What It Means to Confess Jesus as Lord

A bit wordy, but worth it.

For us today…, “The term ‘Lord’ has become one of the most lifeless words in the Christian vocabulary.” When the title “Lord” lost its reverence, it also lost its relevance and was reduced to something like “a spiritually meaningful religious leader.” That is such a travesty because adoration of Jesus as Lord is neither an empty confession nor a vague religious platitude. More likely, as Kennedy himself adds, “To enter into its meaning and to give it practical effect would be to re-create, in great measure, the atmosphere of the Apostolic Age.” I concur with Kennedy. To confess that Jesus is “Lord” is to announce that he is Lord of all. At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow – every Christian, every Jew, every Muslim, every Hindu, and every atheist – and they will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I don’t know whether you’ve thought about it, but this is deeply offensive and disturbing stuff to postmodern sensibilities. Confession of Jesus as Lord implies that all religions are not equal. Jesus is not a leader who has his authority curtailed by politicians or sociologists telling him which areas of life he’s allowed to give people advice on. Jesus is the boss of everyone’s religion, politics, economics, ethics, and everything. Jesus is not interested in trying to capture a big chunk of the religious market; to the contrary, he’s in the business of completely monopolizing it with the glory, justice, and power of heaven. And he has every right to do so; after all, as the firstborn of all creation, the cosmos is his work and inheritance. Consequently, Abraham Kuiper was right to declare that “there is not one square inch in the whole domain of human existence which Christ who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’ ” If that is the case, then true discipleship is about dutifully and faithfully living out the lordship of Jesus Christ. Discipleship means ordering our lives according to his story, symbols, teaching, and authority. Evangelism is not about asking people to try Jesus the way they might try a new decaf mochachino latte from Starbucks. It is more like declaring the victory of the Lord Jesus over sin and death, warning of the judgment to be made by the Lord Jesus over all rebellion, and inviting people to find joy and satisfaction in the life and love that come from the Lord Jesus Christ.

– Michael Bird, What Christians Ought to Believe, pp. 93-94.

Apostles’ Creed Resources

Here are the books I’ve been using in preparing to preach on the Creed: