The proponents of “Lordship Salvation” say that it is impossible to be saved without recognizing the Lordship of Christ. On the surface, this seems to have merit, but it does not take into account certain indisputable factors in the areas of doctrine, soteriology, appropriation and compromise.
However, those that speak of Lordship Salvation are not asking us to simply agree that Christ is God. Instead, Lordship Salvation emphasizes a total submission to the Lordship of Christ. This salvation is dependent upon making Christ “Lord of your life.” This teaching is in direct opposition to Biblical salvation. We affirm in our doctrinal statement that the Bible clearly teaches that salvation “is wholly a work of God, performed from beginning to end by Him.” Therefore, if salvation is “wholly a work of God,” which is appropriated by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, then Lordship Salvation is not the salvation of the Bible.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”The idea of Lordship salvation shifts the focus away from the work of Christ, who declared unequivocally, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and focuses instead on the work of man to finish his own salvation. This then would lead us to consider a couple of questions:
1. Is it ever appropriate to encourage an unsaved man to focus on his own commitment rather than the commitment of Christ who has promised to finish the good work that He has already paid for?
2. Why is the promise of the Bible “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” never stated as “whosoever committeth” or “whosoever maketh Him Lord?”
The Bible (and the IBFNA doctrinal statement) puts the emphasis on the finished work of Christ not on the work of man.
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)When I was dealing with a man who believed in “Lordship Salvation,” he suggested that I did not understand what the word “faith” really meant and referred to his dictionary in an attempt to define the word “faith” as an action or commitment. I suggested that we should instead use the Bible’s definition of faith which we find in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is....” His response to me was that “the Bible is not our authority on the meaning of words like ‘faith;’ the dictionary is our authority.” As a Baptist, the Bible is my authority in all matters of which it speaks, and in all matters to which it addresses itself. I will, and must reject the dictionary when it disagrees with the Bible. The Bible states that there is one way of salvation.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (Romans 4:1-3)
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (I Corinthians 1:21)
Galatians 1:6-10: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”If there is only one way of salvation, then which one is it? Do we believe in salvation by faith in the finished work of Christ alone? Or, do we believe in salvation by commitment to the Lordship of Christ? Both cannot be equally true, since they are mutually exclusive.
Each and every group that has ever followed this gospel has endured the curse of God. We must not, and we cannot follow this trend of compromise. Paul’s statement to the Philippian church must also be our stand on the purity of the Gospel.Lordship Salvation is not another expression of the Gospel; it is another gospel entirely.
Philippians 1:6-7: Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
THE REVIEW, February 2011, Volume 19, Number 3. Reprinted with permission from the Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America (IBFNA) which has been in existence for some 21 years. Many came out of the GARBC to form this Fellowship.
Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page
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