Salvation Submissiveness Is Obedience

by Mac Deaver

I’ll try to respond here to the latest from Jay and Todd. I appreciate the fact that there is so much agreement between us in this dialogue. That is very good. Now, let us proceed with some of the items where we are not sure about agreement and where we are sure about disagreement.

By those errors that when believed “create divine doctrinal violation (sin),” I mean the acceptance of a doctrine in compliance with which one sins. It is a believed doctrine that is not true, and when one practices it, he sins by being in harmony with it. In the parable of the tares, at the harvest the angels “shall gather out of his kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity” (Matt. 13:41). The furnace of fire is the destiny (v. 42). Any doctrine the acceptance of which causes one thus to stumble or to do iniquity is dealt with by punishment at harvest time.

Near the bottom of page two, we find: “We agree that self-justification can cost one his soul (Gal. 5:4). On the other hand, we don’t believe that all error as to divine obligation damns. Rather, the danger Paul discusses in Galatians 5 arises when a Christian seeks to be justified by works rather than faith in Jesus.”

Now, if I understand what is being claimed here, I disagree completely. Furthermore, this may be the key point in our disagreement over submission and obedience, so let us take some time here to explain. Paul is not in Galatians 5 condemning any Christian who is striving to be obedient as though his attempt at obedience is at odds with his faith. Paul never did that any more than Jesus excused sinning against the law (Matt.5:19). What Paul condemns in Galatians 5 is the effort of Christians to go beyond the teaching of Christ and to attempt to add obedience to Moses as a prerequisite to being a faithful Christian. The context makes this clear (cf. Acts 15; Gal.2:1-10). It is a misrepresentation of Gal.5:4 to say that Paul is condemning justification by works rather than by faith in Jesus unless one understands from the total context that “justification by works” would have to refer to a justification by the works of the law of Moses. If Jay and Todd mean by “justification by works” obedience to Christ, then the expression is misapplied.

Compare Paul’s discussion in Romans 4. Paul says that Abraham was justified by faith and not by works (v.1-3). He quotes Genesis 15:6. He uses Abraham as an example of someone who is justified by faith and not by works, but those works have to be clearly identified in the light of other information about Abraham that we are given. The works of which Paul speaks in Romans 4 are those that would make of God a debtor to save us (v. 4), because they are works that would merit salvation (v. 6-8). Perfect law keeping cannot save because no human can perfectly keep law. That is why the law of Moses was weak through the flesh (Rom. 8:3). It simply could not save anyone for there was in it no provision for actual forgiveness of the sins committed (Gal. 5:10, 11). Particularly in Romans 4, Paul is discussing the works of the law of Moses. Abraham’s works were not those under the law of Moses (vs. 9, 10). But Abraham had works.

James also quotes Genesis 15:6 and uses Abraham as an illustration of salvation by works. Obviously, he is not contradicting Paul in Romans 4. In Galatians 5 Paul says that Genesis 15:6 was a prophecy made that was fulfilled at the time that Abraham worked or drew his knife to kill his son (vs. 20-24). Abraham obeyed God and the scripture was “fulfilled” that said that Abraham “believed God.”

That is why we still say that works of obedience are essential to salvation. Abraham by faith obeyed (cf. Heb. 11:8, 17-19). He didn’t merely have a “submissive” faith if by “submissive” one means to exclude works of obedience. He obeyed. He didn’t merely have a desire to later obey; he obeyed. So, Galatians 5 does not condemn salvation by all works; it condemns salvation by the works of the law of Moses or any law whereby one could merit salvation. And Romans 4 does not sanction faith without works of obedience. It condemns the concept of salvation by works without faith.  The Bible does not pose the tension between (1) faith and (2) works as such but between (1) faith that works and (2) works that have no faith (works of merit).

Jesus learned obedience (Heb. 5:8) and not an alleged “submission” that excludes obedience. Salvation, we are told, comes to the obedient (Heb. 5:9). If one excludes all works from the plan of salvation, he excludes obedience to Christ. We know that faith itself in one sense is a work for Jesus told us that (Jno.6:29), and faith is essential (Heb. 11:6) to salvation. And James tells us that faith without other works cannot save (Jas. 2:14). Note: to take a position on works which contradicts what James claims in 2:14 is a wrong position. Clearly, faith without works cannot save.

