Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bible Trumping and America's Grace Problem

Donald Trump, front-runner in the United States' Presidential election, has excited diverse interest. Americans of many ethnic backgrounds are getting behind the Manhattan, New York real estate mogul and reality TV start.

He has also piqued concern among Christians.

Trump once claimed that he never had to ask God for forgiveness.

For God's Glory Alone Ministries (FGGAM) reported the following:

Donald Trump told CNN last Sunday that he has a “great relationship” with God. He explained: “I like to be good. I don’t like to have to ask for forgiveness, and I am good. I don’t do a lot of things that are bad. I try to do nothing that’s bad.”

Granted, there is nothing wrong with confidence. Yet confidence which does not stand on truthful, gracious grounds is useless. Perhaps today we do not ask for forgiveness of sins. Under the New Covenant (Hebrews 8: 10-12), men and women in Christ rest because they received and continue receiving it. In the case of Trump, he seems convinced that he never had reason to be ashamed or sorry for.

There's little to Trump’s trumped-up theology. Hot air can only soar so far. Lots of people believe in God. In fact, even demons believe in God, and they are scared.

"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." (James 2: 19)

Faith in God does not save.

Faith in Christ Jesus does! His blood saves, cleanses, restores, and blesses us in every way!

Trump’s confession is definitely troubling, not just for his supposed beliefs, but also the warped misunderstanding of many Christians in America.

He says that he's a good person.

What does the Bible say about our good works, or about making ourselves good?

Donald Trump

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64: 6)

and then
"They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Romans 3: 12)
and also
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3: 23)

Notwithstanding the truth, that all men have sin and need a savior and a new life, Trump thinks that he is a pretty good guy who does good things.


FGGAM reported the truth with conviction and clarity--through a clear reference to the Scriptures:

Hopefully you know better. Hopefully you know that you are saved only on the basis of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8–9), and that you can do nothing to deserve such love.

We are saved by the grace of God, shed upon us through His Son, who died for us, who rose from the dead for us, and sits as us at the right hand of God the Father:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

Why would I settle for my own works? His work is so much better!

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2: 11-14)

Notice how we start with grace, and then good works follow.

Apart from Christ Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15:5)

Whatever good things Donald Trump has, he did not earn them through his efforts. 

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1: 17)

Donald has a big problem, and yet his arrogance is a symptom of the greater malaise killing the United States.

Notice once again that as many as 71% of Americans think works play an essential role in salvation.


Read the Bible much?

These beliefs are heresy at its core. Tragically, the common denominator in many modern denominations allowed this little bit of leaven into the whole lump.

We are not saved by what we do, but what Jesus did! This country has drifted so far away from the truth of the Gospel. Today, if anyone preaches the grace of God, he is branded a heretic or a fraud.

And yet. . .

"Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13: 38-39)

Too many Christians really do not know the Gospel. Many Christians (especially in the United States) are still walking around with a sense of guilt and shame, or pride in their self-efforts.
None of us have what we have, or go anywhere with any greatness, by our own efforts. We are saved by grace through faith, taken from our dead selves in Adam to living forever in Christ. Still, so many Americans, including Presidential front-runner Donald Trump, believe that their good works (or big donations) can get them to heaven or at least help keep them there.

Forget Bible thumping. The United States suffers from Bible trumping, in that they do not believe the Gospel in its fullest, and reduce grace to an aid or assist to our own works. America—and the world—needs a revival of the truth, and the truth is revealed to us through the grace of God, granted to us in Christ Jesus: not our works, our wealth, or our inflated sense of self-worth.

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