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Confusing the Gospel

Dennis Priebe



  • April 25, 2008
    7:00 PM
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him one of you are back again redo look forward to our times down here and we are really looking forward to this weekend and I'm amazed people remember four years ago by basic theories usually time blurs the memory of old were you Norman when I first came to Portland Tennessee twenty three twenty two is the first time we met for your dog around here Belinda well this weekend we in this evening and tomorrow afternoon were to do some analyzing and are subject to analyze is going to be the relationship of justification and sanctification to salvation justification and sanctification how do they relate to our salvation and what is the biblical understanding now you might be asking the question why do I always talk about righteousness by faith because that is my primary subject and you've heard me talk about it from different angles this is just another angle from the very first one that we did here four years ago two reasons number one the gospel is the heart of salvation doctrines are important prophecy is important current events are interesting but the gospel is the heart of everything no matter how much had knowledge we have appear no matter how the how much we know about what is happening in our world if we don't have a savings strong secure a relationship with Jesus Christ nothing else really matters so I make no apologies for talking often about righteousness by faith and the second reason is that the challenges to the true Gospel keep coming they don't seem to lesson they don't seem to go away the challenges to the way to salvation works just keeps coming harder and harder and therefore sometimes we need to go back over it and back over it's over know what we believe and are not distracted by the various views that are out there some of which are very persuasive so what I'm going to do tonight is to analyze with you a column that appeared in the Adventist review written by the current editor of our Sabbath school quarterly I'm going to read the relevant parts of this article first and then were going to break it down and analyze it point by point this is the way it's written an independent ministry published a while back a special issue of its flagship magazine its definition of the everlasting gospel was that quote every man woman and child must die daily we must surrender our will moment by moment to God the heart united with his heart the mind united with his mind only then can we think the thoughts and live the life of Jesus here we are in the twenty first century more than one hundred thirteen years after eighteen eighty eight and this is how some still defined the everlasting gospel isn't the everlasting Gospel the good news that Jesus the God man lived a life of perfect obedience to the law and then died is my substitute in order that I by faith can claim his perfect righteousness as my own a righteousness that comes only by faith in his righteousness or righteousness credited to me apart from the works of the law through the power of God 's Spirit a believer can indeed die to self daily and indeed to think the thoughts and live the life of Jesus that's good news to but the moment these internal actions become conditions for justification the moment they become the means by which a person is saved the good news gets blunt the like with a sledgehammer the magazine theology is just like Roman Catholicism notice how humanistic health Center centered this understanding of the gospel is we must die daily we must surrender our will we must do this we must do that the argument that it's God doing the work works in the house and thus not our own doesn't let them off the hook if some folks do good works and some don't it's only because someone made a choice to allow God to work in them and some haven't it's still the people themselves doing these works and of these works justify them then there saved by faith and works God does work in us so that we can become righteous that's an undeniable part of the Christian experience but no matter how righteous we become by what God does in us our salvation still comes only from what God has done outside us in the life and death of Jesus our hope of salvation must never remain centered upon ourselves or what happens within instead the righteousness that saves us the obedience that redeems us and the holiness that justifies us always remains external to us a righteousness that exists in heaven itself the righteousness of God himself there's no Christ on their cross which means that whatever good they offer comes burdened with the unbearable weight of salvation by works which is no gospel and certainly not the everlasting one well that's the column truth error combination of both what is it and how can we tell how can we sort it all out something sound very good and some cost succumb in our minds do we have to do we have a clear enough understanding of how salvation words so that we can sort it out the truth from the error and know why some parts are truth and some parts are not before I actually go into an analysis of this column I thought you might be interested in some letters that came into the Adventist review after this column was printed quite a few gay men and here are some samples from some letters the gay men did Clifford Goldstein say there were no conditions to salvation there are certainly conditions that human beings must meet to gain salvation and some of them can be difficult to meet but meeting those conditions does not count for merit does not qualify us for heaven and does not constitute payment for fitness for work title to heaven all these things are gifts to us all are based initially always and solely on the righteousness of Christ the conditions merely guarantee that heavens population is limited to those who think it's a good idea to have Jesus in charge I was one letter another letter this was a masterpiece on righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ atoning sacrifice on a cruel cross at Calvary I another letter is a matter of record that in recent years some web in most eloquent in preaching the Cross have left the denomination carrying their entire church with them I like what I once read if legalism has killed its thousands anti- know me and is him no law has killed its ten thousand there must've been a better way to express what Goldstein was trying to say I'm not sure that it is accurate by merely quoting from just a piece of an article to say that quote they believe in righteousness by works and one last letter according to Goldstein 's view of the gospel Christ should have addressed Nicodemus in something like the following manner in John three Nicodemus you are a master of Israel but what you need to understand Mister Pharisee legalist is that you are justified by faith alone outside of and apart from what happens inside of you there are no conditions you're being justified or retaining justification other than your believing this is the essence of the gospel once you understand this objective gospel we can talk about being born again in the heart change the cops now this sounds like good news almost trouble is the master teacher did not say it this way instead he insisted another must that Nicodemus be born again with water cleansing and with the spirit well those are some of the letters that came in someone also sent me a letter that they wrote directly to him not credit the directly to him that went like this regarding sanctified obedience having no part in man's salvation as I follow your teaching to its logical conclusion a few questions arise if the Holy Spirit 's work in us and its resultant obedience does not enter into salvation 's picture because both are works whether or not it is God working in us then do we have to do anything by his grace to avoid receiving to be smart why is every man judged according to his works it works the inward working of the Spirit which produces both inward and outward righteousness have nothing to do with his salvation Adventism is a restorative movement one that not only restores God 's law but restores the mankind the genuine gospel of Jesus Christ which gives them the power to keep from sending if there is a truly definitive priceless cross it is found in the theology that denies the essential saving work of his indwelling spirit is a direct contradiction of the gospel of Jesus Christ is hailing him as Savior while denying his Lordship with a kiss and it is presumption no father worthy of the name would attempt to raise his children without conditions of OBD Creator of the heavens and earth not only has conditions of obedience he fills us with his own power of love to obey him to bear his image to the world and to vindicate his name before the unlock all onlooking universe from Genesis to Revelation the Bible is full of conditions that have a direct bearing on our salvation is so clear I cannot think of good minds become confused over this issue well you can see some of the concerns that various people have as they as they looked at this material and read it in the in the review column so we need to try to break it down a little bit what are the real issues and what does the Bible say on these issues I'm going to be canned by a little comment that someone made from time to time we read articles that astonish us it really takes your breath away the chief editor of our denominations worldwide adult Sabbath school Bible study guide thinks that what most of us understand to be the authentic gospel of Seventh-day Adventist and is another gospel than the one he holds the amazing thing he is exactly right as to that point it is an decidedly is a different gospel and I'm going to suggest to you that we are not dealing here with semantics we are not dealing here with just words we are dealing here believe it or not with two different versions of how the gospel works two different ways of salvation and we need to be able to see how it works so I'm going to go back now and look at just one paragraph at a time and then we'll discuss it and open our Bibles together this is the way it started this magazine 's definition of the everlasting gospel was that listen carefully every man woman and child must die daily we must surrender our will moment by moment to God heart united with his heart the mind united with his mind only then can we think the thoughts and live the life of Jesus in well that was the magazine statement on how we are say and here's his response here we are in the twenty first century and this is how some still define the everlasting gospel isn't the everlasting gospel to good news that Jesus the God man live the life of perfect obedience to the law and then died is my substitute in order to live by faith and claim his perfect righteousness is my own righteousness that comes only by faith in his righteousness or righteousness credited to me apart from the works of the law so first of all in this cell paragraph there is an admission there is an admission that the gospel is more than Christ life and death on the cross it says I by faith claim that that's something I must do is beyond just Christ dying on the cross eyed by faith claim his perfect righteousness as his own so faith is required so is faith a condition of salvation going to read some statements from the spirit of prophecy and then we'll read some from the Bible there is one key the center is pardoned on condition watch the word on condition that he receives Christ confessing and repenting of his sands and becoming renewed that a condition then confessing and repenting that was in the Loma Linda messages one oh three and one oh four in selected messages volume one three seventy seven there are conditions to our receiving justification and sanctification and the righteousness of Christ testimonies volume five five forty three and five thirty five God is made every provision to bring salvation within our reach but he will not thrust upon us against our will he has lay down conditions in his words and we should diligently interestedly with hardened mindset Robin Catherine learning these conditions lest we make some mistake in fable secure our title to the mansions above we must we should know what we must do to be saved we must meet the conditions laid down in the word of God or Diane R Sands we must know what moral changes are essential to be made in our characters through the grace of Christ in order to be fitted for the mentions above so the very first thing that were dealing with here is the question and is a major question are there conditions to salvation apart from Jesus death on the cross apart from his life apart from his resurrection are there conditions to my being saved remember the statement was made again that the gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect obedience and then died is my substitute that is the gospel according to this and so what is the true statement would you take your Bible right now it was too little Bible study Mark one verse fifteen this is John imprisoned Jesus comes into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God verse fifteen saying the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand what you have to do repent and believe the gospel two things that human beings must do to enter into the kingdom of God two things repent and believe right Hebrews Chapter 11 Hebrews Chapter 11 verse for faith chapter known well Hebrews eleven verse four by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain by which he obtained witness that he was righteous God testifying of his gifts and buy it be being dead you speak it what did able do the offer brought a lab offered the sacrifice that's an action he took would reverse eleven through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed and was delivered of a child when she was fascinated because she judged him faithful who would promise through faith that's believing trusting accepting through faith verse twenty four by faith Moses when he was come to years refused to be called the son of Pharaoh 's daughter choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God and to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season so by faith Moses chose not to stay with Pharaoh but the go with God 's people and all that that entailed by faith Moses show first John chapter three verse seven first John three percent of our getting to some what some get very uncomfortable with little children let no man deceive you he that US righteousness is righteous even as he is righteous all of a sudden the front the fear of legalism comes into our mind doing something obeying but there this key that has righteousness not just beliefs but does is righteous even as he is righteous and one vortex Titus chapter three verses five to seven not by works of righteousness which we have done all right so that eliminates what we can accomplish but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost which is shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior that being justified by his grace we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life so the stock about salvation it's talking about justification and its praises it uses the phrase as the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit so the Holy Spirit does some renewing before justification it is not just Jesus Christ died on the cross it is not just Jesus life Jesus lived obedient life it is the Holy Spirit 's renewing work and is regenerating work in the heart that produces justification sanctification is not the topic here justification is the topic statement from Ellen White steps to Christ page sixty three our only ground of hope now that's an important place to start our only ground of hope the only way we have any hope for salvation is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us that credited to us put to our account set to our name and he says and in that rock by his Spirit working in and through us so what is the only ground of hope is twofold it is the imputation of Christ's righteousness credited to me because I have no righteousness and it is the Holy Spirit working in major producer righteousness twofold ground of hope not one from real review and Herald August thirty one eighteen eighty six the word surrender comes in for high marks there must be an entire unreserved surrender to God a forsaking and turning away from the level the world and earthly things or we cannot be his disciples so before we even come into discipleship and an relationship to Christ there must be an entire unreserved surrender to God surrender is a very important word and here's another way to work comes in selected messages volume one three sixty six God requires the entire surrender of the heart before justification can take place and in order for man to retain justification there must be continual obedience self surrender selected messages volume one three sixty six surrender before justification and to retain justification continual obedience not intermittent obedience not obedience desired but continual obedience and this one from signs of the Times November fifteen eighteen ninety nine salvation means to us complete surrender of soul body and spirit salvation means complete surrender of soul body and spirit what we've just read is very clear that surrender of the will precedes justification no possibility of guessing at that no possibility of misunderstanding of surrender precedes justification than his surrender a condition of salvation obviously has to be because without surrender we are not say we are not say faith by the way is surrender were told that without faith we cannot come to God true faith is not believing that Jesus Christ exist the devils believe that an tremble truth debut yielding and committing that the Bible meaning of the word faith as a refers consistently to the word throughout the New Testament faith is added as a synonym for surrender surrender is a synonym for faith in the New Testament they are the same thing that's the only way we can receive Christ's righteousness the only way a little further in the column as he put it out he said through the power of God 's Spirit a believer can indeed die to self daily and indeed think the thoughts and life of the live a life of Jesus that's good news too but the moment these internal actions become conditions for justification the moment they become the means by which a person is saved the good news gets blunted like with a sledgehammer what is saying is that if we believe there are internal conditions heart conditions by which we can only be say that precede justification we destroy the good news if we say that there are internal conditions like dying daily and thinking the thoughts and living the life of Jesus when he sang his those are results of salvation not conditions to salvation they come later not before justification and so the condition there are no conditions to justification there may be conditions to sanctification the same but not conditions to justification again a couple of Ellen White statements again the same reference that I start let had last time implicit obedience is the condition of salvation God 's law must be obeyed in every particular she doesn't pull too many punches on that implicit obedience is the condition of salvation and must be therefore going to be saved here's another one this is the signs of the Times December fifteen eighteen eighty seven the great gift of salvation is freely offered to a through Jesus Christ on condition that we obey the law of God in other words the offer is there the offer of salvation is there but we don't have it until we fulfill the condition and she calls it obeying the law of God which many think his rank legalism and don't want to have anything to do with that one more self-denial is the condition of salvation self-denial by the electoral December nine eighteen ninety five so let's see what we found conditions of salvation we read one or two from the Bible that say repentance is a condition of salvation we had read that faith is a condition of salvation we have read that surrender is a condition of salvation we have even read that obedience is a condition of salvation and then we finally read that self-denial is a condition of salvation all those from Bible and spirit of prophecy sources are conditions of salvation here's where the problem comes this is where the confusion lies he said the moment these internal actions become conditions for justification these internal actions the moment they become the means by which a person is saved the good news gets blunted like with a sledgehammer the problem were facing here is confusing condition with me because he used the words right there conditions or means by which a person to say condition and means are they the same thing what is the only means of salvation what to do any good to have faith to repent to surrender if Jesus hadn't died on the cross we can be here repenting until we die and we will go right to our graves with no hope of salvation so all these things are the means of our salvation the cause of our salvation the only thing that causes our salvation the only thing that is a means of salvation is the life and death of Jesus on the cross just as he said that Jesus lived the life of perfect obedience and then died is my substitute that is the means of salvation conditions what then is a condition of salvation when you take a trip with a car of the dinner the car you turn on the engine and nothing happens you forgot to put gas in the guest or the engine is missed firing the spark plugs aren't working right and nothing happens what is the means for car transportation is it you're getting into the car that was the cause you to go down the road or is it the gas put into the engine and fired by the cylinders is not the means of car transportation the cause of car transportation now let's say that's all working just fine because the candidate is full of gas in the car and the engine is tuned up properly and you stand outside and say okay take me on radio and you stand outside how far will you get you have to get into the car don't you and you have to work some levers and some petals on the floor if you're getting it one inch down the road now that a cause of your car travel or a condition of your car travel I think the point a condition is different than costs condition and means are two totally different things one causes that car to run the other you participate in that car running by doing what is necessary to have a trip in that car all right vision and means are always separate when we exercise faith and when we obey doing these things right here neither causes salvation neither are means of salvation Jesus death and the work of the Holy Spirit is the cause of salvation so we must separate and you can use either word means for cause as totally different from condition but the problem is there put together as synonyms in this article when these internal actions become conditions for justification the moment they become the means by which a person to save the good news gets blunted like with a sledgehammer half of that sentence is right and half of that sentence is untrue that's the problem in sorting out these kinds of things one thing is put right next to the other to get us to believe that they're both the same thing and unfortunately they are not the same thing okay a little farther he says notice how humanistic how sinners centered this understanding of the gospel is we must die daily we must surrender our will we must do this we must do that the argument that it's God doing the work service and thus not Rome doesn't let them off the hook before I comment on this I want to read you something this came from way back in the nineteen seventies late nineteen seventies when Robert Brent Smead was producing his magazine called the present truths and here's what he said listen carefully here are the things you must do to get say one you must seek the Lord to you must repent three you must believe for you must choose five you must surrender all surrenders so that's the missing and him this tape called salvation that's the missing number of the combination lock that will break open the Christian secret of a happy life is it maybe another guru of victorious living frame comes along and says it got all the right points