Mar 162010
 

For a long time I’ve been confused by reports of abusive pastors and elders  here who disavowed repentance and seemed to evidence no fear of God.

This led some to conclude that there were unsaved pastors shepherding unsaved flocks and that was part of the bigger problem of abuse.

Those discussions ended up being long, emotional, and tense discussions about post salvific sanctification.

I think we missed the point… and those folks who doubted the regeneration of some folks could have been right on.

The light began to come on when perusing George Brysons website where in addition to hating on Calvinism, he lists “lordship salvation” as a doctrine he despises.

The “non lordship” position asserts that all that is need for salvation is a one time mental assent to the Gospel…while sanctification and discipleship should follow that “decision” they don’t necessarily have to.

Once that mental assent has happened, the believer is eternally secure…even if said believer shows no fruit at all.

The “lordship salvation” doctrine states that when one comes to faith in Christ they not only make mental assent, but commit to Christ as Savior and Lord, trusting Him with the entirety of their person.

I’ll be blunt…the “non lordship” position may not be a false Gospel but you are getting too close for comfort.

The idea of regeneration without sanctification has been anathema to church for most of it’s history and is anathema to true biblical faith.

If we have a bunch of preachers and parishioners with no fear of God because they “made a decision for Christ” at some point and believe they received fire insurance and a license to live unchanged lives…then we have a problem.

I commend to your reading the parable of the sowers…and Jesus words about them in Luke.

Ҧ Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd.
And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.”
But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.””
(Luke 8:19–21 ESV)

We never “do it “perfectly or even well…but we pursue holiness and live lives of repentance.

The truly regenerate person will sin, but the presence and power of the Holy Spirit within and the discipline of a loving Father will keep them on a path of being conformed to the image of Christ.

Those who live lives of rebellion and impunity without check or discipline…need to check and see if they’re in the faith.

If your pastors teachings empower him or others to abuse people…you need to flee from a false teacher.

  181 Responses to “Lordship Salvation”

  1. I can’t speak for George or anyone else but I don’t know any pastors who really believe you can be saved and yet never show any fruit. I have actually known two pastors who held to that position but both ultimately fell into sin and are out of the ministry. Interestingly, both used their espousal of Reformed doctrine to justify their position.

  2. Oh yeah, FIRST!

  3. This is going to be an interesting day on the PP.

    This issue is the reason I left CC, by the way, although I couldn’t articulate it very well at the time. After having been saved since I was 12, why was there so little spiritual growth in my life? Why was I becoming a bigger jerk with each passing year? And what was being taught from the pulpit that was ever going to have any effect on my situation, I wondered?

    Anyway, I agree with Michael.

  4. Let me say that I am neither a legalist, nor one of the Reformed libertines Dave mentioned. 🙂

    I doubt that such a doctrine is explicitly spoken from the pulpit, but it becomes implicit by lifestyles and a lack of church discipline.

  5. AMEN! (Michael).

    This issue is what has literally torn me apart my whole life.

    I don’t understand Theology like the rest of you (though I’ve tried at my limited level), but I do understand empirical experience…and am able to match up the “heart” issues verses the words preached (and read and said, etc).

    The non-Lordship argument is total BS at a boots-on-the-ground practical level. If that’s what all this is about…then I don’t get it.

    If Jesus isn’t Lord…then I can tell you the fruit that comes from that from very personal experience. And that bad fruit doesn’t match up with my limited knowledge of Scripture. It really stumbles me.

  6. The “lordship salvation” doctrine states that when one comes to faith in Christ they not only make mental assent, but commit to Christ as Savior and Lord, trusting Him with the entirety of their person.”

    I agree with this statement, BUT what gives me pause is, who are the ones judging whether I am” trusting Him with the ENTIRETY of my person?” This is when it can get ugly.
    Who is to say who judges my fruit, trust or commitment, or lack of it?

    Yes, I fully believe there will be fruit (of God’s Spirit) in one’s life who is saved, but is that fruit always measurable by man?
    At the same time, I believe there is a lot of “wax fruit” out there that shines brightly for everyone to see and praise.

  7. Michael!!! I love this post. This is what Sister Christian has been saying for years.

  8. Nonnie asked, “BUT what gives me pause is, who are the ones judging whether I am” trusting Him with the ENTIRETY of my person?” ”

    2 Corinthians 13:5
    5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

  9. I object!

  10. hi Nonnie, how are you?

  11. Good verse Dusy! Exactly. We are to examine ourselves. What gets ugly is when others start sniffing around comparing their fruit to another, their commitment, their witnessing hours, their calling, etc. and then the judging comes. ugh!

    Dusty, thank you for asking. I am doing good. Finally healthy after a 2 week bout with the flu and my little grand daughter is healthy and thriving. I have no complaints. My mom finds out if her mammogram is positive for cancer any minute now. Praying for God’s grace and health for her.

    Great discussion here.

  12. “Who is to say who judges my fruit, trust or commitment, or lack of it?”

    That is both an excellent and difficult question.
    My best answer is that that through the Holy Spirit working in me and others that these issues are worked out in community with others pursuing the same goal.

  13. praying with you nonnie that your mom is healthy…cancer free…you must be on pins and needles….glad we are here to ‘hold your hand’ right now….

  14. Right Michael, worked out in a community of believers who love one another and are seeking the best for one another in their goal of glorifying Christ.

    Dusty, you are too sweet. Thanks for holding my hand as I wait to hear. I have to go out in few minutes but will check back later. I will ring my mom when I get back and hopefully find out.
    blessings to all.

  15. MLD…you stay off this thread!!!! 🙂

  16. Actually, we need the reminder that MLD and our Lutheran brothers give us about the grace of God and the absolute primacy of the cross of Christ when discussing these matters.

  17. Michael, what is “absolute primacy “?

  18. Nonnie, praises for the good outcome for the little one and prayers for your mom

    ‘once saved, always saved,’ eh? heard many sermons over the years with the caveat warning against the ‘fire insurance’ mentality (if your heart isn’t troubled by your sinful ways, you probably didn’t receive Christ/Salvation in the first place)

    my favorite pastor/teacher tried to reconcile it by saying that, if you are born again and you continue in sin, without repentance you will ultimately die – now that may be true 😉 – but how long does that remedy take?

    ‘he that keepeth my commandments … loves me’ after my weekend’s revelation (for me) that faith entails love to some greater or lesser degree, else it’s just belief… i don’t think you can be ‘saved’ and not care at all about your daily walk – dunno

    i was a tomboy as a child and resented the fact that some kids (girls mostly) were just naturally gooder than the rest of us and, somehow, that accident of birth made you more virtuous – it is, i guess, a true fact, but i’ve outgrown my resentment of it… mostly 😆 God knows

  19. I feel like Michael has framed the issue totally in the favor of his argument. Once again, as a Lutheran, we do not speak in such dichotomies/categories – Lordship / Free Grace.

    Michael, you have made the free gracers look like the believers will not have any change or fruit. That is not what they say – what they say is that you cannot tie that to salvation and that no one has NO fruit. We may not like some of the ‘bad’ fruit we see in someone’s life but that in no way negates the good fruit that may be sitting side by side.

    But look at the latitude you give to the Lordship position – ” The “lordship salvation” doctrine states that when one comes to faith in Christ they not only make mental assent, but commit to Christ as Savior and Lord, trusting Him with the entirety of their person.” Then you leave a loophole – “We never “do it “perfectly or even well…but we pursue holiness and live lives of repentance. The truly regenerate person will sin,…”

    Here is my question – WHY??? Why will I sin if, as you say, “but commit to Christ as Savior and Lord, trusting Him with the entirety of their person.” – it seems to me that if you commit and trust with the ENTIRETY OF THEIR PERSON” you will NOT sin.

    It’s like when Believe says that he gains victory over sin when Jesus is Lord of his life – but I don’t think any of us have victory over sin since we still sin. Victory over sin means not sinning any longer.

    The same with Lordship – if I sin, it is because I have, at least for that time, refused His Lordship.

    This is why both positions are the extreme and in fact take away from God, his power and grace. What is this stuff about our mental assent – is this like the Holy spirit presents a case for Jesus and we choose, like choosing to buy a car – I choose the Buick and not the Chevy? And then it goes on like I CHOOSE to make Jesus Lord, as if He Himself doesn’t impose His Lordship on us?

    Regardless of what I think or choose – Jesus invades my life.

  20. psalm said, “i was a tomboy as a child and resented the fact that some kids (girls mostly) were just naturally gooder than the rest of us and, somehow, that accident of birth made you more virtuous – it is, i guess, a true fact”

    Don’t be fooled…it is not true…I was always an obedient child… the gooder one 😉 …wasn’t ’til God had a talking to me that I realized I was not obedient in my heart. the difference now…i want to be obedient outwardly and in my heart to all that He commands…

  21. MLD,

    “it seems to me that if you commit and trust with the ENTIRETY OF THEIR PERSON” you will NOT sin.”

    Nonsense…we still have a fallen nature.
    I think Romans 7 is the story of the believers life.

  22. ” What is this stuff about our mental assent – is this like the Holy spirit presents a case for Jesus and we choose, like choosing to buy a car – I choose the Buick and not the Chevy? And then it goes on like I CHOOSE to make Jesus Lord, as if He Himself doesn’t impose His Lordship on us?”

    Sorry…I’ve seen the no lordship doctrine explained in just those terms over and over again.

  23. Michael,
    Even your wording will not allow you to look at this objectively.

    You call one position “Lordship” and you call the other “No Lordship”. Is that fair? You put me in a position to have to take their defense, of which I am not comfortable, but how about we change the names to “Free Grace” and “no Free Grace” How does that fit?

    “Nonsense…we still have a fallen nature. I think Romans 7 is the story of the believers life.” As do I – so, tell me the difference then – How does my fallen nature really allow me to make a proper commitment and trust “with the ENTIRETY OF THEIR PERSON” and NOT have my fingers crossed behind my back. Do you see the issue, you make the claim that we make the commitment – and I am saying that Jesus makes the commitment.

  24. MLD,

    “You call one position “Lordship” and you call the other “No Lordship”. Is that fair? ”

    Those have been the commonly used terms in this debate…I didn’t make them up myself and you’re well aware of that.

    As to your second point, you are also well aware that the Reformed and Lutherans divide over the doctrine of sanctification.

    While regeneration is completely a sovereign act of God, we believe that in a sense, sanctification is a synergistic work where we co-operate with the grace and discipline of God to be conformed to the image of His son.

  25. Dusty, bless your honest heart – i understand your point – a good one

    there are all kinds of sins and, yes, some are more evident than others
    i think of our Lord’s mother and i honestly believe that she was a superior woman to what i am – God would never have tapped me to bear His Son and then nurture His mortal life to adulthood and my husband would have made a lousy Joseph, too… extreme examples, i know – but that’s what i’m driving at… how much we sin is probably not the best barometer of our post-salvation walk with the Lord – how much we used to sin before our redemption might be, tho… to a degree, at least… dunno
    what was/is going thru my mind is that some of us do have much stronger natural aptitudes to commit sins – ah me, probably not making sense today

  26. “If we have a bunch of preachers and parishioners with no fear of God because they “made a decision for Christ” at some point and believe they received fire insurance and a license to live unchanged lives…then we have a problem.”

    Exactly. It is to those that Paul would plead the same argument he made to the Corinthians: examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. (2 Cor 13:5)

  27. FWIW, our church looked at a very similar topic this past Sunday: maturity in Christ, per 2 Peter 1:5-11.

    One of the aspects of growing mature in Christ is that it provides evidence and assurance of our salvation. Claiming Jesus as Lord because someone prayed a prayer when they were 12 while living life at 20 as if He is a fairy tale provides no such assurance.

  28. Michael, Have you read Ryrie’s ‘So Great a Salvation’

    I ask because he is the one that personally battled MacArthur on this issue. His may not be the STANDARD for the so-called ‘non-Lordship’ position, but I think it is a fairly fair presentation of what those who take issue with some of MacArthur’s perspectives happen to truly believe.

    And it is a short book too! 🙂

  29. I agree that there is a lot of abuse that occurs in the church, and I think that abusive leaders are not christian in any substantive sense of the term–maybe they’ll get into heaven but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re bad people.

    But where does this whole Lordship Salvation thing leave me? I’m never going to be good enough. I’m never going to believe all the right things or do all the right things or avoid all the right things. I may not be abusing people like ungodly pastors are, but I’m still not good enough and there are a lot of christians out there who think I’m doing everything wrong. So what sets me apart from abusive pastors? How can I be saved under Lordship Salvation when they aren’t?

  30. Michael,
    “Those have been the commonly used terms in this debate…I didn’t make them up myself and you’re well aware of that.” It’s a small point so I will make only a small objection – the “other side” has always been referred to as “Free Grace”. The terms were defined by the book titles – Mac’s “Lordship Salvation” and Hodges’ “Absolutely Free.”

    Then you said “While regeneration is completely a sovereign act of God” – so where does my commitment to Lordship enter ‘regeneration’? If you take it out of ‘regeneration’ and put it in ‘sanctification’ how are you different from the “free gracer”? They also would see nothing added to god’s sovereign act.

  31. I have a problem here also – “If we have a bunch of preachers and parishioners with no fear of God because they “made a decision for Christ” at some point and believe they received fire insurance and a license to live unchanged lives…then we have a problem.”

    Do you get anything else when YOU MAKE THE DECISION? Decision Theology is the error on the “Free Grace” side.

  32. Jessica –
    Forget the terminology of “Lordship Salvation vs. Free Grace” (or whatever). The question comes down to: are you trusting Jesus as Lord? That’s the crux, per Romans 10:9.

    Comparing yourself to other believers (or false converts, as the case might be) is meaningless. If you’ve been born-again of the Holy Spirit, then you have been made a new creation – you’ve been blessed beyond measure & you’re not the same person you were prior to faith in Christ.

    Does that mean you live in sinless perfection? Absolutely not.
    Will you struggle with certain sins all of your life? Assuredly.
    Will you always be able to fall upon the grace of God? Thankfully, yes.

    The problem comes in when there’s zero change in a person’s life. Again – not in comparison with someone else, but in comparison with themselves. I’ve known people that worry if they’re really saved because they still smoke, lose their temper, imbibe the occasional drink, etc. In their mind, they’ve been told that unless all those things stop, they’re never truly saved. Obviously, that’s *not* true. Not true at all.

    The time to question is when no change has happened *at all*. When by all other standards they’re still the same person they always were, except that they say, “Well I must be saved, ‘cuz I prayed a prayer once.” Sure they still blaspheme God, lie at every opportunity, sleep around, get blind drunk every Friday night, have zero desire to read the Bible, no desire to be around other believers, no desire to pray & worship, no desire to even know God – but at least they prayed that prayer when all the other kids around the campfire were crying. (To use an extreme example.)

    Throughout the gospels, people couldn’t help but change after encountering Jesus. The ones who did not are shown to have hardened hearts.

    It’s no different with us today. When we receive Jesus as Lord, we change. Not all at once – and never to a sinless perfection, but there’s always some change. There ought to be some sort of progress year by year as we grow in our relationship with our Savior.

    That’s a long answer to a short question…sorry for typing so long.

  33. If you see personal salvation as more of a journey than a one-time decision, a lot of the concerns voiced here become non-issues. If you see salvation as a path to walk towards God, with God holding your hand, giving inspiration, pushing from behind, guarding the rails so you don’t fall off, hovering above and even dwelling in your heart as you move forward towards Christlikeness, there’s no need to be concerned with worries about “How much must I do,” “How good must I be,” “How far must I walk,” etc. Questions like this are indicative of western rationalism and RC legalism. “How much is enough?” is a question that never need be asked- just walk the path and stay the course with God as your guide.

  34. I was at a Baptist service a few years ago where the preacher did the “with every head bowed and every eye closed, if you wish to go to heaven and be with Jesus, just slip up your hand quietly where you sit- no one will notice but God and me.” I, of course, peeked. A few raised their hands quickly. The pastor said “I saw you and God saw you and now, no matter what you do from now on, you can be assured that you will go to heaven when you die. So according to this pastor, all it takes to be a Christian is a furtive raising of one’s hand.

    No call to repentance, no call to be baptized, not even a rudimentary catechism. What harm was done to those two hand-raisers who were given such false information about the Christian life? I am not going to say those were two false conversions because God may have used this as a starting point in their lives- He knows. But it was all I could do not to jump up and yell “NOooooooo!”

  35. Xenia,
    Your position in the EO is not without the same issues. Are there no EO “slackers” who would say “hey, bug off, I am walking with Jesus down the road my way.”? – that you would not correct and say… and then I am sure you would quantify something.

  36. Do people who talk about “Lordship Salvation” (new term to me) say that it’s through submitting to the Lordship of Jesus that you’re saved, or is it step 2, if you will in the process? You make a decision that you’ll “follow Jesus” “accept Him in your heart” or whatever the proper phrase is. That gets you “saved” and then you submit to Lordship as a lifelong process.
    Or is it the mere fact you say the “Jesus prayer” that says you’re automatically submitting to Lordship at that moment and from then on?

    Is it a 2 step process or a one step process for these folks I guess is my question.

  37. I, of course, peeked
    ——————————–
    Xenia, Just laughed and spewed soda on my keyboard.

    That pastor will likely send a report that month to home office and it will state how many ‘decisions for Christ’ (i.e. people got saved). In all seriousness, it is likely his church’s support depends in part on these reports as ‘proof’ of the fruit of his ministry at that church.

    Of course, he is likely a good man who would only be honest in his calculations. But it doesn’t hurt to make the ‘process’ as simple as you described, to get those numbers up a little.

    On a more positive note, it is also likely that he (or the elders) tracked down those who raised hands to do some followup. Of course, that does hurt his ‘nobody but I and God are watching’ claim.

  38. Thanks for a solid discussion. I’ve typically attended churches that would not be considered Lordship Salvation proponents. In one of these the Pastor leans heavily on the teachings of Zane Hodges. I believe he and John McArthur exchanged “dueling books” years ago? Does Hodges carry much weight with the “grace” camp?

    I sat under the teachings of Ray Comfort quite often when we attended the same church. I felt bad not going forward as tons of folks went forward as they realized they weren’t genuine believers or their commitment was sorely lacking. Thoughts of me being filled with pride would bombard me. It was an uncomfortable experience.

    In churches oriented towards a grace message it is common to have a sinners prayer with eyes closed and hands being raised. The emphasis was on believing and if somebody looked to have been a rocky soil kind of person well they weren’t genuinely saved to begin with.

    The word repent was and is a key thing with Hodges as he points out that word is totally absent from the book of John.

    I don’t believe anyone in the grace camp would ever admit to an antinomian gospel being preached. I always thought that repentance was always implied in any conversion experience in Scripture. It simply means changing your mind and direction and when I share that is always stressed.

    There are extremes on both sides and then there is the sniping that goes with it. Lost in all of this is the beauty of Jesus and what it exactly it was that He did to secure our salvation. We end up like the Corinthians exalting Peter and Paul but in our case it can be lordship vs. grace, gifts vs. no gifts, free will or no free will, elect or an unfair God, sprinkle vs. dunk, hymns vs. contemporary, seminary vs. cemetery.

    These are important discussions but never to the point of fractured friendships or mud slinging. Agreeing to disagree is vastly under rated! 🙂

  39. MLD said, “Regardless of what I think or choose – Jesus invades my life.”

    That I understand…on a practical level it is a compulsion (for me)…to have Jesus as Lord. When I stray…He conquers me…chastens those He loves…so I view my submission as being “conquered” and responding to His will…which is learned through Scripture.

    Interesting…never quite looked at it this way…Jesus invading you is Jesus Being Lord…He’s made Himself Lord of your life. That could explain my being crushed in repentance on my face before the Lord. I was invaded. Hmmm….have to chew on that one.

  40. Believe,
    God comes into our world and makes us a part of His story. We as little sinful people like to think that somehow, we bring God into our world and make Him a part of our story – how foolish.

    Back to some of our other conversations (btw, if you want to respond to my email, feel free – even though I said I had more, I lost my steam so I have no more 😉 ) – When we discuss receiving Christ or however it get’s worded I just want to be clear that it is not an active type of reception – it is more like this. When you go to the beach and you are running around in your swim shorts playing with the kids, you are doing your thing and the sun is doing it’s thing. When you get home, your wife says, “hey, you got sunburned” and you say “yeah, I RECEIVED some rays today.” Well just as you didn’t do anything to actively ‘receive’ the sun’s rays so it is with the free gift of Christ – the SON is just doing His thing and in the same way, you passively receive it. The work comes in when you reject the gift – then you have to cloth yourself, go in doors, hide from the sun / SON’s rays.

  41. “…wasn’t ’til God had a talking to me that I realized I was not obedient in my heart. the difference now…i want to be obedient outwardly and in my heart to all that He commands…”

    Dusty! 🙂

  42. MLD…your metaphors/analogies crack me up…how about a Baseball analogy…the season’s around the corner! 🙂

    Is it like God drafts you to be on the Dodgers…but if you screw up He puts you on the Giants…or would that be works? 🙂

    Seriously…I’m beginning to understand the Lutheran position more clearly. Thanks.

  43. “Michael, Have you read Ryrie’s ‘So Great a Salvation’”

    Years ago…Now,I would rather chew glass than read Dallas material to be honest.

    I have 100 years of theological journals where I can access all their best arguments from their own pens.

    I tend to agree with Packer…before these guys came along the thought of such nonsense was not a part of church thinking.

    Do NOT ask me what I think about Zane Hodges… 😉

  44. ““yeah, I RECEIVED some rays today.” Well just as you didn’t do anything to actively ‘receive’ the sun’s rays …”

    Hi Mld, that was a nice try!
    You did do something…
    You went to the beach, and you are likely to get much more sun on the beach than if you were to lets say, be driving in your car, at work, or taking a bath….

    But i get your point:

    We did not choose Christ, Christ chooses us. and appoints us that we should go and bear fruit
    John 15:16

    God calls us and imparts grace to us.
    He imparts grace that delivers us from the bondage of sin.
    That we are able in Christ to break free from sins that once held us in bondage.

