Many people today insist that in order to be saved, we must MAKE Jesus our Lord. But, consider this question: Can a man serve two masters? Can a servant of sin simply CHOOSE another Lord or master?
Before we are saved, we as lost men and ...women are in bondage to our sin, powerless to break away. As slaves to that sin, we are servants to it.
Romans 6:16 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
“No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. “(Lk. 16:13 )
Before we are saved, we do not have the freedom or the power to choose another Lord Or Master, because we are slaves to our sin. But when we see our sinful desperate condition as a lost sinner condemned to Hell and turn in faith to Jesus as our Savior, we are purchased by His blood. We are bought with a price, and sealed with the Holy Spirit,” the earnest of our inheritance...”(Eph. 1:14)
We then are no longer slaves to sin as children of the Devil, but are freed from the bondage to sin and become instead sons of God. Although Jesus has been and always will be Lord of all; by his purchase He becomes our rightful owner and our personal Lord as well as our Savior. We then become his willing servants of righteousness.
Romans 6:17 “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
And now as servants of righteousness, doing the Father’s will, the mind and purpose of Christ, becomes our mind and purpose as well.
Jesus’ Lordship over our lives is evidence of our salvation, evidence of our freedom from our bondage to sin, not the cause. If you are saved, and Jesus still is not your Lord, having rule and reign over your life, or if you are still in bondage as a servant of sin, then it might be an indication that you have not truly been saved yet.
Many times we are so anxious for our children to be saved that we begin their teaching with the gospel of Jesus. We tell them the answer to the question they have not yet asked: “How can I be reconciled to God?” Often they do not even have a correct understanding of who God is, or why they are separated from Him. The bible tells us that:
Psalms 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”
In order to teach children the fear of the Lord, we must first teach them who God is, and what his righteous commands for us are.
Who is this God that he should be feared? God is holy, and good, merciful and compassionate. He knows all and sees all, and is everywhere all the time. He is terrible, all powerful, righteous and just in judgment. He is the God of the Old Testament. The same now as He ever was- He does not change.
Only when they know who He is, can they truly revere Him, and desire to be reconciled to him.
Through learning his laws they begin to see His holiness as a stark contrast to their own sin, and recognize their lost condition. And by learning of his righteous judgment of the wicked, they recognize His just judgment of their own sin and need for a Savior. In seeing God's great mercy and provision, they see His great love for man and recognize His great grace and unspeakable gift.
Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
When we lean only on our own understanding and see only our circumstances, it can be easy to give in to discouragement. Our prayers may seem to go unanswered and we may have a little lapse in faith. We may be confused as we see different areas of our lives as spinning out of control. This is when we begin to believe the lies of Satan. We forget who is really in control. Sometimes we just get so caught up in all the trials and tribulations of this life, that we lose sight of our true purpose.
2 Timothy 2:4 "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
It is then that we need to look through our spiritual eyes and see things as they really are. Jesus asked his disciples in Mark 8:18 “Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?”
The same question could be asked of us. If we’re saved, it isn’t because we cannot see. We know that when we we’re saved our eyes were opened. The Bible tells us so in: Acts 26:18 “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, “
But, very often, we choose not to see and just allow things to go the way they are going, as if we are still without hope. If we could just step back and see the big picture that is really before us we would see the mighty hand of God working in ways that would just amaze us.
2 Kings 6:15-17 "And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
If we would look through those eyes, we would probably fall on our knees in praise. We might even regain that wonder we had when we were first saved; when we knew how awesome God was and mighty to save even us. If we saw with those eyes we would be able to say as Elisha, “Fear not!”; confident that the Lord is in control.
I pray that God would open our eyes to see the battle that is before us daily.
Many Christians today have bought into the idea that doctrinal truth doesn’t matter- that showing Christian love and charity and expressing worship toward God are evidences of walking in the Spirit. But, according to the bible, you can’t have one without the other. You cannot walk in the Spirit without walking in truth.
The Holy Spirit is described as the “Spirit of Truth.” His job is to guide us into all truth, and teach us. According to the bible, even the act of worship is inseparable from truth-
John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
We cannot walk in the Spirit or have true spirituality apart from the truth. All of the good things we do, apart from truth are only works of the flesh. If we refuse truth and accept false doctrine, we are NOT walking in the Spirit, no matter how we may like to think that we are. We are actually quenching the Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God within the believer desires to teach us truth. The Spirit simply will not behave contrary to the word of God, or fail to accomplish his purpose.
John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the SPIRIT of TRUTH, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
He also will NOT draw attention to himself. His job is always to point to Christ THROUGH the truth of the word.
John 15:26 “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the SPIRIT of TRUTH, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”
How important is the truth to you?
3 John 1:3 “For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.”
Can it be said of you that you walk in truth? If not, it’s time to get serious about the truth of the word.
Ephesians 5:8 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and TRUTH;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. When someone begins to teach some new thing, some better way, some new or modern approach to worship, you can be certain pride is at its foundation. They are those who will “throw off” the restraints of conservative worship, labeling it as legalism. “WE WILL NOT WALK THEREIN,” is their attitude, because they believe they have become wiser than their teachers and elders having found a more modern.
The bible is clear that “there is nothing new under the sun.” These are the same old lies of the Devil, in a different package.
This is often the case with young people, zealous to serve the Lord, but not yet mature enough to see the wisdom of the old ways. That is why the qualifications for a Pastor include this: 1 Timothy 3:6 “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.”
The two greatest avenues of change pursued by these are generally: alternate bible versions and contemporary music. These may not seem like issues at all for many people and both are widely accepted in the “Christian” community. But these can easily be the slippery slope that leads to compromise and apostasy.
Contemporary Music and Alternate Bible versions are both widely accepted by the saved and unsaved; the Liberal churches as well as the conservative use them. Often they become the bridge to unbiblical ecumenical alliances. Common musical interests help form bonds of the false fellowship with those we should be evangelizing. This often leads to confusion of who is teaching who. The vague language and doctrinally ambiguous message of the alternate bible versions make it easy to overlook differences in beliefs smudging the lines of biblical separation. With no clear doctrine, because of the multitudes of differing interpretations within the new versions, who can say what truth is? If there is no truth, then we open ourselves up to false teaching.
We have all seen bible believers, once strong in faith and doctrine, seduced by false teachers and led astray. Eventually, they leave the Church and in time either fall away or join themselves to a false Church. Pride and sin is always the cause, but they almost always begin with the same warning signs: Music and versions. Be careful of what you accept as a new and better way.
Romans 16:17 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences CONTRARY TO the DOCTRINE which ye have learned; and AVOID THEM.”
As Christians we are warned to avoid those who teach doctrine contrary to what we have learned from the scriptures. There are many, out there leading many astray. The Christian bookstore, TV and internet are full of these false teachers. They may even call themselves by the same name as we claim, but these are grievous wolves entered in among the flocks.
Before you run out and buy their books, or follow their teachings, find out what they actually believe. Their books may sound good, or part of their message may agree with what you believe; you may not even notice anything wrong initially, but little by little, their evil communications will corrupt. False doctrine is like leaven, it will leaven the whole lump.
Acts 20:29-31 “ For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”
How do you show yourself as a Christian, approved unto God?
By loving, serving and displaying fruits of the spirit, offering ourselves daily, a willing sacrifice to be used as He would choose? That is wonderful and what we all should be doing if we’re Christians, but the bible tells us this is our “reasonable service.” This is not above and beyond, but the bare minimum, the least we should be doing.
The bible tells us to also “Study” to show ourselves approved unto God…
Many people act as though bible knowledge and wisdom are gifts reserved only for the Pastor and teacher and the elite few. But God tells us wisdom is available to ALL MEN. James 1:5 “ If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
The Bereans were commended, NOT for their service, but for their study of the word, daily searching the scriptures to see if what they were hearing was really so.
It takes time, and prayer study, and attention to the word. Hebrews 5:14 “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who BY REASON OF USE have their senses EXERCISED to discern both good and evil.”
As Christians, we should be striving to become more “Christ-like.” How can we become more like Him if we do not know him? To know Him is to know His word! He is the word of life!
2Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Genesis 3:5 “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and YE SHALL BE AS GODS, knowing good and evil.”
That lie never seems to get old, as the Devil seduces more and more. Many false teachers today, promoting that same lie promise that you too can be “AS GODS,” having super-natural powers beyond human limitations, if you have enough faith. They promise the power to “speak into existence” either good or bad. Yet, God’s Word alone has that power. Hebrews 11:3 “ Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God,”
They bring railing accusations against the Devil, claiming the power to command demons and “bind Satan.” Jude 1:9 “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”
They promise health and wealth and freedom from restraints. 2 Peter 2:18 “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.”
Both newly saved and unsaved alike are drawn in by the thought of being “AS GODS” and led further away from God, into error. Don’t believe everything you hear, but search the scriptures and see if these things really are so, prove all things, hold fast that which is good. The Bible warns many times about deceivers who would come promising such things. Don’t be deceived.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 “Even him, whose coming is after THE WORKING OF SATAN WITH ALL POWER AND SIGNS AND LYING WONDERS, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; BECAUSE THEY RECEIVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved.”
2 Peter 2:2 “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they WITH FEIGNED WORDS MAKE MERCHANDISE OF YOU: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
Romans 7:7 “… I HAD NOT KNOWN SIN BUT BY THE LAW: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
I did not recognize my sinful lust as covetousness until I knew the law
8 “But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For WITHOUT THE LAW SIN WAS DEAD.”
Without the law, it seemed that there was no condemnation of my sin, as though it was not sin at all.
9 “For I was alive without the law once: but WHEN THE COMMANDMENT CAME, SIN REVIVED AND I DIED.”
I thought that I was alive before and well in God’s sight, fully able to stand before him; but when the law came, instead of justifying me and guaranteeing my eternal life, as I thought, it brought to light the sinfulness of my sin, and condemned me instead.
10“And THE COMMANDMENT WHICH WAS ORDAINED TO LIFE, I FOUND TO BE UNTO DEATH.
Instead of being justified and made alive by the law, I was brought to see my true condition before God as spiritually dead.
7:11 “For SIN, taking occasion by the commandment, DECEIVED ME AND BY IT SLEW ME.”
7:12 “ Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and
13a “WAS THEN THAT WHICH IS GOOD MADE DEATH UNTO ME?”
How can this thing which brought condemnation and death be good?
13b “SIN THAT IT MIGHT APPEAR SIN WORKING DEATH IN ME by that which is good; that SIN BY THE COMMANDMENT MIGHT BECOME EXCEEDING SINFUL.”
The law proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a guilty sinner, unable to do good and rightfully condemned by God.
14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under
sin.”15 “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”
My own actions, and inability to do good confirm that the law is good while I am not, and brought me to repentance- a change of mind wherewith I, as a
rebellious sinner, now agree with the law and the judgment of God.
16 “If then I do that which I would not, I CONSENT UNTO THE LAW THAT
IT IS GOOD.”
Through the law, I see that God is just and holy and true and I am only a sinner in need of a savior; and that repentance toward God and Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are necessary for salvation.
Many people today have been “saved” by saying a prayer. They are told that if they simply pray and ask Jesus into their heart, then they can rest assured that
they are indeed saved. They are often also told that if they ever doubt their
salvation, they can look back to the day they said that prayer and know that
they are saved.
I have to say that if you have to look back at a prayer for assurance, it can
only mean that nothing else has changed enough to convince you. There must be no change of life or change of mind- no fruit or other evidence of the
indwelling Holy Spirit of Christ. It must mean that you have not become a
creature, brought to newness of life.
If a prayer is all you have to hold onto then what an empty, meaningless salvation you must have. Where is the abundant life? Or fullness of joy?
Where is the peace of God which passeth all understanding?
If the only thing you have to show for it is a prayer from a desperately wicked
heart that is deceitful beyond measure no wonder so many doubt their salvation in Christ- they should. Obviously they have only been “saved” by a prayer; because if they had been saved by Christ, they would know it.
How sad that so many have been deceived. Don’t trust in a prayer.
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove
your own selves.
Philippians 2:12 work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done manywonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Romans 16:17 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”
False teachings may seem insignificant and easy to overlook. Many accept false teachers, even when they recognize that some of their doctrine is false, believing that as long as “most” of it is true, that it’s good enough. But we are warned to m...ark them and avoid them because ultimately these false
doctrines diminish faith, stunt growth, damage testimonies, and may even
cripple the Christian’s walk.
2 Peter 3:17 “ Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”
-Teachings of losing one’s salvation keep the Christian forever walking in the flesh and not the Spirit, concentrating on dead works to maintain their standing before God.
-False teachings of lasciviousness disguised as liberty keep the Christians behaving carnally, damaging their witness and discouraging others
from repentance and faith.
-When false promises of healing or guaranteed results promised through agreeing in prayer do not produce the desired effects deceived believers often attribute the failure to God.
-Wrong teachings on God’s will or his sovereignty paint an unflattering picture of God and cast doubt upon his goodness and mercy, driving the unsaved even further from him.
Much like any lie, overlooking one false teaching, paves the way for more. Unwilling to stand for one truth, many know that standing for another
truth will, shine a light on their hypocrisy and so they fear to stand for any.
