“Hold Fast Our Confidence”!
Adult Bible Study Fall Quarter 1997

1. Transparency 6/1 “What Must I Do To Be Saved?” This question
is the greatest to be asked, yet it is also the cause for the greatest confusion in our modern society. Why does this simple question generate so much confusion?

a. It calls for a distinction to be made -- between the “saved” and the “lost.”

b. It calls for judgment to be made -- between “right” and “wrong.”

c. It calls for admission that the prevailing philosophy in our society is dramatically wrong (i.e. “inclusiveness of all/any beliefs as right”).

d. It calls for obedience to the Jehovah God of the Bible who has the power to condemn some and save others.

NOTE: These four factors are responsible for confusing the need
for and obligations to salvation. Many in society refuse to admit that “salvation” is a spiritual need and that one should turn to God’s directions in the Bible in order to be “saved.” Consequently there is great confusion on this topic. This confusion has impacted Christians to the extent that many are either unsure of personal salvation or convinced that any one is truly “lost.”

2. Transparency 6/2 The confusion regarding salvation should be considered by two points:

a. CULTURAL CONFUSION -- Christians live in a world that fuels
confusion about “salvation.” This cultural confusion has always existed. The Devil uses this confusion to keep souls from salvation. There have always been (and will always be) cultural elements that strive to prevent souls from being saved (cf Col 2:8). The Christian has an obligation to resist these cultural pressures (Ro 12:1,2; 1 Ti 6:20).

b. RELIGIOUS CONFUSION -- Even among those who believe in the eternal soul, recognize “sin” as contrary to God, and who resist the cultural pressures to conform to the world, there is great confusion regarding the topic of “salvation.” This confusion prevents many from possessing confidence in their personal salvation; from being an activist involved in evangelism. Without this confidence, many are unable to live the full and abundant life of joy-filled Christianity; are unsure and become “tight-lipped” in talking to friends/family about salvation in Christ. Because of this confusion many will not confront religious error and refuse to accept the Scriptures as God’s objective standard of absolute Truth.

c. When Christians live in a world, surrounded by these two in-
fluences, it is understandable why many have lost their confidence regarding salvation. It is also understandable why these (who have lost confidence in salvation) have also lost the happiness of Christianity -- without the security of salvation, one is without the happiness of Christ! (Gal 2:20).

Christians need to examine both of these areas. By studying each one, they will be able to regain their bold confidence in salvation’s security! Diligent study will provide them with the KNOWLEDGE that is essential for bold confidence (cf 1 Jn 5:13).

3. Transparency 6/3 “A Culture That Doesn’t Need Salvation!”
The world has always been antagonistic to God (Jn 17:16). It should not surprise Christians that this bitterness will be evident in rejecting/scoffing at the idea of salvation. The world refuses to consider “salvation” as a spiritual need because of these reasons :

a. It denies that each human has an immortal soul needing salvation.
1) The denial of the immortal soul is best presented in our modern culture by the tenets of the New Age Movement.”
2) This philosophy believes that everything on earth shares in the same “spirit” or “essence.” Thus, the trees have a spirit just as man; the animals possess spirits just as man. Since all share the same “spirit” it is just as bad to pollute a stream as it is to murder a human being; protecting an eagle’s eggs becomes more critical than protecting the unborn human.
3) Concern is expressed by protecting the earth because all in the earth, on the earth, above the earth, are “inter-related” with one another. This basic philosophy is being taught to our children in movies and educational courses. The basic point -- those who are the nearest to Nature, are the innocent; those who are advanced in civilization’s decency are the culprits. Hence, the Native Americans, the Polynesians, Australian aborigines, and other native peoples are really the true “essence” of life but have been violated and exploited by the Judeo-Christian “domination theology.” So what is the radical answer? How do we “cure” the troubled society? We MUST restore the original harmony with Earth! In order for this to occur the Judeo-Christian beliefs must be rejected! All must bring a restored harmony with Earth. Since “all” share in the same “spirit” it is obvious that mankind DOES NOT have an immortal soul.
4) This philosophy may sound strange. However Christians need to understand some of its basic tenets so they can understand why those in general society (and even our children) are unconcerned with salvation.

b. It denies the very concept of “salvation” as taught in the Bible.

