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Contemporary Issues

"The Lordship of Christ in our Life"

 

by Rev Jack Sin 

(Pastor, Maranatha B-P Church)

 

 

Introduction

The lordship and kingship of Christ is His rightful rule over His people as his redeemed subjects. There are many who may claimed to be saved but their lives however show otherwise; being consistently given to the power of sin and still under its bondage. True salvation is established in the regenerated hearts is a spiritual reign; it is administered not by force, or external means, but by the Word and the Spirit, where the believer out of love and godly fear, willingly submit to the will and word of God. There is no half-hearted commitment for those who follow Christ; for He says if any were to come after Him, he has to deny himself and take up the cross daily and follows Him (Lk 9:23). Caleb says he wholly follows the Lord (Jos 14:15). This does not mean sinful perfection in believers but a sincere willingness to repent and actual surrender to Christ.

Christ is worthy to be our Lord and our redeemer because of who He is, the Almighty God and what He has done for us. The Westminster Confession states, "The Lord Jesus, in his human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit above measure; having in Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell: to the end, that being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a Mediator and Surety. Which office He took not unto Himself, but was thereunto called by His Father; who put all power and judgment into His hand, and gave Him commandment to execute the same. To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same; making intercession for them; and revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mysteries of salvation; effectually persuading them by His Spirit to believe and obey; and governing their hearts by His Word and Spirit; overcoming all their enemies by His almighty power and wisdom, in such manner and ways as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation."

Christians are the redeemed subjects of His kingdom and beneficiaries of His grace. If Christ is King, He is to rule and superintend over every aspect of our lives and we are to humbly submit to the Word and His Commandments.

The Lordship of Christ over our lives means practically to:-
a. Follow and do the Will of Christ; not ours
b. Know the Word of Christ; in the scriptures and apply it
c. Do the Work that Christ commands us to do.

A good question to ask ourselves is this: Do we seek to know the will of God in prayer every time we come to a decision or do we decide on our own only? Are there reflective God-centred thinking, worship and patient waiting upon the Lord? Do we know the Word of God by heart and strive to practise it? Are we seeking to grow in both the knowledge and application of the word daily? Is it Godís will be done or yours? Finally, do we do the work that God has commanded us to do, especially with the gifts and talents given to us (1 Pet 4:10,11)?

Covenant Discipleship

Luke 9:23 "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Following Christ as our king requires self-denial sacrifice and humble submission. Not my will, but thy will be done should be the discipleís response all the time. Consider what the disciples of old gave up (ie their nets and their loved ones) in following Christ in Mark 1:16-20. It was total surrender and sacrifice without condition and complete submission to the Master. Our Lord summarised the entire Decalogue (still relevant and not abrogated today) in these 3 verses. Matt 22:37-39 "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

 

We need to learn self denial and say NO to selfish ambitions and desires that are contrary to Godís will and to take up the cross and follow Jesus daily. It may mean giving up our favourite pastime, hobby, time with friends or even our career to follow Christ. The kingship of Christ is not a dictatorial or coercive one but one of love, grace, compassion, longsuffering and mercy. It is based on who He is and what He has done for us as we respond in loving submission to Him as King. Note the character of the King of kings and the Lord of lords in Exod 34:6 says "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth" (see also Josh 24:14).

The Kingship of Christ & Our Priorities

Our priorities determine our whole direction in life and our employment of our precious limited time (Col 3:1). Jesus gave to His subjects a clear direction on Christian priorities:-

We are disciples of the Most High God and the shorter catechism says we are to glorify God and enjoy Him forever in worship and faithful stewardship. The Lordship of Christ means we begin the day with God as what Christ did in Mark 1:35, "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." Start the day by consulting the King of kings for orders and direction. Get in tune with God before the concert of the day begins. David says in Ps 5:3, "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." As for Daniel it is 3 times a day. Dan 6:10 says, "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime."

David says in Ps 119:97-98, "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. Setting the right priorities is important for the believer. Matt 6:21 says, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" while Matt 6:33 says, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you". Paul repeated it in Col 3:1, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." We are reminded that we are all unworthy stewards of the manifold grace of God and we are accountable to our King one day for what we do or say (2 Cor 5:10).

What are your priorities today? Is it health and wealth, leisure, your job performance, or friends and family or Christ as your Pre-eminent Lord and King? The so-called disciples in Luke 6:57-62 had a problem with priority but not the widow of Zarephath (see 1 Kings 17:9-16). Are we serving God or Gold, reading the Word or enamoured with the World? Who is truly the king of your life? Barnabas gave his all to Christ in Acts 4:36-37, "And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation), a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostlesí feet." He sacrificed all to follow Christ with self-denial and surrender (although this was not demanded or required of them). Later a couple, Ananias and Sapphira tried to duplicate that with hypocrisy and falsehood and was severely punished. False Christianity in the first century was exposed by the apostles.

The Lordship of Christ in Our Speech & Conduct

Our overall deportment and behaviour is to be governed and influenced by the Word of God. What occupies our minds will finally exhibit in our action, words and behaviour. If we have been meditating on Christ and His Words, it will show forth in our conversation when we speak things that edify, or in our demeanour, dressing and behaviour will also be glorifying to God. Paul says in Col 3:8-10, "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." The apostle Paul insightfully in Phil 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." We do not need positive thinking nor self esteem to help us but a pure and disciplined mind set on the morally right and spiritually uplifting things of God.

Conclusion

The practical application of the teaching on the Kingship of Christ means that we are to use our lips, lives and links, to glorify God, edify the saints and to witness for Him. Let our words be seasoned with salt and grace (Col 4:6) and not something that is uncouth and unhelpful to others. The tongue may be a small member but it can be a savage instrument for evil according to James (Jas 3:2-8). This small but unruly member of the body is capable of doing great harm and we are to carefully regulate it and use it for good and not evil. Do we use it to encourage, pray and praise God or do we use it in unedifying ways? Is Christ truly the king of your conversation or tongue today and guide you in all that you say or will not say? (Jas 3:8). Do not let lies and unholy conversation preoccupy and but let us be given to encourage and exhort one another in the edifying work of the Lord and be given to glorious praise, serve and worship him with our lips. Let our demeanour be exemplary to others, acceptable and pleasing to God, and bring honour to His holy name. In all Christians, Christ is present, in some, Christ is prominent and in a few, Christ is pre-eminent. May Christ rule and govern our lives wholly.


 
 
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