2006-07-25 - The Lord Jesus Christ
We have seen what it means for Jesus to be the Lord but what does it mean to be the Christ. Christ is a title coming from the Greek Christos and is equivalent to the Hebrew title Messiah. Both mean 'the anointed'. Looking through the Old and New Testament, we see two groups of anointed things emerge: kings and items set aside for God's purpose and plan. I believe recognizing Jesus as the anointed king fits right with the other title Lord so it is redundant if not understood in the other sense. When Jesus claimed to be the Christ as in Mark 14:61-62, and when other Jews proclaimed him the Christ as in Matthew 16:16, they understood it in Jewish terms. Those Jewish terms included the prophecy of Isaiah.
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
This anointed one mends broken hearts, frees those that imprisoned and bound, and comforts the mourning. In short, he saves people from their life situations. The anointed one is a savior; Jesus, the anointed one, is the Savior uniquely set apart by God. Jesus saves, Jesus saves!
Now just what does this Savior Jesus save us from? He saves us from death, he saves us from hell, he saves us from sorrow, he saves us from suffering, and he saves us from darkness. And just how does he do this? He saves us from these things by saving us to much better things. He saves us to eternal life! (John 3:16) He saves us to heaven! (John 14:2-3) He saves us to joy! (John 10:10) He saves us to a new body. (2 Co 5:17)
Just as accepting his Lordship had to be all or nothing, receiving him as Savior must be all or nothing. Paul told the church at Ephesus, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) Our salvation depends fully on him. There is not a single thing we can do and that can be hard to accept. Our modern world tells us that we must work hard to climb up out of bad circumstances. We model ourselves after self-made success stories. Nevertheless, that's not God's way. Jesus said, "Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it." (Luke 17:33 NET)
Look again at the verse we began with.
Acts 16:31 - And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
We must believe Jesus is the Lord and the Christ in order to be saved. Next time we'll dig into what it means to believe that truly.
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted