Dear Fruit inspectors

I woke up yesterday morning to lots of Scriptures going through my head based on a recent troubling conversation. I know this is long, won’t you prayerfully consider it? If not, I thank the Lord for the Word He has washed me with today.

Who are you to judge another’s salvation?

Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s. 2 Cor 10:7

So are you judging based on outward appearance or works VS. what someone has believed upon?  I am not speaking on whether we judge a wolf’s doctrine.  We are absolutely to judge their fruits (doctrine), this is how we know them.

I am referring to one who was arguing with others recently using Loadship (lordship) doctrine. She was wrong and doctrine is always to be open for public examination for each and every one of us (Acts 17:11).   A few came to rescue her in their discomfort for one brought her private words (which attempted to bring this young one under bondage) to be examined publicly.  It should be done with the right attitude, and a gentle manner, with an aptness to teach, but some are unwilling to hear correction with the Word.

If someone ‘insists they believe, (her wording) you had better consider this before you insist they don’t (based on your own opinions and private interpretation of Scripture).

It’s HIS cross, HIS faithfulness, HIS deliverance, HIS free gift of eternal life, HIS sacrifice, HIS mercy, HIS love, HIS forgiveness, HIS promise, HIS righteousness, HIS right hand that upholds, HIS finished work.

It is not ‘your conviction‘, ‘your desire’, or anything else ‘you do’ or ‘things you’ve NEVER done’ that proves you are saved.  It is only whether we have believed/trusted God’s testimony of His Son Jesus (1 John 5:9-13), this is the ONLY thing we can use to KNOW we possess eternal life.  Some may insist they are saved based on their feelings, experiences, etc., but dear _______________, this is not how we can KNOW we have been delivered from death unto life.  Do you know yet?

If you have believed upon Him, continue looking into the perfect law of liberty before you forget who you are in Christ and make others stumble. Don’t let Satan subtly mislead you and cause you to also corrupt other’s minds from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3-4)

But whoever causes one of these little ones who BELIEVE IN ME to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42

pr 18-4Be careful what you say, and take heed also to what you hear from others (1 Tim 4:16).  Remember the childhood song, “Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear”?

Salvation is a FREE GIFT (Rom 6:23). It is not based on works before or works after. It is not based on ‘proof of life’ as backdoor loadship teachers consistently use as whether or not one is saved. It is solely based on the TRUTH of the One that gives life FREELY — Jesus Christ, and whether we have ►believed on Him and what He has done for us.   If they are looking at their works to justify they have been saved, they are doing the very thing the false prophets were doing in Matthew 7.    Justifying themselves by their many ‘wonderful works’.

Dear Fruit Inspector — Again, if someone ‘insists they believe’ (as this one person worded it), we do not look at their works, lack of conviction, or sin and judge them to be unsaved. This is not how one is judged as to whether or not they are a Christian, do not use the ‘you will know them by their fruits’ out of context.   If so, you’d have been calling the Pharisees saved based on their works and how they looked outwardly (see Matt 23:27-28).  You’d probably be having tea together talking about Jesus hanging out with the sinners.

And maybe you have somehow missed your own beam in your eye. We all need to be careful there, because if we’re honest, then by the criteria following (excerpts from the fruit inspector’s discussion), none of us is saved.   James tells us if we fail in just one area, you have failed in the whole law.

  • So WHAT PERCENTAGE of good works will prove that you are saved?
  • Is anything less than perfect acceptable to God?
  • How long must those good works continue?

I have watched the same person over the years judge people to be saved based on what ‘godly people’ they were, it inevitably will turn around and condemn her (I pray she will see before this happens).    The Bible assures us of this (Titus 3:11).  I am sure if I was compared to the Duggards, Ray Comfort, Billy Graham, or even a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon, some might judge them to be saved before they’d think I was.  But are any of them teaching a true gospel?

After a time she found that some of these did not teach a true gospel as much as she bellowed in protest.  Sadly as of this writing, she still looks at the outward to prove whether one is saved or not.  We are only godly or good because of Jesus Christ being our righteousness, and because we have believed God’s testimony of His Son.  We become disciples by continuing in His Word.

The conclusion of the conversation? (I wholeheartedly agree with Ben’s summary comment to her and say Amen!).

“You can’t determine whether they are saved or not from their behavior.”

I hope ‘K’ aka S.L. might read this, and might also listen to this sermon by Yankee Arnold.

Why the Fruit Inspectors get it wrong

Are works the sign of a Christian?

They should be. This would be an outward testimony of our inward belief.  But we see many examples of exhortations in the Word of the need to add to our faith (2 Pet 1:5-9), and need to constantly affirm to each other that we maintain good works (Titus 3:8).

We also have many examples of carnal believers envying, striving, having divisions (1 Cor 3), behaving worse than a heathen (1 Cor 5:1), and none of the church having any conscience regarding this extremely immoral deed (1 Cor 5:2).  We see despicable behavior by believers in the book of James (specifically 2).  Look in the book of Galatians, Hebrews, 1 & 2 Corinthians, 1 John, etc., to consistently see that good works and fruit are not one bit automatic.

The False prophets of Matthew 7 had ►MANY WONDERFUL WORKS and had done them false prophets in His name. What were their ‘fruits’ then? This photo is something I did quite a while back regarding pastor’s misuse of this Scripture.

It was their DOCTRINE (which is always to be examined). Their justification was not the Father’s doctrine which is the one we contend earnestly for. For the Bible says that those who will to do His will, will know whether the doctrine is from the Father or not (Jn 7:17).

Are we to ‘dispute doctrine’ as one accused others of doing? Yes! Always (Jude 3)! It should be done with the Word, with the right speech and manner (Titus 2:7-8; 2 Tim 2:23-26). Another’s doctrine is to be examined by all the brethren and the person is to be named (Rom 16:17-18), and we should warn — the bad doctrine exposed to the light (Eph 5:11).

 Jesus warned of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees and Sadducees which was their ►doctrine (Matt 16:12).

 Timothy the elder was warned by Paul about THE doctrine.

 Take heed unto thyself, and ►unto the doctrine; ►continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both ►save thyself, and ►them that hear thee. 1 Tim 4:16

Saved from what? Delivered from what?

Being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine…

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the ►edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of ►the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with ►every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but ►speaking the truth ►in love, may ►grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Eph 4:11-16

 IS OUR DOCTRINE OUR OWN PRIVATE DOCTRINE?

We have also a more ►sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye ►take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that ►no prophecy of the ►scripture is of any ►►►private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet 1:19-21 (see also 1 Cor 14, speaking God’s Word — Prophesying — is to be judged by all).

DOCTRINE OF THE WOLVES:

Jesus tells the wolves of Matt 7 that they ►do not do the Father’s will (which can be found in John 6:39-40 — believe on Jesus). This is their false doctrine, that they justify themselves by their wonderful works, but they never justify themselves by the fact they believed upon Him as their Savior.  Note that Jesus does not dispute their works.

1 Cor 13 So if someone ‘insists they believe’ (as the one phrased it in order to fruit inspect unkindly), and you doubt what they say, the answer is, find out what they believe. 1 John 5:9-13 tells us only WE know and the Spirit knows, whether we have BELIEVED God’s testimony of His Son.

Asking you again.  Who are you to judge another man’s servant (regarding their behavior proving their salvation)?

Why judge before it’s time? The LORD will make known the counsels of everyone’s heart one day.  So friend, again, if you doubt somehow their profession of faith, the answer is not for you to become an accuser of the brethren, (fruit inspector) nor pat yourself on your back for your many wonderful works as the wolves do in Matt 7.

Shouldn’t the answer be to Feed them with His Word if they aren’t growing in maturity?

Feed His sheep if you love Him — help them grow (Jn 21).  Wash their feet (Jn 13). Or Preach the Gospel if you doubt they know Him? (Rom 1:16-17, 1 Cor 1:17-21).

And HOW should that gospel be preached? (See below).

STOP THE FRUIT INSPECTION!! (At least the wrong kind of fruit inspection.  Get that beam out of your own eye.  Don’t trust in your own works to prove you are saved.  Because, I could venture a guess that others might judge you not to be saved by your gossiping, or meddling, or unkindnesses, or judgment of non-believers when we are not to do so.  None of us would pass muster.)

 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.  1 Cor 2:1-5

One told another he was a fruit inspector, (as if this was a good thing) — this one says he is a pastor. But we are not to be fruit inspectors in the realm of using that to gauge one’s salvation. We should absolutely hold each other accountable to maintain good works (Titus 3:8) which we SHOULD do. I recommend you read Preston‘s article on expreacherman.com, “Stemming fruit inspection”.

These Scriptures below are not solely to speak to the recent unkind and sneaky behind the scenes conversation (think on Gal 2:4-5), but also likely will cut both ways (as my friend Marian says frequently), because it is a two edged Sword. I pray it will instruct me also.

 THE WORD IS OUR BEST ANSWER (I don’t always remember and can use my own. How about you? Do you trust it to work vs. forcing your own way? If you are hearing someone, ask yourself, does what they say settle on you and give you food to eat or seed to sow? see Is 55:10-11)

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Tim 3:14-17

DO WE ANSWER IN LOVE WITHOUT BEING RUDE OR BOASTING OF OURSELVES? (I have failed, have you?)

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not ►love, I have become sounding brass or a ►clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but ►have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but ►have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; ►love does not parade itself, ►is not puffed up; ►does not behave rudely, ►does not seek its own, ►is not provoked, thinks no evil; ►does not rejoice in iniquity, but ►rejoices in the truth; ►bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, ►endures all things. 1 Cor 13:1-7

IF WE CAN’T HOLD OUR TONGUE, WHAT GOOD ARE WE?… (Have you deceived yourself? I have. It is easy to think we are ‘good’ somehow or to elevate ourselves above another. I saw preference based on status in this conversation too sadly.)

If any man among you seem to be religious, and ►bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. James 1:26

CAN A BELIEVER SHOW NO SIGNS OF FRUIT?

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, ►add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither ►barren nor ►unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who ►lacks these things is ►shortsighted, even to ►blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 2 Pet 1:5-9

DO WE LOOK TO THE FLESH OR ANY OF THESE THINGS BELOW AS PROOF ONE POSSESSES ETERNAL LIFE?

►WORKS
►EXPERIENCE
►KNOWLEDGE OF SCRIPTURE
►THE WAY THEY LIVE THEIR LIFE
►PREFERENCE FOR THINGS OF GOD
►FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHER BELIEVERS
►KNOWLEDGE OF SIN (which comes by the law – Rom 3:20)
►CONVICTION OF SIN (the believing Corinthians in 1 Cor 5 certainly didn’ t have it, in fact, quite the opposite, they were puffed up about it and didn’t care.
►DISCERNMENT (lots of believers do not have it, but can get it – Heb 5:12-14)
►SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING (misusing 1 Cor 2:14)
►BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE (sorry, comes by cooperation to apply one’s self to wisdom — Pr 22:17-21, to study with His approval in mind — 2 Tim 2:15.
►SORROW FOR SIN – again ref. 1 Cor 5.
►FEELINGS
►AWARENESS OF SIN

No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, and No,…

≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡≡ 

Pastor Tom Stegall says this:

“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)

Listen fruit inspector, we do not live under a ‘different relationship’ with God than the OT saints. They were not ‘before grace’ as you stated. The just have ALWAYS lived by FAITH. Abraham was preached the same gospel. Abraham was before the law. See Gal 3:8 and Gen 12:3 and 15:6.

What does being a ‘new Creature’ Mean? (2 Cor 5:17)

Please reference James 1:18, 1 Pet 1:23, Rom 8:9. It is being born again of the incorruptible Seed, the Word of God. Again, it is solely about what Christ has done on the cross, not some proof of living by the law.

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus ►neither circumcision availeth any thing, ►nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Gal 6:14-15

I also recommend Pastor Tom Cucuzza’s series, understanding the two natures found HERE

Can we quench the Spirit?

Can we grieve the Spirit?

Can we resist the Spirit?

Can we do it our whole lives?   Yes! (And no, that does not ‘make us more powerful than God’ as you stated.)

Will we have consequences? I’ll discuss those in a moment.

This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the ►hearing of faith? ►Are ye so foolish? having ►begun in the Spirit, are ye now ►made perfect by the flesh? Gal 3:2-3

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be ►swift to hear, ►slow to speak, ►slow to wrath: for the ►wrath of man worketh not the ►righteousness of God. James 1:19-20

 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet ►offend in one point, he is ►guilty of all. James 2:10

 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the ►same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through ►selfish ambition or ►conceit, but in ►lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Phil 2:1-3

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by ►good conduct that his works are done in the ►meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and ►self-seeking in your hearts, ►do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where ►envy and ►self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, ►full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:13-18

 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not ►consent to wholesome words, even ►the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to ►the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, ►strife, reviling, evil suspicions, ►useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such ►withdraw yourself. 1 Tim 6:3-5

After some study, I saw this verse on a friends post… How true…

A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends. Pr 16:28

A LITTLE LEAVEN 

This passage below is spoken to believers who have been unsettled by leaven that had been allowed in (those who were teaching about the resurrection was past) and it OVERTHREW THE FAITH of some. It was a CANKER in the body.  What is foolish and unlearned? Is it someone who uses the Word rightly, willing to discuss it with others without anger? Are they willing to hear? Are they thinking you are noble if you question what they say by using the Word(Acts 17:11)? Are they instructing (in understanding of the Word), using meekness, patience, gentleness? This is how you will know if they are serving the Lord at that time, or out of their own flesh (This is not how you will know if they are saved).

But ►foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender ►strifes. And the ►servant of the Lord must not strive; but be ►►gentle unto all men, ►apt to teach, ►patient, in ►meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 Tim 2:23-26

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in ►doctrine shewing ►uncorruptness, ►gravity, ►sincerity, ►sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Titus 2:7-8

 AGAIN, FRUIT INSPECTORS, IF YOU THINK THEY ARE UNSAVED, WHAT IS THE ANSWER?

 Walk in ►wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your ►speech be ►alway with grace, ►seasoned with salt, that ye may ►know how ye ought to answer every man. Col 4:5-6

In the reverse, we do not judge another’s salvation as we see what appears to be this with others at times.

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: the one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: but the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. Phil 1:15-17

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN IF WE DO NOT DO WHAT WE SHOULD DO AS BELIEVERS?

But these are some things we CAN lose or suffer.

  • Loss of Fellowship with God (1 John 1:3, 6,9)
  • Loss of Fellowship with others (1 John 1:3, 7)
  • Loss of Fullness of joy in or walk (1 John 1:4)
  • Loss of Rewards at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:10-16)
  • Bring judgment upon ourselves in this lifetime (1 Cor 11:29)
  • Loss of our physical life (1 Cor 5:5; Acts 5:1-11, 1 Cor 11:30)
  • Loss of our health, be weak or sickly (1 Cor 11:30)
  • Loss of our testimony or justification before men (James 2, Titus 3:8)
  • We can shame the name of Christ for sins named among us (Eph 5:3).
  • Face chastening (1 Cor 11:32; Heb 12:5-6)
  • Face consequences for our actions (Gal 6:7-9)
  • Others face things because of us, including loss of knowing Christ. (Gal 6:9)
  • We can stray from the truth, and be dishonorable – (2 Tim 2:18-20)
  • Being ashamed at His appearing – (1 John 2:28)
  • We can lose the joy of our salvation (Ps 51:12)

So friends (or not), please don’t fruit inspect, you’ll end up accusing others and yourself, and that job is taken (Rev 12:10).

Paul warned three years for day and night in TEARS and said he was innocent from the blood of all.

Conversely, if we do not warn, are we guilty of someone’s blood?

If we associate with them, are we culpable for a young one stumbling, or worse, a lost person being given a back-loaded gospel?

Something to prayerfully consider.

Please see Pastor Yankee Arnold’s sermon on the same subject

See followup article on marking and avoiding, when to separate.

 

60 Responses to “Dear Fruit inspectors

  • Excellent EXCELLENT well-written article, sister!! Thank you & may the Lord richly bless you for your faithfulness to preach the Word no matter what others may say or think… You are an inspiration to me & I’m sure countless others…

    • Thank you Marian. May the Lord help me to do what He wants, to speak only when He wants, and not anything of myself.

    • Kearcy Suzanne Hahn
      2 years ago

      Thank you for all your efforts in helping to guide us in the right direction in God’s word Holly. You are a blessing to me and many. God bless you!

      • God bless you Kearcy with all you deal with and have been through in your life. Praying the Lord will bless you and your family <3

  • Vanessa
    2 years ago

    I’m with you on the doctrine part but can you give the back story about what you are referring to? Or give an example of what you are speaking against?

  • Sure I can give you a synopsis. This was a conversation on FB with two friends. One is a woman who has been in her own error over the years, and yet can’t quite see why others are ‘deceived’. She had a conversation with a young man about those who ‘insist they believe’ but their ‘lives and their understanding not reflecting salvation. Her criteria for them not being saved was what I listed above. But here are some things she said proved that people weren’t believers.

    ►Being in a world of worldly understanding.
    ►No knowledge of Scripture
    ►No preference for the things of God
    ►No association with brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.
    ►Nothing but the ►claim of belief.

    My younger friend rightly said, ” Maybe they are letting sin reign in their mortal body or have shipwrecked their faith?”

    She said it was always a possibility and added, “I did that for many years, but always I KNEW what sin was and that I was in it”
    Anyways the list continued, she was always convicted. She always knew she was doing wrong. She used having discernment as a ‘proof’ and cited knowing Benny Hinn was false to prove that… (I guess she forgot about Catholicism being Christian, repent from sin belonging in the gospel, Billy Graham being good, defending Church of Christ Duck Dynasty and also the Duggards as being godly (even in light of telling her that they were preaching a repent from sin gospel with Ray Comfort).

