Charles Spurgeon DIDN'T Teach Lordship Salvation

By David J. Stewart | September 2008

       I recently heard Dr. John MacArthur speaking on the radio (his sermon tape, The Call To Repentance). He quoted Pastor Charles Spurgeon, London's mightiest Baptist preacher of centuries past...

Of all the statements that I have read on the subject, the strongest one comes from Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Listen to what Spurgeon said. "There must be a true and actual abandonment of sin and a turning unto righteousness in real act and deed in every day life. Repentance, to be sure, must be entire. How many will say, Sir, I will renounce this sin and the other...but there are certain darling lusts which I must keep and hold? Oh, sirs, in God's name let me tell you, it is not the giving up of one sin, nor 50 sins which is true repentance. It is the solemn renunciation of every sin. If thou dost harbor one of those accursed vipers in thy heart and dost give up every other, that one lust like one leak in a ship will sink thy soul. Think it not sufficient to give up thy outward vices, fancy it not enough to cut off the more corrupt sins of thy life, it is all or none which God demands. Repent, says He, and when He bids you repent, He means repent of all thy sins otherwise He can never accept thy repentance as real and genuine. All sin must be given up or else you will never have Christ. All transgression must be renounced or else the gates of heaven must be barred against you. Let us remember then that for repentance to be sincere, it must be entire repentance. True repentance is a turning of the heart as well as of the life. It is the giving up of the whole soul to God to be His forever and ever. It is the renunciation of the sins of the heart as well as the crimes of the life." [emphasis added]

SOURCE: Quote by Spurgeon provided by John MacArthur, The Call to Repentance  -  John MacArthur (Note: Charles Spurgeon originally made this statement in a sermon entitled, TURN OR BURN, preached December 7, 1856, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens).

Unfortunately, John MacArthur horribly takes Charles Spurgeon's words out of context, and claims that Spurgeon taught Lordship Salvation.  Nothing could be further from the truth, as this quote by Spurgeon himself plainly reveals...

"You must not expect that you will be perfect in 'repentance' before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. 'Repentance' is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself..."

—Charles Spurgeon

SOURCE: (Charles Spurgeon, from a sermon titled, REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE, preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on September 23, 1855)

Why doesn't MacArthur quote that?  Admittedly, the former quote provided above, by itself, seems to support Lordship Salvation; BUT, if you look carefully you'll notice that Spurgeon continually mentions the word "renunciation" (i.e., rejecting one's sins).  To "renounce" does not mean to literally forsake, otherwise Spurgeon would have used a different word.  It is clear from Spurgeon's latter statement that he didn't believe in Lordship Salvation at all, and MacArthur is barking up an empty tree.  Spurgeon simply meant that a person who attempts to justify any sins in their life cannot be saved, until they RENOUNCE all sins as being a violation of God's Holy Law... "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:19).  Jesus said in John 3:20... "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." 

The world doesn't want to renounce their sins, nor to be reproved for them.  This is why there are many false gospel's today, which don't include the Law of God.  For there to be salvation, one MUST realize his or her guilt of sin (and thus need for a Savior), being condemned under God's Holy Law, and then believe upon Jesus Christ to be forgiven of those sins and saved.

"You must not expect that you will be perfect in 'repentance' before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. "Repentance" is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself..."

—Pastor Charles Spurgeon

SOURCE: (from a sermon preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on September 23, 1855)

Clearly, Charles Haddon Spurgeon DIDN'T believe that forsaking one's sins, or grieving, or feeling sorrow, or being willing to turn from them, was necessary to be saved.  Rather, Spurgeon believed that they were evidences of genuine repentance.  Spurgeon did in fact teach, as have other great men of God, that a sinner ought to turn from his or her sins as evidence of genuine repentance; but this is after-the-fact, and not a requirement for salvation itself.  Spurgeon plainly taught "there are no conditions of salvation," which is what the Bible teaches.  We are sinners and Jesus is the Savior!

MacArthur's Secondary Authority

John MacArthur deceitfully picks and chooses quotes by great men, twisting their words, in a malicious attempt to support his false teachings. This has been the deceitful, lying tactic incorporated by the entire Lordship Salvation crowd. However it shows the fatal flaw and weakness of their perverted theology. They cannot use the Bible, so as a secondary authority, "great men of the past" are being erected as straw-men to bolster their false gospel. They take excerpts carefully chosen from archived sermons, twisted them out of context, well suited with the error of Cain, to deceive the Church. So now we have Satan’s new gospel (actually the same old lie) for our modern day.

These men are motivated by the flesh, so it is not strange they will use the sins of the flesh (lying) to exalt the flesh. Sadly, they believe that they are spiritual! They do not fully understand true GRACE and Christ’s imputed righteousness. How can a person truly be saved and follow the perverted gospel of Lordship Salvation? There are really only 2 religions in the world; it is salvation by human works or by God's Grace alone.


John MacArthur is a False Prophet

Heretic, Dr. John MacArthur, who denies the efficacy of Jesus' literal, physical blood; denies once saved, always saved; teaches Lordship Salvation; and is a hardcore Calvinist.
Dr. John MacArthur teaches a bunch of garbage—quoting the heresies of Martin Luther and John Calvin, and has publicly referred to the Westminster Confession as a "theological masterpiece" over the radio.  It's straight from Hell.  We ought to follow the Scriptures (John 5:39); and not flawed and imperfect men (Romans 3:4; Psalm 118:8).  The Word of God stands true!  It bothers me that MacArthur twists Spurgeon's words out of context, attempting to portray Spurgeon as believing in Lordship Salvation, i.e., the heresy that a person cannot be saved unless they turn away, hate, grieve and intend to stop living a sinful lifestyle. 

Such a change is the FRUIT (result) of genuine repentance (which result usually requires time for a new believer to grow in truth and grace); and is not a part of saving faith (the ROOT of salvation).  We are saved by God's grace through FAITH in Jesus Christ as our Savior (Ephesians 2:8,9).  Salvation is receiving; not giving.  We pay nothing!  There are no conditions of salvation.  The only requirement is that we come as sinners and trust upon Jesus' holy name, Who washes our sins away with His precious literal blood (1st Peter 1:18,19; 1st John 1:7; Hebrews 9:12; Revelation 1:5). 

A professed Christian who still loves sin may, or may not, be saved; but we cannot know with any certainty (1st Samuel 16:7).  Only God truly knows who is saved.  The Bible is filled with accounts of Christians who horribly sinned.  Noah got drunk (Genesis 9:21).  Samson has sex with a prostitute (Judges 16:1).  David killed Uriah to hide an adulterous affair with the man's wife, Bathsheba, which impregnated her (2nd Samuel 11; 12:9).  Jeremiah quit preaching God's Word (Jeremiah 20:9).  Isaiah had unclean lips (Isaiah 6:5).  Jonah fled from God's will (Jonah 1:10).  Peter cursed the name of Jesus and denied knowing Him (Mark 14:71).  These are just a handful of examples of believer's who struggled with sin in their lives.  If Lordship Salvation is true, then all these wayward saints went to Hell.  The truth is that Lordship Salvation is no salvation at all; but rather, a religious trap and a road to Hellfire.

Charles Spurgeon on Repentance

Here is a lengthy quote by Charles Spurgeon concerning Biblical repentance...

You know there are degrees of faith, and yet the least faith saves; so there are degrees of repentance, and the least repentance will save the soul if it is sincere. The Bible says, "He that believeth shall be saved," and when it says that, it includes the very smallest degree of faith. So when it says, "Repent and be saved," it includes the man who has the lowest degree of real repentance. Repentance, moreover, is never perfect in any man in this mortal state. We never get perfect faith so as to be entirely free from doubting; and we never get repentance which is free from some hardness of heart. The most sincere penitent that you know will feel himself to be partially impenitent.

Repentance is also a continual life-long act. It will grow continually. I believe a Christian on his death-bed will more bitterly repent than ever he did before. It is a thing to be done all your life long. Sinning and repenting—sinning and repenting, make up a Christian's life. Repenting and believing in Jesus—repenting and believing in Jesus, make up the consummation of his happiness. You must not expect that you will be perfect in "repentance" before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. "Repentance" is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. [emphasis added]

SOURCE: (from a sermon preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on September 23, 1855)

Spurgeon plainly taught that he believed repentance "includes the man who has the lowest degree of real repentance."  You'll never hear this quote from Ray Comfort, Paul Washer, John MacArthur, Jack Chick, or others today who are sinfully teaching Lordship Salvation.  Biblically, repentance is a "change of mind."  The changes that follow are the result of true repentance at work; and not repentance itself. 

Also, notice that Spurgeon stated: "Repentance is also a continual life-long act."  Spurgeon was not teaching that salvation is a process, because it's not.  Spurgeon simply meant that once a person initially repents, thus acknowledging their guilty sinful condition and trusting the Lord by faith to be forgiven, those same elements of repentance and faith will work in the believer's mind and heart for the rest of their life.  Salvation is more than being saved .  When God saves us, the lifelong process of growing in the Lord begins.

Clearly, Spurgeon taught a Free Grace view of the Gospel; and not a false gospel that requires lost sinners to forsake personal sins to be saved.  Who can do that?  Even the best of Christians still sin every day!  Even our ignorance is part of our sin.  Like it or not, Charles Spurgeon plainly taught the truth that "there are no conditions of salvation."  Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23), freely received (Revelation 22:17), and without works (Romans 4:5; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:3,4; 2nd Corinthians 5:21).  Salvation is without works of self-righteousness.  Romans 4:5 plainly teaches that a man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness, i.e., the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to one's heavenly record by faith.


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