Lordship doctrine in a nutshell

What is lordship doctrine and what does greasy grace mean?

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?  Romans 6:14

Any believer can ‘fulfill the lusts of the flesh’ and not walk in the Spirit. This is why we need to be reminded that since we are dead to sin (it’s eternal consequences), we need to not allow sin to reign in our flesh. If we do, we will be obeying the lusts of the flesh. This is why we are told not to yield our flesh to unrighteous acts. Instead, we are to submit or yield to God so we won’t be servants to unrighteousness. We see in the Word (Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, James, etc.) that believers did yield their flesh to unrighteous acts. They were told to not be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Rom 12:2).

Greasy Grace

I despise that term (greasy grace). I hate that they have the audacity to put ‘greasy’ or ‘cheap’ with the word ‘Grace’. They seem to live to accuse us of being licentious or we want to sin like the devil. That is not what we believe. By even using that term, they mock and malign the Grace of God and His tender mercies to those who have sinned. Since we have all sinned (Rom 3:23) and all fallen short of His glory, we need to remember not one work will earn us everlasting life, and not any works after will keep it, or prove we have it. He has offered eternal life freely to all. That means the whole world. His grace is available to all men (Titus 2:11), therefore we should be praying for all, as He was a ransom for all and desires none should perish (1 Tim 2:1-6). 

These condemning people think these carnal believers are tares (unbelievers). So fine. If you think that, then OBEY the Word.

Don’t uproot them. Don’t judge them. Share the gospel with them.

The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’  But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.  Matt 13:28b-29

For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?  But those who are outside God judges.  1 Cor 5:12-13

His grace is FREE and is neither greasy or cheap. Nor are we the ones who cheapen it by speaking of the reality that works do not belong with the gospel (no matter what they claim their motives may be).

Load-shippers (lordship) are the ones that cheapen grace and are accursed as long as they are adding works to the free gift of salvation. If they were once saved, they are trampling the Son of God underfoot, they are counting His blood as not Holy, and they are insulting the Spirit of Grace. How do they do this you ask? They put their filthy rags of righteousness as some proof of eternal life (Is 64:6; Ps 94:4). As proof they were ‘really saved’. As a way to help keep them saved.

Can people abuse grace? 

Yes believers can and do — we see examples of much carnality in the church.  Remember, back then, the church was not somehow known as a building, but as the body, those who had believed. Today, our misconception is that the church is a place we attend.

Should any of us take advantage of His grace? Absolutely not, God forbid.

But again, does someone take advantage? Over and over we see in God’s Word that people unfortunately did just that, yet their soul would still be saved.

A few of the terrible sins believers committed in the New Testament

►They were malicious in their talk even against the apostles – (Diotrephes against John, and the church at Corinth questioning Paul’s apostleship are a couple of quick examples).

►They were biting and devouring one another at Galatia (Gal 5). Why? Because they had become bewitched by those who were trying to get them to finish in the flesh, that which was begun by the Spirit (Gal 3). Sound familiar?

►The apostles themselves (James, Barnabas and Peter) were hypocrites, not being straightforward about the truth of the gospel (Gal 2:11-21).

►They maligned the Lord’s supper and abused it terribly (1 Cor 11), some to their physical death.

►The church at Corinth suffered an incestuous adulterer and didn’t even mourn over that terrible sin (1 Cor 5)

►They considered going back under a sacrifice that was no longer, to avoid separation, disdain and persecution from the other Hebrew nonbelievers (Heb 10).

►The believers James wrote were hearers of the Word and not doers. They were not demonstrating their faith to their own brethren in need. They showed partiality to the rich and treated poor brethren poorly. Those without food or clothing they were not taking care of. They had tongues of fire, cursing, envious, self seeking, warring and fighting among each other. Friends with the world. Boasters who were arrogant and proud, double-minded and unstable, who needed humbled (James 1-5).

Listen dear friends, these accusers of God’s children are the very ones that cheapen His grace by offering their fleshly works as part of the way to eternal life. Or they cite their works they have done in His name as proof they have been saved (back door loadship). This is the same as the false prophets in Matt 7:13-23 who didn’t see that Jesus was the Narrow path/way, but instead justified themselves by their wonderful works. They blend discipleship and salvation into one and try to make it the ‘good news. Or like the bewitched Galatians are finishing in the flesh (by law), that which began in the Spirit (Gal 3:1-5). This is LOADSHIP in a nutshell, and if this is all they’ve ever believed, they have never understood the gospel and are still lost.

Lordship or Loadship?

Load-ship (or loadship) is really a more proper term for the doctrine of lordship. It is not about submitting to Jesus as Lord, which is a very good thing for BELIEVERS to do as we abide in the Vine and continue in His Word (John 15:4-5; John 8:30-31). Loadship adds burdens to the gospel, and it shuts up the kingdom of heaven — not only to themselves, but to others (Matt 23:4-13).

Lordship doctrine (according to John MacArthur) is the same as the ‘P’ in the Calvinist Tulip, (or the Perseverance of the Saints). But it is not just the Calvinists that teach this, but also the Pentecostal church, the Catholic church, the ‘Orthodox’ churches, and basically most religions in the world would classify as loadship. No matter how much they claim they believe salvation is by faith alone, they speak out of the other side of their mouth, adding works to salvation before, during or after.

Reformed (or Calvinists) and lordship doctrine

The reformed add works sometimes before and most definitely after salvation, because they believe a ‘true convert’ will absolutely do good works, and will do them to the end. It is because they believe they are pre-regenerated (or simply put –born again before they can believe). And this means they were ‘gifted’ that faith and repentance by pre-selection to heaven, so what God has done can’t fail (in that we agree). (SEE IS ETERNAL LIFE or FAITH THE GIFT?) In that vein of their doctrine, if God has done it, a person WILL perform good works to the end of their lives. If not, that person wasn’t really saved (that is their teaching, it is not what the Word shows us differently.) 

Arminians (or Pentecostals, Assemblies of God, Four Square, etc.)

The Arminian’s teach lordship doctrine similarly, although if you don’t perform, you have lost your salvation or walked away from it. Neither can quantify how much of a percentage or desire to do right is ‘saving’.

We are a new creation that needs to continue to put off the old man

The old man is not rehabbed, the old man is something we still need to put off (Eph 4:22-23).  Our flesh is still with us until we are delivered from us (the redemption of our body (Rom 7:24-25, 8:23; 2 Pet 1:13-15).  So we need to take heed to His Word to help keep us on the right track, to keep us from sinning, something we need to continue in to be a disciple and also get our instruction in righteousness (Ps 119:9-11; 105; 2 Tim 3:14-18).   We need to add to our faith, so our walk in this lifetime will not be barren or unfruitful (2 Pet 1:5-9).

James 2

Believers can be carnal

The believers — identified as brethren in James 2, were doing some pretty awful things. They were favoring the rich, and despising the poor. Their thoughts were evil, their judgment wicked. Yet he called them ‘beloved brethren’. He said the Spirit was dwelling in them (James 4). But their faith was useless to help or encourage the others. He was not calling them beloved brethren on one hand, then suggesting they hadn’t really believed (as all the loadship false teachers imply by citing ‘even the demons believe and tremble’). This entire epistle didn’t have to do with the fact that they were already eternally saved (as most try to say they are not), but that their faith did not profit other men. Titus 3:8, instructs believers that they SHOULD be careful to maintain good works, because this is beneficial (or profitable) to all men. These believers in James were walking in the lusts of the flesh instead of walking in the Spirit (as were the Galatians (Gal 5).

They needed to lay aside filthiness and wickedness, and needed to look to His implanted Word which would work in them if they would continue in it.  That is why they were told to be doers, not just hearers of the Word.  We are to take heed to it.

They needed to tame their tongue. James chastised them for the cursing that came out of their mouths. Again, he identified them as brethren who were proud, and had strife, and wars and fighting, and bitter envying.They lusted, murdered and coveted. They broke the entire law. They prayed for the wrong things, things that would fulfill the lusts of the flesh. He called these brethren (who had the Spirit in them) adulterers. He warns them to submit to God and resist the devil. To draw near to God. To cleanse their hands and purify their hearts, humbling themselves to the Lord. 

In the end, James encourages them to save other brethren from erring from the truth. The very thing he spends his whole letter doing.