Truth no longer absolute eventually becomes relative, leaving the believer open
to any deception. And so false doctrines spread like a cancer, consuming
Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in
sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his
ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end
shall be according to their works.”
1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
1 Chronicles 13:2 “And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem
good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our
brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:
3 And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul.
4 And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.”
What a joyous celebration this must have been! All of Israel singing, dancing and playing music to the Lord as they brought the ark of the covenant home where it belonged! But then, the unthinkable:
1 Chronicles 13:9 “ And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.”
Sometimes we are so eager to please God, but not so eager to do it the way he prescribes. We think that God is pleased with whatever we offer, no matter how tainted by the world and contrived by our own imaginations it may be. God showed them all that day that, he will not accept irreverent, disobedient worship. God was not displeased with the fact that they were bringing the ark back home, but with HOW they chose to do it.
1 Chronicles 15:13 “For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD
our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due
1 Chronicles 13:12 “And David was afraid of God that
David got the message and eventually had it carried, it back by the priests and the Levites the way that God had commanded that it should be and God was no longer displeased.
Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.”
In this age worldly “worship” services which please the flesh more than they please God, we need to stop and remember that God is holy and desires righteousness from us and the glory and reverence due his name.
1 Chronicles 16:29 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name:
bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of
I’ve heard people say, so many times, “I’m just not getting fed at church
anymore.” The saddest part is that it is usually from believers who have been
saved and discipled for many years. I always wonder, “...why don‘t you try feeding yourself?”
Granted, the church should always disciple new believers, teaching them basic doctrine and equipping them to minister to others, but there comes a time when they should be able to feed themselves AND others.
“For when for the time YE OUGHT TO BE TEACHERS, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become SUCH AS HAVE NEED OF MILK, and not of strong meat.” Hebrews 5:12
How ridiculous would it be if your grown child still awaited a bottle of milk every morning or insisted that you spoon feed him? You would honestly have to question if there was something seriously wrong with him. Isn’t it equally ridiculous for Christians who have been saved for many years to be unable to feed themselves?
“Brethren, be not children in understanding:” 1 Cor. 14:20 There are so many that claim to want the Meat and the deep things of God, but also want it spoon fed. Paul rebuked the Corinthian believers for their spiritual immaturity. “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even
as unto babes in Christ.” I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for
hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 Because they were as babes in Christ, he COULDN’T teach them
“But STRONG MEAT BELONGETH TO THEM WHICH ARE FULL OF
AGE, even those WHO BY REASON OF USE have their senses EXERCISED to discern both good and evil. “ Heb. 5:14 There is no class or shortcut to wisdom.
The deep things do not come from a simple class or lesson, but are revealed to us through the Holy Spirit of God himself. “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” 1 Cor. 2:10
Therefore, “STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15
1 Corinthians 15:33 “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good
I was recently reminded of this truth, when I naively thought that I could visit
a “Christian” activity at a church that I knew was not completely in line with
bible believing Christianity. Although I have recognized for many years the importance of separating from false doctrine, I was deceived by my own pride to think that I could go and be objective, discerning and unaffected by whatever they said and did.
While I easily recognized the unbiblical philosophies of their teaching, and feigned spirituality of their fleshly worship, I was unprepared for the depth of their own deception. Seeing the sincerity of their belief in the false, and their
presumptuous claims as from God, I was saddened almost to the point of
discouragement to think that so many were so sincerely deceived. To see them so earnestly promoting their misguided beliefs and leading so many others to
believe that this was what Christianity is all about, made me heart
Seeing these things made me realize why it is that it is so hard to show the unsaved the truth, when there are so many imposters out there offering a “Christianity” that is worldly, and appealing to the flesh, presenting sin as liberty and ungodliness as gain.
2 Peter 2:17 “These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a
tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through
the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped
from them who live in error.
19While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of
corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in
It’s no wonder so few desire the real thing- the genuine Christianity that calls us to be holy as God is holy- that demands separation from the world, and sin and false doctrine- that calls us to suffer and sacrifice and live for the Lord instead of for ourselves- to be a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people who have been called out of darkness and into his marvellous light.
Even worse than the effect it had on me, is the thought that my presence there may have been perceived by others as approval and a partaking of such
Romans 16:17 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”
Hebrews John 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
As I see it, this is one of the greatest proofs there are against Calvinism. The foundational belief of Calvinism is that regeneration precedes faith. It is asserted that because the bible describes the unsaved man as “dead in trespasses and sins” and because he is completely unable to do anything to save himself, he is therefore incapable of repenting or believing until God brings him to new life. “Can a dead man repent or believe?” they ask - their doctrine of Total Depravity. All of Calvinism stands or falls with this core doctrine.
We know that the Old Testament Saints had faith and were saved.
Romans 4:9 “… for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for
Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”
Hebrews 11:17 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,”
Abraham’s faith was counted for righteousness. Yet we see here in John 7: 39 that the indwelling Holy Spirit which regenerates and brings new life, creating a new nature within “was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified”. Although the Holy Spirit WAS active in the Old Testament, He did not indwell believers. The Holy Spirit came upon individuals and filled others for a time, empowering them and allowing them to proclaim the message of God and to fulfill his purposes, but did not regenerate them and indwell them.
Only with the coming of the New Covenant did God dwell (tabernacle) within man. Only with the New Covenant is a new Heart given, with the words of God written upon it. (Heb. 10:16, 2Cor.3:2&3) Only with the New Covenant sealed by the blood of Christ was eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12)- the complete remission of sins given. Only through the New Covenant were believers perfected.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are
Hebrews 10:1 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered
year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”
Hebrews 10:3 “But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
The Bible clearly teaches that man can and does repent and believe PRIOR to
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but
having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Charles Spurgeon recognized the foolishness of saying that the sinner must be regenerated before he can believe: "If I am to preach the faith in
Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved
already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ
to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already,
being regenerate. Am I only to preach faith to those who have it? Absurd,
indeed! Is not this waiting till the man is cured and then bringing him the
medicine? This is preaching Christ to the righteous and not to sinners." [Sermon entitled The Warrant of Faith].
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
In light of the recent awakening to the errors of Easy Believism, many Evangelical Christians are viewing Lordship Salvation as a more biblical alternative; but is this really an answer to the problem or just a knee jerk response? Does Lordship salvation come any closer to hitting the mark, or have we simply traded one error for
Now more than in any time before, we are witnessing the results of an Easy Believism gospel. We see the grown-up children of the Awana generation who claim to have “said a prayer” or “asked
Jesus into their hearts” and been saved as a child and yet have had no change in their lives. They live as Practical Atheists, denying Christ in their daily lives and yet claim His name as Christians. They drink, smoke, take the name of the Lord in vain never darken the doors of a Church and yet say that they are saved and on their way to heaven.
Many sincere Christians are asking why? How can this be? The evidence of true salvation is shown by our surrender to Christ’s authority and in a changed life. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.“ 2 Corinthians 5:17
Easy Believism removes the message of “repentance toward God” and offers simply “faith in Christ” through a simple prayer,
without any recognition of our sinfulness or guilt before our holy God. Lordship salvation adds surrender and a commitment to make Jesus Lord, as a requirement for salvation.
While it is good that many have recognized that Easy Believism has oversimplified the gospel message to the point of making it
basically a magic prayer, they have also erred themselves in attempting instead, to de-simplify it by adding extra demands. This has resulted in the trend toward Lordship Salvation. The reasoning is this: “If we make sure these people really, really mean
the prayer that they say, or make a REAL commitment to Christ, surrendering to His authority, then surely they will be truly saved.
Paul preached “…repentance toward God, and faith
toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21) When asked, “What must I do to be saved?”, his answer was not, “Make Jesus Lord of your life.”; it was simply, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” (Acts 16:31)
We must not confuse Justification with sanctification. Making Jesus Lord is not a condition of salvation, but a result. When we recognize our sinful condition and condemnation before God and turn to Christ our Savior for rescue, we believe in him and are saved. The one who redeems our soul becomes our Lord. We are saved because we believe in what he has done already on our behalf, dying on the cross to pay for our sins and rising again to bring us newness of life. We are not saved because we decide to commit to him and make him Lord. Salvation is all in what He has done, not in
what we do. We cannot decide, or will or surrender ourselves to be saved. We can only believe in what he has done. “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be
accursed.“ Galatians 1:8 The answer is not to “add to or change the
gospel of Christ”, but to simply preach the true gospel of Christ in Biblical terms.
“And they went out, and preached that men should repent.” Mark 6:12
“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the
name of the only begotten Son of God.“ John 3:18
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest
any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8&9
i invite your sincere questions and comments, and will do my best to answer according to God's word. While i do not claim to be without error; I will try to be as true to His word as I know.
is a Fundamental, Bible Believing Christian with a passion for His word and a desire to earnestly contend for the faith.