    Christ gives us warnings.. to take heed to ourselves.
    These warnings are part of Gods means, His words, His grace to keep us.

    Jesus says,
    Why do you call me Lord and not do as I say? Luke 6:46
    We are called to obey his commands.

    Paul gives us warnings by observance of ones actions:

    Now I urge you,
    Note those who cause division and offenses
    and avoid them
    For those who do such things do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ
    but serve their own belly
    and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple
    Romans 16:17

    Its clear from this passage that those who are causing division, wounding people
    do not serve God, and we are to avoid them… Their outward actions show that they are not obedient to Gods commands, in the fear of God, in loving others,
    but use flattering words to gain advantage for themselves.

    This is why we need to be watchful, careful and warned of people who profess Christianity but live like heathen, demons even… who are self serving, using Gods name, Gods word and Gods people to gain selfish advantage. They are not saved and give a bad witness to the world, they bring reproach upon the name of Christ, and they blemish the reputation of the church.

  45. “Then you said “While regeneration is completely a sovereign act of God” – so where does my commitment to Lordship enter ‘regeneration’? If you take it out of ‘regeneration’ and put it in ’sanctification’ how are you different from the “free gracer”? ”

    Because I believe that if you are regenerated you will be sanctified…it’s not optional.
    I also define “faith” completely differently than they do…whatever the hell you call them.

    “Free grace” isn’t any more fair because it assumes that we believe you can earn it…which is a lie.

  46. Another thing that happens in these cases,
    people use “we are all under grace” and “we all sin” to cover for people that Paul warns us to avoid, which only perpetuates the abuse and pollutes the church, instead of following the commands of scripture to reprove, warn, correct, and even avoid those who are in error.

  47. Agreeing with Sister C…

  48. I Believe in God
    “When people are asked what they believe in, they give, not merely different answers, but different sorts of answers. Someone might say, “I believe in UFOs”—that means, I think UFOs are real. “I believe in democracy”—that means, I think democratic principles are just and beneficial. But what does it mean when Christian congregations stand and say: “I believe in God”? Far more than when the object of belief is UFOs or democracy.
    I can believe in UFOs without ever looking for one, and in democracy without ever voting. In cases like these, belief is a matter of the intellect only. But the Creed’s opening words, “I believe in God,” render a Greek phrase coined by the writers of the New Testament, meaning literally: “I am believing into God.” That is to say, over and above believing certain truths about God, I am living in a relation of commitment to God in trust and union. When I say “I believe in God,” I am professing my conviction that God has invited me to this commitment, and declaring that I have accepted his invitation.
    Faith
    The word “faith,” which is English for a Greek noun (pistis) formed from the verb in the phrase “believe into” (pisteuo), gets the idea of trustful commitment and reliance better than “belief” does. Whereas “belief” suggests bare opinion, “faith,” whether in a car, a patent medicine, a protégé, a doctor, a marriage partner, or what have you, is a matter of treating the person or thing as trustworthy and committing yourself accordingly. The same is true of faith in God, and in a more far-reaching way.
    It is the offer and demand of the object that determines in each case what a faith-commitment involves. Thus, I show faith in my car by relying on it to get me places, and in my doctor by submitting to his treatment. And I show faith in God by bowing to his claim to rule and manage me; by receiving Jesus Christ, his Son, as my own Lord and Savior; and by relying on his promise to bless me here and hereafter. This is the meaning of response to the offer and demand of the God of the Creed.
    Sometimes faith is equated with that awareness of “one above” (or “beyond,” or “at the heart of things”) which from time to time, through the impact of nature, conscience, great art, being in love, or whatever, touches the hearts of the hardest-boiled. (Whether they take it seriously is another question, but it comes to all—God sees to that.) But Christian faith only begins when we attend to God’s self-disclosure in Christ and in Scripture, where we meet him as the Creator who “commands all men everywhere to repent” and to “believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ … as he has commanded us” (Acts 17:30; 1 John 3:23; cf. John 6:28 ff.). Christian faith means hearing, noting, and doing what God says.”

    J.I. Packer

  49. Michael, I recognize you from this blog to be intellectually honest. We both despise the tendency of many (like I presume Bryson) who would criticize doctrines they have not really studied or sometimes even read. I have no doubt you have read plenty in the field ‘from their own pens.’

    You wrote above: “The “non lordship” position asserts that all that is need for salvation is a one time mental assent to the Gospel…”

    I object to this portrayal. It certainly is not how I would present my position. I think this is not how I remember Ryrie portraying his view, but I could be wrong. I own the book and might flip through it in the next couple of days.

    I’m sure there are those in word or deed who act this way, but like it has been said, there are a lot of Calvinists who do not properly portray their theology too. Such should not be the standard in comparisons.

  50. AV,

    If you would like to produce material that states otherwise, I’m more than happy to put it up.

    I have every “Bibliotheca Sacra “since the school started I think…

  51. “The simple truth is that Jesus can be believed for eternal salvation apart from any detailed knowledge of what He did to provide it.” Ibid., p. 12. See also Zane C. Hodges, “How to Lead People to Christ, Pt,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society 13 (Autumn 2000): 3–12, emphasis added.

    In other words…a person need not believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again according to Hodges.

    He states in the same article that 1 Cor 15 is not the Gospel we preach to the unsaved, but information given to those already regenerate.

  52. “if you are regenerated you will be sanctified…it’s not optional.”

    God who calls also equips, but He equips through His means.
    Some of His means being,
    faith
    The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives
    The reading of His word,
    prayer,
    fellowship with the saints,
    communion,
    baptism,

    Our lives as a living active sacrifice to the Lord is our reasonable service to Him

    faith works.
    faith that doesnt work is dead.

    Heres my try at a little metaphors/analogies

    A loving grandfather has a failing heart, he is going to die
    He is accepted and admitted to the hospital for a heart transplant
    The finest of surgeons comes in and replaces his dying failing heart with a new one.
    The heart works! The patient lives.
    The patient, he did nothing but submit his body as a living sacrifice to the hands of the surgeon.
    he could not give himself a new heart.

    Yet, This heart allows him to live and move and have his being
    without the new heart he would have died. The surgeon tells him he can walk and talk and laugh and cry, and maybe even play the violin. So he walks and talks and laughs and cries and plays the violin
    The surgeon doesnt do these acts for him, but due to the new heart the surgeon put in,
    The grandfather is able to do these things.

    Even so, God as he chooses gives us a new heart.
    He takes out a dying heart of stone, selfish, self centered, cold heartless, hopeless,
    and gives us anew heart of flesh, warm, loving, and fills us with His Spirit
    calls us to repentance,
    Its not a dead heart incapable of these acts,
    But a new heart that works…

    Even so faith works,
    By faith Abraham obeyed,
    by faith Noah moved by Godly fear, Built the Ark,
    by faith we understand
    By faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice
    by faith Abraham went out and dwelt in a land of promise
    by faith sarah recieved strength to concieve ( she had to do something, had an active part here)
    By faith Moses parents hid him
    By faith Moses refused to be called a son of Pharoahs daughter
    rather choosing to suffer the afflictions with Gods people
    than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin
    esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt
    By faith he forsook Egypt,
    By faith he did not fear the wrath of the King and endured as seeing Him who is invisible
    by faith. he kept the passover and the sprinkling of blood

    by faith men of renown samuel and the prophets
    subdued kingdoms
    worked righteousness
    obtained promises
    stopped the mouths of lions
    out of weakness were made strong
    became valiant in battle

    and some through faith suffered,
    trails and mockings, scourgings and imprisonment
    not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better ressurection.

    faith works
    faith has outward evidence
    faith is God given so that we may walk in newness of Life

  53. The Lordship Salvation debate was stirred up by all that faulty evangelism done in the crusade evangelism era… You know that pray the Jesus prayer and you are saved nonsense.
    Salvation means a new creation… nothing less. So put me wherever that belongs because without a new heart and a new spirit within us we remain In Our Sins … and a new heart always means a changed life.

    That whole debate was silly and completely and invention of faulty preaching, the Gospel of the Kingdom knows nothing of unserving servants.

  54. “Most of us deplore the efforts made by Lordship people to add provisos to the message of faith in Christ. According to them, true faith has not occurred if it is not accompanied by surrender or by a commitment to live for God. We rightly reject such ideas.”

    Hodges

  55. “But the flip side of the coin is this: Everyone who believes in that name for eternal salvation is saved, regardless of the blank spots or the flaws in their theology in other respects. Another way of saying the same thing is this: No one has ever trusted that name and been disappointed.
    In other words, God does not say to people, “You trusted my Son’s name, but you didn’t believe in His virgin birth, or His substitutionary atonement, or His bodily resurrection, so your faith is not valid.” We say that, but God’s Word does not.”

    Hodges

  56. Michael, I will do some research and get back to you.

    If I produce material that counters Dr. Packer’s use of Greek in the above argument, will you put that up? I really do not see why Dr. Packer chose to bring out that Greek as he did, but in doing so he sounds like many a Calvary Chapel pastor I have heard. Of course, they probably were just quoting Packer! 🙂

    So many time I have heard it preached “belief is that the chair will hold you, faith is actually sitting in the chair”…really no different than his ‘car’ example. Of course, if we are talking about the failings of English to express the idea behind Greek, then fine. If we are trying to make a doctrinal point, then we need to ask where is this ‘mental belief’ found in Scripture and by what Greek words is it expressed? The demons’ “belief” is pisteuo too.

    Since I am not near my library, I will hold off my comments on the Greek stuff until I can give you quotes from others, since I recognize I am treading on dangerous waters with you as to Packer, and whenever we challenge the legends, we better come armed. I only do so with the highest respect for the man.

    I also do so as one who made many exegetical fallacies in this regard using the exact arguments as Dr. Packer – until I was called to the carpet by the exegetical scholars.

    Again..his point is made APART from the Greek material included, not because of it.

  57. AV,

    We can play dueling scholars all you like.
    I’m going to believe Packer. 😉

    Anytime we inject sober scholarship into a discussion I’m pleased…even if folks come to different conclusions than I do.

  58. “I am believing into God.” That is to say, over and above believing certain truths about God, I am living in a relation of commitment to God in trust and union.

    believing in God believing into God, reminds me where Jesus said:

    “unless you eat of my flesh and drink of my blood you have no part in me.

    I am the vine you are branches.
    Abide in me and I in you
    as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
    unless it abides in the vine
    neither can you unless you abide in me

    He who abides in me, and I in him
    bears much fruit”

    One point is; Jesus said if we are abiding in Him we will bear much fruit.

    The other one is that of communion,
    the cup and the bread
    the wine, His blood, the bread His body broken for us.

    I have come to see the important understanding Of Jesus serving the disciples and telling them unless you drink of my blood, and eat of my body, you have no part in me.
    That importance is in partaking of Christs nature, imbibing in his Spirit, his life infused in us and we in him. He shares his life with each of us who partake of His being.

    this is not simply an intellectual assent to Jesus person and acts,
    But an actual partaking of His spirit infused in Ours,
    He becomes a part of our nature, our being and we become a part of Him.
    In obedience to Christ walking in the Love of God and love of the brethren, in
    the fruit of the spirit
    love joy peace patience kindness goodness gentleness and self control

    those who are not of the spirit:
    are controlled by selfish ambition
    sensual persons who cause divisions, walking according to their own ungodly lusts
    flattering people to gain selfish advantage, grumblers complainers,
    turning the grace of God into lewdness
    given themselves over to sexual immorality
    gone after strange flesh, rejecting authority
    run greedily for profit
    serving only themselves

    But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. ( Jude 20-21

  59. Thank you for the wink and the grace.

    When I preach, I am always open to being challenged. I study the passages I preach, and I know why I believe, what I believe. Therefore, I almost always know the common arguments for a different take, and can answer such questions when asked by a sincere heart. Maybe we agree to disagree. So be it. I don’t insist people BELIEVE me, I just feed them.

    On occasion, one runs into a “punk” as it were, who knows nothing except all the reasons why I am wrong and wants to argue, change directions etc. At some point, respect for the pastor should come into play.

    In speaking of Packer, rest assured, I know I am the “punk”. Packer has earned that respect to the fullest.

    And I know it would be poor taste to come to YOUR blogsite as just another annonymous yahoo and criticize someone you admire so dearly, like Packer.

  60. “Salvation means a new creation… nothing less.
    So put me wherever that belongs because without a new heart and a new spirit within us we remain In Our Sins … and a new heart always means a changed life.
    …. the Gospel of the Kingdom knows nothing of unserving servants.”

    BBD…awesome!

    Michael… awesome posts!

    night all
    Gods blessings upon each and everyone
    posting and reading!

  61. The pp dot com is back up…

  62. ***Forget the terminology of “Lordship Salvation vs. Free Grace” (or whatever). The question comes down to: are you trusting Jesus as Lord? That’s the crux, per Romans 10:9.***

    I don’t know what it means for Jesus to be Lord and I don’t know how one trusts Him.

  63. AV,

    Neither myself or Dr. Packer is afraid of dissent…when done in a spirit of congeniality it is a very healthy thing.

  64. Thanks BD, that makes sense. Did you listen to the Peter Collins interview with Spencer Burke on Ooze.tv? He’s saying something very similar, but with an Irish accent instead of a southern drawl. 😉

  65. “Salvation means a new creation… nothing less. So put me wherever that belongs because without a new heart and a new spirit within us we remain In Our Sins … and a new heart always means a changed life.”

    …amen from the cheap seats.

  66. Michael, You heard me! Thanks. 🙂

  67. Jessica, what do you think it means?

  68. JM…for me it means to get off the throne. To submit. To wake up and say, “OK Lord, help me today to do your will and not mine…” and then start doing the things you know are God’s will for you…

    Treat my wife and kids as a servant and not as a Dictator.

    Read the Word and talk to God continually.

    Deny self.

    When my conscience says, “no, that’s wrong…” respond by doing the right thing.

    When I go against my conscience…confess and repent…and “just stop it” (MLD… 🙂 )

    When the Holy Spirit prompts me to speak or do something…do it.

    As soon as I make conscious decisions to deviate from that path…I find myself sinning more…and sinning more is not God’s will, correct?

  69. I remember a very good sermon or interview with John MacArthur in which he sarcastically condemned the belief that mental assent was saving faith. He said, “Once saved, always saved, yet never sanctified.” In essence, while holding to the doctrine of eternal security…he rejected the belief that a believer could be saved yet not changed when impacted by the power of Jesus Christ. I am in wholehearted agreement.

  70. Why would anyone want to believe in Jesus but not be changed by Him?

  71. Cash- to get a free pass out of burning in hell forever and into living in a mansion in a city with golden streets. That’s how it’s marketed and that’s what many people buy into.

  72. Some of you so misrepresent the “Free Grace” position that you would be laughed out of a debate. They do not say that sanctification does not happen and they do not say that change will not be made. What they say is that you cannot add those things to say that a person is saved. DOES ANYONE HERE REALLY THINK THAT IF YOU WENT TO A DTS INFLUENCED CHURCH THAT THEY WOULD NOT PREACH SANCTIFICATION AND THE DOING OF GOOD WORKS?

    What conditions did Jesus ever put on anyone that He worked with. All of the people that he healed, the language of salvation / forgiveness of sins is used “what is easier to say…?” Did Jesus ever once hinge these healings / forgiveness on the other person’s actions or were they all done by His actions and will alone? Did Jesus revoke the benefit if the person did not react properly – “hey you, you didn’t call me Lord – ZAP you are blind again!”

    The Free Grace folks end at that point – they don’t take their position any further.

    Let me ask a Lordship person something (anyone can jump in) – at what point after salvation should I expect to see VISIBLE evidence of Lordship salvation – same day, next day, 2 weeks, 1 month – give me a time. If in the interim, I see nothing am I to assume that person is not saved and they should go back to square one.

    Give me a break!

  73. Re: my 9:56AM post

    Just spoke with my mom and the dr. is sending her to another hospital for biopsy, further tests as they suspect it may be negative. My mother loves and trusts Jesus and, by His grace, is at peace with His plan for her life. Thanks to all of you who prayed.

    In this world filled with sorrow, pain and turmoil, my question is “How can anyone live without Jesus?”

    Psa 94:17 Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

  74. oops, that should be “They suspect it may be “positve.” (cancer). Which in my simple mind is negative.
    Again, thank you dear friend for praying.

  75. “Let me ask a Lordship person something (anyone can jump in) – at what point after salvation should I expect to see VISIBLE evidence of Lordship salvation – same day, next day, 2 weeks, 1 month – give me a time. If in the interim, I see nothing am I to assume that person is not saved and they should go back to square one.”

    You well know that is an impossible question to answer.

    The indwelling of the Holy Spirit and a regenerate heart will make a difference…to what degree and in what time is His business.

  76. nonnie, hoping they are proved wrong…that it is positive news…and not cancer…still with you in prayer.

  77. Michael,
    “The indwelling of the Holy Spirit and a regenerate heart will make a difference…to what degree and in what time is His business.”

    And how is this any different than the position you rail against?

    This is what I mean, MacArthur made up this dichotomy out of whole cloth in 1988. I don’t know if he thought DTS was gaining more prominence than Talbot or what, but he suddenly had a bone to pick. It would have been better if Zane Hodges had not replied in his book “Absolutely Free” and he could have left Mac hanging out there as the legalist he is. But Hodges is just as wacky on the other side.

    Until this came up a couple of days ago, I hadn’t heard anyone discuss this issue in 15 yrs. Like it came and it went just like the Prayer of Jabez.

  78. MLD…your 4:19pm:

    That’s a very technical and binary argument…and I’m increasingly unsure that type of logic works with these spiritual dynamics.

    It’s a change of heart. A Battle that has been Won…that doesn’t manifest itself in a binary outcome in terms of Sanctification…until physical death. It does for Salvation…but if you’ve truly been conquered…you become more like the Nation that conquered you…over time.

    You used the metaphor of Jesus invading a person…and that our responsibility is to not resist…to not put up an insurgency or counterstrike…is that correct? (I’m extrapolating on your metaphor based on previous comments you made that we get sunburned while in the sun…unless we go inside and get out of the sun metaphor…or did I get lost again?)

    Heart, heart, heart. There is an eternal part of us…our essence. Pre-saved we can only sin…we’re slaves to it. Post-saved, we are empowered not to sin through Salvation and the work of the Holy Spirit.

    I won’t re-list all the verses that are calls to action.

    So many commands. Why commands? Jesus “invaded me”…got it. He is now my Ruler…my General…and if He’s invaded me…then He gives the orders, right? And how do I know what His orders are? The Holy Spirit (His Sargent) and the Word of God (His Battle Plan). The Word tells me what His commands are…His will…both “to do” commands…and “not to do” commands. When I disobey orders…I get to do push-ups or peel potatoes (chastening) until I get it right (confess and repent).

    If I haven’t been “invaded” I’m not conquered and nothing about My Kingdom has changed. I’m still the ruler.

    (rousing rendition of I’m in the Lord’s Army…blaring in the background…)

  79. …the army metaphor has me hugging an M-1 Garand at this very moment…such a nice weapon…”get off my lawn”…”the rifle that won the war”… 🙂

  80. >>>same day, next day, 2 weeks, 1 month – give me a time.<<<

    This is what I mean by quantifying.

  81. Believe,
    If you are saying that the unsaved are still not saved, I agree.

    But I think that the offer of salvation is made freely and that is what we are to give to the lost – with no strings – 2 Cor 5:18-21.

    I am sure that what we teach people AFTER they have become a part of Christ and are in Christ, would be quite similar.

  82. As the loose ends thread is running out of steam I thought I’d post this here. I just posted an article in a unique way. I used posts from four folks here to illustrate how believers can be themselves in sharing their feelings. I did a brief introduction and hope it will bless folks who drop by. Michael, I used one post by you. If you’re interested you can check it out. I also used a post regarding forgiveness from Xenia as an article a day or two ago. Good things happen here.

    http://morethancoping.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/how-do-you-express-feelings/

  83. Xenia,
    Would you give me a reply about the “slacker” EO? from my 12:12

    I just used that question about timing above to prove the point – I am the one who does not look for outward signs so I can decide who is saved and who isn’t – salvation is dependent on the promises of Christ and not my actions. I do think my actions will follow, but nothing that I do in this life will make God more pleased with me than He already is – He is not looking at my works, but at the works Jesus did for me.

  84. Michael at 2:28 quoted Packer on pisteuo as expressing faith “into” – i have had the experience – as many have, i know – of having a needy critter (horse, dog or cat(even)) express their trust by pressing into you with their head (different than a shove BTW) – i think i am beginning to understand how our faith functions a little better the last few days

    these mental pictures are dangerous pursuits, tho – TB’s “angel feathers” are not applicable to a Biblical principle … except, perhaps as they relate to horse feathers? dunno

  85. Erunner, i was surprised to find my post on your above mentioned thread (on my new little netbook, i can visit your website now – dunno why my old Mac didn’t) – i, like some others, sometimes say things off the cuff knowing that if it is worth thinking about and, maybe wrong non-the-less, someone here will clarify – the flow of thots that you posted were quite beautiful IMO

  86. If an Orthodox Christian (or any Christian) comes to the conclusion that he has become a slacker, then the proper thing for him to do is confess his sins and continue on the path. I didn’t answer earlier because I didn’t really understand your question. I don’t see how “quantification” fits into it. You (God bless you) always seem to want offer objections couched in phrases like “How holy is holy enough? How many prisoners did you visit last week? How many days after conversion before showing a changed life?” and so forth. It seems that you want to stymie people by asking questions that cannot be answered but I am saying that these types of questions don’t need to be asked (or answered) at all.

  87. The above was for MLD.

  88. MLD,” should I expect to see VISIBLE evidence” … well … you’re not gonna see invisible evidence i don’t think … are you? 😯

    seems to me the question is: does Salvation (the justification thing) have an **impact? period. does it matter that we define it? not sure (altho, i kind of don’t like that ‘i know that i know that i know thing) ah me

  89. Xenia,
    Actually I was referencing an EO person who YOU would identify as a “slacker” but he thinks he is doing just fine and who’s own defense was that “I am walking with Jesus in my own way – Jesus doesn’t require much out of me.”

