Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Broad Way Contrasted with the Narrow (Matt 7:13-23)

Matt 7:13-23
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

"Not everyone who says to Me,'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”
----------

The section that has been quoted is part of Jesus’ concluding words of the Sermon on the Mount, which includes the “asking, seeking, and knocking” of the prior paragraph and ends with building on the rock or the sand.

“Enter by the narrow gate… Because narrow is the gate and difficult [lit: constrained] is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Jesus is exhorting his audience to be careful to start things out in the right way; to get started at the right place. His audience must be careful that they go through the gate that leads to life and not to destruction. In terms of the larger audience, and the disciples He is saying: Be sure that your starting point is the correct starting point.

The narrow gate is Christ:

John 10:9
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Acts 4:12
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Entering is by faith in Christ’s saving message:

John 3:15
…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 5:24
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

1 Tim 1:16
… as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

The way to life is constrained, narrow. There is but one gate, Jesus Christ, and there is only one way to enter it, by faith alone in Christ alone.

That “there are few who find it” should be quite sobering.*

…for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it

The wide gate with the broad path represents every other “way” to salvation that is not through Christ, through faith in His Name. This would inlude every false religion in the world from animism to humanism; Islam to Buddhism; Hinduism to Judaism, and all others in between.

But let us not stop here. The “way that leads to destruction” is also paved with “Christian” doctrines and false “gospels”. It is tiled with sincerity, good intentions; it is cemented with counterfeit prophets and bible teachers. This road attracts a lot of attention with high profile sects, denominations, and doctrinal positions; with radio bible teachers and seminary presidents; with global organizations and social activists. Those that beckon the world to this path proclaim far and wide the doctrines of Rome; the mysticism of Mormonism; the angelology of the JWs; the self-salvation of Arminianism; the costly conversion of Lordship Salvation; and the exclusivism of Traditionalism.

Any teaching that requires anything in addition to simple faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, the Guarantor of eternal life and resurrection to the believer in Him for it, diverts its adherents from the narrow gate and detours them to the broad way that leads to destruction. Therefore we must:

Beware of the False Prophets

One of the problems that people have in finding the correct gate is that there are people who tell them the wrong gate! There are people who profess prophetic ability or profess to be sent by God and they lead them astray. Jesus immediately follows the exhortation to enter into the correct gate by a warning against the false prophets. The way that the false prophets are known is by their fruits. He is not talking generally about professing Christians! He is not talking about being saved or unsaved. He is telling how we can recognize a false prophet.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.

The very first thing that we should notice concerning the prophets who lead people astray with their false messages, doctrines, and teachings, is that they come to the people “in sheep’s clothing.”

The Traditional interpretation of this passage is that men must gain assurance of their salvation by their works. This passage is so obviously not talking about this! How one can extract that meaning from this passage is a testament to the ingenuity and imagination of the eisegetical, presuppositional, and deductionistic advocates of Traditionalism!

The false prophets come to the people “in sheep’s clothing”. What is the implication here? -- There is no way to tell the false prophet by their outer appearances! They look, smell, act, and behave like sheep. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing! Every outward appearance is that of a Christian. So “fruit” cannot mean their conduct! Fruit is the doctrine that they preach; the fruit is the message that they bring. If they preach anything but eternal salvation by grace through simple faith in Jesus Christ, they are false prophets. If they bring a message that is contrary to what Jesus taught then they are false prophets.

That their words are their fruit is easily demonstrated by examining some corrollary passages:

Deut 13:1-3
"If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods' -- which you have not known -- 'and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams”.

The false prophet exhorts his audience to heed unto false teachings! God says, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex 20:3), but they say “let us go after other gods.” God says “You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. You shall not go after other gods” (Deut 6:13-14), but the false prophets say “let us serve them [other gods].”

We are not to look at the works of a prophet to determine if he is a true prophet or not. The Lord God poses the idea that false prophets can do signs and wonders that indeed come to pass. This shouldn’t be an indicator of whether or not we should follow their teaching! Truth matters! Obviously we will not want to follow a liscentious man. But there are many prophets out there who do good things, they have great appearances, and are moral. But since truth matters for our eternal destiny, that a prophet has a blameless exterior is of no great consequence. It is his message that we must be extremely wary about.

