Only the “Word” of God is Living / Christ is ALL
OK, so the obvious question is – did you carefully and fully read all the verses I put in the previous post? OR, are you guilty as I used to be of skimming or even skipping them?! Remember:
Heb 4:12 — 12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Do you know what that says? It says that ONLY the Word of God, the Bible, is ALIVE (we’ll talk more about that soon – Jesus Christ is the Word). So, out of what is written above, ONLY the Scripture verses will change you / help you / grow you / transform you into Christ-likeness! The part I wrote is uninspired! You can generalize that – NOTHING ELSE BUT SCRIPTURE will change you / help you / grow you / transform you in Christ-likeness! So, if you didn’t read and meditate on the verses above, the time is NOW – to go back and read AND to commit to always reading and contemplated the Scripture – not just the part anyone writes (especially me!)! With that commitment, go back and READ (and re-reading about 10 times wouldn’t hurt you either!).
With that said (and done), did you get the point? Did this almost random sampling of verses begin to open your eyes to the CENTRALITY, SIMPLICITY, SINGULARITY and SUFFICIENCY of Jesus Christ for a Christian? After you read these, did you commit yourself to ALWAYS looking for Jesus Christ when you read Scripture? He is your LORD and SAVIOR.
Col 3:11 — 11 … but Christ is all, and in all.
Eph 1:3 — 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Col 2:3 — 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Has your other Bible reading now come alive to you in a way you’ve never seen before as you focus on Him, His person, His requirements of you, His relationship with – and His LIFE IN YOU that HE WANTS TO LIVE THROUGH YOU by the Holy Spirit who is in you also? My prayer is that it did!
“Lord” in the New Testament
In those verses, you saw a lot of references to Jesus Christ in all forms possible! One that you will see 670 times in the New Testament is His title, “Lord.” Notice, I said “His title?” WHENEVER you see “Lord,” it is a reference specifically to Jesus Christ. That is SO critical to your Bible reading! There’s actually two different Greek words behind this English word. One is “kurios” and means “sovereign Lord.” The other is “despotes” (we get despot from it) and means “absolute Lord.” Sometime soon, I’ll write about what this means in terms of Master/Slave, but for now, start with the fact that EVERY time you see this, you are seeing a specific reference to Jesus Christ. And, DON’T SKIP THESE! When you see the reference think about WHAT it means in the verse! Seriously! You need to see the focus that the New Testament places on Jesus Christ!
For example, 1 Peter 2:13. The verse teaches us to submit to every human institution, right? Why?
1 Pe 2:13 — 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
Answer: “for the Lord’s sake.” Who’s sake? Jesus Christ’s sake! You are submitting for His sake! This means “because of the Lord’s will.” It is an obligation you have to Christ. “Submit” is a command! It’s a military term it drives ALL the submission commands from 1 Peter 2:13 through 1 Peter 3:7!
Wives, Children and Fathers need to understand where the “Lord” fits in their roles!
Eph 5:22 — 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Eph 6:1 — 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Eph 6:4 — 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Eph 6:5 — 5 Slaves (=employees today), be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
Notice the consistent use of the Lord in ALL of those roles (I had to throw in Christ in Eph. 6:5, just to get that last role in!). What do those verses teach? Wives, as you submit to your husband, so you also submit to the Lord. AND, you submit to your husband in the same way you submit to the Lord! If a large circle represents your life of submission to the Lord, then within that circle is a SMALLER CIRCLE of submission to your husband. Since your ultimate submission is to the Lord, your husband gets the blessing of you obeying the Lord, by submitting to him (husband). On those tough days, you might even remind yourself, you’re submitting to the Lord FIRST and because of that your husband is blessed by your submission to Him! That same understanding is also true for children, and workers (slaves in their context). BUT, Eph. 6:4 is slightly different. Here it teaches Fathers (=parents since wife follows husbands lead in parenting) to raise children with a FOCUS on KNOWING Jesus Christ! Do you / did you raise your children with the primary spiritual instruction and parenting being a focus on Jesus Christ? Do you / did you teach them His life so that they could see how He was born like them, raised like them and yet is their Lord and Savior?
Again, the CENTRALITY, SIMPLICITY, SINGULARITY and SUFFICIENCY of Jesus Christ for a Christian – here seen in the use of the term “Lord” in the Bible!
Jesus Christ is Lord of all
We can’t leave the term “Lord” yet! Not only does it refer to Jesus Christ and appear often in Scripture, but it also has a very specific meaning. “Lord” means master. Yes, master in a master/slave relationship. Jesus Christ is the Master and Christians are His slaves. The New Testament also talks about slaves (doulos in the Greek) often.
Ro 10:12 — 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;
Ac 10:36 — 36 “The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)—
Ro 10:9 — 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Ro 14:4 — 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Ro 14:7–8 — 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
Do you consider yourself a slave to Jesus Christ? Do you even consider what it really means to be a slave? Maybe to you, being a Christian is like your daily job. For the most part, you do what your boss tells you to do. But, ultimately, you can quit if you don’t want to continue doing what he says! And, maybe, once-in-a-while, you don’t do what he says (or maybe not you, but some other Christian you know J ). Well, that’s not slavery. A slave does EXACTLY what the Master says, WHEN the Masters says and ultimately has no will of His own! I love to hear Christians say, “If the Lord wills, I’ll see you this Saturday!” We’re trying to be so humble (not)! Do you really know what you’re saying when you say that? James says: (Jas 4:15) Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” Wow! “If the Lord wills, we will live” is how the phrase starts! Then “and also do this or that” comes second! First, this is language DIRECTLY FROM the language of Masters and slaves. This is how slaves used to talk back then. Second, in talking this way you acknowledge that Christ is Lord of EVERYTHING you do – even just living! He decides if you take that next breath! Then He decides what you will do next! And, yet, we (I’ve been SO guilty of this!) so casually toss this phrase out as a veneer of humbleness that means to tell our Christian friends just how pious, reverent and spiritual we are. What you’re really saying is, “I’m just a slave, nothing more than a slave and acknowledging that my Lord, Jesus Christ has sovereign control over my next breath, I won’t commit to anything unless He approves it / wills it.”
If you want a full development of our slave relationship to Jesus Christ, I suggest you study “Slave of Christ” by Murray J. Harris and “Slave” by John MacArthur.