Repent of Sin Front Loading Gospel False Teaching of Ligonier.org

Why is it always the biggest ministries in the world that we need to be wary of. The false teaching today is from RC Sproul’s Ligonier.org website, in its “Statement of Faith”. My comments in blue.

Ligonier Ministries adheres to the ancient statements of faith (the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Creed of Chalcedon) and affirms the historic Christian faith as expressed in the five solas of the Reformation and the consensus of the historic Reformed confessions (Westminster Standards, Three Forms of Unity, and 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith).

The Bible

The Bible, in its entirety, is the infallible, inerrant, and inspired Word of God; it is divine revelation that carries the full weight of God’s authority and to which we are obliged to submit.

The Trinity

Within the Godhead, there is a unity of three distinct yet fully divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin upon hearing the Word of God and the Good News, which leads to repent (change our mind about trusting in self), and trust on God’s plan of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the mediator between man and God. He is the truth, the way, and the life, as it states in John 14:6. There is only one path to Almighty God, and it is through Christ.

God

God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. God is fully omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, not given to learning or “openness.”

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man, having two natures inseparably united in one divine person without confusion, mixture, separation, or division. Each nature retains its own attributes. In the incarnation, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a perfect life among us, was crucified, dead, and buried, rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment. He is the only Mediator between God and man.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is of one substance with the Father and the Son. He eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son, and He dwells in the hearts of believers, effecting their regeneration monergistically and operating in their sanctification synergistically.

Creation

God, by the word of His power, created from nothing the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. He further preserves and governs all His creatures and all their actions according to His most holy, wise, and powerful providence.

Man

After God made the other creatures, He created man, both male and female, in His own image, but because Adam sinned and woefully fell in his responsibility, he and his posterity entered into a state of moral corruption and moral inability and became estranged from their Creator, thus deserving death as the punishment for sin.

Atonement

Because all have sinned, atonement must be made in order for man to be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ made a complete atonement for His people through His substitutionary atoning death on the cross. He imputes His righteousness to all believers securing us full redemption for all who repent of their sin and trust in Him alone for salvation.

Jesus died for the whole of humanity, not just a select few (which Calvanism teaches), and whosoever trusts in Jesus will not perish but have eternal life. Whosever refers to anyone.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting lifeJohn 3:16

Upon hearing the good news of Jesus Christ, that he died for us, he was buried, and resurrected, as it states in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, simple belief on Christ’s work saves a sinner from the penalty of death. We trust in the work of Christ and not our own. This is God’s plan of salvation. It is all of His grace, and entirely not of man’s work, as seen in Ephesians 2:8-10

The Holy Bible does not once state that we must ‘repent of sin’, this is a false works teaching that has made its rounds and corrupted the good news, the simplicity that is in Christ. Salvation is a gift of God, entirely of His grace. Grace is undeserved merit, and all glory goes to God for His plan of salvation through Christ, who is God in the flesh. Jesus tells us 85 times in the book of John to believe.

Repent of sin search results

Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness; – 1 Kings 8:47

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins – Mark 1:4

When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance – Mark 2:17

And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; – Luke 3:3

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth – Luke 15:10

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem – Luke 24:47

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost – Acts 2:38

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord – Acts 3:19

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins – Acts 5:31

And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed – 2 Corinthians 12:21

This ‘repent of sin’ epidemic across churches worldwide is lazy teaching, and sadly Ligonier.org is frontloading works onto the simple command from Jesus to believe on Him, when it says: He imputes His righteousness to all believers securing us full redemption for all who repent of their sin and trust in Him alone for salvation.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on himJohn 3:36

Repent in the New Testament simply means a change of mind (3340 metanoeo and 3341 metanoia), especially in relation to how we view ourselves in the sight of a Holy God. To believe on Christ and His finished work means that repentance has already occurred. If we corrupt the meaning of repent then the good news of Christ is turned to bad news and looking to self for evidence of salvation, when works cannot save. How much turning from sin is necessary, if salvation is attained in this way? Either we trust God, or we trust man’s plan of salvation, which mixes grace and works. Salvation is entirely of Christ, but discipleship is a choice to serve Christ out of gratitude for what He has done for us. I wish that churches would separate the two.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in themEphesians 2:8-10

It is easy to trust man’s perception of God, but when it comes to the gospel of grace, why can we not just take God’s word on faith. God cannot lie.

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;Titus 1:2

Jesus taught eternal security.

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son1 John 5:11

Sin is so much more than keeping the Ten Commandments. The nature of sin is still present in a believer after being born again into God’s Kingdom, although many churches just teach that we can turn away from sin entirely. God’s grace helps our growth. Growth in grace shows us exactly how much we need God, and we condemn others less when we are growing in grace.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no lawGalatians 5:22-23

If we could keep the law perfectly, why would Jesus have had to die? False ministries like RC Sproul’s Ligonier.org create an impossible path for people, because no believer can turn fully from sin. Nobody. God knew this, which is why God came as Jesus Christ in the flesh to save us.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us1 John 1:8

The Law

The moral law perfectly reflects the unchangeable character of God and forever binds all people, believers as well as unbelievers.

The Church

Christ has established a visible church, which is called to live in the power of the Holy Spirit under the regulation of the authority of Holy Scripture, preaching the gospel of Christ, administering the sacraments, and exercising discipline.

Sanctification or discipleship comes only after salvation, when we have trusted God’s plan of salvation through Christ, and no longer our works, because we are not good people. All of our righteousness’s are as filthy rags.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses areas filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us awayIsaiah 64:6

 If anyone is teaching that you must show good works to prove your salvation, they teach an accursed gospel. The Glory of God is taken away through any works salvation. Salvation is entirely of God. Trust His plan because it is the only one that saves.

Christianity and Culture

Ligonier supports the work of Christian organizations and institutions that confess the final authority of Scripture and lordship of Jesus Christ, and are committed to the implementation of the social and cultural implications of God’s commandments for the well-being of man and his environment. Ligonier especially supports those organizations that condemn the murder of defenseless human beings at the earliest stages of their development and that reject unbiblical definitions of gender, sexuality, and marriage.

I would be wary of anything on Ligonier.org, because if they teach the plan of salvation erroneously, what else are they teaching? Salvation is entirely of God, not of works so no one can boast. If a salvation message points to one ‘repenting of sin’ then the focus becomes on us turning from sin instead of Christ’s finished work. Jesus paid our sin debt. He paid for the sin of the whole world. When we are following a works salvation, then comes the lifetime of trying to turn from sin, often attempted through the flesh. There is no growth in grace when we are looking to self, and not the finished work of Christ. Paul taught Christ crucified and we must do so too.His finished work saves a sinner, not human works. Yes, we should serve God after salvation, but this is entirely separate from God’s saving grace. Salvation and discipleship are separate and it is important to divide them. 

See also: False Prophets & Teachers Exposing Calvinism

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