Easy Believism?

On some occasions I have been accused of sharing the doctrine of “Easy Believism.” Have you ever been accused of that?

I believe that Jesus Christ is the true and only Savior of the world. He died personally for your sins and mine — those sins that would separate us from God for all eternity. He was buried and arose from the grave, proving He is God. He is alive today. [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]

Now the simple part.. God simply asks you to trust (believe in) Jesus Christ for your eternal life. He paid the death penalty price and all He asks of you is that you will believe Him. [John 3:16]

That is the very essence of God’s salvation and it is forever.

In John 10:28 Jesus Himself said about those who trust Him as Savior:

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Salvation is NOT by doing good works but by trusting in Christ alone as your Savior. [Ephesians 2:8-9]

Sure, we should do good works after we have believed in Christ just as the Bible says — this is not for our salvation but because he saved us and now we do His works to show our love for our Savior. [Ephesians 2:10]

Now, if that is called “easy believism,” I plead guilty.

I refuse to believe that the God of the Universe would promote and offer a “Hard Believism” requiring anything other than our one time decision to simply trust Jesus Christ for what He is — The Savior, His Gift to mankind.

Do you have an opinion on this? Please post a comment.

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62 responses to “Easy Believism?

  1. Ronnie, I have prayed for you. We must look to Jesus as the only object of our faith. We will not enter into the Kingdom on the basis of anything except His righteousness, imputed to us through faith in Him alone.

    As you search the scriptures, please consider focusing on those that deal most directly with eternal salvation and avoid trying to read eternal salvation into discipleship passages.

    There is an excellent booklet called “The Gospel” that has been helpful to me, both in staying rooted in my faith and in explaining the way of eternal salvation to others. Please see link below.

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

    As I think about a particular verse or passage, I like to think about it in the context of the following incontrovertible Bible doctrines:

    1, Eternal salvation by Grace through faith in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    This precludes works, the promise or good intentions of future works, or looking to works as proof of salvation. None of our works – good or bad – are at issue in terms of whether or not we get into the Kingdom.

    We do not “repent of our sins” for salvation, “commit our lives to Christ” for salvation, or anything else but believe. These kinds of aphorisms are not the same thing as salvation, but 180 degrees away from it.

    2. Eternal security (Hebrews 10:10-12, 14)

    We cannot lose the gift of eternal life through sin, neglect of faith, lack of fruit, or anything else. Jesus died for all of our sins – past, present and future. If someone refuses to believe in eternal security, he does not have faith in Christ.

    3. Assurance (John 5:24)

    We can be sure that we have eternal life the moment we believe in Christ. If we have to look at our faithfulness as evidence of salvation, we are looking in the wrong place. Only Christ is completely faithful. It is His faithfulness that must be the basis for our assurance – not our own.

  2. Thanks Bruce,

    Excellent analysis of Ronnie’s premise.

    Ronnie, please understand Bruce’s admonition and search the scripture honestly for Truth as he has presented it. It appears you are not by grace alone trusting by faith alone Jesus Christ alone…

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  3. Greetings Ronnie; thanks for joining our forum today.

    You open with the statement:

    “Just so we’re clear, I neither promote nor believe any false works-based or legalistic version of the gospel. I believe we are saved by Christ and what He has done for us and what the Spirit has done in us. Nothing we do can add to or take away from Christ’s perfect work. We are saved by grace, through faith.”

    Everything is fine so far; just believe and live that statement and you’ll be right on target. Sadly, though, you had to follow with the conjunction, “However,” and the rest of the comment largely negates the opening declaration of grace.

    Let’s take a look at the Bible quotations that have been cited and examine what they declare.

    The first problem that I see is your utilization of the ESV for your quotations. The ESV is basically a New-Calvinist revision of the old RSV. It was published by Crossway Publications, which is known to lean toward the Reformed tradition. The board and contributors of the version are primarily Calvinist of orientation. The version is the version of choice for the Reformed Churches in America as well as the (closely alligned) Neo-Calvinist movement. The version has been promoted and has sold like wildfire among these groups over the past three to four years. This is no ad-hominem censure; it is a well-chronicled statement of fact (search it out for yourself). All of this leads to the point that we must be cautious in building a theology out of a few isolated verses from a modern version of the Bible which may have its own set of problems or biases. Keeping all of this in mind, let’s examine some of the verses that you cite.

    Your following statement seems to sum up the thrust of your argumentation:

    “Christ here teaches that those who love him will bear fruit. You can call these fruit different things like works, good deeds, or simply actions that spring from a person’s love for God and their fellow man. But whatever you call it, it is there if one is a believer.
    For instance, note how Christ says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” He isn’t saying “If you love me, you should…” Or even, “If you love me, make sure…” No, He says “If you love me, you will…”
    It is the same in vs 23. “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word…”
    And the same message in vs 21. “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.” ”

    Much of what you say appears to flow out of the first verse that you cite, John 14:15 (your later citations are probably an amplification):

    ESV: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

    King James Version: “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

    Did you notice the subtle change? This tiny alteration in the ESV changes the thrust of the verse. In John 14, Jesus was speaking words of comfort to his disciples who were already believers (Judas had left by that point). He was admonishing them to live lives of obedience to him based upon the faith that they already possessed, their rich inheritance in Christ. There would be no reason for Jesus to call for their obedience if it were simply an automatic bi-product of their salvation. No, even as believers they could choose to obey him or not obey him, serve him or not serve him.

    Let’s look at the Greek for the word “keep,” tereo. The NAS Greek Dictionary says that the word has the basic thrust of: to guard, to keep guard over, to keep watch over, to preserve. Jesus’ words of comfort to his disciples, again, believers, were a loving call to keep guard over his commandments and instructions, to maintain the intimate fellowship with him that, as believers in Christ, they ought to (should) desire to do. Similarly, John 15 is Jesus’ loving call, or command, to the disciples to live lives befitting of the rich spiritual heritage which they already possessed through faith in Christ alone. The following things were conditioned upon the disciples’ love and obedience to Christ: intimate relationship with Christ, further disclosure of his person to them, bringing glory to the Father and having the fullness of joy in their lives. Note: Jesus’ call to obedience had nothing whatsoever to do with obtaining or maintaining their salvation which was already secure in Christ (John 10:27-30).

    Now, let’s examine one other section, in part, that you cite from the ESV:

    John 14:23-24

    The two translations (ESV and KJV) appear to say about the same thing, except that the ESV changes “words” to “word” and “sayings” to “words.” The Greek term in question here is logos, which has a variety of meanings such as, “instruction,” “exhortation,” “message,” “sayings,” “utterances,” or “word/s.” Putting this together with what was said earlier about tereo, this section bears the same thrust of an admonition to the disciples to live lives in keeping with their rich Christian heritage which they already possessed through faith in Christ alone: to keep guard over the things that Jesus taught them and commanded them; this is the right and proper thing for them to do as believers in Christ.

    By the way, the sections that you cite in James and Hebrews have been dealt with at length on various posts at Expreacherman. Search it out. I won’t rehash it all here.

  4. Hello friends and brothers,
    First things first, sorry for being so late in the discussion. And I would also like to ask you to be patient and understanding with me and the things that I have written. This is my first time on this blog.

    Just so we’re clear, I neither promote nor believe any false works-based or legalistic version of the gospel. I believe we are saved by Christ and what He has done for us and what the Spirit has done in us. Nothing we do can add to or take away from Christ’s perfect work. We are saved by grace, through faith. And I think that most of you would agree with the previous two statements. However Christ himself did speak of how we will be if we have believed and are saved. And these teachings can be viewed as a way for us to recognize whether or not we have been or are truly saved. I humbly ask you, as brothers, to consider Christ’s words to his disciples the night of the last supper in the Gospel of John.

    “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
    (John 14:15 ESV)
    “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.”
    (John 14:21-24 ESV)

    “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
    (John 15:1-11 ESV)

    Christ here teaches that those who love him will bear fruit. You can call these fruit different things like works, good deeds, or simply actions that spring from a person’s love for God and their fellow man. But whatever you call it, it is there if one is a believer.

