Graphic Thanks to Holly Garcia, Redeeming Moments
Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
“Grace” means a gift – freely bestowed by a giver and freely received by a recipient. From Clear Gospel Campaign:
The eternal salvation of mankind is the ultimate gift of God. It is a gift because it cost sinful man nothing. It was not free to God, however, but cost God His only begotten Son.
Most of the false religions that masquerade as Biblical Christianity (such as Lordship “salvation”) have redefined the clear meaning of the word “grace”, to inherently include works, such as turning from sin or commitment to following Christ in discipleship.
To keep the meaning of “grace” clear, remember that grace is free, but discipleship is costly. And, being an eternally secure believer in Christ does not guarantee being a committed disciple. Something that is free (grace) cannot be costly (discipleship). That would be a contradiction, and one of the attributes of God is that He cannot lie, nor contradict himself.
Titus 1:2: In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
John 8:31-32 is a good passage that makes the point about the distinction between receiving eternal life (grace) and discipleship:
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Note that Jesus said to those which had believed on him (and had eternal life) that if they continued in His word, then they would be His disciples indeed (in deed).
Other passages that make clear that receiving the free gift of eternal life and serving Christ are not one and the same are passages that deal with the Judgment Seat of Christ, such as 1 Corinthians 3:10-15:
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Just to be sure that everyone is clear that grace is free, without cost or obligation to the recipient, the Bible has a lot of clear passages, such as:
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
One should be particularly attentive to any teaching that implies that a “true believer” WILL have changes in his behavior, WILL automatically do good works, or WILL turn from sin and start manifesting fruits. This teaching is what we refer to as “back-door Lordship Salvation.” If one believes that good works WILL accompany salvation, then logically he would believe that good works MUST accompany salvation. If that were the case, grace would no longer be grace.
Romans 11:6 makes it abundantly clear that one cannot mix grace and works for the hope of eternal life:
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.
We would advise anyone to consider interpretation of scripture in light of the following three clear tenets. If someone’s interpretation of scripture renders an answer of “NO” to any of the following questions, it cannot be true:
1. Is it consistent with eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone?
2. Is it consistent with eternal security?
3. Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?
A good question to ask someone who is confused about grace is:
“If someone believes in Jesus Christ as Savior and never turns from any sin, nor does even one good work, would he get into heaven?”
If the answer is “NO, or “I don’t know”, or “maybe”, or “it seems like any true Christian…” (that is, anything other than a definitive “YES”), then the person with whom you are speaking is not clear on how one receives eternal life. It is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
A Christian SHOULD live for Christ. But, it is not that he MUST (that would be works for salvation). And, it’s not that he WILL (that would be Calvinism).
Mason, I think where people get confused is not only in context, but in our position as believers, which is “in Christ” or after the Spirit. There is no condemnation for us. I hope you will bear with me.
First when we look at the discourse in chapter 7, Paul’s struggle with his flesh, sin, and the seeming futility in doing right, but it is his mind that serve’s the law of God. And what law is that? The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus which made us FREE from the law of sin and death. (same chapter 8).
God sees all things eternally when we believe; past, present and future, and those of us who BELIEVE, He has justified us from ALL things at that moment of belief (Acts 13:39), no one was ever justified by works of the law, but only by faith in Jesus Christ (Gal 2:16).
Anyhow, those who are ‘after the Spirit’, speaks to our position which was pointed out in the first verse of Romans 8. It is believers who are “in Christ Jesus”. What makes us ‘in Christ Jesus’? Is it election, or is it faith?
I submit it is at the moment of belief on Him. Here is something to ponder as those who are Calvinists believe men are chosen to salvation from the beginning of time. If so, surely the apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, would not have put these people “in Christ” before him, he would have then believed they were all ‘in Christ’ from before the foundation of the world.
Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ BEFORE me. Rom 16:7
So, we are not in Christ UNTIL we have placed our faith in Christ as Saviour; at that moment, we are ‘in Christ’, and we are ‘after the Spirit’ as Rom 8:9 informs us if we do not have His Spirit we are none of His.
Here is a very interesting story regarding carnality and being ‘in Christ’ which is the same as ‘after the Spirit’.
From chapter 1, feel free to check entire context, will do this for brevity sake.
….to them that are SANCTIFIED in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and SANCTIFICATION, and redemption: (AND THE VERSE DIRECTLY AFTER)
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. Again to those same Corinthians in chapter 4, Paul states CLEARLY how they are ‘in Christ’.
I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have BEGOTTEN you through the gospel.
So they were Sanctified (which means perfected forever in God’s sight, once for all, when He died on the cross and we believed on Him, see Heb 10:10,14, 2 Thess 2:13 and many others of course). And they were carnal yet they were in Christ.
Why? Because Christ is their righteousness (Rom 10:4). Those false prophets brought plenty of their own self-righteousness in their wonderful works they presented as justification to the Lord.
Will you present you righteous works after as justification you are His? Same thing the false prophets did in Matthew 7. I sure pray you will consider these things.
seems to me all the religions of the world system are the ones who misrepresent the blood of Jesus in not allowing a soul to simply believe on the Son of God. and Or cause confusion to souls that simple belief is not enough for eternal Life .
I am Thankful for the shed Blood of Jesus that His way is Narrow and simple it has to be.
a whole another paged probably could be written on “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:”
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:”
1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
Mason, I asked you two questions. You tried to answer the first one. You skipped the second one. The answer to the second question will undermine your attempt to answer the first one.
The second question was: “Why were the Epistles written?”
If your interpretation of the Romans 8 passage that you cited is correct, then the Epistles need not to have been written.
You said (regarding Romans 8:5-13): “This passage says that because we are new creations in Christ that we who are spiritually minded go after the things of the spirit if the Spirit of God dwells in us.”
My comment: Believers who are Spiritually-minded do go after the things of the Spirit. But, being an eternally-secure believer in Christ does not guarantee that we will be Spiritually-minded.
That’s where the Epistles come in. They are instruction manuals for the Christian.
Let’s look at just a couple of the terms/phrases in Romans 8:5-13:
Carnal – verses 6 and 7.
 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Where else do we see Paul use the word “carnal”?
1 Corinthians 3:1-4:
 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
Paul is talking to eternally secure believers in Christ.
Live after the flesh – verse 13
 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Where else do we see Paul discuss walking in the Spirit, versus fulfilling the lusts of the flesh?
Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
You see, Mason, that the Epistles were written to persuade believers to live in a manner consistent with who they are in Christ.
Now, this is a rhetorical question, because I already know the answer:
Do you believe in LS, because that’s what the Bible teaches? Or, do you think the Bible teaches LS because that’s what you believe?
My question’s to you is :
do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have eternal Life ?
how do you know ?
what must a soul do to be saved ?
1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
1Jn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
I truly don’t understand what you mean.
Please explain how one obtains justification-“salvation” according to your beliefs.
How much change of heart? Where in the Bible does it say that?
In Romans 8 Paul says “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
This passage says that because we are new creations in Christ that we who are spiritually minded go after the things of the spirit if the Spirit of God dwells in us.
Thanks for your comment. John has given an excellent answer to your fallacious argument.
I see you are a Sproul-ite.. a Monergist… a Calvinist, all the same no less. Calvinism, Monergism, Sproulism, Reformed “theology” are the root and fruit of Lord ship “salvation” which is merely probation.
Have you ever made a personal decision to believe/trust in Jesus Christ alone for your eternal life? I suggest you do that!!
Or are you depending on John Calvin’s theorem (hence Sproul’s) that you are among those God chose/elected for eternal life and left the rest of us to be destined for hell??
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Mason, welcome and thanks for your comment.
I agree that there is a difference between LS and the disbelief in eternal security. There is also one striking similarity – the belief that works have something to do with whether or not someone possesses eternal life.
Works and a changed life are not dependable indicators of faith in Christ, and they should not be looked to for assurance of salvation.
The scriptural passages to which you referred are not intended to direct our attention to one’s works as evidence of salvation.
The “fruits” referred to in Matthew 7 are the fruits of false prophets – their words, and the words of their converts – it has nothing to do with works. It has everything to do with examining their false doctrine to see if it lines up with scripture.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul is defending his apostleship. He asks the brothers (fellow believers), rhetorically, to examine themselves. If they are in the faith, and they heard the saving message from him(2 Corinthians 13:3), then his message must have been legitimate.
Believing in Jesus for eternal life does not require that we trust in Him to enable us to persevere. That is Lordship “salvation.”
You said: “Lordship folks don’t claim that there will be instant change, but it is impossible to trust in Jesus for salvation and not have some change of heart.”
My comment: How much change of heart? Where in the Bible does it say that?
Mason, if good works and turning from sin automatically accompany faith in Christ, why were the Epistles written? If good works and obedience always accompany faith in Christ, then they are necessary for salvation.
