Jesus as Savior or Jesus as Lord and Savior

Here in the USA Jesus as Savior is preached in many churches but few preach Jesus as Lord and Savior. Are churches throughout the globe preaching Jesus as Lord or Jesus as Lord and Savior. Also, if Jesus is preached only as Savior are the pastors and congregants in jeopardy of going to hell. I have heard just recently a sermon on Jesus and the pastor gave the invitation “Come to Jesus her wants to be your friend. He does not want to Lord over you and tell you what to do. He just wants you to be his friend.” This same pastor the next week on the Holy Spirit said his church would treat the Holy Spirit as charismatic with a seat belt. Is this a prevalent idea around the globe. Finally are these pastors literally ripping pages out of the Bible by not teaching Jesus as lord and Savior

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Hello @Jesus2020

Great question. I would like not to post an answer, but give you a warning that these kinds of churches have a distorted theology on Christ/Christology. I think the way you phrase your paragraph is fascinating, because you know we are ought to preach Jesus as LORD and SAVIOR, and it is also what the Bible teaches and confirms us. So, the only thing I would like to add here is to give you humbling warning and encouragement. Warning that it is critical to hear that kind of preaching, but also necessary for us to find the fault in their doctrine/theology. And also an encouragement to fully grow in the knowledge and faith of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, for us not to be tossed by these deceitful messages.

I hope this helps!

Hi, @Jesus2020. I love your concern for the Church and what is being taught! As far as when someone here or other places teaches Jesus is Savior, in order to know whether or not Jesus’ lordship is being taught, we would need to know more about that particular person’s/church’s teachings. Just because someone says “Savior” and doesn’t say "Lord " in conjunction with it does not necessarily mean that person isn’t teaching Jesus’ lordship over our lives.

As far as the specific pastor you bring up, I would have to hear more to tell you more. My initial sense is that it is a sort of watered-down version of the Gospel so that it will be more enticing to people who may really want to be lord over their own lives. However, I cannot say for sure, because I would need more context. When we are leading someone in giving their hearts to the Lord, we do want to stress Jesus as both Savior and Lord so that they understand that the two go together. Jesus is definitely a friend, but his role as our friend is inseparably bound up with his roles as Savior and Lord in our lives.

Without full context, I cannot really comment too much on this. I have some charismatic background and think this is something my pastor very well would have been fine with saying. Depending on the context and what the pastor means by “charismatic,” it may or may not be an acceptable teaching.

I hope this helps and that others are able to add to what I have said. Perhaps someone has a different angle on it that would be more helpful :slight_smile:

Excellent question, @Jesus2020. And you are right - there is an element within Christianity that actually preaches against what they derisively characterize as “Lordship Salvation”.

What is usually at issue with such preachers is their view that salvation is by faith alone, and not even repentance can be added to the gospel. They insist that repentance is essentially a “work”, and the gospel cannot be corrupted by adding any works to it whatsoever.

I understand where they’re coming from on this, because the Bible College I graduated from decades ago leaned very heavily in this direction.

But my response to this would be, What exactly are we thinking that a saved person has actually been saved from? A person who rejects the necessity to repent ye, and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15) will typically answer that he is being saved from hell. He would almost have to say that - because if he says that one is saved from sin, then he is making the absurd claim that a sinner in love with his sin and having no desire to repent of it is trusting Christ to save him from it while clutching onto it for dear life!

But the Bible teaches that Christ died to save us from our sin and all its consequences - its power over our lives in our daily walk, its presence in eternity, and yes - its penalty in hell as well.

And this is a package deal. You can’t pick and choose. You can’t say, “Well, I don’t want to be delivered from my sinful lifestyle, I just want to escape the consequences for it. So God, I’ll believe in you to get me out of hell, but don’t go messing with my life - deal?”

No! No deal! There is no such thing as an impenitent salvation. If someone is not ready for God to deliver him from his sin, then he’s not really a candidate for salvation. He needs to come back when he is ready.

Is repentance really adding a “work” to the gospel? Well, if it is, then Paul himself was guilty of being the one who added it when he defined the gospel in I Corinthians 15:1-4 as including the point that Christ died for our sins.

I hope this will help answer your question.


Hello, James @Jesus2020: Without having heard or witnessed what you are describing, I’m not sure I can critique those churches. However, I will make an attempt at answering your question.

There is no way to receive salvation except through the grace of the cross.(Acts 15:11) I, personally, don’t believe a church is condemned for preaching just that message (without specifically stating the Lordship of Christ) because it is the truth.
Romans: 10:9 says that if we confess with out mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord, we shall be saved. Making that confession is the same as saying we accept Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Verse 13 says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. So, confessing Jesus is the same as calling on the Lord. Both result in salvation. 1Cor.12:3 says that no one can call Jesus “Lord” but by the Holy Spirit. The two names go hand in hand.
The Old Testament had a very clear distinction between “lord” and “LORD”. When it was spelled with all caps, the author was talking about Yahweh, (or the eternal God). When lower case letters were used, it was speaking in general terms. The N.T. spells the eternal God as “Lord”.
If we transfer that to the sermon you heard where you felt the pastor was making a difference between Jesus being a friend as opposed to LORD, the way I interpret what he was attempting to say was that Jesus was not going to be making demands on that person’s life in a dictatorial way, but that Jesus would relate to the person as a friend. (John 15:15) That person’s confession of sin as Romans 10:9 says, implies the person is accepting Christ as both LORD and Savior. “Christ” means “anointed One”, implying his lordship as King.
In my way of thinking, accepting Christ as Savior will also lead one to understand He is also LORD if that person continues to grow in Christ. I’m not sure how a pastor can preach salvation without the implication of Jesus as Lord, whether he says it or not.

I must admit I’m confused by the statement regarding the Holy Spirit as “charismatic with a seat belt”. Maybe you can further explain what you heard.
I will attempt two possible explanations:
There are churches that describe themselves as “charismatic”, meaning they embrace the teaching of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as it was revealed in Acts 2. Some of those churches believe the power of the Holy Spirit can be visibly seen through demonstrations of healing and/or other miraculous events.
Other churches do not embrace this doctrine or practice, but do believe the Holy Spirit is given to the believer upon his salvation (we are sealed with His Spirit -Eph.1:3). So, they believe there is no further ongoing Holy Spirit experience.

  1. If the pastor you heard made this statement is among the latter, perhaps, he was “humorously” saying that the Holy Spirit’s power was being “controlled” by no outward demonstrations of power.
  2. On the other hand, if this church is a Charismatic Church, he again may have been “humorously” referring to the need for the people to restrain themselves during the service from open displays of the Holy Spirit. Paul, in addressing the Corinthians, admonishes them of their need for orderly worship (1Cor. 14).

Again, I am only guess at the meaning of that statement. Without having the proper context, it is hard to know.

We know that many churches around the world have become apostate, denying Christ, or preaching a social gospel, or allowing the culture to dictate their beliefs. Some churches have permanently closed their doors (prior to Covid 19). Those churches will face ultimate judgment if they don’t repent and preach the truth of Christ as Savior and Lord.
We also know that, as Phil.2:10-11 says, “…at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD.”

I hope this answers your concerns in some way. Please feel free to clarify more if I haven’t satisfied your question.

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