THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST
John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:15-18, 1 Timothy 2:1-3
Key Verse, Colossians 1:16
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”
In the previous passages, we learned that a disciple is called to be with Christ and grow in the characteristics of Christ. Just as God created man and woman in his image and gave them mission, with the characteristics of Christ, a disciple should be a leader who is willing to serve, sacrificing one’s life just as Jesus did. Amen!
Yet, we must remember that the core reason of serving others. It is Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior. Therefore, we are refocusing our attention to who Jesus is, and then we can know who we are. This changes our attitude toward Jesus and toward our lives and others. There are two parts.
I. The Lord Jesus Christ
Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This is true meaning of the gospel faith, confessing that Jesus is Lord and believing in our heart. When we repent of our sins and accept Jesus as our savior, we are accepting the Lordship of Christ over our life.
Luke 20:41-44 says, “Then Jesus said to them, “Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David? 42 David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 43 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’ 44 David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?” Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1, written by king David, who called the first ‘The Lord,’ referring to Jehovah, the God of Israel, and the second ‘my Lord,’ the Messiah Jesus Christ. King David called the Messiah my Lord in his prophetic insight. Jesus is not only our savior but also Lord. We are going to meditate on who Jesus is and why he is the Lord in a few aspects.
According to the website dictionary.com, a lord is the one who has authority and power over land, nation and its people. But Jesus is more than that. He is Lord of heaven and earth—Lord of all creation, visible and invisible. He is sovereign over the world; all nations, their affairs and people. He is the head of each church, and Lord of each disciple. When we accept that Jesus is the Lord, we are accepting that he is the Sovereign Lord over the world and over one’s life.
First, Jesus is Lord because he is the Creator of heavens and the earth. John 1:1-3 and 14 say, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made…. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Here Jesus is the Word, who is the personified God. Through him all things were created, visible, what you can see and touch, even viruses and bacteria. Moreover, he created invisible things, sound waves and electricity, chemical and biological functions, human emotions and spiritual world, and beyond. He even gave thrones or powers or rulers or authorities. He is the supreme being over all things; even over COVID19 or the President of America or of the UN or of all nations, though it seems that the world is being run by them. The Bible declares, “All things have been created through Christ and for him.” (Col 1:17) The Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of worship, honor, praise and glory of all creation. In short, each one of us is created through Christ and for his glory.
In life, what does it mean to believe in the Lord Christ who is the Creator? In Acts 4:24, the believers prayed as Peter and John were imprisoned and beaten by the Sanhedrin because they preached the gospel of Jesus, saying, “When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.” They did not complain to God why the disciples were beaten for the gospel, rather, they trusted in God, who is sovereign over all situations. It was God’s sovereign plan for them, and they saw their situation according to God’s word and prayed to enable them to preach the gospel boldly. May God bless each one of us to see our life in God’s sovereign plan, even the time of sufferings and hardships. Amen!
Secondly, Jesus is the Lord because he frees us from the power of sin and death. Romans 8:2 says, “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” All have sinned and become a slave of sin and of death. But God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that we can be forgiven and be free from our sins. Moreover, he rose again from the dead in order to free us from the power of death. People think that it normal to live under the power of death, since everyone dies. But the gospel says that it is living under the power of the devil. Heb 2:14-15 says, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” When we confess that Jesus is the Lord of my life, we are freed from the power of the devil. The devil is constantly making us live under the fear of death and tricking us to worry about our health day and night and making us live in regret, sorrow and anxiety. Even though people spend a lot money and time for their health, they feel unhealthy and miserable, finding more and more health problems in their body and life. Why? Their focus is on death, not on life. They think about themselves more than Jesus the Lord, giver of life.
How could they be freed? They may cry out to Jesus, the Lord. Jesus is the liberator, freeing us from the power of the devil. Look at John 1:4. “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” Life is in Jesus. Jesus is the giver of new life. Jesus healed the sick and even raised the dead, giving new hope of eternal life. How much more Jesus will shine his light on us as we come to him by faith. In the Lord Christ, we live a new life; life that is full. Romans 5:21: “so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” When grace of Christ reigns, the power of sin and death cannot reign in our life. Rather, Christ brings eternal life. Amen!
Thirdly, Jesus is the Lord because he is the Alpha and the Omega. Rev 20:12-13 says, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Jesus is the first and the last. The Lord Jesus started the world and knows the end of it. He started your life on earth and knows the end of your life too. If you truly believe this, you can be truly free from all worries of life. Instead of worrying, Jesus encourages us to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to us; all the things we need physically, financially, and even spiritually. By faith, we can start praying to do things for eternal reward.
Finally, Jesus the Lord is the judge of the living and the dead. Acts 10:42 says, “He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” He will give each person according to what they have done, whether good or bad. To those who have rejected Jesus and lived a sinful way of life, Jesus is the judge, who will come to punish. They cannot but live in fear, and the last day is the day of destruction. But for those who have believed in Jesus the Lord and lived for Christ and his kingdom, Jesus is the rewarder.
Mt 16:27 says, “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” The Lord Christ will come back to reward each person according to what they have done. The day of Jesus’ coming is the most glorious day because they will be rewarded. It is the day that death and Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire. It is the day of final victory. It is the day Christ the Lord will bring all his brides from all corners of the world. It is the day that he will wipe all our tears and reign in a new heavens and earth. What a day of rejoicing that will be! Yes, he is coming soon. Amen! Come Lord Jesus! We are looking forward to meeting him.
II. Practical implications of the Lordship of Christ
If we accept the Lordship of Christ, we should acknowledge that we are his subjects. When we acknowledge that Christ is the Creator, we are one of his creatures. As we accepted that Jesus came to free us from the slavery of sin and of death, we should live as free men. Yet, we must use our freedom not to sin but to serve Christ without fear in holiness and righteousness. Therefore, we no longer live under the power of death but live for Christ and his kingdom. Let’s meditate on a few implications of the Lordship of Christ to us.
First, the Lordship of Christ restores our creation order. In Genesis, the original order of God’s creation was God, then mankind and all other created things. God created man and woman in his own image, and gave them his mission to take care of the world. But when they disobeyed God’s word, they lost their position and mission. They degenerated to lower than the animal level. But through Christ, we came to know our true identity. We are just under God, created in his own image to take care of the world he has entrusted to us. The Lord Christ restored God’s original image in us through growing in the image of Christ. This can be done through the help of the Holy Spirit so that we may be a true steward of the world God has given to us.
The true stewardship of one’s life starts from acknowledging that Jesus is the Lord of my life, including my time and even possessions. I am not to the ruler of my life but Christ is. My life is given to me in order to use it for my Lord. Then, I cannot misuse it. In the storms of life, often our struggle is not the storm itself but whether we yield to the Lord Jesus as the captain of our lives. When we let Jesus be the Lord of our lives, he will take care of it according to his plan, which is the best way. As we realize that we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do, we find meaning and purpose of life in Christ. We no longer live for self-glory but for the glory of our Lord. Amen!
Secondly, the Lordship of Christ restores our relationship with Christ and with people. Due to our sins, our relationship with God was broken. But when we accept Jesus the Lord, our relationship is restored. We become children of God, not of natural descent but of God. We can call God “Abba” Father. We can pray to God and Jesus is our mediator. God will hear our prayers as we come in the name of Christ. The Bible described our relationship with Christ the Lord in many different ways; Christ is our good shepherd, and we are his sheep. King David expressed his confidence and comfort in such a relationship, saying, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” Jesus even called his disciples friends because a servant does not know master’s business. In the end, our relationship is like a bride and a bridegroom with covenant relationship in his second coming.
In this relationship with Christ the Lord under one Father, we can love others as our brothers and sisters as Jesus commanded. Jesus is the Lord of our church, and each member is building the body of Christ as each does its work. Colossians 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” Often a problem arises in a church when people have a wrong concept of a church. A church is not a building belonging to one person or an organization, but a group of believers. The Lord of DuPage UBF is Jesus Christ, for whom each one of members is serving with talents or God’s gifts. Amen!
Thirdly, the Lordship of Christ should be in every corner of one’s life. Col 3:18-4:1 encourages Christians to practice Christ’s Lordship in life. A healthy relationship between human beings should be triangular between the Lord and the people with the Lord in the middle. For example, the Lord should be in the middle between husband and wife. When a husband loves the Lord, he would love his wife as Christ loves the church, even when she is unlovable. Likewise, a wife may respect her husband as the church honors Christ even though he is not respectable for she knows all his weaknesses and shortcomings. The Lord should be in the middle of the relationship between a master and a slave. The slave will work hard as if he is working for Lord from his heart. The master will also provide for their slaves as he is serving the same Master in heaven. A father may raise children as Christ raised his disciples. A child will obey their parents, as Christ obeyed the Father. If all people live like that, it is almost a perfect state of society as in Acts 2, like the ideal for the communists who failed miserably without the Lordship of Christ.
Thus far, we learned what it means to believe in the gospel of Jesus. It is confessing that Jesus is the Lord over one’s life and accepting him in our heart, thus affecting our life. Yet, in the first century, confessing that Jesus is the Lord was not a small matter. When the first century Christians confessed that Jesus is the Lord, they were persecuted by the Jews and the Romans as well. The Jews persecuted his disciples for not following the Jewish traditions and for heresy. The emperors demanded the people of Rome to worship them as gods, but Christians refused to worship the emperor and thus received severe persecution. They often had to run for their lives, and families were separated. Some were imprisoned, and some, even killed. They were encouraged by Jesus the Lord in Revelation 2:10, “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.”
In America, however, we do not receive any persecution and do not have run for our lives. Yet, we cannot call Jesus the Lord lightly either. It is condemning the world and you may be considered a weirdo at your school or at work. Moreover, we may go through testing of our faith. Our faith is being tested when the temptations come in or when we are caught up with conflicts or problems in life. When we feel that God turned back on us, our faith is being tested. How would you respond? How you respond shows your attitude toward the Lordship of Christ. Therefore, we must hear the same encouragement from the Lord Jesus Christ, “Do not be afraid! The devil will put some of you to test and you will suffer. Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Through the time of testing, our faith becomes purified as we persevere, becoming more faithful even to the point of death, and learning the sovereign Lordship of Christ.
Peter confessed that Jesus is the Son of the living God. It is revealed by the power of God. How precious it is to know that Jesus is the Son of the living God, the Lord. (Matthew 16:16-19) Accepting Jesus as the Lord is the work of God. This knowledge enables us to experience the blessings from heaven above, which we can also share and open the door of heaven for those who accept it. What a great privilege we have in Jesus!
With the Lordship of Christ, on a personal level we should live a life of prayer and thanksgiving. 1 Ti 2:1-3 says, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior.” This personal life of confessing the Lordship of Christ is essential to grow in godliness and holiness in Christ.
Through today’s passage, we learned who Jesus is. Jesus is the Lord, Creator of all things, who restores our creation order so that we can live as a man with God’s mission and purpose. Jesus the Lord is the liberator from our sin and the power of death. He is the sovereign Lord, who the Alpha and the Omega, who is the beginning and the end of the world. He is the judge of the living and the dead. For the living, he will come to reward according to what they have done. Through accepting the Lordship of Christ, we are truly saved and restore our relationship with God. The Lordship of Christ impacts every corner of our lives, leading us to build right relationships with others, in the church, in our family, at work, and beyond.