What is heresy?

How can I spot heresy?

People call each other heretics all the time.  Some ask what I think heresy is — what I think is not important, however I believe we can find the answer in Scripture.  I see the doctrine of Calvinism, Arminianism and Lordship doctrine as all heresies.

gal 2Preaching another gospel – that would include adding anything other than the correct meaning of repentance (change mind/thinking) and believing on Christ dying for our sins, being buried and risen again, proving He is God because He has the power over sin, death, and took His life back up again.  Gal 1:6-9 tells us those who preach another gospel are accursed.  That would include adding ‘repent from sins‘, ‘commit your life to Christ‘, ‘surrender all‘, ‘make Jesus Lord of your life‘ (clue: He is Lord of all), ‘getting water baptized‘ (you should after you believe), or any of those things that are added TO the gospel as a requirement to be saved.  Turning from sins is a good thing for believers to do, do not get me wrong.  But it is a work, and you CANNOT add any works to the gospel.  Repent from dead works if you have.

Preaching another Jesus – (2 Cor 11:3-4)  Jesus is Deity, He is the Son of God, and He is God.  We cannot believe in a Jesus who is not who He said He is.

And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.  I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.  John 8:23-24

Preaching pre-regeneration (being born again) before you are able to believe.  We do not see anywhere in the Word where the Holy Spirit seals or baptizes someone into the church BEFORE they are saved.  This is also some explaining that Eph 2:8-9 teaches the ‘gift of faith’.  This is attacking the Word of God and and attack on the condition the Word gives us to be saved. BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Order is clearly shown in the Scripture.

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, >>>ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.  Eph 1:13

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) John 7:37-39

Adding to or taking away from the gospel or the Word.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.  Gal 1:9

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.  Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. Prov 30:5-6

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.  Rev 22:17-19

Preaching you can KNOW you are saved by your works or performance.  The Word tells us we can KNOW because of God’s Testimony (His Word) because of what is written, not because we have proven it to ourselves (we can live it out in front of others by our testimony), but we are justified BY faith NOT by works.  So this can only be heresy.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.  1 John 5:13

The Bible tells us we can know these things based on His Word, His testimony of Hisjohn 20-31 Son.  Any teacher, preacher, pastor that teaches you that you must judge your performance, or ‘examine yourself to see if you are in the faith’ (incorrectly using 2 Cor 13:5), is deceived, or worse, a heretic.*

Let’s discuss Performance:  Tom Stegall mentions this in his book, Must Faith Endure for Salvation to be sure”.

“The Bible actually teaches that it is possible for one who is eternally saved by God’s grace to:

1) Commit idolatry and apostasy (1 Kgs. 11:1-10)
2) Believe only for a while (Luke 8:13)
3) Not continue in the Word of Christ (Jn. 8:31)
4) Not abide in Christ (John 15:1-8)
5) Become disqualified in the race of the Christian life (1 Cor. 9:24-27)
6) Resist God’s chastening and correcting to the point of physical death (1 Cor. 11:30-32)
7) Stray from the faith (1 Timothy 1:5-6)
8) Shipwreck faith (1 Timothy 1:18-20)
9) Fall away from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1-3)
10) Deny the faith (1 Timothy 5:8)
11) Cast off initial faith and follow Satan (1 Timothy 5:12-15)
12) Stray from the faith by loving money (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
13) Stray from the faith by professing false doctrine (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
14) Deny Christ and be faithless (2 Timothy 2:11-13)
15) Have faith overthrown (2 Timothy 2:14-18)

It seems pretty clear to me, eternally saved believers, OT saints and members of the church can have poor performance.

It’s Heresy if they preach that you can lose your salvation, that eternal life is not everlasting.

Most Arminian churches teach you can at least ‘walk away’ by not understanding context.  Scripture does not contradict Scripture.

Read here to see if Eternal life issecure

Calvinism, Lordship, Arminianism are kingdom’s that Satan has set up well. They attack all the things Satan has attacked from the beginning.

1) The Word of God – yea hath God said? (Gen 3:1)

2) The Gospel preached to Abraham – (Gal 3:8, Gen 12:3; 15:6) – did God really mean all people were included?

3) The condition of believing – Faith for justification.  This they set up as a gift, so you can NEVER know if you REALLY have it – thus, minds have been corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3-4).  They try to say faith is a work otherwise, or ‘meritorious’. Hogwash.  The Bible is clear, faith is NOT a work (Rom 4:5)

4) Eternal security – (oh yes, I know they claim it), but not really. Preservation becomes their perseverance as proof they were REALLY one of the elect, that they REALLY were regenerated.

5) Assurance – Assurance comes by persevering, not by believing God’s testimony of His Son.  Assurance should never be by anything except believing what God has written.

6) It attacks the GOSPEL. The Gospel is the power of God UNTO salvation (Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:17-18).    In Calvinism, being pre-regenerated in order to believe (or gifted faith) is the power of God unto salvation.

7) The Knowledge of God:  These doctrines exalt itself against the knowledge of God .  Promoting men’s teachings and quotes over God’s Word, and thinks of men beyond what is WRITTEN. (2 Cor 10:5; 1 Cor 4:6).

8) They attack the Liberty we have in Christ:  These doctrines takes men’s eyes off of God, and back unto themselves, bewitching them.  What has begun in the Spirit, we cannot finish in the flesh.

Here are some things we can KNOW.

If we have BELIEVED the gospel for ourselves, Jesus Christ crucified for our sin, in our place, buried and risen again, proving He is God, and we believe that is the ONLY WAY to be saved.  We have believed God’s testimony of His Son and THAT is the only way to judge your salvation.  NOT by performance.  Spend some time with the Lord in His Word.  He told us to abide in Him (the Vine) and abide in His Word.  Get some Mary time or feet time with Jesus (Luke 10:38-42)

If you are not sure if you have believed the simple gospel, click here.

When we Believe, here are a few things that happen to us.

We are given the Free Gift of Eternal Life.   Rom 6:23

We are Reconciled to the Father.  2 Cor 5:18-20; Col 2:14-17

Born Again, Begat by the Word, Sealed by the Spirit AFTER we heard and believed the Gospel.  James 1:18, 1 Pet 1:23

We are washed in His blood.  Rev 1:5

Our Conscience is purged, cleansed.   Heb 10:22

Saved to the Uttermost.  Heb 7:25

Baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ.  1 Cor 12:13, Eph 4:4-6

Permanently Indwelt and sealed by the Spirit until the day of redemption.  Rom 8:9; Gal 4:6; Eph 3:17; Col 1:27

We are made one flesh with Christ. Eph 1:23, 5:30; 1 Cor 12:27

Under no condemnation.  John 3:18, 36; Romans 8:1

We are not under wrath.  1 Thess 5:8

Passed from death unto life.  John 5:24 — Made alive.  Eph 2:1; 1 Pet 3:18

Perfected forever.  Heb 10:10,14

Confirmed blameless to the end.  1 Cor 1:8

Anointed and taught by the Spirit. 2 Cor 1:21; 1 John 1:27

Translated into the Kingdom of His dear Son.  Col 1:13

Accepted in the Beloved.  Eph 1:6

Given an inheritance undefiled and reserved in heaven for us. 1 Pet 1:4; Heb 9:15

*Obviously this list is not even close to all inclusive of ‘Christian’ heresies, just some within the ‘mainstream’ Christian church.

Here is another list of some more things that happen when we believe.

27 Responses to “What is heresy?

  • AMEN!
    Thank you Holly for again making it soo clear!

    • Always appreciate your encouragement Terry. Hope your hand is strengthening up and that your mom is too <3

      May the Lord bless your entire family.

  • Bobbie Jo
    3 years ago

    Thanks for this writing, Holly. It was very well worded and so easily followed. It’s a tragedy when the heresies are more rampant than the truth.

    We had some nasty weather here tonight. Thunderstorms always scare me so especially when they say ‘tornado warnings’. Well, I prayed to Him to please lift this away and get rid of it. How amazing! All around me I could see lightning in the sky but nothing happened! Not even rain!!! My husband works at night and even he said the same thing. He was seeing lightning but no rain. This is probably off topic but it makes me so happy to know He hears me and loves me this much.

    In Christ
    Bobbie Jo

  • Despite the compliments by others, as a reformed believer, I will – as usual – have to take issue with several things here. First, to call Calvinism and Arminianism “heresies” is stretching the definition (“dissent or deviation from a dominant theory, opinion, or practice”) when each of those paradigms were and/or are a “dominant theory, opinion or practice,” depending on the “when,” “where,” “who,” etc. of those paradigms. If anything, YOUR views could, by definition, be considered “heretical” for deviating from the dominant views, depending on when, where, who, etc.

    But we’re talking about biblical heresies, right? We’re talking about views that don’t line up with Scripture. To call a view based on different interpretations of related biblical texts a “heresy” is overly harsh, in my opinion, when that view/paradigm has ample biblical support. Although reformed, I would never call an Arminian a “heretic” because he has verses that support his view that are problematic for the Calvinist e.g., 1 Tim. 2:5-6; 2 Pet. 2:1)… and vice-versa. However, when we’re talking doctrines essential to one’s salvation, a heretical view of God, Jesus or how one is saved is what separates a cult from orthodox Christianity.

