[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, May 18, 2007

The Gospel of GoodNightSafeHome, the Lordshippers, and the Traditionalists (Calvinists)

by Antonio da Rosa

The false "gospel" of "You can't be saved unless:"

You quit the nasty nine and the dirty dozen and the filthy five
You quit sleeping with your boyfriend
You repent of all your sin
You sell out for God
You faithfully obey and persevere
You die to self
You commit all to God
You visit orphans and the sick
You sell all that you have and give to the poor
You submit everything to God
Etc...
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(The Council at Jerusalem as it considers the issue of Lordship Salvation Acts 15:1-29 / By which it condemns it)

Acts 15:7,8, 10-11
Peter rose up and said to them... "...God... purif[ies] [our] hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they."
----------

Gal 2:21
I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through *law, then Christ died in vain.

[* Anarthrous construction: meaning no article (most translations provide "the"). Is not specific meaning law of Moses, but concerns the quality or characteristic of law period: rules, such as "you must do this and stop doing that or you can't be saved!.]

Christ sold out for us! Christ committed His all for us!

If any of the above list is necessary for our salvation, then Christ died in vain.

Gal 3:1-2
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by *works of *law, or by the hearing of faith?

[* Anarthrous: denoting characteristic and quality (not identity)]

Salvation coming from being convinced from "the hearing of faith"! (This expresses the passive nature of the act of faith that brings salvation.) The Spirit is not received by any quality or characteristic of work requirements --rules-- such as the list of things above, WHETHER THEY ARE LOOKED AT AS MERITORIOUS OR NOT! (Calvinists, notice the ordu salutis here! The Holy Spirit's regeneration received by the "hearing of faith"!)

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

Jesus is the Guarantor of eternal life to the mere believer in Him for it. His guarantee is explicit in His promise to the believer. There is no talk of Jesus giving the list of requirements that the Lordship Proponents do! Eternal life is dispensed through "the hearing of faith" in Jesus Christ alone. Faith alone in Christ alone! Is that not the reformation mantra? Yet it no longer describes the Puritanism of Reformed theology today.

"Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life" (John 6:47)

How I wish it would return to this plain and exquisite simplicity!

51 Comments:

  • OK. Here's the situation as it is. Antonio uses my name here because I have been debating Matthew a.k.a. Dyspraxic Fundamentalist in the previous blog on Quotation XIV. It is a good ongoing debate, whereby Matthew takes time to ask good, serious, penetrating questions which I am happy to answer. I suggest that you follow that debate.

    As for Antonio, I have two problems at the moment. The last time I debated him, he did a runner on me when I answered his charge that Calvinists taught that God violently thumped people on the head to *get them into* Christ. I asked him whether his group believed that God had to keep thumping people on the head to *keep them in Christ* i.e. was anyone free to leave and give God back the new life that He gave them. He just disappeared of the screen without any further ado. Do I waste my time with him again?

    Secondly, even though I have been emphasising, almost to the point of labouring the matter, that I believe that salvation is entirely by grace, 100% and that there is absolutely no merit in forsaking sin in repentance, we still get the whole show from him about Acts 15:11 and Galatians 2:21 etc., With absolutely no evidence provided that I (for my blog name heads the list on the title) believe that (say) that you must sell all you have and give to the poor (Something, I haven't done myself) in order to be saved, I basically think that it is a waste of time debating him. If someone else thinks they can do a good job, then I wish you well.

    Matthew: If you want to continue our discussion on the previous blog, I am more than happy to do so. I appreciate your style and substance of debate, even if we have to agree to disagree in the end.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Saturday, May 19, 2007 12:26:00 AM  

  • Goodnight, I welcome any comments you want to make.

    Antonio, I agree. It takes courage, but we have to tell people straight that all they need to do to be saved is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It goes against our self-righteous instincts. We feel that we have to urge some change as a condition of righteousness, but we must resist that temptation and preach grace in its fulness.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, May 19, 2007 1:57:00 AM  

  • Antonio It’s good to see you posting again. ;-)

    It’s been my observation that, while we all preach the same Gospel, there is a conflicting belief regarding the doctrine of assurance. It seems this conflict is only resolved when the doctrine of unconditional election is fully reconsidered in the light of the Gospel message. It also seems those who hold to unconditional election will not reconsider it without first being shown a clearly logical and scriptural alternative doctrine.

    All of this is to say that it may be more productive to address the doctrines on election with traditionalist than to bring to question the preaching of the Gospel. I will concede that this approach might be very helpful to those who are presently being held captive in the 17th century reformation unaware. ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at Saturday, May 19, 2007 3:30:00 AM  

  • KC:- The issue here is not Calvinism, but *evangelicalism* as a whole. John Wesley and others preached repentance as much as any Calvinist.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Saturday, May 19, 2007 4:06:00 AM  

  • Colin thanks for the reply. I know this article was pointed at you but I want to assure you my comment was not nor even at Calvinism in particular. ;-)

    I was unaware from reading this article that repentance was the issue in question. I actually thought it was assurance.

    By Blogger Kc, at Saturday, May 19, 2007 6:22:00 AM  

  • I've just started reading H.A. Ironside's "Unless You Repent" (one of those God used to restore Dispensational Truth)

    I picked it up because I was told by a brother who I respect was forceful that "Repentance" is part of the Gospel, and required for Salvation.

    I was more than a little shocked to see Ironside's name on such teaching.. so I decided to check it out. And you know I'm glad I did because the definition of Repentance might not be what it is popularized to be today.

    Ironside proposes that Repentance IS required for salvation but that it is unmeritorious. He then lays out what Repentance is and isn't.

    I'll let him do the speaking for a moment -
    "In the third place, let us remember that reformation is not repentance, however closely allied to, or springing out of it. To turn over a new leaf, to attempt to supplant bad habits with good ones, to try to live well instead of evilly, may not be the outcome of repentance at all, and should never be confounded with it. Reformation is merely and outward change. Repentance is a work of God in the soul."

    He goes on to write something wondrously simple yet I believe to be true "What the unsaved man needs is not a repairing of his life. He needs a new life altogether, which comes only through a second birth. Reformation is like watch repairing. Repentance is like the recognition of the lack of a watch."

    If Repentance isn't "turning from sin" but instead the full understanding of the position your sin leaves you in then it agrees with Matt 5:3, clearly agrees with 1 Jn 1:9, and makes perfect sense with Prov 20:7 where we have a "change of mind" about ourselves, God and sin. Once we thought that we were good, that sin was nonexistant, and that we didn't need God.

    Now we believe we are not good, sin is sinful, and that we desperately need God.

    This is a change of mind, but is not meritorious. There is nothing "better" about the person after this change. There is simply an acknowledgment or belief in the truth of the situation.

    No one goes for Cancer treatment unless they believe they have Cancer sort of thing. Believing they have Cancer doesn't make their sickness any better or worse. It's not a meritorious act.

    Thoughts?
    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Saturday, May 19, 2007 7:34:00 AM  

  • I have always thought about it the way Kevin just explained. No one has been able to fully change my mind on that. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Saturday, May 19, 2007 7:44:00 AM  

  • Antonio,
    How I wish it would return to this plain and exquisite simplicity!
    I agree.

    Colin Maxwell,
    I still like the quote I quoted you on in the previous post's comments section, even if it frightened you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Saturday, May 19, 2007 7:47:00 AM  

  • :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Saturday, May 19, 2007 7:48:00 AM  

  • Re: Harry Ironside. I would love to know his comments on Luke 13:3/5 I don't have his commentary on Luke's gospel and I cannot find an online edition on the Internet. Or on any of the repentance verses of the NT?

    The difference between reformation and repentance is that the former may be performed in the flesh without the work of the Spirit of God. You see it regularly in those self help groups that abound to recover drunkards or gamblers etc., True repentance flows from saving faith in Jesus Christ and is the gift of God. Mere reformation leaves the soul empty, swept and garnished with the emphasis on the word "empty." Such repentance is "unto life" as that horrible Traditionalist Peter words it in Acts 18:11 and "to salvation" as that other horrible Traditionalist Paul taught in 2 Corinthians 7:10 :-)

    I don't know of *any* Evangelical preacher who teaches that repentance is meritorious. Do they actually exist or are we chasing ghosts here? Do the two words appear together in the same sentence, apart from one denying the concept?

    Rose: I liked that statement too. I was only *afraid* that I should be accused of making someone an offender for a word. But I think you know that...

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Saturday, May 19, 2007 10:27:00 AM  

  • Goodnight,

    "I don't know of *any* Evangelical preacher who teaches that repentance is meritorious. Do they actually exist or are we chasing ghosts here? Do the two words appear together in the same sentence, apart from one denying the concept"

    I don't know of any preachers who say they preach anything but the Bible either.. that doesn't mean they DO preach the Bible.

    The point being that a preacher may say that they don't believe Repentance is meritorious easily.. but when you ask them to define Repentance they define it as a work that WOULD be meritorious. IE Wanting to be better... hating sin... loving God... changing your ways... trying to stop sinning... doing the best you can...

    All of these are "improvements" in one's state and so ARE meritorious. That the preacher says they are not is only so that they can appear to be in line with Scripture while preaching Man's Gospel.

    The Catholics claim to preach the Bible and the true Gospel as well... A claim does not make it so.

    I believe that Luke 13 is pretty self explanatory - if the Jews He was speaking with would not repent they would perish as (or likewise as) those crushed did... This is speaking of temporal salvation and physical death - yet the principle of repentance or changing one's mind is still there.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Saturday, May 19, 2007 4:02:00 PM  

  • Kevl, if understanding the position sin leaves one in is necessary for salvation, why does our Lord not explain the severity of sin to the Samaritan woman in John 4?

    Faith is trusting in Christ for eternal life. Understanding our sinfulness may be necessary for some people in helping them to see their need for salvation, but this is never identified as a universal condition or requirement for receiving eternal life.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Sunday, May 20, 2007 1:31:00 AM  

  • Kev: You wrote: *The point being that a preacher may say that they don't believe Repentance is meritorious easily.. but when you ask them to define Repentance they define it as a work that WOULD be meritorious i.e. wanting to be better... hating sin... loving God... changing your ways... trying to stop sinning... doing the best you can...*

    I assume that you say that you love God. I assume that you say that you hate sin and you try and stop sinning etc., Are you telling me that these things are meritorious? (Your capitalising of the word *WOULD* leaves us with little choice as to come to this conclusion. Please clarify.)

    *If* I believed that such things were meritorious (and I don't, but if I did) I would do so from my interpretation of the Bible, for the Bible to me is the sole rule of faith and practice. *If* I believed that the Bible taught that loving God etc., was meritorious (as *you* seem to be doing above, but for the record, I most certainly don't) then I would come out plainly and say so. I don't hide or mask my beliefs. For example, my belief in unconditional election (another topic for another day perhaps) goes down like a lead balloon is many quarters, but I honestly nail my colours to the mask on the issue and take the flak. I am not alone in this position and I think it is telling us something that you would be very hard pushed to find an Evangelical preacher who believes that no stubbornly unrepentant fornicator etc., will inherit the Kingdom of God who also believes that forsaking sins is meritorious. I could bore you with many quotations from standard reference works whereby we distinctly say otherwise. It is not even that we have gone quiet on the matter.

    I am not sure as to how carefully you have chosen your words, so I won't judge you unkindly, but it is one thing to improve your *state* e.g. David did so when he confessed his sin re: Bathsheba and sought to keep his eyes and thoughts more pure than before (his duty and therefore of no merit) It is, however, another thing to try and improve your *standing* - this is something which the child of God can never improve, because He is accepted 100% in the Beloved and justified 100% by the grace of God.

    Regarding failure to repent bringing eternal damnation upon our heads, while the immediate circumstances of Luke 13 were temporal, the application is wider as borne out by Romans 2 where those who fail to repent are threatened with eternal damnation.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Sunday, May 20, 2007 1:48:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight (that in it's self is a bizarre sentence)

    you said - I assume that you say that you love God. I assume that you say that you hate sin and you try and stop sinning etc., Are you telling me that these things are meritorious? (Your capitalising of the word *WOULD* leaves us with little choice as to come to this conclusion. Please clarify.

    Yes I love God, which is but a feeble response to the Grace He has shown me.

    If we are talking about Salvation, and we are, and if we are talking about preaching Repentance for Salvation and we are then my words make sense (at least to my poor little brain).

    If a person loves God, prior to salvation, then that IS meritorious - not to mention a first in history. If a person desires to be Godly - prior to Salvation then that is meritorious. Hating sin, not just feeling bad about it but hating it prior to Salvation would make the person more godly and therefore be meritorious.

    These things would be meritorious because they would be fulfilling things that God has asked us to do - what's more since we'd be doing them prior to Salvation we'd be doing them without His help so WE would deserve the Glory - therefore meritorious.... therefore NOT AT ALL what He wants. God deserves ALL the glory, and all the praise. To pretend like a human COULD do something worthy without Him is to call Him a liar who says apart from Me you can do nothing.

    This is why our definition of Repentance is so very important.

    If we are preaching that a person should "turn from sin" "hate their sin" "love God" "change their ways" "seek to be a better person" PRIOR to Salvation then we are asking them to do the impossible AND asking them to rob glory from the Lord Jesus. There's the best reason for Paul saying preachers of any other gospel ought be accursed.

    That I love God NOW is a small thing for me. That I hate sin now is a small thing for me. These are just responses to the working of the Holy Spirit, and they wax and wain constantly. There is no good thing in me, I am saved by Grace alone. It is HIS work that is good, and my work that is a shame!

    In that I rest, because the perfect Savior has completed His perfect work and so I am perfectly saved.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Sunday, May 20, 2007 4:11:00 AM  

  • Kev., There are a couple of things here. If it is meritorious to love God *prior* to salvation (your words) then it must be equally meritorious *after* salvation because the deed is the same. Of course, I argue that it is neither meritorious before or afterwards, because we are commanded to love God and that which is required of us can carry no merit. Neither is there merit before God in forsaking sin (something which we ought not to have embraced in the first place) whether that forsaking be of mere reformation or in repentance. It is the folk on your side of the fence who seem determined to load these things with merit, while we who follow Paul's example and preach repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ do not.

    Secondly, the faith that lays hold on Christ is a repenting faith while the repentance that is towards God is a believing repentance. The theologians might be able to sort out the subtle differences in there, but for all intents and purposes we see the prodigal's coming home to the Father's house saying" I have sinned" and believing that the Father will take them back into the household again. If we were preaching that the Prodigal Son should clean up himself, raise a few shekels to try and repay the money which he squandered, then you would have a very good point. Likewise, if we were preaching that his return home obligated the Father to take him, that his tears deserved mercy or grace (a contradiction) but we don't and therefore your objections fall flat to the ground.

    If I might take the illustration further, your position of denying the necessity of repentance has our Prodigal returning home as rebellious as the day he went out. He can glare at the Father when he does come home, refuse to acknowledge that he did wrong, even excusing it, and while you might admit that it is not as things ought to be, yet all the benefits of sonship are there for him, basically to do what he wants with them. Indeed, if he brought one of those harlots home with him and slept with her every night (assuming the report of the Elder brother was a true report) then fundamentally it does not make any difference to his standing with the Father. Is not this so?

    Finally, without me inducing the big names of church history as the final say on any theological article (God forbid), if you think, as suggested, that I am preaching an accursed gospel, then are you prepared to damn the likes of Spurgeon and DL Moody etc., in whose train I take my stand?

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Sunday, May 20, 2007 8:20:00 AM  

  • It is not meritorious after because it is done in the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Prior to salvation one does not have the Holy Spirit, so to love God prior to Salvation would be to do so in your flesh - not possible - and also would be meritorious.

    Goodnight you said - Secondly, the faith that lays hold on Christ is a repenting faith while the repentance that is towards God is a believing repentance. The theologians might be able to sort out the subtle differences in there, but for all intents and purposes we see the prodigal's coming home to the Father's house saying" I have sinned" and believing that the Father will take them back into the household again. If we were preaching that the Prodigal Son should clean up himself, raise a few shekels to try and repay the money which he squandered, then you would have a very good point. Likewise, if we were preaching that his return home obligated the Father to take him, that his tears deserved mercy or grace (a contradiction) but we don't and therefore your objections fall flat to the ground.

    The prodigal son is not about a lost sinner coming to Christ, it is about a wayward son returning home. The prodigal son was always a son in the story, he simply got distracted by the world. There is no part of this that relates to Eternal Salvation.

    you also said - If I might take the illustration further, your position of denying the necessity of repentance has our Prodigal returning home as rebellious as the day he went out.

    If you read the text, without perverting it you will see that the son came home submissive and willing to bend to every wish his father would utter. If we take the story to be about Eternal Salvation and that the child was not saved until he returned completely submissive then we are left to say that a person must reform themselves before Christ will be "graceful" enough to save them.. .oh shame and curse on any such preacher!

    You finished this paragraph with -
    then fundamentally it does not make any difference to his standing with the Father. Is not this so?

    Because of your poor conjecture as to what the story is representing it is impossible for me to answer your question. The answer you seek is that about a sinner, not a Christian.

    A Christian can not change his or her standing, merely their state (fellowship or not). The son in this story was a son before he left, as he left, while he was away and after he returned. His standing did not change, his state did.

    You closed with this paragraph, to which I am eager to respond - Finally, without me inducing the big names of church history as the final say on any theological article (God forbid), if you think, as suggested, that I am preaching an accursed gospel, then are you prepared to damn the likes of Spurgeon and DL Moody etc., in whose train I take my stand?

    I am neither able to do such a thing, or even given authority to consider doing such. Rom 14:4 Who art *thou* that judgest the servant of another? to his own master he stands or falls. And he shall be made to stand; for the Lord is able to make him stand.

    Every Christian will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and receive reward for how they handled the Gospel, or not. Many more people will stand before the Great White Throne.

    In neither case will my opinion carry any weight at all.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Sunday, May 20, 2007 8:40:00 AM  

  • Kev:-

    Re: the Prodigal Son, the Lord told a 3 fold parable (singular) to answer the Pharisees who criticised him for receiving *sinners* and eating with them (v2) the latter being well represented in the story of the Prodigal son by the Elder Brother. I'm afraid that it is you that must lift the story out of context to suit your theology. Or as you word it yourself: perverting it. If we must push the idea that he was a son before he left the home as well as afterwards, then we might reply that he was a son in the sense that all men are the offspring of God i.e. by creation (Acts 17:28)

    There are several interpretations put upon his desire to serve his father. Some see a legalistic bend to it and remind us that even saving faith is imperfect, some see the idea of a consecrated life afterwards. If you reduce the story (out of context) to meaning that he was a backslider, then we are still left with legalism in that - if you so read it - he was hoping for favour with God on the basis that he would do the things that please his father. I tend to run with the idea that he had a desire to serve God, but that such had not and can never have any meritorious value.

    I think you still insist on thinking that those of us who preach like Paul that men ought to repent are preaching reformation of character, before faith. Again (for the sake of record) we are not. Such reformation proves to be "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6) and in itself needs to be repented of.

    It is interesting that you look forward to dealing with my point about repentance preachers, only to seek refuge in Romans 14:4 During the last few replies you have passed judgement (an act which is not wrong in itself) with words like anathema and even in your last reply, you say; "Oh shame and curse on any such preacher!" but how can I shame and curse a preacher, as directed by you, whom I cannot identify?

    Spurgeon said of repentance: “Just now some professedly Christian teachers are misleading many by saying that ‘repentance is only a change of mind.’ It is true that the original word does convey the idea of a change of mind; but the whole teaching of Scripture concerning the repentance which is not to be repented of is that it is a much more radical and complete change than is implied by our common phrase about changing one’s mind. The repentance that does not include sincere sorrow for sin is not the saving grace that is wrought by the Holy Spirit. God-given repentance makes men grieve in their inmost souls over the sin they have committed, and works in them a gracious hatred of evil in every shape and form. We cannot find a better definition of repentance than the one many of us learned at our mother’s knee: ‘Repentance is to leave the sin we loved before, and show that we in earnest grieve by doing so no more’” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “The Royal Saviour,” Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, England, Feb. 1, 1872).

    Is he one whom I should not only shame, but curse (your very words) as a preacher of a merit mongering gospel? Did he learn a poisionous lie at his mother's knee and did he pass that cursed lie unto 5-6,000 people every week in his congregation plus the 1,000's more who read his sermons worldwide and ensorsed them? I trust that the popularity which this repentance preacher enjoys in the church of Jesus Christ is not clouding your judgement.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Sunday, May 20, 2007 12:56:00 PM  

  • Hello again Goodnight,

    I want you to know right off that I appreciate the effort you are making here. I make a couple of statements below which I would like to soften but am unable to because of my lack of writing ability.

    If we must push the idea that he was a son before he left the home as well as afterwards, then we might reply that he was a son in the sense that all men are the offspring of God i.e. by creation (Acts 17:28)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

    He was a son, in all stages the text clearly says so. Acts 17:28 is not about sonship and you well know it – or you should. You are not nearly ignorant enough of scripture by my accounting that such a twist could be anything but intentional. For those reading who may not know what this verse means it means that the nature of God's moral absolutes are in all of us - we all have a conscience. It does not mean we are sons in any way of God. God Himself calls sinners "Sons of Wrath" and Sons of the Devil, so either He's confused, lying or Goodnight has deliberately used this verse out of context.

    I think you still insist on thinking that those of us who preach like Paul that men ought to repent are preaching reformation of character, before faith. Again (for the sake of record) we are not. Such reformation proves to be "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6) and in itself needs to be repented of.

    You do not handle scripture as Paul does in his writings so I do not esteem you as a preacher “like” Paul. I have no issue with tying Repentance to salvation – because true repentance is. However, you do not preach repentance – as far as I can tell – you preach a changed character.

    It is interesting that you look forward to dealing with my point about repentance preachers, only to seek refuge in Romans 14:4 During the last few replies you have passed judgment (an act which is not wrong in itself) with words like anathema and even in your last reply, you say; "Oh shame and curse on any such preacher!" but how can I shame and curse a preacher, as directed by you, whom I cannot identify?

    I seldom ever manage to spell anathema properly let alone ever use it.... You have me mistaken with someone else. I always look forward to dealing with people in a way that shows how casually they treat the Word of God. I have not “passed judgment” at all – I have used judgment which is entirely different. I echo the words of Paul, in Gal 1:9 and our beloved Peter in Acts 15:7-11.

    Spurgeon said of repentance:

    Good for him.. now what does Scripture say? What must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. What must I believe? I Cor 15:1-8. That you are a sinner worthy of death, that Jesus Christ died for our sins, yours and mine, that He rose again three days later and was seen in the flesh – all according to the requirements and prophecy of the Scriptures. Jesus, what must we do to do the work of God? Believe on the One He has sent. I could go on and on.. some 140 times I could paraphrase these same thoughts. But you would make Repentance out to be some work of change in a person and then say that work is worthless.

    Is he one whom I should not only shame, but curse (your very words) as a preacher of a merit mongering gospel? Did he learn a poisionous lie at his mother's knee and did he pass that cursed lie unto 5-6,000 people every week in his congregation plus the 1,000's more who read his sermons worldwide and ensorsed them? I trust that the popularity which this repentance preacher enjoys in the church of Jesus Christ is not clouding your judgement.

    I will use the words of Paul to answer, though out of context directly it's interesting how the section of Scripture is related. Rom 3:4 Far be the thought: but let God be true, and every man false; according as it is written, So that thou shouldest be justified in thy words, and shouldest overcome when thou art in judgment.

    There is no good man, neither before or after Salvation. To make goodness or even a tendency towards goodness a requirement for Salvation is to add to the precious Good News that Christ died to give us. There are endless Spurgeon quotes. Some can be said to favor the Lordship position and some can be said to favor the Free Grace position.

    I think as long as you live in the quagmire of half definitions you will never be able to stand up and say THIS is True.

    What is the repentance required for Salvation Goodnight? How much do you have to change? How much do you have to hate sin? How much do you have to love God? What sins MUST you stop doing and what ones can you continue to do?

    Is it possible to answer these questions in Scripture? If so then maybe Lordship has some footing in the Holy Words of Our God, but alas though I have looked long and hard and asked this question many times I am yet to find a single answer to it.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Sunday, May 20, 2007 2:59:00 PM  

  • Kev,

    1) The context of the prodigal son who repented and returned home in faith is clearly that of salvation, as Luke 15:2 makes clear. Acts 17:28 teaches us, among other things, that there are several relationships which we can have with God, not least that we can be called his offspring. I did make clear that this is only in the creation sense and (as I say now) of no saving value, hence the need of the new birth. The parable itself however puts the matter beyond doubt with its very strong context of v2 and also the closing words of the Father who said that his son had been dead i.e. in a spiritual sense. If you are pushing the idea that backslidden believers are spiritually dead, then you are in the rank Arminian camp with its apostasy of the saints teaching.

    2) You wrote above: * "There's the best reason for Paul saying preachers of any other gospel ought be accursed."* The word *accursed* which is found in Galatians 1:9 (which you quote in your latest reply) is simply the English translation of the Greek word *anathema.*

    3) Repentance leads to an active change of character. In itself, it is a change of mind about something. It indicates a U turn in thinking. When unregenerate we love our sins. When repentant, we hate them and desire to forsake them. This is something which we cannot do in ourselves, but coupled with faith towards God we flee to Christ. The evidence of being in Christ is that we bring forth works meet for repentance. This is what Paul preached in Acts 20:26 and which I likewise preach.

    4) The Bible urges us to repent and believe the gospel. Some people do so with a stronger repentance and a stronger faith than others. It is for God to judge the depth and the sincerity of them and not for me. But I must insist on both and not deny the need of either. I know also that both repentance and faith is not the *basis* of our salvation, which is rooted entirely in the perfect and vicarious work of Christ, but the *channel*.

    5) Why would a man who desires to be saved want to hold on to any sins? Are they not the very sins which nailed Christ to the Cross? It is the work of the Spirit of God in sanctification, after our justification, to help us in a practical fashion to overcome sin (a life long work) which will only be achieved when we are glorified in Heaven.

    6) If we start trading quotes from CHS, you would need to find a consistent number of quote whereby he articulated very clearly that he distances the idea of an active repentance as necessary for forgiveness of sins. I doubt if you, or any one else in context can even find one. Only then can you describe any such quote as being a FG quote. My understanding of a FG'er (correct me if I am wrong) that he *never* associates repentance in the sense defined by CHS above with salvation and accuses those of us who do as purveyors of another gospel. This is conveyed by the heading of this particular article. I ask you again, did CHS learn a poisonous lie at his mother's knee and did he pass that cursed lie unto 5-6,000 people every week in his congregation plus the 1,000's more who read his sermons world wide and endorsed them? I notice that he repeats it in his little book *"All of grace"* which he calls *"An earnest word with those who are seeking salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ"*

    7) If there is some difference between *judging* and *passing judgement* then I have not learned of it.

    Sorry this post is so long. I appreciate the time that you have taken to debate me on this issue, although I would have a better idea of where you stand if you just came out honestly and said that those who take the CHS line of interpretation are the cursed and shameful preachers of whom you write above.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Monday, May 21, 2007 1:38:00 AM  

  • Hio Goodnight, I have been looking forward to your reply. :)


    The context of the prodigal son who repented and returned home in faith is clearly that of salvation, as Luke 15:2 makes clear.

    Because the Pharisees called people sinners that means the parable is about someone who isn't saved? Common... These people called others low to raise themselves up. That doesn't mean what they said was true. There is also the issue of Jesus was looking for the lost sheep of Israel, these were of Israel, but had gone into sin instead of remaining faithful. The application is the same the object is different. If we take the Parable to have anything to do with a Christian then it must be that it is a Christian who has strayed.

    If you are pushing the idea that backslidden believers are spiritually dead, then you are in the rank Arminian camp with its apostasy of the saints teaching.

    I don't know what you mean by spiritually dead, but I believe I was completely clear in my last that the son had been a son throughout the whole parable. While a Christian's faith can be "dead" James 2, this doesn't mean a loss of Salvation or in our context sonship.

    You wrote above: * "There's the best reason for Paul saying preachers of any other gospel ought be accursed."* The word *accursed* which is found in Galatians 1:9 (which you quote in your latest reply) is simply the English translation of the Greek word *anathema.*

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?book=Gal&chapter=1&verse=9&strongs=331&page=

    Repentance leads to an active change of character. In itself, it is a change of mind about something. It indicates a U turn in thinking. When unregenerate we love our sins. When repentant, we hate them and desire to forsake them. This is something which we cannot do in ourselves, but coupled with faith towards God we flee to Christ. The evidence of being in Christ is that we bring forth works meet for repentance. This is what Paul preached in Acts 20:26 and which I likewise preach.

    It's about time we got this. :) This is the topic we should be on.

    Where in the Bible does it say this is what Repentance is? Where does it say the “evidence” of being in Christ is bringing for the works meet for repentance? (that is not why John the Baptist challenges the Pharisees with this in Matt 3) Where does it say that Repentance is an active change of character, or a U turn, or hating sins and a “desire” to forsake them.

    I'm sorry I do have to giggle here. Such strong language but you have to stop just short of “sinless perfection” The bar is so high.. but not quite THAT high. What IS the standard then? If I desire not to murder people but I keep doing it can I be saved? The wishy washy, please my flesh attitude of Lordship Salvation is not found in Scripture at all.

    In Acts 20 Paul says he is clean of his listener's blood because he had preached the full counsel of God to them. He had preached "repentance towards God" and faith in Jesus Christ. There are a number of "reasonings" I could use in response to this sentence of Paul's. There are two things that I would like to say about it.

    One we read over and over Paul speaking of God and Our Lord Jesus Christ and it means - God. Not the Father and Jesus as two people. I believe this is the same usage of language here. So that repentance toward God (or might actually be more accurate to say "into") and faith in Jesus Christ are the same thing.

    Which leads me to the second thing, there is no subject of sin here. There is no "turning from sin" or "changing one's ways".

    The Bible urges us to repent and believe the gospel. Some people do so with a stronger repentance and a stronger faith than others. It is for God to judge the depth and the sincerity of them and not for me. But I must insist on both and not deny the need of either. I know also that both repentance and faith is not the *basis* of our salvation, which is rooted entirely in the perfect and vicarious work of Christ, but the *channel*.

    Where in the bible does it say there are levels of repentance? What is the minimum level one can have and still squeeze in the narrow gate? If Christ's work was perfect then it doesn't matter what condition a sinner is in. His condition become irrelevant because the FULL price was paid. But if the price was only partially paid then the sinner must raise to the occasion to be saved.

    Why would a man who desires to be saved want to hold on to any sins? Are they not the very sins which nailed Christ to the Cross? It is the work of the Spirit of God in sanctification, after our justification, to help us in a practical fashion to overcome sin (a life long work) which will only be achieved when we are glorified in Heaven.

    Now, we can talk about this with some fruitfulness I suspect. It makes no sense in my mind at all. Yet I know from my life, Paul's life, Peter's life.. and so on.. that we do hold on to our sins. Sin is pleasurable even for the Christian. Do not be deceived. If it were not so then we wouldn't do it. If our flesh didn't love it, as much or more than we love Christ then we just plain wouldn't do it. It's a TERRIBLE and SHAMEFUL thing! It's vile. Sin has become exceedingly sinful for us.

    Our Adamic nature is not abolished or destroyed at the moment of Salvation. God works us through sin, Rom 7, and obedience Heb 12 so that we will be perfect lacking no thing. If we abide in Him we will not sin, but when we do we fall out of fellowship – not out of sonship- with him 1 Jn. And when we confess our sins – not ask for forgiveness, when we confess our sinful nature and our sins – He is just and faithful to forgive them.

    God has been propitiated for our sins, all of them. Mercy and forgiveness is there already. We don't pray to ask God to forgive us. We truly repent – we go before God and confess our sins, agree with him. Change our thinking from our self-righteousness to thinking of His righteousness. We will still love sin.. as horrible as that is.. we will still not love God hardly at all compared to how we ought to love Him. Our performance will be terrible but His mercy complete.

    If we start trading quotes from CHS,

    Why on Earth would I be interested in that? My intention in my last was to dismiss such a thing. The only reason I mentioned Ironside at all was because he had given a definition that did not violate Grace so I was able to take another look at the subject.

    My understanding of a FG'er (correct me if I am wrong) that he *never* associates repentance in the sense defined by CHS above with salvation and accuses those of us who do as purveyors of another gospel.

    I should leave that answer to someone who has a history of being in the “Free Grace” theology camp. I try to not identify myself by titles and have only just recently started reading Free Grace resources because I found they agreed with what I believe.

    However, from my point of view it's simple. If the sinner has to improve himself in standing, position, appearance, thought or any other of a million ways then it is a false Gospel. Jesus Christ has restored all things – if I try to restore something in my flesh I am robbing Him of Glory. I'm calling the Holy Spirit a liar.

    God asks for one thing – that we agree with Him. If we agree we will trust. That is belief and faith, one thought two actions.

    If there is some difference between *judging* and *passing judgement* then I have not learned of it.

    Dear brother, by changing my words from “using judgment” to “judging” you twist my words into meaning what you want them to mean. This is the third straw-man (yes my favorite) argument you've used. two in this last reply of yours alone. Please discontinue using them.

    I said I “used judgment” which is to say I discerned. To “pass judgment” is to take the seat of a Judge and exercise his authority. To sentence one to something. I can not damn you to hell, but I can discern your gospel is in error. I can use judgment to see that you are adding to the Good News. But I can not pass judgment to say you are damned.

    Sorry this post is so long. I appreciate the time that you have taken to debate me on this issue, although I would have a better idea of where you stand if you just came out honestly and said that those who take the CHS line of interpretation are the cursed and shameful preachers of whom you write above.

    While I cannot agree with you about the Gospel yet (I hold out hope of resolving this which is my only purpose in discussion - unity in the Body), you have not been like most who debate this issue which is to reduce it to insults. I've found I've had to restrain myself – and likely should have restrained myself further because I'm used to the topic turning into that. So thank you for the more positive conversation.

    I do feel that if I were to answer on CHS that it would be a baited trap. I have not studied his works enough to know what he is saying for sure in those lines. I could be taking him out of his context and there by do a grave injustice. I know that could sound like a cop out, but I really DO take seriously Our Lord's saying that we shouldn't call a brother a fool. Also, call unclean anything that He has cleaned.

    Gotta go grab some food. These are getting long. Maybe we could tighten it up to the definition of Repentance?

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Monday, May 21, 2007 7:38:00 AM  

  • The link to Blueletterbible.org didn't really work out. Here's what I wanted to link to.

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?book=Gal&chapter=1&verse=9&strongs=331&page=

    anathema

    1) a thing set up or laid by in order to be kept

    a) specifically, an offering resulting from a vow, which after being consecrated to a god was hung upon the walls or columns of the temple, or put in some other conspicuous place

    2) a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed, and if an animal, to be slain; therefore a person or thing doomed to destruction

    a) a curse

    b) a man accursed, devoted to the direst of woes

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Monday, May 21, 2007 7:42:00 AM  

  • Kev,

    I agree that these posts are getting long. There are things which I would love to reply to in your last posting, but perhaps a good definition of repentance may not go astray.

    Since I have no desire to reinvent the wheel, I am happy to use the Shorter Catechism's definition. This is not because I hold it to be equal with Scripture or able to supplant Scripture, but simply because I believe it succinctly and accurately interprets Scripture.

    Having set forth that both faith and repentance are necessary in order to be saved, it offers a definition of both. None should be read or understood without the other, because that would present a misleading and dangerous caricature of what is held to be gospel truth.

    Q. 86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?
    A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.

    I don't think much explanation here is required. It is worth noting though those words *"receiving and resting upon Him [Christ] alone for salvation"* are fundamental. Nothing can be understood of anything else that interferes with those words. Repentance and faith *cannot* contradict each other.

    There is more controversy with the definition of repentance, but only if it is interpreted in such a way as to negate the first definition.

    Q. 87. What is repentance unto life?
    A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience.

    1) Repentance is unto life: This is the language of Acts 11:18

    2) Is a Saving Grace: Grace, because given by God (Again: Acts 11:18) If grace, then it cannot be earned or worked up by man, otherwise grace is no more grace. We need to be careful though that we do not have God repenting (or believing for us) but nevertheless, repentance is God given i.e. we repent through grace.

    3) Whereby a sinner - one still lost in his sins and guilty of sins and liable to the wrath of God

    4) Out of a true sense of his sins: Realising that he is indeed personally guilty. The Bible gives the example of some who confessed their sin, but they could never be said to have truly repented. Judas being the obvious example. Pharaoh and Balaam being others.

    5) Apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ: Which makes the difference between reformation of character and true repentance. Mere reformation of character does not need such understanding of God's mercy and often does not have it e.g. many self help schemes for drunkards etc., are vaguely religious (Higher Power) or humanistic. In this phrase, we have the element of faith so that true repentance is faith based.

    6) With grief and hatred of his sin: Which he ought to give seeing that sin is the enemy of God, the slayer of Jesus Christ who willing submitted to its penalty for us and the ruination of his (the sinner's) soul. It should be pointed out that different people will display this in different ways according to their emotional makeup. We should not expect or demand copious tears and trembling. Enough that the reality is there. Again, some folk will have a great comprehension of these things and this is bound to have an impact. Enough, as said, that the reality is there. Who judges or decides? Best left to God, although needful to confess that it is so.

    7) Turns from it to God with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience: Should not be interpreted in any way that obliterates or compromises the definition of saving faith. There is no merit in forsaking sin, turning to God and desiring to live a holy life. No one in the repentance camp claims that there is and most determinably denies that it is so, which effectively kills the thought, except to any desirous to cavil. The man who write the Hymn *"Nothing in my hand I bring…"* was a strict preacher of repentance as defined here.

    8) Thus when Saul of Tarsus was soundly converted on the road to Damascus, he embraced Christ as His Saviour and immediately asked: What wilt thou have me to do? And received instructions as to Christian service. No one accuses Saul of being a merit monger, and neither should any of those who saving believe and repent have to endure such an obloquy.

    I will end my definition there, conscious that I have not really supplied Scriptural proofs, but willing to defend anything written. Conscious also that blog comments are best kept short and therefore more readable. Feel free, Kev, toseek further clarification.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Monday, May 21, 2007 1:31:00 PM  

  • Number 8 is obviously not part of the definition. I ran with the "Word" arrangement for numbering and it numbered *all* the paragraphs.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Monday, May 21, 2007 2:18:00 PM  

  • Hey Goodnight,

    I'll reply to the portions that forward our conversation only - so we don't get side tracked an in hopes of keeping the length down a bit. Discussions turn into arguments when posts get long.

    Of the "Shorter Catechism's definition" you gave this pre-amble.

    Having set forth that both faith and repentance are necessary in order to be saved, it offers a definition of both. None should be read or understood without the other, because that would present a misleading and dangerous caricature of what is held to be gospel truth.

    I would, and do argue, that Faith is not something apart from true repentance. I am coming to discern that faith and belief make up Repentance.

    The Gospel IS dangerous. Freedom is always dangerous, especially when it's true freedom. Some would say it's better to lead in a safe direction than to allow such freedom.

    Q86, is that even an answer? The faith is not the saving Grace. The saving Grace is the Grace of Our Lord. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only rational response to the Gospel. Faith is the conviction of things unseen. A Sinner comes to the realization that they are a sinner, who is worthy of hell and that God has paid the price for them (<-- this is repentance) and trusts that His payment is sufficient. <-- this is faith in Christ Jesus.

    Nothing can be understood of anything else that interferes with those words. Repentance and faith *cannot* contradict each other.

    You say these words, but then go on to propose something counter to them.

    You acknowledged at the end of your post that you didn't offer much scriptural basis for the definitions. While Q86 lacks any substance, Q 87 makes up for it by adding greatly to what IS said in Scripture.

    Q. 87. What is repentance unto life?
    A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience.


    Where does the Bible say this? It does not. This is what Lordship Salvation proponents SAY Repentance is but it is not this. Some of those things are the fruits of repentance in some people.. but the Bible does not define Repentance as such.

    Did Paul exemplify this in Rom 7? I think not. Did Peter in most of the records of his life? I think not.

    What this answer proposes is that a person must reinvent themselves before they can be acceptable to Christ. That is Glory stealing and Grace diminishing.

    1) Repentance is unto life: This is the language of Acts 11:18

    Dangerously loose with interpretation Goodnight. Act 11:18 And when they heard these things they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then indeed God has to the nations also granted repentance to life.

    The language doesn't indicate that Repentance is unto life. The language clearly says that God granted the nations repentance to life. You are forcing your view into Scripture.

    4) Out of a true sense of his sins: Realising that he is indeed personally guilty.

    This is an incomplete sentence, what does the person do out of a true sens of his sins and realizing he is personally guilty?

    The real answer is he puts his faith in Christ Jesus who paid the price thereby completing the Belief/Faith/Repentance circle without adding any of his own worthless effort to it.

    The people you mention here never put their faith in Christ... Judas tried to change his ways... he tried to reform his life. You define that as repentance everywhere else but in his case it's not it? What these people lacked is faith, their conviction of sin never led them to the point where they counted on God.

    Paragraph 5 - it's funny how the author uses the word "Apprehension" which conveys the idea of acceptance without needing full understanding and then goes on to talk about the increased level of understanding required. The author is getting lost in his own words... there is a lot of type and not a lot of content.

    Paragraph 6.. relative truth.. you gotta have it, don't know how much.. better leave it up to God, but it's "needful" to be confessed.... the fact is that the sinner seeking salvation is never told he needs to "hate sin"... is this salvation or a club we're seeking membership in?

    Para 7... sigh... Turns from it to God with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience: Should not be interpreted in any way that obliterates or compromises the definition of saving faith.

    Turns from sin to God with "full purpose of" obedience. Why if SINNERS can be obedient to God then what need have us Christians of the Holy Spirit? What need hath the world of Christ?

