By David J. Stewart | May 2007 | Updated May 2015
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” —Romans 4:5
LORDSHIP SALVATION is the false doctrine that a sinner MUST forsake a sinful lifestyle to be saved. In sharp contrast, the Bible, God’s Word, teaches that a sinner’s faith in Christ alone is sufficient for salvation. We are not saved by trying, but by trusting. Eternal life is a free gift, freely received by faith alone in Christ. I am a strong OPPONENT of Lordship Salvation. In fact, I hate the hellish lie of Lordship Salvation.
A popular website which endorses Lordship Salvation states the following heresy…
If Jesus Christ is not the Lord and Master of your life, He is NOT your Saviour. ALL opponents of this doctrine DENY the Lord Jesus Christ and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness by saying saved people may live just like the world. Many of today’s “soulwinner’s” believe, and preach, that submitting to Jesus as Lord is optional. They say Jesus will be your Saviour while Satan is your Lord. That is not what the Bible says. Only the devil would want you to believe that. The blood of Jesus is so POWERFUL that it will give you a new mind. Read Romans with clear eyeballs and see for yourself.
SOURCE: Lordship Salvation
I would like to make several comments, examining the above individual statements one by one, in the Light of God’s Word. The Word of God is our Sword by which we can easily defeat the two-headed monster of Lordship Salvation…
- ACCUSATION #1: “If Jesus Christ is not the Lord and Master of your life, He is NOT your Saviour.”
MY RESPONSE: You can’t support that statement with the Scriptures! Lordship Salvationists interpret the word Lordto mean “Master,” i.e., to surrender to Christ’s will. However, the Biblical word for Lord is quite different, which is always the Greek word KURIOS, meaning “Supreme in Authority.” Hence, to believe on Christ is to trust THE LORD. Every lost sinner who comes to Jesus Christ for salvation is coming the LORD, i.e., to God Almighty, for salvation. You don’t make Jesus Lord, He is Lord. For Lordship Salvationists to make a distinction, and create an entirely new doctrine, which requires a person to make Christ the Master of his life to be saved—is damnable heresy!
- ACCUSATION #2: ALL opponents of this doctrine DENY the Lord Jesus Christ and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness by saying saved people may live just like the world.
MY RESPONSE: That is a horrible lie! Did Abraham deny the Lord, when he simply “believed in the LORD; and hecounted it to him for righteousness” in Genesis 15:6? Not at all? Romans 4:5 plainly states that we are saved WITHOUT WORKS. Abraham was justified solely by faith concerning his salvation. When James speaks of Abraham’s faith being justified by works, he was speaking about the incident in Genesis 22 when Abraham offered up Isaac. This was 7 chapters LATER, after Abraham was saved in Genesis 15:6. James speaks of the FRUIT of Abraham’s faith in James 2:21; BUT Paul speaks of the ROOT of Abraham’s faith in Romans 4:3-5. Lordship Salvationists confuse the ROOT of Christian faith with the FRUIT (i.e., evidence) of that faith. To accuse all “opponents” of Lordship Salvation of condoning worldliness and sinful living is unfair. Nothing could be further from the truth. We do not believe that at all. The Bible does not give anyone God’s permission to live in intentional sin (Romans 3:31; 6:15).
The Bible teaches that if a person is genuinely saved that there should be some evidence (i.e., the “works” spoken of in James 2:18). However, this has nothing to do with salvation itself. Also, you CANNOT mandate such changes for salvation, otherwise you’ve corrupted the Gospel. Please do not misunderstand—You cannot tell how much fuel is in a car’s gas tank by the sound of the horn; and you cannot determine if a person is saved by viewing their lifestyle. James speaks of works seen in the eyes of men, not God. True, a saved person should bring forth works of righteousness in their life, which are evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit; HOWEVER, just because such works are not readily visible for others to see doesn’t mean they are not saved.Following Jesus Christ is a matter of DISCIPLESHIP, and not SALVATION. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-10). Our churches are filled with morally upright people who are still hellbound in their sins and unbelief. Satan’s greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life without ever being born-again. Living a consecrated life is not a part of saving-faith. Please read the beautiful words of Dr. John R. Rice exposing the heresy of Lordship Salvation.
