A Comparison of ‘The Purpose Drive Life’ and ‘Slave’-On Salvation | Jeremiah Johnson

from Grace to You:

In fact, he makes it clear that any gospel that skirts the lordship of Christ is no gospel at all.

Amazingly, in spite of the clear teaching of Scripture and the faithful witness of Protestant church history, most of the trends in contemporary evangelicalism actually attack the lordship of Christ over His church. Some of these attacks are blatant and theological, like the no-lordship position of the so-called Free Grace Movement. . . . The Free Grace view twists the gospel message, claiming that neither repentance from sin nor submission to Christ has any part in saving faith. By promoting a form of “easy believism,” Free Grace advocates openly deny the sinner’s need to repent of sin and to confess Jesus as Lord and Master in the biblical sense of total submission. In so doing, they teach a different gospel altogether, which is “really not another” but an obvious attempt “to distort the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7). [7]

As believers, we’re not meant to merely fluff the soft pillow of God’s grace and invite sinners to find comfort and fulfillment in His open arms. We’ve not been set apart to soft-pedal the harsh and uncomfortable truths of the gospel, or lull people into casually accepting Christ as their Savior.

We’re called to wage war against satanic fortresses (2 Corinthians 10:4). And in that battle, the gospel of easy-believism is an utterly ineffective weapon.

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Holding to Sound Doctrine | John MacArthur

from Grace to You

One of the Devil’s more subtle schemes is leading believers away from sound doctrine. He knows that his best chance of immobilizing an effective Christian witness is through distraction with unscriptural, questionable, irrational, and shifting doctrines.

Even if we are not affected by any particular infiltration of false doctrine, our Christian walk can be greatly hampered by laziness, lack of vigilance, and simple ignorance regarding doctrinal basics. Bad doctrine or a weak understanding of sound doctrine makes us vulnerable to all sorts of bad practices, including a weak or non-existent standard of integrity.

The author of Hebrews reminds us where our anchor is and again urges us along the right path: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings” (Hebrews 13:8–9).

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Meditation that honors God | John MacArthur

from Grace to You

“Meditation is no less needed today. We live in a culture that continually assaults us with distractions through billboards, television, the Internet, and more. God says that we should keep His Word perpetually in front of our eyes, filling our minds and conversations wherever we go.

Paul clarified what our minds should feed on:

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Ultimately, our ongoing relationship with God hinges on sound biblical study. He places monumental importance on knowing, proclaiming, and worshipping Him rightly. And Scripture is the engine driving all of those things. The Dark Ages may have ended, but those who neglect to study and meditate on Scripture shun the light of God’s Word and continue to walk in willful darkness.”

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Strange Fire Q&A: Answering the Critics | John MacArthur and Phil Johnson

Even considering my history with John MacArthur and Grace to You, I was concerned when during the Strange Fire conference last year, I was told that Dr. MacArthur had declared that all or most people in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements were not saved. I knew he probably meant something more than that one statement. This exchange between John MacArthur and Phil Johnson addresses this issue and offers great clarity, and I must say, especially after listening to this, I have a greater understanding of where Dr. MacArthur is/was coming from and I agree with him.

Killing Sin, Part 1 | John MacArthur

johnmacIt’s not enough to merely receive the warnings of your conscience. You’ve got to act on those warnings and deal decisively and thoroughly with the sin your conscience uncovers.

As Paul said in Romans 8:13, believers must always be “putting to death the deeds of the body.” The King James translation uses more picturesque language, exhorting us to “mortify” our sin. But what does it mean to truly kill your sin?

Mortifying your sin involves the cultivation of new habits of godliness, combined with the elimination of old sinful habits from your behavior. It is a constant warfare that takes place within the believer. Although we should expect our triumph over sin to be ever increasing, our mortification can never be wholly complete before we are glorified. We are to remain perpetually committed to the task. We must see sin as a sworn enemy, and commit ourselves to slaying it wherever and whenever it rears its head.

Scripture offers several practical means whereby believers can mortify their sin. Our growth in grace depends on our obedience to these duties. None of them are fleshly or mechanical formulas. They are not religious activities or rituals.

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All Things to All Men | John MacArthur

from Grace to You:

Paul’s message was always non-negotiable. In the same chapter where he spoke of becoming all things to all men, Paul wrote, “I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16). His ministry was in response to a divine mandate. God had called him and commissioned him. Paul preached the gospel exactly as he had received it directly from the Lord, and he always delivered that message “as of first importance” (1 Cor. 15:3). He was not a salesman or marketer, but a divine emissary. He certainly was not “willing to shape his communications” to accommodate his listeners or produce a desirable response. The fact that he was stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19), beaten, imprisoned, and finally killed for the truth’s sake ought to demonstrate that he didn’t adapt the message to make it pleasing to his hearers! And the personal suffering he bore because of his ministry did not indicate that something was wrong with his approach, but that everything had been right!

So what did Paul mean when he wrote, “I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And I do all things for the sake of the gospel”? As always, the context makes his meaning clear. We’ll be taking a look at what Paul really meant over the course of the next several days. I hope you stick around.

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John MacArthur | Why Every Calvinist Should Be a Premillennialist

An excerpt from the message Why Every Calvinist Should Be a Premillennialist, Part 1 Dr. John MacArthur. You can listen to and download the entire sermon as well as the transcript at http://www.gty.org/resources/Sermons/90-334.

Now here comes the real irony. This is the real irony. Those who most celebrate the sovereign grace of election, that’s the Reformed, and they are typically amillennial, those who most celebrate the sovereign grace of election regarding the church and its inviolable place in God’s purpose from predestination before the foundation of the world to glorification in the future, those who most celebrate the sovereign grace of election, those who most aggressively, most militantly, and most capably defend the truth of Scripture regarding this election being divine, unilateral, unconditional, irrevokable by nature for the church, that’s for us, so that whatever God chose to do, He will do, that whatever He began to do He will complete, those who will defend that to their last breath, God’s irrevokable, unconditional, unilateral, sovereign election will bring those He has chosen to the fulfillment of all that He has promised them. They will die for that truth regarding the church, but unashamedly abandon that same truth for the elect nation of Israel.

Why? It’s the same God, same terminology. Scripture affirms the perpetuity of the elect church to salvation glory, that all whom the Lord has chosen He brings to glory. In similar language, Scripture affirms the perpetuity of ethnic Israel to a future salvation and a future Kingdom as a race of people and that in that salvation and in that Kingdom will be the fulfillment of all divine promises given to them in the Old Testament, repeated in the New Testament and through them to the world. Whether you’re talking about the church as God’s elect, or Israel as God’s elect, both are God’s elect. And again I say, His election is divine, unilateral, unconditional, and irrevokable. So, I told the pastors at the conference, the title of this talk is, “Why every self-respecting Calvinist has to be a pre-millennialist.” Because, if you believe in divine sovereign election, then you have to believe that if God will be faithful to His promises to His church, He will also be faithful to His promises to His elect nation Israel.

Now frankly it’s too late for John Calvin to fix his work, although he is now a premillennialist in heaven. If only he could just send down one message, that might be it. But, you know, of all the people on the planet who should be premillennialists, it should be those who believe in divine sovereign election, of all people Arminians, not Armenians, that’s different. Those who follow Arminius did not believe in election. Arminius did not believe in election. Those who follow him do not believe in election, that is a large part of evangelical Christianity, the Wesleyan Movement, Charismatic Movement, Methodists, etc., etc., many Baptists. They believe God elects nobody to salvation. They believe that salvation can be gained and lost. You can believe and be saved and then you can forfeit your salvation.

Now they make perfect amillennialists. That’s a perfect setup for them. God doesn’t choose you, you choose Him. You can choose Him and then not choose Him, and then choose Him again and then not choose Him. You make the decision and so all of the promises of God are conditional on you. Amillennialism really seems to fit them. But not us who live and breathe the rarified air of sovereign grace and election, it makes no sense to me.