One of the things that has really been on my heart, of late, is the use of the terms “true Christian” or “true believer” or “truly saved.”
Modern Christendom is flooded with these terms. For example, I did a search on Google using “true believer in Christ” and found 2.4 million results. The only problem is, I can’t seem to find any of these terms in the Bible.
I only looked at a few of the sites that came up in my internet search. Most of them included “tests” of feelings, or behavior, to help one determine whether or not he is a “true believer.” Such “tests” are often tools of the devil, designed to have us look to ourselves for assurance of salvation, rather than to Jesus. And, since there is no Biblical reference to a “true believer”, any test of a “true believer” is, by extension, unbiblical.
One of the more troubling things I found in my internet search was from a website that claims to reject Lordship “salvation”. The author of the article, David J. Stewart, wrote the following (I have bolded selected phrases for emphasis):
Wicked people, living the most ungodly lives, can be heard professing to be born-again Christians. Pornography models and homosexuals claim to be saved Christians, while yet arrogantly living in their sins. There are even churches with Sodomite ministers and a Sodomite congregation. Surely, this is not acceptable to God in Heaven. These are not true believers, though they may be sincere! Genuine repentance brings about a change of heart, which should discourage a believer from parading their sins in public with no sense of shame or remorse. Although a person does NOT have to give up their sins to be saved, there should at least be a desire to give up their sins because they ARE SAVED. There’s a big difference between the two.
I’m sorry Mr. Stewart, but what you have said is just Lordship “salvation” 101. Are Mr. Stewart’s sins any more acceptable to God than the sins of those whom he is condemning? While I do not advocate homosexuality or pornography, a believer can persist in a sinful lifestyle. The Bible gives clear evidence that such is a possibility:
Romans 6:12: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 Peter 2:11: Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
We cannot look to our feelings or behavior, or anyone else’s behavior, for evidence of salvation. It is heretical to do so. Following is an excerpt from the Statement of Faith of Calvary Community Church in Tampa Florida, with which I agree:
We believe the only evidence of salvation is revealed in whom a person is trusting in to get him to heaven. We believe it is heresy to teach that a person can know he is saved or lost because of his behavior, or for others to believe a person is saved or lost because of his behavior. (Galatians 2:16; Romans 4:5; 11:6).
Someone either believes in Christ for eternal life, or he does not. There is no such thing as a false believer. There are believers in false gospels. That is why it is essential to determine whether someone professing faith in Christ has believed the real gospel, or one of its many counterfeits.
A “true believer” in Christ is someone who has received eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. In other words, a TRUE believer is just a BELIEVER. Let’s stop adding qualifications to belief that the Bible does not!
I am going to post this comment under two threads.
Today, I did a search of “true Christian” on Google, to see how many results I would get. I got 1.29 billion, despite the phrase never showing up in the Bible.
The first result was “Got Questions,” which described a “true Christian” as follows:
Despite the wide variety of beliefs that fall under the general “Christian” label today, the Bible defines a true Christian as one who has personally received Jesus Christ as Savior, who trusts in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of sins, who has the Holy Spirit residing within, and whose life evinces change consistent with faith in Jesus.
My comment: Anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited, and is indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Adding “whose life evinces change consistent with faith in Jesus” is both vague and categorically false. The Bible never defines a “true Christian,” and never conditions eternal life on a person’s life evincing change. A Christian is someone who has believed in Jesus as Savior. Period.
dq689, I will not be visiting Stewart’s site. It would appear, from your previous comment, that you have been influenced by his false doctrine. Stewart may teach against some aspects of Lordship “salvation,” but he (and you) appear to hold onto turning from sin, or at least some sin, as being required evidence of salvation.
In your previous comment, you wrote: If someone claims to be born again, but still continue to live in sins, that means he probably has not truly been saved. The reason why these people are not saved is NOT because they don’t forsake their sins, instead it’s because they are not saved so they don’t forsake their sins.
My comment: I would invite you to look at ALL aspects of your life. Are you perfect, or are you just “better than you used to be?” Are you perfect, are you just better than some other people who you don’t think have given up as many sins as you have? If you are deriving any assurance from either of these, you are looking in the wrong place.
Actually if you visit Stewart’s site, you can find dozens of webpages that is against the doctrine of lordship salvation:
Curtis, I think it’s really great what you said about saved believers, “rest, relax, and rely”. All too often we are put under pressure by pastors and other teachers.
Welcome dq689. I hope you would please check out the Clear Gospel of Grace located on this website..
its nice to see someone stand up for their friend.. However I do see it over and over people posting on this blog to defend a spiritual personality.
I pray we all take a stand on what the Word of God says concerning the Free Gift of eternal life apart from works Eph 2 :8-9
believer souls do get tangled up in all kinds of sin and soul vexation. That can take years or decades even their entire christian Life and only produce one fruit of beliving in Christ Jesus for the Free Gift of Eternal Life . Is that an excuse ? NO
However our battle is not against sin that battle has been won. We don’t rage against sin for that has been Won In Christ Jesus. God does not tell us to do anything. but to stay in fellowship . rest relax rely The Faith Rest Life
by delighting in our Perfect position in Christ Jesus before the Throne of grace.
nothing we do externally is being spiritual praying, going to church, reading the bible…..
Spirituality is invisible and vertical on the inside in our Thinking
the latter our byproducts product apart from human effort produced by Holy Spirit.
now i can condemn your friends website for several things that are very spiritually dangerous to the saved and unsaved alike.
1 garbled gospel message of back door Loadship salvation
2. raging against doctor prescribed medications.. souls who read articles about the medications they may find themselves on then promptly stop taking them are more at risk of suicide then those staying on them.
3. anti Zionism
now the definition of Zionism from Jewish Library is :
“Its general definition means the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. ”
now that being the definition in general of Zionism as believer souls in Christ Jesus we are Zionist anything less than that is to be anti semitic .
To say Jews are not a favored people by The God of Abraham Issac and Jacob . even though God is silent towards them is gravely in Biblical error. is likely confused with the difference between the Church and Israel .
We are to Pray for the peace in Jerusalem
4. Conspiracy theory fearmongering
Yes there is a Satanic conspiracy afoot. However God has not given us the Spirit of Fear but of power love and sound mind. At the end of the day after all the mental laboring over conspiracy’s what good does it do to encourage and equip believer souls to Live a victorious Christian Life ?
dq689, thanks for swinging by.
I stand by my comments.
You must be perfect to enter heaven. Not just good – perfect. That does not require forsaking sins, nor does forsaking any sins prove that one has eternal life. Nor is forsaking any sins necessary to establish that one has received eternal life. Eternal life is received by grace through faith in Christ. There are no works required to be saved, stay saved, or prove you are saved.
Please see article linked below:
Although I don’t agree with the heresy of Lordship Salvation, I don’t agree with you either. I have been a fan of Stewart’s website and I’m so sure that he does NOT teach the crap of Lordship Salvation. Stewart is right, stop falsely accusing him. Stewart is saying that forsaking one’s sin is NOT the prerequisites of salvation, but the fruits of salvation. We don’t forsake our sins in order to be saved, indeed we forsake our sins because we ARE saved! If someone claims to be born again, but still continue to live in sins, that means he probably has not truly been saved. The reason why these people are not saved is NOT because they don’t forsake their sins, instead it’s because they are not saved so they don’t forsake their sins.
Holly, praying for you and your dad.
Appreciate prayers for my dad who is being transferred from one hospital to another with a ‘ticking time bomb’ (huge aneurysm). Prayers for wisdom on choices, peace, and opportunity to share the gospel with any who will hear.
Johninnc – so typical of the way these men ‘teach’ by manipulation.
I’ve heard people like John MacArthur, Piper, Chan, Platt, et al. preface their ‘teachings’ with phrases like this:
“People who really love God will do this______________”
“Sincere students of His Word will understand this______________”
“Those who have been genuinely converted will______________”
“Anyone who has embraced Jesus will know this fact______________”
“A phony believer will not understand this______________”
I know you have all heard leading phrases like this and more. It’s designed by the accuser of the brethren himself, an efficient way to herd in the masses, deceive both the saved and the lost, rendering them ineffective to labor in the harvest, or shutting up the kingdom of heaven to them.
Ryan – hi. I pray you are finding some solace in His Word.
You said something that I wanted to address, I think many of us who were bewitched by Loadship teaching, (or hadn’t understood the good news at all) have been under some sort of self condemnation. The reason is we are looking at ourselves. You are focusing on a human testimony of havin cleaned up their lives. Focusing on you letting go of yourself, you letting go of old friends, you letting go of hobbies (not sure what you mean), but I’m assuming you meant bad habits. We can’t ‘walk’ by letting go of these things but by taking ahold of eternal life. That does not mean earning eternal life, what it means is grasping it, realizing if we have believed on Christ and Him crucified (who He is and what He has done), that we realize we are currently possessing eternal life, and we are in a race and should be focused on the prize. Forgetting what is behind. and reaching forward to that which is ahead.
We can’t walk by our own efforts. I can suggest a passage for you to really pray about and take note of (Luke 10:38-42). You need to be hearing His Word and abiding in Him in order to be able to Walk in the Spirit. And interestingly as soon as we’re looking at our flesh we fail. We need to keep our mind stayed on Him, our eyes fixed on Him. It is the truth of God’s Word that will cleanse us if we will take heed to it (Eph 5:26; Jn 17:17; Ps 119:9-11), our faith growing by the hearing of it (Rom 10:17). Don’t try to clean yourself up, just try to study with His approval as your goal (2 Tim 2:15) and let Him wash your feet.
Be sure that you have understood the good news Ryan. It’s not your efforts, it’s not a process, it’s not about getting cleaned up. It might look good on the outside, but unfortunately we might just be white washed, and not white as snow.
Are you secure in the fact you have understood the gospel? Please don’t be worried about saying so and let’s talk about it. In Christ, Holly
RAS, excellent insights. I told my wife, as I was reading the nonsensical comment last night, that it sounded like it could have been written by the pope.
I agree John that it is no more false than the typical fruit fads however I see it as more overtly religious or should I say ecumenical and pagan, serving the creation rather than the Creator. The Nazis were very green (one of the reasons the hated the Jews -Gen 1:28). This nonsense is collective Lordship with creation being lord and world government being the church. They’ve just found a new use for Gen 1:28.
The Woman arrayed in purple is mounting the Scarlet Beast. The Marxist Pope said earlier this month that “…now is the time to acknowledge our sins against creation. Let us repent of the harm we are doing to our common home.” He encouraged all to repent by “avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices.” He went on to say “If our ecological conversion is real, it will lead to concrete ways of thinking and acting that are more respectful of creation.”
This of course has nothing to do with respecting creation (Gen 1:28) but rather (Rom 1:25, Rev 17:4-6) worshiping government and nature.
I think we all knew it was coming. I think its almost in place.
I found a very odd comment today to an article on the internet. Following is an excerpt:
Science informs true Christians to honor God’s love by loving all God’s creatures great and small by combating man-made climate change.Don’t let the see-no-science, hear-no-science, speak-no-science Republican hand puppets in Congress solely do the bidding of the 1% while sacrificing all life on earth. No mountains of money or oceans of oil are worth the sacrifice to all God’s creatures great and small.
My comment: So, now we can tell a “true Christian” by whether or not they combat man-made climate change? If so, why would the commenter provide a “call to action”?
If a “true Christian” will combat climate change, is this now the gospel? It sounds so stupid, but it is no more false than any of the fruit inspection theology that is so common in the world of professing “churchianity.” It is kind of a liberal environmental LS view of James 2:14-26.
Ryan, welcome and thanks for your comment.
I would like to address four of the points that you made, just for clarification:
1. You said: I believe there’s a difference between church goers and actual, spirit-driven Bible believing born again Christians.
My comment: You are right that going to church does not make someone a Christian. A Christian is someone who has eternal life. Eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
2. You said: I found myself desiring the change that only God himself could produce in a person.
My comment: Desiring change in one’s life could enter into someone seeking Christ.
However, becoming “saved” (justification) is not about someone desiring that Jesus change his life, or allowing Jesus to change his life. Justification is not a process by which our lives are transformed. One is justified by believing in Jesus as his Savior.
A transformed mind and positively changed life are God’s will for believers, but they are not automatic.
For further discussion, I would invite you to read the article linked below:
3. You said: At the climax of this new change in me Jesus saved me.
My comment: One receives eternal life the moment he trusts in Jesus as his Savior. I want to make sure that no one misunderstands this. Receiving eternal life is not a process by which we become progressively conformed to holiness or godliness over time.
4. You said: I find myself in a predicament of condemnation without sincere contrition…
My comment: If you have believed in Jesus as your Savior, you Shall not come into condemnation (John 5:24), whether or not you feel contrition.
I came acrossed your post this morning because of a thought or two that entered into my mind, nothing that I intentionally thought out myself but for the sake of it, one I remember more clearly was a “recovering true believer”. Those words seemed compelling so I googled, and read afew different searches to them and one of which was yours, you see I am a Christian. I was was born into a family of church goers, unfortunately my parents have two different doctrinal believes, my mom being Wesleyan Methodist Christian and my dad being Roman Catholic. There was alot of arguments involved between them as to which Religion was right or not, for along time I didnt understand, I thought going to church was enough, even now ive been dealing with church but you see, I believe theres a difference between church goers and actually spirit driven, bible believing, born again Christians. 2 years was my personal downfall into alot of really stupid and dangerous stuff, I did what most young people do still today, I partied and eventually it got me Into trouble with the law, my Grandma past away back in 2011 which caused my dad to seek another woman and infidelity happened, I wrecked my first car through a bunch of tree’s and lived somehow, and alot of my friends were drug users, one of which my closest and oldest friend got into heroin and destroyed his life but thankfully, he was placed into a recovery program called the “Refuge” and they were lead by pastor Tom Thompson, six months later I met up with my friend and he appeared differently, he acted differently as though a new person, he told me he was clean but more to the point he said he was “saved”. I thought I knew more than he but he quoted scripture as though it were second nature, later on because of him, I found myself desiring the change that only God himself could produce in a person, I was invited to the refuge church and felt so welcome and loved something that felt foreign to me started to take root, as the sermons went on, there was so much beauty and conviction expressed in the word that it moved me to my core and I wanted to be apart of it, so thats when I believed that I needed to be baptized, so I made a testimony of everything before that moment and got baptized, I start to read his word more closely afew weeks through after my baptism, and started fasting and praying, I wanted to see if all of this was true and I sensed this drawing that started to occur, and after about 2 to 3 weeks God Truly revealed himself to me in his spirit, from that point the reality of him was present and I saw people with lives and dreams and motives that all were wandering unaware of this Amazing God that Created the entire Universe Who loved all of us so much that he gave his only begotten to die in our place. You think this was everything but theres more, at he climax of this new change in me Jesus saved me however I needed to walk out my new and empowered faith and relationship with God, lets put it this way, as of now, im know where near what I was when I was born again, its as though ive fallen off of the beaten path and sin has reintroduced itself into my life, and It doesn’t matter how good I am but for alot of reasons ive made some very poor choices with the Lord and he’s given me so much mercy and its as though I cant walk out my faith anymore, dead works and dead faith as well as a see red conscience when before my focus was on Christ now myself. Thats why I looked up this post was because I wanted to know if there were others out there who have answers or something to repent and be in God, dead to self and alive in Christ, because I find myself in a predicament of condemnation without sincere contrition and ive jumped around church’s trying to seek him but it seems to me if I cant let go of myself, old friends and hobbies, I cant walk. And its taken its toll, it seems I have know one to blame but myself.
Thank you, and please respond.
along with what Holly said
Yes , I am persuaded the Law can fool a soul into thinking they are Ok , that the believer soul is living the christian life , the believer soul fools themselves by the Law . I find the Word of God absolutely fascinating in many ways one is that if a soul does not pursue the simplicity of Christ enjoying the Faith Rest Life , God Turns it around on the soul and swears They will not enter into His rest .
We have scripture and the children of Israel that proves that .
“The fruit inspectors don’t seem to know what “believe in Jesus” means.”
They also can not say “Free Gift of Eternal Life ” the fruit inspectors are spiritually drunk , bewitched , Carnal Moral or lost
The fruit inspectors don’t seem to know what “believe in Jesus” means.
Does it mean “believe that He will give me the power to earn eternal life through perseverance in faith and good works” (that is “earn my salvation by keeping myself saved”) or does it mean to “believe that He paid the full
price for my sins, leaving me nothing to pay, and offers me the free gift of eternal life”?
I believe it is the latter. And, once someone believes in Jesus as Savior, he has passed from death unto life (see John 5:24). You do not receive eternal life when you die. You receive it when you believe in Jesus.
RAS, from the “Baptist Faith and Message” (which is adhered to by the Southern Baptist Convention):
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.
My comment: Sounds just like White, MacArthur, Spurgeon, Sproul and the gang! The SBC is just part of the big churchianity Calvinfest.
In the Calvinist system an unregenerate person cannot understand aspect 1 about spiritual matters, yet White, JMac, Sproul, etc offer themselves as experts on spiritual matters while denying that they themselves are 100% sure that they are regenerate.
Ah, Calvinist logic.
RAS, if we throw Sproul into the mix, why would someone pray that a person would persevere on his death bed? Is it so that the person will make it to heaven, or so that the person would prove he was a believer?
Either answer is an assault on the gospel.
Well I think we both know that they would be good soldiers and hold to the theological line that if they fail to persevere it will prove that they were not saved to begin with, which raises the question for Sproul as to why this pastor on his death bed is so well respected if it may turn out that he fails, proving to not be saved to begin with.
Ah, Calvinist logic.
The question for White (and MacArthur) would be this: “what would happen if you should fail to persevere?”
I have heard people tell of hearing James White in a debate skirt around the assurance of salvation question until pressed when he finally answered that he was 99% sure that he will persevere (same for JMac). I have heard tell of R C Sproul asking a conference to pray that a certain well respected Reformed pastor persevere while on his death bed. It’s very hard to find them say in their writings that they themselves are not sure if they are saved just like you never read or hear them say that works save but those messages are in the subtext.
I did a quick search on White and found a post entitled “Assurance of Faith” which is not quite the same as assurance of salvation considering the Reformed definition(s) of faith. Very often in debates with atheists these LSers will try to pin faith in evolution on the atheist. The atheists usually will object claiming that their belief is not faith. This is the same reaction LSers have towards Free Grace i.e. belief is not faith.
Holly, can you provide a source where James White says he doesn’t know he’s saved? That’s one I’d like to have in my ‘toolbox’.
Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Can a false prophet bring a message that does not save ? Yes
Can a saved soul (who has Trusted in/on The finished work of Christ Jesus) be cast into fire ? NO
SoCal, those are really good points.
Another argument that might be compelling is a discussion of Matthew 7:18.
Fruit inspectors like to point to passages, such as Matthew 7:16-20 to
make their assault on the gospel.
But, if “fruit” refers to lifestyle or behavior, how would that work?
Verse 18 says a good tree CANNOT bring forth evil fruit. That seems
absolute, not relative. So, unless a fruit inspector is perfect, he does
at least some things (or thinks at least some thoughts, or fails to do at
least something that he should) that are not the will of God.
So, when a fruit inspector messes up, he would HAVE to conclude that he is
a bad tree.
I recently got into with a new believer that’s been sucked into LS. He’s convinced that someone who is saved WILL show evidence. I went around and around with him and his friends. Bottom line is that they don’t understand that we are imputed righteousness, we are not made righteous of ourselves.
One of the arguments they wouldn’t address, that I haven’t seen here, is the example of Saul, where 1 Sam. 10:9-10 plainly states that he had the Spirit in him, and could be called born-again, yet he still disobeyed, was afflicted with a spirit that caused him to try to kill David, and ended up committing suicide in a disobedient attack on the Philistines.
Sure are an awful lot of good comments here. The pride these puppets have is oxymoronic. They are unable to muster up pride, don’t they understand? Unless they don’t understand that their understanding is not of them? They can’t even believe what I say because they are not able to ‘muster up belief’. They must wait. How does a person without a free will respond to me telling them to wait? (Just thinking out loud)
All of it is a surreal reminder of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. They are blinded, and the blind leading the blind into the ditch. Counting on and leaning on the wisdom of men, the excellency of their speech, thinking of their reformed heroes beyond what is written. They do not see or understand (They cannot), unless God makes them see and understand. As for them, they have to ‘Wait for it’. Because IF what they believe is true, there is no way at all of anyone knowing whether one is saved until they die. James White doesn’t even know and sets about to prove it every day by doing his thing (Rom 10:3). I suppose he feels he can know before a Muslim so maybe he’s figured it out already.
Unless of course he was fooled by evanescent grace, which their god will do. One of the cruelest ‘sovereign’ acts that I can think of. Make someone believe they are a believer all of their lives but it was fake.
Ugh, Todd Friel is all about the show, and not about the gospel. A simple answer to his logic is this: so therefore was David not saved when he committed adultery and murder? Was Samson not saved when he made it a habit to sleep with prostitutes, then ask God for revenge on his enemies? Was Solomon not saved when he worshiped false gods? What about Saul, who we are told had the Spirit in him, yet tried to murder David?
As for Friel’s use of Matthew 18, I’ve called him out on a couple of his pages, his people will justify his condemnation of others, but they really don’t like it when he’s called out on his errors. I’m banned from the Wretched FB page, as well as his fan page for bringing up simple questions.
Yes , and prosecutors and judges who don’t obey the gospel.
themselves being apostates
You’re absolutely right John. Added to which they have set themselves up as prosecutor and judge regarding an individual’s eternal destiny.
RAS, the question for the “there should be some evidence of salvation” crowd is “how much evidence”? “What sort of evidence”?
There is no satisfactory answer from them.
Curtis, it’s interesting that you mention Duggar. About a year ago I was in conversation with a lady about LS, namely Reformed LS. After the standard —“you don’t understand Reformed theology… Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone…not by works! But after salvation, there should be some evidence of salvation…that is where works come in”— she injected Duggar into the conversation as an example of a false believer. She then directed me to a short video by Todd Friel (Wretched Radio); really bad stuff.
The main point of Friel’s video is that without sanctification, justification never took place. He uses Matt 18:15-20 to support his conclusion (and defend his judgment as being appropriate) that Duggar was not “saved” in the first place. Friel used 1John3:9 in the typical LS manner, relying on the word “practices” (which was added by translators because of verb tense) in an attempt to distinguish sin (1John1:8; 5:16) from “really awful sin” or “continually sinning”.
The LSers “practice” calling passages into service that they were not meant for. LS lenses are thick!
Here is what “True Believer ” Works for salvation looks like in a doctrinal statement Josh Duggar was reported to have been released from “faith based recovery program” Reformation Unanimous program the RU salvation statement below .
Reformation by the way is the Problem God does not reform the old sin nature God Starts all over with a New Nature . Were ever there is Law keepers there is in most cases sexual immorality as a result . For by the Law is the knowledge of sin. Believer souls get saved and go right back and try to keep the Law in the energy of the Flesh . When all the Law is fulfilled under a higher Law “The Law of the Spirit” As believer souls in Christ Jesus all is fulfilled.
Reformation = Trading in a Straight Jacket for a pair of Vice Grips or trading in Vice Grips for a Straight Jacket
Warning False doctrine statement below “And” the poison that kills nullifies Grace
“That Salvation is by grace, through repentance and faith in the substitutionary work of the Son of God, the just dying for the unjust. That all true believers are eternally secure in Christ.”
(Romans 3:24,25; I Corinthians 15:3, 20; Hebrews 9:12-22; I Corinthians 3:15)
“who defend their faith based on action rather than content.”
Thanks for posting RAS , Nice observation
Works based salvation is works based salvation , for Justification , sanctification , not much difference between all religions of the world apart from the deity of Christ Jesus and His finished Work
RAS, very interesting comparison.
Incredibly the meme “Islam has nothing to do with Islam” is crashing into my living room more and more daily. The object of faith, in Islam’s case —Allah (who has no son) and Muhammad as his messenger, is being completely lost in considering what “true Islam” is. It bears a striking resemblance to the “true believer” in Christ meme.
I have recently seen videos, read articles and comments by Christians saying that 1) Muslims who come to faith in Christ may not have been not Muslim to begin with (this is the standard Muslim response) or 2) they are not Christians until we see if they persevere (give it 10-20 years, James White actually said this).
There has been a recent “dust up” among Christian apologist, namely Acts17apologetics and Pulpit and Pen (Reformed discernment site) about the former (and future) status of a young man who was Muslim but came to faith in Christ. A dream is central to his testimony (not central to his faith) and this has led to speculation about whether he was ever a Muslim which led to speculation as to whether he is now a Christian.
There are Christians wishing to defend “their faith” who are siding (even if unwittingly) with Muslims who defend their faith based on action rather than content. Bad stuff.
William, I certainly am not saying we should not be wise as a serpent in this world, just also emphasizing the harmless as a dove. The tears are for those who are deceived and hateful and unkind, and basically in other’s eyes, unlovable. Enough said I’m sure though, we are all human and all need to hear from each other when our thoughts aren’t quite lining up with what the Word says. I want correction by His Word when I say something His Word contradicts. In His love to all.
Sorry for that very long comment, I simply wanted to share some of Stewart’s important points, though I ended up posting an entire chapter. I am not saying that I agree with him , It’s just that I want to know if you notice some changes from the original wordings of that Book Chapter by Stewart. (Oh well, just realized, nothing changed, still defends Spurgeon).
John and Benchap, thanks for bringing up the Holy Spirit conviction part. At first I thought that it was some sort of an inner voice, or a mystic force manifested by some feelings or emotions. I believe Mr. Stewart and other hordes of LSsers believe in a “Mystic Holy Spirit” which “controls” believers to good works (For Pentecostals, it’s speaking in tongues :)).
Holly, My apologies if my comment brought tears to your eyes. I still have my share of weaknesses and shortcomings in the flesh and one of them is the issue with con artists in my city. Some of my previous ex-tenants were con artists that caused me and my wife a LOT of pain, stress, and attorney fees. It was a living nightmare for the both of us for almost a decade. Anyway, my apologies.
JR. The Holy Spirit convicts through knowledge, not through some strange feeling that we then say is the Holy Spirit.
It can work something like this “the Bible said not to do a, b, c and I still did it. Argh.” However, one can turn this discernment off, forget about it completely, or just ignore and not care about it. They remain saved, and they don’t need to doubt whether or not their newfound attitudes (which are bad attitudes) prove that their salvation was false.
It’ll come under disobedience to “despise not prophecies, quench not the Spirit”.
Hyles is also problematic in some areas, as well as several others like Hodges and Wilkins. I was going to say something about Spurgeon and Stewart, but John did, so just as always, Prove all things… 🙂
JR, this has got to be the longest post ever.
I read it all, but do not want to subject our readers to it.
It is a bit imposing.
1. If Stewart does not know that Spurgeon taught Lordship “salvation,” he is either ill-informed or in denial.
2. Stewart said: “If you do not have the Holy Spirit living inside your body, convicting you about the sins in your life, then you are not saved.”
My comment: If one does not have the Holy Spirit indwelling them, they are not saved. However, one need not look to whether the Holy Spirit is convicting him about the sins in his life in order to have assurance of eternal life. One need only know that he has believed in Christ alone as Savior in order to have assurance of eternal life.
I’m not sure if this is true, but I heard of Nibiru coming here this year on March 8th. I know about the stuff going on and it’s only getting worse. I just want justice to come but at the same time, mercy.
Also, please remember, they will hate you, because they first hated Him…
Daniel – they only delete the links so that others don’t go there and get misled. Spending time with those things is dangerous, it makes us fear which doesn’t come from Him. He doesn’t give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, and of love and a sound mind. Feed yourself with His Word, it is our weapon against the enemy ❤
Don’t let anyone including yourself Label you “social anxiety” or anything else . what happens is you become the Label. Study God’s word ask for wisdom and understanding.
Focus on your identity in Christ Jesus in spite of yourself and everyone else.
Daniel, I have prayed that you would be delivered through the trials you are undergoing with the schools.
Ok. So I know this may be irrelevant, but hear me out please. I can’t take this. School is a pain. I know some people think that it’s important. I know it’s not. Having social anxiety and feel like EVERYONE hates you and is laughing at you. Trying to do your best and yet you still fail and letters get sent home because “YER CHILD IS NOT DOING TEH WERK!!!” (I’m mockiung them) ugh. I wish that they could just get sacked. I don’t know if you might delete this like you did the last time I put up a link. But share this with your friends.
(Link removed by administrator)
Daniel, eternal hell is a reality that the Bible teaches, but no believer in Christ need ever fear hell again.
Knowing that hell is real can be a motivation for a non-believer to find out how to avoid that fate. And, knowing hell is real should motivate Christians to advance and defend the gospel.
I don’t believe the testimonial depictions of the afterlife – heaven or hell – from people who claim to have died and come back to life. The Bible says it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement (Hebrews 9:27).
Hello. At one point I was doubting my salvation and worrying and I needed assurance. I already was feeling like crap (I have social anxiety btw) But I stumbled upon the wrong website and was made to feel even worse after reading. This is the website name
(Link removed by administrator).
The coward didn’t even put his name on the website so I couldn’t search him up to see if he could be exposed.
I know hell is real though. I’m not denying hell is real.
Here is what I’ve read so far. Also, this arrogant jerk mentions false prophets.
“recently watched a video on You Tube of a woman (Angie Fenimore) who claimed she died and experienced hell. These types of encounters are commonly referred to as a near death experiences. Part of her testimony included a vision of “giant white worms” feeding on people. Riftia Pachyptila are in fact very large and primarily white in color.”
“NDE Testimonies of the worms in hell:”
(“There were other creatures in the sea of fire that looked like huge worms. They would come to the surface and then disappear and then return to the surface. When they reached him they began boring into him and went inside his body and brain and were coming out of his eyes. They were driving him insane. There is no end to these things in hell.” – From a Patients Vision of Hell by Dr. Michael Yeager)
“I saw another man that cried out to Jesus. I am tormented day and night in these flames and by these worms. When I died I shouted, but nobody came to help me. Nobody cares about my soul here” – Testimony of Mary K. Baxter A Divine Revelation of Hell
“I saw worms just eating away at their flesh. I saw fire everywhere and enumerable souls screaming and saying please give me another chance” – Personal Testimony of Wislet Charles. Hell is Real
(“There are many people who have told me “you are just using scare tactics”. They fail to realize I have the right to use fear. Jesus and Jude both used fear as a motivator for repentance. Jesus mentions hell more than 20 times in the Gospel of Matthew alone.”)
“Some save with fear” – Jude
“Fear him who after you are dead has the power to cast you into hell. Where their WORM will never die and their fire will never be put out” – Jesus
Matthew: Oh brother, is that they best they could do? Shame on them. Thinking of men beyond what is written, and calling you an abomination? I wish you would have asked, could you give me chapter and verse for that?
Lots of people out there preach against Calvinism and are Lordship or Arminian. Seems that many like to prove they are ‘up there’ by posting a prince of preachers and quoting them. Seems they are people rich in their quotes and poor and starving with the spoken Word.
Most preachers who idolize Spurgeon never take the time to check out what he preached for years, turn from sin to be saved, etc. They simply follow the leader into apostasy.
You have done your homework and made them uncomfortable.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
oh, the picture was of charles spurgeon
I have a true question. I actually asked this today in a preachers office and I was called an abomination and was asked to leave.
my question is this, why do preachers, who preach against calvinism, have pictures of him in their office? I don’t mean anything mean about this question, I’m just inquisitive. I really don’t understand it.
Dino, I understand about D.S. who is now on Blueletterbible. He defends Spurgeon quite strongly. There are some other issues with him, but were covered enough here…
You said, “I noticed that my flesh was starting to react and when I was checking myself. I can’t believe it.. My own flesh does not want to believe that salvation is just too simple to too good to be true.”
I understand that completely, that is why we need to hear what is written, vs. trusting our own judgment or feelings. I actually think you worded that quite correctly, our flesh battles against our soul, especially when we are doing things we ought now, remember to continue to confess and ask the Lord to help. Hide some things in your heart regarding what your particular weakness is. As Jim Floyd said in his blog on Lordship, we can feed the spirit or we can feed the flesh, and whichever one we feed is the one that gets stronger (not verbatim).
So I just try to continue to feed my soul, as I know it is the needed thing and will not be taken from us (Lk 10:38-42)
I wouldn’t get hung up on KJV only and if you are in an assembly were you constantly hear Textus Receptus ,and or KJV is the preserved word of God I would be very very careful of back door LS.
