Are Gender Roles a Distraction From the Gospel?

Should we stop teaching Biblical commandments regarding gender roles? Is the teaching of Biblical gender roles a distraction to spreading the Gospel and bringing people to Christ?

This is what a lot of Christians today believe.  In fact I personally know many preachers today who say they stand on the Word of God yet they take this approach that “teaching what the Bible says on gender roles distracts from reaching people for Christ”.

Some of these men are firm believers in Biblical inerrancy.  They would even be considered “conservative” in many aspects of their life and ministry.  They will preach on many subjects including the church, giving and general holy living topics. They don’t believe that preaching “thou shalt not bear false witness” or “thou shalt not covet” are distractions to the Gospel. But to them teaching women that God says Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing is a distraction from the Gospel.

Recently I received an email from a man calling himself Mike.  I believe his email is a very good representation of what I have actually heard from Christian ministers today even if he is not a minister. This issue needs to be addressed as we challenge our culture (sadly even our Christian culture) with the truth of God’s Word.

With that said below is Mike’s email.

“We have so many people that we Christians need to help simply cross the line into believing in God first and foremost that this is where our number one priority should be. Your site and others like it simply muddies the waters.

If you can’t even understand “Judge not lest ye be judged”, how in the world do you come to the conclusion that your interpretations are correct and everyone who doesn’t believe as you do is wrong?

Are you not seeing just how flawed as a human you are when you make statements concerning interpretations? I certainly know the sinner I am and would never presume to make the statements you do about scripture. Knowing the mind of God is beyond all our capabilities. When we get people to believe, HE will take care of the rest. People must make up their own minds WITH the gifts God gives them. That is between HIM and them. No one on this planet has the right to judge them on those beliefs except God.

I’m actually curious if you really believe that those who don’t share your interpretations are not going to be saved?

My above statement about helping people to make that commitment to believe becomes so much more important when I see these types of arguments on your site being batted back and forth. They become terrible distractions to the main mission! “Faith alone”, not works or anything else for that matter. We MUST focus on that. I have a brother I can’t even help understand Gods existence. Believe me when I say I understand my flaws. You should be helping your readers to understand yours.

Gender roles are simply not an important subject as long as men and women treat each other with respect. We can’t even get that done right! It just becomes another pointless distraction in the bigger picture of faith. Time passing alone changes things as they become more fully understood. I certainly don’t follow food instructions from the Bible, do you? This is precisely why we must get people believing FIRST, then LET God do his work within them. Remember that the “Judge not” statement literally covers all of scripture. I’m curious as to how or even if you will respond. I won’t hold my breath, but MY belief in God told me this needed to be said.

Respectfully Yours. Mike”

 

What follows is my response to several key statements Mike makes on this issue.  I think this will truly help to clarify these assertions that are so commonly made today by many Christians in our culture regarding the teaching of Biblical gender roles.

Shouldn’t the Gospel Be Our Number One Priority?

Mike’s Statement:

“We have so many people that we Christians need to help simply cross the line into believing in God first and foremost that this is where our number one priority should be.”

I very much believe that as believers in Christ our first priority should be reaching people with the Gospel of Christ.

Christ said this before his ascension:

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” – Matthew 28:19 (KJV)

If I teach someone about Biblical gender roles and they implement that in their marriage but they have not placed their faith and trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior their following of Biblical gender roles won’t benefit them in the eternal sense.  They will die and go to hell as all those who do not take Christ as their savior will do.

It is only when they place their faith and trust in Christ that their following of Biblical gender roles will have value not only in this world, but also in the world to come when they receive their reward for the race they have run in this life.

Do you have to believe in Biblical gender roles to be saved?

Mike’s Statement:

“I’m actually curious if you really believe that those who don’t share your interpretations are not going to be saved?”

Being baptized does not save us. Being part of a particular Christian denomination like Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran or Methodist does not save us and believing in and practicing Biblical gender roles does not save us.

This is what the Bible says saves us:

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” – John 1:11 (KJV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16 (KJV)

“9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)

“1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV)

It is believing in our heart that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, that he died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day for our redemption that saves us.  If we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior we become children of God and have passed from death to life.

Isn’t it wrong to judge others for not following Biblical gender roles?

Mike’s Statement:

“If you can’t even understand “Judge not lest ye be judged“, how in the world do you come to the conclusion that your interpretations are correct and everyone who doesn’t believe as you do is wrong?”

Mike is displaying the common misinterpretation of the principle of not judging people.  Let’s see what Christ actually said about judging.

“1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)

When Christ made his famous statement of “Judge not, that ye be not judged” he explained in the verses that follow the type of judging he was talking about.  He was talking about hypocritical judging.  That means if you are doing the same thing or worse you have no business telling someone they are wrong.  Fix your own house before your try to fix other’s houses.

Christ later actually COMMANDS us to judge in the passage below.

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” – John 7:24 (KJV)

Paul later tells us not judge one another on disputable matters:

“1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” – Romans 14:1-4 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul says we as Christians should not judge one another when it comes to disputable matters.  This has to do with personal applications of the Scriptures to our daily lives. For instance one person may feel they have the freedom to drink alcohol and another person may not because they were raised by alcoholics or have a fear they may succumb to alcoholism.  The one who drinks should not judge the one who does not believe they can drink and the one who does not drink should not judge the person who takes advantage of his freedom to drink.

There may even be some differences with how one husband applies the Biblical principles of male headship with his wife and how another applies it with his.  For instance one man may allow his wife to writing out the checks for the bills and another man may never allow his wife to see the bank account or check book. This is an example of a personal application the principle of male headship in marriage.

The point is on the subject of judging – we are actually commanded to judge by Jesus Christ himself.  We are simply commanded to do it in a righteous way.  It is not hypocritical judging or even judging on disputable matters to preach what God clearly says in his word about the distinct roles for which he made men and women and what he says about marriage.  If we compare God’s Word to what Christians and non-Christians alike say that directly contradicts with clear statements of the Scriptures that is not wrong judging, that is in fact righteous judging.

How can we as flawed humans presume to interpret the Bible for others?

Mike’s Statement:

Are you not seeing just how flawed as a human you are when you make statements concerning interpretations? I certainly know the sinner I am and would never presume to make the statements you do about scripture. Knowing the mind of God is beyond all our capabilities.”

I am well aware of my own person flaws and my sin nature. I encourage people here regularly to follow the psalmist’s words:

“23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV)

And yes we as human beings can never fully understand the mind of God as the Scriptures say:

“15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.” – I Corinthians 2:15-16 (KJV)

We can never fully understand God’s mind or his thoughts.  However we can understand through Christ and the Holy Spirit what God has revealed about himself through his Word.  And we are not responsible for what God has not revealed but only what he has shown us in his Word.

Christ called on us as flawed human beings to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24) as I pointed out to you earlier. God calls on us to submit to flawed human beings in government (I Peter 2:13-14). And God even calls on women to submit to flawed husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24, I Peter 3:1-6).

The men who gave us God’s word were flawed as well as the men who preached it after them. The difference was that Paul and the other Apostles and Prophets who gave us the Scriptures while being flawed sinners received perfect revelation from God.  He was one of the few men in the history of the world that God chose for this great privilege.   This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)

But  God actually has given the gifts and offices of Pastor and Teacher to help people interpret the Word of God:

“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”- Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)

What we see here is God talking about gifts he has given for the edifying of the body of Christ. God has personally given me the gift of being a teacher and I have tried in my own imperfect way as he has given me grace to exercise that gift over the years. Whether it was when I taught Sunday school classes or other groups I was exercising my spiritual gift “for the edifying of the body of Christ”.

In fact Paul warns the young Pastor Timothy not to neglect his spiritual gift:

“14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” – 1 Timothy 4:14 (KJV)

God does not want me to stop preaching his Word or teaching the interpretation of the Scriptures.  He placed this gift in me for the edification of the body of Christ as he has done with many imperfect and sinful men for thousands of years.  Do I claim that all my interpretations and applications of the Scriptures are infallible? Of course not.  Only Christ and his Prophets and Apostles were infallible as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

But God wants me in my own imperfect way to exercise the gift he has given me and other men with similar gifts to do the same until we all reach heaven where we will be perfectly unified in our understanding as we are in the presence of God himself.

Does Anyone Have the Right to Correct or Rebuke Other’s Bible Interpretations?

Mike’s Statement:

“When we get people to believe, HE will take care of the rest. People must make up their own minds WITH the gifts God gives them. That is between HIM and them. No one on this planet has the right to judge them on those beliefs except God.”

Did Paul say this to a young Pastor named Timothy – “Timothy you are a flawed and sinful man and unlike me you have not received the authority and inspiration from God to write his Scriptures. Therefore, you cannot preach any interpretation of the Bible or correct or rebuke anyone else’s interpretations of the Bible.  Let everyone decide for themselves what God’s Word teaches.”

The answer is NO.  The Apostle Paul told this young Pastor just the opposite!

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:2-5 (KJV)

Does “Faith Alone” Mean We Must Only Preach the Gospel and Nothing Else?

Mike’s Statement:

“My above statement about helping people to make that commitment to believe becomes so much more important when I see these types of arguments on your site being batted back and forth. They become terrible distractions to the main mission! “Faith alone”, not works or anything else for that matter.”

It is absolutely true that faith alone saves as the Scriptures state:

“8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

But as Martin Luther famously said “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”  The Scriptures tell us this regarding the life changing power of true faith:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

So as we can see Martin Luther’s statement that the faith that saves is never alone perfectly aligns with the Scriptural view of salvation.

But what you are contending when you said “Faith alone” is that the only doctrine we should teach is that of the Gospel.  This is false.  Let me take you back to the great commission Christ gave and this time I will add his follow up statement:

“19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

Christ told us to preach the Gospel as well as well as  teach people everything he commanded.

And what was one of his commands?

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” – Matthew 4:4 (KJV)

Every word of the Bible sir comes from the mouth of God. We are to live by every word – not just those words concerning the Gospel and God gives us preachers and teachers of the Word to help us to understand all of God’s Word, not just the Gospel.

If God Canceled Some of His Laws Does That Mean He Canceled All of Them?

Mike’s Statement:
“Time passing alone changes things as they become more fully understood. I certainly don’t follow food instructions from the Bible, do you?

This is a classic argument that liberal Christians and even non-Christians make to write off parts of or even the entire Bible.  Sadly I have even seen some Christians who claim to believe in Biblical inerrancy write off the entire Old Testament based on this false argument.

No I don’t follow the food instructions that God gave to Israel as a theocracy.  Here are the reasons why:

On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” – Acts 10:9-15 (KJV)

“1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary… 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.” – Hebrews 9:1 & 10 (KJV)

The Old Testament contains three types of laws – Moral, Ceremonial and Civil.  The Ceremonial laws were for Israel as theocracy to worship God and make sacrifices – it also included dietary  and other cleanliness laws.  The Civil laws dealt with the punishment or restitution that was to be made for breaking God’s moral law under the theocracy of Israel.

When Christ ushered in the New Covenant with his death, burial and resurrection he did away with the first covenant including the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel. Now only the moral law of the Old Testament and all of the laws in the New Testament are binding on us as Christians.  Therefore as a Christian living under the New Covenant, I do not have to follow the dietary laws anymore.

But Biblical gender roles WERE part of the moral law of God in the Old Testament and they were even strengthen and further explained in the New Testament as I will show in the final section of this article.  So yes it is completely consistent for me to preach and teach that Christians must follow God’s gender rules and design for man and woman yet we no longer have to follow the dietary rules or other ceremonial rules and we are no longer under the civil penalties and restitutions mandated in the Old Testament.

Are Biblical Gender Roles an Unimportant Distraction From Gospel?

Mike’s Statement:
“Gender roles are simply not an important subject as long as men and women treat each other with respect. We can’t even get that done right! It just becomes another pointless distraction in the bigger picture of faith.”

Contrary to your assertion the teaching of Biblical gender roles is even MORE important when men and women are not treating each other as God has commanded them treat one another.  The Biblical doctrines of gender roles are critical to us living the lives God has called us to live.

Christ did not just die to save us from hell but rather he died so that we would live for him:

“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

2 Corinthians 5:15 (KJV)

While we are not saved by works, Christ calls us to live for him.  How can we say we are trying to live for him when refuse to follow the purpose for which he designed each gender?

God says he made man to image him and doing so bring him glory and he made woman for man to help him in his duty to image God:

“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)

God says that he made marriage to be a model of the relationship between God and his people:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” – Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV)

Conclusion

To Mike and all those Christian teachers and preachers that refuse to teach the doctrines of Biblical gender roles to your people – you are in direct disobedience to the Word of God. You are not preaching the whole counsel of God when you preach only the Gospel.

I have never said here or elsewhere that if people reject the doctrines of Biblical gender roles that they are unsaved or not going to heaven.  We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone apart from works and not by following Biblical gender roles. But Christ did not save us so we could just live for ourselves anyway we want – he saved us so we could live for him in this life.

While we will not lose our salvation for refusing to follow the doctrines of Biblical gender roles and other doctrines concerning holy living we will in fact lose our reward for doing so.  If we do not run the race of this Christian life lawfully we will lose our reward in heaven as the Scriptures tell us:

“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” – 2 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)

“24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (KJV)

“11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV)

Finally, even besides the consequences in the next life(loss of rewards) we will and are seeing the consequences of not following Biblical gender roles both as individuals and as a society in general in this life.  Since Second Wave Feminism arose in the 1960’s divorce rates have skyrocketed in our country.  While they leveled off at around 50% which is still a horrible number, the only reason they did so was because more couples just decided to live together outside a covenant of marriage.

The point is the idea of a man and woman living together for life in the covenant of marriage is becoming less and less common in our society since we as a culture left the practice of Biblical gender roles.   Marriages today are now “feelings centered” and specifically “woman centered”.  “Happy Wife Happy Life” is just another way of saying “Your wife is the boss just do whatever she says”.  And what has been the result of men allowing their wives to take over for decades – the destruction of the family unit.

33 thoughts on “Are Gender Roles a Distraction From the Gospel?

  1. These “people” don’t read their Bibles. Take the example of 1 Peter 3:

    1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and [a]respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right [b]without being frightened by any fear.

    A wife, by following God’s commands for the role of a wife, by

    1. having chaste and respectful behavior
    2. having a gentle and quiet spirit
    3. submitting and obeying her husband

    Can win their non-believing husbands to Christ by their behavior.

    That is EXACTLY the Gospel message. The husband can be won to Christ.

    Many Christians today like to weasel out of God’s commands, especially ones that conflict with the culture. Patriarchy, sex roles, and anything regarding differences in men and women are simply the big ones.

  2. Absolutely loved this post so much!!! Thank you for stressing the importance of gender roles.

    I struggle to find a man who understands his role as the head of the household. I believe it’s because of the rise in feminism and how men are becoming more comfortable with women working more hours and making more money to provide for the family. So now women no longer submit to their husbands because they are “worth more” or have more to offer.

    I’m generalizing.

    There’s nothing wrong with women working or making more money, what bothers me is that I think men are becoming very insecure in their position as a man because they are constantly being challenged by women taking their roles as the head of household today.

  3. man what a great response to such a worthless e-mail. It’s pearls before swine to the e-mail writer, but I’m sure a lot of your readers will benefit. I always immediately write off anyone who does the ‘how dare you judge’ quoting that verse in such a general manner as to become a hypocrite themselves judging you. It’s the same as postmodernists ‘everything is relative, except this absolute statement.’ or liberals ‘all religions are true, except any religion that doesn’t accept that.’ if he really believed Christians shouldn’t be judging at all then what is he doing e-mailing you like that. that kind of garbage is self refuting. anyways, your response was golden either way. your blog has quickly become one of my favorites and has greatly strengthened my walk in the lord and his word. Thank you so much.

  4. And this is another perfect example of the attitude that prompted me to leave my last church. Lets do a little experiment: Take ANY OTHER BIBLICAL INSTRUCTION and put it in the place of ‘biblical gender roles’ and apply the same logic. ‘Having no other gods before me’ really distracts from the gospel. ‘Homosexuality is a sin’ really distracts from the gospel. ‘Don’t steal’ really distracts from the gospel. Does this sound ridiculous? That’s because it is! If you can apply that thinking to one aspect of the gospel then what keeps others from applying it to ANY part of the gospel.

    We are told to “know the cost” before accepting Christ. Jesus himself said:

    Luke 14:
    28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

    29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

    30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

    31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?

    32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

    33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

    If one is going to accept Christ they need to understand the cost and what is required of them as a child of God. We are saved by faith alone, but we are expected to take on certain behaviors and attributes when we voluntarily allow ourselves to become a member of Gods house. To leave people in the dark is cruel, deceptive and makes for bad Christians. How can you tell a homosexual man all about how God loves him but not tell him that his homosexual lifestyle is sin, and God will require he repent and turn away from that lifestyle, else he will never enter the kingdom of heaven?

    This is one of the huge problems with modern Western Christians, they have diluted Jesus and the gospel to simply “love Jesus”, but they forget to mention that the love Jesus asks for requires us to be obedient to His commandments. He even says that if you love Him, keep His commandments (John 14:15). What then does it say about those who insist that Christians need not keep His commandments? I guess its easier to do when you only consider a few books of the bible to be valid in our modern culture, and ignore the fact that every commandment in the bible was Jesus’s commandment, as He IS the word of God!

    Matthew 7:
    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

    25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

    26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

    27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

    It seems like this is a very dangerous game people like Mike are playing. They claim to understand what is required of them as believers, but their words betray their belief. For one such as him to call out another brother in Christ on preaching what is instructed in the bible, and to call it WRONG, when it can easily be seen and proven true, is blindness of the nth degree.

    (I added some formatting to this post, if it ends up wonky, please feel free to fix it, BGR)

  5. Snapper,

    First your formatting was fine by the way :).

    Your said:

    “We are told to “know the cost” before accepting Christ…
    If one is going to accept Christ they need to understand the cost and what is required of them as a child of God. We are saved by faith alone, but we are expected to take on certain behaviors and attributes when we voluntarily allow ourselves to become a member of Gods house. To leave people in the dark is cruel, deceptive and makes for bad Christians. How can you tell a homosexual man all about how God loves him but not tell him that his homosexual lifestyle is sin, and God will require he repent and turn away from that lifestyle, else he will never enter the kingdom of heaven?”

    When it comes to our soteriology(doctrine of salvation) or the Gospel – we need to avoid falling into either the right side or left side ditches on this(I know I over use that analogy – but I really like it).

    On the left side of the ditch on the soteriology we have those who believe like Mike that the only thing that matters is the Gospel and telling people to believe in Jesus. We know from the Scriptures that this is not true. God has called us to live for him once we accept Christ as our savior.

    But on the the right side of the ditch of soteriology are the Lordship Salvation folks like John Macarthur, John Piper and a host of other Christian preachers and teachers. To be sure many great men of God I respect both living and dead have fallen into this right ditch in their soteriology. The reason they do so is out of love for God and their disgust with backslidden Christians and Christians who simply don’t grow as much as others.

    But sometimes in our zeal for God and his righteousness we go too far. We cannot add works to salvation. Repentance for salvation is a change of mind about who Christ was and what he did for us on the cross. It does not mean that in order to be saved we must turn from every sinful thought pattern or lifestyle.

    When Christ talked about counting the cost – he was talking about counting the cost of being like him, the cost of obeying him with our lives. He was not talking about counting the cost of becoming saved. For us there is not cost of being saved – his salvation is free to all who believe. It is the free gift of God.

    My point is being a good disciple is not an add on requirement in order to be saved. There are many bad disciples. There many Christians who do not obey Christ or follow the pattern of his life – which is what being a good disciple requires.

    Don’t misunderstand me – God does require and he commands of people who trust Christ as their Lord and Savior to follow Christ’s example and obey God’s commands. But this is not a requirement FOR salvation, it is a requirement AFTER salvation.

    Now does this mean I think a person can be saved with absolutely no changes in their life or thinking? No. Because being saved creates in us a new creature as the Bible tells us. If a person is truly saved – there will be some changes in their life and thinking. We will see a movement toward obedience toward God. But some people in coming to Christ have a very difficult time giving up certain sins from their past. It might take days, months weeks or even years. Some sins they may never gain victory over while others they may blind themselves to. But the point is was there some change, any change that indicates regeneration in their life? That is what we look for as evidence of true saving faith.

    Finally on the homosexual life style and repentance. God certainly calls everyone living in the homosexual lifestyle to repent of this sin – to turn from it and leave it. But he is also calls on heterosexual couples living in sin together(outside a covenant of marriage) to repent as well.

    What I am about to say may be a tough pill to swallow for a lot of Christians but I must do so based upon my understanding of the Gospel.

    If two homosexual men who live together in the homosexual lifestyle come to accept Christ as their savior – yes the Pastor should immediately inform them that their lifestyle is wicked before God. He should inform them that the cost of following Christ and being a good disciple as well as them being able to join a church is that they must give up this wicked lifestyle. They will have to seperate from living together and no longer live in this wicked way. But this is not the cost of salvation, but rather the cost of being a good disciple and also being able to join the church.

    The same exact principle would apply if a heterosexual couple living together in sin(outside a covenant of marriage) came to accept Christ. The Pastor would have to tell them the same thing.

  6. Understand that I am not attaching any requirements to salvation, but this doesn’t change the fact that Jesus tells us to count the cost before becoming one of His followers.

    As with the example i gave, what good has been done that a homosexual man gives his life to Christ but does not know that his lifestyle is sin, and that the word clearly states that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

    It will be required of him to repent and give up that lifestyle! Maybe he does not want to. Maybe, had he know before hand, he would never have considered becoming a Christian. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but now you have a man who is likely angry at God and Christians, or a man who wears the name Christian but chooses to live in a lifestyle the bible calls sin.

    Likewise it would be wise for us to know that following Christ makes us enemies of the world, and we will be hated because our Lord was hated. It means we will have to sacrifice things in our lives and “crucify ourselves daily”. Otherwise we end up like the foolish man who finds he cannot complete what he started, and I believe this is something that creates “ex-Christians” or “compromised-Christians”.

    These Christians are simply told to “love Christ” but are not told what that Love consists of, they are simply told to sing songs and weep and accept everyone in the name of love, but never told to obey Christ’s commandments as part of that love. We see that everywhere today, and that’s what I see in this Mike guy.

    All Jesus cares about is tear inducing songs, the raising of hands and accepting everyone, regardless of whether they are willing to accept the cost or not! Cone as you are, you never have to change! If we talk about an expectation of change then we distract from the gospel.

    Maybe this helps clear up the misconception, maybe not. Not saying works or changes are required for salvation, just saying its foolish not to understand the coat of walking with Jesus beforehand, understanding that not every possible situation can be addressed, but people should have some idea.

  7. Snapper,

    Your Statement:

    Understand that I am not attaching any requirements to salvation, but this doesn’t change the fact that Jesus tells us to count the cost before becoming one of His followers.

    Respectfully Snapper – you are attaching requirements(works) to salvation. You are saying that in order to be saved, you must place your faith in Christ as your savior and stop sinning.

    When asked for a list of works people had to do to be saved the Scriptures tell us “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent”(John 6:29). It is just as much a grave theological error to in any way conflate works with salvation as it is to say God does not care how we live after salvation(as Mike has said).

    The truth is God very much cares how we live after we have trusted Christ but if we say that when Christ told us to count the cost of following him that this meant the cost of us being saved or us keeping our salvation we have just added works to the back end of salvation. The cost of following him is just that – the cost of following him – in other words the cost of modeling our lives after him and the cost of living in obedience to his commands in this life. But the cost of being a good disciple of Christ should never ever be conflated with the cost of our salvation – he paid it all 100% at Calvary.

    “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” – Romans 3:28 (KJV)

    Your Statement:

    “As with the example i gave, what good has been done that a homosexual man gives his life to Christ but does not know that his lifestyle is sin, and that the word clearly states that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

    It will be required of him to repent and give up that lifestyle! Maybe he does not want to. Maybe, had he know before hand, he would never have considered becoming a Christian. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but now you have a man who is likely angry at God and Christians, or a man who wears the name Christian but chooses to live in a lifestyle the bible calls sin.”

    It is absolutely true that the Scriptures tell us that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God:

    “9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (KJV)

    But there is a lot longer list of people than just homosexuals who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Fornicators – that means anyone who commits any sexual sin whatsoever(pre-marital sex and sexual denial included), people who steal, people who put anything before God, adulterers, people who covet and if he missed anyone Paul said “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God”.

    The “unrighteous” covers everyone.

    The Bible tells us As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).

    The key to understanding who “will not inherit the kingdom of God” as this phrase is used in the New Testament is found in verse 11 of 1 Corinthians chapter 6:

    “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

    We were all unrighteous in God’s site before we trusted in Christ. But in the name of the Lord Jesus were ARE(active tense) washed, we ARE(active tense) sanctified and we ARE(active tense) justified.

    You see in the Scriptures there is the practical and positional sanctification of God. We have ZERO part to play in our positional sanctification – that is 100% found in Christ. We can add nothing to it or take anything away from it. But in our practical sanctification – the life we live after salvation in these sin cursed bodies – we do have a part to play. We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit of God and allow him to show us our sins and actively work to turn from sin with his help.

    But from a positional standpoint if a Christian does unrighteous things including theft, coveting, getting drunk, committing adultery or any sexual sins including pre-marital sex, sexual denial or even engaging in homosexual acts when they stand before God they will have the righteousness of Christ imputed to them. It is as though they NEVER sinned. that is what justification is – it is as if I never sinned.

    “5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
    Romans 4:5-8 (KJV)

    From a positional sanctification standpoint, once we place our faith in Christ God will never impute sin to our account. When we stand before God we will have the imputed righteousness of Christ and nothing we did in this life whether good or bad will count toward our salvation.

    But does sin matter in the life of a believer? Absolutely! It matters for fellowship with God and his Church during this life and it matters for rewards in the next life.

    You are absolutely right that we need to preach against homosexuality and all other types of fornication. We have an epidemic of Christian young people having sex outside of marriage or living together. We most certainly should tell a person that comes to accept Christ that he requires they give up that life style NOT for for salvation – but rather out of obedience to Christ in order to be a good disciple and follow in his ways. We must warn such a person they will be barred from being part of the local assembly and actively serving in the Church until they give up such a lifestyle. We must warn them that God may bring discipline on them in this life and in the next life for sure their rewards will be forfeit. But we cannot attach works to the Gospel, we cannot add to the imputed righteousness of Christ.

    So in conclusion – the Scriptures are clear my friend that “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God”(1 Corinthians 6:9) but thanks be to God that he “imputeth righteousness without works”(Romans 5:6), and that we who were seen as unrighteous in God’s sight and barred from the kingdom of heaven now have Christ’s righteousness inputed to our account and we ARE washed and “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL sin”(1 John 1:7).

  8. RESPECTFULLY, dear BGR…..this is what I get for typing on my phone while in the middle of work:

    We most certainly should tell a person that comes to accept Christ that he requires they give up that life style NOT for for salvation – but rather out of obedience to Christ in order to be a good disciple and follow in his ways. We must warn such a person they will be barred from being part of the local assembly and actively serving in the Church until they give up such a lifestyle. We must warn them that God may bring discipline on them in this life and in the next life for sure their rewards will be forfeit. But we cannot attach works to the Gospel, we cannot add to the imputed righteousness of Christ.

    This is more along the lines of what I was trying to get at, though I wasn’t doing a very good job of getting that point across. I need to get out of the habit of responding while I’m not in my office. Not only do I rush to get stuff typed up on my phone, but I feel I don’t think things through as clearly as I should.

  9. Here is what will make many heads explode. The everlasting gospel as proclaimed by an angel in heaven is “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Rev 14:7

    That is not the feel-good gospel that “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”. The church has failed by trying to make friends with the world rather than disciples of holiness.

  10. Snapper,

    Great I am glad we are in agreement. A lot of Christians get confused between the requirements of discipleship(and they are requirements – not optional) and what it takes to be saved. I believe there will be many people who get to heaven and see their complete loss of rewards and be ashamed before the throne of Christ(including Christian feminists and those who rejected Biblical gender roles along with those who lived other immoral life styles).

  11. You made a mistake in the article regarding drinking alchohal. Exceot for small amounts taken for medicinal purposes(1 Timothy 5:23), the Bible expressly forbade the doing of this, saying many times to avoid strong drink(Leviticus 10:9, Numbers 6:3,1 Timothy 3:8, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Other than that, wonderful article and keep it up! 🙂

  12. How does Matthew 7:21-23 fit into this discussion?

    Your Christian feminist is a good example – how do you do the will of the Father if you actually don’t know (or accept) who the Father actually is? If you reject His teachings and commands? If you choose to ignore what He has said and purposefully do not obey Him? If you believe and follow the world’s ideas and not His? How far does this go? What about someone who believes that Jesus paid the price for their sins, but also believes that Jesus is here to serve them and expects nothing from them? What if their idea of Jesus is so warped that it is way off reality? In other words who they are following is not Jesus and doesn’t exist. Haven’t we all known those people who say “I am forgiven, I can do whatever I want.”

    The verses above are very tough. Jesus is saying to someone who says they drove out demons and performed miracles in His name that He does not know them.

  13. Anm1,

    Your Statement:

    “How does Matthew 7:21-23 fit into this discussion?

    Your Christian feminist is a good example – how do you do the will of the Father if you actually don’t know (or accept) who the Father actually is? If you reject His teachings and commands? If you choose to ignore what He has said and purposefully do not obey Him? If you believe and follow the world’s ideas and not His? How far does this go?

    The verses above are very tough. Jesus is saying to someone who says they drove out demons and performed miracles in His name that He does not know them.”

    There are two key phrases in Matthew 7:21-23 that indicate to us who Christ was speaking to.

    “and in thy name done many wonderful works” (vs 22)
    “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (vs 23)

    Christ is speaking about people who had no real concept of the Gospel. They thought if their “wonderful works” outweighed their “iniquity” they would welcomed with open arms into heaven.

    Christ spoke on this same situation in another passage:

    “9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
    10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
    11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
    12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
    13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”
    Luke 18:9-14 (KJV)

    14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

    The only we can be saved is if we truly recognize our sin before God and do not do as others who “trusted in themselves that they were righteous”. We must have the attitude of that tax collector with a constant recognition of our sinful state our need for Christ’s forgiveness. Ours should be an attitude of gratefulness – not one of selfish pride in our good works – even in those things supposedly done for God.

    We have to be careful that we don’t use passages like Matthew 7:21-23 to disqualify people from being saved if they are wrong on certain doctrines or are blinded by their cultural mindsets.

    People could say:

    You can’t be saved if you are Christian feminist and reject or write off the passages of the Bible that say women have to submit to men.
    You can’t be saved if you think you can divorce your wife.
    You can’t be saved if you think you can divorce your wife for any other reason than adultery.
    You can’t be saved if you think Christians can drink alcohol as long as they don’t get drunk.
    You can’t be saved if you don’t believe Christians have to tithe to their local church.
    You can’t be saved if you if you don’t believe the KJV is the only Bible you can use.
    Catholics can’t be saved because the believe the Pope is perfect in his decrees and they believe doing good works is also required in addition believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and his death, burial and resurrection.
    Pentecostals and Methodists and all those denominations can’t be saved because while they believe we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and death, burial and resurrection for salvation they also believe we can forfeit salvation for unrepentant sin.
    Those denominations that baptize infants can’t be saved.
    You can’t be saved and believe using porn is ever ok.
    You can’t be saved and believe masturbation is ok.
    You can’t be saved and believe polygamy was and still is ok.

    I could go with a very long list but you get the point from this list.

    If we say Christian feminists are believing in a different Jesus – then are Pentacostals believing in a different Jesus? Are Catholics believing in a different Jesus? It just never ends.

    I think when the Bible refers to preaching another Jesus(II Corinthians 11:4) it is talking about groups like the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims who literally preach a different Jesus than the one of the New Testament. They deny Jesus was God in the flesh, they deny the triune God as defined by the Bible.

    We can be very much blinded by our cultural upbringing – and that is why the Scriptures command us to shed that cultural thinking. But this is not for salvation – but rather so that we can be good followers of Christ and obey his commands.

    This is why the Bible tells us these two things:

    “18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
    19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”
    1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (KJV)

    God allows for false beliefs to occur in the same way that he allows for sin to occur – not that he is the author of either false beliefs or sin. But because what is good and right shines brighter in presence of what is false or evil. The Scriptures even tell us in this passage that I quoted in this article that we as Christians will never be perfectly united in our interpretations and applications of the Scripture until we reach glory and our with God:

    “11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
    12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
    13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”
    Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)

    We will never have perfect unity of all Christians in this world, or a perfect knowledge of Christ in this world. That is why we have different Christian denominations and different groups of Christians with different interpretations and applications of the Scriptures. That is why we have Christian complementary and Christian egalitarians and that is why we have those who believe in Christian Patriarchy and those who believe in Christian feminism. This is why we have Christians who believe there is no allowance for divorce and those who believe there are allowances for divorce. This is why we have Catholics and Protestants.

  14. Tyler,

    Let’s look at the passages you cite for your belief that we may only drink alcohol small amounts for medicinal purposes. I am well familiar with these arguments as I grew up in fundamental Baptist Churches that thought exactly that and preached that. My Pastor actually still preaches this.

    “Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations”
    Leviticus 10:9 (KJV)

    This was referring to the Levitical priest hood “when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation”. This was not a prohibition on all drinking of wine or strong drink, but rather a specific prohibition that priests could not drink strong drink or wine when going to the temple and performing their priestly duties.

    “2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord:
    3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.
    4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.
    5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.
    6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord he shall come at no dead body.”
    Numbers 6:2-7 (KJV)

    The Nazarite vow was a voluntary vow made for a specified amount of time of concentrating one’s self to God. This is never applied to Christians as the standard by which we must live our lives. If drinking strong drink was wrong based on this passage, then getting hair cuts for men would be wrong and so would eating grapes.

    “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre”
    1 Timothy 3:8 (KJV)

    These references are to drunkenness and are not even a full prohibition of drinking(even for non medicinal purposes) for Pastors and Deacons.

    This to me is the best summary in all the Bible of the Christian view of drinking alcohol:

    “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”
    Ephesians 5:18 (KJV)

    Paul compares an alcoholic or drunkard who is literally controlled by drinking to us being filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit of God. We are to be controlled by the Spirit of God and never by alcohol(or any other mind altering substances like drugs).

    The key phrase is “wherein is excess”. How do we get drunk? By excessively drinking alcohol.

    The Scriptures also tell us:

    “14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
    15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.”
    Psalm 104:14-15 (KJV)

    Medical science has proven that a glass or two of wine a day is actually good for the heart and for the body. But two much wine destroys the liver and causes other damage. So we know that drinking in moderation is actually good for us where drinking in excess is bad for us just as the Bible states.

    Now if a person comes from a alcoholic family and is afraid they may be tempted to over use it then they should stay away from it. If a person has previously been an alcoholic they should DEFINITELY stay away from it. If a person is offended by alcoholic drinks we who believe we have the freedom to drink should not drink in front of them.

  15. Tyler,

    Sorry forgot to address this passage your gave:

    “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

    Again this is “drunkards” – those who drink to excess. Not simply people who drink alcohol in moderation.

  16. Tyler,

    And just FYI – I drink alcohol maybe five times a year. I have a glass a wine on new years eve, I will drink a glass of wine at wedding reception(as just did about a month ago) and perhaps at a family gathering or nice restaurant. I do have cooking wines that I use regularly but I don’t drink them(that would be nasty anyway).

    My grandfather was an alcoholic and I am very keenly aware of the damage it caused in my mother’s life which is why she never drinks. But my mother does not object to me having a glass of wine in front of her at a wedding(I made sure of this), but otherwise I don’t drink in front of her.

    My second eldest son has struggled with under age drinking(he is 18 now) but it certainly was not because he saw me drinking all the time. We don’t keep alcohol(except cooking) in the house and he was not raised with it. But he struggles with depression and anxiety(for which he refuses to get proper medication) and that contributed to a substance abuse problem for some time(he would drink alcohol at his friend’s houses) and I have told him that he needs to stay away from it. I have not seen any issues as of late but he may be hiding it from me. If I had kept alcohol in my house – I would not anymore with his issues. He has really moved away from God and Church in recent years and I pray for him constantly that God will get a hold of his heart and turn his life around.

  17. Hi BGR,

    Long time listener, first time caller….er, commenter. I don’t comment on things much, but thought I should here.

    What this person and many others don’t realize is that there are people like me who have almost, or actually have, thrown out their faith once they realize that many Christians don’t want to believe and practice certain things in the Bible.

    Without going into a lot of details, I was not born in a Christian family. I was brought out of the world. The churches I went to taught me that the Bible is the Word of God as they should. After quite a few years, there were some hard life circumstances (health, marriage, and other Christian family and friends) that really rocked my faith and what I believed.

    One scenario from that time in particular is engraved in my memory. My wife and I were with her mother, who is also believer, at a family wedding out of town. In between the wedding and reception, we all decided to go to a coffee shop. (A little background: my wife and I follow a budget and categorize everything we spend, include our own “fun money”.) We got each got a drink, but she asked if she could have a treat. I said no unless she wanted to take it out of her “fun money”. Of course, she didn’t like that and decided to start arguing about it in the coffee shop. She then said that we will need to talk about this the next day on own way home. That was fine with me. However, I went to bed that night at her mom’s house before everyone else. My wife came in later and decided she wanted to wake me up and talk about it right then in then in the middle of the night. I told her no, but she persisted until we were arguing and raising our voices in her mom’s house.

    The next morning, her mom scolds us (at least I thought it was “us”) for our behavior and for keeping her up. That is understandable. The real kicker is that her mom contacts me several times telling me I need help and that I need to get in touch and talk to my wife’s uncle, who is a pastor. She questions my salvation and even lines up what I did as abuse. So, I call the uncle and tell him what happened and all he could say is “sometime you just have to let things go.” After all of this, I’m just dumbfounded. She throws a tantrum about a treat. She starts an argument about it in public. She wakes me up in the middle of the night. She starts the argument at her mom’s house. Yet, “I” get chastised, “I” need help, and “I” need to let it go?

    Add to that all the other things going on in my life that I don’t have time or space to get into detail about, and I’m ready to throw the Bible away. There was never any doubt that God exists. To deny that is utter stupidity. But, I was questioning whether the Bible is even true or not because, if it is, it sure doesn’t seem people want to believe all of it or practice it.

    Through that fire in life, I believe my faith in God and His Word came out stronger. There is no doubt in my mind that the Bible is the Word of God to us. If anything, the Scriptures confirm everything I’ve questioned. I have much more skepticism of people now. I feel like Martin Luther when he said,”Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason, for I do not trust either in the pope (Pastors) or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves, I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God.” But even now, I don’t really care to go to church because it all seems like a show now. It seems we sing the songs, say the Christian cliches, but in the end, nobody really cares about you. As long you are there on a Sunday, people are happy because then they won’t have to talk to you for another week or so.

    Before I get rambling even more, I’ll just say that there are more people like me. There are even more that HAVE lost their faith in anything closely related to God because they have seen that many do not really believe what God says. My late dad was one of them. He had a bad experience as a young man that left a bad taste in him mouth for the rest of his life. I tried to teach him that his experiences weren’t from God and tried to teach him about God apart from church.

  18. 1: Its important to remember that all people, even Christians, still sin and are not perfect. If we expect Christians to be perfectly obedient every time we will most certainly be let down (by them and by ourselves).

    2: As a man its important to understand that women will test you, and that is exactly what your wife did. She tested your authority the same way a child tests their parents authority. I didn’t understand this when I was younger and when my wife did similar things I would always get frustrated and irritated by it. Now I know better and I am able to (most of the time) counter this activity appropriately. Search online for ‘fitness testing’ or ‘shit testing’ and educate yourself, and other younger men.

  19. Let me add…

    Because marriage is a picture of the gospel and the reaction to the Gospel, gender rolls do inhibit the proclamation of the gospel…… when they are not observed. When Sarah called Abraham “lord” she was acknowledging that she is subordinate to her husband as she is to Yahweh. She is affirming that her husband posses Yahweh’s delegated authority over her. This is not just the position of the wife, but of the church. The church is also to be subordinate. Each is a picture of the other.

    The gospel is the faithful execution of a covenant as is marriage. The covenant is faithfully fulfilled as Christ justigies, sanctifes and preserves His bride and as she seeks to obey and glorify her LORD. The husband loves because Christ first loved him, he pictures the love of Christ as he fulfilles his marital covenant. A wife obeys her husband as unto the LORD in part because Christ obeyed His father even unto death as a proposition for her. We evangelize by the picture we present in marriage. For better or worse, the lost either see faithfulness, honor and respect or discontent and power struggles.

    The current picture being presented in christendom is that of an apostate. When wives divorce they picture a church that leaves Christ, and trampled the covenant under foot. When husbands divorce they picture an unfaithful Christ, which is blasphemy. When wives contend with their husband they picture the desire to be as a God rather than humility and meekness. Paul also calls this blasphemy. We live the gospel, or we live a perversion of the gospel, but either way the world sees it so. That is but one reason that returning to Biblical gender roles is paramount to the advancement of the Kingdom and the sanctification if the church.

    BGR- Your work is absolutly needed if there us to be a reformation in our day. Have a blessed Christmas and know that there are many who have been blessed by your labors. We appreciate you brother!

  20. >Christ is speaking about people who had no real concept of the Gospel

    He says specifically that: “only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
    and that: “I never knew you.”

    It isn’t my place to know who the Lord will accept or reject, but I find these verses very sobering. This suggests that his standard requires obedience and placing oneself under His Lordship.

    This isn’t a works argument. No works can save you. Jesus though is clearly setting some requirements for what it takes to be covered by His righteousness. For Him to know you. What else can you call this?

    It isn’t a matter of saying someone “can’t be saved”, but it might be a matter of saying someone “won’t be saved” unless they put themselves under His Lordship and OBEY Him. How can they do that when they don’t accept His word? If they flat out reject what the bible plainly teaches because they think they know better?

    For those who believe that Jesus’ righteousness will cover them and yet have the attitude of “I don’t have to obey, I can do whatever I want.” are you saying you believe they will be allowed to enter heaven even though they purposefully choose to NOT do the the will of the Father?

  21. Anm1,

    Your Statement:

    “He says specifically that: “only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
    and that: “I never knew you.”

    This isn’t a works argument. No works can save you. Jesus though is clearly setting some requirements for what it takes to be covered by His righteousness. For Him to know you. What else can you call this?”

    “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
    Matthew 7:21 (KJV)

    Anm1 – “only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”(I assume you are pointing to Matthew 7:21) is not referring to perfectly obeying God’s laws in order to enter heaven. First of all no one can do that. Secondly that would in fact be works based salvation. So what is is Christ talking about who those who “do the will of my father”? It must be something we can do and it cannot be works. So we know the only answer is the one he gave elsewhere:

    “28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
    29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
    John 6:28-29 (KJV)

    The will of the father that we MUST do to enter the kingdom of heaven is to “believe on him whom he hath sent”. But to be a good disciple and be like Christ we obey all of God’s commands to the best of our ability in these sinful bodies.

    Your Statement:

    “For those who believe that Jesus’ righteousness will cover them and yet have the attitude of “I don’t have to obey, I can do whatever I want.” are you saying you believe they will be allowed to enter heaven even though they purposefully choose to NOT do the the will of the Father?”

    If someone has an attitude that “I don’t have to obey, I can do whatever I want” they indicates they are not a new creature and no regeneration has occurred. A true believer will have a desire to please God. Works are evidence of salvation – not the requirement of salvation. But the changes in each person will look different and sometimes we can be blinded to certain sins.

  22. BGR – I see what you are saying, but I’m not personally sure it is as simple as that. To me, the verses in Matthew 7:21-26 fit right into James 2:14-26 about faith and deeds. I don’t take what is said in Matthew as one always doing the Father’s will perfectly and always, but what it says which is:

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

    It doesn’t say the one who always does the will of my Father perfectly, but rather the one who does the will of my Father. Christians should be doing the will of the Father as James says. We just may not be able to do it always or perfectly because of sin, but we should be doing it.

    Perhaps we are talking about two different things. My concern is that people can get so far off of what scripture says that they are no longer working for the Kingdom of God, but against it. Like a Christian Feminist – feminism is absolutely is against God’s Kingdom and has destroyed so much. It makes it difficult for people who have been bathed in its’ mistruth to accept the truth and the Lord’s ways. Likewise, some churches that have gone so far from Jesus that they are no longer working for the Kingdom, but against it.

    I suppose it is a matter of where you define the line that says a church as gone too far. You mentioned the Mormon’s, but what about the churches who openly embrace sin in their congregation because they think they know better than the Lord?

  23. I have followed this segment with great interest from Mike’s original assertions that acknowledging Jesus is all that is ever needed, through his conclusion that all the other topics discussed in this blog are distractions. I agree with BGR that that is not scripturally defensible. But then unfortunately, when Snapper and Jonadab cry foul and have the audacity to imply that salvation requires more than the “only believe”, “come as you are” lip service trademarked by evangelicals, BGR rushes to their (Mike and the evangelicals) defense countering that works are totally unnecessary. Why has no one here tackled the verses in James 2:14-26. Yes, I’m a simple man but these seem extremely clear and unambiguous – “faith, without works, is DEAD”. Not once in this segment have I seen the words “Repent” or “repentance” yet those very words are plastered all over the scriptures as REQUIREMENTS and Yep, they are works! And the implication that “Heaven” (I prefer to call it the Kingdom of God) will be filled with endless quantities of “saved” individuals whom “have no reward” is another assertion that is in dire need of substantiation. In Revelation, the process of separating the sheep from the goats is described as firm, final, and a just judgement, not a wishy-washy justification of nere-do-wells that couldn’t quite implement any of their good intentions. For them is reserved the lake of fire burning with brimstone. BGR, I love your work and continue to look forward to each new segment but be cautious of all those very “filters” you have spoken about (country, family, religious upbringing, church, pastors, on-and-on) when interpreting and teaching scripture – Matthew 18:6 and Luke 17:2 also apply to you.

  24. hisboyness,

    I fixed your Luke 17:2 issue 🙂

    You are mistaken. You assume there are only two positions on the issue of the Gospel. There are three very different positions we are taking here.

    1. Mike and many liberal evangelicals take the position that we should ONLY preach the Gospel and not other doctrines like Biblical gender roles and holy living. They maintain we should leave all these things to the individuals to decide for themselves and Christian Pastors and teachers should not touch these areas. The place practically zero emphasis on post conversion obedience to Christ and discipleship.

    2. I and other more conservative evangelicals take the position that placing our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is indeed all that is needed for salvation as the Scriptures are abundantly clear from all the passages I have shown here and elsewhere that salvation is a free gift apart from works and is completely based on the inputed righteousness of Christ and we can add nothing to it take anything away from it. We distinguish works done after salvation from salvation itself. We see works as evidence of salvation and not part of the salvation process. We maintain that if any man is truly in Christ he is a new creature – if there is no change there no regeneration and therefore no true saving faith. But each person will change at different rates and some people will have blind spots or areas of sin they may not gain victory over in this life.

    But as I said in this post – salvation is not the only doctrine we should be teaching or emphasizing. Christ did not just save us to keep us from hell, but he saves us to live for him. Obedience is not “optional” after salvation. It is indeed required, but it is not required for salvation, but rather for us to be the good disciples we have been called to be. This is why Biblical gender roles, along with many other doctrines are required for us to preach and teach and also live by.

    3. Then there are those who mix works into salvation. I am not sure if that is you or not, or Snapper or Jonadab. I think Snapper said he agreed with me. I do know that John Piper and John MacArthur do this. Basically they teach a doctrine that while works do not merit our salvation, they are none the less required for salvation. They teach that our lives must be patterns of godly living with only occasional blips on the screen(sin) . In other words – only if our good works far outweigh our bad, and only if we give up and have victory over all sins we know of in our lives can we ever truly have an assurance we will be saved.

    Basically the difference between positions 2(mine) and 3(yours?) is not that I think works are optional and you don’t. We agree that obedience is mandatory. We just disagree as to what it is mandatory for. I believe it is mandatory to obey God so that we might be good disciples of Christ and not be ashamed in the judgement. You believe seem to believe that works are necessary to keep our salvation as if we need to help Christ in our salvation process.

    Your Statement:

    “Why has no one here tackled the verses in James 2:14-26. Yes, I’m a simple man but these seem extremely clear and unambiguous – “faith, without works, is DEAD”.”

    I actually have discussed James’s writing on the subject – see this post I wrote:
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/what-is-the-relationship-between-faith-and-works/

    In that article after comparing Paul’s and James’s statements together on the relationship between faith and works I concluded:

    “James shows us that just as there are two type of sanctification(positional and practical), so too there are two types of justification. There is positional justification before God and there practical justification before men.

    James was showing us examples of how people like Abraham and Rahab showed evidence of true and genuine faith in God by their obedience to God. They were justified before men by their works. But make no mistake, it was their faith that preceded their obedience that justified them before God.”

    Your Statement:

    “Not once in this segment have I seen the words “Repent” or “repentance” yet those very words are plastered all over the scriptures as REQUIREMENTS and Yep, they are works!”

    Actually I have mentioned “repent” in previous comments in this thread.
    I said this to Snapper:

    “But sometimes in our zeal for God and his righteousness we go too far. We cannot add works to salvation. Repentance for salvation is a change of mind about who Christ was and what he did for us on the cross. It does not mean that in order to be saved we must turn from every sinful thought pattern or lifestyle.

    When Christ talked about counting the cost – he was talking about counting the cost of being like him, the cost of obeying him with our lives. He was not talking about counting the cost of becoming saved. For us there is not cost of being saved – his salvation is free to all who believe. It is the free gift of God.”

    You need to understand that every time you see the word repent it must be understood within the context of the statement. To repent simply means to change one’s mind about something and change course. So sometimes we are indeed commanded to repent from various sins – to change our minds about them and turn from them(stop doing them). That is all over the Bible – Amen. But when it comes to salvation we are told to repent and believe the Gospel as Christ said here:

    “14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
    15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
    Mark 1:14-15 (KJV)

    This literally meant “Change your minds about your sin and who I am! Recognize your sin and your need of a savior – believe that I am the Messiah, God in the flesh, the Savior come into the World!”
    Is part of the repentance for salvation also a recognition of our sin? Absolutely! We cannot be saved if we do not fully accept and realize we are sinners in need of a savior! And will true repentance that leads to salvation bring about a godly sorrow(2 Corinthians 7:10) for our sin and a desire to please God with our lives? Absolutely!

    Your Statement:

    “And the implication that “Heaven” (I prefer to call it the Kingdom of God) will be filled with endless quantities of “saved” individuals whom “have no reward” is another assertion that is in dire need of substantiation.”

    Did you not read the very scriptural substantiation that I actually gave proving that yes there will indeed be Christians who loose all rewards in the judgement because of their behavior in this life? I supplied this in passage in the article itself and referenced it here in the comments as well:

    “11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

    12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

    14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV)

    1 Corinthians 3:11-15 blows a massive whole in the position of people like John Piper, John MacArthur and you as well that heaven will only be filled with those who were good and faithful disciples of God in this life. If the person placed their faith and trust in Christ in this life – but they had some blind spots or other sins they were not able have victory over – sorry no entrance for them. That is not the Gospel I read in the Scriptures. The Scriptures tell us:

    “6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”
    Romans 4:6-7 (KJV)

    This is not a “filter” issue – but rather a salvation by grace through faith not by works issues(Ephesians 2:8-9). I was passionate about the free gift of the Gospel long before I was passionate about Biblical gender roles. If we are saved by Jesus plus good works then none of us can have an assurance of our salvation. That is not the Gospel I see in my Bible. Many Christians of the past and still today confuse the cost of discipleship(the cost of being a good disciple and obey God’s commands after salvation) with the freeness of salvation itself. That is exactly what you are doing.

  25. As always, a courteous, detailed response exhibiting genuine concern. While there are aspects that I would like to discuss further, I, like you, am a victim of time constraint. I also like to thoroughly digest what I have been given before risking the folly of a hasty response. You have afforded my musings more time than they deserve.Thank you, again.

  26. I don’t see it in any way that works are saving you, as they cannot, but rather, if someone’s faith is genuine, there WILL BE WORKS. I believe this is exactly what James is conveying. There will be a serious intention of obedience.

    I have run into many people who say they are Christians that are not serious about God. They put their Christian label on like it is a club card in their wallet. They literally have no fruit. Now, CAN they accept Jesus freely and choose to follow Him without any restriction of works? Yes. Have they genuinely ? I’m not so sure. Narrow is the gate.

    The idea that there is a huge group of Christians who believe in Jesus and claim to have faith, but the faith they have does not drive them to produce any fruit will be accepted in to heaven does not seem to gel with the full breadth scripture. The wheat will be separated from the chaff. The dead vine will be trimmed. I would say it is much more likely that they have been tricked by a false teacher that tells them that this is all Jesus requires from them when scripture overwhelmingly teaches otherwise.

    It is not my place to judge who is or is not the Lord’s servant, but my concern is that there are many people on shaky ground because their hearts are far from Him.

    It is somewhat of a chicken and egg paradox. Jesus will freely give you salvation, but if you truly have salvation, there will be works as James suggests. The works did not cause the salvation, but yet they are the result of it. Logically you are saying that if #2 above is freely given that there can be *no restrictions* put on works being required for it, but I am saying that #2 above is freely given, but if one has truly accepted it, then works will be the result. This is not #3 because no amount of our works can justify us.

