JUSTIFICATION WITHOUT SANCTIFICATION
The Church Today
If one were to suggest that the time would come when a group of evangelical Christians would be arguing for a salvation without repentance, without a change of behavior or lifestyle, without a real avowal of the lordship and authority of Christ, without perseverance, without discipleship, and a salvation which does not necessarily result in obedience and works, and with a regeneration which does not necessarily change one’s life, most believers of several decades ago would have felt such would be an absolute impossibility. But believe it or not, the hour has come. (A Layman’s Guide to the Lordship Controversy, p. 71, Richard P. Belcher).
The Kingdom of God
While the Kingdom of God was the central theme of all preaching in the New Testament, it has been virtually ignored by modern-day evangelists. This absence of Kingdom-centered evangelism has had devastating effects on the Western church and has now reached critical mass. An anthropocentric gospel of American individualism, which traces its roots back no farther than to the American frontier, has replaced the God-centered “gospel of the kingdom.” The deficiency is so great that most evangelists and professors of evangelism would be hard-pressed even to define the “gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 24:14; Mark 1:14). The result has been a watered-down message that has no power to change lives.
Why Teach Doctrine? There are many that feel that it is unnecessary, even divisive, to teach doctrine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bible doctrine is the truth of God’s Word, which needs to be taught. Jesus said, “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent Me” (Jn. 7:16). Paul said to Timothy, “But thou has fully known my doctrine, [and] manner of life…” (2 Tim. 3:10). Doctrine should lead to life, practice, and application. As believers we are told to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The Apostle Paul said, “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine… And shall turn away their ears from the truth” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
Level 1 Lesson 1
One of the most familiar passages of Scripture is John 3:16. It seems like everybody knows that verse from a young age, yet I believe it has really been misunderstood and misapplied. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
DISCIPLES OR CHRISTIANS
It may surprise you to know that Jesus never called anyone to be a Christian, rather his call was to be his disciple. In the book of Acts, people were not invited to be Christians, rather their call was to become Christ’s disciples.
Take your concordance and look up the word “Christian(s)” and then look up the word “disciple(s).” You are in for a shock! Look in the book of Acts and compare the word “Christian” to the word “disciple,” you’ll get the point!
In the Scripture the word disciple and disciples are used a total of 273 times. In all the Bible the word Christian and Christians is used a total of 3 times (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).
THE TWO-FOLD ASPECT OF THE CROSS: JUSTIFICATION AND SANCTIFICATION
The redemptive work of our Lord at the cross provided two aspects of salvation in relation to sin: (1) Salvation from God’s wrath – justification (See Romans 5:9), and (2) sanctification – the breaking of the power of indwelling sin (See Romans 7:23-25; 8:2).