but you must rearrange the firing order as follows one four five two three enough this sort of gospel deserves to be mocked that was Britain's needs an analysis of the gospel that you must seek the Lord you must repent you must believe you must choose you must surrender the market he said that gospel deserves to be mocked it has no place in the gospel now it's certainly true that were invited to come to Jesus just as we are absolutely right there are no conditions to coming to Christ you come as you are he doesn't ask you to come with certain things in place but to justify a filthy and unregenerate sinner and leave and that way is that your righteous when you're not what you think can you be justified before regeneration that's the quest question friends meet said yes you are justified without surrender OBD and self-denial faith and repentance and he said that the gospel deserving to be marked on I sense the same approach right here to me read it to you again we must die daily we must surrender our will we must do this we must do that that sounds a little bit of the same told me about you is that we must being left out just a little bit many continue if some folks do good works and some don't it's only because some of made a choice to allow God to work in them and some haven't it's still the people themselves doing these works and if these works justify them then there saved by faith and works area faith and works that's the only possible solution we have that if we believe that the works justify for the second point that has to be analyzed a little bit is good works what is the proper place of good works what he is saying here is that they have no place because it were justified by good works then were working our way to heaven and that's not salvation at all works do not justifies what you say all right I'm going to suggest to you that this concept that good works are the works of us when we read it again so were very clear on this he says it's still the people themselves doing these works and if these works justify them than their saved by faith and works I'm going to suggest that that concept is thoroughly in conflict with Scripture all right children start with Galatians chapter two verse twenty Galatians chapter two verse twenty the question is who produces good works who produces good works I'm crucified with Christ nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ live within me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me what life in my living my life to there's another word which must come into contrast here to understand exactly what were dealing with and that is human works is there a difference a scriptural difference between human works and good works Philippians chapter two verses twelve and thirteen Philippians two twelve and thirteen wherefore my beloved as you always obeyed not as in my presence only but now much more in my absence work out your own salvation with fear and tremble before it is God which were good in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure our good works produced by the human being once were converted are they produce by God himself the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God Colossians chapter one verses twenty seven to twenty nine Colossians one twenty seven to twenty nine Julie God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among you gentle among the Gentiles which is Christ in you the hope of glory whom we preach warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus wherefore I also labor striving according to his working which work ethic in me mightily how is that human origin it works it's divine works Christ works which work us in me mightily one more text Mark thirteen eleven an interesting one doesn't really talk about works Mark thirteen eleven but when they shall lead you and deliver you up take no thought before hand what you shall speak neither do ye premeditate but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour that sneaky for it is not he that speak but the Holy Ghost when your defense you these remedies the Bible text in your mind and the Lord calls you don't like to speak furnaces don't worry I will let my Holy Spirit work through your mind and is not you know that will do the speaking it is the Holy Spirit that again doesn't sound like human speech that sounds like God speaking I think there's a difference between good works as defined in the Scriptures and human works which are not Sears the problem while we can choose to serve God and we all can't we can make the choice we can believe how much can we carry out of what we choose on our own takeover will look again at Romans seven if you have any doubts the good that I would I do not and that which I would not that I do I chose the new ride with my mind I serve the law of God and my flesh I serve the law of sin I got good intentions I make my choices I want to serve God and I find I have no abilities to carry it out human works don't do it the only hope that there is his God working through me true good works are possible only by God 's grace my friends only by God 's grace we can be the best of Saturday keepers and never keep one Sabbath in our lives Saturday can be kept by human works by refraining from activities and by doing all the right things and being in the right places but not one Sabbath can be kept by human ability because Sabbath keeping his holy heat Sabbath keeping the holy person keeps a holy Sabbath day changed by the power of God that's good works Sabbath keeping his good work Saturday keeping this team works there is a very important difference we was never ever think that we ourselves can provide or produce these works in us and to say to say as he said here that it's still the people themselves doing these works just unscriptural yes we choose we choose to do those works but then we ask for the power of God to enable us to do the works because we have no power of ourselves well he has one more call you're the one look at he says God does work in us so that we can become righteous that's an undeniable part of the Christian experience but no matter how righteous we become by what God does in us our salvation still comes only from what God has done outside us in the life and death of Jesus our hope of salvation must never remain centered upon ourselves or what happens within instead the righteousness that saves us the obedience that redeems us and the holiness that justifies us always remains external to us a righteousness that exists in heaven itself the righteousness of God himself so third issue that have to be looked at here is that the issue of how justification really works legal justification or experiential justification or both legal experiential what is the issue at stake here to see our hope of salvation has never been centered on ourselves that's where it becomes confusing once again because he says our hope of salvation must never remain centered upon ourselves were in total agreement there all we hold is that the inspired statements that we've been looking out say that says that God does work in us in this process in the process of our being say that it is also an inward experience not just a legal statement it is also an experience that we participate in and that is part of us as we read earlier on only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us that's legal justification and in that robbed by his Holy Spirit working in and through us the wall are asking is that we honor these statements for what they tell us and please notice again the two sentences it were put together our hope of salvation must never remain centered upon ourselves correct or what happens within error is a in one sentence truth and error put together what happens within according to Scripture is very very important this is the way came through in a Sabbath school lesson it was dealing with Abraham and the text used was Abraham believed in the Lord and he counted to him for righteousness here was the comment in the lesson however much Abrams life was a life of faith and obedience it was not a life of perfect faith and perfect obedience at times he displayed weakness in both areas the righteousness that saves us is the righteousness that is credited to us this means that we are declared righteous in the sight of God despite our faults it means that the God of heaven views us as righteous even if we are not there is the key to the whole thing God views us as righteous even when we are not so another word we can use here is this legal is declared we are declared righteous and this one here is making righteous and what this has just said is that Abraham was declared righteous even when he was not swayed came through in that particular room Fatah school lesson here's another interesting little footnote of history that had a controversy within the Coptic church in Egypt Zachariah at it from the Coptic Orthodox Church pastor of that church experience an evangelical conversion analysis church is divided to Zechariah has been teaching the justification is a mere verdict of righteousness without any inward renewal when God justifies sinners he declares them righteous without making them righteous and he cited Luther as of as his authority caused great controversy in his Coptic church nope not Seventh-day Adventist at all so here we have yes to the first endnote to the second for salvation and that separates with the reformers refused to separate the status and the life are we saved without the life we save about experience reformers never said that that is a misuse of the reformers to say that they were saved only by a legal declaration in the only way to keep it in harmony biblically is to keep new status and new life together when the new life is right the status is right when the status is right the life is right it is one unit it cannot be separated insane one is salvation will and the other is not salvation all the experience doesn't matter justification my friends is not legal fiction because legal fiction says I declare you righteous even though you're still filthy that's legal fiction and that's not what justification is all about new status new life new creation all the same thing just for interest sake I thought it be interesting to look at someone who lives works and has been a professor down here for a long time his name is Richard Rice and here is what he wrote for ministry magazine a while back is that sanctification as the New Testament describes it is an essential aspect of salvation it is not secondary or subordinate to salvation according to the New Testament a person is not saved and then sanctify a person is sanctified as a part of salvation this this whole issue is the evangelical dilemma justification say sanctification comes along later we say no salvation itself is a totality not a succession of different experiences the expressions justification and sanctification described not two separate experiences but aspects of the inclusive experience of salvation we need to get that clear we only separate justification sanctification so we can analyze them a little bit but they are one experience when we are justified we experience I can vacation and it happens at the same moment and is necessary for salvation he continued some discussions of salvation create the impression that justification is God 's word and sanctification is man's work this list right here but the New Testament represents God as responsible for both that is the New Testament God does both at this point someone may object that human effort is essential to sanctification while it has no part to play in justification the Christians good works are really the fruit of the spirit good works a Christian cannot point to anything in the experience of salvation in justification or sanctification as his contribution or achievement human works salvation is the work of God in all its aspects from first to last we could just get that one point we get most of the of the confusion settle because the main issue of the evangelical gospel is proclaimed throughout the world is that justification is God 's work and sanctification is half God 's work in half my work in the Bible says no sanctification is as much God 's work as his justification he continues our effort in sanctification is analogous to that of our faith in justification faith is a condition of justification but not a Contra very good condition but not contribution human effort may be a condition of sanctification but this does not render sanctification in part a human achievement we are not somehow more responsible for our sanctification then we offer our justification it is God who justifies but it is also God who sanctifies I thought that was a very astute and careful analysis of this issue that I came across another one from another name that is very common in the Seventh-day Adventist church his name is Maurice mended listen please don't miss it he's talking about the wedding garment the wedding garment represents sanctification Christ living his life in me through the Holy Spirit it represents obedience and victory and overcoming edit has not one threat of human devising in sanctification that's what's going on what putting on the wedding garment is all about and that's what Seventh-day Adventist is all about the truth is that overcoming is God 's work God 's work obedience is just as much a gift as his pardon victory is just as much a gift as his forgiveness sanctification is just as much a gift as his justification it is not something we achieve it is something we receive well said again well said that if there is anything in any of these things that are from us it isn't righteousness by faith if there is anything about righteousness by faith it all comes from God it is all part of God 's work for us and not of our own activities and not of our own efforts but thought you might enjoy just a few of those sidelights not prove the just interesting things of the corroboration not near the end of his piece in this column the author makes a telling admission he says and listen to when some Adventists are trying to meld evolution with our faith these people these people meeting the ones he is opposing the ones of the very righteousness by works the ones who are focusing on conditions the ones he says no good these people 's leaders read that again now when some Adventists are trying to melt evolution with our faith these people aren't when some advocates are questioning our prophetic message these people aren't when some Adventists are buying into the subjective and secularist premise notions of hers and historical criticism these people are when some Adventists are doubting the prophetic ministry of Ellen White these people aren't and then comes this chilling statement all of which is commendable except for one technicality there's no Christ on their cross which means that whatever good they offer comes burdened with the unbearable weight of salvation by works which is no gospel and certainly not the everlasting one very strong statement would you agree the ones who are trying to uphold the standards in the beliefs of Adventism are so tied into a legalistic gospel he is saying that there is no Christ on their crops there is no gospel this is not the gospel and he is opposing it with all his ability he says these the you think these folks have no trouble with evolution without historic prophetic understandings with historical criticism or with the ministry of Ellen White but because he thinks of these people also believe in a works gospel he rejects all their consistency on these other points with the with the suggestion that they are presenting to sell the work of salvation in a misstated manner I would agree as to one the importance of the gospel of righteousness by faith the way of salvation it is vital that we understand and explain this issue as our first priority no matter how much we want to talk about creation how much we want to talk about Ellen White those things are secondary I agree with that the gospel is primary but I will also insist that evangelism and Bible studies and baptisms if you connected with a false gospel do more harm than a feasibility people never came into the church at all because we will be baptizing tears into the church not an effect is what is happened recently with the gospel that doesn't have any conditions to it and that has no that is his focus only on justification legally done the most dangerous thing we can do I think is to take that approach just one more little thing that he said in another column that he wrote later he said I am saved by a righteousness that exists outside of me a righteousness that is credited to me independent of my own personal righteousness so I'm saved by this not this I can't imagine how anyone who knows the Lord was even seen a glimpse of God 's righteousness as revealed in Jesus could believe that whatever the Holy Spirit is doing in their lives is good enough to give them saving merit before God how could anyone drawing near to Jesus believe that whatever is happening in them justifies them in any way I'm amazed that people actually believe it all I can think now is in the next sentence all I can think is that these folks have never experienced justification by faith themselves what is just this I don't know what justification by faith and I've never experienced this my friends I totally disagree I mean totally disagree with his understanding of salvation and he's saying that if that is true I have never experienced justification by faith that is very very strong a pejorative statement and I don't think helps the situation here at all peers another statement from a different person is a former editor of ministry magazine he said salvation is made up of two parts grace and transformation grace is what saves us it is outside us and is given to us freely when we place our trust in Jesus transformation begins to take place the moment we received grace transformation takes place inside us we always look to grace for the assurance of our salvation what is he saying transformation doesn't say and grace is separate from transformation grace saves transformation is something else and it doesn't save us all where where where did all this come from no of my friends fruits always come from seeds planted fruits not appear on a tree by magic there's always a see this planet and these scenes may appear innocuous and harmless way back in nineteen seventy nine when Desmond Ford presented the same thing I've been reading to you from this column my friends that was Desmond Ford's presentation of Pacific Union College that's why whenever I read something like this my mind begins to spin right back twenty five years because all I read you in this column is what Desmond Ford shared with us as the gospel of salvation in nineteen seventy nine because of his statements a few are of discussion was raised throughout the Seventh-day Adventist church and that is on the issues of justification sanctification and the new birth those were the issues being discussed and one hundred forty five leaders of the church were called to Washington to study these issues and they produced a statement printed in the Adventist review all the dynamics of salvation and it is a good statement by and large but I want to share with you what I believe were some see you in the state section four says the new status in Christ and several things I listed justification reconciliation forgive nuts adoption and sanctification meeting consecration used in the sense of consecration self and they said that these terms justification reconciliation forgiveness adoption and sanctification along with the concepts they entail all point to our new status as Christian right as I read through those five points there was one word about transformation that didn't appear in those five points justification reconciliation forgiveness adoption and consecration transformation omitted continue Donald in this article even if we slip and fall as long as we stand in the faith relationship with God we retain our new status as his sons and daughters which left me with two unanswered questions what about cherishing that slip and fall about holding onto it defending it say I would've lost my temper of you hadn't anon anon what about holding onto that slip a what about repentance I didn't see anything about even if we slip and fall and repent but didn't appear even if we slip and fall as long as we stand in the face relationship with God we retain our new status as his sons and daughters so just didn't talk about cherishing or didn't talk about repentance and then they quoted the very famous steps to cry statement that I've gone over with you folks he reports it is not the occasional good deed or misdeed that the but the general trend of the life that indicates the direction in which we are moving in I would just say one thing direction is not the same as standing yes it does show what direction were moving but doesn't tell us if we stand righteous and unrighteous understating about that it's just direction misuse that's the part that section four five points for a new status in Christ in section five the new life in Christ now the status under the new life number one is new birth under comes new birth and the number two restoration and then sanctification right so new birth restoration and sanctification all put in the new life in Christ well as I looked at that I said new birth shouldn't be there that should be in the new status section new status meeting reconciliation justification and forgiveness as best I can tell us the new birth less a man is born again he shall not enter the kingdom of heaven but no here it's after the status now it's it sounds like the vacation segment segment and separating the new birth and the new life from justification and the new status letter to see my friends it plan to see that led to what we just read right here that it is only legal justification and not experiential justification that matters and then when sanctification was discussed the words works and fruit were used for sanctification works and fruit and nothing was said about sanctification being a gift of God 's grace which also planted the seed well it's my works something I have to do nothing about this being a special gift of God 's grace came across this statement from Ellen White the father will impart to you the sanctification of holiness which will fit you for his work in a world of sin and qualify you for an immortal inheritance asking them what happens here the father imparts sanctification I don't produce sanctification is a gift that Marty has a gift and that gets us and qualifies us for heaven not just justification and sanctification at signs of the Times June eighteen eighteen ninety six and then one more if the character which we develop during our probation is according to the divine pattern it qualifies us to receive the welcome well done character qualify which is denied here this is supposed to be outside of what qualifies us for heaven that is manuscript releases volume one page two oh one in other words we're not qualified for heaven by justification alone that is only were qualified by both justification and sanctification then it talks about obedience in this article and there is nothing about the word condition when obedience is mentioned here obedience is simply described as to how it will happen so my thoughts as I read through this article the dynamics of salvation with hindsight of course looking at it after twenty years of time is that the seeds that were planted here were largely seeds of all mission and misplacement not heresy not falsehood but putting something in the wrong place new birth putting it over with sanctification nothing about conditions largely old mission and misplacement and these seeds have made the evangelical gospel mainstream in the Seventh-day Adventist church now I want again share with you what the editor of ministry magazine said on this issues and is the title of his article was confused over the basis of salvation why our young people so confused over the gospel Sabbath school lessons unwittingly added to the confusion these lessons taught that the new birth is part of justification you were right here part of justification and he said that confuse remember I'm reading from someone who believes just as the editor of the saddest lessons believes on this point how converted do I have to be in