Lordship Salvation Lies




So, I am a discipleship Monergist. That is, someone who believes discipleship can only happen after regeneration and often years after and who also knows that God brings about salvation through divine regeneration, without human consent when regeneration takes place. At first glance by my theological beliefs, you might think that I am an adherent to the infamous ‘lordship salvation’ heresy but I am not. Not any longer now that I understand it better. I did play into thinking I agreed with it on and off for about ten years. Something did not sit well when it came to the doctrine and it might have been that in my subconscious I discerned the errors in it; consciously however, I thought it seemed to align with what I already believed. I was wrong with my surface understanding and after evaluating it many times over and finally hearing opposition against it, I realized how deceptive it actually was. One of the clues for me was the divisions being caused among sound brethren over it. That was a huge clue that Satan was involved and if so, then what side of the issue was the lie? At that point, I was able to start to recognize the church had a serpent doctrine on its hands and one that was slithering through almost every decent church I came across. Not all members had heard of LS but in nearly all monergistic churches, several members used the term and adhered to it in one way or another; in most cases innocently and unware of what it actually taught. No saint would embrace LS if they knew what it really taught; NO saint.

So, to further clarify and I love clear communication, I am neither a so called cheap-gracer or a so-called lordship salvationist. Sometimes the truth really does lay in between…the white truth can reside between two shades of grey error. For the sake of truth, some of us must break the stereotypical mold especially when it comes to error. Lordship Salvation is subtle but serious heresy because it adds to Scripture in an offensive and lethal way.

The gloves are off me now after a few too many years of this heresy spinning around me where ever I turn…I had hoped many times over to shelve the tragic doctrine and not waste my limited time battling over it ever again but alas, it keeps rearing its ugly head where I least expect it. I cannot ignore it or shelve it any longer, as it is continually forced in my face like a plate of tainted seafood linguine.

People tend to continually confuse Salvation with Sanctification which breeds the error. Regeneration is not growth-obedience any more than physical birth is growth…some children die at birth or shortly thereafter and those who grow onward always grow at different speeds and in different ways. So, with the spiritual scenario.

What most monergistic LS adherents seem to forget, is that there are other Monergists who believe in spiritual growth and service and are not buying into the errors of so called lordship salvation. There are not just two groups of LS and Lazy Potato (LP). There are some balanced believers and in fact most sound saints would fall somewhere in between if they were being honest. Not just semantics; not at all. This goes much deeper and darker than a play with words or miscommunication by either side. Splitting hairs, not exactly but if it were that, then it is providential some hairs naturally split and it cannot be avoided. Now because there are so many truthful aspects to LS, one feels reluctant to call it out as heresy, but devils count on that reaction; any error renders LS a false and ungodly doctrine; in this case its subtly makes it even more lethal. For any doctrine to be true, it must be completely accurate, and we must settle for nothing less or it is treason against God.

For a few years, LS grabbed me, and I primarily accepted it as a sound part of doctrine in the larger picture of Grace; fortunately, without it changing my own monergistic convictions. Plus, I never taught it or talked much regarding it. I just referred to it as growth in grace as I falsely understood it. What I did was give LS too much credit and thought it taught as I believed but in fact, I fell for the intended deception set up by devils. It helped to fall for the subtle lie, when so many sound brethren also had and all of them older than myself. That made it easy to slide into the deception. Plus, I was not well grounded in regard to justification versus sanctification, to be able to catch the error. I did not so much wander off the safe beaten path and fall into accepting LS, as I did have it offered up in my first church in some material and books given out. They too were falling into it unawares I can only assume now and my pastor at the time had not been Monergistic for all that long himself; AS many continue to fall into it in different degrees but still claiming to adhere to it officially. I believe it is one of our end times deceptions that even the elect might be deceived by if it is possible. The fact that it has gained so much ground, is an indication of leaven rising. That same leaven was found in the past, but it was not nearly as prevalent among Monergists as it is now. I also think it is a spill- over effect of Protestantism and not Baptists, though almost as many Baptists in proportion have fallen into it now. It spills over from Perseverance of the saints in TULIP rather than ‘preservation’…though Calvin did not seem to intend ‘perseverance’ to teach LS at all and did seem to keep justification and discipleship separated, from what I have read. I also believe that all true saints who profess the doctrine, are misunderstanding LS as I did. It just is not possible for a saint to go along with it while completely aware of what it really teaches. No way. Only unknowing, can a believer accept LS in its correct intended manifestation. And how do I know the intent of LS? Quite easy, because it is neither a doctrine of God or man but of Satan. When we know that, we know what the intent is.

As a person who loves to see the forest for the trees, as well as the details of the trees, alas, I could not those first few years, recognize the misrepresentations of Lordship Salvation. Such is the dastard nature of the concocted doctrine. Someone devised it very well to catch many sound brethren in its path. I think it morphed more than anything and grew out of the sound doctrine that most believers generally persevere in grace and all conscious saints have a growing intent to follow Christ for the most part; that intent usually transpires into visible fruit. Add a subtle lie here and a subtle lie there and stretch the truth in the wrong direction and you end up with the modern so-called Lordship Salvation doctrine. Slick maneuver on the part of somebody. In the paranoia of trying to over correct lazy- believism, someone got carried away and created a suicide doctrine. Intentional or unintentional is irrelevant as much damage has been done and continues. Sadly, it is the most divisive doctrine I have ever seen among real saints. There is nothing quite like it. Not even the infant baptism issue can compare for the ability to tear monergistic brethren apart. Baptism was the grandfather issue or mother of all issues among the lost and saved but not as much among sound believers. There are several forefathers of the faith who have taught LS as well. Some who I have had most respect for, which proves to me that we can trust no man to teach us apart from the Holy Spirit guiding us in the Word and filtering what is being fed to us. Preachers are meant to complement our study and not to continually lead or dictate our study…they are to help us and not hinder us and when we realize this, it helps to not fall into error. If we hold a preacher in too high esteem, it is inevitable that God will see fit to chasten us by our foolishness and in the end remind us to look directly to Him for our understanding. It does not surprise me much or impress me any, that some of our spiritual fathers have errored in LS…because they have in some cases done that with doctrines that are less confusing.

Now in Scripture, there are verses that leave out repent. There are verses that leave out baptism. There are verses that leave out repentance and baptism. But never a verse that leaves out BELIEVE. The one thief on the cross would agree. That belief is not only a mental recognition but a belief within the heart as Scripture well clarifies. So, if anyone thinks they can simply believe as the devils do and be saved, they better think again. The Spirit will regenerate you to believe far beyond devilish mental recognition of the facts of who Christ is.

There is no revealed repentance prior to regeneration and of all people in the world, Monergists should understand that. Godly inward or outward repentance might well start to take place immediately thereafter, but it is after and not before. Some say that the internal repentance of the heart is one and the same as regeneration but they in fact are two different things called by two different names for a reason. Regeneration is the Spirit moving in us and making us alive…and sealing us. Repentance is the result of regeneration in turning from the world to God…repentance is the arresting of us in our intent and actions and that cannot happen until we are made spiritually alive by the Spirit moving upon us and indwelling us.
Many of the LS arguments would be avoided, if we would separate the two levels of inward and outward repentance. Inward repentance or rather conversion (mental/emotional turning toward God) happens immediately and instantaneously at the moment of the Spirit moving upon us and quickening us. That I understand full well and experienced myself. Outward manifestation of repentance (active/physical turning from sin toward God) takes hours, days, months, and years to manifest itself in people…and that is why the Thief on the cross only had his conversion and no good works to show but his mere acknowledgment of who Christ was after he was regenerated by the Holy Spirit. I find that most LS people, rarely differentiate between the inward conversion/repentance and the outward manifestation of repentance because they say they are one in the same. They are not really one in the same. Inner conversion and repentance is absolutely guaranteed immediately after regeneration (again not before) but revealed repentance is not necessarily guaranteed depending on the person and how long they live (we can use the one thief on the cross example again). I understand that most saints will display eventual fruits and some straight away, but this is so fluctuating it is ridiculous to look to that as a rule of operation or proof of salvation. It cannot be absolute proof of salvation when false professors and wolves can often feign good works and many of them make a real saint LOOK pathetic in comparison (with devilish aid of course). No, good looking works are no proof in themselves. It can only be partial evidence I suppose at best and even then, it should not be the determining factor…only Christ in the work on the Cross is our proof to lean on, else we are not resting on the shed blood of Christ. All that said, I do believe that in most instances, good fruit will be evident from a saint and if there are none after a few months or years, even my red flag would raise in concern of their authenticity but either way, good looking works are not necessarily proof of ANYTHING. For the sake of truth, I am fed up with some saying that it is. Saints galore are caught up in the web of so called Lordship Salvation. I will remind us, that Christ is Lord or ALL no matter what, including the devils and mammals and there is no escaping His Lordship. The term is not particular to the Elect. It is not an ideal description or title to use if one is attempting to convey authentic sainthood evidenced with fruit when all the while devils have the same Lord. In fact, it is a dumb name for such a doctrine as LS…and it doesn’t get any less dumb the more we hear them go on and on about their new-found doctrine. I have not found a false doctrine so sad as this one being embraced and taught by so many real saints. Not to mention the warring within the camp from the blistering false teaching. LS is a perfect example of a partial truth that is not any truth at all.

For someone to sincerely believe in their head and heart (not just head belief), that is, in itself, an extent of internal repentance going on (intentional and emotional repentance) …you are not going to authentically believe in the gospel of Christ without internal/intellectual repentance simultaneously happening and vice versa. YET before either of these can happen, we need God to make us alive in regeneration via His Spirit. The Word of God does say to believe and be saved but it does not say believe and then be saved; to the contrary, we are taught in Scripture that no one can see or discern the things of God before the Spirit quickens them and they are born again, and belief definitely and necessarily fits into that category. We also read how we cannot come to Christ except God draws us (heaviest meaning of drawing-dragging), which out rules belief and repentance happening before regeneration by the Spirit. John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Some worthy thoughts by other brethren:

In the last 15 years or so, justification by faith has once again been brought to the forefront of theological debate. In John MacArthur’s 1988 book entitled The Gospel According to Jesus, the views set forth encompass all that is held by the proponents of Lordship Salvation. Paul Holloway, Pastor of Candlelight Bible Church in Houston, Texas, has done an exceptional job of summarizing the key points on faith as pertains to justification set forth by MacArthur in the above-mentioned title. He says[1]:
MacArthur writes that faith ‘encompasses obedience,[2]’ and that obedience is ‘an integral part of saving faith.’[3] Indeed, obedience is bound up in the very ‘definition of faith,’[4] being a constitutive element in what it means to believe.’[5] Thus any ‘concept of faith that excludes obedience’[6] must be rejected because obedience is ‘indivisibly wrapped up in the idea of believing.’[7] In fact, ‘the character of true faith’ is nothing less than the ‘higher righteousness’ of the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-11.[8] MacArthur even suggests that obedience is ‘synonymous with’ faith.[9] And he quotes with approval Rudolf Bultmann’s dictum, ‘To believe’ is ‘to obey.’[10]”

The Apostle Paul, on the other hand, clearly differentiates between faith and works saying, “But to him who does not work but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5) and, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law” (Rom. 3:28). If God, through Paul, draws a distinction, we ought also to do likewise.

Concurrence with the Scripture is their first false claim but there is yet another. Lordship Salvation proponents also say that their views harmonize with church history and especially reformation history. Yet what do Augustine (Calvin’s greatest influence) and Luther and Calvin have to say of saving faith?

Augustine – “Faith is nothing else than to think with assent.[11]”

Luther – “Then what? Is the Law useless for righteousness? Yes, certainly. But does faith alone, without works, justify? Yes, certainly. Otherwise you must repudiate Moses, who declares that Abraham is righteous prior to the Law and prior to the works of the Law, not because he sacrificed his son, who had not yet been born, and not because he did this or that work, but because he believed God who gave him a promise. In this passage no mention is made of any preparation for grace, of any faith formed by works, or of any preceding disposition. This, however, is mentioned: that at that time Abraham was in the midst of sins, doubts, and fears, and was exceedingly troubled in spirit. How, then, did he obtain righteousness? In this way: God speaks and Abraham believes what God is saying. [12]” [emphasis mine]

Calvin – “For, as regards justification, faith is something merely passive, bringing nothing of ours to the recovering of God’s favor but receiving from Christ what we lack.[13]”
So much for agreement with the Reformers! Calvin calls faith “passive” and what else could it possibly be? Zane Hodges has said, “Rom 4:21-22 states that Abraham was ‘fully persuaded that what He [i.e., God] had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness’ (italics added). Obviously, I cannot decide to believe what I am not persuaded is true. And when I am persuaded that something is true I have already believed it.”

David R. Anderson, in his article entitled The Nature of Faith[14] quotes Lewellen saying:
“What is true . . . is that MacArthur’s view is embodied in the Westminster Standards and does have a long and powerful history in the Christian church. The idea that faith is an active commitment, including obedience, is the view of one strand of church history—English Puritanism—which is of course a powerful strand. One should not confuse that strand, however, with the ‘true church.’ Calvin disagreed with it; Lutheran theology has always opposed it; even today some Reformed theologians do not accept it.[15]”
“But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew… But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.” —Mark 14:68,71. This passage of Scripture is speaking about the Apostle Peter. Peter sinned by denying Jesus. Yet, Peter was a born-again believer. King David was a saint; yet he conspired to have a man killed, to cover up an unwanted pregnancy, to hide an adulterous affair with that man’s wife. Abraham and Sarah doubted God. Moses was a murderer. Samson went with a harlot. Jacob was a thief. Jonah ran from God. Noah got drunk. Isaiah was a man of unclean lips. These were all Christian believers. Demas forsook Paul, having loved this present world. Simon tried to buy the power of the Holy Spirit. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit. The church at Corinth was a spiritual disaster, carnal (1st Corinthians 3:1). These were all born-again saints! Lot was a worldly believer. Yet, 2nd Peter 2:7 calls Lot a “just” man. The Lordship Salvation crowd would have considered all of these men and women unsaved. Yet, we see they were saved.” – DS

Charles Spurgeon Biblically states concerning repentance: “You must not expect that you will be perfect in “repentance” before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. “Repentance” is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself…” — Charles Spurgeon

Clearly, Charles Haddon Spurgeon DIDN’T believe that forsaking one’s sins, or grieving, or feeling sorrow, or being willing to turn from them, was necessary to be saved. Rather, Spurgeon believed that they were evidences of genuine repentance. Spurgeon did in fact teach, as have other great men of God, that a sinner ought to turn from his or her sins as evidence of genuine repentance; but this is after-the-fact, and not a requirement for salvation itself. Spurgeon plainly taught “there are no conditions of salvation,” which is what the Bible teaches. We are sinners and Jesus is the Savior!

