Editorial by David Kowalski
I hear these days a reverberation of an old, testimonial saying (popular in the 60’s and 70’s) that is unbiblical. People will say they received Christ as Savior at one point in their lives but did not “make Him Lord” until some time later.
The problem with this statement is that the real Jesus is both Lord and Savior and you cannot divide him into parts. A “Jesus” who is not Lord is a “different Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4). Paul tells us that genuine salvation is only found in the true Jesus who is Lord:
“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;”(Romans 10:9 NASB).
I am not suggesting we will achieve sinless perfection in this life, but I would say that if we do not have Jesus as Lord, we do not have the Jesus spoken of in the Bible, but instead have a counterfeit that we have imagined in order to appease our flesh.
Someone will likely say, “That sounds like ‘Lordship Salvation,'” but all they can offer as an alternative is a “Lordless Salvation” that is a different gospel. “Making Jesus Lord” (a poor choice of words in itself) does not in itself save us, but it is only our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who saves. Christ’s lordship is not optional.
“I cannot conceive it possible for anyone truly to receive Christ as Savior and yet not to receive him as Lord. A man who is really saved by grace does not need to be told that he is under solemn obligations to serve Christ. The new life within him tells him that. Instead of regarding it as a burden, he gladly surrenders himself – body, soul, and spirit- to the Lord who has redeemed him, reckoning this to be his reasonable service.” — Charles Spurgeon 1
“All the grace contained in [the Bible] is owing to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior; and, unless we consent to Him as our Lord we cannot expect any benefit by Him as our Savior.” — Matthew Henry 2
“It is either all of Christ or none of Christ! I believe we need to preach again a whole Christ to the world – a Christ who does not need our apologies, a Christ who will not be divided, a Christ who will either be Lord of all or will not be Lord at all!” — A. W. Tozer 3
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