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But [Jesus] answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"  Matthew 4:4
 

Could Lot, Samson or Solomon Have Been Saved by ...?

THE UNFINISHED GOSPEL

There is an "Unfinished Gospel" being spread today. It mixes Faith plus Works.4  That makes it Biblically wrong. In brief, it lays out a path to salvation whereby a man must Justify his Faith by Works so that his Faith can Justify him.

This is a semantic confusion of Faith mixed with Works--or, Faith plus Works.5  Its likeness to Roman Catholicism is unsettling.6
 
I attribute no motivation to those who push the Unfinished Gospel because many could themselves be victims of the semantic fog which presents it in a shroud of righteousness.7  I consider them as Christian brothers and sisters. Yet the Unfinished Gospel can be an unwitting snare for all of us, as it has been to believers for 2000 years. The Book of Galatians is a witness against its mingling of faith and works to gain salvation.8 That book rolls out the case that the truth of the Gospel is a most serious matter.

I pray that the following will help to lift the cloud of uncertainty that sidetracks so many of us into pondering the muddled perplexity of the Unfinished Gospel. I hope we can refocus on the simplicity, clarity and freeness of the 'Finished Gospel', for, according to Jesus, "It is finished".
WHERE ARE WE GOING IN THIS STUDY?

We will briefly examine the Finished Gospel, the Two Finish Lines, My Part, the Unfinished Gospel, the Contract Gospel, and finally the unbiblical nature of the Unfinished Gospel by shining the light of Scripture on the question, “Could Lot, Samson or Solomon Have Been Saved by the Unfinished Gospel?”

WHAT IS THE FINISHED GOSPEL?


At the end of His sacrifice for sin, Jesus said "It is finished!"9  That is the basis for the Biblical Gospel of Free Grace.

The repetitive message of the Bible is that Salvation is a FREE and FINISHED gift to be received by those who simply believe (have faith) in the resurrected Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died for their sins and rose from the dead to give them eternal Life.10

The payment for sin is Finished.  I Can HAVE NO PART in its accomplishment. It was Finished at the Cross.11 But I do have MY PART in receiving it. MY PART--my only Part--is to believe in Jesus and His Finished Gospel of Free Grace.

This Free Gift is available.12  I have NO PART in qualifying for it.13  As a helpless sinner I am already qualified.14  My Part--my only part-- is to simply believe, and thereby receive the Free Gift of Salvation.15

The Gospel of Free Grace was finished by Jesus at the Cross.
16
WHAT ARE THE TWO (2) FINISH LINES IN LIFE?
There are TWO (2) Finish Lines in Life.

The first distinguishes the Finished Gospel and its Free Grace salvation from the works-orientation of the Unfinished Gospel, drawing a line which separates Grace from Works.
1. CHRISTS' FINISH LINE

1. The first is Christ’s Finish Line. It was accomplished "once and for all" when Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself to pay for our sins on the Cross.17

2. Christ’s Finish Line distinguishes the FINISHED GOSPEL from the UNFINISHED GOSPEL.

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)

3. God offers Christ's payment for our sins as a Free Gift of Grace. Jesus "ran the first race" to secure the Free Gift of Salvation ("the prize") for us. We don't enter that race. We accept by faith His victory for us as our own at the first Finish Line.

LEFT: God gives you the Free gift (GRACE alone) of salvation which you receive by FAITH alone. There can be no human works involved--Grace alone and Faith alone. At the moment of receiving this salvation by Faith, one becomes saved. Christ finished the work of salvation at the cross for all who Believe (Faith). There is no more to be done. He proved His finished payment for our sin by His resurrection. The Gospel of Salvation was completed at CHRIST'S FINISH LINE--the Cross.
2. YOUR FINISH LINE

1. The second Finish Line becomes Your Finish Line in life’s race once you accept the gift won for you at Christ’s Finish Line.

2. If we reject the Gift of Jesus' victory at the first Finish Line, then that becomes the only Finish Line that matters, and we will not see the second Finish Line. Why?

3. Because the first Finish Line, already secured for me by Jesus, when personally received by faith, becomes MY Starting Line toward the second Finish Line.

4. Therefore, to reject Christ’s Finish Line is to reject My Starting Line. And to reject My Starting Line is to refuse to enter the "race".

5. But if we receive by faith the Free Gift of the first Finish Line (salvation), then God will enable us to "run the race" of discipleship (sanctification) toward the "prize" of the second Finish Line.

"But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24; see Heb. 12:1)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; (2
Timothy 4:7)

The first Finish Line is exclusively for Jesus Christ, for He is the ONLY WAY (John 14:6), the ONLY NAME (Acts 4:12) to reach that finish line in victory!

But Your Finish Line is yours to run toward in the power of the Holy Spirit secured for you at Christ’s Finish Line.
The FINISHED GOSPEL


1. Christs' Finish Line decides your destiny of eternal life if you receive His Free Gift with simple Childlike-Faith.

2. Your Finish Line defines the depth of your walk as Christ’s disciple over the course of a lifetime.

3. God reaches down with His Free Gift to Helpless Sinners who offer nothing but Empty Hands of Faith..

4. God guarantees your Salvation changing you into "Who You Are" (in Christ), instantly18 and irreversibly,19  based solely on Christs' Finish Line.

5. God enables your simple Childlike-Faith and says "Now, Walk Like Who You Are" to Your Finish Line.

6. Simple Childlike-Faith will grow to Mature-Faith "working through love" if you 'Walk Like Who You Are' in life's race to Your Finish Line.

BELOW: The letter of Paul to the Galatians Church served as a warning of the error of mixing Faith and Works in the Gospel of salvation. Note the similarity of this 'gospel error' of the Galatians--"Having begun by the Spirit [Faith], are you now being perfected by the flesh [Works]? (Gal. 3:3)--with the Catholic Church and the Unfinished ("Lordship") Gospel. All BEGIN with 'Faith', but salvation must be COMPLETED by Works. However, the Biblical Gospel is 'FINISHED' by Grace alone at the time of Faith (justification). Works of the Holy Spirit in the saved person should follow (sanctification) through the rest of life. But salvation in this Finished Gospel occurs by Faith alone, "not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
MY PART--When and How?

What is My Part in the Gospel? Do I have any part?

THE KEY...
Who You Are; Now, Walk Like It!

My Part in my salvation is not to pre-pump, pump-up, or post-pump my faith with promises, commitments, pledges, actions, attitudes, holy thought, holy goals, good works, deeds and standards, etc. These are meritorious works.

Works are the substance of the Ten Commandments, the Law. The Law is Holy, and always requires MY PART to WALK in perfect Holy Living. As such the Law cannot save us. It condemns us because it proves that I Cannot DO MY PART.

That is why Jesus gave us the Finished Gospel of Grace.20  The Gospel of Grace is always and totally from the top down.21  From God to me. That is how Lot, Samson and Solomon were Saved (see below). Totally from the top down.

It is not the Unfinished Gospel--needing some degree of MY PART from the bottom up. How can I possibly help in my own salvation? I am helpless (Rom. 5:6). My only part in my salvation is Faith Alone, as made clear in Ephesians 2:8-9,

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

But make no mistake--there is a place for MY PART somewhere, sometime. It Follows AFTER the Free Gift. It Follows AFTER belief in Jesus and His Finished Gospel. And therefore, it follows AFTER I am no longer helpless. Here's how that works in the Bible;

1. First; Through my faith in Jesus the Free Gift gives me instantaneous Salvation that cannot be lost.22 It makes me a new person in Christ. It assures me--"This is WHO YOU ARE--from now on and forever."

2. Second; Then MY PART is made possible. God enables me, and says,

Now, WALK LIKE WHO YOU ARE.  Walk as a “new creation in Christ”.23  Walk as a disciple of Jesus.

We see this truth clearly and succinctly in Ephesians 5:8.


for you were formerly darkness,   [WHO YOU WERE; a lost sinner, separated from God]
but now you are light in the Lord; [WHO YOU ARE; a saved, justified new creation in Christ]
walk as children of light "         [WALK LIKE WHO YOU ARE; in sanctified discipleship in Christ]
(Ephesians 5:8)

This is a central message seen throughout the New Testament in almost every Epistle. Understanding and spotting this repetitive message will eradicate a ton of confusion!

This Biblical distinction between justification (Who You Are in Christ) and sanctification (Walk Like Who You Are) has been seen by some of the greatest Bible teachers, including Lewis Sperry Chafer, Everett Harrison, John Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, Dwight Pentecost, Mal Couch, Thomas Ice, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Mike Stallard, Andy Woods, Paul Benware, David Anderson, J.B. Hixson, Charles Bing, Joseph Dillow, Dave Hunt, Robert Lightner, Norman Geisler and many, many more. All do not agree on particular issues, but all agree on the paramount issue; that the Bible makes a distinction between justification and sanctification, and that this distinction is the Biblical key to keeping Works out of the Faith that saves.

Below: This chart shows a few passages illustrating this truth framed so concisely in a single verse--Ephesians 5:8.
WHAT IS THE UNFINISHED GOSPEL?

The UNFINISHED GOSPEL can be summed up--in 7 Points--in this typical Lordship-Gospel 24 statement of the "saving faith" required to be saved by the Gospel,

A SUMMARY of the UNFINISHED GOSPEL25

"[the essence of saving faith is]"unconditional surrender, a complete resignation of self and absolute submission...Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything...Saving faith is a commitment to leave sin and follow Jesus Christ at all cost. Jesus takes no one unwilling to come on those terms...Forsaking oneself for Christ's sake is not an optional step of discipleship subsequent to conversion; it is the sine qua non [ indispensable and essential action] of saving faith.."
John MacArthur, as quoted by Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Publishers, 1997, Chicago, IL, .p.43.

This is not the faith of the Finished Gospel. The Finished Gospel responds to the question, "What must I do to be saved?" with the Grace-laden answer "BELIEVE".

 "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved." (Acts 16:30-31)

"BELIEVE"--throughout Scripture. Not complex. Not complicated. Simple childlike-"BELIEVE".26

But the UNFINISHED GOSPEL, with its 7 Points, answers the same question this way;
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and commit to...

1. unconditional surrender
2. complete resignation of self
3. absolute submission
4. forsake everything
5. leave sin
6. follow Jesus Christ at all cost
7. come on those terms

...and you shall be saved."  (this is no longer Acts 16:31; it is Acts 16:31 PLUS My Part)
As such, Acts 16:31 no longer saves; it judges.27 It is no longer a Gospel--it is a "yoke."

Since you must complete your salvation by obedience to this 7-Point Works system, which you are unable to do, then you are not saved, but rather judged by those 7-Points (a form of Law and Works).

Who among the Lordship-Gospel proponents can bear the "yoke" of their own 7-Point criteria for "saving faith"? "Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?" (Acts 15:10) This is the essence of the Unfinished Gospel.
The UNFINISHED GOSPEL

1. Your Finish Line decides your eternal destiny since your possession of Real (working) Faith is not decided until life's race is over. This focus on Your Finish Line as a salvation-process obscures and effectually subordinates Christs' Finish Line to Your Finish Line.

2. God reaches down with His Gift for those who are ready to Do Their Part with raised hands of promissory works.

3. God guarantees Real Faith will Persevere IF you Walk Like 'Who You Can Become' to Your Finish Line.

4. You prove your Faith in your race. It must be Justified as 'Real' before it can Justify you as 'Saved'. In other words, you must Justify Your Faith so Your Faith Can Justify You.

5. Works pave the path to Salvation if they add-up to Real Faith at Your Finish Line.
ABOVE: This "gospel" is UNFINISHED because one's faith is not enough. Since faith must be linked to works to make it "real", then I must add MY PART to prove my profession of faith in Christ was "saving faith". I must promise, pledge and commit myself to a life of 'working faith'. By Faith-alone I cannot be saved. With faith plus promissory-works I can be saved--IF I persevere within some unknown percentile-parameter of good works throughout life. Salvation is based on a BIG-IF. Christ's Finish Line of finished salvation is at best obscured; at worst, ignored. Therefore, it's Your Finish Line--your life of works--that prove whether you were ever really saved when you believed. Short of some unknown degree of works your faith will be insufficient to save you. Therefore, this gospel is UNFINISHED until your works prove otherwise. No works, no salvation.

6. This Gospel is never finished since no man, even those who promote it, can live up to its “terms.” If they say they can, then aren’t they “boasting” about their justifying-works? 

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9

"... knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, ...not by the works of the Law..." (Galatians 2:16; note the double repetition for emphasis)
How Can I Do MY PART
TO 'FINISH' THE UNFINISHED GOSPEL?

 
The UNFINISHED GOSPEL, as summarized above in 7-Points, becomes strikingly works-oriented when MY PART is identified and inserted into the 7-Points, below...

"[the essence of saving faith is] "unconditional surrender [MY PART], a complete resignation of self  [MY PART] and absolute submission [MY PART]...Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything [MY PART]...Saving faith is a commitment to leave sin [MY PART] and follow Jesus Christ at all cost [MY PART]. Jesus takes no one unwilling to come on those terms [MY PART]...Forsaking oneself for Christ's sake is not an optional step of discipleship subsequent to conversion; it is the sine qua non [ indispensable and essential action] of saving faith.." John MacArthur, as quoted by Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Publishers, 1997, Chicago, IL, .p.43.

Since I must contribute more to the Gospel above than to simply "believe", then it is an UNFINISHED GOSPEL.

Since I am expected to "surrender", "resign self", "submit", etc., then I am not "helpless"--a helpless sinner--as Romans 5:6-8 says I must be to be saved. I can and must DO MY PART, as shown above. At the point I DO MY PART, then the Gospel above will be FINISHED. Only at that point can I be saved because "Jesus takes no one unwilling to come on those terms" (Point-7). According to the above this Unfinished Lordship-Gospel is the "indispensable and essential action of saving faith".

The essence of the UNFINISHED GOSPEL is this-- It needs my help!

1. But as a helpless sinner, am I not helpless? (Romans 5:6; Ephesians 2:1)

2. Why should I be condemned for being "unwilling" to help with MY PART? I am unable to help with MY PART. (Romans 8:7-8)

3. Before I become "born again", how can I commit to "walk as children of light” if I am not yet "light in the Lord", as I must be to be able to "walk as children of light"? (Ephesians 5:8). 

4. If I am not yet "created in Christ Jesus for good works", how can I promise good works and gain salvation “on those terms”?  (Ephesians 2:10)

This "Gospel" requires MY PART to truly say "It is finished." That's why I call it the UNFINISHED GOSPEL It has no more power than 'MY PART' has. And I am helpless.

I am a helpless sinner who cannot help to finish this man-made UNFINISHED GOSPEL.

BELOW: Ephesians 2:8-10 (below left) distorted (below right) by Faith PLUS trust in future Works to pave the path to salvation. In the distorted version, I can "boast" that "When I believed in Christ I committed myself to a dedicated life of righteous works." Is this not a boast? When "I believed" (Faith), "I committed" (Works). Ephesians doesn't permit this. There are to be NO WORKS--promises, pledges, commitments, etc. anywhere on the graph below that is LEFT of CHRIST'S FINISH LINE.
THE UNFINISHED GOSPEL-- A "CONTRACT GOSPEL

The "saving faith" of the UNFINISHED GOSPEL is not the "empty hands of faith" as Francis Schaefer correctly terms the faith of the Biblical Gospel.  This is "faith" with hands full of promises and pledges. Helping hands from a "helpless" sinner 30 Hands with an offering. An offering which amounts to MY PART.

Since the Unfinished Lordship-Gospel engages only with those willing to “come on those terms" (Point-7 quoted above), am I not entering into a contract when I insert “terms” into the Gospel, terms about which I can “boast”? Paraphrased, "Here is MY PART, the 'terms' required to finish the Gospel and gain salvation."  That is, faith plus works. What does this "contract" do to the Gospel?
 
Salvation is no longer always and totally from the top down. My hands of faith are no longer empty or helplessly extended to receive the Free Gift of the Finished Gospel. The UNFINISHED GOSPEL from the top down meets halfway my helping hands extended from the bottom up. This is my offering--MY PART--to complete the "terms" for finishing the Gospel and gain my salvation. I promised, I pledged, I committed--and I can "boast" about it.  

Yet Ephesians 2:8-9 says I cannot gain salvation " as a result of works, that no one should boast." If Ephesians 2:10 is trusted as a future works-IOU to validate my faith as saving-faith, then works are added to Ephesians 2:8-9. Grace is no longer Grace, and I can "boast".31 Ephesians 2:8-9 is unable to save without trusting in my future works--a Works-IOU-- the very opposite of what those verses say.32
 
This Unfinished Lordship-Gospel has no capacity to save anyone. The Biblical record of the lives of Lot, Samson, and Solomon are proof that the Lordship-Gospel is unbiblical.
CAN LOT, SAMSON and SOLOMON be SAVED
by the UNFINISHED GOSPEL?

Here we must remember two things.

1. First, the Finished Gospel was applied backwards (retro-action) to Old Testament and pre-Cross believers (Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:15).33  
2. Second, these Old Testament believers were saved through childlike-faith (simple belief) in the  same way as we who live after the Cross are saved. (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:1-5).34

Now, let's look at how Lot, Samson and Solomon would fare under both

1. The UNFINISHED GOSPEL (using the Unfinished Lordship-Gospel of MacArthur),

and

2. The FINISHED GOSPEL (Gen. 15:6; John 3:16; Acts 16:31, etc.)


LOT

How would Lot fare under MacArthur's UNFINISHED GOSPEL? Below are the major events of Lot's life according to notes taken directly from John MacArthur's Study Bible.

The PROOF OF SALVATION STANDARD35  (according to the MacArthur Unfinished Lordship-Gospel)

"Faith obeys. Unbelief rebels. The fruit of one's life reveals whether that person is a believer or an unbeliever. There is no middle ground."
John MacArthur, as quoted in J.B. Hixson, Getting The Gospel Wrong, rev. ed., 2013, Grace Gospel Press, Deluth, MN, p.230.

Would not Lot have failed miserably both The PROOF OF SALVATION STANDARD above as well as the 7-Point UNFINISHED Lordship-Gospel? Remember, "The fruit of one's life reveals whether that person is a believer or an unbeliever. There is no middle ground." according to the MacArthur Proof Of Salvation Standard.

In the chart above, MacArthur's own Bible-notes on Lot's life show Lot could not be saved by the UNFINISHED GOSPEL. Yet the Bible says Lot was saved. Either MacArthur's Bible-notes or MacArthur's Lordship-Gospel is wrong!

In his 2 Peter 2:7-8 Bible note MacArthur admits what he cannot deny--the Bible says Lot was saved. Yet if MacArthur's Gospel is right, then his Bible-notes about Lot's life show that Lot did not DO HIS PART to be saved according to the expectations of MacArthur's UNFINISHED Lordship-Gospel.

But it is MacArthur's Bible-notes on Lot that are right, including the note that Lot was saved. Therefore, his Lordship-Gospel cannot be right. Lot's life proves the UNFINISHED LORDSHIP-GOSPEL is wrong!

SAMSON

As with Lot, how would Samson fare under the Unfinished Lordship-Gospel? Below are the major events of Samson's life as recorded in notes taken directly from John MacArthur's Study Bible.
In his Judges 16:29-30 Bible note, MacArthur agrees that the Bible says Samson was saved. But The MacArthur Study Bible notes on Samson’s life, when compared to MacArthur's Proof Of Salvation Standard, condemn Samson as an unbeliever. Therefore, the Unfinished Lordship-Gospel, with its mixture of faith and works, is proven wrong again.
SOLOMON

Would King Solomon have been saved by MacArthur's Unfinished Lordship-Gospel? Below are the major events of Solomon's life. The notes are taken directly from John MacArthur's Study Bible.
Remember again what the Proof Of Salvation Standard says,

"Faith obeys. Unbelief rebels. The fruit of one's life reveals whether that person is a believer or an unbeliever. There is no middle ground."
John MacArthur, as quoted in J.B. Hixson, Getting The Gospel Wrong, rev. ed., 2013, Grace Gospel Press, Deluth, MN, p.230.

MacArthur's own Bible-notes on Solomon's life show Solomon could not be saved under MacArthur's Lordship-Gospel PROOF OF SALVATION STANDARD.  And the 7-Point UNFINISHED GOSPEL? Solomon failed.

But in his Introduction to Ecclesiastes, MacArthur says the Biblical evidence shows that Solomon was saved.

Since Solomon was saved, and since he could not be saved under the Lordship-Gospel, then MacArthur's Unfinished Lordship-Gospel is wrong!

The Bible says that Lot, Samson and Solomon were saved. But why couldn’t they have been saved by the Lordship-Gospel? Many verses—but in this case, Genesis 15:6—gives us the conclusive answer.

“Abraham believed God, and committed to...

1. unconditional surrender
2. complete resignation of self
3. absolute submission
4. willing to forsake everything
5. leave sin
6. follow Jesus Christ at all cost
7. willing[ness] to come on those terms
...and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."

ONLY the bold above is the Gospel gifted to Abraham as expressed in Genesis 15:6. When you add the additional 7-Point requirements of the Lordship-Gospel, then you have Genesis 15:6 PLUS Abraham's Part. True, Abraham was a pillar of faith and faithful works. He would have rated much better than Lot, Samson or Solomon under the 7-Points above. But the Bible says at least 9 times that Abraham was saved by only the part in bold. Even Abraham could not be saved under the Unfinished Lordship-Gospel. But praise God for the part in bold above

Lot, Samson and Solomon fail miserably the UNFINISHED GOSPEL. By adding THEIR PART, it doesn't help them. It condemns them. But they weren't condemned. They were saved.36 So how could these three woefully sinful men have been saved? 
Could Lot, Samson or Solomon
Have Been Saved by the 'FINISHED' GOSPEL?


Yes. And they were.37 They each were saved by the FINISHED GOSPEL, and, unlike the lengthy dissertation above on the UNFINISHED GOSPEL, it won't take long to explain how!

1. First, cancel parts 1-7 above.
2. Second, stick with "believed".
3. Third, add nothing to it.
4. Fourth, realize that, at this point, we now have the faith of a child, not a theologian.
5. Finally, I have arrived at MY PART--my ONLY part to receive eternal life--"BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (Acts 16:30-31)

The Bible says that Lot (2 Peter 2:7), Samson (Hebrews 11:32-33), and Solomon (1 Kings 3:10; more here) were saved. Below, in chart form, is how the simple FINISHED GOSPEL saved them.
ABOVE CHART: How Lot, Samson and Solomon were saved by The FINISHED GOSPEL (#1, #2, and #3 below correspond to the chart numbers above)

#1 above Move their salvation to the left of "Christs' Finish Line". This is done by Faith Alone, in Christ Alone, by Grace Alone--No Works allowed--the only possible way of salvation. "Christs' Finish Line" is the sole proof of their salvation.  Salvation finished, instantaneous, irreversible, "once for all".

#2 above Salvation (justification) was finished in #1. Here in #2 are sanctification Works (fruits). These were only possible when they walked by the Holy Spirit in their new nature, as "children of light", and not by their old nature, as "children of darkness". Their Works determine the maturity of their discipleship and fellowship with their Savior. This is Who You Are (new nature)...Walk Like It (Eph. 5:8).

#3 above Here their own "Finish Line" concluded their Works of "gold and silver, or wood and stubble" in their race through life (#2 )which began when they became a Child of God (#1). Their Works (fruits) are the basis for the Heavenly Bema Seat Judgment determining their position in their Father's Kingdom. They have had eternal life, with no condemnation, since the instantaneous, irreversible, "once for all" FINISHED GOSPEL of #1 above.38
SUMMARY CONCLUSION

JUSTIFICATION (Finished at Christ's "Finish Line")

1. We are irreversiblty saved by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone in a moment of time, apart from any Works at anytime.
2. No Works can rise up subsequent to Salvation to retro-judge or justify the Faith by which we were saved. It has been decided "once for all" Who You Are in Christ.

SANCTIFICATION (Finished at "Your Finish Line")

1. Godly Works only become possible when we are saved, whereby as a child of God we should seek to grow and mature in Godly Works, fellowship and discipleship. The New Testament letters written to believers implore, teach and guide "Now, Walk Like Who You Are."
2. Faith that has already saved will always bear Fruit (Works), but it may not be apparent to man (James 2:18)--the "stubble"-works may overshadow and obscure the "gold"-Works. We would not know Lot's Faith bore any "gold"-fruit if 2 Peter 2:8 hadn't told us.

GLORIFICATION (Eternal)

1. We will enter (Mat. 5:20; John 3:5) the Eternal Life inherited (Heb. 1:14) at the moment (John 5:24) of our justification--for it was "finished".
2. We will receive our inheritance within the Heavenly Kingdom--either the "least", the "greatest" (Mat. 5:19), or somewhere in-between (1 Cor. 3:12-15) based on the heavenly Rewards earned in our walk of sanctification--for our life-walk is finished as our heavenly life begins.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO ABOUT THE GOSPEL?

1. We must proclaim the Finished Gospel that "through faith you are saved...it is the gift of
God, not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

2. If it were true that in order to be saved, alongside your faith you must work the works of
Lordship, then Lot, Samuel, and Solomon would not have been saved. Their lives, dominated more by "wood, straw and stubble" that by "gold, silver and precious stones", would have proven they were not saved. Not enough good works.

3. But the Bible says that they were saved--by faith, for by Free Grace alone, "where sin
increased, grace abounded all the more" (Romans 5:20). From the moment of salvation they HAVE had assurance (1 John 5:13). Amazingly, 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 shows how they will remain securely and assuredly saved apart from their works-record.

