Stemming Fruit Inspection

Our friend Preston Greene has a new book entitled “Religion vs Jesus Do vs Done.” The subtitle is “Explanation of scripture the “religious” use to deny salvation by grace alone.”

There is much confusion, among believers and religious non-believers alike, on the various meanings of the terms “fruit” and “fruits” in scripture.

Preston’s book has a chapter called “Fruit Inspectors” that does a great job in clearing up a lot of this confusion. The chapter is presented in its entirety below:


Fruit inspector is a term used to describe the religious. What is fruit inspecting? Well, it is what the religious use to see if a person is saved or not. The fruits of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5 and they are: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. The religious inspect you to see if you are bearing these fruits. If you do not, they tell you, “You must not be saved.” They might also proclaim, “Fruits are the evidence of salvation; they prove you are saved.” They use Matthew 7:15-20 and John 15:6 to show one is going to hell for not producing these fruits. Are the religious correct in their thoughts? Of course not. We will review both the fruits of the Spirit as well as Matthew 7 and John 15:6. First, let us put on our thinking caps and ask ourselves a few questions.

1. Can an unsaved person show love?

2. Can an unsaved person show joy?

3. Can an unsaved person show longsuffering towards humanity (through charity)?

4. Can unsaved people promote peace (Gandhi)?

If you are honest, the obvious answer is yes to all the questions. Let’s take this a step further, shall we?

1. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses show these fruits? (If you didn’t know, they don’t believe that Jesus was God in the flesh and think you have to earn salvation).

2. How about Mormons? Do they show fruits of the Spirit?

3. Do peace loving Muslims show any of these fruits?

Again, the answers to these questions are an astounding YES. Are these groups saved? No. If unsaved people show these fruits, and many in abundance, why does the religious use “fruits” as a gauge to determine salvation? Hmmmmmmm. Do you know who else shows these “fruits” according to the Bible? You may be surprised to learn not only unsaved people show these attributes, but also those who minister to Satan. Matthew 7, in reference to false prophets, reads:

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt 7:15). Notice, they are outwardly sheep, thus showing “fruits of the Spirit”.

We also read in 2 Corinthians 11:13 and 14:

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

Do you see it? False apostles transform themselves into the apostles of Christ, thus showing fruits of the Spirit. This is also true of Satan, who transforms himself into an angel of light, thus showing fruits of the Spirit.

Let’s take a look at fruits from a saved perspective. The church at Corinth was carnal, but were babes in Christ (1 Cor 3:1-3). They were a saved church; sanctified (1:2). However, they were sinning all over the place. Some of their sins were envying, strife, and divisions (3:3). A believer has relations with his stepmother (1 Cor 5:5), there were lawsuits among the believers (1 Cor 6:7) there was fornication (1 Cor 7:2), there was drunkenness at the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:21). How many fruits of the Spirit were they showing? Not many, but they were saved.

With reason and scripture we can conclude that fruits of the Spirit are not evidence of salvation. If the unsaved can do them without the Holy Spirit and saved people can all but ignore them, why do the religious insist it is mandatory that they should be exhibited? Because that’s what the “religious” do. Their mantra of “do” for salvation exceeds Jesus’s “done”. What about Matthew 7:15-20 and John 15:6?

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down,and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-20).

From a first look at this passage, it appears that if one does not produce fruit, he or she is going to hell. First, this passage is about false prophets (verse 15), not the born again believer. Verse 16 reads, “You will know them (false prophets) by their fruits.” Well, this is not referring to fruits of the Spirit, as Satan presents himself as an angel of light. Notice verse 18: “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit”. Do you sin? Then guess what, you are not a good tree. The only good tree is Jesus. Jesus said, “Why callest me thou good? There is none good but God” (Luke 18:19). Then we get to verse 20, which reads, “Wherefore by their fruits you will know them.” Well, if false apostles transform themselves into apostles of Christ and Satan presents himself as an angel of light, what does “fruit” mean? The answer is in Luke, which talks about the SAME thing.

For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart HIS MOUTH SPEAKETH. (Luke 6:43-45)

This is what fruit means in this passage. It is doctrine and what that doctrine produces (fruit). There are only two ways to see false prophets. One, if they prophesy something and it does not come to pass then they are not from God (Duet 18:22). The second area is “what is coming out of their mouths”. If you study your Bible and learn, you can tell someone is false by the words they speak. Bad doctrine, or false doctrine, will not produce for the kingdom. For example, what type of fruit were the Pharisees producing? What does Scripture teach us?

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matt 23:15).

Their fruit was to proclaim salvation by the works of the law to their disciples, to root their disciples in that doctrine that they became more a child of hell then their teachers! This was the “fruit” of the Pharisees ( As a result, we need to abide in Jesus (correct doctrine) to produce fruit (converts) for the kingdom.

This leads us to John 15:6, “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” First, what did Jesus say to do for salvation from hell? Go back to the chapter, What Does It Mean to Believe?. Jesus said to believe (trust) in Him for salvation. IF you have done this, you have abided in Jesus to do what was needed to have everlasting life. Remember, Jesus promised not to cast you out; He will never lose you and nothing will pluck you out of His hand (John 6:39 and John 10:28). Jesus CANNOT contradict Himself. Second, Jesus is talking to believers (disciples). Look what he says starting in verse 3.

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:3-8)

Notice verse 3: “ye are clean”. These were already saved people—Jesus’s disciples. Jesus then tells them that He is the vine and that they can produce nothing without Him. However, there is that word “fire” again… but do you remember Jesus’s promises? He promised to not cast you out and to never lose you. As a result, the already saved disciples could NOT go to hell. What, then, is this “fire” spoken about? A word may have different meanings based on context.

1. Baptism can refer to water, fire, Holy Spirit

2. Judgment can refer to hell, God’s discipline or the judgment seat of Christ

3. Saved (delivered) can refer to hell, God’s wrath, temporal death

4. Dead can mean unsaved or useless. 

We cannot assume the meaning of this verse means being cast into hell just because the word “fire” is used. We clearly see that salvation is FREE (Rom 5:15-20; Eph 2:8,9; Rom 3:24-28, Rom 6:23). IF it’s free, then it can’t be a “trade” for fruit bearing. Another question—how much fruit did the thief on the cross bear? None.


Jesus uses this as an “idiom” or metaphor. IF one does not abide in him, he or she is “useless”. Useless branches are tossed away. This does not mean saved people can go to hell. That would contradict so many passages of scripture. Jesus is just saying that if you don’t abide in him (to bear fruit), then you are as useless as a branch bearing no fruit and will be set aside. In other words “God won’t use you”. Can a believer produce no fruit and go to heaven? YES. The Bible is clear. Salvation is by grace through faith in the gospel of Jesus. In 1 Cor 3:11-15 we read how we, as born again believers, will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, where our works will be tested for reward. Some will have all their works burnt up, but they themselves will be saved. If they had “borne fruit”, that fruit would not have been burnt up, but rewarded. We conclude with verse 8, which tells us the context of the passage. Salvation is NOT in view here. Discipleship is in view here: “so shall ye be my disciples”. Salvation and discipleship— always keep them separate.

For salvation, Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30). For discipleship (service) Jesus said “pick up your cross and follow me”. Discipleship is NOT easy with a light burden. They are talking about two different things. The religious confuse salvation and discipleship; please don’t make the same mistake. Salvation is FREE. Discipleship is costly, BUT will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If you abide in Him, you can bear much fruit! Are you in the doctrine of Jesus or the doctrine of the Pharisees (religion)? The parable of the publican and the Pharisee is a great illustration for this chapter.

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)

What should we take away from THIS parable?

1. The Pharisee “trusted in himself”, that he was righteous. (verse 9)

2. The Pharisee actually gave credit to God. (verse 11)

3. He had good works. He fasted and tithed. (verse 12)

4. Was the Pharisee showing “fruit” by his works? According to religion’s definition, YES he was.

5. The publican simply asked for mercy, admitting he was a sinner.

6. The Pharisee was NOT justified (see the word rather in verse 14), but the publican was justified.

With regards to FRUIT, of the two (Pharisee and publican), who was showing more fruit?

RELIGION would say, “the Pharisee”. However, the Pharisee left UNJUSTIFIED.

As a result of the passages shown in this chapter, we can conclude…

1. Fruit is not needed for salvation.

2. Fruit is not always fruits of the Spirit, as the unsaved can show these fruits.

3. Fruit can be bad, as the fruit of the Pharisees sent people to hell.

4. Fruit is NOT the evidence of salvation, as Satan presents himself as an angel of light.

5. Fruit is not produced by EVERY Christian (see 1 Cor 3:11-15).

84 responses to “Stemming Fruit Inspection

  1. John Grace, when I was trying to teach through John, and looking up the meanings before going to any commentary, I was interested to find what they did with those branches, lifting them up off the dirt. I know we still need to cooperate, but it’s interesting to see we do the same in gardening, we know if a limb rests too long on the dirt, it’s going to rot, and we rinse off dirt and mud. Kind of why we need to abide in Him, and continue in His Word, wash these dirty feet in the water…

  2. John Grace, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    Your interpretation is one with which I am familiar, and I believe Jesus patiently works with believers to encourage and lift them up. And, resting in Him does provide strength and empowerment.

    However, there are Christians who do not rest in Him, and who fail to bear fruit, or who become unfruitful.

    The key point of this passage in John 15 is that abiding in Jesus is the only way to be fruitful. The passage cannot be properly interpreted to mean that one can lose eternal life, or that fruitfulness is a litmus test for whether or not someone has eternal life.

  3. Interesting enough if you read John 15 from the original Greek you find Jesus isn’t saying He throws away or sets aside for non use fruitless branches. It is actually saying He lifts them up. In other words when we aren’t “bearing fruit” He draws us closer to Himself. In our own efforts we never grow. Resting in Him and ceasing from striving and efforts produces strength and empowerment.

  4. Phil, I agree. It is not a freak of nature.

  5. The Total Solar Eclipse is not a freak of nature. If you think about it, the Moon and Sun would be projecting a total eclipse at any time somewhere in space. I think it is interesting, and perhaps by God’s design, that the Sun and Moon will have the same apparent size allowing a total eclipse to be seen somewhere on Earth. I don’t think this Aug. 21 eclipse is a some sort of end times prophetic sign.
    I live in the Kansas City area, but decided not to travel north to the zone of totality on Aug 21 because of potential traffic jams; so I used my eclipse glasses to view it from my yard. The Sun got to a sliver and it did get a bit darker.
    I have done amateur astronomy as a hobby since the 1980’s. I have a fairly large telescope that i transport to my clubs dark sky site where you can see the Milky Way. I am mostly interested in viewing the many galaxies and other faint deep sky objects as well as planets with my telescope. But ironically, I have never been terribly interested in eclipses.

  6. Trouble is, like the song, some of these so called scientists have a total eclipse of the heart. The foolish hearts are darkened.

  7. It didn’t even get dark outside where I am.

    Calling it a “freak” event also sounds superstitious. Surely, scientists know these things are cyclic occurrences. The geocentric Greek scientists seem smarter than they are.

  8. Jason, I had to work, so I just went outside and checked it out.

  9. Pagans were a step up. Sad.

    I wonder if you went south of the border to watch it.

  10. Curtis, how anyone can attribute the meticulous handiwork of God to “a freak of nature” is incomprehensible to me.

  11. “freak of nature”
    guess that means the builders of
    stone henge, the pyramids, the myans
    the Inca’s..

    They all didn’t know what they built or why they built to follow the order of solar system movements..

  12. Jason, some scientists regarded today’s solar eclipse as “a freak of nature.”

  13. I found this comment on Quora.

    “I think it’s fair to set that number to zero by saying anyone who believes in 6k old world is not a scientist by definition. I mean being a scientist should be more than just calling oneself that, you know, maybe one should also believe in the rational approach.”

    Fruit inspection from a scientist. You may understand particle physics better than Feynman. You might be the next Einstein. You might even win the Nobel prize for proving that quark confinement mathematically follows from quantum chromodynamics. And yet you believe that the earth is six thousand years old. They will tell you you are not truly a scientist. They presume to know who is truly rational.

  14. Curtis, I hope to see you over on FB, haven’t had so much time, it does require a lot when I’m there, but I believe it’s like I mentioned, both bad and good.

    It’s good to come here and read sound and humble replies from friends.

  15. Brady, I agree that judging fruit (based on works) is not of God – whether it is other people’s fruit or our own. Judging fruit (doctrine) to make sure that it lines up with the gospel is of God. The good news is that we need only look to Christ’s finished work for assurance, and not our own behavior or attitudes.

  16. i have been guilty of judging other peoples fruit but I know that is not of God. Thank you again for a breath of fresh air in speaking truth and a truth that truly sets you free. Not free to sin. But the freedom to love, to share the Gospel and the freedom that comes from assurance in Christ Jesus. Thank you!

  17. Yeah I hear you Holly.. Souls sure do scatter over the Truth of The Gospel on Facebook. Myself I don’t post much on Facebook and just recently started again.

  18. Curtis. Facebook is a curious thing, both a blessing and a curse. I see people on there that I know from my past of maybe 35 years ago. And as a very young woman, I missed the opportunity to share, although what I would have shared would have certainly been legalism and confusion. Some I have tried to ‘friend’ but most are not interested. It’s sad to see where they have gone, how hardened they are in their lives, and to see their children, and to think, “What if”?…

    I know I had responsibility, but I also blame all these false teachers, and the misconception that my parents had that ‘going to church’ made the Christian. I wish somehow they had seen what was coming, and how the church was being infiltrated by false teaching and false teachers. I wish they would have taught me to beware of the TV preachers and to speak against falsehood instead of the opposite.

    When being raised, the ‘church’ was going to church, the ‘Christians’ were anyone that called themselves such and unity was to refrain from saying anything bad about those who spoke another gospel. If you couldn’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

    The fact that I have spoken against Billy Graham’s gospel has caused some of my family to ‘block’ me (on FB) and those same ones I have not spoken to. The mother of one chastened me for speaking against Billy Graham, letting me know what I had ’caused’ (a bad example for her daughter). I let her know that I had said nothing in sarcasm, or rudeness, or railing, that I had spoken the truth soundly, and she could not condemn me. That she needed to defend the Word of God before men for her children’s sake. We have never spoken of it again. I pray for her whole family, I do not know which ones have understood the gospel, I just pray some read my page at times.

    And my other family members with kids who have blocked me, it has been more of the worldly sort. And yet another, her daughter has ‘converted’ to Eastern Orthodox. I love her and pray for her. She blocked me once, and re-friended me again, and from time to time comes to my page to ask questions. She actually had words with our brother Jack on my page. I pray those things made her think.

    Another family member was into the ‘Jesus Calling’ book. When I warned her of the errors, she chastised me, letting me know she had read through the Bible 17 times and she NEEDED this, and had enough ‘discernment’ to know the difference between error and truth… SMH in sadness. Talk about feeling like the minority, I understand.

  19. Curtis, agree. And we must not take for granted the current opportunity that we have to spread the gospel unhindered.

  20. We miss you Adam this thread reminded me of You Adam and your contribution here

  21. The Gospel has the best opportunity for advancement in a Republic Democracy.
    fought for by the blood of martyrs and soldiers of which we should be utmost thankful for.
    The Gospel of Grace is the antidote for communism.
    were there is communism and the like of oppressive government the people suffer.

  22. Jason, one thing I know is some good can come out of it, we’ve seen Daniel and Joseph, but they had godly attitudes, and so they impressed because of that and in spite of the players of that day. Jack met the Lord through someone he used to be involved in politics with. She took him to a Christmas event that had Ray Stanford speaking 🙂

  23. I agree. I just noticed and was curious. My sister is on the other side of the isle, and she tells me she agrees with me about grace.

  24. jason, I have tried to avoid partisan politics at Expreacherman since I became involved. I think that God transcends politics.

  25. I looked back at the archives from 2006. I was surprised how common political topics were in the first year of Expreacherman. Those were the days of Bush, when the liberals were suffering from BDS. Now we are seeing both sides as they are.

  26. the word of Christ = The Word that points you to Christ.
    when reading/listening to “Christian” blogs, newscasters do the Words of the Talking Heads point you To Christ? Magnify Christ?
    The problem with social media is social media.

    3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

  27. I guess the same has to be said about Sean Hannity.

  28. Bryan is right. Matt Walsh is someone who I read when I used to go on the Blaze for news, but he is definitely someone to avoided as far as Christianity, he definitely seems very prideful in the fact the he is a “Christian”. He is just like most “Christians” when he thinks he is better than those who are not Christians. Since he is catholic he fits right in with the lordship salvation crowd, and you can see it in his writing, best to avoid altogether.

  29. I read some of Matt Walsh articles and for the most part I agree with his political views, but not so much when he blogs strictly on a topic of Christianity. He definitely falls under the “true Christians will bear fruit(change behavior)” crowd. I can compare him to David Platt, Francis Chan, or Kyle Idleman. I would use wise discernment when reading his material.

    Bryan R.

  30. Jenn, I’m not familiar with Matt Walsh,but I can’t fathom how he could be sound Biblically, yet identify as a Catholic.

  31. Can anyone provide commentary on popular blogger Matt Walsh? Apparently he’s a “conservative catholic.” On social media, I happened across one of his articles & it seemed very works-or-no-heaven driven.

  32. Interesting thoughts on John 3:8 Keith. Funny, before I saw this, I was thinking on what Paul said, “…if any man that is called a brother…”

    They accepted them as brethren based on their profession of belief of the true gospel. So why people feel the need to judge other’s salvation based on performance is beyond me, but it’s from the father of all lies.

  33. John, regarding Carson and your comment here: “Carsons’s statements appear to reflect the fruit of a false teacher.” Yes, we will know them by their fruit!

  34. Keith, my wife also read your comment and thought it was very insightful.

  35. Keith, interesting context.

  36. John and holly, in John 3:8, Jesus likened the new birth to several characteristics of the wind:

    “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou nearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit”.

    It seems that the verse may mean that the spirit nature of the new birth cannot be seen by others since other people cannot discern the source of a believer’s good works, that is, whether their motives originate from unbelief and attempts to justify self before God by one’s works, hence, from the old flesh nature, or “bad tree, or whether their motives originate with one’s standing in Christ in mind with a desire to please and glorify God, and hence, from the spirit nature, or “good tree” (canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth).

    On the other hand, the spirit nature or “good tree” can be heard by others in the form of one’s profession of faith in Christ alone and in the form of sound doctrine on the part of those who teach it (“thou hearest the sound of it”).

    This interpretation would tend to confirm that the “fruit” in Matt. 7 is a person’s profession, teachings and doctrine whether than his or her lifestyle.

    The verse may also underscore the fact that a believer’s free will remains intact after the new birth (The wind bloweth where it listeth).

  37. Holly, here is more on the quote from Carson:

    “How a person conducts his life or campaign is an indication of who he is. In Matthew 7, Jesus Himself says that a tree – and people of faith – are known by their fruit, not just the words they say.”

    My comment: Carsons’s statements appear to reflect the fruit of a false teacher.

  38. John, Pastor Yankee Arnold did a sermon on Fruit Inspection too. The first portion of this has some buzzing, (he has the second part in a 21 minute shorter part, but you’ll miss the first part). The second part is just ‘why fruit inspectors get it wrong’. This is the entire message.

  39. Keith, the Matthew 7 passage has people inspecting the wrong fruit and the wrong people for sure. We were discussing this passage in Bible study last night. Whether the fruit we would know people by was doctrine or outward living. Obviously since only inwardly these people were wolves, and outwardly they looked like sheep, called Him Lord, and did all these wonderful works, it was not the supposed lifestyle that was fruit. One brought up Matt 23:28, Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. So we aren’t able to judge whether they are saved by their method of living, the Bible is clear, we look on the outward appearance, only God is able to look on the heart. So Ben Carson of course has it wrong… as always LOADship doctrine misses the mark.

  40. Holly, thanks for that reference. There is an epidemic of false teaching centered around “back-door” Lordship “salvation.”

  41. Keith, yes, unfortunately, when we hear about “evangelicals” in politics, that includes people who don’t seem to understand the gospel.

  42. On my Facebook feed recently, Ben Carson’s campaign posted, “The Bible says by their fruit you will know them, not by their tongue you will know them”. While I like Carson as a candidate, I think he’s showing one of the “fruits” of Seventh Day Adventism.

  43. Hi Kate. I recently did one on Fruit Inspectors, seems to be a theme in the professing Christian world these days. Glad to have you here with us ❤

  44. Welcome Kate thank you for your comments it was a delight to this day for me So happy to see souls set free . Welcome to the Joy of The Lord . The freedom to rejoice in The Lord and enjoying Jesus through His word

  45. Kate, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    How wonderful that you have been set free from bondage.

    Please stick around and comment as you feel led.

  46. KatMazDoBelieve

    I directly emailed the site to say thanks because of the help this site has given, but I want to say thanks to all of you.
    I was trapped in legalism and the fruit inspecting of it.
    I have been reading the info on this site as well as all the comments on each topic. The writing have helped but honestly your discussions have helped me even more.
    I have been set free from a bondage I wasn’t even aware I was chained in.

  47. Nadine. I sure love you, and I think you know. You have been through a lot, however, the enemy hates you, but what he meant for your harm, I believe the Lord will and is using for your good. Keep fighting the good fight of faith sister ❤

  48. Nadine,

    welcome…. I surely will pray for you. Just about everyone here as been through what you have. You are among friends.

  49. Hi Nadine , Welcome to an Oasis of Grace here at expreacheman
    praying for you to get a strong hold on Positional Truth with all boldness to seek what the Gospel is and what it is not .

    I received your email and sent you a sermon link that was and is helpful to me coming out of my own indoctrination .


    “The teaching and preaching of Lordship Salvation can foster a tremendous state of anxiety and doubt for some believers because its precepts demand a high level of purity of thought and lifestyle undergirded by the constant threat of not having been blameless enough or virtuous enough to merit salvation. “

  50. Nadine, I have prayed for you.

  51. Thank you all for this post- PLEASE pray for me- I believe but get quite ravaged at times with fear…most likely due to a history of trauma, then being in Lordship and being hurt severely by some in the church. I praise The Lord He has set me free- I now have JOY..yet I do still suffer – please pray for me. God bless you all !

  52. Preston,

    That interpretation has to be the correct one — it just flows so nicely with the rest of Scriptue. Thank you so, so much, brother. Amazing how all of Scripture fits together in a powerful way when the Word is rightly divided. Blessings to all of you.

    Safe in the Savior,

  53. Seriously….I need a proof reader! Sorry, all!

  54. Hey Preston,

    Thanks for your interpretation.

    I’d like to add how I was relieved on fear regarding this verse.

    1) Can a sealed believer lose salvation? No, for he is sealed until the day of redemption when he’ll receive a sunless body.

    2) Who is a brother? Someone born again and sealed until the day of redemption.

    3) Were the Corinthian believers full of love for one another? No.

    4) Did Paul question the salvation of the Corinthian believers? No (see the promises in the first chapter of the first epistle).

    How then, can this verse be interpreted to say “if any born again believer (brother) who is sealed until the day of redemption hates his brother, he isn’t actually a brother?

    It just doesn’t fit, so let no one reading this believe a religious lie designed to take your eyes off Jesus and onto your works to determine your salvation.

  55. Guys,

    might i offer another interpretation of 1 John 3:14-15?

    The book of John was written to believers. I wont use scripture, I think most know them in the book of 1 John. This book is about FELLOWSHIP with God, not salvation. (context)

    1 John 1:That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our FELLOWSHIP is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

    4 And these things write we unto you, that your JOY MAYBE FULL.

    ok – so we can determine salvation from hell is not in view here.

    Now, in both these verses it uses the term “hateth his BROTHER”. So this appears to me that a believer is hating another believer (his brother).

    I think the key is the word “abide”. “abiding” is NOT believing. See Jesus talking to his already saved disciples.

    Now ye ARE CLEAN through the word which I have spoken unto you. ABIDE in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it ABIDE in the vine; no more can ye, except ye ABIDE in me…………SO shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:3,4 and 8)
    – we see here that Jesus is telling his ALREADY SAVED disciples to “abide in Him”. so “believing” and “abiding” are NOT the same.

    verse 15 – Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life ABIDING in him

    Can someone be a believer and be out of fellowship (abiding) in Christ? YES. what do we do to remedy this? We confess our sins. (1 John 1:9)

    NOW, no murder hath eternal life “abiding” in Him. what or who is eternal life? Go back to 1 John 1:2 – For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that ETERNAL LIFE, which was with the Father, and WAS MANIFESTED unto us;)

    So, when a brother hates his brother, is that person “abiding” in Jesus and He in him????? NO.

    Does this passage say that the believer is unsaved? of course not; as it is about a saved whosoever (believer) hating HIS (the whosoever) brother (believer).

    My thoughts on that passage.

  56. John,

    That’s a very compelling interpretation. The Lord brought Galatians to mind as well — specifically that bit about the sons of the bondwoman (those under the law and choose to remain there). Thanks again. 🙂

  57. John, I think you nailed it.

  58. Jackie, I have seen lots of explanations of this passage. We know that “tests of life” interpretations are not consistent with assurance of eternal life, so I would not accept any of those interpretations.

    One possible interpretation is that this is a reference to hatred for God’s plan of salvation. Those who want to save themselves (sons of the bond woman) will hate those who accept God’s way of salvation (see Galatians 4:29).

    I am interested in other views that are consistent with grace.

  59. Hello all!

    Question.. What’s the proper exegesis of this passage? I believe some lordshippers might take this passage to suggest evidence of salvation. Thanks so much!

    14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

    15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
    1 John 3:14-15

  60. Oh wow, praise God Curtis. The Lord is so good to us. Continuing to pray for you both, may the Lord bring opportunity to you both, and give you more wisdom and joy through this time. That is a wonderful story, thanks for the link and the great story, I’m going to copy and paste and listen tomorrow.

  61. Curtis, I had just prayed for you and your wife last night, and just thanked God for delivering you safely through that harrowing incident, and for your testimony.

  62. Thank you for the words of encouragement Holly and all and for your prayer support

    Thursday 6/25/15 I am on my way back home westbound from a brooklyn NY delivery on a divided interstate highway when a semi from eastbound started heading right for me across the median. I saw the cable guard rail i dint think it would hold back the semi but it did . Thankfully driver came to a slow resting stop with truck all tangled up in the wires . I kept going to avert an accident behind me for traffic was scattering all over the place behind me when they saw the semi coming. There was not a safe place for me to stop other than right on highway .
    check this out . I was listening to the latest sermon 06 – How To Minister To Others In Need Pt. 6 . I stopped the sermon to settle down after what i saw. Then when i started again the pastor talked about how he was almost in an accident with a semi . He was preaching about God’s hedge of protection.
    I know God is with me and bareing our financial burden’s it sure is reassuring when God chooses to show himself in a very unique and dynamic way . Resting on His promises towards me . The Faith Rest Life .

  63. Bryan and Curtis – it is good isn’t it? May the Lord bless you both too…thankful for brothers who are standing in humility and gentleness, but firmly for the truth of His Word.

  64. Russell, that’s so great. You know the Word rightly divided has a way of bringing forth bud, giving food to the eater, or seed to the sower. I love how Isaiah 55:10-11 says it, but that’s how I kind of judge whether what is being taught is accomplishing what God sent it to do, or if the person is trying to fit it into a certain theological mindset. All around we have people who are trying to discredit us, even those who align with being ‘free grace’ but have ‘Outer Darkness’ teachings (protestant purgatory) or backdoor lordship like Ryrie or Charles Stanley etc. And then people like to box us into a broadbrushed category. All I can say is I am so thankful for His grace. So thankful for His goodness to me. So thankful for the truth of His Word, the comfort it brings, what treasure.

    So thankful for like-minded believers and the prayers of the saints. Praying the Lord will continue to strengthen you in His Word.

  65. Thank you for your words of encouragement , Russel and Bryan

  66. Bryan Roach

    Russell, that was very encouraging. You are correct, I found so many faithful brother and sisters in Christ here and other places on the web that I can’t fellowship in person, but will rejoice together in eternity.

    Your story is very similar to mine. Saved at 8, then got off track and then rediscovered the truth almost 3 years ago at age 37. You are definitely at the right place here.

    Bryan R.

  67. Last night in the Bible study I attend the subject of “fruit inspecting” came up. I used many of the comments here and the article to explain why we cant judge who is saved by looking at outward signs since non-believers can evidence the same “fruit”. It was great to see people get it.

    The Lord is using this site and each of you here. It is exciting to me when I can see God using the body of Christ to build up the body of Christ. Many of you here are being used in my little corner of the world to advance the true Gospel and will be rewarded for it..That is exciting. Most of us will never meet until Heaven but what a day of rejoicing that will be!

    I tend to get a little discouraged at times until I remember that it was one free grace believer in a small church who patiently explained to me the real Gospel and reminded me of the truth. I was saved when young (about 10 or so) and taught free grace but somehow got off track in my 20’s. It was not until I was 46 years old that I rediscovered the truth. All because one person had the courage to challenge me, in love, and bring me back. I know it was the Holy Spirit but my friend had to be faithful to speak the truth. Now I speak out in my church, Bible Study and wherever else I can about the real and true offer of Salvation by simple belief. Its like a rock tossed into a lake – the ripples keep going out from what that one faithful Saint did for me and what all of you continue to do as well.

    Folks, God is at work. Keep the Faith!!!

  68. Russell – so great to hear from another one who feels the same about teaching something and knowing that the people have been misled about Scripture and seeing the light go on for them from the Word. Glad to see you comment again, may the Lord bless the people in your studies, and keep your armor on brother. It’s an all out battle.

  69. John, I agree with your three examples as being believers. The attack on the word believe is multi-fold. I see the doctrine of Lordship and Calvinism removing the word believe and replacing it with commit, surrender, abandon all, give your life, repent of your sins, etc. and they do not use or gloss over the one condition to receive eternal life.

    That is the attack. They use a bunch of ‘spiritual’ lingo to sound as if they are giving the gospel, but they leave out or diminish believing. They also attack it by qualifying the belief as in “‘demons believe and tremble’ and they’re not saved”. Or they use phrases like, ‘true believers” and then finish with a statement like “will produce fruit”, or “will persevere”.

    Also in Calvinism the condition is not ‘believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved’, the condition is — ‘be one of the predestined chosen for salvation, and you will be saved’. In being pre-regenerated before belief, I see believe being attacked again.

  70. Paul, works is evidence of faith not to God, but to men. It’s our testimony that is supposed to set us apart in the eyes of the world. So James 2 speaks to justification before men, vs. justification before God, two different things. It is not automatic, hence why their faith was dead or useless.

    It is problematic when someone says works proves salvation. Your pastor’s statement on ‘true faith’ being proved by works is not correct. ‘Useful faith’ is proven by works. That is why we are exhorted thus:

    This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. Titus 3:8

    No… it is belief on the gospel that proves we possess eternal life. We can know because we have believed the testimony God gave of His Son.

    Committing our life in exchange for receiving eternal life is not the gospel. I taught a Bible study on that recently.

    Glad to have you with us… God bless you.

  71. Wow, Preston! Drill the point home, brother! Awesome! Unfortunately there are those who will blatantly ignore every biblical truth you gave them. Always taking verses out of context.

    Keep contending for the faith

  72. Paul,

    you typed – According to James 2:17-18, true faith is not merely words. Faith that has no evidence of works is not alive. It is dead. It has no value. Faith and works cannot be separated. Our faith is evidenced by our works.”


    there is no place in the bible that states “works is evidence of faith”. Again, if works prove faith then many JW’s. Mormons and catholics are saved; many do wonderful works.

    do works automatically come???? No.

    IF works automatically come, why did Paul have to write to all the saved churches exhorting them to do good works?

    IF works automatically come, who are those in 1 Cor, whose works are all burnt up???

    IF works automatically come, why did God take the physical lives of the believers who got drunk at the Lords Supper???

    here are some other points the align with both the #2 and #3 parables of the sower.

    IF it is impossible for a saved person to ever believe “a different gospel” then why did Paul write to the galatians telling them they were SO SOON removed from the gospel. (Gal 1:6-8)

    IF a “true” believer cannot get caught up in bad doctrine, why did Paul FEAR that brethren would bear with one who preached another Jesus and another gospel (2 Cor 11:3-4)

    IF believers CANT stray from the gospel and not bear fruit then why would the writer of Hebrews tell the “brethren” to put there confidence BACK in the “Lamb” sacrifice that was “once for all” so that they may be rewarded (Heb 10:35)

    IF a saved person can never fall away with bad doctrine why did Paul write this in Acts 20 –
    – 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

    30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

    31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears

    ALL of these things ARE possible for the born again believer. IF they stray from the gospel then the “fruit” will cease to be produced by the believer. BUT salvation will never “cease” to exist for these individuals as that was FREE the moment they believed (trusted) in the gospel.

    hope this helped a little.

  73. Russell, it’s good to hear from you again.

    The false doctrine reflects the tradition of men, which makes God’s word of no effect (Mark 7:13).

  74. Its been awhile since I have commented on anything. This was a great article. I especially liked the fact that Scripture was used to interpret Scripture. If more believers would do this it would stop a lot of questions about salvation, judgment, grace, repent etc.

    In the church I attend I find myself in the minority. People really don’t believe that salvation comes from simply putting your trust in Christ alone. They say salvation is by grace and then say that if a person does not show enough fruit or if they have a “casual” view of salvation (whatever that means) they are not saved. A few weeks ago in a Sunday School class I spent much of the class trying to clear up some very serious mistakes on these issues and I came away more then a little angry with what has been taught in our churches. I am fast coming to the belief that the most dangerous men in our churches are seminary trained pastors, but that is another subject.

    I recently was able to teach through the book of James in a Bible study. This was the first time I had taught the book since rediscovering free grace about 4 years ago. The thrill of teaching Gods Word correctly instead of what I had originally understood James to be saying was beyond words and it was well received by most in the study (not by all though).

    It scares me that so many are in error over all this and I blame the false teachers who dominate radio, television, seminaries and the pulpits. Oh well. I will keep my focus on Christ and by His Spirit be faithful in season and out of season. Thanks for this site,

  75. Preston, of course Simon the sorcerer was a believer. And, you make a great point that God did not give him the faith.

    Religion trumps truth for so many people when reading these passages, that they have to explain them away.

  76. John,

    Can we add Simon the Sorceror? I remember going to a bible study a while back and a person said, we don’t know for sure if he was saved.

    I responded with, “Then Simon HIMSELF BELIEVED also…..(8:13).

    of course I heard,” yes, but……

    Well did he believe or not according to the bible?? which brings up another point that JUST crossed my mind. Did Simon “himself” believe or did God give him His faith?

  77. Holly, I was just thinking some more about something you said on your site about Satan’s attack on the word “believe.” In other words, that many people will disbelieve (or doubt) whether someone the Bible says believed is really a Christian.

    Case in point from the parable of the sower – people represented by soils 2 and 3.

    Luke 8:13: They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

    Other, real life cases:

    John 12:42-43

    [42] Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
    [43] For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

    John 8:30-31:

    [30] As he spake these words, many believed on him.
    [31] Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

    I don’t see how someone who says they believe the Bible can say any of the above are not believers.

  78. Paul, welcome and thanks for your comment. Faith without works is useless, but that doesn’t mean it’s nonexistent.

    One should never look to works for evidence of salvation.

  79. Hello,
    I have never posted. In my recent experience I have found that many profess “grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone” and then, for example, use James 2:17-18 to say the works naturally follow. Works are evidence of faith. They don’t see the contradiction.

    Here is a direct, unedited quote from the blog of a pastor at a large church in my area. “According to James 2:17-18, true faith is not merely words. Faith that has no evidence of works is not alive. It is dead. It has no value. Faith and works cannot be separated. Our faith is evidenced by our works.”

    Does this pastors comment not equal the Lordship Salvation position? I ask because his church’s statement of faith is clearly consistent with Ephesians 2:8-9, but on the occasions he preaches or writes on faith I hear what he quoted, or phrases such as “come and commit you life to Christ” as part of an alter call. Is this not terribly wrong?

    Thank you very much for your comments (and the site).


  80. Preston,
    Great article! The Maltan islanders of Acts 28 were clearly UNSAVED people, but they showed Paul and the other sailors “FRUIT” in the form of unusual kindness, and were hospitable to them for 3 days and supplied Paul and the other sailors with things that they needed before they set sail again. Once again, great article refuting Lordship Salvation!

  81. Preston,
    So clear. I’m enjoying the book. I’ve shared your logical explanations and this article with others.

    In then book, I also loved how you turned the false definition of repentance on its head and proved it to be wrong with the reverse logic.

  82. BRILLIANT PRESTON…!! Absolutely loved your explanation. I just read it out aloud to my husband, who agreed with it 100%. If only I just such clear teaching earlier in my Christian life…! I could have spared myself so much confusion and false understanding/interpretation of the whole Bible. Thank you so much for clarifying the doctrine of Salvation by Grace through faith in Christ ALONE. I value all the articles/comments on Expreacherman by Johnnic, Holly and others, I thank the Lord for you all.

  83. Well said Preston, shared on FB, was timely today for someone struggling with some fruit inspectors. May the Lord use it to bless others.

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