[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)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Does Anybody Agree with this Quotation? XX

by Antonio da Rosa

This is installment #20 in this series, since being started by Matthew some time ago. I wish to ask point blank, do you unreservedly, without qualification or supplementation agree with this quote of the Lord Jesus Christ:

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

If you want the correct understanding of what it means to "believe in" Jesus, please refer to my most recent post on Free Grace Theology Blog:

Are We Robbed of John 3:16? What does 'beleiving in' Jesus really mean?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Matthew, the Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, is a Calvinist

Classical Arminianism

I was looking at recent links to this blog and I discovered this one. According to the writer, Matthew is an "overzealous, and no doubt young and immature, Calvinist." I laughed out loud. We have been called Arminians by the Calvinists and now Calvinists by the Arminians.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Does Anybody Agree with this Quotation XIX

by Antonio da Rosa

Calvinist, John McArthur, states: “That’s one of the reasons I know the Bible is written by God, because men would fix it. If I wrote a book that had those contradictions, Phil [Johnson] would edit them all out. One of the bench marks of divine inspiration is the fact that you’re dealing with transcendence.” (Election and Predestination: The Sovereignty of God in Salvation, emphasis mine)

What do you think?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Arminianism is antichrist

by Matthew

This seems harsh, but it is undeniably the truth.

1 John 2
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

The characteristic of the antichrist is that he denies the Father and the Son. This is what Arminianism does.

In John 11, our Lord asked Matha:

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Note her reply:

27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

Martha identifies the title 'Son of God' with what our Lord just affirmed about Himself. If one denies this truth, then one has denied the Son.

The Arminians do not believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. They believe that a person can believe and yet go to hell. They do not affirm that 'he that liveth and believeth shall never die.'

They also deny the Father. For our Lord also said in John 3:

16 ¶ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This reveals the saving purpose of the Father. He sent His Son into the world that whoever believes on Him might have eternal life. But the Arminian does not accept this. The Arminian holds that although God sent His Son into the world, not all who believe on Him will escape hell. They deny that whoever believes on the Son has everlasting life.

Therefore I am not afraid to say that Arminianism or Wesleyanism is antichrist.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

UoG under scrutiny

Apparently, we who write for this blog are IMCOMPETENT to study the Bible.
The author of the post below (me) does not understand grace or regeneration.
We here push a gospel that has an appearance of godliness but it denies the power of God the Holy Spirit.
The leader of that blog has not an ounce of respect for anyone on this blog.

Monday, October 15, 2007

He went away sad...

by Rose

I was reading about a book the other day that uses the story of the rich young ruler in evangelism.

(Luke 18:)18A ruler questioned Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 19And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 20"You know the commandments, 'DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.'" 21And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth." 22When Jesus heard this, He said to him, "One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 23But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.
I have my own thoughts on how this should be viewed evangelistically. Think about how this man approached the Lord. "What shall I do?" This is sinful man's quintessential problem, as far as I can tell. He is a filthy sinner but he thinks he can DO to gain God's favor. The guy did not see himself as having a problem, did he? He thought he was alright with God. “All these things I have kept from my youth.” This certainly does not seem like someone who knows they are lacking, yet he asked about “inheriting eternal life.”

Jesus tells him firstly, “Why do you call me good? There is none good but God.” I think that is a two-fold comment from the Lord. I think He is referring to His own Personage… and also trying to derail what He already knew was in this rich young ruler’s heart – pride in his own goodness and efforts. However, being that there is none good, Jesus found it simple to point out a lack in the man’s goodness.

The man went away sad. Why? Did Jesus give him good news? Not really. Jesus told him how he lacked. The man did not want to do what Jesus asked. The man did not ask Jesus for anything either, did he? He simply went away sad. I think a lot of people go away sad when they want to work their way to God’s favor without receiving His free gift. A message to the lost that tells them what they must commit or give up to receive the gift that Christ purchased, as recorded in the remainder of Luke's gospel, makes me sad too.

In the next few verses, Jesus tells his disciples that he is going to be handed over to the Gentiles, killed, and on the third day rise again. This is the awesome thing that He does so that He can make it possible for rich and poor alike to be saved and receive eternal life. Once they have this life, are regenerated, we have real examples of people giving up many things for Christ. It is possible with the Holy Spirit in one's inner being to do many things that would otherwise seem as impossible as a camel passing through a microspcopic opening, or a gate that is very small. ;~)
Now I do believe in the book that I referred to in the opening paragraph, the LS gospel is presented. IOW, this passage is viewed as the requirement for eternal life, for regeneration – give up, give up, commit, commit, and you can be saved, born again. What a travesty. I think if I were speaking about this passage to someone who did not know the Lord, I would use it to point out the problem of being self-righteous, and of not recognizing who Jesus is, of not asking for mercy, as the beggar at the end of the chapter did.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Day And The Hour

