When we speak of Jesus as Lord, we're talking about his reign as the eternal Creator-King.
As the Apostle Paul writes, "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him" (Colossians 1:16, ESV)
John echoes this in the opening of his gospel, writing, "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made." (John 1:1-3, ESV)
As Creator, Jesus designed physical laws to govern the material world, and he designed moral laws to govern the moral world.
A common misconception perceives the moral framework outlined in Scripture as a restraint to human freedom and happiness.
Actually, this divine moral compass has been set as the stage upon which humanity could truly flourish, if only we submitted to the Creator-King’s wisdom.
In this light, sin is seen not merely as a violation of social norms or ethical principles, but as an act of treason against the Creator-King.
It's a willful defiance against a good and wise sovereign who seeks our ultimate good.
And yet, the very King against whom we have rebelled chose to suffer the penalty our rebellion deserved.
This King, the Creator of all, traded his crown of glory for a crown of thorns, embodying the ultimate act of sacrificial love.
As the weight of our sins burdened his shoulders, Jesus exhibited unimaginable mercy while enduring unspeakable suffering to provide a final and complete solution for our rebellion.
Through this sacrificial act, not only was the gravity of our treason against the Creator-King displayed, but also the boundless extent of his grace.
The crucible of the cross became a monument of reconciliation, demonstrating God's heart to restore rebels by turning them into sons and daughters.
His self-sacrifice meant our guilt could be exchanged for his righteousness, reconciling us to the Father as if we’d never sinned and had always loved God and neighbor as perfectly as Jesus.
Now we can see why grace doesn't lead to a licentious life, but to a deep desire to know, follow, and honor Jesus as Savior and Lord.
By embracing Jesus as Lord, we are not bowing to a tyrant, but before a benevolent King whose wisdom paves the way to human freedom and flourishing.
God's justifying grace shifts our motivation for obedience from fear of punishment or hope for reward to gratitude for who Jesus is and what he's done for us. The understanding of Jesus as both Creator-King and giver of grace makes our obedience a joyful act of thanksgiving rather than a burden to endure.
His reign invites us into a life of joyful submission, where our hearts and wills are aligned with his, enabling our lives to find their fullest expression of joy, hope, and peace as we await his return and the inauguration of the eternal state of glory on the New Earth.
- How does recognizing Jesus as Designer of both material and moral laws challenge our understanding of freedom and autonomy?
- In what ways does the idea of Jesus as Creator-King expand our understanding of his position in the cosmos and our lives?
- How might the perspective that sin is an act of treason against a good and wise sovereign influence the way we approach morality and ethics?
- How does the concept of justifying grace move us beyond simply being forgiven to being changed?
- What are some of the implications of joyful submission to Jesus’ reign for our personal lives, our communities, and the world? How does this contrast with the idea of submission to a tyrant?