Tony Evans - Jesus The Lord
Last time, we looked at the name "Christ," which is "the Anointed One," the one dubbed and designated by God to fulfill the offices of prophet, priest, and King for his people. Today I want to look at the name, "Lord". When the fullest expression of Jesus is given, it is given in this phrase, "the Lord Jesus Christ". "Jesus" is his human name. "Christ" is his office. "Lord" is his title. We're told that, "If you confess with your mouth," verse 9, "the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved". Now, something about that ought to catch your attention, and that is that that verse says that there are two things you need to get saved. Says you must confess with your mouth, and you must believe in your heart, and when you do those two things, you will be saved.
Now, what ought to capture your attention about that is that there is a dual requirement for salvation, which goes against so many other Scriptures that do not give you a dual requirement of salvation. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life". "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved". He that believeth shall be converted. Over and over again, we're only told that, to be saved, you must place faith alone in Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. But in this passage, we're told you've gotta do two things: You've got to not only believe, but you must also confess if you're going to be saved. Which is it? Must I do one thing, or is there a dual requirement?
The word "saved" has three tenses to it: There's salvation in the past from the penalty of sin, there is salvation in the future from the very presence of sin, and then there is salvation in the present from the power of sin, but the word "saved" is used of all three. So when you see the word "saved," you've gotta ask, "Which tense is he referring to"? It is in understanding which "saved" he's referring to that will help you to make sense of the verse. In fact, he helps us a little bit in verse 10, when he says in verse 10, that "With the heart, a person believes, resulting in righteousness". So you're made righteous simply by the belief, but he says you're not saved until you confess.
So I would like to submit to you that he is not talking here about going to heaven. He's talking about bringing heaven to you. He's not talking about salvation past from the penalty of sin or salvation future from the presence of sin. He's talking about salvation present from the power of sin and its agents, the world, the flesh, and the devil, and the circumstances that are the result of all three. He's speaking present tense because he's speaking to believers, not nonbelievers. Now, by way of introduction, this becomes a staggering concept because he says, to be saved in the present, not talking about going to heaven but having heaven come to you, to be saved in history, to be delivered in history, to find victory in history, to be an overcomer in history demands more than your faith in Christ. It demands your confession of Jesus as Lord. So that brings up his name, "Lord".
Acts 2:36, Peter is preaching a sermon, and he says that "God hath made Jesus Christ and Lord". The word "Lord," from the Greek word "kurios," is used in the Septuagint. The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Old Testament as the word for "Yahweh," and "Yahweh" is the Old Testament word for "God". So when the word is attached to Jesus, it is a reference to his deity, the fact that he is God. This got Jesus in great trouble in Matthew chapter 22, because, in Matthew chapter 22, the Pharisees are struggling with the fact that they believe Messiah was to be a man, but that was all they understood. So Jesus comes to him and says, "Well, if Messiah is only a man, then why would David say his son was also his Lord"?
Psalm 110, verse 1. Why would David say that the son who would come from him would also be the Master over him? It says they didn't know how to answer him. But that's what got him killed in Matthew chapter 26, verses 40, 41, and 43, and verses 63 to 65. It says, "This man makes himself to be the Son of God. Crucify him". What crucified Jesus was that his claim to be Lord, Yahweh of the Old Testament. So when the Bible says that his name is the Lord Jesus Christ, it is bringing his deity, Lord, alongside of his humanity, Jesus, fulfilling the office of Christ. So God, "Lord"; Jesus, "man"; Christ, "office". Anointed One, Prophet, Priest, and King. He says that Jesus Christ must be confessed as Lord, supreme ruler, absolute sovereign. Over and over again in Scripture, Jesus Christ is proclaimed as Lord of all.
In Ephesians chapter 1, verses 22 and 23, it says, "everything is underneath Christ," that he is Lord. The Bible declares over and over again that all of life is to be defined by Jesus Christ. Romans chapter 14, verses 8 and 9, "Whether we live, we live unto the Lord. When we die, we die unto the Lord. Whether we live or die, it's always for the Lord," referring to Jesus Christ. So when you say, "Lord," you are saying that he is the Son of God. He is deity. And you are also recognizing once you have accepted him as supreme ruler. When Thomas, Doubting Thomas in John 20, verse 28, fell at his feet, he says, "My Lord, my God". He recognized "Lord" meant he was God in human flesh. So when you have the name "Lord," you are giving recognition of who he is.
Now, you must believe him to be the Lord, to be saved, but you must confess Him as the Lord for your salvation to work. There are many Christians on their way to heaven, well, if you're a Christian, you're on your way to heaven, Christians who are on their way to heaven, who have to wait till they get there to see it because while they have trusted Jesus Christ, they have not confessed him. He says that it is in the confession of Jesus as Lord that you are saved. You get righteousness by your faith in Christ, verse 10, says, but you only get delivered by your confession of Christ. What is missing today in the church and among Christians is to failure to recognize and place themselves underneath the Lordship of Jesus Christ, to recognize his comprehensive supremacy over all of life. There is no part of life that sits outside of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Colossians chapter 3, verse 17, "whether it's in word or deed, it must all be done to the Lord," referring to Jesus Christ. And not only must you believe that, you must confess that. The word "confess" is a word that means, "to acknowledge something". It means to let it be known that you agree with this. "To confess" means "to affirm something". He says, if you want God from heaven to join you in history, there must not only be the belief in Jesus, there must also be the confession of Jesus in order to be saved. On the cross, Jesus paid for your sins, but with the Resurrection, he provides for your life. That's why Romans 10, says, "We are saved by his life".
Everybody believes in the substitutionary death, but not everybody understands the substitutionary life, that he says, "Now that we are saved", in Romans 5: 10, he says, "Now that we are saved and justified, we can now be delivered in life," the privilege that only Christians have. But you only get it when you know the name "Lord" and when you affirm it publicly. You can get "saved," in the traditional use of the word, "go to heaven," privately. In order for now your salvation to work in history and not only guarantee your eternity, there must be the confession, and that means public agreement. "To confess" is "to advertise your association with the Lord". When you were baptized, as I hope all of us as believers have been, that was supposed to be your introduction to your public proclamation. Your baptism was supposed to inaugurate you that you are not a secret follower of Christ but a public associate of Christ. You are to declare by life and lips the fact that you are identified with, associated with, and under the rulership of the Lord Jesus Christ because, as Lord, he's over all.
It says in John chapter 12, that the Jewish leaders who believed in him, verses 42 and 43, it says, "They believed in him, but they would not confess him openly for fear of the Jews". Says they were saved, "They believed in him," but they would not because they didn't know how other folk were gonna react, and they were scared about what would happen if they made it known that they belonged to Christ and were underneath the rulership of Christ. The failure to confess, to publicly acknowledge your association with Jesus Christ blocks you being delivered in history. Let me put it another way. You can't skip Christ and get attention from God. 1 John 5:23, says, "If you deny the Son, you deny the Father". The confession issue has to do with public association, public identification, and rulership by Jesus Christ.
See, a lot of us, as Christians, don't want Jesus to overrule us. We don't want him to be our commanding officer, our Lord. We love the title. What we don't like often is the confession of it, that is, the submitting to it, the recognizing, Jesus said in Luke chapter 6, he says, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not what I say? You're usin' the terms. You're saying, 'Lord,' but when I tell you somethin', you're telling' me what you think, how you feel, how you were raised, what your mom and daddy said, what the media said, what your friends said. No, the question is, 'Am I your Lord? Am I your sovereign? Am I your ruler?'" Confession means that, if you are accused of being a follower of Christ, there's enough evidence to convict ya, and you won't be found innocent of all charges. It means there is no question, when the service is over, and you're not in the Christian convenient place where nobody's disagreeing with you, where everybody is with you, that out there, they know where you stand.
We live in a day where there's no shame. They want you to accept that which is outside of what is acceptable to a holy God. Jesus says in Matthew chapter 10, he says, "If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father. And if you confess me before men, I will confess you before my Father". He says, "Your confession or denial will affect what my Daddy does or does not do. If you are ashamed of me out there, then I'mma be ashamed of you. I'm good enough to take ya to heaven, but you wanna keep quiet about me on earth". I'm not talkin' about being bombastic. I'm not talking about, you know, not working and talking about Jesus when you supposed to be doing your job at work. What I'm talking about is shying away from the identification. That's what I'm talking about. Shying away that, "I am what I am, and I do what I do because of my identification with Jesus Christ, which then qualifies me", watch this, "it qualifies me to call on his name".
You see that in the text? He says in Romans chapter 10, "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved, or delivered". Will be saved or delivered. But he's not talkin' about goin' to heaven. That's not the qualification for goin' to heaven. He's talkin' about being delivered in history from the world, the flesh, the devil, and being able to overcome. I love Revelation 12, verse 11. Revelation 12, verse 11, says, "And they overcame him by the word of their testimony". They had to speak the Word, they had to testify about their association and identification. And those who call on the name of the Lord, because they've confessed the name of the Lord, will find deliverance in history. You cannot be ashamed of him out there but then call on him out there to turn this around, to overcome this in your life, to beat back the satanic attack.
One of the reasons we have so little deliverance is that we have so little confession, that is, public association with Jesus Christ and submission to his authority. You must confess in order to be free to call. But "He that calls on the name of the Lord," because they have confessed the name of the Lord, the promises, "he will not be disappointed". He says God will break in. So there is no area of your life to which he cannot speak into. There's no area of your life, your work, your finances, your relationships, your attitude, there is no area he can't speak into and overrule, and until the lordship question is settled, heaven will stay a long way away, and his divine presence, intervention, transformation, deliverance, healing that you could have and should have will be denied you. He will say, "No," because he doesn't wanna help you to deny his Son further, but he who calls on the name of the Lord.
Let me just read this to you, Colossians 1. You need to hear it because, see, here's the problem: For a lot of Christians, Jesus is... What shall I say? He's prominent but not yet preeminent. So let me read you chapter 1, just a few verses of Colossians, where Paul writes these words about Jesus. He says in verse 15, "For he, Jesus, is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, and authorities. All things have been created through him and for him".
Now, let me say that again. "All things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church, and he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he himself will come to have first place in everything". There is nothing that is to sit outside of him. There is no subject matter, no education, no accomplishment, no business that belongs in the hands of a Christian to which he is to be excluded because, when that business goes left, you're gon' call on him. When that relationship goes left, you're gon' call on him.
When that health goes left, you're gon' call on him, and he's gon' wanna know, when you called on him, did you confess him? 'Cause everything is to be attached to him. And when you come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and I understand we do not do it perfectly in our humanity, but you have got to accept to do it progressively, to grow in your knowledge of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and that leads to the concluding verse in Philippians chapter 2, where he says in verse 9, "For this reason, God hath highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven, of those who are on earth, of those who are underneath the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord".
God just doesn't want you to confess Jesus. He just doesn't want you to confess Jesus Christ. He wants you to confess that Jesus is Lord. Why? To the glory of the Father, which means God gets excited when he sees you recognize the Lordship of Jesus Christ. He gets discouraged when he sees us, as believers, deny the Lordship, the rulership, and fail to confess the ownership of Jesus Christ. But when we do that, we begin to honor and glorify the Father, which gives him our undivided attention. If you're here today and God has saved you, if you've been forgiven for all of your sins and you have eternity waiting for you, God has delivered you from certain death.
So it ought not be that hard. It's the law of the kingdom for you to bring your life, your dreams, your hopes, your desires, your relationships, and lay them at the cross and say, "I'm here to serve ya, and I'm not gonna apologize to my peeps. I'm not gonna apologize to my homeboys, homegirls, coworkers, that I belong to you 'cause they didn't save my life. They didn't deliver me. They didn't forgive me. They didn't give me heaven. You did that, and so you own me". That is the law of our response 'cause his name is Lord.
Jesus is Lord. As Lord, he's God. He's deity, and he demands our surrender. If you call him, "Lord," if you confess him as Lord, you need to treat him like Lord. All of God's people who named Jesus Christ as Savior should be following his sovereign rule as Lord and giving all of your life to his control. All of life must be surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in order to see God's work fulfilled in your life.