The declaration that JESUS IS LORD has one meaning but many applications. This phrase encompasses all of history—past, present, and future—and reveals the power that orders the universe. When believers realize the vast dimension of the Lordship of Christ, they will live as Christ-like servants and anticipate their future life as joint heirs with Jesus throughout eternity.
New believers, however, are largely unaware of Christ’s universal Lordship at the moment of their conversion. From that time forward, however, they can thankfully proclaim that Jesus is their Lord due to a personal relationship with Him. Jesus Christ’s position as Lord, however, does not depend on a believer’s understanding or acknowledgment of this spiritual reality. In fact, there is nothing in the universe that is apart from the Lordship of Jesus Christ right now.
- Jesus is Lord over all things as God and Creator
- Jesus is Lord over sin’s power and penalty
- Jesus is Lord over death, hell, and unseen powers
- Jesus is Lord over the living and the dead
- Jesus is Lord over the eternal destiny of every person
- Jesus is Lord of the Church and has first place in everything
Believers in every century have known that God’s Word emphasizes the Lordship of Christ. Is it possible that some 21st century Christians relate differently to the Lordship of Christ than did their 1st-century counterparts? Quite possibly, they do.
The first-century Christians recognized the Lordship of Christ in all things from salvation through all aspects of their life. Are believers today the same? Before answering, remember that theoretical beliefs can be stated in what you say, but true beliefs are revealed in what you do. For those truly believing the Bible, what they say will correspond to what they do. (See What Do You Believe…No, Really)
Modern Christians—especially in the western world—discuss Jesus, refer to Him, profess allegiance to Him, but far too often do not seem to be truly in awe that He is Lord. For example, many professing Christians may say, “Jesus is Lord” but then maintain values and lifestyles similar to those in the world instead of obeying the truth of God’s Word for all aspects of life and relationships.
Even though believers today are aware of religious creeds and doctrinal statements, professing Christians often deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ in business, use of time, priorities, speech, relationships, clothing, goals, financial stewardship, and/or entertainment. Except for a perceived born-again experience, worship service attendance, and sporadic Bible reading, some professing Christians live the rest of their lives like those who have little or no interest in Christ.
Predictably, if believers do not grow in their understanding and appreciation of the Lordship of Christ, they face the possibility of not fearing the consequences of sin and not being continually grateful for deliverance from sin’s power. If a believer overlooks the Lordship of Christ, challenges of life can become overwhelming obstacles instead of being recognized as opportunities to grow in God’s grace and love. If the Lordship of Christ is overlooked, self-oriented living is inevitable.
The Lordship of Christ, however, can make a difference in the lives of believers.
- Believers who know that Jesus is Lord respond to Christ’s work on their behalf
- Believers who know that Jesus is Lord trust God’s sovereignty in their lives
- Believers who know that Jesus is Lord know that Jesus has defeated Satan
- Believers who know that Jesus is Lord realize God’s love is permanent
- Believers who know that Jesus is Lord faithfully serve God and others
- Believers who know that Jesus is Lord anticipate heaven and do not fear death
When believers recognize and respond to the reality that Jesus is Lord, they accept personal trials as part of Christ’s Lordship in their lives. Believers who know that Jesus is Lord joyfully embrace dying to self. They become increasingly sensitive to sin and faithfully practice confession and repentance of sin(s). For them, praying is no longer a problem but, instead, is a profound privilege. Studying God’s Word is not an interruption to daily life but is vital to every aspect of it. In fact, they perceive and approach everything differently when they know that Jesus is Lord.
In light of the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the many promises of Scripture for life today and the life to come, whom should you trust? Who should be the focus of your attention each day of your life?
When believers truly understand and respond to the eternal truth that Jesus Christ is Lord, their lives will have a significance that is “out of this world.” In the future, believers anticipate the reality of 1 John 3:2 for all of eternity . . . “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
In the meantime, if you are a believer who is serious about growing in Christ, ask God to grant you ever increasing insight into the Lordship of Jesus Christ and then rely on divine empowerment to live accordingly. Jesus Christ is Lord!
(This snippet is excerpted from the more complete study titled Jesus IS Lord)
Is Jesus Lord of Your Life? © 2013 WordTruth, Inc—http://www.wordtruth.net
Verse from New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1960-1995 by the Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.