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This lesson focuses on the scriptural concept of "Lordship". By this point in the discipleship process the typical believer has made a decision to acknowledge His lordship over his life, and recognizes Christ as his Master. The purpose of this lesson is to reinforce and provide further understanding of that decision already made.

 Lordship

1. I belong to God because He created me. (Does the Creator not have absolute authority over His creation?)

Deut. 10:14 The heavens… belong to the LORD your God, as does the earth and everything in it. Psalm 100:3 … He made us, and we are His—His people… Jer. 10:23 …a man’s way of life is not his own; no one who walks determines his own steps. Rom. 14:7-8 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

2. He bought me. He redeemed me. He owns me. (A statement of fact)

1 Cor. 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. 2 Cor. 5:15 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.

3. The title “Lord” implies a Master – servant relationship.

Matthew 22:37-38) He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. John 13:13 (Jesus said) You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. Luke 6:46 (Jesus said) “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? John 14:21,23 (Jesus said) The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me… Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.

4. He is my Master, and I should view myself as His servant (slave)

Matthew 10:24-25 (Jesus said) A disciple is not above his teacher, or a slave above his master. It is enough for a disciple to become like his teacher and a slave like his master… Matthew 20:26-28 (Jesus said) … whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.” Romans 1:1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, … 1 Cor. 7:22-23 Likewise he who is called as a free man is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; … Phil. 2:5-8 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death even to death on a cross. 2 Tim. 2:4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the recruiter. 1 Peter 2:16 As God’s slaves, live as free people, but don’t use your freedom as a way to conceal evil.

NOTE ON ROM. 1:1 Paul identified himself first as a servant of Christ Jesus. “Servant” (doulos) means slave, a person owned by another. Paul wore this title gladly (Gal. 1:10; Titus 1:1), reveling in the Old Testament picture of a slave who in love binds himself to his master for life (Ex. 21:2-6). (Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.)

5. God expects those things I value to be yielded to His Lordship.

Matthew 10:37-39 (Jesus said) The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Anyone finding his life will lose it, and anyone losing his life because of Me will find it. Matthew 19:29-30 (Jesus said) And everyone who has left houses, brothers or sisters, father or mother, children, or fields because of My name will receive 100 times more and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first. Luke 5:10-11 … James and John, …Simon ... Then they brought the boats to land, left everything, and followed Him. (Luke 5:27-28)

6. Jesus appeals to me to put my head in His yoke. (Yielding my independence and perceived rights to Him.)

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Beware of refusing to go to the funeral of your own independence.” (Taken from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers – Dec 9. (c) l935 by Dodd Mead & Co., renewed (c) 1963 by the Oswald Chambers Pub. Assn., Ltd., and is used by permission of Discovery House Pub., Box 3566, Grand Rapids MI 4950l. All rights reserved.)

7. God wants me to offer my body to Him.

Romans 6:13,18-19 … For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. Romans 11:33-36, 12:1-2 …For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. … Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

8. God has to be more important than my very life.

Luke 14:26-33 (Jesus said) “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to make fun of him, saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish. “Or what king, going to war against another king, will not first sit down and decide if he is able with 10,000 to oppose the one who comes against him with 20,000? If not, while the other is still far off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciple. Luke 9:23-24 Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. John 12:24-26 (Jesus said) “I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be; … Acts 20:24 “(Paul) But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God’s grace. Acts 21:13 …Then Paul replied, … For I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Rev. 12:11 They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death.

NOTE ON LUKE 14:26-33 The stress here is on the priority of love (cf. Matt. 10:37 - The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me). One’s loyalty to Jesus must come before his loyalty to his family or even to life itself. Indeed, those who did follow Jesus against their families’ desires were probably thought of as hating their families. (Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.)

If God loves you, can only do what is in your best interest, and never makes mistakes, what would be a logical reason for not embracing Him as Master?

When clearly explained, the typical new believer will view Lordship as “good news”, as evidence of God’s love for them.

Unfortunately, many older believers who have never had Lordship clearly explained to them, upon hearing it tend to perceive it as “bad news”, equating it to “bondage”.

 

SUMMARY OF “LORDSHIP” PRINCIPLES

God has a great and beautiful plan for my entire life. Am I willing to yield my personal rights to Him and give Him permission to orchestrate my life to His perfect ends?

