Jack Graham - He Is Lord
- Prayer Request
And this is the day of all days. This is Resurrection Day and we’re so grateful that you have joined us, so many of you online, on PowerPoint television and radio as well as so many right here in the room today. As in most years we find ourselves in the world in chaos and turmoil and we need a timeless message for today. And the most timeless truth of all time is the reality and the relevance of the resurrection for our lives. And there is a very simple truth that I’m going to share with you today, but it is a spectacular truth. It is the greatest good news the world has ever heard and it is this: Jesus Christ is Lord! Jesus is Lord! I'm speaking to you today on the Lordship of Jesus, the Lordship of Jesus Christ who is Lord. Lord of life, Lord of love, Lord of all!
In the book of Romans chapter 14, Paul is actually dealing with division and disputes within the Church. But he brings it all under the force of the fact that Christ is Lord. And verse 7 of Romans, verse 7 of 14 says: "For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s", we belong to the Lord, "For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living". And then verse 11, "for it is written, 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God'". And verse 12, the bottom line: "So then each of us will give an account of himself to God".
Jesus Christ is Lord. So let me share with you first this very real and relevant truth, it's a simple truth. The fact that Jesus is Lord. He proved His lordship in His supernatural birth, His virgin birth; His sinless, stainless life, no one but Jesus lived the perfect life; the pure Lamb of God. He never committed a sin though He was tempted in all points as we are tempted. He not only was born supernaturally and lived a sinless life, but His saving act on the cross and the resurrection. And then the promise of His soon return in all of this. Before He was born, after He was born and now forevermore He reigns, He rules as King of kings and Lord of lords! This is the core and critical and essential truth of the Gospel! Because the Christian faith is not a cause, it's not a creed, it's not a church; it is Christ and Christ alone who is Lord of all!
When I was just a child, I had the privileged of being raised in a wonderful Christian home and family, a godly heritage. So as a small boy, at the age of 6 I went forward under a tent on sawdust, literally, in our small town in Arkansas, and I publicly professed my faith in Jesus Christ. I was just a boy. I didn't know a lot, but I knew that I wanted Jesus to come into my life and to forgive me of all of my sin. I in essence gave all that I knew about me to all that I knew about Him. It was simple, childlike faith. And Jesus said, "Unless you're willing to become like a child and be converted, you'll never see the kingdom of God". And so I came as a little boy in childlike faith, and trusted Jesus as my Savior and Lord. I was baptized a couple of years later in testimony of my faith in Christ.
Fast-forward, age 15, I'm in a student camp, just south of Ft. Worth with our church. And I'm a young man, about to be a sophomore in high school, and making a decision about my life, which way am I going to go? Am I going to live for Christ? Am I going to really give my life to follow Jesus, or am I just going to go with the flow? So at that camp that summer, I heard about the Lordship of Jesus in my life. We sang a song, "I take hands off my life; it is no longer mine. I take hands off my life; let it be forever Thine". And it echoes in my soul to this day. And at that moment a miracle took place in my life when I believe I yielded completely my life to the Lordship of Christ. I was saved. Yes, I was saved.
And I'd given my life to follow the Lord as a child and as a young teenager, but now I understood something that I'd really never comprehended before and that is that the one who came and lived and died and rose and saved me has every right, not just for a place in my life or prominence in my life, but preeminence in my life! That Christ is to be the Lord of my life. And therefore, from that day forward every decision I make from the details to the dreams and all the rest in my life, I wanted to live under the lordship of Jesus. I was saved by the Lord. And then that boy who was saved, gave his life to follow the Lord. It’s impossible to become a Christian unless you confess Jesus as both your Savior and Lord.
Romans 10:9 and 10 says that "If we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. For with the heart we believe in the righteousness. With the heart man believes in the righteousness and with the mouth confesses to salvation". "Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved". What does it mean to be saved? "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved". To trust in the Lord. To believe and follow Jesus. And to be Lord of your life there are actually 747 times in the New Testament we’re told that Jesus is Lord. Twenty-four times Jesus is referenced as Savior and Jesus must be Savior to save us from our sins. But the Lord is the one who saves us. And so the focus of this message and the desire of my heart in bringing you this word today is what Paul was getting at in this passage, that no one lives to himself.
Remember, he is speaking to Christians in this passage. Certainly, open and inclusive of all who would come to Jesus, but specifically Paul is addressing believers, followers of Jesus and he’s reminding us all that none of us live to ourselves, that our live is not our own. That none of us die to ourselves. That whether we live or whether we die, we belong to the Lord in life as well as death. It's the same kind of thing that Paul is saying in Philippians 1:21: "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain". And this is true because of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Some of you are saved; you are, indeed, a Christian. But you are not surrendered, yielded, submitted to the Lordship of Christ in your life. And I’m praying that this will be the day that you totally and completely give your life to live it under the Lordship of Christ in life and in death. This is a simple truth: Jesus is Lord! The question is: Is He your Lord? Is He Lord of your life?
Now it’s possible to be in church and even to be a religious person and die without Christ, and even to say that He is Lord. Jesus spoke of this in Matthew chapter 7. He said, "Many in that day", the day of Judgment. He said, "Many will say unto me, ‘Lord, Lord’" But He said, "I will say to you, ‘Depart, I never knew you.’" To me it’s the most frightening passage of Scripture in all the Bible because here are people who think they’re saved, believe they’re going to heaven but they are not simply because in their mouth they are confessing Christ but in their heart they are not believing Christ. And I believe that there are people who are saying they are Christians in churches all around the world today who are not Christians because they have never truly confessed Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives. And I also believe that there are many Christians in churches today who are saved, who believe... You are a believer but as a follower of Jesus, you're not living under the authority of Jesus in your life. That He is both Lord and Savior.
So I simply ask you: invite you today that Jesus would be the unrivaled, undisputed Lord of your life! No rival! No retreat! You know, there was a time when Christians were persecuted and killed in the New Testament era for saying Jesus Christ is Lord. It will cost you something to do this. In the Roman era they were commanded to light some incense and say that Caesar is Lord. And because the early believers refused to bow the knee to Caesar, they said only Jesus is Lord, they were persecuted and killed and martyred. Even to this day there are Christians around the world that we should pray for, persecuted Christians everywhere who are dying because they dare to say, "Jesus, and Jesus only is Lord".
And so I look at my own life and think how dare I shy away, to silence myself from confessing before because I fear a little cultural cancelation. Or maybe I fear a little mocking of my friends. Or I'm unable or unwilling to stand and to say "Jesus Christ is Lord"! Don't miss this! This is the essential truth of the Gospel! So this is the relevant truth. It is the real and simple truth that Jesus is Lord. But it is also a reasonable truth. Why? Paul tells us why. He says that Christ both died and lived again, that He might be Lord. So Jesus and Jesus only has the right to rule our lives. It's a reasonable request because Christ died for us. He's the only one who did this for you. Jesus was not a political revolutionary, a spiritual mystic, a moral teacher, but rather the Savior and Lord who went to the cross; who came on a mission of mercy.
"God so loved the world that He gave His only Son". And Jesus was Lord even at the cross. He was in control of all things surrounding the cross. The Romans thought they were in control; the religious crowd thought they were in control; but Jesus commanded His life and He commanded His death because He is Lord! And the moment Jesus finished the work, He cried out, "Tetelestai, It is finished"! Mission is now accomplished. Salvation is complete. The work is done. And then the Bible says He bowed His head and in His own time and on His own terms He said, "Father, I commit My life to You". "Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit".
You see, no one took Jesus' life from Him; He voluntarily gave it. And He vicariously gave it in that He took our place. What we say is that Christ not only died for us, "God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". He died for us, but He also died as us! "He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God". So not only did He take our sins, He substituted His own life for us and took the holy wrath of God and judgment for all sin, yours and mine! He died for our sins and as our sins, to the degree that as He is dying, He's crying out, "Lama sabachthani"! "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani"! "My God, My God! Why have a You forsaken Me"? Because in that moment, God's dear and darling Son is bearing the weight of the world and all of its sins. And God the Father, "who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity" turned His back on His Son, delivered Him to death because of His love for you.
"For God so loved that He gave His Son". And so He has the right to rule our lives (stay with me) because He purchased us at the cross. "Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, but He washed it white as snow". And because He purchased our salvation, He paid the price for our salvation by His blood. We're not born again with corruptible things, but incorruptible things, the precious blood of Jesus. We are born again unto this Living Hope. And because He has purchased us by His blood and paid this price, He has the right to own us outright! To be our Master, to be the Lord of our lives! And so He is Lord because He purchased us and He is Lord because He now possesses us. Because the Scripture says that He not only died, but He lives again! He lives again!
That's the resurrection, of course. And not only did He live, He now lives and by His Spirit He lives in us! We are now possessed. No longer controlled and dominated and empowered by Satan and sin and the world, but now we are empowered, we are inhabited by the Spirit, the resurrected power and presence of Jesus Christ. This power in you is the resurrection power. The same power that brought Jesus out of the grave is alive, alive in you! He has the right, therefore, to possess you. He owns you; you belong to Him. He purchased each one of us and now He possesses us. I don't know who said it first, but it's true: that for some Christians Christ is present but He's not president; He's dormant but not dominant; He is Savior but not Sovereign!
Christ died and lived again that He might be Lord of all. Any area that is not yielded to the Lordship of Jesus in our lives, any area is space for Satan to work, to become a bridgehead for the devil to do his dirty work in our lives. That's why I said just a moment ago, our eyes, our ears, our hands, our bodies, our brains, our minds, our morals, it's all His! And so the relevance of the Lordship of Christ, Christ is Lord, the reality of it is that He purchased us and He possesses us. "Christ in you the hope of glory". The hope of heaven. Christ in you.
And what I learned about the time I surrendered and yielded my life fully to the Lord as a teenager. What I learned at that point, that it wasn't my life to live but that He would live His life through me. That this Christian life is impossible in myself, but if I would yield to Christ and be willing to put on Christ and not provide for the lust of the flesh or plan on the lust of the flesh, if I would possess Christ and allow Jesus to be the Lord of... Sometimes we hear language like this: "Well, I trusted Jesus as my Savior and then later on He became my Lord". No, He doesn't become your Lord. He is Lord! He is Lord! The question is: Have I yielded and surrendered and submitted my life to His Lordship? The result of this Lordship in my life is absolute surrender! My ambitions, my attitude, my actions, my activities. And it also means an unashamed confession of Him, to my family, to my friends; co-workers, neighbors.
Because what does the Scripture say here? It says that every one will give an account of his life to God. If you are unsaved, if you do not know Christ, if you've never believed or received Christ and confessed Him as your Lord and Savior, there is a judgment coming, a final judgment. And it's a terrible judgment. And at that judgment all who have not believed and trusted in Christ are cast into eternity, into hell forever and ever and ever and ever. The biggest lie of Satan in our generation, perhaps any generation, is that you're not accountable for your actions, that you're not accountable for what you do with your life. Your life is God's gift to you; what you do with your life is your gift back to Him. Don't think that you can live your life without God, no time for God, no place for God in your life; no Jesus in your life. A skeptic, a cynic, whatever, an unbeliever.
Don't think that you can then die, pull the grave over yourself and hide from God forever. No! All will give an account to God! Everyone! That's why the Bible says in so many ways, prepare to meet your God! Are you prepared to meet God? But not only will there be a judgment of those who do not know into everlasting punishment, but the Bible talks about the judgment of Christians and not as sinners, because our judgment took place at the cross when Christ died for our sins. You won't be judged for your sins, for your salvation. That already takes place when you trust in Christ as Lord and Savior. But every believer, he's talking again to believers here, must give an account to God for our lives. This is the judge of our service, of our sonship, what we do with the lives that we've been given. It's a picture of rewards that are given to those who win the prize by faithfully and fully serving the Lord.
So if you're a fringe kind of person and go to church when you feel like it, or not at all much. You never serve the Lord, you never give back, not living for the Lord. There is an accountability for this, not only in this life, but when we stand face to face with Christ. As Stephen Olford, the great British preacher once said, "Some will have nothing but the charred embers of a wasted life to give to Jesus". I don't want to waste my life because He is worthy of everything that I have and everything that you have. "To live is Christ, to die is gain". To live under His control, to live under His claim. And this is so comforting. This is a rational and relevant truth. It's so comforting to know that He in control; that I don't have to call all the shots, that I don't have to make all the decisions. But if I would pray and seek God and open His Word, that His Spirit would lead me, that the Lord will lead me.
"As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the children of God"! And so we live now Easter every day because we are inhabited, we are ruled, we are given to the Lordship of Christ completely and totally. So we have hope and His love and we have peace and we have purpose because now is an unashamed confession and it is a complete abandonment to the Lord. Is it perfect for you every day, Jack Graham? No, it’s not perfect every day. There are times that I take back the things that I have to give back to the Lord again. Never perfect, but we’re on our way when we’re living under the authority and name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He saved the day. That’s what He did.
If you've messed up your life in some way, if you've lived as though God doesn't even exist, you've never had time for God, He saved the day. He saved this day for you. This is your day; this is God's day! "Today is the day of salvation". Today is the resurrection day and it's your resurrection day! So I'm going to ask that every head be bowed and every eye closed all over this room and wherever you are, watching on a screen somewhere, online. The Scripture says that "At the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God".
This is your day; this is your destiny, whether you're 8 or 98, probably somewhere in-between. You who've really had no time for Jesus, no time for God, no time to follow Him, this is your time because your sin is breaking you down. Your sin is destroying your life. But Christ took your sin to the cross. He was buried and on the third day He rose; He came out of the grave. He is Lord. Will you now call on His name and confess His name? Jesus Christ is Lord, by receiving Him and trusting Him. It's not enough just to say it. The question is: Do you believe it? So pray this prayer:
Lord Jesus, I invite You to be my Savior. I trust You as my Master, Savior, Friend. I believe You died for me and rose again. And I now confess You and claim You as You have claimed me, as You have called me to Yourself. I say yes, Lord. Yes, Lord I will follow You.