HE KNOWS

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Free Grace Theology vs. The Bible

The Boston Christian Bible Study Resources



"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raise up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." 2Corinthians 10:5
Many times the Bible warns Christians to not be deceived, indicating that it is possible for you as a Christian to be deceived. Let me give you examples of the kinds of things Christians may be deceived about:

1Cor 6:9,10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Ephesians 5:5,6 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person— such a man is an idolater— has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

James 1:15,16 after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

James 1:26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

1John 3:7,8 Little children, let no one lead you astray. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.

These are all warnings against what has classically been labeled "Antinomian Theology", which today has evolved into what is called "Free Grace Theology".
Free Grace Theology is the idea:

That "Faith in Christ" means faith in Christ as Savior, but accepting Christ as Lord is optional.
related to which is also the misconception concerning Rev 3:20 - inviting Christ into your life.

That the faith that is acceptable to God for salvation is a non-application oriented mental assent to ideas.

That repentance is viewed simply a "change of mind" without necessarily any change of behavior

That there is not necessarily any correlation between a person's behavior and their salvation status

That the object of faith is one's own assurance of salvation, and thus one should never doubt or question whether they are saved or not.

And "Free Grace" theology sees a distinction between the New Testament expressions "entering the kingdom" (being saved) and "inheriting the kingdom" (reigning).


If these are the things you have been led to believed, then you have been deceived.

Please see this site...

http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/freegrace.html

17 Comments:

At 8:14 AM, Blogger bluecollar said...

You are brave. I love what you posted here.

You and I may disagree on calvinism, but we are one in our opposition of this heresy.

Great post, Doug!

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger Doug E. said...

Amen,

The nature of the new covenant is more than God giving us mental assent. He writes his laws on our hearts, puts his fear in our hearts (Jer and Heb). And gives us a heart of flesh for a heart of stone. If this doesn't describe a new creation with new desires, I'm not sure what it means. Praise God for what he does in us and through us.

Good post,

Doug

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger Antonio said...

Doug writes:

----------
That "Faith in Christ" means faith in Christ as Savior, but accepting Christ as Lord is optional.
related to which is also the misconception concerning Rev 3:20 -
inviting Christ into your life.
----------
What does "accepting Christ as Lord" do? What is its purpose? How do you accept Christ as Lord? Practically speaking, how does this look?

What I find in the Bible is the exhortation to believe in Jesus, to take Him at His word concerning His promise of eternal life to the believer. If I have all my trust and reliance upon Jesus to save me from hell and to give me eternal life, in respect to the appropriation of eternal life, why is "accepting Him as Lord" necessary?

You continue:
----------
That the faith that is acceptable to God for salvation is a non-application oriented mental assent to ideas.
----------
1) Why must faith be application oriented in order for it to be faith? So are you saying when I have the faith that is acceptable to God for salvation, I am at that moment promising to do works, that I am in effect enacting a contract between the me and God that God will provide me salvation providing that I have determined to work for Him, IOW, be application oriented?

You continue:
----------
That repentance is viewed simply a "change of mind" without necessarily any change of behavior
----------
There are Free Grace advocates who believe this.

I do not. I believe that repentance starts with a change of mind, may include remorse, but does result in a change of behavior (though no time is specified).

Yet the bible does not require repentance for eternal life. If it did, then it would be requiring works for salvation.

You continue:
----------
That there is not necessarily any correlation between a person's behavior and their salvation status
----------
One is saved by grace through faith apart from works, says Paul (Eph 2:8,9). Why is it now that one must look to his works to see if he is saved? This is most inconsistent!

If we are saved by grace through faith, and I assert that we are, assurance of our salvation will not come by looking to our works (which do not contribute in any way to our salvation, either before saving faith or after), but will come by in faith, looking to Christ and His promise.

Correlation between his behavior (or works) and his salvation status? So here is where the rubber meets the road:

No good behavior (IOW, no works) = unregenerate = hell

or by the mathmatical law of equality

no good behavior (IOW, no works) = hell

But Paul is explicit:

"But to him who does not work [notice the present tense] but believe on Him who justifies the ungodly his faith is accounted as righteousness" (Romans 4:5).

There is no necessary correlation. Status of salvation is in no way correlated to behavior, but to faith in Christ. And it is to the ungodly, who does not work!

You have it all backwards, my friend!

You continue:
----------
That the object of faith is one's own assurance of salvation, and thus one should never doubt or question whether they are saved or not.
----------
This is a mischaracterization of the Free Grace position. We believe that assurance is of the essential nature of saving faith. When I believe Christ's promise, when I take Him at His word when He says, "Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life" I by necessity have absolute assurance, for I am believing Christ's statement, and He says that all who believe in Him has everlasting life!

You continue:
----------
And "Free Grace" theology sees a distinction between the New Testament expressions "entering the kingdom" (being saved) and "inheriting the kingdom" (reigning).
----------
Seeing that they are different expressions, using two different words, with two totally different definitions and ranges of meaning, the burden of proof would be on YOU to prove that they ARE the same!

Any disinterested party would see that the terms "inherit" and "enter" are widely divergent words. It takes the theologian with his theological agenda to equate the two.

Just take a look at the Bible before you make such claims.

Is it so hard to see the distinction in imagery? The difference between one who merely inhabits a place and one who actually owns it?

Israel had to fight for their inheritance in the land, driving out the inhabitants. This was a reward for work done. The same with inheriting the kingdom of God.

Merely entering the kingdom of God is by faith in Christ, by being born again (cf Jn 1:12 with Jn 3:3)

You conclude:
----------
If these are the things you have been led to believed, then you have been deceived.
----------
That is your presumption.

I do not believe that it is based upon any meritable premesis.

Antonio

 
At 8:16 PM, Blogger bluecollar said...

Antonio says:"Any disinterested party would see that the terms "inherit" and "enter" are widely divergent words. It takes the theologian with his theological agenda to equate the two."
---------
No sir. It takes a comparing scripture with scripture. Note Luke 18:18-30. See in verse 18 "inherit" is used interchangably with "enter" in verse 24 and 25. The Bible is its own dictionary. It takes place again in Mark 10:17-31. "inherit" verse 17, and "enter" verses 24-25.
--------------
"What does "accepting Christ as Lord" do? What is its purpose? How do you accept Christ as Lord? Practically speaking, how does this look?

What I find in the Bible is the exhortation to believe in Jesus, to take Him at His word concerning His promise of eternal life to the believer. If I have all my trust and reliance upon Jesus to save me from hell and to give me eternal life, in respect to the appropriation of eternal life, why is "accepting Him as Lord" necessary?"
------------------
Because, when the WHOLE Bible is consulted we see that Jesus, not John, is the authority on evangelism; and He says that repentance and remission of sins is to be preached in His name to all nations. If we look at Acts 26:18 we see that the order of things is turning from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God - this is the description of repentance - and then comes the forgiveness of sins. This is where your theology is so dangerous assurance to the unrepentant is a lie.
------------
"1) Why must faith be application oriented in order for it to be faith? So are you saying when I have the faith that is acceptable to God for salvation, I am at that moment promising to do works, that I am in effect enacting a contract between the me and God that God will provide me salvation providing that I have determined to work for Him, IOW, be application oriented?"
-----------
Saving faith is always accompanied by obedience in the Bible. Note one place in particular: John 8:51 " most assuredly, I say to you,if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death". Eternal life is a shared life, the Son living through me in the Holy Spirit. A regenerate life is marked by obedience. There is no "contract". We believe in Him Who justifies the ungodly. The moment we believe we are eternally justified before God. We can't add to or take away from that. We are justified BEFORE any good work or act of obedience issues forth.

Repentance is the acknowledging that we have all gone our own way. We come to a place where we are helpless before God and cry "God, be mercifull to me a sinner. We are justified right away. We walk away from that encounter Justified, justified and changed. We are now new creations, with new desires. Now we wish to take Christ's yoke upon us and to learn from Him. If we are doing that, what time is left over to live in sin? Hence, repentance has taken place and subsequent conversion.