    What would you tell that person, without ‘quantifying’ anything. (based on your earlier statement ““How much is enough?” is a question that never need be asked- just walk the path and stay the course with God as your guide.”

  90. MLD, if such a “slacker” who wanted to go his own way wanted to have a conversation with me about this, we’d talk about his heart. Why is it that he has turned away from what he was taught and now wants to trust in the vanity of his own mind? I’d ask him why he no longer believes the teachings of the Church. What I would say next would depend on his answer. If he said he was just being lazy and apathetic, I’d encourage him to go speak with a priest (confession.) If he was being defiant and rebellious, I’d ask him what he still believes to be true about God. If he says he’s still a believer but no longer believes the teachings of Eastern Orthodoxy, we’d discuss that a bit and see what could be salvaged. I’d try to get him back on the path and headed in the right direction. If he was still on the path but disheartened, I’d try to encourage him. If he didn’t want to talk to me at all, I’d retreat and put him on my prayer list. I’d try to fan his feeble flicker of belief back to full flame.

    Here’s how I see the Christian life. We begin (I would say we begin with our baptism, but that’s a discussion for another day.) However we begin, we begin. We have a journey ahead of us, from our beginning to the end of our life. It’s the Way, or I like to think of it as a path which leads through all kinds of terrain, both good and bad, gentle and rough. We are walking towards God but He is with us on the journey- before us, behind us, above us, below us and even within us. Along the way there are many opportunities to say Yes to God or to say No to God. We can walk in obedience or disobedience.

    At first, we are taking baby steps and stumble all the time. God picks us up. He knows we are frail. As time passes and we gain experience and know we can trust God, we are able to walk better and it becomes easier to say Yes to God. If we rarely say Yes to God, we remain in a toddler-like state and never mature. We never learn to trust Him and we become fond of doing things our way. We lose sight of God, Who we never pay much attention to anyway. His voice becomes faint and pretty soon we doubt if He’s even there. Along the path some fascinating distractions pop up and we are dazzled. God is warning us “Stay away” be we can barely hear His voice anymore. Eventually, we may deceive ourselves into thinking There Is No God and at this point, we have fallen completely off the path.

    So what happens on this path? If we say Yes to God as a habit of life (notice I am avoiding quantitative words here) then we are on the road to holiness. This is how a Christian can obey Christ when He says “Be ye holy as I am holy.” It’s not burdensome, it’s like going on a road trip with your favorite person. If as a habit of life we say No to God, it’s not going to be a very joyful road trip and the destination may not be what we expected.

    The thing is, we do need to put some effort into staying on the path and to keep moving. God gives us all we need to do this but we are not wind-up toys. Some effort must come from us. What percentage comes from us? Who knows? Who cares! God is not an accountant!

    So Who saves us? God alone. We do not save ourselves and doing a good job while on the path does not save us, either. However, refusing to stay on the path and allowing a habit of life that continually says No to God… that sounds indicative of a person who does not want to unite with God at the end of the journey.

  91. “The indwelling of the Holy Spirit and a regenerate heart will make a difference…to what degree and in what time is His business.”
    ————————————
    Not to be overly flippant, but a lot of people ‘mellow with age’ that have nothing to do with salvation.

    Others, like in many 12 step groups, clean up their acts (at least some sins) by the power of their own flesh, and give credit to their Higher Power, who may or may not even have the name of Jesus.

    Sounds pretty subjective when this same sort of test is applied to the churchgoer.
    How do I know my pew-sitter is not just mellowing with age, as opposed to being changed by the Holy Spirit when he drinks less, cusses less, and starts to open the door for the ladies?

  92. AV,
    We agree!!! – “Not to be overly flippant, but a lot of people ‘mellow with age’ that have nothing to do with salvation.”

    I was talking to a PP blogger on the phone yesterday and I mentioned that half the sins I have given up are just because I am getting old and go to bed too early to get in trouble. Nothing sanctified about that.

  93. Let me add that I don’t even think about them any longer either, because I have still have no chance with Cheryl Tieg, or I know it is too much effort to think about. 🙂

  94. MLD..I have been meaning to post something in this thread about how nice it is to agree with MLD… 😉

  95. The point of the doctrine is not to be able to measure sanctification.

    The issue only arises in the face of unrepentant sin in the context of church discipline and the community of the saints.

  96. Definition of Lost Person… Unrepentant Unregenerate Sinner
    Definition of NonLordship… Unrepentant Sinner … obviously therefore unregenerate.

  97. The issue only arises in the face of unrepentant sin in the context of church discipline and the community of the saints.
    ———————————–
    Michael, this seems out of left field to me. Are you just speaking about yourself..because I don’t think church discipline is MacArthur’s “only” reason in writing about it.

    If we are tying the actions of certain unrepentant Calvary pastors with a doctrine, we are guilty of a logical fallacy. Maybe you can elaborate on this??

  98. I don’t know why Mac wrote his book…I read it a long time ago.
    To be blunt, I know longer trust MacArthur as a scholar and haven’t re-read his work in this area.
    The sources I’m reading are Reformed scholars who felt the need for a response to Hodges and Wilkins.

    As to how Calvary gets involved…

    Sister Christian has been speaking for years about how this doctrine affected people she was directly involved with.
    Because she didn’t articulate the doctrine as such, her and I would go round and round about sanctification when she was really speaking about people who embraced the “free grace” doctrine as a license to sin.
    I didn’t put two and two together until I read Brysons screed…

  99. Grace is a free gift, but we must cooperate with grace. Granted even our ability to cooperate is a gift of grace. “He wills in us both to will and to do His good pleasure.” If we refuse to cooperate, than God, being the gentleman that He is, obliges us. He won’t coerce us into submission. Holiness is the by-product of the ungoing process of cooperating with grace.

  100. Bob…I suspect you aren’t a Protestant… 🙂

  101. Michael, I find it significant that when Jesus talked about church discipline He said “let him be to you as a heathen or publican” Matt 18:17

    We just don’t and can’t know whether one is saved, who is in sin, but we can treat them as unsaved if they live that way. Frankly, that is as far as we can go. To make a soteriological point on what is therefore an ecclesiological issue is not wise.

    And so then, yes, if someone starts falling back on some free grace argument in that context, it would be quite wrong and damaging. All the more so when the issue is a pastor, or the pastor is enabling the sin.

  102. When your description of a person who is unregenerate is exactly the same as a ‘believer’ you know you are looking at a demon and you do not have to have a Lordship debate… Unregenerate people look unregenerate and regenerate people are nice and kind and holy like me and Michael. You really should all chill out…

  103. AV,

    I wouldn’t disagree with your post at all.

    However, my guess is that we have a large number of folks who are unsaved counting on a moment of “decisional regeneration”.

  104. Oh yeah, my logical fallacy point was that we can’t connect the doctrine with the behavior of these abusive Calvary (or other denominations) pastors. The logic is as bad as if we blamed pretrib on this behavior..although obviously this doctrine is more closely related to the behavior than pretrib. But it is not the necessary, logical conclusion of the doctrine of free grace. That was my point.

    And no, I do not think Michael you were drawing that conclusion.

  105. Michael, I believe that every person who truly is saved and does the altar call, crusade thing, was saved before ever ‘going forward’ or saying the ‘sinner’s prayer’

    The sad thing is when someone points to their ‘moment of decision’ they are in essence pointing to their works.

  106. I am glad that Sister Christian’s message is being understood. This is a very good turn of events.

  107. Dread,

    LOL! 🙂

  108. Years ago I read Thomas Mertons book “Life and Holiness”, and what he said made a lot of sense to me. This is probably where my thought above came in. To be honest with you, I don’t know what I am any more outside of being a Christian who loves Jesus. I was raised in the Episcopal church. Concerning your hero Packer, I also read on Wiki:
    “In recent years, he has supported the ecumenical movement but believes that unity should not come at the expense of abandoning orthodox Protestant doctrine. Nonetheless, his advocacy of ecumenicism has brought sharp criticism from some conservatives, particularly after the publication of the book Evangelicals and Catholics Together: Toward a Common Mission (ed. Charles Colson, Richard J. Neuhaus) in which Packer was one of the contributors.” Also C.S. Lewis was very close to converting to the RCC at one point but was too loyal to the Church of England to convert.
    I am reading Thomas C.Oden and lean toward conservative Orthodoxy. I love his book The Rebirth of Orthodoxy. Right now we attend Oden Fong’s church. So what do that make me? Some strange bastardization of a Protestant/Catholic? 🙂

  109. Bob,

    Sounds like you fit right in here… 🙂

    The Oden book is on my list…actually on my nightstand.

  110. Thanks Michael. And you will love the book. I hope in the future PP will have a discussion on The Rebirth of Orthodoxy.

  111. In this discussion I am reminded of another discussion, one that occured between 2 women in my life, both of whom are “difficult” people in many ones.

    One sister told the other “I have every intention of going to Heaven you know. I’m not one of you ‘born again’ people, but I go to X church, and have every intention of going to Heaven.

    The other sister replied “why would want to go to Heaven to be in eternity with a God whom you have openly disdained, and His followers, whom you have openly mocked?”

    The first sister has spent years mocking our faith and espousing very anti-Christian opinions. The second sister is a stout “non-lordship” teacher that fits that description of an abusive Christian leader, making it very difficult to be with.

    I hope that both of them will be in Heaven at the end of their earthly lives, but I also hope that there is a lot of regeneration between now and then.

  112. Early in the conversation Michael defended our continual sin by claiming that we still have a sin nature – and so that I am clear, I agree 100%.

    So, why is the lack of repentance an indication that we have not submitted properly to the lordship of Jesus? Why is that not just another indicator of this ‘continuing sin nature’? Instead when my pride stands in the way of my repentance, I am obviously not saved, that I must just be counting on that moment of mental assent to get into heaven? Is pride and lack of repentance the sins that are incapable of continuing throughout the Christian life as with other sins?

    Someone help me here.

  113. MLD,

    A lack of repentance can be an indicator of being unregenerate…in church discipline we treat stubbornly unrepentant people as unbelievers.

    We can’t be sure.

    I don’t understand how you get around the very clear statements of Scripture that indicate that there should be a change of nature and character in truly regenerate people.

    The fact remains that Hodges theory is scripturally untenable.

  114. “Every Christian will bear spiritual fruit. Somewhere, sometime, somehow. Otherwise that person is not a believer. Every born-again individual will be fruitful. Not to be fruitful is to be faithless, without faith, and therefore without salvation.”
    – Charles Ryrie So Great Salvation p.41

    (I post the above in respectful rebuttal to Michael’s words above: “The “non lordship” position asserts that all that is need for salvation is a one time mental assent to the Gospel…while sanctification and discipleship should follow that “decision” they don’t necessarily have to.”)

  115. AV,

    It appears that Ryrie rebuts Hodges as well…which is the voice of definition?

  116. “I do not need to believe in Christ’s second coming in order to be saved…But I do need to believe that He died for my sins and rose triumphant over sin and death.”

