Having read some of your critique of lordship salvation, is it correct to say that you lean slightly more to the free grace camp in the lordship salvation debate? Examples of theologians holding a mild free grace position that come to my mind are Lewis Sperry Chafer and Charles C. Ryrie.



Hello Jonathan,

Thanks for your question. Sometimes labels help. Sometimes not so much. The bottom line is whether salvation is by merit through works or by grace through faith. In my opinion the Lordship Salvation position subtly adds works into the condition for salvation.

The debate is not whether Jesus is Lord but what constitutes the condition for salvation? To my understanding, the condition for salvation is faith in Christ alone (John 6:47), and faith is dependence on Jesus to save and not one’s commitment to yield to the Lordship of Christ in a sanctification sense. Obviously, the Spirit convicts of sin as the problem, the righteousness of Christ as the solution, and judgment if that righteousness is not received (John 16:8). In this sense, when one believes in Jesus, he is yielding to the Spirit’s conviction (lordship)—but only in that sense. The natural man cannot yet receive spiritual truth beyond these specifics because he does not yet have the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14).

Faith for salvation is dependence on Jesus and not one’s commitment to live right. Any such commitment to right living places a measure of dependence on the man making the commitment. This shift of focus subtly adds works to the equation. On the contrary, accepting the condition for salvation to be solely one’s dependence on Jesus keeps the solution Christocentric.

So yes, I’m on the grace side of the issue with Chafer and Ryrie.

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