[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Friday, December 22, 2006

What is God's Goal for Us?

by Guest Blogger: David Wyatt

Is God's goal for us to get us to Heaven, or to make us like Christ?

The answer reveals what 1 John, James, and probably 95% of [what] the NT is all about.

The Commitment Salvationist [Lordship Salvationist] seems to think the answer is: A) To get us to Heaven.

The reason I say that is because the CS (Commitment Salvationist) evidently believes this since they always condition assurance of salvation (though [their apprehension of it can] never [be] 100% [IOW, certain]) on the old "tests of life" model for interpreting 1 John. If God's goal was only to get us to Heaven, then CS would be correct, and we all ought to just get to the fearful work of making absolutely, completely, totally sure that we have really, truly, undoubtedly committed it all to Christ so as to have the highest degree of assurance possible here on earth.

BUT, if God's goal is to make us like Christ, then salvation is simple & free because Christ paid it all! Therefore, we must get to the holy work of submitting to Christ out of a heart of love for His grace & let Him conform us to His image through a working faith, such as James teaches.

I like this alot. Thank you David!

The doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints, espoused by LS, has a practical result of causing one to work hard in order to be assured that one is among the elect, therefore on the way to heaven.

Free Grace theology encourages one to endeavor for the purpose of developing intimacy with Christ that will transect into eternity. All Christians will be conformed to the image of Christ in eternity. For some (those who haven't whole-heartedly pursued sanctification) this event will be more painful than for others.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Why not Grace?

by Antonio da Rosa

People just cannot get themselves to agree with the premise that full pardon from God, entrance into heaven, and eternal life have absolutely nothing to do with their behavior whatsoever; that nothing they have done or can or will do in the future has any bearing on whether or not they end up in the kingdom of God (barring, of course, simple faith into Christ).

They cannot get themselves to understand that even a sinful, debased individual, nevertheless justified and covered by the blood of Jesus, can be in God's kingdom.

Deep down inside they believe, in a very real way, that behavior is intrinsically correllated with one's hope of heaven.

How did this happen?

Grace is a naughty word.

If it is true that your eternity can be absolutely secure no matter what your behavior is (past, present, or future), then you can get fire-insurance and live like the devil.

I happen to agree with the last statement. The RCC and Lordship Salvation, and Arminianism would all be on the same page and dissent against grace.

The person who lives like the devil, in RCC, Lordship Calvinism, and Lordship Arminianism, does not go to heaven. Works all have an integral part, one way or another, in one's final entrance into heaven.

The person who lives like the devil (who never the less has eternal life) in FG theology will lose his soul, both in time and for eternity, yet he will be in the kingdom.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Getting Hypothetical

by Matthew

Supposing the conditions of salvation were explicitly set out in Scripture as:

1. Giving 14% of one's income to the Lord's work.
2. Going on a mission trip at least once in life.
3. Getting involved in street evangelism at least once a month.
4. Not listening to Heavy Metal music.
5. Wearing a suit to Church (or a dress if female).

It would seem that one must do works to get to heaven. However, a theologian explains that none of these are really conditions for getting to heaven. The sinner is justified by faith. However, because she is regenerate, she will not fail to do all five things in the list (the five pillars of Bogobogoism). God has given her the grace to live this life of holiness.

Now supposing that performing these works is a natural result of the saved person's regnerate nature; it does not alter the fact that she must exercise her will and perform them. if she does not do those things it will only show that she was never really saved. She must make her calling and election sure by going on that mission trip. She must avoid Heavy Metal music with fear and trembling (maybe you do that already!). Experentially there is little difference between those things being conditions and those things being results of her salvation.

Coming back to reality, obviously Calvinists do not list some mimial standard of holiness that is to be expected of the Lord's Elect. However, the Calvinist knows that if she is one of the elect, she will show fruits and do works (otherwise her faith must have been dead). The danger here is a kind of legalism whereby one must prove one's salvation ot oneself through works. A Calvinist may feel that an elect person certainly would give 14% of his income to the Church and certainly would get involved in street evangelism once a month. Thus, works and not the Lord's work can become the grounds of assurance.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Phewww... Debate Finished

by HK Flynn

Frank is far better at driving home his points but I'm afraid I'll claim a victory in this case only because I had so much more evidence from the text of James. I just posted (on my blog) 8 reasons to support the verse 1:19-based-structure Hodges presents in his commentary that I think is so helpful. Be sure to email me if you want a copy of the text of James sans chapter and verse markings but grouped in this particular structure.
Tomorrow I'll post 8 reasons that the context of "...which is able to save your souls" (1:21) passage actually supports a "save your lives" rather than "save your souls" reading. These eight reasons aren't even including the argument that Antonio makes in his post showing the evidence that "saving your life" was used as an expression in Bible times.
Also I think Rose beats out Frank's wife any day. (see their blogs)

Friday, December 08, 2006

VIP Free Grace Post

by HK flynn

Something amazing is said over on Free Grace Theology Blog:

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls NKJV

This is the first instance of “sozo” in his epistle, and can give an indication of the type of “saving” he has in mind in the remainder.
We need to pay special attention to the phrase “save your souls”.
It remains for scholors of historical theology to discern how this phrase ever became connected with the idea of deliverance from hell. It is never used that way in the Bible, and such an idea would have been foreign to any Jewish reader of the New Testament.
Check out: Lordship Salvation's 'Notorious' Error : Lexical Study of "Save Your Souls" (James 1:21)

Thursday, December 07, 2006


by ??

και εγενετο ηνικα εξηγαγον αυτους εξω και ειπαν σωζων σωζε
την σεαυτου ψυχην μη περιβλεψης εις τα οπισω μηδε στης
εν παση τη περιχωρω εις το ορος σωζου μηποτε συμπαραλημφθης