The Psychological Effects Of Lordship Salvation -- By: Frank B. Minirth

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 06:2 (Autumn 1993)
Article: The Psychological Effects Of Lordship Salvation
Author: Frank B. Minirth


The Psychological Effects Of Lordship Salvation

Frank B. Minirtha

I. Introduction

The relationship between faith and works has been an issue of debate for many years. It centers around the nature of saving faith: Does it entail a response of the human will to the lordship of Christ?

Evangelicals maintain that justification is by grace through faith alone and that works are best understood as the fruit of faith. This faith is the one biblical foundation for assurance of salvation. When one becomes a Christian, he consciously believes in Christ. He does not need, nor is he required, to will a commitment to obedience, though he may do so.

Lordship Salvation advocates have extended saving faith to include a commitment to the lordship of Christ which entails obedience. This makes assurance conditional and the best anyone can hope for is to have enough good works to be somewhat confident of salvation. They believe that faith is necessary for assurance of salvation, but not sufficient. They also believe that confession, baptism, restitution, commitment, good works, surrender to Christ’s lordship, or some other requirement is necessary for salvation.

II. The Clarity of the Gospel Message

Salvation is God’s free grace-gift to each believer: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8–9).1 Jesus already has paid for it in full. The only requirement for receiving forgiveness and eternal life is to believe in Christ. This is clearly based on Scripture, not on personal experience.

In about 115 NT passages, the salvation of a sinner is declared to depend only upon believing, and in about 35 passages to depend on faith, which is a synonym for believing.2

Any addition to believing is anathema to God. The divine message is not “believe and pray,” “believe and confess sin,” “believe and be baptized,” “believe and repent,” or “believe and make restitution.” These added requirements have appropriate meanings in the Scriptures, but if they were essential to salvation they would never be omitted from any passage where the way to be saved is stated. (E.g., see Gal 3:22; John 1:12; 3:15–16,

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