February Magazine Article

So this is the article for next month's magazine.

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Jesus is Lord

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NIV)

A few years ago now, within some Christian circles, there was an acronym going round: WWJD. It stood for What Would Jesus Do and it was a way of trying to get Christians to live with Jesus as Lord, i.e. to live as he wanted them to live. As the verse above from Romans shows, this goal is at the heart of the Christian faith. This verse is perhaps one of the shortest creeds or summaries of the Christian faith and at its heart is: Jesus is Lord.

The title of Lord is used for Jesus throughout the New Testament. Part of the background to this is that Jesus is God (it is the same word that Greek speakers used for God in the Old Testament). One aspect of this, is that Jesus is the one in charge. Perhaps three areas could be considered. He is Lord of us, if we are Christians. He is Lord of the church, his people. And he is Lord of the whole universe.

First, if we're Christians, then we have accepted Jesus Lordship. That means we know Jesus is in charge of us (he is in charge of everyone else, they just don't accept it!). That's at the heart of being a disciple of Jesus. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says that part of discipling someone is “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (NIV)

Obedience isn't really in fashion these days. We want to be free to do what we want. We like to be our own boss and not answerable to anyone else. However, that's not an option if we're Christians. We are always serving the Lord. We are always seeking to be obedient to the Lord.

That has all sorts of implications. It will affect how we think. Will we be swept along with what everyone else thinks, or will we be obedient to Jesus and think how he would have us think? It affects how we behave. Will we do what everyone else does, or will we obey Jesus and do what he wants us to do? Our obedience will stand out today. As we increasingly lose the Christian influence on our society, we find that being obedient to Jesus is very counter-cultural. Will we have to courage to actively live under Jesus' rule and so consistently ask what would Jesus do?

Secondly, Jesus is Lord of the church (1 Thessalonians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 4:4-6). In a sense this just an extension of the fact that Jesus is the Lord of the Christian, but Lordship or headship language is often used in the specific context of the church.

This has a couple of consequences. The first is to remind us that no-one else is Lord of the church. People love power and any organisation is at risk from those who are power-hungry trying to take control and make themselves the lord. The church is no different and there is a sad history of popes, bishops, vicars and pastors all thinking that they are the lord of the church. But there is only one Lord and that is Jesus.

The second consequence, is that if Jesus is Lord of the church, we need to consciously seek to obey him in all we do in church. Whether it's a decision in PCC or services on a Sunday, we need to ask if this is what Jesus would have us do.

Finally Jesus is Lord of the universe (Acts 10:36; Colossians 1:15-17; Mark 12:35-37; Ephesians 1:10). Dutch statesman and theologian Abraham Kuyper once wrote there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'” We need to learn to see our world, our country, our town, our friends and our families in this light. Most people don't accept this truth, but it is true all the same and it gives us confidence to take the good news of our Lord to all his world (Matthew 28:18-20).

So two questions for you this month:
  1. Do you accept Jesus is Lord in all these areas?
  2. What areas do you need to change to accept his rule in your life?

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