Carried about by every wind of doctrine

This blog came from out of a conversation with one who I hope is just currently being tossed to and fro, (carried about by every wind of doctrine – Eph 4:14). One I hope who at one time has simply believed the gospel, because it’s a matter of life and death. And I care, or I would not have taken the time to answer (as others did also), but this blog will include only my own comments/answers to him.

Now he didn’t come back to respond to these answers, but I pray maybe he’s reading in the background, or someone else will be who may have misunderstood the truth.

I watch so many conversations go by my newsfeed and am sincerely dismayed by the lack of understanding of so many. However, when I see others answer with sound counsel I pray some might hear.

Since many have had similar conversations on Social Media, I thought it might be helpful to others talking to someone who is confused.

Repenting of sins for salvation 

QUESTION/STATEMENT: “Do you mean salvation is possible without repenting of one’s sins?”

ANSWER: Salvation is only possible if you do not add turning from sins (or any other work) to the requirement of ‘belief’.

Salvation is ONLY possible apart from works (Rom 4:2-5; 11:6; Eph 2:8-9).

Repenting of one’s sin is a work (Titus 3:4-7), a righteous work that a believer SHOULD most definitely do after we have believed (Titus 3:8). One can most certainly repent of sin after we have believed, (changing our thinking about something we have done/or are doing). That is called ‘godly sorrow’ and spoken of concerning believers in 2 Cor 7. Ungodly sinners (Rom 5:6-8) are incapable of godly sorrow.

A sinner may be sorry for one’s sins and never get saved (Think on Judas). One actually may promise to do something differently, but that isn’t belief. One may never have time to do anything different (thief on the cross). Many new believer’s responses were to rejoice. But eternal life is given freely without a work. Repent does not mean ‘repent from sin’ as explained.

QUESTION/STATEMENT: Paul has shown that repentance is vital leading to salvation.”

MY ANSWER: (I am assuming Acts 17 or 2 Cor 7:9-11 is being referenced).

2 Cor 7:9-11 is not speaking to salvation from hell. It is speaking to carnal believers who need delivered or vindicated regarding their previous behavior. Read in context.

In Acts 17, Paul is telling these philosophers they ‘ought not think’ (repent) that God is something made of men’s hands of gold, silver, stone, etc. and they need to repent from this and realize that God is going to judge this world in righteousness by the one He ordained (Jesus) and He gave assurance to all men by raising Jesus from the dead.

There are many such similar passages that explain right after ‘repent’ what mean need to ‘think differently’ about or ‘think not’ (that being sons of Abraham saves), etc.

The tenses of salvation

QUESTION/STATEMENT: Salvation is a 3 phase thing. It’s present, continuous and future.”

MY ANSWER: Not ‘quite’.

I assume again you are speaking of eternal life when you say salvation. There is indeed more than one tense in the word salvation. But salvation from the penalty of hell is immediate. Only one phase. Believe in the gospel and you are saved (from hell) forever. You shall NEVER perish (John 3:15-17; John 10:28-29) because we already possess eternal life (John 3:36; John 6:39-40; John 5:24; John 11:25-27; 1 John 5:9-13.

As far as being saved from hell, a believer is ALREADY justified, sanctified AND glorified (positionally) the moment they believe. We are perfected forever by His one sacrifice (Heb 10:10,14). There is our position in Christ — that is where we are justified and made righteous eternally. Translated to the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13). Forgiven and justified from everything (Acts 13:38-39; Col 2:13-15).

Then there is practical justification — as in the demonstration of our faith before men (seen as an example in James 2). If we have a useful faith, we are saved from consequences in this lifetime, and loss of reward in the next.

The Word speaks of those already sanctified saints being sanctified practically. If we continue in His Word, we are cleansed/washed by it, and set apart by the truth (John 17:17; Eph 5:26, Ps 119:9-11). We do well to take heed to His Word to be practically cleansed and SAVED from consequences again of bad doctrine, loss of reward, our faith being made shipwreck, etc. (1 Tim 4:16).

And one day we will be saved (delivered) from this body of death (Rom 7:24-25). This speaks of being given glorified bodies (or the redemption of our bodies, seen in Romans 8).

