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Religion

Apostles' Creed 5: Jesus Is Lord

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted June 26, 2013

RELIGION – This past Sunday evening during our first night of Vacation Bible School, I heard the name Jesus over and over as the children sang songs of praise and talked about Jesus. But I heard the name of Jesus even more when I came home and turned on the TV that evening. It was not using the Lord’s name in vain, but in praise and petition to Jesus for divine assistance. A man by the name of Nik Wallenda was walking on a tightrope across the Grand Canyon with no safety wire and battling wind gusts of 35 miles per hour.

It was insane TV that angered my wife who told me if I ever tried that she would kill me. I reassured her that if I ever tried that she would not have to kill me, but death would take care of its self.

But almost every step he took, he mentioned Jesus. This was big for national television as Jesus is not hugely popular to talk about. The Duck Dynasty crew talks about how A&E did not care for them praying “In Jesus” name. People don’t mind “a God of their own understanding.” But when you start throwing Jesus in the mix we get exclusive and offensive.

The next section on Jesus in the Apostle’s Creed is central.  J.I Packer notes that “The long section on Jesus Christ stands between the two shorter sections on the Father and the Spirit. And it is central to the faith of the Creed, for we could not know about the Trinity or salvation or resurrection and life everlasting apart from Jesus Christ. It was Jesus Christ, in his redemption of all God’s people, who was the revealer of all these truths.”

Here is the creed again for you to read:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen

First off, we see that name Jesus. Jesus is Greek for Joshua, and it means “God is Savior.” Jesus is his first name. Jesus was a real person, Mary’s son from Nazareth in Galilee, a Jewish ex-carpenter who worked for three years as a rural rabbi and was put to death by the Roman authorities about A.D. 30. These details are certain.
 
Although many other men would have shared the same name and similar vocations at that time, there was only one who was the Christ (literally, “the anointed one.”) Christ was not Jesus’ last name. “Christ” identified Jesus as the appointed savior-king for whom the Jews had prayed would come from centuries.  This lead to a misconception that Jesus, as the Christ, would be a conquering King would put all of Israel’s wrongs right, namely getting rid of the Romans. Jesus’ failure to conquer the Romans as the Jews wished, lead to the mass defection of His followers and to His death on a cross.  

“Our Lord” follows straight from this. If Jesus is God the Son, our co-creator, and is also Christ, the anointed savior-king, now risen from death and reigning (sitting, as the Creed puts it, “on the right hand of God the Father almighty,” in the place of authority and power), then he has a right to rule us, and we have no right to resist his claim. As he invaded space and time in Palestine nearly two thousand years ago, so he invades our personal space and time today, with the same purpose of love that first brought him to earth. “Come, follow me” was his word then, and it is still so.
Is he, then, your Lord?
   
Mark Talbot writes that “American Christianity tends toward a kind of "easy-believism." The Gospel is often presented in a way that suggests that someone is saved as soon as he or she has "accepted" Jesus as Savior, even if that "acceptance" never manifests itself in the emotional and volitional recentering of the person's entire life.”
   
Furthermore, John MacArthur writes in The Gospel According to Jesus, “A Christian is not one who simply buys “fire insurance,” who signs up just to avoid an unpleasant after life. A Christian…repeatedly, is one whose faith expresses itself in submission and obedience. A Christian is one who follows Christ, one who is committed unquestionably to Christ as Lord and Savior, one who desires to please God. His basic aim is to be in every way a disciple of Jesus Christ. When he fails, he seeks forgiveness and wants to move forward. This is his spirit and his direction. (p. 197.)”
   
Lastly, we must also wrestle with the fact that as A.W. Pink writes “Thousands are deceived into supposing that they have “accepted Christ” as their “personal Saviour,” who have not first received Him as their Lord. The Son of God did not come here to save His people in their sin, but “from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). To be saved from sins, is to be saved from ignoring and despising the authority of God, it is to abandon the course of self-will and self-pleasing, it is to “forsake our way” (Isa. 55:7). It is to surrender to God’s authority, to yield to His dominion, to give ourselves over to be ruled by Him.”
   
So, the question is not do you know some facts about Jesus or even do you “accept” Jesus, but have you allowed Jesus to truly be Lord over your life? I am praying you have.

Pastor Phillip



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