Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

See What I Mean?

I was just looking over the GES website where the links to the notes from their conference are located. I opened up a PDF of Bob Wilkin's. I read through it. I had various reactions to the actual teaching held therein, but that is not where I want to go with this post. Near the end I read this:

All believers will appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ and our works will be evaluated. This includes all we have taught evangelistically and in terms of discipleship. This is a sobering thought. Teach what Jesus taught and you are not going to be rebuked by Him at the Bema for those teachings. Teach contrary to what He taught and rebuke is sure to come.
One can argue with another Christian's conclusions and even how they arrive at their conclusions. We can choose to dissisociate with those who teach what we feel is not a sound look at Scripture, whoever they may be. We can even teach against their teaching if we are so convinced of their error, but ultimately, Christains are accountable to Christ for what they teach and believe. I think what Bob Wilkin recognizes here is important. We all must be very prudent in this regard. This paragraph above proves that "Wilkin" (as I have seen him referred to on a ceratin list) is not a good person to put on that list of "disobedient brethren." He is very aware of his responsibility as a teacher - he obviously takes this very seriously. He fully believes in what he is teaching. Someone can call him "wrong" if they believe him to be. BUT - no one should call someone disobedient who is obeying their conscience before the Lord Jesus Christ.

108 Comments:

  • An excellent point, Rose.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/06/2008 9:54 AM  

  • Yes, I see what you mean.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/06/2008 10:33 AM  

  • That is a sobering truth, and one that many christians either willfully refuse to acknowledge or are blissfully unaware of.

    By Blogger Jim, at 3/06/2008 5:21 PM  

  • As Dr. Moyer the noted evangelist said at the FGA panel answering the question: Is explicit belief in Jesus' death and resurrection necessary for salvation? Quoting him directly, "... it is very awesome to say "Thus saith the LORD" and "if you say this you had better make sure your right." I took this to mean it is dangerous if a person does this and is wrong about the gospel content.

    Being an evangelist, Dr Moyer made this telling statement of a scenario, "If you were presenting the gospel, and you're about to say He [Jesus] died and arose; and all the sudden the person died, would he go to heaven? I cannot take this bible and dogmatically prove that he wouldn't. And I cannot dogmatically take this bible and prove that he would."

    This is exactly what people do. It is not for Tom Stegall, Lou M., kevl, or any other person to say that they have the only correct iterpretation.

    In fact, the Bema was described by Paul, in verses 2 Cor. 5:1-10 describing in the preceding context, believers and how they should live. Then Paul and his companions went on to say, "...knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Cor. 5:11, NKJV)

    Since I have already committed to being a leader and teacher of future elders, pastors, teachers, and missionaries this holds special meaning for me. It is also I believe the reason that James also gave a warning (James 3:1).

    Now that those who read this are no longer ignorant of the truth, we must all walk in the light and want to please the Lord from the heart and speak only after very diligent study. Something that has been lacking of late in these arguments.

    Your brother,

    Jim Johnson
    Highlands Ranch, Colorado

    jim@freegracegospel.org
    Adjunct Professor (www.rmbc.edu)
    Member Free Grace Alliance (www.freegracealliance.com)
    Member Society of Dispensational Theology (www.tyndale.edu/journal.html)
    Founder Free Grace Gospel Ministry (www.freegracegospel.org)
    The Grace Gospel Blog
    (freegracegospel.wordpress.com)

    By Blogger Jim, at 3/06/2008 10:01 PM  

  • [Teach what Jesus taught and you are not going to be rebuked by Him at the Bema for those teachings. Teach contrary to what He taught and rebuke is sure to come.]

    Hi Rose,
    Yes, it's good he acknowledges that he will stand before God for his teachings because he certainly will. It would be good if he took his own advice because the terrible thing is that what he does in practice is deny the authoritative word of God by making essential truths "of no effect". The most loving thing a Christian could do is to warn this teacher as well as those who are being deceived of his errors. We have to keep in mind there is a devil and that men's consciences can be seared, especially false teachers who are drawing men away from sound doctrine. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for ignoring His authoritative word and substituting man made teachings, which is what Wilkin has done in his teachings.
    Jesus speaking to the Pharisees:
    Mark 7:8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God) — 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
    Wilkin wrote:
    [ The Synoptics are not evangelistic presentations…… The Gospel of John is an evangelistic presentation. John 20:30-31 says that John was writing directly to unbelievers to lead them to faith in Christ for everlasting life. While there are some isolated comments by Jesus that relate to evangelism in the Synoptics, those comments are not full presentations and to be properly understood they must be understood in light of the Fourth Gospel.
    …Clearly the issue here is life and death. Note that the Lord does not discuss sin here. As the late Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer was famous for saying, “In light of Calvary the issue is no longer a sin issue. The issue is now a Son issue.”
    …The Book of Romans is not an evangelistic book and anyone who snips verses here and there from Romans is likely to end up confusing the listener, not leading him to faith in Christ.]

    My Bible contains none of his so called rules of interpretation. Hasn’t he ever read that the law was given to show us our sin and bring us to the end of our self-righteousness, leading us to Christ our only hope? How easily he throws away the apostle Paul’s inspired teachings! Paul evidently did not agree with Wilkin about John being the only book useful for evangelism. The church got along just fine before the canon was completed even when they only had a few letters and the OT because they had the gospel once for all delivered to the saints, but we have an advantage of having more light than they had with a completed Bible.

    Paul to Timothy:
    2 Timothy 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

    It never says John is the only Book given to make us wise unto salvation. Wilkin twists the Scriptures and replaces the truth with his false rules of interpretation.

    Some of the Lords last words on earth were these:
    Luke 24:44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

    Wilkins disobeys the Lord’s commandment when he teaches that forgiveness of sins and repentance are unnecessary in evangelism.

    Jesus said this in the Sermon on the Mount,
    Matthew 5:19
    Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


    The truths taught by the apostles and the Lord Himself are binding having been given by the inspiration of God to make men “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” John wrote his gospel knowing his readers were already well acquainted with the other gospels. The fact that John is written so that its readers will believe in Christ in no way implies the other gospels and other parts of the Bible are not useful for the same purpose. John did not repeat many things that had already been sufficiently covered by the other inspired writers.

    The gospel can be preached out of any part of the Bible including the OT. Philip the evangelist spoke to the Ethiopian eunuch from Isaiah and shared the message of gospel with him. The plan of salvation is in OT and the New, but the details were progressively unfolded as time went on. People came to God by faith in the way He commanded in the OT through the lamb and in the NT through the Lamb of God Jesus Christ who shed His blood for the remission of sins. The gospel in the OT is the gospel in bud. In the NT it is the gospel in full flower.

    Paul received his gospel from Christ Himself by direct revelation and his gospel message was the exact same one that the other apostles preached, including John. It is wrong that Wilkin uses the fact of progressive revelation to rationalize minimizing the content of the gospel when we have the full light now. Since we have more light than OT saints had, we have the joy as well as the added responsibility to share the bigger picture.

    [He is very aware of his responsibility as a teacher - he obviously takes this very seriously. He fully believes in what he is teaching. Someone can call him "wrong" if they believe him to be. BUT - no one should call someone disobedient who is obeying their conscience before the Lord Jesus Christ.]

    Being aware of his responsibility does not make him innocent. I do appreciate you and your loving and generous way of giving people the benefit of the doubt, but I am afraid that in this case you are minimizing the serious danger that these teachings are having on God's people. He is not teaching the same message that Christ and the apostles taught. That is where we always have to draw the line. It does not matter what his motives are. Paul said he was innocent of all men’s blood and had kept nothing back that would be profitable to his hearers. Wilkin is not doing that. He does not tell men to be reconciled to Christ and repent, as Christ commanded, but says “peace peace” where there is no peace to those who are under God’s curse and wrath, saying that sin is “no longer a problem”. He’ll have to answer for preaching his corrupted “gospel”.

    God’s instruction to elders:

    Titus 1: 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

    He is not holding firm to the word as taught but is teaching error. Those who preach strange doctrines are not preaching “the whole counsel of God” and they are being disobedient to our great Head of the church when they deny certain foundational truths of the gospel. We are to speak the truth in love. It is not being mean to point out dangerous errors.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/06/2008 11:36 PM  

  • Hello Rose, I think the point your article makes is valid only if Christ himself never introducd any change regarding the content of saving faith.
    Consider please, if Paul's gospel was the same as that already preached, then why was it important that Paul got his gospel, not from Peter, John or James, but from Christ himself giving it to him? (Gal. 1:11-24). Why not just have Paul get his gospel from those other apostles? Isn't it strange that he got it directly from Christ himself, unless Christ gave new gospel content to Paul? In Galatians 2:1-9, if Paul's gospel was no different, why was he concerned that the other apostles at Jerusalem might openly reject his gospel and thereby harm his message? Why did he meet with them privately, making sure they wouldn't publicly denounce his message, if in fact his message was the same as theirs? And if Christ did give either different or additional gospel content to Paul, then how are we pleasing Christ today if we deny this and preach earlier truth as if that truth is all anyone today must have?

    By Blogger Art, at 3/06/2008 11:57 PM  

  • Art, how can the content of saving faith ever change?

    If the content of saving faith is different at one period from another, then surely the efficacy of Christ's work must vary in different periods.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/07/2008 3:19 AM  

  • Good morning, Rose. Did you sleep well?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/07/2008 3:19 AM  

  • Missy,
    Thank you.

    Matthew,
    Yes, I did sleep well for the first time in 5 nights. When Levi cried at 2:30 (which he gets in to the habit of doing when he is sick, but he is better now) I just went and closed his door. Call me a meanie.

    Jim from Canada,
    Yes, yes it is.

