Thursday, November 04, 2010

'BUT' Theology - Part 4



Image removed
to spare those who may stumble.
This Part 4 of my response to the sermon preached by Pastor Norm Millar at Harvest Bible Chapel in London Ontario on 26 Sept 2010 entitled "Knowing Where You Stand With Jesus." If you have come directly to this post, please read Part 1 first because the context of Pastor Millar's sermon is fully explained there and mostly in his own words. Then read Part 2 which covers most of his strongest arguments. Part 3 also deals with a large number of textual arguments, most of which the Pastor made in passing.

This sermon is intended to apply John 14:15 to the life of someone who professes to have faith in Jesus Christ. Pastor Millar asks you to examine yourself to see if you are in fact in possession of saving faith. I have been taking issue with the Pastor's interpretation of many passages, and definitely with his view of how someone knows if they are saved or not. I will cover his solution to those who fail the test he administers from the pulpit, and what I believe Scripture has to say about all of this as I conclude the series in Part 5. We have already covered a lot of ground, and in this part we will examine  how he applies three more passages of Scripture. Having completed this task we will have looked at all the support he cites for telling people to evaluate their salvation by their obedience.

Picking up where we left off last time. Pastor Millar speaks about a typical "professing Christian" and then states that the day before was notable for being a less than ideal day for his audience to have followed him around.
"If you followed me yesterday, oh man...."

Again I ask; how could that be? If you're a true "Christ Follower" then you'll obey His commands right? And if you're obeying His commands then you ought not be wary of having people watch you. Some will say that the man is simply being humble and graceful. They'll say that his embarrassment is probably over something which we would think of as very small. However, here is where the sermon starts to loose even it's philosophical power. How small can disobedience be that it does not require death? Is there a level of disobedience that is not  so evil that Christ had to be crucified to propitiate God's wrath for it?
"We're not talking about perfection, we're talking about a direction."
"You will obey Me, not every day...."
"Seasons of disobedience"

Please forgive me for being flippant but I guess the results of this "test" the Pastor is administering are greatly dependent on when you take it. 

He continues;
"We are talking bout some change. Some desire. Somethings happening."

Is this what the Lord said in John 14:15? "If you love Me you will have some desire to obey My commandments." I'll let you draw your conclusions. I'm sure there are some who think this is perfectly reasonable. Others will be offended by how flexible the Inspired Text appears to be in the Pastor's mouth.

He goes on and cites a book that his Pastor of Local Missions provided to him about the stats of people in Christendom (he means all the people who call themselves Christians). He gives a number of statistics about how poorly professing Christians seem to conduct themselves, at least based on the statistics he presents. I don't need to get into each stat, but there is one interesting one.
"Only 6% of Born Again Christians Tithe."
Whoah. That's a big topic...and probably one I should dive into at some point. Remember the Pastor is administering a TEST to his audience (congregation and untold numbers of online listeners) so they can determine IF they are actually saved or not. Perhaps this stat is presented to show that 94% of people who profess to be saved are not obeying Christ's commandments?


I have to ask the question, is there a single biblical record of Born Again Christians Tithing? Is there a single instruction to Christians in the Bible to Tithe? When the Pastor introduced John 14:15 at the beginning of his sermon he wondered if people even knew what commandments the Lord was talking about. Likewise, before you answer about Tithing I want you to determine if you know what Tithing actually IS, how it is actually DONE, and then determine if Christians do this or not.

The real important thing to detail is that the Pastor is saying it's a problem with our faith, or the Gospel we preach that is causing this problem in "Evangelicalism." He is presenting a logical fallacy known as a False Dilemma. Which is to say, he is not allowing his audience to consider all the possible sources of the problem. Might the problem be with how Evangelicalism is structured and run? Since discipleship, biblical correction and biblical separation are marginalized in a system where "if you don't obey you're not saved" there is no effective means to disciple a person. They are simply either obediently saved, or disobediently lost. If there is no effective discipleship there will be very little victorious living.

He says;
“There's something wrong...."

He's absolutely correct, though not in the context he meant it in. There's something wrong when those who God has cleaned are called dirty Acts 11:4-15, and those who God has freed are dragged into bondage. Gal 5:1 I'm getting ahead of myself, and we should get to the final textural arguments offered in the sermon.

Pastor Millar reads through and interprets most of Mat 7:13-26 He explains that we all understand that Jesus is “the Way” and the Gate of vs 13 & 14. His interpretation shows up starting at vs 15. 


Beware of the false prophets – these are people who profess to be Christian, believers, God followers, but they’re not they come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they’re ravenous wolves.

Now look at vs 16 You will recognize them… by what? By what they say they are? By their fruits. How they live.  He says are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? So every healthy tree bares good fruit but the diseased tree bares bad fruit. If you love me you will keep my commandments. If you truly love me there will be some fruit there. There will be some evidence of God in your life.

Look at vs 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Vs 21 Not everyone, these are shocking words, not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
In his speech he connects Vs 21 to the previous verses, instead of the introduction of a new teaching point as most of us will be familiar with. What I find most amazing about how the Lordship Salvation proponent will use this verse is that they must truly expect us to just take their word for it. Do they think we will not open the Bible and read it for ourselves? 


This Pastor says he's not adding works to the Gospel, and that he's not talking about "perfection" but a "direction" in your life. Then he uses this verse - with is about FALSE PROPHETS not "False Believers"... it's about false prophets or those who give false witness to what God has said and done, and/or what He will do - to test people's salvation. And in so doing leaves out Vs 18. I cannot speak for the man's intentions, but as much Lordship Salvation spinning and twisting of the Scriptures as I have read over the years even I can't imagine how you could make "A good tree cannot bare bad fruit" anything less than sinless perfection - IF it does mean as the Pastor teaches "how they live their lives." If a "good tree" cannot "bare bad fruit" and a "good tree" is a "true Christ follower" (a true Christian in the Pastor's thinking) and bad fruit is sin - then the true Christian cannot sin. Of course I do not believe this for a second, and even Lordship Salvation proponents can't sell this to their people. So they are left with having to skip some verses and heavily interpret others. 
He’s talking about at a future time at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but the one who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven. On that day, on Judgment Day, On that day many.  It’s just got to break your heart.  Many…  will say to me Lord, Lord did we not prophecy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name and do many might works in Your Name?
OK as some who have listened to the sermon and emailed me know, I have decided to allow this man grace for getting a few things mixed up... because I can't honestly say that his slip ups were intentional. However, it is completely unthinkable that a trained, mature, Pastor who dares to teach God's Word would confuse the Judgment Seat of Christ with the Great White Throne Judgment.  Here's some more thoughts on this subject. Check out 1Cor 3:10-15 for a bit about the Judgment Seat of Christ. Notice that it does not AT ALL match what the Pastor taught. What's more it speaks of what those Christians who pervert the Gospel of Christ can expect to receive for reward at Judgment.

Now here is how he explains to his audience what the Lord is teaching in Mat 7:21-23.
In other words – Did we not serve at Church? Were we not part of the team? Did we not give money? Did we not help out? Lord, Lord did we not profess to be a follower of yours? That’s what He’s saying. Lookit Jesus all these things I did. I believe in You. I’m believing in You. I believed in You my whole life. Look Jesus, look look look.

And what is His response to these many? Vs 23. “And I will declare to them – I never knew you. Depart from Me you workers of lawlessness.”
I ask you dear readers, I plead with you Pastor Millar's followers, to read Mat 7:21-23 and see that these people make ABSOLUTELY NO CLAIM TO FAITH WHATSOEVER. These people commend themselves to God based on their real submission to His Lordship (as even Pastor Millar explains later in his sermon), to their obedience to Him, to their good works, to what they would see, and the Pastor is telling you to use to evaluate your salvation on - FRUIT.

Look please I beg you! Then listen to the Pastor's mocking voice as he talks about how these people claimed to have believed in Jesus their whole lives. There will be a point at the end of his sermon where his sincerity becomes absolutely clear. However, this moment we are examining right now is shockingly cold.

Let me spell this out, though I know most everyone reading already gets it. These people in Mat 7:21-23 whom the Lord will cast into the Lake of Fire, thought they were truly His because they did good things. They did MIGHTY things. What have YOU done for the Lord that will give you assurance if these that prophesied, cast out demons  and did MIGHTY works in His Name would have had FALSE ASSURANCE because HE NEVER KNEW THEM. What must his audience have been thinking at that point? I'm not that good... I'm not saved. Where does that lead a person? We'll see in the next passage but consider "Unless you abide in Me, you can do nothing." He who thinks he's not saved, isn't going to be growing in Him.

Pastor Millar then goes on to say that when your salvation is real that God comes in and He begins to change you - and I have no argument with that. He does, but that will look differently in every Believer and is not an accurate indicator of Salvation.  He says that Col 1:21-23 is a good example of his view. 

He reads Col 1:21-22 and then he says, again starting out in a mocking tone;


"You're saying they're saved! They're reconciled! But you have to keep reading. Verse 23 you're reconciled if indeed you continue in the faith stable and steadfast. Not shifting from the hope of the Gospel. Now listen I'm not saying you're adding works to salvation. I'm not saying because you continue in the faith that makes you saved. No I'm saying you're really saved you will continue in the faith. (someone in the crowed says "amen" to this) You need to look at that. You need to examine that. You need to see if God has truly saved you, transformed you, if you are really born from above then you will conti...not perfectly, you'll stumble, you'll fall but there'll be some direction there. Or something.  (long silent pause) It's just very important that we understand..." 
Give 2Pet 1:5-11 a read. How does the fact that those who have had their sins cleansed can get so far off the mark that they forget about it fit with how the Pastor explains Col 1:23? It cannot fit with it. Peter says we must ADD to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge self-control, and to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, to your brotherly kindness - love.

Peter shows us how to mature in the faith. The Pastor would have you believe that "saving faith" is a faith that contains these things, it changes you, makes you obey God, makes you persevere. But the Apostle Peter, who not only was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write these exact words, knew a thing or two about what it is like to get lost along "the Way." Peter says that we ADD these to our faith. Just like James explains in James 2, that works animate faith. Just like Paul explains that we are saved by Grace, through faith, apart from works - and we are are born in Christ to do good works. Our works add to our faith, not result from it, or are part of it.

If we don't add works, and maturity to our faith? Well we can get so lost as to forget that we were saved by Christ. Maturity is our responsibility. 
If we do these as Peter states then well have an abundant entrance into Heaven. We will receive much reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ. But if we do not? Well then though we have been saved, and will enter into Heaven as though by fire, we in this life can become blind to the point that we may even forget that our sins have been cleansed. 


In short, Pastor asked his audience what John 14:15 "really means." Well Peter gives a pretty good answer. If you love Him, which is to say you have added all maturity to your faith, then you will keep His commandments. Not just if you have saving faith, but if you have maturity. 


In fact; Col 1:23 is exactly like 1Cor 15:2 "if you hold fast that message I preached to you" the salvation is not conditioned on holding fast, but this is the same message that I told you before. In 1Cor 15:2 we read of this happening in Acts 18:8. They believed, or received, the Gospel and so they were baptized. 

Jumping ahead now, after Pastor Millar gives 5 specific questions to his audience by which he believes they can test the validity of their faith he tells them if they want more tests that they should read 1st John. He then reads 1Jn 5:13 in this way;

"I write these things to you who believe... (takes a pause and then continues with a tone of correction) 'profess to believe' (takes another pause) in the name of God. That you may know that you have eternal life."
The Pastor inserted his own words into Scripture at best. To me it sounds like he's correcting the thought. No Believer with a Bible should have stood for this at the time of the preaching. Back in our discussion of John 8 we saw that the Pastor, by his interpretation of the passage, had God the Holy Spirit saying that a group of people believed and God the Son saying that they didn't. As shockingly wrong of an interpretation as that was, at least that time God the Son was quoted as saying the ones who refused to believe in Him were sons of the devil. This time, in 1Jn 5:13, God the Holy Spirit says that they are believers, and addresses them as "My Little Children" 1Jn 2:1 Hardly the description you would expect God to use of those who are or may be "sons of the devil."

This may be a dramatic reason not to use the verse as the Pastor does, but it is not the most compelling.

The verse actually reads "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have Eternal Life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God."

Several things stand out to me that show the Pastor's application of the verse is flawed. First of course, it's written to those who believe not to those who profess to believe, want to know if they believe, or may believe.. Or are thinking about believing... Second, his purpose in writing is that we may "know" we have Eternal Life. Not suspect that we have it based on a subjective test that will give different results depending on when you take it and what kind of mood you're in.  Third, it's written that we may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. Which is of course related to 2Peter 1:5-11 again. Why is John writing to us? That our joy may be full. 1Jn 1:4 which it will be if we continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

In 1Jn 5:13 there are two instances of the word believe. The first is constructed as a Present Active Participle which is to say John wrote this to those who "are believing." The second is constructed as "may or may not continue to believe" Present Active Subjunctive. Those who really did believe (had saving faith) may or may not continue to believe.

It's written so that we may know, or perceive that we are saved. How do we know we're saved? Because; God is faithful and just! Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins! And not only our sins, but for the sins of the whole world! 1Jn 2:2 Notice that 1Jn 2:2 is the justification of 1Jn 2:1 that Jesus Christ is our advocate if we sin. He's paid it all is what John is telling us. The letter is written to new believers who just struggle, to maturing believers who are starting to overcome and to fully mature believers who are now "fathers" in the faith. The new believer, or the immature believer, who is struggling with sin does not need to doubt his salvation, he needs to be convinced of the sufficiency of Christ's payment at the Cross. In order to mature, to be sanctified, we must first come to the confidence that our sin is dealt with. So long as a child doubts his father is his dad he can never actually walk after him - or Him. Perhaps when Pastor was preaching on John 3:16, and John 3:36 (see Part 2) he should have also read John 3:18. Maybe when he gets to John 20:31 he will change his mind (or to put it biblically - repent). 

Find more about 1st John and assurance here and make sure you check out the resource that I link to here.


I know this article, and the others have been long. We're almost done though!






After what we've looked at so far in this part, it may be shocking for you to find out that Part 5 will start with me largely agreeing with Pastor Millar. We'll look at his suggested 5 questions for testing one's salvation, and another 2 that he adds after. We'll find out that he doesn't have a great deal of confidence in this test, and what his suggested solution or solutions are to those who "fail the test." There's also going to be a specific listening assignment because I want you all to hear Pastor Millar's sincerity, and what is missing from his sermon.

God willing Part 5 will be up by the weekend, and will include what I think the Bible has to say about all of this.

Part 5 (the conclusion) can be found here.

44 comments:

Kevl said...

The reason why Pastor Millar and I both agree that the people who call the Lord, "Lord, Lord" in Mat 7 truly see Him as "master of their lives" is because of the construction of the phrase.

"Lord, Lord" is constructed the same way as the Lord says "truly truly" I say to you. Or "verily verily" which means "This is very true!"
One might say "Lord, Lord" means "Very Lord" or not just Lord, but Lord of my life!

They do not mean this as that He is the "Son of God, and therefore God" they mean it as He is the master of their lives.

A word repeated once indicates "very" and repeated three times means perfection. Thus God is "Holy, Holy, Holy" Isa 6:3 and Rev 4:8

These people were emphatic about their seeing Him as Master.

They thought their obedience showed that they were going to get into Heaven.

Do you suppose if they were not good enough to have true assurance before God that you and I are?

Their works were as filthy rags before Holy God, why? Because they had not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Kev

blessed said...

These people were emphatic about their seeing Him as Master.

These people were emphatic that He was Lord....in every sense (ie Luke 6:46).
Where do you see this as meaning master ONLY vs Son of God and Master?


Why do you think that Lord means master here but in other places Lord means Son of God?....Why do you think that they are calling Him master of their lives minus the belief that He is the Son of God?...do you think this means that they thought He was a man only and they gave their lives to a man? The emphasis on the title does not change the meaning of the title....the meaning of truly did not change becasue it was said twice....in Luke Jesus says "Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I say"...here they are saying "Lord, Lord we did what you said" but yes they are missing faith in Him and what He did for them...but NOT that they missed out on the fact that He is the Son of God...recognizing Him as the Son does not save you...putting your faith in the Son does...

Kevl said...

Hi Blessed,

Good comments.You may very well be correct.

I believe they were not considering His Sonship, and His Divinity - though they would have been obviously seeking to serve God - because they were not saved.

Consider Acts 8:26-40 with particular attention to Acts 8:37.

Also the other verses that I quoted in the article.

It may be as you wrote, but I think it is impossible to see all that the title Lord means without putting your faith in Him. If you comprehend Who He is, you must put your faith in Him. This sounds a bit like irresistible grace - but I don't mean it like that.

1Cor 12:3 is surly speaking of divinity. But the focus of Mat 7 is on their "doing for" Him.

That's why I believe they are being emphatic about His mastery.

Perhaps someone else will have more to say on this.

Kev

Kevl said...

Blessed, I forgot to look at Luke there. I'll reply again later today as I'm able.

Kev

Look up said...

Kev

Luke 6:46 is exactly speaking to the Norm's of the world. He calls Christ Lord, likely believes all that there is to believe about the person of Christ, tells others to submit to Him as Lord, but yet would not have someone follow him around all day, because it would give away his hypocrisy. He calls him Lord, Lord, but does not do what Christ says.


Blessed
Kev absolutely nailed it with his first comment in this post. There is an emphatic nature to submit to Christ as Lord in LS proponents, but then as they measure their own lives they find they don't measure up, and have to continually lower the standard they have set for themselves. I have talked to a card playing, Lord's Day denying young man with long hair, a goatee, about to get a tattoo, that preaches the LS 'gospel'. He didn't think anything he did above contradicted his claim to the submission the Lordship of Christ. He defended each of these things which the Bible condemns, and thereby wrote off his own profession.


Here is the most difficult of all the commands.

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Though it is their favorite verse to apply to others, Matt 7:21-23 is speaking specifically and directly to LS proponents, and others who hold to the same type of doctrine.

I have wrote on this verse before, but it is the summation of the subject.

Hos 2:16 And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi (my Husband); and shalt call me no more Baali (my Lord).

LS submission to Christ is equivalent to the Muslim wife's submission to her husband, whereas biblical submission to Christ is equivalent to a Christian wife's submission to her husband.

They are world's apart....

blessed said...

They very well may NOT have considered His Sonship just as they may have…I have said as much to someone that told me they do believe that Jesus is God but they don’t want to have anything to do with Him and His word..I thought, how can you possibly believe that and not fall on your face in worship?..here's what I was thinking you were saying when I read what you wrote (totally reading it with the knowledge that Lordship is in question in your mind when you wrote it): see, these people that think that Jesus is the Lord of their lives are going to stand before Him and be told to leave VS these people were trusting in their works to save them and NOT the work of Christ...it seems like you are taking this verse and trying to apply it where it may not be applicable….its not saying that if you think Christ is the Lord of your life you are doomed but it is saying that if you trust in your works (not check your works, not do good works but TRUST in them and use them as a means to salvation) then you are doomed...where some that preach Lordship step over the line and blur justification and sanctification there are many more that do not.....in scripture you will see faith saves you then you see that faith without works is dead...you will see that God does the choosing but that man is responsible...you see that a nation rose up against Israel because God caused them to do so then you see that nation punished for doing so...you will see Pharoah hardening his heart and God hardening His heart...you will see Christ referred to as Savior and Lord...that would mean that all of these things are true...Lord means master and Savior… because in one passage Lord is referring to Christs diety and in another Lord is referring to master wouldn’t you conclude that it means both....how can you separate the two and be true to the entire Word of God?

blessed said...

On a side note, I read the verses again concerning those standing before Christ and thought I remembered you or another blogger saying that whenever scripture refers to fruit being shown it is always in the context of the false teachers….in Matthew the verses are referring to false teachers and then goes into them standing before Christ so if the fruit verses only apply to them then using that logic would the verses about them standing before the Lord saying “Lord, Lord” only apply to the false teachers as well? In Luke it would read that Christ is talking to all believers but in Matthew He speaks to the false teachers?
I thought a lot about you saying that scripture does not promise a changed life after salvation and I just see changes lives all over scripture…I am in a bible study on Titus and Paul addresses the men that have come in and professed Christ but by their deeds deny Him….he is saying that their life is not matching their profession of Christ being Lord (all inclusive)…he says that Christ has saved a people for Himself to purify them and have them zealous for good works….Eph speaks of the good works that were prepared beforehand that we shall walk in? So to say that Christ saved you and your life does not show it seems to be contrary to what scripture is teaching….I am not talking the details of Lordship but the comment you made that says your life does not change after salvation. Any works we do are caused by the Lord not ourselves…if there are no works being done and no change being made by the Holy Spirit then wouldn’t that be a good sign that you should examine yourself to be sure you belong to Him who said He has prepared the good works in eternity past? Just like if you are doing good works but not believing on Christ for your salvation, not confessing and clinging to Him then you need to check yourself? Isnt it both? Your life looking like you really believe what you say? I totally get that this is combining conversations that we have had in the past so if you rather not post it here then I understand and maybe you could just answer with out posting mine. Some of the things you are saying just seem opposite to what I am reading in scripture….but I could be misunderstanding you as well.

Kevl said...

Look Up,

You wrote;

LS submission to Christ is equivalent to the Muslim wife's submission to her husband, whereas biblical submission to Christ is equivalent to a Christian wife's submission to her husband.

Stop that. I don't know what to do in a universe where we agree. :)

I actually intend on writing about this very topic soonish. It has been on my mind, and is on my study list.

Paul tells us this point explicitly. I don't think very many LS proponents would be comfortable if I were to stand at their pulpit and say wives, submit to your husbands as the master and lord of your life!

Also, your point about the guy getting a tatoo. I had a similar experience several years ago. A guy was adament that "Unless Jesus is Lord of all He is not Lord at all!" He was convinced of the LS gospel... we were at a men's breakfast and I was unsure how strongly to rebuke him. Thankfully prayer and waiting was profitable. I waited, and he eventually told me about how was going to be getting a tatoo that week.

Interesting.

Kev

Kevl said...

Blessed,

I'm not able to respond to your full posts right now - as I'm working. However, I do suggest that you read through each of these long articles. There are some points that you make which are well refuted in the articles. With regard to faith & works specificially.

I want to answer you about the nature of Lord including "saviour and master" but I dont' have time right now.

I will do so later.

Thanks for your comments,
Kev

Jan said...

I guess the results of this "test" the Pastor is administering are greatly dependent on when you take it. 

The real important thing to detail is that the Pastor is saying it's a problem with our faith, or the Gospel we preach that is causing this problem in "Evangelicalism." He is presenting a logical fallacy known as a False Dilemma. Which is to say, he is not allowing his audience to consider all the possible sources of the problem. Might the problem be with how Evangelicalism is structured and run? Since discipleship, biblical correction and biblical separation are marginalized in a system where "if you don't obey you're not saved" there is no effective means to disciple a person. They are simply either obediently saved, or disobediently lost. If there is no effective discipleship there will be very little victorious living.


It's hard to say which one of these is the better point. They're both excellent and could be expanded into article length posts all by themselves. (Far be it from me to drop unsubtle hints or anything. But, you know, HINT. :))

JanH

blessed said...

Lookup:
The verse in Hosea corresponds nicely with Galatians4:7 and I know that you do not like the terms master/slave…..interestingly I heard a sermon about the term bondservant actually meaning slave when you look at the manuscripts…I cant recall the name of the exact manuscripts but John Macarthur is working on a book about this very word (but that will be a whole new round of blogs) J ….. Paul calls himself a bondservant and considers himself a son so I am good with that.
From what you have written about the man saying he knows Christ yet his life not matching up I would assume this is where you and Kev part ways? In another post he stated that scripture doesn’t promise a changed life but I see that you think this mans life should have changed?
Kev:
don't think very many LS proponents would be comfortable if I were to stand at their pulpit and say wives, submit to your husbands as the master and lord of your life!

Preach me this: 1 Peter 3:1-6….Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord (must mean master here) so I am good with that as well (see Paul above)

I will await your answers and not just keep piling up more questions…again, let me be clear: I am not speaking of a Lordship Theology but of the things that you and I have spoken on…..sometimes when I ask a question I get an answer about LS instead of what I asked J

Kevl said...

Hi Blessed,

I don’t know who you read/heard saying that every time Lord, Lord comes up it is about false teachers.. but it wasn’t me. I can’t therefore comment further on that train of thought. It doesn’t make sense to me.

You asked about;

Luke 6:46 - I don’t know what you’re asking me to answer here. To answer all your comments would require a whole article.

One problem some people run into with understanding the Bible clearly is that they try to insert every possible meaning in to each instance of a word being used. This is why context and usage are SO VERY important when interpreting Scripture. The word “lord” may be kurious or theos… or several other words. It can also be used in different ways which will change what the writer intends.

Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not obey? They are not seeing Him as God by calling Him Lord, Lord. He’s saying since you see Me as your master why do you not obey Me? What was His ministry? To show Israel that He is Messiah the Prince, and the world that He is the saviour. In both cases He was telling people to believe in Him. Thus the word “obey” in John 3:36.

I’m going to try to answer as many of your questions as I can. Thank you for not piling any more up.

Kev

Kevl said...

Blessed you said;
these people that think that Jesus is the Lord of their lives are going to stand before Him and be told to leave VS these people were trusting in their works to save them and NOT the work of Christ...it seems like you are taking this verse and trying to apply it where it may not be applicable….

If you read the article (again?) you'll see that this is not what I said.

These people thought they were obedient, and that this meant they were going to get into Heaven.

These people had many good works to consider for their assurance. They did "mighty works" they cast out demons...

If they took the Pastor's test they would surely pass. How do the works that you and I compare to those people's works? I fail, and so would everyone I know.

These people had a lot of stuff to point at and supposedly get assurance from but GOD NEVER KNEW THEM.

It's a false test. If they could do all that stuff but still be unsaved then it doesn't matter what stuff I'm doing - the stuff I'm doing can't give me assurance.

Only that Christ died for my sins and rose again can give me assurance.

Kev

Kevl said...

Hi Blessed you said

I thought a lot about you saying that scripture does not promise a changed life after salvation and I just see changes lives all over scripture…

This is a complex cause logical fallacy

The changes are caused by much more than just salvation.

Savlation + discipleship+ other factors = change.

Kev

Kevl said...

Blessed you mentioned "faith without works is dead" in contrast to faith saving.

James 2 From The Text may be of help for this.

And or

Bad Kool-Aid: Demonic Faith

Kev

Kevl said...

Hi Blessed,

You said Preach me this: 1 Peter 3:1-6….Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord (must mean master here) so I am good with that as well (see Paul above)

Well if I taught it that the husband was to have control over every detail of the wife's life and she was to be a slave to him....

you may be fine with that but somehow I don't think it would fly from the pulpit.

As for MacArthur's upcoming book on a Bondslave I don't doubt it will be popular.

You will notice very clearly that the people in the Bible who called THEMSELVES bondslaves knew what their future entailed, knew what their mission was, and willingly accepted that mission. They also never called anyone else a bondservant.

We are called to be "slaves of righteousness" but we are automatically slaves... or exclusively slaves...

slavery, much like works, is not a product of salvation alone. Complex Cause Fallacy at work again.

What's more, the Lord once called His disciples slaves and now calls them friends. A slave doesn't last for ever in a house but a son does.

We are given the right to become the sons of God.

Kev

blessed said...

you may be fine with that but somehow I don't think it would fly from the pulpit.

LOL....its scripture so I dont think it matters who would be fine with it :)

We are called to be "slaves of righteousness" but we are automatically slaves... or exclusively slaves...

what does it mean to be slaves of righteousness?....

I have been wanting to tell someone they are using a certain kind of fallacy I just dont know all of them yet....LOL

I will read the articles you have pointed me to.

Look up said...

"From what you have written about the man saying he knows Christ yet his life not matching up I would assume this is where you and Kev part ways?"

Nope

"In another post he stated that scripture doesn’t promise a changed life but I see that you think this mans life should have changed?"

Actually all that it proves is that the young man himself doesn't believe what he preaches. He preaches Lordship but denies it in practice, kind of like Mr. Blessed. He could talk LS all day until I started digging into his sin, then he didn't want to talk anymore.

If you have something to preach, be consistant and live what you preach, the problem is that every LS proponent I know does not live what they preach. They have to bring the bar down very far for themselves all the while preaching their professed submission to some sort of Lordship, and like Norm they are afraid to have someone shadow them searching out their every deed all week. That is what defines a hypocrite.

Macarthur will write his hundred books, but in the end they will turn to be nothing but hay in the fire.

Kevl said...

Slaves of righteousness is what Paul calls it when you submit yourself to being righteous, not returning to sin.

Whatever you submit yourself to, you are a slave of.

This can go either way after a person is saved. Which is Paul's point.

Kev

blessed said...

@ Lookup

I must have missed the part where the pastor was preaching perfection....its kinda like you saying that Mr Blessed didnt like you digging into his sin when in fact what you were pointing out was not sin...it is your opinion that it was sin, not scriptures...

@Kev I read the link to James and I am going to really study what you say it means bc that is not at all how I would read it...if the couple of sentences were taken apart from context then maybe the way you read them would be right but when you have them in context it would seem that you are not correct on who is speaking when...of course I am reading this like James is speaking to people that would lean toward antinomianism whereas Paul was speaking to legalists in Galatians.....but again, I have time now to really look in to what you are saying.

Kevl said...

Hi Blessed,

You've misread LookUp, he didn't say that the Pastor was preaching perfection. He said that the Pastor wasn't living what he was preaching. LookUp didn't have to be any more complete in his wording than he was because my article already shows how the Pastor's preaching is inconsistent. He uses texts that demand perfection to prove his Easy Turnism.... it's all very confused. LookUp was making the next logical statement.

Now that the universe is surely going to end....

You said .if the couple of sentences were taken apart from context then maybe the way you read them would be right but when you have them in context it would seem that you are not correct on who is speaking when

Feel free to post under that article and tell me who is speaking when. I'm confident you'll quickly find that I take the context from the Text where as the view that I expect you to espouse is forced on the Text.

You went on to say

of course I am reading this like James is speaking to people that would lean toward antinomianism whereas Paul was speaking to legalists in Galatians.

I do not intend to sound mean spirited, but if you already know what the Bible says before you study, it makes it very hard to find out what it really says.

but again, I have time now to really look in to what you are saying.

I hope that you will, and even more I hope that you'll find out that I'm not saying anything.. I'm simply reading the Scripture.

Kev

blessed said...

I do not intend to sound mean spirited, but if you already know what the Bible says before you study, it makes it very hard to find out what it really says.

you must have misunderstood me, I was confessing to my presuppositions not telling what I KNOW....we ALL read with presuppositions and I find that its best for me to acknowledged mine before studying, thats all.

You've misread LookUp,

I didnt....he spoke of sin as if to say that if you arent perfect then you shouldnt preach Lordship as if Lordship is teaching being perfect.....we have history you may have to overlook us.

I hope that you will, and even more I hope that you'll find out that I'm not saying anything.. I'm simply reading the Scripture.

That is what we all say :)

Kevl said...

Hi Blessed,

You wrote;

you must have misunderstood me, I was confessing to my presuppositions not telling what I KNOW....we ALL read with presuppositions and I find that its best for me to acknowledged mine before studying, thats all.

Thank you for your explanation. It is rare someone will openly acknowledge their presuppositions (let alone have explicit knowledge of them).

I don't think what they are was in doubt, but I'm glad to see that you know about them and the issues they (and all presuppositions) can potentially cause.

I get what you were saying to LookUp, maybe I'm adding to the conversation you've had with him before (your history) but I think that Lordship Salvation is terribly inconsistent if it does not preach perfection. Not just that those who preach it are not perfect, but the fact that people such as Millar say over and over that the things we preach must be defined by Scripture - only to use demanded perfection to support LS theology and then ignore the perfection part....

That is what we all say :

So true...

I hope that in many cases the people who say it actually mean it - whether what they mean is matched by their ability or not. I would hope that most people claiming this actually attempt to do it.

Kev

blessed said...

I know that enough is presupposed about me that if I had written this:
They really are saved! Testimony, fruit, and everything!!

You know, sometimes you just know.

Go figure!

For crying out loud. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck...

It's a brother!!!

I am sure someone would have pointed me to Judas and maybe a few more...I am coming to see that we believe some of the same things but I hold to some of the beliefs that you do not. (Sovereign Grace would be the main one I can think of) I am finding things in preaching by men who hold to Lordship that I do not agree with..actually this very Sunday I heard a "but" that just shook me....that said, I do not throw out all that I believe them to be right about. I see MANY arminians (for lack of a title that would convey their beliefs) that go into their own ditch....everyone has a ditch that their beliefs lead them to but it does not invalidate all of their beliefs. I believe that you should examine yourself in the light of scripture as Paul calls us to do...I believe if a brother is in sin you go to them and bring them to scripture and the Lord will deal with them....I believe you give the gospel to the lost and that it does not include giving up your life or making a transaction...I have witnessed to a few that have flat out said they know that being a christian will change their lives and they love the sin they are in and have no need for Christ....I would never say to them, thats ok....you can keep that sin..I do tell them that they could stop engaging in that sin and there would be many more to take the place of it...that its not THAT sin keeping them from God its the sin they are born in along with everything else. That is why they need a Savior....I dont think you would disagree with any of that? When I say things about confession and repentance you tell me that it depends on how I define those things...I think there have been a couple of times that you presupposed that I had the wrong definition....confess means to tell God and repent means to turn to Him to forgive you and help you in whatever it is you are confessing because you agree with Him thru the conviction of the Holy Spirit that what you have done is sin against Him.....if you are not doing this then yes, I would question you belonging to Him because their is scripture that says if you arent being disciplined by Him then you are not a son.
When I heard the call to follow Christ this Sunday I had to wonder why it was presented that way...here is all I came up with...the church is for believers and maybe the pastor was assuming that the gospel had been given thru prayer that morning and did not need to be repeated or that the people there know the gospel, have the seed planted and that the Lord would use His word to save..I am not sure why it was done the way it was and yes, it bothered me deeply.

Kevl said...

Blessed,

What is "Sovereign Grace"?

You wrote;
I believe that you should examine yourself in the light of scripture as Paul calls us to do

"As Paul calls us to do" really? Paul is calling you and I to do this? Read Part 1 of the article you'll find that t his is not what Paul was writing at all.

I whole heartedly agree with proper biblical discipline and correction! Whole heartedly.

You said a lot with this statement;

the church is for believers

If "Evangelicalism" could figure this out, there would be a big difference in how "church" is run, and it would surely be more fruitful.

Church services where Believers gather to fellowship, worship and learn are NOT for unbelievers. "IF" an unbeliever "comes in" not when an unbeliever is brought in .... Paul says.... there is no fellowship between light and darkness.

I agree that LS theology partially stems from this wrong mixture at the Lord's Table. Pastors end up preaching Disicipleship to unbelievers, and never being able to exercise discipline on Believers because they can't be sure who is a Believer or not.

It truly is foolishness.

it bothered me deeply

I'm sorry you had to be hurt like that. Perhaps find a proper venue to express that to the Elders.

Kev

blessed said...

Gods salvation given to His elect....
The sovereignty of God means that He has total control of all things past, present and future. Nothing happens that is out of His knowledge and control. All things are either caused by Him or allowed by Him for His own purposes and through His perfect will and timing (Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He is the only absolute and omnipotent ruler of the universe and is sovereign in creation, providence and redemption.
We see it best explained in Ephesians 1:5-6: “he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” God sovereignly chose those He would save through His gracious act of sending His Son to die on the cross for their salvation. They were unable to save themselves or to merit God’s favor because of their transgression of His Law. “But the Law entered so that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20). Therefore, Christians are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
God in His sovereign grace has chosen to save those on whom He has set His love (Romans 9:8-13). They are picked out of the stream of helpless men and women cascading into hell. . Why did God bestow His sovereign grace on believers? Not because we deserve salvation but to demonstrate "the riches of His glory" (Romans 9:14-23).

I do hold to calvinism....I have read thru your tripping tulips and there is much we disagree on.

If a pastor is preaching in his church should his sermon be taken as if given to believers and not as given to unbelievers? would that change how you view the things they are saying? I know when I heard one sermon spoken of here I assumed the sermon was preached the way it was bc it was being preached to believers on a certain text?

Kevl said...

God cannot lie. He is not the author of sin. Let no man when he is tempted say that he is tempted of God.

God does allow things to happen, but he is not the author of every single event in History.

How the sermon is viewed shouldn't change what it says. It is either true or it is not.

If a Pastor is telling people, whether saved or unsaved, that they must work in order for them to be finally saved, or they must obey in order to make it to Heaven or that all true believers work.... it doesn't matter if he's talking to unbelievers or believers it is false.

If the Pastor is telling Believers that they need to be working in order to be growing and in proper fellowship and it is said so unclearly, and in such a way that an non-believer might think this is a requirement for Salvation then he is in error. The Pastor ought to make what he is preaching clear.

Believers work as they are grown up in the faith. The works perfect your faith. Not make it real. Not demonstrate that it is real. Not fill the requirement of a "working faith" but they animate your faith. The lead you into a deeper faith which will grow you more...

the Pastor ought to be clear on if he is doing Discipleship or Evangelism. He cannot disciple the lost or evangelize the saved.

Kev

Kevl said...

:)

God does allow things to happen, but he is not the author of every single event in History.

I could have constructed that sentence a tad better... especially in light of the title of this series of articles.

God does not author every event of History. His not authoring mine or anyone's sin is not a challenge to His sovereignty. For He could, and sometimes does, step in to History and change whatever He wants.

God is not the author of sin. Sin happens. Therefore God does not author every single event in History.

Kev

blessed said...

I could have constructed that sentence a tad better... especially in light of the title of this series of articles.

LOL

blessed said...

God does allow things to happen, but he is not the author of every single event in History.

I read back thru my comment and I dont see where I wrote that.....

I read a comment that Lou wrote on a post you referred me to and thought you wrote it..thats why I asked about the context of the pastors sermon...he said had it been clear that the pastor was speaking to disciples then he would have been on biblical ground and I just wondered if that is how we are to regard the sermons...as if they are meant for believers unless specified that they are not? Its a geniuine question, I was wondering if that is why the preacher preached like that on Sunday.....

blessed said...

"As Paul calls us to do" really? Paul is calling you and I to do this? Read Part 1 of the article you'll find that t his is not what Paul was writing at all.

Why did Paul tell them to examine "their own selves"? Was it because of the lewd behaviour of the people in the Church? No. It was because these people were questioning Paul's Apostleship. Since you seek a proof in me, examine your own selves. This is a common theme in the letter. See 2Cor 3:1-3 for example. 2Cor 13:5 is NOT Paul telling "professing believers"to examine ourselves to determine if we are in the faith. He is shutting down the ridiculous arguments against him. Are you examining Paul to see if he's an Apostle?

so I never said WHY we should examine ourselves but since you brought it up, are you saying from the clear reading of this text (not presupposing that I mean do A because of B but just do A because Paul said to) that Paul did not tell these people to examine themselves and that it is possible they would fail the test? That he himself did not fail the test, even if they do wrong and that they should do no wrong not to pass the test but because it is right to do no wrong? He is telling them to do right and be restored so their behavior is included here in his speech. I understand they questioned Pauls apostleship previously and now he has moved on to this being the third time he has come to them and that BECAUSE he is speaking with the authority of Christ he will not spare them (the ones sinning)

you said:Since you seek a proof in me, examine your own selves

but Paul said I will not spare them since you seek a proof that Christ is speaking in me.

I see that he did not say what the test was.....so that is why I say "in light of all the scriptures"

Kevl said...

Hi Blessed,

Paul is not referencing only those who "sinned before" but "all the rest" as well. He is confronting them about their testing him - since you seek proof of Christ speaking in me - not about the carnality.

You asked;

are you saying from the clear reading of this textthat Paul did not tell these people to examine themselves and that it is possible they would fail the test?

Paul was NOT issuing an instruction for Christians to examine themselves to see if they are really saved or not.

They were examining him, and he told them to examine themselves instead. See 2Cor 10:7 it is part of the same rebuke of them.

If this were a normative instruction to the whole Church then it would be written that way - but it is not written that way.

Kev

blessed said...

They were examining him, and he told them to examine themselves instead.

Ok but to examine themselves for what? to see if they are in the faith.



If this were a normative instruction to the whole Church then it would be written that way - but it is not written that way.

I understand...I am applying what he said to everyone reading the scripture....I guess I take what is written for all believers...like I dont see instructions for a christian vs a disciple I see believers and non believers....so we can agree to disagree on this passage because I would say that no matter why he told them to do it, he told them to do it and if he told them to do then it would be applicable for us to do it as well...

Kevl said...

Blessed,

Yes this passage is part of Scripture so it is for all believers. There is no argument there... I don't know if you are intentionally being hard to communicate with on this or if there is honest misunderstanding.

All Scripture is... as Paul wrote to Timothy

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

However... Paul wasn't even telling these people to examine themselves because he doubted, or they doubted their salvation. Paul was most obviously convinced these people are saved - as he notes over and over again his epistles to them.

He's telling them to examine themselves instead of him - not because they should examine themselves but because they shouldn't be examining him.

This is not instruction to believers to examine themselves.. it is correction of believers who were being disorderly - following factions instead of Christ.

Kev

blessed said...

Yes this passage is part of Scripture so it is for all believers. There is no argument there... I don't know if you are intentionally being hard to communicate with on this or if there is honest misunderstanding.

