Dying to Self: The Lordship of Jesus Christ
Dying to self and living under the Lordship of Christ is foundational for Christian discipleship. We can explore these foundational truths by exploring the following;
The word of God teaches us Jesus Christ is Lord (Luke 2:11).
The angels announced his Lordship at his birth. His Lordship is also connected with our salvation (Romans 10:9). “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The early Church preached on the Lordship of Jesus; “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” (Acts 2:36) “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Corinthians 4:5)
The Foundation of a Christian faith is the Lordship of Jesus Christ and our submission to Him.
His Lordship is the most important truth in the life of the disciples of Jesus.
Jesus is the Lord of the universe.
Because of his obedience to the will of His Father, God granted him the Lordship title over the entire universe. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11).
Jesus is the Lord of both the living and the dead (Romans 14:9).
There is a day coming when every knee bow down and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, but for us, as disciples of Jesus it is a moment by moment everyday confession. If we believe he is the Lord of our life, it has to be revealed in our total surrender and full submission.
He cannot be the Lord of a part of our life– He must be given full authority over our entire life (1 Thessalonians 5:23). If Jesus is not Lord of all, he is not Lord at all. We cannot serve two Lords (Matthew 6:24). The Bible teaches us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
Dying for self is a precondition to live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
For Jesus to be the Lord of our life, we must surrender all to him – absolute and total surrender. When we surrender all to Jesus, we acknowledge that he is the Lord and owner over our life and everything we have. When we fully surrender our life to his Lordship, it becomes easier for us to obey all that he has commanded us – including willingness to go wherever he sends us at any cost. If we call him Lord, but do not obey him, he is really not the Lord of our Life (Luke 6:46).
As the Lord of our life, he deserves reverence, honor, and obedience (Revelation 5:12).
However, the Lordship of Jesus Christ is often forgotten in the Church of Jesus Christ. We need to know his Lordship when we make a decision to become his disciples. A full revelation of the Lord Jesus is necessary for every disciple.
Jesus told Peter that it is through the revelation from the Father that He knew that Jesus Christ is the son of the living God; He is the beginning and the end; He is the image of the invisible God; He holds the keys of the past, present, and future; His Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and He is known as the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Colossians 1:15-23; Revelation 19:16).
We are called to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. This revelation will lead us to a complete surrender to his Lordship. As long as we live on this earth as disciples of Jesus, we are called to reflect his character, love, compassion, authority, and power in our lives and ministries. In the same way, in the future, we also will share in his full glory. Every disciple must admit that Jesus is the Lord of his/her life completely. Again, if Jesus is not 100% the Lord of our lives, He cannot be the Lord of our lives at all.
In John 2:5, Mary told the servants in Cana of Galilee, “Do whatever he tells you.” This is the key to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
As disciples, we are called to live meaningful, purposeful, and fruitful lives. We need to obey the Lord Jesus Christ as he calls us to “come” to Him and “follow” Him and then to “go” as his ambassadors to the nations. Unquestioned obedience to our Lord and master Jesus Christ will give us joyful, peaceful, and thankful lives.
The purpose of the coming of Jesus was to give us life, life in abundance (John 10:10). Maybe one of the reasons why we feel empty or half-filled is because we disobey Him and work against His plans. Exodus 19:5 says, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” 1 Samuel 15:22 says, “To obey is better than sacrifice.”
Jesus’ teachings contain many references to the need for obedience (Matthew 7:21).
He said that obedience to His Word is the proof of our love for Him (John 14:21). He not only taught this, but He set an example for us by being obedient to His Father (John 15:10). The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world to carry the sin of the world; His willingness to go to the cross displays how Christ’s love for His Father is closely tied to obedience to His will (Hebrews 10:9; John 5:30; Philippians 2:8). Without obedience, there cannot be the spiritual power to enter into the knowledge of the Father’s Word and will. Obedience is the true test of our love for Christ, fellowship with God in His will, and the secret to discovering God’s will for our life. Without obedience, we will not able to see and experience the blessings God has for us, and it will be impossible to live as Christ-like disciples (John 14:15, John 14:21-24).
Obedience is the nature of a disciple of Christ
The apostles also taught the need for obedience (Acts 5:29).
In Romans 1:5, Paul reveals how faith and obedience are inseparable. Therefore, those who claim to have faith ought to obey Christ (Romans 15:18). Paul teaches that we should fashion our obedience after Christ’s and that this is the only way we can truly bring glory to God (Philippians 2:5-8). According to James, our faith is dead without obedience (James 2:17, James 2:24, James 2:26). Many hear the truth, claim it, and proclaim it, but few act upon it (James 1:22, James 1:25). The apostle John also reminds us that those who disobey while claiming to be disciples are really hypocrites and liars (1 John 2:4).
Obedience is certain proof that Christ is in His disciples, and it allows His followers to never have to doubt that God loves them (1 John 3:18-22; 1 John 5:2-3). The more we obey Christ, the greater will be our joy at His presence. Obedience must be both the starting and finishing point of our Christian life. Without obedience faith is defective—true faith means to be fully surrendered to God’s will.
Two sides of the coin: love and obedience
We live in a world where people obey everything their gods or goddesses demand out of fear. True obedience for Christ comes out of complete love for Him. Obedience for the disciples is not so much a duty as it is a delight. We obey because that is where we find our satisfaction, not because we are bound to do so. Our obedience to Christ must come out of a deep love for Him and a complete joy of pleasing Him. Our love for Christ does not make submission to Him elective; it is still mandatory. Christ is still our Master, and our relationship with Him carries a great weight of responsibility. But we ought to serve Him as loving, devoted bond servants (Luke 17:7-10; Titus 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1).
Is Jesus the Lord of our whole being?
Is he the Lord of our body, of our soul and of our spirit?
Is He the Lord of our emotions, our thoughts, our possessions, and our relationships?
What does it require for Jesus to be the Lord of our entire life?
Global Disciples Canada is a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One-third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet. Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10% of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time where many of these people are within reach of a local church. Through our simple and effective strategy of training and coaching, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and help make disciples, connect with us today!
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