My name is Robert Bezemer, I am 23 years old and I live in the Netherlands. I need to testify of the gracious work of God through your blog (and other websites) that clarify the serious errors of Lordship Salvation (LS). I did listen to sermons preached by John Piper and John MacArthur and recognized they have compromised the gospel of grace. I also own a book written by A.W. Pink, called Studies on Saving Faith in which he gives the impression that simple, childlike faith in Jesus Christ is not enough for salvation. Now I know it is better to warn of and even avoid such books. I know it is wrong to make an idol of certain preachers, and it was a great blessing to know that my salvation is fully accomplished! But I think certain American Lordship advocates are regrettably quite popular in Holland.Robert posted a comment under one of the most read articles at IDOTG, Summary of Lordship Salvation From a Single Page, which is one of the most read articles at this blog. In comment #136 he wrote,
LS really frustrates the Gospel, there is nothing that can be called “Grace” in the LS theology! It is shocking, but I think we can state something like this: “The teaching of LS implicates that Christ’s death was of no worth, because if I do NOT make a commitment, I will be lost forever, even though Christ paid for my sins!”
The danger of LS is that we don’t look to the blood of Christ, His death, burial and resurrection, but that we are asking, “Do I forsake enough for the sake of Christ?” I have found great rest, especially through the articles and teachings of the Middletown Bible Church and now I can understand what you are saying at your blog IDOTG. There is a distinction between SALVATION and DISCIPLESHIP and LS fails at this point. I will also put a link on my blog to your website and I will remove the links to HeartCry and Desiring God.
I live in the Netherlands and I can testify of the gracious work that God has done through this blog and through the website of the Middletown Bible Church. The Gospel presents Jesus Christ and Him crucified, buried and risen on the third day. His blood is all-sufficient for anyone's salvation. The great error of Lordship Salvation is that it fails to distinguish SALVATION and DISCIPLESHIP. It claims someone gets saved because of his COMMITMENT to Christ, but that is NOT salvation, it is discipleship. When I make a commitment in order to get saved, I can boast in something else than the work of Christ on the cross. The danger of LS is that we don’t look to the blood of Christ, but that we are asking “Do I forsake enough for the sake of Christ?” I hope it will encourage others to trust in Christ just like a little child and that there will be taken away such a great burden no one can bear.In a new e-mail Robert wrote,
I just want to share with you a passage I read from John Piper’s book What Jesus Demands from the World, in the footnote on page 161: I just want to share with you a passage I read from John Piper’s book What Jesus Demands from the World, in the footnote on page 161: “Though it may cause confusion, it is possible to use the word ‘justify’ to describe how the fruit of good behavior works in the day of judgment. The fruits can ‘justify’ us in the sense of proving that we are believers and belong to Jesus and have a right standing with God in him. That is how I understand Matthew 12:37￼, ‘By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.’ It is as though the Judge said, ‘The evidence is compelling: Your words warrant the judgment that you are a true believer in my Son and have rested your case with him and banked on his righteousness for acceptance in this court.’ Or: ‘Your words justify [warrant, validate] the conclusion of this court that you have trusted in the righteousness of Jesus Christ for your justification in this court’.”Other quotations Robert shared from from Piper’s What Jesus Demands from the World include,
“But though our lived-out perfection only comes in heaven, Jesus really does transform us now, and this transformation is really necessary for final salvation” - page 160Robert went on to say,
“There is no doubt that Jesus saw some measure of real, lived-out obedience to the will of God as necessary for final salvation.” - page 160
Subheading: “Some measure of real, lived-out obedience is required.” - page 160
“This is the meaning of self-denial. Renounce everything on earth in order that you might have the Kingdom.” - page 85
There is NO word from Piper on the atoning work of Christ, NO word about His blood, NO word about “It is finished!” It is still the message, ‘you have reached a degree of righteousness.’ If there is 100% truth in that, it would mean that NO Christian can have assurance of salvation, except before the throne of God/Christ! Piper is making the FRUIT of faith the basis for salvation, not the faith in Christ itself.We thank God for men like Robert who, in his corner of the world, has discerned that Lordship Salvation is a false,non-saving, works-based message that corrupts the simplicity that is Christ (2 Cor. 11:3) and frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21). Robert told me that he and fellow believers in the Netherlands are doing what they can to slow and reverse the spread of Lordship Salvation where they are.
You may visit Robert Bezemer at his Salvation in God blog.
*I trust my good friends in Alabama will forgive me, I just had to, with Oregon a close second.
For Related Reading:
John MacArthur’s Position on Lordship Salvation, by George Zeller.
John MacArthur’s Discipleship Gospel