If there were only three words we might be allowed to speak, those three words should be, "Jesus is Lord!" There is no middle ground for the Christian: Jesus must be Lord of all, or He can't be Lord at all.
Are you an "independent" person? Think again. The Spirit of God put it this way, through the pen of the Apostle Paul:
"For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14:7-12).
In the church of Rome to whom Paul wrote, an outburst of criticism and judgment had begun. Paul wrote them to say, "Get off each other's backs! Cut the criticism! It is not your opinion of someone that counts, nor their opinion of you; you both belong to Jesus—and Jesus is Lord!"
In the dictionary, the definition of the word lord is one with absolute power, absolute authority. We often speak of commitment, but the real question is surrender. When you're committed, you're in control; when you surrender, you relinquish control. If a robber puts a gun to your head, you don't commit your wallet; you surrender it!
To understand that truth is the beginning of kingdom authority. He is called Lord no less than 747 times in the New Testament. You can't make Him Lord; He has already claimed the title. Your questions are, first, will you recognize His Lordship, and second, will you submit to it? He is Lord of all you have and all you do. Do you live by that Lordship?
The Redeeming Claim of His Lordship
You are heavenly property. Jesus' claim for Lordship is simple: He died for us. In the manner of His death He was purchasing us. That truth undercuts any illusion of independence we may foster. "What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:19). You do not belong to yourself if you're a Christian.
The decision to give one's heart to Jesus is the last independent legitimate decision we ever make. Is that statement unsettling? It should be wonderful and exciting! After all, who can better manage our lives: the Lord of Creation, or we ourselves?
You are the purchased possession! God bought you with a price, and put a mark or seal on you—a mark called the Holy Spirit. A seal, in New Testament times, meant a legal document. A king would create a document, put melted wax on it, and use his signet ring to make a seal. This marked it as the property of the king.
We do not take Christ "as Savior"; we can only take Him as "Lord and Savior." When we get married … we are binding ourselves, committing and surrendering ourselves, to that bond. We don't accept Jesus with any reservations. He surrendered on Calvary without reservation. He is Lord!
The Resurrection Conquest of His Lordship
In our text, Romans 14, we read, "To this end Christ both died, and rose. . ." (v. 9). In those two actions we see the redeeming claim and the resurrection conquest. When He died, He gave Himself for us, but when He rose, He gave Himself to us to live within us.
- Total Submission
No man can serve two masters. Jesus is no part-time king. He must be Lord of all to be Lord at all, so you are committed to Jesus Christ completely and exclusively.
- Absolute Ownership
Jesus is not simply the owner of the tithe. He doesn't own ten percent of a Christian, He owns it all. The tithe is simply a tangible expression of that. It is a symbol of all our resources.
- Unquestioned Obedience
"No, Lord," is a contradiction in terms. Being a Christian means obedience in our work, in our witness, in our friendships and families, in our recreation, and in every area there is. Are you afraid to surrender to that kind of obedience?
The Regal Confession of His Lordship
Paul goes on to say that the time will come when all will bow down and confess His name. "Every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God" (v. 11).
But you don't need to wait until that great day of history's culmination.
- That sincere confession seals salvation and it conquers Satan. He will do anything to keep you from saying it and meaning it.
- It also confirms saints and will strengthen your faith. The more you confess, the greater your love will grow; and the greater your love grows, the more you will confess.
- Confessing Jesus will help your separation from the world. The more you concentrate on Jesus and His Lordship, the more the things of this world will fall away in importance.
Do you confess Him as Lord? One day everything above, below, and on the earth will bow and declare Him to be Lord and God. But you can do so now!
1. Give a one sentence definition of the Lordship of Christ.
- Why is no one truly independent?
- Explain the relationship between Christ's Lordship and having a critical spirit toward each other, based on Romans 14.
2. What does the word "Lord" mean in literal terms?
- Why can't a Christian make Jesus Lord?
3. Explain the redeeming claim of His Lordship.
- How did Christ purchase you, if you are a believer?
- What is the meaning of being "sealed with the Spirit?
- Explain how receiving Christ as Savior and Lord is unconditional.
4. Explain the resurrection conquest of His Lordship.
- What three things should Christ's death and resurrection for you mean in your life?
- Why should a Christian not fear submission to God's will?
5. Read Philippians 2:5-11. What is the attitude we should aspire to (v.5-7)?
- What is remarkable about Christ's behavior, according to this passage?
- What was the result of Christ's attitude and actions (vv. 9-11)?
- Why will "all things" confess Jesus Christ (v.11)? What is the significance of this?
6. What is the relationship between Christ's attitude and kingdom authority?
Ask God to drive you to your knees in more seriously acknowledging the Lordship of Christ, and in dethroning the others idols that hinder your discipleship.
No Christian is independent. "None of us liveth to himself." (Romans 14:7) A wild animal, such as a stallion, must have its spirit "broken." The independence must be driven out before its master can make us of it. Consider yourself Christ's stallion. How fit are you to carry Christ in the race? Has your rebellious spirit been tamed?After praying and meditating on this concept, make a list of the steps that your Owner will take before you become useful.
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