Sorry, Lordship Salvationists And Charles Ryrie, The Terms of Eternal Life Are Neither Debatable Nor Negotiable

By Jack and John, Administrators

Charles Ryrie…. Lordship “salvation” advocate?

God does not debate the requirement for eternal life – He declares it. Man receives eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9) – or, he does not receive eternal life at all.

God does not negotiate with mankind the terms of Eternal Life — His promise and the terms are clearly spelled out in His Word, the Bible. John 3:16-18 and many other verses declare, Believe on Jesus Christ and live eternally with Him — believe NOT and remain condemned eternally (forever).

Those who would try to negotiate, debate, bargain or strike a “deal” with God are fighting a losing battle for themselves and those whom they influence. It is a battle for eternity.

Charles Ryrie is guilty of promoting (threatening?) Lordship “salvation” to his readers in his books “Ryrie Study Bible” and “So Great Salvation”.

In Ryrie’s answer to James 2:14 he writes:

“James 2:24 [“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only”] is the reply to the question of James 2:14. Unproductive faith cannot save, because it is not genuine faith. Faith and works are like a two-coupon ticket to heaven. The coupon of works is not good for passage, and the coupon of faith is not valid if detached from works” (Ryrie Study Bible, comment under James 2:24).

That is a catchy phrase but it is an un-scriptural, anti-Grace one.

Ryrie also had a problematic explanation for James 2:19 that led to his further error in explaining James 2:24. Following is his note on James 2:19:

The unity of God was a fundamental belief in Judaism. But if that belief did not produce good deeds, it was no better than the “monotheism” of the demons. = demons.tremble = shudder.  (Ryrie Study Bible, comment under James 2:19).

Also, Ryrie seems to interpret 1 Corinthians 4:5 to be conclusive that all Christians will bear fruit. Following is the concluding quote from the section called “Bearing Fruit”, from “So Great Salvation,” Charles Ryrie, Victor Books, 1989, pp. 45-46:

Nevertheless, every Christian will bear fruit; otherwise he or she is not a true believer. In speaking about the Judgment Seat of Christ, Paul says unequivocally that every believer will have praise come to him from God (1 Corinthians 4:5).

It may surprise some of our readers to see how closely John MacArthur and Ryrie agree on this issue. Here are a couple of quotes from JMac that echo the identical philosophy:

“I have never taught that some presalvation works are necessary to or part of salvation. (sic) But I do believe without apology that real salvation cannot, and will not, fail to produce works of righteousness in the life of a true believer”

We find on one of JMac’s web pages, he relishes in Ryrie’s study bible quote, mentioned earlier here… and on the same page quotes John Calvin as supporting their mutual positions. JMac says:

“Here even Charles Ryrie sounds like an advocate of “lordship salvation”:

And then JMac quotes the Ryrie’s “bible.”

It is really puzzling that Ryrie insists that all Christians will bear fruit, based on 1 Corinthians 4:5, a verse in which fruitfulness is not even mentioned. This seems, for Ryrie, to trump 2 Peter 1:8 (in which “barren” and “unfruitful” are both used).

The problem with people who insist that all Christians will bear fruit, even those who “soften it up” like Ryrie, is that we cannot look to fruit we have borne for assurance of salvation. If we cannot look to fruit in our own lives as evidence of having eternal life, of what possible consequence is it to insist that “true believers” will bear fruit?

Is Ryrie trying to threaten believers into bearing fruit or else he declares their faith is non-existent? What is the different between Ryrie’s philosophy and that of John MacArthur or Calvin or Piper? In essence, nothing!!

It seem perfectly and Biblically logical that anyone who sincerely understands the meaning of God’s Grace would NEVER stipulate any works requirement for or fruit to prove one’s salvation, whether past, present or future, yet too many teachers/preachers do just that, even those who present themselves as heroic proponents of free Grace.

Therefore a proponent of LS would plead before the Lord, “But God, if I show You or show my church, my friends and neighbors or the world my fruit and my good works surely you will accept me on my merit, on my terms.”

That is Satan’s lie.

Grace defined is basically unmerited favor, benefit, a gift. And any real Gift by Grace is free, without strings or qualifiers attached — or it does not fit the accurate description of “a gift.”

How could anyone who knows the truth of the Gospel of God’s Grace teach that works are required to get into heaven? What could possibly have motivated Ryrie to compromise the gospel in his books? Was he trying to “coexist” with the works salvationists? Was he trying to sell books? Was he trying to gain recognition? Or, did he really believe what he wrote? It is simply impossible to tell.

Eternal Life For You.. Without Fruit << Click

204 responses to “Sorry, Lordship Salvationists And Charles Ryrie, The Terms of Eternal Life Are Neither Debatable Nor Negotiable

  1. It was my pleasure John…thanx AGAIN for keeping Jacks work on track 😉 God Bless you and this Site full of TRUTH from the Lord!!

  2. Kimberrly, thanks for following up and letting us know of the positive outcome!

  3. Hi John,
    I just got a reply from Pastor Yankee that I will have to say I am just FLOORED by….he said that he didn’t know that those books were on the site and that Dr Lindstrom and his associates used books, even heretical ones, to verify what he said as a Bible teacher at colleges(to prove things)…they weren’t supposed to be there for the general public to buy! He even THANKED me for pointing it out to him!! What a gracious man! I felt like I won the lottery!! I’ve never had a Pastor or teacher take what I said and DO something about it!! I was so very grateful!!! I hope others read this update on Pastor Yankee and know that he actually did something about a concern someone in his flock had!!! Again, so very grateful!!!

    Take Care John and thank you for continuing Jacks work…God Bless you…and GOD BLESS Pastor Yankee!!!

  4. Kimberrly, we can point out error to others, but we can’t make them agree with us.

    For some reason, pastors give error by some of the “big names” a pass. I will pray that they will be more discerning.

  5. Hi Y’all…Kimberrly here…I’m having some issues with the BOOKS and COMMENTARIES and such being sold at Calvary Community Church(Yankee)…I have written him with my concerns about having Riplinger books being sold on there, but wanted to research Ryrie, cause they also sell those on their site! These books can lead. not only the Brethren away from TRUTH, but, for the weak seeker, they are DANGEROUS and should never be at a Free Grace Church IMHO!

    I knew Ryrie was false, and when I went to get proof, Google sent me straight here(Praise the Lord)….now, HOW can I explain to Pastor Yankee that he needs to take a GOOD HARD LOOK at his church’s site and get these false teachings off there? Any advice would be appreciated…cause I can’t recommend Calvary Church in Tampa to others if they have these false teachings being sold! And we ALL know that Pastors are few and far between now a days and I like to have at least a few to tell others to listen to!!

    In Christ,

    Kimberrly Yahn

  6. Hi Holly, you mentioned Andy Woods is his interpretation from Charles Ryrie, incorrect.

  7. Interesting, recently Pastor Andy Wood posted an article in our Facebook group on Christians explaining the heresies of Calvinism, Loadship and Arminianism. His explanation on James 2:19 was almost identical to Ryrie, explains a lot.

  8. Holly, glad you’re back on.

    Larry and Janell, I don’t know how I missed your comment. A very belated welcome.

  9. Larry and Janell, Glad to meet another who understands the gospel.

    John, after I commented, I was suddenly able to get on wordpress. I had to use my username vs. my email. 🙂

  10. Hi, it’s Holly. Great to read, my other computer is having issues, and am currently unable to get onto my wordpress account, I can’t remember my password and it doesn’t send it to me when I say I forgot it. So hopefully soon I’ll figure these things out, for now, using my husband’s computer.

    Just wanted to agree with John on the many admonitions of things we need to do as believers, because we still live in this flesh. Seems like a constand thing, and I suppose it is. That’s why we need to remember to continue in His Word, and abide in Him. We need to walk in the Spirit so we won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

  11. Tyler, I probably won’t write an article about this guy, in particular, because his message is so similar to that of other people who teach LS. Please note that he teaches both front-door LS (one cannot receive eternal life while holding on to the desire to sin) and backdoor LS (fruit inspection). He claims to be against LS, but as you noted,he really promotes it.

    The “free grace” gospel does not “strip the good news of its power.”

    Actually, the Bible teaches that the gospel of Jesus Christ IS the power of God unto salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16).

    What this guy is saying is that one has to believe his life is going to be transformed in order to receive eternal life. And, while it is God’s will that believers have changed lives, it is neither a condition for receiving eternal life, nor an automatic outcome. Romans 12:2 makes this clear.

    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.

    Neither does the desire, nor lack of desire to hold onto sin have anything to do with receiving eternal life. If one had to give up the desire to hold onto sin in order to receive eternal life, than eternal life would no longer be a gift. It would be a trade for one’s willingness to give up his desire to hold onto sin.

  12. there’s a guy I came across who teaches against lordship salvation his name is Sean Scott but he also teaches a back door lordship salvation approach whether he sees it or not by teaching than an unbeliever can come to Christ and be saved that is if they are not Desiring to hold on to their sins he also teaches that genuine fruit will follow those who believe and that the work of sanctification will be evident in the lives of those who have real faith if you could I would like you to do an article exposing him he also says that the free Grace message strips the good news of its power which I believe is a lie your comments would greatly be appreciated

  13. Larry & Janell Samuelson

    Thank you for explaining “free grace” and the simplicity of the gospel. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: ROM 3: 23-24. For the wages of sin is death; but the “gift” of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Our assurance is based on nothing less than Jesus Christ and his righteousness! The Lamb of God that tasted death for every man. The one who knew no sin but was made sin for us on Calvary’s tree. Faith alone in that “perfect” sacrifice; His death, burial and resurrection, brings eternal life to the “whosoever”. As we abide in Him we will produce fruit but our assurance is always based on His finished work and never in what we may or may not see in our lives. That may or may not be fruit. For if a man think himself to be something when he is “nothing” he deceiveth himself. Gal 6:3. God Bless

  14. Preston, John and Mary,
    That was my intent. I should have stated it more clearly. No more on church discipline!

  15. Preston, I tend to agree with you on your perspectives on fellowship issues.

    You said that you are ready to be rebuked on this.

    But, I would prefer that we not use ExPreacherMan as a forum for church discipline issues.

  16. Personally,

    there is one point that Dan made and it is this….

    I would put the homosexuals who are opening flaunting a sinful lifestyle out of the church

    ME – NOT saying that I am right here BUT it is the “openly flaunting” that would have me put him out of the church. I would NOT put a homosexual out if they were learning and trying to understand scripture like everyone else while “quietly keeping this sin to themselves”.

    Like a drinker who would openly come to church drunk would be removed.

    I am a smoker. do I “light up” in front of the church door 5 minutes before a service? no.

    AGAIN, I could very well be wrong on this so I don’t want to say “this is exactly what should be done”. James tells us that if we commit one sin; we have committed them all. So for me, this is a tough issue for fellowship.

    IF he is not “openly promoting” his homosexuality, I would not “kick him out”.

    yes, I am ready to be rebuked on this. 🙂

  17. Thank you Dan, as there is a homosexual guy, here who believes god made him this way, he has been kicked out of most of the churches. I believe he is not a practising one. Keep him in your prayers, as he has had so much condemnation thrown at him, his family is in a cult (won’t name) here someone may know who i am talking about.

    Apparently he has found a church, don’t know which one, but it is liberal i believe. So he is seeking something other than the cult he has grown up in.

  18. Mary, 1 Corinthians 5 speaks to fornication amongst the Corinthians including “that one should have his father’s wife.” Paul admonished the Corinthians because they were “puffed up” instead of mourning that “he who did this deed might be taken away from among you.” Paul said he had already judged this deed and he told the Corinthians in the church “to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:5) In other words, they were to disallow the man fellowship in the church; however, he was still saved and had been baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. He was still in the universal church as John referred to in his comments.

    In 1 Corinthians 5:11, Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers, “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” Referring to believers in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says, “…put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” Although homosexuals are not specifically addressed in these verses, the “effeminate” and the “abusers of themselves with mankind” are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9.

    Romans 1 speaks to God’s displeasure with homosexual behavior, and in verse 28 it says that, because of their behavior, God gave them over to a reprobate mind. Moreover, Genesis 19 is an account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah when “the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.” (Genesis 19:24) Homosexuality was rampant in Sodom and Gomorrah. You can still see pictures of the brimstone and the ruins of these cities on the internet.

    In 1 Corinthians 5:6, Paul said, “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” That is why, in my opinion, Paul said to put the one out of the church, even though he was a believer, that had sexual relations with his father’s wife. Although I am not a ordained pastor, my opinion is that I would do the same thing that Paul recommended. I would put the homosexuals who are opening flaunting a sinful lifestyle out of the church. However, in love, I would try to get the appropriate counseling for them that they need. And the best counseling would be to go over all of the relevant scriptures pertaining to this sin.

    In Love and in Christ,

  19. Mary, there is room in the church (the universal church) for same sex attraction and for people engaging in sexual sin, including homosexual behavior. All believers were baptized into the church by the Holy Spirit at the moment of belief.

    Does God condone homosexual behavior, or sexual immorality in general? No.

  20. Someone just sent me an email, an independent reformed baptist church is having an evening called Big questions, one is,is there room in the church for same sex attraction. What am i to think. I know you can be a homosexual and be a christian, not that i would encourage someone to stay that way.

    What am i to think.

  21. John,
    It doesn’t surprise me that the #1 attraction in Charlotte is the Billy Graham library. However, I won’t be taking that tour. Not interested!

    I am dumbfounded by the fact that preachers are still telling people to “repent” in the sense of stop sinning as a condition of salvation. Don’t they know that all their self-effort won’t do what the shed blood of Jesus has already done? It’s by His shed blood that our sins are already forgiven – past, present and future. “…without the shedding of blood is no remission (of sins)” (Hebrews 9:23) Don’t they know “…that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures?” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) Don’t they know that we’re under a new covenant established on better promises? (Hebrews 8:6)

    For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17) Isn’t it amazing that truth is on the side of grace. I guess that’s why we call it “amazing grace.” “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14) Grace trumps the law every time!

    “…this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4) These preachers don’t know that it’s not our faith plus our self-righteousness, efforts, or conduct that saves us. It’s nothing that we can do to gain eternal life other than to believe (have faith in, trust) in God’s grace alone, through our faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

    Hope all is well with you! My prayer for you is that you find a good church to fellowship. Until then, I feel led to give you these words of Jesus, “…the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14: 26-27)

    Keep on praising the Lord and rejoice always,
    Love In Christ, Dan

  22. Dan, I live in Charlotte.

    If you go to tripadvisor and look up top 30 things to do in Charlotte, The Billy Graham Library comes in at number 1. Lordship “salvation” is very popular.

  23. Today a professing Christian asked me, “If you’re the only one who believes what you believe, don’t you think something is wrong with that? The answer was no! I was reminded of what Jesus said In Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life.” The doors of most, if not all, mega churches are wide and lead to destruction. It’s unfortunate that so many are impressed simply because a pastor or evangelist is famous, “charasmatic,” or has a mega church. I once heard Billy Graham and Robert Schuller agree that the gate is wide that leads to life and there are many going through it. You have to ask yourself, does that line-up with Matthew 7:13-14? I choose to believe in what Jesus said rather than what Billy and Robert say. Just because someone is famous doesn’t mean the truth of the Word is being taught. As the Bereans, we must search the scriptures daily to ascertain if what is being taught is truth (Acts 17:11).

    This professing Christian also asked me, “Don’t you think fellowshipping at a church is important? My reply was yes, as long as we are like-minded believers who believe in salvation by Grace alone, through our faith alone, in Jesus alone without all the additives. As I can see from the recent blogs, it’s difficult to find a church of like-minded believers. They are few and far between. Especially here in Santa Clarita, California, which, as I’ve said before – is the hotbed of Lordship Salvation (John MacArthur, Masters Seminary).

    Holly, I love that picture on Titus 2:11. I open my laptop to it now. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”

    Praise God for His Grace; praise God for Jesus. I appreciate all the comments and fellowship on this website.
    Your brother in Christ,

  24. Hello there Jackie

    I agree with Holly that associations do matter. However, I do know that sometimes associations may not necessarily mean alignment in doctrine. To the outside, it is certainly perceived that way. Jackie, whether Tim is closet Calvinist or not, he is inviting danger to his church by allowing Francis Chan to speak. He has held some church events in conjunction with Mark Driscoll. Dangerous.

    Furthermore, “cool” churches these days, Calvinist or not, although I’ve never seen a “cool” free grace church, are an abomination to the Lord. Why? Everything about them is man centered. Romans 12 tells us not to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. These “cool” churches mix pop culture (especially being in LA) with Christ, and there are numerous passages that state friendship with the world is enmity with God. Pastors like Tim, who sport tattoos, dresses hipster, talks pop culture slang, and etc. is not above reproach and conforms to worldliness. Lack of separation in one’s life is harmful to self and the Body of Christ, especially in the context of a church and being a pastor. Avoid “cool” churches. They are “cool” for a reason — to attract innocent people by fleshly means instead of the Gospel.

    The other point is that these “cool” pastors market and advertise themselves into a shiny reputation. Look at all these young, hip, cool Calvinist pastors. What do they all have in common? They’re all somehow very good looking, have charisma, are hipster, funny, can engage a crowd, and mighty good speakers. They’re literally Christian celebrities, with the same celebrity connotation as a Hollywood celebrity. This is a dangerous mix of worldliness with the church. These leaders are picked carefully. Avoid at all costs.

    Look for a church, like Thomas Cucuzza’s, that teaches the gospel, preaches the Bible without any extra fluff. All this worldly “fun” was never meant to be a part of God’s House. Church is a place where people come to worship the Lord and fellowship in His Truth, and not a place to hangout, eat snacks, and do fun activities.

    My two cents.


  25. Jackie Garcia

    Wish there was a “like” feature on these comments. Great responses, everyone! Exegetically sound and precise — as they should be! 🙂 Tim Chaddick, the head pastor at Reality LA, might be a closet Calvinist, but associations really do matter. I’ll be prying deeply into the leadership at this church to see their true colors doctrinally. Thanks, all.

  26. I believe Holly has IT (capitalized for a reason). I will put it in a different way.

    Col 1:5-6 – For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL;

    6 Which is come unto you, as IT is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as IT doth also in you, since the day ye heard of IT, and knew the grace of God in truth:

    IT is the “truth of the gospel” and IT bringeth forth fruit.

  27. Hi there Jackie! The Gospel does bring forth fruit, and that is a harvest of more believers. He is speaking to a church as a whole and the fruit of the gospel as a whole there. I was going to use the same passage in 2 Pet 1 which shows we can be not only barren and unfruitful, but blinded and shortsighted, forgetting we were purged from our sins.

    If being fruitful was a guarantee, there likely wouldn’t be the need for so many epistles. 🙂 I know how hard it is to hear that there might be some issues in a place you have grown to appreciate. In this day and age, we need to prove all things. Just pray with each thing, and hold up the Word to any teachings. Also associations do matter, so I’d look into some of the warnings James gave above.

    A church should always have the gospel, good news proclaimed and easy to find. That is the first red flag for me always. And statement of faith, another huge red flag when you can’t find it.

    Love in Him.

  28. Jackie, many Christians are fruitful. Some are not. Colossians 1:6 may refer to fruit of the Spirit, which is manifested when Christians walk in the Spirit. Fruit may also refer to the growth of the church through the faithful preaching of the gospel.

    2 Peter 1:8 seems to indicate that Christians can become barren and unfruitful, so I don’t think that Colossians 1:5-6 says that fruit bearing is automatic.

  29. Jackie Garcia

    I just started watching one of Reality LA’s instruction videos on what the Gospel is and Pastor Jeremy starts out with 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 as being the capstone statement of what the Gospel is, which is something I’m sure we all most assuredly agree upon. I haven’t gotten through the Gospel series, but I’ll be sure to dig deep and see if I could find what they believe to the proper response. Holly, could you explain how Colossians 1:5-6 is not a passage that guarantees a believer in Christ will bear fruit? Thank you. 🙂

    (Link removed by administrator).

  30. Amen Holly

    Amen Jackie

    The way of the Truth really is narrow. I have no doubt that we’re living in the latter days. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

    narrow is the way
    Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
    Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    for way to many years under the bewitching spell and culture aound here of LS i thought this passage was refereeing to living a “sinless Life ” walking the straight and narrow when it is referring to the religious who think they are ok on the broad way and warnings about false prophets

  31. Amen Jackie. It’s easy to become saved, except there are people out there broadening the message. They can’t just leave it at ‘believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved’. There always seems to be a ‘but’ or an ‘and’ inserted somewhere into the truth, subtly changing it.

  32. Jackie, Calvinism/LS is alluring, because it is fleshly. It appeals to man’s wisdom.

    Almost no one will come out and say they don’t believe in salvation by grace through faith in Christ.

    The sneaky ones insist on fruit inspection – that one can only have assurance of salvation if his life begins to change. Statements like “a true Christian will…” are one manifestation of this.

  33. I did find a gospel series when I searched in their search bar. They say the correct response to it is belief and repentance (they do not explain what that is). Other that, they seem backdoor lordship in stating you will bear fruit and cite Col 1:5-6. Just for an additional fyi.

  34. James and Curtis – I agree with you about both churches. Like you said, sometimes there are grace speakers within those mega churches, but it’s too hard to keep them consistent. I wrote an article about testing the churches.

    First thing is if you cannot easily find a gospel, likely they do not believe in the power of it. They try to be relevant to seekers, and they keep these things out of the forefront so they can attract more people to the church I am afraid.

    The name set an alarm off in my head so I had gone to look before I saw the comments from you two. Thank you for contending earnestly for the faith (Jude 3) and for marking and avoiding as we’re told to do (Rom 16:17-18). Appreciate the body of Christ.

  35. Jackie Garcia

    The way of the Truth really is narrow. I have no doubt that we’re living in the latter days. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

  36. Preston – laughing with you. The enemy will come up with more… God bless you.

  37. Mary and John, glad you liked it, you are all welcome to use any of my pictures any time if you find one you like. You can either go to this page and right-click and save, or just double click on the picture and grab the link for it.

    Here is the link:

  38. Jackie Garcia

    Wow.. That’s really disheartening. But you’re all right. I just had the feeling that it wasn’t the Gospel that was attracting all of Reality’s congregants. “Cool Calvinism” definitely hits it on the nail. It’s just.. I don’t know. Most of their Gospel presentations have sounded solid so far. They preach the cross, Jesus’s death and resurrection, and implore attendees who have not done so to put their trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. James, if you could please link me to any statement that has come out of Reality LA saying they’re not Free Grace, I would eternally appreciate it. I shouldn’t be surprised ultimately. Reality LA has quoted Charles Spurgeon, CS Lewis, among others in their sermons. If any of you could, please explain what you think is most alluring about “cool Calvinism.”

  39. Nicely written James ,

  40. James and Curtis, thanks for looking into this.

    I agree that the youth-oriented mega-churches are often just selling “cool Calvinism.”

    But, I’m not any more impressed with most of the churches filled with older congregants either.

    Churches that are consistently clear on the gospel can be kind of hard to find.

  41. fist flag for me , there is no Gospel presentation on their website and No doctrinal statement that i could find.
    second flag “celebrate recovery” is Rick Warrens christinized AA group. so they do have some rick warren LS exposure going on

    i jumped and skipped through couple sermons looking to hear a gospel presentation did not hear one . just sounded “Evangelical” to me. with the focus on experiencing following Jesus .

    I am speculating here now with out doing more homework a church that size with that much staff and pastors , they are probably working all three sides against the middle , one pastor may preach grace , the next preaches grace mixed with works , the next preaches, grace mixed with mysticism .

    for me these days my desire is to hear a line by line expository preaching / teaching with a preacher allowing the scripture to teach me teaching itself .

  42. Hello

    I’m sorry to interrupt in this manner, but I’m doing this for the integrity of this site and for the beliefs and values this fellowship upholds.

    The church, Reality LA, that Jackie Garcia has mentioned is NOT a Free Grace church. It is another Calvinist/Reformed/Emergent/Acts29 church associated with Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, and Francis Chan. There is a Reality SF as well. These Reality churches, in a nutshell, can be described as churches who pop-culturize church to make it attractive to young people to accept their Calvinist doctrine. Attending any branch of this church will confuse any believer.

    As far as Pacific Crossroads, that one liner Jackie Garcia is biblical. However, further perusing of the site slightly alarms me in that it emphasizes programs, and man-centered activities. It has no doctrinal statement and says nothing about the Gospel of Grace. However, I am happy to admit that this is me just being overly cautious, and that I’m not married to this. Additionally, I want to say that as someone who has lived in LA for 10 years, most churches have been overtaken by Calvinists (because of John Mac’s presence).

    My honest advice to Jackie is that if you want to find a truly free grace church in the area, you will have to dig deeper and examine church doctrinal statements. In my experience, if a church is attracting lots of young people, you can bet your money that it isn’t Christ or sound doctrine that is attracting them to church. It’s something else. It’s fun, activities, anything other than the Gospel, which is a strategy that most Calvinist Emergents employ today. A “boring” church with significantly older folks is more likely to have stayed true to the Gospel, so you might want to consider that. The downside is that you will lack younger company. The upside is that you avoid false doctrine. Hope this helps.


  43. Jackie Garcia

    Dan! I have another potential Free-Grace believing church for ya! The church is called Pacific Crossroads and they’re located in Santa Monica, CA. I haven’t gone through their Statement of Faith yet, but I got really excited when I read one of their mission statements which states: “A disciple is a follower of Jesus who, by grace and by choice, is learning from Jesus how to live.” Amen and amen! Haha, so glad some churches actually get it and are striving to maintain the simplicity of the Gospel. Here is their website if you’d like to check out more: 🙂

  44. Holly,

    i am NOT going to get excited. BUT, with a calm, humble voice will say…I got called a “pelagian” today.

    Is it a new one?????

  45. Jackie Garcia

    Dan, I had a feeling in my spirit that was biblical, but couldn’t quite put my finger on the verse. Thank you for the clarification. 🙂 Hm, seems like Trinity Church understands salvation through faith in Christ alone, but they miss the mark on eternal security. Such a funky and dangerous paradox. :/ If you’re going to Reality LA this Sunday, I’ll be there as well and it would be a delight to meet you and have conversation for a few minutes even. We’re currently going through the Lord’s Prayer line by line and this Sunday will be on “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” This sermon will definitely we a good one to gauge how this church views forgiveness of sin. Even then, I’d recommend going through their teachings archive and viewing sermons on grace-related teaching. I’d they say they’re profoundly biblical. Their website is

    Hi Mary! Thank you for your sweet words, sister. Yea, it’s definitely hard to find believers who rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ ALONE with no added frills or attached strings (ie you have to commit to Jesus, you have to follow Him, etc.). When did the separation between belief and sanctification become so blurred? 😦 I will pray the Lord would provide a place of fellowship with like-minded believers, but until then, continue growing from the sound teaching from Pastor Cucuzza and the like. Praising God for you, sister! 🙂

  46. Jackie,
    Attached is the link to the pdf booklet on repentance by Dr. Thomas Cucuza which I mentioned earlier. My prayer is that this will bless you.


    “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

    “Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phillippians 4: 6-7)

    In His rest,

  47. Hi Jackie,
    Welcome, we hear your cries, I am with you totally, 3 years later, we cannot find free grace churches here in Australia either. I have just settled to listening to the grace teachers on line like Tom Cucuzza and Dennis Rokser and Ralph Yankee Arnold even Word of Grace church, Rick gerhartz i have found lots of them lately. Getting blessed off my socks.

    The lord will give you like minded believers around you, there may only be few, but get on line here and we can ask each other questions to and thro.

    Yes the AOG churches are mainly Arminian (lose yr salvation) Thats why i was baffled to find a moderate pentecostal church here in Australia preaching once saved always saved. But i do not agree with the tongues issue and continuism. I still hold to the cessationist view, they say we are missing out on all god has for us. i don’t think so. Been down the pentecostal past, no thanks, i think and know there are saved people caught up in error. I pray this pastor will come out of his error.

    Love your picture Holly Oh you are a Dolly, just LOVE IT

  48. Holly, what a beautiful picture!

  49. Jackie, since you quoted it…

  50. Jackie – You said that the AOG statement of faith, in part, is: “Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” The AOG was essentially quoting Acts 20:21, in part, when Paul said, “Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” What Paul said is true biblical repentance which is necessary for salvation. The word ‘repentance’ here in the Greek is ‘metanoia.’ It simply means “to change your mind.” Paul was testifying to the Jews and Greeks that they needed to change their minds from whatever belief system they thought would save them and turn toward God and have faith (trust, belief) toward our Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

    I used to attend an Assembly of God church in Newhall. The pastor, who I loved, was an admitted alcoholic who thought he had to get born again every time he had a relapse. Basically, they believe that their salvation depends on their state of being with God when they die. However, we know that our eternal life is secure in Christ. Jesus made one sacrifice for sins forever (Hebrews 10:12-14). This pastor did not understand the main clause of the new covenant which is found in Hebrews 8:12, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” Praise the Lord!

    I, too, have been searching for a church that presents the true gospel of salvation by grace alone, through our faith alone, in Jesus alone. It’s great that you are reading various statements of faith. So do I. I may try “Reality LA.” Thanks for mentioning that. Holly recommended, amongst other series, Dr. Thomas Cucuza’s series on “Understanding Repentance Part 1 & 2.” It’s excellent. You can also download it in pdf format which makes it so much easier to study.
    Love in Christ, Dan

  51. Jackie Garcia

    And thank you Bryan for your words! Thank you even more for praying. The thing is is that I have found a pretty solid Free Grace church (Reality LA) in Hollywood (25 minutes from home), but getting there is comparable to crossing rivers, mountains, and valleys. The reason for my saying is that because my mom is very staunch in staying at this pentecostal church and refuses at times to drive my sister and I, but I feel as though the Lord is beginning to work in her heart. We actually went this past Sunday to Reality LA and she was the one to offer the suggestion of going. I was quite stunned and in awe of what the Lord had begun to work in her heart. So, I have hope, friends. 🙂 The separation process may not be a clean cut, but I have hopes the Lord will soften my mom’s heart and we’ll be packing our bags out of that church in no time at all.

  52. Jackie Garcia


  53. Jackie Garcia

    Curtis, John, Holly:

    Thank you all for your responses and prayers. They are much appreciated. Holly, I was thinking of the baptism of the Holy Spirit in terms of receiving the gift of speaking in tongues, which is why I imagined the church was in error. Some even go as far as believing it’s a special anointing or makes one a “super” Christian. A child of God receives all the grace they need upon their being born again and does not happen in stages as some charismatics believe. I definitely believe that one is sealed with the Holy Spirit upon their belief in the Gospel and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior (Eph 1:12-14; 1 Cor 15:1-4; Jn 3:16; 1 Jn 5:12; Eph 2:8-9), but I personally didn’t refer to such event as the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I’ll start referring to receiving His Holy Spirit through belief as baptism of the Holy Spirit for the sake of clarity in our discussions. Thank you also for the references to Pastor Cucuzza’s sermons. My mom’s native language is Spanish, but she has a fairly solid understanding of English, so I’m sure she’ll be able to follow along. I could always stop in between to help facilitate her understanding in what is being preached. 🙂 Holly, right on about Jesus being Lord. We need not receive or make Him Lord of our lives to be saved. What an impossibility! Jesus is Lord of all, Messiah, Redeemer, and Almighty God, and because of His unfathomable and abounding grace, He only asks all sinners to simply come and rest in Him as Savior to receive eternal life and forgiveness of all sin. What a wonderful God, what a wonderful Savior! I’m reminded of Matthew 11:28-30 that says “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” This is true salvation! To rest in the finished work of our Jesus! We have been washed whiter than snow in the blood of the Lamb! Hallelujah! We can declare ourselves as children of the one true God without the slightest hesitation because Jesus Christ has paid it all. Aha, I get really excited about my precious Savior sometimes. ❤ Holly, I'll be adding you on Facebook soon. Thank you so much again for all of your advice. The other day I got into a disagreement with my mom about the church, but instead of railing on the church, I focused my attention that we ought to please the Lord in exposing ourselves to only teaching that honors and glorifies Him. Curtis, you're definitely on the money about that repentance bit. Definitely doesn't sound like a free gift. I will phone the assistant pastor to try and get more clarification surrounding their doctrinal beliefs.

