THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 3-6-05
LESSON TITLE: "WHO IS JESUS? JESUS IS LORD!"
Joshua once proclaimed, "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, ...But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Who do you choose to serve on this wondrous Lord's Day morning!
We welcome you to the Living Word program. What a blessing it is to have you with us this morning to give this time of offering to God. I hope you are ready to worship God today in spirit and in truth, for there is no other way to be pleasing in His sight - than His Way! So as we begin our focus on Almighty God, will you bow with me before His throne at this time!
Let's begin immediately with our songs of praise this day. The first song of the morning encourages us to kneel before God, because of the many wondrous things He has done for us. So won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Kneel At The Cross!"
(SONG # 1)
Consider for a moment all of the choices which we have to make in our lives. There are so many opportunities and material things which bombard us on a daily basis in this country, thus it is often difficult to make the right decisions. However, as we read earlier, men like Joshua were willing to stand up and be counted. They were willing to be different and to even stand alone if need be.
What about in our lives today, are we as willing and ready to stand? Jesus said we must make the choice and put Him first in all things. But why? Because it is impossible to serve more than one master. In fact, these were the exact word's of Jesus Christ Himself, which are found in Matthew 6:24. There we read, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. The reality is we can not serve God and the flesh at the same time. With God there are no second best or things which can come before Him. Why, because He demands and expects our best if we are to be found worthy in His sight.
Another passage which helps me to reflect on these things is found in Matthew 19, where again Jesus talks with someone who claims to follow His Father. This young man is often referred to as the "rich young ruler," because he was said to have "great possessions." This young man boldly came to Jesus and proclaimed his commitment to the things of the Old Law. But then he made the mistake of asking, but "what do I still lack." Jesus' knew his weakness. Christ could see where his true interest and commitment laid with the things of this world and not with God! So in verse 21, Jesus said, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." After hearing these things the young man went away sorrowful! He obviously hung his head down and walk away realizing that he was not willing to go far enough in his service to God.
So what about us. Just how far are we willing to go? Just what are we willing to give up in order that we put God first. Will we be bold enough to truly serve God in His Way, and to make that known before all of this world!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our speaker, we are happy to have brother Bill McFarland with us this morning. Brother McFarland is the minister for the North National Church of Christ, here in Springfield, Missouri. We thank brother Bill for being with us and look forward to him leading us in our main study of God's Word, at the proper time.
Our lesson topic of the day will again focus on our series entitled, "Who Is Jesus!" The specific lesson of the day will deal with, "Jesus Is Lord!" So, please stay with us this morning and in just a few minutes brother McFarland will be leading us in this study from God's Word. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "Let The Lower Lights Be Burning."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Bill McFarland
When John the Baptist worked in the wilderness of Judaea and began to cause a great stir, representatives were sent out from Jerusalem to inquire about who he was. John answered the people who came that he was one who was a voice going before the Lord and preparing the way for Him, once saying, "Make straight the ways or the paths of the Lord." John used a word which becomes the favorite New Testament word to refer to Jesus Christ. It is such an important term that the people who referred to Jesus could soon merely say, "the Lord," and everyone knew who they were speaking of. This is a title which is essential to our understanding our faith as Christians. Jesus Himself said, "You call me teacher and Lord and you say well for so I am." The theme of the apostles' teaching was "Jesus as Lord," according to 2 Corinthians 4 and verse 5. One who was in the process of becoming a Christian would confess Jesus as Lord according to Romans 10 and verse 9. "Every Christian was expected to grow to the place where he would sanctify Christ as Lord in his heart and be ready to give to anybody who asked him a reason for his hope," as Peter put it in 1 Peter 3 and verse 15. "The moment will finally come," according to the New Testament, "when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord," as Philippians 2 and verse 11 has it. So clearly we're dealing here with the theme which is at the heart of what Christians believe and hold to.
But what does it mean for any of us to call Jesus "Lord"? What really is involved in that truth or that statement? I can't really think of anything that would help our spiritual lives more than to be aware of what it means to call Jesus "Lord" and to mean it. This idea has a depth of meaning to it and the implications of the statement are profound indeed in our lives. It might be said that if you call Jesus "Lord" and really mean it, your life will never be the same.
Let's begin by considering what this word "Lord" is all about. This is not merely a religious term interestingly. It's a term that was already in use which the New Testament adopts to refer to Jesus. It actually had a common usage in everyday life in the home and the family. The word "Lord" was in some usage's a title of respect and courtesy. It would be used somewhat like we use the word "Sir." The word "Lord" was also a term which had to it the idea of ownership. It was commonly used of one who had the undisputed ownership of a vineyard or some other possessions. And this was a term that was commonly used to refer to the guardian or the head of the family. The Greeks usually use this term to refer to the place of a father in a household. But not only did it have a usage in family life, this term also had a usage in civil life in the everyday existence. It was a term which was a title of authority. It was a word which literally meant, "The one who has the power of deciding," as Thayers Dictionary put it. When someone was an army officer who had the authority to issue orders in battle, this is the term that would be used of him. If he was a judge and he had the right to issue a verdict in a court case, this is the word that would refer to his office. And if someone were an individual who had the power or the right to issue decrees or to make laws, then this original term might have been used to refer to him.
But more importantly than either the family or the civic or everyday life is the fact that this title was one used to refer to Deity. When the Romans came to demand that the emperor be referred to as "Lord" in order to line up the people behind him and to maintain unity in their empire, this was the term that was commonly used of the Caesar. This title appeared at the head of all laws. It was stamped on coins and other official documents of any kind. It was the title of imperial majesty. It was also a word that the Greeks used in their references to their so-called gods in mythology. The word "Lord" was regularly prefixed to the names of gods or goddesses. There were supposed to be "gods many and lords many," as Paul noted in 1 Corinthians 8 and verse 5.
This is the term that was also used, and this is a crucial matter of God Himself. In the Septuagint which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, the word "Lord" is used regularly to translate the name of Jehovah. It is used this way in the New Testament at least 150 times. Some examples would be in Acts 4 and verse 24 where the apostles prayed to the God of Heaven and addressed Him as "Lord or Sovereign Lord." It's interesting to me that in the last book of the Bible, in Revelation 19, there's the sort of hallelujah chorus of Heaven and they sang, "Hallelujah because the Lord God omnipotent," or some versions would put it, "The Lord God Almighty reigns." Obviously speaking of God the Father. In that same chapter a few verses later, the rider on the white horse comes out and in Revelation 19 and verse 16, He has a name written on Him, "Lord of Lords and King of Kings." There was no contradiction between this fact because both the Father and the Son are Deity and it was a way of expressing that fact.
You can see then what a mighty achievement it is for someone to confess that "Jesus is Lord." That individual means, if he understands what he's saying, that Jesus is the complete owner of his life and that He is worthy of all respect and honor. When we say "Jesus is Lord," we mean that He has the authority to have the last word in all matters and a right to be heard. When we say that "Jesus is Lord," we mean that here is the One who possesses God-hood and He is the One who is worthy of praise and honor and of the loyalty of our hearts and our lives. The thought of "Jesus is Lord" means that He ruler and owner and protector of every department of our lives.
Now that leads to a question. What gives anyone the right to that kind of position? Why do we believe that Jesus deserves to be referred to merely as "the Lord." Well, there's some reasons. First, Jesus is Lord because He is the Son of the Living God. Well the night when He was born the angels announced to the shepherds that "there was born to them in a city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord." I find it interesting that in reading the story of how the angel announced to Mary that this child that she would bear would be the Son of God, and then Elizabeth when she saw Mary addressed her as "the mother of my Lord," according to Luke 1 and verse 43. Jesus is Lord because of His divine nature. "He's the Son of God, the heir of all things, the one by whom God made the world, the brightness of the Father's glory and express image of His person, the one who upholds all things by the Word of His power," as the great passage in Hebrews 1 has it. His perfect life and His mighty signs and wonders and His authoritative teaching proved who He was. Jesus is Lord because of who He is.
