July 1, 2008

Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page

In each of the three editions of Dr. John MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus there is a single page that summarizes one of the most egregious errors of the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel.

The page I refer to appears in the original and revised versions (pp. 218 and 252 respectively). In the 20th Anniversary edition, you will turn to page 250 and read,

One of the most comprehensive invitations to salvation in all the epistles comes in James 4:7-10... The invitation in 4:7-10 is directed at those who are not saved...
This is the passage Dr. MacArthur refers to as an “invitation to salvation.”

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up,” (James 4:7-10).
At this point I want to remind my readers that the crux of the Lordship Salvation controversy is with the requirement for salvation, NOT what should be the natural results of a genuine conversion. In this section on the James passage MacArthur is making his application to, “those who are not saved.”

Is the epistle of James, “
directed at those who are not saved?” The epistle begins, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy…,” (James 1:1-2). “Brethren” appears approximately 190 times in the New Testament, and when does appear it is used almost exclusively in reference to born again Christians.

Dr. MacArthur views the carnality that James addresses as though it proves these “
brethren,” were never saved in the first place. He views them as “sinners…unregenerate…in desperate need of God’s (saving) grace.” MacArthur’s answer to the problem is that they need to be born again. He goes on to delineate what he believes are the ten “imperatives” for the reception of eternal life. The saving message to “sinners,” the “unregenerate,” according to MacArthur is,
...submit yourself to God (salvation); resist the devil (transferring allegiance); draw near to God (intimacy of relationship); cleanse your hands (repentance); purify your hearts (confession); be miserable, mourn, weep and let your laughter and joy be turned to gloom (sorrow). The final imperative summarizes the mentality of those who are converted: ‘Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord’.”
If MacArthur’s statement was shared as instruction to Christians on how they should live wisely as born again disciples of Jesus Christ that would be a fair application of what he wrote. He is, however, stating what he believes are the necessary conditions of saving faith that results in a lost man becoming a Christian.

What we have in this single page (250) of
The Gospel According to Jesus is the Lordship’s classic error of failing to distinguish between the doctrines of salvation and discipleship. Lordship Salvation frontloads faith with commitment to the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) one would expect of a mature born again Christian.

Do we find salvation by the grace of God through faith in Christ (
Eph. 2:8-9) anywhere in James 4:7-10? No, we do not, because James is addressing “brethren” some of whom behaved as “carnal” Christians.

The example from page 250 of
The Gospel According to Jesus typifies and exemplifies the error of Lordship Salvation. The crux of the Lordship controversy is contained in the three paragraphs of that single page. That one page is all one needs to know about John MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation to realize he has changed the terms of the Gospel into a non-saving, man-centered message that corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3) and frustrates the grace of God.

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain,” (Gal. 2:21).

LM

For additional reading on the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel please proceed to any of the following articles.

John MacArthur’s Discipleship Gospel

How Does the Lordship Advocate Define Repentance?

Lordship’s “Turn from Sin” FOR Salvation

Can God Given Faith Be Defective?

Is Lordship Salvation a "Barter" System?

John MacArthur’s Mandatory Performance Guidelines for “Lordship” Salvation

Ominous Signs of Lordship’s Coming Storm

An Example of Lordship’s Man-Centered Message

145 comments:

  1. From page 250 of the latest edition of TGATJ -

    "One of the most comprehensive invitations to salvation in all the Epistles comes in James 4:7-10. While James directs most of his epistle to genuine believers, it is also evident that he is concerned about those who are not genuine. He wants no one to be deceived regarding true salvation, so he calls for a real, living, saving faith that is distinct from the dead faith of chapter 2. He states his objective in 5:20. It is to see "the sinner converted from the error of his way and his soul saved from death."

    So, yes I believe MacArthur's view of James 4:7-10 is a very good snap shot of what repentance looks like and that it is perfectly in line with what the Bible as a whole teaches on "repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance".

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  2. Mark,

    The entire books of James is written to Jewish believers to encourage spiritual growth. The book is about sanctification, not salvation. The passage you refer to needs to be interpreted within that contextual framework.

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  3. "While James directs most of his epistle to genuine believers, it is also evident that he is concerned about those who are not genuine. He wants no one to be deceived regarding true salvation, so he calls for a real, living, saving faith that is distinct from the dead faith of chapter 2. He states his objective in 5:20. It is to see "the sinner converted from the error of his way and his soul saved from death."

    That there are people who are deceived as to their standing before God is addressed in James 2:14-26. Your system won't let you see that though.

    If I were away from my church for a while, and a great distance away at that, and I wanted to write a letter to that congregation I would address it to "my brethren", knowing full well that not all who attend there on a regular basis are truely saved. Some hearing the letter read from the pulpit would not truely be brethren. But that would not stop me from addressing the larger part of that congregation, that IS born-again as brethren.

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  4. Lou,

    I'm surprised at the tone of this article. There really is an open door for some serious criticism here with John MacArthur's statements. You have restrained yourself well beyond what I would have.

    Kev

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  5. Liam:

    Both good points you have made. Liam, “sanctification” is clearly the objective in James who addressed the letter to “Brethren.”


    LM

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  6. Jon,

    You wrote, “In Scripture, the ‘wish[ing] to come after’ Christ in discipleship (Mk. 8:34) is distinct from ‘come[ing] to’ Christ for eternal "life" (Jn. 5:40, 6:37, 6:44, 7:37). The difference between the cost of discipleship and the free gift of eternal life is one of the most basic distinctions in Scripture, and it is unfortunate that MacArthur nullifies not only this Biblical distinction but also stumbles over the "free gift of God...eternal life" (Rom. 6:23b).”

    You have touched on an absolute vital distinction that must be made. There is a biblically defined difference between coming to Christ for salvation, and then coming after Christ in discipleship. LS blends the two into one which I wrote a major chapter on in my book.


    LM

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  7. Mark Pierson you said
    If I were away from my church for a while, and a great distance away at that, and I wanted to write a letter to that congregation I would address it to "my brethren", knowing full well that not all who attend there on a regular basis are truely saved. Some hearing the letter read from the pulpit would not truely be brethren. But that would not stop me from addressing the larger part of that congregation, that IS born-again as brethren.


    The glaring difference between anything you ever have or ever will write and Scripture is that Scripture is perfect.

    If I wrote, a sentence to the Church that said -

    "Saved Christians, put your faith in Jesus Christ to be saved!"

    I could simply be discounted as a very poor writer or worse a terrible theologian.

    But if the Apostle James wrote "Saved Christians, put your faith in Jesus Christ to be saved!" the BEST case senario would be that this letter could not be included in Scripture.

    A man may addresses the Brethren and include the unsaved who are sitting beside those in fellowship. He would be in error to do so. But a man can, in sincerity, do so.

    However, God who knows the heart, knows who are His, and who can not lie, could NEVER address an unsaved person using the term "brethren." It would be to bare false witness.

    You may be able to project the error, shortcoming, and political correctness of a man on a man... even the Apostle James but to project those same shortcomings (falling short of the Glory of God even) on the true Author of this Epistle, namely God The Holy Spirit is something I would repent of if I were you.

    Kev

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  8. Mark:

    Let’s focus and direct our attention on the passage that John MacArthur emphatically claims to be the “…invitation to salvation.”

    There is no way that the things found in James 4:7-10, either through future performance of, or an upfront commitment to those things is the biblical plan for the reception of eternal life. MacArthur’s claim is antithetical to the Gospel of grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9).

    There is no way to side-step, dismiss what he wrote, excuse it as an “overstatement” when he clearly identifies his target audience for the passage as “unregenerate,” that is the unsaved. He wrote, “The invitation in 4:7-10 is directed at those who are not saved...

    MacArthur is speaking of and making the application of the passage to the unsaved. He is speaking in terms of how salvation begins, i.e., how the unsaved are born into the family of God.

    Mark, are you willing to focus on what MacArthur says is the requirements for the reception of eternal life, which he finds in James 4:7-10?

    You’ll get little argument from me on what should be the natural results of a genuine conversion, but that is NOT where the major controversy lies.

    I have for years altered my readers to the fact that many LS men try to steer the discussion toward the results of salvation instead of dealing with their LS requirements for salvation. This is IMO where LS, especially MacArthur’s on record views, completely fails the test of Scripture.


    LM

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  9. Kev:

    Thanks for the kind words. I do try to check my ego and emotions at the door in these discussions.

    Nearly 20 years of direct interaction with LS advocates and the last two years with the GES “Crossless” gospel men have taught me to keep comparing what they write to what the Bible says. The Bible is the most powerful weapon against any assault on the Gospel whether by Lordship’s additions or the Crossless subtractions.


    Lou

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  10. Linked to this conversation at my blog

    http://onmywalk.blogspot.com/2008/07/one-page-that-tells-20-year-story.html

    What's really funny is I quoted myself! lol... pray for me.

    Kev

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  11. Kev:

    You wrote this to Mark, "You may be able to project the error, shortcoming, and political correctness of a man on a man... even the Apostle James but to project those same shortcomings (falling short of the Glory of God even) on the true Author of this Epistle, namely God The Holy Spirit is something I would repent of if I were you."

    What we find the advocates of LS frequently doing with the Bible is forcing into or extacting from passages whetever they must to shroud their system of commitment in exchange for salvation with the appearance of orthodoxy.


    LM

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  12. I appreciate the substance and tone of this article, Bro. Lou. You have pointed out an obvious error in MacArthur's interpretation of this text.

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  13. Dear Mark:
    You seem deeply confused about the meaning of the term "sodzo psuche" within James.

    I would challenge you do demonstrate from the context that "saving of the soul" EVER refers to eternal salvation in James. Just ONCE!

    http://www.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=10&c_id=60

    You also seem deeply confused about the literary genre of James. It is not a soteriological manifesto. It is, in its closest literary format, WISDOM literature.

    http://www.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=10&c_id=62

    James is wisdom literature. And wisdom literature is not concerned with saving one's eternal soul. It is concerned with saving one's mortal soul. Read one chapter of Proverbs a day for the next month. You will note that this is a means of living skillfully to extend the span of your mortal life, and to enhance the quality of life you live here on earth.

    I would recommend reading the entire discussion of James on the Clear Gospel Campaign web site. It is balanced, logical, fair, and compelling.

    http://www.cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=10&c_id=17

    If, after reading it, you honestly feel that McArtuhr's contextual assumptions are valid, I suspect we will be at a polite disconnect.

    More specifically toward McArthur's book, twenty years ago when it first came out, I only read about a third of it as I became aghast at the heremeneutics of McArthur, a usage of Scripture for which I would fail a first year student at a Bible College in hermeneutics 101.

    I had never made it to the quote posted on the current blog. It has left me even more aghast!

    For McArtuhr to select that passage as a soteriological manifesto demonstrates how tragicly devoid of the Spirit this man truly is.

    Elijah

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. "Mark:

    Let’s focus and direct our attention on the passage that John MacArthur emphatically claims to be the “…invitation to salvation.”

    There is no way that the things found in James 4:7-10, either through future performance of, or an upfront commitment to those things is the biblical plan for the reception of eternal life. MacArthur’s claim is antithetical to the Gospel of grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9)."
    =================
    Lou, it is the simple preaching of repentance. What Christ has provided - freedom from slavery to sin unto slavery to God; a new creation, the indwelling Holy Spirit leading us to walk in Christ's footsteps, etc. - along with the cost - your possesions and finances now belong to Him, are at His disposal; the loss of friends; incuring hatred of the world - are some of the many things that come to the life of the believer. This is where cost counting comes in. If one is going to believe in Christ for salvation then it is fitting that they be told upfront what they shall go on to expect thereafter. Hense the message of repentance.
    =========
    "there is no way to side-step, dismiss what he wrote, excuse it as an “overstatement” when he clearly identifies his target audience for the passage as “unregenerate,” that is the unsaved. He wrote, “The invitation in 4:7-10 is directed at those who are not saved...”
    ===========
    Show me where I said that was an overstatement from MacArthur.
    ===========
    "MacArthur is speaking of and making the application of the passage to the unsaved. He is speaking in terms of how salvation begins, i.e., how the unsaved are born into the family of God."
    ===============
    Yes he is. Where in scripture would an apostle, evangelist, pastor/teacher EVER refer to God's sheep as "sinners" or "double-minded"? Such would be yielding one's mouth to the "accusor of the brethren", and not to edification. 1 Cor. 14:3."
    =========
    "Mark, are you willing to focus on what MacArthur says is the requirements for the reception of eternal life, which he finds in James 4:7-10?"
    ========
    Yes, I did so in my opening 2 comments.
    ==========
    "You’ll get little argument from me on what should be the natural results of a genuine conversion,"
    =====
    Goody!
    ============
    "but that is NOT where the major controversy lies.

    I have for years altered my readers to the fact that many LS men try to steer the discussion toward the results of salvation instead of dealing with their LS requirements for salvation. This is IMO where LS, especially MacArthur’s on record views, completely fails the test of Scripture."
    ===========
    What Christ has provided in the New Coventant He has every right to command from His would-be followers as He proclaims the message of repentance through those faithful men who preach it - Luke 24:47. Christianity is not just justification; it is a changed life, one that WILL encounter difficulty all along the way. Hense the cost counting challenge issued by Christ through those faithful enough to proclaim it.

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  16. "Dear Mark:
    You seem deeply confused about the meaning of the term "sodzo psuche" within James.

    I would challenge you do demonstrate from the context that "saving of the soul" EVER refers to eternal salvation in James. Just ONCE!"
    ================
    The use of the word "sinner" and the words "error of his ways" and the concept of "wander[ing] from the truth" does not describe a Christian.
    ============
    "You also seem deeply confused about the literary genre of James. It is not a soteriological manifesto."
    ==========
    Right, and MacAthur acknowledges that on page 250.
    =============
    " It is, in its closest literary format, WISDOM literature."
    ===========
    Agreed!
    ===========
    "James is wisdom literature. And wisdom literature is not concerned with saving one's eternal soul."
    ==========
    At that particular junture it clearly was. James 2:14-26 set the stage for the fact that there were people there that merely said they had faith, but it was merely mental assent.
    ============
    "It is concerned with saving one's mortal soul. Read one chapter of Proverbs a day for the next month. You will note that this is a means of living skillfully to extend the span of your mortal life, and to enhance the quality of life you live here on earth."
    =============
    James is wisdom literature, yes. But the fact that there were mere professors not possesors in amongst the true believers is also evident. Your wooden view of who James is addressing may come in handy for upholding your FGT distinctives but it fails miserably to consider the whole of James' intended audience.

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  17. Brother Gordon (Heavenly):

    Thanks for stopping by. I am grateful you found this brief look at the errors of LS helpful.

    Kind regards,


    Lou

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  18. Elijah:

    Thanks for the notes.

    I can sympathize with the difficulty you had reading even the first 1/3rd of TGATJ. In my initial look at the original was little more than a perusal and I found it so out of balance with the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ I knew there was no need to read all of it. Later, however, when my college president asked to write a position paper for the college I did read it cover-to-cover, which was difficult because of how very wrong the message is. The benefit was that I was able to string together the errors and find them running through the book and in the following editions.

    As for the subject of this article, MacArthur’s view of James 4:7-10, it is tucked away in the Appendix. IMO most do not read a book’s appendix, but I do when I feel there is a compelling reason to do so.

    Thanks for sharing the links to Clear Gospel Campaign. There are many excellent doctrinal articles there. I do link to CGC from my Recommended Sites.

    Thanks for visiting.


    Lou

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  19. Mark:

    I read your comments, but I have little time today to reply at length.

    If you will focus on the crux of controversy, which is what MacArthur (LS) says is the requirement to be born again MacArthur’s view of James 4 is a works-based message.

