What is Wrong with Lordship Salvation?
March 19, 2011
Dr. Andy Woods

One can not imagine how any sane preacher in Evangelical Fundamentalist Pentecostal or Charismatic circles would ever dare cross swords with the Lordship of Jesus Christ over the Church and over those who declare themselves to be believers – yet here it is in black and white

Lordship Salvation (When one gives a name as this, they do so in contempt) is the idea that an unbeliever must commit (To commit is not enough as words are cheap.  A person must come to the place of complete surrender) all areas of his life to Christ as a condition for being saved. (This is why to declare one to have entered into salvation by repeating a series of magic words in order to obtain the salvations paid for by Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and His shed blood is the greatest and most damning among all the modern heresies taught in the church of this hour. The fact of the matter is that this heresy arose in the late 1800’s as the modern evangelical movement came into being.  The confessors and professors of this doctrine can not rightly appeal to scripture nor can they appeal to church history to establish their doctrine.  In some circles their doctrine is called easy believism – referring to a salvation by men’s words, confession or profession alone, a salvation without repentance in words or profession a salvation without repentance in restitution and deeds that demonstrate that change.  In the Gospels according to Jesus Christ and in epistles according to the Apostles one can not be separated from the other.) Another way of articulating Lordship Salvation is, “if Jesus is not Lord of all then He is not Lord at all.” Lordship Salvation began to significantly enter the American evangelical community in the 1980’s through the ministries of various prominent theologians and pastors.
The movement began with the well-intentioned concern to address too much carnality in the Christian world. However, the proposed solution to this legitimate concern was to increase the sole requirement for salvation in an attempt to argue that carnal Christians were never really saved in the first place since they had never initially yielded to Christ’s Lordship.

Sugar Land Bible Church does not believe in or teach Lordship Salvation. For example, Position Statement #6 in our church constitution says, “…repentance, as in a person willfully turning from sin, cannot be a condition for salvation.” (In this single statement alone we see this pastor and his Church’s arrogance against Jesus Christ’s words and commandments as revealed in the bible is beyond all measure. This statement here is a lens through which all scripture is reinterpreted by this cult, in the same manner as the Pharisees who sought to kill and defame Jesus Christ for all time, used their own Talmudic doctrines and traditions to reinterpret the whole of scripture and God’s words, commandments, and His will and eternal purposes.  Which in turn transformed Judaism into a pharisaical cult.)

Many people look at the Lordship controversy as merely semantics. They believe that this issue has no real significance for practical living or ministry. In actuality, Lordship Salvation introduces at least five problems into the life of a church.

First, Lordship Salvation changes the very heart of the Gospel, which only requires a child-like faith. (What is child-like faith? Child-like faith completely accepts the authority, the words and the commandments of the speaker. The Theologian here lines out everything except the word faith or belief,  and then through his pharisaical lens makes this out to mean faith or belief in the reinterpretations and traditions of the Theologian. There are probably somewhere between 150 to 200 New Testament passages which singularly condition a lost person’s salvation upon belief alone in Christ (We repeat here that the word faith and belief in the bible and even in modern society carry much greater meaning than simple mental assent to an authority of some sorts words.  For example many students will give mental assent to their high school or collage teachers just to obtain a good grade. Yet they do not believe in salvation coming from that teacher, even if they said so. To believe in Jesus Christ carries with it the understanding of these becoming His followers or disciples [Same meaning] Belief in Christ is not only to say I agree or I see Jesus is the son of God, it is the response of true belief that makes one to “keep My commandments” to “treasure My words” to seek after Me” “To take up My cross and follow after Me. To take My yoke upon you and learn of Me.  “Then shall you know if you follow on to know the Lord.” Jesus message of the Kingdom was “REPENT the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Jesus message of the gospel was “Repent” in the Gospels Jesus uses the word repent, go and sin no more in conjunction with salvation.  The faith and belief here is not the entering in to salvation by mental assent but a faith and belief in which a man or a woman transforms their lives their attitudes to become pleasing to God in the same manner that a small child changes their lives and attitudes to be pleasing to their parents.  The fact is this doctrine that the writer proposes is not one that was invented by the mind of a small child but by the corrupt mind of a theologian who knows he himself is far from being a follower of Jesus Christ and knows also that the greatest majority of those in evangelical fundamentalist Pentecostal and charismatic churches are far from being followers of Jesus Christ as well. And by doing so the writer has sought to rationalize part-time believers and convince them that they are the real thing so as to perpetuate the false church made with hands – that walks in ever increasing levels of sin and corruption.)  (John 3:16; 6:28-29; Acts 16:31; Rom 1:16, etc...). Belief is a synonym for faith or confidence or trust in God’s provision. The moment a lost person exercises trust in Christ is the moment he is saved. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Theologian and founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, entitled this biblical phenomenon: “Belief: God’s One Condition of Salvation.” Why has God made salvation so simple? God has designed salvation as a free gift (Rom 4:4). (In Romans 4:4 Paul the apostle is actually citing the conclusion of King Solomon in the book the Song of Solomon concerning the young shepherd girl that sought his out with all her heart all her soul all her mind and all her strength – that this LOVE can not be purchases with money, jewels, lands or gifts as, she would have despised the king [Solomon for doing so] In the Old Testament God sadly asks through the prophet what more could I have done for my people Israel?  So also in the New Testament what could God have more done than to have sent His own beloved Son [A piece of Himself] to redeem His people.  Could God for our love offered us jewels, lands, or earthly gifts? No as they would have cheapened, defiled, to have made earthly such a heavenly love and gift of His very son.

This Gift of God is free as it could not be purchased with money, houses, or lands or works of the flesh.  But upon receiving such a gift the acceptance is our undying love, dedication and obedience to the words and commandments of Jesus Christ and the Apostles and the lack of these tokens from us – demonstrates our unfaithfulness, our unbelief, our contempt of so great a gift of the death of God’s Son and the shedding of His blood.

Yet Paul the apostle states time after time that we have been PURCHASED, REDEEMED, YE ARE NO YOUR OWN, we are SERVANTS, SLAVES of Jesus Christ.  This is not considered in this false doctrine whatsoever as it encourages rebellion, it encourages living our lives in carnal sin as we will. It denies the need for repentance, cleansing, separation of the things of this world, separation from the works of the flesh, and ultimately showing any fruits of the redemption of Christ working in our hearts and lives. In other words it allows entire generations of “Believers” to walk in the light of darkness and declare that all good in the eyes of God.

If there were some human action to be performed beyond belief then salvation becomes something that we do rather than what God does. Such a human insertion reduces salvation’s free gift status by making it something we earn. In other words, under the Lordship Salvation model, surrender or commitment becomes a work that one does to earn salvation despite the fact that the Scripture is clear that salvation is not by works (Again salvation is not earned by works but by a belief and faith in Christ that causes one to repent, to change to seek after and to obey the words and commandments of Jesus Christ – rather than the twisted self centered self serving words of false comfort to unbelieving Christians that his writer purports) (Eph 2:8-9; Isa 64:6). Also, God has specifically designed salvation so that the principle of human boasting is eliminated (Rom 3:27; 4:2). Yet, if the unsaved could do anything to merit salvation beyond simple belief, such as commit or surrender, then he has contributed to the salvation process and thus has something to boast over. God cannot allow this to happen given His aversion to pride of any sort. Lordship Salvation perverts this divine order by making salvation something we do for God rather than something He does for us. It is Christ who saves us rather than our surrender or commitment to Him.

Second, Lordship Salvation places an impossible requirement upon the unsaved. The unsaved person is dead in his trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1) and thus incapable of doing anything of spiritual value, such as obey, submit, forsake, etc...By making these other things the conditions of salvation rather than simply believing, obstacles are placed in front of the unbeliever that he or she is incapable of fulfilling. The lost are capable of doing only one thing that is pleasing to a holy God: trusting in His provision for salvation. (The writer earthly fleshly supposition again so misses the mark. In the Gospels the incident concerning the rich young ruler who asks what MUST I do to be saved? – When Christ declares in the Greek “It is impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven – Understanding Christs words absolutely Peter and the Apostles then cry out is despair:  “How then can anyone be saved?” We could read this as.  We all have earthly riches and possessions in one form or another [We are all somewhere in between being unbelievers and believers]   so are we all also disqualified? In other words the apostles did not find themselves SAVED or having ETERNAL SECURITY but rather in a process of conversion, in a process of repentance, in a process of then shall you know if you follow on to know the Lord.  A process that continued through Jesus arrest, trial, shedding his blood, death, burial, resurrection and even His Ascension – All of which remained unsettled all the way through the upper room where lasting eternal change was obtained.  Which w have written of this with some detail and scripture elsewhere])   


What then shall we make of the numerous biblical commands for the lost to repent (Acts 2:38; 17:30; 2 Pet 3:9)? The Greek word translated repent is metanoeō. It comes from two Greek words meta and noeō. Meta means change, as in metamorphosis. Noeō means “to perceive.” (Change that can be seen, change that has been made manifest to the five sensed of others – those of unsaved men now being able to see these as lights) From the word noeō we get the English word notion, (Words transliterated from the Greek to English and are assigned new meanings unrelated to the Greek word have no place in any biblical study.  For example Anti – in English is means against.  In Greek Anti means in place of. Antichrist means one who is standing in the place of Christ)  which refers to an idea emanating from the mind. (The writer either does not know Greek or is purposely deceiving his audience) Thus, repent or metanoeō means to change one's mind about Christ rather than to change one's behavior in order to come to Christ. In this sense, repentance is a synonym for faith. (In what dictionary is faith a synonym for faith – here we now know the writer Dr. So and so is a absolute liar) Position Statement #6 captures this idea when it says, "With respect to salvation, repentance is a change of mind regarding the Person and work of Christ."

