October 24, 2006

The Transformed Life

Dear Friends:

I just posted the following at www.pulpitmagazine.com Matt Waymeyer wrote an article that appeared today titled, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and the Lordship Debate. I wanted to share this here.

Matt:

You wrote, “This belief that regeneration inevitably results in a spiritually transformed life is one of the main tenets of lordship salvation.”

I would agree with the belief that genuine conversion (Eph. 2:8-9) should result in a transformed life and the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) of the believer.

Jenson asked two important questions:
1) “How much ‘fruit’ does one need to show in order to be considered ‘obedient’?”
2) “What about those who try to ‘show forth fruit’, but cannot seem to do so? What do they need to do, or not to do?”

Your article appears to make behavior, not believing, the key to eternal life and evidence of a genuine conversion. This is consistent with most Lordship teachers. The Bible is clear that all who are saved will show evidence of it (2 Cor. 5:17). So behavior is not the key to eternal life, but changed behavior is certainly an evidence of eternal life.

I understand that no one can see or judge the heart. Lordship, however, is making behavior the key indicator of whether or not a man is truly born again. How do you measure this? How and based on what tangible evidence do you declare that a man who professes Christ, but lives in rebellion to Him was never saved in the first place? To what degree of disobedience does a man have to go to when he arrives at the place where you can say, “Never truly saved?”

If he seems little interested in the things of the Lord, like “just Lot,” (2 Peter 2:7) was he never saved?

If he denies the Lord (Matt. 26:75), walks out on the ministry (John 21:3) and causes divisions (Gal. 2:11-13) like Peter did, was he never saved?

If he commits lust, murder, adultery (2 Sam. 11), and has struggles with pride (2 Sam. 24) like King David, was he never saved?

There are genuine believers in our churches today who struggle in their walk with God. They struggle to, “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,” (Hebrews 12:1). “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat,” (Luke 22:31). There was plenty of chaff in Peter’s life. There is plenty of chaff in the life of every genuinely born again child of God.

One of my biggest concerns with John MacArthur’s Lordship gospel is that it conditions the reception of salvation on a commitment to live in obedience to the Lord’s commands. Once a lost person is born again and sets out to live for Christ he will soon find he is not able to live up to that commitment.

He then will have doubts and a lack of assurance.
He is looking at the decision he made to surrender his life to the Lord in addition to depending on the Lord. He will be conflicted when he finds he cannot live up to the commitment. He asks himself, “Is it my obedience to the Lord or my faith (depending) on the Lord that saved and keeps me?”

8 comments:

  1. I believe He is a new creation as well. WE must also remember that God is a cultivator and that we must leave room for the babes to grow and we must also leave room for the sin unto death. We are to be men of the scriptures on every aspect regardless if it lines up with other men or not. I will not be intimidated by anyone. If reformed theologians want to act like there is not a sin unto death and then can turn around and make excuses for the mass murderings of other believers from the reformed era and also their lustful dealings and practises then certainley I need not apologize for what is written. There is a sin unto death. Let him that thinketh he stand take heed lest he fall. The walk of discipleship is a tight rope that very few have demonstrated to have walked. Still I believe all Christians will bear some fruit, yet some will be offended by meats and other things and perish. Those other mature believers may indeed be guilty for making them stumble. Perhaps even the ones that are trying to force growth and not be patient enough to let God cultivate them.

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  2. Greetings bhedr.
    Sounds like you have alot of anger towards the reformed.

    I realise how busy life can be. I hardly have time to post as I would like. If you have the time I would be interested in what you mean by:
    "If reformed theologians want to act like there is not a sin unto death and then can turn around and make excuses for the mass murderings of other believers from the reformed era and also their lustful dealings and practises then certainley I need not apologize for what is written".

    What is your understanding of "sin unto death", and what do you mean by the mass murderings"

    Thanks!

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  3. Brother Lou,

    Trust me, Brother, we agree about the LS group. However, I believe there is a difference between people like David and Peter who fall into sin, then repent, and are restored, and those who do not respond to the Word on these matters.

    I believe it is more a matter of lifestyle than individual acts of unrighteousness. I believe the epistle of 1 John sheds a lot of light on people who are not truly saved.

    I don't know who is truly saved and who is not. And, neither does any preacher. But, God gives us the contrasts between the Lost lifesytle and the Saved lifestyle.

    Art Dunham

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  4. Pastor Art, have you read Zane Hodges commentary on 1 John, either in the Bible Knowledge Commentary or in his own commentary on the epistles of John?

    I would highly recommend his comments on 1 John.

    God Bless

    Matthew

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  5. Pastor Art:

    You wrote, "...there is a difference between people like David and Peter who fall into sin, then repent, and are restored, and those who do not respond to the Word on these matters."

    Yes, I agree with this.

    LM

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  6. Paul:

    Thanks for stopping in. Feel free to direct any comments or questions to me.

    LM

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  7. Thank you for the welcome Lou! I do hope to engage you in discussion as time permits.

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