The Word and Spirit movement has two sides of errors to deal with.
On one side, those who are so aware of the law of God, yet do not understand the message of salvation properly. A variety of traditional and mainline denominations represent salvation as if Christians are barely saved, as though a Christian is a forgiven sinner in the present tense.
On the other side are those who say they are so in the Spirit that they need not obey standards, hold doctrines or submit to any kind of constraints. Apparently, in the Spirit, they are free to do anything. All sins are forgiven so almost all things become permissible, as though Christians may call themselves righteous regardless of what they do.
Both these extremes are wrong, and both present dangers and lead people into error. On one side, a person may sin, be aware of it, but say it is because he is a sinner and console himself that God will overlook it. On the other side, a person may sin, be ware of it, but say that he is justified and the devil is just trying to condemn him with feelings of guilt. Both these views are extreme errors and are very troubling.
SINNERS SAVED BY GRACE ERROR
One famous Presbyterian minister wrote, “Christians have nothing to be smug about; we are not righteous people trying to correct the unrighteous. As one preacher said, “Evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” The chief difference between the believer and the unbeliever is forgiveness. The only thing that qualifies a person to be a minister in the name of Christ is that that person has experienced forgiveness and wants to tell of it to others.”
This quote is wrong doctrine on so many levels. First, actual Christians should not be in pride, so they should not be “smug”. Second, the Bible teaches very clearly that Christians should judge. Judgment should be right, and it is good. Third, Christianity is all about correction, both against the world and within the Church.
Fourth, true Christianity elevates Christians to be sons of God, to be seated in heavenly places, so Christian evangelism is not being done by “beggars”. Rather, to be Christian is to be righteous, to be good, to be elevated. The difference between the believer and the unbeliever is vast and stark.
Christ does not keep Christians in a beggarly condition, as salvation is of power to make the sinners righteous.
So then, Christians were sinners, but being saved, they are actually saved, not in the thing any more that was sending them to hell. As the old holiness preachers said, salvation is about saving people from doing the things that were damnable, not merely saving them from hell. Jesus came to save people from sin and from sinning.
FREE GRACE ERROR
There are those who teach in order to be saved, you don’t have to do anything. Apparently, no works are required at all. Since actually believing, or expending calories in praying aloud, or doing anything at all such as repenting of your former life is allegedly a “work”, they say that such things ought not be done.
Even though salvation is about submitting to the rule of Christ, there are those who deny that Jesus must be made one’s Lord.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9, 10).
So clearly “grace” is not without some reciprocal action on our part. Laying hold of salvation is actually required, it doesn’t just fall on us by chance, or by just thinking that you agree to it.
If one should confess the “Lord Jesus” then that means recognising his mastership and rule in your life.
As for Christian living, are we to obey God’s rules, or are we just “free in the Spirit” to do whatever we or allegedly He leads us to. (Allegedly He because it seems that in many cases people who live this way are really living after their own desires or listening to an evil spirit.)
The problem of no-effort and lack of sanctification has arisen in charismatic circles, and has robbed Christians of all kinds of blessings. Instead of growing up spiritually, this lying spirit will teach things like “you don’t have to tithe” and so on, which seems to accord with the satanic doctrine, “do as thou wilt”.
Being a son of God does not mean being free from obedience. When the Bible spoke of being free from the works of the law, it meant works to earn salvation. It did not mean that we should abandon standards or morality as Christians. On the contrary, the Bible states that we should “abound to every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8). Again, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work” (Col. 1:10). And again, that God “Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” (2 Thess. 2:17).
Proper sanctification is the process of actual continuous obedience to the Gospel, which is to say, that sanctification leads to holiness.
LOW COMMITMENT CHRISTIANITY ERROR
Those who really wish to make the cost of following Christ cheap, to have no apparently onerous requirements, are falling into the error of being lukewarm. Lukewarm Christianity has taken over much of Evangelicalism, and it is a form of Christianity that has minimum requirements, little prayer and little Bible reading, and probably non-committal Church attendance.
Satan has been very accommodating. The COVID-19 lockdowns were a perfect excuse for people to quit Church. Yet the Bible stated, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is” (Heb. 10:25a). And again, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62).
One Evangelical minister from Wales stated, “If you do not desire to be holy I do not see that you have any right to think that you are a Christian. It is a part of God’s design that we be prepared unto good works.”
The whole of Christianity is about the works we do because of Christ.