False Repentance, Perseverance and Lordship “salvation”

False Repentance, Perseverance and Lordship “salvation”

These are the Big Three of theological errors in the modern day church. (there are more).

  • False Repentance, telling folks you must turn from sin to be saved or stay saved.
  • Perseverance, the Calvinist idea that if you don’t persevere until the end, you are not among the “chosen” to be saved. Perseverance-ites say the same thing but in a fancier and more exotic language. Sometime you may even see them speak in Romanist Latin. (Sola, sola)
  • Lordship “salvation,” the theory that you must live righteously and do good works in order to be “saved” and if you don’t continue living righteously according to their rules, you obviously made a false profession of your faith and never were saved.

As we briefly state those obvious lies, we see that all three of these false doctrines are reading from the same pages of the same authors and all have merged into a “works” salvation message..

“Lordship salvation”, “Turn From Sin for salvation” and “Persevere for salvation” seem to be a convergence of “theologies” into one ecumenical mishmash. This uniting of false “theology” is simply a propagation of Galatianism, adding works to be saved, stay saved or persevere long enough to maybe be saved (never sure). None offer any real assurance of an eternity in Heaven with our Savior.

As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Believing Church in Galatia:

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. 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.Galatians 1:6-9

Paul’s message is to those believers in the church in Galatia who formerly understood God’s Grace but, still saved, had turned to “another gospel” of works which we understand clearly when we read further in the book of Galatians. This “another gospel” was “of man” not God. While these are addressed as believers, we see today, many unbelievers tricked into believing the Lie of one of the Big Three or maybe all three.

There we have an explanation of how the “Lordship Salvation,” “Turn From Sin for salvation” and “Calvinist perseverance” teachers have veered (or run headlong) into a false message of works to be saved and/or stay saved.

Let’s discuss it…

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160 responses to “False Repentance, Perseverance and Lordship “salvation”

  1. Holly has put a new installment in her “repentance” series over at “Redeeming Moments.” Please see link below:

    https://redeemingmoments.com/2016/08/26/repentance-in-salvation-pt-10/

  2. John – the trouble with English dictionary definitions is they only define the words as we currently understand them. The word itself used for reward in the NT is never rendered gift, but it is payment for work done.

  3. I found yet another false definition of repentance today, from a guy named David A. DePra. Following is his quote:

    A real Christian doesn’t WANT to sin. There is a reason for this. It’s because you cannot become a genuine Christian unless you have first repented of wanting to sin. To become a Christian, you must repent, embrace forgiveness, and in an attitude of need, receive the gift of God. If you still want to sin, you aren’t going to do any of that.

    (My comment: Bull! One could never have assurance of eternal life this way. There would be a constant self-reflection of whether one was “sincere” at the time of “coming to Christ,” in not wanting to sin any more. If the person found himself wanting to sin now, he would have to base his assurance of salvation on some point in time when he had decided he did not want to sin any more. Notice the focus – one’s own righteousness, rather than Christ’s righteousness. This turns the good news of the gospel into bad news. The gospel is turned into a false gospel of “Christ died for my sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead, only if I don’t want to sin any more. “).

  4. Very interesting Johninnc… Will have to look into that more, especially what the original word means.

  5. Someone pointed out to me the definitions of “reward” on the internet dictionaries.

    Under “verb”:

    make a gift of something to (someone) in recognition of their services, efforts, or achievements.

    I was trying to convince the person that nothing could be BOTH a gift and a reward, and they pointed this out to correct me.

  6. Here is a video I listen to today fresh from CCC and relevant fits nicely to the discussion here

  7. Ben, they certainly aren’t even able to stand up to the instruction of how a young man in Christ should behave.

    Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Titus 2:6-8

  8. Thank you Curtis, I agree. Sadly my friend did not see it as railing, but some form of righteous indignation for me warning and saying I’d be willing explain to her the errors of Gail Riplinger (who teaches mysticism in her Bible codes and saying the KJVO is inspired and denigrates the ‘copies’ of the originals). I know that wasn’t the voice of my Shepherd, not a word from His Word was used to rail at me, and I know that is not the way He chastens from His Word…

  9. “grace reign through righteousness”
    now there is some words to allow to bounce around and take hold of in our thinking apparatus the heart mind

  10. Ben
    I remember the words coming to my mind
    ” stop trying to learn what you already know ” in my going around comparing what one preacher is saying against another trying to synchronize with my own understanding. what a conundrum.

    as believers in Christ Jesus we are under a higher Law “the Law of the Spirit ” it is the Holy Spirit who fulfills all in us that we walk perfectly before God in Christ Jesus.
    Like the beatitudes the sermon on the mount The religious try to fulfill them in the energy of the flesh , while all along the Law of the Spirit has and is fulfilling them completely in us before God in Christ Jesus.
    For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
    to reign is to be a king
    a king in what ?
    in appropriating the Gift of righteousness to our lives
    “grace reign through 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.)

    where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
    grace reign through righteousness
    Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
    Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

    the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
    God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
    Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
    Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
    Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
    Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

  11. Wow @ Ron Shea. That was excellent!!

    Ben # 2.

  12. Agree John
    Introspection looking at self gets oneself looking at self instead of Jesus

  13. Holly, I’m very sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience with Greg Miller. It’s appalling to me that any professed Christian pastor like him would verbally attack a woman like that. And this is not the first account I’ve heard. I’ve seen him writing vicious comments to grace believers on YouTube, and he even made a video threatening another YouTuber. As I mentioned earlier about how those who believe in and/or teach “turning from sins for salvation” are often more judging and condemning of others, here we have an extreme case with Greg Miller. And he not only attacks those who disagree with him about salvation, he’ll even attack those who don’t hold his stance on the rapture or KJV only. It’s just appalling, and quite frankly scary, to see a pastor behaving like this to other Christians.

  14. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
    Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

    The words spoken to Holly by mr miller that something like poking a stick in God’s eye . I would not go near this man or his teaching . mark and avoid
    The scripture reference above came to mind reading Holly’s post

  15. Thank you Curtis for your encouraging words. Having read “36 Amazing Things,” I’ve come to realize that the reason why there is so much struggle and unrest in the Body of Christ is that so often we strive to attain what we already have. This also brings to mind the account of the prodigal son’s reunion with his father and how he was so joyously received back into his father’s arms- no strings attached. Before the son could even offer any service, his father gave him everything- the best robe, sandals, and ring, a fatted calf killed for him, and even a welcome home party. This just shows that God has already given us everything upon our conversion, and yet sadly we so often strive to attain what we already have in Christ. Oh how I need to apply this wonderful truth to my daily life, that I am DEAD to the law of sin and death and alive to Christ. God has already given me EVERYTHING. I need to just rest and enjoy it, and I want to enjoy it. Thank you again Curtis and God bless!

  16. Curtis, I know you didn’t mean it like this, but I wanted to address one point that you made.

    You said: the very fact that you admit a battle is going on tells me you are saved , you just may be lacking positional truth and in appropriating the gift of righteousness

    My comment: I have seen this concept abused in a way that would lead someone to introspection for assurance of eternal life, rather than to Christ. Consider the following quote from Kenneth Keathley:

    The genuinely saved person hungers and thirsts for righteousness, even when he is struggling with temptation or even if he stumbles into sin. In fact, this writer is not overly concerned with the destiny of those who struggle nearly as much as he is about those who do not care enough to struggle. Indifference is more of a red flag than weakness.

    The absence of a desire for the things of God clearly indicates a serious spiritual problem, and a continued indifference can possibly mean that the person professing faith has never been genuinely converted. God is infinitely more dedicated to our salvation than we are, and He will not fail to finish that which He has begun.

    My comment to this quote: One should not look for “red flags” such as indifference to sin for evidence that one might not be saved. If one starts to stratify the motives for sin into “struggling with sin”, “stumbling into sin”, and “indifference to sin” in order to look for “red flags”, they are no longer fruit inspecting but inspecting the motives for fruit or lack of fruit. This is a red herring that is more consistent with Lordship “salvation” than it is with grace.

    The notion that God will not fail to finish that which He has begun is often used by Lordship “salvationists” to prove their perseverance of the saints view. They will use a butchered interpretation of Philippians 1:6 in an attempt to prove the false view that scripture guarantees progressive sanctification in the life of the believer.

    Please see our “Difficult Verses” section for a discussion of Philippians 1:6.

  17. Yes I agree with flee from Greg Miller of BBFohio. I had a run in with him on FB, when I tried to gently warn my friend of KJVO cultist Gail Riplinger. He came in like a wild man, calling me a liar, slanderer, divisive, told me to ‘shut my trap’.

    I said this in response, “Sad Greg Miller to see a believer speak like this to a woman. But God bless you and keep you and yours.”

    His immediate retort?

    “You HYPOCRITE. You slander a godly woman and now want to whine about having your stupidity thrown in your face? Blow it out your nose, Jezebel.

    It’s clear Holly is just another un-called fool trying to build a ministry by tearing down “Riplinger” or “Ruckman”.

    When I found out he was a pastor, I said to my friend that she should not be taking teaching from a railer like him.

    Greg Miller’s answer? “Shame on Holly Sprenger Garcia for her slander, her lies and for not even attempting to PROVE anything she has said against Gail Riplinger is true.

    Shame on Holly Sprenger Garcia for being just another end-time, loud-mouthed, female who thinks she can push people around and make BASELESS accusations toward brothers and sisters in Christ.

    God HATES discord and that is all Holly has done in this thread. She will fall under the hand of God if she doesn’t repent and learn to shut her mouth.

    I can only hope to make all of the Holly dingbats in this world my ENEMIES. God hates people like her.

    Proverbs 6
    16, These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
    17, A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
    18, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
    19, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

    GET THAT HOLLY? God HATES you.

    There’s more, but I think you get the idea 🙂

  18. “For so long I’ve been struggling with sin consciousness and difficulty in stopping certain sins. All I want is a relationship with God and to experience the fullness of His love for me.”

    when you struggle with sin guess what you get ?
    more sin
    the very fact that you admit a battle is going on tells me you are saved , you just may be lacking positional truth and in appropriating the gift of righteousness. We all are natural born legalist who resist Grace
    how about for a time whatever that time maybe , would you simply rejoice in knowing your sins are paid for by the blood of Jesus ?
    Knowing your /my sin debt is paid and i’m going to heaven based upon another’s work
    God see’s me perfect in Christ Jesus
    we are a royal priesthood , a private priest before the Lord
    God calls us saints in Christ Jesus
    God loved us while we were yet sinners and demonstrated that love by dying for us .
    then after a time here is 36 more amazing things

    https://expreacherman.com/36-amazing-things/

  19. when a soul studies the Truth of the Gospel and listens to a preacher teacher expose and expound the word of God through a clear Gospel message you should be able to spot a false teacher in less than a minute in their doctrinal statement or gospel presentation ,
    Then in the words of our founder Jack Weaver if i remember correctly please correct me , “drop them and never go back”
    Jack was always sharp and to the point . I liked that

  20. as far as Greg Miller of Bible fellowship of Ohio
    run forest run

    there very first flag is the KJV only stance of being the inspired infallible word of God . God’s word is infallible in the Original writings .
    The KJV is far from perfect I do prefer the KJV for study its groups like this that cause me to give a disclaimer when I mention the KJV . there is a thread on the KJV on this blog why prefer the KJV

    from bible fellowship of Ohio’s statement of faith

    Scripture
    The King James Bible is Scripture and is our final authority as it is the inspired, infallible Book of God: made up of 39 individual Books in the Old Testament and 27 individual Books in the New Testament. Scripture refers to words, not to thoughts and/or concepts. These words were originally given in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek and have been preserved for us in the Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament text and the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament text underlying the Authorized King James Bible which is a perfect translation and without error.

    The Church
    repented = (turn from sin under believing vid)
    truly believed (truly)
    * All those who have repented, having truly believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ for eternal salvation, are eternally saved and shall never perish. (John 10:27-30, Romans 8:1)

    believers are commanded to join a local
    collections of tithes and offerings
    * Once saved, believers are commanded to join a local, autonomous body of born again Christians for fellowship, prayer, edification, collections of tithes and offerings, mutual love, singing of songs, hymns and spiritual songs and Bible study. Believers are to meet each Sunday and on as many other occasions as there is opportunity for fellowship and ministry. (John 20:19, Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2, Hebrews 10:25)
    * Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances for local churches: baptism and Lord’s Supper (communion). (Matthew 26:26-28, Matthew 28:19)

    if i may also say exhort admonish , yes there is a place for youtube preaching and teaching. However a soul should find a pulpit that preaches a clear gospel and the pastor /teachers are under elder rule being held accountable to a constitution and doctrinal statement . There are several of those churches posted on expreacherman

  21. Curtis, I heartily thank you for your input on this discussion. And the way you described sanctification and the Christian life, WOW, I never thought of it that way. For so long I’ve been struggling with sin consciousness and difficulty in stopping certain sins. All I want is a relationship with God and to experience the fullness of His love for me. The message of “turning from sins for salvation” scares me because I know I can never do enough of that. And I just want to serve and have a relationship with God simply because I WANT to, instead of feeling like I HAVE to or else I can’t be saved. That’s why I shared my thoughts on Matthew/Luke 3:8 in that the repentance and fruits are clearly distinguished, because as I’ve been studying repentance earlier I’ve come to find that the widespread (false) definition of “turning from sin” just doesn’t fit. And so I thought I might share my insights on this discovery. But again, Curtis, thank you SO much for your input on sanctification and the Christian life, you have no idea how badly I needed to hear those words. Thank you and God bless!

  22. by the way , very good discussion , iron sharpening Iron

  23. God is not out to change a souls behavior pattern , God wants are thinking.
    active dependence passive obedience, Godliness is a byproduct that is Not pursued , We do it not even knowing it because our minds are submitting to Gods word/will in our thinking.
    we don’t produce good works we bear them by Holy Spirit , we live the christian life the same way we are saved by Grace through faith
    we do not become spiritual by anything we do , we become spiritual in our thinking .
    Religion always looks to self
    if a soul would say to me . I am getting up everyday at 500 am to read pray and study the bible for 1 hour . I can guarantee failure , God does not need our help to live the christian life. in fact God uses failure to show us were we our getting in the way.

    Recon (count up what God says to be true) ourselves dead to sin alive to God
    Confess sin : taking sides against ourselves to agree with God
    Present : oneself a living sacrifice rom 12:1-2
    submit ( sanctification rest )
    yield : ( will you allow God to dictate policy to you ) Knowing you are sanctified completely and seated in heaven in Christ Jesus . will you yield to that position in everyday living moment be moment ?
    relax : The peace of God that surpass all understanding

    in all this we Glorify Jesus Christ bring Glory to God through the Holy Spirit.
    Changes not wrought by the Spirit of God are rejected and worthless.

    License to sin someone may say? , tell me a soul who’s mind is occupied with Gods word they are not occupied with sin . its the religious mind wrestling with sin that needs some kind of license . There is no such thing as a license to sin

    Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    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;

  24. Preston and Ben, I agree with you that repentance means “a change of mind.”

    Ron Shea has an interesting take on “fruits meet for repentance” in Matthew 3:8.

    In view of this, what is the “fruit” meet for repentance in Matthew 3:8? Unfortunately, too many Christians hammer a figure of speech into some preconceived notion, such as Paul’s reference to the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23 or Ephesians 5:9, both of which depict good works and godly character (“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness” . . . etc.). But to impose this interpretation of the word “fruit” in Matthew 3:5-9 would be to contravene the very point of the passage. It is not our good works or our religion that saves us. It is our Redeemer. Fruit, quite simply, is whatever the context suggests. And what would be the fruit of repentance in this case?

    In Genesis, each plant, and each animal species, was to produce offspring “after its own kind.” Seed begets seed of the same kind! Apple trees don’t produce fig trees, they produce apple trees.

    If you want to know the doctrine that a church teaches, don’t ask to read the doctrinal statement. It may be gathering dust! Meet several members of the congregation who have been there for at least three years. Ask them what they believe about certain topics of theology. These men and women are the real fruit of the pastor’s labors! And by them, you will know what he really believes. Their emphasis will be that which he has emphasized. Their ignorance on certain topics is simply a reflection of their pastor’s failure to address those topics with clarity and accuracy. Trees beget fruit after their own kind!

    And what was the fruit of the Pharisees whom Jesus addressed above? What does Scripture teach us? “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.” (Matthew 23:15) Their fruit was to proclaim salvation by the works of the law to their disciples, to root their disciples in that doctrine that they became more a child of hell then their teachers! This was the “fruit” of the Pharisees. The term “fruit” is a figure of speech, and does not have a fixed meaning. As with any metaphor or figure of speech, its meaning is determined by its context. And to look to Paul’s words in Galatians 5:22-23 or Ephesians 5:9 for the meaning of the figure of speech “fruit” in this dialoge in the Gospel of Matthew is just plain nonsense.

    The fruit of the Pharisees and Sadducees was the seed(s) of false doctrine that they planted, and the converts that sprung up from those seeds.

    When I meet believers who are unclear on the gospel, and they tell me they have a very good Bible preaching pastor, and a solid doctrinal statement, but they are confused on the message of the gospel, and the doctrines thereof, I need not see the doctrinal statement, or meet their pastor. I have seen the fruit of his preaching in his disciples. This tells me more about their church than I could ever learn from aprinted doctrinal statement, or a face-to-face meeting with their pastor!

  25. Very good Preston, thank you. Now I understand more clearly. I was merely sharing how the Lordship Salvationists define repentance as moral change and how they can use verses like Matthew/Luke 3:8 as “proof texts.” And I was relieved to discover that moral change has nothing to do with repentance itself but rather is a fruit of repentance (that is, something we should do AFTER salvation). This also led me to discover that repentance in itself does not mean “turn from sin,” but it means to change one’s mind or way of seeing things. But now I understand that the most essential thing that those addressed in Matthew/Luke 3:8 needed to repent of (or change their mind about) was thinking that their Jewish heritage would save them. Thank you for your insights Preston. If you have any input you would like to give me, please do so. God bless!

    In Christ,
    Ben

  26. Ben,

    glad to meet you. I think the answer to Matt 3 and Luke 3 are very similar.

    Repent, when it comes to salvation, always means a “change of mind”.

    Matt 3:9 – And THINK NOT to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham
    – we see here that they were THINKING something wrong; that they were ok because they were jewish (Abraham being their father). They needed to change their thinking (change their minds; repent).

    Luke 3:8 – Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to SAY WITHIN YOURSELVES, We have Abraham to our father
    – we see here also, that they were THINKING (say within yourself) that just because Abraham was our Father (jewish) – they were “thinking” the wrong thing.

    So I see both passages being very similar. They needed to “repent” (change their thinking).

  27. Ben, I understand the distinction. People respond in different ways to receiving salvation, including wanting to serve out of love and gratitude.

  28. I wasn’t saying that every believer would automatically change as a result of being saved, that’s why I said they would be “more likely” to do so out of gratitude toward Christ without being pressed by legalistic LS demands of “turn from sin” or “be willing to stop sinning.” I was saying that it’s easier to want to serve Christ and have a relationship with Him knowing that He doesn’t even require us to do those things in order to be saved. But I didn’t say that every believer automatically would, hence the need for New Testament exhortations right? And you are correct that even though the soldiers and tax collectors asked John what they should do as a result of repentance, that doesn’t mean they are truly saved. All I wanted to do was share my thoughts and insights on everything. I’m sorry if I didn’t make myself clear enough on certain things I have said. If you have any more questions, please do ask me. I am more than happy to clarify myself if necessary.

  29. Ben, you said: What I discovered is that when a sinner gets saved, without even being told to turn from sin or be willing to turn from sin, he or she is more likely to truly change out of gratitude toward Christ for saving them freely with no strings attached. I personally can attest to that.

    My comment: What you discovered is not universally true according to the Bible. If it were, we would not have a need for verses such as:

    Romans 6:12: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

    Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

    1 Peter 2:11: Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

    The people asked John the Baptist what they should do. Asking what one should do to show his service to Christ does not prove one is saved.

  30. Great discussion guys. Lately I’ve been doing some study on repentance, and I’ve come to find that the “turn from sin” definition of repentance for salvation just doesn’t fit. The Bible speaks for itself. I’ll use Matthew/Luke 3:8 for example. This verse used to alarm me because it made me think that a resolution for moral reformation is always necessary for salvation. Not that I am unwilling to turn from sin or obey God (I just want to serve and have a relationship with Him BECAUSE I am saved, NOT to be saved) but I know that if I HAVE to do it in order to be saved, then I can never do enough of that.

    Then I did some more study into the background of Matthew/Luke 3:8, and I found that John is baptizing people who are coming out of the Pharisees’ religious system and preparing them for the Messiah (Jesus). In Matthew 3:8, when the Pharisees and Sadducees came to John’s baptism, he was telling them to repent of their self-righteous pride instead of trusting in their religiosity and Jewish heritage. John says the same thing to the crowds or tax collectors and soldiers in Luke 3:8. When he tells the tax collectors and soldiers to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, they immediately ask him what they should do (which gives solid evidence that they have repented at this point, that is, they’ve changed their thinking and showed concern regarding John’s message). And then John tells them what they should do as a result of their repentance. So here, the repentance (change of mind) and fruits of repentance (suitable deeds) are clearly distinguished.

    The trouble with Lordship Salvation and doctrines like it is that it puts the cart before the horse, by demanding that lost sinners forsake their sins and surrender their whole lives to Christ in order to be saved. Lost people, being enslaved to sin, do not have the power to do those things and will not be able until they get saved (when God’s Holy Spirit dwells inside of them). What I discovered is that when a sinner gets saved, without even being told to turn from sin or be willing to turn from sin, he or she is more likely to truly change out of gratitude toward Christ for saving them freely with no strings attached. I personally can attest to that.

    I’ve also come to find that those who believe in or teach “turning from sin for salvation” are often more judging and critical of others, probably because they themselves are feeling insecure about their relationship with God. I’ve read their articles online and their comments on social media, which carry this harsh condemning tone. Two notable examples are Bryan Denlinger and Greg Miller on YouTube, whom I’ve witnessed say some pretty nasty things to, or about, those who disagree with their views on repentance and salvation.

    Everyone, I’d love to hear your thoughts on everything I said. If you have any additional input on my interpretation Matthew/Luke 3:8, please do share your thoughts. I would love to hear it. God bless!

    In Christ,
    Ben

  31. So called “free grace” theologian Joseph Dillow has a false definition of repentance that is more in line with Lordship “salvation” than grace.

    Following is an excerpt from Dillow’s book “Final Destiny”:

    Third, when nonbelievers are called on to repent, it is in the most general sense, a call to acknowledge guilt before God and their need for forgiveness. As such, repentance is a necessary precursor to saving faith. It means that a nonbeliever must admit his sin to God, acknowledge he is wrong, and be willing to seek a new way of life. That necessary precursor must then be followed by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for personal salvation

    My comment: Being willing to seek a new way of life is not a necessary condition for salvation. This is just another way of saying that one must be willing to turn from his sins, put Christ on the throne of his life, make Jesus Lord of his life, etc. The requirement that one must be willing to seek a new way of life is just an IOU for a filthy rag of self-righteousness.

    It is indeed amazing that such a negation of God’s amazing grace is lauded by so many in the “free grace” community.

  32. His grace has appeared to all men (is what I was thinking), yet not all are saved. 🙂 I do know we receive His grace as well.

    I think that is an excellent analogy Penelope, I can’t remember grammatical rules very well at all Penelope, I have a way of wiping things from my brain when I didn’t like them all that well. 🙂 Thanks for sharing that.

  33. I heard one explain Eph 2:8,9 as proving “faith” is the gift due to grammar. They said the pronoun “it” refers to the closest noun, which would be “faith”. They failed to realize that pronouns refer to the main subject of the sentence, not just the nearest noun, I believe. Correct me if I’m wrong since language arts and sentence structure was years ago.

    For example, if I said, “The grass is nice around the red house – it is so green,” I would be referring to the grass, obviously, not the house, even though “it” is closest to “house”.

    So, “it” refers to “grace” because “grace” is the main subject, not “faith”. At least that is how I see it. And, yes, because of the other such verses that back up grace and eternal life being the gift. I’m thinking grace equates with eternal life because otherwise we would get our due – death. Grace wipes the slate clean, gives us Christ’s righeousness, and thus eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom 6:23. So instead of paying me what I earned, God gives me grace, which gives me eternal life, only through Jesus.

    Actually, following that line of thinking refutes loadship because grace and ETERNAL life go hand in hand. Just my mental wanderings.

  34. Phil, I am not sure, but I have always understood the grace to be the way that salvation comes by, and the gift is eternal life. In Rom 5:15, “gift by grace”, and in Rom 6, the gift is eternal life, and Titus 2:11 says, that His grace bringeth salvation.

    Or is it both? Just thinking out loud. On the Catholic thing, I heard that this is how the word in English became repent and repentance, coming from the Catholic teachings of penance and penitence.

  35. Phil, the LS version of the Catholic act of contrition would be: I promise to TRY to sin no more and to TRY to avoid all occasions of sin.

    The Catholic version is a promise to not sin. The LS version is a promise to try to not sin.

  36. To those who are not sure what the gift is that Paul is referring to in Eph 2:8-9, if you also read Rom.5:12-21 and Rom 6:22,23 there should be no doubt that Paul is saying grace is the gift.

  37. john, there is another act of contrition that a priest will give a Catholic at confession similar to the one you quoted, but instead ends something like, ” I promise to sin no more and avoid all occasions of sin.” Catholics surely must leave the confessional thinking that’s an impossible promise to keep, plus, a sin if they break it.

    holly, you mentioned Calvinists insist that regeneration must precede faith. They say faith is the gift in Eph 2:8,9. I have heard this a lot on these Puritan and Reformed forums. This is a complete twisting of Eph 2:8,9. Grace is clearly the subject as God’s redeeming gift which is received by faith. These Calvinists twist things around as usual to make their square pegs fit in the round holes of their “limited atonement.”
    The Bible, when naturally read and understood, is about a loving God who offers forgiveness and eternal life to anyone who will receive it by faith. It is not some grand scheme for us to figure out, as these Calvinists insist, about who will be accepted and who will be rejected.
    Paul and the other NT writers never make it their message of who will be chosen and who will not as these Calvinist heretics have concockted. The NT writers simply offer salvation by grace that anyone can receive through faith and be saved.

  38. Yesterday I saw a “church” sign that said “Jesus said repent not repeat” ugh. I wanted to take the letters grrrrr

  39. Wash, rinse, repeat… over and over… Insightful John.

  40. I found the following under “Catholic Answers” online:

    “An act of contrition is an expression to God of the sorrow of the penitent. There is no required formula for this and it may be very simple such as ‘Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ The Handbook of Prayers offers the following prayer:

    ‘O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all of my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.'”

    My comment: this is a suggested prayer for Catholics, who, according to the same website, have all been born again, provided they have been water baptized.

    The most striking thing, besides them thinking they can lose eternal life (dreading the fear of hell), is how similar this prayer is to the plans of salvation proffered by Lordship “Salvationists.”

    Unlike Catholicism, which is the “hair washing” salvation formula (wash, rinse, repeat), the LS formula is just to make a contract at the front end to resolve to turn from sins. Or, a more sneaky version, which is fruit inspection and perseverance of the saints.

  41. Bobbie Jo, It is terribly upsetting, most especially regarding the millions they are duping, and who refuse to hear. I have one gentleman on my page who in the face of an awful lot of evidence is just arguing. I haven’t put up all his posts, he hasn’t been too unkind, he probably thinks he hasn’t been at all, but a good writer, or war hero, or high intellect, or popularity most certainly (Lk 6:26) doesn’t make one right we know…

  42. You know I remember my grandmother, Lord I pray she had believed the Gospel before getting so terribly confused. She used to watch Kenneth Copeland all the time and I would get mad and ask why she was watching him? She liked him was what she had said. She would laugh and enjoy his “sermons”. Ultimately I think thats what a lot of the issue is as well. People would rather deny Gods Word than give up these “men of God”. It simply didnt seem right to me to send momey in to have God give you back money tenfold? As if oir Lord is some kind of ATM! Then to see all the material possessions he has makes me sick. Planes, house, cars all in the name of “spreading the gospel”. Jesus and the apostles did quite a great job at spreading the Word without a private jet. Give me a break. Taking all these peoples lifw savings and such to get “blessings” from God?

    Dont even get me started with Joyce Meyer and her ceasing from sinning. The Word calls her a liar. Besides for one to mention how “righteous and moral” they are is extremely prideful and full of arrogance. No talk of how our loving Father helped her with sin. No. Just how she has ceased from sinning. All the glory belongs to the Lord as we can do nothong of ourselves.

    I always knew the world was in a bad state but it shakes your whole foundation when you find out even the “churches” have gotten salvation wrong. Some would rather put blinders on than look at the overwhelmong evidence against this heresy of lordship salvation. I will admit I was shook to my core to find out I could do nothing. Its scary until you truly understand. Then you are truly free. You become a child of the Most High. Not just today. Not just tomorrow but for all time.

  43. Thanks for the link John, saving that tomorrow of Tom Cucuzza’s. It’s All of Christ, not sure if I heard that.

  44. Here is part 6 on Repentance and Salvation by Ron Shea. This is Repentance from Religious works.

    http://redeemingmoments.com/repentance-part-6-by-ronald-shea/

  45. Curtis, there is a good sermon on this passage by Tom Cucuzza entitled “It’s All of Christ.” See link below:

    http://northlandchurch.com/content.cfm?id=213&download_id=32

  46. Preston’s comments , prompted this passage of scripture, would like to tag onto

    but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

    when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all,

    man is not justified by the works of the law

    for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
    But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

    Gal 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
    Gal 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
    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?
    Gal 2:15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
    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.
    Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

  47. Sorry for the length.

    Religion loves Matt 7:15-23. Religion uses this to strike fear into the hearts of its followers. To be honest, it scared me for the longest time. I would think, “what if Jesus is talking about me”? What if he told me “I never knew you”? I remember the pain, and borderline suffering, this passage caused me. But, when we compare scripture with other scripture, it really is not that scary at all; unless, of course, you are a false prophet. False prophets are what this passage is about (see verse 15)

    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity

    Let’s start with verse 21; “but he that doeth the will of my Father”. We must ask, “WHAT is the WILL of the Father? The answer is in John 6:40.
    40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day

    Continuing on in verse 22 we read “and in thy name done many wonderful works? Notice what these people were relying on to go to heaven. They were relying (trusting in) their WORKS to save them. The bible states over and over; “NOT by works” (eph 2:8-9, titus 3:5, Rom 4:5-6, Rom 3:25-28 and my all-time favorite
    -Rom 11:6 which reads,” and if by GRACE, then it is NO MORE of works; otherwise grace is no more grace”

    Also notice what they DIDNT say. They didn’t say, “Lord, I believed you paid my sin debt at the cross”. Their faith was NOT in Jesus. Rather, their faith was in their works.

    Onto verse 23 and the phrase “I NEVER knew you”. Jesus DIDN’T say, “ I once knew you and now I don’t”. He said I NEVER knew you. Jesus ate with sinners and told the Pharisees that harlots were getting into the kingdom before them. (Matt 21:31) Remember the woman washing His feet with tears. The Pharisees called her a sinner. Jesus said to her, “thy sins are forgiven…..thy faith hath saved thee”. Luke 7:48-50) The point of these passages, Jesus KNOWS sinners!! Especially when the bible says we are ALL sinners. (Rom 3: 9-12)

    The second part of verse 23; “ye that work iniquity”. Were they sinners? YES. Wait, do I work iniquity (sin)? YES. Do you still work iniquity (sin)? YES you do. In fact, the great evangelical Paul could not stop sinning (Rom 7:15-28). We know that EVERY person is a sinner and works iniquity. Some people commit sin more than others; but the bible concludes ALL under sin. Saved people sin ALL the time. There are many examples in the bible. One of which is the saved yet carnal church at Corinth. The bible also reads that ALL sins are forgiven to the believer.
    – Col 2:13-14 – 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
    14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
    – Acts 13:39 – 39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses
    – Matt 12:31-32 – Wherefore I say unto you, ALL manner of sin and blasphemy shall be FORGIVEN unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

    CLOSING THOUGHTS

    Many say the problem is that these professing Christians were relying on their works and not going to heaven. I believe this is a TRUE statement. How many professing Christians do you know who are relying on works to help them get into heaven? However, I also see something else here.
    Those who fit this “manta” are Jehovah witnesses and Mormons.
    1. Both groups were started by a supposed prophet (Joe smith and William Russel Taze)
    2. Both groups do many wonderful works in the name of Jesus (and declare that works are needed)
    3. Both groups DENY the deity of Jesus. They think he is the arch angel Michael.
    Jesus will say I NEVER knew you
    Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:4 – 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.4 For if he that cometh preacheth ANOTHER JESUS, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

    Jesus said in john – unless ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24)

    Whether the problem here is proclaiming works for salvation OR these folks trusting “another Jesus”, they were being judge by the law and were not under grace. The born again believer is “dead to the law” (Rom 7:2-4), is not under the law (Gal 3:23-25) but under grace. The law CANT TOUCH the born again believer.

    IF you have trusted Jesus and His glorious gospel as your only hope to go to heaven, I can say with 100% certainty, “Jesus KNOWS you”!!

    my two cents,

  48. Welcom kalusha
    you said
    “if we merely believe can still constantly dwell in iniquity”

    Yes according to Gods Word ,

    For the grace of God,-Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts.

    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.

  49. Kalusha, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    First, regarding Revelation 2:5, this has to do with temporal judgment (that is, nothing to do with eternal salvation). Following is a good explanation from Clear Gospel:

    Subject Called to Repentance: The church of Ephesus

    Object of Repentance: The object of repentance is not expressly stated, but can be inferred, to an extent, from the context. The church of Ephesus is said to excel in works and labor and patience, in intolerance of evil, and standing strong against men who pretend to be apostles. However, they are accused of “leaving their first love.” Although honest men disagree on the meaning, it appears that that they church of Ephesus had gone into an “automatic mode” and developed good habits in both doctrine and practice, but has lost some spark for their “first love.”

    Consequence of Failing to Repent: “I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place” (vs. 5). The nature of the judgment is poetic, but is plainly dealing with temporal judgment of the local church at Ephesus, not eternal judgment.

    Second, Matthew 23:7 has nothing to do with people who “merely believe” in Jesus. Anyone who “merely believes” in Jesus will go to heaven. This verse deals with people who are trusting in their good works to get into heaven. See our explanation of Matthew 7:21-23 under “Difficult Verses”, linked below:

    https://expreacherman.com/difficult-verses/

  50. Revelation 2:5-
    Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

    What does Jesus mean here if they were already eternally saved by trusting and believing in Christ alone?

    Matthew 7:23- And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    if we merely believe can still constantly dwell in iniquity, I guess the above scripture deals with that

  51. Mith, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    We would agree that there are good reasons not to sin. And, we would agree that contributing to our salvation is not one of them.

    And, we find no contradiction between salvation by grace through faith in Christ and instruction in Christian living.

    Unfortunately, much of professing Christendom does not believe that there is a distinction between faith and works. Accordingly, many well-meaning people have believed a false gospel that attempts to combine faith and works as the basis for their hope of eternal life. Because of this, many remain lost.

    One of the primary purposes of this ministry is to help those who are confused understand this distinction so that they may turn (or return) to faith in Christ alone for salvation.

  52. mithrandirolorin

    All the confusion comes down to is people thinking verses telling Christians not to Sin equates to some kind of contradiction to Salvation be Faith.

    There are good reason not to Sin, but contributing to our Salvation is none of them.

  53. Holly – This is a good list you provided. I have fallen for these in the past and found myself more confused as to what I should actually believe. If you are badgered as a new believer from many angles with all these different ‘ways’ to understand the Gospel, you will end up in a total state of confusion. It amazes me that more people are not bogged down with such confusion or maybe they just aren’t admitting it. My Dad said to me recently that I need to stick with John 3:16 if confused, for that is the Gospel!

  54. I forgot the most important one…

    8. You must be regenerated before you can believe, because faith, not salvation is the gift spoken of in Eph 2:8-9 according to Calvinists.

  55. I was thinking on this the other day, Satan knows one must believe in order to be saved. So here are some tactics he uses to attack the condition of receiving the free gift — believe.

    1. No mention of the word believe being used in their gospel, it is replaced with commit, surrender, give your life, etc. (I find that more often than I would have thought)

    2. The fact people have simply believed the gospel is challenged with words like greasy grace or easy-believism.

    3. Believe is added to, with works like ‘repent from your sins’, ‘turn from your sins’, be willing to abandon all, etc.

    4. Believe is challenged with, “did you ‘truly’ believe? You must not have because you haven’t done a, b, c, d, or all of the above”.

    5. It may actually be used, i.e., believe on Jesus, He loves you. But the truth of the rest of what one must believe. No gospel to believe.

    6. Believe is challenged with the ‘type’ it must be, ala John MacArthur style. It cannot simply be ‘mental assent’, it must be ‘heart knowledge’, blah, blah, blah….

    7. Believe is actually being mocked. “they think they have been saved just because they believed but have no fruit . First of all, how do they know these poor people don’t have fruit? Just a carnal believer… (Oh wait, I forgot, they don’t believe that there is such a thing — contrary to what the Bible actually tells us).

    I’m sure there are a lot more people could add, I just see a big attack on the one condition of salvation, and people don’t seem to ‘see it’….

  56. Lisa in that context, I think it would be back to believing the testimony of the Father regarding His Son and the free gift of eternal life. We either believe or we do not.

    I think the more people complicate it, the simplicity gets lost. I think of how there is an attack on BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shalt be saved. (but I’ll continue on a separate note)

  57. Lisa, I think you are right – it fits in the context of John 6:40. But, I can see it being misused in other contexts.

  58. Thanks for the feedback John, I guess the definition I found is less accurate, I must say though that I think of John 6:40 when I see it.

    John 6:40King James Version (KJV)

    40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    Blessings, Lisa

  59. Lisa, I don’t think that’s a good definition of repentance, particularly in the context of receiving eternal life.

    Lining up one’s thinking with Gid’s will is something that believers should endeavor to do (see Romans 12:2).

    Repentance means “a change of mind.” In the context of receiving eternal life, repentance means a change of mind from any idea of religion (works) that man may have and to accept God’s way of salvation (grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone).

    I would be very wary of anyone who tries to redefine repentance.

  60. Hello Johninnc and Jack,

    Wasn’t sure where on this site I should put this so I decided to put it here based on the title of this article

    I saw this definition of repent and I thought I’d share it:

    repents, he must align his way of thinking with God’s will instead of his own—
    What are your thoughts?

    In Him, Lisa

  61. Holly, regarding the Pavlovian response to the word “repent”, I think it gets down to whether or not they are trusting in Christ.

    1 John 5:10: ” He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”

    If someone is willing to believe the record that God gave of his Son only if that record is attended by their own works of righteousness (or intent to perform future works), than they haven’t really believed.

    Romans 10:2-3: ” For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 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.”

  62. Great answer John. May I challenge you further? I agree with you.

    How do you get around those who do not understand one bit, the definition of repentance, and every time they hear the word itself, Pavlov’s bell rings, and they salivate. They only hear that you ‘must do’ something else. Obviously the correct definition of repentance is included in believing, otherwise, believe in Jesus Christ for what?

    These Lordship people have not repented, for when they question someone’s salvation, they do not ask, “did you believe the gospel?” They ask, “what signs show that you ARE a true believer and not a false convert? Are you doing THIS and THAT? Their standard of salvation shows they measure by the yardstick of works.

    Thank you for your answer, I have used some of the same examples, also in other books, the big one is Acts 2:38. All of it to me is rooted in unbelief that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and no man shall come to the father but by Him.

    I was just pondering this morning, praying, as one friend I spoke to yesterday, in a Calvinist Baptist church here in town, was rendered ineffective. A new believer, her assurance destroyed, consistently challenged as to whether she is ‘really saved’, she does a good enough job herself in questioning that. I asked what kind of questions they asked, and not one question regarding challenging whether she was saved, included the gospel, and whether she had obeyed it, by believing that Jesus is the Christ. But, after some time, some prayer, some Scripture, yesterday, she reported that the Lord had restored to her the joy of her salvation. I pray she leaves this church with haste…

  63. Holly, I think the book of John is able to show people what they must do to be saved.

    Repentance, in a salvation context, is included in believing. One cannot trust in Christ, while at the same time trusting in something/someone else for salvation.

    Beginning in John 1:17: ” For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

    This affirms that grace did not come by the law, but by Jesus Christ. Anyone who thinks that grace comes by adherence to the law would have to repent (change his mind) to believe that it comes by Jesus Christ.

    In John 3:3, Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again. So, Nicodemus had to repent from whatever confidence he previously held in his works or standing as a Pharisee.

    In John 8:24, Jesus affirms that belief in His deity is essential to salvation. So, if someone did not believe in His deity, they had to repent.

    In John 8:33-39, certain men appear to be basing their hope of salvation on being Abraham’s seed. Jesus’ response indicates that they must repent from this errant view in order to be saved.

    So, I see repentance inextricably linked to belief in Christ throughout the Book of John.

  64. Reblogged this on Redeemingmoments and commented:
    People need to understand the correct definition of repentance. Search the Scriptures to see if these things are so. Read the book of Galatians and John and Romans, get a good solid foundation of what the gospel is in 1 Cor 15.

  65. Thanks John. This made me think of something that I see very often. People cannot explain why the word is left out of John. Not meaning the concept is not obvious within the role of believing and with the correct defining of the word itself, but people seem to get very angry if you say that the book of John is able to show people what they must do to be saved.

    The comments are generally that you must look at the “whole counsel of God” (which I’m for!) but they seem to not answer the reason the book was written (John 20:31) and do not feel that John is complete. Would be interested to hear how you explain to them you are not ‘leaving out’ repentance.

  66. I want to reiterate the official view of this website on the subject of the role of repentance in salvation. We believe repentance is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL in salvation, and that repentance MUST be properly defined.

    Please see excerpt from the expreacherman.com statement of faith, below:

    “Repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Repentance is absolutely essential in salvation and the Greek the word repent means a change of mind — from any idea of religion that man may have, to an acceptance of God’s way of salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct or “turning from sin” to gain or keep, before or after salvation as that would entail a works salvation message. Acts 20:21; II Corinthians 7:8-10; Matthew. 21:32.”

  67. Holly, gotcha! I wasn’t familiar with that history.

  68. Sorry John, I should have qualified, William Tyndale, one of the ones that translated the Bible from Latin into English before Luther, he was standing against the Catholic church, to what degree, I do not know, but supposedly in his desire to re-form the words they were familiar with in English, like penitent and penance, he made the new words, repentant and repentance.

  69. Holly, I am not familiar with Tyndale or Wilkerson, but the concepts above come from someone with whom most free-grace advocates are completely comfortable.

  70. John, I just sent you something on Wilkerson that has some similar comments. The whole link was on repentance, and as usual, he goes and fills in the blanks on all the different meanings for repent, assuring them he has a better understanding I guess of the Greek.

    Wasn’t it Tyndale who first came up with the words that the Catholics used for metanoeo/metanoia (repentance, repent), wanting to change them from penance and penitence as to not identify with them?

  71. In addition to the “turn from sin” or “be willing to turn from sin” crowd, I have encountered another line of thought that “waffles” on what repentance really is. These folks sometimes seem to understand that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but then just CAN’T SEEM TO LEAVE IT ALONE. Here are some of the hallmarks of the “wafflers:

    1. Penitence (sorrow for sin) always accompanies true repentance in a salvation context, even though not technically required for salvation. There is often a reference to 2 Corinthians 7:10 in drawing conclusion.

    My comment: This is theological doublespeak. If something is not required for salvation, but always accompanies it, then it is required. Was the woman at the well penitent?

    2. Penance (restitution) to fellow man always accompanies true repentance in a salvation context, although it is not required for salvation. There is often a reference to Luke 19:8 in drawing this conclusion.

    My comment: Just like with penitence, if penance is not required for salvation, but always accompanies it, it is required.

    Note that James 1:8 says: “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

    Theological doublespeak is the hallmark of a double minded man.

    3. That “sincere” repentance in salvation always spawns ongoing further repentance.

    My comment: I can find no scriptural basis whatsoever in drawing this false conclusion.

    4. That repentance involves a change in attitude toward sin. This involves not just an awareness that one has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but that one must hate his sin in order to be saved.

    My comment: I can find not scriptural basis for drawing this conclusion.

    5. That trusting in Christ requires trusting in Him for eternal life, as well as to change one’s life on earth.

    My comment: This implies that one must agree (commit) to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to change his life in order to receive eternal life. This is no different than saying one must be willing to turn from his sins to be saved.

  72. Tom Cucuzza is doing a series on James. The first installment, from October 20, 2013 has some MUST HEAR information about repentance vs. false repentance. Following is an excerpt. If you don’t have the time or patience to read this excerpt in its entirety, please look at the sections that I have put in bold.

    14:30 – 17:27

    “Well, I thought I had to repent of all my sin.” You can’t repent of all your sin. Number one, what do you mean by repent? Really, it doesn’t even matter. But, the word “repent”, used with salvation means “a change of mind – a change in your thinking.” From trusting in yourself – understanding you can’t save yourself – and understanding Jesus is the only way. That’s repentance in salvation.

    Repentance does not mean to turn from your sin. It says that in the modern dictionaries, but that’s not the Greek word. Metanoeo – meta means “another”; noeo means “the mind.” To “have another mind.” That is literally what it means.

    About what? About believing you could save yourself. And, instead, you understand you can’t save yourself and you put your faith in Christ. That’s Biblical repentance.

    For people to say you have to turn from your sin, that’s you trying to do something to reform your life. That’s works. Well, then people say: “well” – as soon as you get them on that, then they say – “well, you have to be willing to turn from your sins.” What is that? That’s the mindset that I am going to try. What is that? You’re still thinking works for salvation. You’re still thinking works for salvation.

    Friend, salvation does not come until you understand you are helplessly, hopelessly lost. There’s nothing you can do to save yourself. And if God doesn’t do the saving, you’re gonna spend forever in hell. That is when you become a candidate of the grace of God. OK?

    Well don’t you think Christians ought to live right and turn from sin? Yes. But, you said the key word: “Christians”. Not lost people. To say to a lost person “you have to turn from all your sin to go to heaven”, let me ask you a question: Have you turned from all your sin?

    If you go to a church where the pastor says that, go up and ask him sometime – in kindness and humility – say, “pastor, have you turned from all your sin?” See what he says. “Well, I’m trying.” Trying’s not the same as doing it. And, by the way, did you just notice what you said? You are doing what? Trying!

    So, wait a minute! You’re telling me to go to heaven I have to try to turn from all my sins. What is that? That’s works. You’re trying to make it. That’s works. Friend, no! It’s not of works, lest any man should boast. The good news is Jesus did all the work when He died on the cross, and all He asks you to do is to trust in Him that He did that for you. And He gives you everlasting life.

    Now, shouldn’t Christians live right? Yes! Yes, Christians should live right. That’s what James is all about. But, not to get to heaven. It’s because we have the gift of salvation, and we’re going to heaven. That’s grace.

    Don’t put the cart before the horse! You’ll end up in hell!

    Grace. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Not “must” – that would be works. Not “will” – that would be Calvinism. No, it’s should. We should.

  73. Sorry to hear that Jon, and yes, you are blessed, but so was I, and so I very thankful what for what I had, what I have now, even the clogged drains:) and what I will have in the future.

    Everything is for a reason, so I thank Him in the difficulties and even allowing me to see so many deceptions, it’s keeping me proving all things, although I fail and forget and have to humble myself as another in the body catches it for me (for which I’m grateful).

    From yoga in one church, to Brennan Manning being the recommended book reading of the month, another place recommended Thomas Merton, to even this guy uses Henri Nouwen frequently (who denies Christ is the only way). Family members who have chastised me over Billy Graham, a niece defriended me, one of my sisters was very angry at me regarding Rick Warren years ago (I praise God she knows now), and one pastor has decided to use me as a “case study” regarding a conversation we had over Rick Warren. I went straight to the horse’s mouth and told him all the things missing from Warren’s site, yet all the things you could find. He told me that I was a false accuser and a slanderer, and was as a teaching pastor, a card carrying member in good standing at the Baptist church, was going to use me as an example to all of his students being raised up as pastors, to watch out for over-zealous women like me.

    I went from church, to church, to my childhood church offshoot, and to a great Bible study until John Macarthur started being introduced, and now another good Bible study and yet not really having a church. Another person I went to my Christian High School with has a huge church he pastors in the valley, he is a dominionist and on the board of Jewish voice ministries, and I won’t bore you with the details, just more there…

    My one friend who is an atheist finally attended after the death of my husband at the last church I have attended (within the church service itself), I won’t belabor here because others have heard it, it’s just that I had been praying for her for so long and she had no interest in coming, and I think came to be with me during my grief. So I was so thrilled, and yet, this new guy started speaking of “Pastor” Paul Yonggi Cho (of all people), and also Brennan Manning and Philip Yancey and the music minister had recommended a book by Eugene Peterson. I couldn’t hold back the tears, I was sick, it was such a long service it seemed and I know my friend saw me crying as tears were streaming down my face, but thankfully didn’t ask, assuming I am sure that it had to do with losing Gilbert.

    I can’t count, don’t want to even all these incidents. Some in family consider me negative and think I should just concentrate on the gospel. (Which trust me I love, and love to share, through speaking, through my pictures, through whoever will hear). I don’t mind the hurt so much, or loneliness, or patronization, even downright insults, yet here’s the final line with me: If I offend another believer I respect, like you, then I am concerned that too much of me may be surfacing and/or that I am not being prayerful with my words (so forgive yet another long explanation from me).

    That’s just one thing I don’t want to happen, so thank you for believing what I said about my intent.

    What betrayal with your pastor after sharing your own weakness, so sorry. Anyways, we just keep pressing forward…

  74. I’m very sorry for your loss Holly. I can only imagine how hard that must be. I’m very lucky to still have my spouse with me to face the challenges of this life.

    I can relate to being hurt by different churches though. I was given a book to read from the pastor no less. Can’t remember the title but it was by John Bradshaw. From what I remember of it, it combined psychology and new age mysticism. I had an uneasy feeling about it but went along with it thinking it was going to help heal me.(it didn’t) One of the books I regret ever touching. Later on I added my voice to a group in the church voicing concerns over the pastor. In counseling he had advised me to drink alcohol to loosen up and get over my shyness. The church split over this and the pastor was basically paid off to leave. A church elder threatened me to show up to a meeting with the pastor to discuss things “or else”. The pastor never admitted to doing anything wrong to me or anyone else as far as I know. I didn’t go to church much after this.

  75. By the way, I meant to offer that if you, or anyone would like more info on C.S. Lewis’ errors, including his continuing in some of his Catholic practices and beliefs, even to the end. He, like Bonhoeffer, also believed some of the Bible was myth. I basically just do research and try now to keep it so I share with others should they want to know.

  76. Jon, my intentions, trust me, were not to be thinking anything other than gratefulness at having His Word to test these things, and answered prayer of people to go to for advice.

    Many times I wish that I still had the benefit of a husband to go to for advice about things like this, or even my two clogged drains today and yesterday. But our lives all progress differently, people go to be with Him earlier than we wish, or maybe some get divorced when they didn’t want to, or some never had the blessing. Maybe the Lord has taken over in that area to help me.

    One thing I think in living in an area with a great amount of deception in my town, I have no one to tell, but Him about my troubles in this area, at least not much locally. So, I started “proving all things”, just one at a time. For whatever reason our lives are different in other areas, all I can say is that again I have nothing except for what He chooses to give me and I desire His will, and when I don’t, I desire He helps me want to want to do the right thing.

    I can only encourage you to check on your wive’s behalf too, you have a wonderful blessing, since there are two of you to be together, to pray together and to discuss these things, and to dig together.

    I have been hurt deeply by error in my churches, and have had to move more than once, and have had to speak when others would not, when they stayed silent. More than once as a widow to the pastor, more than once to many a pastor, and more than once to a Bible teacher. I will tell you I was not well received, and I think if husband was still alive it would have been a different matter, but no matter, He is with me and He loves me and will take care of me.

    So I guess for me, I have to try twice as hard to make sure I have the answer right before I speak not having the multitude of counsel (plus just all the distractions of kids, work, and being the one they rely on), and it’s not easy trust me.

    I do not mean to make you feel badly, just know, it’s different for all of us in different areas, we’re going to miss, and I don’t know how I appeared to sound, but didn’t mean a thing by it. I wasn’t even to come back today, but felt maybe I should answer should I need to. God bless you all.

  77. I am sorry Holly if I misjudged your intentions also. You are a very sincere and kind person and I appreciate your comments on this site.