1. FACTS: a. God says that as a Christian I have been bought (redeemed) from slavery to sin by the blood of His Son. That purchase has given Him legal ownership of my entire life. That He now owns me is an absolute fact that does not depend on my acknowledgement or acceptance of it. 1 Cor. 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Peter 1:18-19 For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.

b. Salvation - speaks of a Foundation, Jesus Christ, upon which construction will take place. Lordship - The quality and duration of that construction depend on whom I choose as the architect and contractor. If I will give the Lord permission, allowing Him to manage my life, He will build a beautiful eternal house of gold, silver and precious stones on that foundation. That house will survive the judgment seat of Christ. However, if I am unwilling to let Him manage the construction, I will be building a temporary house of wood, hay and straw which will only last for the duration of my life here on earth, and will become ashes at the Judgement Seat of Christ. Daily Walk in Fellowship - The “building materials” that are available to the Holy Spirit fall into three categories, my “time”, my “energy” and my “possessions” (both tangible and intangible possessions). The Lord has given me a “free will”, which means that I have the privilege of moment by moment “allowing” Him to use those “resources” that He has granted me. But I am also free at any moment to “deny” Him use of any or all of those resources (building materials), during which time I will be using those same resources to build myself a temporary structure for this life here on earth. The Lord will not force me to let Him use my resources, even though He always has my best interest at heart. 1 Cor. 3:10-15 According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it. For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on that foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire. Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; … Eccl. 3:14 I know that all God does will last forever; …

 

c. Before I became a Christian, I was enslaved by my human nature (inherited from Adam). I always resisted God and was not able to please Him. That same human nature still resides in me as a Christian. It is not the least bit improved. God did not repair my rebellious human nature, but rather He gave me a new divine nature in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Mat. 7:17-18 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Gal. 3:1-3 You foolish Galatians! Who has hypnotized you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified? I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh? Gal. 5:17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.

d. I should accept a role as a “disciple” (apprentice learner), allowing the Holy Spirit “access” to every area of my being.

From infancy I began to accumulate ideas and concepts about life, the world, etc. When I became a Christian those ideas and concepts did not disappear, but rather have remained in my mind much like written material on a blackboard. Some of those ideas and concepts will be in harmony with God, others will not be. Only the Holy Spirit knows what needs to be changed in my thinking. That is why each Christian needs to give the Holy Spirit “access” to his/her mental blackboard and be open to whatever changes He determines best. Yielding up that authority to Him speaks of “Lordship”, after which can follow the process of having my mind renewed, i.e. to increasingly view life as He views it. Caution: A Christian who intentionally (or through ignorance) is unwilling to acknowledge His authority over his/her mind (understanding) will very likely adopt a perceived “Do” and “Don’t Do” list. That list would typically include what seems to be acceptable Christian behavior, based on the average spiritual expectations as modeled by older Christians. The danger is that fellowship with the Holy Spirit will be severely threatened when He speaks to the new believer about areas of thinking or behavior that are outside of the arbitrary parameters set up by the new Christian. The result is often a reoccurring cycle of disobedience, frustration, repentance and brokenness. This will continue until the will is surrendered. Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Luke 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

2. ILLUSTRATIONS AND TERMINOLOGY THAT DESCRIBE LORDSHIP.

a. Relinquishing my independence - as in a wedding ceremony (Marriage "Covenant").

Marriage consists of an event (a wedding ceremony), followed by a process. The wedding ceremony represents a relinquishment of my right to make independent decisions, in favor of being joined (yoked) with another. The marriage process is designed to be a growing relationship, learning to live and walk in harmony with a spouse. This process represents the manner in which a Christian learns to live and walk in harmony with the Holy Spirit. Eph. 5:32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church.

b. Acknowledgment of His ownership of my life. A conscious agreement with what God states to be true.

c. An acceptance of His yoke (an event), followed by learning of Him (a process of learning to walk in harmony with Him). A relinquishment of your right to live and make decisions independently. Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Note: Older Christians who have not yet acknowledged His Lordship tend to be threatened by the Master-servant relationship, imagining that it borders on “bondage”. A Christian needs to understand that the God-ordained Master-servant relationship is intended to be liberating.

d. Entering His rest (as pictured in the O.T. Israelites). At the burning bush, God laid out to Moses His original purpose for the Israelites. Ex. 3:7-8 Then the LORD said, “I have observed the misery of My people in Egypt,…I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, … — The 1st group was unwilling to accept God’s plan. (Num. 13:1-2, 23-33, 14:1-11, 19-24) The 2nd group was willing to entrust themselves into God’s care. (Josh. 21:44-45, 23:14) Warning for me: Rom. 15:4 For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. (see also Heb. 4:9-11)

e. A wild mustang. A wild mustang could be used to depict Lordship - The goal is to end up with an animal that is available, trained and useful to its owner (Master). But first the mustang’s will (his resistance to another’s authority) must be broken. Upon acceptance of another’s authority over it, the mustang is not yet considered to be the least bit trained, or useful. However, it now has a mindset (disposition, attitude) that will allow it to begin the process of being trained (transformed), which will over time produce an animal that is useful to its owner. Until the will (mindset, disposition) is changed the animal can never be trained. Psa. 32:9 Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you.

