The Man Who Refuses To Accept The Freeness Of Salvation
by David J. Stewart
“And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” —John 8:45
Some people just can't stand to be told the truth.
I recently wrote an article titled Unto Him That Worketh Not, concerning the freeness of Salvation taught in Romans 4:5, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him [Jesus] that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." In the article I quoted Romans 8:1, but only the first portion of the verse... "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus..."
A couple days after I published the article online, a man sent me a letter of critique, for not quoting the last part of Romans 8:1... "...who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." He alleged that people might get the wrongful idea that they have a license to sin if they just believe on Jesus.
I wrote him back and explained that I would 10,000 times rather see a person trust Jesus and think they have a license to sin, than have that person be misled into believing that they couldn't be saved without giving up their sins (which is a lie). I wrote the preceding article on Romans 4:5 to state God's salvation in simplest terms, with no strings attached. So many articles and Gospel tracts today are poorly written, leaving the reader to wonder whether they have to forsake their sins to be saved or not. I think it's a dangerous thing to tell people that they need to be willing to turn from sin to be saved. It's a play on words. The writer of the tract dare not say that you must turn from your sins to be saved, because that would be damnable heresy. So instead, Lordship Salvation is watered-down to mean, "be willing" to turn from sin.
The TRUTH is that you can't show me that teaching from the Bible. Jesus never required anyone to be willing to turn from sin to be saved, i.e., to be willing to forsake the sin itself. Jesus always healed them and then afterwards said... "Go and sin no more." What Romans 3:19 does require is that we become GUILTY, i.e., we realize our sin against God, and our condemnation under God's Law. A person MUST realize their guilt and deserved penalty, which is Hellfire, to be saved; BUT, this is quite different from requiring a person to be willing to forsake sin to be saved (which, in essence, is the same thing as Lordship Salvation).
It all boils down to your definition of the word "turn" (i.e., repent). You can't show me one verse in the Bible that tells us to "repent" FROM our sins to be saved. Rather, we are always told to repent TOWARDS GOD in faith (Acts 20:21). Mark 1:15 states, "...repent ye, and believe the gospel."
So does a believer have a license to sin? Yes and No! Yes, in the sense that no amount of willful sin can ever jeopardize our eternal security. And, No, in the sense that God does not approve of anyone committing sin, especially His children (who will be held doubly accountable--1st Peter 4:17). Christians will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ--some saved as by fire, i.e., they escaped Hell, but that's it. They'll receive no rewards at all (1st Corinthians 3:15).
So, like it or not, one who is born again in Christ Jesus DOES have a license to sin, but only in the sense that they CANNOT lose their salvation. Many people have a problem with this Biblical truth, but Romans 4:5 silences them... "unto him that worketh not."
It's disturbs me when people, such as the gentleman who wrote me above, cannot leave the freeness of salvation alone. What is so wrong with only quoting the first part of Romans 8:1? What the man wants me to do is to present the Gospel to lost sinners, while simultaneously reminding them of their obligation to walk in the Spirit once they get saved. But they're not saved yet! In effect, its just another backdoor approach to Lordship Salvation. In other words, God will save you, but don't just think you can get saved and live anyway you want. Folks, that's not part of the Gospel, its part of growth in grace that comes AFTER a person is saved. People need to stop adding things to the Gospel.
I know that MANY people decide NOT to get saved because they "think" they must clean up their life to do so. They've been lied to. Now, John 3:20 tells us that many sinners won't come to Christ because they love their sins; however, that is quite different from a sinner who sees his guilt, sees his penalty, wants to be saved, but he isn't willing to make a commitment which he can't keep. I have known honest men, who didn't want to come to Christ unless they were ready to clean up their lives, because someone lied to them about the freeness of salvation. Isn't that tragic?
They Just Can't Stand The Truth!
I receive hundreds of letters from people who are trying to find a way around the plain teachings of the Scriptures. Romans 4:5 speaks for Itself. Most churches today don't even have the truth, let alone speak the truth. The Word of God is Truth (John 17:17). Jesus Christ is Truth (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit is Truth (1st John 5:6). God must be worshipped in spirit and Truth (John 4:24). 2nd Thessalonians 2:10 tells us that the masses of this world will be deceived by the Antichrist because they don't love the Truth. The Truth is important my friend, and there's no greater truth than the freeness of salvation in Christ Jesus...
“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.” —John 3:16
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