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The Dangerous Doctrine of the “Carnal Christian”

washer(This is the introduction from an upcoming book being written called: “Growing and Changing in Christ: How All Christians Progress in Sanctification”)

A Doctrine Opposed to Growing & Changing

by Pastor Matthew Black, 6/23/2015, 9:35pm

The well known British pastor and evangelist of the last century, Leonard Ravenhill said, “There’s only one proof of the Holy Ghost in your life and that’s a holy life.” He said, “Get rid of this bunkum about the ‘carnal Christian’. For­get it! If you’re carnal, you’re not saved.”[1]

Many years ago we had a group come to the church I was pastoring to share their tes­timonies, sing, and preach. Both the preaching and the testi­monies disturbed me and awakened me to a great confusion that has seeped into our churches. During the testimonies each young person said that they were converted usually at a young age, but that they lived a life of sin for years and years, and then finally came back to the Lord. The preaching had a similar theme. Though the words were not said, I recognized the teaching immediately as the so-called “carnal Christian” doctrine.

The idea is that a person can be a true Christian and live in continuous carnality, practicing sin as a way of life. The teaching goes like this: when we see someone who is living a life characterized by sin and persistent backsliding but who professes to be a Christian, we say, certainly they are Christians – they are simply carnal. We do not even realize it, but we are minimizing sin and inoculating people who think they are Christians, who may indeed be lost. You may not even be familiar with the teaching formally, but its pattern of thought is a common error in many of the churches today, and it needs to be corrected.

Why Say Anything At All?

While I regret having had this group at our church, I know in the end it will work out for eternal good. For me, it was a wakeup call as to the “leaven” of this teaching. Unfortunately, it is wide-spread and common. As a pastor I am to guard sound doctrine, to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2). This book is a result of their coming. I have written it in order to expand the influence of the Bible doctrine of sanctification, which I believe is being neglected in many American churches.

John Newton (author of the hymn “Amazing Grace”) also saw the need never to sugar coat any true doctrine of Scripture. Consider a few words he gave in his first sermon:

The Bible is the grand repository of the truths that it will be the business and the pleasure of my life to set before you. It is the complete system of divine truth to which nothing can be added and from which nothing can be taken with impunity. Every attempt to disguise or soften any branch of this truth in order to accommodate it to the prevailing taste around us either to avoid the displeasure or court the favor of our fellow mortals must be an affront to the majesty of God and an act of treachery to men. My conscience bears me witness that I mean to speak the truth among you.[2]

Lazy Watchmen

Today, many who call themselves pastors could care less about a careful handling of Bible doctrine. They are like the lazy watchmen of Isaiah. A pastor is called to be an astute and careful watchman over his flock. Isaiah had cutting words to say about the slothful pastors of his day in Isaiah 56:10-11:

His watchmen are blind; they are all without knowledge; they are all silent dogs; they cannot bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. But they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all.

Do you hear what God calls pastors who do not feed their sheep? The Lord says they are blind, all ignorant, all silent dogs that cannot bark, greedy dogs, and shepherds that cannot understand. Every pastor will give an account for each person in his fold. May we not be lazy dogs! A.W. Tozer spoke of the need for pastors to speak out against the onslaught of false teaching that comes against the church:

Could it be that too many of God’s true children, and especially the preachers, are sinning against God by guilty silence?…I for one am waiting to hear the loud voices of the prophets and reformers sounding once more over a sluggish and drowsy church. They’ll pay a price for their boldness, but the results will be worth it. [3]

May the Lord grant all in our churches, beginning with pastors and leaders, boldness and the willingness to pay the price.

