Biblical Separation Concerning the Gospel

Some have raised the question about ministry philosophy and if I would preach or teach on a lordship stage or platform whether radio or website or whatever. Here are my concerns that would factor into my decision. The stakes are high because the gospel’s clarity hangs in the balance.

I. Be concerned with who promotes you.

Sometimes people with bad reputations can promote you. However, that can be more of a curse than a blessing. Consider this account of the apostle Paul and Silas.

Act 16:16-18 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

Paul was an apostle of God and did not need a recommendation by an unclean spirit. This girl was known for soothsaying due to the demon working in her. Paul wasn’t thinking, ok you go that way and tell the town to trust me and I’ll go over there and preach the gospel. Rather he was grieved and put an end to it and paid for his good decision. They were mistreated and placed in prison. Yet Paul had opportunity later to minister and witness effectively.

Now this may be a more extreme example but think of those who are known most of their whole time in ministry for false gospels. Do you suppose that they lend credibility or a curse to your name if you teach the truth? I for one do not want to be endorsed by known lordshippers. I want to be endorsed in necessary by people known for the true clear gospel. This would include websites or conferences or churches.

II. Be concerned with who you lend credibility to.

This happens not only by what we say but by what we do. I had this concept made clear to me in my life while at a previous church. I came to realize that the church I was attending really did not share the same wavelength so to speak on the gospel or the clearness of it. There were lordshippers, and Calvinists, and Arminians, and maybe a few here and there that may have understood grace but leadership by in large was against grace as I see it. That and many times preachers coming in as guest speakers messed up the gospel. I came to realize that the more I was respected for discernment and clearness of the gospel the more my presence alone there was recommending the gospel clouding church. Some could think, well Jim goes here and Jim seems to understand the gospel so I’ll go see for myself what they have to say. In a church of five hundred they may hear me teach and understand but they more likely will hear all the rest and not hear the truth. It would be like I swim upstream and everyone else swims down stream. It is not worth it. I realized that no amount of my teaching a Sunday school class there would resolve the problem. It was time for me to leave. The pastor told me I would never find a place I was looking for. But in two years time God provided a clear grace teaching and preaching church. Now I can preach (on occasion) and teach every Sunday with the confident backdrop and support of a Biblical pastor and a Bible believing gospel preaching church. It has been a miraculous life freeing deliverance from the constant spirit squelching of the other place. Instead of listen to me (in effect) not these guys, it had become, listen to us as we all teach you the same clear gospel. There is more power in the one. This speaks to strength and wisdom in true unity.

1 Corinthians 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

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?

If you are oil and they are water, then it is a bad mix. It is like dissonance in music. Is that pleasing to the ears or not? Is it great to have grace as one option in a dissonant chorus of LS, LS, and then some more LS? To me, the gospel is pure and precious. Why not let it shine without the confusing surroundings. The god of this world is already at work anyway. Does the head of the church (God) need is church members to cooperate with the pawns of the god of this world to get the gospel out?

Do God’s ways match with the way of the god of this world? Shouldn’t rather servants of one have unity with one side or the other? (Not both).

Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Philippians 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

2 John 1:7-11 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

III. Mark and avoid

There comes a time for Biblical separation from those that do not teach gospel truth but rather perpetuate lies about Christ or the gospel itself. What I am talking about is gospel destructing error.

Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

The concept of avoid to me include not participating in their ministry. I don’t get to care if it seems ok like a radio ministry or simple website or whatever. Rather, just avoid them. I don’t need them to get the message out. It is going out and lord willing will continue to go forth from a good testimony if I continue to be careful not to let any tarnish that good testimony. It is bad enough to live with the flesh like the apostle Paul mentions in Romans 7 let alone if I bring in associations with those that teach or preach error. Ecumenism will only make it harder to keep a good reputation.

More verses on separation:

Concerning unbelievers

2 Cor 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Titus 3:10-11 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

Concerning erring believers

2 Thessalonians 3:6-7 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;

2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

IV. Be careful not to make the cross of Christ of none effect.

False gospels and ecumenical compromises do this.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

We do NOT need wise and cunning words of men. The gospel has power of itself.

1 Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Who is begotten through a false gospel? How does that go with truth?

V. Walk with the wise or the foolish?

Which is better? To walk in ministry with those that are true and clear and discerning on things concerning doctrine or to walk with those that do not understand?

Proverbs 13:20 – He that walketh with wise [men] shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

VI. Some desire money and or success.

1 Timothy 6:3-6 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Could it be that some seek to “minister” for gain? What profit is it if they teach untruth? What good is it if we, in ecumenical ways, “help” them out? Or should we think these types can help us in any way?

