COLLEGE OF THE OPEN BIBLE
Lordship Sanctification - Heresy or Biblical?
The term Lordship sanctification has a variety of faces that are subtle to the untrained eye of the Bible. Simply, it is presented as a doctrine that says the true believer will make Jesus Christ Lord of every area of their life as a prerequisite for sanctification and therefore, will not have to battle with sin thereafter. According to this view, those who battle with sin have not properly yielded to Christ's Lordship and are not yet saved or sanctified. Those who teach this often reject the biblical fact that there is such a thing as carnal Christians. This doctrine was introduced to the church at Galatia and was unfortunately welcomed (Gal 1:6,7).
However, the trained eye to the Bible knows that this teaching is contrary to the message of every epistle in the New Testament. If the truly sanctified believer is one who has no struggle with sin, then why did the apostles spend so much effort and time in warning believers not to sin?
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The apostle Paul refutes this false doctrine when he wrote his epistles in which he corrects his readers about their various sins and errors. He did not tell them that they were lost and needed to be saved. He said plainly in all his epistles that they were in Christ (a term for salvation).
Lordship sanctification is man's efforts and/or imagination to make Christ Lord of every aspect of one's life. This is impossible. Jesus already is Lord... always was and always will be (Philippians 2:11). Sanctification can never be realized by one's effort to improve themselves and impress God. Sanctification is the very act of the indwelling Holy Spirit illuminating the yielded believer to know the Word of God, thus, enabling the believer to obey the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:18). Sanctification is not what we make of Christ... it is what Christ makes of us (Philippians 1:6). Perhaps the greatest thought possessed by Christians is knowing that Jesus Christ can never be less than who He is: HE IS LORD.
The Christian experience is not about putting Christ first place in life (Lordship sanctification)... It is Christ putting us in our place... a state of righteousness and understanding the sufficiency of God's amazing grace in which a believer is then compelled to obey the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 12:9). We don't obey Christ to make Him Lord of our life, we obey Him because He IS LORD.
Sincerely, Dr. Arthur Belanger