Adrian Rogers - His Unquestioned Lordship
Find Luke chapter 2. It's the story of the birth of the baby of Bethlehem. Question: who is this child? The wrong answers are multitudinous, infinite. There is one right answer. Let's look in verse 11 of Luke chapter 2, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord". That's who He is, "a Savior, who is Christ the Lord". May I ask you a personal question? Thank you. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord? That's the first question. You do? Then may I ask you another question? Is He your Lord?
Now, don't answer easily, because I want you to think about it. It's one thing to say, "Yea, verily, I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord". But the second question follows: is He your Lord? Let's be more specific. Is He Lord of your tongue? Is He Lord of your time? Is He Lord of your treasure? Is He Lord of your talents? Is He Lord of your testimony? Is He truly Lord? Is He Lord in deed as well as word? It's one thing to sing "Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all". It's another thing to mean it. Jesus Christ is called "Lord" far more than He is called "Savior". He's called "Lord" 747 times in the New Testament. He is Lord. Every so often someone says, "Well, I decided to make Him Lord". Too late for that. He is Lord.
Acts chapter 2 verse 36, "Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ". The question is not, "Will you make Him Lord"? The question is, "Will you submit to His Lordship". Can you imagine what it meant to those Jewish shepherds that night to hear the angels say, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord". Or Mary to hear, "Thou shalt call His name Jesus"? What does that word Lord mean? What did it mean to these shepherds? It meant Jehovah to them. Jehovah, God Almighty. When the angel said, "A Savior which is Christ the Lord," the angel was saying, "He is co-equal, co-eternal with the Almighty". The angel said, "You'll call His name Jesus".
That's what Mary was told, the earthly mother of Jesus. There's an Old Testament name, Jesus, only it's pronounced in the Old Testament Joshua. Yeshua. Do you know what it means? "Jehovah saves". This baby is the Jehovah that saves. That name Jehovah is used 7,000 times in the Old Testament and in the King James Version of the Scripture that I'm preaching from, is translated Lord. "Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord". Now, when a pious Jew was reading the Scripture and he came to that word that's translated Lord, Jehovah, Lord, when he came to that, he would bow his head and worship. He would never even pronounce the word; he held it in such awe. When a scribe was translating the Scriptures and he came to that word, he would put down his old pen and get a new pen just to write that word. And then the angel said, "There's born a Savior who is Christ the Lord". His given name is "Jehovah saves".
Now, He is the Lord. For these shepherds to bow and worship Him is an amazing thing. Think of what that said in that day. And think of what it meant for a Gentile to say in that day, "He is Lord," because Rome held sway over the world at that time. And the Emperor was Caesar. And Caesar was more than an emperor to these people. He was a god to them. And in order to get along in the kingdom, you had to say "Kaisar kurios," "Caesar is Lord". But now for a pious Jew to say, "This baby is Lord" was a costly thing. For a Gentile to say, "This baby is Lord" was a costly thing, because when they said that, they were saying, "Caesar is not Lord". There is one Lord and His name is Jesus. That's the reason so many of them were put to death. They could've gotten along splendidly if they had said, "Jesus is a god, and we'll put Him in a little niche in the Pantheon with all of the other gods," but they wouldn't say that. They said, "Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved".
Read that in Acts chapter 4 and verse 12. That's why they were thrown to the lions in the coliseums. I can see a little crowd there huddled in the coliseum, and they are singing, very much like we sang this morning, "He is Lord, He is Lord. He is risen from the dead and He is Lord," just before their blood would redden the mouths of those lions. I don't know it happened this way, but it could. When the apostle Paul laid his head on that chopping block, just before his head toppled into a basket and his blood ran down into the Tiber River there, the executioner may have said to him, "Do you have any last words"? I believe he would have said, "Yes, Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord".
Now, I'm asking this question. Not, "Do you believe in His Lordship"? I'm asking this question this Christmas: is Christ your Lord? I want to mention three things that are true if Christ is your Lord. And I pray God will write them upon your heart if you are willing to confess Him as Lordship. Number one, the confession of His Lordship secures salvation. Now that's the point. Let me give you the principle. The principle is this: that we cannot receive what Jesus gives and refuse who Jesus is. Now let me say that again. You cannot receive what Jesus gives, that's salvation, and refuse who Jesus is, that is, He is Lord. You see, look again in Luke chapter 2 verses 10 and 11, "And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior.'" Yes, He is a Savior, but what kind of a Savior? "'A Savior which is Christ the Lord.'"
What is the great need in the world today? Is it information? We're drowning in a sea of information. Knowledge may double, truth never. If it is information that we need, God would have sent to us an educator. What is the need in the world today? Is it technology? We're afraid of our technology today. If technology had been the need, God would have sent a scientist. What is the need in the world? Is it money? Do you think that your problems would be solved if you had more money? If money had been the need, God would've sent an economist. Do you think the need is more leisure? Maybe God should have sent an entertainer. No. Our great need is salvation. Is it not? And so God sent a Savior. And I'm amazed and wondered and blessed that He sent the message to humble shepherds. And old Herod, the king, never did quite get it. He never did quite understand. But shepherds, humble shepherds understood the message. Why? Because God has, "Hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and has revealed them unto babes." Matthew 11:25.
Do you want to understand who Jesus Christ is today? Then lay your intellectual pride in the dust and come to Him and say, "Lord, reveal this truth to me". Sing it and say it, "O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord". Now, I said that the confession of His Lordship secures salvation. That's the only way to be saved. Put in your margin Romans 10 verses 9 and 10. Listen to it. This is black print on white paper. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus". Do you know what the Greek construction literally is? "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus is Lord, that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus is Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation".
What is the confession? Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Lord. Now, are you saved? Before you answer, may I ask you, "Is Christ your Lord"? Now if Christ is not your Lord, God sent me to tell you, you're not saved. You say, "Well, I accepted Him as Savior". The Bible never says accept Him as Savior. The Bible says receive Him. When I got married, I didn't receive Joyce as housekeeper. I took Joyce. I said, "I do". And I meant it. I gave all of me to all of her. I've learned a lot more about me and a whole lot more about her since that time. I learned what I did when I said, "I do". But I meant it when I said, "I do". You cannot come to Jesus Christ with your fingers crossed behind your back and say, "Well, I'll have a little Saviorhood today but no Lordship, thank you". It's not a cafeteria line.
One of the greatest preachers ever lived was Charles Haden Spurgeon. Let me quote. And I copied it out for you. Listen to it. Spurgeon said, "If the convert declares that he knows the Lord's will but doesn't mean to attend to it, it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved". Did you hear that? Listen to it again, "If the convert declares that he knows the Lord's will but doesn't mean to attend to it, it is your duty, your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Don't imagine the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior while they are wedded to their idols and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so, I tell them a lie. I pervert the Gospel. I insult Christ. I turn the grace of God into lasciviousness".
Now the great Spurgeon was not saying, "You're saved by good works". But he's saying, "You're saved by Someone who is the Lord". He is the Lord. "A Savior which is Christ the Lord". You cannot have a, "Come in, Savior," and a, "Stay out, Lord," type of salvation. What is it all about? What is the bottom line? Why did Jesus step out of Heaven? Why did He walk the shores of Galilee? Why did He settle the dust with His blood? Why? May I give you a Scripture? Listen to it. Romans 14 verse 9, "For to this end," here's the bottom line, here's the purpose, listen, "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and the living". That's it. That's it. That's a good verse to memorize, is it not?
Let me give it again. Romans chapter 14 and verse 9. And so, listen, the confession of His Lordship secures salvation. I cannot receive what Jesus gives and refuse who Jesus is. Will you say Amen to that? Now, you may be waltzing into Hell thinking you're going to Heaven because you have never, ever taken self off the throne and received the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is by grace, but God does not save rebels. Have you bowed the knee to Jesus Christ? I didn't say tip the hat. I don't care what you believe about Him, have you bowed the knee to Jesus? What is the principle? You cannot receive what Jesus gives and refuse who Jesus is. "Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ," the what? "The Lord".
All right now, here's the second thing I want to lay on your heart. The confession of Christ as Lord not only secures salvation, the confession of Christ as Lord simplifies service. Here's the principle. We cannot confess Him as Lord and serve any other master. Now if He's Lord then He is your Master. He, Himself said in Matthew chapter 6 and verse 24, "No man can serve two masters". When you said "Yes" to Jesus Christ, when you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, listen to me; that was the last independent decision you ever made. From there on you don't make any more independent decisions. He is Lord. He is Master. And look in Luke chapter 2 verse 17, "And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child". Their lives now are transformed. They are going about with a testimony. Their lives and their decisions are drastically changed and narrowed.
Some years ago I heard about a young pastor who came to a church, a moderately small church, about 300 members. And one of the giddy ladies in that church said to him, "You're going to have a difficult time trying to please all 300 of us". He said, "Madam, there's only one I'm going to try to please; His name is Jesus. If I please Him that ought to be good enough for the rest of you". Jesus. You see, He is the One that we serve. We don't serve other people. Now, there's only one question that you ask after you bow the knee to Jesus Christ and receive Him as Lord and Master and Savior of your life. It's the question that the apostle Paul asked on the road to Damascus, "Lord, what would You have me to do"? That's it. "Lord, what do You want me to do"?
You see, it simplifies service. "Lord, what do You want"? The best advice that anybody ever gave to another person was the advice that Mary gave that day when Jesus was turning water into wine, before He did it. Mary said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it". You'll never get better advice than that. "Whatever He says to you, do it". "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do"? Now, my life is to please Jesus. If I please Jesus, it doesn't matter whom I displease. If I displease Jesus, it really doesn't matter who I please. And the way to please Jesus is to obey the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, I say it simplifies service. Have you ever decided to go out to eat? We all have; we get in the automobile, "So, where do you want to go? Well, you want some Chinese"? "I don't know". "You want to go Mexican"? "How about Italian"?
And here's the car, it's going this way all through the neighborhood like this. Turn here and you turn there. You're not going anywhere. But have you ever decided that you're going to a place before you get in the automobile? It saves a lot of crooks and turns, doesn't it? You see, once you know that your life is under His control, you don't have to make so many little decisions because you have made one big decision. Now it doesn't mean that you don't have to pray and ask Him for guidance. But listen, it is the last independent decision you'll ever make. "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all". Now, when you say, "Christ is Lord," that doesn't mean that it is "Christ and". It's never Christ and self, or Christ and the world. It is Christ or self, and Christ or the world. You see, He is Alpha and Omega. That means He's the bookends. You don't add anything to the Lord Jesus Christ. Not Christ and not Christ after.
Let me give you a passage of Scripture I copied out for you. You're in Luke 2. Go to Luke 9 and look in verse 57 to 62. Now, Jesus now has those who want to follow Him. "And it came to pass, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto Him, 'Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.' And Jesus said unto him, 'Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man,'" that was Jesus' term for Himself, "'the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.' And He said unto another, 'Follow me.' But he said, 'Lord, suffer me first,'" just underscore that, "'me first.'" Now that's the religion in America. We have "In God We Trust" on our money, but "me first" on our hearts. Me first.
"'Suffer me first, allow me first to go and bury my father.' Jesus said unto him, 'Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.' And another also said, 'Lord, I will follow Thee: but let me first, let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.' And Jesus said unto him, 'No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of Heaven.'" "'Suffer me first.'" "'Allow me first.'" May I tell you, if Jesus Christ doesn't come first, He doesn't come at all! You see, "No one can serve two masters". Jesus said that. It's absolutely, totally impossible to serve two masters. His Lordship means that He's first. It's summed up in Matthew chapter 6 verse 33, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you". When you say it and mean it that Jesus Christ is Lord, say it and mean it, it secures salvation. When you say it and mean it, it simplifies service.
