[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)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Question for Consideration

by Rose

We often times hear the argument between Lordship Salvation adherents and Free Gracers about whether or not a person can become a true, born-again believer in Christ and then go their whole life without becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.

For those who may not be familair with the positions on the question:
Lordship Salvation adherents would say no it isn't possible.
Most Free Gracers would argue yes, it is possible.

Well. I was wondering... what different people think about the reverse:

Can someone become even a passionate disciple of Jesus Christ, yet go their whole life without becoming a true, born-again believer in Christ ?

126 Comments:

  • Hi Rose

    I see no difference between a passionate disciple of Jesus Christ who does not believe that Jesus gift of eternal life is “absolutely free”
    and
    a Jew who has a zeal for God but in
    ignorance.
    They are both in
    ignorance,
    going about to establish their own righteousness.
    The object of the one is God and their own works,
    and the other it is Jesus and their own works.
    And their works can sound real good such as "many wonderful works" in His name
    or persevering in good works if your truly saved.
    Anytime "works" are added to faith in order to have eternal life it's "poison in the pot."

    These two verses should suffice:

    Romans 10:1Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
    2For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
    3For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

    Matthew 7: 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    I’m sure these ones were passionate for Christ, and were completely surprised.

    I have uncles and aunts that are passionate for Jesus, and very charismatic believing a believer can lose their salvation and go to hell. As long as I can remember they have rejected a gift you can take freely.
    Tolerance and kindness is great but with out truth they will go to hell and say Lord, Lord, didn’t we?????
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, October 24, 2008 7:55:00 AM  

  • There do seem to be a lot of very passionate Roman Catholics.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Friday, October 24, 2008 8:04:00 AM  

  • Matthew's comment brings a well known nun from the past to mind. I shall not mention her name for I am not totally aware of what her doctrinal beliefs were concerning the finnished work of Christ; and therefore I do not know if she had a relationship with Him. But I will say that she quite possibly was a "disciple" with out erternal life.

    You see, the lordship position believes that discipleship is the natural outcome of conversion. Conversion itself being the work of God on the the heart, and is brought about when a person is brought forth by the word of God, James 1:18, and simultaneously when he/she experiences the washing of regeneration. The result of this double and simultaneous experience is seen in repentance and faith. Now that person goes on to a lifetime long sanctification process wherein they are conformed more and more to the image of Christ.

    Rose, my dear friend, I noticed that you recently noted that after you had come to Christ that your old friends just kinda fell away from you. Why did they do that? I would say that it was because your new found discipleship - yes, you were now a follower of Christ - was becoming distasteful to them. No doubt your heart felt compelled to witness to them, and you no longer wanted to follow them in sin. Your heart was filling with new desires while emptying of old ones. This all was evident to them and hanging with you was no longer desirable.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 24, 2008 9:50:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    There is a high cost to being a true follower of Christ.

    "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:26,27)

    "So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions." (Luke 14:33)


    Christ makes it clear that our love for Him must be preeminent or we are not following Him, we cannot be His disciple.

    "When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers." (John 10:4,5)

    And when we see what John says about who follows Him, it makes it clear that if we are one of His sheep, we will follow Him and flee from others.

    So, someone may say they are a passionate follower of Christ, and even appear to be a disciple, yet not be a true disciple. The sheep are the true disciples. The sheep are the ones who hear the Good Shepherd's voice a follow it, because they know His voice.

    The question is not whether a person can be a disciple (follower) of Christ, yet not be saved. The question is whether or not the follower has truly followed Christ.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Friday, October 24, 2008 10:38:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    what Ten Cent said here is key -
    "The sheep are the ones who hear the Good Shepherd's voice a follow it, because they know His voice."

    Discipleship begins at the call of the Good Shepherd. He calls, they follow.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 24, 2008 3:54:00 PM  

  • John 10:4-5 should not be taken out of context.

    It is not about discipleship but faith.

    The use of the word follow in that passage is simply a part of the sheep metaphor. For a sheep, following the shepherd is a matter of life or death.

    Hence, our Lord was simply stating that the sheep (those that believe) receive life and not death from Himself. 'Follow' in that context should be understood as simply a metaphor for trust (saving faith).

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Saturday, October 25, 2008 7:06:00 AM  

  • Follow - akoloutheo; attendant, follower - "The first thing involved in following Jesus is a cleaving to Him in believing trust and obedience. Those cleaving to Him must also follow His leading and act according to His example..." Spiros Zodhiates Th.D. THE COMPLETE WORDSTUDY DICTIONARY NEW TESTAMENT, PAGE 112.

    Matthew, what we see in John 10 is easily the beginning and follow through of discipleship. There is no way around the fact that John 10 presents a picture of the call to salvation and the call to disciplship as one.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 25, 2008 8:17:00 AM  

  • IOW, This chapter clearly teaches that saving faith and following Him as Lord cannot be separated.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 25, 2008 8:32:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    As you can see a free gift and discipleship have been made to be the same thing. This is making something that you can take freely as a gift and discipleship which cost everything making it a clear contradiction. This would make it impossible to know if your truly born again because it is linked directly to your works.
    This is from GES for you ones that are open:
    Listen to what some Commitment Salvation teachers say:
    Jesus was strong in cautioning against presumption. He let no one think that he could presume to be a Christian while at the same time disregarding or disobeying His teachings. He said, "My sheep listen to my voice ... and ... follow Me" (John 10:27). If we are not listening to Christ and are not following Him in faithful obedience, we are not His.
    (James Montgomery Boice, Christ's Call to Discipleship, p.166)
    . . . . .
    Who are the true sheep? The ones who follow. Who are the ones who follow? The ones who are given eternal life.
    Faith obeys. Unbelief rebels. The fruit of one's life reveals whether a person is a believer or an unbeliever.
    (John F. MacArthur, Jr., The Gospel According to Jesus, p.178)
    It is clear from these quotes that from the commitment salvation viewpoint Jesus' words are actually as much as a warning against presumption as an encouragement of eternal security. After all, how can one gain comfort from eternal security if it linked to his own faithfulness? Logically one could never be 100% sure that he is eternally secure if following Christ is the test. One would forever wonder if he is doing a good enough job of following Christ.
    What, then, did Jesus mean when He spoke of His sheep following Him?
    When He said that His sheep follow Him, Jesus did not mean that all believers always live godly, obedient lives. Nor did He mean that all believers live fairly good lives much of the time. He wasn't talking about lifestyle issues at all.
    The reference to following Him, like the reference to sheep, is a figure of speech. He was not talking about literal sheep which physically follow a literal shepherd. Instead He was illustrating salvation by picturing Himself as the Good Shepherd and believers as His sheep. Following Him is a figure of speech which signifies our response of believing in Him. This is evident from the preceding context. In verse 26 Jesus rebuked His Jewish audience for their unbelief: "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you." His very next words were "My sheep hear My voice and ... follow Me." The unbelief of His Jewish audience is set in contrast to His sheep following (i.e., believing in) Him.
    The picture of sheep hearing their shepherd's voice and following him is a picture of childlike faith. In his book The Gospel Under Siege Zane Hodges says concerning that illustration, "That is to say, they [the sheep] commit their safety and well-being to the Shepherd who has summoned them to do so" (p. 44). He goes on to say that this is clearly an act of faith, not discipleship.
    Hodges points out two other points which further prove that the figure refers to faith in Christ: the sequence of the coordinate clauses and the analogy of John 5:24.
    The verses in question have five clauses joined by the word and. A definite progression is evident. The sequence of the clauses shows that "following Him" is the condition--not the consequence--of eternal life. Jesus did not say, "I give them eternal life and they follow Me." Instead He said, "They follow Me and I give them eternal life." Since faith in Christ is the sole condition of salvation in Scripture and in John's Gospel, "following Him" must be a figure for faith in Christ.
    In addition, John 5:24 is parallel to John 10:27-28. Both refer to hearing, believing, the giving of eternal life, the guarantee against eternal judgment, and the promise of the permanence of the relationship. The only difference between the two verses is that in John 10:27 believing is expressed by means of the figure of sheep following a shepherd.

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:17:00 PM  

  • Alvin,
    Greetings.

    Your response does not even begin to take the very word "follow" and its definition into account - "To Attend, to accompany", ibid. It is an ongoing experience. The very definition of the word "follow" suggests that. There is no suggestion therein of a one time persuasion. It is an ongoing fellowship with Christ. This fellowship with Him is begun by Him.

    ''But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.'' -John 10:26-28 NKJ

    Note the progression of thought:
    1) People who don't believe it is because they are not sheep.

    2) His sheep hear His voice.. and they follow Him

    3)and He gives them eternal life

    Take note of the fact that they "FOLLOW" Him. Again the very word suggests an ongoing and vital relationship.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:14:00 PM  

  • Alvin,
    I would love it if you became a regular commenter at my Blue Collar blog. I love it when people have the courage to venture over to blogs where their belief system is put on the table, much like what "Ten Cent" and I have done here.

    See you there, my friend.
    Mark

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:22:00 PM  

  • Mark, it is not enough to simply get a concordance definition of the word.

    You also need to consider how that verse fits into the structure of John's gospel.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:28:00 PM  

  • Hi Mark

    Thanks for the invite, but they have a hard enough time putting up with me here and they like me!
    I think . . . ha!ha!
    No, my brothers name is Mark also and he is a five point Calvinist Pastor, and I've yet to show him the light.

    Hi Matthew,
    you make very good points, I really liked that last one!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, October 25, 2008 3:10:00 PM  

  • It fits in perfectly with John 8:51 - If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.- "Keeps" indicates present and on-going. And how about the 15th chapter of John, the first 21 verses, all present and on-going verses. Or how'bout John 14:20-21? Again all present and on-going.