The reason why people are not finding the right gate is because false prophets are leading them to the wrong one with their message, their teachings, and their “gospels”. We must test for the false prophet by his “fruit” which is his words.

Matt 12:33-37
"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned”.

The gospel writer Matthew, within the sphere of the very epistle we meet “you will know them by their fruits,” equates “fruit” here with “speak[ing]” and “words”. Everyone, no matter if they are saved or unsaved, will give an account for every idle word they give in their “day of judgment”. In a very real sense, by their words they will either be justified or condemned. We will see the condemnation that comes to the adherents of false prophets by their words later in this post.

Jesus is talking about false prophets who are pointing to the broad road that leads to destruction. We can know the false prophets by their message (their fruit). Jesus says, “Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has eternal life,” (John 6:47), but the false prophet says “He who believes in Jesus and commits his life in costly discipleship, turning from all sins, and obeying the Lord, persevering until the end, will ultimately receive eternal life.”

It doesn’t matter if they have large Christian radio audiences. It is of no consequence that they preside over mammoth bible colleges and seminaries. It is not even really significant that they turn out people who love the Lord and are zealous for Him, for if it is not in truth, then it is of no value.

A false prophet, whether sincere or malicious, points people to the broad road that leads to destruction, and the only way that they can be identified is by their fruit, which is the message that they bring.

Paul was very concerned about the false prophets:

Acts 20:28-31
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit… Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Within the context of the evangelistic model here, the false prophet cannot bring the good message of salvation, he will bear bad fruit. Only the true prophet can bring the truth of the gospel. True prophets point to the correct gate; false prophets can only point to the broad road that leads to destruction.

The Traditionalist interprets these verses in the context of recognizing professing vs. genuine Christians, and as test of assurance of one's own salvation. They get into a lot of trouble here, though. They understand it as believers are good trees and therefore can only bring forth good fruit, but as the language shows, this would lead one, if followed through, to believe in sinless perfection; the text does not speak relatively. They would also understand unbelievers as bad trees and therefore can only bring forth bad fruit, but as the language shows, the image of God would not only marred, but totally extinct in the unsaved. The only way the Traditionalist can salvage this interpretation is to add the element of relativity, which is not present in the language, to their interpretal stew. This is the quicksand into which the false interpretation of this passage slides. We must keep in mind that Jesus is talking about false prophets over against true prophets, and not the tests of a believer or professor.

By the message of the “prophet” a person will be able to recognize whether the prophet is a true prophet or a false prophet.

“The true test for discovering a false prophet or teacher is to compare his or her message with God's. This, after all, has always been the test for discovering who speaks for God and who does not.

Not much thought has to be given to see that it makes sense that it should be this way. God cannot possibly contradict Himself (Num 23:19). Furthermore, His Word stands forever (Isa 40:8). If indeed we have something that solid--and we do--we should use it as a touchstone to test everything that is said by anyone claiming to be a messenger of God. For in doing this, we are not only living in obedience to God's Word, but we also will be able to know those who are His spokesmen and those who are not.” (D. Scott Henderson, Looking a Wolf in the Mouth Newsletter of the Grace Evangelical Society).

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

God is going to judge the false prophet. We don’t have to have a knee-jerk reaction to “fire” and talk always about hell. In a general way the fire of God’s judgment is waiting for these people. But obviously if a man who claims to be a prophet of God who is not a prophet of God is unsaved, he will ultimately wind up in the fire of hell, which the following verses will have something to say.

By Your Words You Will Be Condemned

What is the lot for those who heed the untrue gospel messages of the false prophets? They will have their “day in court” and by their words they will be condemned!

We started our treatise with Jesus’ plea to begin right by entering the correct gate; followed by his solemn exhortation to recognize the false prophets who point to the broad road that leads to destruction; and here now we end with the destiny of those putting their trust in the fallacious hopes of the false prophets:

Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Many on the day of their judgment will lay the hope of their eternal well-being upon their allegiance to Christ as Lord and their efforts and works for Him. This is the gospel that they have been given by the false prophets. They are told to “Make Jesus your Lord”, “Jesus must be Lord of your life or you can’t be saved!”. The false prophets tell their listeners that they “must follow Jesus in costly discipleship or you can’t be saved.” They confuse discipleship with the call to receive a free gift, therefore lead people down the wide gate and broad road that ends in destruction.

Many, “in that day”, will sincerely address Jesus as Lord. Jesus will not quarrel with them on this point. That a person considered Jesus their Lord is not means for entrance into the kingdom.

In the gospel of John, the only explicitely written book in the Bible for the purpose of evangelism (John 20:31), we find Jesus explain how one “enters the kingdom”.

John 1:12
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

John 3:3
Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

John 3:14-16
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

One must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God. To be born into God’s family, born from above, we must receive Jesus Christ by believing in His name. Whoever believes in Jesus will be born from above, becoming a child of God, and immediately possessing eternal life.

Only those who do the will of the Father in heaven will enter the kingdom of God. What is the will of the Father in heaven? The Father’s will is to believe on His Son for eternal life.

John 3:33-36
For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe [disobeys = apeitho] the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

The Son speaks the words of the Father. The one who believes in Jesus immediately possesses eternal life, for he is heeding “the will of the Father”. The one who disobeys the Son (who does not obey the command to believe in Him for eternal life, which is the message from the Father) is disobeying the will of the Father.

In the sphere of the reception of eternal life and entrance into the kingdom of God, the will of the Father is obvious! The will of the Father for the reception of eternal life, to enter the kingdom is to believe in His Son.

John 6:40
And this is the will of Him who sent Me [the will of the Father], that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

It is clear that God’s will is to give everlasting life, entrance into the kingdom, and resurrection to those is to resurrect and give eternal life to all who merely believe (and only believe) in His Son!

Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?

“Jesus in His mercy tells us what many will say to Him in that Day: First, they will acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ, addressing Him as 'Lord.' Not only will they say it once, they will repeat it: 'Lord, Lord.' Recognizing the gravity of the situation, they will plead for their lives. This repetition of 'Lord' may also suggest that they think they are on familiar terms with Jesus.

Next, they will ask Jesus a series of questions, calling the Christ Himself as a witness in their defense. Notice that they will not directly assert that they have done good works. They will speak in interrogative, not declarative, sentences. Because of this, their defense will actually be much stronger than their own mere declarations would have been: They will call Christ Jesus Himself as their defense witness. They will ask Him to testify to the facts of their lives: their prophesying, exorcising, and wonder working.” (John W. Robbins, The Trinity Foundation, Justification and Judgment)

Those who have heeded the message of the false prophets will plead their case with Jesus. They will be all too sincere. They will not be conscious charlatans trying to pull the wool over Jesus’s eyes. They will be all too serious as they point to both to their allegiance to Christ and to their works in His name!

These aren’t Buddhists, Hindus, etc. They are “Christians” who are offering their works “in Your [Jesus’] name” (three times!). These are the ones who obeyed the words of the false prophets who led them down the road to perdition. They did not do the will of the Father which was to trust solely in Jesus Christ for their entrance into the kingdom. They will be condemned for their words which betray their trust in their works!

And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

Rom 3:20-28
Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

“Jesus will describe these people as ‘you who practice lawlessness.’ Now if we had seen these people on earth—and perhaps we have seen some of them—we may not have reached that conclusion. After all, we would have seen these church leaders prophesying, casting out demons, and performing supernatural wonders, all in the name of Jesus. The Roman Catholic Church-State would have declared them saints. The ersatz Evangelicals would have made them best-selling authors and celebrities. But Jesus calls them ‘you who practice lawlessness.’ Why?

He has already told us why. All of these extraordinary and wonderful works done in the name of Jesus are lawlessness, because they are done for the purpose of obtaining salvation. These works are lawlessness because they involve an illegal use of the law. The law, Paul tells us, is given for the knowledge of sin. It is not given that we sinners might use it to gain entrance into heaven. Conviction of sin, not salvation, is the purpose of the law. Legalism, because it is an illegal use of the law, is lawlessness. ‘But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,’ Paul told Timothy. But using the law in an effort to obtain heaven is not lawful; it is an illegal use of the law; it is lawlessness.

But if we see some of these men on earth, we are able to recognize them as false teachers, not because of what they do, but because of what they say: They teach salvation by faith and works, by faith and obedience, by faith and covenant faithfulness. They teach on earth what they will tell the Lord Jesus Christ at the judgment. That is what they believe.” (John W. Robbins, Ibid. Emphasis Mine)

The end of those who obey a false gospel is the lake of fire. We must be wary of those who present a message that differs from Christ’s message of the free gift of eternal life and resurrection received by simple faith alone in Him. We must start out on the right foot by entering the correct gate. Most of Christendom and much of Evangelicalism need to be evangelized! They have listened to false prophets who are wolves in sheep’s clothing!

We must not back down from the simple message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Antonio da Rosa
Lakeside, CA
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* Lets get some perspective. In the newest edition of “Operation World” (A prayer guide for missions) we find that the world’s population is around 6 billion. Out of those 6 billion, roughly 2.5 billion are considered “Christian”.

350 million Protestants
303 million Indepentants
67 million Anglicans
420 million Evangelicals
345 million Charismatics
1 billion Catholics
212 million Orthodox

Christians account for roughly 1/3rd of the world’s population. This does not qualify for a “few”.

Christ contrasts the terms “many” and “few”. Only a “few” find the correct gate and enter thereby. I am speculating here, but what percentage out of 100 could we bracket off such a modifier as “few”? When I was a kid, we would say to someone who had candy “give me a couple” and he would give us “two” because a couple is “two”. We learned from that. We would then say give me a “few”, which would mean somewhere between 3-5 in a package of 40 M&Ms. Such an understanding I do not believe is far off from Christ’s use of the term “few”. If I had to make an educated guess on what percentage of 100 is a “few” in Christ’s discourse here, I would say 8-15%. I hope I am not offending anyone with my candy illustration. I am trying to get at how the word “few” is used. In the Bible, “few” is used relatively as to what is being compared; few always means a relatively small number from that which could be termed “many”. I could not see the word “few” being used of a relative percentage of 25% or more in any given illustration. Could you? Argue with me if you like. Few means a relatively small number in comparison to the many.

If my crude analysis of “few” meaning 8-15% of the population is correct, than we have a problem. 33% of the world’s population is “Christian”; much too high of a figure to denote a relative “few”. What can we glean of this? That much of “Christianity” is not saved, but needs to be evanglized. Why? The gospel has been corrupted by thousands of false teachers who preach a distorted gospel.

The Wide Gate and Broad Road:
“there are many who go in by it”

The Narrow Gate and Constrained Way:
“there are few who find it”

This is sad and sobering. Yet this is deadly serious. What are we waiting for? Let us go out and evangelize, and make disciples of grace!

45 Comments:

Anonymous Norm said...

Greetings brother!

I was offline for a couple weeks and I come back on and find this wonderful exposition! Antonio I must say you are gifted brother. Your teaching on The broad way gave me chills.
It really is amazing how so many people, myself once included, can look at the "fruit" being spoken of in Matthew 7 as outward actions. Thanks for solid biblical teachings. We need more of this in the church today.

Take care, Norm

February 23, 2006 11:04 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Excellent arguments Antonio and sound doctrine IMO. I'm not offended concerning your hypothesis on the few but I wonder how it fares with respect to all the ages. You've got me thinking about the true vine and the growth of the Church over time and how that relates to the few in that verse.

February 24, 2006 4:17 AM  
Anonymous Free Grace said...

You are simply hilarious Antonio! Tons of laughs! What is so funny to me is that you speak so harshly against Calvinism in much of your work, but have provided a link to an article on a Calvinistic site in obvious approval of what the article states! The word for today is called "Double Standerd." That is an apt description of your position, which would have men be their own saviors and God as their servent, since there is no logical way He could ever be soverign in the world of your very odd theological position.

I left you another note on the blog site that has your "Outer Darkness" denial of God's grace posting.

February 24, 2006 4:51 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

1Pe 3:20

"...Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."

Might this mean only eight out a hundred.

February 24, 2006 5:38 AM  
Blogger nothingnothingnothing said...

Antonio-

You said: "I could not see the word “few” being used of a relative percentage of 25% or more in any given illustration. Could you? Argue with me if you like. Few means a relatively small number in comparison to the many."

Using your logic with the example of the candy, how would we define "many" in this verse from Matthew?

Matthew 20:20-28

28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

If my brother had some candy, lets say 10 pieces, and I said, "give many pieces of your candy." Then would I be talking about 1 piece? or 2 pieces? or how about 5 pieces?

Of course, defining "few" or "many" becomes problematic. We don't know, it's not clear. And I'm not sure it's necessary in support of your point about evangelizing Christianity. Because, I would agree with you that Christianity needs to be evangelized. The Gospel is just as powerful and important in the believer's life as it is in the unbeliever's when God saves him or her. It's a good reminder for Christians to be preaching the Gospel to ourselves as well as others.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

February 24, 2006 1:36 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sound and sobering thoughts, Antonio.

It is great to see a solid new post on your blog.

God Bless

Matthew

February 24, 2006 2:31 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Thanks to you all for your comments. Things have been real busy around my household lately. I haven't had time to output like I would like to.

Last night, just to get this post out, I stayed up when I should have been in bed, for this morning I had to wake up at 1 am to get to work by 2 am. I slept less than 4 hours so that I could finish this post.

Please continue to visit. I am pleased by your support.

Antonio

February 24, 2006 6:35 PM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Thanks for the careful demonstration from God's Word of the truth of Matthew 7:13-23.

I will expect that none of your detractors will wade into that careful explanation and explain why you are in error.


Hi Free Grace,

When I quote John Robbins I see myself as using a 'hostile witness', though perhaps that's too hard a word for someone as godly and courageous as he is. But it's not really a conspiracy, it's simply taking a quote of someone whith whom I am in partial disagreement, and asserting his views when they are in agreement with my own.

Jodie

February 25, 2006 6:43 PM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

Hi Antonio,
I am wondering what exactly you mean by simple faith?
Also I don't agree with your interpretation about how "fruit" isn't works. It seems to me that the bible makes it clear.
I don't think it would make much sense if it were doctrine or the message they preached. It sounds as though if it were then the people that were converted would prove whether it was good fruit or bad.
I do agree with you though how since the gate is narrow it wouldn't make sense that so many people call themselves christian.

February 26, 2006 9:29 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Dorothy, the fruit is what the false teachers are giving, in other words, their message.

If bad fruit meant sinful actions, then none of us could be genuinely saved as all of us commit sins and all of us fail to produce as much good fruit as God demands.

Just how much would be enougth?

The problem with using conversion of souls for judging an evangelist is sometimes an evangelist will not convert anyone.

If he was a false teacher, then we would judge his conversions in the same way as his doctrines; that is whether they believed the true gospel.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

February 26, 2006 9:59 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Dorothy, as to fruitsm the Bible does talk about fruits of the spirit- love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith (Galatians 5:22).

However, the apssage that Antonio is dealing with here does not concern those sorts of fruit.

This passage is dealing with false prophets (Matt 7:15). It is the fruit of their prophecy that Jesus is talking about. Galatians 5 had not yet been written, so the fruit here has nothing to do with what it says in Galatians 5:22.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matt

February 26, 2006 10:04 AM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

Okay matt I was a little confused! Thanks for clearing it up!

February 26, 2006 3:38 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

Hi Antonio,

I like to think of 'fruit' as the product of the message inside the hearers heart.

Your presentation was coupled with scripture so nicely, I would hope that is how you were able to catch up on your sleep, because you got it done. You let the scripture do most of the talking and let it explain itself nicely. There are some great questions among these comments, but as for the vitiolic critics, I would not give them another thought unless they can come up with some clear and sincere criticism. Your always going to get a heckler or two. Don't waste your precious time. Thanks for the nice helping of food for thought here Antonio.

Todd

February 27, 2006 4:51 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

I have believed this about this passage for years.

You have done a great job of expounding on it unashamedly and without fear of those who may be troubled that this truth may be hitting closer to home than they want it to.

grace & peace
kris

February 27, 2006 9:55 PM  
Blogger ambiance-five said...

Antonio,

Can God use your message? Most certainly.

Would God tell us to preach a message of continue in sin your entire life...it will still get you a ticket? No.

Sorry if you view my beliefs as a "broad way".

February 28, 2006 8:22 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Antonio,
This post was long ... I finally had the time to read it.
Truth matters ... good point!
False gospels abound.
They are no gospel at all.
Keep up the work.
Few may be more than you think.

February 28, 2006 10:02 AM  
Blogger ambiance-five said...

[quote]Few may be more than you think.[/quote]

lol...that made me laugh Rose. Amen!

I know you probably see it more Antonio's way..but you really bring home some points for me.

February 28, 2006 10:08 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Ambiance, I hope Antonio does not mind me saying this but your insistence on caricaturing Antonio's position and those others who share it is making me feel angry.

How many times do I need to ask you when Antonio has said that it is fine to carry on in sin?

It seems clear to me that you do not want to understand his position but you wish to belittle and demean it.

If you are really sincere in what you are saying it would reassure me if you were to provide a single quotation in which Antonio actually says that it is acceptable to continue in sin.

Can you produce one?

Or are your words those of somebody who just wants to sneer and giggle from the sidelines?

February 28, 2006 10:37 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ambience says:
----------
Would God tell us to preach a message of continue in sin your entire life...it will still get you a ticket? No.
----------
This implies that the message of salvation is "quit sinning" and you have your ticket.

The "gospel" of Lordship Salvation states:

"The way to heaven is turn right and keep straight".

This is a gospel of works!

Antonio

February 28, 2006 12:32 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Todd and Kris,

I really appreciate your support! Thank you for your visit, encouaragement and comments.

Rose, thank you for reading this hefty post. I thought about breaking it up, but I wanted to keep it together for force.

Dorothy! Thanks for your visit!

Jodie,

I put a link to this post on Matt Weymeyers blog that talked about the same passage.

No one wants to show me where i am wrong.

Antonio

February 28, 2006 12:36 PM  
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

hi antonio,
wonderful.
I have recenlty done a post on matthew 7 and just briefly covered this section of verses. if you would not mind I would love to uses exerpts from your post at my blog.
if you have any objections to this or to how I represent what you wrote, could you comment at my blog and I will remove the post at the next available time.
thanks again for the great wrok.
MDM

February 28, 2006 5:35 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Modern Day Magi,

you may use it all that you like. I have no objections.

Thanks for your visit!

Antonio

February 28, 2006 5:53 PM  
Blogger ambiance-five said...

There are no works in salvation...salvation produces works.

It is all a part of the package.

That is not to belittle anyone..it is what I believe.

March 01, 2006 5:50 AM  
Blogger ambiance-five said...

Matt,

you wouldn't be the first person I have angered in my lifetime.

Antonio may not be saying it is all right to continue in sin..but he does imply that some saved continue in sin.

I believe if saved, God puts away sin.

Sorry if my beliefs anger you. Maybe I better leave. Is there such a thing as "web rage"?

I had someone in the thro of road rage try and run me down once.

March 01, 2006 5:58 AM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

ambiance-five are you saying you think that when you are saved you never sin again?

March 01, 2006 7:04 AM  
Blogger ambiance-five said...

Dorothy,
No...I am saying that Christ in us never sins...and that we don't sin willfully.

This involves a conforming in this life, which has earthly time limits and will be fully manifest in the hereafter.

I don't believe anyone outside that conforming period is yet saved..there are many still lost outside that conforming period that will be saved however.

March 01, 2006 7:55 AM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Ambiance,

Hi and I like your blog :)
I'm going to use one of your recipes.

Over at Unashamed I had a bit of web rage recently...

Whoops..

I find it difficult to be as patient as I should be when what we say often doesn't seem to make a very big difference. Instead the No-Lordship-caricature seems more acceptable.

Is the only thing that makes a person serious about sin is the idea that they think it bars them from heaven.

Isn't it pretty daunting to have Jesus say "You did not do well servant!"

People like Solomon did die in a lot of sin, he wasn't even functionally monotheistic at the point of his death, but I expect to see Him in Heaven because Jesus paid the full penalty for Solomon's sin.

Hope you'll at some point see that even if you don't agree, we are quite serious about sin.

Jodie

March 01, 2006 11:53 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Well, Ambiance, you have continually implied that Antonio and those who share his position teach that it is acceptable to continue in sin.

If this is not what you meant, perhaps an apology might be appropriate.

You knew that was not what Antonio says and yet you implied that he taught that. This shows a serious lack of sincerity.

Is this willful sin?

Have you not been conformed?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

March 01, 2006 1:54 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Ambiance, you said:

'Would God tell us to preach a message of continue in sin your entire life...it will still get you a ticket? No.'

You imply that Antonio teaches this wrong message on the basis of the fact that he accepts the possibility of a saved person continuing in sin.

You on the other hand teach that a Christian may commit some sins.

Does this imply that you teach that you can continue committing small sins? Of course not.

March 01, 2006 1:58 PM  
Blogger ambiance-five said...

Matt,
There is a difference between sinning and making mistakes.

Any so called "sin" a true Christian would fall into would only be a mistake. Something their heart would loath.

This is not true "sin" in reflection of the word.

Sorry if you think an apology is needed..I can't see that it is.

Certainly you wouldn't have me make an unheartfelt jesture...

what good would it do?

I would never ask you to do something if you didn't mean it.

March 01, 2006 7:07 PM  
Blogger ambiance-five said...

Guys,

I'm out of here.

I was here trying to determine if what I thought I was hearing here was what I thought.

Surely where there is a gathering in Christ's name He is in the mist of the gathering...but just because He is among them doesn't always mean He is at the "head".

My own beliefs would never fit in here because I believe to preach against His Lordship is to preach against His grace...just the same as preaching against His grace would preach against His Lordship.

I'm not here to change any minds because God is in control and He has you in that mindframe for a reason..I will simply say goodbye.

March 02, 2006 3:12 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Again, we are 'preaching against His Lordship'. So many accusations from Ambiance.

Ambiance, if you come back, I hope you might explain where in the Bible you find this distinction between sins and 'mistakes'.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

March 02, 2006 9:08 AM  
Blogger Pastor Jim said...

"Well, Ambiance, you have continually implied that Antonio and those who share his position teach that it is acceptable to continue in sin."

If we say we should live a life according to God, without sin, then you all say we are caught up in faith according to works. Until one of you say it is not O.K. to sin, then what else are we to think? I have asked this question many times with no answer. If you think it is not O.K. to sin, then you too believe we should have certain "works" in our life.

March 02, 2006 12:02 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Pastor Jim, we are not saved by our works. If we have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, then our sins are dealt with on His cross.

Sin cannot cause us to demerit eternal life, because it is not by our merit that we receive it.

However, there are consequences for sin both in this life and the next that a believer is subject to. These are chastening, premature death and loss of reward and privilege in the Kingdom.

In Britain, some crimes are punished by fines and not by imprisonment. Does that mean that the courts consider it acceptable to commit those crimes?

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

March 02, 2006 3:11 PM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Sin is not just not OK! Sin is always an absolutely serious transgression.

Works are mandetory because God Himself commanded them! It is necessary to perform good works because God commanded that we perform them.

The warning passages of the NT are there to insist that just because we are regenerate doesn't mean we can sin and get away with it. We can'.

Peter said let judgement begin at the household of God.

Pastor Jim and Ambience-Five, is what I'm saying somehow insufficient. Our eternal destiny is not even slightly dependent on good works. But the NT frequently cautions that we shouldn't take our discipleship for granted. They want us to be unsure of that and so soul searching an that topic.

I am pro-Lordship.

Can I be any clearer?

Blessings to you both,

Jodie

March 02, 2006 3:56 PM  
Blogger Pastor Jim said...

"In Britain, some crimes are punished by fines and not by imprisonment. Does that mean that the courts consider it acceptable to commit those crimes?"

Do I really have to answer that question? Lets see here.....some are punished by fines, yet others are punished by imprisonment.....

Sounds to me like both kinds of wrongdoings are being punished. So, what kind of question is that?

This site is quite comical. Its funny to watch people talk out of both sides of their mouths. And, the best part, you actually believe yourselves!!!

Have a fun life in "la la land."

March 02, 2006 4:08 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Pastor Jim, I doubt there is much point in answering you seeing as you are here to sneer and pour out ridicule.

In answer to your question, Antonio, HK Flynn and myself hold that God deals with sin in redeemed believers through chastening, premature death and loss of rewards, not hellfire.

Does this indicate that we have a light attitude to sin or that we take it very seriously.

I would hope that you were reasonable enougth to recognise that we do take sin very seriously.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

March 02, 2006 4:48 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

I miss you, Antonio!

March 06, 2006 11:04 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I miss you too.

March 06, 2006 12:33 PM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

We know you love your family but preach it bro
:0

March 06, 2006 5:24 PM  
Blogger Adam Cummings said...

Note to all: The Bible teaches, without a doubt, what is known as Lordship salvation. I could point you all to Luke 9:23-27, 1 John 5:1-4, Hebrews 5:9, and, of course, the whole book of James. I don't say this with any sort of arrogance, but I simply desire that you see this. I noticed that many jumped on one commenter when he said that works will come as a result of salvation. Guess what? The Bible says they certainly will! Works come out of a regenerated, called, and converted heart. If you all agree to this and to the truths of the Reformation (sola fide, etc., as Antonio mentioned at least once in the post), then you believe what I believe... you believe in what is commonly known as lordship salvation. It does NOT teach, contrary to popular opinion from critics, that works aid in the "process" of justification. This is obviously impossible (going on Paul's logic in Galatians and Romans). But, to deny that works will come from a truly converted heart is to defame and blaspheme the clear words of Scripture. I would be glad to hear that we are in agreement on this matter, and I look toward an affirmation of this. God bless all of you and your desires to uphold God's truth... (at least, I pray that this is always our desire)

--Adam

March 07, 2006 1:59 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Adam, wow!

I never read any of those verses before. Maybe you guys who believe in Lordship Salvation are right after all!

March 07, 2006 2:20 AM  
Blogger Adam Cummings said...

I hope in your sarcasm you are not leading people to deny certain Scriptures as you yourself appear to... I wish you the best.

--Adam

P.S. It is a serious matter; teachings opposed to lordship salvation teach what one prominent speaker calls "the crown without the cross"; Jesus never taught this. Laugh, have fun, revel in satire, but take this warning seriously: the message of Jesus Christ is not a game, nor is it something you may mold to your own liking. It is what it is, and we must preach it as Christ has given it. I fear that those opposed to lordship salvation are--Christians though many of them probably are--are leading many people to a place where they will ignorantly, naively, and fearfully hear Jesus say, "Get away from me; I never knew you." Dyspraxic, I trust you are a Christian, and even should you disagree with my ideas, I trust that the salvation and discipleship of souls is no matter of satire and laughs to you.

March 07, 2006 11:14 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Adam, I am sure that you are very sincere in your desire to maintain Lordship salvation and in your concern about those who reject.

However, when you consider the vast pages of expository material that have been posted here, your simple citing of verses, without any attempt to establish their context just seems a little unimpressive.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

March 08, 2006 9:06 AM  
Blogger David Wyatt said...

Good stuff bro. Antonio! I know we have had a friendly disagreement on the issue of passive faith/trust, ect, but I inow withjout a doubt that Jesus paid my sin debt in full & I have trusted Him fully for eternal salvation which is the gift He offers! Isn't that a wonderful thang!!!!!!! God Bless you bro!

April 14, 2009 6:20 PM  

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