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Why Moralism Is Not the Gospel -- And Why So Many Christians Think It Is
One of the most amazing statements by the Apostle Paul is his indictment of the Galatian Christians for abandoning the Gospel. "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel," Paul declared. As he stated so emphatically, the Galatians had failed in the crucial test of discerning the authentic Gospel from its counterfeits.
His words could not be more clear: "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you have received, he is to be accursed!" [Gal. 1:6-7]
This warning from the Apostle Paul, expressed in the language of the Apostle's shock and grief, is addressed not only to the church in Galatia, but to every congregation in every age. In our...
Or General, The Roman Road Romans 3:10 As it is written, "There is none righteous, not even one." Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. Romans 10:13 For "Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved."---NASB
I think there's a connection between what Mohler calls moralism & the deeply-rooted, widespread claim by many otherwise orthodox teachers & preachers that "mere intellectual assent" is not saving faith. This implies that works need to be added to faith, contrary to Scripture but in line with Roman Catholicism, with its trifold Latin (not NT Greek) division of faith into noticias, assensus, fiducia. The latter two are a tautology.
If one assents to something, one believes it, or else the assent doesn't exist. If you believe someone, you trust him; if you trust someone, you believe what he says; it's as simple as that.
"We should expect the unexpected from James! Resolving the paradox of James 2 leads to the classic Reformed position: James is not speaking of the same faith as Paul, nor is he speaking of the same justification.
In James 2:14, we read of one who "says he has faith." This is not genuine faith, but a bare profession of faith. So when James asks, "Can that faith save him?" he is saying nothing against genuine faith, but only against an empty profession of faith. James gives us the test for genuine faith: like the faith of Abraham, it works. As J. Gresham Machen puts it, "The faith that James is condemning is not the faith that Paul is commending"
It is also true that the justification of which James speaks is not the justification of which Paul speaks. Abraham was justified by works "when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar" (2:21). This was about thirty years after he had been justified by faith (Gen. 15:6). James shows that he is sensitive to timing when he says in 2:23 that Abraham's justification by works "fulfilled" Gen 15:6. He speaks of Gen 15:6 as a prophecy, and of Gen 22 as its fulfillment. Prophecy and fulfillment do not occur at the same time and are not the same thing." (J.Gidley) http://www.opc.org/new_horizons/NH05/02a.html
James 2 24. No matter what it is called I need purified. Without being so I am deceived to think I am in Chist and am liable to do things worthy of jail and hell fire. They worst part is when the pastor says Christians will sin... does that mean committing abuse, harm...?
Jules wrote: We are saved by grace alone- not by works lest any man shall boast...
Stop! I am seeking to be respectful to you. Do we want to denigrate the Gospel of Christ to a trite cliche'?
So please do take the time to prayerfully think this through and give God the honor and glory He is due.
What is Grace? Who gives us this Grace? What is faith? If you can really put this immeasurably important word into a descrption that will communicate how it is this, or should I say without this it is impossible to please God. What or should I say Who are we saved from? AND WHO SAVES US? HOW? Why did we need saving? What are we saved to? What are works? Does faith mean we don't have to work? or does faith mean we do indeed have works, but not to save us, if so for what reason or maybe I should say burden. Boasting what does this have to do with the matter? Is there a place, a proper expression of boasting? Should there be a silence in regards to Grace and being saved where it is all kept hidden and secret?
btw for you or me or anyone else if we do not have somekind of genuine Biblical understanding in this matter, it is likely one is not saved even if they can quote Eph 2:8,9 and a heap of other Scriptures too.
This a great condemnation of the churches that emphasize a missional message. Jim will be hard pressed to find anybody on this forum that thinks living a moral life will gain one a place in heaven. I still would rather live in a society that has morals than one that does not.
What about living a holy life? Moralism, so called, or not, I need the answer and desire to sin no more. If one 'still sins' they need serious help. If you do not believe that you are not a believer. I need morals. Jesus condemns lawlessness. One may not be saved on the basis of their own actions alone but one can very much be deceived thinking they are in Christ. Cor. 6/1 John. Murderers and abusers and the like do not inherit the Kingdom. People, including myself need to not have a King David moment, or much worse.
Of course moralism is not the Gospel. The Gospel message is that in order to become saved one must trust in Jesus alone for salvation. Why would any Christian think so illogically as to believe that moralism is the Gospel?
What about the "Inadequacy of Moralism" that Jim has trumpeted for decades. Sounds like political libertinism. Great for moral adults, but almost always harmful for children. If your wife and children are not secure walking down the street together, your town could use a little "moralism."