  78. My intent was not to be harsh to anyone. I thought of how discouraged my wife might feel if she read some of the previous posts and it upset me. I’m grateful for any amount of discernment the Lord has given me, even if it’s not much. I’m not a Lewis devotee by any stretch, but I don’t see any conclusive evidence put forth to condemn him either. One unsubstantiated quote is all I’ve seen here so far. I’m not familiar with all his work but I’ve never heard that quote before. I was however more concerned about my wife than Lewis.(granted no one here intentionally sought to hurt her feelings.)
    John, I very much appreciate your continued determination to witness without being strident or proud. I hope I can do the same.I know I am not immune to pride any more than anyone else. I also appreciated Terry’s testimony very much. I too have experienced God’s beautiful Grace when i expected His punishment instead. I certainly have nothing against gratitude if that is all that people were trying to express. I also very much agree with Jack that books are not in any way equal to Scripture.

  79. Terry,

    Welcome!! We are happy to have you here.

    We likewise appreciate your growth, discernment and understanding of God’s Word. We pray you will continue to read and comment at ExP.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  80. John thank you for your comment . I agree with Califgracer & Holly.
    If it seemed like I was bragging or being puffed up that was not my intent. Through experience many years ago I learned of God’s Grace without works! At first like some others I tried to please God by works , but missed the important lesson about his Grace! I would always hear Faith without works is dead( James 2:14-26) So when I fell & expected The Lord to punished me ( just like my earthly father would) The Lord showed me Grace! I was amazed ! That’s when the Holy Spirit revealed to me God’s love towards me in spite of my performance! Grace had nothing to do with me but Jesus ! When the Father looks at me He sees His Son Jesus! I know I’m saved by Grace & Grace alone! I work not to be saved but because I’m saved! What I’m trying to say is the discernment was there, I just couldn’t put what The Lord allowed to take place into words. I’m glad The Lord uses you & others to make it clear so that we can pass it on to others of like faith. Not puffed up, have elitism or bragging, just someone who Loves Jesus & does not want by the Grace of God to be ignorant of His Word!

  81. Jon,

    Thanks for your note. Sorry you took the various statements by your friends here at ExP as anything other than helpful. It was certainly not the intent of anyone here to offend.

    Though it is a false assumption, I understand your charge of “elitism.” You should understand that God does not cherish one believer over another. However, every believer in Jesus Christ is unique and, we pray, should be at increasing stages of growth in God’s Word and discernment. Everyone’s knowledge and application of Scripture differs – but the Lord, through His Holy Spirit guides every believer to Truth. However that guidance is ineffective if we don’t recognize it or if we ignore His leading.

    No doubt some here read many books by a myriad of authors, some Christian, some secular and some pretending to be Christian.

    The problem is when we consider books as Christian doctrine equal with or supplemental to God’s Word.

    Our purpose here at ExP is to share the Truth of God’s Word in love and warn that there is error in the world of “Christianity.” Be prepared for it, recognize it and avoid it.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  82. Jon, I do not know much about CS Lewis, but as for Spurgeon, I am ecstatic that the Holy Spirit led me to recognize his blatant errors regarding the Gospel.

    There have been errors from other sources that I either haven’t been aware of or haven’t recognized that have been lovingly pointed out to me by several of the contributors to this website.

    I know that any spiritual discernment that I have did not come from me. However, sometimes I find myself amazed that other people cannot see what I see as blatant errors. I try to remind myself that it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I understood that salvation was the Gift of God, apart from any commitments to reformation on my part. I also pray that I will witness, on ExPreacherman and elsewhere, without being strident or proud, but with the proper motive of concern for brothers and sisters in Christ and for the lost.

  83. Jon, I will clarify that I liked some of many who have been in error, so I don’t dare to say that I have any better position than another, and I don’t even know what to say, for me personally, I really know I have nothing except that He gave it to me, just as He does to others, we all have differing gifts too, and need each other. Forgive me personally if I seemed that way, I mean that sincerely. God bless you and your wife.

  84. Are you serious Jon? I don’t sense any spirit of bragging on anyone’s part. Just simple gratitude. And the charge of “elitism” is awfully harsh, don’t you think?

  85. My wife likes CS Lewis. I wonder why God didn’t see fit to ‘protect’ my wife from his influence? Are some people just more cherished and therefore protected by God? I can certainly think of many books I read in the past that I now wish I hadn’t. I struggle to see the point of bragging about not reading this author or that author. Warning people is one thing, but this seems like just a different kind of elitism to me.

  86. All I can say right now is Wow! Thank You Holy Spirit for opening my eyes as well as allowing me to understand 30 years later why I never wanted to read CS Lewis or lately any of Spurgeon Morning and Evening Devotions. Again like I said to Holly G. I just couldn’t point my finger on it! Also everytime I would get a CSLewis book I would give it away. Didn’t understand back then why. I just wanted to read the book of Revelation! 30 yrs ago I was a babe in Christ. But I have to say the screwtape letters were Interesting and kind of amusing (well at least the part (s) that came to mind at this moment:) Again Thank you guys for not wanting others to be ignorant of “Thus Said The Lord!”

  87. Loadshippers…a perfectly descriptive term, Holly!

    “But what if you don’t pick up, or when he writes, you allow someone else to read the letters and synopsize for you what he said? Are you really sure those were His Words even if you trust the person? What if they didn’t really tell you what he said, in fact, said some things that didn’t quite sound like him, but it’s been so long since you’ve heard his voice, you just don’t know.”

    This really brings it home. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a person who can’t relate to that one. Great analogy.

  88. Jack wrote: “It seems as if the “Religious Elite,” the “Black Robed Theologians Above Reproach,” the “High Order Church Calvinists” and most Lordship salvationists are the ones who vociferously promote them.”

    That is so true. There is some kind of “magisterium” that tries to force everyone to be in compliance with it. And it promotes its own. But thank the Lord, the veil was torn. 🙂

  89. If I had any Spurgeon books to toss out, I would want to write warnings inside, just in case someone went dumpster diving for them.

  90. Jack
    You made me laugh and also think of a couple of things when you said this.

    It seems as if the “Religious Elite,” the “Black Robed Theologians Above Reproach,” the “High Order Church Calvinists” and most Lordship salvationists are the ones who vociferously promote them. Then others fall in line following blindly and religiously, just to be hip before religious hip was hip.

    Chuckling…the things that flew to my mind… blind leading the blind into a ditch, the emperor with no clothes, the pied piper… just so many things came to mind, they are afraid to say “wait a minute, you’re naked”, because if everyone else see’s clohes on the emperor, who are they to say the obvious? It takes a child… 🙂

    It’s a false sense of security, they feel I guess more pious, more spiritual, and feel safer in the pack, but they may not realize it’s a wolf pack.

    Seriously though, I surely thank the Lord for His goodness to me, to protect me from those false teachings, and to forgive me for my laziness to seek Him through other men’s writings (not that you can’t read a book), vs. spending time abiding in His Word.

    But I talk to my daughters, and I give them this (along with other) examples. If you fall in love with a man, (my first is getting married Sept 7th) but he has to go away for awhile, and when he calls, don’t you want to pick up each time? But what if you don’t pick up, or when he writes, you allow someone else to read the letters and synopsize for you what he said? Are you really sure those were His Words even if you trust the person? What if they didn’t really tell you what he said, in fact, said some things that didn’t quite sound like him, but it’s been so long since you’ve heard his voice, you just don’t know. And what if these same people tell you how close they are to him, even closer than you, should you listen to them?

    I told them, I’m answering the phone. I’m going to read, actually scour the letters myself, and more than once. When you love someone, you study them, you listen to them, you figure out what they like, and you figure out who they are, you get understanding of them. I tell them it’s your relationship with Him, and you should not trust someone else over His own Words. And if you don’t know what He’s said, you can be fooled….

  91. John – please forgive me too, I was so positive I answered you yesterday, but thank you always for your prayers for me, for others as we contend for the truth, for the faith, defending the gospel and laboring together in the harvest. I sure appreciate you all, and thank God for you all.

  92. Abe – et tu?

    I really tried to like C.S. Lewis, I bought the Screwtape letters back in the late 70’s and I also tried a few more books, and there was no assurance, yet a sense of being sure of himself, yet his words belied his seeming confidence.

    I think I long since got rid of his books, though the ones I’ve run across, I’ve tried to keep and mark “false” for reference, but after a time… no room. Well meaning friends when my husband died, one gave me a book by C.S. Lewis on grief. When he was sick, TWO gave me the Purpose Drivel life…

    Same response to that one. Opened it up, read a page or two, and thought, nope, later… 🙂 Later never came, I threw one away, and then I realized, find that other one, because it’s amazing the people who will tell you that you have taken something he said out of context, those SAME people who don’t care about context. 🙂

  93. Jim, I just now saw your post, I apologize, I don’t know how I missed it. I agree completely with you about #7 usually being the biggest hurdle to overcome with them, along with context, seems as if they will never address context, yet I will, and then I try to remember to be in prayer.

    Another time, one used Acts 2:37 (being “pricked in their heart”, or in her version “cut to the heart”,) to prove the level of remorse they felt.

    I thought of the similar examples in Acts 5 with the group with Gamaliel, and Acts 7 with Stephen. The difference is, when the truth cut them to the heart, were the responses. Or so that is how I see it. In Acts 2, they wanted to know what they should do once they realized their unbelief. After being told of their resistance to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, the Prophet, after seeing all His miracles that testified that He was the Messiah. Having just seen the current miracle of Pentecost being the prophecy spoken of in Joel 2. Peter reiterating that Jesus was the prophet that David spoke about, that God raised up, that they all witnessed, the promise of the Holy Spirit poured out which they just saw.

    And the final straw…that God made Jesus who they crucified, both Lord and Christ (tell that to the Loadshippers* > God made Him Lord) – *I call that that for the load too heavy to bear, and also for trying to front load and back load the gospel….

    But the men in Acts 5 (after hearing the truth) still were hardened in unbelief and sought to kill them when the truth (The Word of God) cut them. The men in Acts 7 wouldn’t/couldn’t bear to hear any more truth, and stopped their ears and rushed Stephen and stoned him with Paul looking on.

    The first group’s response was to believe because they “gladly received His Word”….

  94. Holly and Abe,

    One wonders why anyone can adore Spurgeon and CS Lewis if they really analyze and understand what they have written/spoken.

    It seems as if the “Religious Elite,” the “Black Robed Theologians Above Reproach,” the “High Order Church Calvinists” and most Lordship salvationists are the ones who vociferously promote them. Then others fall in line following blindly and religiously, just to be hip before religious hip was hip.

    Obviously, we see a follow-the-leader mentality from folks who fall in line without comparing scripture with the totality of what Spurgeon, Lewis and their acolytes are really saying. .

    Just so thankful the Lord guided both of you away from their influence.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  95. Hi Abe and Holly,

    Thanks for your testimonies. I remember in seminary there was an entire set of Spurgeon Sermons in the library. I perused several of them and couldn’t make much sense of any of them. I just wrote the experience off as, “Oh well, he spoke a hundred years ago in another country using archaic verbiage;” so I just left the books alone after that. Maybe, as you say, God was protecting me too.

  96. “I thought something was seriously wrong with me, first I felt guilty for not liking them like everyone else just LOVED Spurgeon. Why didn’t I?”

    The same thing happened to me. I have never gotten anything from Spurgeon, he always annoyed me, and so it always perplexed me, I just thought I was the “unenlightened and simple-minded one”, and everyone else was infinitely more spiritual than me and could understand what I can’t understand.

    The same thing happened again to me with CS Lewis. I’ve never seen the allure of him, the appeal of him, and it had initially bothered me, since everyone else had quoted him across the board. Until I read Lewis’ comments he made, things like “some people are slowly ceasing to be Christians”, and other comments that sounded like purgatory support and water baptism regeneration. Then I realized, like you did, that God was protecting me from Spurgeon and Lewis.

  97. Jack, btw, we’ve all been deceived, so I try to show them mercy, so many YEARS I got Charles Spurgeon devotionals…

    I thought something was seriously wrong with me, first I felt guilty for not liking them like everyone else just LOVED Spurgeon. Why didn’t I? Why didn’t I understand him, his points seemed to be all over the place, I don’t know how to describe it, but I can only assume it was the Lord’s tender mercy to protect me. All the church ladies loved it, and I couldn’t reconcile it in my mind. After awhile, I didn’t attempt to even read them, because they just seemed “off” or I was, and I couldn’t do it anymore, I finally couldn’t stand to see them come into my email so I stopped my subscription. This was before I knew even.

    Now, I try to encourage people to get into His Word and dump the devotionals and words of men… I get beat up for some things but praise God someone usually hears at some point and if not, well hopefully I’m being refined.

    I’m still going to make mistakes, sometimes I ask the Lord, do you still want me speaking, am I to do this?

    I just want people to know Him, and they are not going to with that broad way of a laundry list of do’s and don’ts… And if I see someone taking a sip of something poisonous, I just can’t help but tell them STOP!!!

  98. I’ll spare you all the long message, but I did share Acts 16:30-31, and John 3:36; 5:24 and much of John 6 that I love, 28-29, 37, 40, 47 and told her at the end of my post;

    ….but I’ll tell you in love, this is not the gospel, and not the correct definition of repentance. God bless….

  99. My friend thanked me, and deleted the post. I thank you all for your prayers, it was a precious moment for me. Another one thanked me for the clarity, and so I know people are praying.

    Jack – I find them on the mission field 🙂 lol!

    My old friends at the (FEEL FREE TO DELETE)>(p a t h o f t r u t h) “discernment ministries” sent me something on Francis Chan yesterday. I didn’t know I was on their “list”…

    They were the ones right after my husband died, I was doing my “proving” on Francis Chan, and found their site. They were using the “message” so I didn’t read further, but did shoot them a short note and asked why.

    I got a condescending note back with two people on the email, and when I responded back, I added several trusted friends. Thankfully. They had researched me on FB and saw that my husband had died and they told me that God had killed him. They read my parent’s mission journal and said God had given my mom cancer and my dad a stroke, because none of us had the Holy Spirit in us. Why do I tell you this?

    I find them wherever I go. They hate us. It’s not always apparent, but it makes me love the body of Christ so much, the true fellowship you find…

  100. Holly, I have prayed for you in your discussions with your friend. I know I have posted these a couple of times before, but following are some excerpts from one of my favorite Tom Cucuzza sermons:

    Minutes 2:03-3:33


    “You notice it says ‘if our gospel be hid it is hid to them that are lost.’ And you notice how they’re blind. Satan is blinding them. Now, how does Satan blind people to the truth of the Gospel? Can I tell you this? Unfortunately, friends, he does it through the pulpits of America and through the Word.

    Because, for generations, for generations – really for all of history – most people have been saying that you go to Heaven through religion of one kind or another. You go to Heaven through rituals. You go to Heaven through ordinances, or sacraments, or good works of one kind or another. And what that does – see people automatically want to believe the authority and so what that does is it leads people astray, into something that’s false and they believe that.

    And then, when someone comes along with the true Gospel of Grace, that says your sins have been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ, once and for all, and that all you can do to be saved is to put your faith in Him, trust in Him as your Savior, they say this: ‘I can’t believe that. That’s too easy. That’s easy believism. That’s cheap grace.’ And all these kind of lines that they come up with. ‘You can’t tell me it’s a gift. You can’t tell me that you can put your faith in Christ as your Savior and, no matter what, you’re going to Heaven. You can’t tell me that’.

    Why would a person say that? I’ll tell you why, because they have been blinded by Satan.

    Minutes 21:38-23:34


    This is why the Lord rejects any attempt at us earning our salvation through good works or reformation. This is why you hear these people say: ‘well, what Christ did is important, but you have to be willing to turn from all your sins.’ Okay. ‘Write that in the contract!’ Okay. ‘You got to put that in there – these are the things you’re agreeing to in your purchase agreement here.’

    No dear friend! Paid in full. ‘Well Christ it is partner – you gotta be sorry. You gotta promise to change. You gotta promise this, you gotta promise that. You gotta get baptized. Well Christ it is partner. It’s a free gift, but if you don’t walk forward, you can’t be saved. Cause, cause you know, Billy Graham used to say ‘everybody Jesus called He called publically’.’

    Well, you haven’t read your Bible lately. Sorry Mr. Graham. Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. The woman at the well – it was one-on-one with the woman at the well. No-one came till later. Those were personal, one-on-one things.

    Let’s believe God. Okay. Listen, you don’t have to walk forward to be saved, you don’t have to raise your hand to be saved, you don’t have to do anything but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll be saved. That’s the condition. The sole condition- it’s simply to believe.

    Again, this is why the Lord rejects any attempt at us earning our salvation through good works or reformation.

    Salvation is not a bi-lateral contract. That’s why this so called ‘Lordship salvation’ being preached today by people like Piper, and MacArthur, and Sproul, and all these other people – that’s why it is a damning, false message. Because it is adding to the condition of salvation – which is Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It’s the only way you’re saved. It’s not a bi-lateral contract. It’s unilateral! It’s God saying: ‘I promise you this’.”

    [audio src="http://northlandchurch.com/2011/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/VOA-MP3-Message0266-Hebrews20.mp3" /]

  101. Holly,

    The preacher obviously will never change his false messages.

    No one can be saved with that message. Does your friend claim she is saved, yet she believes that teaching? Does she add up to his false requirements?

    I think your friend should understand the simple “change one’s mind” definition of repentance and that will destroy that “pastor’s” fake arguments.

    (Where do you find these folks?)

    Praying for right now,.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  102. 1 and 2 do not support that view. 3 is not about conversion. 4, 5, 6 Does not support the view. Actually the free grace definition of repentance fits with 1 2 4 5 and 6. The idea is to think after or think again (change your mind). 7 is not about conversion. Most of your debate will center around 7. The key is the context and comparing scripture with scripture. Besides – how can a sinner have Godly sorrow anyway? In my experience, those seeing this as a salvation verse or salvation principle will not easily see their error. It will take much prayer.

    Jim F

  103. I sure thought of you all here when I had to answer a friend when she posted this guy’s “preaching” on Repentance.

    HE SAID: (going to see if I can format)

    DO WE EVERY HEAR THE WORD REPENT ANYMORE?

    RE: Acts17:30 he said, “This is God’s direct clear command to all people ,’Now is the time to repent.'”

    Then he defines REPENT.
    >>>> People must face the ugliness of their sins ,
    >>>> turn from their sins
    >>>> run to the Cross .

    HE THEN DEFINES WHAT IS NECESSARY TO BE SAVED.
    >>>Repentance with godly sorrow for your sins against God is the 1st essential step toward the Lord in order to be saved.
    >>>There is no true salvation without repentance .
    >>>> You must be honest
    >>>> humble yourself before God
    >>>> depart from iniquity
    >>>> and surrender to the Risen Savior.

    HIS DEFINITION FOR CONFESSION:
    >>> To acknowledge our sin to God means that we are ready to ABANDON our sin and turn to God for forgiveness .
    >>>> To confess our sins is not a ‘half-hearted’ confession .
    >>>> No, it is a confession based on a deep conviction of our sins (by the Holy Spirit he says)
    >>>> be fully prepared to do whatever it takes to rid ourselves of them by the enabling grace of God !

    HERE HE DETERMINES WHO IS NOT SAVED.
    Careless sinners who are not under any conviction of sin, who come to an altar and mouth a sinners prayer are not converted and still are careless sinners.The must be awakened sinners! They must be ‘convicted sinners’ who realize they are under the wrath of God but in His love He sent Christ to die on the Cross so they could be saved from sin.

    HE SAYS>>>>No repentance equals no true conversion!

    HIS PROOF TEXTS…
    1.Acts 3:19
    2.Acts 20:21
    3.2nd Tim .2:19′
    4.Mark1:15
    5.Mark 2:17
    6.Luke 15:10
    7.2nd Cor.7:10

    I answered, but I need prayer as I know you all do in this battle, it is the enemy always trying to distort the truth of the gospel, to corrupt the simplicity that is in Christ, to accuse the brethren day and night… Thankful for you all…

  104. The word repentance is kind of tricky, since it has taken on so many meanings since it first meant a changing of mind or turning. Just turning to the Lord to be saved is repentance by that definition, but is sure isn’t by the definition of so many over the millenia. And turning to the Lord IS turning from sin, if we are turning to Him as He is, otherwise we might be turning to Molech or Diana instead. So an acknowledgement that we are sinners and that He is Holy that is inherent in turning to Him as He is. The problem comes in when they try to say that there is a certain level of recognition of your sin, or that there is a certain level of renouncing sin, or of even gaining victory over sin, that is required to even become saved. If we could do all that for ourselves, we wouldn’t need to be saved!

  105. Just a point,

    Please, all of us pray for all of us — to be bold with the Gospel, being complete and accurate as we share it, whether here or in person.
    Likewise that the Holy Spirit will bring appropriate Scripture to mind. (The Lord knows I need His prompting)!

    We sure do appreciate you guys…

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  106. Amen. 🙂 Thank you, John.

  107. And, I have prayed that you will be effective in sharing the Gospel.

    John

  108. Thanks Pearl! I understand and agree with your points regarding the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, and with the exhortation for new believers to feast on the milk of the Word.

  109. I agree with you that I would not attempt to communicate this to an unbeliever, but should I be honored enough to effectively share the gospel and witness a new birth, I would not neglect to leave this important truth unsaid.

    I hope this clears up any confusion.

  110. Hi John.

    My emphasis was that being sealed by the Holy Spirit is not soley for securing the believer, but to convey to the the believer that the Holy Spirit is now the Source of the Christian life. This is not in additionto the gospel, but the “rest” of it.

    No mention of expectations, no demands given: only the exhortation for the newborn babe to feast on the milk of the Word, wherein the Lord will take care of His own.

  111. All great comments. I think that, in presenting the Gospel to unbelievers, the focus needs to be on presenting the plan of salvation from the penalty of sin by the acceptance of God’s Grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

    Dr. Lewis S. Chafer, in his article entitiled “Preaching the Gospel in its Accuracy” had this to say:

    “The practice of confusing the Gospel with the manner of life a person should live after he is saved, is calculated not only to distract the attention of the unsaved from the Gospel, but to defeat the very power and effect of it. I cannot too stongly urge that God is not calling on the unsaved to adopt a manner of life, but He is offering them His gift, which is eternal life. Nor should the truth be overlooked that the unsaved have no spiritual capacity by which they can face the problems of a Christian’s daily life. Those problems belong to a Spirit-guided mind and demand for their solution the presence of those new desires, which come with regeneration”

  112. Pearl,

    Thanks so much!! That is great advice for all of us.

    Jewel,

    Every believer should walk in newness of life bearing much fruit for our Savior. Christ Himself said:
    Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples[learners, pupils or followers]. John 15:8

    Bearing fruit, being a Disciple to other believers, and service for our Savior is all voluntary — not a requirement before, during or after believing in Jesus for eternal life.. but is a wonderful and exciting privilege of being a Child of God by faith. This precious Bible doctrine of serving our Savior is terribly twisted by those who teach and advocate a false repentance and Lordship “salvation” message.

    We Believers in Jesus Christ are complete in Him.

    And as Pearl wrote, “He [The Lord] has given you all you need to grow in grace and truth and knowledge.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  113. Morning all,

    I wanted to address Jewel’s question,

    I heard that a sinner can trust god for salvation and live how he wants and still go to heaven as salvation is a free gift with no conditions. Not sure that is a true statement.

    This is where I hold the firm conviction, Jewel, that only half the gospel is presented about 99% of the time. First, Romans 6 begins with this rhetorical question,

    “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
    Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
    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.” Romans 6:1-4

    All throughout the gospels, Jesus tells us that without Him we can do nothing. We cannot save ourselves, nor can we live the Christian life (as a few preachers I’ve read have rightly noted, it is a sheer impossibility). The gospel has a twofold purpose: to reconcile us to God the Father through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross and to impart to us His Spirit wherein we continue on in faith by yielding our bodies to Him that His Life may be expressed through us.

    The latter part is where all kinds of false teaching creeps in and heeps upon the redeemed soul needless guilt and self-examiniation. The best way I can advise one as to how to bear fruit (remember, HE is the vine, we are the branches – without Him we can do nothing) is to simply grow in grace and truth, attributes of Jesus Christ Himself. In other words, get to know Him! And by learning more about Him, one can’t help but to love Him. I am convinced that by drawing near to Him, He takes care of the rest, just as Moses spent much time on the mountain, he came down with a glow in his face, the reflected beauty of the Lord.

    So what ought you read to get to know Jesus? The King James Bible. It is all about Him. Ask the Lord to show you and teach you more about Himself. He has given you all you need to grow in grace and truth and knowledge.

  114. Jewel, you said:

    “I heard that a sinner can trust god for salvation and live how he wants and still go to heaven as salvation is a free gift with no conditions. Not sure that is a true statement.”

    Jewel, in order to have eternal life, someone needs to know that :

    1. All people are lost, separated from God, due to sin, and in need of God’s salvation.
    2. The penalty of sin is death (eternal separation from God)
    3. One must be perfect to go to Heaven
    4. Man can do nothing to obtain the perfection necessary to satisfy God.
    5. God provided Jesus Christ as the sin bearer for man, in order that man might be reconciled to Him. Jesus Christ is the Eternal God who became a man, who died for the sins of mankind and who was raised from the dead.
    5. Salvation is the gift of God, available to anyone who accepts God’s gift of salvation (eternal life) through belief in Jesus Christ alone as his personal Savior.

    There are no conditions, other than belief. Please see John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8, among many other verses that make this explicitly clear!

  115. I read charlie bings thesis on lordship and the part on repentance.
    He said that repent means a change of heart and moral attitude .
    It’s an inner change that as a sinner can do . It’s not an action so does not see it as a work but a change on the inner which should show in actions . A sinner when realizing he is a sinner separated from god through
    sin and recognizes his need for forgiveness which is free by beleving on jesus as saviour alone, he will have a change of heart about sin which usually results in a change of action. Also he said that when we trust jesus as saviour we automatically are changing our heart about sin. Thank you for your imput sorry to mention this again but it confuses me. I heard that a sinner can trust god for salvation and live how he wants and still go
    to heaven as salvation is a free gift with no conditions. Not sure that is a true statement. Personally I received jesus as saviour at a young age . Not receiving much teaching as my parents were catholics I didn’t hear the gospel again for four years later. I started to grow at that age through
    good bible studies. But came across this repentance issue and it caused me untold doubt. I felt I had to prove i had repented and when I heard that repenting wasn’t necessary for salvation just trust in jesus it set me free. Not to sin but to grow.

    ..

  116. I meant to end the previous post with a period, not a comma. My point was that to accept Christ necessarily involves turning from any other confidence.

  117. Jewel, my personal testimony is that in order to come to faith in Christ, I had to repent. The thing I had to repent from was thinking that God required me to turn from my sins and commit my life to Him in order to be saved.

    In other words, prior to being saved, I had inserted myself into the equation – thus rejecting salvation God’s way. I had viewed salvation as faith in Christ plus me “doing my part”. The trouble was, I could never “do my part” very well, particularly since I still had not trusted in Christ – alone.

    Late last year, I realized that eternal life was God’s gift, and not part of a trade,

  118. Below is the salient excerpt from Bing’s article:

    “In relation to eternal salvation, repentance is not a second step or condition. Salvation is always through faith alone in Christ alone. But sometimes there appears to be an overlap between faith and repentance (cf. Mark 1:15; Luke 5:32; 24:47; Acts 11:18; 17:30, 34; 2 Peter 3:9). Since faith is being persuaded that something is true, when one is persuaded (believes), there is a change of mind and heart. Repentance is the more general concept, for a person can change his or her heart about something, even God or sin, but not be saved. When one believes the gospel, he is convinced of something he was not formerly convinced of, thus he has had a change of mind or heart about who Jesus is and what He has promised about eternal life, and his own condition relative to that (cf. Acts20:21). Faith involves repentance, but repentance does not always involve faith.”

    Regarding Acts 26:20, the context in verses 21-23 is helpful:

    21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.

    22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

    23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

    From Clear Gospel Campaign:
    “In verses 22 and 23, Paul notes that the only thing he proclaimed was that Christ should suffer and should rise from the dead and show light unto the people, and unto the Gentiles. Once again, saving repentance is equivalent to believing the gospel message.”

  119. Hi Jewel,

    Thank you for joining us today and for your comments. You are always welcome.

    Regarding Charlie Bing’s comments, I read his “GraceNotes # 22” article on repentance and I did not see him make the statement “an inner change from sin which will produce an outer change (fruit).” He does, however, indicate that, as a general rule, a change of heart/mind will usually result in a change in conduct, although it does not necessitate such a change. Charlie says on page 2 of his article, “Linguistically, a change of heart [metanoia] does not demand a change in conduct, though that is what is normally expected from an inner change. The Bible distinguishes between the inner change of repentance and the outer conduct it motivates.” His final conclusion statement of his article is salient, “In general, a good translation of metanoia is to have a change of heart. But since this is awkward, we are probably left with the word repentance. Its exact meaning must be clarified by context. In any case, as an inner change, repentance is in no way a work that merits salvation. Inner repentance can always be distinguished from its outward acts, though one is the cause of the other. In preaching the gospel, believe is certainly the more normative, predominate, and specific word to use.”

    To view Charlie Bing’s full article, see:

    http://www.gracelife.org/resources/gracenotes/gracenotes22.pdf

  120. Jewel,

    We sure appreciate you dropping by and commenting.

    If you have studied our posts on repentance, you will understand that the word repent is “metanoeo” meaning to think differently or change one’s mind. It certainly applies here where Paul speaks in Acts 26:20:
    But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”

    There are three things they should do:
    1) should Repent – change their minds.
    2) should then Turn their minds to God. (infers believe in Jesus Christ)
    3) should now do works suitable (meet) for that change of mind.

    I have not read Bing’s article — but any future promise or IOU to do good works to secure salvation is incorrect teaching. Knowing of Charlie Bing and his Free Grace theology, I cannot believe that is what he believes.

    We know that adding anything to the finished work of Jesus Christ for salvation is incorrect teaching.

    We should do good works after trusting Christ as our Savior, not to be saved but because we are saved. Ephesians 2:10

    I pray this helps. Maybe others will add to the thought.. or followup with a question if you wish.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  121. hi i have been reading your posts on repentance. I wondered if anyone
    knew what paul was saying in acts 26 when it says repent turn to god
    and bring fruit worthy of repentance. Charlie bing mentioned it in his
    article on repentance as a inner change from sin which will produce an
    outer change (fruit) But then that would still be an i.o.u. In other articles
    he says the opposite that grace is free without any promises to turn from sin
    or making an commitment. I know we certainly should turn from sin after we
    are saved out of thankfulness for gods free gift of salvation, but not to earn
    salvation. Does anyone know what paul was talking about in acts 26?

  122. To all regular viewers:

    Disregard link back to the same post. Link made in error.

  123. Hi Stone,

    Thanks for the link and the statements about repentance. John and Jack gave some well thought out responses. I don’t need to add to their comments.

    Regarding quotations from GES, yes, we are cautious about posting anything from their site. Some of their older articles might be acceptable.

  124. I don’t think it is quibbling, It seems like one must, at some point, come to faith in Christ – alone. Belief in Christ does imply replacement of belief in idols, or anything else,

  125. Jack, I like being able to examine doctrine together. Here’s Cocoris’ definition:

    “In the New Testament, the Greek words “repent” and “repentance” mean, “to change one’s mind.” The object of what people are changing their minds about is determined by the context. The message of repentance is preached to unbelievers and believers.”

    I’m cautious with GES given the Crossless “gospel” controversy.

  126. Stone,

    I disagree with the Anderson article at the Grace Evangelical Society.. as I disagree with so much that they stand for now (or don’t stand for).

    Anderson is straining to make repentance fit a preconceived notion to “make it fit” his statement, “We suggest this meaning: an internal resolve to turn from one’s sins. We think this meaning will make good sense in every NT use.” fits John’s IOU explanation. Repent simply does not mean to turn from sin.

    Cocoris’ statement, “change their minds from believing in idols and the sins of idol worship to trusting Jesus Christ.” is close — but believing in Christ comes and replaces the belief in idols. He implies we must, in effect, do the work of abandoning one to gain the other. Grace says eternal life/salvation is there and available, just take the Gift, no charge. But, maybe I am nit-picking and quibbling.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  127. Jack, I found this 1998 journal article online. Here’s the last sentence proir to the conclusion:

    “Yet if repentance is more than a “change of mind” but less than an observable turning from sins, what is it? We suggest this meaning: an internal resolve to turn from one’s sins. We think this meaning will make good sense in every NT use.”

    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1998i/Anderson.html

    John, thanks for the input. I found this online:

    Repentance: The Most Misunderstood Word in the Bible by G. Michael Cocoris.

    “The author of the book of Revelation certainly was not saying people had to turn from their sin in order to be saved, because if that is what he meant he would be repudiating everything he said in the Gospel of John and what he said at the end of this book. He concluded this volume with these words, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev 22:17). The Greek word translated “freely” means, “without cost.” John would not say that people had to do something in order to be saved and in the same book say that it is without cost. He would say, however, that people had to change their minds from believing in idols and the sins of idol worship to trusting Jesus Christ.”

  128. Stone,

    Good questions and John gave some good answers.
    Just as a quick matter of doctrine. In virtually every case in the NT, the word “Repent” and its derivatives are translated from the Greek word, “metanoeo” meaning “a change of mind” or “to think differently.” In salvation, a change of mind to the belief that Jesus IS the only Savior and trusting Him.
    In Rev. 16:11 “and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they repented not of their works.”

    All “religions,” blasphemers, etc believe their works will give them eternal life or satisfaction before their gods — thus in Rev 16:11 they refused to change their minds of their works they were depending on.

    You may take almost every NT verse that contains “repent” (depending on the syntax) and substitute “change of mind” and it will be complete and accurate Bible doctrine.. Note: It never means turning from sins, change of life, etc as so many churches and preachers teach today.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  129. Stone, if you are asking whether the internal resolve to turn from sin is a requirement for salvation, I believe the answer is no. If turning from sins is a work, then the inward resolve to turn from sin would be an IOU for a work – that is, the promise of future works.

  130. Rev. 9:20 The people refusing to repent are those not killed by the plagues. They are refusing to repent from idolatry (the work of their hands). This is, in effect, the rejection of Jesus as Lord. Hence, these men would not repent unto saving faith.

    Rev. 9:21 The same people referred to in verse 20, having rejected Christ, also refuse to repent from evil deeds.

    It appears that these men fail to accept Christ. However, the consequence of their lack of repentence is not, in either case, clearly set forth in the passage. The only immediate consequence that can be gleaned from the context is God’s temporal judgement in continuuing the plagues.

    Rev. 16:9 The subjects who refuse to repent are described as men who have the mark of the beast, men who had shed the blood of saints, and men who had blasphemed God. They are refusing to give God glory, suggesting that God is the object about whom they are refusing to repent. It appears that the specific sin of which they refuse to repent is to believe in in God and honor the Son.

    This passage does not teach or suggest that one must “repent of his sins” to be eternally saved. The consequence of failing to repent in this section is temporal wrath.

  131. Here are the verses:

    Rev. 9:20 And the rest of mankind, who were not killed with these plagues, repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and the idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and of wood; which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk:
    Rev. 9:21 and they repented not of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
    Rev. 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat: and they blasphemed the name of God who hath the power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory.
    Rev. 16:11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they repented not of their works.

  132. I’m new here, so if this has already been addressed sorry. Can anyone here explain how repented is used in the verses below? What do you think about the definition an inward resolve to turn from sin?

  133. Ray,

    Thanks for finding us. You are a welcome visitor.

    Congratulations for your discernment. Yes I agree, what your Pastor said sounds inaccurate and certainly bordering on Lordship Salvation. It is not the simple Gospel of Salvation in Jesus Christ alone.. Both A) and B) above do not reflect a teaching of Free Grace.

    Stick around, read your Bible and compare with articles in this Blog and you will understand why what you heard is not true and you’ll be able to defend your understanding of the Bible.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  134. Just found your site today – I just don’t see the difference between saying
    A) “you need to repent” to be saved (meaning – give your life to God)
    B) and saying “you need to live a certain life style to be saved?
    My pastor told me he believed the difference was in “Attitude” i.e., He felt he was not teaching a works salvation because you did not have to perform any particluar act but you did need to be willing to live for God?

    Am I being illogical? It sounds like salvation by works to me?
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Ray.

  135. Bruce, thanks.. A couple of weeks ago I gave a copy of So Great Salvation (Ryrie) to one of my Docs to whom I have been witnessing. He is a new believer who has been swept into Calvinism by family and friends.

    Ryrie’s book is a good one on proper Biblical doctrine.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  136. Here are a few more thoughts on repentance gleaned from the book “So Great Salvation,” by Charles Ryrie, Chicago: Moody, 1989, 1997, pp. 83-90:

    Three types of repentance:

    1. Nonsaving repentance: this involves a change of mind but it has nothing to do with salvation. It can involve resolutions to avoid wrongful or sinful practices. It may or may not result in positive changes in one’s life, yet it has nothing to do with salvation. It can involve remorse as in the case of Judas’
    returning the thirty pieces of silver, yet this action did not save Judas.
    2. Saving repentance (quoting Ryrie, p. 85): “there is a repentance that is unto eternal salvation. What kind of repentance saves? Not a sorrow for sins or even a sorrow that results in a cleaning up of one’s life. People who reform have repented; that is, they have changed their minds about their past lives, but that kind of repentance, albeit genuine, does not of itself save them. The only kind of repentance that saves is a change of mind about Jesus Christ. . . . The sense of sin and sorrow because of sin may stir up a person’s mind or conscience so that he or she realizes the need for a Savior, but if there is no change of mind about Jesus Christ there will be no salvation.” Ryrie also observes (p. 88) that the gospel of John does not even once use the word repent but instead uses the words “believe” or “faith” climaxing in John 20:31, “But these [things] are written so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
    3. A third type of repentance involves a change of mind within the experience of Christian living. This is not a call to salvation. Paul’s admonitions to those he calls his brothers, the Corinthian church (1 and 2 Corinthians) apply here. The calls to the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 fit into this category. Jesus’ gracious call to them was not for salvation; rather it was a call to repent in the sense of forsaking unrighteous living, sinful lifestyles, lukewarmness of spirit, and returning to a Christian lifestyle befitting their spritual heritage in Christ.
    Ryrie’s concluding “main point” (pp. 89-90): “Is repentance a condition for receiving eternal life? Yes, if it is a repentance or changing one’s mind about Jesus Christ. No, if it means to be sorry for sin or even to resolve to turn from sin, for these things WILL NOT SAVE. Is repentance of sin a precondition to faith? No, though a sense of sin and the desire to turn from it may be used by the Spirit to direct someone to the Savior and His salvation. Repentance may prepare the way for faith, but it is faith that saves, not repentance (unless repentance is understood as a synonymn for faith or changing one’s mind about Christ).

  137. David, your comment nailed it! This is exactly right.

  138. Hi David, always good to hear from you. Yes, it is too bad that a good biblical word, “repentance,” has been hijacked by LS and misapplied to take on a meaning never intended in Scripture.

    Tagging onto what you said I’ll give a brief quotation from Dr. Fred Lybrand on the Free Grace Alliance blog site (April 19, 2011) on the subject of repentance; in it he describes a false repentance:

    “People can repent with great conviction and fervor, but it means nothing without faith alone in Christ alone. Otherwise, what could Hebrews 6:1 possibly mean when it denigrates “repentance from dead works?”
    Try it this way: Just because you repent, why does that mean you have believed? If you can repent without belief, then you can’t be sure that you have believed just because you have repented. This really is the crux (pardon the allusion) of the problem! People are actually putting their faith in their repentance (so called), instead of in the Savior. The reason they do that is that they have wrongly co-mingled faith and repentance. Far better to keep the ideas separate just as the words are different.”

  139. I’m sure y’all have already mentioned it, but all these things, repentance, perseverance & Lordship, which really should be termed “commitment” salvation, all focus on US rather than the Savior. Faith sees its object, not itself. That’s why Jesus over & over said believe in ME, not your repentance, perseverance, etc. I remember a partial quote by a Calvinist of yesteryear, Horatius Bonar, who had a great insight into this when he said something like we should never be satisfied with our repentance, or even our faith, but only our Savior! All I can say to that is AMEN! Y’all are such a blessing to me!

  140. Hi Brent, thanks for joining us.

    Consider these thoughts that I posted under my Amazon 2-star review. It describes the difference between sons and slaves.

    Have you considered the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:17-24)? The wayward son is unmistakeably a portrait of a true believer who has strayed for a time from God (portrayed by the father in the parable) yet has come back. He did not lose his salvation because John 10:27-30 promises that God will never allow that to happen to a true believer (a son). He never ceased to be a son; he was never demoted to a lesser position of slave. Listen to the parable: “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Note that the father made a clear distinction between the servants (or slaves) and the son. It was the son, not the servants who received all the blessings of restoration to his position in the family.

  141. Brent, just one quick note:
    You quoted your Pastor: ” as bondservants for Christ and we don’t have a will once saved because we are now bought with a price.”

    Your Pastor contradicts himself in that he says we have no will as believers and yet we have the will to “backslide.”

    Believers who wish to serve the Lord are voluntary bondservants.. now FREE but willing to stay and serve. Illustration: The slave Onesimus in the very short book of Philemon is a good example.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  142. Brent, thanks for the question..

    Please read Bruce’s review of John MacArthur’s terrible book, “Slave.” No doubt it will answer your question. We can see by your question how much damage a man like MacArthur can do to pastors and churches.

    See:
    https://www.expreacherman.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/john-macarthurs-new-apostate-book/

    Bruce’s article is very comprehensive and should answer your question.. We will appreciate your discussion of the “slave” question.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  143. Hi all,

    I’m enjoying the discussion.

    I apologize if this is not the correct location to ask a question.

    I have a question about the word bondservant or slave of Jesus Christ. I was at church Sunday and our preacher kept pressing the fact that after we are saved, we are slaves or bondservants for Christ and we don’t have a will onced saved because we are now bought with a price. He used Philippians 1:1 as his main text. He mentioned “if we are not serving, you may be saved, but in a backsliding state”. He also mentioned that saved people “ought to be” serving Jesus which to me seems borderline LS, but not LS because he uses “ought to be” and says we can be saved but are backsliden if not serving.

    Can someone point me in the right direction on what slaves, bondservants, servants of Jesus Christ means?

    I am a bit confused on this issue.

    –Brent

  144. Great comments all!

    Sorry I’m usually so late in joining the conversation. I live on the West Coast and by the time I get home from work and finish dinner, everyone else is pretty much in bed, I guess.

  145. Thanks Bruce..

    Interesting note you make on the removal of one TULIP petal.. crash goes the theory.. Yet I too have spoken to and read folks who claim they are only 3 point or two point Calvinists.. How can it be???

    Great comments.
    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  146. JanH,

    It is a shame that legalists, LS folks, etc have so perverted that wonderful word that it is almost impossible to use it without a long and detailed explanation.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  147. Your illustration of the Bible and a book in a room struck me.. Repentance does not mean a turn from one to the another. Actually the book which you might favor could be side by side with the Bible.. and you make a mental decision for the Bible rather than the book. What you do or what actions you take about that decision afterwards is the result of that change of mind.

    This is another excellent point.

    JanH

  148. But we must realize that to change one’s mind (repent) about Jesus Christ and then deciding to trust Him as your Savior is an eternal decision, irreversibly sealed with God’s Holy Spirit. That is the wonder and beauty of God’s Eternal life — it IS Eternal.

    That is an excellent point, Jack.

    JanH

  149. Jess,

    Glad you dropped in and happy that Bruce and JanH were helpful on your specific question. We really have a great bunch of folks here and glad you decided to join us.

    Too often the word Repent is used by well meaning folks without an explanation.. Naturally, folks think in terms of the English dictionary.. “to turn from sin.” True repentance is not about sin but about the subject at hand.

    Simply stated, repent means a change of mind — and does not mean a turn or change of action. A change of action MAY result or follow but that is the RESULT of repentance, not repentance itself. Folks who misunderstand will say “It means a change of mind that DOES affirmatively lead to a change of action/direction etc.” Not true. That is a misreading of the word’s meaning.

    Someone might say “Repent and believe on Jesus Christ.” One could change his mind about the person of Jesus Christ, believing He is the Savior (that is history).. But in order to be saved, he must believe Jesus is HIS Savior, by deciding to put his faith in and relying solely upon the Person and work of The Savior, Jesus Christ. (That is Salvation).

    Your illustration of the Bible and a book in a room struck me.. Repentance does not mean a turn from one to the another. Actually the book which you might favor could be side by side with the Bible.. and you make a mental decision for the Bible rather than the book. What you do or what actions you take about that decision afterwards is the result of that change of mind.

    Of course one could change his mind again deciding on the book instead..

    But we must realize that to change one’s mind (repent) about Jesus Christ and then deciding to trust Him as your Savior is an eternal decision, irreversibly sealed with God’s Holy Spirit. That is the wonder and beauty of God’s Eternal life — it IS Eternal.

    We look forward to your visits and comments.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  150. I’m satisfied with the answer, but knowing my Arminian friend… 😦

    Thanks again, Jack.

  151. Hi Pearl,

    You pose a good question on those verses, Revelation 3:4-5.. and you will find many honest “theologians” who give opinions.. I don’t consider myself a “theologian” so I will tell you what I derive from those two verses.

    First, we know these have nothing to do with retaining or losing salvation because that fact is sealed for all eternity through our decision to trust Jesus Christ as Savior. Therefore we must always be sure we do not let someone else strain to convince us otherwise by making verses fit their preconceived theology. “Perseverance” is one of those teachings that strain.

    These verses speak of the earthly church at Sardis.. where some were living carnal lives (garments defiled) inconsistent with being a believer and others who are living obedient lives. The phrase “Walk with Me..” is fellowship on earth.. “worthy” is the reward for service.

    They “..that overcometh” are believers in Christ (1 John 5:4 and other verses)

    “I will not blot out his name…” is reassurance that believers are secure in Christ’s (The Lamb’s) book of Life, and He will confess us (our Advocate, 1 John 2:1) before The Father.

    So we see it is definitely not advocating “perseverance” for salvation, because Scripture confirms over and over that we are secure in Jesus Christ for all eternity when we trust Christ alone as our Savior.

    I pray this helps — if not, please ask.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  152. Bruce and JanH,
    Thank you both for the answers. I agree, there is nothing superficial about a change of mind. I also like the analogy of getting on the same page as God about our sin. Without a proper understanding of sin salvation is impossible, and with a proper understanding of sin comes repentance. It’s sad that LS has twisted the idea of repentance into works, because that often puts people off of using an otherwise completely biblical term. It also necessitates us defining over and over again what we actually mean by repentance.

    I’m a firm believer in presenting salvation as faith in Christ (NO works), but also as repentance of sin (NO works). I believe this is biblical. One of my favourite verses about this is Mark 1:15 where Jesus said “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Repentance and faith (belief) are inseparable. To have faith in God is to repent (change your mind) about sin. To have faith in God is NOT to stop sinning. That is not what the Bible means when it talks about repentance.

    Bruce: You mentioned the verse in revelation about believers repenting. That made me think of Job 42:6 when Job said after seeing God in the whirlwind “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Repentance for salvation is a change of mind. Repentance AFTER salvation is to determine to put sin out of our lives. This is ONLY possible if we already are saved! One cannot put sin out of their lives if they don’t have the Holy Spirit to help them (ie. are saved). It’s also life long as the Scriptures speak much about our flesh (the old nature) that is still present with us.

    Thank you for this site, and I look forward to reading further discussions.
    God Bless 🙂

  153. I’ve been thinking a bit about repentance myself. The basic Greek meaning is a change of mind. However, for some reason the LS camp has interpreted change of mind to be somehow superficial and because the word “mind” is used have assumed it to be something merely intellectual, like the matter has nothing to do with you. They oppose it on that ground, which, as usual, is a straw man. There is nothing superficial about the change of mind that is repentance, at least, not that I have experienced. I think the best way that I have come up with to explain it is repentance means to get on God’s page about it or coming into agreement with Him on it, in this case “it” is sin. It is effectively to discard one testimony about sin, which is whatever testimony you have accepted that is not in full agreement with God’s (sin isn’t really that bad, etc.) and come into agreement with Him: to change your way of thinking about sin to be in agreement with His thinking about it: it is wrong and deserves judgment. More pointedly my sin is wrong and deserves judgment, or even better, I am wrong and deserve judgment.

    I often find it frustrating to listen to LS preachers try to talk about repentance, especially when they denigrate the change of mind definition. I just don’t understand how they think something as genuinely superficial as behavior modification can be sustained without the indispensable change of mind that must under lie that. Then they use the kind of illustration Jess mentioned with the physical turning in the opposite direction and all I can ever think when I see that is, what in the world does that mean???

    I think getting on God’s page about sin is, at least for me, the best way of understanding what repentance really is. Fundamentally, it is a change of mind and there is nothing superficial about it.

    JanH

  154. Hi Jess, welcome to you. I’m so glad that you stopped by. Please come back and join us again soon.

    Regarding the issue of repentance, Jack spoke to that pretty thoroughly a couple of months back. Here’s the link:
    https://expreacherman.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/paul-washer-lordship-salvation-and-repentance/

    I don’t see the term “repentance” as a wrong or unbiblical word. But the Lordship Faith camp has misappropriated it to mean, as I understand it, that a person must have a change of attitude and lifestyle before believing in Christ for salvation. In other words, one must give up sinning as a precursor to becoming saved (getting pre-saved before you are saved). You might say, one must get cleaned up before he is allowed to get saved. And, according to LS, he must maintain this stance after becoming saved or he evidences a lack of true salvation to begin with. But the Bible never places any such obstacles in the way of coming to God. Acts 16:31 says in part, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (the gospel message of 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, John 3:16-18, Ephesians 2:8-9).

    Now, I think that you were on the right track when you alluded to a proper biblical use of the term “repentance.” Read, for instance, 2 Peter 3:9 in which God declares that he wants ALL people to become saved (not merely a select or elected few, as the Calvinists declare): “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Yes, at the point of one’s believing in Christ Jesus for salvation, there is a simultaneous transformation that takes place, a changing of the mind or heart, if you will—“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

    I do see another valid Scriptural application for the term “repent.” In Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus calls the churches (bodies of believers) to repent in the sense of forsaking wayward deeds and to live proper pure lives of holiness befitting the spiritual heritage that they already possessed in Christ.

  155. I’ve been reading this site for few weeks and enjoying it. I certainly believe God’s grace is free, and I’ve witnessed first hand how Lordship/Calvinistic salvation actually DIScourages people from getting saved. I have a question regarding your definition of repentance. I agree that repentance doesn’t mean “turning from sin” as you stated in this article. Would you agree with a definition repentance as “a change of mind away from the world and towards God”? By that I don’t mean changing your mind and not sinning anymore (ie. works), but simply a change of mind towards faith in God.

    Also, I’ve seen the repentance illustrated as follows, and I was wondering if you would agree with this:
    An object (usually a Bible) is used to represent God and placed on one side of the room. Another inanimate object (like a hymn book) is used to represent the world and is placed on the other side of the room. When we are born we have a sin nature, and thus are facing the world, and headed in the world’s (ie. hymn book’s) direction. When we repent we turn and face God’s (ie. the Bible) direction. So, the illustration is that repentance is a change of mind about who’s direction you are going to go.

    You may have dealt with this somewhere on this site, but perhaps I haven’t come across that article or post yet :). Thank you.

  156. Jack: Your phrase, “Lordship salvation”, “Turn From Sin for salvation” and “Persevere for salvation” seem to be a convergence of “theologies” into one ecumenical mishmash: Interesting comment Jack; I agree with Lou that the three concepts are inextricably linked. In Tom Cucuzza’s book (see Jack’s link above right), Tom points out the strong link between Calvinist Perseverance and Lordship Salvation teaching. In fact, he even caught John MacArthur as admitting in one of his writings that Lordship Salvation and Perseverance are one in the same! I might add one thing to Lou’s astute comment: T.U.L.I.P.: Take one letter out and the whole flower withers. Yet I have met those who claim to be 3-point or 3 1/2 point Calvinists. Interesting.

  157. Jack:

    On target in each of the three subjects. It’s really all three that need each other’s error. Break even one link in the LS chain and the whole thing crumbles. LS men force into or extract from the Bible whatever they must to keep their theology in tact. I am writing to you from Beijing, China. Visiting family. Back in July to join you again here then.

    Lou

  158. Hi Jack!

    Good article as usual. I just did a search of the word persevere in the KJV – which yielded no results – then perseverance with only one:

    Eph 6:18 “…Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;…”

    Clearly, as it is used therein, it does not pertain to keeping myself secure in the Hands of God. In this case the words overcome/overcomers have been used.

    The following are hard verses in regards to perseverance salvation (which is not adhered to by Calvinists alone, but Arminians as well). Would you mind explaining them to me? As you know, I’m not Calvinist, nor Arminian, but I am stumped by these:

    Rev 3:4 “Thou 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.
    Rev 3:5 “He 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.”

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