1) Those in the world conceive of “salvation” as the “soul’s” (i.e. this refers to one’s inner-person but is not the same as the immortal soul of Scripture) welfare; as inner-peace and tranquility.
2) Thus the world rejects the very concept of biblical salva-tion. It looks for a world union (i.e. the “one world government”); universal harmony; or, the universal harmonic consciousness of all earth-things.
c. It denies the existence and meaning of “sin.”
1) The world has no recognition of “sin” as defined by the Scriptures.
2) According to the world, the only “sin” that exists is when a human interrupts the “balance” of Nature. When this occurs it is “unforgivable” because one is destroying the harmony of Mother Earth. Thus the killing of a wild animal is worse than the killing of a human because (in their twisted logic) the human is responsible for disrupting Nature’s balance and the sooner all humans are killed the sooner harmonic balance will return.

d. It denies that God has only one way to follow.

1) Because the “innocent native” is viewed as the “ideal” human, since s/he was closest to Nature, it is only logical to accept all savage religious practices as primary. Especially is this the situation with religious rituals emphasizing worship of Nature. This desire to follow Nature worship has experienced significant growth in recent years. They reject God, hence they also reject God’s Church.
2) Negatively viewed will be the biblical emphasis that God’s Church is the only religious group acceptable to Him. The world scoffs at the religiously minded accusing it of multiplicity in belief, contradiction in doctrine, acceptance of many different groups, and presenting many different pictures of God. They claim that such is exactly what they do, but they are more honest in serving Nature.

e. Responding to these points -- The Christian can adequately
answer these views. Historically answers have appeared and silenced these absurd positions. However, the religious community has oft forgotten the answers and this has fueled the confusion.

1) Man has never successfully denied the existence of the im-
mortal soul (cf Ac 17:26, 28). Many have tried but at death they always face the alarming fact that they cannot deny the soul. All know that life involves much more than earthly existence. Even the savages (those who are “in tune with Nature”) have left witness that there is a soul!

2) Man has historically admitted the need for salvation and
the desire for sin’s release (cf Ac 17:27). From the earliest records of civilization, there have been those who desired atonement for wrong. The worldling may try to ignore sin and scorn salvation, but s/he knows deep within the heart that such exists. As long as s/he continues in the world the sorrows of sin will dominate their spirits!

3) Man has always attempted to explain that God’s way inclu-
des more than just “one” way, but he has always been left with a questioning soul. There is a sweet relief that results only when one follows God; a full confidence is found that does not leave “options” for a possible way that was overlooked (cf Ac 17:23).

4. Transparency 6/4 “The Religiously Confused -- What About Salvation?”
The present confusion over the concept of “salvation” in the religious world in general can be attributed to the following points:
a. IGNORANCE OF SCRIPTURE In the religious world in general, the Bible is seldom read and studied. Most Bible classes have opted for some “self-help” course which seldom lists a single Scripture. Even in the Lord’s church this has become the norm and consequently it has members who do not know what the Bible teaches! As a whole we are illiterate, misinformed, and uneducated regarding biblical matters. As a nation we are lazy and our sloth has invaded the Church. Many cannot explain a debated issue, not because the Scriptures are vague, but because they have failed to obey 2 Ti 2:15!

b. PARTYISM Many are like the Corinthians. They follow a teaching because they respect the one teaching. "If so-and-so teaches it, then it must be right!" Such a party-spirit engenders division and inevitable damnation! Such will reap the unenviable reputation of Jeroboam (1 Ki 14:7-11). In this tragedy the issues enable the man to gain fame and favor. Many who respect the man may not agree with him but the "party-spirit" is so strong that his followers are unable to see past the man to the error. So one chooses confusion as a means of reconciling the dilemma ("Well, I'm just not as smart as he. Besides, that part of the Bible is hard to understand!").

c. LIBERALISM There are some who seek the destruction of biblical authority. They are intolerant of biblical restrictions and in seeking to pursue their sought unscriptural way, they decide that the only recourse is to evade biblical authority. They thus begin to "explain away" sections of Scripture and eventually feel comfortable in a subjective religious authority. The true liberal (in religion, social issues, and politics) has an agenda that targets long-standing values, practices, and wisdom. S/He is convinced that "modern wisdom" is better than "old wisdom." Hence, the liberal is intent on changing everything connected with the "old"! In order to achieve this s/he must persuade people to question the "old" and eventually persuade them that such is "out dated."

