Does Saving Grace Involve our Behaviour?

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Dear Reader,

The teaching is rife among liberal New Movement Adventists that behaviour has nothing to do with being saved by grace. This is quite a misrepresentation of truth in light of the fact that grace is given for obedience:

Rom 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Rom 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all [men]. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

Rom 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

1Cr 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 2Cr 7:15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.

2Cr 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

2Cr 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Phm 1:21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

Hbr 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

In addition to the above evidence, consider the following Biblical and Spirit of Prophecy testimony that grace is not in any way shape or form separate from behavior as far as the conditions for salvation are concerned.

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner [behaviour] of conversation;

2Pe 3:11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] [behaviourally] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,

2Pe 3:11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [behaviour] [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,

2Cr 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner [behaviour], that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they walked [behaved] not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before [them] all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner [behaviour] of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

2Ti 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner [behaviour] of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

Note: Thus we see that faith, lopngsuffering, charity, and patience are behavioural characteristics or attributes.

Hbr 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner [behaviour] of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

1Ch 19:13 Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do [that which is] good in his sight.

Psa 101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

Isa 3:5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.

1Cr 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God,

1Ti 2:9 In like manner [behaviour] also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

Eze 23:45 And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner [behaviour] of adulteresses, and after the manner [behaviour] of women that shed blood; because they [are] adulteresses, and blood [is] in their hands.

Eze 20:30 Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye polluted after the manner [behaviour] of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?

Luk 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner [behaviour] of spirit ye are of.

Can we be of a wrong spirit and be saved? Does correct spiritual behaviour determine whether or not we are saved? Can we possess the spirit [behaviour] of Satan and be saved?

"Let us seek to meet [behave according to]] the mind of the Spirit of God in all things." [Philippians 2:1-7. quoted.] {10MR 105.5}

"We may deny Christ [behaviourly] in outward appearance, by gratifying a proud heart, by lifting up the soul unto vanity, by uncourteous behaviour." E.G. White, {RH, February 9, 1892 par. 15}.

Note by writer: Can we deny Christ continually and be saved? Does such denial demonstrate a love for Christ and our brethren? Can we be saved without the love of Christ in our hearts? Is our "first love" a work? Notice the following Biblical answer to this question:

Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and [then] to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Rev 2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last [to be] more than the first.

 "Satan has gained many victories over the professed followers of Jesus through their unchristlike spirit and behavior toward their brethren who do not agree with them, and toward unbelievers. The discussion of doctrines has not resulted in bringing union, but variance. A bitter spirit has been cherished, bitter words have been spoken. The words of the True Witness should be carefully studied by all: "I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love,"--grown cold, unsympathetic; hardness of heart has taken the place of brotherly, Christlike love. "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." This warning should be heeded by every church in our ranks. New elements of Christian life must be brought into the church. Love for Christ means a broad, extended love for one another, that love which is now so sadly wanting. The lack of love leads to the lack of respect for each other, and the neglect of true courtesy. There is criticising, fault-finding, reporting words spoken in confidence, and using these to second the accusations of Satan, who is ever busy in sowing distrust, jealousy, and bitterness. Why do the members of the church run so readily into this evil work, overlooking the precious things? Why do they not speak words of approval and encouragement to one another, and thus water the precious plant of love, that it may not die out of the heart? {RH, February 9, 1892 par. 16}.


June 3, 1903 "Walk in the Light."
Mrs. E. G. White.

The Christian pilgrim is not left to walk in darkness. Jesus leads the way. Those who follow Him walk in the sunshine of His presence. The path that the pilgrim treads is clear and well defined. Christ's righteousness goes before him--the righteousness that makes possible the good works characterizing the life of every true Christian. God is his rearward. He walks in the light as Christ is in the light. As he travels onward in the Christian journey, he combines faith with earnest endeavor to win others to accompany him. Constantly receiving the light of Christ's presence, constantly he reflects this light to others in words of encouragement and deeds of self-denial. He bears the sign of obedience to God's law, which distinguishes him from those who are not following the pathway that leads to life eternal. {ST, June 3, 1903 par. 1}

The Christian pilgrim can not be sour, gloomy, depressed. It is a misrepresentation of the Christian faith to be surly, unreasonable, or sour in spirit. He who walks in the light cherishes no such spirit, but, by conscientious, consistent behaviour, heeds the apostle's admonition to provoke his fellow pilgrims to love and good works. Those who have a careful regard for one another's needs, those who speak words of kindly sympathy, those who give thoughtful assistance to others, to help them in their work, encourage not only their fellow men, but themselves as well, because they thus become laborers together with God. {ST, June 3, 1903 par. 2}

If it were not for the light that is given us from above, we could not follow step by step in the footprints of Jesus. Christ came to this world in order that we might have this light. He is "the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." He, the Majesty of heaven, the Son of the living God, the One equal with the Father, came to our world to stand by the side of fallen beings, through His sacrifice giving value to humanity. Lower and still lower He stepped in humiliation, until it was impossible for Him to descend any lower. For our sake He suffered and died. While hanging upon the cross, He exclaimed, "It is finished." He had accomplished His work for us; He had become the propitiation for our sins; He had made it possible for us to be accepted of God through faith in the atoning merits of the Crucified One. {ST, June 3, 1903 par. 3}

If from the beginning of our Christian experience we had walked in the counsel of God, many more would have been converted to the Saviour. But often crooked paths have been made. Let us make straight paths, lest the lame be turned out of the way. Let no one follow a crooked path that some one else has made; for thus he would not only go astray himself, but would make this crooked path plainer for some one else to follow. Dear reader, determine that as for yourself, you will walk in the path of obedience. Know for a certainty that you are standing under the broad shield of Omnipotence. Realize that the characteristics of Jehovah must be revealed in your life, and that in you must be accomplished a work that will mould your character [behaviour] after the divine similitude. Yield yourself to the guidance of Him who is Head over all. {ST, June 3, 1903 par. 4}

We are doing a work for the judgment. Let us be learners of Jesus. We need His guidance every moment. At every step we should inquire, "Is this the way of the Lord?" not, "Is this the way of the man who is over me?" We are to be concerned only as to whether we are walking in the way of the Lord. Unconsciously every true follower of the Master will say, "Are there not but twelve hours in the day? and am I not working at the close of the day? I must walk in the light as one of the children of light. I must lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset, and run with patience the race that is set before me. I am striving for a crown of glory that fadeth not away." {ST, June 3, 1903 par. 5}

To "walk in the light" means to resolve to exercise thought to exert will-power, in an earnest endeavor to represent Christ in sweetness of character [behaviour]. It means to put away all gloom. Let no one rest satisfied simply in saying, "I am a child of God." Are you beholding Jesus, and by beholding, becoming changed into His likeness [behaviour]? To "walk in the light" means advancement and progress in spiritual attainments. Paul declared, "Not as tho I had already attained, neither were already perfect: but . . . forgetting those things which are behind," constantly beholding the Pattern, I reach "forth unto those things which are before." {ST, June 3, 1903 par. 6}

To "walk in the light" means to "walk uprightly," to walk "in the way of the Lord," to walk by faith," to "walk in the Spirit." to "walk in the truth," to "walk in love," to "walk in newness of life." It is "perfecting holiness in the fear of God." {ST, June 3, 1903 par. 7}.

Note by Ron Beaulieu: Does the above paragraph have to do with character and behaviour? End note.

What a terrible thing it is to darken the pathway of others by bringing shadow and gloom upon ourselves! Let each one take heed to himself. Charge not upon others your defects of character. Talk light; walk in the light. "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." Study not how to please self. Lose sight of self, and behold the multitudes perishing in their sins. Gather to your souls the courage that can come only from the Light of the world. Forgetting self, help the many who are within reach around you. Talk faith, and your faith will increase. Cease lamenting. Work in Christ's lines. With loving endeavor strive to please Him. His excellence will help you to be Christlike. Ever stand ready to lift up the hands that hang down, and to strengthen the feeble knees. Shine as lights in the world, attracting others by the brightness of Christ's glory revealed through your good works. {ST, June 3, 1903 par. 8}

God will honor and uphold every true-hearted, earnest soul who is seeking to walk before Him in the perfection of Christ's grace. He will never leave nor forsake one humble, trembling follower of His. He will work in the hearts of those who receive Him, making His children pure and holy, by His rich grace qualifying them to be laborers together with Him. With keen sanctified perception they will appreciate the strength of His promises, and appropriate them, not because of any worthiness of their own, but because by living faith they avail themselves of the benefits of Christ's sacrifice, and receive the robe of His righteousness. {ST, June 3, 1903 par. 9}

My fellow traveler in the Christian way, as you walk in the light, pray, simply trusting in Jesus your Redeemer. Walk so that your life will reflect rays of light to others. Confide in the love of Jesus, and you will have grace to save perishing souls. Your path will be as the path of the just,--a "shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." {ST, June 3, 1903 par. 10}

September 30, 1912

A Solemn Testimony


My Brethren and Sisters:

Last night after I had retired to rest a strange depression came over me, and for a long time I was unable to sleep. Then I seemed to be talking with companies of our people--to a little group here and a little group there, and a little group somewhere else. I was saying to them, You do not need to plan for unholy amusements. When your life is hid with Christ in God, you will find in Him all the enchantment you need. Words like this had been spoken to me. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 1}

As I passed from one group to another, I experienced disappointment after disappointment. There was revealed in each company a desire for foolish pleasure. Men and women, acting like children, seemed to have forgotten their responsibility to glorify God. I saw the foolish actions, and heard the foolish words that were spoken, and I saw how the Spirit of God was grieved and the Lord dishonoured. While God and angels were working by every possible means for the upbuilding of the kingdom of righteousness in the earth, those who should have been standing as Heaven's representatives were taking a low level and dishonouring their Redeemer's name. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 2}

I said to some, You should bear in mind that as God's professed people you are called to reach a high standard. The Lord cannot be glorified by such a course as you are now pursuing. He bids us to glorify Him in our body and in our spirits, which are His. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 3}

I do not know with what words to describe these scenes, or what character to give them; but I know that in participating in them you are lessening your influence for righteousness: you are displeasing the Lord; you are setting an example that none can safely follow. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 4}

I was cited to the words of inspiration with which Paul voiced his hope for those who had been won to the gospel in Thessalonica. "We pray always for you," he declares, "that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." The example [BEHAVIOUR] of these converts to the faith would tell more for the glory of God than all the preaching of Paul and his fellow-labourers. And so the consistent course of believers in this age will do more to magnify the power of truth than all the sermons of our ministers. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 5}

At the camp-meeting that has just closed, truths were presented and instruction given, which, if appropriated and rightly used would work transformation in the church, and change the atmosphere in the home, aiding parents in giving the right mould to the characters of the children and youth. It would change the relations of many of the workers in our institutions, enabling them to bear testimony for the truth in consistent, devoted lives. The impressions made by the camp-meeting were good. I feel sad that any could come from that meeting to take part in scenes that could not fail to remove the impressions of the Spirit from the mind. My heart is burdened as I think of such experiences being repeated after such good instruction had been given. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 6}

All sanitarium workers and parents and ministers should realize their responsibility to God to be themselves patterns of what they desire the youth to become. "For their sakes I sanctify Myself," Christ declared,"that they also might be sanctified through the truth." So those to whom the youth should look for direction and a godly example should sanctify themselves. Paul directed Timothy, "Be thou an [BEHAVIOURAL] example to the believers." This is instruction to the workers in every institution. If they are learning of Christ daily, they will never forget how potent for good is the influence of a right example. But if they are seeking only to amuse and please themselves, they set for themselves and for those within their range a low standard. Such a course can only end eventually in the yielding up of their faith. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 7}

How can gospel believers act in such a way as to encourage those with whom they associate in frivolity and pleasure-loving, and spend their time in acting out the foolishness of the sinner? Do they not know that angels of God are standing by, making a record of their words and actions? I saw angels of God writing, and I looked to see what they had written. I read these words: None of these things will give you spiritual strength, but will lessen your influence for righteousness. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 8}

I was directed to the words of Paul to Timothy: "Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; [VERSUS OUR OWN POWER] who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. . . . Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee to keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 9}

"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man strive for the masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things." {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 10}

