A Christian must surrender to the lordship of Christ – Part 1

As you read this blog series, I pray the Holy Spirit will stretch you as he stretched me through writing this document during the spring of 2015.

Your spiritual growth is a journey that never ends until the moment you see Jesus in Heaven.  Until then, I encourage you to embrace all of who Jesus is.

Knowing Jesus as Savior, but not as Lord

I had the privilege of growing up in a home that valued attending church.  I also had the privilege of attending various Christian Schools for most of my education years.  We understood that attending church was important, but we missed much of what was meant when “Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’”[1].  Our parents taught us many things, but never explained to us that our purpose for living was to take up our cross and follow Jesus with everything we have to offer.  If they attempted to teach this principle, I completely missed it.  In fact, the principles that I remember most were the ones that were modeled to me.  I rarely saw my parents reading their Bibles.  I remember my parents would put on a show when it was time to enter the church building.  I remember, it seems, that my parents were focused on not being seen doing the wrong things.  I became a Christian when I was six years old because a teacher told me bad kids go to hell.  I was a bad kid and didn’t want to go to hell when I died.

For many years, I lived within a duty-bound system of religion.  I believed that Jesus was real to me, but the Jesus that was being modeled was one that needed to give me approval.  I did not learn about grace or mercy.  I did not learn that God has compassion for me when I sin.  As a child, I memorized many verses.  Again, it seems that many of those verses fell into the category of “I am bad, and I need God’s approval in order to be good.”

For many years, I lived with the understanding that Jesus was my Savior, but Jesus was not my Lord.  If I would have died at a young age, I believe I would have gone to Heaven.  Equally, I probably would have been embarrassed when I stood before my King because I had such a small view of Jesus.

Through a number of books and pages of data I have read, I believe that many other Christians have believed some of the same concepts.  Many American Christians have accepted Jesus as Savior and received “fire insurance”, but go on living life as if nothing supernatural happened to them. By definition, a savior is a person who saves another from something.  In contrast, Jesus as Lord means that He is the owner, master and ruler of the Christian’s life.  For the church in America to have a strong future, Christians must surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  This is much different from Jesus simply being Savior.

[1] Matthew 16:24-25.  ESV Bible