Is This an "Invitation to Salvation?"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Lou Martuneac, Jul 27, 2007.

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Is James 4:7-10 an evangelistic “invitation to salvation?"

Poll closed Aug 10, 2007.
  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    4.8%
  2. No

    18 vote(s)
    85.7%
  3. I am not sure

    2 vote(s)
    9.5%
  1. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    In John MacArthur's The Gospel According to Jesus both the original and revised version (pp. 218 & 252 respectively) this statement appears,
    Here is the passage Dr. MacArthur refers to as an “invitation to salvation:”

    I will ask just two questions to open the discussion:

    1) Is the epistle of James, and this passage specifically, directed to the lost or to those who are saved already?

    2) Where in James 4:7-10 do we find salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9)?


    LM
     
  2. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    1. While I'm not out to defend MacArthur, I wish to give the above quote a little more context to work with:

    "While James directs most of his epistle to genuine believers, it is also evident that he is concerned about those who are not genuine. He wants no one to be deceived regarding true salvation, so he calls for a real, living, saving faith that is distinct from the dead faith of chapter 2. ...

    "The invitation in 4:7-10 is directed at those who are not saved--guilty, wicked hearers of the Word who are not doers (cf. 1:21-22),..." (The Gospel According to Jesus, revised, p. 252).

    2. While I do not see much to disagree with MacArthur at this point, I will be hard-pressed not to take those who are not geniune believers into consideration.

    3. V.7 begins with the Greek conjunction oun, "therefore," linking it to the previous paragraph as an appeal to correct their lifestyle. He calls them "adultresses."

    4. Contextually, I would have to agree with you that this is really not a genuine invitation to salvation to the unregenerate, for he calls his addressees "adultresses," signifying an affair.
     
    #2 TCGreek, Jul 27, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2007
  3. TCGreek

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    Please, respect my decision not to vote in your poll.
     
  4. James_Newman

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    He is speaking to believers.
     
  5. Lou Martuneac

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    Based on the what the Bible says, there are only believers and unbelievers. For example,
    "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God," (John 3:18).

    Thanks for the input.


    LM
     
  6. Lou Martuneac

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    Yes, thank you. Therefore, this passage cannot be an "invitation to salvation."

    LM
     
  7. J. Jump

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    I will agree with James.
     
  8. webdog

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    I will also agree it's written to believers.
     
  9. Hope of Glory

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    It's written to saved individuals.
     
  10. Lou Martuneac

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    Second Question

    Men:

    Thanks for weighing in. I posted that excerpt from John MacArthur because it is another reminder of just how theologically unbalanced the Lordship interpretation of the Gospel is.

    MacArthur is taking a passage that is without any doubt meant for and directed to those who are born again and he twists it into an evangelistic message.

    Here is the second question from above.

    2) Where in James 4:7-10 do we find salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9)?


    LM
     
  11. TCGreek

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    1. I will grant that Dr. MacArthur should have done a better job with this text.

    2. But the principles of what a person must do to be saved are there: Salvation is submitting to God, fleeing the devil, drawing near to God, cleansing your hands of sin, purifying your hearts, being miserable and mourning and weeping and letting your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.

    3. I know of no one who has been truly saved who would doubt that all these elements were not included in their coming to God through Christ (Repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ, Acts 20:21; explore those two words and you will get those elements).

    4. But to take one passage from Dr. MacArthur's book to prove that the entirety of Lordship salvation has fallen is misleading.

    5. I admit that Dr. MacArthur should have done better with this passage and make his point clearer.

    6. If you can present 100 more quotes like that, then you are on to something. But one quote is insufficient.

    7. I wonder if your book is exegetically sound at all points.

    ***Edited.
     
    #11 TCGreek, Jul 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2007
  12. TCGreek

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    1. I gave you the benefit of the doubt with your first question, but here you are again, trying to prove to all of us how unbalanced the Lordship interpretation of the Gospel is.

    2. The guys at Pulpitmagazine are more adept at defending MacArthur's work. Maybe you should present your questions there.

    3. Bring 100 more quote from MacArthur's work and not just one quote. You can do better than that.
     
  13. Hope of Glory

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    Boy! We have to do lots of works to get saved! Or do we only have to do them to stay saved? Or to prove that we're saved?

    Or perhaps this passage isn't talking about getting saved.
     
  14. TCGreek

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    1. From other exchange, it is clear that when you and I talk about being saved we are talking about two different things.

    2. A person is saved by grace through faith and not by works (Eph. 2:8).

    3. If you reread my post carefully, you will see that I am in no way overthrowing what Paul says, not only here, but elsewhere.
     
  15. TCGreek

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    1. If there's not a brokenness over one's sin, then how in the world would a person come to Jesus as Savior and Lord.

    2. I believe James 4:7-10 illustrates that brokenness and coming to the Lord.

    3. But James 4:7-10 is not an evangelistic appeal.

    4. When has it become wrong to use another Scripture as an illustration?

    5. The operative word is Illustration. I wish not to be pedagogical, but I must keep misunderstanding at bay.
     
  16. Lou Martuneac

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    Then is it wrong?

    You need to draw a clear-cut distinction between what the Bible requires for salvation, and what should be the result of salvation. To say that the James passage is setting out how a lost man receives salvation is a gross misunderstanding of the passage. Submitting, fleeing, drawing, cleansing are works. That is a man-centered message that frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21)!

    You can never add anything man must do such as submitting, commitment, fleeing, etc. for salvation and still have a Gospel of Grace.

    This is just one of MANY similar examples to be found in all four of MacArthur's major books on LS. This particular passage is not in my book, which is why I posted it here and at my blog. There is no misleading! This example and many more like it run like a thread through each of his LS books.

    He is very clear. He repeated the same section in his revised and expanded version.

    Does it really take 100? As I noted above:
    1) There are numerous examples that you can read in my book or in certain articles at my blog. I thoroughly document these things. I'm trying to avoid a plug, so I leave it to you and every reader of this thread, to investigate it.

    2) In his reviwed and expanded edition MacArthur reiterates the same point and added "all" for additional emphasis of this teaching on James 4:7-10.

    During the on line debates I was made aware of some minor issues that needed tightening. I have done this, and they will appear in the revised version later this year. If I am directed to additional areas that need attention I will address those as well.

    Nevertheless, that is beside the point. Here we have an example of an extreme statements that is demonstrably a misunderstanding and misuse of the Scriptures to make a case for Lordship’s erroneous interpretation of the Gospel


    LM
     
  17. Lou Martuneac

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    It is proven, and not just with this one misunderstanding of James 4:7-10. There are many more extreme statements like this one.

    Not trying to sound funny, but "been there, done that." Weeks worth of discussion and debate at Pulpit Magazine with Nathan Busenitz, (JM's personal assistant) by his invitation.

    As I noted earlier I did do better than that. There are more examples in my book and at my blog site. In any event, this one is exceptionally antithetical to the doctrine of salvation.

    And I also noted earlier in the thread MacArthur repeats and more strongly emphasizes it in his revised edition of The Gospel According to Jesus.


    LM
     
  18. Lou Martuneac

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    No Misunderstanding

    MacArthur is not using James 4:7-10 as an illustration. He is stating that these are conditions that must be acted upon to receive the gift of eternal life.

    Let’s review what he wrote,
    He reiterates this way,
    To reiterate: There has been no misunderstanding. MacArthur is doing much more than utilizing an illustration.

    You have indicated yourself that MacArthur,"...should have done a better job with this text." That is to say, IMO, "He got it wrong."

    You also wrote,
    MacArthur, however, says it is evangelistic, it is an "invitation to salvation." That is evangelism! Both you and MacArthur can't be right on this issue.


    LM
     
    #18 Lou Martuneac, Jul 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2007
  19. npetreley

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    Lou,

    TC is doing a much better job in this thread than I would, so I don't want to get involved. But I just wanted to point out that I've been fighting, off and on, tooth and nail against a horde of kingdom salvation/millenial exclusionists who are perverting the grace of God to preach an anti-gospel of works.

    And who am I? I'm not only a Calvinist, I would say I'm supralapsarian in my views. So if I say to you that I can't understand why you think works-based salvation (Lordship Salvation) stems from Calvinism, I hope you believe me. I'm not saying there aren't Calvinists who make that error, but here I am on the side of grace, and I'll bet that most of the KS/ME horde are free-willers.

    Okay, it's just one data point (maybe 2, since I believe TC is a Calvinist), but I hope you don't ignore it.
     
  20. TCGreek

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