JESUS IS LORD AND KING OF HIS KINGDOM
Does “Jesus is Lord” Really Mean What It Says?
One of the most radical concepts of Christianity is that Jesus is Lord – meaning that He is the Supreme Ruler over ALL. Is that not a radical concept?
Is the saying that “Jesus is Lord” just a Christian slogan, or is there a greater meaning to that phrase? Look at what Scripture has to say about this question.
COLOSSIANS 1:16-20: “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible of invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created by Him and for Him, and He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good please for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things unto Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on the earth of things in heaven.”
PHILIPPIANS 2:9-11 — “Therefore God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, and at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, or those who in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
MATTHEW 4:23– “And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every kind of sickness among the people.”
MATTHEW 6:33–“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”.
MARK 8:27 — “Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?”
Who do you say Jesus is?
The term LORD is the term MOST USED in the New Testament to identify Jesus — over 600 times it declares that Jesus is Lord. The term Savior refers to Jesus only about 25 times in the New Testament. In the Bible the word “KURIOS” is the Greek word translated to “Lord” and that word meant master, possessor, supreme authority, king, or OWNER. I believe the apostles of the Bible had a deeper understanding of the concept of Lordship than we do and yet they addressed Jesus as their Lord, or their Lord and Savior. They were all from a culture that understood that to refer to someone as their Lord meant that the Lord was their master, or owner, or supreme authority and that their only function was to serve their Lord.
In our society today, especially in our Western culture, we do not want anyone to Lord it over us. After all, we are free and independent people. We must prefer Jesus to be our Savior because that appeals to us — to be saved from the consequences of sin. What is really difficult is to say that Jesus is Lord in our lives and really mean it and live it. Not just say it as a Christian slogan.
This question gives us great insight into your own relationship with Jesus. WHO DO YOU SAY THAT JESUS IS?
Do you call Him Lord in your own life? If so, what are the implications of the confession that Jesus is Lord?
Have you bowed your knee to Him and submitted your life to Him as Lord, or Master and Supreme Ruler, of your life?
Do you acknowledge Him as the CREATOR of all things?
I believe questions like these are the most important questions we can ask anyone in this world. After all, they may be the question of “who is first in their lives”. Remember, the essence of sin is rebelling against God’s right to be God and to rule over all the affairs of our lives. When we don’t allow God to be God in our own lives we set ourselves up as god and we decide what is right and wrong, or good and evil, just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. That is being a slave of sin in the kingdom of darkness.
ROMANS 10:9– “That is you confess with your mouth JESUS AS LORD, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved “.
According to this scripture salvation requires two parts:
1. Say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord — YOUR LORD
2. Believe that God raised Him from the dead — THAT JESUS IS ALIVE TODAY
When we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, it does not make us His “slave” like the slaves in Rome that worked for their masters. Once we are born again we enter into God’s family and Jesus is like our older brother even though He is the Lord and King of His kingdom. There is a kinship relationship even though He is the ultimate Ruler over all creation. We become “co-laborers with Him” in covenant because what was lost in the fall in the garden has been restored to us by Jesus. We are to reign in life through Him because of what He has done for us.
ROMANS 5:17 — For if by the transgression of one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
I believe the reason people do not acknowledge the reality of Jesus is Lord is because the messages they have heard were more about “things” than the “person named Jesus”. Christianity is not about:
- an ideology
- or philosophy
- or a set of core values
- or morals
- or lifestyles
- or social causes
- or world views
- or concepts of faith
- or ideologies about leadership, etc.
Christianity is about a relationship with a real living “person” named Jesus. It is about a transformed life because we have met King Jesus and bowed our knee to Him as our Lord and King. The reality of Christianity is that Jesus is alive and well and we can know Him intimately.
As a by-product of that relationship He transfers us out of the kingdom of darkness and transfers us into His kingdom of light. We become part of His “Church” of “called out ones”. This is what I refer to as relational Christianity in a later chapter.
There is a lot of distortion of the message and a lot of misunderstanding of spiritual realities. Years ago I read a statement by a man named Charles Finney, a great revivalist from the 1800’s. He said, “The quality of the convert is determined by the content of the message.” This is a great truth. Our message is to be a proclamation of Jesus and that His kingdom is at hand — not other things.
Let’s begin to dig our way out of some religious notions and begin to bring some clarity.
Our modern day message is what can be called the “gospel of things”. The word “gospel” means a message of good news. Our modern alter calls seem to present Jesus as a giant “Santa Claus” personality. We say come to Jesus and get. Get “things” like healing, salvation, prosperity, deliverance. If you come to Jesus and “accept Him” he will give you these “things”. This is a false humanistic, or man-centered, gospel message. We don’t “accept Him” as though we are doing Him a great favor. The truth is He is reaching out to us to accept us into a divine relationship with Himself. What a tremendous privilege it is to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord in my life and to have the honor and privilege to getting to personally know and have a relationship with the living God of the universe. This is definitely a radical concept.
The true gospel message we see presented over and over in the Scriptures is “Come to Jesus and repent. Turn away from being the boss of your own life. Acknowledge Him as the Lord of your life. And be redeemed by His blood-covenant.”
We are commanded to follow Him — not some denomination, or Bible teacher, or set of values, or anything else. The person – Jesus.
Remember the Scripture in MATTHEW 6:33–“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you
This verse reveals a tremendous truth. That truth is that the things most of us seek in this life will simply be added to us IF OUR FIRST PRIORITY IN LIFE is to seek to know Him and His kingdom rule in our lives.
KING JESUS — AS HE IS TODAY
King Jesus, as He is today, is described in the passage of Scripture recorded by the apostle, John, while exiled to the isle of Patmos in his elder years.
REVELATION 1:12-16 –“And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having tuned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle. And His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire; and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it had been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.”
As I read the New Testament I discovered that there is a great difference between the Jesus that Paul preached about and the Son of Man of the four gospels that we seem to preach about today. Today we spend a great deal of our messages talking about the miracles like the feeding of the 5000, the walking on water, the cursing of the fig tree, the raising of Jarius’ daughter, the healing of the leper, the casting out of demons, healing many people, etc. These are indeed great things to speak about, but do you realize that the Messiah we see in the gospels was actually the weakest and least powerful state of being that Jesus ever experienced?
PHILIPPIANS 2:5-8 — “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
For the 33 years He was alive on this earth He made Himself of no reputation and humbled Himself to be a servant, not a King. Can you see that Jesus was a common person just like the all the servants of those days. He was even born in dirty old manger like the animals. He spent His life among sinners like thieves, prostitutes, and publicans. He was crucified just like the worst of all criminals and He was buried in a borrowed tomb. For 33 years He gave up His glory and
became as one of us — a baby, a carpenter, and a preacher – not the King Jesus we see in His description given by John in the scripture above.
What is 33 years compared to existing eternally? It’s like comparing 33 cents to a multi-trillionaire.
When we pray is this the image of the Lord we see in our minds eye, or do we see King Jesus in all of His glory, splendor, and power?
Yet, most of the Church world today envisions Jesus as this servant person we have been taught about in Sunday School and have seen portrayed in pictures and movies.
This was the Jesus that the original 12 apostles knew and loved. They knew Him “according to the flesh”, or as a flesh and blood person. When these 12 encountered their Teacher they simply saw a physical man who challenged them to “Come, follow Me.” Yes, even in this state of being, Christ did many amazing things and performed many amazing miracles — I don’t want you to think I am diminishing His feats. But the vast majority of His life on earth was spent as a simple carpenter. The last three years of His life is when He was the Christ of the four gospels and His primary activity was challenging the religious structure and traditions of the society and teaching about the concepts of His Kingdom.
Because He challenged the religious system and its man-made traditions and was teaching radical truths about the kingdom of God that were contrary to what was taught by the religious leadership, He was put to death to get rid of the teacher with the revolutionary concepts. Doesn’t this act of getting rid of Jesus, in itself, demonstrate the power of the “traditions of men”? The Lord Himself warned against these traditions.