    For instance, note how Christ says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” He isn’t saying “If you love me, you should…” Or even, “If you love me, make sure…” No, He says “If you love me, you will…”
    It is the same in vs 23. “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word…”
    And the same message in vs 21. “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.”

    To reiterate, Christ says quite clearly that those who love him will bear fruit and that we bear fruit by abiding in Him. And He clearly says what happens to those who do not abide in Him in order to bear fruit in 15:6. “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”

    I believe that these things He has said spells out rather clearly that all believers will inevitably bear fruit. And that those who bear no fruit perish, possibly because they never truly believed and thereby can’t be called believers. Christ even says that fruit proves our discipleship in 15:8. “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”

    Works or fruit or whatever it is you would like to address them as are necessary in salvation solely because they are the direct byproduct of salvation. Where there is faith there will be evidence of that faith, in the form of fruit. Just as works are worthless if they are not of faith, (Hebrews), faith is dead if it does not produce fruit. (James)
    And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
    (Hebrews 11:6 ESV)
    What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
    (James 2:14-17 ESV)

    If you have any questions or contentions with regards to what I’ve said please reply and make them known so that we can reach an understanding. The truth comes solely from God, any mistakes made in this comment are mine. So I ask you to please think and meditate over the teachings of Christ, they are the greatest in existence.

    Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. Ronnie

  5. Thanks Bruce for the video… and thanks John for your clever illustration of:
    2 Timothy 2:2
    “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

    In Jesus eternally, Jack

  6. Thanks for sharing the video Bruce! Let’s pray that the Freddies will continue to lovingly teach the Louies and that the more and more Louies will become Freddies. Then, the Louies that become Freddies can teach more Louies. And so on…

    Romans 10:17 (NKJV) “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

  7. Hi Jack and John,

    You both had excellent thorough responses to Jim C’s posted comments. I trust that he will examine what you said and take these things to heart.

    I just released a second animated video in the Louie Lordship and Freddie Free Grace video series. Louie is a pretty tough nut to crack, but I think that Freddie is beginning to soften his hard shell with some solid Scripture and sound reasoning. Here’s the latest animated video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-2mZ5CvHBw

    .

  8. [Jim C’s latest comment will not be published since it is the same error he has been promoting since he arrived here at the ExPreacherMan web site.]
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Jim C,

    You suggest that we are misreading your comments. That is not the case. We understand fully what you are saying.

    You are simply implying that all believers will inevitably produce good works. That is not Biblical and is counter to God’s Grace.. Also the verses you use to support your erroneous position are out of context — which we have explained many times on this web site.

    You fail to understand the polar opposite differences between the Biblical admonition that believers SHOULD do good works and your error that believers WILL do good works. Big difference. Your position, my friend, is Lordship Probation.

    We pray you will study God’s Word, learn and discern the Truth of His Grace.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  9. Jim said: “To flap one’s wings of faith is a work (John 6:29). God created butterflies to fly…We will have good works because like the butter fly we can do no other.”

    Just a couple of follow-up questions:

    1. What will happen if you stop flappin’? Does that mean you were never really a butterfly?

    John 10:29 (NKJV) “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”

    2. If we will have good works because we can do no other, does that mean that we won’t have any more bad works? If so, does that mean our sin nature has been eradicated? If so, why was Romans 6:12 written?

    Romans 6:12 (NKJV) “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.”

    3. Why was Titus 3:8 written? If everyone automatically does good works, and only good works, once they become saved, why would anyone need to be told to do them?

    Titus 3:8 (NKJV) “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”

  10. Hello again Jim,

    As in earlier comments, your thrust seems to be edging toward a Lordship Salvation position or approach, even though you stated earlier that you are not LS. Christians are not butterflies, so I’m not sure that the analogy is fitting.

    Looking at your quotation of John 6:29, back up a verse: “Then they said unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” In other words, the people were seeking to get their hearts right before a holy God through works. This approach will never succeed. Jesus immediately pointed out to them that the only “work” (he was simply using their terminology) that would make their hearts right before God was to BELIEVE in his Son, Christ Jesus. This was not really a “work” in the sense that they used the term at all. It was a simple exercise of faith and trust in Christ Jesus ALONE for salvation. Now, as to your quotation of Ephesians 2:10, yes, after one trusts Christ Jesus by grace alone through faith alone, then by all means, he should serve the Lord; it is the right thing to do; the text says that it is what we SHOULD do.

  11. Jim C,

    [BTW This is not our regular reader Jim F or our other regular Jim — so I will assign him the handle of Jim C]

    Jim C that was an interesting and sweet butterfly illustration but to apply it to a believer’s salvation is totally un-Biblical and inaccurate.

    You said,“We will have good works because like the butter fly we can do no other.” You imply that a believer has somehow eradicated his old sin nature and has no will of his own. That is simply not Biblical.

    A butterfly MUST work (flap his wings) to live. A person who has decided to trust Jesus Christ alone as his/her Savior lives eternally by that one moment of faith in Jesus. No works required, past, present or future.

    Your illustration breaks down when you use Ephesians 2:10.. If you would read the verse in context you will notice that it says believers are created in Christ Jesus unto (for the purpose of) good works in which we SHOULD walk:

    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained [prepared] that we SHOULD [not must] walk in them.

    We here at ExPreacherMan recommend that every believer in Jesus Christ SHOULD walk in good works as scripture implores us. But for anyone to imply that our eternal life depends upon works – or that as believers “we can do no other” is the height of absurdity (ie: Lordship faith, Lordship “salvation,” Lordship probation).

    Jim C, surely you did not intentionally imply that we must put works into salvation, before, during or after, did you??? Your comment tells us that you advocate Lordship “salvation,” though you have said in past comments that you are not LS. Your words contradict that claim.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  12. In Response to Justin Nel:
    When a butterfly emerges from its cocoon, it spreads its wings of faith and flaps them to produce lift and ascend upward to soar in the heavenlies. To flap one’s wings of faith is a work (John 6:29). God created butterflies to fly. God created believers to work (Ephesians 2:10). While soaring in the heavenlies is natural for the butterfly, so too is working in the kingdom of God natural for the born again believer. We will have good works because like the butter fly we can do no other.

  13. I wanted to add this…
    It was God who accepted his Beloved Sons sacrifice..Now how could we a lesser authority add works to complete it.

  14. Read this….For those who struggle with works. Please read this!!!!!!!!!!!

    If we are justified by Faith, then by what logic are works needed to prove such.
    For if we agree works are not needed “FOR” justification. How then are works now presented as evidence “OF” justification?.
    Now the question you need to ask yourself is this:
    Are you presenting this evidence to accuse? Now is this not the Devils job?.
    Now if the Devil is the accusor, who must now be the Judge?. For now has your pride made you say ” I shall become like God i will judge”.
    Now my Interceder and Savior is seated.
    The evidence of my sin has been presented, and my sin has been punished in the body of Jesus.
    There is no judge because I am declared righteous and the fulfillment of the law is now inside me, for Jesus is inside me.
    Now if Jesus is inside me your evidence is of no force and effect but you have judged yourself, not by your faith but by your works……….
    Now if works can produce righteousness how is it then that faith is accounted for righteousness..? For if it is works then it is not of faith….

  15. Dear Mr. Jack,

    I do appreciate your dialog as well. I pray that the things I write do not come across as argumentative, but rather as you have stated, things to consider.

    I must say that as a small child I hungered for God. I can remember speaking about heaven with the minister of the congregation my family attended at that time. I asked him if one could know for certain that he will enter heaven when he died. (My understanding was very small and I had never heard the Gospel presented accurately.) He told me that we had to hope and do the best we could and that at the Judgement there would be a scale and if our good outweighed our bad we would be admitted entrance into Heaven. Well even as a small boy I knew better than that. I knew that there is no way anything I could do would be good enough. So I didn’t stop there, I continued seeking the Lord and one day I was simply overwhelmed by the presence of God while I was all alone. Is was at that time I gave my heart to the Lord and was born again. (I had never heard the term “born again,” “saved,” or the like although I had heard the story of Jesus and how he died on the cross.) I just knew that I had heard the Lord calling out to me and I gave my life to Him. I also found myself crying out in repentance and had a desire come upon me to know the Lord more intimately and study His word. It was around this same time that my parents also were born again and we began going to a church where the Gospel was preached and I understood doctrinally what I had done. I can remember going to school and telling my schoolmates that I had given my heart to the Lord and was now a Christian… innocently I expected them to describe their experience with the Lord as well, however I only heard of how they grew up in church and were Christian by virtue of the fact that their parents and grandparents were… that they went to Sunday School and memorized scripture. I asked them if they had come to believe in Jesus and they would respond that of course “we always have.”

    I understand that not everyone comes to believe on Jesus via the same avenues. My experience is that I heard Him calling me to come. Scripture also bearing this witness John 6:65 “And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” See also John 14:6. This is why I say that he has enabled me and given me the faith I have. Of course Romans 12 speaks of the “measure of faith.” So I maintain that unless the Lord draws a man, he can not come. (It is also not by my works that he maintains me and changes me.) However, I believe that the Lord is continually calling out to the lost as it were “Adam where are you?”

    YOU SAID
    After we make the decision to believe in Jesus Christ, we SHOULD decide to follow Him (Ephesians 2:10) and allow Him to be the Lord of our life (simply obedience to His Word). However, whether a Jew, Muslim, Atheist or other decides to trust Jesus Christ as Savior, afterward whether or not a he makes Jesus the “Lord of his life” has no bearing on his salvation which is only by God’s Grace alone and his decision — no charge or obligation.

    I am a bit confused by this statement as you have agreed with me that if an idol worshiper truly believes, he must forsake his idol worship. In addition to the scriptures you mentioned Paul also writes:

    I Cor 5
    9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
    12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”[d]

    I Cor 6
    9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
    10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
    11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    I am not confused at all by these scriptures, it is very clear that those who practice these evils should have no part with the believers. So if an idol worshiper can not worship idols after he has believed in Jesus for salvation what difference is there in the other evils mentioned and the man who practices them while claiming to believe in Jesus? Where does the “should” come in? John spoke about the sin that does not lead to death… is this where the “should” comes in? I suppose that would be reasonable.

    Isaiah 55 1Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

    2Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
    3Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

    6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
    7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

    While thinking on this I can’t help but recall the words in Revelations to the church of Sardis:

    Revelation 3
    1And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

    2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

    3Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

    4Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

    5He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

    6He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    One thing is certain, this was written to the church and is most certainly a message that we need to keep close to heart. Those who say they believe need to hear these things. Let the Spirit of God speak to each heart and confirm to them their security and they will not be shaken.

    May our desire be to please Him who is worthy.

    Asiarep

  16. AisiaRep,

    For the most part I agree.. but I would suggest a couple of thoughts for you to consider.

    You said, “He even gives me the faith I put in Him! (No I’m not a Calvinist.)”

    Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly says that the Gift of God is “saved” or salvation, not faith, but THROUGH one’s faith.. And Romans 6:23 says “… the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    If, as you say, God has given everyone “the gift of faith” to believe, then everyone would automatically believe, right? However, if God selects you individually as a recipient of the “gift of faith,” then that is then essence of Calvinism or Reformed theology.

    After we make the decision to believe in Jesus Christ, we SHOULD decide to follow Him (Ephesians 2:10) and allow Him to be the Lord of our life (simply obedience to His Word). However, whether a Jew, Muslim, Atheist or other decides to trust Jesus Christ as Savior, afterward whether or not a he makes Jesus the “Lord of his life” has no bearing on his salvation which is only by God’s Grace alone and his decision — no charge or obligation.

    The Muslim religion is not unique but similar to many other religions in that those who “change” their faith are persecuted, shunned by family and even murdered in some cases. (Jews who convert to the Muslim “faith,” Muslims who convert to any other faith, Mormons who change their beliefs, etc). A Muslim who trusts Christ is no different than many others.

    Thanks again for the dialog.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  17. Mr. Jack,

    I am continually mindful of the love that the Lord has so graciously poured upon me. Since I was born again, or shall we say “Put my faith in Him,” I can not say that it is a sacrifice or hardship to serve him as it is the highest honor to serve the Lord… and to be called His own! Now I say this after some years of allowing the Spirit to work through me as I have come to know that it is not me doing but rather all His work… He even gives me the faith I put in Him! (No I’m not a Calvinist.)

    As mentioned previously, I am currently living in Malaysia which although it is a very modern country, it is a muslim country, hence it is illegal to proselytize. Now if we share the Gospel with a muslim and tell them to “believe in Jesus,” what are we saying? It goes without saying that that individual understands that he or she can no longer be a muslim… and that they are thus committing a punishable crime against their government and may be imprisoned or banished from their home… not to mention the scorn they will receive from famly and other acquaintances. Now may I ask in light of the aforementioned, is it hard to believe in Jesus? It is if we try in our own ability and attempt through our own reasoning to make Jesus Christ our Lord. Actually it is impossible in that way because again it is our own works. It is only when the Spirit of God has so convicted our hearts that we are able to see that our own efforts are fruitless. How many people say they believe but so greatly struggle still in their own efforts.

    It is relatively easy to convince an individual there in America to confess Jesus as Lord, but not so here. Why? The answer is obvious… Because the individual here understands the cost in believing on Jesus. Although no works are required, it is apparent that the muslims life will no longer be the same. It is the Spirit of God that draws such an individual and enables them to say that “Jesus is Lord.” So we can not depend on our own knowledge or wisdom to convince them. Why would someone say they believe at the cost of their own life unless it be the Spirit of God?

    I believe this may be a reasonable explanation as to why there is an argument concerning easy believism and so called lordship salvation. No one should so carelessly make a confession of faith, yet most preachers anxiously ask for confessions and this to their detriment. I am thankful that you agree on this, but how can we get people to see that the Lord’s grace and mercy are far too precious to be treated so carelessly? As with the muslim, the individual will make a confession when the Spirit has worked in their hearts. How many, many people have simply been taught all the right answers but do not know God.

    I endeavor always to preach Christ and Him crucified, risen from the dead. May His name be exalted in all that we do.

    Asiarep

    “Worship, I say, rises or falls with our concept of God …. and if there is one terrible disease in the Church of Christ, it is that we do not see God as great as He is.” A.W. Tozer

  18. AsiaRep,

    Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    Yours is a very interesting observation and question.

    We must take God at His word and realize that we mere humans do not make the ultimate decision whether another human being is truly a believer in Christ.

    We cannot force a person to believe nor can we force a person to follow God’s Word after he believes. Only the person and our Omniscient God know for sure when a person believes. An unbeliever is encouraged to believe by God’s Holy Spirit and after belief, he is disciplined (discipled or taught) by God’s Holy Sprit. He can choose to believe or not — and when he believes in Christ he can choose to follow or not. For a believer, his decision, blessings to follow God’s Word — discipline if he is disobedient.

    That is why it is so important that we teach (disciple) those who claim to have trusted Christ as their only Savior. We cannot expect them to know all of God’s Word the moment they believe. That is why we have scriptures that tell us 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We are also told in 2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…”

    If a Hindu (as per your example) ostensibly “believes” and simply adds Jesus Christ as “another god,” he is not putting his trust only in Christ for his salvation. As one learns Scripture he sees, Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” If he truly has and is trusting “other gods” then he is not trusting the One True God, Jesus Christ for his eternity.

    That is why a rote prayer of “confession” or “walking the aisle” often does more harm than good. One must actually understand and believe/trust Christ alone as the ONLY Savior, not one among many and not by works — but by God’s Grace. But even then, only the individual and God know for sure. We take them at their word, teach and encourage them in the Truth.