But positionally, see this verse showing that believers are considered glorified already.

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Rom 8:30 (see also John 17:21-23).

By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Heb 10:10,14

Stopping your old sinful ways

QUESTION/STATEMENT: When one decides to get saved after hearing the gospel or the word of God being preached or other ways, he or she is required to stop the old sinful ways.

MY ANSWER: No one ‘stops their old sinful ways’. Nowhere do we suggest that believers should not ‘put off the old man’ (Eph 4:20-24). They should! Believers do this by ‘hearing Him’ and being ‘taught by Him’. This requires cooperation and can only be after we have the ‘new creation’ or the ‘new man’. A non-believer does not have the new man yet, nor the capability to sin less, let alone ‘stop sinning’.

After one has become a believer, through continuing in His Word, we begin to be set free from the sin that so easily besets us (John 8:31-32; Heb 11:1). Again, putting off the old and putting on the new comes from renewed knowledge from His Word (Eph 4:20-24; Col 3:8-10) and is not automatic. Believers SHOULD present their bodies as a living and holy sacrifice which is our ‘reasonable service’ and we SHOULD NOT be conformed to this world but we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:1-2). This is our exhortation, but, it is TO people already possessing eternal life.

These admonitions are not so that sinners can receive eternal life. A lot of what confuses people is the call to the nation of Israel who already had a relationship to God, to repent and believe on Him. Why were some of them cut off? The answer is seen in Rom 11:20, it was for unbelief. Repenting is changing our mind about what we formerly believed was the truth about God and about how we’re saved. For a Roman Catholic it may be understanding that the sacraments and the mass will not save. That salvation comes through Jesus Christ and His work vs. their works.  For the Mormon it may be believing the Biblical truth of who Jesus is vs. who they believe He is. Same for the Jew. Being a son of Abraham in the flesh will not save. But those who are of faith are the sons of Abraham (Gal 3:7-9).

Those of us who have believed in the simplicity that is found in Christ, do not intend to let others corrupt our minds and believe on another gospel or another Jesus (2 Cor 11:3-4). That is if we abide in the Vine, and continue in His Word. We will not be bewitched into thinking that what He began in the Spirit can be finished with our flesh (Gal 3:1-5).

I highly recommend this two part series on ‘Understanding the two natures” by Pastor Tom Cucuzza of Northland Bible Church.

Salvation is not easy?

QUESTION/STATEMENT: It (salvation) firstly starts in the mind. The process is not easy. It requires faith but also an amount of decisiveness. That’s work. It takes the Holy Spirit and your personal responsibility to make it. I there fore believe that that’s not the same as helping God to get us saved.”

MY ANSWER: Again, salvation (or the receipt of eternal life) is not hard or ‘work’ of any kind whatsoever. It is not about the ‘amount of decisiveness’. Receiving the free gift of eternal life is not ‘a process’. Walking out our faith (deliverance in this lifetime), is a different type of ‘salvation’. Being delivered from consequences in this lifetime is a decision to walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:18) and continue in His Word (John 8:31-32). This is the way we are practically sanctified (John 17:17).

QUESTION/STATEMENT:For that faith to be generated, the word being preached must make sense to the hearer. It must relate to the person. It must challenge the person. It must create a conflict in him or her. The word must invite him or her to God’s righteousness. That means the mind of the person must be helped to Shun the acts of the flesh which are classified as sin. That’s what I understand as repenting. It also to be followed by confession. So repentance, confession leads to forgiveness. That’s what makes it possible for God to impute His righteousness on a person. That’s how God’s love can now begin to apply.”

MY ANSWER: Wrong on so many counts. Faith is not the gift. Shunning the acts of the flesh (or turning from sin as you earlier identified repentance) is not part of what we are required to do to receive eternal life. I don’t see anywhere in His Word where it says it must relate to us, challenge us, create a conflict in us or invite us to righteousness. We are ‘made righteous’ when we believe, and it comes from His righteousness, none of ours. Then you say all those things have to be followed by confession (in order to be saved). THEN somehow we are forgiven? No! Believing is how we are forgiven all trespasses and how His righteousness is imputed to us (Read Romans 4-5, Col 2:13-15). It is by the hearing of the gospel. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, not unto ‘faith being generated’ (Rom 10:14-17; 2 Tim 3:15; Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:17-18).

Keep it simple. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. How can they believe except they have heard? Let’s trust the power of God’s living Word to accomplish what He sent it to do (Heb 4:12; Is 55:10-11). Sounds like you do not quite believe that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 17:18). Some corrupt the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3-4) and love to be heard for their many words (Matt 6:7). They trust in their excellency of speech and wisdom of words (1 Cor 2:1-5). But Paul said he was determined to preach Christ and Him crucified (in much fear and trembling). Shouldn’t we?

Positional forgiveness happens the moment we believe. We have already shown that we are positionally clean, perfected forever (Heb 10:10-14) by His one sacrifice. Confession is what believers are to do for practical cleansing/forgiveness. And practically speaking, the Word cleanses us when we take heed to it (Ps 119:9), and it washes us (Eph 5:26), and sanctifies us (John 17:17). Admitting wrongs to God (practically speaking) lifts the load that sin can so easily cause (1 John 1:9; Heb 11:1), so we cast our cares upon Him because He cares for us (1 Pet 5:7).

Is it hard to get saved?

QUESTION/STATEMENT: “Why do most people find it hard to get saved or change from their evil ways if faith is a gift that does t require some effort? We don’t have to die or kill a sheep to merit salvation.”

MY ANSWER: Several errors above to address. It is not that it’s ‘hard to get saved’, it is that men corrupt minds from the simplicity that is in Christ. Or one preaches another Jesus, or a different gospel and some put up with it (and they are not to – 2 Cor 11:3-4; Gal 2:4-5). It’s not ‘hard to get saved’ except false gospels make it this way. His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt 11:28-30).

We can’t ‘change from our evil ways’, evil is still present within us till we die (Rom 7:18-23), and our flesh will war against our soul until then (1 Pet 2:11). But we can cooperate with Him by using His Word to sanctify us (Jn 17:17) hiding it in our heart to keep us from sinning against Him (Ps 119:11). Taking heed to it to cleanse us and keep us from error (Ps 119:9; 1 Tim 4:16). We cannot finish in the flesh (Gal 3:3-4).

Faith is not the gift, Salvation is the gift. See here for more.

Just for a reminder. No one has ever merited salvation by killing a sheep (Heb 10:3-4), or by keeping any part of the law by the way (Gal 2:16).

A license to sin?

QUESTION/STATEMENT: “Your belief system is the type that will allow people to sin and sin because you place alot of premium on belief as opposed to character change. James says faith must be completed by good works. That means that the fruit and the gift of the Holy spirit must be operation in our lives. Your doctrine is dangerous because it honors more what the heart does and forgets that the mind and the flesh must also transform. The 2 must be affected by the action of the heart.”

MY ANSWER: I believe our ‘type of belief system’ is what the Bible teaches obviously or I wouldn’t try to reason with you here. Those who oppose the gospel of grace almost always use that accusation. We do not think we should sin so that grace will abound. But — it is a sad fact seen in the epistles that people do ‘sin and sin’. It is not because we ‘place a lot of premium on belief’ but because often they do not grow in the Word of His grace, not understanding the whole counsel nor recognizing the wolves (Acts 20:25-32). Many times their leaders haven’t taken heed to the doctrine(1 Tim 4:16), so both are led into error. No one in error is going to grow in Christ, but are still tossed around by every wind of doctrine.

The gift of the Holy Spirit is just that — a gift, given to everyone who believes. And it is free, and given only by belief (Luke 11:13; Eph 1:13; Acts 2:39; Acts 10:45; John 7:37-39). And the fruit that comes from the Spirit we see when we walk in the Spirit vs. fulfilling the lusts of the flesh (Gal 5:16-23). When we add to our faith, we won’t be barren or unfruitful (2 Pet 1:5-11). Please notice a believer can be both barren and unfruitful.

What about the big sins?

QUESTION/STATEMENT: “Let me ask you,, is there anything you did on your part for you to be justified? Didn’t you make any step? So if you were a drunkard or a thief, you just believed and you got saved? There was no consideration of you changing your mind concerning sin and its relatives? I doubt if your Bible interpretation and application is right in your daily lives.”

