Principles of Lordship
“Lord” is a title of respect indicating superiority, authority, and divinity. It’s a term of the Godhead (cp. Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9), especially of the Father and Jesus. For example, in John 20:28, Thomas called Jesus “My Lord and my God.” The term “Lord” is used around 200 times of Jesus in the New Testament, and hundreds of more times of the Father in both testaments. The Holy Spirit is even referred to as Lord once, as we’ll see a little later.
Perhaps many of us, when Christ has enabled us to overcome one or two sins that were an obvious problem, are inclined to feel that we’re now good enough. He’s done all we wanted Him to do, and we’d be grateful if He left us alone. But the question isn’t what we intended ourselves to be, but what He intended us to be when He made us.
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild the house. At first, you can understand what He’s doing. He’s getting the drains right, stopping the leaks in the roof, and so on. You knew those jobs needed doing and so you’re not surprised.
But then He starts altering the house in a way that hurts and doesn’t seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He’s building quite a different house from the one you thought of — putting on a new wing here, adding an extra floor there, installing a balcony, and making a courtyard.
You thought you were going to be made into a little summer home, but He’s building a palace because He intends to live in it Himself.
Because of its cosmic significance, we need to know how His Lordship impacts us. This lesson is comprised of nine observations about Lordship that you must learn and follow if you’re going to be one of God’s redeemed.
I. You Have to Choose Jesus to Be Your Lord
A. In speaking of Jesus, Paul described Him as “through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).
1. To the Jews who had the Lord God, this was blasphemous.
2. To the Gentiles who had many lords, this was ludicrous.
3. To the Romans who had Caesar as lord, this was treasonous.
B. We’re expected to have a “labor of love” toward His name (Hebrews 6:10). If anyone doesn’t love the Lord Jesus, they will be accursed (1 Corinthians 16:22).
II. You Can’t Say Jesus Is Lord Except by the Holy Spirit
A. The original context of 1 Corinthians 12:3 speaks of spiritual gifts in the church.
B. A broader application still applies to us today who follow the words of the Holy Spirit in Scripture.
C. With the advent of social media, most of us love a good, concise meme, but we only find out true depth about Jesus as Lord by the Holy Spirit.
III. You Have to Do What Jesus as Lord Says
A. Someone can easily say that “Jesus is Lord” (Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46).
B. However, the Lordship of Jesus requires both the confession (calling, recognition; Matthew 16:16) and the profession (doing, obligation; John 14:15).
C. Both of these have to be in agreement with truth. God will accept nothing less for His gracious provision of offering His Son’s life (John 3:16).
IV. You’re Not Greater Than Your Lord
A. The proverb of Jesus in John 13:16 is further explained in John 15:20.
B. The servant should not expect to be exempt from what His lord is experiencing. Jesus is our perfect example, and Peter applied that principle to the matter of our suffering (1 Peter 2:21).
V. You Shouldn’t Test the Spirit of the Lord
A. Just like the Israelites tested God in the wilderness (Exodus17:2; Deuteronomy 6:16) to see how much they can get away with, Ananias and Sapphira did the same to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:9).
B. Testing the spirit of the Lord brings judgment. Therefore, don’t be pushing deity to the limits to see what you can get away with (Matthew 4:7; Luke 4:12).
1. As a Christian, it makes me really uncomfortable how some act and seemingly expect to be in heaven.
2. We’ve all got to become creatures of virtue, not creatures of wickedness and negligence in spiritual matters.
VI. You’re Chastened by the Lord When You’re Judged by Him
A. The Lord doesn’t want us to be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).
B. Being disciplined means that these judgments aren’t nameless evils, but the tokens of God’s love.
1. They’re meant to bring us back from the wrong way.
2. When suffering alerts a Christian to the presence of sin and leads to repentance, it functions as an act of both disciplinary judgment and mercy (cp. 2 Chronicles 33:12-13; Hebrews 12:5; 1 Peter 4:17).
C. God doesn’t want us to be judged and eternally condemned with the unsaved world (Revelation 20:12-15).
VII. You’re Liberated by the Spirit of the Lord
A. Paul’s main concern in 2 Corinthians 3 is to contrast the greater splendor of the New Covenant of the Spirit with the lesser splendor of the Old Covenant of the Law of Moses.
B. In v. 17, Paul says that the Lord comes to us via the Holy Spirit, and the veil over our minds is removed, and we realize that the time of the Old Covenant of the Law has ended and the time of the New Covenant of the Spirit has begun. Under the New Covenant, the Lord — to us — is the Holy Spirit because His revealed Word is eternal and authoritative.
C. We possess liberty of access into God’s presence, and liberty from bondage to sin and eternal death. Because of this, transformation is the goal of the saint (1 Peter 1:14-15).
VIII. You Receive From the Lord What Is Right and Fair
A. In Ephesians 6:8, although earthly masters may not reward their slaves, slaves will receive a reward for their good deeds when they stand before the judgment seat of Christ (Matthew 16:27; 1 Corinthians 3:8, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
B. Paul doesn’t specify the content of the reward in Ephesians 6:8, but Colossians 3:24-4:1 identifies it as the eternal inheritance that God has prepared for believers. The Lord is no respecter of persons; He will always do right.
IX. You Have to Set Apart Christ as Lord
A. Peter spoke of sanctifying Christ in our hearts in 1 Peter 3:15. Be ready to defend Him to people who ask.
B. Setting Jesus apart in our hearts keeps us from fearing others. God didn’t want Judah to fear when Assyria invaded them; they were to trust God (Isaiah 8:9-15). Trust is inherently produced by sanctifying Him in your heart.
Conclusion. According to polls, around 75 percent of Americans expect to go to heaven when they die. However, many of them hardly ever pray, read the Bible, or attend worship assemblies. They admit that they live to please themselves instead of God. I wonder why these people would even want to go to heaven?
Incredibly, only 34 percent of Americans who call themselves Christians attend worship assemblies at least once a week. We sing, “When all my labors and trials are o’er, and I am safe on that beautiful shore, just to be near the dear Lord I adore will through the ages be glory for me.” However, unless our attitudes toward the Lord and our appreciation of Him change greatly, heaven may be more of a shock than a glory.
The crucified, resurrected Jesus is the Lord who’ll give back to the Father the judged and redeemed world (1 Corinthians 15:28), and He’s the eternal Lord over all humanity (Romans 14:9).