[b]The Absolute Lordship of Jesus[/b]
[i]by Randy Jones[/i]
Jesus is the cause of universal conflict. It is not just because He came and lived in this world. It is not just because He was a good man, a good teacher and a prophet, but because He truly is Lord of everything in this universe. The early church preached, "You must confess that Jesus is Lord" (Rom. 10:9). More than 12 translations translate it this way. Tyndales translation reads, "If you "knowledge" (or acknowledge) with your mouth that Jesus is THE Lord, you will be saved".
Now we teach delayed discipleship. You ask Jesus to be your Savior, and later on, when you feel like it, He can be your Lord. This is called delayed discipleship. The early church never preached this! This was their secret. This is why they were so powerful. They did not preach Him as Savior first. Yes, they preached Him as Savior. But first you had something else to decide - who will be your Lord ? You will have a Lord. It will either be you, the devil, somebody else, or Jesus Christ. Did you know the Bible says three times that Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Not just a lord, but Lord of Lords. Not just a king but King of Kings.
You have to acknowledge with your mouth
that Jesus is the Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. (Rom. 10:9-10) Jesus said, All authority is given unto ME!" Everyone understands the word All. What does it mean? It means no one else has any authority - or He couldnt have it all. Satan does not have authority - only what we let him usurp. We have no authority except through Jesus. He said, (the King James reads, "all power", but the word is authority) - "All authority is given to Me in heaven and in earth - therefore go, and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to do some of the things I have commanded you to do?" (Matt. 28:19-20) Right? No - ALL! Many think that in our sophisticated age we can't teach everything Jesus said. People wouldnt like that. It would offend them.
Because of His humility, and His agony on the cross, "God has given Him the Name that is above every name. That at the Name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord." (Phil. 2:9-11) What is the battle always over? The Lordship of Jesus Christ. What did the apostles preach that made them so powerful? The Lordship of Jesus Christ. What did they preach that made the devil hate them so much? The Lordship of Jesus Christ.
When the early Christians would walk down the streets, the Romans would say, Caesar is Lord. The Christians would answer, No, Jesus Christ is Lord - knowing they were probably going to be killed for saying it. But they knew they could not back down from the fact that He was their Lord and they were submitted to Him. You only get power from God to the degree that you submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As you surrender, the deeper the surrender, the more strength you get. The greater the submission, the more power you have, because all authority is at the right hand of God in the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are people who dont agree with this. There are people who dont like it. Satan hates it - but God has given Jesus the Name that is above every name - that at the Name of Jesus, not just the Lord Jesus Christ, but that man, Jesus - who laid His life down - the man who died a physical death (God cant die) - but that Man, Jesus, who died physically - has been given the Name above every name. "That at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow". Satan himself, Adolph Hitler, Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte - every human being, every angelic being, and every demon, is going to bow their knees, and they are going to confess with their mouths, "Jesus Christ is Lord!" Why? Because He IS Lord.
The Greek word, kurios, is translated "Lord" 751 times in the New Testament. Most of these - 95% or so - are applied to the Lord Jesus Christ. That word doesnt mean just a Savior or a helper, or someone you add-on to our life; that you fit in somewhere - not just a life-enhancement tool. He is not an add-on module or a plug-in. It means the supreme authority. It literally means
It means - "He to whom a person or thing belongs, about which He has the power of deciding; Master; Lord. Used universally of the possessor and disposer of a thing; the owner". When the early church called him Kurios, "Lord" - the Jews hated it. Every time the word God is used in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) it was translated, "Kurios".
So when the early Christians used the word, Kurios, for Jesus, they were saying, "He is God", that He is Lord, that He is who He says He is. They were saying, "He owns us". The Bible says, "You have been bought with a price. You are not your own". (1 Cor. 6:19-20) What was that price? The Blood of Jesus Christ. His suffering. His agony.
You might think you own yourself, or that maybe Jesus is in there somewhere - but He owns you lock, stock, and barrel. He owns you. He owns your family. He owns everything you own. It is all His to do with as He desires because He is the controller, He is the supreme authority, and He is the one who makes the decisions - not you.
"Robinsons Word Pictures" reads, "The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth. What Word? The Word of faith which we preach. What Word of faith did Paul preach? Jesus is Lord! " Thats the context of this passage. "The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart". Which Word? The Word of faith which we preach. Then he says, the Word that is in your mouth Jesus is Lord! We hear so much about the Word of faith. What does the Bible say the Word of faith is? Jesus is Lord! What brings true faith? What brings the true presence of the Holy Spirit? It is the Word of faith that Paul preached Jesus is Lord!
When you believe that, and you confess it, Paul goes on to say, you will be saved. (The Greek word for confess in this passage, Romans 10:9-10, has the meaning of entering into a binding legal contract with your mouth, to rely on, to cling to.) The Romans wouldnt say it because they applied it to the emperor. Domitian called himself "Our Lord and God". Caligula had an image of himself erected in the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem and made everyone worship him. Emperors called themselves God. The word Kurios was and is the touchstone of faith. What were these ancient preachers saying? What was the early church preaching? "You dont have an option!" Jesus Christ is not a cafeteria line that you go through and pick out what you like. Paul was saying, and all these men said, Jesus is the Lord of All Glory and the only decision you have is - will you submit to His Lordship or not. If you wont now, you will later." If you do it now, authority can flow through you, because it is Jesus Christ who has all authority. Not Washington D.C. or the Supreme Court.
There are four passages that I call the Lord, Lord passages. In one passage, Jesus said, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and dont do the things I say?" In another, they came to Him and said, "Lord, Lord we prophesied in Your Name. We cast out demons in Your Name. We worked powerful miracles in Your Name".
He is going to say to them, "Depart from Me you workers of iniquity. I never knew you. You didnt do the will of My Father". Five of the virgins came back, the door was shut, and the bridegroom had come. They beat on the door and they said, "Lord, Lord, Open to us." He said, "I dont know who you are."
How did Paul, Timothy, Peter, John, James, and Jude view their relationship to Jesus Christ? In the Literal Translation (we see the word servant in the King James) - it is "slave". Paul started out in Romans 1:1 - not with, "Paul, a powerful, anointed man of God". No - "Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ." There has to be a master and a master has slaves. There is a Lord and that Lord has slaves. Paul said, "I am a slave of Jesus Christ".
"I am not a part-time slave, I am not getting into this halfway stuff - I am a slave of Jesus Christ". Look at what Paul said in Philippians 1:1 "Paul and Timothy, slaves of Jesus Christ". Do you think maybe their theology was deeper than ours? Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus. James, a slave of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ." (James was Jesus brother.) Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James. (He was another one of Jesus brothers.)
"A revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave to Him to show to His slaves", wrote John. To show to who? His slaves. Guess who gets to see the Revelation of Jesus Christ? His slaves. Guess who doesnt get to see the revelation of Jesus? Those who arent His slaves. He said that He signified it by sending it through His angel, to his slave, John.
Duolos is the Greek word for slave, and means "a bondman, man of servile condition, one who gives himself up wholly to anothers will; devoted to another to the disregard of their own interest." That is the word they are using for themselves and their ministries. They were slaves of Jesus Christ. You say, Thats terrible! I dont want to be a slave to anybody!
The greatest freedom you will ever have in your life is to be a slave of Jesus Christ. These men turned the world upside down. Their shadow healed people. They were so powerful - not because of their ideas about this or that, or their vague beliefs; they submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and they had power with God.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon