WHY I’M HYPER ABOUT GRACE

Posted: December 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

grace

 

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

I’m convinced more and more that Christians walk more under condemnation, guilt and fear than they do love, mercy and grace. Why is that? I think it’s partly due to their past and how they see themselves in Christ. Something I preached to the church last Sunday morning, and that is when they see themselves, they should see a new creation, but more than that, they should see themselves as a child of God. How strange it is that believers are more frightened about sinning and losing their salvation than they are about living for Christ? That is not growing in grace, that is living in bondage – religious bondage. Please don’t misconstrue my words, for I am no more advocating a license to sin anymore than I am advocating sinless perfection. What I am saying is this, when we come to terms that we are flesh, weak and fall short in our daily walk, then we realize more importantly why we must rely on the finished work of the cross.

This is why the church is in a divide right now between hyper-grace believers and orthodox traditional views of sin and the need for daily repentance. Yet is there a middle ground? Yes. It is the cross. When we are in Christ (by faith) we are not only a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), but we have become one with him in spirit, mind and body. We become saturated in his grace. We are blameless before God, no matter what we might do AFTER the cross, as long as our faith is in him, Paul states we are blameless, Holy, and not a reproach (if we continue in the faith). (Colossians 1:22)

I loved my earthly Father, he was my dad, same as my Mother, she loves me and I love her, how much more should I not fear my heavenly Father? If we are in Christ, we are joint-heirs. We are servants by faith, children who are endeared by this one thing – love. So when some advocate a more law binding type of relationship, is it a relationship based on love, or obligation? There is a difference between the two. One is a based on love, the other is based on bondage to an obligation through fear. That is not Christ, nor what Christ is all about. We love him because he first loved us, and that same love affords us grace, grace to walk in his footsteps, knowing that in our own self we fall short (continually), but through grace by faith, we excel tremendously. That is because of love.

Yet many today continue to walk with the idea that they have to perform under some sort of ritual or moral obligation to receive God’s goodness, when in reality all they have to do is accept everything he did for us on the cross – by faith. It really is that simple. This is why there was no confusion over repentance (repentance is simply this: admittance, acknowledgement and correction), we admit our sin, we acknowledge our weakness, and we correct the wrong done by asking for forgiveness. Not a “changed” mind as some teach, for that promotes the concept of self-effort. If/when we repent, and our mind, as some claim is changed, then why did John say in 1 John 1:9 that if we confess our SINS (meaning more than one act) he (Christ) is faithful and just to forgive us our SINS? If repentance is a changed mind, then why did Peter, who wept sorely after he betrayed the Lord, was rebuked AGAIN for jealousy (sin) toward John? Notice something Jesus told Peter about forgiveness when he asked the Lord a simple question about another doing wrong? “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22)

The truth is, there will never come a point or time in your life where you will never have a “changed” mind in your life after you repent. The reason is simple, we are corruptible vessels, flesh and blood, men and women who have feet of clay. This is why Paul says we are justified by faith. The reason? Because the truth is, we are weak minded due to the flesh and sometimes we fail to repent when we do wrong, even in the simple things, we simply don’t measure up daily, this is why the believer is justified regardless of their actions, because the work has been accomplished by Christ and we receive the benefits. Again, this does not give license to willful sin, but I tell you a greater truth, that when we do sin, we are just as saved the moment we sin as the moment before we sin. Why? Because we are children, sons and daughters of God through Christ and what he did on the cross. Yes, we repent, but can we honestly say to ourselves we repent all the time? Most must answer no to this fact.

Living for Christ is more about fulfilling God’s will and serving him than it is about walking on egg shells toward God. I prefer to know that my salvation came because of my love for Christ and his finished work, than my attempting to appease the Lord through works. For it is my demonstration by faith, loving him and serving him which makes me his child, not because I have to repent every time I make a mistake in his eyes and toward his word, but it’s because even when I do sin, his grace affords me that same merit of unconditional love which I did not deserve, which covers my entire walk in grace, that I can openly with my heart acknowledge my failures when the Holy Spirit has access to my life. That is growing in grace and not walking in rules and rituals. More so, it’s knowing that I’m forever his child, not because of anything I could do, but what he did – on the cross. This is not hyper grace, but simple grace which has been afforded me because I didn’t deserve it, but given to me regardless because how much more he loved me.

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

Comments
  1. P N Chong says:

    Christopher, you wrote of many things. I think it would be too lengthy to engage with all your thoughts. But I will engage with a couple of them.

    1.
    You wrote: “This is why the church is in a divide right now between hyper-grace believers and orthodox traditional views of sin and the need for daily repentance. Yet is there a middle ground? Yes. It is the cross . . . . We are blameless before God, no matter what we might do AFTER the cross, as long as our faith is in him, Paul states we are blameless, Holy, and not a reproach (if we continue in the faith). (Colossians 1:22)

    I have been labelled a “traditionalist.” I replied that if being a “traditionalist” means I stick by what the Bible says, then I am one. Yes, I am aware that those of the “hyper-grace” camp also say they stick by what Scripture say. Then how is it that we have such divergent views?

    I am from Singapore, and I know quite a few people from New Creation Church, pastored by Joseph Prince, who is a principal proponent of “hyper-grace.” I have studied Joseph Prince’s “Destined to Reign” extensively. No believer will ever deny the doctrine of grace. We are what we are, and can be, solely by the grace of God. However I am persuaded that Joseph Prince’s “grace” is a distortion of Biblical grace.

    I have discussed with hard-core Joseph Prince adherents, including a lawyer who lives in the same block as I. While some have claimed “release from bondage,” there are many others who are in reality still under bondage to sin, but think they are not because of Joseph Prince’s teaching. Let me give a most extreme example.

    This man is a die hard devotee of Joseph Prince. He is divorced. His ex-wife and 2 children are now in USA. Is divorce is a sin? Does God forgive this man because of what Jesus had accomplished on the cross? Does God forgive if he does not repent and beg for forgiveness, but willfully remain in sin? I am persuaded that Scripture teaches that based on what Jesus accomplished on the cross, God will forgive him when he turn to the cross in repentance.

    But this man is currently living with a woman. Is he now an adulterer? Is he making that woman an adulteress? What does the apostle Paul say of adulterers? Can they inherit the kingdom of God? But Joseph Prince, using Romans 8:1, and similar verses, teaches that all past, present and future sins are already forgiven, with no conditions. So this man says his sins are already forgiven! Yes, Joseph Prince says he is against sin! But Joseph Prince, using 1 Cor 3:16, says that when a believer sins, he is still “righteous.” Joseph Prince conveniently ignores the last phrase in Romans 8:1, “in Christ Jesus,” and instead went off on a diversion discussing the KJV and NKJV’s insertion of a phrase which is not in the manuscripts. So Joseph Prince’s devotees does not ask what “in Christ Jesus” means. Will a person who is “in Christ Jesus” knowing and purposely live immorally with another woman who is not his wife? What does Paul teach in 1 Cor 6:9-10?

    Christopher, you yourself have written, “We are blameless before God, no matter what we might do AFTER the cross, as long as our faith is in him, Paul states we are blameless, Holy, and not a reproach (if we continue in the faith). (Colossians 1:22)”

    Christopher, you have written clearly that there is a condition which is: “as long as our faith is in Him.” I am in agreement with that. My question to you is, “Would a person who genuinely puts his faith in Jesus continues to sin blatantly?”

    How do we know if our faith remains?

    I have a lot more to discuss regarding Joseph Prince’s doctrine of “being righteous” even when we sin! But let me go briefly into a second discussion.

    2.
    You wrote: “Yet many today continue to walk with the idea that they have to perform under some sort of ritual or moral obligation to receive God’s goodness, when in reality all they have to do is accept everything he did for us on the cross – by faith.”

    I believe you have made a caricature of the majority of the “traditionalists” teaching. While it is clearly not possible to know what every preacher teaches, I am persuaded that no Bible honoring preacher who interpret Scripture in context will teach what you wrote.

    I have some points to make on “works,”

    Firstly the Bible teaches that God does reward our works done upon the right foundation.

    Secondly, while we cannot earn points to “please God” God is pleased that we do His will.

    Thirdly, it is clear that our salvation is solely based on belief in Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the cross. Not by works, But how do we know we have believed unto salvation? Jesus tells us that mere proclamation of belief and faith does not save. How do we know we are not fakes?

    If we are attached to the Vine, can we produce fruits other than grapes?

    Works do not saved. But works authenticate that we are indeed saved. How else do we know? What does 1 John 5:13 say about how we can know we are saved? Has it got to do with the way we “walk? Has it got to do with “obeying God’s commandments?”

    Now regarding the man who is living with a woman who is not his wife, does his willful disregard for what Scripture teaches regarding adultery confirm for us that he is attached to the Vine? If he is still attached to the Vine, has he shown fruits? if he has not shown fruits, what will the Father do with him?

    • There is a difference between willful sin (open rebellion) and ignorance. If a man openly rejects the word, rejects the conviction of the Holy Spirit in his actions, which are clearly wrong, then at that point, he edges on the side of spiritual failure, and the loss of his soul – unless he repents. Once again, how do we know that we are saved? Romans 10:9-10 clearly reveals the plan of salvation. Confession, then allow the Lord to begin the process of nurturing that person in the faith. A tree isn’t grown in a day, it takes TIME to grow. The same with a person who confesses Christ, they are saved, born again the moment that they believe, then they GROW into the faith, rooted firmly in Christ.

      • P N Chong says:

        I have much to agree with you. I believe that you will agree that this man (who lives with a woman who is not his wife) is living in willful sin, and that is a huge difference!

        While Joseph Prince asserts that he is against sin, his theology sets the basis for this man to continue in his sin, because Joseph Prince teaches that the believer’s future sin have already been forgiven without any conditions, all the time ignoring the condition of “in Christ Jesus.” You and I may have differing understanding of what “hyper-grace” is. I am taking the concept of “hyper-grace” from Joseph Prince, and this is where I am persuaded that Joseph Prince’s teaching of grace is a radical departure from Scripture and a distortion of Scripture. Joseph Prince is full of “double-talk.”

        This man is not the only person who lives this way. The lawyer I mentioned earlier would often leave home to surf porn, and then tell me he is OK, and he knows what he is doing. Then he goes to New Creation Church on Sundays. Another would get drunk on Saturday evening, then go to church on Sunday to “worship.”

        We should not expecting perfection. Nobody should expect perfection while we are on earth. 1 Timothy 4:15 tells us that we are works in progress. So how can we expect perfection from anyone? What we are talking about is willful habitual behavior. If this man confesses that he has sinned against God by living with this woman who is not his wife, but admits that he “could not help himself,” I can see that at the very least there is some indication that the Holy Spirit is convicting his action, as you had written.

        But here again we run into two problems with Joseph Prince “hyper-grace.”

        1. Joseph Prince’s “hyper-grace” insists that 1 John 1:9 is not directed to believers, so believers do not need to confess.Why? Because of Jesus’ completed work on the cross. So no sin to confess! Joseph Prince’s teaching is that when this man sins, he is still sinning in “righteousness!” So a righteous person does not need to confess!

        2. Joseph Prince’s “hyper-grace” teaches that the Holy Spirit does not convict believers. This is in direct contradiction to what you wrote, “rejects the conviction of the Holy Spirit in his actions, which are clearly wrong.”

        I believe when you talk of “spiritual failure,” you are talking of spiritual failure in a believer, and the Spirit is convicting him of his failure. So, are you right that the Holy Spirit convicts believers of sin, or is Joseph Prince right and you are mistaken?

        How many types of “hyper-grace” are there?

      • I wrote a long article on this blog on Prince, try to do a search and you’ll find it, if not I’ll post it in my next reply. Prince is wrong – dead wrong. He is leading many on the wrong path.