I learned some coming out of my indoctrination in 2010 on D.s website [edited Adm] but what I know now I would not recommend the website the website was feeding my judge mental legalism even though there are some good messages on there the Gospel message is not consistent with “Justified Freely by His Grace”… also we should not go around condemning souls who have not believed.then there’s the who conspiracy theory stuff going on that you need not occupy your mind with.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
he will reprove the world of sin
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Joh 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Joh 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Joh 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Let your speech be alway with grace
Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Try Marikina City Bible Fellowship, it’s not a KJV church, but a solid free grace church, not sure of the exact address , i’m from quezon city and i just found out about them, you may look for mark andrew santos dizon on facebook (makgwapo) for more info.
(Administrator’s note: We are not familiar with the above-referenced church, and therefore offer no opinion or endorsement for or against its doctrine).
At first I used to be a fan of David Stewart. During my earlier years when I was saved in 2011 (I was 29 back then) I thought he was one of those who advocates free grace. But then I realized as I grow in this knowledge, alot of questions come into my mind, even questions that doesn’t sound like a legal or a proper question at all. I mean I kinda laughed at the idea that I aksed myself if I believed the right way.. I had to unlearn everything I learned after listening to Dr. Cucuzza and knowing what he said about salvations holds much more water. I also watched that sermon on the evidence of salvation.
I noticed that my flesh was starting to react and when I was checking myself. I can’t believe it.. My own flesh does not want to believe that salvation is just too simple to too good to be true. The fact of Believing(trusting) in Jesus Christ alone as my savior is quite difficult for this flesh to accept although I know that my heart and mind agrees to this since I know I am a sinner saved by grace through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. (Do I sound funny? sorry if I do…)
I just started browsing your site this 2014 July and I did notice that this website was different from the rest. I can see that people in this site can “CUT” the spiritual deception straight down the line. I grow frustrated from time to time thinking that my churchmates here in the philippines believe in “Assurance” or “Evidence” of salvation… There are hardly any biblical free grace churches here in manila that teaches from the KJV and does not adhere to any type of LS teachings may it be front door or back door. Churches and Christian libraries are saturated with books by John Mcarthur. I’m telling you, I found it very difficult to believe that I got out of snare after almost 3 years. I didn’t deserve it.. But I thank God he showed me mercy and I know I am saved because God said so. (1 John 5:13)
At times I am still attacked by doubt. I am in sin and my fellowship right now is not right with the Lord. I realized that I don’t have my Joy because I am in sin and I am doing my best to fix this not because I want to be saved, but because I am and I love the Lord….
Again, thankyou so much for this wonderful site..
Thankyou Lord Jesus
Hi Dino, I completely agree with John. That differential–which is widely quoted by Calvinists, lordship purveyors and Arminian teachers — mental or intellectual assent — is their way of making people believe they haven’t believed enough, or cared enough, or been sorry enough. unsettling their souls, making shipwreck their faith, overthrowing the faith of some. If they were right, so many of the people who were born again and were joyous or astounded, or maybe even staid, would have to then be questioning their salvation. Really take a look, some were sorry as they realized (i.e. Acts 2) what they had done, and how they had ignored who He was, and ignored the signs and had Him put to death. But others were ‘cut to the heart’ and didn’t respond the same way. Or sure, the Word got to them, but they wanted to kill the disciples and did rush and kill Stephen. Judas was sorry and realized he was a sinner, that he had done wrong. Did him no good.
Christ died for my sins (as well as the whole worlds). He was buried and rose again in three days as the Scriptures said and it was witnessed by many. This was the gospel declared in 1 Cor 15. Do I believe it to be true for me? That is the question.
To start qualifying the ‘type’ of belief is a trick, just like their phrases they use like, greasy grace, or easy believism, no-lordship, etc. In going on the offensive like this, there is a question planted, a subtle corrupting of minds from the simplicity that is in Christ. They love to use the ‘demons believe and tremble’. I usually tell them that Jesus is Lord of those same demons, that tremble, He is Lord of all. But He is not their Saviour. Some of these men better ask themselves if Jesus is their Saviour or have they believed another gospel? One where they have added works and are accursed….
In Christ! Happy to have you here.
Dino, welcome and thanks for your questions.
First, you are correct that confessing Christ has nothing to do with receiving eternal life, which is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Confessing Christ and calling on God is necessary for living a victorious Christian life.
Second, we reject differentiating between “head faith” and “heart faith.” They are one in the same. We also object to the terms “mental assent” or intellectual assent as being some kind of denigrating term that suggests believing in Christ as one’s Savior is somehow not sufficient. Said another way: Christ died and was raised from the dead. That’s history. Christ died for me and was raised from the dead. That’s salvation.
In order to be saved, one must know that he is a sinner in need of a Savior. In other words, he must know that heaven is a perfect place and that he is disqualified. He must understand that in God’s judgement, which is all that matters, he is condemned. Whether or not he agrees that he deserves hell is not really the issue. He must understand that there is nothing he can do to attain the righteousness required to get into heaven and trust in Christ alone as his Savior.
I have been greatly blessed by Micheal Patrick Bowen’s “I never knew you” book and the comments made in this site. God used this site and the book to save my soul from hell by Trusting in Jesus Christ alone for my salvation
I have 2 questions
1) Romans 10:10
King James Version (KJV)
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
The way I read this verse, please correct me if I am wrong. A person is “imputed” with the righteousness of Christ upon believing (trusting) resulting in eternal salvation of the soul and with the mouth, Confession is made unto salvation which is, Physical Salvation. Physical salvation on earth in a sense that it does not have to do anything with the eternal salvation of the soul?
2) John 3:16
King James Version (KJV)
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.
I want to reconcile these 2 verses, Romans 10:10 and John 3:16. I know “believeth” in John 3:16 means to “trust”. Is this trust with a “mental assent” alone? or is it to trust with the heart as romans 10:10 implies?
Here’s how I understand salvation. The Holy Ghost convicts me of sin because I heard God’s holy word realizing I’m a hell-deserving sinner and I needed to believe in Jesus cause he died for my sins and was raised for my justification. I realized that trusting in Jesus cannot be “mental assention” alone. it needs to be to trust with the heart since I was aware of the state I was in as a depraved and vile sinner and that I cannot do anything to save myself.
I would like to thank Johninnc for explaining the lamb’s book of life. through this site I realized that no amount of behavior or any works can prove evidence for salvation.
Thanks for your exciting testimony of a soul set free!! You are right. We rest our salvation in the facts of Scripture and not on our feelings!!
You know you are welcome here in the fellowship of our Oasis of Grace!
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I am thrilled to hear your testimony Rachel and I rejoice that you are now freed of that bondage. People that are freed and have their salvation issue settled are in a position to truly understand the motivation to serve God out of love as opposed to duty and fear.
God Bless as you continue to grow.
Thanks John for your lovely testimony. Yes Holly, I truly feel free and at peace. Before coming to the truth of God’s free gift I was beating myself up constantly. I was always looking at my walk as to whether I measured up. Always doubting whether I was saved. I never felt good enough. Never had assurance.Now someone else from fb showed me the light. I started researching and investigating. I was under that curse of lordship salvation. I was so troubled. O hallelujah! My heart rejoices in Christ for freedom. I feel compelled to live for him and I don’t have to be under that yoke of bondage. I am not where I should or want to be with the Lord still. But I am a work in progress. A diamond in the rough so to speak. So glad to have found this site. Grace and love to you all from our Lord Jesus Christ.
John – just reading your testimony is joy… So thankful for what He has done, and for His free gift of eternal life… No obligation, no probation to receive, just believe upon Him. Freely we have received…freely He gave. Incomprehensible, but so thankful…
Curt – well said… thank you…
Rachel, I just want to say, once you realize that you need to believe on Him, what He did, and that it is a free gift, that you cannot earn, it is good news, isn’t it?
Rachel, I believed the bi-lateral contract salvation lie (LS) until just over three years ago. I always thought Jesus was necessary, but I thought I had to do my part. I have believed the Bible is the Word of God since I was a little boy. As far back as I can remember, I believed that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead. But, I didn’t realize that eternal life was a gift, with no cost or obligation to me, until about three years ago.
So after reading many articles on here. I must say that I had to make sure that I am saved. What I mean is: I went to a hardcore lordship salvation church. I started going there when I was 16. I remember surrendering my life to Christ and being very remorseful over my sin and trusted in Christ as my Lord and Savior. But now looking back, even though I did have a desire for church and to learn and grow. I struggled and always doubted my salvation because I was always looking to the evidence in my life as proof. I really have never known that it really is ONLY trusting Jesus. So, does that mean that I never got saved? Well it doesn’t matter now. The other night I cried out to the Lord and made sure that I am SOLELY trusting and relying on him alone as my only hope of eternal life, in his precious shed blood washing
away ALL of my sin, being buried, and his resurrection, personally for me, it is free, it is enough, it is pure grace! Now I really know him as my Savior! Wow!! Blows my mind. Makes me compelled to live for him. God bless.
What Holly said
I myself prefer the KJV myself however I choose not to make an opinion out of it . KJV is a Translation of the Hebrew Aramaic and Greek. I do not want to put a barrier up between myself and a soul or give the impression they are inferior because they read another version of scripture.
The KJVO crowd do appear to have a clear solid gospel on the surface when it comes down to it most ad a works element to ” Being Justified freely”
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
I did a search of church assemblies in Akron Ohio (I like to read doctrinal statements ) I did find a church that has good doctrinal statement but are in error giving a gospel presentation by adding ” Turn from sin” for eternal life ( Justification) . I did find several others that are Non denominational that look good but don’t have a gospel presentation on their website.
You really should study “The Gospel ” for yourself and learn what the Gospel is not as well as what it is in looking for a assembly.
what I did for myself is I adopted my own doctrinal statement and studied it . there is one here on expreacherman. the Clear Gospel Campaign is a good site to read for the clarity of the gospel as well.
Welcome to the freedom of “The”: Gospel Rachel
I prefer KJV, and John and Jack do also, the trouble with finding KJV only churches, is that most are IFB unfortunately. And many hooked up with the KJVO groups that follow after Gail Riplinger and Peter Ruckman, both to be marked and avoided, not followed, so it’s going to be difficult. I know Tom Cucuzza uses KJV without being KJVO extremist. His church is northlandchurch.com
Hope that helps… 🙂
Thank you for the kind words. I am searching away on finding a church. But not in a hurry. Just waiting on the Lord. I live in Akron, OH of anyone has any leads. It has so be kjv. I would love it if they used contemporary worship music too. But at this point that isn’t a deal breaker as the true gospel being preached is the most important thing. There is a church down the road that is kjv, and looks like they preach grace but they are IFB and women only wear skirts, that scares me. And also, I have come to learn that even if they say salvation is only in Jesus, if you dig deeper, somehow works are apart of it, just backloaded.
Rachel – I had forgotten to mention this part. As people grow closer to the Lord, I believe we become more aware of our sinfulness. So, all of those restrictions when added to any part of the requirements to be saved, should keep any honest person in doubt all the time if they believe what is said. Whatever their motives, one thing I know, is the lost people who hear their gospel will stay lost…
Rachel is from Ohio (tell him your city if you want), and so would love to find a church in her area if possible. Maybe one day we could start a document that lists some ‘possible’ sound churches. I looked up some ‘free grace’ churches on one’s recommendation list, and a friend recently was looking for one in her area.
Lo and behold, they had one just down the street. So my friend and I decided to ‘prove all things’ and although claiming grace, it turns out they were TULIP – Calvinist to the core. The guy who puts out the list, called the guy’s church, who denied they were reformed and claimed to be grace oriented. He emailed me back letting me know they were indeed grace. I thought maybe I had the wrong site, so I sent him screen shots and links to show him where I got my information. It was his turn to be shocked I believe, he thanked me for finding what I did. Hopefully he has removed it as a church with a clear gospel by now.
We really appreciate your wonderful comment/story. You are among many friends here who have similar experiences of release from the lie of a works “salvation” into the glorious Grace of Jesus Christ.
We often see churches changing their message because many feel they can “guilt-trip” their congregation into sticking around, giving more money, working “for the church” rather than for the Savior.
We pray you will find a good Grace preaching church that will adhere to sound Biblical teaching.
We look forward to hearing from you often.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Thanks everyone. I just hope to find a church. As if my husband and I have kids I would love to have them in a structured environment. O I am so blessed to have been enlightened. I can’t believe what I was taught. I remember once upon a time, churches did preach the simplicity of the gospel. The church that I used to go to…. I looked at their website the other day and in their Salvation part in their SOF they said, salvation is only by the shed blood of Jesus through personal faith, but that faith includes repentance from sin and turning from it and a total surrender of control of your life to the Savior. What? So only, the committed and obedient Christians will be saved? With that way if getting saved, you would have every reason to doubt your salvation when you go through a period of disobedience/sin/not being surrendered. They used to preach the truth. Now they changed the gospel because it was too easy. To them, my mother couldn’t get saved, not father, heck, my whole family couldn’t. We can’t change the gospel just because we may think it will create less committed Christians. It is powerful by itself. We have to just preach it and let God do the rest. After all, he has said it is the power of God unto salvation to all them so believe. Let people see the beauty of God’s grace and how it is a FREE gift. Adding and making it hard will drive people away.
Hi Rachel! Glad you’re here. Lots of good info and plenty of good commentary here as well as fellowship. It’s a good place to ask questions, and continue to grow in His grace. Talk to you soon!
Hello Rachel and Welcome to an Oasis of Grace
My heart rejoices in Christ to see a soul set free
been set free myself starting August 2010
Rachel, welcome. We’re glad you’re here!
You will find a lot of company here of folks having been rescued from the lies of Lordship “salvation.”
Like you, I delved into the website that you mentioned, but I now avoid it.
Thanks for this article. I am new here. I have come out of Lordship salvation. O praise the Lord, I never knew that it was by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. I am still recovering from my mind being brainwashed by them. I was a serious fruit inspector. I am so glad you brought up the writer of Jesus-is-savior.com as I used to read his site and now I am realizing some errors in his articles.
Matthew, glad I could help. He was made notorious by calling for God to kill Obama. I haven’t listened to much, but when a friend asked, and did some research on him, saw much to be concerned about as he is a railer, and a mocker too, along with other things, but definitely not really a free-grace teacher.
Thanks for confirming that!
Yeah it’s the same guy, thank you for the info on him. I was questioning if he really did preach faith alone in Christ alone, because in some of his sermons he had the sinners prayer. according to Roger, the guy that is also in his video, they do believe in the sinners prayer (I called him on the phone to find out).
Matthew – if you are speaking of Pastor Stephen Anderson of Phoenix, AZ, I would mark and avoid him. He gets some things seemingly right. But is a railer (one we are not to keep company with), calls those who believe in the pre-trib rapture heretics in one place, and if you read his wife’s blog, she too is a railer. Please do a little more research on him, you’ll find he is not free grace at all, although he touts himself as such as do many who are deceivers out there.
For me Preston (seems like I missed a question), there is another caveat in verse 9 when it says “whosoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ”
I could be wrong but I take that as another thing to consider. In addition, anyone who does not trust in Christ being God who IS Savior, have they denied Him? I believe so. They have a form of godliness, but denied the power (isn’t that the gospel?), they resist the truth so from them we are to turn away.
Interesting thought (and I agree) on 2 John 1:10-11 specifically, which I also got kind of convicted by awhile back, and I know longer bid them God speed, but I do say a prayer that if the Lord is willing that the truth will be made manifest to them, but that others will not hear their deception either.
I try to show a good example by my manner of speech, by making known the truth, by using His Word more and mine less hopefully. They will still accuse. One told me a couple days back all that I did was get on my soapbox and machine gun Scriptures. That I was abusive, refused to listen, and exalted myself. (Among other things). The good thing that came out of it? I always try to go to Him to see what things might contain any truth. I knew it was not the voice of my Shepherd, but of the accuser. But the wonderful thing is that a young girl has come to know the Lord. He has given increase. And more have come out of the deception of Calvinism and Lordship theology. As long as I offend in Him, they will tell me I am not humble, that I am obnoxious, that I am always right, that no one agrees with me, (or that I have a bunch of yes men-they never can quite make up their minds) 🙂
All I know, is that these battles are spiritual, and the best advice on how to handle them we know is in His Word. I was reminded as I put on my armor this morning, how much of the armor has to do with the Gospel….
Matthew, I am not sure whether the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit could still occur today or not.
In any event, I don’t believe that anyone who is worried that he might have committed this sin could have.
I know this is a little off topic but it deals with salvation. I believe in faith alone in Christ alone, just so you know. anyway, I was watching one of Pastor anderson videos and he said that people can still commit blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. I looked in the bible on this topic and I see that it is only in matt, mark, and luke. I don’t see this warning any where else in the bible.
