Wednesday, September 30, 2009

...the idolatry of self-love

Self has always been the most destructive and dominating plague to hinder true Christianity. Self-love (self-righteous pride) is the cancer of the church and sadly, much the hallmark of modern faith. An unfortunate example of this would be a well known evangelical TV personality's toxic tome, "Self...The New Reformation" which represents much of this move away from biblical Christianity (towards the focus on self) and, therefore, away from the worship and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and sacrifical service to others. The two great commandments of "Love the Lord Thy God" and "love thy neighbor..." has now been eclipsed with this third hell-inspired commandment: "love thyself."

This powerful and convicting article by Richard Alleine will confront the root of self-love with the red-hot iron of the Word and the sharpened scalpal of the Spirit's two-edged sword. I must warn you ahead of time, his words are so contrary to the post-modern culture and dumbed down religious substitute being represented as genuine Christianity today, that it will shock you and wonderfully disturb you. It will plow up the fallow ground of your soul, cause you afresh to glory in Christ, and daily deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him.

Grace and peace,
Steve Camp
Matthew 16:24

by Richard Alleine
from the Soli Deo Gloria book
by Richard Alleine entitled "Instructions about Heartwork"

Sinful self-love is the great heart-idolatry, and the root of all rebellion and disobedience to God. Here I shall show you what this sinful self-love is.

It is a love of mistaken self, of carnal self, a love of the flesh, and its affections and lusts. It is a love of that flesh which Christ would have us to hate and deny. Matthew 16:24: "Except a man hate himself," that is, his flesh or carnal self. Men are mistaken in themselves, and count that to be their self which is not their self. Christ said to the woman of Samaria (John 4) concerning her husband, "He that thou hast for a husband is not thine husband." And so may it be said to sinners, that which you take to be your self is not your self. This flesh which you take for your self, and love as your self, is not your self. You who love your flesh love your enemy; you who please your flesh are pleasing your enemy; you who are working for your flesh, providing for your flesh, and pampering your flesh, are working for and feeding your enemy. You think that you are seeking of and working for your self. No, it is for your enemy! This flesh is your mortal enemy, Now this is one sort of sinful self-love: when we love our flesh or our corruptions; when we love ourselves as fleshly-minded men; when we love to please, provide for, and satisfy our fleshly minds; when we foster and cherish this flesh.

An Iordinate Love
Sinful self-love is an inordinate love of our natural selves; when we love that which is ourselves more or otherwise than we ought to love it. Our natural selves, our bodies and our souls are to be loved ut supra. We ought to love ourselves, not our souls only, but our bodies also, and so to love them as to seek the good and well-being of ourselves, not only our eternal, but our temporal well-being. We may love our ease, and our freedom from pain; we may love our credit, and our freedom from reproach and disgrace; we may love our maintenance and freedom from want; yea, we may love our beauty and comeliness, and freedom from deformity; and we may so love as to maintain and provide for ourselves in all these respects, to maintain ourselves in health, to preserve ourselves from temporal misery, to provide for our temporal necessities. But now our sinful self-love is when we love ourselves more or otherwise than we should.

I will give three instances of this sinful self-love:
1. The first is when we love ourselves more than God, when we love ourselves to the neglect of God. As Christ said in Matthew 10:37, "He that loveth father or mother more than Me, he that loveth son or daughter more than Me," so may it be said, "he that loves himself, his own flesh, his own life, more than Me, is not worthy of Me." Much more is this the case when our self-love makes an abatement of our love to God, when self is loved so much that God is loved the less, when the more self is minded or cared for, by so much the less God is regarded.

2. A second case is when we love self as separated from God, or otherwise than in subordination to God; when our love determines in self, and rises no higher. Every man should love himself, but it must be for the sake of God, whose servant he is, and whose image he bears.

3. The third case is when we love ourselves to the prejudice of the love of our neighbor. The word is, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." You shall love yourself, but not so that it hinders you from loving your neighbor. When self monopolizes our love, when our love (which should be common) is an enclosure, and is impropriated and confined to ourselves; when we so intensely love ourselves that we love nobody else, or care for nobody else, or at least love not others so much as we should; when we do not care whom we displease as long as we please ourselves; when we do not care whom we neglect as long as we provide for ourselves; when we do not care how it is with others "let them be in sickness, let them be in want, let them starve, let them die, we care not how it be with them" so long as it is well with ourselves; when our self-love is only for the advancing of self-interest, and will invade and encroach upon, and wrong the interest of others when we can thereby advance our own lay these things together, and therein you may see what sinful self-love is: a love of mistaken self, or an inordinate love of our natural self.

