Lordship Salvation and the Four Corners Offense

By johninnc

Galatians 2:21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

According to Wikipedia: The four corners offense, technically four corner stall, is an offensive strategy for stalling in basketball. Four players stand in the corners of the offensive half-court while the fifth dribbles the ball in the middle. Most of the time the point guard stays in the middle, but the middle player would periodically switch, temporarily, with one of the players. It was a strategy that was used in college basketball before the shot clock was instituted. 

In basketball, the four corners offense was used to frustrate opponents and run out the clock. In the world of professing Christendom (also known as churchianity), there are four common perversions of grace that serve to frustrate grace and impede the spread of the gospel.

Each of the perversions of grace tries to add works- either the promise of works, the performance of works, or the evidence of works – into the means by which someone may receive eternal life, or to prove someone has received eternal life.

The Bible is expressly clear that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ without works.

Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

(Please note: the following are based on The Grace Chart, by Ron Shea of Clear Gospel)

The four common perversions of grace are:

1. Basic salvation by works (examples include water baptism or public confession of Christ as requirements for receiving eternal life).

2. Denial of eternal security (Arminianism, which holds that good works or avoidance of sin must be maintained in order to stay saved).

3. Bilateral Contract Salvation (Lordship “salvation,” which conditions receipt of eternal life on making a contract with God to  repent of sins, make Christ Lord of your life, etc.)

4. The Perseverance of the Saints (Backdoor Lordship “salvation”, which maintains that one can know he – or someone else – is saved only if his life – or their lives- begin to change for the better).

Each of these perversions of grace has the potential to render believers powerless for Christian growth and ineffective in spreading the gospel. In addition, each of the perversions can keep lost people from understanding the gospel. And, if someone doesn’t understand the gospel, they won’t believe the gospel.

Matthew 13:19: When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which receiveth seed by the way side.

While the four corners offense went away with the introduction of the shot clock in college basketball, Satan is still trying to run out the clock on the spread of the gospel. The four perversions of grace are one of his favorite strategies, and he is getting lots of help from professing Christians and their organizations.

There is a good chart from Clear Gospel that describes the four perversions of grace in more detail. Please click here: Grace Chart

If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel

 

 

 

 

31 responses to “Lordship Salvation and the Four Corners Offense

  1. Amen, brother– great article.

  2. Sure is so true John. Good analogy, but as always, tragic. These people do have them running in all directions, frustrated, never able to really grasp the ball. It is maddening to see with those who teach it, and those who don’t check what they are saying against the Scriptures, although oftentimes they think they do as they take certain proof texts (generally out of context) and feel they have made their case. All you can do is answer with the Word, pray that they might have a desire for His Word if they know Him and if they do not, that they heard the gospel we presented.

  3. John,
    The Grace Chart was very helpful. Holly, what frustrates me are the preacher/teachers who are 90% free grace and 10% works. In other words they are not consistent. (repent of sins or you must have a changed life are the parts they seem to get hung up on) I was talking to a local free grace pastor friend of mine and he says that he sees an issue with pastors who don’t want to be seen as too critical or as being divisive. I asked what Paul would say to a Chan or Washer and he basically said that Paul already has answered the question in Galatians.

  4. Fitting title. It’s an offense, all right.

  5. fryingpan, it’s good to hear from you. Yes, it is an offense.

  6. Russell, the ones that get hung up on repent of sins or a changed life as proof of being born again, just don’t have the gospel right. Whether they ever did, who knows? The thing that really bothers me right along with you is the compromisers who give these people a pass, call them ‘brother’, quote them or host them at their church. I just would rather be really careful, I’ve made my own mistakes even citing a source I didn’t prove first, so I try not to quote too many if I can help it. People want referrals and it’s a lot of work to try to be sure the place/person you refer to is sound (as much as you can possibly know).

  7. Fryingpan9… hate to laugh, but it most certainly is an offense against the Lord and His Word. It’s good to see you again!

  8. My problem (s) is that my walk is so bad. I know salvation is a gift, but I have a hard time getting past the idea that how I live reflects whether or not I truly believed. I am a depressed person, bad. And I often feel angry at God, which makes me feel more guilty and doubtful. Sometimes I just think I’m quitting God, but I always come back to Him and ask forgiveness. Also, I wonder if my faith itself is really sincere. I just believe what it says in John, “It is finished.” And I know that my sins are paid for because Jesus rose from the dead.

  9. Rob, Satan loves to have us look at ourselves for evidence of eternal life. Just know that God accepts believers on the basis of Christ’s righteousness.

    Satan loves to confuse and taunt believers. We need to put on the full armor of God to withstand Satan’s wiles.

    If you haven’t already done
    so, please consider reading “The Gospel” booklet – particularly pages 20 and 24 – linked below:

    http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

  10. Hi Rob,

    +1 to what johninnc said.

    One of Satan’s nastiest tactics is to convince us that “everyone else is so much holier than we are.” Believe me, PLENTY of true believers (believers who have heard and accepted the truth, that is) have (and often, if not intermittently) fall back into ALL the things you confess to struggling with, and more and worse. Way worse even.

    The whole “sincere in our belief” thing was a pet confusing doctrine of Dave Hunt, who I don’t wish to beat up on, but it is what it is. That’s just another false belief: “Well, if someone professes Christ and then continues in sin, I would question their sincerity at the time they believed.”

    Think about how false that premise is in light of how CLEAR the Bible is in terms of what we must do to be saved (hear, understand and believe the gospel).

    And consider this: Look at how Jesus interacted with most of the religious leaders during his ministry. Was he primarily focused on the level of sin in their lives? Not really, though obviously they were guilty of the sin of rejecting him as their messiah. Jesus mainly addressed their UNBELIEF. They didn’t believe in him, therefore they didn’t believe God, His word, the prophets, etc.

    It’s not your walk that defines your eternal destiny in terms of being saved. It’s your BELIEF that determines that.

  11. Welcome Rob
    I hope you would check out the The Gospel on this website and study the scriptures on your own as the Bereans did.
    What you stated there just about sums up my experience of what I have been through even after 8 years as a member of a IFCA church. My wife and I were there about every time the doors were open. I would feel better because I attended church but following morning would wake up angry and depressed not knowing why. I was trying to earn God’s Favor in all my doing while God’s favor was already done and there in our identity in Christ Jesus. It was the doctrine with my lack of study on my own causing my anger and depression.
    Yes I still can get angry but most times I am able to find a cause.
    There are physical elements that can cause anger and depression the first is are you getting enough Sleep ? If you are sleeping do you feel like you have rested ? a check up at doctor maybe in order.

    The Christian Life does work, The Faith rest Life and believer people can live a charmed Life.

    Below are 3 messages that I have found that have helped me and continue to help me in My Walk With Christ the same as being Filled with the Spirit. The filling of The Spirit is Key.. We need to hear the Word of God Preached soundly and clearly along with personal study. In my area we are surrounded by churches and megachurches yet there are none clearly preaching the Clear Gospel of Grace along with the growth doctrines of the 3 tenses of salvation.
    Justification, Sanctification, Glorification.
    The gentleman preaching in below links is at times loud and preaches to deliver Doctrine We need to endure sound doctrine.

    Pastor Leonard Radtke
    1 John 2:1-9 Date: 11/30/1977
    http://www.gracebiblestudies.org/Message.aspx?MessageID=219

    Living the Christian Life Date: 1/17/1979
    http://www.gracebiblestudies.org/Message.aspx?MessageID=98

    Why Christians Can’t Live for Christ Date: 8/13/1981
    http://www.gracebiblestudies.org/Message.aspx?MessageID=113

  12. Hi all
    To Curtis, thanks for the links. And yes, I have sleep trouble due to mild apnea. Treatment is tricky.

    There are so many mixed messages out there, and hearing some of them all my life has taken a toll. I have an OCD type mind, so you can imagine what that might be like in regard to assurance of salvation. One thing I do recognize is that in the NT, Paul several times says that its the assurance of salvation that leads to good works, not the other way around. The lordship advocate says “look to your works for assurance;” while Paul says, “you are saved; let that motivate you to do good works.” At least that’s how I read it. What do you all think of that?

  13. Rob, we walk in the Spirit by focusing on who we are in Christ. When we walk in the Spirit, we manifest fruit of the Spirit.

    You are absolutely right that looking to our works for assurance is fruitless.

    The Bible tells us to be careful to maintain good works, so we all need to remember to do that and to encourage one another.

  14. Rob,

    I to suffer with OCD. I used to ask Jesus into my heart over and over and over again, trying to get the words just right. When I would fall into sin I would think that I was not saved. I reasoned that I must not have been sincere enough so I would repeat the process. A few years ago, about 5, the Lord brought an older man into my life who introduced me to the free grace gospel. I was so trapped in a works mind set that when I first heard the phrase, “Free Grace” it sounded wrong. I started reading free grace material, comparing it to scripture, and came to the belief that salvation is really free and obtained simply be believing or trusting Jesus Christ for it. Did I get instant peace? Well as I said I suffer from OCD as well so you know the answer to that.

    I would think that the offer of salvation and forgiveness applied to everyone but me. I would think – do I really believe in Jesus or do I just think I believe in Jesus. As a fellow sufferer of OCD you will know exactly what I mean. OCD mostly affects my confession of sin. Did I say it right or did I miss a sin etc. OCD is insidious and can rob us of our joy.

    I started to ask God to strengthen my faith and a strange thing happened – He did! He started to teach me things like this: I have never deserved or will never will deserve His love for me. I have never and will never deserve His forgiveness of my sins. I have never and will never deserve His grace towards me.

    One time the Lord spoke to me in my spirt and told me that by refusing to accept His love and forgiveness I was calling Him and His Word a liar.

    He has continued to teach me and He is so gentle with us. My advice to you is this: Pray for increased faith, pray that He will reveal Himself to you. Claim the promises of His Word. You may not feel loved or forgiven but claim the truth that God is not like us – HE DOES NOT LIE! He can be trusted and His Word is true regardless of how we may feel at the time.

    One other suggestion. I take medication that helps with my OCD. Our brains are organs, like our hearts, and sometimes they just need some help. This may not be for you but its something to consider and pray about. Also counseling with an OCD expert can be of some help.

    Mostly come to Jesus with your fears. Remember He is gentle and you are His sheep, not by being good, but by simple faith in Him.

    One more thing, Rob. I sin – a lot sometimes. Ugly sins. Evil sins. My faith waivers and is weak. I struggle. Rob, every person who is on this site does as well. If they say they don’t there either liars or are deceived. I come back to the cross, I come back to Gods grace and I go on. Its harder with OCD but that is the cross you and I have to bear. Remember what Paul said, three times He asked God to take away his thorn. Maybe it was OCD, who knows. God said no and that his grace was sufficient. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. I will commit to pray for you daily, Rob. God bless.

  15. Guys, my mom passed away last Monday (13th). She was just a week short of 85 and had a good life. She was a strong believer and is with the Lord and my Dad. I was able to be there before her passing and prayed with her and read her scripture. It was a special time. Her service is this Saturday (25th) and the Free Grace Gospel will be given. Please pray that hearts will be prepared to hear and believe and that people will be saved. Thanks.

    PS Isn’t it odd that I grew up in a home where the free grace gospel was believed by both of my parents and presented and in a church where it was presented but somehow fell into error as I grew older. Man, the enemy of our souls is a pain.

  16. Russell, thank you for letting us know about your mother.

    I have prayed for you to be comforted, and for the people attending the funeral.

    You may have seen this article a couple of years ago, but if not, please find it linked below:

    https://expreacherman.com/2015/03/05/something-greater-than-a-mothers-love/

  17. Beautiful words, Russell.

    Thanks for sharing the story about your family and mom’s recent passing. I know it’s a very hard time even knowing she’s in heaven.

    I also struggle with OCD tendencies as well as fear. I also struggle with worry a lot more than I sometimes would like to admit. I sometimes joke, “You should have seen what I was like before I believed.” I also tend to over think many things and paralyze myself through procrastination and a fear of failure and a fear of being criticized. I’m 50 and have never been successful in any career I’ve tried to work in. I have skills and abilities and know that anything is possible with God but it gets very trying at times.

    So no, you’re not alone in your struggle . . .

  18. I am sure we have all been stuck in the middle of the 4 corners with a conversation starting with something like an Arminian telling a Calvinist how false Calvinism is and then slowly the Calvinist and the Arminian begin to agree more and more with each other by opposing the grace view we present. And then at the end the Arminian and the Calvinist are kindred spirits opposing grace while all the time professing to teach grace (just not that free grace stuff).

    Those conversations are becoming more burdensome to me daily. Oh well you get some new clichés out of them like this new one to me— “Grace is indeed the only saving factor, I’m not saying works saves you. So easily we are led astray and especially in the modern day the churches drown it’s congregation in grace to a point that God is no longer a just God but a pushover”. “Hear, hear” agrees the Calvinist who professes to preach God’s sovereignty in all things.

    “Work to stay saved” and “work or you never were saved” are not polar opposites. They are identical twins.

    Sorry to hear about your loss Russell but good to know that you know it was your mother’s gain. My mother passed in 2015 and the Gospel was preached at her funeral. A Calvinist complained to my brother about the inclusion of John 3:16 cuz we all know Jesus did not die for everyone’s sins—just the elect.

  19. Chalk up another OCD sufferer here. (Or maybe I’m just “detail oriented”. That sure sounds better on a resume.) Along with so much that’s been said here already, I can identify so well with the “pray it again” approach to assurance. It’s especially hard to resist when you attend a church where “altar calls” are a regular thing.