    Ryrie p.38,39

    (Posted to counter the Hodges quote above as not fully representative of this view)

  117. MLD will like this one…

    “The direction (of the gospel) is from Christ to me. It is never from me to Him. I do not offer Him anything. How could I? What could I possibly offer that would help meet my need?…To vow my willingness to change is to affirm something I will not consistently keep; and even if I could, it would not remove the guilt of my sin.

    Of course when I receive eternal life from His hand, I bow before an infinitely superior Person. But I bow as one totally unable to do anything about my sin. I bow as a recipient of His grace and never as one who donates anything to Him. In salvation I am always the recipient; the donee, never the donor.”

    Ryrie p.39

    (posted just because it sounds so good)

  118. Michael,
    “A lack of repentance can be an indicator of being unregenerate…in church discipline we treat stubbornly unrepentant people as unbelievers.”

    So, lack of repentance is a sin that is not allowable – that the sin nature has no hold on that one sin? OK

    “I don’t understand how you get around the very clear statements of Scripture that indicate that there should be a change of nature and character in truly regenerate people.” I have not once defended that position. I have argued against anyone being able to tell for sure what level of change has been made and I have argued against the thought that we ‘commit’ to the lordship of Jesus – I contend that Jesus makes Himself Lord in our life whether we agree or not.

    Let me put it this way – the day I got saved, I knew the equivalent of zero about the lordship of Jesus Christ – but I can swear to the fact that He was.

  119. which is the voice of definition?
    —————————–
    That is always the challenge in comparing doctrines, isn’t it? Like you wrote above Michael, you do not hold MacArthur as the voice of definition. He is one of the loudest though.

    That is why I feel it is so dangerous to generalize a position..especially when it is the position I personally do not hold to.

  120. “So, lack of repentance is a sin that is not allowable – that the sin nature has no hold on that one sin? OK”

    I didn’t say that and it’s ridiculous to say that I did.

  121. AV,

    For the last twenty years the voice that has dominated the discussion is Hodges.

    Therefore, he is who I engaged with.

    That seems fair, as is posting more moderate voices as you did.

  122. Let me see if I can be more to the point since everyone is throwing the accolades to Sister Christian.

    I totally reject her continual claim that men who do not treat their wives properly probably are not saved. She has probably brought this up 30 times in the past year – 2 days ago most recent. I don’t know if this was a personal situation of her’s in the past or what, but just like Believe filters everything through his upbringing with his stepdad, so she does with husbands and their wives. This is ridiculous to be able to judge a person’s salvation by the way we see things on the ground.

  123. I’m off for the night…blessings to all, even the Lutheran. 😉

  124. “I didn’t say that and it’s ridiculous to say that I did.”

    Michael, the whole conversation today has been that Lordship Salvation is equal to brokenness and repentance. Someone who is non repentant has not submitted to that Lordship and that they are depending on a decisional mental assent alone. What else have we been discussing? I am just saying that pride and avoiding repentance are just amongst other sins that we continue to partake in. If other sins don’t define my salvation why do those two?

  125. Good night Michael and rest easily knowing that I think that gross sinners need to have their butts kicked up and down the boulevard! 😉

  126. For the last twenty years the voice that has dominated the discussion is Hodges.
    ————————————————-
    Ryrie (So Great Salvation) and Hodges (Absolutely Free) wrote both books the same year – 1989

    So maybe Hodges dominated in the circles where the Lordship view is espoused? Because that is often the case. We find the vocal radical, rather than the other brother who may be more moderate (and more effective) in rebutting our views. Thus, that is the one you have run into on your side over the years.

    Yes, it is fair to use Hodges. He has written the books, and taken aim at the doctrine, and is known in part for this effort. Ryrie is far more accomplished as a theologian (from a publishing aspect).

    However, just a quick google will see Ryrie paired off against MacArthur quite often and consistently. That is why Ryrie was the first guy I thought of when I first posted to you today and asked about his book (the one I have been quoting).

    From my perspective it seems Ryrie has been the dominant player. His book also takes direct aim on MacArthur’s work EIGHTEEN times (plus other lordship proponents – and this is a small book).

    Again, maybe I prefer Ryrie beause I am on this side of the fence. I admit being troubled by some of those Hodges quotes (which I would like to read in full context), but you are troubled by MacArthur’s quotes too. I guess that is why we all have to speak for ourselves. 😉

    Amazon Ryrie = #73,586 at present
    Hodges= #94,842 at present

    At the least, Ryrie deserves as loud a voice as Hodges in any comparison of the views.

  127. OK, I stayed up and re read Absolutely Free (20 yr intervals is enough time so you don’t remember the plot).

    Michael, I must ask – have you actually read the book or have you just read pieces excerted by others? There is much that I now disagree with that I am sure that I liked back in the day. Decision Theology for one clouds the whole book – but the same is true for The Gospel According to Jesus.

    The book is orthodox and Hodges does believe in repentance – in fact he has a 20 page chapter on the subject. But as much a part of the book are the end notes (it takes me forever to read some books anymore as I cannot help myself but to stop and read every single end note – which means I have to continually flip to the back of the book.) In the repentance chapter he has 19 end notes and 1 note is 1 1/2 pages of Luther and Calvin.

    Both Mac and Hodges are petty and really counting dancing angels on a pin head and 20 yrs ago we all thought it was a big deal. I also read Macs preface to his book, since he took the first shot. He names Hodges & Ryrie as culprits although he tries to soften it by calling them friends and he spends much time defending that he is not talking works salvation. I think in the end, the whole thing was another attempt by Mac to divide.

  128. X…your 5:56pm…wow. Thanks for sharing that. It really ministers to me.

  129. MLD said, “Let me see if I can be more to the point since everyone is throwing the accolades to Sister Christian. I totally reject her continual claim that men who do not treat their wives properly probably are not saved. She has probably brought this up 30 times in the past year – 2 days ago most recent. I don’t know if this was a personal situation of her’s in the past or what, but just like Believe filters everything through his upbringing with his stepdad, so she does with husbands and their wives. This is ridiculous to be able to judge a person’s salvation by the way we see things on the ground.”

    I also filter it from my own internal experiences (wrestling) disconnected from my step-dad. I know “me”…I’m having an educated guess based on what I read in Scripture regarding my step-dad.

    And, so what if she brings it up 30 times…to pull an MLD…how about 100 times? How about 1,000,000 times? If it’s brought up even 1 time…isn’t that enough? 🙂

    I don’t blame Sister C for pounding on that issue…maybe it will inspire some of us husbands to treat our wives better.

    If her husband was and is a Pastor / Elder like my step-dad…then I believe her point is extremely worth repeating.

    We can all agree on 1 Timothy 3 can’t we? The qualifications of an elder? And, then 1 Timothy 5 where the Bible tells us what to do with unrepentant Elders who continue in their sin.

    I don’t know if my step-dad is saved or not. Again, I have my guess…but only God really knows. I DO KNOW he is disqualified from ministry…and should be in a jail cell.

    And as far as bringing up the same thing 30 times…I can pretty much write your next 10 posts…you’re pretty repetitive yourself. 🙂

    I’m leaning heavy on the smileys to show that I am not mad or bitter…just being forthright and blunt. I really like you MLD…probably always will…and we don’t have to agree to be friends…

  130. MLD,AV,

    I don’t and won’t buy Dallas Seminary books.

    I do have all the theological papers on the subject that they presented through various journals…bunches of them.

    The most gracious and realistic spin I can put on this issue is that theological ideas can be be greatly nuanced at the academic level, but when they hit the church they are boiled down without any nuance and become crass caricatures of themselves.

    It’s happened to Calvin for 500 years…it may be happening to Ryrie as well.

  131. “I think we missed the point… and those folks who doubted the regeneration of some folks could have been right on.”

    Last year at the Harvest Crusade, Greg Laurie said that those who came forward had their “tickets punched” to get into heaven. Because they came forward and confessed Christ. There is no guarantee that even one person that came forward, would actually show proof in fruit-bearing, that they are saved at all.

    So based on this discussion, then Greg Laurie is one of the biggest deceivers in Christendom today, since he didn’t warn them that failure to walk the walk, will get their “ticket to heaven” unpunched.

    You cannot have it both ways. Either what is said here is correct, or Greg Laurie is correct, but they cannot both be correct.

  132. David,

    Have you seen any studies of people who “came forward” at Billy Graham crusades?

    Five years later less than 10% are part of any church…

  133. Michael,

    Actually I agree. Although the two crusades are sort of different. Billy Graham often sent people away to catholic churches and that sort of thing. I don’t know that Laurie has ever done that. I hope no one is angry at me for saying that, but I think it was a fatal mistake every time it happened that way with Graham.

    But my beef with either of their crusades, is a lot of the time, their wording is to commit your life to Christ, to be saved. Not just believe in Christ. But you have to commit, works are involved. You know that wording is often employed. Laurie usually says it that way too, which is why last year’s HC was so unusual, when I heard the ticket to heaven punched thing. I thought to myself, how free grace that is. Laurie doesn’t usually say that.

    So the failure rates I believe are based on the faulty message, the commit to Christ faulty message rather than believe in Christ message. Commit to Christ sounds like I get to participate and join in helping save myself (“I surrender all, Lord!”), and the flesh loves that, so many more come forward in this great show of self-commitment. They’re gone soon afterward, however, because they find the commitment is so often too much to bear, which explains the high failure rates.

    If true pure free grace were taught at these crusades, then not too many would come forward. That’s just my belief about it. I’m sure many here would regard me as wrong on that.

    As for the Hodges quotes, there is a tear in the free grace camp that intentionally pulled itself away from Hodges over some of the things he said. You cannot paint every person as a Hodges follower. And furthermore, he has made statements as well that it would be nearly impossible to find a believer that didn’t have some fruit at some point. He’s not on the earth to defend himself anymore of course, but at least in his defense, it should be said.

    There are many free grace people that do not affiliate with Hodges at all, but still well expose the alternative viewpoint as untenable in many ways. That’s just my view.

  134. David,

    The issue here is really defining the content of saving faith.

    I find the “free grace” position to be distorted and borderline heretical.

    My guess is you disagree.

  135. I find the “free grace” position to be distorted and borderline heretical.
    ————————————————-
    There is not anything borderline heretical in Ryrie’s So Great Salvation book. So again the issue is ‘who defines the free grace POSITION’

    In fact, when I first read Ryrie’s book I basically said to myself that MacArthur is straining at a knat.

    And for the reocrd, I enjoy and respect Ryrie, but find myself in disagreement on some things as well. So I am not quoting him as if doing so ends debate, like he was Maimonides to the Jew. I think he presents the free grace position that is wholly consistent and true to Scripture as to salvation.

  136. Michael,

    The reason I disagree, is based upon Scripture, as well as personal application of Scripture.

    I used to be more in your viewpoint, in the past. I was a part of a CC that taught a strong lordship position. One pastor even questioned the salvation of my wife. And I saw my own inability to live up to the standard that was being presented before me. And so then the struggles began.

    I am painfully aware of my sinfulness. And I grow in understanding how bad is my flesh, more and more over time. Much worse than I think it is.

