Its Not Legalism . .


by R. E. Francis

  (Being justified by faith without the deeds of the law is conditionalupon our doing something by faith!)



If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us . .1 John 1:9.

      + Notice the word, if, with its necessary doing on our part.

      + God wont actually forgive, if we don't honestly confess!  

Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:3.

      + Repentance means to be sorry for with a view to change.

      + The cross couldn't help the unrepentant thief! It could help the repentant thief!

Except ye be converted . . ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3.

      + To be converted takes at least some willing and thinking on our part, doesnt it? Thats doing something!!  

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13.

      + Only Christ, our high priest, can cover our sins. But He bestows this mercyon conditionwe do something!  

 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:12.

      + Apparently, we do something to have the Son.  

Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father. Matthew 7:21.

      + Its not the one who says, Lord! Lord! or Love! Love! or The Cross! The Cross! Rather, it is they, who by the grace of God, are doing Gods will while saying these things!

Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say? Luke 6:46.

      + Jesus seems to be saying here, Well done is better than well said. Because the practice of truth is better than the profession of it! Ezekiel speaks of those who speak much of love, but their hearts are far from Christ (Eze. 33:31).

      + I dare you to read verse 32 of Eze. 33!  

Whosoever will let him take of the water of life. Revelation 22:17.

      + H [God] can save no one against his [that persons] will (Sons and Daughter, 182). This exercise of the will is doing something, isnt it!

      + Your faith is of no account until you put your will on the right side (My Life Today, 318). That, too, is doing something!  

[Jesus speaking]: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20.

      + Jesus takes the initiative. He knocks. But we respond to it!  

[Jesus tell us to do something.] Ask, and it shall be you; seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7.

      + We take the initiative. We knock. Jesus responds!

      + Jesus knocks, we respond! We knock, He responds!

      + That's the definition of a relationship with Christ! 


God requires entire surrender of the heart before justification can take place; and, in order for man to retain justification, there must be continual obedience, through active faith that works by love. 1 Selected Messages, 366.

      + Surrender on our part is necessary in order to be justified!! 

The gifts [atonement gifts] are already ours in Christ [2 Tim 1:9], but their actual possession depends upon our reception of the Spirit of God [John 3:3-5].Christ's Object Lessons, 327

      + You cant be justified by any kind of atonement unless Christ is in you. Romans 8:9 and John 3-6 says so!!

      + To be saved, it takes both the in Christ justification, that is, what Christ does for us, outside of us, and the new-birth, the Christ in you sanctification factor. That is, what Christ does to us and in us. Neither is possible without our permission!  

The conditions of obtaining the mercy [the justification] of God are simple and, at the least, reasonable . . Those who have not humbled their souls before God in acknowledging their guilt, have not yet fulfilled the first condition of acceptance . . The only reason why we do not have remission of sins [justification] that are past is that we are not willing to humble our hearts and comply with the conditions of the Word of Truth. Steps to Christ, 37-38.

      + Its true, justification is a gift of God. But it is also true these gifts are to be obtained by us, by non-legalistic works of faith!!  

Its is not faith that claims the favor of heaven without complying with the conditions on which mercy is granted. Desire of Ages, 126.

      + Now we know what real faith is! And we also know that our complying is doing  somethingat least some willing and deciding!  

Certain conditions are to be complied with on the part of man, and, if he refuses to comply with the conditions, he cannot be the elect [the justified] of God. If he will comply, he is a child of God, . . and He [Christ] will not blot his name out of the book of life. 3 Selected Messages, 315.

      + It cant be made clearer than this!  

A sinner is justified by God when he repents of his sins. 3 Selected Messages, 193.

      + 2 Timothy 1:9 tells us that promised and planned saving grace was given to us before the world was created, even before Adam sinned.

      + But our actual, veritable, real justification happens when we, by the grace of God, accept that grace by genuine repentance!

      + We must surrender to it!  

Note: E.G. White agreed with A.T. Jones in 1888. She disagreed with Jones in 1892. See the difference:

I was attending a meeting and a large congregation was present. In my dream you [Jones] were presenting the subject of faith and the imputed righteousness of  Christ [justification by Faith]. You [Jones] repeated several times that works amounted to nothing, that there were no conditions. The matter was presented in that light that I knew minds would be confused, and would not receive the correct impression in reference to faith and works, and I decided to write to you. You [Jones] stated the matter too strongly. There are conditions to receiving justification and sanctification, and the righteousness of Christ. I know your meaning, but you leave a wrong impression on many minds. While good works will not save one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works. God saves us under a law, that we must ask if we would receive, seek if we would find, and knock if we would have the door opened to us. 1 Selected Messages, 377.

      + She differed with him over the conditions to our being justified.

      + Jones,  there are no conditions; EGW, there are!

      + Like Paul, EGW finds we are and we are not justified by works. See following for clarification):  

We are not justified by our works (Rom 3:20, 28). Why? Because in us there is no atoning root-source. Jesus is the only One with that kind of qualifying, divine-human root. (Rev 22:16, Jn 15:1-5). That root symbolizes what He did for us and outside of us, and independent of us (2 Tim 1:9). Thus He became our sinless Substitute, which, if we accept with an honest and repentant heart, all our righteousness can be said to be in Christ. In other words, we are justified by Christ's worksnot ours!!

We are justified by our works. How? As the fruit of the Root! The evidence of Christ in you, which is the result of what He doesto usin uswith us! So says Romans 2:13/ James 2:21/ Romans 2:16/ Revelation 20:12/ Galatians 2:20/ Matthew 7:19-21/ John 15).

      + No fruit, no root! No root, no fruit! It takes both.

      + Remember the barren fig tree!! 

God cannot save a man against his [mans] will . . Man must work with his human power, aided by the divine power of Christ . . Man must do his part. Sons and Daughters of God, 156.

      + Tells it like it is, doesn't it! 

When through repentance and faith, we accept Christ as our Saviour, the Lord pardons our sins.3 Selected Messages, 191.

      + This tells us when Christ's atonement actually saves us! 

But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing.1 Selected Messages, 121.

      + There is an initiative we must take! Albeit by the Holy Spirit! 

Man can accomplish nothing without God, and God has arranged His plans [of saving man] so as to accomplish nothing in the restoration of the human soul without the cooperation of the human with the divine.  The part man is required to sustain is immeasurably small, yet in the plan of God, it is just that force that is needed to make the work a success. I we are faithful in doing our part in cooperating with Him, God will work through us to do the good pleasure of His will, but cannot work through us if we make no effort. Amazing Grace, 209-319.

      + God cannot, if we will not!covenants/atonements notwithstanding.

      + We have a required part, a cooperative partwith God.

      + Our immeasurably small part is an immeasurably necessary part! 

When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accept this disposition and effort as mans best service, and He [Jesus] makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit. But He will not accept those who claim to have faith in Him, and yet are disloyal to His Fathers commandment.

      + Can any kind of atonement of Christ save us apart from what you've just read above, namely, apart from our heart response? No!! 

Which is the closest to the truth? 
I'm not perfect, or just forgiven!
I'm not perfect, just perfectly forgiven!
I'm not perfect, just perfectly forgivenif . . !

  The law says, Do!
The Gospel says, Done!
The law says, Do!
The Gospel says, Done!if . . !

 There are three types of SDAs

 1) The SDAccommodationists. Those who fit their belief system to harmonize with prevailing social customs and cultures. They say things like, We are living in a new age, and Everybody's doing it, and Its the custom now, etc. These tend to lean toward Nicolaitanism,grace allows you to do it! They minimize Christ's high priestly ministry and conditions.

2) The SDAugustinians. Those who say, We have carnal natures. We cant keep the law of God. Don't worry about it. Christ did it all for you 2000 years ago. You're already saved. Just accept what He's already done for you. They take a dim view of the law of God and seldomly mention Christ's priestly ministry and conditions on our part.

3) The SDAdventists. They say, It takes three things to save us:

a) Christ's life and death to provide the atoning blood.

b) Christ's priestly ministry to minister the atoning blood.

c) Upon condition, the sinner contritely confesses and forsakes his sinby the grace of God.

 Any one of these three missing and the sinner cannot be saved! These tend toward a faith that works by love, producing fruit like the 144,000!