To call Jesus “Lord” is more than a sign of respect. It is to acknowledge His authority over us.
If our drives and impulses say one thing and Christ says another, we follow Him, not our desires.
If His word expresses truth about sexuality or marriage or some other social issue, we must bow to that truth, not adopt a different view just because it will make us more popular or appear more “enlightened” to the world.
So far in this series of posts on who Jesus is, we’ve studied his core nature as both God and human, and we’ve studied his role as Savior. Today we will ask: What gives Jesus the right to tell us how to live?
1. Jesus received all authority from the Father
Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt. 28:18). He has authority over all the universe, and that authority came from the Father, given out of love. (John 5:26-27)
There is none higher. This person who died for us has every ounce of authority that exists in all creation and in Heaven above. He has authority over the elements (Mark 4:35-41) and evil spirits (Mark 1:27). And one day, every man and woman who ever lived will acknowledge Him as Lord.
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, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
It is critical that we understand and believe this. To be saved, according to Paul, we don’t believe in Christ and confess him as savioror God(though both are true and necessary beliefs); rather, Paul writes that you must “confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.” (Romans 10:9)
And if He is Lord, then He gets to tell us what to do. Not the other way around. Authority over all existence includes authority over our lives.
2. If we do not obey Jesus, what does it say of our love for God?
Jesus also says that our obedience, or lack of it, says something about how much we love Him. While He could force us to do His will, he does not. He gives us a choice to follow Him or not, and that choice says a great deal about the way we feel about Jesus.
If you love me, you will obey what I command. . . Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. . . He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. (John 14:15, 21, 24)
It also says a lot about how we love our fellow man: “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.” (1 John 5:2)
3. What is our Lord’s command?
All the law is His command, but He summed it up for us: Love one another:
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. . . This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:12, 17)
Of course there may be an individual calling that applies only to you or to me. Some people are called to be a pastor or to perform a certain service, and if Jesus so commands, that is what we must do. But the general command to love applies to all. While it seems difficult sometimes, Bible says it shouldn’t be (not with God’s help): “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)
4. What is the result of obeying the Lord?
Obeying Jesus as Lord is a privilege, not a chore. It’s the only way we will know true joy and abundant life here on earth. The Bible lists several specific benefits to obeying the Lord:
a. Our joy will be complete
“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:10-11)
b. We will have a firm foundation for living
“I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” (Luke 6:47-48)
c. We will be blessed
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:15-17)
Is Jesus Lord? Is He truly the authority for your life?
Then do what He says.