Pristine Grace

Proper Knowledge Does Not Save
by Brandan Kraft
Proper Knowledge Does Not Save

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life... - John 5:39a

    Jesus is talking to the Pharisees here who thought they had eternal life because they had knowledge of the scriptures.  And today, there are some people who think that just because they have a knowledge of how God sovereignly saves His people, or that they know the scriptures inside and out, and can articulate the Gospel, they think they have eternal life.  Others think that just because they are able to point out all the erroneous views of salvation, and can argue for correct doctrine and argue against false doctrine, then they too have eternal life.  

    But eternal life isn't dependent upon what you know.   It's dependent upon Christ!  And some, and I dare say many of those who can argue doctrine and can argue about what they know, do not know the Savior.  Just like the pharisees who could argue doctrine, they couldn't see the Messiah who stood right in front of them.  And having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it (2 Tim 3:5), they ironically condition salvation upon what it is they think they know while bashing on those who are doing the very same thing as them in addition to bashing on Christ's elect and even Christ Himself (Acts 9:5).

    Doctrine is not unimportant.  Salvation is defined by doctrine.  Being able to describe how God saved His people is important.  Bible and Gospel propositions are important.  But salvation is not dependent upon your knowledge.  It's dependent upon Christ!  And being able to argue for correct doctrine and against false doctrine will not save a single person.

Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works? And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness! Matthew 7:22-23

    Judas was capable of preaching, had the power to cast out devils, could perform miracles, and do many wonders in the name of Chirst (Mat 10:1).  But in the end, he betrayed Christ because he was not one of Christ's sheep.   And when Christ says, "I never knew you," that means He never LOVED him from eternity, or in time.  When Judas was performing all those works in the name of Christ, Christ saw Judas standing amongst His pepole, preaching in Christ's name, at Christ's table eating His bread and drinking His wine.  Yet Christ never knew or loved Judas.   Judas was only interested in exalting himself, and glorying in his knowledge and his abilities.  He was not interested in the savior, and he went to his death knowing but not believing in Christ's ways, and therefore not depending upon Christ as one of His sheep (John 10:27).

    Bashing on false religionists on social media doesn't mean you know the Lord, so don't take comfort in your abilities to quote scripture or even preach the truth.   So you got your mind right about some Gospel propositions, but are you conditioning salvation upon your knowledge?  Some folks preach against free-willism and works salvation as if they understand Grace, while ironically relying upon what they know instead of the savior who was slain from the foundation of the world for all of His people (Mat 1:21, Rev 13:8).