Jesus Is Lord Of All
We have seen how Jesus ends all religion. Jesus in who and what he does makes religion obsolete. Now, Paul moves on to declare that all who profess faith in Jesus with their mouth are saved. This should not be taken that all we need to do is say that Jesus is Lord our lives should show how saying this changes everything. Jesus himself says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
Let’s look at what Paul writes in Romans 10:9-10, 12-13.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
We will say that Jesus is a great moral teacher, a philosopher, prophet, a wise person, and even savior, but many of us refuse to call Jesus Lord and to respond to him as such. I have been guilty of such ignorance. I once claimed that Jesus is good that I love him, but he is not God just a great guy. My buddy Jesus is a way of thinking about Jesus that persists even in the church. I was wrong. I didn’t have to risk anything by claiming Jesus as a cool dude, but once I claimed Jesus as Lord and Savior was to risk being called a fool. Yet, Jesus is way too compelling and too costly not to claim Jesus as Lord and Savior. To deny or ignore the Lordship of Jesus is to deny who Jesus really is. To deny the real person of Jesus is to risk losing the way to full life. Jesus is Lord of all, saying that means if we are to be serious about our Christianity we need to live our lives more and more aligned to the life death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus saves us from ourselves and the lies of the world, so that we can live fully here-and-now. It is in Christ that we can live the kind of lives we all dream and hope for, yet Jesus doesn’t promise we will never suffer or stumble. He does promise that in the darkest times he will be with us. Jesus is with us in the darkest times, when we don’t think we can go on Jesus whispers his love to us. Jesus is not all that concerned with us believing the right things, going to the right churches, hanging out with the right people, or our personal happiness. Jesus is in the business of making us the kind of people that can live in the kingdom. Jesus is not a watchdog of the church. Jesus is not a self-help guru. Jesus is not a slot machine. Jesus is loving and welcoming, inviting all into the loving, grace-filled, beautiful and wondrous arms of a God who doesn’t need us, but wants us.
Jesus never asks that we clean ourselves up to be presentable to God and earn the love and grace of God. He knows we cannot. Jesus only asks that we trust him to be who he says he is. We only need Jesus. We are not called simply to believe in some detached intellectual way, but to trust and follow. Faith is trusting that Jesus is Lord of all. If we say yes and follow him then our entire life will be transformed in such a way that we won’t need proof of God’s existence. We will know God is real.
We can affirm ‘Jesus is Lord’ with our mouth, while at the very same time deny and reject him with our actions. When we don’t bring love to hate, joy to sadness, light to darkness, and fail to be instruments of the peace of God we deny the very thing we affirm with our lips. Jesus doesn’t want people who say, “Lord, Lord,” but people who follow without turning back.
There may be followers of Jesus who don’t say in word but in deed and we must accept or at least hope that God’s grace is big and wide enough to include them too. There may be true followers of Jesus that the church in its fumbling ways have alienated and we must accept or at least hope that God’s grace is big and wide enough to include them too.
We affirm ‘Jesus is Lord’ when we love without reason. When we stand up for others, hug a hurting friend, drop a coin in a donation jar, smile at a stranger, and encourage a hurting person we proclaim the Kingdom of God not with words that won’t be remembered but in actions that will linger. We declare ‘Jesus is Lord’ when we love the stranger, include the excluded, provide shelter and comfort of the widow and orphan. We are to love God and neighbor, to work for the good of all and to choose life over death. In those ways, we who call ourselves Christian and say ‘Jesus is Lord’ are to move and have our being.
Each of us has choice to make. Is Jesus who he said he was and acted as in history? Either Jesus is the son of God and the Lord and Savior of all or he is nothing. You cannot have it both ways. Either Jesus is in control and we are to pattern our life on his life, death, and resurrection or we are in control and it doesn’t matter what Jesus said. Make your choice. Make it today. I have made mine. I am not perfect at following Jesus and I need to learn more about what it means to follow Jesus. But, I am resolute in my choice.
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