Regeneration Must Come Before Reformation

By David J. Stewart | August 2015

Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

       God only made one plan of salvation. I am frustrated with many of today's churches, who have two very different plans of salvation circulating around the world (and in many cases, even within their particular congregation).

The first group believes in a free-grace view of the Gospel, which is the simplicity that is in Christ. Biblically, you simply realize that you are a guilty sinner in God's holy eyes (which is repentance), and you believe the Gospel to be saved. If you didn't repent, you would never come to Christ at all. Repentance is simply “a change of mind,” nothing more. The object of repentance is believing the Gospel (Mark 1:15). This is the simplicity that is in Christ (2nd Corinthians 11:3).

In the second group, repentance is errantly redefined to mean “a change of mind that produces a change of life,” so that if there is no change of life, it is alleged that there was never any repentance. The object of repentance becomes a changed life, instead of believing the Gospel. Hence, childlike faith in Christ is no longer enough to be saved, they say. In addition, they say you must turn away from your sins, commit to living a holy life, completely surrender your will to Christ's Lordship, follow Jesus, and confess Christ before men, to be saved. This is the satanic heresy of Lordship Salvation!

If you think the two preceding theological ideals are a mere matter of semantics, then you are a big fool. These are two radically different plans of salvation. Only one or neither can be true. I believe 100% that the former is true, that is, the first group.

Chicago's well-known Pastor, Aiden Tozer (1897-1963), was a reprobate concerning the plan of salvation, a teacher of Lordship Salvation. Here's a disturbing quote from Mr. Tozer...

"In the Bible the offer of pardon on the part of God is conditioned upon intention to reform on the part of man. There can be no spiritual regeneration till there has been a moral reformation" (The Best of A.W. Tozer, Book 2, pg. 115-117; Compiled by Warren W. Wiersbe).

That is a satanic lie! If man receiving the free gift of God is conditional upon intent to reform his sinful ways, then eternal life becomes a reward, which requires human effort to obtain, and can no longer be considered a free gift. In order to truly remain a free gift, there can be NO CONDITIONS of salvation. Salvation is a take proposition, not a give proposition. There is no human effort involved in Biblical salvation. Either God does the saving, all of it, or else there is no salvation at all. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.

Let's look at our text Scripture passage again...

Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Notice that the Christian does not live the Christian life; but rather, Jesus Christ lives the Christian life THROUGH US! In Romans 8:9 the Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of Christ.” God the Father and God the Son indwell the believer in God the Holy Spirit. So clearly, no man can have Christ living in him until he has first been born-again (i.e., regenerated by the Holy Spirit of God). Then, and only then, can there be true reformation (a changed life by and for God - Philippians 2:13). Religion attempts to reform man in human strength, to make him presentable to God; whereas in Christianity Jesus Christ went to the cross to bleed and die to pay for man's sins, so that man could by faith be presented faultless before God. Do you see the drastic difference? Hebrews 4:10-11 teaches that we are saved by simply RESTING in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Salvation is man ceasing from his own dead works (Hebrews 6:1), and resting in God's righteousness through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9).

I marvel at the lackadaisical and indifferent attitude amongst religious leaders today concerning these two opposing views. It is lukewarmness, which God hates (Revelation 3:15-16). Pick a side! God wants us hot or cold, not straddling-the-fence! I know an independent Baptist church with 700 members where both views on salvation are tolerated, so effectively it really doesn't matter what church members believe about salvation, just so long as the money keeps coming in. The church's official position is the same as their heroes, John MacArthur and Paul Washer, staunch Calvinists who propagate the Lordship Salvation garbage. If anyone exposes the heresy of Lordship Salvation, they are silenced quickly. So the confusion continues in the church. Kindly said, it is apostasy!!! God knows that my heart's desire is not to offend anyone, but to help others find the truth!

Folks, we need to “refute all works of darkness” as Ephesians 5:11 teaches; and to those false prophets “who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake,” we as born-again Christians must “rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” as Titus 1:10-13 teaches. As far as I'm concerned, this means exposing Evangelists Paul Washer and Billy Graham, Pastors John Piper and Rick Warren, and other reprobates concerning the plan of salvation. If you as a child of God don't expose untruths, falsehoods and evil, then you are complicit, and in time will likely go along to get along with darkness. END


“Nobody can love God who doesn't love sinners!”
(a quote by Dr. Jack Hyles classic MP3 sermon, “The Happiest Man” (happiest is the man who will not impute sin to others!)

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