“The Naked Gospel”: Just Another False Gospel of Works


by johninnc

My wife and I were recently introduced to a book called “The Naked Gospel,” written by Andrew Farley.

The first thing I do when I hear about a biblical book or author is to deteermine where they stand on the gospel. If someone gets the gospel wrong, I am not interested any of their biblical teaching.

Unfortunately, Farley clothes a false gospel of works under the clever guise of grace. Nowhere is this more telling than in his section called “Looking for Evidence” (pages 197-199).

Farley spends close to 200 pages beguiling the reader with personal yarns and anecdotes, mixed with some scripture, before finally coming to his false gospel.

Following are extensive excerpts, with my comments (interspersed, parenthetically, in bold):

James 2 clearly says we’re justified by works too, not by faith alone. To dance around this passage by saying it refers to works after salvation is faulty. The passage specifically asks, “Can such faith save them?” (James 2:14). In addition, it repeatedly addresses being justified before God, a status that occurs at salvation. Without a doubt, James says we’re justified by works and not by faith alone. But, the important question is: What does James mean by works?

(James 2 NEVER says that one is justified before God by works. Farley has simply invented this into scripture. Romans 4:2 gives the real story: For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.)

I believe the key to understanding this passage is to avoid bringing our twenty-first century mind-set to the table, especially with regard to the term works. Rather than assuming that works should be understood as a life-long record of religious activity, one should consult the biblical text and let the writer himself define the term. James own use of the term works is quite different from how we use it today.

(Nonsense. “It depends what the definition of is is”).

James explains that even the demons can believe the basics of Christianity – that there is one God, and so forth (2:19). He shows us the difference between nodding with your head with dead faith versus expressing living faith. The purpose of the passage is to communicate that faith without decision or response is dead faith.

(There is no “…and so forth.” Again, Farley has fabricated scripture. James 2:19: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.)

James uses two Old Testament examples, Rahab and Abraham, to explain justification by works. Both characters actively responded to God’s message. They didn’t sit back passively and claim they believed God. Rahab decided to open her door to the spies (Joshua 2:1), and Abraham chose to offer his son on the altar (Genesis 22:3). They went beyond mere intellectual assent and did something in response to God’s message.

(Neither Abraham, nor Rahab, receieved eternal life by these acts. They were not justified before God for these acts. Nor does this imply that good works are automatic in the life of a believer. Rahab and Abraham were faithful when their faith was tested. James is using their examples to exhort the BELIEVERS to whom he is writing to an active faith).

But, how many times did Rahab open the door? Once. And how many times did Abraham hoist his son Isaac on the altar? Once. Hence, works in this passage is really not about a lifelong track record of good behavior. It’s actually about the importance of responding to the truth – an act that goes beyond mere intellectual agreement. James 2 might be summarized by the following train of thought:

  • We’re justified by works (but works needs to be defined in context).
  • Works are like what Rahab and Abraham did.
  • Living faith involves opening a door (of your life) – a work.
  • Living faith involves offering someone (yourself) – a work.
  • So living faith involves decision – a work.
  • Any faith without decision is just dead faith.

(So, Mr. Farley, we’re not saved by works, but by a single work that proves our faith? Would I have to be willing to kill my son to receive the free gift of eternal life? Do I have to be willing to let Jesus come in and change my life? Or, would some other work of righteousness be acceptable to God to prove I wasn’t exercising mere intellectual assent?)

James 2 communicates that personal decision is necessary in order for true salvation to occur. Those who appear to fall away from belief in Jesus are those who merely associated themselves with certain doctrines for whatever reason. They may abandon Christianity the movement. They may abandon Christians, sometimes accompanied by personal resentment. But, they don’t abandon Christ, since they never knew Him. Ascribing to certain doctrines is one thing, but opening the door of your life and receiving the life of Christ is altogether different.

(Farley has cleverly redefined decision to include WORKS. One receives eternal life by believing in Jesus as his Savior. The content of that belief is that Christ – God our Savior – died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead. As soon as one believes that Jesus’ death and resurrection were sufficient to take away his sin and give him everlasting life, he is saved.

In addition, the parable of the sower teaches that some believe only for a while. Farley seems to have re-written this part of scripture as well.)

Once James 2 is seen in context, it doesn’t conflict with Romans or any other faith-centered passage. We need to recognized that this passage in James does not seem to be referring to a post-salvation experience. It’s specifically addressing the question, “Can such faith save them?” (James 2:14). From there we must grasp James’s own use of the term works by consulting the examples he gives. James’s purpose is to contrast mere intellectual agreement with active, saving faith that involves receiving the life of Christ. When Christ stood at the door and knocked, did you respond by opening the door, as Rahab did? If so, I think you’ve met the requirement of this historically controversial faith-works passage.

James 2 is not inviting us to introspect and assess our long-tem track-record of good works; in context, it appears to be contrasting dead faith (intellectual assertion only) with living faith (true conviction followed by decision).

We must never forget that truth is supposed to set us free!

(We receive the life of Christ when we believe the gospel. We do not have to “open the door” or any other such nonsense.

Yes, the truth is supposed to set us free. The truth starts with the gospel. If one thinks that he must do works (or make a decision), as defined by Farley, to receive eternal life, he does not believe the gospel.)

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL

 

157 responses to ““The Naked Gospel”: Just Another False Gospel of Works

  1. Brian, agree completely. The epistles are instructions for believers.

  2. James chapter 2 was written to the same people as chapter 1.

    James 1:22 tells born again (1:18) believers to “. . . be ye doers of the word, and not hearers ONLY, deceiving your own selves.”

    This clearly shows that it is possible for a born again person to be a hearer ONLY, which refutes claims like “faith always has works” “is never alone” etc. , etc. etc.

    James was not teaching the inevitability of works.

  3. Thanks Curtis M; ‘False teachers are always trying to make something simple complicated. Then they want you to buy their book to complicate things some more..’ – neatly sums up my concerns on Farley’s work! The Bible warns of false prophets & the whole constant ‘re-branding’ of God’s Word with U.S. enthusiasm -(no offence U.S!)- to make money is not good. Maybe it helps some people & I have plenty religion-disillusionment myself, but no.

  4. Thanks Curtis for the mention and the link. I had forgotten about this post but I am glad it is here as a warning. I am currently reviewing the book the Gospel Uncut by Jeremy White which is very similar to Farely’s book.

    Jim F

  5. Here is James 2 Written by Jim Floyd
    maybe make this a link on expreacherman.com.
    it is interesting but sad to see over and over and over souls who are hung up on James 2 but seldom want counsel but to be confirmed in their own opinion.
    another verse is 1john 1 :9 Andrew Farley attempts to disregard 1john 1 :9 bt saying the old sin nature has been obliterated when trusting christ as Savior. Because it is eaiser to teach someone to forget about rather than teach it is for fellowship but you don’t have fellowship if you are constantly Confessing sin. 1john 1:7 is the means to catching sin in our thinking before sin finds expression.
    please see Jim Floyd’s link on James chapter 2.
    https://standforthefaith.com/james-2-explained/?wref=tp

  6. Brian, I was so thankful when I ‘got’ that chapter of James, and when I learned to identify who books were written to, and learning terms. We hear ‘saved’ and we hear ‘eternal life’. We hear ‘justified’ and we think ‘justified unto life’ instead of justified before men.

    There is a religious mindset many of us have learned in churches which created much confusion. Very thankful for the faithful in Christ and for His Word.

  7. Brian, unless i am mistaken, James Epistle never mentions anything about the redemptive work of Christ in connection to having the power to save or justify. So LS’ers must be looking to themselves alone to save themselves by their own “faith-works.”

  8. “What you may be missing is the understanding of ‘saved’ or ‘salvation’ in most places in the NT isn’t even referring to eternal life. So we have to ask, saved from what? Delivered from what? These people were already identified as brethren, brother, sister, or having the Spirit dwelling in them, so this cannot be about justification leading to life.”

    That’s exactly right!
    James 2 is not talking about going to heaven. Those who James wrote to were already born again (compare James 1:18 with 1 Peter 1:3 and 1:23). People that interpret “save” in James 2:14 as referring to “save from damnation in hell” commit a huge error.

  9. This is a comment I responded earlier to a guy who felt that Abraham was justified (unto eternal life) when he offered up Isaac.

    Let me ask you a question, was Abraham justified in a different manner than we were?

    For example, did it take him years to be justified unto life? Or could he know he had eternal life based on God’s testimony? Haven’t the just always lived by faith?

    I maintain that Abraham was justified (unto eternal life) years before he was ever circumcised. The Bible maintains the same by the way, which is the only truth.

    Abraham was 99 when he was circumcised and Isaac had not yet been born. We know he had to be 100 when he was born. He was 75 years old when he believed God and left Haran (Gen 12, see also Heb 11:8-9 which verifies this is when he first believed unto eternal life). The passage below shows he was already counted righteous in uncircumcision.

    We know Isaac was a lad when Abraham offered him up on the altar (and at that point Abraham was circumcised), likely Isaac was around 10 or so. At that time Abraham already had eternal life, it is not a process.

    The offering of Isaac was a minimum 35 years after Abraham already was a believer and declared righteous. Abraham showed he was faithful when he was tried, and got a foreshadowing of the Lamb God would provide (see again the Hall of Faith in Heb 11).

    What you may be missing is the understanding of ‘saved’ or ‘salvation’ in most places in the NT isn’t even referring to eternal life. So we have to ask, saved from what? Delivered from what? These people were already identified as brethren, brother, sister, or having the Spirit dwelling in them, so this cannot be about justification leading to life. But being justified in the sight of others. Your understanding of James 2 is a typical reformed and also Catholic understanding in that they believe a ‘faith that works saves’ (as in eternal life). But it cannot be, because the moment we believe, we are given the free gift of eternal life. We can know at that moment based on what we have believed (1 Jn 5:9-13).

    3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Rom 4:3, 9-12

  10. False teachers are always trying to make something simple complicated.
    then they want you to buy their book to complicate things some more..
    illustration… like Mr Farley.. now whay would a soul have to buy his book when we have THE Book the Word of God?
    Who does buying Mr. Farleys book profit the most from?

  11. Context who is being addressed
    Content what
    Compare Scripture to Scripture
    Conclude

    when someone trys to proff text you
    read 5 or more verses above
    read 5 or more verses below
    because they are hoping you don’t read for yourself

  12. Shawn, the best thing that ever happened to me truly was really doing what I should do, and that is search the Scriptures to see if these things are so. He really does care that we not be misled by error, so pray and begin to search. Here is a hint. They almost never use Scripture in context, so look up the many verses they post, and you’ll begin to see they are misusing Scripture (or in error).

    They frequently will cite many Scriptures and it may seem like context is correct, but if you check out the stories of people like Farley somehow stating that the act of Abraham offering up Isaac justified him (as unto eternal life), you will find this is a lie or at the least, a very uniformed ‘teacher’. Abraham was justified when he believed God.

  13. Here is a teaching session from Grace Institute Bible Studies GIBS on Hyper dispensation

    20 – Dispensations 17 – Hyper-Dispensationalism

    tinysa.com/sermon/515172320374

  14. Shawn, Farley has redefined “faith” to include just one work. So, Farley’s understanding of how one receives eternal life is flawed.

    Those who errantly insist on works for eternal life will vary on how many works are required. But, I think they find common ground in works being required.

  15. Shawn Ruth

    I really also struggle with Farley and the hyperdispensational interpretation of Jesus’ words in the gospels such as the lord’s prayer not being for believers today. Reading the gospels through those lenses is so confusing…basically everything prior to the cross is not for believers…I just don’t buy that…not that we are under the law per se either…

  16. Andy, thanks for dropping by.

    Farley contrasts what he calls “dead faith” (intellectual assent) with “living faith” (active, saving faith). The examples he gave included Abraham being willling to sacrifice Isaac (“an act that goes beyond mere intellectual agreement.”).

    I don’t think we misunderstood Farley at all. We just don’t agree with him.

  17. Wow you really didn’t read this book closely. The “work” of which Farley speaks is faith. Agree or disagree, just make sure you understand the text before you write an article like this.

  18. praying for you Shawn..
    be sure to get plenty of Sunlight, Fresh Air, Drink water regularly, Rest

  19. Shawn Ruth

    Yes I found this site because something about Andrew Farley didn’t seem quite right either…and I was doing a search on him and lordship salvation…

  20. At least I now know I have a friend who is two hours away.

  21. also Shawn, the fact that you even found expreacherman says a lot . other than the links on the blog roll sadly there are few very few places like expreacherman
    The Late Jack Weaver was one of the most spiritually sharp minded souls that I have had the privilege of being corrected by . Jack cut right across the grain and I appreciated him for that

  22. Jason i scoured about 100 mile radius of harrisburg PA . No Clear Gospel of Grace preaching/teaching . None that teach the tenses of salvation . Justification, Sanctification, Glorification

  23. Duluth Bible Church , and Yankee Arnold both have live internet webcast church .

  24. Shawn
    there are many of us here who have gone through what you are experiencing.
    I also do know my way around the internet and spent way to much time listening to junk on the internet. even after finding expreacherman about 4 years ago. with warnings from Jack Weaver ( who is with the Lord now) to separate from false teaching I still went down a rabbit trail thankful to the Lord . Jack Weaver and others here used of The Lord that I came back out from among them.
    Yes you could very well experience a nervous break down . However you have received a lot of sound biblical counsel to help avoid that .
    Coming out of false doctrine can be very traumatic to a soul . I confronted teachers an elders in a IFCA Church I was attending at the time and ended up in hospital for 5 days getting my heart back in rhythm .
    The most important is to take care of You and your relationship with God that has become toxic from false teaching .
    Rest assured God is for you He is not angry with you You have been loved with an everlasting Love . You are God’s gift to Jesus His Son . God is Not holding our sins against us as believers souls in Christ Jesus.

    Read the Clear Gospel booklet and Galatians

    1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

  25. Shawn Ruth

    Pastor Cucuzza’s Church is an hour and fifteen minutes from me…I feel like I need to get better grounded before I go anywhere…

  26. I think I could add that it’s ok to avoid church if you can’t find one within commuting distance that teaches a clear gospel. I haven’t gone to church aside from funerals for a long time. I can’t find any church that’s clearer on the gospel than the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Boothwin, PA. Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t saved if you don’t go, because that’s more lordship baloney.

  27. Shawn Ruth

    Yes I hear you…ive got tons of books around that I probably need to get rid of…

  28. Shawn, you are wise to avoid the crossless gospel error of the GES.

    Like I mentioned previously, I think it would benefit you to spend more time grounding yourself in the Gospel and less time reading and listening to other things.

  29. Curtis, I have to laugh seeing as I was on the post for ‘the Naked Gospel’ and here I am mentioning it, without realizing which post I was on… (sorry John) 🙂

    Curtis, amen, thank you for adding that. It does take time, sometimes it seems like a long time, but the Lord is faithful.

  30. Shawn Ruth

    I’m having a bit of a nervous breakdown, because all of my searching, all of the books and study Bibles have brought me full circle…After I left the Pentecostal movement in 1996 Then I in 2001 after being exposed to Greg Boyd and Open Theism at his church. I was attending a Bible Church that closed because a pastor from John Macarthurs seminary took over. The remnant started a new church that I feared had too much baggage.
    I was close to one family at the original Bible church who introduced me to the concepts of nonlordship salvation and Zane Hodges and Free Grace teaching. They went off the deep end with this crossless gospel notion and because I didn’t buy into that they shunned me. I think that I kind of threw out the baby with the bathwater…also there is so much reformed teaching here in Minnesota because of John Pipers influence…the chaos of the teaching on the internet hasn’t helped me any…

  31. What Holly said to you Shawn

    also would like to say
    coming out of indoctrination and the influence of false gospel’s and developing discernment to spot them it is a process. Being Justified declared righteous by God through Christ Jesus finished work is an 1 time event.
    I takes time to unlearn and re learn scripture. learning to draw out from the word instead of reading into scripture.

  32. Hobbs, I really do understand, many of us here have had bad experiences, it is the leaven of religious Pharisees, not the truth of God’s Word. For me it was realizing two simple things (which I can forget and need to remind myself of).

    1. Pray for more things with His help (Pr 3:5-6 is one that initially spurred me).
    2. Spend time ‘hearing’ His Word (Luke 10:38-42.
    Basically abiding in Him and continuing in His Word. His Word is light in the darkness. It’s the weapon against the enemy. It’s powerful and it discerns (as you know) even the thoughts and intents of our hearts (even when we don’t always know them).

    Seems like you already know them, but like all of us, we can get distracted, and I think it’s at those times we’re just not as equipped to answer the enemy as aptly. God help us all to remember enduring is continuing in the things He has told us. It is not perseverance in order to be saved.

    A friend told me she saw another term for Perseverance of the saints, and it was Perspiration of the Saints. I had to laugh, it’s so ridiculous, the emperor does not have clothes on, and their doctrine is naked and should be ashamed also. There is even a book called the Naked Gospel… (another error)…

  33. Shawn

    Doubting or continuing in the faith. Now whether we continue to believe has to do with whether we are being practically sanctified (washed in the water by the Word – Eph 5:26; John 17:17). Faith comes by hearing the Word…(Rom 10:17a). If we continue in His Word we will be disciples indeed and we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free (Jn 8:31-32). Free from what if we’ve already been freed from sin’s penalty? From going back under bondage, doubt, strife, envying, biting and devouring one another (even ourselves)… Just choose the good part, the needed thing (Lk 10:38-42).

  34. Shawn, you say you have been searching your heart to discern if you have truly believed, and the ‘if’ (proof) was = ‘there should be a more definite change in your life.

    Let me hand it back to you this way.

    The change from death unto life is instantaneous. There SHOULD be change in a believer’s life IF they get into the strong meat of His Word. If you are drinking from dirty cisterns and polluting your mind with loadship thinking (turn from sin does NOT = repent), then you will be confused. And as John said, He is not the author of confusion.

    If you are wondering if you have believed the gospel, the only answer to ‘if’ is to ask yourself if you have believed God’s testimony, if so, you possess eternal life. His testimony? Simply, believing Christ and Him crucified for you = Eternal life by His grace and not of ourselves.

    Jesus is Emmanuel, God among us, the ONLY Savior. If you have believed upon Him crucified for you (who He is, and what He has done), you were saved at that moment, sealed, already passed from death unto life, already seated in heaven (spiritually speaking), already delivered into His Kingdom.

    I ‘amen’ everyone here, please stay away from these people on FB on Youtube, etc. If you must, FIRST ask for the multitude of counsel (sound Biblical counsel), in that there is safety. Definitely don’t heap up teachers, don’t listen to just anyone, remember there are MANY deceivers, MANY deceived and a GREAT apostasy/falling away from the faith.

    Just choose to spend time in His Word, praying, writing down questions, looking up cross references, asking the Lord to show you the truth and trust that He will in His timing and your own building on your foundation.

    God bless your week, pray and ask Him to give you more of a desire to study with His approval as your goal as you get into the Word applying your heart to wisdom.

  35. Curtis, agree. This church doesn’t seem to understand the Gospel.

  36. from what i have read of your post here Shawn.. it is not you
    they can not deliver to you a clear Gospel message because they dont know it themselves

  37. Shawn, the gospel is simple. When it gets confusing, you know that it is not God.

    1 Corinthians 14:33: For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    When you give a dog a pill, you wrap it in food, so they don’t know it’s there. When Satan (and his deceivers and deceived) give you error, they often wrap it in scripture.

  38. Thanks John I missed that. I appreciate your help and work in analyzing their response to me…it’s a lot to weed through. It’s a miracle anyone gets saved or receives a Biblical gospel message…satan has worked overtime here in our churches…

  39. Shawn, I expanded my earlier comment. Please check it out.

  40. The loadshiper’s making of laws is just like the Catholic Church. Laws that are commanded by neither Christ nor Moses, laws such as eat fish on Friday, beat yourself up daily, surrender your life, give up money, pray the beads, be a monk.

    Undeserved generosity now seems like a vast understatement. Generosity in forgiving sin while demanding performance does not cut it. No, it is infinite generosity to forgive all sins, past, present and future and to give you eternal life at once. Bought and paid for by the cross.

  41. Shawn Ruth

    Are they false? Why I don’t understand. I figure that it’s me and my limited intelligence

  42. Shawn, I do not want to post their false doctrine and their wrong arguments on ExPreacherMan, even if to show how absurd they are.

    The response you received, as is so often the case, intersperses truth with error, improperly paraphrases scripture, and in so doing, results in a false gospel of works.

    I will focus on just the error in their response. Their errant comments are in italics.

    The leadership at ***** ***** church absolutely believes that “grace” is an essential component of salvation.

    My comment: if grace is only an essential component, that means it is not complete. It means that Jesus is necessary, but that He is not enough. It mean you have to do your part, too – which is works (turning from sin).

    In response we are commanded to repent and turn from sin and believe on Jesus as Savior, Lord and God (Mark 1:15).

    My comment: Please note the clever way they have used a Bible verse while misrepresenting its meaning. In this case, they have ADDED to scripture. Here is what the verse really says:

    Mark 1:15: “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

    This verse does not say “turn from sin.” Adding to scripture changes it!

    The gospel is not an algorithm or formula where certain words must be used for it to qualify as “the gospel”. Rather, the gospel is a framework that undergirds all of scripture that declares that God’s redemptive purpose in choosing to save some as objects of His mercy is now fulfilled in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Who can be saved? All who believe!

    My comment: This is illogical doublespeak. If God chose to save some, then not everyone can be saved. The Bible actually says that God desires that all men be saved.

    2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

    Shawn, have you personally repented and believed in the gospel? If so, we’re thankful and welcome you as a fellow heir of God’s grace. If not, we encourage you to repent and believe in the gospel.

    My comment: Their false definition of repent makes their method of receiving Christ one’s works (turning from sin), rather than one’s faith (believing the gospel). In other words, their “gospel” is bad news!

  43. Shawn Ruth

    I have posted their reply. I edited out their name. I think that this could be helpful to see how insidious their way of interpretation is. Am I wrong In my estimation?!

  44. Shawn, if you get a reply, it will likely be a montage of “proof texts,” which are passages from scripture used out of context, improperly interpreted and strung together, to give the appearance of a cohesive argument. Some are very good at this. Please be careful.

  45. Shawn Ruth

    This was my review of the church that I posted on their Facebook site but later removed:

    I have been seeking the Lord and reading the Bible. I found your church’s website. I saw that the sermon series was on “how to get to heaven.” I was confused when the message never spoke about the cross of Christ or His blood…I never heard the word “grace” I thought that these were key concepts in the gospel. I heard a lot about striving and obedience…I recently heard a pastor on the radio say that “grace is God’s burst of undeserved generosity.” As I said I’ve been doing a lot of reading and trying to discern what the Biblical gospel is and I walked away from Beacon being more unsure than ever…stop drinking stop sinning and that’s proof that you have been saved is what I got out of this service…sorry if I missed something…

  46. Shawn, any time the focus is on a person’s behavior, it makes the gospel a gospel of works.

    What they are doing is creating a new law – their law – that replaces God’s perfect law. Then, by keeping their law, they think they are demonstrating that they have eternal life.

  47. Shawn Ruth

    In the gospel booklet I’m always struck by all of the false messages of what the “gospel” given in so many American Evangelical churches is. In January I visited a church and the sermon topic was on “salvation” The pastor was a grad from Macarthurs seminary. He never talked about the cross or Christ’s blood, but he sure said if you still drink to excess you probably aren’t really saved…I called them on the carpet.

  48. And they both use the wallet to represent sin.

  49. Shawn,

    I have prayed for you too, I went through your situation in 2012. Just like Johninc said, read Ron’s Gospel booklet, Galatians and listen to some sermons by Tom Cucuzza and you may also might like Pastor Yankee Arnold as well. He and Cucuzza are both Florida College grads.

  50. Too bad I can’t find a free grace, non crossless church in PA, NJ, or MD to drive across a border to.

  51. Hi Holly, thanks for checking where I stand on those points. Yes all those elements cover what I believe. Think I can see where your concern is, as in my last post I made the slightly cryptic comment ‘be positive’, as if I’m struggling to believe. I probably do waver a bit at times, but I understand the Gospel is God’s gift to anyone to freely claim for themselves. I don’t want to go to hell and I believe Jesus has the words of eternal life.
    In the past I had a rather bad experience, it’s like the Devil played a dirty trick on my mind and got me on a treadmill in my thinking, a stronghold as St.Paul would say. Hoping to get that out of my system but it’s a slow process. That’s why this site is like a healing balm. Really an ‘Oasis of Grace’.

  52. yes. i agree with what Johninc said. I been praying for you Shawn and pondering as i was driving.. Ending my shift now and was going to post simular to what John said…
    God wants us to know it is His will for us to know that we are saved That eternal life is a Gift a present possession and future Hope.
    Jesus paid our sin debt by His death Burial and Resurrection . Passed Present and future.
    Thank You Jesus.. For doing that for me I will to receive the free gift of eternal life.

    Pastor Tom at Northland is within your driving distance I would be there.

  53. Shawn, that sounds like a great idea!

  54. I see that Northland Baptist Church Pastor Cucuzza’s Church is here in Minnesota, Perhaps I should take a trip out there for services…

  55. Yes! I have watched and listened to sooo many sermons on the internet…which has resulted in much confusion…

  56. Shawn, I would recommend that you spend some more time getting grounded in the gospel. Ron recommends reading “The Gospel” booklet every day for a month, and then beginning Bible reading with the book of Galatians.

    If you would like to have that reinforced by some solid preaching, I would recommend that you start with Tom Cucuzza’s sermon “There’s Room at the Cross for You.” Please see link below:

    https://expreacherman.com/2015/04/03/new-video-message-from-dr-thomas-cucuzza-theres-room-at-the-cross-for-you/

    You might also benefit from “The Obvious That Isn’t So Obvious.” See link below:

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sid=9912846488

    I would implore you to not play “internet roulette” by wandering around looking for stuff to watch or listen to at this stage. I am still very careful to avoid ingesting spiritual poison.

  57. Shawn Ruth

    Thanks. Can you recommend any solid preaching or podcasts?

  58. Shawn, turn your eyes back to Jesus. Satan is trying to get you to focus on yourself.

    Please re-read “The Gospel” booklet section on assurance.

    And Shawn, if you are going to examine your life for fleeting evidence of eternal life, how much do you need? You have to be perfect to get into heaven. That perfection comes from Christ’s righteousness being imputed to you as a believer, not from any change you see in your life. And, even if you were to see a more definite change (presumably for the better) in your life, what guarantee would there be that you wouldn’t see a change in the other direction later?

    I am continuing to pray for you Shawn.

  59. Shawn Ruth

    Your prayers are so greatly appreciated. I am searching my heart to discern whether or not I have truly believed the gospel. I just feel like if I have there should be a more definite change in me and my life…

  60. here is the uploaded link to the above wendsay night service

  61. That service was simple and free of the many extraneous elements that have become commonplace.

  62. Last night service from Duluth Bible Church. Pastor Rosker gave testimony of a gentelman who is saved 50 years and yet did not understand Fellowship.
    Not I but Christ.
    dont know how long link will work. it goes away because it was live and needs to be uploaded.

  63. Shawn and Hobbs, may I say that it is not by our feelings, or being contrite, or even tears (although it may certainly accompany belief), along with matter-of-fact belief, or joy may also accompany belief as we see in the Biblical accounts of the gospel being delivered and believed.

    We know that we believe His testimony of Jesus Christ, because God is not a liar, so we believe upon the truth as fact, or we think we have to add to that, or even question it as a story. It’s not how big or how little our faith, it is that we have believed upon God’s testimony of His Son — Who He is, and what He has done for us. So we ask, do you believe that? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? God come in the flesh, who died in your place, for your sins? To take your sins upon Him and that it was finished at the cross when He suffered and died for you? Do you believe He had the power to take His life back up again? (A literal physical Resurrection). If you believe that, nothing can change the fact that you possess, own, to have, to hold — eternal life — freely. 1 John 5:9-13.

  64. Shawn, I’m also praying for you.

  65. Same story with me. Speaking in tongues is too obvious to fall for, but the repenting and other stuff has gotten to me. The simple things I believed as a child (but did not confirm from scripture until much later) turned out to be right after all.

  66. Shawn, please continue to read and re-read the booklet.

    We are continuing to pray for you.

  67. Shawn Ruth

    I love that booklet. I’ve been baptized three times. Walked the aisle at the Baptist Church. Walked the aisle at the Billy Graham Crusade, said the sinner’s prayer more times than I can remember with every head bowed and every eye closed…I’ve repented and cried, weeped and wailed over my sins. Sold everything and took a Greyhound bus to Bible college across the country, I’ve sought the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues…But all of my evangelical religious activities can’t hold a candle to the simplicity that is presented in The Gospel as edited by Ron Shea…

  68. Ron Shea’s presentation of the gospel may be the clearest I have read.

  69. Praying for you Shawn
    this thought below came to mind pondering

    Satan Self And the World System can not take away from the Gospel of Grace The Truth of The Gospel. They all must ad something to the Gospel and that nullifies the Free Gift of Eternal life.
    when all stripped away for the Truth has nothing to hide. Christ Died for the ungodly and that qualifies me to receive by Grace (undeserved favor) Through non meritourous Faith doing nothing but reciveing by believing what Jesus done was for me I become the recipient of a brand new life. A supernatural invisible life. Because of this I come boldly before His throne the throne of Grace. That takes Faith to come into His pressence as I am.
    its the object of our Faith Christ Jesus we are welcome.

     6  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

     7  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 

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

  70. Must admit I often descend into this kind of problem ‘….so many voices and opinons…’

    Christendom seems so horrifically fractured.

    But then I have a big problem generally with voices and opinions, being rather flaky and indecisive. My puny little mind trying to make sense of the world’s insanity.

    So, I tend to end up crumpling into a heap with exhaustion and have to conclude that all I’ve got is my belief in Christ as Saviour – and hope that’s enough. Which it is (be positive!)

    Perhaps being a loser is an asset when it comes to trusting Christ without works.

  71. Shawn, welcome and thanks for your honest comment.

    The Gospel is simple. It is not God who makes it confusing, but man – with an assist from Satan.

    I would encourage you to read “The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea. It is linked below:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

    I would also encourage you to pray, asking God to guide you and give you wisdom.

    I have prayeed for you and we are glad you have found this site. I don’t think it is an accident that you are here.

  72. Shawn Ruth

    I’m so confused about the gospel…so many voices and opinions…

  73. Curtis, true, they make 1 John 1:9 a salvation text, oddly, which confessing sins is a work of the law, so why would God require it for salvation? At any rate, he exposed himself by how he sees the book of James.

  74. Hyperdispensationalim aside, Farley teaches that one must do a work to receive eternal life, and he teaches that the book of James affirms his view.

  75. a Google search of Andrew Farley Naked Gospel . Expreachermancom comes up third from top in defense of the Gospel Truth . Thanking the Lord for that , hopefully spare a soul tormenting themselves with a false gospel.

    Andrew Farley of the hyper dispensationlist or hyper grace they like to be called . Obliterate the old nature when receiving Christ That alone is biblical hearsay to start . 1 John 1:9 becomes a salvation text since there is no more sin to confess . it gets more and more bizarre and mystical down the pathway of the Gnostic’s Ducks Bark and Dogs Quack.
    Books Books Books got to buy the books to learn how to read their opinion (hearsay) into scripture they are all the time selling their books teachers endorsing one another to buy books books books ..
    Imagine a soul ” Why should God allow you into Heaven?. Because i got a library of books ?

    Its the same old trick to play (roll it around in your thinking) with the wrong question “Has God said” ?

  76. Holly, this is one of our most widely-viewed articles. There must be a lot of people looking into Farley, and I hope we are successful in steering some away from his false doctrine.

  77. Had to look this up again, so many are of the impression that Farley understands grace and preaches the correct gospel, just another wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  78. Yes John, thank you for answering. Many never ask that question and so they mix up justification to righteousness vs. justification before men.

  79. Richard Welcome
    Below find links to teaching’s if only listen to one please listen to Covenant Theology . Hyper dispensation like Andrew Farley get it all mixed up

    Dispensations #1 : The Basics
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=123171942571

    Dispensations #2 : The Basics #2
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=123171944102

    Dispensations #3 : COVENANT THEOLOGY
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=123172221231

  80. Holly, I will answer your question – Abraham was justified before God long before Isaac was even born (Romans 4:10).

  81. Richard, we should never ‘spiritualize’ Scripture, but we should also look at the whole counsel of God. Scripture tells us in many places we are only saved by faith, not by works, so James cannot contradict that and be right. We are not saved by works, and the new covenant never ‘demands’ this for salvation. I think you may miss that there is justification before men in that they see our works (which are beneficial to all – Titus 3:8), however, please look at the examples in James 2 and ask yourself, was Abraham saved when he offered up Isaac? Was he justified or declared righteous before God when he offered up Isaac? Or was this justification before men?

    Yes, many hyper dispensationalists use Jeremiah 31:31 to suggest we are not in the New Covenant. The New Covenant was dedicated by the blood of Christ, and we are most certainly included. I think where people go wrong is not understanding partial fulfillment. Do you remember Luke 4 where Jesus read Isaiah and stopped with Is 61:2a? He showed then how much was fulfilled at that point. And there is yet a future fulfillment of the New Covenant and also the Abrahamic covenant (the physical kingdom and the land promises to Israel).

    Don’t hyperdivide Scripture either. Use context and be sure you are comparing Scripture with Scripture…

  82. Richard,thanks for stopping by.

    Eternal life for anyone is received the same way – by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. James does not contradict this in any way.

    We stand by our comments on James.

  83. Richard Rettenmaier

    Andrew farley does not divide correctly , nether are you. You both interpret James 2 wrong. Don’t spiritualize it. James means faith without works is dead and cannot save you period. It is what the new covenant demands. BUT since the BODY OF CHRIST is NOT under the new coveant, checkout Jeremiah 31:31 Romans four is correct by saying that we are saved not by works!! The gospel that Paul preached was hidden since the beginning of the ages. He preaches the gospel according to the mystery, not the gospel of the kingdom.

  84. here is another reference..
    “Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?”

    18 :33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? xref-3

    34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

  85. I always think of this from 1 Corinthians 4:6 when men think of their teachers above what is written in God’s Word.

    And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

  86. Curtis, that really gets to the heart of the matter. If teachers are departing from the word of God, they have absolutely no authority, other than what has been conferred on them by men.

  87. Curtis, that really gets to the heart of the matter. If teachers are departing from the word of God, they have absolutely no authority, other than what has been conferred on them by men.

  88. God has given us The Holy Spirit to lead guide and direct our Thinking as well.
    I pray you seek The Truth of The Gospel Jimbob custer while asking God

  89. sure is something. how souls come to expreacherman.com and attempt to defend their teachers that are in error and not the Word of God.

    imagine if the question was asked ” why should you enter Heaven into the presence of Christ Jesus…..
    well my teacher said….
    while you are holding the word of God to study think and ponder for yourself..

  90. Jim, I agree with your interpretation of the passage in James.

    The review of “The Naked
    Gospel” is one of the more heavily visited articles on Expreacherman, so I know a lot of people are being exposed to Farley’s deception.

  91. JimBob Custer,

    It is totally fine for John to discuss Farley’s error. We need at times to point the errors of men for those that are being led astray. And we need to teach the truth as well so that they can spot guys like Farley themselves.

    It never ceases to amaze me how these book writers so often fail to consider Biblical context.

    Please do not allow yourself to be deceived by him.

    Respectfully
    Jim F

  92. John,

    You are quite correct with your assessment. This one particular statement shows the errors really well.

    “It’s specifically addressing the question, “Can such faith save them?” (James 2:14). From there we must grasp James’s own use of the term works by consulting the examples he gives. James’s purpose is to contrast mere intellectual agreement with active, saving faith that involves receiving the life of Christ. When Christ stood at the door and knocked, did you respond by opening the door, as Rahab did? If so, I think you’ve met the requirement of this historically controversial faith-works passage.

    James 2 is not inviting us to introspect and assess our long-tem track-record of good works; in context, it appears to be contrasting dead faith (intellectual assertion only) with living faith (true conviction followed by decision).”

    The thing that people like Farley need to understand is that James purpose was not in any about conversion or faith used to re so e the gospel offer of eternal salvation. Therefore it is not in any way about “intellectual faith” or “mental assent” versus active faith. In context, dead faith was the current status of the believers (eternally forever saved people) that he was writing to. This was precisely because they were not looking bing out their faith in their actions esp ially toward the lost and those in need. Whenever believers do this they display a useless faith in terms of and good for others whether practically or in testimony. Believers with bad testimonies give people the wrong idea as opposed to people like Abraham and Rahab who were seen as justified before men by their actions. Simply speaking, they had great testimonies.

    Jim F

  93. jimbob, thanks for swinging by.

    I stand by my comments regarding Farley and his false, “naked gospel.”

    He did not describe works as simply believing. If you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, that is up to you.

    Farley’s books and broadcasts are all quite public. I need not contact him to sound my warning in private.

  94. Sir I believe that you missed the whole point of Andrew Farley’s explanation. He is saying that believing is a decision and making the decision to believe is faith and that work is what he is talking about. I am under the impression that have the Pharisee mentality that would rather argue instead of see the truth in what others are saying in regards to the gospel. I see nothing that Farley has said to be in contradiction with the Gospel. As for him speaking at Creflo Dollar church I give him all of my respect. With all the untruth and false teachings that have been taught in that particular church what better place to go and preach the truth. Maybe you should call and visit with Andrew Farley and stop slamming him on the Internet. After all we should all be on the same team if we are truly being led by the spirit.

  95. here also is what comes to mind when reading your question Mary. When i was under the spell of another Gospel that was a favorite go to verse for working out salvation while contradicting other verses below.

    col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

    Jud 1 :24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

    25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

  96. Mary, see below from our “Difficult Verses” section:

    Philippians 1:6: Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

    Question: Does Philippians 1:6 guarantee that believers will become progressively conformed to Christlikeness?

    Answer: No. Paul is referring to the Philippian’s financial support for his ministry, not their practical sanctification. His statement is not a guarantee that their partnership will continue, but an expression of his confidence.

  97. What do we do with the scripture that says he that began a good work will finish it , under the grace position. It can’t be talking about justification, how do we respond to this.

  98. Michael, I pray for comfort for you in what you have suffered, He is near to the brokenhearted. I also pray you won’t leave this world for good in your quest for solitude as we still need fellowship, and we still need to share the gospel with others. Pray for more laborers for the harvest.

  99. christianpacifists

    Greetings Curtis, I shall include prayers for ALL expreacherman and their Ministries,and those who comment/post on this site and for the the glorious Gospel of Grace paid for by Jesus,to be magnified on this site, for the edifying of the saints for the captives to be set free in our thinking and of course for souls to be saved by Grace through faith,on my daily prayer lists,,

    “May the peace of the Lord be with you ALL here on this website,and at expreacherman and their Ministries”, Blessings,Michael.

  100. thanks for posting Michael letting us know. please pray for all here atvexpreacherman and the Ministries on the blog roll. un fortunately there are few oasis of Grace on the Internet for weary souls to discover the faith rest life.
    Pray the glorious Gospel of Grace paid for by Jesus be magnified here for the edifying of the saints for captives to be set free in our thinking. for souls to be saved by Grace through faith

  101. Michael, welcome and thanks for your comment and your kind offer to pray for those (all of us) who need prayer.

    Benchap is still around, and is a regular and valued commenter at ExPreacherman.

  102. Michael Kevins

    Thank you johninnc for enlightening me on Andrew Farley’s Book. Thanks also for your other post,I have learned a lot from you,many thanks.

    Thanks to all the posters on here too,excellent stuff. Upon reading Andrews book many many things didn’t seem right to me,yes especially on the James 2 faith/works chapter.

    if Benchap is still around I hope he found peace In his life.I prayed for him anyhow, I struggled with loneliness for a while after my divorce.God found me a year later in the depths of despair,I Praise & Glorify him daily now. If I a can give Ben any hope,please dont despair. I have been very lonely and alone since God found me,as my nearest and dearest friends departed from my life because of me becoming a Christian.

    I now a live an Eremitical life,that’s a Christian “Hermit” by the way.after taking vows of Chastity,Poverty and solitude. Devoting my life to the praise of God,withdrawal from the world, the silence of solitude and assiduous prayer and penance.’”

    I have no tv,dvd,music players etc,,and I limit myself on the internet.I live remotely,partially disabled so I need to order food,pay bills etc.

    If anyone needs prayers,please do let me know,,thanks..

    Anyhow, ” May the peace of the lord be with you All always”

    Blessings, Michael

  103. Jimmy – so glad you have found this haven of grace or oasis of grace as it’s called. Andrew Farley indeed has quite a number of things wrong, I appreciate this blog right along with you.

  104. Jimmy, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    Yes, Farley just has another spin on a false gospel. As our founder, the late Jack Weaver used to say, “the woods is full of ’em!”

  105. Thank u sir for this blog…it showed me Farley is a false teacher I seen his videos on Facebook I knew something wasn’t rite…thank u again my good brother

  106. Very profound Johninnc.

    Man’s attempt at covering himself.

  107. This book should be called “The Fig Leaf Gospel.”

  108. Alan . praying for you early this am that you would ” come out from among them ”
    it is no accident that you found a place like expreacherman. there are few places like this blog.
    ask God for wisdom and understanding and search the scriptures.

  109. Alan (Wolfinger), welcome, I hope you might consider these thoughts.

    Let me ask you a question, was Abraham justified in a different manner than we were?

    For example, did it take him years to be justified unto life? Or could he know he had eternal life based on God’s testimony? Haven’t the just always lived by faith?

    I maintain that Abraham was justified years before he was ever circumcised, so does the Bible by the way, the only truth. Abraham was 99 when he was circumcised and Isaac had not yet been born. We know he had to be 100 when he was born. He was 75 years old when he believed God and left Haran (Gen 12, see also Heb 11:8-9 which verifies this is when he first believed). The passage below shows he was already counted righteous in uncircumcision. We know Isaac was a lad when Abraham offered him up on the altar, so likely around 10 or so, but he already had eternal life, it is not a process. The offering of Isaac was at least 35 years after Abraham already was a believer and declared righteous. Abraham showed he was faithful when he was tried, and got a foreshadowing of the Lamb God would provide (see again the Hall of Faith in Heb 11).

    What you may be missing is the understanding of ‘saved’ or ‘salvation’ in most places in the NT isn’t even referring to eternal life. So we have to ask, saved from what? Delivered from what? These people were already identified as brethren, brother, sister, or having the Spirit dwelling in them, so this cannot be about justification leading to life. But being justified in the sight of others. Your understanding of James 2 is a typical reformed and also Catholic understanding in that they believe a ‘faith that works saves’ (as in eternal life). But it cannot be, because the moment we believe, we are given the free gift of eternal life. We can know at that moment based on what we have believed (1 Jn 5:9-13).

    3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Rom 4:3, 9-12

  110. Lot of people state we are saved by grace, but are not necessarily teaching that in their writings. I’ll provide some page numbers from another place.

    1. On pages 149 and following, he claims that 1 John 1:9 is a salvation verse, and does not apply to believers.

    (DISAGREE) – citing Numbers 5:7, confessing sin is a work of the law, we do many works of the law, including not committing adultery, etc. We are not under it, but we cannot include it as a salvation verse.

    2. On page 104 he says, “The moment we enter into Christ at salvation, our old self is obliterated.”

    (DISAGREE) – we have two natures as born again believers.

    3. Pg 168 – rewards are not in the Bible Farley states –

    (DISAGREE)

  111. Alan,
    See my previous post on September 29, 2015, at 8:37 p.m., wherein I mentioned Farley’s radio broadcast on 7-13-14. Listen to Farley’s broadcast (it should still be available on his website) and you will see that he clearly states that we are SAVED (justified) by our works and not by faith alone. He is not referring to post-salvation works. He claims to preach a gospel with no additives to faith in Christ; however, that is not the case. He is adding works to the salvation message.

  112. The Perilous Tightrope of the Fruit Inspector – 2013
    http://standforthefaith.com/grace-sermon-audio/

    I did look at Andrew Farley’s website , there is no gospel presentation in written form and no doctrinal statement. 99.99 percent of those who are not upfront about their stand on the Gospel are in error. The Truth has nothing to hide and all to loose.

    Alan I have had similar experience coming out of fundamentalism and ended up over to the other extreme which is mysticism and the denial of and or eradication of the sin nature.
    I bumped into the Naked Gospel on my way out of fundamentalism the group the naked gospel hangs out with most our universalist , mystics and gnostics that deny being so . just like all the other ist, isms and ites it is what is left un said that does as much damage to a soul that is what is said.

    the bottom line is the old sin nature does not want to study Gods word , meditate on Gods word , keep in memory of the finished work of Christ To think scriptural but wants someone else to spoon feed and not apply what is received or tries to apply it to the old sin nature to be acceptable before God. “the spirit of Cain.

  113. Alan, I’m sorry you are not comfortable with that comment.

    However, I stand by it.

    You are assuming that James is talking about eternal life every time he uses the word “save.”

    If you would like to read a companion passage that should help you understand this passage, see Romans 4:2.

    Please read this and my previous response.

    If you would like more background on my interpretation of James 2, see link below. Please note, though, that I won’t be debating it further.

    If you have a different opinion, fine. But, I don’t intend to go back and forth on this.

    https://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/cucuzza-faith-without-works-is-dead.pdf

  114. Alan, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    I would like to draw a sharp distinction for you regarding my interpretation of James verses Farley’s.

    I do not believe that James is saying that “real faith” always results in works, or even a single work. I think he is saying that productive faith includes works.

    The difference is critical to the defense of the gospel. If someone has to look to his own life for assurance of eternal life, he can never really have it.

    We are not justified in God’s sight by our works, so we need not look to our works for assurance of eternal life.

    The gospel is about relying on Chtist’s righteousness for eternal life, not our own righteousness.

    Jesus was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification (Romans 4:25).

  115. Alan Wolfinger

    I’m also not comfortable with one of the other comments which states “James is not writing about being justified before God (the cross): James is talking about being justified in the eyes of men by our works as a testimony for the glory of God.”
    If that were the case, would James have asked regarding the person who argues that he was saved apart from works, “…can that Faith save him?” Would not James have asked some question about whether that Faith would justify him before men?

  116. Alan Wolfinger

    Dear pastor,

    Thank you so much for your zeal and your stance on grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

    I can appreciate your argument above. You want to make sure the gospel is not clouded by works. It is purely accepting Jesus as our personal savior.

    I understand this argument very personally because in the mainline denominational church I was raised, the gospel was actually presented but quickly followed up with works.

    But I only became aware that this church made this distinction after being saved in college. I went back to the church to sit in and try to figure out why I missed the gospel, or if it had been there at all.

    The day I showed up he just happened to give a gospel presentation according to his definition. It started with a simple call to belief that I was totally happy with, but then he continued when he should have stopped. He went on to say “…and we have to obey the Ten Commandments and try to live a good life… .”

    It’s amazing to me how his adding of works to a clear Grace message made me totally miss the Grace part. If we are sharing Christ with people who have grown up in the post-christian culture of the United States and who have been raised in churches which preach doing good to get to heaven, unless Grace is clearly hammered out in contrast to Good Works, I believe most will miss it, because it involves a paradigm shift.

    I say all that before giving you my comment because I want you to know we are on the same team, unless I’ve stated something above that does not align with your belief.

    What I wanted to say was that having gone through the naked gospel, while I am not comfortable with the book in general, after looking at the passage you listed with your comments interjected, I think you guys are both on the same page. I think that author is trying to say that James was simply showing that the faith of Abraham and Rahab was genuine because it was active. It wasn’t a demonic Faith but a faith that was alive as evidenced by the way it affected the life of each person.

    Or maybe that’s the way you define works in James and what bothers you about the author is the way he defines the work. It looks to me like farley is trying to argue against those who have tried to wash away the statements of Works in James by saying James didn’t really mean works, whereas farley wants to say, no James did mean work but he meant a work right after salvation that proved his faith was real.

    So that difference is where you find fault. You don’t want a separate work required to “seal the deal” so to speak of a person’s salvation. You want that work to have no role at all in the person’s salvation but to be only a demonstrative work, post salvation, showing that the salvation was genuine.

    Is that close to what your point is?

    But I come back to Farley wondering if that is not really what he means as well. I think he would say that in the life of a True Believer, there will sooner or later be some fruit to demonstrate that the faith was genuine. Even the thief on the cross by his words demonstrated that his faith was genuine. He knew where he was going next. A demon has no such confidence but it is only intellectual assent.

    However as evidenced by your comments above, you would also find fault with this because you said Works may not necessarily follow or be evident in the life of a believer. You would probably say that trying to get into Fruit inspection to determine genuineness of believing faith is not biblical.

    I would tend to side with you on that point because otherwise we will find ourselves making distinctions about the kind of work we see in someone’s life. However I do know someone who believed that all that matters is that you accepted Christ at some point, but they don’t have any desire to study the word and so their life never seems to get any better and they don’t seem to change at all. I have thought that this person could use a study in James as well as other passages, challenging them about whether their faith is genuine. But knowing people like her in his congregations is probably what started John MacArthur down the road in the first place of works-salvation teaching.

    Sorry this is so long but in summary my statement, which I hope you will correct me if I’m wrong, is that I feel Farley is arguing against people who wish James had put it differently – that James had said that your works demonstrate that your salvation event was genuine. And Farley seems to want to say that this is truly what James meant by his use of the word works, but that in making his argument farley steps on your toes by pulling works into faith.

    Thanks for your time.

    Alan

  117. Chas, yes, you’ve summed up the situation with so many churches well.
    Two Scriptures that I think about sometimes are these:

    The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. -Romans 8.16-18

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. – 1 Corinthians 10.13.

    One of the very hard crosses to bear is the loneliness you describe. God knows “it’s not good for man to be alone”. In time you will find the human support you need. God is faithful.

    Alec

  118. Farley on with Creflo “gimme-your-last” Dollar? Farley endorsed by Leonard Sweet?
    Ding-ding!! Danger! Danger!

    Glad I caught all this, There’s another “teacher” I won’t have to waste time with.

    I sympathize with the search for a good (bible-believing) church. I’ve been searching for months. Even once you get through the touchy-feely socially oriented churches, you’re left with either contemplative-compromised Rick Warren influenced fix-the-world churches, or LS tainted churches steeped in veiled legalism.

    The Bible says we’re not to “forsake the gathering of our selves together”, but lately obeying that instruction has become very problematic.

    More irony: SoCal–Orange County in particular–used to be regarded as a hotbed of biblical, evangelical activity. But it’s like it’s all gone rancid or something.

  119. Never heard of Andrew Farley before, but this will be useful if I ever come across his teachings.

    Most unsaved people can’t even grasp the concept of salvation apart from works because it’s so different from how they’re raised. The works based salvation is much easier to “sell”. It’s true what you’re saying Jackie that the attacks are on the people sharing the true gospel of grace.

    And Ben, I can relate to the struggles of loneliness. Don’t let one bad day get you down, remember His mercies are new every morning. I’ll be praying for you.

  120. Jackie, I totally agree with your comment, “People, the religious especially, refuse to believe that salvation is as easy as believing on the Lord Jesus. The minute you take someone’s self-meritorious works out of the Gospel, you get attacked and hard.”

    I once mentioned before that we are born and raised in a society that forever teaches that nothing in life is free and that everything must be earned and achieved by our works/efforts. This is very true when it comes to money, possessions, and academic degrees, BUT not true when it comes to the free gift of eternal life.

    This mentality of “earning” and “achieving” has become so ingrained and so deep seated in the minds of many that the simple truth of John 3:16 sounds too easy and too good to be true. Hence, the formation of the pejorative terms “easy believism”, and “cheap grace” used by Loadship Damnationists like MacArthur to mock John 3:16.

  121. Jackie Garcia

    William you said:

    “In the New Testament Jesus and Paul were always treated and called “trouble makers”, but the Pharisees and teachers of the law were highly regarded as the “true believers”. People always have it backwards.”

    People, the religious especially, refuse to believe that salvation is as easy as believing on the Lord Jesus. The minute you take someone’s self-meritorious works out of the Gospel, you get attacked and hard. The enemy has never worked more around the clock to get me to stray off the path of contending for the true Gospel as he has now following my understanding of the Gospel. Romans 3:23 says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and thus rendering us as completely dependent on the saving work of Christ. The best we can do, as filthy sinners, is rest solely in the redemptive work of Christ. There’s nothing else we can do. Nothing. I fear that there are many within Christendom who do not believe this and even wrestle with the Holy Spirit when He convicts them of their unbelief in the Gospel. It’s so grieving.

  122. Curtis M, You said it well when you say, “sure is something how the Gospel of Grace is so offensive. when you speak out and proclaim what the Gospel is not and what the Gospel is you become the trouble maker.”

    I’ve been accused time and again on YouTube as a “heretic”, “liar”, “child of the devil”, “easy believist” for contending for the faith and refuting false doctrine. In the New Testament Jesus and Paul were always treated and called “trouble makers”, but the Pharisees and teachers of the law were highly regarded as the “true believers”. People always have it backwards.

  123. sure is something how the Gospel of Grace is so offensive.
    when you speak out and proclaim what the Gospel is not and what the Gospel is you become the trouble maker

  124. Dan (comment 10/1 @ 4.45am), you’ve written clearly what was going through my mind as I read this post – this sounds just like Roman Catholic doctrine. Did not know about Andrew Farley’s history of teaching at Notre Dame. It fills in some missing pieces. Thank you.
    Alec

  125. People who have “gravitated” from RC to reformed theology are still deceived, because they are both essentially the same.

  126. Holly,
    Farley used to teach at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, before moving to Texas. Those Roman Catholic roots grow deep. Farley “cut ties,” so to speak, with Notre Dame. Trouble is, those Roman Catholic roots are weeds and you can’t just “cut” them because they’ll just grow back. They need to be plucked up and burned in the fire. There is One “whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:12)

    I listened to Farley a long time before I heard his teaching on James 2 and realized he’s adding works to the gospel. He received a lot of negative feedback after this teaching. Nonetheless, afterward, he tried to justify his teaching by quoting a phrase I’ve heard the LS’s use which is, “Faith Works.” How subtle and deceiving it can be. He’s building on the foundation of Christ alone with wood, hay, straw, and “weeds.” All combustion-able! I am praying for him.

    Good to see you back commenting again. Keeping you all in prayer: “He sent his word, and healed them and delivered them from their destructions.” (Psalm 107:20) “With His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4) “By His stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Shalom!

  127. I ran across Farley on Facebook awhile back, didn’t spend much time with him because something was ‘off’. I usually make a point of trying to figure them out before I waste time on their ‘teachings’. I remember looking him up, saw an endorsement by Leonard Sweet, and it was enough for me to know then, stay away.

    I thank the Lord that we have His Word and don’t have to rely on people like this guy. He obviously has kept some of his Roman Catholicism roots.

  128. bchaplin1988, You’re not the only one who feels that judgment at the Bema is not going to be too pleasant. I made bad decisions in my life as a believer. I was once an apostate for 9 long years living in apostasy, sin, and rebellion against God until God chastised me to straighten me out and here I am today. I really feel that God has called me to refute the false doctrine of Calvinism/Lordship Salvation up on YouTube.

    I have shared the free grace gospel of John 3:16 many times and have tried to show to the deceived from Scripture that Calvinism/LS is heresy, but they just will not budge and will not believe. Whether or not they believe is not on me or those of us who share the truth, but it is on them and one day they will face God and be held accountable to Him. Like John said, God is pleased when we do our job in faithfully presenting, and defending the true gospel which is John 3:16,

    The person that you shared the gospel with may not believe now, but who knows, he may believe 10 or 20 years down the line. You may have planted a seed, but you never know. Like I said, it could be years down the line.

  129. bchaplin 1988, perhaps you planted a seed. I think that God is pleased when we are faithful in presenting His gospel.

    See Romans 10:15.

  130. I did that today 🙂 Unfortunately he didn’t believe.

  131. bchaplin 1988, I am continuing to pray for you.

    You are here for a reason, to share Christ in this lost world. See Ephesians 2:6-10.

  132. Thanks John.

    And Curtis, I don’t think I will enter another congregation as long as I live. Leaven has leavened the whole lump. I don’t trust any church.

    I’ve said to the Lord a few times over the past weeks that I don’t want to be here anymore (so I understand where you’re coming from) but I’m not sure I am too keen to go be with Him either considering some of the decisions I’ve made as a Christian. If I died today, not sure my judgement at the Bema is going to be too pleasant.

    But, we soldier on.

  133. I just watched an Andrew Farley video on U Tube from March last year. And guess whose church he was the guest of honor speaker? Creflo Dollar and his big money mega church. Sounds like what the Bible says about in the last days there will come false teachers for people with itching ears. (my paraphrase). Today, you can just follow the crowds and follow the money and the mega church pastor’s limosenes.

  134. I wonder how Farley understands Romans 4:1-7. Or does he just put it into the Calvinist blender with James 2 and come up with a MacArthurita”faith/ works” salvation cocktail and garnish it with a Tulip for us to drink up?

  135. right there with you Ben , praying for you.
    I just started attending a local assembly , the pastor preached grace , but hands out repent of sins tracks with James chapter 2 simple faith not enough for demons believe.

    We can minister to them but not be with them in support . Will see how long the Lord will have me here .
    We worship the Lord Jesus when we contend for the Gospel

  136. Ben, I have prayed for you in this matter. Of course it is worthy of prayer.

  137. Also – low importance in light of what some other believers are struggling with – but I’ve been wrestling with loneliness for two years and it’s not far from overcoming me. Any prayers – if you deem the request worthy of them – are always appreciated.

  138. Samson has been mentioned. The one that always used to tap on my mind was Solomon. He had all the wisdom, yet he fell away and had how many women? Will he be in heaven with the Lord? Yes. Will he have a good bema seat judgement? Unlikely, but we’ll see!

  139. I had been listening to Andrew Farley on a regular basis until listening to his radio broadcast for 7-13-14 in which he postulates that we are saved by our works and not by faith alone. He cited the fact that Abraham only did one work when he offered Isaac on the altar, and that Rahab only did one work when she received the spies and sent them out another way. I wrote to Andrew to say that if one work is necessary for salvation, then the mantra for his ministry, “Jesus Plus Nothing – 100% Natural – No Additives,” is no longer true. Instead, the gospel becomes “Jesus Plus One Work, 99% Natural, One Additive” for both Abraham and Rahab.

    The fact is that Abraham was declared righteous in Genesis 15:6 when “he believed in the Lord.” Romans 4:3 references this when it says, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Abraham was justified by faith long before he did the “work” of placing Isaac on the altar in Genesis 22. Genesis 15 was the “root” of Abraham’s justification when he believed God. Offering Isaac up on the altar was a “fruit” of Abraham’s justification albeit it was not a requirement for his salvation.

    We should walk in good works according to Ephesians 2:10 but we are not justified by them. Romans 4:2 makes this abundantly clear, “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.” Romans 3:28 adds, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    “Jesus plus nothing – 100% natural – no additives (no works, not even one)

  140. Adam, you said: It doesn’t get any clearer.

    My comment: I couldn’t agree more. Every time someone tries to redefine words (such as believe, faith, works, grace, repentance, and now even decision), alarm bells should be going off.

    If, as Farley says, a decision could be described as offering someone (yourself), he is describing trying to turn the free gift of eternal life into a trade.

  141. “10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.
    But let every man TAKE HEED how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation CAN NO MAN LAY than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

    12 Now ** IF ** any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

    13 every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive A REWARD.

    15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; YET SO AS BY FIRE”.

    1 CORINTHIANS 3:10-15 – AKJV

    It doesn’t get any clearer.

  142. William, I agree with you. Anyone can exhibit good works.

  143. John, Regarding “works”, Farley also fails to realize that anyone can do “good works” including Buddhists, Mormons, JWs, philanthropists, and even atheists and sometimes these people can exist side by side with the saved.

  144. William, Farley doesn’t seem to understand the gospel. He knows scripture says we’re saved by grace, without works. So, he has redefined works to be part of the “living faith” that results in eternal life.

    He then ascribes his reinvention of the word works to James.

    He is a false teacher, who mixes some kernels of truth with some fabrication to arrive at a false gospel.

  145. Farley fails to see the reality of Samson who is a man of God, but also lived carnally as a fornicator – Judges 16:1 and also commits murder and suicide – Judges 16:28-30 and yet Samson is listed as a Godly man of faith in Hebrews 11:32. Let’s not forget the Corinthian believers.

  146. James makes it clear at the outset (1:18) that he is addressing those who have already experienced the new birth, putting his readers in the same class as himself and the other apostles (“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth”) before he launches into his discourse on faith vs. works in chapter 2. The faith which is dead without works in ch. 2 is the faith that relates to living the Christian life, not the faith through which a person receives eternal life. However, those who hold to works righteousness are not able to make that distinction.

  147. Chas, I agree that James isn’t talking about how one receives eternal life,but rather is exhorting his readers to an active faith. If he had been concerned that they did not have eternal life, I think we would have seen a gospel presentation in James.

    There are many people who think that Jesus is necessary, but not enough.

  148. “In the first place, we are not actually justified by faith or works: we are saved and justified by Christ’s saving work at Calvary. Faith simply connects us to Christ’s saving work, and our works that follow are a thankful response and can be a beacon light to the world. ”

    Yes!

  149. More irony from the LS people. They want to poo-poo “mere intellectual assent” to distinguish it from “real heart faith”, with the result that they get people trusting in their own hearts instead of Christ’s saving work on the cross.

    I suppose there is a difference between knowing the content of the Gospel “intellectually” as opposed to trusting and resting in the Sacrifice preached in it, but that isn’t the distinction LSers make, is it?

    It is amazing, the desire of man’s fleshly intellect to nullify or complicate simple faith.

    Otoh, there is also the view among some Free Grace scholars that the “salvation” spoken of in James 2 is not soteriological, but involves “saving” from the practical consequences of one’s actions in this world. That is, James may be referring to the practical effects of active faith as compared to inactive “dead” faith. That seems to me to better fit the overall context of the book, especially given the historical situation.

  150. This Farley is like the other LS’rs: He is soooo afraid that someone will simply accept Christ’s finished work for himself, but then go on “living like the Devil in easy believism.” This is Graham’s and MacArthur’s M.O. So they keep on testing and proving everyone to see if their lives measure up enough for eternal life by twisting and taking out of context scripture to place more demands for salvation.
    In the first place, we are not actually justified by faith or works: we are saved and justified by Christ’s saving work at Calvary. Faith simply connects us to Christ’s saving work, and our works that follow are a thankful response and can be a beacon light to the world. James does not once in his letter mention or connect faith or works to Christ’s justifying work on the cross for us. James is not writing about being justified before God (the cross): James is talking about being justified in the eyes of men by our works as a testimony for the glory of God.

    Holly I’m continuing to pray for Adam and you, that HE is there for you both.

  151. the hyper dispensationlist mixed with mysticism
    There is a group of them and like fryingpan said they just keep recycling and promoting each others material. they seem to always have another book they are writing
    been down that trail for a short season on the way out of my own indoctrination

  152. Every time I hear the phrase “intellectual assent”, a picture of MacArthur pops into my mind.

  153. Bryan, it’s good to hear from you.

    I got suspicious about Farley’s “gospel” as soon as I found out that he was a proponent of the false dichotomy between “intellectual assent” and “saving faith.”

  154. Fryingpan, no worries. I’m not in that business.

    You are right, though. When someone starts talking about “intellectual assent,” run!

  155. Great post, John! (Too busy to elaborate at this time.) But . . . there’s that infernal “intellectual assent” thing again. Man, these guys are like dog food manufacturers–they all copy one another and they’re all peddling GARBAGE. (My apologies if you’re in that business and your product is actually “good”.)

  156. Thnks for this post, I was following Farley on FaceBook for a while because I got the impression that he promoted the Gospel by grace alone. However, once I saw a video of him explaining the Book of James with the excact verbage that is stated above, I was shocked. Needless to say, I’m not following him anymore.

    God Bless,

    Bryan R.

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