Now let us turn to the next point on page three. I had said, “Doctrinal error that is clearly personally corruptive, congregationally disruptive, or doctrinally detrimental is condemned (1 Cor .5:1-8; Tit. 3:10; 11 Tim. 2:18; Gal. 2:5).” Our conversationalists reply, “If by ‘is condemned’ you mean the person in error is damned, then we disagree. If you mean that we should judge and reject the error, we agree.” Now, having already said that some personally held doctrinal errors may not finally condemn a person, it is still true that some of these doctrinal errors are so clear and significant that they do condemn. We reject them, not simply because we find fault with them, but because we know that to stay in them is to forfeit salvation (cf. 11 Tim. 2:16-18; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 15:12-19). There are some things we do not do nor condone for conscience sake (Rom.14:23); we avoid some things because we know that such leads to eternal ruin even for those who with a good conscience continue in them. And some people stand self-condemned (Tit. 3:10, 11).

Next, when you say “Error means any less-than-perfect understanding of God’s will and self-revelation,” I deny it. That is not at all what error is. If such were a correct description of error, then the biblical doctrine of truth would (since none of us knows all about it) would equal the biblical doctrine of error. This makes no sense at all. The Bible plainly teaches that although we can never know all that God knows about anything, we are under obligation to learn a few things about a few things. Our knowledge will always be less complete than God’s, but when we do have knowledge, our knowledge is as accurate as is his. And we are promised that if we abide in God’s word, we can know saving truth (Jno. 8:31, 32). God wants all men to come to knowledge of the truth, not to a non-knowledge (error regarding truth) because of a necessary finitude (1 Tim. 2:4). I cannot know as much as God knows; however he has arranged circumstances so that I can and must know a little of what he knows. If error is rightly described by Jay here, then clearly we cannot know saving truth. And that is epistemological agnosticism! I ask Jay and Todd to carefully reevaluate this crucial part of the discussion. Think about it like this: You cannot on the one hand say, (1) “We do believe that the scriptures teach, in principle, which doctrinal errors damn and which do not. Surely God did not leave us to guess at such a central question!” (p. 3 of their response), and on the other hand to claim, “Error means any less-than-perfect understanding of God’s will and self-revelation” (p.3) if you mean by “perfect” as complete as God’s knowledge is, because our (1) knowledge in principle of what saves and what damns will always and necessarily contain (2) error given Jay’s and Todd’s definition of “error.” We are, after all, left to guess.

By “doctrinally detrimental,” I mean error that corrupts or that is a detriment to pure doctrine. It damages pure doctrine (cf. Gal. 1:6-10). Paul makes it clear that it is possible to embrace a doctrine, the falsity of which implies that the truth of the gospel is not continuing with us anymore (Gal. 2:5). Such doctrines have to be fought. Liberty promised by such falsity is misguided; bondage awaits (Gal. 2:4; 11 Cor. 3:17).

Now, regarding my claim that repentance necessarily entails cessation of the sin of which one repents, our literary opponents say, “We disagree. There is a difference between repenting of ‘sin’ and repenting of ‘a sin’ (as in Mac’s illustration). There’s also a difference between committing a sin repeatedly because of lack of repentance (as in Mac’s illustration), and committing a sin repeatedly because of weakness, against one’s own desires (Rom. 7:14-25). At Pentecost, Peter called on his listeners to ‘repent and be baptized.’ It’s not likely that he meant for them to never sin again. Rather, he called on them to change their lives, submitting to Jesus as Lord.”

I would say that whether you refer to a specific sin or to sin in general, when one repents there must be cessation of that sin for a while. If not, how in the world could godly sorrow have moved the man to repent? (cf. 11 Cor. 7:10). We either face “change” are we do not face change. If a man repents of adultery but does not repent of murder, can that repentance save him? The answer is obvious (cf. Jas. 2:10, 11). The category of sin in general is composed of sins in particular. If one does not repent of any particular sin or sins, then how can he claim that he has repented in general? A little child cannot repent, among other reasons, because there is no particular sin in his life. If there are no particular sins of which an adult repents, he has not repented at all. If the man is not aware of any sin in his life, he cannot repent of sin. If he through lack of focus cannot recall any sin in his life, how can he be moved to godly sorrow? It is impossible for a man to have godly sorrow about his sin if he has no awareness of any given sin. And godly sorrow always precedes repentance. A man whose sins are so far back in his mind that they do not trouble him is in no position yet to become a Christian. The people on Pentecost had just crucified Christ. That was something definite of which they were to repent (Acts 2:23). Of how many other things they needed to repent I do not know, and whether Peter referred to any other sins, we do not know for his complete sermon is not reported (Acts 2:40).

When our literary opposition says of Peter, “It’s not likely that he meant for them to never sin again. Rather, he called on them to change their lives, submitting to Jesus as Lord,” we respond by saying that he is calling on them to give up the practice of sin. Jesus once told a man, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee” (Jno. 5:14). John said, “My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 Jno .2:1).  God has the right to tell us not to sin. Neither Jesus nor any inspired writer ever sanctioned the committing of one sin. Never! And Jay and Todd well know this. “Submitting to Jesus as Lord” entailed giving up the practice of sin. There is a level of spiritual intimacy reached between God and man in conversion that means that the practice of sin is over or the transition from the world of the lost to the church of the saved is not made (Col. 1:13).

I do appreciate the point about momentary sins because of human weakness. I admit that (Matt. 26:41). It is a fact that cannot be successfully denied. This has to do with the nature of man and the situation in which he finds himself. That is why we need so much help in overcoming sin (Rom. 8:12-17; Eph. 6:10ff).

Now on page four, we find a comparison drawn between (1) a drug addict who is converted and (2) an otherwise sinner who obeys the gospel via a correspondence course and begins to worship with a mechanical instrument. The claim is made that both men repented in spite of the fact that the drug addicts falls back into drugs, and the other man worships with the mechanical instrument. I do not disagree. The situations are not parallel but do involve men who have fallen back into sin. Drug addiction is just as much a sin by a Christian as a non-Christian. And using mechanical instruments in worship is unauthorized and amounts to sinful worship. Simon fell shortly after his conversion into grave error (Acts 8:18-24). The drug addict in Jay’s illustration obviously knows that such is wrong. The user of mechanical instruments evidently does not. So, the two cases are not parallel. However, if we grant this new convert time, if he is what he ought to be, he will come to see the error of his way and remove himself from such practice. The providence of God is sufficient to help the ignorant man of integrity to come to know what he must know (cf. Gen .20:1-6; Luke 11:9-13). I would further suggest that any correspondence course should include sufficient information so as to teach the principle of authority (Col. 3:17) and so prevent the very thing that Jay’s second man illustrates. I always cover this ground including mechanical instrument music and New Testament teaching on marriage and divorce when personally studying with non-Christians. Too, a person living in adultery has not repented of adultery if he continues to stay in adultery. No cessation-no repentance. One cannot walk in righteousness and walk in evil at the same time (Eph. 2:1-3).

Jay says, “Sincerity does not cover all sin, but for those in grace—those saints who maintain a submissive faith in Jesus—grace does.” Yes, but Jay, Todd, Phil, and I all know that some sins committed by saints imply that they are no longer in grace (1 Cor. 5; Gal. 5:4; Heb. 6:1ff; Heb. 10:26ff). As far as I can understand the concept of “submissiveness” as used by Jay and Todd, it is not the same thing as obedience. But I would say that while submissiveness is necessary, it is not adequate to salvation unless it is defined so as to include obedience. Having obeyed the gospel, all of us had a submissive faith in the sense that we made improvement in our lives as we learned so to do. But the adjustments had to be made in the light of truth learned. Obligatory Truth was never rendered non-obligatory while we were making our changes. There is no doctrine of salvation for the submissively not yet obedient or the submissively yet disobedient.  According to the New Testament, there is (1) a continuation of walking in truth that is just as necessary to one’s ultimate salvation as is (2) the New Testament teaching that all Christians need continuing grace (cf. 1 Tim. 2:15; John 8:32). Those saints who continue to walk in truth (11 Jno. 4) are those who receive continuing grace (1 Jno. 1:7). The availability of grace is never an excuse for the justification of continuing in sin (Rom. 6:1).  Human weakness is a factor we must admit and with which we continually live. That is why sinners must become partakers of the divine nature (11 Pet. 1:4). But doctrinal error that causes violation of God’s law is not something that one has to live with (Jno. 8:32; Rom. 12:1, 2; 11 Jno.4; 1 Tim. 6:20, 21). If it were otherwise (if we had to live with continual doctrinal error that causes continual violation of God’s will) we would not need the Bible. If we are forever shut up to inevitable doctrinal error that keeps us in constant violation of God’s will, truth cannot save us (But, Acts 20:32). All of us must grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ (11 Pet. 3:18). To fail to do so is sin.

