Bible Basics: Is Your Gospel Good News?

All too often I hear people talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ yet something is off.  How many of you remember receiving mail from Publisher’s Clearing House and it said something to the effect that you may have won 10 million dollars. They did everything they could to package it and dress it up to try to make one think, hey this really may be possible. They often hid the fine print that declared the odds. Overall it was just a gimmick to sell magazines. They were using what seemed like good news to get something out of you. Too many times our gospel presentations are the same.  They are dressed up to look like good news but can’t and won’t actually deliver.

Let’s look at some examples of false good news.

1) God might love you but He also might hate you
2) God may have selected you for salvation (but he rejected the vast majority).
3) God sent His Son to only die for the elect.
4) God expects you to turn from your sinning to be able to receive the gift of eternal life.
5) God expects your faith to include commitment to discipleship.
6) God gives salvation to all who trust Christ for it based on the gospel but if you stop believing at any point you lose it by forfeit.
7) Salvation can be lost if you sin too much
8)Sinning too much means you are never really one of the pre-chosen.
9) If you desire to be saved from the penalty of sin then start praying now that God will grant you repentance faith, and perseverance etc.
10) God expects you to make a public confession in order to receive the gift of eternal life
11) God expects you to do good works to help earn eternal life.
12) God will save everyone so don’t worry about it
13) God will regenerate you if you are the elect and at some point you will repent, believe, and live right. (Happy fruit inspecting and introspection to see if it has happened yet.)
14) Btw… of course all true believers will (fill in the blank with a behavior or practice) tithe. (So start giving 10 percent plus or you know the story… you may not really be saved – guilt, guilt,guilt…manipulation using fear, and verses taken out of context).
15) God expects you to be saved just by believing in Christ’s name (crossless gospel) but nothing else needs to be known about Him or what He did.

If you have changed the gospel into bad news then I suggest you go back and look at the actual good news. After all, the word “gospel” itself means just that… good news.  It then should get our attention when someone twists it into something bad. Such as Calvinists with their idea of election or crossless gospel advocates who leave out basically all of the pertinent information. The good news allows a person to KNOW now that they have eternal life! It can be known from the very moment they believe. If they are waiting around to know, then it wasn’t really good, or, complete news—was it? My view is that the gospel of Jesus Christ ought to be be best news we have heard or ever will hear. So let’s consider:

1) All of mankind is born in sin and is under the penalty of sin (eternal separation from God in the lake of fire). Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

2) Mankind has no way to escape that fate without a Savior.

So then we have the good news:

Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 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.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Jesus told Nicodemus that He would be lifted up on a cross and that the world might be saved through Him. And, this actually took place as the apostle Paul gave testimony:

1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

In the book of Romans we see that the law can’t save but that faith in Christ will.

Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25 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;
Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 4 goes on to confirm that just as Abraham was justified, so can we be justified by faith.

Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Rom 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Rom 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Those who add elements of sanctification, Christian living, obedience, or law, to the gospel are changing it into bad news. Look back at Romans 4:4.

Rom 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Rom 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

The good news allows a person to KNOW now that they have eternal life! It can be known from the very moment they believe. If there is waiting around to know then it wasn’t really good or complete news was it?

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

If we don’t have peace positionally with God, are we dealing with a good news gospel? How does hand wringing, fruit inspection, begging in remorse etc indicate positional peace in practice? Or that our salvation is secure? Where is there any rejoicing in a message that leads to the conclusion that you cannot know if you have eternal life??

Rom 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Rom 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Rom 58
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Rom 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Believers in Christ based on the gospel have received the atonement. It is finished in Him. Praise the Lord for that!

Please beware of those that teach a bad news gospel and feel free to comment with any other false or bad news gospels that you have heard. If you have any question about these, please let me know.

Blessings in Christ,

Jim F

Posted in Bible Basics, Free Grace, Salvation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Ray Comfort – what’s wrong with his gospel?

Do not be fooled by Ray Comfort and his gospel. For more please consider a recent blog post from Holly Garcia at Redeemingmoments.com

Jim F

Redeemingmoments

The Accursed Message of The “Way of the Master”

Isn’t that kind of strong?  Harsh?  My judgment is made on Ray’s doctrine and his teaching from his own videos and blogs and home page.

I’ve had some people ask about Ray Comfort’s Gospel. Some have shared they have family and friends that are completely sold out to his gospel.  They LOVE the Way of the Master program.  They swear by it.  Some, well, they love to go around calling others ‘false converts’…. (never once asking if they have believed the gospel, which is the ONE condition to be saved).

the_evidence_bibleA friend recently asked me, “So what is it about Ray Comfort’s gospel that is a problem”?

I intend to answer that.  But first, I am going to start with a mini-blog and allow comments, pro or con, assuming it is relevant and without malice, (no preaching his accursed message please)…

View original post 1,389 more words

Posted in Calvinism, Free Grace, Heresy, Lordship Salvation, Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

Bible Basics: Do Good Works Prove Salvation?

Eternal Salvation is a tough enough concept for people to comprehend but let’s now also consider the idea of good works. Some people believe the gospel, receive the spiritual birth of the new man but are deceived by the world’s wisdom and counterfeit teaching concerning the Christian life. The Galatian believers were drawn back to law keeping.  Sadly some people never get to the point of faith because of all the hype about good works, fruit inspection, etc. Christians need clarity on this so let’s first consider the Biblical view of works and then look at various misrepresentations and certain verses used to try to prove that works prove our eternal standing.

Part 1

What role do good works have in the Christian life? In essence, what is the big deal?

God always intended for believers to do good works

Eph 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God
hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 2:14

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify
unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Sometimes Christians get the idea that they are saved and therefore can relax knowing that they have their “ticket” to heaven. However, as we will see we were intended for great things. Note here that it does not say that we will do good works.

2 Timothy 3:14-17

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

(The Word of God is capable not only to make us wise unto salvation but to equip us with the instruction needed for good works. Part of what people have to understand is that good works are just that – work. Likewise preparing yourself for good works takes effort. There is no effort needed to believe the gospel and be saved but the believer needs to study the Word to know what is expected of them by their Savior. We need to also understand who God is and build our ongoing relationship with Him. 2 Pet 1:1-9)

Do good works without weariness. Keep in mind the eternal profit.

2 Thes 3:13

But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

1 Tim 4:10

For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living
God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

Gal 6:9

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint
not.

I Cor 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in
the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the
Lord.

Make use of your faith and standing in Christ.

James 2:14-17

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works?
can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

(God intends for us to be faithful in good works and not just to be content with a useless
faith. Also remember, when we don’t live in good works we are less effective in our
witness.  Is the person needing food in this case more likely to be receptive to the gospel having had their needs met and having seen the love of Christ on display? Yes.)

Titus 3:14

And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not
unfruitful.

1Tim 6:17-19

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in
uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

1Tim 5:8-10

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath
denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

Good works please and glorify God

Heb 13:20-21

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great
shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Romans 12:1

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies          a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Mat 5:16

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 Good works are a good testimony to others

1Pe 2:12

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

1Pe 3:15 -17

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to     every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

Part 2

I did just a brief search online about “good works” and was amazed by the initial results. Very few people in the world would tell someone point blank that they needed to do good works for salvation. Yet, we hear these kind of statements all the time. Consider these false statements that any person doing a Google search could come across:

S. Michael Houdmann  – GotQuestions

“If the darkness of sin continues, we can rightly assume no light came on.”

(This is totally false. If the darkness of sin continues then it just means the person is choosing at that time to walk in the flesh as a disobedient child.)

“Good works are the product of salvation.”

“Many people go through the outward motions of giving their lives to Christ, but no lifestyle change follows. That is not real salvation but is a “dead” faith (James 2:26).”

(This is somewhat of a moot point because no amount of giving your life to Christ saves a person. He is saying that those with “dead” faith have no salvation however dead there just means useless – not in relation to eternal salvation but in relation to others. Be wary of any person period who advocates this type of view as it indicates a big theology problem.)

