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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : All Christians Believe "Works" are Essential for Salvation by David Servant

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But Zeke, you or anyone else, cannot ignore the passage in James.2:18-26. And no I am not trying to prove a point or make a doctrine. I am simpjy asking what you and others think tbis passage means in light if justification by fath alone.


 2013/6/18 13:34

Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


I don't ignore it, in fact it raises some interesting questions, but, never ever do I think or feel that it in some way challenges the doctrine of justification by faith.

There are some very good exegesis' of this text available for free which do not set Paul and James in opposition to each other.

If you are interested you can find the answer to what you are looking for.

Zeke Oosthuis

 2013/6/18 13:52Profile


You see this is what I find so revealing about the discussions about the North American Church. Scripture is interpreted in the light of experience and not what the word of God says.

Friends, we are justified by faith, and to suggest anything else is blasphemy to the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Mr Servants insistence that all Christians believe works are essential for salvation is unscriptural no matter how sincere he may be in addressing problems in the Church. ZekeO

Brother Zeke this subject is a really difficult one not because the scriptures are unclear, but precisely because experience of knowing Christ and the confidence which this brings can be shattered by continuous wilful sin. In this sense I believe every child of God can be shaken in their confidence of the Father's everlasting love even to the point of believing that we are ourselves either in danger of or else are in a position of having lost our eternal life. It wouldn't matter where one lived in this sense because although I agree in eternal security based on a long examination and even testing of this truth, an individual's personal walk will not be an easy one as far as confidence is concerned where sin and wilful continuous sin is practised.

It may well be true that particular churches in different regional areas are more given to experiential doctrines, but this does not mean that either the true doctrines of salvation or the principle underlying truth that we are justified by grace is proven wrong because a particular individual teacher or pastor makes assertions which appear to make a claim which contradicts that truth.

Where the difficulty arises is in how we express truth in the light of either our own experience or else in the light of a concern for other believers who we feel certain are walking in many sins and do so without any seeming sense of consequence. This is where OSAS as a teaching, including all of its parts, is misleading and confusing. Yet eternal salvation is a very foundation of truth and cannot be denied, no matter how hard some brethren feel they must do in order to address either their own sins or the sinning of other believers.

Imagine a man who is born again and in possession of eternal life then by some dreadful means falls away from childlike trust in the Father and ceases to confess his sins and in so doing hardens his heart to the point of discovering that it is possible to be more wicked having believed, than it was having had no belief at all. If in speaking in this way we are speaking of what is possible today then we would find that even today such things happen. The answer given to these things is that such a man could not have been saved in the first place. Yet I bear witness that such men exist. For one year without the knowledge or comprehension of a living soul I walked in blackest darkness pressing my mind to virtual destruction. Yet I broke no laws of men. It may not be possible to easily comprehend such things because we always think of sin as that which we commonly understand. Yet there are sins which are not commonly understood which stand far ahead in consequence than do even the most vile of things we could imagine. The most obvious one of these things is to set aside the sacrifice of Christ, and in that madness be prepared to suffer eternal destruction. In such a mind it is possible to even contemplate an open cooperation with the wicked one directly. Do you believe such things are possible for one born again? I have to tell you plainly and in fear and trembling such things are possible.

I won't press the point any further because it is difficult to easily imagine how it would serve the Lord. It may be sufficient enough to say that were such a man to rise up then God would take his life suddenly in order that his spirit will be saved in the day of the Lord. How it is possible for such things to happen in this day may in the end be a measure of what the Father permits, to both show what true wickedness really means and at the same time to comprehend the eternal purposes of God to keep His children from the lake of fire. In this day we will be dealing with such men on the earth once again. Men who can resist even the most clear and certain witness of Christ in all authority and compassion of the mercies of God, and yet still follow their own ends unto destruction. A careful reading of the things which led up to the exile of Israel will show just what this means. It is to openly and in defiance of the true knowledge of God, serve other god's. Today it means also to serve Satan directly as Satan is now comprehended directly through the ministry of Christ. It may be the rarest of things but it is possible and it will increasingly happen.

Mr Servant chooses to speak of the gross actions of perverse men who take the name of Christ (though who these men are is not stated). Men who abuse and murder children is in reality a hypothetical presentation because no one truly born again, who is not been driven out of their mind first, could do such a thing. Apart from this If the apostolic ministry were truly evident such things would not be possible. Such men would be handed over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, unto death if necessary. Such is God's answer to preserving those who have believed in His Son. That is the day I am waiting for and I believe it is coming just as it was in the first century churches under the apostles of Christ in that time. In the mean time we have that which we have. If those who are called to minister the word of God were themselves righteous in all their ways, others would be required to obey Christ through them. To know the love of the Father is to comprehend the fear of the Lord.

Yet there are sins which vastly outstrip even this type of wickedness and which have to do with directing ones anger towards God Himself by reason of an exceptional activity of Satan or because of the need for deliverance on the part of the offender from a terrible inclination to the occult or else the evil pride of life itself unrestrained by reason. Such a man was Judas Iscariot. When all of the other disciples caste down their means of a living and followed the Lord, trusting for their daily portion, Judas continued as a thief and continued to be motivated as a thief. Yet Judas witnessed every intimate reality of Christ, bar the transfiguration, and in that certain knowledge could not find it to come to the Lord privately and beg for help in his desperate condition. The reality lies in the nature of revelation first given or else as in the case of Judas, the Lord's own witness of Himself. Given the day in which we live these things are more relevant now than at any time in the past.

This is the deeper meaning of the age of lawlessness and therefore asserting that a true christian can end up in the lake of fire, whilst it is wrong, is an understandable thing to say. If you believe that claim as Mr Servant does, then clearly it becomes necessary to seek for an understanding to explain how it is possible. The explanation is that the grace of God cannot be at fault, so therein must grace be conditional and the possibility of believers perishing is real and justified by reason of wilful sin. I have sought out a clear unequivocal example of Mr Servant's belief in this matter and I post just one example as evidence of it. These words are to a man and their meaning cannot be mistaken.

"As you know, the Bible teaches that slanderers, deceivers, liars, hypocrites and immoral people will not inherit God's kingdom. But would I say that you have currently "lost your salvation"? No, God is graciously warning you and disciplining you in an attempt to effect your repentance because He still loves you and does not want you to spend eternity in hell".

In this statement there can be no equivocation that corresponding to the kingdom of heaven is eternal hell. Eternity cannot mean anything but eternity. Yet the man being addressed is spoken of in terms of "your salvation".

Of course I realise that in sharing these things I have said nothing concerning how a correct or sound way of thinking this issue through could be presented in this post. Then I take the view as you do that men can seek for an understanding themselves. Apart from that we are all learning how to understand and handle the word of life.

 2013/6/18 14:16

Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


I will be so bold as to say, that if anyone, anywhere truly believed that God has forgiven all their sins past, present and future they would live totally different lives.

That in Christ Jesus they are excepted, as they are, unconditionally loved in Christ, they would live totally different lives.

I believe this to be the absolute truth and I pray that the Holy Spirit of God would so burn this reality into my heart and mind. For the more that I know it the more I'll live it and will be living closer and closer to the book of Acts type Christianity.

Zeke Oosthuis

 2013/6/18 14:33Profile

Joined: 2011/9/16
Posts: 207


but sadly many people believe in their "belief on salvation by grace". Salvation is an experience, not just a doctrine.

hell-deserving conviction of sin is rare. Being born again is the work of GOD.

here is Heaven's Family's statement of faith:

 2013/6/18 23:26Profile

 Re: All Christians Believe "Works" are Essential for Salvation by David Ser

but sadly many people believe in their "belief on salvation by grace". Salvation is an experience, not just a doctrine.

hell-deserving conviction of sin is rare. Being born again is the work of GOD. joliboy

This comment brother takes us back to the other aspect of this OP which has been discussed. It is the idea that "many" people are not believers at all. In this case it is that which a person might hear after they have believed the false gospel which led them to believe in "nothing" which necessitated them to believe in a doctrine which is "false" because they don't believe in Christ anyway. In short they have no evidence that they belong to God because they have no experience of Christ, in short no "works".

There is a third way which is coming back into fashion. "Good works" despite personal understanding. I suppose if we look at the last scripture Apollos posted Ezekiel 16:49-50 we would conclude that Sodom appears to have been judged because of a lack of compassion on their part. From that we might comprehend that it is a lack of compassion which God is more concerned with. And this is the spirit of understanding which informs some of that which is being made visible even by the means now used [let the hearer understand]. On the other hand we could take the whole passage from 16:1 and see that these things are spoken to Jerusalem the city of God and have to do with all the sins of Judah [Israel] and how these sins reflect on her sisters [Samaria & Sodom] to make them seem as righteous. The passage runs from verse one to the end of chapter sixteen. The latter condition is a reflection of the former sins multiplied to an end. The greatest sin is not the latter but the former. It is personal understanding which makes for self restraint and a willingness to obedience. This understanding is the very Christ Himself crucified for sin and raised for our justification.

Nothing will stop this process. It is on.

The Lord knows.

 2013/6/19 4:50


ZekeO, et al,

Isn't salvation a WALK and not a "one time" act?

I am wondering why Adam's future sins were not forgiven. Why did he have to take ownership of future transgressions and be responsible for his choices, since he was God's son (luke 3:38), and yet we don't?

I just want to clarify. You are saying we don't have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling or even pick up our cross if we think it is too hard, because we are accepted and all our future sins are already forgiven?

Like a privileged billionaire in a sea of poor people, nothing can touch you.

Does that belief make me my own god, unaccountable to anyone?

 2013/6/19 7:30

Joined: 2005/9/1
Posts: 14


There is confusion which has at its root the failure to properly distinguish cause and effect or root and fruit. New heart plus word of God plus indwelling presence of God produces righteous fruit of God. He calls, He justifies He glorifies. We hear, we believe, we become like Christ, we obey like Christ, we are glorified like Christ. Don't confuse cause with effect. Christ indwelling us is the cause of justification and sanctification and as Paul says in Galations we receive Christ (justified ) and walk in Christ (sanctified ) by hearing with faith. Those who don't believe in God's effectual call struggle with cause and effect. God is the cause, everything else, including loving obedience is the effect of His causing.

 2013/6/19 9:19Profile


Makes sense. Good root produces good fruit.

But does a good root make the branch abide in the Vine?

In John 15, there is a conditional statement.


John 15:6 IF a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch

 2013/6/19 10:39


I am wondering why Adam's future sins were not forgiven. Why did he have to take ownership of future transgressions and be responsible for his choices, since he was God's son (luke 3:38), and yet we don't? just-in

Adam didn't have to take ownership of anything. He sinned and he died spiritually. Christ became sin for our sakes [the whole world]. He was crucified and became sin for our sake and so we can now live. As Christ was crucified from before the foundation of the world so Adam was personally included in that foreknowledge of God regarding His Son. Adam didn't live without the promise. It was made to him in the garden in the promised seed. It was on this basis that Eve was named [mother of the living].

Eve was a shrewd woman. Though she had three sons in succession it was not until the third son, Seth that she comprehended the reality in visibility of the line of the promised seed. Abel was murdered and Cain was a murderer. The man child Seth was her evidence of the promise. I believe that Adam and Eve lived with the knowledge and hope of the promise of God and took comfort from it. We on the other hand have the evidence of that promise, even Christ in you the hope of glory. How can we than ask concerning Adam, when we have Christ?

 2013/6/19 12:37

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