Third, Lordship Salvation ignores the possibility of a carnal Christian. If complete commitment and yielding to Christ is an initial prerequisite for salvation, then there is no such thing as a believer who is carnal or not completely surrendered to Christ. Yet the Bible contains numerous examples of carnal believers. For example, Lot, who is called “righteous” three times (2 Pet 2:7-8), (Lot repented, heeded the words of the angels, did not look back and his daughters sins were not held against him) exhibits perpetual unrighteous behavior (Gen 19:30-38). Similarly, the Corinthians are called saints (1 Cor 1:2) (A Latin word – not a translation Greek word is s holy – (The letter is addressed to the Holy and Chosen in the church of Corinth not the church as a whole. As those are being called to teach instruct and correct the rest of the church. Paul declares a few verses later that the Corinthian’s state overall is one as being babes as being carnal, and as being earthly and sensual – all of which is saying they are not SAVED as they currently stand and walk),   yet the rest of 1 Corinthians reveals their un-saintly behavior. Thus, Paul refers to them as carnal believers (1 Cor 3:1-3). While carnal Christianity is obviously not God's perfect will for His children, such a categorization is a legitimate possibility.

Fourth, Lordship Salvation confuses sanctification with justification. (This is because just as with salvation the author not knowing or understanding the word of God does not have the least bit of understanding as to what or how sanctification and justification fit in the picture. We have more than one article concerning sanctification and justification from God as revealed through the word of God) After coming to Christ, God issues another call for His children to pursue practical sanctification or discipleship. For example, those whom Christ called to be His disciples, like Peter, were already believers (Matt 16:24-25). We see the same salvation pattern at work through Old Testament Israel. First, the nation was redeemed through the Passover Lamb and then, sometime later, the nation was put under the Mosaic Law for purposes of sanctification (Exod 19:1ff). Thus, submission to Christ's Lordship is prerequisite for this second step of sanctification rather than for the initial step of justification. Therefore, the Scripture teaches Lordship Sanctification rather than Lordship Salvation. Lordship Salvation confuses this two-step approach by reading the principles for sanctification back into what is required for justification. In other words, what is the result of salvation mistakenly becomes the initial requirement for salvation. This mistake is tantamount to putting the cart before the horse.

Fifth, Lordship Salvation destroys the believer's assurance of salvation. (Read this as eternal security – it destroys this doctrine and tradition of men as it when rightly dividing the word of truth has no biblical basis and therefore can not stand)  Lordship advocates never precisely define what kind of commitment to Christ is necessary in order to become a Christian. How much surrender is required? How long is this surrender to last? How much fruit must this surrender produce? Because these questions are never precisely answered, the believer spends the rest of his Christian life wondering if he truly made enough of a commitment to become a Christian. Because of the believer's potential for “backsliding,” the Christian can never really know until his dying day if he is a committed Christian. Thus, Lordship Salvation steals the joy that accompanies the knowledge that one's eternal destiny is sealed. Far from such a guessing game, Christ gives all believers instantaneous assurance of salvation at the point of justification (John 5:24; 6:47).

In sum, although Lordship Salvation represents the right diagnosis of a problem, it holds out as the solution the wrong cure. The remedy for carnal Christianity is preaching more aggressively on the manifold blessings that accompany the sanctified life and the importance of the Spirit-filled life (Eph 5:18) so as to avoid the prospect of forfeiting rewards at the Bema Seat (1 Cor 9:24-27; 2 John 8; Rev 3:11). Let us hold out these genuine cures for carnal Christianity rather than embrace the false cure of Lordship Salvation. Such a false cure fundamentally alters the Gospel, which is the best news that God ever gave man.

If one has eternal security why then is there the final judgment seat of Christ?

For as Jesus prophesied that the Pharisees were to be judged in the last day by Moses in whom they trusted, so shall Christians be judged by Jesus Christ in whom they trust in the last day.

This very day Jesus speaks to us, when He said: IN THAT DAY (In what day?  – The day of the final judgment) shall many come unto Me saying Lord, Lord have we not done many marvelous works in Thy Name . . .