My blog partner Kev wrote an article titled, The Power of God to Salvation that appears at his On My Walk blog. He is carrying on much the same Lordship Salvation discussion with Bridget (bp) there as we are here under: Is Lordship Salvation a “Barter” System?
This morning I read a comment by Kevl to Bridget that really gets to the heart of Lordship Salvation’s erroneous interpretation of the Gospel. Kev was addressing a question/comment from Bridget about the state of one of her family member’s spiritual condition.
Following is Kev’s comment for your benefit and blessing followed by some closing thoughts I’d like to share.
Would selling the man a false gospel have helped the situation? Would he be any more of a Christian if he were told he had to work for his salvation? Would he be any more saved if he had been told he had to forsake all or not be saved? Is telling him he’s got to be willing to work going to save him now if he is not already saved? Will changing the Gospel help the situation?Please note how Kev correctly identified the core of Lordship’s plan of salvation and crux of the doctrinal controversy, which is a message of commitment to behavior expected of a born again Christian to become a born again Christian. Lordship Salvation is a message that conditions the reception of eternal life on the lost man’s upfront commitment to perform the “good works” (Eph. 2:10) expected of the Christian.
Instead of telling him what he must do, why do you tell him he must believe and then tell him about Jesus. Not about what Jesus expects of you - that is MAN CENTERED (telling him what HE CAN DO to be saved instead of what JESUS DID so he can be saved.)
That’s what the Apostles did. What must I do to be saved? Believe. This is what Jesus did so you can be saved.
Not “this is what you must be willing to do. This is true faith. This is how you should act... .”
The Apostles didn’t try to force or ensure “true faith” the Apostles spoke the true testimony of Jesus.
This will be harsh but you must hear it. Maybe if people didn’t spend so much time telling your (loved one) how to act like a Christian he wouldn’t have been able to pretend for so long. Maybe someone ought to have been concerned with presenting him something to trust, instead of something to do.
If someone were preaching faith to him instead of works, maybe he might be able to clearly articulate and know if he’s trusting or not. Instead of being in a position where he has to prove the quality he might be able to just say “yes” or “no.”
Kev’s comment is as powerful and penetrating an exposure of Lordship Salvation’s works based message as any I have read in recent memory. His comment reminds me of D. L. Moody’s encounter with a Mormon missionary, which I related in my book.
It is said that D. L. Moody once rode on a train seated next to a Mormon missionary. They discussed their conflicting views on what they believed to be the gospel. The Mormon explained what his system required man to do to earn the Mormon view of eternal life in Heaven. D. L. Moody, on the other hand, showed the missionary from the Bible that everything had already been done by Jesus Christ, and all man had to do was believe and receive the free gift of God. After a while Moody said, “Sir, I find our differences can be summed up with just two letters: You are depending on what man must ‘do’, the Bible says it has been ‘done.’” The sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s provision for the salvation of mankind.John MacArthur defined this view when he wrote,
Is salvation a gift that costs us nothing? Is salvation received by faith alone? Is a commitment to “unconditional surrender,” the resolve to “leave sin” and a “full exchange of self for the Savior” necessary for the reception of eternal life? If we find commitment and surrender are additions to the gospel, then the grace of God is frustrated. (In Defense of the Gospel, p. 29)
“Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything.” (The Gospel According to Jesus, p. 78.)Surrender of one’s life in discipleship to the Lordship of Christ should be the natural response of one who has been saved by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, the results of salvation must NEVER be made the requirement FOR salvation.
“That is the kind of response the Lord Jesus called for: wholehearted commitment. A desire for him at any cost. Unconditional surrender. A full exchange of self for the Savior. It is the only response that will open the gates of the kingdom.” (The Gospel According to Jesus: What is Authentic Faith, p. 150.)
Lordship Salvation is a works based message that corrupts the simplicity that is in Christ and Lordship Salvation frustrates grace.
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him,” (2 Cor. 11:3-4).
“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain,” (Gal. 2:21).