By Jack Weaver
A gentleman named Ryan addressed us here at ExPreacherMan by direct email, asking some interesting questions about our Biblical beliefs. With his permission we print his letter anonymously as an article post. We have numbered his questions to make answering by number more orderly and have made our comments in between his questions.
We urge our discerning readers to kindly answer Ryan’s questions from a Biblical point of view. We have emboldened some phrases for emphasis.
Ryan, we appreciate your note. After reading your questions it seems, as you say, you are indeed a Lordship Salvationist (LS) and like most LSers, also a devotee of Reformed/Calvinist teachings. (Ref. question 6).
Ryan: Hello, I have spent some time reading various topics on here. I would probably be considered an LSer.
1.) Ryan: I think we agree that Christ’s righteousness is given to us once we believe in Christ as our savior.
ExP: We here at ExP know that any believer in Jesus Christ has His Righteousness imputed the very moment he makes the personal decision to trust by Grace alone through Faith in Jesus Christ alone as Savior. He is secure forever, and it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done” before, during or after believing in Jesus. Period. (Titus 3:5)
2.) Ryan: Where I am trying to find an answer on your beliefs, and where we may disagree, is on how we can have a hint of who is a follower of Jesus or not.
ExP: It is not possible to identify a believer by his behavior. We would be more likely to accept that a person is a believer in Jesus by his clear words expressing that his salvation is dependent completely by Grace through their faith decision in Jesus Christ as Savior. There are many who call themselves “followers of Christ.” Such as Roman Catholic, Baptist, Charismatic, Calvinist, Methodist, Church of Christ and “Christian” religions of every description, yet those mentioned here, by their doctrinal statements, are not depending on Christ’s finished work on the cross for their salvation. These religions add good works to the salvation message. Example: Catholics are some of the nicest, cleanest living, most charitable, good works folks I know yet they do not trust Jesus Christ alone as their Savior. They trust their church, the Pope, their charity, Mary and the priests as their means of salvation.
3.) Ryan: I don’t want to be the Judge, but doesn’t the new creature show himself as sanctification takes place?
ExP: The new creation or creature should show — but may not. Visible evidence is not a requirement for salvation. Every Believer has two natures, the new man and the old man, the righteous nature and the sin nature — and as Paul (whom we KNOW was a believer), said: If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (Romans 7:16-21).
4.) Ryan: Shouldn’t we speak warning (not condemnation) to those who don’t show change in their lives?
ExP: We assume you are speaking of one who has trusted Jesus as his Savior. If so, we should teach him God’s Grace. Let him understand that 2 Corinthians 5:14 advises us that it is the Love of Christ that constrains [compels] us to live the Christian life and to walk in good works, not primarily by threats and warnings. Part of that teaching can be warnings if needed. Such teaching should never be a threat of loss of salvation (such as Chan, MacArthur, et al) but an understanding of God’s grace filled discipline to a believer.
5.) Ryan: Isn’t Jesus Lord over all…even the devils?
ExP: Yes, as we see in Scripture, “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)” Acts 10:36. Jesus IS Lord of all, but without Christ one cannot submit to His Lordship, they are alienated and lost. Certainly one must believe that Jesus is the Lord God Almighty in the Flesh in order to trust Him as Savior, and in doing so they remain under His Lordship — whether they are obedient to Him or not. A lack of obedience and of “following” Jesus’ Lordship does not negate one’s salvation. Fellowship, “Yes” but salvation, NO!
6). Ryan: I agree it’s God’s gift to us to cause us to believe and repent by the power of the HS. Isn’t this considered salvation…when we trust in Him as our salvation?
ExP: You said it is God’s gift to us to “cause us to believe and repent.” We vehemently disagree with that statement which is the Reformed/Calvinist notion, from the “I” in the T.U.L.I.P, “Irresistible grace.” That is NOT a Biblical teaching. God’s Grace has appeared to all men and every man/woman has a will and a choice to either believe or reject Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:11) God’s Holy Spirit convicts every person (the world) of sin, righteousness and judgment John 16:8, and Jesus Christ draws every man unto Himself. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32. Some will believe, some will refuse — but all have a free will choice.
7). Ryan: Lastly, wouldn’t our lives change as we re-direct who or what we are trusting in?
ExP: A believer’s life SHOULD (not must) (Ephesians 2:10) show a change and he SHOULD walk in good works as he learns and is obedient to God’s Word. But that is dependent upon his free will and choice. We make a decision to believe in Jesus to have eternal life and then afterward we SHOULD make a decision/choose to serve Him. I understand your concern for those who might use as an excuse, “I believe in Jesus — now leave me alone.” Please understand this wisdom from a friend just yesterday, “Separate your concerns for a lack of behavior, works or service from the message of the FREE grace Gospel of Christ. The two doctrines are completely apart. (Romans 11:6) We decide to be saved by God’s Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ alone, then we decide to serve or work for Him — (or not).
Ryan asks: Please, just a little light on this would be appreciated…or a link that would help answer this for me. I don’t want to be divisive and am only asking for your input seeing that you are someone who is trying to be faithful to the gospel.
Ryan, Click on these Links:
Dr Tom Cucuzza, Secure Forever (E-book or hard back)
Eternal Life For You
Gospel Video; Cucuzza
Clear Gospel Campaign