If you’re in a Pentecostal or Holiness church, or if you’ve recently come out of one, you probably struggle with assurance of salvation. Why? Lyle Lange, a Lutheran theologian, explains: The “holiness bodies” (such as Pentecostal, Church of the Nazarene, Church of God) look to special manifestations of the Spirit’s work in their lives to assure them of salvation.
Don Matzat, a Lutheran pastor of fifty years, tells the following story of teaching a new church the doctrine of justification by faith apart from works: In one parish I served, after installation, I called every active member, inviting them to come to a Sunday morning Bible Class. I got a decent response so that
Carl F. Wisløff (1908-2004) was a Norwegian Lutheran theologian and preacher. I recently acquired a copy of his short systematic theology, I Know in Whom I Believe: Studies in Bible Doctrine (I ordered it from here). Here is what Wisløff writes about assurance of salvation: “In Romans 4:16, it is said of Abraham: “For this
By Shawn Lazar Sola fide or fides caritate formata? Are we saved by faith alone, or faith formed by love? During the Reformation, that was one of the questions faced by Martin Luther, and it is an objection that the Free Grace movement still hears today. Faith in Jesus isn’t enough, some people say, you
By SC Lazar Assurance Lost In a recent article in Christianity Today (“Should We Stop Asking Jesus Into Our Hearts?” Posted 7/13/2012), pastor J.D. Greear writes about his struggle to attain assurance of salvation. Greear recounts how his assurance was lost after a Sunday school lesson on Matthew 7:21-23, that pointed to the possibility of
“Faith itself has been taken captive by legalism.” ~Gerhard Forde Ever since Paul’s fiery denouncement of Judaistic law-keeping in Galatians and Romans, the Christian tradition has recognized, if only grudgingly, that legalism is the death-knell of faith in Christ. Even those churches most closely identified with deeply legalistic tendencies (I am thinking of Catholicism and