The Lordship of Christ

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The lordship of Christ - What does it mean?

In the Scriptures, Jesus of Nazareth has received many titles. He is called the Christ, Son of God, Son of Man, Savior, and Messiah. He has also been called "Lord." Unlike many of the other terms given to Jesus, the term Lord is relatively common and as such its meaning is often taken for granted. But what does the Lordship of Christ actually mean?

Jesus Himself gives the first inkling into the significance of being called Lord when He addresses a great multitude of people along with His disciples in the plain, "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46). If anyone recognizes Jesus Christ as his or her Lord, then the first requirement from such a person is utter and total obedience. This obedience is given to Jesus Christ because of the authority that was granted to Him. Jesus said, as He departed for His throne in glory, ". . .All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Matthew 28:18).

How did Jesus gain this authority? On the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter addressed the crowd that had gathered in Jerusalem for the feast. He recited from the Psalms, the words of David, linking them to the deeds and happenings in the life of Christ. After explaining about the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and proving that the words in the Psalms did not refer to David but to someone future and greater, he goes on to say, "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

The Father bestowed the office of Lord to Jesus Christ His Son because Jesus had surrendered Himself in full obedience to God and had accomplished the work of salvation through crucifixion and taken victory over all enemies through His resurrection.

The Apostle Paul also stresses the connection between the obedience of Christ and His lordship in the book of Philippians, "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:8-11).

As Lord, Jesus Christ deserves reverence, honor, and obedience because of the glory that was bestowed upon Him by the Father. We are to take the same mind of obedience that Jesus Himself had. We as followers of Christ must acknowledge Him in all of our ways. We are only to do what pleases Him and what He has commanded us to do. This is how He, Himself lived towards the Father during His earthly sojourn, "So Jesus said, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.'" (John 8:28).

What does the lordship of Jesus Christ mean? It means that we recognize Him for who He is and give Him the honor that He is due. He has earned it; He is worthy of it.

Ultimately, this is how our walk with Christ should begin, by recognizing and confessing that He is Lord. This is how salvation is obtained, by this very recognition. "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10).



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