Doctrine of Lordship Salvation 1 (False doctrine)

September 12, 2012


Lordship Salvation is the worst of the Gospel perversions prevalent today because it is a direct assault on the grace of God and the gospel itself. It is held by many well-meaning, but legalistic people. It is a works-based salvation that alleges if anyone believing in Jesus Christ does not make Christ Lord of his life, he has a spurious faith that is somehow lacking, and therefore, he is not really saved.

This false teaching’s mantra is, “If Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.”  What does that mean? Proponents would say if you are truly saved, Christ will control every aspect of your life. So if that’s not happening, you’re probably still lost.  If you are not consistently producing fruit, ie, (good works), and if your behavior fails to line up with the principles of God’s Word, then you probably just had a head belief and not a genuine heart belief.  They would consider you to be a professing Christian but not a true Christian.

They allege, “When Christ uses the words believe, or faith, or trust…He means, a working faith and not merely a nominal faith. In fact, the faith that Christ speaks of has everything to do with works. That faith that Christ is talking about is a genuine, that is, a working faith)

So according to this, the only way you can know if you are truly saved is by making sure your faith is genuine. How is that done?  By making a determination whether you have, or do not have, a “working faith”.  How do you do that?  By analyzing your own conduct and behavior.

There is one huge problem with this rationale, it bases salvation on works rather than grace!  Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone, period!  It is not by works, by a faith producing works, or faith plus works!  But some would object saying this is not a salvation by works.  Oh, yes it is!   What is the difference between saying one can lose his salvation if he lacks works and saying one never had it if he lacks works?  Either way, it is based on works.

If salvation depends on producing good works, no one could know for absolute sure they are going to heaven. How many good works would be necessary?   What kind of good works would it take?  How good must the good works be?  How long must good works continue?  What if good works end?  If the production of good works are necessary till the end of life, how can anyone know they will continue in good works till the last second?

The Bible is clear about eternal salvation being based on faith alone in Christ alone.  If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, you are saved.  It doesn’t depend on the quantity or quality of your faith but on the object of your faith which is Jesus Christ.  It depends on His work, not ours.  It depends on His faithfulness, not ours.  It depends on His Word, not ours.  Our eternal security depends on Him, not us. But the one who embraces Lordship salvation lives in fear that he or she might not be truly saved.  Is my faith genuine?  Do I have enough works?

1 John 5:13  –   These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.  [notice, good works are not mentioned]

But the Lordship Salvationist says it is the tone or tenor of one’s life that is the issue, so you must stay the course of righteousness to prove your faith.  But the Bible speaks of carnal believers, 1 Cor. 3:1, who get out of fellowship with God and live horrendous lives. Consider King Saul, King David, King Solomon, Ananias, Sapphira, and the Corinthian believers who defiantly disobeyed God

Some Lordship Salvationists say, “Well a believer may stray from the fold but will always return to the straight and narrow before he dies.” Of course, that cannot be biblically supported; furthermore, it ignores the sin unto death which is the ultimate discipline for recalcitrant believers when God has to take them out, 1 John 5:16.  If one of the conditions for eternal life is staying the course by producing good works to the end, there would be no such thing as the sin unto death.

Nothing said above should be understood as minimizing the importance of good works in a believer’s life.  Eph. 2:10 says we were created in Christ for good works and we should walk in them. They are Divine Good and are rewardable. However, this pertains to what a believer should do after salvation; it is NOT a requirement for salvation. The only requirement to receive eternal life is faith in Christ.  Here are some verses to support this:

Faith Only for Salvation Verses: Jn 1:12, 3:15-18, 3:36, 5:24, 6:40, 6:47, 11:25-26, 12:46, Acts 16:30-31, Rom 1:16, 3:223:28, 4:2-6, 4:24, 6:23, Gal 2:16, 3:26, Eph 2:8-9, 1 Tm 1:16, Tit 3:5, 1 Jn 5:13.

The New Testament is full of warnings to believers to grow up spiritually, 2 Peter 3:16, to stand firm for the faith, 1 Cor. 16:13, to hold fast their confidence, Heb. 10:35, to do good works, Col. 1:10, etc.  Failure to comply with these mandates will result in loss of rewards, but this does not mean anyone loses their eternal salvation or that they are unsaved because they had a faulty or fake faith in Christ.

Confusion reigns when one fails to recognize the difference between Justification or Positional Sanctification which happens to every believer the moment they believe in Christ and Experiential Sanctification which mature believers achieve by learning and applying God’s Word after they are saved.  These mature believers are the ones who redeem the time by producing Divine Good to be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ, 1 Cor. 12:13-15.  Believers who fail to produce Divine Good will lose heavenly rewards but will never lose eternal life in Christ.

If we are not to trust in our works for justification, why should we trust in them for our assurance?

If persevering in good works is necessary to prove one is really saved, why are there so many warnings to believers in the New Testament about falling away?

Saving faith is reliance upon God for salvation.  It does not include within its compass the determination of the will to obey, nor does it include a commitment to a life of works.  To believe is to be persuaded and reliant and includes nothing else.  If anything is clear in the New Testament, whatever belief is, it is the opposite of works.
“Reign of the Servant Kings”, by Joseph Dillow, p. 276

The Bible calls the unbeliever to do one thing, to believe, Acts 16:31.   But it calls the believer to work in Rom. 12:1, Eph. 2:10, Col. 1:10, 2 Thes. 2:17, 1 Tim. 2:10, 1 Tim. 6:18, and 2 Tim. 3:17.  Failure to produce works disqualifies a believer from receiving rewards, but it does not call his eternal salvation into question.

Our eternal security either depends solely upon God’s guarantees in Scripture, or it depends upon those guarantees plus our perseverance.  If both are necessary, this is not “tension” between them but a contradiction.

If one can lose eternal life by not perservering in Christ, then did Christ pay for some sins that result in eternal life but not for others to cancel eternal life?  Would that be good news?  Where does grace and faith fit into that scheme?  How could anyone know they have eternal salvation?


John 8:30-31 – As he spoke these things, many believed on him.  31)    Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If you abide in my word, (then) you are truly my disciples;
(LS) Lordship Salvation:   If one does not abide in the Word, he is not truly saved.
(GP) Grace Position:   Only believers who abide in the Word are true student/disciples.  All those who believe in Christ are believers, but not all believers are students/disciples.

Romans 10:13  –  for “Whoever will call upon the name of the LORD will be saved.”
(LS): One calls on Jesus to be saved by calling on Him to take control, thereby making Him Lord of of his life.   The implication is that he must ask Jesus to control his life, i.e. produce good works and refrain from sin.
(GP):  “Whoever will call upon the name of the LORD  [believe in Jesus Christ]  will be saved.”

Matthew 1:21 –   “And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”
(LS):  Lordship people think theirs is a much greater faith and salvation than people they accuse of “Easy Believism”.  Notice that God does not say “shall save his people IN their sins.” If a person wants to keep going his own way, being the lord of his own life, then he doesn’t really want the salvation gift God has to offer; he doesn’t really want to be saved FROM his sins. No one can lessen the free gift Jesus offers.
(GP):  Jesus Christ received the punishment for the sins of all mankind, therefore He saved us from the penalty of our sins. Our sins are forgiven when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.  The absolute power of sin over us was broken on the cross, but believers still willingly yield to sin.  They are forgiven by acknowledging their sins to God, 1 John 1:9.  The idea that we stop sinning after salvation is not biblical, 1 John 1:8.

Matthew 7:15-23,  – “Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  16) “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they?  17) “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears
bad fruit.  18) “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  19) “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  20) “So then, you will know them by their fruits.  21) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.  22) “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  23) “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

(LS)  “You will know them by their fruits” means one’s eternal status can be determined by his behavior.
A good tree   [true believer]  cannot produce bad fruit  [wickedness]  nor can a bad tree  [unbeliever]  produce good fruit  [good works].  Every tree  [professing Christian]  that does not bear good fruit  [good works]  will be thrown into the fire  [go to hell].  21) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.   Those who profess to be Christians but do not do the will of the Father producing good works will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

(GP): This is about unbelieving false prophets who look, talk, and act like believers but aren’t.
You will know them by their fruits . . .  these are unbelievers and their fruits are what they say, their false doctrines, not their outward appearance or behavior. A good tree  [true prophet] cannot produce bad fruit  [give false doctrine],  nor can a bad tree   [false prophet]  produce good fruit   [give true doctrine]. “Not
everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven   [there are those who claim to believe in Christ but are lying]  but he who does the will of My Father  [the will of the Father is to believe in Christ, John 6:40]  who is in heaven.

Notice those who say on that day, the Great White Throne, “Lord, Lord,”  will be citing their good works in an effort to be accepted, but Christ will say, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” The only way they would be accepted is if they had trusted in Jesus Christ and His atonement to be saved, rather than their good works, and had they had done that, their name would still be in the Book of Life and they would not be standing there at the Great White Throne judgment.

1 Corinthians 12:3,   Therefore I make known to you, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

(LS):  One may say “Jesus is Lord” but unless one makes Jesus Lord of his life, he is not truly saved.
(GP):  Just uttering the words, “Jesus is Lord” does not save anyone.  However, saying it and believing it can only be done by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We do not make Jesus Lord; He becomes our Lord the moment we believe in Him.  “Jesus is Lord” is a statement of the deity of Christ.  Lord (KURIOS)  Kurios = God.  The Hebrew word for the sacred tetragramitin. YAHWEH, is translated KURIOS in the Septuagint.  Jesus Christ is Lord/God, a fact based on efficacious grace, baptism of the Holy Spirit, imputed righteousness, eternal life, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is Lord whether we are carnal or spiritual, advancing or retrogressing spiritually. This verse is not saying to “Confess” or “Make Jesus Lord”.

John 15:2 & 6,  “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away  [to the divine woodshed] ; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it   [undeserved suffering], that it may bear more fruit.  6) “If anyone does not abide   [pas]  in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

(LS):  Anyone who does not “abide in Me” by not bearing fruit is not really a believer and will be cast into the fires of hell.
(GP):  You will notice in verse 2 that “every branch is in Me”.  The point is that believers who fail to produce fruit are likened to branches that are useless and are cast in the fire and burned which would relate to the divine discipline that disobedient believers receive.  The branches are positionally and permanently in Christ (Rom. 8:1, 2 Cor. 5:17) but whether they continue to abide in Christ, i.e. remain obedient servants, is a matter of their volition.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2,  Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received  [aai], in which also you stand  [rai],  2) by which also you are saved  [ppi], if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless  [let’s assume]  you believed  (aai)  in vain  (see verse 14).

(LS):  If a person does not hold fast the Word by producing good works, 1) he will lose his eternal salvation 2) it will prove that his faith was not genuine, he believed in vain, and he is going to hell.
(GP):  This was written to believers who were in the process of being experientially sanctified and needed to hold fast the word Paul preached to them concerning the resurrection of Christ.  “unless you believed in vain”  is a debater’s first class conditional clause, assuming something to be true that is in reality false in order to prove it is false.  He stated the truth concerning Christ’s resurrection in verse 20.

The Calvinist  would say if one doesn’t hold fast the Word, then their faith in Christ wasn’t genuine, so they believed in vain.

1 John 2:24,  . . . If  [3rd] what you heard from the beginning abides  [aas] in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

(LS):  If the principles you heard from the beginning do not abide in you, you will not abide in the Son and Father which means you will lose your eternal salvation.
(GP):  Abiding in the Son and Father has to do with our fellowship with Him, not our positional standing.  This reference is to experiential abiding, not positional.

1 John 2:28,    And now, little children, abide  [pam] in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence  [aas]  and not shrink away   [aas]  from Him in shame at His coming.

(LS):  The only way one can have confidence he is saved and will not shrink away in shame at Christ’s coming is to abide in Him by being obedient to the end.
(GP):  If it is impossible for a true believer not to abide in Christ, what is the purpose of this command to abide in Him?  All believers have the potential not to abide in Christ.  They lose their confidence and will be ashamed at the Rapture and Judgment Seat of Christ, but they do lose their salvation.

Galatians 5:4,   You have been severed   [api]  from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law  [by being circumcised];  you have fallen  [aai]  from grace.

