09 October 2006

A Brief Interlude about History and Terminology

How I Got Drawn into the Lordship Debate-part 4
by Phil Johnson

n the previous installment I mentioned a statement by Charles Ryrie from his 1969 book Balancing the Christian Life. Referring to the opposing positions in the lordship debate, he said, "One of them is a false gospel and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9)."

Let's face this squarely: Ryrie insists that if we demand the unconditional surrender of sinners to Christ's lordship, we are corrupting the gospel with human works. Of course, if that were true, then Ryrie would be correct to anathematize lordship salvation.

My reply would be that surrender to Christ's authority is no more a "work" than faith itself. In fact, it's a necessary element of faith. Faith, defined well by the Westminster Shorter Catechism, is "is a saving grace [i.e., a gift of God], whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel" (question 86). The stiff-necked attitude of those who want to claim Jesus' grace and compassion as Savior while refusing his rightful authority as Lord is the very essence of unbelief.

Let me say a word about the terminology I'm using. The earliest use of the expression "lordship salvation" I can find comes from Dr. A. Ray Stanford, founder and president of Florida Bible College. Stanford was a harsh and outspoken critic of the view he labeled "lordship salvation." This whole debate seems to have been a pet topic of Stanford's. He waged a years-long quest to eliminate the message of Jesus' lordship from the gospel, beginning (I believe) sometime in the mid-1960s, and continuing until 1975, when Stanford resigned from the college after it came to light that he had been unfaithful to his wife.

"I'm going where nobody has ever heard of me," he told a friend. "If anybody ever finds me, I'll leave again" (AP news report, 9 February 1975) And he did, leaving his wife and family and the school and disappearing from public view for years. The Hollywood, FL school, which at the time billed itself as the largest Bible college in the world, experienced two decades of decline and finally closed its doors in 1996.

(In a surrealistic footnote to the affair, the FBC alumni association sponsored a 90th birthday celebration to honor Ray Stanford a couple of weeks ago).

I ministered in Florida for three years in the late 1970s, and even then, the impact of Ray Stanford's aggressive teaching against "lordship salvation" could be felt across the state.

Stanford wrote a book called Handbook of Personal Evangelism, in which he included a whole chapter titled "Lordship Salvation." (If that book was not the source of the expression "lordship salvation" it is certainly where the expression was first popularized.) In a section titled "Reasons for Not Teaching 'Lordship Salvation,'" he made these remarks: "[The message of Lordship salvation] contradicts scripture . . .. [it] cannot save . . .. [it] is accursed of God . . .. [and] The person who preaches such a message is also accursed of God."

So there's no mincing of words from the opponents of lordship salvation.

People sometimes complained that John MacArthur sounded too strident in The Gospel According to Jesus. But you will find nothing in any of MacArthur's books to match the language Ryrie, Stanford, and Hodges had already employed to anathematize lordship salvation.

Ray Stanford and others who have borrowed his terminology employ the expression "lordship salvation" as a pejorative term. MacArthur reluctantly accepted the label others had pinned on his view, just so it would be very clear whose criticism he was answering. In the first chapter of The Gospel According to Jesus, MacArthur wrote this: "I don't like the term 'lordship salvation.' It was coined by those who want to eliminate the idea of submission to Christ from the call to saving faith, and it implies that Jesus' lordship is a false addition to the gospel . . .. I use the term in this volume only for the sake of argument."

I normally employ the term "no-lordship salvation" to describe the view represented by those who have published the most outspoken criticisms of MacArthur's view—particularly the views of Zane Hodges and the Grace Evangelical Society. And because I know some causal PyroManiacs readers are sympathetic to those views, I want to explain why I use the term "no-lordship salvation." Because frankly, I understand that proponents of the no-lordship view don't like that expression any more than we like the term "lordship salvation."

One writer in the Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society took John MacArthur to task for employing this expression in his book Faith Works. This reviewer wrote, "I was personally deeply offended by this." He says, "MacArthur selects a cumbersome, misleading, and pejorative label for us." "We call our position the Free Grace position. We call their position just what they call it: Lordship Salvation."

First of all, if that reviewer means to leave his readers with the impression that advocates of "lordship salvation" chose that expression to describe their own view, then he is either ignorant of the history of the debate, or he is deliberately being deceitful.

Second, I deny that "no-lordship salvation" has anything to do with "free grace." "Free grace" is a term Calvinists have traditionally employed to describe their position—because the expression "free grace" stresses the absolute unconditionality of God's electing grace.

I believe in free grace. In fact, I believe God's saving grace is truly free. Everyone who believes in unconditional election by definition believes in free grace. In other words, the view we commonly label Calvinism is the real "free grace" position. And I have never met a true Calvinist who believed any sinner saved by God's grace ever could or would persist in willfully and deliberately in rejecting Christ's lordship. That's what the Calvinistic principle known as the perseverance of the saints is all about.

As Calvinists, we believe God sovereignly draws and regenerates and transforms those whom He redeems, so that the person who is saved is made a new creation. His character changes. He is, in biblical terms, born again. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). That one verse alone is sufficient to annihilate the whole system of no-lordship salvation.

In any case, I refuse to dignify the no-lordship position by referring to it as "free grace" theology, because as far as I am concerned their notion of "free grace" is a false claim and a twisted doctrine that seriously confuses the meaning of the words free and grace.

Remember also that I don't like the expression "lordship salvation" any more than the folks over at the Grace Evangelical Society like the expression "no-lordship salvation." But we need some sort of shorthand to clarify what we're talking about. And since they chose the term first, let's stick with their terminology. If it's fair for them to describe our position as "lordship salvation," it's certainly reasonable to call their view "no-lordship salvation."

Now let me give you a couple of simple definitions:
  • "Lordship salvation" is the belief that some degree of submission to Jesus' lordship is inherent in saving faith.
  • "No-lordship salvation" teaches that saving faith involves no element of surrender to or recognition of Jesus' lordship.

There's much more to the lordship debate than that, of course. Those on the lordship side of the debate affirm the perseverance of the saints—the doctrine that those who are truly in the faith will remain in the faith, and that despite the inevitable failures and stumblings we all experience as Christians, those who are true Christians will neither totally nor finally fall away from the faith but are kept by the power of God unto salvation.

No-lordship doctrine, on the other hand, denies the perseverance of the saints. In Zane Hodges' words, a Christian "may cease to name the name of Christ, and may even cease to confess Christianity" (p.111). But according to the no-lordship view, a single moment of assent to the facts of the gospel is enough to guarantee your eternal salvation, even if you later become an atheist.

Even Charles Ryrie, who aims for a more moderate statement of the no-lordship position, claims that a true believer may eventually turn away—even cease believing entirely (p. 142)—yet enjoy full assurance of eternal life.

Those, gentle readers, are serious and important issues, with monumental ramifications. If the lordship perspective is the correct one, then many backslidden and carnal people really need to have the gospel proclaimed to them, rather than salving their consciences with the false assurance that their eternal destiny is heaven, no matter how far they fall from grace.

Phil's signature

35 comments:

Lou Martuneac said...

I would offer this definition for consideration:

“Lordship Salvation is a position on salvation in which 'saving faith' is defined as reliance upon Jesus Christ. An indispensable component that must be met to fully define the faith that saves is a wholehearted commitment to deny self, take up the cross, and follow Christ in submissive obedience.”

LM

Taliesin said...

Phil,

According to an article Dr. S. Lewis Johnson wrote for Christianity Today ("How Faith Works" following the publication of The Gospel According to Jesus) the debate goes back at least to a debate between Everett F. Harrison and John R. W. Stott in Eternity Magazine, September 1959. It's an interesting article on this issue.

Likewise, this has been interesting, and I'm looking forward to more about your involvement.

H K Flynn said...

For clarification sake...

Hi Phil, I've avoided the term lordship salvation for years but since I've noticed that MacArthur himself uses it I started using it again. How do you like the term, Purist, to indicate the English and American Puritan influence?

The reason I'm profoundly offended by the no-lordship term is because you leave out the "salvation" part of it. We adamently think lordship is required, but not to recieve the gift of eternal life, since that is without cost.

The term "lordship salvation" seems like white gloves polemics, while no lordship advocates seems like brass knuckle polemics.

Since Free Grace is what we are known as, maybe you should adopt it belatedly.

Lou Martuneac said...

Taliesin:

"...the debate goes back at least to a debate between Everett F. Harrison and John R. W. Stott in Eternity Magazine, September 1959."

