Surrender versus Acceptance

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For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Jude 1:4 (NIV)

There are many sincere, yet misguided evangelical teachers who believe that there are two classes of Christians: "spiritual" and "carnal." They mistakenly believe that it is possible to "accept" Christ as Savior while simultaneously continuing a lifestyle of rebellion, unwilling to walk in obedience to our Lord, and still be saved (i.e. "carnal" Christians).

They use passages such as I Corinthians 2:14 - 3:3 as a prooftext to justify their theory that there are two classes of Christians. However, the Apostle Paul was not referring to two classes of Christians. He was talking about

1) those who were truly born again and 2) those who had a false assurance of salvation.

In Christ's gospel, there isn't a two-step process where I accept Jesus as Savior, and then sometime later I might be willing to obey Him. Those who possess a true, saving faith are drawn by His grace to submit to Christ as Lord when they are first saved (Acts 2:36). If one is truly saved, he has determined to follow Christ as Lord, or he was never truly saved in the first place.

God is not beholden to us, waiting on us to "accept" Him. Rather He calls us to cease our rebellion, to submit to His will, to commit ourselves in loving service to Him. We were created by Him, and we have all sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23). It is He who must accept us. Only if we are willing to obey Him can we expect His forgiveness.

Are you one who has been mislead by a gospel that provides a false assurance of salvation? Was your conversion based on "acceptance" or surrender? Will God simply wink at the immorality in your life without genuine faith, sincere repentance and surrender to Him? There is hope in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

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