    This takes me to a thought that is lost on the modern church – obedience. The modern church thinks that the Lord does not care about obedience. This is why so many have gone off course not only in gender roles, but every other place where the enemy can sow trouble into the Kingdom of God. If the Lord did not care about obedience (and sin), He would have not had to suffer the cross for our trespasses. He absolutely expects us to be obedient. Though we will sometimes fail because of our sinful nature, a person who belongs to Jesus will be grieved by sin and repent. That is an entirely different thing than indifference to sin which is what many churches are teaching.

    The fact that our works cannot save us honestly puts works out of scope for this discussion anyway. There is no point in discussing or thinking that works can save us. They can’t. Only Jesus interceding for us can cover our sins. The real question is, do we belong to Him? So this leads to the question, what good are works? I would say according to James, works are a necessary and expected result from genuine faith that can separate real faith from a faith that is dead as James said. Perhaps that is where works fit in in addition to the blessing of being obedient.

  27. hisboyness,

    I meant to address this statement from you as well:

    “BGR, I love your work and continue to look forward to each new segment but be cautious of all those very “filters” you have spoken about (country, family, religious upbringing, church, pastors, on-and-on) when interpreting and teaching scripture – Matthew 18:6 and Luke 17:2 also apply to you.”

    Christ said:

    “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
    Matthew 7:15 (KJV)

    I believe these were the same persons he was referring to in Matthew 18:6 and Luke 17:2. These are people who pretend to be Christian teachers but they inwardly they are not. They seek to lead astray and devour those who are trying to follow God.

    I do not believe Christ is referring to honest disagreements over the interpretations and applications of the Scriptures. This is why we have different Christian denominations – honest disagreements over interpretations and applications of the Scriptures. And yes I do believe there are genuine Christian pastors, teachers and lay persons who have been deceived by the false doctrines of Christian feminism(to greater and lesser degrees) but I do not believe most of these people are knowingly working against the Kingdom of heaven and that is a huge difference.

    You see the Catholic Church used this approach for centuries to quell any decent on doctrine. They taught that you could not be saved and oppose or teach differently on any doctrine than what the Church taught. Then a Catholic Priest named Martin Luther realized the truth from God after reading the Scriptures. “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17. Not only did he highlight the doctrine of justification by faith alone in Christ alone in Christ alone but he also brought another principle to bear. We can question the teachings of our churches. We can even question the teachings of our parents and our culture. We do not have to worry that we will burn in hell if we are have honestly misinterpreted or misapplied any passage of the Scriptures. The only doctrines we must be right on to be saved is that of the character of God(the triune God) and that God the father sent God the Son to die for the sins of mankind and that by believing in his death, burial and resurrection for our sins we can be saved.

    But I also agree with what Martin Luther said in regard to works and there relationship to the Christian faith:

    “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”

    This means that if we are truly saved we will have a heart to obey God and we would never willingly or purposefully work against his kingdom. It means truth faith creates a new creature and changes a person’s life.

    But does having true faith mean will always interpret or apply the Scriptures properly? Does it mean a true believer can never be blinded by his own cultural or person biases? The answer is no.

    In fact Martin Luther had his own biases. He kept some of the Catholic traditions like infant baptism and church formalism. He even question whether the book of James was genuine Scripture and called it “the straw man epistle”. Was he wrong on this? Absolutely. But he had seen the book of James so abused by the Catholic church that he went to this extreme. If we study church history we will find many of our heroes of the faith were indeed inperfect in their interpretations and applications of the Scriptures. The only men that were perfect in their interpretations and applications of the Scriptures were the those men who providentially chosen by God to pen the Word of God. Every other man that came after them interpreted God’s Word in their own imperfect ways.

  28. Anm1,

    Your Statement:

    “I don’t see it in any way that works are saving you, as they cannot, but rather, if someone’s faith is genuine, there WILL BE WORKS. I believe this is exactly what James is conveying. There will be a serious intention of obedience.”

    I 100% agree with this statement you made.

    Your Statement:

    “I have run into many people who say they are Christians that are not serious about God. They put their Christian label on like it is a club card in their wallet. They literally have no fruit.”

    I agree 100% with the statement you made here.

    Your Statement:

    “The idea that there is a huge group of Christians who believe in Jesus and claim to have faith, but the faith they have does not drive them to produce any fruit will be accepted in to heaven does not seem to gel with the full breadth scripture.”

    If there is no fruit, then there is no change.
    If there is no change, then there is no new creature.
    And if there is no new creature then the person is not in Christ(2 Corinthians 5:17).

    But this leaves us with the questions of how much fruit and how much change and how fast will that change be? Every Christian grows at different rates and some are much slower than others. Some Christians even become stunted in their growth or backslide. Paul speaks to the sad reality of the carnal Christian as well as the babe who should have grown more:

    “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
    2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
    3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
    1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (KJV)

    “12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
    13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
    14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
    Hebrews 5:12-14 (KJV)

    Your Statement:

    “It is somewhat of a chicken and egg paradox. Jesus will freely give you salvation, but if you truly have salvation, there will be works as James suggests. The works did not cause the salvation, but yet they are the result of it. Logically you are saying that if #2 above is freely given that there can be *no restrictions* put on works being required for it, but I am saying that #2 above is freely given, but if one has truly accepted it, then works will be the result. This is not #3 because no amount of our works can justify us.”

    On this I disagree with your chicken and egg analogy. I think the correct analogy would be the Chicken(salvation that regenerates and creates a new creature) ALWAYS comes first and that true saving faith will always generate a change and produce some type of fruit(the egg for our analogy).

    It would be kind of like God created Adam and Eve – they had no parents like we do. They were not born like we are. They were created as full grown adults who then went on to produce the first children through the natural reproduction God designed. It is the same with salvation. When we believe God creates in us a brand new life where there was none before – this is regeneration. This new life inside us then spurs us to obedience to God and changes our hearts and minds toward God.

    Your Statement:

    “This takes me to a thought that is lost on the modern church – obedience. The modern church thinks that the Lord does not care about obedience. This is why so many have gone off course not only in gender roles, but every other place where the enemy can sow trouble into the Kingdom of God. If the Lord did not care about obedience (and sin), He would have not had to suffer the cross for our trespasses. He absolutely expects us to be obedient. Though we will sometimes fail because of our sinful nature, a person who belongs to Jesus will be grieved by sin and repent. That is an entirely different thing than indifference to sin which is what many churches are teaching.”

    Overall I think you and I are in agreement on the apathy toward obedience in the modern church. And I agree 100% that Jesus did not suffer and die for us to just save us from hell and allow us to live any way we wanted. He also saved us so that we could live for him in this life.

    “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

    2 Corinthians 5:15 (KJV)

  29. Because I have been misrepresented I will give a brief description of my position.

    Justification is a forensic act accomplished by Christ alone.
    It is not of any other work but that of Christ imputed to the elect by His grace alone.
    It is received by faith alone, but never faith that is alone.

    Conversion is not a forensic act but a process in the life of elect. It is accompanied over time with fruits of repentance, humility and a general sanctification. If there is no life toward sanctification there is no evidence of a life of justifcation.

    For the elect their sins are imputed to Christ, and His righteousness is imputed to them. He does this for them. The desire to repent and seek after Christ is the result of effectual calling and life infused into one dead in their sins.

    I won’t quibble here on the ordo salutice, but will insist that a faith with no works is a dead faith, and a justification without sanctification is an ordo-interuptus.

    I affirm the 5 solas, the doctrines of grace and I see no conflict between the epistle of James, Romans and Galations.

  30. I know there are a lot of churches that are led by “salvation only” leaders. These churches mainly teach and preach the gospel for salvation and give an altar call at most services.

    Unfortunately the Christians attending those churches receive mostly “milk and not meat”. They don’t get practical instruction in growing in wisdom, growing in favor with God and man. They don’t learn much practical Christian doctrine.

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