Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
This Bible verse (our text passage above) is oftentimes misquoted in a foolish attempt to justify “Lordship” salvation. I learned a great truth about Bible study from Pastor Curtis Hutson (1935-1995). You never use an obscure passage of Scripture to contradict a clear one. We have the entire Gospel of John and Romans 4:1-7 which very plainly teach that salvation is obtained freely by God's undeserving grace through childlike faith WITHOUT WORKS in Jesus Christ. A man's faith is counted for righteousness (Romans 4:5). Did you understand that: A MAN'S FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!
Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
I marvel that in view of such plain Bible passages that Calvinists (which includes the "Lordship" salvation crowd) would also require that a person prove the reality of their faith by living a faithful Christian life. What saith the Scripture? ...
Romans 4:3-7, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”
So what does the Bible mean in Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Does this verse teach that we cannot be saved unless we forsake a lifestyle of sinning? No, absolutely not, because that would be WORKS! This verse speaks to Christians, not to the unsaved. Getting saved is a legal matter. We are all guilty of breaking God's commandments in the Old Testament (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:19-20). There is a penalty for sin, which is death (Romans 6:23). This includes the second death in fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8). But God is His love made a way of escape through the cross of Calvary. God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world. Jesus lived a sinless life and didn't deserve to die. But Jesus died on the cross to pay our debt of sin. He was buried. Three days later He resurrected from the dead bodily by the power of God. This is the Gospel, the Good News (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Anyone who BELIEVES this Good News is forgiven and has eternal life.
There is something irresistibly tempting to the carnal mind that wants to contribute in some way to God's plan of salvation. Pastor Jack Hyles made these great statements:
“More people will die and burn in Hell, because they're trusting too much!” —Pastor Jack Hyles, “Yea, Yea, And Nay, Nay!”“Everything that's hard and complicated about salvation is God's side of it!” —Pastor Jack Hyles, “Yea, Yea, And Nay, Nay!”
The Gospel is very delicate and easily corrupted. Getting saved is very easy, free and simple. Jesus said in John 10:9 that getting saved is as easy as going through a door, and He is the Door. In John 4:13-14 Jesus told the Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well that getting saved is as easy as drinking water, and He is the Water of Life. Jesus said in John 6:51 that getting saved is as easy as eating a piece of bread, and He is the Bread of Life.
Yet, tragically, wicked religious men like Evangelist Ray Comfort complicate the Gospel, saying foolish untrue things like this:
“So if the plane goes down, you'd end up in Hell! There are two things you have to do to be saved. Do you remember what they are? I told you what they are—You've got to repent and trust the Savior! ... God's offering you everlasting life upon your repentance and faith in Christ. Who in his right mind wouldn't say, 'Whoa! That's a good offer!' (The curious woman asks what it means to “repent”?)... Have you ever said you're sorry to someone you did something wrong to? That's all repentance is—You've sinned against God; it's a matter of saying, 'God, I'm sorry,' and then LIVING A LIFESTYLE that proves the reality of your repentance. That's what repentance is, it's a continual thing! God, 'I'm sorry, but I'm not going going to lie or steal or blaspheme Your name ever again. It has that attitude! And the second thing—trust in Jesus!” [emphasis added] —Evangelist Ray Comfort, “I've never killed anyone” (MP3 clip from video).
Does the Bible require “LIVING A LIFESTYLE” to get to Heaven? Is that what the new birth is all about. Let me ask you a question friend—do you have to live any certain way to prove the reality that you are alive as a human being? No, that would be absurd. A human being is either alive or dead. You are either born-again or not saved at all. You don't need to LIVE A LIFESTYLE to prove that you are a child of God. The very idea that a believer needs to do good works to know that they are saved is of the Devil. If you have to look at your life to prove that you're saved, it just proves that you're not! I know I am saved because I believe the Gospel, and God promises to save them that believe (Romans 1:16; 1st Corinthians 1:21).
One of my favorite free grace Gospel preachers is Pastor A. Ray Stanford (1916-2012):
"Any teaching that demands a change of conduct toward either God or man for salvation is to add works or human effort to faith, and this contradicts all Scripture and is an accursed message (Gal. 1:8-9; Deut. 27:18). Study the book of Galatians." —REPENTANCE, Pastor A. Ray Stanford, Chapter 6, 'HANDBOOK OF PERSONAL EVANGELISM'
Again, this following Bible verse does not apply to getting saved. Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” If you were required to show forth a desire to stop sinning, or make a commitment to do better and turn away from sinful ways to be saved, then salvation could not be a gift. A gift must remain truly free or else it simply cannot be a “gift.” Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Somehow preachers foolishly think that God's gift is different than a human gift. What if I gave you a birthday gift, with the stipulation that you must stop doing certain things that I don't like? Would that truly be a gift? No, no way, it would be an exchange, a trade. Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001) made this helpful observation...
“Repentance will not make you see Christ; but to see Christ will give you repentance. You may not make a Christ out of your repentance, but you must look for repentance to Christ. The Holy Ghost, by turning us to Christ, turns us from sin. Look away, then, from the effect to the cause, from your own repenting to the Lord Jesus, who is exalted on high to give repentance.” [emphasis added] —Pastor Charles Spurgeon; “All Of Grace,” Chapter 11 - “Alas! I Can Do Nothing”
“God has a special rebuke, again and again and again in the Bible, toward those people who keep their neutrality in the work of God!” —SOURCE: Dr. Jack Hyles, a quote from the great MP3 sermon, “Where Were You In The Battle?”
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