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Lordship Salvation or Salvation by Grace Alone?

A characteristic of the people prior to the Babylonian captivity was that God was “…near in their mouth, and far from their reigns”- or hearts (Jeremiah 12:2). In other words, they were professing belief in God, but they were not submitting to His authority in their lives.

In the church today, there is some debate between those who claim that we are saved by grace alone and those who say that Jesus must be lord of our lives in order to be saved. This is referred to as “Lordship Salvation.”

We are saved by grace alone, and in turn the Lord works in a true believer to change us into Jesus’ image over time. This is the goal of the Christian life. Lordship is the result of this process but not the means.

Those who profess faith in Christ, but do not have any genuine relationship with Him are emulating those who are described by the prophet Jeremiah; people who profess God in word only, not in their actions.

In one year I met two former pastors who had to leave their congregations because they were teaching what the Bible actually says instead of what the people wanted to hear. One of the pastors told me basically that the people wanted to live anyway they wanted to during the week and to them the church was only a social thing. He went on to become an evangelist and the other opened a Christian bookstore.

The apostle James tells us in James 2:19 that the devils also believe and tremble. We need to ask ourselves, what makes a professed believer different from a professing demon? Think about it.

Again, “Lordship” is not the means of salvation, only faith in Jesus’ atonement for our sins can be, but Lordship; the transitioning from believer to an active disciple of Christ, should be the eventual natural result of a genuine salvation.

We also should ask ourselves these logical questions; We are to be led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14); and the Holy Spirit is Jesus' Spirit (Romans 8:9, Matthew 10:20). So how can we be led by the Spirit if Jesus is not Lord of our lives? If Jesus is not Lord of your life, then who is? If God the Father is not God of your life, then according to Biblical definitions, you are an idolater; and Jesus said, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30).

Every believer must stand before the Lord at His judgment seat to receive for the things we have done or not done in this life (Matthew 25:31-46, I Cor. 3:11-15, II Cor. 5:10). Therefore in order to obtain the most favorable results at that judgment, I believe that it is expedient that if you have not asked Jesus to be Lord of your life, repentance is in order and a formal request to Him should be made. Bring Him from your mouth to have full control of your “reigns.”

Copyright 2024 by H.D. Shively

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