We’re blogging our way through the “Apostles Creed”, one of the earliest statements of core doctrines developed by the early Church.
The word Lord is not one we use a whole lot in our democratic culture.
England still has its ‘lords’, but then they believe in royalty and we do not. (Or maybe we do and we’re just jealous of the Brits, ‘cuz look at how crazy we went with Meghan and Harry’s recent wedding.)
To use the language of royalty, class or privilege is to say that not all men are created equal, and that just won’t fly over here. In fact, we use the word as a slur, to cut somebody down to size. “Who does he think he is, lording it over everyone else?”
Nonetheless, to regard Jesus Christ, the Son of God as ‘our Lord’ is something every Christian subscribes to. For us, it means three things at least – he is to be worshipped as our God, honored as our King, and obeyed as our Master.
First, he is to be worshipped as our God. When doubting Thomas came face to face with his resurrected Savior, and beheld the wounds of the crucifixion still in his body, he cried out, “My Lord, and my God!” Jesus is much more than human royalty. His lordship proclaims his divinity. Thomas isn’t the only one who should fall in worship before him. As we consider the sufferings and death of our Lord, we should remember that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil.2:10-11). When’s the last time you physically knelt in prayer before God?
Jesus as Lord is also to be honored as our king. I don’t think we do a good job honoring Jesus today. And I’m not talking about the unbelieving world; I’m talking about the Church. I don’t find Christians going out of their way too often to inconvenience themselves on behalf of their Savior. He usually is made to accommodate our schedules. But it’s dishonoring to God to give him what’s left of our day, or flipping through the Bible like we do a magazine rather than digging in and studying it, or giving him what’s left of our money rather than bring the full tithe as he teaches.
Thirdly, to call Jesus “Lord” is to say that we will obey him as our Master. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father” (Matthew 7:21). It’s possible to go through the motions of worshipping and honoring God while all along it’s just for show. What proves that your heart is where it should be is the willingness to do what he says. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” our Lord said (John 14:15).
We are not saved by works, we are saved for works. The desire and striving to obey is the fruit that proves that the seed of salvation has been planted in our hearts. And is the proof that we have taken Jesus as our “Lord”.