Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Little Booklet on Lordship Salvation
Part 7

Here is the seventh and final of 7 major points from Dr. MacArthur's book and Dr. Pickering's review and comments on these points. (See my October 12 post for background on what I am posting here.)

Dr. Earnest Pickering sums up of MacArthur's points (large green italic #7) and offers comment: _______________________________________________________
7. Personal salvation requires a "willingness to surrender to (Christ) as Lord"(p. 207).

In demonstration of this thesis, MacArthur cites four basic passages: Acts 2:21; 2:36; 16:31, and Romans 10:9-10. He feels that all of these passages "include indisputably the lordship of Christ as part of the gospel to be believed for salvation" (p. 207).

The title "Lord" is used in all of these passages for Christ. The question is, What does the term mean in these contexts, and how does such meaning apply to the terms of salvation? In practical terms, if a man who has smoked all of his adult life inquires about how he may be saved, should he be told that he must give up his smoking as a demonstration of his yieldedness to Christ as Lord and as a condition to his salvation? Does the appeal, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 16:31) mean "Surrender all parts of your life to Christ" or does it mean, "Rest in the finished work of Christ which was accomplished for you?" We believe it means the latter.

The term "Lord" as used of Jesus in these passages is not emphasizing His right to enthronement but His identity as deity. Charles Ryrie, I believe, is correct when he states that in the term "Lord", as used in these salvation passages, "deity is the principle emphasis and the focal point of faith as far as salvation from sin is concerned" (Balancing the Christian Life, p. 176). The term "Lord", as used in gospel appeals in the New Testament, speaks of an inherent position and quality which Christ possesses and not of an act of surrender on the part of the believing sinner.

One of the chief objections to the notion of "lordship salvation" is that it adds to the gospel of grace. It requires something of the sinner which the Scriptures do not require. The message of salvation by grace proclaims to the sinner that they may receive eternal life by faith alone whereas the message of "lordship salvation" tells sinners they must be willing to give up whatever is in their life that is displeasing to God. At the point of gospel presentation they do not know what things those are, nor does the personal worker seeking to point them to Jesus know. There is a vast and significant difference between believing on Christ for salvation and learning from Him as our Lord. As we have already pointed out, MacArthur does not separate discipleship from salvation (p. 196). But the calls to discipleship were addressed specifically to His followers who were already believers. MacArthur seeks to refute this by claiming that these various passages about cross-bearing, etc. only describe what the disciples did when they believed. But it should be noted that these exhortations are in the active voice, "Take up your cross," and not "You have taken up your cross." Christ is exhorting those who have already trusted Him for salvation to follow Him as Lord of their lives. _______________________________________________________

What do you think?
Pickering's breif conclusion is next...


  • Rose, thanks for sharing this review here. This has been a great series and has fostered some excellent discussion. I hope it will help to further isolate the Lordship debate from the Great debate as these really are two separate issues. Lordship doctrines are much more akin to Roman doctrines than Calvinism though the push of many today seems to be to tie Lordship salvation to Calvinism.

    By Blogger Kc, at 10/23/2006 9:42 AM  

  • It seems very difficult to see how MacArthur's view does not in practice (if not necessarilly in theory) lead to salvation by works.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 10/23/2006 10:15 AM  

  • Thanks for your comments, guys.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/23/2006 11:30 AM  

  • Amen Kc, good insight.


    I am so greatful for Dr Pickering's challenge to MacArthur. He handled it in a very respectable way. He is an example for us to learn from.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 10/23/2006 5:43 PM  

  • Rose~
    This is a good review of the difference between Lordship salvation and simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is refreshing to my soul and my spirit.

    Have we (Gk. for you) asked PhD. for a comment or two about it yet?

    brother John

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 10/24/2006 7:06 AM  

  • Thanks again, Brian. I agree.

    No I have not given it to PhD. You do it. ;~)
    I am refreshed by this too!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/25/2006 10:50 AM  

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