Straw Men Re: Lordship Salvation

I know I should no longer be surprised, but I can hardly believe that some people can be so insecure in their positions that they will not even post comments that disagree with them. I recently ran across a blog entitled “Notes From A Retired Preacher” at http://expreacherman.com. The owner of the blog styles himself as “Retired Pastor — 82 year old narrow-minded Conservative Christian.” I didn’t realize what a narrow-minded bigot he truly was until I submitted a number of comments to his blog that he simply refused to post. I wrote to him suggesting that perhaps it would be good if his readers considered an accurate statement of the “Lordship Salvation” doctrine instead of the straw man he was presenting. He neither answered me nor posted any of my several comments. I can only conclude that he knows he is unable to actually deal adequately with truth. It is far easier for him to quote partial verses and verses out of context to propound his untenable position.

This man states that those who teach “Lordship Salvation” deny that justification is through faith in Christ alone but that they teach a “works salvation.” What a prodigious misrepresentation! Since I suppose this old man is sincerely convinced of his position, I would not accuse him of deliberately lying about what others teach. He does, however, illustrate the quip that some people’s minds are like concrete–all mixed up and permanently set.

No one who believes in “Lordship salvation” teaches that the sinner’s repentance adds any merit to the finished work of Christ or that faith and repentance are the basis on which God justifies sinners. We all believe the basis of justification before God is the preceptive and penal obedience of Christ [i.e., his obedience to God’s law and his death under that law] which he accomplished for his people objectively during the period of his humiliation.

The real issue is whether Christ accomplished both the justification and sanctification of his people on the cross. We assert that he did. Over one hundred years ago, J. C. Ryle wrote,

He who supposes that Jesus Christ only lived and died and rose again in order to provide justification and forgiveness of sins for His people, has yet much to learn. Whether he knows it or not, he is dishonoring our blessed Lord, and making Him only a half Savior. The Lord Jesus has undertaken everything that His people’s souls require; not only to deliver them from the guilt of their sins by his atoning death, but from the dominion of their sins, by placing in their hearts the Holy Spirit; not only to justify them but also to sanctify them. He is, thus, not only their “righteousness” but their “sanctification.” (I Cor. 1:30).

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. . . .” (John 10:28). Why would anyone believe he is one of Christ’s sheep if he does not hear his voice and wish to follow him?

We do not teach that sinners must bring anything with them but their sins when they come to Christ for salvation. As Horatius Bonar wrote, “they [our sins] are the only thing we can truly call our own.” We do teach that we bring our sins to him that we might be saved from them [not just the penalty of them], not that we might continue in them.


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