The argument is concerning salvation itself. Lordship Salvationists are woefully ignorant of the Bible. At some point in the past they got upset seeing professed “Christians” living in sin, so they countered the issue by fabricating the heresy of Lordship Salvation; thus, forcing people to forsake their sinful habits in order to be saved. The problem is that God never said that. Lordship Salvation is a false plan of salvation. You can’t force a sinner to forsake his sins by adding it as a requiring for salvation. This is NOT to say that a man can believe on Christ without realizing that he is a GUILTY SINNER (Romans 3:19); however, there is a vast difference between realizing one’s guilt as a sinner, verses actually forsaking the sinful act itself. Please read what Dr. Harry Ironside had to say about BIBLICAL REPENTANCE. Dr. Ironside is 100% correct in his definition of repentance…SOURCE: Except Ye Repent, by Dr. Harry Ironside, chapter 3
- Carefully notice that Biblical repentance is NOT forsaking the act of sin, which is impossible for anyone. Nor is it the desire to forsake deliberate sinful bad habits. For anyone to say that a person MUST forsake their sinful behavior to be saved is heresy, because eternal life is a gift, which you simply take. Please read, The Hypocrisy of the Critics of Eternal Security.
So to clarify. I am an opponent of the Lordship Salvation heresy. I do NOT believe that a believer may live like the world without consequences. Not at all. However, just because believers struggle with sin doesn’t mean they’re not saved (Romans 7:14-25). As believers we are commanded to walk in the Spirit, but carefully notice the Words of Galatians 5:25… “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” It is abundantly clear from this Scripture that it is possible to LIVE in Christ’s Spirit (i.e., to be saved), and yet fail to WALK in Christ’s Spirit (i.e., live for the Lord). Do some genuine believers live like the world? Yes, of course; BUT, Hebrews 12:8 tells us the big difference between a worldly heathen and a worldly believer… “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” No believer can live in sin and truly be happy. God clearly states in Hebrews 12:8 that He will CHASTISE and SCOURGE the believer. The Holy Spirit will convict a backslider, and that is an important word—backslider (Proverb 14:14). Lordship Salvationists DON’T allow for a Christian to backslide. As far as they’re concerning, a backslidden believer is no believer at all, and that’s not Biblical. The Word of God gives us numerous references to heroes of the faith who backslid into horrible sin (such as king David who committed adultery and murder).
- “Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership — the owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word.”
- ACCUSATION #3: Many of today’s “soulwinner’s” believe, and preach, that submitting to Jesus as Lord is optional. They say Jesus will be your Saviour while Satan is your Lord. That is not what the Bible says. Only the devil would want you to believe that.
MY RESPONSE: Again, this flawed mentality leaves absolutely no allowance for a believer to backslide. The author of the preceding quote keeps alleging that Satan is the Lord of anyone who doesn’t commit their life to Christ at the time of salvation, which is extreme and ridiculous to say the least. 1st Peter 2:2 speaks of growing in the milk of the Word. A new believer must be taught and mentored if they are to live for the Lord.
Like it or not, there is an ongoing raging battle in EVERY believer between the sinful flesh and the Spirit of God (Romans 7:14-25; James 4:1). Even the Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:19, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Now why would the Apostle Paul DO EVIL if Jesus were his Lord? Hmmm? This Scripture alone proves the ignorance and hypocrisy of the proponents of the Lordship Salvation heresy.
- ACCUSATION #4: The blood of Jesus is so POWERFUL that it will give you a new mind. Read Romans with clear eyeballs and see for yourself.
MY RESPONSE: Yes, a new mind; but not a new flesh! The Apostle Paul states in Romans 7:24,25… “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Proponents of Lordship Salvationare woefully blinded to the fact that every believer still has to contend with the carnal flesh. Oftentimes, as seen repeatedly from Genesis to Revelation, God’s children falter. Does not Proverb 24:16 declare… “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief“? Christians do falter in their faith at times. At best the Christian life is a rollercoaster.
It was John the Baptist, whom Jesus called the greatest born amongst women (Matthew 11:11), who told his disciples to go ask Jesus… “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3). John became so discouraged in prison that he questioned if Jesus were truly the Messiah. What do you think the Lordship Salvation hypocrites would have said about John the Baptist? Lordship Salvationists are the hypocritical religious Pharisees of our time.
We read in 2nd Timothy 4:10 that Demas forsook Paul, having loved this present world. Yet, we learn in Philemon 1:24 that a few years earlier Demas was a fellow-labourer with the Apostle Paul in his ministry. Demas was saved, but backslidden into the world.
Ironically, the author of the above Lordship Salvation heresies is a fan of David W. Cloud, who is 100% against the damnable false doctrine of Lordship Salvation. David Cloud states…
WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT A PERSON MUST REPENT OF ALL OF HIS OR HER SINS TO BE SAVED. That is certainly not something we teach or lean toward, and that is not something we have ever stated in any article. In fact, I have plainly stated that I do not believe that. It would be impossible to “repent of all your sins.” I have been saved for almost 24 years, and I still have not repented of all my sins!
Note on David Cloud: Although I fully agree with David Cloud’s statements above, but he does teach his own variation (ANOTHER GOSPEL) of the heresy. Please read, A Dangerous teaching in Fundamentalism.
The following excellent information by Dr. Hank Lindstrom (1940-2008) is from the helpful Christian website,GetGodsGift.Org…
|THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF THE LORDSHIP GOSPEL WITH THE GOSPEL OF GRACE“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.”|
The importance of this question can’t be overestimated in relation to both salvation and sanctification. The message of faith only and the message of commitment of life can’t both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is a false gospel and come under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel.
“It is an inexcusable error to confront sinners with problems that concern the Christian life and call upon them to make promises regarding them. An unsaved person is never called upon to surrender himself to God. The saving act is in no instance represented as our ‘giving ourselves to God’; it is, on the contrary, taking His Son as our Savior.” Ryrie, Charles. Balancing the Christian Life. Moody Press, Inc., 1969 (p. 170).
“The second approach finds faith in the gospel alone an ‘easy Believism’ and seeks to add something to faith in order to accomplish salvation. To repent is to ‘change one’s mind,’ and to believe is to remove one’s trust from that in which it has rested and place it in Christ.” Howard, William. “Is Faith Enough to Save?” Bibliotheca Sacra. January-March, 1942 (p.99).
“This kind of faith is not ‘easy believism’. It is not easy to say, ‘I can’t save myself, I must recognize that there is something wrong with me, and I must seek help from someone else.'” Hook, H. Phillip. “A Biblical Definition of Saving Faith.” Bibliotheca Sacra. April-June, 1964 (p. 133, 138).
“Eternal life is free. Discipleship is immeasurably hard. The former is attained by faith alone, the latter by a faith that works… the former brings with it the righteousness of God so that a man is ‘justified freely by his grace’ (Romans 3:24). The latter develops a personal righteousness, based on good deeds, so that a man was also ‘justified by works’ (James 2:24). The former constituted the believer God’s workmanship, the latter fulfilled the wonderful purpose for which he had been created. The former cost man nothing, the latter could cost him everything, including life itself.” Hodges, Zane C. The Hungry Inherit. Moody Press, Inc., 1972 (p. 114, 115).
“There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel, to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice of Christ; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation can’t be lost because it depends upon God’s faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness.” DeHaan, M. R. Hebrews. Zondervan Publishing House, 1959 (p. 117).
“For the unregenerate man, repentance is the change of mind whereby he turns from unbelief to faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ.” Post, Roger. “The Meanings of the Words Translated ‘Repent’ and ‘Repentance’ in the New Testament.” Master’s Thesis, Wheaton College, June 1972 (p. 80).
“There are those who, in their zeal to get people to turn from their sinful ways and receive the Lord, almost put repentance on a par with believing… Repentance, as it relates to Christ, means to change our minds about Him, who He is and what He’s done to provide forgiveness and deliverance from our sins. When we place faith in Jesus as having taken our place personally on the cross and borne the penalty due our sins, then we’re automatically repenting, because we couldn’t accept Him in this way without having had to change our minds in some way concerning Him.” Lindsey, Hal. The Liberation of Planet Earth. Zondervan Publishing House, 1974 (p. 136, 137).
“Discipleship is frequently equated with salvation and often erroneously made a condition for becoming a Christian”. Pentecost, J. Dwight. Design for Discipleship. Zondervan Publishing House, 1971 (p. 11).
“Certainly discipleship is a most important aspect of our relation to Christ, but it belongs to the sphere of Christian life rather than entrance upon that life… One does not become a disciple in order to become a Christian, but because he has become a Christian by faith in the Savior, it is fitting that he embark upon a life of discipleship”. Harrison, Everett F. “Must Christ be Lord to Be Savior?-No.” Eternity, September 1959 (p. 14).