    So, initially, I’ll have to take issue with your calling those who hold these historical positions “heretics” in the biblical sense. You may not agree with their interpretations, but ample biblical support each view clearly has.

    I’ll comment more later… have to go.

    • Thanks again for your comments Bill. I don’t consider all Calvinists or Arminians heretics, but the basic doctrine I do consider heresy according to Scripture, not necessarily the common practice or dominant view. To be able to lose or walk away from eternal life, makes God a liar (1 John 5:9-13), which I believe is heresy. To add works to the gospel we know Paul called heresy (Gal 1:6-9) and many of the predominant Calvinists and Lordship teachers of today preach just that, the gift is not free, it is costly. No, being a disciple is costly, receiving eternal life is free, and available to ALL, so for those Calvinists who say otherwise, then I have to say, heresy…

      In Jesus Christ eternally, by His grace through faith…Holly

      • Maybe it’s just me, but to toss around the labels “heresy” and “heretic” regarding views with at least somewhat justifiable biblical backing is irresponsible. It’s overkill, in my opinion. I mean, when you look what the RCC did to its “heretics,” it’s enough to send chills up one’s spine. That’s why I reserve the use of those labels for anything (or anyone) that goes against the CRYSTAL CLEAR teaching of Scripture, not just against what I believe Scripture to say. For example, to deny the deity of Christ and teach that Christ is less than God would be a heresy – slam dunk. You consider a person who teaches that one can lose his salvation to be a heretic. While I agree with the doctrine of eternal security, I must admit that those who hold the opposite view have a case with passages like in Heb. 6 and 10. Their interpretations of those passages can be considered legitimate in that the passages would seem to agree with their position. We who teach the opposite consider those passages “problem passages,” having to bring in other passages to help explain why those passages aren’t teaching that a person can lose their salvation. But if you take the passages alone, we have the bigger problem. I hope you see why I find it unnecessary to call those who we don’t agree with heretics or those teaching a heresy… in such cases.

        As for Galatians 1, we Calvinists/Lordship folks don’t see that we’re adding anything to the free gift of the gospel. On the contrary, we use the term “monergism” to describe that everything that has to do with our salvation is because of God’s sovereign initiative, including our repentance. If all is ultimately from God (including our sanctification), how can we be accused of adding works? In the case of repentance, if you consider the requirement to repent of sin adding a work, then to be consistent you’d have to consider the requirement to believe on Christ adding a work as well. If the latter is a gift, why can’t the former be?

        As for the “available to ALL,” you reveal another case of “my interpretation is orthodox so all others are heresy.” Holly, you can’t do that in the face of the many references to Jesus dying for “some/many.” While I feel Scripture gives us a strong case for limited/particular atonement (and that the “all” in many verses can’t mean “everybody” on the face of the earth or clearly mean “all” in the context of a local body of believers), I would never call someone who disagrees with ME a “heretic.” Again, such labeling is overly harsh and actually says more about your knowledge of the Word – or lack thereof – than it does about the person(s) you’re labeling.

        You’re being too black and white regarding topics that the Bible is not so black and white on.

        • Thank you Bill for your opinion (it’s overkill …I mean, when you look what the RCC did to its “heretics,” it’s enough to send chills up one’s spine). I think of what Calvin and his council did to the heretics, both were evil, wicked and acted against Scripture in how to deal with a heretic.

          You have a black and white (slam dunk view), and I also have to determine prayerfully and Biblically (I sure hope), what is right or wrong. You said, “While I agree with the doctrine of eternal security, I must admit that those who hold the opposite view have a case with passages like in Heb. 6 and 10. Their interpretations of those passages can be considered legitimate in that the passages would seem to agree with their position.

          You say that, We who teach the opposite consider those passages “problem passages”. Not so much if we inductively look at who/what is being spoken to. It is a problem when people do not consider context and excise verses from their proper context. I may understand why you find it unnecessary, but I do not agree. And I don’t deal with the one deceived individual as a heretic, I deal with the doctrine and the teacher teaching it, as a heresy/heretic.

          You said //As for Galatians 1, we Calvinists/Lordship folks don’t see that we’re adding anything to the free gift of the gospel. On the contrary, we use the term “monergism” to describe that everything that has to do with our salvation is because of God’s sovereign initiative, including our repentance.//

          What one says, or sees, can certainly be different than what one teaches, and it still doesn’t let you off the hook if you are using works as proof of being justified. (please don’t wrongly quote James 2).