    But as far as medication is concerned, let me offer a word of caution. I was on Prozac for some 16 years, on the advice of my doctor. It seemed to help, but after 15 years the dosage I was taking began to be ineffective. The dosage was doubled, which seemed to return me to “normal”, but I began to experience certain side effects. I asked the doctor who was monitoring my reaction to the drug if there was any other drug I could switch to that didn’t cause the problems. There wasn’t. “All Secondary Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors [SSRIs] work the same way,” he told me, “so you’d have the same problems with them.” So whether it was Prozac, Zoloft or whatever, I’d have the same issues. I began to do more research on SSRIs and found out some interesting things. One of them was that Prozac tends to become ineffective when taken for extended periods. That explained my need for an increased dose. Trouble was, the increased dose would also become ineffective eventually, and would need to be increased again. That would put me at the maximum dosage, which would in turn become ineffective also! Of course, the side effects would only increase.

    Another thing: I came across articles which gave evidence that in some trials, Prozac was not statistically more effective than a placebo. That claim rang true because my wife was sure that the Prozac began working the day I began taking it. SSRIs are not supposed to show any effect for at least 2 weeks, maybe 6 weeks. Otoh, “placebo effect” certainly can be immediate. I had a problem, I took the pill for it. Why shouldn’t I feel better?

    Still another thing: One of the things for which Prozac is prescribed is the treatment of anxiety. Know what one of Prozac’s side effects is? Anxiety! So how was I supposed to know if the anxiety I felt was from the OCD or the Prozac? I didn’t.

    I decided that If I was to be anxious all the time, It might as well be without the side effects, not to mention the expensive prescriptions and obligatory doctor visits. It also seemed good to stop taking the stuff while I was on a medium dose instead of a maximum dose. “Diving from the middle board instead of the high-dive” as it were.

    I guess what I’m saying is: Be very very VERY careful about psychotropic drugs. They can help sometimes (temporarily), but they can also cause more problems than they solve. In my own experience the latter is true, so I got off them.

    It hasn’t been easy. I still have to battle the anxiety, irritability, impulsive behavior and depression from time to time. Six years after quitting, it is getting better gradually. In the meantime, there are also physical exercise and nutritional issues to explore. But the essential, over-arching remedy is knowing that my eternal destiny is settled by Jesus’ work, that eternal life is mine through what He did. I don’t need the drugs. If an “attack” comes on, I know now that it’s the brain chemistry, it will blow over.

    If I had to do what LS people think, I’d never know where I was going. The constant geniune anxiety about my salvation would make the OCD unbearable, and vice-versa. As it is, there’s nothing I can do but rest in the Lord. Which is what He intended.

  20. katmazdobelieve

    Chas,
    Minus the meds you describe me.
    LS does create a cycle of insanity that is difficult to break. I am free from it because I am assured of my Salvation by Christ’s once and for all sacrifice. I rest in him and in his work. I have many issues, many sins, but I am saved.
    Saved by Grace.
    Kate

  21. You are not alone Kate. We all have many sins. But we have that assurance and peace of a totally secure salvation in Christ. And rather than getting beat up like in the past with LS and works, we have the edge of being able to discern LS when we hear it. And places like here at Exp have given us a shield of discernment so we don’t have to get beat up by LS.

  22. Chas, I was really touched by your story, thank you for sharing it and the warning regarding going on anti-depressant drugs for depression and anxiety. It will be easy to get on those drugs but very difficult to get off later after becoming addicted to them.
    I have been going to various ‘Christian’ sites to see what they say about ‘Salvation’.
    Here is the answer to the question: ‘I don’t always feel saved, how can I be sure that I am saved?’ on Rapture Ready website’s FAQs under ‘Salvation’:
    “The best and most sure way to know that you are saved is the simple phrase: Because the Bible says so! If you have come to the Lord in repentance of your sin and asked Him to be Lord of your life, then you are saved. 1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

  23. Alice, what a sad, but typical, false gospel they are promoting.

  24. I get very frustrated researching Lordship Salvation. What arrogant Lordship advocates can’t seem to grasp is that if their position is correct – then NO ONE gets into heaven. NO ONE qualifies. Their PERCENTAGE of Works will never fill the gap. Not even the Lordship superstars. Why because the very best of works is still an infinity short of the level demanded from God and only a couple miles north of the worst christian. Works, whether it 1% or 99% is not and can not be the answer, or even part of the answer.

    Many call “Christ Alone Salvation” greasy grace and a whole bunch of other names. Many many religions and factions of “Christianity” have the works component, and think they are on the narrow way.

    Man’s arrogance/pride deceives him into thinking that he can contribute to Grace. It seems that totally Trusting God for Salvation is nearly impossible for mankind. Works advocates are on the broad works path and are chasing the wind. The true NARROW way of “Christ Alone” is obvious to me, and 100% supported by Scripture. And truly – “few there be that find it.”

    Works are very important, are not to be demeaned, and every Christian should (with Gods direction) should work their tails off. But this relates to rewards for Christians, and to express thanks to God for the incredible free gift of Salvation by pure Grace – Not a component of Salvation.

  25. Joel, agree that the works “salvationists” are deceived. It is incumbent upon those of us who know the gospel to proclaim and defend it.

  26. It frustrates me to no end as well, Joel. Sometimes when I read the posts and comments here (people usually just pointing out error) I want to scream that I don’t konw how much more I can take.

  27. Joel and Fryingpan. It is tiring and frustrating. We can’t weary in well doing. They are either deceived and lost, or deceived believers who are ineffective at growing in Him, and bringing others to Christ. Worse yet? They deceive others. We are not responsible for the outcome, so we can rest in the fact that we are laboring in the harvest and that’s what we’re called to do. We pray for all men, speak the truth in love, and just continue to do what we do to cut off the opportunity of those who pretend to be ministers of righteousness (2 Cor 11:12-15 loosely abbreviated and
    PP).

  28. Thank you for the reminder, Holly! (What, me react in the flesh?)

  29. Well Said Chas
    unfortunately I know all to well what you have been through and others who found us gathered here.
    I was on medications cocktail that started innocently at family Doctor that took me 3 years to slowly withdraw and recover for all the debilitating side effects. Everyone is different and react differently some souls it changes them for the better others it destroys .It is a very sensitive subject and should be considered case by case. I have taken issue with pastors who openly condemn medications from pulpit being a survivor myself they are responsible for that and is irresponsible to openly publically condemn doctor prescribed medications.
    but nothing has brought more detriment and vexations to my soul and family than weak and false doctrine. I say weak because sometimes it is what is left unsaid (sin of omission) that can cause much harm to spiritual growth and well being. Ultimately I can not blame anyone but myself for not studying the scriptures on my own while yet being surrounded in my area with “churches” and being satisfied with “going to church”.
    I can also say nothing has brought more emotional healing to me than Biblical sound doctrine with a Clear Simple Gospel of Grace Salvation message.
    This webiste right here at Expreacherman (and others on blog roll) if you found this site I already know from experience how rare and special a place this is here at expreacherman an “Oasis of Grace”.

    There was and Is only one Person who ever walked the earth who was emotionally and psychologically perfect that was and Is Christ Jesus the Lord who now sits (a physical Person with a Body) at the Right Hand of GOD the Father making intercession for us in spite of ourselves.
    As believer Souls In Christ Jesus who received the Free Gift of Eternal Life by Simply Believing in/on His substitutionary atonement for us . We have a perfect position in Christ Jesus of favor before the throne of Grace that can not change No Matter What. and Yes again No Matter what condition we maybe awakened to or find ourselves in but we still can not choose the consequences BUT God will be with us not because of who we are but because of Who God is. It is His perseverance.
    It is from That perfect position in Christ Jesus we grow from without self effort or self merit it is all the Work of Holy Spirit working in us by Non Meritorious Faith by Grace. The only response to Grace is Faith . God Never asked us to to anything but to stay in fellowship . How ? be reading and delighting ourselves in His Word and Our Salvation in Christ Jesus.
    in the light of Our salvation our perfect position in Christ Jesus will we present ourselves and Yield to Holy Spirit let Him dictate policy to us ?

    sadly in the world of churchanity they all go from romans 1-3 and jump over to romans 12 to surrender ourselves when the means are not given and preach on the results of a “changed life” as proof of salvation leaving a soul helpless to battle and deal with all the anxieties and depressions wondering if we measure up. The ultimate self imposed Mind control tactic.

    Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

  30. FryingPan, I wonder sometimes if your name is a flesh related one (in my book) 🙂 I can pick up the frying pan from time to time. It is difficult to know at times as I get going in answering false teachers and want to be sure I am answering in gentleness while at the same time I might want to lop ears in anger of them misleading others to their very death…

  31. Curtis, I may not always respond, but I always appreciate your sincere comments. Lt is important for believers to remember two things are needed (Luke 10:38-42), to abide in Christ and His Word. From there, much will be accomplished through His might.

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