f. Car illustration Imagine an auto which could represent the Christian’s life. The Christian is sitting in the driver’s seat, while Jesus sits in the passenger seat. Because God allows them to hold the steering wheel, many believers erroneously conclude that God is simply seated at their side, ready to help whenever they determine they have a need. Hence the bumper sticker, “God is my co-Pilot”. Even though the Christian may acknowledge that Jesus is holding the “title” to the auto, there is a fear of relinquishing control of the steering wheel. The Lord doesn’t want to be in the believer’s life as a co-Pilot, he wants to be in charge and direct the course of his life. “Lordship” is really an issue of “control”, and it is sad that so many believers are unwilling to let God have control of the steering wheel, because they’re afraid of where He might take them. If given control, God will always do what is in my best interest. God wants the believer to learn to keep his hands on the steering wheel, while actively and voluntarily relying on the Lord to provide directions.

3. ILLUSTRATION OF TWO DOORS What does the typical new Christian have to face as he looks at the future?

Shortly after becoming a Christian I come to a fork in the road where I see a door, through which I can visualize the future. I see goals and material belongings that would seem to satisfy my needs and desires in this life, at least based on my previous experience. Those goals and material belongings don’t appear to be unacceptably evil. In fact I’ve seen many Christians seeking after the same things. Using my God-given skills and intellect, those things appear to be obtainable, especially now that I can count on God to assist when needed. It seems reasonable that if God delivered me from unhappiness when He saved me, my happiness would now be one of His priorities. But wait, I see through another door. It is as though there is a sign beyond the entrance with a message from Jesus saying, “Come follow Me, I have a better plan prepared for you”. He seems to want me to trust Him alone to give me fulfillment and satisfaction in this life and beyond. He seems to be telling me that the things I’ve seen through the other door only give temporary satisfaction for this life, but what He has prepared for me has eternal value. Since I can’t visualize anything He seems to be promising, how does He expect me to make a sensible evaluation? Does He really expect me to just trust Him on blind faith? That doesn’t seem very reasonable since I’m just a new Christian and don’t have much faith yet. Maybe further along I’ll understand better, when I have more faith.

4. MY LIFE CAN BE CATEGORIZED INTO THREE AREAS

There are THREE AREAS over which His Lordship needs to be considered, over my possessions; over my body; and over my understanding. Why three areas? Because a failure to yield to His authority over these three areas can keep a Christian from going on to maturity in Christ to bear eternal fruit. Luke 8:14 As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of life, and produce no mature fruit. (Matthew 13:22 … unfruitful.)

5. IS GOD TOTALLY GOOD?

• Can He be totally counted on?

• What does the Bible say about God’s character?

• What does the evil one say about God’s character?

• Just as a typical small child recognizes the authority of a parent, we should expect the typical new Christian to easily understand that God ought to be in charge.

• Is there a logical reason to not entrust myself totally to His authority? At the judgment seat of Christ what excuse could I offer for not doing so?

• If God has already given me what was most valuable to Him, how can I ever conclude that He would deny me that which is of so much less value? (Rom. 8:32) He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything?

Many older believers tend to equate Lordship to “bondage”, while most new believers will equate Lordship to “freedom” (if it is clearly and correctly explained).

 

Our Daily Bread October 24, 1998

Surrender

In the early 1940s, the president of Dallas Seminary, Lewis Sperry Chafer, gave a very brief banquet speech. Introduced after a long program, he announced his subject:

"The Reasonableness Of Fully Surrendering Our Lives To God."

Then, because of the lateness of the hour, he gave only the three points of his message.

Reason 1: God is all-wise and knows better than anyone else what is best for my life.

Reason 2: He is almighty and has the power to accomplish what is best for me.

Reason 3: God loves me more than anyone else does.

Chafer concluded, "Therefore the most logical thing I can do is surrender my life to God. What more can I say? What more need I say?"

The apostle Paul had the same conviction. He knew that prison and hardship awaited him in Jerusalem, but he also knew that God wanted him to go (Acts 20:22-23). Even his sorrowing friends wisely concluded, "The will of the Lord be done" (21:14). They knew that Paul was right.

No matter what happens, when we do God's will we're in the safest place in all the world. The Lord is all-wise, almighty, and all-loving. Doesn't it make sense to surrender your life to Him? –HVL

All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live. --Van de Venter

Surrender means victory when we surrender to God.

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