Embracing the Lordship of Christ
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29
As bizarre as this may sound to you, there has been a move in recent years in which theologians and pastors have been teaching that it is okay for someone to only accept Jesus Christ as Savior without submitting to Jesus as Lord. The people that teach this see the need for a person to trust in Christ to save them from their sins, but that is where it ends for them. They see no reason to submit to His lordship and make Jesus Lord of their life. It is a school of thought that is built around the idea that conversion only involves faith in Christ and not repentance from sin and submission to the Lord. They base this upon the fact that there are some verses of scripture that only mention “faith” in the salvation experience such as John 3:16 and Acts 16:31. But what these people tend to overlook is the fact that there are also verses that only mention “repentance” in relation to the conversion experience such as Acts 2:37-38, and Acts 3:19. The reason why some verses only mention faith and others only mention repentance is because the writers of the New Testament did not separate the two issues. Faith and repentance were viewed as one issue. If one was mentioned, the other was automatically assumed.
To believe that one could be forgiven of sin (trusting Christ as Savior) but not have to forsake sin (submitting to His Lordship) is what is called “easy beliefism.” It is a “gospel” presentation that involves nothing more than asking Christ for salvation from sins. Repentance is left out of the equation. I guess you can see how terrible this teaching really is. There is no doubt that this concept of salvation is a very disturbing trend, and I wholeheartedly speak out against it; for genuine conversion involves faith and repentance. It involves receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, and submitting to Him as the Lord over your life. Salvation is not an either/or situation, it is a both/and, for it involves faith and repentance. You cannot separate the two. Both ingredients are involved when we are genuinely saved.
Jesus taught faith and repentance as well. Consider our verse above. Jesus invites sinners to come to Him by saying, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” but then He immediately adds, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me.” You see, to come to Him involves taking His yoke upon us, and being placed under His guidance. It means that we are subject to His direction, being obedient to Him and learning from Him, and that’s what it means to make Jesus Lord of your life. I am truly convinced that if someone thinks that they can simply receive Jesus a Savior, and refuse to submit to His Lordship, then they are not genuinely saved in the first place.
Sure, this teaching would seem attractive to people in this culture that we live in that hates all forms of authority. It’s attractive to think that one could be forgiven of sins and yet have no personal responsibility to repent of sin and submit to Jesus as Lord over their life. As Wayne Grudem puts it, “it is clearly contrary to the New Testament evidence to speak about the possibility of having true saving faith without having repentance for sin.”
Be careful and do not buy into this muckity muck involving a gospel message with no repentance. Satan would love for you to believe that. Instead, come to Christ for salvation, and immediately strap on His yoke and submit to Him as Lord of your life. By putting on His yoke, you will indeed find that your wearisome soul will find rest.
– Pastor Eric