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One of the nice things about a blog is . . .

April 26, 2011

that you can get things off your chest without having to give a defense or lengthy explanation (my castle, my rules, Logue said). So here it is:

The teaching by some Christians that acknowledging Jesus’ lordship and submitting oneself to it is secondary is a wrong-headed one (I was going to say “pernicious” but that might have been just a bit too strong). It’s ironic, too, since these folks claim to be holding fast to Scripture in this belief, even though it flies in the face of the clear teaching of the Bible.

The problem comes from drawing such a thick line between the faith that saves and the works that are expected to follow that we think the important issue is taken care of when we’ve received Christ, and now we can kind of coast into the other one. For such Christians, Christianity must primarily be about getting into heaven, not about getting back into a right relationship with God with all that involves (although, obviously, one wouldn’t know all that entails at the beginning, nor at any point in time along the way, for that matter). To make obedience a secondary matter (which, the way I’ve heard it presented, makes it almost a mere matter of choice) is to believe in a truncated Christianity (and a rather selfish one, too, unless we think God is specially blessed to have us). The problem between fallen people and God isn’t just that they aren’t heaven bound. It’s that they are under the lordship of (i.e., they worship) something or someone else. And God won’t share His glory with another.

People who resist the idea that lordship is a central concern say we should obey God out of love. If they’re thinking about love in the context of the command to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, then I’m with them, for to do that is to lay one’s whole self at God’s feet for whatever He desires. Which is to recognize His lordship. Which is to end the debate. However, if what they mean by love is warm feelings toward God, that we should only obey when we are overflowing with affection and adoration, I have to demur. God never asks us to obey Him only when we’re in a “loving” frame of mind (or heart).

Anti-lordship people need to get over the knee-jerk reaction against “works” which, to them, means works of merit. That fight with Rome and the Judaizers of the early church has been settled (for Protestants, anyway). We know we’re saved by faith alone. Obeying God by faith has nothing to do with earning anything. We are saved by faith for the purpose of doing what He calls us to do, and we’re blessed by being permitted and enabled to do it. Let’s not forget verse 10 when we quote Eph. 2: 8 and 9.

We don’t obey God in order to be saved. We obey Him because He’s God and He said we’re to serve Him. And that gets us nothing. Well, nothing but His pleasure and His rewards. And that’s not a bad deal.

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From → Doctrine

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