          The good news is to all people. Whether you have a problem with my interpretation is not my concern. Jesus dying for the sheep, for many, for all, for every man, for the world, for the whole world, for all, is different ways of putting it, and I most certainly can and will say all means all in the case of Christ dying and being the propitiation for the whole world, buying even the false prophet who would deny Him.

          I can, and I will continue, since His Word says just that.

          And as for dying for ‘many’, that’s true, so why is it only FEW find the strait gate and enter in? Is few many?

          You may feel I’m being too black and white, but I have to continue to speak His Word believing it for what it says, black and white is way better than gray and compromised. In Christ, Holly

          • Holly, replying to your “direct” reply to me, I say that the Heb. 6 & 10 passages are “problem passages” from the “you-can-lose-your-salvation” camp. They have some verses that would, at face value, support their view. So let’s not be too hard on them. In other words, can’t you see how they could come to their conclusion based on their proof texts? If, like me, you concede that, then let’s not be so quick to call them (or their teachers) “heretics.”

            If the passage in James 2 isn’t saying that faith must be accompanied by works to save someone (Catholic view) or that faith must be accompanied by works to indicate that a so-called Christian has a genuine faith (Reformed view), what other option is there? Illumine me. I make no apology for saying that works should serve as proof of genuine conversion. After teaching the “carnal Christian loophole” for over 30 years, I have come to consider it a cop-out for, in most cases, a false conversion. And if you or anyone else is pushing that false category of humanity, I say you’re giving a lot of people false hope, people who will hear, “Depart from Me. I never knew you…” A person who is genuinely born-again, who has received the new heart of Ezekiel 36:26 and has become a new creation will, obviously, demonstrate changes, fruit, good works. Good works are part of his new DNA (Eph. 2:10).

            As for being “black and white,” that’s fine with passages that are black and white. But we both know some aren’t and are open to different interpretations, depending on how well you handle the “analogy of Scripture.” I’m not going to address the other examples you’ve taken issue with; my point was to simply show how two Christians can look at the same verses and draw different conclusions… and that it’s unfair to call those who’ve drawn a different conclusion a heretic (or his sources) on those types of passages. That’s all. Have a great weekend!

          • Hi Bill,

            I understand these passages are a problem for some, but don’t have to be. I have seen those who have be deceived by faulty teaching, come to understand the context, studying/abiding/remaining in His Word helps make one a disciple, and the truth will set them free.

            Your comment about ‘So let’s not be too hard on them’, assumes I am hard on them vs. just being Biblically obedient to mark and avoid (Rom 16:17-18). Although I am not quick to call deceived individuals heretics (as I already mentioned), I do believe if you teach you can lose your eternal life, then one likely hasn’t believed in the free gift from the beginning, does not do the will of the Father, and may very well not know Him. So it is difficult to confront, but it is love to tell them this is not the gospel. To be slow to condemn this teaching could cost them their very souls.

            https://youtu.be/rikLPC7heV8

            You mentioned the Catholic view, or the reformed view (proof) of James 2. You asked what other option there is. I believe the Biblical option is the only option. We know it cannot be faith + works to save, (Rom 4:5; Eph 2:8-9), you know the verses and more I’m sure. This option is false.

            The reformed/lordship option of James 2 proving you are a true believer is another option that is false. Prove to whom? God? To themselves? These ARE already proven by the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture, when they are addressed as — brother, brethen, beloved, having the Spirit dwelling in them — in James. The Lord knows who are His, there were no false converts only those who never believed Jesus came in the flesh.

            James is about those in the faith, showing no partiality to others as these believers were doing. They had grown hardened and calloused about their fellow brethren’s needs. They were showing preference to the rich, and turning their back on the needy. Abraham wasn’t justified (proven) decades later when he offered up Isaac. James 2 in no way speaks of proving justification unto life. Abraham was justified before he was even circumcised (24 years after he first believed and it was counted to him for righteousness). Abraham’s circumcision happened well before Isaac was even born, so again, offering up Isaac is not about proof of life (a real Christian). This is about a useful faith. A living faith. One that benefits all. This is about being careful to maintain good works before all men because it is beneficial to all men and what we should do (Titus 3:8). This is about justification before men. A testimony before others. I can elaborate another time more if you want.

            I don’t know about your problem with the ‘carnal Christian loophole’, however it’s no ‘copout’, it is a stated Biblical view, not a ‘false category of humanity’, and to say that, denies the veracity of the Word itself. It is a category the reformed camp of Calvinists have much difficulty understanding as they still call themselves after a man. These who do, if believers, are carnal, these are babes in Christ. I am sure you know many reformed call themselves Calvinists or ‘high Calvinists’, etc.

              And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? 1 Cor 3:1-4

            You taught that ‘loophole’ for almost 30 years? You should have continued. The New Testament has done it for a lot longer than you. And to teach that it is false conversion? You have need to preach an unsaved person the gospel, you have need to preach a carnal believer the Word, but to accuse one of being a false convert, that you will have to answer to the Lord for troubling His bride.

            Citing Eph 2:10 that works are automatically part of a believers new DNA, is putting words into the Scripture that is not there. We SHOULD do good works, but if we automatically did, we’d be having no need for all the exhortations in Scripture to stir us up to good works, it would just happen.

            For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

            You may make no apology now for saying works should serve as proof of a ‘genuine conversion’? I maintain you will some day. It is backdoor Lordship, bewitching people into thinking what began in the Spirit can be finished in the flesh.

            Please rightly divide Matthew 7 regarding“Depart from Me. I never knew you…” You also said, A person who is genuinely born-again, who has received the new heart of Ezekiel 36:26 and has become a new creation will, obviously, demonstrate changes, fruit, good works. 2 Pet 1:5-9 is clear a believer can do just the opposite if he does not add to his faith. A believe can be barren, unfruitful, short-sighted, blinded, even forgetful regarding being purged from their sins.

            So let’s address the passage in Matt 7 in context briefly (as I’ve already addressed it regarding MacArthur also wrongly dividing that chapter). Matthew 7:15-23 speaks to false prophets, but in vs. 13-14, Jesus has set up that one must enter in at the strait gate, the narrow way which leads to life. We know Who that way is, the only way (Jn 14:6). Why is it that few find it? Because of this very thing, false prophets which have another doctrine, who corrupt minds (bad fruit) from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3-4).

            Think on a few things. These false prophets look like sheep, you cannot tell by their performance, because remember they do “many wonderful works” and Jesus does not deny that. Inwardly they are ravening wolves they aren’t carnal looking they are sheep-like. What are those fruits we will know them by? I say it’s their doctrine, since outwardly they appear to be like sheep. So what is their proof they were saved?

            1) They called Him Lord, Lord (most lordship doctrine is really big into making Him Lord)
            2) They didn’t do the will of His Father in heaven. What is that?

              And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:39-40

            Doctrinally speaking, I believe we see two things. There are those who add conditions to salvation other than believing on the Sent one (such as justification by works), and those who take away eternal security (He repeated twice we WILL be raised again, and will not be lost, and we shall never perish-Jn 10:28-29). These in Matt 7, are not doing the will of the Father.

            They also called Him Lord, Lord and said they spoke His Word in His name, cast out devils and did many wonderful works? He never denies they did these wonderful works.

            He does say He NEVER KNEW them. Get the irony in this? You are thinking I am ‘pushing a false category of humanity, giving people a false hope’? (I would call that heresy if so). I believe it is those who add works before, on top of, or after the gospel. Those are the false prophets who give people burdens too heavy to lift, and who shut up the kingdom of heaven to themselves and others.

            What are ‘workers of iniquity’?

            When one believes, Col 2 is clear, ALL our trespasses are forgiven. Everything is blotted out, nailed to HIS cross. Rom 10:4 is clear, CHRIST is our RIGHTEOUSNESS. Heb 10:10,14 are clear, the moment we believe, His sacrifice once for all, has sanctified us, perfected us forever. We are washed in His blood (Rev 1:6), made white as snow (Is 1:18). Again, once for all. It is finished. We are henceforth known as His children, blameless before Him in love, already we have passed from death unto life, from darkness to life. We that very moment possess eternal life.

            I pray you will get this straight for yourself, because if you once taught the Biblical view, you are no longer being straightforward about the truth of the gospel, and then you are to be blamed. Only you know, since I don’t know you.

            In Jesus Christ, thankful for His work for me.

      • Preston
        3 years ago

        Good day,

        First, I apologize if I took this wrong.

        I am not sure I logically agree with this “when each of those paradigms were and/or are a “dominant theory, opinion or practice,” depending on the “when,” “where,” “who,” etc. of those paradigms. If anything, YOUR views could, by definition, be considered “heretical” for deviating from the dominant views, depending on when, where, who, etc.

        1. one would be a “true heretic” based on the majority view of man according to this post and not the bible
        2. doesn’t the bible say “narrow is the way” and few find it – nothing wrong with not being of the majority here
        3. wasn’t Jesus considered a “heretic” by the majority?

        heresy is what?, believing the “wrong thing”. it could be used about one who doesn’t believe the “rapture” but believes in salvation by grace alone. HOWEVER, since it is a “strong” word, I would only consider it when is comes to “salvation doctrine”.

        so when and where does the bible call someone a heretic? it is when one uses the term “repent of your sins” FOR salvation. Since sin is defined in 1 John 3:4 as “transgression of the law”. when one uses the term “turn from sin” for salvation, they are REALLY saying “keep the law for salvation”. stop sinning = keep the law; for sin is transgression of the law.

        Where does it say this? Titus 3.

        7 That being justified by his GRACE, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

        8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

        9 But AVOID foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and STRIVINGS ABOUT THE LAW; for they are unprofitable and vain.

        10 A man that is an HERETICK after the first and second admonition reject;

        11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

        The key is verse 11. We all sin, yes even after salvation. when one uses the term “turn from your sins FOR salvation (or keep the law for salvation; same thing) they are “condemning themselves”. How, they are putting themselves under the law which is IMPOSSIBLE for man to keep the “whole law” (Gal 5:3 and Gal 3:10). so they set a standard, that they themselves cannot live up to; thus “condemning themselves”.

        So, since the “majority” of Calvinists and Arminians believe (trust) in the “turn from your sins FOR salvation” gospel (which is not the gospel), by biblical definition and instruction, there are to be rejected for they are “hereticks”.

        However, I always fall short as I will go 20 rounds with a person who believes that message and not “1 or 2”. OH, I hope my labor is not often times “in vain” and “unprofitable”.

        just some thoughts.

        • Hi Preston, I am assuming you are responding to Bill,

          You said; “I am not sure I logically agree with this “when each of those paradigms were and/or are a “dominant theory, opinion or practice,” depending on the “when,” “where,” “who,” etc. of those paradigms. If anything, YOUR views could, by definition, be considered “heretical” for deviating from the dominant views, depending on when, where, who, etc.

          1. one would be a “true heretic” based on the majority view of man according to this post and not the bible
          2. doesn’t the bible say “narrow is the way” and few find it – nothing wrong with not being of the majority here
          3. wasn’t Jesus considered a “heretic” by the majority?

          heresy is what?, believing the “wrong thing”. it could be used about one who doesn’t believe the “rapture” but believes in salvation by grace alone. HOWEVER, since it is a “strong” word, I would only consider it when is comes to “salvation doctrine”.

          I agree completely with you there. I will start another response so I can read, this is difficult in the comment sections allowed here on wordpress when they are too long.

        • Continuing Preston with your answer to Bill.

          So when and where does the bible call someone a heretic?

          It is when one uses the term “repent of your sins” FOR salvation. Since sin is defined in 1 John 3:4 as “transgression of the law”, when one uses the term “turn from sin” for salvation, they are REALLY saying “keep the law for salvation”.

          Stop sinning = keep the law; for sin is transgression of the law.

            Excellent Preston, I completely agree, thank you for doing such a thorough job in laying it out, I appreciate you. You continue:


          Where does it say this? Titus 3.

            7 That being justified by his GRACE, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

            8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

            9 But AVOID foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and STRIVINGS ABOUT THE LAW; for they are unprofitable and vain.

            10 A man that is an HERETICK after the first and second admonition reject;

            11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

          The key is verse 11. We all sin, yes even after salvation. when one uses the term “turn from your sins” FOR salvation (or keep the law for salvation; same thing) they are “condemning themselves”.

          How? They are putting themselves under the law which is IMPOSSIBLE for man to keep the “whole law” (Gal 5:3 and Gal 3:10). So they set a standard, that they themselves cannot live up to; thus “condemning themselves”.

          So, since the “majority” of Calvinists and Arminians believe (trust) in the “turn from your sins FOR salvation” gospel (which is not the gospel), by biblical definition and instruction, there are to be rejected for they are “hereticks”.

          However, I always fall short as I will go 20 rounds with a person who believes that message and not “1 or 2″. OH, I hope my labor is not often times “in vain” and “unprofitable”.

          Just some thoughts.

          Some profitable thoughts Preston, thank you. In Christ, Holly

  • Preston, I only used the more common definition of “heresy” to verify how Holly was intending to use the term. In the context of those trying to be biblical, however, I think all of us are in agreement that all teaching needs to be compared to the Word of God and not to Church doctrine. I was just making sure.

    Regarding the debate on the proper definition of “repent from sin,” those of us in the reformed camp, first off, consider repentance a gift from God. It is an ATTITUDE toward sin and God that must change – love of sin and hate towards God (Rom. 1:30) turns into hate towards sin and love for God. No, we aren’t saying one must “stop sinning” to be saved, but because of the new heart granted by God, the DESIRE to stop sinning will be there. Because of the new heart (i.e., regeneration), obedience to Christ’s command in Mk. 1:15 takes place: repentance and faith, which results in having one’s slate wiped clean and becoming Christ’s righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21) – justification. Finally, we’re given the Holy Spirit, who enables us to live holy lives, to walk in obedience to the Law (sanctification). All are gifts of God promised by God in Ezekiel 36:25-27. So no, there are no “works for salvation” involved here. God does it all!

    All of this, of course, is happening simultaneously, so you won’t have a “regenerated-but-unjustified” sinner walking around! Haha!

  • Preston
    3 years ago

    Friend,

    I can answer those Hebrews and James passages for you, or you can ask Holly for a “free” pdf of the book I wrote, it explains those as well.

    you said – It is an ATTITUDE toward sin and God that must change

    ME – no sir. Salvation is a “free gift” (Romans 5:15-20 kjv) not a contract contingent on “desiring” something different.

    JW’s desire to please God and attempt to live in a less sinful way. Are they saved? nope.

    The carnal church at Corinth, were many of these “saved” people desiring to please God? nope

    you said – Regarding the debate on the proper definition of “repent from sin,” those of us in the reformed camp, first off, consider repentance a gift from God

    ME – I disagree, the gift of God is “eternal life”
    Romans 6:23 – the wages of sin is death but the gift of God IS “eternal life” through Jesus Christ our Lord
    – notice – it is not though “our desire” BUT through Jesus.

    FOR THE REST OF YOUR POST – the word should be “should”. A Christian SHOULD do things, but it is not a requirement (that’s works) nor is it evidence (see chapter “fruit inspectors” in the book)

    Did you know that if a person faith is overthrown, they are still saved??????

    Since the bible states that this is possible, what would this saved person be producing since Hebrews states that without faith it is impossible to please God?

    This is already long enough. I have several questions that show works are not automatic. nobody has ever been able to answer them with any real evidence. Would you like to try.

    with respect,

    • Thanks Preston, will love to see your questions here, and hopefully Bill or others will keep their answers brief and focused on the question at hand. God bless your day.

    • Preston, I edited out your email. Upon advice of a few others, I don’t want to be in the position of allowing or passing along emails here. I hope you understand, I know your intent is good. When I get done reading your pdf, I’ll upload here.

  • ill be looking forward to reading Prestons pdf I think you(Holly) and Preston have sound Biblical common sense answers.Thanks your blog is a good resource for defending the Gospel, I appreciate the hard work you put into your blog

    • Thank you Sam for visiting, appreciate your kind remarks. It is the Love of Christ that constraineth us. We need to point people to Christ, spending time with Him hearing His Word (Lk 10:38-42). We need to commend people to His Word of Grace (Acts 20:32). We need Him. We need to take heed to His Word and the doctrine (Ps 119:9; 1 Tim 4:16). We need to study with His approval always (2 Tim 2:15), hiding His Word in our heart. For some reason, People seem to think like this: (as one excerpt from a poster I’m not going to approve said), ‘I find it a bit comical that you would take issue with requiring a change in desire.”

      I find it tragic, not comical, that they think we can add our own requirements that are not there in the gospel, and they miss that their gospel is accursed.

  • Preston
    3 years ago

    Some of the questions asked of those who say works are automatic.

    1. IF works are automatic, why did Paul write letters to already saved people telling them what they should be doing?
    – he wouldn’t need to IF they automatically happened

    2. IF works were automatic, why would God need to discipline His own?
    – he would not need to discipline if good always automatically came.

    3. IF works were automatic, why would God take the life of the believer (Corinth where some died because the got drunk at the Lords Supper).
    – He would not have to take life if works automatically happened

    4. IF works automatically happen, how is it that ones faith can be overthrown and still sealed?
    – what automatic works would happen to a saved “unbeliever”.?

    5. IF works were automatic, how is it that there are believers whose works are all burnt up at the Judgment Seat of Christ?
    – every believer would have rewards if works automatically came.

    When someone cant answer these but makes the statement, “the Holy Spirit” WILL generate works…..

    6. IF works are automatic for the believer with the Holy Spirit, how come the Corinth believers needed to be told that the Holy Spirit was in them?
    – know ye not that the Holy Spirit is in you? saved people who didn’t know they had the Holy Spirit.

    some questions that nobody has been really able to answer…..yet. They usually dance around these with other scripture (ie, the new creation) but avoid the questions in general.

    maybe there are answers but I have not heard any. Holly, maybe you can answer them. 🙂

    • I didn’t approve Bill’s last post Preston because basically he finished with he was wasting his time (as were we) and it was tedious, and he was done here. But reading your post, I feel like I have to include this that Bill said:

      Regarding Corinth, I wouldn’t be so quick to pronounce them all “saved.” This is why Paul wrote what he wrote in 2 Cor. 13:5, right?

      Evidently Bill’s been taught the typical understanding of 2 Cor 13:5 as some sort of fruit examination instead of proof of Paul’s apostleship and ministry. I think that he missed that Paul pronounced them saved, even the guys sleeping with his stepmother…although his flesh would be given over to the enemy.

    • He continued with everything being the gift, used 1 John 2:19 without using 18.

      If faith, works, repentance are all gifts, then why are they so ‘worked up’ about worrying whether one is a false convert or not? No amount of their breath, words or scholarly efforts will save someone if God actually is gifting the belief/faith, repentance, etc. They might do best to talk to the giver, not the recipient who has no choice, the one who was either pre-determined to persevere or not….The Word evidently has power only on those chosen for salvation from eternity past. The Gospel only has power on those chosen from eternity past for salvation (according to Calvinism…)

      • Excellent points! And hopefully Bill will consider it all in light of the scripture, read in context.

        Angela

  • Preston
    3 years ago

    2 Cor 13:5 is in the book too.

    just sayin….. 🙂

  • Preston
    3 years ago

    Chapter 16
    Examine yourself

    “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates” (2 Cor 13:5).

    Often this verse is used by the religious to have a person examine his or her self to determine whether he or she is a “real” Christian. Are you doing works, sinning less, going to church, tithing, partaking in sacraments, etc? Are you performing these things? If not, the religious will proclaim, “You are probably not a real Christian.” You know, because the religious are superior to all other sinners. They have “proved” their faith. “Look at this wonderful fruit coming from me.” However, in reality, the scriptures prove a person’s salvation. It is not by works we do (Titus 3:5). If salvation is not of ourselves, according to Eph 2:8,9, then why should we examine ourselves to see if one is saved? We shouldn’t. What then, is this passage telling us? It is quite simple actually. We need to go back a few verses and look at the context. What you will see is this: these saved Corinthians were questioning Paul’s apostleship. Go back a few verses.

    “…since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you ward is not weak, but is mighty in you” (2 Cor 13:3).

    These saved people were looking for proof of Paul’s apostleship. As a result, Paul was pretty much saying, “You seek proof of my apostleship. You want to examine me? You need to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith.” This was a simple tit for tat. Notice Paul ends this very short “spat” in the very next verse. “But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates” (2 Cor 13:6). The sequence of verses is pretty straight forward.

    1. They questioned Paul’s apostleship.
    2. Paul said they should examine themselves to see if they were reprobates.
    3. Paul immediately follows that by stating, “But I trust that ye shall know, that we are not reprobates.”

    Paul never told them to “examine” themselves to see if they were really saved. We already have seen that things we do don’t prove salvation (chapter on fruit-inspectors). If Paul wanted them to really examine themselves, wouldn’t he quickly give us a list to look at to determine our salvation? He would, but there is no criteria given in this chapter. As a result, we can conclude that the religious twist this passage to fit their “works for salvation” doctrine.

    If you are “examining” yourself for evidence to prove you are saved, stop it! It is very dangerous to do so. Peter was walking on water. When he started to examine himself and his surroundings, he sank. Examine yourself to see if you are living the Christian life that you SHOULD be living that is pleasing to God? YES. Simply keep reading in this passage. Examine yourself to see if you are a “real” Christian? NO. When it comes to salvation from hell, the only thing one needs to examine is his or her faith. Is your faith really in Jesus (God’s only Son; God in the flesh)? Have you believed the gospel, that Jesus died for all your sins and rose again? Do you believe that all your sins were dealt with (paid) at the cross and you have no sins left to send you to hell? If so, there is no need to examine yourself FOR salvation.

    • Thank you Preston!

      That’s the question for a person. Have you believed? Then instruction on how to grow in His grace. People don’t tend to make disciples, they tend to accuse the brethren of possibly not being sheep. They don’t feed His sheep, they nip at their heels and have them in fear.

      Thank you! May the Lord bless your week.

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