The Great Heart Idolatry
Whatever we love more than God, we make it a god, yea, when we love anything equal to God, or in separation from God and not in subordination to God. If we love ourselves only for our- selves, we therein deny the God who is above. As he who loves riches only for riches' sake, as he who loves his meat and drink only for the pleasure he has in eating and drinking, so he who loves himself only for self's sake is an idolater. Whatever we make our last end, we make our god. Therefore, as the apostle writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31, "Whether ye eat or drink, or whatever you do" so whatever you love, regard, or desire, let it be all, let it be only "for the glory of God." Romans 11:36 tells us that to Him are all things; by Him they were made, and to Him they must be directed. O beloved, what an idolatrous piece has the heart of man become! Oh, what an idolatrous heart there is then in everyone of us! Is self-love idolatry?

The Mistaken Self

Then who of us can be free from this charge of idolatry? We have, every one of us, more or less, set up this idol self in our hearts. Do we not love mistaken self, our sinful flesh? Do not our hearts go after our covetousness, our carnal ease, and our carnal pleasures? Do we not love that carnal self which should be denied, which should be mortified and crucified? Do none of us so love, as to cherish and make provision for the flesh? You have a proud heart, and do you not maintain and keep up that self-esteem? You have a covetous heart, and do you not nourish and feed your covetousness? You lust after your carnal pleasures and liberties, and you indulge them all you can. You love to be prominent, you love to be rich, you love your pleasure and your liberty; these things you love, and do you not love them more than God? The more you lust after these things, and the more you have of them, is not God so much less loved and regarded? Do you not know that if you had checked and crossed that proud mind, if you had denied that covetous heart, the Lord God would have had more of your regard, more of your love, than now He has had? Do you not think you would have loved God better if you had loved the world less, or your ease or your appetite less? Behold, these things have broken in and encroached upon God's right; they have carried away God's due. This self, for whose sake all these are loved, has stolen into the heart and carried it away after it. Oh, what a woeful thing is it, that it should be said of any professor of religion, "It would be well for these men, or at least better than it is with them, if they loved God as well as they love their flesh; if they served God as heartily as they serve their covetousness; if they were set upon pleasing God as much as they are set upon pleasing their appetites; if they delighted in God as much as they delighted in the world; if they could find as much pleasure in the meditation of God and exercise of religion as in the businesses of this life!" You know that it is not so with you. You do not love and delight yourself in God as you love and delight yourself in this earth and flesh.

Is communion with God, is communing with your own heart about the things of God; is conversing with God in prayer, in holy contemplation and meditation; is exercising your faith on God, your hope on God, your looking into the gospel of God, and searching out and feeding upon the blood and bowels and unsearchable treasures laid up in Christ; is exercising yourself in these things as great a pleasure to you, and do you find as great a delight in them, as you find in eating and drinking, in buying and selling and getting gain? Do you love to be praying or to be praising the Lord, as you love to be getting money? Do you love to be sending your heart to heaven. and there to solace it in the thoughts and joys of the Lord, as you love to be thinking of your corn, your cattle, or your income from your trade? You know you do not. Can you say with the psalmist in Psalm 84:1-2, "How amiable are Thy tabernacles, O Lord; my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for Thy courts. My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God." Can you say, "A day in Thy courts is better than a thousand elsewhere; a door in Thine house is better than all the dwellings of the world. Lord, lift up Thy countenance upon me, and that shall put more gladness into my heart than when their corn and wine increased?" Let the corn and the wine be whose it will, as long as the Lord God will be mine; let this world go cross and frown upon me as it will, so long as the face and countenance of God shine upon me; let me be poor rather than a stranger from God; let me lack a house, money, or bread rather than lack the presence of God. Can you say this, heartily say it? You know that you cannot.

What Do You Think of Yourself
The good things of the earth, the riches and pleasures of the earth, are the riches you love and the pleasures you love. You would be content to be straitened in the Lord as long as you might abound in these carnal things. Is it not so with you? Oh, what a heart you have! What do you think of yourself? Are you not an idolater, a lover of money more than a lover of God, a lover of pleasures more than a lover of God, a lover of yourself and flesh more than a lover of God? Then are you not an idolater? Does your heart go a-whoring after your idols, run away from God after your money, run away from God after your pleasures, run away from God after yourself and flesh, and does that not make you an idolater? Are you an idolater then, an idolatrous Christian, an idolatrous professor? Oh, how is it that such a thought does not fill your face with shame, set your soul to weeping, and cause trembling and astonishment to take hold upon you? Friends, is it nothing to you to be idolaters, to have idolatrous hearts, whoring hearts, whoring from God and whoring after your flesh and the lusts thereof? Surely, friends, it would make the best of our hearts to ache if we were sensible of what degrees of this idolatry there were to be found in every one of us. And many of us, I fear, would be convinced that they are idolaters to so high a degree that there is nothing of true and real love to God in them.

The Rot of all Religion
Sinful self-love is the root of all rebellion and disobedience. In 2 Timothy 3:2, self-love is put at the head of a black troop of lusts and wickednesses. "Men shall be lovers of themselves." There is the ring leader. And what follows? Why, a entire troop comes: covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those who are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more then lovers of God what a regiment of sins is here led on by self-love! And, observe it, lovers of themselves lead the van, and lovers of pleasures bring up the rear. Heart-sins are root-sins, and self-love is the root of these roots. Pride is the root of contention, malice is the root of revenge, covetousness is the root of oppression, and self-love is the root of them all. The apostle says in 1 Timothy 6:10 that the love of money is the root of all evil; and self-love is the root of the love of money.

That you may know what a mischievous evil this heart-sin of self-love is, and how pregnant it is with all other wickedness, consider that it is: The rot of all religion, the root of all unrighteousness and unmercifulness, the root of all sinful brawls and quarrels, and the root of sinful self-seeking. It is the rot of all religion, that is, where it is predominant and carries the main stroke in our religion. It is the rottenness of the heart, under all its most specious religious pretences or performances. All sincere religion is animated by the love of God; the love of God is the soul of religion. If there is no love to God in our profession of religion, if no love to God in our practices of piety, if no love to God in our prayers, no love to God in our fastings and alms, all our religion is rotten at heart. Self-love, which is its only root, is its rottenness.

Self-love will limit our religion. It will limit it by self-interest; no more religion will it allow than will serve our carnal turns; no farther may we go in it than will consist with this love of ourselves. Whatever part or exercise of religion will pinch upon the flesh, the self-denying part, the self-abasing part, the flesh-mortifying part of religion, unless it is to some further ends, self-love will never bear it. So much professing, so much praying and hearing, as will consist with our ease and our safety, as will not put us to too much pains or expose us to too much danger and reproach; so much religion as will not hold us in too strictly, severely, and closely, self-love will bear it; but where the yoke of Christ wrings and galls, there it must be thrown off.

Self-love will corrupt our religion and turn it into hypocrisy. Selfish professors are hypocrites, all their religion is hypocrisy, and hypocrisy is the rottenness of the heart. You who are professing Christians, see to it that you are not self-loving professors; if you are, whatever there is in your tongues, your looks, or your religious performances, you are rotten at the core, rotten in your hearts. It is love to God wherein our sincerity lies. Self-love is our hypocrisy, and where this rotten self-love has tainted your hearts, your hearts will taint and corrupt all your duties; it will pervert and corrupt all that ever you do, and turn it into quite another thing. Your religion is no religion, your Christianity is no Christianity, your praying is no praying, your spirituality is but fleshliness, your heavenly-mindedness is but earthiness, and your seeming fruitfulness is but emptiness and barrenness. "Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth his fruits to himself" (Hosea 10:1). Israel seemed to be a fruitful vine, that had her clusters upon it; there were clusters of prayers, clusters of sacrifices, and clusters of alms. Israel had her fruits, yet she was but a barren and empty vine. How so? Why, whatever fruits she had, they were all brought forth to self. Self brought them forth and self ate them up. There was nothing for God. Israel was an empty vine to Him, her fruits were to herself.

Self-Love: The Skewed Reformation
Friends, would you not be rejected for being barren, empty vines; for false-hearted and rotten professors? Would you not be found rotten at the core? See that it is the love of God, and not this self-love, lying at the bottom, at the root of your religion. Sinful self-love is the root of all unrighteousness and unmercifulness to men. Self-love will never learn that lesson, to do to others as it would be done by; it will catch all it can and keep all it has. Self must be advanced; self must be enriched, whoever is ruined by it. All manner of fraud and deceit, all manner of oppression and wrong, all men's underminings, all men's over-reachings of their neighbors, all men's falsehoods in their words, their promise-breakings, their lyings, all their falsehood in their dealings, in their tradings, in their deceitful words in their deceitful weights and measures, all this unrighteousness, it is their self-love that puts them upon it. So that they may get something for themselves, and enrich themselves, however wicked the means or ways are to it, they do not care who is impoverished or ruined. And where self will not suffer men to be righteous, it will less suffer them to be merciful. What they are so much for getting, they will be but little for giving. The hunger and nakedness, the pinching and pining, and even starving of so many poor among us, the short alms they can get, and that little is so hardly come by, the failing of compassions, the shutting up of bowels against those who are in need, this is all from self-love. "I need it for myself. I need it for my own. I cannot spare it." These are often the words that go in place of giving alms.

Sinful self-love is the root of all brawls, quarrels, and contentions in the world. Why are there such a multitude of troublesome lawsuits? What are they but the contendings of one self with another self. One says, "It is my own, and I will have it, whatever it costs me." The other says, "It is not yours, it is mine; and I will have it, whatever it costs me."

As self-love is the root of holy self-seeking, as the love of God is the root of seeking God, so sinful self-love is the root of all sinful self-seeking; and sinful self-seeking is contrary to seeking God. The love of God is the root of our seeking God. These two, love of God and seeking God, are put both together in one promise. Proverbs 8:17: "I love them that love Me, and those that seek Me early shall find me." Isaiah 26:9: "With my soul have I desired Thee." There is the love, and what follows? "With my spirit within me will I seek Thee early." The love of God will set us to seeking God. It is in vain that you say, "I love God," if you cannot say also, "I seek God." The love of self will put us on self-seeking; and this sinful self-seeking is ever contrary to seeking God. Philippians 2:21: "All seek their own, not the things that are Jesus Christ's." All seek their own things, that is, their own carnal things; and those who thus seek their own, not the things of Christ. There is this difference between self-love and the love of God: self-love divides interests. Self stands by itself, and has a separated and divided interest, the interest of self, which is the interest of none else; and self-love, in seeking its own interest, seeks the interest of none else, neither that of Christ nor men. The love of God unites interests. He who loves God, the things of God and his own things are the same. He counts nothing his own things but those that are also the things of God; and when he is seeking God, he is then most seeking his own. God is his own, and he counts nothing his own but what is also the Lord's. When he seeks God, he therein seeks his own, and where he seeks his own he therein seeks God. His soul is his own, and the interest and prosperity of soul are the things of God.

"He Must Increase... I Must Decrease"
It is the love of the brethren that unites our interest with the interest of the saints; it is the interest of the whole body that is the interest of every member. All the saints have the same common interest; so the love of Christ unites the interest of every member with the interest of the Head. The love of God makes the things of God our own things, and the love of the saints makes the things of the Church to be all our own. It is between Christ and Christians, and between Christians toward one another, as it was between the primitive Christians: they hold all things to be common (Acts 4:32). None said of anything that he possessed that it was his own, but they held all things to be common. Not but that Christians have a real propriety in their own estates, by virtue of which civil right their estates are so their own and not anothers; but, yet by virtue of the community of interests, what one man has should be, as there is occasion, to the benefit of the community. And why was this? The love of God had united their interests; and the multitude of them who believed were knit together by that love as one man. They were of one heart and one soul. There is no "yours and mine" between Christ and His saints, but all is mine. "I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine" (Song of Solomon 2:16).

"We are not our own," believers say, "we are Thine."

"And I am not My own," says Christ, "I am yours, and that which I have is yours." John 20:17: "Tell My brethren, I go to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God." He was saying, 'My Father is yours, My God is your God, all I have is yours. I am yours, and My blood and My bowels are yours. My stripes, My wounds, My righteousness, and My inheritance is yours." 1Corinthians 3:22?23: "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, ordeath, or things present, or things to come, all are yours, for ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's."

"Deny Yourself..."
He is saying, "My ministers are yours. My ordinances are yours. My possessions are yours, things present and things to come. If I have any right in this world ('the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof'), if I have anything in the world to come, the everlasting crown, the everlasting mansions, all are yours, and you are Mine, and I am God's." Thus Christ's love to Christians causes Him to say to them, "I am yours, and all that I have." So a Christian's love for Christ helps him to say, "Lord, I am Thine, and all that I have is Thine. Not only are my sins Thine, not only are my infirmities Thine, but my parts, my possessions, my graces and my duties, yea, my house and my lands, all my possessions, all are Thine."


LoverofTorah said...

As it is written, Yeshua said, "If you love me keep my commandments."Jn14:15

It is pretty simple...those who love Him keep them...those who love themselves don't.


SavedandSure said...

Are there any Christian pastors, evangelists, and missionaries who preach like this today?

If so, please supply their names and addresses.

Brian said...

I am interested to know what groups are know for adopting this philosophy (there are probably many). They weren't named and I am curious.

A very good message.

littlegal_66 said...

I keep a hard copy of this article inside my Bible, to help remind myself that I should be denying myself. It's hard-hitting, provoking, and inspiring. Self-love is like a canker, one that gets into the heart tissue and spreads....most times aggressively and out of control.

Thanks for posting this reminder!

Captured! said...

I appreciate that the author of this article draws the lines clearly so as not to create confusion about the dignity of being human and a child of God against the sinful love of self or thinking one is 'just human.' Legalism kills. Truth gives life. We die daily to self yet live daily to Christ. And we are judged and will be judged on each and every instance where our actions fulfill our love for self apart from Christ or if we follow Christ to the fulfillment of his commands and that which is revealed in His Word. I am challenged by this daily.

OK, so here's a scenerio I'd like to present that Ive been molling on for days: Lets say, a TRULY saved person is kidnapped by a terrorist and forced by gunpoint to either convert to their false religion and/or idol god or face certain death by shooting...or beheading...or worse, continous torture unto death.

What does a truly saved person do? History recounts many stories of true martyrs...who refused to convert or bow to false gods when faced with life or death.

In todays world, what if a TRUE Christian, in order to save his/her life does a 'pseudo' those Fox news reporters admitted they did, at gunpoint, and with video proof, did indeed convert to Islam to save their lives.

Now, of course, I dont know if they were or are Christians, real or professing, but could a really saved Christian do that and still theologically expect heaven?

Yet, I dont know for sure if one did convert to another religion sucessfully saving their skin, if even just undergoing the outward motions but with a completely different internal motive not to let go of Christ, if that person would still go to heaven....thoughts?

IOW, if one is in a situation that is consistent with and essentially means turning from Christ to convert to Islam or whatever anti-Christ religion of someone else's choosing, in order to just save ones life, with the dual intent of being freed and able to return to ones previous (Christian) life. Were their actions just a ploy to escape a terrorizing situation and now that their freedom is secured, renounce their pseudo-conversion...or simply make it less confusing by not agreeing to the pseudo-conversaion thus guaranteeing death and seeing ones Maker right now.... curious on the thoughts of others...I have my opinion on this..but wonder if it is truly biblical.

littlegal_66 said...

Please check your email.....I responded off-blog to your hypothetical scenario. Also, you might find this--concerning the martyrdom of Polycarp (posted over on AudienceOne), pertinent to your comment.

I hope you don't find my above comment ^ ^ ^ intrusive, it's just that it seems COT has been on sort of a "cruise control" the last couple of days, and I just thought I'd tap the steering wheel for a second. I wasn't trying to "blogjack" you, honest. If I did, I apologize. :-)

SJ Camp said...

You wrote: "OK, so here's a scenerio I'd like to present that I've been molling on for days: Lets say, a TRULY saved person is kidnapped by a terrorist and forced by gunpoint to either convert to their false religion and/or idol god or face certain death by shooting...or beheading...or worse, continous torture unto death.

What does a truly saved person do? History recounts many stories of true martyrs...who refused to convert or bow to false gods when faced with life or death."

Answer: A truly saved person takes the blows for the One who took the blows for us. IOW, you die a sweet death - "For me to live is Christ... and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:21). You don't compromise, you don't save your own skin, you don't deny Christ or His gospel.

You pray for the grace to die honoring the Lord as Stephen did (Acts 8) and Paul did (2 Timothy) and countless others did (Heb. 11). And if it is not death, we endure sufferings for the sake of Christ, His church, His Word, His gospel and for His glory (Col. 1:24-26).

As Luke says in Acts 20:24, "But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."

If we deny Christ here, He will deny us in glory. It is the fruit of real regeneration that we will forsake all for the cause of Christ and His gospel. Anything else is the merriment of devils and the half-hearted commitment of deserters and those guilty of spiritual treason (Gal. 1:6-9).

Grace and peace,
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Captured! said...

Yes, all helpful thoughts! The whole subject of self-love has sparked a few scenerios in my mind. I completely agree that if we deny Christ here, He will deny us. That boils it down real clear and the teacher in me likes to keep it simple.

For the Christian there is no has to accept the situation as from the Hand of God and like Christ, and go as a Lamb to the slaughter. I envision all those Jews that were systematically led to die in the Holocaust and the way they just kept following their captors, knowing they were being led to death.

But then, I have no children, or dependents or orphans that I would be leaving behind. So, I wonder about those that do.

I am concerned for those newsmen who 'pretended' to convert to Islam, thus ensuring their lives spared, and a return to America, family, children, then recounting their horror, unequivically denyed the sincerity of their conversion. Just did it to save themselves. I never heard anyone say what religious affiliation they had prior to this incident...I also wondered about martrydom and the whole idea of gunpoint conversions coming closer to our native soil.

So, is it accurate to also say that if a Christian did agree to a false conversion in order to save his life, not meaning it in his heart, but merely acting in his own best interest, and thus not acting consistently with scripture then he is not a Christian to begin with. Or does that create a situation whereby God's Hand is forced, in judgement, to remove the believers name from the Book of Life? lose their salvation?

Just more rambling thoughts...sorry if Ive taken us down a road that only addresses self love in this specific...the entire article is exceptional.

ann_in_grace said...

Thank you Steve for this lesson. It was an enormous encouragement for my faith and for my life.
This whole world is about "self". If you do not glorify your self, you are considered ignorant, insane, strange even. But yet the worship of "self" is the root of all depressions and problems in our lives.
The less I idolize my own self, the more peace and understanding Lord blesses me with.

boxcarvibe said... pose an interesting question. I truly believe that if we deny Christ in that instance, to save our flesh, He would certainly deny us in glory. It's the mark of a true, regenerate Christian just like Steve said.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego could have done the same thing. They didn't.

And the story goes that a girl at Columbine High School didn't deny her faith either. She ended up dead. But her testimony lives on.

It's the crucible of the true life in Christ. Deny Jesus Christ and falsely turn to another god just to save your flesh is a slap in the face of Jesus.

In the end, its not what we do honor our self, but what we do to honor the risen Lord. Confessing we are Christians might mean we get shunned at work...or it might mean we get our head sawed off overseas.

In either case, denying that we are in Christ just to save our "self" illumines a heart that is not regenerated in the first place.

Psalm said...

I Fully believe that it is true, He must increase and we must decrease, but.

Now is when the sea divides

He is decreasing and we are vanishing. Why?? Because We are slithering back into a deep cave where no light can escape. It is all preaching and no actions, It is all about building beautiful buildings and not beautiful people.

So, the one part is right, "The rot of Religion" Wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Make no mistake, the worst is yet to come.

Ed M said...

I asked my father the same question(is someone really saved if they deny Christ) last week. And his response was a Question. What does it take for someone to be saved.

Answer: Repent and believe.

His problem with the answer if someone denies they aren't really saved, moves into the area of works...

"If we deny Christ here, He will deny us in glory. It is the fruit of real regeneration that we will forsake all for the cause of Christ and His gospel. Anything else is the merriment of devils and the half-hearted commitment of deserters and those guilty of spiritual treason (Gal. 1:6-9)."

So are you saying that someone can't make a mistake after becoming a Christian. That if at some point in time they didn't bear fruit, they weren't really saved. Or is something else being attached to the gospel?

What about the newly regenerated Christian who is a babe in Christ?

"You don't compromise, you don't save your own skin, you don't deny Christ or His gospel."

Christians compromise all the time, not just by avoiding physical death. But by avoiding putting the flesh to death on a daily basic. Are they not truly saved also?

Ed M
very very anxious for a response