Bible Boot Camp: Lesson 10: The Lordship of Christ

Bible Boot Camp: Lesson 10: The Lordship of Christ

One of the titles used of God and Jesus in the Bible is “Lord.” We often use this title, but may not know what the significance of the word is. Today we’ll find out what it means when we say “Jesus is Lord.”

  1. Titles reveal much important information about the one to whom they refer. What are Jesus Christ’s titles in the following verses?

  • John 13:13 teacher and Lord

  • Acts 2:36 Lord and Christ

  • Rev. 19:16 King of kings and Lord of lords

Summarize what these titles show about Jesus. Jesus has a great deal of authority.


The word “Lord” suggests legal authority. It may also be translated as “master” or “owner.” It refers to one having power. As a noun, it suggests a ruler, one who has control. It always contains the idea of legality and authority. When we attach the term to God or Jesus, we are asserting that he has authority and power. Those who claim Jesus as their Lord are saying that they recognize and submit to Christ’s authority. They are committed to fulfilling the requirements of a disciple of Christ–denying oneself and willingly obeying Christ.

  1. Jesus is repeatedly referred to as the Lord.

  • The phrase “Lord Jesus” occurs 115 times in the NT.

  • The disciples often referred to him as “Lord.”

  • Paul often refers to Jesus as the Lord. Cf. Rom 10:9, 14:9

There is no doubt that the NT teaching about Jesus is that he is the Lord, the master, the one who has legal authority.

  1. Read Philippians 2:9-11

What name is above Jesus’ name? none

What will happen at the name of Jesus? every knee bow and tongue confess that Christ is Lord

  1. Read Luke 14:26-33. Note the following:

  • Being a disciple is costly .

  • Christ must come before any relationship v. 26.

  • Christ must come before yourself v. 27.

  • Christ must come before any possession v. 33.

Question: Is there any difference between a believer and a disciple? Is discipleship required of all believers, or is discipleship a higher, optional level of commitment? Believers are disciples. There’s no difference. What the Bible requires of disciples it requires of all believers. One cannot say, “I’m a believer but not a disciple.”

  1. Read Luke 6:46. What are a couple of implications of this verse?

  • If you call Christ “Lord,” you should obey him.

  • Those who call Him “Lord” and don’t obey are out of order or not saved at all.

  1. Read 1 John 2:4-6. Summarize this passage in your own words.

Those who claim to be saved and are disobedient are liars and not saved. Whoever claims to be saved must be Christ-like. We’re not talking about sinless perfection, but striving for maturity. Immaturity is normal, but the immature move on, they grow. Lack of growth is a sign of death/no life/no salvation.

  1. Some who claim Jesus as their Lord are insincere.

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

One may profess to be saved and not possess a genuine relationship with God through Christ. In fact, there are likely many people who consider themselves to be Christians because they agree with the facts of the gospel. However, salvation is much more than mere assent to a set of facts.

Also note that one’s lifestyle can contradict his profession of faith. That is, if the evidence in one’s life is not consistent with what should be evident in a Christian’s life, he should not assume that his faith is genuine. One’s lifestyle will either confirm or deny his profession of faith.

Question: What about the so-called “carnal” Christian? Paul uses this term to describe those who professed to be saved yet were living ungodly lives, just like unsaved people (1 Cor 3:1-4). The word “carnal” simply means “fleshly,” suggesting that which is controlled by the old nature, the flesh (as opposed to the Spirit). Based on this, some have suggested that one can be a genuine Christian and yet live an ungodly, carnal life for years on end. However, we should probably not think of the “carnal Christian” as a legitimate category of believer. If one’s faith is genuine, he will not persist in a worldly, ungodly lifestyle, but he will be transformed and sanctified as he submits to God’s work in his life. True believers persevere in faith and in good works, not in rebellion and worldliness. Those who fail to give evidence of a transformed life are not just carnal; they’re not saved. One cannot use the excuse “Sorry, but I’m just a carnal Christian” to justify his ungodliness. We’re not saying that it’s impossible to backslide, but that a true believer’s life will not be characterized by ungodliness, at least not as a long-term pattern of life.

Question: We know that Jesus is the Lord and that believers must recognize Jesus’ right to rule over them. However, there is some debate regarding whether or not one must acknowledge the Lordship of Christ at the point of salvation. Some say that salvation occurs without the necessity of recognizing any aspect of Jesus’ claim of authority over one’s life. That is, one can be saved without any intent or desire to follow the Lord in obedience or loyalty. However, the general teaching of the NT is that the faith one exercises at the point of salvation must include at least some degree of commitment to Christ as one’s Lord. Virtually nobody makes a perfect, total commitment of his life to Christ at the point of salvation; few make such a commitment after salvation, for that matter. But the convert must understand that becoming a disciple of Christ requires submission to him. The NT presents Jesus as both the Savior and the Lord, and that is how we must present him to others. The other side of this argument is what I call “easy-believism,” which claims that no more than simple acknowledgement of the facts is required for salvation–no repentance, no commitment–a simple recognition that Jesus is the Savior. I disagree with this position.

Conclusion: What is the practical meaning of the Lordship of Christ? It means that believers must submit their wills to his. Jesus demands and deserves first place in the believer’s life. Obedience is not optional. Jesus is not just the Savior; He’s the Lord and Master. Part of being a Christian is submission to Christ as one’s Lord.

Discussion:

  1. What does the title “Lord” mean? Legal authority. Master, owner, the one in control

  2. Is it possible for one who does not recognize the Lordship of Christ to be saved? No. One need not be perfectly obedient/committed to Christ to be saved, but one must at least acknowledge that Jesus has legal authority over one’s life.

  3. What is the practical significance of the Lordship of Christ? If we claim to be disciples of Christ, we must follow Christ obediently. Those who fail to do so must not be genuinely saved. Not that it’s possible for us to judge that in many cases.

  4. Is it necessary to recognize the Lordship of Christ at the point of salvation? Yes, at least to some degree. One must acknowledge that Jesus is Lord (Rom 10:9).

  5. Will a genuine believer persist in rebellion, worldliness and ungodliness? He may backslide for a time and/or show signs of immaturity, but a true believer will display evidence of salvation and will persist in faith and in good works.

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