By Dr. Peter Hammond, 7/15/22
Can we accept Jesus as Savior, without submitting to Him as Lord? I have heard this question in various forms numerous times over the last several years.
Jesus Christ is Lord
It is quite disturbing that anyone could consider separating Salvation from the Lord Jesus Christ. It portrays an inadequate understanding of the problem of sin, the nature of God, Christ’s mission on earth and our purpose and calling as Christians.
Out of Egypt
Would it have been sufficient for Moses to have proclaimed to the Hebrews, who were slaves in Egypt that they should accept that in Yahweh they had perfect freedom, whilst leaving them in bondage and under the whip of slavery in Egypt? Surely, anything less than deliverance from Egypt, freedom from the bondage of slavery, would have been inadequate. God’s eternal purposes required the people of Israel to survive the Passover, leave Egypt, cross through the Red Sea and be established as a free people in The Promised Land.
Delivered from Sin
Sin is serious. We are far too tolerant of sin. Yet, sin is more defiling than dirt, more dangerous than an un-exploded bomb, more life threatening than a deadly disease, more insidious than a virus. “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:6-9
Confronting our Problems
We have two major problems: Sins and Sin.
I need forgiveness for my actions (sins).
I need to be saved from the guilt of my sins – for what I have done.
I also need deliverance from my nature (sin).
I need to be saved from the power of sin – from what I am.
Past, Present and Future
The Gospel declares unto us a Salvation that is past tense, present tense and future tense.
I have been saved. I am being saved. I will be saved.
If we are Christians, then we have been saved – from the penalty of sins (our actions). We are fully forgiven.
We are also being saved – from the power of sin (our nature). We are daily freed.
We shall be saved – from the presence of sin (in Heaven). We are eternally delivered.
The Son of God died instead of me for my forgiveness. This deals with my guilt. The legal word Justification sums up this past tense aspect of our Salvation. Justification – just as if I had never sinned.
Jesus Christ lives instead of me for my deliverance. This present continuous aspect of our Salvation can be called Sanctification. This deals with the power of sin. Salvation is life-changing transforming.
One day, Jesus Christ will return to this world in glory and He will raise the living and the dead. In our new resurrection bodies, we will be freed from the very presence of sin – in Heaven. This future tense of our Salvation can be called Glorification.
The Blood and the Cross of Christ
The Blood of Christ deals with what we have done – it cleanses us from our sins.
The Cross of Christ deals with what we are – it strikes in our capacity for sin.
The Return of Christ will deal with our very inclinations and temptations to sin.
Saved from Sin
In a real sense, if we are Christians, we can speak of our Salvation as being past tense, present tense and future tense.
We have been saved from the penalty of sins.
We are being saved from the power of sin.
We shall be saved from the presence of sin.
In Christ’s Blood, we have forgiveness, because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” He has ransomed us.
In the Cross, there is death for the destruction of sin. “The Son of God came for this very reason to destroy the works of the devil.”
In our Lord Jesus Christ, we have victory to conquer Satan. At the Cross, Jesus conquered sin and Satan, death, hell and the grave.
In Christ, we have provision for holiness. Because “without holiness, no one will see the Lord.”
The Narrow Gate
In the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have the door to eternal life. The gate to Heaven is narrow and that gate is the Cross. We cannot get to Heaven without following Jesus and you have to go through the Cross. The Cross is a requirement for discipleship. “Then Jesus said to His disciples; ‘if anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his Cross and follow Me.’” Matthew 16:24
“There is a way back to God from the dark paths of sin,
there is a door that is open and you may go in,
at Calvary’s Cross is where you begin,
when you come as a sinner to Jesus.”
“I know a fount where sins are washed away,
I know a place where night is turned to day.
Burdens are lifted, blind eyes made to see.
There is a wonder working power in the Blood of Calvary.”
Our Salvation depends upon Christ’s Atonement alone and never upon our attainment. It is faith in the fact of Christ’s finished work, not my temporary feelings, emotions or feeble attempts.
The precious Blood of Jesus purifies the conscience, redeems us, sets us free, cleanses us from all sin, obtains forgiveness and freedom, sanctifies us, gives us complete freedom to go into the presence of God and wins for us the victory.
Through His Blood
“He breaks the power of cancelled sin, He sets the prisoner free,
His Blood can make the foulest clean, His Blood availed for me.”
Discipleship, Obedience and Fellowship
Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
We are called to:
Committed discipleship – Following Jesus’ example – For He is the Way.
Consistent obedience – Obeying Jesus’ teaching – For He is the Truth.
Constant fellowship – Abiding in Jesus’ love – For He is the Life.
Attentive and Obedient
When last did God speak to you? What did He say? Did you obey?
If someone who did not know the Lord followed in your footsteps – would he find Jesus?
What kind of example are you?
God shows us the way – but we must do the walking.
Do Not Settle for Less than God’s Very Best
If we have a proper understanding of the problem of sin, then we must not be satisfied with anything less than full Salvation. Not only forgiven from the penalty of sin but victory over the power of sin.
Full Salvation from Sin
This was one of the aspects of the Protestant Reformation. The Reformers pointed out that Catholicism was offering salvation in sin. People were going to confession, buying indulgences and partaking in the mass, without any true repentance and without the evidence of changed lives. The Protestant Reformation proclaimed a full Salvation from sin.
Freedom in Christ
Israel could not fulfill its calling by remaining in bondage in Egypt. Neither can we effectively serve God today if we remain conformed to this world, in bondage to its sins and idolatries, attempting to accept the benefits of Jesus as Savior while denying His authority as Lord over all areas of our lives.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Only Savior
Jesus is either Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all. The only Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ. “For the grace of God that brings Salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14