Last week I learned about Lordship Salvation for the first time. As I looked over this chart which I have adapted from one posted at I have come to realize how messed up my theology is. I was raised with some elements of both Free Grace and Lordship Salvation mixed with more of a third perspective called Arminianism, spent years under Free Grace, and have lately been attending a church that falls on the conservative side of Lordship Salvation. By the time I made it through all the research I did on this I felt absolutely schizophrenic. God has been very faithful at helping me sort through things and see his truth in the areas where it has been lacking for me. That part has been very good.

So, look over the chart and see what you believe. These different theologies can stir great controversy and are dividing God’s church. That is not my intention of posting this here, but instead to give us an opportunity to pause and think about how we judge others, criticize, and divide because of the beliefs we hold. I don’t think the division is what God really wants, but having a correct theology is needed. Without that we could be leading people to believe things that are not true. Either side of the coin has it’s blessings and its issues.


Free Grace

“Carnal Christianity”

Cheap Grace

Lordship Salvation

Reformed Soteriology



By grace through faith

By grace through faith

Key belief



Eternal Security



Assurance of Salvation

Absolute regardless of
one’s behavior.

Once saved, always saved.

One can fall away and live without faith but still they are saved if they once committed.

Relative to one’s behavior

Only saved if they endure to the end. If a believer falls into sin and does not return to the
Lord they were never saved to start with.

Fear of going to Hell

No Fear

Fear that one might have never been saved to begin with

The Correlation
between one’s behavior and one’s salvation status

Not necessarily any correlation – or perhaps a trivial correlation. It is possible for those
born of God to live a lifestyle of sin and even fall away from the faith,
but not lose their salvation

It is inevitable that those born of God will continue (as in lifestyle or professional sense) in
the faith and in a living consistent with that faith to the end.

Nominal Christians

Don’t exist

Their faith is not of salvific value (Faith is God’s condition for salvation, but not any kind of faith. It must have both the right object and right quality to qualify).


They are irrelevant to salvation

They, along with a continued faith, indicate one’s salvation status (works viewed as an effect). They are a necessary consequence of being
declared righteous.

There are also works involved in the development of saving faith from its nominal stage in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. But such are pre-salvation works.

Marked by

Cheap grace and too much tolerance.

Legalism and a lack of graciousness.

View that lack of exhibit of faith means you were never saved.





Salvation is a gift we just need to receive. This gift is unaffected by future behavior regarding
what we do with it. Faith does not include notions of surrender or submission.


After salvation is received the Holy Spirit may bring conviction of sin, desire for righteousness,
judgment, and the Word of God is finally received.

Salvation through Christ involves a turning in the heart from sin and as a part of faith. It
includes a submissive commitment to obey Jesus Christ as Lord, not just Savior.


True salvation produces a desire for sanctification and righteousness. The validation and proof of salvation is ongoing obedience to God’s ways.




Sanctification is a part of every Christian life and good works are evidence that God is at work
and the person is truly following Christ.

Progressive sanctification and perseverance must follow conversion.

 Exhibiting Fruit

Fruit is not required.
You are saved because Christ offered eternal life to anyone who believes.

Insists on repentance
as evidenced through a change of behavior. Behavior and fruit are seen as
evidence of saving faith.



Grace comes through
faith. The focus is on Christ to provide justification, not on man’s work.

There is a focus on
the kind and quality of faith, not Christ as the object of the faith.


Man is instructed to perform good works, but performance does not affect his justification in

Implicit obedience or at least a willingness to obey is required. If they continue in sin they are
not true believers. Works are evidence of a saved life.


Grace and faith

God’s grace gives faith to fallen man. This advances the believer to a place of holiness and
Christ likeness. Without grace man cannot believe nor can he hope to attain holiness or Christ likeness. Surrender is not required.

Faith is not simple and uncomplicated. There is a need for an all-out commitment to Christ, being
a disciple, and to surrender all we have and are.



Discipleship and surrender are not required. There is a distinction between the “call to
believe” and the “call to follow” and become disciples.

Sees faith and discipleship as two sides of the same coin. To believe is the same as being
willing to be His disciple and follow him.


NT Warnings


Warning and exhortations in the NT are encouragement to persevere and be faithful. A
maturing Christian finds joy in doing what the Father asks, but maturing is not required.

Warnings and exhortations in the NT are ways to test lives to see if people are Christians
or are just posing as believers and are really deluded and lost.

Rewards for work

Do good works for rewards and approval of God. Works are not tied to salvation, but they are a
sign the person is growing. Works are not an outpouring but a way to seek God’s favor.

Good works validate salvation and say thank you to God for what he has done for us. Good works are a gift to believers. The works are fruit coming from a life of true faith.

The kingdom

Sees a distinction between “entering the kingdom” and “inheriting the kingdom”

See no distinction


Emphasize grace. This is what motives them and they seek to express it in the way they live. At
their worst they need more grace.

Emphasize the sign of works.
This is what motivates them as they seek to prove themselves. At their worst
they exhibit legalism and lack of graciousness.

Nature of faith

Faith is not a free gift from God, but the responsibility of the unregenerate man. It is a work that man must do.

Faith is a free gift worked in the heart by the Holy Spirit. Not a decision but an attitude. Not a
work but a gift.


Repentance is a simple change of the mind.


Sanctification is divorced from justification. Some people choose discipleship while others do

Repentance is an about turn involving the whole person. If flows from regeneration and true faith. It is a continual process, not an event but a way of life. Repentance always follows regeneration and always accompanies salvation.

Similar belief

Antinomianism (from the Greek
ντί, “against” + νόμος,
“law”), or lawlessness (in the Greek
“unlawful”), in theology, is the idea that members of a particular
religious group are under no obligation to obey the laws
of ethics or morality, and
that salvation
is by faith only.[2]
Antinomianism is the polar opposite of legalism, the notion that obedience to a code
of religious law is necessary for salvation.
( Antinomianism)

Legalism, in Christian
is a sometimes-pejorative term referring to an over-emphasis on law or codes
of conduct, or legal ideas, usually implying an allegation of misguided
rigor, pride, superficiality, the neglect of mercy, and ignorance of the grace
of God
or emphasizing the letter of law over the
. Legalism is alleged against any view that obedience to law, not
faith in God’s grace, is the pre-eminent principle of redemption. Its
opposite error is antinomianism, which is alleged against a view that moral laws
are no longer binding. ( Legalism_(theology))