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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WILL WORSHIPPER

free choice

Grant Swart

Why this article?

“Will worship” and “will worshippers”. Terms I use on occasion when I write on certain aspects concerning the subject of the salvation of the sinner. It is imperative that followers of Jesus Christ understand Biblical teaching of how salvation of the sinner is accomplished, in order for them to impart the truth of the Gospel to all who would believe in Him and have everlasting life. It is our duty, and it is so because the Word of God instructs us in that matter.

Salvation can either be brought about by the effort of the sinner, or by means of a co-operation between the sinner and God, or it can be by the will and grace of God alone.

Eternal life, or eternal damnation. The biblical comprehension of this matter is ultimately important, because the means by which the sinner attains salvation (eternal life / spiritual life beyond physical death), could be determined either by a subservient God who is reliant upon the actions and decisions of the sinner, or by a sovereign God who acts independently from the eternally damned sinner whom He saves. Theological expressions for these two opposing viewpoints are “synergism” and “monergism”, but I will leave that to remain of academic interest for now, as there are other factors which would need to be included, were we to proceed along that route.

My employment of the terms “will worship” and “will worshipper”, is of course by no means unique to my writing, as there are other esteemed writers who made use of the same terms long before I did. I use the terms with specific intent, because they accurately describe the belief system of those who oppose the biblical doctrine of salvation by the grace of God alone, and who uphold the heresy that salvation is in part or in totality, reliant upon human will, works or values.

I use the terms to describe those who cling to and proclaim the pride-filled heretical and impossible notion, that salvation of the spiritually dead sinner is dependent upon a decision made by that same spiritually dead sinner, powered by his own over-valued understanding of free will and imaginary ability. Continue reading

As praat en pleit nie meer help nie

bly-kalm-want-god-is-in-beheer

As praat en pleit nie meer help nie –  is die Gees nog steeds daar! 

Kinders van God beleef soms baie soorte teleurstellings en moedeloosheid en selfs partykeer ‘n wanhopige gevoel van bekommernis. Die redes is veelvuldig : dinge werk nie uit soos ek dit wil hê nie, probleme so groot soos die berge, moeilike omstandighede wat eindeloos voortsloer… van die ontstellendste krisisse is egter die angswekkende feit van eggenotes, kinders, familie en vriende (selfs gemeentelede) wat onbekeerd voortleef terwyl die einde naderkom… Hulle is vasgevang in Satan se greep, verblind deur die wêreld, verlam in ‘n verlore staat… Jou gepraat val skynbaar op dowe ore, jou gedreig en gepleit het geen effek. Dit maak jou moedeloos en selfs paniekerig. Dan is daar nog die betreurenswaardige toestand van die kerk…dwalinge, morele verval, wêreldsgesindheid en laksheid wat floreer. Dit dreig om baie Christene heeltemal moedeloos of sinies te maak.

Die profeet Sagaria het vir elkeen wat so voel ‘n besondere boodskap. Sagaria self het opgetree in ‘n konteks van moedeloosheid en teleurstelling. Hy bring sy boodskap in die tydperk nadat die Jode uit ballingskap teruggekeer het na Jerusalem. Hulle het mooi verwagtinge gehad, maar als het nie uitgewerk soos hulle gedink het nie. Daar was armoede, vyande, geskille en geestelike verval. Die groot taak in hierdie tyd was om die verwoeste tempel weer te herbou, maar dit het maar broekskeur gegaan en op ‘n stadium moes die werk gestaak word. Die goewerneur Serubabel moes in hierdie moeilike omstandighede toesien dat die bouwerk vorder. Die doel van visioen van die olie en die lampe in Sagaria hoofstuk 4 was om hom te bemoedig. Hierdie bemoediging gaan egter verder as Serubabel en sy tyd, dis ‘n profetiese boodskap wat ook ons direk raak…

Die kernboodskap van die beeld van die olie en die lampe vind ons in vers 6. “Nie met mag en krag sal jy slaag nie, maar deur my Gees, sê die Here die Almagtige.” Continue reading

Salvation is of the LORD!

Jonah 2 ; 9

Salvation is of the Lord!

Jonah 2:9

“Salvation” is a big word. It includes much more than a believer’s initial experience of grace in regeneration and conversion. It includes everything required to bring fallen men from the pit of the damned into the eternal presence of God’s glory in heaven. And, from first to last, it is the work of God’s free grace alone. Man does nothing. Man contributes nothing. Nothing is determined by or dependent upon the will of man or the works or worth of man. “Salvation is of the Lord!

All True Doctrine

This is the essence of all true doctrine. Continue reading