Posted On February 5, 2018

You Can’t Make Jesus Lord of Your Life

by | Feb 5, 2018 | Evangelism, Theology

We have some young men in our congregation whom I’ve started texting a Bible thought each morning, usually from my own time in the Word. The other morning I was reading the 29th Psalm. Verse 10 says:

The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

Of this passage, W.S. Plumer writes:

“God’s government is fixed. It cannot be subverted. Empires rise and decline, fall or vanish away, but His kingdom changes not. Others are sometimes strong and sometimes weak; but His possess all vigor and might, world without end. It endures forever. It includes all duration and all worlds. Even the waste of waters on which are seen no footprints of man or angel proclaims there is a God, who sitteth King forever. It is by God and by God alone that we live. All our strength is from Him.”

Our Triune God is King of all. We have places on earth that aren’t claimed by any one nation. I think of overlapping territorial claims in Antarctica for example or international waters in the oceans. But, as Abraham Kuyper put it “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”

As the chorus of Shai Linne’s Lord of All states:

Whether visible or invisible, He’s (Lord of all)
Whether spiritual or physical, He’s (Lord of all)
Plants, animals, and insects, He’s (Lord of all)
Angels, demons (Lord of all)
Human beings (Lord of all)
Every one of Earth’s residents, He’s (Lord of all)
Prime ministers or presidents, He’s (Lord of all)
All languages and people groups, He’s (Lord of all)
Every nation (Lord of all)
The whole creation (Lord of all)

Jesus is Lord of all. The LORD sits enthroned as king forever. There is nothing in us that can make Christ more king than He already is. He is the highly exalted One (Philippians 2:9). Too often I hear an evangelistic appeal that states something like “You need to make Jesus the Lord of your life.” First of all, I don’t want to nitpick. I get what’s being communicated. And I appreciate the acknowledgment of understanding that a person who doesn’t see Jesus as Lord is not a Christian. But, here’s my point: At the very best, that phraseology is worded poorly, and, at worst, it gives man faux sovereignty whereby he can decide the boundaries of God’s kingship.

You see, you can’t make Jesus the Lord of your life because He already is. He is Lord of all. So, here’s what I text those men in our church:

I have a few application points for you too. First, and most importantly, if you’ve stumbled upon this post and are not a Christian, you must heed this: Christ is King. You will not unseat Him. Your unbelief won’t take away from His kingship or glory in the least.

But since He is King, you will answer to Him.

You’ve broken His Holy Law. You’ve walked His earth, breathed His air, eaten His food, enjoyed His creation — and, all while you are living in rebellion to His good rule. Therefore, the call to you today is not to “make Jesus Lord of your life.” You can’t; He already is.

The call is to repent of your lawbreaking and rebellion; to repent of your sin and turn to Christ. See, our King humbled Himself by becoming Man, and being obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-11). He rose again the 3rd day so that by faith in Him we can be justified (Romans 4:25). You don’t need to make Jesus Lord of your life. Instead, you need to surrender to Him as the King He is, in repentance and faith. Please don’t think you can come to Him on your terms. It must be His. The gate of salvation is not a negotiation table, but a Person. You must go through Christ to be saved. Bow in faith and repentance today!

Secondly, if you are a Christian and are regularly engaging in evangelistic endeavors, I plead with you to think clearly about the phraseology you use. Make sure it is Biblical. You might be surprised that the Scriptures offer a variety of clear ways to call people to Christ: “Repent and Believe” (Mark 1:15), “Believe on the Lord Jesus” (Acts 16:31), “Come [to Christ]” (Revelation 22:17), “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6) — and the list goes on. The point is, you don’t have to make new phrases up! God’s given us some very good ones in His Word to use to appeal to people. Don’t tell people they need to make Jesus Lord of their life. Tell them they must see that Jesus is Lord and to surrender their life to Him by taking up their cross and following Him (Matthew 16:24-25).

Finally, I appeal to all believers to consider how good it is that Christ is King! All of His ways, purposes, decrees, and commands are good. Cultivate glad submission in your heart to Christ’s Lordship by regular time in the Word, prayer, and fellowship with the saints in your local church.

Christ is King! And all God’s people said, “Amen, and Amen!”

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22 Comments

  1. beccajrt

    This language, i.e., “you need to surrender to Him as the King He is, in repentance and faith” etc., appears to be from the theological model “Lordship Salvation”—it’s not the Gospel. The Bible does not teach that one must change his behavior, e.g., surrender, in order to come to Christ.

    “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” Romans 4:5

    “Justification is God’s reckoning a man righteous who has no righteousness,—because God is operating wholly upon another basis, even the work of Christ. If Christ fully bore sin for man, and has been raised up by God, a believing man has reckoned to him by God all that infinite work of Christ! Thus, no change in the ungodly man is necessary for justification. Of course, God will—does—give him life: it is “justification of life,” in Christ. But he is justified, accounted righteous, while ungodly; and only by the blood of Christ. God will also finally, indeed, present him faultless. But he declares him righteous upon believing—while he is ungodly! If God changed him first, he would not be “ungodly.” He believes, certainly. But faith is not a “meritorious” work. It is simply giving God the credit of speaking the truth in the gospel about Christ. It is Christ’s shed blood, and that alone, which is the procuring cause of God’s declaring an ungodly man righteous: while God’s grace is the reason for it. Our faith is simply the instrumental condition. God counts our faith for righteousness, because by it we give God and Christ the full glory of our salvation. Faith in God also brings the heart into His light; for, when “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness,” the heart, in thus believing, is turned to God directly, in the simplicity of a little child. When Adam sinned, he fled from God; when a sinner believes, he comes back! . . . Not behaving, but believing, is God’s way: behaving *follows* believing! William R. Newell

    Reply
    • Allen Nelson IV

      Thanks for reading. I will respond cautiously as it’s possible we believe similar things but are disagreeing over semantics. It’s also possible we have quite a serious disagreement. I am hoping for the former.

      One does not “surrender,” “work”, or even “repent” to get to Christ. One gets to Christ through faith alone.

      Scripture is clear that the faith that brings us to Christ produces a repentance that leads to salvation (2 Cor. 7:10). Furthermore, a saving faith is a surrendering faith. For example, Paul tells the Philippians Jailer to *believe* in the *Lord* Jesus. Saving faith bows the knee to Christ in this life because one day every knee will bow (Phil. 2:9-11).

      A faith that doesn’t create a heart that calls Jesus Lord (1 Cor. 12:3, Rom. 10:9-10) is not the type of saving faith described in the Bible.

      So, hopefully you’re in agreement.

      Reply
      • beccajrt

        Hi Allen,

        “One does not “surrender,” “work”, or even “repent” to get to Christ. One gets to Christ through faith alone”—exactly, but in your initial post when speaking to those who are “not” Christian, you said, “you need to surrender to Him as the King He is, in repentance and faith.” Now, in your February 19, 2018 at 7:03 pm response, it appears to me you’ve simply rewording, and added to, your initial language.

        Again, and specifically regarding the Gospel message, that theological model is un-Biblical, in which, among other things, clearly “saving” faith is redefined. Further, in 2 Corinthians 7 Apostle Paul is speaking to believers, souls that are awakened, and those verses actually speak against the model.

        Salvation is a free gift from God to whosoever believes, it’s all of God’s grace, He is the author of Godly sorrow, and, He justifies the ungodly through faith alone and only by the blood of Christ.

        “But to him who does not work but *believes on Him who justifies the ungodly* his faith is accounted for righteousness,” Romans 4:5

        “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, *being now justified by his blood*, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, *when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son*, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

        Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

        But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

        Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:6-21

        While much more could be said, you citing 2 Corinthians 7:10 brings to mind other errors of “Lordship Salvation”—that of confusing sanctification with justification, and under that model believers can never really have assurance of salvation.

      • Allen Nelson IV

        My comment as to clarify that it’s not faith plus works that brings us to Christ. It’s a faith (which produces works) that brings us to Christ.

        In 2 Cor. 7 Paul is speaking to believers BECAUSE they’ve had godly grief (see v.11).

        Consider the conversions in the NT where the ‘Lordship’ of Jesus was in play:

        – The thief on the cross (kingdom)
        – Paul (who are you Lord?)
        -Philippians Jailer (Lord Jesus)
        -It was in the gospel message of the apostles (Lord Jesus – Acts 4:33)

        Then, of course, you haven’t answered Paul’s point in Romans 10:9-10.

        It is dangerous to teach a definition of faith that doesn’t produce anything in a person’s life – a faith that will be choked out by the world, or snuffed out by persecution.

        We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, but that faith is never alone. It cannot be, for God’s precious gift of faith is not lacking. Yes, our faith may be weak at times, but a faith that doesn’t see Christ as Lord, is not the faith of the Bible.

      • beccajrt

        Your comment there regarding 2 Corinthians 7 doesn’t even make sense in light of my response to your initial citation of it. Further, considering the second sentence in your reply, “It’s a faith (which produces works) that brings us to Christ”—you might want to remove the “The thief on the cross” (who had no works or time to produce them) from that list you want me to consider, because according to that definition he did not have faith.

        Furthermore, it is unfair to assume I’m saying things I’ve not said and then give voice to those assumptions, e.g., “It is dangerous to teach a definition of faith that doesn’t produce anything in a person’s life” etc., etc. When did I say faith doesn’t produce anything in a person’s life? I didn’t. What comes to mind again is another error of “Lordship Salvation” that I already pointed out, that of confusing sanctification with justification.

        I don’t need to consider those “conversions in the NT” and nor do I need to answer “Paul’s point in Romans 10:9-10″—I haven’t said anything that contradicts Scripture, and Scripture certainly never contradicts Scripture. While so much more could be said, again, specifically regarding the Gospel message, the theological model “Lordship Salvation” is un-Biblical. It, (along with other notions, e.g., that believers are under the Law as a “rule” of life, etc.) appears to be another hangover from roman catholicism, in which, among other things, “saving” faith is redefined. Among the other Scripture I cited, this definition of faith is clear and perfectly sufficient; “But to him who does not work but *believes on Him who justifies the ungodly* his faith is accounted for righteousness” Romans 4:5.

        “God declares men righteous not by faith as the procuring cause, for the blood of Christ was that; not by faith as the putting forth of a certain faculty innate in man, much less by the keeping of divine commands, however holy and just; but out of reliance upon His own word as true, and on that alone . . . . . . . Not behaving, but believing, is God’s way: behaving follows believing!” William R. Newell

      • Allen Nelson IV

        Just 3 things:

        1. The Thief on the cross acknowledged Jesus as Lord.
        2. You’ve never shown how I’ve confused justification and sanctification. Only made the assertion.
        3. If you don’t want to discuss scripture to shape our understand of how salvation works then I honestly don’t have time. The Bible is our standard.

  2. beccajrt

    1. The thief on the cross had no works, or time to produce them, so according to your last definition of faith, “It’s a faith (which produces works) that brings us to Christ”—he did not have faith.

    2. I didn’t say *you* confused justification and sanctification. I said, another error of “Lordship Salvation” is that of confusing sanctification with justification. However, it’s clear if that theological model is what you agree with you’d confuse justification and sanctification because the model does. Frankly, I don’t know, because in your initial post when speaking to those who are “not” Christian, you said, “you need to surrender to Him as the King He is, in repentance and faith.” I pointed out that your language appears to be from “Lordship Salvation” and the Bible does not teach that one must change his behavior, e.g., surrender, in order to come to Christ. In response you said, “One does not “surrender,” “work”, or even “repent” to get to Christ. One gets to Christ through faith alone.” Then in your last reply you said, “It’s a faith (which produces works) that brings us to Christ.” Now, regarding the confusing of justification and sanctification, as others have pointed out, among other things, “Lordship Salvation” makes the evidence or result of salvation, for example, surrendering, the requirement for salvation.

    3. You’re assuming again, I didn’t say I “don’t want to discuss scripture”—I posted Scripture from chapters 4 and 5 of the book of Romans, which is the foundation for our Christian faith. I find it odd you didn’t discuss that, and instead, asked me to consider Scripture regarding “conversions in the NT” and claimed I “haven’t answered Paul’s point in Romans 10:9-10.” I pointed out that I don’t need to consider what you wanted me to consider because I haven’t said anything that contradicts Scripture, and Scripture certainly never contradicts Scripture. The Bible most certainly is our standard, yet sadly, as the level of Biblical illiteracy indicates, it’s simply not being taught. Rather, for the most part, what is being taught “left” and “right” throughout professing Christendom are various “theological systems” that add to and or take from God’s Word.

    Reply
    • Allen Nelson IV

      1. The thief on the cross recognized Jesus as Lord. I’m not trying to over-press that, however, peasants don’t own kingdoms do they? A faith that doesn’t see Jesus as Lord isn’t saving faith.

      2. Explain to me how I am confusing justification and sanctification and I’m happy to discuss. Lordship salvation does not say the evidences of salvation is what justifies you. Faith alone justifies you. But that faith is never alone is it? Even in the thief on the cross we see examples.

      3. I think your problem isn’t with me, but how the Bible explains faith. The faith in Romans 4-5 is a faith that sees Jesus as Lord, hence Romans 10. A faith that doesn’t see Jesus as Lord is not the saving faith described in the Bible.

      You see, you don’t get to cherry pick here or there to explain faith this way or that way. You have to have a whole bible understanding. You can’t have a Romans 4 view that is divorced from Romans 10. Faith alone justifies and that faith is a faith always sees Jesus as Lord in such a way that if one does not repent and now the knee they do not have saving faith.

      Reply
      • beccajrt

        1. You are over pressing it, it’s mighty presumptuous to assume you know what someone “sees” whether the thief on the cross or anyone else. And again, according to your last definition of faith the thief could not have had faith because he had no “works” or time to produce them.

        2. I’ve already explained and given an example in my last reply, as well as in my initial reply to you when I pointed out that the Bible does not teach that one must change his behavior, e.g., “surrender”, in order to come to Christ. Salvation is the free gift of God, it is receiving, not giving Him something for it; it’s based on faith alone, period. There is no “but” after that fact.

        3. Your assuming again, and as before, erroniously. I have no problem whatsoever with “how the Bible explains faith” or anything else. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” and it grows; and “to him who does not work but *believes on Him who justifies the ungodly* his faith is accounted for righteousness” Romans 4:5. The Biblical defintiion of faith (and everything else) is clear and perfectly sufficient, as opposed to, for example, in your initial post when speaking to those who are “not” Christian, you said, “you need to surrender to Him as the King He is, in repentance and faith.”

        I really wish you would stop doing that. I don’t “cherry pick here or there to explain faith this way or that way” and nor do I lack “a whole bible understanding” and nor I have “a Romans 4 view that is divorced from Romans 10.” You see, when you continue to assume things of me that are not true, and give voice to those erroneous assumptions, those assumptions become false accusations; that’s exactly what they are, for which you are solely responsible.

        I could accuse you of the same things you’ve accused me of Allen.

        You see, you don’t get to cherry pick here or there to explain faith this way or that way. You have to have a whole Bible understanding. You can’t have a Romans 10:9-10; Luke 23:42; Acts 26:15; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:33, view that is divorced from Matthew 9:2; Mark 2:5, 10:52; Luke 5:20, 7:50, 18:42; John 1:7, 1:12, 1:50, 2:11, 2:23, 3:15, 3:16, 3:18, 3:18, 3:36, 3:36, 4:21, 4:39, 4:41, 4:42, 4:48, 4:50, 4:53, 5:24, 5:38, 5:44, 5:46, 5:47, 5:47, 6:29, 6:30, 6:35, 6:36, 6:40, 6:47, 6:64, 6:69, 7:5, 7:31, 7:38, 7:39, 7:48, 8:24, 8:30, 8:31, 8:45, 8:46, 9:18, 9:35, 9:36, 9:38, 10:25, 10:26, 10:37, 10:38, 10:38, 10:38, 10:42, 11:15, 11:25, 11:26, 11:26, 11:27, 11:40, 11:42, 11:45, 11:48, 12:11, 12:36, 12:37, 12:38, 12:42, 12:44, 12:46, 12:47, 13:19, 14:1, 14:10, 14:11, 14:11, 14:12, 14:29, 16:9, 16:27, 16:30, 16:31, 17:8, 17:20, 17:21, 19:35, 20:8, 20:25, 20:29, 20:29, 20:31, 20:31; Acts 3:16, 15:9, 26:18; Romans 1:17, 3:22, 3:25, 3:26, 3:27, 3:28, 3:30, 3:30, 3:31, 4:5, 4:9, 4:11, 4:13, 4:14, 4:16, 5:1, 5:2, 9:30, 9:32, 10:6, 10:17, 11:20, 1 Corinthians 15:14, 15:17; Galatians 2:16, 2:20, 3:2, 3:5, 3:7, 3:8, 3:9, 3:11, 3:12, 3:14, 3:22, 3:23, 3:23, 3:24, 3:25, 3:26, 5:5, 6:10, etc., etc., etc.

        You see how that works? Is it really helpful? No.

        Regarding the Gospel message:

        “Paul in his wonderful revelation declares that God hath reconciled the world to Himself; that God was in Christ (at the Cross) reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:19). Men do not know this, but they conceive that something stands between them and God before God will accept or forgive them. If you tell a man that God is demanding no good works of him whatsoever, no religious observances or church ordinances, that God is not asking him to undertake any duties at all, but that God invites him to believe a glad message that his sins have already been dealt with at the Cross, and that God expects him to believe this good news and be exceedingly happy about it. If you tell an unsaved man such a story at this, he is astonished and overwhelmed—yet this is the Gospel!” William R. Newell

      • Allen Nelson IV

        1. The thief on the cross said this: “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” Your kingdom. He acknowledged Jesus as king. I’m not assuming what he ‘sees’. I’m just quoting what he said.

        2. Salvation is based on saving faith alone. Saving faith sees Jesus as king. (See above)

        3. I’m the one who is explaining how faith produces works. You have failed to do that one time. I have explained Romans 4 in such a way that it also explains Romans 10. You have not.

      • beccajrt

        1. The thief on the cross had no works or time to produce them, and so according to the definition you gave, “It’s a faith (which produces works) that brings us to Christ”—so how did he have faith? What “works” “brought” him to Christ?

        2. Salvation is based on faith alone. An ungodly person sees himself as king, and lord, it’s one of the primary reasons he’s an enemy; “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” Romans 4:5

        “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26

        “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Romans 5:6-11

        “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

        3. Ignoring your insinuation, when did you ask me “to explain how faith produces works” and what does that have to do with my initial reply to you, the issue of “Lordship Salvation” and specifically regarding the Gospel message? Further, the Scriptures, specifically the book of Romans, explain perfectly how faith produces works, they are self explanatory and don’t need you, me or anyone else to “explain” them. The Gospel is good news to be proclaimed, and one either believes the glad tidings or they do not.

      • Allen Nelson IV

        1. The thief on the cross saw Jesus as king (only Kings have kingdoms). Could you tell me where I said works bring us to Christ?

        2. A lost person sees himself as king. The only way he will be made right with Christ is by a faith that sees Jesus as king (see above for an example)

        Remember, I have already affirmed that we are saved by faith alone.

        Interesting that you’d quote 1 Cor. 15 in your defense since Paul says “if you hold fast” ;-). A faith that saves is a faith that produces perseverance.

        3. I asked you to explain how faith produces works when I asked you to explain Romans 10, which you refused to do for some odd reason.

        I have not refused to explain any verse. We are after a wholistic view here.

        The gospel is to be proclaimed and the only proper response is Mark 1:15. If one truly believes it’s a belief that sees Jesus as Lord (see point 1, or Romans 10:9-10, or Acts 16:31, etc.).

  3. beccajrt

    1. I was going by your definition, “It’s a faith (which produces works) that brings us to Christ.” You might just as well ask people for a promissory note to produce good works in the future and to persevere otherwise their faith is not “saving” faith. Which brings to mind another problem regarding “Lordship Salvation”—it encourages focus on man and his will and ability to do rather than focusing on God and His Word concerning His Only Begotten Son Jesus Who has already done it all; “It is finished.” John 19:30

    2. You’re making assumptions again. I quoted 1 Corinthians 15 because it’s the simple Gospel. I’m not, and I don’t have to defend God’s Word or myself. The thief on the cross recognized his own guilt and simply looked to Jesus and took Him at His Word. Yes, a lost person sees himself as king and the only way he will be made right with God is by faith in Jesus. “Lordship Salvation” adds other things to that. When you insinuate an unbeliever has to do this, e.g., “You have to say the right words” or tell them they have to do that, e.g., “You have to surrender” which is something they cannot do without the Holy Spirit, that’s not the Gospel, the good news, it’s essentially Judaism.

    3. You didn’t ask me, “to explain Romans 10″—you noted “Rom. 10:9-10” along with “1 Cor. 12:3” and then insinuated based on assumptions, e.g., “Then, of course, you haven’t answered Paul’s point in Romans 10:9-10” and “It is dangerous to teach a definition of faith that doesn’t produce anything in a person’s life” and then outright accused me, e.g., “If you don’t want to discuss scripture to shape our understand of how salvation works then I honestly don’t have time” and “you don’t get to cherry pick here or there to explain faith this way or that way. You have to have a whole bible understanding. You can’t have a Romans 4 view that is divorced from Romans 10″—and you’re doing it again. Will you please stop doing that? All this is giving me a bit of a headache.

    Once again, the Scriptures, specifically the book of Romans, explain perfectly how faith produces works, they are self explanatory and don’t need you, me or anyone else to “explain” them. While commentary can certainly be beneficial, it’s the job of the Holy Spirit to explain His Word to us individually and to reveal to our hearts the Person of Jesus in all His offices. Salvation is based on and starts with simple faith. There’s a reason Romans chapters 3, 4 and 5 come before Romans chapters 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. The former has to do with our justification, the latter with our sanctification. You cannot mix the two up. While we are certainly told, among other things, to “note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” Romans 16:17, and in our own little sphere of life down here to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” Ephesians 5:11; it’s not our place to determine if “one truly believes” and has given a “proper response”—only God knows our hearts. There are children and mentally handicapped persons who cannot grasp what you’re even saying. They simply look to Jesus and believe Him. Their personal relationship with Him is, frankly, not our business, just as the relationship my oldest brother had with my Dad was none of my business.

    “We are dependent on the Holy Spirit as our only spiritual power, just as on Christ as our only righteousness! Alas, how incompletely are these two facts taught and learned! We have seen hundreds of eager young believers who are being told to “surrender to Christ,” [and even unbelievers are told the same] that all depended upon their yielding, etc. But these dear children, what did they know of the tremendous truths Paul has taught in the early part of Romans, before asking that believers present themselves to God as alive from the dead? (Rom. 6:13). He has taught the terrible, lost guilty state of all men; their inability to recover righteousness; then Christ set forth as a propitiation through faith in His blood as their only hope; then identification, as connected with Adam, with Christ in His death; and the command to reckon themselves dead to sin, and alive to God in Christ Jesus; together with, the fact that they are not under law, but under grace. All this before the real call for surrender for service, in the Twelfth Chapter is given at all! Our hearts are weary with the appeals to man’s will,—whether the will of a sinner to “make a start,” “be a Christian,” etc.; or the appeal to the will of believers who have not yet been shown what guilt is, and what indwelling sin is. For God’s Word in Romans 7.18 tells us that while to will may be present with us, to work that which is right is not present. Paul told those same Philippians that believers were such as had “no confidence” in the flesh, and that it is God that worketh in us, “both to will and to work, for His good pleasure.” William R. Newell

    Reply
    • Allen Nelson IV

      “You might just as well ask people for a promissory note to produce good works in the future and to persevere otherwise their faith is not “saving” faith.”

      Bingo. A faith that doesn’t produce good works isn’t saving faith. A faith that doesn’t persevere isn’t saving faith. We are justified by faith alone in Christ alone. Any sort of ‘faith’ that doesn’t see Jesus as Lord isn’t saving faith.

      Reply
  4. beccajrt

    The thief on the cross had no “good works” or time to produce them, and so according to you he had no “saving faith.” Now avoid, again, that inconvenient truth of your “Bingo” game and alter your definition. As it is, it appears to be a grace-plus ­a promissory note system. Again, when you insinuate an unbeliever has to do this, e.g., “You have to say the right words” or tell them they have to do that, e.g., “You have to surrender” which is something they cannot do without the Holy Spirit, that’s not the Gospel, the good news, it’s essentially Judaism.

    God does not require us to give a promissory note to produce good works in the future and to persevere before He saves us.

    “The blood of Christ is the only procuring cause for our being accounted righteous, and faith the sole condition.” William R. Newell

    Having believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, and it’s the job of the Holy Spirit to explain His Word to us individually and to reveal to our hearts the Person of Jesus in all His offices. It’s not our job or our place to determine if “one truly believes” or if one has given a “proper response” to the Gospel or if one is “doing good works” or if one is “persevering”—all that, too, is the job of the Holy Spirit.

    “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” Titus 3:5

    What now comes to mind is yet another problem with “Lordship Salvation”—focusing on man and his will and ability as it does, rather than on God and His Word concerning His Only Begotten Son Jesus Who has already done it all; it tends to foster a desire for control over others and it’s related legalism.

    “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

    Reply
    • Allen Nelson IV

      The thief on the cross acknowledged Jesus as King.

      Never have I once said good works get us to Jesus. It’s faith alone. A faith that sees Christ as King (for example, like we see in the thief on the cross).

      Reply
      • beccajrt

        See, there ya go, avoiding that inconvenient truth of your “Bingo” game and so your definition must be changed from this, “A faith that doesn’t produce good works isn’t saving faith” to this, “The thief on the cross acknowledged Jesus as King.” And there is what appears to be that issue of control; “You have to say the right words.” Such a system can’t include children or mentally handicapped persons who simply believe and acknowledge Jesus as their Saviour; Matthew 1:21. It is indeed faith alone, period; there’s no “but” after that.

        I never said “you said good works get us to Jesus.” However, this definition, “It’s a faith (which produces works) that brings us to Christ” can be construed to say that very thing. God gave us to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ brings us to God, we can rest in Him, and when we do that it produces tears of profound gratitude for His unspeakable Love, and; “We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (Exodus 21:5-6)

        “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6.

        “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

        “While it is true that multiple conditions, such as repent, submit, or obey, are required for the newly saved person to mature or grow in their newfound relationship with Christ, it remains a biblical fact that initial salvation is as simple as the one verb “believe.”” Lewis Sperry Chafer

      • Allen Nelson IV

        I’m not changing my definition ma’am. They are both true.

        I’m in the latter stages of publishing a book in this matter. We will blog about it when it’s finished. Hopefully you’ll get a copy and agree.

      • beccajrt

        Again, the thief on the cross had no “good works” or time to produce them, and so according to you he had no “saving faith.” And, again, God does not require us to give a promissory note to produce good works in the future and to persevere before He saves us. And yet there again is what appears to be that issue of control; “You have to say the right words.” And of course they’re “your” words, man’s word, and you get to change them whenever you want. The theological model focuses on you, man and his will and ability, rather than on God and His Word concerning His Only Begotten Son Jesus Who has already done it all. It is indeed faith alone, period; there is no “but” after that.

        I appreciate the offer, but no. It’s odd, it seems everyone in Christendom is writing and selling books these days. Frankly, I wouldn’t give a plug nickel for any of them and I wouldn’t read them if they were free, that includes yours. While I have and glance at a few old ones written decades ago and , I don’t read “books” anymore, the only Book I read is the Holy Bible. I encourage you and everyone else to do the same.

        “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:11-13

        “The Word of God, being the utterance of living Deity, and as we have seen, not passing away, must abide perpetually in the same vitality and energy as when first spoken, because the Spirit of God Who inspired the words, does not leave them: “The Word of God, which liveth and abideth” (1 Pet. 1:23.) This is why believers grow: they feed upon the words that “are life”; and why unbelievers, modernists, who actively reject the Bible as “God spake all these words,” find it “a savor of death unto death.” For the Holy Spirit, Who alone can impart life, lives in the words they reject! . . . Being the Word of God, it is the utterance of infinite wisdom. Here is no chaff, no possible element of decay. it will be as fresh a billion ages from this moment as now . . . Let everyone who has a Bible in his house remember that he has a living book there! Being the _logos (Word) of God, it becomes the _hrema (saying) of God,–by the quickening power of the Holy Spirit Who inspired it and indwells it.” William R. Newell

        Goodnight.

      • Allen Nelson IV

        You don’t read books but you sure quote William Newell a lot. 😉 That is not a very consistent argument.

        You should probably try to pick a different illustration than the thief on the cross to argue your point. I’ve shown, from Scripture, that his faith saw Christ as King. Are you saying seeing Christ as king is a “bad work”?

        How did he see Christ as King? Faith. Oh the sweet blessings of the faith God gives!

  5. beccajrt

    I read William R. Newell’s book Romans Verse by Verse over 10 years ago. That’s a very thoughtless thing for you to say Allen, but perfectly consistent with your behavior thus far; you obviously do not think and consider, rather, you assume and then accuse, and also avoid. And even when your erroneous assumptions and false accusations are brought to your attention, it’s clear you’re not about to apologize for them. Which brings to mind a related note, the Internet, especially social media, is a flesh feeding medium that conditions people to behave exactly as you have, and then blinds them to what they’ve been conditioned to.

    I haven’t been arguing. You’re the one who brought up the thief on the cross, that illustration is your point from your failed argument. You haven’t shown anything from Scripture to support your presumptions, or your position, which started with un-Biblical language to unbelievers, “you need to surrender to Him as the King He is, in repentance and faith” and was simply rewording throughout the conversation, if you can call it that. Further, your question being more of the same is not worthy of an answer, it is, however, very typical of those coming from the camp of that un-Biblical theological model. Finally, your last sentence is inconsistent with your own behavior, it might be laughable if it weren’t so sad. You can have the last word, and it’s certainly not the living, active Word of God, but your own. Goodbye.

    Reply
    • Allen Nelson IV

      If my memory serves me correctly, you once had a presence on Twitter and I noticed that you had these same sort of interactions.

      I am not sure what sort of back ground you have or the baggage you carry. But please don’t let that confuse you about the plain reading of Scripture. This is an important issue.

      It seems like you keep playing the victim. I’m not sure why. I’ve defended my assumptions and sought to engage in scripture. You’ve stated that you don’t read books and you don’t find it necessary to explain verses. This is one of the oddest back and forth I’ve ever had. You don’t want to discuss but just state your side and walk away.

      Lordship salvation is biblical. I’m happy to discuss the verses with you as I’ve stated time and again (anyone reading the comments can see that).

      Reply

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