Lordship’s “Turn From Sin” FOR Salvation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Lou Martuneac, Jul 21, 2008.

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Must a Lost Man "turn from sin" to Receive the Gift of Eternal Life?

Poll closed Jul 31, 2008.
  1. Yes

    9 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. No

    12 vote(s)
    57.1%
  3. I'm Not Sure

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Dear BB Readers:

    There has been an on-going pattern of a certain few Lordship Salvation (LS) apologists demonstrating that they/he do not recognize or understand how Dr. MacArthur is writing and is teaching on the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel. This time the mistake is on MacArthur’s view of repentance. The LS apologist wrote,
    This misunderstanding and error on the teaching of John MacArthur necessitates opening this new thread to properly highlight the issue.

    The Grace to You website posts an article by Dr. MacArthur, that is touted by one LS apologist as his (MacArthur’s) definitive statement on Lordship Salvation. The article begins with a paragraph that defines how John MacArthur views a lost man must be born again. The statement is written by MacArthur and it is discussing the Gospel, the plan of salvation, the Lordship Salvation interpretation of how a lost man receives the “offer (gift) of eternal life,” how he is born again.
    In the Can God-Given Faith be Defective thread I included a link to an important article on Lordship Salvation by Pastor George Zeller. Since certain LS apologists continue to post comments that reveal an on-going lack of understanding of the LS message that they seek to defend, I will link to it again- John MacArthur’s Position on the Lordship of Christ

    In that article, by Ps. George Zeller, you will read additional documentation of MacArthur’s view that repentance for salvation requires a lost man to “turn from sin.” Here is that portion.
    The writing of Lordship Salvation advocates confirm beyond any doubt that LS is a works based, man-centered message that conditions eternal life on an upfront commitment to change behavior and perform the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) that should be the result of a genuine conversion. Calling on a lost man to “turn from sinFOR SALVATION is to condition salvation on behavior, not believing.


    LM

    For additonal documentation of Lordship Salvation’s “leave (stop committing) sin, and follow Jesus at any cost” to become a Christian message please read, Is Lordship Salvation a “Barter” System?
     
    #1 Lou Martuneac, Jul 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2008
  2. Baptist Believer

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    Jesus called people to follow Him, which required leaving their old ways and learning new ways. The New Testament knows nothing of people professing a certain view of the atonement and becoming "saved" without change taking place in their lives. Those who wish to become followers of Jesus (to be "saved") must take up their cross (die to their old lives) and follow Him. He calls everyone to take upon themselves His light and easy yoke so that we may learn from Him.

    I believe in "Lordship" salvation, except I believe that Bible teaches that salvation begins with the new birth, not when our body dies. The point is not to "get to Heaven" (although we will) but to work for the Kingdom of the Heavens (aka, the Kingdom of God).

    Some will immediately claim I am teaching a "works"-based salvation, in that we must "earn" God's favor. I am not. We are saved by grace through faith. It is not of ourselves, nor of works. However, it does require effort. Remember, Jesus tells us to "strive to enter by the narrow gate."

    Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning.
     
    #2 Baptist Believer, Jul 21, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  3. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    So, you are affirming that LS insists the lost man must make a commitment to "turn from sin" FOR salvation? Right?


    LM
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    I read John McArthur's book, The Gospel According to Jesus, back when in came out in the late 1980s and I haven't really looked at it since. I haven't read much else written about the issue except for the very weak rebuttal books by Ryrie and Hodge, which convinced me even more that they were wrong.

    I am not terribly interested in taking sides in the "Lordship Salvation" controversy because I think it is misguided. Both sides, in my estimation, seem to think that the gospel is belief in a certain view of the atonement so that we will go to Heaven when we die. Instead, I think the Kingdom of Heaven/God (which is the primary subject of the teaching of Jesus) is something much broader, demanding and exciting than the reductionism of what passes for the gospel in most churches these days.

    But to answer your question, I think John McArthur believes (at least back in the 1980s) that one must intend to turn from sin as part of what it takes to embrace the gospel.

    And for the record, since Jesus calls us to follow Him, I am convinced there is no choice but to intend to leave our old life (including our sinful ways) behind us.

    So, on the point of contention you have with McArthur, I believe he is correct because I'm convinced he agrees with Jesus.
     
    #4 Baptist Believer, Jul 21, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  5. Lou Martuneac

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    He still believes and teaches this today.

    Who is the “us” Jesus is calling to “follow Him?” Calling on the lost to make this commitment conditions salvation on his promise to perform certain expected levels of behavior (self-denial, following and cross-bearing) that should be evident in the life of a born again disciple of Christ, is works salvation!

    The problem boils down once again to LS confusing and blending the distinct doctrines of salvation and discipleship.


    LM
     
  6. Havensdad

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    Although this subject has been debated ad nauseam, it is VERY clear in scripture, that salvation and discipleship cannot be separated. Jesus never said "Get saved, and then choose whether or not to be my disciple". His offer to people, ALWAYS included discipleship> it is a package deal.

    "Faith" is not belief. It is an active trusting belief. If one does not desire to follow Christ, how can you say they trust Him?

    Jesus said:

    Mat 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
    Mat 16:25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
    Mat 16:26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

    Those who do not "follow Christ", FORFEIT their soul. Such passages are beyond argumentation, unless one FORCES their belief upon it.

    Does this mean that we must follow Christ TO be saved? NO. It means that following Christ is an AUTOMATIC part of the salvation process. If you trust (have faith) in Christ, you WILL continually turn from your sins.
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    The reason I "blend" the doctrines of salvation and discipleship is that Jesus "blended" them. More correctly, He did not seperate discipleship from "being saved."

    I know many people will reject this because they like to theologically nail down a moment of conversion where one passes from death to life, but I don't think that's the point of Jesus' teaching. It is clear that those who come to Jesus come as disciples (intending to leave their life of sin) and those who don't follow Jesus in discipleship are outside of the fold of the One Who embodies the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

    For what it is worth, I didn't come to this conviction by reading John McArthur, but actually in the mid-1980s when I decided to see for myself what the Bible said. I read the Bible through several times and spent months in the gospels trying to reconcile the "gospel" on which I had been raised, with the message of Jesus and then the writings of Paul. Finally, I decided to look at some systematic theologies that supported the way I had been taught (separating salvation from discipleship) including the notes in the Ryrie Study Bible I was using at the time. I realized that those systematic theologies didn't seem to match up with the clear teachings of Jesus and tended to ignore the verses that didn't support their conclusions. I had to go with what I believed the Bible said rather than what people at church or those who wrote books said.

    Then, a few years later, I read The Gospel According to Jesus and was pleased to see that McArthur had picked up on some of the same things I had seen in the scriptures. (Now I'm not a big McArthur fan, and I strongly disagree with some of his other positions, but I think he is right on this point.) Shortly after his book was released, there was some controversy and the Ryrie and Hodge wrote their rebuttals, which I read. I was completely unconvince by both their lack of logic and misuse of scripture.

    In recent years, I came across the writings of Dallas Willard who has helped bring these issues into sharper focus. Willard's book, The Divine Conspiracy, spends several chapters working through these issues and showing a better (more biblical) way. I highly recommend you read that book to get a better sense of where the discussion has gone in the last decade. Even if you don't agree with Willard, at least you will better understand the arguments of people like me.
     
  8. J.D.

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    Thank you for bringing the Bible and biblical terms into the conversation. Very good!

    I did not vote because it depends on what is meant by "turn from sin" and "receive" eternal life (I find eternal life "given", and "laid hold of", but never "received", in the Bible).
     
    #8 J.D., Jul 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2008
  9. Lou Martuneac

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    BB:

    You wrote, “The reason I ‘blend’ the doctrines of salvation and discipleship is that Jesus "blended" them. More correctly, He did not seperate discipleship from "being saved. I know many people will reject this…

    If I may clarify further- MacArthur blends the two distinct doctrines into one by making the works of a born again disciple of Christ, the works that the lost must make an upfront commitment to FOR the reception of salvation, eternal life.

    I have always agreed that discipleship (following, cross-bearing and surrender) should follow a genuine conversion. You’ll never get an argument from me about the “good works” of a disciple that should follow becoming a Christian, that should follow becoming a born again disciple of Christ.

    The problem with LS is that it demands a promise of performance from the unsaved in “exchangeFOR salvation.


    LM
     
  10. Lou Martuneac

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    You are correct in that eternal life is given, as a gift. It is not earned, merited or received through any commitment to "turn from sin," which is what Lordship Salvation calls on the lost to make a decision for to BECOME a Christian.

    LM
     
  11. Baptist Believer

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    Fundamentally, I think it is wrong to separate salvation and discipleship. As far as I can tell, that is not found in the New Testament.

    Regarding MacArthur (I just realized I've been misspelling his name), I don't know what his recent statements/writings have said, but in the first edition of his seminal book, The Gospel According to Jesus, he indicated that committing to faith in Christ is more than assent to a theological proposition (what Ryrie and Hodge seem to say), but it is drastically re-ordering one's life to follow Jesus. And that's the same thing that Jesus preached.

    Frankly, I think everyone would be better off if you stopped obsessing about MacArthur and demonstrate from the scriptures that Jesus separated salvation from discipleship. If you can do that, then it doesn't matter what anyone thinks about John MacArthur.

    It begins with discipleship too.

    But I don't think we have the right to alter the teaching of the New Testament to separate the two doctrines. What happens is that we end up teaching that someone just needs to give intellectual assent to the gospel, yet make no real commitment to Jesus. That's completely contrary to the message of Jesus.

    Not at all.

    Performance is not the issue, otherwise we would all be doomed from the start. It is simply repentance (reordering one's life) to follow Jesus in faith. We take on His easy yoke to learn from Him. (Learning of any sort also involves errors.)
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    I agree that eternal life (that is, life in Christ) is not earned or merited. But that doesn't mean that we are uninvolved in the process. We must strive to enter through the narrow gate (Luke 13:24), and that will involve some effort, including repentance of the old life to follow a new life in Christ. Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning.
     
  13. Havensdad

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    This is an out and out lie. I do hope this is a mistaken quoting of unreliable sources on your part, Lou. Even if it is, though, it demonstrates VERY poor scholarship!

    The person above asserts that J. Mac says "Nor is repentance merely a Human work", and they use this to try to make L.S. some mutual cooperation of God and man. YET THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE AFTER THIS STATEMENT, JOHNNY MAC SAYS:

    "It is likely every element of redemption, a sovereignly bestowed gift of God"

    I DO HOPE you issue an apology. Why is it that peddlers of this false, lifeless Gospel that you defend, ALWAYS misquote and deliberately malign those on the other side? The only way you can win a debate is to lie?!

    Your sin loving Gospel makes me ill.
     
  14. Lou Martuneac

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    Sorry HD, but you are in error because you who have been deceived by the teaching of LS. LS is rooted in the extra-biblical presuppositions of the circle logic of five point Calvinism. You think the extra-biblical presuppositions negate and/or change the obvious works based teaching of LS. That is sad and unfortunate.

    Did you notice that I used quotation marks in my article? That indicates that those things are contained in the book which I cited them from. Ans while we are citing from MacArthur's book let's add the followng from the same page (#178), "Repentance is...a redirection of the human will, a purposeful decision to forsake all unrighteousness and pursue righteousness instead."

    So, it is very obvious that MacArthur's LS repentance has as much or more to do with changing the behavior FOR salvation as it does with "changing the mind." There is no way around it: LS conditions salvation upon a lost man's commtment to change his behavior.


    LM

    PS: What ever "sin loving gospel" you refer to, I have no affinity for.
     
    #14 Lou Martuneac, Jul 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2008
  15. Amy.G

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    Christ is the narrow gate. There is no striving to enter into Him, only faith. There is no amount of effort that will cause us to enter into Christ (the narrow gate). The only "striving" we will do is after salvation as a disciple of Christ.
     
    #15 Amy.G, Jul 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2008
  16. Baptist Believer

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    I agree.

    Yet Jesus disagrees:

    What is "striving" but effort?

    According to what Jesus says in the gospels, we enter into salvation that way as well.

    Listen, I'm not making this up. I am dealing with what the Bible says.
     
  17. Havensdad

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    L.S. is simply the Biblical gospel. Jesus' method of evangelism was to proclaim "If anyone would come after me, let Him deny Himself, pickup his cross, and follow me". This should be our gospel message, too.

    I apologize. I did not realize you are uneducated. Your are supposed to check sources, before you quote them as authoritative. The man in this writing is deliberately misleading. This is a common tactic among "cheap grace" proponents.

    Right. It is a change of mind. That is the Biblical definition for repentance. Yet without a change of action, it is not a change of mind. It is lipservice/self delusion only. If I say "I will NOT eat that ice cream again", and the eat the whole tub, I did not really "metanoia".

    Hmm. The Gospel seems to involve a changing behavior too. Discipleship is part of salvation, according to scripture. I realize you have been brainwashed by people like Zane Hodges, and the heretics at GES, and this is hard for you to see.


    Any gospel that denies the necessity of repentance, is a sin loving gospel. And you seem to be quite an apologist for it.
     
  18. Baptist Believer

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    I'm not sure how you know what he thinks... but let me point out that I do not hold to "five-point Calvinism," so that does not explain why I hold to a biblical view of salvation (to which the fundamental tenet of Lordship Salvation also holds).

    You seem to have ignored or overlooked my request to demonstrate that Jesus separated salvation from discipleship from scripture. I now repeat my request.

    If you cannot demonstrate that Jesus taught your position, then why should I care what you say about it?
     
  19. canadyjd

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    Havensdad:

    Lou Martuneac is the man. Lou Martuneac is the source of the (mis)quote. Lou Martuneac has the book. Lou Martuneac simply will not accurately and honestly state what John MacArthur believes and teaches.

    Lou Martuneac cannot be considered a serious scholar, writer, blogger, or contributor to the BB.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  20. canadyjd

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    Lou Martuneac continued:
    To all:

    I have read the quote from MacArthur several times. I still do not see the words "to be born again you must turn from your sins". Please remember that Lou Martuneac has already stated that MacArthur believes a man is regenerated (born again) prior to faith, prior to repentance...it is a work of God. (Lou Martuneac considers that an unbiblical postion).

    I don't see how somone can hold both positions at once. Does MacArthur believe regeneration occurs prior to faith? Does MacArthur believe regeneration occurs after someone has demonstrated faith with a commitment to do good works? These are contradictory statements that Lou Martuneac continues to refuse to address.

    The above post by Lou Martuneac is irrefruable evidence that Lou Martuneac cannot be trusted to accurately and honestly state what John MacArthur believes and teaches.

    Lou Martuneac should not be considered to be a serious scholar, writer, blogger, or contributor to the BB.

    peace to all:praying:
     
    #20 canadyjd, Jul 21, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2008

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