By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
For many years there has been a debate among Christians about what a non-Christian must do to become a Christian. This has led to a re-examination of what classic evangelistic Biblical statements mean. For example, Acts 16:31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” Historically this has been understood to mean, “Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you shall be saved.” But those who have become known as “Lordship salvationists” say or imply it means more than that. They say or imply it means, “Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and dedicate yourself to him without any reservations, and you shall be saved.”
The result of the “Lordship salvationist” view is that if someone claims to be a Christian but does not seem to be dedicated to the Lord, their profession of faith in Jesus Christ is questioned. Perhaps an example will make this plain. The Bible clearly teaches that after someone has become a Christian, they are to get baptized as a public demonstration of their faith. But does a non-Christian who is considering becoming a Christian need to be told that they must agree to be baptized after their conversion, or they cannot become a Christian? How we answer the question depends on what we think it means to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved.
The differences between “Lordship salvation” theology and its opposite are great. Therefore, Charles Ryrie has written an excellent book refuting “Lordship salvation.” I have read this book 5 times. It is good for personal reading, use by Bible study groups and Sunday school classes, and as a series of sermons. Click on the following link, and look it over. Then, get it, read it, believe it, and tell others about it. The book is called “SO GREAT SALVATION.” Here’s the link: http://www.christianbook.com/so-great-salvation-charles-ryrie/9780802478184/pd/78182?product_redirect=1&Ntt=78182&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP
To read a brief article presenting the simple plan of salvation, click on the following link: http://www.godssimpleplan.org/gsps-english.html