Lordship salvation
The doctrinal stance that saving faith includes not only trust in Christ as Savior, but also commitment to Christ as Lord. In this view, saving faith includes repentance (defined as a change of heart that results in turning from sin), and always produces good works.
From scripture:

. .. but [I] declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. (Acts 26:20 ESV)

But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, [18] and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:17-18 ESV)                        

 From The Westminster Shorter Catechism:
Q. 85. What doth God require of us that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?
A. To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requireth of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption.

Q. 86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?
A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.

Q. 87. What is repentance unto life?
A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.

From Lordship Salvation by William Webster:
The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is a gift of God and not of works lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9). Conservative evangelicals emphasize and rightly so, that no man can work his way to heaven. They preach consistently and forcefully against good works as a basis for salvation. They preach the need of turning by faith to Christ alone as the Savior, resting in his finished work and in the merits of his shed blood and righteousness. We commonly hear, ‘Baptism will not save you, church membership will not save you, tithing, witnessing, your moral life, your good deeds, your fastings, your prayers, indulgences, etc. None of these things can give you a standing before God.’

There must indeed be a turning from all self–righteousness if one is to come to know Jesus Christ as Savior. However, many of the same evangelicals who preach the need to turn from self–righteousness in order to be saved will not preach repentance from self–will and self–rule. Why? Many wrongly believe that demanding men to turn from self–will adds works to the gospel of grace. The question is this: What is the difference between turning from self–righteousness to Jesus as Savior and self–will to Jesus as Lord? If the one is a form of works then so is the other.

The fact is, neither of them is works. Repentant, saving faith is a gift from God. Faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:8) as is repentance (Acts 11: 18): ‘When they heard these things, they held their peace and glorified God saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.’

Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord. He cannot be divided. If a man comes to Jesus he comes to him as he is, as both Lord and Savior. There must be a turning from self–righteousness for Jesus to be Savior and there must be a turning from self–will or self–rule for Jesus to be Lord. This is not a form of works but true biblical repentance which is a gift from God.
Learn more:
  1. Got Questions: What is lordship salvation?
  2. J. I. Packer: Understanding the Lordship Controversy
  3. Gary Gilley: Lordship Salvation
  4. Andy Naselli: Must Jesus Be Lord?
  5. William Webster: Lordship Salvation
  6. S. Lewis Johnson: How Faith Works
  7. Derek Thomas and Robert Godfrey: Does Jesus need to be our Lord as well as our Savior? (video)

No Comments