What is Grace?

Grace SALVATIONBibleVersesGraphic Thanks to Holly Garcia, Redeeming Moments

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.

“Grace” means a gift – freely bestowed by a giver and freely received by a recipient. From Clear Gospel Campaign:

The eternal salvation of mankind is the ultimate gift of God. It is a gift because it cost sinful man nothing. It was not free to God, however, but cost God His only begotten Son.

Most of the false religions that masquerade as Biblical Christianity (such as Lordship “salvation”) have redefined the clear meaning of the word “grace”, to inherently include works, such as turning from sin or commitment to following Christ in discipleship.

To keep the meaning of “grace” clear, remember that grace is free, but discipleship is costly. And, being an eternally secure believer in Christ does not guarantee being a committed disciple. Something that is free (grace) cannot be costly (discipleship). That would be a contradiction, and one of the attributes of God is that He cannot lie, nor contradict himself.

Titus 1:2: In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

John 8:31-32 is a good passage that makes the point about the distinction between receiving eternal life (grace) and discipleship:

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Note that Jesus said to those which had believed on him (and had eternal life) that if they continued in His word, then they would be His disciples indeed (in deed).

Other passages that make clear that receiving the free gift of eternal life and serving Christ are not one and the same are passages that deal with the Judgment Seat of Christ, such as 1 Corinthians 3:10-15:

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. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 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. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Just to be sure that everyone is clear that grace is free, without cost or obligation to the recipient, the Bible has a lot of clear passages, such as:

Romans 5:15-18:

But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

One should be particularly attentive to any teaching that implies that a “true believer” WILL have changes in his behavior, WILL automatically do good works, or WILL turn from sin and start manifesting fruits. This teaching is what we refer to as “back-door Lordship Salvation.” If one believes that good works WILL accompany salvation, then logically he would believe that good works MUST accompany salvation. If that were the case, grace would no longer be grace.

Romans 11:6 makes it abundantly clear that one cannot mix grace and works for the hope of eternal life:

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

We would advise anyone to consider interpretation of scripture in light of the following three clear tenets. If someone’s interpretation of scripture renders an answer of “NO” to any of the following questions, it cannot be true:

1. Is it consistent with eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone?

2. Is it consistent with eternal security?

3. Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?

A good question to ask someone who is confused about grace is:

“If someone believes in Jesus Christ as Savior and never turns from any sin, nor does even one good work, would he get into heaven?”

If the answer is “NO, or “I don’t know”, or “maybe”, or “it seems like any true Christian…” (that is, anything other than a definitive “YES”), then the person with whom you are speaking may  not be clear on how one receives eternal life. It is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. In some cases, they may have never even heard the Gospel presented clearly, and may have never believed in Jesus as their Savior. In other cases, they may have believed in Jesus as their Savior, but have received bad teaching that causes them ongoing confusion. We cannot tell which is which. But, in any case, they need our prayers and they need a clear presentation of the gospel.

A Christian SHOULD live for Christ. But, it is not that he MUST (that would be works for salvation). And, it’s not that he WILL (that would be Calvinism).

214 responses to “What is Grace?

  1. Daniel,

    Glad you found this website too. I was blessed to be led here. Load-ship is a terrible hamster-wheel that is a terrible race to nowhere good. Boy I didn’t even bother checking the boxes because I knew I didn’t add up. What a waste of years. Sickening these ‘pastors’ try to control their audience by unbiblical doctrines instead of simply feeding His sheep (if they ever knew Him).

    I felt like the blind man in John 9. I could see, and I didn’t care if the Pharisees didn’t believe me and threw me out from among them (that happened too). Just thankful for His Word, for faithful brethren, for a clear gospel, and good fellowship.

  2. Daniel, I am so happy to hear that you have been delivered from the lie of Lordship “salvation.” I am thankful that God led you to the truth, and that you have found your way to the expreacherman ministry.

  3. I recently found this website and so glad I did! This was a big help guiding me out of the hamster-wheel that Lordship salvation is! I spent over 20 years in that lie and always felt insecure and troubled about where I truly stood with God as even though I was “checking all the boxes” that a “real believer” does I still fell short and was always in a state of confusion. Thank the Lord for the true and clear gospel that set me free! I hope any other person in the lie I was in can have their eyes opened just like me!

  4. Jeff, you don’t seem to understand that Christ did it all and paid it all to take away all our sins and give you eternal life by his grace alone. Salvation is a completely free gift that a person can never loose. We can never do anything to contribute to this–it’s all a gift from God. His grace is so far beyond us we can never even come close to doing it ourselves. Saving grace is all from Christ’s righteousness imputed to us that we receive the moment we believe the gospel and are saved .(2 Cor 5:21)
    Jeff, I take it you are a another one time drive-by visitor who has come here trying to “set us straight” and leave never to be heard from again. So, good luck trying to maintain your grace on your treadmill of good works which will be hopeless and you never will. You will never have assurance of eternal life that way and never have the blessed and joyful assurance of eternal life God intended for you to have.

  5. Jeff, how interesting you finish your note with ‘peace’. You don’t know it yet, or if you ever did, you’ve become bewitched (Gal 3:1-5) because once we’ve believed the truth, He has promised us eternal life. I feel sorry for you for many reasons. One is that obeying the gospel means to believe the gospel (Rom 10:14-17). Instead of attacking believing the gospel, you might look into what real peace is.

  6. Jeff, thanks for stopping by.

    We teach that eternal life is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. We also teach that God does not condone sin.

    That is not “easy-believe garble.”

    You have not come here to learn, but to teach. You are welcome to read posts and comments here for the purpose of your learning, but you are not welcome to post any comments here, because your intent is to introduce contradictory teaching.

  7. You seem to misunderstand the Biblical definition of “Grace”.
    G5485 – χάρις – charis – khar’-ece – graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): – acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).
    The word in the Greek is “charis”
    it means favor, not your easy-beleive garble. we can most certainly fall out of His favor if we continue in sin.
    this article will explain better.

    (link removed by administrator)

    I pray you’ll come to a true understanding of these things.

  8. Phil, the Calvinists try to change grace by redefining it or qualifying it – kind of like “social justice.”

  9. Calvinists will the term “Sovereign Lord” quite a lot. Another term used by some Calvinists is “pristine grace.” There is even a Calvinist website that is called “Pristine Grace.” run by Brandon Kraft. I checked into what they mean by pristine grace and they mean it is grace that is pure and not involved in man’s receiving by his free will. This of course fits into their man-made doctrine that God completely selects who will be saved and who will not. I guess this means to them grace will not be contaminated by mans will..
    I was on Brandon Kraft’s earlier site around 2001, then called five solas . I got kicked off when I did a Calvinist version parody of the lyrics to “Amazing Grace” He did not appreciate it and showed me the exit door to his site.

  10. True John (regarding marking and avoiding both). We need to avoid them like Phil said, but we also have to let others know. To warn them, and I’m so appreciative of those well before us who earnestly contended for the faith once delivered.

  11. Phil, I think it’s important to avoid them as well.

    We can also point their unwitting victims to the truth from scripture.

  12. I think it is important to avoid the dangers of these TV and radio preachers and their salvation formulas, just ignore them. Just stick to what Bible says.

  13. Holly, you are spot on – putting on the full armor of God is critical!

  14. Eric,

    Last night when I woke up around 4, I prayed for awhile, then my thoughts went to those who distort the gospel and place the emphasis on ‘saving’ faith. So funny to see it here now. The accuser of the brethren has plenty of helpers in that department. That’s where we take every thought captive and bring it back into His obedience.

    Like John said, we do well to continue to remind ourselves of the truth of the Gospel. That is:

    Who Jesus is (the Son of God, God in the flesh, the Messiah who was prophesied of).

    What He did for our sin on the cross (Paid for them all completely).

    What He accomplished by raising Himself up again from the dead. Victory for us over sin, death and the grave. (1 Cor 15:50-57)

    I really believe that is why the shodding of our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace is part of our armor. We need it DAILY. If we are armored up, the enemy is going to have more trouble with His fiery darts. We’re going to KNOW what the good news is, and it’s not about the quality of our feeble faith. It’s about who we have believed on. We are kept by His power. Build up your faith, your shield of faith, with the hearing of God’s Word.

  15. Eric, it is not the quality of one’s faith that saves, but the object – Jesus.

    I wouldn’t try to believe any harder. Just focus on the truth of the gospel.
    If you focus on what Christ has done, it should help to move your mind away from doubt.

  16. I have been struggling with assurance of salvation for years. I have OCD, where I have intrusive thoughts about doubting my salvation, blasphemous thoughts, etc. I’ve said the “prayer” probably hundreds of times. Having OCD and believing lordship salvation is a nightmare. It is my struggle with OCD that has brought me to free grace. I still struggle with the notion of “saving faith.” When you doubt everything in OCD, the question “Did I REALLY believe?” constantly haunts you. The response, often, is to try believe harder/more. I suppose that this is putting the focus on my feeble faith than on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  17. These lordshippers don’t keep it real.

  18. JohnWI, yeah, it seems like there are far fewer people teaching truth than there are teaching error.

  19. I remember back when I use to watch, “Christian” programs all the time (made me all the more confused), watching John Ankerberg with his great (Calvinist} theologians on his show, having RC Sproul and Dr James Kennedy say sola fida all the time and then adding works to the gospel. I didn’t know any better back then, just more confused and more depressed.
    And now, that I know the true gospel, of the simplicity of trusting Jesus Christ alone as my Savior, there are very FEW people I listen to now. Yankee Arnold, Tom Cucuzza, Jack Weaver, Dr. Seymour to name a few. I know there are others, but those are at the top of my list.

  20. Holly, agree – there is a lot of errant teaching that “faith” is the gift of God.

  21. Just an aside. We know that we’re saved by grace through faith and nothing of ourselves. Calvinists and Luther used the saved by grace alone through faith alone. Part of the Five Solas.

    But what they ‘mean’ is that these are gifts to the pre-selected.

    They have really hijacked the two words. Doesn’t mean we can’t use the term. I usually emphasize ‘apart from anything we can do’, but I tend to do that because so many reformed sites use that terminology and I don’t want them to think we are of the same doctrinal position.

    Just sharing, although you probably already know.

  22. I meant Ephesians 2:8

  23. Jason, we see “by grace are ye saved” in Ephesians 2:5 and then “For by grace are ye saved through faith” in Ephesians 2:8.

    I think it is good to emphasize that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to make sure we are clear that God doesn’t choose who will believe and that belief in Christ is not the same as belief in works (or Christ plus works).

  24. “Saved by grace through faith” is Ephesians 2 exactly. We should be saying that, and adding the alone’s, because they are hard of hearing.

  25. Phil, yes, LS tries to imbed works into faith, such that one can tell who has faith in Christ based on some arbitrary assessment of the way a person lives his life (i.e., fruit inspection).

  26. I saw a sticker in the rear window of a van in front of me at a traffic light the other day that said, “I’m saved by grace alone!” But I thought, should it not say, “I am saved by grace alone through faith alone.”? But then I thought, the window sticker is correct: it is only God’s grace that saves us; our faith is simply the way we receive this eternal gift from God. The LS’ers want salvation to be dependent on the quality of one’s faith and how that faith causes us to lead our lives. Are they saying that Christ has saved us, but our faith is needed to prove ourselves to God?

    The truth is, we are saved by God’s grace alone, period. All you have to do is believe it and you receive the gift of complete forgiveness and eternal life, never to be taken away.

  27. I too think it is inconsistent. Matt 22, as with much of the Gospel accounts, is directed to Israel still under the law, and not the church the body of Christ. If you read the Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5 and 6 and what it says about adultery and other sins we would all be condemned. One has to be able to distinguish what is for the Jews under the law, and what is for the church the body of Christ. The law is our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ; once we are saved we are no longer under the law. (my understanding of Galatians chapter 3) The 4 Gospels as well as the rest of scripture are for us, but it must be understood to whom it applies and in what way, why. It is sad to see eternally secure–once saved always saved Christians getting all worried and hung up on passages like Matt 22, Matt 7, the “unforgivable sin” passage and other passages that, taken by themselves and out of context, are not consistent with what is taught about eternal security.

  28. Hobbs, I have seen this passage misused by a lot of people to prove that one’s works show character, and therefore the lack of appropriate clothing refers to works and is the basis by which the man in the parable is proven to not have eternal life.

    That view is inconsistent with eternal life being given freely to us as a gift, and so I reject it outright.

    There is also the view that this is a rewards passage, which I once entertained, but have since concluded otherwise.

  29. ‘to transform their lives so that they might be justified by their works’

    I think Matt 22, 1-14 gets used in a similar way to say that ‘our works will clothe us at his wedding feast’.

    Gotta add works to the salvation equation somehow!

  30. Phil, I think so too.

    From Clear Gospel Campaign:

    Either grace is the disposition (inclination) of God to freely justify a sinner by faith alone, apart from the works of the law (Free Grace) . . . or grace is a divine substance that God sovereignly infuses into the elect (variously known as “infused grace,” “sovereign grace,” “irresistible grace” or “prevenient grace”), to transform their lives so that they might be justified by their works. The defense of the gospel stands or falls on this question.

  31. These is a teaching in the Methodist church called “prevenient grace” which was a teaching of John Wesley.. I understand it to mean God prepares our hearts by his grace to come to faith in Christ as our Savior.
    We all have our own stories of how we came to trust Christ as our Savior and what lead us to him. But this sounds almost like an add on; like they are saying what precedes our coming to faith (prevenient grace) determines whether our faith is valid to receive Christ as Savior.
    Methodist teaching also says that prevenient grace not only proceeds justification, but also proceeds sanctification and glorification.
    This prevenient grace teaching almost sounds like the Thomas a Quantas/Augustinian/Calvinist false teaching that grace is some mystical substance rather than God’s unmerited favor.

  32. Holly, I try to point people to these to help them with interpretation.

    If any interpretation does not meet all three conditions, it cannot be correct.

  33. I saw a post on FB today about Grace, and this one person said they were ‘fed up’ with debating those who fight against grace. So I saw your link here, and was reminded of the three good rules, particularly #3 stood out to me. thanks for this.

    1. Is it consistent with eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone?

    2. Is it consistent with eternal security?

    3. Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?

  34. Holly, thanks for the update – I have prayed for them as well.

  35. There is…only one way we can be Freed from the penalty of our sins, and that is through belief on the gospel. (Sorry, someone was here and asking me for something, and I must have pressed ‘send’) 🙂

  36. Hobbs, I definitely agree. Any system outside of the truth, really does keep people enslaved anyways. And they think they’re free (just as the Jewish people did), but there is

  37. Johninnc and everyone else who prayed.

    Thank you very much for praying. They got to my house later than we expected (she usually runs late). Her mom was very feeble, much more so than the last time I went to go see her in Arkansas (a little over a year ago). We had planned on going a bit further away, but decided to go somewhere much closer since she hadn’t gotten there until later. The daughter does a lot of ‘entertaining’, she talks a lot. And if there is another person there, she does even more talking (as in the waitress). It’s hard sometimes to get many words in edgewise. I don’t know if I explained, but the way we became friends is that her mom had the same disease as my later husband (one of them — primary pulmonary hypertension), and she was patient 1 and he was patient 2 at the Mayo here in Scottsdale. Anyways, her mom was much less of a severe case than my husband, and he also had scleroderma and other mitigating factors.

    Back to them. Our meal came and she decided she wanted some more things, and since we were there later, there weren’t that much staff around, so she went inside to get some additional salsa and other things she wanted. I prayed and seized the opportunity. She came back and I didn’t feel like I had quite been able to discuss fully, but prayed about it. Another opportunity came up, this time with both (they brought up the Pope) and I was able to talk about religions of the world thinking they can work their way to heaven. She was raised Catholic so we have discussed this before, so I talked about how He died once for all and how all our sins were paid for at the cross.

    I was to be allowed a couple more opportunities, one more in the driveway of my house as I said goodbye to them both (it was a major production to get her mom in and out of the car). I had the biggest opportunity at that moment in something she brought up again, and the Lord (I believe) just gave me all the words boldly and it flowed. They both said they believed what I was saying and I explained that this was God’s Testimony of His Son and if they believed this they could know they had eternal life. Then the daughter asked me to pray before they left. I ended up crying, my voice broke in the prayer. We all hugged each other and they went on their way. I was pretty sure this was the last time we’d see each other. Even though her mom could only remember something for about 2 minutes, it did seem like each time she said she believed and smiled in agreement, and seemed to get involved in the conversation. So, I do pray they both know Him now, and although I don’t see this friend often, the Lord knows what she needs, and I know He loves her and cares.

  38. The Gospel being: Christ died for the sins of the world and rose again. If anyone believes He did that for them personally, they have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

  39. Holly, I was thinking that the Gospel must be terribly offensive to anyone who wants to build systems that enslave people, as in Chas’s description. They’re offended because they can’t stop it being what it is, and the freedom that it brings. All they can do is create counterfeits, hoping people will fall for them.

  40. Hobbs, you said, “Explains why the Gospel is such an offence. Mankind just can’t get his grubby little hands on it. Thank God.”

    I had one extremely upset about one of their anointed, and I asked what the gospel was in her estimation. She refused and I always try to ask several times in the exchange in case they don’t see. After the third time I gave her the gospel, in such a way that it was kind of directed as if I would to anyone I was sharing the gospel with.

    She was furious. She said she was not going to read what I wrote. And it was just the gospel. That God loved her, and He sent His Son Jesus who died for her sins, because we all have sinned and that earns us the penalty of eternal death. And that He had risen again from the dead, just as He and the Scriptures said He would, proving He had the power over life and death, (He is God) and over sin, death and the Grave (1 Cor 15:50-57). That we are asked to believe upon Him. If we believe Who He is and what He is done for us (Christ and Him crucified) then He gifts us with the free gift of eternal life which shall never be lost. That was about what I said and no more.

    I’ve had people refute the gospel saying I left out a change of heart, a change of action, turning from sins, remorse etc., but a refusal to read at least is rare. Very sad.

  41. Holly, I have prayed that you will have an opportunity to share the gospel with this woman, without interference from her daughter.

  42. Phil, I had to laugh out loud at a remembrance of mine. It wasn’t till I was an adult that I had an idea of Ash Wednesday. And that happened at a bowling alley. Back then you could smoke in the bowling alley, and one of the women typically had ashes on her clothes, or somewhere, as she tended to smoke with it hanging out of her mouth and a long end to it. I saw she had this smudge of ash on her forehead, and just like when someone has spinach in their teeth, you want to help them discreetly so they’re not embarrassed. So I went over with my bowling towel, grabbed her arm to face me and away from the crowd and quickly took my towel and wiped over her ashes right about the time she started slapping me off and asking me what the heck I was doing. I tried to whisper that she had a smudge on her forehead I was trying to help her with. I got schooled that night 🙂

  43. Chas – wow…grace as a mysterious, enabling stuff — a spiritual goo that oozed. How profound that is really in that Augustine was a profound influence in that teaching and was loved by the RCC as well as reformers like Luther and most especially Calvin who idolized him. It ABSOLUTELY goes hand-in-glove with the human penchant for mysticism… another profound statement especially knowing how Augustine came to be ‘saved’. I don’t know if you’ve ever read, but a child’s voice ‘came to him’ saying ‘take up and read’ (multiple times) and he picked up St. John of the Cross I believe it was (don’t quote me), but it wasn’t the gospel that saved him, but some mystical weird experience.

    Good to know about the Eucharist and the mortal sin. I suspect my friend and her mother neither one have received it, but I’ll be interested to find out.

  44. Phil, I am familiar with a lot of the RCC teachings, the sacraments, the bloodless sacrifice (Mass) etc., and have prepared over the years with the Scriptures to answer my Roman Catholic friends. I grew up in (oddly) a predominantly Jewish/Roman Catholic neighborhood. The only friend I can think of that was not, attended my church, and a set of twins were of the Scientology group. It was a strange time for me then as I had no knowledge of these belief systems. I spent the night at a Jewish friends house, I told her about Jesus and when we told her mom that she had believed, she became enraged. She started screaming at me that six million Jews had been killed because of that man. (I had no idea what she was talking about, I was probably in fifth grade and I was very young for my age in school).

    At any rate, I wonder if I presented the gospel to my friend Nan correctly back then, I sure pray so. My Roman Catholic friends were different, they had been prepared to answer about their religion and defend against all others. I wasn’t prepared really to know much about what they believed other than the confessing their sins to a priest, and the celibacy of the priests. Back then, the nuns were a well seen commodity in hospitals, and I had quite a few runs and stays there as a child. They wore the habits then, and I was taught not to ask questions (at least while my parents were there) 🙂 Now I know how serious it is, and I love my RCC friends and want them to know the truth and pray for opportunity to share. I have one who texted me last night and wants to come up with her mother (who is visiting in town). She is quite sick and elderly, and I’d appreciate all who read this would pray for opportunity for me to share, and boldness and words given from the Spirit to bring her the gospel without being stopped by her daughter.

  45. John, your last paragraph on Lordship salvationists’ false doctrine of measuring up with desire or experience for eternal life pretty much sums up their recipe to earn eternal life.

    chas, don’t know about now, but in the diocese I was in it was required that Catholics must receive communion during the Easter season, which they defined as from Ash Wednesday to Trinity Sunday (Sunday after Pentecost). But it all amounts to the same legalistic, dogmatic, false gospel and doctrine the RCC brain washes and spoons feeds its members.

  46. Chas, Ron Shea has written extensively about the errant redefinition of “grace” as a substance that is infused into people to make them respond in faith to Christ.

    The Bible teaches that one receives God’s grace through faith in Christ, at the moment of belief, and as you pointed out, it is absurd that grace would ever have to be “refreshed” through works in order to keep it.

    Believers avail themselves of God’s transformative power to varying degrees. Lordship “salvationists” teach the false doctrine that one must either desire or experience some (always undefined) measure of life transformation as a condition for, or essential consequence of, eternal life.

  47. Explains why the Gospel is such an offence. Mankind just can’t get his grubby little hands on it. Thank God.

  48. As an EX-Catholic I can vouch for what Phil has said regarding RC teaching about “grace”. I remember as a kid in parochial school being taught how “grace” was given–not as the unmerited favor of God (a concept which was completely foreign to me at the time)–but as some type of mysterious, enabling… stuff… I dunno what. After a while I tended to imagine it as some kind of spiritual goo that oozed onto me when needed, as in “God will give you the grace to be good” etc. It’s almost as though RC doctrine confuses the grace of God with the power of God. I was recently “chastised” by a still-Catholic relative for not sitting through a eucharistic ritual. “You couldn’t even just sit there and absorb the graces!” etc, as though “grace” is something one “absorbs” by attending a religious (not to mention blasphemous) ritual. It all goes hand-in-glove with the human penchant for mysticism.

    Btw, regarding the Eucharist, it is a mortal sin to go more than a year without receiving “communion”. That is because it is through the Eucharist that Catholics “receive Christ”. That is how they interpret “believing in Christ for salvation”. The presence of Christ in the Catholic is maintained by regular participation in that ritual. How they arrived at one year being the maximum time allowed between “feedings” (my term) I don’t know, but there it is. I suppose some pope conjured it up. More than a year since your last “time”? You have a mortal sin on your soul, and you must confess that to a priest and be absolved before you can receive communion again. If you receive communion with a mortal sin on your soul–BANG!–ya got TWO mortal sins to confess.

    Sound like a manipulative power structure designed to keep people in bondage? That’s exactly what it is. Catholics don’t see it as bondage, but as a “gift”. “It’s how we believe in Jesus!” they’ll tell you. No sister, it’s how you DIS-believe in Jesus.

  49. Yea Holly, they teach potential converts and school kids (at least they used to) that committing a mortal sin willingly destroys grace and can send one to hell if he dies without confessing the sin or sins to a priest, which they teach restores grace and a person can then receive communion. Without God’s grace they teach one cannot live in heaven.
    A person with only venial sins (less than mortal ones) still has grace, but will spend an uncertain period of time in purgatory to be cleansed or purged of his venial sins before being allowed in heaven. (I guess that has a lot to do with all the candle lighting, prayers and masses for the dead.) But, I guess if you are canonized a saint by the pope, like Mother Teresa, you wouldn’t have to spend too long there.
    You can guess that Augustine and Thomas a Quintas are big heroes to them.
    Yes, teach Christ as their savior, but they are saying one has to do his part to also save him or herself thru good works and being reconciled to God thru confession to a priest from time to time to keep his grace restored.
    I’m sure you are familiar with most RCC false teaching Holly. But I thought if you come in contact with some Catholics, you might ask them about what they have been taught grace is, and what it takes to get to heaven. and what all Christ has done for them dying and rising for them. You will probably not get their individual opinions, instead you will get, “well the church says this, or I was taught this and that.”

  50. Phil – aha. So their idea of falling from grace = losing one’s salvation. They don’t even have that definition correct. Thanks.

  51. Holly, I think they have another definition of grace they call “actual grace” that may be more like God’s unmerited favor. In any event, they teach that a person can fall from grace through “mortal sin” and loose it.

  52. Phil – wow (RC Church), I didn’t realize they taught that about grace or losing and gaining eternal life, although I knew they didn’t believe you could know or know how much time you’d spend in Purgatory (that alone is condemnation and enough fear). I remember my one Roman Catholic friend, she had never heard John 3:16. How blessed are we that we had a preacher? How sickening that the church goes by what a mortal man (the pope) tells them especially in contradiction to what the Bible says (thinking on the recent video I saw of the pope telling a little crying boy his atheist dad was in heaven because he was a ‘good man’ because he got all of his children baptized into the RC church.

  53. Be aware that the RCC teaches that grace “is a sharing in God’s life.” Of course they say it can be lost though “mortal sin” and regained through confession to a priest. So, according to the RCC one can gain it, loose it,and regain it over and over……. And they taught that a person must be equipped with this grace to live in Heaven. I never heard them say anything like the true definition of grace, which is God’s unmerited favor to save the sinner. I wonder if other churches teach this Catholic twisting of grace.

  54. Many thanks both for kind responses, much appreciated. Regards.

  55. May God comfort you and guide and direct you as you acknowledge Him more and spend more time with the Lord in prayer and in His Word.

    For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Jeremiah 31:25

  56. Good to see you here again Hobbs . if i remember correctly you and I came to expreacherman about same time.

    feel free to contact me anytime

  57. Thank you Lord for this website.

    I’m not trusint inthis website I’m trusing in your Son alone who died for me to give me eternal life.

    Thank you for Jack who is now with the Lord.

    Thank you for Johniinc and all the others who are working to keep your truth clear.

    To the people here, I’d like to contact again whenI’m more togeterh inmysefl to explain mysef. I’ve hestitated before

    Thank you, sorry, this lame attempt is the best i can do for now, hope you understand

  58. Angela – glad it helped a little, because yes, people have ascribed a certain meaning to the word, and it’s not the original meaning. Surely the more we grow in His knowledge and actually take heed to it, things begin to change for us. Bonhoeffer is awful, I wrote an article on him,, and there is a good list from a guy in there on pages in different books, showing that he basically believed a lot of the Bible was myth, questioned the virgin birth and the Deity of Christ — which makes him antichrist. May the Lord bless you too 🙂

  59. Thanks Holly,
    I really like this and I remember learning somewhere that disciple meant pupil which fits in context of scripture where it is used.
    Somewhere along the way the word has been twisted in my mind to be a disciple meant to be worthy of Jesus, meaning to carry the cross like Him. I think this comes from the lordship salvation camp who constantly want to find a way to make it all about works.
    I remember reading the book “The Cost of Discipleship” many years ago by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and then thinking and being sad thinking I would never measure up.
    It is indeed so true that the better a disciple I become (learning his truth) the more I am set free.
    Be blessed,

  60. Angela,so many confuse discipleship with believers.

    A believer can and should be a disciple (student/pupil/learner).
    A believer may not be a disciple, or a very nominal one.
    A disciple may not be a believer (see John 6).
    A disciple might even be one that can betray Christ (see John 6).

    Believers are told in John 8 to continue in His Word so they might indeed be pupils/disciples and so that the truth will set them free.

  61. Angela, different Christians have different struggles, but as you said, some seem much more difficult. Discipleship is always costly, because it involves making sacrifices.

  62. Hi,

    I struggle with the “cost of discipleship” it seems to me that there are times that people are believers and live very contented uneventful lives and bear much fruit as well. While others because of where the live or the time they live in are indeed persecuted.
    Looking forward to the post on Matthew 7.

  63. Thank you for the exhortation Curtis,
    Never going back to web sites, books and people who corrupt the gospel is a lesson I have surely learned this past year and I understand why better than I ever did before as well.
    Angela L

  64. Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
    Act 17:12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

  65. Angela
    to see a believer see Truth and separate unto Truth and the simplicity that is in Christ makes my day and is pleasing to the Father. God loves when we separate unto Truth for in this Jesus is glorified .
    I was on that site yesterday and felt convicted and reminded how Jack Weaver would say “Never Go Back to a website once you see the error of the Truth of the Gospel” or something like that .
    sure is something as well that John being led of Holy Spirit to research and expose Paul Ellis once again.

    2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

  66. I do visit his blog on occasion to read the comments more than Ellis’s posts per se, however, I had not read what you posted above so thank you for doing this research and pointing it out. I have on occasion left his blog feeling confused and now I know why!
    Again another sad situation of a person with a large voice (published books etc.,) and influence creating confusion on the simple truth that is Jesus.
    Angela Lina

  67. Excellent word play Johninnc. I was reading it and then the lightbulb went off. I always think of the way they come in from among us.

    They transform themselves into apostles of Christ…

    They bewitch believers into not obeying the truth by finishing in the flesh that which began in the Spirit (Gal 3:1-3)

    They bring in damnable heresies, and many follow their pernicious ways cause people to speak evil of the way of truth. They make merchandise of people with their feigned words (2 Pet 2:1-3), think on their books, their ‘studies’, their ‘ministries’.

    They sneak in to spy out our liberty so that they can bring people into bondage, and we’re not to give them place for even an hour so the TRUTH of the Gospel will continue (Gal 2:4-5)… Why on earth are men who claim to stand against load-ship quoting loadshippers like Spurgeon, Calvin, Luther, Augustine, MacArthur, or any of these wolves?

    They beguile people, subtly, like Satan did with Eve. They corrupt minds. They preach another Jesus. They are false apostles, deceitful workers, they are transformed as ministers of righteousness, their opportunity to do these things must be cut off, not helped along by acting as if they are somehow a brother (2 Cor 11:1-15).

    Even elders as we know were warned, because they too could be deceived as these grievous wolves would come in from among them and that men arose from them speaking perverse things drawing disciples after them. They were to take heed both for the flock and the doctrine so they could save themselves and their hearers (Acts 20:25-32; 1 Tim 4:16).

  68. Based on his false “turn from sin” for salvation gospel, Paul Ellis could be called “Paul LS.”

  69. There is quite the following Paul Ellis has like i said before he is one of many gate ways that leads souls into mysticism . some of the mystics are so slick it comes down to what they do not say .
    one theme is hyper grace , radical grace and God is Love he is not mad at you .

  70. Curtis, Paul Ellis goes way beyond what the Bible says about how to have eternal life. For Ellis, believing in Jesus means something nebulous like “opening the door of your heart” to Him.

    He says in one place that one doesn’t have to turn from sins to turn to Christ, but that in turning to Christ, a person is turning from his sins.

    Then, in another place, he says “turn from sins” is a requirement for salvation.

    It’s the same thing. In math, this is called the “communicative property.” So, I would call his theology “the communicative property of LS.”

    Also, his version of the plan of salvation:

    (i) you are a born sinner by nature
    (ii) nothing you can do will make you acceptable to God
    (iii) because of this you face rejection and eternal separation from God
    (iv) but Jesus has come and offers you his righteousness
    (v) so repent, turn from your sinful ways and put your trust in him
    (vi) his desire is to see you reign in life by the power of his Spirit
    (vii) because of what he has done you can look forward to eternity with him

    My comment: step vii. is part of what it means to trust in Jesus. Step v. is good old fashioned bi-lateral contract salvation. Step vi. is true, but one doesn’t need to know this to become saved, nor commit to doing it.

  71. Just another “man made system of thought” another Gospel .
    in a way I am thankful for these false teachers because the Truth of the Gospel shows who they are It also confirms the warnings from Gods Word in Jude and 2 thes 2 to separate unto Truth and to Love Truth with stern warning what happens if a soul does not love Truth

  72. Thank you John. Yes, Paul Ellis is full of doublespeak. He is another who says he teaches grace, but still appeals to the flesh in works. I put him aside in a file awhile back as one (like Andrew Farley) who totally masquerades as a Grace preacher but they are not.

  73. I looked a little further into Paul Ellis. He says he teaches grace, but he teaches turn from sin for salvation – in an internally inconsistent fashion.

    Following is from his blog:

    From “3 Reasons Why I Don’t Preach on Repentance (“Turn from Sin”)”

    Let me give you a picture to illustrate true repentance. Suppose I call you up and give you an invitation to come to my house. You’ve never been here before so you need directions. There are two ways I could direct you. I could give you my address and provide an accurate picture of where I live. Or I could say, “flee from your house – just drive from your house as fast as possible and don’t look back.” Do you see the difference? In both cases you’re going to leave your house. That’s guaranteed. But only by trusting my directions will you arrive at my house. Repentance is just like that. It’s not fleeing from sin like a Pharisee. It’s turning to God in faith. In both cases you will leave your sin. But only by trusting God will you actually arrive someplace better than where you started.

    (My comment: this is complete doublespeak. It is not the case that everyone who trusts in Christ will leave their sin. They will no longer be guilty of sin, and are called to live in the reality. But, turning from sin is not automatic in the life of every believer).

    From “The Gospel Comes to Laodicea”

    The Letter to the Laodiceans is the gospel of grace. It is the same gospel that Paul, Peter, James, John and all the other New Testament greats preached.

    This letter is not bad news for Christians but good news for sinners. Drop me in an unreached people group and using only the nine verses of this letter and I will have enough of the Bible to reveal a Savior who loves wretched sinners so much that he left the comforts of heaven to win us back to himself.

    Good news for Laodiceans

    To prove this, allow me to distil the essence of the gospel message in 7 statements. This is the economy version of the gospel, the one you preach in elevators:

    (i) you are a born sinner by nature
    (ii) nothing you can do will make you acceptable to God
    (iii) because of this you face rejection and eternal separation from God
    (iv) but Jesus has come and offers you his righteousness
    (v) so repent, turn from your sinful ways and put your trust in him
    (vi) his desire is to see you reign in life by the power of his Spirit
    (vii) because of what he has done you can look forward to eternity with him

    Yes, it’s short, but it covers all the bases. It addresses our natural state apart from God, our inability to save ourselves (our helplessness), and the consequences of a future apart from God. It presents Jesus’ offer of salvation, his challenge to repent and believe, his desire to live his life through us, and his promise of eternal life.

    (My comment: This is not how one receives eternal life. Note that here, Ellis says to “repent, turn from sins, and trust in him.” This is in slight contradiction to what Ellis said, above, that by turning to Christ, one will be leaving his sin. BOTH ARE WRONG)

  74. Thanks for sharing that Curtis. Funny that they feel they can correctly represent what free grace supposedly believes. But we have seen this for a long time…nothing new under the sun.

  75. the DTS statement of faith uses a lot of words and leaves the essentials undefined and wide open for calvinist and others

    “We believe that man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God, and that he fell through sin, and, as a consequence of his sin, lost his spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the power of the devil. We also believe that this spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race of man, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and unchangeably bad apart from divine grace (Gen. 1:26; 2:17; 6:5; Pss. 14:1–3; 51:5; Jer. 17:9; John 3:6; 5:40; 6:35; Rom. 3:10–19; 8:6–7; Eph. 2:1–3;”

    If they mean by total depravity that there is nothing man can do to save himself other than believe i’m ok with total depravity. The bible makes the assumption a soul can believe because a soul can choose to believe or not believe

    I would assume by total depravity here means inability to respond to wit i would respond.

    Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
    Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    “We believe that when an unregenerate person exercises that faith in Christ”

    Dont like the word exercise’s here

    below is the same statement the IFCA church used in their SOF that I left . Repentance is left undefined and left up to a soul to come to their own conclusion.

    We believe that the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing, and is in no way, in itself, a separate and independent condition of salvation; nor are any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, or faithful service, to be added to believing as a condition of salvation (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Rom. 1:16–17; 3:22, 26; 4:5; 10:4; Gal. 3:22)

  76. Joy, DTS is a mixed bag. It was founded by Lewis Sperry Chafer. DTS has Calvinist leanings, as did Chafer.

    Crossless gospel advocates Robert Wilkin and the late Zane Hodges were notable alumni. Also, Charles Ryrie was a faculty member. All three show Calvinist tendencies in at least some of their writings.

    I know at least on graduate of DTS – Ronald Shea – who is among the leading voices in defending the gospel.

  77. Thanks, I’m acronym challenged. Speaking of Dallas (DTS) does it teach Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone? I guess I could check its website. I live in the Silicon Valley near Chip Ingram’s (a DTS grad) church (lots of friends go to his church & I’ve been there a few times) and I’ve attended the annual Dallas Theological Seminary week @ Mt. Hermon Christian when I lived there (LOVED Howard Hendricks) and was unaware of their beliefs on salvation. Anyway I checked the Venture church (Chips church) statement of faith and it was great until the final sentence: “While we do not believe in good works are meritorious in obtaining salvation, we do believe that good works are an evidence of salvation”. What?
    (BTW I heard Chip’s sermon on Romans 13:1-6 and he gets the submission part completely wrong so I wouldn’t be surprised if he and DTS is wrong on other doctrines).

  78. Thanks Johninnc, should have said that. Plus they = a lot of 3-4 pointer Calvinists.

  79. Joy, DTS = Dallas Theological Seminary

  80. My friend Debra brought me an article from Dallas Theological Seminary which someone had represented to her as the only two positions of ‘free grace’. Of course it was ‘wikipedia’ (such a reliable source) 🙂

    I think it’s Curtis who says he doesn’t like to represent himself in those exact terms (me either) because unfortunately the people they named were people who are off the track (at least not what I see the Word as saying) so I steer clear of a lot of them. But, it seems like the enemy is alive and well to mischaracterize whomever. And people are so impressed with their wisdom, they’re making young ones stumble… makes me sad.

  81. Yes so corrupt. Every thought and deed. You know I don’t even know what DTS is. ‘One of the comments called me a blasphemous heretic and condemned to hell’. Lordship Salvation creates a mistrust of God because it teaches that we cannot trust God. So to take this thought to its completion > THEREFORE since God cannot be trusted at His word He must not really love us. Many cannot love others because they don’t feel loved. Their God is a manipulative God, who pits His ‘children’ against one another, inspecting and judging each other for perfect behavior while competing for God’s grace. Satan is quite clever indeed.

    Based on the TULIP Total Depravity, they claim we have no power to discern anything (extreme simplification here) but yet they have the ability to discern who’s saved and who’s not.

  82. Joy – they do sure bite don’t they? I am reminded of Phil 4:5, let our gentleness be known to all men, the Lord is at hand…

    It is sad, and I’m not sure no-loadship sprang from DTS. I saw an article someone posted today on what DTS thought free grace was, and it wasn’t what the Word says. One pastor went so far as to say if one didn’t have perfect assurance all the time, they weren’t saved (citing 1 John 5:10).

    Some times their ‘wisdom’ is so corrupt…

    Love in Christ (So thankful for this place, for His Word, for His love and goodness to us).

  83. Joy, these people are very misguided.

    One does not have to trust in Christ to “change his life” in order to be saved. Nor does one even need to desire to change in order to be saved.

    Rather, whoever believes that Jesus (God in the flesh) has paid the full penalty for his sins (past, present, and future), through His death and resurrection, has eternal life (Romans 4:24-25).

  84. Joy, the false gospel of these folks can be summed up in just four of their words: “no works, no salvation.”

    As long as they continue to believe that, they do not believe the gospel.

    Also, if repentance is a gift, why does God command men to repent (Acts 17:30)?

  85. And here’s one more I shouldn’t omit from a WVW commentor:
    “Such ignorance and slander!! Ask any “Lordship” Christian (as you call us) if we “trust of our own repentance” to be saved, or that we “trust our works” to save us!! We trust in Christ alone to save us, not only from sins committed, but also from a life devoid of power to obey God from the heart, thus producing “good works”, “fruit” (call it what you want).
    ” . . . Re this last point, I ask any Christian reading this: How do you, as a Christian, prove, or manifest your Christianity to those around you, Christian or not? How do you “justify” your claim, except by your “good works”?
    . . . Wow…so messed up…you say that anyone who does or ever did believe that one must repent for salvation, is “believing in works to save them”, thus saying that a) I am lost, b) almost everyone on this page/thread is lost, and c) no one was truly saved until the “No-Lordship” was sprung from Dallas Sem. Wow…you also say that “Every Reformed church ” you attended “has no interest” in “messy Christians” or “baby believers”…what an ad hominem, broad-brush bull-krap statement….ok, lets cut to the chase: you say, “May I reiterate that repentance is a very important process in the sanctification of a believer, just not in the salvation.”
    Scripture, please. Thank you”

    I did respond with a paragraph of different scriptures for him to ponder. With the wise ‘encouragement’ from our dear Jack I never returned to the website (until today that is).

    Thank you AGAIN to the loving and gracious family on this website. This is ExPreacherman living out in obedience to God’s Word: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26 KJV)

  86. I’ve heard Lordship & anti-free grace people say things like: ‘manifest transformation’ and ‘one cannot be saved unless he leaves his sins behind’. (Ray Comfort ‘stop sinning’).

    And Holly often you have quoted what LSers unlovingly say to you about your simple faith message. This prompted me to re-read some of the responses I’ve received over the years when I commented over @ WVW (Brannon Howse’s website). IT WAS SO PAINFUL. The hate & vitriol from some of those people.

    This was from a couple guys who would gang up on us, the few grace alone commentors: . . . “Your phrase (no repentance for salvation) is offensive, and only reveals your gross ignorance of what salvation really is. Is “salvation” (?) what you and your heretic DTS teachers affirm? An empty, mere, mental affirmation with no change of life, or even a worse life, maybe even dying “with a denial and curse of God upon our lips”, and still go to heaven? No: God-given repentance produces salvation, which is a “new heart” (Ezekiel 36:26), a “new birth” (John 3:3), whereby “all things become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, due to the “Word of God engrafted” (James 1:21), the “seed of God implanted” (1 John 3:9), producing a “perfection” of knowledge about God (Job 36:3, 4; 1 Timothy 3:16, 17; this “perfection” is not the “sinless-perfection” of the Wesleyen heretics, however). This “just enough” repentance, which you sinfully mock, is a seed planted, a spark generated, that will grow and bloom, by measure (as you would expect a child to do), as Christ Himself “be formed in us” (Galatians 4:19; cf. John 14:16-23). If against all this, you claim that it all only proves that “God has an incomplete nature” , then your own words provide your own condemnation! As for us who have “repented towards God for salvation”, by “faith in Jesus Christ”, we treasure that repentance for what it is: A saving, “change of mind”, a “gift”, granted unto us by God Himself (Acts 5:31, 11:18; Philippians 1:29; @ Timothy 2:25), that we might be savingly, totally, and forever joined to His Blessed Son, our LORD and Saviour, Jesus Christ forevermore; HALELUJAH!!”
    I had simply asked the question how much repentance is necessary in order to save us and to satisfy God’s wrath/judgement. And that if we expect repentance to save us, God will judge us by our works.

    Another heartbreaking response: “You’re putting words in my mouth; the words of your “No-Lordship” heretics, is that a “Christian” (?) can a) be permanently barren, b) openly and unrepentantly evil, and c) can “die in unbelief, cursing God”, and still go to heaven. That’s what I said, I DID NOT say that anyone believing in Christ alone is “carnal” or is “cursing God.”
    I believe I am saved by faith alone, in Christ alone, by God’s grace alone, revealed by Scripture alone, to God’s glory, alone. In line with Scripture, and the unanimous testimony and affirmations of God’s historical people, I also affirm that a) saving faith cannot be separated from repentance, which is no more a “work” for salvation than is “believing”; “Repentance” is a change of mind, that produces a change of life; the “change of mind” (faith/repentance) makes one saved; the “change of life” (repentance/good works) is the proof that one is saved; no works, no salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10; James 2)…who in Scripture was ever declared to be “saved” and yet remained the same evil person they were before, totally unchanged in conduct? Produce ONE such person from Scripture, I will repent of everything I have posted here, guaranteed.”

    When I first re-read these (and quite a lot more I didn’t include) I became hurt and angry all over again. But now I am overcome with grief > grief there are so many who are taught these false doctrines. They are victims, victims of man’s doctrines & pride. It all is pride, fear and anger based. SO TRAGIC. These people live in FEAR and I think deep down they resent God for what they think His salvation to be, impossible to achieve. And it is impossible because this is not God’s salvation plan, it’s mans.

  87. Holly, I’ve often wondered that same thing. If someone hasn’t believed in Jesus for eternal life, than what have they received from Him? Temporary forgiveness that has to be maintained by works?

  88. One today told me (in so many words) that she couldn’t agree with saying someone hadn’t believed the gospel, if they didn’t believe in eternal security. So what gift did they receive if not eternal life? What were they saved from?

  89. Holly, yep – a free ticket to heaven. After all, that’s the only kind there is.

  90. And about the time you tell someone that, they blurt out, “You just want a FREE TICKET to heaven. You want to live like the devil” (or some such statement). They’re so used to parroting their favorite loadship teachers they don’t even see or hear what the Word says. Blind leading the blind into a ditch…

  91. JR, I agree – we are justified by faith alone apart from works.

    Following is an excerpt that emphasized that point, from an article we posted back in February:

    Believing in Jesus as Savior means believing that our good intentions or good works have nothing to do with receiving eternal life. Neither does their presence or absence prove whether or not we possess eternal life. We need only believe in Christ alone as Savior in order to receive eternal life.

  92. Meredith,

    We are justified by faith alone apart from works (Eph 2:8-9). Repenting of sins, carrying the cross (discipleship), obedience involve works. Works do not prove or keep our salvation. We do good works out of gratitude for our Savior.

  93. I am Jackie… whomever we run across, we can plant or water, but we trust God for the rest as we continue in prayer.

  94. Jackie Garcia

    Holly, the fb friend you were speaking with on my timeline is actually my cousin and his name is Carlo. Please definitely keep him in your prayers as I only desire to see him be saved and in Heaven with all of us.

    Thank you everyone for the kind words! Praise God for it is He who brings forth the increase in all of our labor His glory. One day we will see the fruit of labor — what a sight that will be! It’s incredible to think of the massive party Heaven is throwing in my friend’s honor right now. May we continue to work the harvest until He calls us Home or returns for His bride. Love each of you dearly! ❤

  95. Jackie, I have also prayed for your other friend.

    It is great that he is interested in eternal life. Now I pray that he will hear and understand the gospel, that he might believe and have eternal life.

  96. Pray for another of Jackie’s friends right now, who is certain he is going to heaven because of his good deeds. He has been raised Catholic he says. I don’t know his real name, but the Lord does.

  97. Jackie ❤ We are so thankful to God for laborers in the harvest, and for the Lord who gives the increase. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Continuing to pray for you and your friends.

  98. So happy for you (and your friend) Jackie. Thank you for being available and sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. The angels are rejoicing with YOU Jackie!

  99. Thanks for sharing Jackie
    very encouraging ,

  100. Jackie,

    always encouraging to wake up in the morning to a comment like that!!!

  101. Jackie, that’s awesome!

    I have prayed for your friend and continue to pray for those who come to the ExPreacherMan ministry.

  102. Jackie Garcia

    Hi everyone, just wanted to share that a dear friend of mine has made the decision to trust Christ as Savior after I shared expreacherman.com’s “Eternal Life for You” article with him last night. He read it twice! Lol! I guess he really couldn’t believe how good the Good News is! 🙂 Guys, expreacherman is just radiating with The Lord’s favor. It’s such an awesome feeling to have been an instrument for for the Lord in pointing my friend to Christ for salvation. We also had a conversation over the phone where I explained the Gospel in depth while still maintaining its wonderful simplicity, but the expreacherman article was a nice way to put all I said in a concise manner. Praise God that His Gospel is the power of God unto salvation for all that believe (Romans 1:16). Wooohooooo! ❤ Keep up the great work, family! This ministry is bearing a ton of amazing fruit! Praise to the One who has saved us by His amazing grace!

  103. Curtis, good point. There are no “BUTS” to saved by grace through faith in Christ.

  104. listened to part of a message by sincity ” staying focused on Jesus” while he does say saved by grace he ads A “BUT” you have to continue this is back door LS works as evidence

  105. I haven’t watched any of sincitypreacher’s videos but in his Statement of Faith he says: When Jesus died on the cross He paid for the sins of the whole world.

  106. Thank you, John. I’ll take a look at that now.

    Thanks to you as well, Preston. I’ll keep my ears open as I have only listened to 2 videos but I don’t recall anything about the cross now that you mentioned it. Thanks for the heads up guys.

  107. Bobbie Joe,

    I am NOT 100% sure. However, I have heard him a few times and even conversed with some on his videos. From what I have heard from him, he IS A SAVED man. Nothing but grace without works out of his mouth (that I have heard).

    Be careful, I think I heard somewhere that he MIGHT be “cross-less gospel”. But again, not 100% sure.

    At this point, I would listen to him. IF he says something that makes you question something else, bring it here.

  108. Bobbie Jo, I’m not familiar with this ministry.

    Maybe one of our readers will be.

    Please see our “Goals” section for help in evaluating messages for faithfulness to scripture.

  109. Not sure where to put this so I apologize if it doesn’t belong here. I wanted to say I believe I have found another brother in Christ on youtube. If someone could check into it I would appreciate it. The name on there is sincitypreacher. Thanks guys

  110. Curtis, I love Micah 6:8. We are never able to fulfill even the law of liberty, loving God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength and others as ourselves. With the Lord’s help, we are able to love Him more, feed His sheep good food, in good pastures. Thankful for the green pastures here.

    I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9

  111. Meredith – I don’t know if you are still here either, I hope so. The reason is, you remind me of myself. I wonder in sadness how many people I sent away from the Lord, shutting up the kingdom in my legalism. I was sincere in thinking I was doing right, but oh, I was so wrong…

    I pray the Lord will show you in His Word how to live by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, assuming you have believed the gospel without promises added, or works. In Jesus Christ’s love to you.

  112. Jim, the link is below:


    An additional excerpt from this section:

    The Judiazers had hit upon a compelling strategy. They would force Paul to say that a man could be saved through faith in Christ even if he lived his entire life with his fist raised defiantly toward God. The enemies of Paul were the original “Lordship Salvationists.” They were sincere in their beliefs, and the logic of their argument was as powerful and persuasive in Paul’s day as it is in this day. It would force Paul to say that God not only saves sinners, but saves sinners in the very act of rebellion against God.

  113. Thanks John, I’ll have to go back and see what Ron wrote on the topic.

  114. Jim, Ron Shea has an excellent section on “Grace” at the old Clear Gospel website. Following is a pertinent excerpt that expands upon the concept of “fiducia” that you mentioned above:

    Could a man be saved who believed on Christ, and yet, lived his entire life in rebellion to God…never for so much as five minutes submitting his will to God’s? Paul said yes, for eternal life is a free gift! The enemies of grace however felt it was utterly absurd, offensive and impossible that a holy God would be willing to save so rebellious a sinner. And it was this appeal to human logic that made this argument so forceful!

  115. Meredith,

    If you are still reading.. you said “Kyle believes we are saved by faith believing and receiving Christ as our Savior (John 3:16). But it does not stop their, once we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior we must repent of our sins and live as a follower of Christ.”

    I attest that I have not misconstrued Kyle Idleman’s views. I read the book and took as many quotes as possible following right along in order they appeared in the book. This all goes back to definition problems. The Catholic and or Reformed definition of faith includes an element of “fiducia”. This means an action is needed in order for it to be actual. This usually gets trumped up to be things like discipleship, turning from sins, being willing to turn from sins, and can include any step of obedience really. However, for one to have faith they only need two things. One is to know the facts and the second is to believe that it is true. Once you believe that Jesus Christ died for you personally having lived a sinless life paying the penalty that was yours, then you are saved from that penalty because He has taken it upon Himself.

    Now you by your own words are saying that you believe this. If so then you are saved. The problem comes in though that confusing grace with works or faith with faithfulness is to greatly hinder the growth that one can have in the Christian life and the other is to totally damage the purity of the gospel for others. Men like Kyle Idleman are most likely unwittingly doing this because there definitions and theological constructs are suspect. Calvinism is an unforgiving and cruel theology because it appears to serve up grace but really actually delivers a hopeless message of maybe God loved you and gave you faith so start doing right to see if He really did. Oh and by the way if you mess up at all then you may never have really been saved. There is no eternal security in that. But there IS eternal security in the gospel or it is not good news.

    Jim F

    I pray that you consider this. It is a lot to take in if you have mostly been using or taught other definitions or theologies.

  116. Have been pondering this thread today of what i could remember and this is the verses of scriptures that kept coming to me .
    I also thank God for you all on this blog and this thread has caused and keeps causing me to seek .

    what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

    Mic 6:6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
    Mic 6:7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
    Mic 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

    worship him in spirit and in truth. and in truth and in truth
    Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    let God be true, but every man a liar
    Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

  117. I do believe, when we stand before Him, all born again believers will be held accountable (rewarded) for the gospel they preached.

    I don’t expect Meredith to comment again. however, if she comes back to read…….look up a pastor on youtube named ralph yankee Arnold. He has many wonderful sermons including “salvation vs Service”.

  118. Well we all gave it the ol’ college try.

  119. Hi Meredith, you wrote:

    “When you stand before God you can ask him to interpret His scriptures I have been very clear I will not explain again.”

    We don’t really need God to interpret His Scriptures as they are extremely clear at face value.

    You actually have failed to address any of the statements we have made regarding the clear bible verses which address salvation through faith.

    It appears you are deceived and have itching ears… heaping up for yourselves false teachers like Kyle and whomever else is in his heresy camp.

    This is very sad.

    But also noteworthy is your distinct lack of graciousness towards those of us here who are attempting to share God’s truth with you.

    In light of your false gospel of works (you call it “serving”), I am left to ponder how you have any assurance of salvation given your tone of voice is rude… and we know that isn’t a fruit of the Spirit. (just saying).

    In regards to the Bible verses which mention SERVING Jesus for eternal salvation.

    I would like to show you some verses on SERVING which are found nowhere in the Bible. Underneath each fake verse on serving is the actual bible verse which clearly shows the narrow way to eternal life, which is through faith (believing on Jesus).

    Fake verse:

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever SERVES him should not perish, but have everlasting life?

    Now consider John 3:16 – one of the clearest verses on eternal salvation in the Bible:

    For God so loved the world (Meredith), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVES in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Or how about this verse, also not found in the Bible?

    Fake verse:

    But these are written, that ye might SERVE Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that THROUGH SERVING you might have life through his name.

    Now please consider the real version of John 20:31

    But these are written (Meredith), that ye might BELIEVE that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

    and finally… to point out that SERVING (ie: WORKS) are not required for eternal life:

    Galatians 2:16 is for you Meredith:

    Knowing that a man (or woman – Meredith) is NOT justified by the works of the law (ie: SERVING), but by the FAITH of Jesus Christ, even we have BELIEVED in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the FAITH of Christ, and NOT BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW (serving): FOR BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED.

    If anyone would now like to pat me on the back… 😉

  120. Meredith, with all due respect, you came to this site with questions.

    We gave you our Biblical answers. We are not “patting each other on the back.”

    I have prayed for you. If you have further sincere questions, I will try to answer them.

  121. Meredith, there is only one way to Heaven. And, it is not through SERVING Christ. It is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

  122. When you stand before God you can ask him to interpret His scriptures I have been very clear I will not explain again. I am not going to get caught up in circling over and over again so that you all can continue patting each other on the back.

  123. “If you are right, and one has to serve Jesus to go to heaven,”
    If one does not serve Jesus, who is one serving. There is only one way to heaven and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

  124. Meredith – – there were some good passages and some well thought out responses, even in light of your sarcasm, I notice that people continued to speak with you with kindness and patience. I hope that tells you a little something.

    Here is my concern reading all your responses, and the reason why the others also have answered. When one does not understand the gospel, then we don’t know if they ever have, and then we’re concerned for their future, for we know it’s appointed unto all, once to die, then the judgment.

    So do you know for sure where you are going and why when you die? For me, as I read, I heard a lot of what you were doing, had done, still doing, in order to prove you were somehow saved.

    It is the same thing those people did in the passage in Matt 7 you quoted, they justified that they were saved by their wonderful works. Jesus never questioned they did good works.

    So I have to ask, how were you saved? If you do not believe the gift is life eternal, then you haven’t understood the gospel. That’s not said to anger you, but so that hopefully you will prayerfully consider this with the Lord.

    I’ll be praying for you Meredith, that you will seek the truth in His Word vs. people’s books. I pray that you will humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, and that you will come to know the truth that will set you free from this way of thinking which actually maligns His grace. May God be glorified. In Jesus Christ eternally ❤

  125. Beholdason, very well said.

    Meredith, we are all for you, and want you to have a clear understanding of the gospel.

  126. Hi Meredith 🙂

    I’m so glad you came back to discuss this issue with us all.


    I read all the comments and had a few thoughts that I wanted to bring up with you, for your consideration and response.

    The Bible gives us assurance of salvation in the book of 1 John 5:11-13:

    “And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

    He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.

    These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

    This verse says that we can KNOW that we have eternal life through believing in the name of the Son of God.

    Note what the verse of assurance DOES NOT say:

    It does not say anything about living a lifestyle of moral excellence to prove we truly believed. It does not say anything about “repenting of sin” every half an hour when you’ve sinned in your mind against the Lord. It does not mention anywhere about being a “follower” and not simply a “fan” (“just a believer”).

    I noticed in your comments that you regularly bring up “repenting of sin”.

    I think you might misunderstand the meaning of the word Repent, Repentance and Repented. The Greek word Metanoia (translated many times as those 3 “repent” words) simply means:

    A change of mind.

    The change of mind is not always about sin. The verses where this change of mind is in regards to eternal salvation is actually the person of Jesus Christ.

    I recently looked up all the verses in the NT featuring these words and can confirm that the word has nothing to do with changing your mind about sin, unless the context indicates that this is the case.


    Please consider the Gospel of John 20:21 which says:

    “But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.”

    Nowhere in the Gospel of John is “turning from sin” or “repenting from sin” a requirement for eternal life.

    Simply “believing on Jesus” is all God requires for a man to receive the FREE GIFT of everlasting life.

    Salvation is not a trade Meredith.

    If it is… how many good works do you need to do for the assurance that the Bible clearly gives in 1 John 5:13?

    We care about you and this issue is so important.

    Praying for you.

  127. Curtis, you are right, we are justified by the faith of Christ.

    One of my favorite passages is Romans 4:24-25:

    [24] But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    [25] Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    The Bible says He is the justifier of them that believe in Jesus.

    Romans 3:25-26:

    [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

    But, I try not to be too finicky with the language, because the Bible sometimes seems to use belief and faith interchangeably.


    Romans 4:5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    Romans 5:1-2:

    [1] Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
    [2] By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Luke 7:50: And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

  128. Meredith,

    the problem. Paul warned believers to be careful of “another gospel” in Gal 1:6*8 and 2 Cor 11:-4.

    has anyone ever explained to you the real gospel? if not, here it is—-because we really do care.


    This book will start and end with “the gospel”. The verses presented here are CLEAR. They can’t possibly be taken to mean “something else”. The bible, being the word of God CANNOT contradict itself.

    -Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that BELIEVETH

    So what is the gospel according to the bible? I mean, since IT IS the power of God unto salvation to whoever believes it. The gospel is DECLARED in 1 Corinthians.

    – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – Moreover, brethren, I DECLARE unto you the GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;2 By which also ye are saved,……….. how that Christ DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the scriptures;4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures

    So what happens when someone believes/trusts that Jesus (God in the flesh) DIED FOR OUR SINS and rose from the dead? The answer is in Ephesians.

    – Ephesians 1:13 – In whom ye also TRUSTED, after that ye heard the word of truth, the GOSPEL of your salvation: in whom also after that ye BELIEVED, ye were SEALED with that Holy Spirit of promise

    We see that when one believes (puts TOTAL confidence in; trusts; relies upon) this GOSPEL; that Jesus “died for THEIR sins”, they are SEALED by the Holy Spirit. One can never be unsealed. One is sealed until the day of redemption.

    – Eph 4:30 – and grieve not the Holy Spirit whereby ye ARE SEALED unto the day of redemption.

    Simply to clarify from a different angle, how many sins did Jesus die for (pay for)? The bible is clear. Jesus died for ALL of them.

    – Col 2:13-14 – 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having FORGIVEN YOU ALL TRESPASSES;14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

    – Acts 13:39 – And by him all that believe are justified from ALL THINGS, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

    OK. There should be no question as to what these verses read. It’s pretty clear. They can’t be taken any other way. Now I would like to translate this into a worldly example. This has helped others in the past.

    -Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    This verse is sending two clear messages. First, notice salvation is a GIFT. Pssssst, a little secret for you. Gifts are FREE! Second is what we owe for our sin. Wages is a term mostly used for employment. Wages are what are owed to the employee in exchange for the work they have done. Well, death is what we owe in exchange for our sin. Death, in this passage, is widely to be referring to the second death, which is eternal torment in a literal lake of fire (See Rev 20:14). “The wages of sin is death”.

    So, let’s ask ourselves a few questions, shall we.

    1. If you had 10 chocolate bars and you gave away ALL 10 bars, how many bars would you have left? The answer: NONE.

    2. If you had 25 mugs at a yard sale and someone bought ALL 25 mugs, how many mugs would you have left? The answer: NONE

    3. If you had $100 and a thief stole ALL $100, how many dollars would you have left? The answer: NONE

    HERE IT COMES!!!!!

    4. If you have ALL these sins you owe as wages and JESUS came and paid for ALL those sins, how many sins would you have left to send you to hell? The answer: NONE.

    Yes folks, it is that simple. Jesus died to pay for ALL your sins. This is the gospel (the good news). All you must do is believe it. The moment you do, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption.

    IF you have not truly trusted Him yet, would you trust Him now? DONT trust religion, works, the law, sacraments, church affiliation, etc. DO TRUST the gospel.

  129. Meredith
    “recieving forgiveness looking forward to eternal life with Christ”

    “forward to eternal life”

    Meredith if you do not have eternal life right now as a present position / possession in Christ you are NOT saved by your own words posted

    we here are trying to give you the Assurance of your salvation
    please do not be offended

    1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
    1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.


  130. Meredith, if you are wrong, you don’t believe in Jesus as Savior. You believe in Him as Helper, with the rest being up to you.

    If you are right, and one has to serve Jesus to go to heaven, then Jesus lied about the way to have eternal life. So, you are only right if Jesus is wrong.

  131. Meredith

    “but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”

    what is the Will of the Father to enter the kingdom of heaven ?

  132. Wow, you all are swimming in dangerous waters.
    For arguments sake, lets say I am wrong, well, you all are on your way to heaven along with others you are leading on your path.
    For arguments sake, lets say I am right, I have nothing to lose but you all do…eternal death seperated from God.
    So as for me I choose to believe in Christ as my Lord and Savior and take up my cross daily and follow Christ with repentance of sin recieving forgiveness looking forward to eternal life with Christ.

  133. Meredith,

    I have a question about your last post.

    a lot of it sounds good. I am glad for any born again believer who chooses to serve Jesus.

    these statements by you.

    “So then when I say you MUST also take up your cross daily die to sin”

    “When we fall (sin) in our Christian walk we (and we will, we are not perfect) then MUST repent and ask forgiveness”

    What is meant by “must”? lets say we don’t “repent and ask for forgiveness? what happens when one does not pick up their cross? what happens according to what you believe?
    – Can someone believe (trust) that Jesus, died for their sins and rose again, do nothing else, and be saved?

    IF the answer is yes, then why use the word “must”.
    IF the answer is no, and one “must do” those things, then one is believing (trusting) in their works (picking up their cross).
    – Romans 11:6 – and if by grace, is it no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace.

    We are not talking about discipleship (picking up your cross) we are talking about salvation only.

    I will give you a detailed breakdown of Matt 7 on the next post.

    with respect,

  134. Meredith
    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

    Yes , They knew Jesus AS Lord BUT not AS Savior

  135. Meredith, Matthew 7:21 refers to people who never believed in Christ as Savior, even though they recognized and followed Him as Lord.

  136. Hi Meredith;
    Preston mentioned the thief on the cross (as a side note) but I’d like to use this thief as an example of the simple salvation message. What was the dialogue between Jesus and the thief? Did the thief ‘go and sin no more’? How could he? He was hanging & dying with his Savior! Did Jesus tell the thief that he needed to repent? No, He did not. (Ironically the thief hung on the cross but could not ‘take up his cross’).
    “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43 KJV)
    Clearly from this passage we see that the thief believed Jesus was who He said He was . . . God.

  137. This is why I prefer the KJV translation and how the word protects the word

    justified by the faith OF Christ
    Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

  138. Meredith, we understand your points.

    But, you asked last night if someone who is a believer, but persists in sins will still go to Heaven.

    The answer is yes. I hope you believe that.

  139. “We believe the Bible teaches that one receives God’s grace by putting faith in Christ, repenting of sin, confessing Christ and being immersed into Christ”

    “putting faith in Christ” It is not our faith that saves us . It is the faith OF Christ in his finished work that saves us my/our only hope of heaven . We avail our faith to his finished work. My faith in Christ does not finish the contract .
    ” repenting of sin” Jesus Paid my sin debt for my sins passed present and future .
    I AM A SINNER , how could i possibly repent of sin when I am a sinner ?
    what more could I possibly do with sin that Jesus has not already done ?
    There is one 1 thing to do with sin agree with God it is and have it condemned to Hell and that is for fellowship with God not for eternal life.
    there is Peace WITH GOD and the peace OF GOD .

    “confessing Christ”
    Jesus is Christ and remains Christ whether or not I confess it . only a believer can confess so making this a requirement for eternal life is a mute point .

    “being immersed into Christ”
    this is deceptive what they are saying is you must be water baptized to be saved . This is Church of Christ doctrine

  140. Keep in mind Matthew 7:21New International Version (NIV)

    True and False Disciples
    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

  141. You still are not answering my question. I believe in Christ as my Lord and Savior therefore I am going to heaven regardless how I live my life is what you believe. So then when I say you must also take up your cross daily die to sin asking forgiveness with repentance although you do not agree with me on that point why even argue the point because I believe in Christ as my Lord and Savior and am already going to heaven according to your logic.
    Kyle Idleman does not say “and our works” he is saying what I just said in the above paragraph. He is not saying feed the homeless, visit men in prison, ie. doing good acts or deeds to get to heaven. As I said before once we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior we must repent of our sins and live as a follower of Christ. When we fall (sin) in our Christian walk we (and we will, we are not perfect) then must repent and ask forgiveness. Again I believe a follower is one who not only believes in Christ but choses to make a conscious effort toward righteousness. Again a follower will fail at times but will recognize their failure and repent and ask forgiveness.This is what Kyle is saying.
    I also believe we are going to have to agree to disagree.

  142. Meredith,

    it bothers us when they ADD to the gospel. look at what Curtis posted. He is adding to the gospel with the “repenting of sin”. He makes this a requirement for salvation. As a result, Kyle is not believing (trusting) in Jesus. He is believing (trusting) in himself; his ability to repent of sin.

    BTW – you do know the term “repent of sin” is not in the bible anywhere. the word “repent” is in the bible BUT “repent of sin” is not.

    go and sin no more…..

    “Go and sin no more” is the gospel of the sinless perfectionist. We have already seen that this is not the gospel. We know that the gospel is declared in 1 Cor 15:1-4. So what are we supposed to get from this phrase? What was Jesus trying to tell us? Most people pull this phrase from the woman caught in adultery.

    -John 8 – 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    Jesus did say these words. It is undeniable. It is in the bible. But not to be disrespectful to the Lord but I have to ask the million dollar question. Go and sin no more….or what will happen?

    EVERY saved person sinned after they were saved (one could argue the thief on the cross, we will call that semantics). Peter denied Jesus and didn’t uphold the gospel AFTER salvation (Gal 2:11-14). Paul couldn’t stop all his sinning (Rom 7:15-25) and he was already saved. The carnal people at Corinth were sinning all over the place and they were saved (1 Cor 3:1-3).
    The answer to the million dollar question is given by Jesus himself. What most people miss is that Jesus said this to another person; another whom He healed.

    – John 5: – 14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

    There we have our answer to the question. The answer, “lest something worse thing come upon thee”. Jesus is telling us that sin DOES have its consequences. The bible is clear on this. Some of these consequences include:
    – Loss of joy (Psalm 51:12)
    – Loss of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:10-15)
    – Being called least in the Kingdom (matt 5:19)
    – Being ashamed at His appearing (1 John 2:28)
    – Being a vessel of DIS-honor (2 Tim 2:20-21)
    – Satan could have access to your flesh (1 Cor 5:5)
    – Being disciplined by God (Heb 12:5-6)
    – Having your physical life taken early (Acts 5: 1-11)
    – Be made sick by God (1 Cor 11:30-32)

    How about consequences from the law here on earth? This applies to the woman caught is adultery. Jesus told her “go and sin no more”. Why did he say this? Lest something WORSE would happen unto her. In those days, the law stated that one would be stoned if caught in adultery. IF she committed THAT sin again she could actually be stoned. This is much worse than having Jesus save her from not being stoned.

    Jesus never said….
    – Go and sin no more or you can’t go to heaven
    – Go and sin no more or you will lose your salvation
    – Go and sin no more or you will be cast out
    Don’t let religion tell you these things. They are simply; NOT TRUE.
    What DID Jesus say…?
    – Go and sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

  143. Meredith, we have already established that Kyle Idleman falsley teaches that faith in Christ AND our works, are necesary in order to have eternal life.

    We hope you understand and believe the truth.

  144. I believe in John 3:16 as well does Kyle Idleman so why do you all have a problem with what we preach and believe beyond believe in Christ as your Lord and Savior for eternal life? According to your logic we are already going to heaven. So the words of Kyle , myself and others who believe we must take up our cross and follow Jesus and “go and sin no more” as Jesus said numerous times should not bother you.

  145. Merideth for the record , right from Kyle Idleman, as teaching pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky

    Warning !!! the quote below from Kyle Idelmans church is heresy and is NOT the Gospel that saves not sure if I should even post this

    “We believe the Bible teaches that one receives God’s grace by putting faith in Christ, repenting of sin, confessing Christ and being immersed into Christ
    (Romans 5:1-2 / Luke 24:45-47; Acts 3:19; 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9 / Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9; Philippians 2:11; 1 John 4:15 / Acts 2:38, Romans 6:1-7; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21)”

  146. Meredith,

    you said – So then you are saying all who believe in Christ as Savior (John 3:16) will go to heaven even if they die while living in habitual sin without repentance?

    ME- next to the word “repent”, believe is the second most misunderstood word in the bible.

    believe means “to put confidence in, to trust”.

    a deep question for you.

    Are you REALLY believing (trusting) in Jesus to go to heaven??


    Are you believing (trusting) in yourself to be good enough to make it???

    whom or what are you “really” believing in?

    with respect,

  147. Meredith,

    glad to hear from you.

    yes once a child of God, always His child.

    if one could lose their salvation then they are indirectly saying several things.
    1. Jesus sacrifice was NOT good enough to cover sin (Heb 10:12, Col 2:13-14)
    2. That works AREE needed to get saved (Rom 11:6; Titus 3:5)
    3. That we really HAVE a part in salvation (Eph 2:8-9, Rom 4:1-7)
    4. that Jesus LIED when He said, nothing will pluck us out of His or the Father’s hand. (John 10:28-29)
    5. That Paul WAS MISTAKEN when he wrote “sealed unto the day of redemption”. (Eph 1:13-14 and Eph 4:30)
    6. That salvation is not really a FREE GIFT. (Rom 5:15-20, Rom 6:23)
    7. That Jesus is NOT the complete savior; He needs our help (Heb 1:3)
    8. etc – you get the point.

    PLEASE feel free to ask this group anything. if there is a passage bothering you. Someone will answer it. may I ask that you give one passage at a time.


  148. Cyndi (JoyFounder)

    Hi Meredith;
    Thank you for your dialogue on this most important subject. If you are seeking truth this website will lovingly guide you to a clearer understanding of the ‘Good News’ of Jesus Christ. It was a tremendous help, life changing, to me.
    I read the 11:19 you asked Johninnc to read again. Perhaps it would help to look at this as a justification and sanctification issue. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This is the act of Justification. After salvation (once we are justified in Christ) God’s will for us is to become more like Jesus – a process know as Sanctification. Repentance is an essential part of sanctification. But we are ‘justified by faith, without the deeds of the law’ (Romans 3:28). Repentance is not part of God’s requirement for salvation but it is an important part of our sanctification process.
    I hope this helps.
    Blessings to you.

  149. Meredith, you asked: So then you are saying all who believe in Christ as Savior (John 3:16) will go to heaven even if they die while living in habitual sin without repentance?

    My answer: You are now asking the right question. Yes! If not, who could go to heaven?

    We are either forgiven for all of our sins or none of them. A believer should not live in habitual sin, but it is possible. Otherwise, there would not be so many Biblical instructions to believers not to:


    Romans 6:12: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.


    Hebrews 12:1-2:

    [1] Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
    [2] Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    These verses were written to believers!

    If believers do not go to heaven, even if they live in habitual sin without repenting, then Jesus is a liar!

    Jesus said:

    John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Believing in Jesus means believing in what He accomplished by His death, burial, and resurrection. He paid the full price for our sins, leaving us nothing to pay. He offers salvation as a free gift.

    1 John 5:10: He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

  150. Read my 11:19 pm post.

  151. “Everyone who believes in Christ as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited, no matter how they live their lives.”

    So then you are saying all who believe in Christ as Savior (John 3:16) will go to heaven even if they die while living in habitual sin without repentance?

  152. Meredith, not all believers in Christ are followers of Christ. And, not all followers of Christ are believers in Christ.

    Everyone who believes in Christ as Savior has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited, no matter how they live their lives. Believers should live for Christ, and it is God’s will that they do so. But, doing so is not a requirement to receive, or keep eternal life.

    Kyle seems to confuse these issues, and say that people who do not do follow Jesus are not really believers. Following Jesus is costly. Salvation is free. So, believing and following cannot be the same thing.

    Here is a quote from Kyle that shows that he does not understand the distinction between believing unto eternal life, and following:

    If you try and separate the message of follow from the message of believe, belief dies in the process. Our churches will continue to be full of fans until we break down the dichotomy between following and believing. Following is part of believing. To truly believe is to follow. (p. 33)

    Meredith, if you have read “Not a Fan”, and have read our posts, you should understand the differences between what we believe about how one receives eternal life and what Kyle Idleman believes. And, they are different.

    The thing you must decide is which view, if either, is Biblical. I would ask you to read the link to “The Gospel” booklet that I provided earlier. If you have any sincere questions, please let us know.

  153. I previously read your post on Not a Fan, also I have read Not a Fan and I believe you misconstrue what Kyle is saying. Kyle believes we are saved by faith believing and recieving Chtist as our Savior (John 3:16). But it does not stop their, once we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior we must repent of our sins and live as a follower of Christ. When we fall (sin) in our Christian walk we (and we will, we are not perfect) then must repent and ask forgiveness. A fan believes in Christ but choses to live for their own fleshly desires rather then wholly submit their life to Christ. I believe a follower is one who not only believes in Christ but choses to make a conscious effort toward righteousness. Again a follower will fail at times but will recognize their failure and repent and ask forgiveness.

  154. Meredith,

    I am sorry to hear that you strongly support Kyle Idleman. Perhaps you might consider a different view? Please see my post on his book Not a Fan. There is a post on it here that links to my site.

    Jim F

  155. Hi Meredith 🙂

    I have found this website to be very helpful to me as I’ve sought to understand the clear Gospel message. I spent many years in churches which teach a works based message of salvation. It left me looking to my own works for assurance of salvation and had me judging everyone in the church based on their works.

    Since coming away from that church and having a clearer understanding of God’s free gift of eternal life through faith in Christ, I have peace knowing that my assurance doesn’t come from looking within at my own ‘goodness’, but rather through resting and looking at what Christ has done for me on the Cross.

    I’d be interested to hear what you believe about how a person comes to faith? If you don’t mind sharing this with us?

    If I were an unbeliever, I’m curious as to how you might share the Good News about Jesus Christ with me?

    I ask this so that we can better understand your position and potentially clarify what the bible teaches about salvation.


  156. Meredith, we hope you have been blessed by reading our articles and comments.

    I would like to invite you to read “The Gospel” booklet by Ron Shea from Clear Gospel Ministries. It is under our “Share Your Faith” heading, and it is linked below:

    Click to access English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

  157. No I did not find you for purpose. I found you while searching Kyle Idleman whom I strongly agree with and support.

  158. Hello Meredith
    Welcome to expreacherman and thanks for your comments. I am not around as much as i use to be . I took a full time job driving truck . I agree with what John posted to your question.
    If I may also encourage you to study the bible for yourself. I myself had to learn that the hard way.
    Ask God for wisdom and understanding to show you the Truth of the Gospel . God is already at work you did not find expreacherman by chance but for purpose . I pray for you that God would reveal that purpose to you.

    Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
    Joh 18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
    Joh 18:34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

  159. Meredith, this pasage was for people who were already Christians, and it had to do with their Christian walk.

    If you would like to see an interpretation of this passage that is consistent with grace, please see our “Difficult Verses” section, linked below:


  160. Meredith, welcome and thanks for your comment.

    We do not post links to unfamiliar sites.

    We are familiar with every use of the words “repent” or “repentance” in scripture.

    What do we do with them? We read them in context to determine who is being asked to repent, what the object of repentance is, and what the consequence is.

    I’ve learned a lot on this subject from reading the “Repentance” section from Clear Gospel Campaign. You might like it too. It is linked below:


  161. Meredith Washburn

    2 Corinthians 7:10
    Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

  162. Meredith Washburn

    Curtis M. So what do you all do with these scriptures?

    (Note: link removed by administrator).

  163. very good messages there from Pastor Tom Galatians 1 and 2

    When someone believes in Calvinism or any other ism ,ist, or ite…… it is always the result of accepting the teaching of some man or women (sorry ladies ) example .. Ellen g white of seventh day adventist.
    That’s why it is so important to read scriptures for ourselves and asking God for wisdom and search scriptures when sitting under preaching and teaching .

    I love how the Holy Spirit protects the messenger and message to be given here
    not after man , neither received it of man, neither was I taught it……
    Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
    Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    even Paul protecting himself from himself here :

    Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
    Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

  164. Holly, I just listened to part 2 of Tom’s series on Galatians. It is entitled “Things That Are Different Are Not the Same”. Following is an interesting excerpt that comports with what you (and all of us) are experiencing from the religious community.

    Minutes 43:24-44:16:

    Back to Galatians, and we’ll wrap up here, it says in verse 10 (1:10), Paul says:

    “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

    You see, Paul’s motive was in question. This is what started happening. His motives started being called into question by these people.

    See, because here’s what happened folks: when you embrace a message of grace plus works – maybe you believed in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone – but when you start embracing a message of grace plus works, you know what all of a sudden? You see those who believe in grace as the enemy.

    That’s what happens. And that’s what these people started doing with Paul. His motives were in question. Was he preaching what he was preaching to gain a following? No. He was doing it for the glory of God, the One who had given him the message to begin with.

    See link below:


  165. Curtis, in addition to changing the definitions of words, false teachers often modify words with qualifiers. For example, Billy Graham calls the GIFT of eternal life a GREATER GIFT, as he implies that it is OK to insist that people must give up (that is, trade) something in order to be saved.

  166. Holly said
    “mantra they say that they believe of grace alone through faith alone, in Christ alone. When with them it really means by infused grace, through gifted faith which causes you to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit in Christ alone (or something along those lines).”

    grace alone through faith alone, in Christ alone
    This is whats called loading the language every thing needs defined these days or if listening to a Preacher or speaker you already know their doctrinal statement AND heard their gospel invitation to be biblical. outside of that more than not you are about to be indoctrinated into a system of thought. When preachers start name dropping they are inviting a spirit to show up of that teacher. They are also making it clear they have not been reading scripture but studying words of men in relation to scripture.
    reading books is not wrong but when teachers stand up and give dissertations on the latest book they read you are in the danger zone.
    We should strive to be “An Original Voice” not even copying ourselves forward.

    That is one of many ways that makes this blog special it is the moderators keeping the Gospel Clear and keep going back to the very simple basic’s like this thread ” What is Grace ?” I /We need to constantly remind ourselves of the Gospel. It is actually easier to believe in LS and just roll over and take a nap till the next meeting to be told what to believe.
    once you are indoctrinated into a system of thought there’s nothing else to learn the preachers and teachers tell you what to learn instead of thinking for yourself.

    2Ti 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

    form= patterns

    its the patterns of words that can enslave a mind patterns are defined by definitions

    “A cultic group often uses its own complex vocabulary. Words carry with them entire packages of implications, emotions, metaphors, and even past experiences. Cults invent new words and phrases that carry with them much more complicated understandings, or they manipulate existing words to change their meanings subtly or dramatically.

    Loaded language serves several purposes:

    1. Relabels or redefines meanings
    2. Shuts down critical thinking ability
    3. Further isolates the group, making it difficult to communicate with outsiders”

  167. Curtis and Joyce… have not met too many I could count as those types of elders. I think there are too many wolves in too many churches, but I praise God for good men who having done all, stand. I am sorry when I hear stories like yours, but there is a common bond, a persecution, maybe nothing at all like in other countries or in other times, but the persecution from within the supposed church and the hatred is palpable. We are too ‘civil’ here for now, for the moment, but it’s just around the corner.

    May the Lord have mercy… I pray we might make a difference with some, and I pray His Word will strengthen us and revive us, give us food, and seed to sow. May there be more laborers for the harvest. May He give us strength till He comes.

  168. JoyFounder, you are right, they did connect it to Jack, the funny thing is, before I met Jack, we had issues over others, i.e., Joyce Meyers, Paul Washer, Dave Wilkerson and others. Then she hooked up with an ex-NAR individual who was busy pumping out MacArthur and others. It became a dishonest and manipulative maneuver on their part, conscious or otherwise, to call it a ‘new denomination’, sometimes an ‘aberrant theology’ other times, this ‘free grace camp’, etc. and then generally bring up a crossless gospel and try to associate me with that, and when that didn’t work, try to associate me with teaching doctrines of demons and encouraging licentiousness.

    The one I knew longer than the other, and seemed to be easily blown about by winds of doctrines and following after men, (the very thing she suggests I am doing) 🙂

    At any rate, it doesn’t take any twisting of words to know John MacArthur teaches a false works-based gospel, or that Ray Comfort teaches the same. Along with not believing in OSAS as he puts it.

    Funny about your experiences, it does surely seem that the ones who are angry, unloving, sarcastic or harsh, and yet claim they are doing the ‘loving thing’, but they are followers as you say of men. They will defend these men to the death. They love their study Bibles and my one ex-teacher started doing the ‘John MacArthur says’ in class, just saw her begin to tiptoe through the TULIP and don’t know where she is in points, last time she admitted to about 2-1/2. The other teacher she takes teaching from I found out is a Calvinist. A friend mentioned that she had gone to his class and was being pressured to believe TULIP. (She didn’t even know what it was).

    His name is John Politan a big teacher at Scottsdale Bible Church in Scottsdale, AZ. Never met him, but of course wouldn’t go to his class knowing. This valley seems pretty rife with the Calvinists, James White is big here.

    They do leave a trail of hurt and wounded people, some rendered ineffective or in fear. I wonder how they can walk with any assurance, or if they just fake it. But May the Lord keep the little ones from stumbling, and may we rejoice as we are counted worthy to partake of any of His sufferings.

  169. Johninnc, how completely true that people do not separate from apostates, it’s hard for them to really wrap their mind around the fact that if one gets the gospel wrong, this is where we need to make a line in the sand. We cannot compromise.

    I have sadly, but am trying to be wiser and get to the meat of the matter more quickly. I understand if someone doesn’t rightly know how to share the gospel, but it seems some could not say, yet insisted you were wrong, or tried the sly, mantra they say that they believe of grace alone through faith alone, in Christ alone. When with them it really means by infused grace, through gifted faith which causes you to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit in Christ alone (or something along those lines).

    The failure to separate from unbelievers is exactly why we are in such a situation and that most especially includes teachers quoting Calvin, Luther, Anselm, Augustine, C.S. Lewis, Spurgeon, et al, and then treat you as if you surely didn’t think that means they endorse ALL of their teachings…. Surely they are not that naive. People rush to buy teachings of men ALL the time and they are guilty of making people stumble or losing their lives because of it.

    It is grievous and has broken my heart many times, and good men, or seemingly sound men, make all sorts of excuses for quoting reformed men, acting like you are Chicken Little yelling the sky is falling, as they pat you on the back and say, “now, now, everybody knows I am not endorsing ALL their teachings”…. They have put up with these people who have brought another gospel and they did ‘bear with them’ (2 Cor 11:3-4. They are guilty for those who will be misled, for those who will fall from grace, or their own steadfastness, or get caught up in years of trying to finish in the flesh (what an exercise in miserable futility that is).

    They are disobedient to the Scriptures, I don’t care their motives anymore, and I don’t really care why if they won’t hear, I’m just done with them, they’ve been warned, they don’t want to hear, and they continue to crank out the false teachers in order to be ‘relevant’ I guess, and draw more hearers.

  170. Curtis While reading this proper Biblical description of a Godly leader you provide, the men that came to mind were completely unrelated to the JM, Grace church method of church government. That alone speaks volumes.

  171. JoyF said
    “Everything was dissected and analyzed based on what JM believed.”

    This was one of the ways it was started. If it didn’t have the J-Mac copyright stamp of approval it did not get taught .
    another cry was “submit to elders” or you are of Satan and divisive. DO NOT question the elders.

    please excuse my copy and paste below it maybe a good statement to remember :
    “If an older man is above reproach, spiritually matured, apt to teach, and interested in saving souls, he doesn’t have to have one ounce of authority to be of service to others and to advance the cause of Christ. He will never have to demand that people respect and obey him, for that will be given to him gladly. Furthermore, if he is Christ-like in every area of his life, showing the same love qualities for others as did Jesus, people will be persuaded by his teaching and example and will yield to his wisdom. This is the essence of the “elder’s rule.” It is a standard, the standard of Christ, rather than an exercise of commanded obedience. Yes, the elder rules, but according to the wisdom of God, not according to the dictates of man.”

  172. Dear Holly I re-read your account of the email and discussion about Ray Comfort, JM, Calvinism. It struck me that this individual had to connect your belief system to a person (Jack Weaver > NEW doctrine!) They were so blinded and deceived by a cult-like worship of a human being it was impossible to see Jesus. After attending John MacArthur type churches for several decades the Spirit revealed to me a common thread > those who flock to these ‘leaders’ are followers, not of Jesus Christ, but of man. One doesn’t really follow Jesus, one follows Calvin or whoever. I had similar abusive encounters with church members (as per Curtis & his wife’s experience). I remember one particular man who would wander around from table to table during potlucks picking doctrinal (and personal) fights with other members. He was the most angry, unloving man I’ve ever met, yet he claimed to be a Christian. No he claimed to be a follower of JM. Everything was dissected and analyzed based on what JM believed. This same man stood up during the all church interview of a prospective pastor and announced “everything (insert pastor’s name) says is exactly what John MacArthur believes and teaches. He should be our next pastor.” The behavior of this man was allowed and even condoned by the elder board while other members were disciplined for minor infractions based on a legalistic set of standards. When God lead (more like kicked!) us out of this church, and someone would ask us why we left, I
    we would respond that we heard John MacArthur’s name mentioned more than Jesus Christ.
    These followers of man rather than Christ leave a trail of hurt, judgement and rejection behind them as they continue to seek the next doctrinal victim. So tragic. Because you are continuing in God’s grace and mercy you have the ability to love and forgive, Holly and Curtis.

    In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul calls out sectarianism for the sin (carnality) that it is.

  173. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ Yes as believers it is our choice to walk in the spirit.

  174. Curtis, what an amazing, sad story.

    Galatians 5:15: But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

  175. Holly
    “Do they somehow miss their lack of love?”

    my wife and I both witnessed a IFCA assembly of 40 years split bitterly over this doctrine and both sides were and still are wrong on THE Gospel.
    Elders and Deacons almost coming to fist fights and soul’s packing pistols in the Lords House for fear of their lives ?
    Foundation families in the IFCA assembly brothers and sisters born and raised in that assembly ,Mothers and Daughters Fathers and Son’s split .

    I found this quote doing some homework on witnessing to JW’s and it seems fitting . This don’t mean we don’t go fishing for souls just something to ponder why a soul would respond the way they do

    “It is important to understand that in most Bible-based cults, although the member is aggressively taught doctrine, it is not the doctrine that holds him in the group. It is the sense that the group is God’s true people, a feeling cultivated by techniques of mind control. Thus, to engage the cult member in a Biblical argument or discussion is often futile.” Stephen Hassan Releasing the Bonds p.145″

  176. Cyndi, I think this is a good discussion.

    Just a couple of more thoughts on eternally-secure Christians and being “removed” (Galatians 1:6) and “fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4).

    People who become Christians by grace through faith in Christ, but then fall into error regarding the means of salvation are no longer believers in Christ. They are still eternally secure and will go to heaven. But, they will not be able to spread the gospel, they will not grow in grace, they will not walk in the Spirit, they will not manifest the fruits of the Spirit, and they will produce the works of the flesh.

    That’s why, if we can’t restore such apostates to the faith, we are to separate from them.

    2 Corinthians 6:14: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

    (Editorial comment: the failure to separate from unbelievers is the reason our churches are such a hodgepodge of truth and heresy, believers and unbelievers yoked together).

    Now, back to Paul’s message. Paul is trying to restore the erring Galatians to the faith. He starts by telling him that what they are embracing is a false gospel and that both the false gospels, and the people who teach them, are under God’s curse. He reminds them how they became saved. He scolds them for departing from the faith. He warns them about the consequences of living under the false gospel that they have embraced. He exhorts them to return to the faith.

    Not only are we saved by grace, but we are to live by grace.

    Titus 2:11-14:

    [11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
    [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
    [13] Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
    [14] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

    We are to grow in grace:

    2 Peter 3:17-18:

    [17] Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
    [18] But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

    If we stop living by grace, and try to live by the law, then we are back in the flesh. We are no longer living by grace, therefore we cannot grow in grace. And, we will manifest the works of the flesh.

    Galatians 3:1-3:

    [1] O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
    [2] This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
    [3] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

    So, these people received grace through faith in Jesus. Paul is telling them that they will not grow in grace by trying to keep the law.

    Galatians 5:1-8:

    [1] Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
    [2] Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
    [3] For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
    [4] Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
    [5] For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
    [6] For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
    [7] Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
    [8] This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

    The people that Paul is addressing are clearly born-again, eternally-secure Christians. Paul is telling them that the heretical message that is trying to draw them into legalism did not come from Christ and that it is a dead end (stopping their Christian growth and causing them to fulfill the lusts of the flesh).

    Notice the use of the word “profit” in Galatians 5:2. This does not refer to having eternal life. It refers to having the power to live the Christian life (that is, to walk in the Spirit) and the prospect of receiving commendation and reward at the judgment seat of Christ.

    Galatians 5:16-23:

    [16] This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
    [17] For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
    [18] But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
    [19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
    [20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
    [21] Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
    [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    [23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    Only Christians can walk in the Spirit. But, they cannot do it if they forget how they became Christians (by grace through faith in Christ) and forget who they are in Christ (by trying to live by the law). People who are not born-again do not have the Holy Spirit indwelling them, and therefore do not even have the option of walking in the Spirit. And, Christians who try to live in the flesh (by the law) are choosing to not walk in the Spirit.

  177. Johninnc, I ended my evening with a Calvinist gentleman calling me a Jezebel that needed to be silent. He forgot that he was complicit in my ‘sin’ by engaging me over the past few days in conversation. Evidently he had enough and let me know I was a Jezebel. I did want to share it wasn’t exactly the first time I’ve been called that 🙂

    Do they somehow miss their lack of love?

    Thank you for your prayers, they are always so much appreciated.

    Love to you and your dear wife. In Christ.

  178. Holly, I was reading in Proverbs and came across this verse today: Proverbs 9:8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
    Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. (NKJV)
    Those religious friends of yours don’t sound very wise to me.
    On a related note the church in my area that disbelieves eternal security(I’m sure all or most do), is apparently preaching that Christians are still under the law also.

  179. Cyndi (JoyFounder)

    Yes ‘exchange, change sides’. (I was too lazy to go upstairs and get my Strong’s.) This was a challenging verse for me. Thank you Jack for your clear explanation of the word ‘removed’. That’s why you’re The Preacherman! 8} Also I really appreciate the definition of ‘accursed’ as banning or excommunication, as well. And thank you John for pointing to the use of ‘false brethren’ in Chapter 2. Chapter 2 stood out for me and created some confusion in my mind in relation to Chapter 1. I didn’t know what to do with it: I.E. are they saved or unsaved or both? I apologize for causing any diversion (my sermon notes) from the gospel message your website has worked so hard to maintain. (Perhaps the sermon notes should be stricken from the blog so as to keep someone from being led astray?) Because of your understanding of the gospel message (the foundation for everything spiritual) we have a place to go where we can grow and mature in God’s word as we study His precepts. Thank you again, Jack, John and Holly.

  180. John,

    I see your point about “false brethren.”

    That phrase in the broader context and in the Greek means “a spurious brother, i.e. pretended associate.” So it is very possible that some of them were not saved brethren but unsaved, “false brethren.”

    So I agree and thanks for bringing that out.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  181. Jack, I agree completely with your description of what “removed” means in the context of Galatians 1:6. Paul is clearly speaking to people who had received eternal life and were eternally secure.

    While some of the teachers of this error may have been saved, I think that some were not. The use of the term “false brethren” is why I think that.

    Galatians 2:4-5:

    [4] And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
    [5] To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

  182. Cyndi and Jan,

    “Removed” from the Greek is “exchange, change sides, or (figurative) pervert :- carry over, change, remove, translate, turn.”

    So we see these errant believers have removed (changed sides) themselves from the Gospel message and are listening to folks in their church preaching “another Gospel” (see Galatians 1 8-9)

    These teachers and members were apparently saved who changed their “gospel” and were preaching “another gospel” thereby they were “accursed.’ The word accursed does not mean “condemned or loss of salvation” as so many new translations say. “Accursed” definition from the Greek word anathema “to ban or excommunicated (a thing or person).”

    In other words, Paul was telling the Galatian church to remove these men (who are preaching a false message) from the congregation, no fellowship, etc. Paul’s proclamation has nothing to do with their salvation.

    Though this may not address your specific concerns, I pray getting the context helps somewhat.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  183. Cyndi (JoyFounder)

    So Jan, what did the Apostle Paul mean when he used the word “removed” (KJV) in this context? Perhaps Paul was referring to those unsaved Galatians ‘being removed’ from the fellowship. Clearly Paul (I concur) does not believe that one can loose his/her salvation. Because he uses this in the context of removing he apparently thought some Judaisers were unsaved? (If this helps: NIV > deserting, NKJV > turning away). Looking up the Greek perhaps it is more in the context of falling away. My head hurts, that’s all I got.

  184. Holly, how sad that your religious friends mock and belittle your defending the gospel. I have prayed for you to have wisdom and courage today.

  185. Happy for you Bobbie Jo and privileged to read your testimony Thank you for posting .
    I like this quote you said and I looked up some passages to compliment it.

    “He took it upon Himself to die for us so we could be reconciled to Him and He still remains Holy.”

    Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

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

  186. A couple of days ago some questioned whether ‘we’ a group who have somehow come to believe this ‘new doctrine’ which comes from Jack Weaver (the one said to me in an email as I shared here then). Because I had shared (and you have shared here) of Ray Comfort’s Gospel, one of the ten commandments was supplied about bearing false witness, along with a little mocking of ‘Oh wait, we are not under the law anymore right?” WRONG! (she said, and cited 2 Cor 3:6). The sad part? She went on to compare those (who have exposed MacArthur for the false gospel he teaches) who were like Pharisees and twisted poor John MacArthur’s words (like Jesus) she said….

    Her friend joined in using John 8:44 regarding us, and she responded to her friend saying, she wasn’t ready to say we were ‘all’ unregenerate yet…

    That gives you enough of a background on how people will defend a wolf, the sheep will even bite the one that warns them, and the others will mock and scoff, and believe they are the ones being maligned.

    I can publicly declare I believe John MacArthur and Ray Comfort both teach a works based gospel and therefore an accursed one…..

  187. Bobbie Jo, what a precious story, so happy that you came out of church of Christ (must have been hard in some ways, we all have our church-split stories), but thankful you are learning that His Word is treasure. Abiding in His Word, makes us disciples/students.

    So happy to have you here with us. Keep searching the Scriptures, keep studying, keep hiding them in your heart, keep loving and treasuring His Word. In His love, Holly (And we hope and pray you might desire to continue with us).

  188. Jan Kotlarski

    JoyFounder, when I read through the notes you posted yesterday, I noticed this part which contradicts us having everlasting life through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

    [In my opinion the KJV of verse 6 is most sobering:
    ‘I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel’. (Galatians 1:6)
    If my interpretation of the word ‘removed’ here is correct, as far as Paul is concerned, because these Galatians pervert the Gospel message, they no longer are considered as believing the message at all? They have willingly removed (or are removing > present tense) themselves from under God’s grace. In defining the word ‘removed’ the dictionary uses words such as: dismissed, eliminated, separated. So how does God view those who pervert His Gospel message? Removed!
    So, again, if my interpretation of this is correct, God’s Grace ceases if we add to His gospel message. It becomes mans ‘rules’.]

    This goes against the clear teaching that we have everlasting life from the Lord Jesus Christ once we believe on Him, His death, burial and resurrection as it is told in John 3:14-16, 36, 4:13-14, 5:24, 6:40, 10:27-30, 11:25-16, 20:31; 1 Corinthians 3:10-16; Ephesians 1:13-14, 2:30; Colossians 3:1-4; Ephesians 5:13-17; 1 Thessalonians 5:5-10; 2 Timothy 2:13.
    Even if we not believe once saved, we are eternally secure, though it will cost us so many blessings in eternity.
    And under not believing falls any false gospel, because then we do not believe Jesus Christ and His redemptive work is enough to trust in for Him saving us.

    Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

    Actually, this is a case of Ephesians 4:14 in action, brethren who were following false doctrine, in this case another gospel.
    The case is more whether they were saved or not and Galatians 1:11 certifies that Paul did see them as brethren, meaning that there was at most a minority of unsaved professing “believers”, with the majority of saved believers with everlasting life.
    Galatians 3:2-5, 13, 26-29, 4:6-9, 12, 19, 31, 5:1.

    Is Dr. Roger Spradlin the pastor whose notes you took and posted here?
    But whoever the source of those notes is, he is a bringer of false doctrine and to be avoided for your own good.

  189. Bobbie Jo,

    YES, Free!!!! We are excited for you!!!

    John 8:36
    “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be FREE INDEED.”

    Glad to have you participate in our little Oasis of Grace at ExPreacherMan.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  190. Thanks everyone for the welcome. It’s soooo incredibly nice to meet all of you. 🙂

    I hope to become more acquainted with you all and grow in knowledge. Once I’ve discovered the truth I’ve not been able to STOP with my research. I can’t get enough.

    I think the most amazing part of all this is we have God so wonderful He took it upon Himself to die for us so we could be reconciled to Him and He still remains Holy. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it sometimes. It brings so much loving warmth to me and tears to my eyes.

    This is true, unconditional love that we would never find on another human being as is not possible.

    “And he said unto him, Why callest thou good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

    I don’t know much as of yet but what I do know is a great treasure to me…….Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God, he sacrificed himself to pay for my sins, he was buried and he was resurrected to live evermore and has allowed me, as well as all who believe in Him, to partake in this. For this to me is love and it has started to pain me when I do something which would upset him.

    Once again, thank you ask for the welcome. Sorry for rambling. It’s just a most amazing thing. I’m free! Praise the Lord!

  191. Thanks Curtis and John for the counsel. It’s just like what a sage deacon in a former church once said to my husband and I about the board of elders: “You gotta watch ’em!”

    I listened to Part 1 of Dr. Cucuzza’s Galatians series. Very good. He made an excellent comment about people who always quote and seem to follow the ‘reformers’ or ‘founders’ of the faith. These reformers FOLLOWED the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Not to mention Paul’s entire ministry. Dr. Cucuzza’s point being that during the Apostle Paul’s ministry perversions of the gospel message were already occurring at astounding rates along with false teachers, etc. So of course the seeds of perversion were well planted before Augustine, Luther, Calvin, name your founding guy. These ‘reformers of the faith’ were not exempt from perverting the gospel message > grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

    Also John I’ve been reading a website which includes victims’ accounts of what went on behind closed doors at Bill Gothard’s headquarters, Advanced Training Institute and Institute In Basic Life Principals. It is a perfect example of how man’s rules create monstrous and horrific results and shows clearly the outcome of ‘being removed’ from under God’s grace. Too much truth leads to heresy? Really Mr. Gothard? Men love darkness rather than light for their deeds are evil.

    Welcome Bobbie Jo to the sweet fellowship here @ ExPreacherman.

  192. Welcome Bobbie Jo
    i have been on expreacherman I think for a year maybe longer and what Jack said above has been my experience.
    The moderators here hold a hard stance on the clarity of the Gospel from what I have seen. I know some what of what you are going through everyone is different but we all desire to hold to the Truth of the Gospel.
    when i first came here what jack said under the about tab of himself caught my attention.

    Jack Weaver

    you have found an Oasis of Grace here and Welcome Bobbie Jo

  193. Bobbie Jo,

    Welcome!!! And thanks for visiting and your interesting comment.

    You will find a home and a fellowship of believers here at ExPreacherMan.com with many friends who will help you as you grow in Grace, searching God’s Word for The Truth.

    You are right, Believers in Jesus should not be motivated by fear but by the Love of Christ, knowing what He has done for us on the cross. He has done ALL the work for our salvation. We simply put our trust in Him alone and not our works!!

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  194. also that statement “Truth carried to an extreme is heresy.” is heresy within itself and is an an attempt at mind control to me . What the speaker is saying is he alone is the one who declares what is and is not extreme truth and keeps them coming back for more instead of seeking Truth for themselves. Pretty slick how mind control tactics work.

  195. They are the ones that hurt the most , I have an old friend who knew me for over 15 years and mentored me in the ways of Calvinism (Author Pink style) but when I disagreed with him he dropped me like a rock and has not returned to my house again not even a phone call . I did reach back out to him and did visit him again but still just try’s to indoctrinate me with his system of thought.
    I felt responsible for leading him were he is today he has released me from that .

  196. . This is my first time commenting here so please forgive me as I’m not as far along as most of you.
    You see I left a Church of Christ about 10 years ago and I went through terrible grief. I felt I could do nothing right and I was a prisoner. I started doing all kinds of wrongs as I figured why bother.
    I have found a church that teaches eternal life is a free gift and you don’t do anything to maintain it and Christ does it all.
    I’ve been looking into this more and more and I feel its a lot like an earthly parent and child relationship. You don’t listen to your parents cause you are a slave…You listen to them due to the closeness you have with them and you don’t want to upset them. At least to me it simply means doing as Christ not for fear but of love. At least that’s my take on it.

    Excuse me kindly if I’m off on this. I’m still coming out of a terrible experience with God due to false teaching and I’m trying to work it all out, God willing 🙂

  197. Curtis, one of my wife’s old “friends” called her a heretic last year for defending the gospel. He was an ardent Gothardite and attributed the following stupid comment to Gothard:

    “Truth carried to an extreme is heresy.”

  198. Agree John
    I got my Indoctrination at ” Independent Fundamentalist” and the teachers there who were permitted to teach false doctrine.BUT God used it to draw me into the Truth of the Gospel.
    It was at a “repent of sin’s” traveling revival ministry message. . when I heard the preacher say “repent of sin’s” .I knew something was wrong but didn’t know what about a month later I was removed from prayer meeting because I took issue with the lesson leader over “repent of sins” and the gospel. The lesson leader was and probably still is a Bill Gothardite and the family has deep influence in that assembly so he is left alone to teach.
    I also didn’t know why but I do now after a prayer meeting I would feel good but the next morning I would wake up angry and dint know why. to me It was because I was being fed LS poison and didn’t know it.

  199. Curtis, I agree that anyone teaching a consistent, doctrinally sound message would not be welcome in an SBC church for very long.

    Just to be clear, Tom’s church (Northland Bible Baptist Church) is not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention – or any other group of which I am aware.

    My testimony would include how SBC false doctrine kept me confused for decades. I came to faith in Christ in spite of, not because of, SBC teaching.

  200. I listened to Pastor Tom’s message on Galation’s chapter 1 for first time this am and would encourage all to listen. I know for me personally he hit on many important areas and one deeply personal to me that I heard a preacher hit on for the first time in how LS can lead to suicidal thoughts. that’s was my experience coming out of my own indoctrination I don’t know why LS does this to some souls but it can happen.
    Pastor Tom’s church may carry the title “baptist” in their name however and sadly if he would preach that message in front of the southern baptist he would probably be interrupted during message and escorted out the door.


  201. Thank you for your comments Cyndi

    If I may add to John’s comments I looked up Dr Spradlrin church website and I noticed there was not a clear presentation of the Gospel given that I could find that is a flag to me. I did find under belong, grow, serve the following with concerns.
    Please prayerfully consider what is being said here and search the bible for yourself asking God for wisdom.

    “Be quick to confess your sin to God. Do not let long periods of time go with unconfessed sin festering in your life. There is nothing that will stunt your growth as a Christian faster than sin. When you sin, be quick to own up to it before God and to turn from it.”

    There is only one thing to do with sins Confess it (this is for fellowship)
    1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    “Become a servant. God has a way of bringing change in our lives when we serve Him and others around us. After all, being a Christian means that we are a follower of Jesus. Following Jesus involves humbling yourself like him and becoming a servant.”

    this is mixing Justification and Sanctification

    myself personally I would ask the Pastor what a soul needs to do to receive eternal life ? ( born again )

    Jesus is necessary absolutely for salvation But is Jesus enough ?

    I would also like to hear a definition of repentance from Pastor and if works are needed as evidence of salvation

  202. Cyndi, Dr. Spradlin may be doctrinally sound, but I just wonder why someone who is doctrinally sound would be a Southern Baptist. You may have already read the article below, but if not, here it is again:


    I looked up Dr. Spradlin’s church (Valley Baptist Church). It’s statement of beliefs incorporates the doctrinally aberrant “Baptist Faith and Message”, which features the following false doctrine:

    Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

    In addition, Valley Baptist has the following in its statement of faith:

    Southern Baptists have prepared a statement of generally held convictions called The Baptist Faith and Message. It serves as a guide to understanding who we are. Copies are available at Valley Baptist Church. The topics here provide only a brief, partial summary. The full text on the issue discussed is also available on this website.

    God’s Purpose of Grace.

    Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.

    My comment: I would be very careful. The “Baptist Faith and Message” is riddled with error after error. So is Valley Baptist’s SOF.

    A pastor who is clear on grace could not possibly be comfortable with either the “Baptist Faith and Message” or Valley Baptists SOF.

  203. Joy Founder, thanks for sharing. So thankful with you for His grace. From the beginning, we couldn’t even keep ONE RULE. Not one rule. So what makes these rule keepers think they can keep them. The whole idea is we cannot. We need Him. We need His Word. We can do nothing apart from Him. Not one thing.

  204. Cyndi (JoyFounder)

    Thank you Jack for taking time to comment. The pastor is Dr. Roger Spradlin. He televises and podcasts his sermons. The television program is called “Today’s Walk”. His church is here in California in Bakersfield. He is Southern Baptist but seems to be doctrinally sound so far. I was drawn to his preaching style as it tends to be more expositional >without the theology of John MacArthur to the south of him (in more ways than just geographical!) He’s practical and down to earth and seems to love Jesus. We’ll see . . . . trust but verify > ever diligent!

    Do you, John or Holly have any comments on the word ‘removed’ in Galatians 1:6 ‘I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel’.
    I found it so profound that Paul chose that word. I looked it up in my concordance and it said that it was ‘present tense’. That was kind of confusing > I don’t know how that would work, that is, ‘in the process of being removed’?

    Also thanks John, I’ll be looking forward to the Tom Cucuzza series on Galatians.

  205. JoyFounder,

    Thanks for your prayers for Shirley and me. We are contentedly biding our time with the Lord, waiting on the Docs..

    Thanks also for your sermon notes. Caveat — I am having eye problems but what I could read looked excellent.

    Was the Pastor — Cucuzza, Yankee or Hank Lindstrom?

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  206. Joy, thanks for your comment. Tom Cucuzza is currently doing a series on Galatians. I listened to the first part a few days ago.

    See link below:


  207. This article is more beautiful each time I read it!
    I just heard an excellent sermon on Galatians 1, and thought about these words in ‘What Is Grace?’. May I share some of my notes? (It was so encouraging to hear a pastor preach on Grace WITHOUT works for salvation. Unfortunately we cannot turn off our ‘discernment buttons’ regardless who is preaching).

    1) ‘Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Galatians 1:4-5 KJV)
    *Jesus’ Death Was Voluntary, Vicarious and Victorious.
    Jesus did all the work. He GAVE himself for us. HE delivered us. He receives ALL the glory.

    2) ‘I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.’
    (Galatians 1:6, 7 KJV)
    *It Is Just As Dangerous To Pervert The Gospel As It Is To Deny The Gospel
    These false teachers (Judaisers) were twisting and perverting the gospel message by:
    a) subtracting from the Gospel message
    b) adding to the Gospel message > I.E. Jesus + ______________ (feasts, festivals, circumcision, keeping of the Sabbath, etc.).
    (. . . and Calvinism! > my comment).
    Man has this incurable desire to add to/replace Grace with keeping rules, because rules are measurable, we can score ourselves based on the rules we keep. But the Gospel is not Jesus + church membership, speaking in tongues, systematic theology, any denomination, or fill in the blank. The Gospel is about JESUS. That’s IT! The Gospel is the message that someone has already kept all the ‘rules’ FOR us and His name is Jesus.

    c) > and this is a big one in today’s “church” > perverting through redefining the gospel message: I.E. Jesus is the means to an end for social reform, right/left wing politics, feminism, liberation theology, prosperity/poverty theology.
    Some claim the gospel is about social justice, feeding the hungry, caring for the poor or fighting human trafficking, Jesus is not the means to a bigger issue. The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS the big and final issue. It ends there! Our love and behavior towards others is a result of the realization of God’s perfect grace, His sacrifice, His love, His mercy.

    In my opinion the KJV of verse 6 is most sobering:
    ‘I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel’. (Galatians 1:6)
    If my interpretation of the word ‘removed’ here is correct, as far as Paul is concerned, because these Galatians pervert the Gospel message, they no longer are considered as believing the message at all? They have willingly removed (or are removing > present tense) themselves from under God’s grace. In defining the word ‘removed’ the dictionary uses words such as: dismissed, eliminated, separated. So how does God view those who pervert His Gospel message? Removed!
    So, again, if my interpretation of this is correct, God’s Grace ceases if we add to His gospel message. It becomes mans ‘rules’.
    Apart from God, man cannot manifest any of God’s attributes. Instead of receiving God’s Grace, and in return bestowing grace to others, man creates and enforces rules, and in turn JUDGES others.

    Back to sermon notes:
    3) ‘O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?’
    (Galatians 3:1-3 KJV)
    *Legalism Devalues God And Elevates Man.
    Legalism convinces us that we can be good enough for God to accept us. The result: we live in the paradigm that God is not as Holy as He is and man is not as sinful as the Bible says he is: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’ (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV).
    Legalism creates pride, ego, arrogance which in turn makes the legalistic person hyper-critical of others, as well as oneself.

    4) ‘For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.’ (Galatians 1:10 KJV)
    *Legalism Is Not About Pleasing God, But Rather Pleasing Other People

    5) ‘But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.’ (Galatians 1:8, 9 KJV)
    *We Must Be Discerning About Not Only The Message But The Messenger As Well

    For my conclusion, Grace is an act of a great, benevolent, sovereign God who extends to us His mercy in spite of our failures, in spite of our depravity, in spite of our inability to change our own life. He extends to us forgiveness and our response is that we are humbled by His love. Humility prepares and allows us to understand and receive God’s grace. God’s perfect salvation plan.

    P.S. Continuing prayers for you both, dear Jack and Shirley.

  208. Beholdason, don’t know if you have read Tom’s booklet on repentance yet. I’d start there, and then go to Hank Lindstrom on Bibleline video archives, I’d listen to these:




    Those three give some decent understanding of how the word came about.

    Then if you want to know the particular verses, Ron Shea at cleargospel.org has tackled it pretty methodically too, and you can check certain passages too. The new site is not yet operational I don’t believe, but here is the old link (I turn my volume off because the ‘ding’ drives me nuts).


  209. Thanks John.

    Appreciate your help. Please pray God will use the Scriptures to clear this issue of the Gospel and Repentance in my mind so I am clear on what the Truth is.

  210. Beholdason, the content of saving faith includes one being aware that he is a sinner, in need of a Savior. Having said that, people will look for ANY reason to distort the gospel, including setting up “straw man” arguments to mischaracterize the teaching of those who preach the gospel faithfully.

    We have discussed Joseph Prince in the past, but I can’t remember any discussion about Paul Ellis.

    I don’t think that Joseph Prince REALLY teaches free grace. His statement of faith makes it sound like good works AUTOMATICALLY follow salvation. Following is an excerpt:

    “That salvation is the gift of God to man. This gift is effected by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and it results in works pleasing to God.”

    In addition, Prince includes healing in his statement of faith. Please see comments linked below:


  211. Thanks for this explanation.

    I’m starting to see that many people who teach Lordship Salvation (Probation – your words) criticize the Free Grace position (calling it cheap grace) and use teachers like Joseph Prince and Paul Ellis to support their view that man must “Repent of sins” or “Turn from sins”.

    Having experienced the Cross less Gospel of the Charismatics I can see how the other end of the Grace spectrum distorts the Gospel by not mentioning that the unbeliever is a sinner and that sin has separated them from God. Jesus Christ being the way back to the Father.

    Have you written much about these types of ‘Grace’ preachers.

    They are just as problematic as the Probationers… as they make our job even harder when speaking against LS.

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