    Great question. I pray you will have and use many opportunities to share your faith in Christ to those myriads of unbelievers in Asia.

    Thanks again for your important observation,

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  19. I am an American currently living in Malaysia conducting my business and have lived in several countries including China. It is very evident in other religions such as hinduism and islam that “works” are very important to the beliefs of the people. I have seen certain hindus hear preaching concerning Christ… that they must confess with their mouths and believe in their hearts to be saved, and they gladly follow in the sinner’s prayer. To them this is another “work,” and is much easier to them than many of the other vows they make. The only problem is that these individuals never turn from their idols and they simply add Jesus as one of their many “gods.” Now I don’t think that any minister of the Gospel would say that these people have salvation. I believe the response would be that they simply did not truly believe in Jesus… ? …that there is a conversion required? On the other hand, it is obvious those that have truly been born again because they turn from their idols… and no one has to instruct them to do so… even when their families turn against them and threaten their very lives. The mentioned individuals have something that is real and their faith is very evident.

    Now I wholeheartedly believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and that there are no works required to earn salvation. I have read in your previous post that if someone truly accepts the Lord Jesus and continues on in sin, that person will be so miserable from the conviction by the Spirit that they will not be able to carry on. What draws the hindu to Christ? Is it not the fact that they, from varying means come under such conviction that when they realize God’s goodness they are drawn to repentance of their own ways and thus accept Jesus as the way?

    How then can it be differentiated between a hindu who is simply making a confession, adding Jesus as one of his many Gods, and one who grew up around Christianity who realizes his need for a way to God, makes a confession of faith but does not let God’s life live in him? Can we say that the latter has salvation because he does not worship man-made idols but the hindu does not because he continues worshiping idols?

    Sincerely,

    Asiarep

  20. Sorry A Believer — I mixed your name with another commenter named “Levi.”

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  21. A Believer, (or is it Hope?)

    I addressed Ephesians 2:10 in the body of my post above. The key word is “SHOULD”.

    You said “But true salvation results in good works.
    “That is the nature of the ‘new creature in Christ’”

    You miss the point of verse 20. It says we SHOULD walk in good works — not MUST..

    The Lord does not coerce a believer’s behavior in the New Nature. A new condition exists but we still have the old nature, including a choice to obey or disobey our Savior. We have Joy for obedience and discipline for disobedience.

    Whether or not I obey does not prove to the Lord that I have trusted Christ as my Savior. He is the Principal in His Divine Contract with me which guarantees my salvation. He knows and keeps my salvation even if I forget or prove to be disobedient! Jesus Himself said, ” And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall NEVER perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:28

    That is Eternal Grace!!!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  22. Hope,

    My Blog is not a place to promote your weird doctrines nor a place to vent your hate of the FREE Grace of our Savior Jesus Christ.

    If you feel you can lose your salvation, you never had it. Eternal Life is ETERNAL.

    Your efforts to put words in my mouth and attribute perversion of God’s word to me is offensive. If you really want to know what I believe, look at the top of this page and read “ETERNAL LIFE FOR YOU.”

    Please trust Jesus Christ alone as your Savior — not your perseverance nor any works by you.. Just Jesus Christ alone.

    I will be praying for you — but you are not free to vent your bad doctrine here.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  23. Hope,

    From what theological background do you come?

    Your thoughts sound like a combo of Aussie Calvinism, Seventh Day Adventistism, Mormonism and John MacArthurism. (no offense intended).

    When a person trusts Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation, his salvation lasts eternally. We are secure and do not persevere for salvation but depend upon the Lord to persevere for us. He does!!

    In Jesus Christ ETERNALLY,

    ExP(Jack)

  24. Hope,

    Wrong…

    Any time you choose to pick one of several Greek definitions of a word that matches your convictions — adding works to salvation (turn, surrender, giving up sin, etc) you are preaching a condemned message.

    Witness:
    Titus 3:5
    Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    Never add works for salvation to the “simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  25. Hope,

    Tragically you misunderstand the true meaning of Repentance.. which is simply a change of mind… specifically believing that Jesus Christ as the only Savior.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  26. Dave,

    An after thought:

    It amazes me that a Calvinist — who believes only some folks are chosen to salvation and others are not, thus going to Hell… and further believes that no one has any choice to believe — would spend any time so vociferously arguing his point.

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  27. Dave,

    Thanks for taking the time and patience to answer that man’s ridiculous charges and statements.

    We have given them admonition enough.

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  28. Wow! The pride that ByGrace makes here:

    “It just happens, brothers, that you are wrong.”

    I made a similar statement Jack to a teacher at BJU when I believed in LS bologna and 5 points of Calvinism and I thought he was going to come after me by the look on his face. He said to me what I am going to say to ByGrace, “THAT’S PRIDE!!”

    It doesn’t end there as he says:

    “I refer you to more prominent and well respected men than all of us here to prove it.”

    The Pharisees were more prominent than we are and yet where are they today in eternity? I am afraid for people like ByGrace who places man above Holy Scriptures.

    He said:

    “When was the last “Great Awakening” and what led to it? Yes, God himself was the initiator, not men. What was being preached? Who was preaching?”

    So, every time there is an uproar in the religious community then you will find ByGrace there believing it. There was a “tongue explosion” so why can’t Pentecostals say, “What was being preached? Who was preaching it? God initiated it.” It’s sad that people focus on experiences and this is probably why LS believers never gain a full and complete assurance of salvation. DL Moody led 1000’s to Christ and he was not a 5 point Calvinist. The Wesley’s loved Christ and led many to Christ but believed you could lose your salvation. Did God use their message to save souls just like Jonathon Edwards even though they believed the opposite on the issues of Calvinism??

    ByGrace said:

    “L.S. obviously bothers you greatly. But it’s actually submission to God’s will that really bothers you.”

    To which we would reply that it is LS that obviously is bothered by the fact that God receives sinners. We then do good by choice because we have been blessed and saved, but LS seems to do good in order to hopefully prove that they are saved in the end. I challenge any LS to show FG pastors or believers in general promoting lawlessness. The real difference between LS and FG is that FG serves a loving God while LS struggles under the weight of constant pressure from a god that is never happy. Read the 5 point Calvinist Horatius Bonar as he tore apart their modern day Lordship believers.

    ByGrace said:

    “We have explained to you all, numerous times, that no L.S. proponent I know of (excepting small, odd, marginal groups) contends that you must do good works to be saved.”

    We do not say it like that either, but we can see past the bologna and words games though. If a person must have works to prove that he/she is saved then works are required then to be saved. If I were to say that a ticket is not required to get on my plane and then say that you must have a ticket then will not your eyes cross at me?? John MacArthur’s famous line, “It’s free yet costly”??? Even the Arminian Robert Shank said the same thing, “The High Cost of a Free Gift” and he is not referring to the high cost being on the part of God but what God demands of us. I haven’t found even a book by LS believers that will even admit that the thief on the cross didn’t have ANY good works. I have heard foolish statements that the thief on the cross had more works than most so-called Christians today and that is foolish. FG teaches that NO WORKS PERIOD IS REQUIRED TO BE SAVED. God saves us without any promises on our part that we will contribute one good work after we are saved. Salvation is ours regardless of our works. Your words are mere games. Do you believe that you can go on sinning and still receive eternal life?? Of course you will say that the person must give up his/her sins. To not sin is to do what? To do good. What really do you require a sinner to do to be saved? He can’t be idle now can he? Oh that’s right, God uses a cattle prod to force him to do good works even though Paul encourages only the saved that they “might” be careful to maintain good works as it doesn’t come automatically but as we use our “free will.”

    Remember, it is LS that will say if the faith is genuine then it will have good works. Let me paraphrase a popular LS statement, we are saved by faith alone apart from works but faith that is real will never be alone?????????? Question, can a person that dies committing adultery go to heaven that died in the very act? LS says NO. Hmmm, not a works salvation?? When I hear a statement that says, “You must surrender all to be saved” then do I see a faith without works message? Do I see a message that can cause me to be falsely accused of “Let’s sin that grace might abound?”

