away from Grace in the energy of the natural man that Jesus didn’t do enough to pay for our sins past, present and future.
    Our sin is to be condemned to Hell.”
    Just wondering how this quote from Curtis fits with 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” There are many other evidences in scripture of the need of repentance e.g. “When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”” Mark 2:17

  14. Hello johninnc,

    Thank you for your prayers and help.

    I talked with my brother and he said that he believes in the following things below:

    1. The gospel (John 3:16, Romans 4:24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
    2. The truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:20; Romans 11:6)
    3. The truth of eternal security of the believer (John 6:37-39; John 10:28)
    4. The truth of assurance for the believer – that a believer can know for certain that he will go to heaven, no matter what happens in his life (John 5:24)

    I asked him, “If you live the rest of your life without changing one iota, without doing one good work, will you go to heaven?” He said “No”, but he still affirms that he is trusting in Jesus alone to save him from his sins. He denies that he is trusting in his changed life. He said that we are not saved by having a changed life. A changed life is not what saves you. He said that Jesus alone saves people. He said that a changed life is evidence of being converted, not the cause of our salvation.

    My brother said that a new believer can have the assurance of salvation because he knows that his heart has changed.

    I asked my brother why God, who can read minds, would need any evidence of whether or not someone is a believer. My brother said that this question assumes a misunderstanding about God and the nature of the evidence of conversion. He said that there will be evidence of a person’s conversion because God gives people new life. There’s evidence because God hates sin. God does not need to learn anything or find out anything about us. He already knows all things.

  15. LennyLou

    Welcome and thanks for your comment.

    Taken in context and considering the correct meaning of the word “repent”, Curtis is right. We cannot speak for every reader of ExPreacherMan, but most of our regular commenters understand and would agree. We do have an occasional commenter who does not yet understand the meaning of Biblical “Repent.” That is why we are happy to explain.

    If one misunderstands Biblical Repentance to be a “turning from sin” or takes the meaning from a secular dictionary, one would naturally be confused.

    Repent in virtually every context means a “a change of mind” — NOT a change of life, actions or direction. There is no command in the KJV NT to “turn from sin” to gain salvation or to keep one’s salvation.

    Here is a good expose’ of the misuse of the word Repentance. There are also some excellent comments that follow which enlighten the discussion:

    https://expreacherman.com/2011/06/26/false-repentance-perseverance-and-lordship-salvation/

    We pray this helps you understand the true meaning of “Repent” and that eternal life is indeed a FREE GIFT, permanent and secure — not dependent in any way upon our turning from sin — before, during or after our decision by Grace through our faith in Jesus alone for our salvation.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  16. Welcome LynnyLou
    Thank you for your concern . My hope and Prayer is that you would ask God for Wisdom and Understanding as you seek Truth in Gods Word and Study your Workmanship.
    I love how you are seeking Truth for yourself and you are being a Bearan

  17. Henry, thanks for the follow-up!

    You said: “I asked him, “If you live the rest of your life without changing one iota, without doing one good work, will you go to heaven?” He said “No”, but he still affirms that he is trusting in Jesus alone to save him from his sins.”

    My comment: Your brother is not trusting in Christ alone. It is impossible to both trust in Christ alone and think that a changed life and good works must accompany faith in order to go to heaven. I have prayed for him again.

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

  18. Now your brother believes he is saved, but if someday he becomes depressive and the changes he found in his life seem to have regressed, he may look again at his life and doubting believing he was ever saved.

    If I remember well, Watchman Nee said that a lot of christians has to come from believing they are saved by Jesus + something to believing they are saved by Jesus alone.

    The problem of human beings since the Fall is that they are self-centered instead of being God-centered. Before the Fall, God was the only reference of Adam and Eve. One of the idea with God’s plan of salvation is to restore that back, which means making human beings moving their eyes from themself to God, or more precisely stop looking at their works for salvation, even partially, but only at God’s grace and perfect justification.

    Heb. 12:2 speaks about having our eyes fixed on Jesus which means not moving them back to ourself. It looks like your brother is first doing the first thing, but then he moves his eyes from God to himself in order to look for an evidence of change in his life. Actually we need to have a way to find an evidence that we are saved : the Holy Spirit is there for that so that moving back our eyes from Jesus to ourself is not needed anymore.

    Actually, your brother isn’t completely wrong is the sense that because we can’t hear what the Holy Spirit tells to someone else, we can only see his life to know if he is saved or not. But we often can’t be categorical, especially for the 2nd option.

  19. Jonas, we can never have assurance of salvation if we turn our eyes to ourselves. I believe one of Satan’s greatest tricks is to focus a believer on his good works/positive changes in his life as evidence of salvation. Then, once he gets them to go for that, he turns the tables on them and gets them to doubt, based upon remaining sin in their lives, other people that are doing more, etc.

    All believers are indwelled by the Holy Spirit, and sealed by the Holy Spirit, from the instant they trust in Christ as Savior. However, a believer is not necessarily conscious of the presence of the Holy Spirit. This quote from Clear Gospel Campaign says it very well:

    We believe that the Holy Spirit is active in the life of a believer whether or not a believer is conscious of His activity.

    The quote you provided from Watchman Nee is interesting. If he means that a person must change his mind from trusting in Jesus + something to trusting in Jesus alone in order to become a Christian, I agree with him. If he means that it is possible to become a believer by trusting in Christ plus something, then I would disagree.

    I must disagree with you completely on another matter.

    You said: “Actually, your brother isn’t completely wrong is the sense that because we can’t hear what the Holy Spirit tells to someone else, we can only see his life to know if he is saved or not. But we often can’t be categorical…”

    My comment: We can make absolutely no inferences as to whether a person is saved or not, based on his life.

  20. Jonas,

    I will add to John’s comment that your premise is wrong.

    You said, “wrong is the sense that because we can’t hear what the Holy Spirit tells to someone else..”

    We can be assured that the Holy Spirit does not speak in an audible voice to anyone today — to say otherwise is bordering on the charismatic and mystical. He convicts of sin righteousness and judgment — and brings to mind what one already knows of Scripture. He will never contradict scripture nor Jesus.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  21. > If he means that it is possible to become a believer by trusting in Christ
    > plus something, then I would disagree.

    Here is what I believe : when someone is saved, first his spirit is saved but his mind and heart/soul/emotions are still in process of being saved (that’s the sanctification process). So we all have a disharmony between our spirit, heart and mind. During the first years that I was christian, I believed I could loose my salvation. I remembered once I was thinking that I lost my salvation, but then I felt like there was something very deep in me (my spirit ? the Holy Spirit ?) telling me it is not true. According to me, although at mind’s and heart’s level I trusted Christ plus something for my salvation, my spirit trusted in only Christ from the beginning. What happened was that my mind and heart were most of the times disconnected from my spirit and therefore from the Holy Spirit. Once you are saved, refusing to hear the Holy Spirit and therefore believing lies won’t make you lose your salvation.

    > My comment: We can make absolutely no inferences as to whether a
    > person is saved or not, based on his life.

    So how can you have communion with other christians if you think that they may not be saved ? How can you pray with someone and share together your questions, difficulties and joys of your life if you are not sure about his salvation ? I believe that the reality of church is meeting with other christians and share between us the life and love God has given to each of us. If you can live this reality of church with someone, how can you have doubt about his salvation ?
    There are some people I am not sure if they are saved, but this incertitude is latter removed if I am able to live the church reality with them because the church reality is also a spirit to spirit communion and we are saved at the spirit level.

    > We can be assured that the Holy Spirit does not speak in an audible
    > voice to anyone today

    There should be a misunderstanding : I think that most of the time the Holy Spirit is speaking only to our spirit so we can’t hear any words. The mind may try to put that experience in words like saying for example “I have peace about my eternal destiny regardless of what could happen latter in my life. This peace comes from the Holy Spirit, so the Holy Spirit told me that I am saved”.
    By the way, why won’t it be possible to occasionally hear an audible voice ?

  22. Jonas, I don’t want to continuously debate you on these topics, but I will answer them once.

    First, I have heard people differentiate between “head faith” and “heart faith”, but you are the first I have heard make reference to the “spirit” being saved, and then the heart, mind, and emotions being brought along later. This is really not biblical. One believes with his heart/mind, because he is convinced that something is true. The mind and heart are inseparable in the belief process. Scripture often uses the terms “heart” and “mind” together. If one has not believed the gospel message with his heart/mind, then he does not have eternal life.

    There is a process of a believer learning God’s mind through his word, and bringing our thinking in line with God’s thinking, as described in Romans 12:2. But, we cannot separate our minds/hearts from our “spirit” in believing the gospel.

    Second, if someone thinks he can lose his salvation through sin, then he has not understood the gospel message. When I hear someone say that he was a Christian for several years until he realized he had eternal security, it really puzzles me. I think it is likely that such a person had not become a Christian until he believed in eternal security. The activity of the Holy Spirit in such cases is to draw the unbeliever to Christ by convincing him of the truth of the gospel, including eternal security. Eternal security is a necessary conclusion of grace. Therefore, if someone believes in grace, he should not object to eternal security.

    It is possible for a believer to lose confidence in eternal security, or any other part of the gospel message. In such cases, he still has eternal life. (Luke 8:13).

    Third, you asked: “So how can you have communion with other christians if you think that they may not be saved ?”

    My comment: You really can’t. That’s why I don’t go to Calvinist/LS churches (or any others that corrupt the gospel). Based on the doctrines of such churches, and the testimonies of their members, I’m not sure if they are Christians. They claim the name of Christ, but then deny Him by their insistence that works are necessary to gain, keep, or give evidence of salvation.

    The best indicator of whether or not someone is a Christian is his testimony of what gospel he believes. If it is the gospel, then we can be pretty sure he is saved. If it is a false gospel, we can’t have any way of knowing. One of our recent commenters put it this way:

    I have remarked recently that we might be pretty sure, based on someone’s CLEAR statement, that they are saved, yet we cannot really know for sure that anyone is lost – regardless of their present message – because we do not know all that they heard and believed in the past. So we share the gospel, clearly and simply, and rejoice when folks believe in the Savior.

    Now, if a believer’s behavior is unseemly, you may want to avoid him, and in some cases, put him out of your church. But, that is not to determine whether or not he is saved. You are mixing concepts.

  23. Welcome Jonas
    If I may please I would recommend you put aside Watchman Nee and all other Teachers and Just study Gods Word preferably in The KJV alone . Make a determination before God that you desire the Truth of the Gospel for yourself .
    1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

    The moderators and Ladies and Gentleman here answering your question’s and concerns are really really sharp and wise towards the Clear Simple Gospel of which is very very rare these days . They have helped me in seeking Truth. The beauty of the Simple Clear Gospel is there really is no room for debate. Either we are saved by Grace as in
    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    or in some way you are trying to earn you way to heaven by being self righteous .
    Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

    a lot of confusion comes from not keeping Justification and Sanctification separate a lot of Teachers and denomination’s mix the two together and cause contradiction’s in scripture .

    ” come unto Jesus for salvation come after Jesus for Service “works ” “rewards ”

    It is God’s heart desire that souls would be disciples after salvation but as we all see that is not the case a lot of souls show no evidence of salvation and may continue to live a life as they were and are. Hearts are off limits to us and I am happy for that . I got enough going on just getting along with myself. My privilege is to keep sharing Jesus death burial and resurrection to souls as given opportunity to receive the Free Gift of peace with God the forgiveness of sins already been paid before the foundation of the World.

    If I may here also is some text’s to help “Truth of The Gospel”

    Gal_2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
    Gal_2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
    Eph_1:13 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,
    Col_1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

    Curtis

  24. Administrator’s note to commenter Henry:

    We have adequately addressed your questions regarding your brother.

    It is possible that we have also responded to him directly, as both you and another commenter to this thread (who we quit responding to, due to repetitive comments) have the exact same internet IP address.

  25. To Semone Simmons,
    the Calvinist/Lordship “Salvation” advocate who vented here.

    We will not publish your 1,130 word repetitive, personal experience sermon advocating the false teaching of Calvinism/Lordship “salvation.”
    Your treatise contained so many inconsistencies and Bible errors that it boggles the rational mind.

    You need not ad-lib the scriptures, they speak for themselves. We recommend that you get your King James Bible (never the terrible NIV, nor the Calvinist ESV “bible” from which it seems you quoted??). Take the KJV and read it along with our article here:
    Eternal Life For You
    https://expreacherman.com/eternal-life-for-you/

    We pray you will understand and believe that the Gift of Eternal Life salvation comes only by God’s Grace through your one time individual faith decision to believe in Jesus Christ alone as your Savior. It is God’s will that all would believe but YOU must personally make that decision yourself’ God does not imbue anyone with faith. (John 3:16 plus hundreds more)

    We will pray for you.
    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  26. Rolland Schearer

    I accepted Christ in the fall of 1959. I will be 71 years old on 4July ’14. I know that works (behavior) is often wrongly linked to salvation. You are correct. I also am in agreement with you in the section regarding what we should do, once we are saved.

    I have a youngest son who claims he said the sinner’s prayer around 6-8 years of age. From age 13 until now, he has racked up a long rap sheet with the police, did a lot of past drugs and alcohol, lives with a woman out of marriage, now has had 2 children by her, openly claims he does not want to submit his life to God- BUT, if I understand you correctly, I should not be concerned of his eternal fate, because he said the right words, many years ago and his life behavior cannot negate his past call to God.

  27. Rolland, welcome to ExP and thanks for your question.

    One is not saved by the words he has said, but by what he believes. Why not ask your son if he is going to heaven, and why. If he says he is, and is basing his assurance on the finished work of Christ, then you should take him at his word. Otherwise, why not clearly present the gospel to him? Below is a good resource that you might consider using:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/booklet.php?b_id=3

    Should you be concerned about his eternal fate? Yes, and so should he. Even if he is saved, he is living in a way that will forfeit all of his rewards in heaven.

  28. Rolland,

    Welcome to ExPreacherMan. We are happy you have made the decision to trust Jesus Christ alone as your Savior and I will add a thought to the excellent thoughts that John wrote.

    we are distressed any time we hear of a wasted life as you describe your son but we must realize a wasted life has no bearing on eternal life in Heaven.

    There is one particular issue about your story that need clarification.

    Your son claims he “said the sinner’s prayer” as a child. Every religion has some version of a sinner’s prayer.. most are confusing, flat out wrong and should not be believed. The question is, did he believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior, that Jesus died for his sins, was resurrected and is alive forever and his salvation is secure in Jesus alone, totally apart from any of his works or behavior?

    If I were you, I would not assume because your son “said the words” of a prayer as a young child, that he believed in Jesus for his eternal life. Just “saying the words of a prayer” does not save anyone. Believing in Jesus for eternal life does save. (John 3:16-18)

    Salvation is a gift and comes undeserved by Grace alone through one’s faith decision alone to believe in Jesus alone as one’s Savior.

    We will pray for you and your son as you talk to him about his eternity. We are all sinners and Jesus forgives the worst of us when we believe in Him and He epromises we shall NEVER perish, as Jesus said in John 10:28,
    “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall NEVER perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

    We suggest you print out the article John suggested and also ours entitled “Eternal Life For You.” Sit down with your son — read both to him and discuss the scripture therein:
    https://expreacherman.com/eternal-life-for-you/

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  29. Oliver Mannay

    Jack,
    I happened upon your site while doing some research for a sermon. It’s clear from your response to the post that Rolland Schearer left above, that you care about the salvation of others, and that you don’t believe that the ‘sinner’s prayer’ has saving power in and of itself.
    Bearing this in mind, I’m left wondering how you fill in some gaps that your summary has left in my mind. In your article, you state:

    Some proponents of Lordship salvation will allow that salvation is by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, but then will insist that a saved person will show signs of being saved, such as sinning less and doing good works. If these “signs” are not present, they will insist, or at least heavily suspect, that a person has never believed in Christ as Savior.

    This is a fair assessment of what I believe, but I think you mischaracterise the emphasis that people such as myself place on works. They are not a causative factor in salvation; they are a sign of life. It is true that there are times when those signs of life are so weak that it’s hard for us sinful, fallen humans to be able to make a clear decision one way or the other about whether somebody is saved, but there are many people whose lives demonstrate with great certainty that the person is unsaved. As it says in James 2:26, “…faith apart from works, is dead.” It can sometimes be difficult to know where to draw the line, but the external actions of a person betray the inner heart, and if it shows no change, no affection toward God, and no hatred of sin, I’m going to have deep concerns for that person’s state before God.
    My question, therefore, is this: What would you make of somebody who ‘prays a prayer’ as a teen and lives a lifetime of sin? Do you place any importance on works as an indicator of salvation?
    Our church is very multi-denominational and international, so it would help me to get your perspective.
    Thanks,
    Oliver Mannay.

  30. Oliver, welcome and thanks for your question.

    I’ll let Jack speak for himself, but my perspective is as follows.

    Works are not a “sign of life.” I place NO emphasis on works or a changed life as a “sign” that someone is saved. I believe it is heretical to teach that our behavior, or anyone else’s evidences salvation.

    Otherwise, how could a brand new Christian KNOW with certainty that he was saved? He couldn’t. He would have to wait to find out if his life changed. And, if he’s waiting to find out if his life changes, he’s not trusting fully in Christ. He’s trusting in Christ plus a changed life (see John5:24 for what the Bible says about how a new Christian can know he has eternal life).

    Second, even if someone undergoes a radical Christian transformation in his behavior, who is to say that his behavior won’t degrade? (See 2 Timothy 4:10). Demas forsook Paul because Demas loved the world. Friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). Demas is am eternally secure believer who turned his back on God. He is in heaven.

    Third, the book of James is not a “field guide” to determine who the “real Christians” are. It is a book written to believers to admonish them to live an active faith.

    Fourth, I agree that a person’s behavior betrays his inner affections. A believer who is not walking in close fellowship with God does not have has affections clearly set on Christ. If he did, he would be walking in close fellowship with God. But, one does not have to love God to receive the free gift of eternal life. He needs to believe on Jesus as his Savior.

    A believer receives a judicial decree from God the moment he believes in Jesus as his Savior. He does not receive an inoculation that will automatically transform his behavior. Rather, by reading God’s Word and by walking in the newness of life, he may be transformed (see Romans 12:2).

    Last, I believe you are using the wrong measuring stick in assessing peoples’ behavior are they perfect? Are you?

    The Bible says we have to be perfect to enter into heaven. The only way we can be perfect is to have Jesus’ perfection imputed to us. The way we receive Jesus’ imputed perfection is to trust in Him – Him alone – for eternal life.

    In conclusion, I would be more concerned about the eternal destiny of a person who is unclear on any of the above than I would be about someone who is clear on all of the above, yet has a sinful lifestyle.

  31. Oliver Mannay

    Hi, Johninnc. Thanks for your response.
    I think that, if we spent a long car ride together, there would be many things that we agree on. As is so often the case in discussions of issues that are important to people, there is a tendency to make ‘straw man’ arguments against those who hold beliefs that oppose our own. Also there are, of course, many different forms or degrees of Lordship Salvation, and I think I’d probably get off the bus quite a long time before it got to its final stop.
    It is indeed true that works alone cannot be used as the only sign that shows whether a person is saved. Works can be faked; believe me: I spent five years fooling a lot of people before I finally had any assurance of salvation.
    Nonetheless, I must be clear on one issue: I never held up perfection as a measuring stick; indeed, I put a fair amount of effort into making it clear that it’s far from an exact science. My apologies if I was not clear enough in that. While it’s quite likely that you could find, and have even encountered, somebody who believes that only moral perfection can be taken as a mark of salvation, I’ve never found anybody who does.
    Your conclusion is probably the most notable part of your response, from my perspective:

    “I would be more concerned about the eternal destiny of a person who is unclear on any of the above than I would be about someone who is clear on all of the above, yet has a sinful lifestyle.”

    I think that we both realise that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to discipling a Christian whose lifestyle screams disobedience to God. I also very much agree that there are things that a person must KNOW and AGREE WITH (and not just as an act of intellectual approval) in order to be saved, and that there are things that people can say that will immediately cause concern (“I don’t think we need to follow what the Bible says”, “I don’t think Jesus is the Son of God,” and so on). Nonetheless, I would be surprised if you didn’t draw the line somewhere in terms of a person’s behaviour, because the demons believe (and shudder). To border on the ‘straw man’ territory for a moment, if a church friend in your youth had ‘prayed a prayer’ and felt that it was completely genuine, and had then grown up to become a serial killer so evil that he would make Ted Bundy look benign, would his behaviour not cause you to doubt his salvation?
    There are so many young people growing up in the UK, the States, and elsewhere, who pray a prayer when they’re teenagers and then leave the church forever, and if you find them later on in life and attempt to evangelise them, they say that they’re doing just fine, because they prayed a prayer. At the beginning of this article, the writer states that, “salvation is by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.” Of course, I agree with this, but surely that faith will have some sort of outward sign? Will the speech of the person not change? Will they not be more secure? Having been saved and now having the indwelling Holy Spirit, and a new heart, will there be no outward sign whatsoever? The changes might be overt, or they might be so subtle as to be invisible to all but their best friends, but surely they would be changed? I’d like to know your views on this.
    Also, what I’m really interested in is to know what your thoughts are when the rubber really hits the road. I’m grateful for your ministry, and would like the benefit of understanding the applications of a theology that I doubt I will ever hold. If somebody knows all they need to know, and is adamant that they were sincere in their conversion, but is completely living like the world, so much so that even non-Christians are repulsed at their behaviour, how would you disciple such a person, or their Christian loved ones?
    Thanks,
    Oliver Mannay.

  32. Good day,
    I apologize if i am intruding and with the utmost respect,

    If we looked at works (fruit) as an indicator; it causes problems.

    Do Jehovah Witness do good works? – yes
    Do mormons do good works? – yes
    Satan presents himself as an angel of light (showing fruit)
    False prophets are outwardly sheep (showing fruit)

    under the blanket statement – but the external actions of a person betray the inner heart

    Then one must conclude that the above are saved based on actions of their heart but the bible clearly shows they are NOT saved.

    Now – the saved carnal church of Corinth was showing ZERO fruit/works.

    I think it is human nature to look at the outside; but God knoweth the heart.

    As for James 2 – look under the article “What is grace” and scroll to the bottom of the comments.

    As for the young man who prayed a prayer…..if that prayer result from “belief” in the gospel of Jesus then yes, he is saved. As soon as one believes the gospel (believe means to put TOTAL confidence in/to trust) they are sealed.
    – eph 1:13 – 13 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

    The majority of the New Testament is about how a born again believer SHOULD do or not do. David, a man after Gods own heart, committed adultery and murder later in life.

    just my humble opinion.

  33. Oliver, I stand by my previous response. My argument is not a “straw man.” I do not examine anyone’s behavior, including mine, for evidence of salvation.

    The old “demon belief” argument is Lordship Salvation 101. Christ did not die for demons. Read the post to which Preston referred on James 2.

    Oliver, if we were to take a long ride together, I would be trying to convince you that works have nothing to do with evidencing eternal salvation. From your comments so far, I think you would try to convince me that works do evidence eternal salvation. It would be a long car ride indeed.

    As to how to disciple a carnal Christian, I can rebuke them. But, until they want to be discipled, there would be better uses for my time.

  34. Oliver Mannay

    John,
    I really must ask you to answer this: Where did I say that Jesus died for demons? Perhaps you can guide me to the writings of a Lordship Salvation theologian or preacher (anybody who I can research) so that I can see the writings/teachings of somebody who clearly lives at the most extreme end of the spectrum on this matter.

    Your comment regarding our fictitious car ride was kind of saddening, if I’m honest. Nonetheless, perhaps you’re right; perhaps that’s how it would go. Maybe we both need to repent of making a secondary issue so close to our hearts that we would not be able to make much of the glory of God, and the marvels of those things about Him and HIs salvation plan that we both know and delight in. It’s always difficult to know where to draw the line when we fight for important doctrines, is it not?

    From what you said at the end of your response, it sounds like you’d be quite unloving toward somebody who appeared to be lost. I’m sure that this isn’t a true characterisation of the person you are. Would you not contend with that person, to see his affections returned to Christ instead of being focused on filling broken cisterns that hold no water? If this was the person closest to you, I doubt you’d really rebuke them and merely wait for them to express a desire to be discipled.

    If this is truly how you would minister to a ‘carnal Christian’, I’d be interested to know how you reconcile it with passages like the lost sheep and the lost coin?

    Thanks,
    Oliver Mannay.

  35. Oliver, you mentioned demon faith in your previous response. If I misinterpreted you, I apologize.

    I don’t think the matter of works being evidence of salvation is a secondary issue. I think that if someone believes that works must be present to evidence salvation, than he is on a slippery slope to teaching salvation by works. Because if works WILL be present, then works MUST be present.

    As to my unloving nature, God is working on that. After all, I have spent much time and effort with you trying to get you to understand the simplicity of the gospel.

  36. Oliver Mannay

    Hi, Preston.
    I assume you’re addressing the conversation that I initiated today; if that is the case, you are very welcome to join in. My apologies if I’m mistaken.
    I’d like to respond to your statement about fruit:

    “If we looked at works (fruit) as an indicator; it causes problems.
    Do Jehovah Witness do good works? – yes
    Do mormons do good works? – yes
    Satan presents himself as an angel of light (showing fruit)
    False prophets are outwardly sheep (showing fruit)”

    The issue that immediately comes to mind here is that, outside of salvation, our good works aren’t ‘good’ to God. Even when we’re saved, they’re only good because God looks at us and sees the righteousness of Christ. By God’s common grace, there are many noble JWs, Mormons, Muslims, Atheists, and so on, but outside of salvation there are no good works. Isaiah 64:6 comes to mind (“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”)
    Indeed, although all bear fruit, only Christians bear fruit that God deems to be ‘good’. Looking at Matthew 7:16, for example, “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”
    How would you reconcile this verse (Matthew 7:16) from your theological standpoint? To me, it seems to give confidence that we can, at least in some cases, recognise Christians and non-Christians (even those masquerading as the former) by their fruit.
    Thanks,
    Oliver Mannay.

  37. Oliver, I won’t be answering you further, due to it being a repetitious exercise.

    Your question to Preston regarding Matthew 7:16 is interesting. This refers to false prophets. How do I recognize them? By their fruits – in this case their words and the words of their “converts.”

    Matthew 23:15: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

    If you read on to Matthew 7:18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    This is absolute. A good tree (the new man, born of God) CANNOT bring forth evil fruit. Similarly, 1 John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Again, the new man does not commit ANY sin.

    But, a Christian’s behavior is both good and bad (being short of perfect). Therefore, “fruit” in Matthew 7:16 cannot possibly refer to behavior.

    In your four comments posted so far, you have written 1,565 words that could be summed up in four words: “I’m a fruit inspector.”

    Your first question to Jack started with “I happened upon your site while doing some research for a sermon.” I would respectfully suggest that you refrain from preaching God’s Word until you are more clear on the gospel.

    There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of other websites that adhere to your theology. We do not. If you are trying to convince us of your point of view, you are wasting your time. Go preach somewhere else.

  38. Oliver,

    You said, “Nonetheless, I must be clear on one issue: I never held up perfection as a measuring stick; indeed, I put a fair amount of effort into making it clear that it’s far from an exact science.”

    The reason the idea of a measuring stick is not “an exact science” is because it is man-made. According to the Bible, God gave us His measuring stick – one of absolute perfection. Fortunately, because He knew that we could never attain this, He also gave us an alternative – salvation by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, which gives us imputed perfection through Christ.

    With man’s measuring stick, no one could ever know whether he has done enough. Is one good work in life enough; one a year; one a week? You might think you have done enough to enter Heaven, but I may think you have not! The very essence of some vacillating measuring stick being used to determine your salvation (along with grace, of course, as LS’ers like to throw in) is utterly preposterous. I am baffled that anyone falls for it!

    Why would God, who created everything with such preciseness and order, choose to create a plan of salvation that was confusing, chaotic, and lacking in logic?

  39. Oliver,

    We understand your attempt to indoctrinate our readers into your brand of Lordship “salvation” (probation). However our discerning readers and administrators will not be fooled.

    We will not publish any further comments from you — but will allow our readers to respond to your not-so-subtle attempts.

    For all our commenters, we have guidelines we hope will self regulate the quantity of words in every comment. Thanks.

    John, Preston and others have answered very well your LS claims.

    Link to Preston’s James 2 answer:

    https://expreacherman.com/2014/05/10/what-is-grace/#comment-32597

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  40. Good day,

    great question.

    look at the passage about fruit in Luke. I believe fruit is doctrine and what come out of ones mouth.

    Luke 6:43-46 – For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

    45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his MOUTH SPEAKETH.

    NOTE – CAPS are for emphasis only.

    With matt 7 – that is talking about false prophets (verse 15). Again, outwardly, they are sheep. The ONLY way to recognize a false prophet is by the “words he speaks”.
    – if one is faithful to the GOSPEL; he will bring forth fruit with patience.

    IMHO

  41. ALSO-if expreacherman would be willing, you can email at {Deleted by ExP Admin} it is my gospel email address. 🙂

    I give it out to ALL on the internet. Anyone and everyone is welcome to email me—–no matter what their beliefs, religion or background.

    Preston

  42. Preston,

    We at ExP appreciate your desire to dialog with some of our more radical opponents of free grace and lead them to Christ.

    But we prefer not to be responsible for publishing email addresses of our friends.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  43. Matt for Grace and Truth

    I missed the “Oliver Discourse,” But seriously, and with all due respect to Oliver, it bears likely repeating that:
    Salvation must be obtained and maintained by grace alone or works alone…it cannot be a mixture of both…it’s one or the other. (Romans 11:6; Romans 4:4-5) God declares that salvation is by free grace alone (Romans 6:23).
    Lordship “salvationists” must attempt to judge (but never truly know) HOW MUCH “fruit” or HOW MANY “works” (or how little sin) are sufficient or necessary to prove that you really are a believer in Christ. As a result, many are in a perpetual or intermittent state of uncertainty and doubting. On the other hand, some are overconfident that their works are sufficient to prove their salvation (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 18:9-14). Bottom line: From God’s perspective, You and I have never done and can never do enough works to merit or prove our salvation (James 2:10; Galatians 3:10).

  44. Matt,

    Good to see you again…

    You are right — God has never been and will never be a “fruit inspector” to judge or confirm a Believer’s faith based salvation.

    As you and others have said salvation is either by Grace or by our works — and Romans 11:6 says the two cannot be mixed.. they are polar opposites and incompatible. Therefore by Grace alone through our Faith decision to trust in Jesus Christ alone is God’s Salvation — and because of that NO works (fruit) evidence needed for God to know. And we believers KNOW (1 John 5:13) because we have believed in Jesus.

    We continually preach as Believers we are saved by grace through our faith — and then voluntarily as Believers:
    “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we SHOULD walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

    We are thankful the Lord did not say, “we MUST walk in them (good works).” No one would ever be sure how many good world are enough — thus no eternal security — just as all Lordship Probation proponents erroneously teach.

    Thanks,

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  45. Hello Oliver
    I would hope you still hang around and read. Most important I would hope you ask God for Wisdom and understanding for THE Gospel.
    I myself cry out to God for wisdom asking/ declaring that I shall not to be self righteously Ignorant to the Gospel of your dear son Jesus who paid my sin debt by the shedding of His pure perfect blood for me before I was even born. and for the whole world
    2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

    Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    Justification and sanctification must remain separate or scripture contradicts its self.
    the biblical definition of repent is Change your mind

    Jon 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

    Jon 3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
    Jon 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

    I appreciate the administrators here for keeping a tight ship. Most of us here have come out of Indoctrination and are sensitive. I am sorry if others are offended by it. I myself choose the Narrow Gate.
    Nothing so impressive as simplicity .

    Curtis

  46. Oliver – I think there were many things I struggled with as I read your post (most were addressed well by others), but the most telling was you saying it took five years to have assurance of your salvation. Have you really believed God’s testimony of His Son? John 20:31 and 1 John 5:10-13 tell us when we believe, we can know we are saved. Based solely on whether or not we believe that testimony. Have you? (I mean no offense, but it’s really worth asking you.)

  47. One other thing that comes to mind Oliver regarding the long car ride.

    John said, ” I would be trying to convince you that works have nothing to do with evidencing eternal salvation. From your comments so far, I think you would try to convince me that works do evidence eternal salvation. It would be a long car ride indeed.”

    What is more loving Oliver? To give up and say, “stop the car” (make it a short ride), or a long ride where he is patiently continuing to convince you of the truth? In order that you are not misled, and also that you do not unknowling mislead others?

  48. Greetings all,

    I have a question for you, but before I ask, let me briefly introduce myself.

    I am recovering from Presbyterianism. I had been a Calvinist for over 20 years, and might have been happy to remain a Presbyterian, but a tragedy happened in my family that led me to question the love of God. The short of it is this: If God predestined one whom he created me to love to eternal damnation from eternity past for no other reason, than “to the praise of His glorious justice” (WCF 3:7), then I cannot worship Him. Calvinism pushed me to the brink of atheism/agnosticism. I spent 6 of the last 7 years vacillating between hating God and “repenting.”

    Additionally, as a Calvinist, I never had a lasting assurance of salvation. I would go back and forth from believing I was saved to questioning whether I had true faith.

    I have finally come to understand that I had believed a lie. God is not a monster. God is Love (with a capital “L”). I have fully rejected Calvinism (all 5 points of TULIP). I can’t begin to have the words to tell you how liberating it is to be free from bondage to Reformed Theology! God is good.

    Among the books that I have found helpful are Zane Hodges’ “A Free Grace Primer”; David Anderson, “Free Grace Soteriology”; J.B. Hixson(editor), “Freely by His Grace”; Ryrie, “So Great Salvation” (as was posted on another thread, Ryrie is Calvinistic. It is implied in this book), and Thomas Cucuzza’s “Secure Forever.” (Actually, I have visited Dr. Cucuzza’s church several times, as I have family who are members of his church. Hence it was interesting finding a web site that promotes his book).

    My question: As I was reading “Free Grace Soteriology” and “Freely by His Grace” it was mentioned in both books that there is a correlation between Free Grace and Dispensationalism. Those that hold to Free Grace tend to also hold to Dispensationalism.

    I know that since I have rejected Calvinism, then by necessity, I have a problem with Covenant Theology, as Calvinism = Reformed Theology = Covenant Theology = Calvinism, etc….

    I also agree that it is significant that since pre-millennialists believe in two separate judgments (one for the save and one for the lost with 1000 yrs between), both of which examine “works” – while post and a-millennialists believe that there is but one judgement which examines “works” – then the post and a-millennialists necessarily tend toward having that one judgement determine if ones faith is real.

    As I study Dispensationalism, my primary question at this point is what do Dispensationalist do with the New Covenant? Is the church in the New Covenant? If not, then why do we partake of the Lord’s Supper, which is the cup of the New Covenant? The author of Hebrews also seems to teach that we, the church, are connected to the New Covenant. If y’all could help me on this, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you in advance for your help,

    Dan.

  49. Dan Harris,

    Welcome and thanks for your question/comment.

    Dr. Cucuzza is always a good source for answers.. your family members are in a wonderful church. Tom was my Assistant Pastor when I was pastor of our church in S. Florida.

    We will get back to you soon.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  50. FryingPan9

    Welcome, Dan

    It’s great to have you here. I’m sorry I don’t have any answers for you re dispensationalism, the New Covenant, etc., I’m a recovering Calvinist and victim of Lordship “Salvation” (Probation) so I’m not in a position to be much help in those other areas you mentioned.

    But I just wanted to let you know you’ve come to the right place to recover from the false doctrines that stem from Calvinism in all it’s unholy pointy nastiness.

    And to echo what Jack said, you really are in a wonderful Church there in St. Cloud, MN. Pastors like Tom Cucuzza are hard to come by. VERY hard to come by. Consider yourself blessed beyond measure to have that teaching and body of believers in a geographically desirable location, even if “geographically desirable” needs some qualification if applicable.

    Stick around. You’re going to love it here.

  51. Welcome Dan
    I wish I could answer you Dan , this the best i can do for now.
    I can relate to you
    since August 2010 I am coming out of a twisted Calvinism system of thought. that led me to the point of denying the Trinity and divinity of Jesus . I hope to encourage you of some do’s and don’ts from someone who did.
    Careful You are on the edge of stepping into Pauline Dispensationalism that is Just another system of thought. been down that rabbit hole.
    Study the Bible KJV preferably at least for a time
    Study the Gospel
    When the Bible makes no sense seek no other sense. Ask God for Wisdom
    Use a 1828 Noah Webster dictionary it is free
    Give yourself time God is not mad at you not only does God Love you He Likes you and His desire is for us to recognize He is the one who sticks by us closer than a Brother.
    Old Covenant New Covenant Its the Blood of Jesus from Genesis to revelation By Grace Through Faith

    Reading your testimony reminded me of this verse

    Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

  52. Hi Dan, that’s great news. We are also part of the New Covenant, dispensationalist don’t automatically reject that which was made with Israel, salvation is of the Jews 🙂 Start with the 8 covenants, I’m guessing Tom Cucuzza, or Ralph Yankee Arnold or Hank Lindstrom over on Biblelineministries.org will have something on them. Please don’t take offense if I go over anything you already know.

    The promise of salvation was made to all mankind, first in Gen 3:15, then in the Abrahamic Covenant in Gen 12, ratified in Gen 15, and of course kept filtering down through the Davidic Covenant etc. The Messiah (the Seed) would come through a certain lineage but the blessing was to all. The land promises would be different, they were not made to all mankind. See if you can find something there, if not, I can sure steer you to some through asking the admins here first if those I share are o.k.

    God bless, glad to have you!

  53. Dan H (Harris),

    I think I understand your question so I will try to shed some light on the issue. I was raised in a Calvinist home until I was 16 when I abandoned it for Atheism about 68-70 years ago.

    Calvinists have confused their Covenant “Theology” with the New Covenant in the blood of Christ. For anyone to define their many vagaries of their “covenants” is akin to trying to nail fresh Jello to a wall. Just can’t be done.

    Jesus Covenant for believers:
    1 Corinthians 11:25
    “After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament (Covenant) in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”

    The word “Testament” is the same Greek word as Covenant in other passages. It is the contract that Jesus sealed when He shed His Blood on Calvary for all mankind, available and eternally imputed to all who will believe/trust in Jesus alone as Savior. (John 3:16-18) He died for the whole world but eternal life is imputed to those who believe in Him.

    Calvinists are anti-dispensational, I presume because it doesn’t fit their mold and they erroneously (with no basis in scripture) think God has predetermined, preselected and predestined everyone’s eternal destination by His choosing, some to Heaven and some to Hell. The T.U.L.I.P “L” is constructed by Calvinists to erroneously state that Jesus Blood Sacrifice was a “Limited” atonement — only for the “elect” or “chosen” to be saved. Therefore Calvinists have no need for the concept of different time periods (dispensations) in which God deals with mankind. However salvation from the beginning has always been by Grace through individual faith decision in Jesus Christ alone. In the Old testament dispensations salvation was faith in the promised Redeemer.

    I pray this helps somewhat and also that Tom Cucuzza will read this post and your note. He follows ExP pretty closely. He is far better equipped to answer your question than I.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  54. Curtis – I would only caution on the Noah Webster dictionary, he doesn’t quite have repent or repentance right. Just an fyi since it’s more in line with the Catholic meaning of penitence or sorrow.

  55. Good day Dan,

    you have found a good site here, you could be busy reading for months. I am a dispensationalist; I don’t hide it at all. my views MIGHT differ from some here BUT we all agree, that salvation is a FREE GIFT currently.

    Now, there are different levels of dispensationalism out there. For example, some say that we only fall under the Pauline epistles. For example, James and Hebrews doesn’t apply to us: I disagree with that. Just because it was written to jews, doesnt mean it wasn’t for us….that like saying ephesians was written to Ephesus not for me in the USA.

    So what are my thoughts?
    1. Is anyone worried about eating from the tree of good and evil? NO – it doesn’t apply to us.
    2. is anyone going to build an alter to sacrifice animals to atone for sin? NO -it doesn’t apply to us (today, that “troddens underfoot the Son of God- Heb)

    i know everyone doesn’t share my next comment. i believe the new dispensation begins after the rapture of the church. i think it goes back to the old covenant for the 70th week.

    In Daniel, Jesus promised 70 weeks of years to Israel. The antichrist causes the sacrifices to cease; thus there has to be a temple. After the rapture and a great military victory (Ezekial; i think) the jews will see “the miracle” and return to God; under the old covenant (building a temple and sacrificing animals)

    To me—-it becomes “grace PLUS” after the rapture. there are many reasons why I think this; I obviously wont list them all.

    Rev 12:17 – 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which KEEP the commandments of God, AND have the testimony of Jesus Christ
    Rev 14:12 – 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, AND the faith of Jesus
    – I have more reasons as this would be a novel.

    The church is gone after Rev 4. We also know, today, that keeping the commandments FOR salvation is “another/perverted gospel” and it makes faith void and of none effect.

    I am not hard or steadfast on this. I would like to hear Toms viewpoint as well.

    I would LOVE for this discussion to go a ways!!!!

    God Bless

  56. Good day,

    I will discuss with myself. 🙂

    in genesis is reads “for Abraham believed God and it was accounted for righteousness”

    although….”the law” didn’t come until Exodus (Moses). BUT, Cains sacrifice was not acceptable unto God (indicating some type of law)
    – Although I see it as a picture of man coming up with his own righteousness (Cain) verses the righteousness of God (Abel)

    Phil 3:9 – And be found in him, NOT having mine OWN righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith

    like I said – I am NOT streadfast on this; I could debate/discuss with myself.

    I am looking forward to this discussion.

    God Bless,

  57. Dan wrote
    “why do we partake of the Lord’s Supper, which is the cup of the New Covenant?”

    in remembrance of me

    1Co 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
    1Co 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

  58. Preston, I don’t believe it is “grace plus” after the rapture, for at least these three reasons:

    1. There is no such thing as “grace plus”. Something is either grace, or it is not.
    2. There is no boasting in heaven. If it were grace plus, there would be room for boasting for some. Since there is only one heaven, I don’t see room for “grace plus” in any dispensation.
    3. If someone had to trust in Christ plus their perseverance, they are really only trusting in themselves.

  59. Prestone Wrote
    “BUT, Cains sacrifice was not acceptable unto God (indicating some type of law)”

    Cain Knew better but did not do it.
    Hebrews 11:4 says this was to be a sacrifice for righteousness

    ” If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? ”

    Gen 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

    Gen 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

    Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

    Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

    Heb_11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

    1Jn_3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

    Jud_1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

  60. Good day,

    not arguing but searching.

    John,

    1. point 1 and 2 – you are correct, we are saved by grace so that no man can boast (Eph 2:8-9 and Rom 3:24-28). BUT these letters were written to the “church” not to anyone else.

    2. point 3 – i agree, in THIS age; dispensation

    As stated before, I am not on a “hard” stand with this. BUT there is much evidence to support.
    1. The enduring to the end in Matt and Mark – is written about those in the tribulation period
    2. not only the passage above but rev 16:15 (during the wrath) – 5 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
    3. The foolish virgins – some let their oil (Holy Spirit) run out.

    The “sealing of the Holy Spirit” SEEMS to me to only be promised to the church.

    AGAIN, not a hard stance. I would like opinions on the passages listed to help me understand.

    God Bless,

  61. Preston, one more thing on “grace plus” after the rapture. 1 John 3:9 says that whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin. This refers to our regenerated (born again) sinless nature in this current period. The verses that you cited from Revelation do not conflict with this verse from 1 John.

  62. Preston, what will the message be that is used to evangelize after the rapture?

    Will John 3:16 and John 3:18 be overridden? What about John 5:24? Were these written to the church? What about Revelation 21:6?

    The passages that you cited have alternative explanations other than “grace plus.”

    1. Enduring to the end – the question is saved from what? Does it mean saved from eternal damnation or saved from physical destruction?

    2. Revelation 16:15 – I don’t see this as threatening unfaithful believers with loss of eternal salvation

    3. Foolish virgins – scripture says they “took no oil with them” (Matthew 25:3). I don’t see how this means they let their oil “run out.” They said “our lamps are gone out.” If oil refers to the Holy Spirit, the foolish virgins never had it. This parable has a single point – watch for the coming of Christ.

  63. By the way, some other Bible translations butcher Matthew 25:3. Net Bible says they didn’t take any extra oil with them. NLT says they didn’t take enough oil with them. The Bible (KJV) says they took no oil with them.

  64. Good day,

    and thanks for your response.

    1. maybe—but in REV 70% of the world dies in the tribulation. Were many of these folks not trying to endure. IF that means physical salvation that would imply the others were not trying to endure…wouldnt it? I am pretty positive that MANY will try to endure phycially but will be unsuccessful

    2. notice how it reads – blessed….who keepeth his garmants. Today, it is The Holy spirit that keeps us sealed. WHY would they have to keep on their garments. (dont forget about the other 2 rev in the previous comment)

    3. Matt 25 – you are correct!!!!! thanks.

    As for the 1 John – I agree. Supported by Rom 7, 1 Cor 15 and Jesus who said, what is born of flesh is flesh; what is born of Spirit is Spirit. – TWO separate births – Again ALL written to the church.

    Another Revelation passage – And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

    10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

    11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

    12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

    QUESTION – can a person believe in Jesus alone THEN take the mark and worship the image of the beast and STILL go to heaven (works)? it looks like NO to me.

    one COULD say that a “true believer” will NOT do that. BE CAREFUL – that would sound like those today who say —true believers will do good works or true believers will NOT sin as much – which we both agree is WRONG

    AGAIN – just thoughts, I am 100% FREE GRACE. Its all about the gospel for me. 1 Cor 2:2 – 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

    AFTER the rapture, no born again believer in the church will be here (whether carnal or not). 1 Cor 15 – For we shall not ALL sleep, but we shall ALL be changed.

    I find this topic extremely interesting.

    God Bless,

  65. Preston, what message will be preached after the rapture? I find this topic important, because if it is “grace plus” after the rapture, then it is no longer grace. Grace is an unmerited gift. If it is grace plus after the rapture, then we have to redefine grace. That is a slippery slope that leads to false gospels in the here and now.

  66. Preston,

    The “Grace plus” argument is fallacious and counter productive to all that scripture teaches. John’s answers to you are accurate.

    You must throw out Romans 11:6 in order to satisfy your argument.
    “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

    God”s Grace cannot be modified to suit our imaginations. It is either Grace or it is works.. Salvation is always by Grace and NEVER by works. “Grace Plus” is nothing more than a disguised works message – similar to John MacArtghur’s.

    We are not here to promote the un-Biblical theory of “Grace Plus” so let us terminate your confusing public discussion now. Thanks,

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  67. Dan,
    It is good to hear from you and to know you have put the error of Calvinism behind you. I was asked if I would comment on this issue of covenants.

    Here it is:

    Concerning the New Covenant, let me mention a few things:

    1. A covenant is an agreement between two parties. It can be conditional or unconditional. The New Covenant is not the gospel, but a new arrangement. The New Covenant is God’s new arrangement with men based on the death of Christ. Let me mention something vitally important-

    The way of salvation has never changed. It has always been by grace through faith. Remember: the Law showed man he was a sinner. It never provided a way of salvation. It manifested the holiness of God. The Law was like a mirror.

    Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    Romans 3:24 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.
    27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
    28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    2. The New Covenant brings the realization of the gospel and God’s future plan.

    Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
    20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

    Testament = covenant.

    Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

    3. If the first covenant had been perfect, there would be no need for a new one.
    Beginning in v.8 it is a quote from Jeremiah 31:31-34.

    Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
    9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
    10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

    4. Several contrast Between the Old and New Covenants:

    a. The Old Testament primarily records God’s dealings with Israel on the basis of the covenant given through Moses at Mount Sinai. The New Testament describes the new arrangement of God with men through Christ on the basis of the new covenant.

    b. The Old Covenant revealed the holiness of God in the righteous standard of the Law and promised a coming Redeemer. The New Covenant shows the holiness of God in His righteous Son.

    c. The Old Covenant emphasized the righteousness of the Law, and therefore condemned. The New Covenant emphasizes the answer to the righteousness of the Law, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Redeemer and the Savior promised.

    The Law emphasized the righteous standards of God. But Grace emphasizes our position in Christ and the attitude we should have in response to our standing. Godly living should still be what we want, but from the inside out. Not just righteous actions because of the Law, but righteous actions from an intrinsic motivation to please God. Some of the Old Testament saints had this, but the emphasis was on the Law itself, which brought condemnation.

    One man said: The Old Covenant failed because of the sinfulness of the nation, for which it had no remedy. The New Covenant has such a remedy.

    d. The Old Covenant was conditional. The New Covenant is unconditional. It is God saying what He will do regardless of what Israel does. Israel failed under the Old Covenant.

    Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

    It is interesting to me that, as we realize that we are under the New Covenant, that there are still religions based on rituals, priests and the priesthood, offerings for sin, incense, law keeping, etc. What they show is their own blindness and or disregard for the work that Jesus accomplished on the cross.

    John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

    It is finished. Paid in full.

    ***Very Important:

    5. The Beneficiaries of the New Covenant. Seeing the concept of the New Covenant is seen in the Old Testament and is directed toward the Jewish people, the Lord addressed them first. We today in the church are beneficiaries of the New covenant before the Jews as a nation, because the Lord has temporarily set them aside during the church age. Of course He will deal more directly with them once the church is Raptured away.

    Also, the blessings of the covenant are found in the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    We all need a Savior and we all need a new covenant. The New Covenant is a perfect one. It has been provided for us through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Hope this all helps. These notes are taken from a message I preached a few years back. You can listen to it here: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=812121738576

    Tom Cucuzza

  68. Thanks Tom, that is helpful. I have seen many get tripped up on how both the church and the Jewish nation benefit from the New Covenant. Some do not want to admit that the Jewish nation has been put to the side temporarily to allow for God’s working now with the church. I think a dispensation perspective helps see this clearly. It also then has various helps in understanding things doctrinal as opposed to the covenant views.

    Jim F

  69. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Hello Dan,
    A main clause of the new covenant is:
    “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12; see also Hebrews 10:17
    To the praise of the glory of His grace, we are God’s highly favored children (accepted in the beloved), forever forgiven and cleared of all lifetime sins, and robed in His perfect righteousness irregardless of works. Like you said, that’s God’s love with a capital “L” (and bold, underlined and ALL CAPITALS)!

  70. Dan Harris

    Wow! a lot of replies. Where to start?

    I’ll start with Pastor Cucuzza:

    Thank you so much for your notes and for the link to the sermon. Your notes are clear, logical, and completely answered the question that I asked.

    I must admit that I am relieved concerning your position of the inclusion of the church in the new covenant.

    Some of the material I have read concerning dispensationalism has had me a bit worried, as I was thinking that there is no way I could come to agree with a system of thought that sees the church as completely separate from the new covenant, or that there are two new covenants.

    A couple examples:

    From Rodney Decker (2008, Why 
Do 
Dispensationalists 
Have 
Such
 a 
Hard 
Time
 Agreeing on 
the 
New
 Covenant?
)

    [quote]
    “It is no secret that there is more diversity among traditional dispensationalists regarding the church’s relationship to the new covenant than regarding any other comparable issue in our system….when we come to the new covenant it is challenging to establish consensus as to whether there is one new covenant or two, whether the church is a party to the covenant, related only through the covenant mediator, shares similar blessings, or has nothing at all to do with it.”
    [/quote]

    From Craig Blaising, (1993, Progressive Dispensationalism, pg 28)

    [quote]
    “Chafer…had to recognize that the New Testament did speak of a ‘new covenant’ which was in force for the church in this dispensation. He argued that this was a completely different ‘new covenant’ than that which will be made with Israel. (In the same manner, he argued that the spiritual blessings which would be given to Israel under the new covenant of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, would be distinctly different from those given to the church today.) Scofield, on the other hand, interpreted the New Covenant in the same manner as he did the Abrahamic covenant: literally it had to do with God’s earthly plan for Israel; spiritually it revealed God’s spiritual plan for the church”
    [/quote]

  71. Dan Harris

    Holly,

    Thanks for the web site recommendation. I’ll take a look at it.

    Much of what you said is similar to what I understood under Covenant Theology. They speak of a progressive revelation beginning with what they call the “protoevangelium” of Genesis 3:15 up until the final revelation of the new covenant. With each successive covenant more is revealed. The unifying thread is what they refer to as the covenant of grace.

    Concerning the land promises, does Gal 3:29 (“if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”) relate at all to that?

    Pastor Weaver,

    Thank you for your response and for the web site. I am finding quite a bit of good reading here. I had put together a follow up question, but I’m pretty sure that Pastor Cucuzza answered it.

    One additional question though for you, or for anyone else:

    Would it be safe to speak of an “already / not yet” aspect to the New Covenant from a dispensational point of view? Can we say that Jesus inaugurated the New Covenant by the shedding of his blood, and that we (the church) are “already” made partakers of that covenant through union with Christ (Gal 3:29), but there remains a “not yet” aspect in which the land promises will be literally fulfilled to a literal offspring in the age to come? Would that be consistent with a dispensationalist understanding of the New Covenant?

    Curtis M.,

    I’m not “on the edge of stepping” into anything. I didn’t become a Calvinist and embrace Covenant Theology overnight. Neither was I quick to leave it behind. (Maybe I’m slow). I have 20 years of presuppositions to work through. I have a lot of questions concerning the nature of the church, infant baptism, federal headship, the Decalogue (moral law) etc…

    There are a lot of things to think through. What I do know from my perspective, is that the walls of Covenant Theology are caving in since its Calvinistic foundation has been demolished.

    The correlation between Free Grace and Dispensationalism is not lost on me.

    I’m much more willing now to approach the topic of dispensationalism with an open mind than I ever was before.

    Dan.

  72. Dan,

    I would say that the church does benefit from the new covenant now based on Christ and that there are promises to National Israel yet to be fulfilled relating to the new covenant. I wouldn’t say that is what is known as the already not yet view. I think most here would reject Progressive Dispensationalism, Kingdom Theology, the Vineyard movement etc. There have been people like Ladd, Blaising, Bock and others that have articulated an Already / Not Yet view but I think much of that has more to do with the certain kingdom aspects that supposed to be in effect now versus the ones to come. Some of these views have less to do with the church. I do believe Progressive Dispensationalism does fail to see a clear enough distinction between Israel and the Church.

    Everyone should also remember that there are many views and different subtleties to these positions. I takes a good amount of time to study each one through and know the theological ramifications of each view.

    Hope that helps some.

    Jim F

  73. Thank you for your response Pastor Tom

    Thank you Dan for the question’s and the responses from all it helps me and encourages me to study.

    I looked up Dispensationalism on Wikipedia and it was an interesting read. I was not aware of all the different views on it. I was schooled of it under Scofield but forgot what I learned.

    to me It is important to allow the Bible to interpret the Bible . There are a lot of teachers out there who use dispensations and covenant theology against one another I see that now.

    Pastor Tom’s response is as clear as I have heard it in Simplicity . I also listened to the recorded message.

  74. Tom Cucuzza

    Dan,

    I agree with what Jim says on this issue. Thanks Jim.

    Tom Cucuzza

  75. Dan, I always figure that since Satan counterfeits always from the truth, using the Bible as well, each system is going to have some truth and also might make mostly sense when we read the verses they share. But it’s got it’s root in Augustianism (not sure if that’s a real word) 🙂 and Calvinism.

    Covenant theologians see 6 covenants right? Vs. 8 that I believe is typical dispensationalism? Or 9 if you count the one with Phinehas (that no one really talks about that I really know about). I guess no matter how they slice it up, when we look to His Word, the answers are there, sometimes not immediately as we almost have to take down bad construction to rebuild again? Like demolition, unlearning old junk and being taught from the pure Word. Anyways, I feel pretty certain with your desire just to figure out the truth, you’ll be fine. And with good men like Tom, Jack, Jim and John and others here, I know they’ll always try to steer in the right direction. God bless you as you are commended to the Word of His grace 🙂

  76. Lordship Salvation ruins faith. I hate it.

    I just had an email response from a friend who referred me to Thomas Watson’s book on Repentance for a great explanation of that word which makes salvation so, wait for it…

    “Mysterious”.

    *punches self in face*

    So sad. So much deception.

    This after I shared John 20:31 with them, and pointed out that lack of the “mysterious” word “Repent”.

    Nope. Actually, I think maybe John and Paul just got the gospel horribly wrong. Thankfully we have so many great bible teachers with all their fancy books on this topic, not to mention all their other books on how to be a super sold out soldier!

    Maybe we should just change the bible to suit the new meaning of Repent.

    Oh, wait a minute…

  77. Wow, beholdoldason that was awesome. You should eventually blog. I sure do like your style. Very effectively communicated.

  78. BeholdaSon… I agree with FryingPan9,

    You make me laugh….although (of course) in sadness at the twisting of God’s Word. Super sold out soldier… radical….smh.

    The ludicrous irony of it all, has been around as an example from the beginning,“Yea hath God said”?

  79. Oh that’s encouraging. 🙂 Thanks 😀

    I have had the desire to share the Gospel, the miracles and fulfilled prophecies, pictures of pug dogs etc via a website.

    I might just do that. 🙂

  80. Funny… I have been working on the miracles and fulfilled prophecies too. Not to do an article, just when I did the “I Am” statements in John, it was one of my rabbit trails. I did some spreadsheets some years back on the prophecies. Really big blessing and huge study and would take a very organized and talented person to do it 🙂 I vote for you!

  81. Awesome! I was encouraged by an old friend to study the I AMS. I always paused at the Bread one and my mind would venture off into food territory.

    Seriously though… amazing stuff. So encouraging studying the Lord.

  82. It is amazing… And it always sparks us to study more, learn more, dig for treasure that His Word is which I love (Ps 119:140, 162)

  83. Repenting from sin and confessing your sin are both works of the law. I saw MacArthur in one of his ‘sermons’ mention ‘confessing your sins’ was a necessity for salvation, or you were ‘going to hell’, yet Numbers 5:7 says confessing your sin is one of the 613 commandments of the law. So how does that stack up with Gal 2:16?

    Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

  84. God be merciful to me a sinner.
    this man went down to his house justified

    Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

    I love how the KJV translation protects this passage, when we put faith in Jesus as Savior. it is the faith OF Christ the perfect Lamb of God that keeps us.

    we have believed in Jesus Christ
    that we might be justified by the faith “of Christ”

    Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

  85. FYI in 1988, John MacArthur released his book ‘The Gospel According to Jesus. I listened to him being interviewed on WVCY-FM. My memory is pretty good, especially when I hear something shocking. He explained that a man who used to preach/evangelize with JMAC had at a point turned away from the Lord and began to live in a way that JMAC judged to be lost. He blamed it on the incorrect gospel that was being preached and that his book taught the correct gospel, which JMAC claimed was Jesus gospel. If I understand the Gospel correctly, he changed it into a form of human performance as proof of salvation and added a requirement of total ”commitment” to the Gospel. ”We must give up all we are to gain all He is” if i am quoting him correctly and I think I am. Up to this point, i had ‘devoured’ JMACs tapes and books and had attempted to model my preaching after his. For nearly ten years I revered him. This was a game-changer. I’m still grieved over his change. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit kept me from following him into this error.
    .

  86. Paul’s message to the Lordship Salvation people:

    “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing–if it really was for nothing? Does God give his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard.?” (Galatians 3:1-5)

    In fact, Paul has more to say about these modern day Galatian legalists we know as Lordship Salvation legatists including a stern warning in Galatians 1:8-9.

  87. Phil, I agree that Lordship “salvation” is Galatianism.

  88. Ken Krug, I remember a friend who asked me to tell her what was wrong with the book, I took the first few pages that were downloadable, I believe it was 28 pages pdf form. I highlighted the errors, she looked at it with contempt and became my enemy from that point.

    It saddens me, I do not know what it is that has happened, but find it suspect with MacArthur that he never remembers having believed (or he always believed), it just ‘happened’.

  89. I was just reading the Grace Community Church site of JMs LS church. They give about a page entitled “Lordship Salvation.”: I wonder if they have LS tee shirts identifying themselves saying “Lordship Salvation” I would invite you to read this article on their church site if you haven’t read it already. It is based on his book, “The Gospel According to Jesus.” I don’t know if JM wrote this, but the article divides believers into two groups: the Lordship Salvationists and the “easy believeismists”, and of course we poor misguided grace alone folks fall into the latter group. They say in this article that we are saved by grace through faith. But of course they go on to get into the qualifications of faith not only at the time of justification but character of that faith continuing in the life of the believer. This is what happens when someone doesn’t rightly divide the word and has put passages of the Bible into a blender. Not matter how they try to convince you that LS makes sense it still comes out as faith plus works: working your way to heaven to prove your salvation, a false gospel as Paul says.

    If JM and the LS crowd want to call me and you “easy believism” it doesn’t bother me. Easy believing is all I can do because Christ already did it all and paid it all for me dying for my sins and rising to give be everlasting life. Easy believing is simply taking a free gift by faith; a gift far to expensive for us to ever be able to afford.

  90. Phil, I agree – I don’t mind the term “Easy Believism” one bit. There is another name for it – “Christianity”.

  91. Phil, I agree – I don’t mind the term “Easy Believism” one bit. There is another name for it – “Christianity”.

  92. Matt for Grace and Truth

    John,

    Verily, verily!

  93. Thanks john, I thought I might share my personal experience in a local church that had fallen into Lordship salvation that I was a member of from 1996 through 2000.
    I looked into this Bible church that was IFCA affiliated and decided to start visiting. The church’s doctrinal statement and the IFCA both agreed with salvation by faith alone in Christ’s finished saving work alone. But as I continued to attend church services and adult Bible studies I started hearing some things that should have sent up a red flag but didn’t. I started hearing praise for this John MacArthur and his writings. I can’t remember at first if the term Lordship Salvation was mentioned and I really didn’t know much about him at the time. One class had this elder who was teaching out of James 2 and saying in so many words, you need faith plus works to be saved. I also starting hearing the word “repent” when the pastor would give an invitation to receive Christ as Savior. Despite these things I thought it was only a few who believed these legalistic things and that this church was mostly grace only. So i decided to join this church. i remember when I and another guy were to be baptized we were asked to give a brief testimony at a Sunday evening service. I think this guy was around 17 or 18 and he gave this testimony about all the horrible things he had done, and how sorry he was, and he had repented, sobbing the whole time, but I don’t recall his telling about his trusting Christ had died to forgive and save him from all his sins. When it was my turn I told them how reading God’s truth in Romans had awakened me as I read and studied the gospel of how Christ had paid my for my sins and secured eternal life for me. And I knew what it meant, that he is my Savior because he really had saved me.
    As time went on I began to see Geneva Bibles and JM Study Bibles from time to time. During a Bible study I had said something that rang of “easy believism” and some of the others tried to correct me saying in so many words that is takes more that just simply believing the gospel to be saved, in other words, faith plus works. Once I was giving a talk to an AWANA youth group and I mentioned Christ’s righteousness imputed to us. This one leader at the back of the room sort of made these scoffing noises and I think shaking his head. And this guy carried a JM Study Bible.
    But what happened about a year or two before I left this church was the start of my seriously planning to leave this legalistic church. I had made a comment in an adult bible study that Christ had done it all and all we have to do is believe him to be saved. And this one guy started lecturing me something to the effect that my faith must contain works and he started telling me about James 2 and also telling me what MacArthur was saying in his books. We got into a kind of heated argument when I told him how wrong JM really was. This teacher decided to break it up between us.
    When I first was in this church I thought it was only a small minority of LS legalists, but by after a couple of years as a member of this church I could see that there was no real escaping these legalists particularly in any groups or Bible studies. It seemed that very few there believe that faith alone and grace alone were enough to be saved.
    In 2000 I called the pastor and told him that I was quitting my membership in this church because of this John MacArthur Lordship salvation legalism that is being promoted and infected this church. I haven’t been back since. I was involved in a different home Bible church or fellowship for a few years after that, but I have been very reluctant to actually join another church and since 2000 never found one.

    Sorry to go on so long, but I thought I wound give my sad experience as a caution to others who are looking into a prospective church.

    Here are some guidelines for choosing the right church I have learned the hard way:

    Take your time–all the time you need in finding a church. You don’t have to actually join a church if you can’t find one that is right for you. God’s not going to forsake you if you are not on the membership rolls of a local church. Only the membership roll in Heaven for the saved is what really counts. Actually there are believers who are active in a local church, but they never actually join: they just keep coming.

    Carefully read the church’s doctrinal statement and make sure it does not add anything to your being saved other than faith alone in Christ alone. But remember that these statements don’t always line up with what the members believe. People come from different background and can have different reasons for joining a particular church.

    Take your time before you commit to join and talk with the leaders and make sure they have not fallen into legalism. And also get to know other members and find out if they have fallen into legalism. And stand your ground for salvation by grace and faith alone. Don’t let any of them pressure or persuade you that it takes more that just faith to be saved.

    There are plenty of churches that have doctrinal statements that say we are saved by faith alone and add nothing else. This church I was in had the same faith alone salvation statement in its doctrinal statement, but they had strayed far from it into Lordship Salvation even before i arrived there. So the reality is that a church’s doctrinal salvation statement is not necessarily what the members and leaders believe. Congregations can easily become infected with different forms of false gospels that, in one form or another, add things like repenting of sins, “faith-works”, or living the Christ like life in order to be saved. Or, all of the above as with JM’s LS teachings.

    If you can’t find the right church you can always have fellowship in the Lord with like minded grace only believers.

  94. So true Phil, I wrote a blog on how to ‘test the churches’. I am sure I missed much. Many of the Calvinist’s church, probably a majority, state they believe in grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Luther), but they mean, God’s grace, gives faith to the elect chosen to heaven, to believe on Christ once that faith is infused into them.

  95. Holly, some of the Calvinist churches will also claim to believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but then insist on a changed life as prima facie evidence of salvation.

  96. Their perseverance of the saints sounds like God always keeps the saved person, but they really mean the true believer will follow through and live out his faith… In some ways Calvinism is a betrayal of the Protestant cause and they end up being more legalistic than Catholicism.

  97. There actually were, a few centuries ago, believers like John Bunyan and Horatius Bonar who, if you read some of their works, you might say they are free grace OSAS by grace/faith alone even though they were Reformed.
    The best book other than the Bible that I have read on justification and new life in Christ is THE EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS, by Horatius Bonar. The book is a little hard to find but you can google it and read it using the books name and author. Although Bonar does mention “perseverance of the saints” I think he means confidence in the believer rather than a requirement secure the believer’s eternal life. There are a few other things I disagree with like he gives primacy to the cross over faith in the resurrection in a person’s receiving salvation by grace through faith. But other than that you would think you are reading a free grace believer and not a Calvinist.

  98. Phil, John Bunyan was Spurgeon’s favorite. And, Spurgeon was the consummate Lordship “Salvationist”.

  99. Phil,

    “Theologically, Bunyan was a Puritan in that he held a Calvinist view of grace..”
    From The Classical Library
    http://www.classicallibrary.org/bunyan/index.htm

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  100. Phil, I did wade through Pilgrim’s progress, and Bonar…the hymns, don’t remember what it was I tripped across of his, and I don’t remember why, but he was Calvinist for sure.

    But Pilgrim’s progress is just not as noticeable to those who do not realize what perseverance of the saints is, or works for salvation, or ‘enduring until the end to be saved’, but if I were to give Pilgrim’s Progress a tagline, that would be it, or somewhat like MacArthur’s “Hard to Believe”. I had a few works by Bunyan because they were free to those who initially bought the first kindles years ago, so I have quite a few reformer’s works. Several by Bunyan, and before I really knew where it was going, I knew it wasn’t about salvation and assumed it to be about our walk, but no, it was all about ‘entering in’….

  101. John, I always get Spurgeon mixed up with Calvin on Bunyan, but I do know he was a little kid when he read him, sad one would read a book like that probably more times than he ever read the Bible.

  102. Well, I can read Bonar and even Bunyan and believe grace, yes free grace in the Biblical way even though they are presenting it in the Calvinist legalistic way.
    I would invite you to read Bonar’s short book, THE EVERLASTING RIGHTEOUSNESS and tell me what you think of it.

  103. Holly, here is Spurgeon from “Valiant for the Truth – Bunyan Resources”:

    “I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like the reading the Bible itself. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress — that sweetest of all prose poems — without continually making us feel and say, “Why, this man is a living Bible!” Prick him anywhere — his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved.”

  104. Phil, you said: Well, I can read Bonar and even Bunyan and believe grace, yes free grace in the Biblical way even though they are presenting it in the Calvinist legalistic way.

    My comment: What if you weren’t a believer? Would you be confused by them? Would you look up other works by them and their Calvinistic cohorts and try to harmonize their inconstencies? In other words, maybe you “can”, but why would you?

    I don’t know why someone would shun Calvinist/legalistic churches, yet feed their minds on books presented in the Calvinist/legalist way. I think I’ll take a pass.

  105. Phil,

    I have read Horatius Bonar’s “The Everlasting Righteousness.”

    Let me first say that Bonar’s hymn “Not What my Hands Have Done” is phenomenal. If you’re not familiar with it, look it up.

    During the first maybe 2/3rds of [i]The Everlasting Righteousness[/i] Bonar sounds like he is teaching free grace. However, the last 1/3rd of his book is very disappointing, as he ends up teaching the Calvinistic doctrine of Perseverance. Consider this quote from Chapter 10, near the end of the book (location 1793 in the Kindle Edition) where he is teaching perseverance:

    [quote]
    The world is crucified to him, and he unto the world, by the saving cross. His first look to the cross committed him. He began, and he cannot go back. It would be mean as well as perilous to do so. There is henceforth to be no mistake about him. His heart is no longer divided, and his eye no longer roams. He has taken up the cross, and he is following the Lamb. He has gone in at the strait gate, and is walking along the narrow way, and at the entrance thereof stands the cross barring his return. Over his entrance there was joy in heaven; and shall he at any time turn that joy into sorrow by even seeming to go back?
    [/quote]

    So, if this is the experience of the believer, then what becomes of the blessed assurance that Bonar teaches in the first sections of the book when the believer stumbles?

  106. Again having personally read Bonar’s Everlasting Righteousness I would say a non believer or seeker as well as saved believer would certainly see God’s free offer of pure grace.
    Like I say, read it for yourself and tell me if you agree.

  107. One more thing is don’t be too quick about judging someone by a label like Calvinist. The term “Calvinist” is used rather loosely and erroneously by some. i was in this Methodist church Bible study for a while and this guy told me I was a Calvinist because I believed in OSAS. To him there was only one division: Arminian where salvation is conditional and Calvinism where salvation is secure and cannot be lost. I do not consider myself a Calvinist: I am an unconditional free grace believer as I am sure most on this site are and believe a person cannot loose their salvation for any reason once they have believed the gospel of their salvation.
    As far as Bonar’s book Everlasting Righteousness, you will not find even a hint of Lordship Salvation in it, you will not read any requirements on the believer beyond simply accepting by faith Christ’s saving work, he also says repenting of sins is not necessary for salvation and shows that repenting is the same as coming to faith in Christ, and portrays the saved person NOT as striving to endure to the end for salvation or persevere to the end for salvation. Instead he describes salvation as Paul does with the believer in the presence of God clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ and seated in the heavenlies. And he says this is now and forever the believer’s present and permanent possession, not later but now, and no strings attached or needing of persevering or enduring to the end to secure eternal life.
    If this Bonar was a Calvinist, he must have been a pretty wayward one and sounds very much free grace to me. So maybe labels like Reformed or Calvinist just might be deceiving sometimes.

  108. Phil

    We here at ExPreacherMan do not appreciate, suggest or recommend ANY Calvinist — regardless of whether he/she has written a “good” book.

    The recommendation of a Calvinist suggests agreement — and we DO NOT agree with Calvinism in any form from any person.

    Recommending a Calvinist is offering poison and leaven to the body of believers. We will not tolerate it. The enemy loves it when he can get false teachers into an otherwise sound fellowship under the false umbrella of “grace.”

    Please — no more recommendation or favorable discussion of Calvinists. Many of us have lived under the yoke of Calvinism and been delivered from its evil clutches.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  109. Jack, I don’t have time to sort out who is (was) and who is not (was not) a Calvinist. But, if Calvinists seem to glom onto someone, it makes me wary.

    I do know that I’m not required to, nor compelled to read books by men about Christianity.

    Most are way off track, so I err on the side of caution. If I miss out on a good one, oh well. I’m willing to take that risk.

    The biggest “head scratcher” for me is how the bookstores decide what goes in the “Christian Fiction” section versus what goes in the “Christian” section.

    I have seen books about people who went to heaven/hell and came back to talk about it, as well as the MacArthur Study Bible outside of the confines of the “Christian Fiction” section.

  110. John

    Excellent..

    I haven’t visited a Christian Book Store (CB Store) since many years ago — when the Pastor of the largest Presbyterian church in our area ran off with and married the wife of the Assistant Pastor. Together, they opened a CB Store. I suppose the theory was that if you can no longer preach the lie then try to sell it.

    Shortly after their affair, we visited their CB store. The two of them were happily “persevering to the end.”

    The store, however, did not persevere, we understood that it failed some time later.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  111. Phil,

    Please don’t consider our wariness of authors with which we are unfamiliar to extend to you personally.

    Your clear, grace-oriented comments have been helpful and we look forward to reading more of them.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  112. Ok ExP I won’t recommend it.
    I just want to say to Dan, I went though chapter 10 of Everlasting Righteousness and do not see the quote you are referring to.
    With that said, I’ll just drop the whole subject and I trust so will everyone else.

  113. Phil,

    For clarification-

    Unfortunately the Kindle edition doesn’t have page numbers, but the quote is from the 45th paragraph in chapter 10, “The Holy Life of the Justified”. (or it might be easier to count from the end of chap 10, the 8th paragraph from the end). The paragraph begins with “The life of the justified is a decided one.”

    Skimming it over again today, the first 9 chapters are good. It is only chap 10 in which Bonar goes into Perseverance, although this chapter apears to be about a quarter of the book’s length. Had Bonar ended with chap 9, I’d be right with you recommending it. Unfortunately we can’t cut the last chapter from the book.

    This is my last comment on the subject.

  114. Hi Jack and everyone else here. Just to make it clear, I do indeed see eye with you literally that salvation happens when a person believes the gospel the good news of their completed salvation in Christ. And I, like others here, am and always will be eternally secure with nothing else required of me from the Lord, only my faith in Christ that connects me to eternal life with Him. I usually avoid the word “repent” having to do with salvation because it is so misused by the legalists. Although different things may cause a person to come to a saving faith in Christ such as “I have been too great a sinner” or “or I could never live a good enough life” or “I am probably doomed and can’t make it to heaven”…and so on. Everyone has things that bring or cause them to come to Christ, but the things that bring them to Christ, that the legalists call repentance, forsaking sins, or committing to live a changed life, are NOT what saves them. Only when someone comes to know and believe the Scriptural gospel of their salvation then THAT is the time of their salvation, not the things that may have lead to the moment of faith but the actual moment of faith. That is the only repentance required to be saved: It is a change of mind or repenting from unbelief or ignorance of the gospel message to faith in the good news of the gospel.

    I like other grace believers here have had some bad experiences with legalists LS, Calvinists, Arminian and otherwise, and I feel your pain; I’ve been there. Here is my defense method against legalists in churches, or legalists on other forums, or anywhere. When they accuse you of” easy believism”,” greesy believism”, having your “ticket punched for Heaven so you can live like the devil”, or “you haven’t done enough repenting”. Here’s my answer: I say look to my Savior: I have received all his righteousness and sinlessness imputed to me from him. God sees me in all the righteousness of his Son. It is not my righteousness but only his gift to me. This is all the righteousness God requires to receive me eternally. Again it is not my righteousness and sinlessness, for without His I am doomed and my own is just filthy rags and my sins condemn me. So when some legalists say you must do all this repenting to be saved and do good works to be saved, just tell them, I have them already because I have been credited with Christ’s righteousness and sinlessness, I am acquitted in God’s court and found innocent, I have been reconciled to God, I died with Christ with all my sins put to death with Him, my sins were buried with Him, and I have been raised with Christ a new creation to new and eternally secure life and seated with Him in the heavenlies. It’s a done deal! My eternity is already secure in Heaven. So Mr. Legalist while you are still working and repenting and persevering and enduring to the end to get to heaven any accusations you have for me or anything you say against me I will just point you to my Savior.

    In the first year after I trusted Christ for salvation, I came to the sad realization that most evangelicals and fundamentalists were actually legalists even though they would profess getting saved and even sing hymns about being justified by the cross through faith alone. I soon learned to see what lies beneath and the add-ons like faith plus this or that. We grace only believers are in the minority and we need to stand firm for biblical truths of the true gospel message.

  115. Phil,

    Thanks for your testimony.

    We are happy that you agree with the mission and purpose of ExPreacherMan.com. This very Good News of the Gospel of Salvation by Grace alone through one’s faith decision alone in Jesus Christ alone is what we have been proclaiming for the past eight years.

    And yes, we true Grace believers are in the minority but one true Grace believer plus the Lord is a majority. We have hundreds of wonderful Grace followers and subscribers who agree with our stand.

    We will appreciate your prayers for this ministry and the fellowship herein — that we will remain vigilant against any hint of error and remain true to God’s Word.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  116. Thanks Jack, It is remarkable that I found a grace only site like this. The other sites I have been on sometimes had just a very few grace believers, but were dominated by legalists in one form or another. And if I expressed what I did in my last post about the all sufficiency of Christ’s righteousness for the believer, I would be pounced on by the legalists with their arsenal of the usual faith plus works verses. They just don’t get it about 2 Cor 5:21 and don’t get it about the completeness of our salvation though the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
    Anyway, that’s why I am here on this site: to stand for the good news and fellowship with other grace only believers.

    In Christ,
    Phil

  117. John said about books……………
    “My comment: What if you weren’t a believer? Would you be confused by them? Would you look up other works by them and their Calvinistic cohorts and try to harmonize their inconstencies? In other words, maybe you “can”, but why would you?”

    I was a casualty of these works by other men. I was one of those that searched through many books seeking what I thought was some profound knowledge that I did not have for the my Christian walk. The problem was that as I drank from these tainted wells my confusion grew deeper. Little did I know that many of the “Christian” books out there were written from many different beliefs and perspectives and was actually binding me up more than freeing me. The Christian bookstores became a self help center.

    Jack said………………..
    “I haven’t visited a Christian Book Store (CB Store) since many years ago — when the Pastor of the largest Presbyterian church in our area ran off with and married the wife of the Assistant Pastor. Together, they opened a CB Store. I suppose the theory was that if you can no longer preach the lie then try to sell it.”

    I remember walking into a pastors office and seeing wall to wall books. I used to think that if I wanted to achieve a deep Christian walk and have knowledge of the truth that I better build a great collection of books to point the way for me. What a lie!! Most if not all could be a vehicle of deception. It only takes one tiny little passage within the book pointing to faith + works to taint the whole thing.

    Until I could see the absolute purity of the Gospel of Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ Jesus alone I was a sitting duck for anything written in by the works of men. Last week I went through my collection of books and identified everything that has led me into wrong thinking. I ended up discarding 99% of them. The other 1% are questionable yet. Thank God He has shown me the error of my way. I thank Him that He has brought me out of wrong thinking and wrong theologies.

    I went to Jack’s classical library web link he provided above and read about John Bunyan. I thought it interesting what it said about after his marriage to his wife……..”He married in 1649, and among his new wife’s possessions were copies of Dent’s Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven and Bayly’s Practice of Piety. Reading these had a profound influence on Bunyan’s spiritual life.” The last sentence said it all……”had a profound influence”

    If anyone were to write something about me I would rather it say of me, “Reading the Word of God had a profound influence on him.”

    Matthew 16:11-12
    How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

    Thank you all for your help from this ministry. May the truth of Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ Jesus alone by His finished work of shedding His precious blood on the cross for all sins be proclaimed!!

    In Christ Jesus Eternally and Forever,
    Nathan Paul

  118. Nathan Paul, I too was a casualty for buying that I too could have a closer walk with Him with all these books. I still have a wall to wall in my bedroom and office, and at one time I did purge. I keep many for reference material and the false ones, I have marked ‘false, reference only’ (just in case I die or get raptured before I die), don’t want to mislead someone… 🙂 I’ve tried to explain this to pastors and teachers as they mention this or that man, but it’s hard, they see it basically as a non-essential, and don’t seem to understand what my uproar is about. 🙂

    Well, I keep calm and I explain it, very few ‘hear’ unfortunately the danger of introducing these men’s works, whether ‘endorsing the whole body of work’ or not….

    Glad to read all of your posts today.

  119. John Innc. Just perusing so many comments I missed, in having a little insomnia, I saw this you said

    “Holly, here is Spurgeon from “Valiant for the Truth – Bunyan Resources”:

    “I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like the reading the Bible itself. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress — that sweetest of all prose poems — without continually making us feel and say, “Why, this man is a living Bible!” Prick him anywhere — his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved.”

    They praise men…and think of men beyond what is written. Either that or my soul isn’t saturated enough, I read it and kept applying it in my head to our walk, but it’s been so long ago, once I found out he hadn’t even entered yet, and thought back on some of his ‘companions’, and leaving his wife and children behind in the beginning, etc, I just am so glad that is not our way to be saved, for I would have been the first companion to drop out because I would realize I could not do it…

  120. God bless each one of you this week.

  121. Holly, speaking of praising men, I read the following comment in response to an article on the Pope. It was from an online publication called “The Crux”. You can replace “the Church” in this sad, silly diatribe, with any false teaching of men claiming to represent God. Notice how the “Church” says it is the only true Church, therefore it is true. This is a what is called a “tautology”:

    “That is exactly why we shouldn’t be telling each other what we feel or our opinions David. They are not worth a dime!

    What matters is what God had revealed to us through his son and then passed down to us through the Church. That same God has revealed to us through the Church that she is the only true Church and others who contradict her are in heresy.

    Now this is not my personal opinion but that which the Church teaches as from God. So if you have a problem, it is not with my “opinion.” I hope this explains things better and helps resolve the confusion you have regarding my posts.”

  122. michael thweatt

    You do well to quote Ephesians 2:8-9. But you leave out the following verse: 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

  123. micheal thweatt, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    We leave out Ephesians 2:10, because it is not germane to how one receives eternal life.

    As Christians, we should do good works. But, it isn’t that we MUST – that would be works for salvation. And, it isn’t that we WILL – that would be Calvinism (perseverance of the saints). The word SHOULD is the only word that is consistent with grace.

  124. Welcome michael
    some more scripture to ponder

    God be merciful to me a sinner.
    I tell you, this man went down to his house justified
    Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
    Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

    Justification and sanctification must remain separate or scripture contradicts itself all over the place unless you are ok with that ?

    Justification happens in a moment of time and is free by Grace through faith and CAN NOT be undone it is permanent it is eternal.

    Now sanctification is costly and there are rewards

  125. Curtis, one clarification – all Christians are positionally sanctified (set apart) at the moment of justification. Progressive sanctification (ongoing), is costly, requires our cooperation, and may result in rewards.

  126. Completely agree with John and Curtis regarding positional and practical sanctification. We are perfected forever the moment we believe (Heb 10:10,14), Christ having become our sanctification the moment we believed (1 Cor 1:30-31; 2 Thess 2:13). We should maintain good works for a lot of reasons, but our testimony is an obvious one – Titus 3:8.

    Vs. 10 on Eph 2:8-10 has the word ordain, but I believe the straightforward meaning of the Greek word, basically “prepared beforehand” (for all believers) that we should walk in them.

    We don’t always walk in good works, some, we just don’t see much in works, we just don’t know, many works of God are not seen by men. We know all will have some works that will burn up behind us, some, only they will come through it, with no rewards. That which is burnt up will be the ones we have done on our own and not through Him. I imagine many will be surprised for the works they have done, finding out they are literally hay and stubble.

    Prayerfully all we do, will be done for Him, and through Him, by His power working in us.

  127. Greetings to all!
    I am so thankful to stumble across this site. So much knowledge and insight easily accessed in one place is awesome.
    I also believe in “Grace Alone” salvation and would like to ask a question and hopefully get some feedback on an exchange I had with a Calvinist. Basically to paraphrase, he asserted that since we are saved by grace through believing in Jesus as our savior, then the believing equates to “works” on our part. Any insights would be appreciated.

  128. Marty, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    The reason that believing does not constitute a “work” on our part is because God says so. There is no merit on our part in receiving a free gift through belief. The Bible differentiates faith from works. The Bible is the word of God. Therefore, God does not consider faith a work.

    Following are some verses that differentiate between belief/faith and works:

    Romans 4:2-3:
    [2] For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
    [3] For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

    Ephesians 2:8-9:
    [8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Many Calvinists will assert that “faith” is the gift of God. The Bible makes it clear that this is not the case.

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

    I hope this helps!

  129. going to add verse 5 to romans 4

    5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    verse 5 shows us that one can have faith with NO works as it is written about those who “work not” but believe. Thus paul differentiates faith and works.

    also notice it reads “his” faith. not his God given faith.

    I often wonder – why would Jesus tell/rebuke His disciples for having little faith. Shouldn’t Jesus have rebuked the Father or Himself for not giving them enough faith???!!!

    How about the man who believed his servant could be healed in an away land from just the word from Jesus? Jesus praised him for having not seen greater faith then this. Shouldn’t Jesus have exclaimed—-look at me; another miracle…..I gave that man this great faith.

    my 2 cents.

  130. Preston, excellent addition!

  131. Marty,

    Dealing with Reformed theology is often difficult because of the different definitions used. They redefine faith into a gift that will result in good works. So to them they think that God grants faith and then that the person shows it in their lives. They have a tough time seeing it any other way.

    For further reading I suggest the book Freely by His Grace and specifically the chapter on “saving” faith.

    Jim F

  132. John, Preston and Jim,
    Thank you so very much! As you have illuminated through the word of God that there is a distinction and faith is NOT works.
    One thing about the false doctrines like Calvinists and LS that I find shocking is how easily they “frustrate” grace. The inconsistencies that one must be willing to overlook to maintain such beliefs is well unbelievable.

    Thanks again brothers!
    In Christ
    Marty

  133. John or anyone..
    With full understanding that salvation is only through faith in Jesus as savior and NOT of works, I would like to get a clearer understanding of the rewards for “works”. It is my understanding that there are rewards as in “crowns” and that not all will receive them in the Heavenly Kingdom. This is an area of scripture I feel I am really lacking, so I would be thankful for your insight.

    In Christ

  134. Marty, great question. We just had a bunch of comments on this subject under another thread called “Some Lordship Salvationists’ Pet Passages Explained.”

    Go to the comments section, scroll to the bottom and work your way up.

  135. Interesting and beneficial comments… The gift of faith which they say is a work that we are ‘gifted with’ so it’s not a work, therefore ‘all’ the work of God, is typical Calvinist lingo.

    If they were honest, they would just say, “being chosen to be born-again by God alone is the power of God unto salvation. You will be born again/ regenerated first, THEN, you are able to believe since you have somehow been infused by grace”.

    There is no gospel, for it’s not for all, and again an honest Calvinist, would say, “wait for it”. It’s all you can do. You can’t pray for faith if you are the non-elect. You can’t believe. You have no hope.

  136. First let me say I have fallen woefully short in my walk with our savior, your prayers would be appreciated. Having said this even I recognize how dangerous Lordship “salvation” is, especially as it is working its way into churches everywhere. I recently found this quote “Another question arises as to how much Lordship is enough? What does it mean to submit to His Lordship? Is 75% submission enough to get one saved? Is 80% required? 66.6%? 100%? Who’s to say? If 100 %” in other words I am Lordshipping enough? How I am to know? Who will be the Judge as to my Lordship status?To insinuate this is not works based salvation is misleading if not pure deception. This must be confronted vigorously as it is diminishes the sacrifice of our savior. Or maybe I’m not Lordshipping hard enough.

  137. Mark, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I have prayed that you would grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord.

    I recently discovered a very old comment that I think addresses the Lordship “salvation” issue quite well. It is linked below:

    https://expreacherman.com/2007/01/05/easy-believism/#comment-13624

  138. Marty,

    Sorry for the late response, but in response to your statement, ” Basically to paraphrase, he asserted that since we are saved by grace through believing in Jesus as our savior, then the believing equates to “works” on our part. Any insights would be appreciated.”

    My comment – The Calvinists are way off in teaching that “believing” is a work. We have faith/belief that the sun will rise tomorrow morning and we have faith/belief that George Washington was our first president, Now, is that a work?

  139. Marty,

    In response to your statement, “John or anyone..
    With full understanding that salvation is only through faith in Jesus as savior and NOT of works, I would like to get a clearer understanding of the rewards for “works”. It is my understanding that there are rewards as in “crowns” and that not all will receive them in the Heavenly Kingdom. This is an area of scripture I feel I am really lacking, so I would be thankful for your insight.”

    Scripture teaches in 2 Corinthians 5:10 and 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, both passages that refer to the Judgment Seat of Christ where every Christian’s
    works here in this life will be evaluated/tested to determine the gain or loss of eternal rewards including the privilege of reigning with Christ. Eternal life, of course, is absolutely FREE and is instantaneous at the moment of faith/belief in Christ’s finished work on the cross and cannot be forfeited no matter what happens to the believer – John 5:24, 6:47, 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39.

    Eternal rewards on the other hand, are earned, but can be forfeited through grievous sin and through apostasy. One thing for certain is the fact that eternal salvation can NEVER be lost through grievous sin and apostasy – 2 Timothy 2:13, John 10:28-29, Romans 8:38-39.

    Eternal rewards are earned by Christians who endure and persevere in the faith. They are granted the following:

    1) The privilege of REIGNING WITH CHRIST – 2 Timothy 2:12. If we endure, Christ will grant us the privilege of reigning with Him, but if we disown Him, then He will disown us the privilege of reigning with Him, but our eternal salvation remains intact and untouched – 2 Timothy 2:13.

    2) Eat fruit from the TREE OF LIFE – Revelation 2:7.

    3) Right to eat MANNA and be given a unique WHITE STONE with one’s name on it – Revelation 2:17

    4) RULING OVER NATIONS – Revelation 2:26, Luke 19:17, Luke 19:19.

    5) Be dressed in white – Revelation 3:5.

    Hope this helps! God bless!

  140. Marty,

    I also wanted to add that 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 is conceptually parallel to Matthew 7:24-27 in regards to eternal rewards. The obedient, and persevering Christians who put their faith into action (Matthew 7:24) in discipleship/sanctification practices living a life wisely are in essence building “their house on the rock”.

    This is a house which consists of gold, silver, and costly stones – 1 Corinthians 3:12-13. That house will stand up to the heat of testing at the Judgment Seat of Christ – 1 Corinthians 3:14, Matthew 7:25 and these Christians will RECEIVE eternal rewards – 1 Corinthians 3:14.

    The disobedient, lazy, and carnal Christians who don’t put their faith into action in discipleship/sanctification practices and who don’t grow spiritually are in essence building “their house on the sand.” – Matthew 7:26. This is a house consisting of wood, hay, or straw – 1 Corinthians 3:12. This house will not stand up to the heat of testing at the Judgment Seat of Christ – Matthew 7:27, 1 Cor 3:15, but will collapse. These Christians will LOSE eternal rewards that they otherwise could have earned, but their eternal salvation remains intact – 1 Cor 3:15.

    It is important to remember that the wise and foolish Christians are eternally saved because eternal life is a free gift apart from works – Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:20, 3:28, 4:3-5, 11:6, Galatians 2:16, 2:21, Galatians Ch. 3, Galatians 5:4. The only difference is the gain or loss of eternal rewards.

    2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

    Hope this helps! God bless!

  141. Preston made an excellent point in his comment on Dec 13 that refutes Calvinism’s “gift of faith” heresy. I also wanted to add my 2 cents:

    Matthew 6:30 – Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of LITTLE FAITH?

    Matthew 8:26 – And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of LITTLE FAITH? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

    Matthew 14:31- And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of LITTLE FAITH, wherefore didst thou doubt?

    Matthew 16:8 – Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of LITTLE FAITH, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?

    Matthew 17:20 – And Jesus said unto them, Because of your UNBELIEF: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

    Mark 4:40 – And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye HAVE NO FAITH?

    Luke 8:25 – And he said unto them, WHERE IS YOUR FAITH? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.

    Calvinists will no doubt claim that Jesus disciples and anyone who believes is saved because God had “regenerated” them first with the “gift of faith” enabling them to believe. I’ve read that Calvinists like MacArthur claim that the “gift of faith” from God is “perfect” in nature, and will not fail to produce the desired attributes and virtues in a believer.
    If this is true, then why would Jesus rebuke and reprimand His disciples for their “little faith” and “no faith?” The very fact that the disciples faith faltered in those instances shows that their faith is not a “gift” from God, but that their weak faith was generated from within themselves.

    As Preston mentioned, Jesus commended the centurion’s great faith in Luke 7:9. and Matthew 8:10 because the centurion’s great faith was generated from within the centurion’s heart. Thus, Calvinism’s “gift of faith” lie is refuted.

  142. William, these are great additions to the Biblical proof that eternal life, not faith, is the gift of God!

  143. Not sure where I should put this question so I choose an active topic. Here’
    s my question, my understanding is that we are warned by God not to take a vow but let your yes mean yes and your no mean no, so when an LS person is evangelizing and they say give your life to Christ and you at some point the new believer isn’t doing that haven’t you the LS evangelizer just led that new believer right into sin?
    In Christ, Lisa

  144. Lisa, you bring up a good point.

    In addition, if an LS evangelist convinces an unbeliever that he must commit his life to Christ in order to receive eternal life, then the person still hasn’t understood the gospel message.

  145. Thanks for your website, retired preacher. I am 72 and know I am saved–been since 1962. I have Pastored for a few years, but didn’t stick with it. Maybe God called me or maybe not (did have some health problems)–but I know I am saved and want to serve God for how many years I have left on this earth.

    To not write a book at this time, I have been attending a large church that is Calvinistic–Pastor on a Sunday night taught on Calvinism and admitted to being at least a “no L” Calvinist. (said he would never preach that on Sunday morning–I didn’t know a belief system was not the same any time of the day)

    I have been involved in a food ministry for kids who have no food on the weekends and the church gives them food for the weekend (called back pack program I think in SC). Anyhow, I received a letter from the church wanting me to visit shut ins and my wife and I send them notes and maybe deliver things when needed. I would have loved to do this, but this was without the Pastor’s knowledge so I wrote and told them that I don’t think the Pastor would want a non-member doing this.

    So, I have considered joining the church (which is much harder that trusting Jesus for your Savior) which requires a written application, a meeting with a Pastor, a 4 hour class and then if you pass all that you may join after signing a “church covenant.” After studying Calvinism for the last 2 years,I think I am going to take the advice of the video you had posted which said to “run out the front door” if you are in an LS church. Unfortunately he has two classes on Wednesday night this next “semester” (he is not teaching either himself) but the books being used are by JMac and other by Chan so I can’t attend those as that would most likely bring conflict.

    I had a mentor after I was saved that pointed out several Scriptures that once saved always saved (know that is a bad phrase these days-but I still believe it). In other words, eternal life is just that–Eternal Life which Jesus paid for on that cross and shed His blood for my sins.Eph.1:7 and Col 1:14 if you don’t have a “modern Bible.” Even though I know I am saved, I have come close to doubting my salvation by just hearing the Gospel of Doing instead of the Gospel of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved–(Acts 16:31) It is unfortunate that the Pastor got suckered into this belief–guess he might be called part of the “young, restless, and reformed” in the SBC. I wrote him a note telling him I was not that, but I was “old, resting in the Lord, and still being transformed .” I love this Pastor but I don’t believe that God wants me to be in a church where I am not even sure it would be okay to tell everybody that “God loves YOU _John 3:16 and God is not willing that you should perish but come to repentance-II Peter 3:9 and that “Jesus already paid your sin debt–I John 2:2″ and” your faith in Christ” Acts 16:31 for doing this will save you for all eternity.

    Oh, almost forgot–the Pastor of the church I am attending has given the LS invitation for salvation a few times. “Promise God you will never sin again-or at least try not too”–( we know that a lie won’t get you saved and I John 1:8 and 10 would make that a lie). Then part two–“commit your life to God and promise to serve Him the rest of your life” (could give a lot more on this-but won’t)

    Anyhow, I just wanted to thank you for all the positive Scriptural information you post on here that I pretty well totally agree with. (probably not everything–don’t even agree with myself on everything-LOL)—Don

    Much more I could write–but I promised to not make this a book!

  146. Don, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    Jack will be happy to know that you find this website to be helpful and a blessing.

  147. I would like to respond to the following quote:
    “LS can be overt (one must forsake all of his sins and follow Christ in obedience and discipleship in order to be saved) or VERY SUBTLE (one’s behavior will change once he is saved). But, do not be deceived. Trying to add ANY human merit to Grace makes it no longer Grace. (Romans 11:6)”

    Just because someone believes that a person will be changed after he is justified does not mean that he is adding any human merit to God’s grace. The purpose of being changed is to glorify God. The purpose of being changed is not to get into heaven or to receive eternal life. Being changed is not the basis upon which people are justified. A changed life does not atone for one’s sins. A changed life does not save anyone.

  148. Saved, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    What we mean is that some insist that if a person’s life does not change, that means he has not received eternal life. Change requires the believer’s cooperation. And, just as a person has a free will whether to believe in Jesus as his Savior, he has a free will after he becomes a believer.

    Please see the below article for more detail:

    https://expreacherman.com/2013/12/14/title-true-or-false-a-person-who-believes-in-jesus-for-salvation-will-have-a-change-of-behavior/

  149. Thanks for the welcome Johninnc. I will add just a little to my view of salvation which I believe is also what is stated in Scripture. I used to tell people turning over a new leaf would not save you since you would find the same thing on the other side–“filthy rags” Isa. 64:6. I find that the LS view depends on man and not God at all. I just listened to Paul Washer briefly saying that salvation Is “continual believing” and not any point in time where you place your faith in Christ once and for all—I don’t believe that at all. I believe the night I was saved in 1962 completed my salvation once and for all since Christ was once offered to bear my sins (Hebrews 9:12) and is continually making intercession for me in heaven (Heb 7:25-28, II Tim. 2:5)

    I am glad that God saved me and I don’t have to depend on me helping God provide this salvation. I also used to tell people that if I gave them a brand new car worth $50,000 dollars and then they find out that I really wanted payments on it monthly till it was paid off–it would no longer be a gift.. Maybe this doesn’t illustrate LS too well, but I think the point Is that LS teaches that salvation is a gift until they give the rest of the requirements (commitment, sin no more, etc), Hey, when I was growing up a gift meant it was free to me and someone else paid the price and I know that salvation was very expensive, but thank God that He paid the cost. There is no way I could pay for my sin debt so God in His love sent his Son to pay it for me even while I was yet a sinner. (Romans 5:8) (not after I turned over a new leaf, put money in the church, helped the poor, or anything else of no value for my salvation)

    I had memorized many verses teaching how wonderful God’s gift was when I first was saved–need to start memorizing them again and adding to them—several in the Book of John I memorized–one was 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and the that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Hey, that is pretty plain and simple to believe isn’t it? Well, if you don’t look to man to tell you it really doesn’t mean that. Paul warned of following men in I Cor. 1:11-17–
    I am so glad for this website as I am seeing how much I need to get out of the LS church as I see just by putting my beliefs down on this site that my beliefs doesn’t match the LS position where I am attending. I am praying what to do as I do like helping these kids with their physical needs and my money goes directly for that as I buy the food and take it to the church. I appreciate your prayers for what am I am to do about a church home. I want the rest of my life to be what God wants it to be.

    I may make a mistake or two when writing this, so please bear with me as I attempt to get better as I have been reading for several months articles from the expreacher and now want to contribute a few thoughts of mine and one of them is why I love God so much, which is because He first loved me! (I John 4:19)

  150. Don, thanks for your comments.

    I have prayed that God will grant you wisdom in ministering to these children and in where He wants you to be.

  151. I would like to respond to the following quote:
    “What we mean is that some insist that if a person’s life does not change, that means he has not received eternal life.”

    Just because a person insists what is mentioned in the above quote does not mean that he believes that a changed life is what gets people into heaven. He could believe that a changed life is a merely an indicator of new life that neither gets a sinner into heaven nor merits salvation. He does not necessarily believe that receiving eternal life is conditioned upon having a changed life; he believes that people get eternal life before their life changes. A condition for eternal life is the means by which eternal life is received. Something that is an indicator of new life is not the same as a condition for receiving eternal life because indicator of new life come after the reception of eternal life. It doesn’t precede the reception of eternal life.

  152. Saved, the insistence on “indicators of eternal life” is the essence of Lordship “salvation.”

    I would ask you this: If someone trusts in Christ as Savior, and his life never changes one iota, will he get into heaven?

  153. DoninSC – Praise God! What relief we have when we understand that we cannot do anything for salvation. That performance doesn’t prove salvation… and somehow when we stand in liberty, it sure makes it so much easier to understand grace and want to grow in Him. Praying the Lord gives you wisdom & guidance with the kids along with fellowship with other like-minded believers.

    In Christ, Holly

  154. Saved – I have to say that is really confusing, although I might think I understand where you are coming from. But the indicator is to be sure the person believed the gospel, and didn’t believe in any works, or in any additions to save them. That’s the only indicator as it’s the only condition whereby one must be saved.

    I think performance is a better indicator of whether someone is growing in Christ, or being practically sanctified, becoming a disciple. When we know they have understood and believe the simple gospel, then we need to instruct them how to grow in Christ, how to abide in His Word in order to be good pupils or disciples. How to abide in Christ. How to be sanctified by His Word of truth.

    We are to be looking at Him, abiding in Him. Apart from Christ we can do nothing, so if we are not in fellowship and in His Word, how can we grow? What change? Other than the new creature He made us, no one might ever see a change. I’m thinking on the guy in 1 Cor 5, I’m pretty sure the old me, would have identified that incestuous adulterer that had no conscience with sleeping with his father’s wife, obviously he was brazen, they all knew about it, but Paul judged him to be saved.

  155. Michael Echon

    As a babe in Christ (made a profession of faith in 1999), I was led into a church that believed “fruits” proved one’s salvation (Christian and Missionary Alliance Church). I was constantly in dread of my own salvation as I had recurring sin in my life and questioned whether I had enough “fruits” and as little sin as possible to continue to secure my eternity if I had it at all. Nearly 15 years of “he loves me, he loves me not” salvation due to errant bible teaching and my refusal to accept God’s free gift on His simple terms. In the past 6 months I’ve come to learn, through websites such as this one, that grace is by faith alone and in Christ alone. These days, the only “fruits” I stress over are the bananas for my wife’s morning cereal (she can get pretty upset if I take her last banana). This isn’t to say that I don’t take seriously the admonition that we are to walk in holiness after the One in whom salvation is found, Jesus Christ. I’m not making light of the importance of righteousness. We are in fact commanded to walk upright, in word and deed, to shine the light of biblical truth on this unbelieving world. And that biblical truth is this:

    That Jesus came in the flesh, as God and man, and died for the sins of all, once and for all, and rose again gaining victory for all of mankind over sin and death, forever. Whosoever believes this will not perish but have everlasting life.

    I still sin and will until my earthly body perishes and my soul is brought unto eternity by the resurrection of the saints at His second coming. What Christ did on Calvary for me I now have gained forgiveness and everlasting life. Glory to God through our Savior Jesus Christ for this free gift! May the Lord continue to bless this online ministry.

  156. Michael Echon,

    You story is very similiar to mine, except my wife doesn’t like bannanas. 😉 Anyway, the “he loves me, loves me not’ salvation is a good analogy. I can relate to that feeling. It’s funny, it wasn’t until I realized that salvation is a free gift, and not depending on any proof of my “fruit”, has made me serve God more than ever.

    Bryan.

  157. Matt for Grace and Truth

    Michael,
    Lordship salvation can make one go bananas! I am glad God led you to the truth of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone! Yes, to God be the glory for what great things HE has done.

  158. Welcome Michael
    I thank God for your testimony , Few come out of false teaching .

    Curtis

  159. Michael, I’m soooooo happy for you! I belonged to a church of Christ and they believed in the whole baptismal regeneration, living well, etc. I was at the point I fell hard stopped going there and the “preacher” and his family came to my home and I didn’t answer. I was terrified as I felt I lost my salvation from habitual sin. I was trying so hard to please God and I kept failing. The harder I tried the worse things got. I yelled, screamed, cried at God towards the sky asking what I was doing wrong and why I couldn’t do it, what was wrong with me, I didn’t ask to be born. I began to resent “God”. I was so angry.

    Till I found this site I was a mess. I wrote the church I attended asking about my salvation. They told me to ask forgiveness. I wrote back and they stopped responding to me and abadoned me. I was on the floor crying out to God to help me I couldn’t do it on my own. I finally accepted that I had nothing left to give.

    I’m happy you made it out. You feel as though God is against you and doesn’t love you. You ask why you. It’s awful! Welcome to the family! 🙂

  160. Funny, the Lord always shows me something humorous, I had a similar conversation about fruit and bananas the other day, and come and see it here, just makes me laugh. I’m thankful for the wonderful Lord we serve.

  161. Michael, I just wrote an article basically taking from Ray Stanford’s witnessing handbook, the portion on the Roman Catholic’s and baptismal regeneration. I had one guy from a Catholic’s apologetic site write once, then again as he didn’t like my response. I didn’t choose to post it, but he wanted to ‘teach me’ of course. There isn’t much but the Word, but still they’d like to ignore it. Here is the post for anyone who would like the Scriptures regarding it. Also Hank Lindstrom does one on the 10 baptisms in the Bible.

    http://redeemingmoments.com/2015/03/09/water-baptism-and-the-roman-catholic-church/

  162. What about the parable of the sheep and the goats? It seems to suggest that some works are required.

  163. Guido, the sheep and goats judgement pertains to the period after the Great Tribulation.

    The Tribulation believers are recognized by Jesus as having aided Him by aiding His messengers. However, this is not the basis of their aalvation, and there is nothing in this passage to suggest that works are required for salvation.

    Contrast this judgement to the judgement seat of Christ (for church age believers) described in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, in which some believers’ work is burned, they suffer loss (I think of rewards), and are still saved.

    Also, think about this: the people in Matthew 25:37-39 express surprise that they have good works that are commended by Jesus. Lorship “salvationists”, and others who think that good works are required for salvation, would not be surprised. If Jesus were to commend them for good works, they would say “duh”! (See Matthew 7:22-23).

  164. Hi Guido, the end of the Olivet Discourse is at the Second Coming of Christ, after the tribulation. Their fate is already sealed based on their choice to accept or reject the mark and believe on Jesus Christ.

    This is the division of Nations who did wicked things to His people, this is right before the Millennial Kingdom. Notice the righteous aren’t even aware of works that they did, but righteousness still comes by one way, and that is through belief in Jesus Christ. The ‘oil’ in the virgin’s lamp is signifying the Holy Spirit I believe. I hope that helps.

  165. Well, I have to laugh, I must remember to refresh to see if someone else has answered 🙂

  166. good day,

    it already been said but would like to show the verses.

    The sheep an the goats is NOT about the church nor does it apply to the church. The church has “been caught up” already.

    How do we know it is a “second coming parable”?

    go back to Matt 24

    verse 21 – 21 For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be

    verse 27 – 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the COMING of the Son of man be

    verse 29 – 29 Immediately AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken

    onto matt 25:1 – the first phase

    verse 1 – THEN shall the kingdom of heaven…..

    “then” give sequence to the events. another phrase for “then” would be…”at that time”.

    my two cents

  167. This is the work of God
    that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
    that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
    Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

  168. Curtis – I love that Scripture (and I’m going to copy your witness of repeating the truth). Somehow Calvinist manage to mess that verse up, but God knew we could not do works in order to be saved or we’d FAIL. The JUST have always LIVED by FAITH.

    Faith is not a work….
    Faith is not a work….
    Faith is not a work….

    But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:5

  169. John 8:51 is used by LS how would you answer them not LS just curious how would deal with the passage

  170. Michael, welcome and thanks for your question.

    You asked: John 8:51 is used by LS how would you answer them not LS just curious how would deal with the passage

    My response: Michael, LS people use any and every scripture to justify their false gospel.

    Ron Shea put it this way:

    Rather than coming to Scripture to learn the mind of God, some unregenerate men approach Scripture determined to justify the beliefs they already hold. Some use Scripture to justify homosexuality, and others, to justify slavery. Not surprisingly therefore, those who believe that they, rather than Jesus Christ, are the Savior of their own souls, have, for centuries, sought from Scripture proof-texts to justify this conclusion.

    Now, regarding John 8:51: Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

    I interpret this to mean believe in Jesus as Savior. Because we cannot keep His sayings perfectly, we need His imputed righteousness.

    You may recall, in Matthew 19, Jesus answered the rich young ruler’s question as follows:

    Matthew 19:17: And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    The rich young ruler could no more keep the commandments than can the Lordship “salvationist.” They both need(ed) to believe in Christ alone for eternal life.

  171. Why did Jesus tell the rich young ruler to keep the commandments?

  172. Guido, it was because He knew he couldn’t. Please see our “Difficult Verses” section – Matthew 19:16-24.

  173. Guido, the laws purpose was to bring us to the realization that we needed a savior as we would always fall short. This brings us to rely on Him instead of ourselves. Its a lot easier when we have His strength and wisdom. I believe our prideful flesh causes us to feel we need to follow law and judge those who dont. When we do anything good we want to say we are good but, no. It is He that is good and all good comes from Him.

    Galatians 3:24- Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    Galatians 3:19- Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of mediator.

    James 2:10- For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

    Think about the above verse. Break ONE point of the law. Do you see how disheartening this is? How impossible this is for you, or anyone else for that matter, to do? This is the point the Lord is making with those who want to pride themselves on the law. We can NOT do it! This is why He came to save us. If it was up to us we would all be doomed. The law is to show us our sin which leads us to Christ for saving.

    Romans 7:7- What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for had I not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

  174. Guido – you are thinking too much on a ‘few’ verses and passages taken out of context, and not knowing the meaning, and allowing a wolf to tell you what it is. Before the cross was law. The law never made anyone righteous (Gal 2:21).

    The law’s purpose as Bobbie Jo said, was to point people to Christ.

    Remember how Jesus finished when His disciples asked, “Who then can be saved”?

    He answered them, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

  175. Guido,

    One of the things God tells us to do with anyone that adds law (Paul Washer) to the gospel, is that we are to mark and AVOID them (Rom 16:17-18). It is for not only our own good, but for the good of the body, and for the future saving of the lost because his gospel is accursed (Gal 1:6-9).

    The kind of ‘sowing to the Spirit’ you will get there, will be nothing but Satan’s twisting of Scripture to accuse you. Put your eyes back on Him (Isaiah 26:3).

  176. Guido,

    Here is the best sermon I can find for you from Pastor Dennis Rokser on how to live the Christian life by grace through faith. We must remember that both justification and sanctification are by grace through faith. Never through law or law keeping.

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1025131033593

  177. Holly is absolutely right about avoiding them, Guido. Coming from a background in lordship salvation by way of the church of Christ I know it’s hard. One can get extremely confused and disheartened by those teaching a false gospel. When you hear anyone speak and they bring works into the salvation equation you know this is wrong. This is a false gospel that can save anyone.

    And a lot people say John MacArthur said, Calvin said, Piper said, etc. As far as I’m concerned they are of no importance to me. What is? When it’s thus saith the LORD. There are too many confused nowadays. Sticking to His Word as opposed to others and asking His guidance will ward off any confusion.

    The more familiar you are with the real thing the easier you’ll be able to spot something that’s not.

    I pray you will ground yourself firmly in His Word as His is the only one by which we are saved. Always remember, as dear Holly always reminds us, test all things and hold on to that which is good.

    Much love in Christ

  178. Bobbie Jo
    you have grown spiritually by leaps and bounds since we met you on expreacherman strong in Salvation you are .

  179. Thank you, Curtis. This very site and all of you have helped me tremendously. The Lord puts amazing things in front of those who diligently seek to know Him. I thank Him for the little wisdom I have. With Him I’ll continue to grow as will all of us. I am thankful for the Lord allowing me to fall to be lifted up by Him. I’ll never forget emailing the church of christ I went to and pouring my heart out through an email thinking Iad lost my salvation and asking desperately what to do, completely in tears. I received an email from one of the members as “pastor” was away. Then I had questions and no one got back to me. I emailed multiple churches for help. One convinced me I had to keep the sabbath, seventh day adventist. I prayed, so very upset. I didn’t know where to go or where to turn. I cried so ver much and felt God wasn’t listening nor did He care for me. Somehow I stumbled upon this site. I contacted Jack through email and he talked to me and I started to read here and read more and more. Then I went out and bought bible and started highlighting, etc. I’ll never forget it all sinking in. I went to the bathroom and fell to knees completely broken. I was crying and apologized profusely while thanking Him. He led me home and to you all. I’m eternally thankful for everyone here especially Jack. The Lord guided my steps while I suffered in confusion. He knows my heart and how I suffered.

    So to anyone going through this lordship salvation atmosphere, I get it. I remember the crying, the confusion, the anger, sadness and everything that comes along with it. By the end of it I was completely broken and brought to my knees. For everything I will be thankful and praise Him for His love for me. He died for me….this IS love and He is the very author of it.

    I apologize for my ramblings. It just poured out with some tears.

    Holly, thank you for all your wisdom and helping me grow as well. Preston, you always do extensive research on various areas. John, you defend the Gospel with a strength Jack would be happy with. Curtis, you always have a kind word and are very encouraging to others. To all of those others on this site, thank you. You all bring my heart special gladness and I’m happy the Lord gave us each other.

    Love in Christ

  180. Guido, there are a bunch of Bible verses here at this link, Bobbie Jo has it so right, study the real thing, and you’ll be more able to spot the counterfeit. (Heb 5:12-14). Just prayed for you ❤

    https://expreacherman.com/believers-justification/

  181. Bobbie Jo sure has, such a blessing to see. The Lord is so faithful to us when we feed on His Word.

    Curtis M, you are such an encourager too. Praying all is working out for you in the situation with your business. God bless you and your family.

  182. Christian sites are the best at arguing abut things of opinions. shouldn’t be be worried about this? The essentials would include the Trinity, the deity of Christ, Christ’s physical resurrection, salvation by grace through faith, etc. The debatable issues would include pre-trib rapture vs post-trib rapture, worshipping on Saturday or Sunday, etc.

  183. Tess, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    Since this site is primarily dedicated to defending the gospel, we are most concerned about direct affronts to the gospel.

    Those direct affronts are usually associated with someone adding to, or removing essential content from, the gospel message.

    We are also interested in other biblical doctrine, such as the timing of the rapture.

    We do not like to get bogged down in endless discussions and debates that detract from our primary mission.

  184. Welcome Tess to an oasis of Grace
    as long as I have been on this blog it has been as johninc said
    myself personally i have little patience for debate and arguing these days for those who desire to debate an argue have an agenda and detract from the Gospel of Grace.
    I appreciate the moderators here who run a tight ship and keep the gospel the main focus

  185. Hi Tess, glad you commented. Mostly everything I’ve seen written here has been for the purpose of defending the clarity of the gospel. And as we are told, we must contend earnestly for the faith that was delivered once for all to the saints. Sometimes people would like it to be a different gospel for the Jews and one for the Gentiles. Other times, the newer religions, like Catholicism or the reformed religion would like to add to the gospel. Loadship teachers in the Pentecostal (also a new religion) and the Calvinist camps are rampant, for in the end, the Word tells us, that many deceivers will be present, along with many deceived. It’s so very important to take heed for the flock, for the doctrine, and to defend the gospel.

    God bless you as you grow in His Grace.

  186. Hi Tess, and welcome. You mention salvation by grace though faith, etc. , I think I can speak for the others here and say, that’s it: Jesus Christ has already completely saved us, taken away all our sins and given us his perfect righteousness and given us eternal life the moment we trusted Him for our eternal salvation. And the moment we trusted him as our savior we can never lose our salvation. He died for our sins, was buried and rose raising us also to eternal life. We are not required to transform our lives, repent and forsake our sins, persevere to the end, and do good works to complete our salvation. It is however God’s will that we grow in Christ and do good works and turn from our sins, but what we do or don’t do after we accept Christ as our Savior in no way affects the salvation that we once received by faith. Christ has already completely accomplished and provided everything for our salvation and there is nothing we can or need to add to it.
    This is the gospel of our salvation and I hope this is the good news that you also believe and rejoice in!

  187. Phil – I wish people might really ‘hear’ that good news. There is such a cacophony of false voices out there saying, ‘false convert’, ‘do this’, ‘do that’, ‘repent and keep on repenting if you want to be saved’, etc. Hard for some to drown out the voices, but praying that they will hear, pray about and seek the truth of the good news, the gospel.

  188. Holly, we listened to a sermon from Tom Cucuzza entitled “The Obvious that Isn’t so Obvious” last night.

    If anyone isn’t sure that they have heard that good news of the gospel, please spend the time to listen to this.

    It is one of the best gospel sermons that I have heard, in that Tom spends a lot of time on what the gospel is and what it is not.

    Please note that the sermonaudio.com site has any and all kinds of theology, so don’t consider this a blanket endorsement of that site.

    The sermon is linked below:

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=9912846488

  189. Thank you Johninnc, will definitely listen to it.

  190. Johninnc

    The sermon by Tom Cucuzza above was very good.

    I shared it with some friends, yet another good one to refresh ourselves on the gospel. One of the ones I shared it with is dealing with a Catholic in-law, and Hebrews 10 is a really good one for Load-ship teachers, Calvinists, Catholics, and anyone else who is works salvation based (regardless of how much they say they are free grace).

  191. Holly, I pray that your friend will share the clear gospel with her Catholic in-law.

  192. I just came across an article entitled “Was Jesus the Son of God? It’s Complicated” by James D. Tabor, religion professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

    Following are some choice quotes:

    The anointed kings of ancient Israel were referred to as “son of God.” Samuel tells David that God has promised to make a covenant with him and his royal descendants will rule as kings forever…

    Jesus at his baptism hears a voice from heaven that declares “You are my Son, the beloved, with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). Mark records no birth narratives of Jesus at all. Matthew follows Mark here but there were versions his gospel in Hebrew that added the phrase “Today I have begotten you,” based on Psalm 2:7. This interpretation was referred to as “adoptionism,” meaning that Jesus was made and declared to be God’s son at his baptism when the Holy Spirit came upon him…

    Jesus is said to be the “son of God” based on his mother Mary becoming pregnant through the Holy Spirit, with no human father, as explicitly stated in Luke 1:35. This idea of no human father is found in both Luke and Matthew. Even though the gospel of John has no explicit account of the “virgin birth,” his statement about the “Word (Logos) becoming flesh and dwelling among us” likely reflects this same idea of incarnation-the Son of God born in the flesh (John 1:14)…

    Jesus declared to be the “Son of God” by his resurrection from the dead. This idea is most explicitly stated by Paul in Romans 1:3-4, where he says Jesus is a descendant (“seed”) of David in the flesh, but a “Son of God” in the Spirit. The same idea, including the quotation from Psalm 2:6, “You are my son, this day have I begotten you,” is applied to Jesus through his resurrection from the dead in Acts 13:33. We have no indication that Paul thought Jesus was born without a human father, indeed, he says that he was of the “seed” or lineage of king David, but his status as “Son of God” was, according to Paul, based on his resurrection from the dead…

    Given this complexity and diversity what one might mean by calling Jesus the “Son of God” could range from an affirmation of Jesus as God’s favored choice as Israel’s anointed king, to ideas of a preexistent Divine being who is born of a woman with no human father, and thus “becomes flesh” (Incarnation), with ranges of views in between. But not to dodge the question, my own view is that he was an apocalyptic proclaimer of the Kingdom of God who went to his death with faith in God’s promise to redeem Israel and the world.

    My comment: Professor, it is NOT complicated!

    John 1:3: All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    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.

    John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    John 6:51: I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

    John 8:58: Jesus said unto them, Verily,verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

    Hebrews 10:5: Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

    How is it possible that one could read the Bible and not conclude that Jesus is the Son of God and fully God?

    2 Corinthians 4:3-4:

    [3] But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
    [4] In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

  193. the doctrine of James D. Tabor there above is familiar to me it can lead a soul to eventually deny the deity of Jesus that was my personal experience. There was a time you would have a hard time discerning my doctrine from Jehovah Witness for I also denied the trinity .
    If Jesus was not God then sin is not paid for His sacrifice was not enough and these days now to me any doctrine that detracts from the all sufficiency of Christ Jesus finished work is demonic . They are strong words but maybe the time to call it what it is.

    P.S.
    i also listen to Pastor Toms message couple times now . There is so much content in the message
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=9912846488

  194. Johninnc, the in-law unfortunately has asked her to no longer speak to her about the Lord. She’s praying for more laborers for the harvest. Her son has also told her not to talk of it anymore…But God…

  195. John one thing that hits me about the ‘professor’ is how the wisdom of men and their excellency of speech has a way of messing up simple truths…

    Paul declared the gospel to the Corinthians in 1 Cor 15. Many things were declared that had been said before. Jesus was declared to be the Son beforehand, God is only ratifying it by declaring it.

    I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me,
    Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
    Kiss the Son, lest he be angry,
    and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.
    Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
    Psalm 2:7, 12

    Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended?
    who hath gathered the wind in his fists?
    who hath bound the waters in a garment?
    who hath established all the ends of the earth?
    what is his name, and what is his son’s name,
    if thou canst tell? Prov 30:6

    There are tons of verses that declare Jesus preincarnate too, 1 Cor 10 comes to mind, drinking of that Rock in the wilderness, and that Rock was Christ. Even the obvious Isaiah 9:6, a Son is given. However, The O.T. is also full of Scriptures declaring God is the Savior and there is no other. Yet Jesus is also declared to be Savior of the world. Or God gives His glory to no one, yet the Lord of Glory was crucified. Don’t know who this professor is, but there are many who should not teach the Word.

  196. Curtis, funny you made the Jehovah’s witness connection. It was what first came to mind when I read the comment John posted. A friend of mine who was Jehovah’s witness, I brought through Ray Stanford’s verses on his ‘how to witness handbook’ (which is here somewhere in a link), and she really came to understand. It’s a great resource for Jehovah’s witnesses. I wish he had gone into more detail with the Catholics, but very helpful with the JW.

  197. Holly, this professor isn’t teaching the Word – he’s teaching religion. But, he is still helping keep people blind.

  198. How is it “complicated”!? Hasn’t I John 4:2-3 made that clear? Only the false prophets back in verse 1 had a problem with that 😄

  199. Alex, so many verses have made it clear. But, many people will never even open a Bible. They’ll get their knowledge second or third hand from some phony like this professor of religious studies.

  200. Exactly Alex – it’s the same problem I think in 2 Cor 11:3-4, they’re just bringing another Jesus to the gospel.

  201. Journalistic Mistake

    “I believe one of Satan’s greatest tricks is to focus a believer on his good works/positive changes in his life as evidence of salvation. Then, once he gets them to go for that, he turns the tables on them and gets them to doubt, based upon remaining sin in their lives, other people that are doing more, etc.”

    That is my testimony, John.

    I’m glad there are people who understand 🙂

  202. Journalistic Mistake, welcome, and thanks for your comment. I love your handle!

    It is essential to stay focused on Christ, and His righteousness, if we are to stay grounded in truth.

  203. JM, the reference Bibles can be tricky. Anything added to the Bible is not scriptural, so must be approached with caution. For example, we have discussed problems with Ryrie on here in the past.

  204. Journalistic Mistake

    Beholdason: “Maybe we should just change the bible to suit the new meaning of Repent.

    Oh, wait a minute…”

    Unfortunately they didn’t stop at one!

  205. Journalistic Mistake

    I might be late, but to add to previous comments about the gift being eternal life, not faith.

    Jesus said of the people of Jerusalem: “…how often I would have gathered you…but ye would not!”

    He didn’t say “but I didn’t give you faith”.

  206. JM, exactly! Faith as the gift of God doesn’t make any sense.

  207. JM – It’s ludicrous that people have bought that notion that faith is the gift. If so, when Jesus said, ‘O ye of little faith’, He would have had to have been saying His gift was less than perfect which is impossible according to James 1. And when He praised people for being of great faith, (like the Centurion and the Canaanite woman and her demon possessed daughter), He was giving the praise to the wrong place. Shouldn’t He should have said, “The Father gave you this great faith”?

  208. If faith is the gift, and regeneration precedes faith, then faith must be accompanied by something else (good works, faithfulness, perseverance) to verify its presence. In this way, the Calvinist/LSer subtly shifts the object of faith from Christ and his finished work and promise of eternal life to self while deceiving himself that he must have been regenerated since he has “faith that works”.

  209. It’s great to find likeminded people.

    Holly, yep!

    Keith, that is my testimony. “If you’ve really been born again then you…”. Might I add that many of these groups also so “if you don’t know for sure you’re going to heaven then your not”. Combining the two leads to mental torture. “I’m not sure if my works proved I’ve been born again, and therefore I’m not sure I’m going to heaven because I’m not sure that I’ve been saved, therefore……argh, save me save me save me. I believe. Save me, Lord. Rinse, repeat.” That recounts about a year or so of my life!

    I hate Calvinism far more than Catholicism, because it’s subtlety is – I my opinion – makes it so much more dangerous and destructive.

  210. Mathew 15:22-28
    Now there’s a Woman chasing down the object of her faith . image a Canaanite Woman chasing down a pack of Hebrews for the faith of a crumb that she was not even entitled too but she persisted anyhow and request was granted . Ponder all the obstacles this woman overcame in her thinking to come this boldly before the king of kings , Lord of Lords
    What a picture of Grace (un merited favor) Jesus demonstrated

  211. I need a proof reader….

    Curtis, I’ll keep that in mind the next time I read through that recount 🙂

  212. I remember one time just talking to the Lord and asking them why they continually accused people of being false converts, why they didn’t give them the remedy that the people needed if they really hadn’t believed, and it came to me clear as day, they do not believe that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. They have denied that power of godliness, and instead make it about being gifted with the grace. So one must simply wait and see if they were one of the pre-selected favored ones…

  213. I am starting to speak out about this stuff on Facebook, and proclaiming the true gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, apart from any works. My messages aren’t that popular, but I am successfully reaching out to some people. What most professing “Christians” do not understand is that apart from Christ, we are DEAD in trespasses and sins. We can’t do ANYTHING to please God. That is why Jesus, the perfect Son to God, came to this Earth, bled and died on Calvary’s cross for our sins, was buried and rose again on third day according to the Scriptures. All we are called to do to be saved is believe it and personally trust Jesus to save us from sin and death. Knowing this will greatly help true believers to grow in love and appreciation for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen?

  214. Amen , give-em Heaven Ben

  215. Thank you for your support Curtis. May the Lord Jesus bless you brother. 🙂

  216. Ben, keep yourself revived and strengthened in His Word. Our armor includes the gospel daily and can become one of the biggest fights. Pray for wisdom and answer with words of wisdom as some will ask, and others will rail against you. Heap coals of fire on their head, some will come to be set free by the truth, others will become grave enemies, or at least that has been my experience.

  217. Thank you Holly. I am successfully reaching out to some lost people, and have been a blessing to some fellow believers. There have been times when I have witnessed to people, and gotten interrupted, heckled, mocked, and laughed at, but it didn’t bother me because I knew I was serving the Lord. There have been times when Lordship Salvationists and other types of works salvationists have railed against me for giving YouTube comments of support for salvation by faith alone. But I am thankful for all this because I know I am serving the Lord. One difficulty I deal with is that sometimes the Lordship Salvationists (in desperation to cover their works-righteous butts) will claim that we are misrepresenting them and accuse us of teaching that one can be saved by “mentally assenting to the facts of the gospel” (that is not the case- it involves personal trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved from sin and death). Some of those people act like they have the Holy Spirit and we don’t, claiming that the Holy Spirit “gave” them repentance (according to their definition) and faith. I am starting to feel convinced that these people are just playing head games with us to try and throw off suspicion, as they try to corrupt the simplicity of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t you agree?

  218. Ben, the “intellectual assent” argument is one I hear a lot.

    As soon as someone believes that Christ paid for (took away) his sins, he is saved.

    Tom Cucuzza puts it this way:

    “What is there for you to do? Simply believe. Simply put your faith, or trust, in Jesus Christ, that He made that payment for your sin.”

  219. My thoughts exactly John. I love the way you stated it. This “intellectual assent” argument drives me crazy. I really think that those who use it against us are being deliberately dishonest, because they hate the message of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, apart from any works. What a shame for them, the true salvation message of faith alone is a very beautiful message. It really helps me to grow in love and appreciation for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And I sincerely wish that for every believer in Christ who has been troubled by Lordship Salvation.

  220. The ‘mental assent’ is a straw man argument, it’s to deflect attention away from the truth. What else do we do when we believe other than assent to the truth of the gospel on our behalf? So it’s just another way to corrupt minds from the simplicity that is in Christ. What do they believe with? Heart/mind, we know what it means — BELIEVE upon the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

  221. I usually ask them if they don’t believe mentally or intellectually, then what do they use to believe with? The emperor’s new clothes is what it reminds me of.

  222. Holly, this reminds me of the encounters Jesus had with the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees. They tried to trip Him up with all sorts of stupid questions, and He always left them bewildered with the response He gave (because He fully knew the Scriptures and taught grace 😉 ). As I read Scripture, I am starting to see that the Lordship Salvationists bear close resemblance to the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. What is going on today is certainly nothing new.

  223. Chris Campbell

    It is ironic that Calvinists make such a big deal out of God’s sovereignty, while at the same time stressing the performance of the believer, and putting the saved sinner on the hook for their own salvation. I’m glad it’s all about Him and not broken vessel me. I have made enough of a mess out of my life.

  224. Chris, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I am so thankful that it’s all about Him and nothing about me for salvation. That is the good news of the gospel.

  225. Chris Campbell

    Yes indeed, and thank you for the warm welcome.

  226. Hi, Ben.

    The “intellectual assent” things drives me up a wall as well. I’m sure part of my frustration is that I fell for it for a number of years rather than having the common sense to at least analyze it on the surface before taking my (then) pastor’s word for it. So much for being a Berean (in that instance anyway).

  227. Chris Campbell

    Well, at least you didn’t fall away after reading The Gospel According to Jesus like I did.

  228. Not as ironic as the Baptist who says he is in the movement that has the greatest understanding of grace, yet tells you that anyone who doesn’t go to church (or want to) is proving that they aren’t actually saved!

  229. FryingPan,

    I still don’t understand the intellectual assent arguments. I’d rather not. Heard enough lies about the Gospel and Jesus to seek more out, ha.

    I’m sure it’ll find me eventually.

  230. Welcome Chris to an Oasis of Grace
    the Calvinist and all of works for salvation stumbles over “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV).

    We are saved by Grace through faith
    We live the Christian life by Grace through faith , appropriating the Gift of righteousness , shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ

    Rom 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

    Chris your post Broken vessel , reminds me of a sermon by Curtis Hutson
    “broken but remade” one of the very very few baptist preachers solid on the gospel of Grace . The message was encouraging to me being a broken vessel myself by weak to false doctrine .

  231. ” intellectual assent” to me is playing both ends against the middle
    Believe and Faith are interchangeable its the object of Belief or Faith.
    What fact are you assenting to ?
    you need a fact for faith to take hold .
    Jesus died for my sins according to the scriptures was buried and rose again three days later .

    one could also say Ok how much assenting is enough to be saved ?
    you cant see a soul be born again and it drives the natural man bonkers that he cant do something to help God out in his salvation and help God to live the christian life . There is got to be something I can Do to be saved ? , Nope my/our salvation was all taken care of by someone else Christ Jesus
    Will We Yield ?

  232. I’ll add that it drives the carnal Christian bonkers too.

    The more I look inside, the more I see that my flesh hates the idea that I can’t justify myself; that I can’t trade something for my eternity with God. My flesh doesn’t like this truth. My flesh cannot understand why Jesus would be so gracious in allowing me, a sinner, into heaven for free. I have spent months going over the Gospel, and the more I look to myself to see if i’ve believed, the more doubt I have. Because within me is sin, rejection of truth, and a will to add to God’s finished work.

    However, despite this. I know that Jesus’ death for my sins, burial and resurrection is the only way to heaven. I know that upon belief Jesus grants me a free pass into heaven. I know that He washes my sins in His blood, pardoning and justifying me for all eternity through what He has done alone.

    Yet, even as I type this, I see something in me that wants to reject these truths, which can lead to doubts whether or not I’ve ever believed them. Rest is a hard thing to come by.

    Funny ol’ life, being a Christian.

  233. Benchap, you know the truth. It’s the object of our faith that counts, not the quality.

  234. Its not faith of faith , its the object of our faith , Faith OF Jesus
    its all about Jesus

    but by the faith of Jesus Christ
    we have believed in Jesus Christ
    justified by the faith of Christ
    Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    justified by faith, through our Lord Jesus Christ
    Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

  235. Im surprised Ezk 36 hasnt been discussed here. That passage to me solved the lordship vs free grace dilemma in my mind.

    The issue seems to be that most free grace proponents come from an Arminian perspective while lordship salvationists from a calvinistic perspective.

    The extremes to avoid are antinomianism (lawlessness – ie Jesus freed us from moral obligation) and also legalism (obedience is the means or part of the means to salvation or maintaining salvation). From the comments i have read it seems that while fighting legalism many (seem) to promote some form of antinomianism due to lack of clarity. Some downright have endorsed antinomianism – heresy. Enough with that though.

    From the arminian perspective – the man centred point of view – what must a man do to be saved? Believe the gospel. Trust in the work of Christ that it alone is wholly sufficient to save him. This seems to be what is being taught. And this is correct.

    The alternative from the arminian perspective is “Lordship”. Which as has been stated says you must believe the gospel AND do enough good, obey enough or any form of work. This was what the reformation was sparked over. To add works as the grounds of justification is to nullify grace. That last sentence is important. Not the words used. Works as the grounds for salvation. Even when mixed with faith it nullifys grace and perverts the gospel. It is no longer of grace but of merit – galatians and tomans rebukes this.

    Now, the first method seems to be what some of you promote – antinomianism. The second method is what some lordship proponents promote – legalism. From an Arminian perspective i dont believe a man can view it correctly, rather they err to one extreme. Both can be fatal. The former giving a false sense of security to one who has mere head knowledge – the faith demons have – the faith James rebuked and the faith 1 john calls people who have it liars (as they ignore Christs commands and live as the please). The latter changes the gospel itself – useless to save. Jesus saves entirely or not at all. He gets all the glory.

    Now what is the 3rd option? I believe its the Biblical position. Many lordship proponents hold it – namely calvinists. From the predestinarian perspective both faith and works/fruit are gifts of God but faith in Christ is the sole means and grounds of justification. God never gives saving faith (as opposed to head knowledge) apart from both His Spirit and His fruits. This is exactly what ezk 36 states:

    26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and CAUSE you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

    Who is causing the fruit/obedience….man or God? The verse states explicitly God.

    How does any free grace proponent explain the aforementioned verse?

    Free grace proponents seem to say grace only has to do with justification. The bible represents both sanctification AND justification as works of Gods grace (not mans effort /merit) and both distinct. That is to say obedience or sin does not affect justification BUT will always coexist with justification if it is a work of God. Like fire always produces heat and light – while the two elements are distinct and cannot be compounded they will always coexist together. Same with justification and sanctification.

    If one says “i know Him” yet disregards his commandments he is a liar and the truth is not in him – 1 John.

    People on this forum are saying the opposite of the apostle – that a person can have mere mental assent to facts but haven’t received a new heart and desires to obey (the new birth). Jesus said unless you are born again you will not inherent the kingdom of God. Paul said anyone who doesn’t possess the Holy Spirit is none of Christs – Romans 7 – 8. The Holy Spirit always convicts of sin and makes Christians miserable if they do sin. He produces fruits and a changed life is inevitable BECAUSE of HIS work not human resolution. This is biblical grace. This is free grace. God works to freely justify and sanctify. Anyone who calls himself a Christian will walk as Jesus walked -1 john.

    Jesus said if you love me keep my commandments and those who disregard my commandments dont love me.

    Christians do sin. But a person without any sign of conviction of conscience and no fruit of repentance continually walking in sin does suggest they dont have the Holy Spirit and ate not Christs. Jesus said a tree is known by its fruits and it is.

  236. Aaron, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I’m glad you have been reading our articles and comments.

    We are neither Arminian, nor Calvinist in our beliefs. We are biblical.

    I am also glad that you have accused some of us of promoting “antinomianism.” If you hadn’t accused us of this, we would not have made ourselves clear about how one receives eternal life.

    Eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. There are no strings attached to the free gift of eternal life. If there were strings, eternal life would no longer be a gift.

    And, the Bible is clear that eternal life, not faith, is the gift of God. See Romans 6:23.

    A believer who does not live for Christ has eternal life. He does not have to commit to, nor maintain, some arbitrary level of moral behavior. If a believer abuses grace by living licentiously, he still goes to heaven.

    We know, from scripture (such as Galatians 5:19) that Christians can fail to walk in the Spirit, and in so doing, live in the flesh. Some believers are more faithful in walking in the Spirit than others. But, no believer is perfect in walking in the Spirit.

    Ezekiel 36 speaks to our receiving a new heart. King Saul received a new heart, but was very disobedient. I expect to see him in heaven.

    All believers receive a new heart. The new nature a believer receives is absolutely free of sin (see 1 John 3:9). He is not just a “better” person. He is a new creation. But, every believer still has the flesh, which is sinful.

    There is no such thing as “head faith” versus “heart faith.” The Bible never differentiates between the two, either in James, or anywhere else.

    Aaron,if God automatically “programs” believers to be “better,” why doesn’t He do it all the way? Why will some believers have all of their works burned up (see 1 Corinthians 3:15)?

    So, where is the accountability? It is at the judgment seat of Christ. This takes place in heaven.

    Aaron, one should not look to the fruit he is bearing for assurance of eternal life. Nor should one look to how guilty he feels when he sins for assurance of eternal life. Finally, no one should look to the extent to which he feels chastened for assurance of eternal life.

    One’s basis for assurance of eternal life is that he knows that Christ paid for his sins in full. All of them. No matter how he lives his life going forward.

    Eternal life is a gift, obtained by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

  237. Chris Campbell

    A child of God is going to be chastened if they try to live in riotous fashion. It happened to me and I lost years of rewards by engaging in such behavior. I also reaped what was sown during that time, and the consequences of my past choices plague me even today.

    We cannot live a holy life via the flesh. It is Christ in us, our justification, sanctification and glorification.

  238. Aaron, does God contradict Himself or command what He performs?

    Because, taking your interpretation of Ez 36, God is really wasting His time using Paul to inform believers in Christ to “walk in the Spirit” or “avoid fleshly lusts” or “let not sin reign” or “walk as a child of light” or “present your bodies as a living sacrifice” or “love not the world”.

    Your interpretation leads you to conclude that anyone who ignores these commands is actually not saved. However, since a believer is to whom these commands are addressed and a believer can ignore them, and you believe that one that doesn’t obey them is showing they aren’t saved, you actually believe in works salvation.

  239. Aaron, you said, “Now what is the 3rd option? I believe its the Biblical position. Many lordship proponents hold it – namely calvinists. From the predestinarian perspective both faith and works/fruit are gifts of God but faith in Christ is the sole means and grounds of justification. God never gives saving faith (as opposed to head knowledge) apart from both His Spirit and His fruits”.

    Romans 6:23 makes clear that eternal life is the gift of God. Faith is not the gift of God but is merely the channel through which eternal life is received. Jesus Christ and His death to completely pay the sinner’s sin debt toward God, and His burial and ultimately His resurrection, which proves God’s satisfaction in the debt paid, are the object of one’s faith to receive eternal life (1 Cor. 15:3-8).

    The sinner’s sole grounds for assurance of eternal life is Christ’s promise that if one believes in Christ’s atonement for that person’s sins and accepts and rests on that payment as sufficient, then he has, at that moment, eternal life (John 5:24, 6:29; 6:47). Since Christ paid the sin debt of the entire world (John 3:16, 1 John 2:2, 1 Tim. 4:10), anyone and everyone can know that he or she is included in the promise if he or she meets the sole condition of belief. Therefore, the believing sinner can know that he has eternal life that cannot ever be lost or forfeited before he or she even starts doing anything different, stops doing anything different or bears fruit of any kind (Romans 4:5).

    One of the problems with the idea that faith is the gift of God is that other things (fruits, works, perseverance, etc.) are invariably required to supposedly substantiate the reality of such faith. Therefore, the person must look to these extraneous things for assurance that he or she has eternal life. This implies that Christ’s promise of eternal life to “whosoever believes” in the verses cited above is not trustworthy. It amounts to a rejection of the gospel.

    The books of James and 1 John were not written to those who had not believed the Gospel, but rather, to those who had believed it and already had eternal life (James 1:18, 2:1; 1 John 5:13). James was written to motivate those who already had eternal life to make their faith productive and fruitful (James 2:17), resulting in justification before other people (2:18-25), not before God (Romans 4:2) and blessing (James 1:25).

    1 John was written to encourage those who had believed the Gospel to continue to believe the Gospel and not be brought back under bondage to the law or to licentiousness so that they would continue to abide in Christ and have fellowship with the apostles and other believers (1 John 1-4). Therefore, in 1 John 2:4, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”, the one who “keepeth not his commandments” is not one who does not possess eternal life but a believer who has eternal life but is not abiding in Christ.

    In John chapter 15, Christ is addressing the 11 remaining disciples who were saved (John 18:9), as Judas had departed by this time. He told the eleven that they had eternal life because they had believed the Gospel (John 15:3). However, he goes on to warn them of the consequences of failing to abide in Him (15:5, 6). The result for the believer who fails to abide is loss of reward at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor. 3:15; 2 Cor. 5:10). This may translate into forfeiting the privilege of being a co-heir with Christ in HIs kingdom (2 Tim. 2:12). However, no one who has ever believed the Gospel will ever forfeit eternal life (deliverance from Hell and ultimately, the Lake of Fire), no matter what kind of life that person lives after believing the Gospel.

  240. God does say that he scourges every son He receives, but living in a riotous fashion doesn’t always result in chastening that brings the child back to Him in wilful obedience. Some times, as per those who took of the Lord’s supper unworthingly, He removes them from Earth altogether!

    I’ve also noticed that the prodigal son chose to return, but we are not told that his father did anything to bring him back. Not entirely sure what to make of that.

  241. Keith.

    Wow and yes! That is a fantastic overview. Thank you.

  242. Benchap, God chastens (trains, provides instruction to) all believers, not just disobedient or rebellious believers. All believers.

    I think the chastening of the prodigal son was allowing him to experience the emptiness of his choices.

    People respond to this discipline in a number of ways, some of which are appropriate and some of which are not. The most disciplined Christians are the ones who respond the most appropriately to discipline.

  243. Hi John,

    That’s what I meant. Sorry.

  244. Commenter Aaron asked that I remove his last comment, of which I had removed all but the first sentence.

    Aaron felt that I had taken his sentence out of context.

    I have agreed to Aaron’s request.

    Please note that Aaron will no longer have posting priveleges on this website.

  245. John, I am appreciative and thankful that you have been given Jesus-like strength to discern and deal with false teaching!

  246. Chris Campbell

    Holy Spirit + Bible = discernment

  247. Benchap, my intent is to maintain ExPreacherMan as an oasis of grace. That sometimes frustrates people who either don’t understand grace, or who want to frustrate grace.

  248. Natural Man , Spiritual Believer , Carnal believer

    works for salvation ( ist’s , isim’s and Ite’s ) stumble all over the carnal believer among other basic simple positional Truths .

  249. Chris, you are right. We are indwelled by the Holy Spirit, Who illuminates us as to the meaning of scripture.

  250. That’s right, Curtis.

    What does a carnal and spiritual believer have in common?

    They have both been, in God’s eyes, buried with Christ and risen together again with Him. Therefore “ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

  251. I’ve been trying to put these thoughts into words for a while now, so please bear with me if it doesn’t make sense.

    It has come to my attention that Calvinism is really a way to justify the flesh’s sinful thoughts and actions.

    Calvinists believe that, being the elect who have been given the “gift of faith”, they cannot live in habitual sin. Thus, unless the Calvinist has some grasp of reality, a Calvinist’s thought patterns (including his thoughts on doctrine) must always be inspired by God and thus sinless. Therefore when a Calvinist argues – as they so often do – with a believer, he washes away the believer’s comments with ease. This isn’t because the believer doesn’t make sense but because a Calvinist, according to his doctrine, cannot possibly be wrong.

    He, being the elect, cannot be deceived, so anybody that doesn’t agree with him has to be wrong. If he is exposed by someone to his own sin – such as a pride and despising of others – he concludes that it cannot possibly be sin – for such sin would prove he is lost.

    A Calvinist’s theology will not allow him to be wrong, nor stuck in habitual sin. So if someone teaches him something that he has not believed (aka the Gospel) he cannot accept it. When someone shows him his habitual sin he, if his an honest Calvinist, must conclude: a) this isn’t sin, for if it was he would automatically not do it. b) he is lost.

    Calvinism, just like all the other “isms”, is a doctrine of devils.

  252. Ben, if a Calvinist does sin, he must logically conclude that his god made him sin. He was predestined to it.

    However, since Calvinists hold to the false “perseverance of the saints” doctrine, they would be inclined to deny, or overlook sin in their lives.

    If a Calvinist argues with you, his god has ordained which side of the argument he will take, which side of the argument you will take, and how each of you will respond to the argument.

    Why does Baskin Robbins have 31 flavors? According to the consistent Calvinist, it would be because his god decreed that they wouldn’t have 30, or 32 flavors. It couldn’t be because people have a choice in the matter of what flavor ice cream they will choose.

  253. Ben
    you a getting into the realm of mind control with the doctrine of calvinism .
    You are correct a calvinist or anyone under bewitchment will not accept criticism their thought pattern is stuck in loops or another term a double bind thought pattern.
    if interested there is a publication Stephen Martin’s book, The Heresy of Mind Control .

  254. John, I agree.

    Curtis, thanks. I think I will take a look at that.

    I’ve seen it in many walks of life. No one can question the Pope, or the Catholics attack. No one can question John MacArthur or the Calvinists attack. No one can speak against the Jewish Arminian leader – whose name escapes me – or they attack. No one can question a Baptist pastor, or the Baptists attack.

    These systems get into people’s minds and teach them to fear, look down upon and hate everyone outside their clique, which isn’t what Christianity is about. In fact over the past few days, I’ve learned it’s exactly what Islam is about. That because it’s exactly what all false religion is about!

  255. I pray that the people that you are misleading on this site open their bible and read it.

  256. Keith 2, thanks for your comment.

    I welcome everyone, including you, to open their Bibles and read them.

    I can assure you that we are not trying to mislead anyone. I regularly pray for wisdom for myself and the others who contribute to this site.

    I also pray that those who come to this site who know Jesus as Savior will grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18). And, for those who come to this site who don’t know Jesus as Savior, that they will hear (or read) the gospel and understand, that they might believe and be saved.

    Our little oasis of grace is truly a “needle in a haystack.” I don’t think that anyone who comes here does so by accident.

  257. It is surreal to continually watch people criticise a site that teaches that Jesus’ sacrifice was enough and that man cannot add anything to it.

    If we are deceived, then the truth is that Jesus’ work was insufficient and that we can/must justify ourselves through obedience to God’s law.

    But the truth is belief in Gospel = eternal life. No works, prior or after belief, gain or maintain this gift! It’s through Christ…alone.

    It’s what the Bible teaches, Keith.

  258. Chris Campbell

    It’s shocking and scary how perverted the gospel has become in the minds of people. I thought we were easy believists?

  259. 1 Corinthians 1:18-25:

    [18] For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
    [19] For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
    [20] Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
    [21] For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
    [22] For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
    [23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
    [24] But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
    [25] Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

  260. Aaron:

    We are neither Arminians nor Antinomians.

    It was probably already covered here. The faith James rebuked had to do with believers having a working faith, one that was demonstrable, it had nothing to do with demons having faith but they know who God is. The believers were commended for their belief (thou doest well). The demons/devils do not believe upon Jesus as their Savior nor is it offered to them. I think it might do you well to learn to read context. Who is it written to. James written to believers being rebuked for their lack of justification before men. Same for 1 John, both written to believers for a purpose. It is good to look at entire context, lest you be like the Word of Faith people who use Eliphaz’s words in Job 22:28 to declare and decree things.

    Ezekiel 36, back up a couple of verses to 22. This is spoken to the house of Israel and a certain time (when He will bring them into their own land.) When does this happen? After they have believed (see Zech 12) and this will be them entering the Millennium.

    As far as sanctification, Heb 10:10, 14 says it is done when we believe and by His work on the cross. That is positional sanctification. Then we are told how we can be practically sanctified in this life (Jn 17:17; Luke 10:38-42, Eph 5:26 and many more). If we will abide in Him and remain in His Word, His truth will cleanse us.

    ‘Mere mental assent’ is just a reformed catch phrase. Try using the word ‘believe’. The Bible does. It is the only condition for receiving the free gift of eternal life. If one has believed, they are His (Rom 8:9, not Rom 7-8). So many other things to discuss, but you have used such a great amount of license with God’s Word, and I did not see proper context once in your post.

    I am afraid your reformed tradition is blurring your vision, law seems to have you bewitched. Or maybe you have not understood what walking in the Spirit is, or worse, you have not understood the gospel at all. Please be sure your faith is in Christ alone, and not in the quality/quantity of your faith and works.

    In Christ, Holly

  261. Keith 2, if you also will open the Bible, with God’s approval in mind, humbling yourself under His mighty hand, He will show you some awesome and wonderful things. No one here has a desire to mislead, but if you knew the Word, you were supposed to note what it was that has been taught here that was false, (a righteous judgment) and use the Word of God to do it.

    Please consider your own advice, put away the books and the ‘radical’ reformed pastors and look to the simplicity that is in Christ.

  262. The Keith who commented above is a different one, not I, who am the first commenter on this site who goes by that name.

  263. Keith, I just changed his name to “Keith 2.”

  264. Keith 2
    Welcome
    Would like to hear your testimony of how you know you have eternal life ?

    Also would like to know by what standard are you using to accuse that “we are mis leading souls ” here at expreacherman ?

  265. Keith 2,

    Which Bible are you reading or do you wish others to read? Mine says salvation is paid for by Jesus Christ and that that salvation is received by us through faith (belief). Thus it is by grace and not of works.

    Jim F

  266. Praise God that it is simple. Too many wish to corrupt minds from the simplicity that is in Christ.

  267. Thank expreacherman for this web site, it is so important in the time we love in. Thank you so much!

    I recently have had conversations with a street preacher and he definitely fits the above
    “Repent of your sins”
    “Turn from your sins”
    “Be willing to turn from your sins”
    “Put Christ on the throne of your life”
    “Give your life to Christ”
    “Commit to follow Christ”

    My question is to those who post here while he stays away from saying we can loose our salvation from sinning, he strongly believes that man has free will and therefore can choose to abandon his faith, deny Jesus etc.,
    He uses Matthew 10:33 as part of his argument as though he believes that someone can make a conscious decision to leave the Holy Spirit that is in them and the indwelling Holy Spirit will leave because of free will.

    He says man’s will trumps God’s will.
    I have been searching and reading scripture but I have not found anything that particularly resolves this “will” argument.

    God’s blessings,
    Angela

  268. Angela, no one who has eternal life can ever lose or forfeit it.

    Eternal life is eternal, and is not even capable of being extinguished. We have the life of Christ when we are reborn. Scripture is crystal clear as to the irreversible nature of a Christian’s spiritual birth, and is replete with passage after passage that explains this. The street preacher is substituting his understanding for what the Bible says.

    For a good discussion of eternal security, see link below:

    https://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/cucuzza-the-permanence-of-salvation.pdf

    The street preacher that you mentioned has horribly butchered Matthew 10:33.

    Yes, a Christian can deny Christ – has the street preacher ever heard of Peter?

    Incidentally, why would you pay any attention to what he says, when he also preaches a false gospel?

    For a discussion of Matthew 10:33 that is consistent with grace, please see number 5 in the link below:

    https://expreacherman.com/2014/06/01/some-lordship-salvationists-pet-passages-explained/

  269. “Angela, no one who has eternal life can ever lose or forfeit it.”
    Agreed..Amen!
    “Incidentally, why would you pay any attention to what he says, when he also preaches a false gospel?”

    I have spoken with him several times….my hope and prayer that through my witness and preaching to him he would hear the true Gospel and believe.
    I have been successful to some degree to reconsider his understanding of certain scriptures.
    I agree though I will not be able to pay attention for much longer if he continues to adhere to this false gospel….to be quite honest it is very painful to hear how they twist God’s glorious truth.

    Thank you again for the links and information…I am very glad to have found your website especially after learning about the various damaging false gospels preached on You Tube and on the street.

    Angela

  270. Angela, You should check out the following 2 examples in Scripture of 2 Godly men who denied Christ, but are still eternally saved:

    Samson is a true man of God and at the same time a FORNICATOR – Judges 16:1, then in Judges 16:28-30, Samson commits a simultaneous MURDER/SUICIDE with God’s help. Yet Samson is listed as a Godly man of faith in Hebrews 11:32. Samson would not be listed there if he was unsaved.

    King Solomon is a true man of God, but became a serial polygamist and demon worshiper at the end of his life – 1 Kings 11:1-13. Solomon even built 2 altars to the 2 demon gods, Chemosh and Molech in 1 Kings 11:7. Molech was a demon god that required child sacrifices – a Satanic practice. This was King Solomon. Solomon persisted in his sins despite God warning him TWICE – 1 Kings 11:9-11. Because of Solomon’s defiance, God declared to Solomon that He would tear away a major portion of his kingdom, but do it in his son’s generation because of God’s covenant with Solomon’s father, King David.

    God then brought 3 adversaries against Solomon – 1 Kings 11:14, 23, 26. Then we read that Solomon tried to commit MURDER in 1 Kings 11:40. Nowhere in Scripture does it ever say that Solomon “lost his salvation” or “never had it to begin with.”

    I once denied Christ for 9 long years living in willful sin, and rebellion against God, but at the 9 year mark of my apostasy, God chastised me to bring me back to fellowship with Him. That was 23 years ago, and God has been gracious and merciful to me ever since. I experienced His punishment first, but then afterwards I experienced His MERCY AND GRACE. What a wonderful heavenly Father!

    Job 5:17-18 – 17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

    18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.

  271. Angela, God’s people, the Israelites certainly had free will and denied God time and again and were living in sin, rebellion, and worshiping false gods time and again as recorded in Jeremiah 18:12, Joshua 22:10,16,17, Judges 2:10-19, Judges 3:7,12, Judges 4:1, Judges 6:1, Judges 8:27, Judges 8:33, Judges 10:6, Judges 13:1, and all throughout Ezekiel chapters 1-8. The Israelites denied God time and again worshiping idols and indulging in detestable practices. They also denied God by indulging in sexual immorality with Moabite women in Numbers 25:1-3, and as a result God wiped out 24,000 Israelites in Numbers 25:9.

    God punished them in those instances of sin, apostasy, and rebellion, and many Israelites were scattered and exiled in other countries, BUT God was also a God of GRACE and MERCY – Romans 10:21. He did not stay angry forever, but He loved His people enough that He brought them back and restored them.

    Check out the following passages that refute that preacher’s eisegesis of Matthew 10:33:

    These passages indicate that God does not take away His saved people’s eternal salvation. God punishes His sinning people, but He also restores and brings them back to fellowship with Him.

    1) Micah 7:18 – Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? YOU DO NOT STAY ANGRY FOREVER, but delight to show mercy.

    2) Isaiah 12:1 – In that day you will say: “I will praise you, LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me.

    3) Job 5:17-18 – “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty
    For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.

    4) Ezekiel 11:17 – “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’

    5) Jeremiah 3:12 – Go, proclaim this message toward the north: “‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will frown on you no longer, for I AM FAITHFUL,’ declares the LORD, I WILL NOT BE ANGRY FOREVER.

    6) Jeremiah 32:37
    I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety.

    7) Jeremiah 32:37 – I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I WILL BRING THEM BACK TO THIS PLACE AND LET THEM LIVE IN SAFETY.

    8) Deuteronomy 30:4 – Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will GATHER YOU AND BRING YOU BACK.

    9) Proverbs 3:11-12 – My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

    10) Hebrews 12:5-11 – 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
    “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

  272. Welcome Angela

    the simplicity that is in Christ.
    2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

    Rom_4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    Rom_5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

  273. When reading scripture especially when Jesus Speaks
    Context
    Content
    Compare
    Conclude

  274. Angela, I forgot to mention regarding Matthew 10:33 that this passage parallels Luke 12:9 and 2 Timothy 2:12. All 3 passages are talking about the possible forfeiture of eternal rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 and the failure of public confession of Christ. Christians who publicly confess Christ will be commended by Christ at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Their eternal salvation is never the issue here. Joseph of Arimathea in John 19:38 was a Christian who did not publicly confess Christ, but was a Christian in secret for fear of the Jews.

    Also, there were the chief rulers who were Christians who did not publicly confess Christ in John 12:42 because of their fear of the Pharisees and being banished out of the synagogue. Both Joseph of Arimathea and the chief rulers were eternally saved, but will not be commended by Christ and be denied eternal rewards.

  275. The sure mercies of David.

    14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

    15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

    16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

    17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David. 2 Sam 7

  276. Thank you everyone for your responses and exhortations.

    I realize now that I should not have paid attention to someone who preaches a false gospel, I thought I would be able to show him his errors but he only sent me a scathing email rebuking me saying that as a woman I was not to teach a man and that the Oracles of God are only for men. He said I called him a false teacher by explaining the assurance of salvation.

    This deeply wounded me since I agree that woman should not teach in a formal sense (to maintain order in God’s church) I thought it was within my role to at the very least share my understanding of the Gospel.

    I would appreciate any insight on this as well since he did deeply wound me and I do not know where witnessing becomes teaching/preaching?

    Praise God, however that He used this horrible situation to really dig deep and understand the errors of lordship salvation and bring me back to my understanding of the true Gospel of Jesus, being born again through faith and obtaining His grace through which we are eternally secure.

    Angela

  277. I know Holly has gone through and goes through what you are Angela . will probably comment soon on this .

    here are some thoughts

    False teaching/preaching will affect you and can infect you it’s best to just separate you don’t need to say anything just fold up your tent and go .
    The emotions you are going through are typical of mind control tactics and abuse that is its intended purpose to snare a soul just about all the cults operate this way.

    When a soul like that street preacher are hardened to the point of taking their false doctrines to the street’s well they are well hardened into it and apart from a supernatural intervention that is where they will stay . I myself would have no patience for this gentleman on the street’s.
    maybe two on one away from public eye as long as they be willing to hear if not leave them alone. would not want to be alone with that soul.
    sadly the ranting and raving of the street preacher is the unbelievers impression of being a christ follower .

    Angela you spot weak or false teaching or preaching sister ? let the word of God speak
    Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
    2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

    favorite passages of scripture Jesus took great care to see they are preserved in scripture to this day. Imagine a Canaanite Woman chasing down crying out after a Pack of Jews ? That took faith .

    The woman with alabaster box ? Why trouble ye the woman?

    Mat 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

    Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

    when his disciples saw it, they had indignation
    Mat 26:8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

    Mat 26:10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

    Mat 26:13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

  278. Thank you Curtis,

    I appreciate the scripture references, they helped mend my wounds. I agree that mind control is part of how people like him operate, I wish I had recognized it sooner.
    He insisted my sins mock Jesus and therefore I must strive to be sinless. I felt so condemned and hurt by his words to me, even though I know scripture says very clearly there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ and I am set free from the law of sin and death.

