Hello everyone, my name is Eric, was introduced to this site by my Pastor, who posts here himself. I live in Northeast Georgia, and go to a strong Bible-believing church.
Thought I would start an interesting topic, I apologize if it’s been covered before…
I’m sure everyone here has heard about the views on “Lordship Salvation” at one point or another, right? The debate concerning it has been going on for decades, but I think the topic can also raise some interesting questions - when it comes to sharing the plan of salvation, have we focused it according to God’s Word, or actually ended up complicating it – making it harder than it should be?
To my understanding, in a nutshell:
Lordship Salvation = Belief in Christ involves repentance and commitment
anti-Lordship Salvation = Belief in Christ is all that’s needed, repenting of sins and surrendering to Christ are not equivalent to believing in Him (apples and oranges)
To be clear, I don’t think either view tries to lessen the importance of repentance and good works that comes from salvation. Someone who has truly been saved is going to have fruit (to one degree or another), and they will live a life of repentance. I’m sure most everyone here will agree good works is a result of salvation, not a requirement of, but is the same to be said of “repenting of sins”?
I do agree with the LS view being correct, since repenting is defined as “changing one’s mind”, believing in Christ involves repenting about how you viewed Him, who He is to you. Recognizing He is God, and you are a sinner. When He goes from a good man, good teacher to Savior and God Himself. This of course shines a light on the sinfulness of sin too. (GotQuestions.org words this much more eloquently) So, believing and repenting goes hand-in-hand. If you believe, you’re going to repent. If you believe, you’ll also “admit” – the word many include in the plan of salvation.
The reason this may be particularly relevant, if you’ve heard of the NIFB (New Independent Fundamental Baptist) movement, they go after the jugulars of the Lordship Salvation view. Even going as far to say very well known names – Billy Graham, Ray Comfort, etc. have been sharing a damaging and misleading type of salvation. Their point is that by telling others they must “repent of their sins”, THEN believe, it’s man adding to John 3:16, John 5:24, Acts 16:31, etc. where “believe” is the only word used to equate to everlasting life and salvation.
While I disagree, I think the train of thought they have is correct. I say this because, you can go read the plan of salvation on many different denominations’ websites and there’s a good chance no two will be exactly alike. Even among the same denomination, you’ll find both minor and major differences. Admit, Believe, Confess, Repent, Commit, Trust, Turn, Follow, Submit, and so on. When one who holds the anti-LS view makes the claim “Whoa, hold on guys, you’re taking John 3:16 and John 5:24 and adding additional steps and requirements to it – all you have to do is believe” I can definitely see and understand where they’re coming from. Even D.L. Moody & Charles Spurgeon have quotes that line up with this, saying mankind has a way of complicating what should be easy, simple, pure & free.
Story told by D.L. Moody:
“An old man got up in one of our meetings and said, ‘I have been forty-two years learning three things.’ I pricked up my ears at that. I thought if I could find out in three minutes what a man had taken forty-two years to learn, I should like to do it. The first thing he said he had learned was that he could do nothing toward his own salvation. ‘Well,’ I said to myself, ‘that is worth learning.’ The second thing he found out was that God did not require him to do anything. Well, that was worth finding out, too. And the third thing was that the Lord Jesus Christ had done it all, that salvation was finished, and that all he had to do was to take it.”
Along the same lines of complicating the plan of salvation, at church just recently, the Pastor pointed out how we have to be careful in witnessing to others, telling someone they need to believe in Jesus with all their heart, emphasizing “with all their heart” could open a back door for doubt down the road…did I really believe “with ALL 100% of my heart, or was it more like 99.9%”? Lines like that can make salvation more complicated than it needs to be.
So, back to the main point, if you believe faith (believing) goes hand-in-hand with repentance, how would you best articulate this in a simple manner to any who would claim you believe a false way of salvation? That you believe in a dangerous “Lordship salvation”?
Is the LS view leading people to believe they must “do something” (repent of sins) to earn God’s free gift? Is the anti-LS view trying to fix something that doesn’t need fixing, missing what exactly “belief” involves?