John MacArthur – GTY

“In 1:17-18, James affirmed that salvation is a gift bestowed according to the sovereign will of God. Now he is stressing the importance of faith’s fruit—the righteous behavior that genuine faith always produces. Paul, too, saw righteous works as the necessary proof of faith.”

(List one time where Paul does so? What about his Romans 7 struggle? Was his salvation in doubt during that time? – no.)

“James could not be more explicit. He is confronting the concept of a passive, false “faith,” which is devoid of the fruits of salvation. He is not arguing for works in addition to or apart from faith. He is showing why and how, true, living faith always works. He is fighting against dead orthodoxy and its tendency to abuse grace.”

(“Faith always works” – no. James is advocating that believers actually use their salvation for something productive. This in itself proves that faith doesn’t always work because these believers weren’t doing good works.  The Calvinist will deny that these are believers and say they are false professors but that is not how James addresses them.)

Spurgeon

“The faith which does not produce good works is not saving faith: it is not the faith of God’s elect: it is not faith at all in the Scriptural sense. ”

(False, good works are produced as a believer walks in obedience to the Spirit in application of the Word of God. Spurgeon fails to see this clearly as he is looking at this through the Calvinistic “preseverance of the saints” lens. If you don’t know what that means, ask me later.)

“Am I ordained to eternal life? Answer the other question: “Am I ordained to walk in good works?” If I am ordained to good works, then I do walk in them, and the decree of God is manifestly carried out in me. But if I make a profession of being a Christian, attend a place of worship, and compliment myself upon my safety, while I am living in sin, then evidently there is no decree that I shall walk in good works, for I am living otherwise than that decree would have caused me to live. ”

(Is it a decree that I “shall” or that I “should”? What does Eph 2:10 say again? Don’t let Calvinists redefine this for you. See the danger in their misinterpretation? They would question the salvation of legit believers based on performance. Remember salvation is not based upon performance but Christ the object of faith.)

“So, then, dear friends, these good works must be in the Christian. They are not the root, but the fruit of his salvation.”

(This is really just a sneaky way of saying the works are required for salvation.)

RC Sproul

“Martin Luther taught that justification is by faith alone. But he expanded the concept by saying that justification is by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone. A person who is truly trusting Christ and resting on Christ for redemption receives the benefits of Christ’s merit by faith. But if that person has true faith, that true faith will manifest itself in a life of obedience.”

(“..not by a faith that is alone” – this is incorrect. Faith alone in Christ alone does save not because of the supposed “kind’ of faith but because of Christ. Then what about those in James who had a dead faith so to speak? Why did those particular believers have to be admonished to do good works and make their faith mean something in terms of profitability to others?)

Catholic site:

“Catholics and Protestants agree that bare, sterile faith cannot save. Furthermore they agree that true faith is always accompanied by good works. However they part company when it comes to the purpose of such works. For Evangelicals, good works are the necessary fruit and proof of genuine faith, for which Christ will reward them at His return. For Catholics, good works preserve and increase their personal righteousness for their final justification.”

(Both are incorrect if that is what they believe because both are works righteousness – one is “backdoor” after salvation and the other one is  “frontdoor” to earn salvation.)

Here are some verses one person tried to use to try say that works prove salvation:

James 2:14-26 – (This passage is actually talking about the usefulness of one’s faith in this life. It is not talking about “kinds” of faith or the usefulness of faith to save a person.)

Matt 7:15-20 – (This has to do with false teachers and specifically the fruit that is a false gospel. It is not a way to evaluate saved people.)

John 8:12, 31 – (We are to walk in the light. Following Christ does not equal salvation. Verse 31 says “disciples” indeed not “believers” indeed. These two words should not usually be read to be synonymous. There is a place in Acts where believers are referred to as disciples but we must remember that believers can fail to be disciples as they ought and not all disciples (those trying to learn / follow after Christ) are believers. You must consider the context and intended meaning.)

John 14:15, 21-23 – (“If ye love me” not – “if you are saved”)

John 15:14 (“Ye are my friends if ye do” – not – ye are saved if you do.)

I Cor 6:9-11 – (Notice verse 11.  Believers are capable of doing these sins through the flesh but we cannot be labeled as such due to justification (being declared not guilty) and positional sanctification (being set apart unto God). No matter what we do in this life as believers we are always labeled as righteous in God’s sight.  Though we may find ourselves practically walking in disobedience in the flesh at times, God always sees Christ’s blood covering our sin.)

2 Cor 5:19 – (This is a commonly misused verse. It is talking about the creation of the new man and the reconciliation between God and man. Some mistake this to mean that the old man is completely gone. Others use it to say that if there is ever sin in your life then you might be unsaved. Neither are true if you compare scripture with scripture. Just start with the sins that the Corinthian believers were committing. Had they ceased sinning? – No. Had they proven by their sin that they were unsaved? – No.)

Gal 5:19-23 – (Look back up at verses 16 -18 then down at verses 25 and 26. Why be told to walk in the Spirit if we live in the Spirit?  That means to me that it is not automatic. Verse 26 tells us to not desire vain glory or to provoke one another.  Even Christians can do those things. Doing them does not make them unsaved but makes them disobedient children. Why should we want to be disobedient children if we remember the love Christ had in sending His only begotten Son to die for our sins?

Conclusion:

Good works were God’s intention for believers from eternity past. They do not come automatically as they require effort and preparation. Good works are profitable to others and well pleasing to God as they glorify Him. Good works are a good testimony and enhance our opportunity for witness. Our works do not prove salvation because salvation is not based on works. It is based on the object of our faith – Christ.

Posted in Bible Basics, Free Grace | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Bible Basics: What is Eternal Salvation?

Questions abound when it comes to the Bible and Christianity.  I will attempt to develop a series of posts that answer the important questions starting with eternal salvation .

Eternal Salvation:

Why do people need eternal salvation

Since the sinful transgression of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, mankind has been far from perfect. We are sinners. The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We are born with sin natures and do sin of our own volition. We stand guilty before a Holy God and the sentence is eternal death. This eternal death is separation from God forever in the lake of fire. It should be then easily understood that there is great need to be delivered from this pending fate.
(Gen 2:16-17, ch 3, Rom 3:23, 5:12, John 3:18, Rev 20:15)

What is needed for eternal salvation?

Perfection. This means perfect righteousness. Thankfully this was provided potentially to all in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God and is the only person to have lived a sinless life here on earth. He wasn’t just any regular man. He had no sin nature because He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. He lived perfectly meeting God’s standard of perfection. He suffered, bled, and died on the cross as a payment for the sin of all men. He didn’t stay dead. He rose again three days later and is sitting at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are three persons in One. This Triune God as has provided all that is needed for you to be saved from eternal punishment.
(Rom 5:18, 1 Cor 15:1-4, 1 John 5:7, 11-13, John 3:16, Col 1:12-14)

What is grace in relation to eternal salvation?

Grace is unmerited favor. Some may say that it can’t be true that God had provided all that is needed for man’s salvation. But He has. It is by grace that it has been provided. The opposite would be that man must do something to earn salvation. In that case it would no longer be by grace but by works. Also grace is not a supernatural force that makes us do something. Eternal salvation is referred to as a free gift. So if we work for it, it is not free. If it is forced then it is not a gift. For it to be a gift it must be able to be accepted or rejected and it must be free.
(Eph 2:8-9, Rom 3:25-28, 5:20-21, 6:23, Gal 2:16, 21, 3:13-14)

What is faith in relation to eternal salvation?

Faith is the channel by which we receive the gift of eternal salvation. It is trusting Christ alone that He, as the perfect sacrifice, died shedding His blood on the cross for you. We are to trust Him for salvation as He is our risen Savior.
Eph 1:13, 2:8, Rom 10:14-17, Acts 16:31)

What is repentance in relation to eternal salvation?

