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The aberrant pseudo-Christian cults are united against grace and faith alone for justification/salvation.

Spend some time in a Christian debate or discussion community for awhile and you will learn a few things. First and foremost is that there are so many different ways that people believe and teach about certain biblical topics. For those who are NOT well studied and versed on what is and what is not orthodox Christianity can get confused easily. There are only two groups of Christians. Those who adhere to orthodox teachings and those that hold heterodox or aberrant heretical teachings. The difference is that between true Christianity and Pseudo-Christian cults.

While the vast and flagrant differences of the cults on various doctrines and teachings is the first and most obvious thing that a participant or a lurker in those type forums will learn, the most prominent theme and common denominator among them is their united assault against salvation by grace alone, through faith alone. While most cults claim to be the only true church and the only ecclesiastic outlet of salvation, all cults stand united in denying that salvation is by grace apart from works.

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1. So “what is justification?”

First we must define salvation. I believe that salvation is best defined as a rescue operation. Salvation: Strong’s G4991 sōtēria Feminine of a derivative of G4990 as (properly abstract) noun; rescue or safety (physically or morally): – deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.
Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
Job 9:20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.
Let us notice that Job equates being justified with God as being perfect and clean (just, holy, righteous) and proposes a rhetorical question; “how can he be clean that is born of a woman?”. This shows that he IS NOT clean and CANNOT be cleaned or cleansed by his own self effort. “Born of a woman” here indicates both our sinful (fallen) nature which produces personal sin and the imputation of Adam’s sin to us. Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Vodpod videos no longer available. Semon #233
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 9th, 1859, by the
REV. C. H. SPURGEON
At the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.

 

 

 

Free Grace

 

 

Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.” – Ezekiel 36:32.

There are two sins of man that are bred in the bone, and that continually come out in the flesh. One is self-dependence and the other is self-exaltation. It is very hard, even for the best of men, to keep themselves from the first error. The holiest of Christians, and those who understand best the gospel of Christ, find in themselves a constant inclination to look to the power of the creature, instead of looking to the power of God and the power of God alone. Over and over again, Holy Scripture has to remind us of that which we never ought to forget, that salvation is God’s work from first to last, and is not of man, neither by man. But so it is, this old error – that we are to save ourselves, or that we are to do something in the matter of salvation – always rises up, and we find ourselves continually tempted by it to step aside from the simplicity of our faith in the power of the Lord our God. Why, even Abraham himself was not free from the great error of relying upon his own strength. God had promised to him that He would give him a son – Isaac, the child of promise. Abraham believed it, but at last, weary with waiting, he adopted the carnal expedient of taking to himself Hagar, to wife, and he fancied that Ishmael would most certainly be the fulfillment of God’s promise; but instead of Ishmael’s helping to fulfill the promise, he brought sorrow unto Abraham’s heart, for God would not have it that Ishmael should dwell with Isaac. “Cast out,” said the Scripture, “the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.” Now we, in the matter of salvation, are apt to think that God is tarrying long in the fulfillment of His promise, and we set to work ourselves to do something, and what do we do?sink ourselves deeper in the mire and pile up for ourselves a store of future troubles and trials. Do we not read that it grieved Abraham’s heart to send Ishmael away? Ah! and many a Christian has been grieved by those works of nature which he accomplished with the design of helping the God of grace. Oh, beloved, we shall find ourselves very frequently attempting the foolish task of assisting Omnipotence and teaching the Omniscient One.

Instead of looking to grace alone to sanctify us, we find ourselves adopting Philosophic rules and principles which we think will effect the Divine work. We shall but mar it; we shall bring grief into our own spirits. But if, instead thereof, we in every work look up to the God of our salvation for help, and strength, and grace, and succor, then our work will proceed to our own joy and comfort, and to God’s glory. That error, then, I say is in our bone, and will always dwell with us, and hence it is that the words of the text are put as an antidote against that error. It is distinctly stated in our text that salvation is of God. “Not for your sakes do I this.” He says nothing about what we have done or can do. All the preceding and all the succeeding verses speak of what God does. “I will take you from among the heathen.” “I will sprinkle clean water upon you.” “I will give you a new heart.” “I will put my Spirit within you.” It is all of God: therefore, again recall to our recollection this doctrine, and give up all dependence upon our own strength and power.

The other error to which man is very prone, is that of relying upon his own merit. Though there is no righteousness in any man, yet in every man there is a proneness to truth in some fancied merit. Strange that it should be so, but the most reprobate characters have yet some virtue as they imagine, upon which they rely. You will find the most abandoned drunkard pride himself that he is not a swearer. You will find the blaspheming drunkard pride himself that at least he is honest. You will find men with no other virtue in the world, exalt what they imagine to be a virtue – the fact that they do not profess to have any; and they think themselves to be extremely excellent, because they have honesty or rather impudence enough to confess that they are utterly vile. Somehow the human mind clings to human merit; it always will hold to it, and when you take away everything upon which you think it could rely, in less than a moment it fashions some other ground for confidence out of itself. Human nature with regard to its own merit, is like the spider, it bears its support in its own bowels, and it seems as if it would keep spinning on to all eternity. You may brush down one web, but it soon forms another, you may take the thread from one place, and you will find it clinging to your finger, and when you seek to brush it down with one hand you find it clinging to the other. It is hard to get rid of; it is ever ready to spin its web and bind itself to some false ground of trust. It is against all human merit that I am this morning going to speak, and I feel that I shall offend a great many people here. I am about to preach a doctrine that is gall and vinegar to flesh and blood, one that will make righteous moralists gnash their teeth, and make others go away and declare that I am an Antinomian, and perhaps scarcely fit to live. However, that consequence is one which I shall not greatly deplore, if connected with it there should be in other hearts a yielding to this glorious truth, and a giving up to the power and grace of God, who will never save us, unless we are prepared to let Him have all the glory.

First, I shall endeavor to expound at large the doctrine contained in this text; in the next place I shall endeavour to show its force and truthfulness; and then in the third place I shall seek God’s Holy Spirit to apply the useful, practical lessons which are to be drawn from it.

I. I shall endeavour to EXPOUND THIS TEXT. “Not for your sakes do I this saith the Lord God.” The motive for the salvation of the human race is to be found in the breast of God, and not in the character or condition of man. Two races have revolted against God – the one angelic, the other human. When a part of this angelic race revolted against the Most High, justice speedily overtook them; they were swept from their starry seats in Heaven, and henceforth they have been reserved in darkness unto the great day of the wrath of God. No mercy was ever presented to them, no sacrifice ever offered for them; but they were without hope and mercy, forever consigned to the pit of eternal torment. The human race, far inferior in order of intelligence, sinned as atrociously; at any rate, if the sins of manhood that we have heard of be put together and rightly weighed, I can scarcely understand how even the sins of devils could be much blacker than the sin of mankind. However, the God who in His infinite justice passed over angels, and suffered them forever to expiate their offences in the fires of hell, was pleased to look down on man. Here was election on a grand scale; the election of manhood, and the reprobation of fallen angelhood. What was the reason for it? The reason was in God’s mind, an inscrutable reason which we do not know, and which if we knew probably we could not understand. Had you and I been put upon the choice of which should have been spared, I do think it probable we should have chosen that fallen angels should have been saved. Are they not the brightest? Have they not the greatest mental strength? If they had been redeemed, would it not have glorified God more, as we judge, than the salvation of worms like ourselves? Those bright beings – Lucifer, son of the morning, and those stars that walked in his train – if they had been washed in His redeeming blood, if they had been saved by sovereign mercy, what a song would they have lifted up to the Most High and everlasting God! But God, who doeth as He wills with His own, and giveth no account of His matters, but who deals with His creatures as the potter deals with his clay, took not upon Him the nature of angels, but took upon Him the seed of Abraham, and chose men to be the vessels of His mercy. This fact we know, but where is its reason? certainly not in man. “Not for your sakes do I this. O house of Israel, be ashamed and be confounded for your own ways.”

Here, very few men object. We notice that if we talk about the election of men and the non-election of fallen angels, there is not a cavil for a moment. Every man approves of Calvinism till he feels that he is the loser by it; but when it begins to touch his own bone and his own flesh then he kicks against it. Come, then, we must go further. The only reason why one man is saved, and not another, lies not, in any sense, in the man saved, but in God’s bosom. The reason why this day the gospel is preached to you and not the heathen far away, is not because, as a race, we are superior to the heathen; it is not because we deserve more at God’s hands; His choice of Britain, in the election of outward privilege, is not caused by the excellency of the British nation, but entirely because of His own mercy and His own love. There is not reason in us why we should have the gospel preached to us more than any other nation. Today, some of us have received the gospel, and have been changed by it, and have become the heirs of light and immorality, whereas others are left still to be the heirs of wrath. But there is no reason in us why we should have been taken and others left.

“There was nothing in us to merit esteem,
Or give the Creator delight.
‘Twas ‘Even so, Father!’ we ever must sing,
Because it seem’d good in thy sight.”

And now, let us review this doctrine at length. We are taught in Holy Scripture that, long before this world was made, God foreknew and foresaw all the creatures He intended to fashion; and there and then foreseeing that the human race would fall into sin, and deserve His anger, determined, in His own sovereign mind, that an immense portion of the human race should be His children, and should be brought to Heaven. As to the rest, He left them to their own deserts. to sow the wind and reap the whirlwind, to scatter crime and inherit punishment. Now, in the great decree of election, the only reason why God selected the vessels of mercy must have been because He would do it. There was nothing in any one of them which caused God to choose them. We all were alike, all lost, all ruined by the fall; all without the slightest claim upon His mercy; all, in fact, deserving His utmost vengeance. His choice of any one, and His choice of all His people, are causeless, so far as anything in them was concerned. It was the effect of His sovereign will, and of nothing which they did, could do, or even would do; for thus saith the text: “Not for your sakes do I this, O house of Israel!”

As for the fruit of our election, in due time Christ came into this world, and purchased with His blood all those whom the Father hath chosen. Now come ye to the cross of Christ; bring this doctrine with you, and remember that the only reason why Christ gave up His life to be a ransom for His sheep was because He loved His people, but there was nothing in His people that made Him die for them. I was thinking as I came here this morning, if any man should imagine that the love of God to us was caused by anything in us, it would be as if a man should look into a well to find the springs of the ocean, or dig into an anthill to find an Alp. The love of God is so immense, so boundless and so infinite, that you cannot conceive for a moment that it could have been caused by anything in us. The little good that is in us – the no good that is in us – for there is none, could not have caused the boundless, bottomless, shoreless, summitless love which God manifests to His people. Stand at the foot of the cross, ye merit-mongers, ye that delight in your own works; and answer this question: Do you think that the Lord of life and glory could have been brought down from Heaven, could have been fashioned like a man, and have been led to die through any merit of yours? Shall these sacred veins be opened with any lancet less sharp than His own infinite love? Do you conceive that your poor merits, such as they are, could be so efficacious as to nail the Redeemer to the tree, and make Him bend His shoulders beneath the enormous load of the world’s guilt? You cannot imagine it. The consequence is so great, compared with what you suppose to be the case, that your logic fails in a moment. You may conceive that a coral insect rears a rock by its multitude, and by its many years of working; but you cannot conceive that all the accumulated merits of manhood, if there were such things, could have brought the Eternal from the throne of His majesty, and bowed Him to the death of the cross: that is a thing as clearly impossible to any thoughtful mind, as impossibility can be. No; from the cross comes the cry – “Not for your sakes do I this, O house of Israel.”

After Christ’s death, there comes, in the next place, the work of the Holy Spirit. Those whom the Father hath chosen, and whom the Son has redeemed, in due time the Holy Spirit calls “out of darkness into marvelous light.” Now, the calling of the Holy Spirit is without any regard to any, merit in us. If this day the Holy Spirit shall call out of this congregation a hundred men, and bring them out of their estate of sin into a state of righteousness, you shall bring these hundred men, and let them march in review, and if you could read their hearts, you would be compelled to say, “I see no reason why the Spirit of God should have operated upon these. I see nothing whatever that could have merited such grace as this – nothing that could have caused the operations and motions of the Spirit to work in these men.” For, look ye here. By nature, men are said to be dead in sin. If the Holy Spirit quickens, it cannot be because of any power in the dead men, or any merit in them, for they are dead, corrupt and rotten in the grave of their sin. If then, the Holy Spirit says, “Come forth and live,” it is not because of anything in the dry bones, it must be for some reason in His own mind, but not in us. Therefore, know ye this, men and brethren, that we all stand upon a level. We have none of us anything that can recommend us to God; and if the Spirit shall choose to operate in our hearts unto salvation, He must be moved to do it by His own supreme love, for He cannot be moved to do it by any good will, good desire, or good deed, that dwells in us by nature.

To go a little further: this truth, which holds good so far, holds good all the way. God’s people, after they are called by grace, are preserved in Christ Jesus; they are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation;” they are not suffered to sin away their eternal inheritance, but as temptations arise they have strength given with which to encounter them, and as sin blackens them they are washed afresh, and again cleansed. But mark, the reason why God keeps His people is the same as that which made them His people – His own free sovereign grace. If, my brother, you have been delivered in the hour of temptation, pause and remember that you were not delivered for your own sake. There was nothing in you that deserved the deliverance. If you have been fed and supplied in your hour of need, it is not because you have been a faithful servant of God, nor because you have been a prayerful Christian; it is simply and only because of God’s mercy. He is not moved to anything He does for you by anything .that you do for Him; His motive for blessing you lies wholly and entirely in the depths of His own bosom. Blessed be God, His people shall be kept.

“Nor death, nor Hell shall e’er remove
His favourites from His breast;
In the dear bosom of His love
They must forever rest.”

But why? Because they are holy? Because they are sanctified? Because they serve God with good works? No, but because he in his sovereign grace has loved them, does love them, and will love them, even to the end.

And to conclude my exposition of this text. This shall hold good in Heaven itself. The day is coming when every blood-bought, blood-washed child of God shall walk the golden streets arrayed in white. Our hands shall soon bear the palm; our ears shall be delighted with celestial melodies, and our eyes filled with the transporting visions of God’s glory. But mark, the only reason why God shall bring us to Heaven shall be His own love, and not because we deserved it. We must fight the fight, but we do not win the victory because we fight it; we must labour, but the wage at the days’ end shall be a wage of grace, and not a debt. We must honour God here, looking for the recompense of the reward; but that recompense will not be given on a legal ground, because we merited it, but given to us entirely because God had loved us, for no reason that was in us. When you and I and each of us shall enter Heaven, our song shall be, “Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name be all the glory;” and that shall be true, it shall not be a mere exaggeration of gratitude. It shall be true; we shall be compelled to sing it, because we could not sing anything else. We shall feel that we did nothing, and that we were nothing, but that God did it all – that we had nothing in us to be the motive of his doing it, but that His motive lay in Himself; therefore unto Him shall be every particle of the honour forever and ever.

Now, this, I take it, is the meaning of the text; distasteful it is to the great majority, even of professing Christians in this age. It is a doctrine that requires a great deal of salt, or else few people will receive it. It is very unsavory to them. However, there It stands. “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” His truth we must preach, and this we must proclaim. Salvation is “not of men, neither by man; not of the will of the flesh, nor of blood,” nor of birth, but of the sovereign will of God, and God alone.

II. And now, in the second place, I have to ILLUSTRATE AND ENFORCE THIS TEXT.

Consider a moment man’s character. It will humble us, and it will tend to confirm this truth in our minds. Let me take an illustration. I will consider man as a criminal. He certainly is such in the sight of God, and I shall not slander him. Suppose now that some great criminal is at last overtaken in his sin, and shut up in Newgate. He has committed high treason, murder, rebellion, and every possible iniquity. He has broken all the laws of the realm – every one of them. The public cry is everywhere – “This man must die; the laws cannot be maintained unless he shall be made an example of their rigour. He who beareth not the sword in vain must this time let the sword taste blood. The man must die; he richly deserves it.” You look through his character: you cannot see one solitary redeeming trait. He is an old offender; he has so long persevered in his iniquity that you are compelled to say, “The case is hopeless with this man; his crimes have such aggravation we cannot make an apology for him, even should we try. Not jesuitical cunning itself could devise any pretence of excuse, or any hope of a plea for this abandoned wretch; let him die!” Now, if her Majesty the Queen, having in her hands the sovereign power of life and death, chooses that this man shall not die, but that he shall be spared, do you not see as plain as daylight, that the only reason that can move her to spare that man, must be her own love, her own compassion? For, as I have supposed already that there is nothing in that man’s character that can be a plea for mercy, but that, contrariwise, his whole character cries aloud for vengeance against his sin. Whether we like it or not, this is just the truth concerning ourselves. This is just our character and position before God. Ah! my hearer, you may turn upon your heel, disgusted and offended; but there are some here who feel it to be solemnly true in their own experience, and they will therefore drink in the doctrine, for it is the only way whereby they can be saved. My hearer, your conscience perhaps is telling you this morning that you have sinned so heinously that there is not an inlet for a solitary ray of hope in your character. You have added to your sins this great one, that you have rebelled against the Most High wantonly and wickedly. If you have not committed all the sins in the calendar of crime, It has been because providence has stayed your hand, Your heart has been black enough for it all. You feel that the vileness of your imagination and desires has achieved the consummation of human guilt, and further you could not go. Your sins have prevailed against you, and have gone over your head. Now, man, the only ground upon which God can save you is His own love. He cannot save you because you deserve it, for you do not deserve it, because there is no excuse that might be made for your sin. No, you are without any excuse, and you feel it. Oh! bless His dear name, that He has devised this way, whereby He can save you upon the basis of His own sovereign love and unbounded grace, without anything in you. I want you to go back to Newgate again to this criminal. We suppose now that this criminal is visited by her Majesty in person. She goes to him, and she says to him, “Rebel, traitor, murderer, I have in my heart compassion for you; you deserve it not; but I am come this day to you, to tell you that if you repent you shall have mercy at my hands.” Suppose this man, springing up, should curse her – curse this angel of mercy to her face, spit upon her, and utter blasphemies, and imprecate curses upon her head. She retires; she is gone; but so great is her compassion, that the next day she sends a messenger, and days, and weeks, and months, and years, she continually sends messengers, and these go to him, and they say, “If you will repent of your transgressions you shall have mercy; not because you deserve it, but because her Majesty is compassionate, and out of her gracious soul she desires your salvation. Will you repent?” Suppose this man should curse at the messenger, stop his ears against the message, spit upon him, tell him he does not care for him at all. Or to suppose a better case – suppose he turns upon his seat and says, “I don’t care whether I am hanged or not; I’ll take my chance along with other people; I shall take no notice of you.” And suppose more than that, rising from his seat, he indulges again in all the crimes for which he has already been condemned, and plunges headlong afresh into the very sins which have brought his neck under the rope of the gallows. Now, if her Majesty would spare such a man as that, on what terms can she do it? You say, “Why, she cannot, unless she does it out of love; she cannot because of any merit in him, because such a beast as that ought to die.” And now what are you and I by nature but like this? And my unconverted hearer, what is this but a picture of you? Has not God Himself visited your conscience? and has He not said to you, “Sinner! come now, let us reason together; though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as wool.” And what have you done? Stopped your ear against the voice of conscience – cursed and swore at God, blasphemed His holy name, despised His Word, and railed against His ministers. And this day, again, with tears in his eyes, a servant of God is come to you, and his message is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved; as I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, but had rather that he should turn unto me and live.” And what will you do. Why, if left to yourselves you will laugh at the message – despise it. It will glance off from you like an arrow from a man that is girt about with mail, and you will go away to despise God again, as you have done before. Do you not see, then, that if God ever shall save you, it cannot be for your sakes; but must be from His own infinite love; it cannot be from any other reason, since you have rejected Christ, despised His gospel, trodden under foot the blood of Jesus, and have refused to be saved. If He saves you, it must be free grace, and free grace alone.

But now picture a little more about this criminal at Newgate. Not content with having added sin to sin, and having rejected mercy for himself, this wretch industriously employs himself in going round to all the cells where others are confined, and hardening their hearts also against the mercy of the Queen. He can scarce see a person but he begins to taint him with the blasphemy of his own heart; he utters injurious things against the majesty that spares him, and endeavours to make others as vile as himself. Now, what does justice say? If this man ought not to die on his own account, yet he ought to die for the sake of others; and if he be spared, is it not as plain as a pike – staff that he cannot be spared because of any reason in him? It must be because of the unconquerable compassion of the Sovereign. And now look you here: is not this the case of some here present? Not only do you sin yourselves, but lead others into sin? I know this was one of my plagues and torments, when first God brought me to Himself, that I have led others into temptation. Are there not men here that have taught others to swear? Are there not fathers here that have helped to destroy their own children’s souls? Are there not some of you that are like the deadly Upas tree? You stretch out your branches, and from every leaf there drops poison upon those who come beneath its deadly range. Are there not some here who have seduced the virtuous, that have misled those who were seemingly pious, and that are perhaps so hardened that they even glory in it? Not content with being damned yourselves, you are seeking to lead others to the pit also. Thinking it not enough yourselves to be at enmity with God, you want to imitate Satan by dragging others with you. O my hearer, is not this thy case? Does not thy heart confess it? And does not the tear flow down thy cheek? Remember, then, this must be true: if God shall save thee, it must be because He will do it. It cannot be because there is anything good in thee, for thou deservedst now to die, and if He spare thee it must be sovereign love and sovereign grace.

I will just use one other illustration, and then, I think I shall have made the text clear enough. There is not so much difference between black and a darker shade of black as there is between pure white and black. Every one can see that. Then there is not so much difference between man and the devil as there is between God and man. God is perfection; we are black with sin. The devil is only a darker shade of black; and great as may be the difference between our sin and the sin of Satan, yet it is not so great as the difference between the perfection of God and the imperfection of man. Now, imagine for a minute that somewhere in Africa there should be a tribe of devils living, that you and I had it in our power to save these devils from some threatened wrath which must overtake them. If you or I should go there and die to save those devils, what could be our motive? From what we know of the character of a devil, the only motive that could make us do that must be love. There could not be any other. It must be simply because we had such big hearts that we could even embrace fiends within them. Well, now, there is not so much difference between man and the devil as between God and man. If, then, the only motive that could make men save a devil must be man’s love, does it not follow with irresistible force, that the only motive that could lead God to save men must be God’s own love. At any rate, if that reason be not cogent the fact is indisputable – “Not for your sakes do I this, O house of Israel.” God sees us, abandoned, evil, wicked, and deserving His wrath; if He saves us, it is His boundless, fathomless love that leads Him to do it – nothing whatever in us.

III. And now, having thus preached this doctrine, and enforced it, I come to a very solemn PRACTICAL APPLICATION. And here may God the Holy Spirit help me labour with your hearts!

First, since this doctrine is true, how humble a Christian man ought to be. If thou be saved, thou hast had nought to do with it; God has done it. If thou be saved, thou hast not deserved it. It is mercy undeserved which thou hast received. I have sometimes been delighted when I have seen the gratitude of abandoned characters to any who have assisted them. I remember visiting a house of refuge. There was a poor girl there who had fallen into sin long, and when she found herself kindly addressed and recognized by society, and saw a Christian minister longing after her soul’s good, it broke her heart. What should a man of God care about her? she was so vile. How could it be that a Christian should speak to her? Ah! but how much more should that feeling rise in our hearts? My God! I have rebelled against thee, and yet thou hast loved me, unworthy me! How can it be? I cannot lift myself up with pride, I must bow down before Thee in speechless gratitude. Remember, my dear brethren, that not only is the mercy which you and I have received undeserved, but it was unasked. It is true you prayed, but not till free grace made you pray. You would have been, to this day, hardened in heart, without God, and without Christ, had not free grace saved you. Can you be proud then? – proud of mercy which, if I may use the term, has been forced upon you? – proud of grace which has been given you against your will, until your will was changed by sovereign grace? And think again. All the mercy you have you once refused, Christ sups with you; be not proud of His company. Remember, there was a day when He knocked, and you refused – when He came to the door and said, “My head is wet with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night; open to me, my beloved;” and you barred it in His face and would not let Him enter. Be not proud, then, of what thou hast, when thou rememberest that thou didst once reject Him. Does God embrace Thee in His arms of love? Remember, once thou liftedst up thine hand of rebellion against Him. Is thy name written in His book? Ah! there was a time when, if it had been in thy power, thou wouldst have erased the sacred lines that contained thine own salvation. Can we, dare we, lift up our wicked head with pride, when all these things should make us hang our heads down in the deepest humility? That is one lesson: let us learn another.

This doctrine is true, and therefore it should be a subject of the greatest gratitude. When meditating upon this text yesterday, the effect it had upon me was one of transport and joy. Oh! I thought, upon what other condition could I have been saved? And I looked back upon my past estate; I saw myself piously trained and educated, but revolting against all that. I saw a mother’s tears shed over me in vain, and a father’s admonition lost upon me, and yet I found myself saved by grace, and I could only say, “Lord, I bless Thee that it is by grace, for if it had been by merit I had never been saved. If thou hadst waited till there was something good in me, thou wouldst have waited till I sank into the hopeless perdition of hell, for good in man there never would have been, unless thou hadst first put it there.” And then I thought immediately, “Oh! how I could go and preach that to the poor sinner!” Ah! let me try if I cannot. O sinner! you say you dare not come to Christ because you have nothing to recommend you. He does not want anything to recommend you; He will not save you, if you have anything to recommend you, for His says, “Not for you sake do I this.” Go to Christ with earrings in your ears, and jewels upon you; wash your face, and array yourself with gold and silver, and go before Him and say, “Lord, save me; I have washed myself and clothed myself; save me!” “Get you gone! Not for your sakes will I do this.” Go to Him again, and say, “Lord, I have put a rope about my neck, and sackcloth about my loins; see how repentant I am, see how I feel my need; now save me!” “No,” saith He, “I would not save you on account of your flaunting robes, and now I will not save you because of your rags; I will save you for nothing about you; if I do save you, it will be from something in my heart, not from anything you feel. Get ye gone!” But if today you go to Christ and say, “Lord Jesus, there is no reason in the world why I should be saved – there is one in Heaven; Lord, I cannot urge any plea, I deserve to be lost, I have no excuse to make for all my sins, no apology to offer; Lord, I deserve it, and there is nothing in me why I should be saved, for if thou wouldst save me I should make but a poor Christian, after all; I fear that my future works will be no honour to Thee – I wish they could be, but thy grace must make them good, else they will still be bad. But, Lord, thou I have nothing to bring, and nothing to say for myself, I do say this: I have heard that thou hast come into the world to save sinners – O Lord, save me!

‘I the chief of sinners am.’

I confess I do not feel this as I ought, I do not mourn it as I ought; I have no repentance to recommend me; nay, Lord, I have no faith to recommend me either, for I do not believe thy promise as I ought; but oh! I cling to this text. Lord, thou hast said thou wilt not do it for my sake. I thank Thee thou hast said that. Thou couldst not do it for my sake, for I have no reason why thou shouldst. Lord, I claim thy gracious promise. ‘Be merciful to me, a sinner.”‘ Ah! you good people, this doctrine does not suit some of you; it is too humbling, is it not? You that have kept your churches regularly, and been to meetings so piously, you that never broke the Sabbath, or never swore an oath, or did anything wrong, this does not suit you. You say it will do very well to preach to harlots, and drunkards, and swearers, but it will not suit such good people as we are. Ah! well, this is your text – “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” You are “whole” – you are; you “need not a physician, but they that are sick.” Go your way. Christ came to save such as you are. You think you can save yourselves. Do it, and perish in the doing of it. But I feel that the same gospel that suits a harlot suits me, and that that free grace which saved Saul of Tarsus must save me, else I am never saved. Come, let us all go together. We are all guilty – some more, some less, but all hopelessly guilty. Let us go together to the footstool of His mercy, and though we dare not look up, let us lie there in the dust, and sigh out again, “Lord have mercy upon us for whom Jesus died.”

“Just as I am, without one plea,
But that thy blood was shed for me,
And that thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”

Sinner, come now; come now, I beseech thee; I entreat thee, come now. O Spirit of the living God, draw them now! Let these feeble weak words be the means of drawing souls to Christ. Will you reject my Master again? Will you go out of this house hardened once more? You may never again have such feelings as those which are aroused in your soul. Come, now, receive His mercy; now bend your willing necks to His yoke; and then I know you shall go away to taste His faithful love, and at last to sing in Heaven the song of the redeemed – “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, unto him be glory forever. Amen.”

“O thou great eternal Jesus,
High and mighty Prince of Peace,
How Thy wonders shine resplendent,
In the wonders of Thy grace:
Thy rich gospel scorns conditions,
Breathes salvation free as air;
Only breathes triumphant mercy,
Baffling guilt, and all despair.
“O the grandeur of the gospel,
How it sounds the cleansing blood;
Shows the bowels of a Saviour,
Shows the tender heart of God.
Only treats of love eternal,
Swells the all-abounding grace,
Nothing knows but life and pardon,
Full redemption, endless peace.”

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Sermons from the New Park Street Pulpit (1855-1860) by Charles Spurgeon.

http://www.mindofchrist.net/0008/0233.htm

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Church of Christ Heresies! DANGER: Wolves in the Sheep Pen!

by David J. Stewart

Baptismal Regeneration?

Church of God followers do NOT believe in simple FAITH in Jesus Christ to be saved; on the contrary, they most definitely demand that BAPTISM be added for one to be saved. I spoke at length recently with a Church of God minister who earned his degree from the Dallas Christian College. Dallas Christian College DOESN’T make it clear at all that they are indeed a Church of Christ college. Why are they deceptive about who they really are? What are they afraid to tell people? Click on their “Our Mission” link and see if Church of Christ is mentioned. It is NOT! By all indications, many Christian people would ignorantly think this was a great college to attend, but it certainly is NOT! It looks innocent enough on the surface doesn’t it? That’s the disguise they want you to see. I went to visit their website to read their statement of faith; as I suspected, it was vague. But as clever as the person tried to be who devised this statement of faith, it couldn’t escape the discernment of a spirit-filled believer, knowledgeable in the Word of God. The following quote is taken from their statement of faith:

“…the Church of the New Testament ought everywhere to be restored with its divine plan of admission: faith, repentance, and baptism…”

Did you read that? Did you see the heresy? Is baptism necessary for admission into the Church? No sir! The very moment you trust Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, asking Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart, you have been born-again and are a member of the body of Christ. Any fool who tells you that you have to be baptized to become a member of the church is LYING to you! Isn’t it something how misguided ministers will force you to get baptized to join THEIR church, but God accepts ANY repentant sinner into heaven. You do NOT have to be affiliated with any church, religious group or denomination to go to heaven -You just need Jesus! Jesus Himself proclaimed in John 14:6 that He was the ONLY way to the Father. John 10:9 clearly declares that Jesus Christ is the DOOR by which men and women enter into heaven. John 6:40 teaches that the will of God is to believe upon Christ.

As I spoke with this sincerely misguided minister, he explained the following order to me as being necessary for salvation:

HEAR

BELIEVE

REPENT

CONFESS

BAPTISM (uh oh! This is damnable heresy!)

I would agree with him up to the confession part, but not baptism!

“Repentance” is a turnaround (a change of mind about sin and God), not necessarily the departing from one’s sins. You DON’T have to give up your sins to be saved, you need to give up your unbelief. If we did have to give up our sins to be saved, then NO one could ever be saved because we are all sinners. Howbeit, the “godly sorrow” which brings repentance should result in a sincere desire to clean up our life with God’s help (2nd Corinthians 7:10).

“Confess” simply means “to admit the same thing as God.” God says we are sinners, and we must agree with that to be saved. God says we deserve to go to hell, and we must agree with that to be saved. God says that He sent His only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) into the world to pay for our sins, and we must agree with this to be saved.

But the baptism issue was an insurmountable barrier in our conversation, a Pandora’s box. He was adamant that Baptism was essential for a person to enter heaven. This of course is a lie of the devil, pure heresy! Though he condemns the Catholic religion for their teaching of “works” salvation through the keeping of the Seven Sacraments, he is utterly blinded to his own foolish perceptions about baptism. I flat out asked him what would happen to a person who made it to step 4, but didn’t get baptized at step 5? He honestly replied that he did NOT know! He stressed the fact that he felt SAFER by ADDING that extra step of baptism to his faith. Unfortunately, that is a sure road to hell-fire and destruction.

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” -Proverb 14:12

Faith in Christ ALONE equals salvation!

Faith in Christ PLUS anything equals hell!

If I said that I believed I could trust you with my money, that would NOT be faith (that would be optimism). If I entrust you with my money and ask someone to follow you (to keep an eye on you), that is NOT faith either. If I entrust you with my money and don’t take ANY precautions whatsoever, that is 100% faith. To add baptism to faith is to add a “work” to faith; consequently, it is NO faith at all. You don’t need much faith to be saved, you need “just enough” faith. You need JUST ENOUGH faith to obey Romans 10:13 and “call upon the name of the Lord.” If you have faith even as small as a grain of mustard seed (a VERY small seed indeed), that is all the faith you need. The AMOUNT of one’s faith is not of importance for salvation, what is important is that you simply HAVE FAITH. Either you have 100% faith or you do not. The Church of Christ minister I was speaking with told me that he felt much safer by adding that extra step of baptism to his faith and repentance. How stupid! How foolish! How woefully ignorant is he of the Word of God. The Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 1:17 declared…

“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel…” -1st Corinthians 1:17

According to the Church of Christ minister, Paul was sent by Christ to TEACH the gospel, but not to actually do any of the REQUIRED baptism to be saved. He claims this was done to prevent division in the church. True, Paul didn’t want to baptize any of them because of their immature quarreling; however, this had absolutely nothing to do with their salvation. Some of the believers in the Corinthian church were actually fighting over who baptized them. They were making an issue of a non-issue. Paul lays the issue to rest by proclaiming that CHRIST did NOT send him to baptize, but to preach the gospel. It is our FAITH in the gospel of Jesus that saves us, NOT baptism.

I could go on and on about why baptism is NOT necessary for salvation. No one in the Old Testament was ever baptized. These people who claim that the Old Testament is invalid are idiots. Of course, the law which was against us was indeed nailed to the cross. Yes, the Jewish ceremonial laws are gone. However, we are still expected by God to obey the Nine Commandments (NOT to be saved, but because we are saved and love Jesus). People in the Old Testament (old contract) were saved the SAME way people are saved today, BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS (Ephesians 2:8, 9). There is NO other way to be saved! It’s Jesus or hell, turn or burn friend!

Don’t let some misguided individual trick you into believing that baptism is essential for salvation. The Church of Christ minister claimed that since the New Testament didn’t actually begin until Jesus died, that the thief on the cross didn’t have to be baptized. He is trying to say that there are TWO different plans of salvation (one for the OT and one for the NT). He believes that baptism was NOT required for Old Testament saints, but IS required for all New Testament saints. This is ludicrous and preposterous!!!! There is NO such teaching in the Bible. There has always been ONE and only one plan of salvation, and that is through the precious shed blood of our Dear Lord Jesus Christ! Do you want to be saved? Then look upon Jesus ye ends of the earth and be ye saved (Isaiah 45:22).

I asked the minister what would happen if an astronaut placed his faith in Christ while in outer space? Obviously he couldn’t get baptized in space! His answer was another mere, “I don’t know.” How pathetic!!! How can a man go to a supposed Bible college for four years and earn a degree in theology, just to tell me that he doesn’t know how a person in outer space could be saved! I’ll tell you why! Because the whole doctrine of baptismal regeneration is flawed and makes no Biblical sense. He might as well become a Lutheran or a Catholic to believe that garbage. Baptismal regeneration is of the devil. Jesus didn’t baptize (John 4:2). In the book of Romans, baptism is only mentioned briefly in chapter six. Paul NEVER makes any direct command to be baptized! Yet, Paul expresses in Romans 10:1 that it is his “HEARTS DESIRE” for the people to be saved. Paul wanted people to be saved, that is why he went publicly from house-to-house in Acts 20:20 to witness to people. We soul-winners call this the “Acts 20/20 vision.” In other words, if your consumed about winning souls to Christ, then your seeing 20/20 as a Christian. Most believers are wearing blinders.

