Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”
I love that verse in Romans!!! A friend of mine told me that he remembers referencing that verse many times, while he attended the Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Most in leadership roles at that church made you doubt your salvation. Some leaders errantly taught as if there is no such thing as “growth in grace,” and they spoke as if the words “babes in Christ” in 1st Corinthians 3:1 were never in the Bible. And oh, they say if you backslide you were never a believer at all. The following quote was from their senior pastor, Chuck Phelps, after being questioned on what he taught about Zacchaeus' salvation on his Luke 19 message:
“I do believe, that genuine faith and salvation will ALWAYS be demonstrated by repentance and change (2nd Corinthians 5:17; James 2:20, 26)”When sharing the Gospel, we should always hammer home the eternal security of the believer, because there are MANY false prophets out there that can cause a born-again believer to doubt God's gift of salvation, or fall amongst the shallow soil or thorny weeds that choke Christian growth (Luke 8:11-15). I can’t tell you how many people I have run into that have been deceived by one of these enemies of the Gospel (i.e., Chuck Phelps, Marty Herron, Steve Pettit, John MacArthur, UNSHACKLED radio, Sam Horn, Gary Walton, Adrian Rogers, Charles Lawson, Ray Comfort, Joel Osteen, et cetera). There is no guarantee that a child of God will automatically live a changed life. The indwelling Holy Spirit produces fruit (Galatians 5:22-25), but ONLY if we CHOOSE to walk in the Spirit.
How miserable a life it must be for most these unsaved Bob Jones University (BJU) disciples who are constantly looking at their life, realizing that according to what the BJU false prophets teach that they are not “saved.” So they reform their life or commit to reforming and get “saved” then re-baptized et cetera. It’s a vicious cycle. The only people my friend saw baptized at the Colonial Hills Baptist Church were middle-age or older members who “realized they weren’t saved (according to corrupt unbiblical BJU standards) and also innocent children who attended church and hadn't been lied too.
It’s sad too, because there are saved people who attend Colonial Hills Baptist Church, but have been caught-up in the web of deception from that place. What we see going on in so many BJU affiliated churches today, is Model Train Car type religion. That is, they are assembling a Model Train Car display that looks great, but you couldn't actually take a ride on the train in real life. When I was a kid many fathers and sons had a Model Train Car set in their basement, mounted on a 4" x 8" piece of plywood. Hobby shops abounded across the country, where you could but everything you needed (grass, bushes, smoke for the engine, a depot, actually lighting lamp posts, et cetera) to build a realistic looking train set in your garage, attic or basement. That is what we see in most churches today. It is all for show!
Everyone polishes up the outside of the cup, looking their best, singing their best, taking sermon notes, acting like they sincerely desire truth. The sad thing is that those things are what the BJU crowd looks at to prove they are saved. It is a counterfeit Gospel. The BJU crowd are effectively keeping the law in order to prove that they are saved. The apostle Paul condemned this sinful behavior in Galatians 3:2-3, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
Paul is saying: “Look, you were saved by God's grace through faith, but then somewhere along the way you foolishly decided to start living a superficial Christian life in the flesh, to prove that you're faith is genuine and you're really saved by works.” You see, a group of false prophets (Judaizers) had infiltrated the churches of Galatia, errantly teaching the people that even though they had trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior, they were still obligated to be circumcized, live a holy life, turn away from their sinful behavior and do good works to get to Heaven. Those Bob Jones University (BJU) type false prophets said faith is not enough to be saved! So Paul rebukes them sharply in Galatians, letting them know that salvation is by FAITH WITHOUT WORKS!!! The life that we choose to live as redeemed saints has NOTHING to do with justification at the time of salvation, which is by God's grace alone.
And the godly life that we SHOULD live (Titus 2:12), must be lived through the SAME GRACE that saved us. In other words, Jesus lives the Christian life through us (Galatians 2:20). Anyone who falsely teaches that FAITH WILL WORK (which is Calvinism) is requiring keeping the law to be saved. No, you don't have to do WORKS to prove the reality of the genuineness of your faith. Pastor Chuck Phelps is preaching damnable junk theology, which infests the BJU camp like the deadly Bubonic Plague. You cannot talk sense or reason with them, because they are proud and arrogant in their false beliefs and ways. Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Anything can be justified. Remember that! Hitler in his own mind was justified to slaughter the Jews. Pol Pot in his own mind was justified in murdering millions of innocent Cambodians. And the Bob Jones University camp are justified in their own mind preaching the Devil's Lordship Salvation. BJU false prophets are justified in their own mind using, selling and promoting the Devil's false Bible versions. Faithful believers must stand against BJU. Faithful Bible preachers must expose and cry aloud against the apostate BJU camp. RIGHT DOCTRINE MATTERS!!!
Everything that we do to please God in the Christian life MUST be rooted in the same grace that saved us, otherwise it is just sinfully keeping the law:
Galatians 2:16-21, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 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. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
I love verse 18, which says when Christ saved us by faith, He destroyed the law's power over us. The moment I got saved at age 13, I became then and forever under God's grace. Now if I try to build again (by keeping the law to prove that my faith is real) the things that Christ destroyed, then I am just proving that I am not saved and never was. Paul makes this clear in Galatians 5:4, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” We have already been declared justified (JUST-IF-I'D never sinned) in the sight of almighty God by faith, and that imputed righteousness of God by faith will also include a new immortal perfect body at the Rapture, incapable of sinning anymore (1st Corinthians 15:51-58). In other words, our total righteousness is found only in Christ by faith.