But secondly, Jesus is Lord because He is the Savior who died for us. Remember they said, "There's born to you this day a Savior who is Christ the Lord." Because He emptied Himself, because He took the form of a servant and became obedient even unto death, the death on the cross, God has given Him the name that's above every name. He has bought this right with sweat and tears and suffering. He is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as the New Testament often refers to Him. One cannot claim Him as Savior without also recognizing Him as Lord.
Third, Jesus is Lord because He was raised from the dead. "It was Jesus Christ our Lord who was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection of the dead," Romans 1 verse 4 says. Paul said, "For to this end, Christ died and lived again that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living," Romans 14 verse 9. Remember that story when Thomas, being confronted with the places in His hands and His side just fell down before Him and said, "My Lord and my God," John 20 and verse 28. And it's interesting to me that of all the usage's of this word "Lord" in the New Testament, after that place in John 20 and verse 28, the term is never used again of a mere man. Jesus is Lord because He faced death and is alive evermore.
Jesus is Lord because He is seated at the right hand of God in Heaven. This is the place of highest honor and the place of power, the place where the Christ rules over His kingdom. It states, this position states that Jesus has finished His work of sacrifice and that now He rules over His kingdom. Paul said that "God has exalted Him to that place and made Him to be head over all things to the church which is His body." On the Day of Pentecost, the apostles proclaimed that Jesus had been exalted to God's right hand where He had been made both Lord and Christ. Jesus is Lord because of His place at God's right hand.
And then Jesus is Lord because He will come again and judge the world. When He comes again, it will be as Lord of Lords and King of Kings, not merely as Savior. "That day will be the day of the Lord Jesus Christ," as 1 Corinthians 1 and verse 8 says. "At the revelation of the Lord Jesus from Heaven, He will hold each one of us accountable. We will give account for the things done in our bodies whether good or bad. And to those who have loved His appearing, the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give the crown of life," 2 Timothy 4 and verse 8. It's interesting that the Lord is the righteous judge.
Now as any of us will give this any of thought, surely we will recognize our giving Jesus that place in our lives must have some tremendous implications for us and for how we live. How should it impact my life if Jesus is Lord? Well, obviously first, I need to recognize His exclusive authority. I need to recognize that when "Jesus has said something, it is the commandment of the Lord," as 1 Corinthians 14, verse 37 says. He has the words of life and I ought to listen to Him and hear Him gladly and willingly submit to Him. If Jesus is my Lord, then I'll be actively obeying His Will. Remember that He said one time, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say," Luke 6:46. We're taught as Christians to do all things in the name of Jesus the Lord whether words or deeds or whatever, all things are to be done in recognition of His authority, and as unto the Lord becomes the guideline and the governing principle in our lives and conduct and behavior. If Jesus is my Lord, I want to glorify Him through the church. I know that sometimes there are individuals who don't think the church has anything to do with His Lordship, but the Bible teaches that the Lord adds the saved to the church. In the church, when we observe the Lord's Supper or when we sing unto the Lord or when we give thanks through the name of the Lord or when we give because we've already given ourselves to the Lord or when we pray in His name, all of those activities are recognition of the fact that Jesus is Lord.
This relationship produces a deep purpose in our lives, a wonderful sense of assurance comes from knowing that the Lord will stand by us and that He will save us unto His eternal kingdom. By saying that Jesus is Lord, obeying that and obedience to the gospel, and then living in view of that fact is what our lives are really all about.
Jesus is Lord. Make that the good news in your life today.
(SONG # 3 - "O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee!")
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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How privileged we are to have the blessing from God, that His Son Jesus, is Lord. Have you made Christ the Lord of your life?