4. Yet Ephesians 2:10 shows it is God's desire that, once we are saved (v. 8-9), from day-1
we "walk" in good works in the Name of Jesus to His Glory. God's unbounded Grace given freely to us in our salvation will by the Holy Spirit empower us, and should motivate us, to walk as our Savior walked!
FINALLY, LET'S BE FAIR

Two points need to be said.

1. John MacArthur's Bible notes DO say that Lot (note on 2 Pet. 2:7-8), Samson (note on Jud. 16:29-30), and Solomon (note on Ecc. Intro) were saved. He must, because the Bible says that. But his own Bible notes are glaringly clear that they could not have been saved by his 7-Point "terms" that define his Unfinished Gospel.

2. John MacArthur's 7-Point "terms" are alien to the Finished Gospel. But they are absolutely Biblical if applied to their proper category—Your Race (sanctification, discipleship) to Your Finish Line. They are the expected fruit ("works", MY PART enabled by the Holy Spirit) of an already saved person who should strive to walk as a mature disciple in close fellowship with his Savior.

As for Lot, Samson, Solomon--and yes, me--we are singing God's praises now and forevermore, because through Christ Jesus, "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Romans 5:20)--Grace only made possible by what Jesus did on the cross that enabled Him to declare...

"It is finished" (John 19:30)
NOTES: Many of the notes have been extended to include full quotations. This permits a quicker ready reference and deeper study.

 

1. All references to the “Gospel” refer to the Gospel of Salvation, unless otherwise noted.

2. The “Gospel of the kingdom” refers to the Messianic Kingdom to be inaugurated at the Second Coming of Jesus. But to “see” or “enter” that Kingdom one must be saved through the Gospel of Salvation. Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see … he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3-5) So to truly preach the “gospel of the kingdom” necessarily requires preaching the Gospel of Salvation.

3. We have been “released-freed-washed” from all of our sins forever. This is made indisputable by Hebrews chapter 10. “…but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time…” (Heb 10:12). David Anderson explains the significance of this powerful passage, “’one sacrifice for sins forever.’ Christ’s death is God’s one and only provision for man’s sin and it sufficiently pays for all his sins. No time distinction is made. When Christ ascended into heaven, He sat down at the right hand of His Father, signifying His finished work. No further provision would be made. Ephapax [the Greek word used]. Once for all. All sins—past, present, or future; black, gray, or white (of course, all sins are black in reality); confessed, unconfessed; known, and unknown—all sins have been paid for.” David R. Anderson, Free Grace Soteriology, Grace Theology Press, 2012, p.188.

This great truth of Grace is contrasted with the pre-Cross, Old Testament animal sacrifices that had to be repeated perpetually until the “once for all” Sacrifice of Christ covered all sins for all time for all people in every age who have believed in Christ.

4. There are three (3) main strands of formally recognized Christianity which share a faith-works mixed path to salvation. They are Roman Catholicism and two (2) Protestant branches: Reformed (many) and Arminian based churches. The primary focus of this look at the Unfinished Gospel (faith-works mix) will be on its more commonly used designation in Reformed churches, namely, the “Lordship-Gospel” as advocated and articulated by John MacArthur.

In an email exchange (Dec. 19, 2018) with Andy Woods, author of the book Ever Reforming, Dispensational Publishing House, 2018, he points out that the ‘Lordship-Gospel’ (Unfinished Gospel) was not the product of the original Reformers: “it was the second generation reformers (TULIP authors) that really brought in Lordship salvation out of fear that if they taught Grace soteriology openly then believers [might abuse their freedom in Christ]. Consequently, today’s reformed movement is not grace oriented by and large. However, the original reformers were much more so.

5. “Protestant theology is for the most part thoroughly Galatianized, in that neither law nor grace is given its distinct and separate place as in the counsel of God, but they are mingled together in one incoherent system.” David R. Anderson quoting C.I. Scofield, Bewitched—The Rise of Neo-Galatianism, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p. 322.

6. In [Galatians] 5:1, Paul says Christ has freed these people. But because they have confused sanctification and justification, many of them who are justified are trying to maintain their justification by their works or trying to prove they are justified by their works. There you have it—Neo[modern]-Galatianism…[Today] Arminians think they must have good works until they die or they lose their salvation; the Calvinists think they must have good works until they die or they never had salvation. And the Roman Catholics have always taught they must have good works (until death) in order to complete their justification…” David R. Anderson, Bewitched—The Rise of Neo-Galatianism, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p.162.

“When [John] MacArthur speaks of works being worked in us, his doctrine of justification differs not a whit from Catholicism’s idea of justification making us righteous [i.e., Faith = Faith plus Works].” Joseph Dillow, Reign of the Servant Kings, as quoted by David R. Anderson, Free Grace Soteriology, Grace Theology Press, 2012, p. 172.

Norman Geisler's sub-titles in his discussion of the relationship between faith and works reveal the sobering similarity between Catholicism and what we have herein termed "The Unfinished Gospel" ("Lordshp Salvation"). For instance, "The Catholic View Is Similar to the Error of Galatianism" and "The Catholic View Loads Works Into Its Concept of Faith". Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Vol.3, Sin-Salvation, Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN, 2004, p.270-71.

Those who import works into the faith that saves (justifies) say that "the true test of faith is this: does it produce obedience? If not, it is not saving faith." Charlie Bing is among many who have picked up on the fact that this "view is similar to that of Roman Catholicism which teaches that faith plus works obtains salvation. Lordship [Salvation] simply formulates it differently: Faith that works obtains salvation. But in both systems works are essential to salvation. No works, no salvation. [emphasis his]" Bing elaborates on why a "faith THAT works" is no different from "faith PLUS works" in salvation. "The emphasis on a faith that works conflicts with the grace of salvation that depends on Christ's work. It essentially says that what Jesus Christ did for people was not sufficient to SECURE [emphasis mine] their salvation. One must contribute by his commitment, surrender, and obedience. However, the work of Christ is totally sufficient. His one work did all that human beings could not do (Rom. 3:24-25; 5:15-21).” Charlie Bing, Freely By Grace, J.B. Hixson, Rick Whitmire and Roy B. Zuck, eds., 2012, Grace Gospel Press, Duluth, MN, p.103-4

Joseph Dillow, commenting on a "salvation that is achieved by a synergism of human and divine works [God's supernatural injection into human activity of non-meritorious works] " notes that "It is difficult to distinguish this viewpoint from classical Arminianism or Rome [Catholicism], which also say that final arrival to heaven is conditional [on works]." Joseph Dillow, Final Destiny, The Future Reign of the Servant Kings, Second Revised Edition, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p.582.

Those who espouse the Unfinished Gospel "fall into the cross hairs of the canon fire that Calvin launched at the [Roman Catholic] Council of Trent: 'according to  [the Catholics], man is justified by faith as well as by work, provided these are not his own works, but gifts of Christ and fruits of regeneration.'" Joseph Dillow, Final Destiny, The Future Reign of the Servant Kings, Second Revised Edition, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p.600.
(In the above, "his own work" =Faith PLUS man's work; "fruits of regeneration =Faith THAT works, with God's help. The point is that either way, without works connected to faith, there is no salvation. The Bible excludes works from any connection to faith in the plan of salvation--emphatically and repetitively!)

Dave Hunt did significant research on the Catholic-Calvinism (Lordship) connection; "...the truth discovered by Augustine and passed on to Calvin." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.390.
"But this was the God of Augustine, the premier 'saint' of Roman Catholicism to whom not only Calvin...looked as [his] mentor but whom so many leading evangelicals praised highly." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.392.

"...Augustine, the greatest of Roman Catholics..." [p.393] was the founder of Calvinism and, indeed, of 'evangelical Christianity'..." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.392-393.

"Sadly, much Roman Catholicism was carried over by Calvin...into Reformed churches, where it remains to this day.” Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.51.

"...it seems that the Reformers and their creeds are infected with ideas that came from the greatest Roman Catholic, Augustine himself." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.52.

"...Calvin really taught and practiced [according to] Augustine, from whom he obtained most of his beliefs..." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.56.

"...Augustine, whom the entire world recognizes as the premier Roman Catholic, who gave that Church so many of its basic doctrines that he is among the most highly honored of its 'saints'  [all the way until today.]” Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.56.

"How could Augustine, and Calvin who embraced and passed on many of his major errors, be so wrong on so much and yet be inspired of the Holy Spirit as regards predestination, election, sovereignty, etc.?" Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.56.

"[Calvin] viewed the church of Christ through Roman Catholic eyes...[and developed] a system [emphasis his] of Christianity based upon an extreme view of God's sovereignty..." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.61.

"[Lordship salvation] has returned to Roman Catholicism--we will find out if we have enough righteousness in our lives to be accepted only after we die." David R. Anderson, A Defense Of Free Grace Theology, p.80.