    How could a sinner being obedient NOT be meritorious? Double speak that keeps the uninformed pleased.

    It's interesting how you wrote Para 8. Saul was "soundly saved" (as though there is any other kind of salvation... but that's another topic) and you say "he embraced Christ as His Savior" That is the moment of Saul's salvation. And in proper order you continue with that he immediately asked how he was to serve.

    This makes PERFECT sense. Saul was saved, and THEN became a disciple. For him it happened immediately - however you can read yourself how Paul still struggled with sin.

    His repentance unto life was not submitting to the Lordship of Christ. It was the belief that He is indeed Christ and the Gospel true. Paul was no fool - he knew the implications. He knew "the way" well. That Christ came to him on the road was no small thing.

    Paul's asking how to serve is not repentance it's discipleship.

    If you can define Repentance in scripture please do so.

    This got way longer than I thought it would.. long winded.. sorry.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Tuesday, May 22, 2007 4:23:00 AM  

  • That Acts 11:18 doesn't say repentance is unto life can be shown more clearly if I offer this statement.

    It could be said that when Israel denied Messiah the Prince that God gave them repentance unto death. At least for the Church age.

    This doesn't mean that Repentance is unto death. It means that God blinded the nation, He changed their minds. Just as He has done with the Gentile Nations but instead unto life.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Tuesday, May 22, 2007 4:30:00 AM  

  • Kev,

    I have given you a short line by line definition of what I believe the Bible means by repentance. I tried to be as short as I could and yet avoid superficiality. No mean feat.

    In order to keep these posts as short as we possibly can, I suggest that you pick the one paragraph that you have the biggest objection to and state that objection succinctly and we wil ltry and take it from there.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Tuesday, May 22, 2007 10:33:00 AM  

  • Goodnight, I'll put some questions together for you overnight. I doubt I'll be able to get them to you before tomorrow evening.

    :)
    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Tuesday, May 22, 2007 1:50:00 PM  

  • Kev,

    Try one question at a time. Otherwise, we just create long posts.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Tuesday, May 22, 2007 3:09:00 PM  

  • This will sound like more than one question but it's really just one. You can address only one part at a time if you wish.

    Where does the Bible indicate that sorrow for sinm changing or even wanting to change your ways is part of repentance?

    I don't mean that it is a logical response to repentance. I mean to ask where does it say that it is part of it. The point being that if it is part of it then repentance can not happen without it.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:49:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Thursday, May 24, 2007 12:52:00 AM  

  • Kev, I am willing to contend for the idea that repentance must indicate sorrow for sin and expresses a desire to change the ways. We *do not* ask sinners to reform their lives before they come to Christ since this would be salvation by works and so in this sense, we are not looking for an immediate changing of their ways, but certainly we are looking for sorrow for sin and a declaration that they will forsake their evil ways. If I am witnessing to a thief and he comes under conviction of sin and expresses his desire to repent and believe the gospel, I do not expect him to leave the scene and pick someone's pocket. If he is serious about repenting, then he will forgo the opportunity to steal. However, neither am I going to say to him, "Try and keep clean for 3 months and come back and we'll see about getting saved."

    The key NT passage that teaches about repentance is 2 Corinthians 7:7-11 where we read of a godly sorrow working repentance to salvation and again that they sorrowed after a godly sort. This was evidently different from a mere remorse as the passage makes out. True repentance, in its nature, is always coupled with faith in Christ. Abject remorse leads to despair since there it fails to grasp the mercy that is in Christ. True repentance sorrows, but faith rejoices that there is salvation. I accept that the words of 2 Corinthians 7 were written to Christians, but I find no warrant in the Bible to differentiate between the *nature* of repentance in a Christian and non Christian. True, the backslider is returning to the Lord again, while the sinner is obviously coming for the first time, but the *nature* of repentance is the same.

    I could enlarge upon this, but I do want to keep our postings short.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Thursday, May 24, 2007 12:53:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight first the good - I'm glad that you recognize Paul was writing to Christians and so the topic is not Eternal Salvation but deliverance. You make a reasonable statement that repentance be it unto life or unto restored fellowship ought to be the same, or at the very least very similar.

    I will draw your attention to 2Co 7:10 For grief according to God works repentance to salvation, never to be regretted; but the grief of the world works death.

    Godly Grief "works" repentance to salvation.

    The Grief was given by God to drive these people to repentance. Ala Heb 12. These are Christians who have the Holy Spirit working in them to conform them to the image of Christ. Godly grief DOES work repentance but that is not the same as saying that repentance has grief.

    Heat is used to make food does not mean that all food is hot.

    Now the not so good.

    You said We *do not* ask sinners to reform their lives before they come to Christ since this would be salvation by works and so in this sense, we are not looking for an immediate changing of their ways,

    I break you mid sentence. This sounds well and good so far but wait -

    but certainly we are looking for sorrow for sin and a declaration that they will forsake their evil ways.

    We don't expect them to clean up their lives - just declare that they will.

    Huh? That's like saying I don't expect you to pay that bill today, just write me a check.

    There is an important 'key' in this next sentence that I believe might unlock fruitful study for you.

    If I am witnessing to a thief and he comes under conviction of sin and expresses his desire to repent and believe the gospel, I do not expect him to leave the scene and pick someone's pocket.

    I wouldn't "expect" him to do such either - but I wouldn't declare that if he did his repentance was false. It'd be a terrible start.. but I think we raise it up to more than it is because WE are offended. His sin is no worse than my tongue wagging filthiness though I am saved.

    Now the 'key' "and expresses his desire to repent"

    Repenting isn't an action. You can't desire to do it with out doing it. It is a change of mind. A reassessment of self. If the person expresses a desire to change they have already repented of their sins and this is fruit of that. NOW you are in a VERY important place. If the person wants to change his life - you ought first tell them they have to complete the repentance unto life by trusting that Christ paid the price for them. Repentance from sin is well and good but is useless without repentance unto life. The understanding that the person is a sinner is of no help if he doesn't trust the Savior for salvation. If the person is encouraged to stop whatever sin he is in the focus comes off Our Lord and on to the man and his sin. He is left to work his works that God will see as nothing more than filthy rags.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Thursday, May 24, 2007 3:06:00 AM  

  • Kevin,

    I agree with you 100% that repentance without faith is useless, hence the Bible calls us to both: Mark 1:15/Acts 20:21 etc., Both rely on one another for their genuineness - I do not accept that there is a true (i.e. saving) but faithless repentance, nor a true but unrepentant faith.

    I think, though, by your definition of repentance, that you greatly lessen impact the hold that sin has upon people i.e. that if a person expresses a desire to change then *that is* repentance. Many people express the desire to change their ways, but they are not actually willing to change. The classic case is that of the Rich Young Ruler. Had he not desired a change, then he would not have (physically) come to Christ in the first place. But when the Lord told him (in effect) that He would have to give up money as his god, then his desire to change evaporated in mid air, for he went away sorrowful. The thought of repentance hardly seems to have been on the radar, but there had been a desire of sorts.

    Repentance might not be an action, but it *leads* to definite actions hence John and Paul exhorted its professors to produce works meet for their profession. I cannot say that I have changed if there has been no change in my behaviour. If there is no desire to change the ways when a profession is being made, then there will be no changing of the ways afterwards. We act according to our thoughts.

    To go back to our thief whom I have been witnessing to. For many reasons, especially social, I might exhort him to steal no more, both for his own good (stay out of prison) his family's good, and especially the good of his intended victims. However, when it comes to the gospel, I will exhort *both* to repent and believe the gospel. I will tell him that it is not enough to express sorrow for his sin, although he ought to do so, but that he must be willing to forsake it if he wants to be identified with the name of Jesus Christ. I exhort him to look to Christ for salvation i.e. pardon from the guilt of sin and power over the hold of sin, without which he will be lost, no matter how sorrowful he expresses himself or no matter how clean he lives his life from henceforth. If I *merely* preach to him that he can escape hell by trusting in Jesus Christ, then he might well bow his head, utter an evangelical prayer of sorts, put his cap back on and continue to pick pockets. If I see him doing so, then am I spoiling the party by getting the focus unto his sin and off the Saviour to say that he ought not to do so? What if he says to me, "But Mr Preacher Man, did I not believe on Jesus Christ as my only Saviour? Am I not a present and forever possessor of eternal life?" What would you say?

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Thursday, May 24, 2007 7:24:00 AM  

  • Hi Goodnight, a person can repent of their sins without putting their faith in Christ to save them. They can not change who they are without the Spirit but they can recognize the sinfulness of their ways.

