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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JesusFan, Jan 5, 2012.
where would you and your church fall on this issue within the Church?
I am a Lordship salvation kind of guy. I just don't see in scripture that salvation is as simple as the typical american church makes it out to be (sinner's prayer, walk down the aisle etc...)
I'm a Lordship Salvation kinda guy, but I'm probably in the minority in my own church. I suspect that most of my fellow church members have never heard of it.
I grew up in a Baptist culture defined as "I accepted Jesus as Savior at age (9, say), but it was several years later that I made him my Lord."
I may not be your typical LS guy, though. I just believe the Bible when it says "Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and you'll be saved." (Acts 16:32)
And "If you'll confess with your mouth Jesus is LORD, and believe that God raised him from the dead, you'll be saved.' (Romans 10:9)
Paul preached "Repentance toward God and faith in our LORD Jesus Christ."
Jesus said "Why do you call me LORD, and don't do what I say?" (Luke 6:46).
I believe that a true saving faith in Christ WILL result in works. If God regenerates a person, they WILL begin to submit to Christ as Lord. I don't believe it is incorrect to preach the Gospel inviting people to submit to Christ's Lordship, but I also don't believe it is incorrect to preach the gospel saying simply, Trust in Christ for your salvation!
I would not, however, in preaching the Gospel to a teenage boy, say "If you want to be saved you must Believe in Jesus and also stop looking at p*rnography." He may already feel guilty about his sin and may have tried to stop before; and my message to him would be to stop trying to change himself, or make up for his own sins, but rely completely on Jesus' Finished work on the cross that made full payment for those sins and can give the power to overcome such a sin. Submit to the righteousness of God that comes through faith, instead of trying to "establish his own righteousness." (Rom. 10:3).
I think there are some scriptures that if you preach faithfully, you will probably get accused of antinomianism. There are other scriptures that if you preach faithfully, you could get accused of adding works to salvation.
However, I think the basic message of the Gospel is one of free grace that WILL result in good works and desire to obey Christ. But I think the opposite danger (opposite of easy-believism) is the belief many have that God accepts them based on how good they are doing.
I have heard it described as Root and Fruit. The root is Christ and faith in him to save us despite our sins. The fruit is the good works, fighting sin, submitting to Christ in our everyday lives. I think the Lordship Salvation folks say a lot of good things, but I think in general it has the danger of making people think they must clean up their lives BEFORE the come to Christ...which does about as much good as taking a nail gun and nailing a bunch of apples to a dead tree.
Here is a letter that John Piper wrote on this topic, and I think he has many good things to say. I probably would agree with most of this letter. I simply don't think it necessary or helpful to speak of "lordship salvation."
Grace is not free if faith is required to have it. Only the gift od Salvation is free.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Only by faith do we even have grace because faith must be in place before grace can come through it.
Since EVEN our faith is a gift from God, it truely is all of grace!
Think main problem is this discussion is that we all look to the extremes of both viewpoints!
LDS says that Free Gracers teach "just believe one time" and that means forever saved, and can live like the devil and still be OK with God...
Free Gracers say LDS teach unless one attains sinless perfection, never sure if even saved!
Think the biblical truth is that we are saved bygrcae of God intially, and that we are indeed changed within, but up to us to"grow up and mature" in Christ, as we all have different rates of growth! As Hebrews states, that we are saved, but still babes, need to grow up and start eating solid food!
Also remember that the Heavenly father is the One that fruit inspects us, not each other!
More professing Christians are lost than are truly saved, which is why the Lord says, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,... but I will say unto them, I never knew you..." People get saved by faith, but the tests will follow and, according to the parable of the sower, the 'many' the Lord spoke of in Matt. 7 will likely fall to the wayside for one reason or the other because they never were really get saved at all.
Those who do get saved are all in basic ignorance at salvation, just like the unbelievers who claim to get saved. None of the mixed bunch know anything yet about 'making the Lord the Lord of their life.' But those who do really get saved will be worked over and through by the Holy Spirit who works in them both to will and to do God's will, and all true believers will be brought through learning experiences (like Job was, for example) which will begin to mold them in Christ's image. The Bible says we are predestined to be conformed into His image. Every man that truly has this hope in him purifies himself as the Lord is pure.
Christians don't really make the Lord the Lord of their life as such. The Lord is already the Lord and the only way Christians can enter into that fact in greater reality is to learn how to walk in humility with Him. Walking with God is like walking on water, if one's eyes are not totally focused on pleasing God, it cannot be done. Not only that, but sheer determination to walk with God will not allow anyone to walk on water either, because it is entirely up to Him whether or not to grant us the victory over sin in our life or not (we can't walk with God with sin in our life, and we can't beat sin on our own, which is why we must pray for the Lord to give us the victory.)
The Lord is as much the Lord in a person's life as that person manages to get the Lord to exercise His Lordship in his life. We don't make the Lord the Lord of our life, we beg the Lord to take more control of our life and to help us to yield ourselves more to His control. The unsaved churchgoer just needs to go back to the 'altar' and seek to give diligence to make his calling and election sure.
Not Free Grace, but not a Lordshipper. True Faith will result in some kind of works even on a basic level of just getting your life straight. Like a previous poster stated, your a babe that has to grow up once you become a new creation when Saved.
You simply cannot expect one who was Saved on Sunday to act like a mature Christian of 30 years before the next service. Its not gonna happen!!!! The "meat eaters" are gonna have to babysit, help out, pick up when they fall, teach, correct, exhort, congratulate, encourage, and be a guiding light and shining example to the "milk drinkers" so that they too can get to where you are spiritually.
Like when Moses put the bronze snake on the pole in the wilderness the people were told to look at it and be saved. Not look at it so hard you burst a blood vessel in your eye then have someone inspect your eye for a sign that you actually burst a vessel as proof that you really looked. There is no PRICE LEFT FOR MAN TO PAY. Christ paid it all and all I can do is show my appreciation in my service.
I've noticed that the leadership in my church wouldn't consider anyone with Lordship salvation ideas... not a problem for me!
What are your definitions of "Free Grace" and Lordship Salvation, JF? I ask because I have noticed that the terms seem to mean different things to different people. Take "free grace", for example. Back in 2008, there was a thread Repentance and Faith in the course of which Havensdfad wrote in Post 32
I don't mean to sound offensive, but the FG movement is borderline heresy. They teach that once a person has made a "decision" for Christ, that person can later completely reject their faith, turn to atheism, buddhism, Satanism, etc. and still be saved. There is a plethora of scripture denying this.
Then last September, in the thread you started with the title: Do We "excuse" Those Like Billy graham/pat robertson as "Just" being Elderly? Webdog had written: "Free Grace theologians hold to ME for the most part, what Stanley is."
In that case, "Free Grace" must mean different things to different people. For some, the words "Free Grace theologians" clearly must mean something other than "theologians who believe in God's free grace."
I know this has cropped up in other threads, for instance in the thread Are Free Grace Christians Same Theology as Classic Arms? I said in post 5 of that thread: "You'd first need to define what you mean by "Free Grace Christians." No one answered that, so I am still unsure what the OP in that thread meant by "Free Grace", just as I am not sure what you mean by the term. Allan wrote in the other thread:
Free Grace view is closer to the modern day Arminianists which go even further than the Wesleyan Arminians in their views.
There are several examples of churches that have the words "Free Grace" in their church name, but who certainly do not "hold views that go even further than the Wesleyan Arminians", nor do they believe the doctrine known as Millenial Exclusion. I gave some links to some such churches in that thread. I'll just repeat one here: Free Grace Baptist Church Belvedere, Kent, UK. There is not the slightest hint that they are Arminian, or that they believe in ME.
So I hope you see why we need your definition in order to be reasonably sure we are all talking about the same thing.
David, you're onto something. For me, it means that confessing Christ as Lord and trusting him as Savior are not separate aspects of salvation. Yet, I've heard people who gave testimony to trusting Christ for salvation at one point, and making him Lord at another.
Now, somebody else may define Lordship Salvation differently (or I may have defined it wrongly), but that's how I see it.
The bible says to confess Him as Lord, not as Saviour.
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
So we teach what the bible teaches on this that you receive Him as Lord.
Neither position. Grace isn't free. Only Salvation is free. Grace can only be had through faith. No faith, No grace, Because if there is no grace there is No Salvation.
Google "Free Grace Theology":
Jesusfan definitions here:
Free Grace Would be the position that in order to get saved, be a new creation in Christ, one has to ONLY believe in their hearts and confess with their months jesus is Lord
HS would then come to reside, and the process of becoming more like into image of Christ now begins!
Lordship salvation View that one must have evidenced the fruits of being a genuine new creature in Christ, must have good works reflecting new life
Does that help?
My take is BOTh are right!
To get saved is a one time event, based upon saving Act of God, received by faith and grace alone...
Once saved by God, we start the process of jesus "lordship" over all areas of our lives!
Thanks, Jerome. I think you and I have had a conversation like this before.
I followed your links, and and to me, they just give more evidence of the vital need to define terms like these. The Wikepedia article in its first main paragraph ("History") says (my emphasis):
Its prominent present-day expressions are the Grace Evangelical Society, the Free Grace Alliance , the Plymouth Brethren, and the Chinese-American local churches movement.
The Plymouth Brethren are not Doctrines-of-Grace/Calvinistic/Reformed, yet here in the UK as well as in the US and elsewhere, the term "Free Grace" is used to mean belief in Doctrines-of-Grace/Calvinistic/Reformed doctrines. I gave examples of this in the thread Lordship Salvation vs Free Grace, where I wrote:
I think I have found the reason for the confusion. Tom Butler (Post 23 of this thread) says that "free grace" is not the same as "doctrines of grace". He wrote also wrote:
I have also heard the free-grace view called "easy believism."
If this thread had been called "Lordship Salvation vs Easy Believism", I would have had a much better idea of what was meant. Here in the UK, the term "free grace" is almost synonymous with "The Doctrines of Grace" or "Reformed Theology". I have never come across it used to mean "easy-believism."
Some "Doctrines of Grace" churches here actually have the words "free grace" in their church name, but they certainly don't hold to easy believism. For example:
Free Grace Baptist Church, Belvedere (on the outskirts of London). The "What We Belive" section of their web site begins:
We are a reformed and evangelical baptist church and believe the Bible to be the final revelation of God to man. our church is based upon the 1689 Second London Baptist confession of faith and the ‘Doctrines of Grace’, sometimes called the five points of Calvinism.
Ulverton Free Grace Baptist Church, Cumbria, similarly says:
The Holy Scriptures contained in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the only rule or standard that God has given the churches to govern all matters of faith and practise. As its subordinate standard, the Church recognises the 1689 Baptist Confession.
As I did the search for the info above, I saw that it is not just here in ther UK that "Free Grace" is used to mean reformed theology.
In Canada, there is Free Grace Baptist Church, Chilliwack.
In Zambia, Free Grace Baptist Church, Boksburg state that they are linked to "Sola 5," an association of evangelical churches in southern Africa holding to the "Five Great Alones" of the Reformation (Salvation is: 1. revealed in God's Word alone, 2. by Christ alone, 3. by grace alone, 4. through faith alone, and 5. for the glory of God alone.).
In the USA, there is (for example) Free Grace Baptist Church, San Antonio, Texas, whose summary of belief is stated thus:
While we believe wholeheartedly in the inerrant and infallible word of God as preserved in the 66 books of the Bible (39 books of the OT and the 27 books of the NT), we also share the belief of C.H. Spurgeon and countless others who expressed the conviction that the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith presents a reliable summary of what the Bible teaches.
Those are just samples of many I could give, and they are limited to names of churches - I haven't included any reference to people using the term "free grace" in writing or speech to refer to Reformed Theology.
I hope that explains why I said in Post 9 on this thread that I agreed with InTheLight about the importance of defining terms.
Yet the Wikepedia article you linked to says:
One opposing view (to free grace) is Lordship Salvation, commonly held by those in the Reformed tradition.
You see how confusing it gets? All the churches I know in the "reformed tradition" would hold to free grace, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Several of them, as you see from my "self quote" above, even include the phrase "Free Grace" in their names!
Thanks, JF! That's a little clearer.
Methodist Church of Britain website
The assurance of the free grace of God was the experience of the early Methodists, which the Wesleys set in the Christian tradition of 'arminianism'. . ."
["Free Grace" is the title of a famous sermon of John Wesley]
In UK journal The Baptist Quarterly:
"REV. DAN: TAYLOR (1797-1813) was the originator in 1770 of "The New Connexion of General Baptists," which was at first called "The Assembly of Free Grace Baptists."
Of Adam Clarke, in History of Methodism in Great Britain:
"Dr. Clarke, with his generous nature, never could have been any thing but an Arminian. Free grace was a doctrinal necessity to him: no predestination could stand in the way of any poor sinner who wanted to be good and go to glory."
Twin Lakes Baptist Church A Free Grace Fellowship (SBC) Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Free Grace Wesleyan Church of Harkers Island, North Carolina
Free Grace Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ) Mantao, North Carolina
Canada Pacific District, Church of the Nazarene:
"Our Articles of Faith clearly place us in the tradition of classical Christianity. We identify with the Arminian tradition of free grace"
So, all kinds of churches make use of the phrase of "Free Grace", but you are now aware that there is a particular theological movement denominated Free Grace Theology that contrasts with Lordship Salvation Theology, are you not?