From the Pastor's Heart
by Pastor John Khng
There is much confusion among Christians over the teaching of ‘Lordship salvation’. Those who teach ‘Lordship salvation’ claim that one must make Jesus Lord of his life in order to be saved. By this they mean that if a person does not surrender his life to the Lord when he receives Him as Saviour, he cannot be saved. A variation of such teaching states that there must be willingness to be controlled by the Lord at the time of salvation in order to be saved.
To overcome all these confusions, we must look at the Bible for the right teaching on the way of salvation.
The most familiar verse in the Bible is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The fact is as we study the Gospel of John and other parts of the Bible, we see that the way of salvation is by faith alone. One of the clearest passages in God’s Word on this subject, is found in Ephesians 2:8-9, which say, ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ Those who teach ‘Lordship salvaton’ have added ‘surrender as one of the requirements for salvation. To them faith alone is not enough, you must have faith plus surrender to Christ as you Lord in order to be saved. Such kind of teaching is contradicting the Bible and makes salvation no longer a gift of grace. The declaration of God’s Word is ‘by grace are ye saved through faith’ no plus surrender, or plus good works, or plus anything else.
The Biblical sequence is salvation before service. One must know Christ first as His Saviour, before he can surrender to Him as His Lord. ‘Enthronement is not a condition for salvation but rather that it should be a consequence of it.’ (Charles C. Ryrie)
Some people object to faith alone as the basis of salvation because they argue that it will lead to easy believism. The passage in Matthew 7:21-23, makes it clear that true faith will lead to concrete obedience to Christ and a true profession of Christ as Lord. It is clear from the passage that not all who call Christ, ‘Lord, Lord’ are truly Christians. If we call Christ our Lord, we must be willing to obey Him. Notice that some will use their religious works to prove that they are Christians (v.22-23). The evidence that a person is saved is in his obedience to Christ’s commandments (v.21). The Lord spoke about the wise man and the foolish man to illustrate this truth in the next few verses (See v.24-27). The word, ‘Therefore’ emphasize the conclusion of the matter. It should be clear that after salvation, the natural thing to follow is a life of obedience. It is dangerous to profess that we know Christ and then live a life of carelessness about His commandments. Even those who are full of religious works and live disobediently are in danger of hell fire. If you know Christ as your Saviour, you would want to submit to Him as your Lord as well.
God has highly exalted Christ to be the Lord of all creation (Phil. 2:9-11). “His (Christ’s) exaltation included sovereign authority over all creatures in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. All will bow to Him (see Isa. 45:23). It is likely that ‘under the earth’ refers to the lost, since God’s family is either in heaven or on earth (Eph. 3:14-15). One day, all will bow before Him and confess that He is Lord. Of course, it is possible for people to bow and confess today, and receive His gift of salvation (Rom. 10:9-10). ‘To bow before Him now means salvation, to bow before Him at the judgement means condemnation’ (Wiersbe, pp. 66-67). If you are not a Christian, it is important that you accept the Lord as your personal Saviour today. The day will come when the Saviour will become your Judge and there is no escape from the sentence of death. For those who are Christians, the question is: Are you submissive to Christ as your Lord? Are you living in disobedience to His commandments?'
(Christ Our Lord, Church Anniversary Magazine 4)
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