WHAT ABOUT WORKS?

ARE WORKS SUBSEQUENT TO SALVATION; OR DO THEY ACTUALLY PERFECT OR COMPLETE THE SAVING WORK THAT CHRIST DID ON CALVARY?

THAT IS THE QUESTION WE MUST ASK IN REGARD TO THE TWO VIEWS OF WORKS THAT DIFFERENTIATE BIBLICAL THEOLOGY AND THEOLOGY THAT IS VOID OF BIBLICAL THOUGHT OR CONSIDERATION

A SHORT TREATMENT OF BIBLICAL THEOLOGY REGARDING WORKS FOLLOWS:
  1.  Works do not save: (Titus 3:5) “Not by works of righteous which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us.  By the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
  2.  Works are a part of the salvation package:  (Ephesians 2:8-10) “For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained, that we should walk in them.”

There are many  other Scriptures that affirm that works are the result of salvation; and not the cause of salvation.  However, I don’t intend to present them here.  It’s like the rich man in Hell who said, “Father Abraham, send Lazarus to warn my brothers.  If one is sent from the dead to them, they’ll believe.  Abraham said, ‘No, they have Moses and the prophets.  If they don’t believe Moses; neither will they believe though one arise from the dead.'” Therefore, neither will anyone, if they won’t believe the Scriptures quoted above, believe if one should refer them to one hundred more!

The understanding of Bible believing Christians from the apostles to the present day, is that the work of Christ alone on Calvary, was and is sufficient to save us.  Those who believe in a sacramental (ecclesiastical) salvation, or in a salvation that adds works that they deem necessary, to what Jesus Christ has accomplished on Calvary’s cross, “Once for all,” are greatly in error theologically.  If they are saved, they are saved by looking past the errors, to Christ alone; and saved in spite of what they’ve been taught, not because of what they’ve been taught.  

That may sound harsh in the marshmallow world of theology that we live in today; but it is nonetheless true.  It’s not MY way or the highway; but it’s God’s way according as He has recorded in the Bible: or the highway to perdition.  You either trust in Christ as He is revealed in the Bible, or you trust in something else in total error.

Back to the original subject we began with:  Christian works are done because we are saved, not in order to be saved.  Christ’s work on Calvary can’t possibly be made complete by the works of sinful human beings.  They who teach such errors, though they be high in their own esteem, and high in position within a magnanimous conglomeration of churches, are guilty of heinous sin.

That the truth may prevail: From a sinner saved by grace,

Bill

 

 

WHAT ABOUT WORKS?

ECUMENISM – WHAT IS IT?

ECUMENISM MAY BE MANY THINGS.  TO SOME, IT IS THE MEANS BY WHICH THEY MAY GET PEOPLE TO CHANGE THEIR THINKING, WITH THEIR PARTICLE IDEOLOGY BEING THE PRINCIPAL ONE, AND EVERYONE, EVENTUALLY BEING JUST LIKE THEM.  THIS IS THE “ONE TRUE CHURCH” CONCEPT.

TO SOME, IT’S A METHOD TO GET ALL CHURCHES TOGETHER, IN A LOOSE FELLOWSHIP WITH NO PRINCIPAL OR SIGNIFICANT IDEOLOGY AT ALL.  THIS IS THE “WE’RE ALL HEADED TO THE SAME PLACE – ANY BELIEF’S AS GOOD AS ANOTHER” CONCEPT.

TO THE BIBLE BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IT’S THE CONCEPT “THAT IN THE DISPENSATION OF THE FULNESS OF TIMES HE MIGHT GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE ALL THINGS IN CHRIST, BOTH WHICH ARE IN HEAVEN, AND WHICH ARE ON EARTH, EVEN IN HIM.  IN WHOM WE HAVE OBTAINED AN INHERITANCE, BEING PREDESTINATED ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSE OF HIM WHO WORKETH ALL THINGS ACCORDING TO THE COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL; THAT WE SHOULD BE TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY, WHO FIRST TRUSTED IN CHRIST” (EPHESIANS 1:10-12).

Needless to say, the ideology of the Bible believing Christian is foreign and undoubtedly odious to the thinking of first two stated above.  I have an important question to ask.  In fact, there is no more important question for anyone to consider than this question.  Are you a Bible believing Christian?  It’s a question that I ask myself anew on November 7, 2015.  The answer I had to give myself was:  “Well, there’s surely very little evidence that I am.”  Therefore I repented of my waywardness, made my calling and election sure, by coming anew in repentance to God the Father; and anew by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Since then, I’ve tried to serve Him in newness of life.  Have I done this perfectly?  Absolutely not!  However, one thing I know:  I’m His, and He is mine!  Because of that fact, I’ve committed my way to Him in a new sense for me.  I don’t care what anyone thinks of me personally, because of Him.  Yes, I want to do right, and I want to be just in my dealings, and kind in my demeanor; but without the abiding presence of Christ, that won’t suffice.  Nevertheless, when one takes the kind of stand I’ve taken to honor Christ, and continues to persevere in so doing, many will say, I don’t want any part of that.  That very fact is what kept me from stepping out on faith before.

You may ask then, and rightfully so, what has this to do with ecumenism?  My answer to that: essentially everything!  Jesus prayed, in John 17 that we might know God, the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom he sent.  How can we know Christ, except as He is revealed to us in the Bible?  The answer is this: we cannot!  Christ as he has been concocted by some and passed down in erroneous tradition is not really Christ.  The gospel, as it has been concocted by people who imagine they have a part in saving themselves is not the gospel.  Read Paul’s epistle to the Galatians and see if that is not so!  Paul says if someone comes to you with these erroneous “other gospels,” let them be accursed.  Tough language, yes.  But; better to be tough and truthful, than to propagate lies that can not and will not save anyone.

Therefore, true ecumenism should espouse unity.  True unity is found only in a true, Biblical belief in Jesus Christ, and no other way.  By grace, through faith, in Christ as He’s revealed in the Bible.  Not my way!  God’s way.  All who have come to Christ in this way, receiving Him, and believing in their hearts that he lives and reigns as King forever, abide in a unity that false religion will never attain.  Moreover, even if Satan gave them a sense of unity in their false notions, what good would it be?  Let God be true, and every one else a liar!

With love in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom alone is life everlasting,

Bill

ECUMENISM – WHAT IS IT?

BEGIN TODAY!

JOHN 1:1: “IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD.  ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM, AND WITHOUT HIM WAS NOT ANYTHING MADE THAT WAS MADE.  IN HIM WAS LIFE, AND THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF MEN.  AND THE LIGHT SHINETH IN DARKNESS; AND THE DARKNESS COMPREHENDED IT NOT.”

If you have never yet trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ, begin today.  Heart belief in Him is all that’s required.  Salvation is a free gift, it can’t be earned, and it doesn’t come through sacraments or jumping through ecclesiastical hoops.  As it is, and as it were, God has chosen His elect from the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blame before Him.  In love He has predestined them to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will; to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:4-8).

You may say that takes all the glory away from men, be they pontiffs or plain people; and you’d be absolutely right.  It’s according to Sovereign Grace, and God’s Sovereign and perfect will.  It’s not by works lest anyone should be able to boast.  Nevertheless, it’s God’s way of salvation, redemption, and reconciliation.  It’s wonderful in His sight, and in the sight of all who believe.  Come today: the Holy Spirit says “come.”  The church, the bride of Christ says “come.”  Let whoever is thirsty, and whoever has ears, “come.” And, whosoever will let him come and take of the water of life, freely (Revelation 22:17).

With love from the worst of sinners, saved by grace,

Bill

 

BEGIN TODAY!

HOW FREE, REALLY, IS FREE WILL?

Those who are Arminian in their theology love to talk about free will.  Their idea, generally, is that God has given men free will totally apart from any influence of God, and they may, of their own volition, at any time choose good or evil.  They may, at any given time, obey or disobey God, by exercising their free will.

There’s a thread of truth in that, as there is in every erroneous idea.  But in order to follow this notion to its logical conclusion, you have to totally ignore the fact that God is Sovereign, supreme in thinking, and reasoning, and planning, and that He works out everything according to His own will and purpose (Ephesians 1:11).

Humankind, by our very nature, is at enmity with God.  Because of the fact that we are at enmity with God due to the disobedience of our first father and mother, Adam and Eve, it is impossible for us to do righteousness (the right thing), because all that we might endeavor in the way of righteousness, is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).  We can’t, in our fallen state, discern God’s will, or understand His Word in the slightest and most superficial way (Please read 1 Corinthians 2nd chapter in its entirety).  Therefore free will in regard to the fallen human race is this: It is quite logical that we are free, within the confines of our fallen human nature, to sin; but since “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,” it is absolutely impossible to fellowship with God; or to obey God; or to please God in the slightest way, apart from a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is Biblical Christian thinking.  It is called Calvinistic, but did not originate with Calvin.  It is also called Monergism; a belief that the Holy Spirit, and not humankind’s free will, is the active agent in a person’s salvation.  God the Father chooses us, in fact, has chosen us from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4); the Holy Spirit convinces or convicts us of our sin and leads us to Christ; we come in repentance to God the Father; and by faith to Jesus Christ, confessing Him as Savior and Lord, receiving Him as He is revealed in the Bible, and are saved.  Christ imputes His righteousness and holiness to us; and therefore we have “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).  We are then free to obey God, to walk in the Spirit, and to live in covenant with Him, as God’s redeemed and adopted sons and daughters (Please read Romans 8 in its entirety).

Yes, free will does exist; but only as it’s defined in God’s Holy Word.  Believe the Bible!  Receive Christ as He’s revealed in the Bible.  Experience and enjoy the joy and freedom that Christ gives to those who come by faith to Him!

With love, from a sinner saved by God’s irresistible grace,

Bill

 

HOW FREE, REALLY, IS FREE WILL?

NOT PERFECT, JUST FORGIVEN!

1 John 1:5-10  “This is the message we have heard from Him, and declare to you, that God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (Italics mine) 

We who  know and trust the Lord Jesus Christ are not perfect people.  We’re not even necessarily good people as the world rates goodness.  But, we are forgiven people.  God the Father has given us to Jesus Christ;  We have come to Him by faith; and He will “by no means,” cast us out (John 6:37).  God has made that abundantly clear, has He not?

This, therefore, is our standing in the Lord Jesus Christ:  Forgiven, and “accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6).”  

Let us, therefore, as ambassadors of our Lord Jesus Christ, go out and seek souls for whom Jesus died; “As though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteous of God  in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).”

From where then is our righteousness or our perfection?  It’s in the Lord Jesus Christ.  God the Father sees us as He sees His Only Begotten Son.  Christ is in us (Galatians 2:20); and we are found in Him: “Not having my own righteousness which is from the law, but that which is from faith in Jesus Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith (Philippians 3:9).” So when I sign my devotions ” A sinner saved by grace,” I’m not just saying something that’s become habitual, I’m stating an absolute fact.  That’s the standing of every one of us who is in Christ!  Perfect!  Righteous!  Forgiven!  Declared to be so by the Lord Jesus Christ!

With love, from a sinner saved by “Amazing Grace,”

Bill

 

 

NOT PERFECT, JUST FORGIVEN!

WHEN TRUTH HURTS!

It’s often said that “Truth never hurts anyone.”  But that’s not necessarily so:  Truth hurts those who don’t love and revere the truth.  The Holy Spirit says through Paul in Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

Those who are right with God; who have obeyed the gospel; who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; who have come in repentance to God the Father, and by faith to Jesus Christ, need never fear the truth, and will never be hurt by the truth.

It’s the usurpers of God’s glory, those who preach an erroneous gospel (Galatians 1:6-9), who hate, and fear, and are hurt by the truth. Unless God grants them repentance, they are lost, and as Paul says, “accursed” (Galatians 1:8).

I realize that the above is not in accordance with the “feel goody” gospel that is most popular today; but, it is, after all, the truth, and therefore most important to those who Love the Lord Jesus; who is the personification of truth.  When a church preaches the truth, about salvation and holiness, we witness a vibrant church that honors and glorifies Jesus Christ.  When the converse exists within a congregation, we witness arguments and schisms; and often heresy.  These are often passed off with the words, “O well, we’re all just human,” and we settle for something less than God calls for in His Word.  I must confess, sometimes I’m pinched by the truth; but I shouldn’t be.  If I hold myself against the straight edge of God’s Word, I won’t be; and neither will you!  “When we walk with the Lord In the light of His word, What a glory He sheds on our way!  While we do His good will, He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey (TRUST and OBEY: Daniel B. Towner).

Written with love for all, by a sinner saved by God’s matchless grace,

Bill

WHEN TRUTH HURTS!

REFORMED = BIBLICAL

I READ AN ERRONEOUS BLOG A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO THAT SPOKE OF THE PRESENT TIME BEING “POST REFORMATION.”  NOTHING COULD BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH!

We are living in “The Last Days,” and have been from the times of the apostles.  The Church age, from the ascension of the Lord Jesus, continues at this present time, and will continue until Christ returns to “Judge the Living and the Dead.”  To verify and solidify what I’m saying, simply read your Bible, and believe it!

To the dismay of many false teachers and preachers, Reformation doctrine and Biblical doctrine are one and the same.  Throughout history, from the time of Christ and the Apostles to the present time, there have been believers who followed strictly the teaching of Holy Scripture; i. e., that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone.  Included in this teaching is the fact that works, and sacraments performed by men, have nothing to do with salvation (Acts 4:12; John 14:6; John 17).  There have always been strict Bible believers down through the centuries since the inception of the church.  It was only in the 16th century that the word “reformation” came into being, and was attached to people like Luther, Calvin, and a myriad of others to identify those who escaped apostasy through belief in the True and Living God, as He is revealed in the Bible.  Check real church history, and you will find that in spite of false believers attempts to eliminate true believers by murdering them; God has always saved and kept a remnant.  Such a remnant is extant today, and they espouse reformed doctrine.

Yes,  Biblical doctrine still enlightens the hearts and minds of many true believers, and always will.  Are you included in that group?  I hope so!  Nothing else will suffice to the saving of our souls.

Written with love by a sinner saved by Sovereign grace,

Bill

REFORMED = BIBLICAL