In this week’s episode, John and Matthew discuss how we can identify when someone is, consciously or unconsciously, attempting to add to the work of Christ. They also share how we can protect those we are witnessing to from that danger.
0:00 John and Matthew introduce this week’s focus, Samuel Walker’s third step in his “Scheme of Personal Instruction.” If you missed our episodes where we discuss his first few steps, links to them are under Show Notes.
3:00: Matthew reads from Walker’s third step. John pulls out a few major ideas to focus on. The first is that salvation is for Christ’s sake. As wise guides, we must guard the people we are talking to against self-righteousness and adding something to Jesus Christ.
7:00 There are many things people trust in, other than Christ. In the particular area John and Matthew live in, one of those things in the Sinner’s Prayer. John shares the danger and problems with this prayer. It isn’t the prayer itself, but it is that we put the prayer in the wrong place. It can easily become a source of self-righteousness. John also warns against throwing the true nature of conversion out because many have dealt carelessly with it.
11:00 Matthew reads another quote from Walker with further instruction. In essence, the careful evangelist must not allow the mental understanding of doctrine to be a cause of delay for the sinner to embrace Christ. This idea is further developed after the break.
13:00 There are many types of false conversion. Richard Owen Roberts coined one of them as doctrinal regeneration. This is the belief that by understanding doctrine in such a precise way God rewards you by giving you regeneration. It is always good to desire to learn more, but if you think you must completely understand a particular doctrine before you are able to be saved, you are attempting to add to the work of Christ.
16:00 This is often seen in today’s religious climate in regards to Calvinism and Arminianism. While it is important to understand theology, and the systems of theological thought, that pursuit must not replace pursuing Christ. It isn’t our grasp of doctrinal truths that save us. There are many people who love Jesus but haven’t given much thought to these things.
23:00 Where some will pursue doctrine instead of salvation, others pursue experience. This may be an emotional moment culminating in a special prayer, or something similar, but is leading people to a moment, rather than a Savior. John gives an illustration to help us understand the purpose of experience and the danger of basing our righteousness on them.
27:00 In overreacting to the unbiblical understanding of experience, many have lost the biblical truth of regeneration. Our desire should be to follow Christ alone, not the strengths and weaknesses of the culture around us.
Other episodes in this series: