Friday, August 7, 2020

The Danger Of Adding To Faith Alone

Galatians 3:24-26, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

The Gospel is so delicate that it is easily corrupted. We are all guilty and needy sinners (Romans 3:10-23). The “Gospel” (or “Good News”) is simply that Jesus Christ DIED on the cross for our sins, He was BURIED, and He physically RESURRECTED three days later from the dead (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Anybody who places childlike FAITH (reliance) in this “GOOD NEWS” is saved. Faith is all that God requires! Our text passage from Galatians 3:26 simply says, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” In hundreds of Scripture passages we are taught that salvation is BY FAITH.

But along comes a spider, a thief, a liar, a false prophet, a Bob Jones University Bible professor—who ADDS the unbiblical requirement to “REPENT OF YOUR SIN,” or TURN FROM YOUR SINS,” or “BE WILLING TO TURN FROM YOUR SINS” to be saved! These are all another gospel, which cannot produce the new birth (regeneration).

The following helpful words are from The Middletown Bible Church in Middletown, Connecticut. I thank God for their faithful pastor and church for contending for the Christian faith. ...
In recent years many Reformed men have been strongly promoting what has been called "Lordship Salvation." Essentially Lordship salvation teaches that simple faith in Jesus Christ is not enough for salvation. Something else is needed. A solid commitment to Christ is needed. A person needs to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. A willingness to obey Christ’s commands is a necessary condition. Also the sinner must fulfill the demands of discipleship or at least be willing to fulfill them in order to have eternal life.
We must never forget that a person is saved because he throws himself upon the mercy of a loving Savior who died for him. It is not our COMMITMENT that saves us; it is our CHRIST who saves us! It is not our SURRENDER that saves us; it is our Savior who does! It is not what I do for God; it is what God has done for me. 
We need to avoid the dangerous error of taking what should be the RESULT of salvation and making it the REQUIREMENT for salvation:
  • It is because I am saved that I surrender to His Lordship.
  • It is because I am saved that I follow Him in willing obedience.
  • It is because I am saved that I agree to the terms of discipleship.
  • It is because I am saved that I submit to His authority over every area of my life.
Behavior and fruit are the evidences of saving faith but they are not the essence of saving faith. Don’t confuse the fruit with the root. Because we are justified freely by His grace we measure up to the full demands of God’s righteousness in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21); because we are frail we often fail to measure up to the full demands of discipleship (Luke 14:25–33, etc.). The requirements of discipleship are many; the requirement for salvation is simple faith and trust in the Savior.
My commitment to Jesus Christ does not save me: CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE. My surrender to His Lordship does not save me. CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE. My obedience to His Word does not save me. CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE. My love for the Savior does not save me. CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE. My ability or lack of ability to fulfill all the demands of discipleship does not save me. CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE. My behavior (conduct) does not save me. CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE.
God’s saving grace is to be found in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone can satisfy God’s holiness and righteousness! Eternal life is not something that we earn or achieve by our faithful living throughout our Christian life. Instead, it is a free gift that we receive at the moment we first believe in Christ. This LIFE is the present possession of every believer: "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12; all verbs are in the present tense).
Have you been justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus? Is your hope built upon what you have done or is your hope based upon Jesus’ blood and righteousness? "I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but WHOLLY LEAN ON JESUS’ NAME!" May we be standing fully on Christ the solid Rock, not upon the sinking sand of our own fragile commitment.
Beware of the Devil's lie that you must “repent of your sin” or “turn from your sinful ways” to be saved. You get saved by believing the Gospel, not by turning from anything! I've heard some sincerely deceived Baptist pastors defend the wrong repentance crowd, saying that you have to turn FROM something in order to turn TO Christ. Well, if a person accepts Jesus as their personal Savior, who cares what they have turned from, because they are now saved (which shows that they have repented, i.e., changed their mind). Lordship Salvation and the Wrong Repentance are not always the same thing. I have met pastors who refute Lordship Salvation, but promote wrong repentance; however, both doctrines of devils promote the same evil of ADDING to faith alone.

The Lordship Salvation and Wrong Repentance crowd say you must “turn from your sin” as an ADDITIONAL step to saving faith. The Bible teaches that repentance and faith are simply two parts of ONE ACT OF BELIEVING (Acts 20:21). Repentance is simply the recognition of one's self as a needy sinner, which compels us to place our faith in the Gospel. Repentance does not mean to forsake the world, turn from sinful bad habits, nor be willing to turn from one's sins. To “repent” simply means a change of mind”—a change of mind from WRONG THINKING of what I want to do to get to Heaven, to what God says I must do to get to Heaven. 

This is what Hebrews 6:1 means by repentance from “DEAD WORKS.” All works are dead works! Keeping the law (effectively the same as turning from your sins) is dead works!!! Good works and bad works are DEAD WORKS! You don't get saved by doing good works, nor do you get saved by turning away from bad works, you get saved by RESTING in the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:10-11, “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” How ironic it is then, that so many false teachers today require lost sinners to repent (turn) from their sin to be saved. As we just read in Hebrews 4:10-11, salvation requires CEASING FROM OUR OWN WORKS!!! That means you DON'T have to turn from your sins to be saved, which would be self-righteousness (i.e., human reformation). Either God does the saving—ALL OF IT—or else we don't go to Heaven!!! 

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