    Thank you for reminding it is okay to pack up my tent and I can go I have witnessed and shared the grace that is in Christ Jesus and I agree only a supernatural intervention can do the rest.

    Grace and peace,
    Angela

  279. Angela – I could be wrong, but here are my thoughts.

    And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Phil 4:3-4

    And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. Acts 18:26

    I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Rom 16:1-4

  280. Thank you Curtis.
    Your post was so helpful to me, it really helped me understand.
    Angela

  281. Angela. I remember when I was 14 I was searching up things about God and some of them had that Calvinist/Lordship message. Some of them like “You might not be one of the elect, you committed the unpardonable sin, you sin you are a fake christian.”
    made me feel like I was worthless deadbeat. That also Left me furious because I tried to search up someone exposing them and yet no one had done that. Made me feel like both an idiot and condemned as well. I felt my conscience screaming at me, “STOP ATTACKING GOD! NOW YOU’RE GOING TO GET IT!” And literally I felt this fear for no reason just pop out of no where, felt as if I was in immediate danger. I looked everywhere for the source and crawled into the corner. My instinct was “daniel get out of there. Something’s in there with you.” I didn’t know what to do. The feeling went away after like 15 minutes. But I know something was in the room with me, putting this fear in me. As if it wanted me to shut up and not seek the truth.

  282. Holly, thank you for your response, I wrote Curtis by mistake already thanked him. 🙂

    Daniel,
    I agree forces can come against you when you seek out truth in many different ways. Even though I was a born again believer who understood the Gospel of Grace for some reason I starting to be deceived by a person with a Lordship salvation message.
    One thing I found to be so true and have seen discussed on this message board is how they judge others so harshly and are always looking for evidence that a person is a Christian. At first I did not really understand until I started to listen to their doctrine of salvation, they have a different point of departure (works) which is no leads no where.
    I am glad you have found this blog which helps expose them and their false doctrine. It is not just the mega Church pastors and the high profile pastors,
    I learned that they have a huge presence on Youtube, Google+ Facebook and so on. They are not church people, they have left organized religion, meet in homes and take to the streets with their false gospel. They believe they are the true believers following what they believe is the true first century gospel, everything else is corrupted. They are very strong into rebuking, the possibility of falling away, repenting and supposedly leading a sinless life. So many are becoming entangled with these men sadly.
    I am just glad the Holy Spirit pulled me out from their deceptions it was causing me much turmoil, but the good news is I sharpened my understanding of scripture a hundred fold!!

    Be blessed Daniel,
    Angela

  283. Angela – I just wanted to comment about you saying ‘they are not church people’. I agree there are many who are not, but I would like to say we have found that a whole lot of them, (I believe a majority), are indeed church people as well. Loadship doctrine has infiltrated church buildings everywhere, they come from among us. May the Lord keep us abiding in Him and His Word.

  284. Holly,

    Yes I totally agree the majority are in churches (as in denominational buildings).
    I was elaborating on my experience, which I guess reading over was not that clear, in that Lordship Salvation/Repent message is found all over, even on the street corner, albeit, in more severe form, these people also have You Tube pages with many followers like

    (links removed by administrator)

    Kerrigan Skelly, Jesse Morell etc., and so many others that I am just learning about.
    Perhaps I am wrong but as some church buildings empty these false teachers seem to be having more and more influence and are gaining traction with younger people, as they take their message to the streets. Their message is not as polished and subtle so perhaps not as deceptive for some, however, it seems to be appealing to a certain segment of people who see see the scandals of the church system (buildings) and because of these scandals want promote a sinless life as evidence of being a true believer which we know is not what the Bible teaches.

    I hope this clarifies,
    Angela

  285. Hello, thank you for this site. May I ask about what happens to a believer who kills themselves?

  286. Miriam, a believer goes to heaven no matter what. But, there would be loss of rewards they might otherwise have received.

    Believers have every reason to live, including preaching the gospel to the lost.

  287. If you are having thoughts of suicide please call me
    My number is under my profile.

    What John said also the believer hands satan a win but not the victory. .

  288. Miriam, believers are undergoing a lot of pressure right now in this world. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels (2 Cor 4:6-18). I hope it is not you who are giving up, John is welcome to give you my contact info also. If it is someone you know/knew, although we wouldn’t want that for any of our loved ones, if it has happened, and they believed the truth, they already possessed eternal life. No one can lose it. Nor does it prove they weren’t His. In Christ, Holly

  289. I’m having a discussion with a Kerrigan Skelly who maintains that one must forsake ALL his/her sins in order to be saved. To him “repent” means to forsake all sins. He maintains that perfect obedience is possible for mortal men. I quoted Romans 5:19 to show him that only one is capable of perfect obedience and that is Christ. Is this what Romans 5:19 means? Thanks.

  290. Hey, Kerrigan Skully is a Pelagian. He believes in a weird version of sinless perfectionism post salvation. He is a wolf, and I wouldn’t advise debating with him. Preach him the Gospel, then move on. Going back and forth with him will seldom achieve anything.

  291. Hi, eireannach, I was conversing with someone with similar views and I found that it was very detrimental to my walk as a believer.
    In a short time, I found myself misunderstanding “crucifying the flesh” and other key phrases they pull out of context, this website pulled me out of their deception….. and I thought I had a good understanding of the simple gospel prior to coming into contact with them.
    It is important to move on.
    Angela

  292. eireannach

    Thanks Angel and Benchap for your replies. There is a time to debate and a time to move. The wise man knows when .Thanks again.

  293. Kerrigan Skelly is one of those street preacher, youtube preachers, who are Arminians who preach Christ and Him crucified if we repent from sin, and continue to repent in order not to lose our salvation (conditional security).

    I agree, he is a wolf and one to be marked and avoided (Rom 16:17-18).

  294. 1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
    1Co 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
    1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

    I would not have you ignorant.
    that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

    If I may Kerrigan Skelly I was on his website and under salvation statement is one of thee most top tier biblically twisted, doctrinaly corrupted, accursed message that i have seen. Before i would listen to anyone on youtube or another venue is check out their doctrine . I would not listen to Kerrigan Kelly or attempt to debate him . he would want you too that. It is what he lives for. even him going to the streets any reaction to him is an encouragement to him.
    now his accursed salvation doctrine below and if admin would like to delete i understand . it is that bad.
    here at expreacherman i would hope you would be drawn to study ON YOUR OWN the Truth of The Gospel , upon reciveing Christ Jesus as your personal saviour it is of utmost importance you desire the Pure sincere Truth of Gods word applied to your Thinking meditating in your heart /mind.
    asking God for Wisdom and understanding admitting our failures.and readjusting our thinking.

    “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”

    now does Kerrigan Skelly salvation doctrine say “Jesus is the Lord” ?
    were does the light shine on ?
    what Jesus has done ?
    or what mankind must do ?

    the doctrine of Kerrigan Skelly is about what you do !!!, Therefore it is not of the Holy Ghost and let him accursed the doctrine is accursed

    Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    Pro 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

    salvation statement of Kerrigan Skelly is to many words for the simplicity that is in christ .

    * We believe that Christ died for every sinner and that it is God’s desire that every sinner to be saved. God takes no delight in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn and live. However, even though Christ died for all and God wants all to be saved, the provisions of Christ’s atonement are applied conditionally upon the sinner’s repentance, faith and perseverance in holiness to the end. In other words, only those who repent of their sins, trust in Christ and persevere in holiness until the end will take part in the forgiveness offered through Christ’s shed blood. Without the shedding of Christ’s blood, there is no possibility for forgiveness of sins (Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 33:11, 1 Timothy 2:3-6, 2 Peter 3:9, Matthew 24:12-13, Hebrews 9:22).

    * We believe that God is drawing all men near, that He commands all men, everywhere to repent and that the Holy Spirit is convicting the whole world of sin, righteousness and judgment. The problem isn’t whether God is drawing them or not. The problem is that men are resisting God’s drawing, God’s grace and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. To be saved, a sinner must simply surrender his whole life to the conviction and drawing of the Holy Spirit and then begin to live a life of holines unto God (Matthew 22:2-10, Matthew 23:37, John 1:9, John 12:32, John 16:7-11, Acts 7:51-54).

    * We believe that while Baptism doesn’t “save” a person or make a person born again (baptismal regeneration), it is much more important then the modern American Church makes it. In the modern American Church, the altar call, praying a prayer and many other things have overtaken this Biblical mandate. NOWHERE in Scripture will you see a lost sinner commanded to “pray a prayer” to be saved. They are always told to repent, believe and be baptized. Every believer that is able, should be Baptized as soon as they are able (after being examined by Church leadership of course), not when there is a “quarterly baptism” or when the Pastor is “ready” (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:38, Acts 8:26-39).

    * We believe that true Christians have the ability to backslide, depart from the faith, be cut off and/or fall away (this is commonly called “losing your salvation”) because they still have “free will” given to them by God. A Christian doesn’t have “eternal life” eternally until they step into eternity. Christians are on “probation” or a testing period while still on earth (Ezekiel 33:12-20, Matthew 24:48-51, Matthew 25:1-13, Romans 11:20-23, 1 Corinthians 10:5-13, Hebrews 3:6-4:1, James 5:19-20, 1 Timothy 4:1-2).

  295. Curtis, the false gospel of Kerrigan Skelly, that you have posted above, is some of the most ardent works for salvation doctrine out there. It doesn’t sound much different that standard Calvinist/LS doctrine, which insists that “true believers” WILL persevere in holiness.

  296. Thank you moderators for revealing these false street (not all are false by any means) but there is definitely a sect with very a biblical twisted message.
    The people I encountered who are followers of Skelly and others like him will not be shaken from their beliefs, but as Curtis or John told me when I first mentioned this is that it will take a work of God to remove the veil from their eyes.
    I guess the fact that I still need to write about it shows I am still recovering.

    I just want people to know because they caught me in a very weak moment in my life, while overall it strengthened my walk and my understanding of grace, it was a lot of turmoil to get free from their attempts to inoculate me.
    I just think it is best to warn people. This is truly truly a harmful movement.

    What I find interesting is that God used this total controlling ultra extreme of faction of Lordship salvation to teach me about His amazing grace and love (somehow I forgot along the way) and that I was accepted, redeemed and held by Him by no matter what I did.

    When I remembered and came back to this truth, I no longer did the things I did not want to do and was able to the things I wanted to do again!
    God is amazing!

  297. johninnc,

    This is a very old thread, but I wanted to thank you for your clear explanations in the comments to this post.

    This one here is so clearly Biblical and comforting, and yet so different from what I keep finding all around me in Christian circles. It’s really lonely. But I keep loving the Christians I find even while I’m sadder and sadder at how committed they continue to to be to false teachers.

    You write in response to Jonas: (at March 30, 2014 at 9:48 am)

    …Third, you asked: “So how can you have communion with other christians if you think that they may not be saved ?”

    My comment: You really can’t. That’s why I don’t go to Calvinist/LS churches (or any others that corrupt the gospel). Based on the doctrines of such churches, and the testimonies of their members, I’m not sure if they are Christians. They claim the name of Christ, but then deny Him by their insistence that works are necessary to gain, keep, or give evidence of salvation.

    The best indicator of whether or not someone is a Christian is his testimony of what gospel he believes. If it is the gospel, then we can be pretty sure he is saved. If it is a false gospel, we can’t have any way of knowing.

  298. Alec, I am thankful that you have found some of these comments to be comforting.

    I have some Christian friends who feel differently than I do on this topic. I can only hope that they are helping others to better understand the gospel, rather than becoming less clear themselves.

  299. Alec – I feel the same sadness. Recently I saw one who seemed clear on the gospel go into 1 John 1:9 being a part of how you become saved. His logic was that it was not really confessing your sins per se’ but acknowledging that you were a sinner. On the flip side if it was believers being addressed there, he said that was law. Then later he was using his experience of the Holy Spirit’s conviction to prove he was a real Christian. I know this. I saw him start to compromise with teachers, one was Jack Kelley (who is no longer with us) on a site that oddly has grace in it’s name. He too had backdoor loadship (evidence and proof along with experience). I guess they just haven’t figured out that less than a perfect standard is a flat fail. The irony is how angry they get when you try to reason with them. One told me I had an ‘air of superiority’. Another used 1 John 2:19 to describe my break with them at that point. I love and pray for them too. May we all have compassion on some making a difference.

  300. John,
    Yes. Let’s pray that they will have a renewed love for the Word, which can lead them through every wind of false doctrine.

    Hi Holly,
    It’s a perfect example. The person you saw fits the type:

    * They falsely teach people to look to themselves for their salvation rather than to God’s promises in his Word.

    * They falsely teach experience – feelings – are the measure of spirituality.

    * They fraternize and openly support other teachers who go against essential doctrines.

    * They can become enraged when you try to gently point out the truth. This actually is a great measure of a false teacher. It’s a gift that allows you to see their true nature.

    * They often undermine the authority of the Words of Scripture. This can be subtle. Many of these teachers openly say they believe but deny. For example, the Gospel Coalition founding document ‘Theological Vision for Ministry’ written by Tim Keller: “We affirm that truth is conveyed by Scripture.” Most of the readers here are likely experienced enough in the faith to be able to see through this statement. But note that Keller and the people of TGC don’t state this clearly. You have to dig through their materials to find it.

    We’re witnessing a return to the Medieval pre-Reformation world where only the authorities in the Church have the right to read the Bible and interpret it. You as a run of the mill Christian do not have the Holy Spirit in the same measure as the leaders at the top, and cannot possibly understand the Bible or their “vision”. But don’t worry, the leaders will tell you which part of the Bible is true and which part is false.

    Yet despite what the false teachers promote, the Holy Spirit is always present and works through the Word preached, read, or spoken as per Isaiah 55.11. He builds his (true) church and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. And all we who believe the gospel are the living stones. Praise be to God.

  301. Medieval prereformation world with dominionism run amok. They will have to drag me to mass kicking and screaming because I won’t go. Turn from sin or burn at the stake. The second Albigensian crusade. I will wish Obama were back.

  302. Just my thoughts about LS vs true Gospel of Grace
    LS = what you do determines what you are
    Grace = what you are determines what you do

    I always compare it with a pig and a sheep.
    When you are a pig you can not become a sheep by not jumping in the mud. When you are a sheep, no one needs to tell you that you should not jump in the mud. A sheep just follows the shepherd.
    How to become sheep? Believe in Christ and receive the Holy Spirit; be born again. A new creation!
    Lots of christians always refer to the 1st speech of Peter in Acts. Somehow they never read his second speech. “while he was speaking”… even Peter had no idea.

  303. Erwin, I agree with part of what you said, but not all.

    You said: Grace = what you are determines what you do

    My comment: That implies that Christians always do what they should and that that they no longer have free will to do things that are outside of God’s will. If this were true, the Epistles need not to have been written. Grace determines what you should do.

    Your statement that I have highlighted seems to teach the Calvinist tenet of “perseverance of the saints,” which is simply Lordship “salvation” (works) backloaded into the gospel.

  304. John,

    I am going to ask you for the impossible. 🙂

    There was a different “take” on Romans 10 confession posted on this site about…..3 months ago. I remember reading it and it made me think a bit. I never really looked at it in depth….i would like to now.

    Can you find it?????

    Told you it was in the “impossible” section of the stadium.

  305. Thanks. maybe you can walk on water next.

    Want to hear something funny…I literally just got into a discussion about this 10 minutes ago.

  306. Preston, glad to help.

  307. Preston,

    I also agree with the take that Ras had on Rom 10 that John linked. I think John and others also discussed it in the past in other threads. I’ve had to deal with it with people on Facebook. It certainly is commonly misunderstood. Rom 9-11 is often misunderstood because so many Bible teachers chose proof texting and the wisdom of men over sound hermeneutics.

    For example, the “Romans Road” method of witnessing is and has been very popular. However it has a failing point. Here is an explanation of one part of it from the got questions site which advocates it. (I don’t recommend the site btw). But they say,

    “The fourth stop on the Romans Road to salvation is Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, all we have to do is believe in Him, trusting His death as the payment for our sins – and we will be saved! Romans 10:13 says it again, “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and rescue us from eternal death. Salvation, the forgiveness of sins, is available to anyone who will trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.”

    When people equate calling upon the Lord here with faith, then this next statement tends to be the result: (also from got questions)

    “Would you like to follow the Romans Road to salvation? If so, here is a simple prayer you can pray to God. Saying this prayer is a way to declare to God that you are relying on Jesus Christ for your salvation. The words themselves will not save you. Only faith in Jesus Christ can provide salvation! “God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. With your help, I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness – the gift of eternal life! Amen!”

    The problem is contradictory statements. To say salvation is received through faith in one breath then say pray for it or declare to God for it, or confess, or call out for it (ask Jesus into you “heart”) is to mess it all up and makes it faith plus. All that can be avoided by context and a careful line by line reading as RAS illustrated.

    Jim F

  308. Alec – what a well thought out comment, really appreciated reading it.

    I have dealt with a lot that get enraged with me. Now and again, I am surprised, but there is generally some warning signs.

    Great comment on Tim Keller, he absolutely does undermine the authority of God’s Word. And yes, it can be subtle, to the extent others think you are ‘nit-picking’. Eric Metaxas is the one that I went to a meeting here in Scottsdale several years back because of his book on Bonhoeffer. I got the opportunity to ask him about Bonhoeffer’s denial of the resurrection and the Deity of Christ (we were allowed only one question). He said it was an ‘internet rumor’, and I suggested he further his research and gave him the title of one of two in which Bonhoeffer makes this clear. Two peas in a pod.

    They argue that you don’t understand ‘context’ or you haven’t read enough of the author to understand that there is an elephant in the room.

    Very interesting observation you made here: We’re witnessing a return to the Medieval pre-Reformation world where only the authorities in the Church have the right to read the Bible and interpret it. You as a run of the mill Christian do not have the Holy Spirit in the same measure as the leaders at the top, and cannot possibly understand the Bible or their “vision”. But don’t worry, the leaders will tell you which part of the Bible is true and which part is false.

    I agree, He will teach us, we want to study with His approval in mind, knowing and believing His Word is truth. We have a different attitude then these men that I believe are spoken of in Psalm 50:16-17.

    16 But unto the wicked God saith,
    What hast thou to do to declare my statutes,
    or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
    17 Seeing thou hatest instruction,
    and castest my words behind thee.

    I thank God for His Word, may I never take it for granted.

  309. Preston – I don’t know if we were in on that same discussion or it just ended up being another place where a similar discussion was held.

    When I suggested looking at context, and the order of the statement in 14-17 was a chiasm (can never remember the term), anyways, it didn’t go well right then. 🙂

    I found so much help in coloring Israel or the Jews one color in all the passages speaking of or about them, and the Gentiles also, then believers in chapters 9-11. Opened my eyes. Then a teacher explained looking at salvation as a word and asking salvation from what? That about 70% of the time it did not deal with deliverance from hell. Years later I read Dennis Rokser’s book on the tenses of salvation which is another way to look at it. Anyways, we all remember that the believing Pharisees did not confess Him publicly (which is what most insist they must do), so there is also a conflict there.

    Anyways, I at least ask them why they would choose a verse which says one thing when they have 150 that say another, wouldn’t they want to try to keep it really clear if they want to see people saved?

  310. Jason Wrote “Medieval prereformation world with dominionism run amok….. ”

    I witnessed this happen at a IFCA church of 40 plus years when Clavanism of the John Macauthor kind took hold of elder’s .
    you were to “obey the elders” and to question the elders “you were of satan”
    books books books , buy the books from elders so you know what not to question after all the elders went to a John Mac convention and brought the preapproved books back by the case lot for you to buy from them

  311. What i found interesting that i have not heard before is that this is about “Israel’s salvation”. Yes, Isreal is the context of Romans 9 -11.

    I thought it was simple reverse order. preach the gospel….believe the gospel…..call (which by definition CAN mean to “obey the gospel”.

    See this old webster dictionary – definition # 10 http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/call

    Not saying i agree that it is Israel salvation only (whosoever)…..but thought it worth a look. Thats what i remembered about the post.

  312. Curtis, I think of Ecclesiastes 12:12: And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

    Churchianity is a big business. There are trade magazines for it, just like in any other business.

    I was a CPA, and we had “Journal of Accountancy,” “Accounting Today,” and the like.

    Churchianity has “The Christian Post,” “Christianity Today,” and the like.

    Here in Charlotte, there is a mega church with a “rock star” pastor by the name of Steven Furtick. Steven makes tons of money selling books, which they study in his church. There are even coloring pages of “Pastor Steven” for the kiddies.

    Tim Keller, Steven Furtick, and J.D. Greear also seem to have a mutual admiration society, in which they recommend each other’s books.

    From the “Acknowledgements” section of Greear’s book “Gospel”:

    To Tim Keller, whose thinking has so permeated my own that I can no longer really tell where his stops and mine starts. I am heavily indebted to him for many of the ideas in this book, particularly in chapters 2, 3, and 6. I have listened to and read Tim Keller so much that I tend to plagiarize his interpretation of a passage before I even hear him teach on that passage.

    To my friends Bruce Ashford, Danny Akin, Mark Driscoll, Tyler Jones, Clayton King, Steven Furtick, David Platt, and Tullian Tchividjian: Hearing your insights, listening to you preach, and bouncing ideas off of you have changed the char- acter of my ministry forever. You have been gifts of God to me.

    And, here is part of Keller’s love for J.D. Greear:

    My fellow pastor, J.D. Greear, through his book, has helped us in this quest for gospel-saturated living. He takes the principles of gospel centrality and shows us how to orient our lives around it. I appreciate how in refreshing and real ways he makes the gospel accessible to others so that they can experience its transforming power. I especially like the book’s practical section on gospel prayer as a way to assist us in rehearsing these truths deep into our hearts and minds. Whether you are exploring Christianity for the first time or are longing to ‘look into these things’ again and again, let me invite you to spend time with this helpful book.

    And from Furtick:

    J.D. Greear is one of the greatest men of God I know. And one of the most brilliant. His ability to communicate the gospel in a fresh yet faithful way perfectly positions him to speak to the life-giving message of Jesus into you in a way that you have never experienced. And in a way that will change your life forever.

  313. Indeed johninnc!
    Grace = what you are determines what you SHOULD do. We have a choice.

  314. Grace = Undeserved Favor
    The only response to Grace is Faith
    Faith is not the gift of God
    Eternal Life (Justification) is the Gift of God by Grace through Faith

    Grace Teaches us to deny ungodliness How ?
    by positive response towards the Word of God in our thinking
    application of the Word of God through experience in our thinking .

    Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
    Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
    Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
    Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

  315. Erwin – so right… Grace = what we should do. But another thing grace does is when we rightly ‘see’ it is that it enables us to live the right way. We fail, but His grace points us back to His Word. So many are bewitched, trying to live by the law. I know I fail, as Paul said in Romans 7, finding myself doing (or saying) the very thing I do not want to do. But thank God He is the One who delivers me.

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