Easy Believism

From the Archives: A Critique of "Easy Believism"

Reprinted from Faith Pulpit (March/April 2008).

“Easy believism,” as I am using this term, refers to a position held by those who define saving faith purely as intellectual agreement with the statement, “Jesus is the Son of God, and He promises eternal life to all who believe in Him.” This point of view is associated with the Grace Evangelical Society and particularly the writings of Robert Wilkin, Zane Hodges, Joseph Dillow, and J. D. Faust. In order to evaluate this point of view, we need to consider the following issues.

The Role of the Law in Evangelism

In Romans 1:16 and 17 we notice the following truths:

1. The gospel is not salvation. It is the power of God unto salvation. The gospel concerns God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (v. 3) Who died and was raised from death (v. 4). The gospel, the good news, describes what God did by sending His Son as a sacrifice for our sins and raising Him from the dead.

2. Salvation focuses attention on the benefits of the gospel and includes, among other things, justification (Rom. 3:21–26; 4:1–8; 5:9), reconciliation (Rom. 5:1, 10), regeneration (being dead to sin and alive to God; Rom. 6:1–11; 8:2), victory over known sin through the Holy Spirit’s power (Rom. 8:12, 13), and guaranteed glorification to all who are truly justified (Rom. 8:30).

3. Salvation is given to all who believe.

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“Free Grace” Theology & Matthew 7:21-23

From The Cripple Gate. Reposted by permission of the author.

“Free Grace” is the label commonly given to a theological system founded by the late Zane Hodges and currently promoted, among others, by Bob Wilkin and The Grace Evangelical Society. According to “Free-Grace” theology (hereafter FG), genuine conversion does not necessarily result in a spiritually transformed life, for FG advocates affirm that someone can believe in Christ and yet show forth absolutely no fruit whatsoever in terms of obedience to God or love for Christ. Put another way, they believe in a regeneration that may or may not result in progressive sanctification. Most times, they say, it does not.

Many FG teachers would go so far as to say that if someone were to believe in Christ for a fleeting moment and then immediately recant of that belief and live out the rest of his life as a Christ-rejecting atheist who never obeys the Lord, that individual is a true child of God and will some day be in heaven. In other words, rather than recognizing that such an individual did not truly believe in Christ to begin with (1 John 2:19), Free-Gracers would affirm that person’s faith and conversion as genuine, for regeneration is no guarantee that one will persevere in the faith.

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