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Straw Men and Salvation, Part 2 (Understanding God's Great Salvation #7)

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

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The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9: "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."

Today's quote is from Horatius Bonar. He said: "The gospel is the proclamation of free love; the revelation of the boundless charity of God. Nothing less than this will suit our world; nothing else is so likely to touch the heart, to go down to the lowest depths of depraved humanity, as the assurance that the sinner has been loved -- loved by God, loved with a righteous love, loved with a free love that makes no bargain as to merit, or fitness, or goodness."

Our topic today is titled "Straw Men and Salvation (Part 2)" from the book, "So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ" by Dr. Charles Ryrie.

The second straw man deals with carnality in a believer's life. It goes like this: A carnal Christian is someone who is saved but who shows nothing of the outworking of his salvation. Or, a true believer can be carnal all of his Christian life and never produce fruit.

What makes this a straw man are phrases like "shows nothing" or "all of his Christian life." That a Christian can be characterized as carnal cannot be denied, simply because the text of 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 says there were carnal believers at Corinth. Paul addresses these people as "brethren" and "babes in Christ" in verse 1, then he describes them as "men of flesh" and "fleshly" in verses 1 and 3. So there were carnal or fleshly Christians in Paul's day.

What characterizes such Christians? Paul says they walk as mere men, that is, like unsaved people. That does not mean that they were in fact not believers; Paul addresses them as believers...

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