Is Lordship Salvation a False Gospel of Works? No Question!

By johninnc

Romans 3:26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

I happened back across a website last night called Got Questions? I had seen it before, and knew it to be unreliable, with a definitive Lordship “salvation” (LS) bent. However, I was startled by the starkness of its false messages, and attempts to reconcile LS (which is a man-centered false gospel of works) with the gospel of grace.

Following are some excerpts, beginning first with their “statement of faith”:

Just as salvation cannot be earned by good works, neither does it need good works to be maintained or sustained. Good works and changed lives are the inevitable results of salvation.

 My comment: This is a harbinger of the false messages and internal contradictions that can be found throughout their website.

If good words and changed lives are the inevitable results of salvation, then no one would have assurance of salvation until the good works manifested themselves in sufficient quantity and nature to meet the arbitrary, differential, and fickle standards of the person who is making the determination of either himself or others.

The Bible makes no such claim. In fact, the Bible says that assurance of eternal life comes from God’s promises alone.

John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Under What is free grace? What is Free Grace Theology?, the Got Questions? website has some convoluted comparison of “Free Grace,” and “Lordship Salvation.” In the end, they make the startling conclusion that both “Free Grace” and LS are “within the limits of orthodoxy.” Following are excerpts (the bold emphases are mine):

Free Grace theologians consider their position more biblical than Lordship Salvation, which they consider to be a works-based theology. According to Free Grace theologians, Lordship Salvation holds that saving faith includes inherently the “act” of accomplishing radical internal change leading to good works.

This leads to the Free Grace emphasis on assurance of salvation, again based on the basic promises in John’s Gospel, that belief is all that is necessary for salvation. To the Free Grace theologian, this is a simple, cut-and-dried issue—if you believe, you are saved. For the Lordship Salvation camp, assurance of salvation comes through the observation of change in the professing believer, i.e., that he is accomplishing good works. Each camp views the other as possibly leading to heresy.

 Although Free Grace Theology and Lordship Salvation are terms that have developed only recently, they represent concerns that have been around since the beginning of the church. At the end of the day, there is no question about the basic salvation of those who hold either view. Both views are within the limits of orthodoxy.

My comment: First, at Expreacherman,  we do not teach that radical internal changes are an “act” that leads to good works. We simply teach what the Bible teaches – that good works, not letting sin reign in one’s life, not being conformed to the world, and walking in the Spirit are not automatic in the lives of believers. Following are some scriptures that prove it:

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.

Romans 6:12: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Second, the errant Got Questions? website has admitted that LS forces its sad adherents to search their performance for assurance of eternal life. This is no basis for assurance.

Third, there IS a question about the salvation of those who hold the LS view.

With that in mind, we will turn to the article at Got Questions? entitled What is Lordship Salvation? See excerpts below:

Lordship salvation is not a salvation-by-works doctrine. Advocates of lordship salvation are careful to say that salvation is by grace alone, that believers are saved before their faith ever produces any good works, and that Christians can and do sin. However, true salvation will inevitably lead to a changed life. The saved will be dedicated to their Savior…

Faith itself is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:1-5,8), and real faith endures forever (Philippians 1:6)…

Faith must involve a personal commitment to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:15). It is more than being convinced of the truth of the gospel; it is a forsaking of this world and a following of the Master…

My comment: Contrary to the claims of Got Questions?, Lordship “salvation” IS a salvation-by-works doctrine. Their claims are both non-biblical, and internally inconsistent. Faith itself is NOT a gift of God, faith need not involve a commitment to Christ in order to result in eternal life, and faith is NOT more than being convinced of the truth of the gospel. None of the biblical references that they have provided, nor any other passages from the Bible, support their erroneous claims.

The Got Questions? site is managed by a group that is either ignorant of grace or enemies of grace. Either way, the site, and those involved with it, should be marked and avoided.

So, is Lordship “salvation” a false gospel of works? Despite what the false teachers from Got Questions? have to say, the Biblical answer is ABSOLUTELY!

If you would like the truth regarding how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL.

33 responses to “Is Lordship Salvation a False Gospel of Works? No Question!

  1. Luke, I’ve prayed for the people with whom you shared the gospel.

  2. Hi all .Had some wonderful conversations with many unbelievers at work today . The message of free grace Is so much different to the LS message . I knew grace was making sense to some as they effectively were asking “what then shall we say shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? ” “are you saying even when a Christian sins it’s forgiven because of Jesus?” No one who ever preached the false gospel of got questions are would ever be asked questions like that . This surely shows they are out of sync with the gospel message. Please pray for the people I spoke to ,some defiantly seemed effected and could see that this indeed was good news : )

  3. I am also thankful for Holly’s comment. I hated to post my comments but I had to think seriously about recommending an entire series for those recovering from false doctrine. If it wasn’t helping me, could it help my neighbor? Exposure to persecution gospels in the past has made me hypersensitive. I have been helped by both Tom and Ralph, and being negative is far from me.