    When he told her he disagreed, it went South. He said that one could quench the Spirit until they died. And added, “Your feelings and ultimately my feelings aren’t a reliable gauge of truth, neither are our experiences – see entire book of Job and what his friends appealed to.”

    What the heck are you talking about? The quenching of the Spirit? (I guess at that point the verse didn’t ring a bell). He gave her more (excellent) examples from the Word which she disregarded by saying she realized he ‘thought’ he gave Scriptural examples and then said his answers were attacks. Below are his words.

    > Job’s friends appealed to their experience to determine truth. Above, you have done the same.

    > Demas forsook the brethren.

    > People ship wrecked their faith (or were warned that they could).

    > The Galatians frustrated grace.

    > The Hebrews went back to the law, trod the blood of Jesus underfoot and were told that many were heading towards judgement (on Earth) and that others weren’t going to come back.

    > The Colossians were being beguiled into idolatry and angel worship.

    > The Holy Spirit is a Counsellor. His counsel can be turned off – quenched. He can be grieved. Receiving him is no assurance that one will listen to him, nor assurance that He will automatically tell a believer right and wrong – that comes through Him enlightening us when we read the Word (sanctify them by thy Word).

    > A believer can walk in the flesh from salvation till death by letting sin reign (Romans).

    > They can fail to walk as a child of light, despite living in the light (Paul’s epistles).

    > They can fail to put off the old man and his lusts and walk in the new man.

    > No where are we told a believer is someone who “will know” that they are sinning just because they have been born again. No where are we told that this is evidence of salvation. Our evidence is that we have believed the Gospel.

    > The law gives us knowledge of sin, and many religions understand the law. What they don’t understand or accept is grace. Thus they remain lost.

    > A Catholic may know that fornication is wrong and feel conviction when committing said sin, but that doesn’t prove they are saved or not. Thus we should not teach nor imply that one’s conviction or lack of conviction is proof of salvation or evidence one is not saved.

    > The Corinthians were put to death by God for taking of the Lord’s supper unworthily because they wouldn’t judge themselves. They taught grace as license, rejoicing at another man’s sin in the name of grace.

    Anyways, as sound as his speech was, she would not hear. This is where I was troubled and set about to add some Scriptures to the equation. Thanks for joining us here. Love in Christ, Holly

    • The woman that you described from Facebook is administering false “tests of life” on herself, and others. She apparently draws some, or all, of her assurance from her own experiences rather than from God’s promises. See 1 John 5:13.

      People who are drawing assurance from anything other than God’s promises often feel VERY threatened when you correctly tell them that there is no assurance in those other things.

    • Vanessa
      2 years ago

      Part of the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer is conviction of sin.. There has to be some sort of fruit to show the work of the Spirit in the life of someone…??

      It’s never our place to judge the salvation of someone else. Ultimately we can only effect and are only responsible for ourselves and our own right standing with God. But I would have to strongly disagree that just because someone claims to believe in Jesus that they are a child of God. (This primarily rests on doctrine and the fact that there are tons of false jesus’s out there… A point I think you agree on.)

      I think it is dangerous to say that (as my parents believe), you just have to say a “magic prayer” and you are saved. My brother prayed such a prayer as a child and so my parents are convinced that he is saved even though he has no relationship with God whatsoever.

      In general, it’s not a good idea to makes judgements about the salvation of another – something you couldn’t possibly know. However, if someone clearly does not know the biblical Jesus (believes he was just a man for example, or didn’t rise from the dead..), wouldn’t you say that that person is not a Christian, despite whatever claims they might make..?

      • Vanessa, you said/asked… There has to be some sort of fruit to show the work of the Spirit in the life of someone…??

        My comment: How much? How can a brand new Christian know he has eternal life, if he has yet to bear any fruit?

        Why did Paul admonish believers in Christ to not let sin reign in their mortal bodies (Romans 6:12)?

        How would you explain the prodigal son? What if he had died in the pigpen? Was he still a son? Was he bearing fruit?

        How would you explain soil 2 (quit believing) and soil 3 (no fruit brought to maturity)? What sort of fruit is there? The Bible says they are believers.

        No one here believes that someone is saved by saying a “magic prayer,” or by believing in another Jesus. For example, there are many in churchianity who claim to be Christians, but who do not really believe that Jesus offers eternal life as a free gift. Instead, they try to buy salvation through their insistence that one must turn from sins, put Christ on the throne of their lives, and so on in order to receive the free gift of eternal life.

      • Vanessa – thanks for replying, I’d like to ask if you might possibly see the irony here of your two comments, one above and one below?

        “It’s never our place to judge the salvation of someone else. Ultimately we can only effect and are only responsible for ourselves and our own right standing with God.”

        “wouldn’t you say that that person is not a Christian, despite whatever claims they might make..”

        I believe if you read through the examples given in the article, you will find that it is never about believing in another Jesus or another gospel. The only discussion here is based on what you do believe. You can see that the Holy Spirit convicts even the world of sin, and that heathens have the law written on their hearts, yet this person’s claim is they ALWAYS were convicted of sin and that was one of their proofs. I challenge that we have to get rid of that stinkin’ thinkin’ for we end up making little ones stumble. I give the remedy in the article. I pray you will really consider looking back at what I said.

        The Holy Spirit did not (in inspiring the Scriptures) state that the man in Corinth in 1 Cor. 5 (who was the incestuous adulterer), was not a believer, in fact it states he would be saved. Do we see conviction of this heinous sin? No. Did he turn? Some feel it is he who is spoken of in 1 Cor 2. Do we know this? Not that I can see.

        Was the assembly convicted? No, they did not mourn, and were instead puffed up about it. Does that prove none were believers? No, it rather proves they were barren and unfruitful and needed to add to their faith. They needed to cooperate to obey God’s Word.

        As John said, no one here believes (or has ever stated) that a ‘magic prayer’ saves. And the Word is clear, another Jesus cannot saved. No one has ever suggested that one who does not believe in the biblical Jesus is somehow saved. This is not what we are saying here, I am pretty sure if you re-read you can see this.

        This following is for your prayerful consideration. If your brother prayed a prayer, and he believed upon Jesus as His Savior, vs. some formula, then we need to be careful not to accuse the brethren and make a young one stumble. Best thing we can do if we think one has not believed the gospel? Share the good news with him every chance you get. If he says he believes this and nothing added on top, nor taken away, then it is between he and God. One day God will bring all this into the light, He alone knows our hearts. If your brother is not growing in grace, (as I also stated in the article), the remedy is to ‘feed His sheep’ if we love the Lord (Jn 21). Or wash the feet of others as the example He gave us in John 13. The Word is what they need, along with prayer, and if they have been led astray, 2 Tim 2:23-26 gives us the way to deal with a straying believer. We don’t see much in church discipline but that can also be the answer.

        We all might wonder if one is saved, but it always should be based on WHAT they have believed, not their performance or ‘relationship’ with God. Do you realize that we have a relationship with God the instant we believe? Our relationship is that we are children of God (1 Jn 3:1-2, Jn 1:12), brother of Jesus (Heb 2:11), part of His body (Eph 5:29-32), adopted into His family.

        One must believe the good news before they are given eternal life. Our spirit knows whether or not we have believed the testimony/witness God gave of His Son. That is the only parameter whether one has a relationship with God. Now whether one has fellowship with God or is a disciple of His is another story.

        I pray that we might all remember and continue looking into the perfect law of liberty so we might be blessed. I pray we will look at 1 John and realize it is a test of fellowship, not relationship and whether one’s joy might remain full. I pray that those who stubbornly cling to falsehoods will be set free by the truth of God’s Word (Jn 8:32).

        God bless your week Vanessa.

  • Preston
    2 years ago

    Did you really just use….”stinkin’ thinkin’???????????

    🙂

    • Yes Preston! 🙂 It corrupts minds, I liken it to a stinky dead animal that you have rolled in and it’s so hard to get the smell off… And about the time we think we’re clear of it, others smell it and try to let us know and we snap at them stating we absolutely do NOT smell. But stinkin’ thinkin’ is a slimy thing that we need the Word of the Lord to wash off, and sometimes it requires others spoon feeding us and pouring the clear Word over us….

      • Vanessa
        2 years ago

        I absolutely agree there – it’s taken a long time to wash off all the calvinist thinking that forced on me in the past couple years with the pure Word.

        With respect to the above, I think I’m still trying to figure out what you are really saying. The gist of it that I got is that we are not to look for fruit as proof of belief and if we suspect unbelief, we should share the gospel. With that, I agree.

        I’m just not sure that I agree that Scripture teaches that there can be true saving faith without any life change/works whatsoever. So even though I agree in practice with respect to our response, I think I might be disagreeing in principle..(Does that even make sense..?!?)

        I was trying to come up with some concrete examples to clarify my thinking (hence the mention of my brother). Something that I have been wrestling with a lot of late – and maybe that is what prompted me to reply – is the question of the calvin jesus and whether he saves.

        There are no shortage of believers who will strongly state that this is an “in house” issue and that we do not need to concern ourselves about the salvation of our reformed brothers and sisters… I’ve tried to accept this, but it just doesn’t sit well with me.

        The reason is that I engaged a dear mormon friend in countless hours of “mutual witnessing” if you can call it that, and she professed the EXACT same beliefs as me. Namely, “salvation through grace by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing else”. This is her profession of faith. She INSISTS she believes this. I can’t very well say to her face, of course you don’t! Right? But it would also be foolhardy to accept this faith profession as enough to include her in the Body of Christ (given that her jesus is a created being, brother of satan and the rest of humanity, who worked his way to godhood, etc…)

        So to me the parallel to calvinism is very clear. Here we have a system of belief founded by a man (just like JS to the mormons), who created his own annotated “version” of the Bible (like JS did as well), and who has presented a Heavenly Father and Jesus with different characteristics to the biblical God the Father/Son. Starting from a completely different foundational understanding of who God is, what He is like, and why He created the world – and how He works today – not to mention completely undermining the perfect work of Christ on the cross… To me it is a logically impossible pill to swallow that this Jesus is the same as mine. So therefore, how is the confession of belief in him any different from the mormon confession? Again, it’s the same words…

        I think this is where I am getting tripped up. And that is the basis for the quotes you mentioned above – I do believe that we are not supposed to sit in judgement of salvation of others – but also, with respect to witnessing, we DO have to make judgements about who we believe is inside/outside the faith. Right? Else what would stop me from just saying/thinking, oh, you’re good. We’re all good. No worries….. You have a faith profession.

        I might be blending different issue here, I don’t know.

        Maybe you can help me make sense..?

        • Vanessa, you are mixing concepts.

          There is absolutely no Scriptural basis for life change being necessary to establish that someone has received the free gift of eternal life.

          Think about it this way: if every “true believer” WIll have a change of life/good works, then every believer MUST have life change/good works.

          Vanessa, it is really important that you understand this. Don’t look for concrete examples from your experience. They are not scripture.

          Read 1 Corinthians 3:15.

          The second concept is whether people really understand the gospel. That can take some probing questions, and perhaps some stark declarations of what the gospel isn’t.

          • I agree John. There are many Scriptural examples where we didn’t see a life change, but we sure should do good works (Titus 3:8) but even then look how much we need to constantly affirm it to each other. I think it was Tom Cucuzza who said if it was automatic we sure wouldn’t need a majority of the epistles.

        • Hi Vanessa, thanks for your questions. I didn’t know too much about Calvinism even though my Christian high school had many reformed, they didn’t know much about what they believed. I know much more about the perils of Calvinism over the past years.

          We do not look for fruit as proof of belief. Not because we think so, but because the Bible is pretty replete with examples of such, and also saved men doing some kind of awful things.

          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)

          Yes, there are heresies among us for a reason. It is so those who are approved will be made known/manifest among us. So we should be able to discern bad doctrine not bad behavior, two different things.

          Yes we make judgments.

          How do we know someone is to be avoided? By the doctrine they bring that is contrary to the one we have been taught. (Rom 16:17-18)

          How do we judge with a righteous judgment? I think it has to do with the Word, and our being willing to do His will, we will know His doctrine (John 7:24; 7:17).

          How do we all know if someone is preaching another Jesus or another gospel if we aren’t careful that we ourselves are not subtly having our minds corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ? We must be sure we keep the gospel clear knowing it is the power of God unto salvation. (2 Cor 11:3-4, Rom 1:16-17, 1 Cor 1:17-18)

          Firstly, I think we ourselves have to be settled on what the gospel is. It is part of our daily armor, how many of us prepare ourselves with it by putting it on each day? (Eph 6:10-18)

          When we do that and we doubt whether someone has understood the real Jesus or the real gospel, we are better equipped to deal with them. The Scriptures are able to make someone wise unto salvation as well as to fully equip us in dealing with them (2 Tim 3:14-17).

          Hope that helped some, I’ll continue reading now both comments, hope I haven’t been redundant in what John has said. God bless your day.

          • Vanessa
            2 years ago

            Holly, how do you know those verses are in reference to eternally secure believers and not the false brothers Paul often refers to?

            John, do you think all the soil types are true, eternally secure believers?

          • Vanessa, no. Soil 1 is not a believer. Soils 2, 3, and 4, are believers. As such, they have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. Please note that the Bible NEVER uses the term “true believer.” That is one of man’s concoctions to try to change the meaning of the word “believe” from its biblical intent. My point, in bringing up the parable of the sower, is that neither soils 2, nor 3, are commended for any works.

            You might like the article on the topic of the parable of the sower, linked below:

            http://expreacherman.com/2016/01/03/lordship-salvation-a-tale-of-two-soils/

            You might also like the clear, sound, gospel explanation, that is embedded in that article, which, for your convenience, I have also linked below:

            https://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/the-gospel.pdf

        • On the ‘no worries…you have a faith profession’, I just want to clarify, we always want to be sure on Who and what someone has placed their faith in (That would be Christ and Him crucified — who He is, and what He has done)

      • Vanessa
        2 years ago

        So some of the verses that come to mind are – if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come. So to me, this means a fundamental difference in nature that takes place at the moment of salvation. Other verses that He who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion.. That it is God who wills and acts in your life… That we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works which He prepared in advance for us.. That the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, etc…

        So even though I am not to sit in judgement of someone, I do believe that biblically, there is a difference between the unbelieving self and the believing self. This is by no means to say that one is saved BY this difference/the fruit/whatever you want to call it. But certainly evidence of life change/heart change/presence of the Spirit does accompany salvation. How can the Holy Spirit indwell the life of a believer and accomplish absolutely nothing? I don’t really see this in Scripture. On the contrary, Paul frequently said that the HS moves with power in the life of a believer….

        • Vanessa, the Holy Spirit does work in the lives of believers. Believers will have fruits of the Spirit to the extent that they walk in the Spirit. That is why the apostle Paul admonishes Christians to walk in the Spirit. If it were automatic, there would be absolutely NO reason for the scripture to have been written.

          Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

          You are reading into scripture something that is not really there. The verses you mentioned do not teach that good works/life change automatically accompany salvation. Let’s go through them:

          2 Corinthians 5:17

          [17] Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

          Question: Does this verse mean that whoever has believed in Christ as Savior will have an instantaneous change, in which their mind receives a holy disposition, their will is subdued, and their affections are changed from a love of sin and self to a love of holiness and God?

          Answer: No. The affections of a saved person are not automatically changed from a love of sin and self to a love of holiness and God. Changing our way of thinking to line up with God’s way of thinking takes our cooperation, as Romans 12:2 makes so clear:

          Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by a renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

          2 Corinthians 5:17 means that whoever has received eternal life through faith in Christ has been regenerated, resulting in the creation of a new man who is a sinless, incorruptible child of God.

          This new man is a result of the second birth, a spiritual birth, which all who possess eternal life have undergone. The flesh nature, which is neither good, nor righteous, does not go away when we are born again. That results in a conflict between the flesh and the spirit, which will continue until we die, or are raptured. We are instructed to walk in the newness of life (Romans 6:4), to put on the new man (Ephesians 4:24), and to walk in the spirit (Galatians 5:16 and 25) so that we can manifest the fruits of the spirit (which are good things) and not the works of the flesh (which are evil).

          Philippians 1:6

          [6] Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

          Question: Does Philippians 1:6 guarantee that believers will become progressively conformed to Christlikeness?

          Answer: No. Paul is referring to the Philippian’s financial support for his ministry, not their practical sanctification. His statement is not a guarantee that their partnership will continue, but an expression of his confidence.

          Ephesians 2:10

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

          Question: Does Ephesians 2:10 prove that all Christians WILL do good works?

          Answer: No. Ephesians 2:10 says that all Christians SHOULD do good works. And we should. It is not that we MUST – that would be works for salvation. And it is not that we WILL – that would be Calvinism (perseverance of the saints). It is we SHOULD – and we should. SHOULD is the only word that is consistent with grace.

          We see, elsewhere in scripture, that Christians are exhorted to good works. If good works were automatic, those exhortations would be unnecessary. One example:

          Titus 3:8: 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.

          • Vanessa
            2 years ago

            I’m definitely not saying that it is automatic, nor am I saying that behavioral change is instantaneous.

            Would you agree with me that at the moment of salvation, an individual goes from being spiritually dead to being spiritually alive through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? (Not that they automatically live sinless, perfect lives, but rather that spiritually speaking, they have “passed from death to life”)

            Your response is arguing somewhat against something I didn’t (intend to) say. I very passionately reject Calvinism on every level – by no means are good works forced upon us or involuntary in any way. But are you saying that you believe that it is possible that the Holy Spirit could/does indwell an individual and then do no work on that person’s life?

            By no means do I argue for works salvation, or us contributing or adding to our salvation in any form whatsoever, but James and 1 John come to mind with respect to living faith having some evidence in the life of the believer….? Again, not something that is forced on us by God or even that we will always be faithful even if we try our very best (we won’t be!).

