by Bernard Koerselman, J.D.
This is a book about "Lordship salvation." Simply stated, proponents of Lordship salvation hold that one is saved by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. One cannot be saved by believing only in Jesus as Savior. One must take Jesus as Lord if he is to be saved. Stated more basically, Jesus came to be our Lord; He came to be not only our Savior but also our Lord.
The author poses two statements: 1. If you believe in Jesus as your Savior, you have eternal life. True or False? 2. If you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, you have eternal life. True or False? The author believes both statements are false. In order to be a Christian one must believe (totally commit) to the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is more than a mental assent that Jesus is Savior; one must take Him as Lord of his life in order to be saved.
What then does it mean to believe? To believe mean to totally commit to the Lord Jesus Christ as sovereign and Lord. Who is this Lord Jesus Christ that we must believe in? "He is the mighty God, the perfect Man, the only Savior, the eternal King and Lord of lords."
How does one test his faith to determine if he has truly believed in the Lord Jesus Christ? A faith that saves will evidence itself in good works. Abraham showed that his faith was real by offering his son Isaac. "Faith without works is dead." Faith is demonstrated, not by the words we say, but by the deeds we perform.
Is that not a salvation by works? No, states the author. We are not working for salvation; good works demonstrate that salvation already exists within the believer. Salvation is by grace through faith. Faith shows through works that grace has changed our lives.
We must remain faithful and obey the commandments of God if we are to continue to be "in Christ." If a believer continues in disobedience, he is in danger of being cut off from the source of his spiritual life. "I believe millions of people continue to believe they are Christians because they wrongly believe that all they have to do is believe Jesus died for their sins on the cross or that He is their personal Savior in order to have salvation. If they correctly understood that their relationship with Jesus must be with Him as their Lord, they would know that their rebellion against His teachings and commandments severs them from the vine" (p. 141).
This book has already generated lively discussions among Christians. One might hope that those who read this book will carefully examine their own faith and their relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ.