April 23rd, 2023
We believe in “one Lord, Jesus Christ.” When we confess that Jesus is Lord, we are confessing his divinity, his redemption, and his sovereignty.
First, when we confess that Jesus is Lord, we confess his divinity.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob revealed himself to Moses as “Yahweh” – “I Am Who I Am” (Exodus 3:14). When the New Testament writers quote the Old Testament, they usually quote the Greek translation of the Scriptures, where the divine name “Yahweh” is translated as “Kurios” (“Lord”). Thus, in our English translations, “Yahweh” is translated “Lord” (in small caps, indicating the divine name).
We hear the divine name in Israel’s confession: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deut 6:4). In Isaiah 45, Yahweh testifies, “I am the Lord, there is no other” (vv.5, 6, 18). He, and he alone creates and rules all things (vv.7, 8, 14, 18) and he alone saves (vv.15-17, 21-22). And he declares, “to me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance” (v.23).
Deuteronomy 6 and Isaiah 45 declare that the Lord and the Lord alone is God: Creator, Ruler, and Saviour. The Apostle Paul cites and applies both these passages to Jesus:
“for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Cor 8:6).
“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10-11).
When we confess that Jesus is Lord, we confess his divinity. He is Yahweh. He is God.
Second, when we confess that Jesus is Lord, we confess his redemption.
He has purchased us for himself: “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price” (1 Cor 6:19-20). The price was his life, which he gave as a ransom for you. When we confess that Jesus is Lord, we confess that we belong to him, because he ransomed us. The Lord is our Lord and we are his. “Therefore,” Paul exhorts, “glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6:20); “the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord” (1 Cor 6:14).
Finally, when we confess that Jesus is Lord, we confess his sovereignty.
The Roman Caesars gave themselves the title “Lord.” “Kurios” was stamped on Roman coins and inscribed on monuments throughout the empire. The early Christians declared, “Jesus is Lord.” He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Many have claimed to be lord throughout history. But Caesars, Kaisers, and Czars are not lord. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the “ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev 1:5) and he is seated “at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3), “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Eph 1:21). To him be glory forever. Amen.