August 10, 2008

Lordship’s “Turn from Sin” FOR Salvation

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

There has been an on-going pattern of a certain few Lordship Salvation (LS) apologists demonstrating that they/he do not recognize or understand how Dr. MacArthur is writing and is teaching on the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel. This time the mistake is on MacArthur’s view of repentance. The LS apologist wrote,

John MacArthur never says that to be born again a person must be ‘willing to turn from sin’.”
This misunderstanding and error on the teaching of John MacArthur necessitates opening this new discussion to properly highlight the issue.

The Grace to You website posts an article by Dr. MacArthur, that is touted by one LS apologist as his (MacArthur’s) definitive statement on Lordship Salvation. The article begins with a paragraph that defines how John MacArthur views a lost man must be born again. The statement is written by MacArthur and it is discussing the Gospel, the plan of salvation, the Lordship Salvation interpretation of how a lost man receives the “offer (gift) of eternal life,” how he is born again.
The gospel that Jesus proclaimed was a call to discipleship, a call to follow Him in submissive obedience, not just a plea to make a decision or pray a prayer. Jesus' message liberated people from the bondage of their sin while it confronted and condemned hypocrisy. It was an offer of eternal life and forgiveness for repentant sinners, but at the same time it was a rebuke to outwardly religious people whose lives were devoid of true righteousness. It put sinners on notice that they must turn from sin and embrace God's righteousness. Our Lord's words about eternal life were invariably accompanied by warnings to those who might be tempted to take salvation lightly. He taught that the cost of following Him is high, that the way is narrow and few find it. He said many who call him Lord will be forbidden from entering the kingdom of heaven (cf. Matt. 7:13-23).” (An Introduction to Lordship Salvation by Dr. John MacArthur)
In my Can God-Given Faith be Defective article that I posted at another discussion board I included a link to an important article on Lordship Salvation by Pastor George Zeller. Some who are sympathetic to LS post comments that reveal an on-going lack of understanding of the LS message that they seek to defend. Ironically some of these admit they have never read any of John MacArthur’s major books on LS. To help all readers understand where LS takes some of its most serious doctrinal missteps I will again link to Zeller’s article, John MacArthur’s Position on the Lordship of Christ.

In that article, by Pastor Zeller, you will read additional documentation of MacArthur’s view that repentance for salvation requires a lost man to “turn from sin.” Here is that portion.
Dr. MacArthur tends to confuse repentance with the fruits of repentance, and to confuse faith with that which faith ought to produce. He confuses saving faith (which takes place in a moment of time--Rom. 13:11; Eph. 1:13) with discipleship (which is a lifelong process). As Miles Stanford has said, “Lordship salvation is not the childlike faith of John 3:16. It rightly insists upon repentance but wrongly includes a change of behavior IN ORDER TO BE SAVED. No one questions that there must be a sincere change of mind, a turning from oneself to the Saviour, but Lordship advocates attempt to make behavior and fruit essential ingredients of, rather than evidence of, saving faith.” (Miles Stanford, in his review of The Gospel According to Jesus).

MacArthur defines REPENTANCE as turning from your sins (Faith Works, p. 74). He also teaches that true repentance “inevitably results in a change of behavior” (Faith Works, p. 75). But is not TURNING FROM SINS a CHANGE OF BEHAVIOR? Is MacArthur confusing the RESULTS of repentance with REPENTANCE itself? Is not he confusing the FRUITS with the ROOT? MacArthur is more accurate when he says, “true repentance involves a change of heart and purpose” (Faith Works, p. 75). The inner change will produce an outward change.
The writing of Lordship Salvation advocates confirm beyond any doubt that LS is a works based, man-centered message that conditions eternal life on an upfront commitment to change behavior and perform the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) that should be the result of a genuine conversion. Calling on a lost man to “turn from sinFOR SALVATION is to condition salvation on behavior, not believing.


LM

For additonal documentation of Lordship Salvation’s “leave (stop committing) sin, and follow Jesus at any cost” to become a Christian message please read, Is Lordship Salvation a “Barter” System?

57 comments:

  1. Lou,

    Just a quick comment. Time and time again I've run into people who promote and defend Lordship Salvation vehemently but do not understand what John MacArthur is saying in his work.

    I couldn't count how many times I've heard - We'll THAT's not Lordship Salvation, and it's surely not what I preach... and then see the person go off quoting MacArthur like before.

    I have a story about the damage a man's popularity can do to a well meaning enterprise later.

    Kev

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  2. Kevl:

    I can tell you story after story just like that.

    I think some just trust whatever they hear from MacArthur and go with it without carefully reading and meditating on what they hear from him and then trying it against the Scriptures.


    LM

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  3. I like what J.B. Hixson writes in his new book Getting The Gospel Wrong in regards to this. He writes, "To requires sinners to make the purposeful decision to forsake all unrighteousness and pledge to follow Christ as a condition for receiving eternal life is a bit like asking a child to get cleaned up so that he can take a bath (Getting The Gospel Wrong , p. 117)."

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  4. Liam:

    Thanks for the quote from Dr. Hixson's book.

    I highly recommend it for all believers who are interested in reading a volume that brings great clarity to the Gospel and identifies the various false interpretations that plague the church today.


    LM

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  5. Hey Lou,

    I decided to make a blog post about the story. It's too long for a comment. It's about a group of people preaching Lordship Salvation on the street just yesterday.

    http://onmywalk.blogspot.com/2008/08/example-of-lordship-salvation-on-street.html

    Funny thing that I ended up having to use Ezk 33:11 in the post which should prompt some interesting conversation here.

    I ask that if people wish to discuss how this verse applies to Lou's post that you please do so here and not at my blog. I don't want to distract conversation, only feed it.

    Kev

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  6. BTW I'm looking at John MacArthur's latest book sitting on my shelf.. I promised to read it so I know I have to.. but now that the prospect is ready to become reality... I really don't want to. I know it's going to lead to some angry posts and MANY hours of searching the Scriptures to be able to see the context of what he quotes.

    I'm currently working on three teachings for TCC so.. ya... hehehe

    Kev

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  7. Kev:

    Thanks for this article An Example of Lordship Salvation on the Street. What a distressing report.

    In the church there is growing love affair with style over substance.


    LM

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  8. I began my reading of John MacArthur's latest book tonight. I intend on reviewing the Preface, Introduction and Chapter 1 at my blog. As these are indicated to be the "amplified" and "clarified" portions of the book that really "make his point." To review the entire book would be loathsomely painful.

    I have to admit I have not honestly doubted his salvation until I read the first 29 pages of this book. His abuse of Scripture is astounding. Blatant disregard for the verses he quotes.

    The book is obviously written for those who already agree with him because no one who actually reads the Scriptures around the verses he quotes (sometimes without the complete verse without noting only a partial quote is being used) could not possibly come into agreement with the man.

    In this way the book reminds me of The God Delusion by Dr. Richard Dawkins. It's an incredible appologetic if you happen to already agree with him and are just reading it to celebrate how smart you are. However if you are even the slightest bit critical the entire work is almost laughable.

    In this case I can not bring myself to laugh. Oh how I wish John MacArthur's followers would be like the Bereans and truly test his teaching by the Word of God to see IF these things be true.

    I used to be intimidated by John MacArthur. But now I see him the same as any other proof-texter without regard for the damage he's doing.

    29 pages.. if only his followers would critically read 29 pages before they stand up and shout that anything the man says is true.

    Kev

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  9. Kev:

    I agree with all that you wrote above. IMO, the 3rd edition of TGATJ was released primarily to shore up those who are already bought in to LS.

    Each of his 5 LS books are a difficult read for the very reasons you cited above. I have to force myself through the proof texting and unwarranted deductions to float LS additions to the Gospel of grace.

    Many wind up accepting LS because they trust MacArthur by reputation. I have addressed numerous men who absolutely believe in LS, believe macArthur is right and then I come to find they never read any of his five major LS books.

    I know its tough to write what you did, but your evaluations are on target.

    Once you have your review ready, let me know so that I can promote it.


    LM

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  10. Kev: "To review the entire book would be loathsomely painful."


    Lou: "Each of his 5 LS books are a difficult read for the very reasons you cited above."

    I really am making an effort to read just the first two. The original GATJ and Faith Works. I originally thought I should read the second GATJ as well. But I just don't think I can do it. I have been at this for 6 or 7 months now. I am almost done with the first one. Just a few more pages. Just a few more........

    I am very interested your review Kev.

    When you say you have not doubted his salvation until now, are you being facetious or are you serious?

    JanH

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  11. Unfortunately I'm serious. If I were to apply the demands of Lordship Salvation on him I could not come to the conclusion that he is saved based on his abuse of Scripture and underhanded dealings in his writing.

    Right now I have some doubts because I find it hard to believe someone saved by Grace could abuse the Scriptures as he does. Of course his salvation does not depend on performance and I do not know his heart.