(LS):   Anyone who tries to be justified by keeping the law, such as receiving circumcision, have fallen from grace and will be permanently severed from Christ because they have lost their eternal salvation.
(GP):  Being severed from Christ does not mean one’s positional standing “in Christ” has been lost.  It means that one’s experiential standing is no longer “in Christ”.  You are carnal, having drifted away from grace, by trying to be justified by works.  Loss of rewards is possible, but loss of eternal salvation is not.

Philippians 2:12,   So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

(LS):  One must work to maintain his eternal salvation.
(GP):  Justification before God is by faith alone and is a work of God, experiential sanctification is a work of man and God which is achieved by faith plus works.  The salvation mentioned in this verse is a salvation/ deliverance that must be worked for through obedience to God’s mandates.  It is not salvific.

Hebrews 6:4-6,   For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,  5) and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,  6) and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.

(LS):  It is impossible to renew again to repentance one who has fallen away from God because he either lost his salvation or never had it to begin with.
(GP):  It is impossible to renew a believer again to repentance who has fallen away by crucifying to himself the Son of God, by continuing to offer sacrifices after the cross.  As long as he continues this blasphemy, he will not change his mind about the all sufficiency of the cross.

2 Peter 1:10,   Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing/election you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
(LS):  One must check his behavior to make sure he is doing enough to maintain his salvation. If they lack enough good works, they fall from grace and lose eternal life.
(GP):  This verse is simply another way of encouraging perseverence to the end.  As long as a believer continues to grow spiritually and applies Bible doctrine to his circumstances, he will never stumble.

Hebrews 10:26-29,   For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,  27) but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a
fire which will consume the adversaries.  28) Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  29) How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

(LS):  There is no hope for a believer who goes on sinning after he has been saved.  He has lost eternal life and is headed for hell.  There is no sacrifice or anything else that can change that.
(GP):  Believers who continue to defiantly sin against God can expect terrible divine discipline.  Most Christians underestimate the suffering associated with disobedience.  They don’t realize that the many warnings in the N.T. are associated with failure to fulfill God’s plan which results in divine discipline and loss of rewards.  The failure to persevere to the end with good can never result in loss of salvation, eternal life, redemption, position in Christ, propitiation, reconciliation, baptism and sealing of the H.S., sonship, indwelling H.S., G.F. and J.C., a spiritual gift, the high office of ambassador, citizenship in heaven, and all of the other irrevocable assets given to the sanctified believer in Jesus Christ. There are never any warnings about losing any of these

Matthew 24:13,   “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.

(LS):  A believer must endure in good works till the end of his life or else he will lose his salvation.
(GP):  This is speaking about believers in the Tribulation who live till the end without being killed  and how they will be delivered and be the ones to inhabit the earth in their physical bodies starting out the Millennium.

Some of the “Salvation” that cannot saves are:
1.    Salvation by verbal confession and testimony
2.    Salvation by repentance and believing
3.    Salvation by inviting Jesus into your heart
4.    Salvation by acknowledging Christ publicly
5.    Salvation by water baptism by immersion
6.    Salvation by partaking of the Eucharist
7.    Salvation by coming forward
8.    Salvation by raising your hands
9.    Salvation by joining a church
10.    Salvation by doing certain sacrifice
11.    Salvation by giving sacrificially
12.    Salvation by doing penance
13.    Salvation by having good morality
14.    Salvation by reformation of character
15.    Salvation by personality change
16.    Salvation by repentance (loud crying)
17.    Salvation by making vows and promises
Majority of believers are the product of manipulation techniques used by preachers whose priority is church statistics and not spirituality. They use several techniques such as:
PRESENTATION TECHNIQUES that applies psychological, emotional, or rational manipulations resulting to false professions of faith. Such preachers are like salesmen capable of selling anything even rotten tomatoes. False professions of faith are common in many local churches.
INVITATION TECHNIQUES are employed during the invitation by preachers who wanted to make impression that a big number of people are being saved in his ministry. Everything are designed by the preacher to mislead the people starting from music, the songs, the terms used by the preacher, and other props. Such human manipulations are effective in the business world but have no place in the Christian realm. These manipulations produce nothing but false profession of faith, resulting to fake Christians who climb the local church leadership manufacturing many problems. These are fake Christians serving God without the reality of salvation. They were taught the doctrine of sacrifice but not salvation.