Now, I will address the questions that Jay and Todd present to me:

1. As to how I use “truth,” I use it for the totality of the gospel, the truth that the gospel is (Gal. 2:5), including facts, promises, and obligations (cf. Heb. 11:3; 11 Pet. 1:4; Rom. 2:8; 1 Thess. 2:13; Eph. 4:20, 21).

2. By divine doctrinal violation, I mean a violation of divine teaching. I could be in error with regard to many facts given in the Scriptures. But doctrinal violation would involve me in sin. I could be wrong about the interpretation of a lot of factual information without getting into violation of obligation.

3. Errors are doctrinally detrimental if they are conclusions reached which attack the doctrine of Christ. Errors of some Bible facts (although the presentation of these facts is Bible doctrine) are not very consequential. Errors of other facts would be. Some facts we must know; others we do not have to know. Errors of doctrine that lead people to sin, however, would be attacks on the purity of the gospel of Christ and harmful to those who subscribe to them. Any doctrine that implies that we do not have to submit to the least requirements (obligations) of the doctrine of Christ is a false doctrine (Matt.5:19; cf. Matt 23:23; Luke 17:10). Paul tells us that there is a sense in which only Christians can actually fulfill the requirement of the law of Moses, a thing Jews under the law could not do (Rom. 8:4).

4. Regarding a congregation’s forsaking the form of pure worship practice for unauthorized worship, I would say that flesh now dominates spirit regarding those in the eldership and the preacher. Perhaps there are some in the congregation who simply are confused or being novices have not found their duty clear, but those experienced leaders who left the truth for worship error, flesh has dominated spirit (cf. the brethren at Corinth who were in so much error and who seemed for a while not to comprehend their sad condition). Christians are continually sanctified by truth (Jno. 17:17) and truth is spirit in the sense that it is from the Holy Spirit, it addresses our human spirits, and leads to spiritual life (Jno .6:63). Simon does not seem to have at first been aware of his loss of salvation; he evidently lost it unintentionally (cf. Acts 8:18-24).  The preacher to whom Jay refers has never been willing to have his controversial position addressed in public debate. Jay and Todd have already agreed with me that “no one who is unwilling to have his religious convictions carefully examined can be all that sincere” (p.2 of their response). The preacher and/or elders will not allow examination of their controversial convictions in a forum where they will have to defend their current practice in the presence of someone who will present the other side. At least, they will not face us, and I know of no other public religious discussion in which they have tried to defend their practice in the presence of someone who knows how to prove it wrong. Furthermore, they have made no attempt to respond in writing to literary proof presented to them of their error.  Does that suggest anything about their sincerity?

Now I have a few True-False questions for Jay and Todd. Since every precisely stated proposition is either true or false, please circle either the T or the F:

T  F  1. Obedience to Christ is a type of work (Jno. 6:29; Heb. 5:8, 9; Eph. 2:10).

T  F  2. Obedience to Christ is essential to salvation.

T  F  3. It is possible to practice pure religion (Jas. 1:27).

T  F  4. It is possible to practice pure religion out of harmony with pure doctrine.

T  F  5. There is a sense in which we can practice pure religion without spot (Jas. 1:27; 1    Tim. 6:14).

T  F  6. There is at least one New Testament passage that promises eternal salvation to the sons of disobedience.

T  F  7. Faithful Christians are sons of obedience.

