Four years ago, I thought Alistair Begg was a great preacher. Today, I recognize him clearly as a False Teacher. Actually, he is listed as the head of the Lordship Salvation (False Gospel) Association! Shows you what a blind idiot I can be! Begg is a great radio speaker and he says many wonderful things, but there is always that hardness demand of the Law–here’s what you need to do to be a “Real Christian,” and to really be saved. Watch out for this phrase or idea in any preacher.
A “real Christian,” a saved person, is one who simply believes in Jesus. (John 6:47).
Someone who seems very dedicated in his faith and in righteousness and kindness may be “Christlike,” but it is faith in Jesus *alone and only* that makes him a saved believing Christian. (I say “alone and only” because Martin Luther was a False Teacher also, who said, “Faith Alone,” and then added all these other things as conditions of salvation: repentance from your sins, commitment to Christ (the same as False Prophets Billy Graham and John MacArthur and MANY others today), water baptism, Lord’s Supper, regular church attendance, lifelong commitment and performance of good works, and no big sins). (No wonder so many people in the Lutheran denominations are unsure whether they are saved!)
Alistair Begg teaches salvation through repentance and through lifelong works of discipleship. Salvation, for Begg, is a business deal. The phrase he uses here puts it all in a nutshell. Begg says that “Believing Means Behaving” (or Doing). *No, it doesn’t!* Believing _doesn’t_ mean doing good works. Believing means trusting Jesus and what HE did in His perfect life, death on the cross for all your sins (past, present and future), and His resurrection. If you get the way of salvation wrong, you are a False Teacher.
Lordship Salvation is the teaching that salvation is received through a sincere discipleship (good works) commitment to Christ, and through good works of obedient discipleship to Christ, and to a lifetime of persevering faithfulness in the doing of good works.
Lordship Salvation is a lie from the deepest pit of Hell.
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Salvation is -not- gained by any good works or discipleship, either before or after belief in Jesus.
Salvation is permanent, and irrevocable, and instantaneous, and it is received by those who, even for one moment, believe in Jesus.
According to the Bible:
You cannot lose your salvation.
You cannot lose your salvation even if you lose all faith in Jesus after you once had it.
You cannot give up your salvation.
You cannot commit so many sins that you lose your salvation.
None of your “good works” are required for salvation.
Repentance from sins is -not- required for salvation.
The Lordship Salvation lie is epidemic it the church today. Some estimate this spiritually deadly error to be infecting up to 95% of all “Christian” churches.
Understanding this error helps clarify the true Gospel, which is found in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. Notice that in this explanation of what saves a person there is -no- mention of good works and no mention of any commitment to do any good works.
We are saved entirely by Jesus and by His death for the forgiveness of all of our (and everyone’s) sins, and by His and resurrection (by belief in Jesus’ Gospel).
Of course, this does not mean that God is opposed to good works, only that they are not to be relied upon for salvation.
Good works naturally flow out of a saved person who is living by faith in Jesus.
***But–good works are *not* a “part” of saving faith.***
Good works, for the permanently saved person, (for the believer in Jesus), come:
from God’s grace,
from faith in and reliance upon Christ our Savior and Lord,
from faith in the Word of God,
from belief in our new identity in Christ,
from God’s love and our obedience to Him because we love Him because He loved us first,
by following the indwelling Holy Spirit.
 Ephesians 1:13-14
 Romans 11:29
 John 6:47: Notice the word, “has,” in this verse, as in: as a believer in Jesus you -have- eternal life as a present possession.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:34 NKJV
Jesus is speaking these words. In the NKJV, above, this is a direct command from Jesus. Love others as Jesus has loved us. Immediately, we think, how are we going to be able to love others as Jesus loves us? Impossible. Well, right. Impossible, unless we are relying in God’s Spirit and His power, like a branch relies on the tree trunk (vine).
In the NIV, the verse is rendered, adding the word, “must.” As in, “so you -must- love one another.”
Must, or what? “Must,” or we aren’t saved? “Must,” or Jesus will no longer love us? “Must,” or there is some other threat?
That “must” is not in the original Greek, but was added in the bad translation of this verse.
The NIV is a very beautiful English rendering of the Bible, but it is verses like this that make using it very problematic, because it gives the wrong idea, or suggests the wrong idea.
A command was given by Jesus: love one another as I have loved you.
The concept of “must” is not in that verse, stated or implied, but was added presumably because of the Lordship salvation ideas of the translators.
Salvation is a free gift received by believing in Jesus as Savior (Ephesians 2:8,9). Lordship salvation false doctrine adds the wrong idea that obeying Jesus in acts of discipleship is part of what saves us. This is a false idea.
Adding anything to faith in Jesus for salvation is condemned in the strongest possible terms (two damnation curses) by the apostle Paul in Galatians chapter one verses eight and nine.
It is amazing to me that the Lordship Salvationist non-Christians cannot distinguish between salvation and sanctification. If they are ~not~ separate, then all you have is salvation by works. Lordship Salvationists believe in salvation by works. If you separate them, then you have salvation in Christ, and the outgrowth of salvation, which is sanctification.
The biggest false teachers/preachers/churches are: the Roman Catholic Church (some within this church are saved, if they trust in Jesus alone without relying on any good works), The Lutheran Church (which I grew up in), (and almost all Reformed and Calvinist Churches), Billy Graham, John MacArthur, and John Piper.
There are many, MANY other False Gospel Teachers who teach that SALVATION comes by ~repenting from sins~ and a ~commitment~ to ~lifelong discipleship~. These all teach WORKS RIGHTEOUSNESS salvation. But the Bible says that salvation is a FREE GIFT received through faith in Jesus.
People think these churches and preachers are conservative and respectable, but they are deadly. Jesus said: “MANY false prophets will appear and DECEIVE MANY PEOPLE.” (Matthew 24:11), and Galatians chapter one puts -two- damnation curses on anyone who preaches a False Gospel.
The Gospel is found in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4: “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this Gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”
Notice that there is no mention of repentance of sins or discipleship included as the way to be saved. These are NOT part of the saving Gospel.
The Bible clearly says that salvation is “not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:9)
Everyone who believes in Jesus alone, without relying on his or her good works to be saved, has everlasting life. (John 6:47: Most assuredly, I say to you, he [or she] who believes in Me HAS everlasting life.”)