order to be saying to question this is not to deny the importance of the new birth without it no one will see the kingdom of heaven but individuals cannot and dare not look to the new birth as part of the ground of their assurance in Christ C Cagle back and say why was born again therefore I have Christ as my Savior is no if they are justified by faith the new birth will inevitably follow so first unjustified legally justified and in the new birth comes later it follows after we're saying the new birth does not save according to this the new birth as a result of salvation which means if you're not born again you're still say because you've experienced legal justification you've been declared righteous because you believe at the same time God transforms them through the new birth experience the growth in Christ that begins here is the work of a lifetime never fully realized in this life and there's the second part yes we are born again he says were first say this saves us and then were born again and then we grow gradually never really fully completing it in this line never justification does not make a person in France Italy righteous sinners enjoy the assurance of salvation not because their standing rest in what has been done to them but because it rests in what Christ has done for them that was discord exact words not what happens in us but what he has done for us the new birth is not a qualification for heaven same author nowhere does the Bible say that a person gets to heaven on the basis of the new birth experience that amazes you two things happened simultaneously God declares those persons righteous on the basis of Christ's perfect life and death at the same moment he brings about the new birth experience so he says it happens but this is what saves in this is a result of while the work of Christ for them is perfect and complete the work of Christ in them is never fully completed in this life and that's wired where the problem lies because he does say that both things happen both things happen yes you are declared righteous and you are born again but by separating them and by saying that one saves and one as a result of salvation you can then say the inner work the experiential work is never fully completed in this life so it will always be imperfect you'll always be sending somewhat ill never have a complete transformed experience in that he says to lose that salvation to lose the salvation that they have by being declared righteous they have to make a conscious choice to withdraw their decision to depend alone on Christ's so how do you lose your salvation it turned your back on Christ is want to my life anymore you can't lose your salvation by breaking the Sabbath you can't lose your salvation by withholding tied because after all that's part of experiential and experiential is never complete and it doesn't say that it doesn't qualify you for heaven and it is not a condition of salvation so you cannot be lost by going out and getting drunk you cannot be lost by David committed adultery the only way you can be lost as turning your back on Christ and rejecting him that's the only way to be lost that's where the implications come easy this sounds good yes we are born again on the yes were declared righteous and yes were born again of God does both things but by separating them bring all these conclusions into play that it isn't so important he says no one will enter heaven without being both justified and sanctified good statement justification the work of Christ for me is always the basis of my salvation while sanctification the work of Christ in me is the result of my salvation so whenever you hear the phrase like that Christ's work for me Christ work in the one is the basis one is the result you know you're dealing with the evangelical gospel that is the heart and soul of what is being taught throughout Christianity today here was a conference president that responded to these articles in ministry magazine a conference president our own Pacific Union conference at that time Christ living within us by his Spirit is not that which saves us the concept of a higher power and me working together to procure and secure my salvation is pagan and has no place in Seventh-day Adventist memory that again if you missed it the concept of a higher power and me working together to procure and secure my salvation is pagan and has no place in Seventh-day Adventist that's all strong statements of become and how boldly have become in recent years on this issue the date on this happens to be nineteen ninety one nineteen ninety one that's one thing is no longer in that capacity and now this conference I'm going to finish up by going outside of Adventism because all of this that I'm saying here no conditions for salvation good works are really human works legal justification saves experiential justification does not say that just comes along for the ride this is not coming from inside Adventism this is coming from outside Adventism Philip Yancey is probably the the primary name throughout the modern Christianity or haps the most popular writer on the subject of salvation in the last ten years or so and among non- Adventist authors he is red in absences of an awful lot we sell a fair number of his books in our book centers in two thousand one for instance the Avondale College church with the approval of the Southern Pacific division invited him to speak on grace and they broadcasted over satellite to one hundred eighty locations throughout Australia so this is been a major major push in some places his book what's so amazing about Grace has been that watershed book what's so amazing about Grace perhaps one of the foremost books on the subject and you know the word grace send the word relationship are kind of in the same mold and mold these days someone suggested that perhaps the book my better of entitled only half of grace because Philip Yancey in three hundred pages that never mentions these texts and God is able to make all grace abound toward you that ye always having all sufficiency in all things may abound in every good work grace abound to every good work segregates nine eight these are text that do not appear in his book what's so amazing about Grace another one thou therefore my son be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus second Timothy two one for the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men teaching us the denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly righteously and godly in this present world Titus two eleven twelve let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear Hebrews twelve twenty eight never cared in his book on grace i.e. makes no mention of Jesus parable of the matter sold all they had to purchase the field and by that treasure or the merchant to do the same to buy the pearl of great price no mention of that of their giving up everything surrendering everything to buy that Perl the parable of the talents in which the diligent use of the yes but doesn't appear in all in the book as well in the prodigal son story Yancey implies that repentance or the lack thereof made no difference to the father and Jesus story the matter was unrepentant or not doesn't remain true that the son had to leave the Big Ten and start walking toward home to be re- accepted in the father 's family we don't read of the father traveling to the city where his son was partying apologizing for the legalistic rules which drove the subtle way and then offering the sign of unconditional invitation to return irrespective of how you live we only got doing and yet he says repentance or the lack thereof made no difference to the father Jesus didn't teach that gospel likewise in referring to the parable of the servant forgiven for the ten thousand talents he fails to mention the Bible 's clear teaching that the service forgiveness depended on his willingness to forgive someone else condition condition just as their peers Yancey again Jesus kingdom calls us to another way one that depends not on our performance but his own we do not have to achieve but merely follow the is already earned for us the costly victory of God 's