Does Jesus need to be our Lord as well as our Savior if we are to be saved?

W. Robert Godfrey & Derek Thomas
1 Min Read

THOMAS: When I was in seminary in the 1970s, John MacArthur went after the “carnal” Christian view, which taught that you could be saved and get to heaven without obedience or holiness. You would be saved by the skin of your teeth. You might miss out on some rewards, but you would still be saved. Nothing could be more contrary to the Scriptures and the Reformed doctrine of perseverance.

It is absolutely crucial that Jesus is both Lord and Christ and that we relate to Him not just as a friend—He used that term in the upper room—but also as our King and Lord. We owe Him complete obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit.

GODFREY: Historically speaking, you can understand the motive of trying to separate Christ the Savior from Christ as Lord to make salvation more accessible, but it had the effect of trivializing Christ and undermining any notion of relationship with Him. The whole effort to have Christ as Savior but not as Lord was so that you could get to heaven without paying any attention to Jesus. That’s unthinkable from a biblical point of view.

THOMAS: This idea was something that evangelicals were prone to, especially evangelicals who put a lot of emphasis on the experience of a certain kind of rebirth defined by a visible act. It might be a profession of faith by walking the aisle or some other outward gesture, but it would be at the expense of the life of faith that is the fruit of rebirth.

This is a transcript of Derek Thomas’ and W. Robert Godfrey’s answers given during our Blessed in Christ: Detroit 2021 Conference and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email or message us on Facebook or Twitter.