1st Corinthians 3:10-15: “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
The preceding passage was taken from a letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the church that was in Corinth. Paul compared the life of a believer on Jesus Christ to a construction site. Paul said he had laid the foundation, and then he reveals what that foundation was: Jesus Christ. What did this mean? Paul had preached the Gospel of Christ to these people, and they had believed on Jesus.
1st Corinthians 4:15: “For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
Paul was saying that even if ten thousand teachers should come to Corinth to instruct these believers in Jesus Christ, Paul had the distinction of being the person who first introduced them to Christ. These believers had been born into the family of God by faith (Galatians 3:26), and Paul was like a father to this second birth. Like a real father might impart some advice to his children, Paul had much wisdom to share with these children of God in his long letter to them. Paul wrote that he had laid the foundation, which was Jesus Christ. Once a foundation is laid, a building can be constructed. The construction, or Christian life, would be left up to the individual believers. Paul told these believers that they were free to choose what they would build. They had their choice of building materials, be they “gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble”. One day, all believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:10), where they will receive or lose rewards based on what they did or did not do for Jesus while they were alive on the earth. Paul compared this judgment to passing through fire. Each believer will have his or her work put through the fire. The work done for Jesus Christ will endure and will result in rewards. The work done for any other purpose will burn away and will result in the loss of rewards. Paul was careful to avoid confusion by reminding these Corinthian believers that even though they could lose rewards, they could not lose their eternal salvation. Rewards are dependent upon works. Salvation is not dependent upon works, but on the grace of God given freely to those who believe on Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5). Please understand this concept. There are countless “Christians” out there teaching heresies about how a believer can lose salvation. These false teachers are either extremely ignorant, or else they are lying on purpose (2nd Corinthians 11:13-15). Either way, they are spreading heresies. They say that without works, a person claiming to be a believer on Jesus Christ cannot be saved. This is not true. If a person has believed on Jesus Christ, they receive God’s free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), are sealed with the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 1:13), are adopted into God’s family (Galatians 3:26), and are purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28, 1st Corinthians 6:20). If a person never does any work for Jesus Christ, this will not affect their salvation, which was never contingent on works to begin with. Think about it. Why would Paul say that some believers will receive no rewards in Heaven if it were not possible to be in Heaven without works? You better believe that there will be believers who stand before Jesus who will be very saddened when they receive no rewards because of a selfish lifestyle. But these empty-handed believers are still going to walk away with the greatest gift of them all: An eternal home in Heaven. I find myself constantly beating the dead horse of eternal salvation, or eternal security. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that a believer is forever secure, but there are many false teachers out there who do not want you to believe that. Let me take you to another verse of Scripture that shows you the difference between works and God’s grace, or between rewards and gifts. Once again, Paul sets the record straight.
Titus 3:8: “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”
Good works are profitable for believers. Do you know why? Because good works done on earth for Jesus Christ result in rewards in Heaven. We have not even gotten into the main focus of this article yet, but please, if you learn anything here, understand the difference between rewards and gifts. Fake Christians who want you to doubt your salvation by putting faith into your own works do not want you to understand this simple concept: Works are performed for rewards, not for salvation or for proof of salvation. Works result in prizes. Gifts are given for free. God’s grace does not mix with works (Romans 11:6).
Now, getting back to where we were, we see that Jesus Christ is the foundation in a believer’s life. When a person believes on Jesus, a foundation is instantly laid for the believer to stand on. What is the next step? The believer is free to build as he or she chooses. Perhaps the believer will build a mansion. Perhaps the believer will build a middle class house. Perhaps the believer will park a trailer on the foundation. The mansion will result in lots of rewards. The middle class house will result in some rewards. The trailer will result in few rewards. But what if the believer builds absolutely nothing? Well, there won’t be any rewards for them, but at least they are still standing on that solid foundation. You see, the apostle Paul gave us a great illustration when he left us with the picture of the construction site.
Now, let’s talk about Lordship Salvationists. This is that crowd of arrogant, boastful, religious people who demand the impossible from others. They tell you that you must give up all of your sins, weep in a dark corner for the sins you committed, swear to hate all sin, make Jesus Christ your Lord and Master, get baptized, and smack yourself with a pipe on the shins for any other unknown areas where you are a failure. They demand that you become righteous and holy, to the point where angelic wings grow out of your back and you can simply ascend into Heaven and look down on people everywhere, because this is what Lordship Salvationists do best: They look down on everyone. They do not want to go to Heaven in order to escape Hell, to be in the presence of God or Jesus, or for any reason other than to be up high enough to look down on the rest of the world.
Lordship Salvation is an enemy of Jesus Christ. Why? Because this false religion teaches you to trust in your works along with Jesus Christ. This is a false religion built around pride. Lordship Salvation is the most prideful religion out there, designed to appeal to proud people who don’t like the truth. Do you want to know the truth? You are a sinner. I am a sinner. We are just garbage compared to what we should be. But I got some good news. God loves us anyways. Rather than demanding that we be impossibly good, God came up with a plan. He didn’t like the plan, but He went through with it out of love for us. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, down to earth to die for the sins of the world, to pay the ultimate price so that we would not have to. Lordship Salvationists teach that you cannot be saved unless you turn away from all of your sins, or at the very least are willing to turn away from all of your sins. So a sinner cannot be saved, huh? Or a person who is not willing to give up every sin cannot be saved, right? Paul had a much different message.
1st Timothy 1:15: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
The only righteousness we can earn comes from obeying the law of Moses.
Philippians 3:9: “And be found in him (Jesus Christ), not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
If you perform the deeds of the law, you will earn righteousness. But that will never be enough.
Romans 3:20: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his(God’s)sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
The law was never meant to save anyone. The law was only meant to show people that they could never be good enough. The law was meant to show people that they needed a Savior to bail their sorry butts out of Hell.
Galatians 3:24: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
God realized that none of us was righteous, and you need righteousness to get into Heaven. So God came up with a plan.
Romans 3:23-26: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (sacrifice) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his (Jesus Christ’s) righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
When you believe on Jesus Christ, the righteousness of Jesus is placed onto your file in Heaven. Imagine if you were a hardened criminal. Maybe you were a serial killer. You would never, ever have your crimes removed from your record. You would be facing some serious punishment. Well I got news for you. That pales in comparison to the jeopardy you are in if you are not saved. You have a sin record in Heaven, and you are facing an eternity in Hell. You know what you need? You need to get rid of that sin record and get a ton of righteousness on your file instead. But the only righteousness you can earn comes from obeying the law of Moses, and we already know that you cannot earn enough righteousness that way. So what are you going to do?
Romans 4:5-8: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth(places on a believer’s file)righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
Here it comes, the news that the Lordship Salvation crowd doesn’t want you to know. Imagine that you are that serial killer, and you are facing death row. What if someone knew a way to get you out of your predicament? What if someone was intentionally holding back the key to your release? That is what Lordship Salvationists do. Look at that small passage of Scripture above. That tells you what you need to know. Let me explain how this works. When you believe on Jesus Christ, it’s not like someone puts Wite-Out all over your old record. In fact, your old record doesn’t even go in the shredder. It’s just gone. You get a new record. A blank record. And guess what is written on that record. The righteousness of Jesus Christ. Do you remember that guy? He was the Son of God, and if that isn’t good enough for you, He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). The righteousness from His record will be transferred to your record the moment you believe on His death, burial, and resurrection. You say, “Well what if I screw up after I get saved? Will I lose my salvation and have a bad record again?” No. Once you have your new record, complete with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, God will never again record a sin you commit. What a deal! Once you become saved, sins are no longer recorded to your file. From that moment on, the works you do for Jesus Christ are recorded instead.
Though most people think that Satan is in Hell, he is not yet. Satan is in Heaven right now throwing out all sorts of accusations against believers to God Himself (Revelation 12:10). Satan is telling God how believers are lying, stealing, committing adultery, etc. Good thing we have the best defense attorney there is.
Hebrews 7:25: “Wherefore he (Jesus Christ) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
When Satan opens his mouth and tattles on a believer to God, Jesus pulls out the file for that believer and holds the file up for the whole courtroom to see. Then Jesus says, “Hey Satan. According to this file, my client did none of those things you have accused him of. According to this file, my client has nothing but righteousness on his record. So sit down and shut up.” This is what Lordship Salvation does not want you to know. Lordship Salvation wants you to think that if you sin after becoming a believer, then you were never actually saved. You see, Lordship Salvationists love fairy tales. We would all be better off if they would stop using the Bible to teach fairy tales and go read about Mother Goose instead.
Remember the Scripture that opened this article? Remember how we talked about foundations and buildings? You thought I forgot about all that, didn’t you? No, I just had to get some truth laid down first, a foundation, if you will. I am going to show you how stupid Lordship Salvation is, and we are going to use the simple illustration of foundations and buildings. Thanks for the idea, Paul.
Here is how God wants to see things work: A person gets saved and then performs works out of gratitude.
Here is how Lordship Salvation wants to see things work: A person performs works, or promises to perform works, and God saves them.
Lordship Salvationists will deny this. Lordship Salvationists will say that works are not necessary for salvation. Then they will say that if a believer does not perform works, they were never saved. So they are essentially saying that works are necessary for salvation. You see, Lordship Salvationists are quite skilled at doubletalk. Works are not necessary for salvation, but a believer would be wise to perform works. Lordship Salvationists say that not only are works necessary for salvation, but they will actually go so far as to put works before simple faith in Jesus Christ. Chick Tracts (or Chick Trash) proudly present a false gospel message.
Step two of their plan teaches that a person must be willing to turn from all of their sins. Step three then teaches people to believe in Jesus Christ. Say what?! Did you catch that? Chick Tracts place works before belief on Jesus. Chick Tracts are teaching that before you can even get to the step where you believe on Jesus, you must first make a lifestyle change. Let’s see if this concept agrees with Scripture.
Titus 3:5-8: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his (God’s) mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”
Chick Tracts teach that works must precede belief on Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that belief on Jesus results in salvation, and then works can follow, though whether they follow or not is up to each individual believer. We have a serious contradiction here, folks. You’re gonna have to pick a side. I’m gonna go with the Bible. No thank you, Jack Chick. You should keep your heresy to yourself. Nice job reaching untold scores of people with a false gospel. The Jack Chick false gospel is achieved through doubletalk, teaching that salvation is free but dependent on works. (See my page called “Jack Chick’s False Gospel.”) Would you like another example of doubletalk?
Let’s go to the website of Heartcry Missionary Society, which was founded by Paul Washer, Lordship Salvationist extreme.
This is the man who, one night after preaching, was approached by a woman asking how to be saved. Paul Washer told the woman to go home and seek Jesus. She came back a week later and asked again how to be saved. Paul Washer continued to tell her to go home and seek Jesus. Funny how when the jailer asked the apostle Paul and Silas how to be saved, they didn’t tell him to go figure it out on his own. They told him to believe on Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31). But Paul Washer, or Paul Brainwasher, is not concerned with what the Bible teaches concerning salvation, because Paul Washer prefers to train people to be self-righteous hypocrites just like he is.
The Heartcry Missionary Society website makes the following statement (underlines added by me):
“Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners who believe in Christ from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made. It is given not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but, on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receive and rest on Him and His righteousness by faith.”
