Confessing “Jesus is Lord” has implications for how we observe our daily lives.
Two-thousand years ago, confessing “Jesus is Lord” was akin to committing treason, especially in a culture that regularly confessed that Caesar was Lord.1 A modern analogy would be to confess: “Jesus is my President.” But this pales in comparison as Caesar considered himself not answerable to any human establishment (e.g. the Senate) nor even answerable to God.
Nonetheless confessing Jesus is Lord of all has real implications for how Christians must live our lives:
- If we really believe in one God, then the whole of creation, the entire universe belongs to God and people are God’s creations, answerable to God to whom we owe our respect for the privilege of the gifts for creation. A prayer of thanksgiving at the beginning of a meal is a nice beginning, but our actions after getting up from the table are much more significant.
- If we really believe in one Spirit, then all talents are divine and in God’s eye, all people are equally gifted. Early Christians may have argued over the which gifts were more significant or which indicated that a person had truly received the Holy Spirit as evidenced by their gifts. If we claim that Jesus is Lord, then the question becomes how will we use the gifts or charisma that we have received to advance the Kingdom of Heaven?
- If we really accept Jesus as Lord, then Jesus is Lord always and everywhere! Not merely on Sunday morning during worship is Jesus Lord, but especially on Monday morning and Friday night. Not merely in Church, but especially at work, at play, and in the voting booth. For if Jesus really is Lord advancing the Kingdom of Heaven must take precedence over advancing one’s nation, and especially over advancing one’s own career even over the laws enacted by earthly governments.
How do you use your gifts to advance the Kingdom of Heaven?
I will have more to say about 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 and gifts of the Spirit on Sunday, June 4th at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church. Please wear red for Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit divided as tongues of fire among the disciples.
Robert Shaw, Pastor
N.T. Wright, “Paul and Caesar: A new reading of Romans”