GOSPEL CONFUSION (2)

PMW 2018-001 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second in a two-part series on the proper presentation of the gospel. This is an important consideration for the truly biblical postmillennial hope. If the gospel is not understood, the method of presentation will be deficient, and the results of preaching will be skewed.

The Nature of Salvation

As A. W. Pink rightly stated: “Salvation is a supernatural work which produces supernatural effects.” [1] The dog returns to his vomit and the swine to the mud, but the believer stands in a new relationship to God (2 Peter 2:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Of the believer the Scriptures teach that he is chosen to be holy (Ephesians 1:4), obedient (1 Peter 1:2), and to bear fruit (John 15:16). He is ordained to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). He follows Christ (John 10:27). Christ died for him in order to redeem him from iniquity (Titus 2:14), to move him to live in righteousness (1 Peter 2:24), and to cause him to serve without fear in holiness and righteousness (Luke 1:74-75). He is predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). This begins with the new birth and is ultimately and perfectly realized in heaven. He is described as a called, chosen, and faithful person (Revelation 17:14).


Lord of the SavedLord of the Saved
(by Ken Gentry)

A critique of easy believism and affirmation of Lordship salvation. Shows the necessity of true, repentant faith to salvation.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Paul sternly warns professing believers: “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). John teaches: “No one who is born of God practices sin” (1 John 3:9, NASB). James says: “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). Faith is living, productive, and fruitful. This does not amount to perfectionism, eradicationism (the eradication of the sin nature), synergism (redemption by the aid of man), or autosoterism (self-salvation). It is essentially the same as the non-Lordship view of discipleship, except that all believers are considered as disciples.

Men are saved by God’s sovereign grace. That grace is channeled into the heart through repentant-faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The inclination and ability to believe is purely by the exercise of God’s efficacious grace. [2] The natural man does not have the power to believe: “No man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father” (John 6:65b). We who would evangelize must realize that “except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3), because “the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

So also the obedient course of the Christian’s life — though it has its ups and downs — is purely by God’s grace, and that grace is unto perseverance. As a natural fruit of regeneration, this is in contrast to the Non-Lordship view which insists that works are not natural for the believer.


Faith, Repentance, and Works (3 mp3 downloads)
By Ken Gentry

In this three part series will be found helpful materials for the Lordship controversy: saving faith, repentance, and good works.. Sadly many evangelical Christians are committed to “easy believism,” which confuses the gospel message.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


The Fruit of Salvation

There are important reasons we may expect fruitfulness and continuance over the long run for the truly redeemed. These are related to the very supernatural operations in salvation. The true believer is not acting unaided, when he believes. Neither is he receiving an addition to his life. True salvation involves a change in his life.

The Bible says the Christian is blessed with “all spiritual blessings” (Ephesians 1:3). Indeed, “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3a). The true Christian is under the power of grace, not of external law, consequently “sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14)

The convert to Christ has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God (Romans 8:10; Galatians 2:20). He has died to sin (Romans 6:2, 4, 6, 14; Galatians 1:4; Colossians 1:12-13), having been resurrected from spiritual death to spiritual life: “For as the Father raises up the dead, and quickens them; even so the Son quickens whom he will” (John 5:21). Thus, he “is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24b; cp. Romans 6:4-9; Colossians 2:13). Because of this the Christian has a new heart (Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26) and is a “new man” (Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9-10), a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:10). God’s power works within the Christian (Ephesians 1:19; Titus 3:5), while Christ intercedes for him (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).

An illustration of the all too frequent trifling of Non-Lordship preaching can be seen in the following evangelistic training. One pastor of a large church teaches a soul-sinning course that makes such statements as: “God is hard up and He will even use you.” “If you have trouble raising your money [for the church], just get some sinners converted.” “I tell my preacher boys in my church, ‘If you go to a church where they are about to vote you out, kick you out, go out and win enough folks to carry the vote right quick.” [3] The inescapable implications left after one of these messages are that not only is a person’s salvation dependent on someone else’s work, but also that a lost sinner is of little more value than an extra vote in keeping one’s pastorate. Are these “converts” being presented Christ in the biblical sense?

Of course, not all Non-Lordship advocates would utter such things. Yet this is not only a temptation in Non-Lordship doctrine, but is actually practiced by some.

Quite often this method will be defended on the ground that it is effective and results in numerous confessions and must be the work of God. This common fallacy is prompted by false logic. Even the heretical Mormon Church claims God’s blessing upon their amazingly successful work. Past Mormon president LeGrand Richards has dogmatically declared regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in this regard: “Is there any other organization to compare with it in all the world? This could not be the work of man — it must be the work of God.” [4] This ethical reasoning is derived from the Jesuit intentionalistic philosophy that teaches the end justifies the means. It is totally unscriptural, as seen in such Scriptures as Romans 3:8 and 6:1,2. Moses received water from the rock, when he disobediently struck it. But this did not show him to be right in that act (Numbers 20:7-13).

Conclusion

There is a story told of an accidental splicing of two advertisements in a newspaper. Somehow a car dealer’s ad was merged with a church advertisement. The result was an ad that read: “We preach Jesus Christ at the lowest price in years.” Current trends often tend to preach Jesus Christ at the lowest price in years. These trends are a natural development from the theological basis of Non-Lordship doctrine. Scripture preaches Him as Lord of Lord and King of Kings.

Notes
1. Arthur W. Pink, The Saint’s Perseverance (MacDill A.F.B., FL: Tyndale Bible Society, n.d.), p. 8.
2. John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965), chs. 1-3.
3. Jack Hyles, Let’s Go Soul Winning! (Murfreesboro, TN: Sword of the Lord, 1962), 8, 6, 7.
4. LeGrand Richards, A Marvelous Work and Wonder (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret, 1958), 168.

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One thought on “GOSPEL CONFUSION (2)

  1. Bnonn Tennant January 7, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Ken, I’ve appreciated this mini-series. It reflects a similar concern that I have come to. My thesis is that we have lost Lordship in much of evangelicalism because we have lost the focus of the gospel as being about a kingdom, rather than about atonement for our personal sins. Not that atonement isn’t important, but rather that it flows out of the gospel of the kingdom, rather than being the gospel of the kingdom.

    I think this is especially clear in how few people are able to decisively respond to Non-Lordship theology. It’s simple to refute Non-Lordship in a single question if you simply keep the kingdom of God at the center of the gospel: how can you become a citizen of a kingdom while refusing to recognize the authority of its king?

    I articulate this more fully here, if you’re interested: https://bnonn.com/what-is-the-kingdom-of-god-8/

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