    I didn't say that a desire to change is repentance. I said that a desire to change is fruit of repentance. No one desires to change until after they are aware that they are wrong. IT is that change of assessment about ourselves that IS repentance of sin.

    I don't know how often you witness but I can tell you from experience with MANY people that people come to that knowledge and accept that as truth before they trust Christ.

    Look at the lady by the well that Jesus spoke with. She heard her sins explained, and was told the solution. She didn't go about changing her life.. she didn't weep for sorrow. She simply ran back to tell everyone the GOOD NEWS! She had repented of her sin - she knew it was wrong, she had repented unto life because she believed that Christ was the source of the Living Water - eternal life.

    You said I will tell him that it is not enough to express sorrow for his sin, although he ought to do so, but that he must be willing to forsake it if he wants to be identified with the name of Jesus Christ.

    God identifies anyone who believes on Jesus for salvation with His Name. You on the other hand demand performance before you will. 'nuff said.

    If I *merely* preach to him that he can escape hell by trusting in Jesus Christ, then he might well bow his head, utter an evangelical prayer of sorts, put his cap back on and continue to pick pockets.

    If you preach that he can escape hell by trusting in Jesus then you have preached the Gospel.

    Now it's time for the man to get into fellowship and be made a disciple. But you can't make Discipleship a condition of Salvation because that is not the Gospel of Christ - period. You may not like it.. the Jews didn't like it. Read the letter to the Galatians to see how much they didn't like it. But Paul contends even to our eyes and minds today that it is so.

    You closed with the following If I see him doing so, then am I spoiling the party by getting the focus unto his sin and off the Saviour to say that he ought not to do so? What if he says to me, "But Mr Preacher Man, did I not believe on Jesus Christ as my only Saviour? Am I not a present and forever possessor of eternal life?" What would you say?

    If the person knows they are a sinner but have not trusted Christ yet then your focus MUST be on Christ and Christ alone. He is the object of their salvation - no matter their state.

    If the person has trusted Christ then you MUST treat him like a Christian - and then he comes under Church Discipline which works amazingly well.

    Lordship Salvation types always forget that Church Discipline is the process for dealing with Christians who are disorderly.

    We can not judge those outside the Body - they are slaves to sin, blind men. It is unreasonable to expect them to be Christ like. But the Brethren have had their eyes opened and we are well within our rights to hold them to it.

    The person is still saved, they simply are disorderly and must be dealt with accordingly.

    These are getting long again but I believe it was needed for this post.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Thursday, May 24, 2007 8:14:00 AM  

  • Kevl said:
    I didn't say that a desire to change is repentance. I said that a desire to change is fruit of repentance. No one desires to change until after they are aware that they are wrong. IT is that change of assessment about ourselves that IS repentance of sin.

    Look at the lady by the well that Jesus spoke with. She heard her sins explained, and was told the solution. She didn't go about changing her life.. she didn't weep for sorrow. She simply ran back to tell everyone the GOOD NEWS! She had repented of her sin - she knew it was wrong, she had repented unto life because she believed that Christ was the source of the Living Water -
    eternal life.

    Kev I think your reading your theology into the text. There is no evidence the women at the well repented. Just because she went back and told them about the Christ does not prove she repented of her affair. We can hope she did, but she may have continued in that relationship.
    Also Jesus gave the gospel,the free gift of eternal life to those who believe.
    I haven't read all the post, but I have to disagree with this,,,alvin

    By Anonymous alvin, at Thursday, May 24, 2007 11:43:00 AM  

  • Hi alvin,

    You must have not read the post you are responding to. You are inflicting your definition of Repentance on my writing.

    Repentance is not changing your ways. It is changing your mind about yourself and God. You once proclaimed your goodness, now you know you are a sinner who's sins are worthy of Hell. You once had no faith in Christ but now you have faith that His payment was for you and complete.

    I suggest you read the conversation before you reply further.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Thursday, May 24, 2007 1:06:00 PM  

  • Kev sorry if I didn't have time to read the whole book, but I was commenting on your two statements about the women at the well having repented. Which I dont think you can prove. And also that repentance is used as just a change of mind in the Bible. I see Jesus using Nineveh as an example of repentance in Matt 12:41. And in Jonah it says:Jonah 3:10 When God SAW THEIR WORKS, that they turned from their evil way, and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, And He did not do it.
    Also Luke 3:8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
    Seems to me The Bibles examples of repentance is turning from your sin, that's when God relents.
    Also your sin has nothing to do with the free gift of eternal life (John 1:29). I believe the story about the women at the well is simply about giving and receiving a gift. And bringing up about her afair was simply to show she was speaking to a Prophet. But John 4:10 shows the gift would have already been given if she would have known. Nothing to do with her sin what so ever! alvin

    By Anonymous alvin, at Thursday, May 24, 2007 5:38:00 PM  

  • Kev,

    There is complete agreement on the issue that people need to realise that they are guilty sinners before they come to Christ for salvation.

    I seem to keep defending myself from the charge that people need to change their life before and in order to be saved. This is *NOT* what I believe, nor that it is necessary to *weep* for sorrow. People show their emotions in different ways - some more or less than others, so this is not an issue. I do not look for a performance at all, although you are charging me with it.

    If the desire to change is the *fruit* of repentance, then what is repentance itself? It is the mere acknowledgement of guilt? If so, then Judas repented in Matthew 27:4 for he acknowledged that guilt. Did he repent with the repentance which the goodness of God leads us to, as in Romans 2:4?

    If repentance and faith are one and the same thing (which is the impression which you give from the Samaritan woman) why then are they spoken of as separate matters in Mark 1:15, Acts 20:21/26:20 etc.? (I need to be careful here, because I believe that they are "joined at the hip" like Siamese twins, but they are two different things, the one leading to the other.)

    How would you treat a man who says that he wants to go to Heaven (avoid hell) when he dies, but is adamant that he doesn't want to change his lifestyle afterwards i.e. 6 months on he is adamant that he still wants to (say) run a house of ill repute or a gambling joint in Las Vegas? Will you encourage him to say "the sinner's prayer"?

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Friday, May 25, 2007 2:23:00 AM  

  • Hey Goodnight,

    I know this is getting long but the questions you ask here I've answered. I'll TRY to get it done in a shorter form this time. :)

    You keep having to defend against demanding performance because while you say that you don't demand it you always add the demand OF performance. As I quoted you doing my my last reply to you. Just before Alvin's post.

    Even in this post you say This is *NOT* what I believe, nor that it is necessary to *weep* for sorrow. People show their emotions in different ways - some more or less than others, so this is not an issue.

    You say that you don't have to weep in sorrow.. which is good to say but then you destroy the statement by indicating that the emotion is still required. Again see my last to you for the answer to that.

    If the desire to change is the *fruit* of repentance, then what is repentance itself?

    Repentance from sin is the reassessment of self. The change of mind from self-righteousness to knowing you are a sinner worthy of Hell.

    then Judas repented in Matthew 27:4

    Yes he did didn't he. He repented of that one sin at least. Yet we are not told he put his faith in Christ for his salvation. He knew he was a sinner, but he didn't trust that God would save him.

    If repentance and faith are one and the same thing (which is the impression which you give from the Samaritan woman)

    I likely have not explained my thoughts well on this. I think repentance unto life brings the two together under one phrase. But repentance of sin in it's self does not include faith in Christ.

    I'm going to treat your last as two questions because if it's one question I suggest you read my above post about how Lordship inserts Discipleship into the Gospel.

    How would you treat a man who says that he wants to go to Heaven (avoid hell) when he dies, but is adamant that he doesn't want to change his lifestyle

    The principle of Law to the proud and Grace to the humble applies. If a man is still shaking his fist at God - expressing how won't change his life - then I'm not going to tell him what God did to save him. Yet this doesn't mean I"m going to demand the man make a declaration of intent to change.

    I really don't know how often you witness but I do street witnessing and preaching every week. You can see it in a person's eyes when the Spirit convicts them of their sin.

    afterwards i.e. 6 months on he is adamant that he still wants to (say) run a house of ill repute or a gambling joint in Las Vegas? Will you encourage him to say "the sinner's prayer"?

    If the person professed faith in Christ previously then I'm going to treat them like a Christian. I will show them the error I see, take a brother who's a witness and do the same, then I'll bring the man before the Church, then he'll be excommunicated. All of this goes until he repents.

    This works very very very well. I bet that has something to do with that God designed it to. While he's put out of fellowship we treat him as a non saved person - he gets the Gospel and not fellowship.

    This post is filled with answers I've already given.

    Do you have any scriptural basis for including sorrow and a will to change your life as required parts of repentance?

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Friday, May 25, 2007 2:51:00 AM  

  • Paul was alive and believed in Jesus; now he's dead. Does that make Jesus a liar?

    By Blogger jared, at Friday, May 25, 2007 8:13:00 AM  

  • Kev,

    You write: *"The principle of Law to the proud and Grace to the humble applies."*

    Are you not making humility a condition of grace? How much humilit do you need? How do you know if you are humble enough?

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Friday, May 25, 2007 12:09:00 PM  

  • Hi Goodnight,

    You write: *"The principle of Law to the proud and Grace to the humble applies."*

    Are you not making humility a condition of grace? How much humilit do you need? How do you know if you are humble enough?


    James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Wherefore he says, God sets himself against [the] proud, but gives grace to [the] lowly.

    I Peter 5:5,6 Likewise [ye] younger, be subject to [the] elder, and all of you bind on humility towards one another; for God sets himself against [the] proud, but to [the] humble gives grace.

    Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in [the due] time;

    A person is humbled when they repent, because they no longer see themselves as "good" or even "good enough". The "evidence" of this is the person wanting to know the solution to the problem they now know they have.

    There is no "amount" of humility required.

    Nice try though.
    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Friday, May 25, 2007 1:21:00 PM  

  • Paul is not dead.


    No matter what Sgt Pepper says.

    By Blogger Kevl, at Friday, May 25, 2007 1:24:00 PM  

  • Kevl,

    I'm pretty sure the Romans "got" him, but I suppose I could be mistaken. Maybe Jesus was being unclear with the woman?

    I think maybe "You are convinced from the hearing of faith" should go on that 'false gospel: you are saved if...' list, shouldn't it?

    By Blogger jared, at Friday, May 25, 2007 6:32:00 PM  

  • Kev,

    It is interesting, is it not, that when James urges humility in this 4th chapter - a requisite of even having the gospel preached to you as you indicate above, he explains a little what such humility should consist of. Is it not therefore most interesting that in v9 (before calling for us to humble ourselves in God's sight in v10) that James should exhort us:

    * Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.*

    This sounds mighty like sorrow to me. It reminds me of that great repentance passage in Joel 2 which accumulates in the words:

    *And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. (Joel 2:13)*

    BTW, I don't run with the idea that the gospel should not be preached to the stubborn. I see where you are coming from, but often the preaching of the Cross melts man's hearts: Christ died for the ungodly. But I do emphasise the need of the ungodly to repent of their sin (and here I use the Law as well) and believe the gospel. Again, there is no merit in sorrow for sin…just as there is no merit in humility before God.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Saturday, May 26, 2007 12:49:00 AM  

  • Goodnight, good for you that your try to preach the Gospel even to those who don't want to hear it. Who don't believe it could be Good News.

    The idea of someone paying a million dollar fine for me when I don't believe I owed a million dollars is foolishness.

    If you can make the Cross make sense even in that situation then good for you.

    You did a very good job of twisting what I said there. By applying Scripture I did not reference to something I did not say. Using that skill when you preach will cost you dearly at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Using that skill while you study will keep you self-deceived.

    If you are preaching that one must be sorrowful for their sin to be saved.. that they must pledge their desire to change.. that they must stop sinning...see the list in the main post.'

    Then you might as well be talking on Opera because you are not preaching the Cross.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Saturday, May 26, 2007 5:46:00 AM  

  • Kev,

    I don't think your analysis of what has happened is either true or becoming of you in a debate of this nature.

    You pointed me to a passage from James 4 to (rightly) show that humility is required before a soul can be saved. You won't even preach the Cross to one who shows no humility. I turned to the same passage to check context and discover that such humility carries with it a strong element of sorrow which is exactly what I have been advocating.

    Rather than answer me, you instead resort to accusation. If you do not wish or are not able to take our discussion further, then please say so without resorting to these tactics.

    If you are going to preach the gospel to those who show evidence of being awakened by God, then you are advocating a not so subtle form of Hyper Calvinism. I did not expect you to go down that road and I imagine that many of the FGers will distance themselves from your position. For the record (again) I preach both the law and the gospel indiscrimately to all men. Surely one conclusion from preaching the Cross is that if God spared not His own Son when He punished Him for sin (of others) then my sin must equally be odious to God and how can He spare sinners if they die in their sins? Thus the seriousness of sin is proclaimed through the preaching of the Cross. Again Galatians 2:21 shows that the Cross (and by extension, the preaching of the same) must in itself humble the sinner by showing him that his supposed righteousness is not good enough and will not work.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Saturday, May 26, 2007 6:20:00 AM  

  • Do you smell blood Goodnight? Now you are writing in the tone and fervor that normally surrounds Lordship Salvation types. It is unbecoming.

    You said "you won't even preach the Cross to one who shows no humility." And I replied that to preach the Cross to someone who doesn't understand he is sinful is to preach foolishness.

    We see from Paul's example in Acts 17 that Paul reasoned with the men that Christ needed to die and rise again. He made it make sense. He didn't just preach that Christ DID die and rise. He reasoned with them. And then some believed and joined with him and Silas.

    Now I don't think the subject is about when to preach the Cross. I believe the subject is does God demand performance for a person to be saved.

    You claim that He does not, but that you preach it anyway. You can try to change the topic if you like but in the end we will both stand before Our Lord and give account.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Saturday, May 26, 2007 6:37:00 AM  

  • Kev.,

    It is not a matter of "smelling blood" as you put it. I saw and exposed the flaw in your argument.

    Instead of answering it, you accused me of twisting your words and now in your latest posting, you indict me with a tone and fervor that you claim normally surrounds Lordship Salvation types. This is just an attack now on a whole group of people, without one word of qualification.

    You cannot possibly know the tone that I write in, for the words that I use are not inconsistent with one who is calm enough about the matter at hand. I started off this correspondence with you on friendly enough terms, although obviously taking an opposite position.

    While I raised the somewhat practical matter of how would you deal with one who had no intention of changing his lifestyle at all (even after professing faith) it was you who said: *"The principle of Law to the proud and Grace to the humble applies. If a man is still shaking his fist at God - expressing how won't change his life - then I'm not going to tell him what God did to save him.*
    In effect, *you* raised the matter of the Cross, for God does what he does to save sinners through the Cross. Subsequently I exposed this policy as being Hyper Calvinism in effect and explained some of the advantages of preaching the Cross to all men without exception.

    I think I will leave the debate here. You backed out of applying your condemnation of shameful and cursed preachers when I asked you if one who preached after the manner of Spurgeon was who you had in mind. When it came to the crunch, you couldn't follow it through. Now when it comes to James 4 (the passage you raise) and I point out the call to sorrow as well as humility, you back out yet again and resort to attacks on my person. So I see little point in continuing.

    Thanks for your time.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Saturday, May 26, 2007 7:24:00 AM  

  • I correct myself. I did not ask you whether one who preached after the manner of Spurgeon on repentance was in mind when you condemned shameful and cursed preachers. I asked you whether Spurgeon himself was to be condemned as passing on such teaching as he received from his mother's knee. The *application* of course would apply to those of us who take Spurgeon's position, but the original query was directly regarding Spurgeon.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at Saturday, May 26, 2007 8:14:00 AM  

  • Goodnight,

    n effect, *you* raised the matter of the Cross, for God does what he does to save sinners through the Cross. Subsequently I exposed this policy as being Hyper Calvinism in effect and explained some of the advantages of preaching the Cross to all men without exception.

    You made that claim yes. Good for you.....if you care to show me how I'm directed to throw pearls before swine and preach salvation to the man who doesn't yet believe he's a sinner then I will repent of my preaching manner. You have not thus far done so.. you have simply made an emotional rant and used a term to describe that you know how to argue against - another Strawman argument for you. I believe the count is up to 4 now for you in this discussion. Possibly 5.

    now what are you going to do about how you pervert the Gospel into a Salvation by works message?

    I can not condemn anyone. I believe I was perfectly clear about this. You asked me to condemn a man I've never met.. and who's work I am only partially familiar with. You expected me to make a condemnation or support statement based on what YOU say about him... sorry not going to happen.

    However, I will stand by what Paul says - if you preach another Gospel then you ought to be accursed. Period. IF this applies to Spurgeon (and I don't know if it does or doesn't) then I believe you have your answer.

    I have not been unclear with you. But you have done a very good job of avoiding the question that you indicated you would willingly answer.

    Where is your scriptural support for what you add to the word Repentance?

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at Saturday, May 26, 2007 9:47:00 AM  

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