Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Lordship of Jesus Christ

Romans 10:9 "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

What is meant when the New Testament refers to Jesus Christ as Lord? Today's blog aims to answer that question by offering a three-fold definition of Christ's Lordship from scripture:

1. He is God.

When the New Testament refers to Jesus as Lord, it is another way of saying he is God.  Matthew 12:28; Mark 2:28 and Luke 6:5 refer to Jesus Christ as Lord of the Sabbath.  Lordship refers to excercising dominion over a realm or Kingdom.  In Genesis 2:3 we read that God "rested from His work" after creating all things, meaning He was establishing Himself as the Sovereign, uncontested Lord over all things.  In fact, Genesis 2:4 tells us that it was indeed the "LORD God" who made the heavens and the earth, giving us the first appearance of the term "LORD" in the Bible.  By noting the Old Testament background, Jesus' remarks in John 5:18 make clearer sense, since in healing a man on the sabbath He makes a declaration of Himself as being equal with God.  The reason He could do that was because He was there, in co-equal power and being with the Father on the day of the first Sabbath back in Genesis!  In fact in Matthew 12:8 Jesus plainly states: "The Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath".  Thus Jesus Christ's declaration of Lordship was His way of saying He is God. 

2. He is Sovereign.

When we speak of Christ's Lordship, we also are referring to His Sovereignty.  The term "Sovereign" means God's comprehensive reign over all peoples, places and times.  Sovereignty refers to God's right to reign.  Matthew 28:18 has Jesus saying: "All power has been given to me on Heaven and on Earth".  Other passages such as John 10:17-18 and 5:22 speak to this end.  As Lord He is Sovereign enough to both rise from the dead and excercise judgment.  He is Lord.  He is Sovereign.

3. He is Savior

The Lordship of Jesus Christ speaks to His role as the Saving Redeemer.  Passages such as Philippians 2:7; 1 Timothy 3:16 and Hebrews 4:15 refer to His function as the Savior who excercises His Lordship in salvation.  Romans 10:9 is the plainest verse:  "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."  Despite the attempts of some today, scripture's testimony is that you cannot divorce Christ's role as Savior from His role as Lord.  The latter term is what gives Him the power and authority to be the Savior.  As God, He is powerful enough to save and as Sovereign He has the Authority to save all who by grace through faith believe on Him for the forgiveness of their sins.  (Romans 10:8-10)

To confess Jesus Christ as Lord means I am trusting Him to be the Savior who leads me, sustains me and Shepherds me.  As my Sovereign, I am His Subject, and He my King.  As my God, He is the One who I worship and adore. 

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