Believers don’t always demonstrate their faith as they should

Believers should demonstrate our faith before others.  That is the ‘works’ that are being spoken of in James chapter 2.    What good is it if we say we are Christians, but we do nothing to show it to others?  In fact some believers look worse than the world.  I have in my lifetime.

The ‘justification’ in James 2 is not speaking of being given eternal life, but of fellowship with God and a working faith in front of men.  Abraham was the ‘Friend of God’ after he was a believer, but God’s declaration of His Righteousness (as in eternal justification) did not happen when he offered Isaac up on the altar but many decades before.   (See Gen 12:3; 15:6) Rom 4 says, “If Abraham was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God.”  So please continue to read in Romans 4.

Abraham was declared righteous before circumcision

Abraham was circumcised (Gen 17:24-26) at the age of 99.  Isaac wasn’t offered up until he was a lad.  Abraham was declared righteous when he believed God and left his land (Gen 12) and it was ratified, and God swore by Himself in Genesis 15.  This was well before Isaac was offered up in Gen 22. So we have a problem if we’re trying to say this is justification as in being given the free gift of eternal life.     

Abraham believed God and IT was counted to him as righteousness (his belief in God’s testimony).  Galatians 3:8 declares it was the gospel being preached to Abraham back then.

Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcisedRomans 4:9-12

Likewise, the Holy Spirit is the believer’s seal of the righteousness of faith that we have in Christ Jesus.  This makes us the legitimate spiritual children of Abraham.  By believing upon Christ (who He is, God the Savior) and Him Crucified (His work on the cross for our sin, and resurrection in 3 days as the Scriptures prophesied).  He circumcises our hearts, is given as an earnest — seals us until the day of redemption.  This all happens when we believe upon Him as our Savior.

Cheap Grace or Greasy Grace?

Cheap Grace is a term coined by admired ‘disciple’ Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was sadly an anti-christ who is often quoted by many reformed churches.  These mini-accusers of the brethren toss around the phrases ‘Cheap Grace‘ or ‘Greasy Grace‘ for those of us who defend the gospel.  Or they’ll falsely accuse of wanting to sin like the devil or of somehow being licentious because we do not want the gospel of grace modified to fit their unbiblical ideas of what is ‘true’ faith or ‘saving’ faith. Or they question who is a ‘true’ believer based on one’s performance or ‘wonderful works’.

Who are the false prophets but the ones who justify themselves before God by their ‘wonderful works’? (Matt 7:15-23).   This is the very thing that the false religions of the world teach.  Somehow we can be good enough to please God or become godlike.   

My friend Johninnc from says, “Jesus never denied they did wonderful works, only that He never knew them” (Something to that effect).

These loadshippers justify themselves by their works


Listen to their words.  Their doctrine is their ‘fruits’.  And they are bad ones (contrary to what THEY teach fruits are — works).  They justify themselves by their works.  The problem is that they define ‘saving faith’ as ‘discipleship’.   They don’t see the gate or the narrow way as Jesus Christ (the only way to enter) but as some lifetime path of works.  But let’s consider what one must DO in order to be a disciple vs. what one must ‘do’ in order to be given the free gift of eternal life.

What is a Disciple?

  • Can be a believer first (John 8:30-31), and one who has believed must continue in His Word to be a disciple (this is a work that happens over time).  We are not declared righteous over time, but at the moment we believe, then we are sealed with the Spirit (John 5:24; Col 1:13; Eph 1:13).
  • Can be an unbeliever (John 6:44-46).  Unbelievers and even Judas were identified as disciples.
  • A disciple has a list of things they SHOULD DO.  These are works that take time correct?  Is this how we are given the free gift of eternal life?  Or are these things that happen when one adds to their faith?
    • Pick up their cross daily (Luk 14:27) – that would imply salvation doesn’t happen until we finish this work.
    • Hate their father and mother (love God before them – Luke 14:25-26) – obviously this speaks to putting God first.   We learn this over time in His Word?  Is salvation over time?
    • Go out into all the world and preach the gospel to all people.  Are we not saved until we preach the gospel?
    • Follow His commandments (and they are not burdensome). We have to know His commandments (His Word) to follow them, so again, this takes time.
    • Forsakes all they own (Luk 14:33).  Don’t even get me started with those trying to prove they are saved because they sold their house and bought a smaller one.  They haven’t forsaken ALL.
    • Count the cost (Luk 14:28-32), we don’t even have a clue until we begin our walk as believers what the ‘cost’ will be of following Him
    • Public confession (Matt 10:32-33, Rom 10:9) – many believers did not ‘confess’ Him publicly, however they still were saved (Lk 12:42-43).
    • Abide in Him (John 15:4-9) – we can clearly see in all the epistles that many did not abide in Him.
    • Add to their faith (2 Pet 1:5-9) – Faith must come first before we can add to it.  Believers can also not add to their faith, thus being ‘barren’ and ‘unfruitful’.

There are many more Scriptures speaking to what works one must do in order to be a disciple.  Let’s not get believing unto eternal life confused with believers becoming a ‘disciple’ or being a ‘follower’.  Again, many unbelievers were his disciples but they stopped following Him.  Again, the reason was they did not believe yet they were identified as disciples.

Conclusion: Being a disciple does not = receiving the free gift of eternal life.  Eternal life is freely given the moment we believe and not over a period of time.  The ‘proof’ is in God’s testimony of His Son, we have either believed HIM or we believe these false teachers.

What is a Christian?

The famous mostly reformed site, defines Christianity as a person who have ‘repented of their sins‘ and ‘made Jesus Lord of their life‘.

We don’t ‘make Jesus Lord of our life’, we believe He IS Lord, who He said He is, the great I AM (God, the Messiah).  Jesus is Lord of even the demons, He is Lord of all, maybe THEY might remember that.

Do we have to repent from sin to be saved?

Turning from sin is a good work, but one a believer should do after they are saved, with the help of the Lord and the sanctifying/cleansing/washing of His Word (Jn 17:17; Eph 5:26; Ps 119:9).  But the Word of God never asks a nonbeliever who is a sinner without strength, unable to do anything godly to turn from sin to receive the free gift of eternal life (Rom 5:6-8; 6:23).    Turning from sin, and confessing is good, however, it is a work of the law, and seen in #75/613 commandments of the law (Numbers 5:5-7).  It is not for nonbelievers, but for believers to do.

Titus 3 is clear:

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. 

Frustrating His grace

Look also at Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 13:38-39, Gal 2:16, Rom 4, 11:6, etc.    We are not greasy gracers.  Shame on you for using that with the word Grace.  If you have ever come to a knowledge of the truth of the gospel, YOU are now adding to it.  it is you who are frustrating His grace  and cursed by trying to live by the law (Gal 3:10-11). Hopefully you are not lost, having never believed the simple gospel.

Christ has redeemed me from under the curse of the law, by His death on the cross for all of my sin (John 1:29; Col 2:13-15; Acts 13:38-39), and by faith in Him as my Savior.   It’s nothing more than simple faith in who He is and what He has done for us (Christ and Him crucified).   If you once believed, then you have fallen from grace, and if you never believed the simple gospel, you are still under condemnation.

What is the Gospel?

Please don’t let these religious people corrupt the simplicity that is in Christ, don’t bear with them (2 Cor 11:3-4), trust in His testimony of His Son, believe in His power instead.

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucifiedAnd I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God1 Cor 2:1-5

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God1 Cor 1:18

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  Rom 1:16-17



11 Responses to “GREASY GRACE?

  • Awesome article, thank you Holly!
    As far as the comment, I was unable to find what you had written about in their salvation statement. According to this article, they correctly state belief alone is the requirement:

    –How can I be saved? What do I need to do?
    “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God has already done all of the work. All you must do is receive, in faith, the salvation God offers (Ephesians 2:8-9). Fully trust in Jesus alone as the payment for your sins. Believe in Him, and you will not perish (John 3:16). God is offering you salvation as a gift. All you have to do is accept it. Jesus is the way of salvation (John 14:6).–

    God bless!

    • Thanks Brad for commenting.

      You can find it throughout their articles. Oftentimes places like these don’t make their doctrine known. They say one thing (as John MacArthur and Ray Comfort and the like) say that they believe in grace through faith, it’s just a different thing they’re ‘really’ saying.

      I should have cited the link, there are many similar ones, but I will go fix it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention 🙂

  • Thanks Holly!
    Got Questions really needs to get off the fence.
    “Christians are those who have repented of their sin and have made Jesus Lord of their lives (Romans 10:9–10; Acts 2:38).”
    So if Blackaby is going to attempt to squeeze that statement out of those two verses why didn’t he include baptism as well? If you’re going to add to the Gospel why not go all out?

    After looking more into it, Henry Blackaby and gang are a confused bunch! I just happened to check out their website under “what we believe” and this is what I saw:


    Salvation is a free gift of God’s grace apart from human works to all who believe. Salvation is based solely upon Christ’s vicarious and atoning death, effected by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, and received only through faith in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21).


    Election assures that those divinely chosen will be saved, but it alone does not save them. People are saved by God’s grace, as they trust in the substitutionary death of Christ. Individuals must repent, place their faith in Christ, and yield to Christ’s lordship to be saved (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:2; Romans 10:9-10, 13).

    Wait…what? No wonder the church as a whole is so confused!
    It’s just so sad.

    • They are the same mess on repentance Brad. They rightly start off an article saying it means change of mind then they can’t help themselves, they say it also WILL include a change of behavior. And they ever so slightly change the wording (likely ESV) to render it that people WILL bring forth those fruits they were told to bring. If it were automatic, why the admonition? We should all bring forth fruits worthy of a demonstration of our change of mind, however, we need to add to our faith to do so (2 Pet 1:5-9).

      I used to support them and yet, I always combed for the Bible verses on subjects and didn’t read the ‘opinion’, and I do that with most ‘commentary’ so one time I actually read and I was astounded, and I quit supporting them that day. I don’t remember what it was. From time to time I’d see someone share an article and read it, and some were o.k. and others not so much sadly.

      Thanks for coming to respond Brad! God bless you and your family.

    • Good find by the way Brad, although sad to see so much error and confusion.

  • God bless you and yours Holly!
    Keep fighting the good fight!

  • What a wonderful website that I just happened to come across! I even shared this page to an atheist who is on the fence last night. You do a great job of explaining the true gospel of salvation, which very few believe in. Keep up the great work!!

    • Jess, So terribly sorry I haven’t seen your comment, it’s been a really busy week.

      So grateful to meet another believer in God’s grace and the simple gospel. My husband was an atheist, the ‘Dear John’ letter was for him (before we ever dated). I don’t know if your friend read that, but hope he might. Please come back soon, and sorry for the delay. Love in Christ, Holly

  • Romans chapter 8 states simply: There is no CONDEMNATION for those that walk IN THE SPIRIT. It also states that those who chase after the flesh WILL DIE! A Christian should live a life devoid of sin as much as possible. Hebrews 10-26 states that if one knows the Christ and turns his back from Him, he too shall perish a horrible death! If there wasn’t a FEAR OF ETERNAL DEATH caused by sin, why bother following the rules/commandments. We all know people of disrepute who believe in God, are we expected to go to the same eternal habitat as these murderers, fornicators. adulterers, thieves, on and on! Of course not, we are different and need to live different. Romans 8 clearly states if we chase the flesh and not the Spirit, we are no different from the imbecile who lives for all the lusts of the flesh!trick111

    • Pat, I appreciate you coming to comment, and here’s why.

      If you do not understand the over hundred and fifty verses that state eternal life is given by belief alone, and it cannot be lost, you will never be able to look at the few seemingly conflicting passages and understand them.

      Worse? You very possibly have not understood the gospel at all.

      If you do not believe Jesus is THE Christ (the anointed one, the Savior, God in the flesh) you will die in your sin. What that means is your faith must be upon Christ and Him crucified. Not on anything else, eternal life does not come by works, but by faith. We are under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. All things are lawful for us, maybe not beneficial, but nothing will cause us eternal death any more.

      Christ paid the penalty for ALL of our sins at HIS cross. Do you believe this alone will save you?

      If you do not believe eternal life is just that, everlasting/eternal, I recommend you consider prayerfully reading this so that you will KNOW that you possess eternal life.


      Don’t wait, life is short. My husband just lost a friend today he used to work and golf with. He was a very quiet and secretive man, we do not know if he believed the gospel. I don’t see any indication that you understand it, so I am warning you out of love.

      In Christ, Holly

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