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

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

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