Understanding The Bible
Jesus "Lord" of Your Life?
By Dr. Glen Clifton 1.
Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘LORD, LORD,’ and not do the things which I say?” Luke 6:46 Paul wrote: “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the LORD, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.” II Corinthians 4:5
If I asked you… ”Do you believe in the LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ?” I’m sure your answer would be “Yes.” But, if I asked you, “Is Jesus LORD of all you are and have?,” some might be upset.
Sometimes our church sings, “Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him LORD of all.” We crown him with our lips, but will not make him LORD of our lives. Someone has said, “the word “LORD” is one of the most lifeless words in the Christian vocabulary. Bible scholar A.T. Robertson said that the LORDSHIP OF CHRIST is the touchstone of our faith. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan has called it, “the central verity of the church.”
Just what is the significance of the term “LORD JESUS?” To find the answer to this question we must examine the BASIC meaning of “LORD,” and the CHRISTIAN meaning of “LORD,” and the meaning of “LORD JESUS” to your life... and mine!
“LORD JESUS” WAS
THE FIRST CONFESSION OF THE EARLY CHURCH
“if you confess with your mouth the LORD Jesus (that Jesus is LORD) and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
When a new GENTILE believer said “Jesus is LORD,” he meant that Caesar was no longer his god. When a JEWISH believer said “Jesus is LORD,” he meant Jesus IS GOD!
Polycarp, possibly the first pastor/elder of the church at Smyrna, mentioned in Revelation 2:8, because he would not say that Caesar was lord…was put to death. He said, “How shall I blaspheme my King who has saved me?” They tied him to a stake and burned him alive. A martyr for Jesus Christ, his LORD!
Early Christianity demanded a clean break with the world, the flesh and the devil. It was Christ OR Caesar….Christ OR the world. Today we have lowered our standards to accommodate to many ideas and idols. Our churches are filled with baptized pagans who are too sold out to the world to love the LORD Jesus. We call Him LORD an hour or so each Sunday, but during the week we live like we don’t acknowledge Him.
When the Apostle Paul used this word LORD, it was a word that had an “everyday meaning” for his readers. The word LORD meant “owner,” “boss,“ or “master” of property or slaves.
In the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, the word “LORD” was used to translate the Hebrew name “JEHOVAH,” which was used of the true God. For instance, Psalm 23:l, “The LORD is my shepherd,” reads literally, “JEHOVAH is my shepherd.” The O.T. word LORD was used to render the words “Adon” or “Adonai,” used by the Jews to avoid pronouncing the holy word “JEHOVAH”. Early Christians in the Roman Empire understood the meaning of “LORD” against this rich background of religious meaning.
“LORD JESUS” IS
THE AUTHORITATIVE CONFESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN
“Therefore I make known to you that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is LORD except by the Holy Spirit.” I Corinthians 12:3
Today, we have created an artificial distinction between trusting Jesus as SAVIOR and confessing Him as LORD. Easy “believism” has led us to tell people to “just trust Jesus in your heart,” while not being at all concerned with “making Him Lord of our lives.”
HEAR ME: Salvation is NOT a smorgasbord with a variety of things we can accept or reject. It is NOT a cafeteria line where we can just take “Jesus as SAVIOR,” and pass-up taking Him as “LORD.” Many today, as in Jesus day, believe in Him, or about Him, but are unwilling to follow Him with their lives.
LISTEN: No man can willingly and knowingly take Jesus as Savior and reject Him as LORD, and be saved. Paul told the Philippian jailer, “Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31 Notice in this verse, Paul presented all three names of Jesus as LORD, MASTER and MESSIAH (Christ). He would not have the jailer take Christ as Savior, and think about His LORDSHIP at some later time. We have only ONE OPTION: we can receive the LORD OR reject Him.
We sing: “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” How foolish then to say, “nobody is going to tell me what to do, OR how much to give.”
LISTEN: Paul said, as a Christian, I am no longer my own, I have “been bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus. I am now to glorify God in my body.” I Corinthians 6:19-20.
I became a Christian as a boy in a rural South Texas town. I trusted Jesus as my Savior. I didn’t understand what LORDSHIP meant. But, when I understood that I belonged to Jesus, I knew I was under new management. You may say you do not understand it. LISTEN: I don’t understand all about electricity either, but I’m not going to sit in the dark till I do!
There is a cheap, easy “believeism” that does not believe. There is a “receivism” that does not receive. This easy-grace movement is leading many into churches, but NOT delivering them from sin and judgment, and to a new life in Christ.
DO YOU REALIZE that the word “SAVIOR” is found ONLY twenty-four (24) times in the New Testament, while the word LORD is found four hundred, thirty-three (433) times? WOW!
The GREAT COMMISSION (Matthew 28:19-20) commands us to “make disciples.” A Christian is a BELIEVER first, then a DISCIPLE, then a WITNESS. Jesus said, “If you continue (abide) in My Word, you are my disciples indeed.” John 8:32 The reason we have so many “believers” and so few “disciples” is - most haven’t continued in His Word. Our churches are filled with Biblically illiterate people. Amen OR Oh, me?
Someone has rightly pointed out: that too many are singing: “Standing on the Promises” but they are just really “sitting on the premises!” Unwilling to make a commitment to Jesus or His church. Why is it so hard for us to find real leadership in the church today? Where are all the teachers, the musicians, those willing to serve on committees? Why do so many struggle with tithing and other types of support for the church?
Where are the soul-winners? … the witnesses?
Eternal life is a gift of God, but remember, it cost God His only begotten Son….at a terrible price. Salvation is FREE to you, but it WASN’T CHEAP to God the Father.
REMEMBER: Our LORD is after DISCIPLES, and not mere “JOINERS.” Jesus lost some of His best prospects on this very issue. Remember the Rich Young Ruler? What a catch he was. He had morals and money, but he was unwilling to commit.
HEAR ME TODAY: Don’t take this lightly. The first words out of the mouth of that church hating, Christian persecuting Saul was: “Who are you LORD? LORD, what will you have me to do?” He began by confessing Jesus as His LORD! Acts 9:5,6
Unbelieving Thomas cried, “My LORD and my God.” John 20;28. Oh, yes, Thomas became a real witness. He carried the Gospel to Persia, Parthia, and to India. While in India, he was tortured, run through with spears and burned to death. And some of you are worried about what someone will think of you if you talk about your relationship with the LORD Jesus.
My Bible knows nothing about this easy-grace whereby we confess Jesus as Savior, but are unwilling to confess Him as LORD. The New Testament teaches not only FAITH in Christ, but FOLLOWING Christ…..THAT’S LORDSHIP!
WILL BE THE WORLD’S FINAL CONFESSION
Paul wrote that one day, “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
Friend, LISTEN: It is NOT a matter of WILL YOU confess Him as your Savior and LORD, but WHEN will you confess Him? You can do it TODAY and be saved from you sins, or you WILL do it from beyond the grave…and it WILL BE TOO LATE! In the not too distant future, “every tongue will confess Jesus as LORD, in Heaven, on Earth, and under the earth.”
QUESTION: Is Jesus your LORD? Is He the LORD of your life, your body, your thoughts, your temper, your time, your plans, your pocketbook, your recreation, your church life?
LORDSHIP covers everything. Oh, and it is NOT BONDAGE. IT IS REAL FREEDOM, for “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 Yes, we are free to do everything that is good and right. I urge you today….to make JESUS LORD OF YOUR LIFE!
When you confess Jesus as Savior, God places His Spirit within you. I Corinthians 6:19,20. Also, to the Church at Corinth, Paul wrote, “No man can say that Jesus is LORD, except by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:3 It is NOT simply a matter of just saying the words, “Jesus is LORD.” These words must be an outward expression of a deep conviction of your soul.
The Holy Spirit’s roll in this world is to reveal, to teach, and glorify Jesus. 1 Corinthians 2:10-16; John 16:5-14. Just as the Holy Spirit breathes life into the printed pages of the Bible…..He will breath life into your soul as the truth “Jesus is Lord” is written in your soul.
ILLUSTRATION: Several years ago one of our most famous rock stars was arrested for possession of illegal drugs. He said, “It’s when authority won’t let me do what I dig. I’m against anything that interferes with my individual freedom. As a non conformist, I do what I want to do. No one can tell me what to do.” Well, I’m sorry, but you can’t be saved with that attitude. JESUS HAS ULTIMATE AUTHORITY…..NOW AND FOREVER! AMEN!
Will you let the Holy Spirit do this for you today? Hear God’s wonderful Word again…..“If you will CONFESS with your mouth the LORD Jesus, and BELIEVE in your heart that God has raised Him (Jesus) from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one BELIEVES unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10;9-10
If you will do that….YOU WILL BE SAVED!!! Then, and then only will you understand the LORDSHIP OF JESUS. “For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed (disappointed)” Romans 10:11
Years ago BILLY GRAHAM was scheduled to speak at a major University behind the IRON CURTAIN. The University was 90% Communist controlled. They planned a demonstration to disgrace and humiliate the AMERICAN EVANGELIST. The Graham group PRAYED. Some didn’t want to go. “Yes, we’re going,” Graham said, “we may be fools but we’ll be fools for Christ’s sake.”
Before he spoke, a black woman from NIGERIA was to sing. Wearing a beautiful tribal robe and bearing TRIBAL SCARS, she began to sing her witness for Christ. Students began to scream and jeer and howl. They threw songbooks on the stage at her. When CLIFF BARROWS started to help her down, she refused….and KEPT ON SINGING. One said, “For a moment she looked like STEPHEN being stoned to death.
Her song was:
"I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus,
since I found in Him a friend so kind and true;
I would tell you how he changed my life completely,
He did something that no other friend could do.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus…”
As the woman sang, they witnessed a MIRACLE. With tears streaming down her face, the crowd grew quiet. When they witnessed her SINCERITY, a hush moved across the group. When she finished you could have heard a pin drop.
GRAHAM came to the pulpit and without preaching, gave the invitation to accept Jesus as LORD and Savior. 327 PEOPLE came forward. They had seen the glow of Christ upon her head. Once owned by TRIBAL LORDS…NOW she was bought and owned by the LORD JESUS.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? ... IS JESUS YOUR LORD?
Copyright 2006, Dr. Glen
Used by permission
JESUS 'LORD' OF YOUR LIFE?"
by Dr. Glen E. Clifton
1. Dr. Clifton preached this sermon at King's Baptist church in Vero Beach, Florida in Preached at King's Baptist Church in Vero Beach, FL, August 6, 2006 where he as been serving as Interim Preacher for about 6 months. Dr. Clifton and his wife Dee, have been retired to Florida for 4 years. He has been kept busy preaching up and down the Treasure coast since he moved here. He can be contacted for speaking engagements at (772) 336-3992.
Clifton, Dr. Glen E., Brief Biography