The Teachings of

Zane Hodges, Joseph Dillow, Robert Wilkin
(The Grace Evangelical Society)

and the extreme teachings of J. D. Faust

"This We Believe"

The Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA) published a doctrinal booklet entitled This We Believe.   On page 30 of this booklet (the Chapter on Eternal Security and Assurance of Salvation) there is a section entitled, "The Marks of a True Believer." It reads as follows:

Not everyone who professes Christ actually possesses Christ. Some people profess Christ but by their works they deny Him (Titus 1:16). Some name the name of Christ but they do not depart from iniquity (2 Tim. 2:19). With their lips they say that they know Christ, but they are found to be liars (1 John 2:4).

It is therefore needful for each professing believer to examine himself to see whether or not he has truly believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible clearly reveals certain marks which should characterize every child of God. Some of these are as follows:

The true believer (1) believes the Word of God (1 John 5:9-12); (2) hungers for the Word of God (1 Pet. 2:2); (3) loves the brethren (1 John 3:14); (4) obeys God’s commands (1 John 2:3-5); (5) performs good works (2 John 11; James 2:17-26); (6) does not continue in sin but lives a righteous life (1 John 2:29; 3:6-10; 5:18; 2 Tim. 2:19); etc.

Obviously believers often fail to fully exhibit the above characteristics, and yet if a person truly has life, that life will be manifested (1 John 5:12). Those who consistently live in sin have no right to claim assurance of salvation.

Hodges and Dillow would strongly disagree with the above statement. They would say that some Christians do consistently (habitually) live in sin and that these Christians do have a right to claim full assurance of salvation. If a person lives like a child of the devil he still has every right to call himself a child of God, they would say.

In the physical realm it is possible for a person to know that he is alive right now! He has no doubt about it! And yet it is also true that this person will manifest this physical life in various ways. In the physical realm there are definitely "signs of life." We would expect a living person to breath and move and eat and have a pulse, etc. The same is true in the spiritual realm. Every believer has LIFE (1 John 5:11) and this life will be manifested. It is possible for a person to KNOW that he is alive (1 John 5:13). He has no doubt about it! We agree with Hodges and Dillow that this person can fully claim God’s salvation promises. And yet, it is also true that in the spiritual realm there are signs of life: "We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren" (1 John 3:14). Love for the brethren is a sign of life! If a person never acts and lives like a Christian should, do we not have a right to question whether the person really has life? If a tree never bears apples but only pears, should not we question whether it is an apple tree? In the physical realm, if a person does not move, has no pulse and stinks (John 11:39), do we not have a right to assume that he might be dead? So it is in the spiritual realm. We need to KNOW that we are saved; we need to SHOW that we are saved. 

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