LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A New Look At The "Carnal Christian"

Folks, over the next couple days I wish to take a fresh look at this whole silly notion that there is such a thing as a "carnal Christian". Every Christian has area's of their life that a carnal. Compare your life to Christ, how He lived to please the Father, and you'll see what I mean. But to say that one who once professed Christ can go through life indifferent to His claims upon his/her life is UNBIBLICAL. Many times this terrible teaching comes from those who hold that the Sermon on The Mount was for a future people and who also push Christ's kingly reign off to some future millenium. What terrible things that system has done to Biblical Christianity. To them following Christ is optional for the one who professes to have come to Christ for salvation.

Oops, I just shared all of my closing thoughts to that coming post.

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14 Comments:

Blogger jazzycat said...

Quote By Albert N. Martin:
As we seek to expose this doctrine I'm not doing it from an academic standpoint. I do not want you to read this from the mere standpoint of gaining information. I am convinced that there are men and women, boys and girls, whose souls are in jeopardy because they have believed this heresy. And unless you allow the Holy Ghost to open your eyes some of you may perish and wake up in hell that thought you were going to wake up in heaven when you die. I am convinced of this! It is the only reason I am seeking by the enablement of God to deal with this subject. It is not enough that I pray for you and to cry out to God that the Holy Spirit would open the eyes of any who may be deceived about their soul salvation, it is my responsibility to preach the truth that will aid you to see your sin and to expose the error that would keep you from seeing your sin. Our Lord Jesus who preached positive truth and said I am the way also said beware of the doctrine of the Scribes and the Pharisees. He called it leaven. He warned people and he named it and he sought to keep his disciples from falling prey to it. This is the motive in which I speak to you, and I trust it will be kept before you constantly.From: http://www.apuritansmind.com/ChristianWalk/
MartinANCarnalChristian.htm

May 04, 2009 5:38 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Wayne,
Jesus said in Matthew 5:20 "unless your righteousness excedes the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." This is NOT talking about positional righteousness. If we consider the flow of thought here, Matt. 5:3 - 7:27, we see that clearly Christ the Lord is talking about life-style righteousness.

Also, in Hebrews 12:14 teaches that without holiness no one will see the Lord. Again, this is talking about practical holiness if we consider the context - Hebrews 12:12-17.

May 04, 2009 11:02 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

This is why I fear for those who supposedly once professed Christ and who are now completely indifferent to His claims on their lives. There should be some conviction of sin going on in their lives - some awareness that they are not right with God. If there is not then legitimate question should be raised about the reality of their regeneration experience. I have noticed that one cannot hold to the notion of the "carnal Christian" and still hold to the biblical teaching of regeneration. These two ideas are mutually exclusive.

May 04, 2009 11:11 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

In other words, if there is NO desire to read the Word in order to get to know the Savior better, NO desire to pray to the Father, NO desire to honor the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit then that one is in a dangerous place...

May 04, 2009 12:09 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Forgiveness of sins without a changed heart...If we look carefully at the New Covenant we see that a changed heart is as vital a part of it as the forgiveness of sins. You simply can't have one without the other.

May 05, 2009 8:29 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
As you say the Bible clearly precludes the possibility of a saved unregenerate person or of an unchanged regenerate person.

When you connect these two big ole crystal clear dots, the concept of the carnal Christian is shattered into a damnable heresy that gives false comfort to sinners as they proceed down the road to hell.

May 05, 2009 10:01 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Wayne,
in the decade after Spurgeon's death when "decisionism" crept into the Metropolitan Tabernacle, replacing the biblical concept of transformed lives, the vitality of that church just went out the window. The spiritual life of that church just dried up, and so did the numbers.

Sometimes it seems that people's whole theology literally revolves, even ORBITS, around this whole "carnal Chrisitan" heresy. Their theology is built around it.

May 06, 2009 6:39 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Once the pews are filled with people who put this stuff forth that will be the same moment that the church will start looking under every rock as it were in the scriptures to see who did not finish well in the faith. Instead of being diligent to make their calling and election sure they will occupy themselves with efforts to show from scripture that true saints don't necessarily persevere. Going to war with the so-called perseverance doctrine is their focal point.

May 06, 2009 8:03 AM

 
Blogger Jonathan said...

Hello Mark and Wayne,

Since I hold to a Free Grace position I’ve always read Matthew 5:20 as positional righteousness. I will need to study that section of scripture again to try and understand the life-style righteousness position. If you know of a good commentary that defends that position I’d be interested in knowing about it.

The problem I have and the thing I really want to understand about the Lordship viewpoint is this:
If your lifestyle righteousness has to exceed that of the scribes and pharisees how do you know when it has? Even if God has elected you to salvation how can you know it before you are dead if you have to have an unknown amount of life style righteousness? The way I understanding the Lordship position, one cannot have assurance of salvation before you die. Is that correct? Do Lordship proponents admit to not having assurance? If not then please show me how a person can have assurance and yet still have to achieve some unknown standard of righteousness. I honestly don't understand how that can be true. But I will really try to understand if you would like to explain it to me.


Thank you,
Jonathan

May 07, 2009 11:36 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Jonathan, welcome.

James M. Boice's commentary on Matthew is one good commentary to see the "Lordship" position. Also MacArthur's commentary on Matthew.

Positional righteousness is nowhere in view here. This verse (5:20) is couched in lifestyle teaching.

Now, to be clear, the Lordship view maintains that Justification is through faith alone in Christ alone. The moment one believes in Christ alone for salvation he is eternally saved. No amount of works can alter that; not to improve or to take away from. Works are a byproduct, the inevitable work of God the Holy Spirit in the life of one justified. So we maintain that the righteous lifestyle spoken of in Matt. 5:20 is actually that produced by the Holy Spirit; but is NOT the basis of one's justification. That was settled at the very moment one believes, BEFORE any works issue forth. This whole Sermon on Mount is the describes the lifestyle of the regenerate, and is impossible for an unregenerate person.

May 07, 2009 11:56 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Jonathan,
The Sermon on the Mount describes the righteousness that excedes the pharisee's. It is internal, and much higher in expectation than the law of Moses.

May 07, 2009 12:54 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Also, it is true that many Calvinists hold to the idea that no one can have assurance. Then there are many who are closer to Calvin in looking to objective assurance rather than experimental assurance. I personally hold to objective assurance in that I believe that whosoever believes in Him shall be saved. I believe the promises of scripture for my assurance. The evidences of His dwelling in my life merely bolster my assurance; but they are not the basis of it, no way. That, plus my departure from the traditional LS view of 2 Cor. 13:5 puts me in a softer LS position.

May 07, 2009 1:04 PM

 
Blogger Jonathan said...

Mark,

Thank you for you comments. They have helped me to understand things better.

I agree with you on objective assurance. I think that is important.

I may have more questions/comments later but I have to get back to work now.

Thanks,
Jonathan

May 07, 2009 2:19 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Jonathan,
You said………..
Even if God has elected you to salvation how can you know it before you are dead if you have to have an unknown amount of life style righteousness?Jonathan, you are obviously believing some false accusations about orthodox lordship protestant Christianity. There is absolutely no human righteousness required for justification. A person is saved at the moment of true faith after a person has been born again by the POWER of God. Immediately the person becomes a son of God and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit [please read Romans 8]. A saved person is enabled by the power of God to willingly desire the things of God and obedience and discipleship will flow from his new heart. Some more than others and even those with more obedience and fruit are far from perfect in this life. James makes it clear that a claim of faith by a hypocrite is not saving faith and is worthless [James 2:14-26]. Your view that the lordship salvation position requires obedience, fruit or works to be saved is in ERROR! Your view is based on a powerless regeneration and a powerless indwelling Holy Spirit in favor of a salvation based on human sovereignty and human decision [John 1:12-13].

I might also add that it is not just Calvinists who hold the lordship view. It is a widespread view that is held by many non-Calvinists including Dr. David Jeremiah who is the pastor of the church that free grace apologist Antonio da Rosa says he has been a 14 year member. To single out Calvinists ignores the fact that the so called “lordship” is very widespread in the protestant Church.

As to assurance: John said he wrote 1 John so, “that you may know you have eternal life.” The bottom line of assurance is faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ!

May 08, 2009 10:41 AM

 

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