Four Perversions of
doctrine of grace demands that God's offer of eternal life is
a free gift, based solely on faith in Christ, and apart from
any work or the law. (Romans 3:28, 11:6-7, Ephesians 2:8-9)
Those who would deny or pervert the doctrine of grace attempt
to introduce the performance of works, the promise of works,
or the evidence of works into the equation of eternal
salvation offered freely through Jesus Christ. There are four
perversions of grace whereby works are either overtly or
subtly introduced into the question of salvation. They are
defined and categorized below in their respective relationship
to one another. In Galatians 1:7, St. Paul flatly states that
introducing works into the question of eternal salvation is a
"perversion" of the Gospel.|
Basic Salvation by Works
person must actually perform some religious act or good work
as a prerequisite for gaining eternal
- Water baptism as a prerequisite for
- Public confession of Christ as a prerequisite for
perversion of the gospel would be equivalent to being required
to make a cash down payment before being granted the "deed" to
your eternal life.
of eternal security)
Salvation once attained must be maintained by
obedience to God's laws.
- "Serious" sin (such as sins of sex or violence) will
result in loss of eternal life.
- Apostasy (departure from the Christian faith) will
result in loss of eternal life.
doctrine would be equivalent to requiring the convert to pay a
monthly "rent" to retain his deed to salvation. He does not
own his salvation outright, he is a renter. If he misses a
payment, he loses his deed.
This usually follows basic salvation by works. If
works are necessary to get saved, it logically follows that
they are necessary to stay
Lordship Salvation requires that a person
"repent of his sins" or "make Christ the Lord of his life" or
"make a personal commitment to Christ" in order to be saved.
Unlike"basic salvation by
works," the actual work need not be
performed prior to gaining eternal life. However, the
perform future good works must be real and
Lordship salvation is equivalent to offering God a
late-dated check or "I.O.U." in exchange for salvation. An
actual payment in cash is not needed, only a good faith
promise or resolution concerning future payment. God is
willing to offer eternal life "on credit" as it were so long
as the repentant sinner promises a future payment of good
works whenever the note comes due.
Lordship salvation redefines the word grace.
In the Bible, grace is the
God to offer eternal life freely. In lordship salvation, grace
is redefined as a divine substance
infused in the sinner to strengthen
him or enable him to "repent of his sins" and "follow Christ."
This infusion of "grace" (redefined as some mystical
empowering substance) is said to be sovereign of God, and not
dependent on human works. "Grace" is therefore said to be
free, but salvation requires good works! This is theological
The Perseverance of the
- Genuine saving faith will always produce visible
results in a person's life.
- Therefore, serious or habitual sin would
constitute proof that true conversion was never experienced
- that the person was"never
- Since at any moment anyone many
backslide into serious or habitual sin, thereby "proving"
that he was "never really saved," no one can be absolutely
sure that they are saved.
- Assurance of one's salvation therefore is not
derived from one's certainty of his faith in Christ, but
circumstantially from evidence of one's changed life.
Assurance can never be absolute.
faith is like a "trick ball" put under a magician's magic cup.
The magician claims to place a white ball under the cup when
one's faith is authentic, and a black ball when it is not. At
the end of one's life, the magician lifts up the cup to
examine the ball. For those who have persevered in good works,
the ball will be white. For those who have not, the ball will
be black. Of course, the magician claims that the ball's color
was determined at the initial moment of faith. But by some
feat of magic, the ball always turns out to be the same color
as the works that take place in the months and years
following that profession of faith! This is a theological
Perseverance and lordship salvation are part of
the same system. If a sinner's turning from his sins were
truly the result of God's "grace," this change would
supposedly continue unabated throughout the believer's
lifetime. The redefining of the word "grace" together with the
linking of the lordship salvation and perseverance doctrines
is drawn directly from Thomas Aquinas'Summa Theologica, Part I of the Second part, Questions 109-114;
"Treatise on Grace."Although it is
the very essence of Roman Catholic theology, it now
flourishes in evangelical