First, a little bio as requested:
I'm part of Sovereign Redeemer Assembly, I believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. I hold to the Christian Confession of Faith (www.outsidethecamp.org/ccf.htm ).
> The article that Scott posted was very explicit in saying that one must
> have a certain "understanding" of the gospel truths in order to be saved.
> *"God says in Mark 16:16 that those who do not believe the gospel are
> unregenerate. He says in 1 Corinthians 15:3 that the gospel includes the
> truth /'that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures.'
> /Thus, those who do not believe the truth /'that Christ died for our
> sins, according to the Scriptures' /are unregenerate. What does it mean/
> 'that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures'/? This
> article will go into the life-and-death truth of The Atonement."
Scott correctly noted that the original post was from me.
Tom does not understand the position of the article. A certain understanding of the gospel truths is not a prerequisite or pre-condition of salvation. Please see the article "Doctrinal Regeneration" at www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm . But the Bible is very clear that an immediate fruit of regeneration is belief of the gospel. If this were not the case, then there would be regenerate people who do not believe the gospel. You would have to say that it is possible that some Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists are saved if you don't believe that all regenerate people believe the gospel. Would any of you say that? Would any of you say that Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists are saved? If not, why not? Or how about Jehovah's Witnesses? Are some JW's saved?
> I'm glad someone caught this. I just saw this same post by the same
> guy on another Reformed list. It seems he's attempting to spread
> the 'news'
> that only those who are 100 percent reformed in their thinking are
Matt, I couldn't care less if someone is "reformed." The Bible doesn't talk about "reformed." What matters is if people believe the GOSPEL. The gospel is about the PERSON and the WORK of Jesus Christ. If you have the PERSON of Jesus Christ wrong, you don't believe the gospel. If you have the WORK of Jesus Christ wrong, you don't believe the gospel. It's really pretty simple.
> In other words, if a person believed that Christ died for everyone without
> exception, such a person, irregardless of a lack of proper biblical
> instruction, is not deemed a Christian.
Let's apply this kind of reasoning to a Jehovah's Witness. If a person believed that Christ is not God, such a person, regardless of a lack of proper biblical instruction, is not deemed a Christian. See anything wrong with that? Do you believe there are some JW's who are saved? After all, they just don't believe that Jesus is God. They're just off on a certain gospel doctrine. Why should we judge them lost just because they don't believe the doctrine that Jesus is God?
> H'mmm, all of this leads me to think this guy is a "salvation by
> works" kind
> of guy.
> The Bible does say that we are study and search the scriptures
> but where does
> it say that a Christian must have "perfect" understanding of the
> before he is a Christian?
Well, if I were a person who put forth the view that a Christian must have perfect understanding of the Scriptures before he is a Christian, I'd most certainly be a "salvation by works" kind of guy. But that's not what I'm putting forth at all. Again, I refer you to the article entitled "Doctrinal Regeneration" at www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm .
Christians do not have perfect understanding of the Scriptures. Christians can be in error on many things. But one thing we know is that all Christians believe THE GOSPEL. There's not a single Christian who does no believe THE GOSPEL. I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, aren't I? THE GOSPEL. THE GOSPEL. That's what it's all about. And guess what -- even belief of the gospel is not a prerequisite to salvation! Belief of the gospel is an IMMEDIATE and NECESSARY FRUIT of salvation.
> well, I think it's, rather, salvation by perfect knowledge and
> salvation by
> of charity (in that you must believe that all those who do not agree to a
> jot and
> tittle with what you believe to be true are unsaved, or else you are
> unsaved yourself)
> Not works, I don't think. They are extremely fixated on a specific
> knowledge as that which saves.
A lot of mischaraterizations here. Knowledge doesn't save. Christ alone saves. Knowledge comes into the picture once a person has been regenerated and converted. Conversion, being the immediate fruit of regeneration, involves God's giving specific knowledge to the saved sinner. That knowledge is ... you guessed it, THE GOSPEL.
Regarding "to a jot and tittle": when we're talking about the atonement, we're not talking about some obscure little doctrine! We're talking about the very HEART of the gospel! If one does not believe in THE Atonement, then that person does not believe the very heart of the gospel! We're not talking about little jots and tittles that can be tossed aside as one pleases; we're talking about the very foundation, the very cornerstone, of the gospel!
Regarding "lack of charity": If a doctor knows that his patient has a deadly disease that can be cured, which is the loving thing to do: (1) Tell the patient that everything is okay, or (2) tell the patient that he has a deadly disease and show him the remedy? Is it more loving to tell an unregenerate person that everything is okay or to tell him that he is unregenerate and preach the gospel to him?
For any who are interested, the following are
some web pages in which there are responses to the letters of unregenerate
These letters and responses will cover a lot of the objections that people bring up.
To God alone be the glory,
<<Yikes. I used to be part of a movement that was just as legalistic as this bunch. Brings back some yucky memories. How about the works righteousness in the whole thing? "You must have perfect comprehension for salvation." Talk about a life sucker.>>
This is a serious mischaracterization of our position, even to the point of slander. We do NOT believe that "you must have perfect comprehension for salvation." NOTHING -- not perfect comprehension, not belief of any doctrine -- is a prerequisite for salvation. If we believed that anything was a prerequisite for salvation, then we would believe in the damnable heresy of works righteousness (salvation conditioned on the sinner). Please see the article entitled "Doctrinal Regeneration" at www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm . We are not even saying that every Christian has perfect comprehension AFTER regeneration. Christians can be in error on many things. But what ALL Christians believe is THE GOSPEL. The gospel concerns the PERSON and the WORK of Christ. When God saves someone, He gives that person a KNOWLEDGE of THE GOSPEL. Thus, every regenerate person believes in the PERSON and the WORK of Christ. Belief in the person and work of Christ is not a prerequisite for salvation; it is the necessary, immediate, and inevitable FRUIT of salvation. Get it? Every believer believes in Christ crucified. Every believer believes that it is the work of Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Get it? As far as legalism goes, please see the article "Legalism and Antinomianism" at www.outsidethecamp.org/legalantinom.htm .
Thank you for writing.
<<I read your post on the reformed theology and apologetics discussion forum dating back to January. Did you write that article or did you cut and paste it or what... was somewhat confused. Could be my fault, and probably is. would like clarification.>>
I wrote the article entitled "Gospel Atonement." You can find it at www.outsidethecamp.org/gospatone.htm .
<<Got a question for ya: Is the gospel a set of true propositions? I think from your post you would say yes.>>
<<Is intelectual assent to propositions required for salvation?>>
Intellectual assent to propositions is not a prerequisite or condition of salvation. There are no prerequisites or conditions a sinner must meet in order to be saved.
However, when God regenerates someone, He causes that person to believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. This gospel is made up of certain doctrines. See www.outsidethecamp.org/egd.htm .
<<What is salvation? When is it accomplished?>>
Salvation consists of everything from regeneration to final glory.
<<If the catholics and arminians and other false "christian" religionists are doomed to hell, what does that make of divine election?>>
I have never said that all false religionists are doomed to hell. They are all currently unregenerate. There is a big difference between being unregenerate and being reprobate (non-elect). All false religionists are currently unregenerate, but some among these false religionists will be saved in time. Please see www.outsidethecamp.org/fte34.htm .
<<It seems that your criticism of the arminian view (that christ does not accomplish anything really since it is dependent upon man working) could be levelled at your reasoning- namely, that Christ's death accomplished nothing since salvation is dependent on man's affirming certain propositions.>>
If we believed that salvation is dependent on man's affirming certain propositions, then you would be absolutely correct. We, too, would be just as lost as the Arminians. But we do NOT believe that salvation is dependent on man's affirming certain propositions. Salvation is dependent on the work of Jesus Christ ALONE, with no contribution from the sinner in any way to any degree. We have heard this accusation before and have responded to it. Please see www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm and www.outsidethecamp.org/credenda.htm .
<<Also, Romans 9 is not a very good proof-text for soteriological calvinism, in fact it's nearly a badproof-text- for proving the five points... of course, election is assumed in the passage but not the way we Calvinists like to mangle it into saying. I say that as one who became a Calvinist from reading Rom. 9- I still am a "fiver" BTW. That was an unsupported claim that you can pick up later if you like.>>
I don't claim to be a Calvinist.
<<What about apostasy? What about covenant (linked to above question about apostasy)? Who is a member in New Covenant? What about John 15? Rom 11? Heb. 6 and 10? (apostasy)>>
If a person apostatizes, it means that this person was never saved to begin with.
<<Can we make a comment on a person's eternal status - "He is elect" or "She is not elect" or etc...?>>
I think I already answered that question above (see the link I mentioned). Among the unregenerate, we cannot comment "he is not elect." We do not know if an unregenerate person is elect or not. This is not for us to know.
<<Or, less general, a comment on the status of a "christian"- that is, one who is baptised using the trinitarian formula?>>
One's baptism matters not. What matters is this: does the person believe the gospel? For a series of sermons on the gospel, please see www.outsidethecamp.org/sermons.htm .
<<Did the gates of hell prevail against the church until Luther and Calvin, since the reformed doctrine of predestination was pretty much dead after Augustine and even he had a slightly different formula?>>
Luther and Calvin were both unregenerate. See www.outsidethecamp.org/norefcal.htm .
<<What is your denominational status? I would guess Reformed Baptist. Or high Presbyterian. But I am guessing not presbyterian since you didn't use the word "covenant" 50 or 60 times. Given the exclusivity of your comments I would say Baptist, maybe not even Reformed... which is fine since "Reformed Baptist" is a contradiction in terms.>>
Non-denominational. Non-Reformed. Non-Calvinist. Just Christian.
To God alone be the glory,