Sunday we discussed the negative effects of the heresy of Arminianism (which traces its roots in the two settled heresies of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism) which says that man has a role in his salvation, including keeping it (hence, the Holiness Movement of many Arminian churches). The Holiness Movement stresses that we must, of our own will, be holy. Why is this dangerous?
- Arminianism denies that sin was imputed to us (in contrast to Romans 5:12-21).
- It teaches that the effects of the Fall were erased by prevenient grace bestowed on all people (but this is not taught anywhere in the Bible).
- Arminianism believes that the Fall did not destroy man’s freewill (but Romans 3:11-12 & Ephesians 2:1 state otherwise).
- Arminianism stresses that humans participate in their salvation, including changing their actions, etc., thus adding to the biblical requirement to be saved by faith (John 3:16, 36; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9).
- Lastly, it teaches that you can lose your salvation if you do not remain holy! (John 3:16 and I. John 5:11-13 stresses that we possess salvation now, and John 10:28 indicates it is secure by Christ due to His work on the cross in Romans 5:1; 8:1).—The Moody Handbook of Theology, 533-534.
The Holiness Movement’s teachings are found in Methodism, Wesleyanism, Charles Finney’s influential revivals (from the 1800’s), Quakers, Brethren, many Mennonites, General Baptists, some Freewill Baptists, sadly even some Southern Baptists, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Church of God (Anderson, Indiana as contrasted with the Pentecostal Church of God), Salvation Army, Church of the Nazarene, Pentecostal Holiness Church, and the list goes on.
This is not an attempt to bash these groups by any means. I originally went to college at a Free Methodist school, and have had friends in some of these denominations or types of churches. My family has served food at the Salvation Army to homeless people. I have seen the spiritual vigor of some in these churches outpace the churches I’ve been a member of. And, I do not ever deny that if Christ saves a person that he or she is not saved if a member of one of these denominations.
- All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching (doctrine), for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (II. Timothy 3:16-17)
Then it behooves us to carefully examine beliefs that are not biblical, or are dangerous to sound theology (that may even lead us astray).
Remember how Sunday we discussed Crissy Outlaw’s story and how she was trapped in a sinful, self-destructive lifestyle that she could not escape? Jesus reached in and changed everything. He maintains her salvation, and He works in her to sanctify her.
- Romans 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
- II. Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthenand protect youfrom the evil one.
- Jude 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy
That which He has done with her and countless others He has done to each of you who is “in Christ”, “born again”, “saved”, and “elect”. Your salvation is secure. Your sanctification is not self-generated.
Furthermore, you do not have anything within you that chooses God or chooses to do good, unless you are saved! Did you catch that? Our wickedness is to the core, but the Holy Spirit leads and convicts our hearts to salvation, and then that same Holy Spirit Who dwells in us guides us to all righteousness, to all obedience, and to live holy (separated) lives. You and I must choose to follow Him (this is where our will is enacted), but He will convict us, chastise us, and move us where we need to be. If that’s not happening in your life, then you are not even saved.
- Ever been spanked? It hurts. It also screams at you, “Stop doing whatever it is that is getting me spanked!!!!” (I know—as a kid I was spanked an awful lot!).
- Hebrews 12:6-11 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
- Looking at these verses, God’s goal in disciplining/chastening us is to produce His _____________________ in us.
- What is God’s relational motivation for disciplining us? ___________________________________________________
- This should bring us great comfort and security in our walk with Christ.
- Think about where your life would have gone had you not had rules, fear of discipline, restrictions, and so forth. Now, there are two types of righteousness/holiness in the Bible: 1) An inward desire to be and do good for God’s glory, and 2) A façade where we do the right outward actions, but our hearts are desperately wicked (A.K.A Behavior Modification. See Isaiah 29:13).
- Look at your heart in the mirror of actuality—can you manufacture the first type of holiness on your own (that is, apart from God)?
- Why or why not? _______________________________________________
- Does this match the Bible? _________________________
- Now, look at your life and the façades you put up.
- Aren’t you tired of faking your Christianity?
- Won’t you beg God for forgiveness for trying to manufacture your own righteousness?
- And, won’t you ask Him now to work within you to be truly holy and righteous?
- When I look at the mirror of my life I find that I have tried more often than not to manufacture my own righteousness. Any sin we engage in continuallyis acquiescence to the flesh—jealousy, judgmental attitudes, pride, hate, lust, and the list goes on), and any effort to overcome these sins in our flesh will only lead to frustration and disappointment, even depression.
- Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
- Think of some pet sins right now that you just hate to crucify.
- Repent of these now and ask God to take them over.
- Hebrews 10:24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds
- Yank out your concordance and look up that word “love”. Which Greek word is this one? ______________________________
- Now, notice that this is coupled with “good deeds”.
- Our instruction in this verse is to ____________________ one another to love and good deeds.
- Since agapelove and good works go hand in hand, this means that we are motivating/persuading people towards letting God infuse them with unconditional love which will produce sincerely good deeds. See how those go hand in hand? No façades, no need to self-generate your own good works. Full reliance on God, fully walking in His Spirit! Isn’t that awesome!
- Lastly, Hebrews 10:25 tells us to stay plugged into our church (church is the Greek word for called out assembly). You cannot get the support you need on your own. God has called you to a church family to share life with, to encourage, to use your spiritual gifts at, and to receive the same from them.