A 15-Year Retrospective on the Lordship Controversy

The following article was written by John MacArthur at the 15th anniversary of the publication if the first edition of The Gospel According to Jesus, which was released in 1988. However, with the new and continual attacks on the genuine Gospel, as there always will be, it is good to continually focus on the clear stream of water that is God’s truth instead of the muddy waters clouded by our enemy’s use of misinformation and misapplied zeal of those whom he using in his attacks upon the Good News as well as our Lord’s faithful servants. Enjoy and be blessed – Mike Ratliff

John MacArthur

It has now been 15 years since The Gospel According to Jesus was first published and the lordship of Christ became a matter of intense debate among evangelicals. That book stood for the simple proposition that the gospel is a call to surrender to the lordship of Christ in humble, repentant faith.

My publisher originally assigned The Gospel According to Jesus to their academic division. They had high expectations for the book from the start and initially thought it might sell as many as 30,000 copies–an unusually high number for an academic book of that sort. But it surpassed 100,000 in sales in a few months, and within a couple of years it had reached the quarter-million mark. There are now about half a million copies in circulation, and the book is still in print. That is almost unprecedented for a polemic book dealing with a theological issue. Continue reading

Christian Assurance

by Mike Ratliff

Symeon Peter slave and apostle of Jesus Christ to those equal in standing to us having obtained faith in righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, may grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. (a personal translation of 2 Peter 1,2)

God is good. I closed yesterday’s post with the following statement, “My brethren, some confuse being genuinely saved with the assurance of salvation. I hope to cover that assurance in the next post, God willing.” He is obviously willing because all I had thrown up to me all day today was how unworthy and sinful I am yet how marvelous His grace is and how awesome it is that I have obtained faith in righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ even though all I deserve is His wrath. When I look at how well I keep the commandments like “Love your neighbor as yourself” I know that I am a selfish, self-centered, prideful, self-loving person who is a total failure at this. I have never kept this commandment by trying to do so. The only time I have ever done so is as I have humbled myself before my Lord as He worked through me as I served in ministry and I found myself loving and serving people in ways that I cannot do no matter how hard I try. On the other hand, as I walk (and drive) through each day with me in control with my focus on me and what I want, that is most certainly not the case.  Continue reading

A Response to an Antinomian

by Mike Ratliff

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? (James 2:17-20 ESV)

I have rules for commenting on Possessing the Treasure that are assiduously enforced. However, there are some who absolutely refuse to abide by them then act offended when their comments never show up. One rule that I rigidly enforce is this one in which I require Biblical support for any argument challenging any of my teachings. The emphasis is that I teach from God’s Word and any quotes I give to support what I teach will be from another Bible teacher or if I am contrasting the Bible with a worldly or anti-Biblical source then I will quote them. This rule was put into place to force certain people to cease attempting to hijack this ministry via attacks using bullying tactics. I analyzed their attacks and they absolutely never used exegetically sound Biblical arguments to support their claims. When I put this rule into place almost all of it stopped. However, every now and then certain people attempt to derail what I have taught with man-centered arguments right out of some “seeker-sensitive” seminar.  Continue reading

Practical Implications of Calvinism

by Albert Martin

The Experience of God

B. B. Warfield describes Calvinism as ‘that sight of the majesty of God that pervades all of life and all of experience’. In particular as it relates to the doctrine of salvation its glad confession is summarized in those three pregnant words, God saves sinners. Now whenever we are confronted with great doctrinal statements in Holy Scripture, God does not leave us merely with the statement of doctrine. The end of God’s truth set before the minds of God’s people is that, understanding it, they might know its effect in their own personal experience. So the grand doctrinal themes of Ephesians, chapters 1, 2 and 3 are followed by the application of those doctrines to practical life and experience in Ephesians, chapters 4, 5 and 6. The end for which God gave his truth was not so much the instruction of our minds as the transformation of our lives. But a person cannot come directly to the life and experience, he must come mediately through the mind. And so God’s truth is addressed to the understanding and the Spirit of God operates in the understanding as the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge. He does not illuminate the mind simply that the file drawers of the mental study may be crammed full of information. The end for which God instructs the mind is that he might transform the life. Continue reading