I see that it says “speaketh a word” which looks like it can be still done today but then when you look at the mircles, it looks like it can’t. the verse is: Mat 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
thank you for your help in this.
Thank you for your comments. I thought that I would add my thoughts to those that have already been expressed.
Can a person be a believer without being a true disciple? It’s important to understand that none of us meet the Biblical requirements for being a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ. None of us consistently love others as Jesus loves them (John 13:34,35). And Jesus stated that this is how “all men will know that you are My disciples,” by their loving others as much as Jesus loves them. None of us meet that standard for discipleship.
When you study Jesus’ teaching on discipleship, it is clear that all of us fall short. Jesus taught that His discipleship was not merely an external act, but an inward heart attitude (Matthew 5:21,22,27,28). Jesus taught that the standard of His discipleship is that “you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
When I was going to John MacArthur’s church (back in the 1980’s), we were taught that you didn’t need to be obedient to Christ’s teachings (how could we?!?!). We just needed to sincerely commit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ, and feel really bad when when we failed. But the Bible never teaches that. What the Bible does say is “prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22).
It’s clear that none of us can ever qualify as disciples of Jesus Christ. So discipleship can never save us, because we could never meet its requirements. What discipleship does do is show us our need for salvation, that we need a Savior. Discipleship teaches us that we need the grace of Christ in order to be saved, that we can never be good enough to deserve salvation.
So a person cannot be a true disciple, but they can be truely saved when they trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
I hope this helps.
You said – To me it seems like there are some stipulations to be a “true believer”
my response – you are correct in a sense. BUT Prov 14:12 – there is a way which SEEMETH right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
– it would SEEM right that one would have to earn it, BUT it is FREE (read Rom 5:15-20 KJV – its uses GIFT, FREE, FREE GIFT 5 times)
James 2:18-20 – “Even the devils believe and tremble”. Did you know that James isnt talking? He has created a fictional character that is speaking. How do we know? verse 18 reads “ye a MAN may say…..It is THIS MAN that begins to speak. James CALLS the man vain in verse 20″
I will put my name in for clarity.
Yea, PRESTON (a man) may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain PRESTON (man), that faith without works is dead?
– FYI :”dead” means inactive or useless NOT unsaved.
– James is correct calling THIS man vain as it is human vainity that thinks we have anything to offer God for salvation. That’s a GIFT.
Hope this added to the help.
Maybe you can help answer your own questions:
If/When you sin, do you think that your trip to Heaven is lost?
If “No,” Are you a disciple (follower) of Christ when you sin?
Does anyone on this website say that the only requirement to get into Heaven is to believe that “God is One”(like the demons)?
Is the Gospel in the Book of James?
James says to his reader, “YOU see …” Is the “YOU” God or is the “YOU” the reader of James’ letter, a man?
Answer these and it all should become clear. I’m not saying that you are not getting into Heaven. I don’t know your testimony. I’m saying this:
It’s simple: One should change his/her mind about whatever he/she is trusting to get into Heaven and Trust the the fact that Jesus died/shed his blood for is/her sins and that He rose from the dead. The ASSURANCE of getting into Heaven (knowing that you are a Saint no matter what) as a free gift is so freeing, you’ll be amazed.
Sean, let’s stick with the KJV. It does not use “truly my disciples”, it uses “my disciples indeed”. Either way, John 8:31 is a great verse that clearly establishes that belief in Jesus as Savior (which always results in eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited) and an ongoing life of discipleship (which may result in rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ) are not one and the same. A believer who does not remain in the Word is indeed not a disciple. However, he remains someone who has received Jesus Christ as his Savior, and thus has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.
James 2:19 is one of the most misinterpreted verses in the Bible. A lot of Lordship “Salvationists” use this verse to try to prove that believing in Jesus as Savior is not enough to result in eternal life. The Bible says otherwise in more than 150 places (such as John 3:16 and Acts 16:31, among the others). This passage in James 2 never even mentions trusting in Jesus as Savior. Besides, Jesus’ death and resurrection did nothing to redeem demons – only humans.
Sean, you said:
To me it seems like there are some stipulations to be a “true believer” (I understand a term you do not like) who is saved and forgiven of his sins. Simple intellectual acknowledgement seems insufficient.
My comment: It simply doesn’t matter what it seems like to us. The Word of God is the source of truth. And, the Word of God doesn’t add any stipulations to faith in Christ in order for one to receive eternal life.
I hope this helps.
Preston, thanks for your addition to the Philippians 3 discussion!
1 comment and one question.
Comment – IMHO it might be good to go back 2 verses in Phil 3 – 15 and 16
Let US therefore, as many as BE PERFECT, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto WE have ALREADY ATTAINED, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
– we are made perfect by Him; the second birth is PERFECT
– He tells his readers that they have attained perfection – as a result – mind the same thing
Question – I constantly get beat up for the gospel. Been called more names then i could possibly have imagined. 99% of the time, I am humble and respectful. I usually end each post “with ALL humility and respect, God Bless”
– you know, the whole bless those that persecute you thing.
So, I had 10 minutes before my “old man” softball game and there sat my bible. All of the sudden, I think 2 John. Who spends much time in that book. Its only 13 verses. WELL, it reads this,
9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds
I am thinking the “God Bless” at the end might have to stop; OR is that only for the doctrine in verse 7 which reads “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist”
– a good example would be a JW that comes to your door. He does not believe that Jesus is God in the flesh. I would not wish him God Bless.
I am probably going to remove the “God Bless” anyway and stick with “with humility and respect”
2 John 11 – I have ENOUGH of my owns sins to worry about (Holly, beer in my shopping cart :)) that I MIGHT now partaking in someone elses deeds?UUUGGGGHHHHH!
My comment and question seems to have been deleted. I’m unsure of why.
My question is: What do you think of the term TRUE DISCIPLE because it seems Jesus speaks of this in John 8:31-32, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Would the inverse then not also be true? If you DO NOT abide in my word, you are not truly my disciples? Thus putting a qualification, that in order to be a true disciple, you must abide in God’s word.
And can one be a believer who has been saved, and not be a truly a disciple? It says Jesus was speaking this to the “Jews who had believed in Him”. Do they possess a saving belief in Christ? Currently, I don’t understand how Scripture says in James 2, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” Surely, this is not a saving belief, correct? The demons even recognize Jesus in the Bible. Mark 1:24 says, ““What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”
To me it seems like there are some stipulations to be a “true believer” (I understand a term you do not like) who is saved and forgiven of his sins. Simple intellectual acknowledgement seems insufficient.
Any clarification you could provide, would be greatly appreciated.
blacs30, welcome to ExPreacherman and thanks for your question and comment.
My interpretation of Philippians 3:18 is that it deals with believers whose minds are set on worldly, as opposed to heavenly things.
Verses 17-21 are helpful for immediate context:
 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
In verse 17, Paul is instructing the brethren to conduct themselves in the manner in which he conducts himself, and to take note of those (mark them) who do likewise.
Verses 18 and 19 are parenthetical contrasts to those who conduct themselves in the manner in which Paul conducts himself. These are believers who are friends of the world, and therefore enemies of God (the cross).
This language is very similar to James 4:4:
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
The destruction, of which Paul speaks in verse 19, may involve a ruined life, premature physical death, and loss of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Verses 20 and 21 resume the discussion of his own conversation (lifestyle), which is set on heavenly things, and is watchful for the appearing of Christ (the rapture).
This passage is also somewhat reminiscent of Matthew 6:19-21:
 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Similarly, the context of Colossians 1:23 is to remind the brethren to remain grounded in Christ, so that they will be presented in a favorable way at the Judgment Seat of Christ (verse 28). The conversation continues well into Chapter 2, with the following:
 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
And, what are they to beware of? Being beguiled (tricked) out of their reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ (see Colossians 2:4, 18). In Colossians 3:2, Paul exhorts the brethren to be focused on things above, not on things on the earth.
Could you help explain Philippians 3:18 and context. And also Colossians 1:23 and context.
These are just two examples of verses some people give to show that there need to be a change, or some proof to stay in faith.
1 Corinthians is a good example that even brothers, as Paul calls them, can live in more sin than people from the world. – This then would make fellowship with them impossible but Paul doesn’t even once say they might not be saved. Even though in the second letter they are said to accept another Spirit he doesn’t raise the question of saved or not saved.
