August 10, 2009

Lordship Salvation: Charles Spurgeon’s Personal Testimony Speaks Against It


The following is taken from Spurgeon: A New Biography by Arnold Dallimore (Moody Press, 1984), pages 18-20.

The story of Spurgeon’s conversion is widely known, but it may well be repeated, and it cannot be better told than in the words in which he himself presented it:

I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair until now, had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm one Sunday morning, while I was going to a certain place of worship. I turned down a side street, and came to a little Primitive Methodist Church. In that chapel there may have been a dozen or fifteen people. I had heard of the Primitive Methodists, how they sang so loudly that they made people’s heads ache; but that did not matter to me. I wanted to know how I might be saved....

The minister did not come that morning; he was snowed up, I suppose. At last a very thin-looking man, a shoemaker, or tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. Now it is well that preachers be instructed, but this man was really stupid. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say. The text was—
“LOOK UNTO ME, AND BE YE SAVED, ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH” (Isa. 45:22).

He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter. There was, I thought, a glimmer of hope for me in that text.

The preacher began thus: “This is a very simple text indeed. It says ‘Look.’ Now lookin’ don’t take a deal of pain. It aint liftin’ your foot or your finger; it is
just ‘Look.’ Well, a man needn’t go to College to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man needn’t be worth a thousand a year to look. Anyone can look; even a child can look.

"But then the text says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Ay!" he said in broad Essex, “many on ye are lookin’ to yourselves, but it’s no use lookin’ there. You’ll never find any comfort in yourselves. Some say look to God the Father. No, look to Him by-and-by. Jesus Christ says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Some on ye say ‘We must wait for the Spirit’s workin.’ You have no business with that just now.
Look to Christ. The text says, ‘Look unto Me.’”

Then the good man followed up his text in this way: “Look unto Me; I am sweatin’ great drops of blood.
Look unto Me; I am hangin’ on the cross. Look unto Me, I am dead and buried. Look unto Me; I rise again. Look unto Me; I ascend to Heaven. Look unto Me; I am sitting at the Father’s right hand. O poor sinner, look unto Me! look unto Me!

When he had . . . . managed to spin out about ten minutes or so, he was at the end of his tether. Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I daresay with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger.

Just fixing his eyes on me, as if he knew all my heart, he said, “Young man, you look very miserable.” Well, I did, but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made from the pulpit on my personal appearance before. However, it was a good blow, struck right home. He continued, “And you will always be miserable—miserable in life and miserable in death—if you don’t obey my text; but if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.” Then lifting up his hands, he shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist could do,
“Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothing to do but look and live!”

I saw at once the way of salvation. I know not what else he said—I did not take much notice of it—I was so possessed with that one thought . . . . I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard that word, “Look!” what a charming word it seemed to me. Oh! I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away.

There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them,
of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to Him. Oh, that somebody had told me this before, “Trust Christ, and you shall be saved.” Yet it was, no doubt, all wisely ordered, and now I can say—

E’er since by faith I saw the stream

Thy flowing wounds supply,

Redeeming love has been my theme,

And shall be till I die. . .

That happy day when I found the Saviour, and learned to cling to His dear feet, was a day never to be forgotten by me . . . . I listened to the Word of God and that precious text led me to the cross of Christ. I can testify that the joy of that day was utterly indescribable. I could have leaped, I could have danced; there was no expression, however fanatical, which would have been out of keeping with the joy of that hour. Many days of Christian experience have passed since then, but there has never been one which has had the full exhilaration, the sparkling delight which that first day had.

I thought I could have sprung from the seat in which I sat, and have called out with the wildest of those Methodist brethren . . . “I am forgiven! I am forgiven! A monument of grace!
A sinner saved by blood!”

My spirit saw its chains broken to pieces, I felt that I was an emancipated soul, an heir of heaven, a forgiven one, accepted in Jesus Christ, plucked out of the miry clay and out of the horrible pit, with my feet set upon a rock and my goings established . . . .

Between half-past ten o’clock, when I entered that chapel, and half-past twelve o’clock, when I was back again at home,
what a change had taken place in me! Simply by looking to Jesus I had been delivered from despair, and I was brought into such a joyous state of mind that, when they saw me at home, they said to me, “Something wonderful has happened to you,” and I was eager to tell them all about it. Oh! there was joy in the household that day, when all heard that the eldest son had found the Saviour and knew himself to be forgiven.
(Taken from Iain Murray, ed., The Early Years (London: Banner of Truth, 1962), p. 87-90).


OBSERVATIONS (by George Zeller)

1) Notice how Christ-centered the gospel presentation was.

2) Notice that due emphasis was placed on the death and resurrection of Christ, the all-sufficient Saviour (
1 Cor. 15:3-4).


3) Notice how God used the “
foolishness of preaching” to save Spurgeon, and that the focus was on Christ and Him crucified (compare 1 Cor. 1:20-25).

4) Notice how Spurgeon was instructed to look away from SELF and to focus on the SAVIOUR.


5) Notice that the emphasis of the sermon was upon LOOKING, not DOING. He was to look in the direction of Christ and he was not told to focus on fulfilling any requirements. The only requirement was that he LOOK.


6) Notice how simple the terms of salvation were: “
Look and live!” “Trust Christ and you shall be saved.”


7) Notice that the substitute preacher did not say anything about the terms of discipleship and the demands that are incumbent upon every saved person to follow and obey Christ.

8) Notice that the substitute preacher did not tell Spurgeon to “
submit to Christ’s Lordship” or “fulfill the terms of discipleship” or “turn from and forsake all sin” or “hate father, mother, wife, children, etc.” These things are the rightful results of salvation but not the simple terms of salvation.


9) Notice Spurgeon’s joyful conclusion: “
Simply by looking to Jesus I had been delivered from despair.” “Oh, that somebody had told me this before, ‘Trust Christ, and you shall be saved.’

For a wonderful sermon by Spurgeon dealing with the question of what a person needs to do to be saved, see his sermon entitled, “The Warrant of Faith” available from Pilgrim Publications, Box 66, Pasadena, TX 77501.

Reprinted by permission from George Zeller.


Spurgeon’s personal testimony and the observations above by Brother Zeller devastate Lordship Salvation’s message of eternal salvation through an upfront commitment of life.