I was given words of warning and appeals to parents and ministers. Turning from one to another, I told them of their need of being converted daily, of the great importance of having the Spirit of God resting upon them. I said, My brethren and sisters, we have not time to spend in glorifying the enemy of all righteousness: individually we are to strive for the mastery over all foolishness: we are to strengthen our souls by training our minds to dwell upon the sound, sensible truths of the Word of God, that when the enemy seeks to take possession of the mind, and to lead us into sin, we shall have strength to act like Christians. If we will let the Spirit of God make its impression on our minds, and will yield our lives to His control, we shall not dishonour God before the world. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 11}

I asked the youth and those more advanced in years what impressions such scenes were likely to make on the minds of unbelievers; what influence would this folly have upon those to whom it was their privilege to minister the things of eternal life? {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 12}

As I spoke with great earnestness, pointing them to their privileges as sons and daughters of God, some were overcome with a sense of their wrongdoing. And as the conviction of the Spirit of God came upon them, they fell on their knees and prayed for forgiveness. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 13}

When I awoke I supposed these things presented to me related to something that would transpire in the future; and I thought I would wait before saying anything to my brethren. I had not heard of anything that was going on the day before; but I felt discouraged and disappointed. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 14}

The gatherings together in our institutions should never be of such a nature as to give the stamp of pleasure-loving and worldliness. There is enough of foolishness in the world. It should be the endeavour of the workers, not to encourage a delight in these things in those who come to our institutions, but to learn how to fill the mind with the things of God. Our ministers need to work during the vacation time to strengthen and steady the minds of the youth. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 15}

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." This class will be developed among us as a people as well as in the world. Great then is the need that we stand in that position where every jot of our powers may be used to magnify God and His truth. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 16}

"Speak thou the things that becometh sound doctrine," the apostle enjoins, "that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded, in all things showing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you." Mrs. E. G. White. {AUCR, September 30, 1912 par. 17}.

Ron Beaulieu

Responses to Vance Ferrel's Article on Pastor Dan's Smith's Sermon at La Sierra

Brother Ron,

(Quoting Dan Smith) "Grace has nothing to do with our behavior. God pours out His grace apart from works . ."

This guy sure doesn't read his Bible with understanding now does he?
The word conversation in the KJV means behavior.

2Pe 3:11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what
manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy (conversation) and godliness,

2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,
wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Here is the Greek for conversation.

Greek for 391

Pronunciation Guide
anastrophe {an-as-trof-ay'}

TDNT Reference Root Word
TDNT - 7:715,1093 from 390
Part of Speech
n f
Outline of Biblical Usage
1) manner of life, conduct, behaviour, deportment

Even the less reliable versions have it right.

Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives
you should be living! NLT

God Bless,

The following response was from Arnold Sy Go:

Quoting Dan Smith's sermon: "Christianity is not complicated. If you have the Saviour, you're in. You can't be lost if you have the Son; you have assurance of salvation.

You know, this particular statement from Dan Smith is absolutely true. This is the gospel that we all need to understand and preach.

"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (1Jn 5:12-13).

This is just one passage of Scripture that proves the point, but the Bible is full of these. To state the obvious, having the Savior makes you saved. If you have the Son, you have life. This is the grace that brings salvation.

And to better understand what this grace is, let's look at a few more verses from the same book to see what else this grace brings. Let's see what will happen if we truly have the Son.

"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1Jn 1:5-7)

"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (1Jn2:3-6)

"And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him." (1Jn 3:5-6)

"He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the
beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might
destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit
sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1Jn 3:8-9)

"And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." (1Jn 3:24)

It should be unquestionably clear that one cannot have the Son and have sin; one cannot walk with Christ and walk in sin. If we have Christ, we cannot have sin. And, the promise is if we have Christ, we will have salvation.

What does it mean to be saved? Here's some inspiration:

"Jesus died to save His people from their sins, and redemption in Christ
means to cease the transgression of the law of God and to be free from every sin; no heart that is stirred with enmity against the law of God is in harmony with Christ, who suffered on Calvary to vindicate and exalt the law before the universe." (FW 95.1)

To be saved/redeemed means to cease from transgression and be free from sin.

If Dan Smith would present the full Bible truth, it would surely result in the blessed assurance of salvation.

By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go