I think you are misrepresenting the Lordship Salvation position by equating it with faith+works. Most if not all Lordship Salvation proponents are Monergists which means we believe salvation is 100% God and 0% man. It does not make sense to accuse someone of claiming that salvation is earned when their core doctrine is that the entire package is Gods unconditional gift.
I believe in Lordship salvation in the sense that I do not think that a prayer, good deeds, or mental ascent to certain doctrine saves you. Only Grace alone through Faith alone given to us by God will save us, and that Faith can be seen by a desire to obey God. We are told to judge a tree by its fruits, and to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed you fail to meet the test”
Passing the test would be to examine ourselves and find that we are depraved sinners in need of a Savior and then clinging to the Lord Jesus and trusting in Him to enable us to persevere. Lordship folks don’t claim that there will be instant change, but it is impossible to trust in Jesus for salvation and not have some change of heart.
There are many who teach that Christians lose salvation if they fall into sin, or that Christians can become perfect, or that good works are necessary for salvation. However, those errors are unrelated to Lordship Salvation.
Genevieve, a good way to bring some fertility and interest into your daughter’s life is to find passages of Scripture that might fit into something she is dealing with or struggling with. Being prepared yourself with an answer. Preach the Word in and out of season, and no, not suggesting hammering them with a sermon as someone answered me back when I suggested this. Only that when we are ready, we can speak His Word in due season. Praying for opportunity.
Here is a suggestion for your sister’s Bible gift. On the front cover, or if you prefer, a list, I make a list of verses that mean something to me, and the most important I believe would be justification verses. There is a link here for them. In His love 🙂
Sorry for taking a while to respond, internet hasn’t been working properly. I’ve got to be quick before it dies again.So I just have to pray for wisdom & hopefully I won’t waver, I’ll have to pray for help with not wavering too. Thanks for the scriptures,I underlined them in my new bible. I bought a kjv bible. I was using a niv but found out that it’s not trustworthy.I was scared of not being able to understand the kjv, but I can understand it & I am really enjoying it.I asked my oldest daughter if she knows that Jesus died on the cross for her & was raised to life after three days & she said she did, she’s not really interested in God but she knows that He has saved her & I read John 3:16 to my youngest daughter she has said before that she believes, but I’m worried that she has overheard my husband speaking lordship salvation rubbish.Then there is my middle daughter who doesn’t believe at all, I am praying for them all,including my husband.Also going out tomorrow to buy my sisters a kjv bible & going to print out Tom Cuccuza eternal life booklet for them & the article on this site about lordship salvation for my older sister, because I’ve noticed she’s into Joyce Myer & some other lordship salvation stuff,plus her church preaches that repent means turn from sin. I’ll buy them a nice little journal & a pen to go with it & wrap it & post it with a thinking of you card, should be nice & I’ll pray to God that they will trust Jesus as their Saviour.Well that was a bit of a long letter after all. Hope everyone’s well. Cheers.
What Johninnc said
also would like to add
I didn’t know it at the time but they kept using 1 john 1:9 on me as a salvation verse but I know now 1John 1:9 is for fellowship with God.
My desire is not to be to smart for simple , Religions of all kinds complicate the simplicity that is in Christ. They keep reminding souls of their depravity and their need to manage it. BUT God says you are complete In Christ being born again a New Creation. God deals with The New Man.
The goodness of God leads souls to change.
2Co_11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Pro 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Pro 8:9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
you said “you seem like an intelligent bunch,whilst I’m not the smartest in the bunch.”
excuse me while I chuckle a bit. 🙂
I am the dumbest person on the planet….ask my wife.
I wont get into my whole story as its a novel. However, here is a piece.
after 2.5 years of constant study and research on the bible, I got mad at God. The bible SEEMED to contradict itself everywhere. I will specifically uses James chapter 2 as it threw me for a loop over and over. how could the bible, being the word of God, be so contradicting.
At this point I was already extremely angry. I picked up my bible and started to read James for the 10th time to see if I could figure it out. I did NOT get very far.
James 1:5-6 – 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
in my head, that sounded like a promise. I immediately went to prayer. my prayer went something like this (remember I was already angry)
it is your fault I don’t understand this book. Why did you make it so hard to understand OR why did you create me to be toooo stupid to understand it? I just read in James that you will give me knowledge if I ask for it. That’s sounds like a promise. you are God and you have to keep your promise. I DEMAND that you keep you promise to me and give me knowledge!! All I ever wanted was the truth!! Then a voice came into my head and asked “are you wavering”?. I thought for 5 seconds remembering whom I am talking to (lol). and said NO!!! God promised it and I expect Him to keep His promise!! in Jesus name, amen.
WELL, the flood gates opened. He kept his promise to me. Not that I get every passage exactly rights, but its been……cool.
A lot of people would think that “i cant believe you talked to God like that”. HOWEVER, I think God was smiling. Up to that point, it was probably the greatest faith I have ever put into one of His promises. Been trusting in His promises ever since.
So as you claim to not be the smartest of the bunch, I guarantee you are smarter the me.
my advice – ask him without wavering and He WILL keep his promise!!
Genevieve, we still have our flesh nature that is a odds with our new nature. It is the “new man” (our regenerated nature) that remains sinless.
This site is definitely an oasis,there doesn’t seem to be anything else on the whole internet. I didn’t know that we weren’t sinners anymore.I’ve got a tonne to learn.I keep asking God to show me the truth, cause there’s so much rubbish out there & I feel vulnerable. I’ve only just got over that lordship salvation stuff, I believed it. Thanks Preston & Holly for the explanation on James.I did my best to understand what you were saying, you seem like an intelligent bunch,whilst I’m not the smartest in the bunch.
“Preston,so glad for your wife, she would be glad too.It’s amazing what God can do, people get saved despite all the false doctrine floating around out there.”
Part of my testimony coming out of my indoctrination was during a IFCA Church traveling revival ministry show fall 2011 , I asked God if there is a revival let it begin with me . I remember hearing the speaker say ” repent of sins” and I knew something was wrong. Further investigation I found they had “repent of sins” for salvation on their website.
about 2 weeks later I am fending off elders trying to get me saved again after I took issue over “repent of sins” during Wednesday night prayer meeting. I asked prayer meeting leader if you could please quit calling me a sinner ? Remind me who I am in Christ .
Tell me the gospel as a little child for I have child like faith.
(insert cricket sound here) Next I was pulled out of prayer meeting and into office with 2 elders for a shake down reminding me I am a sinner.
what was said to me stressed me out so bad I ended up in hospital
I was going to write a gospel presentation myself because everything was “repent of sins” for salvation. several months later I found Expreacherman and Clear Gospel Campaign .
so when preachers step up and call for revival do they really know what they are asking for ?
What more can be done with Sin that Jesus has not already done over 2000 years ago ?
Thanks Preston. Really good thoughts there.
my thoughts on James 2 – it is lengthy.
it was stated that faith without works is dead. I wanted to say that this IS A TRUE STATEMENT (James 2). However dead can have multiple meanings. For example….
1. I could not make it to dinner as my wife was in a car accident and she is dead.
2. I went to the game last night, the other team scored so much; the crowd was dead.
As you can see, “dead” takes on a whole new meaning within the context of what is being said. The greek word for “dead” can have the meaning of “inactive/useless”
NOTE – the bible CANNOT contradict itself.
First we need some verses that say we are saved without works.
Eph 2:8-9 – For by grace ARE YE SAVED through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9 NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast
Rom 3:27 – Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of WORKS? Nay: but by the law of faith
Rom 4:5 – But to him that WORKETH NOT, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness
Rom 4:6 – Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness WITHOUT WORKS
Rom 11:6 – And if by grace, then is it NO MORE OF WORKS: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
– it cant be by both according to Rom 11:6. It is either by grace OR by works.
notice verse 14 – what doth it PROFIT….
1. it profits the believer nothing (Judgment seat of Christ)
2. it obviously profits the hungry person nothing as well.
Faith without works PROFITS nothing. Again, salvation is without works (see above)
VERSE 14 Can faith save him? the question is “save him from what?
– its NOT from hell as James is written to believers. (James 1:2 – brethren)
So what are they being saved from? JUDGMENT (see verse 13). Faith will NOT save a believer from judgment.
There are 2 OTHER forms of judgment mentioned in the bible.
1. The chastening hand of God. God will discipline his own. (Hebrews)
2. The judgment seat of Christ where our WORKS are tested. (1 and 2 Corinthians)
VERSE 18 – before I start – we have to realize who is speaking…..IT IS NOT JAMES. Seriously!!!! James has created a fictional character that begins to speak…sort of like me telling you a joke….one guy said to the other….I HAVE JUST CREATED 2 FICTIONAL MEN.