Note: 1 Co 14:33. Confusion is never a mark of God. It always indicts Satan's presence. These three causes for confusion are attributed to Satan. We must make sure we are not guilty!

5. Transparency 6/5 “How Modern Thought Brings Confusion” The
confusion surrounding salvation illustrates how modern thought has shifted so that a rational, logical pursuit of God’s Truth has been demoted and a cultural, intuitive, self-directing subjectivism has arisen as the guiding norm.

a. How has this amazing compromise occurred?
1) Modern thought is dominated with pluralism and has invaded the Church. Therefore many are unwilling to take a specific stand because cultural influences have persuaded them to accept the belief that one belief is just as good as any other.

2) The process of "political correctness" has eroded the absolute uniqueness of the Church. We are programed to be "sensitive" instead of "steadfast"!

3) The "new morality" of the post-modern era has silenced our calls for the "one" Church.

4) The wide latitude for "tolerance" has caused Christians to be silent about the unique oneness of Christ's Church! After all, we do not want to be castigated as "judges" in violation of Matthew 7!

5) The silence of doctrinal preaching and teaching has allow- ed the "unity in diversity" philosophy to grow to problem- atic proportions -- Elders, Preachers, Bible Class teachers are not equipped to refute it!

6. Transparency 6/6 Look now at some critical areas associated with salvation. These areas have been “re-defined” by modern thought and have thus added to the confused status of what is involved in one being confident regarding “salvation.”

a. Transparency 6/7 -- The Nature of the Lord’s Church. Critical to assurance of New Testament salvation is the con- fidence that one belongs to the Lord’s Church. If this con- fidence is removed, then confusion will occur. The unique oneness of the Church is clearly presented in Scripture.
1) Christ admitted that He would establish only ONE Church (Mt 16:16-18). It was singular not plural. No promise about "many" Churches and no indication that His Church would be designed to splinter into factions (Jn 17:20-21; 1 Co 1:10).

2) The Apostles of Christ taught that there is only ONE Church (Ep 4:4; Col 1:18). The metaphor of the human body supports the oneness of the Church. How absurd to imagine Christ being the one Head but having hundreds of bodies! Such would be a monstrosity instead of a blessing.

3) The New Testament teaches that the saved are added to ONE body (Ac 2:47; Ep 5:23; Ep 1:3). To what "church" were the 1st Century saved added?

4) The New Testament emphasizes the unique oneness of God's plan, which includes the ONE Church (1 Co 8:5). Out of the many, there is only ONE that is acceptable. This is true whether it is "gods," "revelations," or "churches"!

5) The New Testament stresses the necessity of "oneness" (Gal 1:6-9; 2 Jn 9-11; etc.). Without the unique oneness there are contradictions. It is impossible for both aspects of a contradiction to be right -- one must be wrong! The Church that upholds Truth will find the oneness of Scripture! It is a commonsensical conclusion. Some may not see the significance of the oneness of the Church. Such is a tragic blindness for it fails to reckon the foundation of New Testament Christianity.

a) There is only ONE way to serve God, obey God, and wor- ship God.
b) There have always been challenges to God's oneness design.
1) 1 Ki 12 -- Jeroboam challenged it.
2) 1 Co 10:20,21 -- The 1st Century Christians challenged it with varying worship practices (see Wallace, p. 89-90).
3) It is clear that Christians cannot participate with that which is false when it comes to religion! The "doctrine of Christ" must govern our teaching/belief/practices. If it does not we commune with the author of false worship.
c) The current calls for "tolerance" in varying doctrinal posi- tions/beliefs and refusal to "judge" any doctrine as wrong, should be rejected. Failure to do so will lead us into compromise and ruin!
6) Note: If there is no such thing as the unique oneness of the New Testament Church, then we are in an unsolvable dilemma! However Truth will triumph and error will be damned. How can we know the difference between the two? Without the unique oneness of the church of Christ we are left to wander aimlessly searching for assurance that we are following God's commands.

b. The practice of "judging" another's doctrine, teaching, or positions has become distorted and confused.

1) It is common to hear: "I'm not the judge - God is!"

2) The New Age vocabulary and nuances have crept into the Lord's Church: "I'm not a 'right-brain' thinker but a 'left-brain' person!" This refers to "right-brain" people as being logical, rational, and dogmatic. Such is used in a derogatory manner. The "left-brain" people are said to be oriented toward feeling, intuition, and harmony. The subtle point is that rational evaluation is dogmatic and incites anger. It is suggested that Christians, who are loving, will be "left-brain" personalities which will yield harmony. Such sounds nice but is unscriptural! Just ask one of these advocates "What kind of person was the Apostle Paul?"

3) What the student should observe is a carefully orchestra- ted effort to deny anyone the "right" to judge any doctrinal issue. Ultimately the goal is to have such "freedom from judging" that any practice/doctrine/belief can be practiced without any condemnation!

4) What does the Bible say abt "judging"? Transparency 6/8 Are those who oppose false teachers unloving? Are we being "intolerant" if we say a teaching or position is error?

a) God commands us to distinguish between Truth and error (2 Jn 9-11; 1 Jn 4:1). Most will admit this but excuse themselves from doing it by saying -- "Who knows what real Truth is anyway?" They fail to see that revealed Scripture is Truth! (Jn 17:17; 2 Ti 3:16,17; 2 Pt 1:3).
b) God commands us to avoid capricious "judging" (Mt 7:1-5; Jn 7:24). "Righteous judgement" is discerning between right and wrong based upon God's revelation0. There are two different kinds of "judging" but most fail to dis- tinguish between these.
c) God commands us to judge spiritual teachings (Mt 7:6-27). If Christ does not want us to discern whether one's teaching is false or true why would He use the meta- phors and terms of speech that suggest such? (v. 13ff). If we are not to "judge" another's doctrine, then Jesus was wrong in giving us this text! Note: To eliminate "judging" places one in a ridiculous positions! Who wants to uphold the position that all "judging" is wrong? (i.e. Homosexuality as “wrong”).
5) Compromise in the biblical concept of "judging" has allow- ed the error of "unity in diversity" to be widely accepted in the Lord's Church. Transparency 6/9
a) This old error has been redressed in modern garb and presented by eloquent, appealing preachers. The follow- ing are often used as arguments FOR unity in diversity. (See Gospel Advocate article by R.C. Oliver)
1) The Oak Tree
2) The Human Body
3) Music of a symphonic orchestra
b) This false doctrine is treated well by G.K. Wallace in his expose of W. Carl Ketcherside (see p. 12, 23, 24, 28-33).
c) What should be done when the "unity in diversity" error is supported? What does the Lord say to the preachers, elders, and members?
1) Duty of the preacher (2 Ti 4:1-4; 1 Co 14:37; 1 Ti 4:13-16). The modern idea is to shut your eyes and pretend that you love all as you refuse to correct them! But genuine love corrects!
2) Duty of elders (Tit 1:9,11,13,16)
3) Duty of members (Ro 16:17-18)

c. Return to Transparency 6/6 -- “Grace” is re-defined to be- come license to reject God’s commands. Look at these important aspects and consider how "GRACE" is undergoing a significant transformation. It is "grace" that is the most con- fused doctrine associated with our chaotic culture.

1) The focus of restructuring salvation is upon "grace" in the New Testament. Numerous articles have appeared re- garding "grace" and the cultural changes being urged upon the Church. Transparency 6/10
a) "The NT Epistles are only love letters and do not repre- sent any standard of law (commands) for modern man."
1) This attitude reflects the bias of certain hermeneutical approaches (i.e. Core Gospel; Jesus; Justice/Love; etc.).
2) This suggests that the Gospels contain the "heart" of Christianity and Acts/Eps are "secondary" sources.
3) The emphasis of this position lessens the Scriptural support for "doctrine" because "doctrine" is viewed as an enemy of "grace."
b) "There is no command for us to confess sins before people. This is a legalistic procedure that has arisen in our traditional heritage and ignores the automatic for- giveness that God's grace sends to all believers."
1) Some contend that if sins must be confessed then we will spend "day and night" confessing sin.
2) Appeal is made to 1 Jn 1:9 to show that constant cleansing is given.
c) "Grace covers the saved and therefore sin is never im- puted to one once s/he is saved."
1) Appeal is made to Ro 4:8.
2) This position basically says that the Lord exempts Christians from the consequences and responsibility of sin.
d) "John 3:16 says believe, not believe and behave. The answer to radiant Christianity is not adding works to grace but by simply nurturing confidence in God's grace for your personal salvation." This comes in response to those who are convinced they are not saved unless they are constantly working for God.
e) "Grace has been underemphasized in the Church. I never heard of grace until I was 25 yrs old, yet I attended Church all of my life!"
1) These are also quick to ask, "How many sermons have you heard on grace?"
2) These will count the number of times "grace" is studied in classes, preached, etc., and compare it with "doctrinal topics." They conclude that churches of Christ "do not believe in grace or they ignore, abandon, or exile it!"
f) "Our emphasis should shift from doctrinal issues to the grace of Jesus."
1) "Traditionalists" are charged with exalting the "5 steps" of salvation over Christ!
2) It is charged that undue emphasis on "doctrine" makes people more responsive to "doctrine" than to Christ.
3) "Doctrine" is thus spoken of with sarcasm and ridicule.
2) These are the major positions that currently advocate a re- defining regarding "grace." The cries of these positions are becoming too common thus indicating the tragic inroads of error. These positions harbor a dark potential for "changing" the basic concept and teaching of the plan of salvation in the Lord's Church. Examine each and discover the serious problems found and conclude why it should be rejected.
3) Consideration of how an abused "grace" restructures the plan of salvation.
a) The failure to recognize "law" in the "love letters" of the New Testament is a grievous mistake.
1) "Law" is a good thing and it is through law that grace operates (cf Gn 18:19; Ps 119:97; Ro 7:12; 8:2; Tit 2:11-15).
2) Christians are certainly under a "law" -- Christ's law. To deny such is gross error (cf Ro 3:27; 8:2; 1 Co 9:27; Gal 6:2; Jas 1:27; etc.).
3) If we are without "law" how do we know we are to be baptized, worship, take Communion, etc. The word "love" never commands these acts, so should we reject them as essential?
4) If we are without "law" upon what basis are we to con- demn sin? In order for an act to be a "sin" it must transgress a "law" (1 Jn 3:4).
5) If we are without "law" the Scriptures make no sense! 1 Jn 5:2,3 - "commandment" is the same in Jn 15:14,17 and signifies “to enjoin upon, to charge with, a rule or law” (cf 1 Co 9:21; Hb 8:10; Mt 28:20).
6) If we are without "law" we have no need for Christ to intercede for us (Hb 4:14-16) because there would be no "sin" and thus no need for an Intercessor.
7) If we are without "law" there is no standard by which we can distinguish between right/wrong. But God has told us to distinguish (1 Jn 1:5-7).
8) If we are without "law" there would be no sins to con- fess. However confession is commanded! (1 Jn 1:9).
9) If we are without "law" we cannot commit sin and therefore do not need Jesus for a propitiation of sins and we can rest satisfied that we have not sinned since becoming a Christian. Both conclusions are gross error! (1 Jn 2:2; 1:10).
10) Appeals to Ro 6:14 fail to support this position be- cause the context (immediate and remote) reveals that Christians are under the law if grace but not the law of Moses!
b) Confession of sins is biblically sound and exposes the "abundant grace" position.
1) Scripture knows of no "automatic forgiveness"! To ad- vocate such is to abuse God's grace.
2) 1 Jn 1:9 -- contradicts this position.
3) Pr 28:13 -- Solomon's wisdom rebuffs this idea.
4) Lk 11:14 -- The model prayer shows that our forgive- ness is not automatic. Some kind of confession is required (Mt 18:15; Lk 17:3).
5) This position is grossly unscriptural. It must be prodded by pride in those who do not want to admit weaknesses before others!
6) Can anyone provide Scripture where forgiveness was provided without confession?
c) The notion of an "umbrella of grace" is foreign to Scripture.
1) This basically suggests that once one becomes a Christian then God mystically drops a shroud over him/her that repels all sin.
2) This position places the Christian in a position of invin- cibility where s/he cannot sin! It thus becomes non- sense to talk about "forgiveness."
3) Ro 4:8 does not say Christians are exempt from sin's consequences. If so the Lord is partial unless He exempts all from sin's consequences. In context (cf Ps 32:2) the reference is to David who had sinned (2 Sa 12:13) but who had been forgiven. After the for- giveness, David is not "Teflon coated" where sin will not be imputed. He sinned afterward (2 Sa 24:10).
4) Ro 4:8 is applied correctly only after one has con- fessed sin. Those who refuse to conform "shall not prosper" (Pr 28:13).
5) It is error to teach/encourage one to have the assur- ance of an "umbrella of grace" which protects them from sin's consequences. This instills an invincible attitude regarding sin which will lead to tragedy (1 Co 10:12).
d) The misunderstood grace that results from a wresting of Jn 3:16 is easily answered.
1) It poses a self-contradiction: it says that it is "faith" and not obedience that saves one but then it claims that one must "nurture." Is this "nurturing" a work? Just who is to do this "nurturing"?
2) The entire context (immediate/remote) encourages obedience to God's will.
3) "Somehow, the devil has deceived many into thinking that one can be a 'good Christian' and not behave according to God's rules and obey the command- ments of Christ." (Kearley, p. 492, Christian Bible Teacher, 12/88).
e) Grace has NOT been underemphasized! This is an amazing position that is being heard all too often. It reflects an abysmal ignorance of Scripture and history!
1) "Grace" in the Church is found in every activity! Every time the Scriptures are read, there is grace found. Every time prayer is made, grace is present. Every time Communion is observed, grace is magnified. Every time one is baptized, grace is seen.
2) Those who are strong advocates of "grace and love" are usually those who suggest that the Acts/Eps are "secondary" to the gospels. But they cannot find "grace" in the Gospels and are forced to go to their "secondary sources" to support their grace/love philo- sophy! This puts them in a perplexing position.
a) Jesus never used the word "grace"! If the Gospels are the "core" of our teaching, we must eliminate grace! In fact Jesus' teachings stress how obedience is mandatory for salvation (cf Mt 4:7; 7:21-23; 12:36,37; 28:20; 24:46; etc.). Are we going to charge Jesus Christ with underemphasizing grace?
b) Peter never mentioned "grace" in his sermon in Ac 2. In fact he urged people to "save themselves" (2:40). Will we charge Peter with underemphasizing "grace"?
3) This position fails to understand what "grace" is in the New Testament. Whenever one preaches the plan of salvation and invites people to respond in obedient faith, "grace" is being emphasized!
f) The suggestion that emphasis in preaching and teaching should shift from the "doctrine of Christ" to the "grace of Christ" is absurd. Such fails to understand that "grace" IS doctrine! "These charges simply are false, and these 'enemies-of-the-truth preachers' are attempting to fight a straw-man. There has never been a time when the churches of Christ have neglected to represent a 'Christ-exalting movement'." (Adron Doran, Gospel Advocate, p. 8). A refusal to preach/teach “doctrine" is a refusal to obey Christ!
4) What do these false position lead believers to do? What "changes" will they bring about as the focus on salvation is restructured? Transparency 6/11
a) They DISTORT the biblical concept of "grace."
1) What is "grace"? This word is frequently used yet it is never defined! It remains a vague, nebulous quality which assures one of salvation - it is thus unknowable!
a) It seems that those desiring "change" view " grace" as a "kindly benevolence from God which excuses, overlooks, and ignores disobedience to the divine will." As such, "grace" is the universal response of Deity to all who are sincerely wrong. But this perception is totally wrong!
b) Transparency 6/12 According to Scripture "grace" is favor shown to mortal man by the Sovereign Deity. It is embodied in a benefit supplying a need. It is a supply for a need that is given to those needy and unable to meet the need themselves. As such it is a gift. To be of any benefit a gift must be usable to those who receive it.
2) Grace is seen whenever God supplies man's needs; whenever God's favor gives something which man needs. This is illustrated in a number of ways in the Bible.
a) The Church demonstrates "grace." Here is a home that gives man spiritual training, growth, edification, and fellowship.
b) The Bible demonstrates "grace." Here is a revelation of God's knowledge of man's origins and destiny, his purpose, and a philosophy for living life with content- ment.
c) Salvation demonstrates "grace." No greater favor could ever be shown to lost man than to provide a way out of sin's tragedy. Man was hopelessly lost but God's commands pointed the way to blessing (cf Mt 19:17b). Left alone man's eternal hope was vain. His good works and morality would not be effective. "favor is extended to needy; mercy to the criminal. We are both needy and criminal; needy because we are criminal" (C.R. Nichol, Sound Doctrine, Vol. 1, p. 151).
3) Grace is further understood when we understand how man is to appropriate its benefits (Ep 2:8,9).
a) There are 2 sides to salvation -- God's (the divine, Ep 2:8,9) and man's (the human, Mt 7:21-23). There are 2 principles involved in salvation -- GRACE (the divine) and FAITH (the human). Hence we are saved by grace through faith -- the 2 working in harmony to satisfy the need that man alone cannot provide for himself.
b) Notice how "grace" is illustrated as these 2 aspects work in harmony.
1) NOAH was saved by "grace" (Gn 6:8). How? (Hb 11:7). Grace gave the directions as to how it could be done; faith responded and prepared the ark. Some would accuse Noah of being legalistic if he built the ark exactly as God said. God's "grace" was extended to others in Noah's day. For 120 yrs they were warned to repent (Gn 6:3; 2 Pt 2:5). God's "grace" saved some but condemned some. Why? Because of obedience.
2) ISRAEL had "grace" extended to her (Ex 22:27; 34:6; Ps 5:12).
3) The EPHESIANS were saved by grace (Ep 2:8-9). How can we see the need, that only divine favor could satisfy and be fulfilled with the divine gift of grace? God gave them the gospel to hear and believe (Ep 1:13); they then confessed and repented (Ac 19:18-20); they were baptized (Ac 19:5).
4) The GALATIANS were on the verge of "falling from
grace" (Gal 5;4). Does this mean their slip-ups, mistakes, sins, etc., were not going to be overlooked by God any longer? Such would make God biased! It simply means they were not following the divinely revealed will in life!
5) Other examples: Naaman (2 Ki 5); the blind man (Jn 9); etc.
6) Do you see how the Bible explains "grace"? It is far different from that which is appealed to by many today. Why "change" what the Bible defines?
c) Transparency 6/11 They CHEAPEN the biblical grace. Whenever this modern "grace" is considered it is discovered to be weak, compromising, unscriptural, and tolerant of doctrinal error. It takes the high standards of righteousness and lowers them to blasphemous levels. We are being told that God's "grace" saves the fornicator, false teacher, and even the practicing homosexual! What a pitiful decline from its exalted prestige in Holy Scripture! "God forgives a penitent sinner who tries and tries again, but God's grace never excuses a lazy, indolent, uncaring and untrying person who does not love Christ enough to obey His commands" (Kearley, p. 492).
d) After the biblical teaching of "grace" has been re- structured, a cheap grace stands alone. There are a number of dangers that have arisen because "grace" has been cheapened. Transparency 6/13
1) There is licentiousness (Jude 4). People are using "grace" to license every kind of immorality. They claim their sin is all right because "God's grace covers me!" Those who advocate the "no law all grace" standard follow a philosophy that releases all restraints! "If this is true release yourself from all restraints -- believe what you please and do what you wish -- turn yourself loose in the attainment of every popular goal and in the alliance with every unscriptural doctrine and in the gratification of every sensuous lust and rush headlong down the broad road of sin, disregarding along in the way the wrecks, and knee-deep in tears" (Leroy Brown- low, Gospel Advocate, August 1992, p. 6).
2) There is justification for allowing people to believe
and remain in religious error! "Who am I to judge?" "God is in control, not me! If He chooses to sanction their error who am I to question Him?" Under this guise of personal devotion many are compromising the biblical teaching of the Church's unique oneness! "Grace" will not excuse sincere religious error! (Mt 7:21-23; 2 Ths 2:11,12; etc.).
3) There is a failure to admit the human side of salva-
tion. Jesus said more about man's necessity to OBEY than He did about "grace." Jesus taught that love is valuable only if it prompts obedience to God (Jn 14:15). "After some hear a sermon on abused grace they leave their services joyfully saying, "I feel so good! I feel so good!" But later it will dawn on them that they can feel just as good sleeping on Sunday or playing golf or going to the lake" (Leroy Brownlow, ibid). Any "grace" that excludes the human obedience is not Scriptural.
4) There is a general failure to see the urgency for
doctrinal steadfastness. If "grace" will excuse religious error why should we be concerned with fidelity to God's Truth? Once the "changed" doctrine of "grace" is accepted then it will invite a lessening of doctrinal imperatives until one is "tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine" (Ep 4:14). Such is in violation of God's will (1 Ti 4:13; 2 Jn 9-11).
d. Transparency 6/14 Why is there such confusion in the doc- trine of "grace"? The answer has roots in the lessons pre- viously studied.
1) It is needed to accommodate selfishness. So many do not want to be bound by Scripture's limits/commands. However they knew they should feel guilty if they do not. This new "breeze" of redefined "grace" is just what they need! It allows them to be as selfish as they want and excuse it by claiming, "Well we are all not perfect. Besides, God's grace is all that matters!" Consequently we see non-attendance, non-study, no maturing, no involvement, limited giving, etc. Ultimately one's Christianity becomes a hollow shell emptied by God's commands being replaced with accommodative selfishness.

2) It is needed to pacify the pluralism that has invaded
the Church. Many are unwilling to admit the Church's oneness and this changed "grace" makes allowances for false doctrine and rationalizes why we should not confront religious error!

e. Transparency 6/15. Now that we have explained the ramifi- cations of "change" in the concept of "grace," notice how such a redefined "grace" will impact other significant points of salvation.

1) A direct operation of the Holy Spirit is being stressed.
This is the consequence of moving away from the written Word and trusting in "grace" to cover our short-comings. We are hearing members advocate sanction for error under the guise that "the Lord led me to this conclusion."

2) The necessity of baptism is being lessened.
The redefined "grace" of God is all permissive of differing beliefs and all inclusive on the basis of sincerity. Thus baptism is no longer viewed as essential. It is important "as far as you and I understand" but it is not mandatory because "God knows those who are His own." We are accused of being "legalistic and exclusive" by insisting that people must be baptized in order to be saved!

3) Universalism is the consequence!
If we cast aside the written Word's restrictions, then ultimately one can justify the salvation of anyone regardless of what s/he practices and believes!

7. This amounts to a restructuring of how the lost are perceived,
what the lost must do to be saved, how salvation is to be gained, and what conditions are necessary for salvation. Consequently we discover that the concept of, and need for, salvation in our modern time has been discarded! This is why congregations are not involved in energetic evangelism. This is why most people are uninterested in Bible study. This is why the Lord’s church has become carnal -- it has lost sight of its spiritual mission!

Transparencies Below

“What must I do to be saved?”


Transparency 6/1

Confusion’s Two
Points Of

CULTURAL Confusion


Transparency 6/2

A Culture That Does not Need Biblical Salvation!

It is a culture that denies biblical:




Oneness Of Church

Transparency 6/3

Why Are Issues Confused?

Ignorance of
the Bible



Transparency 6/4

of the

The New Testament teaches that Christ founded only ONE church in which salvation can be found. This has been compromised by ...


(i.e. “Political Correctness”)




Transparency 6/5


The New Testament Church



Transparency 6/6

Of The

The saint can be absolutely certain there is only ONE right church because:

Christ said so!
(Matthew 16:18)

The Apostles taught so!
(Ephesians 4:4)

Inspiration confirmed it!
(Colossians 1:18)

Necessity demands it!
(Galatians 1:6-9; 2 John 9-11)
Transparency 6/7
What About

God commands judging doctine
(1 John 4:1)

God censures capricious judging
(Matthew 7:1-5)

God requires spiritual judging
(Matthew 7:6-27)

Transparency 6/8

How To Respond
To “Unity In
Diversity” Theory

The Oak tree
The Human Body
The Symphonic Orchestra

2 Timothy 4:1-4; 1 Ti 4:13-16
The ELDER’S Duty
Titus 1:9,11,13,16
Romans 16:17,18

Transparency 6/9

How Are We To View

All grace, no law!

All grace, no

An umbrella of

Believe only, no

Grace has been underemphasized & ignored!

Shift emphasis from doctrine to “grace”

Transparency 6/10

A “Change” In Grace!
Modern philosophy encourages us to “change” our perception on God’s “grace.” These changes result in ...



Transparency 6/11

Dangers Of A Cheap Grace


Error Justified

Fail to admit the
human element

Fail to stress steadfastness to doctrinal matters

Transparency 6/13
Why Clamor For A Change In How We View Grace?



Transparency 6/14
How A Re-Defined Grace Impacts Significant Doctrines

Once we allow culture to re-define “grace” so that an all-inclusiveness” is practiced, there will be a dramatic impact on the biblical doctrines of:

The Holy Spirit


The Lost

Transparency 6/15


The New Testament Church



Transparency 6/6

Copyright 1999 by John L. Kachelman Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

Top of Page