The Lordship of Christ is a Relationship
2/12/2017 Sunday AM, Living Word Community Church, IA
Craig Haworth, 34:18
The lordship of Jesus Christ is a concept that is sometimes misunderstood. Either we diminish its importance by viewing it as a future state that doesn’t currently impact us, or we think it relates only to discipline and discipleship and thus is not for everyone. One way to better understand Christ’s lordship is to see it in the context of our relationship with Him. The Kingdom of God is a relationship.
In Matthew 7:12 we read what is often called the ‘golden rule.’ Jesus tells His disciples, “in everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12). In other words, the whole of scripture is pointing to the way in which we are to treat one another. If we think of the Kingdom as the state where God’s word is completely obeyed, then it must be an environment where others are treated with honor, value, mercy, and kindness as a way of life. Again, we find the Kingdom of God manifesting in our relationships with God and with one another.
Matthew 7 goes on to describe both the wide and the narrow gate. Few enter through the narrow gate, but many enter through the wide gate. What is Jesus describing here? The wide gate is life outside of a relationship. It is a life based on regulations that masquerade as righteousness and where people are excluded or included based on human standards of evaluation. However, the narrow gate is a living relationship with Jesus Christ in which the love of Christ governs our relationships together (2 Cor. 5:14-15). Throughout this chapter, Jesus describes the narrow way as a life in community where forgiveness and the mercy of God guide our relationships together.
This narrow gate is not as easy as the wide gate, it requires living in a relationship of honesty and openness where we seek to hear and follow the Lord’s word together. It requires an atmosphere of grace, not as an excuse for any kind of behavior, but as the reign of God’s ever-present love. Through this grace, the community of faith participates with the Spirit who is ever working to conform each of us to the image of the Son.
The Lordship of Jesus Christ will always be an emphasis of this church, but that emphasis will always be ensconced in our living relationship with Christ and our loving relationships with one another.
Scriptures: Matt. 7:1-2, 12-23; Luke 10:38-42; John 8:3-7, 12:1-8, 13:35; 1 Cor. 13:12