An additional requirement or condition that is often added to faith in Christ for salvation is called “Lordship”. The preacher will say something like; “In order to be saved, it is not enough for Jesus to be your savior, He must also be your Lord”.
The idea of lordship is authority or control. The teaching of lordship salvation requires that a person be completely surrendered to the will of God in order to be saved. Perhaps you have heard the catchy phrase, “If Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.” This cleverly worded cliché certainly sounds good and has been repeated so often that people generally assume that it is true. However, it is actually misleading and unbiblical, especially when it comes to the gospel and how a person receives forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
"This cleverly worded cliché certainly sounds good and has been repeated so often that people generally assume that it is true."
Lordship is a matter of obedience. But, the Bible makes it clear that we are not saved by being obedient (Romans 4:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5, etc.). We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ only, which means to simply depend on, or rest on, His finished work on the cross for us. Obedience is something we do. Therefore obedience can never save us or help us get saved in any way. Salvation is what Christdoes. By His death and resurrection, He has already provided everything necessary for us to be saved freely by His grace, through faith, totally apart from our obedience, devotion or surrender. According to the Bible, God's grace is the very opposite of our works (Romans 11:6). The Bible also makes it clear that faith is trusting in someone other than yourself (Romans 4:5). It is trusting (relying) only on what Christ has already done for you on the cross and not on anything that you can do, give, or give up for Him.
"Obedience is something we do. Therefore obedience can never save us or help us get saved in any way."
Lordship Salvation is a matter of personal submission, devotion and self-righteousness. However, the best that anyone of us has to offer - the very best of our submission, devotion and self-righteousness - is entirely inadequate in the sight of God. We need the gift of Christ's perfect righteousness. But, our hearts deceive us and tell us that surely there is something more that we must do, than just believe in (trust in) a crucified and risen savior. We feel that we must have a deep yielding and submission that makes us different than others who call themselves 'Christians', but who show no real change or commitment to the Lord.
The biblical truth is, "There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who does good..."
The biblical truth is, "There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who does good..." (Romans 3:10) This means that even the best of our devotion is unacceptable to God. "All of us have become like an unclean thing and the righteous things we do are like filthy rags [in God's sight]..." (Jeremiah 64:6) "The heart is deceitful above all else. It is desperately wicked. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
How blind we can become to the fact that our submission and yielding is totally inadequate and insufficient, having no place whatsoever in our justification before God. Our natural self-deception causes us to deny, or ignore, our broken and helpless condition. "I know that in me, that is in my flesh dwells no good thing...The sinful nature is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law. Nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." (Romans 7:18 & 8:7-8).
"Our natural self-deception causes us to deny, or ignore, our broken and helpless condition."
Consider carefully the words of the hymn, Rock of Ages. "Not the labors of my hands can fulfill thy law's demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; thou must save, and thou alone. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Savior, or I die." (Augustus Toplady)
When a preacher or evangelist tells unsaved people that they must completely surrender to the Lordship of Christ, he is asking for the impossible. Even worse, He is asking them to do what God has not asked them to do! The unbeliever cannot possibly do anything that is pleasing to God (Romans 8.8). Even those those of us who have been saved for decades, still struggle with the Lordship of Christ and our obedience to Him on a daily basis. I, myself, am not completely obedient all of the time (and neither are you). I still sin (and so do you). I still make choices that are contrary to God’s will (and so do you). Any honest Christian will admit that often Christ is not completely in control of their life. If He was, we would never sin!
"When a preacher or evangelist tells unsaved people that they must completely surrender to the Lordship of Christ, he is asking for the impossible. Even worse, He is asking them to do what God has not asked them to do!"
By God's infinite wisdom and grace, the issues of Christ’s Lordship over our life, our devotion to Him, and our personal obedience have absolutely no part in the Gospel (if they did, all of us would doomed for all eternity). These issues are, however, a very important part of our spiritual growth once we have been born again by faith alone in the all-sufficient sacrifice of Jesus for our sins.
As born-again believers, we must live by faith moment-by-moment, in order to enjoy intimacy with God and fulfill His perfect will for our lives. We must learn to rely, not on our own strength or commitment, but on the indwelling Holy Spirit who empowers us to obey Christ. This is a lifelong process that involves a growing realization of our own unfaithfulness and lack of devotion, and of His perfect faithfulness and undying devotion to us. This is an ongoing work of the Spirit, as He applies the truth of God's Word to our daily lives, and it will not be totally attained until Christ takes us to Heaven. (I John 3.2-3)
The important thing to understand, and never lose sight of, is that we are not saved by making Jesus the Lord (master, ruler or king) of our lives, or by surrendering our all to Him, dedicating our life to Him, or by making a promise of submission to Him. We are not saved by our obedience, good works or personal devotion to Christ. We are not saved by going to church, making a so called 'public confession' or getting baptized. We are saved only by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone! We are saved by what He accomplished for us by His sacrifice on the cross and not by something we sacrifice for Him! We are saved by the precious blood of Christ shed for our sins and our salvation! (1 Peter 1:18) And, "...everyone who believes in Him, receives forgiveness of sins through His name." (Acts 10:43)
"We are saved by what He accomplished for us by His sacrifice on the cross and not by something we sacrifice for Him!"
"To the one who does not work, but trusts God who justifies the wicked. His faith is credited to him as righteousness." (Romans 4:5).
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9).
"He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time..." (2 Timothy 1:9)
"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope [the confident expectation and assurance] of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)
Written by Dave Armstrong & Rob Armstrong If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you. So, feel free to Contact Us