Lordship Salvation emphasizes that a love for Christ springs from our new nature (granted freely by God) which desires to believe the gospel as well as submit to Jesus Christ as Lord over one’s life. Both faith and obedience are the result of God’s invincible and indelible grace, not the cause of it. The so-called ‘free grace’ movement rejects the inward call of the Holy Spirit to the elect and thus, like Romans Catholics and other synergists, mistakenly ascribe belief in Christ as something within the ability of the old nature. So while they may appear as antinomian after salvation, they are guilty of semi-pelagianism prior to it. An odd mix, but naturally we all are tempted to try to contribute something to our salvation. This is where the fall off the horse away from historic Chrstianity by rejecting the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace ALONE in Christ alone. By not giving glory to God for their faith they add conditions for their salvaiton.
The biggest obstacle to the “no-Lordship” position is its misapprehension of the work of the Holy Spirit in giving rise to our faith and affection for Christ. For HOW CAN AN UNREGENERATE MAN SEE CHRIST’S BEAUTY, EXCELLENCY OR ANYTHING TO DESIRE IN HIM AT ALL. One must have a new heart and the mind of Christ in order to understand and love spiritual things. It erroneously views the Lordship position as having added a contribution of commitment, and thus works, instead of recognizing that they themselves are doing this very same thing by making faith itself a contribution to the price of their redemption. i.e grace + faith. But those of us who embrace a “lordship salvation” believe faith and obedience are the result, not the cause of of the new birth. Unless the Holy Spirit changes the disposition of our hearts from hostility to affection for Christ, no one would exercise saving faith. Any “faith” which exists apart from the work of the Spirit is spurious and of the flesh (Luke 8:4-15). God alone does the work of regeneration which infallibly gives rise to a spiritual faith that desires to obey and commit itself to Christ. In this case God gets all the glory. But the “no-Lordship” position would have us believe that one could produce faith from our unregenerated human nature. The question is, why do some believe and others resist? Are some more wise or humble? Isn’t it grace itself which makes us wise and humble? The Scripture says, “What do we have that we did not receive”. So, in fact, while the “no-Lordship” position is admirably attempting to protect the doctrine of “faith alone”, but in the process it has cast aside the biblical doctrine of “grace alone”. “No-Lordship” may believe in a salvation by grace, but not salvation by grace alone (sola gratia). That man must somehow cooperate with God to be born again, as they hold, is to say that some men innately have the natural capacity to believe, independent of God’s action of grace, while others do not. How is this different than salvation by merit? So in reality the burden of proof to explain belief apart from grace alone, is on those who hold to “no-Lordship”. Different understandings of the work of the Holy Spirit in our regeneration is the key to the debate..