The doctrinal position that what is necessary for salvation is faith (defined primarily as being convinced of the facts of the gospel) and an appeal to Jesus for salvation at some point of time in one’s life, and that repentance (defined as turning from sin) is not necessary for salvation; also called easy-believism or free grace theology.
- Scripture used by proponents of non-lordship salvation as evidence for their position:
Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:30-31 ESV).
And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness…. (Romans 4:5 ESV)
- I can’t find a statement of non-lorship salvation in any historic church document, but here’s an argument for it found in Easy-Believism Defended by Pastor Steven L. Anderson:
In order for verses like John 3:16, John 5:24, Acts 16:31, Romans 4:5, Romans 10:13-14, and others which declare that anyone who believes on Jesus Christ (i.e. puts their faith in him for salvation) shall be saved to be true, God must save a person who is unwilling to turn from sin but believes on Jesus Christ. If not then God is a liar.
From A 15-Year Perspective on the Lordship Controversy by John MacArthur:
The doctrine of grace … is profoundly affected by no-lordship teaching. Defenders of the no-lordship gospel often refer to their unique teachings as “Grace Theology” and their movement as “the Grace Movement.” They are convinced that only their system preserves the gospel’s message of grace. That is precisely why they insist every opposing opinion is a kind of works-salvation.
But they are working with an unbiblical notion of “grace.” Grace is not a liberal clemency or a passive indulgence that simply tolerates and coexists with sin. Divine grace doesn’t guarantee heaven in the afterlife while merely overlooking the evils of this life. Authentic grace is the undeserved favor of God toward sinners, delivering them from the power as well as the penalty of sin (Romans 6:14). Grace is dynamic, “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:1)
- Monergism.com: What Is Easy Believism?
- Sam Waldron: Easy Believism
- GotQuestions.org: What is easy believism?
- Theologue.org: Lordship Salvation Controversy (Recommended especially for the comparison chart at the end.)
- John MacArthur: A 15-Year Perspective on the Lordship Controversy
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