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What is Lordship Salvation? Is it Biblical?

What is Lordship Salvation? Is it Biblical?


What is Lordship Salvation?

Lordship Salvation is a theological perspective within Christian doctrine that emphasizes the role of Jesus Christ as Lord, not just as Savior. This view holds that when one comes to faith in Christ, it involves a recognition of, and submission to, Christ’s authority and lordship. It suggests that accepting Jesus as Savior is inseparable from acknowledging Him as Lord.

In practical terms, Lordship Salvation teaches that a true believer’s life will be marked by a change in behavior, attitudes, and values. This change is not seen as a prerequisite for salvation but as a result of the transformative power of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life. The doctrine is deeply rooted in the understanding that genuine faith is more than intellectual assent or verbal acknowledgment; it is a faith that works through love (Galatians 5:6) and results in a life of obedience and devotion to Christ.

This concept is grounded in several scriptural passages. Jesus Himself said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46). This suggests that acknowledging Jesus as Lord naturally leads to a life of obedience. James 2:17 also supports this view, stating that “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” This does not imply that works are a means to salvation, but rather that they are evidence of a living, active faith in Christ.


Biblical Basis of Lordship Salvation

The biblical basis of Lordship Salvation is found in numerous passages throughout the New Testament. For instance, Romans 6:1-2 challenges the notion that grace may be used as an excuse for continued sinning, emphasizing that those who have died to sin through faith in Christ should no longer live in it. Similarly, 1 John 3:9 asserts that no one born of God makes a practice of sinning. These passages reflect the understanding that a transformed life is a natural and inevitable outcome of being born again.

Another significant passage is Ephesians 2:8-10. While it clearly states that salvation is by grace through faith and not a result of works, it also emphasizes that believers are created in Christ Jesus for good works. This indicates that good works are not the cause of salvation but are the expected fruit of a life transformed by Christ.

Moreover, the teachings of Jesus often link love for Him with obedience to His commands (John 14:15, 23). This link between faith and obedience underscores the Lordship Salvation perspective that genuine faith naturally expresses itself in a life of obedience and submission to Christ’s lordship.

The Inevitability of Obedience in the Born Again Believer

The Lordship Salvation view maintains that obedience to God, while not a means to salvation, is an inevitable result of being born again. This perspective is drawn from the understanding that the new birth (John 3:3) brings about a fundamental transformation in a person’s heart and life. This transformation, wrought by the Holy Spirit, leads to a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), wherein the desires, attitudes, and behaviors of a person are increasingly aligned with God’s will.

The fruit of the Spirit, as listed in Galatians 5:22-23, is an example of this transformation. These characteristics, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are not self-generated but are produced by the Spirit in the life of a believer. The presence of these fruits is an indication of a genuine faith and a life under the lordship of Christ.

Additionally, Hebrews 12:14 emphasizes the necessity of holiness in the life of a believer, stating that without it, no one will see the Lord. This holiness is not a human achievement but the result of God’s sanctifying work in a believer, demonstrating the inseparable connection between faith and obedience.

Counteracting Antinomianism

Lordship Salvation serves as a counterargument to antinomianism, the belief that under grace, Christians are released from the obligation of following moral law. This view is often summarized as “faith alone,” without a corresponding emphasis on the transformation that accompanies genuine faith.

The Lordship Salvation perspective asserts that true faith cannot remain alone but is always accompanied by a transformed life. It aligns with James 2:26, which states that faith without works is dead. This emphasis on the transformational aspect of faith serves to remind believers that while salvation is indeed through faith alone, that faith is never truly alone but is accompanied by works of obedience.


Lordship Salvation affirms that genuine faith in Christ inherently includes a commitment to His lordship and results in a life marked by obedience to God. This obedience is not the basis of salvation but is a natural and inevitable outcome of true, saving faith.

Read More

  1. “The Gospel According to Jesus” by John MacArthur – This book explores the concept of Lordship Salvation, emphasizing the necessity of obedience as a result of genuine faith.

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