Saturday, July 22, 2023

Jesus Is Lord (Philippians 2:1-11)

"… Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:11).

Because of the preeminence of Christ as the Suffering Servant and High Priest of our souls in the Gospel, sometimes the kingship of Christ can be seriously ignored. Some branches of the church even assert that a person can embrace Christ as priest, as the sacrificial Lamb, but not own Him as Lord and King of their souls. Such ideas have caused great controversy in the modern church—commonly known as the lordship salvation controversy. Those who maintain such an errant view of Christ’s lordship do serious injustice to His person. They embrace His sacrificial work, but they do not have faith in His person as prophet, priest, and king.

Jesus does not call us to put our faith only in what He has done, but in who He is. This was the issue He kept driving home to the people of Israel. He asked the Pharisees, “Who is the Christ?” He asked the disciples, “Who do the people say that I, Son of Man, am?” (Matt. 16:13). He was constantly bringing His identity to the foreground of man’s understanding of God’s purposes for the Messiah. Integral to a proper understanding of the person of Christ is His identity as Lord and King.

I began these studies on the majesty of Christ on the heels of Solomon’s teaching on government. We did this to emphasize that the ultimate leader, the ultimate ruler of our lives, is not an earthly official, but Christ Jesus our Lord. We do not have the option to embrace His sacrificial work and reject Him as Lord. We are called to live as subjects of the kingdom and to submit every area of our lives to the King.

The title Lord is the second most frequently used title in the New Testament to identify Jesus. The Greek term Kurios is a title designating absolute authority and power. Adonai is a corollary Hebrew term meaning “the one who is absolutely sovereign” (Psalm 8:1). Jesus Christ is Lord, Kurios, Adonai, absolute sovereign over the universe, the church, the nations, and our lives. He is our King and our Lord whom God exalted to the highest place “… that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9–11).

Read 2 Corinthians 4:1–6 and Colossians 1:15–23. What does Paul say about the authority of Christ in your life? How should you live under the supremacy and Lordship of Christ? In what ways do you live as if Christ was not Lord over your life? Confess those sins to Him today, and take deliberate steps to refrain from those sins.