    • Believer says:

      This was one of the most well explained replies that I have ever read (in regard to Christian blogs, forums, and/or chats)! You have a gift of understanding Mr. Chong as you explained the purpose of our works validating our faith very well (many so called biblical experts have missed this point as they had falsely believed that Paul and James were in disagreement with one another). As I am sure that Mr. Christopher has pointed out, these are the times when there are many false prophets and tares who are trying to deceive the flock of Christ. I hope that the Lord will use you both to continue to warn the flock of such “wolves in sheep’s clothing!”

      • Clinton says:

        Works does not save or keep us saved but works is part of our walk with Jesus but not for salvation Or thinking the more works we do will please God notta

      • Believer says:

        Clinton, I don’t know if that was addressed to me, but I think you misunderstood what I stated (if it was addressed to me). I basically stated the same thing. I was commending Mr. Chong when he stated the following:

        “Works do not saved. But works authenticate that we are indeed saved.”

        He basically paraphrased what the Apostle James said when the latter stated that “faith, without works, is dead” (James 2:17). In other words, works serve an important purpose; for, if we claim to have faith in Jesus, then, our works (in spite of them being flawed) should resemble the Lord’s (because anyone can say that they are a “Christian” and not really mean it especially nowadays)!

      • Clinton says:

        I meant it for chong not you and I stand by what I said, my Pastor is JimmySwaggart he preaches the truth thats who I go by and the Bible

      • Clinton says:

        We are saved thru Jesus and the message of the Cross and we stay saved by believing that and putting all our faith and trust in Jesus daily and what he did on the Cross for us, its not hard we just accept it by faith and I do, when we take our spiritual eyes and hearts off Jesus and cross then we are in trouble with God, cuz God only accepts Jesus and his blood and his death burial resurrection anything else is sin

      • The fruit of the SPIRIT authenticate one is saved – not works. Mormons have works, they are not saved. Buddhists do great works, that does not authenticate anything, Judas worked miracles, so did the 70 disciples, but they LEFT Jesus. Works are simply works, nothing more.

      • clinton alexander says:

        exactly Brother Christopher

      • clinton alexander says:

        brother christopher am I am wrong in what I told believer

      • Believer says:

        If you read my original reply Clinton, I offered a caveat at the beginning of it where I stated that I was replying to your comment only if you were replying me. But be careful with mainstream preachers Mr. Clinton as many of them are too weighed down by this world (remember, a camel will have an easier time through an eye of a needle in entering the Kingdom of Heaven than a rich man will, Matt 19:24.).

        I am not sure if you were replying to me Mr. Chris (I state this because I never mentioned anything about our works, which are flawed, being what saves us). If you were, then, in regard to my “Faith without works, is dead,” bible citation, I will not back away from that stance. In fact, Mr. Chris, it supports yours! There are no fruits without actions (even a simple action such as proclaiming the Lord’s salvation brings fruition)! If all you have are words without any actions, then, you are no better than a talking stump who claims to have faith (while you are at it, you might as well as claim that you are a stump that can “fly” ). James’ doctrine certainly agrees with Paul’s and anyone who quotes either accurately is doing nothing wrong (as they both are biblical)!

      • Clinton says:

        I told you truth and im not backing works does not save or keep us saved works shows what God has done in our lives that were changed

      • Clinton says:

        Also my Pastor is Jimmy Swaggart and he is a man of God, do I worship him as God no, and I know there are otherfeand women of God that preach Jesus and the message of the Cross just like my Pastor but I do believe that majority of ministors and Pastors are not preaching the truth anymore, and I already know im saved why cuz I asked Jesus to save me years ago and I put my faith and trust in Jesus and what Jesus did On the cross daily as for works I did not say that we dont have works in our life we do have works but the works shows the fruit of the Spirit and God is doing in our lives, I simply said works dont save and keep us saved so im not against works it shows the fruits and God working in us and I know that works is part of a believers life but not for salvation or to keep us saved, my faith is in Jesus and what He did on the Cross and I accept and believe what Jesus did for me at calvary as the only means for salvation and to stay saved

      • clinton alexander says:

        Also I do believe brother Christopher preaches teaches the truth also this is what brother Christopher told me regarding works and I agree with brother christopher and believe it cuz its scriptural here is what he told me goodnite>>> Works is simply a bi-product that there is something different about us, about our life, not just works, but the actual fruits of the spirit itself, which is joy, love, longsuffering etc, etc. Works, while good, cannot maintain our salvation, nor can they save us, for if works was all it took, then Mormons, who do excellent works worldwide, would make it. But it’s not works, what James is referring to is not deeds done, but the work of Christ on the cross, what he did there is what saves us.

