âAnd 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.â Acts 9:4-6
I have heard the phrase âlordship salvationâ 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 âlordship salvation.â 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, âIf Jesus isnât Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all.â 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, âWho art thou, Lord,â followed by another question, âLord, 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 âknow Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings,..â (Philippians 3:10). At the very end of his life he was still, âPreaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding himâ (Acts 28:31)
So if I have this right, those who deny âlordship salvationâ accuse the saints that do believe in âlordship salvationâ 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, âAre ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?â (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, âTherefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christâ (Acts 2:36). You canât have half of Jesus. You canât just choose the Savior part of Jesus, you also have to take the Lord part of Him. You canât get the Savior minus the Lord. I canât 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, âNot 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.â (Matthew 7:21). These are people that say Lord, Lord, but donât submit to His lordship.
In the bible, Jesus is referred to as âLordâ more times than âSavior.â The word âChristâ means anointed and Messiah (which means Savior), so I canât 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 âLord Godâ throughout the bible. In fact the phrase âLord Godâ 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 âgraceâ and âLordâ are in the same verse? Grace and Lord are very compatible. Another word that is in each of these verses is the word âfrom.â Paul says this âgraceâ is âfromâ God and the âLordâ 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 donât 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.
âAnd they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.â Acts 16:13
âTestifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.â Acts 20:21
âGrace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,â II Peter 1:2