The Teachings of
and the extreme teachings of J. D. Faust
Should Personal Wickedness Hinder One's Assurance of Salvation?
Hodges believes that if good works are a necessary fruit of salvation, then a person can never have assurance of salvation: "A man who must wait for works to verify his faith cannot know until lifes end whether or not his faith was real" (The Gospel Under Siege, p.79). Hodges is thus saying that the root (saving faith) can be good but the fruit (good works) can be missing.
It is true that a person can KNOW that he is saved based on Gods sure Word (1 John 5:9-13). We can KNOW now and it will SHOW now and later! Hodges is saying that a person can know but it may or may not show. He teaches that a person who persists in wickedness may have full assurance even if there is no evidence of Gods great working in his life. The danger in this is that we can wrongly encourage an unsaved person to think that he may be saved based on some supposed profession of faith made in days past, a profession which may not have been a true possession.
Does the Bible ever teach that we can KNOW that we have eternal life based on the great work God is doing in and through us? "We KNOW that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death" (1 John 3:14). Faith is the root; love is the fruit (compare Gal. 5:6). "And hereby we do KNOW that we know Him, if we keep His commandments" (1 John 2:3). The reality of faith is shown by obedience.
If a person really has Godís LIFE, that life will be evidenced. If a tree claims to be an apple tree, we have every right to say, "Prove it! Let me see your apples!" We have every right to be fruit inspectors, but first and foremost, let us inspect our own lives: "Judge me, O LORD." "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God" (Phil. 1:11).
Return to Index Page
The Middletown Bible Church
|Back to Other Articles on Hodges, Dillow, Wilkin and Faust|