By johninnc and Jack Weaver
We recently received an e-mail from a fellow grace believer who wants to spread the gospel to people with whom he comes into contact. Following are excerpts from the e-mail:
When l share the simple plan of salvation and they believe in Jesus to give them the gift of eternal life, what do l do with them to help them grow as christians. lt seems to me that if l send them to a church in my area, they will get this LS teaching…l know that l will have to have a fellowship in my home to encourage and also be encouraged, if you know of a web site that would teach new christians ” what’s my next step” i would love to know about it.
This is a great question. Many of us do not have a home church, and would not be comfortable steering anyone – much less a new believer – to any church that distorts the gospel in ANY way.
Before anyone begins looking for a church, he should be thoroughly grounded in the gospel.
In addition to the home fellowship that you suggested, below are some recommendations to help new believers grow in grace, and some things to avoid.
1. Suggest that they repeatedly read clear explantations of God’s plan of salvation. Such resources will remind them of the Biblical truth that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This will also reinforce the truths of eternal security and assurance for the believer in Christ.
We recommend two such resources at ExPreacherMan.
“The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea
Click to access the-gospel.pdf
“How to Be Sure You are Going to Heaven” by Dr. Thomas Cucuzza:
Click to access how-to-be-sure-you-are-going-to-heaven-with-cover.pdf
2. Have them learn to read God’s Word. Start by suggesting they read through the book of Galatians several times, one chapter per day. The book of Galatians is a defense of the gospel that will help new believers understand the nature of the attacks that they will face from the world of professing Christendom, and the Biblical response to those attacks.
3. Emphasize the importance of not looking to changes in our lives for assurance of salvation, nor to let the lack of sufficient changes in our lives undermine our assurance of salvation.
4. Suggest they read ExPreacherMan articles and comments.
5. Have them listen to online sermons from sources that you have evaluated and are convinced are reliable. We recommend Dr. Cucuzza’s sermons. See link below:
6. Warn them to avoid playing “Russian Roulette” with books, sermons, and websites that claim to be teaching Christianity. There is more bad teaching out there than good.
7. Make yourself available for questions – within reason. Some people will fail to do things they need to do to grow in grace, or will do things to undermine their faith (see number 6) and be pretty shaky. Challenge people to take an active role, and not just have you feed them.
8. Pray that God will provide for them, and for you, a church in which the gospel is taught clearly, consistently, and without contradiction. If you are unable to find a church, don’t despair. ExPreacherMan is available as a place for fellowship, discussion and encouragement for people who have church homes, as well as for those who don’t.
9. Let them know to never let down their guard and to maintain vigilance. Avoid any church where there is evidence of Calvinism or Lordship “salvation.” Many churches and pastors will claim to believe in grace, but their words will betray them. Consider the following from one false teaching mega-church:
From “Core Beliefs:
Those who put their faith alone in Christ for Salvation are children of God and heirs of eternal life.
From the Senior Pastor’s blog:
Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.
10. Tell them to share the good news with others.
Want to know the good news? Here it is: Good News!
Phil R. and Curtis, I understand…. I am thankful right now for my small local Bible study. Also for me, another issue is those professing to be grace who are now adding different things that are extremely concerning to me, one is the Outer Darkness teaching or Kingdom exclusion for believers, oddly they are almost always the ‘crossless gospel’ teachers. The other takes away multiple epistles from being appiclable to the church (Hebrews, James, 1-3 John, Revelation, and separates the Jewish believers from the Gentile believers as well as teaching there are somehow two gospels. So, always need to be on our guard, but He is faithful to help us, guide us, and bring His Word to our remembrance, and other like-minded believers to reason together with.
Yep Phil same here , the buzz word around here is “lifestyle change”
they all bypass the abiding in Christ identification Truths and fail to make distinctions between saved and lost. they also miss the gospel of the kingdom offered to the Jews vs the Gospel of Grace . I’m not presenting a kingdom but a crucified Savior Christ Jesus our Lord
for me when looking for a pulpit to be under iI ask the Pastor “our my sins paid for ” now if they studder , blink , or clear their throat before responding quickly with a YES
the last assembly i attended couple of times , Pastor accused me of using semantics and said that question can not be answered
a Calvinist or works oriented pulpit can not answer that question with a Yes
I’ve had so many churches try to torpedo my free grace beliefs that I am reluctant to get involved with any of them anymore. Seems they will always find some flaw in your beliefs. They all seem to have one thing in common: they will place a heavy emphasis HOW YOU believe and how believing has changed your life to determine if you are saved. The emphasis seems to never be on what all Christ has accomplished to save you.
Anyone know of one on the GA coast?
I haven’t visited any of these churches yet, btw, how could I forget to name the churches, haha, Dino, if you want, you may visit Bible Baptist Church of Bahay Pare in Pampanga, Pastor Tom Cucuzza recommended it to me.
and the other one, i will not describe the pastor but the church seems to be non separatist, You may go to the Grace Evangelical Society’s website and look for the Free Grace Church directory map, Philippines has 2 FG churches there (the last 2).
I actually found at least 3 free grace churches in our country, one is a church (about 40 miles north of Manila) pastored by a missionary sent from Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church,the 2nd has a pastor heading the Grace School of Theology in Manila.
Hi Dino, i’m also from the philippines (quezon city), and i also share your frustrations on finding a free grace church in our country, there are a few around i think, i found a few that comes close to FG only to find out they support LS preachers.
I seldom comment here but I regularly visit and read everything from this blog, it’s always good to know you’re not alone defending the clear gospel of grace.
Dino, yes, we should keep looking. In the meantime, I am so grateful for the fellowship I have with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Like John, I know this was the Lord’s doing.
One friend I met on my website, I’ll call her Ashley. One day a guy from FB, his wife and 4 children were coming into town and wanted to meet (let’s call him John). I invited a friend that I met on FB to come with me (I’ll call her Susie). Susie had come to visit my Bible study and had also fellowshipped with me online. It was so great to meet this saint and his family who have since become parents of a fifth.
In the meantime, my friend Susie was looking for a church. She lives far north of me, and I had seen this church on a free grace site that maybe she could check out and see what she thought. In the meantime, the first friend (Ashley) was also looking for a church, and I had mentioned that one to her. It only had about 25 attendees, and so it sounded like it could be promising. Unfortunately, it turned out that this church was teaching Outer Darkness, week after week until my friend and her mom got really unsettled, and back in fear. She tried to talk to them about it, she watched Dennis Rokser’s four part series on Outer Darkness, and once she did that, she decided to quit.
I don’t know if you are making all the associations yet, but my first friend Ashley had started going there too even though I didn’t know. She too was unsettled by this, and she and her husband-to-be decided it was not for them. Fast forward a few months, and we had a new teacher at Bible study, I was not going to come back because my teacher was buying into Calvinism and each week was becoming a little more entrenched into it. Her Sunday school teacher pushed TULIP after class. So our new teacher was more like minded, and I invited both Susie and Ashley along with her now husband to class. They were astounded to see each other, neither knowing that I had introduced them by sending them to look at the supposed ‘free grace’ church. My friend Susie asked how we met, and Ashley said her brother-in-law had recommended my site to her and she started reading my things. I asked what his name was. Her brother-in-law was my other Facebook friend that had come into town (John), and he was brother to Ashley’s husband. The brother had no idea we were now in a Bible study together. I just met the boys (John and his brother) parents last week and this week another sister in Christ who recently came out of Loadship is coming from California to visit. It’s a small world in His Kingdom and miracles most certainly happen even if we never find out. ❤
I am so thankful for the churches that are doing live wecast ministry. The church I consider myself a member of does not have formal membership. If you have Trusted Jesus as your personal Saviour you can be a member.. I am growing from my position in Christ while continuing to hear the clear Gospel of Grace and the assurance of eternal life in my position.
There are No Gospel of Grace assemblies in my area. Its all works either up front or behind or a mixture for salvation Justification and Sanctification.
The last Bible chuch I was at I was told to move along within the first hour of being there by an elder. So i do attempt personal fellowship but would have to sacrifice sound doctrine. It would be like picking popcorn out of your teeth for weeks after hearing the teaching.. And knowingly frustrating Grace.
I would like to be part of a group that would gather together to whatch live webcast.
Dino, my wife and I meet with another couple in our homes. The circumstances under which we met were so unlikely that I believe it was God’s doing.
I too am without a church. It’s very hard to find a free-grace church here in the Philippines. It’s been a while since I last visited this blog.
2015 was a year that I fell in love with the world. I’m just being honest about it. I got saved 2014 from an LS church, and 2015, I experienced what it was really like being free I mean it was so different from the kind of freedom I was thought growing up till 2014. Absolutely no condemnation being able to know that I had a choice to make in life. Not that I am free to sin. I know I am accountable for every choice I make. (Including the sins I commit)
this 2016, I decided to gather myself again and I have a small gathering in a town far away from where I live and I travel there twice a month so me and my disciples would have fellowship and sharing. I also decided to meet with a friend pastor of mine who was a student of Dr. Tom Cucuzza and we are engaged in active fellowship.
The reason I have no church is because there are hardly any free-grace churches here in the Philippines… I’m not saying that we ought to skip looking for one. I still am looking for one upto this very day…
I am still without an official ‘church’, but a group of us meet together on Sunday evenings, only about 6-8 of us, and we have visitors in front out of town from time to time. Right now we’re going through Tom’s Revelation series.
An interesting thing came to mind as I read through these comments again. So what is a widow to do when they can’t find a church that is sound? With the list we made of possible sound free grace churches, the church is teaching outer darkness for believers and my poor friend said she felt like she was right back under probation. I’d like to challenge those who say we are supposed to be a contributing part of a local church or suggest if we do not know of such a place near us, you are NOT relieved of the responsibility of being a contributing part of a local church. You are obligated to get together on a regular basis with other believers.
I’d like some suggestions of a real grace church in my area from the one that said I was not ‘relieved of my obligation to be physically there. Not sure where we are forbidding to gather when we are, or how a widow is supposed to start a church in her home, but waiting on those who say that to please, give me some names in my town. Scottsdale, AZ.
I await your recommendation. Take care of the widow, and find her a sound, clear gospel teaching church that isn’t cross-less and teach condemnation during the millennial kingdom. I await the help.
Nathan Paul, I apologize, seems like some of the comments take a little while to show up, I didn’t see your comment before. I don’t like confrontation much either. I didn’t believe that I would see more, but the mocking, scoffing, backbiting, and outright attacks came, the more I stood for the truth. And I never expected to ever hear someone call me a Jezebel (more than once) or antichrist or spirit of witchcraft, or cult or wolf, or false teacher. But sometimes just in sharing His Word, I’ve been called names, which is interesting, but sad for them. I was told I was a blasphemer once all I had done is share God’s Word. And I asked the pastor’s wife which part of God’s Word was blaspheming Him. It will likely get worse for you Nathan the more you share, but don’t go looking for trouble, be ready with an answer for the reason of the hope that is within you. Keep strengthened by His Word. (Ps 119:28)
God bless you as keep sticking with His Word, may He give you wisdom from it as you are built up in Him. Keep putting your armor on every day… 🙂
Thank you for praying Michael for us. I have been praying too for those who work hard to provide for their families, and also feed the sheep here. Praying with you for what the Lord will do with our family here. May others read and see something different. God bless all who visit here. Yes, I relate, I grow, because of His goodness to teach even me…(Pr 22:17-21)
Holly, Thank you. You were able to explain my plight better than I could. I am not a man that handles words well. I am not good at confrontation. As you said there could be condescension. But it is something that I have to be willing to face if it means to stay within the narrow bounds of the truth in Jesus Christ. For all of the confusion that I’ve been through in my life, I just want to know the truth of the Gospel and remain in it now and forever.
Holly–Yes! He’s answered many prayers for me in very big ways! Getting saved was the biggest one He answered. The second was my current job. There are “many” associated circumstances surrounding these two major answers, and I could see Him “orchestrating” the events that led up to both answers. Many times He waits; other times it’s just silence. I’ve found (through experience and age) that He knows what He’s doing. I came to this conclusion only recently! I doubted His love and goodness for a long time. Today, I’m a lot better. Let me continue…For example, I would probably have never heard Hank Lindstrom had He not given me that hospital job where I had a Mormon co-worker. You see, at home I only had very slow dial-up Internet…if you played a sermon on it, it would only play for five seconds and then quit for 30 seconds…it would have taken all day to listen to a sermon (literally), but at the hospital, I had access to high-speed Internet, and I could comfortably listen to Hank Lindstrom there. I got saved after learning the true definition of repentance, and after listening to his sermon “How Permanent Is Your Salvation?” about 20 times. So, God gave me that job so I could hear Hank! There’s “so much more” to it, though (in terms of “answers” and “watching Him work”), but I got saved in my office! I made a short video of the very spot where I got saved, and I’ll probably upload it to YouTube one day. That’s just “one eerie circumstance” surrounding that major answer to prayer…there are many more–and there are many more aspects surrounding His giving me my current job. Like a conductor, He orchestrates things in unmistakeable ways–all of which builds faith and trust in us (if we connect the dots!). Today I prayed for everyone here at our forum. I’m eager to see how He answers all of our various prayers in His timing & perfect “will,” all of which will draw greater glory to Himself and as we revel in the hope (and in the eventual good) that He may do for us in these last days. I’m growing in Him mostly because He is faithful. He’s been answering & proving Himself more and more, and I can’t thank Him enough for that. Thank you, Holly!
Nathan – I agree with Johninnc – for some reason, when men start quoting Lordship and Calvinist people, I just don’t buy any more that it is out of ignorance. Why do we want to quote men, when most people don’t even know God’s Word very well? A former ‘grace’ teacher excused his many quotes of people like Augustine, St. Anselm, C.S. Lewis, etc. with most people understand that when I quote someone, I am not endorsing their entire body of work.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that from men and some women teachers. They treat you as if you are an immature child, to not understand what is obvious to them, that others know they are just ‘quoting the one quote, not endorsing the person’.
One of my new favorites is skybalon or I guess as some spell it, skubala, but it is DUNG in English. If ONE, just ONE person is mislead by following after their Shepherd to go look for more sermons or quotes or writings so that they too might be more ‘spiritual’ like their pastor, or closer to God like the one they might look up to, then THEY have made a young one stumble and or kept the lost lost possibly….
I know, I was one of those ‘dummies’ that bought those books in the hopes that I could learn more. You can never know enough from His Word. That is where we should apply our hearts to knowledge, is in the truth of His Word. These men are accountable for their associations with these people, whether because they are undiscerning, or because they have not proven all things first, they are still wrong. Please write your pastor and tell him he should not be quoting these men. Give him Spurgeon’s ‘Turn or Burn’ sermon and ask him if he would preach that sermon. Ask him what if his flock goes and reads those things and are led astray. You will very quickly get your answer by the way he responds to you.
A humble man will publicly admit he was wrong to do so, because he wants all to know it was a mistake. A hireling will condescend to you, patronize you and maybe even ask you to leave if you don’t like it (that’s my favorite one) 🙂
I would email him in writing to ask him why. God bless us all to keep confronting error where we see it, and with the Word, and in trust in Him who keeps us and holds onto us.
Michael – God is so good to answer our prayers isn’t He? Fellowship with other believers is a blessing.
Nathan, considering the two greatest commandments, I would say when we were created and it was called very good, the original man could love God with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength. I think on the creation of Adam in God’s own image, and saying it was not good for man to be alone, to me it is apparent we were created to commune and fellowship with God, to love and be loved (I am my beloved and He is mine, His banner over me is love).
Psalms 8 says God is mindful of us and cares for us. John 3:16 of course we know He loves us. We were created to be loved, and for us to love Him in return. We love Him because He first loved us.
We were just discussing this in the women’s Bible study. But this I think answers your question on ‘serve’.
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us Acts 17:24-27
Nathan, if Spurgeon is being used in that church, I would let the pastor know that Spurgeon taught both Calvinism and LS.
Thank you Jack. Actually I was not searching for a loophole or seeking out reformed messages. This was stated by a pastor in church. He has also stated to me on a few of occasions that he does not believe in Calvinism or Arminian doctrines. He also said he believes that you cannot lose your salvation. Within some messages I have heard Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards quoted. It’s confusing to know what he actually thinks.
I remember there was a statement given once that even though a person may believe in Christ alone for salvation that they could still at least attend any church and receive feeding. I took away from it that he believes it is very important to stay in fellowship no matter where you are. I think I may need to pray for direction on what to do in church now.
It seems that keeping the absolute purity of the Gospel intact can be very challenging. It’s appears like a person can be consumed by works to the point that they forget their first love. Is this what Jesus is talking about to the Ephesians in Revelation 2?
You’re so right! You extended a welcome to me years ago, and I only showed up “occasionally.” Last week I prayed that God would bring some people into my life (to ease the loneliness). I had forgotten about this forum, but the other day–when I got into that argument with the LS person–I remembered this group; so, here I am, and I’m all the better because of it. Sorry I didn’t come back sooner!
Hellooooo Dino! Great to hear from you again! I wish you the absolute best of everything over there in the Republic of the Philippines! Dr. Stanford told me once that if someone hates you, accuses you, mistreats you in any way for the gospel’s sake, we should rejoice! Not that we like pain or hurting, but because He will reward us in heaven and in this life for doing His work. Nobody wants pain or rejection, so I’m praying that you’re treated kindly at your church, and that God will protect you from harm. I love mango juice from the Philippines, so when I have a can, I will think of you…and I’ll pray for you. Bless you, Dino!!!!
Hello! I would love to be a part of those sites you mentioned! I’ll join facebook again one day. I have many irons in the fire right now. I’m “here” at this forum because “I really need the fellowship.” To be a part of other forums would be like icing on a cake! Time is a big factor right now. God has allowed me to be good at my job (at the college), and, as a result, the administration is heaping duties upon me. I’m now serving on six after-hours committees in addition to teaching full-time courses. It’s just crazy! Somehow, though, I’m staying afloat.
THANK YOU to Jack, Dino, and Jim. Forgive me if I left anyone out. See all of you again soon, okay. Michael”
Jim, thanks for the invitation and encouragement!
Sounds like you have been listening to a Reformed Calvinist preacher paraphrasing the Westminster (Calvinist) Catechism (WC).
The first phrase of the WC is,
“A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God,…” There is no scripture that specifically says that.
Also to your point, man cannot have an eternal “love” relationship with God unless he is in Heaven after trusting Christ as Savior. Man’s earthly love is imperfect.
My suggestion, listen to those preachers whom we recommend. Cease searching for alternatives or loopholes. There are thousands of false teachers on YouTube.
Stick to Dr Cucuzza, Dr. Lndstron and Yankee Arnold. They have enough resources it is likely you could not listen to all of them in a couple of years of full time listening.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
You are welcome to join Holly , Bryan, and me on facebook in the Bible Bereans group or the Explaining the Errors of Calvinism / LS group – if you would like. Can’t recommend much else on there though and you have to limit time spent on facebook. I do also have a blog that stands for the clear gospel. I am always thankful for this blog which is part of the inspiration for my own. I never cease to be amazed at the number of people that find themselves without a good church family. I’m praising the Lord for having found one here in Michigan after looking for two plus years.
I’ll say this as a word of encouragement for those looking, remember to trust God to provide. He will. I spent two years searching after deciding to leave the local LS tolerating fundamental baptist church in town. In going to the Grace conference in Chicago, I met up with a few people that I recognized from my area and came to find out that they were of the same belief as me. Their church was a half hour north of me but workable. (Especially for a grace church.) I even came to find out that one person that posted on here was a deacon at the church and lives a few blocks from me. How’s that for a small world? Anyway, the Lord has totally provided this for me and my wife. I will admit that things totally looked bleak and I was about to start at least pondering a move but God has worked things out in an amazing way. The pastor of this church is actually a person that happened to go to the same elementary school as me years ago. He came to realize some things about the true gospel and the lies he had been told over the years and began to pursue the truth. Now God is using both of us and others to help this small local rural church to grow. Praise God for that. I’ve yet to become a member officially but I don’t imagine it will be long.
Michael, you said
“Although we’re scattered throughout the country (all over the world, really)”
You got that right. your book and this ministry has reached us here in the Philippines in the heart of Asia. I believe there are some Filipino’s here too. There are “many” churches here who teach the same thing and quite honestly, I’m having difficulties leaving my current church because God is using me to enlighten some souls in our church by the book you gave me and by some Yankee and Cucuzza preachings and I love these people. However I know that the day will come that they will find out what I have been doing and will probably write me off their membership and I am getting myself ready if that day comes. I have some friends who suggested churches that I can attend and if it comes to that.. I’ll be ready.
It burdens me to see my friends attend a “Saved” Festival concert and usually, those concerts would have preachings from Francis Chan who they say is a preacher who preaches against lukewarm Christians in turn making them doubt their salvation… I’m not saying that my friends are saved or not saved. What I am saying is this, they are being corrupted by these people and in turn will corrupt new believers who are looking for Jesus Christ…
I normally watch some endtime updates on youtube by some brave souls who upload videos and there are people out there brodcasting some real things going on around the world. I love those guys but when I check their page and found out that their salvation page includes “turning away from sins…” it disappoints me… almost all of them have it there. I still watch them for the news.. But their gospel burdens me…
God bless this Gospel of Grace ministry!
I have a question about a message I heard this past weekend. The person giving a message stated to the group that the whole purpose that God created man was to serve God. My ears perked when I heard this. I immediately had another thought tun through my mind that countered this idea, that our true purpose is to have an eternal love relationship with God which is now restored by the finished work of Jesus Christ. Am I thinking along the right line? If we were created to only serve God then He could have just made robots for that? I don’t want to be wrong in my thinking or disrespectful to God.
Michael Patrick Bowen,
You said, “Had I known what I was missing, I would have become a part of this forum a long time ago.”
You may recall that I invited you to join us back a couple of years or so when I first contacted you about your book.
But we are happy you awakened to this
Oasis of Grace and our fellowship here at ExPreacherMan.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
That’s okay! I’m trying to not post such lengthy things, but my goodness–yours have been right on the money, and it’s good to get it out. Had I known what I was missing, I would have become a part of this forum a long time ago. It is absolutely miserable to not have any Christian fellowship. Sure, we can all go into town and sit under error, but I refuse. That’s why it’s so lonely. Although we’re scattered throughout the country (all over the world, really), we really are a “church” here, I feel. It feels like one to me! I do hope He blesses you in many, many ways. At some future point, I would like to tell this forum the many ways He’s blessed me. Well, I’ll cut it short. I’m proud of you! Keep doing your best, okay! Pals, Michael…
Oh, Bryan…hello! Great to hear from you! Yes, I just loved “Ike.” What a great fellow he was…but his gospel never worked for me. I asked Jesus into my heart and gave Him control over my life “every Sunday” (because I was never “sure”)…I did exactly what he told me to do, but it never worked. Still, he was a fantastic fellow–very warm, very personable, joked about his weight, etc., you couldn’t help but love him…and that is precisely why he and everyone like him are so utterly “dangerous.” Sorry to get off onto that type of rant–I truly am–because it detracts from the happiness I feel while at this forum. Sorry about that! Yes, thank you so much for your prayers! I would so love to fall in love with the right woman (not like those women I talked about in chapter 7 of “I Never Knew You…”); those, I feel, were planted by God on purpose…to provide a comparison to being “dumped by Christ” at the Great White Throne Judgement (yes, I spell it with an “e” after the “g”) the same way I was “dumped” by those women–both of whom I loved dearly. You see, I gave “my all” to those women–the same way LS’ers give “their all” to Christ. THAT is precisely why I believe He allowed those women into my life; it was to jar people into the reality that even though they love Jesus and serve Him, they’re not “His” unless they trust that He (the promised Messiah) paid for their sins in full by His death, burial, and resurrection from the dead. Because He used those potential marriage partners to such a degree in my life, I feel most strongly that He’ll one day (if there’s time, that is) bless me with a woman hand-picked by Himself. At least I hope so, Bryan! Facebook? Gosh, I got so sick of Facebook when I was on it. Perhaps I will join it again! I just may! In any case, thank you so much for reaching out, okay! I really appreciate it (and sorry for the length of this post, everyone).
Behold a son, I told Mary and Genevieve, I’m going to try to arrange a time for some fellowship with my down under sisters, you are in Australia right? Can you re-email me? I have lost quite a bit of my computer info. Thanks, in Him, Holly
Michael Patrick Bowen 🙂 Now I feel a little ashamed that I let my feelings dictate the amount of posts it’s just that sometimes people don’t realize to what lengths people have gone to in order to have fellowship, then the people feel condemned for not attending a church.
To God be the glory for all these things that He has done. I prayed for Christian friends, He did the rest over time, His way. I would like to share one thing that blessed me this week. Someone that does some yardwork and handyman things for me, (which I desperately need) when I first met him and his wife and children, they didn’t have a Bible, Catholic background, and so I gave them all some Spanish and eventually English, the kids and wife do better with the English. The wife asked for a Bible for her elder son.
These people I have grown to love, I pray for them, and not because I’m some super Christian but because He allows me a way to share while I work too at home on my computer. So, I have given the husband the clear gospel many times, along with what is not to be added to the gospel. He says he believes now and I am convinced he does. I got him some teaching materials in Spanish as he asked me if I knew of some. The children too I continue to share with as they visit from time to time. This week, he told me, he has started a Bible study in his home, for an hour a day, things ‘stop’ he says and they come together to study. Can you imagine? God is (my new comment), beyond awe and then some…He is so good to us. It’s only been a year, although I knew his uncle, and mainly they knew us through my husband, who spoke Spanish, but here he is now teaching his family. Planting and watering, we are nothing, God gives the increase, but one day, we will be reaping with songs of joy. God bless your work for Him too Michael.
The church in Fayetteville is called Fayette Bible Church. Pastor’s name is Wayne Turner. Funny you mentioned Dr. Ike Reinhardt, my wife and I went to his church for a year in 2002 in Acworth named North Star Church. Holly mentioned Facebook groups, I’m also apart of those groups. Would like to see you there if, that is, you don’t mind Facebook. I’m not that active in the group as much as I would like to due to my lack of time but I try to
at least read what’s going on a daily basis.
Anyway, prayed for you to find a Godly woman. Was in your shoes 13 years ago and He definitely answered my prayers.
I’m with ya, hollysgarcia!
What incredible posts those were! I’m positively reeling with delight after having read them. I know I’m not the only one who feels what I feel after reading your last two posts–and I’ve certainly not yet been here long enough to speak for everyone–but by having you here, Holly, we’re in the presence of a true, unique gem! I am incredibly fortunate to be associating with you. Such wisdom, and such doctrine. May God strengthen, keep, and bless you in so many ways!!! Thank you!
Curtis also created a fine post about Yankee. Thank you, Curtis!
And “beholdason” posed several thought-provoking questions up above, too, and I very much enjoyed them. Thank you!
Yes, we need fellowship. In the future I’ll try to not address every post like I’ve been doing, but these have been so good that I’ve had to offer praise and support to those who have posted them. I dare not post too much, though! Why? Look at this:
Proverbs 25:17 (KJV) “Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.”
If I post too much, I’ll run the risk of being hated, I fear. LOL! Forgive me, please, but I’m very excited about being here and about the quality of the people amongst us. Super posts, everyone! Bless you–all of you.
Sorry John and Jack, I know how you like to have the posts shorter, because it’s easier to get to the point, easier to read. You both know this is a subject near, and dear, and very personal to me. How ANGRY it makes me that men (not meaning you Bob) are so cavalier about sharing compromised material with me, with my children. Churches take care of widows and orphans? HA! Not one I know of. The Roman Catholic church does a better job.
The Christians I know that are disenfranchised (and we are many Bob), we feed and tend His sheep because we love Him as best we can in a variety of ways. I know Jack and John spend time behind the scenes answering many questions as I do also. We study with friends, over the phone, over the internet, and we spend time in His Word studying so we can rightly share with others. We pray for Christian fellowship and He has delivered. We pray for sound teaching and He has answered. We knew this time was coming, and all I know is I for one will not compromise, in order to be in a body that I can go have potluck with as much as that sounds like a nice time, and brings back childhood memories, it will never be for me at the expense of God’s Word. We are a part of His body and we are active in it, in the best way possible in each different individual’s circumstances, without knowing, I pray none of us will ever make a blanket statement in that regard, hurting some who have already been wounded badly.
I was asked to leave my last church. Since I didn’t appreciate the pastor quoting Philip Yancey, Brennan Manning, Eugene Peterson and ‘pastor’ Paul Yonggi Cho (says he has been to the ‘4th’ heaven), they told me my best bet was to find another place to worship.
When we had a Q & A session, which was free to all to ask and answer, (supposedly), someone asked me about Billy Graham. I explained I like to stay away from the speculations and go straight for their gospel. I told them what his gospel is and why it is not the right gospel. I was called by my teacher that week and told that several called to say that if I was allowed to speak out against him or like this again, they would not be coming back.
I have not found a church yet, but I have built a list across the country, and ask people as they find sound churches to share them with me. We have a Bible Berean group on Facebook, and we share Tom Cucuzza sermons as well as Hank Lindstrom and Yankee, along with fellowshipping here.
I have had an online women’s study for years, it was difficult, we recently switched to weekly free conference calls and I am teaching through the book of John.
My story is not an unusual one, there are many doing similar type things. We do tracts in different languages, try to share the clear gospel with pastors in other countries. I know several, one in Pakistan, one in Nakura, Africa, one in Philippines, and another believer in Guyana who has been trying to share in the refugee camp. Trust me, we WANT fellowship. But never at the expense of looking the other way when men quote Augustine and C.S. Lewis and Calvin and Luther, etc. favorably. Never at the expense of having the clear gospel subtly corrupted where it becomes another gospel, or another Jesus preached.
Bob Gilbert – I have been without a ‘typical’ church for years. Not that I haven’t tried. Not that I haven’t gone to the pastors, the associate pastors, the youth pastors, the elders. I have. With my concerns in writing and in person. In fact my blog was birthed out of my brokenness in trying to find fellowship with like-minded believers regarding doctrine. My last Bible study (before the one I attend now – there are only 6 of us), was led by a woman who eventually became a Calvinist, don’t know over what period of time, but I suspect her John MacArthur study Bible, along with her teacher John Politan and Wayne Grudem preaching at that church could have contributed.
The church before that, well, I left when the pastor decided to start housing ‘Christian yoga’ in the church along with Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer ‘bible studies’…. He told me I didn’t need to ‘be afraid of these things, we had liberty’. (After thoroughly detailing these things in writing carefully for him.)
This church was a spin-off of my childhood church. A Bible church. My parents helped get the land to spin off several more churches rather than grow them into mega- churches. Now they are all Mega churches. They have different teachings from Calvinism to post-tribulational thoughts, some are replacement theology, some are amillennialists, no rhyme or reason, and as I am sure you know Wayne Grudem is charismatic as well as Lordship and Calvinist.
I have been yelled at for daring to speak about Rick Warren, I have been mocked for speaking out against the Mess-AGE (being used in the youth group) and told I was ‘too controlling of my son’ who was 15 and needed to make his own decisions.
In the college group recently of another church, my daughter was invited and the pastor (who she knew from the other church) brought up Bill Johnson (redding) who is a supposed prophet and apostle, all the signs and wonders garbage. His response to my objection of quoting? To use psychology 101, and then step it up to 202, speaking of ‘we’ as if ‘we’ were in agreement. He spoke of others he quoted (yet not endorsing their works) and one was modalist T.D. Jakes. Long story, I ended up doing a detailed article that still gets any where from 50-400+ hits daily.
Yankee Arnold at CCC Church has live web feed streaming one the best I have seen. with a real good IT dept who knows how to run it
Thank you “hollysgarcia” AND “beholdason”!!!
Thank you for your prayers!
A big hello to Mary, too! Hi Mary! I enjoyed emailing you and your friend a few weeks ago!
Concerning all the “associating with a local church” comments up above, I would give anything to associate in person with fellow believers. I don’t have that, here. I’ve tried–believe me. I’m so thankful for this forum! This “forum” is my “church,” now. There simply isn’t anywhere else to go where I live. At this forum, people have answered my questions using “scripture.” There is real encouragement, here. On top of that, people are praying for me! This really is a “church.” Thank you–all of you–because it means a lot.
In response to Bob:
Hi Bob, I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and I meet WITH the Church in my home as they did in the first and second centuries, prior to the invention of “The Church” as an institution where we HAVE to “go to”.
The emphasis is not to be rude, but to emphasis how far from Scripture we seem to have all come.
My “Pastor” is my husband and another elderly Godly man who shepherds us, without a salary. To us this is called “service”. And we don’t call him “Pastor”, like a title. You won’t find one man in the bible who was called “Pastor (name)”. No Pastor Timothy, no Pastor Paul.
Why is that?
Jesus is the Chief Shepherd, the Senior Pastor.
Please, can we be honest and have a good look at what the church today is compared to what it is in the Scriptures.
“…and to the church that is in thy house” – Philemon 1:2
“The Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands” – Acts 7:48 and 17:24
Read John 4:19-24.
Can you not see? Worship is not in a building on a Sunday. Fellowship can be anywhere and need not follow a “program” nor a “worship service”.
I have absolutely no intention of attending any Sunday club wrongly called a “Church” Bob.
Do you think I am rebellious and carnal? (I ask honestly)
I meet regularly in my home and other homes informally to pray and study the Bible.
Is this wrong?
Please, let’s really examine whether the church today looks anything like the church in the NT.
I am one of the Australians and believe me if there was a church here in Adelaide we would attend it. Only yesterday a young christian suggested i go to a local church she suggested. So i rang up the pastor not knowing much about the church. As it said it was a church from people who were in homes that came together. So i asked the pastor, what denomination are you, he said no denomination, so i said do u believe in eternal security and he said yes. I asked him do u believe in speaking in tongues, and he said yes that they did and he said we believe in the baptism of the holy spirit,
so i said you are pentecostal, he said i guess so. So i said you really believe you lose yr salvation and that it was conditional. He said i guess so.
Its sad how u have to ask so many questions just to find out where they are, and these are meant to be pastors. He proceeded to ask me if i was married and i told him i was. He said if i was to hop into bed with another man where would i expect to go. I told him i would not lose my salvation, that the lord would chastise me and that there was a bema seat judgment, and my rewards would be affected. That there would be devastating earthly consequences but i would not lose it. So he said to me, what u think u can live like the devil and still be saved. I said so u believe in the doctrine of perserverance, he said absolutely. I said thats what Calvanists belief, he asked me to explain what Calvanism was. I never said grace was a licence to sin. I told him i don’t live like the devil. He then asked me about hebrews 6 and revelation about the 3rd of the stars and who did the stars represent. I said i didn’t think that passage had anything to do with the gospel message.
Its these calls that totally shake you. he was horrified by my call, he said yr one of those once saved always saved, live like the devil people, i said yes thats me. I am trusting in the finished work of christ. Thats what you call good news and amazing grace. He said we could talk scriptures all day. He could see i was firm in my beliefs. I said thank you and good day, that this was not the church for me.
After calls like that you need a good does of Yankee or Cucuzza to dispel the doubts that come. As there are so many churches and so many false plans of salvation, that some days u think how can i be so sure my beliefs are correct. We can afford to make mistakes with temporal things but not things of eternity. These pastors are ministers of satan, probably not even knowing it. So i will continue to stay home and stay on this site and fellowship with just one here and one there.
Thanks for your comment — though I believe it is misplaced. You seem to have totally misunderstood our article.
I know you and your concern for a clear and accurate, uncompromising Gospel message. I thought you knew me personally and likewise us at ExPreacherMan and our concern for the spiritual health of believers in Christ.
1. A great number of those believers in Australia who listen to Yankee are friends and subscribers here at ExP and are the result of our recommendations.
2. Since you do indeed read our posts, you should know we always pray and recommend that believers find a good Grace church and become active. But we also recommend that if they hear a false message and they confront the Pastor but he is unwilling to change and be clear — then we find no scripture that commands a person remain in “fellowship” under a false teacher.
3. Dick Seymour held seminars in churches — he did not join the church fellowships in order to straighten them out. He was very effective.
Bob, we respect and recommend Florida Bible College of Tampa and pray for your success. As you may know, shortly after I trusted Christ, Yankee worked for me in my business while he attended FBC at the old Grove Community Church in Miami. He taught me, a babe in Christ, a lot about sharing the Gospel and encouraged me to attend Florida Bible College, which I did.
We thank the Lord for you and Yankee and FBC Tampa. We will continue to pray for the ministry and clear Biblical thinking and teaching.
We do believe you have misunderstood and misrepresented this article, our ministry and our intent.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Bob, thanks for commenting.
I was concerned that some might misinterpret this article to be an attempt to steer people away from participating in a local church body. That was not the intent.
But, many new believers have just escaped the dead works of LS. I would never advise them to walk back into the jaws of the lion by going into a church that muddles the gospel and trying to fix it. That seems like a ticket to fomenting doubt and compromise.
I tried that just months after coming to faith in Christ, and the pastor told me he would try to think of a place that would fit my beliefs. In other words, see ya.
It IS NOT my responsibility to be part of a local church if there is not one that is grounded in the gospel (see 2 Corinthians 6:14: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?).
One of the PRIMARY reasons that there are not more grace churches is that Christians REFUSE to separate from apostate bodies (I like to think, for example, that there are many Christians among the Southern Baptists. If so, WHY WOULD THEY PUT UP WITH THAT FALSE DOCTRINE?).
Bob, many of us use our gifts for the body of Christ through online forums such as this. We listen to online sermons. We’re in regular contact with other believers. My local assembly is my family at this point. Unless you know of some minimum that constitutes a legitimate local assembly, I think we’re in agreement.
I often read these posts and the comments with joy – this time, I have a concern.
When a person believes, they are placed into the body of Christ. This being a member of the body is a very important aspect of NT truth. And local churches are one of the principal ways that God gave for believers to be built up and equipped to do the work of the ministry.
Ephesians 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Every believer, “ex-preacherman” or otherwise, as much as he is physically able, ought to be a contributing part of a local church, exercising the gift or gifts God has given him for the building up of the body of Christ, there and around the world.
If you are blessed to be aware of a nearby “free grace” church, praise God and be faithful in your service there. If you do not know of such a place near you, you are NOT relieved of the responsibility of being a contributing part of a local church. You are obligated to get together on a regular basis with other believers.
Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
You may indeed have to begin the fellowship in your own home. God will provide – do the best you can, where you are, with what you’ve got.
It may be possible to help a poorly taught pastor to grasp the concepts of grace – Dr. Dick Seymour used to have good success with his weekend long “Soul-Winning Seminars”, which were on their face a tool for local churches to help their people know how to share the gospel – but in truth had the effect of helping local pastors get the gospel straight, themselves.
We have heard of house churches in Australia that are playing Dr. Ralph “Yankee” Arnold’s sermons for their messages in their Sunday morning meetings, as they have not yet a local teacher/pastor. Search You-Tube for Yankee Arnold, and you will find many, many messages. (His live Sunday morning Sunday school and sermon may also be streamed live each Sunday – check our Calvary of Tampa online.)
I agree with your point. There were times in my life when I experienced the feelings of rejection from those who expressed an excitement that I did not have. I know exactly what you are talking about. I was turned off and felt hopeless. I mean not to flaunt this freedom in Christ here whatsoever. I only want to share a joy for the treasure found in Jesus Christ alone and encourage anyone that may be struggling to see that NO ONE is exempt from the love of God through Jesus Christ alone, NO ONE. There is hope for all. God so loved the world, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him! Thank you for your kind words in helping me. I will be more conscientious of how I express myself. I thank God so much for this fellowship as it is a Grace oasis.
Thank you Holly for your encouragement. You were able to express very well through your words the experiences I have been through in my life. I appreciate your help. There is a wonderful hope in the simplicity of the Gospel that surpasses all understanding and He is willing to set ANY captive free!
Michael, if it’s the Lord’s will for you, I pray for just the right, nice, sweet person to come into your life. You know, the Lord does care about all these seemingly small details. My poor husband got a tiger by the tail ❤ God bless you in what is good for you, and for His glory.
“If anyone reads this, will you whisper a 10-second prayer for my love life, too? This sounds frivolous–it doesn’t sound very becoming of a Christian; in fact, it’s embarrassing, really. ”
absolutely I will. God is awesome.
God heard my prayers and sent me a life partner from the other end of the world. He can do anything.
Oh, Jack…thank you SO MUCH for saying you’ll be praying for me to find a Christian lady! I so want that to happen–for so many good reasons, sir. Thank you so much! To have you pray for such a thing on my behalf…well…I’m just very honored. If He decides there’s enough time for a lady and whether or not it’s even worthwhile to answer such a request, I’ll publicly praise Him here if He decides to grant the request. What a faith-strengthener that could be to all of us if He does. If anyone reads this, will you whisper a 10-second prayer for my love life, too? This sounds frivolous–it doesn’t sound very becoming of a Christian; in fact, it’s embarrassing, really. My focus here will always be upon the gospel and upon building/encouraging. I do need a companion, though, so I want to sincerely thank you once again, Pastor Weaver, for offering prayers to that intended effect on my behalf–thank you so much!
To “beholdason” :
Hello! It’s very nice to read your post! Please enjoy the “free version.” I didn’t write it for the money. I know it’s sad in certain parts, but don’t let those get you down. All of that sadness was for a reason, and all of us have similar stories, really. Well, just like Dino pointed out the other day, “…if only one person gets saved…it will be worth it.” Please enjoy it–save your money–the free version is always available. Your blessing is my chief aim, okay! Pals, Michael~
You said: Jesus Died for Hitler and Jesus died for ISIS. Period.
My comment: Amen! We should remember that God wants everyone to be saved. And, we should never be happy when we think someone may have died without Christ, because it is not God’s will.
Behold a Son,
Yes, we will pray for your ‘potty mouth” and your son. Many of us know by experience — that is a hard habit to break. The Lord WILL help you.
But thank God for our Savior Jesus who has paid the sin debt for all of us. All sin. Amazing Grace.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Michael Patrick Bowen,
Thanks for that encouraging verse. We all need to be encouraged from God’s Word.
I will be praying that you meet that very special Christian lady real soon.
As an old guy, I know I don’t have much time left on this earth to serve my Savior.. but I earnesty look forward to the soon and glorious Rapture — where we will all meet in the air with our Savior, Jesus!
Even so come Lord Jesus.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Michael Patrick Bowen:
I’m reading your book now and it’s bringing tears to my eyes.
I’ve already emailed it to a friend.
I will buy a few copies of it soon me thinks.
The incredible sadness that fills my heart whilst reading it, thinking of all the false gospels in the world today when all one must do is simply “Believe/Trust”.
(that was my heart crashing)
Side note: (confession time)
This week my 3 yr old son said a word that I shall not repeat.
He must have heard me use it when in a moment of upset/anger/stress.
It absolutely shattered me.
I remember thinking about the fact that there is no way I could ever justify myself before a Holy God, if my son who is not yet 3 is picking up such words from me.
Thank God for Jesus.
and please pray for my potty mouth.
I grew up in a non Christian home with two parents who swear like troopers.
It is terrible.
Ok bye for now.
Lots of truth and encouragement going on up above between my last post and this one! I love it! I had to drop in and see what was posted today. One can grow much stronger by being a part of this forum. Here’s a fantastic verse to think about:
“‘For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again’ (that’s the gospel; by implication we know that it’s for our sins and for the gift of everlasting life), ‘even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him'” (that’s proof that those who’ve died before us as believers are with Him right now–and He’s bringing them back at the rapture) (1 Thessalonians 4:14).
Bless you, all–Michael Patrick Bowen
I understand what you guys are saying.
Everyone won’t have the same salvation experience.. Emotions Vary and people might not feel the same way with other’s who trusted. But the important thing is that moment we trusted in Jesus Christ alone as savior. It doesn’t matter what we may feel or what is revealed to us… Did we trust him alone? that will remain to be the question.
After realizing how big the grace of God really is… I found out that I’m no different from ISIS or those who guys who kill other people. I’m a murderer just like they are. I learned this from the Lordship Salvation Series from Yankee Arnold.. Jesus Came to save sinners. Jesus Died for Hitler and Jesus died for ISIS. Period.
Thanks for the reminder about the impressions we give to others via our own experiences…. just thinking on that. Will be praying on that too.
Nathan, it’s great to see you so excited. Keep that way. Test the spirits, and continue to ‘prove all things’ in your own life. I know the feelings of really beginning to understand that it was not of me, and so I probably led people to believe their experience might be the same. (Such as having no fruit for so many years, or fruit from my own work) and then taking so long to get straight, seemed like I moved at a snail’s/turtle’s pace. It was exciting nevertheless, just seemed like I didn’t grow as fast as others in spiritual maturity. Any how, I get what you were trying say, it makes it easier to ‘do’ for the Lord by abiding in Him and His Word, leaning on Him.
I also get what Jack and John were saying in that we must always give the caveat, these are some things that should happen, don’t always, plus some people have joy, some cry a lot (me) and some are very staid and matter of fact. We all have different personalities. Well, I better cut it short, hard to read the long ones 🙂 In Christ! Happy the truth has been setting you free.
We understand your excitement and thank you for your shorter comments. We prefer one or two short paragraphs which will be much easier to follow.
We should NEVER make our experience, excitement or our feelings become a normal expected reaction for someone trusting Christ as Savior. Such a reaction does not always naturally flow from believing in Jesus.
It is important that we do not give that false impression, or build false expectations when we witness to others. Those to whom we witness may feel rejection and disappointment if they have no automatic flow of “feelings” or a desire to do good works.
If someone exhibits great feelings or excitement after trusting Christ, I usually warn them that tomorrow they may not “feel” the same due to circumstances. But if their salvation is based on their trusting Jesus as Savior, they have eternal life that will NEVER change.. It is eternal!!
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
A few weeks ago Jack Weaver shared this verse with me.
2 Corinthians 11:3
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
This led me to revisit the fall in Genesis to get some information on how I could be deceived. Upon reading I think there is something more to the fall than just the act of disobedience by Adam and Eve. There was a motive behind the disobedience. When I read about how the serpent beguiled Eve in the garden I thought it was interesting what he said to lure her into disobedience and sin.
Genesis 3:5 – For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
This brought to mind another verse of scripture about the devil’s fall…..
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
In comparing the 2 passages of scripture I could see a theme. The devil wanted to rise above God and have no need of Him. The devil wanted to do things his own way outside of God’s plan. It appears that the devil’s plan again was to convey that same message to man at the fall. He was basically saying that man could also rise above and be like gods. That they could achieve their own way.
My point to this is. Isn’t the same lie still being perpetrated in the faith + works salvation message? They are saying that God can’t fully save you, you need to help save yourself. If that is the case the greatest sin is the sin of pride and saying that Christ’s work is not strong enough to save. I certainly do not want to ever say that God’s way of salvation through Jesus Christ alone isn’t enough by adding any works whatsoever to His perfect plan of salvation.
Forgive me if my excitement gets out of hand. It’s just that for so long walked in a land drinking tainted water, that when I took on sip of the pure water of life in the Grace of God through Jesus Christ that it rejuvenated me beyond anything I could ever imagine. May God be Glorified!
Nathan, I understand what you are saying. We should just be careful we don’t give the impression that if one doesn’t have the same feelings that you are now experiencing that he should question his eternal life.
Some believers react by telling everyone (like the woman at the well). Some believers react by telling no one (see 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.)
Certainly telling everyone is preferable.
Thank you Jack for keeping me on track. There is so much more as you say. Because He gloriously ROSE AGAIN for our justification, we too can be assured that we will share in the resurrection with Him one day. Takes my breathe away.
I am just so excited now to know the truth of Grace alone, through Faith alone in Christ alone! Hallelujah praise the Lord!
I have also learned what it truly means to walk in the Spirit. It is living in the realization of the absolute purity of the Gospel of the completely FINISHED WORK of Jesus Christ alone and celebrating that fact everyday and in everything I do!! I don’t have to do anything!!! He did it all!!
That is why we celebrate communion! To remember His finished work!
Thanks for your testimony.
However I agree with Johninnc… You must not let your personal experience become your doctrine. Your statement, “works will flow without effort your part.” That may be your personal experience but it is not Biblical. Ephesians 2:10 says we SHOULD walk in good works, not that we will or must. Very important doctrinal point.
And about Jesus hanging on the tree, let us not leave Him there as do the Catholics, forgetting that he was put in the grave and gloriously ROSE AGAIN for our justification.
[Jesus] “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
Without the resurrection of Jesus, no one could ever be saved.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Johninnc, I have lived for many years under a Christianity that pushed me to produce good works as a part of some feeling of obligation that I need to repay God for what He has done. This was a faith + works mentality. I would never require anyone to follow this pattern ever.
But because I am experiencing true freedom in His FINISHED work COMPLETED for me, and not in any work of my own, I don’t have a sense of obligation anymore, just thankfulness! I now have a heart of gratefulness. That’s the difference. The work is already all DONE, DONE, DONE by Him ALONE!! I see His work of salvation as FINISHED. Nothing need be added by me in any way, EVER! Hallelujah, I am free!!
And now because of what I experience as an incredible GIFT, instead of works obligation, I can’t help but have excitement to share this truth with the world. If that is a work, then it is a pleasurable one that takes no effort and is a free choice to do and not an obligation to do. It becomes for me a natural outflow from an awesome gift given to me. Could this be what Jesus was calling streams of living water flowing out of me? He turned on the faucet through His finished work? He is the source and not me anymore? Just like the woman at the well had to run an tell everyone Who was offering Eternal life. She could not contain her own excitement.
It’s not even work to simply brag about an awesome gift. It’s like telling everyone what you got for Christmas or your birthday. Actually you are telling everyone the Gift God gave you for your birthday, your Spiritual birthday! It’s not an obligation. I don’t have to tell everyone, but it is just such a wonderful gift that I can’t help myself. Sharing this Gift is a pleasurable result of realizing the GREAT FINISHED WORK COMPLETED in Christ alone.
I totally understand what you are saying about separating belief from works and making sure it stays that way. I agree wholeheartedly. And that’s what makes it so awesome to begin with, that they are separate!
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Nathan, praise the Lord and I also like your statement. It does appear that you are talking about the joy that can be ours when we are grounded in the truth and walking in the Spirit. Sad thing is that not all believers do so near as much as they should. Your testimony is encouraging to others.
Nathan Paul, I like your comment, but want to be careful that we don’t confuse people with part of it.
You said: If you truly understand the transaction that has taken place between God and man through His finished work in Jesus Christ, you will not be able to contain yourself and works will flow without effort your part.
My comment: This sounds a lot like good works automatically follow salvation. If that were true, much of the Bible need not to have been written.
Since I have finally been set straight a few weeks back, thankfully by Jack Weaver, Johninnc, Dr. Arnold, Hank Lindstrom and others, God has been revealing Himself in the scriptures like I’ve never seen before. I guess it’s because I was so busy trying to do works in my Christian walk that I wasn’t living within a faith provided freely for me by God Himself through His only begotten Son.
I especially love seeing how God orchestrated His plan of salvation from the beginning of the fall of man and up to His awesome act of sacrifice on the cross.
I was meditating this morning on how the tree of the knowledge of good and evil played into the fall of man. While thinking through this a verse of scripture popped into my mind. Galatians 3:13 – Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
After thinking about the tree that cursed man at the fall I think I can see what Jesus actually did for us! Jesus died on a tree being cursed for us. It was a tree that man was cursed by in eating it’s fruit. It’s like Jesus visited the very time that man fell by partaking from a tree that cursed us and Jesus was hung in our place upon that tree and offers to take the punishment for the very first act and anything following of disobedience since that time for us. The tree is a key. He hangs cursed on a tree of death for us and then points us to partake of the tree man should have eaten from instead, His tree of life.
This sent shock waves through my spirit of just how incredible His sacrifice is on our behalf. Man, even though he failed miserably, is still provided a way out of his own curse by the pure act of love provided by God who’s love goes far beyond anything that can be imagined.
It is a shame that people can still rob God of His incredible demonstration of pure love by thinking that they have to add some works obligation to His free gift of salvation. I just want to bask in the gift He has freely given and enjoy the peace that He has provided for me through the sacrifice of His precious Son on my behalf. EVERYTHING POINTS TO HIS PROVISION. This is the peace that surpasses all understanding that non-believers will see naturally flow from a restored pure love relationship between the Father and His children.
If you truly understand the transaction that has taken place between God and man through His finished work in Jesus Christ, you will not be able to contain yourself and works will flow without effort your part. You find yourself not defending your OWN Christian walk by proving to others through works of the flesh, but instead defending the pure relationship you now possess in Jesus Christ alone and His finished work to restore a relationship back to our loving Father. I just can’t help but love Him so much!
Curtis, yes, that is the book that folks have been referencing in recent comments.
The book referenced to is it ” I never Knew you by Michael Patrick Bowen” ?
Hello…I loved your post up above. You’re so right…the Southern Baptists–any Baptist Faith & Message doctrine-espousing church, really–are the worst. You really are in a “wasteland” down there. I used to live in Fayetteville, GA, and when I was there, I attended New Hope Baptist Church, where LS was taught by a very likeable chap named Dr. Ike Reighard. That particular church isn’t there anymore…I don’t think…but I believe the huge building is still there. Maybe another denomination took it over? Maybe it’s not the same church; after all, huge churches are springing up everywhere because there’s a LOT of money to be made in these churches, now. I miss that general area a lot. I miss Krystal hamburgers! I don’t have a church up here in North Carolina (where I currently reside). It’s really hard, too. For spiritual nourishment, I listen to old Hank Lindstrom sermons. I would very much like to drop in on all of you here from time to time, also, in order to associate with real believers. I’ve never had that, before. It’s very lonely here. I feel so much better about everything now that I’ve been talking here (starting today). I never meant to take such a long vacation away from this forum, but my duties at the college are just so heavy now. IN SUM, thank you for reading the book, and thank you for asking about me, here! What a blessing all of you have been. I would like to get to know each of you better, actually. I’ve never had any real Christian friends before, so thank you–all of you–very much for allowing me to be here. Most sincerely, Michael Patrick Bowen.
That book was all for you, Dino! I’m so glad you liked it. I went from the misery of LS, all the way through atheism, and then back into LS. Then God brought Dr. Hank Lindstrom into my life; he’s the one who taught me the truth about repentance using the KJV bible (not by denominational viewpoints or opinions), and when I finally “got it,” I trusted Jesus alone…as my only hope of reaching heaven…back in 2005…after 36 miserable years of nothingness and dozens of counterfeits. I’m not special. There is nothing meritorious about me, at all. I’m just a pointer of truth. The idea of writing the book wasn’t even mine. I was challenged to write it, basically, but when I started, I couldn’t stop. What a blessing it has been for me and for a lot of other people. God’s simple plan is what’s so special. I tried to do Him justice in that humble book. I’m just thrilled that it meant something to you, Dino. In God’s Eyes, it was all for you! All credit goes to God. He knew you needed it, so He made sure you got it. Likewise, I needed to hear what Hank had to say, and God made sure I heard it, too. Christ came to seek and to save those who are lost–He is faithful. He deserves all honor and praise. God bless you, Dino!!!!
Great article John, very helpful advice as I often wonder the same thing. My family is in the process of looking for a church home. As a Georgia resident I thought I was so blessed to be living in the “Bible Belt” but now, I realized that I was just living in a “bible waste land”. LS has such a deep rooted grip into the minds and hearts of so many people here and I’m starting to realize that Baptists are the worst.
Hey Michael, I loved your book. Still in the Atlanta area? I think I found a good church in Fayetteville, but it’s too far for me since I’m in Cartersville(90 minute drive).
God taught me something with the thief on the cross thing. I use that as a sort of “weapon” against false teachers. I kinda learned this trick from Yankee Arnold’s illustrations. Please correct me if I miss this
Jesus said “Today, thou shalt be with me in paradise”. Now if some LS folks argue.. “that would have been different if the thief had a 2nd chance in life. If he didn’t persevere in the faith then he would lose his salvation.” I don’t think that’s a valid argument because if it is, Then he would have to say that Jesus was lying and would eventually have to say something Like “Okay thief, you gotta join a church, You gotta have disciples, blah blah and then I’ll take you to paradise” But it does not say that. I believe when Jesus said “Today” He meant it that whatever happens with you moving forward, you have a place secure in heaven.
I also believe that anyone who accepts Christ as savior today would still hear the same words “Today, thou shalt be with me in paradise” because I believe Jesus Christ would never have a person saved in any other way and tell someone else something differently. I believe He treats everyone the same way, saves everyone the same way and tells everyone the same thing “Today, thou shalt thou be with me in paradise” because there is only ONE way to be saved (John 3:16)
Praise be to God for this oasis of free grace
Alan, we sometimes get questions from readers who are confused by that passage in John 8. It obviously involves two groups of people – believers and those who refuse to believe.
LSers also refuse to believe that “second soil” believers are “real believers”, even though the Bible never talks about any other kind. They had better hope they are wrong.
Ardent LSers are themselves represented by either soil 1 (never believed) or soil 2 (fell away).
I got to read your book this march 2014. I cannot forget this part. actually there are 2.
“The greatest weapon of satan is to con people into living the Christian Life without ever being born again”
That struck a tone in me and many of my friends which are now believing in a free grace Gospel. Thanks to the Lord and your book I got saved from this false Lordship Salvation belief I got myself into when I was saved in 2011.
The 2nd, you said somewhere in the book that even if one soul can get saved by this book, then it will all be worth it… I gotta say this, I believe that book have saved 1+100 times 100 and another hundred more… God has used your book mightily in the lives of my friends and I thank God for using you to write it.
Hello everyone. Curtis quoted the passage in John 8:31-33, which is another passage that lordship salvationists love to distort. Instead of understanding this passage as an encouragement to believers, they misinterpret this passage in order to teach that one can believe in Jesus, but not “really” believe in Jesus. They insist that the harsh rebuke of Jesus that follows was directed toward these “false” believers, and not toward His initial audience, those who rejected Him and would not believe in Him.
Thank you so much, Jack…it feels wonderful to be able to come here and to associate with some truly saved people. Apart from my parents who also live in my area, I don’t know any other truly saved people, so I cherish these conversations, everyone. Thank you again, Jack. Also, I want to say a special thank you to Curtis, who draws all of us back to the scriptures in his posts. Curtis, you make me focus on the Word rather than on my issues. I want to say an extra thank you to John, as well, and yet another thank you to Sam. I thank all of you. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your replies. Thank you for being who you are and for serving via this Web site. Very grateful…Michael Patrick Bowen.
Michael Patrick Bowen,
Thanks for visiting ExP again and commenting. We appreciate your discernment and desire to share the Gospel of Grace.
We all know the disappointment of a person not trusting Christ.. but we musty continue share the Gospel of Christ and pray for souls to listen and believe. The Gospel is the power of God to everyone who believes.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Luk 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
God be merciful to me a sinner.
God be merciful to me a sinner.
this man went down to his house justified
this man went down to his house justified
Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Sam, thanks a lot for what you just told me. You’re absolutely right. That fellow, yesterday, insisted that repentance was a change of direction that included works, but at the same time he agreed with the definition of “metanoia.” I told him he couldn’t have it both ways–the same as you can’t go west if you’re headed east. He was so brainwashed that…well…it was just pathetic. Worst of all, he had his son with him–just a little kid–so I feel terribly sorry for his son and other family members. I just want to thank you–and everyone else–for your input. It helps. I usually make some kind of dent, but this man may be suffering from mental problems, too, not just LS brainwashing. In any case, thank you for the practical and kind words, here. I’m happy you liked my book–thank you. Unfortunately, it’s filled with comma splices and one factual error, i.e., God wrote Acts through Luke and not through Paul…that was my one error. I knew that, but I didn’t correct it…I was in too big of a hurry, and it slipped my mind. The whole book is a rough draft; my agent didn’t give me any extra time to correct my punctuation, so when I see those errors, I cringe. It’s helped a lot of people, though, but I feel as though I’ve failed both God and the world for producing something that contains at least 20+ comma errors. Sort of like you wouldn’t want to eat a meal prepared by a chef with dirty hands–that’s how I feel about the book–even though the nutrition is clean and healthful. I’ll try to write another one. I want to do videos…I feel as though I could reach more people through videos than I could with another book. Pray for me? While I’m at it, I may as well ask for prayers (from anyone who reads this note) concerning a girlfriend-fiance-wife in whatever time we have before the rapture. That sounds selfish, but I’m 45 and have never had a real relationship before. Since there will be no marriage in heaven, I don’t want to miss out on it while I’m here. It’s incredibly important to me. Sorry to write posts of such length…I’ll try to shorten them from this point onward and not abuse this privilege. I just want to be a better witness, and I want to find someone to marry. Those things require prayer (from real believers). Thank you again, everyone. I’m very grateful. Michael Patrick Bowen.
Thank you so much! It feels good to be here…and thank you for the scriptures up above, Curtis! I won’t keep this conversation rolling without end, but I will say that the fat man coupled belief with “service,” so I gave him the definition of “pisteuo” along with Romans 10:17. I placed special emphasis on John 3:16 (along with His death in verse 14), yet to no avail. He’s blinded by “powerful forces,” I’m afraid…and it may be considered “pure chance” that I even overheard this man while walking back to my car during a very noisy festival. In God’s eyes, though, it was not a “chance.” I feel He didn’t want those girls corrupted by his LS stance, but when I did gospel combat with him, he got in a very good blow concerning the rich young ruler, but I beat him in everything else. Still, he’s been so steeped in this satanic dogma that I couldn’t reach him…and that’s the point = it’s so ubiquitous now that I’m having great difficulties reaching anyone who is affiliated with LS-Discipleship counterfeits. It’s very discouraging, so I’ll have to try another approach in the future. I want to thank you very, very much for your reply. I’ll check back in later to study some more of this site’s material(s). Thank you again, and please have a super day! Grateful–Michael Patrick Bowen.
Micheal thanks for sharing that exchange with the baptist lordship message believer.They are hard to talk to as they are convinced by there church that they are correct regardless of countless clear Bible verses contradicting their view.They are completely blind regarding repentance,to them it means turn from sin and go 180 degrees the other direction.I have also become discouraged trying to witness when the opportunity presents itself.Lately I have just been giving them am I going to heaven tracts as I was getting too frustrated.Im sure everyone on this site experiences this at times.Im trying to learn to show Grace regardless of the way it turns out,easy to say hard to do.Also read your book quite a while ago and would give it an A+.
Michael, it’s good to hear from you.
My wife and I were discussing this topic today – arguing scripture with someone who doesn’t believe the gospel (yes, this includes LSers – I’m not saying all LSers are unsaved, just that they don’t believe the gospel NOW).
No matter how many verses that you discuss with an LSer, they will usually come back with more. They believe in salvation by works, and they think they have found it in scripture. They are using scripture to validate their mindset. And, their mind is often set against the truth of the gospel.
Since the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16), that means that it is unique in that respect. So, arguing with an LSer about the rich young ruler, or about 1 Corinthians 5:17, or any other passage can be really unproductive much of the time.
I think a good question for an LSer is “do you believe John 3:16”? If they say yes, ask them what they think “believe” means. If they add conditions to belief like “faith that works” or “obedient faith” or anything like that, simply tell them something like: “I’m sorry. You don’t get to add your conditions to God’s plan of salvation. You are not honoring God by doing that.”
to those Jews which believed on him
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Joh 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any
Then took they up stones
Joh 8:59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
AMEN to John’s answer to Jen up above. I dealt with this same heresy (among many others) yesterday when talking to that man who was trying to brainwash those little girls with his LS plan. The problem I’m seeing more and more now is that people believe what their pastors tell them FAR MORE than what the bible is saying. On top of that, Satan, i.e., his demons, are deliberately obscuring the truth so that they (the lost) won’t understand it. These lost followers take “great delight” in refuting those of us who try to reach them with the free gift, and all the while they simultaneously believe they’re actually earning rewards for resisting us! I think this increasing blindness to the gospel is yet one more sign of His soon return. The major points I found myself fighting against yesterday are: 1) mandatory commitment of one’s life to the Lordship of Christ, 2) blindly following the extra, unbiblical, man-made doctrines that are found in virtually every church now, and 3) an overwhelming unwillingness to believe what the bible says. It’s so disheartening. If it’s not yet happened to you, it will, so be careful, everyone. I’m visiting you now via this forum in order to gain more strength. I hope you don’t mind! Thank you! Michael Patrick Bowen.
Dear Jack Weaver (and hello Johninnc, too):
It’s been awhile since I’ve said hello. I enjoyed reading to post to which I’m replying, and since my comments relate to this subject, let me tell you what happened yesterday at our town’s festival. I saw a hugely fat man trying to brainwash three little girls with his Lordship-Discipleship heresies. I stepped in and warned them away from this man, and in 15 seconds flat I gave them the gospel with my wallet, just like Dr. Stanford used to do. I then got into a rather heated debate with him for over half an hour. That was mistake number one! Stanford told me repeatedly over the phone that we have to “love them to the Lord,” so I failed yesterday, but only because this fellow was so thick-headed…he really got under my skin. That’s mistake number two! This fellow has been so steeped in the Baptist Faith and Message doctrine and all the additional works they add to it that I was never able to break through to him…even with the choicest of scriptures. I explained James chapter 2 in detail; I explained Abraham and Lot; I explained the dying thief, etc., on top of the best salvation verses. Not a dent. I didn’t make a dent at all. He then got in a deep blow by using “the rich young ruler.” I was so mentally exhausted by that point that I didn’t have any more comebacks. I just saw on your site that particular passage in Matthew, and I could so easily have beaten him in our argument had I been a little more prepared. I learned how to handle the “rich young ruler” argument years ago via a wonderful sermon by Dr. Hank Lindstrom, but that knowledge didn’t come back to me during my debate with that completely blinded person. I felt Christian love and concern toward him, but at first I felt a lot of anger over his trying to brainwash those little girls. I stepped in…I beat him in the argument…oh, yes…I did…but he left “lost.” I didn’t win him. It hurts me terribly that I didn’t make a dent in that satanic-high wall that his Baptist church’s LS heresy has raised around his ability to reason. In every refutation he gave me, he was literally calling God a liar. I don’t know how to handle those types of folks when every single thing I say…and every bible verse I use…doesn’t make a single dent. Yesterday was very discouraging. I’ll visit your site and try to learn more and more. I prayed all throughout my witnessing attempt yesterday, and I tried to not lean on my own strength, but he is “so blind” I doubt he’ll ever be reached. Those are the kinds of people we can’t allow to discourage “us.” Sorry for the length of this note, but I want to encourage everyone here to never let a person get you down the same way that happened to me, yesterday. Sometimes you can do your absolute best, but some people are so blind that they’ll never see it unless God, Himself, intervenes. Bless all of you, and thank you very much. Very Sincerely, Michael Patrick Bowen (author–I Never Knew You; Xulon Press).
learning what the gospel is not is as important knowing what the Gospel Is
good article . I wished i would of studied what the gospel is and is not in my beginning .
I myself have finally woken up from the mistranslations of scripture. Now in rightly diving the Word of Truth I have seen something so much bigger than mans puny works and ways of his own fruitless delivery methods which are conjured up by people who give no credit to God where all the credit or Glory is due. I love looking in the old testament to see God’s deliverance into a regenerated new life and it’s pictures of how God works through all history when delivering people. Take for example when God took his people the Jews out of Egypt. Before the people left Egypt they had to first place their complete faith in God for His delivery. They had to totally rely on His delivery method because they could not deliver themselves through any work of their own. The way they first placed their faith in God was to go through the last plague in a series of plagues that they had just witnessed up to that point against their earthly masters in Egypt. They were to be delivered from Egypt by God’s power alone. This happened the night before they were to move on with God out of their old life in Egypt and into their new life with God as their Father. It is a beautiful picture. If you want to read the whole story go to Exodus 12. I will share a few verses and my point.
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
The answer to why they are placing their faith in a slain lamb is in Exodus 12:12-14
For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
This is a beautiful picture of the perfect Lamb of God. Jesus who was slain is THE perfect lamb and can now be an individual’s sacrifice for sins through faith alone, having His blood placed on the doorposts of their own heart when believing in Christs finished work alone. The Exodus account is like a dress rehearsal picture for how God will deliver all people for all time who place their faith in His work alone to bring them into salvation once and for all. If you read in this event, did God require these people to first turn over a new leaf or stop sinning or any other work before He promised to save them? No, they just believed that what God said would save them. They only needed to make a choice to believe what He said was true and allow the blood on the doorposts to protect them, not any work of their own. This was totally a work of God.
For the Jews as a nation, they hid themselves behind a promise at that point in history and have been a people nation ever since. From the Exodus account on anyone being born a Jew, from that point in history is a Jew. Can they ever not be a Jew? No. That event made them the nation they are, even today.
The same is true for Christians. When we place our faith in the perfect lamb’s sacrifice at a moment in time as FULL payment for our sins, we become a child of God forever based on His finished work alone. It is nothing that I ever did or will do to deliver myself that makes me a Christian, only simple belief in His finished work on the cross for me. At the point of faith alone and the foundation of Jesus finished work alone is what sets me out into this new life. And I must always keep in memorial His finished work alone when doing anything in this new life or else I may be tempted into thinking I had something to do with this delivery. I think that is why we need to partake in communion more often. It is to always point us back to His Work alone and remind us that it is all about Him and His Glory.
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a New Creature?” – Ralph Yankee Arnold
A much needed article. Thank you John.
Lisa, Bible verse memorization is a great addition!
Johninnc, I will have to listen to that series, thanks for the heads up.
Also, Bible verse memorization our defensive weapon.
In Him, Lisa
John is correct. The verse is talking about regeneration. Being born again is necessary for our reconciliation.
Jen, 2 Corinthians 5:17 is often misused by Lordship”salvationists” to prove that good works/life change are inevitable in the life of a believer. And, although they can’t quantify how much change, how many good works, what kinds of good works, etc., they still insist on this twisted interpretation. Some unbelievers resist becoming Christians, because they have been misled into thinking that they must “make a bargain” with God in order to be saved. But, God is willing to save us just the way we are.
We have recently added a discussion of 2 Corinthians 5:17 to our list of “Difficult Verses”. Following is our discussion:
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).
I’ve heard an online preacher use 2 Corinthians 5:17 “new creature,” to “prove” that one must change after becoming a Christian. He states that one must be willing to change one’s behavior in order to become a Christian and that unbelievers resist becoming Christians because they “know” they will have to change if they are saved. He also insists that he does not teach works salvation. How would you answer his arguments, particularly in regards to 2 Corinthians 5:17? I appreciate this site tremendously.
This is a very necessary warning these days. So many young sheep wander over to the nice wolves in sheep’s clothing totally unaware.
Lisa, I haven’t heard those, but probably not a bad idea.
Dr. Cucuzza’s current series is on the book of Galatians, and I have been following that series.
Hi Jack and John,
I think you should suggest Dr Cucuzza’s sermons on being a carnal Christian as a warning.