No Rapture or Millennium?

The Church of Christ minister also said he DIDN’T believe in any type of rapture, but that the Lord would simply return and part the righteous from the wicked. We are clearly taught in God’s Word that there will be a “departure” of the saints from this world; hence, the word rapture (which is not itself found in the Bible). The words of the Apostle Paul in 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 are as clear as can be. In the twinkling of an eye, the Lord WILL return. Read it for yourself. Why can’t people just take the Bible at face value? Why do they persist to read in-between the lines? Why do they seek for things that God has NOT placed in the Bible? Luke 17:36 is still in the King James Bible folks! Matthew 24:41 is still in the Bible! Two shall be, and one shall remain! This foolish minister also said he didn’t believe there would be a Millennial reign of Christ. Revelation 20:1-6 speaks of the 1,000 year millennium. The purpose of this article is NOT to get into depth of these individual Bible doctrines, but rather to expose the heretical teachings of the Church of Christ. A study of Biblical prophecy is beyond the scope of this article. The Bible is very clear concerning the departure of the saints from this world (the rapture) and of the Millennial reign of Christ from Jerusalem over the earth. Satan will be bound and imprisoned in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:3).

No Eternal Security?

The Church of Christ minister also said that he believed a saved person COULD lose their salvation if they got away from fellowship with the Lord. I asked him if all Church of Christ followers believed the same doctrines he did and he affirmed, YES. He laughed in my face when I told him that the Bible was clear that a saved person could NEVER lose their salvation. I mean, Jesus told Nicodemus to be “born again,” NOT born again and again and again and again! Revelation 3:20 is an invitation for us to open the door of our heart to allow the Lord Jesus to come in (John 14:23). Church of Christ folks evidently have a problem with Christians who are less than perfect. The minister was perplexed when I told him that a Christian could commit murder and still be saved. He almost became angry. His problem is that he has a WRONG view of salvation (which is why I believe he is NOT really saved). The Church of Christ has a wrong view of salvation! The truth is that we DO NOTHING to earn salvation! If we can’t do any good works to get saved, then why would doing any bad works make us unsaved? I like that statement so I’ll say it again…

If we can’t do any good works to get saved, then why would doing any bad works make us unsaved?

I did nothing to get saved of my own merit. All I did was place my faith in the Lord’s work of atonement. It is Jesus Christ and what He did to pay for my sins that gets me into heaven, I had nothing to do with that. Salvation is OF GOD, not man! So then why in the world would anyone conclude that a person has to maintain a certain level of fellowship or righteousness with God to keep one’s salvation? It is no less than a WORKS religion! The Church of Christ is ADDING works to simple faith in Christ! They teach that you MUST be baptized to be saved! They teach that you MUST keep coming back to the Lord (to get your salvation back) every time you get away from the Lord. Listen folks, there is NOTHING in the Bible which teaches that we can fall from grace as believers. When the Bible speaks of “falling from grace” it is simply talking about unsaved people who have rejected Christ. Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven! If you reject Jesus, then you have missed your ONLY buss ticket to heaven. This is the only way to fall from God’s grace.

You CANNOT lose your salvation!!! If someone is not saved now, then they never were to begin with. As a perfect analogy, I cannot change the relationship between my and my own child. I could disown my child (which I think is a horrible thing for ANY parent to do), but they would still be my child. Even if my child killed someone, the relationship doesn’t change one bit -that is still my child and I am still their parent. Such is this case with God! No matter what we do, we are God’s children. If you would like to KNOW your saved, Click Here.

No Tears in Heaven?

More heresy! This Church of Christ minister said there will be no tears in heaven. Well, he is wrong! Over and over we are warned in the Bible to be careful how we live as believers because we each shall give account to God. We are commanded to defraud not thy brother. There will be tears in heaven for those believers who lived for SELF and hurt other people while upon the earth. The blood of our loved ones will be upon our hands if we have failed to witness to them. We can’t force them to accept the truth, but we CAN love them and tell them the good news of Jesus Christ. There will be tears throughout the Millennium, but all tears shall be wiped away at the end, after the Great White Throne of Judgment. All former things will be passed away (Revelation 21:4). Being a Christian DOESN’T give us a license to sin. Though our sins are under the blood and all is well between us and God as far as our sin debt, we must still make things right with those we have wronged. Salvation balances the scale of justice between us and God, but the scales of justice must also be balanced between us and those we have victimized or hurt in ant way (Romans 12:19). The Judgment Seat of Christ is going to be a JUDGMENT only for believers, it is not going to be a joyous time for most believers. There WILL be many tears.

Heaven is Not a Physical Place?

I was really surprised when the Church of Christ minister told me that he didn’t believe in heaven as a place. He believed that heaven was only a spiritual existence, NOT a literal place. I asked him about the streets of gold and the gates of pearl, he didn’t believe they were literal. I asked him about the mansions which Jesus spoke of in John 14:1-2, he denied those also as being physical homes. I don’t know what he’s been smoking, but he sure needs to get with the program. He has been blinded by a false religion, sad but true.

In conclusion, I firmly DOUBT anyone’s salvation who ADDS baptism to a childlike faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! I also sincerely doubt the salvation of any person who feels they have to live a certain way to keep their salvation (which is a big lie). The entire MINDSET is very different when you believe you are not eternally secure. Just as the Muslims have no assurance of salvation, neither does the Church of Christ. I KNOW I am saved and NOTHING can take that from me. I CANNOT lose my salvation. So do I have a license to sin? Of course not! I don’t want to sin because I still have to give account to God someday and I already have enough to answer for. I love God and want to please Him, but I fear Him equally so. I became a new creature when I was born-again. I don’t live right to get saved, I live right because I am saved and God’s Holy Spirit lives in my heart. My Bible says that I am saved and sure! Your not just being safe by adding baptism to faith, your being stupid! I can say this because we are clearly warned throughout the Bible against adding anything to faith. Baptism is useless to get anyone saved. See Romans 11:6, Titus 3:5, and Romans 4:2. The bottom line is that Jesus Christ Himself did not make an issue of baptism! Read through the book of John and you’ll discover that Jesus is the door, the way, the truth, the life, the resurrection, the light, the Good Shepherd…but not one mention is made of baptism! Not one! The Church of Christ is a false religion, just as are the Lutherans and the Seventh-Day Adventists! ONLY through simple faith in the precious blood of Jesus Christ can any person go to heaven. It’s Jesus or hell, turn or burn! God loves you, and so do I. I welcome any further information or comments.

Kindest regards, Dave

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Church%20of%20Christ/church_of_christ_heresies.htm

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The following are some of the major false doctrines that are a particular danger to Bible-believing churches in our day and a concise biblical refutation of them. We use the following to train our church members.

SOME BIBLE FACTS ABOUT FALSE TEACHERS

1. Jesus warned about false teachers (Matt. 7:15-17).

2. Paul warned about false teachers (Acts 20:29-30; 2 Tim. 3:13; 2 Tim. 4:3-4).

3. Peter warned about false teachers and said that many will follow them (2 Pet. 2:1-2).

4. John warned about false teachers (1 John 2:18-20).

5. Jude warned about false teachers (Jude 3-4).

SOME BIBLE FACTS ABOUT DOCTRINE

1. The Bible is given for doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

2. We are to continue in the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42).

3. Preachers are to give themselves to doctrine (1 Tim. 4:13).

4. No false doctrine is to be allowed (1 Tim. 1:3).

5. Our doctrine is to be uncorrupt (Titus 2:10).

6. We are to separate from false doctrine (Rom. 16:17).

SOME OF THE FALSE DOCTRINES THAT CHURCHES MUST CONFRONT TODAY

1. The false teaching that salvation is by grace plus works (Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Church of Christ, Roman Catholic Church)

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible says salvation is by grace without works and that works follows after salvation (Rom. 4:1-6; Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 3:4-8).

b. The Bible says that grace and works cannot be mixed together (Rom. 11:6).

c. Grace means a free gift. Salvation is called a gift 16 times in the New Testament. If salvation requires some works, then it is not a true gift. The gift of God is free for the sinner because Jesus Christ purchased it at great price with His blood and death on the cross.

2. The false teaching that Jesus is not God (Jehovah’s Witnesses)

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible plainly says that Jesus is God

(1) Isaiah called Jesus God (Is. 7:14; 9:6).

(2) Matthew called Jesus God (Matt. 1:23).

(3) Jesus called Himself God (Jn. 5:17-18; 8:58-59; 10:30-33; Rev. 1:8).

(4) John called Jesus God (Jn. 1:1; 1 John 3:16; 5:20).

(5) Thomas called Jesus God (Jn. 20:28).

(6) Paul called Jesus God (Acts 20:28; Phil. 2:5-6; 1 Tim. 3:16; Titus 2:13).

(7) God the Father called Jesus God (Heb. 1:8-10).

b. In His incarnation the Lord Jesus Christ “made himself of no reputation” and became a lowly servant to God and man (Phil. 2:7). The Greek word for “made himself of no reputation” is “kenoo,” meaning “to empty, to abase, to make of none effect” (Strong). Jesus did not cease to be God. Phil. 2:6 plainly states that He is God, but the Son of God willingly laid aside His glory for the purpose of redeeming man by the cross.

c. There is an order to the Trinity. God the Son submits to God the Father, even though they are equal.

3. The false teaching that God is not a Trinity (Jehovah’s Witnesses)

Bible Answer:

a. The term “trinity” is not in the Bible, but the doctrine is (Mt. 28:19; Jn. 14:16,26; 16:7-15; 2 Co. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Jn. 5:7).

b. The O.T. teaches that God is one in a plurality. Though the Old Testament does not fully reveal the doctrine of the Trinity, it does teach us that God is a plurality. It is left for the New Testament to open up this revelation fully.

Genesis 1:1. The Hebrew word for God here is elohim. This is a plural noun, but the verb is singular, teaching that there is one God in a plurality.

Genesis 11:6-7. Here again God is spoken of in the plural and in the singular at the same time.

Deuteronomy 6:4. This verse could be translated, “Jehovah our elohim is a united Jehovah.” The word “one” refers to a unity. The same word for one is used in Gen. 2:24, speaking of the oneness of a husband and wife. This verse summarizes the Bible’s teaching about God. He is one but exists in three Persons.

Psalm 45:6-7. According to Heb. 1:8-9, God the Father is speaking in Psalm 45, and He is referring to the Son as God. Sometimes people ask, “If Jesus Himself was God, why did He address the Father as God?” The answer is that Jesus addressed the Father as God for the same reason that the Father addressed the Son as God—because they are both God!

4. The false teaching that baptism is necessary for salvation (Church of Christ)

Bible Answer:

a. Paul taught that baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Rom. 6:3-4). It is the blood and death of Christ that takes away our sins, not water or religious rituals.

b. Paul says that baptism is not the gospel (1 Cor. 1:17). The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for our sins (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Baptism only symbolizes the gospel.

c. The book of Acts teaches us that baptism follows salvation (Acts 8:36-38; 16:30-33; 18:8).

d. Acts 2:38 does not teach that baptism is a part of salvation, because Peter later taught that baptism is a symbol (1 Pet. 3:21). Acts 2:38 teaches that we are baptized because we have been forgiven of our sins not in order to be forgiven.

5. The false teaching that infants should be baptized (Church of Christ)

Bible Answer:

a. Baptism is only for those who believe (Mk. 16:15; Acts 8:36-38). When a child is old enough to believe on Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, then he can be baptized. But an infant cannot do this.

b. No infants were baptized in the New Testament.

Some say that there must have been infants baptized in the case of Cornelius since his kinsmen and friends were present (Acts 10:24, 47). Contrariwise, Acts 11:17 says that those who were saved and baptized with Cornelius were those “who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Obviously these were not infants.