    You see Matthew, Jesus was continually throughout His earthly ministry teaching and making ready a people who would be followers of Him even after His ascension. He was preparing Himself a Kingdom and priests. And later He would speak through the NT writers, and the combination of His teachings along with the NT writers give us the "Law of Christ". The entire New Testament, therefore, is the Law of Christ, and is binding on the Christian. That is why Col.1:13 speaks of us as having been conveyed into the kingdom of the Son. He now reigns in the hearts of those indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. The Spirit takes the word of Christ and makes into a life-style for the believer.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 25, 2008 3:19:00 PM  

  • Alvin, how am I gonna see the light without you coming over to my blog? I need your challenges. I think you and I could be friends, even though I'm blind.
    I promise to be respectful to you. Why we could even see who can mis-spell the most words in a single comment. :-)

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Saturday, October 25, 2008 3:24:00 PM  

  • Mark

    I got to much luggage when it comes to Calvinism. It becomes too personal with me. I'm afraid it would have a negative impact on my life. I can't seem to keep things separate. I do understand where you’re coming from. Just as my brother his conversion he felt was against his own will. So when he later learnt about Calvinism everything fit for him . . . it had to be true because his own experience confirmed it. What I've learned is that you can't go by your experience no matter how great it is. I had a life changing experience watching Kenneth Copeland tell a story about a sliver of light and related it to 2 Peter 1:19 a light shinning in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. That’s just how I felt like I had a sliver of light. When I went back to work everyone wanted to know what happened to me, I tried telling them about a light that shines in a dark place…Jesus Christ. But I know clearly that Kenneth Copeland is a false teacher without a doubt. But I also know that God’s word does not come back void but accomplishes its purpose. I would not stake my eternal destiny on any experience no matter how good it was, or how well it lines up with a man-made system. Its not until you come to the place that you see eternal life as a “free gift” will you be willing to give up all your experiences for the truth. The gift of eternal life and discipleship are separate issues, one is free and one cost everything as Ten Cent has given Scriptures to prove the high cost of discipleship. We see all the warnings throughout Scripture to walk by the Spirit, put on the New Man and abide in Christ. It’s clearly a choice we each have to make, and nothing is guaranteed that we will make the right choice. I know a new believer will not have victory in their life until they have renewed their mind in the word of God. And that is a choice. If we are honest we know that if discipleship is something that has to happen if we are truly born again, we have plenty reason to doubt whether we are a child of God because we are all sinners and capable but for the grace of God doing the most vile acts. God wants us to KNOW we are His children based solely on His promise, but that does not guarantee we will always act like it. Would God give His free gift of eternal life to someone He might be disappointed with in this life? Yes!!! The gift is absolutely free, and God does not force His love on anyone. . . . I would have gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks . . . but you would not! He gives each believer the choice to love Him and to follow Him. If the believer chooses to follow Jesus they will be enriched with the abundant life, but if they don’t they still have life . . . eternal life just not the experince of it.
    As far as spelling I am the king of bad spelling . . . . thank God for spell check!!!
    alvin
    P/s As Bob Wilkin as stated not only does he have the Holy Spirt to convict him of sin in his life but since he got married he has his wife also...ha!ha!
    Whenever I've been debating Calvinism . . . my wife knows!!!
    she can tell just by my demeaner!!!

    By Blogger alvin, at Saturday, October 25, 2008 7:49:00 PM  

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    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 26, 2008 1:48:00 PM  

  • Alvin,
    It all comes down to our different understandings of the salvation experience. I see in Acts 26:18-20 that what Christ accomplished on the cross is for the unsaved to have their eyes opened, to be turned from the power of darkness to light, from the power of satan to God, and to have forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are santified by faith in Him. My argument is that you can't arbitrarilly separate all those things that preceded the mention of forgiveness of sins from the forgiveness of sins in that portion of scripture. And the way those truths are conveyed to a lost world is through the command that "they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance".

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Sunday, October 26, 2008 1:50:00 PM  

  • Hi Mark

    The way you are interpreting Acts 26:18-20 contradicts a gift you can take freely (Rev 22:17; John 4:10; 1:12;3:16;5:24;6:47).
    The way I interpret Acts 26:18-20 does not contradict the clear verses I’ve mentioned. Paul is giving a broader call Acts 20:21 “testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a call to harmony with God, some during that transitional time before they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and forgiveness of sins had to repent and be baptized washing away their sins (Acts 9:17,18; 22:16). Those are the ones that had rejected John the baptist and Jesus disciples call for the baptism of repentance. Paul just as the ones in Acts 2:37-38 were born again the moment they had believed that Jesus was the Christ. But they were not in harmony with God but were told to repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Even down to the very same statement “what shall we do?” Both the ones in Acts 2:37 and Paul in Acts 9:6;22:10 were told what to do because they had believed Jesus was the Christ and to believe that “whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God “ (1 John 5:1a). They had the gift of eternal life but needed to now repent and be baptized to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and have forgiveness of sins. This requirement was just for those Palestinians who had rejected the earlier call given. And Jesus gave authority to His Apostles to in act this requirement (John 20:22,23). But Gentiles like Cornelius had no such instructions but at the moment of faith that Jesus was the Christ was born again and was in harmony with God speaking in tongues as evidence, and then were baptized. We still give the broad call to all men repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ, but if one ask “what must I do to be saved? The answer is always is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. That is simply believing in Jesus as the Christ the One who guarantees if we die we will live and if we believe we will never die which is eternal life (John 11:25-27).
    But when we do give the broader call we make clear that repentance and baptism is NOT a requirement for the gift of eternal life, faith ALONE is!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Sunday, October 26, 2008 4:30:00 PM  

  • Alvin, - Reading your comments warms my heart... You have shed the traditions of men with the result that God's word to speaks to you with it's intended clarity and simplicity. I say a thousand AMENs to your comments here. God bless you my dear brother...

    By Blogger wjc, at Sunday, October 26, 2008 10:46:00 PM  

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    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 4:31:00 AM  

  • Alvin,
    A few thoughts: You launch into my interpretation of Acts 26:18-20 with a man made system and not the plain reading of those verses. There is NO indication of "broader calls" here. It is clearly A CALL to the unsaved - a summons for those hearers to come into all that Christ procured for them on the cross. Again, the proclamation of Paul for them to repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance was so that the hearers would experience ALL of what is listed in verse 18 - the opening of eyes, the turning from darkness to light, from the power of satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inherritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ. Your system arbitrarilly devides that verse 18 up, and does so completely without warrant. There is no scriptual warrant to divide "harmony with God" from the forgiveness of sins and the reception of eternal life, none. That is a system talking and NOT the plain reading of scripture. You CANNOT divide Acts 26:18 up,period.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 4:33:00 AM  

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    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 4:45:00 AM  

  • Any way you cut it faith and repentance cannot happen separtely. You use of Acts 2:38. Look at it again. The remission of sins and reception of the Holy Spirit is all the picture of the reception of eternal life. Ryrie states that "baptised... for the remission of sins" should read 'because of the forgiveness of sins'.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 4:48:00 AM  

  • I am aware of your system's trip through the Gospel of John (no mention of repentance there), and of that trip continuing through Romans and Galatians. What your sytem is doing is playing one portion of scripture against another. Our salvation message to the lost must be informed by the whole of scripture - the synoptics as well as John. In the synoptics we see another way to believe Jesus is when He calls people to follow Him. Yes that call went out to the already saved disciples, but also to the unsaved. For the unsaved to follow would mean an outward expression of a believing heart. We simply cannot play one portion of scripture against another.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 5:24:00 AM  

  • And to spare you the felt need to enlighten me about the fact that John was very aware of the concept of repentance due to the fact that he uses the concept so very much in the Book of Revelation... Well, I've been watching free grace blogs for 3 years now. Been there, done that.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 5:30:00 AM  

  • OK, I read all these comments as they came in but then I couldn't respond because I got terribly busy.

    If I am recollecting this right it seems that Matthew and Alvin both answered yes that someone could be a disciple without being saved... and Mark seemed to somewhat tentatively agree.

    Then, Ten Cent pointed out that truly following Christ would have to include true conversion first and foremost. Mark agreed with that.

    If I am not mistaken, the last half of the comments are mostly about the first half of the post: the bone of contention that a true Christain will always be a disciple.

    Am I right in my assessment of the goings-on here?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 27, 2008 6:41:00 AM  

  • Mark,
    I was thinking of Mother Teresa, myself. I think she was a pssionate follwer of the teachings of Jesus Christ, but not exclusively. She also held the teachings of man in high regard (Catholic doctrine).

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 27, 2008 6:47:00 AM  

  • I am a little torn on this matter. I do believe that someone can do their best to follow Christ's techings but have a grave misunderstanding of the nature of grace and not be actually saved because they think they are earning salvation by following Jesus. In this case, they could be a passionate follower of Jesus Christ yet not even be saved because of this misunderstanding!

    Because of my thoughts on this, I do not appreciate a purpose statmement for a church that goes like this:

    "Transforming unbelievers into passionate disciples of Jesus Christ."

    Some may say that true conversion is implied, but I think that is certainly something we don't want to "skip over" in our statements of purpose and just "imply".

    What do others of you think about my concern?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 27, 2008 6:48:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    My response to you on October 24, at 9:50 AM has disciple in quotes indicating that, NO, a person cannot be a true disciple apart from true regeneration.

    I acknowledged Ten Cent's response to you as superior to mine because he did a beter job than I in articulating the position that he and I both share.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 6:55:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    one very prominent IFB church in my home town (very Chaferistic) advertises in the phone book "Transforming unbelievers into passionate disciples of Jesus Christ."

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 7:00:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    That church's statement get to the heart of the matter. The Bible knows nothing of a believer who is not a disciple. Otherwise the Lord would have said in the Great Commission to 'get people to a saving faith in Me first, then make them disciples'. No, the making of disciples necessarilly carries with it people coming to faith in Christ.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 7:12:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    I am late here and have not read the thread, but I believe the answer is no. Jesus said in John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Scripture tells us that it is impossible for the unregenerate to abide in His word.

    There can be false disciples as we see many today in the emergent church claim to be disciples but deny the atonement of Christ as a penal substitution for our sins. They are in short seeking a works righteousness rather than a savior in Jesus.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, October 27, 2008 7:18:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Looks like Jazzy beat me to the punch, but here's my comment anyway.

    Here's another interesting passage about being a disciple of Christ.

    "So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:31,32)

    Who is Jesus talking to? "Those Jews who had believed Him."

    What is Jesus saying? If you continue in His word, you are truly a disciple of Christ.

    And He also says that you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

    So did these Jews believe in Christ?

    Verse 30 of this chapter says many of them did. And verse 31 says that Jesus was talking to those Jews.

    Yet, they didn't know the truth and they were not free. In fact, in verse 44 He tells them that the devil is their father.

    And in verse 51, Jesus brings the discussion back around to His first point, which was, "if you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine." But He frames it differently and attaches discipleship to eternal life. "If anyone keeps My word he will never see death."

    So, being a true disciple means that you continue in His word. And if you keep His word, you will never see death.

    I can see your point about how someone can try to follow the teachings of Christ and be a "disciple" without actually being a believer. But I would say that those people are not true disciples. And they're lack of authentic faith will be evident in that they will not have a heart that has Christ as it's one preeminent love. And He points that out again in verse 42 of John 8. "If God were your Father, you would love Me..."

    Believing in Christ is more than just a mental assent that what He says is true. Believing in Christ means that you have become part of the body of Christ. It's a relationship that cannot be ruled by another master.

    I think that's what's missing from the "Free Offer" of Free Grace. Yes the offer is free. It's absolutely free for someone to believe in Christ and serve Him as their master instead of serving sin. If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. Free from what? Death? Yes. But why? Because we are free from sin, if the Son has set us free. That's the gift that God has given us.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Monday, October 27, 2008 7:52:00 AM  

  • Jazzycat,
    Thanks for your participation.
    So you are saying that someone may be really trying to do what Jesus said in certain of his sermons that they may be familiar with, to follow His teachings on right living, but in persuing their own righteousness, they negate the fact that they are a "disciple" of Jesus because they misunderstand the nature of grace.

    I see what you;re saying I think, but I would not so quickly say that they such a person is not a follower of Jesus at all.

    Someone who bases his life on the sermon on the mount - trying with all his might to keep it - can be said to be a disciple of Jesus. He is just not seeing the forest for the trees.

    I think it is hard to argue your point.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 27, 2008 9:37:00 AM  

  • Ten Cent,
    Thanks for your thoughts. You said:

    absolutely free for someone to believe in Christ and serve Him as their master instead of serving sin. If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. Free from what? Death? Yes. But why? Because we are free from sin, if the Son has set us free.

    I must ask: are you totally free of sin in your everyday experience? I'm not, but I know I have eternal life (because Jesus promised it to those who believe that He is the Christ, the Son of God.) So, I must conclude: *that* idea of being free from sin is not what Jesus was promising for this remaining time on earth.

    If you're saying that "free from sin" means that I can sin a lot less, then I must ask: is that really "freedom?"

    Do you follow my reasoning on that?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 27, 2008 9:43:00 AM  

  • Hi Mark.
    That statement of purpose is from a church here in this area. It must be "going around."

    you said: That church's statement get to the heart of the matter. The Bible knows nothing of a believer who is not a disciple.

    Instead of "Transforming unbelievers into passionate disciples of Jesus Christ."

    Don't you think it would be better stated:

    "Evangelizing the lost and making passionate disciples of Jesus Christ."

    I do! I think that puts forth the dual purpose of a church - it is not ALL for "unbelievers" - the believers need to transformed into "passionate disciples of Jesus Christ" - we aren't all there, are we?
    :~) Nice to chat you - as CM would say. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 27, 2008 9:48:00 AM  

  • Rose, keep in mind when Wayne says, "Scripture tells us that it is impossible for the unregenerate to abide in His word.", included in that word is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength. This is impossible w/o God the Holy Spirit dwelling within. In fact I must cast myself continually on His mercy at this point.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 9:49:00 AM  

  • Matthew,

    You said, "For a sheep, following the shepherd is a matter of life or death."

    And I totally agree with you. And I also agree that following, trusting, and saving faith are all one and the same.

    "When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice." (John 10:4)

    Why do we trust Him? Because we know His voice. Of course, not all sheep receive eternal life. Only His own sheep. And His sheep simply will not follow another shepherd. It's the Good Shepherd that calls us by name and LEADS us out.

    Why wouldn't someone believe Him? (Vs. 26) "But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep." And if someone is not of His sheep, they do not know His voice. And if they do not know His voice, they will not be able to trust/follow Him, will they?

    This passage gets to the heart of the issue. Who is your shepherd? Who is the one that leads you out? Do you follow someone else out? It does hinge on faith and what that faith is in.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Monday, October 27, 2008 9:50:00 AM  

  • Rose, in your response to Ten Cent, what are your thoughts on Romans 6, the whole chapter? Is there not truth there - dead to sin, alive to God, from slaves of sin unto slaves to righteousness, and unto God?

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 9:55:00 AM  

  • Rose said: "Don't you think it would be better stated:

    "Evangelizing the lost and making passionate disciples of Jesus Christ."

    Rose, according to the Great Commission if we do not make disciples of the lost we are in disobedience to our Lord.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:01:00 AM  

  • Don't forget that we are to baptize them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit - that concludes our evangelistic obligation and then we are to teach them to obey whatever He has taught.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:04:00 AM  

  • Mark, of course there is truth there. But it can't possibly mean that we are totally free from sin in our earthly experience because... there remains to be seen a person who has been converted and then didn't go on to sin. I am just ruling htat out as a possibility of meaning. "Free from sin" must mean something other than "not sinning again."

    Maybe it is the type of sin that we are free from. Maybe sin is now limited to thought.

    What do you think?

    We still have to suffer the fleshly result of sin - our bodies still will die even though we are "free from sin."

    I think it means we are free from the resulting spiritual death of sin... from the eternal consequence of sin.
    That is primarily what I think "free from sin" means.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:05:00 AM  

  • In the mindset of many outside the Chaferian school of thought the call to salvation and the call to discipleship are one and the same.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:06:00 AM  

  • Mark, do you believe in "evangelizing the lost"?

    Do you believe in "making passionate disciples of Jesus Christ" among those already converted?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:06:00 AM  

  • Rose, my thinking is summed up nicely in Matthew 11:28-30. We have a new Master after conversion. We are no longer by nature children of wrath. The slavery to the spirit of this world no longer reighns in our life. Now we take upon us His yoke and learn of Him. We now are on a couse to being transformed into His image.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:11:00 AM  

  • the call to salvation and the call to discipleship are one and the same.<

    So if we have someone who is not exhibiting being a disciple of Christ, then we can't just go right to "discipling" them, we must evangelize them. What if they already believe in Christ and don't need to be evangelized?

    Doesn't it get confusing trying to tell people how to do the hard work of following all of Christ's commands... yet at the same time telling them that salvation from hell is all of Grace - all a result of what God has already done for them?

    This sounds like it would be utterly confusing.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:11:00 AM  

  • "Mark, do you believe in "evangelizing the lost"?

    Do you believe in "making passionate disciples of Jesus Christ" among those already converted?"

    Yes and yes. :-)

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:13:00 AM  

  • Mark, from your very last comment:
    We now are on a course...

    I think you just recognized that the call to salvation is a step... separate and distinct from the call to discipleship. If we are "now on a course" then there must have been an "event" that put us on a different course than where we previuosly were.

    Mark, I hope you will respond to my concern about the confusion aspect of this evangelsim in the comment I posted while you were commenting. :~)
    thanks.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:14:00 AM  

  • Mark, you said "yes and yes."

    Then you *do* like the way I revised the statement of purpose. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:16:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    You said, "If you're saying that "free from sin" means that I can sin a lot less, then I must ask: is that really "freedom?""

    What does Jesus free us from?

    "Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:34-36)

    Is it not plain here in John 8 that Jesus makes us free from sin? So the question is, what does that freedom entail? Does that mean we're sinless? No, of course not. We know that from experience. It does mean that we no longer are subject to sin...to do it's bidding. We are no longer in sins grasp. We don't have to sin.

    Does that mean we are free to do whatever we want? No, that's why Paul points us the Gospel in Romans 6:3, "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?" And in verse 6, "knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin."

    And in verse 11 he says, "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." Why does he say that? Because we are dead to sin if we are in Christ Jesus. So what's the result of being dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus? "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." So he saying, therefore, don't serve sin, serve God. God is your master.

    And then in verse 22, "But now having been free from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    What is the benefit of being God's slave? Eternal life.

    So, I'm not saying that you won't sin, nor am I saying that you can simply sin a lot less. I'm saying that sin is no longer your master. You are free from sin, if the Son has set you free. And now, God is your master. And the outcome of being God's slave is eternal life.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:17:00 AM  

  • Rose, we must recognize that we are both operating under completely different presuppositions here. Where I am coming from is that being a disciple and being a Christian are one and the same. The two are INSEPARABLE. :-) not yelling, just being emphatick. To my way of thinking there is no such thing as a believer who is not a disciple. Do you understand that? Evangelizing and making disciples are all one for my way of thinking.

    I'm off to work now, dear sister.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Monday, October 27, 2008 10:51:00 AM  

  • "Can someone become even a passionate disciple of Jesus Christ, yet go their whole life without becoming a true, born-again believer in Christ ?"

    Hi Rose, I know I am late to this.
    To answer your question I think YES. People have become passionate students of others all through history.
    Carl Marx
    Plato
    Moses
    John Calvin
    Joseph Arminian
    Spurgeon

    Why can't someone be decieved and follow Jesus passionately for the wrong purpose?

    Would it not be much easier to NOT be born again and fall into deception than be decieved after Christ is living in them?

    And someone somewhere in the comments stated the passage in Romans where Paul spoke of his fellow countrymen and their zeal for God out of ignorance.

    Kris

    By Blogger Kris, at Monday, October 27, 2008 11:47:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    The question was: Can someone become even a passionate disciple of Jesus Christ, yet go their whole life without becoming a true, born-again believer in Christ ?

    Jesus called unregenerate people who claim to be disciples workers of lawlessness.

    Matthew 7:22-23 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

    This hardly sounds like a description of a disciple. Some in the emergent church movement are zealous for doing mighty works, but they deny the basic gospel. These people do great harm to the proclamation of the gospel and Biblical truth. They are disciples of a false gospel and thus are false disciples. I believe Jesus is speaking to them in this passage.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, October 27, 2008 11:51:00 AM  

  • Rose, you just hit the nail on the head in one of your previous comments--if the biblical distinction between being "born" into God's family and the subsequent life of discipleship is not recognized, what results is "utter confusion" when it comes to evangelizing unbelievers. The consequences of this confusion can be devastating, not only for unbelievers but for believers as well. Being born is an event which occurs in a moment of time. Discipleship is a lifelong process of growth into the likeness of Christ. One is a free gift received by simple faith apart from any works whatsoever (Rom 4:5). The other is costly and requires works and obedience. These are clearly two separate and distinct issues. To try and synthesis two mutually exclusive concepts results in an incomprehensible and logical absurdity, e.g.--"Eternal life is a free gift, but it costs you everything". How anyone who makes such a statement could be considered a serious theologian is beyond me.

    Rose, those you are engaging here obviously believe in the heresy of Lordship Salvation which has confused and misled multitudes of people into trying to gain eternal life thru commitment, surrender, obedience, dedication, devotion, etc. etc. etc.