    Most of my time was spent thinking that I was unsaved, that there’s no way I’m bearing the fruit worthy of salvation. I’m not good enough. My sins have a constant hold on me. And I’m not doing enough in ministry to prove myself to me, let alone to anyone else. In fact, the sin that takes hold of me, is making my ministry a show of hypocrisy, I used to believe.

    So the battle about my salvation dragged on for years. I’m unsaved, I thought most of the time. The Lord will never receive me. I’m too sinful. Salvation is supposed to bring this radical changed life. But I have too much sin to truly be saved. I was in literal agony all the time.

    And then someone showed me some things from GES. And I began to read. And I began to understand that Christ receives me based solely upon His shed blood. And the pictures of the blood throughout the OT that point to the blood of Jesus, began to unfold before my eyes. Those that had the blood of the Passover on the doorposts, were passed over concerning judgment. Likewise, those that have the blood of Jesus, are passed over and have passed from unsaved, to saved. So how is the blood of Jesus applied to me? Whoever believes in Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, has everlasting life.

    And in a brief time thereafter, I began to have security of my salvation. I know now that I will be in heaven, because of what Jesus has done for me. I don’t look at my sinfulness anymore. I know that it is all paid for.

    I don’t use that to go around sinning. But I also know that when I sin, I am eternally thankful for the blood of my Lord, and His sacrifice, that has paid for me in full, it is finished.

    So when Paul Washer, for example, comes along trying to convince me that maybe I’m not saved, I shake my head and move on. Been there, done that.

  137. David said, “Last year at the Harvest Crusade, Greg Laurie said that those who came forward had their “tickets punched” to get into heaven. Because they came forward and confessed Christ. There is no guarantee that even one person that came forward, would actually show proof in fruit-bearing, that they are saved at all.”

    Confession is half of the equation…

    What does the Bible say about what will happen at Judgment…

    “Every KNEE SHALL BOW…and every tongue confess…that Jesus Christ is LORD.”

    The “tongue confess” part is rampant…the “knee shall bow (will)” part…not so much.

    I keep being brought back to that point…

    There’s a big difference, IMO, to confessing Christ with your lips…and “bowing” to Christ as Lord.

  138. David,

    I think without balance both doctrines can lead to grossly unbiblical sub doctrines and praxis.
    Paul Washer is as nutty on his end as Hodges is on his…

  139. Michael,
    “Paul Washer is as nutty on his end as Hodges is on his…”

    I said the same earlier, that both Johnnie Mac and Hodges are nuts. But I had a reason, there is no dichotomy in their positions, they are two stubborn men who don’t realize that they are saying the same thing and they bring great harm to the church. Mac even said that “nothing can be added to God’s sovereign work” and Hodges wrote a whole chapter in his book about repentance.

    And Mac is no different from Washer – listen to about 6 Mac tapes in a row and see if you don’t walk away being a doubter, completely out of God’s saving grace. The absolute no comfort zone.

  140. Believe wrote: “The “tongue confess” part is rampant…the “knee shall bow (will)” part…not so much. I keep being brought back to that point…”

    Your position would be saying that Greg Laurie was a false teacher on that day (and perhaps on other days if he says the same thing, I don’t know because I don’t follow him).

    Michael wrote: “I think without balance both doctrines can lead to grossly unbiblical sub doctrines and praxis. Paul Washer is as nutty on his end as Hodges is on his…”

    But the lordship position still puts my performance in my face, to know whether I’m going to heaven or not. That is the issue. 🙂 The blood of Jesus is not put in my face to determine my eternal destiny. My performance is.

  141. One problem with crusde evangelism is the underemphasis on the resurrection. Sadly, I have seen many evangelistic messages not mention the resurrection at all. Yes, an emphasis on Jesus is there, and even that ‘He died for you’ But what about Him rising for you too!

    I fail to see how anyone can be saved without faith in the resurrection, and how can they believe if they have not heard?

  142. Believe,
    ““Every KNEE SHALL BOW…and every tongue confess…that Jesus Christ is LORD.”

    What about those who base their salvation on a on time event of “bowing the knee”? How is that different from the one time “tongue confession” (by one time – I do mean genuine)

  143. David, my position is that for me, I confessed Jesus in my life…a million times…I didn’t see any fruit.

    I saw fruit, when I was crushed in repentance…MLD’s “Christ invades you”…metaphor…

    …and like X expresses…I have peace (and the rest of the fruits of the Spirit) when I actively pursue my Faith…when I wake up and ask God to do His will…and to help me not do my will…and to fill me with His Holy Spirit and to give me belief and forgive me for my unbelief…and then I go about “doing” what His will is (by doing the things He says “to do” in Scripture…and avoiding the things “not to do” in Scripture).

    I don’t believe Greg Laurie is a “false teacher”…don’t put words in my mouth.

    I believe Greg Laurie may (with a good heart) give false assurance to some who “confess with their lips”…but don’t “bow their knee” to Jesus as Lord.

    God can still invade many of those who hear the Gospel from Greg Laurie…even if Greg doesn’t perfectly communicate the situation. And, all of that is IMO based on my experience and what I currently see in Scripture.

  144. Ҧ Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd.
    And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.”
    But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.””
    (Luke 8:19–21 ESV)

    What is this verse saying?

  145. AV,
    “I fail to see how anyone can be saved without faith in the resurrection, and how can they believe if they have not heard?”

    I think you may be leaving the Holy Spirit out of this. I don’t think that it is Greg Laurie’s word’s (or choice of topic) that saves you but the Holy Spirit coming into you by the preaching of that word – then the Holy Spirit works from the inside out.

    We must understand that you must already have the Holy Spirit in you before you can ever declare that “Jesus Christ is Lord.” It is not like those words bring the Holy spirit to us.

    But I reject crusade evangelism and altar calls as ‘market manipulation’.

  146. I have told this story before that I was called to faith on my 3rd Sunday of going to church (age 32) during a Greg Laurie sermon “The Apostle Paul and the role of Women.” Go figure.

  147. David said, “But the lordship position still puts my performance in my face, to know whether I’m going to heaven or not.”

    Ya, it does. So what?

    2 Corinthians 13:5

    Matthew 7:16

    Galatians 5:16-25

  148. MIchael, certainly it is not saying the gospel. There is ZERO gospel there. It seems he is making a point that His real family consists of those like the ones listening, and not those like his unbelieving (at that time) brothers.

    Where in the New Testament is anyone ever equated to being Jesus’ mother because of faith in the gospel?

  149. AV,

    It seems pretty explicit to me…he’s speaking of one of the great themes of the NT (adoption) with an expectation of some sort of behaviors in line with His teachings.

  150. Re: Michael, 10:19, Luke 8:19

    First, this was explaining that blood relatives don’t have the connection, but rather, it is a spiritual connection.

    And that those who have a close connection with Jesus Christ on the spiritual level, are those that hear the Word of God and do it. It is intimate relationship, like, “you are my friends if you do whatever I tell you” (John 15:14). Luke 8:19 isn’t attempting to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ that saves, and I have never heard anyone present this in that way.

    But if it were part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then what parts of the Word of God do you have to do, and, how much? In order to be saved, that is?

    The onus is now on you to define these things in explicit detail, so the person can know that they are going to heaven, and won’t be lost.

  151. Michael,
    What is this verse saying?

    Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

    Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

    John 7:37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.

    I listened (heard) and I did (do it) what He said – so what’s the big deal?

  152. “The onus is now on you to define these things in explicit detail, so the person can know that they are going to heaven, and won’t be lost.”

    I don’t think so.

    I think the onus is on a biblical presentation that says there will be change and there will be an inward conviction of the Holy Spirit that leads to repentance.

    Jesus says as much himself in the parable of the sowers…of four different “professions” of faith only one led to eternal life.

  153. If He is speaking of adoption, then why mention mother? That is why I asked my question.
    That can’t be avoided. He mentions mother (singular) and brothers (plural) because that is what they said to Him. Nowhere in the teachings of adoption in the New Testament is the idea of mother presented. We are sons, children, heirs..not mothers.

    Nor do I think His audience who heard that would have even a clue that this (adoption) was one of the results of salvation, when at this point He hadn’t even mentioned His crucifixion. I think we need to assume He was saying something to His audience they could profit from.

    Of course, if He is giving us the truth that the family of faith is stronger then the family of blood (which we all can attest to who have unsaved family members) then the text is fairly obvious.

  154. MLD,

    Both are true…to deny either distorts the faith.

  155. Michael, I do believe your point is valid, just not from that text at all.

    Why not stick with ‘faith without works is dead’ ‘be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves’

  156. “Michael wrote: “Jesus says as much himself in the parable of the sowers…of four different “professions” of faith only one led to eternal life.”

    I used to see it that way too. Now I see it as three believers, and one unbeliever (the first of course being the unbeliever), and of the three believers, only one bore fruit, only one was truly faithful. Since the parable is primarily about bearing fruit. The other two believers ended up with no fruit, since things got in the way. One person was offended and left, the other person got caught in the cares of the world. We see examples of both in the churches. We also see people that bear fruit thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.

    Your position, in my opinion, still seems to put works as the basis of assurance, and you might believe that works give assurance. I do not believe that, not anymore.

  157. Just a random comment that has been rattling around in my mind for awhile since coming on the PP…

    We wonder why we don’t see the manifestations of the Holy Spirit today like in the Book of Acts…and we have many rationales for why…

    Maybe it’s because we are so carnal. I know when I draw close to the Lord…He draws close to me…and I feel the Power of the Holy Spirit in me.

    As soon as I make decisions to sin…I feel that Power leave me.

    Why is the debate always a defense of being a heathen and still being “technically” saved?

    Is that what it’s all about?

    How about we take some of the Scripture at face value and listen to our conscience and the Holy Spirit and stop sinning so much and seek God’s will with all that is within us.

    To me, that’s not “legalism”…that’s stewardship and being empowered with the grace we’ve been given…the “second chance” from our fall in the Garden…if you will. “Legalism” is doing man-made rituals that can replace a right “heart”..IMO.

    Maybe the Spirit isn’t moving in radical ways…because we’ve become so darn carnal and compromising in our modern culture. Maybe if we spent more time warring against the flesh…and less time giving up to the flesh and saying “grace”…we’d be in a better position for the Holy Spirit to work through us. Dunno…just sharing my heart.

  158. AV,

    He’s speaking of familial relationship…and He still says those who are family “do” his word.

    “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.”
    (1 John 5:2 ESV)

    “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
    You are my friends if you do what I command yo”
    (John 15:13–15 ESV)

    Again, salvation is totally of God, an act of sovereign grace.
    But there is no doubt that some sort of obedience will follow a true conversion.

  159. My point is that I want to make the case for BAD Christians. Too many folks want to deny that Christians can do bad things. I get so tired of hearing whenever there is something bad; the Crusades, the Holocaust, slave owners, Christian tribes killing Muslim tribes in Africa etc – and the response is “well, they really aren’t Christians.” Give me a break.

    I don’t want to sanitize who we are and say, “well, you aren’t doing it right, therefore, the salvation thing must not have stuck to you.”

  160. He’s speaking of familial relationship…and He still says those who are family “do” his word.
    —————————————
    I’ve never countered this NT truth. I even posted Ryrie to show the free grace position holds to this as well.