T  F  8. Worship authorized by Christ must be in truth (Jno. 4:24).

T  F  9. There is at least one New Testament passage that teaches that unauthorized worship is acceptable or pleasing to God.

T  F  10. The subscription to at least some doctrinal errors entails loss of eternal salvation to those who subscribe to them.

T  F  11. According to Hebrews 11, the faith that saves is a submissive faith which has not yet obeyed but that plans on obeying in the future.

T  F  12. According to New Testament teaching, the faith that saves is a disobedient faith.

T  F  13. According New Testament teaching, saving faith is a submissive faith which submission excludes obedience.

T  F  14. According to James 2, Abraham was justified by an obedient faith.

 T  F  15. If Paul declares that Abraham was not justified by works and if James declares that Abraham was justified by works, then we know that Paul and James were referring to two different categories or classifications of works.

Explore posts in the same categories: Apostasy

49 Comments on “Salvation Submissiveness Is Obedience”

  1. Here’s an interesting experiment.

    Drag down to “Find” from “Edit” in your browser and search for the word “grace” in this post. I find it 7 times, and only occurring in a quote from Jay.

    Search for the word “obey.” I find it 9 times, once in a quote from Jay.

    I think we’re still talking two different languages here.

    Paul is saying that works without faith in Christ is dead.

    James is saying that faith in Christ without works is dead.

    Love and marriage. Horse and carriage. Soup and sandwich. Faith and works. Not one or the other, but both. Not splitting hairs over different categories or classifications of works, but understanding that faith and works are a catalytic pair – and frankly, there is no power involved in their interaction unless the Holy Spirit is present, and if you do a search for Him by name in this post, I only get one match, in a mention of Him as source of truth.

    It doesn’t matter whether the works are good works that Jesus asks us to be busy about – helping the poor, for instance – if there is no faith in Him to empower them. I fear there will be a good many philanthropists in hell who did a lot of good and gave generously, but out of their own abundance, and not Christ’s.

    It doesn’t matter how strongly we believe in Jesus or how well-versed in scripture and exegesis and interpretation we are, either, if we just sit on our hands in this world and never share the Story and never confess Him a second time and never help anyone toward a better chance at this life or the next in His name.

    (I also believe it doesn’t matter a lick how strong the faith is, if it isn’t in Jesus Christ. Faith in doing good things, or in not doing things we think God might object to but we aren’t sure, or in the law of Moses, or in our own logic, or in the laws about God’s silence that we’ve created in order to be safe or saved or better than somebody else – not one of those will save us. Not one.)

  2. Anonymous Says:

    How far would a person’s obedience get them without the grace of God?

    Someone else who read this post by Mac, who I agree with, said this post especially the T-F questions chokes the life out of what being a Christian is about!

    Striving to love God and love people as Jesus did on earth, and having hope of the day we will be able to give Him more praises before His throne.

  3. K. Rex Butts Says:

    The problem with the True/False quiz is that it assumes one specific interpretation and makes that the proposition that must be decided as true or false. For exampl, Question 8 assumes that “truth” in John 4.24 refers to “how” we worship and not “who” we worship. While John 4.24 could be refering to how we worship, is this the only possibility? Any ways, my point is not to argue what should be the correct interpretation of John 4.24 but simply to point out that the true/false quiz is flawed because of its limitations.

    In the meantime, and I have made this point before on this blog, I believe the fundamental difference between the progressive and traditional sides of the CoC is rooted in biblical-interpretation/hermeneutics. There are just two fundamentally different paradigms through which scripture is being read.

    Your brother in Christ,


  4. Royce Says:

    This list of true false questions is plain silly. Wouldn’t it be foolish to have this standard in a court of law?

    I can present a list of true false questions based on the very words of Jesus and if answered honestly and correctly would prove that the participants on both sides do not believe what Jesus said. Of course that is a foolish thought but using this juvenile method is that unfair.

    Todd and Jay should either ignore the list of questions (which would delight conservatives) or simply come back with a list of questions themselves. Either way the outcome will not advance anyone’s understanding of the grace of God.

    The impression I get from reading Mac is that he like every conservative in the coC I know about does not understand biblical faith. If he did he would not say what he says nor would he be asking the questions he asks.

    In my view both sides believe sinners are saved, at least partially by what they do. Jay and Todd are just more moderate in their veiws.

    My questions to all parties are:
    1. Can a birth be reversed? 2. Can a resurrection be reversed? Can adoption be reversed? 3. Can a creation be reversed? Should we believe the promises of Jesus?

    Or, should we just ignore great portions of the Bible and make it say what we need it to say to fit out brand of theology?


  5. While Mac is obviously steeped in thought built around tradition, at least we see some interaction from the conservative camp.

  6. David Himes Says:

    Two observations.

    1. The T/F test is a false test, because the words don’t mean the same thing to all readers. So, it’s an offensive exercise, not designed to uphold a position but rather to cloud the issues.

    2. Based upon James, I take the the position, not that works of obedience are essential to salvation, but rather that works of obedience are evidence of salvation. If we’re not saved, why would anyone bother to do those things?

  7. thumper Says:

    If Greg is correct, we still need a list of these doctrines that violate God’s divine decrees such that condemnation results.

    What about a kitchen in a church building?

    What about reaffirming elders?

    What about supporting a missionary society?

    What about believing that 2 Peter was not written by the Apostle Peter?

    Seems fairly important to have a full, entire list.

  8. Alan Says:

    Mac, I appreciate your reply. Perhaps I have misunderstood what you have written, it it does sound as if you placing faith in the works (submissive obedience) you do that they will be acceptable to God. I see Jay and Todd as saying that our faith is in Jesus as the Christ and Lord, and in nothing else. Our works therefore are the result of that faith rather than I’m addition to the faith. That is how I see Paul’s message to Galatia: Putting faith in anything other than in Jesus is not the Gospel, and this would include putting my faith in what I do or in my interpretations.

    God bless

  9. […] GraceConversation: Mac Deaver’s Second Post and Jay’s Summation Posted on May 30, 2009 by Jay Guin Mac has posted a second post “Salvation Submissiveness is Obedience.” […]

  10. CR Says:

    I really don’t think Mac is promoting a works based plan of salvation. Nor do I think he is saying one is saved apart from faith in Christ. Is Mac promoting faith + works = salvation? I hope not.

    I watch one of Macs good friends ( Johnny Robertson ) over here on the East Coast and he also comes across as many here have taken Mac. I don’t think Mac means to present such a plan that voids grace and lifts up works – but he and Johnny both suggest this with their teaching.

    I think the T/F questions probably weren’t intentionally designed as trap questions, but they do just that, if taken at face value. I think Rex, Royce and others clearly pointed out the folly of the questions. We all can design those type of questions. Perhaps they should be defined and more specific as to what Mac means.

    Example: “Worship authorized by Christ must be in truth.” Who wouldn’t know the correct answer. But, by truth, do you mean, all of the disagreement over marriage and divorce? Even within the conservative side, there isn’t total agreement on this – so which is TRUTH here? Conservatives also disagree on the work/role of the Holy Spirit. Some say he resides in the believer ‘literally” others say only through the Word. Which is TRUTH here?

  11. Royce Says:


    You read Mac’s post and still don’t know what he is teaching? That seems odd to me.


  12. Anonymous Says:

    CR-I don’t think Mac means to present such a plan that voids grace and lifts up works – but he and Johnny both suggest this with their teaching.

    CR, for someone to suggest something in what they teach is teaching it.

  13. laymond Says:

    “Is Mac promoting faith + works = salvation? I hope not.”

    Jms:2:22: Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

    Jms:2:24: Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

  14. CR Says:

    Royce, I just want to give them the benefit of doubt. Trust me, I am VERY familiar with the teaching. I have heard much of the conservative teachings and know how they can be taken wrongly too. If we really are saying these men are, in fact, teaching works based salvations, then we have men who clearly have followed the error of the Galatians. My experience is that they are not teaching one is saved by works. But as Laymond and others have added – with faith comes works.

