I Believe In Lordship Salvation

By January 23, 2015Articles

“And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Acts 9:4-6

I have heard the phrase “lordship salvation” mentioned several times over the last decade from members of the body of Christ. What I have understood it to mean, is that if a Christian preaches or believes that in order to be saved, Jesus has to be your Lord, then that Christian believes in lordship salvation. If that is what it means, then I believe in “lordship salvation.” If it does not mean that, then I retract my profession that I believe it, at least until I understand what it really means. I have also heard it said, if a Christian believes they must submit themselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ, then they believe in a works salvation. In fact, I heard one preacher on the local Christian radio station, in a very smug tone, deny the little saying that goes, “If Jesus isn’t Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all.” I do understand that the lordship of Jesus Christ in the life of the believer is a growing process, but nonetheless, there must be the willingness on the part of the believer to surrender to the full lordship of Jesus Christ.

We can see Paul had no problem with that, He called Jesus Lord the instant He met Him. The very first words he spoke to the One who just knocked him to the ground was in the form of a question, “Who art thou, Lord,” followed by another question, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Imagine what force Christianity would be if everyone that got saved, started out with, Lord, Who are you and what do you want me to do? Paul even at the closing years of his life still had a strong desire to “know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings,..” (Philippians 3:10). At the very end of his life he was still, “Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him” (Acts 28:31)

So if I have this right, those who deny “lordship salvation” accuse the saints that do believe in “lordship salvation” of trying to earn their own salvation. That may be so for those that have not yet found justification through faith, but for those who are saved, it is foolish to tell them that they are trying to save themselves.

Now I do know that Paul rebuked the Galatians when he said, “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3). Any Christian can become foolish and begin gravitating toward the law, but that is a whole other issue. We are talking about true, faithful believers who have committed themselves to obedience to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Besides that, Paul isn’t rebuking the Galatians for working out their salvation with fear and trembling, he is rebuking them for trying to do it in the flesh.

Do you realize how absurd it is to believe that Jesus doesn’t have to be your Lord? What some are saying is that Jesus will be your Savior, but He doesn’t need to be your Lord. Didn’t Peter say, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). You can’t have half of Jesus. You can’t just choose the Savior part of Jesus, you also have to take the Lord part of Him. You can’t get the Savior minus the Lord. I can’t help but to think that un-devoted or carnal Christians come up with these kinds of teachings. To me, it seems they are looking to justify a life that doesn’t honor God or help ease the conviction of a compromising lifestyle. Think what you want, but the bible still says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21). These are people that say Lord, Lord, but don’t submit to His lordship.

In the bible, Jesus is referred to as “Lord” more times than “Savior.” The word “Christ” means anointed and Messiah (which means Savior), so I can’t deny when the word Christ is placed before or after the name Jesus, that it is referring to Him as the anointed Savior. Even then, we see the title Lord, put before Jesus Christ, in some of the scriptures. It is impossible to deny that this one that saved us, saved us not just to take us to heaven, but to be the Lord of our life. It isn’t just Jesus who is referred to as Lord, but the whole Godhead. Often you see the phrase “Lord God” throughout the bible. In fact the phrase “Lord God” is found 545 times in the KJV bible. What is there to not get about that?

I have never heard any Christian deny that God is their Father. I have never heard any Christian deny that God is their provider. I would never think that any Christian would deny that Jesus is the King of kings, which means He is our King. So too, if He is the Lord of lords is He not our Lord? The point I want to clarify is that if you call on the Lord to save you, He will enter you and be everything to you that God is.

Some may say that if you believe that as a Christian you have to submit to the lordship of Jesus, then you are denying grace. Well, Paul had no problem understanding grace in view of the lordship of Jesus Christ. He understood that grace and Lord go along together really well. Did you know that in every greeting of every epistle that Paul wrote (excluding Hebrews) the words “grace” and “Lord” are in the same verse? Grace and Lord are very compatible. Another word that is in each of these verses is the word “from.” Paul says this “grace” is “from” God and the “Lord” Jesus Christ. It is grace to be saved and grace to submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ.

Throughout the gospels, the disciples and others that came to Jesus, most often referred to Him as Lord. Wouldn’t that be the obvious position Jesus would take in the life of those who called upon Him to save them? I don’t need to say much more to make my point, I will let the scriptures do that, after all, that is why I believe the way I do.

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:13

“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,” II Peter 1:2

Terry Fischer

About Terry Fischer

Terry Fischer has been the Pastor of The Church in Wisconsin since January of 2002. He has a heart to see the remnant church experience a greater revelation of Christ and to minister to our generation with a demonstration of Spirit and power.