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"Free Grace" theology is a strand of Evangelical soteriology that holds that sanctification does not necessarily follow the conversion and justification of a person – that is, those saying that they believe in Jesus do not need to become obedient disciples of him in order to be saved.

This view is certainly controversial, and rejected by many prominent Evangelicals, both Arminians and Calvinists (cf. Lordship salvation controversy). One difficulty with the view, it seems to me, is associated with the salvation of Judas Iscariot.

The Bible refers to Judas Iscariot as a "disciple" of Jesus (John 12:4), but at the same time it seems to indicate that he was not saved (Matthew 26:24, John 6:70). According to Free Grace theologians, is Judas Iscariot an example of a "carnal Christian," someone who "believes in Jesus" but doesn't obey him, and ultimately goes to heaven? Or do they explain Judas in some other way, such as that he was saved and then lost his salvation, or that he was never saved?

Here I'm focusing on modern Free Grace theologians, like L. S. Chafer, Charles Ryrie, Zane Hodges, and Bob Wilkins. If they take different approaches to this question, I'd like an overview of their views.

Related: How do Arminians handle the case of Judas?

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    I'm not certain that I understand the problem. From the people who I know who accept that salvation is freely given by grace would not believe that Judas was saved because, even though he walked along with Jesus physically, he never did accept faith in Christ. This was ultimately proven by his betrayal of Christ. You cannot have faith that Christ is the Son of God and betray Him for money at the same time. Faith and salvation are tied together, regardless of how you tie grace in with them. So, Judas was never saved. – DKing Jul 25 '17 at 20:38
  • @DKing I could be wrong, but I don't think "Free Grace theologians" (as defined here; not just people who believe that grace is freely given) would agree with your sentence, "You cannot have faith that Christ is the Son of God and betray Him for money at the same time." See the second section of this answer for a couple quotes from proponents of this: How does repentance fit into the doctrine of sola fide (“by faith alone”)? – Nathaniel is protesting Jul 25 '17 at 20:41
  • In particular, "There is no commitment, no decision of the will, no turning from sins, and no works that are part of faith in Christ." – Nathaniel is protesting Jul 25 '17 at 20:42
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    @DKing "This was ultimately proven by his betrayal of Christ. You cannot have faith that Christ is the Son of God and betray Him for money at the same time. Faith and salvation are tied together, regardless of how you tie grace in with them. So, Judas was never saved." This all assumes you can't lose your salvation by disobeying God, not keeping the commandments, (sinning), apostasy etc. Faith and salvation are tied together, but one does not necessarily follow the other. The Parable of the Sower demonishes that idea. If you aren't a faithful, persevering servant, you are useless and cast away – Sola Gratia Jul 27 '17 at 16:03
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I have never heard anyone argue for the salvation of Judas before, but I believe that grace is free, and that justification is by grace alone, in Christ alone, by faith alone, according to the Scriptures alone...

The Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born (Matthew 26:24)

'But there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and would betray him (John 6:64).

I take from these verses that Judas was not justified by returning the silver, nor was he condemned expressly for taking it in the first place. It was his lack of belief in Jesus as Messiah that led him to betrayal. His betrayal merely revealed his lack of belief, and for that he is condemned:

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:18)

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