acceptance in what has Jesus learned for us by his performance is earned for us the possibility of salvation hasn't he is earned for us grace on the merits it has he earned for us acceptance or does that come on the basis of certain conditions met is that the only way the acceptance will be there and this idea that he has already earned for us a costly victory of God 's acceptance is rampant in Adventism today that are asked of that our acceptance has nothing to do with our behavior they are totally separate ideas and one yes for favorably one rights of God 's unconditional grace and forgiveness notice the words unconditional grace and forgiveness putting to a truth of also together God 's grace is unconditional he offers it to everyone his love is unconditional but his forgiveness is depending on a condition to words one truth and one error he quotes send a note at one point again he quotes a person who insists the grace comes with no strings attached demanding nothing from us but that we shall await it with confidence and acknowledge it in gratitude he believes an umbrella view you see of God 's forgiveness a canopy supposedly covering past present and future since all it wants because this legal justification covers it all so that means that we are sins in the future are covered by the umbrella of justification Yancey again makes no distinction between what we do in our own strength human works and what the sanctified Christian does through God strength nothing about that he says about Jesus Jesus proclaims unmistakably that God 's law is so perfect and absolute that no one can achieve righteousness right yet God 's grace is so great that we do not have to after what achieve righteousness safety the first point God says no one can achieve righteousness correct the second point should read God 's grace is so grace that he provides an and works righteousness in the house but instead he says God 's grace is so great that we do not have to achieve that righteousness he says it is our human destiny on earth to remain imperfect and incomplete is not a lovely goal for Christianity that's what Christ offers us to remain imperfect and incomplete one forty rights the Jesus replace the categories of righteous and guilty with sinners to admit and sinners who deny your one of those two I guess sinners who admit and sinners who do not well that's a little bit of the other gospel the evangelical gospel someone commented as a conclusion on this one analyzing it it offers the reader a half gospel freedom from guilt without freedom from sin only half of grace Jesus presented the four Gospels Scripture and one very brief sentence stated to be adulterous woman thrown at his feet neither do I condemn the goal and sin no more Yancey 's book focuses on the first half of the sentence the other have to deny its it is truly alarming that so many Seventh-day Adventists have allowed themselves to be taken captive by this book and its author for those who were once people of the book to let the Bible 's unerring standard be held hostage to flowery words and emotional stories is a crisis of no small magnitude Yancey 's book is a revealing commentary on the continuing fall of Protestant Babylon unless and Ellen White's words we preach Christ in the law neither will be correctly understood the same Jesus who declared by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if you are loved one another also stated if you continue in my word then are ye my disciples indeed love is the fulfilling of the law because only if the law is fulfilled can we be sure true love is present the new covenant of grace identical throughout Scripture and never mentioned in Yancey 's book defines the inner core of the Christian 's relationship to God I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts and I will be their God and they shall be my people that's the gospel that's what God provides and that's what he wants us to have the spirit of prophecy to finish up acts of the apostles five thirty five thirty three the holiness of God 's Word declares he must have before he could before he can be saved stop right there the holiness that God 's Word declares that he must have before he can be say good works experiential justification is the result of the working of Divine grace as he bows and submission of the discipline and restraining influences of the Spirit of truth not human works but divine grace producing that in him man's obedience can be made perfect only by the incense of Christ righteousness there is the power of grace and that she says precious assurance glorious is the hope before the believer as he advances by faith or the height of Christian perfection and then from testimonies volume eight three thirteen two three sixteen it is my unceasing endeavor that we maintain the victory over the temptations of Satan there are hereditary and cultivated tendencies the evil that must be overcome we must learn to look up word then she says and this is the part which Ms. take seriously a storm is coming relentless in its fury are we prepared to meet we need now the sword of the Lord to cut to the very soul and Merrill fleshly lusts appetites and passions like as he was called you is holy be ourselves also holy in all manner of living because it is written you shall be holy for I am holy only as we see our utter helplessness and renounce all self trust all of this business has to go no human works shall we lay hold on power all our good works are dependent on the power outside of ourselves therefore there needs to be a continual reaching out of the heart after God perils surround us and we are safe only as we feel our weakness and playing with the grasp of faith to argue mighty to liver and then we must not forget as the mind dwells upon Christ the character is molded after the divine similitude we contemplate his character and thus he is in all our thoughts is a love encloses us his images imprinted upon the eye of the soul and affects every portion of our daily life softening and subduing our whole nature we have become transformed in character for heart soul and mind are your radiated by the reflection of him who loved us and gave himself for us Jesus is to us and abiding presence controlling our thoughts and ideas and actions Jesus Christ is everything to us the first alas the best in everything Jesus Christ his spirit his character colors everything it is the warp and will the very texture of our entire being then I suggest we just are righteousness by faith in its purity messages the young people one fifty nine to one sixty one will I don't like to do things like this I don't like to have to point out where error has been creeping into the best of our materials the best of our speakers the best of our presentations but it is and unless we know how to differentiate between issues means cause conditions good works human works declared righteous making righteous we will be sucked in we will be sucked in because there are very persuasive speakers would just put two phrases right together and you will be able to tell the difference you will be able to sort it out so that sounds good that sounds right at least I understood part of it to sound good manual soon the others cannot we are in the most subtle times of deceptive statements that I've ever seen and we need by God 's grace to have the ISAF promise in the book of revelation so that discernment is clear not judgmental not antagonistic not denouncing I am not going to say one thing about this individual 's relationship to Jesus Christ that is between him and his floor I have enough trouble with myself but the issue is very sinful what is being stated is going to lead many many honest sincere Christians into a false assurance of salvation Satan 's alternate counterfeit to God 's grace and the gospel so I encourage you to study I encourage you to think I encourage you to wrestle with the subjects will do little more this tomorrow afternoon tomorrow morning will be different tomorrow afternoon we'll talk about again specifically what is justification and secondly what is sanctification and


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