Lordship of Jesus

I am aware that heated arguments are going on about Lordship Salvation and Free Grace or easy believism, as critics call it. Here, I have no intention to take part in the debate. And I see no end to this debate till the coming of our Lord.

Usually it is not my intention to present any debatable topic and take any one side of the debate. I always focus on practical Christian living. I am concerned about the common man struggling under sin and satan. I prefer to talk to them about a practical way out, which is Jesus the only solution to all their problems.

So here too, I am not presenting any theological debate or I am not taking any part in this great discussion going on among eminent theologians. I respect all of them, and I have a mind for either side.

In this message we intend to understand repentance, salvation, born again experience, eternal life, Kingdom of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ for a down to earth practical Christian life.

Lordship Salvation and Free Grace

Though we are not joining either side of the debate let us try to understand what is Lordship Salvation and Free Grace or easy-believism.

Theologians on both sides believe that a person is saved only by Grace through faith.
Grace is free and no work is attached to it.
When we attach any work with grace, it becomes unbiblical.

We are saved by grace through faith only.
Again no work is considered to qualify salvation.
Faith in Christ is the only one requirement of salvation.

Then where should we fit repentance and Lordship of Jesus?
This is the point of debate among the theologians.

The doctrine of Lordship Salvation teaches that submitting to Christ as Lord goes hand-in-hand with trusting in Christ as Savior.
Lordship Salvation demands repentance and the acceptance of Jesus as the Lord of our life to qualify for salvation.
That is, only if a person repent from sins and accept Jesus as the Lord of his life, he will be saved by grace through faith.

The advocates of Free Grace argues that this concept of Lordship Salvation sabotage the concept of grace and faith.
Grace is freely given to the unmerited man and faith in Christ need no additional items.
Adding something extra is unbiblical.
So no repentance and acceptance of the Lordship is necessary for salvation.

Actually they are arguing about the exact time of repentance and Lordship in salvation.
How much seconds should be there before or after the salvation for repentance and Lordship?
This is the point of debate.
One argues that all must happen simultaneously and the other argues that there is plenty of time for repentance and Lordship after salvation.

The debate is going on and will go on …..

Lordship of Jesus

In this message we are not trying to settle any issue.
We are intending to study the importance and necessity of the Lordship of Jesus in the life of a born again Christian.
We are talking about the practical Christian life.

To proceed further, let us accustom ourselves with two terms: Redemption and Salvation.

Let us learn about Redemption, because redemption precedes salvation.
Salvation is possible where a redemptive price is already paid.

What is Redemption?

Redemption is defined as: To be set free from captivity or slavery
Redemption refers to the price that you have to pay to get back what is yours, but has been lost.

The English word "redemption" means 'repurchase' or 'buy back'.
That means something that had been yours has fallen into the authority of another person, and now you are paying a price for it and buys it back.

In the Jewish Torah the term referred to the ransom of slaves.
It is the price paid to buy back or free a slave.

In Christian theology, redemption is an element of salvation that broadly means the deliverance from sin.

Redemption is what achieved through the atonement offered by Christ.
The death of Jesus paid the price of a ransom, releasing man from the bondage of sin and death.

So redemption is simply the price God paid to get us back for His purpose.
Since we could never pay the price of redemption, God offered up His own Son unto death for us all.
The precious blood of Jesus is paid as a price for our redemption.

1 Peter 1:18-19
18   knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

What is Salvation?

Salvation simply is deliverance from danger or suffering.
Salvation is to deliver or protect.

A definition of the Christian doctrine of salvation would be:

 “The deliverance, by the grace of God, from eternal punishment for sin which is granted to those who accept it by faith in the Lord Jesus.”

Biblical salvation refers to our deliverance from the consequence of sin and therefore involves the removal of sin.
The word “salvation” concerns an eternal, spiritual deliverance.
Salvation is available in Jesus alone and is dependent on God alone for provision, assurance, and security.
Redemption and Salvation

Now let us see the relation between redemption and salvation.

Actually, “redemption” is just the beginning, the first part of our “salvation”.
Redemption is what God accomplished for our offenses on the cross.

The case of man is that he sold himself into the slavery of satan.
And so he is unable to ransom himself and regain freedom.
It is here God intervened and paid the ransom price.

When this accomplishment of ransom is applied to our offenses it becomes the forgiveness of our sins.

Ephesians 1:7   In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.  (NKJV)

Salvation refers to a person being saved before God.
Salvation includes being forgiven of his sins, being spared from perdition (the abode of satan), being regenerated  and having the eternal life.
And the sins are forgiven through the atonement of Christ.
The crucifixion of Christ is the ransom paid for our redemption from sin and satan.

This is the close relationship between redemption and salvation.
Our point is that in salvation there is redemption and in redemption there is forgiveness of sins.

Romans 5:10  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  (NKJV)

Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus and the Kingdom of God

Jesus equated salvation with entering into the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 19: 24,25
24   "And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
25   When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"

Jesus spoke about the entry into the Kingdom of God
Disciples exclaimed then who can be saved.
Jesus spoke and disciples understood that the entry into the Kingdom of God and salvation are one and the same happening.

An entry into the Kingdom of God happens when a person is saved.
Salvation is the legal document for the inheritance to the Kingdom.
We need no other proof to enter or inherit the Kingdom.

Jesus started His ministry by announcing the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."   (NKJV)

Jesus was announcing the purpose of His ministry.
He came to declare the Kingdom of God; He came to inaugurate the Kingdom of God.
He declared that the Kingdom of God is at hand and later that the Kingdom is among the people and within those who believed in Him.
By this announcement he inaugurated the Kingdom.
This inauguration is an invitation for all to join the Kingdom.