Here is a lengthy quote by Charles Spurgeon concerning Biblical repentance…

“You know there are degrees of faith, and yet the least faith saves; so, there are degrees of repentance, and the least repentance will save the soul if it is sincere. The Bible says, “He that believeth shall be saved,” and when it says that, it includes the very smallest degree of faith. So, when it says, “Repent and be saved,” it includes the man who has the lowest degree of real repentance. Repentance, moreover, is never perfect in any man in this mortal state. We never get perfect faith so as to be entirely free from doubting; and we never get repentance which is free from some hardness of heart. The most sincere penitent that you know will feel himself to be partially impenitent.
Repentance is also a continual life-long act. It will grow continually. I believe a Christian on his death-bed will more bitterly repent than ever he did before. It is a thing to be done all your life long. Sinning and repenting—sinning and repenting, make up a Christian’s life. Repenting and believing in Jesus—repenting and believing in Jesus, make up the consummation of his happiness. You must not expect that you will be perfect in “repentance” before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. “Repentance” is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation.”
SOURCE: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0044.htm (from a sermon preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on September 23, 1855)

Spurgeon plainly taught that he believed repentance “includes the man who has the lowest degree of real repentance.” You’ll never hear this quote from Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, John MacArthur, Jack Chick, or others today who are sinfully teaching Lordship Salvation.”

>>> Having said that, I believe that Charles Spurgeon often preached from these two extremes (I think due to ecclesiastical pressure from ministry peers) as evidenced by the following quotes and information . . .
Dr. John MacArthur of the Grace Community Church is aired on radio stations nationwide, teaching his heresies to millions of listeners. One day I heard Dr. John MacArthur speaking on the radio. The sermon is available and is titled, “The Call to Repentance.” In the sermon Dr. MacArthur quotes Charles Spurgeon concerning the matter of repentance…

Of all the statements that I have read on the subject, the strongest one comes from Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Listen to what Spurgeon said. “There must be a true and actual abandonment of sin and a turning unto righteousness in real act and deed in every-day life. Repentance, to be sure, must be entire. How many will say, Sir, I will renounce this sin and the other…but there are certain darling lusts which I must keep and hold? Oh, sirs, in God’s name let me tell you, it is not the giving up of one sin, nor 50 sins which is true repentance. It is the solemn renunciation of every sin. If thou dost harbor one of those accursed vipers in thy heart and dost give up every other, that one lust like one leak in a ship will sink thy soul. Think it not sufficient to give up thy outward vices, fancy it not enough to cut off the more corrupt sins of thy life, it is all, or none which God demands. Repent, says He, and when He bids you repent, He means repent of all thy sins otherwise He can never accept thy repentance as real and genuine. All sin must be given up or else you will never have Christ. All transgression must be renounced or else the gates of heaven must be barred against you. Let us remember then that for repentance to be sincere, it must be entire repentance. True repentance is a turning of the heart as well as of the life. It is the giving up of the whole soul to God to be His forever and ever. It is the renunciation of the sins of the heart as well as the crimes of the life.” [emphasis added]
SOURCE: Quote by Spurgeon provided by John MacArthur, The Call to Repentance — John MacArthur (Note: Charles Spurgeon originally made this statement in a sermon entitled, TURN OR BURN, preached December 7, 1856, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens).

The following quote from Charles Spurgeon totally contradicts Dr. MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation heresy, which he attempts to establish by bolstering Spurgeon as a straw-man, as a secondary authority, since he cannot support his heresy with the Holy Bible . . .

“’Repentance’ is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation.” —Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon
SOURCE: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0044.htm (Charles Spurgeon, from a sermon titled, REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE, preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on Sept. 23, 1855)

That’s what Spurgeon said. Why don’t John MacArthur and Ray Comfort quote this from Spurgeon? It’s because they are deceivers and theological liars! I’m tired of modernists (who dare call themselves ‘Christians’) corrupting the teachings of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892). Spurgeon was unquestionably London’s mightiest Baptist preacher. It is true that Spurgeon DID teach Lordship Salvation at times, but it is also true that in other sermons (as you just read for yourself), Spurgeon refuted it. This is a common occurrence amongst preachers who preach thousands of sermons over a period of decades.
Keep in mind that there are two different Biblical meanings of the word repentance. Repentance (a change of mind) is necessary for salvation; but forsaking a sinful lifestyle (which is another meaning of repent) is not necessary to be saved. A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance; and NOT a part of the ROOT of saving-faith. Spurgeon didn’t mean that repentance (metanoia) wasn’t a part of salvation; but rather, that repentance (metamelomai) is not required. What’s the difference? Metanoia is “a change of mind”; whereas metamelomai means “regret, to feel remorse afterwards.” In Matthew 27:3 we read that Judas “repented” (metamelomai), but Judas still died in his sin of unbelief and went to Hell. Those false ministers who teach that a person cannot be saved until they literally turn away from the act of sin and make a full surrender to do Christ’s will from that day forward, are preaching “ANOTHER GOSPEL” of damnation (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4)!!”
“As genuine believers, we view salvation as being wholly the gift of God, provided freely and completely in Christ Jesus, without any strings attached. But Lordship Salvation produces an entirely different mindset in the adherent’s mind, producing a spirit of fear and uncertainty, conditioning a person’s salvation upon a changed life. The new corrupted Bible versions teach this. Mark 1:15 in the Easy-To-Read Version (ERV) of the Bible literally defines repentance as changing one’s heart and life. In drastic contradiction, the original Greek defines repentance as “a change of mind.” Changing the Word of God into a lie is the most serious of offenses! It is worse than murder, idolatry, adultery and even worshipping the Devil. When the Bible is changed, the truth is gone!”

“Now to the so called ‘Lordship salvationists’ who claim that faith is obedience or that faith automatically goes hand in hand with obedience, there is not some “special kind” of faith to be employed but rather the saving power of faith resides not in itself but always and ever in faith’s object. If Christ is the Object of faith, that faith is able to save and does indeed save. Therefore, what the Lordship Salvation doctrine has done is add a singularly Christian requirement to saving faith. The unsaved are thus shut out from His divine grace and the saved are shut out from His blessed assurance. And what about assurance? More notably even than the debate in scholastic circles, the conflict has been seen within the individual concerning this very issue. We agree with Calvin who wrote: “In short, no man is truly a believer, unless he is firmly persuaded that God is a propitious and benevolent father to him. . .and feel an undoubted expectation of salvation.” When Christ said, “He who believes in me has everlasting life,” one either believes it or he does not. This is not to say that a true believer may never doubt but it is to say that if one has never known the “undoubted expectation of salvation,” then that one has never believed the gospel for assurance is of the essence of saving faith.”
“If only those who endure to the end are truly saved, as is eternal security according to the Lordship Salvationist, then how is assurance even possible? According to them, it isn’t. The only assurance of persevering is to persevere! What they are attempting to do is keep the believer in a place of doubt so that, motivated by fear, they will do good works. But is this really their aim? Surely, we have been freed from sin but there is a huge difference between thinking I am free from sin so therefore I do not sin and being free from sin because I have died to the fact that I do sin. The former is a delusion and the latter the only way to godliness sinful man has ever known for we were crucified with Christ and our sin dealt with by Him who said, “It is finished!” Place a man under the principle of law (do this and then I will do that) and you will get nothing but more sin – “for the strength of sin is the law” (1 Corinthians 15:56). Perhaps it could be said that this is, more accurately, their true goal for false doctrine. The continuous self-examination that Lordship Salvationists encourage is nothing short of heresy. Surely, we are to examine ourselves in regard to our Christian walk – and well may we doubt but never should we question our salvation for that brings His work into question.”
“Don’t confuse saving faith with that which saving faith ought to produce. Don’t confuse repentance with the fruits of repentance. Behavior and fruit are the evidences of saving faith, but they are not the essence of saving faith. Don’t confuse the fruit with the root. Before you can “come after” Christ in discipleship (Luke 9:23; Matt. 11:29-30), you must “come unto” Christ for salvation (Matthew 11:28). Discipleship is not a requirement for salvation; discipleship is the obligation of every saved person.” – GZ
Lewis Sperry Chafer, well said on the subject of assurance: “From the testimony of Scripture a Christian should know that he is saved . . . Where there is a lack of assurance there is usually an impression that so long as the life is quite imperfect (and how immodest it would be to claim that it is otherwise) it is unreasonable to do any more than hope that through some special exercise of mercy on God’s part it will not be as bad in the end as it might otherwise be. Unwittingly such attitudes of mind disclose the appalling fact that persons who hold such views have never turned from dependence on their own works and merit to a dependence on the all-sufficient work and merit of Christ . . . It is offered to all meritless, helpless sinners who are willing to believe that God has already been good in that He has provided, in Christ, not only what they need now, but all they need in time and for eternity.”
“The egregious errors of LS flow from a variety of doctrinal mis-steps, one of which is the failure to distinguish between the doctrines of salvation and discipleship. The true crux of the controversy lies in what LS insists are the REQUIREMENTS FOR (justification) salvation, not what the natural results (sanctification) of a genuine conversion should be. Man is not saved by becoming a disciple of Christ or promising to become a committed disciple of Christ; that is works salvation!!
When a man tries to carefully introduce verses about discipleship as part of God’s plan for salvation, remember that the Bible teaches we come to Christ for salvation and that we come after Christ in discipleship. It is wrong to present discipleship verses as salvation verses. We must not use verses intended to teach discipleship to try to lead a man to Christ. The effects and danger of LS is far more pervasive than many might realize. Wherever you are, in whatever sphere of ministry and/or influence you have, determine take your stand against Lordship Salvation. Stand in defense of the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Alert, warn and teach others so that they will recognize the errors of LS then teach and warn others also.” – L.M.

“Even without looking at the Greek, the English King James Bible never tells us to repent from sin to be saved. The Bible always speaks of repentance TOWARD GOD, and not from sin. Acts 20:21 says, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Mark 1:15, “And saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Carefully notice that the Bible doesn’t say to repent and stop living in sin. No, rather, God says to repent and believe the Gospel. Repentance is the recognition of my sinnership—the owning before God that I am as vile a sinner as He hath declared me to be in His Word. This is Biblical repentance. Repentance and faith are inseparable. This is why we find the word “believe” in the Gospel of John 85 times, but the word “repent” is never mentioned even once. Thus, one who believes on the Son of God for forgiveness of sins has repented. We read in Mark 1:4, “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Carefully notice that the Bible does NOT mention water baptism; but rather, the baptism of repentance. It is repentance that brings the remission of sins. Yes, repentance is absolutely necessary for salvation; but it is repentance toward Jesus Christ, because one realizes their GUILT of sin under God’s Law. This is vastly different than the demented Lordship Salvation heresy which requires a sinner to cease from living in sin to be saved.” – D.S.


Because the Word of God clearly teaches that a person is saved by FAITH ALONE in Christ. This is evidenced by Romans 4:5; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5 and hundreds of other Scriptures. Romans 4:5 states… “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” The Bible couldn’t possibly be any clearer on this matter. Salvation is through faith in Christ’s righteousness alone (Romans 4:5-6). This has nothing to do with Christian living. James 2:18 speaks of the FRUIT of a man’s faith, which should be evident in every believer’s life; BUT, that is completely separate from the ROOT of a man’s faith, which is by faith alone in Christ. Lordship Salvationists confuse the two, tragically to their own damnation.

Because Lordship Salvation doesn’t allow for backsliding. Lordship Salvationists DON’T allow for a Christian to backslide. As far as they’re concerning, a backslidden believer is no believer at all. This is adamantly refuted in the Word of God by numerous references, to heroes of the faith who backslide into horrible sin (such as king David who committed adultery and murder). The foolish doctrine of Lordship Salvation leaves absolutely no allowance for a believer to backslide. Like it or not, there is an ongoing raging battle in EVERY believer between the sinful flesh and the Spirit of God (Romans 7:22,23; James 4:1). Even the Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:19, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Now why would the Apostle Paul DO EVIL if Jesus were his Lord and Master? Hmmm? This Scripture alone proves the willing ignorance and hypocrisy of the proponents of the Lordship Salvation heresy. Even the best of Christians, such as the Apostle Paul, commit sin.

Because Jesus Christ is already the Lord and Master of every saved person. When you place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, He immediately becomes your Lord and Master. Now whether you acknowledge Him as such in your daily life is up to you. But you don’t make Jesus Lord; He is Lord! Proponents of Lordship Salvation pervert the meaning of “Lord” in the New Testament to mean “surrender in obedience.” However, the Greek word for “Lord” when referring to Christ is always KURIOS, meaning, “Supreme in Authority.” We read in John 13:14, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” The word “Master” here is the Greek didaskalos and simply means, “Teacher.” Jesus never asked us to recognize Him as our teacher to be saved. The heresy of Lordship Salvation is rooted in a corrupted understanding of Biblical terms, specifically the meaning of the Words: repent, Lord, and Master. Look up the Biblical Greek meaning of these words and the foolishness of Lordship Salvation crumbles away. Every believer recognizes Jesus Christ as the One who is Supreme in Authority, i.e., God Almighty. This is a quite different meaning than the nonsense which Lordship Salvationists teach.

Just because a believer backslides doesn’t mean that they’ve not acknowledged Christ as their Lord and Master, i.e., God and Teacher. What it DOES mean is that they don’t love Jesus like they should (John 14:15). We read in Revelation 2:1-4 the message concerning the church of Ephesus. We read in Verse 4, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” The believers at Ephesus had backslid, and wandered away from the Lord; but they were still saved. Whether a believer lives for Christ in obedience, or backslides into sin, is irrelevant to the FACT the Christ is still the Lord and Master of every saved person. Christians who choose to live in unrepentant sin will be judged by God (Romans 12:19). 1st Thessalonians 4:6 is also clear evidence of this… “That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.” Lordship Salvationists need to let God do His job.
Because Lordship Salvation eliminates growth in grace. 1st Peter 2:2 states, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” A new convert is a babe in Christ. They need the MILK of God’s Word if they are to grow strong in the Lord. The Apostle Paul states in 1st Corinthians 3:1, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” Carefully read through 1st Corinthians and you’ll be surprised just HOW BAD these believers were. They were suing each other (6:6). They were coming to the Lord’s Supper drunk (11:21). They were divided amongst each other in quarrels (1:12). Fornication was openly allowed in the church (5:1). They even ate meats offered to idols (8:4). According to the Lordship Salvation crowd, there’s no way these rascals could be saved; but the Apostle Paul called them BABES IN CHRIST.
Lordship Salvation is hypocritical because no one can truly forsake all their sins. As Christians, we are expected to try to live as perfect as possible in the power of the Holy Spirit; BUT, we are still bound by the fleshly and carnal sin-nature (Romans 7:14-25). Christ is our example of Perfection to follow.
So, the big difference is that the unsaved don’t even try to live right; but Christians at least make an attempt. This is exactly what Proverb 24:16 means when it states, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” I’ve seen many people come to know Christ as Savior, but bounce in and out of church for several years before finally recommitting their life to Christ. This is especially true in view of the apostate condition of America’s churches today.
What about 1st John 3:8, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” Lordship Salvationists are quick to condemn anyone who professes Christ while committing sin. It is obvious that this Scripture is not referring to every person who commits sin, because we all commit sin, and would all be of the Devil. Rather, 1st John 3:8 is speaking about those who have no guilt concerning their sins. I do not condemn anyone, for the Bible condemns all humanity as hell-deserving sinners.
This is in sharp contrast to the sinful man Lot, who’s soul was “vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked” (2nd Peter 2:7). Lordship Salvationists REFUSE to acknowledge these differences. Lot deliberately moved into the wicked city of Sodom. He offered up his daughters to an angry mob of rapists (Genesis 19:8). What a horrible person! Yet, God says Lot was convicted of sin, and was a righteous (i.e., saved) man (2nd Peter 2:8). Thus, Lot was a just man who did live in sin, but he was miserable through it all. No Christians can live in sin without guilt, because the Holy Spirit will convict that person (Hebrews 12:8). Even the best Christians still struggle with sin (Romans 7:14-25).” — D.S.
“While scripture does teach that a lack of obedience to the word of God casts doubt on any claim to identity in Christ (see Luke 6:46), there is no promise in scripture that a believer will always obey Christ enough for others to notice. Neither does scripture equate obedience with God’s word to our identity in Christ. Just as a child may not obey his parents on occasion, all believers will demonstrate varying degrees of obedience. Remember, all believers are saved from the moment of faith even before we have taken a single step of obedience! Secondly, the Lordship Salvation debate holds no value for the church, since it offers no new insight or direction for dealing with “easy believism” beyond preaching the word (2Tim 4:2). Those who agree with the Lordship Salvation position will seek to counteract easy believism by preaching the true Gospel. Likewise, those who have never heard of MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation will continue preaching the true Gospel as well. In other words, regardless of our perspective on this esoteric debate, the right response is the same, so why entertain the discussion at all? This is why we say this debate serves no practical purpose in the Christian experience. The discussion is academic at best and divisive at worst. Instead, we believe the church should unite in preaching and teaching the word in Spirit and Truth, acknowledging that truth faith comes solely as a consequence of the Spirit of God by the power of God. In doing so, we will address any concerns over “easy believism” while avoiding distractions that might divide the body. Speaking of division, we believe the debate over Lordship Salvation has become opportunity for the enemy to drive a wedge between believers. In our experience, some in the Lordship “camp” distort the Lordship Salvation teaching well beyond MacArthur’s own ideas to create a litmus test for true faith. These maintain that all who claims faith in Jesus Christ must demonstrate a changed life or else the Church should assume their claims to faith in Christ were false. Not only does this perspective lie outside the boundaries of scripture, it holds great potential for inflicting harm within the body of Christ. While the Bible teaches that being born again by the Spirit is accompanied by spiritual fruit, scripture does not guarantee such fruit (life change) will be clearly or immediately evident in the life of every believer. On the contrary, the Bible suggests the opposite is likely, especially in those who fail to undertake a serious effort to mature. The Bible teaches it is possible for a believer in Jesus Christ to live in disobedience to the Lord – even to the point of appearing very unchristian. We can grieve the Holy Spirit and disobey the Lord and bring shame to Christ in the process. When we do such things, we risk the Lord’s discipline and a loss of eternal reward. These consequences demonstrate it is possible for a believer to live in disobedience to the Spirit. Clearly, disobedience is possible, or else such exhortations would serve no useful purpose.” – VBVM
“Lordship Salvationists are hypocrites because they draw a sharp line, demanding for lost sinners to stop sinning in order to be saved. Yet, no one can stop sinning. The truth is that all Christians DO SIN, but they experience guilt and remorse because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The unsaved world couldn’t care less about living right. As an opponent of Lordship Salvation, I realize these differences. Yet, Lordship Salvationists refuse to acknowledge them. Instead, they just accuse people like me of teaching that a believer has God’s permission to sin. Nothing could be further from the truth. Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” The truth is that a believer may choose to go into sin, but if they are genuinely saved, God’s Spirit will tear their heart out with conviction. In effect, the Lordship Salvation army kills their wounded. There can be no babes in Christ or backsliders in the eyes of the Lordship Salvation hypocrites. In the Lordship Salvationist’s view, everyone is expected to either surrender to Christ in total obedience or go to Hell. Thus, Lordship Salvation violates everything which the Word of God teaches. “– D.J.S.
So many Christians have brushed the LS issue aside as a matter of semantics, but the difference between the two Gospels is day and night. One is Monergistic while the other is Synergistic and as for the Monergistic brethren who have been deceived by the doctrine of LS…let me say that the LS doctrine is just plain FALSE and does not hold water.
“There is a false teaching circulating in America’s churches today called Lordship Salvation. This false doctrine claims that a sinner cannot be saved unless a full surrender to Christ is made. The sinner is taught that he cannot be saved unless he is willing to give up his sins, stop fornicating, cease from lying, deny himself, and make a commitment to live for God. If a person must give up all their sinful habits to be saved, then salvation has become extremely complicated and impossible. Jesus doesn’t ask us to give up anything to be saved. Salvation is receiving, not giving. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15), freely offered (Romans 10:13) and freely received (Revelation 22:17). There are numerous false prophets today who are teaching Lordship Salvation. Since Satan couldn’t burn our Bible, he is trying to corrupt the meaning of words. Lordship Salvation is based upon a wrong definition of the word, repentance. Biblical repentance simply means, “a change of mind.” Lordship Salvationists have wrongly defined repentance as “a change of lifestyle.” All the corrupt modern Bibles are redefining words, which are producing a corrupt theology. Satan’s lie of Lordship Salvation is based upon modern perverted Bibles. Romans 10:9 in the NIV changes “the Lord Jesus Christ” to “Jesus is Lord.” The NIV teaches Lordship Salvation. You don’t make Jesus Lord; He is Lord! To be saved, you simply need to trust Jesus as your Savior. As you grow in grace, then He will work in your life and make the changes that are necessary. The changing part is God’s part.” –LTT
“This Lordship teaching fails to distinguish salvation from discipleship and makes requirements for discipleship prerequisites for salvation. Our Lord distinguished the two (Luke 14:16-33). This teaching elevates one of the many aspects of the person of Christ (Master over life) in making it a part of the Gospel. Why not require faith in His kingship? Or in the fact that He is Judge of all, or that He was the Creator?” – C. R.
“We first test ourselves to see if we have EXCLUDED works as being any part of our righteousness before God. To include the works (done they say with the help of the Holy Spirit) in the righteousness is evidence all by itself that a person still believes a false gospel.”
“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past. Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.” – Ironside
“Now is this a plain conclusion, that both they that trust in their own works, and they also that put confidence in their own opinions, be fallen from Christ and err from the way of faith that is in Christ’s blood, and therefore are none of Christ’s church, because they be not built upon the rock of faith.” -William Tyndale

Overt assumptions of another person’s regeneration based on their visible righteousness (though we all must judge and be judged by spiritual fruits…we can overdo the assumptions quite often). I think that people often fall into this trap because they are afraid that someone will abuse Grace (get by with something never mind it is providential). The most ironic thing about this is, that perversion of Grace (lordship salvation) is the ultimate abuse of Grace and negating what was completed on the Cross.

{With some exceptions, I do not quote everyone here by their full names, so the messenger cannot be as easily attacked. If you know any quote here is actually yours, then please contact me to clarify the credits. I myself am not taking credit for anyone else’s quotes that I am aware of and I have tried not to but my main focus here is trying to drive the message home. In any instance, no matter how sound a theologian might be, some will find an illegit or legit reason to attack personally. I want each quote to stand alone where I have only initialed. Anyone is welcome to try and uncover who actually wrote each quote and in some cases that would not be very hard but I am not encouraging anyone to stray from the subject of LS by getting sidetracked with authorship critiques and missing the point at hand. Stay with the message. } – Ambrose

S. Ambrose, C. Spurgeon, F.Tourangeau.
Grateful contributions and support from Pastor Leon King

1 Must Faith Endure for Salvation to Be Sure? by Pastor Tom Stegall
2 The Gospel According to Jesus, 173.
3 Ibid., 174.
4 Ibid., 171.
5 lbid.,
6 Ibid., 174.
7 lbid., 176.
8 lbid.,
9 lbid., 174.
10 Ibid., 176.
11 The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Church, St. Augustine: Anti-Pelagian Writings 5:499.
12 Luther’s Works, 3:20-21.
13 Institutes of the Christian Religion, Library of Christian Classics, vols. 20–21, III. xiii. 5. 14 http://www.chafer.edu/journal/back_issues/v5n4_1.pdf
15 “Lordship?”, 59.


· Absolutely Free! A Biblical Reply to Lordship Salvation, 31.
· Institutes, Book III, Chap. II, Sec. 16.
· Volume I: Theological and Evangelical, p. 215.
· Kingdom Living Here and Now, p. 150.
· Salvation, pp. 57-58.
· To the 1977 National Evangelical Anglican Congress at Nottingham.
· Evangelicals and Catholics Together, 149.
· Christianity Today, July 15, 1985.
· Addresses to the German Nobility
· Must Faith Endure for Salvation to Be Sure?, by Pastor Tom Stegall
· MacArthur’s Heresy on the Blood of Jesus. John MacArthur ‘claims’ to believe in the blood of Jesus but denies it’s significance.maxresdefault

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