Saturday, September 1, 2007

Our Response to Lordship

Seeking to be "always reforming" (Semper Reformundum) we ought to pay attention to the way we present the Gospel, for many strange creatures have come into the land, calling themselves evangelists and making many innovations. What we say when we present the Good News of salvation in Christ is important. The words we use matter, because words mean things.

One of AW Tozer's most famous sermons, for instance, is all about pointing out how unbiblical it is to speak of "accepting Jesus."

I would like to follow his lead now and point out that it is also unbiblical to say things like, "You need to make Jesus the Lord of your life." (Or any of its slight variations.)

"November 29th, 1989, yes, that's the day I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior."

Not Biblical, I tell you.

And why not? I'll tell you why not.

Because it's God the Father who made Jesus the Lord of lords, the Lord of all the earth. You don't have anything to do with that.

The Lordship of Jesus Christ ("the King") is not waiting around for your permission. Jesus doesn't need your belief or your acquiescence or your acknowledgment in order to be the Lord.

Check this out, for instance:

Psalms 2:6 "As for me [God says], I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill."

Matthew 28:19, "And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.'"

Acts 2:36, "Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ..."

These are just three examples of many, many places where the Scripture teaches us that God has made Jesus Christ the Lord, and given Him all authority.

Who made Jesus the Lord of all things? God did.

Did He ask your permission to do that? No, He didn't.

Does He need you to believe that Jesus is Lord before He really is? Not at all. Not in the least.

This is the truth: Jesus is already the Lord of your life. I don't care if you're a Christian or not. I don't care what you believe: God has given Jesus the Lordship over you, in minute detail, regardless of what you happen to think about it. Regardless of whether that makes you happy or not.

So, the Lordship of Jesus is really not the issue. He is the Lord. He is the King, regardless.

The only issue is this one: What sort of subject will you be? Will you be a loyal subject and servant, doing your best to keep your Lord's commands; or will you be a rebel within the boundaries of His great dominion, opposing His will at every turn and thereby marking yourself out for His kingly wrath?

We can't make or deny the Lordship of Christ. God has already given that to him. All we do is acknowledge that truth, and repent of our former seditious state. We stop rebelling. We start obeying, and His first command to us is to believe in His salvation and trust in Him with all our hearts.


Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

Gordan, great post. I am in full agreement with your post and Tozer's assessment. I believe you wrote something a while back at Incrediblog or perhaps here at the Mafia, that we don't need a personal relationship with God...because we already have one as sinners....its enemies, we just need a right relationship to God...submission to his already existing Lordship. I don't believe it's biblical to invite people to begin a personal relationship with Jesus, because they had one the moment they were born...they just need to fix it bu trusting in Jesus Christ.

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

P.S. I like the suit and tie combination the guy is should wear that on Sundays.

gordan said...

Yeah, that "personal relationship" one, I had nearly forgotten that, but this is very similar I guess. Glad you like that picture of me.

Dusty McDust said...

"You need to invite Jesus into your heart" and "make Jesus your personal Lord and Savior" are two biggies that are obsessively, robotically repeated, as if those phrases are somehow sacred and biblically mandated. Auto-pilot evangelism. You're not a good Christian unless you switch off your brain and just go around bombarding the lost with insipid cliches. After all, that is the quickest way to earn the world's contempt (which is the prime affirmation that you're doing the Lord's work. "Hallelujah! Everyone's calling me an idiot! Praise the Lord!").

Good post. It's so nice to read something like this. It's nice, as a Christian, to have my total contempt for Christianity affirmed.

Mike Y said...

One of the counter arguments to such good points is, "well what kind of response would a Calvinist as for".

I believe the only proper response of an unbeliever is to believe and then follow with baptism. But this notion that we're to evoke a response can be very addictive and misleading.

Do I ever lead someone in the "sinner's prayer"? Sort of. I have led folks in praying for God's mercy.

It's a tough thing. We should still plead with folks. We just can't give them false hope.

Thanks for elaborating on the subject G.

Rhett said...

Josh said:

"P.S. I like the suit and tie combination the guy is should wear that on Sundays."

I say:

Yeah, but the only problem with that is he'd have to borrow the suit from me and then I'd have nothing to wear! LOL!