    Kev

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  12. Jan/Kev:

    I have always believed MacArthur is a saved man. There is nothing that I can point to in good conscience that would allow me to say he is lost.

    I do not, however, hesitate to say that his teaching is a disturbing departure from the Gospel according to Jesus and the apostles. Lordship Salvation is a dangerous assault on and a corruption of the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor. 11:3).

    Saved men can and do go off into teaching that is wholly antithetical to Scripture. John MacArthur (Lordship Salvation) and Zane Hodges (Crossless Gospel) are two stark examples of this, although from opposite ends of the debate over the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ.


    Lou

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  13. I agree with you Lou. I am not doubting MacArthur's salvation myself. I am concerned to know what it is MacArthur has done that has disturbed Kev's confidence in MacArthur's salvation. It must be pretty serious to have that strong of an effect as I'm sure that is not an easy thing to do.

    JanH

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  14. I don't understand how you can doubt MacArthur's salvation Kev, when he has professed faith in Christ. I thought you said that this was the only test there was?

    You said:
    Right now I have some doubts because I find it hard to believe someone saved by Grace could abuse the Scriptures as he does.

    Wouldn't that be the same as me doubting my husband's salvation because I find it hard to believe that someone saved by grace could have zero desire for God and his word?

    b

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  15. You know very well Bridget that I did not say that someones profession is the "only test" at all.

    It is the same as you doubting your husband's Salvation based on those terms. It is very shaky ground to be on. That I struggle with my assurance of John MacArthur's Salvation does not mean that he should. He knows if he has placed his faith in Christ or not - I can not know this.

    I think I was clear that I am doubting, not that he is not, and not that this is "evidence" he is not saved...

    The difference between your position and mine is I know the solution is by Grace through Faith apart from works. Where as you would have him "prove" his salvation instead of getting saved.

    Kev

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  16. Do you think it’s possible that someone could think/believe that they have repented and are trusting in Christ when in reality they have/are not?

    Also, how can MacArthur be on very shaky ground when you’ve just said that your assurance of his salvation doesn’t count for anything if MacArthur, himself says he’s assured that he is trusting Christ?

    Bridget

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  17. Do I think that - I think people can be deceived to think they are "going to heaven" (because they are believing something other than the Bible) but no I do not believe someone can be confused about IF they have repented to trust Christ.

    Your second statement is just more perversion of my words. Do you delight in games like this? You may want to work for one of the campaigns.

    I quote;

    Also, how can MacArthur be on very shaky ground when you’ve just said that your assurance of his salvation doesn’t count for anything if MacArthur, himself says he’s assured that he is trusting Christ?

    You can read my post again and see if I were saying John MacArthur is on shaky grounds or not.

    You have been so indoctrinated into eisegesis that you do it by habit and have little or no discernment that you are a victim of this indoctrination.

    I was saying... clearly for anyone who is willing to read it... that anyone who goes about "doubting" someone's slavation based on the little knowledge they have is on shaky ground. Me, you or anyone.

    How can a person be on "shaky" ground with respect to salvation??? Your bias has blinded you and made you aggressive to the point normal conversation is impossible.

    Kev

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  18. The very definition of repentance - rethink - makes it impossible for someone to be deceived about IF they have repented.

    The very nature of TRUST means it is impossible that someone can be deceived to think they TRUST.

    It is the false works based message that gets into supposed "grey areas" of "have you repented ENOUGH?" Do you have "real" faith?

    The Apostle Paul said that faith in Christ saves and that the only faith that was in vain would be if the Gospel were not true.

    Lou sorry for my tone. I will not be offended if you delete my previous statement. I'm feeling abused and reacting instead of responding. I believe my points are valid but they could have come off with more grace.

    Kev

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  19. I’m sorry that I misunderstood you kev. I genuinely thought you were saying that he was on shaky ground, but I see what you were saying now. It just surprised me that you would say you doubted his salvation because of our other conversation.

    I would also never say someone hasn’t “repented enough”. If one truly repents (1 Cor 7:10), then they’ve repented, period. But this passage does show that there is a “wordly sorrow” that does not lead to true repentance, but to death, and so I do believe that many will think that they are saved because they felt bad about their sin and said a prayer of faith, but their lives show no evidences that this faith is genuine, and they will one day be very surprised that they are not saved.

    Bridget

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  20. Bridget:

    I trust we have seen the last misuse of Kev’s comments.

    If you can’t discuss the issues from within the obvious framework we are posting, then you need to move on.

    I will not tolerate any more gamesmanship.


    LM

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  21. wow. I'm stunned. I really thought that is what Kev meant.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Bridget,

    You said many will think that they are saved because they felt bad about their sin and said a prayer of faith, but their lives show no evidences that this faith is genuine, and they will one day be very surprised that they are not saved.

    If a person is convicted & convinced of their sin, judgment, truth and Christ and repent to trust Him they are saved. Repentance isn't to "feel bad" about your sin. And I think I know what you mean by a "prayer of faith" but I am not sure enough to comment.

    But the difference between salvation and not is not "works that show their faith is genuine". It is their faith in the Christ of the Gospel?

    Mat 7:22 NKJV Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

    See these have lots of works they have done in Christ's name. They have lots of "evidence" of their salvation. But the Lord never "knew them." They have not obeyed the Gospel.

    Kev

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  23. I agree with you that someone who has faith in Christ is saved. But if they don’t go on to do “works befitting repentance” than they never had genuine faith, were never saved and will ultimately not BE SAVED. So you cannot say that someone can ultimately be saved without being a disciple of Christ.

    How do you know that those people who cry “Lord, Lord..” will not think that they had repented and trusted Christ? Yes, they speak of their “works”, but notice Jesus doesn’t say, “I never knew you, depart from me, you who would go about to establish your own righteousness”, but instead he says, “I never knew you, depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” They were living contrary to the law—in wickedness and iniquity.

    bridget

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  24. I guess the comment I posted earlier got lost in bloggerspace.

    Bridget, you said

    I agree with you that someone who has faith in Christ is saved. But if they don’t go on to do “works befitting repentance” than they never had genuine faith, were never saved and will ultimately not BE SAVED.

    The person who puts their faith in Christ is saved, but if they don't go on to "works befitting repentance" they will not "ultimately be saved"? So a person can be saved and then loose their salvation if they don't produce good works? Is that when they know their faith wasn't "genuine"? Were they saved in the first place or not?

    OK I am pushing you there, but I don't think I'm being unreasonable.

    The question I wanted to ask you earlier, and is now even more appropriate is this -

    Since you always make the statement "in the end be saved" or "ultimately be saved" I want to know how a person can KNOW FOR SURE and be CORRECT in their knowing that they are absolutely 100% Eternally Saved? Or is knowing this even possible?

    Kev

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  25. The person who puts their faith in Christ is saved, but if they don't go on to "works befitting repentance" they will not "ultimately be saved"? So a person can be saved and then loose their salvation if they don't produce good works? Is that when they know their faith wasn't "genuine"? Were they saved in the first place or not?

    No, a person can’t be saved and then lose their salvation if they don’t produce good works. I suppose I should have said, “I agree with you that someone who has faith in Christ is saved. But if “A PERSON” doesn’t go on to do “works befitting repentance” than they never had genuine faith, were never saved and will ultimately not BE SAVED.”

    Kev, you believe that works WILL result in the life of someone who repents and believes the gospel, right? So if those works don’t appear in someone’s life, it‘s evidence that they never truly repented and believed the gospel, were never really saved and will not ultimately be saved when they die. So to tell a person that they can be saved apart from these works is not true. These works don’t cause them to be saved, but without these works, they will not be saved in the end. God doesn’t justify us and that’s it. He sanctifies us as well, and there is no other way to heaven but through justification and sanctification and ultimate glorification by God’s grace through faith.

    Bridget

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  26. Since you always make the statement "in the end be saved" or "ultimately be saved" I want to know how a person can KNOW FOR SURE and be CORRECT in their knowing that they are absolutely 100% Eternally Saved? Or is knowing this even possible?

    Yes, I think that a person CAN have assurance of salvation. 1 John was written to give believers assurance (1 John 5:13). Just a few of the questions we can ask to test ourselves are:
    1. Do I have a love for and fellowship (a relationship) with Christ? (1 John 1:3)
    2. Am I eager for Him to return? (1 John 3:2-3; Heb 9:28)
    3. Am I sensitive to sin? (1 John 1:6-7; Rom 7))
    4. Is there a desire to be obedient to the commands of God (1 John 2:3-4)
    5. Do I reject the world’s system? (1 John 2:15)
    6. Do I love other christians? (1 John 2:9-11)

    Please understand up front, that I’m not by any means saying that doing these things save us, but that if we are truly justified and saved, that we will increasingly do these things more and more. And this “testing” of ourselves helps in two ways, it helps those who may have a false sense of assurance that they are saved to see what a true believer will be growing in and have opportunity to repent and believe the gospel and be saved! And if we, as true believers find ourselves wandering away from God and drifting into sin, our assurance will lessen, which should not cause us to despair, but to repent and turn back to God.

    There is always a danger of presumption on the one side and despair on the other.

    Bridget

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  27. So Bridget, if those things are true for 6 months and then they don't seem to be true for 4 months is the person saved? Can they still be assured of their salvation? What if in a couple of months they return... and go on for years and then for a year they dwindle and seem to be nonpresent.. is he still saved?

    Kev

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  28. As far as works go after salvation the Sinner need not be willing to do them. Nor does the Child in Christ. As the Spirit matures the Christian through Discipleship they will become willing and Good Works will flow out of them as they walk in the Spirit. Every believer will have some amount of Good Works.

    But this does not make it reasonable to hang works over a sinner's head. Works are not something we pledge to do, or decide to do. We "walk in" them as we mature.

    You still see works as proof of yourself. But works are not proof of your self they are proof of God. Works do not validate the Christian they validate the Creator.

    Never in Scripture are works used to prove someone is saved - never.

    Kev

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  29. As far as works go after salvation the Sinner need not be willing to do them. Nor does the Child in Christ. As the Spirit matures the Christian through Discipleship they will become willing and Good Works will flow out of them as they walk in the Spirit. Every believer will have some amount of Good Works.

    Ok, so let’s bypass the fact that we disagree on when exactly a person will be willing to forsake sin and follow Christ and just look at the fact that we agree that every believer will have some amount of good works. Doesn’t this mean that if a person does not have any amount of good works that they are not true believers and will not (in the end) be saved? And doesn’t this mean that we cannot tell people they can be saved apart from these works (even though we’re not saved “BY” these works)?

    You still see works as proof of yourself. But works are not proof of your self they are proof of God.

    I would agree with you that works are proof of God. They are evidences of His grace working in our lives.

    Never in Scripture are works used to prove someone is saved - never.

    But we have the book of 1 John, which was written so that we may “know” (be assured) we have eternal life (1 John 5:13)... how we can “know” (be assured) that we have come to know Him, and ways that a person may know that they have not come to know Him.

    -“By this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3-4)

    -“If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)

    -“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie” (1 John 1:6)

    -“Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.” (1 John 2:9)

    ...and on and on.

    bridget

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  30. So Bridget, if those things are true for 6 months and then they don't seem to be true for 4 months is the person saved? Can they still be assured of their salvation? What if in a couple of months they return... and go on for years and then for a year they dwindle and seem to be nonpresent.. is he still saved?

    If a person is saved, he is saved. But if these things are not evidenced in our lives, we should not have assurance that we are saved, and this should cause us to confess our sin and turn to God in prayer for strength and help to press on. I believe that this testing of ourselves is one of the means that God uses to keep us persevering.

    b.

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  31. Bridget you can read 1 Jn yourself and see that "test" fall apart. It works great as long as you only pick and choose the verses you want to "apply" and choose the meanings of words so that they mean only what you want them to mean.

    1 Jn is written so that the "dear little children" may KNOW we have Salvation. Not so that a person might know IF they have Salvation.

    Kev

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  32. Bridget you said,

    If a person is saved, he is saved. But if these things are not evidenced in our lives, we should not have assurance that we are saved,

    So the saved person, because he's not performing up to some arbitrary level, ought not be "assured" he's saved?

    But if he KNOWS he trusted Christ - and as I said before the very nature of trust means you must know if you have - how could he NOT be assured of his salvation unless he really doesn't believe the Gospel? If Jesus "has saved" Him, then why would he ever need to doubt that? Unless he believes that his salvation is tied to his performance... works based salvation.

    If we are saved BY Grace, THROUGH Faith Apart from works then any "test" of our salvation will also be "apart from" works. If there are only two things involved with us getting saved - God's Grace and our faith then those are the things to be tested.

    Here is your test.

    Have I trusted Christ based on the Gospel?

    Is the Gospel still true? (this is the test Paul gave the Corinthians in 1 Cor 15)

    Does God still save people by Grace if they have trusted Christ based on the Gospel?

    If these three are all yes, then the person was, is and will be saved.

    If they are not working there are at least other issues happening. The solution to those other issues is not to change Evangelism into a pledge-drive.

    Kev

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  33. Hi Kev:

    You wrote, "Bridget you can read 1 Jn yourself and see that "test" fall apart. It works great as long as you only pick and choose the verses you want to 'apply' and choose the meanings of words so that they mean only what you want them to mean."

    The most flagrant examples I see of this has been with LS advocates. Especially in regard to forcing into or extracting from verses or portions of verses whatever they must to float their views.

    You wrote, "1 Jn is written so that the 'dear little children' may KNOW we have Salvation. Not so that a person might know IF they have Salvation."

    One friend of mine, when asked, "How can one know he is saved," replies, "because the Bible says so."

    That is a simplified version of how he deals wth it, but it does boil down to the Bible says so.

    LS advocates have a hard time with this because they primarily base salvation on behavior, NOT believing.


    LM

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  34. 1 Jn is written so that the "dear little children" may KNOW we have Salvation. Not so that a person might know IF they have Salvation.

    If 1 John is written only so that we may KNOW we have salvation, then how do the following verses encourage us to be assured?

    “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1:4)

    “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1:6)

    “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (2:15)

    “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.” (2:9)

    “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil.” (3:8)


    bridget

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  35. The solution to those other issues is not to change Evangelism into a pledge-drive.

    It is not a pledge-drive kev. I understand that the basis of our justification and salvation is grace alone through faith alone. But if justification has come, then sanctification will come and 1John gives clear reasons for assurance and clear reasons one should have no assurance.

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  36. 1 John is written for several purposes, each of them can be found when John writes "I write so that" you will notice that not once does he say he is writing so that you will know you're not saved. Not once does he say he writes anything so you can identify those around you who are not saved.

    Why does he write the verses you use as a test of salvation. The Apostle tells you in the first few verses.

    1 John 1:1-4 - for fellowship and that our joy might be complete. As it is when we are in fellowship.

    1John gives clear reasons for assurance

    You're right he gives great reasons for assurance.

    1 John 2:1-2 1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

    There is an incredible means of assurance. Christ Himself is the propitiation for the sins of the world. His sacrifice appeases God the Father, not our. And if one of the brethren sins, we have an advocate in Heaven who is perfect. So much for the idea that we have to "endure" to the end. Because if we do not endure we have an Advocate Who has already propitiated EVERYTHING before the Throne.

    More blessed assurance is found here

    1 John 2:12-14 12 I write to you, little children,Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
    13 I write to you, fathers,
    Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
    I write to you, young men,
    Because you have overcome the wicked one.
    I write to you, little children,
    Because you have known the Father.
    14 I have written to you, fathers,
    Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
    I have written to you, young men,
    Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.

    Oh blessed truth, we are saved from the moment of Salvation. We need not test ourselves for the entirety of our life hoping that we'll manage to be one of the few to hang on and endure to the end so "in the end we will ultimately be saved."

    Here the Apostle says, little ones you are saved. Your sins are forgiven. Do not look to yourself for assurance, look to Christ's finished work.

    Then notice the others are written to about maturity, and works, and fruit.... but the little ones are absolutely assured of their salvation APART FROM any of that.

    Kev

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  37. Again, loading the Gospel up with conditions will not ensure someone will "truly" repent. It only frustrates Grace.

    Likewise withholding assurance doesn't not offer a person reason to submit and be sanctified, it only diminishes your witness to the finished work of Christ on the Cross.

    Kev

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  38. notice the others are written to about maturity, and works, and fruit.... but the little ones are absolutely assured of their salvation APART FROM any of that.

    I agree with you that all those verses you mention are there to give us much assurance, but if the ones I mentioned are only to show us that when we aren’t in fellowship our joy will be diminished, and are not meant to point to evidences of who is a Christian and who is not, why does John say,

    “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” (3:9-10)


    So much for the idea that we have to "endure" to the end.

    But if we are in Christ, Scripture teaches that we WILL endure to the end, because it is God who is at work in us both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Phil 2:13):

    “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion…” (Ph 1:6)

    “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling..” (Jude 24)

    “Let us run with endurance…looking to Jesus, the FOUNDER and PERFECTER of our faith.” (Heb 12:1-2)

    “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim 4:7)

    “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Mt 24:13)

    bridget

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  39. Again, loading the Gospel up with conditions will not ensure someone will "truly" repent. It only frustrates Grace.

    Of course it won’t ensure it. People are saved by God’s grace. But I don’t look at works as a “condition” that has to be met, but rather a result and evidence of God’s saving grace at work within us. And if a person takes an honest look at themselves and sees there are no evidences of this work of God, then God may very well use this as a means to bring them to true repentance and faith in Christ. Again, I don’t think we’re saved “by” our works, but we’re not saved apart from them either.

    b.

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  40. Rachel:

    You wrote, “But I don’t look at works as a ‘condition’ that has to be met, but rather a result and evidence of God’s saving grace at work within us.”

    I’m good with that statement.

    Then you wrote, “And if a person takes an honest look at themselves and sees there are no evidences of this work of God…

    I’m NOT good with that because you now have man looking at his behavior and NOT to God for salvation. Why would a lost man be looking at his life for evidence of God working in his life when God is NOT in his life?

    That is like a lost man struggling with the assurance of his salvation.


    Lou

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  41. A lost man would be looking at his life for evidences of God working in his life in the same way any sinner would repent and look to Christ for salvation--By God's grace.

    Please understand Lou, that I'm not looking at my behavior "for" salvation, but "for" evidences OF my salvation.

    Rachel (j/k :)

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  42. Quoting the ESV on 1 Jn 3:9 will not assist your argument. The ESV was translated by a team of Lordshippers (check the website).

    All the other litteral translations say the one born of God "cannot sin."

    That doesn't really help your argument, unless it includes Sinless Perfection this side of Resurrection.

    And seeing as the case is that the Apostle said "The one born of God can not sin" might he be talking about something OTHER than a condition for Salvation? If you look at the whole without looking for validation of the theology you've been taught you ought to be able to see the context.

    Kev

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  43. On your Scriptures about enduring... do I really need to go through them verse by verse with you AGAIN? Power Of God To Salvation among other threads will show readers this is not the first time these verses have been used out of context.

    Kev

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  44. Is there one place in Scripture where one is told to look at their works for assurance?

    I'm not looking for twisted inserted meanings into a single verse... I'm looking for clear instruction in Scripture to look at your works to see if you're really saved?

    Kev

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  45. Yes, I think the whole book of 1 John is one example of where it shows we are to examine our works.
    And I don't see me twisting Scripture at all, in-fact, it seems to me that you are doing quite a lot of twisting.

    Quoting the ESV on 1 Jn 3:9 will not assist your argument. The ESV was translated by a team of Lordshippers (check the website).

    Ok, I’ll start using the NKJV. It says:

    “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.”

    What does this mean?

    bridget

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  46. Lou, you called me "Rachel" in your post before mine, that's why I said that. :)

    b.

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  47. What does this mean?

    I bet it has something to do with this

    1 Jn 3:4-7

    4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
    7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

    and this

    1 Jn 2:1

    My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

    It's very confusing if these verses are about Eternal Salvation isn't it? I mean the Christian can't sin... but if one does.... and he who sins is of the Devil... but only those maturing Christians are marked out as having victory over sin...

    I could go on and on.

    Bridget as long as you pull single verses out of the Word and use them to justify the theology you've been taught you will never come to know the Truth. You will never know freedom as has been purchased for you. And you won't be able to offer that freedom and security to anyone.

    Kev

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  48. It's very confusing if these verses are about Eternal Salvation isn't it? I mean the Christian can't sin... but if one does.... and he who sins is of the Devil... but only those maturing Christians are marked out as having victory over sin...

    It actually causes me more confusion to try to read into them what you are saying. We know a christian does sin, but when it says a Christian “can’t sin” I think it supports other Scripture to interpret that as meaning they cannot go on sinning in the same way that they did before (comfortably) because we have the Holy Sirit who brings conviction.

    How do you interpret, “He who sins is of the devil” and “he who practices righteousness is righteous as He is righteous”?
    Isn’t it just clear by the plain reading of this text that IF we are righteous as Christ is (If we have His righteousness), we will “practice” righteousness?

    Bridget as long as you pull single verses out of the Word and use them to justify the theology you've been taught you will never come to know the Truth.

    But Kev, you're pulling verses out too. How else can we debate this w/out using verses. Don't you really mean that you don't think I have a correct over-all understanding of these Scriptures? I think it's unfair to keep telling me I'm pulling out single verses when I've been doing the same thing you have.

    b.

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  49. We know a christian does sin, but when it says a Christian “can’t sin” I think it supports other Scripture to interpret that as meaning they cannot go on sinning in the same way that they did before (comfortably) because we have the Holy Sirit who brings conviction.

    1 Jn 3:9 πας ο γεγεννημενος εκ του θεου αμαρτιαν ου ποιει οτι σπερμα αυτου εν αυτω μενει και ου δυναται αμαρτανειν οτι εκ του θεου γεγεννητα

    sins not. Can not sin.

    Bridget, can you not see that you have inserted your theology into Scripture and you are more loyal to it than what the Scriptures say? Please, read what it says and submit to that.

    How do you interpret

    Your whole paradigm is the proving of Salvation. Try to consider that Salvation is just by God's unmerited favor - He grants salvation to those who are not worthy - based on if they have trusted Him or not. And leave it there. Don't try to reconcile your thoughts on what a person can and can't do.. or who gets the credit..... just the plainest reading of the Scripture.

    Then keep that thinking and read 1 John. Consider that John is writing to Eternally Saved people. This is an ALL IMPORTANT task for you. You will see an entirely different letter than you ever have.

    1 John is the second most intimate book of the Bible. It is a letter of love to God's children. It contains the most incredible blessed assurance of the truth of our Salvation. And each assurance is pointed at Christ, not at us, or His work in us.

    John's letter is about how we live in fellowship, how we become mature and fruitful. It's not a test of salvation, although it does contain "birthmarks" of Salvation. Not to be confused with tests of...

    The letter's purpose is to assure, not to test.

    Don't you really mean that you don't think I have a correct over-all understanding of these Scriptures? I think it's unfair to keep telling me I'm pulling out single verses when I've been doing the same thing you have.

    Your focusing on single verses, and applying contexts to them that Scripture does not, has distorted your overall view of Scripture. You have not been doing the same thing I have. You will see in each thread I've written to you in I have gone into the Context of the chapters you are taking verses from. I have shown by the surrounding and related Scriptures that the verses you are using in one context do not carry that context.

    Faith is in, and assured by Christ, not His work in us.

    Kev

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  50. Consider that John is writing to Eternally Saved people

    Kev, which letter “isn’t” written to eternally saved people? But there are obviously unsaved people hearing these letters.

    Try to consider that Salvation is just by God's unmerited favor - He grants salvation to those who are not worthy - based on if they have trusted Him or not.

    When have I ever said that salvation was not by God’s unmerited favor, kev? In-fact, I believe it is all by His unmerited favor, not just sanctification and glorification, but also justification and the basis for that justification (repentance and faith). So I whole-heartedly agree that it is unmerited in every way.

    John's letter is about how we live in fellowship, how we become mature and fruitful. It's not a test of salvation, although it does contain "birthmarks" of Salvation.

    So you agree that he does speak of some “signs” of someone being saved?

    Bridget
    p.s. What do you think it means when he says, “He who sins is of the devil”?

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  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  52. Bridget you quote me the way you quote the Bible.

    You left out "Not to be confused with tests of... "

    I'm tired of playing word games with you. You have heard the Truth and you continue to abuse the Word to make it suit your theology.

    What do YOU think it means that "He who sins is of the Devil" in light of the fact that John, Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, Mark, Matthew, Luke... and every other writer in the Bible records it as fact that saved people can sin??? Is no one saved? Was Christ crucified in vain?

    You can answer that one before God because unless the Lord prompts me differently I am done discussing this with you. I would continue with you if you were breaking new ground but you are rehashing things that we have already written about in these last few weeks. If my writing is being ignored then I shall not waste my valuable time with it.


    Kev

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  53. Dear Bridget:

    You are not considering the things Kev and others respond to you with. You are simply regurgitating what you have been told for years.

    In this and previous threads you are repeating, in mantra like fashion, arguments that have already been destroyed.

    While I have appreciated the opportunity you gave us at IDOTG to discuss and repeatedly refute your doctrinal errors, It is time for you to move on to another blog.

    My blog is no longer open to you for the propagation of your views, which are antithetical to the Scriptures.

    Kind regards,


    LM

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  54. Kind regards to you too, Lou.

    Bridget

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  55. Dear Guests:

    I want to link you my blog partner JP's Free Grace Free Speech blog. He has been doing a series on the errors of Lordship Salvation. Kevl another blog partner has been making valuable contributions to these discussions.

    Kevl is also developing a review of John MacArthur’s latest edition of The Gospel According to Jesus, which I am looking forward to. The link is to my brief review. Once Kev begins posting his review I will link to it.

    Please visit JP's most recent contributions to the Lordship debate-

    Free Grace vs. Lordship Salvation

    Position vs. Condition

    The Gospel According to John MacArthur, Part 1

    At Kev's blog read-

    An Example of Lordship Salvation on the Street


    LM

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