JESUS IS LORD FOR YOU
These are my notes for teaching at the Cornerstone Church on Sunday, April 28, 2019: Jesus Is Lord for You, Philippians 2:5-11.
INTRODUCTION: JESUS IS LORD
In the first century Roman Empire, there was only one Lord. Caesar. During Caesar Augustus's reign, he became a state divinity or god, and that tradition continued for three hundred years. A Roman citizen's pledge of loyalty was this: "Caesar is Lord," meaning that Caesar was both a god and in supreme control of the empire.
Christians refused to say Caesar is Lord. The second century bishop, Polycarp believed it was treason against Jesus, so the Romans executed him. The ancient Christian's pledge of loyalty at baptism was this: "Jesus is Lord" (see 1 Corinthians 12:3). And we know where that came from. We just read Philippians 2. That ancient hymn of the church makes it clear that Jesus is Lord: he is the one, true, God who is in supreme control of the universe.
Today, I want to consider what it means that Jesus is Lord. Then, I want to help you give some serious thought to what it means that Jesus is Lord over your life. Here's why this matters. Two reasons:
We want to give Jesus the honor that he deserves. Also, we want to experience all God has for us.
There are some dimensions of the Christian faith that we cannot experience until we surrender control of our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. To put it simplistically, the Holy Spirit sort of backs off until we bow down.
So, let's not spend any more time on introductions. Let's get into the Bible and answer the first question: What does 'Jesus is Lord' mean?
WHAT DOES 'JESUS IS LORD' MEAN?
IT MEANS THAT JESUS IS SUPREME RULER OF ALL - Philippians 2:9-10.
"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"
Because Jesus Christ humbled himself, and obeyed God, and offered himself on the cross, God raised him up and exalted him to the highest place and gave him the greatest name or title. That name is found in verse 11: "Lord." That tells us that Jesus is supreme Lord of all.
The disciples saw the Lord Jesus go up to the "highest place" (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 2:9). Then, Stephen, on trial for preaching about Jesus, also saw him there:
(Acts 7:55) But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
God's "right hand" is is the same thing as the "highest place." It's a metaphor for God's absolute dominion and Jesus sits there because he shares in that dominion. The "highest place" is called the "right hand of God" in other places too. For example:
(Ephesians 1:19-22) "That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church ..."
Paul's point? Jesus is supreme Lord. Paul uses three metaphors for supremacy:
He is seated at the right hand (Acts 7:55-56; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3).
All things are under his feet (Psalm 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:25, 27; Hebrews 2:8).
He is head over everything (Ephesians 1:10; 4:15-16; Colossians 2:10).
Very simply: Jesus is supreme ruler or Lord or leader over everything: good angels, bad angels, governments, nations, the Church, and individuals, including every single one of us.
WHAT DOES 'JESUS IS LORD' MEAN TO ME?
1. BY FAITH, I CONFESS THAT JESUS IS LORD - Romans 10:9.
"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Follow the parallelism: Heart and mouth agree that faith in Jesus as Savior goes together with faith in Jesus as Lord. The two go together like toast and Nutella.
Faith has content. We believe certain things about Jesus, such as he died and rose again. If we confess that, then we must also confess that Jesus is seated at God's right hand, ruling all things as Lord. That's the Gospel: Jesus is both Savior and Lord. That was the Gospel preached by the apostle Paul in Corinth:
(2 Corinthians 4:5) "What we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake."
Look how Paul encouraged the believers in Rome:
(Romans 8:39) "Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
The LORD Jesus Christ was how they experienced God's love. The Savior is Lord. We simply cannot separate the two titles.
Now, you might be thinking: "How can I say Jesus is Lord if I'm holding back parts of my life from him? Doesn't that make me a hypocrite?" Two answers:
No, it doesn't make you a hypocrite. Jesus IS Lord. That's an objective fact. It doesn't change even if we aren't always living as if it's true in our lives and even when we don't know all that it means or implies.
If you feel like a hypocrite when you say Jesus is Lord, then use that feeling as motivation to continually surrender your whole life to Jesus. In fact, let's talk about that now.
2. BY FAITH, I SURRENDER DAILY TO JESUS AS LORD - Romans 14:7-9.
(Romans 14:7-9) "None of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living."
The believers in Rome were fighting. About food. We won't get into the details, but it is interesting how the apostle Paul resolved the conflict. He told everyone to follow their conscience and mind their own business. Then he told them why: Because Jesus is Lord of your life.
There are three parts to Paul's logic. We can apply each part to our lives:
Christ is Lord of everyone - verse 9: "So that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living." That means everyone, no exceptions.
"We (believers) belong to the Lord" - verse 8. The Bible says something similar in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: "You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
Therefore, we must surrender every part of life to the Lord every day - "If we live, we live for the Lord" - verse 8.
A while ago, I was driving on I-696 and a strange looking car passed me. On top was a fitting that was whirling round and round. It was an autonomous car. There was a driver, but essentially, the car was driving itself. Scary, right? That's the car of the future and it might be a good thing.
But, I'll tell you what is not a good thing: autonomous people. That's double scary. God created us to depend on him, to live under his leadership. And one reason Jesus came into the world and died and rose again was so that he would be our leader, our Lord. Jesus said:
(Luke 6:46) “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?"
To live as a Christian is to live under the leadership of the LORD Jesus Christ and to obey his teaching.
CONCLUSION: LIVING UNDER
THE LEADERSHIP OF THE LORD
It is a huge mistake to think that salvation by grace alone through faith alone is a free pass to live as if Jesus has no say in our lives, as if he's a foreign president with big power in his nation, but no authority in ours. That's just not reality. Jesus the Savior is also Jesus the Lord. When he died to save us with his blood, he also bought us with his blood. We belong to him. This changes, in some major ways, how we live:
Change 1: Surrender. If you've never brought your life under the Lordship of Jesus, now is a perfect time to bow down to him and say, "I surrender my will and my ways to your leadership." Hold nothing back. Honor him with your body, your mind, your words, your relationships, your time, your attitudes, your lifestyle, your goals. Surrender every part of life every day to your Lord. It sounds scary, but it will into all the good things God has promised you. He is a good and generous Lord, our Father in heaven, full of love.
Change 2: Sufficiency. When we yield control to Jesus, he fills us with his Spirit. Then, we experience his fullness and sufficiency - his provision for new life and ministry. This leads us into a very rich life: We know him better. We get more victory over our habits. We feed on the truth. We take authority over demons. Our faith grows, our anointing increases, our influence expands, our prayers are answered, and our lives make an eternal impact. Sufficiency flows from surrender.
The rest of the universe is already doing bowing down, it's high time we all did too:
(Revelation 5:11-14) Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
JESUS, AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD
(Acts 7:54-56) When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
(Romans 8:34) Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
(Ephesians 1:19-23) That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything ....
(Colossians 3:1) Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
(Hebrews 1:3-4) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
(Hebrews 8:1) Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
(Hebrews 12:2) Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
(1 Peter 3:21-22) It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
(Revelation 3:21) To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.
(Philippians 2:5-11) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.