With the reading of Spurgeon’s personal testimony I am reminded of the beautiful hymn Look and Live, (William A. Ogden, 1887). Following are the four stanzas and refrain:

I’ve a message from the Lord, hallelujah!
The message unto you I’ll give,
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”


Refrain
Look and live, my brother, live!
Look to Jesus now, and live;
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”


I’ve a message full of love, hallelujah!
A message, O my friend, for you,
’Tis a message from above, hallelujah!
Jesus said it, and I know ’tis true.


Life is offered unto you, hallelujah!
Eternal life thy soul shall have,
If you’ll only look to Him, hallelujah!
Look to Jesus who alone can save.


I will tell you how I came, hallelujah!
To Jesus when He made me whole:
’Twas believing on His name, hallelujah!
I trusted and He saved my soul.


If you’d enjoy singing this treasured hymn with a piano accompaniment see Look & Live


Please continue this series at- Lordship Salvation: Charles Spurgeon Speaks (more than once) Against It

56 comments:

  1. Modern day advocates of Lordship Salvation (LS) have a dilemma. John MacArthur is Lordship Salvation’s most recognizable apologist. In context of “how to obtain eternal life” he wrote,

    Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything.” (TGATJ, p. 78.)

    From Hard to Believe MacArthur wrote, “And he needed to be willing to submit to the Lord Jesus, even if it meant he had to give up all his earthly possessions. He might not ask, but the requirement for eternal life is the willingness to give it all up if he does.”

    LS advocates insist eternal salvation is received by faith, plus commitment of life. They must view Spurgeon’s salvation testimony as less than the minimum required to be genuinely again. Spurgeon certainly believed he was born again by looking to Christ. There is no mention of personal commitment, surrender and/or a willingness to “forsake everything.”

    Reiterating form Zeller’s observation: “Notice Spurgeon’s joyful conclusion: ‘Simply by looking to Jesus I had been delivered from despair.” “Oh, that somebody had told me this before, ‘Trust Christ, and you shall be saved.’

    Spurgeon wrote, “That happy day when I found the Saviour, and learned to cling to His dear feet, was a day never to be forgotten by me.”

    One must wonder if LS advocates would suggest Spurgeon was not genuinely born again at that time in his life that he (Spurgeon) relates as the moment of his salvation.


    LM

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  2. Lou,
    Far from "devasting" the "Lordship" position Spurgeon's WHOLE testimony affirms it. If one would read the BANNER OF TRUTH - C.H.SPURGEON Autobiography, volumes 1 and 2 you will see that at the point of his water baptism Spurgeon was giving his entire life to serving the Savior, no matter what the cost. It is clear from his testimony there that Spurgeon had a clear view of what it means to believe. And THAT was MacArthur's point - what does it mean to believe. I am quite confident that if Spurgeon were alive today he would oppose the so called "free grace" position.

    I encourage all to read the WHOLE BANNER OF TRUTH Spurgeon Autobiography to see where he stood on the content of saving faith. That is C.H.SPURGEON Autobiography: Volume 1 THE EARLY YEARS

    and

    C.H.SPURGEON Autobiography: Volume 2, THE FULL HARVEST

    Please keep in context the so called "Lordship" position is a response to Chaferian dispensationalism's easy believism. It was Chafer who drew the sharp divide between Christ's Lordship and His Saviorhood in the salvation experience. Simply, no dispensationalism, no need for the Lordship position.

    Please also I would encourage all to google and see what Spurgeon thought about Darby and that brand of dispensationalism that existed during Spugeon's time since dispensationalism is the birth-place of "free grace theology".

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. Mark:

    While I appreciate your zeal I am looking for commentary on the personal testimony of Spurgeon.

    I am not interested in my thread being peppered with Spurgeon quotes (while they may be of interest to you) that stray from his personal testimony.

    In your opinion does his personal salvation testimony meet the LS requirement of faith, plus a commitment of life for the reception of eternal salvation?


    LM

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  6. Of course we're saved by Grace alone but it our willingness to allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives that is the proof that we've grasped the true meaning and consequences of that action.

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  7. Lou-

    “Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything.”

    In this quote John MacArthur has covertly reaffirmed limited atonement. His friend Steve Lawson has said something very similar:

    "Jesus longs for and died for disciples. Not one drop of blood was shed beyond the disciples." (Resolved conference 2007.)

    In other words, Jesus did not die/shed His blood for those who will not forsake everything to follow Him. He died (only) for those who will. Therefore, we do not have a "look and live" message from them.



    Compare this to Spurgeon's testimony here:

    “Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothing to do but look and live!”

    I saw at once the way of salvation.


    JM, et al, have turned a gracious invitation to be born again by simple faith and trust expressed in simply "looking" to Jesus crucified and risen, that you might live, into a harsh command to forsake everything in order to qualify for eternal life. They are confusing the results of salvation with the way of salvation.

    But Spurgeon here connects "nothing to do but look and live" with "the way of salvation".

    As I understand it, Spurgeon was forever getting himself in trouble for preaching an "Arminian" gospel by inviting any old sinner to "look and live" as if Christ had actually died for him! He did this in spite of insisting he held to TULIP.

    Also, I cannot verify it (maybe someone else can), but I have been told that Spurgeon was also known to pray "Lord, hasten to save all Thine elect and then elect some more." If this is true then I guess when he was before the Throne he didn't hold much truck with the Westminster Confession of faith's claim that the number of the elect is fixed and unalterable.

    JanH

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  8. Makarios:

    Thanks for the comment.

    What I’d like to think is that you are drawing the biblical distinction between salvation and discipleship, which LS theology does not.

    Now, some general comments.

    I agree that a genuine conversion should evidence itself in genuine results of a changed life. The problem comes when we try to measure just how much change proves what has been believed in the heart (Rom. 10:9-10).

    I’m sure we all know enough believers who have grown at any number of various degrees. We all know genuine believers who have been or are now carnal. LS men often try to eliminate the possibility of the carnal Christian, which is antithetical to the Scriptures.

    Finally, IMO Romans 12:1-2 makes it clear to every believer that presenting ourselves to Him for service is not a matter choice. It is our sacred duty and to do less is to view Him as less than our Lord, while He is yet our Savior.

    Thanks again,


    Lou

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  9. Jan:

    I'll get back to your thoughts at my earliest convenience, but I truly appreciate what you have shared.


    Lou

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  10. To all reading-

    It should probably be mentioned that Lou seeks to keep the focus of discussion on what must be done to be saved in the first place and not get caught up in what happens after one is saved. He has said this several times in the past. It probably bears repeating at this point. It has been a long time since the conversation has been about Lordship Salvation.

    JanH

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  11. Hi Lou, and All,

    As we've discussed via email it's true that one can not argue with Spurgeon's conversion testimony. It is clearly not a testimony of Lordship Salvation, and one can not deny the fruit that the man showed throughout his life.

    What is of fundamental importance to discussion with people like Brother Mark, is that one can go astray after they are saved, even a great preacher like Spurgeon.

    Consider the Corinthians who were saved but later came to deny the resurrection and had to be corrected by the Apostle Paul (as we read in 1 Cor 15).

    Likewise, Spurgeon was converted the way he was converted no matter how we apply any of his later teachings. We use his later teachings out of the context they were given in to our detriment.

    I don't believe the man ever supported the concept of Lordship Salvation. However, even if I were to be shown to be wrong about that the man was still converted the way he was, and that was not in accordance with the doctrine of LS. So, in that case the man would self-refute his own teaching.

    We can pick and choose what we wish of his later teachings, but they do not change the fact and/or the facts of his conversion.

    Bless you Lou!
    Kev

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  12. Kev:

    I really appreciate the balanced polemic and tone of you note here.

    There is so much that is so helpful I do not know where to begin in the little time I have at the moment, but let me note this,

    "Likewise, Spurgeon was converted the way he was converted no matter how we apply any of his later teachings.."

    His salvation testimony, which is void of any up-front personal committment or submission to Christ's Lordship, is NOT (IMO) what an LS advocate today would consider a genuine conversion testimony.

    As Mark demonstrated above LS men redefine biblical terms, such as, "believe" to force the Scriptures into conformity with their Lordship interpretation of the saving message. I deal with "believe" in my book on LS.

    The classic LS error is treating salavtion and discipleship as one and the same. They take discipleship passages meant for the born again child of God and present them as if they are the evangelistic keys to eternal life.

    This is how we can know from the Bible that LS is a works based, man-centered message that frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).

    Thanks again,


    Lou

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  13. Hi Lou, and All,

    Lou asked me to post this email that I sent to him earlier in response to a number of Spurgeon quotes that Brother Mark supplied via email. I was going to edit the email... but I think it's ok to post it the way it was sent.

    Please forgive my short tone, as I was getting ready for work when I sent it. My opening sentence is not to belittle Brother Mark, but to make a clear point that his style infuriates me as much as it does the others I was replying to.

    Begin quoted email:

    Hey All,

    I find Mark to be a blunt and often irritating man. However, he is typical of the Reformed Calvinist Lordship Salvation proponent. He's the typical voice that we compete with when we are trying to get through to the average person on these subjects.

    We ignore his arguments to our listener's harm. It isn't an issue of merit or style, it is that this is the dominant voice in Christendom right now. LS is a much larger problem than the reductionists.

    The LS movement relies on Proof-Texting which makes it much more labor intensive to argue against. This combined with the aggressiveness of its proponents can really give us a headache. However, if we don't argue against these people their impressive tenaciousness simply wins the day.

    I have not read through the quotes that Mark supplied. Frankly, Spurgeon lived in another day. He is known as the "prince of preachers" and we can glean much from the man, but we must be careful neither to misapply his words to issues he was not speaking about nor to elevate his words to that of Scripture.
    Since people like Mark are going to use Spurgeon the way he did we need to be able to answer him. I stay away from the preacher for exactly this reason - it requires so much time, work and effort to make use of his work and in the end he was only a man and his words must therefore often fail us.

    Kev

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  14. I have not read through the quotes that Mark supplied.

    I did. They were not impressive inasmuch as they tended in the direction of where Spurgeon was after he got saved. Hence, my comment above reminding people about keeping to what one must do to be saved in the first place.

    I do think it is interesting that Spurgeon is so often claimed as a team mate by all sides in the debate. My impression of him is that he was sort of TULIP by default as that was considered the orthodox position back then. Kind of like he was TULIP in his head but not so much in his heart. He was also TULIP in the study but not so much in the pulpit. What I think is that he was so greatly filled with the Holy Spirit in his preaching (and the prayer closet) that TULIP just got overridden. He was a powerful evangelist/pastor trained in an age when TULIP was the reigning position.

    I have a book by him on the grace of God. I haven't finished it but what I have read has been a blessing.

    JanH

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  15. Jan:

    This was a compelling thought from you.

    "I do think it is interesting that Spurgeon is so often claimed as a team mate by all sides in the debate. My impression of him is that he was sort of TULIP by default as that was considered the orthodox position back then. Kind of like he was TULIP in his head but not so much in his heart. He was also TULIP in the study but not so much in the pulpit. What I think is that he was so greatly filled with the Holy Spirit in his preaching (and the prayer closet) that TULIP just got overridden. He was a powerful evangelist/pastor trained in an age when TULIP was the reigning position."

    That is an insightful look at Spurgeon's ministry. I don't recall reading an evaluation of his outward ministry in light of TULIP in this way before.

    Thankfully his affinity for TULIP never took him to its natural conclusion, which is hyper-Calvinism.

    Thanks for that penetrating commentary.


    Lou

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  16. Kev:

    Earlier you wrote,

    I don't believe the man ever supported the concept of Lordship Salvation. However, even if I were to be shown to be wrong about that the man was still converted the way he was, and that was not in accordance with the doctrine of LS. So, in that case the man would self-refute his own teaching.

    And that is exactly why Spurgeon’s salvation testimony hits an exposed nerve with many LS advocates like Mark. His salvation testimony obviously does not align with and is in fact antithetical to contemporary LS teaching on how a lost man is born again. There is simply no trace of Lordship’s *promise to perform evangelistic message. This is why Mark reacted the way he did and attempted to redirect the discussion away from Spurgeon’s testimony.

    The main point of Spurgeon’s testimony is that he was saved by simply looking to Christ (not to himself), and by simply trusting Christ and what He did to provide salvation. This kind of salvation testimony is simply unacceptable to advocates of Lordship’s faith, plus commitment of life for salvation message, but they are not about to take on Spurgeon’s testimony. Just as Mark did, they either apply LS’s redefinition of the terms such as “believe” to force the testimony into conformity with modern day LS submission/surrender for salvation theology or evade his testimony entirely.

    Mark and other LS people often do not realize or refuse to acknowledge that Spurgeon’s belief on how the lost are born again, just as he described it in his own salvation testimony, was still his view in his latter years. Next week I am going to publish another sample to verify that Spurgeon always believed the lost are saved by simply looking to Christ.

    Continue below...


