Jesus Christ as Lord
“Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The question that Jesus asked in Matthew 16:13, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And then the follow-up question to the disciples in verse 15, “But who do you say I am?” Are two of the most important questions that anyone can ever answer. Who was and who is Jesus Christ?
In verse 4 here in Romans 1 we learn that Jesus is the Son of God. We know this because the resurrection was evidence of His divinity. From verse 3 we know that He was also fully human. Paul writes that He was “born of a descendent of David according to the flesh.” In other words, He was born of a woman just like everyone else in the world has been.
So, because He was fully God and fully man, He was also the Savior. Then at the very end of verse 4 Jesus is identified as “our Lord.” The fact that we accept and acknowledge Jesus Christ as “our Lord,” is a cornerstone of belief. If a man or woman confesses Jesus Christ as Lord, we are to baptize them and accept them into Christian fellowship. We know that this comes from the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3 says, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” In Romans 10:9 we are told, “that 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.”
But what does it really mean for Jesus Christ to be Lord of our lives? The late British Theologian and pastor John Stott wrote a book called The Sovereignty of God the Son. In that book Stott suggests six implications of Jesus Christ being our Lord.
1. An Intellectual Implication. If Jesus is our Lord, then He must be the Lord of our thought life. He must be the Lord of our minds. In Matthew 11:29 Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me…” Jesus was the disciple’s teacher and He is to be our teacher even yet today.
How does the Lord Jesus Christ do this? He does this through Scripture. That is why as Christians we are to be men and women of the Book – if we truly are Christ’s followers. When we are left to ourselves, we will stray into all kinds of false teachings and doctrines. But if we consistently read and study the Bible, asking for the Holy Spirit to interpret the Word for us, and then try to live out what we have come to understand, we will increasingly come to think as Christ thinks and discover that we have a completely new outlook on life and the world. We will begin to see people from God’s viewpoint, and we will not be taken in by the world’s false ideas.
2. An Ethical Implication. In his book John Stott points out that Jesus is not to just be the Lord of our thoughts. He is also to be the Lord of our wills and of our moral standards as well.
John Stott wrote, “It is not what we believe that is to come under the lordship of Jesus but also how we behave. Discipleship implies obedience, and obedience implies that there are absolute moral commands that we are required to obey. To refer to Jesus politely as ‘our Lord’ is not enough. He still says to us, ‘Why do you call Me Lord and do not the things that I say?’ In today’s miasma of relativity, we need to maintain unashamedly the absolute moral standards of the Lord. Further, we need to go on and teach that the yoke of Jesus is easy, and His burden is light, and that under the yoke of Jesus we have no bondage but freedom and rest.”
3. A Vocational Implication. If Jesus Christ is Lord, then he is not only Lord of our minds, wills, and morals, but he is also the Lord of our time. This means that He is Lord of our professions, our jobs, careers, and ambitions. Far too much of the time professing Christians live their lives as if their relationship to Jesus is somehow detached from God’s plan for their life as outlined in Scripture.
Paul is an example of this. Before Paul met Christ on the road to Damascus, he was pursuing a career of his own choosing He was a Pharisee and he was consumed with rising as high as he could in the intellectual and ruling structures of Judaism. When Saul, who became Paul, met Jesus on that road, all of that changed. The first words that Jesus speaks to him were in Acts 9:4, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” In verse 5 Christ identifies Himself, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” Paul immediately obeys Christ. He was told what to do and he begins to follow Christ at that moment. He became an apostle to the Gentiles. Later, on when Paul meets with King Agrippa in Acts 26 he quotes the Lord having said to him in verse 16, “But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” Paul concludes in verse 19, “So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision.”
Brothers and sisters, this is the exact same way that we are to regard our jobs and careers. You may not be called to be an apostle, none of us are today. Only a few are called into ministry. But whether we work in a church or in a coal mine, a power plant, a hospital, a doctors office, or we are self-employed, whether you are a stay-at-home mom or you build homes – whatever your calling may be, you are to regard it as a form of Christian service. Because of this you are then to be obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ as you pursue that career.
Tomorrow we will look at the final three implications of Christ being our Lord.