    Laymond, I mean by comment that some perceive Mac and others to be legalist or see them teaching a Salvation plan other than one of grace. I think they really have certain convictions ( some I disagree with ) that they strictly adhere to, and for that cause, we deem them as legalist. Mac, no doubts believes IM to be “added worship” thus he concludes it as sin and those practicing such to be in error. Because some of us disagree, we tend to think he is teaching salvation by works. Sure, the flip side of this, is that he possibly-most likely views those who use IM in worship as apostates.

  15. CR Says:

    “CR, for someone to suggest something in what they teach is teaching it.”

    RE: I think you make a valid point and this is why I hope Mac clears the fog a bit on this.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    CS-Sure, the flip side of this, is that he possibly-most likely views those who use IM in worship as apostates.

    CS, ya don’t say.

  17. David Himes Says:

    I appreciate your effort to be understanding of Mac’s position. But if what you say is actually Mac’s position, then Mac needs to rewrite his posts to make that point more clearly, because he says there are things I do that will condemn me. That means, logically, that if I don’t do those things I can be saved. He writes, “works of obedience are essential to salvation.”

    Mac needs to explain how that is not teaching salvation by works.

  18. CR Says:

    David, I hope Mac means that obedience should mirror the saved persons life. I hope he is saying – the one who is saved will work. I hope he is saying works will flow from those Christ has redeemed.

    I hope he isn’t saying our works save us or keep us saved. If so, who can really claim such? Does God grade on the curve? Either we are working 100% perfectly 100% of the time or we trust that Jesus paved that road for us and we walk down that road, still we sometimes we fall…….but Jesus is there to pick us up. If we trust our works, are we trusting Christ? I hope Mac explains some of his comments…

  19. David Himes Says:

    I’d like to hope that’s what he means, as well. But that is not what his words mean.

  20. Royce Says:

    Hard to believe we are all reading the same Bible huh?


  21. CR Says:

    “works of obedience are essential to salvation.”

    RE: I admit I have problems with the statement from Mac above as well as other things he posted. I still do not believe Mac is saying one “earns salvation.” I know personally some of his friends who hold to the conservative teachings, but they do not teach nor believe one can earn salvation.

    Is Mac saying works of obedience are essential as if he can earn Gods favor through his own righteousness? I really don’t think Mac is saying such. If he thought such, why come to Christ? Why trust in Jesus if you one can somehow earn Gods favor through works of obedience? Surely Mac means something else.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    CS-Surely Mac means something else.

    CS, What makes you so sure. There obviously are people who take away grace teaching works salvation.

    Let’s ask Mac.

    Mac, are people who trust Jesus who worship the Lord singing with music saved or condemned?

  23. CR Says:

    “Mac, are people who trust Jesus who worship the Lord singing with music saved or condemned?”

    RE: I could ask you, are people who trust Jesus who worship the Lord dancing with music saved or condemned? David danced before God as well as play instruments.

    And I could ask you, are people who trust Jesus who worship with heavy metal Christian rock saved or condemned? Turn your TV on INSP on a Friday afternoon between 5pm and 6pm eastern time, and you tell me how honoring the music is on there. The bands often sound identical to rock and hip hop – no wonder the young people like it…

    My point is, if we permit one type of music we better have a case to condemn other types….if not any type goes. John Mark Hicks makes one of the best cases for a capella.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Are they singing praises to the Lord with their words, if so as long as what they are doing is reasonably edifying and in order, it is worshiping

  25. CR Says:

    “I’d like to hope that’s what he means, as well. But that is not what his words mean.”

    RE: I agree David and am concerned if he indeed is saying what the words mean. I still dont think Mac means one can earn salvation. I hope he clarifies this at some point.

  26. laymond Says:

    No, I don’t believe we can climb our way to heaven by good works alone. but I do believe they play a part, what good is a covenant/contract if only one side is upheld.

    Rv:20:12: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

    Rv:20:13: And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    laymond, so you believe only people who are “good enough” will be in heaven.

    And do works involve only loving and being kind to people who agree with you, or do works involve loving and being kind to other people period.

  28. laymond Says:

    I don’t believe we will get there with a hate filled heart.

    Mt:5:43: Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

    44: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

  29. Anonymous Says:

    laymond, so you do not believe a person can get to heaven uless they work enough righteous deeds.

