Encouragement for your daily walk with God
Christmas, as a holiday, is behind us. Onward to a New Year!
Last week I read through the book of Philippians in my daily devotions, and was again struck by the truth that Jesus is Lord. Say it out loud, “Jesus is Lord.” That was the confession of early Christ followers, which in some cases, cost them their lives. I often wonder if the many who profess to be Christians today would lay down their lives for that truth.
We are confronted with, and must answer, the question: Is Jesus Lord? Theologically, indeed! That is the declaration of God the Father as recorded by the Apostle Paul to the Philippian Christ followers, “Jesus Christ is Lord” [2.11].
The Lordship of Jesus is foundational to the Christian faith. It is the very essence of what we believe. When we confess Him as Lord, we don’t make Him Lord. He is Lord! We don’t make Him Lord after we are saved. He is Lord! When I hear someone say, “Make Jesus your Lord,” what I hear is, “You need to be saved.” We can never make Him Lord. God the Father has already done that.
It’s interesting that the New Testament writers referred to Jesus, for the most part, as Lord and Savior, not Savior and Lord. It’s a critical point that some people miss. They think they can accept Christ as Savior, and then, at some later point, make Him their Lord too. I have a Greek rebuttal to that: Phooey!
First and foremost, we humbly bow before Him as Lord and receive His gift of salvation. There is no other way. In his New Testament Commentary, John MacArthur quotes the Puritan commentator, John Flavel, “The gospel offer of Christ includes all his offices, and gospel faith just so receives him; to submit to him, as well as to be redeemed by him; to imitate him in the holiness of his life, as well as to reap the purchases and fruits of his death. It must be an entire receiving of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In the little book The Best of A. W. Tozer, Book Two, Tozer wrote, “To urge men and women to believe in a divided Christ is bad teaching, for no one can receive half of Christ, or a third of Christ, or a quarter of the Person of Christ! We are not saved by believing in an office nor in a work.”
In other words, if Jesus isn’t your Lord, you have no right to call Him, Savior. It’s for that reason, we submit to Him. The life of a Christ follower is characterized by humbly submitting to the authority of Jesus. To receive Christ as Savior is to submit to His authority as Lord. He is Lord!
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name … that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2.9, 11