This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Lordship of Christ.
When you were born again, God destined you to have kingdom authority, which is given to you by Jesus, our Lord. The world, the flesh, and the devil should never have dominion over you. If God has “made us kings and priests” (Revelation 1:6, 5:10) and “always leads us in triumph in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14), why are we so often “under the circumstances” instead of over them?
The truth is, we’ll never have authority over the things God has put us over until we submit to the authority God has placed us under: Jesus. Kingdom authority is never given to rebels, and if you rebel against the king, you’ll never know His authority in your life.
Paul had to speak firmly to the Christians in Rome. They were arguing over non-essentials. He told them:
For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself [We’re not independent]. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end, Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:7-12)
Paul says, “You’re going to stand before God and give an account. Get your eyes off one another. It’s not your opinions of each other that count. You belong to Jesus. HE is Lord, remember?” One of the worst things we Christians do is get our eyes off Jesus and start looking around.
Jesus died and rose again for you. As Lord, He has absolute authority. Many so-called Christians don’t get this. They remain in control. They’ll sometimes say they’re “making a commitment” to pray or read the Bible, but that still leaves them in control. Instead, they need to surrender—give Jesus full control.
We must abdicate the throne and surrender to Him. The foundational truth in the New Testament is that Jesus Christ is Lord—“God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
He’s called Lord 747 times in the New Testament. Do you believe He is Lord? Have you surrendered to His lordship? Is He Lord of your thoughts, your tongue, your temper, your time? Your testimony? He must be Lord if you’re going to exercise kingdom authority. Your only decision is, will you recognize His lordship and bow to Him or not.
You have no right to call yourself a Christian if Jesus Christ is not Lord in your life. You’re saved by believing that Jesus Christ is Lord and yielding to that lordship. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
The Bible doesn’t talk about “receiving Christ as Savior.” It says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” Salvation isn’t a cafeteria line where you say, “I’ll take a little saviorhood today but no Lordship, thank you.” You cannot have what He gives unless you accept who He is, and He is Lord.
Lots of pseudo-Christians come down church aisles and get baptized but have never been born again. When you gave your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, that was the last legitimate independent decision you ever made. You are not your own. You belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.
You say, “Well, I belong to myself.” Not if you’re a Christian. He redeemed you with His blood from Satan’s domain, and “you are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Today in Heaven, Jesus is ruling and reigning from His throne. But I’m learning Jesus is in me: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). He now lives in me. I’m under new management.
That’s not scary—that’s glorious because He knows how to manage your life better than you do. He wants to be your Lord because He alone can make out of you what He wants you to be, what you would want if you could see it from His vantage point.
He has invested so much in you—His own blood. He watches over you carefully. He’s put His mark on you. We are God’s, legally transferred to Him, sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (See Ephesians 1:13-14.) His seal means Satan is defeated. We are secure in Him.
There should be no other king in your life. No one can serve two masters. Jesus will not be a part-time King with a duplex for a throne. He must be Lord of all if He is to be Lord at all.
“Why do you call me Lord, Lord but don’t do the things that I say” (Luke 6:46)?
When you surrender every aspect of your life to Jesus, He doesn’t say, “I’ve got you now! What can I do to make your life miserable? You’ll be sorry.” No, Psalm 103:13 tells us that like a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. Don’t ever be afraid to trust your heart and life to the One who loved you enough to die for you.
One day “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Romans 14:11). If you don’t confess it in this world, you’ll confess it in the next.
I love Philippians chapter 2. It gives us a glimpse of “before and after” the cross for Jesus.
He was glorified in Heaven. Angels around the throne worshipped, singing, “Holy, holy, holy.” But He stepped down from Heaven to be despised, rejected in His own homeland, tortured, and nailed to die in agony upon a cross. (See Philippians 2:6-8.)
Philippians 2:9-11 continues: “Therefore, God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven [angels], and of those on earth [mankind], and of those under the earth [the devil and demons], and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Every created being, saved or unsaved, will one day bow and confess Him as Lord. All the kings and political leaders who’ve ever lived will bow the knee and say, “He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” One day Satan himself will finally bow and say, “Jesus Christ is Lord.”
The saints “overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11). What was their testimony? That Jesus is Lord. Satan hates that.
When you make a practice of confessing the lordship of Christ, it will help your faith grow. The more we assert a thing to others, the stronger it grows in ourselves and others. What we love, we talk about. Confession increases your love for Jesus.
It also separates you from those things that harm you and bring you down. As you begin to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you find that the things of this world fall away from you more and more. You won’t have to distance yourself from old hangouts or friends who dragged you down. They’ll steer clear of you.
Your faith, your love, and your sanctified life will grow when you openly, boldly, unashamedly, confess Jesus as Lord.
In times of joy…
Jesus is your source of joy. Say, “Jesus is Lord."
In times of sadness…
Nothing comes to you without coming through Him first. In sorrow, when a loved one dies and you go to the graveside, remember joy comes in the morning, and Jesus is Lord of both the living and the dead. (See Romans 14:9.)
In times of success…
Take the crown from your head and put it on His, saying “Jesus Christ is Lord.”
In times of decision…
Ask, “What would Jesus have me to do?” and say, “Jesus is Lord!” He alone is worthy.
Many of us today say, “I won’t be an open, bold soul winner, but I want to live so that when they see my life, they’ll want to be a Christian.” They’re not saved by your life, they’re saved by His death, and unless you tell them the Gospel, they’re not going to get saved.
In fact, if they see your life and don’t understand why you’re living that life, you’re accepting praise under false pretenses. You’re getting the glory that belongs to Jesus. But when you say, “Jesus transformed me; the secret of my life is Christ in me,” then people will come under conviction.
We’re continually faced with decisions. When you’ve said, “Jesus is Lord,” you don’t have to decide if you’re going to lie, cheat, or steal, for example. Those decisions are already made.
Do you want kingdom authority? Would you like God to pour His life and strength into you?
In every heart there’s a throne. If self is on the throne, Christ is on the cross. Have a coronation service today and say, “Jesus Christ is Lord of my life.” Confess Him and crown Him king.
One day the redeemed of all the ages will be gathered around His throne. Angels, principalities, and powers will bow before Him. You will join the redeemed and look up at the One with the nail prints in His hands and say, “He is Lord.”
Crown Him Lord of all.