Lordship of Christ

lordship of jesus christDOCTRINE OF THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST

  • In the title of the second person of the Trinity, there are three words:

KURIOS – κύριος (koo’-ree-os), translated, “Lord,” which means, “Deity” in both Greek and Latin, for Jesus Christ is God.

IESOUS – ησος (ee-ay-sooce’) is translated, “Jesus,” the title for His humanity meaning, “Savior.”

CHRISTOS –  Χριστός (khris-tos’) is translated, “Christ,” meaning, “anointed one,” which is His Second Royal Titling as the Son of David being the Messiah.

  • The Lord Jesus Christ was referred to by Israel in the words of Deut 6:4SHAMA ISRAEL, ADONAI ELOHENU, ADONAI ECHAD:

“Hear” –  SHAMA –  שָׁמַע (shaw-mah’)

“O Israel” – ISRAEL – יִשְׂרָאֵל (yis-raw-ale’)

“The Lord” – ADONAI – ְהוָה (ad-o-noy’)

“Is our God” – ELOHENU – אֱלֹהֵינוּ (el-o-heem’) 

“The Lord” – ADONAI – הוָה (ad-o-noy’) ְ

“Is One” – ECHAD אֶחָד (ekh-awd’)

Translated, “Hear O Israel, the Lord [Jesus Christ] is our God, the Lord [Jesus Christ] is One or Unique.”

  • Jesus Christ is true humanity and undiminished deity in one person forever. He had to be true humanity in order to be judged for our sins and take our place.
  • In Rev 1-2, Jesus Christ is called the Alpha and the Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Alpha refers to His DeityOmega refers to His hypostatic union with emphasis on His humanity.
  • So, in the title of the second person of the Trinity:

“Lord” refers to the Deity of Christ with emphasis on His authority as the “Lord of lords and King of kings,” Deut 10:17; Psa 136:1-26; 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14; 19:16.

“Jesus” refers to the humanity of Christ.

“Christ” also refers to His Deity with His Messiahship in view as the legitimate and eternal King of Israel, King of kings.

  • The use of the term “hypostatic union” refers to the Unique Person of Jesus Christ as the God / Man, beginning with the virgin birth and continuing throughout the incarnation.
  • The First Advent of the Jesus Christ in hypostatic union began with the virgin birth and terminated with our Lord’s death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and session. But our Lord always existed as God. John 8:58, “Before Abraham was born, I am (had always existed).”
  • Jesus Christ is Lord because He is the only Savior. Because Jesus Christ was judged for our sins on the Cross, becoming our substitute and taking our place, we who have believed in Him for eternal salvation have Him as our one and only Lord.

Eph 4:5, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” refers to the unique person of Jesus Christ as the God / Man.  His uniqueness began with His First Advent.

“One Lord” means Jesus Christ is the basis for our unity because of His substitutionary spiritual death.

“One faith” means we are all saved in exactly the same way, by faith in Jesus Christ.

“One baptism” refers to God the Holy Spirit entering us into union with Christ forever at the point of salvation. We will always be in union with Christ, documented throughout the New Testament by the prepositional phrase “in Christ,” (EN CHRISTOS – ν Χριστός).

  • Jesus Christ is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” John 1:29. No one else could do this; only the perfect Jesus Christ as the Son of God could provide salvation.
  • Since the First Advent, Jesus Christ is the God / Man as undiminished Deity and true humanity in one person forever. Now He is resurrected. Once resurrected, He spent forty days on the earth, after which He ascended into the presence of the Father to be our High Priest, Mediator, and Advocate.
  • The pre-incarnate person of Jesus Christ was and is infinite and eternal God, co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. The post-incarnate person of Christ includes undiminished Deity and true humanity in one person forever.
  • As the God / Man, Jesus Christ is:

1) Different from all members of the human race, because He is eternal God.

2) Different from the other two members of the Trinity, because He is true humanity.

3) As infinite and eternal God, Jesus Christ is superior to all creatures, both angelic and human.

4) In hypostatic union, Jesus Christ continues to be superior to all creatures, both angelic and human, Heb 1-2; Phil 2.

  • As Lord, Jesus Christ creates and controls the universe. Prior to the incarnation, Jesus Christ created the universe, John 1:3; Col 1:16; Heb 1:10. As God, and now as the God / Man, our Lord Jesus Christ holds the universe together, Col 1:17; Heb 1:3.

Col 1:16-17, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

Deut 33:26, “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides the heavens to help you, and in His majesty He rides through the skies.”

Heb 1:3, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.”

  • false doctrine prevalent today is called “Lordship Salvation,” which says that, “if Jesus Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.” The old Wesleyan adage is “Christ saves us from sin, not in sin.”  This belief is a mixture of justification and experiential sanctification from the Arminian viewpoint held by many Reformers and Covenant Theologians today who are anti-Dispensationalist.  This false doctrine claims that if you do not keep Jesus Christ as number one priority in your life, as demonstrated through good works, you are not saved and, or will lose the salvation you once had.

Scripture wrongly used to make these claims include: John 14:15; Heb 12:14b; Eph 5:5; 1 Cor 6:9-10; James 2:14, 17.

We understand these Scriptures as having a context that admonishes the unfaithful, but truly saved people, to live their lives as an example to others faithfully in obedience to God’s commands.  Lordship salvation is contrary to the grace plan of God for salvation, and a heresy that says Christ’s work on the Cross is not all sufficient for your salvation. You must demonstrate works in order to be saved.

In fact, Scripture teaches that God saves the ungodly in their sins, Rom 5:6, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”

Scripture also teaches that God saves the believer from their sins, Gal 5:16, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Cf. Eph 5:18

The first known use of the term “Lordship Salvation” occurred in a 1959 debate in Eternity magazine between Presbyterian Everett F. Harrison, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, and John Stott, an Anglican theologian.

The fact is we should keep Christ as our number one priority in life, Heb 12:2. But whether we do or not, does not determine our salvation or the Lordship of Christ.

Miles Stanford suggests that “Lordship salvation … rightly insists upon repentance, but wrongly includes a change of behavior … in order to be saved. No one questions that there must be a sincere change of mind, a turning from oneself to the Savior; but Lordship advocates attempt to make behavior and fruit [that is, good works] essential ingredients of, rather than evidence of, saving faith.” (Miles J. Stanford, The Gospel According to Jesus – John F. MacArthur Jr., pg. 1. 1988)

  • Jesus Christ is Lord regardless of our thoughts and actions.  In fact, He is Lord of all members of the human race, believers and unbelievers, and is Lord of all angelic creatures as well.

That is why scripture tells us, “At the name of Jesus Christ every knee shall bow,” (Isa 45:23; Rom 11:36; 14:11; Phil 2:10-11; Rev 5:11-13), and that He is the “King of kings and Lord of lords,” (1 Tim 6:5; Rev 17:14; 19:16).

The reality is that Jesus Christ is Lord, whether you keep Him in that position or not.

 The Lordship of Jesus Christ is the fact that He is God, now in hypostatic union. As our Lord, we should be obedient to His Word as depicted in the New Testament Mystery Doctrine for the Church Age. That is the reason why He reminds His disciples in John 13:13-14 that He is their Teacher and their Lord. In other words, they, as we too should obey His commands, because He is our God who departs His wisdom onto us. Therefore, the phrase Teacher and Lord means learning and obeying.

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