One of the things I have learned over the course of my years is that you must be very careful when using labels in this day and age. Labels mean different things to different people. If you ask five people the definition of Calvinism, Fundamentalism, Liberalism, etc., you are likely to get five totally different responses. This is also true of the doctrine of Lordship salvation. Some define this doctrine as: “The Lordship position does not hold that every Christian has great piety and is overwhelmingly successful in battling sin from day one. It does say that the process of sanctification, evidenced by good works, begins immediately even if in very small and slowly growing quantities.” This is not the standard definition or majority point of view. The concept of Lordship salvation on which I would like to focus is the idea that complete repentance must precede or happen at the moment of salvation. Let’s look at two major thoughts surrounding this belief system.
1. “If Christ Does not Stay Lord of Your Life, Then You Are Not Saved.”
This concept clearly violates the sinful nature of man. When a person receives Christ in his heart, the old Adamic sin nature is not eradicated. The saved child of God will continue to sin and should daily confess those sins to maintain proper fellowship with God. When we sin by disobeying God’s commands, Christ is not Lord of our lives.
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)
Since we all continue to sin, no one could be saved if this concept were true. The error of this view can also be clearly seen through the Bible examples of David (Psalm 51:12), Peter, and Lot (2 Peter 2:7, 8).
2. “Christ Must Be Lord of Your Life In Order for You to Be Saved.”
This concept clearly violates the doctrine of grace. Scripture clearly teaches that salvation is a free gift that must be accepted; salvation is not something that we work for or earn. You don’t get better to get saved; you get saved to get better. The thief on the cross is a wonderful example of an individual that was saved without Christ being Lord of his life.