You Don't “Turn From Your Sin” To Be Saved
By David J. Stewart | June 2020
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.”
There is a deadly teaching that is very popular today in churches. It is the false idea that a person must “turn from your sins” to receive the gift of eternal life from God. Unfortunately, a church is not really a “church,” just as the Bible says “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6), who teach this counterfeit gospel. The Bible is very plain that salvation is by faith alone in the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
One of my favorite Christian authors is Michael P. Bowen, who wrote a beautiful book in defense of salvation by faith alone. The book is titled: “I Never Knew You.” I went and did my laundry today at 4 am at a local 24 hour Laundromat. It's nice and quiet at that time. I keep a hard copy of Michael's book in my car, which I read every time I go do my laundry (about once every 6 months...lol). Okay, maybe not quite that long. I can't think of anything I hate as much as doing laundry. I would rather just keep buying new clothes than do laundry...lol. Anyway, I read some encouraging words today in chapter 8, “The Plan Of Salvation According To Beth Moore.” Brother Bowen states on pages 83-84:
Christ separates the human race into two specific categories: 1) those who believe, and 2) those who believe not. If you have trusted Him alone as your savior, you will never stand before the Great White Throne Judgement, i.e., you will never have to answer for your crimes and you will never be sentenced to the lake of fire. On the other hand, if you have not trusted Jesus Christ alone as your savior, you are already condemned. You will face the horror of the Great White Throne Judgement. You will be sentenced by Christ to the eternal lake of fire.
While I appreciate what Beth Moore has done for so many people, and I am behind her all the way in continuing to help as many people as she possibly can through both bible and popular psychological concepts that provide real encouragement and healing in these desperate, uncertain times, Moore’s plan of salvation will not save anyone because the addition of “turning from sins” to singular, simple faith in Christ is not the plan of salvation according to the bible. Look at this: “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39). Here, God is speaking through Paul. Paul did not write the book of Acts, rather, God wrote Acts “through” Paul. God is literally telling us that we are made righteous through faith alone in what Christ did for us by His death and subsequent resurrection from the dead, and that deeds of the law, such as “turning from sins” will not justify us. Neither will any combination of partial faith in Christ coupled with partial faith in turning from your I Never Knew You sins save you. By implication, “believing on Christ” always refers to the fact of what He did for us at Calvary. The gospel message is the same throughout all of scripture. Those in the Old Testament looked “forward” to what Christ would do for them, and everyone from the time of Christ’s resurrection to this very day look “backward” to what Christ accomplished for us by His finished work at Calvary. The gospel message of Jesus Christ, i.e., the “plan of salvation according to Jesus Christ,” is always the same and it never changes. This message is: 1) we cannot save ourselves, 2) Jesus died for our sins, 3) His dead body was buried, and 4) Jesus arose from the dead three days later.
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:10-13).
Reader, of the two plans of salvation presented to you in this chapter, one of them has no power to save. You will either trust one plan or the other. One supplies the necessary grace that it takes to credit you with His righteousness, and the other one does not. It matters not which one appears to be more lovely; the only thing that matters is that one is genuine and the other one is counterfeit. My prayer for you is that God will help you see the difference between the two and that He will help you to choose the only one that He will honor. If you trust in any other plan of salvation that is offered to you by anyone other than Christ Himself, God says that you will be cast into the eternal lake of fire:
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in I Never Knew You 85 the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" Revelation 20:11-15).
SOURCE: Michael P. Bowen; “I Never Knew You,” Chapter 8: “The Plan Of Salvation According To Beth Moore”
Amen and amen! I have no doubt that Beth Moore is sincere, but what saith the Scripture? Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” It seems “right” that a person should have to turn from their sins, if they expect God's forgiveness and pardon for those sins. That does seem reasonable, right? Of course it does, to any sane person. However, that is not God's plan of salvation for man. This is where so many religious people go wrong on salvation!
God expects every believer to turn from his or her sins BECAUSE we are saved, not as part of GETTING saved. If you add the requirement to “turn from your sin” to the Gospel, you have perverted it horribly! 2nd Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” We are supposed to forsake our sins because WE ARE SAVED, not to GET SAVED. Ephesians 2:10b says that God saves unto “UNTO GOOD WORKS,” not BY GOOD WORKS! If you are a Christian you SHOULD live for Christ; not MUST (that is works); not WILL (that is Calvinism).
Dear reader, beware of anyone who tells you that you must “turn from your sins” to receive the free gift of eternal life. Sadly, Bob Jones University preaches this heresy today. BJU trains thousands of religious workers for the next generation. Our nation is literally going to Hell because of false teachers who have infiltrated our Bible colleges and churches, wrestling the Scriptures to their own destruction (and all the victims they take with them). You cannot show me even one Scripture that says “turn from sin” or “repent of sin” concerning salvation.
You don't have to “turn from your sin” or “repent of your sin” to receive God's free gift of eternal life. That is why it is a gift! Jesus paid for our sins with His blood (1st Peter 1:18-19). Turning from one's sins sounds good to a religious person. In our own feeble human understanding, it makes sense that a person should be willing to turn away from their wrongdoing as a condition of being pardoned; but you are forgetting one big thing dear advocate of Lordship Salvation, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6-8). I have heard countless stories of people who wanted to be saved, but declined when someone like Evangelist Ray Comfort errantly told them that they must “live a lifestyle of turning from sin” to receive God's free gift. How strange is that? I mean, if something is a free gift, then you ought not have to do anything to get it, right? Absolutely right! Great fluffy biscuits in the morning right! I love candy orange slices right! The problem is that many churchgoers are following religious teachers instead of the inspired Word of God in the King James Bible!!! Jesus said “SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES” (John 5:39), not follow the changing convictions of your home Bible college, and subsequently the associated churches. Professed Christians today need a revival of the love of THE TRUTH (2nd Thessalonians 2:10)!
We often talk about “our salvation,” but it is really God's salvation. In the Old Testament book of Psalms, we find the words “thy salvation” mentioned 21 times. The psalmist knew that salvation is of the Lord. That is why we read in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” This is why we read in Romans 10:3-4, “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” We are saved solely by GOD'S IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS!!! This happens by faith alone. The only reason I am going to Heaven is because I am relying upon what Jesus Christ did to pay for my sins through the cross of Calvary. Christ died on the cross, was buried into a sealed tomb, and after being dead for three days, miraculously physically resurrected. This is “the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
I didn't give up my sins to get saved at age 13. I wasn't told I need to be willing to turn from my sins to be saved. I didn't repent of my sins to get saved. I have never tried to turn from my sins as part of saving faith!!! I try to live right with God's help, because I love Jesus as His redeemed child. John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Living right is a matter of keeping our spiritual priorities right because we love the Lord, and not a matter of proving that we really repented to receive God's free gift of eternal life. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. Jesus is precious!!!
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