Thursday, June 09, 2011

Faith Submission Service




Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all

Monday, June 06, 2011

It takes trust

There can be no denying that it takes trust to obey God when He is growing you.  Hebrews 11 tells us of God's heroes of faith, or those He calls the "elders." It is sometimes called the "faith" chapter. I think I may start calling it the "by faith" chapter. 

Heb 11:1-2 tells us what faith is. 
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
God says that these elders obtained a good testimony BY faith. Does this match what the Lordship Salvation(LS) proponent says about faith? They say that one will persist in good works, in submission to the Lordship of Christ (obedience) and good Christian character if they have true faith. 

One might say that the LS proponent says that one obtains a good testimony IF (or because) they have faith. 

See my previous articles Testing the Test and 'But' Theology for examples of LS proponents saying that IF you have faith you will have a good testimony. In fact they use a person's testimony as a test to determine if the person has faith. 

The question is this: Does God explain faith this way in His chapter on faith? In every example given God states that "by faith" (or through faith) a person (including all believers today in verse 3) DID something amazing. God then closes the chapter (though there were no chapters or verses in the original manuscripts) with these two verses. 

Heb 11:39-40 
39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
Now it would do the LS proponents some good to study the lives of these people and consider if they are truly good examples of their theology. What is evident is that these people trusted God and obeyed in these instances and that this had amazing results - yet God did not leave us out. He did not simply save them, He also has saved us and will save all who trust Him now. 

I started out by saying that it takes trust to obey God when He's growing you, and it does. But does trust = obedience? Or can you subtract obedience from my life and still have trust remaining? If I have trust will I automatically have obedience? If I don't have trust will I then be unable to obey? 

These are all huge questions!! 

I retired from the Canadian Forces recently. Military service is all about obedience. For a large portion of my career I could find few people in my Chain of Command whom I actually trusted, yet my obedience was full. I had to obey people I didn't really trust because they were in command of my service.  I believe this shows how trust and obedience are not intrinsically linked. I obeyed because of my desire for a paycheck, and because of my fear of punishment. I obeyed out of desire and fear - not out of trust. 

There are some UNSAVED people in the Bible like that you know, read John 6 to see what happened to the people who followed Jesus, obeyed Jesus in many things, feared Jesus, and desired the rewards of following Jesus - they were not saved because they could not put their faith in His broken body and shed blood. They were like hired servants, like slaves- they had no faith or trust but they obeyed. 

When I was a child I trusted my sister deeply. I had faith in her that she would look out for and provide for me. We were tight, and I needed her. However, I didn't seldom obeyed her even when she was caring for me. I didn't obey because I didn't fear her, and she had nothing to offer me for my obedience. I trusted her completely, but I did not often obey her. 

There are some SAVED people like that in the Bible too. Read 1st and 2nd Corinthians for some excellent examples. 

Sometimes my wife, whom I trust completely and whom I am head over heals in love with, will ask me to do something - and yet I won't obey. Usually there is something I would rather do, a competing desire. Sometimes I don't obey because of what other people might say - "look at Kevin, he does whatever his wife tells him heheheh."  Sometimes I just don't think the effort is worth it - I won't be recognized enough.. I won't get that new computer that I want anyway.... whatever it is - I don't obey because I don't value the return, or I have competing desires. 

There are SAVED people in the Bible just like this too! Peter comes to mind prominently. There is also several people who feared what other people would do and say so they only followed Christ in secrete.

It TAKES trust to obey God when He is growing you because God is going to tell you to do things you can't do. This idea that God will never give you more than you can handle is BUNK. It is nothing more than new age religion and man's evil self-glorification at play. Read the "by faith"statements in Hebrews 11 and see how many of those were things that those people could "do for God."

Obedience, when God is calling you to do something you can't do, takes trust and God calls you to do those sorts of things when He is growing you up in the faith - when He is perfecting your faith. James 2:22

But obedience doesn't happen because of faith, it is not the substance of faith. No! God says that faith is the substance of a good testimony, NOT that a good testimony is the substance of faith!

A person can have faith (trust) and yet be distracted by competing desires and so not obey. A person can have faith but not fear and so not obey. A person can have faith and not desire for God's reward and so not obey.

A person who trusts God, and is discipled (taught in the ways of God, corrected, inspired, motivated and empowered and so on..) will obey God when He tells them to do something they can't do. You can't obey God in that situation without first trusting Him - so by faith you obey. But a person may trust God but have some other lacking as detailed above and not obey Him. Not because they don't have faith or trust, not because they have a false profession of faith or trust, but because they have a matter of disobedience going on.

I do not see anywhere in Scripture where God says that one obeys BECAUSE they have faith, but I see in many areas that one must have faith to do the sorts of things that God tells us to do when He is growing us up in the faith.

This is already a long article, but I need to ramble just a bit more. I believe this is why we have such a problem with Evangelism (or the lack there of) in the Church today. Not because people don't love and trust God - but because they don't have the proper motivation. This is the number one task for the Church and it is hardly being done by anyone who believes. The LS proponent must then say that only about 2 - 5 percent of people who claim to believe are actual believers - or they ought to go back and read the Bible again.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


When I'm interacting with someone who preaches Lordship Salvation I often get asked how one can be saved while "denying" Christ's lordship. Of course by "lordship" the person means the mastery of Christ over all aspects of one's life.

The conversation often degenerates from there. The person will often use this as the pivot point in the conversation and will stop listening while declaring a philosophical victory.  I have yet to find a single LS advocate who is able and willing to show in the Scriptures where submission to the mastery of Christ over your life is required to become saved in the Scriptures, but even if they would or could very few will continue the conversation after their philosophical victory.

They characterize my clear, and unchanging, statement that the Bible does not require this kind of submission for a person to become saved in the most philosophically offensive way they can manage and then take the distaste of their statement as an indication of victory.

So I would like to ask the three following questions, given that not requiring submission to something is equivalent to denying that thing.

Question 1. Where does the Bible explicitly state that one cannot be saved while denying Christ's mastery over all aspects of one's life?  Ref:

Question 2. What of the following things may one "deny" and still be saved? Please include an explicit reference in your answers.

Advocate ( 1 John 2:1 )
Almighty ( Rev 1:8 Mt 28:18 )
Alpha and Omega ( Rev 1:8 Rev 22:13 )
Amen ( Rev 3:14 )
Apostle of our Profession ( Heb 3:1 )
Atoning Sacrifice for our Sins ( 1 John 2:2 )
Author of Life ( Acts 3:15 )
Author and Perfecter of our Faith ( Heb 12:2 )
Author of Salvation ( Heb 2:10 )
Beginning and End ( Rev 22:13 )
Blessed and only Ruler ( 1 Tim 6:15 )
Bread of God ( John 6:33 )
Bread of Life ( John 6:35 John 6:48 )
Bridegroom ( Mt 9:15 )
Capstone ( Acts 4:11 1 Pet 2:7 )
Chief Cornerstone ( Eph 2:20 )
Chief Shepherd ( 1 Pet 5:4 )
Christ ( 1 John 2:22 )
Creator ( John 1:3 )
Deliverer ( Rom 11:26 )
Eternal Life ( 1 John 1:2 1 John 5:20)
Gate ( John 10:9 )
Faithful and True ( Rev 19:11 )
Faithful Witness ( Rev 1:5 )
Faithful and True Witness ( Rev 3:14 )
First and Last ( Rev 1:17 Rev 2:8 Rev 22:13 )
Firstborn From the Dead ( Rev 1:5 )
Firstborn over all creation ( Col 1:15 )
Gate ( John 10:9 )
God ( John 1:1 John 20:28 Heb 1:8 Rom 9:5 2 Pet 1:1 1 John 5:20 etc.)
Good Shepherd ( John 10:11 John 10:14 )
Great Shepherd ( Heb 13:20 )
Great High Priest ( Heb 4:14 )
Head of the Church ( Eph 1:22 Eph 4:15 Eph 5:23)
Heir of all things ( Heb 1:2 )
High Priest ( Heb 2:17 )
Holy and True ( Rev 3:7 )
Holy One ( Acts 3:14 )
Hope ( 1 Tim 1:1 )
Hope of Glory ( Col 1:27 )
Horn of Salvation ( Luke 1:69 )
I Am ( John 8:58 )
Image of God ( 2 Cor 4:4 )
Immanuel ( Mt 1:23 )
Judge of the living and the dead ( Acts 10:42 )
King Eternal ( 1 Tim 1:17 )
King of Israel ( John 1:49 )
King of the Jews ( Mt 27:11 )
King of kings ( 1 Tim 6:15 Rev 19:16 )
King of the Ages ( Rev 15:3 )
Lamb (Rev. 13:8)
Lamb of God (John 1:29)
Lamb Without Blemish (1 Pet. 1:19)
Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45)
Life (John 14:6; Col. 3:4)
Light of the World (John 8:12)
Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5)
Living One (Rev. 1:18)
Living Stone (1 Pet. 2:4)
Lord (2 Pet. 2:20)
Lord of All (Acts 10:36)
Lord of Glory (1 Cor. 2:8)
Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16)
Man from Heaven (1 Cor. 15:48)
Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15)
Mighty God (Isa. 9:6)
Morning Star (Rev. 22:16)
Offspring of David (Rev. 22:16)
Only Begotten Son of God (John 1:18; 1 John 4:9)
Our Great God and Savior (Titus 2:13)
Our Holiness (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Husband (2 Cor. 11:2)
Our Protection (2 Thess. 3:3)
Our Redemption (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Sacrificed Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7)
Power of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
Precious Cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6)
Prophet (Acts 3:22)
Rabbi (Mt. 26:25)
Resurrection and Life (John 11:25)
Righteous Branch (Jer. 23:5)
Righteous One (Acts 7:52; 1 John 2:1)
Rock (1 Cor. 10:4)
Root of David (Rev. 5:5; 22:16)
Ruler of God’s Creation (Rev. 3:14)
Ruler of the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5)
Savior (Eph. 5:23; Titus 1:4; 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:20)
Son of David (Lk. 18:39)
Son of God (John 1:49; Heb. 4:14)
Son of Man (Mt. 8:20)
Son of the Most High God (Lk. 1:32)
Source of Eternal Salvation for all who obey him (Heb. 5:9)
The One Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5)
The Stone the builders rejected (Acts 4:11)
True Bread (John 6:32)
True Light (John 1:9)
True Vine (John 15:1)
Truth (John 1:14; 14:6)
Way (John 14:6)
Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
Word (John 1:1)
Word of God (Rev. 19:13)

Question 3 is intended to be humorous.

Question 3: If the LS advocate comes to the conclusion that there is no Biblical authority given to allow anyone to "deny" any of these and still be saved, then how long is the ACTUAL LS Gospel then??? Do you schedule weeks or months to present it?

"No Sir! You cannot be saved and deny that Jesus is the Stone that the builders rejected!"   
"But what does that even mean???"  

To return to seriousness we could all take up a position called "Bridegroom Salvation" and argue it with all the same arguments that we hear about LS theology...

LS is about philosophy, not Scripture.