Jesus Christ is Lord
The Master of the Universe
One of the most important questions that a person can ask is : "Who is Jesus Christ?" Well the Bible answers that question. It calls Him the Son of God, God in the flesh, and Savior of the world. But the most used term in the New Testament for Jesus is the term kurios, translated Lord. It is interesting that He is called Savior only 25 times in the New Testament. However, He is called Lord 600 times.
I. Meaning of the Word Lord
In the New Testament world, although the term could be used of a husband, or it could be used in a polite way to say 'sir', the term usually meant a person who is a master, possessor, supreme authority, king, or owner.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrews considered the name of Yahweh, or Jehovah, too sacred to be pronounced, so wherever that sacred name was used the writers would substitute 'Adonai' which is the Hebrew equivalent of Lord. That was to say that Yahweh was master, possessor, supreme authority, king, and owner.
When Greek translators were looking for a word to use for 'Adonai' they used the term 'Kurios'. That same term is used of Jesus in the New Testament, which indicates that the New Testament writers equated Jesus with the Kurios, or the God of the Old Testament. They believed Jesus to be God. It is highly unlikely that any good Jew would tell us to bow down before a mere man. It would have been considered blasphemy, but that is just what Paul says in Philippians that everyone will do to Christ. He says:
"....God highly exalted Him, and bestowed upon Him the name above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11)
In our society today, we balk at the thought that anyone could possess us, or be our Lord. We don't want to bow down to anyone. We desire to be free and independent. We don't mind so much calling Jesus Savior. But to call Him Lord, for some, is a bit much. We like being saved from sin, and love going to Heaven. But to have someone rule over us makes many people cringe.
However, the Bible tells us that we don't choose to make Jesus Lord. He already is Lord. What we must do is recognize that fact and bow before Him in every area of our lives. Whether we do it today or not, all will one day be forced to bow before Him. When we give our lives to the Lord Jesus, it is not a matter of commitment to Him, but surrender. A person who is committed is in control. A person who is surrendered relinquishes control completely.
Paul equates our confession of Jesus as Lord with salvation when he says in Romans 10:9,10 that:
"if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
From these verses, it would appear that taking Jesus as Savior is indeed accepting His Lordship in our lives. Although the actual working our of that in our life, and learning to relinquish self to Him, could take a lifetime.
II. Jesus is Lord of Creation
Paul, in the book of Colossians, points out Christ's Lordship, demonstrating that He is both the creator and sustainer of the whole universe. He says:
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things have been created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
The word image is from a Greek word which means the exact likeness, or exact representation. In other words He is the very form of God and has been for all eternity (Philippians 2:6). When you see Christ, you see God.
The term firstborn here has nothing to do with Christ being created, for He created all things. In Jewish culture the word firstborn could refer to chronological age, but more often it refers to position or rank. The firstborn was the ranking son who had received the right of inheritance from the Father. This shows here that Jesus is the highest in rank over all creation.
His rank, as it says, comes from His creation of the universe, but He also holds things together. He literally maintains the power and balance necessary for life's existence. If it were ever possible for Jesus to temporarily look away from this universe in which we live, it would cease to exist. That is how central He is to it.
III. Jesus is the Lord of the New Creation
By means of His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus became the head of the new creation which He caused to exist as well. The Church, the Body of Christ, consisits of all that have accepted Him by faith in this age in whch we live today. Paul tells us this:
"He is also head of the Body, the Church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself, will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven" (Colossians 1:17-20).
Most people take the Lordship of Jesus Christ far too lightly. Scripture teaches that it should not merely be something theoretical, which we only talk about. Rather it should affect our entire life. Paul says: "Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk in Him" (Colossians 2:6). And later he tells us: "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father" (Colossians 3:17). Let us today relinquish our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. For He is surely worthy of that honor.