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RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: Clarification

Quote:
Thank you RobertW, indeed, good stuff!



I just want to clarify that I am not promoting Finney's position on justification; I just wanted to set it out there for those that might wonder. But it is important to know that this was at the foundation of his preaching. The problem arises when the means of revival is a constant attack on assurance. It becomes the cure all for everything. I think this is highly dangerous.

Why? Because when folk get in step with much of the New Testament and the 'excitement' of revival might not be seen, an attempt might be made to attack assurance using some of the craziest fabrications of sins. Soon a person is damned for drinking tea or salting their food. It can become extremely legalistic. The key to revival is maintaining our First Love and 'occasionally' breaking up the fallow ground. But surely not with trivial things such as buying a nice dress or eating something for the enjoyment of it. So we need to BEWARE of this other 'extreme' that does not work the righteousness of God; it is nothing more than embalming a dead carcass. The Spirit has to come and give life.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/8/28 9:40Profile
boG
Member



Joined: 2008/5/21
Posts: 349
Las Vegas, NV

 Re: assurance

And indeed, more good stuff!
Thank you sir. Certainly that "extreme" does not work the righteousness of God.

However, I would have to say attacking assurance is not the problem. But the way in which it is done because you are obviously referring to a false and divisive attack:

Colossians 2
14. Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17. Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
18. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19. And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

And, Romans 14
11. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
13. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
14. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
16. Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
22. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
23. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.


So then the attack of assurance ought always to be focused here:

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.


And we are always commended to test ourselves to see that we be in the faith, that we have full assurance of faith and that nothing hinders us in this divine "race".

WOF will proclaim that "we have everything already" we just need to act on it, which is nonsense. Just jump off a cliff before you have a parachute on your back and just believe, "I already have the parachute!"

I like the way Finney laid it out:

"Justifying faith does not consist in believing that your sins are forgiven. If that was necessary, you would have to believe it before it was done, or to believe a lie. Remember, your sins are not forgiven until you believe. But if saving faith is believing that they are already forgiven, it is believing a thing before it takes place, which is absurd. You cannot believe your sins are forgiven, before you have evidence that they are forgiven; and you cannot have evidence that they are forgiven until it is true that they are forgiven, and they cannot be forgiven until you exercise saving faith. Therefore saving faith must be believing something else."


It is true, that our sins HAVE BEEN forgiven by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. But that is still not the same as BEING forgiven by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. The first says, "it is finished" and "come unto me ... I will give you rest for your souls". The second says, when Thou said "seek My face," O Lord, my heart said, "Thy face shall I seek" -- and comes unto Him.

This is the same principle for healing and anything else that is to be received from God.

We might as well describe it like a covenant, yes? God signed His Name in blood, swearing by Himself, and the covenant now awaits for us to make it a valid contract between us. And, before anyone gets pointy, I will continue to say it over and over: thus, God has called us, we respond as He has bid us to obey, He helps our infirmities and makes all things possible for us to do WITH Christ.


Then, just as the parable of the Vine and the Branches, Peter writes in his second epistle:

2 Peter 1
8. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
10. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
11. for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.


Marked note:

if these qualities are yours

and are increasing

It is not good enough to be "forgiven once" or "one act of faith" but it must CONTINUE and INCREASE, ABOUND, GROW.

So we may very well attack this assurance to see that it is firmly founded in faith towards God and BEARING fruit in keeping with repentance from dead works, thus, growing in faith, righteousness, peace, joy and love in the Holy Ghost. As we well know that no one can seperate us from the Love of God, but this says nothing concerning our own purposed walking away from Him and giving ourselves to be carried away by the lusts of our flesh. So if we honestly consider, even if someone comes against us with a clever argument, we shall not be shaken for we know in Whom we have believed; unless we are indeed found in sin and our accusers (though they be liars) speak the truth to our shame.

A proper attack would be like this:

2 Timothy 3
10. Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance,
11. persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!
12. Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
13. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
14. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15. and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17. so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

(and walking in every good work for which the Lord has equipped them and prepared before-hand for them to walk in.)

This is relationship.


_________________
Jordan

 2008/8/28 16:43Profile
awakenwithin
Member



Joined: 2007/1/31
Posts: 985
AZ

 Re:

Tj,
THank you for your humble heart in the way you ask the question. May Gods grace give you wisdom, from His hloy word. Blessing in your seeking.
May God help us to seek wisdom from The Word of God. Indeed it is our rock.

In Christ Alone
Cahrlene


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charlene

 2008/8/28 17:43Profile
rbanks
Member



Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Brother RobertW, thank you for your hard work in stating brother Finney more accurately. These other brothers who are so quick to judge him concerning his salvation over a few misunderstood words when he spoke thousands & thousands of words. It is easy to take any man’s words out of the context of the spirit and passion of his love for God and his creation like Finney.

I’m sure my friends who are so eager to judge brother Charles that if you are fortunate enough to get to heaven I’m sure it will be hard for you to get to see Finney because he will be so close to the throne and there will be so many former Calvinists surrounding him and thanking him for stirring them from their false conversion.

God used Finney to awaken the people to make sure of a real conversion. God used this man because of his great love for sinners. I believe God saw the damage that Calvinism and religion had caused in damning so many people to hell with a false sense of security in a false conversion that left people still in their sins. True conversion results in a new creature saved from sin. True conversion will result in a growing in sanctification. Justification that does not lead to sanctification is false. The bible tells us to make our calling and election sure.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (KJV) 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Just my thoughts brethren since others on here seem to have theirs in judging a brother who has done more for the kingdom of God than his judges have ever done for the kingdom of God or possible could ever do unless they get the same passion of the Holy Ghost that so filled brother Finney.

Oops! I did it again. I just seem to get ruffled about religionists. We need to bring forth fruit! Jesus said except we all repent we are going to perish. What ever you believe, have you repented, have you been justified and sanctified, for without holiness no man shall see the Lord. The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God and this is clear from the scriptures. We are justified by faith because of the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. Our righteousness comes from the Lord. We have none of ourselves. But a justification that does not result in a washing from our sins in the name of the Lord and does not sanctify us by the spirit of the Lord is not a fully justification by the Lord at all.

The same bible that says we are justified by faith also says we are justified by a working faith meaning a faith that works in bringing forth fruit. Read Romans and the book of James. It tells us a faith that we say we have but does not result in works (meaning fruitfulness) is dead. Now real faith is not dead but living and producing the fruit of the Spirit. A person needs to know that the conversion he thinks he has is really a true one instead of a false one. We don’t need to die to find out, for that will be too late. I don’t want to go to hell to find out I wasn’t really saved. The bible tells me to make sure. Amen brother Finney, Amen. Sorry I was just getting excited a little!! I thank God for people like Finney and you don’t have to appreciate him and that to your own sorrow. I also, believe it or not, appreciate people like John Calvin, Owens, and other puritans that have such rich teachings that are a blessing even though they have made errors as we all have.

I could list others like Finney who have blessed me and also were called heretics and blasphemers but I will just list the one I love the most, Jesus my Lord and Savior. Amen! And he will silence all His accusers.

Blessings to all!

 2008/8/28 21:35Profile
roaringlamb
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re:

I am still waiting for someone to address the Scripture alone and what it says about justification.


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patrick heaviside

 2008/8/28 22:58Profile
boG
Member



Joined: 2008/5/21
Posts: 349
Las Vegas, NV

 Re: Justification By Faith

Allow me to ask a question in turn,

If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, does he truly love God?

If someone says, "I have come to know Him (the Lord)," and does not keep His commandments, shall he inherit eternal life?



Quote:
Is a man declared right with God because of Christ's righteousness or does the man himself have to make himself righteous to be accepted by God?



No, man does not "make himself" righteous.


Quote:
If man is only right with God by his own righteousness, then what is the purpose of Christ's death? Why would there need to be a New Covenant if man could by his own will keep the Old one? Did Christ only die as an example for us, or was there a definite purpose for His death?



If you had read either of these posts of Finney's articles you would know that this is not what he is teaching.

The parable of the Vine and the Branches: If the branches do not bear fruit they are cut off and cast into the fire. Yet, the branches can not bear fruit of themselves unless they are in the True Vine.


Quote:
Does Scripture teach clearly that a man is justified(declared righteous)by faith in Christ alone?

If the answer to this is yes, then Finney and others who make the Christian's acceptance with God based upon moral behavior(sanctification) are wrong.



Finney says,

Faith is the medium by which the blessing is conveyed to the believer. The proof of this is in the Bible. The text declares it expressly. "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 he justified." The subject is too often treated of in the New Testament to be necessary to go into a labored proof. It is manifest, from the necessity of the case, that if men are saved at all, they must be justified in this way, and not by works of law, for "by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified."
[...]
[b]We are forgiven our sins on account of Christ[/b]. [u]It is our duty to repent and obey God, and when we do so, this is imputed to us as what it is, holiness, or obedience to God.[/u] [b]But for the forgiveness of our past sins, we must rely on Christ[/b]. [u]And therefore justification is said to be by faith in Jesus Christ.[/u]


Quote:
However the others usually use the term grace to mean a spark, or force that must be co-operated with to make it work. Or if you like, a little boost to clear the broken rungs on the ladder to Heaven. After that however, the Christian must climb in his own ability and power.



"the Christian must climb in his own ability and power" -- that is absurd. We still must remember the Parable of the Vine and the Branches.

Matthew 19
26. But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.



Quote:
For in one of the Canons, it clearly say that if a man says that a man is justified by faith alone, let him be anathema. I could be wrong, but Finney seems to echo the same sentiments in his view of the Doctrine of imputed righteousness.



Now this is a little tricky, the question arises, what did the Council of Trent mean by "faith alone"?

I do know what Finney means by his view of "imputed righteousness". It goes like this,

James 2
17. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
24. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
26. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

In this regard Finney said,

3. Nor does justification by faith imply that a sinner is justified by faith without good works, or personal holiness.

[b]Some suppose that justification by faith only, is without any regard to good works, or holiness[/b]. They have understood this from what Paul has said, where he insists so largely on justification by faith. But it should be borne in mind that Paul was combating [b]the error of the Jews, who expected to be justified by obeying the law[/b]. In opposition to this error, Paul insists on it that justification is by faith, without works of law.

[b]He does not mean that good works are unnecessary to justification, but that works of law are not good works[/b], because they spring from legal considerations, from hope and fear, [b]and NOT from faith that works by love[/b].

But inasmuch as a false theory had crept into the church on the other side, James took up the matter, and showed them that they had misunderstood Paul. And to show this, he takes the case of Abraham. "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works,

[u]and by works was faith made perfect?[/u]--[b]And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, Abraham believed God[/b],

[b]and it was imputed unto him for righteousness[/b]: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is [b]justified, and not by faith only[/b]."

This epistle was supposed to contradict Paul, and some of the ancient churches rejected it on that account. But they overlooked the fact that [b]Paul was speaking of one kind of works, and James of another[/b]. Paul was speaking of works performed from legal motives. [b]But he has everywhere insisted on good works springing from faith, or the righteousness of faith, as indispensable to salvation[/b]. All that he denies is, that works of law, or works grounded on legal motives, have anything to do in the matter of justification. And James teaches the same thing, when he teaches that men are justified, not by works nor by faith alone, [b]but by faith together with the works of faith; or as Paul expresses it, faith that works by love[/b].

You will bear in mind that I am speaking of gospel justification, which is very different from legal justification.





I hope this helps clear up some confusion on Finney's teachings.


_________________
Jordan

 2008/8/29 0:54Profile
rbanks
Member



Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Praise God brother boG for your excellent posts in trying to explain the truth about justification and I am thankful for your work.

I decided to take a portion of your latest post.


Quote:

boG wrote:

This epistle was supposed to contradict Paul, and some of the ancient churches rejected it on that account. But they overlooked the fact that [b]Paul was speaking of one kind of works, and James of another[/b]. Paul was speaking of works performed from legal motives. [b]But he has everywhere insisted on good works springing from faith, or the righteousness of faith, as indispensable to salvation[/b]. All that he denies is, that works of law, or works grounded on legal motives, have anything to do in the matter of justification. And James teaches the same thing, when he teaches that men are justified, not by works nor by faith alone, [b]but by faith together with the works of faith; or as Paul expresses it, faith that works by love[/b].

You will bear in mind that I am speaking of gospel justification, which is very different from legal justification.


I hope this helps clear up some confusion on Finney's teachings.



