“Jesus is Lord!”
Monday, August 12, 2013
Confess Jesus as Lord
THIS WEEK we will be looking at what it means to know Jesus’ lordship in our lives – and as an extension of that, in our fellowship. Problems come when we say it, but don’t do it. Churches can become disabled owing to control issues within them – which stem from a lack of understanding of whose church it is! On a smaller scale, we can sincerely wish to live the Christian life but come unstuck because we are trying to blend two different value systems – and we have had a lifetime’s training in one of them, being lord of our own lives.
That if you confess 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 confess and are saved.
– According to these verses, what two things do you need to do to experience salvation?
– Outside the House of Lords, we don’t use the word ‘lord’ much in modern English. What conveys the same meaning as ‘lord’ in contemporary language e.g. director, boss, leader, priest, landowner – or something else?
A Bible dictionary definition of Lord is “owner, master, one who has full control of something”. The word kurios in the N.T. means literally ‘having power’ (from kuros, power). Interestingly, at the resurrection it changed its meaning from the more ordinary one to specifically divine kingship. In John 20:28 we read about Jesus’ appearance to Thomas, who had doubted, but then became impacted by the presence of a mortal wound in the body of a living person, and exclaimed “My Lord and my God”. From then on, it was almost never used in its more ordinary sense.
So to confess (agree) with your mouth that “Jesus is Lord” means to personally declare to others, seen or unseen, that Jesus is King and Master, who He claims to be – God’s Son. You are also declaring that Jesus is the One you take your leadership from, and the One you choose to accord complete control of your life.
‘Acknowledge’ is another word that means the same thing as ‘confess’, that is used in these two verses:
Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before My Father in heaven.
1 John 4:15
For if anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.
– According to these verses, what two promises apply to those who acknowledge or confess Jesus’ lordship?
What does it mean to be acknowledged in heaven? Imagine you have a recent friendship – you enjoy this person’s company and they have intimated that you are a friend, even a best friend, of theirs. Then you overhear a conversation where this person is talking to someone else, not knowing you are nearby, being critical of you and telling them that you are not really a friend. What would you conclude about this person – and the relationship??
– That they temporaily forgot my identity?
– That I’m not actually a friend?
– That they are ashamed of me?
– That I cannot rely on this relationship
Now imagine that you overheard this person praising your qualities to another, and claiming to be a good friend of yours?
These words spoken to others would depict the true nature of the relationship you had with this person. Jesus is saying the same thing about His Lordship and how you confess Him – speak about that relationship – before others.
– Who have you told about your new relationship with Jesus?
– What were their various responses?
And here’s a question that would be good to share with others in your growth group.
How do you feel about confessing Christ to others who are close to you (note all that apply):
• I am excited about sharing what Christ has done in my life
• I am afraid to share this with certain people
• I am uncertain about ow to share my new relationship with Christ
• I would like the prayer cover of my group as I have a go at confess Christ to family members and friends
• All of the above
• Something else
This week, memorise John 16:24 (and review other verses you have learned).