“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

 

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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”.)

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

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

  4. 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.”

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. “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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

  16. “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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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

  23. 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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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!

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

  33. 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

  34. 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

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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

  41. 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

  42. 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?

  43. 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).

  44. 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

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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)

  48. 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

  49. 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.

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

  51. Very profound Johninnc.

    Man’s attempt at covering himself.

  52. 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

  53. 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!”

  54. 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.

  55. 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

  56. 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.

  57. 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

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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

  66. 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

  67. 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.

  68. 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..

  69. 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

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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?

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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…

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

  78. 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

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

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