Augustine supposedly once said that if Christ is not Lord of all, then Christ is not Lord at all. To understand Christ as the Lord of all the universe, and not merely of the religious spheres of life, has been a revolutionary idea in my life. I believe this truth has profound implications for Christians and the Kingdom of God.
At the very least it means that followers of the Lord Jesus Christ must understand that their faith is not only for Sunday mornings but for the rest of their lives as well. The Christian faith is a complete world and life view. There is no area of one’s life about which Christ is unconcerned. Therefore, Christians need completely overhauled or renovated lives that submit to and aligned with the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Becoming a Christian, and then living out that life, means far more than a morally cleaned up personal life. Of course, that’s included, but it means so much more. Understanding Christ as Lord means that we must learn to think Christianly about every aspect of our lives… how we behave toward our family, how we handle our checkbook, how we think about current events, how we exercise integrity at work, how we respond to injustice or immorality – all of these things, and more, radically and naturally flow out of our understanding of Christ’s Lordship. Such things are (or should be) the fruit of a kingdom disciple. (Keep in mind that I am presupposing a person who has come to genuine faith in Christ and who is now living in the power of God’s Spirit.)
If Christ is Lord of all, then that also means that Christians need to expand their spheres of influence. We must not be content with isolated Christianity. We, as Christians, are a community who lives in a broader community. Christ is not only concerned about our Christian circles, but is also passionately interested about those outside our circle. The church which believes in and embraces the Lordship of Jesus Christ is the church which seeks to invade the world with the good news of the Kingdom of God. And this Kingdom changes everything.
I think of John Wesley’s England that was so thoroughly transformed by the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. It is said, even by secular historians, that were it not for Wesley’s influence, England would have experienced the same bloody revolution as France. Wesley, however, influenced by the Lordship of Jesus Christ, preached the gospel and turned England upside down through the lives of transformed men and women marching under the orders of their Savior and King.
The Lordship of Jesus Christ is fundamental to Kingdom Discipleship.
My understanding of Christ’s Lordship has been broadened and yet, at the same time, more keenly focused. I no longer teach a secular/sacred distinction as I probably did in my early days. I do not teach a Christ who is unconcerned about our culture or our world. I do not tell people about a Jesus who makes no demands upon every sphere of their lives. Jesus is certainly my precious Savior, full of grace and mercy, but as Lord, he beckons me to submit all of my life to him so that I may become more fully the new creature in Christ he has redeemed me to be. And because I love him… what else can I do (John 14:15, 21, 23)?
Grace and Truth,