    I found a lot of back handed comments here and even hypocrisy as he must have forgotten why he was kicked out of here. It seems that he finds fault in others and not himself.

    He says:

    “You, as Pastor, cannot save anyone. “Free Will” allows you to take a crack at being God. The heart, an idol factory, strives to make you God by pumping up the numbers.”

    I do not know that any FG believer ever made the claim that they do the saving. He delivers a huge insult to you here that is based purely on ignorance. I think if LS are ever to make statements against FG then they should have something to support it. At least we quote actual men like John MacArthur and not whip something up out of the blue like that one.

    He does say one thing that is nice:

    “I happen to believe that you are saved before human time even began, before the world began.”

    I agree with him that I believe Jack is a saved man. No Scripture states though that we were saved before human time began. That would mean that we were all saved at the same time but that contradicts what Paul said in Romans 16:7 when he talked about 2 people that “they were in Christ before” he was. You clearly do not understand what was meant to be “in Christ” from the foundation of the world. You would first of all do good to study those phrases in a concordance as it is used quit a bit. The devil was a liar from the very beginning…very beginning of what??? Calvinists do play games on ignorance. If we were all in Christ before the world was created then Paul made no sense in Romans 16:7 that says:

    “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were IN CHRIST before me.”

    When you trust Christ is when you are “in Christ.” Paul told the Thessalonians that God chosen them from the beginning to salvation….beginning of what??? Hmmm, Can we trace the beginnings of Paul that leads up to him being led to Thessalonica where they come to know Christ. Could that be the beginning??

    ByGrace ends it toward the bottom with:

    “A man is known by his fruit!”

    Yes ByGrace, he is. Do you know that a false prophet is determined by his fruits? They are called “wolves in sheep’s clothing” so works were not in picture there. We can judge by the fruit of the lips. So we can tell by what he teaches and that applies today to what you teach and you clearly reveal that you do not bear the fruit of the NT. I leave to you what Jack already said:

    “I pray you and your LS/Calvinist cohorts will make the decision to trust Christ as your eternal Savior and rest in His eternal promise of Heaven.”

    Jack, If you count up 5 paragraphs of ByGrace comments then you will see what I was saying in my post above his. He essentially accused you of preaching “Let’s sin that grace might abound” message and that is always a good indication that the message you preach is indeed the message of the Apostle Paul!! The grace haters will always accuse us of that. Keep the faith!!

  29. BGATF,

    You were welcome but your insults are not.

    You are duplicitous in your arguments or statements and typical of an increasing number of LS and Calvinists — pleading their hopeless case…

    Your “proof text” authors Begg, Sproul, Pink, Spurgeon and White simply confirm that you have been brain-dirtied. You take the worst of each of them to prove your point.

    You said, “None of us will ever fully understand our “Free Will” relative to God’s Omnipotence….” When one, such as yourself, closes his mind to truth, I understand why you do not comprehend Free Will. God is all powerful but gives man a free will choice to believe. What is so difficult about that?

    I pray you and your LS/Calvinist cohorts will make the decision to trust Christ as your eternal Savior and rest in His eternal promise of Heaven.

    Please do not comment further on this Blog.

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  30. ByGraceAlonethruFaith

    Hello Dave/Jack –

    Not sure if I am still welcome. Jack – If you’d like me to stop posting would you send me an email or respond here.

    I engage in these blogs to learn and to serve, and I have learned a great deal here. I believe that you sincerely believe, to some degree, in the error you propagate. It just happens, brothers, that you are wrong. I refer you to more prominent and well respected men than all of us here to prove it. I care little about L.S. as a term. Research how we are saved, according to respected men like Alistair Begg, R.C. Sproul, A.W. Pink, Spurgeon, James White… How are we sanctified?

    When was the last “Great Awakening” and what led to it? Yes, God himself was the initiator, not men. What was being preached? Who was preaching? You would benefit to study the answer.

    L.S. obviously bothers you greatly. But it’s actually submission to God’s will that really bothers you. I have found numerous definitions of L.S., in many forums and respected books and literature, all tailored to the objections or satisfaction of the authors. The term itself is a trap, a stumbling block, like the term “new age movement”. Difficult to define. Hard to grasp. In the terms apparent confusion over definition, the Devil has a field day.

    We have explained to you all, numerous times, that no L.S. proponent I know of (excepting small, odd, marginal groups) contends that you must do good works to be saved. None. But you want to believe that it’s what the bulk of L.S. proponents believe. This makes you deliberately dishonest, and I admonish you for it. You need to ask forgiveness for what you are doing here, as it is sin.

    Jack, my beloved brother in the Lord. You encourage discussion, then “shoot” dissenters, at times with personal attacks (“nice Aussie words…”). This is name calling and it is wrong. Are you encouraging your brother? Galatians 5:22 Jack. Your pride and arrogance put an even greater burden on the Lord on the cross. And if truth be told, so does mine.

    None of us will ever fully understand our “Free Will” relative to God’s Omnipotence (I avoid the “buzz word” Sovereignty), at least this side of Heaven. And there is nothing more difficult than being a pastor and grappling with this difficult truth:

    You, as Pastor, cannot save anyone. “Free Will” allows you to take a crack at being God. The heart, an idol factory, strives to make you God by pumping up the numbers. And when the lukewarm church never repents, your Old Testament, backslidden Saints are dredged up as proof that you can life of rampant sin and still be a believer…in my world a contradiction in terms. You feel better, the congregation feels better, everybody is happy, except the Lord, that is. Did the old Testament Saints have the knowledge of Scripture we have? Think about it. Were we not offered a better covenant? Hebrews!

    Jack – your dear friend whose mom died a non-believer levels a stunning accusation of God through his tears. That God could possibly be unjust. It is rebellion with violins and soft music. God will do whatever He wants, and everything He wants is Holy, Righteous, Just. Could He ever make a mistake? You decieve yourselves.

    I happen to believe that you are saved before human time even began, before the world began. And yes, I believe you most certainly could backslide 79 or your 80 Christian years and still be saved. But what goes on in the heart is the very important issue here. A man is known by his fruit! There is a narrow gate! Enter by the narrow gate!

    Revelation 3:16 (New American Standard Bible)

    16’So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

  31. Howdy bro. Jack!

    Bro. Dave, beautifully & simply said. Biblical to the core. God Bless.

  32. I am late to this topic but would like to make a brief comment.

    I found Lordship Salvation and those that believe you can lose your salvation as being “easy believism.” It makes sense to believe that you can’t go to heaven unless you are doing good works according to our reasoning and flesh. Have a believer die in the act of adultery and watch LS freak out over a pastor that claims they were once saved always saved. The very words, “once saved always saved” strikes a nerve with them.

    LS as well as those that believe you can lose your salvation is the universal thinking of this world. I even been attacked by so-called atheists for my belief of once saved always saved. It makes heaven too easy. I have to remind them that heaven is a gift to bad people and never a reward to good people. LS wants heaven to be a place for only the spiritually strong and successful and not the crippled, the diseased, the poor and so on.

    The Bible says, “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” (2nd Cor. 11:3). Lordship salvation repeatedly demonstrated through books they have written and their own speech that they have stumbled over the “simplicity that is in Christ.”

    Believing in Christ might appear easy until you have to look away from the law, your works, your feelings, your reasoning and so on and embrace only Christ. It is something that God made simple and yet we in our sinful flesh make it complicated.

    So it is LS that believes in easy believism and not us because it is so easy to believe that I must have a pattern of good works, that I must turn from ALL sin to be saved and that I must endure to the end to be saved by my fleshly standards.

    I am grateful though to those that profess the damning error of Lordship Salvation because they confirm to me that what I believe is indeed the Word of God when they accuse me as what Paul was accused of in his day:

    “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1).

    If you are not being accused of that verse then you need to stop and ask yourself if the gospel you believe is the same gospel taught by the apostle Paul???? No LS believer or even those that believe you can lose your salvation will ever be confused with that verse.

  33. Christina,

    Nice to have you aboard from Scotland, the historic home of many “giants of the Faith.” I have visited and I love your beautiful country. Thanks for your comment.

    We disagree on a couple of points.. as you might expect, but please consider my plea.

    Absolutely true — we do not qualify to be saved by the way we live — But just as important, our salvation is neither kept nor endangered by the way we live… That is all of God’s Grace — Undeserved!!

    The Lord does not force us to believe — it is our choice and decision — nor does he force us to behave (our choice and decision). He does promise His righteous chastening for our disobedience — that is not force but Godly persuasion. His chastening is never eternal separation from Him.

    You seem to be missing the point of God’s Grace in the Christian life. We are saved by His Grace, live by His Grace and are disciplined (taught) by His Grace. Some learn, some don’t.

    We humans may judge a person’s faith by their actions but the Lord judges our faith by Whom we trust for our Eternity (Jesus Christ), certainly not by our behavior.

    Yes, as believers we preach the word, study to show ourselves approved unto God, 2 Timothy 2:15, but when we begin determining a person’s salvation by their works or behavior, we make a grave error.

    Paul did not question the faith of the carnal Christians in Corinth (and many other churches) but addressed them as brothers in Christ. These were believers who were behaving as unbelievers… a terrible example to the unsaved world. They were subservient to their old sin nature and not their new nature given to them eternally by the Lord the moment they believed.

    Study I Corinthians carefully — and you will see that the believer’s standing (in Christ) was perfect by their faith alone, yet their state (their actions and behavior) was deplorable. They were saved by God’s Grace — (their faith in Christ) and thankfully NOT their behavior.

    Almost every book in the New Testament contains pleadings for believers to behave as believers — not because they may lose their salvation but as a testimony to the unsaved world — that world for whom Jesus died.

    I have answered many of your points and concerns above in my comment answers to Kelsey and others. Please read and study them carefully.

    I may be wrong but I sense that you and Kelsey hold to a couple of Presbyterian, Reformed or Calvinist theological positions — of regeneration prior to salvation and of personal perseverance until the end for salvation, among other things. These doctrines are contrary to God’s Word and are in error.

    I pray God will bless you both in your search for Truth and I also pray you both have made the decision to trust in Jesus Christ alone for your eternal salvation — and are not depending one whit upon yourselves or your behavior for your eternal salvation. God’s Grace is all sufficient.

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  34. In response Jack to your post to Kelsey. I think that you misunderstand what Kelsey is saying Jack, she is not saying that that we earn our salvation by the way we live, as you seem to infer.
    The bible is very clear that those who have been born again by the spirit of God, although not sinless, as 1 John 1:8 states, will not habitually practice sin in their lives.
    Here are the verses that clearly state this-Matthew 7:15 to end. Galatians 5:19, 1 John 3:4, Romans 9:16. In this respect Jack those who profess Jesus Christ on their lips and yet habitually pactice sin will not enter into the Kingdom of God. The fruits of their lifes show they have never been regenerated by the spirit of God. The book of James plainly sates that faith without works is dead, and that even the demons believe and tremble. James is clearly stating that belief in and of itself, without the fruits of holiness, love etc, is not saving faith. If Born again Christians do go astray Hebrews 12 is clear that the Lord disciplines those he loves. If we do not receive this fatherly chastisement we should fear and tremble that we most likely are not saved, as Hebrews 12 states we are illegitimite children.
    Please don’t fall into the trap Jack that intellectual assent to a set of gospel truths is all that is needed, no our God is a mighty God who radically changes those who come to him-commanding all men everywhere to repent and be made new Ezekiel 36: 26 ‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. ‘
    Christina, Scotland

  35. Kelsey,

    Thanks for stopping by.. Your first paragraph proposition is inaccurate — because neither you nor I can determine a man’s salvation by his desire to do good.

    You say:

    ..”if a man is not continuing in repentance and conformity to Christ, then that man has never been saved- otherwise, God’s power unto salvation means nothing.”

    You are thus saying that half of the Apostle Paul’s writings are invalid. His letters to the churches are written to believers — among other things, exhorting them to behave as believers should. The churches at Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Phillipi ,etc.. all examples of carnal Christian believers in churches where Paul exhorted them to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and make their behavior as it enhances the Gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27)

    That great spiritual leader, Paul, speaking of his own weakness and inability to conform to Christ (as a believer in Christ):
    Romans 7:14-19

    For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

    See how misleading your proposition is?

    You ignore the Biblical teaching that — after one trusts Christ as Savior, he is saved eternally with a new nature — but he still has the old nature until his physical death. The old nature fights with him just as Paul states (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) about his battle in the passage from Romans above.

    You said:

    In other words, if a man is not continuing in repentance and conformity to Christ, then that man has never been saved- otherwise, God’s power unto salvation means nothing, and we are wasting our time.

    Again you ignore the role of God’s Grace in salvation and His Grace in our daily lives as believers. We still have our will to be obedient or not.

    1 John 1:8 (to believers)
    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    Kelsey, you should completely rely upon God’s Grace for your salvation and likewise be as dependent as you live your daily life. If you are a believer in Christ, you must have, at some time, made a conscious decision to trust Christ alone as your Savior, so likewise you make a decision to be obedient to the Lord, as the Lord asks.

    The decision to trust Christ as Savior is a one-time guaranteed transaction — our daily living is a daily decision to be obedient and serve Him (not for salvation but because we are saved).

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  36. You said, “Sure, we should do good works after we have believed in Christ just as the Bible says…”

    What I propose is that if a man is truly converted, he will want to do good. If a man thinks that righteousness is about leaving the things he wants to do behind to do the things he does not want to do, that man is surely lost.

    Salvation is a supernatural work of God, impossible apart from His power. Although good works are not required for salvation, they are evidence that a man’s heart has been radically changed from its previously sin-loving, God-hating state (James 2:14-26). God ALONE through Jesus Christ causes a man to desire Him, leading him to conversion and faith. Therefore, if a man is saved, he will pursue God all the days of his life, not because he has to, but because it is the cry of his very soul through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. In other words, if a man is not continuing in repentance and conformity to Christ, then that man has never been saved- otherwise, God’s power unto salvation means nothing, and we are wasting our time.

    1 John 2:19 – “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

  37. (1) Biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action. Biblical repentance, in relation to salvation, is changing your mind from rejection of Christ, to faith in Christ. Biblical repentance is changing your mind about Jesus Christ and turning to God in faith for salvation (Acts 3:19,20).

    (2) Acts 3:19,20/2Cor 7:10, and the above mentioned verses where Repentance is required for salvation.

    (3) a. The question we must pose is, “Is it possible for a person to make some kind of instant decision after a message and then accept Christ?” We must define what a decision is. This definition is from the Merriam Webster On Line Dictionary, “a: the act or process of deciding b: a determination arrived at after consideration.” The speaker gets up behind the podium on the dais and preaches a message. He then begins to ask people to evaluate the message and to determine in their own mind what they heard. As the speaker begins to make a small homily concerning the contents of the message, he begins to wind down with a compendium of the essence of the message. He then conveys to his hearers that since they have now heard the gospel preached, it is the utmost importance that they now act on what they heard. The speaker is calling for a determination after the people consider the message. He then declares that they must now make a decision concerning their eternal destiny. If they accept Christ, they will have eternal life from the moment they come forward and give their heart to Christ. Essentially, decisionism is the person making an on the spot decision about accepting Christ. However, the process which precedes the coming forward is quite subjective to the speaker’s ability to motivate people. When one looks at the Billy Graham Crusades in the earlier years or even Jimmy Swaggart at his height of popularity, these were two powerful speakers who had the ability to motivate.
    The Billy Graham people have admitted they acknowledge that not everyone who came forward in the meetings became saved. Many were caught up in the moment. Decisionism is a flawed method and a very dangerous system to try and bring souls into the Kingdom with. The truth is that decisionism is a contrived technique and not a biblical system. (excerpt from Dr. Ken Matto)
    b. Read Ezekiel 36:22-32. From what i believe, before we can have faith in Christ, or even to repent, God is already at work. A ‘dead man’ cannot have faith in Christ unless God moves (Jesus and Lazarus).

    (4) Phil.1:6. Again, it is the Holy Spirit regenerating me to continue to repent and believe. As i’ve said, faith that truly works.

    Again Ephesians 2:1-10 does not speak of an accursed message of works.

    May the God of Grace and Peace open up your eyes.

    in Christ,
    mgm

  38. MGM,

    You fail miserably to understand the Biblical meaning of “repent.” It is an awakening and a change of mind that Jesus ALONE is the Savior.

    (1) What is your definition of “repent?”

    (2) Where in the Bible is the phrase you use, “repent of your sins” for eternal life/salvation? Not there.

    (3) You must make a decision to believe (have faith in) in Christ.. such is not automatic… and regeneration is an event that happens to the believer the moment he has faith in Christ, not before.

    (4) You sound as if you could lose your eternal life if you do not continue to repent and believe. Am I right?

    What you are saying is not God’s Gospel of Grace — but an accursed message of works…

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  39. i never said i depended on MY good works nor did i emphasize about good works. What i’m emphasizing about is the Gospel call: Repent and Believe. Not believe only. Demons also believe, but the difference between demons and people who profess to have believed in Christ is that demons have more piety because they tremble with fear before God while this ‘so called christians’ do not have any sense of the enormity of their sins, instead they just feel sorry about it and go on ‘trusting’ in Jesus. That my friend is the case of presenting the gospel with no power of salvation and regeneration.

    what GOD has done in my life is that by HIS GRACE he had opened my eyes how evil and wicked i was and that i deserved the wrath of the Almighty GOD. By the power of His Spirit, he convicted me and lead me to REPENT and to have FAITH in Christ who IS my only hope of salvation.

    Repentance and Faith comes from the supernatural work of God, not on MY OWN works. I could have ‘decided’ not to repent of my sins even though i’m sorry for them but it will do me no good, but by HIS GRACE, GOD led me to Repent that also led me to salvation (2Cor.7:10). This is Faith that works through the Grace of God which is manifested by continuing to repent and believe. An evidence of salvation and continued regeneration.

    If you examine what i just wrote, it is not MY OWN works but by the Grace of God that i have been saved (Eph.2:1-10). How sweet it is, The Amazing Grace of God!

    Again, the Gospel call is this: Repent and Believe! John the Baptist preached it that way. My Lord Jesus preached it that way. And the Apostles preached it that way. who are we to preach another gospel that is contrary to what the Bible teaches. Are we, or are YOU, greater than this men?

    Galatians 1:6-10.

    May the GOD of Grace and Peace open up your eyes.

    in Christ,
    mgm

  40. Sorry MGM,

    You, as Al above, are depending on your own good works to save you… which is no salvation at all.

    Repentance is a change of mind about Jesus.. and does not demand a change of behavior for salvation — simply because of God’s Grace.

    You, like Al, need to trust Jesus alone — NOT your turning from sin — to give you eternal life. He died for YOU!

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  41. Your view of the gospel certainly lacks one essential thing. REPENT. The Gospel call is this: Repent and Believe! (Mark 1:15 & Acts 20:21)

    If all your Gospel is just simply ‘easy-believism’, meaning, have faith in Christ and not preaching to them Repentance because of the grievous nature of sin in a man’s life, your gospel is not the True Gospel. If that’s what all you preached about, then your gospel is only pleasing to man and not to GOD. John the Baptist, a great man who has ever lived (Luke 7:28), preached Repentance and Salvation that comes from the Messiah.

    Repentance is necessary (obligatory, needed, crucial, required) for Salvation:
    1. All must repent because all are guilty in God’s eyes. (Matthew 4:17, Luke 13)
    2. Repentance comes before conversion. (Acts 3:19 & 26:19,20)
    3. Repentance comes before forgiveness. (Luke 24:47, Acts 5:31)
    4. Repentance comes before believing. (Mark 1:15, Acts 20:21)
    5. GOD commands repentance. (Acts 17:30, 2 Peter 3:9)

    Here is the plain TRUTH! Repentance without Faith cannot attain salvation. Likewise, Faith without Repentance cannot give you salvation.

    Let us not twist John 3:16 that God so loved the world that whosoever ‘believes’ in Him…because in John 17:9, Jesus did not pray for the world but only those whom the Father gave to the Son. Here’s the Truth in that, Salvation is a supernatural work of God and that Salvation comes from God alone. Salvation does not come from a man’s ‘decision’ that he is saved because he ‘simply believes’!

    May the God of Grace and Peace open up your eyes.

    in Christ,
    mgm

  42. Al,

    Sorry, but you are trusting your own behavior instead of the Savior Jesus Christ.

    Having read this post and the scripture, you see the truth but obviously refuse to believe it.

    Please trust Jesus ALONE for your eternity.

    In Christ eternally — with His assurance,

    ExP(Jack)

  43. Wow! These posts are very interesting, but I do have a problem with this! I suppose I would be one of the “accusers” then–although I hesitate to really say that because Satan is regarded in scripture as the “accuser of the brethren.” I do want you to note, however, that Jude 3 tells us to “contend for the faith.” And in the spirit of that, I intend to make some comments.

    Easy Believism is related to a couple of things: 1) salvation may be obtained without true repentance, and 2) subsequent eternal security. The Bible is quite clear about both of these things.

    Matthew 4:17 declares, “from that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.'” It is clear repentance was required for salvation, according to Jesus, Himself. Presumably, that is still the case.

    Now, perhaps you say, “No one ever said repentance was not required.” However, that’s not part of the typical “sinner’s prayer” formula–believe me, I know. Repentance is NOT part of a prayer–it is a change of mind about sin, then an active turning from sin, toward Christ. And that can’t truly or fully be expressed in a prayer. So, therefore, if repentance is not included, expected, and indicated, my friend, you don’t have a biblical convert.

    Eternal Security, as propagated by teachers like Charles Stanley, is part of Baptist doctrine which is a direct holdover of the Calvinistic fifth point: Perseverance of the Saints. Some call this doctrine Once Saved Always Saved. By whatever name you use, it’s the same basic doctrine: that once you have had any past moment of faith, you are eternally saved and can never be lost.

    I vehemently disagree with this and believe it to be scripturally deficient, making it absolute heresy. Every single scripture in the New Testament that speaks of eternal life attaches conditions. For example, the scripture you cited, John 10:28, is used often by Eternal Security teachers to prove this doctrine. Unfortunately, verse 28 cannot be truly understood OUT OF CONTEXT of verse 27, which states, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

    Jesus is speaking of those who are TRUE believers, and this verse is rendered in the Greek in the present-active voice. Meaning you could read verses 27 and 28 like this, “My sheep are listening to my voice, I know them, and they are following Me, and I am giving them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one can snatch them out of My hand.” So there is a CONDITION on this eternal life: that the believer is LISTENING TO and FOLLOWING Jesus Christ. This is not about a past moment of faith, but a present-active living faith in Jesus Christ.

    As a former Baptist minister, I have led hundreds in the sinner’s prayer, sometimes in groups. I never realized I was giving false hope to a great majority of those who prayed the prayer.

    Recall Jesus’ own words in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

    Salvation is something that has to be sought, and yet we must be drawn by the Holy Spirit. If there is no Holy Spirit conviction, my friend, there is no call to which a sinner can respond. “Simple faith” and “simple prayers” are wonderful words to put in songs. And, certainly faith is a simple thing. However, putting this into practice every day IS hard (as some posters have indicated). But it’s not about losing rewards or temporal blessings–it’s an eternal life-or-death issue.

    The true question about easy believism is this: can the Kingdom of God truly afford to have its forces weakened by theologies and philosophies which are unscriptural and desensitizing?

    Humbly,

    Al, Pastor

  44. Ted,

    Did you read my post?

    I will quote part of it…
    ======================
    Jesus Christ is the true and only Savior of the world. He died personally for your sins and mine — those sins that would separate us from God for all eternity. He was buried and arose from the grave, proving He is God. He is alive today. [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]

    Now the simple part.. God simply asks you to trust (believe in) Jesus Christ for your eternal life. He paid the death penalty price and all He asks of you is that you will believe Him. [John 3:16]

    That is the very essence of God’s salvation and it is forever.

    In John 10:28 Jesus Himself said about those who trust Him as Savior:

    “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
    ———
    Ted, Please trust Jesus as your Savior — once forever..\

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  45. what must we do to be saved or to get saved ?

  46. 2 Tim. 2:23
    But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

    Moderation is in effect for those who wish to preach the false Hyper-Calvinist Reformed teaching.

    Recommended Reading.
    What Love is This – by Dave Hunt

    ExP(Jack)

  47. Because some are too verbose for comments in this blog — with some having many doctrinal errors, I will put some comments on “moderation.”

    If you wish to preach Reformed Calvinist doctrine, please get a blog of your own. This Blog is for reasonable discussion but not for the propagation of false doctrine.

    In Christ eternally by God’s Grace and my choice,

    ExP(Jack)

  48. As you say, God gave man the choice to willingly sin — but also to willingly trust Christ as Savior. Their choice.

    God, in His sovereignty gave man the choice — Believe and have eternal life.

    He did not determine that He would send some to Heaven and some to Hell.. I do not worship a God that gives no choice to my good friend who refused to make the decision to trust Christ. It was her choice , Christ died for the sins of the whole world and it is His will that all would believe including her.

    Everyone’s choice!

    ExP(Jack)

  49. Thanks for dropping by.

    Yes, God has fulfilled His promise through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins.

    The Jesus draws all men to Himself (John 12:32) so now it is man’s responsibility to make that decision to trust Jesus Christ as Savior to have eternal life.

    Amen to God’s Amazing Grace!

    ExP(Jack)

  50. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this exciting discussion on easy believism. I appreciate your thoughts.

    The discussion about “Easy Believism” is such an important one that I have written a post (above) on Grace vs Works in Salvation.

    Please continue commenting here or read my post above for what I believe is the Biblical view of Grace vs Works.

    ExP(Jack)

  51. So right! Living the Christian life God’s way is as easy as dancing, and as joyful. Being female, I see it this way… I’m saved by His amazing Grace, and He says, Come dance with Me, dear child! He puts my hands around His big strong fingers and places my feet on His sure feet and away we go, dancing in perfect time. I’m safe and graceful (full of grace!) as long as I keep my feet and hands where they belong… securely in His. It’s when I try to do it on my own that I get tangled.

  52. Good Morning!
    Hope all is well in the “near tropics”, Hello from up Nort’ 🙂

    Let’s see… if I remember correctly Salvation was God’s idea, driven by His own love. He sent. He gave. He died. He arose. He wants all to come to Him, no one to perish. He paid it all. He offers freely. And once His, He lives through us as we allow Him to, providing all we need to bring Him honor, one day at a time.

    I’m inclined to say God *intends* it to be easy — for us.
    It requires much more of Him. Like ALL of it.
    But then, He’s God. NOT a problem!

    (If there’s a hard part it’s my surrender. Believing He can. Trusting He will. Letting Him do what He promised. Not trying to do His work for Him. Obeying His commands so His joy can be complete in me. Learning what He loves and doing that more, learning what He hates and doing those things less. Whenever I get in His way it becomes less than easy.

    A few accusations from well-meaning brothers down here will fade quickly when He smiles at you and says “Well-done!” Don’t worry about it.

    ( –Hi to Mom- )
    Phil—

  53. Amen, bro. Jack! Evidently Paul was also accused of it! (Ro.3:8)

  54. David,

    I believe that if anyone is preaching a good clear Gospel message, and even so is tarred with the title of “Easy Believism,” the title is a badge of honor.

    I thank God that He loved me so much to make His salvation in Jesus EASY!

    In Christ eternally, ExP(Jack)

  55. Bro. Jack! Yes, I have been accused of it, & I consider it a badge of honor. At least people are understanding what I’m trying to say! I sometimes hear sneering remarks about easy-believism & “cheap grace”. Surely folks don’t really think about what they’re saying when they call our belief these pejorative terms. For it ot be grace, it must by definition be free! But we all know that it is NOT free for the Giver! I find myself really resonating with Linda & TMW about the hard part being the living out of the faith as believers. But, that is my fault, because He has given me all spiritual blessings in the Heavenlies with WITH HIM! When I wallow in sin it is NOT His fault but mine. Oh well. enough rambling! Greaty article, bro. Jack.

    Sorry to hear of your health problems. Will pray. God Bless.

  56. Lynda,

    Thanks for your comments.. I am happy you like my postings.. It is sorta like preaching.. you never know how many folks you reach..

    Glad to have you back anytime.

    I apologize for so much time between postings but health issues have slowed me down considerably. Lord willing I will do better.

    Rest in the Lord’s blessings,

    ExP(Jack)

  57. True, tmw… which is why we are commanded to renew our minds with the Word of God, to meditate on it night and day, to pray unceasingly. It gets hard because we get lazy, LOL!! And believe me when I say “we” I mean ME! 🙂 But our precious Lord makes it easy again, knowing how we are formed so well… He tells us to simply come and confess and we will be forgiven and cleansed of ALL unrighteousness. So even though we get lazy, and make it hard for ourselves, God makes us right again–and again–and again– Wow,is He good or what?

    Jack, sir, I just found this website today thanks to my brother-in-law; we were discussing Barak Hussein Obama Jr. and your blog regarding him was something Chris asked me to read. Excellent! I couldn’t resist leaving a comment, despite the age of the article. I’ll definitely be back here often, as I have found your communications pithy and sensible, and I love you already. God bless you richly!

  58. the merry widow

    Morning, ExP!
    The reason the doing is so hard, sometimes, is it involves our will. The will is the hardest part of us to bring into obedience, i.e. a strong-willed child. But Truth is simple, evil is facetted, and glittery and “mysterious”. A former pastor put it this way, and I paraphrase, the soul(where our will is) is sin scarred, and getting the clear message from our regenerated spirit to the body has to many times go through the distortion of the mind and will. So bringing our wills into obedience through the Holy Spirit can in areas be a battle. But as we walk in obedience, the paths of communication become cleared of sin’s detritus, and we walk the walk more fully! I know in my own life, that as I choose to obey and stay close, I walk in greater obedience, i.e. my stepping out in faith about this move. I’m out on a limb, BUT my faith is in the Ever-Faithful ONE, not myself!
    Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

    tmw
    That said-The Truth is simple and Pure and Beautiful, and I fall deeper in love with it everyday!

  59. Maria,

    Thanks for your comment…

    What’s to muse? It is certainly not hard to believe!

    Let me know what you think after you think.

    Enjoy God’s blessings..

    In Christ eternally, ExP(Jack)

  60. Mmm… i will muse over that this evening!
    God bless you lots
    Maria in the UK
    http://www.inhishands.co.uk

    GRACE MERCY LOVE

  61. Thanks TMW,

    Easy to believe — what is hard about the “doing?”

    Yes we enjoyed our available family Christday eve when they invited us to dinner. It was superb food and fellowship.

    In Christ eternally, ExP(Jack)

  62. the merry widow

    Truth is simple, it’s the doing that’s hard.
    Good morning, Jack and Shirley! How are you doing? Did you get to enjoy friends and family this past holiday season?
    BTW-Our church finally got the Statement of Faith and the Family Covenant up on the website.

    http://www.churchforthebeach.org./
    Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

    tmw

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