Psalm 16:1-2(HCSB)Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You.2 I said to Yahweh, “You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides You.”
I believe the apostles of the Bible had a deeper understanding of the concept of Lordship than we do and yet they addressed Jesus as their Lord, or their Lord and Savior. They were all from a culture that understood that to refer to someone as their Lord meant that the Lord was their master, or owner, or supreme authority and that their only function was to serve their Lord.
In our society today, especially in our Western culture, we do not want anyone to Lord it over us. After all, we are free and independent people. We must prefer Jesus to be our Savior because that appeals to us — to be saved from the consequences of our sins — it is very humanistic. What is really difficult is to say that Jesus is Lord in our lives and really mean it and live it. Not just say it as a Christian slogan.
This question gives us great insight into your own relationship with Jesus. WHO DO YOU SAY THAT JESUS IS?
Do you call Him Lord in your own life? If so, what are the implications of the confession that Jesus is Lord?
Have you bowed your knee to Him and submitted your life to Him as Lord, or Master and Supreme Ruler, of your life?Philippians 2:8-11(HCSB)He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross. 9 For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth— 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Lordship was at the very heart of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross. Paul makes this clear in Romans 14:8-9(HCSB)8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living.
When the lordship of Jesus is a settled issue in the Christian’s life, all other issues are settled. It is my privilege and responsibility to teach the members of my congregation what the Bible says about serving God; witnessing and soul winning; stewardship of time, talent, and treasure; faithfulness to God’s work; missions; and many other aspects of Christian responsibility. I contend that if the Christian has settled the lordship issue, then all other issues in his life are also settled. When Jesus is Lord of a person’s life, he will fulfill his duties, obligations, and responsibilities with joy.
S.M. Zwemer makes a sobering statement about the lordship of Jesus Christ: “Unless Jesus is Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.”This is a challenge to all Christians to bring every area of our lives under the sovereign rule of Jesus Christ. In our lives there should be no rivalry for His throne.
If someone confesses “Jesus is Lord” but doesn’t actually submit to his “power and authority,” they are contradicting themselves. Their confession is meaningless. It’s like confessing “lego tv phone cartoon” or “round square” or “sav la sav sav la sav”” – or, just remaining silent.
No wonder Jesus asked,Luke 6:46(HCSB)46 “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? He’s pointing out that people who do this are simply saying ” sav la sav sav la sav”
We have seen that Christ is the most-often-used title for Jesus in the New Testament. The second-most-frequent designation for Him is Lord. So important is this title to the biblical understanding of Jesus that it became an integral part of the earliest Christian creed, the simple statement, “Jesus is Lord.” Lord is the most exalted title conferred on Jesus.
Sometimes it is difficult for people in the United States to grasp the full significance of the title Lord. ”
“The concept of lordship invested in one individual is repugnant to the American tradition, yet the New Testament boldly makes this claim for Jesus, asserting that absolute sovereign authority and imperial power are vested in Him.”
“Perhaps the most striking aspect of the title Lord was its relationship to the Old Testament. The Greek translation of the Old Testament used the word kurios to translate the Hebrew word adonai, a title used for God. The sacred name of God, Yahweh, was unspoken, often replaced in the liturgy of Israel with another word. When a substitute was used for the ineffable name of God, the usual selection was adonai, a title that called attention to God’s absolute rule over the earth.”
“The title Lord is so central to the life of the New Testament Christian community that the English word church derives from it. The Greek word for church is ekklesia, which is brought over into English in the word ecclesiastical.
Early Christians were martyred because they refused to confess Caesar as lord. They knew that Jesus alone is divine and would have no one usurp His status. These Christians knew the New Testament is not merely being polite when it calls Jesus “Lord”; rather, it is teaching that Jesus is God Almighty. Idols of sex, money, power, prestige, and so on can become lords if we are not careful; therefore, let us always confess that Jesus Christ alone is Lord.
In the New Testament, Lord is the most frequently used title for Jesus Christ. Although we rarely use this term in our daily lives, we are all quite familiar with another word: boss. That is basically what Lord means—one possessing authority, power, and control. The Word of God describes Jesus as the head of the church, the ruler over all creation, and the Lord of lords and King of kings Colossians 1:15–18(HCSB)15 He is the image of the invisible God,the firstborn over all creation.16 For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. 18 He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything
Revelation 17:14(HCSB)14 These will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.
The realm of Christ’s reign covers everything that happens in heaven and on the earth. No one—not even those who deny His existence—can be free of His rule or outside His sphere of authority. Although Satan tries to convince us that liberty is found in doing what we want, true freedom is acquired only through submission to Christ’s loving lordship.
Even death cannot release anyone from the authority of God’s Son. He is Lord of both the living and the dead. All people must decide to either yield or rebel against Him, but they have the opportunity to make this choice only while they are still living. After death, they will acknowledge Christ’s lordship through accountability to Him. If we have not bowed the knee to Jesus in life, we will be forced to bend it in the judgment.
A popular but terribly misguided notion is that Jesus can be your Savior without being Lord. Perhaps you’ve even thought this way: I’m trusting in Jesus to forgive my sins; later in life I’ll make Him Lord. That thinking is false—nobody makes Jesus Lord. He is Lord. The question is whether you will bow your knee to Him willingly in this life or forcefully in the next life Philippians 2:10–11so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus—everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. 11 And everyone [L every tongue] will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and bring glory to God the Father. He doesn’t just want to forgive you and escort you to heaven. He wants to live through you and change you on the way.
So what does it mean to experience Jesus Christ as Lord of your life? It means you are yielding to His rule over every area of your life. He is . . .
Lord of your conduct. Jesus wants His desires and His will to rule over your actions, your words and feelings—your very character.
Lord of your relationships. Jesus wants to preside over your dating relationship or how you treat your spouse. He wants to rule over the way you parent. Jesus wants to be Lord over every interaction with business associates. All your relationships should yield to His rule.
Lord of your time. What should you do with your available time? How should you invest your life? If you want to live a life of purpose, you need to be about more than just flipping pages on the calendar. Jesus wants His priorities to be yours.
Lord of your talents. When you become a Christian, you are given some unique gifts; they are supernatural abilities intended to build God’s kingdom. Jesus wants to be Lord of the talents He gave you—whether those are gifts of music, teaching, mercy, helping, etc. Jesus wants to rule over how you invest those gifts in His kingdom.
Lord of your treasure. According to Christ, Matthew 6:21(HCSB)21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Jesus doesn’t care about the cash that’s burning a hole in your wallet. He cares about your money because He knows that until He has what you have, He doesn’t have you. When you surrender all you have to the lordship of Jesus, He gives it back so you can use it for Him. And He wants you to experience the joy in that.
Have you embraced Jesus as Lord? Nothing in your life will ever make sense until this does. If you ever wonder, What is life really about? How shall I invest my life?—here is your answer. Everything flows from this: Jesus Christ as Lord.
For Jesus to be Lord of your life means that He is the ruler, the boss, the master of your whole life. He cannot be Lord of a part – He must be given control of the entire life – the whole life.
When thinking about the whole life of a person, we must think of various parts that make up a person. Paul wrote,1 Thessalonians 5:23(HCSB)23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul makes it plain that the whole person is made up of spirit, soul, and body. A person has an inner, private, unseen-to-the-natural-eye aspect of life and he has an outer, visible, and public life that is seen and heard by those with whom he comes in contact day by day. Jesus desires to be Lord of the seen and the unseen, the visible and the invisible, the private aspects of our life and the public aspects of our life. He wants to be Lord of our spiritual life and of our physical life.
The inner sanctuary, the spirit and soul, contains the mind, the emotion, and the will. It is in our spirit and soul that we think, feel, choose, decide, dream, and plan. Battles are fought and won or lost on the battleground of our private life. Is Jesus Lord over this area of your life?
In Proverbs 4:23(HCSB)Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.
Don’t underestimate the importance of our private life. Although more attention is often given to the physical body, our true spiritual health is determined by the spirit and soul – not the body.
The outward life expresses the inner life. The outward life involves our eyes, our ears, our lips, our hands, our feet, our entire body. Our public life is expressed by what we see, what we say, what we hear, where we go, and what we do. It is so important that Jesus be Lord over our public life.
We need to see the public life in the context of home life, the workplace, the classroom, and the neighborhood. We need to see it in its relationship with friends, family, work colleagues, neighbors, and classmates. We need to see it in its attitude toward possessions, obligations, and responsibilities, and the use of time and resources.
What must a person do in order for Jesus Christ to be Lord of his life? The easy answer is, “Surrender your life to Him.” This involves taking your hands off the controls of your life and allowing Him to be in control.
Such an important question requires more than a surface answer. For Jesus to become Lord of a person’s life involves absolute and total surrender. Remember, if He is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all. Have you yielded keys to every room in your life? Does He have the key to every room in your private life? Does He have the key to every room in your physical/ public life? Is there a room marked “private – keep out?” If so, you must be willing to surrender that key to the Lord.
There is a second element to yielding our lives to the Lord. In addition to absolute surrender, there must also be an acknowledgment of His ownership. Paul addressed the subject of ownership in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20(HCSB)19 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.
We are not our own. We were bought at a price. We belong to Jesus. We are His purchased possession. When a person yields to the lordship of Jesus Christ, he or she acknowledges His ownership and gives up his or her personal rights.
Yielding to the lordship of Jesus Christ also involves total and unreserved obedience. If He is the Lord of your life, you are going to do what He tells you to do.
If asked what was the most important word in the Christian vocabulary, I would say, “Obedience.” We move forward in our spiritual growth in direct proportion to our obedience to the revealed truth of God’s Word.
In the account of Elijah’s response to God in 1 Kings 17 and 18. The Word of the Lord came to Elijah, and he did what God told him to do. Several times God spoke and Elijah obeyed. As a result of his obedience, Elijah was used in a powerful way to exalt God’s name. His response to God’s Word was always immediate and exact. He did precisely what God told him to do as soon as God told him to do it. Remember that delayed obedience is the same as disobedience. Lordship involves obedience.
2 Corinthians 4:1-5(HCSB)Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up. 2 Instead, we have renounced shameful secret things, not walking in deceit or distorting God’s message, but commending ourselves to every person’s conscience in God’s sight by an open display of the truth. 3 But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves because of Jesus.
Jesus is more powerful and has more authority than all the most powerful people on earth. If we declare him to be our Lord, our obvious appropriate response to him is to obey him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. The evidence of having received Jesus as our Lord is our obedience to him. Perhaps that is why the author of Hebrews said, Hebrews 5:9(ESV)9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,. Jesus implied as much when he said, John 14:24(HCSB)24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. Jesus raised an important question:Luke 6:46(HCSB)46 “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? Are you doing what the Lord has instructed you to do? Are you doing it immediately and exactly? Are you obeying God?
Matthew 7:21-23(HCSB)21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!