Some will ask what about repentance? If we are saved through faith then where does repentance fit in? In relation to eternal salvation, repentance is synonymous with faith. Repentance is changing one’s mind from something other than Christ for salvation to trusting Christ alone for salvation. Let’s think of some examples. If I think that Christ plus my good works save me eternally then I must repent (change my mind) and trust Christ alone. If I trust a false god for salvation then I need to change my mind and trust Christ alone. So basically it is turning from unbelief to belief in Christ alone for salvation. It matches with faith (trusting Christ alone for salvation). Faith implies repentance (changing our mind) because no one is born with faith in Christ alone for salvation.
(2 Pet 3:9, Acts 3:19, 20:21.)

What should I do concerning eternal salvation?

You should understand that you are a lost sinner in need of salvation and trust Christ alone for that salvation this very moment.

How do I know that I am saved?

Some will say that we know we are saved based on the good works or good things that we do in this life. However, think about what we just covered above. We weren’t saved by our works and we aren’t kept saved by our works. We can know from the moment we believe that we are saved forever because God is trustworthy and it is taken care of in Him. We as believers are declared eternally innocent in Christ thereby having obtained the righteous perfection required to enter heaven and be in God’s presence. This is because Gods looks at us and see Christ’s righteousness covering our sin. We are sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit until the day or redemption when we will see Christ face to face in heaven. No works ever enter in the picture. They didn’t get us saved, they don’t keep us saved, and they don’t even prove that we are saved. Good works are for believers to serve and glorify God. All believers will be given rewards for our faithful service and good works. Those who live sinfully as believers will not receive rewards for those things that were not done while walking with the Spirit (doing that which He would not have us to do). So to understand fully, works do not indicate salvation but works indicate faithfulness. Faithfulness is a good testimony to others but is not infallible proof of salvation. Many people can live moral looking lives and do good faithful looking things in public yet be unbelievers.
I John 5:11-13, Eph 1:5, 13-14, Rom 8:15-17, 29-30, 8:34, John 3:18, Phil 3:9, Eph 2:10, I Cor 3:11-15, 2 Cor 5:9-10, Matt 7:22-23)

What should I do as a believer in Christ?

Tell others about your salvation! Study the Word of God and try to find solid Bible teaching and preaching preferably in a strong Bible believing church or among a solid group of believers. Praise the Lord for your salvation and go to Him in prayer for anything. Rejoice.

In Christ,

Jim F

Posted in Bible Basics, Salvation | 10 Comments

He Is Alive !

Praise God that Christ is risen!  Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God came to earth, lived a sinless perfect life, suffered, bled, and died for the sin of all mankind. As amazing as that is, He also rose again. He is alive today and is our Savior if we have placed our trust in him alone, that what He did, was for us personally.  Today I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am saved eternally because I have trusted in an all sufficient risen Savior.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

You too today can praise a wonderful loving Savior. Perhaps you yet need a Savior. If so, consider the gospel message:

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1Co 15:11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 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.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25 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;
Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Won’t you decide today to put your trust in Christ alone to save you from the penalty of sin? If you are saved you can rejoice greatly and share this message with others. We do have unspeakable joy in Christ. Let’s let it be seen and heard. Praise the Lord, He Is Alive!

In Christ,

Jim F

 

Posted in Free Grace, Salvation | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Another Gospel – The Truth about Lordship “salvation.”

Please take time to listen to this excellent explanation of false gospels and the one true gospel. Credit goes to Mark Andre on his fine work.

Jim F

Notes From A Retired Preacher

Our friend Mark Andre has produced an amazing Biblical video, proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel of Grace and exposing all that is wrong with Lordship “salvation,” Calvinism and other false teachings.

Mark called several months ago asking permission to use some material and ideas from ExPreacherMan.com. We are happy we consented.

The progression of the video keeps your attention — Mark explains the simplicity of the Gospel of Grace and then, naming names, he exposes the preachers and proponents of “works salvation” (Probation). This mission is especially important to Mark because his is a former member of John MacArthur’s church. He realized the Truth, abandoned the lie perpetrated by JMac and is dedicated to exposing those who insist on adding works to the Gospel of God’s Grace.