MATTHEW 15:3, 8-9 — “And why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”
“You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE TRADITIONS OF MEN.”
Now, let’s see how Paul met King Jesus
In the Book of Acts chapter 9 and verses 1-19 we see the story of Paul’s encounter with the Lord. It was much different than the original 12 apostles who were challenged by a physical man to “Come, follow Me”. When Paul first met the Lord He was knocked to the ground and blinded by the brilliant light of His glory. It was as though Jesus let Paul get just a glimpse of Him in His eternal state of being King Jesus of the Kingdom of God and He told Paul what he must do. Paul’s response to this encounter was simply “Who art Thou, LORD?”. Paul immediately addressed Jesus as Lord, or Master. This encounter with the resurrected eternal King Jesus, the Creator of all creation, radically transformed Paul from an extremely religious man, who persecuted the followers of Christ, to a radical disciple of his new found King who was responsible for building up the Church, spreading the good news of the kingdom of God to the known world at that time, writing the majority of the New Testament, and he suffered greatly for following this King Jesus the Mighty God but never turned away from or denied his new found Lord.
The Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:1-6 about Paul’s experience of being taken to heaven after his encounter with the King Jesus on the road to Damascus. This testimony of Paul indicates why Paul’s teachings were different than Peter’s and the other apostles. The original apostles, including Peter, had known their Lord “according to the flesh”, but Paul only knew Jesus in His glorified spiritual state of being as King, Lord, Creator, and Master of all. That is why we don’t see Paul teaching about the miracles that the Lord did while in His fleshly body. Paul declares to us who the Lord is today in His capacity as King Jesus of the eternal kingdom of God. That is why Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 5:16 — ” Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.”
Paul was simply stating that even though the original apostles had known Jesus and proclaimed Him as a physical person, from now on they should all proclaim only the eternal Lord and King that has been given a “name that is above all names and at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Lord” — Philippians 2:9-11.
Today, we are to no longer know King Jesus just according to the flesh as the bearded one with long hair, sandals, and a robe. We are not to see Him as the baby in a manger, or the preacher on the hillside speaking to the multitudes, or the skinny bloodied body hanging on the cross. Today, we are to know Jesus as the eternal King of all creation and the Supreme power and Ruler of the universal kingdom. He is the most glorious and powerful being in the entire universe and when we meet the true King Jesus our lives become changed forever because we have encountered the life altering message of the King and His kingdom.
When Paul proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom of God it was with power and it changed people’s lives.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 — “And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 4:20 — “For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power.”
When we go to a meeting at our local church facility on Sunday morning, do we hear a message of persuasive words of wisdom, or do we hear a proclamation of King Jesus as Lord and His kingdom accompanied by a demonstration of power?
This difference in seeing who Jesus really is can be a life altering concept. The gospel message of the kingdom of God is a life altering and life transforming message. Central to the gospel message is the proclamation that Jesus is Lord and that He is alive and well as the Supreme power and Ruler of His universal kingdom. From the moment we meet Him and have our encounter with King Jesus, we bow our knee to Him and from that moment on we begin to obey Him as we learn to hear Him instruct us by His Holy Spirit.
Is the Christ you know the mighty Ruler over all, or the bearded hippy-lookin’ man we see in pictures?
The Lord Himself said in John 3:3-6 that we cannot even see the truth of the kingdom of God, or enter it, until we are “born again” by the Spirit. Being born by the Spirit and filled with His life is the central meaning of the New Covenant which Jesus died physically to give to us.
Jesus is King over His kingdom and gave His life so you would have the opportunity to enter it and become part of the Father’s family. To do this we need to understand what salvation really means. It does not mean simply saying a prayer and going to Heaven when you die physically at the end of your years on the earth.
Let us begin to examine what the Bible actually says about our salvation. The plan of redemption planned out ages ago by the Father to undo what Adam and Eve had done through allowing Satan to gain control over humanity and institute his kingdom of darkness.