The Lordship of Jesus Christ
The Bible teaches the Lordship of Jesus Christ. He is the Lord Jesus Christ; where Lord (Kyrios in Greek) was used by His disciples as a term equivalent to God (Yahweh in Hebrew) Himself. The fact that Jesus is Lord is evident even in the first announcement of His birth given to shepherds: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11 NIV). [emphasis added]
The Lordship of Jesus Christ means He has absolute control over your life. We are challenging you to take a real look at what the Bible says about the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Pray that God will give you an open mind to see the claim of Jesus on your life. This understanding can change your life dramatically to bring glory to God.
The Foundation—Understanding Lordship
1. The Price that Jesus Paid
Paul wrote, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 NIV). Peter makes it clear what that price was when he wrote that you were redeemed not with silver or gold, “but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19 NIV). Thus Jesus has become Lord of your life because He has bought you with His precious blood.
2. Jesus Exalted as Lord
Paul says that Jesus humbled himself to die on the cross. It was an obedience unto death. For this reason, God exalted Jesus Christ. And gave him a name that is above every name. At his name, every knee would bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:5—11). In the passage quoted above every knee is said to bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth! That shows that His Lordship is universal and for all time. A Christian should not wait for that day to come to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. Waiting to do so is a great mistake. In fact if you closely observe what is written, your salvation comes only by acknowledging that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9).
3. Jesus Demands Loyalty
Jesus said in very strong language, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26, 27). That means our love for our loved ones should never come above our love for God (Matthew 10:37). We are called to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). That means we CANNOT love our loved ones more than we love God!
Again, Jesus issued a simple, “Come, follow me” command to the fishermen who became his disciples. The Bible says, “At once they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:20/see verse 21 and 22 also). Therefore following Jesus is not an easy option. Instead following Jesus can mean leaving everything behind.
Jesus made it very clear what the cost involved was in following him on another occasion: First he said that following him does not guarantee earthly comforts (Luke 9:58/Foxes have holes . . .). Secondly he challenged us to do the work of proclaiming the gospel if we claimed to be spiritually alive instead of making excuses (Luke 9:60/Let the dead bury their own dead . . .). Finally he challenged us to look forward and not keep looking back to what we’ve left behind (Luke 9:62/No one who puts his hand to the plow . . .).
We are also challenged in these words: “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33 NIV). So count the cost when you start to follow Jesus because He demands loyalty!
The Application—Practising His Lordship in Your Life
1. Jesus, Lord of Your Mind
When Peter tried to put a thought in Jesus’ mind to avoid the path of the suffering of the cross, Jesus immediately told him, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:23 NIV). So thoughts that are not in accordance with God’s plan and will for your life has to be rejected. This is important because the battlefield is your mind.
The problem with Christians today is that they are part of the world’s thinking patterns. Unless the thoughts suggested by personality development experts, spiritual gurus and marketing leaders are passed through the filter of God’s Word, your thought life is going to reflect the values of the world. And sadly it is going to take you away from God.
Paul wrote saying, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). John challenges us not to love the world or anything in the world for the world and its desires pass away(1 John 2:15, 17). James adds that he who chooses to be a friend of this world becomes an enemy of God (James 4:4). So we need to be careful to reject the thought patterns of this world.
The simplest way to understand Jesus as Lord of your mind is to ask, “What is His thought on what I am thinking now?” “For the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9 NIV).
2. Jesus, Lord of Your Body
There are people who use Biblical passages like, “Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20 NIV), to challenge Christians to keep their bodies fit and strong through exercise! But is that the context of the passage? The passage deals with sexual immorality. Paul is saying that one who sins sexually sins against his own body. That is not right since your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. If we understand this truth, then we have a strong fort in our mind to fight sexual temptation. By fighting sexual temptation we are acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus even over our body.
Paul urged us to have a constant attitude of placing our bodies on the altar as living sacrifices (see Romans 12:1). That means we should keep our bodies always in an attitude of doing right. And avoiding evil. That is why Paul urged, “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God . . . and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness” (Romans 6:13 NIV).
But Jesus is Lord of our body not only in life but also in death. The Book of Revelation describes a group of people who overcame Satan because “they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:11 NIV). That means that the Lordship of Jesus demands that we be willing to lay down our lives for God’s glory if such a situation arises (read also John 15:13).
At this moment think about all those multitude of peoples across centuries from all nations who willingly lay down their lives for the gospel. Are we not indebted to their sacrifice in more ways than we’ve ever imagined?
3. Jesus, Lord of Your Decisions
Saul, when he fell to the ground after being blinded by the bright light from heaven, asked, “What shall I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10). In reply Jesus told him what to do. Isn’t this a basic lesson we often forget? Why do we forget to ask Jesus, “What shall I do, Lord?” Is it not because, like king Herod, we are disturbed to note that Jesus is born to rule as king (see Matthew 2:3)?
The Bible commands us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NIV). It calls for actively submitting our decision-making process to God and waiting for His counsel and direction. Those who do so will find God directing their life. The emphasis is to trust in the Lord with ALL your heart; not partially but fully. And also NOT to lean on your own understanding. Trusting in God fully and not leaning on our own understanding; both work together when Jesus is Lord of your life. Then He will direct your paths.
4. Jesus, Lord of Your Finance
Jesus’ teaching on money leaves no room for doubt. He said that no one can serve two masters. If he tries to do so he will hate one and love the other. He said, “You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6:24 NIV). That means it is impossible to serve both God and Money. Jesus is warning us not to make Money the god of our life. Instead he is asking us to store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19—21). He also challenged us to use worldly wealth for eternal purposes (Luke 16:9).
One important teaching on money we need to note in the New Testament is that tithing is not emphasized. Instead we understand that Jesus is Lord of ALL our money. We need to prayerfully consider and seek God’s wisdom in utilizing it. The first church exhibited the Lordship of Jesus Christ on their finances (Acts 4:32—37); and the first of God’s judgment in the church came because Ananias and his wife Sapphira agreed to lie about the money they had at their disposal to give to God (Acts 5:1—11).
Most of us wait for God’s abundance in our life before we decide to give. It is to be understood that those who cannot give when they are poor will not be able to give when they are rich. Paul commended the Macedonian Church that “their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” and that they gave “even beyond their ability” (2 Corinthians 8:2, 3 NIV). Unless we learn to give beyond our ability, Jesus cannot truly be Lord of our life.
5. Jesus, Lord of Your Work
Work involves time, energy, resources and priorities. In today’s world work is almost regarded as worship as it not only contributes to your purse but also gives you a social acceptance. In return, your work demands so much from you. The question is, who or what is Lord of your life? Is it Jesus or your work?
Paul wrote that “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV). And again work should be done with all your heart. It should be done as if you are doing it for the Lord and not for men. Because in your work you are serving the Lord Christ (Read Colossians 3:23, 24). Your daily work is an area where you should exhibit the Lordship of Jesus. Therefore do all your work with excellence so that others will see it and praise God (Matthew 5:16).
Work, however good (legitimate) it is, should not distract us from finding time to sit at the feet of the Lord Jesus (Luke 10:38—42)! And even if it is the Lord’s work you’re doing, you have to find time to rest (Mark 6:31).
Conclusion: The Lordship of Jesus Demands Worship!
Jesus is Lord. That demands worship. It is the only proper response to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Wise Men (Magi) came from the east and worshiped Jesus (Matthew 2:11) at the time of His birth. King David, speaking by the Spirit, called Jesus, “Lord!” (Matthew 22:43, 44). Heaven resounds with worship when all fall face down before Jesus saying, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12 NIV). Hallelujah! Worship Him! For He is “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!”