THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FACT THAT JESUS IS “LORD”
The NT word for Lord is “Kurios” which can mean Lord, master, owner. It is also used as the New Testament Greek equivalent for the Old Testament Hebrew word “Jehovah” or “Yahweh”. It was used for a person who owned or controlled property, people or the state (Roman Emperor). It was also used as a title of respect in greetings. It was used of Jesus in the New Testament as “Lord Jesus” 101 times, or “Lord Jesus Christ” 61 times. In what ways then, is He Lord?
We see the answer in 3 areas.
Jesus is Lord of the Universe
Jesus is Lord of the church.
Jesus is or must become Lord of all individuals
1). JESUS IS LORD OF THE UNIVERSE
i). JESUS SUSTAINS THE UNIVERSE HE CREATED
- 1Cor 8:6 yet for us there is one …. Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (Creator and sustainer of all things and all people.)
- Col 1:17 … And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (He existed before creation and He sustains the universe. “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”
- Heb 1:3 …he upholds the universe by the word of his power. He sustains the universe and keeps it going, by His word of power.
ii). JESUS CONTROLS THE POWERS OF DARKNESS
- Col 1:13 “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”.
- Before Christ came humans were in bondage to the powers of darkness. But through faith in Him they can be delivered and transferred into another kingdom. The kingdom of His Son, the kingdom of God.
- Thus redemption [freedom] came through Christ and forgiveness of sins became available to those who receive it in Him.
- Col 2:15 “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” The powers of darkness still exist but their power has been broken [disarmed] in a public display in Jesus’ victory on the cross.
iii). JESUS IS UNITING ALL THINGS IN HIS UNIVERSE IN HIMSELF
- Col 1:19, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” All fullness dwells in Him and He is the author of all things on earth. The Fall tore relationships apart but Jesus makes reconciliation with God and with one another a possibility, as people respond to Him in faith. He accomplished this through His shed blood on the cross .
- Eph 1:9 “making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (HCSB,-to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him).
- “Unite” here is ἀνακεφαλαίομαι (anakephalaiomai) and the process is called (anakephalaiosos) or “recapitulation” and means to sum up, gather together in one, or literally unite under one head.
- That is what Christ has done through His death and resurrection. He is the head of the body and all believers become members of the one body through faith in Him.
- iv). JESUS IS WAITING FOR PEOPLE TO REPENT BEFORE HE RETURNS.
- 2Pet 3:8 ”But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” The delay in the second coming of Jesus is not a sign of His weakness or inability. Rather it is a sign of His patience and love as He gives people opportunities to respond to His love and come to faith in Him. He wants all to repent and come to Him but He does not impose His will upon those who do not want to respond to Him.
v). JESUS IS RETURNING TO THIS WORLD. “Coming ready or not!”
- 2Pet 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, … .The day of his coming will come suddenly and unexpectedly. However the time for that coming is no surprise to God. He knows the exact time and date.
- He told us there would be signs that would signal His coming, but it would still be unexpected for those alive at the time.
2). JESUS IS LORD OF THE CHURCH
i). THE CHURCH IS BUILT ON THE TRUTH THAT JESUS IS “The Christ, the Son of the Living God”.
- There came a time in Jesus’ ministry when He asked His disciples the question, “Who do people say that I am?” Mat 16:16.
- Peter perhaps surprised himself as he burst out the words, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” (Mat 16:18)
- Jesus responded to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
- Peter had received a divine revelation about Jesus. Peter had proclaimed that Jesus was the long-promised Messiah and the Son of God!
- Jesus replied in these words, “You are Peter [Greek word is Petros] and on this rock [Greek word is petra] I will build my church.” Opinions differ as to whether Jesus was saying that He would build His church on the person of Peter or whether He would build it upon the confession of faith that Peter had just declared [namely that Jesus was the long-promised Messiah and the Son of God.]
- In a sense both concepts are true, for Peter did become the leader of the apostles and the first Bishop of Rome. It is also true that the declaration that Jesus is the Messiah who came to fulfil all the Old Testament prophecies, is also true and church doctrine is based on that truth.
ii). THE CHURCH WAS ESTABLISHED ON JESUS’ SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS
St Paul explained his ministry to the elders of the church at Ephesus, and encouraged them to exercise their ministry [Act 20:28 “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”] He is Lord of the church, for He purchased it with His own blood.
He also wrote to the church in Ephesus, “Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour, and (Eph 5:25)… as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” The church [the ecclesia] as the “called out” ones consists of those who trusted in what Christ did for sinners upon the cross. These words show how it was established, “with His own blood”; He is the Saviour of those who belong to it; He gave Himself up to die on the cross for sinners.
iii). ITS PEOPLE ARE COMMITTED TO CHRIST AS HEAD OF THE CHURCH
Jesus IS the head of the church.
- (Eph 1:22) “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church.”
- (Col 1:18) “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”
Christ is the head of the body emphasizing both His superiority over all the members and the fact that it must operate under His direction.
Leaders and all believers must submit to Jesus as the head of the church.
- (Act 9:31) “…. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied”.
- (Act 14:23) “And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”
- (1Cor 1:2) “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.”
Multiplication came as believers lived with respect for Jesus as their Lord and as they were comforted and strengthened [the word has both meanings] by the Holy Spirit. They called upon His name showing their utter dependency on Him as the head of the church, and relying on what He had done on the cross.
3). JESUS IS LORD (OR MUST BECOME LORD) OVER ALL INDIVIDUALS
i). WE MUST PERSONALLY SUBMIT TO HIS LORDSHIP OVER US
Paul wrote, 2Cor 5:15 “and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Some have called this a ‘divine exchange’. He died for us as our Saviour. Therefore we must live for Him as our Risen Lord.
ii). THAT SUBMISSION MUST BE IN EVERY AREA OF LIFE
Paul saw that all of our lives belong to Him. Even the things we do! Col 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” There is no part of our life that should be beyond His control. Everything we do should be done as though we were doing it for Him. We are working out what He is working in us, while giving us the willingness and the ability to do so! [“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 2:12.“]
iii). SUBMISSION TO HIM AS LORD, TRANSFORMS US
As we maintain our focus on Him, He brings about an inner transformation within us. To be like Him! 2Cor 3:16 “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” We do the gazing at Him in adoration, praise and thanksgiving. As we do so, He does the inward transforming by His Spirit within us. It is an ongoing process as we are changed from one degree of glory to another to become more like Him. The right focus on the Lord brings about the radical transformation.
As we present all we are to Him.
Rom 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Our part is to present all we are and have to Him. His part is to bring about the inward transformation as He renews our minds. Then and only then can we know His will and be able to do it.
As we ask Him to fill us with His Spirit. Eph 5:18 “… be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ”.
- To be filled with the Holy Spirit has consequences. It means commitment. They are listed here as having a commitment to one another [addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.]
- Having a commitment to the Lord Himself as we worship Him in praise, adoration and thanksgiving.
- Having a commitment to all people as we willingly submit our own personal plans and desires to a greater good by serving others as though we were serving Christ Himself.
SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION [and some suggested answers]
1]. What difference would it make to people’s lives if they believed that Jesus was in control of the world?
- More peace knowing the world is not totally out of control.
- The need to submit to the Ruler of this world.
- Having a sense of purpose in life knowing we were created for a purpose by our Creator.
- The value of prayer knowing that they make a difference by One who can do things in His world.
2]. It is wonderful to know that Jesus has conquered the powers of darkness. Why does it seem then that the world seems to be out of control when there is so much darkness in the world today?
- Unless we submit to the Lord He cannot help us overcome the powers of darkness.
- We need His discernment by His Spirit to recognise the devil’s strategies and thus learn to overcome them.
- People need to be committed to the Lord to walk in the victory He has provided for us in himself.
- Darkness is only overcome in individuals as they turn to the Lord.
3]. What does section 1. iv teach us about the need for repentance and turning back to God? From 2 Peter 3:8-10.
- Jesus’ 2nd coming is certain. We must be ready for Him.
- There may seem to be a delay in his coming which is not due to any weakness or inability on his part but His desire to give people time to repent and turn to Him for salvation.
- This is why judgment has not fallen on guilty sinners. He is giving them time to repent and turn back to Him.
4]. How would you use the truths in section 2.ii to help those who dislike the concept of Jesus dying on a cross for sinners?
- Humans were lost in sin until Jesus died for them.
- It was God’s plan from eternity for Jesus to die for those who repented and believed in Him.
- Jesus’ death on the cross was God’s idea as the only way sin could be atoned for. We are in no position to judge it as being too ghastly or inhumane. He had to choose the best [and only] way to redeem sinners.
5]. From section 3 what would you say was the hardest part about submitting to Christ as Lord of our lives? Why is that so?
- We want to control our own lives and not have to submit to anyone.
- We want to be the centre of our own universe and have everything revolve around us so we can control our own little world.
- We are submitting to someone whom we have never seen and whom we know only in part. That is a difficult thing to do unless we have come to know their love through His actions and words recorded in the Bible.
6. From section 3. Do you think there is anything scary about asking God to fill us with His Holy Spirit? If so, what might it be and how can we help people overcome that fear?
- Because the Spirit is unseen, it is difficult to imagine what being filled with His presence might look like.
- Knowing how some people behave inappropriately who say they were filed with the Holy Spirit, makes us hesitant to ask for His infilling for ourselves.
- However when we do ask God to fill us with His Spirit we are radically changed in every way and become more open to Him changing us into His likeness.2 Cor 3:17-18
YOU TUBE recording of talk at St Thomas in Parish Hall of Topic No 3
Jesus. The Lord.