By Co-Administrator, John
The Bible says that salvation is the gift of God, available to anyone and everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Savior. The Bible is explicitly clear that salvation is a free gift, without cost or obligation to the believer.
Not only is the Bible explicitly clear that salvation is a free gift to the believer, but it says it in a number of different ways so that the hearer or reader of the Word can understand. For a reasonably comprehensive list of verses that state that justification is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, please see the article linked below:
In contrast to the Biblical gospel of grace is the false gospel of Lordship “salvation” (LS). LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to make that faith result in eternal life.
Those who believe in LS (LSers) have a range of conditions they have added to the gospel. Some own their LS outright, and others try to hide it. But, LSers have one thing in common: they do not believe the gospel.
Some LSers are eternally secure believers who have been bewitched by LS, while many others are false professors who may have never even heard the Biblical gospel taught clearly. In any event, LSers do not believe the gospel now.
In trying to reach LSers with the gospel, we face an exceedingly difficult task. Because they are deceived, most will respond to the gospel with incredulity, suspicion, and even outright hostility. If we are clear in our message, we should expect to elicit such responses. We should respond to honest questions with Biblical responses, but we must also use prayerful judgment in when to move on.
Some of the tactics that indicate hostility toward the gospel message are:
Asking convoluted questions – just as the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with shrewdly-worded questions, the implacable LSer will use craftily-worded questions to try to trick us into agreeing with some subtle LS precept.
Putting words in our mouths – misrepresenting what we say, sometimes repeatedly. This most often takes the form of accusing us of teaching grace as a license to sin.
Creating divisions – going from one of us to the next with the same questions in order to try to find inconsistencies between our answers.
Feigning ignorance – this is often used to disarm us.
Appealing to our emotions – using an emotional appeal, such as personal hardship, affinity, or gratuitous compliments to nudge us toward their theology.
Making personal attacks – criticizing us for being “puffed up” or “heretical” and acting offended to try to soften us up and elicit apologies.
Repetition – to quote the late Vince Lombardi: “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” This tactic is designed to wear us out.
Swarming – getting other people to weigh in with the same or similar points.
Name dropping – quoting some famous theologian to add credibility to their arguments.
Following is a quote from Clear Gospel Campaign on a tactic employed by those hostile to grace:
It is usually easy to separate those hostile to the doctrine of grace from those who are genuinely seeking the truth in a few minutes of conversation. Those hostile to grace and unwilling to hear the truth will typically ask dishonest questions with terms that have multiple meanings. By this tack, no matter how you answer the question, the theology of grace can be shown false.
A typical question might be:
“Oh, so you’re telling me that once someone is saved, they can do whatever they want, and they are still saved?”
Of course, the truth of the matter is that, apart from epileptic seizures, snoring, and other involuntary actions, each of us does exactly what we want twenty four hours a day! The reason I pull my hand out of a hot stove is because I want to. The reason I eat is because I want to. The reason I sin is because I want to. And the reason I flee from sin is because I want to. In truth, the question is so trivial as to be meaningless. A “yes” answer does not even hint at a person’s theology! It only shows their sense of personal responsibility over their own actions.
As tempting as it is to think that we can come up with the perfect way to explain grace to an implacable LSer, we must prayerfully determine when to move beyond repetitious discussions with LSers who are not interested in the truth.
TRUTH!! Eternal Life For You <click
TimothyNJ – I know there are a lot of passages that can be confusing in that regard, I think that’s why it helped me so much to really firmly cement in my mind all the passages relating to eternal security first. Then once that is clear, you can start looking at the individual passages and dealing with whether they speak to things like physical salvation/deliverance vs. eternal life, or loss of rewards or chastening, or something else entirely.
I don’t have it all figured out either obviously, but asking questions for me always helps, I ask Him to show me, then I ask what is it speaking to, if it can’t be speaking to salvation (eternal life kind) then what? And I kind of go from there 🙂 Understanding dispensations is really helpful too, and the covenants, which one is conditional vs. unconditional, and the promise of salvation is unconditional/unilateral, entirely dependent on God’s promise and not our performance. Praise His name for that…
Glad somehow something I said helped…and I agree, great site, and sure a lot of Biblical answers, very thankful too!
Thank you so much for the response it helped a lot. And holly great point about them only having the baptism of John! I didn’t think of that. Sometimes certain verses trip me up concerning eternal security but thanks to this website it has so many great articles and commenters to help. I appreciate it.
I’d like to also add something that comes to mind, although I am just thinking out loud and not knowing if it relates entirely. Remember those who only had the ‘baptism of John’ and had not so much as even heard of the Holy Spirit? They weren’t His yet, so that repentance and baptism was not unto salvation (Rom 8:9).
John was preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and would make sense they might confess their sins at that point, purification too is in play I believe. But like you say, they were changing their mind about the One who was to come, but had not yet heard the gospel of salvation.
Timothy, welcome and thanks for your comment.
I think Mark 1:4 deals with a call to faith in the promised Messiah. We see a follow-up verse (Mark 1:15), in which Jesus commands his listeners to repent and believe the gospel.
Mark 1:5 (like Matthew 3:6) describes those who had repented (believed John’s message) as getting baptized and confessing sins. Luke 3:10-14 gives an account of different groups of people asking John for instruction in righteousness.
See below discussion from Clear Gospel Campaign:
Object of that repentance: Not expressly stated. Since repentance means “a change of mind,” we can only inferentially determine the object of repentance by determining the concepts or propositions about which men are invited to change their mind. In Mark 1:7, the only thing we are told that John specifically preached was:
“There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.” This is the only suggestion in the context of what might have been the object of repentance preached by John. And that object was not sin, it was Jesus Christ.
Great article! I love this website I’m always on it for encouragement on Eternal security. I have a question. I have been reading the whole bible with my mom and we have read from genesis to mark 9 so far. I don’t believe you have to turn from sin for salvation but in mark 1:4-5 It says john preached repentance and they came confessing their sins. What is your understanding of that verse? Thanks so much and God bless!
Thanks…. Great verses for everyone!!!
In Jesus, Christ eternally
Reader My prayer is you would discover the “Truth of the Gospel.” prayerfully consider these Verses
Gal_2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
Gal_2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
Eph_1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Col_1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Reader, you’ve been more than adequately answered by men here, but I beg you to find repentance from sin in the Word (unless you are using Living bible or New Living translation). Who cares what any doctrinal advocates teach if it can’t be found in the Bible. Please, be sure you know what it takes to be saved, for those same people will be saying, Lord Lord, we did these wonderful works, we quit doing this, we quit doing that, we fed the poor and hungry, etc. etc., and He is going to tell them they never did His will, and we know we cannot be justified by our works, and He will tell them He never knew them. Be so very sure that you have understood the clear gospel, and repent from your thinking that repenting from sin is part of the gospel message, for it is a work.
As John has shared before, repenting from sin is a WORK. See what the Word tells us here:
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. Jonah 3:10
Cheryl Burr! Glad you joined us here, you can ask questions here, and they’ll point you patiently to the Scriptural answers, and let the Word do the work, with no accusations, condemnation or condescension that you have seen from the Lordship doctrine in your life. You should love it here!
Jim Floyd, what is kind of amusing, the same one that called me a heresy hunter not too long before that, called me a heretic. I had to smile at the at what she said, that she didn’t even realize, although I suppose one could be both. What she meant the first time by the ‘heresy hunter’ is ‘can’t we all just get along’ (and chew the meat and spit out the bones), but weeks later I was a heretic for preaching that grace is free, and it is about believing only on Him and nothing else. It is funny that made her identify my beliefs as “a cult” and also later identified me as a heretic and a false teacher. She is now a full-fledged five point Calvinist. Sad irony? Her last name is Grace…
I thought at one time it was because they really believed their gospel, but after speaking to many of them over the years, I’m just as perplexed, because some surely think their way of thinking is correct yet seem to be trying to convince themselves. Others, who are teachers who will receive the greater condemnation, must at least understand the importance of not adding or taking away from His Word, don’t they?
I don’t think they tremble at His Word, and if you consider how lightly they misuse passages, ignore context and fill the cyberworld with their cute little quotes with their name underneath it, did they ever love His Word?
Did they ever believe in the power of the gospel? How could they? The message is foolishness to them. “You can’t just believe!! Easy believism! Intellectual assent! The demons believe and tremble! Faith without works is dead! And of course you all have heard far more one-liners from these people, and if that doesn’t work, the Scripture bombing, with no intent to reason with His Word carefully. If that doesn’t work, then the insults or suggestions that you just want to ‘keep on sinning’. I just shake my head at the pomposity, the rudeness, and harshness, of so many of them who ‘prove’ their salvation by their works. Condescending to people who challenge their doctrine, instead of proving it by God’s Word, they use tactics that are reminiscent of the accuser of the brethren. They are too busy fruit inspecting to look in the mirror.
Thanks Sam for your encouraging comment.
I thought to include the #1 with your name to separate you from a die-hard Calvinist LSer who visits occasionally.
Your words mean a lot to those of us who love God’s Grace and desire to defend it. We will appreciate your prayers for us at ExP — as it is often frustrating to see so many who deny and oppose the “simplicity that is in Christ” just as it was in the Apostle Paul’s Day.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
this oasis of grace is growing one believer at a time thanks to expreacherman and others like this. it makes no sense to turn down the Gift of salvation . I would think its pride that would cause a man to think he has turned from all his sins.Fryingpan9 your pun fits perfectly as Jack said earlier if the shoe fits
Thank you for another great, clarifying post! I truly appreciate the oasis here.
When I was first saved (December 2012), I knew no other Bible-believing Christian, but was on the internet constantly trying to learn as much as I could (I was reading my KJV & testing everything against it). I’m truly grateful to all those YouTube commentators who boldly spake the truth when I first travelled across Paul Washer, John MacArthur, etc.
Their efforts (sometimes made several years ago), helped to drive me into understanding the subtleties of the false gospels out there. So, while I appreciate good advice about not visiting websites with false teachings (especially if the post won’t be easily seen after a few days), commenting on YouTube videos can easily be seen years.
Now when I decide to engage with someone on YT, I remind myself that while I may not persuade the one I’m dialoguing with, I may be helping someone else reading it.
May God bless you all 🙂
Sadly the truth is the biggest threat of all because the light reveals what many wish to keep hidden.
Fryingpan and Jim, I don’t know why people are so opposed to grace. I think about how often I go onto an LS site and try to antagonize them (never) versus how often they come over here to oppose the gospel of grace (frequently). For some reason, the small group of people that believe the gospel over here is a real threat to them.
We are routinely chastised by LSers for “doing harm to the true body of Christ” and the like. Why do LSers feel so threatened by us?
In the US alone, there are:
68 million Roman Catholics
16 million Southern Baptists
8 million United Methodists
6 million Mormons
And so on.
Given the above, one would think that our little Oasis of Grace at ExPreacherMan would not be much of a threat.
Preston, excellent additions!
Also, people hold because they really do think it is the gospel. They have been deceived to that level. Especially if they have gone of to seminary and it was drilled into them there.
Fryingpan, AMEN! I was elated when I realized that salvation was a gift and trusted in Christ.
Satan will use every device he can to keep people lost and to keep believers from growing in the knowledge of grace.
For some people it is pride. Others go for strength in numbers (the broad path), star power (the “big names”), church tradition, pastoral counseling, and more lies. Still others want to “hedge their bets.”
I’m asking more rhetorically than practically here, but what’s so great about LS that it’s defenders will go to such lengths to defend it? I hated every second I was ever under its lies and bondage in any way. It’s like some ask, “Why is this even being debated?”
It really must just come down to pride and ego–not wanting to admit that one’s bet on the wrong horse and now they just want to stay “safe” and within their comfort* zone.
*No pun intended . . . (Ray Comfort)
Reader, you said: “LS advocates teach that even though repentance from sin and placing one’s faith in Christ take place at the same time, it is faith that receives eternal life, not repentance.”
My comment: Really? What if repentance from sin (a work) doesn’t take place? Is the believer still saved? If repentance from sin and placing one’s faith in Christ take place at the same time, why do believers still sin?
No matter what LSers believe, the Bible does not teach that one must repent of sin in order to receive eternal life. Nor does the Bible teach that repenting of sin and placing one’s faith in Christ occur at the same time. In fact, the phrase “repent of your sins” never occurs in the Bible (KJV).
However, the Bible does teach believers to turn from sin and to abstain from fleshly lusts, but not to gain or keep their salvation, nor to prove they are saved. Following are some verses to prove this point:
 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
1 Peter 2:11: Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Reader, welcome and thanks for your comment.
You said: “Good works accompany faith…”
My comment: Christians SHOULD do good works, but it is by no means automatic. Hence, the repeated Biblical exhortations to believers to do good works. If good works automatically “accompany” faith, then those exhortations would have been a waste of ink and paper.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Hebrews 10:24: And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Titus 3:8: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
So, even if a believer never does any good works, he still has eternal life that will never be lost or forfeited.
Holly, you said, “Yes, heretic is definitely one of the accusers tactics…without really a clear account from His Word, of why you supposedly are one…”
I usually like to hear that if I am dealing with a Catholic or Reformed person. At least I know that I am clearly opposing what they believe and they get that there is a clear difference. Far too many want to act like differences are just semantic issues or matters of slightly different perspectives.
Good works accompany faith, but it does not make that faith result in eternal life contra your statement about Lordship Salvation.
LS advocates teach that even though repentance from sin and placing one’s faith in Christ take place at the same time, it is faith that receives eternal life, not repentance.
Can we add “wolf in sheep’s clothing” (been called that)
as well as the question,” how do you feel knowing you are sending people to hell?”
Thanks for dropping in again and commenting.
We do not recommend anyone go to Howse’s web site. Among his other doctrinal faults and associations, he seems to be a defender of “reformed” theology (Calvinism). Thus I have removed the link.
No doubt you feel overwhelmed there, trying to defend God’s Grace on enemy territory, but we recommend that everyone steer clear of any web site that promotes false teaching.
Thanks for contending for the Faith, the Gospel of God’s Grace. Stick around ExP where we appreciate folks like you who stand for the Truth.
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Yes, heretic is definitely one of the accusers tactics…without really a clear account from His Word, of why you supposedly are one…
L. Vandre, I’m with you, I do not understand, except they have not believed, that believing on Him gives us the free gift of eternal life at that time.
I truly wish people would approach His Word, wanting to understand the words as spoken vs. twisting them. As John mentioned, J.D. Greear did just that, to somehow support believers and ‘new converts’ losing salvation based on (I assume), them not continuing in church. (I wouldn’t continue in his church either.)
Or based on somehow his opposition believing that by praying or prayer, walking an aisle or getting baptized saves…It’s a shame they mishandle His Word, but it will judge us all in the end.
Jim Floyd… I KNEW I forgot the theological degree, books they’ve read, or ten cent theological words or terms to intimidate the hearers 🙂
Good addition, rolling eyes too, and chuckling a little, I’ve been there, and actually saw one person commend his education to you, as you stayed quiet about yours. Good on you!
Holly and Jim, thanks for the additions.
When all else fails, we are called heretics.
L. Vandre, welcome, and thanks for your comment.
You asked: “Why are people debating this?”
My comment: Because they do not believe in the doctrine of eternal security. Even though Jesus teaches this clearly, they do not believe Him. Instead, they lean on their own understanding.
Following is a quote from a prominent Southern Baptist pastor on this topic:
In his parable about the different types of soil, Jesus spoke of a group who heard his word and made an initial, encouraging response of belief, only to fade away over time. These are those, Jesus explained, who hear the gospel and respond positively to it—pray the prayer, walk the aisle, get baptized, or do whatever new converts in your church do. They remain in the church for a period of time. But they do not endure when the sun of persecution comes out and will not in the end be saved.
See full article linked below:
Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should BELIEVE and be SAVED.
I never realized how obvious it is from the text that only one of the soils was unsaved. Why are people debating this?
Great article. I could add that some will try to disqualify your arguments by insisting that one needs years and year of grad work to know these things. They’ll trump up the ability for “exegesis” and even try to exegete something sort of related then reason backwards from it thinking that it supports their point. If you then point out their false logic they come back with.. well I used exegesis! (Rolling eyes) 🙂
The most common I get is putting words in my mouth and the who are you compared to MacArthur type scoffing.
Dear Expreacherman Contributor;
Excellent! I have been on Brannon Howse’s […]website responding to blogs on a recent article that was posted:
[Link removed by Administrator]
Don’t know if you are interested in going there and commenting, but I would really appreciate the support. I feel outnumbered. All John MacArthur stuff. Ugh.
God Bless YOU! Cyndi
Jack, you know the saying, “misery loves company”? I believe that they elevate themselves, and denigrate others, and totally miss that they have put their own selves on the throne (as they like to say). They say we have not submitted to Him, but not so, they have not submitted to His righteousness and are still seeking to establish their own (Rom 10:3-4).
Somehow they may feel a little better about their own salvation, if they believe they are more superior morally, more righteously indignant, a better fruit inspector, commending themselves, comparing themselves to each other, measuring themselves by another, they are not wise as the Word says (2 Cor 10:12).
Excellent as always.
I will say to those LSers who come here to preach rather than learn:
“If the shoe fits, …….“
In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack
Great article johninnc:
I have some to add, boy could I add a lot to this list…
Flattery – Either with you or another person to get someone on their side.
Length of time as a believer – frequently saying something like, “I have been a believer for 55 years, are you telling me I don’t understand the gospel of grace by now?
Using their own words to make their point – the lack of properly applied verses in the argument, and the unwillingness to discuss them in context before they move on to a new point.
Proof texts – Again not willing to discuss context
Scripture bombing – They do a search, i.e. for elect or chosen, and copy and paste the entire row, again, not willing to go point by point.
Telling you to ‘examine yourself’ or ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling’ – this usually occurs after they cannot make their point or you ask them to not respond before answering the first question.
Tell you flat out that you do not have His Spirit
The most interesting one that I can think of all had to do with ‘pastors’ on FB. One was a self-proclaimed ‘teaching pastor’ with SBC, and after a long conversation with me about Rick Warren, told me he could no longer speak to a woman without her husband. (I know I have shared that one). The other flat out told me to “shut up, women are not allowed to speak”, (again after a long conversation, he suddenly got that idea:) He too was Calvinist/Lordship).
Thanks for the articles, sure brought up lots of memories. Many may hear at one point, or someone who is watching sees the exchange and they are the ones who are affected in a good way. I do agree there comes a time, where they a distraction, and stealing your time, and are not there to hear your words.
Reblogged this on Redeemingmoments and commented:
Understanding Lordship salvation teaching is a false gospel.
A splendid and much needed post. Thank you, johninnc.