Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
People come to faith in Christ by hearing and believing the gospel. Accordingly, Satan has always had the gospel message directly in his crosshairs. He attempts to pervert the message through various means, not the least of which is the heretical teaching of Lordship “salvation.”
Please see definition here: Lordship “salvation” defined.
We should vigorously defend the gospel of grace against attacks from the Lordship “salvation” camp. And we should do nothing to aid and abet their attacks. Aiding and abetting attacks on the gospel can take many forms, including:
- Prolonged participation in churches that are not clear on the gospel
- Financially supporting groups that pervert the gospel
- Quoting favorably those who pervert the gospel
- Referring to people who corrupt the gospel in glowing terms
- Ascribing good intentions to people who corrupt the gospel
- Providing an extended forum to someone bent on perverting the gospel
This last one requires some judgment. At Expreacherman, we are generally less patient with new commenters who are diametrically opposed to what we teach than we are with people who ask honest questions, or even our longer-term commenters who have become confused through exposure to false doctrine.
Below are excerpts from a couple of comments that we entertained late last year from someone hostile to grace, before inviting him to go elsewhere. My responses are in bold parenthesis.
Comment number 1:
The only issue with claiming that works play no part in saving faith is the very sobering book of James, found in your bible immediately following Hebrews and preceding 1 Peter; a book conveniently absent from the discussion in this comment section.
(Discussion of the book of James is not “conveniently absent” from our commentary. Our site is replete with discussion of the book of James.)
We don’t do good works to be saved, but we should produce good works and good fruit once we are saved. This is an important distinction to make, one found all throughout scripture.
(There are lots of things Christians SHOULD do. But, there is absolutely NOTHING that a believer in Christ MUST do to prove he has eternal life.)
I say this not to cast doubt or condemn, but to push back against any notion of belief only, for James tells us that even the demons believe and shudder. In fact, in the gospels they properly address Jesus as the Son of God, yet we know that everlasting fire has been prepared for them. If they rightly believe in the identity and deity of Jesus, why are they condemned to hellfire? Because they are disobedient and rebellious. They don’t do the will of God. They know the truth, but refuse to practice it. The judgment for this is a scary thought.
(Jesus did not die for demons. He is the kinsman redeemer of mankind.)
Comment number 2:
Heroes of the faith, which we know are saved according to God’s Word, demonstrated their faith by their actions; not as a necessary prerequisite to be saved, nor as an accompanying trait to remain saved, but as an inevitable result that they were saved. Please recognize this distinction – there is an enormous world of difference.
(NO! It was not an “inevitable result.” If it were, these would not have been “heroes of the faith.” It is inevitable that heroes of the faith will be heroic. It is not inevitable that every believer will be. Inevitability makes it a requirement. A requirement of faithfulness to prove one is saved makes eternal life no longer a gift.)
Abraham truly did believe. But how do we know that? Because of what he did. He obeyed God.
(WRONG! We know Abraham believed, because scripture says he believed. See Romans 4:3.)
True faith will inevitably produce good fruit. I believe the bible makes this plain. Again, we don’t do works in order to be saved; we don’t do works in order to stay saved; we do works because we are saved. Another way to say it is this: You have been saved. Now, grow in grace and knowledge, and apply it for the good of the brethren and for God’s glory.
(You are saying two radically different things in one short paragraph. The fact that you cannot see the contradiction astounds me. You mention inevitability again, and by fruit, you seem to mean works (at least, that is what you said in your prior comment). You say that we do works because we are saved. Then, you say to grow in grace and apply it for the good of the brethren and for God’s glory. Again, if it is inevitable, why do we need to be challenged to do it?)
As is clear from the above excerpts, this commenter doubled down on his errant Lordship “salvation” doctrine after our first response, and is seemingly disinterested in the truth.
At some point, continuing to try to reason with someone who is intent on teaching error reaches a point of diminishing returns, and can be damaging to others – believers and non-believers alike.
A good course of action may just be to point them back to the gospel message.
No matter why you may have come to Expreacherman – even if it is to attack – if you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: John 3:16