            But NO evidence whatsoever?? Absolutely no change at all? That does strike me as being at odd with the Word…..

            (Not trying to be difficult.. just honest)

          • Vanessa, neither James, nor 1 John are “tests of life.” Any interpretation of these books that includes life change/works as evidence of eternal life is heretical teaching.

            I am saying this: it is not necessary for a person who has believed in Jesus as his savior to have any life change, nor any good works to get into heaven.

            You keep going to more and more passages to prove your point. I said to my wife last night as I was going to bed: “I’m surprised Vanessa didn’t reference James 2:14-26.”

            I can save you some time. There is a section on another site called “Some Lordship Salvationists’Pet Passages Explained.” See link below:

            http://expreacherman.com/2014/06/01/some-lordship-salvationists-pet-passages-explained/

            I know you are being honest. But, you are setting yourself up for being a fruit inspector, plain and simple.

            If there WILL be good works and life change, how much? What kind? How would you explain the parable of the sower? How would you explain the prodigal son? What if he had died in the pigpen?

            Yes, a person who has believed goes from being spiritually dead to spiritually alive, but it does not guarantee that a believer will cooperate with the Spirit to produce any good works. That is why scripture exhorts us to walk in the Spirit.

          • Hi, sorry, today has been kind of busy with Adam and therapies. Adam was trying to take a nap, but people in and out. I just finished a study on 1 John, and the book is not about evidence that one is a believer, but about evidence about whether they are in fellowship with God or others. The reason it is written is also so their joy will be full. If you approach that book as a proof of evidence of salvation you’d finish figuring out you couldn’t possibly be saved if you understand James and know that break one law, we break them all.

            No one is aiming for not one change or suggesting that is good for the believer, His brethren, His fellowship with God or for the lost to come to know Him. But what can we see inwardly with people? Man looks on the outward, but God on the heart. We can’t even see outwardly that people are wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt 7). Those wolves are in sheep’s clothing and do many wonderful works in His name and certainly appear to have evidence. But He never knew them because they never did the will of the Father (John 3:39-40) and inwardly (where men cannot see) they are ravening wolves. So clearly these people look like they have ‘fruit’, yet we will know them by their ‘fruits’ (bad doctrine).

            We cannot see by works if one has been born again, but they do have a change, it is their new nature. And it SHOULD be evidenced by their own works, but again God’s Word shows us many examples of ‘fruitless’ believers. James is an example of believers (clearly identified almost 20 times), who needed admonished regarding instability, lust, wrath, filthiness that needed laid aside, religious acting, loose mean tongues, with seemingly no regard for their brethren. They were being chastised for showing favoritism to the rich and disdaining the poor. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit James identified them as brethren, yet they are judges of evil thoughts who have despised the poor, and showing no mercy. They don’t care that their brother or sister is destitute, naked, poor, hungry or cold. They just gave them lip service but did nothing to help. They were dealt with regarding their awful tongues who kindled fires, who were blessing God on one hand and cursing men on the other. These were believers, and he said it ought not to be so for them. Some of them had bitter envying and strife in their hearts, they were earthly, sensual, devilish in their wisdom. Devilish? Does that sound like they are demonstrating goodness to anyone?

            He addresses all the battles and fights among the church there. Their lusting — he said they even murdered each other. When they asked God for something they did it purely out of selfish motives (so they could consume it upon their lusts). They were chastised and named as adulterers and adulteresses. Proud, double-minded, boastful sinners, who spoke evil of their brethren, condemning others. Did that mean they weren’t saved? No, he told them to cleanse their hands. He told them the Spirit that dwelled in them had serious issue with this. This epistle is about them needing to walk in the Spirit, as they already live by the Spirit (see the conclusion in James 5), and if they would do this, they would be happy and in fellowship again with God and others, demonstrating their faith before men (justification before men – chapter 2). When we have the correct doctrine, and demonstrate our faith before others, what outcome will we see? Fruit — harvest…

            Love in Christ.

        • Hi Vanessa, thanks, the difference is clear, we receive a new nature, one that is incorruptible (1 Pet 1:23) that does not sin (1 John 3:9). We also still have the old man, the flesh. Evil is still present within us the Word tells us in Romans 7. So since John explained it well, let me recommend two sermons (the site itself carries many preachers, it is a storage site, so I can’t recommend the majority that might show up as advertised recommendations).

          By Pastor Tom Cucuzza

          Understanding the two Natures – Part 1
          http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=72141043258

          Understanding the two Natures – Part 2
          http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=75141155464

      • Vanessa
        2 years ago

        I tried to respond earlier but I think it didn’t load correctly… I only asked how do you know the verses in question are in reference to eternally secure believers and not false brothers?

        Also where does the Bible say the soil types are all true Christians? The Word of God falls on the hearts of believers and unbelievers alike. The response is what separates.

        • Vanessa, the book of James is only 108 verses in 5 chapters. The word “bethren” is used 15 times. This is a term that is used in the New Testament to refer to brothers (and sisters) in Christ.

          If James had thought that the people whom he was addressing in his Epistle included non-believers, might he have preached the gospel to them? He doesn’t do this. He is giving instructions in Christian living.

          As a Christian, James would have known that the gospel of Jesus Christ is THE (singularly, unique) power of God unto salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16). He would not have wasted his time giving instructions in Christian living to people who were not believers.

        • Vanessa, how do I know? Do you mean as in James or something else, could you clarify? There are no errors in your posting, it just doesn’t get added automatically on this site, we have to actually ‘be’ here or come in.

          If you are speaking to James, besides brethren (as John mentioned – 15), Brother is used 3 times, sister is used once, beloved – once, Spirit dwelling in them – once, so besides that, we have him them discussing them as ‘you, we, us’, further identifying who he speaks of. It is not ‘they’, but ‘us’. I hope that helps some assuming that I had your question right <3

          • Vanessa
            2 years ago

            No…. I meant from your comments. How do you know your list is about believers.

          • Hi Vanessa, it could be either depending upon the context of each passage. Can a believer preach falsely? See Galatians 2 for that answer. Can a believer be deceived about the gospel? See 2 Cor 11:3-4 for one example. Matt 7:15-23 is not about believers (which was just in a comment) for Christ identified He never knew them. I won’t go too long on this reply, it’s late, I just settled in not too long ago so if you want to address any particular one I will be happy to. In Him, Holly

          • Vanessa
            2 years ago

            John, surely you don’t mean to tell me that because a word is not in the Bible that the concept isn’t taught…? That’s the cult favorite argument against the Trinity. The Bible mentions false brothers and false teachers – so there must exist non-false brothers and non-false teachers. True believers. True brothers. True Christians. Unless you believe that the false brothers were/are saved?

            You are quick to tell me that my interpretations are wrong, but without providing what you believe to be the correct interpretation, I’m left unconvinced.

            Holly, now that I finally understand what you are saying (and believe it does not line up with God’s Word, if i may be so bold..), wondering if you could elaborate on these ones:

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

            4) Not abide in Christ (John 15:1-8)

            11) Cast off initial faith and follow Satan (1 Timothy 5:12-15)

            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)

            Also, I read Galatians 2 and not sure I am getting the same answer as you..? Can you share your view?

            Thanks 🙂

          • OK Vanessa. You remain unconvinced.

            I have tried to show you, from God’s word, that life change and fruit bearing are not automatic for the Christian. I don’t know what other place to go, besides His Word.

            I have given you alternative interpretations. You don’t agree with them. That’s fine.

            For those who insist on looking for life change/fruit to validate that they (or someone else) has received eternal life, I would just ask one question: do they still sin?

            If the answer is yes, they have absolutely no basis for looking to life change/fruits for evidence of salvation. God’s standard is sinless perfection. One can only have sinless perfection by imputation of Christ’s righteousness, which is received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

            If the answer is no, they are lying.

            Thank you for your consideration.

          • Yes John, it is not a believer vs. a ‘true believer’, the Word tells us it is Wheat and Tares, and we are not to pull up the tares, but it seems a lot of people like Ray Comfort, Paul Washer and other such false teachers, delight in calling others false converts. While they themselves teach a ‘turn from sin in order to be saved’ false gospel, (among other errors).

            They seem to miss that they teach law, and they are self condemned.

            But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. Titus 3:9-11

            Any performance based (self righteousness) salvation or proof of salvation, is based on the law. If they know Him, they don’t fellowship with Him and are bewitched, back in bondage and hindered from obeying the truth (Gal 3-5)

            Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Phil 3:8-9

          • What we see Vanessa with ‘false brethren’ is those who sneak in pretending to be believers. The point is clear in context of the entire key of Galatians, they do not believe on Jesus Christ and His work, but are teaching their works as proof (i.e. ‘finishing in the flesh’ – Gal 3:3) as you are (knowingly or unknowingly).

            You may be so bold to say you don’t think what I say doesn’t line up with the Word. But if you do so, let’s take it line by line anc compare it with the Word.

            I will be happy to go back and answer as soon as you do. For example: “I’m not sure I’m getting the same answer” = it doesn’t line up with the Word is not an answer. That is a statement and not rightly answering by the Word.

