Thursday, August 27, 2020

Lordship Salvation Perverts God's Saving Grace

Galatians 1:1-9, Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 

As we learn from our text passages, to tamper with and change the Gospel is a very serious offense with God. In fact, God's curse is upon anyone who messes with grace! The following is a wonderful and helpful sermon by Pastor Curtis Hutson, in which he defends the simplicity of grace for salvation. The sermon is titled: 'A Perversion Of The Gospel: Lordship Salvation.' ...
Lordship salvation is an unscriptural teaching regarding the doctrine of salvation and is confusing to Christians. Those who teach it claim that one must make Jesus Lord of his life in order to be saved. They use such expressions as, "You cannot receive Jesus as Saviour without receiving Him as Lord," or, "If Jesus Christ is not the Lord of your life, then you are not saved." 
The Bible teaches salvation by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8, 9 says, "For by grace ye are saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." But those who teach Lordship salvation say that is is not enough to trust Jesus Christ; you must also make Him Lord of your life in order  to be saved. This kind of teaching frustrates the grace of God and is called in the Bible "another gospel." 
I. Another Gospel Which Is Not Another 
In verse 6, Paul said, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into grace of Christ unto another gospel." Paul contrasts the Gospel of the grace of God with "another gospel" which he does not define. In verse 7 he said, "Which is not another...." That sounds like a contradiction, but the word "another" does not come from the same Greek word. In verse 6 it means "another—different from the one we preach." In verse 7 the Greek word means "another of the same kind." So we might paraphrase the verse, "I marvel that you are so soon removed from him who called you unto the grace of Christ unto a different gospel which is not like the one we preach."  
He goes on to say, "There be some that trouble you" (vs. 7). The preaching of another gospel troubles people. He also calls it a perversion of the Gospel of the grace of God. Then he says something very strong in verse 8: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed [or "let him be damned"]. Then he emphasizes it again in verse 9: "As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach another gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed [or "let him be damned"]. Paul said, "I am startled; I marvel; I can't believe that you are so soon removed from the Gospel of the grace of Christ unto another gospel." "Another gospel" is not defined, so I will define it based upon the implication of the text. 
The Gospel of the grace of Christ is one thing. Another gospel would be anything that contradicts the teaching of salvation by grace through faith. If a man preaches that one is saved by the substitutionary death of Jesus, by trusting Christ, then adds some from of good works, he  contradicts the Gospel of the grace of God. I could not put it any better than Romans 11:6, "And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." Salvation cannot be by grace and works. It has to be either grace or works. 
Most people have a poor concept of grace. I used to work for a loan company. I would give what is called a "grace period." If you didn't pay your debt in time, you had five days "grace" before you got a notice and were tagged with a late charge. That is not grace; that is a probation. Grace is the unmerited, undeserved favor of God toward Hell-deserving sinners.  
There is so much confusion over the doctrine of salvation. If you ask the next ten people you see, "How does a person get to Heaven?" you will probably get ten different answers. And it is very likely that none would be correct. 
In the final analysis, there are only two schemes of salvation that are taught by all religions. One is that man saves himself; the other is that God saves a man. They say that man saves himself by reforming or cleaning up his life before he is saved in order to merit salvation; or that man saves himself by promising to keep the Ten Commandments before he is saved; or man saves himself by obedience. Others teach that man saves himself by behaving. Those who teach Lordship salvation say that man saves himself by making Jesus Lord of his life. Romans 1:16 says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ: for it [the Gospel] is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that behaves..."? No, "...to every one that believeth." 
The only thing you can do with the Gospel is believe it. The Gospel is the good news of how Jesus Christ came to this earth, how He died on a cross in our place for our sins, how he was buried and rose again the third day. That is the Gospel.  
Don't confuse the truth with the Gospel. The Gospel is the truth, but all truth is not the Gospel. It is the truth that I wear a necktie to church, but that is not the Gospel. It the truth that I brush my teeth every morning, but that is not the Gospel. All truth is not the Gospel, but the Gospel is the truth. 
When I preach on Hell, I preach a Bible truth that ought to be preached and one that Jesus preached, but it is not the Gospel. hell is not good news; Hell is bad news. If I preach on judgment, I preach the truth but not the Gospel. But when I preach that Jesus loved sinners, that He died in the sinner's place to pay the sinner's debt, that He was buried and after three days God raised Him form the dead to show His satisfaction with the payment, then I preach the Gospel.  
An old preacher spoke to a large crowd of young preachers. Before leaving the platform, one young pastor said to him, "Sir, before you leave, give us a word of advice." The old preacher thought for a moment, then said, "My preacher brethren, make it plain to men how they are to saved."  
Far too many preachers are muddying the Gospel. The waters of the grace of God must be kept crystal clear. It disturbs me when preachers scramble the grace of God with works. Paul said, "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you... LET HIM BE DAMNED!" Strong language, but that is how God feels about preachers who pervert the Gospel. Paul says that even an angel is to be damned for preaching another gospel.  
Something about us religious humans make us want to add to the Gospel. We want to help God with our salvation. If we can't help Him save us, we want to help keep ourselves saved. 
Adam and Eve gathered fig leaves and sewed them together to make aprons to cover their nakedness. They knew something was wrong and tried to right it before God came to visit. They were happy and well pleased with their fig-leaf religion until God came, then they were embarrassed with their fig-leaf covering and ran and hid themselves. God called them unto Himself, killed an innocent animal (a picture of the substitutionary death of Jesus), took the skin from the animal and made coats for Adam and Eve. He didn't let them keep one single fig leaf of their own making. Salvation is of the Lord.  
You may be satisfied to stand before men with you religion, but are you going to be satisfied when you stand before God Almighty? Remember, God put His Son on a cross, loaded Him down with your sin, and poured out His wrath on His own Son so He could save you from the penalty of sin, which is Hell!  
Are you going to be satisfied when you stand before God with fig-leaf religion? There is no promise in the Bible to those who partially believe on Christ; one must trust Him alone and nothing else. Those who teach Lordship salvation say, "If you do not give over the control of your life to Christ at the moment of salvation, you are not saved."
 

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