 When Jesus announced the Kingdom in the above passage the ransom was not fully paid.
Jesus came to pay the ransom and surly He will do it.
So the ransom price is ready.

The spiritual situation when Jesus spoke the above words may be surmised like this:

·     The audience of Jesus was not yet ransomed in deed.
·     They were in sin and thus under the slavery of satan.
·     Jesus is there to pay the ransom price by His death on the cross.
·     His audience had nothing to do for the payment of the ransom, except to accept in faith the atonement of Jesus.
·     Still, Jesus suggested one condition: Repent.

Let us read one important passage about salvation here:

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.   (NKJV)

The verse tells two things:

·        God gave His son as a ransom price
·        Faith in Jesus is a must to the eternal life.

Let us note that God did not give Jesus as a Rabbi, Guru, philosopher, preacher, or a miracle healer.
God did give Jesus as a ransom price for the redemption of our sins.

And whatever we achieve through Jesus is only by faith in Him.

That means that we cannot think about salvation without thinking about sin.
Redemption from sin is salvation.

We all agree that repentance is giving up our sins.

When should we repent?
Is it before salvation or after salvation?
Is it before we say the salvation prayer or at any other convenient time?

Remember, Jesus started his ministry by exhorting people to repent:

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."   (NKJV)

There is another narration of a classic incident during the ministry of Jesus that explains how salvation happens.
The incident is recorded by John in chapter 3.

One night a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, Nicodemus, came to Jesus for a secret meeting.
To him Jesus spoke the following words.

John 3: 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

What did Jesus mean?
Is the Kingdom of God a different experience that can be achieved through different methods than salvation?

Jesus surely was talking about salvation.
For Jesus Kingdom of God and salvation was one and the same experience.

Jesus never posed himself as a hair splitting philosopher.
Jesus spoke in common man’s language and style to convey His message and achieve his aim.

This conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus was about eternal life.
And redemption and salvation are also about eternal life.

During the same conversation with Nicodemus Jesus refers to His death on the cross.

John 3: 14 & 15
14   "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
 15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

The conversation goes on to the famous declaration by Jesus:

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  (NKJV)

What shall we surmise?

Jesus came to declare the Kingdom of God
Jesus used the Kingdom of God synonymous with salvation
Salvation, repentance, faith and born-again experience are ways to enter the Kingdom of God.
Entry into the Kingdom of God is eternal life.
Everything happens through Jesus alone.

What is Kingdom?

Now let us move to another subtitle: the Kingdom of God?

Kingdom of Heaven or Kingdom of God was the theme of Jesus’ message.
Jesus has repeated this theme again and again and has spoken synonymously with salvation and born again experience.
Jesus came to restore the Kingdom of God.

Now what is a Kingdom?

A kingdom must have 4 elements:

1.      A King
2.      A domain or sphere of authority
3.      Citizens
4.      Laws

It is common knowledge that all Kingdoms demand a faithful allegiance to the Kingdom and the King.
That means all citizens in the Kingdom must accept and surrender to the Lordship of the King.
The Kingdom is actually the Lordship of the King.

The Kingdom of our Lord is not a physical Kingdom; it is spiritual.
That means the Lordship of our Lord is spiritual.
All who enter the Kingdom enters into the Lordship of Jesus.

And Jesus is exhorting people to repent so that they can enter into the Kingdom.
Repentance is necessary for entering into the Kingdom

In other words, the Kingdom of God is at hand.
But an unrepentant heart keeps the people away from the Kingdom.
And Jesus is exhorting the people to repent so that they can enter the Kingdom of God.
That is the importance of repentance in entering the Kingdom.

Again when Jesus speaks about entering into the Kingdom of God, He is referring to the present plight of the people.
They are out of the Kingdom of God.

So there must happen a change; they have to shift their allegiance to another King.
That means, they have to reject the Kingdom of darkness and accept the Kingdom of God.
That simply means, they have to reject forever the lordship of satan and accept the Lordship of the King of the Kingdom of God.

This is the born again experience.

Born Again

Let us study one more phrase: Born Again

What is the meaning of “born again”?
How can we “born again” without a physical death?

This was the question raised by Nicodemus to Jesus.
Jesus explained to Him that born again is a spiritual experience.
And that it happens when you believe in Him.

John 3: 14 & 15
14   "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
 15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

That means, Jesus explained the born again experience as:

·        A rebirth
·        A spiritual experience
·        A faith in His death

Now the question of rebirth comes.
What that means?

Surly it means to die and born again

None can be born again without going through death.
Since born again is a spiritual experience, the death and birth here are also spiritual experiences.

One has to die to the present life and born to a new life.
It is death to the kingdom of satan and his lordship and birth into the Kingdom of Jesus and into His Lordship.


Let me conclude this message.

Let us just put whatever we have been discussing in a sensible order.

Salvation, Kingdom of God and born again experience are synonymous happenings.
What we receive after all these happenings is eternal life.
Faith in Jesus is the only way to enter the Kingdom of God.
Faith in Jesus is the born again experience.

It is death to the kingdom of darkness and birth into the Kingdom of God.
It is rejecting the lordship of one king and surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus.

Thus, we conclude that salvation is surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus.

Before we wind up let me make the statement once again:

This whole message is intended for a practical Christian life. This is not a treatise against or in favour of any debated theological arguments.


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