Salvation by Works

 

Charles Finney D.L. Moody Billy Graham Jack Hyles
Finney Moody Graham Hyles

In the last 150 years, the basis or evidence of eternal life has been reduced from a changed life to merely naming Jesus in a rote prayer. Charles Finney originated the heresy; D.L. Moody perpetuated it; Billy Graham popularized it; and Jack Hyles profaned it.

Wise men call this heresy decisional regeneration, easy-believism, or fire insurance. They watch "converts" rush back to the world without any evidence of grace in their lives. These four men were partial in the Bible, infatuated with the human will, obsessed with numbers and popularity, and their preaching has corrupted Bible Christianity. Their "converts" presume salvation by a cheap decision for heaven.

The error spawned the Lordship controversy of the last two decades, where teachers of this heresy reject even basic repentance or commitment to Christ as part of salvation. But the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles preached a very different doctrine, which required good works as the essential basis and evidence of eternal life.

 

 

Preface

We are not saved by our works as a condition for eternal life, for it is an unconditional gift by the free grace of a sovereign God; but our good works are the evidence of eternal life for our own assurance and to be well pleasing to the God Who has thus saved us.

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 7:21

"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now
much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For
it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
Philippians 2:12-13

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:10

"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."
James 2:24

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling
and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall."
II Peter 1:10

 

Why Preach It?

1. To provoke believers to labor to be accepted by their electing Father (II Cor 5:9).

2. To save the saints from the heresies of decisional regeneration and easy-believism.

3. To follow the truth between the two ditches regarding the Lordship controversy.

4. To condemn the sola fide (faith only) errors of both the Calvinists and Arminians.

5. To remember that justification by faith and justification by works are both true.

6. To contrast cheap sound bites perverted from the Bible with its real statements.

7. To provide a full description of the inspired evidence for assurance of eternal life.

8. To emphasize the character and works of the righteous that the Bible emphasizes.

9. To correct any foolish notion that God's children may live any way they so wish.

10. To answer and defend against false accusations by any that we are antinomians.

11. To stress the Bible's emphasis on good works as the remedy for God's chastening.

12. To correct wrong emphasis on the Great Commission by emphasizing godliness.

13. To stress godliness against the save-the-lost-at-any-cost compromise evangelism.

14. To fulfill my ministerial charge from my apostle to stress good works (Titus 3:8).

Billy Graham

 

 

Billy Graham

These heretics use Romans 10:13 as cotton candy to offer eternal life and heaven to anyone who will mouth the word "Lord." As soon as the person mumbles "Lord," or merely "Jesus," the soul winner guarantees their salvation no matter how they may live or die! All they have to do is remember the date of their decision!

But look at what Jesus and the apostles taught! Saying "Lord" did not prove a thing! It was living for the Lord that counted! If you do not have much fruit and good works, you have no evidence of eternal life!

 

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he
that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

Matthew 7:21

 

"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and
do not the things which I say?"

Luke 6:46

 

"Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:
and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord,
but by the Holy Ghost."

I Corinthians 12:3

This study is to provide many passages of scripture to correct the false and foolish notion that a decision for Jesus is the basis and evidence of eternal life rather than a changed life with the fruit and good works commanded and described in the Bible. Sermons by this title were preached at the Church of Greenville in the summer of 2004 and the fall of 2010. May the God of truth guide us into all truth, especially concerning salvation.

Only eight souls believed Noah's doctrine of salvation. We do not care who or how many have chosen manmade theories against scripture, for we only trust "thus saith the Lord."

Let God be true, but every man liar (Romans 3:4).

 

 

Salvation by Works

  1. Introduction:
    1. We hold a different doctrine of salvation than other churches in this city forming the buckle of the Bible Belt.
    2. Eternal life is an unconditional gift.
    3. Bible passages must be rightly divided.
    4. You should understand the doctrine of salvation, rejoice in its gracious nature, and be able to defend the truth.
    5. The horrible disease of easy-believism, promising eternal life for mere decisions, has corrupted Christianity.
    6. There are two primary goals for this sermon: decisional salvation is heresy; and true saints will bear fruit.

  1. A Doctrine from Hell
    1. From the beginning, man has wanted to save himself, whether by fig leaves, Moses' law, or freewill.
    2. The heresy of decisional regeneration, or decisional salvation, is the rage in these perilous times.
      1. They say, God loves every sinner so much; Jesus died for each one; the Spirit convicts each one … and eternal life is left up to whatever influences can be combined to elicit a decision for Jesus.
      2. Jesus will have to stop praise in His direction in heaven and redirect it toward these little saviors!
      3. Rather than focus on what the triune God did for the elect, they put all the attention and emphasis on what a sinner does when presented with the gospel, as if this is the only determining factor.
      4. All a sinner must do is believe on Jesus, call on Jesus, invite Jesus into his heart, make a decision for Jesus, accept Jesus as his personal Savior, or other decision formula in order to be born again.
      5. Once he is born again, with the decision date guaranteeing his perpetual assurance, he knows he is saved no matter what, for "once saved, always saved." Instant salvation instead of pudding!
      6. You must hear their invitations! "There is nothing you can do … all you have to do is … it is so easy to be saved in the next few seconds … you can know tonight you will never go to hell …"
      7. This sacramental, hocus-pocus, numbers-driven, man-exalting, God-denying, sin-allowing, repentance-rejecting, and holiness-hating scheme is devilish heresy. It is not from the Bible.
      8. Charles G. Finney got the whole mess going, and Billy Graham did the most to popularize it.
      9. They invented the "Romans Road," but the road never gets to sanctification (chapters 6-8,12-16), so it always misses the verses showing the holy and righteous character of the truly saved.
      10. They are constantly inventing gimmicks like the wordless book, emotional stories, endless invitations, peer pressure, Christian schools, bus ministries, athletic teams, etc., etc., etc.
      11. We know without a doubt that God must regenerate before sinners will do anything right at all, for they cannot hear or discern the things of the Spirit of God, and they will not come to Christ.
      12. Most Christians never hear a sermon stressing good works and their necessity, for topics are socialism (liberals), entertainment (megas), or the Great Commission (fundamentalists).
    3. This lie from hell has gone so far as to create a lordship controversy rejecting the duty of repentance.
      1. It is hard enough to believe that a Bible reader or preacher could think that eternal life depends on a personal decision by a natural man to become spiritual and choose Jesus and His gospel.
      2. But many today of this effeminate sort even reject decisions for Jesus that include repentance or confessing Jesus as Lord in the prayer formula! They call it legalism and deny any saving power!
      3. They would not recognize the apostle Paul, if he sat on them and wrote out his name for them.
      4. They say anything beyond "bare belief of the bare truth" is salvation by works! What ignorance!
      5. You better believe it, because the lordship controversy has been a raging conflict in many circles.
      6. They reduced salvation to a belief-decision, and now they reduce how much you have to believe, because they are trying to make salvation as infantile as possible while ignoring the Saviour!
      7. Charles Ryrie, in Balancing the Christian Life, wrote, "The importance of this question cannot be overestimated in relation to both Salvation and Sanctification. The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life cannot both be the gospel; therefore one of them is false and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel," (p. 170).
      8. Ray Stamford, in Handbook of Personal Evangelism, wrote, "Any teaching that demands a change of conduct toward either God or man for salvation is to add works or human effort to faith, and this contradicts all Scripture and is an accursed message."
      9. Zane Hodges, in Absolutely Free, wrote "Faith alone (not repentance and faith) is the sole condition for justification and eternal life" (p. 144).
      10. Robert Lightner, in Sin, Salvation, and the Savior, wrote, "These views - the absolutely free gift view and the lordship view cannot both be right. They are mutually exclusive. The Bible teaches one or the other or neither, but it cannot teach both without contradicting itself."
    4. Most believe that if unconditional election were true, men would have no motive to live for Christ.
      1. They get all excited about reconciling God's sovereignty and man's responsibility by gimmicks.
      2. "The door into heaven says, 'Whosoever will,' and on the other side says, "Chosen in Christ.'"
      3. "God's sovereignty and man's responsibility are like the two rails of a railroad track … meeting far out in the distance." But we respond that we will not ride on a train where the tracks meet!
      4. Their idea is lascivious, for it promises life to reprobates and crushes the righteous (Ezek 13:22).
      5. They accuse us of being antinomians (lawless rejecters of good works), as a slur against election.
      6. We know that those ridiculing holy living by virtue of election are damned souls (Romans 3:8).
    5. Those holding God's sovereignty and sacramentalism, called Reformed, cry sola fide (faith only)!
      1. Faith only! It may be true with careful description in limited contexts, but it feeds decisionalism!
      2. Faith without works is dead, so blabbing about faith only had better be restrained to Judaizers.
      3. We know Paul's contrast of faith and works was to condemn Judaizers, not teach decisionalism.
      4. He did not teach decisionalism, as James proves, but rather rejected Jews revering Moses' law.
    6. Those holding God's sovereignty and teaching unconditional eternal life often neglect man's duties, so they are a stain on the truth of the gospel by being practical fatalists toward human responsibility.
      1. Man's duties are not for eternal life, but God's salvation is not for man to live as he pleases.
      2. Some Primitive Baptists end up with most or all humanity elect and regenerate, without works.
      3. These are the true antinomians, for they consider most of the world's fools and pagans as elect.
    7. The popular use of Scripture is to grab sound bites with little regard for any context or honest sense.
      1. Consider John 1:12. Why use only half a sentence? They reject God's choice in regeneration.
      2. Consider John 6:37. Why use only half a verse? They cannot stand God's election in Christ.
      3. Consider John 6:47. Does it give a condition? Or does it state a fact? Why make it a condition?
      4. Consider Revelation 3:20. It is totally unrelated to salvation: it is addressed to church members.
      5. Consider Matthew 24:13. It is unrelated to salvation: it is about the destruction of Jerusalem.
      6. Whether Arminians with Revelation 3:20 or Calvinists with Matthew 24:13, both are wrong.
      7. Arminians beg sinners to invite Jesus in, while Calvinists define saving faith … both are wrong!
      8. Both think the Great Commission is the greatest duty of believers and substitute it for the godly living and good works that the N.T. epistles emphasize while totally ignoring the Commission.
      9. Their errors in the scriptures should not surprise us, as most Calvinists cannot figure out the simple doctrine of baptism; most Arminians cannot understand the use of wine; and both of them are without a clue regarding Christmas, prophecies in Daniel 8; Matthew 24; II Thess 2; etc., etc.
    8. While the heresy of these pernicious doctrines and practices is obvious, we seek fair use of Scripture.
      1. Our issue is this: if sound bites with faith convict them to promote decisional regeneration and easy salvation, then let these sound bites of good works convict them to promote holy living!
      2. Their doctrine of salvation is so distorted and twisted; we simply want to help get them balanced.
      3. If sound bites with faith attached to salvation require faith as a condition for eternal life, then these sounds bites with good works attached to salvation require good works as a condition also.
      4. If we are honest, only the Campbellites, the so-called Church of Christ, consistently includes works in their salvation scheme, which leads them to lose their salvation for every act of sin.
      5. You better figure out the fatal difference between calling on the name of the Lord and calling Him Lord, before it is everlastingly too late (Rom 10:13; Matt 7:21; Luke 6:46; I Cor 12:3)!

  1. A Doctrine from Heaven
    1. The doctrine of salvation in the Bible does not put any stock at all in a man's momentary decision.
      1. There are seven Bible reasons why we categorically reject any such decisional salvation scheme.
      2. There are five phases of salvation, and four of those phases do not include man's will at all.
      3. Eternal life is entirely a gift of God according to His own purpose and will, not the will of man.
      4. Repentance, faith, and good works are all the fruits of regeneration and evidence of eternal life.
      5. In fact, love is the greatest grace and evidence of eternal life, going far beyond what devils have.
    2. Sinners are not saved by good works, but they cannot lay any claim to eternal life without them.
      1. We totally deny any meritorious value of good works toward earning eternal life from God (Rom 4:5; 9:11,16; 11:6; Eph 2:8-9; II Tim 1:9; Titus 3:5; etc., etc.).
      2. But we just as totally deny any assurance or evidence of eternal life without them (Jas 2:14-26).
      3. Salvation is without good works, but unto good works (Eph 2:8-10; Titus 3:3-8; Phil 2:12-13).
    3. We see the perfect reconciliation of God's sovereignty with man's responsibility in salvation.
      1. God is absolutely sovereign in giving eternal life unconditionally to the vessels of mercy, just as a Potter chooses what kind of vessels to make from one lump of clay (Rom 9:11-24; etc.).
      2. Man is fully responsible to believe and obey God and the gospel for any evidence of eternal life.
      3. Therefore, God is more sovereign than any Calvinist believes, and every child of God is more motivated to good works than any Arminian has ever conceived. Give God the glory for truth!
    4. Good works are connected to salvation throughout the whole Bible and the New Testament.
      1. Start with Psalm 15, where David lists the characteristic good works of God's saints in a context of abiding in His tabernacle and dwelling in His holy hill, and he uses the same inspired language of Peter that doing these things guarantees salvation (II Pet 1:10). Why is this passage not used for invitations? Why is this reference not used on placards in football end zones?
      2. Continue with Psalm 24, where David lists further characteristic good works of true saints in a similar context answering identical questions to Psalm 15. Note that these two psalms ignored the ceremonies and rituals of Moses' Law to emphasize practical godliness, which condemned the hypocrisy and compromise of Israel, who put all their confidence in Jewish sacramentalism.
      3. The gospel connects faith and repentance, which is rejecting sinful living to follow Jesus as Lord and Master of all parts of your life (Matt 3:8; Mark 1:15; 2:17; 6:12; Luke 3:3,5; 5:32; 13:3; 16:30; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 11:18; 17:30; 20:21; 26:20; Heb 6:1,6; II Pet 3:9; etc.).
      4. Those that enter into the kingdom of heaven are those that do the will of the Father, not merely calling on Jesus as their Lord, so Romans 10:13 is not cotton candy for reprobates (Matt 7:21).
      5. Jesus Christ will eternally reject all men continuing in a course of wickedness, regardless of what they call Him or have done for Him in the way of outward religious acts (Matt 7:22-23).
      6. The Lord Jesus had no use for those calling His name but not doing His sayings (Luke 6:46), and this rule should also be applied to those calling on God as Father without a holy life (I Pet 1:17).
      7. If you want to know for sure you are saved, you better do these eight things with all diligence, for the confidence of never falling and being ushered into heaven depends on you doing them (II Pet 1:5-11). Note the emphasis on diligence twice (5,10). Note identical language in Psalm 15:5. Note the total lack of any reference to a decision. Faith without adding these things is worthless.
      8. Paul knew the election of the Thessalonians by their work, labor, and patience, not by some decision they made in response to his preaching (I Thess 1:3-4). Let men prove their election!
      9. When confronted with the gospel by John, the people asked him what they should do to prove repentance and qualify for baptism, and John plainly told them (Luke 3:10-14). Note carefully that he did not tell them (1) there was nothing to do but to (2) invite Jesus into their hearts.
      10. God graciously works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure, but we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12-13). Work it out! Fear and trembling! Where is the goofy confidence and assured arrogance of the decisionalists with their dated decision?
      11. The classic text for the importance of good works is James 2:14-26, where sola fide or faith only is ridiculed. The declaration is as clear as possible … justification in this context is by works!
      12. The rich do not look to their decision for eternal life, but rather to their giving, for it is on this basis of Christian charity that they lay up a foundation for the Day of Judgment and lay hold of eternal life (I Tim 6:17-19). They are preparing to be the sheep on his right hand (Matt 25:40).
      13. Paul was sure of a crown of righteousness for fighting, finishing, and keeping (II Timothy 4:7-8), rather than for some presumed decision for salvation he made on the Damascus Road.
      14. Our Lord's Beatitudes state heavenly rewards and blessedness for more than faith (Matt 5:1-12). Note the actions and rewards of Matt 5:3, 5:5, 5:7, 5:8, 5:9, 5:10, and 5:11. Where are decisions?
      15. When Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount, He condemned the least compromise in action or doctrine, which clearly states His emphasis on good works (Matt 5:16-20). See Matt 5:19 and 5:20.
      16. Calling your brother a fool without a justifiable cause creates the danger of hellfire (Matt 5:22). Should we ignore this warning, since a decision for Jesus is all that really matters? Once we see the warning in this text, we should consider others like I Cor 6:9-10; Revelation 21:8, etc., etc.
      17. If you want to be the children of God, then you need to love your enemies, now (Matt 5:43-45); we again say that love is a far greater evidence of eternal life and work of grace than faith.
      18. Jesus explained to a young rich man that gaining heaven required giving his wealth to the poor, which he compared to a camel going through the eye of a needle, which the disciples knew was impossible (Matt 19:16-26). Why did Jesus make the simple matter of eternal life so hard? Why? Why did he send this great prospect away without getting a decision out of him for heaven?
      19. Jesus was not content with men merely calling Him Saviour, for He connected forsaking your closest relatives with inheriting eternal life (Matt 19:29). This is extreme Lordship! Believe it!
      20. Jesus described the Day of Judgment as depending on works of charity for determining the goats on His left hand for hell and the sheep on His right for heaven (Matt 25:31-46). Why is there no mention of believing, faith, decisions, inviting Him into their hearts, getting saved, etc.?
      21. Jesus declared that salvation had come to a man's house, when Zacchaeus declared in repentance that he would give half his assets to the poor and restore any thefts fourfold (Luke 19:1-10). This was stated long before he made any decision to invite Jesus into his heart!
      22. Believing on Christ is worthless without continuing in His word, as Jesus condemned some believers as children of the devil, after He exposed them by provoking their flesh (John 8:31-47).
      23. The evidence of abiding in Jesus Christ is bearing much fruit to avoid His burning (John 15:5-6).
      24. Jesus told the church at Ephesus that the tree of life in paradise was for overcomers (Rev 2:7).
      25. Jesus told the church at Smyrna that avoiding the second death was for overcomers (Rev 2:11).
      26. Jesus told the church at Pergamos a new name unknown by men was for overcomers (Rev 2:17).
      27. Jesus told the church at Thyatira the morning star was for workers and overcomers (Re 2:26-28).
      28. Jesus told the church at Sardis white raiment and the book of life was for overcomers (Rev 3:5).
      29. Jesus told the church at Philadelphia that the city of Jerusalem was for overcomers (Rev 3:12).
      30. Jesus told the church at Laodicea that sitting in Christ's throne was for overcomers (Rev 3:21).
      31. Paul listed many things in order to attain to the resurrection, when most would say he could have been assured of that blessing by the decision he made on the Damascus Road (Phil 3:8-11).
      32. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him, not all them that call on Him in some rote "sinner's prayer" parsed out to them by a soul winner (Heb 5:9).
      33. Cornelius was commended and approved by Peter for working righteousness and being accepted with God before believing the gospel and being baptized (Acts 10:34-35).
      34. If a man is truly saved and in Christ Jesus, he will be a new creature practically, which does not allow for all these converts-by-decision that never show the slightest fruit (II Cor 5:17).
      35. Paul told Titus to be always teaching believers to be careful about good works (Titus 3:8), and the repetitive statements about this emphasis are significant with his silence about saving souls.
      36. Paul told his prize ministerial student to fight the good fight of faith for eternal life (I Tim 6:12).
      37. If we analyze and consider faith by Hebrews 11, we find that in every single case it did great things for God, rather than just believe God's existence in some lame sense as often required.
      38. The objects of Satan's wrath, the pure church, keep the commandments of God (Rev 12:17).
      39. Phinehas obtained righteousness by impaling two fornicators while others cried (Ps 106:30-31).
      40. God's gracious salvation of sinners in Christ is for those continuing in the faith (Col 1:21-23).
      41. Jude would not let false teachers he opposed get away with lascivious grace, so he closed his epistle exhorting to growth, prayer, and keeping themselves for eternal life (Jude 1:20-21).
      42. Jude was not content with merely getting decisions for Jesus, as he exhorted his readers to pull sinners out of the fire, hating any spots of the flesh (Jude 1:22-23). He ignored decisions.
      43. We are Christ's house and partakers of Christ by continuing stedfast in confidence (Heb 3:6,14).
      44. Paul associated sowing good works to the Holy Spirit with reaping eternal life (Gal 6:7-10).
      45. There is therefore now no condemnation to them who truly walk after the Spirit (Romans 8:1-9); this wonderful promise of justification is not based on a decision, but on a holy, spiritual life.
      46. It is the doers of God's word that are saved, not the readers or the hearers (James 1:21-25).
      47. It is the doers of God's word that are saved, not those who profess with their lips (I John 2:4).
      48. The true followers of Jesus deny themselves, bear their cross, and follow Christ (Luke 9:23).
      49. The true followers of Jesus hate all the dear things of this life and their lives also (Luke 14:26).
      50. The true followers of Jesus must bear their cross in life and follow after Christ (Luke 14:27).
      51. God has given commandments, and we are to do them, though they are our duty (Luke 17:10).
      52. Preaching Christ and baptizing only fractionally fulfills the Great Commission, yet it is their heretical notion of soul winning they emphasize to the neglect of the greater part (Mat 28:19-20).
      53. The resurrection of life is for those that have done good, and vice versa for evil (John 5:29).
      54. We need preaching that eternal life is dependent on mortifying the body's deeds (Romans 8:13).
      55. Suffering is necessary to be glorified with Jesus Christ, if Paul wrote inspired truth (Rom 8:17).
      56. Paul prayed for the Colossians to walk worthy of God in good works, not just faith (Col 1:10).
      57. Serving a boss heartily at work is the basis on which you receive the inheritance (Col 3:23-24).
      58. For a woman to be saved by Jesus, she must have faith, love, holiness, and sobriety (I Tim 2:15).
      59. You must endure temptation, if you wish to receive a crown of life from the Lord (James 1:12).
      60. You better be doing His commandments in order to have a right to the tree of life (Rev 22:14).
      61. Godliness, not faith, has promise of the life that now is and that which is to come (I Tim 4:8).
      62. Jesus is coming with mighty angels to destroy them that do not obey the gospel (II Thess 1:8).
      63. Paul labored to be accepted by Christ in patient endurance and zealous service (II Cor 5:9-11).
      64. Righteousness is the mark of the true children of God as opposed to wickedness (I John 3:4-13).
      65. We prove eternal life and assure our hearts before God by loving the brethren (I John 3:14-24).
      66. Love of the brethren is just as essential to identify true children of God as faith (I John 4:7-21).
      67. God accepted the prayers and alms deeds of Cornelius and told him what to do (Acts 10:1-6).
      68. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, which are evidence of eternal life (Mark 16:16).
      69. The apostolic answer to men asking what to do is for them to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38).
      70. Jesus had no use for men who believed on Him and sought Him for carnal reasons (John 6:1-71).
      71. True religion bridles the tongue, visits orphans and widows, and rejects the world (Jas 1:26-27).
      72. If faith is the hand taking the offer of salvation, why is charity greater than faith (I Cor 13:13)?
      73. If you want to be saved, then you must endure to the end (Matt 10:22)! Why do they ignore this sound bite? It requires too much for them. We know it is only Jerusalem's end, as in Matt 24:13.
      74. These examples could be multiplied until most or all of the Scriptures are used, for the message throughout is summarized by fearing God and keeping His commandments in light of coming judgment before God, when we shall give an account of our lives to Him (Eccl 12:13-14).

  1. Let God Be True
    1. You better figure out the fatal difference between calling on the name of the Lord and calling Him Lord, before it is everlastingly too late (Rom 10:13; Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46; I Corinthians 12:3)!
    2. If the jailor asked today, "What must I do to be saved?" We would answer the same (Acts 16:30-31).
      1. But we know that his faith in Jesus Christ was the result of regeneration, not a condition for it.
      2. And believing on Christ was not the condition or instrument of eternal life, only laying hold of it.
      3. And we would immediately teach him the myriad of things he ought to do to add to his faith.
      4. And the only belief ever intended by Paul was much more than the belief of most (John 8:31).
      5. And like Paul, we do not solicit or allow any sinner's prayer in the dungeon before hearing truth.
      6. And like Paul, we would have gone home and preached repentance and Christ to his whole house before we believed and endorsed their repentance and faith as sufficient for baptism.
      7. Belief on the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity is the evidence that you shall be saved in the last day; it is not the condition, instrument, or means of getting regenerated or justified. Rightly divide!
    3. We understand faith and good works to be the evidence and result of salvation and the means for assurance of salvation, but neither are a condition or instrument of eternal life in any degree at all.
    4. The Bible doctrine of salvation exalts God's grace to great heights and stresses man's responsibility.
      1. Eternal life is totally the sovereign choice of the blessed God in all operations of grace in Christ.
      2. Man has no claim on eternal life without good works and cannot please Christ without them.
    5. Are good works necessary to salvation? Yes! They are absolutely necessary to practical salvation!
      1. If you don't know what practical salvation means, then learn the five phases of salvation.
      2. Our good works are not involved at all in God's four phases of our salvation, only in our phase.
      3. But there is no evidence God has worked a single phase of salvation in you without good works.

  1. Conclusion:
    1. It is one thing to know and understand salvation by works, but it is another thing to be fruitful in good works.
    2. It is one thing to despise heresy in others, but it is very much another thing to despise heresy in yourself.
    3. If you are struggling with temptation in any area of life, remember that eternal life is for overcomers only.
    4. If we are wrong, souls go to hell by our neglect; if right, the Christian world is nuts! Let God be true!

  1. For further study:
    1. The sermon outline, Revelation 3:20 Reclaimed.
    2. The sermon outline, Once Saved, Always Saved.
    3. The sermon outline, They Promise Them Liberty, which identifies and condemns teachers promoting sinful lifestyles.
    4. The sermon outline, Eating and Drinking Christ, which shows clearly Jesus was not seeker sensitive at all.
    5. The sermon outline, Why Preach the Gospel? which identifies from the Bible the connection of the gospel to salvation.
    6. The sermon outline, Why No Invitation? which gives a history of the invitation and the Bible reasons condemning it.
    7. The sermon outline, The Love of Christ Constraineth Us, identifies the changed man resulting from being in Christ.
    8. John Gill's tract, The Necessity of Good Works unto Salvation, in which he divides salvation five ways, denies good works to be any meritorious or instrumental cause of eternal life, and defends good works as necessary to please God.
    9. Arthur Pink's tract, Is Christ Your Lord? takes up the difference of viewing Jesus Christ as Saviour or Lord.
    10. J.I. Packer's article, Understanding the Lordship Controversy, which explains this heresy from the Reformed position.
    11. A brief history of the invention of the modern invitational system.
    12. A review of Jack Hyles' attempt to outdo Pentecost.