How do we know this? verse 18 starts with, “ye a MAN may say”.
– James didn’t say – I tell you
– or I say unto thee
James creates a fictional man (ye a MAN may say). It is this man that is now talking. James actually calls the man VAIN in verse 20. I will substitute BOB for MAN to show clarity.
Yea, BOB (a man) may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain BOB (man), that faith without works is dead
YES – IT IS HUMAN VAINITY THAT THINKS WE HAVE ANYTHING TO OFFER GOD FOR SALVATION —–the bible is clear-salvation is a FREE GIFT to anyone who believes the simple gospel message.
VERSE 21 – Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar
– the question – justified before who???? NOT God.
– Rom 4:1-2 – What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but NOT before God
– WORKS justifies us before MAN – 1 Samuel – Man looketh on the outward but God knoweth the heart.
– to put it another way “the new pope seems like a good guy” – MAN looks to the outward BUT God knoweth the heart.
VERSE 22 – Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made PERFECT
– remember – Jesus ministry – He said to his disciples many times “ye of LITTLE faith”….while telling the gentile woman that said even the dogs get the crumbs “I have seen no GREATER faith than this”
– from this we know that there are different levels of faith—WORKS bring faith to perfection – notice the word PERFECT
– All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the MAN OF GOD may be PERFECT, thoroughly furnished unto all good works
– 2 TIM 3:16-17 – NOTICE “the man of God” (ALREADY SAVED) may be PERFECT unto all good works
– THIS is the crux of the passage; exhorting believers to do good works.
– This is NOT saying that any flesh can be perfect….Romans 7 – Paul couldn’t stop his sinning BUT was obsessed with putting his body under subjection to win that crown of righteousness,
Hope this helped explain “faith without works is dead”. It IS a true statement. Faith that does not work is “useless/inactive”. It doesnt PROFIT anything. It is NOT saying that works are necessary FOR SALVATION as that would contradict soooooo many passages of scripture. FAITH ALONE in the gospel of Jesus saves from hell, but, without works, that “saving faith” is UNPROFITABLE it is “USELESS
Yes, she is French, and mainly only speaks French. She came here to visit a common friend who speaks English and French both. This is how we communicated,, and I email sometimes by google translate. Thank you, I prayed for you this morning when my reminder popped up (necessary these days) 🙂
Praying for all my brethren and sistren 🙂 at expreacherman family.
You got it right Genevieve. People really need to ask, who is spoken to, when they read a passage.
And if that passage proves someone is saved, then perhaps James under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit should not have called them brother, sister, brethren, beloved, Spirit dwelling in you, etc. in that book. That is probably always people’s first mistake. Believers in the church are addressed.
Let me share some things that come to mind, I hope this helps.
James 2 is not talking about the faith/justification unto salvation. Or justification before God. Otherwise again we’d be in trouble with contradiction with the portion in James speaking about Abraham being ‘justified’. It speaks to justification before men. If it were speaking of eternal life, then what would we do with this scripture? ‘IF Abraham was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but NOT >>>before God.
Abram believed God in chapter 12 (when the gospel was preached to Abraham, saying, “In thee shall all the nations be blessed” – see Gen 3:6-8 which shows this speaks to this chapter.) We know he went from Haran and departed in obedience to the land, believing what the Lord had promised to Him.
That same promise was repeated in chapter 15 where it says Abraham ‘believed IN God’ and it was counted to Him for righteousness, and it was ratified (if you will) when once God reminded him of the promise, He swore by Himself because there is no greater, and He is not a man that He should lie so we have wonderful consolation (See Hebrews 6:13-14, 18-20).
When Abraham offered up Isaac way later in life, seen in chapter 22, (not knowing exactly how old Isaac was, there is differences of opinions on what a lad means from 20 yrs.. old, all the way down to a boy), but we do know that was decades after he believed in God. When the angel of the Lord called down from heaven, telling him to stop and that He knew He feared God because of what Abraham had done, this could not speak to being justified unto righteousness, because God had already accounted his belief to him as righteousness in chapt.. 15 (speaking back to the gospel seen in the chapter 12 promise). We know it is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation, not works (Rom 1:16-17, 1 Cor 1:17-18)
The ‘angel’ of the Lord is pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus. He is God, He already knew Abraham’s heart, and so as far as being justified (by believing the gospel that was preached in Gen 12, seen verified in Gal 3:6-8), he had already believed in God unto righteousness. So James 2 is justification before men</b.
Hope I explained clearly enough, it's good to have it understood when the gospel was preached, that Abraham believed in God, and the justification regarding Abraham offering Isaac was not regarding eternal life, therefore James 2 cannot speak of justification unto eternal life.
Holly I’ll pray for the lady in France as well. My name is French. There’s probably lots of Genevieve’s there.
Preston,so glad for your wife, she would be glad too.It’s amazing what God can do, people get saved despite all the false doctrine floating around out there. I’m so thankful that I was saved. He’s a wonderful & powerful God. Also I asked John about a scripture John 14:12, my husband said that it proves that works automatically follow faith, I couldn’t explain it. He stands by James 2 too.I know it isn’t talking about works automatically following faith. But it’s hard for me to explain. I think it was talking about being justified by man, not God. It was saying to help out your fellow man. See I can’t explain very well. But I know it doesn’t refer to works following faith.
Genevieve, I am praying for one with your name in France, who does not yet know the Lord, will be thinking and praying for you I am sure as I see your name. 🙂 We all need each other.
Preston, the gnostics came into the church, crept in unaware. And they became their own entity and people put their faith in the creation of this church instead of the Creator (as I know you understand). My husband was an ex-Catholic, a new believer when I met him. He had questions they could not answer. I didn’t do much better being a legalist. I thank the Lord He brought me back into His Word and away from searching for the answers from men. So glad you started reading the Word with your wife. As we know, the truth will set people free, praise God!
I will Holly & thanks everyone for being supportive, much needed.
you are right about Roman Catholics. they can be stubborn. A friend of mine who is free grace and is out of RCism, has been working on his Roman Catholic family. He ask me for verses all the time. They say “we cant understand the book; so we need the church to tell us what it means” He gets beat up constantly about his granddaughter and how she will go to hell if she is not catholic.
The Roman catholic doctrine that most RC’s don’t know is that their catechism reads “muslims are going to heaven because they believe in the creator”.
That one seems to raise the most eyebrows.
Genevieve, save my name for when you go back, and I’ll selectively add friends you can trust to not be Load-ship purveyors.
Preston, I have used that same verse with some of my Roman Catholic friends. It’s hard if they’ve also been brought up to believe that the Bible is only equal to the teachings of the church (and really not equal to), so it also depends on which parish they belong to, as to whether they regard the Bible much or not. My one friend has no interest in picking up or reading a Bible, “her priest can tell her”. One time we had a long conversation about the seven sacraments of salvation, even discussed their removal of the graven images from the 10 commandments in their catechism, (proving, they believe their teachings are not equal to, but great then God’s Word).
Sadly, instead of a lightbulb moment, she just told me to “go ask father Joe”. (I mentioned about how the Bible says we are not to call him father).
But, I kind of learned a lesson back then about discussing the doctrinal issues, for if they are not saved, those things likely won’t help. I have been trying to preach the simple gospel more and more over the years, in different ways, and using His Word in opportune times, knowing His Word is powerful, it’s His Word that will accomplish what He pleases, not returning void. And I pray. And I try to show her kindness. I am so glad your wife knows Him and pray some day she’ll come to the realization about marking and avoiding completely false doctrine, but I know how hard it is for them to separate. Praying she’ll have peace about coming out from them even in name only.
Preston, that’s a wonderful story about your wife reading God’s Word and identifying that it didn’t line up with Roman Catholic doctrine.
I grew up in SBC churches, yet came to faith in Christ only 3+ years ago. The false LS doctrine of the SBC is so offensive to me that I can no longer associate with it in any way.
We all hope that your husband, somewhere along the line, has trusted in the gospel of Jesus alone for salvation.
Dont know if this will help comfort but…
I have been called just about every name in the book to include…
1. false prophet
2. wolf in sheep clothing
4. easy believist
5. even “satan”
However, none of them hit me like my wife (because I see her everyday) She was born, raised, breeded Roman Catholic (not getting into it today, but some RC’s are going to heaven). Anyway, the more I studied, the more i saw how “bad” the doctrine was. The kids (older) would ask me questions and I would give them answers. She would hear them and go NUTS.
1. Quit busting on my religion
2. How do you know you have it ALL correct
3. I am sick of you always putting “us” catholics down – even though I was only talking about the church doctrine and not the people.
Sometime later, we decided to read the bible together (dont know where this came from). She said, lets pick Luke. So we started reading. She didnt get very far.
