‘Tis agreed by the great majority in all Christian countries that there is no salvation but by Jesus Christ. Thus far general consent agrees with the apostolic doctrine. But, then, a capital difference between these two arises in the following manner.
The apostles maintained that Christ did enough to save sinners in his own person without their concurrence, and that all who were so persuaded, accordingly found salvation in him. As the natural counterpart of this, they at the same time maintained, that if any man went about to deny or undermine the all-sufficiency of Christ’s work to save, by insisting on the necessity of any other concurring requisite whatever, Christ should profit him nothing” (Sandeman).
But there are MANY among this “great majority” who, in agreement with the Westminster Confession of Faith 10.3, DENY that everyone without exception who is saved by Jesus Christ actually KNOWS that they are saved by Jesus Christ (contra Romans 10:1-4).
Despite many pseudo-Christians relegating Galatians 5:2-4 to the dustbin of irrelevance, those who ADD their supposed “non-meritorious conditions” to the sufficient work of Christ will be profited NOTHING (cf. Galatians 5:2-4).
“On the other hand, since Christianity began to flourish and prevail in the world, the majority of those wearing the Christian name have been agreed in maintaining the necessity of something beside Christ’s work to save them, or procure them acceptance with God. Yea, long before that time, even in the apostolic age, the Judaizing Christians who were far from being few in number, proceeded upon the same plan. This we are taught by the apostles to call a corrupted or perverted gospel. And here chiefly we may perceive the consent of the Christian world all along opposed to the apostolic doctrine” (Sandeman).
Here is just one example of a purveyor of a corrupted or perverted gospel (cf. Galatians 1:8-9) who is diametrically opposed to the apostolic doctrine of the cross of Christ:
“Admitting, however, that the Augustinian doctrine that Christ died specially for his own people does account for the general offer of the gospel, how can it be reconciled with those passages which, in one form or another, teach that He died for all men? In answer to this question, it may be remarked in the first place that Augustinians do not deny that Christ died for all men. What they deny is that He died equally, and with the same design, for all men. He died for all, that He might arrest the immediate execution of the penalty of the law upon the whole of our apostate race; that He might secure for men the innumerable blessings attending their state on earth, which, in one important sense, is a state of probation; and that He might lay the foundation for the offer of pardon and reconciliation with God, on condition of faith and repentance” (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Volume 2, p. 558).
Robert Sandeman writes:
“But while we behold the Christian world consenting against the apostles about the necessity of some addition, we see them at the same time very far from being agreed among themselves about what ought to be added, and how much, the nature of the assistance needful to promote the addition, and the properest means of soliciting the concurring assistance, with various other considerations depending on these. So, when Israel once departed from the worship of the one God who led them out of Egypt, they could never settle upon the worship of any other, but lay open to all the innovations of the neighbouring nations. Thus, when a wife once departs from her husband to admit another, she may easily be prevailed upon to admit a second, third, and fourth, till at last she become a downright prostitute” (Sandeman).
Disagreement among the God-haters about such things as “the nature of the assistance needful to promote the addition” to the work of Christ (cf. Galatians 5:2-4) are seen in conditionalist Calvinists, Arminians, and Roman Catholics, to name just a few. Said addition or additions are seen in the aforementioned false Christians’ antichristian views of “grace” that enables self-righteousness-establishing-condition-meeting (Romans 10:1-4).
“In the apostolic age, the favourite addition was to become a Jewish proselyte by circumcision. And it is evident that much more could be said in favour of that than could be urged in behalf of any other that has been adopted since. In the Roman church the additional grounds of acceptance with God have been multiplied in a very extravagant manner. Protestants have in many respects discarded the extravagance of that church, yet they still generally agree in establishing their own righteousness as the ground of their acceptance with God, according to various schemes of their own, some in a more open, others in a more secret and ambiguous manner frustrating the all-sufficiency of the righteousness finished by Jesus Christ” (Sandeman).
Exactly. Right on. The conditionalist Calvinists may have “discarded the extravagance” of the Roman Catholic church, but nonetheless “still generally agree in establishing their own righteousness as the ground of their acceptance with God, according to various schemes of their own, some in a more open, others in a more secret and ambiguous manner.” John Piper’s hyper-conditionalism seen in his book Future Grace is a prime example of the “more open.” Presently, I cannot recall any self-righteous God-haters of the “more secret and ambiguous” variety. Next Page (14)