1 Timothy 6:9-10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

VII. What is your name worth?

Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

Ecclesiastes 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

VIII. Some things have a leavening effect.

Matthew 16:11-12 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Mark 8:15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

Luke 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Luke 13:21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

Galatians 5:6-9 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

IX. It is not ONLY about the gospel.

Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The disciples were charged with teaching all things that Christ had commanded them. The apostle Paul made sure that he was not considered a castaway. He certainly preached Christ and Christ crucified, but he also taught much about Christian living and did nothing to tarnish, in any way, his own testimony. Paul talked about running the race set before him. However, to do that one must lay aside weights that beset and slow progress. Compromise and gospel confusion does just that. Cooperation in ministry with those currently known for lordship salvation only slows you down. Why not be free and clear of all that mud?

At the bema seat do we think that God will just say, “well how many did you lead to salvation?” or will He try all of your works to see what sort they are? What sort do you suppose it to be if your witnessing was done through compromise, holding joint events with false teachers, taking recommendations from false teachers, sharing platforms with false teachers, etc?

God blesses the purity of the gospel, so why not serve it up with a backdrop of soundness and truth as much as possible? Remember, the goal isn’t just to see how many will be saved but to teach them and see all believers come to maturity.

Please everyone, before you rush ahead with gospel or ministry endeavors, pause to consider God’s will concerning the whole picture all things considered.

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The Perfect Sacrifice

The year has come and is almost gone. I have had time for few posts this year but thankfully work has been completed on the new book that I have been writing with my pastor, Tyler Leigeb. We set out about a year and a half ago to address, in written form, the current teaching in some grace circles that Jesus died a spiritual death on the cross in order to atone for sin.  Needless to say, this has been a tough task for multiple reasons. The subject matter touches many trickier passages and there are considerations to make concerning the fact that there is not agreement on this issue among believers.  In thinking about the miraculous virgin birth and the reality of Christ’s coming to earth, I was reminded again that He didn’t just come to be here. He came so that he could lay down the physical life that He took up. He did this sacrificially, innocent and without spot. That includes the fact that it was without any spiritual separation from God the Father. Thankfully God the Father was pleased in the Son. Today God can be pleased with you if you have been imputed Christ’s righteousness by faith based upon His shed blood, physical death, burial, and glorious resurrection.

BookCoverDesign4-c

Special thanks for this book goes out to my wife Shannon for her help and support and Isaac Davis for his work on the cover.  Pastor Tyler provided material and set the direction for the heart behind the book. Our goal was for friends in the ministry to look to the Word itself to see if the things we see are there. If they are, then a decision needs to be made concerning this teaching. Either JDS is Biblical or it isn’t. I pray that people see the importance of the issue.

The book can currently be purchased here in print or in pdf format.

https://www.thebookpatch.com/BookStore/the-perfect-sacrifice/61b280a2-1193-4190-aab7-edbd08fef719?isbn=9781642542004

Merry Christmas!

Jim Floyd
For additional reading, please see my previous post concerning Robert Dean’s error.

https://standforthefaith.com/2013/06/23/beware-of-the-jesus-died-spiritually-heresy/
Also, please take time to listen to my Pastor’s sermons: “The Cup”, “Forsaken”, and “What Satisfied the Father”

Sermon Audio

More to come.

 

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Evaluating the “Romans Road”

Growing up in Baptist circles it was common to hear talk of the “Romans Road” plan of salvation. I was taught this as a child and many still today have this concept of sharing Christ. So today let’s consider the traditional “Romans Road” and see if it measures up as a sound way to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

So the “Romans Road” starts off with telling people that they are lost.

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
Romans 3:10
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

There is technically nothing wrong with this but I would start back with Adam and Eve and explain why mankind was under the penalty of sin. Then explain how each person is responsible.

Next the person is to be told that God through Jesus Christ provides the gift of eternal life. (Note that some hear also do include John 3:16 and don’t fully stick to the “Romans Road”.)

Rom 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us

Here we see it mentioned that Christ died for us. That much is true. But note that the Romans Road leaves out the cross and shed blood not to mention other things like the burial and resurrection of Christ. I find this incredible given the fact that the surrounding verses in Romans touch upon the blood etc.

Next the person is to confess / pray while believing God for salvation.

Romans 10:9
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:13
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Using the two verses above is really where this falls apart. Even if you were to add in say I Cor 15:1-4 above, you would be giving a false way to receive salvation here.  We must understand that Romans chapters 9 through 11 are written in regards to Paul’s desire and teaching concerning national Israel. Throughout he uses the word “saved” and “salvation” to both speak of God’s wrath on Israel nationally, yet also to the salvation spiritually of the “remnant” with the remnant being those of Israel that believe.

So for Romans 10:13 Paul is talking about calling upon the Lord for deliverance from wrath upon the nation. Before a person can do this however, they need to be one that believes for justification.

We must note that at this point the person leading another down the Romans Road has a number of options in telling the person how to receive salvation. For some they emphasize confessing Christ as Lord as in making Christ Lord of your life. Others take it the pray and ask Jesus into your “heart” route. Some take it in the willingness to confess and turn from sins route. Regardless, they are taking a passage and misapplying it due to misunderstanding the thought progression and context.

The other thing here is that the salvation sometimes spoken of in verses like 10:13 is not talking itself about eternal life.

The person sharing the Romans road is then to state that the result of salvation is peace with God and safety in Jesus Christ. But think of this, is there really safety and forgiveness in Jesus Christ if a lost person 1) didn’t really know the content of the gospel and 2) really didn’t understand how to receive it by faith alone in Christ alone?

Typically what happens is that the person witnessing shares some semblance of this with a person and then, if the unsaved person is willing, prompts the person to pray and ask Jesus to save them or pray and confess sins or pray and submit to Christ as Lord asking Him to save and help them live right. It may even be something of all of the above. I have seen all of that type of thing taught in churches throughout the years. It is all over the internet as well as far as “how” to receive Christ as Savior.

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:38-39
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

But if the person remains unsaved because you messed up sharing the gospel and sharing the method of receiving eternal life then telling them that they are eternally secure at that point it only further pushes them into falsehood. This is because the person may think they are saved when indeed they have either been fed a cross-less gospel or a faith plus method of receiving eternal life. Either way that is a tragedy.

Let’s instead as believers tell people the truth. Let’s tell them that they are under the penalty of sin going back to Adam. Let’s say that Jesus Christ the Son of God that took on flesh to die as a perfect sacrifice for mankind in order to appease God’s eternal wrath on sin. Let’s tells folks how Christ lived a sinless life, died on the cross shedding His blood, was buried, and rose again for our justification. Today He is seated in heaven having entered the holiest of holies by way of His perfect sacrifice. He remains there always making intercession for those who will receive His blood purchased salvation by faith.

In the comments section feel free share what verses you would use to share the gospel or witness to a lost person. And bottom line, let’s not go down the traditional “Romans Road”.

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Christ Came for Us

Tonight on Christmas Eve 2017 Jesus Christ is on my mind. How awesome is it that He the very Son of God humbled himself to take upon himself human flesh to redeem us that were under the law? Now we serve a risen Savior.

Please consider the following passages:

Romans 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Romans 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Praise the Lord for His love. Please trust Him today as your Savior. Remember, no works are needed as Christ paid it all. If you have trusted Christ as Savior then please share this good news with others, especially at Christmas. Let the trappings and business of Christmas with the presents and parties and food fade in comparison to absolute thrill of your faith in a risen Savior and your secure eternal future in heaven. Christ Came for us indeed and one day we will surely see Him face to face.

Merry Christmas
Jim Floyd

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Beware of Hyper-Grace: Andrew Farley and Jeremy White

Continuing in this look at “Hyper grace”, let’s consider two pastors and writers that perpetuate the hyper-grace view similar to Joseph Prince. These guys may not be quite as well-known but their teaching has influenced many believers. Andrew Farley is the writer of the book “The Naked Gospel” and Jeremy White has written the book “The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God”. Both men espouse very close to the same views regarding this topic.

I bring these two up specifically as a warning for those that may be inclined to take teaching from them.  Their message is mixed and we should know what happens when one mixes what sounds like grace with performance.

That is bad enough but it doesn’t just stop there because with these two there are other doctrinal issues as well.

I have taken some telling comments for examination from each of their two books. I will give each quote followed by my thoughts. So let’s consider Andrew Farley first.

He says, “So I John 1:9 is an invitation to become a Christian.” P 152 The Naked Gospel

(If this is your conclusion about I John 1:9 then something is off.  John was writing I John to believers that, many of which, were seduced by the errors of Gnosticism. Part of that error led to them to thinking that they no longer sinned. However, I John was written that these believers might have fullness of joy in their Christian walk. I John deals quite heavily with abiding in Christ. The tests in I John are not to see whether a person is saved but whether a believer is walking in fellowship and abiding in Christ. We have to be clear that it is possible for believers not to abide. Why else tell a believer to abide? Take I John 2:6 for example: 1Jn 2:6  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. So a hyper-gracer that equates abiding with salvation then makes this verse mean that if you don’t walk as Christ walked then you are not saved. Likewise if you hate your brother then it would stand to reason that you are not saved. And it follows really just like calvinistic “logic” concerning I John.)

“In the Scriptures, fellowship with God is not described in this way. Instead, a person is either in fellowship with God and therefore saved, or out of fellowship and therefore lost.” P156

(This equation does not square with the rest of scripture. Be sure that fellowship does not equal salvation itself. Let’s consider Ephesians chapter 5.

Eph 5:8  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Eph 5:9  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Eph 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Eph 5:12  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
Eph 5:13  But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

We are told to walk as the people we are. IF we are light and we are as believers then we should walk that way. Why is this instruction given then to believers if it is automatic? Also it goes on to say that we (as believers) should not have what? Fellowship. We should not have fellowship as believers with unfruitful works of darkness. They are shameful and bring shame to our Savior. But the light and bring cleansing because the errors can be exposed.

“But this is to ignore the work of Jesus, who on the cross cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus was out of fellowship with his Father so we would never be.” P 157

(Take note here that Farely is arguing that Jesus lost fellowship with the Father but the Bible actually says no such thing. The actually amounts to what some call the Jesus Died Spiritually view and which destroys the atonement making Christ a sinner not just a sacrificial spotless lamb. Forsaken there has no indication of including being abandoned in fellowship. Just like David who first said the statement in Psalm 22, Jesus felt physically abandoned in physical pain and emotional suffering.)

“In reality, the term rewards does not appear anywhere in the New Testament. The apostle Paul speaks of a “reward” (singular, not plural) or a “prize” in the context of running a race and reaching the end.” P168

(Farley tries to excuse away the concept of rewards in heaven for believers at the Bema Seat. Talk about taking away positive motivation to serve. Sure we should serve out of love but we can also do so knowing that there is eternal blessing and benefits of it.)

Speaking of Jesus: “Our new spiritual life is actually his life.” P176

(Take this and go back to abide or walking or fellowship. He is saying that Christ actually lives his life through us. The Bible does not say this exactly. But it is a cover for them if challenged on why a believer should walk as Christ walked if they are saved. Of course in that case they should walk almost perfectly. Talk about the fear and depression that can ensue once you realize you don’t walk nearly as perfectly as Jesus walked. Maybe Jesus is not walking through me. Maybe I am not saved. See the problem? We aren’t puppets for Jesus. We still have a will. Calvinism likewise makes us puppets.)

“James 2 communicates that a personal decision is necessary in order for true salvation to occur. Those who appear to fall away from belief in Jesus are those who merely associated themselves with certain doctrines for whatever reason.” P198

(This is incorrect. Yes a person needs to decide to trust Christ but you cannot scripturally say that those that fall away are not saved period. They may not be such as those mentioned in first John but believers can walk back into deception. It has happened even in the Bible. What happened with the Hebrew believers in Heb 10? What happened to the Galatians? Why doe Timothy say that the Lord remains faithful even if we do not?)

Now let’s see how Jeremy White mirrors these errors.

“It is the believing and receiving of this saving gift of grace that separates real Christianity from any other belief system in the world. It was this grace that Luther and the Reformers so passionately attempted to articulate and defend.”

White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. . WestBowPress. Kindle Edition.

(Luther did not understand grace as much as he should have. Just read Bondage of the Will or better yet spare yourself the misery and look up some quotes from it.  It is curious that he sings the praises of the reformers of the Catholic church. Does reformed Catholicism equal grace? Didn’t they get some much wrong themselves?)

 

“One of the admitted weaknesses of the early “free grace” movement I referred to in the first part of this book was simply that some proponents seemed to imply that a person could claim to receive Christ by faith and then walk away from Him or even completely reject Him without ever casting doubt upon the legitimacy of their salvation. I want to be clear that I am not arguing for such a position in this book. Every believer in Jesus will bear some kind of spiritual fruit, whether it is obviously recognizable or not. On this issue I agree with the free-grace proponent Dr. Joseph Dillow, who said Those who have been born again will always give some evidence of growth in grace and spiritual interest and commitment. A man who claims he is a Christian and yet never manifests any change at all has no reason to believe he is justified.55 Another leading proponent of the free grace position with whom I agree on this point, Dr. Charles Ryrie, also affirms every Christian will bear spiritual fruit. Somewhere, sometime, somehow. Otherwise that person is not a believer. Every born-again individual will be fruitful. Not to be fruitful is to be faithless, without faith, and therefore without salvation.56″

(I bolded sections of this statement that are clearly Lordship in nature. Basically he is saying that salvation is not by grace but by works. there can be no mistake when he says every believer in Jesus will bear some kind of fruit. Remember that a believer is justified in Christ regardless of performance. He is justified regardless if people can see “fruit”. Why because it is not about fruit or performance. It is about Christ and His imputed righteousness. Hmm…not to be fruitful is to be faithless… So if there is not fruitfulness there is not salvation… Doesn’t that sound like the opposite of grace. I wouldn’t be surprised if that quote had come from John MacArthur or Paul Washer. Oh but these guys aren’t like them… they are hyper grace… That’s nice but they are saying the same thing really. Please see my posts on MacArthur and Washer.)

“If I am already totally forgiven for my past, present and future sins by the blood of Christ – then why do I need to confess my sin in order to receive forgiveness?”

White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. (p. 115).

(This is a classic hyper-grace false question because it confuses positional truth with practical onging sanctification principles right within the question itself.)

“Do you know any Bible-believing Christian who claims he or she is sinless?”

White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. (p. 118).

(Yes, actually people have told me that before. One Arminian man told me that basically didn’t sin anymore. Ray Comfort thinks he doesn’t sin any longer…)

“Becoming a Christian begins by the admission of one’s personal sinfulness and that through confession of that sinfulness, one can receive by faith the God who is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse them of all unrighteousness!”

White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. (p. 119).

(Is that the gospel? Are we saved by confession of sin or by grace through faith in Christ based on the gospel? They reason , well we have to agree with God that we are sinners. Sure, unbelievers need to recognize that they are sinners but that is simply so that they can see their need and trust Christ for the remedy. This verse is written to believers anyway. Please see also my Faith Alone stand alone page for an extensive verse list on this.)

“1 John 1:9 is not intended to condone a one-by-one tallying of our sins so that we can confess them in order to find ongoing forgiveness or maintain “closeness” with God. When we have placed our faith in the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are totally and eternally forgiven. Because of the uncut gospel of grace, we are irreversibly close to God regardless of our behavioral performance.”

 (Once again he continues with confusion as to the removal of eternal damnation and the christian walk. If we refuse to agree with God about our sin when the Word reveals it and the Holy SPirit works through that Word then we are resisting God’s onging work in us of sanctification and cleansing.)

“So how is it, then, that we imagine somehow that God the Father doesn’t remember our sins anymore, but God the Holy Spirit does – and that it is His job to keep bringing that sin to our attention?”

White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. (p. 123).

(Yes, as I just stated. The Word reveals the truth and the Spirit works through the Word bringing that truth home to us as believers. This quote is irresponsible. The Word of God is mirror of sorts.)

“It is apparent in the New Testament that the battle we face with our flesh is essentially a battle against the habits and coping mechanisms which bring us momentary pleasure or relief, apart from dependence upon Jesus.”

White, Jeremy. The Gospel Uncut: Learning to Rest in the Grace of God. (p. 163).

(This is part of White’s attempt at one naturism. It is similar to MacArthur’s in that he relegates struggles with sin in the flesh to habits and coping mechanisms in the flesh. However the Bible tells believers to put off the old man and put on the new man in their Christian walk. Now why would believers be told to put on the new man if they are already new creatures? Hyper-grace cannot explain that. They don’t / won’t understand it.)

Conclusion

So let’s tally up the problems. (And there are more btw.) In no particular order:

1) Backdoor lordship performance requirement for salvation to be authentic. (This nullifies grace.)

2) Jesus Died Spiritually / was out of fellowship with the Father while on the cross. (This error nullifies and invalidates the object of our faith.)

3) Virtually eliminating the concept of rewards for the believer.

4) Destroying the concept of ongoing fellowship in our walk as believers

5) Adding conditons such as confession of sins to the gospel method of receiving eternal life

6) Misunderstanding Old Covenant salvation

7) Misunderstanding the Christian life (ie Christ lives His very life through us.)

8) A John MacArthur style modified one nature position. (The flesh is just old habits / coping mechanisms)

9) A confusion of practical and positional forgiveness.

10) Fellowship = salvation

There is more than enough here to recommend marking and avoiding these teachers and don’t stand for anyone recommending them to you.

Jim Floyd

Posted in Calvinism, Heresy, Hyper grace, Lordship Salvation, Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Beware of Hyper Grace: Joseph Prince

The term Hyper Grace has been thrown around but what does this really mean? I would like you to consider today teachers that are currently promoting what could be called hyper grace.  For those that hold this position they may balk at this term, but suffice it to say the term does help to paint the picture well.

I have chosen to look in at three men that I have found that are preaching and teaching a similar style of error. They are Joseph Prince in part one and Andrew Farely along with Jeremy White in part two.

Many may be drawn to their grace like gospel talk at first glance but one always needs to consider the fuller body of a person’s theology or work. The reason is that these men teach things further down the road that contradict their “grace” message.

So first let’s consider some quotes from Joseph Prince. He is a preacher that can be found on TV.  Here are some telling quotes from him.

“There is no other qualification for being forgiven of your sins. The old covenant was based on justification by works (obedience to the Ten Commandments).You had to perform to be forgiven. But the new covenant of grace is based entirely on justification by faith (believing in Jesus Christ).” 
― Joseph PrinceDestined To Reign

(The first thing to notice with all three of these guys is that there is apparent error concerning exactly how people were saved under the Old Covenant. Prince says clearly here that he thinks that one had to perform in order to be forgiven. However, Abraham (Rom 4) was justified before God by faith alone. Then we see in James 2 that it was also mentioned that Abraham was justified before men by way of testimony relating to his works. But remember that his forgiveness was granted by faith.)

“Anyone who is living in sin is not under grace and has not experienced the gift of no condemnation. Grace always results in victory over sin!” 
― Joseph PrinceDestined To Reign

(Prince makes a very lordship works oriented statement. It appears that he does actually still say that performance is required. He has just tacked it on the backside of salvation like most lordshippers. This statement is contrary to grace. God’s grace is unmerited.)

“I don’t believe for one moment that a believer who has truly encountered the complete forgiveness of Jesus and the perfection of His finished work would desire to live a life of sin. It is His grace and forgiveness that gives you the power to overcome sin. Apostle Paul said, “Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”4 When you are under God’s grace and His perfect forgiveness, you will experience victory over sin.” 
― Joseph PrinceDestined To Reign

(This statement continues the previous error. Prince may be surprised to find that many of the believers -actually saved people- mentioned in the New Testament lived lives full of sin.  We will expreience victory as believers not automatically but when we specifically walk in the Spirit applying the truth revealed to us by God’s Word. There is a big difference.)

“Because Jesus’ blood continually cleanses you, you cannot bounce in and out of the light of Christ, in and out of being seated in the heavenly places in Christ, in and out of being forgiven, justified, and made righteous, or in and out of fellowship with God. It is not a sometimes-yes-sometimes-no salvation, but a salvation that has secured a YES to all of God’s promises because of the blood of Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 1:19-20)!” 
― Joseph PrinceGrace Revolution: Experience the Power to Live Above Defeat

(Similar to what we will see with the next two, Prince makes the mistake of equating ongoing fellowship with God with our positional place in Christ. While yes were are saved eternally as believers, we can still find ourselves needing to deal with sin in our lives that displeases our Lord.  This is why I consider this view hyper grace.  It extends the grace of salvation itself to practical daily living. So to understand, on one hand they say faith will perform, but on the other they say well it doesn’t matter if you mess up because you are always perfectly right with God no matter what. Though if one does too much sinning then supposedly you are not really saved… which negates grace just as much as any lordship “doctrine”. I will say more about fellowship in part two.)

The fact is that the Bible mentions repeatedly believers that the Lord had something against. The message in Revelation 2 to the believers at the church of Ephesus says in part: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

These believers risked the loss of their church if they did not repent (change their mind) and do the first works that were pleasing to the Lord.

Staying in chapter 2 we see a warning from the Lord to the church at Pergamos:

“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”

Remember that these believers were eternally saved people. They were eternally as positionally righteous as Christ is righteous but in practice they were displeasing the Lord by doing things that the Lord hates. You could say the ones in danger of being fought against with the sword of His mouth were not in close fellowship with Him. They needed to repent of their errant ways and deeds.

Take a look at the rest of chapter 2 and Revelation chapter 3 and see the kind of things that believers were doing that displeased the Lord. Take note also that These churches are actual churches (bodies of believers locally assembled) from that time. Some try to say these are only types of churches throughout the ages but that view has to be read backwards into the text. So I don’t hold to it.

Let’s also consider Hebrews chapter 10. This is written to believers. We know from the text that they were positionally sanctified. The writer of Hebrews includes himself with them and says in verse 10: “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” The writer goes on to clarify their position in Christ and challenges them to draw near with a true heart, hold fast their profession, consider one another, and to provoke others unto good works not forsaking the assembling of themselves together. Then we see a warning to the same saved people in verse 26. The willful sin was to as believers spit in the face of God’s grace and go back to law keeping and sacrifices. God reminds us here the He will judge His people. For believers we are talking here about physical consequences in this life and / or loss of potential reward in the next.

2 Cor 7 is also a good reminder of believers being called out for sin. Paul had previously rebuked them and then in 2 Corinthians says to these believers beginning in verse 8: ”

“For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

Paul made them sorry with a letter. A hyper grace advocate would not recommend doing any such thing to make believers sorry for their sin. They would say well it is all under the blood so don’t even bring it up.  But we see here that this sorrow was a good kind of “godly” sorrow. This godly sorrow is something believers can have in the Spirit. This repentance was to salvation. It was not salvation from hell but salvation from earthly consequences and spiritual fallout as in tarnished testimony or loss of rewards. (See other scriptures for examples.) The point is that this repentance done by believers in response to rebuke provided them a great clearing of themselves before the Lord in their practical walk with Him. They had been cleared in the matter. This is where a verse like 1 John 1:9 would be a parallel. In order to see the continual progression of ongoing cleansing in our lives as believers we need to honestly deal with God when confronted with our sins and failures. If you as a believer can’t admit there is a problem them you are actively resisting the Spirit’s work of progressive sanctification in your life. You’ll still be saved but it is tough to bear much fruit that way or be full of joy in your Christian experience.

Hyper grace robs people of the very concept of believers getting right with God in their personal walk with Him. I am glad that the Corinthians listened to Paul and not the advice of the likes of Joseph Prince.

In part two we will consider quotes from Andrew Farley and Jeremy White. As always beware of falsehood. Test everything with scripture and don’t let hyper grace suck you in.

In Christ,

Jim Floyd

Posted in Heresy, Hyper grace, Salvation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

The Gospel According to Paul or MacArthur?

John MacArthur has written a book titled The Gospel According to Paul. A friend of mine was good enough to send me a copy and so I have examined it and found 12 telling quotes from the book. The premise appears to be an attempt to find out what gospel Paul shared and to some degree MacArthur does discuss the content of the message of 1 Cor 15 however in many ways he undoes the truth revealed through adding in his own theological reformed leaning bent. Doing so muddies and even changes the gospel.

12 telling quotes:

p xxii “Two of my best-known books on the gospel are in-depth critiques of the preposterous notion that repentance, self-denial, the cost of discipleship, and the lordship of Christ are all truths unnecessary for salvation and thus best left out of our gospel proclamation.”

(Here MacArthur admits that he thinks that salvation is not received by what I would call faith alone. No place does the Bible state that things such as self-denial, commitments to discipleship, or submission to Christ’s lordship are required for reception of eternal life.)

p xxvii “Some influential voices in the evangelical movement today still teach that obedience to Christ is an optional and unnecessary adjunct to “accepting Him” as Savior. Some still would deny that the gospel calls sinners to repentance or instructs them to follow Christ.”

(The gospel instructs them to follow Christ? No the gospel is the good news that Christ died for us, was buried, and rose again. We must obey the gospel. How? By believing it as true. That is what it means to trust Christ as Savior. It is placing our faith in Him to save. Remember for MacArthur repentance does not mean to change one’s mind but to turn from sin.)

P 14 “So how could God ever justify the ungodly without compromising His own righteousness? The answer is that Christ willingly died in place of those whom He saves. He is their Substitutue…”

(This is couched in verbiage of one who holds to a limited view of the atonement. Many Calvinists believe that Christ only died for the elect and not the whole world.)

p 22 “…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures… He was buried … He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and … He was seen.” That is the whole gospel. The rest is explanation.”

(Right, but how should one explain it? As in yeah, that is the good news but oh by the way Christ only died for the few chosen ones? Is that really good news to anyone? It is not really even good news to any supposed pre-chosen ones because even in the end of the day you cannot, like MacArthur, even know 100 percent that you are one of the chosen ones because in this system one must persevere to the end. There is always in that system the chance of failure. Plus this says nothing about counting the cost of discipleship or turning from sins. So where does that enter the explanation?)

p 23 “So many people spurn the good news because they can’t get past the starting point, which requires us to confess our sin.”

(No, that is a false gospel. The reason so many reject the gospel, just as the Pharisees did, is that they can’t in their humans minds and pride accept something by grace that is undeserved and unearned. I am convinced that the easiest lie for the devil to sell is that one needs to do something to help earn salvation.)

p 24 “… all false religions are systems of human achievement.”

(How ironic because reformed theology and Calvinism fit this statement. They are works oriented systems masquerading as grace. In the end once the varnish is stripped off, it is just as much works oriented as any other religious system. It is as much works for salvation as even the Catholicism from which it came.)

p 54 “This righteousness is imputed (credited to the account of) to every sinner who renounces sin and trusts Christ as Savior.”

(Once again MacArthur fails to understand the means of the prescribed method of receiving the gift of eternal life by faith. And in doing so he begins to directly contradict his own context.)

p 92-93 double-talk, Spurgeon “That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory to each other….”

(MacArthur apparently felt that he needed to quote some of Spurgeon’s philosophy and double speak concerning election. To be clear here God does not in any way pre-select who will believe. He predestines that those that do believe will be adopted as sons and receive the inheritance. Eph 1:5, 13)

p 104 “God’s grace is the originating cause of regeneration; the sinner’s faith is the immediate effect.”

(The obvious problem is that the scripture itself does not say this. Regeneration can in no way precede the first time a person believes the gospel. Regeneration follows reception of the free gift through faith. Paul made this quite clear. So it is misleading for MacArthur to suggest otherwise.)

p 104-105 “If the sinner’s own free-will choice rather than God’s electing grace were the determining factor in salvation, no one would ever be saved.”

(This is also false. MacArthur is assuming no one would choose to believe but remember for MacArthur the idea of faith includes any number of things such as turning from sins, making Christ the Lord of your life, commitments to discipleship etc. And apparently he has forgotten that the gospel itself is the power of God unto salvation. The gospel is the light that the Holy Spirit uses to illuminate the blinded. 2 Cor 4 mentions that the god of this world has blinded the minds of the lost. This is something the devil has done, not God. Men may choose to continue to believe any lie or may repent (change their mind) and receive salvation based on the specific revelation of the truth. They already have God’s general revelation to know they are without excuse. Rom 1. The fact is that if our gospel is hid, even such as in MacArthur’s loaded lordship version, it is hid to those who are lost and already blinded by the devil. What a shame. So many like MacArthur appear to desire that people live Christian lives but the way to get there is not to front or back load the gospel with works or extra qualifications that are meant for ongoing obedience in the Christian walk in sanctification.)

p 105 “Again, every aspect of salvation – beginning with regeneration, including the sinner’s faith and good works – all of it – is purely by grace. It is done for us freely.

(No it is not done for us. Christ paid the penalty of sin for us. we must receive it by faith. Otherwise the gift goes unappropriated. It is there for any who will receive it and all may receive it.)

P 107 “Faith adds nothing meritorious to salvation; it is simply the channel through which the blessing is received. But some measure of practical righteousness is the inevitable fruit of saving faith.”

(Here is an illustration how some like MacArthur begin to have the right idea on paper yet mess it up by adding in that last line about “inevitable” fruit. Practical righteousness is not inevitable otherwise, as I have said before, the New Testament could have been much shorter without having to have so much instruction about how to live the Christian life.  You could take out all of the rebukes to the Galatians, Romans, Corinthians, Hebrews, the believers that James wrote to  and on and on.

Remember the Reformed concept of “faith” is that it is a gift from God and that it must behave and perform as a certain special kind that is only available to a few pre-selected chosen few. Good works then become vital to even begin to know if one is truly saved. However the Bible states that we can know our standing based on whom we have believed. Our salvation is a sure a Christ is God and the gospel is true. Works have nothing to do with it because our salvation was not by works of the law but was offered by grace because Christ did the work. Reformed theology goes far beyond this making puppets out of men and making an ogre out of God. God in that system is change from the one Paul describes to a God that pre-chooses most people to have no chance but to damned eternally.  Please do not let people like MacArthur fool people into thinking Paul taught any such thing.)

In summary we can see that MacArthur has not really explained what Paul said very well but instead has taken the opportunity to try to inject Calvinism and Reformed style theology back into various texts. In doing so he actually created some paradoxes and made what should be straight forward, confusing. Let’s not confuse people as to what the gospel is or how people can receive it.

Posted in Calvinism, Lordship Salvation, Reformed Theology | 15 Comments