To Say Nothing is to Give Tacit Approval of Error

I had a choice when this error crossed our church’s pulpit. I could have said nothing. Edmund Burke, the eighteenth century Irish statesman and philosopher is attributed as saying, “evil prevails when good men do nothing.”[4] To say nothing is to give tacit approval of error. Martin Luther said:

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefront besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point most under attack.[5]

In other words, Satan will destroy a church, not where the lines of soldiers are thickest, but where there is an opening. I cannot leave an opening in our church or in any churches where I can make a difference. Luther’s motto was “Peace if possible, truth at all costs.”[6] Adrian Rogers said: “It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills.”[7]


Let me define what I mean when I say the “carnal Christian” doctrine or teaching. This doctrine teaches that there are two classes of Christians: spiritual and carnal. This theory holds that a person who is a new creation in Christ can practice sin as a lifestyle, and though living in continual sin, he still has the hope of heaven. He has accepted Christ as Savior and may or may not one day accept Him as Lord. These professors are considered Christians who are carnal, not yet having come to a point of surrender.[8] R.C. Sproul describes it this way:

There is a widespread notion within evangelical Christianity that there are two distinctive types of Christians. There is the carnal Christian and the spiritual Christian. The carnal Christian is a believer who does not have Christ on the throne of his life and thereby lives a pattern of constant disobedience. Then there is the “Spirit-filled” Christian whose life is characterized by a life of obedience and spiritual devotion. Here Christ reigns on the throne of the Christian life.[9]

He goes on to say:

Here the carnal Christian is one who is said to believe in Christ but lives a life of consistent carnality, giving no evidence of the fruit of the Spirit. This represents a fatal contradiction in terms. Such a person may not be called a carnal Christian. He must be considered a carnal non-Christian. If a person manifests a life of pure and consistent carnality, he is no Christian. He has not the Spirit of Christ living in him. It is a flat impossibility to be born of the Spirit and have no change in one’s life. A Christian with no fruit is simply not a Christian. Antinomianism is the spirit of lawlessness that reigns in the children of disobedience. The “faith” of a carnal Christian is no faith. It cannot justify the ungodly. It cannot be pleasing to God.[10]

Sadly, this doctrine is taught in many churches and holds most sway among those who have made professions of faith as children. Little or no meaningful growth takes place in their life, but because they asked the Lord to save them on one occasion, they are considered a true and genuine believer in Christ.

 The History of this Teaching

The carnal Christian doctrine of today is just a form of an old heresy called “antinomianism.” Epistemologically, “Anti” means “no” or “against” and “nomian” means “law.”[11] In other words, antinomianism is the teaching that a Christian may practice a lawless life without the rule of Christ in his heart.

This is actually not a new controversy. H. A. Ironside, former pastor of the Moody Church of Chicago, fought against it in his day when he said:

…there are not lacking professed preachers of grace who, like the antinomians of old, decry the necessity of repentance… Loudly declaring they are justified by faith alone, they fail to remember that ‘faith without works is dead.”[12]

In recent days, this teaching was revived with the Scofield Study Bible. According to Ernest Reisinger:

One reason why [the carnal Christian doctrine] is so widespread is that it has been popularized for many years in the notes of the Scofield Reference Bible. A statement from these notes will indicate the precise nature of the teaching: “Paul divides men into three classes: ‘Natural’ i.e. the Adamic Man, unrenewed through the new birth; ‘Spiritual’ i.e. the renewed man as Spirit-filled and walking in the Spirit in full communion with God; ‘Carnal’, ‘fleshly,’ i.e. the renewed man who, walking ‘after the flesh,’ remains a babe in Christ” (Scofield Reference Bible, pp. 1213, 1214).[13]

John MacArthur confirms this. He further explains how the doctrine’s revival comes out of classic dispensational thinking:

The doctrine apparently stemmed from Chafer’s misguided attempts to develop a uniquely dispensationalist soteriology. Chafer (together with other early dispensationalists, including C. I. Scofield) was so zealous to eliminate every vestige of law from the dispensation of grace that he embraced a kind of antinomianism.[14]

Charles Ryrie is also a proponent of the carnal Christian doctrine. He said, referring to 1 Corinthians 3:

Paul can only mean that these Carnal Christians lived like unsaved men. That clarifies why the word Carnal can label both unbelievers and believers, simply because the lifestyles of both are the same.[15]

The once well-known Baptist preacher R. B. Thieme frames the argument in the way most of us have heard it from the pulpit.

The behavior pattern of a carnal Christian cannot be distinguished from that of an unbeliever 1 Cor. 3:3. As far as God’s Word is concerned you may act like an unbeliever; but if you have believed in Christ, you are still a believer–a believer in the status quo carnality–out of fellowship. A believer out of fellowship acts like an unbeliever. In fact he is sometime worse.[16]

Scofield, Chafer, Ryrie and Thieme assure us that they got this idea from a passage in 1 Cor. 3:1-4. Let’s look at what Paul says there.

A Study of 1 Corinthians 3

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? (1 Cor. 3:1-4).

Taken out of context, Scofield and the others might seem to be right. But when looking at the entire letter that Paul wrote, we find that in this passage, Paul was rebuking the church as a whole for an area of carnality in their lives. They needed to learn about how to resolve personal conflicts. They were acting as unregenerate people in an area of their lives. As long as they held on to the iniquity of jealousy and envying that Paul points out, they could not be taught in the deeper things of the Lord. Yet they were not altogether without the evidences of the Spirit. Paul was not saying that they were living without spiritual fruit in their lives. In chapter 1 Paul talked about how they were living lives that were focused on Jesus’ coming, and Paul gave thanks to God for them in verses 4-8.

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul established that they were growing in holiness before his rebuke later in chapters 1 and 3. His commendation here is not spiritual fluff in order to cushion his coming rebuke. This is an accurate assessment of their spiritual growth as recorded in inspired Scripture. In the above verses, Paul gives evidence of the regenerate state of their hearts by testifying of their holiness. In “everything’ they were “enriched by Him [Christ]”—in their words (“utterance”), thoughts (“knowledge”), and life (“the testimony of Christ was confirmed in [them]”). Paul affirms that the Lord Jesus Christ who saved them would “also confirm [them] to the end” (vs. 8). In other words, the evidence that Christ had truly changed their hearts was that they would persevere in these fruits of holiness until the last day of their lives.

Paul is not dividing the people into three classes: natural, carnal and spiritual but teaching that truly saved people will grow persistently and progressively in holiness. Actually in chapter 2 Paul names only two types of people: the natural man who does not receive the things of God’s Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14), and those who are indwelt by the Spirit, who do. Paul goes to great length to explain how they have the Spirit of God in them. In chapter 2 and verse 10, Paul says God has revealed the “deep things” of God’s Spirit to them. Paul shows further spiritual fruit describing how they were being taught by the Holy Spirit Himself (vs. 13). He says in verse 14 that the natural or unsaved person could not understand the things of the Spirit but Corinthian believers were not like that. Paul says to them: “we have the mind of Christ” (vs. 16).

What is the point? Paul is not saying that the Corinthians’ lives were characterized by carnality as a whole. These were not people living in sin and rebellion to God who had professed salvation but had no spiritual fruit. They were people with new hearts who were producing authentic spiritual fruit, but like all believers do at times, they were struggling with various areas of their lives, and it was affecting the whole church in this instance. They needed to progress in their sanctification.

Having shown briefly that this passage does not teach another class of believers, I want demonstrate that the Word of God refutes the carnal Christian doctrine throughout its pages. As we look at the span of the Bible, the message is that anyone who is saved is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Genuine believers have a new heart and a new nature, and they grow and change to be like Christ. If a professing believer has no measure of fruit in his life, he is not a Christian no matter what religious rituals he has taken part in (sinner’s prayer, an emotional decision at an altar call, baptism, church membership, etc.).

Voices From the Past

That all Christians have some measurable and observable evidence of godliness in their lives is not only my conclusion, but it is the opinion of the spectrum of God’s servants in the history of the Lord’s church. Throughout the span of church history, the Lord’s servants have refuted the carnal Christian doctrine by promoting the inevitability of a changed life once regeneration has taken place.

William Tyndale (1494-1536), martyr and translator of the Bible into the modern English language, was resolute that true faith is always followed by the fruit of good works. In his prologue to Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, he gives this commentary about what a living faith looks like:

Faith is then a lively and steadfast trust in the favour of God, wherewith we commit ourselves altogether unto God, and that trust is so surely grounded and sticketh so fast in our hearts, that a man would not once doubt of it, though he should die a thousand times therefore. And such trust wrought by the Holy Ghost through faith, maketh a man glad, lusty, cheerful and true-hearted unto God and to all creatures. By the means whereof, willingly and without compulsion he is glad and ready to do good to every man, to do service to every man, to suffer all things, that God may be loved and praised, which hath given him such grace: so that it is impossible to separate good works from faith, even as it is impossible to separate heat and burning from fire.[17]

Menno Simons (1496-1561), one of the few Anabaptist leaders whose Gospel fruit endures today, contended that according to the Word of God, the church could never be a collection of carnal sinners, even if they claimed to know Christ. Listen to his wise words:

…you shall learn and know from the word of God that the holy, Christian church is no collection of unbelievers, carnal or willful sinners; notwithstanding they falsely claim to be of Christ Jesus, and think themselves to be the true, Christian church. No, kind readers, no. They are not all Abraham’s seed who are born of Abraham, “But the children of the promise are counted for the seed,” Rom. 9:8. Thus, also, the holy, Christian church must be a spiritual seed, an assembly of the righteous, and a community of the saints; which church is begotten of God, of the living seed of the divine word, and not of the teachings, institutions, and fictions of man. Yea, they are those who are regenerated, renewed and converted; who hear, believe, and fulfill all the commandments and will of God; who “have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts;” who “are all one in Christ Jesus.” “Joint heirs with Christ,” and heavenly and spiritually minded with him, Gal. 5:24; 3:28; Rom. 8:17.

These are the holy, Christian church, the community of God, the body and the bride of Christ, whom he hath trusted, cleansed and sanctified; but “they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” This holy, Christian church has a spiritual Prince over her who rules her with the unbroken rod of his divine word; a Master, or Teacher who teaches the commandments of eternal life; and a Bridegroom whose voice she is ever ready to hear, that is, Christ Jesus, 1 Cor. 6:11; Rom. 8:8; Ps. 2:9; Jn. 6:68; 3:29.[18]

John Bunyan (1628-1688), who spent twelve years total in the Bedford prison for the faith, also connected true faith with the evidence of a godly life, saying this:

…a life of holiness and godliness in this world doth so inseparably follow a principle of faith, that it is both monstrous and ridiculous to suppose the contrary. What, shall not he that hath life have motion! (Gal. 2:20). He that hath by faith received the Spirit of holiness, shall not he be holy? (Gal. 3:2), and he that is called to glory and virtue, shall not he add to his faith virtue? (2 Pet. 1:4-5).[19]

 Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), the American philosopher, theologian, and preacher during the Great Awakening wrote:

Scripture plainly teaches, that practice is the best evidence of the sincerity of professing Christians; so reason teaches the same thing. Reason shows, that men’s deeds are better and more faithful interpreters of their minds, than their words. The common sense of all mankind, through all ages and nations, teaches them to judge of men’s hearts chiefly by their practice…. Reason says the same that Christ said, in John 14:21. “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” Thus if we see a man, who in the course of his life seems to follow and imitate Christ…reason teaches, that this is an evidence of love to Christ, more to be depended on, than if a man only says he has love to him…when it may be there appears but little imitation of Christ in his behaviour.[20]

George Whitefield (1714-1770), the great evangelist and revivalist of Britain and the American colonies wrote about the carnal Christian teaching (which he calls “antinomian principles”) in his journal dated August 6, 1739:

Had a conference after sermon with one, who I fear with some others, maintained antinomian principles. From such, may all that know them turn away; for though, (to use the words of our Church Article) good works, which are the fruits of faith, cannot put away our sins, or endure the severity of God’s judgment (that is, cannot justify us), yet they follow after justification, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.[21]

Listen to the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892). His words are searing, but so necessary in the day we live:

If your life is unholy, then your heart is unchanged, and you are an unsaved person. The Savior will sanctify His people, renew them, give them a hatred of sin, and a love of holiness. The grace that does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people, not in their sins, but from their sins. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.[22]

Truly, this entire book could be filled with quotes from the entire span of church history of the central figures God used to trumpet His Gospel. From Clement, Augustine, Aquinas, and à Kempis to Martin Luther, Tyndale, the Puritans, Wesley, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Tozer, and Ravenhill, the great preachers and theologians of the past held that a true and living faith always produces the fruits of holiness in the life. Indeed I cannot think of one that held to anything resembling the carnal Christian doctrine.

My Hope for this Book

I have a twofold aim for this writing. My first aim is to give great hope and encouragement to Christians who do love the Lord and are battling against the flesh every day. You “hate even the garment stained by the flesh” (Jude 23). The deepest desire in your heart of hearts is to “present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Rom. 6:13). You are battling against sin in your life and “have put off the old self with its practices” (Col. 3:9). You have had an inward change of nature, yet you often get tired and weary in your battle against sin. You are looking forward to the day of redemption, when sin shall be no more!

My second aim is to make those in carnal ease and false assurance uncomfortable and to warn them of the wrath to come. I hope that any one reading this book who loves and delights in practicing sin, will understand that where there is no inward battle against sin and submission to God’s will, there is no standing with God (see Mt. 7:21 and following). You may profess to know Christ, but Christ will not profess to know you on the Day of accounting.

Errors to Avoid

Before we begin, I want to clearly lay the path we are going to travel. While we are trying to avoid giving comfort to those who make a profession of faith in Christ and yet have no fruit to prove that they are Christians, we also want to avoid the error of perfectionism as well as legalism.

The Error of Sinless Perfectionism

Christians do sin. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:8). Christians may sin in thought, word, and deed. That is why there are so many calls in Scripture for Christians to avoid sinning. But a Christian is not a slave to sin and does not delight in sin in his heart of hearts. He battles and struggles against it constantly. A Christian cannot continue in sin! Paul says, “For sin will have no dominion over you…having been set free from sin, [you] have become slaves of righteousness” (Rom. 6:14, 18). The Christian will be progressively sanctified in this life. We will cover more of this in later chapters, but we want to avoid the error of sinless perfectionism. A Christian is quite aware of his sins, and he hates them and is constantly mortifying them and waging war against the deceitful lusts of his old nature. The believer has been “made free indeed” by the Son—delivered from the power of sin (Jn. 8:36). The new creature now has Christ as his new master. By contrast, the unbeliever is “a slave to sin” (Jn. 8:34). Sin dominates his life. He “drinks iniquity like water” (Job 15:16).

The Error of Legalism

The other error that we must avoid is that of legalism. Jesus described the legalists when he warned in Matthew 15:8, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Legalism makes the Gospel one of self-righteousness by creating outward standards to measure spirituality—like hair length, dress length, music standards, etc.[23] Any heathen can get a good haircut, dress modestly, and listen to sacred music (ask the members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir). Any person with an unchanged nature can recite a doctrinal statement or preach a Bible message. Good works will always come out of a changed nature, certainly. But good looking outward works can come out of anybody. God looks on the heart despite how good a person may look on the outside. Salvation is more than outward standards—it is a complete change of a person’s nature and affections. The love of the Lordship of Christ will be seen in a new heart burning with love and sacrificial humble service for others. The new heart treasures Christ above all things. Because of this, the measure of Christ’s righteousness will work out of the heart of the believer (Phil. 2:12-13). Superficial changes can be made by any heathen, cultist, or atheist on the planet. The righteousness of legalists is only as thick as their clothing and smarmy smile. We need to be clothed in the inner man with the righteousness of Jesus Christ in regeneration. We must seek nothing less than the new birth—a total transformation of heart.

So legalism and perfectionism are to be avoided. Man’s pride must be humbled, and Christ’s righteousness exalted. We reject self-righteous legalism as well as the error of perfectionism. But in this book, our cannons are aimed at another wretched heresy that damns souls to hell and gives false comfort to sinners. This error of the carnal Christian teaching needs to be exposed.


Before we do that, let me also make several Scriptural clarifications to some objections that may come.

Babes in Christ

First, I want to recognize that we were all once babes in Christ. Praise God for babies! But even babies in Christ show outward fruit of hunger and thirst for the Word of God. In babes, the heart has been reached, but sometimes there is not the strength of faith as in mature Christians. They are like Lazarus who has been inwardly raised from the dead, but he still has the grave clothes on. So yes, there are babies, but babes in Christ do not stay babies. There is a progression in sanctification. We are called to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). So though there are babes in Christ, God promises that they will not remain so.

Carnal Areas of Life

Second, I also want to recognize that the Bible teaches there is a sense in which a Christian may be said to be carnal in an area of his life. As Galatians 5:17 says, there are times when “the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Yet sin is never the habit or practice of the Christian’s life.[24] So if by carnal one means there is an area where a Christian is losing the fight against the old man for a time—that is legitimate. A Christian may fall into sin, even grievously. But a Christian will always be brought out of that sin through God’s loving hand of chastening: “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Heb. 12:6). “For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity” (Prov. 24:16).

