Ask any Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) preacher if they believe that salvation is by grace, without works, and they will likely quote:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9)
Most every Christian sect preaches that salvation is by grace. A sinner can not work for their salvation or do anything to merit it. Preachers frequently remind parishioners that grace is unmerited favor. There is nothing the sinner can do to merit God’s favor, grace, and salvation. It is God alone who saves a sinner and if God doesn’t save a sinner then they can never be saved. (I have written before on this subject, Salvation by Works or by Faith: The Doubletalk of Christian Preachers.)
Yet, if you listen to what they preach or write on their website, it is clear that salvation is by grace plus _____________________. Fill in the blank with whatever word (s) complete the following sentences:
- A real Christian _______________
- A true Christian______________
- If you are really a Christian you will ______________
- A real Christian believes _________________
Many IFB preachers love to use themselves as an example of what a real Christian is. They call it “bragging on Jesus” but what it really is is a narcissist telling you what a wonderful Christian he is. Listen carefully to their sermons and you will find out exactly what works you need to do to be considered a real Christian.
Take David Cloud, a veteran IFB preacher. In a recent(broken link) article, David Cloud stated:
“This would indicate that large numbers of “KJV Bible readers” are nominal in their Christianity. In fact, if an individual doesn’t read the Bible even once a week, it is doubtful whether he is a born again Christian, as one of the evidences of salvation is a love for God’s Word.”
In other words, if you don’t read your Bible at least ONCE a week then you are likely NOT a Christian.