I want to ask the readers of Maxgrace.com to give an answer to a young pastor named Sean. He is a frequent reader and commentor at this blog. He has started a ministry in a northern California beach town. I had him in one of my classes. He and his family have been to my home. And because he worked at a local coffee shop, he’s made me lots and lots of coffee.
Sean responded to my recent post on grace by quoting the outstanding Chicago pastor named A.W. Tozer. Tozer is one of my theological heroes. But the statement Sean chose to quote does not mesh with my theology.
So, here’s how you can help me out… (Especially all the veterans of Lois’ Bible class. You can ask WWLD?)…
How would you lovingly and respectfully respond to Sean and the quote he raises from A.W. Tozer? (I reserve the right to not post unkind words or stuff I think is not to the point or stuff I just really don’t like–get your own blog!)
Here is the quote. Leave your comments below. I’ll sum up in a day or two.
A.W. TOZER: “I Call it Heresy.”
THE SCRIPTURES DO NOT TEACH that the Person of Jesus Christ nor any of the important offices which God has given Him can be divided or ignored according to the whims of men.
Therefore, I must be frank in my feeling that a notable heresy has come into being throughout our evangelical Christian circles – the widely accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept Christ only because we need Him as Savior and we have the right to postpone our obedience to Him as Lord as long as we want to!
This concept has sprung naturally from a misunderstanding of what the Bible actually says about Christian discipleship and obedience. It is now found in nearly all of our full gospel literature. I confess that I was among those who preached it before I began to pray earnestly, to study diligently and meditate with anguish over the whole matter. I think the following is a fair statement of what I was taught in my early Christian experience and it certainly needs a lot of modifying and a great many qualifiers to save us from being in error. “We are saved by accepting Christ as our Savior; we are sanctified by accepting Christ as our Lord; we may do the first without doing the second!”
The truth is that salvation apart from obedience is unknown in the sacred Scriptures. Peter makes it plain that we are “chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit for obedience” (1 Peter 1:2). What a tragedy that in our day we often hear the gospel appeal made on this kind of basis: “Come to Jesus! You do not have to obey anyone. You do not have to change anything. You do not have to give up anything, alter anything, surrender anything, give back anything – just come to Him and believe in Him as Savior!”
Tomorrow I’ll post a famous author and preacher who took the opposite side. And then I’ll give my opinion soon. But I really want Sean to hear from others in the body of Christ who have wrestled with these issues. Thanks.