An obnoxious fundamentalist baptist came by the prayer stand today while we were doing our evangelism. He proudly rebuked us for having tracts that called people to repent of their sins. He said that telling people they needed to repent in order to be saved was "salvation by works."
I returned the obnoxious attitude in kind by asking him, "How big of a wretch are you?" He stared at me for some time then finally said, "I don't know where you are going with this." So I said, "I just want to know how big of a wretch you think you are because I bet you $10 that I'm much more wretched than you are."
He tried to go back to his beef about repentance and salvation by works. He said that salvation is only by believing and that the only thing a person has to do in order to be saved is have faith in Christ.
This was my point of course! He had fallen right into my trap. I pressed the point of our depravity by saying, "I'm so vile that I can do absolutely nothing to contribute to my salvation. As a matter of fact, my heart is so full of sin that I cannot even believe of my own power. Even my faith has to be a gift of His grace."
I then pointed out that he was actually the one who believed in salvation by works. He was the one who earned his salvation by the good work of his believing.
No matter how many times I pressed him, he would not admit to being a wretch. I pointed him to Paul who exclaimed, "What a wretched man I am! Who will save me from this body of death? Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ."
Finally he said, "Are you are Presbyterian, Calvinist?"
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.