The final thing that we confess in the second article of The Apostles' Creed is that Jesus is our Lord. "I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord."
"Jesus is Lord" was the earliest confession of the Christian Church. We find it embedded in Romans 10:9. "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
What does it mean to confess Jesus as our Lord? The Greek word for "Lord" in the New Testament is transliterated as "kurios". The same word is used in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures to translate the Hebrew word "adonai". "Adonai" was used to refer to God. The Jews used this title to refer to God instead of pronouncing God's name, Yahweh, because they considered God's personal name to be too holy to utter. Josephus, a Jewish historian in the first century AD tells us that the Jews refused to call the Roman Emperor "kurios" because they regarded this name as reserved for God alone.
Thus, by calling Jesus "Lord" the early Christians, who were mostly Jews, were saying that Jesus is God. Furthermore, Jesus clearly accepted this title. In John 13:13 we read where Jesus said to his disciples, "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am."
Jesus is Lord. If that statement is true then it means that Jesus is the owner of all things, including your life and mine. Just as the Son of God invaded human history two thousand years ago to reclaim ownership of his creation, so he continues to invade individual lives every day in order to claim ownership.
Stuart Briscoe tells the following story....
When Jill and I got married, I was a young banker and Jill was a young schoolteacher. We needed a house in Manchester, where I'd been transferred by the bank, and because they brought me in from another town, they helped me a little bit. And this is how they did it. The bank would sometimes repossess houses where the mortgage had been in default.... Then they didn't know what to do with the houses. So they would take them and make them available to young people like me who they'd transferred in from another town.... There was only one problem, however. Here we were, a young married couple, embarking on living happily ever after, but the previous tenant wouldn't get out. Although the house was ours, we couldn't take possession of it. So I talked to Jill about it, and I said, "It is very awkward, Jill, because the previous tenant won't get out." "Well," she said, "tell him to get out." I said, "It's a little awkward. He's my boss." And she said, "What's he doing in there anyway?" He doesn't need to be in cheap housing like that." I said, "He's cheap. He's my boss and he's cheap. And I can't get him out." She said, "What are we going to do?" I said, "Well, I could talk to him and see if we could move in with him." She said, "Absolutely not." She didn't seem to think that was a very good idea, which is true of a number of my ideas. I remember her saying, "It's just not fair." And I said, "Jill, you're absolutely right. There's no justice in this thing at all. That's our house. And this person won't get out. He is keeping possession of what isn't his."It is not fair when we as human beings confess Jesus as our Lord and then do not give him possession of what rightfully belongs to him. But it happens.
Jesus wants total possession of our lives. He does not want to move in and be a co-tenant. He wants complete control. The only question is: will we surrender our lives to him?
I grew up in a Christian home, but I did not understand the good news about Jesus until I was about 12 years old. Then, one Sunday, as I listened to Robert Schuller on television, I understood for the first time that Jesus died on a cross so that I could be forgiven of my sin. I received Jesus' love and forgiveness that Sunday. That experience brought tears and great joy into my life.
A year later, one Sunday as I was visiting the church where my brother was the youth pastor, I heard the senior pastor talk about Jesus' Lordship and that we need to surrender to Jesus' ownership of our lives and we need to do that publicly. The pastor invited people to come forward to the front of the church at the end of the service to make that public commitment. Though I was nervous about doing that in front of a big room full of people, I went forward. That Sunday I surrendered my life for the first time to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
I say, "for the first time," because surrendering to Jesus' Lordship, as I later found out, is something we have to do every day. Every day, and sometimes moment by moment, we have to decide whether we are going to follow Jesus' way or our own way. You would think it would get easier the longer you have been a follower of Jesus, but sometimes it is still very hard. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit to help us in that surrender. And when we fail, the Spirit picks us back up again, helps us on to our feet, provides fresh grace and forgiveness and power to continue walking the Jesus road.