I ran across an article online about Lordship Salvation, and I was wondering about your thoughts on it. The URL is: http://www.gotquestions.org/lordship-salvation.html
I would appreciate it if you could give me your opinion. Thanks!
The generalities expressed in the article are so vague that pinning down what the author is trying to say would be very difficult. Sadly this is the general state of very many who consider themselves to be Christians but only know what true Christianity is in the very vaguest of terms. Therefore I will express my answers taken directly from the Apostolic doctrine of salvation.
It seems clear that proponents of this stated doctrine, as revealed by the article you provided, are either confused by, or tend to ignore, true Bible doctrine. This is clearly seen by their misunderstanding about WHO it is that exists prior to conversion and Who it is that comes forth afterward. Does the sinful nature simply get cleaned up and is referred to thereafter as the "New Life"? Emphatically not according to the Bible! What dynamics exist after conversion between the old sinful nature and the new existence that comes into play? According to scripture, there is constant warfare between the prior carnal, fleshly, man and the new born spiritual one.The article further indicates that WE (indicative of human individuals) do life changes after conversion. The fact is that WE could do or offer nothing what so ever within ourselves to either save ourselves initially or keep ourselves saved after conversion of our own accord or power. It must be God that both brings us to salvation and Who by His grace sustains us once we are converted. This is the first stumbling stone that separates salvation as taught by the Apostles and that proposed in the article. The second stumbling stone that becomes immediately apparent is the idea that WE, speaking of the converted person, SHOULD NOT desire to remain in a life dictated by sin. The fact is according to 1st John 3:9 we CANNOT desire to continue to live in sin once we have been born again of water and Spirit because the seed of the Holy Ghost remains within us and prevents it. The third stumbling stone (and perhaps the most dangerous one)is the one that states that a person does not have to submit to Christ in each and every area of their lives in order to be saved! That is so nonBiblical as to warrant any rebuttal at all The article makes clear the idea that we submit to God over a period of time but not immediately. The article goes on to state that all a person need do to be saved is to recognize that he/she is a sinner and simply place their trust in God. But the Bible tells us to work out our own salvation in fear and trembling.(Philippians 2:12) This is not referring to salvation by human good works (though we will under the guidance of the Holy Ghost do good works where unto we have been appointed, but not to somehow earn our salvation)but by vigorously complying with Gods commands. In this entire discussion, as presented by this article, the idea put forth, is that a person before salvation is one and the same as they were prior to salvation. This then is the false proposition fueling this entirely misguided article. Please follow closely as I begin to stipulate, based on Apostolic writings, the true condition of the convert prior to and after conversation.
To put it blunted there is NO sameness of the unconverted person and the converted one. The unconverted "man" is not simply cleaned up in order to become the converted one. The Bible labels the unconverted man as the fleshly, carnal man, and makes it very clear that this carnal man IS NOT subject to the laws of God and CANNOT be subject to them because it (the fleshly carnal, man is enmity (at unremitting opposition) to the laws of God. (Romans 8:7-8) The converted, new,spiritual man, on the other hand, has his entire being within the laws of God and is thus called the spiritual man. The unconverted carnal man must die before the new spiritual man can come forth. Godly sorrow, which a person being converted suddenly becomes acutely aware of, by the work of the Holy Ghost within his heart,((2 Cor. 7:10) makes him to understand his total helplessness to change himself, and a clearly perceived acknowledgment of the immanent eternal spiritual death he deserves, if he is not changed, leads him to repentance (A dying away from the carnal sinful unconverted man) resulting in a very real death for the power of the unconverted man. Just as Christ died FOR our sins, to bear responsibility FOR them in our stead, we join Him in that death in order, as new born souls, to not bear the taint of sin ever again thereby bringing reproach upon the One Who saved us from them in the first place. And contrary to the statements put forth by this article this death to sin, does not happen over a long period of time, but immediately upon conversion. The Bible clearly teaches that if a man be in Christ (has been born again of water and the Spirit as our Lord explained to Nicodemas) then he is a NEW creature, old things are PASSED AWAY (have died) and behold, ALL things have become NEW!(are born into existence as surely as a babe is born brand new from its mothers womb!) and that the "all things" spoken of here as "becoming new" are of God.(2 Cor. 5: 17-18)
So the newly born man of God is separate from and totally opposed to, the old carnal man of sin. He has no affinity for, or agreement with, the fleshly carnal man of sin, who is now dead to him by his conversion into a new creature in Christ. So what do we as new men in God do with the dead old man of sin? Why, we have a funeral for him, and just like all naturally dead, fleshly persons, we bury him! Just as we joined Christ in His death for our sins we now must join Him in the burial of the dead man of sin. In fact this burial (by baptism) is the first step of how we get INTO Christ.(Romans 6:3-4)(Gal. 3:27)
We come at this time to the question of by what power or strength we inter, through baptism, the old dead man of sin. This is called the baptism for remission (or removal) of sin (Acts 2:38 Matt. 24:47) after which we rise (again with Christ) to walk in the newness of life given us by the gift of Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38, Romans 6) The authority given us for this burial is through the Name of Jesus Christ. (Matt. 24:47, Acts 2:38, Col.3:17) In fact the Greek wording used by the Apostles bear out the fact that we are baptized literally INTO the Name (representative of power) of Jesus Christ when that authority is pronounced over us in baptism. We are strictly enjoined to invoke the authority of the Name of Jesus Christ in whatever we do or speak. (Col. 3:17) So we repent, are baptized for remission of sin, and rise to walk in our new life with Christ, ALL in and by the authority of the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Col. 3:17) Please let me point out here that just as with a naturally dead man, when we die out to sin by our conversion we do not almost die but we totally die out to it. An example of what I mean by this can be likened to a woman being pregnant. She is not ALMOST pregnant but she is COMPLETELY pregnant! Our death to sin doesn't come in degrees or almost, but like the woman's pregnancy it is complete or not at all.
Much could and should be said about the fierce warfare constantly being fought between the converted spiritual man and the carnal fleshly man to see which will dominate the other. But let me assure you that your salvation does not hinge upon what Satan tries to, and sometimes does do, to your soul. If the spiritual man loses a battle on occasion, he certainly hasn't lost the war! When that does occur we must simply take he and ourselves back to his death scene in repentance and ask our Father for a renewal of strength through a daily renewing of His Spirit (the Holy Ghost)within our soul. It will be those who endure the onslaughts of Satan through their fleshly carnal appetites but who resists these onslaughts through fasting and prayer in order to overcome them who will sit at the wedding table of our Bridegroom in victory!
Dave I sincerely thank you for your question and do pray that I have given a clear straight forward answer that you can see came from Gods own Word. Last but not least, let me tell you that concerning the Lordship of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible teaches us that "No man can truthfully call Him Lord except through the Holy Ghost" Just as doubting Thomas had to feel the wound in His side in order to proclaim Him "My Lord and my God" we too must experience for our selves His death, burial, and resurrection before we can really fully know Him as Lord.