When Jesus said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 What was he saying about the term “lord”? He was saying that it implies that by calling him lord people were expressing their intention of submitting to him. So also notice this correlation between calling someone “lord” and an attitude of submission. “in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.” 1Peter 3:5,6 Calling Jesus Lord is expression one’s intention to obey what he says.
Is obedience optional? If one’s salvation were contingent upon one’s actions, then salvation is contingent upon works. But it’s written, “If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works” Rom 4:1-8 Abraham was justified by faith apart from works. For God gave him a promise in Gen 15:5, and then one verse later, prior to taking any action relevant to that promise he was justified by faith alone.
Thus while salvation is not contingent upon actions of obedience, such actions are indicative of a person who has been saved. And while salvation is not contingent upon works, salvation is contingent upon attitude – in this case the INTENTION to repent and obey. Intention is not a work. It’s not something people can get paid for. It is nonetheless an attitude inherent in saving faith.
Now also there are those who misinterpret the sense in which Paul writes when he speaks of calling on the name of the LORD or acknowledging Jesus as LORD as mere ritual. He is not speaking of an outward ritual. He is speaking of an outward response to an inner faith; a response which should include not only words but actions as well. Thus for example the LORD instituted water baptism as one outward sign of obedience to one’s realized faith. So also the whole Christian life is to be lived in submission to Christ as the LORD. “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2Cor 5:15
One’s salvation is not contingent upon the outward expressions of one’s faith. Rather these are indicative of a saved person.