Is Jesus Your Lord — Really?
Today almost a third of the world’s population professes belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. How sure are these people — and those who watch their lives from different religious angles — that Jesus is indeed their Lord? If you say you are a Christian, how sure are you that Jesus is really and truly your Lord? Only a few questions are as important to your salvation as this one!
Jesus said that, on Judgment Day, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven…” (Matthew 7:21, NKJV throughout). Clearly, it’s not enough for one to merely profess or confess that Jesus is his or her Lord. [See: "I Never Knew You!"]
Who, then, shall enter that kingdom? Jesus continued: “…but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (same verse). Besides merely professing or confessing that Jesus is Lord in our lives, we must be expressing it through our doing. Doing what? Not just anything, but “…the will of My Father in heaven.” [For more on the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ, see: The Trinity Doctrine Reconsidered.]
What’s the Father’s will?
How can we know what our Heavenly Father’s will is, so we can do it? Jesus tells us about the Father: “You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form” (John 5:37). So, how can we know the Father’s will when we have never heard Him tell us what it is — nor have we seen His form or face, to make sure it is really He who speaks to us?
There is only one way to know — through Jesus!
Jesus said, “And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me” (John 5:37). Jesus is the Father’s Son — a mystery (Colossians 2:2; 4:3) we cannot now comprehend nor explain fully. The Father has sent His Son Jesus to be among us humans on this earth, to show us the Father’s will. Jesus alone, among all who have lived as a human on earth, has seen the Father. “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God [Jesus]; He has seen the Father” (John 6:46).
The apostle John says this about Jesus: “No one has seen God [the Father] at any time. The only begotten Son [Jesus], who is in the bosom of the Father, He [Jesus] has declared Him [the Father]” (John 1:18).
As soon as Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River, “…the heavens were opened to Him [Jesus], and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:16-17). Mark 1:11 adds a different angle to this same voice as saying to Jesus: “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Witnesses to Christ’s being the Son of God
The Father Himself has testified about Jesus (John 5:37). The Father is a “greater witness” to Jesus’ being the Son of God (as well as being the Son of Man) than John the Baptist had been (John 5:24-27, 31-36). And how can we be sure that indeed Jesus was sent by the Father?
Jesus mentioned two other witnesses or testimonies to prove that He was sent by the Father: 1) “…the works which My Father have given Me to finish — the very works that I do – bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36), and 2) “…the Scriptures [only the Old Testament then]…these are they which testify of Me’ (John 5:39).
The works Jesus did
While He walked this earth as a human being, Jesus did so many things that there would be no room in all the libraries of the world to contain them. So wrote the apostle John: “And there are also many other things that Jesus did which, if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen” (John 21:25).
It’s enough for the purpose of those who will come to faith through God’s grace and choosing, to read what’s written of Jesus’ works in the gospels and in the letters of the apostles. We need not consult the “apocryphal” writings (collectively called the “Apocrypha,” not included in the “canon,” which is comprised of Old Testament books approved by the Jewish religious authorities and New Testament books accepted by evangelical Christians) in order to know the works of Christ. Not being 100% inspired, the Apocrypha contains material that is contrary to the Scriptural revelation and could thus confuse the seeker of God’s truth.
So important are the works of Christ as recorded in the Bible — the miracles of all sorts (including healing) as acts of compassion, the words He spoke as He taught, His ultimate sacrifice on the cross, His resurrection to life everlasting, and His acts among the disciples before His bodily ascension to heaven — that He told the Jews: “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (John 10:37-38).
The testimony of Scripture
On “the road to Emmaus,” the risen Jesus went incognito with two of His disciples, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). Later that same evening, Jesus appeared to His other disciples. “Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’ And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures” (Luke 24:44-45).
That the Holy Scriptures have survived all these centuries of Satan-inspired human attempts to quell, corrupt and destroy them, is a miracle in itself! But I believe the greater miracle is when God opens a person’s understanding so that that person truly accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord. [See: Spiritual Dyslexia.]
While three of His disciples, in a vision, were witnessing Jesus transfigured on the mount [possibly Mount Horeb -- the "holy mountain" Peter referred to in 2 Peter 1:18], they heard a voice saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him” (Matthew 17:5). [If we are to believe Jesus' testimony in John 5:37, the voice they heard was not the Father's but that of an angel speaking on behalf of the Father. Compare this with John 12:28-29.]
It is through Jesus that we can hear and know the Father’s will. How? Through Jesus’ words and works. Jesus said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me….He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken…For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak, and I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak just as the Father has told Me, so I speak” (John 12:44-50).
Jesus also said, “I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30). He sought it so He could do it! “I must work the works of Him who sent Me” (John 9:4). Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the father [the ancestors of the Israelites] by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds…”
How know Jesus is our Lord?
With this glimpse of who Jesus was, and is, let’s notice what He said in Luke 6:46: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” Here’s the key to knowing whether Jesus is really and truly our Lord: we will do what He says!
Don’t we, in fact, consider as our “boss” one whom we obey, one whose every bidding we do? Do we say, “I love the Lord?” How did Jesus say that we love Him? He said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (verse 21). “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word…” (verse 23). “He who does not love Me does not keep My words, and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” (verse 24).
Paul commands Christians: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you — unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5)?
Here, then, are a few “test questions” we can ask ourselves, to make sure we are not “disqualified.” Let’s compare our answers with what Jesus does say, or what His apostles (following His commission to teach His disciples “to observe all things that I have commanded you,” Matthew 28:20) say.
1. Did Jesus say He came to do away with all Old Testament laws?
2. Did Jesus say we need not keep God’s Commandments to enter God’s kingdom?
3. Did Jesus say the Sabbath was made only for Israel?
4. Did Jesus say we must only love God and not fear Him?
5. Did Jesus say that His disciples must proclaim the gospel to every village before He will return?
6. Did Jesus say that He will set up the kingdom of God in heaven, not on earth?
7. Did Jesus say that Christians don’t need to pay the tithe (10%) of one’s income for God’s work?
8. Did Jesus say that eating unclean meats does not defile a man?
9. Did Jesus say that the scribes and Pharisees strictly obeyed the law of Moses?
10. Did Jesus say He came to bring peace on earth?
Here are the answers (all “No”) from Jesus’ own words as recorded in the gospels, or from revelation to His apostles:
1. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill…Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19). [See: Transgressions Under the First Covenant, Freed From Bondage and Law Added to Law Transgressed.]
2. “Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘…if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments‘” (Matthew 19:16-17). [See: God's Spirit and Obedience, The Law of Christ and Saved For Good Works.]
3. “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). [See: What If the Sabbath Is Still Holy?]
4. “….do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him [God] who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). [See: Can We Fear and Love God at the Same Time?]
5. “For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 10:23).
6. “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).
7. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others [like faithful tithing] undone” (Matthew 23:23). [See: The New Testament Teaching on Giving.]
8. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man” (Matthew 15:19-20). [See: Did Christ Cleanse All Meats?]
9. “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do….Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:2-3, 27-28). [See: Barking Up the Wrong Tree.]
10. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). [See: World Peace -- At Last!]
How did you do on this test? If you got all ten correct, praise God — for Jesus’ Spirit is at work in you! If you got less than seven correct, it’s time to brush up on the Scriptures!
These are just a few of Jesus’ direct sayings and teachings. The New Testament contains more writings by the apostles whom Jesus has “sent” or commissioned to “teach all things I have commanded you.” By extension, then, Jesus speaks to us also through these His apostles.
It’s one thing to know what Jesus said, but it’s definitely another thing do it!
Are we doing what Jesus says and what the apostles command in Jesus’ name? If we truly consider Jesus as our Lord — our “Boss” — we will be obeying His words, and His apostles as they are true to those words. Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him [the Father] who sent Me” (John 13:20).
Conversely, He said to the “seventy others” whom He appointed to preach the good news of the coming kingdom of God, “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me” (Luke 10:1, 9 16).
The apostles knew who Christ is
Jesus’ apostles understood that their Lord is the Creator and the Holy One of Israel who took on the form of a human being so He could be our Savior.
- Paul, for example, understood that the spiritual “Rock” who accompanied the children of Israel during their wilderness sojourn was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:1-4). Therefore the LORD who also gave Israel the Ten Commandments and other laws through Moses was the God who later became Jesus Christ of the New Testament.
- Peter [see: Peter Knew the "Holy One"] understood that the “Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 45:11-12; 48:17-18, etc.) was the “Holy One” (Jesus) whom the Jews had had crucified (Acts 3:14-15). Peter understood that it was the “Spirit of Christ” that worked in the prophets of old (1 Peter 1:10-12).
- Hebrews 11:24-26 also testifies that Moses turned his back on the pleasures and glory of Egypt in exchange for “the reproach of Christ.”
This shows that what Jesus has said or commanded is not found merely in the New Testament. [See: The Law of Christ, A Great Omission in Doing the Great Commission, and The True Christ.] It is also He who spoke — and still speaks — in the Old Testament, which was, after all, the only Scriptures available when Jesus quoted in reply to the tempter: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God‘” (Matthew 4:4).
If we have the proper fear and love of God, and a humble, child-like faith, Jesus will help us — through His Spirit — to understand which parts of the Bible apply to Christians, and which ones do not. As Psalm 25:14 assures, “The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.”
It is only those who truly believe and obey our Lord Jesus by doing all that He says, who will enter the kingdom of God — who will receive everlasting life. Jesus said, “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:26-29).
Revelation 22:14 assures the true disciples of Jesus, of His promise: “Blessed are those who do His commandments, [so] that they may have the right to the tree of [everlasting] life, and may enter through the gates into the [holy] city [New Jerusalem].” [See: God's Spirit and Obedience and Saved For Good Works.]
Is Jesus your Lord — really? I pray that He is! If not, seek now to make Him really and truly your Lord by doing all that He has said. God assures us: “…you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.