home > Pastor’s Desk > 2023 > September 15th > The LORDSHIP of JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

Today, “Jesus Christ is Lord” sounds like a bumper sticker or part of an ancient church liturgy but when Christianity was founded if someone uttered these words it could literally mean death! ’o christos ’o kurios “Christ is Lord” was a risky thing to declare when the only safe thing to declare was ’o kaiser ’o kurios “Caesar is Lord”! Yet it was upon these words that the earliest confession of the Church was founded. For the early Christians, this was not a glib, throw-away line uttered during a church service or something declared with a sticker on the backside of your donkey (or chariot if you were wealthy). It is my thesis that the Lordship of Christ is the most important of all truths. Nothing is truer. It is the truth that has produced the greatest good in the world. Because this truth was revealed to people: (i) the Church was founded and continues to grow and spread despite irrational persecution; (ii) the gospel was preached so that people should be saved; (iii) the divinely inspired New Testament books were written; (iv) hospitals were opened; (v) schools were commenced; (vi) universities were formed; (vii) charities were established; and, (viii) civil governments were constituted — all because: Jesus Christ is Lord! I want to help you move past seeing this truth as a mere bumper sticker/fridge-magnet, to discovering why it has been the most revolutionary revelation! 

Jesus the Christ is the almighty King of kings and Lord of lords. Consider the magnitude of these words from the apostle Paul, who, when He encountered the risen-from-the-dead Lord Jesus Christ his immediate response is described in the Book of Acts:

And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him,
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
And he said, “Who are you, Lord?
And He said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Acts 9:4-5

From this encounter with the Lord, he wrote to the Ephesian church via his epistle to Timothy:

It is perhaps difficult for us appreciate just how dangerous these words were by the apostle Paul. But ponder them and you soon realise that they were written for a public audience, widely copied, and distributed, before the apostle stood trial before Caesar Nero in AD 64. It may come as no surprise to you then that the Caesar ordered Paul to be taken from his trial in Rome down to the coastal port and beheaded. Many scholars, including this one, believe that there is an honorific reference to Paul’s martyrdom in the closing book of Bible (which was written in AD 65) recorded in Revelation 20:4. The price that many of the early Christians paid for believing and refusing to recant that Jesus Christ was Lord was their martyrdom. 

CHRIST REVEALED HIS LORDSHIP IN THE WAY HE SPOKE

As a prophet Jesus never uttered the usual preliminary announcement, Thus says the Lord. Instead in every instance, He prefaced His declarations with divine phrases like, I say unto you… or  Truly, truly, I say to you that… which was in essence a statement that what He was stating was inerrant (without error and not possible to be incorrect). Even those in authority who came to hear Jesus were taken back by the purity, truthfulness, and divine inspiration of everything Jesus said:

When Jesus was brought before the Roman Governor, it was the Governor who trembled in the presence of Christ and not the other way around! It seems that Pontius Pilate felt that he was in the presence of a powerful king (Jn. 18:37). This reluctance to treat Jesus unjustly was compounded by his wife receiving a warning in a dream about Jesus being no ordinary man. Tradition has it that his wife’s name was Claudia and that after the resurrection of the Christ she herself became a Christian.

If it hasn’t yet dawned on you that maybe Jesus was who He claimed to be, LORD, in Whom “All authority in heaven and on earth” has been given to Him (Matt. 28:18-20) because He conquered the “last enemy” (1Cor. 15:26), then consider this fact:

No-one in all of history had emphatically declared that his or her words would outlive the universe itself (Matt. 24:35)!!! It was acknowledged by the Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper, who later became the Prime Minister of Holland, who famously reflected, “There is not a square inch of anywhere in the universe over which Jesus Christ does not declare: ‘Mine!’” But there is something even more inconceivable about this Most glorious King of the Universe: He knows you! (Consider John 4:29.)

Over the next few chapters of this series, I want to delve into this unfathomable truth and give you a glimpse of why the Lordship of Jesus Christ is both the greatest comfort and the greatest terror. I hope to introduce you to the LORD Jesus Christ in a way that brings you to your knees in adoration of Him and fills your heart, mind, and soul with ineffable wonder and ecstasy. 

For it is written,“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”
Romans 14:11

So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:10-11

Next: EVEN THE WINDS AND THE WAVES OBEY HIM!.

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

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PENTECOSTALISM, THE TWO SIDES OF REVIVAL

home > Pastor's Desk > 2024 >June 21st > PENTECOSTALISM, THE SIDES OF REVIVAL Pentecostalism began with a move of God - a revival. This happened on a Jewish Festival called the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1). This was when the Holy Spirit was given and poured...

MY BIGGEST BURDENS

A burden is something that weighs on you. You could be burdened emotionally because a relationship that is weighing on you. You could be burdened psychologically because of the weight of a looming deadline. You could be burdened spiritually because of the weight of guilt you are carrying. You could be burdened physically because of your weight and depleted strength. We all carry burdens. There are seasons in our lives where some burdens a big and you do not feel that you will be able to bear up under the enormous pressure you are under. Those seasons will pass. For those in leadership there is the constant burden of the weight of responsibility that must be carried. (Have you ever noticed what this kind burden bearing does physically to a President or Prime Minister over their term in office?) In the Bible we read that GOD actually gives people burdens so that they become stronger, wealthier, happier, and more productive. These types of burdens always involve caring for others. (Have you ever considered why Jesus was sweating great drops of blood as He was praying just before He went to the Cross via His hours of humiliating pummelling, beating, scourging, hair-pulling, and mockery?) I want to share you with you why I am now carrying an enormous burden that I would consider that biggest burden I have ever had to carry. I do so in the hope that this might help you to bear your burdens with greatest expertise and joy. Yes, joy.

HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR RELATIONSHIP SKILLS

This year we have been laying a foundation for knowing God and then each Sunday building upon it. Throughout June we are focusing on how knowing God enables us to find our joy in Him and consequently to discover that He enables us to find joy in our relationships with others. But sadly, for many people who have vowed to love, serve, and follow Jesus, this has not always been easy to do. This is why the current sub-theme of humility is critically important if someone desires to truly experience joy in each of their various relationships with others. 

KNOWING GOD

In the past few months, we have been hearing in Church and also by reading the Pastor’s Desks that through the Psalms and by the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, we can know God more. The Psalms show God as our Shepherd, God’s character is unchanging, we can be still and know Him, and that He is poetic. The Fruit of the Spirit reminds us that God is faithful, gentle and kind, and that we need to stay close to Him in the same way a baby gets nutrients from its mother through the umbilical cord. Knowing these things, we can become more like God as He helps us outwork His character in our lives. Philippians 3:10 challenged me in this regard some time ago.

RULES RULES AND MORE RULES

What comes to mind when you hear the word Rules? For some, it is a welcome relief to all the chaos surrounding us. Rules can provide comfort, safety, stability, predictability and protection. But for many others, as soon as you hear the word rules, it causes you to sigh loudly, followed by the instant urge to do the opposite. It can cause an immense sense of frustration along with that feeling of being boxed or caged in. Then some rules are plain silly as they make no sense, or there appears to be no apparent reason for why the rule/s exists in the first place. 

The Vine and the Umbilical Cord: Life, Abiding and Bearing FruitThe Vine and the Umbilical Cord: Life, Abiding and Bearing Fruit

Jesus’ allegory in John 15:1-17 of the vine and the branches provides a beautiful picture of the intimate and living relationship available to those who would abide in Him, the true Vine; and it illustrates how naturally the Holy Spirit is able to produce fruit in the lives of those who are willing to be branches abiding in the vine.

Knowing God Through The Fruit Of The Spirit

I’m sure you can picture an occasion where food delicacies are served and someone is there who has lost all sense of decorum to the point of being rude to get to the food before others and is unable or unwilling to engage in any level of conversation for the sake of finding the choicest of foods. Maybe that was you or me on occasions. Or an All You Can Eat challenge restaurant. It is a picture of complete lack of self-restraint (especially if Homer Simpson is involved). Whilst we are away, I am looking forward to visiting a town (Kenilworth) with a bakery tourist attraction that sells 1kg doughnuts. I’m not sure what will happen there, but I can imagine many have risen to a challenge.

WHAT CHARMING BETRAYERS DESERVE ACCORDING TO THE PSALM OF KING DAVID, NUMBER 55

Australia is now grappling with a national crisis — the violent abuse of women by men. Every four days in Australia a woman is being murdered [Source]. The sad probability is that she was murdered by “a current or former intimate partner” [Source]. But added to this alarming statistic is the even greater and more horrifying statistic of number of women who are experiencing abuse – physical; sexual; verbal; financial; psychological – daily. In fact, it is so prevalent that most people working in this arena know that most domestic abuse incidents in Australia are not reported. Abuse is oppression. And since the Bible is so clear and consistent in its condemnation of oppression of the vulnerable you would naturally assume that this national crisis was being thundered and denounced as a great evil from the majority of pulpits around our country at the moment. This assumption is further reinforced by the guesstimate that one-in-four women in every Australian church is regularly abused in some way by a man. But I suspect that it is not.

KNOWING GOD THROUGH PSALM 23

My cat, Lola, had a beautiful, fluffy, soft coat. I had her for 13 years so I knew her very well. She loved a cuddle and snuggling at night sleeping in the crook of my arm. She loved me but with others she could be a rascal, hissing or swiping her claws. She never scoffed her food but was a grazer. It was common to hear her crunching her biscuits for a midnight snack and she loved ice cream. She loved hiding in cardboard boxes or in the pantry. She particularly hated the car evidenced by her continual mournful meowing til she got out. As I knew her, she also knew me. She knew I would feed her and give her pats or cuddles. When I called her she knew my soft voice, my touch, my smell. She knew my growly voice when she had done the wrong thing. When I’d take her to the vet she would be still in my arms as the vet examined her and vaccinated her. If she was injured or sick I would look after her.

KNOWING GOD THROUGH PSALM 22

The Bible is an amazing book. As we look through the book of Psalms we can so unbelievably clearly see God at work. And also most poignantly, this Psalm – Psalm 22 – prophetically points to, and closely mirrors Jesus and the events of the cross mentioned in the New Testament. This Psalm is well over 1000 years prior to Jesus.There are some well known passages of Scripture that stand out as being prophetic promises of the Messiah. These prophetic words show us that God is Omniscient; He knows everything. The first Messianic prophecy shows that the seed of the woman would eventually defeat the devil.