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger forgiven said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger forgiven said...

HI Antonio

Antonio said

What I find in the Bible is the exhortation to believe in Jesus, to take Him at His word concerning His promise of eternal life to the believer. If I have all my trust and reliance upon Jesus to save me from hell and to give me eternal life, in respect to the appropriation of eternal life, why is "accepting Him as Lord" necessary?

Antonio who is your Lord? Is Zane Hodges?

You say

I do not. I believe that repentance starts with a change of mind, may include remorse, but does result in a change of behavior (though no time is specified).

Yet the bible does not require repentance for eternal life. If it did, then it would be requiring works for salvation.

Jesus said go and sin no more….

What does that mean? Be a good boy or girl .

Jesus says ,
If you love me keep my commandments.

Paul and Silas were in jail in the city of Philippi and at midnight they sang and prayed until God broke down all the doors and broke the stocks which held their feet, with a mighty earthquake. The poor jailer, frightened and convicted of his sins, came to these two preachers and asked this question. Read it in Acts 16:29-31:
29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Look at the work LORD… He did not say look at Jesus . He said Lord Jesus

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"Jesus said go and sin no more…."

Indeed He did, Doug. So does you receiving eternal life depend upon your obediance to this command?

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger forgiven said...

Hi DF

What is sin? James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” REPENTANCE causes true salvation, and salvation gives a person the power to live free from sin. Romans 6:22 says, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”

It is time to REPENT and “GO, AND SIN NO MORE.”

St. John 8:11b “…And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

So I would say say

God Bless
Doug

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Doug, if this command is a condition of receiving eternal life, does receiving eternal life depend on obediance to it?

Yes or no?

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger forgiven said...

Hi DF you said

Doug, if this command is a condition of receiving eternal life, does receiving eternal life depend on obediance to it?

Yes or no?

Read this and tell me what Jesus says




Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."

1Co 6:9,10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5:5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-- such a man is an idolater-- has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Matthew 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

I ask you that same question....

Thank You
Doug

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger bluecollar said...

Please also note the order in Acts 3:19 - " 19Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord"

"Acts 3:19 (Amplified Bible)
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation


19So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of [a]reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord; - Amplified

Acts 3:19 (Contemporary English Version)
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society


19So turn to God! Give up your sins, and you will be forgiven.

Acts 3:19 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson



19-23"Now it's time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins


Rentance precedes having ones sins blotted out

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger bluecollar said...

Acts 26:18 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


18to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'

Acts 26:18 (Amplified Bible)
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation


18To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me.(A)

Acts 26:18 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.


18to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me.'

 
At 6:13 PM, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Doug, I know I have not stopped sinning and I suspect I may commit a few more sins. So if that verse is a condtion of eternal life, I am a lost man.

 
At 2:09 PM, Blogger forgiven said...

DF said

Doug, I know I have not stopped sinning and I suspect I may commit a few more sins. So if that verse is a condtion of eternal life, I am a lost man.

If we have acknowledged our guilt, and heard God's words of forgiveness, he is saying to us, "Go, and do not sin again." He could never say that to this woman unless something had happened within her; the power of sin had been broken. We do not sin because we are temporarily overwhelmed by a strong passion of the moment. We sin because we have a nature of sin, of self-centeredness; we hunger after things that are wrong and we easily yield to sin. We cannot help ourselves at times.

"Man is born unto sin," the Scriptures say {Job 5:7}. We all are born to share that fallen nature. Unless that power of sin is broken within us, unless God does something to free us and give us the possibility of a new life he never will say to us, "Go, and sin no more."

But when Jesus says these words to this woman it is clear that she has the possibility of fulfilling it. He never tells anyone to do something that he does not enable him or her to do. Thus, he does not forgive us in order that we might go back and continue in our sins. The Apostle Paul wrote these wonderful words to his son in the faith, Titus,

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

We understand that when our sins are forgiven it is to free us that we might begin to live a different lifestyle; never to go back to the things that we have left behind. Sometimes we may. Sometimes we are weak, and need again the forgiving grace of God. But forgiveness is always designed to set us free. That is why it is given. When our Lord forgave this woman that is what he did: He set her free to be a different kind of person than she ever was before.

So DF if you look at this there should be a heart of repents, if you feel no remorse then you might not be saved.

Thank You
Doug

 
At 2:25 PM, Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Doug, I certainly do feel remorse when I sin.

However, Jesus does not say:

'Make sure you are sorry when you sin.'

'Try not to sin.'

He says 'Go and sin no more.'

Either this is a condition of receiving eternal life or it is not a condition of receiving eternal life.

If it is a condition, it must be clear how it is to be fulfilled. The correct response to this command is urely not sinning again. If one sins once after hearing this command, it has not been fulfilled. Therefore, if it is a condition of receiving eternal life, then neither of us has fulfilled it.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger forgiven said...

Hi DF

You said:

If it is a condition, it must be clear how it is to be fulfilled. The correct response to this command is urely not sinning again. If one sins once after hearing this command, it has not been fulfilled. Therefore, if it is a condition of receiving eternal life, then neither of us has fulfilled it.

39
(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
{John 7:39}

When you received Jesus Christ, you received the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps you did not know it for you did not feel anything. This is what often leads people astray. They are often expecting some strange sensation when the Holy Spirit comes in. But the Holy Spirit is life: moral life, spiritual life, God's life, and just as there was no sensation when physical life began, so there is no sensation when spiritual life begins. Yet it is there.

If you have believed in Jesus Christ, you all have received this anointing from the Holy One, the gift of the Holy Spirit. Now, having received him, John says, "you all know," i.e., you have now been rendered capable of knowing as God intended man to know from the beginning.

You have now had restored to you that which was taken away in the Fall, that which has been missing in your heart and life until you came to know Jesus Christ. No longer must you walk on in confusion, darkness and uncertainty, unable to find your way through the maze of contradictory opinions and forces, but you have something by which you can know.

For the first time in your life, you have received the necessary equipment to know. To know what? To know the truth!

Matthew

For the first time this woman knew. Jesusd gives you the power by the Holy Spirit to know when you sin and ask for for giveness. Its not that you will not sin , but sin does not have a hold on you . You will sin, but it does not control in you.

Thank You
Doug

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger Ryan S. said...

This so called Free Grace Theology as espoused by Zane Hodges and Charles Ryrie is most definitely erroneous, unbiblical and antinomian. We as believers are called to sanctification, and a geniune saving faith bears fruit. There is no confusing the act of justification and sanctification. I hear a lot of distorted straw man arguments that these antinomians impute to other Christians.

I gandered at Hodges' clearly antinomian book Absolutely Free back in undergrad at the library. From what I have read, Hodges believes that a person can fall into avowed unbelief (namely atheism), and recant a confession of faith, and die as an avowed atheist and by Hodges' strange conjecture, such a person is still redeemed! What a bunch of non-sense?!?!?! My contention would be that such a person was never of the body of Christ nor regenerate. But this sad affirmation is an eye-opener to their antinomianism. They are slick talking, but illogical. They fail to harmonize the Scriptures, and rightly divide the Word of Truth. Adherants of Free Grace theology typically come with some strange arguments, such as the dubious implication that they are affirming the doctrine of justification by faith alone while others are have trouble grasping it. Faith alone is not a barren faith devoid of good works.

The New Testament gives numerable examples of the status of those who depart from us, or appear to depart from the faith. They were never of us!

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:18

Antonio fails to grasp and distinguish between justification and sanctification, or is trying to erect a weak straw man argument to attack and attribute to those Christians who disagree with him. No one here is questioning the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

Repentance is all of God, as 2 Timothy 2:24-25 makes clear: "...if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth having been taken captive by the devil to do His will."

 

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