A Christian must surrender to the lordship of Christ – part 2

Surrendering to the “Lordship” of Jesus requires discipline

It is possible that many individuals never grow beyond the ‘Savior’ stage of Christianity because of the words discipleship and discipline.  Proverbs 3:11-12 states, “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”[1]  As a person reads this verse, it is normal to associate the word discipline with the action being corrected.  This verse says that discipline is something the Lord does to his children.  Parents can justify using the word discipline in association with correcting and punishing children.

However, it is equally as normal to associate the word discipline with preparing for a race. Webster’s dictionary defines discipline, as a verb, as “to punish or penalize, to train or develop, or to bring under control”.[2]  Athletes understand the need to discipline their training schedule in order to perform well on race morning.  Unfortunately, the same understanding is not experienced throughout the Christian community.  We often focus on the part of discipline that happens to us; something we receive for misbehaving.  We misconstrue the word discipline with the word punishment.  Discipleship in many local church settings may struggle because we are confused that God will punish us if we fully surrender to Jesus as Lord through our disciplines.  The process of fully surrendering to Jesus as Lord should lead to authentic transformation.

As individuals surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, there are a number of passages that describe what authentic transformation looks like.  One of those passages is Titus 2:12-13, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”  According to Titus 2, a disciplined Christ-follower should have the ability to part ways with ungodly behavior and worldly passions.  A disciplined Christ-follower should strive to live in a manner that exhibits self-control and redemption.

Colossians 3 provides another great description of authentic transformation.  This chapter teaches that disciplined Christ-followers are to “put to death what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry”. This chapter also instructs us to “put away anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk.   Colossians then exhorts us to “put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Christ-followers have a choice; either engage in a disciplined lifestyle or endure the consequences of discipline (punishment).  Church leaders have a responsibility to create environments where these principles are able to come alive.  The church in America will have a strong future when its members engage in disciplined training.  Therefore, Christians must learn to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

During the next parts, we will explore several disciplines that Christ-followers should have in our lives as we fully surrender to the lordship of Christ.

[1] Proverbs 3:11-12.  ESV Bible

[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discipline