    Jesus clearly makes a distinction between believing in Him for eternal life and discipleship in Jn. 8:30-32. If the Gospel of John makes anything absolutely clear, it is that "whosoever believes" in Jesus has eternal life the very moment they believe in Him. To say, as was said in a previous comment, that those in vv 30, 31 were not "truly" saved, would contradict the very message that the Gospel of John was written for the purpose of communicating to us. In verse 44, Jesus is NOT addressing those who had believed in vv 30,31. He repeatedly makes it clear that He is addressing the unbelievers in the crowd who were objecting to what they had heard Him say to those who had believed in vv 31,32. John, under the inspiration of the H. S., purposely included his explanatory comments in vv 30, 31 so that the reader would understand the ensuing conflict that arose after He had spoken to those who had believed in Him. If those in vv 30' 31 had not truly believed in Him, why does the Holy Spirit tell us thru John that they DID believe only to tell us a few verses later that they did NOT believe? Is the Holy Spirit confused? Would it have made any sense for Jesus suddenly to say to people He knew did not "really" believe; "If you CONTINUE in My word, then you are truly disciple of mine."? A distinction is made here and everywhere in the scriptures between being born (again) and the lifelong process of discipleship (learning to BE and LIVE like Jesus).
    If continuing in a life of discipleship is a requirement for being born spiritually, at what point in this process does one pass from death into life (Jn5:24)? As Paul puts it in Gal. 3: 1-3: "O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you...This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by the HEARING WITH FAITH? Having BEGUN in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?" Lordship Salvation is just a subtle variation of the Galatian heresy all over again. It confuses justification and sanctification in the same way that the Catholic church and all other cults do.

    Jn 6:66 says this: "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more." If these disciples WERE NOT born again believers, then we must acknowledge that being a disciple is not the same thing as being born again. If they WERE born again, then they either lost their salvation ( the Arminian view), or we must acknowledge that being born again DOES NOT inevitably result in a life of following Christ in discipleship ( the LS view). So which is it?

    If Lordship Salvation ( or 5 pt Calvinism) is true, then assurance of salvation is impossible for any believer, because not only did Paul warn other believers about "falling" (1Cor 10:12), he wasn't even sure about his own perseverance (1 Cor. 9:24-27). Are we to conclude from this that even the Apostle Paul himself was not sure if he had eternal life or not? No, Paul was absolutely certain he possessed eternal life regardless of whether he made it to the finish line or not. The man-made doctrine that the perseverance of all "true believers" is automatic, inevitable, or guaranteed by God is nowhere taught in scripture. The doctrine that eternal life is
    a free gift received by grace thru simple faith, apart from works of any kind (either "meritorious"or "non-meritorious") is taught everywhere in scripture. There are no strings attached because the high cost of discipleship is not a part of the price of eternal life. That was paid on our behalf with the blood of Christ because of His love for us and no other reason.We do not have to "measure up" to be loved by Him or for Him to want us to be with Him forever.

    Matt. 7: 22,23 is speaking of people who were convinced that they were true disciples but they were not saved because they were trusting in their works of discipleship and had never understood and believed that eternal life is received as gift which is totally unrelated to works of any kind--whether before being born again or AFTER being born again. LS, 5 pt Calvinism, and Arminianism all promote and perpetuate this fatal misunderstanding.

    To address all the fallacies I have read in some of the previous comments would require more time than I have available today since there so many of them, and it has already been done by others more thoroughly and compellingly elsewhere than I could ever do here anyway.

    The reason Lordship Salvation is such a grave heresy is because it has blinded the minds of a countless multitude of unbelievers to the grace of God and His gift of eternal life that He wants to give us freely. I know, because I used to be one of them. If any issue puts a fire in my belly, this one does.

    Gary

    By Blogger goe, at Monday, October 27, 2008 2:43:00 PM  

  • Gary, - Have you ever thought about writing a book? You have a way of writing with a flow of logic that is as persuasive as anyone else I've read... Thank God you were snatched from the clutches of the (centuries-in-the-making) man-made LS heresies and delusions! Your comments and insights are a great encouragement to me...

    By Blogger wjc, at Monday, October 27, 2008 6:04:00 PM  

  • Hi WJC, thank you for the earlier encouagement.

    Hi Gary,

    Excellent!!!!
    I can tell your a man after my own heart, I couldn't have said it better!!!
    Your right on brother!!!

    I had to work today so couldn't interact, but worked on a little, and ties into some of your points.




    We need to go back to square one. What is a disciple? It’s a follower, pupil, learner. Was not one of Jesus own twelve disciples an unbeliever, but was still called a disciple? Did not Jesus clearly say too some of His disciples they had not believed yet, but still called them His disciples?

    John 6:59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

    Many Disciples Turn Away

    60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
    61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
    66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
    68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”[a]
    70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.



    We all know that Judas Iscariot was an unbeliever but none the less Jesus called him a disciple proving that a disciple is a follower or pupil or learner but not necessarily a believer.



    Also,



    Matt 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’



    Jesus didn’t say they did it in Buddha’s name! They were doing it in Jesus name and calling Jesus Lord, Lord! These were clearly passionate disciples of Christ who had not believed.



    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, October 27, 2008 7:17:00 PM  

  • goe,
    I believe from your answer you assert that a person can be a believer without being a disciple. However, Rose's question was can a person be a disciple of Christ without being a true born again believe?

    In spite of your long attack comment, I did not see you answer that question. I am curious as to your answer if you care to share it.

    Let me agree totally with you on your following view in your words: Being born (again) is an event which occurs in a moment of time. Discipleship is a lifelong process of growth into the likeness of Christ.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Monday, October 27, 2008 7:17:00 PM  

  • Gary... AMEN to what WJC and Alvin said about what you said!!!
    EXCELLENT!!!

    Judas was a disciple... not born again. Yet Jesus said to be a "disciple indeed" you must continue in His Word, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
    John 8:31-32.

    Evidently Judas was a disciple, but not a disciple "indeed." Help me out here!!!
    I think what is being said is this. A person can be a disciple (one who learns from Jesus), yet in order to REALLY learn what He is saying you must be born again AND abide in the truth. How can you abide in the truth if you're not born again?
    Disciple "indeed" is the KEY.... probably.

    Just a thought.

    Diane
    :-)

    By Blogger Diane, at Monday, October 27, 2008 9:28:00 PM  

  • Hi Diane

    Amen to what you said!!!
    A disciple has to be born again to be equipped to be a "disciple indeed." Until a disciple has come to the knowledge of the truth concerning the free gift of eternal life they are not equipped with the Holy Spirit to be successful in following Christ. But they are still a disciple in the sense they are trying to follow Jesus but are following Him in ignorance (darkness). But as long as they follow Him there is hope that the light will come on . . . then they will be a disciple indeed!!! We don’t want to ever turn away a disciple who has not yet come to that truth but is seeking!!! They come to our churches all the time seeking the truth.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 3:25:00 AM  

  • Gary,
    Lordship states very clearly that one is born again instantly when they believe in Jesus. Can you or Alvin produce for me a direct quote from a lordship teacher that states that one is saved by works? I'm am sure that your attempts to do so would be the result of "massaging" the quote just a tad. It would seem that that is the only way the GES position can keep itself alive.

    Lordship believes that a person can be a disciple without being regenerate. John 6 is clear on that. BUT, one cannot be a Christian without being a disciple. The Bible knows of no such thing.

    Gary, please stop saying that lordship teaches salvation by works. It is not true. That is wrong of you to do.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 3:41:00 AM  

  • Concerning discipleship:
    Zane Hodges "Abolutely Free" page 67.

    No one expected such instruction to be free. After all, the teacher, or philosopher, had to eat too. So the price of the training he offered was always a revelent question. What would it cost to become his pupil?
    That, of course, was exactly what a "disciple" was. The original Greek word meant neither more nor less than a pupil, a learner. The heavey religious overtones which the word "disciple" has today in English did not exist for the multitudes to whom Jesus spoke the words we are discussing.
    Of course, Jesus did teach religion, or more precisely, a way of life. But the issue which His words addressed was a simple one: What will my instruction cost you?

    By Blogger alvin, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 3:58:00 AM  

  • Alvin can you produce for me a direct quote from a lordship teacher that states that one is saved by works? I'm am sure that your attempts to do so would be the result of "massaging" the quote just a tad. It would seem that that is the only way the GES position can keep itself alive.

    I'll be away from the computer for several hours today. Perhaps either later today or tomorrow I'll be back for your answer. I can't waite.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:11:00 AM  

  • But before I leave I will invite Gary and Alvin to my BlueCollar blog to continue this discussion so as to not tie Rose's post up. Calvinists like to have fun too.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:20:00 AM  

  • Hi Mark

    I'm on my way to work right now.

    Anytime you put discipleship which has to do with our works as something that has to happen, you are teaching Lordship salvation. That's making it no longer a gift that can be taken freely.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:23:00 AM  

  • Alvin,
    If I understand you right there are the following categories:
    1) believers that are not disciples
    2) believers that are disciples indeed
    3) disciples who are not believers
    and there are two categories of disciples:
    1) disciples
    2) disciples indeed (must be a believer)

    Would you say that it is possible for a born again believer who is a new creation to be a disciple for a year or so and then decide to abandon being a disciple?

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 5:56:00 AM  

  • Wow, leave for a few hours and you got so much to catch up on.

    GOE,
    I have been discussing this and similar things with Mark, Jazzycat and Ten Cent for several years now. We know we have some very palpable differeneces in how we understand this.

    Mark,
    Do you agree with Ten Cent's assessment of John 8 made on Monday, October 27, 2008 7:52 AM... that the Jews mentioned as "believing in Him" really didn't believe in Him?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 8:33:00 AM  

  • I just want to post the passage here so it's real easy for me to look at:

    23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
    25 Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”
    And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”
    27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.
    28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.

    31 Then Jesus said to those Jews *who believed Him*, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
    33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
    34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

    37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”
    39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”
    Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.”
    Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”
    42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

    48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”
    49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”
    52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”
    54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your[m] God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
    57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
    58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
    59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 8:41:00 AM  

  • "Believing in Christ is more than just a mental assent that what He says is true. Believing in Christ means that you have become part of the body of Christ. It's a relationship that cannot be ruled by another master.

    I think that's what's missing from the "Free Offer" of Free Grace. Yes the offer is free. It's absolutely free for someone to believe in Christ and serve Him as their master instead of serving sin. If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. Free from what? Death? Yes. But why? Because we are free from sin, if the Son has set us free. That's the gift that God has given us.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent"

    Rose, I most definitly agree!

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 8:41:00 AM  

  • to repeat what I said at the outset - You see, the lordship position believes that discipleship is the natural outcome of conversion. Conversion itself being the work of God on the the heart, and is brought about when a person is brought forth by the word of God, James 1:18, and simultaneously when he/she experiences the washing of regeneration. The result of this double and simultaneous experience is seen in repentance and faith. Now that person goes on to a lifetime long sanctification process wherein they are conformed more and more to the image of Christ.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:15:00 AM  

  • Mark I wasn't asking if you agreed with that quote. I coulda figured that. :~)
    I was asking about John 8 if you agree that the ones who "believed in Him" in verse 31 were the same ones that He refers to as children of the Devil in verse 44.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:17:00 AM  

  • In short the proof of the genuiness of one's conversion is contiuance in His word. I am very unapologetic about this.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:20:00 AM  

  • Is that your answer to my question about John 8?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:24:00 AM  

  • Rose, those in verse 31 who did not continue in His word would most definitely be those refered to in verse 44. If they were of Abraham they would believe. If God were their Father they would love Christ.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:25:00 AM  

  • Is this instant message?? :-)

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:27:00 AM  

  • Gary,
    Thank you for your comment. Is it safe to assume that you also believe that a person can be a disciple without being a true believer as I asked in the main post? Thanks, Gary :~)

    Can I ask you for an email please? rcole@ambt.net

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:28:00 AM  

  • Thank you for answer Mark. Instant mesasage huh? hahaha How about talking past eachother? :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:30:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You said: "I was asking about John 8 if you agree that the ones who "believed in Him" in verse 31 were the same ones that He refers to as children of the Devil in verse 44."

    I realize to talking to Mark, but can I ask you what your assessment is? Are they the same ones?

    And do you believe that when you have faith in Christ that you have freedom from your sin? Not just in the future when He returns, but now, here on earth?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:32:00 AM  

  • Ten Cent,
    I figure that they aren't the same ones because of Jesus' simple message elsewhere that believing in Him equates to having eternal life. I think that is taking a simple passage to help interpret a more difficult passage.

    Do I have freedom from my sin right here and now you ask? I answer that yes, in a limited sense I do. But not in all respects. I know it does not condemn me so in that sense I am free - I am free from its ultimate consequence and that knowledge here and now frees me from fear.

    I am not free from being a sinner yet though. I still have sinful thoughts and soemtimes actions and attitudes... Sin is still a part of my life that I cannot escape while living in this earth.

    What about you? Are you free from sin in all respects, Ten Cent?

    Why do you ask me this and how does my answer and your answer affect what we are discussing? Thank you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:51:00 AM  

  • Rose, in John 8 Jesus said that those, if they were Abraham's children, would do the works of Abraham - Abraham, though confronted with some periods of unfaithfulness, ultimately went on to be the father of all those who believe, Jews and Gentiles. His faith is held up in Hebrews 11 as a model. His faith by which he was justified in Gen.15 was tested in Gen.22. He was ultimately obedient to the very end. OBEDIENT. (again, not yelling :-)). Obebedience to the end is the hallmark of authentic faith.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:39:00 AM  

  • Off to work again. Bye

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:40:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I'll comment first on whether or not these are the same ones who believed in Christ in John 8. Because what I see is Goe, and you allowing your presuppositions to reinterpret what the passage plainly says.

    I would see it being a stronger argument to say that they did not truly believe. Because if they had, how could they be children of the devil and not children of God? And if you look at the text, the discussion is unbroken. Jesus is talking to those who had believed Him, and they respond.

    You said: "What about you? Are you free from sin in all respects, Ten Cent?"

    Yes. That's the short answer. And you are too, Rose. That's the gospel message. That's what eternal life is all about.

    You might say, "wait a second, I thought you said that you still sin." And I did say that. But I'm free from sin. Sin is not my master. Do I visit the prison and try to put the shackles back on, yes, to my shame I do. But when I put my faith in Christ, my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed [Christ] ("And Can It Be", Wesley).

    Here's where it affects what we're discussing. You separate justification and sanctification. And yes, they are two distinct things, but as Mark has already said, it's all part of the same process. They go hand in hand and you can't have one without the other.

    So if I go with your viewpoint and I see justification as all of God, but then sanctification is all up to me (I just have to plug into the heavenly power pack) I will be laden with a load of care, heavy burdens, the chains of sin that I still view as being attached because I haven't been able to break them.

    But what does Jesus say in John 8:36? "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." When are we free? When we get to heaven? No, we are free when the Son makes us free. When we have faith in Him.

    If I have to view John 8:51 "Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death." and think that this all up to me. How can I ever do it? I will surely see death. And so will everyone else. But I know I have eternal life. Why? Because I have put my faith in Christ. So I know I won't see death.

    But what if Jesus is talking about a different kind of death? Physical death? That's what the Jews tried to imply when they brought up Abraham, but Christ said that Abraham rejoiced to see His day. So Abraham is alive, even though he died.

    Or is Jesus adding to the gospel message. Maybe He's saying that if you could just keep His word, you'll have eternal life. We know that's not the case. We know that no one is justified by works.

    But when I have faith in Him to free me from my sin, for forgiveness, for His righteousness, I no longer serve sin. And if I'm not serving sin, then what am I serving or rather who am I serving? My new Master.

    This is getting long, I'll try to connect these thoughts better in a little while.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:44:00 AM  

  • Rose,

    Thanks for giving me the background of your relationship with Mark, Ten Cent and Jazzycat. As you know, I'm the new kid on the block, so I'm not too familiar with everyone or the goings on in these places. Thanks too, for taking the time to post the passage from John.

    Diane, Alvin, WJC, Celestial Fundie, Kris,

    Thanks for all of your comments. I completely agree with all of you and the helpful insights each of you have provided here. That's why I couldn't resist jumping in! Rose has posted a great question hasn't she!

    Jazzycat,

    Of course I believe that a person can be a disciple of Christ without being a true born again believer! That is easy to prove from scripture, as Alvin has already done. Mark agrees with Alvin as well. I assume you agree with Mark, so I suppose we are all in agreement on that.

    I'm sorry you see my comments as an "attack". If you're referring to my conviction that LS is a heresy, then I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree on that. Having been victimized by that teaching when I was 17 yrs old, and having known or observed many others who have been deceived in the same way, I admit that it is an issue I take very personally. I believed in LS myself for about 20 yrs., so I do understand how difficult it is to see what the scriptures actually teach, as opposed to what we have been conditioned to think the scriptures teach. I believe that assurance of salvation is absolutely essential and indispensable for a believer to even begin to grow spiritually as God has intended and revealed in His word. LS , as it is typically presented, so garbles and obscures the truth of the gospel, that it makes assurance impossible for both the unbeliever and for a believer who falls into this teaching. This fact is well documented in the history of the Puritans, who were notorious for their struggles with assurance. John MacArthur, for example, is essentially Puritan in his theology, as he himself admits. Anyway, I apologize if you took it too personally, because I certainly understand where you're coming from and I do not condemn you because I've been there myself.

    Mark,

    I'm in a similar situation as you today--I don't have much time. If you really want some quotes, I'll be happy to dig up my old LS books I used to read and provide all the quotes you want, though I would assume you are already familiar with many of them. I will also give you some quotes by some LS advocates themselves where they acknowledge they teach salvation by works. Some of them are even beginning to do as the Catholic Church does, and openly admit this fact. So I will have to respectfully decline your request to stop saying that LS teaches salvation by works. In fact, I would like to request that you be more straightforward and stop denying that LS teaches salvation by works. Of course, there is some variety to be found among those who believe in LS, some "soft", some "hard", so I don't really know where you fall in the spectrum. Though I am not under the delusion that I will change your thinking, it will be interesting discussing it with you some as both of us have time. You and I both know, however, that this ground has been covered many times, so we'll see. My best wishes to you, Jazzycat and Ten Cent.

    By the way, the thing I would be most interested in knowing is if you, Jazzycat, and Ten Cent have absolute certainty that you are saved, and if so, on what do you base this certainty.

    Gary

    By Blogger goe, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 12:04:00 PM  

  • Mark,

    I noticed your comment about Abraham being obedient until the end. Was his nephew Lot obedient till the end?
    Was Solomon obedient till the end? Were the NT believers who were judged by God with premature death obedient till the end? Was not even Moses disallowed from entering the promiseed land because of disobedience? What about the believers at the judgement seat of Christ whose works are burned up, who "suffer loss", yet are saved "so as by fire."

    Gary

    By Blogger goe, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 12:19:00 PM  

  • Hi Gary,

    Yes, I have absolute certainty that I am saved. I base that certainty on the finished work of Christ. I have faith in Him for my righteousness (Romans 3:22). I have faith in Him for my freedom from sin (John 8:36). I have faith in Him for eternal life (John 3:16).

    Gary, I'm assuming that you have absolute certainty as well that you are saved. What are you saved from?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 1:07:00 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    It does appear that the first part of your question has garnered the most discussion here. Not surprising, though. :-)

    As to the second part of your question, regarding the church's purpose statement of "Transforming unbelievers into passionate disciples of Jesus", I think there are two possibilities here. One, that the church is trying to find a new, fresh way of saying the same thing (i.e., "we want everyone to be saved and obey Jesus"). They may be trying to emphasize the "passionate" aspect, that a person's Christianity shouldn't consist merely of just church on Sundays, or be boring/dull, etc. They may also be trying to emphasize the "disciple" aspect, that Christianity isn't mere "fire insurance" - also that Christianity is a "transformation", not merely an event that happens in a moment of emotionalism that doesn't really affect the rest of your life.

    All of the above we would probably all agree with. And so, if the above is their reasoning, then I don't have too much of a problem with the statement. However, I think I do agree with you that a person CAN be a "disciple" (i.e. follow Jesus' teachings) without being truly born again. But I think the emergent church/post-modernism's "tolerance" has crept into the church a lot, and that's the second possibility I see here. It may be that this church specifically used the word "disiple" and specifically avoided any mention of coversion to Christianity because they may believe that a person who is a "passionate disciple" would go to heaven even if they didn't necessarily convert to Christianity. Many today, especially emergents, believe that Christianity isn't about what you believe but what you do. IMO this is an overreaction to the opposite problem, that Christianity is ALL about believing the right thing w/o ever having to do anything right. It's a reaction to the type of Christian who "prays" for sick people but never takes a meal, watches their kids, sends a card, etc. It's a reaction to the type of Christian who is a pro-life demonstrator with signs but never helps the pro-life pregnancy clinic or does anything to help women in those situations.

    Personally, I'm kind of in the middle, because while I agree that some Christians have a problem of talking a good talk but never doing any action, I also think that what we believe is vital. I agree with emphasizing good works, and helping each other, and doing rather than just talking, but I cannot agree with "skipping over" truth in exchange for actions. Both are needed, not one at the expense of the other.

    So, to sum up, I think I see your concern and I think it is valid. As we emphasize the importance of actually following Christ with our whole lives and actions, we must not deemphasize the importance of being born again in the first place. I like your rewording of the church's purpose statement better. Or maybe something like, "Transforming unbelievers into believers and passionate disciples of Jesus".

    By Blogger Rachel, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 1:28:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent,

    I don't have much time right now, but I'll respond briefly--maybe more later.
    I'm glad you have assurance and It seems you're basing it on Christ's finished work and His promise of eternal life to everyone who believes which is good. I wasn't asking because I doubt your salvation (how could I, I don't even know you), it just helps me better understand a person to know that.

    I believe the same as you about that. But I think I might disagree with your conception of what it means to be "free" from sin and how you seem to be trying to apply that truth to what Jesus says in Jn 8. Briefly, I understand believer's to be free from sin "positionally" from the penalty and power of sin. That is, we are free in the sense that we are no longer obligated to obey sin, but now have the freedom to obey God when we choose to set our minds on the things of the Spirit and yield ourselves to God. This is a freedom we did not have before we were saved--when we were slaves to sin .However, that does not mean that this happens automatically-- we must still choose to do so because God does not override our freewill and make us holy "robots" when we are saved. We still possess a "sin nature" and will always remain capable of committing any sin that an unbeliever is capable of WE do not cease being sinner's when we are saved. I Jn 1:8-2:1 Gal. 5:16,17 I also believe that sanctification involves a gradual renewing of our mind that occurs over our lifetime. This too, does not happen automatically, but is something we are involved in thru the choices we make. The bible also makes clear that no-one ever reaches a state of perfection in this life but only when we die and are separated from our fleshly bodies which are still "dead because of sin". Only when we are in our glorified bodies are we completely and forever free from sin.
    Until then we will always fight a battle--as Jesus said of the disciples: "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". Paul discusses this in Gal 5 and Rom. 7 as well as other places.

    In brief, the bible does not teach what is called 'the reformed doctrine of the perseverance of the saints". The sanctification of believers is not something that happens automatically or inevitably as some teach. It will also not be accomplished in this life perfectly or to the same degree in all believers. That is why we must all appear before the Judgement seat of Christ to give an account of our lives and rewarded accordingly. Not all believer's will hear Christ say:" Well done, thou good and faithful servant." But all believer's are eternally secure because that issue is not related to our works or faithfulness, but is based entirely on Christ's work for us on the cross.

    Hope this helps clarify what I believe the scriptures teach. Keep in mind that I have typed this very quickly because I rushed right now. Consider this my "short answer" to your question.

    God blessings on you and hope to discuss this more with you and hear more of what you believe in this area.

    Gary

    By Blogger goe, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 2:13:00 PM  

  • Goe,
    You have thrown out much that I could and would like to discuss, but this thread is not the place to go off subject. Let me say that you seem to bring a one size fits all presupposition about those of us you call Lordship salvation believers (I prefer the more accurate description of lordship sanctification). For example you assumed that I agreed with Mark on a point that I have made clear in this thread as to my position. While I agree with Mark on a lot of doctrine, that does not mean we agree on everything. I continually debate my pastor on doctrinal points and I refuse to be placed in a theological box with anyone and I refuse to defend any beliefs other than my own. I do not want to waste time in discussions because someone is assuming I agree what Calvin or what someone else has written about a certain point.

    EXAMPLE: You said.... In fact, I would like to request that you be more straightforward and stop denying that LS teaches salvation by works.

    While that was written to Mark it makes my point about your assumptions. You have also placed me in the LS theological box and claim that reformed theology teaches salvation by works. Unconditional election precludes works as having any input in justification as Rom. 8:29-30 and Eph. 2:8-9 make clear. If works are added to justification, then it is no longer unconditional election is it? Because you claim that LS add works through required sanctification in order to be justified, does not make it so. It is Paul and Jesus who speak extensively of the effects of regeneration in changing the hearts and inclination of sinners. Immediately after Paul states emphatically that justification is not by works in Ephesians 2:9, what does he say in verse 10 but the following: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Created in Christ Jesus means God has changed the character of the sinner. For what purpose? To do works that God prepared in advance that we should walk in them. This is called sanctification, which is powered by the Holy Spirit as Paul makes clear in Romans 6 thru 8. Read Romans 8:1-17 carefully where Paul contrasts a regenerate spirit led believer with an unregenerate follower of the flesh. Nowhere does Paul or me claim that sanctification is an added requirement for the instantaneous act of justification by faith alone. Sanctification occurs after justification; therefore, if a person attempts to be saved by his sanctification, he is deluding himself and will fail. Read Galatians! Therefore, don’t place me in a group that asserts salvation (justification) by works. If you find some famous reformer that says that, then don’t assume I agree.

    If you would like to visit at Bluecollar or Jazzycat we can explore your many points that I disagree with more fully.

    By Blogger jazzycat, at Tuesday, October 28, 2008 7:12:00 PM  

  • First off,
    I renew my invitation to goe and Alvin to come to BlueCollar blog. We shall examine your claims and assertions there.

    Secondly, I challenged goe to produce direct quotes from L/S teachers stating specifically where they teach salvation by works. He provided none, but went on undetterred in challeging me to admit that L/S teaches salvation by works. Please come to my blog with this discussion, please, please. I even have the "Welcome" mat out for you there. I will NOT tie Rose's post up here.

    Thirdly, I am FULLY assured of the fact that I am saved based wholly on the promises of God found in His word. I lean far more fully on "objective" assurance than I do "subjective". That said, I, like Ryrie, believe that since Christ brought me to Himself I DO see things in my life that were not there before as He works in me both to will and to do His good pleasure. As we see in Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the Spirit, or the evidence of God the Holy Spirit's presence in the Christian is such that He brings with Himself Christ's very characteristics, thus it is a vital aspect of the regeneration experience.

    Was Lot faithfull to the end? Yes. How? Well that very aspect of the perseverance of the saints that many choose to ignore; God's preserving of the saints, the angels pulling Lot along. Did he sin grievously later on? Yes, and Lot suffered as he saw in retrospect what his daughters did in doing that terrible thing.

    Those who suffer loss at The Judgement Seat of Christ (TJSOC),1 Cor. 3:15 does not say that ALL of his work is burned. It is speaking of work done on building on the foundation, work done directly with the Body of Christ, not his whole life for Christ. You are reaching here.

    As far as those others judged at the JSOC you will have to be more specific which ones you are talking about. But again, please bring this to my BlueCollar blog.

    Rose, you have been most gracious. I am now bowing out as I do not want to wear out my welcome here.

    All: please bring this discussion to BlueCollar blog. Thank you.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 4:46:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose - long time, no see. :)

    Wayne, Mark, thank you for articulating our position so well. Wayne, I completely agree with your 7:12 PM comment. I lean the same way. I think distinguishing between what is termed Lordship salvation with Lordship sanctification is very beneficial.

    OK, just wanted to offer my support.

    By Blogger Gayla, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:19:00 AM  

  • "Was Solomon obedient till the end?"
    =============
    Yes. See Ecc.12:13-14
    =============
    " Were the NT believers who were judged by God with premature death obedient till the end?"
    ==========
    Yes. The period of sickness would have been a time of repentance. See Hebrews 12:5-11; Rev. 3:19
    ==========
    " Was not even Moses disallowed from entering the promiseed land because of disobedience?"
    =======
    See Hebrews 3:7-19 - The children of Israel could not enter in because of unbelief, Vs. 19 as opposed to Hebrews 3:5 where Moses was faithful. Big difference here. Don't equate the two.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:32:00 AM  

  • Hi Mark,
    This is getting a little confusing. You invited people to come to your blog because you didn't want to carry it on here, but you keep making comments. :~)

    Gayla,
    I would gander that anyone commenting here also agrees with "Lordship sanctification." I know I do: practical sanctification happens as we bow to Christ as the Lord of our lives. amen.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:37:00 AM  

  • Mark I am going to paste you comemnt here with the references there to read:

    "Was Solomon obedient till the end?"
    =============
    Yes. Ecc.12:13-14
    13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

    14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

    =============
    " Were the NT believers who were judged by God with premature death obedient till the end?"
    ==========
    Yes. The period of sickness would have been a time of repentance. See Hebrews 12:5-11

    5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

    6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

    7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

    8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

    9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

    10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

    11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

    Rev. 3:19
    19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
    ==========
    " Was not even Moses disallowed from entering the promiseed land because of disobedience?"
    =======
    See Hebrews 3:7-19
    7Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

    8Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

    9When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

    10Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

    11So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

    12Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

    13But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

    14For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

    15While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

    16For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

    17But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

    18And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?

    19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

    - The children of Israel could not enter in because of unbelief, Vs. 19 as opposed to Hebrews 3:5 where Moses was faithful. Big difference here. Don't equate the two.

    Hebrews 3:5 5And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:41:00 AM  

  • Numbers 27:
    12And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.

    13And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered.

    14For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:50:00 AM  

  • Sorry,Rose.
    I'm gone now. Goodbye.
    I wish you peace!

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:53:00 AM  

  • Deuteronomy 32: 48And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying,

    49Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession:

    50And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people:

    51Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of MeribahKadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.

    52Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:57:00 AM  

  • Mark,
    That's OK. You are welcome to discuss these things here by all means. :~) I was just gettin a little confused about your intentions. But please feel free to discuss things.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:58:00 AM  

  • Mark, I would say based on reading those passages from Numbers and Duet that yes, Moses was definitly disallowed from entering the promised land because of disobedience. Yet- Hebrews says he was faithful, as you pointed out. I think the conclusion I would draw is that what God considers "faithful" does not preclude disobedience that is so stark and reprehensible to God that he would take something rewarding away from the believer that was as important to Moses as entering the promised land. But he would still enter the Lord's presence when he died because he was "faithful" - a believer, as Moses obviously was - and his service was not utterly discounted:

    Hebrews 3:5 5And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

    What do you think?

    By Blogger Rose~, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 10:05:00 AM  

  • Can someone become even a passionate disciple of Jesus Christ, yet go their whole life without becoming a true, born-again believer in Christ ?

    Actually, yes.

    First let's list the ones who did go on to become born again believers.

    Mark 4:20 “And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

    Acts 10:1 Now there was a man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in and said to him, “Cornelius!” 4 And fixing his gaze on him and being much alarmed, he said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God."


    Acts 9:1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.”



    Now the ones who didn't:

    Mark 4:15 “These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.

    Acts 5:1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?

    Acts 24:24 But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.”


    Of course, I equate being a born again believer as somebody who ENTERS the Kingdom of God.

    Which does not happen if you listen to the wrong people or bad habits. Thus the warning to disciples:

    21 And He was saying to them, “A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand? 22 “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. 23 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. 25 “For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

    And the warning to teachers:

    Mark 9:42 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.

    I equate Satan to teachers who are themselves not born again.

    Of course they could be saved people. Anyone who believes in Jesus for eternal life is saved.

    For example, Mother Theresa was definitely saved, by that definition.

    But she listened to Satan, unlike Paul, who did not continue with HIS teachers. Or Cornelius.

    And like Ananaias and Sapphira. And Festus.

    By Blogger anton, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 11:29:00 AM  

  • Jazzycat,

    I'm not sure why your fur is so ruffled Jazzycat. My entire comment was made in response to the question you asked me and that alone. I also tried to apologize to you didn't I? I also said that I recognize there are different shades of LS. What can I say to please you? Instead of addressing my response to your question , you savage me for comments I made to Mark. You then say that you disagree with Mark and blast me for assuming that you agreed with him--I'm confused. Well then, I apologize again for making the wrong assumption about your position on Rose's question. Since you say you don't agree with Mark on this, your position must be that it is not possible to be a disciple without also being born again-correct?. Yet in another comment you say there can be such a thing as "false disciples," by which you must mean that they are disciples who are not born again-correct? You seem to want it both ways Jazzycat. Let me remind you that the "disciples" in Jn 6:66 were not disciples of the" emergent church" (as you discussed in an earlier comment), they were the disciples of the living Christ in the flesh! I don't blame you for not wanting to take a clear position on Rose's question. You seem to be more concerned that your precious TULIP might wither on the vine than anything else. But there is no need for concern because it was never a living thing derived from God's word to start with. It has always been a fabricated theological system based solely on the vain and empty philosophical speculations of men. It is also the greatest "Christian" heresy that has ever plagued the church.

    Mark,

    First of all, need I remind you that it was you and your Blue Collar colleagues who came to this site promoting the TULIP and LS ? I came in on this much later. Now you want to retreat to your site and for us to follow you.
    I really can't spare much time for disingenuous theological debates, so if you want to "bow out", I agree that it would be the best thing for both of us.

    Secondly, you challenged me to provide quotes but you give me no time to do so since I had to go to work like you. I tried to respond to questions from Ten Cent and Jazzycat as well as a comment by you with what little time I had left yesterday, and apparently that didn't go over well either. You guys are so hard to please.

    I am going to go ahead and give one quote that I promised you and that's it for me because I can't be wasting time like this. Since this is a quote from a well known LS advocate with whom I'm sure you're familiar, I trust you will not accuse me of "massaging" the quote to keep the "GES position alive." I can assure you it would be unnecessary for me to do so since the GES position, unlike your TULIP and LS, draws it's life from the living and abiding word of God. I also trust that you will not be offended if he addresses the theology of one of your heroes, John MacArthur. If it offends you, then blame him, not me.

    The following remarks are made by Michael Horton in his book "Christ the Lord". He is addressing statements made by MacArthur in "The Gospel According to Jesus" (TGATJ) , in which MacArthur says the following: 1) saving faith includes repentance ( which he defines as turning from one's sins to Christ) pp. 74,77 TGATJ. On p. 203 MacArthur actually coins the expression "repentant faith". 2) such repentance, MacArthur says, must be an unconditional surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ p.83 TGATJ and a radical, 180 degree turning from sin p 83 TGATJ. He also says that "repentant faith" must include "counting the cost of being a Christian" p.84 TGATJ.

    Here are Michael Horton's remarks:

    1)" MacArthur adds W.E. Vine's definition of faith as including even 'conduct inspired by such surrender' (pp 173-74 TGATJ). If we are justified by faith and if faith is surrender, obedience, and conduct inspired by such surrender, then we are justified by works. The logic of seems unavoidable:

    We are justified by faith alone.
    Faith is surrender, obedience and conduct inspired such surrender.
    Therefore, we are justified by surrender, obedience and conduct inspired by such obedience." p.44 "Christ the Lord"

    2 "MacArthur, it seems, is so disturbed by the antinomianism of his opponents that, in order to make what he calls easy-believism more untenable, he insists that the believer is justified by knowledge, assent, and obedience ( or at least, 'the determination of the will to a obey the truth'), rather than by knowledge, assent, and trust. Granted, the formulation is different from official Roman Catholic teaching, but it merely moves the element of works into the definition of faith itself. This leaves the impression that, if a believer is repeating the same sin, he or she must not be justified yet, since 'repentance is a critical element of genuine faith' (p 172 TGATJ) and 'faith is not complete unless it is obedient' (p 173 TGATJ)." p 40 Christ the Lord.

    3) "Not only does MacArthur seem here to repeat the Roman Catholic confusion of justification and sanctification; he actually makes the forensic declaration depend on a real moral change in the person's behavior. First, the robe is 'the reality of changed life', not the declaration of a changed status, as the Reformers would have understood it. Second, 'the son cannot receive blessedness of the Father's table until he is robed in the right robe. And so there must be more than a declaration involved.' In other words, God cannot declare one righteous before there is moral change. The legal declaration depends on moral transformation in MacArthur's statements here, JUST AS SURELY AS TRENT'S." (emphasis mine) pp 42-43 Christ the Lord.



    So there it is Mark, an unmassaged quote by one from your own camp. Since the views of MacArthur that Horton is addressing here have also been expressed so zealously by you, jazzycat, and ten cent on this blog, he would obviously make the same assessment of your theology as well. If that upsets you or you think it unfair, take it up with him, not me. I'm just the messenger today, as you requested.

    So the "dark side of Calvinism" is revealed and seen for what it truly is: Arminianism in disguise! Enjoy your TULIP today Mark


    Gary

    By Blogger goe, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 11:36:00 AM  

  • Hi Gary,

    I hope I did not offend you in any way (other than when our beliefs collide). Sometimes these comments can be misread in the sense that we can come away thinking that the other person is mad and shouting at us when that was never the intent.

    You said: "This is a freedom we did not have before we were saved--when we were slaves to sin. However, that does not mean that this happens automatically-- we must still choose to do so because God does not override our freewill and make us holy "robots" when we are saved."

    Can I point out where we differ here? You say we must choose to obey God. We both say that Christ has made us free from sin. So when you say that we must choose to obey God, you still have us sitting in the jail cell or working for that old master and we have to break free from that master and choose to serve the new Master. I'm saying that we are totally free from sin. And if we sin, it's because we're choosing to go back to the old master. That's why Paul says for us to consider ourselves dead to sin (Romans 6) and that sin "shall not be master" over us. So in regard to sin, we are dead. In regard to Christ, we are alive. Why? Because we have died with Christ and are raised up in newness of life. It's the Gospel.

    Now let me be clear. I'm not saying that we are sinless, or that we have or will obtain total perfection until Christ returns. When we sin, we're choosing to sin, because sin is no longer our master.

    Consider I Corinthians 1:30,31 -- "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."

    If you are in Christ Jesus, then He is your wisdom from God, your righteousness, your sanctification, and your redemption. Why? So that you can boast in the Lord.

    If I view my sanctification as dependent on what I do, then there is a sense in which I am trusting in my own righteousness. I have to work harder to please God. I have to do good things or God will strike me dead. Instead of resting in the finished work of Christ.

    Then what am I believing? Work hard and do good so that my reward in heaven will be big. Is that what God wants? Why then does He desire mercy and not sacrifice? He doesn't want our actions...He wants our hearts. And our actions will follow.

    It may sound like I'm fighting for a reformed view, or a calvinistic view, but that's not my intent. If it was, I wouldn't engage in these conversations. Rose, Antonio, Matthew and even Alvin give me lots to think about. They challenge me and that makes me dig deep to make sure that what I believe is true. And I'm open to refining my beliefs...to a point that is. Obviously, there are some things that are unchangeable.

    Hopefully, that helps to clarify where I'm coming from, at least a little.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 1:37:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent wrote:
    ----------
    He wants our hearts. And our actions will follow.
    ----------
    God knows better than anyone how to command the affections of our heart. He does so by offering rewards.

    Here is the command of Jesus:

    "...lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven... For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Mt 6:20-21)

    So I believe your list is imperfect here. I would make it this way:

    God wants our hearts.
    Therefore, God offers rewards
    Because He knows that where are treasures are, there our hearts will be also
    If our hearts are on the heavenly things, our actions will follow

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 1:45:00 PM  

  • Hi Antonio,

    Thanks for your attempt at correcting me. However, I don't feel this is the right place to discuss treasure/rewards, etc.

    I have posted a few articles on my blog, one of which addresses this very passage. Feel free to comment there if you wish.

    threeandahalfmiles (dot) blogspot (dot) com

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 2:03:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent,

    You say that I still have us sitting in a jail cell because I said we must still choose to obey God. But two sentences later you agree with me by saying we must choose. In the following paragraph you say again what I said---that sin is a matter of "choosing". That's exactly what I said Ten Cent. Am I missing something here? We are in agreement yet you say I still have us sitting in a jail cell. You must be misunderstanding me because I'm in agreement with you on that.

    Gary

    By Blogger goe, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 2:10:00 PM  

  • Ten Cent,

    This is an appropriate place to discuss rewards. I am a part of this blog, and as such, the discussion on rewards is mandatory, lol.

    So you have disccussed this passage before, eh? Probably more like "explained it away" with the ad hoc inclusion of secondary assumptions not found in the text, ala, house of cards.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 2:28:00 PM  

  • Where our treasures are, our hearts are. Jesus commands us to store up treasures. Why?

    Where our treasures are stored there our hearts will be.

    In this context, this treasure that Jesus is talking about is not already in the heavens. How do we know that, Ten Cent? Precisely because if it was already there it would be confusing and redundant for Jesus to COMMAND us to "lay up for ourselves" treasure. If you read the Sermon on the Mount which this passage is a part of, you find that rewards are the great motivators unto godliness. Here it is no different.

    You have it partially right. God wants our hearts.

    But how He commands the affection of our hearts is through rewards and warnings.

    Jesus, Himself, is the example for our faith, no? What was His motivation?

    "...let us run the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down on the right hand of the throne of God."

    At the end of every race is a prize. We have a race set before us. In the ancient races, the prizes, most likely a perishable wreath of laurel, cyprus, or the like, which was the token and symbol of the much greater awards attached to it, was set out before the contestants.

    The joy of glory and dominion was set before Jesus. For this joy He was obedient, and He has become our example, so says the writer to the Hebrews.

    We have a race. It is full of obstacles. Some will start who will never finish. But the prize is set out for the motivation to endure and run to the end.

    "[Jesus] humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow..."

    Jesus is my example. He won His particluar Messianic glory through obedience. And as a matter of fact, this was a motivating factor in his obedience.

    Jesus is my example.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 2:44:00 PM  

  • Also something you might think about. Those disciples who stopped following Jesus in John 6 who had not yet believed, had left homes and family and their jobs to follow Jesus. How many of you have done that? I would say they were pretty passionate for Jesus wouldn’t you?

    60.Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
    61.When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?
    64. “But there are some of you who do not believe.”

    I believe all of His disciples were complaining against this because they were taking Him literally about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, and they new that went right against what God had said in their Scriptures (Leviticus 17:10 I wil set My face against that person who eats blood,and will cut him off from among his people). The disciples who stayed with Him already had believed Him for His gift of eternal life and new that He had the words of life. But this was a much greater proposition to believe, for some that were even born again to great of a proposition for them to believe at that time. But I’m sure some of those who had not yet believed, but had been passionate enough to leave everything for Him eventually would be convinced by the seventh sign the cross and the resurrection!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 11:09:00 PM  

  • See Mark I just proved again I'm the King of the terrible spellers!!! But you already new that didn't you . . . ha!ha!
    I knew it anyway!!!

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 11:13:00 PM  

  • correction: The cross and the resurrection is the eighth sign. I'm not only a bad speller but a bad counter!! woops :*) I still haven't gotten that nose down, but mines a little crooked so it will work...how do you do that Rose?

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Wednesday, October 29, 2008 11:51:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:52:00 AM  

  • Gary,
    You supply a quote from MacArthur that you acknowledge I would agree with. Then you supply Michael Horton's response to MacArthur. Then you acknowledge in another comment that there are different shades of L/S (represented clearly by the different views by MacArthur and Horton). So how does this comment by you fulfill my request for a direct quote from an L/S teacher teaching works righteousness. Is "Christ the Lord" still in print?

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 4:04:00 AM  

  • Gary, I have nothing to retreat from. There is no view on this blog that frightens me. Now, how about making a trip to my Blue Collar blog, eh?

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 4:12:00 AM  

  • Rose,
    In Hebrews 3, my reference point, Moses' faith is held up as model. And the children of Israel's unbelief is discussed. Indeed, throughout Hebrews Moses' faith is held up as model. And yes, Numbers shows us that his disobedience IS the reason for his not being able to enter. But in Hebrews the writer states that Israel's unbelief is the reason THEY could not enter. To simply bunch the REASON WHY they could not enter (unbelief) with the reason why Moses could not enter (disobedience) is not good. The book of Hebrews is written to those whoes faith was being challenged. Some were about to fall away. We simply must be clear on this matter and not just say that "neither was Moses allowed to enter". The reasons why they (Moses versus the children of Israel) could not enter were different. That is my point.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 4:21:00 AM  

  • Incidently Gary, it was exactly 1 year ago yesterday that I got myself banned from this blog. So I hope you can understand why I "retreat" when things get dicey. If I say I don't want to wear out my invitation and give that as the reason why I want to take this to my blog then please do not step in and say that I am retreating. I loose respect for people who misread my motives. Food for future thought.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 5:18:00 AM  

  • Antonio,

    What's the treasure? What is He telling us to store up in heaven?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 8:10:00 AM  

  • On a library computer right now.

    To be honest, though, my views are closer to Horton's - just for the sake of knowing where I am really coming from. Just to be clear since somebody said something about MacArthur being my hero.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 8:30:00 AM  

  • I was thinking about the believers in Galatians and how Paul had told them they had fallen from grace. That generation was saved because they had started out with the truth, simply by faith in Jesus for eternal life. But then had added works, in their case it was circumcision keeeping the law. The very next generation could have been passionate disciples for Christ and the law of Moses. Like we see in the Seventh Day Adventist Church today, or any other group that adds faith plus works. They could even add works as an evidence that HAS to happen. They COULD say, Lord, Lord, we did it in your name, we were passionate for You AND PROVED IT BY OUR GOOD WORKS!!!
    DIDN'T WE????????

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 9:13:00 AM  

  • "Like we see in the Seventh Day Adventist Church today, or any other group that adds faith plus works. They could even add works as an evidence that HAS to happen."

    "They could even add works as an evidence that HAS to happen."

    All who say that works are the fruit and not the root, ALL of them, preach faith alone in Christ alone. Please show me exact quotes where they preach salvation by works. Exact quotes, please. And I'll even make it easier for you to do this time... Exact quotes from MacArthur or Boice.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 9:26:00 AM  

  • Anytime you make WORKS part of the equation, even if it is just FAITHFULNESS you’ve changed something that is free and a gift into something that is conditional!!!
    This is got to be my favorite verse in the bible:
    Rev 22:17
    And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”
    And let him who hears say, “Come!”
    And let him who thirsts come.
    Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

    NO STRINGS ATTACHED, it’s free because Jesus paid it all!!!
    And that’s the ONLY way you can take it!!!

    Anyone who holds to perseverance of the saints is putting
    "poison"
    in the pot!
    Or thay could put it like this:
    you said:
    There is no way around the fact that John 10 presents a picture of the call to salvation and the call to disciplship as one.



    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 9:48:00 AM  

  • Mark, It's pretty clear where we both stand. I’m afraid we have reached an impasse!
    Were going to have to agree to disagree!
    You hold to eternal salvation and discipleship as being one!
    I believe the gift of eternal life can be taken freely!
    Discipleship is something that DOES NOT have to happen to receive it, and is a different issue.

    I wish you all the blessings that are found in Christ!

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 10:14:00 AM  

  • Instead of the simple biblical concept, what several of you have bought into is a concept of "faith" that comes with a giant theological hypodermic stuck in it. Think of it this way - anything injected, attached, pulled by or pushed into the concept of "faith" destroys its true meaning of simple receptivity. This is precisely Paul's point in Romans 4:4-6 (NASB):

    4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
    5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
    6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

    Tragically, as Gordon Clark has pointed out this error results in the absurdity of people who must place faith in their "faith" for assurance...

    By Blogger wjc, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 12:46:00 PM  

  • Mark,

    What can I say Mark? When I said that MacArthur was your "hero", I was simply referring to the fact that you list his books among your favorites on your blogger profile. I think it was fair to assume from this that you both admire MacArthur and agree with his books. Maybe the word "hero" was a poor choice on my part, but that is what I meant. But now you say you lean more toward Horton? Since Horton equates MacArthur's view of the gospel with the view of the RCC, does your leaning toward Horton mean you share his assessment of MacArthur? I don't know what else it could mean since his assessment of MacArthur was all I posted, along with a few quotes from MacArthur. Since his assessment of MacArthur is that he teaches salvation by works, and you now say you lean more toward Horton's view, I must have done what you requested I do, which is provide a quote from a LS advocate that teaches salvation by works. But now you still insist that I did not do that. Mark, seriously now, do you even have any idea what you're talking about?

    By Blogger goe, at Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:11:00 PM  

  • MacArthur's L/S views were formed while preparating to preach expositionally through the gospel of Matthew. No longer persuaded by the argument that John's gospel is the only book of the Bible written for the express purpose of evangelism; and allowing that the synoptics are equally evangelistic, he allowed all four gospels to inform his views on the content of a gospel presentation. Scriptures like Matt.10:34-39, and Mark 10:13-31 show that the call to salvation, and the call to discipleship are one.

    Now, depending on whichever figure that one is drawn to in the L/S - FG debate it is clear that the gap between one's "position in Christ" and one's actual experience varies from teacher to teacher. In MacArthur's view the gap between positional and experiential is almost non existant when his views are compared to other's. The gap is wider in the views held by Horton; and wider still when you look at Ryrie. The gap widens even more with Hodges' view.

    Horton's view allows more emphasis on a person's position in Christ than does MacArthur's, imho. That is why he can stand back from his vantage point and note that MacArthur's position on these things leaves a person with little hope of assurance. I do not share his view that MacArthur is on any road to Rome, however. I think that Horton is being a little too strong there. I hold views closer to Horton's because my own study yields for me a wider gap between positional and experiential; but for me the gap is not nearly so wide as Ryrie or Hodges see it.

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 31, 2008 4:22:00 AM  

  • Thanks Mark. That helps me understand your position much better. What you are describing sounds like what I mean when speaking of those who are "hard" or "soft" in their positions on LS. So I would see you as "softer" than MacArthur, but "harder" than Ryrie or Hodges. I agree with what you say about the impact that MacAthur's understanding of the gospel has on assurance, except I would go further and say that his view makes assurance impossible for anyone who is honest. It sounds like you are more of the honest type and I respect that. Thanks for clarifying where you are on this.

    By Blogger goe, at Friday, October 31, 2008 5:58:00 AM  

  • The following was a post I made to one of my blogs back on August 16, 2007 -

    Positions: They Are a Changin'

    I've been doing a lot of thinking on 2 Cor. 13:5 lately. "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you are disqualified."

    I have Read MacArthur's "The Gospel According to Jesus" and "The Gospel According to the Apostles" as well as "Hard to Believe". I am familiar with his take on this verse, that Christians should examine themselves to see that they are genuinely regenerate. I once held this position too. I no longer do.

    Throughout this epistle Paul's apostleship is challenged. He answers those challenges. Note chapter 3, where he asks the Corinthians if he needs to commend himself or does he need letters of commendation to them or from them. His answer: "clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart."

    Note he says "ministered by us". Note the Spirit's work on their hearts as a result of Paul's ministry. The work of the Spirit on the hearts of the Corinthian's was proof of Paul's apostleship.

    So it is in chapter 13:5. The evidence of Paul's apostleship is to be seen in the fact that the Corinthians have exhibited spiritual life. It isn't so much a test for them as it is a testament to his apostleship.

    Mark

    Labels: test yourselves


    posted by mark pierson @ Thursday, August 16, 2007
    ===============
    I hope you see that I have wrestled with this issue on my own.

    I wish you the best, Gary.

    Rose, thanks for allowing me to participate here. You have been most gracious.

    Your brother in Christ,
    Mark

    By Blogger mark pierson, at Friday, October 31, 2008 8:13:00 AM  

  • Mark,

    Thank you Mark. Please note that my recent post on your blog was directed at Jazzycat, not you. I wish all of God's blessings for both you and Jazzycat. I hope both of you understand that this is an emotional issue for me, having had loved ones, now deceased, who were deeply impacted by it.

    By Blogger goe, at Friday, October 31, 2008 8:44:00 AM  

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