“There is no more piously subtle abrogation of the Gospel than to tell a Sinner that he must not only believe in the Savior, but dedicate himself to do God’s will, crown the Savior Lord of his life, etc., etc. Obviously, dedication and service are highly desirable, but they are the privilege and the duty of the saved, never a condition of salvation for the unsaved (cf. Romans 12:1, 2).” Unger, Merrill F. God is Waiting to Meet You. Moody Press, 1975 (p. 117, 118).
“People are sometimes led to believe that there is saving value in some public confession of Christ, or profession of a decision. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” This is salvation. “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” This is the voice of the newborn child speaking to and of its father. The only condition on which one may be saved is to believe.” Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Salvation. Dunham Publishing Company, 1917 (p. 46).
* Written by Dr. Hank Lindstrom
The moment you put your trust in Jesus Christ, God who can read your mind knows, saves YOU and gives you the Gift of God, eternal Life.
You are saved in a moment of time, because you are trusting in the true Savior now, not working your way to heaven day by day which is not even possible.
Once saved you can never be lost, for any reason. This is because you were born spiritually the moment you put your trust in Him. Just like your physical birth which brought you into this human world, your spiritual birth gave you a new spiritual life that is permanent. You were born-again, made righteous and holy in Gods eyes. In fact you have the righteousness of God himself, your are sinless and perfect in God’s eyes now and that’s why you can enter into a perfect heaven.
My favorite saying is:
God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.
You MUST put ALL your trust in Jesus to be saved, trust in the blood that He shed on the cross, trust that He is God in the flesh, trust that He made the complete payment for your sins, not just part; He paid for ALL of your sins (past, present, and future)! Trust that He rose again from the dead after 3 days and 3 nights, and in return for this trust, He gives YOU Eternal Life. All false Christians put part of their trust in Jesus and part of their trust the Church and part of their trust in themselves. If you put 99.99% trust in Jesus and 00.01% in something else, you will go to hell. It must be 100% trust in Jesus and what He did and 0% in you or your church! This information in critical… (grace always cancels works!) You are going to hell if it’s by your works or you are going to heaven by Gods grace. It’s as simple as that.
So I guess the question comes down to who are you trusting. Are you trusting yourself to get to heaven by being a good person and giving lots of money to your church or are you trusting Jesus, the lamb of God, that was slain for the sins of the world to get you to heaven? You receive the Gift of God (Eternal Life) as soon as you stop trusting in yourself, your church, your synagogue, your mosque, your money, or any other works and put your trust in Him and Him ALONE, Jesus Christ, Yeshua, The King of Kings, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Alpha and Omega, the Mighty God.
False religions are everywhere and they will find you, the one true God and His plan of salvation must be found.
If all this makes sense to you and you would like to trust Jesus as your personal Savior right now then tell the Mighty God in Heaven of your decision to trust Jesus Christ as your only hope of heaven. Tell Him that you are no longer putting your trust in your actions, or your church, or your church membership, or in your money, or in your Rabbi, or in your synagogue or your Mosque but that you are putting all of your trust in Him and the shed blood of the cross to pay your sin debt. Thank Him for doing it for you! Thank Him for giving you the Gift of Eternal Life that He paid for with His life. There is no greater deed than that of laying down your life for another.
Will you trust Jesus as your Savior right now, the one who shed His precious blood on the cross of Calvary to pay for all your sins?
By reading this sinners prayer aloud, you are putting your trust in God and His plan of salvation. You are not saved by saying this prayer, you are saved the moment your mind made the switch from trusting in yourself to putting your COMPLETE TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST. That moment may have been five paragraphs up on this page or that moment may have been on another one of our pages. You will not feel any different, but you will be changed and changed for the better forever. Once you have trusted Jesus as your savior and received his gift of eternal life, this gift can NEVER be lost. You can NEVER go to hell for ANY reason. Your past, present and future sins were paid in full the moment you put your trust in Him. You are blameless and Holy in God’s eyes now and FOREVER. If you have eternal life today what kind of life will you have in five years? ETERNAL! What kind of life will you have in ten years? ETERNAL!! What kind of life will you have in 50 years? ETERNAL!!! God does not give probationary life or temporary life, His gift is ETERNAL LIFE! Thanks be to GOD!
Why be good, now that I am assured of going to heaven? Because God’s law of sowing and reaping still applies to you and me. You will reap what you sow. You will reap more than you sow and you will reap later than you sow. If you drink alcohol like a fish, you will reap a diseased liver. If you smoke like a chimney everyday, you will reap lung cancer. If you rob, murder, and steal you will reap a life in prison. You will reap what you sow. I guarantee it! Now that you are saved, when you do good things you WILL be rewarded here on earth and in Heaven. And when you do bad things you WILL lose rewards that God had planned on giving you here on earth and in Heaven. But you will NEVER lose your guarantee of going to heaven. That can never be lost for any reason!! You have God’s word that your salvation can never be lost for any reason. You did not earn salvation and you do not work to keep salvation! Eternal Life, salvation, being born again, becoming a child of God, was, is, and always will be the GIFT OF GOD.
Remember: If your not saved forever… you are not saved!
Biblical Salvation is forsaking any other means of salvation but Christ and casting ourselves fully upon Him for eternal life.
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” Romans 11:29 Again, God is telling you that this Gift of God that you have just received is without repentance. He can never take His gift back for any reason, no matter how bad you get, or how bad your sins are it is not possible. God would have to cease to exist for that to happen because He cannot lie.
Are Opponents of Lordship Salvation Antinomians?
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines an “antinomian” as…
ANTINOMIAN, n. One of a sect who maintain, that, under the gospel dispensation, the law is of no use or obligation; or who hold doctrines which supersede the necessity of good works and a virtuous life. This sect originated with John Agricola about the year 1538.
ANTIMONITE, n. One who pays no regard to the law, or to good works.
ANTINOMIAN, a. [Gr. against, and law.] Against law; pertaining to the Antinomians.
ANTINOMIANISM, n. The tenets of Antinomians.
Are opponents of Lordship Salvation antinomians? No, absolutely not! Opponents of the Lordship Salvation heresy are notAntinomians!
Antinomianism comes from the Greek meaning lawless. In Christian theology it is a pejorative term for the teaching that Christians are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality. Few, if any, would explicitly call themselves “antinomian,” hence, it is usually a charge leveled by one group against an opposing group.
Antinomianism may be viewed as the polar opposite of legalism, the notion that obedience to a code of religious law is necessary for salvation. In this sense, both antinomianism and legalism are considered errant extremes.
I DON’T AGREE WITH ANTINOMIANISM. It is a false doctrine! I DO believe that Christians are under obligation from God to obey His laws and ethics, BUT NOT AS PART OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION!!! Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God Forbid: Yea, We Establish the Law.” That’s all I’m teaching! Every born-again believer is obligated to obey and fulfil the law, not to be saved, but because we are saved.
Also see Romans 6:15. Although the believer in Christ is freed from the CURSE of the Law, we are nevertheless expected to obey the COMMAND of the Law. Jesus said in John 15:14, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” No believer has God’s permission to sin. 2nd Corinthians 5:10 plainly states, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
There will be a separate judgment in Heaven just for believers, which proves that a believer cannot lose salvation because of sin. If sinful believers went to Hell, then there would not be any need for a separate judgment for believers who sin. 1st Corinthians 3:15 tells us that some believers will escape Hell “as by fire.” In other words, they will receive no rewards in Heaven. This clearly refutes the Charismatic heresy that salvation can be lost. If that were true, then how could a believer, who lived so awful as to receive NO REWARDS in Heaven, still go to Heaven?
Oh! The folly of those today who propagate the Lordship Salvation heresy. Their accusation against Bible-believing Christians that we make void the Law is absurd and certainly untrue. Just because a Christian goes into sin does not mean that they have chosen Satan as their lord. How ridiculous! Did king David make Satan his lord when he deliberately committed adultery and murder? Did Peter make Satan his lord when he denied Christ? Such accusations are childish. The truth is that every believer struggles with the sin-nature. As my pastor Dr. Jack Hyles used to say… “We can walk in the Spirit at any given moment if we so choose; but we won’t always walk in the Spirit because of our sin-nature.” God has given us the ability to escape temptation (1st Corinthians 10:13); but as sinners we won’t always do that. Lordship Salvationists act like they are without sin, but they are saturated with sins, especially the sin of hypocrisy.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.” —John 3:16