    When Jesus says that the world will hate us, He is not saying anything along the lines of “a Christian will” but simply being realistic, much like we ourselves would be if we said that life is not a bowl of cherries. He cannot contradict Himself and surely would not teach, “Judge not or ye shall be judged” (as in Matthew 7:1), and then encourage us to judge each other over a fruit.

  4. Holly, thank you for a wise and thoughtful comment.

  5. One thing I know is I’m constantly cleaning up my past stuff, as we quote people not knowing their full doctrine. My parents went to J. Vernon McGee’s church and did the Bible studies in our home when I was a little girl. I remember sneaking out to the hallway to listen to his drawl, and remember about one thing, and that is ‘this is where the rubber meets the road’ (something to that effect). The preacher before I ‘think’ was Talbot when my dad was a little boy. The issue is a lot of these men learned from other men’s commentaries without proving all things by the Word. We all need to do that, and one thing I know about Tom is that he is open always to hearing and is not quoting people now if he can help it. I am also trying to be careful and also have to spend some time to clean up my recommended list, although we all have the responsibility to be Bereans, to test the spirits, to prove all things.

    We also need to be cautious in bringing accusations against elders, and realize sometimes someone else see’s things from a different way than we view it. For example the first thing I thought with ‘you can’t be a Christian and be popular’ is that we’ll always be hated (by the enemy) whether it seems that way in public or not. Carnal believers of course can be popular. But Luke 6:26 came to mind as well as others, but I see what Jason is saying, so he saw it another way, and really, he is correct there.

    A believer can be popular. Who knows how these men mean things when they say them and since we’re human, we’re apt to make mistakes anytime we start using our own statements (or other’s words) vs. teaching His Word. I’ve done it, and about the time I think I’m being careful, I do it again, but that’s what the body is for to hold each other accountable and help each other be careful in all these things.

  6. For what it’s worth Jason, I found this sermon by Yankee very encouraging recently: The Necessary Blood of Christ We can all use some encouragement in these trying times I’d say.

  7. Indeed. I listened to that series on John partly to recover from listening last week to the cult that I brought up on this thread. What I am hearing in these parts is not helping.

  8. Note: Please remember to consider all interpretations of scripture in light of consistency with the clear biblical tenets of grace, eternal security, and assurance based solely on God’s promises – no matter who the source is.

    See number 4 under my previous comment in this thread.

  9. Part 46 pos 15:55 is shocking, especially coming from a careful preacher. It is a thought I myself had during a careless moment and later regretted.

  10. A more general annoyance is that the later parts of the series are sounding too much like the epistles. How is John 12-14 part of that which was written that we may know we have eternal life? I am unenlightened. Part 45 even sounds like the Sermon on the Mount!

  11. Jason, being a believer who waffles on grace also improves one’s appeal to the religious community.

  12. It is difficult to be popular without being carnal, but being popular and a carnal believer is easy.

  13. Jason, Tom is usually careful with references, but that one isn’t good, nor accurate.

    I’m not a big fan of McGee and consider him to have been inconsistent on grace, at best, and more likely LS.

    It is difficult to be out as a grace believer and still be poplular, particularly with the churchianity set. But, it is not impossible to be a believer and be popular.

  14. I am listening to Tom’s 58 part series on John. The early parts were helpful. But starting in part 45, I’m feeling condemnation. Too many McGee quotes, some of which are plain awful. Example: “it is impossible to believe and be popular”. Really? If I have learned anything here, I have learned that it is possible to be a believer and do or be pretty much anything, not that one should.

  15. Jason, thanks for your encouraging words for Lise!

  16. A year ago, I was where Lise is now. Spending time with Biblical teaching has helped. It amased me how some Bible passages read differently, later.

  17. lise, I have a few suggestions.

    1. Pray for God to guide you where you are confused.
    2. Remember that God neither lies, nor contradicts himself. Since the Bible is the word of God, there are no lies or contradictions.
    3. Use clear passages to explain major tenets of the faith (grace, eternal security, assurance), rather than using less clear passages.
    4. As you read passages in scripture, and consider what they might mean, think about ALL THREE of the following:
    – Is it consistent with eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone?
    – Is it consistent with eternal security?
    – Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?

    If an interpretations meets ALL THREE of these criteria, it COULD be correct. If it does not meet ALL THREE, it CANNOT be correct. Realize that any previous LS interpretation that you may have heard is not true.

    5. Read “THE GOSPEL” booklet by Ron Shea once a day for a whole month. Then, read the book of Galatians through multiple times.
    6. Listen to some sermons on “Sermon Audio” from a reliable pastor, such as Tom Cucuzza. Start with his verse-by-verse series on the book of John.
    7. Ask questions here, but remember not to rely on what people tell you, unless it lines up with scripture and clearly meets the criteria of grace, eternal security, and assurance.
    8.You may not understand a verse or passage completely, and that’s OK. More understanding will come with time, as you are better grounded.

  18. I’ve got a question.
    Is there a Bible teacher anywhere who can lead me through scriptures and help me to find hope when all I see when I look is condemnation?
    I don’t find encouragement in the Bible. Where is the good news?
    I have over 30 years of LS teaching that’s been drilled into me. I feel like I need every passage to be re-taught.
    I can believe that God loves me and all is forgiven– past, present, and future, and that all I have to do is trust him.
    But then I open my Bible and I’m instantly deflated.
    Can anyone else relate to this?

  19. Jon, no. Neither good works nor spiritual growth are inevitable in the life of a Christian.

  20. Is there a difference between someone suggesting works are inevitable vs spiritual growth is inevitable for a believer?

  21. Ha, ha. Good one, johninnc. Very true. 🙂 The false gospel message is ages older for sure.

  22. Jason, like Got Questions, all of the others you mentioned are bad news.

  23. Got Questions articles were items I used to stumble upon a lot in my searches. Just months before I came here, they were one of the winds of doctrine that were blowing me, along with Anderson, JesusIsSavior, and Zeller.

  24. Jason, Satan is very subtle. He likes to have people dwell on false teachings to either keep people lost or to trip up believers.

  25. Me too. The sublety of these cults is not that they teach LS in its naked deformity, but that they challenge our fundamental assumptions about what God really said. Did God really say, leave your life and follow me? Did he really say that to Peter the fisherman? Is Peter the model for every believer? It is very disarming. They are wise as serpents and not harmless as doves.

  26. Fryingpan, it is always good to hear from you!

    Yeah, their parody of “Got Milk” is really old. Not as old as their works-for-salvation doctrine, but really old.

  27. Fantastic article, johninnc! You once again knock it out of the park. Not only is “Got Questions” errant, but THEY’RE LS through and through!

    Ugh. Wow. Wowie. Wow. (Sorry, I can’t stop.)

    Praise be to God that the nearly 5 years since discovering this blog have given me the ability to not be taken in by these folks!

    Disgusted . . .

    I’d actually mark and avoid them just for using the Got Milk? parody. But that’s my personal bias. 🙂 It was cute 25 years ago but it’s been done approximate 17 quadrillion times now. Show some initiative and find some original ideas, guys.

  28. Jason, if the guys you referenced believe they need to do these things to have eternal life, then they are not following Jesus.

    I try to stay away from cults.

  29. Brady, the huge problem with the view that “faith” is the gift of God is that it is used to support the Calvinist tenet of unconditional election.

    The Bible says that eternal life, not faith,is the gift of God (Romans 6:23). One receives the Spirit upon believing in Jesus as Savior (Galatians 3:2).

    And yes, Christians are instructed to walk in the Spirit, and to not grieve the Spirit.

    Hebrews 12:2 refers to Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith, but that does not mean that God chooses who will believe in Jesus as Savior.

  30. Is Lordship Salvation a teaching of Jesus? The cult, Jesus Christians, sincerely thinks so. And they think they are the only followers of Jesus. No other group takes the teachings of Jesus as literally as they do: quit your job, sell all your possessions, give all your money to the poor, hate your family, live like the sparrows, do not keep a spare kidney, and if your right hand causes you to worship mammon during the great tribulation, then cut it off literally. Talk about radical. I was unfortunate to stumble upon one of their youtube channels, A Voice in the Desert. They teach that America will be nuked right before the tribulation, with no rapture.

    It is impossible to follow their teachings without living like bums, and when I dig deeper, that is exactly what they do. They teach dogmatically that having a job and getting paid is worshiping mammon. They also engage in illegal activities, kidnapping, and self-flagellation. Such a lifestyle would cause me to worry about food, and they tell me it won’t? They get thrills from offending others. John 5:24 is a teaching of Jesus, and they do not follow it.

  31. Thank you for this excellent response to Got Questions. I also noticed the completely contradictory language when I came across their definitions pertaining to grace and Lordship Theology several months ago. Biblical grace is completely absent from their attempt to answer these questions. However, I don’t think that receiving the gift of faith as a problem for Free Grace proponents anymore than receiving the Holy Spirit. But we should walk in the spirit so that we don’t grieve the Holy Spirit. And doesn’t the Bible say that God is the author and perfector of our faith?

  32. Chas, agree. And, as you can see from the article, their feigned belief in grace soon gives way to good old fashioned front-door bilateral contract “salvation.”

  33. Sometimes, I find it frightening how subtle the LS “gospel” can be. It is so seductive to substitute “works are inevitable” for “works are necessary” and think one is still believing the gospel of grace.

    Whether it’s “necessary” works or “inevitable” works, the question is the same: “How much works?” When that unanswerable question is raised, the problem with either view is shown to be the same, and both views are shown to be false.

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