Paul's Passing Thoughts

Ten Principles: Contrasting Protestantism with Biblicism

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on March 20, 2017

This article is published in response to the following comment on a previous post from “Susan”.

“Do you have a ten point counter comparison somewhere? I am thinking a side-by-side chart of: This is the false Protestant gospel and this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I might (in my spare time) make something up like that to better see truth and error side by side. Just a thought.”

As you requested, Susan!

Protestantism

Biblicism

1.  Justification as a “forensic declaration” is a righteousness defined BY the law Justification is righteousness APART from the law.
2.  Justification is only a declaration. Justification is a state of being that results from being the born again offspring of the Father.
3.  The Protestant goal of magnifying grace in the Christian life demands more sin so that grace may abound. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” ~ Romans 6:1-2

“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” ~ Romans 6:15

4.  The promise of joy resulting in magnifying ongoing grace (salvation) as a result of “deep repentance” is a rejoicing in evil. “Love…thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:5,6
5.  Fulfillment of the law by Christ which is then imputed to the “believer” makes the law a co-life-giver with God, but “God is one.” The fulfillment of the law does not make believers righteous. Believers are righteous FIRST through the New Birth. The law is then fulfilled in believers because a single act of love fulfills the whole law. (Romans 8:4, 13:8, Galatians 5:14, 6:2, James 2:8)
6.  A law that can only condemn and lead one back to the cross cannot be utilized to love. Hence, the “believer’s” ability to love is circumvented. A believer has a new relationship to the law which allows him to aggressively pursue obedience and show love to God and others without fear of condemnation.
7.  It makes salvation a reward for perpetually returning to the cross rather than a gift. There is a distinction between the gift of salvation and rewards, the wages paid to believers (distributed at the Bema Judgment) for good works done in this life. (1 Corinthians 3:8, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Colossians 3:24; Hebrews 11:6)
8.  The so-called “believer” necessarily remains a slave to unrighteousness in order to magnify the cross. Believers are no longer enslaved to the Sin-master because the old man has died. The new man is a bond-slave to righteousness (his new nature) but, because of the weakness of the flesh, might fail to show love through obedience (still without being condemned).
9.  The “believer” is unable to obey the biblical command to put sin to death; that would circumvent a “greater sense of one’s sin” which supposedly magnifies grace. Sin only has power over someone when there is a law to empower it. The believer is freed from the power of sin (and to obey its lusts) because the law’s power to condemn has been ended. The believer co-operates with the Holy Spirit in sanctification to “mortify” the members of his body to use them for holy purposes.
10.  Sanctification is the “growing” part of salvation that must also be lived by “faith alone” in order to maintain justification.   Believers do not perform works of love but only subjectively “experience” Jesus doing works of love through them. The biblical goal of sanctification is to utilize one’s body for making holy sacrifices of love to God and others.
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12 Responses

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  1. John said, on March 21, 2017 at 3:19 PM

    Protestantism is an ingrown toenail in the brain.

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  2. konroh said, on March 25, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    Are you familiar with Free Grace theology? A lot of what you call Biblicism is in this same vein.

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    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on March 25, 2017 at 12:58 PM

      We are very familiar with the “free grace” crowd. It is still a sect of protestantism and it is still based on progressive justification. Paul’s Passing Thoughts has written articles addressing “free grace”.

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      • konroh said, on April 1, 2017 at 4:55 AM

        Progressive justification? Do you mean to say progressive sanctification? Because I would say there’s a distinction between these two, and Free Grace would definitely never agree with the term progressive justification.

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      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on April 1, 2017 at 1:13 PM

        All of protestantism teaches that Jesus keeps the law for us and His righteousness is a covering. If one’s salvation needs to be maintained by such a covering, that’s progressive justification.

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      • konroh said, on May 22, 2017 at 5:02 AM

        Which FG theology are you talking about? Because no one from GES or FGA would say that we need to maintain the covering of Christ’s righteousness. Free Grace theology is progressive sanctification, not progressive justification.

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      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on May 22, 2017 at 10:56 AM

        “no one from GES or FGA would say that we need to maintain the covering of Christ’s righteousness.”

        I found the following on the Free Grace Alliance “Mission and Beliefs” (http://www.freegracealliance.com/about-us/covenant/)

        “The sole means of receiving the free gift of eternal life is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose substitutionary death on the cross fully satisfied the requirement for our justification.”

        “Justification is the act of God to declare us righteous when we believe in Jesus Christ alone.”

        According to your above comment and the statements from the FGA website:
        1. Whether or not you believe that it needs to be maintained, the FGA believes that righteousness is still a “covering”.
        2. FGA believes that believers have the righteousness of Christ imputed to them.
        3. It is interesting that FGA uses the expression “satisfy the requirement for our justification”. The implication is that the requirement is a perfect law-keeping, which Jesus satisfied according to this statement. This is not a righteousness apart from the law.
        4. FGA believes that believers are only “declared righteous” instead of righteous as a state of being. If righteousness is a legal declaration, then this is not a righteousness apart from the law.

        So the FGA, just like authentic Protestantism and reformed orthodoxy, makes the standard for righteousness a perfect law-keeping. This means that according to the FGA’s own belief statements, believers are still under law, contrary to the Biblical teaching that righteousness is apart from the law (Romans 3:21,28).

        This is the very reason why we here at PPT and TANC ministries take issue with the FGA and GES.

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      • konroh said, on October 12, 2017 at 5:16 PM

        It’s interesting that you have an issue with justification being law-keeping. It’s not law-keeping on our part, it’s the fact that Jesus as the perfect God-man who did happen to keep the Law, died for our sins. It seems you are agreeing with the Eastern Orthodox perspective and take issue with the idea of “declared righteousness” as a nominal concept divorced from actuality. But in no sense is a forensic, legal declaration devoid of actual reality. I agree we shouldn’t just say “nominally, positionally declared righteous.” We are actually righteous by both nature and in God’s perspective.

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      • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on October 12, 2017 at 6:05 PM

        I will let Andy speak for himself, but until then, I would say its justification by new birth, not law.

        “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
        ~ Galatians 2:21

        “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” ~ Galatians 3:21

        “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” ~ Romans 3:20

        “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.” ~ Galatians 2:16

        Get it? It doesn’t matter who keeps the law, the issue is the law period…it can’t give life or justify regardless of who keeps it. BUT, if the new birth changes our relationship to the law, and it does, and we fulfill it through love without fear of condemnation, and we do, then why would Jesus have to keep the law of sin and death perfectly to begin with? Why would He keep a law perfectly that He knew we were going to die to? Why would He fulfill a law that can’t give life to begin with? Why would He fulfill a law that He came to end?

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      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on October 12, 2017 at 6:37 PM

        Thanks Paul, I couldn’t have put it any better myself.

        Like

  3. Susan said, on March 28, 2017 at 7:41 PM

    Awesome, Paul. Thank you. You have no idea how much of a help this website has been to me. Intuitively, I had sensed something was “wrong” in what was being taught from the pulpit and what was being written in Christian books, blogs, etc. But until I found this place, I did not know what was “wrong.” You have enabled me to connect a whole series of dots and put into place a great number of the puzzle pieces. It has been a lot to process at once — suddenly realizing that a good portion of what I believed to be truth was not truth.

    I am amazed at how many of my “Christian” friends are oblivious. Literally, I have been told: what does it matter what we believe? We are Christian. We believe. When I ask, “What do you believe?” I get talking points from celebrity pastors and slogans. And I get: All “truth” is truth. Words don’t matter. Or alternatively, words mean whatever we want them to mean. Doctrine doesn’t matter. It’s all about relationship. You know, Jesus. Spiritual not religious. Don’t criticize what God is blessing. Love and tolerance and unity.

    The difficult part about this process is that not everything I learned was false or wrong — truth was mixed along with the lies. The goal, of course, is to keep what is true, discard what is false and supplement the truth with additional truths (that were omitted or disregarded or missed). Obviously Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I am on the road to “recovery.” Yes, the chart comparison is exactly what I was looking for. Hopefully others will be helped by it too. I am printing it out for reference. Thank you and God Bless.

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