The “It is finished” false doctrine, by alan ballou
I heard, “We’re resting on the finished work of Christ,” and it was spoken as if there was an actual verse that says “Do not obey Jesus, but simply rest in His finished work!” In fact, all they kept saying when questioned was, “It is finished!”
Years ago I was questioned by church leaders because I was teaching repentance. Their reasoning was that the thief on the cross did not repent. That sounded good, just like “it is finished,” but did Jesus instruct us to be like the thief?
I gladly provided a few verses on repentance for those who questioned me, but here is the issue with doing that. The people who can hear the verses will be able to see them once they read them, but those who cannot see the verses will continue to persecute those who are born again (Galatians 4:29).
John 8:47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” NKJV
None of the people who questioned me knew any verses that directly backed up their statements, and so it is with the “it is finished” doctrine. There is not a verse that says “Our work is finished.” In fact, God saved us for His own purpose, and created works for us to do beforehand. He even determined the place and time that we would be born.
2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, NKJV
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. NKJV
Acts 17:26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, NKJV
Those verses alone should tell you that all Christians have something that God wants us to do, which started after we got saved. Therefore, if you hear “It is finished” spoken in such a way as to mean that you do not have anything to do, then you will know not to agree with that in your heart.
Why can’t well-meaning, church attending people see certain verses which are plainly written in their own Bible? If you would go back to the passage of scripture that everyone uses to quote “lead people to Christ,” and read what comes before it, you would discover what the righteousness of faith is all about.
Romans 10:6-10 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. NKJV
The righteousness of faith is all about believing the Word of God in our heart. We are not supposed to speak against the faith, even in our heart.
For example, if we did not allow our heart to believe something that is against the faith, then we would surely say that everyone needs to repent, after reading the following verses.
Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” NKJV
Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” NKJV
Acts 17:30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, NKJV
Acts 20:21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. NKJV
Acts 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. NKJV
Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. NKJV
If you believed those verses in your heart, would you say that we do not need to repent? There are many more verses in the New Testament on repentance. I only listed enough of them to make it evident that those who say that we do not have to repent are blind.
So why can’t some Christians see those verses on repentance, as well as other verses on different subjects, regardless if they have seminary training or not? Please allow me to explain.
In our rush to have people say a sinner’s prayer, we never mention the righteousness of faith, but we skip straight to verse 9 of Romans chapter ten. In doing so, new converts do not realize that just by speaking against the faith, they can fall away from it.
1 Timothy 6:20-21 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge — 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. NKJV
As well-meaning church attending people speak against the faith in their heart, they do not “believe unto righteousness” (Romans 10:10). When a person’s heart is blind, their understanding is darkened, their thoughts become futile, and eventually they become separated from the life that God has given us; a life filled with everything we need through participating in His promises (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Ephesians 4:17-19 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. NKJV
Now, you can just imagine what happens when the whole church is filled with people in this condition? They clap, and shout for anyone who tells them what they have come to believe in their heart, but the question is, “Do they believe what’s in their Bible?”
2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. NKJV
It is finished! It is finished, they say! Is that what we want to hear, a little innocent twist of the truth, or a doctrine for us to follow? Does “it is finished” sound like our instructions, according to what is written in the Bible?
Jesus said, “It is finished” while He was on the cross (John 19:30), but does that mean our work is finished? Just before Jesus was betrayed, He prayed to God our Father, saying that He had finished the work, which was given to Him to do.
John 17:4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. NKJV
Jesus finished His work, but not the disciples. Jesus sent the disciples into the world, just as God sent Him.
John 17:18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. NKJV
Jesus’ work was finished, but His disciples were just getting started good. They were instructed to go!
Mark 16:15-16 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. NKJV
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. NKJV
According to those verses, would real disciples of Jesus tell you not to get baptized, or not to obey Jesus? They would if they knew nothing about the righteousness of faith, and that is where we are today.
Would real disciples of Jesus preach the Gospel, or just have people repeat a sinner’s prayer? I’m not saying that we aren’t well-meaning and sincere people, but that we need to repent, and do God’s work, God’s way.
It is possible to be on fire for God, but not in the right way. Israel was on fire for God, but not according to knowledge. Again, this passage is also in Romans chapter 10.
Romans 10:1-3 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. NKJV
If we are not careful, we could end up being just like the Pharisees; making the same mistakes. We have to submit to God’s way of being righteous by faith, and not by what we think, or what some brilliant human can come up with, which amounts to philosophy.
If you do not allow your heart to disbelieve the verses above, and every other verse in your Bible, then you would have what is known as the “hearing of faith.” God works miracles through the hearing of faith. Can you use a miracle? I can.
Galatians 3:5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? NKJV
I’m Alan Ballou; a servant. Please watch my video teaching series “Why is there no power in the church.” If my wife, Lucie, and I may be of service to you, please contact us below. www.HowToStopSinning.org