THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST
Romans 14: 8,9 declares, “Whether we live or die we are the Lord's.” . It also declares that Jesus is the Lord of both the dead and the living. This same truth is set forth in I Corinthians 8:5,6, “For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, as there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.”
The first truth revealed by these scriptures is that “Lord” is a special title given to Jesus Christ in the Bible. He is called “Savior” 15 times in the New Testament, and He is called “Lord” 400 times. When Peter preached the gospel to the first Gentile, the first truth he taught to Cornelius was the Lordship of Christ. His message was, “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all–that word you know which was spoken throughout all Judea”(Acts 10:36). In the first gospel message that brought thousands of Jews into the Christian religion, Peter said, “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God made that same Jesus you have crucified both Lord and Christ.” Althugh p resent day Israel does know it, Jehovah has appointed Jesus of Nazareth their Lord. This is also stated in Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God .and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Those are the seven foundation truths on which the Christian religion firmly stands in the world.
What significance does the title, “Lord” have, as applied to Jesus? There is one Lord Jesus and one God the Father. The word Lord means Master. Jesus is the Lord of all or the Master of all, the Master of the entire human race. In this sense, the human race are all His servants and subject to His authority. In the ancient practice of slavery, there were Masters and servants, and all understood the relationship between Masters and their servants. The Master was commonly called, “the Lord.” As applied to Christ Lord is a metaphor, and the word servant as applied to the human race is also a metaphor. Neither Christians nor mankind in general are literal slaves to Christ; it simply denotes the authority of Christ over our lives and the obedience and reverence that the human race owes Him. The relationship of Christians to Christ is similar to the Master-servant relationship of ancient times . It is a very enlightening metaphor. In Romans 1:1, the apostle Paul said, “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ.” Paul was not a literal slave. A bondservant is a servant bought by a Master off of the auction block. Thus Paul, in great humility, did not say, “Paul,
an apostle of Jesus Christ, but a slave of Jesus Christ.” By saying this, Paul showed humility and respect for the Lord of the universe. This title of Lord or Master means one to whom a person or thing belongs, over whom he has absolute power and control. Hence, such a one is rightfully called Master or Lord. He was to be addressed with respect. The term Lord or Master is applied to Jesus because God has given Him ownership of the human race, first by right of creation. Secondly, Christ owns the human race since by death He acquired special ownership of mankind by right of redemption. The word of God says to Christians, “You are not your own; you are bought with a price.” That price was His blood, but more correctly speaking, His very life.
In spite of these clear teachings in the Bible, the Lordship or Mastership of Christ is not a widely believed fact. It is a little known truth that the human race is the property of Christ by right of creation and by right of redemption. This truth can be known only by people who believe the Bible is the divine revelation from God. I Cor. 12:3 states, “No man can say Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit.” That is why most great teachers in our Universities are not aware of this fact. They have not been taught by the Holy Spirit. All who believe that Jesus Christ is the appointed Lord and Master of the universe do so only because God the Father said so. We believe only because the Holy Spirit revealed it in the Bible, and the Bible says, “All scripture is inspired of God, “ or God-breathed.. We have no other reason to believe in the Lordship of Christ. It is for this reason that those who do not believe the Bible do not hold Christ in high esteem. Many sincere and honest people hesitate to confess Jesus as Lord because they are not fully convinced of this truth.. We respect such honesty, but we need to point out to such people that their reason will not and cannot be convinced of the Lordship of Jesus until their minds are enlightened by the Holy Spirit, who speaks to us only through the Bible. But if anyone does believe this great truth, it is only because they believe the Bible.
Furthermore, the public confession of the Lordship of Christ is a condition of salvation. Man's eternal destiny hangs on a knowledge of this fact. No one can become a Christian or have any part in the Christian religion unless he is willing to confess the fact that Jesus Christ is indeed the Lord of all. Please note these words in Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” This simply states what one must believe about Jesus to be saved. Additional things must be done to be saved, such as a sincere change of mind
regarding past sinful conduct and immersion in water. Jesus authoritatively said that none can enter the kingdom of heaven unless they are born again of the water and Spirit. ” This occurs at immersion, the obedient act in which forgiveness of sins is received. . This passage does not refer to confessing over and over again in everyday life. This confession precedes the act of immersion in water. At the time of baptism we are not eternally saved; we are only saved from our past sinful life. We are saved only in the sense that we have been reconciled to God and have been restored to His great favor and approval. The word, “saved” in Romans 10: 9 means reconciled to God and accepted as holy in His sight.
Finally, we have only two options. We can accept Jesus as our Lord or we can reject Him. However, once we receive Him as Lord, our option ends. We then are no longer our own, but we have been bought with a price-- the blood He shed on Calvary. We belong to Him. He has the first and last word as to the way we shall live. He demands absolute loyalty, even beyond that of an earthly dictator, and He has a right to absolute control over our lives. He said, “Without Me you can do nothing. If a man love Me He will keep My commandments.” Love so amazing and so divine demands our life, our soul, and our all. How foolish for anyone to say, “No one is going to tell me how to live or what to do.” The Constitution of the Christian religion is the New Testament, not the Constitution of the United States. The New Testament determines how the Christian will live, enjoy liberty and pursue happiness. When I became a Christian I understood that I placed myself under new management. I understood that I belonged to Christ, and He became the Lord of my life. The acceptance of the Lordship of Christ is a prime condition of forgiveness and church membership. All mankind
would do well to confess the Lordship of Christ in this present world, for if they do not they will be forced to make this confession in the world to come. But that confession will not save then. When God made Jesus the Lord of heaven and earth after His ascension the Bible says of Him, “Wherefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” When God calls the entire human race out of their graves, all will be forced to make this confession. Eventually....why not now? Eventually, every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord, in heaven, on earth, under the earth. So, why not now?. Romans 14:11 says, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.. So each one of us shall give account of himself to o God.”