    Jim from Colorado,
    That is an interesting story that you share. Thank you for your visit.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 7:37 AM  

  • Susan,
    Thank you for your thoughts. I read them with interest. I was thinking though as I read them: you could pretty well say that about any non-Calvinist, what you are saying there about Wilkin. Your disagreements about what should be included in evangelism are with more than just Wilkin. I would imagine that any "just as I am" preacher who preaches that men can come just as they are without forsaking some known sin would fall under the same rebuke that you are presenting for Wilkin. So it makes me wonder, what would be an acceptable difference in evangelistic theory/approach for you? The guys that led me to Christ told me that I didn't have to change a thing - I could even keep going to bars if I still wanted to - Christ wanted to forgive me and give me his gift anyways. I suppose they were dangerous false teachers as well.

    Anyways, this can be an emotional thing and I don't mean to be insulting in any way. Maybe I should just have left it at "Thank you for your thougths."
    :~) God bless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 7:45 AM  

  • Art,
    Thank you for your thoughts. Believe it or not - I have had the same problem with Wilkin's teaching as that specific one that you express.

    Arguing the specifics of it was not the point of this article. However, if you want to carry ona discussion with Matthew over it, I will be interested in reading that - as long as it remains polite.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 7:48 AM  

  • Good morning, Rose.

    Without getting emotive on this matter, yet preaching repentance to the unconverted is not solely Calvinist thing.

    There are several doctrines which Calvins hold to and non Calvinists don't. There are, of course, many more doctrines, which both Calvinists and non Calvinists hold to and they both preach. It would be pretty hard (say) to tell whether a man was a Calvinist merely because he defended the Virgin Birth (assuming he stuck entirely to his subject).

    Repentance is one of those subjects which both Calvinist and Non Calvinist Evangelicals in past years have faithfully proclaimed. Billy Sunday, General Booth, John R Rice, DL Moody and Vernon McGee etc., were not Calvinists and yet they put repentance right up there with faith when preaching to the sinner. Perhaps it is saying something that it is now being perceived as a Calvinistic doctrine (?) although there is many an Independent Baptist website with its usual broadsides against Calvinism (as they perceive it) which also faithfully requires repentance.

    Let's try and not emotive about it.

    Regards,

    Goodnightsafehome

    P/s Google's memory is up the left and won't recognise my oft used password :-(

    By Anonymous Goodnightsafehome, at 3/07/2008 8:09 AM  

  • Goodnight,
    Then we have to get into a big hullabalooo about what does repentance mean? The men who lead me to the Lord did not use the word "repent" and yet they challenged me to have a change of mind about God, having been an agnostic who didn't believe in anything about Christ. So I suppose we could say that Wilkin does teach repentance even if he doesn't use the word "repentance" (which I understand why - he doesn't want to rob it of the meaning that he believes it is endued with) as long as we were defining repentance as a change of mind from not trusting Christ to yes, trusting Christ. As we discussed in the other thread, this is a confusing business and you pointed out that many evangelicals have their concept of the word repentance very similar to the concept of faith when they start viewing it as a change of mind etc...(I think that had been your point)

    Hows about if you use the word 'repentance' you just put in parenthesis next to it what you mean? That way readers here who aren't privy to what you said in the other thread know what you mean by the word.

    Good morning. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 8:50 AM  

  • Nothing further from me unless I see the questions I raised addressed and dealt with. Not willing for my points to be brushed aside with other questions directed to me as if my questions don't first need to be answered. No thanks. Polite or not, that's not a game I want to play.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/07/2008 9:04 AM  

  • Art,
    Your comment makes a number of assumptions:

    1) That the content of saving faith can vary.

    2) That Paul taught a different mode of saving faith from our Lord.

    3) That when Paul talks about the Gospel, he means the faith that justifies.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/07/2008 9:10 AM  

  • Art,

    I would like to study out what you are addressing, but what about Paul's gospel is different from the others? Susan said it was the same message. So I am confused.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/07/2008 9:14 AM  

  • Rose,

    For the purposes of other readers, by repentance, I mean (in the standard Evangelical sense of the word as shared by Calvinists and Non Calvinists alike) a willingness, based on faith in Jesus Christ, for confess, loathe and forsake sin as sin. The words that might best sum up our view to sin (no matter how often we fall short in practice) are those of Joseph: "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God"

    Although I am far from being a fan of David Cloud, yet he has done a good job collating quotes from here, there and yonder from Old Time Evangelicals on this matter:

    www.wayoflife.org/fbns/repent.htm

    Dealing with excuses from the ungodly, Mr McGee said to those who objected that they were not given faith: "That's not your problem. Your problem is that you don't want to give up your sins which the Bible condemns. Whenever you get sick of your sins, when you want to turn from yourself, fromthe things of the world, from religion, from everything the Bible condemns and turn to Christ, then you will be given faith. You can trust Him." (Notes on Ephesians 2:8-9)

    That isn't a uniquely Calvinist statement - that's just the way the Old Timers in the Evangelical camp talked. General Booth both lamented and prophetically foresaw in the late 1800's: “In answer to your inquiry, I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.” Those days have come.

    Again, no need to be emotive.

    Regards,

    By Anonymous goodnightsafehome, at 3/07/2008 9:17 AM  

  • Colin,
    Emotions aside :~)
    I think you have to stipulate to the fact that many EVANGELICALS, even the "old time" ones equate repentance with "change of mind" which is what you agreed in the other thread was very similar to faith.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 9:38 AM  

  • I had not had my second cup of coffee when I read your comment this morning, Art.

    I want to be clear. You said:
    then how are we pleasing Christ today if we deny this and preach earlier truth as if that truth is all anyone today must have?

    When you menitoned the "earlier truth" that is the thing that I honed in on and why I remarked that this was the same thing I had had issues with with Wilkin.

    Now that I read over your comment again, I am very confused about the first part of it.

    You believe that Paul was given a different gospel from that which the other apostles were teaching? I don't want to brush that aside at all. Thanks in advance for the clarification.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 9:43 AM  

  • Goodnight,
    one more thing: I find this a bit confusing. If you insist that repentance is not the same as faith, then I don't really see how you can say they you hold to a "faith alone" way of salvation.

    ...but that's just me.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 10:13 AM  

  • Va-Susan:

    You wrote, "The most loving thing a Christian could do is to warn this teacher as well as those who are being deceived of his errors. We have to keep in mind there is a devil and that men's consciences can be seared, especially false teachers who are drawing men away from sound doctrine. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for ignoring His authoritative word and substituting man made teachings, which is what Wilkin has done in his teachings."

    Amen! It is the biblical and loving thing to do. Paul exposed errors and named men who were spreading egregious errors.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/07/2008 10:23 AM  

  • Lou,
    You did not say hello.

    That's fine and I agree with Susan in principle too... like Dr. Pickering discussed in his book on how to deal with modernism.

    ... but .... repeating lists of names ad nausium without any substanitive discussion of specific issues is another thing. Paul did not do that. You can't do that on this blog. I want to be able to think. Now, if you can bring Bible passges and your take on them without repeating the same old same old attacks, then I will let your comments stand just like everyone else. I will not tolerate the repetitious unhelpful attck-like commenting that you have become known for - not today, not on this blog. I just can't take it today.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 10:34 AM  

  • It's Friday, after all.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 10:35 AM  

  • Mr. Goodnight:

    Men on both sides of the Lordship Salvation debate agree that repentance plays a role in salvation. They disagree sharply on the exact definition, but agree that without repentance there is no salvation. Hodges, Wilkin and the GES, however, believe that repentance by any definition is NOT a condition of salvation.

    Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin of (GES) have a view of repentance that is not held by any Bible-believing evangelical church or fellowship I am aware of.

    Wilkin at the just concluded GES conference wrote/said, “From 1983-1985 I searched the Scriptures, OT and NT, about the doctrine of repentance. I wrote a 270 page dissertation on the subject. My first reader, my advisor, on that dissertation was Zane Hodges. I thought I was settled in my understanding of repentance.

    Five years later, in 1990, Zane Hodges wrote a book called Absolutely Free! In it was a chapter in which he contradicted my findings in my dissertation. I remember a rather contentious board meeting at that time in which board members pleaded with him to leave out his chapter on repentance… It took about 7 years, but by 1998 I was convinced that repentance isn’t a condition of eternal life and that isn’t changing one’s mind about Christ
    .”

    In Harmony with God Hodges wrote, “Thank God there is only one answer to the question, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ That, of course, is the answer not only of Paul and all the apostles, but of Jesus Himself. The answer is: ‘believe!’

    Repentance is not part of that answer. It never has been and never will be. But we should keep firmly in mind the lovely truth that repentance is always the first step when we need to come home again!”

    “We ought, therefore, to reexamine our ingrained assumptions about New Testament repentance. I know how hard this is for preachers, teachers and lay people who have long believed and/or taught otherwise. I myself once held the ‘change of mind’ view of repentance and taught it. But the Scriptures have persuaded me otherwise
    .”

    For Hodges and Wilkin repentance is only for the believer to maintain a harmonious relationship with God. Both men and most of their GES followers are the only advocates I am aware of for this view of repentance.

    I agree with Va-Susan- Believers across a broad spectrum of evangelical circles need to be forewarned of this view and the men who teach it.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/07/2008 10:43 AM  

  • Lou,
    I think those men define repentance as a forsaking of sin, so you are not correct in saying that their view of repentance is not commonly held. This would be the definition that Mr. Goodnight would hold to himself, if I am not mistaken.

    I also believe that many in Christian circles believe that repentance is for the Christian, so that is not an abberrant teaching either.

    You are neglecting to recognize the fact that IF THOSE MEN defined repentance as a change of mind from non-faith to faith, then this would be intrinsicly included in their idea of saving faith, they just don't define the word that way and so they won't say it is part of faith.

    Either way, you have had your say now. Remember, no repetitious comments today.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 10:56 AM  

  • Jim Johnson,

    Thanks for adding me to your list! :)

    You said This is exactly what people do. It is not for Tom Stegall, Lou M., kevl, or any other person to say that they have the only correct iterpretation.

    I have the joy of knowing that my position is clearly and plainly defined by Scripture. 1 Cor 15:1-11 Eph 1:13-14

    http://onmywalk.blogspot.com/2008/02/of-late-i-and-some-of-my-close-brethren.html

    I don't have any need of "reasoning" (lol sorry Rose) because my view is dictated to me by the Scriptures.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 3/07/2008 11:18 AM  

  • Rose:

    The key and salient point of my note is that Hodges, Wilkin, GES reject repentance as a condition of salvation by any definition.

    For them repentance, by any definition, has no role as a condition for salvation.

    That was my KEY point.

    Now, I am done.

    Thanks,


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/07/2008 11:59 AM  

  • Rose, What I wrote concerning your #1-#8 propositions on the UoG thread was as follows:

    Keeping it simple, (and running the risks of some purists frowning on me) I would run with defining repentance by #3-5 and identifying #6-8 as relating more to faith. Repentance and faith are both required of the sinner and invariably (in their saving variety) come together to bring the soul into pardon for sin.

    IOW I would say that

    #6. Calling out to God in the helplessness of sin's consequence #7. Changing the mind about God/Jesus from an unsaved faithless mindset to faith in Christ for one's deliverance from sin's consequence #8. Changing the mind about who God/Jesus is in regards to oneself would not be a good definition of repentance, but rather of faith.

    The issue here then is not merely of how do we define repentance, but also how do we define saving faith? Repentance towards God is based on faith (i.e. that God will forgive me for Christ’s sake and not cast me away and so induce despair) while faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is repentant (i.e. is willing to forsake sin when enabled to do so by the indwelling power of the Spirit of God.) I don’t think we are at liberty to separate what God hath joined together and therefore your querying re: my holding to a “faith alone” way of salvation would meet its counterpart in (say) a JW listening to a Trinitarian explain the Three-in-One concept of God and then saying: I don’t know how you can describe yourself as a Monotheist. (Not that I am likening you to a cult member…just employing a convenient illustration)

    It sure would be helpful if you could supply some quotes from these Old Time Evangelicals who defined repentance without the willingness to forsake sin. They seem very scarce on the ground. If I remember rightly, you put out an appeal not so long ago looking for some (?) I’ll stick my neck out on this one…you failed to get any? David Cloud on his page didn’t seem stuck for material.

    I hope I’m not hectoring you on this, but the issue did up and it is very central to the heart of the gospel.

    Regards,

    By Anonymous Goodnightsafehome, at 3/07/2008 12:25 PM  

  • Lou,
    As I said, if it is defined as a "change of mind" then it would be INTRINSIC to GES definition of saving faith.

    In this statement of yours...

    Men on both sides of the Lordship Salvation debate agree that repentance plays a role in salvation. They disagree sharply on the exact definition, but agree that without repentance there is no salvation. Hodges, Wilkin and the GES, however, believe that repentance by any definition is NOT a condition of salvation.

    ...you seem to downplay the difference that you and the LS have with the definition. The "change of mind" definition and theirs is so sharply distinct
    that it is in a different category altogether - their definition actually defines that which you attack in your book about their position on LS. Yet you want to stand there with them and point the finger at the GES. Veddy interesting...

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 12:34 PM  

  • Colin,
    No hectoring taken. I forgot to look. I will try and take that up again. Or maybe I am just wrong and all the old time evngelicals (those not in modern times?) did view forsaking or ceasing from all known sin as a part of salvation.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 12:36 PM  

  • Lou,
    Take note:
    Mr. Goodnight views this as not describing 'repentance', but rather describing 'faith':

    #6. Calling out to God in the helplessness of sin's consequence #7. Changing the mind about God/Jesus from an unsaved faithless mindset to faith in Christ for one's deliverance from sin's consequence #8. Changing the mind about who God/Jesus is in regards to oneself

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 12:38 PM  

  • Hey Colin,
    I don't know if you would consider Lewis Sperry Chafer as an "old-time evangelical" but this is what he had to say about whether or not your view of repentance was a part of salvation:

    “repentance is not to be added to belief as a separate requirement for salvation…”

    “… few errors have caused so much hindrance to the salvation of the lost than the practice of demanding of them an anguish of soul before salvation in Christ can be exercised"

    “Upwards of 115 New Testament passages condition salvation on believing, and fully 35 passages condition salvation on faith. . . . Each one of these texts omits any reference to repentance...”

    He says that most passages “employ the word repentance as a synonym of believing (cf. Acts 17:30; Rom. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:25; 2 Pet. 3:9)” and a change of mind (Acts 8:22; 11:18; Heb. 6:1, 6; 12:17; Rev. 9:20, etc.).

    “To impose a need to surrender the life to God as an added condition of salvation is most unreasonable. God’s call to the unsaved is never said to be unto the Lordship of Christ; it is unto His saving grace.”

    Quotes taken from Lewis Sperry, Systematic Theology, Volume Three

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 1:37 PM  

  • Rose,

    I certainly wouldn’t put anyone who denied the need of repentance (as I believe I have Biblically defined it) among Old Time (I nearly wrote OT there) Evangelicals. With all due respects, Mr Chafer is a new boy on the block – not that you have to live in Puritan times to be respected - but he does represent the new position that the Church eschewed for 2,000 years.

    He is right to oppose the idea that we must demand ”an anguish of soul before salvation in Christ can be exercised." It is not for us to dictate what outwards form the repentance takes, but it is for us to demand repentance nevertheless in accordance with the NT. Some quake and fear exceedingly when confronted with their sins while others do not – but all still need to repent as commanded by God (Acts 17:30-31)

    The term repent is not a synonym for believe as charged, since both appear together in Mark 1:15/Acts 20:21. If you want to run with the faith-mentioned-but-not-repentance idea, then we need to see that there are verses where repentance only is mention without faith: Acts 5:31/Acts 26:20. I would argue that where the one is, the other is found there also.

    Re: the Lordship of Christ: No one will, of course, yield perfectly to Him - just as their faith and repentance will be imperfect. But I think that you would be hard pushed to find anywhere in the Bible where there is salvation held out for the stubborn unrepentant rebel who still loves their sin. Those who being reproved and who harden their neck shall be suddenly destroyed – not saved – and that without remedy (Proverbs 29:1)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/07/2008 2:18 PM  

  • My former (now deceased) pastor Dr. Ernest Pickering also:

    Repentance is not an act separate from saving faith but a part of it. When I believe on the Savior I am repenting of my sins.

    Synonymous.
    Charles Ryrie too.

    All new kins on the block I suppose.

    Well, Colin,
    I couldn't find John Calvin saying that repentance was a change of the mind or synonumous with faith ;~) (although I had heard that he did some place?), but who knows?
    Martin Luther? Augustine?

    Does a view have to be held by those of old for it to be the right interpretation? I think not.

    fair fa'ye' (how do you say that?)

    Keep her lit! :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/07/2008 2:42 PM  

  • Rose, I'll try and get back to you in the morning. Olive is putting the whean to bed and we going to watch a DVD together.

    With a wee bit more talking, (drawing out) I think I could run with Mr Pickering's words:

    Repentance is not an act separate from saving faith but a part of it. When I believe on the Savior I am repenting of my sins.

    I think the best illustration of faith and repentance are siamese twins - apart and yet together. There is no faith without repentance.

    No...being ancient doesn't mean being right (obviously not) but I wouldn't be happy with something that dates back less than 100 years either.

    See you in the morning (DV)

    Fair fa (rhymes with "ha" as in "haha")and "ye" as in the KJV

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/07/2008 2:57 PM  

  • Rose/All:

    This needs clarification. I wrote, "For Hodges and Wilkin repentance is only for the believer to maintain a harmonious relationship with God. Both men and most of their GES followers are the only advocates I am aware of for this view of repentance."

    I'm certain most Christians are for repenting and restoring broken fellowship with God.

    The second sentence was meant to be in reference to the GES view of eliminating the doctrine of repentance as a condition of salvation, not the "harmonious" aspect.

    I trust I have cleared up the misunderstanding my comment structure caused.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/07/2008 4:30 PM  

  • Rose, managed tae get a wee bit o' dialect frae our friend? :D

    By Blogger Missy, at 3/07/2008 6:02 PM  

  • Repentance that saves is a judgment of self, an appraisal of Christ, and the resulting transfer of trust from self to Christ.

    By Blogger Kevl, at 3/07/2008 7:32 PM  

  • [I was thinking though as I read them: you could pretty well say that about any non-Calvinist, what you are saying there about Wilkin.]

    Hi Rose,
    Thanks for your comments. I was a Christian for many years before I ever heard of Calvinism, so I would say that my view of repentance has not been affected in any significant way by my Calvinism. I came to Christ pretty much as a lone ranger, not having any other Christians around me at that time. I was raised in a family hostile to Christianity and at the time was into New Age teachings.

    I was given a Bible and some Christian books by my in-laws and I started reading the Bible at the beginning and read it all the way through that year, hiding it when friends came to visit so no one would think I was turning into a fanatic. The Holy Spirit was working in my heart and God showed me that I was a guilty sinner.
    By the time I got to the New Testament, I was praying and asking the Lord to save me.

    The rich young ruler never saw himself as a sinner. He went away sad and Jesus let him go. Jesus has nothing to say to the unrepentant and they have no place for his word.

    Luke 5: 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

    [I would imagine that any "just as I am" preacher who preaches that men can come just as they are without forsaking some known sin would fall under the same rebuke that you are presenting for Wilkin. So it makes me wonder, what would be an acceptable difference in evangelistic theory/approach for you?]

    We are surrounded by quite a few arminian Baptist churches here. While I might not agree with some of their doctrine, one thing I can say for them is that they don't fail to warn sinners of their present danger and their need for a Savior. God uses them in bringing sinners to Himself.

    Good evangelism is based on being faithful to the message of the gospel, the whole counsel of God. We aren't at liberty to take out parts of the gospel that might be offensive to the natural man like sin and repentance.

    Rev. Wilkin is ignoring and twisting the scriptures with his new paradigm. Christ gave clear commands about His gospel, but Wilkin teaches that most of the New Testament is not even relevant concerning the gospel. That is wrong.

