Saved by Grace Alone
A Biblical Analysis of Lordship Salvation
What is Gods requirement for salvation? What must a sinner do to be saved?
Manfred Kober has pointed to the heart of the issue: "At stake is the essence of the evangel. The basic question relates to the sine qua non of saving faith. What does an individual have to believe or do to be genuinely saved? Is faith the only requirement for salvation?
Correct View: Grace + Faith = Salvation + Works
Incorrect View: Grace + Faith + Works = Salvation"
The "works" mentioned in the above formula can include such things as
obedience to Christs commands, submission to His authority, fulfillment of the
demands of discipleship, etc.
Gods message of good news to sinners is very simple and clear: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). The message to sinners is not: Surrender to His Lordship! Obey His commands! Love God supremely! Forsake all possessions! Accept all the terms of discipleship! Submit to Gods authority over every area of your life!
The false cults consistently give the wrong answer when asked, "What must a person do to be saved?" For example, the Jehovahs Witnesses say, "By loving obedience to Him, you will put yourself in the way that leads to eternal life" (The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, p.26). Mans obedience has never saved one soul. By nature we are "children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2). By nature we were not subject to the law of God, neither could we be (Rom. 8:7). Salvation is not based upon what man does for God; it is based on what God has done for man. See CHM's study entitled, DO or DONE?
Should we change the terms of salvation in order to promote holy living?
Dr. Ernest Pickering has written the following: "One of the chief objections to the notion of Lordship salvation is that it adds to the gospel of grace. It requires something of the sinner which the Scriptures do not require. The message of salvation by grace proclaims to sinners that they may receive eternal life by faith alone whereas the message of "Lordship salvation" tells sinners they must be willing to give up whatever is in their life that is displeasing to God. At the point of gospel presentation they do not know what things those are, nor does the personal worker seeking to point them to Jesus know. There is a vast and significant difference between believing on Christ for salvation and learning from Him as our Lord....None of us are happy with shoddy, fleshly, and disobedient Christians. But the remedy for this condition is not found in changing the terms of the gospel. Well over 100 times in the New Testament, we are told that salvation is by faith or through believing. It is a very serious matter to add an ingredient to the gospel of salvation which is not found in the New Testament....Our task is to keep preaching the plain, simple gospel of free grace. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to produce in true believers those qualities of righteousness which we all devoutly long to see." [Lordship Salvation, by Dr. Ernest Pickering, published by Baptist World Mission, P.O. Box 1463, Decatur, AL 35602]
What is the distinction between a requirement for salvation and a result of salvation?
Dr. Renald Showers has helped to clarify this: "On the one hand there is a false easy-believism which asserts that mere mental assent to certain truths saves a person. On the other hand, in order to correct this error, some have made additions to the Gospel and the Biblical requirements for salvation. There is a clear distinction between a requirement for salvation and a result of salvation. The two should not be confused with each other. A willingness and desire for Christ to rule over ones life are prompted by the new spiritual life imparted by the Holy Spirit when He regenerates the believer at salvation. The unsaved do not and cannot submit to divine rule (Romans 8:7). Just as a tree cannot have apples unless it already has the nature of an apple tree, so a person cannot have a willingness and desire to submit to Christs rule unless he already possesses the new nature received by regeneration at salvation (2 Pet. 1:3-4). Thus, even the willingness and desire to submit to Christs rule are the result of, and not a requirement for, salvation." [The above quotation is by Dr. Renald Showers, The Trouble With Lordship Salvation, Word of Life 1990 Annual.]
What is saving faith?
Saving faith is simply resting all your weight on the Lord Jesus Christ:
Resting all your weight on who He is (His Worth, His Person).
Resting all your weight on what He has done (His Work).
Resting all your weight on what He has said (His Word).
Saving faith is not working, but it is resting on the work of Another. It is resting on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Nothing in my hands I bring;
Simply to Thy cross I cling!
I do not work my soul to save,
That my Lord hath done.
But I would work like any slave
For love of Gods dear Son!
My commitment to Jesus Christ does not save me. CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE. My surrender to His Lordship does not save me. CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE. My obedience to His Word does not save me. CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE. My love for the Saviour does not save me. CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE. My ability to fulfill all the demands of discipleship does not save me. CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE. My behavior and conduct does not save me. CHRIST SAVES ME BY HIS GRACE.
Gods saving grace is to be found in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ: "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12).
Have you been justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus? Is your hope based upon what you have done or is your hope based upon Jesus blood and righteousness? "I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but WHOLLY LEAN ON JESUS NAME!" May we be standing fully on Christ the solid Rock, not upon the sinking sand of our own fragile commitment.
--George Zeller (Revised 11/99, 5/08)
Saved By Grace Alone
A Biblical Analysis of Lordship Salvation
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