Christ-following, at is most basic level, is simply coming to grips with God truly being “God”, with Jesus truly being “Lord”, and with the Holy Spirit truly being the controlling factor of your life. God’s crystal clear intention is that ”You shall have no other gods before me”. Even Jesus had to make a choice to surrender to God’s will and purpose for His life.
We want Jesus to be our Savior and Forgiver….but we often struggle with the Lord and Leader stuff. The two concepts go hand in hand. The only way Jesus can truly be our Savior and Forgiver is if He truly is Lord and Leader.
Salvation without lordship is merely fire insurance. We want a “policy” that keeps us out of hell without the requirements like surrender, obedience, and sacrifice. Salvation is not about merely going to church, praying prayers, and getting baptized. Salvation is about living a changed life evidenced by the work of the Holy Spirit and the kind of fruit that accompanies a changed life.
Biblically speaking, this is a pretty simple concept. There is only one way to heaven and that is through a person relationship with one person….Jesus. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” He made some outrageous claims, including that He would die, and resurrect on the third day. Those outrageous claims make it impossible for Jesus to be just a good teacher or just another prophet.
Jesus could be a liar…if He made those claims knowing they were not true. Jesus could be a crazy lunatic…if He made those outrageous claims really thinking they were true, but they ended up not being true. If Jesus is a liar or crazy either how can He also be a good teacher or great prophet as some have tried to picture Him? On the other hand, if Jesus made those outrageous claims, then backed them up He can be nothing less than Lord.
Jesus is Lord. Not just our Savior….not just our Forgiver….but our Lord and Leader. With Jesus, our job as Christ-followers is to surrender to His Lordship….truly allowing Him to be our leader. God has delegated everything to Jesus due to “His obedience even unto death”. Jesus came as the “author and finisher of our faith”. He is our example of how we are to live. Jesus demonstrated surrender, obedience, and sacrifice to God. Like Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5-6 the Bible says that “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped…but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.”
Jesus is Lord because He fulfilled all of those outrageous claims. Jesus is much more than just a Savior. Surrender your heart and will to Him so that He can be immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine.