Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Another Mistaken Idea: If He isn't Lord of All, He isn't Lord at all!

24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen Romans 16:24 NKJV

 Some time ago I began a periodic study of some of the mistaken ideas that have infiltrated the Church. Removing wrong thoughts, or ideas brings freedom to our relationship with God. Today, I feel impressed to address a concept in the Body of Christ, that many cling to.
If He isn't the Lord of All, He isn't Lord at all?
 This is a really loaded statement if you will. This phrase is a popular saying among many church groups. Some Christian writers and speakers in the past have had much success by constantly labeling the Church of Jesus Christ as lackluster, uninspiring, and subpar in its scope. For some unknown reason, it seems appealing to some Christians to hear how much the Church is failing and is a great disappointment to God. 

Why is this phrase a mistaken idea? Because it seeks to determine one's salvation and acceptability with God based solely upon one's performance and merits. Ideas such as this uproot the secure position of the believer and rip away the blessed assurance they have in Christ. With ideas such as this, our right standing before God is now based upon our obedience and not Christ's obedience. 
The "C.O.P.S." are coming!

  The performance and Old Covenant-minded ministers and believers, seek to turn the fruits of salvation into the roots of our salvation. They look to find how well one's Consecration or Commitment, Obedience or Observance to the "rules" " performance, and Submission or Subjection to the Lord is to determine if one is "really" saved. Just like the Pharisees of Old, they seek outward evidence only to determine one's value in Christ. 

 These "Pharisaical" style ministers love to point out perceived flaws failures and shortcomings. These have told the divorcee' that they are displeasing to God. That you have failed your marriage so you're a failure to God. These are the ones who label other believers as not measuring up. These ministries preach a works-based gospel that never produces security or assurance in Christ. 

Front-loading the gospel message with requirements other than responding in simple faith is adding to the Grace Gospel. I've heard a mega church pastor actually tell his church that if there is even one area where you're still in charge you will go to hell when you die. If this is so then salvation is dependent upon my continual submission and obedience. What if you fall short one day? See how this idea removes assurance and security in Him? 

 These concepts never produce the true fruit-bearing believers that these ministers hope for. It produces a shallow, surface appearance of having it all together, but inside people are hurting and struggling. People then simply mask their behavior and intents of their hearts. The people still sin and fall short, they just find ways to conceal their actions. This is why there is no freedom from bad habits and addictions in works and performance-based ministries. 
The truth is Jesus IS Lord.

 This concept is erroneous because Jesus is Lord, regardless if you allow Him to be Lord or not. The Word is clear, see it here. Jesus is the Lord of all and because of this, He is the only one who is the Savior. Is our salvation then rooted in our level of consecration, observance, performance, and submission? Absolutely not. These are the fruits of the New Creation, not the roots.

If we could ever merit what Christ paid for then Jesus alone isn't our Savior. Our behavior has become our savior. Whatever we see Jesus paying for in the Finished Work proves only the Cross could appropriate it for us. Thus, no amount of goodness, charitable deeds, or even abstinence from wrong or immorality, could procure it. It is by Grace alone, through faith alone we receive it. 

Our eternal salvation was only made possible by the Finished Work. His blood has what has cleansed us and given us perfect right standing before God. One's level of commitment or submission to  

His Lordship isn't what saved us and isn't what maintains that salvation. His Grace and our faith in His once-for-all-time sacrifice on that Cross are what saved us. After we are saved, the fruit of the New Creation is progressively maturing into who we already are in Him, including submission to His Lordship, which is His leading and guidance and direction for our individual lives.