Does the IFB Church Preach Salvation by Grace?

saved or lost

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 Friday Church Notes (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.

Comments (5)

  1. Whitesnake Jackson

    I know I’m saved because salvation is a gift that you can only get by asking for it, sorta like a timeshare prize, and I asked for it in the correct manner of closing my eyes tightly and making the most sincere face possible while requesting that Jesus come live in my body’s main circulatory organ. All the rest of it is just doctrinal bullshit.

    1. Byroniac

      I finally figured out what happened to my salvation and my Holy Spirit regeneration. I closed my eyes really tight and in my mind’s eye, up came an LED display. And behold, it said, “Replace Batteries.” So now I know.

  2. NeverAgainV

    LOVE IT Bruce! Oh I heard in many a sermon that bible verse “not of works lest any man should boast…” Yet I never had so many burdens and works heaped on me than I did with that Calvinist/Baptist church.

    there was no grace…except for the pastor’s nearest and dearest. :(

  3. Sceptic

    As a Southern Baptist for my first 35 years, this one always bugged me. It’s part of the reason I became an Episcopalian and a universalist. (And freely admit to varying degrees of agnosticism).
    Think of what true grace is with this illustration:
    You are overcome by smoke in a burning building, going in and out of consciousness. A firefighter finds you and sticks out a gloved hand. Does he say, “If you’ll only accept my hand, I’ll give you this free gift of salvation!”?
    No. He picks your ass up, whether you’re able to “accept” the salvation or not.
    That’s grace.
    Accepting the gift is no less a “work” than any number of __________ that a “true Christian” does.

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Great analogy,Sceptic.


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