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10 Things You Should Know about the Lordship Salvation Controversy

January 2, 2017 | by: Sam Storms| 11 Comments


K Minor

Jan 4, 2017

2 Timothy 2:19 says "The Lord knows those who are His, and let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." That said, let us first consider the individual. Does the individual's claim to salvation (not sanctification) agree with Scripture? Then, as for sanctification, there are stages of spiritual growth. How much has the individual been taught and learned? As for others examining the individual, the preceding should be asked of the individual. If the individual's claim agrees with Scripture, what are you going to do? Do you have enough knowledge of their life to determine whether there is any sanctification at all? Then too, if the claim to salvation is sound, how much sanctification does it take to be certain, on the individual's and the questioner's part? I am not minimizing the need for sanctification nor the power of the Spirit. As for every individual, regardless of the means He uses, it is ultimately the Spirit who bears witness to the individual that they are a child of God (Romans 8:16). On the individual's part, "be all the more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall" (verse 10 of 2 Peter 1:3-11). As for those who question the individual's salvation, I simply say "Make up your mind!" If YOU believe they are not saved, treat them accordingly. Thus if YOU believe they they are NOT saved, treat them accordingly. Don't expect a non- Christian to act like a Christian until they BECOME one. That would be the fair BIBLICAL thing to do. And again, the Lord knows those who are His. Amen

Dave Eland

Jan 4, 2017

John Owen's short book, "Gospel Evidences of Saving Faith" is relevant to this discussion. Two of his 4 "evidences" are (2) Habitually approving of the holiness and obedience God requires as revealed in scripture, (4) Bringing the soul into a special state of repentance. He points out these evidences are not always at all times on display. Our actions can and do go against what we know and approve as God's will for our holiness - otherwise Paul would not have said that we are easily entangled in sin. Thankfully it is not by ourselves but "by the Spirit we are to put to death the deeds of the flesh."

Donna Bradley

Jan 4, 2017

Interesting this subject on your blog. Our church will have a conference in February on this subject. I read and will reread this article several times in approach of our conference. Our church web site is

Mike Johnson

Jan 3, 2017

Loved this brief article - and I think it is well balanced and fair. Even if the controversy has largely died down and the academy has moved on, the unfortunate and dangerous legacy of Free Grace theology lives on in many small churches and in some parachurch orgs in America. So it still needs to be addressed. Thank you.


Jan 3, 2017

How much daily "lordship" is enough "lordship" to be saved?


Jan 3, 2017

My wife made the observation that often there is Gospel presentations these days that lack explanation of the need for repentance. As long as some present a Jesus without a need to repent, Lordship will continue to be an issue.

Bill bradley

Jan 3, 2017

A good book on this is "Confident in Christ" by Robert Wilkin. Hundreds of passages are shown teaching assurance is possible simply by looking to Christ and His promises.

Jeff Rickel

Jan 3, 2017

Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth

In Revelation 5:5-6 Jesus is referred to both as the lion (king) and lamb (atoning sacrafice for our sins). To truely believe in Jesus we need to embrace both aspects of him. Even his name. Jesus (God is salvation or God Saves) and Christ (The Priest-King or anointed one) implies both. If we are truly saved by faith in Jesus, faith according to Scripture must embrace both. It is a looking to God, a dependence on God to rule and enable, and cleanse, and save. If we are looking to ourselves for any of this we have faith, but not in God.

Truth Unites... and Divides

Jan 3, 2017

Excellent Article, pastor Sam! Thanks for writing it. I'm not even sure why anyone would call Salvation... "Lordship Salvation." I.e., Lordship Salvation seems redundant.

How can Salvation be anything other than trusting and declaring that Jesus is Lord?

Charlie Cate

Jan 3, 2017

One reason this is an issue that still needs to be addressed is the fact that each side has failed (largely, in general) to fairly and accurately hear the other side out, and thus continue to misrepresent the other position. Here we have 10 things we SHOULD know... from one side's perspective, or at least a segment of that side. I hope that this thread launches a mature discussion with input from someone willing to listen to and or fairly present an alternative view.

Darrel Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary wrote a mediating article years ago, in which he observed both sides (at the time) lobbing shots beyond the bow of the other, strawmen, etc. etc. It would be nice to have such a scholar join in here and bring some balance.

In other words, I for one, find this article out of balance and misrepresentative of the so called "non lordship" position.

Gregg Yarian

Jan 3, 2017

If you go back to Genesis 3, the problem is that man didn't want to submit to God's kingship. The consequence was separation from God, spiritual death. How can reconciliation happen without the rebellion ending. I have worked in Africa for 21 years and every African I have ever explained the situation to understands that a rebellious child can never be reconciled with his or her father without ending the rebellion.

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© 2017 Sam Storms: Oklahoma City, OK

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