June 1, 2010

Clearing Up Repentance: A Refutation of Lordship Salvation, Final

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

Last week I welcomed back Phillip Evans with this new multi-part series. Please refer to Part One, where you will find a 35+ comments very helpful thread discussion under way. Then proceed to Part 2 and Part 3 for the previous installments of this series. Phillip is the author of
Eternal Security Proved. Excerpts from this article are drawn from his book. For additional articles by Brother Evans see below.

This morning we conclude, with my gratitude, this final installment of Brother Phillip Evans’s new series.

Lordship Salvation (LS) doctrine undermines personal assurance of salvation, for how does one know that they will “endure to the end?.” Hold forth I John 5:13 to an LS advocate, and they'll shoot over to I John 2:3 in defense, as if one cannot know Christ as Savior unless they are continuing to keep His commandments.

Could a child of God say with all honesty that they truly have an experiential knowledge of Christ, that they have fellowship with Him, and reflect His character in their lives without keeping His commandments? Of course not. Only those that are keeping His commandments can know that the love of God is completed and fulfilled within them. If you are claiming to abide in Christ, then you should walk as He walked. All of this is precisely what this passage is teaching us.

Those who use this Scripture as justification for teaching that eternal life is obtained and/or kept by keeping all of Christ’s commandments use “know Him” in the very narrow sense of “know Him as your Savior.” They then conclude that if you don’t keep His commandments, that you no longer know Him as your Savior, and are therefore lost.

Since this passage is obviously about fellowship, the burden of proof is on those who assert that this narrow usage of the phrase “know Him” is what is in view here. So far I have not seen them present any such proof.

LS advocates muddy, yeah pervert the Gospel by taking numerous Scripture passages that apply only to the saints, and then reading that back into the life of a lost person, as a requirement to be saved.

This not only does great harm to lost by preventing them from hearing a clear presentation of the Gospel, but also harms the body of Christ, by not only eroding their assurance of salvation, but also influencing them to ignore precious Scripture that directly applies to them. Not to mention tempting saints into the self-righteous judging of others (who may indeed be saved) as lost.

I suspect that most LS advocates (at least those who are born-again) did not outright embrace this doctrinal system, for most saints who fall into error do so gradually. It would behoove the saved to learn to recognize the theological systems of thought that tend to lead to LS doctrine.

Site Publisher’s Note:
Reminding that there is a good discussion underway in the thread under the first installment of this series. You may want to look in.

Phillip Evans has contributed several articles to IDOTG including:
The Hollow Gospel of the GES

Christ's Resurrection: Part of the Saving Message?

Out on a Limb to Protest Too Much


  1. Refutation of lordship salvation? I beg to differ. Although Christians do not have a full understanding of their salvation once it happens, the Lord came to save people from their sins, and those that become Christians know that they are sinners in need of Christ. Becoming a Christian involves a willingness to be set free from that sin. That is to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior, which involves turning from sin. And the Christian life involves repentance of sins (a part of sanctification.

    Committed Christian

  2. CC:

    Thanks for the comment. I think there is much here that we would share common ground over.

    I am especially busy with developing two new articles/series for this blog, otherwise I’d reply to you at length. One new article posts in the morning. Since this is Phil’s article I’ll leave the lion’s share of response to you to him.

    BTW, if you have not already click on the link to Part One of this series and read through that thread. You may find some very helpful comments there.

    Kind regards,


  3. CC: Lou's book, "In Defense of the Gospel", of which I've read the first edition, is an excellent refutation of LS doctrine. I highly recommend it.

    So far not even John MacArthur has been able to refute Lou, and has even been too timid to correspond with or speak with him.

    Lou's revised edition includes even more evidence, particularly on the topic of repentance, on how LS doctrine twists the Scriptures.

    To be specific to your comment, however, my article here goes into length on the topic of Christ saving us from our sins.

    I agree with you that born-again Christians need to repent of their sins regularly for the purposes of practical sanctification. Did you not see that spelled out in my article?

    What LS does is front-load the Gospel by confusing the walk of the Christian with how a lost person gets saved.