Saturday, December 16, 2017

Lord Jesus Christ

Photo b y Paciana 2011


Our Savior, Son of God, has many titles, but in Scripture, and particularly in the writings of the apostle Paul, three of His Names often appear together: Lord Jesus Christ. These three titles help to describe His relationship to mankind, to the world, and to God’s perfect plan of salvation.

“Lord” refers to His relationship to mankind. He is One Person of the triune God, often referred to in the Old Testament as “LORD,” all in capitals to emphasize His supreme power and preeminence.

He is “Lord” to all who have been born again (John 3:3-8) by trusting in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6). In this mysterious transformation, we are changed from God’s enemies (Romans 5:10) to God’s children, as well as joint heirs with His Son Jesus Christ (Romans 8:14-17) and ambassadors for His kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20). Should we not fall to our knees in awe and gratitude to our Lord for His unspeakable gift? (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Yet those who pray the sinner’s prayer wanting to escape eternal punishment in hell, but unwilling to surrender their lives completely to Him, may want Him to be their Savior but fail to follow Him as Lord. He is not just our “get out of hell free” card, but our Master Whom we should reverence in total submission and holy fear (Hebrews 12:28).

He is not our “buddy,” even though He is the Friend Who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He is not some glorified version of Santa to whom we bring our wish lists, even though He is the source of all blessings (James 1:17). We should never refer to Him casually as “the man upstairs,” even though He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, making intercession for us and defending us from Satan’s accusations (Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 10:12; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22).

The Lord Jesus Christ is our Lord, without Whom we are nothing, have nothing and can do nothing (John 15:5). He deserves our utmost respect; our time, talent, and treasure; and our very life presented to Him as a holy, acceptable, living sacrifice, which is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1).

If we honor Him as our Lord, we will trust in Him and not in our own “wisdom” and acknowledge Him in all our ways (Proverbs 3:5-6). We will love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). How dare we call Him Lord if we do not obey Him? (Luke 6:46)

Those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ in their earthly life of course do not recognize Him as Lord, but the day is coming when He returns in victory as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). At that time every knee shall bow to Him and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord, whether they are in heaven, on earth, or in hell (Philippians 2:9-11). There is no escaping or denying His omnipotence and Lordship!

But sadly, the unsaved world does not realize that He is God, the self-existent One Who spoke the worlds into existence (John 1:10), present as part of the Trinity since before the beginning of time (John 1:1; Revelation 1:8; 22:13). They refer to Him merely as “Jesus,” which was the name He had in His earthly ministry, as proclaimed by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:31).

Some despise the Name of Jesus, even though it is the Name above all names (Philippians 2:9) and the only Name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). Others accept the historical presence of Jesus as a man who lived two millennia ago, and may even agree that he was a good man, prophet and teacher (Matthew 16:14). They may believe that he was crucified, but for them the story stops there, falling short of His resurrection giving victory over sin, death and the grave (1 Corinthians 15:12-57).

Interestingly, the disciples of Jesus never referred to Him by His given Name, but always as “Lord,” “Master,” “Teacher” or “Rabbi,” appropriately emphasizing His Lordship and absolute authority over their lives.

The third part of our Savior’s appellation, “Christ,” helps explain His essential role in God’s perfect plan of salvation. The Greek word “Christos” means “Anointed One of God,” and it is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Mashiach, or “Messiah.”

In Scripture, “God’s anointed” also refers to a king chosen by God (1 Samuel 24:6), and as it pertains to Christ, it foretells the day when He will rule over all nations while seated on David’s throne in the Millennial Kingdom (Genesis 49:10; 1 Chronicles 17:11-14; Psalm 72: 10-11; Zechariah 9:9; 14:9; Matthew 2:1-12). Christ is God’s anointed King, foretold in prophecy to deliver His people as well as to reign over them (Daniel 9:25; Isaiah 32:1).

Kings were anointed with oil to symbolize their holy calling by God (1 Samuel 10:1), and two women anointed Christ with precious oil and ointment during His time on earth (Matthew 26:6–7; Luke 7:37–38). God Himself anointed Christ with the oil of gladness to demonstrate that He is King of Kings, holy and without equal (Hebrews 1:9), and with the Holy Spirit and with power to do good, for physical healing, and for casting out evil spirits (Acts 10:38).

Isaiah prophesied that Christ would be anointed by the Holy Spirit to bring good news to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, and set free the prisoners of sin, proclaiming liberty (Isaiah 61:1). This deliverance from the power, the penalty, and ultimately even the presence of sin (Luke 4:18; Romans 6:23) is only possible through our Messiah, the One Who came to this earth to reconcile sinful man to Holy God (1 Timothy 1:15).

By taking on human flesh (John 1:14), He could experience all our sorrow, weakness and frailty, including physical, emotional and spiritual suffering, epitomized by His agony on the cross (Hebrews 4:15). Yet He was without sin, so He was the perfect Sacrifice, the only Lamb of God Who could take away the sins of the world (John 1:29) by paying in full the price demanded by our sin debt (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23).

In this Christmas season, church celebrations honor the baby Jesus. But let us not forget that His mission did not begin in Bethlehem nor end at the cross. He is not only Jesus, but the Christ Who saves all Who ask Him (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13) and Who will return victorious to rule over all nations. May we honor, obey and serve Jesus Christ as our Lord, for He alone is Lord of Lords! 


© 2017 Laurie Collett



 

10 comments:

  1. Thank you! It is a good lesson for me and a good reminder too. Keep writing.

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    1. Thank you, Ariella! I appreciate your encouraging comments.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  2. Dear Laurie,
    This week's subject of your blog happens to be the same as that of another blogger whose poster appears directly above yours in the "All blogs Reading list" page. Is God trying to tell me something?
    But it's true what you say. There are many who wants God's forgiveness in order to escape hell without the desire to get to know who God really is. Perhaps similar to a child who licks the jam and then gives the bread back to you!
    However, it is unfortunate that this way of thinking is prominent among Roman Catholics where confession to a priest and doing penance remain the two most important issues of church life.
    Maybe it is this lack of knowing God - or a misrepresentation of his character, which lies behind the rearing of atheists and agnostics within that faith, if my own experience has anything to go by.
    Therefore I thank God for the process of sanctification which follows forgiveness and the receiving of salvation. According to Luke 11:11-13, John 3:16, and Romans 10:9-13, I do believe that if anyone asks for God's forgiveness for his sins, he will receive it. But with the acquittal comes a lifelong process of getting to know this God and learning to draw close to him and to learn how to trust him with everyday provision and issues.
    An excellent blog, God bless.

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    1. Dear Frank,
      With God, there are no coincidences, and I do believe He gives His children repeated messages until we get the point! I love your illustration of the child licking the jam but wanting no part of the bread, like those "Christians" who want salvation but want no part of the cross. Praise God for His forgiveness, which justifies us at the moment of salvation by His shed blood, and for His progressive sanctification, which makes us more like Him as we proceed through our Christian walk, if we follow Him. Sadly, many remain as babes in Christ because they do not seek to know Him more closely through His Word, through prayer, and even through suffering.
      Thanks as always for sharing your Biblical perspective, and God bless,
      Laurie

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  3. Thank you Laurie. We (I include myself certainly) want to put Jesus into a box of what we can understand and feel comfortable with, and the Lord often convicts me of this. I also have been guilty at times of only seeking to escape hell, when there is so much more to knowing Jesus and His working in us to conform us into His likeness. At times that conviction and His work in me can be very uncomfortable as He works to crush my pride while filling me with qualities that are conformed to His likeness. Thank the Lord that He does this with His love and mercy and gentle Spirit, to receive us into His kingdom and make us His true friends.

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    1. Hi Susan,
      I agree that it is not easy to go through His refining process, which often involves suffering, to draw us closer to Him and mold us into His likeness. Sometimes we may feel that He is dealing with us harshly, when in fact all He does is for our ultimate good and His glory. Praise God that He desires fellowship with us as His friends, and that He actively works to bring this about, with infinite love, mercy and grace.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  4. Hi Laurie, I love all scripture and the way the Holy Spirit enlightens it to us as we need it, just like the Israelites had their daily manna as they travelled to the promised land. I find that as we endeavour to act upon that Word spoken to us we are strengthened and are able to persevere in our trials, and that by doing this we are able to allow God's Word to prove itself true. There is a power within the scriptures which I find is much stronger than human instruction.
    Thank you for sharing all those scriptures, they are very encouraging.
    God bless you and your family Laurie.

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    1. Amen, Brenda -- may we always feed on our daily bread of the Word, hide it in our heart so we would not sin against Him, and use it as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. The "wisdom" of men is no match for God's Word.
      Thank you for your uplifting comment, and may God bless you and your family too!
      Laurie

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  5. Great post, Laurie.

    You have touched and important point in the modern church, with many looking at salvation just as a fire escape rather than as a changing of their lives. As Luke 14 says, if we are to come to him, we are going to have to be willing to give up our lives.

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    1. Thanks, Donald, for your encouragement! May we be willing to die daily to self, take up His cross, and follow Him.
      Merry Christmas to you and yours,
      Laurie

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