Search the Scriptures Daily Program 3805c.mp3 Transcript follows:
You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of The Berean Call.Still to come, Dave and Tom continue their weekly in-depth study of the doctrine of salvation, please stay with us.Now,
CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
In this regular feature Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call.Here is this week’s question:Dear Dave and Tom, I’m a bit confused.I believe that the Bible teaches eternal security, yet in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, he writes a few things that make me wonder.For example, in chapter 1 verse 6, he says:“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.”Then in chapter 4 verse 11:“I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.”And finally, chapter 4 verse 20:“I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.”Have some of these Galatians received the gospel through Paul, and therefore salvation, and then lost their salvation because of accepting the false teachings of the Judaizers?
He doesn’t say they lost their salvation, he said he doubtful whether they really believed.Now, “marvel you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel”— Well, He called you into His grace and you didn’t accept it.You are removing yourself from Him and you are following another gospel, a gospel of works, that’s what this is about, the Judaizers—except you keep the law you can’t be saved, it’s not enough just to believe in Jesus.The other verses you quoted:I stand in doubt of you, I am afraid for you,— because what you are believing now, what you are willing to believe now, indicates either you are confused, you know, you may have really believed the truth, now you are being confused and led astray, or maybe you never believed to begin with.Because if you hadreally believed in Christ, how could you then begin to adopt these ideas?So, it’s not that Paul anywhere is indicating that they once were saved and lost their salvation, he doesn’t know whether they were actually saved.He preached the gospel to them and now someone has come along and is preaching another gospel.And by the way, “falling away doctrine” is another gospel, it’s not by works.Even those who believe in falling away would say, We’re saved by grace, by faith, not by works, right?Well, then how can you be kept by works? And that’s what Paul is talking about.So, if it is up to you to keep yourself saved by your good works you would be able to walk the golden streets one day and boast, Well, Jesus, it’s wonderful.You saved me by your grace, there was nothing that I could do to get saved, but I did live a good enough life to keep myself saved, therefore, I deserve part of the credit for being here.That’s one of the serious consequences of the “falling away doctrine.”
Dave, this reminds me—you know, I have people that I know who were really influential in my life in terms of leading me to the Lord, and this is 20-some years ago, yet we have some differences right now theologically.Just to be right up front, they are pretty strong Calvinists right now.Now, that wasn’t the case when they introduced me to the gospel and I accepted the gospel.They didn’t have a clue about Calvinism.Now we know that there are some teachings with regard to the character of God, with regard to how you receive salvation; you need to be regenerated first.
According to Calvinism.
According to Calvinism, and so on.So, here’s the question.They have some different ideas today than they had then, and I’m not saying this is a false gospel exactly, but certainly it can lead to that.What do you say about that?
Tom, I know many Calvinists who preach the gospel and you would never know they were Calvinists from what they preach as far as calling people to salvation and Calvinism somehow enters in later.In other words, they would preach the gospel, salvation by grace through faith in Christ, His blood poured out for our sins upon the cross, He rose again, and so forth, and they would call people to believe in that.But in their hearts they would say, yeah but nobody can believe that unless they have been regenerated first and God, through irresistible grace, unconditional election causes them to believe, and so forth.
So, is that amatter of now giving the mechanics of how this works?
I think so.So, as far as the gospel is concerned, they believe the gospel.Now, some of them don’t, for some of them it gets a little bit worse. Presbyterians, for example, who believe that it’s really infant baptism. That that’s like circumcision for the children of Israel and that your infant baptism saves you, washes you from your sins, and so forth.Now we have a very serious problem in Lutheran churches, people who have been raised Lutheran.You’ve talked to many of them, I’ve talked tomany of them, because, well, they were baptized as babies.Well then, that meant they are made a child of God, forgiven their sins.As a Lutheran, you get a certificate that says in this act you have been forgiven your sins, made a child of God, and so forth.Well then, all that I need to do is be confirmed, so I confirm that this is what I believe.That’s a bit different from believing for the first time, facing up to this, what it really matters.You’ve been saddled with this, and I’ve talked to people in Europe, Tom, they were baptized as a baby and then they were confirmed, and they have told me frankly, the only reason they liked confirmation was you got so many presents from your relatives and so forth.Then they got married in the church, and then they get buried in the church and that’s about all they have to do with this church, but somehow, they ended up as children of God because of their baptism and all they had to do was give a consent to that.So, it can be a deadly teaching.On the other hand, many Calvinists do not believe in infant baptism, although John Calvin himself said the only sure way of knowing you are one of the elect is if you were baptized as a baby, no matter who baptized you solong as he was a clergyman.So, Tom, we don’t fall away, you can’t fall away and there are reasons for that that the Bible gives.We have run out of time, but rationally, as we mentioned, if I can’t get saved by my works, I can’t keep myself saved by my works, otherwise I would get part of the credit for my salvation.