What Is Faith? by John W. Robbins
September 20, 2012, 2:58 pm
Filed under: John W. Robbins

The following appears as the preface to a book review by John Robbins.  It is reprinted here with kind permission from the Trinity Foundation.

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Long before neo-orthodox theologians thought of saying that faith is an encounter with a divine person rather than assent to a proposition, preachers who ought to have known better taught that faith is trust in a person, not belief in a creed. This writer, when a teenager, was told that some people would miss Heaven by twelve inches-the distance between the head and the heart-because they believed the Gospel with their heads but not with their hearts. Today it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is to find a minister-a conservative minister- who does not believe and teach that one must have a “personal relationship” with Christ in order to be saved. But what that “personal relationship” consists of is either not made explicit or, when made explicit, contradicts what the Bible teaches about saving faith. The result is that non-Christians are either needlessly confused or deliberately misled. Perhaps the world is not responding to our message because we have garbled the message. Neither we, nor they, know exactly what to do to have eternal life. Continue reading

Many Will Say, ‘Lord, Lord!’
September 19, 2012, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Gospel, Law/Gospel Distinction, Works Righteousness

written by Christopher Macfarlane

For a long time, I had a particular testimony I would often give. It would go something like this:

“I used to live for myself. Although I would say Jesus died for my sins, I didn’t live like I believed it. One day I was driving home from college, when all of a sudden, the words of Jesus in Matthew 7 came to mind. They left me white-knuckled as I gripped the wheel of my car. They were the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ I thought about my life, and how riddled with sin it was. I was a worker of iniquity. I needed to do the will of God or I would go to hell.” Continue reading

The Antinomian
September 10, 2012, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Antinomianism

by David Bishop

1 Corinthians 15:56  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

The Corinthians were under the impression that the most efficient way to overcome the power of sin was for God to remove the imperative demands of His law.  In other words, if there is no more law, then there is no more law to violate, and therefore, violation of the law can no longer be charged to me.

The problem with this is that it is actually a form of self righteousness.  If there is no law anymore, then I live not because God charged Christ’s righteousness to me, but rather because there is no more law that I can violate.  I’ve earned my right to resurrection, you see.  Why should God raise me from the dead?  Because I have violated no law, for there is no law to violate.

An Antinomian is someone who believes that Christ satisfied the penalty for His people’s guilt by dismissing God’s law in His death, rather than by satisfying the law’s just demand for His people’s death.  In such a system, assurance is found not in Christ’s death for His people, but rather in one’s self righteous claim that he can no longer violate God’s law.   In other words, how do you know Christ has effectually secured your salvation?  Answers the Antinomian, “Because all things are now lawful for me.” Continue reading

The Gospel Is Not 1 Corinthians 15
August 7, 2012, 11:00 am
Filed under: 1 Corinthians 15, Gospel

by David Bishop

1 Corinthians 15:1-7  Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the world I preached to you – unless you believed in vain.   For I delivered to you as of first important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of who are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.

It is sometimes argued that 1 Corinthians 15 contains all the essential core doctrines of the gospel.  From this notion it is maintained that a believer is someone who agrees with the eyewitness account of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, while everything else is just icing on the cake. Continue reading

When Secondary Issues Become Primary
July 25, 2012, 11:20 am
Filed under: Milk and Meat
by Scott Price

“For I am determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”   I Corinthians 2:2

The gospel of Christ is the message condensed within the whole of Scripture that shines forth in predominance and should be our primary concern. The gospel is the message declaring how God was glorified by the Person and work of Jesus Christ as He saved guilty sinners. All other issues in the Scripture are of secondary importance when put next to the gospel. When a church body gathers for fellowship and worship it must be done with the primary focus on gospel issues not secondary or side issues. In other words we are not to major on the minors. If someone believes the same gospel we do there should be no problem with them worshiping together with us. This means even if they do have differences in side issues like church government, millennial views, social differences, musical preferences, liberty issues, etc., we can still focus together in worship in a gospel context and get along fine. Continue reading

Are We Dogmatic or In Doubt?
July 17, 2012, 4:09 pm
Filed under: Assurance, Dogmatism, Doubt, Tolerant Calvinism

by Scott Price

Are we dogmatic about the gospel or are we in doubt? Are we hot, cold, or lukewarm? Are we sure about the truth and have burned our bridges with false religion or do we want to “cover all the bases” by “leaving our options opened”?

 Consider the following excerpt from a letter, one of many, I wrote to this person who believed in a universal atonement:

“The Christ I love is the One you hate. The christ you love is the one I hate. We do not have two different views of the same God, I have a different God than you. He is precious to me and you despise Him. The christ that died for all and most are in Hell, I despise. As a matter of fact I spit on his grave because that is where a failed christ would still be (Romans 4:25). The bridges of false religion in my life have been burned down and cannot or will not be rebuilt. It would be like going back into the burning building I just came out of. ” Continue reading

Are Some Christians Not “Gospel Wakeful”?
July 17, 2012, 4:05 pm
Filed under: Gospel, Tolerant Calvinism

by Mark Mcculley

I Corinthians 5:20—“we implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

As ambassadors FOR Christ, we command all who hear, “’be ye reconciled”.  Even though II Cor 5 is addressed to Christians only, the message taken by Christians to the lost is not for the elect only.  The “be ye reconciled” is for those who have not yet been already justified.

Some “high Calvinists” don’t have a category for lost elect people.   They would tell you that you were never lost, but that you only didn’t know you were already saved. Continue reading