Salvation by Doctrine

I just replied to an email that I think touches on a subject that’s worth sharing.  It reads:

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Pastor Jim.

Question: Is it possible for an elect (person) to die not KNOWING doctrines about the Grace of God?
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Greetings.

I would say what I said yesterday morning:  I don’t have the jurisdiction to decide who is and isn’t going to Heaven.  But, I have a very hard time imagining that the GRACE of God also requires some pre-qualification like getting all of your theological ducks in a neat row.  That idea effectively erases the idea of grace.

Let’s say, for instance, that one of the people God chooses is a mentally infirm person who never understands Calvinism.  That would be merciful of God.  He gave unmerited grace to someone who is completely dependent on mercy.  God’s glory and mercy would be most evident in such a case.  So yes, in such an instance, the elect one would die without KNOWING the doctrines of grace.  But, God would be glorified … which is God’s ultimate end.

Someone could argue, “But, what about the mentally capable person?  Wouldn’t he HAVE to know the doctrine to be saved?”  Again, I can offer an example where that’s not the case.  What about the thief on the cross?  He knew virtually nothing except to look toward Jesus in his dying moments.  He made a very simple profession.  And He had a more sure word of salvation than I have ever received from the lips of Jesus.

The Bible certainly spells out “sound doctrine.”  And Paul argues adamantly against anything else.  But, the acid test for salvation is not the comprehension of the doctrine.  It’s love … of God, His Christ, and God’s people.

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (John 13:35)

No such test of discipleship exists in the Bible where “knowing doctrines” is concerned.

Keep looking to Christ (and not to your own understanding).  He is a gracious and perfect Redeemer.  Our best effort and best understanding counts for nothing.  It’s all filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

And the insistence that people can only be saved if they have achieved a certain level of knowledge (an assertion I see bandied about on the Internet regularly) is essentially a denial of what the Word actually says.

Christ is either sufficient, or He isn’t.

I say He is.

Grace and peace,

Jim Mc.

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The Last of the Summer Preaching Trips

Well, Autumn is nearly upon us.  And this week I’ll be headed north for the last of the Summer preaching trips.  It’s been a busy season.  I decided this year not to say no to any offers to come preach.  And that decision has taken me from Dallas to Long Island, and points in between.  Thank you to the pastors and churches that have allowed me to stand in their pulpits and proclaim God’s word.

This weekend I’ll be teaching at Riverside Bible Church in Columbus, Ohio for their fall retreat. This is the second year I’ll be with them.  Last year was completely enjoyable, so I’m certainly looking forward to being among the saints in Columbus once again.  Micah will be joining me (visiting his former home church).

The schedule looks like this:

Breakfast at 8:30. The first session is from 9:30 to 10:30.  The second session is from 11:00 to 12:00. Then lunch and the final session from 12:45 to whenever.  It’s a lot of talking.  I plan on teaching the evidence for why we believe the Bible and the proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If you’re in the region and have a Saturday morning to spare, come say hello! You’ll be mighty glad you did.  The folk at Riverside are most welcoming and accommodating.

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Long Island and Chattanooga audio and notes

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the good folk at Shiloh Baptist Church on Long Island (the long drive notwithstanding).  While there, I promised them that I would post my notes along with the audio from our three nights of teaching.  (A bit of the audio is missing when they changed CD’s, but a bit of digital editing makes it flow fine.)

The following week I was in Chattanooga at the 2017 gathering of the Sovereign Grace Bible Conference.  That audio is posted here, as well.

SGBC 2017 – The Message of Grace Alone

Shiloh Baptist, Long Island. July 18 2017 – Proving the Bible Pt. 1

Shiloh Baptist, Long Island. July 18 2017 – Proving the Bible Pt. 2

Shiloh Baptist, Long Island. July 19 2017 – The Word on the Word Pt. 1

Shiloh Baptist, Long Island. July 19 2017 – The Word on the Word Pt 2

Shiloh Baptist, Long Island. July 20 2017 – Proving the Resurrection Pt. 1

Shiloh Baptist, Long Island. July 20 2017 – Proving the Resurrection Pt. 2

Notes from three nights on Long Island

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Heading for Long Island!

To all our friends in the Northeast, I am headed for Long Island next week.  I will be at Shiloh Baptist Church, where my friend Herman Washington is the pastor.  The address is:

96 N Centre Ave
Rockville Centre, NY
11570

I will be teaching Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night (July 18-20) on the topics:

Why We Trust the Bible
The Word on the Word
The Proof of the Resurrection

And the week following, I’ll be in Chattanooga at the Sovereign Grace Bible Conference.  Greater New Home Baptist Church is our host church, once again.  And, I am slated to preach Wednesday morning.

So, feel free to come by and say hello!  It’s always good to meet friends and fellow travelers while we’re out there on the road.

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The “Solas” of the Reformation

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of being at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Terrell, TX. with some of my favorite preachers and friends, for the 2017 gathering of the Texas chapter of the Sovereign Grace Bible Conference.    Roger Skepple and I taught on the “Solas” that lay at the heart of the Protestant Reformation.  I always enjoy teaching with Roger. He’s a good exegete and we compliment each other quite well.  I came home with the audio of those messages and want to share it with you all.

Roger Skepple – Sola Christus (Christ Alone)

Jim McClarty – Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)

Roger Skepple – Sola Fide (Faith Alone)

Jim McClarty – Soli Deo Gloria (God’s Glory Alone)

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Summer Travel

The Summer travel season is about to begin for me.  It kicks off with a trip to Texas.  The itinerary and all the necessary into can be found in the following pdf.  I do enjoy getting out and seeing the saints around the country.  And, as long as God gives me breath (and the occasional travel companion), I’ll keep doing it.

Here’s the info for the 8th Annual Sovereign Grace Conference in Texas next month:

8th Annual Sovereign Grace Bible Conference Itinerary-1

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Homecoming 2017

Well, I think it’s safe to say that a mighty fine time was had by all the folk who joined us last weekend.  Good messages, good fellowship, good food, and good company.  What more can you ask?  As of today, it sounds like everyone got home safely (aside from those who chose to hang around Smyrna for a few days).  So, I’m very grateful.

Here are the audio files, all in one place, from this weekend’s gathering … along with a special file of music from both our Saturday and Sunday services.  Plus, I’ve included a pdf of my notes, since I didn’t quite make through them all.  So, enjoy.  Listen.  Sing along.  And hopefully the joy that we all felt will transfer via these audio files.

Here is Tom’s Saturday message.

Here is Alex’s Saturday message.

Here is our Sunday morning communion message.

Here is the song and music file.

And here are my notes.

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The Sovereignty of God at ETT 2017

I was privileged to be at the Embracing the Truth Conference 2017 last week.  I taught for three mornings.  God was good.  My health held out, my voice didn’t wain too much, and I got to see friends and brothers who I only get to visit with a couple times a year.  So, all in all, a mighty good week.

In the weeks to come, the other messages from the conference will be posted on the conference website: sovereigngracebibleconference.org

In the meantime, here are my three presentations.  The third day, the ear-mounted microphone gave me some trouble.  That’s the cause for the various clicks and pops.  But, I think the audio is still quite listenable.

ETT 2017 – Sovereignty and Prayer

ETT 2017 Sovereignty and Suffering

ETT 2017 – Sovereignty and Evangelism

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