Lordship Salvation Exposed
By David J. Stewart
There is a heresy going around in many of our churches today known as “Lordship Salvation.” This false doctrine simply teaches that a person must accept Jesus Christ as the “Lord of their life” to be saved.
The Biblical Meaning of "Lord"
Before I confuse you, let me explain what the word “Lord” means. “Lord” in the New Testament most often comes from the Greek word, “kurios.” It means “supreme in authority.” Here is a good example: When Saul (later to be known as Paul the Apostle) was traveling towards Damascus, something amazing happened. Let’s read Acts 9:1-5, “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, LORD (kurios)? And the LORD (kurios) said, I AM JESUS whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” Saul recognized the One speaking to Him as the Supreme Being of the universe. Saul asks the identity of the Lord, the One Who is supreme in Authority—It is Jesus Christ!!!
The Bible teaches that a person must trust Jesus as Lord (Almighty God) in order to be saved. If you deny that Jesus is the Creator, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father—then you are believing on the wrong Jesus my friend. You must believe upon the true Christ, not a counterfeit. There are many counterfeit Jesus’ out there in the world. How do you view Christ? If you only view Jesus as a prophet, then you know not the God of the universe. Oh listen my friend, Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Lamb of God, the Prince of peace, the Everlasting Father, the Rose of Sharon, the Bright and Morning Star, the Lily of the Valley, the Son of God, the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Resurrection, the Door, the Great Shepherd, the One and Only, the Redeemer, the Great Physician and Almighty God of the entire universe!!! Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. The Bible will stand true! Jesus Christ is the Supreme Creator and God of the entire universe. You must accept Him on these terms. Many people have a distorted view of Who Jesus really is.
Not "Lord and Saviour," Only "Saviour"
We often read in tracts that one must accept Jesus as “Lord and Savior” to be saved. Many preachers use this terminology in their preaching. Likewise, Bible teachers often refer to this phrase. The problem is that some people have a different meaning for the word “Lord.” The words “Lord and Savior” can be misleading. It all depends on what is meant by “Lord.” If you mean that a person needs to trust Jesus Christ as deity to be saved, the Bible agrees. If you mean that a person must be willing to commit their life to serving God, the Scriptures do NOT agree. Let me say, there is a “growing-in-grace” period for the Believer. As a matter of fact, it is a life-long growing process. No Christian can ever claim to have “arrived” in this fleshly body. We are all sinners saved by God’s grace—deserving of hell. It matters not how good a Christian you may think you are, you are a nobody without God. Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:3, “For if a man think himself to be something, when HE IS NOTHING, he deceiveth himself.”
Oh the delusion of so many people, they think they’re God’s gift to the world. Let me tell you, we are nothing without God. The only good thing about any Believer is the Lord Jesus Christ. Apart from God, we are simply wicked, hell-deserving sinners. Don’t misunderstand the Bible, we are special to God and the object of His love—so much so that He laid down His own life for us. However, Jesus Christ will never truly be in absolute control of our life until we are rid of this earthly body. Question: how much would a person have to make Jesus the Lord of their life to be saved? The answer is simple, none. Why? Because you can do NOTHING of your own to merit God’s free gift of eternal life—it was paid for by Jesus alone. It is silly and wicked for anyone to teach that a person must make Jesus the Lord of their life to be saved.
A person only needs to trust the Lord, not dedicate their life to Him. This may come later but it has nothing to do with being saved. You need NOT do anything to be saved except admit you’re a sinner and then call upon the precious name of Christ Jesus. Likewise my friend, you do NOT have to give up your sins to be saved, except one—the sin of unbelief! The unbelief which has kept you from being saved for so long. When a lost sinner turns to Christ for salvation, they have just turned from their unbelief (this is repentance, a turning point, a change of mind). If you are truly repentant concerning your sins, then you won’t have the arrogant attitude that you can happily continue living in sin. No way! If you are sincere, then you'll feel convicted over the sins and failures throughout your life. God does not expect you to clean up your act in order to be saved; on the contrary, He wants to help you clean up your act after you’ve been saved. Just as lost people cannot save themselves, neither can Believers live the Christian life apart from the Holy Spirit of God. We absolutely need God to help us along the way. We are saved by faith—we live the Christian life by faith!!!
Lordship Salvation Eliminates Growth in Grace
Jesus said, “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). That settles it! The doctrine of Lordship Salvation is dangerous because it adds to what Jesus said concerning salvation. Jesus said “whosoever believeth in Him should not perish.” For Christ to be the Lord of your life means that you have given Him complete control of your life. Though this would be a wonderful change in the life of any Believer, it is NOT a requirement for salvation. Again, the Bible speaks of “growing in grace”—“But GROW IN GRACE, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2nd Peter 3:18). Every new convert needs to grow in grace. It is impossible for a new Believer in Christ to have the understanding and discernment that a mature Christian would have. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may GROW thereby” (1st Peter 2:2). The Christian life is all about changing. Moment-by-moment, we must ask the Holy Spirit to show us areas in our life that need improvement.
This does no good if we are stubborn and unwilling to change. Change is not a joyous experience at first but brings a sweet peace with it in the end. Peace is found in the will of God. God has many “wills” for our life. There is no one big will for our life and we must not feel distraught because we have made some BIG MISTAKES—we all blow it from time to time. I am simply saying that it takes time to grow in the Lord. What if an unsaved person says, “I’ll admit I’m a sinner and trust Christ but I’m not ready to make Jesus the Lord of my life?” Can this person be saved? Of course! You do NOT need to make Jesus the Lord of your life to be saved, just TRUST JESUS as Lord (Almighty God) and Savior and ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Salvation is simple, men make it complicated. I believe many people are confused on this subject. God wants nothing from you to be saved. As a matter of fact, only those who come to Jesus empty-handed will ever be saved. You must bring nothing and cast your sinful heart at the feet of Jesus to be saved.
Lordship Salvation Adds to the Simple Plan of Salvation
I cannot say for sure whether or not these Lordship salvation folks are saved, I do believe they are sincere. What I am saying is that the doctrine of Lordship salvation is of the devil. Salvation is a FREE GIFT of God and we must NOT add or subtract anything from it. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. The price has been paid in full. All we need to do is accept the free gift of eternal life. “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the FREE GIFT came upon all men unto justification of life” (Romans 5:18). Eternal life is a free gift to each and every one of us, paid for by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
The devil is a trickster my friend—he is a busy beaver, working to kill, steal and destroy. He is a master of twisting words and meanings. Let me clarify here to avoid any confusion—it is not wrong to accept Christ as your Savior and Lord (if “Lord” refers to the fact that Jesus is Almighty God, the Supreme Authority of the universe). This is what the Bible teaches. It is however a wicked heresy for anyone to teach that you must “make Jesus the Lord of your life” to be saved. To “trust Jesus as Lord and Savior” means something entirely different than to “make Jesus the Lord and Master of your life.” Many people would lead you to believe that in order to be saved, you must surrender your life to God and be willing to do anything He wants you to do, go anywhere He wants you to go, be anything He wants you to be. These are wonderful things, but these are the traits of a mature, seasoned Christian—not necessarily of a new convert.
It takes decades sometimes for a Believer to grow in the Lord to reach this point of care and concern for the lost souls of others. Don’t misunderstand me, many new converts do yield their lives to God right away BUT IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO THEIR SALVATION. Howbeit, most Believers never reach the promised land of the victorious Christian life. Oh they are saved alright, but they have been choked by the cares and riches of this world. Jesus is NOT the Lord of their life and He probably never will be, not in this sin-cursed fallen world. It only took God one day to take Israel out of Egypt, but it took God forty years to take Egypt out of Israel. Though many of the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness were saved, they never saw the promised land. In the same way, we are saved the moment we trust upon Christ; however, it usually takes God a lifetime to straighten us out. This does NOT mean we are not saved, it simply means that we still have a lot of spiritual growing-up to do. Whether Jesus is the Lord of your life or not, you simply need only trust the Lord to be saved.
Anyone who adds anything to simple faith in Christ is wrong. Salvation is Not found in good deeds or merit, it is NOT found in religion or behavior, it is NOT found in giving up sins or turning over a new leak, it is NOT found in being kind or giving away lots of money, it is NOT found in how good a person you may think you are—salvation is found in a person, Jesus Christ. I recently heard on the news of a man who won $3 billion (that’s billion with a big B) in a lawsuit settlement. He developed lung cancer from smoking cigarettes all his life. The cancer had now spread to his liver and to his brain. Needless to say, this man won’t make it much longer. Death is right around the corner. What good is $3,000,000,000 if you can’t enjoy it? I wonder if this man is ready to die? Is he saved? Will he go to heaven or hell for all eternity? How about you, are you ready to die? Are you right with God? Do you know what it means to be right with God? Let’s see what the Bible says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have PEACE WITH GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Anyone can have peace with God. We must come to God through Jesus Christ. Trust Christ now if you have never done so, ask Him to forgive your sins and save you. There is nothing else you need to do, He has already done it all for you.
Do you believe that Jesus is God’s Son Who came to this earth as God Almighty in the flesh? Do you believe that Jesus is Almighty God today? Do you believe He died in your place to pay for your sins and redeem you from hell? Do you believe Jesus was crucified, buried and raised up after three days? If so, won’t you trust Christ now as your personal Savior if you’ve never done so? If you will simply confess to God that you are a wicked sinner, deserving of hell, then all you must do is turn to Jesus in heart’s faith, asking Him to forgive and save you. You don’t need to make Him the Lord of your life to be saved, just realize that Jesus Christ is God Almighty and trust upon Him to forgive your sins and save you. You don’t need to give up your sins to be saved, just be sorry for the sins you’ve committed and confess them to God. How sorry do you have to be? Just sorry enough to trust Christ for forgiveness (Romans 10:13). Jesus never told anyone to give up their sins to be saved, He simply asked us to believe on Him (John 6:40). All Jesus wants from us is simple childlike faith. Jesus didn't require people to give up their sins to be saved, He saved them and then told them afterwards to go and sin no more (Jesus said “...go, and sin no more” -John 8:11). To be saved, a person needs only to confess their own sins and seek Christ's forgiveness; hence, they have repented.
Jesus Automatically Becomes Your Lord at Salvation
The truth of the matter is that Jesus automatically becomes your Lord and Savior the moment you accept Him into your heart. If Jesus is not your Lord and Savior, you are NOT saved friend. There is no way that you can be a child of God and Jesus not be your Lord. The whole teaching of Lordship salvation is distorted. The second I trust Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and asked Him to forgive my sins, He became my Lord and Master. Never let anyone lead you astray from the simplicity of God’s Word. The “growing in grace” process is a lifetime process; no believer is without fault or sin. If we as believers had to meet a certain standard for Jesus to be our Lord, then NONE of us would qualify. The only condition, which needed to be met, was our simple faith in the Blessed Saviour. So again, if you are a born-again child of God, Jesus is already your LORD. He becomes your LORD the same moment He becomes your SAVIOUR.
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