In one of many messages from Paul Washer making the rounds online, Washer, one of the boldest proponents of lordship salvation, takes an Old Testament passage in which God scolds His people for bringing unworthy sacrifices to His temple, since if they had an injured or inferior animal that wasn’t of as much use to them, they would bring it as a sacrifice. By doing so, they showed they didn’t understand the need of a perfect sacrifice to cover their sins. But from that passage, Washer surmised that in this age, to be acceptable to God, we must come to Him with perfect, holy worship and make a right sacrifice of our works upon the altar, or else He will reject us for our sins.
Wrong, Paul Washer. Wrong, wrong, wrong. What that passage teaches us is that our sins require a price to be paid for us in the form of a perfect sacrifice. And man’s good works, not just in NT grace dispensationalism, but from the beginning (have a look at Genesis and the story of Cain and Abel for example)– our good works are an unacceptable sacrifice.
So Christ came. He lived a perfect, holy, sinless life in our place, which we couldn’t do. Then, under the law and because of its requirement that the Passover sacrifice be sequestered and examined for a week to see that it be found perfect, Jesus presented Himself for a week at the temple. He entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey as prophesied. Then before God, moneychangers, Pharisees, Saducees, scribes, priests, and normal everyday people, He taught and let one group after another examine Him with good questions and bad, and was shown to be a perfect sinless sacrifice, whom the high priest would proclaim should die for all the people.
Then as that perfect sacrifice He did die, and rise again to save us. God the Father accepted His sacrifice, and will turn no one away for what Washer perceives as that sacrifice’s insufficiency. “All that the Father gives to Me will come to Me, and he who comes to Me I will no-wise cast out.”
Washer’s message also proclaimed this unconscionable misguided statement in response to those who say we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone: “Jesus only offers you two things–a cross to die on and eternal life in return.”
Horrible. Heresy. Tear-your-clothes-in-mourning blasphemy. This is the kind of thing that should get a teacher banned from the pulpit. I’ve never heard an atheist belittle the cross of Christ and its efficacy more.
Here is what Jesus offers, and in fact offers to sinners worthy of hell who have not and cannot clean themselves up: (Not an exhaustive list) 1) Eternal life (not earned by taking up a cross and following Him) 2) Deliverance from God’s just wrath in hell 3) Complete security that they will not be condemned but have passed from death to life 4) Forgiveness of sins 5) Cleansing of sins, past, present, and future 6) Justification (being declared righteous in spite of our sin) 7) Entrance into His kingdom and the privilege of serving Him for the glory of God and the salvation of others 8) Adoption as sons of God even though we were His enemies 9) Angels to protect us 10) Access to throne of grace to find help and mercy when we pray in every situation and circumstance 11) Not just life, but abundant life 12) Deliverance from sin 13) Deliverance from the power of Satan to God 14) Our eyes being opened that we might see 15) The beginning of a process of growth & sanctification and a promise that He will continue that work to completion 16) A hope that will not disappoint of glory in heaven, an end to sin and the sin nature, a glorified body that does not sin or want to, that does not get sick, get old, or die, and in a place where there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying. All of these things and more are unearned, but received as a free gift at the expense of Jesus Christ alone. And He comes to us first not as Lord and Judge but as Savior. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” The passage goes on to say that this salvation is given to all who believe.