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)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lou Martuneac versus All Free Grace Leaders / Is a willingness to give up one's known sins required for eternal life?

The following is a comment from a Free Gracer named Mike. You may find all of his wonderful comments HERE.

Is a willingness to give up one’s known sins (prostitution, smoking, etc.) required for salvation?

Lou Martuneac would say yes. Here is his answer in case you missed it. Lou Martuneac says, “If a person expressed their intention to hang on to their sin I would stop right there. I would not attempt to lead them to pray for God to save them. That person is far from biblical repentance." (emphasis added Posted on August 18, 2006)

How would those in Free Grace community, even with the differences in the definition on repentance, answer the question, “Is a willingness to give up one’s known sins required for salvation?”

Charles Ryrie says no. He says, “I do not need to be willing to give up smoking in order to be saved.” (So Great Salvation page 39). “Is repentance a condition for receiving eternal life?...No, if it means to be sorry for sin or even to resolve to turn from sin, for these things will not save.” (SGS page 99).

Zane Hodges says no. He says, “Thus to repent is to rediscover our direction and to experience true "life" in harmony with our Maker. But repentance is not the means by which we acquire eternal life." (Absolutely Free Chapter 12)

Charles Bing says no. He says, “If it is asserted that repentance means resolving to forsake all known sin, then the absurd scenario emerges in which it would be best to keep people ignorant of their sins when preaching the gospel.”

Ron Shea says no. He says, “Accordingly, we deny that saving repentance is ever directed to sin, either by way of sorrow for one's sins, or the resolution or promise to "turn" from them.” http://cleargospel.org/topics.php?t_id=27

A. Ray Stanford says no. He says, “preachers have been going about earnestly trying to get men to quit their sinning, or at least to work up a genuine sorrow for sin. But is this the divinely appointed task of Christians--to get men to change their ways? No! This kind of preaching often leads to form of self-righteousness and self-reformation—not to salvation.” (Handbook of Personal Evangelism page 80)

G. Michael Cocoris says no. He says, “Repentance means a change of mind or attitude; it does not include tears or turning. To define repentance as being sorry for sin or turning from sin is dangerous, because it could cause people to think that they could do something that could in some way help them obtain salvation.” (“Repentance: The Most Misunderstood Word in the Bible” Pt. 2)

Joseph Dillow says no. He says, “their [lordship salvation] view is that a man must resolve to turn from all known sin and follow Christ absolutely. It seems that works enter through the front door, and another gospel is taught.” (emphasis mine) (The Reign of the Servant Kings page 10).

GES says no. Its affirmation of beliefs say, “No act of obedience, preceding or following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, such as commitment to obey, sorrow for sin, turning from one’s sin, baptism or submission to the Lordship of Christ, may be added to, or considered part of, faith as a condition for receiving everlasting life” (emphasis mine).

Lewis Sperry Chafer and John Walvoord would have said no. “The divine message is not “believe and pray,” “believe and confess sin,” “believe and confess Christ,” “believe and be baptized,” “believe and repent,” or “believe and make restitution.” These six added subjects are mentioned in Scripture, and there they have their full intended meaning; but if they were as essential to salvation as believing they would never be omitted from any passage wherein the way to be saved is stated.” (emphasis mine). (Major Bible Themes page 187)

Lou Martuneac’s position that one needs to be willing to give up a known sinful habit (eg. prostitution) is outside the circle of those who advocate a Free Grace view of the Gospel.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is works through and through. It's an exchange. I choose to give up this sin and in return God will give me eternal life.

What people cannot fathom is that God wants a person to have eternal life NO MATTER WHAT. If their believing in Christ for eternal life would lead them to decide to remain in sin, then God is going to deal with that attitude sooner or later. But by making it necessary upfront, frontloads the gospel with works.

I'm very disappointed in Lou.

Tom <><

September 25, 2007 5:53 PM  
Blogger Jeremy Myers said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 25, 2007 8:16 PM  
Blogger Jeremy Myers said...


Thanks for posting these comments by Mike. And Mike, thanks for the well researched and documented post.

I wonder why Lou wants to be associated with the Free Grace Movement? He apparently is at odds (in some undiscernable way) with Lordship Salvation, but seems to be much closer to them than us.

Maybe he should start his own movement...he can call it Free Lordship or something. Maybe he's just trying to sell books by attaching himself to some movement that might lend him an ear, even if he doesn't really understand what that movement teaches. Who knows?

Anyway, thanks for the post.

September 25, 2007 8:23 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...


I couldn't agree with you more.


Lou has joined with the Lordship Calvinists in combatting the GES positions. He seems to be comfortable with them in doing so.

I think you are right, Lou ought to come up with another designation.


September 26, 2007 1:27 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

To add to the list of Mike, we can quote Dennis Rokser from the doctrinal statement of his church

Dennis Rokser says no:

We reject the many contemporary phrases that are often stated as necessary responses or conditions to the Gospel for someone to be saved. Such statements include: ... “repent of or confess your sins,”

But Lou Martuneac believes that one must turn from and confess one's sins! He is at enmity with his Duluthian antagonist friends.


September 26, 2007 1:31 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Perreault said...

For what it's worth, it seems to me that Lou obviously sides with the Free Grace Movement and seems to be comfortable with their teachings. I believe he simply lacks knowledge and discernment. This explains his unorthodox quotes and his current redefining of repentance to a more Free Grace perspective. I think with time and teaching Lou's own beliefs and teachings will become more orthodox to Free Grace Theology. Let's hope so at least.

September 26, 2007 2:55 PM  
Blogger MrGiggs said...


I'm tired.

September 29, 2007 7:28 PM  
Blogger Jeremy Myers said...

I don't understand the comment by Mr. Griggs...

Anyway, Jonathan, I do hope you are right. It would be nice to see Lou repent of his view of repentance...ha ha...the way Bob Wilkin did back in the 90's.

Generally, once a person is in print on a subject, it is very difficult to get them to change their mind because then they have to admit that everybody who has purchased and read their book is reading error.

But being in print is no reason to hold on to error. Let's hope Lou does come around on this.

September 30, 2007 12:15 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Hey, where did the last post go?

That was a really good one.

October 02, 2007 12:51 PM  
Blogger phandce said...

If anyone has read Rev. Martuneac's book, "In Defense of the Gospel", which is an excellent refutation of "Lordship Salvation", you will know that he does not add works as a condition to receiving the free gift of eternal life.

If a lost person has the willful determination to approve of and hold onto their sins, it means that they are resisting the Holy Spirit's conviction of them as a sinner under the judgment of God. Does it not?

In order to be saved, one must believe that they have sinned against a Holy God. Otherwise, why would they feel the need for salvation? Don't you agree?

A lost person with the willful sinful attitude that Rev. Martuneac is referring to could very well say, "Yes, I'll take eternal life in order that I can keep doing more of the same sins, and still go to heaven."

Isn't such an attitude directly opposite of that which Jesus said one must have in order to enter His kingdom?

"Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it." (Luke 18:17)

Obviously, childlike humility before God concerning one's sins is necessary according to the Scriptures:

"And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:13)

To present this truth to a sinner is not the same as requiring them to make a pre-salvation promise to give up their sins in exchange for eternal life.

I would never require someone to make any promises of service, commitment, giving up certain sins, etc, in order to receive the free gift of eternal life, and neither would Rev. Martuneac.

Rev. Martuneac was simply pointing out that such a person with the attitude he spoke of concerning sin is simply not at the point of humility before God. Such a one does not have the attitude that Jesus Himself requires of sinners in Luke 18:17.

Phillip M. Evans

January 15, 2008 3:06 PM  
Blogger Ted & Willow said...

I am more disappointed in the direction-less debate of the issue on this blog.

1) Not enough scripture is quoted or used as a defense in the blog. You used men's opinions as a defense of your point of view. Shame. use biblical support in conjunction with men's opinion.

2) At the root of it, the debate is about something impossible to discern: a man's heart. (Jer 17:9) We don't know a person's motivation for claiming to believe in Christ nor if it is genuine. There are plenty of examples in both directions. Sure, the works of a person are an evidence of their faith (James 2). (Of course works do not save. Rom 9:32) But God deals with individuals individually and only He knows their heart (Acts 15:8;Rom 8:27; Prov 24:12).

God does the saving and He alone will determine if a person's heart (soul) is worthy to spend eternity with Christ.

If a person wants to hold on to a particular sin, then that negates them from certain activities within the church (esp. certain offices). If it is the sin is made known, then it has the practical effect of negating any spiritual message the individual may seek to convey to others. That is where the maturing process begins. If after time a person never matures in their salvation and they never pursue certain activities in the church, then so be it. The whole salvation process is entirely out of our hands anyway. Our only personal responsibility is to believe by faith. (Rom 5:2; 2 Cor 5:7)

April 16, 2009 11:58 AM  

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