By Tom Cucuzza
The Simplicity of the Gospel
Words matter. God has seen fit to communicate with us through the words of the Bible. Therefore, it is important to understand and simply believe what He says.
As the debate continues to rage as to what exactly it takes to be saved, I wanted us to think about what distinguishes the true gospel from a false one. What do I mean? There are three aspects to this issue I want to mention.
1. The terms involved. Let’s define some biblical words. The Bible states many times that salvation, in the context of this article I mean eternal deliverance from eternal death to eternal life, comes through believing the gospel. Paul said in Romans 1:
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (the gospel) is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
a. What is the gospel? It is the truth that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, died for our sins and came back from the dead. It is well defined in 1 Corinthians 15:
1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Luke records this:
Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
In v.10, “good tidings” means “good news” and it is the same root word as “gospel” in Romans 1:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:1. Also in 1 Cor. 9:16 where it says:
1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
b. What is believing? It is the Greek word “pisteuo” meaning to have faith in, or to trust in. Simply put, when a person understands their need for a Savior, and trusts in Jesus Christ, believing that He paid for their sins on the cross and came back from the dead, that person is saved.
2. The reality of what the believer already possesses. If I already have everlasting life, then it makes no sense that I have to do something more to get what I already have.
Many times in Scripture it tells us that if we will trust or believe in Christ, He saves us that moment. If we are saved that moment, then there is nothing else for us to do to be saved. In other words, you don’t have to do something more to possess eternal life if you already possess eternal life. The transaction has taken place. You have been saved. Millions can testify that when they quit trying to earn salvation, but simply put their faith in Christ, they were born again. If this is enough, and it is, then that is all a person needs to do to be saved. Many scriptures bear this out.
Let me give some examples:
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
The word “hath” means you have it now. If I have it now, and I received it by putting my faith in Christ, then there is nothing else to do. I am already born again, a child of God, adopted into the family of God, I possess eternal life, I have an inheritance reserved for me, etc, etc.
Put another way, if trusting in Christ “did the job” then the job is done! Look at these verses:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Notice that if you believe you are not condemned. John 5:24 says that passing from death to life is a one way door, and it is only by believing:
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Again, the one who believes “hath” or has, or possesses now, everlasting life. Also, “is passed” means “has passed”. It is a done deal. This is again repeated in John 3:36.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
We see the same truth in Acts 16:31. Paul and Silas could have told the jailer anything when he asked them, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”. They said only one thing: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. They did not say, believe and commit, believe and behave, believe and turn from your sins, believe and follow Christ. All of these things are good to do, but they have nothing to do with saving you.
My point again is simply this: If I can be saved by simply putting my trust in Jesus Christ as my Savior, then why would I have to do anything else to be saved? I am already saved! If this brings salvation, then this is the gospel, the good news. To add commitment, surrender, becoming a follower of Jesus, etc. must be false, because I have already been saved through faith in Christ.
3. The fact that there is only one message that brings salvation. In Romans 1:16, it says that IT (the gospel, singular) is the power of God unto salvation. If there is only one gospel, and by believing the gospel you receive, that moment, everlasting life, then any other message must be false. The letter to the Galatians explains it ever so clearly in chapter 1:
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
“Another” is the word heteros. It means another of a different kind.
Galatians 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
“Another” in v.7 is the word allos, which means another of the same kind.
What Paul is saying is that the Galatian believers were being led astray by false teachers who did it with a different message. In v.7 Paul says that this different gospel perverts the true gospel. The word “pervert”, metastrepho, means, according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary, to transform into something of an opposite character”.
In other words, the false teachers introduced a “gospel” that could not save but just the opposite- it kept people lost and gave people a false hope. Paul has strong words for those who would add to the true gospel:
Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
What was the false gospel? The false gospel that the false teachers brought in added good works to faith in Christ. This is clearly brought out in chapter 2-
Galatians 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.
How is a person saved? There’s only one way- by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
In conclusion, let me wrap things up by giving a summary: The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died to pay for all of our sins and came back from the dead. If I put my faith in Him, that He did that for me, I receive that moment everlasting life as a free gift. If I have everlasting life as a present possession, then there are no other requirements to getting saved, for I already am saved. Therefore, any message that adds to faith alone in Christ alone, is a false, counterfeit message that cannot save.
I can rejoice in the simplicity of the gospel and my eternal security in Christ.
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Tom Cucuzza Voice of Assurance
Robert (Bob), I witness also that I am in agreement with Johninnc and believe what he says is consistent with the Word of God.
I taught through John in our women’s Bible study over a year ago. The contrast there in John 3 is a birth of flesh to the difference of being born again of the Spirit. Something Jesus said as a ruler of Israel Nicodemus should have been familiar with (because of the prophecies). This spiritual birth is the Water we see spoken of in the next chapter. The Living Water where we gain eternal life. Water baptism is just a figure of the Holy Spirit all believers receive which washes the inside of us not the outside (1 Pet 3).
The same contrast was made in John chapter 1 by John the Baptist. He baptized with water, but Jesus would be the one that would baptize with the Holy Spirit (the Living Water).
The same Living Water Jesus cried out about (in John 7) at the Feast of Tabernacles. Appropriately the feast reminded the Jews of the prophecies of the day God will tabernacle among men.
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, >>as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
All who believe will be baptized into the body of Christ by the Spirit (rivers of living water), and we see this in 1 Cor 12:13, Eph 4:4-6, and Romans 8:9 tells us if we don’t have the Spirit we are none of His. Even back in 1 Cor 12 speaking to who Paul called carnal and spiritually babes, he did not testify that all believers spoke in tongues (1 Cor 12).
Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
The evidence of speaking in languages (always understood and always interpreted) was so that all could understand the gospel in their language and believe. This was the ‘evidence’ to others that they were of Him, that they spoke His Word in their language and others were able to judge it and say ‘amen’ this is truth. God knows who are His.
Paul chastised the spiritually immature church of Corinth for their lack of order, and lack of understanding in what they were doing. He said a non-believer who came in would think they were mad. This is a spirit of confusion, not the same as speaking the gospel in someone else’s native language as what happened on the Day of Pentecost when the church was first formed.
We don’t drink poison and then not call poison control and go to the hospital. We know we’re not picking up snakes and would go get anti-venom if we get bitten by one. I am sure if you had a child get bitten a rattler you would take them to the hospital, instead of claiming Luke 10:19 or Mark 16:17-18, as being for us personally now. Obviously God can do any of this at any time, but these sign gifts were for establishment of the church and to show the authority of the apostles, along with the spread of the gospel in someone’s own language.
So context is very important. Who was this spoken to? When, why, what, how, where, and is it for now, a time, or forever? Right now, I do not speak another language, either by learning, or even if was still for today, the Word is clear, for it was the ‘lesser’ of gifts and not the one to seek.
Paul was a learned man who spoke many languages, but he said this in 1 Cor 14 and it is something anyone who says they speak in tongues should ask themselves, and realize it’s what God’s Word requires of them:
14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
God’s will is that we should have understanding, and so He does not give something to someone they don’t understand that is not for the edification of all. At that time, Jews from all nations were gathering in Jerusalem, and speaking many different languages. Although some knew several, usually at least Hebrew or Aramaic and Greek — the special were educated to know more. But here were the disciples in Jerusalem, (certainly the fishermen unlearned), and yet they were speaking in all these different languages, speaking of the wonderful works of God, and the miracles of Jesus. The prophecies fulfilled – proving He was the Messiah foretold, that they rejected and killed. And testifying to what Christ did for them on the cross (the gospel).
We know we don’t now abide by everything the early church did (such as communal living), nor are we called to, because this is what the Jewish believers did at that time in history to avoid what was coming that was prophesied of that would happen to them specifically. It was to make sure they all had food to eat and money to help those who were being persecuted, and money to spread the gospel. I hope you might consider any of this and study His Word in order and praying for His understanding.
Bob, welcome and thanks for your comment.
Many are confused about what “born of water and spirit” mean.
John 3:5-6: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
I think “born of water” refers to a woman’s water breaking when she gives birth, which would be common to all people. An alternative meaning, is that when a person believes on Jesus as Savior, he literally receives the seed of God, with water used as a metaphor. In no way does scripture teach that the work of water baptism is required to receive the free gift of eternal life.
“Born of the Spirit” means that the Holy Spirit regenerates a person at the moment he believes in Jesus as Savior. There is no evidence, such as “sign gifts” or speaking in tongues, required to evidence that one has received eternal life.
We believe that the gift of tongues (languages) was a manifestation of the Spirit’s power solely for the demonstration of God’s wisdom, purpose and power in the establishment of the early church, and always was in a language that was in use. The Church is established and this gift has ceased. Acts 2:6; I Corinthians 14:22.
We receive eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Well I admit first I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if this question has been asked or answered.. I believe that the gospel to preach is indeed the Gospel Of Grace but just believing or having faith I question.
Jesus Christ says in John we must be born again..TWICE…..born of water and spirit. I then assume it is baptism, by full immersion as Christ demonstrated and the infilling of His Holy Spirit with the bible evidence of speaking in tongues. Once you are born again an accepted by God by His giving of His Spirit then you are covered by His Grace that can’t be earned by our works. Then walk in that Spirit and give it your best shot so to speak because He has covered everything.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
James, thanks for your comment.
We seek to be faithful to God’s word here, and to encourage our readers to study scripture so that they will be better equipped to defend the gospel.
Thank you for being faithful to the Word.
Thank you for the information on Nick Vujicic. I’m always wary of anyone that ends up on Oprah, or with Rick Warren, or gets all of celebrity “Christianity” talking about that person. It is sad about the disability that he lives with, but, that does not change the fact that his doctrine is to be examined just like everyone else. And he is clearly not letting his hearers get the message of the true free gift of salvation.
Thank you Curtis for finding that and doing all that homework. I heard him ‘give the gospel’ on Oprah, there basically was no gospel. So terribly tragic that they don’t see the obvious problem here. Their goodness, their intentions, their sincerity, how much is enough? What percentage is failing? How long? So sad, I sure pray that some are delivered and that the Lord might lead us to some who need help understanding how to get out of false doctrine, or others who need to hear the real gospel….
Curtis, this sounds a lot like the SBC language.
Statement of faith , Warning False doctrine
WE BELIEVE that salvation is a free gift from God; that a sinner is saved by grace through faith alone, wholly apart from any human merit; that all who believe in Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the cross, receiving Him through faith, in true repentance, confessing Him as both Savior and Lord will be saved. (Acts 4:12; John 1:12; Romans 1:16; 3:21‐26; 6:23; 10:9‐10; Ephesians 2:8‐9; Titus 3:5‐7)
and it gets worse under Know God
HOW DO I BECOME A CHRISTIAN?
First, understand and accept that you are a sinner……
Second, acknowledge Jesus Christ died on the cross for you……
Third, repent of your sin……
Fourth, accept Jesus Christ into your heart and life……
I admit that I am a sinner. I am separated from You because of my sin. But now I understand that You came and died on my behalf to completely take care of my sin problem. I am ready to repent of my sin and turn around and move toward You. I confess with these words that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Lord, I believe you were raised from the dead for me. Thank You for saving me. Amen.
“WE BELIEVE that salvation is a free gift from God; that a sinner is saved by grace through faith alone, wholly apart from any human merit;”
apart from any human merit;
Got to wonder if Nick even read his own doctrinal statement and gospel presentation and reading he see’s what is written
I looked at this young man yesterday, Nick Vujicic, who has a motivational story he has told over the years. Born without limbs. He has hung with the Rick Warren’s, Joyce Meyer, the Beveres, and now this ‘evangelist’ is doing a motivational thing with Tony Robbins. I can’t say what this man has believed, but if he is saved, he is hanging with the wolves and fellowshipping with the unfruitful deeds of darkness. There are so many hirelings out there, blown about by every wind of doctrine, it’s tragic. But Jesus of course knew it would be this way at the end. And He told us in His Word.
Very good points, Holly. All these people want “unity”, but as you said, it is a false unity. And that false unity leads to exactly what the Bible said would happen in the last days, a world false belief system that will one day lift up the beast.
Shane, I agree. Can you imagine Paul telling the Galatians, “close enough”?
That is not love, but compromise of the truth. God’s Word belongs to Him, and His doctrine belongs to Him and is not to be ever compromised, especially when it comes to an eternal life or eternal death matter… That makes me tremble (Is 66:2), some have absolutely no fear it seems of compromising God’s Word in the sake of false unity.
Holly, you are right, Chuck Smith wrote in several of his books that catholics were Christian. There was a deep ecumenical thing going on with him. It’s either never talked about by those that were taught by him, or those that followed him held his positions. I’m not sure which. The catholic issue is a litmus test for people that claim the name of Jesus. There was an article in the last couple days that said that “evangelical pastors” are overwhelmingly holding to the position that catholicism is “good enough” to qualify as Christian. And we know that isn’t true. As you rightly said, a catholic person isn’t saved if they believe that (or any) works-based religion. True love for catholic people, will tell them that they need to get away from the doctrines of catholicism, and believe in Jesus apart from works.
Calvary chapel ‘papa’ Chuck also never disavowed his associations with Aimee and also Kathryn Kuhlman along with Lonnie Frisbee. These people needed marked and avoided. He talked about Catholics being Christian (well not if they haven’t ever believed the truth but instead believe a works based religion). We know we cannot lose our salvation, I hope he came to a knowledge of the truth at sometime in his life. Who knows, but the doctrine itself was flawed.
Curtis, the roots go back worse and worse. Calvary Chapel’s Chuck Smith was trained in seminary by the foursquare system, which was the false prophetess Aimee Semple McPherson’s system. Very lordship and very “lose your salvation”. Apparently he never shed all that baggage. There are some Calvary Chapel pastors fighting LS, but the majority are LS. The youth are what they go after, like the band you mentioned, or the Francis Chan type thing. They use the “get ’em young” philosophy, but the true Gospel is stronger than any of that.
There is a very popular band that has ty,s to calvery chapel. I listen to a band leaders testimony and it sounded good until I got a firm foundation on The Truth of The Gospel. Then listening again I now see what is missing in this band member testimony
The Gospel is missing. And unfortunately and sadly droves of young follow this band and their brand of twisted gospel of works.
Yes, Bill McCartney and the Vineyard. Very lordship salvation. Vineyard came from Calvary Chapel, which is also lordship salvation. Chuck Smith would repeatedly say that you can lose salvation. There are Calvary Chapels that seem to be trying to escape the lordship salvation positions of the founder, however, it varies from pastor to pastor.
Promise keepers is pretty much gone, but even that concept was very law-based.
Exodus 19:8 “And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do”
There was the first type of promise keepers meeting, out in the wilderness with Moses as the law was given.
They couldn’t keep it. Neither can we. Being under grace means being dead to the law (and dead to making vain promises), and being alive to Jesus Christ.
Christ certainly does miraculous things in our lives as we grow in His grace by cooperating to remain in His Word and abide in Him. And all along we have to prove all things, testing the spirits, marking and avoiding those with divisive doctrine. Adding to our faith is sure helpful (2 Pet 1:5-9) but these things come as we study with His approval in mind as we are in fellowship with Him and others.
Phil, Promise Keepers swept through churchianity for a few years and was gone.
Unfortunately, works as proof of salvation, and life change as Christian testimony are still the mainstay.
Recently, there was a documentary on TV, I think called ” The Gospel according to Bill McCartney.” As expected, it failed to show the simplicity of the gospel that secures our eternal life. It goes into everything about how Christ changes our lives. All I heard was about what we need to do instead of the finished saving work of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, the gift that secures the believer’s salvation once and for all time.
I was one of those who attended the Promise Keepers in the 1990’s, and I found that McCarthy had his own brand of LS. He gave a talk using Revelation 20 and made it sound like believers were under the judgements mentioned in it. I think McCartney is with false teaching Vineyard church.
I think my comment never went through. it is not in “moderation”.
anyway, before Pauls conversion, he was a Pharisee. This is what he wrote about himself in Phil 3.
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I MORE:
5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a PHARISEE;
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, BLAMELESS
Paul states here that if anyone could glory in their flesh, it was himself. He called himself “blameless”. As a result, we can conclude that Paul would NOT have had the mentality of Romans 7:14-28 before his conversion.
it was not until after his conversion that he learned, no good thing dwelleth in his flesh. This is why he wrote here in Phil 3:3 – to put NO confidence in it.
my two cents.
Amen Pastor Tom , thanks for commenting
I was being facieest and dont know how to spell it , but it not work so good on a blog with out the voice inflexions
might I add to this??????
if it was before conversion THEN Paul was still Pharisee. This is what Paul wrote about himself.
Phil 3 – For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I MORE:
5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a PHARISEE;
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, BLAMELESS
Before conversion, Paul considered himself “blameless”. THUS Paul would NEVER have had the mentality of Romans 7:14-28 “before” conversion.
It was not until after conversion where Paul realized, no good thing dwells in the flesh (Rom 7), and that he should put no confidence in the flesh (Phil 3:3)
my 2 cents.
Tom, it’s good to hear from you. No question, it’s in the present tense.
Curtis: The whole passage is written in the PRESENT tense. It refers to his life as a believer. He was having to learn the life lesson that just as Jesus saves us from Hell, He is also our Everyday Savior! It is all by faith in Him.
and Yes Phil if one was to walk into an assembly and talk like Romans 7
they would probably try and get you saved (Justified).
maybe its a typo ? maybe a language problem?
if Paul being successful in making Jesus AS Lord and Savoir of his life it should say “wretched man I WAS” because if anyone could crank out the christian life it would be Paul a Pharisee of Pharisees
O wretched man that I am! ,
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Phil, I’ve heard that interpretation as well. If that were the case, how would one explain sin in the life of a believer?
Galatians 5:17:For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Some of these same people will tell you that if you commit the sins in “the lists” (1st Corinthians 6:9-10 and Galatians 5:19-21), you were either never saved, or will lose your salvation. But, the Bible says differently.
1 Corinthians 3:3: For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
It was not the Corinthians feet (or legs) that were causing them to walk as men, anymore than it is the feet of those who preach the gospel that makes them preach the gospel.
Romans 10:15: And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Both walking as men, and preaching the gospel of peace, are choices that believers make. The Bible clearly teaches this.
Curtis and holly: Some of the LS’er and Calvinist persuasion will say that Paul’s wrestling with sin in Romans 7 was BEFORE he “repented of his sins” and “made” Christ his Lord and Savior. .
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”. – 1 John 4:10
Curtis, Romans 7 is one of my favorites. I catch myself so quickly doing something I do not want to do, or worse, doing something on purpose I know I should not do. It’s strange, but legalism does cause me to sin more, it’s like a diet, if you’re going to start one in the morning, you have all sorts of things the night before, then the guilt sets in, so then you don’t start the diet 🙂
I find I do better if I keep my mind on eating well. It’s the same with Him, if I do not just live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord, I do so much better. His Word really does have power, and if I spend some time there, remaining, hearing His Word, it’s what I need, it’s the good part that will never be taken from me. His Word strengthens me, and sustains me in these hard times as the Holy Spirit brings it to my remembrance. It gives me knowledge of the One who suffered and died on my behalf, how unappreciative or how I really don’t comprehend the magnitude of what He did, or what He suffered for me. I don’t love Him enough ever. I don’t love others as myself enough, or probably rarely. So how often do I fail the whole law? I am with Paul, I thank God it is the Lord who will deliver us from this body, but has already delivered us from the penalty of this body of sin.
Paul wrestling with legalism
Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Rom 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom_7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Paul getting focus back on Jesus Christ , Its all about Jesus living His life through us
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Daniel, welcome and thanks for your comment.
I agree completely.
It’s true that it is not about my performance or obedience but it is all about Jesus Christ
You know one mentioned to me that Joel has been very favorable as of late to Muslims, and so this may be a two-fer. He gets both the Islaamic crowd by removing these things, and he gets the Daniel’s fast/Oprah/Dr. Oz crowd, and he’ll do well there too. It’s strange bedfellows yet something that will happen in the end. Compromise of the truth = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Preston, no doubt.
We may even have Billy sightings, a la Elvis.
lets assume Billy is only worth $25 million (I would say more). Once Billy dies, all the Billy G stuff that will be solicited (books. CD’s. probably a movie or television movie)….will generate that 10-fold. Unfortunately, with all the Billy hype, people will flock to it.
Phil, according to Michael Patrick Bowen’s book “I Never Knew You,” Joel Osteen preaches a standard Lordship “salvation” false gospel (repent of sins, ask Jesus into your heart, make Jesus both your Lord and your Savior).
LS and enthusiasm are both big sellers. I read this morning that Osteen has a net worth of $40 million, placing him significantly above Billy Graham’s $25 million net worth.
holly, maybe this “rebelliousness” could be the start of a change for the good: it could be the start of his fans actually looking into the word of God and rightly dividing it. Maybe his followers will actually look at what Romans and Galatians have to say about dietary laws or any of the law. Hopefully they will tell the truth about Joel. This is typical word of faith false teachings.
Joel became popular because he had this positive, never quit approach to life. But I think that when more and more people in his mega arena church start being Bereans then they will become more and more of a thorn in his side. Joel Osteen might seem like mister nice guy, but he seems to be becoming one of the “power corrupts”.
I can’t remember off hand if you have a Wiki listing of the Hall of Shame preachers on Osteen. But with his trying to put his members back under the Levitical law of Moses, people should be warned.
Phil R. Interesting you should bring up the ‘gospel of prosperity’, just watched a video awhile ago, don’t know if it’s old or new, but had to just shake my head. Joel Osteen is now touting dietary law as ‘honoring God’. I had to laugh when his prosperous audience groaned and murmured when he brought up lobster and crab and shrimp, clams, mussels and oysters…. I couldn’t listen any more, but he joked and asked “why y’all being so rebellious today”?
Joel says he’s doing it not just to be healthier but to ‘honor God’s law’.
Oh brother… they won’t read the Word, they won’t share the Word, but they’ll tell you what it means, and the people love to have it so…
The gospel of salvation has been so corrupted and twisted from the clear and simple message of the finality of Christ’s finished saving work. Instead.It is presented as the “gospel of prosperity” and “gospel of healing”, and “claiming your victory.”
Re-posted today on Facebook. Reminded as I saw an article by a guy who was ‘outing’ lawkeepers, but advocating keeping law in order to keep your salvation… People need to KNOW what the simple gospel is and not put up with those who preach another gospel, who preach another Jesus (2 Cor 11:3-4).
Joshua Ben Moses, You asked, ‘Doesn’t this verse mean that there is more to the gospel than recieving God’s grace? I need a yes or no answer, and I shall ask no more questions.”
My answer is that there is no more to the gospel than BELIEVING upon Jesus Christ as our Saviour (who He is-kyrios-God, the Messiah) and what He has done (died for our sins, buried and risen again as the Scriptures said).
Joshua Ben Moses – I am not Pauline or hyper or ultra dispensational. Don’t you find it ironic that you say context, context, context on Matt 7:21, yet use only one verse? This speaks to false prophets who inwardly are ravening wolves.
In answer to your question: (sorry for breaking the length rules in answering Johninnc). Here is context which you have neglected. Jesus (as John has said before) never denied these men’s ‘wonderful works’.
Remember who is being spoken of; False Prophets a.k.a. ravening wolves.
1. What do you see to be the work God tells us to do vs. the ones they justified themselves by? What work can we do for salvation? (Romans 4:5, Romans 11:6)
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:28-29
2. What do you see to be the will of the Father spoken of in Matt. 7?
And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 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. John 6:39-40
3. Note that He NEVER KNEW them. (Look up John 10:14) They were never His in the first place.
4. Sadly, they call Him Lord, Lord… (Lordship teachers certainly do that. These same teachers accuse the sheep falsely, saying we don’t want to submit to His Lordship. Not true, we just do not submit to their false definition of what it means)
5. Ask yourself, who did these false prophets in Matt 7 glory in? Is it about what God is doing in their life? Or about how radical a disciple they are? What their wonderful works are? 1 Cor 1:30-31
6. What makes one righteous? Who are the unrighteous? Or workers of Lawlessness? Who is our righteousness? Doesn’t it seem these false prophets are seeking to establish their own righteousness? Rom 10:3-4
Do you call Him Lord? Plenty of Lordship teachers, pastors and church goers say they submit to His Lordship. Have they? Have they done His work, or followed His will? Or do they boast right up until the end about their own wonderful works? We were ungodly when he justified us. We were yet sinners without strength.
For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. Rom 4:2, 5
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. Gal 2:16
For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:19
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you. 2 Cor 10:12-13
HAVE THESE MEN DENIED THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL?
ARE THEY COUNTING ON THEIR MANY WONDERFUL WORKS?
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:17-18
Joshua Ben Moses, Jesus paid for our sin so that we don’t have to. So, God’s grace and his justice go hand in hand. Our sin had to be paid for.
We are saved by grace through faith in Christ. Had Christ not died for our sins and had He not been raised from the dead then none of us would be saved.
See our “Difficult Verses” section for a discussion of Matthew 7:21-23.
Context and content…. Matt 7: 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.
Doesn’t this verse mean that there is more to the gospel than recieving God’s grace? I need a yes or no answer, and I shall ask no more questions.
Context and Content
even some of Jesus followers missed it
he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not,
that believe not, that believe not, that believe not, that believe not
that believed not,that believed not,that believed not,that believed not
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Joh 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
Joh 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Joh 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
Joh 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
Joh 6:59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
Joh 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
Joh 6:61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
Joh 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
Joh 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
Joh 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
Joh 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
Joh 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
keep asking questions.
as for the narrow way and the gate through which one must enter; Jesus said, I am the door: BY ME if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture (john 10:9).
Jesus ALONE is the door (narrow way). Trying to enter through another door such as…
3. law keeping (turn from sins)
are ALL different doors by which no man will enter.
I hope you are not falling for the “Paul was not an apostle” teaching that is out there.
So what other passages are bothering you????
as for not being simple to you, trust me, we will try. pick up a KJV.
2 Cor 11:3-4 – 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
friend, we have all had scriptures that have thrown us for “a loop” in our walk with God. Why should you be any different??
Joshua Ben Moses, all words in the Bible are inspired. Jesus’ spoken words carry no more, or less, weight than scripture in the Epistles.
Regarding Jesus’ preaching on grace:
John 4:10: Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
Revelation 21:6: And he said unto me, It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst the water of life freely.
Dear Curtis M.. You say ‘The Gospel of the Kingdom , The Gospel of Grace are not the same program , don’t believe me , study for yourself asking for wisdom and understanding.’
I need some elucidation, my brother. Are we to preach the gospel that Jesus Christ preached or that which His followers taught? In other words, which of the above supercedes the other?
@Hollysgarcia… Its true that Jesus Christ brought a simple narrow gospel, but the enemy already introduced counterfeits by the 2nd Century AD. Having been raised in a secular system with a secular worldview/mindset, the gospel is not that simple for me and others like me- there are too many narrow paths all claiming to lead to the Father. How I wish you would also quote Jesus on the subject of grace, in addition to 1 cor 15, because we are Christians and not Paulians. That would increase my confidence levels in your message, and I teach what I have not believed and understood.
Joshua Ben Moses, I don’t think the article ‘narrowed down the gospel of Jesus Christ’ to anything, certainly not ‘absurd’, I believe the Bible narrowed down and clarified the simplicity that is in Christ in a way so clear a child could understand it.
Paul trembled when he preached and was determined to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified, because he knew it was the power of God unto salvation, and he was not going to use wisdom of men, nor excellency of speech. He warned believers of those who would corrupt the simplicity that is in Christ. The gospel is narrow, it is simple, and it is not complicated until the enemy subtly comes in with another.
Since it is the way to receive eternal life, we take it very seriously wanting to keep it laid out as it was in 1 Cor 15, as the gospel that all the apostles preached, the gospel they all believed, received, were saved by, and stood in. I love the fact that Jesus is the narrow way, the strait gate to enter in. Praise God for the simplicity that is in Christ.
Joshua Ben Moses , Welcome
The Gospel of the Kingdom , The Gospel of Grace are not the same program , don’t believe me , study for yourself asking for wisdom and understanding. As you already are
Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Bobbie Jo, I agree with all of your points regarding tongues.
It has always amazed me how many speak of “tongues” without knowing the biblical gift of tongues vs what we see in the Pentecostal and charismatic movements. Tongues was used for a specific reason: the spread of the gospel during Pentecost. They spoke an ACTUAL language. Not some secret language no one can understand. They usually reference the verse about needing someone to interpret…once again, a real language! Italian, Spanish, English, etc. These are biblically “tongues”. Falling to the ground “slain in the spirit” is not biblically accurate. Rolling around on the ground laughing hysterically, barking like dogs and everything else doesn’t glorify His Gospel or the spread of it which was that gifts purpose. The verse about having someone to interpret and if not he’s speaking to only himself and God? Its still a language it’s simply no one else understand the REAL language that man is speaking. It’s my belief biblical tongues is no longer valid but won’t say positively. Either way? It doesn’t cause barking or an outburst of “mental instability”. My two cents. If I’m wrong in any area someone please correct my mistake so we may all benefit and grow in Him. Thanks
In Christ eternally (miss ya, Jack)
Joshua Ben Moses, welcome and thanks for your comment.
Every word in the Bible is inspired by God. All scripture is true, inspired or spoken by God. Jesus’ words confirm everything else in the Bible.
While there are many truths about Jesus’ coming Kingdom that are revealed in the Bible, the gospel is the message that is repeatedly affirmed in the Bible as the good news of how Jesus (God in the flesh; God our Savior) provided for our reconciliation to God through His atonement for our sins.
We are saved when we believe in Jesus as Savior.
 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
This is summarized as follows:
1 Corinthians 15:3-5:
 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
Many passages affirm this:
Genesis 3:15: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Isaiah 53:5: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Romans 10:9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
 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;
 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
You said: Jesus Christ neither preached, nor commissioned us to preach the gospels of prosperity, grace, healing, deliverance, tongues, etc. Instead, the Master promises us all these wonderful things if we SEEK FIRST His Kingdom. Universal truth is not measured in mass appeal. God bless us, everyone.
My comment: Jesus commissioned us to preach the gospel.
Mark 16:15: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
1 Corinthians 1:22-24:
 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 2:2: For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Belief in the gospel results in eternal life. We must have Christ’s righteousness (imputed perfection) in order to have eternal life. God does not promise us tongues, material prosperity, physical healing, and so on. He promises eternal life to anyone who believes in Jesus as Savior.
I find it absurd when the gospel of Jesus Christ is narrowed down to particular aspects of the Kingdom of heaven. This article has narrowly defined the gospel as “the truth that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, died for our sins and came back from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:)”.
When Jesus came to earth, He preached the gospel of the coming Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 4:23; Mark 1:14). Indeed, it was the central core of His instruction. The gospel, or good news, of the Kingdom is the message that Jesus urges us to believe today. Since He is the only Being through whom we may receive salvation (Acts 4:12), we must heed His instruction to “repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
Jesus’ message is also called “the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mark 1:1), “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), “the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1), “the glorious gospel” (2 Corinthians 4:4, King James Version), “the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13) and “the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15).
While there is only one true gospel, each of these descriptions focuses on a different aspect of the same message.
Jesus Christ neither preached, nor commissioned us to preach the gospels of prosperity, grace, healing, deliverance, tongues, etc. Instead, the Master promises us all these wonderful things if we SEEK FIRST His Kingdom. Universal truth is not measured in mass appeal. God bless us, everyone.
Thanks for this article, Tom. It’s so very true! There are many who claim they believe one is saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone and almost always seem to add the word “but” to it. True faith brings a change, etc etc. Please show me in scripture where you get that from. If they even give you a verse it’s always taken out of context. When you show them where their misunderstanding lies they get defensive cause their “foundation” begins to crumble. The only foundation is Christ Jesus. Their doctrine crumbles cause they have made their foundation themselves and their “good works”. What a tragedy they cling to these lies.
Thanks You are not nit-picking but exposing bad doctrine.
That is what we do here and we appreciate your research.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I do not want to be the bearer of bad news here, but Patrick seems to be a charismatic/pentecostal pastor in Uganda.
Here are two parts of the statment of faith from the Christ Vision Uganda’s blogspot site:
* We believe in salvation through Jesus Christ by confession in faith.
* We believe in the baptism of the holy spirit, signs, wonders, miracles and speaking in other tongues as initial evidence after the baptism of the holy spirit.
This is from the Who We Are page: IN 2001 the lord spoke to Bishop Patrick Muhumuza, saying that am making you a golden vessel in my family to restore and establish, to spread and accomplish my vision to the nations as it is summed up in Luke 4:18-19
Not trying to nitpick, but the whole title of bishop and him being from Uganda triggered a status flag with me.
And it is nothing against you personally, Patrick, but those will be parts of your doctrine you will have to give up if you want to have good doctrine.
I hope and pray that the Lord will guide you.
Patrick, if you have access (as it seems you do), and I do not know how much, there are several good resources that expreacherman recommends. One is northlandchurch.com, Pastor Tom Cucuzza. He has sermons and media on his page, and additional sermons (about 600 I think) on a link under sermons that goes to ‘sermonaudio.com’ (warning – this is a site that allows anyone to upload sermons from the bad to the good, it is a business, not a source, so just go for Tom Cucuzza’s sermon).
On the link to Tom Cucuzza’s ‘stack’ above there are also a lot of things you can print out if you have the availability. Praying you will continue to ask the Lord to teach you His truth and to keep you from error.
Curtis, please send professor Muthingi’s contact information to our ExP e-mail so that we can forward to Patrick.
I met this gentleman personally several months ago and heard his public testimony on the gospel , His specialty is reaching Africans at his school
Prof Julius Muthengi Phd
I have his personal contact information if moderators will give your email
Bishop Patrick, welcome and thanks for your comment.
We suggest that you contact Dayspring Bible College & Seminary. They have a lot of resources that we think may help you in your ministry.
The Internet address is http://www.dbc.edu
Dear fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, i have been reading the your postings from the schriptures it seems as if we did not understand the work which Jesus did on the cross! we need more information on the GOSPEL of the GRACEA. If possible, i would come and spend there some good time, be trained and come back as a ray of LIGHT and LIFE to my fellow Africans. I have to several states and times in USA and countries but had never visited any Church with GOOD NEWSPAPERS. waiting to hear from you the truth carriers of true Gospel.
Mary, we appreciate your thoughts and acknowledge that there may be spiritual problems either underlying, or contributing to, some of these problems.
However, we’re not equipped to diagnose or make recommendations for treating medical or psychological conditions at ExPreacherMan.
We do know that Satan will use whatever lever is available to harm us.
1 Peter 5:8: be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walkath about seeking whom he may devour:
That is such a complex question Mary and to add to more complexity every soul is different with the same condition.
below is from my opinion from experience , really a internet blog is not the place to be learning about depression but I hope someone may find it helpful.
there is ministry I have found who do their best to balance all these areas but rather not post the link because they end up in ritualistic prayers looking for demons under every rock and bush. one of his books really helped me but I have since moved on.
the medical profession (all of them) looks at treating symptom’s apart from cause’s . As long as you can pay the bill they will keep treating your symptoms until your money is exhausted or you are dead..
The simplistic of physical things could cause depression from Lyme disease to a UTI and both are hard to detect unless they are specifically tested for.
I know of a person who ended up in psyche ward hospital from delusions and depression only to find she had a very bad UTI infection. They were recommending shock treatments for depression while all along it was a simple UTI infection.
when you walk into psychiatrist office , you are going to walk out of there with drugs IF you have the money that’s all they know treat the symptom’s.
a psychologist is different they try to treat the person apart from drugs but still trying to treat the symptoms apart from the spiritual most psychologist are bound by insurance companies and can not address the spiritual. A psychologist does have their trigger finger on a psychiatrist to call and they try to work together.
you walk into a pastors office well here we go again , they will look at the spiritual symptoms and miss the possibility of physical cause and if they are indoctrinated with a twisted Gospel you will come out of office more twisted and more bound up.
You walk into most church assemblies and you will here pastors trying to fix up the Old nature reminding souls they are sinners and need to manage sin , Turn from sin , Repent of sin (of which you can not do because we are sinner’s) and if you say you are not a sinner you are a liar not knowing this is for fellowship with God. They will preach for years upon years focused on sin and sin management and NEVER address the NEW Man and nurturing who we are in Christ Jesus and building our Identity of who We are in Christ Jesus.
every failure has some kind of connection of failure to see who we are in Christ Jesus. Our Identity
there is only 1 remedy for sin that is to confess it to God to be condemned to Hell by the Blood of His one and only Son Jesus. Then get over yourself ,forgive yourself and move on God will never leave you through the consequences of sin He will never leave you ever no matter what.
I do want to ask after reading Sues comments earlier on. Do christians truly suffer Clinical Depresssion. Does it come from the enemy or is it a conditon that needs to be treated with drugs. Every second person is talking about so many people having depression and anxiety disorders. Am i right when i say that depression is from the enemy. In the bible it says god has not given us a spirit of fear, we all fear to some degree. What context is that in, is it for the gospel.
When we look around at the unsaved so many suffer anxiety, if they were in the bible, is it that they would not have this disorder that the psychologists diagnose if they were in the bible. Not trying to be arrogant or anything, just wondering as i watch people go thru years of this.
I am just trying to understand depression, as the whole world lies in the hands of the wicked one. Is the fear coming from the enemy, does he cause the anxiety disorder. Is it a consequence from not being in the word.
You cannot depend upon your own righteousness to be justified before the Holy God of the Universe!!
You must understand God’s Word!!
“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.”
We submit to God’s Righteousness by believing, placing our own faith decision in Jesus Christ alone and not our own behavior, works or righteousness. Depending on God’s righteousness is our only hope for Heaven.
We’ll pray for you — that you will take the GIFT of eternal life which God offers to you (Ephesians 2:8-9) — and believe in Jesus Christ alone as YOUR Savior. You cannot save yourself.
In Je3sus Christ eternally, Jack
Welcome Ben . I am happy you are here.
You put that in a direct way but yes , the drunkard and immoral, the belligerent who have Trusted Christ as Savior have eternal life.
In mans eyes the Gospel is not fair .
We are saved from the penalty of sin which is death and Hell ( eternal torment) when we Trust Christ Jesus as Savior. The consequences for sin remain If I choose to continue doing what I know is wrong I am asking for chastening from my Heavenly Father . We don’t have permission to continue to displease our Father but He loves us still. Some souls wrestle with a besetting sin there entire lives and only show a glimpse here and there of their identity in Christ. BUT that does not prove they are not saved. It proves the Old Nature remains.
Justification and Sanctification are separate when you try to mix the 2 together like all religions do the bible contradicts itself all over the place and scripture becomes a snare.
Most on this blog including myself have been set free from the Indoctrination of religion ” The teachings of man” you can call it Calvanism or any other “ite” or “ism” system of thought. We love souls and choose to study and search scripture on our own even what we read on this blog to see if it be so. I am sorry you see it as bashing another soul’s belief’s. We desire to warn , mark and expose those who would take away the Power of the Shed Blood of Jesus to set souls free to be who they are In Christ Jesus and to be an Original Voice and not a copy of the latest Trend teacher’s twisted gospel message. That’s is no gospel.
I /We don’t question Charles Ryie eternal salvation or anyone else because souls can Trust Jesus as Saviour and wonder off into all kinds of false doctrines But they are still saved ( eternally secure). They are supposed to come out of it but unfortunately few very few come out.
I do my best to stay out of debating the Gospel because there really is no debate there is only one question . ” Have you Trusted Christ Jesus as Your Saviour” ?
let me ask you another question to ponder to your self and don’t expect you to answer ” Why did Jesus come and appear to mankind ?
Ben, we were those things. When we believed, we were justified, glorified and sanctified eternally. Either you are just, or you are unjust. Were you justified in His name by His Spirit? Wasn’t His righteousness imputed to those of us who believed? If you lie once Ben by God’s standards, you are done. By your system, you are counting on how many times you do or do not do something. We are not suggesting that any should sin that grace might abound. We are made righteous by Him, we are righteous in His sight, holy and blameless before Him. Our names are in the Lamb’s book of life. Can you tell me why you think your name is there?
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor 6:11
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 1 Cor 1:30-31
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Rev 21:27
You need to be really honest with God and yourself, because one thing you are right about, the end is near. If you are trying to justify yourself by your own works, you have not understood the gospel I am afraid.
Ben, anyone who believes in Christ as Savior is eternally secure, and has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. The Bible clearly teaches this. A believer should walk in the newness of life (Romans 6:4), but his behavior, good or bad, will not influence his eternal destiny. Unfaithful believers may experience God’s chastisement in this lifetime, or loss of rewards in heaven.
Let me ask you a question Ben: Do you still sin? If yes, are your sins any more acceptable to God than those you have listed? The Bible says in James 2:10: For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
If i understand you correctly, drunkards, slanderers, liars, sexually immoral, fornicators and idolators will be in heaven if they believed in Jesus at “one time”, as you put it? regardless of if they continued their lying, fornicating idolating drunk lifestyles?
Wow, this truly is the end times.
By the way Ben, these people here do not trash anyone, yet they do take their teaching and hold it up to the light of the Scripture, judging within the professing church, as we are told to do. Both Arminians and Calvinists have tampered with the gospel.
You might also go to youtube, and look up Ralph Yankee Arnold’s sermon, “Eternal Security is the Gospel”.
In Him, Holly
Hi Ben, many from the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, as well as some others believe you can ‘walk away’ from their salvation. When we had free will regarding becoming saved, once we believed, we were a gift to His Son, never to be lost, no one able to snatch us out of His hand. Not even we can snatch us out, The King has set His seal, and it is final. We are already seated in heavenly places.
The goal of Satan is to subtly corrupt minds from the gospel. The gospel is eternal security, for the gift, is eternal life. It is based on God’s promise, not our performance. I just wrote on eternal security, it is mostly Bible verses if you’d like to consider.
You pose some interesting assumptions.
I will add a couple of important Bible facts you should try to understand.
When a person, by Grace through their faith decision to believe/trust in Jesus Christ alone as his Savior, he is positionally sealed eternally by God’s Holy Spirit. No one can undo God’s permanent, eternal Holy seal.
Upon belief in Jesus, he is born from above (born again) into God’s eternal family, never to be unborn, just as you cannot be unborn from your natural earthly family.
Ben, I pray this, added to John’s excellent comment, will convince you to believe/trust in Jesus Christ alone for your eternal salvation.
Jesus said in John 10:28
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Ben, welcome and thanks for your comment.
We don’t “rubbish” (trash) Calvinists. We simply compare their beliefs to what scripture teaches and expose where they don’t line up.
We also teach that someone who receives eternal life by a one-time belief in Jesus Christ as Savior is eternally secure. In other words, their eternal life can never be lost or forfeited. We teach the doctrine of eternal security, because it is taught clearly in scripture.
We do not teach that a person who has trusted in Christ as Savior no longer possesses free will. Much of the Bible was written to instruct believers as to how they should live. If Christians no longer possessed free will, those things would not need to have been written in the Bible.
Please note that while a Christian continues to have free will over his actions, he no longer has the ability to influence WHERE he will spend eternity. That was settled once and for all the moment he first believed. However, his actions may result in God’s chastisement during his earthly life, and influence his degree of rewards in heaven.
I hope this helps clarify things.
People on here are rubbishing calvinists, however you people don’t believe in freewill either?
Once you “give your life to christ” “get saved” etc, you can’t choose to turn away or renounce him?
A little ‘word’ study today.
Words do matter, Jesus affirmed how important His Word was when He answered the enemy with it in the desert, when He declared who He was in Luke 4, when He told Martha that Mary chose good part, the needful thing by spending time with Him, hearing His Word. Or reminding us when heaven and earth passed away, His Word would not. Or by praying in the garden for us to be sanctified by His Word, His Word being truth. He knew we would be cleansed by it, washed by it, and grow us and build us up and to give us an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
He answered the Pharisees and lawyers who were trying to trick Him with the Word. He spoke the Word graciously and with power and authority as people flocked to hear Him preach the Word, they were astonished. He used true signs and wonders to affirm His Word. His Words are spirit and life. He affirmed who He was by it, preached the Word where He went and showed us how important to do that so that others might believe by the sown Word. People are able to be made wise unto salvation, get hearing and faith by His Word. His Word is living and powerful, even able to divide that joint and marrow and penetrate to even the thoughts and intents of the heart. It’s able to keep us from sinning if we hide it in our hearts. Able to light up our paths, give us wisdom, counsel, understanding, knowledge of Him. It’s able to grow us, and build us up and give us an inheritance among those of us who are sanctified.
There is far more than that, but I am afraid people really do not believe in the power of His Word and the power of His gospel, nor do they seem to tremble at it…
“Words matter. God has seen fit to communicate with us through the words of the Bible. Therefore, it is important to understand and simply believe what He says.”
2 Tim 1 : 13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Dear Stu… You are wrong. You won’t be seeing a result (as John mentioned) of seeing people live sanctified lives as they can only do that through the One man, who was sanctification for them.
Do you realize that He has done it all? Do you realize you can do nothing but believe? If not, you are lost. And you will bring more down with you.
Believing the gospel which is obeying the gospel, is the only step to take in order to be saved. You have already made it known that you have not believed, because you think the gift that gives righteousness, the gift that justifies is temporal. So you have already declared your unbelief.
Please read through the book of John, read John 20:31 to see the reason it was written. Please pray and ask Him to help you. I am praying still for you, and that you will see before it’s too late. Our lives are short. Ask yourself, what exactly did you believe? You have not obeyed the gospel.
Please for your sake, for your family if you have one, stop right now and just spend some time with Him in His Word and ask Him to show you what is the gospel. What is the free gift. In Christ’s love to you…
Stu, this is the last of your comments that we will be posting.
The reason I allowed this one is to show just how illogical your reasoning is.
You said: Holly – it is not I who am leading others to hell. If I am wrong and the only result is that people lead sanctified lives as a result of living obediently and peacefully then praise God.
Let’s break this down:
Your premise is that one can lose his salvation through sin. That premise is an affront to our Savior and what He accomplished at Calvary. Those who believe they can lose their salvation through sin do not believe the gospel message. There is no evidence of saving faith in a testimony that is tainted by this heresy.
If your premise is wrong, and a lost person errantly believes that he can receive eternal life by trusting in Christ, and by being obedient and not sinning too much, that person will go to Hell.
You said, though, that the only downside is that they will live a sanctified life. But, this is impossible, since they have never been saved. One must be justified if he is to be sanctified. One is justified the moment he trusts in Christ ALONE as his Savior. Without such a moment of saving faith, he will be lost for eternity and will not become sanctified.
Your lack of reasoning transcends the above discussion, in that you claim to believe the Bible is the word of God, and yet you allow for contradictions. One cannot have both eternal life, and be sealed by the Holy Spirit, while being at risk of losing his eternal life. This is utterly ridiculous.
Please see booklet linked below for more information:
Click to access cucuzza-the-permanence-of-salvation.pdf
Holly – it is not I who am leading others to hell. If I am wrong and the only result is that people lead sanctified lives as a result of living obediently and peacefully then praise God. However, if you are wrong and thus cause people to have a false sense of security about their salvation resulting in them ending up in hell, then I shudder to think how you would have to explain yourself when answering to God.
Curtis – 🙂
I just saw your other comment, thank you so much for your encouragement, I am sure that sometimes I do not do so well, but I do try to make sure what I say is lining up with His Word, I sure don’t want to mislead on any points, so I’m trying to handle His Word rightly, with fear and trembling, and with the intent to rightly divide it by studying with His approval always hopefully in mind first. I am so thankful for the washing (sanctifying and cleansing) of the inside of this cup that has come through the washing of the water by the Word. I have so much more to learn, seems like not enough time. I wish had realized this earlier in life. But I am so thankful now…
Stu – I missed your post above mine, which didn’t seem to be there earlier, but may have.
You say ‘cognitive assent’ as if it is a bad thing. Here’s a thought, if you call John, Tom, have you processed this correctly with your mind? (No sarcasm intended.) Don’t we need to believe with our minds? Does not our mind serve the law of God and our flesh, the law of flesh (Rom 7:25)? Isn’t it after we believe that Jesus Christ comes to live in our hearts by faith (Eph 3:17; Rom 8:9)?
You said, “You seem to equate believing the gospel with obedience. I on the other hand, take them as two distinct and separate entities”.
Romans 10:14-17 is quite clear on obeying = believing the gospel (along with the other passages John supplied). So isn’t it more important how His Word equates obedience?
You go to Hebrews 5, have you really looked to the context of this entire book? I ask again in sincerity.
Verse 9 (I believe) speaks on the obedience Jesus performed to secure eternal life for us. What one ‘action’ was necessary for Jesus to finalize redemption for all? It must speak to the act of the humbling Himself unto death on the cross for our sins even though He is equal to God. Once for all (Heb 10:10, 14) just as our receiving the gift of eternal life (sonship) is a one time event that happens when we believe. In the contrast given in 8 to 9, from His obedience to suffer and die and rise again (being made perfect), to our obedience which an only be the one “obedience” necessary for eternal life, which is believing on the free gift He has procured (since eternal life is what is in view in these verses).
The gift of grace is by ONE man.
By the righteousness of ONE.
By the obedience of ONE.
By the reigning in life by ONE, the gift of righteousness came by Him alone. (See more in Rom 5).
The New Covenant is unconditional promise of eternal life, a contract based on HIS promise, not our performance. How can it be so, if our performance is in play regarding salvation, vs. regarding how we SHOULD walk as believers?
I pray you will ask yourself these questions before you mislead others straight to hell, for if you do not believe God’s Testimony of His Son, like the other article you commented on, you have called Him a liar.
Holly Your Comments minister to my soul and sharpen me as well .I thank God for you and your discernment.
Thank you for your input on this thread.
Curtis – I might have read your comment first, and then I would have seen you answered pretty much along the same lines. I do pray Stu will put aside the teachers and the proof texts, and rightly study in context…
I join with you too John right now for Stu, that he might really study with God’s approval in mind. That he might start again with the gospel. I was reminded in reading 1 Corinthians again last night, that after all the things they were doing, the divisions, the carnality, they needed reminded of the gospel that they were saved by, not the one that others were preaching that was minus a resurrection.
In the beginning of 1 Corinthians, the wisdom of men is spoken of frequently, so I pray that he might consider that wisdom of men, is foolishness to God.
The gospel has been preached by men, who do not fear and tremble, but use wisdom of men’s words when they preach it. It is why so many men/women have had their minds corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Stu – please, for your sake, Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 1 Cor 3:18-19
Jesus Death Burial and Resurrection for the forgiveness of sins . see how easy it is even for myself to let part of the Gospel message out . I didn’t drop out death up above on purpose. Its just that I am still a sinner and make mistakes. BUT because of Jesus finished work I am forever a saint in the eyes of God no matter what. In the blood of Jesus a sinner forever a saint I stand.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Hi Stu and Welcome
What I would suggest to you if I may is put aside all teachers and opinions and ask God for His opinion through His Holy Word of Truth concerning the Simplicity of the Gospel in the shed blood of Jesus His Burial and Resurrection for our sin payment.
To me personally when I read your comment the first thing I see is to many words as someone like myself at one time ” Trying to learn what I already Know” . I also was mixed between Justification and Sanctification they must remain separate or the Word of God contradict’s itself and muddies up THE Gospel and turns it into A Gospel.
19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
Stu001, my heart aches for you.
If you think that a believer can lose his salvation, then you are not trusting in Christ.
What you describe is probation, not eternal life. Based on your written testimony, you think that the shed blood of Christ is necessary to take away your sins, but not sufficient.
You seem to have a zeal for the word of God, which is a good start. But, unless and until you trust in Christ alone as your Savior, you won’t be able to understand scripture in a spiritual way (see 1 Corinthians 2:13-14).
Stu, I have no idea whether your apparent current state of disbelief means that you have never trusted in Christ as your personal Savior. But, I invite you to repent and believe the gospel today. I have prayed for you.
By the way John, thank you for the excellent response throughout to Ben, and sharing of the word that was used in that passage, appreciate it…
By the way Jack, I had to smile a little at the reminder of someone calling you a heretic on this article, and seeing my own name mentioned on someone’s blog. A commenter wondered why another blogger would re-blog my post, as she said I spoke against what she called “the biblical doctrine of Lordship salvation”.
I find it interesting they will vehemently protect that doctrine, (which is false) usually by classifying it as somehow being true, by using words such as ‘biblical’ yet cannot stand to discuss the Bible in context regarding the gospel of grace…
Thank you John for answering Stu, I have heard this so many times from people not quite understanding obeying the gospel is believing in relationship to the free gift, but I also find it interesting that the church/churches at Galatia were hindered from obeying the truth by those who were trying to get them to finish in the flesh…
Hi Tom – thanks for allowing me to comment on your post. While I agree with you that only the shed blood of Christ sufficiently atones for our sins, we seem to differ in whether cognitive assent is sufficient or whether our inward belief must be manifested by our outward actions – or “obedience” – if you will. You seem to equate believing the gospel with obedience. I on the other hand, take them as two distinct and separate entities. Heb 5:9 must be taken into context and it seems apparent to me that verse 9 dovetails on verse 8 as evidenced by the conjunction “kai or and.” Thus the “obey” in verse 9 references the kind of obedience described in verse 8. And just what kind of obedience is described in verse 8? Is it obedience as in “believing” as you say, or is it obedience that results in action? Verse 8 states that “he learned obedience through what he suffered” – clearly this verse is not simply talking about obedience as just belief. It goes beyond mere belief to describe how Christ suffered because of his obedient ACTIONS, therefore the same kind of obedience in verse 9 is expected of us as well.
In Romans 8:12-13 Paul warns the brethren in Rome of the neccesity of obedient living. “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. “For IF you live according to the flesh, you WILL DIE; but IF by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you WILL LIVE. Paul is not addressing pagans here because he considers them to be his brothers and sisters and we know that he is not referencing physical death because everyone eventually dies irrespective of how they their lives. Thus the plain meaning of these scriptures reveal that it is indeed possible for believers to experience spiritual death and lose their salvation through habitual sin and disobedience.
stu001, welcome and thanks for your comment.
You don’t really seem to understand the gospel. The whole gospel is that Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh, came to reconcile us to God by His death, burial, and resurrection. Whoever trusts in Christ alone as Savior has eternal life. Obedience, in the sense that I think you mean it, has nothing to do with gaining, keeping, or proving eternal life.
Let’s look at some scripture to see what “obey” means in terms of receiving eternal life through faith alone in Christ alone:
2 Thessalonians 1:8: In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Romans 10:16: But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Hebrews 5:10: And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Those who obey the gospel by believing it receive eternal life. That is the context of “obey” in the passage you cited.
While “belief” is certainly part of what it means to be saved, it only represents one component of the whole gospel message. Don’t forget or overlook the other part which explicitly says: “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who OBEY Him…(Heb 5:9). For the believer, No obedience = No salvation.
Reblogged this on Redeemingmoments.
Ben, I’ve already told you my position on this. It refers to physical life.
The word in James 5:20 that is translated as “soul” is “quchn”, which is one of the tenses of the greek “psuche”. The range of meaning includes physical life and the soul. Please note that this same word “quchn” is used in Matthew 20:28 with respect to Jesus:
Matthew 20:28: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
In this case, it is translated as “life.”
The passage that you quote from Ezekiel also refers to physical life. Ezekiel 18:27-28 gives the flip side:
 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
If this had to do with gaining or losing eternal life, than one could do so repeatedly. If a righteous man could turn to wickedness and lose his salvation, and a wicked man can turn from his wickedness and gain salvation, then what would keep someone from going back and forth?
And, if so, how would eternal life ever be eternal?
Regarding Luke 9:62 I agree. A follower is a disciple. But, one must neither be a follower, nor disciple of Christ in order to have eternal life. Eternal life is obtained by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Some followers of Jesus are unsaved (Matthew 7:21-23). There are no believers who are unsaved.
Johninnc thanks for your thoughts
I believe it is ‘saving there soul from death’ as it says.
Regarding the verse in luke 9v62 I believe a follower of Jesus is a disciple of Jesus. eg “go into all the world, preach the gospel make disciples” etc
It reminds me of this verse in ezekiel 18 v 24
“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die.
The passage in James 5 reminds me also of a similar one regarding Timothy, who we know very well was saved (as in eternal life), and so we are not considering eternal life with this admonition using the word ‘saved’, but deliverance (save) of a physical kind from consequences of not abiding in His doctrine.
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 1 Tim 4:16
Ben, welcome back!
This passage has to do with helping to restore a fellow believer. In so doing, you will help him avoid the negative consequences of continuing in that sin, which ultimately may lead to his physical death.
This is in complete harmony with James 1:12-16, which discusses sin in the life of believers:
 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
So, what do you think this passage means Ben?
Thanks for your reply john
Can you comment on this verse in James 5 19/20
My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back,
let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Ben, welcome and thanks for your question.
This is a discipleship passage, that speaks to the commitment required for discipleship. Eternal life is a free gift, but discipleship requires work and commitment. Jesus does not say that a person who puts his hand to the plow and looks back will not enter the kingdom of God. He says that they are not fit (useful) for the kingdom of God.
Do any here care to comment on luke 9 v 62 (NASB)
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Thanks for stopping by today and thanks for that admonition to stand strongly for the grace gospel of the Bible and for eternal security in Christ (John 10:27-30). Please drop in again sometime.
Yes thank you so much for bringing us back to the simplicity of the Gospel. I have eventually been “in trouble” in a number of churches over this issue. It’s so frustrating because you get to a point where it seems like there is nowhere to go. And also, the arguments of the LS are so strong! It seems like it’s just a tidal wave, and I find that my mustard seed faith makes me sometimes vascillate and stagger between two opinions, especially since there is no one that I know standing with me fully on the side of grace!
I used to think that the great “falling away” that Paul talks about was going to be a departure from Christianity. But I believe it’s a departure/falling away from the Pauline revelation of grace, and Christ in you, our identification with Christ, our being crucified with Him and Christ as our life. In my town I know very few people who are strong on these points, and if they do bring these points up, it’s mixed with law, obligation, commitment, etc.
Honestly it’s quite frightening how strong this tide is, but the Lord is with us and will not let any man pluck us from his hand. Hold fast to what you have and let no one take your crown! And let no one defraud you, judging you unworthy of your prize!
Those few words of kindness are precious to me; I shall think of you as our Pearl, she of great price’ 🙂
Thank you for taking an interest.
It’s just a small part of a very ordinary life, in which failure plays the biggest part.
As long as we are all willing to stand on God’s Word and do HIS will, God will teach us through our failures, and those lessons will not fail. Imo 🙂
Sue, yours is a precious testimony. How wonderful to have believed at such an early age, thanks to the faithfulness of your dear, departed auntie.
I also appreciated your personal take on Romans 8.
I inadvertently truncated verse 19. The full verse reads:
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
Alan, 2 Timothy 2 clearly establishes that it is possible to have our faith overthrown, yet still be secure in Christ. This is not meant as a license to sin, but as a warning to avoid false doctrine.
2 Timothy 2:14-18:
“ Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.”
Bruce, thank you for this clarification.
Christians may choose to respond to chastening in a variety of ways. The Lord’s desired response is that it will bring us back to Him.
There is a great article by J.O. Hosler entitled “Attaching Personal Righteousness to the Back-side of the Gospel’s Requirements”. The article examines thirty-one different false claims of Lordship salvationists. Following is a pertinent excerpt:
“Argument 16: Some will refine their polemic by allowing temporary lapses and yet qualify themselves by affirming that any more than a temporary lapse would mean that salvation had never occurred in the first place.18 But this assumes that no believer can die in one of these states of failure without first repenting. If this is correct, what do we do with Samson and some of the Corinthians (I Cor. 11:30)? Do we honestly believe that a Christian cannot die in a state of disobedience? If he dies in that condition, it was permanent in regard to his earthly life.”
Thank you for the strong warnings about the assurance killer known as Lordship “Salvation,” a.k.a., Lordship Faith, or Lordship Probation. Well said! And I, too, have been accused of promoting antinomianism. This accusation is specious and groundless, for I don’t see anyone, whether Free Grace or LS, promoting or condoning lawlessness or sinful lifestyles among believers, for, after all, that is what antinomianism means. So, again, the LS charge is bogus!
You made the statement, “Believers can live in the ‘far country’ if they so choose, but ultimately the call of home leads us back to Him.”
I would prefer to say, “ultimately the call of God should lead us back to him” (following Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”). Not all Christians finish their lives living strongly for the Lord. I have seen three instances in past churches in which God took Christians out of this life, I believe, through early deaths, because they lived sinful lives and they would not stop doing so. Two were womanizers. Another was an embezzler. From all appearances, these men were truly saved, but they were bringing shame to the name of the Lord and to the body of Christ. I view 1 John 5:16, “a sin unto death,” as applying to this situation. There are other instances in the Bible in which believers did not finish their lives well: Ananias and Sapphira, both of whom were killed for lying publicly to Peter and to the Holy Spirit—Acts 5; King Solomon, who drifted into idolatry at the end of his life; Lot, a backslider most of his adult life, yet Peter declared him in 2 Peter 2:7 to be just (a believer); Noah, a great man of faith, but whose last recorded act was to get drunk on wine.
I agree with you that the LORD’S chastening is not the basis of our eternal security. My point in bringing this up is that the teaching of eternal security does not mean that we can sin with impunity. I often hear the charge of antinomianism leveled against those who hold to the teaching of eternal security. Believers can live in the ‘far country’ if they so chose, but ultimately the call of home leads us back to Him. That is the purpose of His chastisement. His discipline is always redemptive in nature and for our good.
The Lord’s chastening of Christians also negates the teaching of lordship salvation, for it shows it is imposssible in this life to live a life of sinless perfection. Hebrews 12:5-7 indicates that ALL of His children undergo discipline. Who would ever discipline an obedient child? Lordship salvationists however, teach that you must be ‘totally’ surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ in order to validate that your faith is ‘genuine saving faith’. If that is the case, how could they have any assurance of salvation at all?
Alan, you said: “Personally, I don’t believe this is possible, for the LORD chastens believers for their sin and we are kept in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12;5-7, Jude 1).”
The chastening of the Lord for sin in the lives of believers is not the basis for our eternal security. It is to help us grow as believers.
We are eternally secure, because God promises that we are eternally secure. Anyone who denies eternal security is calling God a liar.
Alan, as you know, it is not possible to lose your salvation – either through sin or from “losing your faith.”
Eternal life means eternal life. Everlasting life means everlasting life. If Methodism teaches that persistence in sin can lead to loss of eternal life (through apostasy, or for any other reason), they believe a different John 3:16 than I do.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Please read the booklet “The Permanence of Salvation” by Dr. Tom Cucuzza, linked below:
Click to access cucuzza-the-permanence-of-salvation.pdf
Hi everyone. I have been greatly encouraged by the comments posted on this blog for quite some time, but have been hesitant to respond until now. As a child I was brought up in the cultic teachings of Herbert Armstrong. When my mother left the cult in the late 1970s I was gradually able to break away from that false gospel and wholeheartedly embrace the true Free Grace Gospel which Herbert Armstrong had constantly mocked and ridiculed.
Sadly, today I hear many of the Calvinist and lordship salvation persuasion- many of them fellow Southern Baptists- in the same way mocking those who believe that salvation is through simply believing the Gospel of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. John MacArthur, Fran Chan, David Platt, and Paul Washer are the most obvious examples of this.
Recently, I felt compelled to leave the Southern Baptist church I had been attending because the pastor was deeply enthralled by such lordship salvation teachers, and I noticed that most of the discipleship training programs were developed by Calvinists-“Crazy Love”, “Secret Church”, “The Truth Project”, and “The Gospel Project”-to name a few.
Although I believe Methodists are in error for not believing in eternal security, I am not willing to consign John and Charles Wesley and their followers to the flames of perdition. As I understand Methodism, they teach that persistance in sin erodes faith in Jesus Christ, which can conceivably lead to apostasy. Personally, I don’t believe this is possible, for the LORD chastens believers for their sin and we are kept in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12;5-7, Jude 1). They are in error, but I do not believe that their error rises to the level of the heresy of ‘faith works’ salvation taught by the lordship salvationists.
Wonderful and powerful testimony Sue.
Some doubt that small children know enough to get saved! Well, believe it or not, I was aged between 3-4 years old when God’s Grace was first made known to me.
My 14 year old auntie, who died at 17 years, witnessed to me very simply. She knew her heart wouldn’t hold out for much longer, and I like to think she felt compelled to make sure I was safe in Jesus before she died.
I don’t remember word for word, but I know she spoke of creation and that God, and His home in heaven, were perfect, and that only people who are perfect can go there. I agreed with her that I could be naughty and understood that would stop me from being able to go to heaven.
She told me about God’s son Jesus, who loved me and came from heaven to earth to die on the ‘easter’ cross just for me. She told me to trust Jesus to give me life for ever and later he would take me to heaven. I agreed, yes, that was definitely what I wanted. From then on I always spoke to ‘my dear Lord Jesus’ and would get upset thinking of Him on that cross yet I involved him as my living friend in every area of my life – especially when I was told I was being naughty.
Aged around 8 years, I had read in my tiny KJV Matt 24:7 that there would be earthquakes in divers places. Then came the news on the wireless about an earthquake under the sea and I understood it to be the sign of earthquakes in Divers places – not diverse/different places, but where divers swam under water!
At about 11 years, still fascinated by Matthew 24 I had another eureka moment so I went flying down the stairs to tell my surprised mum that Jesus was coming back again. She doubtfully agreed ‘one day’ but I insisted ‘soon’ in our lifetime. Mum is now a frail 90 years old!
At that time, I only understood about the second coming. I was 30yrs old when I finally understood the Rapture verses, and from the beginning I saw it as a Pre-trib event even though the evangelicals who told me were a mix of partial and mid – I never was.
My faithful teacher, The Holy Spirit, has confirmed this truth to me over and over again. I never tire of the many Biblical confirmations he has led me to. The enemy enjoyed lying to me about me losing my salvation and put me through torments of self condemnation persuading me that my clinical depression (now lifelong) was because I had committed the unforgiveable sin. What a wicked lie that is.
Now aged 67yrs, 68yrs in September, I have come to realise Clinical Depression is the ‘thorn’in my side that pierces through one of my bubbles of hot air pride. I don’t like it – but – His Grace IS sufficient and I stopped begging God to rid me of it years ago.
Instead I aim to recognise that God wastes nothing Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” and Prov3:5,6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Because eternity is coming fast!
I still struggle to ‘count it all joy’ but I am fully persuaded that [family distress, depression, condemnation, arthritis, diabetes, failing sight, hearing and kidneys, heart arrhythmia, painful spinal damage waiting to become a paraplegic, etc] – ‘shall be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’. (Romans 8)
So very true John.
Thanks for including the link to Tom’s booklet, John. It’s the perfect accompaniment to this post.
OSAS is an irrefutable doctrine, and to say otherwise would be to give more credence to man-made analogies than God’s clear Word, and God knows I’ve allowed myself to be tossed about by the former; what a waste of precious time.
By the way – if anyone reading this doubts the permanence of salvation (once saved, always saved), please read the booklet by Dr. Tom Cucuzza “The Permanence of Salvation”, linked below:
Click to access cucuzza-the-permanence-of-salvation.pdf
Kenneth, I, too, got saved outside of any church. I first believed in the permanence of salvation, and shortly thereafter learned how I could be saved – only by accepting salvation as a gift.
The concepts go hand-in-hand. If one cannot work his way out of being saved, one cannot work his way into being saved.
Great stuff John G. I have a fair amount of catching up to do. Not quite 67 but 50. Got saved in 1981 not in any Church though. I was reading my Bible when I came across John 6:37 Where Jesus says ” He that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. After reading that verse I simply went to the Lord in prayer and said “Lord according to what I have just read here, you will not cast me away if I come to you. I now come to you Jesus. Make it possible for me to be in Heaven one day with you”. At that point in time I believe I received the new birth. The Bible says “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”, and that’s exactly what I did. I started fellowshipping at a Pentecostal Church. I do not however go along with what’s happening in the Crazymatic Churches and I distance myself from that.
Saved by His grace
Hello Jack, Bruce, John, Fred, Pearl et al.
I have this growing feeling of relief to have you to run back to if I venture too far…
Generally I am not adventurous; I don’t have the nerves for it. However, if I find someone caught in an error, I have this huge desire to try and help them see the Truth while praying urgently lest Jesus come and catch them out of fellowship!
In addition, I tremble for their followers being deceived by these well meaning, but equally deceived lambs, in wolfish garb, baring teeth! Concern for these is what draws me into the danger of being doused by buckets full of bitterness and rejection in abundance.
I don’t give up easily, but I do wish I would!
Mostly it makes me sad that the enemy enjoys mocking Jesus as He loses out at our failure to win inheritance rewards to work with Him in the Kingdom and eternity. There seems so little taught about the Bema and rewards – or loss of them. I wonder if it were made more of, it may induce believers to be more faithful and alert to The Word?
Praise The Lord for leading me here to your mature strength and Godly Wisdom.
I want you to know that daily, I am slowly, but surely, working my way through the articles and comments.
Jack, I am very thankful to the Lord, to learn from men such as you, Tom, Bruce, and others, very appreciative for your stand for truth. I pray I contend correctly for His doctrine as in the manner of Titus 2:7-8.
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.
May the Lord be magnified!
I know you are contending.. I read your FB posts and see you have some real “theological” odd-balls harassing you.. but you answer them very well.
Exp belongs to the Lord and all our Gracers who contribute. We love all of you!!
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Tom, thank you so much, great article, great comments, I did see Piper say that as well, ““Nevertheless, we must also own up to the fact that our final salvation is made contingent upon the subsequent obedience which comes from faith.””,
This is why the two camps are man-centered to me whether they realize it or not, and like Peter, when we look at our own ability, we will sink in the stormy waters. May we all yield ourselves to Him since it’s the only way to go.
God bless you all this week.
Jack 🙂 I am still contending, but your posts here on expreacherman sure seem to stir up a lot of people, and I don’t know why I find that surprising, but I confess at times it does surprise me, as I find your posts Biblically based. So, I press on! 🙂 Praying for you and your ministry to continue to touch others and encourage believers and bring the lost to Christ.
Brother Groenewald, You are so right. @ the age of 15 years, I put my trust in Christ. He has never left me! I am now 67. Jesus is still my Savior! Praise His Holy Name, & I know where I’m goin’! Praise Him again!
The Church I that was saved in was a Methodist Church in a small town in Southern Okla. They taught that a person could lose their salvation! It was a young man in my High School whose father was a Southern Baptist preacher that led me to the blessed truth of once I had been born again, I could not lose my relationship with Jesus! That relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship in my live. The knowledge that NOTHING can separate me from the love of Christ is the most precious knowledge that any one can encounter.
God bless all,
Great testimony Rebecca. You are so very right in that all “fruit inspectors” would have written you off as “unsaved” had they seen how you were living.Great to hear how God brought you back into His loving arms. You are precious to Him and He will never loose you. This is the thing,I truly battle to understand how these Arminians can believe that God can or does take back His gift of Salvation. You can never EVER loose your salvation. So many believe in “probation” instead of salvation. Such insecure “believers”.
In Christ always
Holly and All,
The two groups, Arminians and Calvinists, both have their eyes on their own works. The Arminians believe you must perform and be faithful to keep it. Most Calvinists say if you don’t perform you never had it. Some Calvinists even say, although they would deny it, that you can lose it. However, they would say that is a misrepresentation of their position, but it is a true statement nonetheless. As an example, look at this:
John Piper and his staff wrote, “We mean that the saints will and must persevere in the obedience which comes from faith. Election is unconditional, but glorification is not. There are many warnings in Scripture that those who do not hold fast to Christ can be lost in the end.” He continues, “Nevertheless, we must also own up to the fact that our final salvation is made contingent upon the subsequent obedience which comes from faith.” (John Piper and Pastoral Staff, “TULIP: What We Believe about the Five Points of Calvinism: Position Paper of the Pastoral Staff,” Minneapolis, MN (Desiring God Ministries, 1997). Available at his site.
Some might read this and get upset, but I didn’t say it, John Piper and his staff did!
Yes, those who believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone will always be accused of licentiousness. Unfortunately at times it is true. There are believers that use their liberty as a license. But it is wrong.
Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
But this was an issue in Paul’s day as well.
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Notice that there is a choice as to whom we yield ourselves to, but it is also obvious as to who it should be- The Lord.
Something people need to keep in mind: Because there are those who abuse a doctrine found in Scripture is no reason to reject the doctrine. The doctrine is still true. So it is with salvation by grace. The fact that even though we all still sin and yet we are still saved proves its truth, i.e., that it is by GRACE, the unmerited favor, UNDESERVED kindness of God toward us.
Of course we should be careful as believers to live lives that are yielded and obedient to the Lord. But it is in response to what God has freely given to us in grace.
What you report is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that I have been called an heretic by those who are ignorant of God’s Word — and the list is long.
Therefore I claim God’s promise:
God’s Grace is truly amazing!!!
But as you know, folks who disdain and distort God’s Grace will invent every reason to condemn us — but they will not listen to or believe the Truth.
Keep on earnestly contending for the Faith once delivered to the Saints!!! Jude 1:3
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
You are in good company when you are slandered and “get it in the neck.”
My philosophy — stay away from those web sites which do not understand and honor God’s salvation by Grace through faith in Jesus alone.
You said, “I suppose some think it debateable that I am saved for ‘only’ having put my faith in Christ to save…”
It is best not to pay attention to “friends” who are “fruit inspectors” and instead, rest in your own faith based and placed in Jesus Christ alone.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Dear Jack and all
It is somewhat comforting to realise that I am not the only one getting it in the neck! It has been as a direct result of my contending for the faith against LS that I continue to be slandered (am I worthy to be called ‘persecuted’?) by people who do not know me, only that I have challenged those who teach, in part, an LS gospel of good works being evidence of Salvation and sinful acts as evidence of not being saved.
I suppose some think it debateable that I am saved for ‘only’ having put my faith in Christ to save, minus repentance. I was asked what good I was doing ‘just’ reading the Bible’! (If only)
You know I am not perfect; ok lets call a spade a spade, I am a sinner and I don’t need to persuade you of this, but it is the desire of my heart to walk in the Holy Spirit, and I am constrained from sinning by love of Christ; (where is that verse?) I want to do His will and honour Him by living ‘decently and in order’; but when I fail, I always have an advocate in Heaven constantly pleading my case and cleansing me by the washing of The Word.
Its miserable at times (like right now) but I do pray for the strength to stubbornly refuse to give any margin to LS, or any other false gospel such as Lee E. Thomas who teaches “The lost will not and indeed cannot be saved unless someone prays for them…”
Then there is the ‘Colossian heresy’ still active among the church to this day who find it essential to bind the evil ‘strong man’ over people and cities and loose souls from the power of demons.
Then there is the constant ‘pointing of the finger’ by judgmental Christians who see it their place to accuse others of fault, not recognising their own need to forgive.
How much more and for how much longer? I get so fed up!
My husband enjoys hunting, shooting and fishing. He went out to get a camouflage jacket, but he couldn’t find one! 😀
Tom and Bruce, you both sure hit also on how many of us have felt. Overwhelmed and an avalanche with a lot of big boulders too… When you stand for free grace, you are instantly accused of licentiousness. I have been told that Jack is a heretic who says sanctification is optional. I have been un-friended and blocked and railed against in public and in my emails. Sadly though, I think on one person in particular, and she doubts her salvation, and I feel for her, yet she persists in posting Washer quotes and recommending and referring others to John Macarthur’s teaching and his book on the “Gospel according to Jesus”.
We have seen Calvinism and Lordship in many different churches and we don’t think actually that Arminians are too far from Lordship as basically it’s perseverance of the person vs. being kept by the Lord, so it seems both of those schools of thought have made God a liar (I John 5:9-13)
We have discussed among us (a group of Christian friends) how we believe the very thing you mentioned, that this reformed thinking will indeed be part of the end time apostasy. If the church at Galatia before correction, had preached the gospel, would anyone have been saved? I think not according to Paul’s rebuke about them not being straightforward about the truth of the gospel.
I have seen even the ones who are the seeker friendly churches suddenly profess Calvinism, people like Rick Warren identifying himself as a “Kuyper Calvinist”. Spurgeon is being touted everywhere, sent out from Bible sites as a daily devotional. If you might have a problem with anything he said, there is generally a fairly vicious attack since he is the “prince of preachers”. Augustine also isn’t suspect because of his RC and Manichaeist (sp?) background, he is now given accolades as a “great thinker and teacher” (someone defending Calvinism recently said).
Catholics and Calvinists can certainly agree that they are “the” elect, the only true church. We have people like Missler who are teaching Purgatory, and Jack Van Impe professing Roman Catholicism. We have professing Christians such as Paul Crouch wearing priest collars and being accepted by supposed mainstream evangelicals like David Jeremiah and David Reagan. Popular TV personalities such as Ray Comfort, associating with Word of Faith heretic Joyce Meyers. And youth group leader in all types of churches welcoming free gifts of the MESS-age (new age and occult paraphrase masquerading as a Bible in contemporary language).
So they don’t hear the true Word of God and they don’t believe the right gospel, so how indeed will they be saved?
I truly appreciate your encouragement. Thank you so much.
Thanks for the kind words. I am a privileged man to be able to share the truth of the gospel through the many avenues the Lord has opened up for me. I can very much relate to your illustration of trying to hold back an avalanche with a snow shovel. I am amazed at how fast Calvinsm/Reform Theology/lordship salvation is growing. Could this be a large part of the great apostasy prophesied for the last days?
We must all continue by God’s grace to do all we can to reach the seven billion people of this world with the true gospel of grace. An ongoing prayer in our church is that the Lord would show us how we can use our resources in the most effective way to reach as many as we can with the time remaining before the Rapture.
Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation [manner of life] be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Thanks Tom for the terrific article; a wonderful proclamation of the clear, simple, straightforward gospel!
Many people have commented today and other times about how the Christian world has been inundated with the false “gospel” of Lordship “Salvation.” It comes from every corner of “Christianity”—from the pulpits, from popular books, from radio and television, from the blogs, from biased commentaries and biased Bible versions and from “Christian” music. The consensus seems to be that one can hardly attend a church in which LS does not pop up in some form at some time. I once wrote an article in which I stated that standing strongly for the Free Grace Gospel of the Bible against the tsunami of LS propagandizing is like trying to hold back an avalanche with a snow shovel. So how do we combat this onslaught of false doctrine? Tom has the right idea: On a regular basis declare clearly and boldly the Free Grace Gospel, in whatever arena God has placed each of us. Tom does so through the pulpit of his church, through radio broadcasts, through his writing of articles and book, through conference speaking, through blogging and through personal evangelism. Wherever God has placed each of us, we, too can declare the Grace Gospel of the Bible. We’re all doing so on this web site. I am privileged to be able to teach the Bible on Sundays to a group of about fifty adults. It is fulfilling to see people from class “get it” about the Gospel of Grace. It’s also neat to see them distinguish error from truth.
You said, “They grow up and think they’re not even “real” Christians because they aren’t doing everything “right”. It’s a tragedy.”
I couldn’t agree with you more and I pray that more people start realizing this before it is too late.
Tom, thanks for the great article.
Particularly your comment in the summary: “Therefore, any message that adds to faith alone in Christ alone, is a false, counterfeit message that cannot save.”
When churches and ministries “complicate” the Gospel, they have changed it into a counterfeit message that cannot save.
You hit the nail on the head! I grew up in church and because I fell short of “doing” everything I was told to do, I became overwhelmed with shame. I figured if I couldn’t measure up I needed to get out and do my own thing. I started “fooling around” at the age of 16 while my dad was still active in church and successfully lived a double life for awhile until finally I just left the church altogether. It pains me to see so many teens going the same route because they’re being taught the same things I was. They grow up and think they’re not even “real” Christians because they aren’t doing everything “right”. It’s a tragedy.
Thanks for the great article.
I really think you have touched upon something profound with this statement, “It’s no wonder not more “lost” people aren’t interested in the Church, all they see is a bunch of finger-pointing, judgmental people telling them they need to “do, do, do”.” This is also a reason why may young people grow up in church and leave never to come back. If we don’t reach people with the true gospel then we shouldn’t be surprised at the result.
Thanks for your comment. You will find it interesting that one of the verses and concepts I left out of the article because of space was the very passage you included- 2 Cor. 11:3! Thanks for bringing both the verse and concept contained therein to light.
How good The Lord is, and how faithful! I haven’t been coming here very long, and I think this is about the fourth time that the Lord has confirmed what He has been directing me to all on my own. Today I have been quickened about the Simplicity that is in Christ. Then I came here.
I noticed it first in 2Cor11:3, that the enemy likes to make things complicated and trouble our minds. Simple isn’t ‘stupid’ simple is of a ‘sound mind’ imo.
I discovered that the Strong’s Gk572 means a singleness of thought, the sincerity of mental honesty. Simple is the virtue of one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy, not self seeking but open and generous. Simple isn’t ‘stinted’, quite the opposite, it is ‘bountiful’. The enemy is the thief who wants to steal from us God’s simple and precious Truth.
What must I do to be saved? BELIEVE – what could be simpler, yet so abounding; that is God’s goodness toward us.
This is what jumped out for me in Toms article. John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned:…
When we believe in Christ to save, we are no longer under condemnation for ANY sin – then why this breast beating to induce self condemnation and repentance for Justification.
Thank you Tom and ExP for teaching and confirming God’s living Word to me.
What a great posting! And yes the Good News is that simple! Pastors and the church is it not about time to stop the complication? What I have noticed is that the more we have complicated the Gospel, the more abuse in the church is occurring. I wonder why? hmm…
Oh, my heart saddens to see this and know that this complication of God’s Word hinders the lost soul from knowing that God truly loves them and all they have to do is believe and trust Him as their Savior. Wow! if we could truly see how Christ treated those who needed Him with such compassion and such freedom!
Rebecca, cudos to you!! I was nine when I became saved and even though I did not take drugs or live wild, I still was the same as you, a prodigal, in that I stop listening to Christ. I went through clinical depression so that God could wake my slumbering soul with His Holy Spirit. So I have no judgment for those who claim salvation in Him, yet went off the trail.
Pearl, so true… a cancer… It eats away at you… You can never accomplish what you wish to do, it is impossible for the evil that is still present within us, except for Him, if people would instead point people to their Deliverer, instead of their own man and works centered gospel. I find it odd that the works-based gospel mongers harp on the man-centered gospel, or the seeker friendly gospel, not evidently realizing they are all in the same camp.
Tom, thank you for your clarity and boldness as our dear brother in Christ Jack, we are thankful for you both, and appreciate your defense of the gospel. In Jesus Christ’s love to you all…
Rebecca – Wonderful testimony and sounds like you have a wise father. In emphasizing “do, do, do”, I believe they distract people from trusting in the “done” as your professor/instructor said it. It’s the tactic of the enemy, “yea hath God said?”
They have no trembling as they rush in to add to the gospel with their wisdom of words, and instead of pointing people to Christ, as you said, they are busy pointing fingers (and making daily Facebook Quotes out of them with their signature at the bottom I might add:) )
Thanks for your support and encouragement. By all means, use it any way you would like. May we all be striving together for the faith of the gospel. Phil. 1:27.
Great article! Being ever practical, I’m going to print this out & use it &
share this article. With your permission of course?
Yes, this was excellent! Thank you for laying it down, point by point, simply and succintly. And like Jack said, it is a good exercise to frequently review these basics that I never deviate from its beautiful simplicity by even one-hundredth of a degree.
“Believe and behave”…I couldn’t suppress a chuckle here. So true, only they phrase it the other way around, saying “repent (or turn) from your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ“. That tiny, seeminly innocuous phrase “turn from you sins” is a deadly, vicious cancer.
This is a brilliant article. Why do so many denominations wish to complicate what is so easy? I can’t, for the life of me, fathom how any theologian or lay person could read the book of John or Romans and believe any other message than the one explained here. But I know many people who would say, “But what about this verse…” that talks about fruit and doing this and that. I’ve since ceased arguing with these people about it. My dad used to always tell me, “Some people don’t like to be confused by the facts.” Sadly, that is exactly what has happened concerning the simplicity of the Gospel message. It’s no wonder not more “lost” people aren’t interested in the Church, all they see is a bunch of finger-pointing, judgmental people telling them they need to “do, do, do”.
I was listening to a lecture yesterday and my instructor, Dr. H.L. Willmington said it so eloquently, “All other religions say ‘do, do, do;’ Christianity is the only religion that says, ‘done.'” It is finished! Praise God my salvation (or proof of my salvation) is NOT based on my works. If it was, I’d be in BIG trouble! Having been an addict and been involved in the worst of debaucheries, I would surely have been disqualified from being a “true” Christian. But I know the truth. I believed at the age of 4, one time, and have never re-asked Jesus to come in to my heart. I know that I was saved then, despite several years as a prodigal. I know I am saved now, when my life looks more in line with what a “real” Christian should be. BUT, if anyone of those people who believe that “other” gospel had met me during that time of my wandering, they easily would have said I was not a “real” Christian. My testimony complicates their theory. I have even been told that I must have truly accepted Christ after those years of dreadful living (even though I have never done anything except repent of my wickedness). Yes, I was told that when I repented of my “evil” ways was the moment I was really saved. It’s so frustrating feeling like you have to defend your own salvation! But, I know whom I have believed (and WHEN I believed)!
Sorry for the long rant!!!
A breath of fresh air and a reminder that we should constantly review the Biblical basics of Salvation by Grace alone, through Faith alone in Christ alone!
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack