I was recently meeting with a young leader who was planting a church. I was asking him about the vision God was giving them to pursue. Instead of the usual approach to the idea of vision, we have seen from the business/church growth movements of the past 60 years (If you had unlimited resources and could not fail, what would you pursue?) I asked some questions from a different angle.

  • What are you not willing to compromise to be successful?
  • What are the things God has shown you that are so important that even if everyone leaves, you will still pursue them?
  • What has God revealed that is so essential you will continue to pursue it regardless of suffering and sacrifice?

His answer was music to my ears, “JESUS CHRIST HAS TO BE THE LORD OF EVERYTHING WE DO AND EVERYTHING WE ARE!” After my involuntary shout “YES,” and my FIST BUMP (sitting in a Panera Bread), my mind immediately went to the Scriptures and a quote I once read.

  • Colossians 1:18-2:6 He is also head of the body, the church…so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything…2:6  Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him. 

If I had only one sermon to preach, it would be on the Lordship of Christ. When we get right on that point, we are right all down the line. God honors the exaltation of His Son.” Vance Havner (1901-1986).

Colossians expresses the idea of His Lordship well, “That He would come to have first place in everything.” Lord means “the one in charge, ultimate authority, and the one ruling.” We cannot begin or live Biblical Christianity without His Lordship. The church is not Amazon. We are not trying to be customer-centric but Jesus-centric. The goal of our life in Christ is not trying to get Him to follow us around to do what we think is best. We are called to follow and obey Him because He knows what is best.

If we don’t pursue biblical Christianity and church life, and we grow, we will only increase more nonbiblical Christianity. I don’t think this pleases the Head of the church, Jesus.

Consider some of the Biblical statistics about His Lordship

All the Ten Commandments (and all Biblical instruction) begin with His Lordship (“Have no other god’s before Me…love the Lord with all your heart,” Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 4:29, 5:7, 6:5, 10:12, 11:13,, 30:2,6,10, Matthew 12:30, Luke 10:27).

The early church was birthed with the proclamation that “Jesus is Lord.” 

  • Acts 2:36  “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified.

The book of Acts ends with Paul continuing to speak about the Lordship of Jesus.

  • Acts 28:30-31 And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him,  (31)  preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.

The first expansion of the church to non-Jews came about by “Preaching the Lord Jesus.” 

  • Acts 11:20 began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21  And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.

The designation “Lord” occurs 6,787 times in the Bible. The designation “Savior” is used only 37 times. Nowhere in the Bible is the popular phrase “personal Savior” found. The “Roman’s Road” salvation passage involves believing and confessing Jesus as Lord.

  • Romans 10:9  that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

When Jesus returns to the earth, He will wear a garment that expresses who He is forever (His eternal “brand”) “KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS.”

  • Revelation 19:11-16  And I saw Heaven opened. And behold, a white horse! And He sitting on him was called Faithful and True…  (12)  And His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head many crowns…(16)  And He has on His garment, and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

The book of Revelation references God’s throne (which pertains to His rule) 42 times.

  • Revelation 4:2  Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.

Christ’s Lordship is an essential element of His Kingdom, defined as “The active rulership of God.”   

Four Essential Questions to Ask Regarding His Lordship

1. Is Jesus both your Lord and Savior or are you trying to “be saved” without Him being your Lord?

2. Does the church you are a part of, and the Christianity you embrace, have the biblical aim, “As you received Jesus as Lord, keep on following Him…that He would have first place in everything” (Colossians 1:18-2:6).

3. What can you do to help the foundation of Christ’s Lordship to be in everything you do and among the church you are a part of?

4. How can you ensure your gospel presentation has His Lordship in it?

An Example of Consumer-Driven Christianity

If we don’t pursue walking with Jesus as both our “Lord and Savior” (Acts 2:36), then “Christianity”  will become more like Amazon instead of His Kingdom.  Instead of being about Him, it will be about us, His customers.

Amazon’s Vision Statement: “To be the earth’s most customer-centric company…” Amazon Christianity’s Vision Statement: “To be the earth’s most customer-centric church…”

Here is a true story from a friend who had been helping her daughter come back to Christ. She had been speaking to her about following Jesus as Lord and finding a church family she could walk with.

I was at the beauty shop with my daughter getting our hair done on Saturday. Of course, there is always a conversation in the three to four hours we are there. Our hairdresser is a Christian, and we have talked many times at length about the Lord. She even shared her testimony about how she was saved in her early 20s and battled a demonic presence, but finally overcame it through the Lord.

She asked my daughter if she and her husband were going anywhere to church. My daughter said no, but they really needed to find one and start going. She said “oh girl you should come to my church. It’s so big no one even hardly notices you’re there. No one asks you to do anything. You just come and go as you please and you don’t have to be responsible for anything (wow!)!!! I made a few comments to her about what she had said and then later when my daughter and I were alone I told her about the danger of Consumer Christianity.

God calls us to follow Jesus as both Lord and Savior. When “He has first place in everything,” we step into the best life possible. Let’s reject consumer-driven Christianity and freshly embrace Jesus as Lord!