No Saviorhood Without Lordship, by A.W. Tozer

  No Saviourhood Without Lordship

We must never underestimate the ability of human beings to get themselves
tangled up.
Mankind appears to have a positive genius for twisting truth until it ceases
to be truth and becomes downright falsehood. By overemphasizing in one place
and under-emphasizing in another the whole pattern of truth may be so
altered that a completely false view results without our being aware of it.

This fact was brought forcibly to mind recently by hearing again the
discredited doctrine of a divided Christ so widely current a few years ago
and still accepted in many religious circles. It goes like this: Christ is
both Saviour and Lord. A sinner may be saved by accepting Him as Saviour
without yielding to Him as Lord. The practical outworking of this doctrine
is that the evangelist presents and the seeker accepts a divided Christ. We
have all heard the tearful plea made to persons already saved to accept
Christ as Lord and thus enter into the victorious life.

Almost all deeper life teaching is based upon this fallacy, but because it
contains a germ of truth its soundness is not questioned. Anyway, it is
extremely simple and quite popular, and in addition to these selling points
it is also ready-made for both speaker and hearer and requires no thinking
by either. So sermons embodying this heresy are freely preached, books are
written and songs composed, all saying the same thing; and all saying the
wrong thing, except, as I have said, for a feeble germ of truth lying inert
at the bottom.

Now, it seems odd that none of these teachers ever noticed that the only
true object of saving faith is none other than Christ Himself; not the
”saviourhood” of Christ nor the ”lordship” of Christ, but Christ Himself.
God does not offer salvation to the one who will believe on one of the
offices of Christ, nor is an office of Christ ever presented as an object of
faith. Neither are we exhorted to believe in the atonement, nor on the
cross, nor on the priesthood of the Saviour, all of these are embodied in
the person of Christ, but they are never separated nor is one ever isolated
from the rest. Much less are we permitted to accept one of Christ’s offices
and reject another.
The notion that we are so permitted is a modern day heresy, I repeat, and
like every heresy it has had evil consequences among Christians. No heresy
is ever entertained with impunity. We pay in practical failure for our
theoretical errors.

It is altogether doubtful whether any man can be saved who comes to Christ
for His help but with no intention to obey Him. Christ’s saviourhood is
forever united to His lordship. Look at the Scriptures: ”If thou shalt
confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that
God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… for the same Lord
over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon
the name of the Lord shall be saved” Rom. 10:9-13). There the Lord is the
object of faith for salvation.
And then the Philippian jailer asked the way to be saved, Paul replied,
”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). He
did not tell him to believe on the Saviour with the thought that he could
later take up the latter of His lordship and settle it at his own
convenience. To Paul there could be no division of offices. Christ must be
Lord or He will not be Saviour.

There is no intention here to teach that the earnest believer may not go on
to explore ever-increasing meanings in Christ, nor do we hold that our first
saving contact with Christ brings perfect knowledge of all He is to us. The
contrary is true. Ages upon ages will hardly be long enough to allow us to
experience all the riches of His grace. As we discover new meanings in His
titles and make them ours we will grow in the knowledge of our Lord and in
personal appreciation of the multifold offices He fills and the many forms
of love He wears exalted on His throne. That is the truth which has been
twisted out of shape and reduced to impotence by the doctrine that we can
believe on His saviourhood while rejecting His lordship.


Being a faithful witness, by Mike Bickle