Now here's the third thing. When you confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, that subdues Satan. The confession of His Lordship subdues Satan. Here's the principle. The principle is this: we need not fear what Satan does when we know who Jesus is, when we know who Jesus is! He is Lord. The devil hopes you never really truly understand the authority and the power that you have when the Lord of Heaven and Earth lives in your hearts. Look in Luke 2 verses 10 and 11, "And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.'" There's one fear that removes all other fears, and it's the fear of God. And this baby was born that He might take away fear. You see, he calls Him, "A Savior who is Christ the Lord". The word, Christ, look at it. Comes from the Greek word, Christos, which is a translation of the Old Testament word translated, Messiah. When he says He is, "Christ the Lord," it means He is the Messiah.
Well, who is the Messiah? Why did the Messiah come? To crush Satan's kingdom. Do you know the first prophecy in the Bible? It's found back in the book of Genesis, cha, Genesis chapter 3 verses 14 and 15. Listen to it. God is addressing Satan. Here he's taken the form of a serpent. "And the Lord said unto the serpent, 'Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all the cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.'" Now verse 15, here's the first prophecy in the Bible, "'And I will put enmity,'" boys and girls, that means warfare. "'I will put warfare between thee and the woman,'" that is, between the serpent and the woman, "'and between thy seed and her seed,'" that is, the descendants of the serpent, Satan's devilish kingdom, and the descendent of the woman, "'between thy seed and her seed; it,'" the seed of the woman, "'shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.'"
"Pastor, what on earth is all of that about"? Well, first of all, let me say it's a very strange passage. The old rabbis used to scratch their heads and look at this. They say, "We don't understand this. The seed of the woman? It's not the woman that has seed". The seed comes from the man, not the woman. Notice Adam is there, but Adam is not mentioned at all. Adam is out of this thing. Now here's a woman who's going to have decadency. The seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. "The seed of the serpent is going to bruise the heel of this Child, but He's going to crush your head. He's going to put His heel on your head and crush it". A virgin-born child, a little baby! The seed of a virgin is going to crush the serpent's head. And friend, when you receive that Child into your life, the crucified, risen Son of God, you have a power in you that is awesome.
You say, "Well, I'm not afraid of the devil". That's not enough. He ought to be afraid of you. You have, when you confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, you have awesome power in you. To confess that Jesus is Lord subdues Satan. Listen to Revelation chapter 12 and verse 11, "And they overcame him," whom? The serpent, "by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. And they loved not their lives unto death". What is your testimony? Your testimony is; "That Jesus Christ is Lord. I belong to Him and He belongs to me".
A great Scripture here to put in your margin is Hebrews chapter 2 and verse 14, "For as much as the children are partakers of flesh and blood," he's talking about us now, the children of Adam. We're partakers of flesh and blood. Everybody here is in flesh and blood. That's right, that's the suit you wore this morning, flesh and blood. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise," now speaking of Jesus, "took part of the same; that God," that is, took flesh and blood, "that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil".
Why did Jesus take flesh and blood? Why did He step out of the glory? Why the incarnation? Why the virgin birth? So that He might die. God in Spirit cannot die. John 4 verse 24, "God is spirit and they that worship Him worship Him in spirit and in truth". Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is death". Ezekiel 18 verse 4, "The soul that sinneth, it must surely die". And Hebrews 9:22, "Without shedding of blood is no remission". Jesus had to take flesh and blood that He might become a sacrifice upon that cross. But in so doing, He brought Satan's kingdom crashing down. I got a letter awhile back:
Dear Dr. Rogers, I love the cute little stories you tell about children. I've been a kindergarten teacher for 21 years. And just when I think I've heard it all, something else will pop out of their little mouths. I thought you would appreciate this. Last year we were making Santa Claus when one of my students asked me whose birthday it was. I told him, "Jesus". Another child said, "I thought He got stabbed on the cross". Someone else spoke up and said, "It's okay, because He busted out of the rocks"!
Boy, I like that. He got stabbed on the cross, friend. But He busted out of the rocks, didn't He. This kindergarten teacher said, "I didn't say anything else. Everyone seemed to be satisfied with the last answer". When you say, "My sin is under the blood, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior," when you bring your life in alliance with His divine will and you simplify service by saying, "I will follow Him, any time, any place, anywhere, any cost," then friend, you're going to find out that Satan will cower before you. He trembles! He trembles at a holy Christian. He cowers before a man of God! So long we've said, "Devil, if you leave me alone, I'll leave you alone". That's not good enough. Friend, we need to be on the offensive. The Devil will try to mold you in to this world's system. When you not only believe it in your heart but confess it with your mouth, you know what's going to happen? You will get bolder and bolder.
People say, "Well, when I get saved, what am I going to do about that old crowd? You think I need to leave the old crowd, Pastor"? Nope. You just confess Jesus is Lord; they'll leave you. You get bold in the Lord, you're going to have to go out and get them back so you can tell them about Jesus. What does the confession of the Lordship of Jesus Christ do? It'll do the same thing for you it did for these shepherds. It secures salvation. It simplifies service. It subdues Satan! Because, my precious friend, He is Lord! Do you believe it? Now, is He your Lord? May I ask you one last question and I'll wrap this up. And by the way, I'm not asking you if you will confess Him as Lord. You will. You will. "'As I live', saith the Lord, 'every knee shall bow to Me and every tongue shall confess to God.'" Romans 14:11. And then Philippians 2:9-11, "God has given Him a name that is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow of things in Heaven and things in Earth and things under the Earth and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father".
Hitler will bow his head and say, "Jesus is Lord". Saddam Hussein will bow and say that, "Jesus is Lord". Satan himself will bow on his thorny knees and say that, "Jesus Christ is Lord". And you will, one of these days. They were in a revival meeting. They were giving an invitation and a girl sitting back in the back was crying. A personal worker went back there and said, "Would you come forward and receive Jesus"? She said, "No, there're too many people here. I'm afraid. I'd like to be saved, but I want to be saved back here". The worker said, "I'm sorry. You can't be saved back here. You want to be saved you have got to come forward". And he went back and left her there crying. The next night, the same thing happened. She was under deep conviction, crying. He went back to her and said, "Would you come and acknowledge Christ as your Savior and Lord"? She said, "No, I can't do that. I just can't do that. Can't I be saved back here"? He said, "Nope. If You want to be saved, you've got to be saved down at the front".
I know what you're thinking. Let me finish. The third night, the third night, he went back. She was convulsed in tears. And said, "Young lady, won't you come and acknowledge Christ as your Lord and Savior"? She said, "I will. Oh yes, I will". She said, "I'll go anywhere, I'll do anything, if I can have peace with God". He said, "Now you don't need to come forward. You can be saved back here". Jesus said in Mark chapter 8 and verse 38, "If you're ashamed of Me and My word before this sinful and adulterous generation, I'll be ashamed of you when I come in the glory of the Father with the holy angels". That's why I'm going to give an invitation this morning. I'm going to ask this morning, people in this building who would say, "Yes, I believe He's Lord. And openly and publicly I'm letting it be known that I'm not ashamed of Him". Let's bow our heads in prayer. Father God, I pray that many will come today and say, "Yes" to Christ. And precious friend, if you want to be saved, would you pray a prayer like this:
Dear God, I'm a sinner and I'm lost. And I need to be saved. And I want to be saved. Jesus, I believe You are Christ the Lord. And I open my heart and I receive You into my life as my Savior, my Lord, my God, my Master, my King. Now I'm weak and you're strong. And I know that I can't be saved by good works. It's a gift. But Lord, I do mean business. I yield my life to You. I trust You now as my Savior, and I yield to You as my Lord. Thank You for saving me. Amen.