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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Importance of the Lordship of Jesus Christ

The apostle Paul prayed for the Colossians, “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him.” (Col. 1:10a). The word “worthy” (ἀξίως - axiōs, ax-ee´-oce) means worthily, suitably, appropriately. Paul therefore calls the Colossians to a life that is appropriate. Appropriate in what way? Appropriate to their relationship to Jesus as Lord. What does that mean?

The title of Lord is one we should not glance over. Confessing Jesus as our Lord and believing in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead is the gateway to being saved from our sins. Paul wrote to the Romans, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9).

The word “Lord” (κύριος - kuriŏs, koo´-ree-os) is a title that means supreme controller, supreme authority, owner, master, or lord. Therefore when Paul prays that the Colossians would “walk worthy of the Lord” he is praying that they would walk or live in a way that is appropriate to God as their Lord, their supreme authority and controller.

How important is the Lordship of Christ? Francis M. Cosgrove Jr. in his book Essentials of Discipleship states the following about the importance of the Lordship of Jesus Christ:

The lordship of Christ is the daily submission and surrender of our entire self to the authority and leadership of Jesus Christ, recognizing his sovereign right to rule preeminently over us. The acknowledgement of Christ’s lordship is abdication of self from the throne of our life and the enthronement of Jesus in self’s place.
The lordship of Jesus Christ in a believer’s life is the most crucial issue in Christian living. It is absolutely necessary and foundational to Christian discipleship. In fact, this major doctrine of Christianity determines how useful a person will be to God.

All our aspirations, blessings, and joys of the Christian life are absolutely dependent on our submission to Jesus Christ as Lord of our life. We cannot experience the fullest in Christian living until we commit ourselves unreservedly to the lordship of Christ.

Furthermore, submission to Christ’s lordship is not a one-time experience. We must make Jesus Christ Lord of our life by decision, but we must also follow up that decision with daily recommitment. Every day we must say, “Father, I recommit my life to Jesus as Lord!”
Living with Jesus as our Lord can cause a struggle within us at times. Because of the contrary pulls of our flesh, the world and the devil we do not always see the way of Jesus as the best way for us. We think we know better than God. That is a big mistake and the cause of a great deal of hardship not to mention it causes us to miss out on God’s best for us.

At the end of his chapter on the Lordship of Jesus Christ Cosgrove sites a list of the stages of obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives. He got this list from a missionary to Japan named Bob Boardman. These stages are helpful in evaluating whether or not we are truly living under the Lordship of Christ. It’s essential to know this because all that God has for us is closely connected to living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our life. Cosgrove states the following:

Obedience is tied into a lordship decision. You cannot separate obedience and submission. Bob Boardman, a missionary in Japan, has identified five stages of obedience. It is good to evaluate our life in light of them periodically.

(1) “I am going to do what I want to do no matter what God wants.” Many Christians realize that this is wrong, but they still live according to this pattern. Essentially they do not want Christ to rule their life.

(2) “If God will give me what I want first, then I will give him an equal exchange.” This is bargaining with God; I will give him what I think is an equal exchange. If God will only give me the job that I want, then I will give him some of my time in exchange.

(3) “If God will give me what I want first, then I will give him what he wants.” This is also bargaining with God. This stage is similar to the second stage, but includes a willingness to give God what he wants.

(4) “I will give God what he wants first, then in faith believe that he will give me what I want.” This has finally reverses the “me-first” approach, but it is still a form of bargaining. I am expecting God to do something for me because I have done something for him.

(5) “I will give God whatever he wants, regardless of whether he gives me what I want.” This is lordship in practice. This is the crucial stage in our obedience.

Are you living worthy of the Lord? What stage best describes you and the lordship of Jesus Christ in your life? Is Jesus truly Lord of your life?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Pastor. A very strong message for those of us who needed that. <><