TRB74.Lordship Salvation

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Tony and Jesse (let’s be honest… mostly Tony) get heated about Lordship Salvation and kicking the sheep.


5 thoughts on “TRB74.Lordship Salvation

  1. Hey brothers. Thanks for all that you do. I’ve really enjoyed listening to your podcast. With all due respect, I think you completely misrepresented Washer’s intent regarding repentance. You have to take his words in the context of his theological framework. He obviously does not believe you can or have to grow in holiness prior to believing in Christ. While his wording may have been a bit sketchy, I think it’s rather obvious that he was speaking of repentance after one comes to faith, that true believers continue to repent of sin and grow in holiness. This is clearly the emphasis of his sermon, especially taking into consideration the biblical passage he references (Matt. 7:16 “You will know them by their fruit….”). Nor can I really agree with you that the gospel was not in his message. He spoke of Christ as the only mediator between God and men; he spoke of Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life; he spoke of the radical sin of man and the wrath of God; he spoke of the grace of God through Jesus Christ; he spoke of the death of Christ on the cross and of Christ bearing the wrath of God for our sins and rising from the dead. If that’s not the gospel, then I’m still in my sins because that’s what I’ve believed, and I would assume that’s what you have believed. I’m not sure if you guys are aware, but there is actually a video where Washer discusses the background of that event. In this video he actually addresses the repentance issue, saying that he didn’t mean to word it the way he did and that he recognizes repentance and faith occur simultaneously.

    Additionally, could you guys provide a definition of what you believe lordship salvation is, or how MacArthur or others have specifically defined it. I don’t think I heard you guys provide an actual definition. I think it would benefit the conversation. I for one would say that I believe in lordship salvation specifically because the apostles preached the lordship of Christ in their evangelistic messages and called on people to repent and believe (e.g. Acts 2:36; 10:36; 17:30; 20:21; 2 Cor. 4:5). I believe repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. True repentance is not without faith and true faith is not without repentance. Repentance without faith is legalism; faith without repentance is antinomianism. So a true Christian is one who has repented of sin (had a change in mind respecting God and sin) and believed in Jesus Christ and lives under his lordship.

    Thanks again guys.

    1. We didn’t give a specific definition, but we referenced several of what MacArthur calls the distinctives, and many of them include the troubling conflation of obedience/submission and faith.

      I’ll have to go back to Washer’s sermon again, but simply talking ABOUT those things is not the same as preaching the Gospel. My impression of Washer’s sermon was that the call to action, as it were, was still about submission to God, rather than trusting him.

      I’ll give it another listen and let you know if I come to another conclusion.


      1. Thanks for the reply Tony.

        You’re right, you did discuss the several distinctives laid out by MacArthur. Honestly, I wrote my comment about halfway through and then finished listening. Would you mind providing, however, in a sentence or two, how you understand lordship salvation? Because at the end you guys seemed to affirm some form of lordship salvation but you obviously have issues with MacArthur’s articulation. Please understand, I don’t really follow MacArthur much, so I’m not all that familiar with his particular perspective on this issue.

        One thing I found really interesting was your discussion of repentance coming after faith and justification, that repentance takes place in union with Christ. I certainly agree that the Christian continues to repent throughout their life as they do sin, which of course means repentance takes place in union with Christ, but don’t you also recognize a “repentance unto life” that is inseparably bound to saving faith? Reformed confessions and catechisms affirm this. For example, the Shorter Catechism Q87, “What is repentance unto life? Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience.” WCF 15.1-2 affirms the same thing.

        Grace and peace

  2. Hello Gentlemen,

    I just want to bring something up for the sake of clarify in the debate:

    At 17:44, Tony said, “In the Lordship Controversy, there was Zane Hodges– that group. And they were saying all you gotta do at some point in life acknowledge the facts of the gospel, and as long as you’ve acknowledged the facts of the gospel and prayed a prayer, then no matter what your justified. That itself justifies you. It’s its own form of works righteousness, right? The prayer that you pray is efficacious to bring about your justification and it can never be revoked. “

    Although many hold that view and it could be dubbed “easy believism” and the view that MacArthur critiques, unfortunately that’s not the Free Grace view of Zane Hodges according to his lectures, books, or articles from the Grace Evangelical Society. You also wouldn’t find anyone in his “group” (GES) teach that prayer, confession, commitment, etc. has any role in justification. In fact, there’s no “works righteousness” involved, since Zane and many of his followers teach that men can’t even decide to “will” faith. Rather, it’s a persuasion that happens to them upon hearing the Word of God. Zane also says, “To describe faith that way is to demean it as a trivial, academic exercise, when in fact it is no such thing. What faith really is . . . is the inward conviction that what God says to us in the gospel is true.” Hodges further defines faith as “firm conviction, “childlike trust,” an “act of appropriation” of the truth of the gospel, and an “act of trust.”

    Proof of this can be found in the second chapter of his book, Absolutely Free! A Biblical Reply to Lordship Salvation (Second Edition).

    I appreciate learning from you.


    1. It is an implication of his views. Certain actions on our part obligate him to save us, even if we utterly reject him later in life.

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