            You’ve asked questions, we’ve answered with the Word, so for now, until I answer any more, tell me, how do I misinterpret Galatians 2. Please be clear, and then correct me with the Word and be willing to stay there in that spot without deflecting with a new question.

            I would like to ask you, are you reformed or taking teaching for reformed/Calvinist teachers, pastors or authors?

            In Christ, Holly

          • Vanessa
            2 years ago

            Hi Holly,

            Your question was “can such a believer preach falsely? See Galatians 2 for the answer.

            In Galatians 2 I read:
            “Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.”

            My assumption was that you believed these false brothers to be true believers (based on your question above) and that is what I was trying to ascertain, since I obviously believe false brothers are not true believers. Into yoke of slavery means a system of salvation by works. On that I think we agree.

            I have a few more comments but will have to wait until after I get my kids to school 😉
            ‭‭

          • I was speaking of Peter and Barnabas. The false brethren were trying to bring them back under the law, but Peter and Barnabas were not walking uprightly regarding the truth of the gospel, and were hypocrites. Many of the Galatians had fallen from grace (which means they were believers brought into a legalistic system of proving something by their performance — i.e., finishing in the flesh – Gal 3:3).

            Again, I’d like to ask, are you reformed? Calvinist? Taking teaching from such? Perseverance of the Saints is the “P” in TULIP, don’t know if you are familiar or not. But this is basically what you are speaking even if you don’t realize it. I too am a mom — of 10. And I have one in the hospital right now, and a dad to go to dialysis with in about 20 minutes, so may or may not see any responses today.

  • Vanessa
    2 years ago

    Quite the contrary. I consider Calvinism to be a demonic cult similar to Mormonism. It presents a different Father and a different Jesus, so to me, that doesn’t lead to salvation.

    I think it is incorrect to equate belief in the work of the Holy Spirit with a works based salvation. The P in tulip is a perseverance that is FORCED. We have no choice but to persevere, just as we had no choice but to accept or deny. All lies.

    Perhaps your stance is a push back against the false system of Calvinism. But in pushing so far, you are actually ending up similar to Calvinism in that you are equating to works something that isn’t works. Calvinism states that faith is a work, therefore we cannot have faith (God must force it on us) in order for salvation to be moneristic (or whatever the term is that they use to say salvation is solely God’s work). You seem to be stating that believing that the Holy Spirit produces fruit equates to work based salvation – in other words, it’s adding works to the saving grace that comes through faith in Christ.

    Like Calvinism, I believe you are setting up a dichotomy that doesn’t exist. The irony in that is that you are excluding believers like me in order to give assurance to those who profess faith but “live like hell”.

    I have assurance of heaven because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His blood purchased my life. I can never and will never do anything to contribute to or earn my standing with Him in any way whatsoever. Any good works I do or the work of the Spirit in me does not contribute to my salvation in any way. I do not rely on them. I do not subscribe to Calvins false teaching that they are forced on me. But that doesn’t mean that I deny the Spirit and the work He does in my life and others after we are saved.

    Holly, I really enjoy this blog and your thoughts. Thanks for the time you put into this site.

    • Vanessa, I am not saying that to believe the Holy Spirit produces fruit equates to works based salvation. What I am saying is that to believe that Christians will automatically choose to walk in the Spirit is not biblical. Walking in the Spirit results in fruit. Failing to walk in the Spirit results in fruitlessness. Since believers have a choice, it is not biblical to say that all believers will automatically bear fruit.

      You said:The irony in that is that you are excluding believers like me in order to give assurance to those who profess faith but “live like hell”.

      My comment: We are not excluding anyone. We are exposing false teaching. There is no difference in the eternal destiny of the believer who falls into false doctrine and the believer who “lives like hell.” They both have eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited.

      Please note though, that teaching life change/works as automatic and inevitable in the life of the believer could easily cause a non-believer to misunderstand the gospel and think it is about allowing Jesus to change his life, instead of believing that Jesus took away all of his sins. In this way, such teaching keeps people lost.

      In addition, such teaching may cause believers to try to look to their works and life change for assurance of salvation, and therefore try to finish in the flesh. It also ruins their Christian testimony, if their life change in any way becomes the focus.

      • Well said John. I know many who have failed the ‘Look what was accomplished in me” testimony. It is His testimony we need to have out there.

    • Vanessa, thank you for answering that question, I agree with your take on the doctrine of Calvinism.

      I’m so glad to hear, it was just that I noticed on the top of your blog a recommendation to a reformed teachers children’s book. Gary Ezzo is a Calvinist, used to be pastor of family ministires at John MacArthur’s Calvinist ‘Grace to You” and this is where he developed this ‘program’. My daughter’s pastor gave her this book, and I warned her regarding my first granddaughter born in Dec., please ‘prove all things’. I’ll give you the same warning in love. This is where we can unknowingly get our errant ideas from reading ideas of others vs. the Word of God. I would be happy to share the brief work I did share with them when I saw that book in their home.

      You said, “I think it is incorrect to equate belief in the work of the Holy Spirit with a works based salvation.” I have not done that, I think you may not realize you are putting words/ideas into my mouth that I did not say. It’s rewording what I believe into something I do not believe.

      Let me explain if I can with the fatigue and things going on with Adam. I equate looking at one’s works as proof of salvation as a works-based back-loaded gospel. Why? Because His Word says we can know based on what we have believed of His testimony. We do not know based on our works, as seen in the many examples given. We see many passages where believers looked worse than the heathen, but I’ve already shared those with you 🙂

      I do believe the Holy Spirit produces good in our lives as we cooperate to add to our faith (once again, 2 Pet 1:5-9). I do also believe we can grieve the Spirit by persistent sin. We can be carnal, we can look worse than unbelievers. Is this what we promote here? Heaven forbid! We agree that we need to affirm to other believers the importance of maintaining good works. This justifies us before men though, not God.

      It is not a false dichotomy I am somehow setting up, it is just a reality. Not sure what you mean by some of what you said here; “The irony in that is that you are excluding believers like me in order to give assurance to those who profess faith but “live like hell”.

      Excluding you? Sorry, you lost me. May I say the irony to me was after you said that you believed on the gospel (which is wonderful), you then go back and say this: “Any good works I do or the work of the Spirit in me does not contribute to my salvation in any way (true). I do not rely on them. I do not subscribe to Calvins false teaching that they are forced on me. But that doesn’t mean that I deny the Spirit and the work He does in my life and others after we are saved.”

      Dear friend, please, please don’t place words in our mouths here. We do not deny the Spirit, or deny His work — that actually would be setting up a false dichotomy. But since the apostles strove to speak with ‘great plainness of speech’ because of the great hope they had, let us try to do the same. I am writing something soon (Lord willing) on the fruit of the Spirit. What He produces is directly correlated to our obedience to remain in His Word and to abide in Him as well. It is simple, we either are a student/learner, or we will face consequences.

      I really pray you might ask yourself a few questions, nothing necessary to be stated here, but is it possible you are somewhat relying at all on what you do to prove you are His? If so, how much? How long? What percentage is acceptable?

      I am saved because He saved me. How I live and walk and fellowship, is another story. I can live carnally, be out of fellowship and walk in darkness. I can not take heed to doctrine. It will harm myself and any who listen to me (1 Tim 4:16). Or I can feed my soul with His Word, put on my armor daily, fight the good fight of faith, remind myself to do good to others, show others by my works that my faith is not useless.

      God bless you and your children. Please continue to prayerfully look into this. With 10 children, I regret a lot of the lordship ‘proof’ I forced upon them with this same thinking over the past 35 years of being a mother. I have gone back and asked for forgiveness and tried to show them in His Word the freedom in finishing in the Spirit. Finishing in the flesh will hinder us in this race. Please do this for His truth to remain. In Christ, Holly <3

      • Vanessa
        2 years ago

        Thanks Holly!

        I’m not sure how an ad got onto my blog…?? (I tried to begin blogging a few years ago and promptly forgot about it). Especially for the babywise book?!? I didn’t realize he was a calvinist, but I DETEST that book…. (Makes sense now!)

        It prompted me to ignore all written material on babies and just do my own thing, which has worked out well 😉

        (As an aside, could you please provide a list of authors to avoid and perhaps some to seek out? Once I studied Calvinism and discovered what it actually teaches, I became totally paranoid about who I could trust, immediately trashing any Piper book I came across…)

        To answer your question – for myself, I would say no – I’m not reliant on my works because I can see my ugly flesh in whatever seemingly good works I do do. (For example, I feel my pride flare if do something “good” for God. It’s a struggle to take every thought captive to Christ!)

        I have been purchased with His blood and sealed with His spirit. That’s my assurance. I pray that He WOULD change me because I cannot stand the person that I continue to be. But any efforts I have made to “change” myself have failed – and thus it’s been proved through my experience what the Bible had already told me in advance was true about myself.

        What I have experienced, though, is spiritual growth – God drawing me more to Himself and calling me to go deeper in to His Word and a life of prayer. He has cultivated a love within me for Him and His Word, and for sure that is something new and not of my own doing.

        Where I think I and others get tripped up is in judging the salvation of others – which is futile as it is something we could not possibly ever know. But of course we care and worry about our loved ones and want to feel assurance of THEIR salvation as well as ours.

        My response is to share the gospel and trust their salvation to God (who IS sovereign, after all – just not the way Calvin taught).

        I believe that the Spirit produces fruit. So in that respect, I do not believe that it is possible to have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and experience no change whatsoever. (But I do not trust in that change for my salvation.).

        In general, I never offer people my assurance of their salvation – that is between them and God. I share the gospel. I tell them that they have eternal security if the Holy Spirit lives in them – our salvation rests in Christ alone, not us. So we don’t take assurances from ourselves, but rather the finished work of the cross.

        Ultimately we cannot see the hearts of men and therefore can neither assure or deny their salvation. But certainly I would encourage spiritual growth in any and everyone. Not to save them, but to have a more intimate relationship with God.

        • Hi Vanessa, I have a recommended links above. Since the Word tells us to prove all things (1 Thess 5:21), I just try to check out each person, first, their gospel, and then continue from there. Do they believe eternal life is eternal? Do they have Calvinist or Arminian leanings (both loadship), then if so, I avoid. The list is long of ones to avoid, that is for sure. Glad that you figured it out, it wasn’t an ad though, it was just typing at the top of your blog, so I hope you can edit and remove.

          Interesting you brought Piper up, the enemy used him to accuse me shortly after my husband died, so thankful I quickly found out his error before more damage was done.

          I’m glad you are not reliant on your works, I got to the point where I was so ‘good’, that I didn’t see the pride. I found myself friendly, kind to the underdog, inclusive of all of them. And years later after the Lord’s Word did some cleansing, I found that what I thought was good was just of the law, and wasn’t of Him at all. It is when we remember to keep looking into the perfect law of liberty that we are able to understand why we are the kind of man we are, nothing of ourselves, all of His grace.

          My experience was not your experience (spiritual growth). And even though I have been a believer for more decades than I’d care to admit (through a barren and unfruitful life), I will just say, I did not experience spiritual growth for probably more years than you’ve been alive. Does that make it truth? No, but 2 Pet 1:5-9 explains my failure succinctly.

          And beside this, giving all diligence,
          +add to your faith virtue;
          and to virtue
          + knowledge;
          and to knowledge
          + temperance;
          and to temperance
          + patience;
          and to patience
          + godliness;
          and to godliness
          + brotherly kindness;
          and to brotherly kindness
          +charity.

          For IF these things be in you, and ABOUND, they make you that ye shall neither be BARREN nor UNFRUITFUL in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is BLIND, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

          That was me. Now I didn’t do the ‘big’ sins, or at least according to myself. Again, my experience doesn’t matter. I cannot offer anyone assurance of my own experiences or feelings. The Word alone (since God is not a liar) is where they can get their assurance. The Spirit will know if one has believed His witness or not. But that is the sole qualifier for the free gift of eternal life.

          Now as far as encouraging spiritual growth. Absolutely! If we love Jesus we will feed/tend His sheep.<3

          The reason to grow in His grace is clear. It is for intimate fellowship with God, others, and so our joy will be full (1 John 1). It benefits others (Titus 3:8; James 2).

          So I believe where we need to be careful is just relating too much of our experience as somehow being the same as truth, we all have different walks, and we are shown that in His Word. How we help those in different situations we also are given the answer. The best we can do to have assurance is to believe in the power of the gospel (Rom 1:16-17; 1 Cor 1:18-21) and continue to be sure people are clear on that. I believe it's why the Word is clear, we need to do this daily with ourselves (Eph 6:15), but to be honest with ourselves, do we remember to daily go over the good news? It is part of our armor. And it will help believers not be subtly corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3-4).

          One change all are guaranteed to have is a new creation, which is born again of incorruptible seed (1 Pet 1:23) and does not commit sin (1 John 3:9). That same body has the evil present within us which if we make provision for the flesh, can live completely carnally, and devoid of fruit (unfruitful) and can cost us greatly as well as costing others greatly. I think the Word gives us enough examples that we won't have to continue going over it. What we think, feel, or experience is not what others will think, feel or experience, nor our our thoughts, feelings or experiences truth.

          I encourage others to be sure that they know what the gospel is. That they have not allowed another gospel, to subtly corrupt their minds from the simplicity that is in Christ. I don't want any to suffer loss. Not of reward, or of life. I know I will suffer loss with reward, and not just in my past. But I trust God to keep me, and I try to continue in His liberty, but also show my love by obeying to spend time in His Word and prayer which is what I need. When I do so, I am blessed.

  • Vanessa – consider this by Pastor Yankee Arnold

    https://youtu.be/_NvWXnS1uEI

    • Vanessa
      2 years ago

      Hey Holly,

      Do you mean the keeping up with burnetts blog or the bali blog…? Maybe the blog you came across isn’t mine? I’m just trying to find the text your referring to…

      It gives me a measure of comfort to hear you say these things (about checking out references first) because I became so paranoid I stopped trusting nearly everyone – your blog is one of the few I trusted, which is why I became concerned over this fruit thing, thinking maybe you were Armenian and suggesting that God has no power to change us or something – I dunno…. I’ve been burned so many times. Many of the sites I trusted about Calvinism turned out to have other unbiblical beliefs – such as insistence that baptism is necessary for salvation, or that salvation can be lost, or that the KJV is the only inspired Word of God, or that it is possible to be sinless in this life….. And it sort of scared me because I thought, if the only people who have interpreted Calvinism correctly have gotten another major point totally wrong, maybe I’m the one wrong about Calvinism after all!!

      So I went back to the Word probably 100 times on this issue, and it’s just impossible to make Calvinism fit with the Bible without rewriting it, basically.

      The problem is that it is everywhere. And everyone says that the debate is an “in house issue” and we should have unity and all that. But the Calvinist framework is SO COMPLeTELY different that I just don’t see how it is possible. It clouds every facet of life and discipleship to believe in it. And I also don’t see how a true relationship with God can be fostered when built on a foundation of lies…

      But then it also grieves me to think that true believers are so few in number. Is it really the case that most popular Christian authors/speakers/pastors are false teachers?!?!? I think unfortunately the answer is yes…. :/

      • Vanessa – I actually thought you were a friend of mine, and wondered where she had gone, was curious if I just wasn’t quite remembering the last name. This blog on maternity. Forgive me for not reading thoroughly, your name was on it after the story, “Birthing experiences of a Brazilian in Canada – the benefits of a doula to assist women giving birth“.

        I understand what you mean (about almost being paranoid), however, I got comfort from His Word (Rom 15:4), and began to trust that if I was checking everything against His Word and in prayer, He would not let me down. I wasn’t afraid that He would not show me, I began to trust that He would give me wisdom, and I began to try to apply my heart to His knowledge (Prov 22:17-21), He is wonderful as we get into His Word with the right desire to be approved to Him (2 Tim 2:15). Heavens no on the Arminian thing, God is all powerful, and we WILL be chastened, there will be consequences, there is a law of reaping and sowing for us too. And as for Calvinism, can two walk together unless they be agreed? And you know what? A sincere question should be able to be answered, it’s hard in this venue to always explain indepth, easier face to face… I do not agree that we can have unity with Calvinism, I think it teaches another Jesus and maligns His character. I understand about the few in number, but Jesus did warn us in His Word it would be this way. I am afraid that I believe that if one is popular it is most likely that there is a good chance you should be wary, I agree. Also, unfortunately (as you said) there are a number of sites that aren’t just KJV preferred, but cultists claiming inspiration of the English translation and denigrating the original languages.

        I also don’t like it when people quote bad teachers but say it’s a ‘good quote’. Why point the sheep to a wolf?

        Keep proving all things, but acknowledge Him in all your ways (I know you know this), He’ll direct your path. One of my two favorite passages (besides the Pr 22 one above) for discipleship is Prov 3:5-6 and Luke 10:38-42. It’s so simple how we can grow. It’s ‘feet time’ I call it. Spending time with Jesus hearing His Word, talking with Him. So many times as a mom, or working, or life, or trials, we can get distracted and forget the needful thing, the good part that will never be taken from us. And the biggest thing? It’s such a huge part of our armor, and how Jesus answered the enemy and how we will be able to also. It’s the one offensive part of our arm. His Word is treasure and I love it (Ps 119:140, 162).

        Anyone that teaches should be willing to have someone search the Scriptures regarding what they are saying and they should think it’s a noble thing (Acts 17:11). Thing is, so many ask tons of questions back and it’s hard to stay focused on one. So make them stay with the one and show you in His Word.

        The thing we’re trying to point out here is that the gospel is good news of the free gift of eternal life and needs to be kept separate from teaching people how to walk once they’re saved. And that took me a very long time, and many people I am sure thought I didn’t belong to Him. And I didn’t get re-saved all those times I tried to do it right because it wasn’t ‘taking’ 🙂 Thank the Lord that I figured out my endurance was to run the race by being in His Word, talking to Him and staying away from law or looking at myself, but looking unto Jesus instead.

        Love in Christ. Take heart, He is faithful. We just keep asking for help and stay in His Word.

        • Vanessa
          2 years ago

          Ahhh, that makes sense…. Yes, that blog is from a friend of mine. She had asked me to share my birth story. She is very likely a “babywise” mom…

          The reason I found your blog is because I was attacked by a Calvinist pastor about 15mo ago. At the time I had no idea what Calvinism even was. He kicked me out of the church, along with several other families who refused to convert. The church is covered by a dark demonic cloud now. It’s almost out of money, dropped dramatically in attendance. It’s dead/dying and this pastor thinking he is doing Gods work by “weeding out the unbelievers”. It’s been my first experience with a real life wolf. God has called me and a few friends to prayer for the church as He is going to remove this false teacher finally… We are watching it all happen now.

          But what it has all taught me is that the Word and prayer are not optional “add-ons”, but rather essential life-giving sustenance for the Christian walk. It is so easy to fall for false teaching. We must truly always be on guard.

          A question for you, do you think it’s possible to be a practicing unabashed homosexual Christian?

          I see the danger in what you are saying about giving a backloaded gospel to people, but I also see an equal danger in providing assurance when we cannot see the hearts of men. The fact is that there WILL be false brothers who seem very believable..

          • Vanessa -that is an all too common story. My first run in with a Calvinist pastor was harsh, and got harsher and harsher. I have been told I’m unregenerate, and called Jezebel, been told to ‘shut my trap’.

            I understood what you meant by Word and prayer, they are not optional if we want to walk in the Spirit and be in the strong meat of His Word in order to discern between good and evil.

            I don’t like to answer all the possible scenarios, the Bible is clear in it’s answers on what it’s possible for believers to do and what they should not be doing. The Word is also equally clear in telling us the result of believing.

            Let me run something by you for prayerful consideration. No one is providing assurance someone is saved. You keep saying that though 🙂 We are providing the Word that provides assurance, that if we have believed God’s witness/testimony of His Son, we have or currently possess eternal life. So since we cannot see the hearts of men, and do not know whether they have believed or not, should we make them doubt? Or should we stick with the two simple remedies? Either preach the gospel so they can fully understand it, or preach the Word (commend them to His Word of Grace) so they can become discerning and grow in His grace.

            Keep in mind, there are wheat and tares. Wolves we warn about, tares we do not pull up in case we might cause one of the wheat to uproot. <3

          • Vanessa, you asked: A question for you, do you think it’s possible to be a practicing unabashed homosexual Christian?

            My response: Yes, but it is not God’s will for a Christian to live in sin.

            Try replacing “homosexual” with any other behavior, attitude, sin of omission or sin of commission that is not God’s will and see how that influences your opinion.

            If a “practicing” homosexual cannot be a Christian, than anyone who “practices” any sin (of omission or commission) cannot be a Christian.

            That would seem to rule everyone of us out.

      • I kind of understand where Vanessa is coming from. I don’t believe we automatically do more good works than before after we are saved, and many may do less, but what if we do perform good works after we are saved? Are those good works not credited to the new creation since the old creation is now gone? Not that we could ever do good works in abundance enough to prove salvation of course, but everybody does “something” good after they are saved even if it’s just wave to somebody on the street. I would go as far as to say 100% of all believers do something good after they are saved unless they die immediately after they believe. So in that sense, you can say a believer “will” have good works in their life, but again never enough to prove salvation.

        Brad

  • Vanessa
    2 years ago

    To disclaim… I don’t mean prayer and bible reading are requirements to be/stay saved. But they are critical for growth and protection from false doctrine/teachers, and therefore are very much essential daily bread, not just an occasional snack.

    • I agree Vanessa, that is why we should encourage others and feed others with His Word. Telling anyone they must do something, we have to keep clear from should do. And then we point them to the Word that shows them why, i.e., Ps 119:9-11, Prov 22:17-21, John 17:17, Heb 4:12, Acts 20:32, Heb 5:12-14, Eph 5:26, John 8:31, Luke 10:38-42, Psalm 119:140, 162.

      Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, and told us to do the same (in Jn 13). What implication do we see there?

  • What’s up with the selective posting nowadays Holly Springer lol Yankee Arnold is a trip ( : Gotta love him…

    • Brad, as I mentioned to you before, I tend to answer in a row, and don’t ‘approve’ posts until I see them and can answer them. My time is limited. Rarely, I will not approve a post if it is just continued commentary of what someone thinks vs. what the Word shows us in the truth. The new creation doesn’t sin, it doesn’t mean the believer always produces visible works, and it is a stumbling block to make those kinds of statements in light of a few evidences. We have given multiple evidences of those who do not appear to produce works after being a believer, so we’ll have to let the Word stand on all the examples we’ve been given in the comments, and in the list of the Word from Pastor Tom Stegall, and also this sermon from Yankee Arnold you just commented on. Any gospel driven man like Pastor Arnold I really thank the Lord for. I suppose all people produce what appears to be good works in the site of man, but in God’s sight, a believer’s works or lack thereof will be addressed at the judgment seat of Christ.

      • Vanessa
        2 years ago

        Hi holly,

        Can you explain to me more about the tares?

        Also I just wrote out a testimony, I’m wondering if you would be interested to read it and give your thoughts? If so, send me your email address.

        Thanks,
        Vanessa

        John,
        The way that I have always thought about it is not in terms of sinning or not sinning but in terms of a tension with sin. Do you not think this is biblical? Once I have been purchased by Christ and am a slave to sin no longer, I become like Paul where I hate the sin that is in my life, even though I continue to do it.
        So yes, if someone continues to RELISH in sin after believing the gospel, I would question if they have understood the gospel. For one to continue to sin is to be expected. For one to view their sin as acceptable in God’s eyes, and take pleasure in pursuing it after a claim of belief is another matter altogether.

        • Vanessa, one cannot gauge whether or not he has eternal life based on his tension with sin. One can like his sin, and still be saved.

          To teach that God condones sin is wrong, but Christians can, and often do, rationalize sin.

          A Christian is someone who has believed in Christ as his Savior. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

          Some people are incredibly tenacious in holding on to some vestige of fruit inspection.

          It is best to just go with scripture.

          Whosoever believes in Jesus as Savior is saved.

          THE END.

  • Brad, I won’t be posting your last post, because it’s all subjective opinion and scenarios, and pastor’s opinions, sans using His Word and letting it stand. It’s either ‘the Word says’, OR ‘my pastor says’, here is ‘my opinion’ etc., you can’t have it both ways. But the former is the only way to go.

    No one here said anyone who is a believer (or non believer) is pure evil, because the Word tells us even earthly fathers being evil, can give good gifts to their children (Matt 7:11; Luke 11:13). In the Word, it tells us that these believer’s faith was dead (useless) James 2:14. We’ve given lots of examples here. The point is, don’t examine whether someone is saved based on their works. Let’s leave it there, I’ll be satisfied to let the Word speak vs. my opinion.

    The passage you added your opinion to (2 Tim 2:12-14) says this:

    12 if we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

    14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

    So, let me put this to your remembrance and mine. I don’t want to strive about words to no profit, nor allow subverting of the hearers here. God bless you to dig into His Word.

  • Terry Parker
    2 years ago

    Hi Holly, I have been reading a lot from you the past couple of months and have been greatly encouraged. I recently have been meeting with a brother in Christ and he has brought up the topic of communion and I would like to have your input. He has related the traditional communion service as a holy grain offering found in Lev. Chapter two and views it as a carnal work of the law and that we as believers simply eat and drink Christ body and blood just by believing. Do we even need to use the physical elements to partake in the Lord’s supper? Are we sinning by doing communion the traditional way? Thank you for all you do at Redeeming Moments.. Terry

    • Terry, thank you for joining us, so good to have you. I would find this gentleman to be in error since it was not spoken to us in the period of law, but of grace. Jesus did speak it to His disciples but He told them to continue in it. We only spiritually drink and eat of His body and blood once, it is not a continual thing we do spiritually. Consider these passages. Ask yourself how one could get drunk on spiritual wine? 🙂 Also the obvious, the church of God is mentioned, this is not law, but the period of grace.

      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. 33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 1 Cor 11:20-32

      It is very clear here that it is literal bread, literal wine, and symbolizes his death, shed blood and resurrection, and it is new testament/covenant, once He will be ascended into heaven, they will be doing this very thing in remembrance of Him.

      26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. 30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. Matt 26:26-30

      Prove all things (1 Thess 5:21) and be so careful who you take teaching from, make sure their gospel is clear and doesn’t have added works of ‘turning from sin’ etc. 1 Corinthians was written to the church of God in the new testament/covenant, and is not the old covenant or law. He is in error.

      I hope that helps Terry, may the Lord bless you and your family. And may He keep you from those who will wrongly teach things to you that we do not see. In Christ, Holly

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