Chapters nine and ten of Thirty True Things . . . (TTT) were about the lordship of Jesus, but there is one more thing to be considered about the meaning of that lordship. Christians need to know that when one confesses Jesus as Lord, he must be Lord of all aspects of their lives. Those who are not Christians need to know that about Jesus’ lordship in order to differentiate between authentic and pseudo Christianity.
Is Confessing Jesus as Lord an Enslaving Act?
When Jesus is allowed to be Lord of all, then for the individual Christian believer every area of their life—their personal actions, their family relationships, their financial decisions, their recreational activities, and every other sphere of their existence—will be surrendered to Jesus.
There are some objections to this idea, though, the first being a push back against something that looks like a loss of freedom. Especially USAmericans have from the beginning placed great emphasis on personal freedom (“Give me liberty, or give me death!”).
Many modern people resonate with the words from “Invictus,” treasured and made popular by Nelson Mandela: “I am the master of my fate: / I am the captain of my soul.”
So how do people react to emphasis on Jesus’ total lordship? For many Christians it results in compartmentalization, allowing Jesus’ lordship to apply only to one’s religious life, not to every aspect of one’s thoughts and actions.
For some or many people who are not Christians, talk about the lordship of Jesus is off-putting. Those who pride themselves on their independence, their self-reliance, and, above all, their freedom as one who is captain of their own soul, why would they possibly want to acknowledge Jesus as Lord?
That sort of response may not often be expressed, but recognized or not, that is likely one of the most basic reasons why some people don’t want to become a Christian, a follower of Jesus.
Is Confessing Jesus as Lord an “Ensmalling” Act?
Some Christians now seem to think that they need a broader view of the world than is possible through Christianity or through Jesus Christ. Talk about the lordship of Jesus is for them a restrictive idea that they want to move beyond.
But I strongly disagree that commitment to the lordship of Jesus is an “ensmalling” act. Rather, rightly understood, it is an enlarging one.
According to an affirmation of the New Testament, “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” in Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:19). If that is a correct description of the true nature of Jesus as the Christ—and that has been a central affirmation of Christianity from its beginning—how could allegiance to Jesus possibly make one’s understanding of the world narrower or more limited?
If the fullness of God dwells in Jesus, then far from causing people to have a more parochial, smaller view of the world, commitment to Jesus as Lord actually expands one’s vision, enlarges one’s viewpoint, and stretches one’s capacity to understand the world that Jesus came to save.
So, What are the Implications?
If Jesus is truly Lord of all, then those who live under that lordship live with the desire to follow Jesus and his will rather than following their own often selfish desires.
When Jesus is truly Lord of one’s life, that person’s purpose for living is focused on the kingdom of God, on doing that which is most beneficial for human society and for the world of nature.
Living with Jesus as Lord is a full commitment to the one who seeks to transform this world into a realm of peace and justice for all.
[Please click here to access the entire eleventh chapter of Thirty True Things Everyone Needs to Know Now.]