What about the case of Lydia and her household (Acts 16:14-15). Nothing is said about infants in this passage, and it is highly unlikely that this busy merchant woman would have had babies. There is no evidence here whatsoever for the practice of infant baptism.

What about the Philippian jailer and his household (Acts 16:30-34). This passage clearly says that Paul spoke the Word of God to the entire household (v. 32) and that the entire household “believed” (vv. 32-33). This could not be said of infants.

What about the household of Crispus (Acts 18:8)? Those who were saved and baptized in this family were all believers, for we are told, “Crispus … believed on the Lord with all his house…” Obviously they were not infants.

What about the household of Stephanas (1 Cor. 1:16)? Again nothing is actually said about infants being present or baptized. In 1 Cor. 16:15 we are told that this household addicted themselves to the ministry. This could not be said of infants.

6. The false teachings of the Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement (Assemblies of God, etc.)

6a. The false doctrine that tongues speaking is for today

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible says tongues were a real language (Acts 2:3-11).

b. The Bible says tongues were a sign to the unbelieving Jews (1 Cor. 14:21-22). After Israel rejected God’s sign of tongues and Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. and the Jews were scattered to the ends of the earth, the need for tongues as a sign was finished.

c. Biblical tongues had to be used according to the teaching of the apostles, yet the Pentecostals and Charismatics do not submit to these restrictions:

(1) Women are not allowed to speak in tongues (1 Cor. 14:34)

(2) Tongues were to be spoken only by course (1 Cor. 14:27)

(3) Tongues must be interpreted (1 Cor. 14:27)

(4) There is to be no confusion (1 Cor. 14:33)

(5) Everything is to be decent (1 Cor. 14:40)

(6) Everything is to be orderly (1 Cor. 14:40)

d. Tongues were not spoken by every believer even in the days of the apostles (1 Cor. 12:28-30).

e. Biblical tongues were not sought after but were sovereignly given by God (1 Cor. 12:11).

f. There is no instruction in the Bible about HOW to speak in tongues. Those who believe in tongues speaking today claim that they can teach people who to do it.

g. The Bible says tongues speaking, prophesying, and words of knowing will pass away (1 Cor. 13:8). When the New Testament was completed, there was no further need for these particular gifts.

6b.The false doctrine that healing is promised in the atonement

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible says that not all sicknesses are healed (2 Cor. 12:97-10; 1 Tim. 5:23; 2 Tim. 4:20).

b. The Bible says that the physical part of our salvation is for the future (Rom. 8:17-25.

c. Peter says that Isaiah 53:5 refers to spiritual healing of the soul (1 Pet. 2:24-25).

6c. The false doctrine that miracles should be sought

Bible Answer:

a. Jesus warned that it is not good to seek miracles (Mat. 12:39).

b. The miracles performed by the apostles were special (2 Cor. 12:12). Not every Christian could perform miracles.

c. Faith does not come from miracles but from God’s Word (Rom. 10:17). Multitudes witnessed Jesus’ great miracles, but most did not believe.

6d. The false doctrine that the Holy Spirit baptism follows salvation

Bible Answer:

a. Jesus promised the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5) and this was fulfilled in Acts 2 for the Jews and in Acts 10:44-47 for the Gentiles.

b. Since then, every believer receives the Holy Spirit when he believes (Eph. 1:12-14).

c. The book of Acts is a transitional book. Not everything that happened then is the pattern for the rest of the church age.

d. In the epistles, the reception of the Holy Spirit is always mentioned in the past tense (Rom. 8:9-10; 1 Cor. 12:13; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13).

6e. The false doctrine that we should exalt the Holy Spirit

Bible Answer:

a. The Lord Jesus Christ foretold what role the Holy Spirit would have in the church age (John 16:13-15). In this passage we learn that the Holy Spirit does not exalt Himself and the Holy Spirit does not draw attention to Himself.

b. There is no example in the N.T. of praying to the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray to the Father, not to the Holy Spirit (Matt. 6:6,9; Jn. 16:23). The Apostle Paul taught us to pray to God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:8; 7:25).

c. There is no example in the New Testament of inviting the Holy Spirit to work. Neither Jesus nor the apostles did that.

6f. The false doctrine that we should not test the Holy Spirit with the Bible

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible warns that there are false spirits and that the devil tries to deceive (2 Cor. 11:4; 1 Jn. 4:1). Therefore we must test everything carefully or we will be deceived.

b. The Bible commands us to prove all things (1 Thess. 5:21).

c. The Bible commended the Bereans because they tested everything by the Scriptures (Acts 17:11)

6g. The false doctrine that the believer can be rid of his sin nature

Bible Answer:

a. Paul taught that the believer still has the struggle with sin (Rom. 7:14-21; Gal. 5:16-17).

b. John teaches that the believer still has sin (1 John 1:8, 10).

6h. The false doctrine that victory in the Christian life comes through unusual baptisms and experiences

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible does not exhort us to make spiritual leaps through unusual experiences. Rather, it exhorts us to GROW in Christ (1 Pet. 2:1-2; 2 Pet. 3:18).

b. The apostles wrote many epistles instructing the believers about how to deal with sin an spiritual problems, but they never instructed the believers to seek a second baptism or other such special experiences.

6i. The false doctrine that visions and prophecies are for today

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible says the faith was completed in the days of the apostles (Jude 3).

b. The Bible says that the Scriptures are sufficient (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

c. The Bible says that Scripture is more sure than visions (2 Pet. 1:16-21).

d. The Bible says that prophecies will pass away (1 Cor. 13:8).

7. The false teaching that death is a sleep and not a journey (Seventh-day Adventists)

Bible Answer:

a. The Old Testament plainly says that death is a journey (Gen. 25:8; 35:18; Nu. 27:13; 2 Sa. 12:23; 1 Ki. 17:21-22).

b. The New Testament plainly says that death is a journey:

(1) Jesus said death is a journey (Lk. 16:19-23; 23:42-43). That Luke 16:19-31 is not a parable is evident by the fact that Jesus named the names of Abraham and Lazarus. He never named names when He was giving parables. Further, even if it were a parable, it would still teach literal truth.

(2) Paul said death is a journey (2 Cor. 5;6-7; Phil. 1:23; 2 Tim. 4:6).

(3) Peter said death is a journey (2 Pet. 1:13-15).

(4) The fact that the dead saints return with Christ from heaven at the time of the rapture shows that dead saints go to Heaven at death (1 Th. 4:14).

(5) John’s heavenly visions show that dead saints are conscience in heaven prior to the resurrection and during the Great Tribulation on earth (Re. 6:9-11).

(6) Moses’ and Elijah’s appearance on the Mount of Transfiguration proves that the dead have conscious existence between death and resurrection. Moses and Elijah, though dead, were allowed by God to appear in time on that mountain and to converse about events which were soon to take place in Jerusalem (Mt. 17:1-3; Lk. 9:30-31).

c. The Bible sometimes speaks of death as a “sleep,” but it is the body that sleeps not the spirit (Jam. 2:26).

d. Ecclesiastes sometimes speaks of death as nothingness (i.e., Ecc. 9:5), but this is because Ecclesiastes is written from the perspective of the man “under the sun” (Ecc. 1:3, 9, 14, etc), the perspective of man looking at life the way it appears apart from divine revelation. To the natural man who does not have the revelation of the Scriptures, death appears to be the end of things. But other portions of the Bible tell us that this is not the case. Even the book of Ecclesiastes itself, in its conclusion, says that death is a journey (Ecc. 12:7).

e. The Old Testament speaks of the “spirit” as the breath once or twice, but usually the “spirit” of man is that non-material part which is separate from the body and which lives on after death (1 Thess. 5:23). False teachers make the mistake of refusing to allow the context to define Bible words and instead they put their own preferred definition on the word and force that definition into every context.

8. The false teaching that Hell is not eternal torment (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists)

Bible Answer:

a. The doctrine of death and hell were not fully revealed in the Old Testament; these were brought to light with the coming of Christ (2 Tim. 1:10).

b. The New Testament plainly teaches that hell and the lake of fire are places of eternal torment:

(1) Jesus said hell is a place where the worm does not die (Mark 9:43-44).

(2) Jesus said the rich man was in torment in hell (Lk. 16:24). This is not a parable, because Jesus named the names of Lazarus and Abraham.

(3) Revelation says those who receive the mark of the antichrist will be tormented forever (Rev. 14:10).

(4) Revelation says Satan, the Antichrist, and false prophet will be tormented forever (Rev. 20:10).

(5) Revelation says all the unsaved will be cast into the same lake of fire (Rev. 20:15), and since the antichrist and false prophet are not burned up but are tormented forever in the lake of fire, it is obvious that other sinners cast there will have the same experience.

c. The Bible says the punishment of the unsaved will be worse than violent death (Mk. 9:42). This proves the punishment is not annihilation, but is eternal torment. 3. Jesus said it would have been better if Judas had never been born (Mt. 26:24). Jesus’ words make no sense if Judas was only going to be annihilated.

9. The false teaching that Sabbath worship is for the churches today (Seventh-day Adventists)

Bible Answer:

a. The sabbath, though mentioned in Gen. 2:2-3, was not delivered to man until it was given to Israel in the wilderness (Neh. 9:13-14).

b. The sabbath was given, not to mankind in general, but to Israel alone as a special covenant sign between her and God (Ex. 31:13,17).

c. Jesus kept the sabbath because He was born under the law to fulfill the demands of the law (Gal. 4:4-5).

d. The apostles and early churches met on Sunday.

(1) On the first day Jesus rose from the dead and first appeared to His disciples (Mk. 16:9). The sabbath is associated with the old creation; the first day is associated with the new creation.

(2) On the first day Jesus met with the disciples at different places and repeatedly (Mk. 16:9-11; Mt. 28:8-10; Lk. 24:34; Mk. 16:12-13; Jn. 20:19-23).

(3) On the first day Jesus ascended to Heaven, was seated at the right hand of the Father and was made Head of all (Jn. 20:17; Eph. 1:20).

(4) On the first day the Holy Spirit descended (Acts 2:1). Pentecost was on the 50th day after the sabbath following the wave offering (Lev. 23:15,16). Thus Pentecost was always on a Sunday.

(5) The Christians met to worship on the first day (Acts 20:6,7; 1 Cor. 16:2).

e. The New Testament plainly teaches that the Christian is not bound to the sabbath law (Col. 2:16-17).

10. The false teaching that the Prophecies of Matthew 24 and Revelation 6-22 are not for the future but are being fulfilled today (Roman Catholic, most Protestant denominations such as Presbyterian and Lutheran, etc.)

Bible Answer:

a. The timing of the events of Matthew 24 are plainly given:

(1) Jesus said that the prophecy of Matthew 24 pertains to the end of the age and to the time of His return (Matt. 24:3-4). This includes the rule of the antichrist (v. 15) and the Great Tribulation (v. 21).

(2) Jesus said the events of Matthew 24 will occur just prior to His return (Matt. 24:29-30).

b. Paul also taught that the antichrist is a real man who will rule the world just prior to Christ’s return (2 Thess. 2:2-9).

c. The judgments of Revelation are the wrath of God (Rev. 6:16; 15:1), whereas Paul said the church-age believers are not appointed to wrath (1 Thess. 5:9-10).

11. The false teaching that God is finished with the nation Israel; that the church has replaced Israel (Roman Catholic, most Protestant denominations such as Presbyterian and Lutheran, etc.)

Bible Answer:

a. God’s covenants with Israel are eternal (Jer. 31:31-37).

b. Paul said that Israel has been set aside temporarily, and that God will fulfill His promises to Israel after He completes His plan for the church (Rom. 11:25-29).

12. The false teaching that God chooses who will be saved and that only those who are chosen can be saved (Calvinism)

Bible Answer:

a. The Bible says that God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-5; 2 Pet. 3:9).

b. Jesus died for the sins of all men, not just some who are pre-chosen (1 John 2:1-2).

c. God has ordained that every person who believes on Christ will be saved (Jn. 6:40).

d. God has commanded that the gospel be preached to every person (Mark 16:15).

e. The Holy Spirit convicts every sinner and Jesus draws and gives light to every sinner (Jn. 1:9; 12:32; 16:7-8).

f. Believers are the elect of God, but that does not mean that God chooses some to be saved and the others not to be saved. Election is based on God’s foreknowledge (1 Pet. 1:2).

13. The false teaching that the believer can only eat certain things (Seventh-day Adventist)

Bible Answer:

a. Dietary laws in the New Testament are a mark of false teachers (1 Tim. 4:1-5).

b. The New Testament believer has liberty in such things (Rom. 14:1-4; Col. 2:16).

14. The false teaching that there should only be one church in each village and city

Bible Answer:

a. This idea has no support in the Bible. There is no such commandment in the New Testament.

b. This idea is contrary to Christ’s Great Commission. Jesus commanded all believers to preach the gospel and baptize every nation and individual (Matt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15). This commandment was not given just to one church in each area. Believers do not have to ask other churches for permission to preach the gospel and baptize and establish churches. We have authority from Jesus Christ.

c. If this idea is true, how can it be accomplished? Such an principle would mean that one church would be able to forbid other churches to preach, but Jesus said we are not to forbid others (Lk. 9:49-50).

d. If there is only one church in each city, what church would it be? Who will have control to say which church it should be? This is what the Roman Catholic Church claims for itself and what the cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim for themselves.

November 3, 2005 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) –

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1. So “what is justification?”

First we must define salvation. I believe that salvation is best defined as a rescue operation. Salvation: Strong’s G4991 sōtēria Feminine of a derivative of G4990 as (properly abstract) noun; rescue or safety (physically or morally): – deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.

 
Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?

 
Job 9:20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.

 
Let us notice that Job equates being justified with God as being perfect and clean (just, holy, righteous) and proposes a rhetorical question; “how can he be clean that is born of a woman?”. This shows that he IS NOT clean and CANNOT be cleaned or cleansed by his own self effort. “Born of a woman” here indicates both our sinful (fallen) nature which produces personal sin and the imputation of Adam’s sin to us. Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

 
Mankind’s basic problem that must be solved if we are to have eternal life with God is that God is just, holy and righteous (PS 97:2, PS 119:142, Math. 5:48) and we are unjust, unholy and unrighteous. (Isa 53:6, Jere. 13:23, 17:9, Rom 3:10-18, 3:23, 1Cor. 2:13, Gal.3:22, Eph 2:1-3, James 1:5) Our sin and God’s holiness separates us from God. But scripture says that God is just and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus. (Rom 3:26)

 
Justify ,justifier, justified and justification come from the root word just; which in its most common use means holy, righteous or innocent. Strong’s dictionary gives the following definitions for the following NT words.

 
JUST G1342 dikaios From G1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): – just, meet, right (-eous).

 
JUSTIFY, JUSTIFIED, JUSTIFIER G1344 dikaioo From G1342; to render (that is, show or regard as) just or innocent: – free, justify (-ier), be righteous.

 
JUSTIFICATION G1345 dikaio From G1344; an equitable deed; by implication a statute or decision: – judgment, justification, ordinance, righteousness. G1347 dikaio From G1344; acquittal (for Christ’s sake): – justification.

 
We can see from these definitions that to be just is to be holy righteous and innocent; and to be justified is to be rendered (shown, regarded) and declared to be just (holy, righteous and innocent). We also can see that justification is a decision that results in acquittal. Therefore Wayne Grudem in his book [Systematic Theology; an introduction to biblical doctrine], is correct in saying that “justification is an instantaneous legal act of God in which He (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight. (pg722)”

 

is a right legal standing before God concerning our relationship to God‘s laws, stating that we are completely forgiven and no longer liable to punishment (wages of sin=spiritual death). Mr. Grudem notes, “A right understanding of justification is absolutely crucial to the whole of the Christian faith. Once Martin Luther realized the truth of justification by faith alone, he became a Christian and overflowed with the new found joy of the Gospel. The primary issue in the protestant reformation was a dispute with the Roman Catholic Church over justification. If we are to safeguard the truth of the gospel for future generations, we must understand the truth of justification. Even today, a true view of justification is the dividing line between the biblical gospel of salvation by faith alone and all false gospels of salvation based on good works (pg 723).”

 
Martin Luther declared, “The doctrine of justification is the article by which the church stands or falls.”

 
“[Justification is] the chief doctrine of Christianity and the chief point of difference separating Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.” [Jaroslav Pelikan, in “The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine.” Vol4 Pg 139]

 
The (free=without cost) Theology Program from Bible.org at http://www.thetheologyprogram.com gives the following definitions of the Roman Catholic and Protestant views of justification.

 

ROMAN CATHOLIC VIEW: “Justification is a process through which the limitless merits of Christ are appropriated by the church through people responding to God through faith and works.”

 
The Council of Trent (1545-1563) declared “this disposition or preparation [of faith] is followed by justification itself, which is not only a remission of sins but also the sanctification and renewal on the inward man through the voluntary reception of the grace and gifts whereby an unjust man becomes just and from being an enemy becomes a friend, that he may be the heir to the hope of eternal life.”

The Roman Catholic view of Justification was summed up by the Roman Catholic Church with the Latin term; “ex opere operato” = “By the work performed”. The authors of the theology program further define this term as “the belief accepted by Roman Catholics and rejected by Protestants that the sacraments administer grace to the recipient by virtue of the act itself through the power given to the church, regardless of the faith of the individual”

 
PROTESTANT VIEW: “Justification is a forensic declaration in which a sinner is declared righteous while still in a sinning state. It is a justification in standing, not in nature that occurs in an instantaneous event.”

 
Martin Luther said of Jesus, “He has made His righteousness my righteousness, and my sin His sin. If he has made my sin to be his sin, then I do not have it and am free. If he has made his righteousness my righteousness, then I am righteous now with the same righteousness as He. My sin cannot devour Him, but it is engulfed in the unfathomable depths of his righteousness for he himself is God, who is blessed forever.” (“Lectures on Romans” in Luther’s works; Hilton C. Oswald p.188) 

The reformers (Protestant) view of justification was summed up with the Latin term; “simul iustus et peccator” = “same time just and sinner”. The authors of the theology program define this term as “Luther’s paradoxical dictum explaining that a Christian has a legal or forensic righteous standing before God according to the work of Christ, while at the same time lives as a sinner according to his own merits. This was adhered to by the reformers in rejection to the Roman Catholic concept of infused righteousness.”

 
The main difference between the Roman Catholic view of justification and the protestant view of justification is wrapped up in 2 terms. 1. “Infused righteousness” (a process of God and man by which man must become actually righteous before he is said to be justified) 2. “Imputed righteousness” (a one time event in which God justifies sinners by reckoning Christ’s righteousness to their account through a legal declaration). The biggest difference between the Roman Catholic view of justification and the Protestant view of justification is that one is by faith and works together and the other is by faith alone. The Catholics view justification as a work of both God and man together while Protestants view justification as a work of God alone. Wayne Grudem says of the Protestant Reformation “When the good news of the gospel truly became the good news of totally free salvation in Jesus Christ, then it spread like wildfire throughout the civilized world. It was simply a recovery of the original gospel which declares, “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23) and insist that “there is therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1)” Pg. 729.

 
Does the bible say that justification is a process or an event? According to the bible, who does the justifying, God or man? Is justification by faith and works or by faith alone?

 
Rom 3:19-28 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

 
Rom 4:1-5 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

 
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified (past tense) by faith, we have (present tense) peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

 
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

 
Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

 
Paul says that God “justifies him who has faith in Jesus“(Rom 3:26) and that “a man is justified by faith apart from works of law” (Rom 3; 28) The word of God which was delivered to Paul by Jesus himself (1Cor 1:23, 15:3) says that “since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom5:1) Because “a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal2:16)

 
Justification is solely a work of God that we must receive. We must answer God’s call.

 
Rom 8:30-34 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

 
Act 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

 
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

 
Rom 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

 
ATONEMENT/RECONCILIATION: G2643 katallage From G2644; exchange (figuratively adjustment), that is, restoration to (the divine) favor: – atonement, reconciliation (-ing).

 
In the Old Testament, we can see that the institution of the Passover points to atonement through a vicarious substitution. The sacrificial system (esp. the day of atonement) pointed to the perfect sacrifice that Christ would give on behalf of our sins (Lev, 16:9-10, 16, 29) Christ is later called the lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29, Rev. 5:7) In addition, Isaiah 53 vividly describes atonement through a vicarious substitution.

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2. So “Is justification salvation“? 

I believe so. Obviously, there are many other biblical terms to describe salvation such as election, calling, regeneration (spiritual rebirth), conversion (moral revolution through faith and repentance), sanctification (growth in likeness of Christ), glorification (receiving a resurrected body), and others. But Justification embodies other biblical terms for salvation such as atonement (restoration to divine favor), reconciliation (restoration to divine favor), redemption (to purchase), propitiation (the act by where which God‘s righteous wrath is satisfied by the atonement of Christ) and deliverance (ransom) . The preceding definitions come from Strong’s dictionary, Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem or The Theology Program.

 
Justification is the result of God applying the work of Christ to the believer though faith (trust) in Jesus Christ’s death in our place on the cross; resulting in the forgiveness of our sins and the imputation of Christ perfect righteousness to our account. Justification is the result of atonement, reconciliation, redemption, deliverance and propitiation rendered through Christ perfect life and substitutionary death. In my opinion, regeneration (being born again) is the only other biblical term for salvation that could possibly rival justification as an accurate synonym for salvation but regeneration is still not as fully a descriptive term for salvation. Regeneration causes conversion through faith and repentance. The result of justification is that we go from an unjust state to a totally justified position while still not being totally just in actual practice. (John 9:41, 1John 1:8)

Justification and salvation are terms that are used interchangeably in God’s word. We are “saved through faith“(Eph 2; 8), and “justified by faith” (Rom 5:1, Gal 2:16). We are saved not according to our works (2Tim1:9) and we are not justified by our works (Gal 2:16). We are saved by God’s grace. (Acts15:11, Eph2:8) We are justified by God’s grace. (Titus 3:7, Rom 3:24)

 
As noted above, if we are to have eternal life with God, mankind’s most basic problem that must be solved is that God is just, holy and righteous (PS 97:2, PS 119:142) and mankind is unjust, unholy and unrighteous. (Isa 53:6, Rom 3:10-18, 3:23, Gal 3:22, Eph 2:1, James 1:5) God is intrinsically by His nature just and he cannot even look upon sin (iniquity) Holiness is an immutable attribute of God’s character. Hab 1:13a Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity. Therefore, God must punish our sin. Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Eze 18:20a The soul that sinneth, it shall die. Spiritual death (separation from God) has always been the wages of sin. (Gen2:17, 3:6,23,24, Eze 28:15,16) The solution to mans problem is the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 
I believe that salvation and justification are synonymous because the promise of eternal life is achieved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ resulting in our redemption and reconciliation to God through Christ’s atonement. That atonement needs to be applied to us, through faith in Jesus as our Savior, because of our sins and separation from God. But Jesus bridges the gap between God and us. He provides the way that we may be restored to right relationship with God both at the moment of faith and even more so in the moment of death. Salvation and justification is achieved for us, by Jesus Christ, by our sins being imputed to Him on the cross (thus making a propitiation towards God), and Jesus’s perfect righteousness being imputed to our account for us. (Gen 15:6, Rom 4:3-5, 8-11, 22-24, 5:13, Gal 3:6, James 2:23) Christ perfect sacrifice expiates our sin through propitiation (the act by where which God‘s righteous wrath is satisfied by the atonement of Christ) i.e. [Rom 3:25, 1John 2:2, 1John 4:10]` And the work of Jesus Christ results in our justification and salvation. God is just and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus. (Rom 3:26) Therefore, I would say, yes, “Justification is Salvation…Would you say that a person who God has justified is not saved?

 
Perhaps you have heard the popular and clever play on words for “justified” that says “just-as-if -I-had-never-sinned” or “just-as-if-I-had-lived-a-life-of-perfect-righteousness”. These sayings contain a portion of the truth about justification but not the whole of the truth of justification. Obviously we have not “lived lives of perfect righteousness” nor have we “never sinned” and we are in fact deserving of death as the wages of sin, because we are in reality sinners who have transgressed God‘s laws . Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Deu 27:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen. Jam 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. But JESUS LAYED DOWN HIS LIFE so,

 
Joh 3:15-18 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 
Joh 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

 
Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ,

 
It was Jesus, 1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. It was Jesus Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: It was Jesus Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

 

not only saves us from the penalty of sin (spiritual death), but also from the power of sin so that sin should not have dominion over us. (Rom. 6:6,11) Because, Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

It was because of justification by faith alone that Paul could say Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. John the Baptist said of Jesus Christ “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

 
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

 
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

 
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

 
Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

 
Rom 5:15-19 But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

 
Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

 
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 
Heb 7:26-27 For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

 
Heb 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

 
Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

 
Heb 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

 
Eph 1:5-7 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

 
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

 
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.

 
Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

 
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

 

2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

 
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

 
Gal 1:3-5 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver (RESCUE) us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

 
There are only two ways to be saved. 1. Actually be totally and perfectly just, holy righteous and as innocent as God is. 2. Be justified by God as a free gift. When you stand before God on judgment day will you say I am just and deserve eternal life; or will you fall on your face and say “Lord have mercy on me a sinner“?

 
If you have been working for your salvation or justification, or if you have never known Jesus, will you receive God’s free gracious gift of salvation by faith (trust) alone in Jesus Christ as your savior at this moment?

 
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Baptism (Baptismal Regeneration):

1). Matthew 26:28, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:12, 1 John 1:7, Romans 3:25, Heb. 9:22, Heb. 9:12, Heb. 10:18 (The Blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin not baptismal water). See also Col. 1:14.

2). Luke 2:30, Acts 4:12, Romans 1:16, 1 Thes. 5:9, 2 Timothy 2:10, 2 Timothy 3:15, Heb. 5:9, Heb. 2:10 (Christ is solely necessary for salvation not water. Water can’t remove guilt, which is in the heart.)

3). Acts 15:9 There is the purifying heart by faith without water. See also Titus 3:5 and Heb. 10:20.

4). Romans. 10:9-13, 1 Cor. 1:17, 1 Cor. 1:12 Baptism isn’t necessary for salvation

5). In 1 Cor. 1:17, Paul said he didn’t came to baptize, but to preach the gospel. Paul was a preacher and if he wasn’t called to baptize, then baptism isn’t necessarily required to be saved since sinners before repentance can be baptized and claim to be saved but aren’t. Also baptism alone doesn’t account for sins since Christ’s blood alone does that by you believing on him.

6). 1 Peter 3: 21 Baptism is symbolic for an answer of a good conscience toward God.

7). Acts 8:34-39 Baptism comes from the Greek word baptizo meaning immersion not sprinkle. Catholics are sprinkled instead of being immersed for baptism, which is unscriptural.

8). Acts 8:36-37, Acts 16:31-33, Acts 18:8, Acts 2:41, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 6, Acts 8:12, Acts 8:13 In those verses, it shows baptism coming after salvation after one believes on Christ (repentance). Baptism can’t affect a man’s heart since baptism is a water action or work and only Christ alone can do that apart from works. Paul, Cornelius, and the Philippian Jailer are all examples in the book of Acts of using or being presented with baptism after one’s salvation first.

9). Eph. 2:5 By faith ye are saved (Baptism is excluded from the equation). Another analogy is this; the very elderly, crippled, those paralyzed for life, and the very ill can’t be baptized for obvious reasons, yet if they repent; they’re saved without baptism. One is baptized because he/she believes (or is saved) not to get saved.

10). Luke 23:43 The thief on the cross is in heaven without being baptized. See also Galatians 2:16, Galatians 3:11, Romans 3:28, Galatians 15:4, Acts 16:30-34. Rituals like baptism or baptizing people will never save but Christ making baptism proceeding after salvation. Therefore, the believer’s baptism is scriptural.

11). Rev. 12:11 The blood of the Lamb (not baptismal water) causes us to overcome this old world. See also Eph. 1:3 saying that you are sealed by the Holy Spirit not by water baptism.

12). Mark 10:13-16 Baptism is unnecessary for salvation, because a simple action can’t account for every sin you’ve committed. If you’re not saved and baptized, you can still sin without being saved until you experienced repentance. Repentance doesn’t require baptism, so baptism isn’t required to be saved.

13). Galatians 3:26-27 You are placed in the body of Christ by spiritual baptism at the moment you are saved then water baptism later.

14). Mt. 28:18-20 Jesus gave the local church the ordinance of water baptism so the believer’s baptism within a church is justified. Note: a church can only issue water baptism for anyone who is saved. Since anybody can be saved with or without a church’s assistance, baptism is not required for salvation again. See also Eph. 1:13-14 saying one becomes an heir to salvation and is indwelled by the Holy Spirit after he/she believes not after he/she is baptized.

15). 1 Cor. 14:1-5 Individuals in the church are speaking in tongues before being baptized. Only saved people can speak in tongues, therefore you can be saved without being baptized, but all Christians should be baptized as an adult in their lifetime as participating in God’s ordinance (also covenant sign with God).

16). Hebrews 13:20 The blood of the everlasting covenant (Christ’s blood) had brought peace not water.

17). John 4:2 This is a great verse. It says that Jesus never baptized anyone but only his disciples. If Jesus mentioned salvation and saved people, why didn’t he baptize? It is because baptism isn’t required for salvation validated once again by Christ’s actions of never baptizing anyone. If Jesus is the giver of salvation and never baptized people for salvation then baptism isn’t needed for salvation. It’s interesting to note that no one from Adam to Christ who was believers was saved by baptism. And baptism regeneration was never doctrine in the early church until Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria at ca. 120 AD. In fact, you can find Polycarp, Clement of Rome, Barnabas, and others mentioning salvation by grace through faith without works in their literature before 120 AD.

Here are some questions that baptismal regeneration supporters can’t answer conclusively:

-If baptismal regeneration is true, why can afterwards that you can still have a chance to lose your salvation?
-Why is it that many people like the Thief On the Cross, etc were saved before being baptized?
-Why is that there are examples where people received the Holy Spirit before being baptized? Only saved people can receive the Holy Spirit.
-Why did Christ didn’t baptize a soul and Paul only baptized 2 people? Both lead many people to salvation and both even proclaimed people’s salvation with or without baptism.
-Why is it that there are tons of verses to easily show that salvation is by grace through faith involving Christ’s blood (Which I can show easily), yet baptism is mainly used in fewer times at the Bible?
-What saves and it can only be either Christ’s blood or baptismal water. It’s either one and you can’t have it both ways. If Christ’s blood is sufficient enough to save people, why must you believe that baptism saves which isn’t and doesn’t involve Christ’s blood? If Christ’s blood is infinite enough to save all sin and all humans, isn’t that baptismal water is needed as well? Is Christ’s blood not enough?

Please explain.

-Why is it that salvation can come within or without a church’s assistance and baptism is to be only executed by the church, yet you’re not required to submit yourself to a church for salvation?
-Why did Peter say Repent to get salvation first and then baptism after salvation in Acts? If baptism is used for salvation wouldn’t you be baptized first or what is the outline of salvation in terms of repentance and baptism?
-Why did Christ in Mt. 28:19-20 say teach all nations first then baptize second?
-Why did Phillip baptize the Ethiopian eunuch only after he believed on Christ and acknowledged that he is the Son of God?
-Why did historically the Didache (It shows baptism only after days of preperation), Polycarp, Ignatius (he only calls baptism as a spear or helment to your faith), Clement of Rome, and others in the early church didn’t mention a word on baptismal regeneration yet by 150 A.D., it came about by Justin Martyr. Many reformers like John Wycliffe, Waldensians, Anabaptists, etc don’t subscribe to it anyway so why should we?

 
-Why did baptismal regeneration exist from pagan religions before Christianity’s existence, yet for some reason you believe it must be required for Christians? God rejects paganism into the true faith and that’s outlined in the O.T. and N.T.
-Why did no OT person or prophet utilize baptism for salvation yet you believe Christian is to do this in the NT?
-Why is that men and women who had true conversion living godly lives in Christ without being baptized first in their walk? There are tons of examples of that in the world whether you like it or not.
-Why is there no mention of baptism for salvation anywhere in the Bible especially in Jude and James? All references to baptism involve the church and the believer alone nothing more or less.

http://truthseeker247works365.blogspot.com/2006/07/comments-on-purgatory-baptism-and.html

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The aberrant pseudo-Christian cults are united against grace and faith alone for justification/salvation.

Spend some time in a Christian debate or discussion community for awhile and you will learn a few things. First and foremost is that there are so many different ways that people believe and teach about certain biblical topics. For those who are NOT well studied and versed on what is and what is not orthodox Christianity can get confused easily. There are only two groups of Christians. Those who adhere to orthodox teachings and those that hold heterodox or aberrant heretical teachings. The difference is that between true Christianity and Pseudo-Christian cults.

While the vast and flagrant differences of the cults on various doctrines and teachings is the first and most obvious thing that a participant or a lurker in those type forums will learn, the most prominent theme and common denominator among them is their united assault against salvation by grace alone, through faith alone. While most cults claim to be the only true church and the only ecclesiastic outlet of salvation, all cults stand united in denying that salvation is by grace apart from works.

Most cults will add baptism as a work we must do to be saved. Some will add the doctrine of Christian sinless perfection saying one must become sinless to be saved. Some will add a certain Sabbath day observance, restrict the use of musical instruments in church or require certain rules for dress and entertainment. But they all pervert and unite against the truth of justification/salvation by faith alone in Jesus atoning life death and resurrection.

Other marks of a cult.

Pseudo-Christian cults Have many other doctrinal distinctives that differentiate them from mainstream Christianity. While different Cult apologetics groups have given different definitions as to what doctrines are essential and non essential to orthodox biblical Christianity, the variances are minor. All list generally contain the following.

1. The necessary affirmation of the virgin birth of Jesus.
2. The necessary affirmation of Jesus literal death burial and resurrection.

Both of these denote Jesus’s divinity and the Triune nature of God.

3. The necessary affirmation of salvation/justification by grace through atonement.

All apologetics groups affirm these three as essentials. Below these “prime” essentials is a level of sub-prime essentials which would include doctrines on the nature of God, the nature of man, the nature of sin and the biblical precepts of heaven and hell and divine judgment, etc. etc.

Cult apologetics pioneer Walter Martin defined a cult as follows,, In his 1955 book The Rise of the Cults: An Introductory Guide to the Non-Christian Cults, Martin gave the following definition of a cult: “By cultism we mean the adherence to doctrines which are pointedly contradictory to orthodox Christianity and which yet claim the distinction of either tracing their origin to orthodox sources or of being in essential harmony with those sources. Cultism, in short, is any major deviation from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith.”

The glue and the sticking point that holds the cults apart from the real church is legalism. Legalism is mans efforts to appease God and justify himself through any kind of self effort. By far what the cults have most in common is legalism. In many cases that may be the only thing they have in common. Yet as you will learn they will all come together to say that salvation is not a gracious gift of God but must in some way be earned.

The question is sometimes asked in these rooms why don’t we just give the room up to so and so or so and so group? Have you ever entertained the idea of what that would result in? If all the “faith aloners” pulled out what would happen?

The only mutual point that ALL Pseudo-Christian cults share is their alliance against grace and support of human effort to obtain salvation. Once the debate over Salvation by Grace or by works was removed IT WOULD GET VERY INTERESTING IN THESE ROOMS. Don’t you think?

We would get to see people argue over who is the most perfect and deserving to get to heaven, which baptism by which church saves, and of course lets not forget which church is the one and only true church.
You will never see Cults come together to argue which cult is correct and which are not, but you will find that they will rally together and to refuse salvation by grace.

So lets imagine that all the “faith aloners” left and it was just various groups that are united against grace but very much at odds with each other over other matters. What would happen and which cult would be preferred over the others if we all left or just conceded and said OK salvation is not by grace?


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1. So “what is justification?”

First we must define salvation. I believe that salvation is best defined as a rescue operation. Salvation: Strong’s G4991 sōtēria Feminine of a derivative of G4990 as (properly abstract) noun; rescue or safety (physically or morally): – deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.
Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
Job 9:20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.
Let us notice that Job equates being justified with God as being perfect and clean (just, holy, righteous) and proposes a rhetorical question; “how can he be clean that is born of a woman?”. This shows that he IS NOT clean and CANNOT be cleaned or cleansed by his own self effort. “Born of a woman” here indicates both our sinful (fallen) nature which produces personal sin and the imputation of Adam’s sin to us. Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Mankind’s basic problem that must be solved if we are to have eternal life with God is that God is just, holy and righteous (PS 97:2, PS 119:142, Math. 5:48) and we are unjust, unholy and unrighteous. (Isa 53:6, Jere. 13:23, 17:9, Rom 3:10-18, 3:23, 1Cor. 2:13, Gal.3:22, Eph 2:1-3, James 1:5) Our sin and God’s holiness separates us from God. But scripture says that God is just and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus. (Rom 3:26)
Justify ,justifier, justified and justification come from the root word just; which in its most common use means holy, righteous or innocent. Strong’s dictionary gives the following definitions for the following NT words.
JUST G1342 dikaios From G1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): – just, meet, right (-eous).
JUSTIFY, JUSTIFIED, JUSTIFIER G1344 dikaioo From G1342; to render (that is, show or regard as) just or innocent: – free, justify (-ier), be righteous.
JUSTIFICATION G1345 dikaio From G1344; an equitable deed; by implication a statute or decision: – judgment, justification, ordinance, righteousness. G1347 dikaio From G1344; acquittal (for Christ’s sake): – justification.
We can see from these definitions that to be just is to be holy righteous and innocent; and to be justified is to be rendered (shown, regarded) and declared to be just (holy, righteous and innocent). We also can see that justification is a decision that results in acquittal. Therefore Wayne Grudem in his book [Systematic Theology; an introduction to biblical doctrine], is correct in saying that “justification is an instantaneous legal act of God in which He (1) thinks of our sins as forgiven and Christ’s righteousness as belonging to us, and (2) declares us to be righteous in his sight. (pg722)”
Justification is a right legal standing before God concerning our relationship to God‘s laws, stating that we are completely forgiven and no longer liable to punishment (wages of sin=spiritual death). Mr. Grudem notes, “A right understanding of justification is absolutely crucial to the whole of the Christian faith. Once Martin Luther realized the truth of justification by faith alone, he became a Christian and overflowed with the new found joy of the Gospel. The primary issue in the protestant reformation was a dispute with the Roman Catholic Church over justification. If we are to safeguard the truth of the gospel for future generations, we must understand the truth of justification. Even today, a true view of justification is the dividing line between the biblical gospel of salvation by faith alone and all false gospels of salvation based on good works (pg 723).”
Martin Luther declared, “The doctrine of justification is the article by which the church stands or falls.”
“[Justification is] the chief doctrine of Christianity and the chief point of difference separating Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.” [Jaroslav Pelikan, in “The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine.” Vol4 Pg 139]

The (free=without cost) Theology Program from Bible.org at http://www.thetheologyprogram.com gives the following definitions of the Roman Catholic and Protestant views of justification.

ROMAN CATHOLIC VIEW: “Justification is a process through which the limitless merits of Christ are appropriated by the church through people responding to God through faith and works.”
The Council of Trent (1545-1563) declared “this disposition or preparation [of faith] is followed by justification itself, which is not only a remission of sins but also the sanctification and renewal on the inward man through the voluntary reception of the grace and gifts whereby an unjust man becomes just and from being an enemy becomes a friend, that he may be the heir to the hope of eternal life.”
The Roman Catholic view of Justification was summed up by the Roman Catholic Church with the Latin term; “ex opere operato” = “By the work performed”. The authors of the theology program further define this term as “the belief accepted by Roman Catholics and rejected by Protestants that the sacraments administer grace to the recipient by virtue of the act itself through the power given to the church, regardless of the faith of the individual”
PROTESTANT VIEW: “Justification is a forensic declaration in which a sinner is declared righteous while still in a sinning state. It is a justification in standing, not in nature that occurs in an instantaneous event.”

Martin Luther said of Jesus, “He has made His righteousness my righteousness, and my sin His sin. If he has made my sin to be his sin, then I do not have it and am free. If he has made his righteousness my righteousness, then I am righteous now with the same righteousness as He. My sin cannot devour Him, but it is engulfed in the unfathomable depths of his righteousness for he himself is God, who is blessed forever.” (“Lectures on Romans” in Luther’s works; Hilton C. Oswald p.188)

The reformers (Protestant) view of justification was summed up with the Latin term; “simul iustus et peccator” = “same time just and sinner”. The authors of the theology program define this term as “Luther’s paradoxical dictum explaining that a Christian has a legal or forensic righteous standing before God according to the work of Christ, while at the same time lives as a sinner according to his own merits. This was adhered to by the reformers in rejection to the Roman Catholic concept of infused righteousness.”
The main difference between the Roman Catholic view of justification and the protestant view of justification is wrapped up in 2 terms. 1. “Infused righteousness” (a process of God and man by which man must become actually righteous before he is said to be justified) 2. “Imputed righteousness” (a one time event in which God justifies sinners by reckoning Christ’s righteousness to their account through a legal declaration). The biggest difference between the Roman Catholic view of justification and the Protestant view of justification is that one is by faith and works together and the other is by faith alone. The Catholics view justification as a work of both God and man together while Protestants view justification as a work of God alone. Wayne Grudem says of the Protestant Reformation “When the good news of the gospel truly became the good news of totally free salvation in Jesus Christ, then it spread like wildfire throughout the civilized world. It was simply a recovery of the original gospel which declares, “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23) and insist that “there is therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1)” Pg. 729.
Does the bible say that justification is a process or an event? According to the bible, who does the justifying, God or man? Is justification by faith and works or by faith alone?
Rom 3:19-28 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Rom 4:1-5 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified (past tense) by faith, we have (present tense) peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Paul says that God “justifies him who has faith in Jesus“(Rom 3:26) and that “a man is justified by faith apart from works of law” (Rom 3; 28) The word of God which was delivered to Paul by Jesus himself (1Cor 1:23, 15:3) says that “since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom5:1) Because “a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal2:16)
Justification is solely a work of God that we must receive. We must answer God’s call.
Rom 8:30-34 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
Act 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Rom 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
ATONEMENT/RECONCILIATION: G2643 katallage From G2644; exchange (figuratively adjustment), that is, restoration to (the divine) favor: – atonement, reconciliation (-ing).
In the Old Testament, we can see that the institution of the Passover points to atonement through a vicarious substitution. The sacrificial system (esp. the day of atonement) pointed to the perfect sacrifice that Christ would give on behalf of our sins (Lev, 16:9-10, 16, 29) Christ is later called the lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29, Rev. 5:7) In addition, Isaiah 53 vividly describes atonement through a vicarious substitution.

2. So “Is justification salvation“?

I believe so. Obviously, there are many other biblical terms to describe salvation such as election, calling, regeneration (spiritual rebirth), conversion (moral revolution through faith and repentance), sanctification (growth in likeness of Christ), glorification (receiving a resurrected body), and others. But Justification embodies other biblical terms for salvation such as atonement (restoration to divine favor), reconciliation (restoration to divine favor), redemption (to purchase), propitiation (the act by where which God‘s righteous wrath is satisfied by the atonement of Christ) and deliverance (ransom) . The preceding definitions come from Strong’s dictionary, Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem or The Theology Program.
Justification is the result of God applying the work of Christ to the believer though faith (trust) in Jesus Christ’s death in our place on the cross; resulting in the forgiveness of our sins and the imputation of Christ perfect righteousness to our account. Justification is the result of atonement, reconciliation, redemption, deliverance and propitiation rendered through Christ perfect life and substitutionary death. In my opinion, regeneration (being born again) is the only other biblical term for salvation that could possibly rival justification as an accurate synonym for salvation but regeneration is still not as fully a descriptive term for salvation. Regeneration causes conversion through faith and repentance. The result of justification is that we go from an unjust state to a totally justified position while still not being totally just in actual practice. (John 9:41, 1John 1:8)
Justification and salvation are terms that are used interchangeably in God’s word. We are “saved through faith“(Eph 2; 8), and “justified by faith” (Rom 5:1, Gal 2:16). We are saved not according to our works (2Tim1:9) and we are not justified by our works (Gal 2:16). We are saved by God’s grace. (Acts15:11, Eph2:8) We are justified by God’s grace. (Titus 3:7, Rom 3:24)
As noted above, if we are to have eternal life with God, mankind’s most basic problem that must be solved is that God is just, holy and righteous (PS 97:2, PS 119:142) and mankind is unjust, unholy and unrighteous. (Isa 53:6, Rom 3:10-18, 3:23, Gal 3:22, Eph 2:1, James 1:5) God is intrinsically by His nature just and he cannot even look upon sin (iniquity) Holiness is an immutable attribute of God’s character. Hab 1:13a Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.
Therefore, God must punish our sin. Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Eze 18:20a The soul that sinneth, it shall die. Spiritual death (separation from God) has always been the wages of sin. (Gen2:17, 3:6,23,24, Eze 28:15,16) The solution to mans problem is the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I believe that salvation and justification are synonymous because the promise of eternal life is achieved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ resulting in our redemption and reconciliation to God through Christ’s atonement. That atonement needs to be applied to us, through faith in Jesus as our Savior, because of our sins and separation from God. But Jesus bridges the gap between God and us.
He provides the way that we may be restored to right relationship with God both at the moment of faith and even more so in the moment of death. Salvation and justification is achieved for us, by Jesus Christ, by our sins being imputed to Him on the cross (thus making a propitiation towards God), and Jesus’s perfect righteousness being imputed to our account for us. (Gen 15:6, Rom 4:3-5, 8-11, 22-24, 5:13, Gal 3:6, James 2:23) Christ perfect sacrifice expiates our sin through propitiation (the act by where which God‘s righteous wrath is satisfied by the atonement of Christ) i.e. [Rom 3:25, 1John 2:2, 1John 4:10]` And the work of Jesus Christ results in our justification and salvation. God is just and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus. (Rom 3:26) Therefore, I would say, yes, “Justification is Salvation…Would you say that a person who God has justified is not saved?
Perhaps you have heard the popular and clever play on words for “justified” that says “just-as-if -I-had-never-sinned” or “just-as-if-I-had-lived-a-life-of-perfect-righteousness”. These sayings contain a portion of the truth about justification but not the whole of the truth of justification.
Obviously we have not “lived lives of perfect righteousness” nor have we “never sinned” and we are in fact deserving of death as the wages of sin, because we are in reality sinners who have transgressed God‘s laws . Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Deu 27:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen. Jam 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. But JESUS LAYED DOWN HIS LIFE so,
Joh 3:15-18 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ,
It was Jesus, 1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. It was Jesus Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: It was Jesus Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Jesus not only saves us from the penalty of sin (spiritual death), but also from the power of sin so that sin should not have dominion over us. (Rom. 6:6,11) Because, Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
It was because of justification by faith alone that Paul could say Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. John the Baptist said of Jesus Christ “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom 5:15-19 But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Heb 7:26-27 For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
Heb 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Heb 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Eph 1:5-7 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.
Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1Jo 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Gal 1:3-5 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver (RESCUE) us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
There are only two ways to be saved. 1. Actually be totally and perfectly just, holy righteous and as innocent as God is. 2. Be justified by God as a free gift. When you stand before God on judgment day will you say I am just and deserve eternal life; or will you fall on your face and say “Lord have mercy on me a sinner“?
If you have been working for your salvation or justification, or if you have never known Jesus, will you receive God’s free gracious gift of salvation by faith (trust) alone in Jesus Christ as your savior at this moment?
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