This is a very good explanation. I agree wholeheartedly with the proper attitude of works in James with faith. The bible tells us that it is our faith alone in Christ and his righteousness that brings about our justification. Our works God will not accept. We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Romans 4:16 says it is of faith that it might be by grace. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ. He imparts his righteousness to the true believer and we have a real conversion that results in a new creation that brings forth fruit. 1John chapters 1-5 tells us how we can have assurance of our salvation. Let us not think that we don’t need to check our life by the fruit it is bringing forth and see that the good works of God are evident.

Blessings to all!

 2008/8/29 9:49Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

Quote:
I do not believe that if a person demonstrates a single act of faith it is evidence they were regenerated. This is the danger of our times. Many folk do not understand what it means to be truly born from above. They live in their proof texts and are satisfied. But with my soul on the line I think it wise to keep studying the matter.



This is the truth. At times too much emphasis is placed on the physical action of coming forward. I have personally heard people defend their salvation by telling of their trip to the altar, as if the actually action of walking and kneeling were the key ingredients.

Thanks for all your efforts in attempting to bring clarity to the issues surrounding Mr. Finney. I, like you, do not find myself in agreement with all his conclusions, but I am beginning to understand it all a bit better.

Grace and peace


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TJ

 2008/8/29 10:35Profile
TaylorOtwell
Member



Joined: 2006/6/19
Posts: 927
Arkansas

 Re:

Under the gospel, sinners are not justified by having the obedience of Jesus Christ set down to their account, as if He had obeyed the law for them, or in their stead. -- Charles Finney

That is one of the most soul-damning, pernicious statements a person could utter out of their mouth.

As for me and my house, I'm not going to court this harlot doctrine that damns men. And, I don't believe anyone will anyone escape the fire of hell who does court it. May God give the grace to endure if my blood must soak the ground with the other martyrs who died speaking against this pagan notion that cries down the sovereignty of God and promotes the goodness and power of man's moral aptitude. May we not worship this golden calf while proclaiming a feast to the Lord on the morrow.

May the Lord keep us from such sinful errors, and work in us both to will and do his good pleasure as we believe the wrath satisfying propitiation that Christ has made for his people.

To claim that believing in justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ makes men loose in living is a plain denial of history. The men that are most remembered for holiness and mortification would have wept at such a denial of the gospel. It is a plain fact that men such as the Puritans, Edwards, Brainerd, Ryle, Spurgeon, etc. were strictly holy.

Charles Finney's teaching on justification is Roman Catholic, and that is a fact. Charles Finney believed what his systematic theology states. The book was published in 1851; Finney died in 1875.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, [b]he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness[/b], as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. -- Isaiah 61:10


_________________
Taylor Otwell

 2008/8/30 10:21Profile
rbanks
Member



Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

Quote:

TaylorOtwell wrote:
Under the gospel, sinners are not justified by having the obedience of Jesus Christ set down to their account, as if He had obeyed the law for them, or in their stead. -- Charles Finney

That is one of the most soul-damning, pernicious statements a person could utter out of their mouth.

As for me and my house, I'm not going to court this harlot doctrine that damns men. And, I don't believe anyone will anyone escape the fire of hell who does court it. May God give the grace to endure if my blood must soak the ground with the other martyrs who died speaking against this pagan notion that cries down the sovereignty of God and promotes the goodness and power of man's moral aptitude.




Brother I don't know you but I fear for you in the attitude of judgment that you have taken. I believe you have taken Finney out of context and accused him of promoting man's goodness over God's sovereignty.

I believe what Finney was trying to convey is that Christ obedience is not a substitute for our obedience. God wants us to be obedient also.

Look at what Finney said

"sinners are not justified by having the obedience of Jesus Christ set down to their account, as if He had obeyed the law for them, or in their stead"

Brother it was not the obedience of Jesus that was set down to our account as if he obeyed the law for us and we don't have to fulfill the righteousness of the Law.

The bible says-

Ro 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Ro 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Jesus being obedient to the Law as a man was not what was imputed to us. Jesus obeyed the Law and was made a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus was already righteous before he became a man. We are justified by his blood. God justifies all who have faith in Jesus. He was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification.

The things you have accused Finney of by taking a few words out of the context of what he was trying to convey is not right.

If you will look at more of his words you will see that He exalts the Lord Jesus and not man. Who has made you a judge over Finney? I'm very sure it is not God.

Jas 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
Jas 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Grace to you!

 2008/8/30 11:45Profile





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