Different Rates of Progress in the Christian Life

Finally, we need to recognize that there are different speeds of progress in growth in the Christian’s life. Growth is not always at the same speed. There are many falls and times when a Christian grieves the Holy Spirit along the way. We cry out all along the way, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24). And that is the whole point. A genuine Christian is constantly aware of his sin. He is constantly clinging to Christ as the only Savior and way of escape. The Christian knows 1 John 2:1 well, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” A false Christian does not think his sin is that big a deal—he minimizes sin. He does not turn to Christ as his Advocate but seeks to excuse his sin and forget it. This is the distinction I am getting at.

With all that in mind, I want to demonstrate that there are not three classes of people: the lost, the saved, and the saved but carnal. God forbid. A person is either saved and has the fruit of genuine conversion in him with a new nature and some measure of holiness in his life, or he is lost.

[1] Leonard Ravenhill. Holiness Quotes for the Remnant (Life and Liberty Ministries), Available at: http://www.lifeandlibertyministries.com.

[2] Jonathan Aitken. John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace (Wheaton, IL: Good News Publishers, 2007), 272.

[3]A.W. Tozer. God Tells the Man Who Cares (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 1992), 162.

[4] This idea came from Burke’s book Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents written in 1770 where he said, “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” This thought was merged into Sergei Bondarchuk’s Soviet film version of Tolstoy’s book “War and Peace.” in which the narrator declares “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”. The quote itself is an English translation from Bondarchuk’s film.

[5] Martin Luther. Luther’s Works: Weimar Edition, Volume 3 (Briefwechsel [Correspondence]), 81ff.

[6] Martin Luther as quoted in Words to Live By (Ann Arbor, MI: Hagopian Institute, nd), 80.

[7] Pastor Adrian Rogers, excerpts from talk, National Religious Broadcasters Convention (Indianapolis, Indiana), 1996.

[8] A.W. Tozer speaks more on the false idea that Jesus Christ can be our Saviour but not our Lord in his book I Call It Heresy! (Harrisburg, PA.: Christian Publica­tions, 1974). I cover this in chapter 11 of this book.

[9]R.C. Sproul. Pleasing God (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1994), 152.

[10]Ibid., 153.

[11]Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Eleventh ed. (Springfield, Mass: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003), antinomianism.

[12] Harry A. Ironside. Except Ye Repent (New York: American Tract Society, 1937), 3.

[13] Ernest Reisinger. The Carnal Christian: What Should We Think of the Carnal Christian? (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1991), 7.

[14] John MacArthur. A 15-Year Retrospective on the Lordship Controversy. An article available on the Grace to You web site: http://www.gty.org/Resources/articles/2263.

[15] Charles Ryrie. So Great Salvation (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1989), 62.

[16] Robert Thieme, The Prodigal Son (Houston: R.B. Thieme, Jr. Bible Ministries, 1967), 7-8 [emphasis by Thieme].

[17] William Tyndale. “Prologue to the Book of Rom.,” New Testament (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996, reprint—originally published in 1534), 212-213.

[18] Menno Simons. The Complete Writings of Menno Simons (Scottsdale, PA‎: Herald Press, 1966), 234.

[19] John Bunyan. Christian Behavior (Pensacola, FL: Mount Zion Chapel Library, n.d.), 8.

[20]Jonathan Edwards: The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 1 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2008), 321.

[21] George Whitefield. Journals (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1960), 323-24.

[22] Charles Spurgeon. Evening by Evening (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1984), 41.

[23] Legalism in the extreme adds human works of righteousness to the Gospel, such as the necessity of baptism or good works plus repentance and faith in Christ. A person lives holy because they are justified with a new nature; they do not live holy in order to be justified. The error of legalism is found in various groups professing to be Christian such as Roman Catholicism, Cambellites (i.e. Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, or Christian Church), or Seventh Day Adventists.

[24] For more biblical evidence of the Christians supernatural desire to practice righteousness, see chapter 12, specifically Mark #3 of a genuine Christian according to the Apostle John in his First Epistle of John.