We receive a lot of e-mail and comments with questions about Biblical passages that have been twisted by Lordship “salvationists” to try to prove, or bolster, their false gospels of salvation by works. Following are some actual questions we have received, summaries of multiple questions on the same topic, or answers to false doctrine we have read or heard in other contexts.
Pleas note that this is not a complete list – it is a work in progress, which we plan to add to over time. There seems to be no limit to the innovation with which Lordship “salvationists” try to prove their false religion of salvation by works. Misuse of scripture is one of their favorite tools, but they will augment that approach with stories, yarns, and inappropriate analogies.
Do not expect that most ardent Lordship “salvationists” will be swayed by any of this, nor should you be disheartened when they are not. The basic problem for Lordship “salvationists” is they do not believe the gospel. This is not to say they never did – some are eternally secure believers who have adopted false doctrine. It is to say the they do not believe the gospel now.
We have changed the format to an exciting new Interactive search which, as we increase the number of references, will make finding the verse and explanation you desire much easier.
* Place your cursor over the Footnote number in the bracket on the right of the address. Click and it will Jump to the verse in question. Ex [x]
Follow the same procedure to jump back to the original reference verse by clicking the bracketed Footnote number on the left of the explained verse.
1 Corinthians 4:5
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
1 Corinthians 15:2
2 Corinthians 5:17
2 Corinthians 7:9-11
2 Corinthians 13:5
1 John 3:9
1 John 4:20
 Ezekiel 36:26
 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Question: Does Ezekiel 36:26 teach that all real Christians, once they have received the Holy Spirit and a new sinless nature, will no longer have the old nature with which to contend? In other words, this verse seems to say that a Christian will always want to serve God, because he has received a new heart.
Answer: This passage refers to the perfected Nation of Israel. If we look at it in context, this becomes clear:
 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Christians have a new, sinless nature, that is incapable of sin, as is made clear by many passages, including:
Matthew 7:18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
1 John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
However, the Bible is clear that the old nature will be resident with Christians until death or rapture. If it were not so, then it would not even be possible to manifest the lusts of the flesh. We know, from both experience and scripture, that all Christians continue to sin to some extent. We see this clearly in the following verse:
Galatians 5:17: For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
 Matthew 6:14-15
 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Question: I once heard a baptist pastor on TBN say that a christian who doesn’t forgive is probably not forgiven himself by the Lord because if he was truly saved (forgiven), then he would also forgive. What is your opinion on this?
Answer: An unforgiving Christian may not experience as intimate a fellowship with God, but his failure to forgive does not remove God’s one-time judicial decree that the believer’s sins have been fully paid for by the atonement provided by Jesus.
Think about it. If someone had wronged you, and you had not yet forgiven him 5 minutes later and you were to die right then and there, would you still be saved?
No matter what these guys say, if it doesn’t line up with God’s Word it isn’t true.
 Matthew 7:16
 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Question: Does Matthew 7:16 mean that you can tell real Christians by the way they act?
Answer: No. Matthew 7:16 refers to false prophets. Their “fruits” are not their behavior. Their fruits are their words, and the words of their “converts.”
Matthew 23:15: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
If you read on to Matthew 7:18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
This is absolute. A good tree (the new man, born of God) CANNOT bring forth evil fruit. Similarly, 1 John 3:9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Again, the new man does not commit ANY sin.
But, a Christian’s behavior is both good and bad (being short of perfect). Therefore, “fruit” in Matthew 7:16 cannot possibly refer to behavior.
 Matthew 7:21-23
 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Question: Does this passage mean that that people who are not faithful and obedient to Christ prove by their behavior that they are not true believers?
Answer: No. This passage refers to people who are trusting in their works – either in whole, or in part – to get into heaven.
These people recognize Jesus as Lord. They tout their works as the reason they should get into heaven. They are not thrown into hell because of sinful lifestyles, or lack of sufficient good works. No, they are condemned because they have not believed in Jesus as Savior. Please note that Jesus did not refute their claims of good works. They were not His, because they did not believe.
 Matthew 10:32-33
 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Question: I had a question on what is the best response to those who use Matthew 10:32&33 as a tool for telling a lost person to be saved?
I can remember a youth pastor years ago had everybody come up and confess Christ because he said if we didn’t, then we aren’t completely saved.
Answer: I would simply ask your pastor (or others that think that publicly confessing Christ is required in order to receive the free gift of eternal life) how they can arrive at that conclusion when so many other passages clearly say that anyone who BELIEVES in Jesus as Savor has eternal life.
You might also ask them to explain John 12:42-43:
 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:  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. These people who believed on him had already received eternal life. There is no such thing as not being “completely saved.” Receiving eternal life is a gift that happens the moment one believes in Jesus as Savior. Eternal life cannot be earned (by publicly confessing Christ), anymore than it could be purchased with money, by performing good deeds, etc. The only thing that could take away our sin was the death that Jesus paid on our behalf.
When someone believes in Jesus as Savior, they are at that moment declared “not guilty” of any sin they committed (that covers sins committed in the past, present, and future).
Confessing Christ is essential in being identified with Christ, being an obedient disciple, and having close fellowship with Him. But, it is not required to receive the free gift of eternal life.
When Jesus says He will deny the person who denies Him, he means that He will not commend him at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Such a person cannot expect to hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” at the Judgment. But, he still is saved.
 Matthew 19:16-24
 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Question: Was Jesus telling the young man in this passage that he had to give up his money in order to have eternal life?
Answer: No. Jesus told the young man in this passage that he must be perfect to enter into heaven. In verse 17, Jesus says: “…if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
Of course, Jesus knew that the young man had not – and could not – keep the commandments. Therefore, the young man needed another approach to receiving eternal life. He was trusting in his self-righteousness, which Jesus unmasked. The young man needed to trust in the righteousness of Christ for eternal life. In verse 17, Jesus asked the young man: “… Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God:” The young man did not know that Jesus was God.
The Bible is clear that understanding and believing in the deity of Christ is essential to believing in Him as Savior. This is made clear in John 8:24: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
 Luke 3:8
 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Question: What are the “fruits of repentance” to which John the Baptist is referring in this verse?
Answer: None. There is no such thing as “fruits of repentance” in the Bible. The verse says “fruits worthy of repentance.” This may sound like mincing words, but it’s not. Fruits of repentance would mean that fruits AUTOMATICALLY follow repentance. They don’t. That’s why the people asked John the Baptist what they should do.
 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
The object of repentance in this verse is the mistaken belief held by some of the people who had come to be baptized (the Pharisees and Sadducees – see Matthew 3:7) that their Jewish ancestry would save them. That is why Luke 3:8 says: “…and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father…”
 Luke 8:12-15
 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Question: Which groups of people in the parable of the Sower represent saved people?
Answer: The first group (Luke 8:12) represents unsaved people. The other three groups (Luke 8:13-15) represent eternally secure believers, with varying degrees of faithfulness. The Bible is clear that anyone who believes in Christ as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. Those people represented by soils 2-4 all believed in Jesus.
 Luke 9:23-24
 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Question: Does Luke 9:23-24 teach that someone must take up his cross daily and follow Christ in order to receive eternal life?
Answer: No. Being a committed follower of Christ is not a requirement for receiving eternal life. If it were, then salvation would be by faith plus works. The Bible teaches that salvation is by grace, through faith in Christ.
Romans 11:6 makes this clear: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Being a disciple is costly. Those who follow Jesus must give up living for themselves. Following Jesus is the wise course for believers. Failure to do so will result in a wasted life, rather than the abundant life that God desires for His children.
 John 5:28-29
 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Question: These verses seem to teach that Christians are people who have a pattern of having done good things in their lives, whereas non-believers are people characterized by having done evil things in their lives. How does this comport with salvation by grace through faith in Christ?
Answer: The reason the dead in Christ are described as “good,” is that their new nature is completely sinless. They are righteous and without sin in God’s eyes, by virtue of having Christ’s imputed righteousness.
The people that are described as having “done evil” have only filthy rags. Because they have not believed in Jesus as Savior, they have not been born again. They are still dead in their trespasses and sins, and are not acceptable to God for entrance into His Kingdom.
 John 14:12
 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Question: In an attempt by a friend of mine to claim that a Christian will have a changed behavior, he quoted John 14:12. I can’t seem to give a good answer. Any help?
Answer: John 14:12 is part of a wonderful passage in which Jesus is telling the disciples about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that will happen after He has gone to the Father.
John 14:16-18 makes this clear:
 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
It should be obvious to anyone reading John 14:12 that the verse cannot be interpreted to mean that “real Christians will bear fruit.”
Let’s break it down:
John 14:12: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
To what works is Jesus referring? His miracles? That doesn’t seem likely. The Apostles performed some miracles in Acts, but they were certainly not greater than those performed by Jesus. Was He referring to bringing others to faith in Him? This could be, because through the preaching of the Apostles and those who came after them, more people became believers than did so during Jesus’ earthly ministry. Does this mean that every individual believer will do the works that Jesus did, and do greater works than Jesus did? I don’t think so.
Also, other scriptural passages speak of the possibility of eternally secure believers being barren and unfruitful.
2 Peter 1:5-8:
 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 John 8:30-32
 As he spake these words, many believed on him.
 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.
Question: Does John 8:30-32 mean that all “true believers” will be disciples?
Answer: No, this passage teaches quite the opposite. Once someone believes, he is a “true believer.” The Bible never once mentions any other kind of believer.
This passage sometimes confuses people, because Jesus is addressing two different groups of people:
- Those who believe in Him (see John 8:30-32)
- Those who do not believe in Him (for example, see John 8:45-46)
 John 10:27
 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Question: Does John 10:27 mean that all people who believe in Jesus will follow Him in discipleship?
Answer: No. “Follow” in this context means to believe in Jesus as the way to eternal life.
John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 10:25 provides a contrast to John 10:27, as the people Jesus is addressing do not believe in Him and are not His sheep:
John 10:25: Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
 Acts 2:38
 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Question: Does Acts 2:38 prove that you have to be sorry for your sins and turn from them in order to be saved?
Answer: No. Peter was speaking to the Jews about their rejection of Jesus. They had been complicit in His crucifixion, which could not be undone. So, in this case, there is no sin to turn from. They simply needed to repent (change their minds) about who Christ is (God) and what He did for them (paid the full price for their sins). And, being baptized for the remission of sins means that once they believe, they should be baptized, not in order to become saved, but as a testimony of their belief.
 Romans 7:22-23
 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Question: I thought all sins started from the mind, or heart. Romans 7:22-23 seems to say that anyone who is a real Christian will always want to do the right thing in his mind, but that his body “members” won’t cooperate. Does this passage teach that real Christians will always want to obey God, but can’t?
Answer: No. The “inward man” and the “law of my mind” in this passage refer to the new nature of a Christian that is sinless and incapable of sin. The “members” refers to the flesh nature (including sinful thoughts and actions) that does not go away when one becomes a Christian.
 Romans 8:12-13
 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.
Question: Does Romans 8:12-13 mean that only Christians who mortify the deeds of the body will get into heaven?
Answer: No. If it did, it would contradict the many clear passages of scripture that teach that all Christians have received eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.
The “death” referred to in Romans 8:12-13 refers to failure in the Christian life. And sin, fully developed, can result in abject failure in the lives of believers, and even premature physical death. We see this in the following passage from James 1:15-16:
 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
But, there is never the threat of loss of eternal life for anyone who has ever trusted in Christ as Savior.
 Romans 10:9-15
 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Question: Romans 10:9-15 seems to say that believing in Jesus AND confessing Him are required in order to be saved. This seems to contradict the many passages in the Bible that say that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ. Is confessing Christ (verses 9 and 10) required in order to receive eternal life?
Calling on the name of the Lord (verse 13)? Both?
Answer: No. No. No. The Bible says repeatedly that whoever believes in Jesus Christ as Savior has eternal life. Neither calling on the name of the Lord or confessing Christ are additional requirements for receiving eternal life.
The confusion comes from the errant assumption that the word “saved” in the Bible always refers to receiving eternal life. There are many places in the Bible (such as Romans 10:9-15, Matthew 10:22 and James 5:20) in which the word “saved” has nothing to do with receiving eternal life.
Why would God park additional requirements for receiving eternal life in the middle of Romans, and fail to mention them anywhere else in scripture?
We know that confessing Christ is not required in order to receive eternal life from John 12:42-43:
 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:
 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Here, we can see that these men believed on Him (Jesus Christ), which always results in eternal life. But, they did not confess Him.
In Romans 10:10, we see that someone believes unto righteousness. That means he is declared not guilty of his sins. He has eternal life from that moment on. He is not required to confess Christ in order to receive eternal life again. So, the words “saved” and “salvation” in this passage clearly cannot have to do with receiving eternal life.
Once someone has received eternal life, by Grace, through faith in Christ alone, he may confess Christ and pray to God for deliverance from trials, temptations, physical danger, etc. But, neither confessing Christ nor calling on the name of the Lord is required to receive eternal life.
We see this same concept in Romans 10:13-15, in which the Apostle Paul speaks of this process, rhetorically, in reverse order.
Here is the chronological order:
- A preacher is sent – verse 15 (except they be sent)
- He preaches – verse 15 (how shall they preach)
- The unbeliever hears – verse14 (how shall they hear)
- The hearer believes, and is therein justified – verse 14 (how shall they believe)
- The believer calls on the name of the Lord – verse 14 (how then shall they call on him)
One does not receive eternal life through faith in Christ and any additional conditions, such as confessing Christ or calling on the name of the Lord. One receives eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
 I Corinthians 4:5
 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
Question: Does 1 Corinthians 4:5 mean that every Christian will have works, or bear fruit?
Answer: No. This verse means that faithful Christians will receive praise from God, and so they should not be concerned with the praise of men, which is fallible.
There are other passages that say (or imply) that spiritual fruitfulness is conditional and that some people may have little –or nothing – worthy of praise or reward in their Christian lives.
Consider the following passages:
1 Corinthians 3:12-15:
 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.
2 Corinthians 5:10:
 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Questions: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 seems to say that people who commit serious sins, or whose lives have a pattern of serious sin, won’t go to heaven. Does this mean that true believers won’t commit these sins, or at least that they won’t have a pattern of any of these sins in their lives?
Answer: No. The passage means that people who are not in Christ (that is, who have never trusted in Christ as Savior) will not get into heaven. They are condemned because they have never believed in Jesus, not because they have committed these sins. Christ paid for all of our sins, past, present, and future, including the ones listed in this passage.
 1 Corinthians 15:2
 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
Question: Does 1 Corinthians 15:2 mean that we have to maintain our faith in order to remain saved? Does it mean if we don’t, that we have believed in vain?
Answer. No and no. This passage is part of a vigorous defense of the resurrection of the dead by the Apostle Paul.
There were apparently those among the Corinthians who were beginning to deviate from the truth of the gospel, as we see in 1 Corinthians 15:12:
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
The central thesis is that if the dead in Christ will not be raised, that means that Christ Himself was not raised from the dead. And, if Christ was not raised from the dead, then our faith is in vain.
But, Paul reminds them emphatically that Christ died for our sins AND was raised from the dead, in fulfillment of the scriptures. He reminds them that Christ was buried, and that the resurrected Christ was witnessed by hundreds of people, including Paul himself.
In verses 8-10, Paul discusses his spiritual birth, his call to apostleship, and his work as an apostle.
In verse 11, he reminds the Corinthians that whether they heard the message from him, or through the ministry of one of the other apostles, that they had heard, and believed, the right message.
1 Corinthians 15:11: Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
So, Paul is telling the Corinthians that they did not believe in vain, because Christ is our risen Savior! He is not telling them that they will lose their eternal life if they stop believing this. He is telling them they will be bereft of any power for Christian living if they stop believing this central tenet of the faith.
 2 Corinthians 5:17
 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Question: Does this verse mean that whoever has believed in Christ as Savior will have an instantaneous change, in which their mind receives a holy disposition, their will is subdued, and their affections are changed from a love of sin and self to a love of holiness and God?
Answer: No. The affections of a saved person are not automatically changed from a love of sin and self to a love of holiness and God. Changing our way of thinking to line up with God’s way of thinking takes our cooperation, as Romans 12:2 makes so clear:
Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by a renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 means that whoever has received eternal life through faith in Christ has been regenerated, resulting in the creation of a new man who is a sinless, incorruptible child of God.
This new man is a result of the second birth, a spiritual birth, which all who possess eternal life have undergone. The flesh nature, which is neither good, nor righteous, does not go away when we are born again. That results in a conflict between the flesh and the spirit, which will continue until we die, or are raptured. We are instructed to walk in the newness of life (Romans 6:4), to put on the new man (Ephesians 4:24), and to walk in the spirit (Galatians 5:16 and 25) so that we can manifest the fruits of the spirit (which are good things) and not the works of the flesh (which are evil).
 2 Corinthians 7:9-11
 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
Question: Doesn’t 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 prove that one has to be sorry for his sins in order to be saved?
Answer: No. This passage has to do with Christians repenting (changing their minds) about tolerance for sinful behavior in their fellowship. Paul makes it clear in verse 11 that the consequence of their repentance is that they have become “clear in this matter.” In other words, the consequence of their repentance, in this case, had nothing to do with receiving eternal life through faith in Christ.
 2 Corinthians 13:5
 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Question: What does it mean by examining oneself to see if whether one is still in the faith, does it mean that a person could falsely believe he is saved while not really saved. Am asking for i heard many people including my own pastor who denies eternal security teach that a Christian can lose his/her salvation through excessive sin.
Answer: The verse to which you are referring (2 Corinthians 13:5) is often misused in the way that your pastor is misusing it.
This entire passage is one of Paul defending his apostleship.
“Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.”
Basically, verse 5 means something like:
“You became saved through the word that I preached. Since you are saved, it should be obvious that Christ is speaking through me – what other proof do you need?”
I would choose another church.
 Galatians 5:19-21
 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Question: Does Galatians 5:19-21 teach that people who commit these sins will not get into heaven?
Answer: No. This passage teaches that these works of the flesh will be manifested in the lives of Christians if they choose to not walk in the Spirit.
The people referred to as “they” in this passage are unbelievers. They will not inherit the kingdom of God (go to heaven), because they have not believed in Jesus as Savior.
People who are not Christians cannot walk in the Spirit, because they have never received the Spirit.
 Galatians 6:7-8
 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Question: Does Galatians 6:7-8 mean that people who sow to the flesh will not go to heaven?
Answer: No. This passage teaches the law of sowing and reaping. There are consequences for everything we do, even as Christians. If we sow to the flesh, we will not enjoy the abundant life that God has in store for us in this life. And, as Christians, we will all be judged for what we have done, and rewarded accordingly. We see this in the following verse:
2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
 Ephesians 2:10
 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Question: Does Ephesians 2:10 prove that all Christians WILL do good works?
Answer: No. Ephesians 2:10 says that all Christians SHOULD do good works. And we should. It is not that we MUST – that would be works for salvation. And it is not that we WILL – that would be Calvinism (perseverance of the saints). It is we SHOULD – and we should. SHOULD is the only word that is consistent with grace.
We see, elsewhere in scripture, that Christians are exhorted to good works. If good works were automatic, those exhortations would be unnecessary. One example:
Titus 3:8: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
 Ephesians 5:3-6
 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Question: Does Ephesians 5:3-6 teach that people who commit these sins will not go to heaven?
Answer: No. This passage, similar to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Galatians 5:19-21, means that people who are not in Christ (who have not received eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone) will not get into heaven.
This passage, like the similar passages in 1 Corinthians and Galatians, is an exhortation to Christians to live in a manner worthy of their position in Christ. We see this clearly, if we continue reading:
 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
 Philippians 1:6
 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Question: Does Philippians 1:6 guarantee that believers will become progressively conformed to Christlikeness?
Answer: No. Paul is referring to the Philippian’s financial support for his ministry, not their practical sanctification. His statement is not a guarantee that their partnership will continue, but an expression of his confidence.
 Philippians 3:18-19
 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Question: Who are the people described in Philippians 3:18-19? Are they believers who lose their salvation through sin? Are they false professors who show, by their behavior, that they are not true believers?
Answer. There are at least two interpretations that are consistent with grace.
The first is that it is referring to non-believers, who preach a false gospel of religion (salvation by works, and the necessary demonstration of religious trappings).
The second is that it is referring to believers whose minds are set on earthly (that is religious), as opposed to heavenly things.
Verses 17 is helpful for immediate context:
 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
Verses 18 and 19 are parenthetical contrasts to those who conduct themselves in the manner in which Paul conducts himself. These are people who are absorbed with the trappings of religiosity.
The destruction, of which Paul speaks in verse 19, could be one of two things. If non-believers are in view, it would refer to eternal judgment. If believers are in view, it would pertain to a wasted life and loss of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
This passage is also somewhat reminiscent of statements Jesus makes in Matthew about avoiding fleshly displays of religiosity, meant to impress other people.
Matthew 6:2-4: Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Matthew 6:19-21: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
 Colossians 1:23
 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Question: Does Colossians 1:23 teach that one must maintain his faith in order to keep his eternal life?
Answer: No. Colossians 1:23 admonishes Christians to remain grounded in Christ, so that they will be presented in a favorable way at the Judgment Seat of Christ (verse 28). The conversation continues well into Chapter 2, with the following:
 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
And, what are they to beware of? Being beguiled (tricked) out of their reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ (see Colossians 2:4, 18). In Colossians 3:2, Paul exhorts the brethren to be focused on things above, not on things on the earth.
 Hebrews 6:4-6
 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Question: Does Hebrews 6:4-6 teach that a believer in Christ can lose his salvation?
Answer: No. First of all, Hebrews is written to eternally secure believers in Christ. We know that the Bible is clear that anyone who believe in Jesus as Savior is sealed by the Holy Spirit unto redemption.
 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed,ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
So, when it says in Hebrews 6:4-6 that it is impossible to renew someone to repentance, I think it means that no one can come to a saving faith in Christ more than once.
If someone could come to a saving faith in Christ more than once, then the clear Biblical doctrine of eternal security for the believer in Christ would be contradicted.
Hebrews 6:7-8 compares and contrasts the blessings and eternal rewards for faithful believers to the lack of blessings and loss of eternal rewards for those who fall away.
 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
The discussion of the Judgment Seat of Christ, at which all church-age believers will be judged, uses similar language to Hebrews 6:7-8.
1 Corinthians 3:14-15:
 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.
 Hebrews 12:14
 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Question: I have a question about Hebrews 12:14 in light of free grace. How is one to interpret that accurately? Particularly “holiness” and “see the Lord.”
Is holiness in this verse a practical holiness to avoid the discipline of the oncoming A.D. 70 judgement (ie. “see the Lord”)?
Answer: First, I don’t think Hebrews 12:14 pertains to the AD 70 judgment.
Second, I think it is entirely consistent with the rest of scripture, which teaches that eternal life is a gift, received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
My interpretation is that our personal holiness is an integral part of our fellowship with God during this lifetime. 2 Peter 1:9 refers to being spiritually blind, which would definitely impede seeing God. Note that 2 Peter, like Hebrews, is written to eternally secure believers.
Our holiness, or lack thereof, can influence other people. The Hebrew believers were at risk of “dropping out.” The steadfastness of believers was essential in encouraging other believers. In Hebrews 12:15, we see the negative of this.
In addition to the implications of personal holiness in our fellowship with God, and the influence we have on other believers, we also may influence non-believers to see God’s light in us (see Matthew 5:14-16).
 James 2:14-26
 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
 Yea, 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.
 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:
and he was called the Friend of God.
 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Question: Doesn’t James 2:14-26 say that anyone who doesn’t do good works isn’t really saved?
Answer: No. The Book of James was written to eternally secure believers to spur them to an active faith. You will find a good explanation of this in the booklet linked below.
 1 John 3:9
 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Question: Does 1 John 3:9 teach that true believers do not continue to live a sinful lifestyle?
Answer: No. 1 John 3:9 teaches that the new man (the regenerate nature) does not sin at all. The old man (the flesh nature) cannot be reformed, and is still sinful. The flesh nature may be subdued to the extent that we walk in the Spirit.
 1 John 4:20
 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Question: Does 1 John 4:20 mean that a true believer will always love other Christians?
Answer: No. When we love God, we will love those born of God. Loving God is not automatic in the life of a believer. If it were, we would not be exhorted to love one another.
1 John 4:11: Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
This verse tells us to love one another, because God so loved us.
1 John 5:1: Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
And, how do we know if we love God, and therefore other Christians?
1 John 5:2: By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.