This is a must watch video. Please recommend it to your friends, especially those who may be mixed up in false teaching…

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Lordship Salvation for “Dummies” ? Examining the Meaning of Faith

Recently I engaged in some discussion with Pastor and blogger Kent Brandenburg. He admittedly embraces a Lordship salvation view of the gospel.  One of his more recent posts was titled “Lordship Salvation for Dummies”.  In it, he explains what he perceives are his problems with not accepting a Lordship view of the gospel and what he believes Lordship salvation is.

This except from the long post pretty much sums it up:

“In Lordship salvation, belief includes repentance.  Repentance includes self-denial.  Repentance means turning from idols to serve the living and true God.  Belief is more than just intellectual and emotional, but also volitional.  In Lordship salvation, someone believes in Jesus Christ, and sacrosanct to a belief in Jesus Christ is that Jesus is God, Lord, and Savior.  All sin is against Lordship.  If someone turns from sin, that means he wants to do what the Lord says.  That means that He wants the righteousness, which is in Christ alone.”

Brandenburg on his church’s website under the heading “Salvation” says:

“There is a kind of faith that will not save, that is only intellectual.”

“Part of what it means to believe is to repent. “Repent” means “to turn.” Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” We must turn from going our way to going Jesus’ way. Jesus describes it this way in Matthew 16:25: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it..” We must give up our life, our own temporal life, in order to get eternal life. Jesus also said in Matthew 10:38, “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”

(We must give up our life in order to get eternal life? No sir! That is a barter exchange for salvation. We cannot purchase or merit our salvation in that fashion. We must accept it as the free gift that it is by grace through faith.

Matthew 16:25 is talking about our service to Him as believers.  The result is rewards or loss of rewards. Look down at vs 27 where it says that every man shall be rewarded according to his works. For the believer this takes place a the Bema seat judgement of Christ. Matthew 10:38 is not saying that a person may not be worthy to be saved but they may not be worthy to follow and learn. Discipleship involves commitment and work. Obviously receiving the free gift of salvation does not require commitment and work otherwise it wouldn’t be free and it wouldn’t be by grace.)

One of the main things to understand is the Biblical definition of faith.  Think about it. What happens if the definition of faith (pistis) is belief / trust and we read verses such as: Eph 2:8-9 or Romans 4:5? Now what happens if we take the words faith (trust, belief) and believe (pisteuo – to place faith in something) and add into those definitions the concept of obedience, willingness to obey, commitment to discipleship, change of direction. Reading the verses again will then give totally different meanings. The new definitions contradict the phrases “But to him that worketh not,” and “…that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Notice what happens when we change faith to include LS style commitment? Do you see how two different pastors could read the whole Bible through with two different working definitions of faith and come up with a different gospel?  I think it is troubling indeed. The same thing can go for words like “repentance. ”

A lost man needs to repent (change his mind) trusting Christ for salvation. Once he is saved he can engage in: growing in Christ, walking with His Savior, learning more of His Savior, learning more of the Word, and adding to His faith the things mentioned in 2 Peter 1:5-7.

2Pe 1:5  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

Notice verse 8. If these things be in you… It does not say if you have faith ye shall not be barren or unfruitful.  In verse 9 a believer that lacks these things is not pronounced unsaved or never saved in the first place but is pronounced as one that has forgotten that he was purged.  There are other parallels to this including James 1:21-27.

So make no mistake about the fact that the free grace advocates and LS advocates use different definitions of the same words. Making faith include works is a really good trick but a dangerous one. Beware.

One might ask, what is the big deal? Can’t we all just get along under one big tent? Honestly the answer is no, we can’t.  See, one of the most important things is the gospel. If there is no agreement on the gospel then there really is no agreement.

Jim F

For further reading please see the following:

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2014/03/lordship-salvation-requirements.html

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2008/07/summary-of-lordship-salvation-on-single.html

http://expreacherman.com/%E2%99%A6-lordship-salvation-defined/

http://expreacherman.com/believers-justification/

https://standforthefaith.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/the-foundation-of-eternal-security-a-breath-of-fresh-air/

https://standforthefaith.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/kyle-idleman-not-a-fan-and-common-problems-with-lordship-salvation-part-1/

Posted in Free Grace, Fundamentalism, Heresy, Lordship Salvation, Salvation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 31 Comments