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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Genuine or Deceived || The Efficiency

Man, I have loved being at this camp this week. I've loved focussing on the gospel, doing some sermon prep for GGBC, and hanging with friends and my family (so thankful they are here!). Yet, I read the comments posted the last couple days and have wished I had been home to enter into the conversations...great thoughts!

I should take a moment to comment as well. As I have walked through these posts, I think the false convert is found in the person who denies these truths. I agree with many of the comments (and I better, since you were agreeing with the Word!) that salvation is available to children, because our faith must be like that of a child. A child can comprehend the necessary elements of the gospel. I also am praying that thirty years from now, I will be so scared of the weakness of my faith at age 30 (right now) that I will shudder. We all have deeper to go. That's part of the joy!

Genuine or Deceived: The Efficiency

In light of what God has offered, how does one become saved? I believe justification by faith alone in Christ is abused in the world, as well as many in "evangelical" churches.

    In the world, "Faith in Christ is not necessary.

In our post 9/11 society, it is practically inhumane to be exclusive about anything. But God has no other choice. Consider the grusome nature of Christ's work on the cross. Remember that just before He is kissed by His betrayer, He asks the Father if this cup could be passed. What was the answer He received? Silence. Now if ignorance or sincerity could save a person, how vindictive and unjust is God for remaining silent as His Son cried out? Persons must be saved by faith in Christ alone, or God is evil for requiring an unnecessary payment from His Son. Misconception of this concept is typically revealed in these two questions:
    What does God do with the person who never heard the name of Jesus and dies?
    Are you telling me that God will send a devout person to hell simply because they chose the wrong religion?
Any compromise of an answer that all persons deserve hell and God's wrath can only be satisfied in the work of His Son is to walk away from orthodoxy. We must be willing to defend these truths.

    In the church, believe has been watered down.

Some people have noticed my frequency to use the words "repent and trust" and have asked me questions about this. Where does the attachment to these two words come from. The answer: the original languages. Today, we understand believe to be an intellectual assent, or a willingness to adopt (and perhaps adapt) thought to make it agreeable. However, to believe is to actually abandon my thought or direction (repent) and to fall completely on the truth articulated in Scripture (trust). Somewher along the line, the church has highjacked the word "believe" in Scripture and in practice changed it to the word "believed." If we can get a person, in a moment of heightened emotion or mental fatigue, to be agreeable to the gospel, then they have becomed saved. Understand, a genuine believer can not lose their salvation. However, a genuine believer's salvation is evident in their persisting faith. A card signed, aisle walked, or prayer repeated means nothing in the counsel of Scripture. It is condition of the heart. Does repentance and trust reside in that heart? Then we have the genuine believer.

For about 500 years now, the church has been familiar with the heresy of faith cooperating with works or ordinances of the church to earn salvation for a believer. However, it has become just as prevelent to find a universalism or decisional regeneration doctrine in our churches as well.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith!


  • At 10:02 AM, Blogger Matt Strader said…

    These ideas have been on my mind for quite some time. I wonder how many people in the church have a false conversion? I wouldn't be surprised if the number was shockingly high.


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