This is correct. I cite this in my book on the Lordship controversy titled, In Defense of the Gospel.

LM

*I couldn't get the title of my book in italics, why?

JSB said...

Is all this anathematizing talk truly necessary?

For Calvinists, the number of the elect will not be affected by the "no lordship" camp.

Nor should Ryrie be using such loaded language. If his view is correct, all that's happening is that those who believe are being called to something "more" by the Lordship position, which calling does not affect their belief. So no one's being lost under Lordship teaching.

This isn't a Galatians moment. Ryrie is way off to claim that the Judaizing demand for observance of part of the Law of Moses is in any way like a call to repentance.

InTheLight said...

Can someone explain to me these two quotes:

This is what MacArthur taught as of at least 1985 on justification and what it means to have righteousness imputed:

A. Righteousness Is Imputed

Some people say that the word justified means "to declare someone righteous." They say, "Justified means 'Just-as-if-I'd-never-sinned.'" But God isn't saying, "I'm going to pretend that it was just as if they never sinned." , justify doesn't mean to declare you are righteous when you're not; it means to make you righteous. That is an important distinction.

Paul's usage of the word justify was drawn from the Old Testament concept. The equivalent in the Hebrew is the verb tsadeq, which primarily means "to cause someone to be righteous." God doesn't say, "I'm going to pretend you are righteous" - He makes us righteous. It is the opposite of condemnation. It is a transformation. If we believe that God is saying we are righteous when we are not, the conversion isn't a transformation. But justification makes us righteousb. And I believe we are made right with God - that we receive an actual acquittal, an actual imputation of the righteous nature granted to us. (Justification By Faith, p. 50, John MacArthur's Bible Studies, Romans 3:20-4:25, Moody Press, copyright 1984, 1985, bold added)

with

Catholic theology views justification as an infusion of grace that makes the sinner righteous. (Truth Matters, p. 33; Faith Works, p. 90)

and

Theologically, justification is a forensic, or purely legal, term. It describes what God declares about the believer, not what He does to change the believer. In fact, justification effects no actual change whatsoever in the sinner's nature or character. Justification is a divine judicial edict. It changes our status only, but it carries ramifications that guarantee other changes will follow. (Truth Matters, p. 32, italics in original, bold added; similar statement in Faith Works, p. 89)

These are complete opposite positions.

Thank you.

Taliesin said...

Lou,

To get italics you have to use the html tag < i > (without the spaces) < /i >. For bold replace the "i" with "b". The simple letter between the "less than" and "greater than" symbols starts the special format. The letter preceeded by the "/" ends the special format.

Eddie

ajlin said...

Nice use of the lake of fire graphic.

Matt said...

InTheLight:

Look very carfully at those quotes, understanding the context in which they were written. In your first quotes (under the heading "Righteousness is Imputed"), MacArthur is arguing against the idea that God ignores our sin. That is obviously not the fact, because "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." The only reason we can be justified is because God makes us righteous by imputation. In the other quote where MacArthur is stating that there is no character or nature change as a result of justification, he is refering to our actual conduct, not our standing before God (as he was talking about in the previous quote). Understanding those contexts is key. If you had to put a timeline on it, which is extremely dangerous, but it may provide some clarity, think of it like this:

Step 1: We are elected (chosen)
Step 2: We are given the Holy Spirit
Step 3: The Holy Spirit generates saving faith in us
Step 4: Saving faith applies the imputed righteousness of Christ to us (as a covering for our sin)
Step 5: The imputed righteousness leaves us justified before God

MacArthur's first quotes there were talking about step 4, and his last quote was in reference to step 5. Does this make sense to you?

Bhedr said...

Well if anything Phil. I have learned more through this series. I really am not fully aware of the full history of all this. I am going to back down for a while as I am one of those casual readers.

I would like to say that I see some points and generally believe in the perserverance of the saints but also believe in the sin unto death that is kept there so that saints heads won't swell and think that they are beyond falling into a miserable state and being removed from this earth to face the Judgment seat of Christ with embarrasment. We are all to take heed of this.

Now as to the question of one becoming an atheist...I believe this said person who falls will be miserable and know in his heart the truth. I do sympathise with aspects of what Jodie(a most excellent mind for God) sees, but I do split hairs in some areas. Is it possible for us to become to cemented in this because of the positions we take and shoulders we rub?

Again. I see the sin unto death clearly taught in scripture.

Go ahead and laugh, but I think Elvis was a prime example of this.

Bhedr said...

Ok I know...I just totally discredited myself...but oh well, I never had a real strong level of credibility anyway. still learning though.

InTheLight said...

No, sorry not getting it.

"God doesn't say, "I'm going to pretend you are righteous" - He makes us righteous. It is the opposite of condemnation. It is a transformation. If we believe that God is saying we are righteous when we are not, the conversion isn't a transformation. But justification makes us righteous"

Here Mac states that there is a transformation making the person righteous.

The later quote says there is no change whatsoever.

"It describes what God declares about the believer, not what He does to change the believer. In fact, justification effects no actual change whatsoever in the sinner's nature or character."

It seems to me that MacArthur has changed his view on justification. Do you know if this is true?

H K Flynn said...

thanks bhedr...

Elvis-story-that-is-on-topic:

Elvis was doing a show once, in a real city, not Vegas, and a whole row of girls in knee socks at one point stood up together and held up a home-made banner that said, ELVIS YOU ARE THE KING!

He immediately said into the microphone, "No, that's not right. Jesus Christ is the King."

...they sat down quickly.

So.

There ya go.

H K Flynn said...

Title: "A Brief Interlude about History and Terminology"

...and Elvis was both historical and terminal.

donsands said...

Like Dylan said, "You gotta serve somebody,
Now it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord,
But you're gonna have to serve somebody".

"Do not be unbelieving, but believing.
And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'" John 20: 27-28

Gordon Cloud said...

Phil, I have really appreciated these posts. As a non-Calvinist who has been involved in this debate for a number of years, I have seen the extremes to which both sides of the argument are capable of going.

You said, "My reply would be that surrender to Christ's authority is no more a "work" than faith itself. In fact, it's a necessary element of faith. "

I would say that presents a very balanced view to this issue.

Jim Crigler said...

InTheLight pointed out what he/she/it believes points to a change in Dr Mac's view of justification.

Here's the key to resolving the conflict: "Imputation" is not a legal declaration, it is an accounting declaration. The sin of the elect was transferred to Christ, who fully took the wrath for all of it. With God's wrath for sin of the elect spent, Christ's righteousness was transferred to us in accounting terms. The rapprochement in the conflict you perceive is understanding this. So the acquital is is the actual and legal result of this accounting transaction, justification, is based on the payment for sin (redemption) that (hold your hats) God paid to Himself, at once satisfying His own justice and applying mercy.

(This is a little imprecise due to the descriptive nature of the language, of course. The double transfer was simultaneous, not serialized, so that there was never a nanosecond when the books didn't balance.)

Correction from the theologically trained is welcome.

striving... said...

So here is what I think. A very wise man once told me that excepting Christ in my life was not a one time thing. It was a life long process. Once you let Christ in your heart with total faith and you let him WORK in you, he changes you. He lets you see what a horrible creature you are and you are suppose to be open to changing those evil and sinful ways. Not the whole, if it feels good do it, repent and repeat. You see something sinful, repent, try not to repeat. Over and Over again. There is a vs. in the bible as well that talks about the washing away of the old man, and getting the new man. They way I take that is that you do change after you except Christ, and if it is not God changing you, then why didn't you change it before. Did you like being a horrible, disrespectful, ugly, person. I know I did not. And if it weren't for God in my life, I would still be that way. I think I am a much better person now then I was 8 years ago, and I cannot wait to see what happens next. I really liked this post. It has answered a few questions that I have been trying to fiqure out. Patiently waiting your next part.

Stephen Dunning said...

It is, it seems to me, to be a fundamental error to try to divide Christ. He is Lord, so when a person believe in him, they trust in the Lord. You cannot have a part of Christ - you turn to the Christ who is: Saviour, Lord, Head of the Church, Lion and Lamb, &c.

Furthermore, Faith is a response in obedience to the Lord who commanded "Repent and believe the good news".

Part of the problem is the removal of repentance from the gospel (Mk 1:15, Ac 17:30).

danny2 said...

this is great phil.

thanks for taking your time.

danny2 said...

h k flynn,

just reading your first comment and i'm a bit confused...

We adamently think lordship is required, but not to recieve the gift of eternal life, since that is without cost.

Required for what? if not for salvation, just for a better life? it seems to me that this whole debate is that you don't think it is required.

a good idea? yes. required? i don't sense that from your camp.

Lou Martuneac said...

Taliesan:

Trying it again here...

In Defense of the Gospel

C.Stephen said...

I am thinking "lordship" is really just a function of true repentance. Repentance is not just saying "sorry, please forgive me"; it is acknowledging that our sin is really wrong and His rules are really right, and agreeing earnestly with Him that we are obliged to follow His rules. I don't think a cavalier form of repentance without an intention to start obeying Christ is really repentance at all.

1 Corinthians 12:3 says "Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit."

Interestingly enough, John Gill's commentary on this verse describes the cursing involved here historically as vigorous denials by Jew and Gentile alike of Christ's lordship.

Tim said...

c.stephen said:

I don't think a cavalier form of repentance without an intention to start obeying Christ is really repentance at all.

I'm a bit new to this debate, but it seems to me that this is the crux of the matter. Is it a caricature of the "free grace" position to say that only half of Jesus' admonition "repent and believe the gospel" is relevant to salvation?

To "repent" is to turn away from sin. But toward what? How can one turn away from sin without submitting oneself to Christ?

Dan Fields said...

Which book does the Ryrie quote come from--Balancing the Christian Life or So Great Salvation?

Thanks for your help!

Bhedr said...

Yeah Elvis died miserable thats for sure.

Now I will say that Elvis gave Nashville and Hollywood a skewed idea of christianity and made it primtime and misleading and seemingly cool to confess Christ and live in abhorrant sin...so while I see the possibility of Elvis being saved....he has given place to a false gospel for others. Both Elvis and Johnny Cash wanted to sing gospel songs....well we could go on about Bob Dylan as well. He is not living for God anymore and is actually a practicing Jew.

Bhedr said...

>Now I will say that Elvis gave Nashville and Hollywood a skewed idea of christianity and made it primtime and misleading and seemingly cool to confess Christ and live in abhorrant sin...<

Oh and come to think of it that may have been what has led the Christian Rock and CCM establishment to think the same thing.

Yeah, that Dylan song is Lordship isn't it?

Anybody got any Carmen videos to watch?

InTheLight said...

It is no doubt true that justification is "what God declares about the believer." Genesis 15:5-6 and Romans 4:2-5 illustrate that. But, to say that, "justification effects no actual change whatsoever in the sinner's nature or character," and "It changes our status only," denies the very essence of the declaration itself.

First of all, God is not a liar. When He declares someone righteous, He is speaking the truth. They are righteous. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

How are they righteous? Because God makes them righteous. How does He make them righteous? By giving them His righteousness.

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:21-24)

The righteousness of God is "to all and on all who believe." Paul put it this way:

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. (Philippians 3:8-9)

Paul forsook all (Luke 14:26-33) so that he could have, not his own righteousness (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5), but God's righteousness. God's righteousness is real, practical righteousness, as Paul wrote in another letter,

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. (Galatians 2:20)

Christ lives the righteousness of God. If Christ is living in a person, then the righteousness of God is living in that person (1 Corinthians 1:30), and it most assuredly effects actual change in the sinner's nature and character. As Paul said in Romans 6:18,

And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Justification, that is, when God declares someone righteous, this does not indicate "our status only," it indicates our very character, as it is written,

He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 John 2:4)

In other words, those who know Him, those whom He has justified, do keep His commandments (Revelation 22:14). They are righteous (Psalm 1:6; 34:15, 39).

H K Flynn said...

danny2,

Anything Christ commands universally is required. Maybe that's why Paul speaks of terror of facing the Judgement seat of Christ. Which isn't exactly the attitude of the modern church.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord...

Bryan Riley said...

I remember I was first introduced to this debate when I was at church camp in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. The teacher was decrying lordship salvation, a new term to me, but what he was saying made absolutely no sense to me. I was probably about 14 at the time, but I knew that Jesus as Lord was definitely a part of salvation.

From my point of view it is as simple as Romans 10:9-13. Those verses talk about believing and proclaiming Jesus as Lord. And, everywhere in the Word where it talks about salvation talks of believing in Christ. To believe in Him means accepting Him as He is. Plainly, He is Lord.

As you write, it isn't adding any work to salvation. The faith that He is Lord comes from God. Ephesians 2:8-10 spells that out.

Amazing there is debate at all.

danny2 said...

h k flynn,

i appreciate the verse, but i fail to see how you quoting that verse answers my question:

am i understanding you to say that the acknowledgement of Christ's Lordship is required but not necessary?

care to explain the difference?

Tim Brown said...

*To "repent" is to turn away from sin. But toward what? How can one turn away from sin without submitting oneself to Christ?*

From one 'Tim' to another --
amen!

You are repeating precisely what has been said so many times...that repentance and faith are just two sides of the same coin.

1 John 6 is very clear about this...
"No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
". Sin as an ongoing practice. Furthermore, John gives the reason "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God." (vs 9)

On the other hand, "3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure."

I would challenge anyone who wants to use anyone as an example of "a true convert who is now fallen away" to show me how they *know* the person is a true convert. The transformation of a heart at salvation is an invisible work of God. You can't see it. Therefore you don't know anything of the genuiness of the conversion except for what Scripture clearly teaches. Genuine faith will result in fruit. Fruit of the Spirit, fruit of obedience, etc. Non-saving faith will not.

Jesus said we will know them by their fruit. Indeed, we examine *ourselves* on this basis. Jesus said a good tree can't bear bad fruit and a bad tree can't bear good fruit. This fits what John said in his epistle.

And what of Hebrews 11? The author makes works such an integral part of true faith it can't be mistaken. Notice the pattern: "By Faith Moses..." did something. "by faith Abraham..." did something. On and on.

If the author of Hebrews isn't showing us that "true faith works" then what is he doing?

And what of James 2? " 20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,"[e] and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone."

A faith that doesn't exhibit itself by works is not "completed" faith. See John 2; Jesus didn't entrust Himself to a group who "believed" after a fashion but it wasn't completed faith. I remember reading this verse when I first became truly converted and I immediately understood it. If Jesus doesn't entrust Himself to someone, that's not a good indicator of His acceptance of them.

We don't "know what is in the heart of a man..." but He does. And His Word explains how it works itself out as evidence one way or the other.

I really don't see the struggle with grasping this. If I really trust the plane, I'll get on it. If I don't get on it, you must either believe I really don't trust it or don't want to go where it is going.

It is God Who grants repentance and puts the seed in us. The seed generates outward manifestations. Therefore, it's not by my effort. It is a natural outgrowth of real conversion.

H K Flynn said...

danny,

Obedience is required and necessary, just not for the sake of receiving the gift.

Unbelievers are required to obey God. He is the Creator of all things. He owns them. The Judge rose from the dead in order to prove his triumph as the Lord of life. The fact that one day an unbeliever finds out (through the ministry of the Spirit and the word of God) that the Lord offers him a gift, doesn't mean that his obedience is suddenly "due" and those terms "have to be" engrafted into the giving of the gift. It can't be suddenly due because it is always due.

Needless to say, God has the legitimate authority to give gifts any way and on any terms He wants.

So...back to your question. It's required... or they're going to get it.

In this life and in eternity. (but either at the judgment seat of Christ or the great white throne judgment.)

Jodie

4given said...

All I can think to say is thank you and amen.

To God be ALL the glory.

Larry said...

How does "lordship salvation" -- the term itself -- imply that the Lordship of Jesus "is a false addition to the gospel"?

Does the term "baptismal regeneration" -- the term itself -- imply that baptism is a false addition to regeneration?

Does the term "monergistic regeneration" -- the term itself -- imply that monergism is a false addition to regeneration?

No. In reverse order: monergistic regeneration is a regeneration that is described at least partly by monergism in some integral way. The phrase itself leaves open the issue whether this is correct. It also leaves open to elaboration (or refutation) any exact way that monergism is involved in regeneration.

Baptismal regeneration is a regeneration that is described at least partly by baptism in some integral way. The phrase itself leaves open the issue whether this is correct. It also leaves open to elaboration (or refutation) any particular exact way that baptism is involved in regeneration.

Lordship salvation is a salvation that is described at least partly by the Lordship of Christ in some integral way. The phrase itself leaves open the issue whether this is correct. It also leaves open to elaboration (or refutation) any particular way that the Lordship of Christ is involved in salvation.