Okay, I laughed out loud at this...I promise I am not being hard to communicate with....
I seriously thought you were saying that he told them to examine themselves, like to really do it (not like hey, you are examining me so check your own self)but that we shouldnt apply that to ourselves....
so you are saying that he wasnt really telling them to examine themselves.....see how we read that differently...I just see him saying for them to examine themselves to really see if they are in the faith...like he really wanted wanted them to see if they pass the test.

I looked up what others had to say about this verse after posting and there are many who do see this as a call to examine ourselves...I just wanted to see how far off my reading of it was from other readings.

blessed said...

I agreed to disagree BUT I came across 2 Cor 5 and it seems like Paul is giving the gospel to the people at Corinth and I just remembered that you said he thought them ALL to be saved...I was looking at vs 20-21......why did he do that?

Kevl said...

The examine yourselves passage is a bit more complicated - I dedicate a number of pages in my book to this passage alone.

They are examining him and not wanting to admit that he's an Apostle. He says; 'since you seek proof of Christ speaking through me, examine yourselves to see if you're in the faith, because if you are in the faith then I'm an Apostle.'

He's not telling believers that they ought to examine themselves, but that these believers in particular have an issue. They received the Gospel from him (*Acts 18 I think) and now they are saying he's not being used by God on their behalf. They are testing him, and he spends a great number of passages explaining how this is not helpful for them.

The end result is if they have believed the gospel, and he's the one who was sent by God to preach it to them then he is as much an Apostle as they are believers - I trust you'll know that we are not reprobate is connected to their belief.

I hope this is helpful. I just got home from worship band practice and have to get up early for vocal practice in the morning so I'll have to get back to you on 2Cor 5.

I hope I'm being helpful.. my presuppositions about people who hold reformed views are hard to overcome. I don't have a hard and fast standard I can surrender them to... forgive me for being harsh or answering what I expect you to be saying instead of what you are. (as you noted in a comment last week)

I do not mean to be hard to get along with. Most people of your theological bent (as I understand it) are much harder to converse with.

Kev

Kevl said...

Just a quick note about 2Cor 5 before I hit the sack - I'm not good at getting to sleep with something important on my mind.

The "you" in vs 21 isn't actually there in the Greek. I'm too tired to examine the Text properly at this hour. It not being there may or may not be significant to the meaning.

The context from the chapter seems to be that Paul is explaining his ministry. I think this is an explanation of his preaching, not a beseeching the Corinthians to be reconciled.

I'll have to look at it more closely on Sunday evening as I'll be busy all day Saturday.

If he IS pleading with them to be saved, then it would be very inconsistant with the rest of the letter - but that is not conclusive. In the end it only matters what the Text actually says. What it means is up to God, not me.

Kev

blessed said...

Thank you for taking the time to answer....I had been very busy the few days that I didnt write so I totally understand you getting back to this when you can....

Most people of your theological bent (as I understand it) are much harder to converse with.

A little background....I was raised a Catholic...I mean raised by a DEVOUT Catholic and I didnt listen to the MANY people that the Lord put in my life to tell me about Him...I just fended them off by holding fast to my beliefs..I am very hardheaded at times and that is why I laughed when I saw what you said bc there have been many times my husband has tried to explain something to me and I didnt get a thing he said until I thought on it for a while...the Lord has put people in my life that do not bear fruit, whose lives would not match up to their profession but they do profess Christ..that is why this is so important to me....not because of preachers that I like or a group I want to belong to but because of the people I love and I do not want to say examine yourself if that is not what the Lord would have me to do....I have never thought that Paul believed every Corinthian to be saved....I have always thought that he addresses the believers in the church but just as if I would write a letter to a large group and I said Dear Believers, that wouldnt make everyone in there a believer. I am sure I have stepped out and called someone lost (even if just in my own mind) that consider themselves saved and I struggled with that and had to repent more than a few times...I know it is because I was listening heavily to preaching that talked about a person believing themselves to be saved when they are not walking looking or sounding like the old things have passsed away...and the Lord has just softened my heart towards them to keep pointing them back to Him.....(I just cannot see that as being wrong. I believe that a believer will have some sort of change in their heart when they are saved,....even without discipleship bc they have the Holy Spirit, so even if they arent mature in the faith there will be something...at the very least confession and repentance. In Titus they speak about the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men TEACHING us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly.....that at teh moment of salvation we have all we need to live godly in Christ Jesus....thanks for the dialouge and I could totally hit up the sovereignty of God but will wait for you to write a post on it :)

blessed said...

not sure if that comment went ot you or not so if you do not get it let me know so I can resend it!

Kevl said...

Hi Blessed,

Yes I am now convinced that 2Cor 5 is not an evangelistic message to the Corinthians but an explanation of the ministry of Paul and crew.

I believe the whole chapter reads so, but here are a few clues.

2Cor 5:11 Paul writes that he persuades men, and then addresses "you" (the Corinthian church).

2Cor 5:12 we don't commend ourselves to you again - but give you opportunity to boast in us.

2Cor 5:16 regarding no one, speaking of all people not just the Corinthian church

The final explanation in 2Cor 5:20-21 is that they are ambassadors for Christ.

While I do not think that everyone in Corinth was a Christian, the letter is addressed to the Church, not to the professing people. It is written to believers only.

The only NT book explicitly written to non-believers is the book of John. A good argument could be made (and I actually hold to this view) that the four Gospels are written to non-believers but are also good for edification of the Church.

I believe the gospels are the proof that Jesus is the Christ predicted in the OT and are so evangelistic in nature.

However, none of the Epistles are written to non believers or even professing but false believers.

Kev

blessed said...

Is the Old Testament evangelistic?

Kevl said...

I haven't considered the question seriously before. I'm unsure.

I could make a hasty argument that coupled with the Gospels that it is... but that is a very hasty way to approach Scripture.

Is this just a curious question or does it relate to Pastor Millar's preaching in some way?

Kev

blessed said...

I was just curious bc you commented on the New Testament but not the Old..I was wondering why you separated the scritpure like that? I see what you are saying about the passage in 2 Cor being an explanation of ministry since the "you" is not there in the Greek...