This teaches that we are justified completely by believing in Jesus Christ. This would mean that a person can know he or she is saved based upon the fact that they have believed on Jesus Christ. But being a ministry of Paul Washer, you can count on this website to contradict itself. And it does. The contradiction is powered by this religious hypocrite’s misunderstanding of the concept of repentance. If you have not done so, please read my page “Repentance 101,” in which we clear up the true meaning of repentance once and for all. Now, back to Paul Brainwasher’s false doctrine extravaganza. On the Heartcry Missionary Society website, there is a page called “The Gospel of Jesus Christ,” which ironically does anything but give the actual Gospel of Christ. This particular page says that a person’s response to God’s plan of salvation must start with repentance (wrongfully defined by Paul Washer and his ministries), and the following lies are presented (underlines added by me):
“Repentance begins with a recognition and confession that what God says about us is true that we have sinned. A genuine recognition of our sinfulness and guilt will also lead to genuine sorrow, shame and even hatred for what we have done. Apparent sincerity of confession alone is never definite evidence of genuine repentance. It must be accompanied by a turning away from sin.” (All of this is backed up with Scripture taken entirely out-of-context, a staple of the Lordship Salvation crowd. Some Scripture is Old Testament and does not apply to believers in the age of grace. Some Scripture is New Testament but is twisted to meet the needs of the Lordship Salvation crowd.)
This website teaches that you receive justification by nothing you do. It is only by faith. Then the website flip flops and teaches that you must turn away from sin or your salvation never truly occurred. That, my friends, is doubletalk. Paul Washer is like a sneaky, sleazy car salesman who sells you a real junker. He presents the car as a fine piece of automobile, and once you are hooked, you find out that you purchased junk. Paul Washer’s false gospel can be pictured in the following way: Imagine that Paul Washer approaches you and says, “Here, I have a free gift for you. Take it. It’s the best gift you will ever receive!” Then after you take the gift, Paul Washer says, “Ok, that will be one million dollars!” Lordship Salvation is full of dishonest, dirty car salesmen. Except instead of trying to cheat you out of your hard-earned money, these con men want to cheat you out of your eternal security by making you doubt the ability of Jesus to save you, and instead cause you to trust in your own self-righteousness. Now that you better understand the doubletalk nature of Lordship Salvation, we can proceed.
Lordship Salvation places works before belief on Jesus Christ. This is false doctrine. But what if a certain branch of Lordship Salvation switches it up and teaches that you believe on Jesus Christ first and then must perform works? That is also bad doctrine. Do you want to see a simple illustration of how these heresies operate?
Lordship Salvationist #1 places works before belief on Jesus Christ. Picture a field of dirt.
The Lordship Salvationist tells you that you need works to be saved. We will use a house as a picture of that work. The Lordship Salvationist tells you that you must turn from all of your sins, or at least be willing to turn from all of your sins. That is tough work. Demanding instant righteousness from a potential new believer is like demanding them to quickly build a mansion on a field of dirt. Forget the foundation, says the Lordship Salvationist. The most important thing is the mansion. You absolutely must build that first.
So you turn away from your sins, at least the ones you can think of. Now you have built a beautiful mansion. You can show off and be proud. You can brag about what you have done. But unfortunately, your mansion lacks a foundation. You did not lay the concrete of Jesus Christ. Maybe you try to lay that foundation afterwards, pouring concrete around the mansion. But then it is too late. You were so concerned with the works, or the fancy exterior of the mansion, that you built the actual mansion first. Without a foundation, your house will not stand.
Lordship Salvationist #2 teaches that you believe on Jesus Christ and then must perform works. So Jesus Christ is laid as the foundation, but the Lordship Salvationist demands a mansion to be built in order to prove your salvation. Nothing less than a mansion will suffice.
What if you build a middle class house?
Or what if you build a lower class house?
Or worse yet, what if you park a trailer on the foundation?
If you put anything less than a mansion on that foundation, the Lordship Salvationist will insist that you are not, and never were, saved. This is what you call eternal insecurity, where salvation is dependent upon works. How will you ever know if you are good enough to make it to Heaven? You won’t know until you die, and at that point, you had better hope you were good enough.
The Bible does not teach Lordship Salvation. The Bible teaches that even if you have no works whatsoever, you will still be saved if you have believed on Jesus Christ. It’s not what you build that saves you, but rather what you have laid down for the foundation. If you lay the foundation of Jesus Christ crucified for your sins, buried, and raised again for your justification, then you have a solid foundation that will never deteriorate. If, on the other hand, you lay the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ plus the necessity of works, then you are left with a corrupt foundation. This is because we are saved by God’s grace, and grace does not mix with works (Romans 11:6). You may think your foundation is sturdy. You may think that the combination of the work of Jesus Christ and your own awesome, religious works will create the most durable foundation, but you are wrong. You see, when you add your own works to the salvation formula, you are essentially saying that what Jesus Christ accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection is just not good enough. Would you look Jesus in the eye and tell Him that He did not do enough for you? Would you tell Him that His sacrifice was just not good enough? Would you tell Him that His blood, which He took to Heaven and left inside the Heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 9:12), just isn’t sufficient? We have nothing good in our own bodies (Romans 7:18). We have nothing that we can offer God to impress Him. Lordship Salvationists, who like to brag about how they have turned away from all of their sins, are deceiving themselves and calling God a liar, and Jesus Christ does not dwell with them (1st John 1:8-10). Lordship Salvationists reject God’s free gift and instead add their own works to the foundation of what they believe is their salvation. This foundation will crumble.
Lordship Salvationists place their faith in their works. Remember, if you are saved, all of your works that are not done for Jesus Christ will be burned away before the judgment seat of Christ. If you are not saved, you will never stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Your works, along with your soul, will burn. Lordship Salvationists are proud of their religious lifestyles. They are proud of the luxurious mansions they have built. Those mansions will be consumed with fire, and nothing will be left, not even the occupants.
Lordship Salvation forces people to build mansions if they want to be saved. But what if a person believes on Jesus Christ and only builds a lower class house? Does God reject that believer? Does God only accept mansions? Did you know that believers on Jesus Christ all have different jobs within the family of God?
1st Corinthians 12:4-6: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.”
I would encourage you to read the whole chapter for even more insight. The point is this: Is it right to declare someone unsaved because they have not built a mansion? What if a believer does the best they can, and all they ever build for Jesus is a run-down shack? Lordship Salvation will reject that believer, but God loves all of His children and does not expect the same from every one of them. Imagine a grocery store. What if every employee was a manager? What if every employee was a cashier? What if every employee was a stocker? What if every employee was on maintenance? How would that business continue to operate if there was no one to perform all of the other necessary functions? Think of God like the CEO of a company. Lordship Salvation expects all believers to be managers. God knows better. He knows that He needs to have all types of employees. God doesn’t reject a bagger because the bagger cannot bake pies. All true believers are God’s children, and there is a position for each and every one of them, whether they know it or not.
Lordship Salvation denies the concepts of carnal Christians and babes in Christ from 1st Corinthians 3:1-3. Let’s take a look at these concepts:
Carnal Christians: Some believers do not grow spiritually, and they instead stay rooted in the cares of the world. They are still saved, because if not growing spiritually results in the loss of salvation, then the entire system of eternal salvation by faith in Christ falls apart, and God becomes a liar. (See also 1st Corinthians 5:1-5.) A believer who does not perform works for Jesus Christ is an unfruitful believer (Titus 3:14).
Babes in Christ: A new believer on Jesus Christ is like a baby. When a person believes on Jesus Christ, they experience a second birth. Their first birth was physical, while their second birth is spiritual. (See John 3:1-7, 1st Corinthians 4:15, Galatians 3:26, and 1st John 5:1). Your physical birth leaves you with the DNA of your human parents, while your spiritual birth gives you the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13 and Galatians 3:2).
Would you go to a newborn baby, hand them some boards and nails, and expect them to build a mansion? This is exactly what Lordship Salvation does, expecting new believers to build mansions. It doesn’t work like that. Consider the following:
2nd Peter 3:18: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
Lordship Salvation demands that believers be born fully grown. Lordship Salvation requires you to skip infancy, childhood, the teenage years, young adulthood, and even middle age. Anything less than a fully grown adult is rejected by Lordship Salvation. Lordship Salvation does not like the apostle Paul because his teachings are full of details about the grace of God, and grace does not mix with works. Lordship Salvation would prefer to acquire its doctrines from the teachings of Jesus Christ, forgetting that Jesus was speaking to the Jews, not the Gentiles, during the time preceding the age of grace. Lordship Salvation would prefer to avoid Paul and rather look to someone like Peter, who was the apostle to the Jews (Galatians 2:7-8). That’s funny, because did you know that Peter taught the same concept about babes in Christ that Paul taught?
1st Peter 2:2: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word (Scripture), that ye may grow thereby:”
Peter taught that believers grow by reading Scripture. Peter knew that a newborn baby believer needs milk, which is doctrine about God’s grace, while the heavier doctrines are considered meat (1st Corinthians 3:3). Lordship Salvation demands that newborn babies eat big steak dinners. Lordship Salvation demands that newborn babies become instant construction workers, settling for no less than the most exquisite of mansions. Can a baby build a mansion? Can even a child build a mansion?
Lordship Salvation expects nothing less than a mansion from each and every person who claims to believe on Jesus Christ. Lordship Salvation places its focus on the exterior of the house rather than on the foundation. Now again, Lordship Salvationists will deny this because they are doubletalkers. They will say “Faith in Jesus Christ is the only thing that can save you. But if there are no works, then you were never actually saved.” We would all be better off if Lordship Salvationists would stop being sneaky and come straight out with their true beliefs. I will do it for them: They require works. They see a mansion and get excited, ignoring the fact that the mansion was not built on a foundation. Lordship Salvationists are superficial. They are like a man who only talks to a woman if she is drop dead gorgeous. Did you know that some of the best women in the world are not drop dead gorgeous, but instead have true feelings and real personalities? God desires believers to have true faith in His Son, and all those good works will be an added bonus. You can’t see true faith on the outside of a person, and not everyone is good-looking. Some of the ugliest people in the world may indeed be saved, just as the most unfruitful believers are still saved because of their faith. Lordship Salvation rejects people based on outward appearance, but God does not. Lordship Salvation chooses wives who are beautiful, and who are ultimately unfaithful. God chooses the imperfect wives who have a love for their husbands in their hearts, or in this case, true faith in Jesus Christ. Did you know that a mansion, no matter how big, no matter how impressive, no matter how expensive, is only as good as the foundation it was built upon? God desires believers to use Jesus Christ as their foundations, and the building that is placed on top of that foundation is not anywhere near as big of a concern as what that foundation is made of. Lordship Salvation approves of people based on outward appearance, or the show-and-tell religious people who want to boast of what they have accomplished. God is not impressed by what we accomplish. God looks inside each person and checks to see if they have true faith in Jesus Christ. God inspects each house to make sure there is a foundation. Lordship Salvationists choose mansions which are spacious, but which eventually collapse because of their lack of a foundation. God chooses even the most run-down of shacks, as long as He finds the tried and tested Jesus Christ foundation underneath the home.
Here is what Paul wrote concerning religious teachers who are more concerned with the exterior of a house than they are the foundation:
Galatians 6:12-14: “As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory(boast)in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
Old Testament Jews were circumcised, because circumcision was connected to the law of Moses (John 7:22-23). When the age of grace commenced, circumcision was no longer necessary (Acts 15:24, Galatians 5:6). There were religious Jews who still taught that circumcision was necessary (Acts 15:5). In the above passage, we see that there were false teachers who were telling the believers in Galatia that they needed to be circumcised (and also obey the law, evidenced in other verses). These false teachers had perverted the Gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-9), and they did this by mixing works/law with grace (explained by the entire book of Galatians). The knowledge of sin comes by way of the law (Romans 3:20, 7:7). When a Lordship Salvationist demands believers to turn away from all of their sins, it is basically equal to demanding that believers obey the law. Do you know why Lordship Salvationists do this? This is done “to make a fair shew in the flesh”, meaning to create a public display of outward appearance, being fixated on body rather than spirit, on the exterior rather than the interior. Lordship Salvationists do this in order to “glory in your flesh”, which means that they want to boast of your accomplishments. Look at what Paul said about these false teachers:
“For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory (boast) in your flesh.”
The false teachers who forced the law of Moses onto the Galatian believers did not obey the law themselves. Lordship Salvationists, who force the “turning away from sins” onto believers, are not without sin themselves. Some of them may think that they are, but they are only deceiving themselves (1st John 1:8). Lordship Salvation is a prideful false religion that teaches its converts to boast of their accomplishments.
“But God forbid that I should glory(boast), save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
We have nothing to boast about. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. God was clever when He created the plan of salvation. Do you know why? Because God’s free gift of salvation totally eliminates the chance for believers to boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9: “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.”
If Lordship Salvation was true, and works were necessary for salvation, then believers could boast of their works. But because salvation comes by faith and is a free gift, believers have nothing to boast about of their own doing. We should only boast about what Jesus Christ accomplished through His death and resurrection. Lordship Salvationists enjoy “a fair shew in the flesh” and the opportunity to “glory (boast) in your flesh.” True believers on Jesus Christ are meant to do the exact opposite.
Philippians 3:3: “For we (true believers) are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
Lordship Salvation wants you to brag about the temporary mansion you built. God wants you to brag about the incredible work that Jesus Christ did to give you an everlasting foundation.
Did you know that churches can be like neighborhoods? A church full of Lordship Salvationists is like a wealthy neighborhood. To live in that neighborhood, you must be rich. To attend that church, you must be prideful and love to brag about your accomplishments.
A church full of true believers on Jesus Christ is like a
trailer park. To live in that neighborhood, you don’t have to be rich. To
attend that church, you only need come as you are. You see, God does not expect
believers to be perfect. Believers are just people. They are fixer-uppers. God
does not want to purchase mansions. God wants to invest His money into
Luke 5:30-32: “But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (a change of mind).”
Jesus compared Himself to a physician. He came here for the sick. Imagine that you are sick, but you refuse to admit it. A doctor cannot help you if you refuse to go to him, stubbornly believing yourself to be well. Now if you admit you are sick and go to the doctor, he will help you. If you come to Jesus waving your own righteousness in front of His face, don’t expect Him to help you. He will say “Well, it doesn’t look like you need my help, since you have righteousness of your own.” If you come to Jesus as a sinner, Jesus will take you into His office and request your records. He will say, “I see what the problem is here. You don’t have any righteousness. That is fatal. We’re gonna need to fix this right now.” Because you came to Jesus knowing that you are sick and in need of a doctor, or a sinner in need of a Savior, Jesus will take your records, get rid of them, and give you a new record full of righteousness. Jesus does not help the proud and the self-righteous. Let me show you who Jesus helps.
Romans 5:6: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
1st Timothy 1:15: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
Galatians 3:8: “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith (in Jesus), preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.”
A “church” that is full of Lordship Salvationists is not a church, but rather a social club for proud people to brag about their latest achievements. Lies and arrogance abound. The “pastor” is a self-righteous hypocrite on a pedestal. A church that is full of true believers on Jesus Christ is a place for help and encouragement. Truth and humility abound. The pastor is a sinner like everyone else in the congregation.
I hope you better understand the differences between Christianity and Lordship Salvation now. One is truth, and one is poison. One takes you to Heaven, and one takes you to Hell. This is not a matter of slight differences in beliefs. This is about two systems with entirely different beliefs and entirely different outcomes. Religion likes to make things complicated. God likes to make things simple. I have used many illustrations in order to make Biblical truths easy to understand, the way that God intended them to be. The illustration of the foundation and the building on top of it was wisely chosen by God to be included in Scripture. When something is an important concept, you will oftentimes see it repeated throughout Scripture. I would like to leave you with several more examples of construction site references contained within the Bible.
Acts 4:11-12: “This (Jesus Christ) is the stone which was set at nought of you builders (the priests and religious leaders of the Jews), which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Acts 20:32: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace (the Gospel of Christ, the foundation), which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
Ephesians 2:19-22: “Now therefore ye (Gentile believers on Jesus Christ) are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
1st Peter 2:6-8: “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I (Jesus Christ) lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”
Colossians 2:6-7: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith (standing on the foundation of Jesus Christ), as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
Romans 16:25-26: “Now to him (God) that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel (believing in the Gospel of Christ establishes the believer on a firm foundation), and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”