What of Repentance?

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
I read the link. It sounds really close to what we believe. I guess I dont understand the difference. They seem a bit more hardcore, but say many of the same things I hear in normal churches or conversations. The only difference seems to be they think far fewer people will be allowed into Heaven and someone cant just say they believe and go to Heaven. Is LS drastically different than we believe? I don't know enough about it to say one way or the other. I know that if you truly believe, you are saved. That's all my feeble mind understands.
I admit that at first glance the difference may be hard to perceive. It may seem slight and relatively unimportant. But I assure you it is not. So-called Lordship salvation takes the fruit of the tree of salvation and makes it part of the root. It says until your life is fully surrendered to Christ as Lord you are not saved. In fact it says unless your life is fully surrendered to Christ as Lord you cannot be saved. And that belief removes the all-sufficiency of the Cross: by which I mean it in effect says Christ's sacrifice for our sins is insufficient to remove our sins, inadequate to fully redeem us, incomplete as regarding our salvation. It says that we have a role to play in our salvation, that the blood of the Lamb on it's own cannot cause the death angel to pass over us. It says that Christ's finished work by itself cannot transfer us from the domain of darkness to the Kingdom of God's dear Son, cannot redeem us, cannot provide forgiveness of our sins, cannot do that which Colossians 1:13-14 says it does. And not just that passage in Colossians, but so many passages throughout the New Testament.

Lordship salvation makes obedience to God's commands a foundation for our salvation. But there is just one foundation: Christ's all-sufficient work on the Cross. That alone is the foundation. Everything flows from that. And the fruit of that sacrifice is bestowed upon all who accept that sacrifice by faith in its sufficiency.

Satan is very subtil (to use a great King James word): he is a master at taking the truth of Scripture and making it a lie. With some of us he uses the idea of reverence for God and His holiness to persuade us of our inability to approach Him without perfect respect for His sovereignty and the obedience it necessitates. With others he uses our human feeling that we need to do something as part of salvation, that somehow we need to show God we are sincere, that we have to do something to earn His approval. But there is absolutely nothing God requires of us other than a change of our innermost way of thinking-- turning from our ideas and our ways toward Him and His truth. That is repentance. And when we do that, we see that we are helpless on our own, that we need a savior, that we are hopeless without one --undone and doomed for eternity-- that God has provided one for us although we in no way deserve one, and all we have to do is believe in that Savior, that He came in the flesh, lived a perfect life and thus paid the price we could never pay to remove the sin debt we owed which kept us separated from God and that, because the grave could not hold Him, He set us free not just from sin but from its penalty-- death.

Dan, it is either all of Him, or it is none of Him. As Paul said in Galatians 2:21-- "I do not set aside --I do not frustrate, I do not set at naught-- the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the Law, then Christ died for nothing." And make no mistake, Lordship salvation is a form of law. It is making our salvation contingent on our obedience to the commandments of God. And that, my friend, is another gospel. So, while on the surface Lordship Salvation may appear to be what the New Testament teaches, it is not. It is another gospel, a gospel that makes us a key part of our salvation. And we are not.

The Bible tells us that even our most righteous deeds are filthy rags in God's sight. (And if you understood what the term translated "filthy rags" actually meant, you would truly understand how repugnant even our very best efforts are to God.) No, brother, salvation is of God. It comes from Him alone, as the psalmist tells us in Psalm 3:8, 37:39, and 62:1. Let us not try to make ourselves anything more than helpless and grateful recipients of His gift to us. And then let us continually pray to Him to make us obedient to His will, fulfilling the desire that salvation gives us, namely to please Him in all our ways. That is where His Lordship comes in. It is worked out in us step by step, converting our desire into reality, as we progressively surrender to His will.