by David Wyatt

Have you ever heard anything similar to this from an evangelist, pastor or just another believer: If you don't remember the exact time that you were saved, then there is good reason to doubt your salvation. How can you know you are saved now if you don't remember the time? Believe it or not, this was once an earthshaking issue in my early days as a believer. I remember having myriad questions about just about everything as a new believer, & I got some sound Biblical answers, and I also got some pretty rotten unbiblical ones as well. I am sure you all are the same. Did any of y'all ever hear anything like this about the timing of your salvation? If so, did it ever bother you, or how did you overcome it? Maybe you are one that can remember the exact time. That is a good thing, I certainly do not disparage that. I do not know the exact time, but I do know an approximate time. But, as a good free grace man told me recently, what are we depending on for our salvation, Christ or our memory? Amen!! Any comments?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Unashamed of Grace

Read here to find out how two of the members of the UoG blog met this past week. One of them was me!

Evangelism and Free Grace Theology in India

by Antonio da Rosa

Free Grace Theology Blog:
Evangelism and Free Grace Theology in India

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Transfiguration and Deification

by Matthew

A lot of Christians puzzle over what is meant in the Transfiguration, yet this incident in the life of our Lord is surely the one of the most glorious and holds much signifcance for our own salvation.

Luke 9
28 ¶ And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Eli'jah:

31 who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.

33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Eli'jah: not knowing what he said.

34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.

35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son:

36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.

When it says that Peter did not know what he was saying, a lot of people think this was one of Peter's typical foot-in-mouth comments. I rather take the view that what he was saying was prophetical in character. He referred to making tabernacles. In this he was showing that the feast of tabernacles was being fulfilled.

The people of Israel dwellt in tabernacles and so did the Ark of the Covenant, in which was the presence of God, the holiest thing on earth. The Transfiguration shows that again, God's presence was on earth, this time in hypostatic union with humanity in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be another fulfillment of this in the Millennium when the earh shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). But the ultimate fulfillment of the feast of the tabernacles is in the eternal state, for it says in Revelation 21:

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

The entire universe is to be filled with the presence of God! It says in 1 Corinthians 15:

27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

The cosmos is to be transfigured. Through Christ it will be united to God and deified in Him, that God may be all in all.

But before this, the believer is to glorified or transfigured.

To understand the Transfiguration we have to remember what happened to Moses:

Exodus 34
29 ¶ And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Si'nai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

Moses had been in the presence of God. The presence of God is where God's holy uncreated energies are manifest. This is God's life and it transforms and transfigures. Moses was transformed by being in the presence of God. He experienced a partial glorification.

In the Transfiguration, the glory of God was revealed in Christ. His human nature did not become intermingled with His divine nature. No. His human nature was temporarily glorified and transfigured by His divinity. Now that He is risen and ascended into heaven, our Lord is fully glorified.

At His coming our Lord shall gather His redeemed to Himself and glorify and transform them. We shall still be human beings of flesh, but our flesh will be changed and transfigured through Christ. Through Christ's hypostatic union of humnaity and divinity, we come to participate in the divine and in Christ our flesh will be deified. We shall become God as He is God. We shall be like Him. It is the purpose of God in the church to make a new man (Ephesians 2:10), a new kind of humanity.

The glorification of believers is proportionate. There are degrees of glory. Those that come to be of the house of Christ (Hebrews 3:6), who have overcome and suffered for His sake shall be glorified in a unique way. It says in Romans 8:

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Those that have suffered for Christ receive the end in heirship with a greater glory. And these that are of the house of Christ are granted the privilege of exercising government over the universe as a race of divine beings. They may be said not only to have become one with God (as are all who are in Christ) but to have themselves become gods.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Interview with a 'Crossless' Pastor

by Antonio da Rosa

The following is an exchange between a sincere church-goer and a pastor that my friend Trent posted over at the Grace Evangelical Society discussion board. I trust you will find it interesting...

From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 6:39 AM
To: pastor@xxxxxxxxxxx.org
Subject: question
Dear Pastor XXXX,

I know you don’t know me, but for a while now, I have been interested in finding out more about your church. I have heard about your church from others on the internet and I have heard that your doctrine is “free grace.” It also sounds like your church, in the past, has been very clear on the gospel and perhaps this is because of your previous association with members of the Grace Evangelical Society.

I would like to know if you take a stance against Lordship Salvation in your preaching (as taught by John MacArthur) and also your stance on what has been labeled the “Crossless Gospel” which is circulating among free grace believers these days. If you haven’t heard about the “Crossless Gospel” but you want to know what it is, the Crossless gospel articles can be found at www.duluthbible.org

I ask these questions because we have an interest in visiting your church, but we would like to know your doctrinal stance on these issues beforehand. If you are willing to share your thoughts on these issues, I would appreciate it.

Sincerely in Christ



Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 11:05 AM
Subject: RE: question

Thank you for your email.

You heard correctly that our church teaches a free grace message of justification. We believe that a person is justified simply by believing in Jesus for eternal life. In view of our position, we clearly find ourselves at odds with proponents of Lordship Salvation. Though differing from them, we dearly love and care for those who have been misguided by Lordship teaching. I do not belittle or ridicule Lordship teaching (or teachers) in my sermons. Instead, I take a more proactive approach – emphasizing the truth of the gospel of grace, rather than spend all my time deconstructing what I believe to be false teaching. I may, from time to time, address the fallacy of Lordship theology, but I will inevitably spend more time addressing how simple and true if the message of justification by ‘faith’.

>>I would like to know… your stance on what has been labeled the “Crossless Gospel” which is circulating among free grace believers these days. If you haven’t heard about the “Crossless Gospel” but you want to know what it is, the Crossless gospel articles can be found at www.duluthbible.org

By the web link you offered, I assume you accept Duluth’s position on the aforementioned issue. Personally, I find the term “crossless gospel” to be particularly misleading in this recent debate. By its use, people instinctively conclude that whoever teaches a “crossless gospel” either:

Does not believe that Jesus died on the cross
Devalues the significance of Jesus’ death on the cross

May I begin by saying clearly that neither A nor B is true of those who are supposedly labeled “crossless gospel” teachers.

The issue at hand is ‘what must be believed to be justified.’ In answering this question, I turn to the Gospel of John – the only biblical book with the express purpose of leading people to saving faith in Christ.

John 20:30 - 21:1 30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

All Scripture is inspired and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. But only the book of John definitely states that it was written for the purpose of leading people to faith in Christ. And so, when someone asks me ‘How can I be saved?’ – I turn them to the Gospel of John.

I might show any number of passages in John that emphasize what a person must do in order to be saved:

John 3:16 16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:36 36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life ; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

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

John 11:25-27 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" 27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

In all of these, I find great commonality. To be saved (justified), according to the words of Jesus Himself, one must believe in Him for everlasting life. It is truly that simple.

What I do not find in the Gospel of John (or any other biblical book for that matter), is any Scripture that declares that belief in the cross event is necessary to be justified. Let me rephrase to be clear. There is not one text in all of Scripture that teaches that unregenerate people must believe in Jesus’ death on the cross in order to be saved. Might I add that anyone can do a simple search of the term ‘cross’ in the Bible and they will quickly find this to be true.

Now what does all of this mean? Does this mean we should not teach the message of the cross. Of course not! Paul says:

Galatians 6:14 14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

It is by the cross event that Jesus removed the sin of the world as the legal basis of condemnation (2 Cor. 5:19). It is only because of the cross that men and women can now simply believe in Christ and receive everlasting life with God. And so the cross event takes a special place of significance in the life of the church and of every believer.

But note carefully that the Bible does not teach that we must believe in the cross event of Christ in order to be saved. Instead, the Bible teaches we must believe in Christ for everlasting life. To be clear, I’m simply speaking about justification. I’m simply speaking of how a person can become a child of God. They become a child of God by believing in Jesus for eternal life.

Prior or subsequent to their faith, a person may learn a great many things about Jesus Christ:

born of a virgin
baptized by John the Baptist
called 12 disciples
healed the sick
cleansed the temple
prayed and sweat blood in Gethsemane
died on the cross
resurrected on the 3rd day

I would hope that any believer would soon be aware of these significant events in Jesus’ life. But surely I would never tell someone that unless they believed items 1-8, they could not be saved. That would be absurd. Should all 8 items be known by Christians? Most certainly. Must they be known? Most certainly not. What must be known to be saved is that Jesus Christ gives eternal life to those who believe in Him for it.

Those who have been facetiously labeled “crossless gospel” teachers are nothing more than people who are trying to let the Bible speak for itself on what must be believed in order to be saved. I am one of them. Yet I would not ever use that term to describe such people, because I know how much I (and they) value the cross of Christ. Without it, I would never have the opportunity to be reconciled to God. Praise God for the cross!

There is much more that could be said on this issue, including some excellent scholarly work on the matter that I could refer you to if you are interested. I commend you for seeking answers to these delicate matters. I trust the Spirit will guide you as you study the Word to see if these things are so.

I invite you to visit our ########### Church family anytime. We meet Sundays at 10 AM.

Blessings in Christ,

Pastor ####

Monday, October 01, 2007

Does Anyone Agree with this Quotation? Part XVIII

by Rose

"A true sense of self-worth comes from understanding our position in Christ. We have been chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. Knowing this gives us a sense of our significance and value to God. We were so important to God that He gave up His Son to die on our behalf. ... Thank God for considering you valuable enough to bestow such riches upon you. ... If you're struggling with a lack of self-worth, remember that you were important enough for God to give you to Jesus as an inheritance."

(The Believer's Life in Christ, MacArthur Bible Study Guide, Eph. 1:1-2:10 [Word of Grace Communications:1989/1995], pp. 27, 36, & 69-70).