MY ANSWER: People (such as yourself) that struggle with belief being the only thing we can do to inherit eternal life, seem to assume that somehow there is no application of the Word in our lives. That we don’t/haven’t changed our mind regarding sin. On the contrary, for many of us, the teaching of Lordship (load-ship) — which is some work of our own in addition to belief — is what led to no Biblical application in our lives. We were in bondage again to the law and false teaching. We can’t walk in the Spirit when we’re grieving Him by false doctrine. We can’t live by the law. We’re cursed when we try (Gal 3:10). We need to continue in His Word and prayer.

Showing signs of change or a commitment to change

QUESTION/STATEMENT: “Suppose you met me and asked off I could come to live with you in your house but you knew or i told you Iam a loose man, a thief and a smoker. Would you just accommodate me in your house on the fact that I believe you can accommodate me or I have to show signs and a commitment that I will not do or be the things I have listed? Will you just bring me in your house and assume that I will change while there in the midst of your children etc? That’s exactly what your argument is all about.”

MY ANSWER: I assume you are contrasting this to God’s house?  Before I go to the place He prepared for me (John 14:1-3), there are some things He has already accomplished on my behalf. All my sins are already forgiven (Col 2:13-15; Acts 13:38-39). I am washed clean by His blood (Rev 1:5). I have been given a new nature (2 Cor 5:17). One that can’t sin. That is the incorruptible nature that is positionally clean, perfected forever (1 Pet 1:23; Heb 10:10-14).

If you are speaking to this lifetime, we’ll be chastened and there is the law of sowing and reaping for every man. In my flesh there is still evil present within me (Rom 7:18-23). But, He has already given me a seal of His promise (which is His Spirit — Eph 1:13). What He began in the Spirit, He will finish in the Spirit, presenting me faultless before Him in great joy (Gal 3:2-3; Jude 24). My corruptible man won’t be seeing the Kingdom of heaven (1 Cor 15:50-57), since it is flesh and blood. When I die (or am raptured), that is the time when I’ll be given a glorified body and finally be freed from this body of sin (Rom 7:24-25).

Is salvation ‘divine and human?’

QUESTION/STATEMENT: “salvation is both divine and human. It’s a free gift from God because as sinners we pay nothing to get it. But secondly, it’s a human thing in that it places a demand on us. The demand is thst we receive the offer, the gift by faith. But the sinner has a duty to first change his or her mind from the things that separated him from God. Read acts and see what Apostle Peter was asked by those who heard him preach in the day of Pentecost. He told them to repent and believe in the lord Jesus christ. It’s not my creation. So it’s you who is confused. Maybe because you have been to many different faiths.”

MY ANSWER: Salvation is completely of God. It has nothing to do with ‘both divine and human’. Although you have some things right up there, salvation is not a demand that goes beyond belief in Christ and Him Crucified. The free gift of salvation does not demand that we do this or that first in order to receive eternal life. Eternal life is a free gift that we receive freely when we believe.

QUESTION/STATEMENT: You people you are interesting. It’s as if believing is just a walk in the park. If salvation was only divine then everybody would be saved. Because the Bible says Jesus died for all sinners. The whole world. It’s as if man doesn’t have any responsibility at all. I give up. We can’t reason with you people.

MY ANSWER: Not sure who ‘we’ is spoken of above who can’t reason with us. The response we often see in Scripture to believing the gospel is joy. Believing is only hard in the sense that people make it hard by their requirements that are not found in Scripture. The Bible’s requirement is to Believe the gospel and be saved. Then one can start becoming a follower. There were followers in the Bible (as there are today) that were followers or disciples yet not believers (John 6:64-66). Until you believe the simple gospel, nothing you do is worth a thing. And you could lose your own life if you haven’t believed apart from works.


I hope this exercise of Q & A may help someone who is struggling with another with these types of questions or statements that they present as truth yet don’t line up with His Word. Keep being Bereans, and answer with His Word (Acts 17:11).

 

In Christ, the admins

 

 

 

Leave a Reply