If You Believe That You Must Turn Away from Sinful Behavior to Be Saved... YOU'RE NOT SAVED!
by David J. Stewart
December 2016 | Updated January 2017
Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
I had attended a local independent Baptist church back in 2013. One Sunday morning the senior pastor gave an invitation after his sermon, and I was stunned at what he said. I remember him clearly telling several hundred people... “It is not enough for you to simply admit that you are a sinner, you must TURN AWAY FROM COMMITTING THOSE SINS TO BE SAVED!” I went home and literally cried. I cried and prayed to God in sorrow. How could I stay in a messed up place like that?
Now, I am an independent fundamental Baptist myself. Notice I said “fundamental.” Contrary to what many people errantly think, a “fundamentalist” does not refer to someone who believes the fundamentals; but rather, to someone who separates from a group who no longer believe the fundamentals. The night I walked out of that corrupt Baptist church, I was a true fundamentalist!
What exactly is the Gospel? The word “Gospel” means “Good News” or “Glad Tidings.” There is no need to guess what the “Gospel” is because the Bible plainly tells us. The “Gospel” is the Good News of Christ's DEATH on the cross for our sins, His BURIAL and bodily RESURRECTION three days later:
1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
We are saved by BELIEVING “the Gospel,” which is the power of God unto salvation. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” It is that simple to be saved. If you admit that you are a needy sinner in God's sight, and you receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins, believing that He was buried and bodily resurrected three days later, YOU ARE IMMEDIATELY, SECURELY AND FOREVER SAVED!!!
Beware of anyone who teaches that you must “turn away from sins” to be saved (e.g., Evangelist Ray Comfort). Beware of anyone who teaches that you must “be willing to turn from sin” to be saved (e.g., Jack Chick). You won't find those phrases, nor the phrase “repent of your sins” in God's Word. Acts 20:21 speaks of “repentance toward God.” To understand the word “repent,” please read, “The Great Meaning of METANOIA.” Metanoia is an all-inclusive word. It is a noun which means “a change of mind.” Since we don't know what to change our mind about, it can apply to anything and everything. So, yes, it could mean to change your mind about sin. It can also mean to change one's mind about dead works of religion, which cannot save a person. Metanoia can also refer to changing one's mind about bitterness toward God, which has been hindering you from coming to Christ to be saved. Metanoia can apply to anything and everything that has been hindering you from believing the Gospel to be saved.
But “repentance” (metanoia) DOESN'T mean to turn away from committing sinful behavior to be saved. That would constitute works for salvation, which is strictly forbidden. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Pastor Charles Lawson gets repentance wrong, wrestling the Scripture to his own destruction (2nd Peter 3:16-17). Pastor Lawson critiques Dr. Jack Hyles and others, who teach the simplicity that is in Christ. Lawson views repentance as a change of heart so drastic, that a person turns away from willful sinful behavior. If that is not the case with a man, Pastor Lawson says he did not get saved.
Do you see his error? Lawson places the burden of change upon the sinner, whereas Christianity places the burden of transformation upon the Holy Spirit of God, Who indwells a believer at the time of salvation (Romans 8:9; 1st Corinthians 3:16-17; 1st John 3:24). Galatians 2:20 declares, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” The changed life in a new believer is CHRIST HIMSELF, and not drastic self-transformation which is falsely said to be repentance. Sanctification is not repentance. Reformation is not repentance. Edification is not repentance. Repentance is changing your mind about whatever it is that has been keeping you from coming to Christ, so that you will BELIEVE THE GOSPEL and be saved. The object of repenting is BELIEVING! Mark 1:15b, “repent ye, and believe the gospel.” END
—Dr. Jack Hyles (a great quote from the classic sermon, “
Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
“The only inspired Words of God
are in the King James Bible!”
—Dr. Jack Hyles (an awesome quote —Dr. Jack Hyles (THE REAL BATTLE!”)
BATTLE OF THE AGES
(MP3 by Dr. Hyles, “The King James Bible crowd is going to come out on top!”)
You Need HIS Righteousness!
Believe The Gospel