    Telling the lost what they might expect will be required of them as a disciple of Christ is NOT “the Gospel.” Telling them these things with the intention of gaining their commitment to agree to perform those things is a call to a commitment to “good works” (Eph. 2:10) in “exchange” for salvation.

    No matter what presuppositions any one brings to that view, it is still a message that adds a promise of performance for the reception of eternal life. That is a false, non-saving message that frustrates grace.


    LM

    PS: I often use “overstatement” in a general sense (which I will weave into various comments) because that is used by many LS advocates I have dealt with. Apologies for the appearance that you used that term in this thread. I use it in the article because of the frequency with which the term is used by LS advocates when they try to deflect criticism of JM’s LS statements, such as what we are dealing with here.

    So, I trust you share MacArthur’s view on James 4:7-10, that it is, according to LS, the way the lost are born again. Is that what you believe?

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  20. Hi Knet:

    You wrote, “I haven't read the updated version, but did read portions of an earlier release, probably the original, for a couple hours one evening at church while our oldest son was at AWANA. What I found, not surprisingly, corresponds with exactly what Lou has mentioned -- that LS unnecessarily combines the biblical notion of what's normal/expected after salvation with what's req'd to obtain that salvation in the first place. I say this with grace because it wasn't that long ago that I was making the same mistake

    Glad you found the same teaching that I did. It permeates all of his LS books, not just all three editions of TGATJ.

    LS blends and blurs in the line of distinction between salvation and discipleship. For the reception of eternal life they require a commitment of submission to live in obedience to the Lord's commands to be born again.

    The LS idea of the Gospel is to gain a promise of performance from the unsaved in exchange for the promise of eternal life from the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Thanks for the checking in, always look forward to your input.

    Yours faithfully,


    Lou

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  21. Good morning Lou. I actually deleted that comment shortly after posting it because I wanted to reword it more clearly. I said "... it wasn't that long ago that I was making the same mistake" but should have said instead that I was making a similar mistake -- I've never held the view that anything more than faith alone in Christ alone is req'd... I'll explain more later if need, I just felt that my poor choice of words made it appear I had once been LS. It's true that I once considered myself LS but that was when I thought LS' claim was to the natural "result of" rather than "requirement for" salvation. Since making that distinction I came to realize that I was never actually LS at all.

    Stephen

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  22. Hi Stephen:

    Thanks for the note and clarification.

    Good to read you recognized the errors in the LS interpretation of the Gospel before being caught up by it. As I have noted before one of my goals is to sound the bells of alarm so that a broad cross section of believers will be able to recognize the egregious errors of LS.

    This way they will be able to recognize LS and biblically resist it, and thwart the spread of it into local churches and fellowships.

    Take care,


    Lou

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  23. "So, I trust you share MacArthur’s view on James 4:7-10, that it is, according to LS, the way the lost are born again. Is that what you believe?"
    ============
    The lost are born again by God sovereignly initiating the event, making them alive together with Christ. They then are enabled to believe and be saved, Eph. 2:8-9; 1 John 5:1. The preaching of Christ and Him crucified in conjunction with the workings of God the Holy Spirit within the elect one produces the new birth. Hense the preaching of repentance is openly received by those such as are the elect.

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  24. Mark are you going to respond to my post?

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  25. Mark:

    The lost are born again by God sovereignly initiating the event, making them alive together with Christ. They then are enabled to believe and be saved, Eph. 2:8-9; 1 John 5:1. The preaching of Christ and Him crucified in conjunction with the workings of God the Holy Spirit within the elect one produces the new birth. Hense the preaching of repentance is openly received by those such as are the elect.

    In a following comment I will translate this note from Mark for my readers following this note to Mark.

    Mark, I’ll ask you again, and I trust you can give a clear, direct answer without the trappings of Calvinism’s extra-biblical presuppositions.

    In regard to MacArthur’s view on James 4:7-10- He says this is the “invitation to salvation” i.e.. the invitation to be born again. That it is, according to LS (according to JM) the way the lost must born again.

    Do you agree with MacArthur that James 4:7-10 is the invitation to receive salvation, to become a Christian?



    LM

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  26. To All:

    Mark is coming to the discussion with the introduction of Calvinism’s extra-biblical presuppositions of regeneration precedes faith and that faith is a gift. These twin errors have been shown to be inconsistent with the plain teaching of Scripture

    The regeneration before faith view is the way LS men can say that the demands of commitment to perform the “good works” of a disciple for salvation are not works. They believe they are calling for a commitment from a man who has been saved already.

    Mark replies my direct question with Calvinistic presuppositions and redirects. This is the pattern of LS advocates trying to blunt the obvious implications of MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel. It is the pattern of men who defend LS to evade the clearly works-based message MacArthur is claiming to be the Gospel.

    Mark wrote, “Hense the preaching of repentance is openly received by those such as are the elect.” Translated, I hope my preaching reaching the ears of the ones who have been born again already.

    I invite guests to read Impossible Decision- John 16:7-11 and Impossible Decision- John 16:7-11

    IMO some of the best refutations of Calvinism’s extra biblical views that Mark posted are written by Brother George Zeller. See

    The Danger of Teaching that Faith is the Gift of God and The Danger of Teaching Regeneration Precedes Faith


    LM

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  27. "Do you agree with MacArthur that James 4:7-10 is the invitation to receive salvation, to become a Christian?"
    ============
    YES!!! I thought I made that clear in earlier comments.

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  28. I agree that Zeller's article is an excellent analysis and refutation of the Reformed position of regeneration preceding faith from Eph. 2:8-9. Grammatically this argument cannot be made.

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  29. And what we see from Lou is the power of the born from above experience being ripped away, leaving the regeneration experience to be... nothing. In Lou's view one needs to have a keswick type experience, an almost second work of grace, in order to be all that God wants a Christian to be.

    Lou, why not scrap John 3:3-8 and Titus 3:4-7. Regeneration means nothing to your system. The best you can do with it is pay lip service to it.

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  30. I read your links. Calvinism is no monolith and Shedd and Sproul do not speak for all Calvinists.

    As I go about to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ spread I preach repentance and remission of sins in His name. Yes, I preach Christ and Him crucified. That is MY responsibility. The results are left to God. He uses my preaching to gather in His elect.

    Lou, you quote Spurgeon often. Do you know anything at all about his preaching, the content of his evangelistic messages? Do you know his views on Calvinism? He would not approve of how you handle the Doctrines of Grace. In fact, during his life he stated that he had lost all appetite for preachers who did not hold to the DoG. Think about that next time you quote him, please.

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  31. Mark/All:

    Charles Haddon Spurgeon is affectionately remembered as the “Prince of Preachers”. One of my favorite books is his classic devotional Morning & Evening.

    I have posted these three articles that rely on Spurgeon in whole or part for content and force of persuasion.

    Spurgeon’s consistent practice of biblical, militant separatism may be unparalleled in the last 200 years. In my book I relate his stand and written testimony to that admirable and costly part of his ministry.

    I get the feeling there are some, such as yourself, that do not know I am aware of Spurgeon’s five-point Calvinism. I make no secret that I reject all five points of Calvinism as I understand them. I will also add that the debate over Calvinism, which has gone on for centuries, is IMO not going to be settled this side of Heaven. I am willing to work in happy cooperation with the Calvinist for the cause of world-wide missions. The dividing line for me, however, is when the Calvinist has adopted and becomes an advocate of the egregious errors of the works based, Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel.

    I will appreciate Spurgeon where I can, which is often, and reject that with which I disagree.

    I would also like to draw parallel from my comments on Spurgeon to how I view John MacArthur.

    IMO, MacArthur has made many fine contributions to the New Testament church. His work on the Charismatic, Church Growth and Emergent Church movements are among the best and I highly recommend much of his work on these subjects. Those excellent contributions make his propagation of the false, non-saving Lordship Salvation especially disappointing.

    It is truly tragic that he has been so balanced and helpful on important discussions, such as I have noted above, but on the most vital doctrine of all, the GOSPEL, he is sadly very, very wrong.


    LM

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  32. Mark:

    With all that said, primarily for your benefit, I am not not going to turn this thread into another debate over Calvinism. We are discussing MacArthur’s view, found in all three editions of The Gospel According to Jesus, that “submission, resisting, fleeing…,” is the invitation and way to be born again.

    You have clearly identified yourself in full agreement with MacArthur’s interpretation of James 4:17-10. You, therefore, are preaching a false gospel that saves no one. Commitment to performance is NOT the Gospel of grace through faith. LS is message of works.

    LS leaves the one who has been told commitment to behavior is the key to eternal life will one day split Hell wide open upon his departing this life, unless he is recovered and comes to receive Christ the Bible way: By grace through faith APART FROM works or the promise to perform works. But if that man is never recovered it will be the LS message that played a role in his eternal doom.


    LM

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  33. Kevl,
    It is truly absurd to assert that a letter sent to believers cannot describe those who are not believers. Can a preacher writing to preachers, suggest that there might be a few preachers who aren't truly saved?

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  34. Romans was also written to believers and Paul gives a lot of attention to describing non-believers beginning in Chapter 1.
    Which epistles were not written to believers?

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  35. Jazzy:

    I believe Kevl is away on a ministerial trip to Ottawa, but he will get back to you asap.


    LM

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  36. Jazzy:

    The issue under discussion is MacArthur’s view of the way in which a lost man is born again, which according to him is, through the things found in vv. 7-10. These include “submission, resisting, fleeing…mourning, weeping, sorrow…” The focus is squarely put on the lost man to add to faith his own personal performance to receive the gift of eternal life.

    He says these things comprise, “One of the most comprehensive invitations to salvation in all the epistles comes in James 4:7-10... The invitation in 4:7-10 is directed at those who are not saved...

    This is a man-centered message! This conditons eternal salvation on his upfront commitment to exhibit and/or the performance of the things expected of a mature and growing Christian. This is a message of exchanging a promise of commitment for the promise of eternal life.

    Lordship Salvation is works based, and it is a non-saving, mixed message that frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).


    LM

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  37. That James was addressing non-believers in his epistle is an assumption that cannot be dervied from any portion of the text. This assumption has to be forced upon by other presuppositions. Every part of James is describing believers, including James 2 and James 4.

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  38. "This is a man-centered message! This conditons eternal salvation on his upfront commitment to exhibit and/or the performance of the things expected of a mature and growing Christian. This is a message of exchanging a promise of commitment for the promise of eternal life."
    ==============
    No! It is the preaching of repentance!

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  39. I agree with Liam. Furthermore, as Liam pointed out, the epistle of James is not only delivered to Christian "brethren" (Jms. 1:2), but also describing Christian "brethren", even in James chapter 2 (cf. Jms. 2:14) and James chapter 4 (cf. Jms. 4:4:1, 4:5, 4:11).

    JP

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  40. " Every part of James is describing believers, including James 2 and James 4."
    =============
    Only in the minds of those influenced by the Chafer strands of Dispensationalism of which FGT is a part. How much history is behind the idea that James 2:14-20 is speaking about genuine believers? In other words, on a time-line coming forth from the Reformation, where on that time-line does your take on James 2:14-20 originate?

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  41. The whole idea of a "carnal Christian" is of Chaferian origens, and was soundly refuted by B.B. Warfield. It can only be held by those with a low view of regeneration. The first 10 verses of James 4 describe an unregenerate people.

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  42. Lou,
    You stated, "I will appreciate Spurgeon where I can, which is often, and reject that with which I disagree.
    I would also like to draw parallel from my comments on Spurgeon to how I view John MacArthur.
    IMO, MacArthur has made many fine contributions to the New Testament church."
    Humbly and respectfully, I am surprised at this comment from you given that you refuse to grant the same appreciation to Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin, and other men associated with what you refer to as the crossless gospel (which is an unfair title, in my opinion). Because you men of God disagree on the content of the Gospel (on a very important point, I concede), you have stated numerous times on this board that you no longer consider them to be accurate sources on anything due to their erroneous understanding of the gospel. How does this not apply to a five-point Calvinist and a heretical Lordship Salvationist? Also, Surely you don't believe that by planting churches that teach a non-saving gospel message, doing non-saving missions work, and leading millions of people astray through his books and media-promoted sermons that JM is doing the work of the Lord and making "fine contributions to the New Testament Church"? This would be like saying because the pope teaches kindness that he is doing great work for the Lord. He might be doing great work for people here on earth, but he is doing absolutely NOTHING for the Lord. As it is with JM. Unless JM has at some point believed in Jesus Christ ALONE, APART FROM WORKS, FOR HIS ETERNAL LIFE...I worry about his destiny, based upon his teachings of a works- and repentance-based salvation.

    Lou, I respect you and the members of the FGA, but I feel that this division amongst those of us who fight for the true Gospel, which is faith ALONE in Christ ALONE, is not good for the eternal Kingdom of God. I pray that the two sides can one day sort the differences out and come to a biblical, Holy-Spirit lead agreement. Godly minds can do that with the grace of our Lord and a spirit of humility. I'm not wanting to make this a debate on the FG camp split, so I apologize if that's where this leads.

    I implore you to either rephrase or rethink your statement about JM and Spurgeon, or to grant the same "some of what you do is good" mentality to those men of God with which you so greatly and forcefully disagree. At least it would be consistent, and you wouldn't come across (to some) as holding a grudge against Hodges and Wilkin, and speaking based off of emotion rather than Spirit-lead humility and Scriptural basis. Is it possible to disagree with someone on the gospel and still believe that they do great work for the kingdom?

    God bless,
    -Jason

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  43. Jazzy,
    you stated: "Romans was also written to believers and Paul gives a lot of attention to describing non-believers beginning in Chapter 1.
    Which epistles were not written to believers?"

    Until Romans 5:8-9 Paul preaches a gospel message, one that eternally saves, of Faith alone in Christ alone for justification before God, regeneration through faith in Jesus Christ. In 5:8-11 Paul states, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."
    Much of the rest of the book of Romans is pointed at what we, Christians, need to do to mature, not be saved from hell...we're already saved from hell.
    Paul clearly understood that there is a difference in justification and sanctification salvation. It is absurd to think that Paul was saying to these men, "Now that you have been saved from hell through Faith in Christ, you can be saved from hell through perseverance in good works"...Paul was saying that now that they have been saved...here's what they need to do as disciples, to enhance their mortal lives. This is what James teaches throughout, consistently. The Gospel doesn't change from book to book.

    Salvation, Saved, Saves, and Save rarely refer to eternal salvation from Hell. Saved simply means "delivered". When we see this in Scripture, the key is to understand the context and the audience to whom it was written. If anything other than faith alone in Christ alone is preached, the salvation being offered is not a free gift of God, and therefore is not salvation from Hell.

    God bless,
    Jason

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  44. Mark,

    You said, "The first 10 verses of James 4 describe an unregenerate people".

    James 4:5-"Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously."

    The Spirit doesn't endwell unregenerate people, Mark. It sounds to you like James is describing unregenerate people, because you don't believe regenerate people could do these things while being eternally saved. Unfortunately, we all live in Sin until the day we die. Thank God for Jesus, whose blood has INFINITELY and FULLY covered our nasty sin and saved us from an eternal separation from God, if we simply believe in Him for our eternal life.
    James knew this, which is why he warns true believers, carnal Christians, to move on into maturing their walk with Christ.
    James 3:1-2 says, "1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things..."

    Do you not believe that the Corinthians were true believers either? How about the 2nd and 3rd soils in the parable of the sower? They received the word, believed, AND WERE SAVED (...Lest they believe and be saved).
    If there were no such thing as a carnal Christian, Mark, there would be no need for any of these books written to believers. These men would begin their letters, "Bretheren disregard, this message is directed at those who are unregenerate, since you who are saved are already automatically mature in your walk with Christ"...
    You confuse and permanently connect Eternal salvation and Discipleship...and the two are not the same. Eternal salvation is not a process, it is a gift, given at one specific point in time, never to be lost, taken away, or forfeited. Discipleship, maturing as a Christian, is a lifelong process and will not end until we leave this Earth. Some of those who are regenerate because of Faith in Christ for their eternal salvation will finish well, some unfortunately will not, but because of God's faithfulness to keep his promises, all who believed are still eternally saved.

    God bless, Mark.

    -Jason

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  45. jazzycat,

    You said It is truly absurd to assert that a letter sent to believers cannot describe those who are not believers. Can a preacher writing to preachers, suggest that there might be a few preachers who aren't truly saved? and further noted that Romans 1 includes information about unsaved people.

    It truly would be absurd to say that a letter sent to believers could not describe those who are not believers. It's a good thing that is not at all what I wrote.

    Have you read James 4?

    The assertion by the Additionists is that James 4:7-10 is a call to Salvation to the unsaved.

    Verse 7 starts with "Therefore submit to God."

    What does "therefore" mean jazzycat?

    Read James 4:1-6 (the verses that the "therefore" is indicating) and see WHO the Apostle is talking to, and what he is telling them.

    James 4:1-10 NKJV
    1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
    6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

    “ God resists the proud,
    But gives grace to the humble.”

    7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

    I never met an unsaved person who had the Spirit of God dwelling in them.

    And if that were not enough, the very next verse - Vrs 11

    Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

    Exegesis is not particularly hard in most cases. What IS hard is getting rid of your presupposed ideas of what something (or someone) is saying. This is something that every student of the Word MUST practice... or find themselves ashamed.

    You thought you knew my argument before you considered my post. That colored what you read. Go ahead and do some "exegesis" on my post if you like. See if you can show us that I said "a letter written to believers can not describe non-believers"

    If you take your own point of view so seriously that you can't even set it aside long enough to read a blog post, how will you ever see clearly the whole of Scripture? Please consider these words. I really could have been very sarcastic and nasty, you all but gave me permission by calling a post of mine that you obviously didn't read - absurd.

    Kev

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  46. "Mark,

    You said, "The first 10 verses of James 4 describe an unregenerate people".

    James 4:5-"Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously."
    ================
    Scholars are not in agreement on whether "the Spirit" here is actually the Holy Spirit. If you were honest you would have acknowledged that, unless your only sources were from the GES.
    ===========
    "The Spirit doesn't endwell unregenerate people, Mark."
    ===========
    Agreed! So end the game here.
    ==========
    " It sounds to you like James is describing unregenerate people, because you don't believe regenerate people could do these things"
    ==========
    They can not live like this because of their new nature - a thing you GES types don't seem to be able to acknowledge due to the fact that you must absolutely leave the door open ever so slightly for the possibility of an apostate "believer".
    ==============
    " while being eternally saved."
    ===============
    There being no such thing as a state of carnality one living consistantly carnal is revealing the fact that they are not redeemed.
    =========
    "Unfortunately, we all live in Sin until the day we die. Thank God for Jesus, whose blood has INFINITELY and FULLY covered our nasty sin and saved us from an eternal separation from God, if we simply believe in Him for our eternal life."
    ===========
    Me and MacArthur agree whole-heartedly!
    ==========
    "James knew this, which is why he warns true believers, carnal Christians,"
    ==========
    No such thing!
    ============
    "Do you not believe that the Corinthians were true believers either?"
    =========
    Yes they were. They had to grow, period. There was no static state of a carnal Christ established here.
    ======
    "How about the 2nd and 3rd soils in the parable of the sower? They received the word, believed, AND WERE SAVED (...Lest they believe and be saved)."
    ===========
    The second and third soils were not saved. The subject is the word, and the good ground UNDERSTANDS it (Matthew 13:23)and went on to bear fruit. That is not said of the previous soils.
    ==========
    "If there were no such thing as a carnal Christian, Mark, there would be no need for any of these books written to believers."
    =========
    Carnal Christianity is something that all Christians will grow out of because of their new nature. It is not, nor can be, a static state. To believe so is to down-play the regeneration experience.
    ===========
    "These men would begin their letters, "Bretheren disregard, this message is directed at those who are unregenerate, since you who are saved are already automatically mature in your walk with Christ"..."
    ============
    Again, if writing to a community of mostly regenerate people you will address it to "Brethren". The following exhortations would then go forth to reprove, rebuke, correct, and instruct in righteousness the true Christians; and go on to serve as a wake-up call to mere professors.
    ===========
    "You confuse and permanently connect Eternal salvation and Discipleship..."
    =========
    Yes I do! The Bible knows of no such thing as a Christian who is not a disciple. Roman 8:29 speaks to the fact that all truely born-again believers are on a course to Christ-likeness.
    ============
    "and the two are not the same."
    ===========
    Again, the Bible knows of no such thing as a Christian who is not a disciple.
    =========
    " Eternal salvation is not a process, it is a gift, given at one specific point in time, never to be lost,"
    =========
    Amen!!!
    ===========
    " maturing as a Christian, is a lifelong process and will not end until we leave this Earth."
    =========
    Amen!!
    ======
    " Some of those who are regenerate because of Faith in Christ for their eternal salvation will finish well,"
    =========
    Because of their new nature they all will, Romans 8:28.
    ============
    " some unfortunately will not,"
    =========
    An unbiblical statement!
    =============
    " but because of God's faithfulness to keep his promises, all who believed are still eternally saved."
    =========
    Matthew 10:33 and 2 Timothy 2:12b present a problem for your system to explain without doing an Olympic gymnastics performance.

    Mark

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. Mark, my intention is not to be rude but I only got this far into your post.

    Scholars are not in agreement on whether "the Spirit" here is actually the Holy Spirit. If you were honest you would have acknowledged that, unless your only sources were from the GES.

    In some "sects" of Christianity our source is the Bible. We need not always refer to "scholars" see the logical fallacy of "appeal to authority" for why that is often the best course.

    The "scholars" who translated many of the translations I use, every one of them that I checked at Biblegateway all seem to agree that this "spirit" is the Holy Spirit of God. Capitalizing the word "Spirit" and cross referencing to 1 Cor 6:19 and 2 Cor 6:16

    Actually I just decided to check a few and here is what I found.

    NIV = spirit

    NASB = Spirit

    The Message = a complete elimination of the Spirt. (not that I consider this a translation)

    AMP = Spirit

    NLT = spirit

    KJV = spirit (kinda shocked by this)

    ESV = spirit (though it links to passages that clearly mark it as the Holy Spirit)

    CEV = Spirit

    NKJV = Spirit

    Darby = Spirit

    With the exception of the KJV the only versions that don't either recognize the Spirit of God in this passage (either by cap or by cross reference) are weak "translations."

    The ESV though a more literal translation has Lordship Salvation imbeded in it's translation practices to a fault. To the point that many doctrines that are clear in the Greek and every other literal translation are lost.

    So I don't know what "scholars" you are refering too but if you mean men such as John MacArthur I think his view ought not be trusted so easily. I surely would never appeal to his authority any more than I would the GES.

    Kev

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  49. Brethren (and yes I use this term the same way the Spirit - capital S - does),

    It's very tempting to go line by line on Mark's posts. He is attempting to bring the conversation off the focus of the Additionists' claims that "true saving faith" includes a promise of submission and obedience. Mark appears to go even farther than John MacArthur in his works based message.

    It's tempting to answer Matt 10:33 with Scriptures such as Rom 10:9-10 and point out that it was the Apostle Paul who coined the term "Carnal Christian" and that Christian's are "discipled" by the Holy Spirit they do not "sign up to be" disciples. Or that VERY FEW of the people who Believed in Christ even when He was here ministering to Israel as her Messiah the Prince ever "followed after Him."

    See, I've answered most of the things in his post... in short anyway... it's beyond tempting to spend our time jousting with him about topics that have little to do with the true dangerous problem with Additionist Theology. That of putting an impossible stumbling block in the path of sinners as they are drawn to the Cross. Thereby making disciples of the preachers of a man centered message of self-help instead of making them saved Christians who are being discipled by the Holy Spirit.

    Let us join in asking Mark, since he is vehement about his agreement with John MacArthur, to show us where in Scripture an unsaved person is told they must "submit to the Lordship of Christ" and where in Scripture a "promise of obedience" and "forsaking of sin" and a "absolute love of Christ" is required of an UNSAVED person in order that God will save a them.

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  50. "Brethren (and yes I use this term the same way the Spirit - capital S - does),

    It's very tempting to go line by line on Mark's posts. He is attempting to bring the conversation off the focus of the Additionists' claims that "true saving faith" includes a promise of submission and obedience. Mark appears to go even farther than John MacArthur in his works based message."
    ==============
    This is all GES mantra. Where has MacArthur or Mark Pierson been shown to preach a "works based message"?

    Yes, it's true, we, along with Paul, preach that men should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. You, however, try to fit the message that we preach through that sect's (GES) little peculiar template. We wear your disapproval as a badge of honor knowing full well that your disapproval means we are scriptural.
    =============
    "It's tempting to answer Matt 10:33 with Scriptures such as Rom 10:9-10"
    ==============
    I'd love to see you try that one!
    ================
    " and point out that it was the Apostle Paul who coined the term "Carnal Christian"
    ============
    I see you do not want to address the points I made in above comments concerning those times he used that term. So I guess your game continues.
    ==========
    "and that Christian's are "discipled" by the Holy Spirit they do not "sign up to be" disciples."
    ==========
    They were crucified with Christ, the body of sin was destroyed, and they were made servants of God. Romans 6. They were transfered into the kingdom of God's Son. See Col.1:13. They were turned from the power of Satan unto God, turned from the power of darkness to light. See Acts 26:18. And you're right, they didn't sign up to be disciples - God called them to it.
    =============
    " Or that VERY FEW of the people who Believed in Christ even when He was here ministering to Israel as her Messiah the Prince ever "followed after Him."
    ==========
    The event at Pentecost, which Christ was about to purchase with His blood, was about to change all that. The indwelling Spirit would then go on to empower these disciples to turn the world upside down.
    ===========
    "See, I've answered most of the things in his post... in short anyway... it's beyond tempting to spend our time jousting with him about topics that have little to do with the true dangerous problem with Additionist Theology. That of putting an impossible stumbling block in the path of sinners as they are drawn to the Cross."
    ============
    Oh, but for the regeneration experience. Why shouldn't Christ command repentance from those whom he paid for with His blood - purchasing ALL of the benefits of the New Covenant for His people.
    ============
    " Thereby making disciples of the preachers of a man centered message of self-help"
    ===========
    Your mischaracterizations are astonishing. Does the GES spoon-feed yop people this stuff?
    =============
    "Let us join in asking Mark, since he is vehement about his agreement with John MacArthur, to show us where in Scripture an unsaved person is told they must "submit to the Lordship of Christ" and where in Scripture a "promise of obedience" and "forsaking of sin" and a "absolute love of Christ" is required of an UNSAVED person in order that God will save a them."
    ===============
    Acts 26:18-20; Mark 8:34-38.

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  51. John 11:1-14 Lazarus, who Jesus "loved" was not a "follower of Christ" Yet Jesus saved him out of the Grave. Maybe he was a unregenerate sinner though and Jesus didn't really "love" love him.. He just really like him..

    Maybe that "very few" people comment can be repealed?

    You said This is all GES mantra. Where has MacArthur or Mark Pierson been shown to preach a "works based message"? and Your mischaracterizations are astonishing. Does the GES spoon-feed yop people this stuff?

    Do you have any idea who you're talking to? Not that I, or anyone here is anyone special.. but if you knew how far removed we all are from the GES you would see the true "absurdity" of your accusations.

    God does command repentance. But of course He commands Biblical repentance not repentance in accordance with your chosen "scholars".

    finally you answer the question asked of you.

    "Let us join in asking Mark, since he is vehement about his agreement with John MacArthur, to show us where in Scripture an unsaved person is told they must "submit to the Lordship of Christ" and where in Scripture a "promise of obedience" and "forsaking of sin" and a "absolute love of Christ" is required of an UNSAVED person in order that God will save a them."
    ===============
    Acts 26:18-20; Mark 8:34-38.


    Acts 26:18-20 - Cool Paul preached the Gospel to the Gentiles! Yet without demanding "submission" "obedience" "forsaking sin" and "absolute love".

    No he said he preached the Gospel that they should "repent" "turn to God" and "do works fitting repentance" Isn't that interesting. They need to repent, then "turn to God" and then do the works of a believer.

    Funny how Paul doesn't say he preached to them all that they should "promise to submit, be loyal, forsake sin, and profess absolute love for Christ" so that they could be saved, and then that they were to be "tested" by their works.

    Great selection of Scripture. It doesn't help your cause but I like it none the less. :)

    Now Mark 8:34-38 is classic John MacArthur stuff!

    Isn't it neat that Jesus is not preaching the Gospel to them? If He were would it make sense to reference it in the statement He is making? but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

    The Lord also asks Additionists a serious question in this section Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Indeed, what CAN a man give in exchange for his soul? An offer of obedience? A promise of fruitfulness? A bended knee?

    Frankly if this is a call to Eternal Salvation then there must be a promise involved. Oh! And there IS a promise!

    For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

    But check it out.. there's something wrong here if this is the Gospel.

    Who ever "looses his life for Christ's sake and the Gospel's will save it"

    Who is doing the saving here? Oops! Man centered Gospel central if THIS section is preaching how one must be saved.

    And how does one "save" their own self? They "loose their life" for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. They must be martyred! How are YOU doing with that one?

    Think Christ might be talking about Discipleship here? About "following" Christ into a life that would be taken from them? This flows right into Mark 9 which is the Transfiguration experience. And that starts with the continuation of the teaching that the Lord was giving. 1 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

    Just a thought.. but since the Lord doesn't say this is how you gain Eternal Life.. and because the promise isn't about God saving the Disciple.. and because it CLEARLY denotes works as a condition for being saved.. and because the Lord references the Gospel as a different subject in this statement... I'm GUESSING that THIS is not the Gospel according to Jesus.

    Any more parts of the Bible that demand those things listed above in order for a Sinner to be saved by God?

    Kev

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  52. hi Mark,
    thanks for your reply. I'm not sure I love the sarcasm you consitently inject into your posts. I humbly ask that we not act out on our anger or frustration on this board. There is no place for any such behavior here. If I've misinterpreted your tone, I apologize sincerely.
    That stated, I would like to respond to your answer to my post.

    You said, "Scholars are not in agreement on whether "the Spirit" here is actually the Holy Spirit. If you were honest you would have acknowledged that, unless your only sources were from the GES."
    --Mark, please don't assume that my intention is to be deceitful and dishonest. Anything I say on these boards comes from my young and learning heart. I am not a scholar, nor am I a theologian, nor do I consult the Grace Evangelical Society on every aspect of my life. I believe they are a group of Lord-loving men and women who have the best of intentions, and who put out some great material on alot of issues. I am not a member of the GES, though I have spent time with the organization in the past and believe in their mission, which is to present a clear and unclouded Gospel message. There is some degree of disagreement amongst free gracers these days, and I don't fully agree with either side, so please don't label me as if I view the GES as my source of truth. I don't agree with them on everything, nor do I take their word as truth without standing the test of the Holy Scriptures. That said, my "source" is the Bible, not GES, John Macarthur, Lou, or any other imperfect man or woman. It is my understanding, given the context of this verse, that the Spirit to which James refers is the Holy Spirit of our Lord. If you disagree with that, then there isn't any point in arguing that issue. We can agree to disagree, and I will genuinely pray for God to open my eyes to the truth of this text, as I am sure you will do also.

    "Yes they were. They had to grow, period. There was no static state of a carnal Christ established here."
    They were saved, and they were in a state of carnality. Paul didn't question their faith, or even present a gospel message to them. He reasserted that they had believed in Jesus and therefore were saved, and then warned them that if they didn't "begin growing", there would be wrath to face. If they were growing automatically, as you believe all Christians do, there would be no need for Paul's warning. Am I missing something here?

    "The second and third soils were not saved. The subject is the word, and the good ground UNDERSTANDS it (Matthew 13:23)and went on to bear fruit. That is not said of the previous soils."

    So, am I to assume that you believe the essence of saving faith is the understanding of Scripture and the bearing of fruit? Paul says that this is not grace, but debt. In the explanation of the parable, Jesus doesn't say, "lest they understand the word and commit to bearing fruit and be saved". He says that the Devil snatches the word away, lest they "believe and be saved". The 2nd and 3rd soils both believed, according to the text, and unless the Bible is contradictory, therefore were saved. Once again, I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree.

    "They can not live like this because of their new nature - a thing you GES types don't seem to be able to acknowledge due to the fact that you must absolutely leave the door open ever so slightly for the possibility of an apostate "believer"."

    Once again, I don't consider myself a "GES type", so let's drop the labels. I consider myself a Christian, and I enjoy healthy debate, not kindergarten name-calling and sarcastic remarks. Paul teaches that the Spirit and the flesh are at battle and will always be while we are on this Earth. Even saved people struggle. Paul explains this in 1 Corinthians 3, where he talks about two types of actions of believers, those that will gain reward and those that will be burned (but he will be saved, as one escaping the flames). Why is the believer saved regardless of his actions? Because, the foundation has been laid, and that foundation is faith in Jesus Christ.

    Matthew 10:33 is not a call to eternal salvation. There is no mention of saving Faith in Christ. This passage is to be taken in the same context as Romans 8:28, after Paul has shifted from discussing Saving faith and is now talking about being further sanctified and saved from the wrath of God through obedience to Him, to enhance our worldly life and future Kingdom experience. If Matthew 10:33 is referring to eternal salvation, then John 12:42-43 presents a serious problem, for the rulers believed in Jesus but would not confess Him (John uses the word believe almost 100 times to express saving faith in Jesus Christ, and the men believed). Don't say that they didn't truly believe, because that is a direct contradiction of the Holy word of our Lord.
    2 Tim 2:12, once again, is not a call to eternal salvation by Faith in Jesus Christ. It is a call to endure in good works (which Paul repeatedly says are no part of Saving Faith, nor is the promise of Good works) to reign with him. This is written to believers who will be in the eternal kingdom. It is a passage studded with a call to endure, to work hard, to do good things, to earn a "crown", not to believe in Jesus Christ and be saved. Further, the next verse says that even "If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself"...He has made a promise that He will not break. Those who have believed are saved from Hell and always will be. We are endwelled by the Holy Spirit, and this is a permanent endwelling. Therefore, to deny a believer is to deny the covering of the Blood of Christ, and that is something that God has promised never to do.

    Mark, I respectfully disagree with your theology. I have no doubt that you have a passion for the Word and for our Lord, and that is commendable, without exception. Please continue to prayerfully seek God's guidance in your understanding and interpretation of the Word of God. I will do the same.

    God bless,
    Jason

    P.S. Mark, feel free to email me (my username @ yahoo), and I'd be happy to discuss further with you in love and kindness. However, I'm not interested in cluttering this board with back and forth debate that is riddled with unkindness and sarcasm. I believe that God continues to teach us all throughout our lives, and I am not closed-minded to that in any way, shape, or form.

    ReplyDelete
  53. "John 11:1-14 Lazarus, who Jesus "loved" was not a "follower of Christ" Yet Jesus saved him out of the Grave. Maybe he was a unregenerate sinner though and Jesus didn't really "love" love him.. He just really like him.. "
    ==========
    I have no idea what you were trying to get accross here. And how is it that you think Lazarus was not a disciple? Hmmm.
    ============
    "Maybe that "very few" people comment can be repealed?

    You said This is all GES mantra. Where has MacArthur or Mark Pierson been shown to preach a "works based message"? and Your mischaracterizations are astonishing. Does the GES spoon-feed yop people this stuff?

    "Do you have any idea who you're talking to?"
    Yup, GES defecters. Hodges planted the seeds, Wilkin watered, and Grace alliance took it from there.
    =============
    " Not that I, or anyone here is anyone special.. but if you knew how far removed we all are from the GES you would see the true "absurdity" of your accusations."
    =======
    see my answer above.
    ===========
    "God does command repentance. But of course He commands Biblical repentance not repentance in accordance with your chosen "scholars"."
    ===============
    Deny self, take up the cross and follow Him. Mark 8:34-38. You have not satisfactorily solved your dilema of separating the call to discipleship from the call to salvation. Even Ryrie's comments, shared above indicate that he thought that eternsl life or a Christless eternity lay in the balances here. It all comes down to results whether one is saved or no. Laying down of one's life is the fruit of having been redeemed.
    ============
    "finally you answer the question asked of you."
    ============
    Been doing that all along.
    =============
    "Let us join in asking Mark, since he is vehement about his agreement with John MacArthur, to show us where in Scripture an unsaved person is told they must "submit to the Lordship of Christ" and where in Scripture a "promise of obedience" and "forsaking of sin" and a "absolute love of Christ" is required of an UNSAVED person in order that God will save a them."
    ===============
    Acts 26:18-20; Mark 8:34-38.

    Acts 26:18-20 - Cool Paul preached the Gospel to the Gentiles! Yet without demanding "submission" "obedience" "forsaking sin" and "absolute love"."
    ==========
    "submission" "obedience" "forsaking sin" and "absolute love"."
    Um, that would be the "works befitting repentance". FGT blindness strikes again.
    ============
    "No he said he preached the Gospel that they should "repent" "turn to God" and "do works fitting repentance" Isn't that interesting. They need to repent, then "turn to God" and then do the works of a believer."
    ============
    Yup, because God has wrought the wonderful benefits of regeneration in them.
    ============
    "Funny how Paul doesn't say he preached to them all that they should "promise to submit, be loyal, forsake sin, and profess absolute love for Christ"
    =========
    That would be covered in repentance, which is a gift of God.
    ==========
    " so that they could be saved,"
    ===========
    Look at Acts 26:18 again. The forgiveness of sins comes after their having been turned from darkness to light, from the powerm of Satan to God.
    =========
    " and then that they were to be "tested" by their works."
    ------
    Abraham's faith was tested. In Gen. 15:6 he believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. In Gen. 22:1-12 that very justifying faith was put to the test.
    ==============
    "Great selection of Scripture. It doesn't help your cause but I like it none the less. :)"
    ===========
    Thank you! :)
    ============
    "Now Mark 8:34-38 is classic John MacArthur stuff!

    Isn't it neat that Jesus is not preaching the Gospel to them? If He were would it make sense to reference it in the statement He is making? but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it."
    =========
    Look closely at Mark 8:34 "When He called the people to Himself, with His disciples also". There were there many hearing Christ for the first time. Following Him is the sign of one's justifying faith.

    Question: If you were in a remote part of the world amongst the lost, and all you had was the Gospel of Mark, would you be able to lead somebody to Christ from it?
    =============
    "The Lord also asks Additionists a serious question in this section Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Indeed, what CAN a man give in exchange for his soul? An offer of obedience? A promise of fruitfulness? A bended knee?"
    ===========
    Coming to Christ is the only way of salvation. What that justifying faith looks like is found in a bended knee, obedience and fruitfulness. The Bible knows of no other definition of faith. See the whole 11th chapter of Hebrews.
    ===========
    "Frankly if this is a call to Eternal Salvation then there must be a promise involved. Oh! And there IS a promise!

    For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

    But check it out.. there's something wrong here if this is the Gospel.

    Who ever "looses his life for Christ's sake and the Gospel's will save it"

    Who is doing the saving here? Oops! Man centered Gospel central if THIS section is preaching how one must be saved."
    ==========
    Nope, these are all signs one has been redeemed.
    ========
    "And how does one "save" their own self? They "loose their life" for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. They must be martyred! How are YOU doing with that one?"
    =========
    This all falls into the way a redeemed life looks like. With the new desires to please God one goes on, however faltingly, to die daily with Christ as one's life. Christ here is describing the life-style of the truely redeemed; one made possible by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
    =============
    "Think Christ might be talking about Discipleship here? About "following" Christ into a life that would be taken from them? This flows right into Mark 9 which is the Transfiguration experience. And that starts with the continuation of the teaching that the Lord was giving. 1 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

    Just a thought.. but since the Lord doesn't say this is how you gain Eternal Life.. and because the promise isn't about God saving the Disciple.. and because it CLEARLY denotes works as a condition for being saved.."
    =============
    Discipleship flows from the salvation experience. Regeneration results in Christ-likeness, doing works is a natural, outflow of the truely redeemed life. The rewards a God's rewarding those whom He has enabled and led to life's of service. It is a grace upon grace concept. God is essentially rewarding the work that He has done through the individual.
    ===========
    " and because the Lord references the Gospel as a different subject in this statement... I'm GUESSING that THIS is not the Gospel according to Jesus.

    Any more parts of the Bible that demand those things listed above in order for a Sinner to be saved by God?"
    ============
    Acts 26:18-20; Mark 8:34-38.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Mark,

    You said: "Only in the minds of those influenced by the Chafer strands of Dispensationalism of which FGT is a part. How much history is behind the idea that James 2:14-20 is speaking about genuine believers? In other words, on a time-line coming forth from the Reformation, where on that time-line does your take on James 2:14-20 originate?"

    Your argument from history while interesting is irrelevant to the real question of "What do the Scriptures say?" (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 4:30). "Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar" (Rom. 3:4).

    Furthermore, if I understood another comment of yours correctly, you are under the impression that Chafer & co. coined the label "carnal Christian"! The patent problem with your misunderstanding, of course, is that long before Chafer the apostle Paul used the word carnal (sarkinois, sarkikoi) to describe the worldly Corinthian Christians (1 Cor. 3:1,3).

    It seems you are sidestepping the Scriptural arguments of the debate. Please begin to deal with the Scriptural texts set forth.

    JP

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  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Mark,

    For you convenience I will repeat my previous comment as well:

    "I agree with Liam. Furthermore, as Liam pointed out, the epistle of James is not only delivered to Christian 'brethren' (Jms. 1:2), but is also describing Christian "brethren", even in James chapter 2 (cf. Jms. 2:14) and James chapter 4 (cf. Jms. 4:1, 4:5, 4:11)."

    JP

    ReplyDelete
  57. I could not agree more with JP's comments. It has been said that, "The only thing we learn from church history is that we do not learn anything." I think that assertion rings loud with truth. Many of the church fathers held to allegorist hermeneutics, infant baptism, etc.. Spiritualizing the text has long been held as the correct way to interpret Scripture. This is an erroneous method of interpretation and has led to much false theology. It has long been held in church history that Israel has been replaced by the Church. Does a view mean it is correct based on historical theology or theology derived from exegesis?

    Free Grace theology is a minority position in evangelicalism. This we would acknowledge. And so is our position on James 2.

    This proves nothing. In fact, we can study history and find that the majority has been wrong in many instances. Majority does not mean right.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Jonathan says,"Your argument from history while interesting is irrelevant to the real question of "What do the Scriptures say?"
    =========
    Being in a minority position means one must stand against the tide. You are doing that - but not well. You can interview most main line Calvinists who read your position papers written to refute the DoG and ask them if there is any accurate understanding of the opposing view in your work. They would to a man say a loud "NO". Throughout the post here and the meta I have not seen one accurate presentation of what it is that Calvinists believe. I see straw men errected and then knocked down. Meanwhile my position goes untouched.
    ==========
    " Furthermore, if I understood another comment of yours correctly, you are under the impression that Chafer & co. coined the label "carnal Christian"!"
    ==========
    Wrong! I credit Chafer for perhaps popularizing, if not creating, the concept that the "carnal Christian is a static state. A point Warfield refuted him for doing. The regeneration experience brings new desires, desires that will lead one back to God after a bout with sin; much like David after his sin with Uriah's wife. He literally wasted away for the better part of a year before he finally burst forth with his confession when Nathan confronted him. Such will be the case with a truely regenerate person, as David was.
    ==========
    " The patent problem with your misunderstanding, of course, is that long before Chafer the apostle Paul used the word carnal (sarkinois, sarkikoi) to describe the worldly Corinthian Christians (1 Cor. 3:1,3)."
    ========
    Yes, to describe a state that he expected them to grow out of.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  59. Liam says, " Many of the church fathers held to allegorist hermeneutics, infant baptism, etc.. Spiritualizing the text has long been held as the correct way to interpret Scripture. This is an erroneous method of interpretation and has led to much false theology."
    ==========
    How much of the evangelical community would agree with you here? The larger portion of those who agree would be comprised of Classic Dispensationalists. Even Blaising and Bock, dispy's themselves, lean closer to Cov. Theology conclussions than they do the Classic Dispy's. The erroneous view is the one that does not acknowledge that Christ is now reigning, His Kingdom now is the period of Grace, but He will come and the Kingdom will be one of power and of judgement. Why the message of repentance? Because He will have His subjcts obey Him NOW through the power of the Holy Spirit.
    =========
    " It has long been held in church history that Israel has been replaced by the Church. Does a view mean it is correct based on historical theology or theology derived from exegesis?"
    =======
    Exegesis - using what hermeneutic? You judge MacArthur using your hermeneutic. Of course he will come up short in your eyes. Remember though, you'll come up short in the eyes of those holding to Progressive Dispensationalism as well as those who hold to Covenant Theology or New Coventnat Theology. All three of those hold to at least a now and not yet Kingdom of Christ (PD'S) or the Kingdom in grace now, and power and judgement later.
    ================
    "Free Grace theology is a minority position in evangelicalism. This we would acknowledge. And so is our position on James 2.

    This proves nothing. In fact, we can study history and find that the majority has been wrong in many instances. Majority does not mean right."
    =============
    Doesn't mean your right either. You have a lot to prove. Just try to do it while truely understanding and addressing your opponent's position.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  60. Jason and Kevl,
    I do not understand your point in your comment about my comment on Romans. My point was simply that Paul in this epistle written to believers discussed quite thoroughly the characteristics of unbelievers. He gives the bad news (man’s universal sin) and the good news of the gospel of justification by faith alone. He touches on the indwelling spirit in believers along with sovereign election in chapters 8 & 9.

    You must remember that by definition Calvinism precludes works justification. If works are included in any way, you are no longer talking about sovereign unconditional election. THIS IS TRUE FREE GRACE. If anyone asserts any kind of lordship justification, they are not a Calvinist. To believe and assert that the power of God through regeneration and the indwelling Spirit will CAUSE a believer to be sanctified by acts of obedience due to his changed nature IS NOT ADDING WORKS TO JUSTIFICATION! It is what the Bible teaches over and over again. I am not going to discuss or defend MacArthur, but I will defend this principle.

    James in James 2:14 is warning that everybody who CLAIMS to have faith, but does not show any obedience in sanctification and discipleship are deluding themselves. The key word is “claim”.

    Kevl, I did not comment on your post. I commented on a comment you made on this thread that seemed to be making the point that since James was written to believers everyone he describes are believers. Maybe you did not make your meaning clear enough! At any rate I do not appreciate your derogatory remark about a post at your site that I did not comment on and yet you assumed that I should have read it.

    Your habit of calling Mark and Calvinists additionists is laughable. If you are of the Zane Hodges FGT school of theology, it is more than laughable, it is hilarious. I certainly agree with Lou on that.......

    ReplyDelete
  61. Jason, my email does not work when I try to email anybody not already in my address book. If you would could you go over to my profile page and send me an email? that way you'll be on my address book and we'll then be able to speak by email.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  62. Mark:

    You wrote, “The whole idea of a ‘carnal Christian’ is of Chaferian origens…

    MacArthur and Chantry believe that the “carnal” Christian is an invention of modern day theologians.

    I am going to indentify for you and my guests the true originator of the “carnal” Christian.

    And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ…For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Cor. 3:1, 3).

    The Apostle Paul, speaking by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is the originator of the “carnal” Christian.

    In the light of 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, it is hard to believe that the ‘carnal Christian’ is an invention of modern-day evangelicals. The Apostle Paul addresses the ‘brethren’ at Corinth. The ‘brethren’ are believers, and Paul calls them ‘carnal.’ Not every believer in the church at Corinth was carnal, but certainly there were enough ‘carnal’ Christians to warrant the stern rebukes from the Apostle Paul in his first epistle to them.” (In Defense of the Gospel, p. 91.)


    LM

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  63. Jason:

    I appreciate your concern, but MacArthur & Spurgeon have made helpful contrbutions in some areas, which one should be willing to acknowledge. My acknowedgemst of that does and will in no way ever cause me to give MacArthur’s LS interpretation of the Gospel a pass.

    I will continue to contend for the faith against the heresy of Lordship Salvation as earnestly as I will against the Crossless gospel. Both are false gospels: LS by addition; Crossless by subtraction.

    As for Hodges and Wilkin, I have, but only sparingly expressed appreciation for some of the earlier contributions to the Lordship debate. You wrote that I, “ no longer consider them to be accurate sources on anything due to their erroneous understanding of the gospel.” That is overstating the case, but I take no offense. If I were to use that phrase I would mean to use it in the context of soteriology and some related doctrines.

    You wrote, “I feel that this division amongst those of us who fight for the true Gospel, which is faith ALONE in Christ ALONE, is not good for the eternal Kingdom of God. I pray that the two sides can one day sort the differences out and come to a biblical, Holy-Spirit lead agreement.

    This thread is not the place for that discussn, but I will say this much: The GES does not hold to “the true Gospel.” They do not “fight for the true Gospel. They have, by the leadership of Hodges have fallen into gross error. There is no way there can be fellowship and cooperation along side the teachers of the Crossless/Deityless heresy of the GES and be right wth God’s mandates to mark, avoid and withdaw from such (Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15).

    Incidentally, the Crossless gospel advoactes spurned a chance to meet for the purpose of coming to some kind of resolution. The FGA scheduled and sponsored an academic round table that would have been a private meeting for men on both sides to sit down and work through the doctrnal difference. Hodges, Wilkin, Stephen Lewis and Jim Johnson were invited and all refused to participate.

    Anyway, I do appreciate your concern for the issues you raised.

    Kind regards,


    LM

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  64. Jazzy:

    You wrote, "Your habit of calling Mark and Calvinists additionists is laughable. If you are of the Zane Hodges FGT school of theology, it is more than laughable, it is hilarious. I certainly agree with Lou on that...."

    None of my regular contributors hold any agreement with the Hodges, Wilkin, GES "Crossless" interpretation of the Gospel.


    LM

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  65. "MacArthur and Chantry believe that the “carnal” Christian is an invention of modern day theologians."
    ==============
    I believe they are right. To hold to the view that carnal Christianity is a static state is to do violence to the whole biblical concept on what it means to be born from above. You and that little sect have a very low view of regeneration.

    My thoughts.

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  66. Mark:

    This needs repeating.

    I am going to identify for you and my guests the true originator of the “carnal” Christian.



    And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes IN CHRIST…For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Cor. 3:1, 3).



    The Apostle Paul, speaking by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is the originator of the “carnal” Christian.



    Would you care to correct the Apostle Paul's understanding that there will be regenerated “carnal” Christians in the church?

    In the light of 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, it is hard to believe that the ‘carnal Christian’ is an invention of modern-day evangelicals. The Apostle Paul addresses the ‘brethren’ at Corinth. The ‘brethren’ are believers, and Paul calls them ‘carnal.’ Not every believer in the church at Corinth was carnal, but certainly there were enough ‘carnal’ Christians to warrant the stern rebukes from the Apostle Paul in his first epistle to them.” (In Defense of the Gospel, p. 91.)





    LM

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  67. Lou,

    ya know something? I never saw that verse before. Wow! Mine eyes have now been opened. Thanks, Lou. Let me now get MacArthur to come over to see that verse for the first time too.

    This bears repeating: That verse by no means is introducing Christians to the concept of a static state of carnality. It is a state to be grown out of.

    Question: Outside of those influenced by Chafer, who would agree with your take on carnal Christianity? That is, outside that little sect that you and the "Alliance" are a part of, along with the GES - how many would agree? (Oh, I forgot, y'all have the IFB churches with you on this. Hmmm - Yeah, they hold MacArthur up as one of them there "Deeper-Lifer heretic's)

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  68. Chaferian Dispensationalism holds no sway with much of the rest of Christianity. You'll have your doctrinal convictions but they are considered irrelevant to the rest of Christianity because of all the presuppostions you bring into your exegesis.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Chief among your presuppositions: a low view of regeneration - that regeneration will not necessarilly bring about conversion, leaving that to a later commital of one's life to Christ's Lordship at some later time.

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  70. Mark:

    I don’t mind if you disagree with me or any other guest at this blog, but you need to find a way to express yourself without the sarcastic tones and borderline vitriol.

    MacArthur's LS view, which calls on the lost to make commitment of performance in “exchange” for the gift of eternal life, fails the test of Scripture. This is because of the extra-biblical presuppositions LS advocates such as yourself bring to the Bible and use to either force into or extract from the plain teaching of Scripture whatever you must to bolster Lordship Savation.

    What I reject is Calvinism’s extra-biblical teaching that regenration, i.e., being born again, precedes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.


    LM

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  71. To All:

    I am going to enable comment moderation for today. That is because of the 4th of July and I want my gersts and I to enjoy the holiday with friends and family.

    I will load commenets awaiting moderation after fireworks tonight.


    LM

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  72. Lou, great article!

    Kev, your point about "brethren" in James is spot on. While the writer of the letter is James, the Author is the Holy Spirit.

    When the Holy Spirit addresses a group of believers as "brethren", He certainly does not include anyone that's lost! MacArthur's twisting of Scripture is nothing short of amazing.

    While man's view of the Church includes both saved and lost, God's does not. There is neither any concept in the New Testament of the local church having both saved and lost members. When one believed and was saved, they were then baptized and joined their local church. Only the saved can be true brethren or members either of a local church or the invisible Church that is composed of all believers.

    While some see a church as a type of social gathering where there is a mix of unbelieving and believing members, God's Word does not present this concept.

    Mark, your post indicates a confused view of repentance. For James to call believers to repentance in order that their lives may be saved should not be construed as meaning that they need salvation from hell! As Ron skillfully pointed out, James is Wisdom Scripture, and not an evangelical call for the lost to receive eternal salvation.

    The fact that some of those James addressed were "mere professors" does not mean that they were lost. If a born-again saint has no works, professing with his mouth is all he can do, until he repents and starts doing good works again. The fact that a saint devoid of works making a profession of faith does not mean that his profession of faith is untrue. Just because one is eternally saved does not guarantee a life of good works. Otherwise, getting saved would guarantee obedience. Taking this to its end, it would mean that getting saved would guarantee that we would love the Lord. We still have free moral agency after getting saved, and some saints do let their love grow cold.

    If you can see that a truly saved person can become disobedient to do good works while still maintaining their claim to be saved, then you can see that a truly saved believer can be a "mere professor", that is, merely giving lip service and not doing genuine service. His faith is therefore dead as James points out. That is, it is useless for practical Christian living which can literally preserve one's mortal life, and it is also useless for the purpose of helping the poor among the brethren. To equate dead faith with unsaved is to fail to understand these things.

    When you have some time, please read Ron Shea's excellent article on James 2 at:
    http://ClearGospel.org

    Phil

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  73. Mark, I have never been associated with the GES. I have never read a Zane Hodges book. I have consistently argued against their error for as long as I've been willing to argue (and THAT's a long time!)

    You may think that you can dismiss the Scripture I quote by accusing me of things.. but even if I was the WORST theologen ever who only quoted Zane and had never opened the Bible it wouldn't matter. The Bible still says what it says. It still completely refutes Lordship Salvation.

    Lazarus didn't forsake all and follow after Jesus. He didn't "hate his family compared to the Love he had for Jesus" He didn't drop everything of and in the World to do whatever it took to duplicate Jesus' life. Not at all.. he stayed at home with his two sisters.. and then one day he died. And Jesus who Loved him, went and rose him back to life again. Just exactly like what will happen to me if I am not first raptured.

    So Mark, as you sit here and argue and brag at my blog about how I wouldn't be able to fare so well if I wasn't on my "home turf" have you "denied yourself" and "laid down your life" to follow Jesus?

    You said "submission" "obedience" "forsaking sin" and "absolute love"."
    Um, that would be the "works befitting repentance". FGT blindness strikes again.


    So the works that Paul said believers OUGHT to do after they are saved are the requirements you're talking about must be done in order for someone to be saved?

    In all seriousness are you not understanding the question?

    You said "Funny how Paul doesn't say he preached to them all that they should "promise to submit, be loyal, forsake sin, and profess absolute love for Christ"
    =========
    That would be covered in repentance, which is a gift of God.


    Can you show ANYWHERE in Scripture where Repent (metanoeo) means "submission"?

    You asked

    Question: If you were in a remote part of the world amongst the lost, and all you had was the Gospel of Mark, would you be able to lead somebody to Christ from it?


    I have the Word of God written in my heart and would surely not rely on only the testimony of Mark to offer the Gospel to a gentile.

    You said The Bible knows of no other definition of faith.See the whole 11th chapter of Hebrews.

    I LOVE IT! I'm sorry for my sarcasm I really shouldn't be this sarcastic but I truly find it funny. Have you ever read the stories of these people? ANY ONE OF THEM couldn't possibly be a regenerate person by your standards.

    you said Nope, these are all signs one has been redeemed.

    Read what you are quoting Sir. There are conditions to be met! You must physically die for Christ and the Gospel to be saved! Again I ask, how are you doing with that? You type a lot for a dead man.

    You again said Acts 26:18-20; Mark 8:34-38.

    See my post above. Already showed these do not require a person to be submissive to be Eternally Saved by God.

    Any other Scripture you think might support your case?

    Kev

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  74. Mark:

    Once again: "It seems you are sidestepping the Scriptural arguments of the debate. Please begin to deal with the Scriptural texts set forth.

    Please deal with the Scriptural texts (i.e. 1 Cor. 3, 1 Cor. 11:30-33; Jms. 4) from the Scriptures. Maybe you are not concerned with that, but we are. As Dr. Larson has said, "Your systematic theology is triumphing over your Biblical theology."

    Since you admit that there are Christians who are "still carnal", how long can a Christian stay carnal in your understanding? How do you explain the "sin unto death" for Christian "brethren" in 1 Cor. 11:30-32 and Jms. 5:19-20 (cf. 1 Jn. 5:16)? Does God only discipline spiritual Christians with physical death?

    JP

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  75. Jon:

    You wrote, “Please deal with the Scriptural texts (i.e. 1 Cor. 3, 1 Cor. 11:30-33; Jms. 4) from the Scriptures.”

    You, as many of us often have to do, encourage LS men to deal with what the Bible says.

    What we often observe is how they overlay the Scriptures with their presupposition to force the Bible into conformity with Lordship Salvation.

    Mark is providing the typical example of this practice, but there is more to learn from how he is interacting in this way. Notice how he uses terms like “repentance” and “regeneration,” but WITHOUT clearly defining his view of those terms unless and until it is drawn out for him.

    He believes repentance and faith are gifts given to the lost. He believes the lost are regenerated, i.e., born again before they ever repent toward God or express faith/belief in Jesus Christ. Pastor George Zeller has devastated these absurd teaching by showing their inconsistency with the Bible from the Bible. See The Danger of Teaching That Regeneration Precedes Faith

    For example, Zeller wrote, The Bible clearly teaches this: BELIEVE AND THOU SHALT LIVE! “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47). “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:15). The extreme Calvinist says, “LIVE AND THOU SHALT BELIEVE!” Please notice that John 1:12 does not say this: “But as many as have been regenerated, to them gave He the power to believe on His Name, even to those who have become the children of God.” Notice also that John 20:31 says, “believing ye might have life.” It does not say, “having life ye might believe.” In his helpless and hopeless condition the sinner is told to LOOK to the Lord Jesus Christ AND LIVE (John 3:14–16)! We sing the hymn “LOOK AND LIVE.” The extreme Calvinist should change the words to “LIVE AND LOOK”.

    I also dealt with this in Lordship’s (Out-of-Order) Salvation

    These extra-biblical views are the filters LS advocates force the Scriptures through to bolster their works based Lordship Salvation, and conclude that calling on the lost to make commitment to behavior is not a work. They do this because they believe they are gaining a commitment from a man who has been born-again already. The ironic part is that they will at the same time claim they are preaching an evangelistic message that must be embraced for the reception of eternal life.

    This Lordship message is absurd at the least, and a terrible travesty being forced on a great many unsuspecting believers across a broad spectrum of evangelical Christianity.


    Lou

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  76. Phillip:

    Great to have you visit once again. Glad you appreciate this article.

    I do also appreciate the good work you have done on the errors of Lordship Salvation at your blog Eternal Security Proved.


    Lou

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  77. Phillip, thanks for the kind words, but more so for your clear presentation without sarcasm.

    I should take my own advice.

    Mark I vehemently disagree with your theology and the false gospel you promote. HOWEVER it is shameful for me to poke fun at you. I am honestly sorry for my tone. I will attempt to curb it from here on out.

    Please do attempt to answer Phillip's questions, from Scripture.

    Kev

    ReplyDelete
  78. Lou,
    It is kind of amazing that the link you gave to refute regeneration before faith all but affirmed it when it said......
    though we certainly recognize that apart from God’s mercy and gracious enabling and enlightenment, saving faith could not be exercised (John 6:44,65; Matt. 11:27; 16:16–17; Acts 16:14; etc.).

    The only think left to completely affirm it is Eph. 2:4-5, John 6:37,44,65, and Romans 8:30. Please note these are not extra-biblical references.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Jazzy:

    I’m sorry, but you are mistaken. The writer, who I interact with, references the convicting and convincing work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-ff.)

    When a lost man who is under that conviction and responds to the Gospel in faith, believing, he is regenerated and born into the family of God.

    The Bible does not support your interpretation of regeneration, i.e., salvation prior to and which would be apart from faith in Christ.


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  80. Lou,
    You said...
    The Bible does not support your interpretation of regeneration, i.e., salvation prior to and which would be apart from faith in Christ.

    Lou, I agree that salvation is not prior to and separate from saving faith and a major problem we are having here is restating my view in an incorrect way. Regeneration enables a sinner to willingly come to saving faith as Eph. 2:4-5, Romans 8:30, and John 6:37,44,65 indicate. My series on regeneration should be a help if anyone is really interested.....

    ReplyDelete
  81. Lou in a thread populated by repeated thoughts these are definitely worthy of repeat, and Amen.

    The writer, who I interact with, references the convicting and convincing work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-ff.)

    When a lost man who is under that conviction and responds to the Gospel in faith, believing, he is regenerated and born into the family of God.

    The Bible does not support your interpretation of regeneration, i.e., salvation prior to and which would be apart from faith in Christ.


    The whole thing is important, but the bolded portion is a statement of fact that I had never considered before. If one is saved, in order to be saved then they are saved apart from Faith.

    Kev

    ReplyDelete
  82. Jazzy:

    I stated what the obvious meaning and implication of your view, which is regeneration precedes faith. Since you believe regeneration, which is the moment in time that a lost man is born again, occurs prior to faith in Christ, you, therefore, believe that he is saved apart from personal faith in Christ.

    That is the obvious and necessary conclusion to the extra-biblical view that regeneration precedes faith.

    Regeneration before faith is putting the biblical (ordo salutis) order of salvation exactly backwards, which can only be arrived at through the presuppositions of Calvinism


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  83. Jazzy:

    I did not allow your comment that links to a blog that promotes what is in my opinion, teaching that is largely antithetical to the Scriptures.

    I do not want any my guests directed from my blog to visit a site that may cause the to stumble into the views propagated there.

    If they find it on their own I have a clear conscience, but I do not want my blog to be the pathway to them.

    This is my practice with any links to blogs that I feel are not in the best interest of my guests.


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  84. Lou,
    You have consistently misstated the doctrines of grace known as Calvinism and at the same time have commented on and used Calvinist blogs to link to your blog. If this is now to be your attitude toward me for correcting your erroneous views on Calvinism, then I will also request that you refrain from leaving comments at my blogs. You have broken our fellowship. If I were a non-Calvinist reader of your blog, I would also be insulted!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Kevl -

    "Lazarus didn't forsake all and follow after Jesus. He didn't "hate his family compared to the Love he had for Jesus" He didn't drop everything of and in the World to do whatever it took to duplicate Jesus' life. Not at all.."
    =============
    How do you know these things? You are presupposing a lot here. Paul later went on to tell the Corinthians to stay in whatever state they were in . Some of the faith are called to stay home. Who are you to assume that you know what was in Lazarus' heart, what he would or would not do for the Lord.
    ==========
    " he stayed at home with his two sisters.."
    ===========
    There were 120 in the upper room at Pentecost. Disciples one and all. Were all 120 always walking with Christ at all times? Lazarus' love for Christ is evident in all accounts. Are you questioning his love for Christ? He associated with Christ even in an area geographically where such a thing was deadly to do. Remember when Jesus first heard of Lazarus' sickness? The disciples reminded Jesus that if he were to go heal him He might end up getting stoned because of the hatred people had for Him in that region.
    ===========
    " and then one day he died. And Jesus who Loved him, went and rose him back to life again. Just exactly like what will happen to me if I am not first raptured.

    So Mark, as you sit here and argue and brag at my blog about how I wouldn't be able to fare so well if I wasn't on my "home turf" have you "denied yourself" and "laid down your life" to follow Jesus?"
    ================
    I, like other truely saved Christians, die daily - loving and doing good and praying for those who hate me. Do these things save me? Nope. But then your caracature of my beliefs would say that I look at these to save me.

    So how about you? Have you "denied yourself" and "laid down your life" to follow Jesus?"
    ================
    "You said "submission" "obedience" "forsaking sin" and "absolute love"."
    Um, that would be the "works befitting repentance". FGT blindness strikes again.

    So the works that Paul said believers OUGHT to do after they are saved are the requirements you're talking about must be done in order for someone to be saved?"
    ================
    No. The life-style expressed therein is what Jesus purchased in His sacrifice. His blood was shed and brought in the New Covenant. Contained within that New Covenant is the infilling/indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Ezek. 36:27. The Holy Spirit, Whom the Son sent from the Father, moves a person to walk in Jesus' ways. Since Jesus' death and resurection secured such things the message of repentance is a call for one to walk in that New Covenant experience. At the point of repentance one is forsaking self and taking up with Jesus.
    =============
    "In all seriousness are you not understanding the question?

    You said "Funny how Paul doesn't say he preached to them all that they should "promise to submit, be loyal, forsake sin, and profess absolute love for Christ"
    =========
    That would be covered in repentance, which is a gift of God.

    Can you show ANYWHERE in Scripture where Repent (metanoeo) means "submission"?"
    =============
    See my answer to you in the above
    ===========
    "You asked

    Question: If you were in a remote part of the world amongst the lost, and all you had was the Gospel of Mark, would you be able to lead somebody to Christ from it?

    I have the Word of God written in my heart and would surely not rely on only the testimony of Mark to offer the Gospel to a gentile."
    ===============
    So you could not lead somebody to Christ from the Gospel of Mark. Thanks for answering my question
    ===============
    "You said The Bible knows of no other definition of faith.See the whole 11th chapter of Hebrews.

    I LOVE IT! I'm sorry for my sarcasm I really shouldn't be this sarcastic but I truly find it funny. Have you ever read the stories of these people? ANY ONE OF THEM couldn't possibly be a regenerate person by your standards.'
    ============
    I asked you to deal with that 11th chapter. Presented there is how God saw those people - people who followed Him, though faltily, as you and I do now. Is your walk superior to theirs? Mine isn't. Nor were the people in Acts. The flesh still gets in the way, Gal. 5:17.
    ==============
    "you said Nope, these are all signs one has been redeemed.

    Read what you are quoting Sir. There are conditions to be met! You must physically die for Christ and the Gospel to be saved! Again I ask, how are you doing with that? You type a lot for a dead man."
    ===========
    Playing with my responses, are you? Paul said he died daily. Laying one's life down doesn't always mean one will be martred. John, though once boiled in oil - so says tradition - died of natural causes.
    ==============
    Acts 26:18-20; Mark 8:34-38.


    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  86. Jonathan says -

    "Please deal with the Scriptural texts (i.e. 1 Cor. 3,
    ===========
    "babes in Christ", fed with..."milk", behaving like mere men... Paul was rebuking , correcting, intructing in righteousness these inmature saints. He expected them to grow on. You'll also note that in his 2nd letter to themthat he refered to them as epistles of Christ, written by the Spirit, read by men. Later still he asked them to examine themselves to see if they be in the faith. He did this to vindicate his own apostlship. If they found evidence of salvation in their own lives - something he expected they would - then his apostleship is proved. Their carnal state was an infancy state, not a static state. The scripture nowhere presents it as such. That is Chaferiam theology; and it is YOU, sir, who is approaching this whole thing with dispensational assumptions.
    ===========
    "1 Cor. 11:30-33; James 4"
    ==========
    I personally,admittedly beyond MacArthur here, believe these to be mere professors and not true Christians. Sorry, I can't see Spirit indwelt people carrying on this way in the Lord's house.
    ========
    "Your systematic theology is triumphing over your Biblical theology."
    ===========
    Actually, I appeal to the "Anology of Faith" - scripture interprets scripture, all of which written by the Holy Spirit, having all the sames ends in His Mind, His thoughts all heading in the same direction, with no contradictions.
    =============
    "Since you admit that there are Christians who are "still carnal", how long can a Christian stay carnal in your understanding?"
    ==========
    Compared to Christ we are all still carnal. Each and every Christian is at varying degrees of spiritual growth. Carnality is not a static state. All go through it. Again, compared to Christ, do we ever really emerge from it on this side of the grave?
    ============
    " How do you explain the "sin unto death"
    ===========
    Again, different than MacArthur, I believe the sin unto death is commited by a false professor.
    =========
    " for Christian "brethren" in 1 Cor. 11:30-32 and Jms. 5:19-20 (cf. 1 Jn. 5:16)? Does God only discipline spiritual Christians with physical death?"
    ============
    Again, if we look at Matthew 13:36-43, it is evident that within Christ's kingdom there are "tares", "things that offend","those that practice lawlessness". Christ's kingdom, as it exists now, is filled with the bad as well as the good. The bad often give evidence of their badness within the visible kingdom as it exists now.

    ReplyDelete
  87. What would Luke 15:7 mean if regeneration happened before Salvation?

    I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

    For if a man must be regenerated to be able to repent then no sinner ever has or ever will repent.

    Kev

    ReplyDelete
  88. Lou:

    Charles Trumbull makes a statement that relates to Lordship Salvation. Trumbull states:

    "The most dangerous heresy of today is the emphasis that is being made, within the church itself and by Christian leaders and teachers and ministers, upon activity as Christianity; upon service as salvation." (Trumbull, What is the Gospel?, 16.)

    JP

    ReplyDelete
  89. Jazzy:

    First of all the extra-biblical results of Calvinism, regeneration before faith for example, which you admittedly hold to, is not being mischaracterized. Your Calvinist views, that you introduced in an attempt to justify MacArthur’s works based LS teaching, have been accurately articulated by myself, Kevl, Jon P and hundreds of far better scholars than I for centuries.

    You believe regeneration precedes faith. You would agree that regeneration is that moment in time when a lost soul is born into the family of God. You believe the event of regeneration precedes personal faith in Christ. You, therefore, believe that a lost man is born into the family of God apart from and prior to personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what your view boils down to- EXACTLY!

    There is no answer that can blunt or side step this disturbing implication of your extra-biblical views.

    The problem you are having is that your presuppositions and redefinitions of Scripture will never validate the disturbing implications of Calvinistic theology. To support the circle-logic of five point Calvinism you have to force into or extract from the Bible theories and extra-biblical assumptions.


    LM

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  90. Jazzy:

    Second, I will, of course, respect your wishes that I not post comments at your blog.

    Incidentally, since early in the year I had one specific goal behind my frequent visits to and comments at your blog(s). Your blog(s) were needed to accomplish that goal, and those blogs worked out better than I had expected.

    That goal had been accomplished to my satisfcation over a month ago. You may have noticed that my posting tailed off quite a bit in recent days.

    There is no longer a compelling need for me to use your blog any further.


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  91. Mark you dance a lot for someone so sure he's on secure footing.

    The Lord talked of dying physically there. Not Paul's "dying to self" any one reading this can see that clearly. But in Calvinism I see that often the words don't mean what they mean, the context doesn't matter, they mean what they "must" mean in order that Calvinism isn't violated.

    I don't question Lazarus' love for Jesus but I'm sure you would.

    I'm not sure what the question of whether I could lead someone to Christ using Mark's testimony has to do with the subject. You are playing games. I can't imagine wanting to restrict myself to a single portion of the Word. I can see why the Additionist might though. With no other Scripture to interpret the Scriptures penned by Mark it can mean whatever you want it to right?



    Kev

    ReplyDelete
  92. JP:

    You shared this comment from Trumbull,

    The most dangerous heresy of today is the emphasis that is being made, within the church itself and by Christian leaders and teachers and ministers, upon activity as Christianity; upon service as salvation.” (What is the Gospel?, 16.)

    IMO, what makes it the most dangerous is two-fold:

    1) LS is being introduced into Bible believing circles from born again pastors and teachers. It is an error being introduced into the church from within church ranks.

    2) The prime instigators are highly respected and trusted. Many do not and would not believe that men like John MacArthur are teaching a works based message.


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  93. Kevl,

    "whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me"

    Are you suggesting every believer shall be martyred? The denying of self is the daily obedience to Christ, going against our natural desires, laying them down to walk in Jesus' footsteps. We give up comforts to spred the Kingdom, showing the world the life of Christ that is within.

    Verse 35 indicates that martyrdom can and shall happen to some. Even Ryrie acknowledges that this verse is an indicator of whether or not one truely has eternal life. The proof is in the pudding. One who loses his life for Christ shows that the Spirit has done a life transforming work within.

    Note in verse 34 and 35 the word "desires". In one place, 34, the desire is to come after Christ. I maintain THAT to be a desire that is there due to the regenerating influences of the Spirit. In verse 35 the desire is to save one's life - a desire originating from the natural flesh - and does not reflect true spiritual life.

    Do you, Kevl, agree with Ryrie's comments on Mark 8:35, found in his Study Bible?

    ReplyDelete
  94. From the RYRIE STUDY BIBLE, page 1499, notes on Mark 8:35 -

    The verse means this: Whoever would save his life (by renouncing the gospel and thus avoiding the risk of martyrdom) will lose it (eternally, because he has not believed the gospel);but whoever is willing to lose his life (as a martyr for Christ) will save it (i.e., will prove that he is a follower of Christ and an heir ofm eternal life).

    ReplyDelete
  95. Mark, you asked

    Are you suggesting every believer shall be martyred?

    You make it very hard for someone conversing with you to be graceful towards you. You apparently hold that Mark 8:34-38 is some sort of Gospel presentation. You've indicated numerous times that you think these are the "conditions" one must meet to be saved.

    I have continued to vehemently disagree with you on this point. It is you, not I, that suggests that one must be martyred in order to be saved. For if the Lord is laying out the conditions for salvation then clearly He says that one must be killed for His sake and that of the Gospel in order to be saved. This is YOUR exegesis, not mine.

    You said The denying of self is the daily obedience to Christ, going against our natural desires, laying them down to walk in Jesus' footsteps. We give up comforts to spred the Kingdom, showing the world the life of Christ that is within.

    So you obey and so show Christ's life in you?

    This is not what the Apostle Paul wrote. He wrote that dying to one's self was just that.. a death of self will. We don't "will to do good" we let our will die. For he says clearly in Galatians 5:16 that if we walk in the Spirit that we will in no way fulfill the lusts of the Flesh.

    Paul tells us that our will and the will of the Spirit are at war so that we will not do the things we want. In the middle of the greatest dictation of the highest Christian freedom Romans 8, Paul says that though we are dead in sin we the Spirit makes us alive.

    I do not "try" or "intend" to obey the Lord. I let myself die, and He lives. It's not obedience, it is new life. For I know in my flesh dwells no good thing.

    Note in verse 34 and 35 the word "desires".

    He who desires to come after Him. Yup that's what it says. But it also says "he who loses his life" not "he who desires to loose his life" or "he who is willing to loose his life" or "he who is willing to say that he's willing to loose his life." The Scripture says "he who looses his life." Plainly.

    In one place, 34, the desire is to come after Christ. I maintain THAT to be a desire that is there due to the regenerating influences of the Spirit. In verse 35 the desire is to save one's life - a desire originating from the natural flesh - and does not reflect true spiritual life.

    You're actually correct in these words, I think - unless I have misjudged what you mean by them. The only person who will desire to follow after Christ is a regenerated person. And that desire IS grown in a Believer (ETERNALLY SAVED Person) through the progressive work of the Holy Spirit - Heb 12.

    Do you, Kevl, agree with Ryrie's comments on Mark 8:35, found in his Study Bible?

    No I do not.

    Mark, please define Repentance, in the most accurate terms possible.

    Kev

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  96. Mark, you responded to me by saying:

    "1 Cor. 11:30-33; James 4, I personally,admittedly beyond MacArthur here, believe these to be mere professors and not true Christians. Sorry, I can't see Spirit indwelt people carrying on this way in the Lord's house.

    How do you explain the sin unto death? Again, different than MacArthur, I believe the sin unto death is commited by a false professor."


    Mark, you are invalidating the Word of God for the sake of your traditions (cf. Mt. 15:3, 6). The word of God says "brethren" (1 Cor. 11:30-33; Jms. 5:19-20), you say "not brethren". The word of God says "not...condemned along with the world" (1 Cor. 11:32), you say "condemned along with the world".

    JP

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  97. Jon:

    What you are dealing with is the tendency of these men in Reformed circles to force the Scriptures into conformity with their Calvinistic presuppositions.

    They just can’t let the Bible says what is says without adding and/or overlaying the Scriptures with the trappings and circle logic of five point Calvinism.

    The Book of James is addresssed to “Brethren,” but that does not stop MacArthur from reinventing the message of James to believers into a message that is supposed to be the “invitation to salvation,” the saving message to the lost.


    Lou

    ReplyDelete
  98. JP, Lou, Good Morning and God Bless You! I hope you're both enjoying sweet fellowship today. I'll be back in my local assembly after having been away next week. It's going to be NICE!!

    I woke this morning with this exact subject on my mind. This addressing and referencing the Brethren on these topics by the Apostle.

    For the sake of discussion let's assume that Mark is correct and that these tough sections of Scripture are written to both the saved and the unsaved. (go with me)

    We, us three and the other men who share our views, can easily agree that unsaved people behave much like the Apostle describes and have no issue with him calling them unsaved.

    However, since even in the loosest interpretation of the the Apostle's intent of using the term "Brethren" he must be at least including the saved people fellowshipping in the assembly then can we reconcile what the Apostle says with saved people? I know that we three are settled in our minds on what the topic is. But let's abandon our view for just a moment and look at the Lordship Salvation view. Can a LS Proponent actually apply these verses to a saved person consistently?

    Since these verses are used to "identify" false Brethren I do not see how it is possible to consistently apply these teachings to a saved person and an unsaved person. There is no "if" in the language used in any of these portions of Scripture. The language is "inclusive" and so must, if we use the LS interpretation of the Apostles intent, include both saved and unsaved persons. Since these Scriptures invalidate the supposed salvation of "false converts" then it is impossible to see saved people fitting in them.

    I hope I'm clear. The point is this. Even if the LS position on the term "Brethren" is correct, the doctrine could not possibly be correct because it is "self invalidating." You simply can not call saved people damned sinners.

    I'm willing to discuss this further if it seems unclear to anyone.

    Peace and Joy in the Lord!
    Kev

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  99. Kevl,

    Metanoeo - denoting change of place or condition...Theologically, it involves regret or sorrow, accompanied by a true change of heart towards God.

    (II) In a religious sense implying pious sorrow for unbelief and sin and a turning from them unto God and the gospel of Christ...

    Poverty of spirit, sorrow for sin, meekness, and hunger and thirst for righteousness are all characteristics of the soul that is turning to God from sin.

    From THE COMPLETE WORD STUDY DICTIONARY - NEW TESTAMENT,pages 969-970, Spiros Zodhiates

    Kevl, you mentioned earlier something about my not being on sure ground, what with all the "dancing" I'm doing. Let's see... How many comments have I left on this thread, one hostile to my position, versus how many comments you've left on my blog.

    Mark

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  100. JP,

    You mention my traditions as driving my theology (laughter)... I find the same with you in regards to Matthew 10:33 and 2 Timothy 2:12b-13. No apostate will be among the redeemed. Check William MacDonald's single volume commentary on that.

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  101. Oh, and JP,
    When people get sick and die for not properly discerning the Lord's body don't you think that would spur the true believers to have pause, take account of things, acknowledge the Lord's severity, and repent of wrong-doing?

    ReplyDelete
  102. Mark,

    That's an interesting definition of metanoia but I asked for you to show me from the Scriptures not from man's book.

    metanoia means a change of mind. That is the definition of the word, plane and simple.

    There is sorrow that leads to repentance, this is true. But God's goodness leads to repentance as well.

    You define repentance to include sorrow, but would you apply the same hermeneutic to have repentance include God's goodness? Oh I'm sure you could twist it in there somehow.. will be interesting to see I'm sure.

    As for posting at your blog. I thanked you for the invite. I do not feel led to post there, so I will not. How can one preach unless they are sent? I could go in my pride, knowing full well that arguments from Scripture trump all arguments of men (let every man be a liar and God be true). I could do that.. I'm sure I would feel great about it. But if it's not of God then why would I do it?

    I have nothing to prove. I do not need to "conquer you on your own soil." My definition of dancing is not posting friend. You twist words and jump around topics as though you were writing to the beat of a local club DJ's music. The weight of Truth is not in your argument.

    What must a man do to be saved? Tell me, one who you have personally called a heretic, what must one such as myself do to be saved?

    Kev

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  103. Kevl,

    "metanoia means a change of mind. That is the definition of the word, plane and simple."
    ===========
    And so where did you get that definition? A book? Just like I got mine? If you claim you got it from studying Greek for yourself, well, did you use books to do that?

    I'm curious, how did Romans 2:4 come into the discussion? Yes, God's goodness leads one to repentance. Where have I said something contrary? I've never denied such a thing.

    As far as you asking my definition of repentance from the scriptures: I see Matthew 5:3-12 as a great picture of the heart, once the slave of sin, now a new creature - fully repented from the former natural way it once knew. And all this intiated by God.

    Also in Acts 26:18-20 - another great picture of repentance, and that, paid for by Christ at the cross - opened eyes, turned from darkness to light, from the power of satan to God, and the forgivness of sins... All paid for at the cross and rightly demanded by Christ through the preached message of repentance. And, again, this is all intiated by God.

    Yes, Kevl, repentance is a position change, and one to be realized in the life of the believer.

    The message? Jesus Christ died for our sins, He was buried, He rose again the third day, and has commanded that men repent and believe the gospel - that the message of repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ be believed.

    As far as conquering me... it's all in your mind. Any Reformed person would view this discussion quite differently than you do.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Mark:

    In the New Testament metanoia (metanoia, repentance) expresses the root meaning of the word “repentance,” which is a “change of mind.” The etymology of the word also brings out this idea. Regarding the prefix meta (meta), which is generally translated after.

    The root noia comes from the word nouß (nous), which means mind. The connection between meta and nous leads us to define “repentance” as “afterthought, change of mind.”

    There may be in some cases genuine emotion and sorrow, but sorrow is not always evident and it is not essential for salvation. Dr. H. A. Ironside noted,

    When some change their minds, there may be emotions—and there may not be. When people change their mind, a change of action is expected, but both of these things are results of repentance, and not the nature of repentance. Nowhere is man exhorted to feel a certain amount of sorrow for his sins in order to come to Christ.” (Except ye Repent, p. 12)


    LM

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  105. Mark:

    Kev asked you, "What must a man do to be saved? Tell me...what must one such as myself do to be saved?"

    I would appreciate a clear answer from you to that important question.


    LM

    ReplyDelete
  106. Lou,

    "When people change their mind, a change of action is expected, but both of these things are results of repentance, and not the nature of repentance."
    ==========
    I don't see where my position is refuted here. Results are expected. One hears the gospel message, is convinced by the Spirit of its truth, changes the mind, and results are seen. these changes are all wrought by God in the heart.

    I've answered Kevl's question in my above cooment. Are we playing games here?

    ReplyDelete
  107. If you're expecting me to go to Acts 16:31 "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved - you'll notice in verse 32 that the apostles spoke the word to them and in verse 33 all were baptized - discipleship (repentance) is preached right off the bat. The story DOES NOT end at verse 31. Thus the Great Commission is fulfilled here.

    ReplyDelete
  108. I'd tell a man that he is a sinner in need of the Savior. I'd tell him that he is in rebellion against God and that Christ died for the sins of man, to pay the penalty for those sins. Therefore repent from your lifestyle and believe the gospel message.

    ReplyDelete
  109. How about you? What would you tell a lost man?

    ReplyDelete
  110. So Kevl,

    In your view Mark 8:34-38 is speaking about discipleship. So are you saying that one must be martyred to be a disciple or to be sanctified. See, you've dug yourself a hole here.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Let's be clear here: The Holy Spirit accompanies His Word into the hearts of the elect. The message of repentance and remission of sins is readily received by that elect one. There are no works involved. Just simple faith in the Savior. One is immediately and eternally justified the moment one trusts the Savior.

    Mark 8:34-38 is the description of the life of the regenerate one. He is not saved because he promises to submit, obey or love. It is a surrender, surrender of a helpless one. No promises involved. Just surrender to the Savior on His terms. I couldn't promise anything at the time I came to Christ. All I could do was receive, yes, receive ALL that He purchased for me. He spilt His blood. The New Covenant was in His blood. The New Covenant blessings contained the indwelling Holy Spirit; He Who causes me to walk in His ways. Hence His demands that one repent.

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  112. You people see justification as the be-all and end-all. No. Christlikeness and glorification (both are intertwined) is the end result. You deny the necessary results of regeneration in the life of one redeemed.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Mark you said So Kevl,

    In your view Mark 8:34-38 is speaking about discipleship. So are you saying that one must be martyred to be a disciple or to be sanctified. See, you've dug yourself a hole here


    What hole have I dug? Have I said that one must be martyred to be discipled or sanctified?

    No I don't impose my views on that portion of Scripture. I let the context speak for it's self. The Lord was speaking of those willing to do what He was about to do. He was not laying out conditions for what a disciple must be. He was telling disciples what to expect if they really desired to follow Him.

    Kev

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  114. Mark you said You people see justification as the be-all and end-all. No. Christlikeness and glorification (both are intertwined) is the end result. You deny the necessary results of regeneration in the life of one redeemed.

    Mark, we see the Gospel as being pure. We do not allow the leaven man's theology to rob the Cross of it's power. We do not confuse Discipleship with Salvation.

    God the Holy Spirit will work in every believer to sanctify them. Heb 12. When Justification is seen as Justification (someone being justified) instead of the last step of the road then it is put in it's proper place.

    It is the Additionist's man centered gospel that tries to eliminate the work of the Spirit in the Believer's life. Making a person go from zero to hero in a heartbeat in order for them to be saved.

    I preach the Gospel without fear because it IS the power of God unto salvation. I need not add to the power of God, He'll do just fine without my extra effort.

    Kev

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  115. Mark you made the statement Mark 8:34-38 is the description of the life of the regenerate one. He is not saved because he promises to submit, obey or love. It is a surrender, surrender of a helpless one. No promises involved.

    But did you not tell me that Mark 8:34-35 was an example of what someone must do to be saved? I believe I asked you several times, and each time you responded with this section of Scripture.

    Kev

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  116. "Therefore repent from your lifestyle"

    A promise of good behavior from a lost man in exchange for eternal salvation. That is Lordship Salvation!


    LM

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  117. "But did you not tell me that Mark 8:34-35 was an example of what someone must do to be saved? I believe I asked you several times, and each time you responded with this section of Scripture.

    Kev"
    ======
    Mark 8:34-38 are indeed the very definition of saving faith. No one can truely say they believe if they reject anything laid out by Christ here.

    Testimony: I was saved under the preaching of the Arminian version of Lordship savation. I was told that if Christ was to be my savior that He was to be my Lord as well.

    Question - Why didn't I feel at that point that too much was being asked of me? It made perfect sense to me at that moment that my Savior was to be my Lord as well. Why didn't I regard the taking up of the cross and self denial as a stumbling block.

    So Kevl, where does Mark 8:34-38 apply to readers today? Does it have any application at all? If so, exactly how?

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  118. Lou says, "Therefore repent from your lifestyle"

    A promise of good behavior from a lost man in exchange for eternal salvation. That is Lordship Salvation!"
    =============
    The Pulpit Magazine staff more than corrected you on this back in November, 2006 at their site. Yet you persist in this game. Hmmm.

    Have fun you who preach Chaferian easy-believeism.

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  119. Mark:

    They did not and cannot correct what is demonstrably the teaching of Lordship Salvation. MacArthur wrote,

    Thus in a sense we pay the ultimate price for salvation when our sinful self is nailed to a cross. . . . It is an exchange of all that we are for all that Christ is. And it denotes implicit obedience, full surrender to the lordship of Christ. Nothing less can qualify as saving faith.” (The Gospel According to Jesus, p. 140.)

    Dr. MacArthur contradicts himself. He denounces what he says is necessary for conversion. He demands the sinner make promises for obedient Christian living in “exchange” for the free gift of God.

    Dr. MacArthur says “a full exchange of self for the Savior” is the response Jesus calls for, without which man cannot be saved. Yet he says, “We do not buy salvation by surrendering our lives.”


    LM

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  120. Representative of Lordship Salvation you wrote, “He is not saved because he promises to submit, obey or love. It is a surrender, surrender of a helpless one. No promises involved.”

    MacArthur’s LS is a message that calls on the lost to make an up-front commitment to submission, obedience…the behavior one would expect of a mature born again disciple of Christ. Faith is front-loaded with “whole-hearted commitment, forsaking, following, cross-bearing.” That is a message that is calling for a promise to perform future “good works (Eph. 2:10) and MacArthur calls this an “exchange.” That is Lordship Salvation’s “Barter” System.

    MacArthur verifies these LS upfront demands of obedience for salvation in various books he has written. For example:

    The saving faith in Jesus Christ that the New Testament teaches is much more than a simple affirmation of certain truths about Him…. Saving faith is a placing of oneself totally in submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, and it has certain indispensable elements that the New Testament clearly teaches. Saving faith in Jesus Christ involves the exercise of the will. Paul told the Roman believers, ‘Thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed’ (Rom. 6:17). Salvation begins (from the human standpoint) with a person’s willful obedience in turning from sin to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Saving faith also involves the emotions, because, as in the verse just mentioned above, it must come from the heart as well as from the mind.” (Romans, pp. 204-5, bold added)


    LM

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  121. Mark you asked Question - Why didn't I feel at that point that too much was being asked of me? It made perfect sense to me at that moment that my Savior was to be my Lord as well. Why didn't I regard the taking up of the cross and self denial as a stumbling block.

    Why didn't you feel it was too much? Because it's not. It's perfectly reasonable. It makes perfect sense to the human mind. Religions all over the world are built on how reasonable it is. The Jews consistently stumbled into it, and still do to this very day.

    The offense of the Cross is two fold. The Innocent Man was condemned and died. And, the guilty go free.

    Why didn't it seem like too much to ask? Because it wasn't. It's perfectly reasonable that Holy God would demand obedience, submission, faithfulness, fidelity, purity, and a forsaking of everything that doesn't honor Him. Perfectly reasonable.

    However reasonable it may seem to our fleshy minds, it is not righteous. The Gospel is free friend. Totally free. There is no part of the Gospel that asks or requires a man to offer anything. It is "received" or it is "rejected" there is nothing else. 1 Cor 15:1 or John 12:48; Acts 13:46 This is the truth of Scripture.

    Kev

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  122. Lou,

    from that same page -

    "Obeviously, a new believer does not fully understand all the ramifications of the lordship of Jesus at the moment of conversion. But a true believer has a desire to surrender. This is what distinguishes true faith from a bogus profession. True faith is humble, submissive obedience. As spiritual understanding unfolds, that obedience grows deeper, and the genuine believer displays an eagerness to please Christ by abandoning everything to His lordship. This willingness to surrender to divine authority is a driving force in the heart of every true child of the kingdom. It is the inevitable expression of the new nature."

    Question: In Galatians 5:19-21 we see the works of the flesh, or the x-ray view of the heart of a son of Adam. From which of these does an awareness of one's need or the desire for the Savior arise? My point in asking this question - MacArthur in that quote that I provided mentions "expressions of a new nature". We see in Matthew 5 and Acts 26 the picture of a repentant heart - that heart that is capable of responding to Christ, and the message of salvation. In your system how does a heart that is a slave to sin, not wanting to come to the light because his deeds are evil, how can that heart respond to Christ?

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  123. This is anybody's question:

    Let us say that you are preaching Christ to an individual. He interupts to inform you that he is in an adultrous affair, playing around on the wife of his youth, and has been doing so for years. Remember, you are preaching Christ to him... how does that bit of news that he just shared with you about himself affect the situation? Do you now extend the Lord's command for him to repent, or what?

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  124. Mark:

    It does not matter what is on the rest of the page because I am focusing how the lost are born again, not what should follow salvation. What I cited in MacArthur’s book Romans is the LS works-based message for salvation. There is no escaping the fact the Lordship Salvation (LS) is calling on lost men to offer their allegiance, obedience and surrender in “exchange for eternal life.

    If MacArthur would limit his calls for submission, following, obeying to the born again Christian (that is following conversion) he would find little argument from me. What he does however, is demand that the lost make a commitment to live in obedience to the Lord’s commands in “exchange” for salvation. His writing is very clear: MacArthur’s requirement for salvation, to be born again, is an upfront commitment to surrender, obedience, cross-bearing, following, etc. in “exchange” for eternal life.

    The crux of the doctrinal controversy is what MacArthur and LS advocates insist are the requirements to be born again. IMO, genuine results should follow a genuine conversion, but LS goes way beyond that with their egregious perseverance system.

    I have allowed you to run circles around the subject of this thread, which is John MacArthur’s insistence that the things found in James 4:7-10, which are meant for believers, are what the lost must commit to for the reception of eternal life. It is inevitable that these discussions touch on Calvinism, because LS is the result of Calvinistic presuppositions and extra-biblical teaching such as regeneration (conversion) before faith in Christ.

    I want to refocus the discussion on James 4:7-10. You have said that you agree with MacArthur’s view that this is an evangelistic appeal to the lost. That view if completely antithetical to the obvious meaning and audience of James’s letter.

    MacArthur, on that singe page, clearly presents what is without any question a man-centered, message that demands of the unsaved an upfront promise to do the “good works” expected of a mature disciple of Christ in “exchange” for the promise of eternal life. That screams WORKS!


    LM

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  125. I have set out in this thread to explain some of the thought process behind the LS system. At some points I differed here with MacArthur himself, going farther than even he would. At those points I admitted so doing. Now that we have come full circle it appears that it is time for me to move on.

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  126. Hi Mark,
    You said: "If you're expecting me to go to Acts 16:31 "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved - you'll notice in verse 32 that the apostles spoke the word to them and in verse 33 all were baptized - discipleship (repentance) is preached right off the bat. The story DOES NOT end at verse 31. Thus the Great Commission is fulfilled here.

    7/06/2008 2:26 PM
    mark pierson said...
    I'd tell a man that he is a sinner in need of the Savior. I'd tell him that he is in rebellion against God and that Christ died for the sins of man, to pay the penalty for those sins. Therefore repent from your lifestyle and believe the gospel message."

    So, in other words, you would evangelize differently than is taught in Acts 16? Notice in Acts, nobody is called to baptism or repentance and discipleship until after they have believed, and therefore been justified. And why are they taught about those things then? Because 1)they aren't necessary to the reception of eternal justification and 2)they aren't to be confused with the Gospel, but rather separated so that the reception of eternal life and progressive sanctification are not presented as indivisible.
    When you evangelize someone, by your admission, you call them to "repent from your lifestyle and believe the Gospel (which in your opinion, is repentance)"...Isn't this out of order? Why not call to believe and THEN teach discipleship?

    In regards to the adulterous man...I would evangelize him as Jesus did the woman at the well. Why change the model laid out for us in the book of John on how to teach someone to receive eternal life?

    Blessings,
    Jason

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  127. Jason says, "So, in other words, you would evangelize differently than is taught in Acts 16? Notice in Acts, nobody is called to baptism or repentance and discipleship until after they have believed, and therefore been justified."
    ================
    No. Acts 16:31-34 make it clear that the whole coucil of God was presented the jailor. It does not end at verse 31. It isn't until verse 34 that it is stated that he believed, not at verse 31.
    ==========
    " And why are they taught about those things then? Because 1)they aren't necessary to the reception of eternal justification and 2)they aren't to be confused with the Gospel, but rather separated so that the reception of eternal life and progressive sanctification are not presented as indivisible."
    =============
    Ah, but they ARE indivisible as Mark 8:34-38 illustrate. The dividing of the reception of eternal life and discipleship are inventions of the Chaferian brand of Dispensationalism. Before Chafer it was mostly unheard of that the call to salvation and the call to discipleship are separate.
    ===============
    "When you evangelize someone, by your admission, you call them to "repent from your lifestyle and believe the Gospel (which in your opinion, is repentance)"...Isn't this out of order? Why not call to believe and THEN teach discipleship?"
    ===========
    In Acts 20:21 we Paul would beg to differ with you.
    ==============
    "In regards to the adulterous man...I would evangelize him as Jesus did the woman at the well. Why change the model laid out for us in the book of John on how to teach someone to receive eternal life?"
    ================
    Is that THE model? Se Paul in Acts 17:30-31; 20:21; 26:18-20.

    Mark

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  128. Once again I'll quote Ryrie's notes. This time though I'll ask you to tell me if Ryrie is preaching works salvation...

    From the RYRIE STUDY BIBLE, page 1499, notes on Mark 8:35 -

    The verse means this: Whoever would save his life (by renouncing the gospel and thus avoiding the risk of martyrdom) will lose it (eternally, because he has not believed the gospel);but whoever is willing to lose his life (as a martyr for Christ) will save it (i.e., will prove that he is a follower of Christ and an heir ofm eternal life).

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  129. Mark said:

    "You mention my traditions as driving my theology (laughter)... I find the same with you in regards to Matthew 10:33 and 2 Timothy 2:12b-13. No apostate will be among the redeemed. Check William MacDonald's single volume commentary on that.

    Oh, and JP,When people get sick and die for not properly discerning the Lord's body don't you think that would spur the true believers to have pause, take account of things, acknowledge the Lord's severity, and repent of wrong-doing?"


    Mark, please stick to the discussion. We can speak of Matt. 10:33 and 2 Tim. 2:12-13 at another time. Now we are talking about the book of James and the sin unto death of Christian "brethren" (Jms. 5; cf. 1 Cor. 11).

    On this topic, your statement that a Christian's sin unto death will motivate other brethren to repentance is not the issue. We also see this as a valid possibility. But you have still admitted then that at least some carnal Christian "brethren" will finally experience the sin unto death! These Christians obviously do not "grow out of" their state of carnality in this life as your Calvinistic theology requires. Instead, these Christian "brethren" finally die in their carnal state (1 Cor. 11:30-33; Jms. 5, etc.).

    JP

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  130. Mark, you said No. Acts 16:31-34 make it clear that the whole coucil of God was presented the jailor. It does not end at verse 31. It isn't until verse 34 that it is stated that he believed, not at verse 31.

    You are closer on your exegesis of this portion of Scripture than on the others. But let's just look at the language and see what the Text says. We can worry about who has it "right" later. Just what does the Text says?

    Acts 16:30-34 (I'll include the question for reasons of showing the language. I believe leaving it out allows one to impose their own view instead of that taught by the Apostle.)

    Vs 30 He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

    This is a question seeking a direct answer.

    Vs 31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household."

    This is their reply. What must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved! Question and answer are complete.

    The story is not yet finished, but the question has been answered.

    Now the believing must be accomplished. No true Evangelist could resist such a question, it's being the very best invite!

    Vs 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.

    Then they spoke the Word of the Lord to them. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God? Isn't that what the Holy Spirit had Paul write in Rom 10:17?

    Vs 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

    You're right that the Text doesn't say the words "he believed" until verse 35. However, the Text doesn't say that he believed after the other verses happened. It simply reports his JOY because of his belief after all those things. Unless you think that the Apostle was bout baptizing sinners in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    We see that the Jailor was required to believe (pisteuo) in Jesus Christ to be saved. Question asked and answered. No "lordship salvation" was preached to this man or his family. What was preached was to bring about faith, not submission.

    The Holy Spirit works submission in the Believer.

    Clearly the Spirit's job with the World is to convict and convince of righteousness, and judgment. Not to empower sinnners to "submit unto salvation" John 16:8

    Kev





    Acts

    31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.

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  131. Kevl says,
    "Now the believing must be accomplished."
    ==========
    I say that the actual word was preached, and as you say, faith DOES come by hearing, at verse 32. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" could not stand alone. The actual evangelism took place in verse 32, and evidently discipleship was covered, discipleship and water baptism being inseparable, for he received water baptism in verse 33. Therefore, the "Now the believing must be accomplished" takes place, or is consummated, in verse 33, since faith and action are inseparable.

    Now, how about this situation: You are teaching the Lord's people a verse by verse study in the Gospel of Mark - you come to Mark 8:34-38. In a nutshell, how do those verses apply to us today?

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  132. JP says, "On this topic, your statement that a Christian's sin unto death will motivate other brethren to repentance"
    ============
    Did you read my comment carefully? Where did I say that a Christian can sin unto death. Remember, I believe that each and every congregation known since Pentecost is a mixed bag of believers and unbelievers. The whole is mostly Christian therefore they are addressed as "brethren". James is wisdom literature, yes, and is for rebuke, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness for those "brethren", those truely saved. However, and you can check MacArthur's commentary on James, as well as his single volume Bible commentary concerning that book, and his logic is irrefutable and sound - unbelievers are also served a wake-up call in Chapters 2:14-26; and in chapter 4:1-10.

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  133. Mark,

    Kevl says,
    "Now the believing must be accomplished."
    ==========
    I say that the actual word was preached, and as you say, faith DOES come by hearing, at verse 32. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" could not stand alone. The actual evangelism took place in verse 32, and evidently discipleship was covered, discipleship and water baptism being inseparable, for he received water baptism in verse 33. Therefore, the "Now the believing must be accomplished" takes place, or is consummated, in verse 33, since faith and action are inseparable.


    Mark.... you play games with Scripture and it ought not be so. Discipleship must have taken place.. they were baptized so some form of Discipleship did take place.

    No matter what you want to pre-suppose the Scripture is plain and clear. The question - what must I do to be saved? The answer - Believe.

    Discipleship is not part of the Gospel. You can not show that it is by this or any section of Scripture. What is plain here is that these who were preaching were obedient to the entire Great Commission in that they discipled these new believers.

    Now, how about this situation:

    How about we deal with the situation that this topic is about. The Gospel of Christ. That believers need to be (and the Holy Spirit has promised to just exactly that Heb 12) is not the issue nor the topic. Frankly it's a rabbit trail to lead us away from the important topic at hand... and I don't have furry feet or long ears.

    Kev

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  134. Kev:

    What we are witnessing from Mark is the tragic end result of Lordship theology. What theology MacArthur has corrupted, younger men like Mark, who self-admitted, has gone even further beyond.

    These men have been deceived, they have embraced a corrupt interpretation of the Gospel. This includes the loss of distinction between the doctrines of salvation and discipleship.

    They have come to the point that the plain teaching of Scripture on the Gospel is either no longer discernable to them, ignored, refined and/or twisted to suit the deception they have come to embrace. This is not unlike what we see in political circles in regard to the so-called Global Warming issue. There is NO global warming! The lie has been perpetuated for so long by the left wing media, many have come to believe the lie, even in the face of overwhelming empirical data to the contrary.

    These men have been intoxicated with Lordship theology and have become almost totally immune to the Word of God, which clearly is antithetical to what Lordship Salvation is. Bringing in their Calvinistic presuppositions, including the extra-biblical regeneration (born again) before faith in Christ, further ensnares them to Lordship Salvation. It is a sad thing to witness, but they have my prayers for recovery from these errors while I help unsuspecting believers to avoid falling into the trap of Lordship Legalism.

    I know this sounds rough, but I have seen this time and again from Lordship advocates. They just cannot allow themselves to believe, even for a moment, that MacArthur and LS just might have gone beyond the bonds of the biblical plan of salvation.


    LM

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  135. Dear Guests:

    John MacArthur’s interpretation of James 4:7-10 is wholly out of balance with the intent and purpose of Book of James.

    Salvation is not received through the things we read in James 4:7-10. MacArthur's "invitation to salvation" is a works message that frustrates grace and saves no one.

    This thread has been an interesting read, but I feel the time has come to close it.

    I invite you to view many of the other Lordship Salvation articles at In Defense of the Gospel.

    I also invite guests to visit Kevin's blog, On My Walk. He has just posted a new article The Power of God to Salvation, that also adddresses Lordship Salvation controversy.

    Later this month there will be new articles that address both Lordship Salvation and the Crossless gospel.

    Yours faithfully,


    LM

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  136. I live in the Netherlands and I can testify of the gracious work that God has done through this blog and through the website of the Middletown Bible Church.

    The Gospel presents Jesus Christ and Him crucified, buried and risen on the third dag. His blood is all-sufficiant for anyone's salvation. The great error of Lordship Salvation is that it fails to distinguish SALVATION and DISCIPELSHIP. It claims someone gets saved because of his COMMITMENT to Christ, but that is NOT salvation, it is discipleship. When I make a commitment in order to get saved, I can boast in something else than the work of Christ on the cross. The danger of LS is that we don't look to the blood of Christ, but that we are asking 'Do I forsake enough for the sake of Christ?' I hope it will encourage others to trust in Christ just like a little child and that there will be taken away such a great burden no one can bear.

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  137. please help me i understan the the battel lordship vs easy i am a easy beliver my self but i stop drinking and smoking and the casino life in the long run whats so bad to do good works for other and for GOD

    i think that a we all need to be as holy as we can

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    Replies
    1. Geno:

      Your question(s) is an important one. I would like to be replying from home where I could be more thorough, but my phone will have to do.

      The issue is that both Lordship Salvation and particular forms of Easy Believism are wrong. LS corrupts the gospel by addition, EB by subtraction.


      The "good works" you speak of should be the natural result of a genuine conversion to Christ. I think Eph. 2:8-10 clearly sets out the order of things.

      The problem with LS is that it conditions salvation (justification) on a commitment, an upfront promise to perform the "good works" expected of a believer to become a born again Christian. LS is commitment, surrender, submission in exchange for salvation. That is works salvation!

      Would you contact me through my email, which is indefense06@gmail.com

      Kind regards,


      LM

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  138. I've learned a lot in reading the many post. My husband and I are facing some of these same issues in our Body and are concerned about the directon our Body is going. We will continue to look into this and see where the Lord leads us. Thank you for putting the information out there.

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  139. Lou, I'm glad this article is still up 4 years later. It really helped me. I've dealt with LS on and off and had qualms about John MacArthur's take on the gospel for some time now. Thanks for pointing out the clearness of the book of James!

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  140. Dear Angela:

    Well, it is gratifying to know that you have been helped and encouraged by my efforts here. This article is an excerpt from my book In Defense of the Gospel: Biblical Answers to Lordship Salvation.

    While you’re reading be sure to take the links from this article to the others on LS. I also encourage you to share a link with your friends that may have questions and concerns about LS.

    Kind regards,


    LM

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    Replies
    1. Lou,

      Thanks for pointing some of the problems with LS. I attend a LS church and haven't made much headway in pointing out their legalism. My church announces they have commitment advisors for those considering a profession of faith. They want to make sure you promise to serve the Lord before you are acknowledged as a believer. In other words you must agree to work for the Lord before your conversion is validated. I have suggested we announce counselors are available rather than commitment advisors since a promise to serve isn't supposed to be required. I can only assume someone doesn't want to risk easy believe-ism or they think they will foster a better performance from converts. Another interesting point of LS churches is their focus on teachings of the ministers of the circumcision. Our pastor largely ignores the letters of our minister, Paul. I have been told the sheep perform better with a steady diet of legalism rather than hearing messages of grace.

      In Christ,
      Pauline

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    2. Dear Pauline:

      I appreciate knowing that there has been something here that has been helpful and encouraging to you. The LS message insists that a lost man must make an upfront commitment to behave like a born again believer to become a born again believer. That is the works based message of LS, which corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3) and frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21)


      LM

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  141. Lou, thank you for this. I've copied your text and printed it off for inclusive in my copy of JM's book.

    Next time someone of the Lordship Probation persuasion bombs me with their false gospel... I can refer to your handy print out.

    Keep up the good work.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for letting me know. I trust that is will be helpful to you.


      LM

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