From Salvation to Doubt and Fear, Then Back to Biblical Assurance

Dear Friends,

A couple of days ago I received the following email from Matthew, who gave me permission to post it here. It is self explanatory. Even though we thankfully receive many encouraging comments and hundreds of daily visits we occasionally receive one that is especially notable such as this one from our new visitor, Matthew.


I would just like to share with you all how helpful your site has been to me. I was saved years ago at age 14 and have certainly had my ups and downs in my walk but all in all I have been doing ok.
However, recently doubts have beset me about my conversion. Namely involving repentance.
I, like you, have always held to the change of mind view of repentance. That is, repentance is changing ones mind about Jesus, Who He is, what He did for us, and trusting Him alone for salvation. However recently I have been swarmed with repentance involving a deliberate turn from sin.
For example, I have a Holman Christian Standard Study Bible at home. One that has commentary on most all of the verses of the various books. It’s commentary on Mark Chapter 1 Verse 4 reads that repentance means to change one’s mind and involves a deliberate turn from sin. Imagine my distress!
What exactly is a deliberate turn from sin? For how long? Is a lifetime of winning battles against my sin nature now required? If I sin/fall into sinful habits was I never saved to begin with? All these questions!!
Then I found your site. The Good Lord sent it to me just at my time of need just like He promised.
I was encouraged in that I was not alone in these concerns. There were others like me. Through reading the various posts and comments, I have realized I worried for nothing. My salvation was secure all along. Just a SIMPLE belief/trust in Jesus and what He did for me.
Nothing I do good or bad will change my eternal destiny. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t think I can just live without any boundaries but I need not live in constant fear that if I do sin or ever fall into willful disobedience it means I haven’t deliberately turned from sin and wasn’t ever saved.
It really is just that simple and uncomplicated to go to Heaven. Thank you again for your site. It is a blessing. May God Bless you! Matthew

I explained to Matthew that the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible has a false definition of repentance. This is not surprising since the publication was originally a product of the Southern Baptist Convention. Obviously Matthew had already come to the conclusion that the Holman Study Bible’s interpretation of “repent” is false.

We can be thankful that the Lord Jesus paid for all our sins on the cross of Calvary and rose bodily from the grave.. and Jesus is now our personal Advocate before God the Father:

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate [intercessor] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 1 John 2:1

We are indeed eternally secure in Jesus Christ. Thanks Matthew for your encouraging note. —  Jack

Salvation IS God’s GIFT << Click

45 responses to “From Salvation to Doubt and Fear, Then Back to Biblical Assurance

  1. Bro. Jack, thank you for your kind words! I’ve sure missed you and these fine brothers & sisters in Christ! How beautifully said, Holly! I hear Christ in you reaching out to this dear lady and Adam as well. God Bless you all. Words fail me to say how wonderful the Grace of Jesus Christ is…….

  2. Adam, I hope you are still reading, although not commenting. There are so many women who are praying for their husbands to be the spiritual leaders in their home. I know this is really personal to say, so forgive me if I take liberties you might not appreciate, and admins, also please allow this emotional appeal.

    Not having a husband any longer, it really upsets me to see men leading their wives into Calvinism and lordship doctrine. I have counseled so many depressed, discouraged, and downtrodden and fearful women whose husband’s, instead of saying, “let’s really examine the word together prayerfully, they parrot the words of one of their reformed heroes or teach her to ‘examine herself to see if she really saved’. The most tragic example I can think of is Paul Washer’s wife, who after years of hearing his condemning sermons, came to believe she was a false convert. When she went to her husband, he pretty much agreed with her and went to bed. What kind of a man is that????

    Please Adam… (you have my oldest son’s name), I would love to have my husband back, but I’d rather have been alone my whole life, than have a husband that taught me Christ was this evil calvinist god, who chooses people to hell, who sovereignly causes incest on a child, and worse…

    I just can’t tolerate thinking of my Lord in that manner, it is unbiblical and Satan’s way of degrading God’s character and blaspheming the way of truth. It is so pernicious so damaging, even if one is a believer, and deadly if one is not. Whatever you teach your wife of your calvinist god, is how she is going to see you, and the Lord is going to hold you responsible one day for where you led her. She came to you to see if these things were true… I pray she will start going to the Word instead. It’s not too late Adam, don’t regret this time lost, or worse, if you haven’t come to really place your faith in the truth, who Jesus is… not the Calvinist god. What he did for you Adam, for your wife, and kids if you have them. Out of love. Love for even the false prophets who deny Him, He bought them with His precious blood.

    I don’t know what else to say, on one hand, I want to say so much more. I just cry at the women that I see misled by their husbands who they love and trust.

    I praise God that He gave me a husband who loved me like Christ loved the church, and his love enabled me to believe that Christ really did love me right where I was. If you love your wife at all, your children, please, please consider what I am saying. Lord please let him hear. Drop all your Calvinist teachers and commentaries and just get into the Word asking the Lord to show you His truth and to take away anything you’ve learned that’s not from Him.

    In Christ’s love and concern for you.

  3. David Wyatt,

    Thanks — Good to see you here again.

    It has been a long time virtual friendship — probably since around 2007 or so. We appreciate your fellowship, friendship and comment.

    Don’t be a stranger.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  4. Excellent Comment John! You said, “We should not tell anyone whether or not they are saved. We should ask them to tell us. Once they do, we should ask them why.” I’m so thankful to be off the “search self for fruit” roller-coaster to determine whether I’m saved or not, and by the way, bro. Jack and you all have been such a blessing to me for a long time. I believe it was James Brookes a long time ago that said to look within self for assurance is like looking at death to find life and looking at sickness to find health. Looking to our gracious Savior is the only option that works. No pun intended, but maybe there should have been!


    Most of our faithful readers here at ExP recognize the comments that Adam made represent a Calvinist position at least and definitely a Lordship works “salvation” position with which the Bible, ExP and most of you, our faithful readers disagree.

    So please use God’s Word and much discernment to, as Holly says, “prove all things.” You will find he has taken his privilege of commenting here as an opportunity to spread his false teachings.

    Please, just use much care and Biblical discernment.

    ExPreacherMan Administrators

  6. Note to Adam: We are no longer posting your comments. Your latest post has been deleted.

    Following are excerpts (italicized) from your latest deleted post, which I will answer for you:

    You are correct, I haven’t read much on this site, my wife came across this particular post and asked me to read it because she wasn’t sure if it was true. After reading it, I obviously took some issue with what I read or I wouldn’t have posted a comment.

    My comment: This is very telling. The article is true. Your wife was unable to discern whether or not it was true. So, she asked you. You don’t think it is true, so you “took some issue” with it. This is prima facia evidence that both your wife, and you, are unclear on the gospel. Did you ever think that might be the reason that God led your wife to our site? And you?

    If someone read the “How to Have Eternal Life” page and thought or said, “I’m going to trust Christ”. Then they clicked on the “Now that I believe” link and read all that and then did absolutely none of it and had no desire to do any of it. Should that person question their Salvation? I would say YES, absolutely they should. Not because they need works to be saved but because if they are actually saved they would be a new creation and there would be some fruit that comes. Isn’t this what Sanctification is? Doesn’t the Bible teach that we are going to be made more and more like Christ if we are truly saved?

    My comment: Should that person question their Salvation? I would answer NO! Just as a person has a FREE WILL to believe in Jesus, they have a FREE WILL after they are saved to live for Him, or not. The Bible DOES NOT teach that we are going to be made more and more like Christ if we are truly saved. The Bible teaches that we SHOULD.

    Romans 12:1: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    Your fruit is your false gospel that you are trying to spread. You couch it in terms of good behavior, but your fruit is a disbelief in the gospel. Your words betray you. I don’t know if you have ever believed in Christ ALONE as your Savior, but I have prayed for you.

    So back to my question from before, what’s worse, to tell a saved person they are not saved (i.e. tell them to examine their faith as 1 John does)? Or to tell a lost person they are saved?

    My comment: We should not tell anyone whether or not they are saved. We should ask them to tell us. Once they do, we should ask them why. If their answer points in any way to how their lives have changed, we have reason to suspect they may not be saved. In such case, we should give them the gospel. If they seem infatuated with inspecting the works of themselves and others, we have reason to suspect they may not be saved. In such case, we should give them the gospel. Please note that 1 John is not a “test” to determine whether one has eternal life. It is a discussion of fellowship of the believer with Christ.

    Please find “The Gospel” booklet, by Ron Shea, linked below. Pay particular attention to the section on assurance – page 20:

    Click to access the-gospel.pdf

  7. Adam, if we looked for works/behavior for a proof of salvation, we’d be back to the false prophets who believed they were saved because they called Him Lord, and they did wonderful works…

    And we’d be calling Demas, and Solomon, and David, and Lot, and Rahab, and the adulterer in 1 Cor 5, and the carnal believers in 1 Cor 3, unsaved, and we’d be calling those preaching an accursed gospel at Galatia saved.

    I agree, most who identify as Christian likely are not, but it has zero to do with works, but the only one way has not been believed and understood.

    Getting the ‘sense of some licentiousness here’ is still an accusation/ implication without foundation, that is what I was cautioning you regarding.

    You asked in the beginning, “What is worse? To tell a saved person he’s lost or to tell a lost person he’s saved?”

    We do neither. It is the Word of God, the truth, that assures one whether or not they are saved, based on what they have believed. If we suspect someone has not believed the clear gospel, we should question them, and see why they believe they are saved.

    I can tell you have not read much here, no one here believes a prayer saves, or repenting from sin, or doing good works, or walking an aisle etc. saves… The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, so if we are unsure someone is saved, preach the gospel.

    What is the gospel to you? What have you believed?

    Common grace is basically a Calvinistic term. So are you reformed?

    In Christ alone and as Jack says, eternally. Holly

  8. Adam, while you did not use the word “guarantee”, you did use the words “will lead.” (“…a genuine belief in Christ will lead (to) salvation and as a result, to a constant struggle against sin, not complacence.”). Had you used the word “should”, I wouldn’t have taken issue with that point.

    You asked me not to put words in your mouth – I didn’t. I asked a parenthetical question, which I have removed.

    Now, I would ask you to return the favor and not put words in others’ mouths.

    Nobody here teaches license. But you “get the sense” that we do.

    Nobody here teaches that one is saved by saying a prayer. But, you bring up the straw man argument that one is not saved that way. We agree. If you’ve read much of this site, you should know that.

    God did not reveal in scripture what would have happened in the life of the thief on the cross had he lived longer. Yet you conjecture that his life would have changed, to the point of guaranteeing it. Now, you are adding to scripture – putting words in God’s mouth.

    If we wait for the works to show up to prove we have became a new creation, have we become a new creation? In other words, if we don’t know we’ve received eternal life, have we believed in Jesus?

    Adam, it is heresy to look to our works/behavior/feelings or even sensitivity to sin for assurance of salvation. The only basis for assurance is whom we are trusting for eternal life.

    I do not believe that most of the people who identify themselves as Christians really are. But, I think that’s the case because most are trusting in their works, either in whole, or in part, to save them. That trust in works may take the form of trust in the performance, promise, or evidence of works for eternal life.

  9. I would ask you both (johninnc & hollysgarcia) this question. What is worse? To tell a saved person he’s lost or to tell a lost person he’s saved?

    johninnc, you said ” If every believer in Christ automatically struggles against sin, as opposed to becoming complacent, these passages would not need to have been written.” I agree, that’s exactly why these passages were written, because people would get complacent, including me, and we should exhort them, just as Paul exhorts them. I didn’t say they would “automatically” struggle, fight, battle sin. Where did you see the word “automatic”? I also never said “other than me”. Please don’t put words in my mouth. My concern with this post is that people are not encouraging others to battle sin, but instead just saying, “don’t worry, you’re saved, the Bible teaches assurance”. Yes, it does teach assurance, for those who are actually saved. Praying a prayer one time and saying, “Jesus, I trust you as my Lord” does not save you. God saves you. The Holy Spirit opens your eyes and changes your heart. Titus 3:5, 1 John 3:9, Ezekiel 36:26, 2 Cor 5:17, etc. etc. etc. I know this for sure, because I prayed a prayer one time when I was 21 and guess what, I was not saved. You know how I know, because I was not a new creation. The old was not gone and the new had not come. This is NOT a works based righteousness. But all over the Bible it talks about works following salvation. I know lots of people don’t like the book of James, but guess what, it’s in the Bible so we still need to read it.

    The thief on the cross proves that you don’t have to do good works to be saved. He died just after his conversion and was with Jesus in paradise. However, I guarantee you if that thief was taken off that cross and lived another 30 years, he would have been a changed man, not a perfect man mind you, but a changed man.

    Not sure who Tom Cucuzza is, but I would agree with his statement, “You can trust Jesus Christ as Savior and never live for Him and go to heaven.” The only thing I would add to that is that SAYING you trust Christ and actually doing it are two different things. I’m guessing if you were able to poll this entire country (USA) that 70-80% of the people would say they are Christians. Do you think that’s actually true? Is 80% of this country believers in Christ? Is 80% of this country going to Heaven?

    And hollysgarcia, I never called anyone here licentious, my exact words were, “I understand what everyone is saying here but I get the sense of some licentiousness here.” and “I don’t know for sure, but my fear in reading this is that people will become lax in overcoming the sin in their life and abuse God’s grace.” And yes, you can abuse God’s grace even if you aren’t a believer. There is a thing called common grace that God bestows on all of humanity. Those who are lost are constantly abusing God’s grace. If God’s grace didn’t restrain us, we would all be completely given over to our lusts.

    I’m trying to work through this stuff too. I can tell you all are working as well. There’s nothing wrong with work, as long as you know you are not saved by it. But don’t deny that there is work to be done. That’s throwing the baby out with the bath water.

  10. Adam, one thing we should be really so cautious about is trusting our ‘senses’ or ‘feelings’ when the way we are to judge is with a righteous judgment and not according to appearance. So we take a direct statement and should use the Word to hold it up to. This is how we reprove someone.

    No, there is no preaching of licentiousness, although we all do still sin here, and long for the day that we will not have that struggle. But we do not want young ones being made to stumble either by the false doctrine of automatic works as if they have been made into a Stepford wife.

    Babies need milk to grow, or they will initially be cranky and demanding and if they don’t get it after a time, listless and no longer desiring the milk of His Word. Then swoop in the wolves to accuse them of not being children of God, and they feed them with lies about the One who bought and paid for them, tell them they aren’t saved, if they haven’t done this, that, or the other, and if they didn’t do this or that when they believed, they were never saved. Funny, they never ask if the person believed the gospel, and secondly, they seem to make their lack of love for Jesus apparent since they do not feed or tend His sheep. Instead, they beat them and they give them diluted or poisoned food.

    If we see someone not growing, our responsibilities as mature believers (assuming we are) is to encourage them in His Word, to help them become disciples by abiding in His Word.

    But instead these men come out and call people antinomians or licentious. Both ways they are dangerous. They make the little ones stumble, and they keep the lost from getting saved.

    If you see someone urging others to be licentious, by all means, point out the exact person, and the exact comment, otherwise dear friend, we’re falsely accusing another of our brethren. In Christ, Holly

  11. Adam, nobody here promotes licentiousness. But, like the Apostle Paul, we are sometimes accused of that.

    You said: “…a SIMPLE GENUINE belief in Christ will lead Salvation and as a result, to a constant struggle against sin, not complacence.”

    My comment: That’s interesting. The Bible contains several Epistles that instruct, encourage, exhort, and beseech people not to sin. If every believer in Christ automatically struggles agains sin, as opposed to becoming complacent, these passages would not need to have been written.

    Here are just a couple:

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

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

    You also said: “I don’t know for sure, but my fear in reading this is that people will become lax in overcoming the sin in their life and abuse God’s grace.”

    My comment: You already asserted that someone who has a “genuine” belief in Christ will not be complacent with respect to sin. Here you are saying that you are concerned that “people” will become lax and abuse God’s grace. Based on your first statement, those who are complacent have not received God’s grace. So, how could they abuse it?

    You might be interested in the following excerpts from a sermon by Tom Cucuzza entitled “It’s All of Christ”:

    Minutes 34:20 – 35:01

    Listen! Here’s the truth. Let me shock you this morning. You can trust Jesus Christ as Savior and never live for Him and go to heaven. “I can’t believe that.” Then you don’t get grace. You do not understand grace. Grace is unmerited. Now, we should not live that way. We should not live in a sinful way. But, the fact is, that every one of us still sins. Every one of us. And, whether you do a million or whether you do one, you still have failed to live right and so you can’t go to heaven that way.

    Should we live for Christ once we’re saved? Yes, we should. Paul agreed with that, I agree with that. I say amen to that.

    Minutes 36:35-36:55

    What if you don’t live for Christ? You still go to heaven if you’ve trusted Him as Savior. “Well, I can’t accept that!” Let me tell you something friend. There’s a very good chance you are still lost and on your way to hell, because you are looking at your own merit, your own faithfulness, as the way to heaven. “No, I don’t believe that!” Well, then why would say that? Why would you say it?

  12. I understand what everyone is saying here but I get the sense of some licentiousness here. After reading a lot of the comments I searched for some clarification on repentance. This was one of the best I found.

    (link removed by administrator)

    You can say it’s just “SIMPLE belief/trust” in what Jesus did but it also has to be GENUINE. No one will be perfect this side of heaven (apart from Jesus) but a SIMPLE GENUINE belief in Christ will lead Salvation and as a result, to a constant struggle against sin, not complacence. I don’t know for sure, but my fear in reading this is that people will become lax in overcoming the sin in their life and abuse God’s grace. I agree with your definition of “Lordship Salvation” and also agree that it’s not a Biblical definition of Salvation. However, I would note two things. 1. Should we not pray for these people who are lost and believing/promoting such doctrine? 2. There will be works that are evidence of Salvation, they are not necessary for Salvation, but they will necessarily follow if one is truly saved. Don’t put the cart before the horse, but don’t throw out the cart completely. I’m in the middle of reading (book reference removed by administrator) and this is a great book for those struggling with sin. I would highly recommend it.

  13. This is the one that will explain the difference between ‘do’ (commit once) vs. ‘practice’ which most of the newer Bible translations use.

  14. This may be better, sorry.

  15. I was recently doing a study on these passages, so interesting to ‘stumble’ across this by pressing a back arrow on one article one too many times, but glad I did. So many people miss (or quickly skip over) while accusing someone of not being saved, is the ‘little’ sins on the lists. In Galatians 5, several of the sins of the ‘will not inherit’ list are sins he is again exhorting them not to do and qualifying that they are ‘doing’ them. I.E. envy. So knowing that your sins are covered, knowing you are perfected forever, is a big help. We tend to be taught we are forgiven for past sins because of a certain Scripture, but don’t seem to understand and remember whose righteousness we are counting on. Certainly not ours which is of the law. These passages are confusing to many,

    Yankee’s video on 1 John 3, explaining the difference between poieo and prasso and also this video may be helpful to some struggling.

  16. I want to comment on this to also read for later, what a great testimony and one that many of us can relate to, and also know many others that struggle because of all the many ‘voices’ out there.

  17. Hello Daisy, nice to hear from you.

    The biblical meaning of repentance is addressed as a part of several articles and discussions at the site. Please use the search bar to find them.

    Here is a nutshell definition of repentance; it comes from Dr. Thomas Cucuzza, author, radio Bible teacher and senior pastor of Northland Bible Baptist Church (see the links to Tom’s church and book in the right column):

    From Dr. Cucuzza: (16) Repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Repentance in salvation means a change of mind from any idea of religion that man may have and to accept God’s way of salvation. Repentance does not in any sense include a demand for a change of conduct before or after salvation. Matthew 21:32, Acts 20:21, 2 Corinthians 7:8-10, Eph 2:8-9, Rom 4:5, Rom 5:8, John 3:16-18, Gal 3:10-12, Acts 16:25-31, Rom 11:29.

    One of the counterfeits Satan is using today is the misuse of the word “repent”. To insist upon repentance that in any sense includes a demand for a change of conduct either toward God or man is to add an element of works or human merit to faith. Penance is payment for sin. Penitence is sorrow for sin. Works add something of self in turning from sin. But repent (metanoeo) means a change of mind. Nowhere does Scripture use the phrase “repent of sin” to be saved.

  18. Hello gang 🙂 I’m confused about repentance. My Nelson’s Three in One Bible Reference Companion (sounds so important and “buddy-like”) says this about repentance: Repent – turn away from sin and change one’s behaviour. in its Greek lexicon defines it as “metamellomai” and means: change his mind, feel remorse, regret, and then to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins. Acts 26:20 even tells us to repent and show works that are worthy of repentance. ?? So what exactly does the Bible say about repentance and salvation? Looking forward to hearing back from you.

  19. Thank you Pearl and Matt for your thoughtful comments. I’m exploring this avenue of animated video production. It’s all new to me but I hope that this venue can reach some folks who might not look at the blog sites or written argumentation.

    Here’s a recent video on YouTube:

  20. Matt for Grace and Truth


    The video was very clear, courteous, concise, yet complete…just like a well written correspondence. May it be used by God to minister to many!

  21. I wholeheartedly agree, Bruce. Call me crazy, but I actually let curiosity get the best of me yesterday and watched an “I’ll Be Honest” LS production. It’s really amazing how heavily they depend upon emotion. Short of literally putting one’s feet to the fire, they resort to a flaming screen filled with ignited phrases (such as “wrath of God”), accompanied by snippets of some old-time preacher on the verge of weeping against a background of dramatic music, all questioning the viewer’s salvation based on behavior and commitment. Shameless!!

    In contrast, your video was succinct and clear, based on scripture I hope you make some more, and that other tech savvy gracers accept the challenge as well.

  22. Thanks John!

    I think that Free Gracers should expand their message into popular venues like FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, video production, and on and on. All of these things are new to me but I’m beginning to explore them.

    Blessings brother!

  23. Bruce, I like your video. I will pray that lots of people watch it and come onto some of the links that you provided.

  24. Thanks Bruce,

    Your animation is Biblical, clever, to the point and clearly stated.

    In Christ eternally, Jack

  25. Thanks Jim for that excellent explanation. And thanks Matthew for asking the question.

    Below is a link to a new animated video that I put together on some basic differences between Free Grace theology and Lordship Faith teaching. It’s kind of brief and simple, but I hope that it makes some points through animation.

  26. Gotcha. I understand what you mean now. My brain must have been cramping up on me last night. 🙂

  27. Matthew, I think you said it well with this, “We need a Savior and our Savior alone is who can save us.”

    Many use lists like the one in Gal 5 as a litmus test to see if a “professing” believer is actually saved. The thing is that all believers are covered by Christ’s blood and his righteousness. Believers are positionally in Christ. Therefore there can be no eternal verdict that has them labeled as guilty ie murderer, liar, drunkard, thief, adulterer etc. A person who does not inherit the kingdom fails to do so because he does not have Christ’s righteousness. Believers at times will commit those sins but they are called righteous in God’s eyes and they have an advocate in Christ.

    This all goes to show the tragedy of the error of Lordship’s one naturism and “perseverance of the saints” views. Let me know if you want further clarification but I think that you are right on with what you have said. Romans 8:1 goes along with this idea.

  28. Jim F,
    I am a little confused. Could you go in a litle more detail what you mean?

  29. Jim F, very concise! I can think of no better way to say it.

  30. I think for Galatians 5 and the list in I Cor it comes down to whether or not Christ’s blood is covering your sin. If one of these sins is your description then it is not that you do that sin but it is that Christ is not your Savior.

  31. Matthew, I think your analysis is spot on. I think that the Galatians 5 passage, like Romans 2, shows the impossibility of attaining righteousness by keeping the law.

    You can learn a great deal about one’s view of the Gospel from his interpretation of these passages. Before I was saved, I was concerned that a pattern of such sins might keep me from being saved or prove that I wasn’t saved. Once I understood and believed the Gospel, free of any LS add-ons, I knew that the lists of sins in 1 Corinthians and Galatians 5 were not field guides to identifying “true believers”, nor were they tests of my own faith.

  32. Joey,
    I myself struggle with the same concerns over those verses. If I am eternally secure no matter what then why does it say people who do those things will not inherit the Kingdom of God?

    As Bruce pointed out the Corinthians and the Galatians are believers(saved). Paul’s use of those verses to the Corinthians is straightforward. They are engaged in those sins. Some of us are ensnared by the same ones today. I know I am. But at no point do we lose our salvation or prove we never had it by committing them. Paul was pointing out the foolishness of staying in the old ways when we already POSSESS something so much better.

    To me it’s a little more confusing why he included that list of sins to the Galatians. The Galatians had faith but were roped back into trying to add works to salvation. They were trying to be justified by deeds of the flesh or by keeping the law. We all know that the Bible said no one shall be justified by keeping the law or by deeds of the flesh. Paul mentioned these sins to the Galatians to show them how futile is to try to be justified by keeping the law or by not doing the deeds of the flesh mentioned. We would be condemned by the list of sins(deeds of the flesh) and condemned by trying to keep the law(we would have to be perfect and that’s impossible). Paul added such like to his list of sins to show that there are sins not mentioned that would result in the same condemnation as the ones listed. We need a Savior and our Savior alone is who can save us.

    I’m still kind of a bit nervous trying to explain things sometimes. I don’t want to tell anyone anything wrong. Jack, Bruce or anyone feel free to tell me if any of my above comments are erroneous. God Bless

  33. Thanks, John, for your kind words. I have learned much from you over the past couple of years. Thanks for your participation on this site.


  34. Hi Joey,

    Thanks for your note of encouragement. We appreciate your participation on this site. The friendship and fellowship here has been a blessing to me too. And I think that many of us would say that what we have learned about grace has brought much liberty and joy to our Christian lives.

    Blessings to you!


  35. Thanks for the great answer! I have been a Calvinist for the better portion of my Christian life. What I had always interpretted that passage to mean (“and such WERE some of you”) is that, since these Corinthians had experienced regeneration and had now begun on the path of sanctification, they were no longer practicing such sins as a lifestyle. Sure, they may have struggled with things on the “sin list” here and there, but they did not live habitually in such a way. I was taught that to live in such a way is (or at least MAY be) evidence that the person is still unregenerate… And it was killing me because I definitely saw myself in some of those lists. It is so liberating to know that I am eternally secure because of what Jesus did for me, and because of that alone! My good works won’t save me, and my bad works won’t damn me–and THAT motivates me to overcome sin in my life like no lordship salvation ever could!

    This blog has been a great blessing to me, as I’m sure it has to many others who have stumbled upon it. Thank you, and keep it up for as long as you are able 🙂


  36. I had a person tell me about a time when he told a person that they were apostate because the person committed the same sin twice. He used Gal 5:19-21 his proof text. How sad it is that in so many churches people sin, but not only that, they often agree to be counseled and then get told that they are apostate when what they really needed was help.

  37. Bruce, (and Joey)

    Thanks Joey for your questions —

    And thanks Bruce for stepping in for me by answering Joey’s questions. Complete and well done.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  38. Bruce, excellent analysis! The LS interpretation of the incomplete lists of sins in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Galatians 5:19-21 would make assurance impossible. God promises us eternal life by Grace through faith in Christ. Eternal means eternal and He wants us to be assured of that.

  39. Hi Joey,

    Thanks for writing. The passage to which you refer is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. If you go back to chapters 1 through 3, you will see that Paul is addressing the church at Corinth whom he refers to repeatedly as his “brethren” (brothers in Christ, true believers). The passage that you cite, similar to Romans 1 and also to Jesus’ warnings to the churches of Asia Minor in Revelation 2 and 3, describes the old life, the sinful life, the life without faith, the life without Christ, contrasted with the new life in Christ.
    Let’s examine the passage in more depth:

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Know ye not that the unrighteous [unbelievers, a. k. a. the unregenerate; they all reject Christ as Savior] shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were [notice the past tense] some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

    Did you pick up on the contrast? Paul was describing the old, fallen, sinful nature apart from Christ, apart from eternal life, with the new life in Christ Jesus obtained by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Paul warns the struggling, immature, carnal believers at Corinth to stay far away from the old sinful ways in which they used to live before coming to faith in Christ alone. His warnings in no way referred to any possibility of losing one’s salvation or with the false LS spin of never having been saved to begin with. REMEMBER, Paul was addressing believers in Christ (he says that repeatedly in the early chapters of 1 Corinthians; they were backslidden carnal believers to be sure, but definitely believers); he was warning them to flee from the old patterns of sin that characterized their lives prior to coming to faith in Christ Jesus alone. He admonishes them to live lives befitting the rich spiritual heritage that they already possessed as believers in Christ.

    I hope that this is helpful.

  40. Hi Jack,

    This is my first time commenting but I’ve been reading this blog for a while now and find it very encouraging! I am troubled, however, by certain passages of Scripture that would seem to favor lordship salvation. In particular, I am thinking about a passage in Galatians and one in 1st or 2nd Corinthians (I forget which) where it says that adulterers, fornicators, drunkards, greedy people, etc., will not inherit the kingdom of God. I was hoping you could clear that up for me from a free grace perspective.


  41. Matthew,

    Thanks again for letting us tell your story. As you will see, if you search our web site, you have many fellow believers who have similar experiences.. but with God’s Word, have managed to extricate themselves from the lies of “religion.”

    Check everything and everyone by God’s Word.. Be Bereans.. search the scripture to see if what was said is Biblical.
    The Bereans:
    And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. [11] These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. [12] Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. Acts 17:10-12

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  42. Thanks for the kind words. I’m just so thankful I found this blog. It is such a blessing. I found this quote from Charles Stanley to be quite fitting. He says “You and I aren’t saved because we exhibit an enduring faith. We are saved because at a moment in time we expressed faith in our enduring Lord Jesus Christ and what he accomplished for us on the cross.”

    As the old hymn says, Jesus paid it all!

  43. Matthew, welcome! I believe the Lord did lead you here. He is the Good Shepherd who will fight to defend His flock.

  44. Matthew, welcome!

    I am thrilled that you have joined us. I think the Lord did bring you here. He is the Good Shepherd and will fight to defend His flock!

  45. Thank you, Jack, for posting this most encouraging letter!

    And thank you, Matthew, for sharing your thoughts with us. You blessed me today!