    I think this is not the best text to use because the emphasis is between public follower and non-follower (His earthly family at the time), and not two professing followers where one is deceiving himself (the issue with our discussion as to salvation). You follow?

  161. “But there is no doubt that some sort of obedience will follow a true conversion.”

    Where have you EVER heard differently from any Christian – especially when you word it “some sort of obedience.” Are you saying that Hodges and Ryrie deny sanctification. That is where you really distort the position – they are just saying that it is not a part of justification – just as you yourself say “Again, salvation is totally of God, an act of sovereign grace.”

    But then again, I am the one who believes in Objective Justification – that God has already done the reconciling work for all people – God has already done His sovereign act.

  162. MLD,

    I agree wholeheartedly…but that doesn’t mean that we erase all those passages that have an expectation of sanctification.

  163. MLD,

    It’s obvious that Hodges and Ryrie have very different formulations of this doctrine.

    Hodges writings are bizarre in my opinion…haven’t looked up Ryrie.

    It’s hard to do theology with Scooby Doo blaring…

  164. MLD said:

    “Too many folks want to deny that Christians can do bad things.”

    I remember making saying the same thing here several months ago. It follows what the pot stirrer, I mean MLD, said so I will say it again. I believe the darkest sin in my life was the adulterous affair that I had 20 years ago. I was a pastor at the time. It repulses me to think about it. I was not only a Christian, but a pastor! Yes, I said a Christian. I believe that had my life ended at that time, I would have spent eternity with the Father.

  165. It’s hard to do theology with Scooby Doo blaring…
    ————————————–
    Man up. I got Yo Gabba Gabba blaring! 🙂

  166. Michael,
    🙂 Go Scooby

  167. Bob,
    I agree – but you knew I would. 🙂

  168. Now this could be a great theological discussion. How have our theologies influenced the cartoon choices of our kids and grand kids? My grand kids are into SpongeBob.

  169. Michael, just for interest. Here are a couple of the strawman arguments Ryrie challenges from the start of his book.

    1) The Gospel is a sterile set of facts to which we only need give intellectual assent in order to be saved. (He quotes MacArthur here ‘casual acceptance of the facts’)

    2) A true believer can be carnal all his Christian life and never produce fruit.

    I agree with Ryrie about these strawman arguments, and I think it is crucial the Lordship position does not present “my side” in this way.

  170. Is the discussion ever going to return to the “mothership”?

  171. Bob S said, “I remember making saying the same thing here several months ago. It follows what the pot stirrer, I mean MLD, said so I will say it again. I believe the darkest sin in my life was the adulterous affair that I had 20 years ago. I was a pastor at the time. It repulses me to think about it. I was not only a Christian, but a pastor! Yes, I said a Christian. I believe that had my life ended at that time, I would have spent eternity with the Father.”

    I believe you would have, too, Bob S. You confessed and repented…and God knew your “heart” before you came to that “confession and repentance”…He knew that when He chastised you for your sin…you’d respond in obedience…because you’re His.

    …aarrrghhh, I’m sounding like a Calvinist…

    Romans 8:29

    So what do you believe about a guy like Jim Jones?

  172. The next discussion will…this one is a bit large to move…

  173. AV,

    Looking through the journal articles on this subject is intense…both sides damn each other and talk past each other.

    I’ll stick with Calvin who holds to a mediatorial position somewhere in the middle…

  174. As long as I’m off the ‘borderline heretic’ list, then I can safely retire from this discussion.

  175. AV,

    I’ll retract that assertion in regard to Ryrie…I still think Hodges is nuts.

    You haven’t said anything aberrant here at all.

  176. I have to put in one more comment, based on a discussion I just had with a man who studies catholic theology, even went to roman catholic seminary, and he described salvation in this way:

    “Simply – salvation requires first, our accepting the gift, and then second, doing that which God likes (including works) to keep it. If we accept, and do nothing, we have not really accepted. If we do good works, without accepting – well, the gift simply isn’t there. It takes both – but the gift first is the key.”

    Now he says “to keep it” whereas the lordship position would say “to prove it”, but the essence is the same. Works mean that salvation took place, in these viewpoints.

    I’m not saying this man speaks for all catholics, but, if his understanding as a catholic individual is correct regarding Biblical salvation, then what was the reformation for? Maybe some people got away from the pope and other catholic falsehoods, but regarding salvation, catholicism has it correct? I don’t believe that.

    Anyway just throwing that out there 🙂

  177. If we read the book of Galatians, the Jews were kind of accusing Paul of antinomianism or against the Law of Moses. Why? The Jews were kind of saying that no one can live by faith alone. That people would just say I have faith in Jesus and free to do all the immoralities the Law of Moses commanded them not to do. But Paul said
    Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
    The Jews were having a hard time understanding this, that a person who trusted or put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can live a moral life without the Law of Moses. So they were kind of saying that we must add the Law of Moses to the faith the Christians have in Jesus if they want to be saved. Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
    What the Jews did not understand was, it is not the will of man but the will or the fruit of the Holy Spirit that follows the law of Christ into a Christian. No man can produce by himself the fruit of the Holy Spirit. As H.A. Ironside said; “Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.” What is H.A. Ironside saying here? I guess people can produce good things by themselves and they don’t need to know the Lord Jesus Christ. There are Monks who lives in the mountains who lived their lives better than most Christians as far a morality is concerned. Will they go to heaven when they die? No!! their good works were not good enough in the sight of The Holy God. “It is Christ’s righteousness that is imputed to us, and therefore God thinks of it as belonging to us. It is not our own righteousness, but Christ’s righteousness, that’s freely given us.” Wayne Grudem. Cleary written by the prophets and the apostles that we cannot produce our own righteousness no matter what we do. They are always like filthy rags in the sight of the Holy God. Only Christ’s righteousness that God freely given us that He sees in us that make us right in His Holy sight and nothing else. A good example of lordship salvation is, the tithes and offerings. What most pastors wants is to control the congregants. And what do they use to control them? The very word of God. They twisted the very word of God for their own purposes. Instead of what Peter was saying in; 1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. They were doing the opposite. Domineering, arrogant, dictatorial, overbearing over those in their charge for money.

    If we are talking mileage MalachI 3:8-10 has the most of all the verses use in the bible. In verse 9 it says; Mal 3:9 “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” Most Christians do not read the bible regularly and a lot of them do not at all. Now, if you hear this verse and you do not read the bible what would you feel? Dominating isn’t it? It kind a dominate you or put you in place. You know why? Because it is the very word of God and there is a word we Christian do not want to hear, and that word is “cursed”. If we go back to Peter again, it says there “not for filthy lucre or money” and “neither as being lords over God’s heritage”. I hope you got my point here. The reason they want to dominate you is because they want your money. Lordship salvation is nothing but man’s thoughts. They have to make them so that they can control you, but if you read the bible on a regular basis you will know the truth and that truth shall set you free from this domineering, arrogant, dictatorial ministers. You know why they do not want you to read the bible? You will know the truth. As simple as that. They do not want to be rebuke by the truth. They will become your enemy. They will be out of business if you start reading the bible yesterday. In Romans Paul says; Ro 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    Ro 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
    Ro 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
    Ro 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
    Ro 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

    Who can say that if a Christian does not tithe he or she will be under the cursed of God, when it is God Himself that justifieth? Who would you believe? God that justifieth you or those pastors that are preaching tithes and offerings? This is just one example of lordship salvation. The name of the game is “Domination”. If I can dominate your thoughts I could say anything I want and I know you will believe me. Its that simple. When they preach MalachI 3:8-10 again to you, ask the pastor to whom God was talking to in the book of Malachi. Most of the time God was referring to the corruption of the high priest. They were stealing the tithes and offerings of the people for their own use. Read Nehemiah and you will find out who the high priest was. In churches today you will see endless rules and regulations, endless programs to keep the congregants from not leaving. They rather count bodies than souls. More bodies more income. They adapt and teach books written by men in exchange of the bible. They like their own testimony about themselves, about their accomplishment, what they did rather than the testimony about the Lord Jesus Christ, and the sad thing about it is, they called it the gospel. Jesus clearly said;

    Jn 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
    Jn 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
    Jn 15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

    “The Gospel Of His Son. Not merely because the Son went everywhere preaching the Gospel, but because He is the theme of it. “When it pleased God,” says the apostle, “who called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me that I might preach Him among the nations; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood” (Gal. 1:15,16). “We preach Christ crucified . . . the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23,24). No man preaches the Gospel who is not exalting the Lord Jesus. It is God’s wonderful message about His Son. How often I have gone to meetings where they told me I would hear the Gospel, and instead of that I have heard some bewildered preacher talk to a bewildered audience about everything and anything, but the Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel has to do with nothing else but Christ. It is the Gospel of God’s Son.” H.A. IRONSIDE.

    This is the Gospel according to God.

    “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Cor.15:1-4)

    It is not about us, it is all about Christ. If these domineering, arrogant, dictatorial pastors preach nothing but Christ they would be out of business because people will know the truth and that‘s how you separate the soul from the body. The word of God sifts the soul from the body. The word of God separates the fine from the coarse. We need to read the bible. This is the only way we can separate ourselves from others, by the word of God and nothing else. Everything else is nothing but heresies. Have you ever wondered why some preacher are so rich, filthy rich? Domination!!! They dominated the thoughts of their hearers. Get out from these domineering, arrogant, dictatorial ministers, get out of the church. Mk 13:14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

  178. Read 2nd Peter chapter 2, then go to 2nd Thess chapter 2 and let the Holy Spirit quide your heart and see what Peter and Paul was talking about. YOU WILL SEE THAT IT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN THE CHURCH. These are the signs of the 2nd coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. You do not want to be here, LEFT BEHIND, when Christ set His foot again, for the 2nd time, here on earth. HE WILL BRING NO MORE MERCY BUT JUDGEMENT.

  179. I don’t really understand lordship salvation. Others and I have become born again Christians by repenting of sins and turning to Christ. It’s clearly impossible to lose your salvation. Praise God for that because I was about to quit being a Christian. It also says in the Bible that no man will be able to pluck you out of God’s hand John 10:28. I realized this later and praise God for it! I feel this is a works salvation which is totally false. God freely gives us salvation and no man can boast about works. Free salvation will help you to become a new creation in Christ and you need to have faith alone in Christ alone. I don’t mean to be rude but I feel this can confuse a lot of people. Read John 3:16 it says that everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life that simple.

  180. Katie:

    I hope this might help.

    My understanding is that LS has 2 different meanings.

    One is related to our sanctification — growth in Christ (also called discipleship in some circles). “Lordship” means making Jesus the Lord of various parts of one’s life. Giving and spending, use of our time, relationships are some examples.

    The second meaning I’ve heard is some and I think they’re mostly in the Reformed community, where they say, “Jesus is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all.” I don’t buy this one — we come to Jesus as little children, not knowing all that Lordship means, at that point.

    Here’s a link to a little booklet that’s been helpful to me.

    http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Christs-Home-Robert-Boyd-Munger/dp/087784075X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456379926&sr=8-1&keywords=my+heart+christ%27s+home

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