I pray this helps.
 

sawas

Well-Known Member
I read the link. It sounds really close to what we believe. I guess I dont understand the difference. They seem a bit more hardcore, but say many of the same things I hear in normal churches or conversations. The only difference seems to be they think far fewer people will be allowed into Heaven and someone cant just say they believe and go to Heaven. Is LS drastically different than we believe? I don't know enough about it to say one way or the other. I know that if you truly believe, you are saved. That's all my feeble mind understands.
I think that your observations are quite understandable. In my view, LS proponents (and Calvinists, more generally) always "say many of the same things", which lead us to think that we're all on the same page in regards to the gospel. Moreover, their "hardcore" stances, as you correctly put it, lend a semblance of credibility (even a perceived "holiness") that most believers - in their humility - would, themselves, be unwilling to express. It is in this characterization, I think, that you're likely to find a meaningful signpost.

At its root, this is the very same error made by the Pharisees, with whom Jesus took great exception, so frequently calling them out for hypocrisy that, in my view, it is a virtual synonym for their legalism. It is a tradition that is today thriving in many denominations, with modern proponents rightfully, I think described as "false prophets" and "wolves in sheep's clothing" per Matthew 7:15. Hypocrisy is the essence of this deception. Do they imagine that they are being obedient to Matthew 5:48? Seriously?

It does, of course, require close (scriptural) examination to reveal just how the differences in their (LS) beliefs - logically and necessarily - alter the fundamental meaning of those "same words". Don't let this (or your "feeble mind", lol) discourage you. The Holy Spirit will guide and protect you this endeavor to avoid deception.

So, this issue has been cropping up in my own life rather frequently of late. As I cited in another recent post here, an on-going discussion with my brother regarding a quote of Francis Chan's from his book "Crazy Love" might serve to illustrate the problem:

Quote: “Jesus said, ‘If you love me, you will obey what I command’ (John 14:15). And our question quickly becomes even more unthinkable: Can I go to heaven without truly and faithfully loving Jesus? I don’t see anywhere in Scripture how the answer to that question could be yes.”

Sounds quite reasonable, right? As I noted in that other post, my brother considers it to be "hair splitting" to suggest that an authentic (or "true", whatever they mean by that) believer could somehow fail to "faithfully" love Jesus, skirting the issue of how that love is expected to develop as our relationship with Jesus strengthens. The core issue, really, is that the assurance of our salvation comes 100% from Jesus "truly and faithfully loving us", rather than the other way around.

Our very best efforts towards obedience count for nothing as a matter of salvation (as well explained by @mattfivefour in the above post). Don't let them tell you differently.
 
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PhilR

Well-Known Member
Repentance is more than a change of mind. It’s turning from sin.
Ok, Deovindice. It's been a while, and I think I will take issue with what you say about Ray Comfort not being Lordship Salvation and about your misunderstanding of the meaning of repentance. First let me say if repentance has only to do with sin then God sure did a lot of repenting in the Bible. Surely, He was not repenting of his sins of which he had none. A classic example of the correct meaning of "repent" is found in Matt. 21: 28-29. The Parable of the two sons. Jesus said, "But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented and went." "Repented" indicates no action other than a change of mind. The only action was he "went. " We assume to work in the vineyard.

Repenting in terms of salvation does involve a change of mind about God and who he is, and his Son as ones Lord and Savior, and seeing ones self as a terrible sinner in need of a Savior. This is what lead me, in 1975, to repent-that is trust Christ and his saving work at Calvary to take away ALL my sins and give me eternal life. It is in believing, not in confessing our sins, that we are forgiven all our sins since only the shed blood and death of Christ can take away ones sins.

Let me say, all Calvinists are LS since they insist on perseverance of the saints to be saved, but not all LS'er are Calvinists, so I'm not sure if RC is a Calvinist. But he is definitely LS. Also a key teaching of Calvinism, and maybe also LS, is the false doctrine that the free gift is not grace and salvation, but instead the faith to believe it. To them, this "faith gift" reserved for the elect.

Ray Comfort erroneously insists on the necessity for what can be called "cause of conversion", or "process of conversion.". In other words, there must be a proper cause or process of conversion plus faith in the gospel of salvation. Something indeed has caused each of us to come to faith in Christ such as, our sinfulness, unworthiness, the fact we are lost sinners, fear of hell ( I will say all these lead me to the cross of Christ that washed away all my sins) . But it's not what caused us to come to faith in Christ, but what saved us, that is, the fact that we did come to faith in Christ for salvation, not how we got there. It's not about contrition, or "woe is me", or if I say the right words in the right order, or follow the "ABC's" of salvation, or "The Roman Road"...…... It is instead about simply believing the good news of our salvation that Christ has already completely accomplished for us and has provided for us as a free gift, if we are simply willing to accept by faith his finished work at Calvary on our behalf. You don't have to "ask Him into your heart," you simply have to accept by faith his free gift of salvation.
Ray Comfort insists that is just too simple; that redemption must be the result of faith in Christ accompanied by a whole process of sorrow for sin, and forsaking of personal sins, and a sincere commitment to live a godly Christlike life, making him Lord of your life. And he says all these are necessary for a person to be acceptable to God for salvation. They call all this by their twisted, reinvented, "revival fire" bogus theological word, "REPENT!!!!!!!" Of course, they ignore its true meaning in the New Testament Greek which simply means to change ones mind (metanoia). Over the centuries preachers and teachers have managed to dupe their flocks into believing repentance is a process of shame and sorrow to get people on an endless treadmill of earning their way to heaven by forsaking their sins and doing enough good works and consistently making Christ Lord of ones life.. This is the false gospel of faith plus works that Paul condemns in Galatians 1, and elaborates on in Galatians 3.
Here is the true gospel by which we are eternally saved: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and he rose again from the dead. (See 1 Cor 15: 1-4; Eph 1: 12-`14). This gospel, this good news IS our salvation plus NOTHING else added. Christ did it all and paid it all, and all we have to do is accept it for ourselves by faith plus nothing else. Anyone who adds anything to this gospel like works, or making Christ Lord of ones life, or turning from sins is perverting the gospel of salvation. Ray Comfort and other LS'ers pervert this gospel by adding requirements telling people they must also start doing good works, turning from their sins, and making Christ Lord of their lives to be saved. Paul has a warning for these false gospel teaching LS'ers like MacArthur and Ray Comfort in Galatians 1: 6-9 which says, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called your into the grace of Christ unto another gospel. Which is not another; but there be some who trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I again, If any man preach any gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." According to this passage, are Ray Comfort, John MacArthur, and other Lordship Salvationists preaching "another perverted" gospel?
 
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Eric Nicholas

Well-Known Member
Ok, Deovindice. It's been a while, and I think I will take issue with what you say about Ray Comfort not being Lordship Salvation and about your misunderstanding of the meaning of repentance. First let me say if repentance has only to do with sin then God sure did a lot of repenting in the Bible. Surely, He was not repenting of his sins of which he had none. A classic example of the correct meaning of "repent" is found in Matt. 21: 28-29. The Parable of the two sons. Jesus said, "But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented and went." "Repented" indicates no action other than a change of mind. The only action was "he went. " Let me say, all Calvinists are LS since they insist on perseverance of the saints, but not all LS'er are Calvinists, so I'm not sure if RC is a Calvinist. But he is definitely LS.

Ray Comfort erroneously insists on the necessity for what can be called "cause of conversion", or "process of conversion.". In other words, there must be a proper cause or process of conversion plus faith in the gospel of salvation. Something indeed has caused each of us to come to faith, whether it is our sins, unworthiness, lostness, fear of hell.........But it's not what caused us to come to faith in Christ, but what saved us, that is, the fact that we did come to faith in Christ for salvation, not how we got there. It's not about contrition, or "woe is me", or if I say the right words in the right order, or follow the "ABC's" of salvation, or "The Roman Road"...…... It is instead about simply believing the good news of our salvation that Christ has already completely accomplished for us and has provided for us as a free gift, if we are simply willing to accept by faith his finished work at Calvary on our behalf. You don't have to "ask Him into your heart," you simply have to accept by faith his free gift of salvation.
Ray Comfort insists that is just too simple; that redemption must be the result of faith in Christ accompanied by a whole process of sorrow for sin, and forsaking of personal sins, and a sincere commitment to live a godly Christlike life, making him Lord of your life. And he says all these are necessary for a person to be acceptable to God for salvation. They call all this by their twisted, reinvented, "revival fire" bogus theological word, "REPENT!!!!!!!" Of course, they ignore its true meaning in the New Testament Greek which simply means to change ones mind (metanoia). Over the centuries preachers and teachers have managed to dupe their flocks into believing repentance is a process of shame and sorrow to get people on an endless treadmill of earning their way to heaven by forsaking their sins and doing enough good works and consistently making Christ Lord of ones life.. This false doctrine has other names: Galatianism, legalism, and Phariseeism.
This is what Ray Comfort, as well as John MacArthur, Kirk Cameron, and others insist is necessary for salvation. And Paul gives a severe warning about their false LS gospel of works in Galatians 1. Eternal Salvation is not really a free gift to them: it must be earned or merited by a person. And I know this may displease some here, but there is one more lordship salvationist: the late Billy Graham, as well as his son Franklin.. They both insisted that simply believing the gospel is not enough to get to heaven.
I love when false doctrine is obliterated. Good on you!
 

SafReb

Well-Known Member
Not quite. It IS a change of mind: a COMPLETE change of mind, which includes changing one's mind about God, self, AND sin. It involves a 180° change of direction in one's life. But while it is a complete change in attitude and, thus, direction, it is not a completed change in attitude and direction. In other words it is the START of something new.

It is a WILLINGNESS to go God's way, to see changes in one's life bringing us into conformity to God's will and His ways. Now we desire to please God and not to sin. And it is that desire that God sees. The actual working out of that desire is not what we do but what God does. God takes pleasure in our willingness and begins His work of changing us-- what we call sanctification. It is progressive, and bridges the entire period between the two fixed and instantaneous "bookends" of salvation and glorification.

So metanoia the Word we translate as "repentance" means a change of attitude, not necessarily a change of performance. That will come.
Thank you - I really like your feedback on this subject. Just wanted to add that I heard a statement today that "conversion is instant but sainthood is a lifetime".
 

PhilR

Well-Known Member
I love when false doctrine is obliterated. Good on you!
Hi Eric, I'm afraid it's not easy to obliterate when were are going against principalities and powers of the air. But we can use the full armor of God to expose false gospels and man-made false doctrines like loadship salvation and Calvinsim. ( Eph 6: 11-17)
 
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PhilR

Well-Known Member
Thank you - I really like your feedback on this subject. Just wanted to add that I heard a statement today that "conversion is instant but sainthood is a lifetime".
Not sure I exactly agree with that. Conversion and sainthood are instant, and then we spent a lifetime as saints who have been raised with Christ to new and everlasting life. Instead of our flawed and imperfect righteousness, we have been given the imputed, perfect righteousness of Christ. We receive that the moment we are saved and it is forever ours, and this perfect imputed righteousness is the only thing that makes us forever acceptable to God. God sees his Son in his saved saints because we have received the righteousness of Christ. And we grow in grace; not into grace, in our walk and works. (2 Cor 5:14-21; Gal 2:20-21; Eph 2:1-10; Col 3:1-17)
 
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SafReb

Well-Known Member
Not sure I exactly agree with that. Conversion and sainthood are instant, and then we spent a lifetime as saints who have been raised with Christ to new and everlasting life. Instead of our flawed and imperfect righteousness, we have been given the imputed, perfect righteousness of Christ. We receive that the moment we are saved and it is forever ours, and this perfect imputed righteousness is the only thing that makes us forever acceptable to God. God sees his Son in his saved saints because we have received the righteousness of Christ. And we grow in grace; not into grace, in our walk and works. (2 Cor 5:14-21; Gal 2:20-21; Eph 2:1-10; Col 3:1-17)
I agree with you. I am not saying that those of us who are born again are not saints but that we are not perfect. The Bible teaches that, while we are in the flesh, we will always struggle with a sin nature (see Romans 7:14–24). No one will be “perfect” (sinless) until we reach heaven.
 
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