Thursday, April 12, 2012

Romans 10:9-10 and Lordship Salvation

Some people base Lordship Salvation on Romans 10:9 which says, "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved".

I'll say a few things and then get into explaining why this verse doesn't validate Lordship Salvation. If a person says that you must make Jesus Lord of your life before you can be saved he is placing an additional condition on salvation besides simple faith in Christ. He is adding a work onto salvation in addition to faith alone in Christ alone. He is also undermining the sufficiency of Christ's death, by putting something back on me to do for salvation.

By using Romans 10:9 to refer to Lordship Salvation, the verse is being taken out of context. Romans chapter 10 is a passage especially targeted at Jews (chapters 9-11 are about Israel) who would make the claim to "believe in the Lord" (or Yahweh, the Old Testament name for God). But while these Jews claimed to believe in the Lord, at the same time they rejected Jesus Christ as that very God and Messiah sent to save them. Christ's ministry was first to "the lost sheep of Israel" (Matt. 10:5-6) - that is Jews. Christ's ministry was not initially to the Gentiles, although there were exceptions to this rule - the Samaritan woman at the well  in John chapter 4 comes to mind, for example. It wasn't until the Jews totally rejected Christ that God grafted in the "wild olive branch" (the Gentiles) and made the gospel available to them as well (Rom. 11:11, 13-17).

Getting back to Romans 10:9 the second half says, "and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved": These Jews also failed to believe that God raised Jesus from the dead (the resurrection is proof that God accepted Christ's sacrifice of Himself on the cross). They had yet to embrace the finished work of the Jesus Christ on the cross as sufficient payment for their sins.

Romans 10:10 clarifies the correct order for us when it reads, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." We can confess to others of our salvation by grace when we have BELIEVED in Christ with our hearts.

These verses are not requiring two conditions for salvation. That would contradict or leave as insufficient over 150 verses in the New Testament that require a sinner to simply believe in Jesus Christ alone!

People who believe in Lordship Salvation say that Christ must be Lord of every area of a person's life before he or she can be saved. But spiritual growth is gradual. Some people have old sin habits that last for years. This doesn't mean they aren't saved, but that they just aren't as mature a Christian as other people may be. Philippians 1:6 emphasizes the fact that the growth process is a long term thing - in fact we are growing all our lives. We will never be perfect until we get to heaven.

Ephesians 3:17 gives us more insight on growth. It says "so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love...." The word "dwell" here is a very important word. In Greek it has the meaning of "to settle down and feel at home". Here's an illustration. When you go to someone's house to visit you like it when they say, "Make yourself feel at home!" Right? Because you are given freedom to go anywhere in their house, eat their food, do anything - just as if it were your house! That's what Paul is talking about here! We as Christians are to give every area of our lives over to the Lord to be used by Him - not for salvation, but so we can better be used by Him. If we set aside one area (or room) of our lives that He doesn't have control over, He doesn't feel at home. Let's say I have a problem with boasting. If I set aside that one "room of my house" and say "God, you can't go in there, that's mine!" then Christ can't dwell in us. He can't settle down and feel at home because we aren't letting Him be Lord of that area of our lives. We aren't letting ourselves be used of God as we should. So that is more what Lordship is about. Not salvation, but a day by day, moment by moment choice I make to submit to the Holy Spirit and to be controlled by Him, not myself. As I grow in my maturity I will learn not to give in to the flesh and will be conformed more to Him.


Jesus - is Near said...

i agree sir, ls is not biblical ty bob boston

machinephilosophy said...

The only reason I'm a Christian is John 6:28-29. Isaiah 1 describes a lordship orgy, and check the last of that chapter. The whole heart is faint precisely because the whole head is sick.

If I can do lordship, then I can do righteousness. And in that case, I can do my own salvation and Jesus is not just superfluous---but totally irrelevant.

Lordship claims should be sung to the tune of "I'm My Own Grandpa".

Vettel2011 said...