Matters of Creed – The Lordship of Christ
The oldest Christian statement of faith is “Jesus is Lord.” Only Christians believe this and will proclaim this. Others may have a great fondness for Jesus. I often hear people claim, “Jesus is my friend,” “Jesus was a really good man,” “Jesus was a great prophet or teacher like Buddha or Mohammed.” Some even commit to follow the teachings of Jesus but they do not proclaim Jesus as Lord. Jesus is not only fully human, but also fully divine.
“God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” (Acts 2:36). Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Lord of ALL. Lord of the universe. Lord of my life. In the Apostle’s Creed we proclaim, “I believe … in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord.” The Nicene Creed states, “We believe in one God … and one Lord, Jesus Christ.”
The Bible links our salvation to the confession of Jesus as Lord. “If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9). The Bible also says, “no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3).
Jesus is more than a friend, a BFF, a teacher or a moral guide. Jesus is more than a good person who lived a long time ago or a historical figure. Jesus is Lord. He sits at the right hand of the Father (Colossians 3:1). He is above all gods, all rulers, all nations, all governments, all powers, all churches, all denominations, all people and all created things. He is the name above all names (Philippians 2:9). “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11).
As Christian believers, we put our entire lives under the Lordship of Christ. Our decisions, choices, actions, possessions and priorities are committed to his authority. If Jesus is not the Lord of our life, something else will be. Sometimes we are unaware of the idols we hold in our hearts. In today’s culture we may unknowingly permit the things of this world to have dominion over us or gain power over us. For each of us it is different, work, politics, patriotism, sports, entertainment, food, sex, addictive substances, status, money, appearance, all these things can occupy space in our lives where God should be. These little “lords” claim our time, our loyalty and our attention. They become our priority. When Jesus is Lord of our life, we are under his authority. Each day, Jesus is our number one priority.
Churches are sometimes tempted to allow secular things to have dominion and gain power over them. For each church it is different, numbers of followers, crowds in worship, social media hits, income, money, equity, large campuses, new construction, beautiful buildings, secular approval, causes, successes, acceptance in the community. The Bible says, “God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church.” (Ephesians 1:22). Jesus Christ is Lord of the Church. At Central, it is vitally important that all our clergy, staff and lay leaders are consciously committed to intentionally place all aspects of our church under the dominion of Christ. In all our decisions, choices, actions, possessions, and priorities, we fall under Christ’s divine authority.
Creeds matter. When we profess the creeds, we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. Both collectively and individually, let us live under his lordship every day.
When Jesus is Lord, Dr. David Watson
Jesus is Lord, Rev. Nako Kellum
I Believe – Exploring the Apostle’s Creed, Alister McGrath