  30. mark Says:

    One of the reason I am progressive is I believe truth is more than documentation. My spiritual intuition plays a role in the ideas of truth and reasoning. However for our more conservative brothers, truth is purely the assumptions of words in a Bible.

  31. Okay, Anonymous, you can stop goading laymond now. Three times he’s told you what he meant and why, from scripture.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    Keith, I’m not goading laymond. And laymond only replied to the second part of my comment, not the first part. Since this is what he believes I don’t see why my comment would be offensive to him.

    laymond, so you do not believe a person can get to heaven uless they work enough righteous deeds.

  33. laymond Says:

    I believe in the doctrine/teachings of
    Jesus Christ which was given him by
    the Father Jehovah God, as Jesus said.

    2Jn:1:9: Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
    Ti:2:1: But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

    I believe sound doctrine comes from and is proven by scripture, man made or man assumed doctrine is not sound doctrine, and is not approved by God.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Romans 11:5-6 “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.”

    Paul said if it’s by works then it is no longer grace.

    John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    1 John 3:23-24 “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”

    2 John 1:9 “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

    If you look back a few verses you will see the doctrine that was being spoke about here.

    2 John 1:5-6 “And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.”

    laymond have you perfected this doctrine, or do you need God’s grace?

  35. laymond Says:

    I don’t believe anyone will attain perfection, but I believe we should be caught trying.

  36. Anonymous Says:

    laymond, again you didn’t reply to the first part of my comment.

    Romans 11:5-6 “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.”

    Paul said if it’s by works then it is no longer grace.

  37. laymond Says:

    I see why we see things differently, you say I have failed to fully answer your questions, I just don’t see quoting Romans 11:5-6, as a question.

  38. Anonymous Says:

    laymond, you didn’t have any problems with my comments from yesterday, what’s the problem now?

  39. CR Says:

    Mac, please elaborate further regarding the content of your post. Your words taken at face value advocate salvation by merit, which opens the doors for all sort of questions.

    Surely, you are not saying one can earn his way to heaven by his own deeds. Obedience does have a proper place, but lets not hinge salvation upon our ability to “be righteous” as if we could ever be righteous enough to earn Gods favor.

  40. laymond Says:

    Anon, you like so many others stop reading scripture when it satisfies your needs. If you had bothered to read on you would have come to the purpose of this scripture.

    Rom:11:20: Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear.
    21: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
    22: Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

    “if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” question; does this sound like grace only salvation.? or does it sound like there might be some sort of “works” involved.?

  41. Anonymous Says:

    Paul is speaking about the Israelites that didn’t believe Jesus is the Messiah.

    Romans 11:23 “And they also, if they don’t continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.”

  42. CR Says:

    Again, works have their proper place, but never should we make them the basis of salvation.

    Before anyone thinks I am pushing “faith Only” or grace without works, I am not. I do, however, think some are mixing law and grace and coming very close to following the error of the Galatians.

    I still am hoping for some further clarification from Mac. Either we are saved unto good works or we are saved by them and I don’t know one person who honestly will say they are earning Gods favor by their works.

    I hope we all here are trusting Christ work and from that we are saved unto good works.

  43. I’m just gonna link to some blog posts I’ve written, rather than use up more of Jay’s pixels: gracefaithworks.

    (Hint: There’s a reason I’ve made it a single word. Read from the bottom post up, to get the chronological progression of my thought over the years of writing the series of 5 – mostly short – posts.)

  44. CR Says:

    Just read some Keith. Great stuff!! I look forward to reading it all…

  45. laymond Says:

    Keith, I didn’t know I had been commenting on your blog so long 🙂
    Seems we still have the opinion we had back then.

  46. We have shared a very interesting fellowship, bro!

  47. CR Says:

    I was hoping by for some kind of comment from Mac. I know he and many of the conservative brethren disagree on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and some of them still fellowship with Mac. The Elders at Pearl St. know where I am coming from with this.

    And lets not forget the Moffitt-Deaver Debate. My point is that we don’t always agree in doctrine and we still have fellowship, right Mac?

  48. laymond Says:

    Keith, it just goes to show, you don’t have to be identical twins to be brothers. 🙂

  49. laymond Says:

    Hey, maybe we could wind up being an example for others? I hope so.

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