    Rest in my sweet Savior,

  54. Bryan Roach

    Hello Jackie,

    I will pray for you and your mom. I know how you feel about not finding a sound free grace church. My family and I have been looking ourselves for close to two years and nothing so far. In fact, I’m now starting to pray that God would send somebody our way. And I live in the so called “Bible Belt”, imagine that. lol Glad you found us here at expreacherman, I found this site in 2012 and it’s here where I realized I was blinded by the LS teachings for so many years and now embrace the pure simple gospel of grace.
    If you want, take up on Holly’s advise and find her on Facebook, her and I are members of a couple christian groups there. We would love to have you. I’m not too active there due to my lack of time, but I try to pitch in every once and a while, and I do read what’s going on.

    God Bless,


  55. Curtis 🙂 (run Forest run…)

    So true… So much confusion. He IS Lord (God, the Messiah). I agree with Him that He is the Lord Jesus Christ (God the Messiah, Jehovah Saves, the Anointed Sent one) and believe upon Him as my Savior.

  56. Jackie – Baptism of the Holy Spirit is Biblical. We are all baptized by the Spirit into the church, we either have the Spirit, or we are none of His (1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:4-6; Rom 8:9). AOG mistakes Baptism of the Spirit with speaking in tongues often, and some go so far as to say if you don’t, you are not saved. Most often they teach repent = turn from sin, and that one can lose their salvation if they fall into sin they do not recover from.

    I’m praying that your mom will see by example that you are not railing against them, but that you cannot attend because you would rather please God than man. Maybe you can talk her into listening through some of the ‘Understanding’ series by Thomas Cucuzza.

    He has these series you can look at the link below.

    Understanding Inspiration Part 1 & 2
    Understanding Repentance Part 1 & 2
    Understanding Salvation Part 1 & 2
    Understanding the Two Natures Part 1 & 2
    Understanding the Rapture Part 1 & 2
    Understanding the End times

    He has topical studies like a six-parter on the second coming. Then he also has some book by book studies, like Galatians, and Ephesians, Hebrew, James, etc. along with Daniel. Maybe your mom would listen with you. And it could be your mid-week time together to learn. You can also look me up if you are on facebook, we have put together a group that is sound Bible teaching of a few teachers, and have grouped studies and series together. If I haven’t already said, my name there is Holly Sprenger Garcia.

    God bless you, will be praying.

  57. Run forest Run

    receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord .. Jesus is THE Lord that is who he is , saving is what HE does . You don’t make Him Lord to be saved , You can not it is a spiritual impossibility for justification because he already is Lord.
    upon receiving eternal life we SHOULD recognize Jesus as Lord yielding our lives to him , but not for eternal life
    ‘We believe all who by faith receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are born again by the Holy Spirit, who brings them into the Body of Christ as children of God. This salvation is not a result of any human effort or merit.”

    repentance toward God
    “We believe man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    when will i know i have enough repentance toward God ? to receive a free gift ? the gift don’t sound free

  58. Jackie, I have prayed for both you and your mother.

    All Christians are baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit at the moment of belief.

    Anyone who teaches that someone can lose his salvation does not understand the gospel.

  59. Jackie Garcia

    As an addendum to my recent post..

    Trinity Church also preached a sermon in which they told of a believer of who, when initially saved, was completely on fire for the Lord and immediately began serving in the church and evangelizing. This believer slipped back into his sin of alcoholism and eventually died due to alcohol poisoning. The pastor implied in his words that this believer had lost his salvation and used Isaiah 55:6 (“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:”) as justification for his claim, and for what reason is beyond me. Maybe because the believer didn’t seek the Lord in his backslidden state? I was sickened to my stomach. 😥 I want out of that church and I can make the decision to no longer attend, but my soul does not rest well knowing that my mom seems to want to continue attending. I was raised in a devout Roman Catholic family, so this isn’t the first time we’ve had to discuss leaving churches. I really empathize with my mom and her desire to find a church community, but not at the expense of her growth in the Lord being stunted due to erroneous teachings at this church.

  60. Jackie Garcia

    Thanks for prompt response, John. 🙂 Ahh, I see how one could understand receiving Jesus as Lord as committing to Him through obedience, discipleship, etc. Very subtle for sure. So I assume it’s best to hold on to Jesus as being Savior in Gospel presentations? My mom, who is also a new believer, is currently attending Trinity Church, a church close to home, but they identify as being Assemblies of God, which was no good news from the very beginning. Their statement of salvation is: “We believe man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:7)” It sounds solid at face value, but one must really wonder what they mean by “repentance toward God,” and from what I’ve gleaned so far in studying Scripture and reading through discussion boards on this blog, it doesn’t sound like a change of mind but a turning of some kind. They also believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is another huge red flag. Since they are definitely charismatic in doctrine and practice, it doesn’t surprise me, though. I’m not sure if it’s conviction of the Holy Spirit or my own biases towards the church, but every time I attend a service there, feelings of discomfort and indifference stir within my soul. I try to connect with the sermon and worship, but I just can’t. Everything about the church just seems… off. I know that the feelings are always to be qualified with objective Truth (Scripture), so I believe that the Lord is just confirming his displeasure in His children attending this church in light of doctrinal errancy. It’s really frustrating finding a solid Free Grace, Bible teaching community in my town of Sylmar, CA. The churches here are either Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Methodist, Mormon, or Jehovah’s Witness. It’s disheartening. 😦 I attend a Free Grace church in Hollywood, CA called Reality LA and they clearly teach simple faith in the Savior Jesus Christ alone for salvation. They also define “repentance” biblically when they use the word in presenting the Gospel, which is always a delight to hear whenever I attend services there. I’m currently on a break from UCLA and so I’m not able to attend Reality LA as easily and frequently as I used to when I was a student. I’m also not able to drive, so I’m not exactly at liberty to make my way over to sound teaching churches. My mom is the kind of person who is resistant to changes and will choose to sit under false teaching for the sake of convenience and consistency. She’s also not in the Word often and feel as though I have to sometimes take charge in her spiritual growth. My mom has a very clear understanding of the Gospel whenever I have asked her, so her salvation is definitely not an area of concern for me. She just really needs to be covered in prayer so that she may grow in discernment and wisdom. I’ve tried setting up personal bible studies with her, but those somehow always fall through. Also, considering that I came out of Reformed/Calvinistic/LS teachings maybe a week or two ago, I really need to focus on strongly understanding my position in Christ since I was driven to despair, suicidal thoughts, and deep depression when I was meandering through said false teachings. Oh, dear. Forgive me for the long rant/vent, but I feel this is my only safe haven of believers that truly understand. I ask for your prayers and will be covering you, John, and everyone else who reads my posts in prayer. Thank you all so much. The Lord has truly been gracious in bringing me to this blog.

    Resting in my sweet Savior,

  61. Jackie, sometimes, the “Lord and Savior” language is closely associated with the false view that one must commit to obey Jesus, or make Him “Lord of one’s life” in order to be saved.

    I usually have a heightened sense of awareness when I see this language, although it is not always associated with corruption of the gospel message.

  62. Jackie, you are welcome to direct your questions here. If the conversation drifts too much, we will try to bring it back on track.

  63. Jackie Garcia

    Also, is there anyone specifically or any place I can direct my questions to for future reference? I don’t want to be the one who is continually making the original post go off in tangents. Thank you. 🙂

  64. Jackie Garcia

    Thank you all for the responses. 🙂 That definitely cleared up my confusion concerning the 2 Thessalonians verse. I know I’m coming at you all with a good barrage of questions, and I thank you all for your incredible patience in counseling this babe in Christ. I have purchased a KJV bible and will dedicate myself, with God’s approval in mind, to study the Scripture to clarify a whole host of other questions I bear. Another question: What is the difference between asking someone to receive Christ as Savior and receiving Christ as Lord and Savior? I just read a doctrinal statement from a church that reads:

    We believe all who by faith receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are born again by the Holy Spirit, who brings them into the Body of Christ as children of God. This salvation is not a result of any human effort or merit.
    John 1:12, 3:1-16, 10:27-30, 14:16-17: Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:28, 8:9, 8:31-39; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:26-27; Philippians 1:6

    In another place in their statement of faith they believe that the church consists of all who put their faith in Jesus Christ. It sounds Free Grace to me, but then I see the inclusion of receiving Jesus as Lord. Is there anything doctrinally incorrect to that? It’s a tad confusing, really.

    Thank you in advance for the help! I just really want to be precise in my Gospel presentations to those unsaved in my circle of family and friends. Thank you all again so much.

  65. John, hopes it’s o.k. to continue, don’t want to side-rail the OP, but this is an interesting outlook.

    Preston, I believe “Day of Christ” also has also two plausible explanations.

    1. Some believe there is a clear distinction between the Day of the Lord and Day of Christ. The Day of Christ in 2 Thess 2 (KJV) would be for the church, the rapture. It is also referenced in the NT as our blessed hope, a day of blessing and reward. Some of the NT verses are 1 Cor 1:8, ‘the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ‘, (presents us faultless), 1 Cor 3:13, ‘that day’ at the judgment seat of Christ. Same terminology 1 Cor 5:5 – same terminology for the immoral man to be “saved in the day of the Lord Jesus‘”. Phil 1:6 – “will perform it until the ‘day of Jesus Christ'”, vs. 10, “sincere and without office till the ‘day of Christ’“. Phil 2:16, that “in the ‘Day of Christ’, that I have not run in vain” is perhaps more compelling verse of the many verses which may contain a distinction because Paul is speaking as them being sons of God, blameless and harmless, that he can rejoice in that day. If he is suggesting that he has run in vain means that they are going to see the Day of the Lord (if there is no distinction), then he is suggesting they aren’t true believers and I don’t think he does that. 2 Cor 1:12-14, 2 Tim 1:18, (“on ‘that day’….loved ‘His appearing'”.2 Tim 4:8)

    2. Day of the Lord. – encompasses a time, which includes of course the tribulation, and if the Day of the Lord had come, they had missed the rapture.

    Those are two other explanations I am aware of.

  66. The latest sermon from duluth Embracing Your Position In Christ Pt. 3
    Pastor hits on believer people and suicide

    myself i am learning something new or correcting something wrong it seems every time i listen .
    I am starting to get a grip on the old man is who my identity was in Adam . I died with christ not my sin nature but my old identity to it. THE SIN refers to the sin nature , I was blinded to that part or didn’t see it clearly .
    It takes time to unlearn decades of weak to false gospel preaching and teaching . I am starting to see more clearly why I struggled so much and so much failure under the spell of works for salvation

  67. John,

    wasnt sure about posting as answer to your question. BUT, they way I wrote it DOES leave the interpretation open ended.

    I was thinking more along the line with Holly, that the “faith of their fathers” is lost. my fault.

    However, I did say to possibilities and wanted to expound on number 1 (IF I had to quantify, I would say I am 80% on number 1).

    some points
    1. We see the “catching up” verses in 1 thess 4.
    2. Without a pre-70th week rapture, 2 Thess makes no sense.
    – why would the be shaken in mind about a false letter saying the “Day of the Lord” was at hand.
    – Paul would have prepared them for it IF they were to go through it.
    – they were worried because they were “thinking something different” was too happen (go back to 1 Thess 4)
    – what were they worried about? not being “caught up”.
    3. Look at the first verse in chapter 2 to see the context.

    Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him

    This passage, about to be written, is about the coming of Him AND our gathering together by Him.

    So in light of this, the “falling away:” meaning “departure” makes a WHOLE LOT of sense.

    4. go to verse 7 and 8 – after the “man of sin is revealed” it is stated that “something” has to be taken out of the way for this to happen.

    For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until HE BE TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY.

    8 And THEN shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming

    so we see “he” must be taken out of the way. I believe this to be the Holy Spirit through its “sealed” church that must be removed FIRST.

    The Holy Spirit himself cant be completely removed or nobody would get saved during the tribulation (the bible says many are saved during this time). BUT it would make sense that the “church sealed” by the Holy Spirit will be removed.

    Why only “80% sure”? why would the translators use “falling away” instead of “departure or leave”? especially in light of 2 Tim 3.

    Good question whomever brought it up and certainly worth a discussion!

    my two cents.

  68. Curtis – Look at all our ‘preachers’. Even the ‘respected’ ones. Which well spoken of man is teaching/preaching the gospel? Which best selling author is teaching/speaking the truth? For the few that are hanging with the truth of God’s Word, that are keeping the gospel clear, they sure need our prayers.

  69. Dan, I am definitely open to the possibilities there, and hope that is the correct meaning. I do know one thing, that all of the three possible ways include pre-rapture. I also know that you cannot lose your salvation, So secure in both those teachings, so I don’t believe it’s people losing their salvation as some teach.

    I hope your position is the correct one, I have read up on it, but am not yet secure in that particular position, but sure would make it make much more sense wouldn’t it? May God bless your week 🙂

  70. Amen
    what we see going on today with “fell away” from the true gospel” is a foretaste of what is coming . God’s word is alive that’s why it is so relevant of what’s going on here and now.

  71. Holly – Thank you for the link for Mark S. I had listened to his video entitled Another Gospel (Documentary) some time ago and it’s excellent. Also, although I was of the opinion that the “falling away” referred to the rapture, and I am still inclined to believe that, the same thought had occurred to me, as it did to you, that professing Christendom falls away from the true preaching/teaching of faith in Jesus alone for eternal life. In Luke 18:8 Jesus said, “…when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? In verse 9 Luke said, “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others…” That’s exactly what we see today in so many churches and denominations. “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3).” In Galatians 5:4 Paul said, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” It’s interesting here that he uses the phrase “fallen from grace.” So many people think the phrase means that someone fell from grace by committing sin. However, in truth it means that they “fell away” from the true gospel of entering eternal life by God’s grace alone, through our faith alone, in Jesus alone.
    In Christ, Dan

  72. I think Preston’s examples are both good possibilities. I also think there is a third possibility of the falling away, which is that professing Christendom (as a whole) falls away from the true preaching/teaching of ‘the faith’ and turns to massive false teaching such as we see in this day.

  73. Hi Dan – I have several friends who used to attend. One is Mark S. who comments here sometimes, he taught there as well. His youtube channel is

    He tackles a lot of MacArthur’s errors which I am sure you are aware of.

    God bless you all.

  74. welcome Dan Frawley

  75. Follow the voice what does the scripture say ?

    The apostles anticipated ( the day of Christ is at hand) the second coming just like we do in our time the day of Christ is still at hand

    our gathering together unto him
    the day of Christ is at hand.
    that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition

    this is when the fur and feathers will fly when the son of perdition walks into temple and declares he is God

    Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    its difficult to just stop at verse 4 but if you keep reading scripture opens up more and more .

    2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
    2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
    2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
    2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

  76. Dan Frawley

    Good comments on so much zeal for God in the world of professing Christendom, yet so little understanding on how one receives eternal life. Another good passage is in Romans 10:1-4 in which Paul says, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a ZEAL of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that BELIEVETH.”

    The rest of the passage in Romans deals with the righteousness which is of the law (That the man which DOETH [works] those things shall live by them) versus the righteousness faith (“…the word is near thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of FAITH (trust, believe in Jesus alone), which we preach”).

    Paul might as well have been talking about Lordship Salvationists who have a zeal for God but not according to knowledge. I live in Santa Clarita, CA, the hotbed of Lordship Salvation. (John MacArthur, Master’s College & and Seminary). I walked into a Starbucks the other day and there was John MacArthur whose church (Grace Community) I used to attend. I thank the Lord that He has delivered me from Lordship Salvation and MacArthur. I always pray that the Holy Spirit will teach me the truth of the Word. (John 8:31-32,36; John 17:17) Paul told Israel that his heart’s desire and prayer for Israel is that they might be saved. That should be our prayer for the Lordship Salvationists as well;they have a zeal for God but not according to knowledge.
    In Christ, Dan Frawley

  77. Preston, I think both of those explanations are plausible.

    If I understood your second interpretation, you are saying that these are eternally secure Christians who fall away from the faith?

    I think that would be consistent with the use of “fall away” that we see in reference to eternally secure Christians who are said to believe only for a while in Luke 8:13 (second soil believers).

    Luke 8:13: They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

  78. my thoughts on 2 Thess. I see 2 possibilities.

    1. the “falling away” is from the greek word “apostasia”. one of the definitions is “departure” or “leave”. which could actually be talking specifically about the rapture (which makes a whole lot of sense when looking at the context of 2 Thess 2)

    646 apostasía (from 868 /aphístēmi, “leave, depart,” which is derived from 575 /apó, “away from” and 2476 /histémi, “stand”) – properly, departure (implying desertion); apostasy – literally, “a leaving, from a previous standing.”

    THUS, the passage would read ” Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a “departure” first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition

    That would certainly clear up the “pre-trib” argument wouldn’t it? 🙂

    2. in the passage, the falling away comes FIRST before the “man of sin” is revealed. So, if the meaning is a “departure from the faith” then I believe it would mean something like “departing from the faith of their fathers”. As we know from 2 tim 2 that even if ones faith is overthrown; they are still sealed.

    my thoughts. would love to hear others as well.

  79. Jackie, I think this refers to the post-rapture period, in which many false Christians will fall away.

    I am interested in other peoples’ perspectives.

  80. Jackie Garcia


    Thank you so much for your sound and encouraging advice. Truly, by His grace, my desire is to grow confident of my eternal position in Christ after my assurance was nearly shipwrecked by the LS camp. Thank you again. I praise God for each of you and your desire to rightly divide Scripture to defend Jesus Christ’s Gospel of Grace. I have just one more question. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 says: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” Who is included in the falling away? “Christians” who were always tares? I don’t think it’s true believers who have put their faith in Jesus Christ alone. Some clarification would really help. Thank you!

  81. Thank you John, I will probably just use that quote too by you, very good. Yes, we have to pray, I have seen many actually come out over the years and it is a huge blessing. Tuesday is not a regular teaching night for me, we’ve been doing Daniel, but I feel like the Gospel would be appropriate since I’m doing this one week. What’s involved, what’s not, and what information is helpful for believers to have under their belt.

  82. Holly, it is interesting that there is so much zeal for God in the world of professing Christendom, yet so little understanding of how one receives eternal life. I am reminded of how the apostle Paul spoke of his zeal for God, before he had become a believer in Jesus.

    Acts 22:3: I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

    Note that he also ascribed the attribute of zeal to his audience (…and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day). Most of those who shared Paul’s pre-conversion zeal for God did not respond to his testimony by believing in Jesus as Savior.

    So, we learn three things from this:
    1. Zeal for God does not equal faith in Christ
    2. Zeal for God does not guarantee that one will respond to the gospel by believing
    3. Some nonbelievers who have a zeal for God may become believers

    We should continue to pray for those people stuck in the quagmire of Lordship “salvation.” Some may be believers who have become confused. Others may have never believed in Jesus as Savior. Neither group believes the gospel now, no matter how much religious zeal they have.

  83. Mary. Sad story…

    I have seen the age of accountability discussed as a possibility all the way up until 20, because of who was allowed to enter the promised land, and who was left behind. But we just don’t know, and there may be a reason for that, so we don’t give up, and so we don’t become complacent. I trust in His goodness too in these matters, but want to be sure my children thoroughly understand.

  84. Jackie, great advice that Curtis gave you. Besides putting on the armor daily, the verse that came to me, was Prov 4:23.

    Keep thy heart with all diligence;
    for out of it are the issues of life.

  85. Great comments here, Curtis, Preston, John regarding the gospel itself, what it is, what it is not, I think I will use some of it our Tuesday class and reference you all here. Love in Him.

  86. Jackie , Prayed for you while I was driving today and pondered your situation .
    If I may suggest Please Take care of you first and Your Identity in Christ Jesus KNOW your position. You are in college and there are professors who will try to undermine your faith with human psychology . The best you can do for your friends is to know the Gospel for yourself . You have found an oasis here at expreacherman I have scoured the internet myself unfortunately there are very very few places like this one and the ones listed on blog roll . Hollies Blog is good as well .

    this is the verse of scripture that kept comming to my remeberance while praying for you

    Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

    Keep is an old english word meaning the inner un penetrable part of a castle

    From τηρός teros (a watch; perhaps akin to G2334); to guard (from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon; and thus differing from G5442, which is properly to prevent escaping; and from G2892, which implies a fortress or full military lines of apparatus), that is, to note (a prophecy; figuratively to fulfil a command); by implication to detain (in custody; figuratively to maintain); by extension to withhold (for personal ends; figuratively to keep unmarried): – hold fast, keep (-er), (ob-, pre-, re) serve, watch.

    Guard yourself sister Jackie

    Embracing Your Position In Christ Pt.1

    Embracing Your Position In Christ Pt. 2

  87. David said from Gods word when baby died I shall go to him
    2Sa 12:21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.
    2Sa 12:22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
    2Sa 12:23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

    for suicide , it is murdering oneself and is sin , Jesus paid for sin . If Grace can not be abused then it is not Grace

    as far as judging souls salvation unto justification for peace with God , I am more than happy to Trust God to do what is right . In the eyes of Man yes it is wrong to murder oneself . God’s Grace is Greater .
    believer people get mixed up in all kinds of false doctrines of unbelief We should extend Grace and Mercy to those who oppose God grace even when they are not being Gracefull to themselves or others around them.

    Jesus gave us these words .
    Now who will be the first to point finger at Holy Spirit and proclaim , Ah you missed one there the soul murdered itself ?
    Of sin, because they believe not on me;
    Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
    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.

  88. Preston, I’m not sure I agree with your interpretation of what Paul was saying in Romans 7:9. I agree that there is an age of accountability ( I don’t know what it is). But, since someone has to be born again to have eternal life, I don’t see how Paul could have “been alive once” prior to having been born again.

    In other words, I don’t think children are born with eternal life. I think God may grant it to them if they die before the age of accountability.

    What else could Paul have meant? Maybe that he “thought he was in” (qualified for heaven) until the Holy Spirit convicted him of his lost condition.

    Or, maybe he was referring to the freedom he had as a new Christian, until he started to look to his own behavior for evidence of growing in Christ.

    In other words, was he describing trying to grow in Christ by trying to keep the law under his own power?

    A believer needs to know he is no longer under the law to experience any real Christian growth and transformation.

  89. Mary,

    I have never read what the age of accountability is in the bible. However, I believe it exists. Some “think” it is 12-13 (bat and barmitspha (excuse spelling))

    For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died (Rom 7:9).

    This was Paul writing. We know a lot about Paul.
    1. He was born jewish (tribe of Benjamin)
    2. circumcised the 8th day
    3. He became a successful Pharisee
    4. He later wrote, nobody had more reason to glory in the flesh then Paul, he even called himself “blameless”.

    So when was Paul “alive without the law”??? It could ONLY be when he was a child.

    As for being Roman Catholic, I am under the belief that the Vatican is the woman who rides the beast. After giving all the clues, Jesus said, “come out of her MY people”. “MY” shows ownership of some.

    Also, not saying this is absolutely correct, but Thyatira has similarities to Catholicism (jezebel; “queen of heaven” , Mary “queen of heaven”)

    My point here is, there are saved Catholics caught in the system; or in spite of the system.

    What an awful story!!!

  90. Just talking to a lady this morning, can someone shed some light on this topic, we had an 8 year old killed in a car accident and because the father was in an argument with the ex wife, the childs mother, the girl died as a result of the mother not putting a seat belt on and failed to seat her in the back as the law requires. As their argument became very heated and they chased each in their cars.

    The father felt responsible for her death due to their argument and separation issues. She died, the father said to the child that he would be with her soon, he was most probably catholic, it was a sad situation and a horrible double tragedy. He went the next day to his restaurant and suicided himself.

    Catholics say they are now together in heaven, i hope so, but its unlikely.
    If the girl never was given the gospel, what do we have in the scriptures to back up where children go. We know a child can understand from the ages of 3 and 4, but what happens to unbelileving children, do we have any scripture to back up what happens, everyone says the age of accountability, are there scriptures to prove there has to be an age of accountabity as well. I know babies go to heaven,

    I think of a scripture that says won’t the judge of all the earth what is right. Is it that we just don’t know, if unbelieving children have unbelieving parents, is there no hope.


  91. Penelope, I think it is interesting that Jesus told the nice, polite rich young ruler the same thing that he told the snarky lawyer (Luke 10) – keep the law if you want to have eternal life that way.

    The lesson for today is that the kind, gentle people trying to work their way into heaven are in the same boat with the snarky people trying to work their way into heaven.

  92. Yay! I had noticed those things from the passage and was thinking the same! Unfortunately, our pastor(s) were not.

  93. Curtis, the account of the rich young ruler in Matthew is the only place where it is recorded that Jesus told him if he wanted to enter into life, to keep the commandments (see Matthew 19:17).

    This is the same thing that Jesus said to the impertinent lawyer in Luke 10:28 (“…this do, and thou shalt live.”).

    The very next verse tells us why Jesus answered him in this way.

    Luke 10:28: “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, and who is my neighbour?”

  94. Jackie

    2) In witnessing to the lost, is inviting them to start a “personal relationship with God” biblically correct?

    Jesus died for all the world’s sin is History
    Jesus died for MY sin is salvation

    3) For quick reference, what are some key verses I can use in witnessing to those who may have believed the false gospel of LS/Lordship faith/Lordship probation/etc.?

    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    not imputing their trespasses unto them
    2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
    2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
    2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.;_ylt=A2KLqILdgEpVth8A5wD7w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTByZWc0dGJtBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDBGdwb3MDMQ–?p=Avoiding+the+Trap+of+Legalism+Duluth&vid=b63e138254ef7c98529a991e9dc3979f&l=1%3A01%3A56&

  95. “Anyway, the point of the whole story is to show that man CANT keep the law perfectly.”

    I did not see that about Rich Young ruler and the law


  96. The Perilous Tightrope of the Fruit Inspector – 2013

  97. Penelope,

    John can give it to you OR he can give you my email and I will send it.


  98. Penelope,

    What is the story of the rich young ruler telling us?

    Ask me for specific passages if yo need them, As i only have a couple of minutes this time. I will be paraphrasing scripture; sorry.

    NOTICE – the rich young ruler called him Good teacher or Good master and NOT “son of David” or something similar to “messiah”.

    Anyway, the point of the whole story is to show that man CANT keep the law perfectly.

    Rich Ruler – question asked – what must I do to enter life.
    Jesus said – enter life; keep the commandments.
    R Ruler – i have kept them since my youth, what do i lack
    Jesus – if thou wilst be PERFECT – sell all you have and give it to the poor
    R Ruler – walkied away proving he could NOT keep the commandments (love the Lord with ALL heart and thou shalt not covet)

    The Disciples asked – who then can be saved?
    – the RR was jewish (of the seed)
    – he seemed to be blessed by God (rich)
    – he attempted to keep the law
    Jesus responded – with man, it is IMPOSSIBLE.

    OVERALL POINT – it is IMPOSSIBLE for man to keep the law PERFECTLY and save himself.

    hope that helps.

  99. Right on, John. I think we’re on the same page. I don’t see commitment from the rich young ruler being an issue – I see him being “full” of himself and his “fruit” (right, Preston?), and that is the issue blocking his salvation, not his bank account or lack of sharing.

    Okay, I’ll go back to the Difficult Passages and see what else I can glean about this. I’ve been over those verses, but I end up skipping around on here so much following threads and reading that I might have missed something.

  100. Thanks, Preston! I love logical explanations using Scripture. I need to be hooked up with your PDF book you wrote.

  101. Penelope, we discussed this in our “Difficult Verses” section.

    I don’t think Jesus was looking for a level of commitment in order to grant eternal life to the rich young ruler. If He were, then the Bible would be lying when it calls eternal life a gift. The LS view is that eternal life is a trade.

  102. Jackie,

    Theonly thing that proves salvation is teh Word of God; and the pormises made in the bible.

    about fruit inspecting; it is a bit lengthy bu here ya go?

    Chapter 15
    Fruit Inspectors

    Fruit inspector is a term used to describe the religious. What is fruit inspecting? Well, it is what the religious use to see if a person is saved or not. The fruits of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5 and they are: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. The religious inspect you to see if you are bearing these fruits. If you do not, they tell you, “You must not be saved.” They might also proclaim, “Fruits are the evidence of salvation; they prove you are saved.” They use Matthew 7:15-20 and John 15:6 to show one is going to hell for not producing these fruits. Are the religious correct in their thoughts? Of course not. We will review both the fruits of the Spirit as well as Matthew 7 and John 15:6. First, let us put on our thinking caps and ask ourselves a few questions.

    1. Can an unsaved person show love?

    2. Can an unsaved person show joy?

    3. Can an unsaved person show longsuffering towards humanity (through charity)?

    4. Can unsaved people promote peace (Gandhi)?

    If you are honest, the obvious answer is yes to all the questions. Let’s take this a step further, shall we?

    1. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses show these fruits? (If you didn’t know, they don’t believe that Jesus was God in the flesh and think you have to earn salvation).

    2. How about Mormons? Do they show fruits of the Spirit?

    3. Do peace loving Muslims show any of these fruits?

    Again, the answers to these questions are an astounding YES. Are these groups saved? No. If unsaved people show these fruits, and many in abundance, why does the religious use “fruits” as a gauge to determine salvation? Hmmmmmmm. Do you know who else shows these “fruits” according to the Bible? You may be surprised to learn not only unsaved people show these attributes, but also those who minister to Satan. Matthew 7, in reference to false prophets, reads:

    “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt 7:15). Notice, they are outwardly sheep, thus showing “fruits of the Spirit”.

    We also read in 2 Corinthians 11:13 and 14:

    “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

    Do you see it? False apostles transform themselves into the apostles of Christ, thus showing fruits of the Spirit. This is also true of Satan, who transforms himself into an angel of light, thus showing fruits of the Spirit.
    Let’s take a look at fruits from a saved perspective. The church at Corinth was carnal, but were babes in Christ (1 Cor 3:1-3). They were a saved church; sanctified (1:2). However, they were sinning all over the place. Some of their sins were envying, strife, and divisions (3:3). A believer has relations with his stepmother (1 Cor 5:5), there were lawsuits among the believers (1 Cor 6:7) there was fornication (1 Cor 7:2), there was drunkenness at the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:21). How many fruits of the Spirit were they showing? Not many, but they were saved. With reason and scripture we can conclude that fruits of the Spirit are not evidence of salvation. If the unsaved can do them without the Holy Spirit and saved people can all but ignore them, why do the religious insist it is mandatory that they should be exhibited? Because that’s what the “religious” do. Their mantra of “do” for salvation exceeds Jesus’s “done”. What about Matthew 7:15-20 and John 15:6?

    Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-20).

    From a first look at this passage, it appears that if one does not produce fruit, he or she is going to hell. First, this passage is about FALSE PROPHETS(verse 15), not the born again believer. Verse 16 reads, “You will know them by their fruits.” Well, this is not referring to fruits of the Spirit, as Satan presents himself as an angel of light. Notice verse 18: “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit”. Do you sin? Then guess what, you are not a good tree. The only good tree is Jesus. Jesus said, “Why callest me thou good? There is none good but God” (Luke 18:19). Then we get to verse 20, which reads, “Wherefore by their fruits you will know them.” Well, if false apostles transform themselves into apostles of Christ and Satan presents himself as an angel of light, what does “fruit” mean? The answer is in Luke, which talks about the SAME thing.

    For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart HIS MOUTH SPEAKETH. (Luke 6:43-45)
    This is what fruit means in this passage. It is doctrine and what that doctrine produces (fruit). There are only two ways to see false prophets. One, if they prophesy something and it does not come to pass then they are not from God (Duet 18:22). The second area is “what is coming out of their mouths”. If you study your Bible and learn, you can tell someone is false by the words they speak. Bad doctrine, or false doctrine, will not produce for the kingdom. For example, what type of fruit were the Pharisees producing? What does Scripture teach us?

    “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matt 23:15).

    Their fruit was to proclaim salvation by the works of the law to their disciples, to root their disciples in that doctrine that they became more a child of hell then their teachers! This was the “fruit” of the Pharisees ( As a result, we need to abide in Jesus (correct doctrine) to produce fruit (converts) for the kingdom.

    This leads us to John 15:6, “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” First, what did Jesus say to do for salvation from hell? Go back to the chapter, What Does It Mean to Believe?. Jesus said to believe (trust) in Him for salvation. IF you have done this, you have abided in Jesus to do what was needed to have everlasting life. Remember, Jesus promised not to cast you out; He will never lose you and nothing will pluck you out of His hand (John 6:39 and John 10:28). Jesus CANNOT contradict Himself. Second, Jesus is talking to believers (disciples). Look what he says starting in verse 3.

    Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:3-8)

    Notice verse 3: “ye are clean”. These were already saved people—Jesus’s disciples. Jesus then tells them that He is the vine and that they can produce nothing without Him. However, there is that word “fire” again… but do you remember Jesus’s promises? He promised to not cast you out and to never lose you. As a result, the already saved disciples could NOT go to hell. What, then, is this “fire” spoken about? A word may have different meanings based on context.

    1. Baptism can refer to water, fire, Holy Spirit
    2. Judgment can refer to hell, God’s discipline or the judgment seat of Christ
    3. Saved (delivered) can refer to hell, God’s wrath, temporal death
    4. Dead can mean unsaved or useless.

    We cannot assume the meaning of this verse means being cast into hell just because the word “fire” is used. We clearly see that salvation is FREE (Rom 5:15-20; Eph 2:8,9; Rom 3:24-28, Rom 6:23). IF it’s free, then it can’t be a “trade” for fruit bearing. Another question—how much fruit did the thief on the cross bear? None.


    Jesus uses this as an “idiom” or metaphor. IF one does not abide in him, he or she is “useless”. Useless branches are tossed away. This does not mean saved people can go to hell. That would contradict so many passages of scripture. Jesus is just saying that if you don’t abide in him (to bear fruit), then you are as useless as a branch bearing no fruit and will be set aside. In other words “God won’t use you”. Can a believer produce no fruit and go to heaven? YES. The Bible is clear. Salvation is by grace through faith in the gospel of Jesus. In 1 Cor 3:11-15 we read how we, as born again believers, will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, where our works will be tested for reward. Some will have all their works burnt up, but they themselves will be saved. If they had “borne fruit”, that fruit would not have been burnt up, but rewarded. We conclude with verse 8, which tells us the context of the passage. Salvation is NOT in view here. Discipleship is in view here: “so shall ye be my disciples”. Salvation and discipleship—always keep them separate.

    For salvation, Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30). For discipleship (service) Jesus said “pick up your cross and follow me”. Discipleship is NOT easy with a light burden. They are talking about two different things. The religious confuse salvation and discipleship; please don’t make the same mistake. Salvation is FREE. Discipleship is costly, BUT will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If you abide in Him, you can bear much fruit! Are you in the doctrine of Jesus or the doctrine of the Pharisees (religion)? The parable of the publican and the Pharisee is a great illustration for this chapter.

    And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)

    What should we take away from THIS parable?

    1. The Pharisee “trusted in himself”, that he was righteous. (verse 9)
    2. The Pharisee actually gave credit to God. (verse 11)
    3. He had good works. He fasted and tithed. (verse 12)
    4. Was the Pharisee showing “fruit” by his works? According to religion’s definition, YES he was.
    5. The publican simply asked for mercy, admitting he was a sinner.
    6. The Pharisee was NOT justified (see the word rather in verse 14), but the publican was justified.

    With regards to FRUIT, of the two (Pharisee and publican), who was showing more fruit?

    RELIGION would say, “the Pharisee”. However, the Pharisee left UNJUSTIFIED.

    As a result of the passages shown in this chapter, we can conclude…

    1. Fruit is not needed for salvation.
    2. Fruit is not always fruits of the Spirit, as the unsaved can show these fruits.
    3. Fruit can be bad, as the fruit of the Pharisees sent people to hell.
    4. Fruit is NOT the evidence of salvation, as Satan presents himself as an angel of light.
    5. Fruit is not produced by EVERY Christian (see 1 Cor 3:11-15).

  103. Jackie,
    Welcome! I haven’t been around long, but I already feel like family here.

    I said someyhing similar about the rich young ruler basically asking Jesus to judge him by his works and give him a pat on the back and a pass to heaven. Both our LS youth pastor and The Ambiguously Diplomatic Senior Pastor said Jesus was asking for a level of commitment from him for salvation. I pointed out that Jesus wasn’t impressed by Peter’s sacrifice of giving up everything, UNLESS it was given up FOR the kingdom, and he would be rewarded appropriately for his service. So that couldn’t be a salvation issue with Peter. Maybe I missed something, but that’s how I see it (currently) and tried to explain it. Fill me in if you’re seeing something else.

  104. Hey Jackie, glad to meet you.

    I could write for days. 🙂

    to combat a false gospel; it is helpful to give teh gospel.

    Chapter 2
    The Gospel

    This book will start and end with the gospel. The verses presented here are CLEAR. They can’t possibly be taken to mean “something else”. The Bible, being the word of God CANNOT contradict itself.

    “For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that BELIEVETH” (Romans 1:16).

    So what is the gospel according to the Bible? I mean, since IT IS the power of God unto salvation to whoever believes it. The gospel is DECLARED in 1 Corinthians.

    “Moreover, brethren, I DECLARE unto you the GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved……how that Christ DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1,2,4).

    So what happens when someone believes/trusts that Jesus (God in the flesh) DIED FOR OUR SINS and rose from the dead? The answer is in Ephesians.

    “In whom ye also TRUSTED, after that ye heard the word of truth, the GOSPEL of your salvation: in whom also after that ye BELIEVED, ye were SEALED with that Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph 1:13).

    We see that when people believe (put TOTAL confidence in; trust; rely upon) this GOSPEL—that Jesus “died for THEIR sins”—they are SEALED by the Holy Spirit. One can never be unsealed. One is sealed until the day of redemption.

    “…and grieve not the Holy Spirit whereby YE ARE SEALED unto the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30).

    Simply to clarify from a different angle—how many sins did Jesus die for (pay for)? The Bible is clear. Jesus died for ALL of them.

    “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having FORGIVEN YOU ALL TRESPASSES; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Col 2:13,14).

    “And by him all that believe are justified from ALL THINGS, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39).

    Okay—there should be no question as to what these verses mean. It’s pretty clear. They can’t be taken any other way. Now I would like to translate this into a worldly example. This has helped others in the past.

    “For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

    This verse is sending two clear messages. First, notice salvation is a GIFT. Pssssst, a little secret for you: Gifts are free! Second is what we owe for our sin. “Wages” is a term mostly used for employment. Wages are what are owed to the employee in exchange for the work they have done. Well, death is what we owe in exchange for our sin. Death, in this passage, can be referring to physical death or to the second death, which is eternal torment in a literal lake of fire (See Rev 20:14). Both can apply. “The wages of sin is death.” So, let’s ask ourselves a few questions, shall we?

    1. If you had 10 chocolate bars and you gave away ALL 10 bars, how many bars would you have left? The answer: NONE.

    2. If you had 25 mugs at a yard sale and someone bought ALL 25 mugs, how many mugs would you have left? The answer: NONE

    3. If you had $100 and a thief stole ALL $100, how many dollars would you have left? The answer: NONE


    4. If you have ALL these sins you owe as wages and JESUS came and paid for ALL those sins, how many sins would you have left to send you to hell? The answer: NONE.

    Yes, it is that simple. Jesus died to pay for ALL your sins. This is the gospel (the good news). All you must do is believe it. The moment you do, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. IF you have not truly trusted Him yet, would you trust Him now? DON’T trust religion, works, the law, sacraments, church affiliation, etc. DO TRUST (believe; put your faith in) the gospel.

  105. Jackie, regarding your questions.

    1. The only evidence that one has eternal life is if he has believed in Jesus as his Savior.

    Fruit inspection puts the emphasis on what we are doING for Christ, rather that what He has DONE for us.

    Since we all sin, fruit inspection is really deciding how much sin is too much to disqualify someone from heaven. We must be perfect to enter into heaven, and we cannot get that by sinning less. We must rely on Christ alone.

    Fruit inspection is not focused on “sin management.” It is focused on the search for self-righteousness of the one doing the inspecting.

    Please note that fruit inspection of oneself is just as deadly as fruit inspection of others.

    Assurance of salvation cannot come from fruit inspection. Otherwise, no new Christian could have assurance of salvation until the fruit showed up. And, for someone who thought sufficient fruit had shown up, what guarantee does he have that the fruit will remain?

    2. Inviting someone to start a “personal relationship with God” is not Biblical. One is saved by BELIEVING in Jesus Christ alone as his Savior. One does not have to desire to have a “personal relationship” with Christ in order to be saved. This terminology connotes a commitment to follow, obey, etc.

    3. See our “Difficult Verses” section.

  106. Jackie Garcia

    Curtis, John:

    Thank you both so much for the warm welcome. It’s an absolute delight to join this community of like-minded believers in Christ. I’ve been looking up the respective statements of faith of the churches my friends at UCLA attend and have not read a single Free Grace Gospel message. It’s upsetting and absolutely sickening. It is my earnest prayer that my friends have trusted ALONE in our Savior Jesus Christ for their salvation and not in some muddied gospel message of grace and works. Curtis, thank you so much for providing that sermon to listen to. I will definitely get to it when I have the chance. I praise God that He used your years of navigating confusing teachings for His glory and your good. If it’s not too much trouble, I have a few questions as I’ve been very recently weaned off of LS teachings.

    1) The only evidence of one’s salvation is if a believer testifies that they’ve put their trust in Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of sin, correct? Could you please explain the error in the teaching of fruit inspection? Does that have to do with focusing on sin management rather than rest with child-like faith in Jesus?

    2) In witnessing to the lost, is inviting them to start a “personal relationship with God” biblically correct?

    3) For quick reference, what are some key verses I can use in witnessing to those who may have believed the false gospel of LS/Lordship faith/Lordship probation/etc.?

    Thank you so much! 🙂

  107. Penelope, people like to use the story of the rich young ruler to push their political agenda or their LS views.

    The message to the rich young ruler (Matthew 19) and the impertinent lawyer (Luke 10) was the same: if you want to work your way into heaven, you must keep the law.

    Both the rich young ruler and the lawyer were trying to justify themselves (i.e., work their way into heaven):

    Luke 10:29: But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

    But, it is Christ alone who is righteous, by whom we may be justified if we believe in Him as Savior (not Him plus our works):

    Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

  108. Jackie Welcome
    Thank you for the encouragement you made my day reading your post. I thank God that you see the clarity of the Gospel and at a young age. I struggled when i was in my early 20’s . I trusted Jesus as my Savior but was driving truck and blindly listened to all kinds of teaching and preaching as I drove. I see now how that really messed me up and set me up for defeat over and over.
    Please keep posting and read and study scripture asking God for wisdom and understanding. be not wise in your own eyes for the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus , that you all ready see. Grow IN Grace NOT Into Grace

    If I may recommend a sermon that has helped me and helps me every time I listen
    Comprehending The Three Tenses Of Salvation

  109. Jackie,welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I have prayed for you to grow in discernment.

    Regarding the CRU tract, it is very confusing: …trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and to make us what He wants us to be

    My comment: Believing in Jesus as Savior does not require that we are believing He will “make us what He wants us to be.” That transformation is a lifelong process that requires our cooperation. Otherwise, there would be no need for the Judgement Seat of Christ.

    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.

    Please stick around and comment as you feel led!

  110. Jackie Garcia

    Hello everyone!

    I just wanted to introduce myself! I’ve been perusing this website to no end — definitely an oasis of grace in the barren desert that is LS Christendom. So grateful to have stumbled upon this invaluable gem. My name is Jackie, I’m 20, and was saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone under a year ago. Yep, definitely a babe in Christ! 🙂 I praise Him for His faithfulness and patience in helping me live according to my new nature while I definitely still battle an intimidating lot of sin. I can do nothing apart from my precious Savior. I struggled with finding assurance in my salvation for weeks and months on end, but through the Lord’s help and this site, I realized that I too had been swept up in the LS and fruit inspection craze. Praise be to God that He delivered me from such vile deception and has given me a sweet peace knowing that I’m eternally secure in Christ because of my trust in Him. Very early on in my walk with the Lord I was exposed to Francis Chan, Matt Greear, John MacArthur, John Piper, and the rest of their ilk. I’m a second year at UCLA and have been involved with Cru since my freshman year, and only recently did I find something incredibly off-putting about the Gospel presentation found in their Know God Personally tract. They also define repentance as turning to God from self and “trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and to make us what He wants us to be.” Sure sounds like the FREE gift of salvation. Good grief. The prayer to receive Christ on their KGP tract still woefully stands as:

    “Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”

    Heresy, heresy, heresy! My heart grieves for the thousands of souls that have been deceived through the use of this tract on various mission trips many of the professing Christians involved in Cru at UCLA have been on. I have a close friend who adores Francis Chan and Matt Greear related stuff and I fear that she too has been deceived through the false gospel of LS. I have another friend who recently became a Christian, but her testimony mentions that she gave her life to Christ. As deeply disturbed and afraid as I am for my own close friends and the rampant infection of LS within today’s church, I have no doubt that the Lord will fulfill His purposes and bring more children into His kingdom in spite of this rampant false teaching. John Piper especially and Francis Chan are big within my Cru community, and God only knows just how much damage has been caused since the infiltration of deceitful teaching into my Christian community — perhaps it’s always existed. 😦 I humbly ask for your prayers in that the Lord would provide me with the strength and discernment to point my dear friends and others who have been deceived to the saving message of our Savior or to be restored to simple faith in Him. I’m eager to learn from each of you precious brothers and sisters in Christ through this site! All of my love to each of you.

    Resting in my sweet Jesus,

  111. Works for salvation or evidence of salvation, and or salvation in the energy of the flesh teaching’s , stumble over the rich young ruler by not rightly dividing scripture

    The kingdom agenda offered to Israel and rejected
    the kingdom, the kingdom
    Luk 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

    what shall I do,what shall I do,what shall I do
    Luk 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

    The Gospel of Grace
    what must I do,what must I do,what must I do
    Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
    Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    The Gospel Of The Kingdom vs. The Gospel Of Grace

  112. Well put Penelope. John MacArthur likens the rich young ruler as one who wasn’t willing to give up everything for Jesus vs. one who put his trust in his riches and denied his breaking of the law. I’d like to know if Mr. MacArthur has done that YET? (given up all for Jesus)

    Not ONE person has, nor ever will, which is why Jesus said with man it was impossible, but with God, all things were possible.

  113. The other distinction that was problematic, handled incorrectly, and hard to jibe with “whosoever may come” are the “rich” versus the “poor”. Our LS pastor likes to hound on “rich” people and how they aren’t sacrificing for the Lord, so they’re greedy and not saved, not committed to Christ. Yeah, but what about the passages that say if you’re generous, God will be generous back to you, even more so? He keeps harping on the rich young ruler. “See? See here? Rich people don’t go to heaven!”

    And now, as I realize the symbols used, and think on those deeper meanings, those metaphors that Jesus used…. So clear! Rich = full, in need of nothing else; poor = empty, can add nothing of value, etc. This is way more in line with Grace and God wanting EVERYONE to be saved, regardless of financial status. That just never made sense!

    The Holy Spirit really does have to be the one to lead us and guide us, because those that we “think” are full of knowledge and can explain it properly to us are mishandling everything so much.

    I write all this in case someone else is scrolling through comments, like I had for awhile, and reads something that makes things click. I tell ya, I have learned just as much from reading all the comments on this blog as well as the articles and links. May the wisdom God has shown me be a help to someone else wrestling with passages and desiring to know the WHOLE TRUTH from the Lord.

  114. Penelope –

    Same for me, flesh vs. new creature/man. I think many people kind of selectively skip over and say, well, I am not a homosexual, murderer or adulterer, so I’m good. And they hope they don’t notice the strife, envy, divisions, lying, etc.

    Knowing that fruit is the doctrine spoken of false prophets in Matt 7 helped me quite a bit too, because I started to ask questions, like, why did they think they had a right to get into heaven? They never said, ‘But Lord, I trusted you as my Savior’. Or the demon passage they are famous for using, can demons be saved? Isn’t Jesus Lord of all, including them? What is the will of God? And so much began to fall into place when instead of avoiding those passages, I looked into context, cross referenced and asked questions. One big one was always looking at Scripture from my position (eternally saved). That helps. Is it ‘them’ or ‘me’ being spoken of?

    When I ran across pre-wrathers and post-tribbers, it was inconceivable to me that they ignored the most simple passages in favor of believing the Lord Jesus would take out His wrath/judgment on His bride. He would not, and said He would not so I didn’t get how they missed the people in heaven, who were the redeemed from every tongue, tribe and nation, wearing white robes, just as He said in chapter 3 regarding whoever overcame. Anyways, I guess I got far off the subject, but if people would read the Bible with God’s approval, and do all the other things, search, memorize, love, treasure it, apply our hearts to His knowledge, etc., I don’t believe they would get into these errors because they want to know the truth.

    “Show me your works” to prove you are saved, I believe also is heresy, and people centered no matter how they profess it is for God’s glory and may even believe it, they are deceived.

    On my blog I had written about this Calvinist and his shocking statements. I called it the Total Depravity of certain Calvinists (something like that). He just came in yesterday and said he wasn’t ashamed.

  115. I can’t tell you how much the doctrine of flesh and spirit has cleared up many a verse for me and others! I feel so confident now when looking at passages when asking which natures are in view. I was learning that, but once I stumbled onto this site, it has really been cleared up immensely. I can now confidently explain it to others. Thank you for you this site in helping clear that up! Like the “good tree and good fruit / bad greek bad fruit” you spoke of, Holly ^.

    Also, somewhere the concept of “Lord of lords” made sense completely. Now I can read passages easier where people are calling Him, “Lord,” but not “Savior.” Big difference. Everyone’s conscience knows Jesus is Lord, but not everyone will choose Him as Savior. Many end times passages cleared up when that distinction became clear. I’ve always been pre-trib, but to finally see Who’s “Day” is being spoken of……wow! More proof of what I already believed completely and saw everywhere! The Day of the Lord is judgment and wrath, but the Day of Christ is glorious and blessed! He is Lord of all, but Christ to only those who believe! Such clarity in the details – the importance details.

    And also the doctrine of rewards.

    These things are some of the missing links to making the Bible ‘click’ and easily accessible for plain ol’ people. I’m tired of the blasphemy of “show me your works” because it steals the glory from God, shares it with us, and blinds people to truth.

  116. Thanks Holly,
    will have a closer look.

  117. Mary, Matthew 7, it’s kind of good to look at context, the correct way to enter heaven (13-14), Jesus is the strait gate, the narrow way. The people spoken of in vs. 15, false prophets who are inwardly ravening wolves. And 16-20 speaks of their fruits, which is their doctrine spelled out in 21-23. We see that doctrine of justifying themselves by their works, and not doing the will of the Father (Jn 6:39-40) and how He didn’t know them (Jn 10:14), and they were those who work iniquity (someone built upon Christ the Rock, does not commit iniquity at all in the new man — 1 Jn 3:9) so they were unrighteous, they did not have Christ’s righteousness, and were still seeking to establish their own (Rom 10:3-4).

    Love in Christ to you sister!

  118. Mary, I agree with you regarding Tom’s sermon on the thief on the cross. Like Tom said, the thief on the cross was a type for all who are saved, because all of us were condemned before we believed.

    Here’s the link:

  119. Amen Mary
    The thief on the Cross message from pastor Tom is a very powerful message . seems that each time I listen to it my thinking gets more sound on the gospel.
    That’s another message The thief on the Cross I don’t recall a preacher or teacher touching the thief on the cross but for a moment in all my years of “church going” and that was as a fundamentalist

  120. Hi,
    Really recommend listening to Tom Cucuzza’s latest sermon on the thief on the cross, very good, I like the way he says that the thief on the cross stumps the works salvation mob, it polverises their theology. I too of lately have been asking from Catholic priests to many other leaders who were the people that Jesus was talking to in Matthew 7.21. Some catholics said their works weren’t good enough, but they had wonderful works, one priest said jesus was talking to the Pharisees. Honestly what do the lordship salvationists do. I guess when I was under lordship i used to think that was mainly speaking to the pentecostals and the catholics, because of casting out demons.

    It is talking to the religious, but i never really thought it applied to the evangelicals, i knew pentecostals were into deliverance or casting out spirits, i at that stage didn’t realise their Arminian jesus was false.

    That is the scripture god used to save me, praise god i have found the right gospel in time or I couldn’t have been on my way to hell.

  121. We will not forget Curtis to keep you in prayer. I have you all on my prayer list, and the Lord brings you all to mind as I see you here too. Praise God for the ways He shows us He cares about things like that.

  122. Curtis, that is so awesome! I am very happy for both of you.

  123. my wife found our engagement diamond that had been missing for 3 years . The diamond fell out of setting she found it cleaning out files. Thing is she never gave up hope in finding it all the years . She knew it was in office somewhere. I had planned on tearing up floor boards in office to look for it . God spared me that I also was trying to find a way to buy her another diamond . She was so happy to find the diamond she cried tears of Joy.


  124. Curtis, I have been praying for you and your wife as well.

  125. I wish I could post more . I do try and follow the threads. with my work driving truck I am up early and not much time to give a proper response before heading out the door .
    the benefit i have driving is the hours and hours to listen to sermons , think , pray and ponder .
    If I may here is another one of those messages I wished I would of heard 20 some years or more. Its the missing pieces of romans chapter 6 that were not teached or preached that i remember hearing in all the church going I did.

    Embracing Your Position In Christ Pt. 1

  126. Thank you holly and all who been remembering my wife and I at the throne of Grace. We still have equipment to sell.
    I thank God to see my wife at peace being free from the business .
    We don’t know what the future holds but are Trusting God for His promises to us

  127. Thanks Curtis! Praying all is going well with you and your wife and business.

  128. Avoiding the Ditch Of Legalism

  129. “The Christian Life is a super natural life Not lived by SELF- EFFORT but by faith in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit “.

  130. Preston and John, the point is (as I know you both know), often, believers do not keep His commandments, even when we want to, our soul wars against our flesh. The disciples (already clean) would not need reminded to ‘abide in His love’. This is part of picking up our cross, our daily walk with Him. Some will, some will not. Every time we do not, we are not showing our love for the head of our body, Jesus Christ. I fail in keeping the things He asks me to do, but if I abide in His Word, and in Him, that’s when I do better, so that is what we need to send people to do.

    Too many accursed and corrupted gospels we see going on, and too many going back under bondage that are saved. And those in bondage are hypocrites who carry away other people by their own dissimulation. They don’t walk uprightly regarding the truth of the gospel. In their own bondage, they no longer stand fast in the liberty that Christ made them free.

    But it’s love to withstand them publicly to their face, for they are to be blamed.

  131. Dan – It always seem to me that people never seem to acknowledge context in Matt 7, nor that these false prophets did many wonderful works. They seem to forget they look good on the outside and yet inwardly are ravening wolves. Edwards if judging by the appearance of his congregation, was judging with an unrighteous judgment. Thanks for bringing that out. In Christ

  132. Nate, I appreciate your reply, and agree with using Scripture to interpret Scripture, but only in light of context.

    So I’d still disagree with Edwards and his writings for the most part. Using a lot of Scripture, is sometimes simply proof-texting, kind of like your lengthy comment above. I don’t know your intent, but when one intends to reason with another, usually an orderly exposition of several Scriptures is enough. Being willing to discuss context. Formatting isn’t as important as just not being confusing and being willing to discuss back and forth with others..

    Edwards was a philosopher, so what ‘learned’ means is in knowing the Scriptures by studying with God’s approval in mind, with the right heart (2 Tim 2:15, Is 66:2). It certainly was no implying one must be learned in theology or philosophy. The Pharisees were knowledgeable from their studies, but they were not learned they were unstable. We do know his disciples would have been considered unlearned as was Jesus. Paul warned us of philosophies of men. So people can keep their philosophical preachers and princes of preachers.

    Wisdom of men is foolishness in God’s eyes.

  133. Preston, I agree with your points. If we have to keep Jesus’ commandments to get to heaven, and no one can do it perfectly, then no one would have eternal life.

    And, the Bible never says that loving Jesus is a requirement for receiving eternal life.

  134. John,

    I can beat his record in response if you would like. 🙂

    But Nate brought this up twice. if you love me, you will keep my commandments.

    First, grab a kjv “if you love me; keep my commandments”
    – notice the absence of the word “will”

    Second, at no point in scripture is salvation contingent on OUR love for Him. Salvation is only contingent on HIS love for us. (John 3:16)
    – verily, verily I say unto thee, he that believeth in me, AND LOVETH ME BACK, hath everlasting life???????

    Third, who was Jesus talking to? The already saved disciples (John 14:15).
    – Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).

    Calvinism – WILL love
    Arminian – MUST love
    Bible – SHOULD love.

  135. Dan, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    You are right that works cannot give assurance of salvation. The only basis for assurance of salvation is God’s promises from scripture.

    The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit when we pray that we are God’s children. We may not always feel the Holy Spirit’s presence, but He is always there.

    John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

  136. Nate,
    Works cannot be a sign of salvation. The false prophets of Matthew 7:21-23 prophesied in Jesus’ name, cast out devils in his name, and in hIs name did many wonderful works. But Jesus said, “…I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” The false prophets were not saved because they were relying on their works for salvation instead of the Finished Work of Jesus on the cross. We know we are saved because “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (Romans 8:16) We also know we are saved because of the many scriptures (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Romans 5:1-2; John 3:16; 5:24; 6:40; 6:47; Acts 16:30-31; 1 John 5:13, etc.) in the Word which tell us that we are saved by the grace of God through faith alone in Jesus alone. The Spirit and the Word will always agree.

    LS proponents are always looking for outward evidence of works to validate salvation. But 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “…The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” We cannot mix the grace of God with our works. Romans 11:6 makes it crystal clear, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

  137. Note to Nate: we hope that you will let go of your insistence that good works automatically follow the receipt of eternal life. I will pray for you. However, we will not continue to post your perversions of grace on this site.

    Please consider reading the attached booklet:

    Click to access the-gospel.pdf

  138. Nate Filippelli

    Hi Bryan, thanks for the reply.

    “If works were automatic, then wouldn’t it seem reasonable to say that all believers would be perfect. Why would God stop changing us at 10%, 40%, or even 99%.”

    We can’t be perfect with our works because even the most righteous are as filthy rags….

    Isaiah 64:6: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

    And no man is justified by works of the law.

    It is only through His Son that they are acceptable:

    1 Peter 2:5: Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

    Nonetheless there will still be a result of God’s work…

    John 14:15: If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

    John 14:21: He that hath my commandments, and kept them, he it is that loveth me.

    Matthew 7:16-20: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    1 John 2:3: And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

    So how do we know that we know Christ?

  139. Nate, the only reason I allowed your most recent comment was because it sets a record for most words – 3,837. Congratulations! Your post is almost twice the length of my first high school term paper.

    Please see “Guest Rules” before making any future posts.

    I will not continue to debate you on your points, because we have a fundamental disagreement. None of the passages that you cited suggest – much less prove – that good works automatically accompany eternal salvation. The arguments that you are making here are not new. And, most of professing Christendom would agree with you. We simply do not.

    I believe that the teaching that good works will automatically accompany salvation is a full-frontal assault on the gospel. Because, if good works will accompany salvation, then good works must accompany salvation.

    Moreover, I do not consider the opinions of either Jonathon Edwards, or Charles Spurgeon to be any more compelling than yours. If you read through the ExPreacherMan site, you will find that I am unabashed in calling Spurgeon a false teacher, Calvinist, and Lordship “salvationist.” I will not argue the points with you, because we have done sufficient research and documentation on this matter.

    We have dealt with many of the passages that you have raised to prove your point that good works are a “sign” of eternal life in our “Difficult Verses” section. Please feel free to read these to familiarize yourself with some alternative interpretations that are consistent with grace.

    Here are thoughts on just a few of the passages that you brought up:

    John 14:15/14:21 – the only way one could perfectly keep Jesus’ commandments is by imputation of His perfect righteousness. Therefore, if these passages have to do with eternal life, they must refer to anyone who has believed in Jesus as Savior. If they do not have to do with eternal life, than they don’t help you make your point. No one keeps His commandments perfectly, so there is no quantification standard.

    Matthew 7:16-20:

    Question: Does Matthew 7:16 mean that you can tell real Christians by the way they act?

    Answer: No. Matthew 7:16 refers to false prophets. Their “fruits” are not their behavior. Their fruits are their words, and the words of their “converts.”

    Matthew 23:15: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

    If you read on to Matthew 7:18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    This is absolute. A good tree (the new man, born of God) CANNOT bring forth evil fruit. Similarly, 1 John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Again, the new man does not commit ANY sin.

    But, a Christian’s behavior is both good and bad (being short of perfect). Therefore, “fruit” in Matthew 7:16 cannot possibly refer to behavior.

    2 Peter 1:5-9: It is obvious from this passage that being fruitful is conditional for a believer.

    Jame 2:14-17; 26: Ah, the James Gang rides again!

    Question: Doesn’t James 2:14-26 say that anyone who doesn’t do good works isn’t really saved?

    Answer: No. The Book of James was written to eternally secure believers to spur them to an active faith. You will find a good explanation of this in the booklet linked below.

  140. Nate, I agree with Holly – Edwards did not clearly distinguish between eternal life and rewards. I won’t be discussing Edwards further, as his opinion has no bearing on the truth of scripture.

  141. Nate Filippelli

    Hi Holly,

    Thanks for the comment. I must disagree with you on Edwards’ grasp of Scripture. His knowledge of the Scripture was tremendous, granted he was an imperfect and sinful man. I think his ability to interpret Scripture with Scripture is one of his strong points.

    Consider–we know from Scripture itself that some things in it are hard to understand:

    2 Peter 3:16: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things: in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    This being the case, Scripture must be weighed and interpreted in light of other Scripture:

    2 Peter 1:20: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
    21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    Acts 15:15: And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up. [24]

    Matthew 22:29,31: Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying.

    Ephesians 2:20: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.

    Acts 28:25. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet unto our fathers.

    So when Edwards is using a lot of Scripture together, it is because he is using Scripture to help interpret Scripture.

  142. Nate Filippelli

    Thank you gentlemen for your replies. It’s hard to digest everything and come up with cogent responses with limited time–I’ll do my best to try and hit a few points you brought up. BTW I wish I could give some text different font or italics to help in general. Any ways do do that? Also, the addition of CAPS in some places is my addition.


    “That is, that eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.”

    This is not in question, neither for me or for Edwards. What he was addressing are the evidences of regeneration.

    “I reject outright that there are “signs” that someone has eternal life. The only – and I repeat ONLY – evidence of eternal life is whether one has trusted in Christ alone as his Savior.”

    First, I want to state that Edwards, as a pastor, was dealing with conversions and professions of faith as well as apostasy over longer periods of time, as well as dealing with revival and the hysteria that often comes with it, so he was coming from the viewpoint of a shepherd watching over and caring for his sheep, trying to discern genuine works of grace. That being said…

    Fellow brother in Christ, how can you genuinely say that in light of what Scripture says in the following places?? If you fear that by believing that there are genuine signs of faith that you will jettison the doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone through Christ alone, please don’t. Look at what the Scriptures say:

    John 14:15: If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

    John 14:21: He that hath my commandments, and kept them, he it is that loveth me.

    Matthew 7:16-20: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    1 John 2:3: And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

    2 Peter: 1:5-9: And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that YE SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.

    James 2:14-17: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

    James 2:26: For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

    James 3:13: Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

    Titus 1:16: They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

    Titus 3:8: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that you affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

    1 Timothy 6:18-19: That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
    19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

    Now of course works don’t save, and there are many false professors. But wheat and tares look alike. See what the Scripture says:

    Matthew 13:24-40: Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
    25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
    26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
    27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
    28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
    29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
    30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
    31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
    32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
    33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
    34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
    35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
    36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
    37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
    38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
    39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
    40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

    Only God can see into the heart the nature of man’s works, whether they be like Abel’s, or Cain’s. So…work’s don’t save us, and unregenerate men have them. YET, and I stress YET, the Scriptures clearly state that they are a sign of genuine belief. Edwards’ challenge, and really all Pastors’ challenge, was sorting through all of this–professions, some of them false, some not, and some of the false ones accompanied by great zeal and emotion, yet eventually falling away.


    “1. IF works are automatic, why did Paul write letters to already saved people telling them what they should be doing?
    – he wouldn’t need to IF they automatically happened”

    We know from Scripture that God judged the world with the Flood, and the people of that time had no written revelation. So, along with this example and others in Scripture, such as Sodom and Gomorrah; because God is so great above us and holy, he is not under any obligation to give us any knowledge of how to be saved, or attain to righteousness or godliness. It is purely His mercy on us that He has given us His Word, and pastors, and missionaries, and Christian schools, and Christian universities, and Bible translators, and Hebrew scholars, and Greek scholars, and Christian publishing houses, and men like Edwards and Spurgeon… (John 15:5: apart from me you can do nothing.) Plus, we know from Romans 1 that He has written a law on the heart, so men’s consciences themselves tell men that what they are doing is wrong.

    “If works are evidence of salvation..then….
    1. are JW’s saved (they do many good works)
    2. are Mormons saved (they do amny good works)
    3. are peace keeping muslims saved (they do good works to balance the scales)
    4. What about those who cast out demons and prophesied in the name of Jesus (matt 7) were they saved?”

    In sum, everything you have said here is like equating Cain’s offering to Abel’s, and saying “Cain’s offering should have been accepted.” Well, of course not! And of course, ungodly men certainly do good works, and have good consequences, sometimes, in this life. But where is their heart? Look at the testimony of Scripture:

    2 Kings 10:30: And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. 31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.
    1 Kings 21:27: And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. 29 Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house. [I think these Kings passages address your point “4. IF works automatically happen, how is it that ones faith can be overthrown and still sealed?– what automatic works would happen to a saved “unbeliever”.?”]

    Philippians 1:15-18 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will. The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

    So yes, ungodly and unregenerate men certainly do good works. But it doesn’t profit anything in the life to come if it doesn’t proceed from a heart of faith. Again look at the testimony of Scripture:

    1Corinthians 13:3: And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

    Isaiah 1:12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?

    Then there is the BIG issue of WHY men are doing their good works. They should be doing them to the glory of God, but we all know that unregenerate men have wrong motives, like doing works so that other men will see them. Here is what Scripture says:

    Matthew 6: Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    So the good works of the unsaved are an affront to God. The Scripture:

    Haggai 2:14: Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.

    Titus 1:15: Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

    Amos 5:21: I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. 22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.

    Hosea 1:4: And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. ROM 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

    But for the believer in Christ, while his good works still merit Him nothing, they are found to be favorable in God’s sight. Again the Scripture:

    Isaiah 64:6: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

    Galatians 5:17: For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

    Romans 7:15: For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
    18 For I know that in me(that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

    Psalm 143:2: And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

    Psalm 130:3: If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

    But why are the believer’s good works favorable in God’s sight?? Because of His Son. See what the Scripture says:

    Ephesians 1:6: To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

    1 Peter 2:5: Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, ACCEPTABLE TO GOD BY JESUS CHRIST.

    Exodus 28:38: And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord. [an Old Covenant symbol pointing towards Christ and the New Covenant]

    Genesis 4:4: And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.

    Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

    And while our works as believers are filthy rags, and full of imperfections, God still finds them favorable, and works in us. The Scripture:

    Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
    21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    2 Corinthians 8:12: For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

    Hebrews 6:10: For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

    Matthew 25:21: His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
    23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

    God gets the full glory of any goods works in my life. It’s the fruit of His Spirit! It is because of Him that believers can and do good works.

    Matthew 5:16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

    Galatians 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    Our good works also help the body of Christ and edify others. Look what Scripture says:

    2 Corinthians 9:2: For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.

    “3. IF works were automatic, why would God take the life of the believer (Corinth where some died because the got drunk at the Lords Supper).
    – He would not have to take life if works automatically happened”

    If anything, what you said here answers itself. Besides the point that the Scripture says that Paul had already given the Corinthians teaching on the Lord’s Supper…

    1 Corinthians 11:23-26: For I received from the Lord WHAT I ALSO DELIVERED TO YOU, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,
    24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for[b] you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[c]
    25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
    26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

    Think about Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu:

    Leviticus10:1-3: And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not.
    2 And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
    3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.

    Or Ananias and Sapphira…

    Acts 5:1-11: But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
    2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
    3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
    4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
    5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
    6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
    7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
    8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
    9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
    10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
    11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

    God has the power of life and death, and is free to take anyone’s life, whether the Corinthian eating the Lord’s supper in an improper way, or Ananias and Sapphira lying to the apostles, or Nadab and Abihu not approaching God as holy. I believe it is this issue that is really at stake in your statement. The more obvious, easy statement would be that God uses means, and gives us His word to teach us and instruct us…

    Psalm 119:105: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

    In conclusion, I hope that reading these Scriptures will help you to see plainly that God both requires and expects good works from us…

    Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God HATH BEFORE ORDAINED that we should walk in them.

    …yet does not count them as gaining or earning salvation in any way, since the most righteous of them is but filthy rags.

    I must also add that I believe the prevalent sin of our time is one of antinomianism, not legalism. That is; a hard, peeled-eye look at our time and culture shows that it is like the time of the Judges where the Scripture says “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25) Would that our nation was lawful today and struggled with legalism!! We are lawless, and God is judging our lawlessness with even more lawlessness.

    So yes, works don’t save us. But it would REALLY BE BETTER for a nation to not chop up or burn alive 60 million babies, even if the ceasing of that evil profited some men nothing in the life to come.

  143. Nate,

    If works were automatic, then wouldn’t it seem reasonable to say that all believers would be perfect. Why would God stop changing us at 10%, 40%, or even 99%.

    Bryan R.

  144. Hi Nate – Jonathan Edwards wasn’t really the best imho at dividing Scripture properly and using context. I never really saw him say, o.k., this passage is rewards that is in view, it can’t be eternal life, for that is the free gift you were given when you believed. It can’t be proof, because the proof is that you believed God’s testimony of His Son. That is how you can KNOW you have eternal life.

    In Jesus Christ…

  145. Nate,

    somethings to consider.

    1. IF works are automatic, why did Paul write letters to already saved people telling them what they should be doing?
    – he wouldn’t need to IF they automatically happened

    2. IF works were automatic, why would God need to discipline His own?
    – he would not need to discipline if good always automatically came.

    3. IF works were automatic, why would God take the life of the believer (Corinth where some died because the got drunk at the Lords Supper).
    – He would not have to take life if works automatically happened

    4. IF works automatically happen, how is it that ones faith can be overthrown and still sealed?
    – what automatic works would happen to a saved “unbeliever”.?

    5. IF works were automatic, how is it that there are believers whose works are all burnt up at the Judgment Seat of Christ?
    – every believer would have rewards if works automatically came.

    When someone cant answer these but makes the statement, “the Holy Spirit” WILL generate works…..

    6. IF works are automatic for the believer with the Holy Spirit, how come the Corinth believers needed to be told that the Holy Spirit was in them?
    – know ye not that the Holy Spirit is in you? saved people who didn’t know they had the Holy Spirit.

    If works are evidence of salvation..then….
    1. are JW’s saved (they do many good works)
    2. are Mormons saved (they do amny good works)
    3. are peace keeping muslims saved (they do good works to balance the scales)
    4. What about those who cast out demons and prophesied in the name of Jesus (matt 7) were they saved?

    IF works are the evidence of salvation then those above are saved and the carnal church at Corith was “not saved” (although the bible states they were saved).

    some thoughts.

  146. Nate, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I do not find your long winded quote from Edwards to be at all illuminating. Rather, I find it to bring confusion to a subject that the Bible makes very clear.

    That is, that eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    I reject outright that there are “signs” that someone has eternal life. The only – and I repeat ONLY – evidence of eternal life is whether one has trusted in Christ alone as his Savior.

    You will note, in Edward’s quote, the repeated use of the term “reward.” This term should generally be used in conjunction with the Judgment Seat of Christ, at which believers will either receive rewards, or not. See 1 Cornithians 3:14-15.

  147. Nate Filippelli

    I found Jonathan Edwards to be helpful on this issue–works as a sign, NOT merit. I think that is the substance of John MacArthur’s quote above.

    “Thus it is evident that when Christ, at the conclusion of His Sermon on the Mount, speaks of doing or practicing those sayings of His as the grand sign of professors being true disciples, without which He likens them to a man that built his house upon a rock; He has a respect, not only to the outward behavior, but to the inward exercise of the mind in that behavior: as is evident by observing what those preceding sayings of His are that He refers to, when He speaks of our doing or practicing them; and we shall find they are such as these: “Blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are they that mourn; blessed are the meek: blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness; blessed are the merciful; blessed are the pure in heart; whosoever locket on a woman to lust after her, &c.; love your enemies; take no thought for your life,” and others of the like nature, which imply inward exercises: and when Christ says, John 14:21, “He that hath my commandments, and kept them, he it is that liveth me;” He has evidently a special respect to the command several times repeated in the same discourse (which He calls, by way of eminence, His commandment), that they should love one another as He had loved them (see chap. 13:34-35, and chap. 15:10-14). But this command respects chiefly an exercise of the mind of heart, though exerted in practice. So when the Apostle John says, 1 John 2:3, “Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments;” he has plainly a principal respect to the same command, as appears by what follows, ver. 7-11, and 2nd Epistle, ver. 5-6. When we are told in Scripture that men shall at the last day be judged according to their works, and all shall receive according to the things done in the body, it is not to be understood only of outward acts; for, if so, why is God so often spoken of as searching the hearts and trying the reins, “that he may render to every one according to his works?” As Rev. 2:23, “And all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts; and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” Jer. 17:10, “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” But if by his ways, and the fruit of his doings, is meant only the actions of his body, what need of searching the heart and reins in order to know them? Hezekiah in his sickness pleads his practice as an evidence of his title to God’s favor, as including not only his outward actions, but what was in his heart: Isa. 38:3, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart.
    Though in this great evidence of sincerity that the Scripture gives us, what is inward is of greatest importance, yet what is outward is included and intended, as connected with the practical exertion of grace in the will, directing and commanding the actions of the body.”

    So in a nutshell, Scripture itself witnesses that our works are a sign of the genuineness of our faith, but not any merit for our right standing with God. Edwards goes on to say how this statement is not contradictory at all.

  148. Johninnc – a friend of mine came across this Ryrie statement in her old Bible and we were talking about it, so wanted to look up this article again.

  149. Phil R. – at one time my parents were listening to Feldick and loving him, and so I watched, and something he said the first time just didn’t wring true. Now this was many years ago now, I don’t know if he is still on t.v. but at that time he was buying time in the big cities on off cable channels. Anyways, when someone phrases things a certain way I knew there was an issue, he said something like this; “nowhere did Paul ever say for Gentiles to repent, we do not have to beg for forgiveness”.

    So people stick with the beg for forgiveness thing and don’t notice that he’s equating beg for forgiveness with repent, and miss entirely that Paul in fact did tell Gentiles on Mar’s Hill (as well as in Romans) that God commanded all men everywhere to repent. Later I found out he was an ultra dispensationalist, I ‘believe’ a latter Acts dispensationalist if I remember correctly.

    Anyways, I never listened long enough, I instantly started ‘proving all things’ and found other things that were wrong, along with him bouncing around in Scripture to passages that weren’t necessarily relevant. He’s engaging for sure. But didn’t know he was lordship too, interesting…

  150. Brothers, at the time when I was saved I was not even thinking about my faith, or if it was the “right kind of faith”. I was just so overjoyed that Christ had done it all and taken my place, taking away my guilt, and I knew i was saved and would have eternal life. Again, my thoughts were on my Savior and all he had done for me, not on my faith. And I think this is true of everyone else; their focus is on Christ and the good news of their salvation, not on if they have the right kind of faith.
    It seems these faith inspectors want us to evaluate our saving faith instead of the good news of our salvation.
    Sure, sometimes there are people that it may be just lip service, or they “went forward”, but this did not result in them believing that Christ had saved them.
    During the Catholic mass, the congregation will resit, “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.” Or, sometimes during their mass they will also resit, “Lord, in dying you destroyed our death; in rising you restored our life……” But it does not mean what it means to us free grace believers.

  151. Amen Phil and John, couldn’t agree more. Been there, done that, have the lack of hair to prove it! : )

  152. Phil, I agree completely.

    I think I remember reading somewhere that even if someone believes 99% that it’s not enough.

    Anyone who is the least bit given to doubt who hears something like that would naturally start to worry about it. Noone should be goaded into worrying about whether they “believed enough.”

    It is not the quality of our faith, but the object of our faith that is the issue.

  153. ! also might add to the growing list of those who will say we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ, but say that if a believer continues in sin then there may me some doubt whether they were saved in the first place. In other words there must have been something wrong with their faith.
    We know that LS and other legalists are gate keepers and fruit inspectors, but free grace people can also be legalists by being faith inspectors who will inspect ones saving faith.
    Les Feldick has said in so many words that there should be doubt whether a person actually came to a saving faith who continues in sin.

    Cleflo Dollar has said the same about continuing in sin.

    LesFeldick has said that all one needs to do is believe the gospel of your salvation to be saved. (1 Cor 15;1-4) and that’s it, which is true. But I have noticed that some grace alone preachers, Feldick included, will end up saying that ones saving faith must have a certain quality standard like it must be “with all your heart”, (whatever that is supposed to mean?) BTW, Charles Stanley used to be one of the worst saving faith inspectors. Saving faith inspecting can be a form of legalism in an of itself. And it is more prevalent among supposed free grace preachers than you might think. Since they cannot require anything after the moment of faith, then they will focus on whether you actually “really believed” and they will try to put some uncertainty in the mind of the believer. The love to use the “if you are not absolutely sure you are saved.” And what they will end up doing is putting uncertainty in the mind of someone who previously knew he was saved, but after listening to some preacher tare down their assurance and place doubt in their mind they can get into a endless cycle of uncertainty only to re believe over and over… In this way, even if the preachers intentions were good, they are making FAITH A WORK for salvation.

    My advise is to tune out the faith inspectors.

  154. If, as Ryrie and Hodges taught, some good works are inevitable in the life of a believer, then it is highly likely, if not virtually inevitable, that people will look to works for assurance of salvation.

  155. Phil, I understand.

    I just want to make sure that people do not look to life changes for assurance of salvation, and that we are clear that receiving the free gift of eternal life is not about “allowing Jesus to change our lives.”

  156. John, I have read some of Scofield’s testimonies and I do not think he was in any way connecting changes from his past unsaved life to make his salvation real. I think he was just so glad to be out the miserable pit of a life he had and then come to the joy of salvation in Christ. Sometimes it seems that anyone who uses the word “Lord” here or says that their life has changed for the better since they were saved, then red flags of LS and legalism seem go up. I am confident that Scofield believed and taught that he was saved by the finished saving work of Christ ALONE PERIOD. And that he was in NO WAY adding or connecting his changed new life in Christ as also necessary for his salvation.
    Scofield was a wounded soldier in the Civil War and was given chloroform for surgery and pain and became addicted to it and alcohol. This and other things may have contributed to his downward spiral.

    I hope you understand what I am saying, John.

  157. Phil, I am in no way denigrating Mr. Scofield, or his study Bible.

    However, I don’t think that life change is the best testimony to non-believers. The reason I think that is that if a believer’s testimony is heavy on the life change, then if his life ever changes for the worse, he no longer has a testimony.

    I agree with this quote from Clear Gospel:

    In contrast to the testimony of Paul, we note that the predominant “testimony” in the church today is that “Jesus Christ changed my life.” We acknowledge that there are many truths of the Christian faith to which a believer can bear witness, including the deliverance from trials, temptations, sin and despair, and the deliverance unto hope, meaning, and purpose. However, we believe that, when these matters become the focus of a “conversion” testimony, such a testimony is misleading, and therefore counter productive in pointing men and women to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. It implies that salvation is allowing Jesus to change one’s life, with the consequence of observing a change. We believe that this teaches, by implication, the doctrines of Lordship salvation and justification by works, wherein justification is a process by which our lives are transformed. This is, by definition, the doctrine of Justification by works. We believe that such “testimonies” have become a cancer on the church.

  158. Curtis, I have and use a KJV Scofield Bible. But I don’t rely on his or the other Scofield Bible comments: I test what is said against the highest standard: the word of God in Scripture. Much of the unsavory things about Scofield were before he was saved by grace alone. And after he was saved he would take every opportunity to testify how Christ had saved him by grace alone and how his life had so changed from when he followed sin to following Christ.
    I would like to say that the Scofield Bible is still loved and revered by grace only people like us: he was dispensational, and to the best of my knowledge always taught free grace. In fact, his work “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth” was a wonderful blessing for me to understanding that the believer is no longer under the law–any of it, but we are under pure grace alone. Before I read and understood this short work of Scofield and the dispensational correct understanding of Scripture I was bombarded by preaching that said I must also follow the law and the ten commandments to be saved. But Scofield and others, along with this site here, have helped me understand that it is all by grace thru faith alone that we are safe and secure forever in Christ, and there is nothing we must do or not do to stay saved.
    I do read commentaries and notes of others, as I also read what is on this site also, but at the same time I weigh it against the final authority of the word in Scripture.

    If you are against the Scofield Bible then why has it outlasted so many other study Bibles since 1909? And why has it been so popular with free grace Christians like us?
    I have an use two Scofield Bibles and I plan on continuing to use and be edified by them until I go to be with the Lord forever.


  159. let God be true, but every man a liar
    Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

    thy word is truth
    Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

    myself i cringe when i hear from the pulpit or teacher someone quoting from another source outside of scripture like scofield . A simple internet search on the life of scofield you will see a life surrounded by controversy.
    also when you identify yourself with scofield or any other teacher / preacher or mention their name it is assumed that you have adopted their teachings .

    my prayer for myself is to be ” an Original voice ” and not a copy of someone else or even a copy of myself other than what the Word of God says is True . I need to be careful not to even lie to myself but search the scriptures pray and meditate if the words of my heart are True.

    my favorite bible is one that is not cluttered and is crisp and clean with NO commentary e-sword or kindle bible is my favorite these days


  160. Mary, I don’t use a reference Bible, so I won’t endorse any of them. I’ve heard generally good things about the Scofield reference Bible. But, I’ve never read any of it, and therefore cannot endorse it.

    I think it’s OK to use some of them – for reference. But, none of the commentary should be considered sacrosanct, since it is not scripture.

  161. What i would like to know is which Bible Commentary would be a trustworthy one if Ryrie’s can no longer be trusted. Is the Scofield a safe one.

  162. Nathan, I thought what Hodges meant was that any Christian would inevitably have good works, unless he died just after trusting in Christ. This is the “thief on the cross” type exception that some are willing to concede.

  163. Where would Hodges get the idea of a Christian dying after believing in Christ. I also heard something along these lines from Alister Begg who called some Christians being still born after believing. I have found in articles that he is a hyper-calvinist, which I still don’t fully understand what that means.

  164. Jesse, we understand that both Hodges and Ryrie took positions against LS.

    Yet, both had some positions that were LS. The quotes we have given were their quotes, and they demonstrated that Hodges believed in the inevitability of good works in the lives of believers, and that Ryrie believed good works were necessary to get into heaven.

    If you would like another quote from Hodges on the inevitability of works, see below from “Calvinism Ex Cathedra: A Review Of John H. Gerstner’s Wrongly Dividing The Word Of Truth: A Critique Of Dispensationalism”:

    One can hold (as I do) that some good works, at least, are inevitable—unless the Christian dies immediately after believing in Christ.

  165. It should be understood that Hodges would never say that good works are automatic, but what he does point out is that good works are not the basis of assurance. Ryrie would say that good works are the natural outcome of a believer, not automatic.

    Both have published against LS and should not be confused with LS. Both Hodges and Ryrie recognize the Biblical truth of some of the Reformed positions, that God is completely sovereign and He does call and elect, but this is balanced with understanding that man believes.

  166. Ryrie, “People whose lifestyles exhibit wickedness, not fruit, show they are unsaved and will, therefore, not inherit the kingdom of God.”

    This comes to mind regarding wickedness exhibited in those who were believers.

    The sexually immoral person in 1 Cor 5, was judged to be saved by Paul. His flesh was being turned over to Satan, but his soul would be saved. But he was called wicked, his lifestyle ‘exhibited wickedness. As were all of these brothers, who were ‘within’ and not the world.

    A drunkard = wickedness exhibited
    An extortioner = wickedness exhibited
    A fornicator = wickedness exhibited
    Covetous = wickedness exhibited
    Idolator = wickedness exhibited
    A railer = wickedness exhibited

    If it wasn’t clear, Paul makes it clear that they are judging those who are within, they are not the world, and they are WICKED, and yet they were saved

  167. I sure didn’t know better on Chafer either… thank you all for sharing.

  168. John,

    Thanks. Excellent points about “The Reformers.”

    They “reformed” nothing for the better — but their doctrine tended to transform and destroy confidence in Eternal Life as a non-negotiable Gift from God, which the Lord designed to be accepted by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, by the free WILL of man.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  169. One additional thought on the DTS and Calvinism:

    There seems to be too much credence given to “church” history. In other words, like so many others, these guys think that the reformation actually reformed the body of Christ. The body of Christ is comprised only of people who have believed in Christ alone for salvation. Membership in the body of Christ overlaps with participation in man-made religious institutions, but they are not one and the same. So, did Luther, Calvin and Wesley REFORM the body of Christ? Not a chance.

    But, since the reformers seem to have “softened” the works for salvation heresy of their Roman Catholic forbearers, and since modern-day Calvinists (such as Ryrie) seem to have “refined” the views of the reformers, there is a mistaken belief that guys like Ryrie have “helped move the church forward.”

  170. Jack and John G, the Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) seems to produce a lot of theologians with a Calvinistic bent. Calvinism is antithetical to grace, so we often see those who do not reject Calvinism outright drift into serious error.

    For example, Zane Hodges (one of the inventors of the cross-less gospel), wrote:

    Of course, there is every reason to believe that there will be good works in the life of each believer in Christ. The idea that one may believe in Him and live for years totally unaffected by the amazing miracle of regeneration, or by the instruction and/or discipline of God his heavenly Father, is a fantastic notion-even bizarre. We reject it categorically.

    But this is not at all the point. The issue here is assurance. And with this, works can play no decisive role whatsoever.

    My comment: This is stupid. The only reason that Hodges would have taken this illogical position is that he deep-down really believed in the Calvinist tenet of perseverance of the saints. If not, why would he categorically reject the possibility that good works might not AUTOMATICALLY accompany faith in Christ.

    The Bible teaches that Christians must be careful to maintain good works, so how could they possibly be automatic?

    Titus 3:8: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

  171. Thanks John G and JohnInNc,

    Excellent observations. It is good to revisit and expose the Ryrie error.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  172. Additional thoughts on the following Ryrie statement: People whose lifestyles exhibit wickedness, not fruit, show they are unsaved and will, therefore, not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Just a little thought experiment for Mr. Ryrie and other people who make these kinds of statements: What if you were the only person alive? Who would you compare yourself to? How would you decide how good you are? Would it be based on your behavior before and after coming to faith in Christ?

    Whether Ryrie realizes it or not, he is teaching salvation by works – either the LIFESTYLES (works) of the Christian compared to everyone EXCEPT JESUS or the LIFESTYLES (works) of a person pre-and-post having received eternal life. The righteousness of Christ is nowhere to be found in this heretical formula.

    Romans 3:24-26:

    [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

    Some more questions for Mr. Ryrie:
    1. When it says “to declare his righteousness” in verse 25, to whom is it referring? (Hint: Not you or me, Mr. Ryrie)
    2. When it says “his righteousness” in verse 26, to whom is it referring? (Hint: Not you or me, Mr. Ryrie)

  173. John Gregory, it’s good to hear from you. I agree with your comments regarding Ryrie and Chafer.

  174. Ryrie was not only a Lordship salvationist, but
    Somewhat of a Calvinist
    He was s student under Chafer
    Ryrie went further into covenant theology than
    Chafer ever was
    Both were tainted by Calvinism. & both
    Taught @ the same school! Only Ryrie became worse
    God bless,
    John Gregory

  175. Holly,

    Thanks for that info on Charles Ryrie.

    It still surprises me that folks who should know better still recommends him as an “authority” on God’s Word.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  176. Thanks Holly! Ryrie’s views on that verse are consistent with those of most other Calvinists/LSers.

  177. My Friend Angie, a commenter here, also caught this:

    Ryrie’s comment on 1 Cor 6:10: “People whose lifestyles exhibit wickedness, not fruit, show they are unsaved and will, therefore, not inherit the kingdom of God.”

  178. I agree Jack. The double mindedness of law and grace is rampant in IFB churches. Pastors with Ryrie’s type framework tend to speak grace out one side of their mouths and law out the other.

  179. Thanks Jim Floyd,

    Ryries quotes indict him as a full fledged Calvinist. If there are clear passages in his book they are subverted and polluted by the foul doctrine of Calvin.

    What a tragedy and what a surprise it will be to Ryrie fans when/if they ever discover the double minded facts about a double minded man, Charles Ryrie.

    In Jesus Christ eternally Jack

  180. William,

    I wonder how many think they are not Calvinists, yet have many of their ideals or doctrines? I truly believe some feel they just have a closer grasp on the truth then the Calvinist, and don’t go as ‘hyper’ so they are somehow not a Calvinist.

    Then there are others who are undercover Calvinists, subtly arguing in certain areas, winning people over to their way of thinking. Others, blatantly lie and drape the word “grace” over their works-based Judaizing campaigns. They say they preach the gospel, but they do lie…

    I didn’t follow Ryrie enough, but have read many of his works in the past and wonder now if I read them, how I might feel about certain areas. I think that people seem to feel if the person got ‘most’ of it right, we shouldn’t be ‘nitpicky’.

    So I’m always wondering which parts of God’s Word they think it’s o.k to compromise or twist?

  181. John Gregory – good to see you again. Funny, I wondered about you when I saw you on an older post, glad you are back. I would also like to know about the Calvinist stuff, Jack can send it to me if that’s o.k.

  182. Sorry Jim, I now see you did post them here.

  183. Jim Floyd, will you send those Ryrie quotes to me too please?

  184. Oh my gosh!! Ryrie is a hard core Calvinist??! It appears that Calvinism has done as much damage to the Free Grace gospel as Darwinism has done to the truth about Creation.

  185. Jack,

    Here is what I sent yesterday. I will do a new blog post and expand this some later.

    I have been looking back through some of Ryrie’s theology book Basic Theology. He takes a Calvinistic stance on election saying that God selects people individually for salvation yet denies reprobation. He says we should leave it as a mystery.

    “To foreknow is not a neutral concept but involves some sort of relationship.” 363

    Ryrie quotes a long irrelevant excerpt from Calvin’s institutes. p 365.

    Also concerning faith he says on page 376,

    “Of course, there can be no chronological order; both regeneration and faith have to occur at the same moment.To be sure, faith is also part of the total package of salvation that is the gift of God (Eph. 2:9); yet faith is commanded in order to be saved (Acts 16:31). Both are true.”

    On page 376 he goes on to say,

    “The new life will bear new fruit. In I John 2:29; 3:9;4:7; 5:1, 4, and 18, some of the results of the new life include righteousness, not comitting sin, loving one another; and overcoming the world.”

    There is a lot more in that book but I think the picture is clear. Now he does have sections where what he is saying would technically be correct, but it is a problem that it is being made part of this overall incorrect view. His wiew includes: individual election, fruit will happen in the life of a believer, kinds of faith, faith is included as the gift of God, tolerance of the perseverance of the saints view along with preservation etc. It pretty much exemplifies the current framework for many fundamental Baptist that claim to be against LS. Yet their view is still LS and their more moderate Calvinism is still false.

    Jim F

  186. Jim F

    Thanks for the list of Ryrie quotes. He is a die-hard Calvinist.

    Looking forward to your posting that list here.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,Jack

  187. Yeah, they really reveal his theological framework. It also illustrates why a Calvinistic framework is dangerous even deadly.

    Jim F

  188. Jim, based on what you sent, Ryrie’s Calvinist/LS tendencies are more than a passing fancy or rogue comment.

  189. Hey Jack,

    I just sent you and John an email with some quotes from Ryrie’s theology book. They will make you shake your head and are quite revealing.

    Jim F

  190. John G

    Thanks for your observation about Ryrie having been a Calvinist. I was not aware of that in his past but I was also not a Ryrie follower. Often Calvinists pose as free grace advocates by twisting both teachings. His statement in his study bible certainly fits the mold of a Calvinist.

    If you have any links to his Calvinist teaching, we will appreciate your sending them to us via our side-bar email link.


    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  191. I agree totally about Ryrie! He was a hard core Calvinist also!
    I read his books only to discard them.
    God bless,
    John Gregory

  192. Jim F, I agree. I don’t think Ryrie’s error is just a small deal.

    I don’t care how many books Ryrie wrote, nor how brilliant his commentary is in other matters. Ryrie is on record as having written that works are required to get into heaven. He is dead wrong. This leads me to have very little interest in anything else that he wrote.

  193. Amen

    Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
    Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

  194. Yes, thankfully the burden of our salvation is on Christ. We cannot and could not bear it ourselves but that is really what LS types have us do. That being… bear some of it ourselves. Example: You better live like a Christian or you are not likely saved.

    This is why Ryrie’s error is not just a small deal.

    Jim F

  195. Right Jim. They do see repentance as a ‘change of heart and a change of direction’. Many of course are very sincere, but they have made the gospel, the free gift of salvation, into a whole work, no matter if they can see it or not.
    Makes me weary just thinking on it, for those who labor and have burdens (heavy laden), people put more impossible burdens upon sinners, instead of letting them know, Christ will give us rest. His yoke is easy and His burden is light, but men want to load up the person with more burdens they are unable to bear.

  196. Most back door LSers I know of also have a false view of repentance. That is turning from sin or willingness to turn from sins. This is basically the change of life path view. You repent, (decide you are willing to turn from your sins and trust Christ as Savior) then the proof is in your changed life. This is supposed to show that your repentance and therefore “change” was real. It is totally false but is common place in fundamental Baptist churches today. Throw a small dose of Calvinism or Arminianism on the top and then you have a description of most Baptist churches. The vast minority are truly free grace.

    Jim F

  197. Reblogged this on Redeemingmoments and commented:
    This may be upsetting to some to know this about Charles Ryrie, and while we certainly pray he has renounced this, it is important to know where error is in any person’s teaching.

  198. Holly, the problem with the back-door LS folks is that they may remove the seed that has been sown. So, before a person who hears the message understands, the back-door LSer comes in to confuse them. This can happen either before, or after, the person has heard the gospel message.

    Matthew 13:19: When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

  199. Disappointing for Ryrie, seems like so many teach this. I think that is the most difficult for people to let go of, is that there somehow has to be fruit or the person is not saved. They do not at all believe they are adding to the gospel, for it’s afterwards they say these things. Hopefully they have delivered the true gospel and people believed. But the worse part, is the people they render ineffective to plant or water.

    I have sat in sermons where they go over things you look for in your life. Truthfully, I imagine that could also deceive some people who have not believed, as many might actually be a patient person, they might have joy in their lives and peace, not having any difficulties, so this kind of test for your salvation is just wrong.

    The only test is “Do you believe”? Only that person knows whether they believed the gospel or not. Funny part is, the Hebrew Roots Movement, the Torah keepers, they do videos stating straight out it is not by faith alone, but by keeping ‘God’s commandments’ (they are referring to the Torah). At least they are less of hypocrites that the Calvinists who say they believe that it is by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ only, yet on the other side of the scale, they load up the burdens of before or after requirements.

    I just want to ask them where they see the apostles doing this? Where in the epistles do we see them questioning those in the church to see if they have fruit and if not, they are not saved? What example do they use?

  200. Yes it appears they cant completely believe Jesus paid it all on the cross and gives us free will to receive the Free Gift by Faith.This is why we all need to be checking out these things with Bible in hand,in this case I think 1 cor 3:11-15 plus many other clear verses would be sufficient to refute that.I do hope that was a mistake that slipped through without him catching it before it got published but I also would think he would have mentioned it somewhere.Thanks for pointing this out.

  201. That is true Jack. I was just curious. Ryrie reminds me of those that oppose LS on one front but allow for it on another. Many “fundamentalist” Baptist churches are doing the same thing.

    Jim F

  202. Jim Floyd,

    A change of position would be good, but damage has been done. But a total loud and universal recantation of those positions and others would be preferable.

    If he is still alive on earth, he would be 90 [born March 1925], five years older than I (85) so, chances are, Ryrie may not be very active. We tend to slow down at my age and probably grinding to an eventual halt around age 90.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  203. To our readers:

    It hurts to find it necessary to write such a report about one who is presented as an icon of free Grace — but we felt we must honestly present the evidence as it stands. Please send us a private email if you would like the link to MacArthur’s web site from which we quoted.

    We pray that Ryrie will loudly proclaim and RECANT his positions as stated in this article. If you know of any place where Ryrie has completely recanted and apologized for his position as stated here, please send a link by private email.

    As we stated, there is no debate or negotiation with God about the terms of His salvation Gift.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  204. Thanks John and Jack. Those are some indicting quotes from Ryrie. Does anyone know if he ever changed his view on this since?