Like Catholicism, "The lordship view adds to the Gospel of the grace of God what Scripture does not." Robert P. Lightner, Sin, the Savior, and Salvation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, p. 213.

“In spite of the Reformation revival of the gospel of grace, much of Protestantism today is working its way back to Rome with a gospel that makes works necessary and justification a process.” Charlie Bing, Grace Notes, Number 77, Grace Life Ministries, Burleson, TX.

“Many Reformed churches are Protestant in some ways, but continue to be Roman Catholic in others. Here is the key: The weakness of Reformed theology is that people took the progress made by the Reformers and presumed that there was no further progress to be made. They took that progress and froze it into creeds and confessions, such as the Westminster Confession, which became the authority.” Andy Woods, Ever Reforming, Dispensational Publishing House, Inc., Taos, NM, 2018, p.87.

"...what you have in Reformed thought is a hybrid, a mixture, of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.” Andy Woods, Ever Reforming, Dispensational Publishing House, Inc., Taos, NM, 2018, p.88.

“The Reformers also dragged other vestiges of Roman Catholicism with them into their new Protestant and Reformed churches. People have been taught that the Reformers made a clean break with Roman Catholicism. But it would be naive to think that way. They brought much errant baggage with them.“ Andy Woods, Ever Reforming, Dispensational Publishing House, Inc., Taos, NM, 2018, p.109.

“Roman Catholicism continued to live on in the minds of the Reformers and their spiritual descendants... it is not shocking at all that these men dragged much of Roman Catholicism along with them into their newfound Protestantism. “ Andy Woods, Ever Reforming, Dispensational Publishing House, Inc., Taos, NM, 2018, p.110-111.

"Roman Catholicism teaches that faith is just the beginning of salvation, so the believer must constantly work throughout his life to complete the process." Fritz Ridenour, So What's the Difference?, Regal Books, Glendale, CA, 1967, p.44. [Lordship Salvation says essentially the same.]

"When you ask Roman Catholics about what is required for salvation, they will mention Christ and His death on the cross, they will mention faith, and they will mention the need for grace. But they will also throw into the mix a life of meritorious works and participation in the various sacramental rituals of the Roman Catholic Church." Ron Rhodes, The 10 Most Important Things You Can Say to a Catholic, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 2002, p.65. [Lordship Salvation also says salvation requires "Christ", the "cross", "faith", "grace", and "a life of meritorious works".]

"[In Roman Catholicism] Justification is obtained by doing meritorious works that cooperate with God's grace, with focus upon the seven sacraments." John Ankerberg & Dillon Burroughs, What's the Big Deal About Other Religions?, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 2008, p.45. [Apart from the sacraments, a Lordship-Gospel look-a-like]

7. These “word-games” are subtle and tricky, but real, just as they were for the Galatians (“You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you…”; Gal. 3:1) Dave Anderson writes, “Thus, sanctification became a justification issue. No sanctification? No justification. After escaping the RCC [Roman Catholic Church in the Reformation], the pressure was on once again for believers to perform…any attempt to deny this is simply playing word games…” [quoting Zane Hodges] ‘Some indeed would claim that discipleship [sanctification] is not a condition for eternal life, but an inevitable result of possessing it. But those who so speak are playing a word-game. Whatever is necessary to achieve a goal is also a condition for reaching it. To call anything an inevitable result is to call it a necessary result and thus to make it a condition. Candor is lacking in those who fail to admit this. Let’s put it plainly. If on-going good works are necessary for reaching heaven, they are also a condition for reaching heaven. Thus, on this view, final salvation is based on faith plus works!’” David R. Anderson, Bewitched—The Rise of Neo-Galatianism, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p.66-67.

“It is not that God cannot use an unclear message; doubtless He does this more often than He would prefer to. But why should He have to? Why don't we sharpen our understanding of what the Gospel is about so that we can present it as clearly as possible, using the right words to herald the Good News correctly?” Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Publishers, 1997, Chicago, IL, p.24.

8. “Is not [Modern Galatianism] a subtle way of adding something to the gospel either on the front end (Arminians) or the back end (Calvinists) or for the duration (Roman Catholic Church)? We can see that the basic struggle Paul fights in Galatians rages on in the twenty-first century with Neo-Galatianism.” David R. Anderson, Bewitched—The Rise of Neo-Galatianism, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p.60.

“Requiring good works at the end of one’s life is no different from requiring them at the initial reception of the gospel. In either position, the sufficiency of Christ’s substitutionary atonement and His propitiation for our sins is denied…it makes works an essential part of salvation.” Charles C. Bing, Grace, Salvation, and Discipleship, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p.158-159.

“According to Galatians 1:6-9 there is one and only one gospel that saves, not two.” Michael D. Halsey, Freely By Grace, J.B. Hixson, Rick Whitmire and Roy B. Zuck, eds., 2012, Grace Gospel Press, Duluth, MN, p.8.

"Christians today need the same zeal for the purity and simplicity of the gospel [that Paul had in Galatians 1:8]...The apostle Paul is adamant that the gospel he and his colleagues are proclaiming is complete, absolute, and final.” John Witmer & Mal Couch, The Books of Galatians & Ephesians, Unlocking the Future, Twenty-First Century Biblical Commentary Series, Mal Couch & Ed Hindson, eds., AMG Publishers, 2002, p.18.

"...the same gospel as is always declared in the New Testament [referencing Rev. 14:6-7, "the everlasting gospel", in light of Gal. 1:8] … to attempt to call it something else or something other than the 'good news' of salvation is both tragic and heretical!"  Ed Hindson, The Book of Revelation, Unlocking the Future, Twenty-First Century Biblical Commentary Series, Mal Couch & Ed Hindson, eds., AMG Publishers, 2002, p.155.

“If heaven really cannot be attained apart from obedience to God--and this is what lordship salvation teaches--then, logically, that obedience is a condition for getting there.” David R. Anderson, A Defense Of Free Grace Theology, p.109.

[Often with "pure motives"] "Brethren in Christ embrace the lordship view but that is no guarantee that what they hold is not another gospel. The gospel of God's saving grace must not be adulterated, not even by evangelicals." Robert P. Lightner, Sin, the Savior, and Salvation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, p. 213.

“This [Free Grace-Gospel vs Lordship-Gospel] debate strikes at the very heart of the orthodox Christian faith. It is not simply a fight over words and technicalities. The theological and practical ramifications are indeed far-reaching.” Robert P. Lightner, Sin, the Savior, and Salvation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, p.201.

9. John 19:30 (“it is finished”); Hebrews 12:2 (“Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”, KJV)

10. Romans 4:24-25; 5:8; A person must believe THAT these things about Jesus are true; but he is saved when he believes IN (trusts) Jesus. Note this simple but true to the Bible gospel statement: "The Lord Jesus Himself in the gospel of John chapter 6, verse 47, tells us the very simple fact that if we believe in Him, we HAVE [emphasis hers] eternal life!" Pat Franklin of London, England, of the Internet news site 'The Free Press', in "Does Matthew's Gospel Disqualify Jesus as the Messiah?", Lamplighter Magazine, Lion & Lamb Ministries, Nov-Dec 2018, p.7.

11. Romans 6:10

12. Revelation 20:17

13. Ephesians 2:8-9

"[Sola fide] is the idea that you are saved through the power of Christ on the basis of one condition--which is faith alone in Christ alone. The Bible teaches this more than 160 times." Andy Woods, Ever Reforming, Dispensational Publishing House, Inc., Taos, NM, 2018, p.73.

Ephesians 2:8-9 and its simple, clear statement “not of works” governs our understanding of all salvation passages. Lightner quotes Everett F. Harrison objecting to the "subtle form of legalism" of lordship salvation (Unfinished Gospel) advocates: "We reject the teaching that we can be saved by works. The Word of God is emphatic on this (Eph. 2:9; Titus 3:5) Why then bring works in by the side door by asserting that unless we do whatever is necessary to the acknowledging of the lordship of Christ in our lives, we are not saved?" Robert P. Lightner, Sin, the Savior, and Salvation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, p. 211.

Charles Ryrie points out the error of injecting human effort (works) into salvation passages such as John 3:16 when he says, "The lordship/discipleship/mastery position declares that..."Real faith results in obedience.' No one will debate that, because believers will bear fruit. But to inject the issue of mastery over one's life into John 3:16 as a condition for 'real faith' rather than a consequence is to add something the verse does not say." Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Publishers, 1997, Chicago, IL, p.99.

Norm Geisler makes the point that works become meritorious when we can “boast”: “…if our works had even a small part in obtaining salvation, we would have grounds to boast and, hence would still come under condemnation.” [emphasis his] Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Vol. 3, Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN, 2004, p.269.

14. Romans 5:6

15. John 3:16; Acts 16:31

16. John 19:30, “It is finished.”; Christ died for the sins of humanity “once for all”, Romans 6:10, for all who Believe.


17. Hebrews 9:12; 10:12-14.

18. John 5:24 says that at salvation the new believer “has passed out of death into life.” This is a past tense statement, an accomplished fact, instantaneous. Many Bible scholars affirm that salvation is not only instantaneous, but irreversible. We quote a few of them below;

 Charles Ryrie: “Further, regeneration is instantaneous--either one is dead in sin or alive in Christ.” Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Publishers, 1997, Chicago, IL, p.128.

 R.C.H. Lenski : “Pisteuson [Greek word ‘believe’] is properly the aorist, for the moment one believes, salvation is his...To believe is to accept the divine gift of salvation and at once to have it.” R.C.H. Lenski, as quoted by Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Publishers, 1997, Chicago, IL, p.131.

 John MacArthur : “We teach that regeneration...is instantaneous...We teach that every believer is sanctified...by justification...This sanctification is positional [Salvation] and instantaneous...We teach that all the redeemed once saved are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever...it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation...” John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, Word Publishing, Nashville, TN, 1997, p. 2194-95..

 James G. McCarthy:” Salvation from the eternal consequences of sin is an instantaneous and secure act of God coinciding with justification (Rom 5:9)” James G. McCarthy, Roman Catholicism: What You Need To Know, Quick Reference Guide, 1995, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, panel 2, point 8.

 Mike Gendron: “All Christians have been saved (past tense) from the penalty of sin (Eph 2:8-9)…At the moment of faith, the sinner is justified and has a right standing before God that is permanent (Heb 10:14). He cannot be condemned again (Rom 8:1).” Mike Gendron, Preparing Catholics For Eternity, 2002, 21st Century Press, Springfield, MO, p.128.

 David R. Anderson: “But if justification means ‘to declare righteous’, then this legal declaration of righteousness occurred in God’s courtroom at a single moment in time.” David R. Anderson, Bewitched—The Rise of Neo-Galatianism, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p. 50.

Norman Geisler “...Scripture guarantees eternal life as a present possession of those who believe. Jesus said: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has [present tense] eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has [present tense] passed out of death into life.’ (John 5:24; John 3:36; 1 John 5:13)” Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Vol.3, Sin-Salvation, Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN, 2004, p.265-66.

Paul Enns “[Regeneration] is instantaneous. Just as a child is born at a specific moment in the physical birth, so the spiritual birth occurs instantaneously when the Joly Spirit imparts new life. [Note says] The Greek aorist tense in John 1:13 and 3:5 would indicate the new birth is an instantaneous act...[faith and regeneration are] set side by side in John 1:12-13...at the moment of receiving Christ (believing), the person becomes a child of God...at that very moment the persons have been born of God.” Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook Of Theology, Moody Press, Chicago, IL, 1989, p.339-40.

Robert Lightner "...a person who is justified by God's grace is sanctified positionally [saved], set apart to God at the moment of salvation.” Robert P. Lightner, Sin, the Savior, and Salvation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, p. 212.

Charlie Bing “A person [is] declared righteous at the moment of faith in Christ, insteat of only beginning a process of becoming righteous. God's righteousness is imputed immediately, not infused over a lifetime.” Charlie Bing, Grace Notes, Number 77, Grace Life Ministries, Burleson, TX.

Andy Woods "...the sinner's unrighteousness is exchanged for Christ's righteousness in a single instant..." Andy Woods, Ever Reforming, Dispensational Publishing House, Inc., Taos, NM, 2018, p.74.

NOTE: If salvation is received through faith-alone, is instantaneous, is irreversible, and is purely of grace, then where is there a place for works? Ephesians says there is not (Eph. 2:8-9) until AFTER justification, DURING sanctification in verse 10.

19. A few simple proofs of irreversible salvation, or eternal security, are found in John 6 where Jesus says that those who believe (v 29, 35) in Him “shall never thirst” (v.35); He “will certainly not cast out” any believer (v.37) and He will “lose” none (v.39) and He “will raise him up on the last day” (v.40). In John 10 Jesus promises “eternal life” which is defined as “they shall never perish” and that “no one [not even the believer himself, who is ‘someone’] “shall snatch them out of my hand… [or] the Father’s hand” (v.28-29). The New Testament is full of these assurances of eternal security.

20. Galatians 2:16

21. Ryrie points out the simple truth that the Gospel is vertical--always from God, from the top down. When man tinkers with the Gospel, he always inserts his contribution (promissory works, pledges, commitments) from the bottom up (the 'Unfinished Gospel'). Ryrie writes, "The Direction Of The Gospel: We also must keep the direction of the Gospel clear...The direction is from Christ to me. It is never from me to Him. I do not offer Him anything. How could I?...In salvation I am always the recipient; the donee, never the donor. It I try to donate anything with respect to becoming a Christian, then I have added a work, and salvation is no longer solely and purely of grace. Keep the direction straight, and keep His grace unmixed with any work." Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL, 1989, p.39.

“...to add commitment of life to God's free salvation is to add human works...Salvation is either by God's grace or by human effort, commitment, or work. It cannot be by both, anymore than law and grace were both means of salvation in Paul's day. A promise to live for God and obey His Word is doing something more than receiving God's salvation, and to that degree, it is a human work, no matter how vociferously it is said not to be...promising Him complete surrender and dedication of one's entire life...involves human effort or work...Salvation is hardly a gift if the recipient must promise to surrender every area of his life as long as he lives to get it. Doesn't that involve doing something to at least partially deserve the "gift"? The Bible does not add surrender or obedience to the one condition of faith for salvation.” Robert P. Lightner, Sin, the Savior, and Salvation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, p.201, 203, 204, 211.

 "Eternal salvation is not about what man gives to God; it is about what God gives to man…(Rom 3:24)." J.B. Hixson, Freely By Grace, J.B. Hixson, Rick Whitmire and Roy B. Zuck, eds., 2012, Grace Gospel Press, Duluth, MN, p.187-88.

 "[God] justifies the sinner who does no more than believe in Jesus." Lewis Sperry Chafer and John F. Walvoord, Major Bible Themes, Revised Ed., 1974, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, p.183.

“Salvation in every dispensation and in every situation must be by faith and not by works…Not only works in general, but any meritorious work that humans may perform, is automatically eliminated as a basis for salvation. The grace of God depends on the work of Christ, not on the merit a person ,ight achieve by doing something worthwhile. Those who come to Christ for salvation come without any redeeming feature, and even faith is not regarded as a meritorious work but is a channel through which the grace of God can flow.” John F. Walvoord, Major Bible Prophecies, 1991, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, p.190-91.

22. John 6:37; 6:39; 10:28-29

23.  God sets us apart instantly into His Family when we are saved as a “new creation” in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), “created in Christ Jesus for good works, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Notice that FIRST we become saved “in Christ” (justification), and SECOND we walk in “good works” (sanctification). The importance of works in the life of a believer is not misplaced as an ‘aid’ to saving faith, it is Biblically placed as a walk of discipleship. "Good works in the life of the believer are terribly important, not to be saved, or to stay saved, but as a natural expression of gratitude to God for his great salvation." Robert P. Lightner, Evangelical Theology, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1986, p.213.


24. “Lordship-Gospel” refers to not only believing in Christ as the Son of God who died for our sins for salvation, but insists on adding the requirement of works bearing witness to the Lordship of Jesus in order to be saved. As previously mentioned above, the commonly used term for this teaching is the “Lordship-Gospel” as advocated and articulated by John MacArthur and many others in the Reformed Church. Lordship-Sanctification would be accurate, but never Lordship-Salvation (Gospel), since that mixes Works with Faith/Grace.

25. Ryrie uses a number of different quotes (what we herein term “7-Points”) from John MacArthur's writings. They are documented in Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Publishers, 1997, Chicago, IL, .p.43.

Lightner quotes Everett F. Harrison on the importance of not confusing Justification (Christ's Finish Line) with Sanctification (My Finish Line). This mixing of the two is fundamental to the problem of The Unfinished Gospel.

"True, a person who is justified by God's grace is sanctified positionally [saved], set apart to God at the moment of salvation. But that is when the Holy Spirit begins His work of ongoing sanctification, not finishes it. One follows the other. Discipleship starts at rebirth and should continue on after it. [emphasis his] Regeneration pertains to one's relationship to Christ as Savior from sin. Sanctification on the other hand pertains to one's relationship to Christ as his Lord and Master. In the new birth a person is made a new creation in Christ. In sanctification, he grows in that relationship." Everett F. Harrison as quoted by Robert P. Lightner, Sin, the Savior, and Salvation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, p. 212.

“This Lordship teaching fails to distinguish salvation from discipleship and makes requirements for discipleship prerequisites for salvation. Our Lord distinguished the two (Luke 14:16-33).” Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology, Victor Books, Wheaton, IL, 1986, p.339.

“We do works as a result of being saved, not in order to become saved.” [emphasis his] Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Vol. 3, Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN, 2004, p.271.

“We do not work in order to obtain salvation; we work because we have already been given it. God works salvation in us by His justification, and we work out our salvation through sanctification by His grace (Phil. 2:12-13).”  [emphasis his] Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Vol. 3, Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN, 2004, p.267.

"...obedience leading to good works is a natural result of saving faith but not a qualification for being saved.” Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Vol. 3, Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN, 2004, p.520.

Dillow refers to a typical statement of self-salvation by works promoted by Unfinished Gospel advocates: "We are to use all the resources at our disposal in order to be saved on the last day. We must obey, pray, resist the flesh and yield to the Spirit to inherit salvation. No theology is acceptable that diminishes this call to work out our salvation." Pointing out the error, Dillow observes: "Thus, one needs to make his actual obedience the necessary ingredient for obtaining heaven.” Joseph Dillow, Defense Of Free Grace Theology, Fred Chay, ed., Grace Theology Press, 2017, p.127-30.

“The TULIP Calvinists have misled many down a path that compromises the free grace of God by requiring obedient faith and evident works [works giving evidence that their 'saving-faith' was real] as proof of saving grace. These works must be demonstrated over a lifetime and until the end of life. While they declare that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, they also insist that faith is never alone--it always includes evident works making works necessary for salvation.” Charlie Bing, Grace Notes, Number 77, Grace Life Ministries, Burleson, TX.

26. “What does it mean to believe? Are there different kinds of faith—genuine faith, spurious faith, saving faith, sign faith, head faith, heart faith? Can I believe in Jesus and still not go to heaven?...There are different quantities of faith in the Bible, but not different qualities. Faith is faith…to say I must believe in Jesus and then wait around to look at the fruit in my life to see if I had enough faith or the right kind of faith…is not found in the Bible…It can get to the point that people spend so much time examining their faith to see if it was of the right quality or the right quantity that they wind up putting faith in their faith.” Anderson makes the point that Biblical faith has an object, and that object is not faith—it is “Jesus as God who will take away my sins,” and to believe that Biblical fact and promise “will open the gates of heaven.” David R. Anderson, Bewitched—The Rise of Neo-Galatianism, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p. 98-99.

“...saving faith is a simple equation--simple enough for a child to understand (cf. Mat18:3-5; Luke 18:15-17).” J.B. Hixson, Freely By Grace, J.B. Hixson, Rick Whitmire and Roy B. Zuck, eds., 2012, Grace Gospel Press, Duluth, MN, p.159.

 “…we have no conclusive evidence in the NT for different categories of faith. Different levels, yes; different categories, no. Faith is faith, real faith, genuine faith, through and through. It is true that not all faith in the NT is saving faith…Saving faith obviously needs to be tethered to the person and work of Jesus Christ. So we are not taking issue with the assertion that some faith in the NT is not saving faith. We are taking issue with the notion that some faith in Jesus as Savior in the NT is not saving faith. The NT knows of no sub-level or insufficient faith in Christ as Savior that does not save.” David R. Anderson, Free Grace Soteriology, Grace Theology Press, 2012, p. 183-4.

 J.B. Hixson reminds us that it was Jesus who taught the concept of “childlike Faith.” Hixson says, “Saving faith is actually quite simple. Jesus likened it to the faith of a child (Matt. 18:3-4; 19:14)…Remember, saving faith must be exclusively in Christ alone”. Then, Hixson quotes Charles Ryrie to make the important point that “works” continues to find its illicit partnership with faith; “Salvation is a free gift…Period. And yet the heretical doctrine of works goes on all around the world and always will…because the pride of men and women is so strong.” J.B. Hixson in Freely By His Grace, Classical Free Grace Theology, Grace Gospel Press, J.B. Hixson, Rick Whitmire, Roy B. Zuck, eds., 2012, p.36,159-60.

27. This is not the Faith of a Child. The UNFINISHED GOSPEL 'saves' a person this way; "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and commit to...

1. unconditional surrender

2. complete resignation of self

3. absolute submission

4. to forsake everything

5. leave sin

6. follow Jesus Christ at all cost

7. to come on those terms

…and you shall be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31—PLUS—7 “terms”, i.e., legalisms; obviously, only the bold-underlined part above is the actual Biblical part)

(These 7-“terms” are emblematic of the “Lordship” Gospel, and are a selection of those used by “Lordship” proponent John MacArthur, as quoted by Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Publishers, 1997, Chicago, IL, p.43)

CONTRADICTION: John MacArthur contradicts his own 7-point 'Believe- PLUS' list above in his well stated and correct comment on Matthew 18:3 about the childlike faith that saves a person. This is revealing since MacArthur’s 7-points above bear no resemblance to this MacArthur Study Bible note: “This is how Jesus characterized conversion. Like the Beatitudes, it pictures faith as the simple, helpless, trusting dependence of those who have no resources of their own. Like children, they have no achievements and no accomplishment to offer or commend themselves with.” John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, Word Publishing, Nashville, TN, 1997, p.2195.

Here is the Scripture: "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. "And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; ... one of these little ones who believe [pisteuo] in Me..." (Matthew 18:3-6)

Note that the same Greek word used for the Matthew 18:6 childlike "believe", [pisteuo], is used in salvation passages such as John 3:16 and Acts 16:31. Checkout the Concordance.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes [pisteuo] in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

"Believe [pisteuo] in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:31)

28. IIn this system you have absolutely no assurance of salvation until you have reached life’s conclusion. But the Bible has no such system and doesn’t saddle us with that burden: “The objective proof and assurance of salvation comes from God's promise of eternal life through Christ and the fact that a person believes in Christ according to that promise.” Charlie Bing, Grace Notes, Number 77, Grace Life Ministries, Burleson, TX.

29. The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer, Vol. 3, First Published in 1982 by: Crossway Books & Bibles, pp. 279-281.

“There are many commands to be obeyed by Christians, but to become a Christian only requires receiving the gift of eternal life from our Lord.” Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Publishers, 1997, Chicago, IL, p.101.

“[God] justifies the sinner who does no more than believe in Jesus.” [emphasis his] John F. Walvoord, Lewis Sperry Chafer's Major Bible Themes, revised edition, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1974, p.183.

“He brings life to sinners who are totally dead spiritually. He does this in response to and at the same time that the condition He prescribes for salvation is met--faith in His Son as substitute for sin.” Robert P. Lightner, Sin, the Savior, and Salvation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, p. 213.

"That assurance, according to [1 John 5:13] and many others, is for all those who simply believe in Christ." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.382.

"The gospel was God's means of saving souls and all he had to do was believe." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.387.

30. The Bible teaches that an unbeliever cannot perform any truly good work before he is saved (Romans 8:7-8; John 15:5). "But lordship or progressive sanctification can be committed to and experienced only by believers." [i.e., only in life's race to "My Finish Line"] Robert P. Lightner, Sin, the Savior, and Salvation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, p. 213.

31. Works can be added to Faith as a future IOU to help faith "save"--still this is faith (as a deposit) PLUS works (as a promissory note). Works may be trusted as future Fruit to validate one's faith as saving-faith--still, this is faith (incomplete)  PLUS works (now complete).

Even thoughts and intentions are often "works"; i.e., "I promise not to think adulterous thoughts", Mat. 5:21, in the same legal category as “I promise not to break the 7th Commandment”, or the Lordship-Salvation 7-Point “terms”, such as “I promise to leave sin and forsake everything”..

32. Ephesians 2:8-9 is emphatic: No Works “that no one should boast.” One may boast that he has never had an adulterous affair, but as we’ve seen, even thoughts can be "works"; i.e., "I promise not to think adulterous thoughts", Mat. 5:21. Law-keeping is not just ceremonial ritual, but also promises and pledges. In the Lordship-Gospel one may boast that “When I believed in Jesus I promised Him that from now on I would leave sin and forsake everything”. How is this different from the Catholic boasting that “When I believed in Jesus I promised Him that from now on I would keep the Seven Sacraments”? Or how does this differ from the Galatian believers making this boast: “When I believed in Jesus I promised Him that from now on I would obey the Jewish Law”. The Galatians were warned that this would constitute a False Gospel; a Gospel that they were trying to finish by the addition of works (Galatians 1-3). The UNFINISHED Lordship-Gospel, Catholic Sacramental Gospel and Galatians Judaizer Gospel all share this fact: They take present Faith and insert future Works by promises, pledges and commitments. A Works-I O U. Contradicting Ephesians 2:8-9, they can BOAST about MY PART in my salvation.


"The principle of salvation by grace through faith apart from works pervades the New Testament (John 3:16; 4:10; 20:31; Rom. 3:21-24; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-5; Rev. 22:17)." Charlie Bing, Grace Notes #82, Grace Life Ministries, Burleson, TX.


"The logical necessity of Calvinism is that works must prove salvation; "...the Calvinist's assurance is in God having predestined him to eternal life as one of the elect--and his performance [WORKS] plays a large part in helping him to know whether or not he is among that select group." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.377.


"Since...the genuineness of a man's faith can only be determined by the life that follows it, assurance of salvation becomes impossible at the moment of conversion" Zane Hodges, as quoted by Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.378.


"...our final salvation is made contingent upon the subsequent obedience which comes from faith." as per Lordship advocate John Piper, quoted by Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.378.


"...many Calvinists believe that the only way to make one's 'calling and election sure' (2 Peter 1:10) is not through faith but through good works." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.381.


Hunt points out that Calvinist consider they are among the elect if they have the works to prove it. Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.405.


"Neither salvation nor the assurance thereof is by works, nor can works be a sign of the reality of one's salvation or the means of providing assurance." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.411-12.


[In the vein of a ‘Works-IOU ] ' “James Montgomery Boice proposes the following salvation prayer for the prospective convert, modeled after a wedding ceremony. "I, sinner, take thee, Jesus, to be my Savior and Lord; and I do promise and covenant [MY PART, works] before God and these witnesses, to be thy loving and faithful disciple." Michael D. Halsey, Freely By Grace, J.B. Hixson, Rick Whitmire and Roy B. Zuck, eds., 2012, Grace Gospel Press, Duluth, MN, p.4.


 Dillow says, "But, if anything is plain from the New Testament, works have NOTHING to do with a person's arrival in heaven either as a cause or a condition." [Note: emphasis his; "cause" = faith PLUS works; "condition" = faith THAT works] Dillow then quotes these Scriptures (Rom. 11:6; 4:5; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7) and notes that "these passages make clear, one cannot mix faith and works in the plan of salvation and be faithful to the New Testament. If works are introduced, grace is no long grace." Joseph Dillow, Final Destiny, The Future Reign of the Servant Kings, Second Revised Edition, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p.593.


A saving-Faith THAT works, no matter how it is framed, does not equal Faith-without-works because still "...these works cause 'something' related to our final destiny." Joseph Dillow, Final Destiny, The Future Reign of the Servant Kings, Second Revised Edition, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p.600.


"Salvation is hardly a gift if the recipient must promise to surrender every area of his life as long as he lives to get it. Doesn't that involve doing something to at least partially deserve the "gift"? The Bible does not add surrender or obedience to the one condition of faith for salvation." Robert P. Lightner, Sin, the Savior, and Salvation, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, p. 211.


Works are not simply a prescribed legal-religious system: “[Works] is extended beyond the actual writings of the Mosaic system...[and] includes any human action which is attempted (whether in conformity to a precept of the Scriptures or not) with a view to securing favor with God...Therefore, whatever is undertaken in the energy of the flesh is legal in its nature, whether it be the whole revealed will of God, the actual written commandments contained in the law, the exhortations of grace, or any spiritual activity whatsoever.” John F. Walvoord, Lewis Sperry Chafer's Major Bible Themes, revised edition, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1974, p.191.


Paul's statements against works for salvation cannot be limited only to works of the [Mosaic] law...they extend equally to all kinds of meritorious good works...[in the famous "works" referenced passage of Eph 2:8-9] Paul explicitly addresses alienated Gentiles (Eph 2:11-12), and the Titus text (3:5-7) does not point to "works of the law" but rather "works of righteousness."...all moral works are "works of the law"...The simple truth is that no works of any kind merit salvation: Eternal life is a gift received only by faith (cf. John 3:16, 36; 5:24: Rom 6:23).” Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Vol.3, Sin-Salvation, Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN, 2004, p.268-70.

33. Anderson writes that “all the Old Testament saints, Tribulation saints, millennial saints—all must enter the gates of heaven through the blood of Christ. His death was retroactive for all who lived before the cross and forward acting for all those who have lived or live or will live after the cross.” David R. Anderson, Bewitched—The Rise of Neo-Galatianism, Grace Theology Press, 2015, p. 162.

“Salvation has always been by grace through faith in God's promised Savior. The essential content of the gospel has not changed, but it has been expanded as more information became known in the progress of revelation. In Old Testament times, people were saved by believing in God's provision of the coming divine Savior...by looking forward to the good news [Gospel].” Charlie Bing, Grace Notes #82, Grace Life Ministries, Burleson, TX.

34. The Greek word “believe” (pisteuo) that is used in “saving faith” passages like John 3:16 and Acts 16:31 and in the “child-like faith” passage of Matthew 18:6, is also the same unembellished word used for the Romans 4:1-5 Greek rendering of Genesis 15:6 and the faith (“believed”) that saved Abraham.

35. This is my descriptive term to identify the standard of belief MacArthur applies to a faith that saves.


36. Genesis 15:6; Psalms 106:31; Romans 4:3; 4:5; 4:9; 4:11; 4:22; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23


37. For proof of Solomon’s salvation see http://www.bibleprophecyaswritten.com/salvationbygrace/gracetothekings.html


Wayne House refers to Solomon along with Noah, Job, Abraham, Joseph and Moses as "These believers". H. Wayne House, Charts of Christian Theology And Doctrine, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1992, Chart 55, p.93.


Also many of Israel’s kings who had very imperfect lives were saved because the FINISHED GOSPEL is by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone; see bibleprophecyaswritten.com/Salvation by Grace/Grace to the Kings; Ryrie adds the Ephesian believers, Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, Moody Publishers, 1997, Chicago, IL, p.101-102; Benware adds David and Peter and others, Paul Benware, The Believer's Payday, AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN, 2002,  p.103-115; Dillow has a comprehensive list of very carnal Biblical people saved and kept secure by the Grace of God (as 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 establishes this reality when it describes the existence of “carnal believers”); Joseph Dillow, Defense Of Free Grace Theology, Fred Chay, ed., Grace Theology Press, 2017, Chapter 10.


38. Lot, Samson, and Solomon believed God, and "it was reckoned to them as righteousness", instantly and irreversibly. CHRISTS' FINISH LINE (His sacrifice on the Cross) was applied 'backwards' to them. So, in Christian-era terms, they were saved instantly and irreversibly at CHRISTS' FINISH LINE. At that moment they became 'WHO YOU ARE' in Christ, forever in God's Family. That is what "FINISHED" means. "It is finished" (John 19:30)—

1. They couldn't "fail" at salvation, because Christ can't fail, and it was His "race" and His "finish" that He gave to them as a Free Gift (Rev. 21:6; 22:17) through their unaided, simple belief. They became “Who You Are”—children of God in the family of God—forever.

2. But they could fail to always 'WALK LIKE WHO YOU ARE'. They failed at times miserably, sometimes over extended periods of time. When they reached their own 'YOUR FINISH LINE' they were received into heaven. There, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, they stand glorified and secure in their salvation forever. Their works completed at their Finish Line during their race-of-life are judged. Solomon, for example, will receive heavenly rewards for his works of gold, silver and precious stones during the early temple-building phase of his life. But he will receive loss of rewards for his works of worthless wood, straw and stubble during the extended latter-period of his life when he tread on God’s commandments, worshiped idols and multiplied his adulteries in a massive sinfest. Those many, many works of wood, straw and stubble will burn in deepest of ember and blackest of smoke, and Solomon “shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:15)

In the Bible works are not excluded--never for a moment--except at the moment of salvation. Charlie Bing writes "Romans 4:1-5 states that justification [salvation] is apart from works altogether, but Scripture teaches that sanctification depends on good works. Works are not a requirement for salvation, but should be a result. Works are not a condition for faith, but should be a consequence. Justification should lead to sanctification just as faith should lead to works, but the distinctions must be maintained. One should and might lead to the other, but they are not the same. Only faith alone upholds grace as a free gift of God (Rom. 4:16; Eph. 2:8-9)." Charlie Bing, Freely By Grace, J.B. Hixson, Rick Whitmire and Roy B. Zuck, eds., 2012, Grace Gospel Press, Duluth, MN, p.104.

"...there could be in the life of a particular person not one good work to indicate the reality of salvation, yet that person could be truly saved ...All of one's works could be consumed in the fire of God's testing of motives and deeds; yet that person not be lost, according to [1 Cor. 3:11-15], in spite of no outward evidence of salvation." Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, Loyal Publishing, Inc., Sisters, OR, 2002, p.412.