It Is Only Stupid If You Change The Terms

Do Reformed preachers not see the stupidity of telling people not to rely on their works while also saying genuine faith produces good works?  It just seems like double-speak to avoid being labeled Catholic or Arminian.
I reply:  this Reformed preacher fails to see the stupidity in this at all.  I’ll explain.
There is an important distinction being missed here by the questioner.  In Reformed theology, we distinguish between the basis of your salvation and the outcome/response to your salvation.  Drawing on the Bible, Reformed theology teaches that the basis or ground of our salvation is only in the finished work of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24).  His perfect obedience and his perfect sacrifice on the cross constitute my righteousness before God.  I can be justified – declared righteous – only because of Christ.  Therefore, I rely on him and what he has done, rather than on me and what I have done.

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Wes Bredenhof | “Reformed Stupidity” | November 29th, 2023


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  1. It’s a simple distinction between cause and effect. Works salvation is obedience and doing works in order to merit salvation. The grace, that credits salvation on the merits of Christ, produces love and gratitude that motivates obedience and good works. That seems to be the gospel mystery that sadly eludes so many people.


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