      • Believer says:

        Mr. Clinton, I don’t know Mr. Swaggart, but I do believe I’ve heard of him. I cannot judge him as a pastor or a Christian (and so I wont)!

        You come of kind of defensive in your posts, and I am not sure why as I am not arguing with your points. You pretty much stated, with more clarification in your more recent posts, the importance of works. But, I will add (and I do mean just add) that James did define the “works” concept when he provided an example of works in James 2:15-17 (KJV):

        15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

        16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

        17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

        If the hypothetical person that James spoke of claimed to be a “Christian,” then, this individual would obviously be a hypocrite as he couldn’t have the Holy Spirit in him and not be moved to help (unless he was quenching the Spirit). As our Lord said in Matt 7:16 *Ye shall know them by their fruits. . .” I think what brother Chong was saying that it’s important to acknowledge “works” proper place in a Christian’s life! Again, this goes along with what everyone has been saying. I think we Christians can be in such a hurry to defend our faith to eagerly (which is why we sometimes end up “preaching to the choir”).

      • Clinton says:

        I cleary stated works is part of the believers walk with Jesus but not for getting saved or staying saved and the reasom im defensive is cuz to many people on this blog and other people and belirvers not on this always pushing works to be saved and stay saved and thats why and im defensive with truth

      • Clinton says:

        I understand what ur saying

    • Believer says:

      It’s not on just this blog Clinton as, unfortunately, Christians in other forums are way too argumentative too (this observation has even been pointed out by other Christians and possibly unbelievers too). Nevertheless, I understand what you have been saying, and I have appreciated your inputs!

  2. P N Chong says:

    Thanks Christopher.

    I had taken Joseph Prince’s concept of “hyper-grace” because the word was used by Michael Brown to describe Joseph Prince’s brand of grace.

    Yes, I am with you that Prince is dead wrong. I am so afraid that his brand of grace would delude many into false sense of salvation. Or for those who are saved, make them into useless carcasses on the way to the promise land.

  3. clinton alexander says:

    amen Brother Christopher

  4. clinton alexander says:

    I agree brother christopher The fruit of the SPIRIT authenticate one is saved – not works, but people keep bringing up about works, so to clear any confusion brother christopher what is the purpose of works in our walk with Jesus

  5. P N Chong says:

    Let me give my reply with a clarification of what I mean by “authenticate.” It means, “To establish as genuine or valid.”

    Believer says, “I was commending Mr. Chong when he stated the following: ‘Works do not saved. But works authenticate that we are indeed saved.”

    Christopher says, “The fruit of the SPIRIT authenticate one is saved – not works . . . Works are simply works, nothing more.” Clinton agrees with Christopher, and says, “I agree brother Christopher The fruit of the SPIRIT authenticate one is saved – not works, but people keep bringing up about works, so to clear any confusion brother Christopher what is the purpose of works in our walk with Jesus.”

    We all agree that works do not save. The Bible is very clear on this. Please let us move on and not spend time on this when we all agree that salvation is not by works.

    I believe the contention is whether, “ . . . works authenticate that we are indeed saved,“ or whether “The fruit of the SPIRIT authenticates one is saved – not works . . . Works are simply works, nothing more.” I believe the perceived difference is little more than two sides to the coin. Let me share some thoughts for consideration.

    Firstly Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

    Yes, those who have believed unto salvation will bear the fruit of the Spirit. My questions are: “Is the fruit of the Spirit an abstract quality? Does it exist merely as a nebulous virtue? And how do we know we have the fruit of the Spirit?”

    Let us just look at “love.” What does Scripture teach us about what Biblical love?

    John 14:21, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me.” Our Lord Jesus says here that one who claims to love Him is the one who knows and keeps His commandments. John says the same in 1 John 5:3 and 2 John 1:6. Paul says in Romans 13:9 that loving your neighbour as yourself is in fact obeying the Ten commandments.

    John 15:13, “”Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” In John 13:34-35, Jesus commands His disciples to love as He loved us. How did our Lord Jesus love us? In the upper room, He washed His disciples’ feet. During His earthly ministry He proclaimed good news to the poor, bind up the broken hearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, and freedom to the prisoners. He did many other works. On the cross, He bore our sins, suffered scourge, shed His blood, and was crushed for our iniquities, and demonstrated the righteousness of God. Far from being an abstract quality, love is giving ourselves for others. Paul says the same in Romans 5:8 and Galatians 2:20

    Our Lord Jesus did many good works from His Father. (John 10:32) And He says that whoever believes in Him will do the works He had been doing. (John 14:12)

    1 John 4:10 “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” John tells us that God did not love us in abstract manner. God demonstrates His love by giving us His Son. John 3:16 says the same.

    Love is meaningless when relationships do not exist. Paul shows what joy is while being persecuted for the gospel. Peace fills us when the world around us is in turmoil. Patience is meaningless if where is no occasion for patience.

    Therefore the fruit of the Spirit is only made manifest when the Spirit-filled person is engaged in some form of relationship with others, and in the service of others. Faith without works is dead.

    Secondly, Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

    Colossians 1:10, “ . . so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

    Philippians 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

    Hebrews 10:24, “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds”

    I believe that Christopher and Clinton will agree that Scripture tells us that God begun a work in us, and He will perfect this work in us. Scripture also tells us that as God’s workmanship, we are created in Christ Jesus for good works, and we are to walk in them, i.e., good works as a way of life.

    Stedman teaches that the word, “workmanship” means “poem,” i.e., true believers are God’s poems; and God is working out in our lives a tremendous exhibition of His wisdom, His power, His love, His life, His character, His peace and His joy. True believers, those who bear the fruit of the Spirit are His masterpiece to be put on display. What do the nations see in that display? Good works such as kindness, love, mercy, compassion, etc.

    How can the old man do all these good works? By the empowering of the Spirit. Everyone that is truly saved is a testimony to the glory of God in the transformation of that life in the new creature. To do the good works we need the fruit of the Spirit.

    So yes, the fruit of the Spirit authenticates our salvation and tells us that we are the real stuff. But how do we know we are the real stuff apart from works? What Clinton describes as a “by-product” in fact authenticates true believers! Works authenticate that we have the fruit of the Spirit. The world cannot see “godly love, joy, peace, etc” apart from “works.” So to the world, the fruit of the Spirit is manifest not by declaration and assertion, but by good works, which leads me to ask thirdly, “Why good works?”

    1 Pet 2:12 “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

    Matthew 5:16, “”Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

    Ultimately God purposed us from eternity to glorify Him. He alone enabled us to glorify Him by cleaning us, giving us a new heart, and put the Spirit in us so that we would walk in His statutes and observe His ordinances. We glorify God by our transformed lives demonstrated by good works. And it is this very glory that God purposed to share with us for eternity through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Finally let me quote Stephen Charnock, “Those who lay claim to a relation to God without imitation of him are not children but bastards. They may be of his family by instruction but not by descent. There is no implantation in Christ without an imitation both of the Creator and Redeemer.” (Christ Crucified, page 110)

    • Works is not DEEDS, the works James is referring to is the work Christ did on the cross. Notice in James 2:21 “Was Abraham our father justified by works,…?” The idea is this, it was Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac (which was a symbol of Christ) that God justified Abraham in. Again, we are not talking deeds here, actually, the work James is implying is Christ work on the cross, the atonement. Faith without works IS dead, it simply means, one can have faith in God, but if that faith is not in Christ and him crucified, then it’s empty faith, because the works doesn’t justify the means. Catholics do great works, so do Mormons, are they saved? Of course not, because the object of their faith is not Christ and the cross. My faith in Christ and what he did on the cross, not only justifies me before God, but it also allows the Holy Spirit within me to DO good things as a bi-product BECAUSE of my faith in Christ. That saving faith has changed me to not only believe in Christ and the finished work on the cross, but it now begins to bring me into action by showing the world there is not only a difference, but a change within me. But anything I do does not justify me before God – it can’t. Only my faith, steadfast in Christ and what he did, justifies me before God. That’s the real issue, what is justifying you before God? Is it because you feed the poor? Big deal, I know Jehovah’s Witnesses who do the same thing. Is it because you give to homeless people? Big deal, the Catholics build the largest homeless shelters throughout the nation – and they are lost. So we imitate Christ by this one thing, we keep his commandments, which are 1. We love the Lord God with our heart, mind and soul. 2. We love our brother as our self, that’s it. There is nothing else left to do.
      So to those who still say one must have works, then should the thief who died next to jesus, who Christ told him, “Today you shall be with me in paradise.” be justified to salvation, even though he has no works to boast in? Yes! Because his works was in Jesus, and he believed upon him which brought forth salvation.

  6. Believer says:

    Mr. Christopher,

    I must point out that James immediately provided an example of what he meant in the very next verse after James 2:17. Moreover, in regard to your verse (i.e. James 2:21), Abraham was willingness to show that he was going to sacrifice Isaac is an important point that can’t be ignored! He didn’t just simply say to God “Oh, I have faith that you will raise up my son” without offering up Isaac (in actuality, he was stopped at the last moment) (Gen 22:8-12). Once again, that would make him a “talking stump” and there is no such thing as a Spirit-led Christian who is a talking stump! In fact, the Lord provided an excellent example of what a hypocrite looks like Matt 21:31-34. “To say and do not” makes your words empty. Even in your example (which is a fine example by the way sir) in regard to the thief who was crucified near Him. The thief declared his faith to another (against stout opposition if you include also the onlookers who didn’t believe); it wasn’t just a simple “yes” or a nod of the head as an answer to a close-ended question.

    See, I think Mr. Chong is trying to carefully point out that the growing believer may misconstrue what you have been saying. For if a hypothetical believing brother and/or sister sees a brother and/or sister in need, then, one might assume from your stance that the believing brother or sister won’t have to do anything (i.e. be spiritually compelled) because he or she supposedly has “faith in the Lord.” But as James pointed out: “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my work” (or, in the other words, “yes the Lord lives in me”) (James 2:18); otherwise, you would be just a talking stump (please forgive the redundancy). What makes a talking stump different from an unbeliever (rhetorical question) if the former isn’t showing any fruits of the Spirit because he or she claims that he or she merely has faith in the Lord? For instance, technically, if your words are twisted, one might assume that the Macedonians (only one of several examples of Christian charity in the NT) didn’t have to do a thing because they had their supposed faith in the Lord and the Spirit (Who can be quenched) (1Thess. 5:19), and they could have just told Paul to “tell our brothers and sisters to be well” when they knowingly had even a little to give and chose not to. Even though they were poor and afflicted, I am sure some of them were surprised by how compassionate they still felt toward their less fortunate brothers and sisters. But, it was the “will of the Lord” that stirred them up (2 Cor. 8:5). Be careful as there may be some brothers and sisters who would try to resist His will if they think that they can be just a talking stump throughout their walk with our Lord in this passing world!

    Please, bear in mind what both Mr. Chong and I have pointed out (as Mr. Chong stated in his previous post): We all agree that works do not save. The Bible is very clear on this. Please let us move on and not spend time on this when we all agree that salvation is not by works. In other words, respectfully, this point doesn’t need to be made any longer as we all have agreed on this point from the start!

    • Actually the point MUST be made even more simply because there is a rise of men who are attempting to guide the church BACK to law, BACK to works only and not faith based doctrine. So, as long as I am the OWNER of this blog and website and all content, I will CONTINUE to write what I feel is necessary.

      • Believer says:

        Respectfully, sir, no one was arguing over your status as being the owner of this blog! What “these men” are trying to accomplish is not and has not been what I or Mr. Chong have been trying to accomplish! Moreover, I stated my “please move on” comment in a suggestive tone! Consequently, your defensive tone, sir, was not befitting of one who refers to himself as being a prophet as you should be a veteran of the faith!

      • clintonalexander2016 says:

        so in other words ur saying lets move on and not preach Jesus and the message of the cross

        believer said >>>> The Bible is very clear on this. Please let us move on and not spend time on this when we all agree that salvation is not by works. In other words, respectfully, this point doesn’t need to be made any longer as we all have agreed on this point from the start!

      • It’s not a defensive tone friend, it’s simply making a point clear, on this site, comment on what I believe is necessary. You made a conscious decision to comment on my site, that made you part of the discussion, you could have read my commentary and simply ‘moved on’ but you didn’t, you took the next step in expressing your opinion – which is good – however, let me re-state this once again, I wish I could just ‘move on’, but since the modern church is under attack, I must state the truth, you decide whether or not to involve yourself by commenting or finding another site to visit. It’s not a defensive posture, just making it clear, exposing false doctrine sometimes must be fought, even if that is uncomfortable for those who wish to not rock the boat.

      • clinton alexander says:

        sounds like to me believer wants no longer no longer preach Christ and the Cross and go back to works

  7. clintonalexander2016 says:

    truth is there is no salvation without Jesus and the message of the cross and grace so believer ur wrong we wont move on cuz the saving message of Jesus and the message of the cross must be preached daily since thats the only way to be saved

    • Believer says:

      Mr. Alexander, I think you are confused as you made some accusations that my and Mr. Chong’s old posts have already covered. Again, please re-read my previous posts!

      In regard to Mr. Christopher, I agree with your last post. You see, the reason why I originally decided to post was to support Mr. Chong’s original post as I really appreciated it (and I still do), and I wanted him (I am assuming) to know this! But, in regard to my assumption that you were being defensive in your next to last post, I was basing that assumption on the fact that you capitalized several of your words, and I am sure that you are aware that such an action, at the very least, can be interpreted wrongly as it seemed like your tone was getting louder during those instances (I suppose you could have been using capitalization to emphasize your points, but I am used to seeing italics being employed instead of capitalization).
      Nevertheless, I won’t add any more “fuel to the fire” as I am not a fan of debates (which occurs way too often in Christian forums). Again, I just commented to support a brother, and I have no idea how it grew into a bigger issues! So I thank you Mr. Christopher and Mr. Alexander for your replies!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I skimmed thru the heavy debate that was going on here. Many good points presented. But I have to interject and reiterate about WHAT and WHO Christians are allowing into their gates. Unfortunately we are living in a time period that even the elect will and ARE being deceived in the church. People are too lazy to read the bible for themselves and they rely too much on from what is coming from the pulpit and from the shelves of “Christian” bookstores. They are not ignorant – they just wholeheartedly accept ANYTHING without checking it out for themselves. The trend that has been masterminded is very dangerous and those who are following are on very shakey if not volatile ground. Their
    foundation is built on sand and it is not standing nor will it stand when the Church willbe called upon to be the Church. Many have been deceived and are being deceived daily. And in the meantime churches caught up in this deception are getting richer, proliferating such nonsense and leading people down the proverbial path of deception to their doom. It is a time to call upon the Holy Spirit for discernment and put an end to this foolishness.

  9. diallady says:

    Want to know if there are others out there who are picking up on this also. Surely I can’t be the only one.

    • Believer says:

      No, Ms. Dialady, you are not. The churches are relying on scripted sermons and often these scripted sermons come from what is known as the “Word of Faith” Gospel (yep, this is where the “Prosperity Gospel” comes from). The modern “Christian Churches” are unfortunately filled with a bunch of insincere, worldly hypocrites there are too many false, self-appointed teachers who are leading them (and who leading the way in the creation of this mess)! These are just lukewarm times (as the Bible has forewarned). Lukewarm Christians would rather find a convenient, lazy way to worship (e.g. by sending their money to these imposters), than, to actually seek the movement of the Holy Spirit. I have seen too much secular dancing, singing, bad jokes, and etc. in these services! So, in short, I agree with your post (I am assuming that the “anonymous” post was yours of course).

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