The most important one of all of course, is getting the gospel wrong. Not sure about the discerning part, just that His Word exercises our senses so we can discern between good and evil. I know people think somehow it’s a minute point. But not so… It’s corrupting minds from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Thank you for having me here, and for all the good information you provide. I am thankful for you all.
You are correct about Stewart — and we prefer to minimize the subject of Stewart’s false teaching, his cohorts and recommendations.
There is no other way to say it, he is wrong in so many doctrines yet he seems to attract the undiscerning “free gracers.” Sad!!
We appreciate your keen discernment.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Russell, you said The problem with looking at works or a changed life is that those things are subjective and come down to man’s opinion. God, and Him alone, looks at a man’s heart. If you believe that a “true believer” will have visible fruits I would ask how much fruit and just what constitutes this fruit.
I am reminded again that that the wolves are inwardly ravening, but outwardly show wonderful works. I just pray more and more people might look in the mirror every morning. I do the same, and it reminds me that I need Him. That I need His Word of Grace. That I need to confess my sins to stay in fellowship with Him and others. That I need washed in the water by the Word. I am so thankful for His free gift, I could never earn it… not even by their standards…
John, thank you for the article, I agree with you, ‘true’ or ‘genuine’ or ‘authentic’ etc. are terms I’ve seen Lordship teachers add to believer to identify who they think are brethren and who are not. Paul indeed called those false brethren in Gal 2 who had come trying to bring the believers back into bondage. Evidently they hadn’t ever professed faith in Jesus Christ and His work alone and so he knew them by their doctrine. But too many times I see them using these little phrases, similarly to the Hebrew Roots movement, which they have much in common as far as legalism goes. Do you “really” love Him. Were you “truly” saved? Easy believism, cheap grace, all terms or questions they both use. And oddly, I don’t see them turn around and preach the gospel, for if they think the person is lost, should they judge them (1 Cor 5:12-13) or should they preach the gospel (Col 4:5-6, Rom 1:16-17, 1 Cor 1:17-18)?
They say they believe they are false believers, but where are we called to judge the fruit of a believer? We judge the fruits of a false prophet which is doctrine, very similar to theirs actually.
1. Saying they call on the Lord, but in reality…
2. They justify themselves by their own ‘wonderful’ works
3. In addition, we see that they do not believe on Him as SAVIOR, even though they profess He is their Lord… They are trusting in their own works and that is what they proclaim is themselves.
4. They don’t do the will of our Father in heaven – John 6:28-29, 39-40, so they are not His.
5. So, He does not know them and never knew them… John 10:14, they were never His sheep, they are wolves, not false sheep.
6. They are the unrighteous, the lawless, because they have not trusted in His righteousness, but still are seeking to establish their own (Rom 10:3-4)
Abe – a few things I’ve noticed about David Stewart’s site. I won’t go into his past, but just deal with the here and now, he quotes and defends Spurgeon although seemingly defending against the false teaching of Calvinism. He also quotes often Jack Hyles (abusive IFB) and is not aboe reproach, and should not be quoted
Max Younce is another one he quotes, and although I have not followed him, I was surprised to see on his site that he believes those who believe in young earth are false teachers somehow. Who knows what other sort of stuff he teaches, a couple of things were off there, so i didn’t proceed further.
Thanks for your comment.
Thanks also for your endorsement of Exp. We strive to be Biblically accurate.
The bottom line is your statement, “Either Salvation is a free gift or God is a liar and we know which one it is.”
“In hope [guarantee] of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”
In Jesus Christ eternally,Jack
When discussing these issues the problem seems to come down to what people mean by certain phrases. When a free grace person says “true beleiver” it has a totally different meaning then when a Lordship person says “true beleiver”.
The problem with looking at works or a changed life is that those things are subjective and come down to mans opinion. God, and Him alone, looks at a mans heart. If you believe that a “true beleiver” will have visible fruits I would ask how much fruit and just what constitutes this fruit. I can point out Christians who struggle with sin. I can see one in the mirror every morning. Does that mean I am not a “true beleiver”. Or am I ok because I dont make porn or do any of the “real big sins”. This whole idea that we can tell by outward actions who is saved or not is crazy. If I were living in Corinth when Paul wrote his letters I would not have considered them “true beleivers” based on their actions – but they were. How about Lot and while were talking about it I am not too impressed with King David’s fruit either. Either Salvation is a free gift or God is a liar and we know which one it is. Keep the faith. P.S. How I have come to love this site!!!
Great to “see” you here at our Oasis of Grace.
I really do appreciate your reputation and zeal for sharing the Truth and simplicity that IS the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!
We look forward to seeing you often.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Thanks!!! You are right — Simplicity is the key:
2 Corinthians 11:3
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.”
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Great article. I will stop using “true” as a tag for believer, as in the past I learned to stop using “saving” as a tag for faith. A person either believes the free gift from Jesus, or they don’t. Thank you for the article.
I also thank you for discussing David J. Stewart. He has been paraded as a hero for free grace by some, but he actually is lordship salvation in that he requires results after the fact. In addition, he does not believe in young earth, and he is very anti-Israel, sadly. I know those last two points aren’t related to the main article, but he does hold to bad positions on those things too.
John, i’m afraid to say that i’m also guilty of this, it just goes to show how easy unbiblical ideas and phrases can become a tradition. Thanks for the much needed correction brother. Blessings always.
GUILTY!!! I have said “true Believer” and “false believer” so many times I am ashamed to count… started way back with the “cults” who profess they believe and/or are “born-again”… even those that say Jesus is satans brother(augh)… so yes… we need a better term for sure…cause even the demons believe we are told in Scriptures. So I think you are correct… Do they BELIEVE the GOSPEL(1 Cor 15:1-11) and do they BELIEVE there is NOTHING they can do besides BELIEVING the Gospel to be “SAVED”… Those would be the ones written in the Lambs Book!! Sealed till the day of redemption SAINTS! 🙂 I hate that Catholics have stolen that term and turned it into DEAD people… which would be the OPPOSITE of what the term actually means!! We are ALIVE in Jesus… Eternally bound for GLORY…just like satan to snatch HIS WORD and turn it into a lie!
God Bless you for this… very thought provoking indeed! Needing to be more careful(Spiritually correct) about what we say and HOW we say it… His WORDS are the best to show ourselves approved and those of the Faith! WISE yet Harmless! Good article thank you!!
JR, I think DJS is backloading the gospel with works, which is Lordship “salvation”, in the same way that front loading the gospel with works is Lordship “salvation.” There is no real difference.
And, by the way, “genuine repentance” is yet another gem from Stewart that is nowhere to be found in scripture.
From David J. Stewart: (with my comments)
“Once a person is saved, they begin to grow in grace by feeding on the Truth of God’s Word (1st Peter 2:2). As a believer grows in the Truth, he or she realizes that there are changes in their life that need to be made. God’s Holy Spirit works in that person’s heart. Thus, we begin to see the FRUIT of genuine repentance. A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance; and NOT a prerequisite to salvation or a part of saving-faith. Proponents of Lordship Salvation place the cart before the horse and have it all backwards. The change comes as a result of true repentance; not as a means to it.”
Whether he means that the change is instant or not is unclear, he correctly defines repentance as a change of mind, only to attach “results” to it, and by results he means something from 1st John (DJS believes that they are tests of salvation, but he does not see them as assurance of salvation).
John O, “saints” would be appropriate! The term is used 61 times in the New Testament.
Even the use of the word “believer” has problems. The difficulty with the word “believer” is that it is the present tense. In order to enter Heaven, the requirement is to have “believed” the Gospel one time in the past. Every time we sin, we do not believe (1John, 2 Tim2:13). Most of us are cycling between belief & doubt(sin).
I’d like to come up with a better term that describes those of bound for Heaven regardless of whether we are believing at the moment – maybe “saint.”
Jack, I think the simplicity of what it takes to be a believer confuses them, the simple acceptance of Christ death, burial and resurrection
covers it all no matter what the sin,
Thanks John, I find it ironic and sad that many who claim to be able to identify a “true” believer do so by looking to works, not Christ.
Excellent article and very thoughtful as well as thought provoking.
I am (and probably most believers are) guilty of innocently using the phrase “true believer” when “believer in Jesus Christ” or just “believer,” in the proper context, is far better.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack