REPENTANCE: Legal vs. True

Repentance

Grant Swart

If our forgiveness was dependent on what we as sinners could do (or refrain from doing), in order to repent, who would be so bold as to claim that they could achieve it sufficiently as to gain recognition by a perfectly Holy God? Is repentance something we can and should do in order to be saved, or is repentance a gift granted to those who are saved by God?

All too often one hears the instruction issuing forth from religious zealots: “You must repent, you must turn from your sin, you must turn to God, or…!”. In my country, as I suppose it is in many others, many will-worshipping churches have coined a new favourite phrase: “Turn or burn!”, and in some Afrikaans congregations the translated phrase, “Draai of braai”, is bandied about with even more self-righteous enthusiasm. As if it were simply up to the listener to do the turning, and God will have no choice but to accept those who turn!

Those who do not have Christ, hear these warnings and are left terrified by their own inability to do what the preacher expects of them. They have heard the stern instructions, but have no understanding of it, no idea of where to start, or how to go about this seemingly impossible task. How can they turn to God when they do not know Him, do not know where He is, or who He is? How could they possibly repent without God’s help and without the guidance of His Holy Spirit? Continue reading

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A CRITIQUE OF THE HIGHER LIFE MOVEMENT

Higher-Purpose

A CRITIQUE OF THE HIGHER LIFE MOVEMENT 

By Jay Wegter

INTRODUCTION

The concept of the higher Christian life arose in the nineteenth century in connection with the holiness tradition in America.  The movement grew in popularity and ultimately spread to England.  Keswick, England became the home of the higher life conventions.  In time, the movement returned to America with great momentum.  “The Higher Life movement has influenced the rise of other theologically conservative movements, the founding of a number of institutions, the growth of foreign missions, and the theological perspective of several denominations.”1

Description of the Movement

          The higher Christian life is an explanation of the means and methods involved in advancing the believer’s progressive sanctification.  The purpose of this paper is to identify the areas where the higher life model of sanctification differs from the scriptural doctrine of sanctification.

          Though not identical, three terms are used synonymously to refer to the movement; “The higher Christian life,” the “Victorious Christian Life,” and “Keswick Teaching.”  In this paper, any of the three terms may be used to refer to the whole body of higher life teaching.

HISTORIC BACKGROUND

          The inception of the higher life movement is often identified with the publication of William Edwin Boardman’s book, The Higher Christian Life (1858).  The book argued that Christ was to be received for sanctification sometime after justification. Continue reading

Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Preacher of Free Grace, or Religious Idiot?

Spurgeon Freeness-of-Grace

Grant Swart

Of course there are those who do not regard Charles Haddon Spurgeon as a preacher of solely the truth. Admittedly, no man can be perfect by his own means, and even perfect holiness is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ. There are also those who ignorantly rummage about in the published works of Spurgeon in the hope that they will find some shards of support for their own deceived religious belief system, and thereby falsely portraying the famous and well-beloved preacher as a will-worshipping Arminian, like they themselves have been misled to be.

While many Christians have had the misfortune of making the acquaintance of some unrepentant religious idiots, nevertheless, they do exist in larger numbers and their written works proliferate throughout the digital media – their presence is evidenced clearly by the overabundance of their deceitful and misrepresentative contributions. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I do not refer to them as religious idiots because I regard my own capabilities as superior to theirs in any way. I would not dare do that, because in all honesty, many of them are highly intelligent people and some are even academic giants, with qualifications way beyond my own.

Neither do I refer to them as religious idiots because I harbour some form of hatred for them, quite to the contrary, I must have compassion for their lostness. Why would I resent them? For financial gain or for fame? No, I refer to them as religious idiots because they ascribe false man-made doctrines to the Scriptures and then they promote and cling to a damning form of religion, which is set worlds apart from Christianity. I refer to them as religious idiots because they oppose Christ. Continue reading

Slave, or child?

freedom_by_gyaban-d4y03ct

Translated and adapted by Grant Swart from the original work of Johannes de Koning 

RELIGIOUS SLAVE, OR CHILD OF GOD?

– the all important truth in understanding Christian freedom

Is your relationship with God that of a slave, or a child? It is an important question and one about which Galatians 4:1-10 makes one ponder.

“1. Additionally, I need to state the following: While an heir is still a minor, his position does not differ markedly from that of a slave, even though the inheritance belongs to him.

2. Until such time as determined by his father, he will remain under the supervision of guardians and his possessions will be controlled by his managers.

3. That is how it is with us as well. While we were yet spiritually immature, we were slaves of legalistic religious rules.

4. Once the time which had been determined by God had arrived, He sent His Son to us. He was born of an earthly mother and from the time of His birth, He was subject to the Law,

5. in order to pay the penalty for our freedom from the Law and so that we could become adopted children of God.

6. Because we have become His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son to our hearts, and He calls out from us, “Abba!” which means, Father!

7. You are therefore, no longer a slave, but a child of God, and because you are His child, God has also made you His heir.

8. There was time when you did not know God during which you were slaves of useless idols.

9. However, since you have come to know Him, or rather, since He now knows you, why would you revert back to those inferior and pitiful legalistic religious rules? Do you want to become slaves Continue reading