    Deuteronomy 12:32 “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.

    [The guys that led me to Christ told me that I didn't have to change a thing - I could even keep going to bars if I still wanted to - Christ wanted to forgive me and give me his gift anyways. I suppose they were dangerous false teachers as well.]

    I don’t doubt that God can use messages that contain truth mixed with error to bring people to faith. The men who ministered to you were used of God, but part of their message was a teaching derived from men and not from God’s word.

    Teachers have a much greater responsibility before God to uphold the truth than the rest of us and will be judged more strictly because of their greater influence.

    Since we are ambassadors for Christ, we need to get the message right. God makes His appeal through us "Be reconciled to Christ". The need for reconciliation makes it evident that there is a present state of enmity between the sinner and God that needs to be understood and dealt with before there can be peace.

    Do you tell a lost person about sin and his need for repentance when you share the gospel with him?

    Every Blessing,
    Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/07/2008 10:00 PM  

  • [Art,

    I would like to study out what you are addressing, but what about Paul's gospel is different from the others? Susan said it was the same message. So I am confused.]

    Hello Missy,
    Paul said he received the message of the gospel directly from the Lord. The content of his message was the same as the gospel the other apostles preached.


    Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

    10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant [2] of Christ.
    Paul Called by God

    11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. [3] 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, [4] and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to [5] me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; [6] 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

    18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother. 20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.

    2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. 3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— 5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. 6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—
    those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/07/2008 10:51 PM  

  • Rose,

    Hi!

    When is someone going to make a biblical argument instead of quoting the teachings of men.

    Repentance is the perfect example. When a etymological study of the original texts of the OT and NT is becomes clear what repentance means. Further, when repentance becomes a condition of salvation, then whether you and I want to ignore ignore it these folks are agreeing with a central tenant of Lordship Salvation. It follows that they are in the lordship/reformed Calvinistic proponents.

    They also can't produce irrefutable arguments against FG theology. Why? When the science and art of hermeneutics are applied, their argument falls apart and so those who us the reformed view of repentance are following in the teachings of someone else.

    Why can't people think for themselves instead of reading a book and adopting someone else's doctrine. In fact a simple synchronic word study would convince me as to my position needing to be reevaluated.

    All I see is men (and women) quoting other men. would someone please make a biblical argument?

    Jim
    Highlands Ranch, CO

    By Blogger Jim, at 3/08/2008 4:17 AM  

  • Good morning Rose

    I hope you got a good night’s sleep and a lie in this morning. I got an hour and a half which did me the world of good, although I am a “morning person” anyway.

    Re: Repentance: Calvin believed it followed on from faith (although many Calvinists reverse the order) but still, the basic ingredients of the argument are there: Separate and yet together – the one invariably following the other. A believing sinner will be a repenting sinner and a repenting sinner will be a believing sinner. That he did not believe that they are synonymous is seen in his comment:

    Repentance not only immediately follows faith, but is produced by it (Institutes 3:3:1) It is interesting how he defined repentance: The Hebrew word for repentance denotes conversion or return. The Greek word signifies change of mind and intention.(Inst 3:3:5) I am not so much up on Luther or Augustine and too busy this morning to pursue it.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/08/2008 5:29 AM  

  • Rose,
    You read me right after your second cup of coffee.

    Missy,
    In the book of Acts Peter preached that Christ was murdered and came back from the dead. But nowhere do we find words from Peter, James or John saying Christ's death paid for our sins until after Paul communicated his gospel to them. First Peter 3:18 was written long after the events of Galatians 2:1-9 transpired. While people here may claim Peter's gospel was always the same as Paul's, saying this doesn't make it so.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/08/2008 8:17 AM  

  • Art writes: In the book of Acts Peter preached that Christ was murdered and came back from the dead. But nowhere do we find words from Peter, James or John saying Christ's death paid for our sins until after Paul communicated his gospel to them. First Peter 3:18 was written long after the events of Galatians 2:1-9 transpired. While people here may claim Peter's gospel was always the same as Paul's, saying this doesn't make it so.

    Peter (and John etc.,) heard it direct from the lips of Christ Himself that His death would be as a ransom for many:

    Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:28)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/08/2008 8:43 AM  

  • Susan,

    Thanks! It sounds like Paul could be refuting accusations very similar to Art's. At the very least he has taken great pains to point out that his gospel is the same. Didn't the other apostles also recieve their gospel directly from the Lord? Paul's was in a vision from Him, but the others actually walked with Him.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/08/2008 11:01 AM  

  • Art,

    Thanks for acknowledging my question! What could you recommend that I read or study to confirm that? Susan just gave a great deal of scripture to back up what she said. I mean no disrespect, but I hope you appreciate that because you said it wouldn't make it so either. ;)

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/08/2008 11:02 AM  

  • Rose,

    Good morning, good morning! Isn't it a lovely day? We are singing in the rain today. {c;

    I'm happy because it isn't snow.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/08/2008 11:05 AM  

  • [Didn't the other apostles also recieve their gospel directly from the Lord? Paul's was in a vision from Him, but the others actually walked with Him.]
    You are right, Missy,
    They all got it from the Lord Himself.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/08/2008 2:56 PM  

  • [God makes His appeal through us "Be reconciled to Christ".]

    Hi Rose,
    A small correction, I should have written "Be reconciled to God" not Christ. I should have looked it up before. Sorry.

    2 Corinthians 5: 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

    Have a peaceful and restful Sunday!

    ~Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/08/2008 3:22 PM  

  • Jim, you asked When is someone going to make a biblical argument instead of quoting the teachings of men.

    I always enjoy how when I quote the Gospel as defined by the Apostle Paul 1 Cor 15:1-11 it gets ignored by GES supporters. And especially when I quote Eph 1:13-14 which the Apostle also strongly ends this so called debate.

    13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

    14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

    It's interesting that the Apostle doesn't leave room for the debate.

    Neither does the Apostle John in the often quoted John 20:30-31 where he says but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ.

    See it is the testimony of what He did that identifies Him as Christ, the Son of God. It's not an empty title.

    You went on with this statement Further, when repentance becomes a condition of salvation, then whether you and I want to ignore ignore it these folks are agreeing with a central tenant of Lordship Salvation. It follows that they are in the lordship/reformed Calvinistic proponents.

    Sigh... I guess the Apostles were "Lordship Salvation" proponents then right?

    1 Cor 15:3 shows us that we are sinners in need of a savior. We must "repent" to trust the He died for our sins. That's part of "believing" the Gospel. You must believe that He died for "our" sins - mine, your's and everyone else's. And that this death was sufficient "according to the Scriptures" That's trust.

    You stated They also can't produce irrefutable arguments against FG theology. Why?

    You're right FG theology is solid. But this Crossless & Repentanceless gospel is not FG theology.

    You asked Why can't people think for themselves instead of reading a book and adopting someone else's doctrine.

    LOL I'm sure it's rude to laugh.. but when you're posting as a proponent for the Zane Hodges Society that's just funny!

    Look, I get my doctrine from a book. You can find several translations of that book at www.biblegateway.com I can't speak for everyone who sees the drastic error of Zane Hodges ideas but I don't have to. Scripture refutes what the man says a hundred times over.

    If you want to go on "thinking for yourself" go ahead. I'm busy casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. I'm all to happy to surrender my mind and have it renewed until I have the very mind of Christ.

    God Bless,
    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 3/08/2008 4:10 PM  

  • Kev,
    You give yet another definition for repentance. WOW, see - I am amazed at all the different things people think this means. Thanks for your thoughts.

    BTW, I don't think I saw Jim mention Zane Hodges once.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/08/2008 5:42 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/08/2008 5:45 PM  

  • Susan,
    Thank you for your personal story. That is great. I do find it amazing the different ways that God brings people to Himself.

    I just want to say that my initial point here

    I was thinking though as I read them: you could pretty well say that about any non-Calvinist, what you are saying there about Wilkin

    was in my question:

    So it makes me wonder, what would be an acceptable difference in evangelistic theory/approach for you?

    Also, you asked, Do you tell a lost person about sin and his need for repentance when you share the gospel with him?

    I do start by trying to get the lost person to see how separated from God they are because of sin, yes... falling short of the glory of God. I try to convince them toward a change of mind about Christ, in effect, so if that is what you mean by 'repentance' then my answer would be 'yes.' But... I would never tell them that they have to give up this sin or that sin to come to Christ, or even be sorry for sin, so if that is what you mean by 'repentance' then my answer would be 'no.' I do not see the gospel that way. I think the focus in evangelism should be on Jesus Christ - what He has done for sinners, all sinners.

    Have a great and blessed Lord's day yourself, Susan. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/08/2008 6:01 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Jim didn't mention Zane in this post (or thread that I'm aware of). But he posts in support of Zane's theology at Zane centered blogs. I have not seen these doctrines come from any other source but Mr. Hodges. That doesn't mean there is no other source, it just means I'm unaware of any other source.

    Here's my long and short study on Repentance. http://onmywalk.blogspot.com/2007/05/what-is-repentance.html

    Although after some studying some Hebrew I've found that it's entirely possible that I've misinterpreted the Cain and Abel deal. The vegetables vs blood offering.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 3/08/2008 6:02 PM  

  • Paul,
    I think that is really a unique point of view on the gospel :~)

    I don't agree with you. I think all the apostles were preaching the same gospel. I think Goodnightsafehome gives you the best Scriptural answer. I hope you will engage that. Thanks.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/08/2008 6:04 PM  

  • Kev,
    Do you agree with Paul's initial comment? thanks :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/08/2008 6:07 PM  

  • "And THEY (the twelve including Peter and John) understood none of these things, and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things that were spoken." Luke 18:34

    "BUT NOW the righteousness of God without the law is made manifest, being witnessed by the law and the prophets." Rom. 3:21

    "To declare I say, AT THIS TIME, his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus" Rom. 3:26

    "Now to him that is of power to establish you according to MY GOSPEL and the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the wold began." Rom. 16:26

    "But contraiwise, when they saw that the GOSPEL OF THE UNCIRCUMCISION was committed unto me as the GOSPEL OF THE CIRCUMCISION was unto Peter" Gal. 2:7

    "But before faith came we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith THAT SHOULD AFTERWARD BE REVEALED." Gal. 3:23

    "For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is GIVEN ME to youward." Eph. 3:1,2

    "...ye all are partakers of MY GRACE" Phil. 1:7


    Missy, Susan and anyone else who may be interested:
    For more information, do a search on mid-Acts dispensationalism. There are extremists among these people as to the differences between Peter and Paul (i.e., unfortunately, some have Peter teaching salvation by faith plus water baptism, circumcision and good works until Paul, some even after Paul's ministry began for a while) but there's also a lot of valuable insight about Paul's gospel as a new revelation from Jesus Christ. "Eat the fish and pick the bones," as people say.


    To all:
    Once again, I refer to my earlier questions and intend to be done (unless I see these actually "dealt with.")

    If the other apostles were already preaching exactly the same thing as Paul, why not just have Paul get his gospel, like we do, from others who already know it, instead of Jesus Christ himself?" (Gal. 1:12)

    Why was it important that Paul DIDNT get his gospel from the other apostles? (Gal. 1:11,12) Why did Paul make such a point of this (vs. 17-19)? The question here is why.

    If the other apostles were already preaching exactly the same message as Paul why then did he fear they might reject his gospel upon hearing it from him, and thus, take precautions by telling them privately, just in case, (Gal. 2:1)?

    To me, these questions regarding Galatians 1 and 2 have been taken too lightly here, and/or maybe stiff-armed, due to what they infer. Complaining about them isn't what I consider to be dealing with them.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/08/2008 6:29 PM  

  • Rose, I don't know what post you're asking if I agree with. Who is Paul here? sorry I just don't know. :)

    I haven't read the entire thread so I don't know what unique view he is speaking of.

    Your statement to him "I don't agree with you. I think all the apostles were preaching the same gospel." leads me to think I would not agree with him.

    1 Cor 15:11 says that all the Apostles preached this same Gospel 1 Cor 15:1-11

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 3/08/2008 6:56 PM  

  • Art,

    I am having trouble linking together your meaning from the scriptures you quoted. Is there a coded message when you put the emboldened words together? It may be over my head (almost definitely). I'll look into this Mid-Acts Disp.. stuff, but I don't even know what "dispensational" means. I keep meaning to look it up, but I have a feeling it will lead me closer to indoctrination. :)

    I may not be the one you are asking, but since your tone is so insistent:

    "If the other apostles were already preaching exactly the same thing as Paul, why not just have Paul get his gospel, like we do, from others who already know it, instead of Jesus Christ himself?"

    I thought the difference was WHO he was preaching the gospel to, not WHAT it was he was preaching. In fact the context of the scripture you refer to seem to confirm that pretty solidly. When I read of his conversion and vision, that certainly seems to be the point. Am I making it simpler than it is?

    "Why was it important that Paul DIDNT get his gospel from the other apostles? (Gal. 1:11,12) Why did Paul make such a point of this (vs. 17-19)? The question here is why."

    It seems to say to me that he wants to make it clear that no mere man convinced him of this outrageous idea that gentiles could recieve the salvation of the Jews. He first has a vision from the Lord himself, and to convince the apostles of his sincerity and validity - it is confirmed in his gospel as the very same gospel they have recieved.

    "If the other apostles were already preaching exactly the same message as Paul why then did he fear they might reject his gospel upon hearing it from him, and thus, take precautions by telling them privately, just in case,(Gal. 2:1)?"

    I think he feared rejection because of who he was and that they would not believe the Lord had asked him to take this message to the Gentiles. He told them privately so they could closely examine his gospel to see if it was the same as theirs.

    I really don't see anything here to imply anything else - when all this is taken in context. But conspiracy theories always intrique me, so I will check it out.

    Thanks,
    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/08/2008 7:02 PM  

  • Art, please forgive that I won't support my answers with Scripture I'm VERY short of time but I want to answer you.

    You asked If the other apostles were already preaching exactly the same thing as Paul, why not just have Paul get his gospel, like we do, from others who already know it, instead of Jesus Christ himself?" (Gal. 1:12)

    Why was it important that Paul DIDNT get his gospel from the other apostles? (Gal. 1:11,12) Why did Paul make such a point of this (vs. 17-19)? The question here is why.


    Because the qualifications for being an Apostle were that you be taught by the Lord and had seen Him after His resurrection. An Apostle was directly sent by the Lord.

    Paul was constantly defending his Apostleship to the disobedient assemblies - Corinth Galatia... because other people would come in as travelling preachers acting like "super apostles" telling the people what tickled their ears. Paul's Gospel was attacked by every means (much like it is today) and one of the main means used back then was to question his Apostleship.

    You asked If the other apostles were already preaching exactly the same message as Paul why then did he fear they might reject his gospel upon hearing it from him, and thus, take precautions by telling them privately, just in case, (Gal. 2:1)?

    This is a test of fellowship, that we have unity in the Gospel is it not? There is no question that they were preaching the same thing at all. They had full agreement with Paul. As he explains up to verse 10. He wasn't fearful they were preaching something different he was submitting to his elders.

    You commented To me, these questions regarding Galatians 1 and 2 have been taken too lightly here, and/or maybe stiff-armed, due to what they infer. Complaining about them isn't what I consider to be dealing with them.

    I'm sorry I missed your questions earlier. I trust you can find the Scripture I base my answers on. If you would like to explore my answers more fully please ask away.

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 3/08/2008 7:06 PM  

  • Finally, real responses to the questions I asked. Thank you Missy and Kev. I don't personally find your answers as satisfying as what I have been thinking but I do appreciate very much your integrity in not dodging but giving straight forward answers. Very refreshing. Do you now have a question you would like me to try to answer?

    By Blogger Art, at 3/08/2008 8:28 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/08/2008 8:28 PM  

  • Art,

    Sorry, that did not take as long as I thought. I think I know what dispensational means now...sigh.

    I think the fallacy of this Mid-Acts view is really apparent to me without digging deeply into it. I don't think it fully considers cultural differences and thus deduces, based on the fuller description required to spell out the meaning of Christ's sacrifice to the Gentiles, that it was a different gospel. Isn't it more probable that when Paul met the with apostles, and once won them over regarding the salvation of gentiles, his explanation of this message to the gentiles would have inspired them to explain the meaning of a blood sacrifice (which would have been apparent to a Jew) more clearly to their audiences? I mean, it seems rather apparent that the issue was not the gospel preached, but whether the converted gentiles should now be circumsized since the message up to that point had only been preached to the circumsized.

    You seem to want to debate this. Do you have a blog we can carry it to?

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/08/2008 9:20 PM  

  • Rose,

    I've been thinking about and having great discussion with my Mr. Right on this topic of labeling one another as disobedient. He pointed out it can really matter who or what your authority is. I think if you put another leader, book, theology or ideology (even your own reasonable understanding of scripture!) as authority in your relationship with God - you make yourself obedient to that authority.

    Hopefully that authority is obedient to God. :)

    I've been learning that the only authority in my relationship with God is God. I know those reading this are thinking, "DUH!" But I see a lot of people using debate tactics as their authority, like, "If my argument holds water in a forum, then I must be right." I really believe understanding is tested in living it out, and there are certainly some fine examples here of Christians doing that!

    "Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you." 1 Timothy 4:16

    I think we often focus on the part about paying close attention to "your teaching" at the expense of paying attention to "yourself."

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/08/2008 9:27 PM  

  • Missy, Art's posts here do not represent what Dispensationalism is.

    http://www.duluthbible.org/widgets/download.aspx?file=%2ffiles%2fResources%2fGrace_Family_Journal%2fGFJ_2001_PDF%2fGFJ_2001_06_NovDec%2fGFJ_2001_06_IntroToDispTheo_00_Showers.pdf

    That is an excellent introduction to Dispensational Theology.

    e-Grace has a link to this article and many other good resources at their page on the Dispensations. http://www.e-grace.net/dispensation.html

    Hope this helps,
    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 3/08/2008 9:36 PM  

  • Kev,

    Sorry. I did not mean to imply that I understand the Mid-Acts Disp. to represent Dispensationalism - which seems of which there are several variances. I was just sighing as another claw of theology sunk into my skin. :) But thanks for the information.

    Missy

    By Blogger Missy, at 3/08/2008 9:55 PM  

  • ya I saw the Mid-Acts line in your post and almost responded but I figured you had the difference in mind already.

    Just like anything people take a good thing and try to inject their own ideas into it... the older I get the less I seem to know about Scripture.. the more I realize I need to give grace to people who are just starting and respect those who have "gone through it" and come out the other side with a simple faith.

    It's easy to say "just let the Scriptures determine what you believe" and we really should.. but sanctification and the renewing of our minds is not an instantaneous thing..

    Kev

    By Blogger Kevl, at 3/08/2008 10:33 PM  

  • Missy,

    No, I don't desire a debate. I just thought it would be fair, since you did give real answers to my questions, for me to be willing to respond to any question you might like to ask concerning my view. No question, fine.

    As I conclude, I would offer this observation concerning the interest all here obviously have in the current message of GES. If the content of saving faith has never changed, regardless of where one draws the dispensational line, then it appears to me that Wilkin and Hodges have their case. If however, this did change at any time after the cross, then that is a very different matter. This is true whether one is Acts 2, mid-Acts or post-Acts in dispensationalism. I just happen to think mid-Acts people have the best arguments. Most any brand of dispensationalism, I think, will carry the day, if indeed the content of saving faith did change, and of course, I do understand it to be that way.

    Enough from me.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/08/2008 10:47 PM  

  • Art,

    Sorry. I re-read my comment and it was rather blunt. I've been in an odd mood, and am not usually that dismissive. I think I understand your point now and your purpose in that specific line of questions. Thanks for engaging me.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/09/2008 12:15 AM  

  • Good morning Rose,

    “He is risen!” (Matthew 28:6)

    Re: repentance in witnessing. You write: I do start by trying to get the lost person to see how separated from God they are because of sin, yes… falling short of the glory of God. I try to convince them toward a change of mind about Christ, in effect, so if that is what you mean by ‘repentance’ then my answer would be ‘yes.’ But… I would never tell them that they have to give up this sin or that sin to come to Christ, or even be sorry for sin, so if that is what you mean by ‘repentance’ then my answer would be ‘no.’ I do not see the gospel that way. I think the focus in evangelism should be on Jesus Christ – what He has done for sinners, all sinners.

    Without giving the impression that I would have a checklist of “Don’t’s” etc., which I must rhyme of as I preach the gospel, yet I think that true gospel preaching points out the odiousness of sin to God. You touch on it a little there when you say that you are trying to get the lost one to see how separated they are from God because of sin. Do you really think, though, that you succeed in this if the person is still determined to hold unto their sins and not be willing to forsake them? Without insisting on agonising shrieks (which, BTW, often accompanied the old time preaching of Jonathan Edward etc.,) or even tears, yet I fail to see anywhere in the Bible where the wicked are encouraged to think that they can saved while still sitting on in their rebellion. In thon great OT Evangelistic verse where we are encouraged to seek the Lord while He may be found and call upon him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6) – it is stated: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (v7) As you know, we do not insist on a reformation of character + faith to be saved, but I don’t think that the faith that saves is a faith that countenances wilful tolerance of known sin.

    Regards,

    By Anonymous goodnightsafehome, at 3/09/2008 6:02 AM  

  • Hello Rose.

    I do see what you mean.

    Very reasonable.

    By Blogger Kris, at 3/09/2008 9:40 PM  

  • I am just wondering what people think about conviction of sin?

    Here is what I believe, I haven't always believed it but I do at this time.

    The Law is written and when we(unbeliever & believer) read it if we are honest with ourselves it convinces us that we have broken the Law. But even if we are convinced we have broken any of the Laws that doesn't mean we can come up with "sorrow" for breaking the Laws.


    John 16:8-11 states that the Holy Spirit convinces the world of sin. That sin is described in verse 9; concerning sin because they(the world) do not believe in Me (Jesus). Many "commentators" have tried to include other sins in Jesus' statement here but there is nothing to add. If there was I'm sure Jesus would have done it.


    So telling a person they have to turn from any sin other than unbelief in Christ in order to be saved is not biblical. I don't think it is even biblical to say a person must turn from unbelief. I think it is much better just to say believe in Christ and you will be saved. What did Paul tell the Philippian jailer?
    By simplying saying believe gets to the heart of the matter and helps keep confusion out of the way.

    When the preacher at my mom's church came by my house to share the gospel with me I asked him if I had to quit smoking in order to be saved. He said no, no you don't. I had never heard that before. I thought I had to give up(repent) what "i" thought was sin in order to go to heaven.

    Well I believed in Christ and still smoked, in fact if I had quit smoking in order to be saved I would have had something to boast about.

    So I can relate to your experience Rose.

    Does anyone here believe unless a person gives up or must want to give up smoking then he can't be saved?

    By Blogger Kris, at 3/09/2008 10:21 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Kurt:

    Kurt: Repentance in the Bible is never set forth as the reason why people are saved. Faith is never set forth as the reason why people are saved. The reason is always rooted in the free grace of God alone, so there is no reason for the sinner to boast either in his repentance or in his faith. The channel can never become the cause. If someone can boast in their repentance, then they will find a way to boast in their faith. They should glory in neither, but only in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have never met a man yet who gloried in his repentance. His repentance presupposed his shame

    You write: So telling a person they have to turn from any sin other than unbelief in Christ in order to be saved is not biblical. I find it somewhat amazing that this is followed by the words, I don't think it is even biblical to say a person must turn from unbelief. Surely this later is a contradiction. How can you willingly embrace unbelief and yet exercise faith at the same time? I doubt if you will get any supporters for that one here, even with those who deny that repentance means willingness to forsake sin.

    It seems to me, if you are right, that the Rich Young money loving Idolater turned away from Christ far too soon and needlessly far too sorrowful. Eaten as he was with greed and idolatry, he could have lingered on, made some noises about believing Christ to be the Messiah and still have had pardon for the sin that he loved and (according to you) had no requirement to forsake. This would be akin to Christ saying to him, “Here’s a suggestion…give away that soul damning money you inordinately love, but if you don’t want to, fine! There is still pardon for obstinate sinners.”

    Re: smoking. I know of some folk who were saved and yet still craved their cigarettes. There were usually a few butts lying round the back of the church after the meetings. However, not one of them ever justified their deeds and to a man would have told you that they were seeking to give them up. Let’s take the matter higher. If a gangland boss got interested in the Bible but said that under no circumstances would he give up his violent, murderous, immoral, greedy ways, would you still tell him that he could be saved while loving his present sinful lifestyle? Are you not coming soon to the place whereby you will deny that such are sinful at all? If God is keeping quiet about them (i.e. the Spirit does not have them on His convicting list) and is ready to pardon and justify (declare righteous) the soul that is still wilfully wicked, then God’s holiness is not just as infinite and great as the Bible would have us believe.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/10/2008 5:46 AM  

  • goodnight,
    It was "Kris" not "Kurt"

    :~)
    now I will read your comment - just had to correct you on that.

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 3/10/2008 7:36 AM  

  • Oops! Thanks John,
    Sorry Kurt/Kris

    P/s I hope this is all you have to correct me on :0)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/10/2008 8:03 AM  

  • You wanna know soemthin funny?
    That was not John, that was me. John must've been blogging this morning and he was logged in - I made that comment on the fly as I was getting the kids off to school and didn't even realize that I made it under John's name.

    talk about oops!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/10/2008 8:41 AM  

  • Hey Colin,

    the soul that is still wilfully wicked

    I don't know where to begin with that concept.

    How about with this question:
    Are there some sins that are inevitable for us to do, even when we are saved... and others that are willful? Do you recognize a distinction here?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/10/2008 9:08 AM  

  • Kris,
    I am glad you can relate to my experience. Thanks for your comments.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/10/2008 9:18 AM  

  • Colin,
    from your earlier commetn:
    I don’t think that the faith that saves is a faith that countenances wilful (sic) tolerance of known sin.

    Again, I guess I need to know if you mean all sin, or just certain types.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/10/2008 9:21 AM  

  • Hi Rose, [ aka John :0) ]

    The point that I am making is this: Salvation is from sin (Matthew 1:21) Christ gave Himself for us that he might deliver is from this present evil world (Galatians 1:4) He is a complete Saviour who saves completely – He saves his people from the guilt, chains, pleasure and presence of sin. Our guilt is instantly removed in our 100% justification while deliverance from the chains and pleasure of sin occurs over our life time in a process which we call sanctification. Our sanctification is not accomplished completely in this life (only in the glory that it is to come) and therefore the Christian still sins and always will sin, although he should loathe his sin and seek ever to refrain from it. How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)

    We realise that on a practical level, there is often a difference between what we should do and what we actually do. I suppose (like as in a lot of things) it is not merely what is done, but what is done about it. The Christian ignores every warning given, ignores the means of escape, listens to the tempter, and sins. The deed is done and cannot be undone. Now what? In my view, if he is saved, he will know that he has grieved God with his sinning and will seek in repentance (confession etc.,) to have that sin pardoned. I know there is the argument that our sins are already pardoned, but the Lord Jesus still taught us to confess them (1 John 1:9) and to ask for forgiveness (Luke 11:4). He will also seek (albeit imperfectly) to avoid that sin, recognising it for what it is i.e. an affront to God. This is immensely do-able. On the other hand, where there is no acceptance that something is sin, where it is excused and willingly embraced and encouraged and opposed to condemned, confessed, pardon-sought-for and forsaken – then there (in my opinion) you have sin being added to sin, and more so if presented under the cloak of grace. Turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness (Jude 4)

    I don’t think we should be looking for a line on this matter so that we should see how close can I get to it without incurring divine wrath. If we must look for a line, then it is to the end that we might get as far from it as we can.

    Do you run with the above wording: I don't think it is even biblical to say a person must turn from unbelief? I don’t think you would, but no harm asking.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/10/2008 9:58 AM  

  • Colin,
    I believe I get what Kris is getting at with his statement:
    I don't think it is even biblical to say a person must turn from unbelief

    When you consider how he followed that up:
    I think it is much better just to say believe in Christ and you will be saved.

    He seems to be saying instead of focusing on this sin and that sin, Jesus should be the main character in evangelism, the positive command to "believe on Him", not the negative "give up the sin of unbelief." Also - I have another thought - "the sin of unbelief" sounds like sort of an abstract concept, no? ...to an unsaved, unread person?

    Colin, you said:
    I don’t think we should be looking for a line on this matter so that we should see how close can I get to it without incurring divine wrath.

    That is not the point, brother. Of course not! I wouldn't be about telling someone that. But I sure want to make certain that people know that they can never make themselves sorry enough, or repentant enough, or sinless enough to please God. Might as well come just as you are.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/10/2008 10:59 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Much of the gospel sounds like sort of an abstract concept to an unsaved, unread person Ask the average person in the street whether they want to drink of the water of life and see (at best) a dumb, mystified look!
    Ordinarily, there is no one liner silver bullet type statement, more so in this day when those of the church going generation with some Bible knowledge are now hitting retirement age! (At least in these parts)

    Again, the issue is not we are sorry enough, or repentant enough, or sinless enough to please God. That was never the issue. We can never approach God on the basis of what we have done. Even our Evangelical obedience is not the grounds of our salvation. But an imperfect faith and repentance is accepted with God and those who exercise them shall not perish. Where they are missing, then the Bible declares that salvation will be missing as well.

    To be honest, it will soon come to the place where sin itself will be up for debate! After all, why should we call unbelief or murder or adultery etc., a sin at all, if we are not called upon to forsake it and God is willing to justify us even if we insist on clinging to it and loving it? I must confess, I find this somewhat worrying, although (IMO) inevitable when repentance in its Biblical context is well nigh abandoned.

    Might as well come just as you are. I agree, but do come to be changed and you cannot be changed if you are determined to hold unto the very things that Christ died to change us from.

    Such were some of you

    Lil’ old-refusing-to-move-with-the-times me sends his regards :o)

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/10/2008 11:38 AM  

  • Kris,

    "Does anyone here believe unless a person gives up or must want to give up smoking then he can't be saved?"

    If you mean from lung cancer and an early death, yes. {c;

    Missy

    "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him." Roman 5:8-9

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/10/2008 11:50 AM  

  • Kris,

    Please be clear that I am SEVERELY convicted of my sin, it's other people's sin I am not so sure about. :) Sometimes I find that I have labeled sin that is latered revealed not to be sin - while other times I find something innocent which later seems guilty. How can I know? But I know me - and I know the sin the Spirit convicts in MY heart.

    Here is my thoughts on it for testing: Does Jesus tell everyone to sell all that he has for eternal life? No, he tells that SPECIFIC young man SPECIFICALLY what it is in his life that separates him from God - and eternal life is only found in God. You know, I am sure there are some out there to which smoking might be the one thing, or one of many things, that separates them from God. So I think my answer is "Maybe."

    But either way, I would be a bad sister if I didn't say you should quit. It's deadly and gross.

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/10/2008 12:07 PM  

  • Hi Rose, I'm back, briefly, I think. I was done here, I thought, but this morning (Monday) I've been thinking, maybe I really shouldn't let the impression stand that my view of Paul's gospel has been refuted. You have said you disagree with me because you believe Peter and the other apostles had already been preaching the same gospel that Paul preached and you told me that goodnightsafehome had the scriptural answer. Kevl has chimed in, painting my view of Paul's gospel as something far out. And others too think they have refuted my claim. So, I'm back for another visit.

    I've been told here by "goodnightsafehome" that Peter and the other apostles were aready preaching, before Paul, that Christ died for our sins and that Matthew 20:28 confirms this because Christ told them he would die as a ransom. This means (?) that the apostles preached this, before Paul, because they heard it directly from Christ. Really? Are you reading this "goodnightsafehome"? That's your argument, isn't it? And Rose, you told me this is the scriptural answer. Well, Matthew 20:28 does indeed say: "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to give his life a ransom for many." So, yes, Christ himself said this and the disciples heard him say it. So now please tell me, how does this establish that any of those disciples understood this and preached it?

    All I can figure is that you must be overlooking this important fact:

    "And they understood none of these things, and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things that were spoken." - Luke 18:34

    How can anyone possibly claim that hearing words they didn't understand teaches us that this is what those disciples preached? Again, Matthew 16:21,22 tells us that when Peter heard Christ talk about being put to death, he rebuked him, saying, "This shall not be unto thee." Don't you see. Peter did not agree with that idea, did not understand it, and most certainly could not have preached it. So, when did Peter learn better and start preaching this? Text please.

    This is a very simple matter. Produce the text, if you can, that shows Peter, James, John, or any of the other apostles preaching that Christ's death paid for our sins. My view is that they learned this from Paul, who received this by revelation directly from Jesus Christ. They learned it through Paul communicating this gospel to them in Galatians 2:1-9, and NOW, with Christ having given this gospel through Paul's ministry, anyone who preaches any other gospel is accursed (Gal. 1:8,9). That's the "code," Missy, in the list of Scriptures I quoted before. Peter preached, before Paul, that Christ was murdered and arose from the dead (and Paul preached this too, of course) but where is the text that tells us (until after Peter learned it from Paul's gospel) that Peter ever said Christ's death paid for our sins?

    By Blogger Art, at 3/10/2008 2:26 PM  

  • Art: Consider the following:

    1) The truth that Christ’s death paid for our sins is an OT truth. Isaiah 53/Daniel 9:26 come immediately to mind. The Apostles had frequent access to the OT.

    2) Christ spoke clearly of it in Matthew 20:28

    3) After the Resurrection (when a lot of things became clearer) the Saviour specifically expounded in all the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:25-27)

    4) In Acts 3:18 Peter related the sufferings of Christ to that which God by the mouth of the prophets had shown. This included reference to the blotting out of sin.

    5) There are several and general references to the Apostles preaching (Acts 5:20-2/5:42/8:4/8:25) where it may be safely supposed in the light of the foregoing verses that they preached what they knew

    6) They preached forgiveness of sins through the death of Christ (Acts 5:30-31) and spoke of being witnesses of these things

    7) Philip used Isaiah 53 to “preach Jesus” unto the Ethiopian with specific reference to verse 7 (Acts 8)

    In the light of these things, if you want to maintain your position, then that is your choice. I, for one, cannot follow you in your choice.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/10/2008 3:13 PM  

  • goodnightsafehome

    Either way, whether the change took place at Luke 24 (as you are guessing but not proving - it just isn't there as a truth understood in the texts you give) or later with Christ's ministry through Paul (as I understsand it to be), either way, Christ's death for our sins is a further gospel message from what the disciples preached before the cross, and thus, that earlier message is not sufficient today as GES claims.

    By Blogger Art, at 3/10/2008 4:43 PM  

  • Art, (and goodnightsafehome) forgive me, but I thought what you brought up is so interesting that it was worthy of it's very own post. I have made a new post and I hope we will take the discussion up there. Thanks!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/10/2008 4:50 PM  

  • I think Rose pretty well explained what I was getting at. Thank you Rose.

    I have a question for anyone though:

    What do you think Jesus mean't (John 16:8,9) when the Spirit comes He will convict world of sin... of sin because they do not believe in Me;?

    By Blogger Kris, at 3/10/2008 9:46 PM  

  • Matthew,

    You asked Art how the content of saving faith could ever change. This strikes me as odd since you consider yourself a dispensationalist (you do, right?). It's right near impossible to prove that Adam, Abraham, Noah, Moses, et al. believed the same thing we are required to today for salvation. Even if we take your minimalist version of the gospel, it's pretty tough to prove that the OT saints believed in or even knew of the name of Jesus, let alone that they had a concept of eternal life and were desiring it. There's certainly no evidence that the OT saints believed in the death and rez of Jesus. It seems manifestly evident that the required content of saving faith has not been the same at all times.

    Now, the basis of saving faith has always and will always be the same - the substitutionary atonement of Christ. The only reason anyone is able to be saved, forgiven of sin, and accepted into heaven is because of the work of Christ on the cross. That has never changed. But what specific beliefs have been required for people to be saved has changed over time as God has revealed more and more of his plan and truth.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/10/2008 10:15 PM  

  • Kris,

    My view of John 16:8-9 is that since "the world" does not believe in Jesus, then they are still condemned for their sin. As a result, the HS convicts the world of their sin so that they will, upon seeing their sinfulness, turn to Jesus and believe in Him for forgiveness of sin and salvation.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/10/2008 10:28 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Kris:

    Kris asks: I have a question for anyone though: What do you think Jesus meant (John 16:8,9) when the Spirit comes He will convict the world of sin... of sin because they do not believe in Me?

    I think he mentions unbelief as the chief sin and the root of all the rest. The men at Jerusalem were pricked in their heart when they were confronted with their sin of crucifying of Christ - their hands were indicted as wicked hands – and all this flowed from their unbelief. It cannot be that the root is evil but not the fruit. If the fruit is evil, it needs to be repented of and such can only follow when there is conviction of the sin, which is the Spirit’s work.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 3/11/2008 5:02 AM  

  • Rachel, if the saving work of Christ is objective in its value, why should the content involved in appropriating it change?

    If person in period A must believe X and a person in period B must believe X and Y, it would seem that the death of Christ is not enough to save a person, but extra conditions are required.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/11/2008 9:23 AM  

  • Are you feeling sufficent for the day ahead, Rose?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/11/2008 9:23 AM  

  • Matthew,
    I am feeling sufficient enough, I suppose. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, right? :~)
    It is still freezing cold in Ohio and I am beginning to be extremely disgusted with it! I thought when I went on my morning walk that things would be melty, but no! It was 18 degrees F (-7.77C) out.

    Matthew (and Rachel) I think you bring up a very good question. I hope it doesn't seem too much like I keep re-directing conversations, but I posted at the UoG blog about this very question just now. Maybe we could get into it over there. Or... carry on here, whatever suits you. :~)

    I am going to copy a couple of your comments there too, just for fun.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/11/2008 10:29 AM  

  • That OT saints believed in the coming Messiah for spiritual redemption (the same as we):

    How were people saved before Jesus came?

    BTW, last time I checked, one of the sine qua non of dispensationalism is not that saving faith must change.


    Small tidbit from the article:

    But that leads to an obvious question: “Faith alone in what?” “Abraham believed God,” but what did God tell him to believe? Some suggest that God didn’t tell Abraham to believe in Christ. But Jesus said, “…Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56 ). Two thousand years before Jesus came, Abraham looked ahead in time and believed in the coming Christ for eternal life. Therefore, he was saved by faith alone in Christ alone.

    Job made a similar statement, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth. And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:25 -26). Two thousand years before Jesus came, Job knew that his Redeemer was coming to this earth to pay the price for his sins. Job had a certain assurance that because of his Redeemer, he would live with God after his death.

    We also know that Moses: “…esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt ; for he looked to the reward” (Heb 11:26 ). Living 1,500 years before Jesus came, he not only believed in Christ, he also understood God’s truth concerning discipleship and rewards. Moses even wrote about Christ. As Jesus said to the Jews, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me” (John 5:46 ).

    Abraham, Job, and Moses illustrate that before Jesus came, people were saved by believing in the Christ who was yet to come. Today, we are saved by believing in the same Christ who has come. They looked forward. We look back. But people have always been saved in the same way, by faith alone in Christ alone.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 3/11/2008 7:34 PM  

  • Thanks for your reply Rachel. I always enjoy conversations with you.

    I understand kinda what you are saying. It stills seems a little unclear as to what each of us is really interpreting what Jesus was saying.

    I think He was saying the Spirit's work is to convict or convince the "world" of their unbelief in Him. Not necessarly convict or convince an "unsaved" person(world) of a sin against the Law of Moses.

    I think any unsaved person can read the Law and if they are honest with themselves then they know they have broken it. The Spirit doesn't have to convince a person of breaking the Law of Moses. The Holy Spirit role is to convince a person of unbelief in Christ.

    I don't disagree that a person needs to repent of unbelief in Christ in order to be saved. If they believe in Christ for eternal life then by default(for lack of a better term) they have repented of unbelief.

    I don't agree that a person has to repent of breaking the Law of Moses in order to be saved. Jewish unbelievers repent of breaking the Law of Moses all the time, they just don't believe the Spirit when He convicts them of their unbelief in Christ. This is a stumbling block for some and I think this the only unpardonable sin, the sin of unbelief that Jesus states in John 16:9 that the Spirit comes to convince the world of. The world is blinded by the devil to the grace of God because of their unbelief.

    2 Cor. 4:3,4
    3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
    4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.



    People stumble over the simple promise of God concerning His Son and the gift He offers because they think it is foolishness for God to save someone simply by believing Him. They want to DO something else such as stop certain sins in order for God to accept them and then give His gift, therefore they keep stumbling over the stumbling stone which is Christ who is according to verse 4 above the image of God Himself.

    After a person is saved then comes the repentance of breaking the Law but this repentance is inward, Godly without regret, not just turning from sin outwardly.
    I think repentance from breaking the Law before a person is born again is just a work and filthy rags before God.

    Anyway I know this is getting long. I hope I was clear even though I have trouble being concise. :)

    By Blogger Kris, at 3/11/2008 7:42 PM  

  • Antonio,

    You said,

    "That OT saints believed in the coming Messiah for spiritual redemption (the same as we)"

    That's rather interesting. I've never seen this statement from you describing what we need to believe to be born again. "Spiritual redemption" strongly implies an understanding of sin. But let me guess: you're going to define "spiritual redemption" as merely meaning "eternal life", which of course, only CG people would ever define it that way. Also, you said that "we" today need to believe that same thing, but I don't see anything there about needing to believe specifically in Jesus, which you have claimed previously. Are you now saying that the lost do not need to believe in the name of Jesus? I am quite sure that many an orthodox Jew who vehemently denies that Jesus is the Messiah could nevertheless quite readily agree with your statement above.

    You then said,

    "BTW, last time I checked, one of the sine qua non of dispensationalism is not that saving faith must change."

    Last time I checked, I didn't say that it was. But it was either Showers or Ryrie, and maybe both, who noted that a constant charge against dispensationalists is that we teach more than one way to be saved. A big reason for that charge is that most dispensationalists believe that the content of saving faith has changed over time. Covenant theologians do not believe this. Clearly no one is bound to believe exactly as a "label" would suggest (I am certainly proof of that!). But most dispensationalists do believe that the content of saving faith has changed over time as God has revealed it. I didn't say Matthew couldn't be a dispensationalist with his belief on this, I simply said it was surprising, and it was, but I've moved on.

    Need to go for now, I'll address your quotes later in the UoG thread.

    Kurt, thank you, I always enjoy a good honest theological discussion! I will get to your comments later as well.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/12/2008 12:11 PM  

  • Ack! I meant Kris, not Kurt. Your names are too similar! :-)

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/12/2008 12:12 PM  

  • {c;

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 3/12/2008 4:42 PM  

  • [I don't agree that a person has to repent of breaking the Law of Moses in order to be saved. Jewish unbelievers repent of breaking the Law of Moses all the time, they just don't believe the Spirit when He convicts them of their unbelief in Christ.]

    Hi Kris,
    God was not impressed with the Jews going through the outward motions of "repentance" while their hearts remained untouched.

    Joel 2:12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
    “return to me with all your heart,
    with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
    13 and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
    Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
    and he relents over disaster.


    God looks at the heart. All sins including unbelief are transgressions of the law and that is why sinners who do not seek Christ as their Savior will be condemned. Since the law can be summed up in a positive way as Loving God and our neighbor, whenever we sin we are not loving God and our neighbor and are breaking God's command. Everything done without faith is sin.

    The unregenerate experience a worldly sorrow or remorse which is not the same as repentance. Judas was sorry that he betrayed innocent blood but did not seek God's mercy and forgiveness by faith. Instead he hanged himself. Peter wept after he denied the Lord and his heart was broken. His was a godly sorrow, evidence that he was regenerated and had true saving faith.

    2 Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

    Without faith it is impossible to please God and the religion of the Jews who rejected Christ was worthless in God's sight because their religion was all done for the wrong reasons, not for the motive of love to God. Jesus said that men are guilty of breaking the law in their hearts even if they do not do the outward act. Faith and repentance cannot be separated Repentance cannot justify us, but it is the mark of a regenerate heart. You cannot repent unless you are also believing in Christ and trusting in His mercy, knowing He graciously receives sinners who come to Him.
    ~Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/13/2008 12:01 AM  

  • Rachel:

    You quoted Antonio's comment, which was, "That OT saints believed in the coming Messiah for spiritual redemption (the same as we)."

    Your reaction and question to Antonio below is excellent. I look forward to see if and how Antonio will reply to you.

    That's rather interesting. I've never seen this statement from you describing what we need to believe to be born again. "Spiritual redemption" strongly implies an understanding of sin. But let me guess: you're going to define "spiritual redemption" as merely meaning "eternal life", which of course, only CG people would ever define it that way. Also, you said that "we" today need to believe that same thing, but I don't see anything there about needing to believe specifically in Jesus, which you have claimed previously. Are you now saying that the lost do not need to believe in the name of Jesus? I am quite sure that many an orthodox Jew who vehemently denies that Jesus is the Messiah could nevertheless quite readily agree with your statement above.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/14/2008 9:47 AM  

  • Rachel:

    Do you have Ryrie's book on Dispensationalism?


    Lou

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/14/2008 5:21 PM  

  • Lou,

    If you mean Dispensationalism, yes, I have it, was just looking through it the other night in fact. I had to buy it for a required class in Bible college called "Dispensational Premillenialism". Good class, learned a lot.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/14/2008 5:30 PM  

  • Great! That book is the classic and is found on the shelves of theologians on both sides of that debate.


    Lou

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 3/14/2008 6:38 PM  

  • Hello Lou,
    You wonder what Antonio would say to Rachel about her question on believing in the name of Jesus? Interestingly, Antonio and Matthew once discussed this very thing on Antonio's blog. Here.
    They were discussing whether or not the actual name of Jesus was a necessary component of saving faith. I remember getting a charge out of that. I also remember that you made several comments in that thread. Actually, you and Antonio were so civil to one another in that comment thread, it is amazing to read this day.

    BTW, When I met my husband in 1992, he was reading Ryrie's book - it was actually called "Dispensationalism Today" back then before its subsequent printing.

    I do find it interesting and a little puzzling that Ryrie says the content of faith changes, but it is unclear from he writing in that book anyways, how many times it has changed... or when it changed.... in relation to the Incarnation. I would agree with him that the current dispensation began on the day of Pentecost, but it is a little tricky to say that the content of faith from the OT dispensation was not changed until the day of Pentecost.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/15/2008 9:08 AM  

  • [I do start by trying to get the lost person to see how separated from God they are because of sin, yes... falling short of the glory of God. I try to convince them toward a change of mind about Christ, in effect, so if that is what you mean by 'repentance' then my answer would be 'yes.' But... I would never tell them that they have to give up this sin or that sin to come to Christ, or even be sorry for sin, so if that is what you mean by 'repentance' then my answer would be 'no.' I do not see the gospel that way. I think the focus in evangelism should be on Jesus Christ - what He has done for sinners, all sinners.]

    Rose,
    Suppose a woman has been betrayed by her husband who has broken his marriage vows to her by committing adultery. After seeing the troublesome consequences of his unfaithfulness, the husband realizes he has made a mistake. He acknowledges intellectually that it would have been better if he had not done those things, but he feels no sorrow for the damage to the relationship or sadness breaking his wife's heart. He has no intention of being more faithful to his wife in the future. This is my understanding of your view of repentance. That is not Biblical repentance.

    When we are convicted, if God is working in us, we agree with God about our sin and see ourselves as hopelsee and guilty sinners who deserve condemnation. The law was given to lead us to Christ. It silences all our excuses and self-justifications. We know we have sinned against a holy God and our mouths are shut. We realize that Christ is our only hope for salvation.

    Repentance is not something which qualifies us to come to Christ as a pre-condition to faith, but happens along with and at the same time as justifying faith. When a person is converted both repentance and faith are involved. He must necessarily come to God through Christ seeking mercy and eternal life. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.

    Repentance is about restoring a broken relationship with God, the offended party. God forgives us when we repent. The Bible does not teach any forgiveness for the unrepentant. Unless the man above loathes himself for his sin and hates what he did, seeing how evil his actions are and how he has broken his wife's heart, there is no hope for true reconciliation.

    I see repentance as one of the fruits of a regenerated heart. The person who truly repents has been given a new heart by God and though he will continue to sin, he is no longer a slave to sin as he was before. The Son has set him free. His relationship with sin has permanently changed. He sees his sin nature as a traitor to Christ and will continue to fight against it with God's empowering help until his physical death. When he fails, he realizes that he has hurt his Heavenly Father and he is grieved. His sorrow leads to repentance and he is immediately restored to his previous fellowship with God.
    Blessings,
    Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/15/2008 11:46 AM  

  • Susan,
    Honestly, I am not sure what my view of repentance is, but what you say there in that first paragraph is not how I see coming to Christ, no.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/19/2008 11:40 AM  

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