Do You Agree With This Quotation from a Reformed Lordship Salvation-ist? John Calvin Doesn't!
We must return back to our friend, John H. Gerstner, prophet of Lordship Salvation and Reformed Theology, now dearly departed. We have discussed the totally absurd and contradictory notions put forth by Lordship Salvation and Reformed Theology: the dogmatic insistence that salvation is not by works but by faith and the equally emphatic declaration that works are included in faith. We did so here: Lordship Salvation / Reformed Theology on Trial!
I would like to quote John H. Gerstner once more:
The question is not whether good works are necessary. As the inevitable outworking of saving faith, they are necessary for salvation. [Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism, p 210] emphasis mine
Earlier on the same page he wrote:
Thus good works may be said to be a condition for obtaining salvation in that they inevitably accompany genuine faith. [Ibid., p 210] emphasis mine
Works are indispensable for finally reaching heaven, so says Reformed Theology and Lordship Salvation! These candid moments that share with us the logical ends of Reformed Lordship thought should give us pause that we might think things through. How can salvation be by faith apart from works yet works be part of faith at the same time? How can salvation be by faith apart from works but works be "a condition for obtaining salvation" at the same time? Only in 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' could we expect such nonsense!
Can the Reformed people turn to their progenitor for support? Unfortunately for them, John Calvin is definitely not on their side (as he is not also with them in the issues of assurance and the extent of the atonement). Let us hear from John Calvin on this very subject:
The sophists who amuse and delight themselves with perversion of Scripture and vain cavils*, think they have found a most excellent subterfuge**, when they explain works in these passages... [A]ccording to them, a man is justified both by faith and works, only the works are not properly his own, but the gifts of Christ and the fruits of regeneration. For they say that Paul spoke in this manner, only that the Jews, who relied on their own strength, might be convinced of their folly in arrogating righteousness to themselves, whereas it is conferred on us solely by the Spirit of Christ, not by any exertion properly our own. But they do not observe, that in the contrast of legal and evangelical righteousness, which Paul introduces in another place, all works are excluded, by what title soever they may be distinguished. .. Besides, we shall see, as we proceed, in its proper place, that sanctification and righteousness are separate blessings of Christ. Whence it follows, that even spiritual works are not taken into account, when the power of justifying is attributed to faith. And the assertion of Paul, in the place just cited, that Abraham has not whereof to glory before God, since he was not justified by works, ought not to be restricted to any literal appearance or external display of virtue, or to any efforts of free-will; but though the life of the patriarch was spiritual, and almost angelic, yet his works did not possess sufficient merit to justify him before God. [Institutes III.xi.14]
John Calvin says no matter what title is given to works (such as those coined by MacArthur and Gerstner "non-meritorious works"), they have nothing to do with any condition of salvation. In no sense whatsoever, in the opinion of John Calvin, are "works" required for salvation. John Gerstner's soteriology is not evangelical, but rather Roman Catholic (see Zane Hodges, The Gospel Under Siege, p 154).
*Cavil: a trivial and annoying objection
**Subterfuge: an artifice or expedient used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, hide something, etc.