Friday, January 10, 2014

Do "Good Works/Fruits" Validate Salvation?

The following was written by a friend of mine who I have done some video work for. He is a fantastic speaker and theologian and illusionist. In the past he was big into Reformed Theology/Calvinism/Lordship and listened to and read tons of John MacArthur's sermons and books. He then later came to believe in what the bible teaches about salvation, rather than what man teaches about it. I strongly urge you to check out his website

As I said, he wrote all of the following and I claim no rights to it. Enjoy!

Fruits of a Believer to Validate Salvation or Could a Believer be 100% Devoid of Any Fruits After Being Justified?

By René A. López, PhD

The Bible never teaches that fruits should be used to validate someone's justification. Of course, someone will read this and think of a number of passages that they believe explains such views. However, on careful inspection of them, they are not referring to using fruits to validate one's justification by faith alone in Christ which results in one getting justified at God's tribunal, which means "to be declared 100% righteous at that point in time forever, 'not' up to a point in the future. Some of these passages used to validate these misguided interpretations are Matthew 7:15-21 and Jas. 2:14-26. For a thorough treatment of these passages see the articles in www.scripture

However, having said that, there are other people that believe Christians can go all their lives w/o having any fruit at all. I don't believe the Bible ever teachers that, and neither has that animal—figuratively speaking—has ever existed. Part of the problem with both of these views, incorrectly taken by some, is that they become the arbitrar of what exhaustively determines "good fruits." Not only that, such folks also become the judge of where and when should such fruits appear. Look, just like the Bible never draws the line on how much fruits, or lack thereof, bands one from entering the kingdom (again some folks use 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; and Eph. 5:5-7, but for treatment on these passages which I wrote my dissertation on see, neither does it say that people after receiving Christ can be 100% evil (something that also does not exist—even in Satan who practices evil but of necessity having to do some things good in order to promote his kingdom and agenda, since evil employed at 100% level would cancel itself out—search below where I have written on this). Furthermore, for someone to say a Christian can go his entire life w/o having a single fruit, that person would have to have spent all, and I mean all of his entire life with that person. This is something that no one has done either. Similar to the argument of atheism, which does not exist. That is, someone claiming to be an atheist has had to have gone to every place in the universe to be able to claim that w/absolute certainty. No one has or will be able to do that on this side of heaven, Hence, the best such people could claim is to be an agnostic (he/she may not be sure that God exist). Hence, no one can claim a believer can go his entire life w/o ever having had fruits. This is bizarre to say the least.

So, in conclusion, let it never be said that "fruits" validate whether one is or is not a believer (although knowing that one professes faith in Christ people that know a little expect this to be manifested in their life, as John 15 and 1 John argues). Let it also never be said that a believer can go an entire life w/o having any fruits, for no one has hung around that long with a person to claim that from experience and God's Word does not teach that either.

Be careful what paradigms we seek defend, because in our zeal we may be placing grids on the Bible and forcing it to say what it does not. Check your interpretive methods so that you can correctly unlock Scripture.

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