    Lou

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  17. *See John MacArthur’s Mandatory Performance Guidelines for “Lordship” Salvation

    For example MacArthur says a lost man is born again when,

    Saving faith is a placing of oneself totally in submission to the Lord Jesus Christ… Salvation begins (from the human standpoint) with a person’s willful obedience in turning from sin” (Romans, pp. 204-205, bold added).

    This is not just contrary to Spurgeon’s belief on how the lost are born again, himself included, but more importantly it is antithetical to the Scriptures. This just one of many examples from LS advocates that confirms LS is a works based man-centered message that frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).

    As George Zeller wrote,

    “Notice that the substitute preacher did not tell Spurgeon to “submit to Christ’s Lordship” or “fulfill the terms of discipleship” or “turn from and forsake all sin” or “hate father, mother, wife, children, etc.” These things are the rightful results of salvation but not the simple terms of salvation.”

    I can see LS men like Mark Pierson taking that man aside to chastise him for preaching an “easy-believism” non-saving message and missing that a young Spurgeon had just been genuinely born again the Bible way.

    As Spurgeon said,

    I listened to the Word of God and that precious text led me to the cross of Christ... Between half-past ten o’clock, when I entered that chapel, and half-past twelve o’clock, when I was back again at home, what a change had taken place in me! Simply by looking to Jesus I had been delivered from despair...


    Lou

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  18. I wonder what you all think of this idea:

    I have noticed that LS men tend to use words like "only" and "just" when they describe what they want a person to do for salvation. For instance, JM had said that ALL they were asking a person to do was turn from sin and follow Jesus. THAT'S IT, JUST turn from sin and follow Jesus. See what I mean? They make it sound like there is nothing more to it than when we say "only look", or "only trust", or "only believe". But what we say really is simple.

    Have any of you noticed this too?

    JanH

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  19. Hey Jan,

    Yes I have noticed this. What we mean by "only" is "exclusively." We say "Only trust in Jesus" and mean that one should trust in Jesus alone, to the exclusion of trusting in anyone or anything else.

    They say "just" or "only" turn from your sin to mean what is "to do what is reasonable."

    They are of course demanding of the sinner, what would seem to be "only" or "just" reasonable for someone to do when they truly comprehend what God did at the Cross.

    It's asking a blind man to squint at the Sun.

    Squinting is "only" and "just" reasonable if a person can see the incredible bright light of the Sun... but to demand them to squint before they can see it is ridiculous.

    What's more, squinting is an automatic response to the light of the Sun... you don't need to "demand" someone to squint.. you simply show them the Sun and it will happen on it's own...

    Kev

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  20. Hi Jan & others,

    Jan you make a good point about the choice of language used by those on both sides of the LS debate: there are efforts to keep it simple, but when the small words used start to get unpacked & defined whole volumes could be written about what it means to forsake sin & follow Jesus (the Puritans were famous for this)--but "look", "believe", "trust" ARE simple when they are unpacked & defined.

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  21. Kev-

    For some reason I never thought of using "only" that way. (!) I had always thought of it as "simply", not "exclusively". But you are correct. It is exclusively!

    Actually, I think it's both.

    but to demand them to squint before they can see it is ridiculous.

    Aren't they asking them to squint in order to see it?

    What's more, squinting is an automatic response to the light of the Sun... you don't need to "demand" someone to squint.. you simply show them the Sun and it will happen on it's own...

    You need to put this in your next book!

    JanH

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  22. Hi Pat-

    Yes. That is just what I mean. What I generally feel when I hear "just" and "only" from the LSers is the same thing I feel when someone is trying to get me to buy that handy dandy whiz bang kitchen gadget for the low, low price of JUST 9 million dollars! (More likely, $8,999,999.99! :))

    JanH

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  23. Jan you quoted me and wrote

    but to demand them to squint before they can see it is ridiculous.

    Aren't they asking them to squint in order to see it?


    you're right!!

    I don't know how far we can push the analogy but your comment got me to think of this -

    When they tell someone to act like a disciple in order to become a Christian they are telling people to squint. Because you can't see your need for Salvation well when you're busy trying to look good.

    That's what I took from your comment. Telling someone to block their vision of their need with a display of "goodness" is like telling someone to squint so they can see!

    It's absurd! And dangerous!

    Kev

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  24. Because you can't see your need for Salvation well when you're busy trying to look good.

    Wow Kev!

    That's an excellent point. I wasn't thinking of that, but it certainly fits. It leads to confusion regarding whether or not you are able to do something to be saved. On the one hand, they will rightly affirm that one cannot possibly save one's self, but then will give the person this thing they must do in order to be saved, which (I should think) could easily obfuscate the fact that the sinner is utterly wretched in God's sight, apart from Christ, with Whom He is well pleased. God is only pleased with His Son. This is why He must be received and we cannot talk of giving ourselves until this receiving has been done.

    I understand why they do this. They are coming from the position that the Holy Spirit is regenerating the person and therefore will work in such a one a disposition of obedience unto salvation, which would entail the fruit of faith as well as the faith itself. However, where they have gone wrong is that the person hearing is not getting from "turn from your sin and receive Jesus as Lord" that the Holy Spirit is working anything in them to make this happen. The listener's understanding is that HE must do it HIMSELF. So instead of giving the sinner something he must believe, they give the sinner something he must do. Now, if they did tell the sinner that it was the Holy Spirit moving in them to submit, etc. for salvation, they would be wrong (about the submitting for salvation), but at least they would be giving him something to believe. They have taken the passive aspect of faith which receives, and sort of ejected it, replacing it with an active doing/giving and then treating that doing AS faith, or an INGREDIENT of faith, instead of an EVIDENCE of faith. The end result being that the unregenerate sinner (for he cannot be regenerated prior to believing) is now striving to present to God the very thing God finds repulsive and has condemned- his dead, Adamic sinful self. The fact is, we are unable to give God anything acceptable at all unless it is done from the position of being in His Son, with Whom He is well pleased. This is why BELIEVERS are told to present their bodies as an offering, holy and blameless, and UNbelievers are told to eat Christ's flesh and drink His blood (believe in His substitutionary atoning death on the cross for THEIR sin). AFTER they have done that THEN they are to give their bodies as a sacrifice, holy and blameless. This should be obvious because where does an unbeliever get any holiness or blamelessness to present to God? And we all know God is strongly offended with unholy offerings.

    Cont...

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  25. Cont...

    Now things get really messy, because the TULIP LSer, who knows his TULIP teaching, and therefore is believing that the Holy Spirit has regenerated (pre regenerated?) the elect sinner, feels justified in calling on the regenerate to obey the demands of discipleship in order to receive salvation. The reason they deny that this is works salvation is because they understand the Holy Spirit to be the one doing all this. So the works issue is rendered irrelevant, since no one will do this apart from the Holy Spirit's regenerating them (correct) and it is OK to speak of works as long as they are the Holy Spirit's works. However, the sinner is NOT hearing this because, while the LSer knows all this, he is NOT saying it. He is saying just what we have been trying to expose- become a disciple in order to be saved. That is what they are hearing. It is therefore, a works message, regardless of the theological assumptions behind it. Those assumptions are irrelevant because the SINNER is not privy to them. He is still subject to the rule- faith comes by HEARING. He will accept what he HEARS and cannot accept what he does not hear. What he HEARS is commit to following Jesus as a disciple to be saved, salvation is only for those who will forsake everything, etc. They do NOT hear Jesus died for them and they need to accept His death on their behalf in order to be saved. The reason they do not hear that Jesus died for them is because of limited atonement. However, because of the way limited atonement is sort of kept in the back ground, (I say it is taught covertly) they will also not hear that Jesus did NOT die for them (usually. Steve Lawson is an exception when he says not one drop of blood was shed beyond the disciples.) What they will hear (without being aware of it) is the covert qualification of Christ's death: "God sent forth His Son to redeem." (No object of redemption mentioned.) "If you are saved, you are saved because Jesus died for you." "God sent forth His Son to redeem lost sinners LIKE you and me." "Jesus died for you, for God's people." "Salvation is for those who will forsake all." and so forth.

    Cont...

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  26. Cont...

    What I have not been able to figure out is why they have no problem preaching a universal call to discipleship but cannot preach a universal call to eat Christ's flesh and drink His blood. I don't see what the difference would be. Does God want the non elect to be disciples? Then why invite them? I suppose it is to show that those who do not answer the call are condemned. But why not invite them to receive Christ crucified? I don't see that it matters that all those God intends to save will be saved and these are the only ones for whom Christ died, lest one drop of His blood be wasted, when it is only these who will answer the call to discipleship in the first place. Aren't those for whom He died also those who are to be and will become- disciples? Then how can you make a universal call to discipleship when God will not regenerate all men to be disciples? How can you tell someone God is calling them to be a disciple when He has no more provided discipleship for the non elect than He has provided a Savior who died for them? See what I mean?

    Hmm. I guess I had a thought or two to write down. :)

    JanH

    ReplyDelete
  27. Jan not to give you a big head but

    The fact is, we are unable to give God anything acceptable at all unless it is done from the position of being in His Son, with Whom He is well pleased. This is why BELIEVERS are told to present their bodies as an offering, holy and blameless, and UNbelievers are told to eat Christ's flesh and drink His blood (believe in His substitutionary atoning death on the cross for THEIR sin). AFTER they have done that THEN they are to give their bodies as a sacrifice, holy and blameless. This should be obvious because where does an unbeliever get any holiness or blamelessness to present to God? And we all know God is strongly offended with unholy offerings.

    Is a power packed post!! YIKES good job!

    Kev

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  28. Jan,

    When we talk about "regeneration prior to salvation" I always wonder - if that's the case then why talk about works anyway? If the sinner isn't the one who's going to DO them.. then why ask him TO?

    Then you lay this out -

    However, the sinner is NOT hearing this because, while the LSer knows all this, he is NOT saying it.

    and it reminds me of how deeply offended the TULIP LSer gets when you suggest that a sinner might be ABLE to believe - as though that blasphemes God and invalidates His sovereignty.

    What's funny is because they are demanding the SINNER does these things, they themselves are blaspheming their idea of God.

    Again.. never thought of that.

    Kev

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  29. The 5 Point TULIP Calvinist will say they Evangelize because God commands it.

    It's their duty.

    It doesn't matter if that duty makes God out to be liar - if their view of Limited Atonement is true. How can you tell someone the good news that Jesus died for their sins, if He didn't... and claim to be preaching the Word of God Who cannot lie?

    Kev

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  30. It doesn't matter if that duty makes God out to be liar - if their view of Limited Atonement is true. How can you tell someone the good news that Jesus died for their sins, if He didn't... and claim to be preaching the Word of God Who cannot lie?

    But that's just it, Kev. They DON'T tell someone that Jesus died for their sins, without qualifications. They also don't tell them that He didn't. They tell them that Jesus died for sin. Not for THEIR sin but not not for their sin either.



    JanH

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  31. By the way, Kev,

    Don't worry about giving me a big head. I based most of the part that you quoted on a message by Pastor James Delany which can be read here:

    http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/christia/delany.htm

    I just did the math from that.

    Jim Delany pastors the Salem Bible Church in Salem, NH. His sermons can be accessed here:

    http://www.salembible.org/


    All,

    The man must be heard. Listen to him. :)

    JanH

    ReplyDelete
  32. Dear fellow bloggers,

    The concept of a limited atonement needs to be looked at with a critical mind because there is a hell that many (our Lord said few will be saved) will inhabit for all eternity & obviously God would not send them there forever if Christ satisfied the demands of God' righteousness for these people; so the atonement is limited somehow because its benefits don't ultimately extend to all but only to those who are saved. Either God limits it in its effecaciousness by not attending the gospel presentation with the blessings of the Holy Spirit, or it is limited providentially by the good news not reaching everyone, or it is limited by the sinner who rejects it, or the atonement was only for the elect---but it is limited somehow & the real question is what is God's part in all of this? & I think we start running into problems when we try to squeeze scripture into what we call "logic", these truths--like the trinity in unity--are beyond the scope of human "logic", but that is to be expected because though we can know God truly we can never know Him exhaustively because He is infite & everlasting & we are finite & born almost yesterday. So be gracious to our Calvinistic brethren because for the most part they are sincerely trying to follow the scriptures. I have known many of these & they do struggle with these truths & some of them have taken them to their logical conclusion which is typically hyper-Calvinism, & then sometimes God graciously delivers them from that,(been there, done that), & they are content to affirm that the gospel is not about the # of people that Christ died for but the character & plight of those people as lost, undone, filthy, ungodly, enemies of God, & without God in the world: those are the people that Christ died for.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Pat:

    I appreciate your concern with Calvinism’s most disconcerting element of T-U-L-I-P; the limited atonement. It is, however, somewhat off topic for this thread. So, I’ll leave it up, but prefer that discussion be reserved for another time.

    I trust that is OK with you.

    As for me I reject all 5 points of Calvinism as I understand them and realize that debate is never going to be settled this side of Heaven. I am happy to confess my ignorance of God can be absolutely sovereign and yet there is human freedom to choose. I do not view them as competing truths, simply truths that need no reconciling.

    Thanks,


    Lou

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  34. Pat:

    I appreciate your concern with Calvinism’s most disconcerting element of T-U-L-I-P; the limited atonement. It is, however, somewhat off topic for this thread. So, I’ll leave it up, but prefer that discussion be reserved for another time.


    Lou,

    In all fairness that comment probably should be directed to me as I am the one that began things down that road.

    Therefore, I will agree to be done with that for this thread.

    JanH

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  35. Hi Jan:

    Very kind of you, I did not recall that start-up earlier in the thread.

    Sorry, if I appeared to scold. I just prefer to retain those TULIP discussions for threads dedicated to Calvinism, which I rarely venture into for reasons I noted in my comment above.

    Thanks for being a good sport.


    Lou

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  36. Sorry, if I appeared to scold.

    I didn't hear it that way at all.

    Especially since you said it to Pat! Hehe. :))

    JanH

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  37. Especially since you said it to Pat! Hehe. :))

    HAHAHAHA!

    Kev

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  38. It's an excercise in futility to attempt to extracate someone from the false gospel of LS without addressing the foundation upon which LS is built; namely that of TULIP. The vain philosophy which is TULIP is not something we can simply "put aside for now" waiting until Christ returns to resolve the issue. Too many souls will perish with that kind of human reasoning. In short, if we really care about those caught up in LS we will help them to see how they got there (i.e. must discuss the false philosophy of TULIP).

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hello Jimmy:

    I appreciate your passion for a clear defense of the Gospel. There is a definite Calvinism connection to Lordship Salvation (LS). LS is rooted in Calvinism and so it is a valid and important discussion.

    I’m not sure that you have read my book, but there is one major appendix and two smaller sections dedicated to discussing the connection between Calvinism and LS. The appendix has been revised for the new edition to make it more compelling and effective than the first.

    FWIW, I am willing to deal with Calvinism on a moments notice. My primary concern, however, is with LS because it is on that specific doctrinal aberration that the eternal destiny of every living (unsaved) soul is at risk.

    I’m at work on a short break, let me mull this over a little more and get back to you; OK?

    You might like to read Lordship's (Out-of-Order) Salvation in the meantime. I think you'll appreciate this one.


    Lou

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  40. Hey Lou:

    I understand your primary concern with regard to LS is keeping people from adopting it in the first place. Fantastic, and much appreciated.

    My point is that those WHO HAVE ALREADY ADOPTED LS are not likely to see it for the false gospel it is UNTIL and UNLESS their eyes are opened to the corrupt foundation (TULIP) that is LS's life support system.

    In summary, it seems to me that if we are conversing with someone who has already adopted LS (i.e. Mark and others like him), it is imperative we do the hard work of methodically going through the logical fallacies of TULIP.

    Yours in Christ,
    Jimmy

    P.S. The Bible has clearly and simply defined what is man's responsibiblity and what is God's in the salvation process. It is not a mystery as some suggest. It is not complicated, and we need not wait until heaven to plainly declare what Scripture has already stated in plain terms. The problem arises when man pours unbiblical definitions into biblical terms like election and predestination.

    ReplyDelete
  41. My point is that those WHO HAVE ALREADY ADOPTED LS are not likely to see it for the false gospel it is UNTIL and UNLESS their eyes are opened to the corrupt foundation (TULIP) that is LS's life support system.

    Jimmy-

    This has been my position as well. However, it will only work if the person is already aware of the fallacy of TULIP. Someone like Mark, who holds to TULIP, will not see the problem. I am not sure if I said this already, but I find that often the road to adopting TULIP Calvinism begins with the adoption of the LS gospel.

    My concern is increasingly for those who do not really hear what they are being told when they hear an LS gospel presentation from a TULIP adherent. Most people in the pews (at least the ones that I know) are not aware of TULIP or what makes it dangerous. Because the preaching of TULIP is so subtle in most LS presentations, even many people who do know what it is and should know better don't necessarily hear it.

    My way of dealing with the issue among those with whom I fellowship and minister is to make sure that I focus on the crucifixion of Christ for the sins of each lost person, stressing the need to personally trust this finished work that was done for THEM. In short, I bring the sinner directly to Christ crucified for him or her. No getting there through "receive Jesus as Lord and He will become your Savior," as Rick Holland said. And, incidentally, RH had said this at the end of a sermon on the atonement where he stressed that Jesus "died ONCE for MANY." (Emphasis his)

    JanH

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  42. Jan:

    You state, "However, it will only work (getting them to see LS for the false gospel it is) if the person is already aware of the fallacy of TULIP".

    You and I will have to disagree..agreeably...on this point. I've delt with several individuals who've come out of LS only AFTER they finally saw TULIP for the vain philosophy it is.

    Jimmy

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  43. Jan:

    You wrote, “My concern is increasingly for those who do not really hear what they are being told when they hear an LS gospel presentation from a TULIP adherent. Most people in the pews (at least the ones that I know) are not aware of TULIP or what makes it dangerous. Because the preaching of TULIP is so subtle in most LS presentations, even many people who do know what it is and should know better don't necessarily hear it.”

    You have echoed what has been one of, if not my primary motive, for dealing with LS over years. That is the subtlety with which Lordship Salvation (and Calvinism) is introduced to the unsuspecting. Although my book is overwhelmingly dedicated to the biblical answers to Lordship Salvation I did include an extended appendix entry to briefly define Calvinism for those who may not be aware of the inherent dangers of Calvinism and its connection to Lordship Salvation.

    In my experience LS is not introduced until some paving of the way has been laid with a delicate introduction of the Calvinistic foundations, which under gird LS itself.

    One of the more recent observations that one can make is how, with Calvinism for example, the Calvinists are trying to relabel their theology. They do not like to use the label, “Calvinism” The new label being floated is the “Doctrines of Grace.” This is not new, but it is gaining some traction.

    There is also some movement (resurgence) toward redefining the normally accepted and often used definitive terms for the T-U-L-I-P, which are:

    Total Inability
    Unconditional Election
    Limited Atonement
    Irresistible Grace
    Perseverance of the Saints


    IMO, repackaging the theology with softer, less revealing language will ease the introduction and acceptance of Calvinistic theology.