Luke 1:46-47 – And MARY said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God MY SAVIOR
Luke 2: 7 – And she brought forth her FIRSTBORN son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn..
– if one knows anything about RC doctrine; one knows these verses paint a different picture then what is taught.
The look on her face was “priceless”; deer in headlights. She got quiet and said “this is not what I was taught”. So she asked,”what else have they told me that is not correct”?. So we went over a few things. She felt betrayed, hurt, sad, etc…So later, I asked the question “So, are you going to believe the church or the bible”. She thought and said, “I have to believe the bible”.
Today, my wife knows shes going to heaven because Jesus died for her. She smiles and says “I am still Roman Catholic; I am just a FREE GRACE Roman Catholic (lol)” – talk about your oxymorons. 🙂
– she no longer attends their church.
THE POINT – the whole point of the story is this. My spouse beat me up toooo and for a while. BUT somehow, God seemed to work his magic. I cant say it will turn out like my situation. BUT dont lose hope, you never know when someone or something will trigger a “moment”.
And as you stated – he could have already believes the gospel somewhere along the line.
Hi Genevieve, and welcome. Know that you’re not alone, and that others are praying for you. Just trust in our Lord and hang in there.
Thanks fryingpan9 aswell.
Thanks John O, prayers would be much appreciated.
Hollysgarcia, I deactivated my facebook account. Because I believed in a lot of that lordship salvation stuff & it was all over my facebook. I’ll start a new account soon.Thanks for all the advice.Genevieve
Jack, that is my understanding of those verses as well.
John O and Genevieve,
These are the verses referenced by John O:
Genevieve, always be the loving wife and mother!!
In Jesus Christ eternally Jack
The verse you quote, in 1 Corinthians 7:12-15 just a tad out of context but is interesting. As far as I can tell it is the only place, in the context of previous verses, where the Apostle Paul says, this is him speaking not the Lord. It is in the context of saved/unsaved spouses. My understanding of the message is, stay together and the unsaved spouse will be set apart and more likely to hear the Gospel than if divorced or separated. His message is the saved person should not separate from the spouse but stay and be the proper Biblical spouse.
Genevieve, you should “hang in there” with the Gospel message, kindly, gently and without rancor or beating him over the head with it.. and your husband will be more likely, over time, to listen and understand. Stick around the fellowship at ExP, study the articles and comments as you compare them with Scripture.
Genevieve we are all praying for your wisdom and your husband’s understanding of the positive, freeing message of the Gospel of Grace.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Genevieve – Take heart sister. Stay in God’s Word. Pray and ask for wisdom, and apply your heart to it, He will teach you excellent things of counsels and knowledge. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth. Right now, grow in His Word, that is really important. Start with one book and make notes. Are you on FaceBook? If so, you can find me there under Holly Sprenger Garcia.
Speak the Word when you get the chance to your children in encouragement, and pray for your husband even when he treats you spitefully (gets angry for your belief), show him love and remember the Lord gives peace, not a spirit of fear. Remember Isaiah 55:10-11 as you share with them all, don’t try to convince, just trust the power of His Word to change. Start a notebook with verses on justification, there is a link here, but people tend to be curious when they see handwritten verses, and might snoop 🙂 Let them 🙂 Plus, writing verses helps us retain them more.
Remember with His Word, there are multiple things we want to do besides just meditating day and night. Some study time with only His approval in mind. Some time to search the Scriptures when you need to check things out out. (2 Tim 2:15; Acts 17:11) Hiding it in our hearts so we won’t sin against Him, and taking heed to it will wash us (Ps 119:9-11). Love and treasure His Word, it’s how we are washed, and how our path is lit up, and it gives light to us too. (Ps 119:130,140,162)
Love in Him 🙂
Your story has some very heartbreaking elements to it, but be encouraged and of good cheer. You will find many like-minded believers that this fellowship.
I can tell you from my own experience that if you stay focused, diligent, and never give up you will have a deeper and stronger foundation of understanding and appreciation for the simplicity of the Gospel.
I can’t credit this blog and the comments made herein exclusively, but a huge portion of the credit goes to the administrators and commenters here at this blog.
Someone here once said that the enemy is always trying to get his nose under the tent, so to speak. I have found that to be very true, so hang in there and take advantage of the things that are working out, and leave the rest up to God.
Yes , I missed that and had moderators remove it from blog Sure is something it looked good on the surface . happy to see you saw it as well.
Hi Curtis, I was looking in the about us section of that website, One of their fellas Dr Desmond Ford, was a member of the seven day adventist commitee, isn’t that a redflag, I think I’d better steer clear of them. It sounds pretty bad doesn’t it.Genevieve
I’m sure that many on this site are praying for your situation.
I don’t understand this verse, but I do know that you are playing a very important role in your family’s life by holding fast to the Gospel (1Cor7:14). Hang in there! (Maybe someone can it explain it us?)
Thanks Curtis for that link, I sent them a message, to find out exactly what they believe, it looks good so far.
Thanks Hollysgarcia, I need the fellowship.Even my husband believes that you have to do works to be saved, he even believes that baptism saves you. A lot of the time he uses scripture out of context, to prove that a christian will automatically do works when they are saved etc & I can’t always explain what they mean. So it’s really awful. One of my daughters isn’t saved & I’m scared that she’ll think she has to do works when she wants to be saved. Because she would here my husband preaching evil lordship salvation. I try not to argue with him, because that won’t help, but he gets angry at me for believing in salvation by faith alone. I believe that he might have been saved by faith alone, but over time has believed in works for salvation. I’ve only been a christian for a very short time. I don’t know exactly when I got saved. I got baptised yesterday by this lady that was suppose to be a pastor. That was ok, but then she started telling me that you will know a christian by their fruit. I felt so awful last night thinking about it all & it is very lonely, so thanks for the fellowship,. Genevieve
Genevieve, first of all, it’s good to meet you. Many of us are in your predicament, so while you are looking for a church, come and fellowship here with us 🙂
In His love.
Thanks Curtis for searching for a church for me. Lots of them say that they believe that the way to heaven is to believe in Jesus alone, but then they add something, some form of works & that there is automatic fruit as evidence of salvation. Or sometimes they are weird churches that believe they are going to get rich from having faith. I hope there is a church here somewhere. Genevieve
You may want to look for a Bible Collage that teaches salvation (eternal Life) by faith alone. I did google for churches and bible collages in Brisbane, Australia and looked at a lot of doctrinal statements under salvation and then started looking for Bible Collages didn’t find any but I didn’t look at them all.
I am Trusting God will Honor your request for a Clear Gospel Assembly .
Here is the link to my post for you:
https://expreacherman.com/2013/10/09/lordship-salvations-billy-graham-sets-trap/#comment-32262 <<Click here
I placed your grace, faith alone church question in another thread. If you make a comment there at that thread and check the box to get email notifications, someone there may have an answer.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Welcome to our Oasis of Grace at ExPreacherMan. We have readers all over the world.. and several in Australia.
We will post your request in a couple of comment threads that might be helpful to you. No guarantees, though.. Australia is a huge country as you know.
Praying for you.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I’ve been accused of saying it’s ok to hate God, because I said that you can still receive salvation if you hate God,if you believe in Jesus for salvation. God didn’t say that you have to love Him to receive eternal life. It’s not ok to hate Him, but if you hate Him but believe in him for eternal life you would still be saved. By the way I love Him very much, but if I didn’t I would still be saved because I believe that Jesus is my Saviour.
Does anyone know of a church in Brisbane, Australia that preaches salvation by faith alone, because I can’t find one, every one I’ve looked at so far preaches works in some shape or form.
here is the scripture to go along with your quote
” but rather their love for the approval of men”
Joh 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
Joh 12:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Thanks for the comments all , I am encourage in the Lord and keeps my studying sharp
Jack, thank you also. These statements are good to identify as being used incorrectly by the ultra-dispensationalists, but the author evidently didn’t go further to say how they misuse them. But your explanation helps and would be good as a way to show how they define things differently than the Word.
For example, the dispensation of God did not begin at the resurrection for hyper-dispensationalists, (as you know) but for most of them (depending I guess whether mid or latter Acts – too many divisions..), it began when the mystery was revealed to Paul.
Michael Branda, it is no problem, in the beginning when these things stared happening, gossiping, malicious comments, etc, I initially years ago thought it had to do with me, and yet as I got more careful, really attempting to use His Word, to be sure to try to have grace and salt seasoning my speech, sound speech that couldn’t be condemned, it seemed as time went by the attacks got more vicious. Mostly from Calvinist/reformed/Lordship people.
From those, I have been told some of the most unspeakable things including God killing my husband because he didn’t have the Spirit and God hated him. God striking my mom with cancer and my dad with a stroke was proof they were not his (this they found out by seeing my widow status on FB, and my testimony about my parent’s recent mission).
One Calvinist, not a friend, threatened me in my email for saying Calvinism was not the gospel, he told me I had better remove that remark now, or else…. I have also been called a whore of grace. Again, all within the Lordship/reformed/Calvinism realm. So, the suggestions of being an antinomian, or that I don’t “acknowledge Jesus as Lord” (on my FB page yesterday) or any of their other false accusations, are little things I am privileged to bear (as I know you all feel this way), on behalf of standing for the truth, contending for the faith once delivered, defending His gospel…
Thank you again for your clear and comprehensive post.
Curtis & Others,
Thanks for the education on Hyper-Dispensationalists. I have had no exposure to these people nor their doctrines before now.
Holly, so sorry to hear about the loss of your FB friends and their responses. But people love the approval of men rather than the approval of God. In my thirty years of defending the Gospel of grace, I found that what keeps “Christians” from accepting the Gospel is not theological disagreement, but rather their love for the approval of men. John MacArthur is very popular in our churches. Sadly, he is sometimes more popular than Jesus Christ–especially where I live! So many so-called “Christians” care more about being pleasing to John MacArthur than they do to Jesus Christ.
Thanks. I would disagree with your broad-brush definition of “hyper-dispensational” and think now is a good time to explain further, following John’s excellent comment. No need to delete your comment as, once published to our readers, it needs discussing.
I do not consider myself nor ExP to be hyper-dispensational. Yet you say (from your source) that these phrases identify the “hyper” folks.
I.E. “Dispensation of the Grace of God” “Bema Seat” “Bereans.”
I have used these phrases myself in explaining scripture and I see no fault in that.
Judgment Seat of Christ = Bema in Greek – for rewards for believers. I agree that to use word “Bema” without explanation of the word or context is confusing for new believers and should not be done.
“Dispensation of the Grace of God” is simply quoting Ephesians 3:2 as you noted. And here, “Dispensation” simply means administration (of a household or estate); specially a (religious) “economy” dispensation, stewardship.
This dispensation in which we as believers live today is from the Resurrection to the Millennial rule of Jesus Christ referring to the “economy or stewardship,” responsibility or “time period.” This does not preclude Grace in the other dispensations. God’s Grace is, has been and will be abundant and free from the beginning to the end of time.
“Bereans” We here at ExP have always encouraged our readers to emulate the Bereans of scripture. We want all of our readers to take what we write and compare it with Scripture to see if those things were so:
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
These are the Bereans of which we speak. Nothing wrong with that.
However, I understand there are some that call their churches “Berean” who mishandle the Word of God. But we should not demean the concept of being Biblical Bereans. Our friends should be searching God’s Word to see if what we write is so.
Curtis, I know you well enough to understand you meant no harm – and I pray this explanation will be helpful.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Michael Branda, evidently you are in good company. Another poster here, Mark S., is also a past GTY church-goer, and has had the same experience. With my first article on John MacArthur, I lost about 50-60 FB ‘friends’. One called me a ‘false prophet’ and also let people on her page know that I was in a cult of ‘free grace’… 🙂 They are self-condemned.
Jim Floyd, I am flabbergasted also that they divide the church, meaning they do not see the gospel of OUR salvation (the church) as having begun at the cross, sealed at Pentecost. They still see a gospel for the Jews and one for the Gentiles. Same goes with the books that were not written by Paul…
To me, it’s the enemy’s way of blaspheming the way of truth from within. It maligns grace, and also divides the church that Jesus came to purchase, both Jew and Gentile…
Curtis – one other thing that comes to mind, is how the Lord uses your insight because of what you have been through, don’t ever discount that, just even saying it appeals to the proud mind. I have observed that often seems to be the case…
Johninnc, I do believe most hyper-dispensationalist preach repentance = turn from sins or repent from sins. I heard Les Feldick years ago explaining it as ‘begging for forgiveness’. They have a way of prefacing their teachings with things such as; “a serious Bible student will understand what I am about to say”. I listened to Feldick once, an affable older gentleman, a rancher, self-taught, and one of the things he said is Paul never taught repentance. I remembered instantly the address on Mars Hill so I continued to listen with even more caution. Then, I did my ‘prove all things’ after the fact. Good to be reminded these things should be done in advance.
Curtis, terribly blessed to hear what the Lord has delivered you from, thank you for sharing, and it’s good to know some of the people involved.
I think one of the biggest traps for people is thinking that we can tell if others are likely saved or not based on our perception of their works / fruit. Satan loves this trick to get believers to be comparing, grace-less, unloving, and ineffective. For unbelievers, the deception can lead to defeat and despair and no matter what they can’t measure up. That or they deceive themselves into thinking they have arrived. Either way it is tragic to see.
I have seen a few testimonies of people that have bounced from ditch to ditch theologically with some never landing on the straight and narrow. I praise God for this site and those that do see the truth of the clear gospel.
A further note Hypers. I’ve seen some that deny that the whole Word of God is for us. They tend to limit themselves to Pauline epistles only. Some of these also expressed to me that Christians are not to confess sin in their lives (I John 1:9). They tend to subdivide and butcher up God’s Word yet sounding free grace all the while. I do remember prideful attitudes as well. They didn’t like their errors pointed out. I told one guy if he was truly a right divider then he would see the foolishness of hyper-dispensationalism. Needless to say he didn’t like that much.
Jim, thanks for your sound input on hypers.
Curtis, I have also found my way down some “rabbit holes” of theology. There are some “red flags” that make me move on from listening to someone. Among them are:
1. Definitively stating that a certain person or another is not saved.
2. An insistence that “repentance” in the NT always means “turn from sin.”
3. A tolerance for people who teach false gospels (such as Billy Graham, Spurgeon, MacArthur,etc.)
4. A presumption that people who teach false gospels are “brothers in Christ.” (Note: this does not conflict with number 1. We simply don’t know whether someone who teaches a false gospel has ever believed in Christ alone as Savior).
I was reluctant to post that I normally do not copy and paste just because of someone finding the quote and get caught in false doctrine. I do not know who the weaker brother is . I do know what I was set free from.
feel free to delete the post
We should all strive to be an original Voice of who we are in Christ Jesus and how the Gospel Know’s us were we are in the present reality of everyday living. I do not want to be a copy of someone else voice of of how they see the word of God.
All words used these days concerning spiritual things need defining when talking to others all the false teaching I have found so far all try to redefine a word.
“The document does not define what they mean, but if they view repentance as turning from sin as a trade for receiving eternal life, then it should not be preached in any age.”
They Hypers I’ve come across tend to say repentance from sin was part of the way to be saved under the law. They err in a two gospel system and in many other ways. They should be avoided.
Word of advice for anyone currently in a facebook group that allows hyperdispensationalist – leave the group.
Curtis, I found the document to which you referred.
I think some of the warnings are sound, but some are not.
For example, I use certain of these terms (Bema – judgment seat of Christ). But, I don’t adhere to the tenets that they associate with the hypers.
One confusing aspect of the document is that it says that people who teach hyperdispensationalism teach that “repentance should not be preached in this age.” The document does not define what they mean, but if they view repentance as turning from sin as a trade for receiving eternal life, then it should not be preached in any age.
John O wrote
“Curtis – What is the other system of thought? (Is it something that we should be careful about?)”
i was down that rabbit hole of hyper dispensationism it is an easy one to fall into coming out of Calvinism it attracts the proud mind. I look at it as it was a stepping stone out of were i was. The last rabbit hole i came out of was ” “Radical Grace” or Hyper Grace” which to me leads to “Gnosticism” .
I copied and pasted this below from another source :
One can spot a Hyper-Dispensationalist by their words. Beware for Bible teachings that include the following language as the crux of their teaching:
“The mystery of the one body” “Paul, Paul, Paul, Paul” “Dispensation of the Grace of God” “Hidden Things” “Time Line” “Baptism not for this age” “Bema Seat” “my Gospel” “Secret Things” “Bereans.”
Favorite verses used, without their context:
Deut 29:29, Rom 16:25, Gal 2:7, Eph 3:2
With an exclamation at 2 Peter 3:16 because they discovered their own predicament.
Men known to be involved in Hyper-Dispensationalism:
-Ethelbert Bullinger- Wrote the Companion Bible
-J.C. O’Hare- Radio Preacher out of Chicago
-Terence D. McLean
Not to worry, Holly. John MacArthur’s followers know who I am, and they have already damned me to hell for not following MacArthur. Fortunately, Jesus Christ is greater than John MacArthur. So I am at peace knowing that my God is greater than their’s.
Thank you Michael, some do not want me to due to repercussions. I already have it up, thanks once again, may some read and ponder these things in prayer.
Holly–sure you can use my name. I stand by what I say. The more who know, the better!
Curtis, interesting observation on the Pauline dispensationalism… i am seeing many who do not quite understand the divisions or dispensations and by dividing the epistles and hyperdividing Acts and even the apostles, they’ve missed that it literally makes two gospels. Within the church we know that there is no Jew nor Greek, and that God is no respecter of persons. I have some friends trying to figure out the division, and seeing some teachers going in that direction, difficult to understand for unstable people. They make it Paul’s gospel vs. THE Gospel. They never quite see it was the same gospel they all preached, that the mystery also was revealed to. They also don’t seem to understand that it was Peter who first went to the Gentiles. The reconciliation was made at the cross, the same for all. I don’t think the Lord meant it to be difficult for those of us who know Him, if we study with His approval in mind.
Some teachers are doing a very good job of deceiving people with this hyper-ultra dispensationalism; Les Feldick is one, and now I see Randy White is doing some of the same style teaching. It’s a shame.
Michael – excellent comment, would you be willing to let me share that on redeemingmoments.com? I can use your name, or not, based on your own preference. But I think that is a great way to describe their tactics.
Holly, I’m not sure why they consider these things as mysteries. You are right – that doesn’t come from scripture.
Thanks everyone. Yes, I know my husband trusts in Christ gladly. I do think it is sincere. He has reverence for him. He just doesn’t show it like I do. He has come along way though. He used to say that he doesn’t want to go to church or read the bible at all. But now, even though he doesn’t have quiet times, he does enjoy reading with me and says that if I find a good church that he will go to check it out. I have been saved longer than him, so he looks up to me. He tells me that He is so blessed by God to have me and he is thankful that I want the best for him when it comes to God. That he knows that he isn’t walking like he should. He says he wants to do everything pure and good but then he also enjoys his bad side. I just realize that I love him no matter what. I am determined to stop judging him. He shouldn’t have to feel like he is under a microscope from his wife. I am determined to love him unconditionally and I pray that he grows. I want to bring him good and not evil all of the days of my life like proverbs 31 says.
Michael, Calvinism, in its various forms, is based on the assumption that at some point, the believer receives “a shot”. This compels the person to either be drawn irresistibly to believe (this is “Irresistible Grace”) the “I” in TULIP) or to automatically become good once they believe (this is “Perseverance of the Saints” – the “P” in TULIP).
Calvinism/LS is a cult. It is not Biblical Christianity. I have recently seen a church that says they believe in sola scriptura, that also claims that the Reformation was a work of the Holy Spirit! How contradictory. Did they read in the Bible that the Reformation was a work of the Holy Spirit? If not, how did they determine that?
Hi everyone. There’s been some great discussions, and a lot of good ideas shared. So I wanted to thank you all for that.
Also, I wanted to contribute to this conversation on the grace of God. When I was a member of John MacArthur’s church (back in the 1980s), we were taught that we were saved entirely by grace, and that grace was completely free–just as the Bible teaches. But what MacArthur did was to redefine “grace” so that it was something different then the Biblical grace. This is a common practice among cults. They enjoy using Biblical terminology, but mean something completely different by it. For example, a cult will say that they believe in Jesus, but it’s a different Jesus then the historical Jesus of the Bible.
What MacArthur taught us was that we were saved by “grace,” but grace was not Christ’s saving death on the cross (as the Bible teaches), but saving grace is the Calvinistic doctrines of unconditional election and irresistible draw. MacArthur’s god chooses you apart from your own choice, and then regenerates you (again, apart from your own choice). This act of “grace” results in you becoming a good person and being made worthy of salvation.
So, salvation is based on you being a good person (Lordship Salvation), but your becoming a good person is based solely on the grace of MacArthur’s god. It’s very deceptive, which is why he is able to fool so many people. He teaches that salvation is by grace, that grace is a free gift, and that grace is based on a work of God–just as the Bible teaches.
But despite all of this, MacArthur’s “grace” is different from the Bible’s grace. The Scriptures teach us that grace is based on the atoning death of Jesus Christ, not on the man-made teachings of Calvinism. As I stated, MacArthur has been able to fool a lot of people by using the same terminology, and similar concepts as does the Bible. So it’s up to us to expose him and his lies!
Curtis – What is the other system of thought? (Is it something that we should be careful about?)
from what I have seen “The Mystery” is a hook Pauline Dispensationalist use to rope souls into just another system of thought ,
Sorry if this is too long for the blog….
SALVATION – the gospel
Rom 1:16 – 6 For I am not ashamed of the GOSPELl of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth
– So what is the gospel according to the bible?
1 Cor 15:1-4 – Moreover, brethren, I DECLARE unto you the GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
– So what happens when one believes (puts TOTAL) trust in this gospel that Jesus “DIED FOR THEIR SINS”?
Eph 1:13 – 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
Thats it!!!! Thats salvation. Jesus confirmed in 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
– PASSED from death TO life
NOTE – the only other thing one must believe is “Jesus’ Deity”. He is Gods only begotten Son; God in the flesh.
As for you husband – IF he has believed (put TOTAL confidence in; trusts) the gospel and believes in whom Jesus said he was….HE IS GOING TO HEAVEN WHEN HE DIES——-period!!!!!
Look at the carnal church of Corinth. First, when the letter was written, it was AFTER they were saved. He traveled there on foot in Acts. He stated in the letter – 1 cor 2:2 – 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
This church had fornication, envying, strife, lawsuits against each other, coming or getting drunk at the Lords supper, you name it, they were doing it.
Were they saved….YES. Remember, ye ARE BOUGHT at a price (6:20). This was occurring AFTER salvation.
Salvation is about Gods promises to us. IF you husband has trusted in Jesus work on the cross ALONE for salvation, He is SEALED.
why? because God’s word says so
Hope this helped.
Rachel, it is often hard for us with an LS background to abandon fruit inspection. I think about it this way. There are people who are way more driven than I am in their apparent commitment to the Lord. Does that mean I’m not a believer? Of course not. Even if I caught up with all of them, I would fall woefully short of Christ. And, what guarantee would I have that I would always be so driven? None. Therefore, when we look to ourselves for assurance of salvation, there is none.
I agree. I also hate the “mystery” excuse. It really isn’t a mystery if you are willing to accept the truth that salvation is by grace through faith. As soon as you enter works into the picture you have a paradox / mystery. It is my belief that good theology is free of Calvinistic self made paradoxes. Avoiding those things is after all part of comparing scripture with scripture in my view. I feel free grace theology does the best job at eliminating paradoxes as opposed to embracing them.
I struggle with my husband. I love him so much. He is not walking with God like he should or could be. I know that salvation is a free gift. But for me it has compelled me to live for Christ even though I am no where near perfect, the longing and desire is there. My husband professes to trust in Christ alone and the gospel. He believes he is a sinner and deserves hell and that Christ saved him. But he doesn’t have the drive like I do. He isn’t intimate with God like I am. But he tells me that He loves the Lord and believes that he is his Savior but for some reason he doesn’t pursue him like he should. He never has liked reading so he doesn’t ever have quiet time. But when I ask him to pray with me out read the bible he will gladly do it. He says that he prays. I know God is working on him. He will say he believes the bible is true and good but he doesn’t know why he doesn’t have the desire to read it in his own. He is also walking in deliberate sin and I have rebuked him. He says that he knows he shouldn’t be doing it and that soon he will give it up for the Lord. Now I know that we shouldn’t be fruit inspectors but right now it is so hard on me. I come from a background that demands evidence of the works of God in a believers life. I can’t wrap my mind around it. Sorry if this isn’t the place for this. I just need answers and prayers. My husband doesn’t seem like he wants to walk with God. But I see little changes. Is my husband saved? I mean can you be saved and not have any real desire to walk in truth with God? Wouldn’t the holy spirit be convicting of sin and righteousness? Wouldn’t there be a desire to grow? But maybe the holy spirit is there working in his own way and time? My husband’s faith is very child like.
John innc, how do they reckon these things being mysteries I wonder, when it is not spoken of as a mystery. I used to think the same, but after a time, I see that the Scripture is there to thoroughly furnish us, the answer is there if we will search, and declare His whole counsel, or at least that is how I see it.
Skubala….. John O, I love learning new things, so now I do not have to say bull poo poo, I can say skubala. 🙂
Thanks John – No wonder as of last year, the great teacher and Greek scholar, Mike Cocoris holds this view (I am serious – In my opinion Mike is the most gifted teacher of our generation.) Chafer/Dallas Seminary takes precedence above the bible. I’m learning a lot on this web site. Like someone said here – Simplicity doesn’t sell books and make people famous.
(BTW, I looked it up and fund out that I misspelled “skubala”)
John O, the “mystery” is also taught by Bing:
God the Spirit convicts people of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11) by His revelation of the truth about Jesus Christ in the gospel (2 Cor 4:6). In this way God stirs people to respond and draws them to Himself (John 6:44), but in the end faith is a person’s own responsibility. It is not necessary here to harmonize this human side of salvation with the doctrine of divine election, but only to note that the Bible clearly teaches both, and a person must accept both whether or not the mystery can be fathomed. 201
201 For a good contemporary discussion, see John Feinberg, Norman Geisler, Bruce Reichenbach, and Clark Pinnock, Predestination & Free Will, eds. David Basinger and Randall Basinger (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986).
Lewis Sperry Chafer leaned Calvinist. The below quotes are from “Foreknowledge vs. Foreordination” by Chafer:
Nothing could be foreknown as certain that had not been made certain by foreordination, nor could anything be foreordained that was not foreknown…
the Scriptures declare that that which comes to pass is foreordained of God and not merely foreknown…
Referring again to passages already cited, it will be seen that God chose from the beginning those to be saved, and predestinated them to “belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13); and He chose some before the foundation of the world that they should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Eph. 1:4)…
Doubtless, multitudes of people cling to a conditional election lest they be forced to recognize the depravity of man.
Please note that I do not agree with either Bing or Chafer on these positions.
I think they say, “They WILL show they are saved by their works or they weren’t really elect.” Even worse is the idea that a person without free will sins. The only logical conclusion is that their false god made them sin – correct?
The scubala I get from these false teachers when we press them like you suggest is: “It’s a mystery.”
I was really disappointed when I went to Cocoris’ church and he gave that “scubalic” answer about pre-destination being a mystery. It’s not a mystery.
Doesn’t believing that God chooses some for salvation and some for damnation make Him into a god (little G)? We know that God is not respecter of persons. I hear all the time about Calvinists that have believed but what god are they believing in? The loving God that the Bible describes? If so then why do they say a person must show they are saved by their works or they weren’t really elect? So even their “faith” implies or includes works afterward.
Rachel, Satan loves to cause doubts in us. His wiles come wrapped up in “church speak”, in Bible verses taken out of context, in cleverly twisted definitions of words (like repentance), and in the smiling faces of kindly looking people.
Be strong in the Lord!
 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
One of my Bible studies was regarding Jewish roots, and I did also attempt to teach the covenants to a Bible study i have online. Having run into several sects of Hebrew roots, Calvinists, replacement/supercessionists, I’ve refreshed myself on many things. Most people do not really even understand Abraham was not Jewish. And the covenant made with mankind started with the first sin and the promise of the Seed to come. Many churches have blended some of the OT covenants into their teachings and some maybe just haven’t connected enough dots for people to grasp the differences. Some are replacement theology without even knowing what it means. Melchizedek…. the only King and Priest both, who was before the Levitical priesthood, and Jesus after the order of Melchizedek. And here we are, a royal priesthood. Some hyperdivide that to mean only those of the circumcision that Peter was the apostle to (I would disagree), but in Revelation, we the church are identified as Kings and priests to our God 🙂
I do much better walking on water (doing the impossible) by trying to keep my eyes on Him. Hope that all made sense… In Him.
I can’t express completely how encouraged I am to see your view of Jewish Law. Many so-called Christians think that Christianity is related to the Mosaic Law and somehow modern Israel is related to the Church. Nonsense! (I hope that I don’t ave to prove it from Scripture on this forum.)
We are of the religion of Melchizedek/Abraham which existed before, during, and after the Temple/Law in Israel.
Cal, i do believe it makes a difference for many reasons, since Calvinism teaches that regeneration precedes their ‘faith’, they can never really just ‘believe’ the gospel. Their doctrine requires them to wait to see if they were the elect, and whether or not they can actually believe. It is why they cannot really ‘know’ whether they have eternal life. They have not believed God’s testimony of His Son and have made Him a liar.
The most I have heard them suggest someone do is ‘pray for faith’ since they teach faith is the actual gift, vs. eternal life being the gift, available to ALL who will believe. Christ is the Saviour of the whole world, not just the elect, so that is another issue. If you don’t have the facts of the gospel straight, if you do not understand the gift you receive is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, how can you believe it? The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, not being born again before belief. That is a lie straight from the enemy. I sure hope some have come to believe the simple gospel, but I am afraid they have trusted in the excellency of speech and wisdom of words preached by some of these wolves.
Christ died not just for the elect, but He actually bought even the false prophets who would deny Him. They have a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.
Cal, I suppose some Calvinists believed the gospel at some point. However, the Bible describes eternal life as the gift of God. In order for something to be a gift, it has to be freely offered and freely accepted. If it is imposed upon someone, it is not a gift. It is an imposition. In other words, if one is not free to accept or reject something, it cannot be a gift.
Accordingly, Calvinism is antithetical to the gospel.
rachel I am encouraged to see the Holy Spirit guiding you into Truth .
What sounds appealing is some take grace to the point that we are no longer sinners .
True In Christ as being born again we are saints. But we still retain are sin nature. There is no reformation for the Old man ( sin nature) God only deals with the new man who does not sin.
Religion constantly tries to resurrect the Old man and neglects nurturing and strengthening our identity of who we are in Christ.
it is in our nature to have an aversion to God’s grace thinking we can fix it like Adam and Eve went for the fig leaves to cover up most false doctrine prays on our natural aversion to Grace.
below is a passage of scripture to read you should read all of chapter 2. This is were the KJV protects a very special Truth were others fail.
Its the Faith “Of” Christ that keeps us eternally secure
“believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ”
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.
Gal 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
hi john, yes but from the earthly realm it makes no difference whether by force or by will. to be saved one must make a decision regardless, and the calvinists have made that decision.
John O, I am glad to see you identify John MacArthur’s god as a little ‘g’.
Some friends and I were sitting chatting last night, about how the god of Calvinism is there to blaspheme the way of truth. He hates and has a murderous heart as did some of his most devoted disciples, Luther and Calvin. There’s indeed is the self-righteousness that comes from the law, and as their predecessors the Pharisees, they stand in disdain in the marketplace of those who do not do the same ‘wonderful works’ they do.
Rachel, there is a different law, we never were under the law. The law of Moses was given to Israel, and of course as we know, we have a change of priesthood. The new covenant, was not according to the Old Covenant. The law was added because of transgressions, but Jesus came to take away our sins. The Mosaic law is indivisible, not just 10 commandments, otherwise we’d also be compelled to keep the feasts that were unfulfilled, and we are not. Those are the feasts of Israel.
The only thing I’d suggest, is we do not ‘keep the law’. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for those of us who believe. We were never commanded to keep the law (Acts 15), but now that we have the Lord dwelling within our hearts (Eph 3:17), we are able to live with no condemnation (another thing the law does).
We are now under law God in the inward man, the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Rom 7-8; Gal 6:2).
A true Calvinist would say that God compels those He has elected to faith. Under that flawed thinking, the elected would never have to make a decision. It would be made for him.
whether calvinist or not, it does not change the fact that one needs to make a decision to believe the gospel
That really helped John and Preston. I totally get it. But when other people start wording things and making them sound like truth, I can easily get confused. I left the group on fb. Preston, great explanation on how sin is transgression of the law, so if you aren’t sinning then you are keeping the law and no flesh is justified by that. Therefore turning from sin is keeping the law. I think people mix eternal salvation with walking /deliverance from sin. Eternal salvation is permanent and has nothing to do with how we walk here on earth. It is solely by Jesus and what he did for us and to enter into that eternal salvation the only requirement is belief/faith. Then after that, walking with God depends on us yielding to the holy spirit and not grieving the holy spirit.
Good day Rachel,
as soon as one believes the gospel, they are sealed.
Eph 1:13-14 – 3 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,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Can a “sealed” believe grieve the Holy Spirit? YES
Eph 4:30 – And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye ARE SEALED unto the day of redemption.
No turning from sin is required. 1 John defines “sin” as – transgression of the LAW. Thus, if it is required THEN one has to keep the LAW (or keep it better). This puts a person “under the LAW” and NOT under grace.
1. Galations calls this “another gospel”, a “perverted gospel” and “frustrating grace”
2. Rom 3:20-28 ends with – 8 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith WITHOUT the deeds of the law.
3. Acts 15 – there was a big dispute about this. it concludes in Acts 15:24 – Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, AND keep the law: to whom we gave NO SUCH COMMANDMENT
4. Philippians calls the law having you own righteousness – 3:9 – nd be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith
HOWEVER, the born again believer SHOULD try to keep the LAW as best they can BECAUSE OF salvation. This was written to the “carnal” church at Corinth – 6:20 – 20 For ye ARE BOUGHT with a price: THEREFORE glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Your faithfulness and work will be rewarded.
Salvation – FREE
Rewards – EARNED
Hope this helped.
Rachel, turning from sin is not a requirement to receive eternal life. If it were, then eternal life would not be a gift – it would be a trade. Jesus paid our sin debt, leaving us nothing to pay. The Bible never says that we must turn from sin to receive the free gift of eternal life.
I would not assume that those who espouse MacArthur’s beliefs are Christians. Some may have believed the gospel and trusted in Christ at one point. If so, they received eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. However, they don’t believe the gospel now.
Great article. I needed to hear that. As I have finally realized how salvation is a free gift. I am so amazed by God’s grace. I still struggle though as I can get easily troubled and confused. I’ve heard so many Christians saying exactly what someone else posted from John Macarthur, that apart of God’s grace is him working our heart to convict of sin and turn from it and that this is the work of God not of ourselves. That this is required at time of salvation. But I know better. If this were the case, then we still are involved because we would respond and yield to the Holy Spirit to turn from sin, etc. What does anyone else think?
For Galatians, JMac says a that Paul is referring to “works of human effort” such as circumcision.
“The doctrine of salvation is very clear. God saves us through faith, not human effort. But part of god’s gracious work is to bring us to repentance, confession, and submission to the lordship of Christ.”(Justified by Faith. p.6)
The items below are all JMac’s god’s doing and not human effort: “[JMac’s] god produces submission in me through his gracious act of salvation” (Ibid. p.6) including:
Who will give up everything they have to get salvation. they both gave up everything to purchase redemption. (Parables of the Kingdom. p. 21)
[Giving] All you have, all you possess (Sermon: How to Obtain Eternal Life. 1983)
[Giving] All they are for all that he [“god”] is. (Sermon: Is Yours A Demon Faith? 1987)
A person must exchange his sin and self-will for Christ’s leadership. (ibid p.110)
It isn’t only believe. It’s believe and confess Jesus as Lord. (Sermon: Israel’s Failure. 1984)
Too long to quote: JMac says that his god produces as part of saving faith:
fruit, obedience, love for god, surrender, commitment sorrow & mourning over sin, confession, etc, etc
I wonder who these works salvation teachers think paul is talking about in galations 5:12
Thank you to all my cyber brothers and sisters in Christ here at expreacherman I have been growing in Grace and encourage in the “Truth of the Gospel”
Thanks to each of you for your wonderful comments on John’s very important subject, Grace!!.
We often forget:
“ALL MEN..” As that Grace appears, so many, distort, ignore, laugh at, put down, explain away and otherwise demean God’ Grace.
Because God’s Grace appears to all does not mean that all understand it. That is the privilege we have as believers, using God’s Word to explain that everywhere-present Grace.
We see those ultra popular false teachers like John MacArthur take the word and the very concept of Grace and turn it into an ever tightening and painful torture rack — in his effort to make his blind followers conform to his distorted idea of grace.
Once Grace is understood, it must be acted upon or appropriated by our individual faith decision to believe in/trust The Provider of Grace, The Savior, Jesus Christ.
We do that by proclaiming the Gospel:
We have a real challenge to use God’s Word, as Holly so often quotes, “to Prove all things” to those who inquire about God’s Grace.
We are grateful for each of you and your input here at ExP. We pray for all of you that you are encouraged as you share God’s salvation by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
I’m glad to hear both sides clearly agree where the difference is between the two religions. That’s where we need to allocate our resources and win souls. … Keep it simple.
Thank you John.
Well put together. On point Scriptures along with explanation! Clear & too the point. Grace,it’s all about Grace. We are saved by Grace not of works.
I just don’t understand how anyone can chose works over Grace when the Word of God makes it’s soo clear : Grace not works ( Ephesians 2:8-9 )
They just have to add to Christ’s finish work on the cross! They think salvation can’t possibly be that simple. It’s missing something! Just maybe if we add a little of this & a little of that….. They soo missed it! Grace is what saves you & Grace is what Jesus gives you once you’re saved to remind you of His love, kindness, & mercy for you inspite of you! Oh how sweet! Thank you Jesus! Maybe one day they will truly have that Grace experience where they will say like some others ” Wow Lord! You didn’t give me what I deserved, & You still love me! Yes even me! You also blessed me even though I’ve done wrong! Ok Lord now I understand it’s not about me, never was & never will be & it’s All about your Glory! Also for those who are’nt saved & trusting in their good work, etc. their hearts will be open to the Gospel & relalize Christ Paid it all, finished once & for all! Past, present, & future sins! Thank you Jesus for your GRACE!”
Curtis, btw, I like your comment… may the Lord keep our lips pure in delivering the gospel, so we do not taint the good news, the power of God unto salvation!
Fryingpan9… yes it is exactly that, tragic…. but, may the truth set some free…
John O – thanks for sharing that quote by MacArthur. I have seen him say those things in his sermons too. He uses manipulatory statements to herd you where he wants you to go. And he has a pattern in his sermons too, he sounds Biblical up front, and he tightens the noose a little bit at a time. I usually hop to the back of his sermons to get to the bottom line. There you can pretty easily see his error through all the camouflage he paints first.
Interesting about that comment, but it is the one they actually usually use. They ask that same question, except a couple little changes.
“If someone ‘says’ they believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and never turn from any sin, nor does even one good work, you expect him to get into heaven?”
Speaking of JMac, I was in a very large used book store yesterday. Their Christianity section had some marked specifically for “High Demand” and more specifically by author last name. The first name in that section was MacArthur.
Great piece! Thanks John.
I believe that the article gives the key to reasoning (Acts 17:2) with someone seeking truth: “If someone believes in Jesus Christ as Savior and never turns from any sin, nor does even one good work, would he get into heaven?” (BTW This is the first time I’ve read/heard anyone in addition to me say this.)
JMac: “You must agonize to enter the gate-it is the hard way. However, a false prophet doesn’t teach that. He says, “All you have to do is believe in Jesus.” (Which way to Heaven, p. 46) “The doctrine of salvation in Scripture is very clear. God saves us by grace through faith, not human effort. But part of God’s gracious work is to bring us to repentance, confession, and submission to the lordship of Christ.”(ibid. p.6) “When a person is truly exercising exercising saving faith, I believe, there is a great love for God in his heart.”(ibid p.81)
NO, NO, NO! In fact, there is a great fear of Hell and selfishness to escape Hell is in a man’s heart when a perspon is exercising saving faith. An unregenerate man cannot do anything pleasing to God.
So, the key to reasoning is to show that JMac’s requirements are works of the Law. It is irrelevant whether his god does these things or a person does these things.
We are justified APART from works of the Law (Rom 3:28).
Magnificent article, John. Thank you for your work. It’s very thorough and useful in bolstering our understanding of the doctrine of salvation.
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.
a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative (ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary)
a diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by a government to represent it on a temporary mission, as for negotiating a treaty.
a diplomatic official serving as permanent head of a country’s mission to the United Nations or some other international organization.
an authorized messenger or representative. Abbreviation: Amb., amb.
Pro 13:17 A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
I hope and Pray God give me the words to speak clearly the treaty that has been declared sins paid for by the precious blood of Jesus by Grace.
The Cross changes everything. Buy Grace we are saved
I pray I would not stand up in front of a microphone or anywhere else and condemn sinners of whom I am as well. for all already are condemned who have not believed.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
BUT make much of the blood of Jesus
The Benham Brothers I pray would learn from their error in condemning sinners and grasp the ” Truth of the Gospel. They graduated from liberty university that proclaims (LS) on their doctrinal statement.
That whole situation could of been avoided and they would still have that HGTV shoe in show . Their community service and business model are commendable .
It is hard for me to believe that they didn’t know better than to condemn people as public businessmen.
I think that people have trouble understanding that God looks at our salvation in eternity. It’s already done, we’re already seated in heavenly places. We are sealed and await the redemption of our bodies, but we are already His. These people tend to look at the temporal and think of before, during and after. When God translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son, He already knew the end from the beginning, it is done. So He does not deliver us from darkness into light, to pass us back into darkness.
They need to understand to put something in front of or in back of the gospel is still adding to the gospel. They have corrupted the simplicity that is in Christ.
I sometimes think of the gospel like a camel in this respect; it does not matter whether you put a burden in front of the hump, or in back of the hump, or on top of it, it is still a burden that is not meant to be there regarding the gospel. Whether they have meant to or not, the simple truth is, they have added to the gospel, and they have corrupted the simplicity that is in Christ. They will either burden the believer and bewitch them into attempting to finish in the flesh, or worse, they have muddied the truth, and the lost will not understand the free gift of salvation, and will stay lost… God will hold them accountable either way.
This is an excellent, Biblical exposition of God’s Amazing (though so often misunderstood) Grace.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack