Thursday, December 2, 2010

Stewart on the Lordship of Christ

James A. Stewart has written one of the best summaries on the issue of submitting to the Lordship of Christ.  Though the "Lordship Controversy" appears to be a thing of the past, it remains a fresh conversation for us to have.  Here's the debate:  must a believer accept Jesus as both their Savior and their Lord in order to be saved?  In other words, must a person not only trust that Jesus can save them if they believe, but also repent and bear the fruits of their repentance?

I believe that those in whom God justifies on account of the substitutionary death of Christ He also sanctifies in the Spirit.  This means that salvation is more than a get-out-of-hell-free-card, but a call to repentance whereby we submit to our Lord, pick up our cross, and follow Him.  We surrender all.  Submit all.  And sacrifice all just as our Lord did for us.

Here is what Stewart had to say on the subject:

There are many who want to be saved from the consequences of their sin, who do not want to be saved from the love of it. Many want to be delivered from sin's curse and sin's wages, who do not want to bow their neck to the yoke of Christ. There are many who are attracted by the Gospel message and see the way of salvation, who are still possessing a craving for this present evil age. How great the need for care, lest by an inadequate presentation of the truth of the Gospel we deceive these souls into a false profession. There is a grave danger that many people will make a mistake of substituting an emotional religious crisis for a born-again experience. To preach Christ as Saviour without preaching Christ as Lord, makes a mockery of the Gospel and the entire Christian life. There must be true repentance. 'If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him' (I John 2 : 15).

To those who want to receive Christ as Saviour in order to have a passport to Heaven, but desire to remain in their sins and in the world, we must be faithful and declare like Peter, 'Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity' (Acts 8:21-23).

Mr. Spurgeon warns his students: 'If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord's will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do you imagine that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Saviour, while they are wedded to their idols and their hearts are still in love with sin? If I do so, I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel, insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness

To read the rest, click here.

James A. Stewart - The Lordship of Christ - True Repentance  

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