    Jan/Jimmy, I appreciate your tone and your respective commentary.


    Lou

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  44. I've delt with several individuals who've come out of LS only AFTER they finally saw TULIP for the vain philosophy it is.

    I envy you, Jimmy! :) I'm happy to hear it though.

    I have yet to personally see anyone who gets in to TULIP come back out again.


    In my experience LS is not introduced until some paving of the way has been laid with a delicate introduction of the Calvinistic foundations, which under gird LS itself.

    Lou-

    That is interesting.

    Delicate? Whatever for? Why would they need to be delicate? Why such stealthy measures?

    JanH

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  45. Jan:

    Imagine speaking to a person(s) and telling them in unvarnished terms about Calvinism’s Total Inability and I stress, “inability” because that is where the error is.

    Most Calvinists refrain from using the term “Total Inability” even though this is their actual belief. They prefer, “Total Depravity” because that is not where the controversy is. Any balanced Bible believing Christian believers in the total depravity of man (Jer. 17:9; Romans 3).

    Calvinism, however, goes further than the Scriptures. Their Total Inability essentially negates passage that refute their inability thinking such as John 16:8-11, which shows us that the Holy Spirit does the convicting and convincing work.

    This brief excerpt from an appendix in the revised edition of my book, IDOTG: “Calvinism takes the depravity of man and shifts to a position of total inability. Total inability teaches that man is unable to participate, respond to or cooperate with God in the salvation process. Total inability sees lost man as absolutely unable to hear or respond to spiritual things, including the gospel. Calvinism entirely rules out the free will of man to respond to the gospel and choose to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

    This then leads to Calvinism’s extra-biblical regeneration before faith, which George Zeller has done great work on in refuting it. See- The Danger of Teaching That Regeneration Precedes Faith

    This teaching of Total Inability, if given in unvarnished terms, would raise red-flags immediately among many who may not even be fully aware of Calvinism’s T-U-L-I-P.


    Lou

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  46. I would like to converse via phone to save my old eyes & worn out hands for the full time university classes I am starting, so if anyone would like to talk I have been through the Calvinism & LS side of things since 1981, have been deliverd from LS, but still a Calvinist as Spurgeon was. My e-mail is dpatrickcox@roadrunner.com
    I hope to get some replies.

    If you want to see about an almost 300 year old LS conflict that rocked the Church of Scotland go here:
    http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/MarrowControversy.html

    & see Walter Marshall (1628 to 1680) on coming to Christ here:
    http://www.mountzion.org/PDFs/crsi.pdf

    THe LS position has been a source of conflict for centuries, & it was Calvinists that lead the fight against it way back then.

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  47. Yes. I know, Lou. I guess what I was getting at while trying not to say it in so many words is, why the stealth inasmuch as stealth goes with deception. And anything that requires deception to gain an entrance is not from God.

    If you see what I mean.

    I wanted to get at the character of the thing.

    JanH

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  48. Jan:

    Lest I be misunderstood, I've witnessed only a small percentage of LS folks coming out of it. Of those that have however, each did so as a result of coming to grips with the absurdity of a calvinistic understanding of Total Depravity. This is not to say my experience is the norm, but it does provide food for thought.

    Having said this, Lou made a critical point IMO regarding LS's utter dependence upon the unbiblical doctrine of Regeneration Precedes Faith (hereafter RPF). Each one of the folks I know who came out of LS held to RPF before being delivered. This got me to thinking. I can not recall witnessing any LS advocate who DOESN'T hold to RPF (i.e. 4 point Calvinist) ever coming out of LS.

    My only explanation of this (and I may be reaching here) is that the 4pointer is so inherently inconsistent in his own theology (e.g. holds to TI but is appauled by the logical, but unbiblical solution of RPF) that his/her mind has literally become inpenetrable to logic itself.

    In summary, it appears to me atleast that RPF calvinists are more likely to come out of LS than non-RPF calvinists. Isn't it mind-boggling that a non-RPF calvinist even exists?

    Jimmy

    P.S. I know a gal who was a 4 pointer for 14 yrs. before being delivered from it one night as she meditated upon Eph. 2:8-9 and finally realized that salvific faith could not be a gift. That the Holy Spirit will not be put in a box is a good reminder for me.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Jan:

    Sorry if I missed the objective. I began typing and that is what came through.

    You’d be surprised how often you will approach an LS advocate and if you get to the root of their man-centered system, some will react badly. Many of them do not like a full, frank and transparent discussion of the system. They always try to steer away from LS justification in preference for the sanctification discussion because justification is where the crux of LS’s error is found.

    I can personally recount three incidents where pastors who believe in LS were being graciously questioned about their LS theology and lost their personal testimony with an angry reaction. It is basically, “How dare anyone question my theology of salvation.” One of these angry outbursts took place in a group meeting of pastors. I was there and saw it myself.

    Once I got a phone call form a pastor who was screaming so loud that my family in the adjoining room could hear him coming over the phone. Later that day another pastor called me to say that the same man who called me just called him and lost it in fit of anger with him on the phone as well.

    Typically, however, the mantra like cries of “misrepresentation” precede the more vitriolic responses.


    Lou

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  50. Jimmy:

    I appreciate your notes above. Calvinism’s extra-biblical regeneration before faith (RBF) is critical to understanding how LS advocates arrive at their system. Following RBF logic they are preaching salvation to people they believe have been or will be regenerated before faith in Christ. So, IMO they might believe that gaining a commitment for discipleship, to BECOME a Christian, is coming from a man who has been born again already.

    Imagine approaching evangelism believing a man must be born again by faith plus commitment of life, but this can occur only AFTER he has been regenerated, i.e. born again prior to faith in the first place. Seems absurd, doesn’t it? It is!

    That may be why they insist that their LS system is not works salvation. I am just shooting from the hip, nothing concrete there, just hypothesizing.

    In some discussions you find the opinion that the Calvinist embraces a rationalistic fatalism rather than biblical faith in his approach to theology. This is how he arrives at the conclusions found in Calvinism. Years ago a good friend, preacher and theologian now with the Lord, provided for me the following:

    “Rationalistic fatalism is understandable in light of dictionary usage. According to Franklin’s Dictionary & Thesaurus, ‘rationalistic’ is literally: ‘reliance on reason as the basis for the establishment of religious truth,’ and ‘fatalism’ is the ‘belief that fate determines events.’ Of course ‘fate’ is a cause beyond human control to determine. Looking at the statement in this light demonstrates that those referred to rely on reason rather than revelation as the basis for their theological moorings. The ‘circle logic’ of five-point Calvinism is just that for the whole system crumbles when a single link in the chain is broken. One must approach the system with reason rather than faith. This of course leads to the fatalism just mentioned, which holds that God has predetermined the destiny of human souls and that all the witnessing, praying, and missionary effort in the world will not change the outcome.”

    I’ll close with a link to another article by George Zeller, which addresses your noting another one of Calvinism’s extra-biblical positions.

    The Danger of Teaching that Faith is the Gift of God


    Lou

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  51. Lou, Jan, Jimmy, and Mark even if you're reading still.

    Lou wrote:

    I appreciate your notes above. Calvinism’s extra-biblical regeneration before faith (RBF) is critical to understanding how LS advocates arrive at their system.

    I've just come to what I think is a break-through in my thinking. I've been preaching against RFB, and LS for nearly as long as I've been a believer, I was believing LS for a short period of time.

    I tend to call LS a works-based salvation message. I do believe this is true. HOWEVER, the conversation is always complicated by the LS advocate's bizarre questions about who gets credit for what... if the person is Regenerated then God gets the credit so it's not works based... and if the person isn't regenerated at they "choose" Christ then THEY must get the credit instead of God....

    It gets, forgive me, stupid very quickly.

    When I was working on my Tripping Tulip series I realized that the crux of the error of TULIP is that it teaches are person must be "good enough" to get to Heaven.

    LS, likewise can be described as a "goodness" based salvation message.

    here's how it works;

    The person is lacking all goodness, and it takes goodness to please, see, know about, call one, desire, or even suspect that God exists. (Total Depravity/Inability)

    The person is supernaturally transformed (regenerated) into someone "good enough" to "choose" God. Because they are now "good" they can't help but surrender and worship God unconditionally. (Unconditional Election & Irresistible Grace).

    These are the same people that God choose in eternity past and applied their sins to the Cross. So legally God could change them to be "good enough." (Limited Atonement)

    And they STAY saved because they are "kept" "good enough" to go to Heaven (perseverance of the saints)

    The basis for the salvation that the LS Gospel is a person's "goodness" not the Sacrifice of the Cross. In the LS extension of the TULIP system the Blood is only effective to make it legal for God to regenerate someone. Their actual Salvation is based on their "goodness."

    This system obviously makes a mockery of the Scriptures, and removes the truth that Righteousness is IMPUTED.

    Kev

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  52. I can not recall witnessing any LS advocate who DOESN'T hold to RPF (i.e. 4 point Calvinist) ever coming out of LS.

    My only explanation of this (and I may be reaching here) is that the 4pointer is so inherently inconsistent in his own theology (e.g. holds to TI but is appauled by the logical, but unbiblical solution of RPF) that his/her mind has literally become inpenetrable to logic itself.


    I suspect a main reason For LS with them may hark back to the concern for the practical purity of the church and is not really doctrinal at all. They may be using the logic "at least we agree on this point." I think it is this very thing that attracts so many non TULIPers to JM. I currently have a pastor who is primarily 4 point but heavily influenced by JM and has taken to (increasingly) stressing repentance for salvation. At the same time he will strongly repudiate both RPF and LA. He has not quite gotten to the point of requiring Jesus to be declared as Lord for salvation in so many words and I can only hope he does not come to that point. I know, though, this is a sort of creeping but deliberate change for him.

    What he does not realize, I guess, is how much more powerful and Spirit filled his gospel presentations were when he would just preach the regular gospel without trying to conform to this new (for him) standard. Now his presentations and even his sermons are sounding increasingly forced and unnatural. Almost at times like he is trying to make Scripture say something in order to make his point. He is striving after personal obedience and obedience in the church and he has apparently taken JM as a sort of mentor in how to preach that way. I am firmly convinced that he has no idea that LS is inextricably interlinked to the TULIP doctrines of LS and RPF and cannot be held logically without them, without being full blown Arminian. Even though he has said that as soon as he finds out a teacher holds to RPF and LA he puts them away from himself, I am fairly certain he is aware that JM is TULIP in full flower. So there is a logical inconsistency there for sure. He seems to think that he can play with this fire and not get burned. Definitely not the case as his preaching ministry is already beginning to suffer for it. Unfortunately, what he is impervious to on this is criticism. I am afraid that if the Lord doesn't do something soon we are going to lose him on this.

    However, I doubt he will ever embrace RPF or LA.

    JanH

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  53. That may be why they insist that their LS system is not works salvation.

    Lou-

    I am confused on this point. I know they insist LS is not works based. Yet there have been discussions on these boards where (if I remember correctly) it was asserted by at least one LSer that it IS works based but it is God who does the work and not man so it is OK. So what they really mean is when they say it is not based on works is, it is not based on MAN'S works. Therefore, it is God who gets the glory for it.

    If my understanding is correct, then that is yet another case of deceptive speech.

    Then again, I may not be correct. Can you (or anyone) clarify for me?

    Thanks.

    JanH

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  54. Kev-

    Have you seen this article at Middletown:

    http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/vicarlaw.htm

    What you are describing is the very Reformed/Covenantal doctrine encapsulated in vicarious law keeping, which says that the life that Christ lived in obedience to the Law is just as redemptive for us as the death that He died. In short, He obeyed all the commands of the Law in our stead as well as dying on the cross in our stead. So we are effectively made "good enough" as you describe and salvation is earned for us by Christ's perfect keeping of the law. It is wrong, of course because if righteousness could come through the law then Christ died needlessly.

    JanH

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  55. Hi Jan,

    Nope I don't think I have read that article, but I'm familiar with the concept.

    If you ever want to have your mind absolutely blown by the depth of the Cross (and who wouldn't right?) pick up CH Mackintosh's "Notes on the Pentateuch" or just scroll down on THIS PAGE to that.

    Check out his commentary on Leviticus and you'll see the Cross in a depth that will marvel you, for sure!!! Not that you don't already have a deep view of it.

    Why I bring this up is because Christ's perfect life was to fulfill one of the offerings - the Peace Offering I think... it was not about sin bearing or atonement, it was about His perfection before the Father.

    I haven't finished his work in Leviticus but I'm DELIGHTED by what I have read so far.

    Kev

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  56. Thanks Kev! I'll check that out. I am at that stempublishing.com fairly often for one reason or another. I think the authors there are the best!

    JanH

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