I simply want to deal with: “one Lord” in verse 5. Beginning in verse 4, there is “one body and one Spirit just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
Father, I ask You for the help that we need to embrace this, to know this. I want to be able to say to my brethren here what needs to be said, what should be said, what honors You to have said. I pray, Lord, take our minds, take our thoughts, guide them. We pray, Lord, for an endowment of the Spirit’s working and power and energy so as to transform, so as to fill our minds with the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. Expand our understanding. Expand our minds. Expand our thoughts. Expand our awe, our worship. I pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
One Lord. It’s concise. He just says it. I know that’s not all he says, but that’s all he says about the one Lord. Just bang! Right before that, it was one hope. Right after that, it’s one faith. Different things. He’s got seven specific unique “ones” that he throws at us. There’s one Lord. No definition. No information. Just that. One Lord.
It’s kind of like the Lord’s Day. I’ve thought about this. We build whole doctrines around the Lord’s Day, but you know “Lord’s Day” is only used once in the Bible. It’s very interesting, it’s used as John is writing and talking about Jesus walking amidst the candlesticks and Jesus Himself is going to deliver these seven epistles to these seven churches. And John says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.” He doesn’t define “Lord’s Day.” You know when you’re talking to God’s people and you don’t define things, it’s typically because the author, the writer assumes that the people to whom he’s writing understand what he’s talking about. And the thing is if we had just actually read from the very first verse of Ephesians all the way up to chapter 4:5, there would be no doubt in our minds about who Paul was talking about. You know, but let’s be certain about who he’s talking about because the reality is arguably Paul uses the term “Lord” with regards to the Spirit and the Father. I say arguably because it’s not super clear and depending on the translation you have, it’s difficult. For that matter though, it’s not difficult when Jesus looks up there in Matthew 11 speaking to His Father and He calls His Father “Lord of Heaven and earth.” So that name, that title is used probably of the Spirit in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18. Probably Paul uses it with regards to the Father in 2 Corinthians 6 towards the end. But by and large, Paul uses the term 250 to 300 times and usually there is no question about who he has in mind when he uses this term.
But look at Ephesians 1:2. “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” And again in verse 3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” You see, when he speaks of the Father, he calls Him God. When he speaks of Jesus Christ, he calls Him Lord. This is very typical in Pauline literature. Very typical. Ephesians 1:15, “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus…” Verse 17, “The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory.” Look at Ephesians 3:11. “This was according to the eternal purpose that He has realized (or carried out) in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Any question about who Paul means when he says “one Lord”?
And if you still have any doubts, look at another verse with me. Look at 1 Corinthians 8. Because here, Paul is identifying God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ separately, distinctly. They’re not the same person. They’re separate. And he gives more information. He doesn’t leave us in doubt at all about who he’s talking about. 1 Corinthians 8:5-6. “For although there may be (listen to this) so-called gods…” What Paul is recognizing is there are people out there who call all sorts of things “god.” There are all manner of gods in people’s estimations and in people’s minds. And “lords.” So-called because they’re not real. “…So-called gods in heaven and on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords.” So-called. “Yet for us, there is one God, the Father from whom are all things and for whom we exist and one Lord.” There it is. Any doubt about who this is? “One Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” One God and Father. One Lord Jesus Christ.
Both Father and Son are Called Lord
Now, listen to me very carefully. We don’t want to imply from such a statement that God the Father is never called “Lord.” Or, that the one Lord Jesus Christ is never called God. You don’t want to imply that. Both the Father and the Son are called Lord. Kurios in the Greek. Both are called Lord in the same verse as Jesus Christ quotes from the 110th Psalm the words of King David. You know the verse. And He says this, He says, “The Lord…” That is God the Father. “…Said to my Lord…” That’s Jesus Christ. “…Sit at My right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet.” Who’s sitting at the right hand of the Lord? The Lord. “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at My right hand.” See, in Scripture, the title is used for both Father and Son. And likewise, “God” – God the Father. But that doesn’t mean that the title of “God” is never given to Jesus Christ. And in fact, once again, as the Old Testament – I believe it’s Psalm 95 is quoted by the author of Hebrews in Hebrews 1. You know what he says there? He says, “But of the Son…” You remember, he’s saying what God said of the angels. But God says of His own Son, “Your throne, O God…” This is God the Father speaking of His Son and He says, “Your throne, O God…” The Father calls His Son “Theos.” “…Is forever and ever; the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore, God, Your God…” Theos. It’s God speaking to God. “…Has anointed You with the oil of gladness beyond Your companions.”
There is Only One God and One Lord
So if the Father and the Son are both called Lord, if the Father and the Son are called God – both of them in Scripture – why does Paul insist that there’s one God? And that there’s one Lord? Clearly Paul’s not trying to deny that the Father is the Lord or that Jesus Christ is God. What he is emphasizing is this – this is important to recognize – there’s only one God and Father of all and that’s not Jesus Christ. Right here in Ephesians, look at chapter 1:3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord.” See, sometimes because Father is closest there we say well, yes, He’s Father to Christ. He’s Father of the Son. He’s Father. But you know, both God and Father ought to be included there. He’s the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. Look at Ephesians 1:17. “The God of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And you know what’s very interesting? The Scriptures never say this in reverse. Never. The Father is over all. And even in the end, though Christ is definitely said to be equal to the Father, you need to recognize this, and then 1 Corinthians 15 when this whole thing is done, Jesus Christ offers this whole thing up to His Father. The Father said, “You sit at My right hand until I put everything in subjection to You.” And the end’s going to come and Jesus is going to have to put down every single enemy, but when they are all put down, it says “except the One who put everything in subjection to Him.” God the Father is over all and He is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is never said of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is a different Person. And He is not God the Father.
Who is the Lord?
But then there is this, equally true. Though the Father is called Lord, He is not the one Lord Jesus Christ. We have to get this. The Lord Jesus Christ shares our humanity. He is the God-man. Listen to this in Luke 1:43. Don’t look at that. Just listen to me. Elizabeth – do you remember what happened when Mary came to her? The babe inside Elizabeth jumped. And do you remember what Elizabeth said? She said, “Why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Now, Scripture never calls her “the mother of God.” But it calls her the mother of the Lord. Be clear on that.
The Lord. Who is He? The Lord is a Man. He’s the God-man. He’s the Son of David. Listen to this. This one Lord is Lord because He suffered and died and rose again. Listen very carefully. Listen to this. Romans 14:9 says this, “To this end, Christ died and lived again.” The Father cannot die and live again. The Father is God. He’s the one God over all. Through all, in all. He’s not man that He should die. But the Lord Christ died and lived again that He might be Lord. You see that? You hear that? “Lord of the dead and the living.” That cannot be said of God the Father. Christ is Lord by right. He’s Lord by purchase. You know this. Jesus Christ, who being in the form of God – the form. That doesn’t mean not God. Being in the form of God means He is God. He was God. He’s in the form of God. And being in the form of God, what does Scripture say? He didn’t count His being God that which should hold Him back from humbling Himself and taking on the likeness of mankind. He didn’t grasp it. He didn’t hold it. He didn’t let it be a deterrent. But what did He do? He emptied Himself and He took upon Himself the likeness of a servant. And He took upon Himself the form of mankind. And being found in the form of man, what did He do? He humbled Himself. And He became obedient to death, even death on the cross. And you know what the Scripture says? Because He did that, therefore – He had to do that. He had to leave the glory of heaven and become this humbled empty servant Man and die. And it’s because of that that the Father has highly exalted Him and given Him a name that is above every name. And that name is Lord. It’s not Jesus. It’s the name “Lord.” So that every knee might bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord on this earth, in heaven, under this earth. And every tongue will confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father. But see, it’s the “therefore.” You have to tie it. He’s Lord by right. That can never be said of the Father. He is Lord by right, yes. He is over all. All authority is His, but you have to recognize, Jesus came as a man. He came as the second Adam. He came as one to earn His right, earn His place, earn the purchase price. And it’s because He came, it’s because He overcame death and hell and Satan and the grave – it’s because of that that He now has the right to stand as Lord of both the living and the dead. This is what Scripture says. And that cannot be said of the Father. There is one God and Father of all and there is one Lord Jesus Christ and they are separate. Very much so. There is but one Lord Jesus Christ.
There Is No One Like Jesus
And the thing is there’s never been anyone like Him at all! And there never will be! One who is both Son of David and Son of God. There has never been another. One who is man, and yet He is the Word who was God, and the Word became flesh. God manifest in the flesh. Never has there been anyone like Him. Never. There’s never been anyone like Him in the world before He came. There will never be another like Him in this world until He Himself comes again. He stands entirely alone in all the glory of His absolute uniqueness. That’s not to diminish from the glory of the Father or the glory of the Spirit, but He’s unique – one Lord. One.
And so, I came to this verse, and I said – last week I dealt with one body, one Spirit, and one hope all in one message. So I looked at this. Okay, one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Do I deal with all three of those? And make some progress to get smiles from all the Medina children. But you know what? You know what jumped out at me? What jumped out at me are the words that Jesus said in John 16. When Jesus said that “when the Spirit of truth comes, He will glorify Me,” I thought this: I’ve got the Spirit. I believe the Spirit is in this place, among this people. And this Spirit’s business is to exalt Jesus Christ. And if that Spirit is with me, I ought to be able to take those two words “one Lord” and if the Spirit’s in exalting His Son, that ought to at least produce one message, probably a lifetime of messages. It’s like we heard in the first hour. Probably you couldn’t even fill all the world with all the messages that ought to come forth from this if the Spirit really let loose.
One Lord. Now, here’s the thing, remember what’s going on here in Ephesians at this point? The Apostle is concerned with what? What’s he concerned with? What was there in verse 3? Where are we getting all these “ones” from? Unity. It’s the unity of the Spirit. All this flows from what you saw there in verse 3. Paul’s thinking ought to be clear on this. One Lord, therefore one church. It’s a uniting doctrine. One Lord. One Lord. And that just cuts through all the many distortions that men suppose concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. One Lord. There aren’t many Christ’s. There’s the one we heard about in the first hour who men tend to be offended at. The Cornerstone who men tend to trip over. But you know what happens is they trip over it and they recreate Him so that He’s not trippable. They recreate Him so that He’s not offensive. People don’t want an offensive Christ. And so what they do is they redefine Him. Muslims redefine Him. Catholics redefine Him. Hindus redefine Him. Buddhists redefine Him. Atheists redefine Him.
The truth is there’s a lot of people that call themselves orthodox Christians and they’re redefining Him. There aren’t many Christ’s. There’s one. It doesn’t work that you have your version of Jesus and I have mine. You don’t define Him. And I don’t define Him. He is not one thing to one, and another thing to another. There’s nothing more uniting than this: one Lord. Therefore, one church. 2,000 years ago, Paul spoke of the fact – you remember when he was speaking to the Corinthians? He was actually rebuking the Corinthians and He was saying, you know what? You guys will tolerate it when somebody comes in here and they set before you another Jesus. You’re all too quick to tolerate that. What’s that? Another Jesus? Yeah. Other than who Paul preached. Oh, it was common 2,000 years ago and it’s common today. Paul himself admits, have you ever read it there in 2 Corinthians 5? Paul says this – now he’s commending the Corinthians. He said “we no longer regard men according to the flesh.” And he said you know, we did one time regard Christ according to the flesh, but not anymore. What does that mean? What’s flesh? The best we can do in our humanity. It’s the best men can do in defining Christ who don’t have the Spirit. That’s what that is. We think of Christ – do you remember how you thought of Christ before you were saved? Christians in here, how did you used to think of Him? Oh, I’ll tell you this, I definitely thought about Him according to the flesh. My thinking about Him was altogether transformed when the Spirit of God took the blinders off. I’ll tell you this, He became altogether glorious in my eyes, and He was not before that.
What does that mean? You know what people say. You know what they do according to the flesh. You know that. I remember this – I remember being in the tool room there at Miller-Kerton. I remember the foreman out there. I said, “Jesus Christ is God.” He said, “No, He’s the Son of God, but not God.” How do men redefine Him? Whatever the Catholics say, they say we need Mary. We need Mary more. So, however they define Christ, He certainly isn’t sufficient. Him saying on the cross, “It is finished,” they not only need Mary, they need purgatory to try to pay off the rest of this thing. You see, everybody’s for redefining Him. The Muslim – what does he say? “Well, He’s a prophet. We’ll give Him that much, but He’s not God. He didn’t die on that cross for our sins.” Redefining. Everybody wants to redefine Him. Because you know what? We heard this in the first hour. We’ve got Christmas coming up. Oh, that is one of the greatest redefinings of Christ. You say, are you going to observe the day or not observe the day? I’ll tell you this: The world and the world who approaches Christ by the flesh – let’s put Him as a baby in a manger. And that’s perpetually in their mind how they want to imagine Him. Or that’s another error of the Catholics. They like to portray Him dead on that crucifix all the time. Yes – dead Christ, baby Christ. “That’s what we want. He’s not offensive.”
Another says Christ is important, but we need more. We need our own efforts. We need our own works. He’s a great man, but that’s all. Some say like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, they say He was created. That’s all. He was created. He’s an angel. He’s Michael. The Jews – what did they say? Well, He’s not the Messiah. Did you see? I saw on Drudge that some snake came out of the wailing wall. They’re like, oh, that’s a sign! The Messiah’s coming! Oh, they totally redefine Him. The Jews in His day said He’s a deceiver. Paul Himself said I thought to do many things contrary to Him and against Him before my eyes were opened. I saw Him as an enemy to the truth. I saw Him as a deceiver and to be resisted and to be fought against. Brethren, we’ve got people all around us redefining Christ. However they redefine Him, it’s so that He’s not offensive. Not offensive! But as soon as you say He’s God, as soon as you call Him one Lord and He’s got every right to have authority over you and you are going to bow to Him, oh, that’s offensive! The builders – they rejected Him. The world – they reject Him. This offensive Christ they reject. They redefine Him. Some think Him a name – this was very common with myself and with my family and with my friends. They think Him no more than a name to use when you’re cursing and when you’re swearing. Some imagine Him as a Christ who smiles.
I saw something on Daniel the other day. It was meant for children. And Daniel is put down in the lion’s den and he’s spared and he comes out and there’s the king. And the king prayed and fasted all night. And Daniel says, “The Lord sent his angel and He protected me.” And then the king says, “Throw those who accused them down there into the lion’s pit… tomorrow.” And in whoever’s caricature of this, Daniel says, “Well, I’ll pray for them because God’s merciful.” As though what? Those men were thrown down in there immediately and devoured. People want to redefine! This is offensive! We don’t like that kind of Christ. That He’ll send His angel to protect Daniel, but then allow the lions to just devour the wicked men. That is the kind of Christ we have. Many people see and they imagine Christ as some pathetic, effeminate, pale, anemic, dove-eyed pushover. Have you ever seen the pictures of Him? But there is one Lord. There is one Lord. And we don’t define Him. The one Lord Jesus Christ of Scripture – who is He? In the beginning was the Word. He was there. He was with God. And He is God. And you can’t get away from that. Don’t redefine Him. And that Word became flesh. True man. God became man. This is what it took to rescue us from our sins. This is the Christ. And He did become sin. He did die on a cross. And He died on the cross as a substitute for sinners. He became sin to cancel the record of our debt. In Him Scripture says are hidden the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. This is the Christ of Scripture. He did die and He did rise and He is alive and He ascended. And Scripture tells us He is seated at the right hand of the majesty on high. And He reigns. He is at the right hand of the Father and all of His enemies are being made a footstool for His feet. He is highly exalted by the Father. He has been given a name that is above every name. And I’ll tell you this, every knee will bow to Him. And it doesn’t matter who you’re following right now. You could say Confucius had the wisdom or Mohammed – whatever you have, you can admire Mary, you can deny it all. You can say I’m an atheist and I don’t even believe. It doesn’t matter. We are all headed to an appointment with Him. This is the one Lord. He’s Lord. And our knees are going to bow and our tongues are going to confess. And there is no getting around that. He is exalted. The one Lord is God. Scripture says He’s the radiance of the glory of God. He’s the exact imprint of the nature of God. Scripture says that the Son declares the Father. In Him you behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
And this one Lord – let me tell you about Him. He’s not this effeminate, pathetic thing, anemic thing. I remember my great-grandmother had that typical picture of Jesus that I showed the kids during Vacation Bible School, and I asked all the kids, “Is this Jesus?” And they all shouted, “Yes!” And I said, “No! It’s not Him!” It’s somebody’s idea of Him. Somebody’s invention of Him. Let me tell you something. The Lord of Scripture was a man’s man. Not like this effeminate thing some imagine. The one Lord – He cleansed the temple. He took a whip in there. Did you see what He did? He could come in to a meeting of a bunch of high leaders and He could say, “If you sit in the first seat, you sit in the best seat, you’re going to be humbled.” And He could look right in their eyes and say that. He could come before those Jewish leaders and He could look them dead in the eye – He took them on. He took them on. He said, “You’re wrong.” He said, “You’re going to die in your sins.” He looked at them and He said, “I am the Messiah, but you won’t believe Me.” He stood toe to toe with them. This one – He walked those roads of Palestine. It’s the Middle East under that sun! He wasn’t white. He wasn’t pale. He was out there in the sun. He was a man’s man. He was a friend of tax collectors and sinners. He walked around with a bunch of Galilean fishermen. He had carpenter’s arms and carpenter’s hands. This was the Christ of Scripture. And He was gentle and tender with impure women, a woman of the city. Mary Magdalene had seven demons. And He was not afraid. With those Jewish leaders and all their convictions about the Sabbath, He’d go right up and heal somebody. He’d give them their sight. This is the Christ of Scripture. He wasn’t afraid to go to a wedding and make the best wine. This is the Christ of Scripture. Some people imagine Him altogether other than He is. He was willing to enter into men’s celebrations. He loved weddings and good wine. Fearless. He went toe to toe with the devil out there in the wilderness. They tried to get rid of Him. They couldn’t tolerate Him. But you know what, they tried to get rid of Him and He came back. They killed Him. He rose from the dead. They sealed the tomb. He breaks the seal. You can’t get rid of Him!
And as much as mankind wants to get rid of Him just like they did back then, this one Lord – you don’t get rid of Him because He is Lord. Lord means He’s sovereign. He’s the owner. He’s got the authority. This is His. We are His. This world is His. You remember this, He is Lord of both the living and the dead. That doesn’t mean those who are in the cemetery over there. Listen, on judgment day, He is going to judge the living and the dead. They’re all going to be conscious. He doesn’t mean some are still over in the grave. What He means is some are alive spiritually and some are still dead in their sins. And He is Lord of you. And you’ll know it that day when your own tongue confesses and your own knee bows. Brethren, the wise path is to submit yourself and surrender to this Lord. That’s the wise path. Many have tried to stop it, but it can’t be stopped. His Kingdom. What we’re told is it’s a kingdom that’s forever. His kingdom goes on and on and on. This is the one Lord. And when He comes, He will not come in weakness, but in power and in glory. And you know that text that says you bring those enemies of Mine before Me; those who did not want Me to reign over them, you bring them here and slaughter them before Me. Listen, if you continue to resist, if there are any in here, you continue to resist this Lord Jesus Christ – He is Lord. He is Lord. And what He’s doing right now is He’s showing you kindness. That’s what Scripture says. He showers you with kindness, not to make you think that everything’s okay or to make you think that your twisted image of Him is okay. He’s giving you a time now for all of us, we’re on death row. All of us. But we are given a time to seek pardon. And Him being kind to us does not indicate necessarily that you’re pardoned. Don’t misinterpret. Maybe you’ve been in the place where you trusted something else – you’ve trusted yourself; you’ve trusted in your own opinions and your own strength; you’ve trusted Mary or you’ve trusted Mohammed or Ganesh there in India or Confucius or science or aliens. But I’ll tell you this, when you take your last breath, there will be one Lord and one Judge of all. We have an appointment with this one Lord.
Now listen, to deny Christ doesn’t simply mean that He never existed. To deny Christ simply means to define Him other than He is. You say, how do you know that? Listen to what Scripture says. “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?” Messiah. “This is the antichrist.” Notice what he doesn’t say. It’s not the person who simply comes along and says, “Jesus never existed.” He’s not even going there. That’s not the issue. The issue is this: if you deny that Christ is who Scripture says He is, you’re attacking Christ. You’re denying Christ. “This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” Wait, wait. How does he get the Father in there? Well, because of this: The Father is the one who declares to us who Jesus is. If you say, “I don’t think so,” this has to do with the Father’s honor as well. Because basically to deny Christ, to say He’s other than who He is is to call God a liar. That’s the issue. “No one who denies the Son has the Father.” Be careful there. People love to say we have the same God. Do you ever hear that? I hear that. “It’s the same God.” “I’m from another religion, but our god is your God.” Okay, wait a second, how do you define Christ? As soon as they define Christ different, not the same God because if you deny the Son, you don’t have the Father. “Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” Listen, if you don’t have the Father, it means you don’t have God, no matter what you may think, no matter how you may think, no matter what your trust may be in. No matter how certain you are. No matter what hope you’re resting on. I’ll tell you this, if the Christ you have is not the Christ of Scripture, you don’t have the Father. Only the Christ of Scripture is the way to the Father. No one comes unto the Father except by the biblical Christ – not the Christ of our own imagination; not the Christ we invented; not the Christ somebody else invented in some false religion. There is one Lord. One Lord.
The thing that we need to recognize is this: The Father – this one God and Father is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Their identities go together. Do you notice that? Do you recognize what I’m saying? If you redefine the Lord, then He’s no longer the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ because our Lord Jesus Christ is one Lord. He’s got definition. There is a way He is. There is a way that God expresses to us who He is. God has borne witness concerning His Son. He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Redefine Christ – you’ve just redefined the God and Father of that Lord Jesus Christ. Their identities are integrally tied to each other. That’s the reality.
Listen to this. “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you have crucified.” Did you get that? The Father has made Him Lord and Christ. Jesus Christ is the one Lord by the decree of God the Father. God made Christ Lord. Now this is interesting. (incomplete thought) I know many of you, you’ve often heard: “We don’t make Jesus Lord.” God made Him Lord. We don’t make Jesus Lord. He is Lord. Well, that’s true. We don’t make Him Lord. Lots of people talk that way and you know that. No one makes Him Lord except the Father. He is Lord. And like I said, He’s not only Lord to Christians. He died, He went to that cross, and He rose again that He might be Lord of both the living and the dead. On judgment day, Acts 10:42 says, “He is the one appointed by God…” Again, notice that. God made Him Lord and Christ. God appointed Him to be Judge. Of who? The living and the dead. Those who are saved; those who are not saved. Those who are Christians; those who are not Christians. But here’s the thing, God making Christ Lord is interesting from another standpoint. Jesus must be made Lord to be Lord. Certainly, we don’t make Him that, but isn’t that interesting? Wait. Jesus in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Doesn’t His being God make Him Lord? Why does He have to be made Lord? If God becomes man, why does He have to be made Lord? Those are the kind of questions that come through my mind. But you know what you find in Scripture? It’s as a man, as the God-man, as the descendant of David, He as a man, He has an earthly, manly King, He needs to be made Lord. What’s so unique about Him is that He is actually a man who has been committed with all authority; one who bears our very nature, (incomplete thought). His being God – it didn’t automatically make Jesus of Nazareth one Lord. Listen to this. Listen to these texts. I’ve already mentioned Philippians 2 where it says, “Therefore, God has highly exalted Him…” Why? Because He emptied Himself. How? In becoming a servant and becoming man and becoming obedient even to death on the cross. Therefore, God highly exalted Him and gave Him this name.
Or how about this? John 5:22, “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son.” But notice, the Father has given all judgment to the Son. John 5:26, “As the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself.” Isn’t that interesting! It’s like it’s not automatic. It’s given. It’s bestowed. It’s granted. We get these verses at us all the time throughout Scripture. Matthew 28:18, in light of the Great Commission, Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” Do you recognize what that’s saying? Even in heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father all authority has been given to Him in heaven. The angels are at His charge. What goes on in heaven, what goes on on this earth. But, “all authority has been given to Me.” Matthew 11:27, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father.” Hebrews 1:2, “But in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son whom He appointed heir of all things.” It’s appointment. It’s bestowal. It’s handed over. It’s granted. “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand,” John 3:35 says. Acts 10:42, “He is the one appointed by God to be Judge of the living and the dead.” John 17:2, Jesus praying to His Father about Himself says, “You have given Me authority over all flesh to give eternal life to all whom You have given Me.” John 6:57 – it’s just amazing. John 6:57, “I live because of the Father.” I love that text. 1 Corinthians 15:27, “God has put all things in subjection under His feet.” “Let all the house of Israel know and be certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you have crucified.” There’s one Lord. God has made Him what He is. His life derives from God. His authority from God. It is God who defines Him. It is God who has given Him what defines Him. This one Lord Jesus Christ.
And if you change this description, if you seek to alter the definition of Jesus Christ, this one Lord, and what He is and who He is and what He has done – if you say, “No! Jesus is not like that,” then you call God the Father a liar. Because God the Father has indicated to us that this is exactly the identity of His one Son. This one God and Father has described the identity of His Son. And the identity of the Father is uniquely integrally tied to the identity of the one Lord. And I’ll tell you this, has this not always been that which not just offends people over Jesus Christ, but offends people about the church? We are intolerant at this point. We can tolerate sinners of all different shades. But we are intolerant at this point. There is an intolerance in Christianity. When somebody comes to us and says, “Oh, our god is the same God as yours…” Intolerance. No way. Not when your “christ” is different than our Christ. No way. Intolerance. We cannot tolerate that. If we do, it’s not true Christianity. It’s not biblical Christianity. No way. In fact, if you have not seen and you are not persuaded of this intolerant aspect of Christianity, you probably have never come face to face with true Christianity and with the one Lord and the one Spirit and the one God and Father of all. This Christ of Scripture must stand alone. He is entirely unique. There is one Lord. What do we read? “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name given among men under heaven by which we must be saved.”
His uniqueness, brethren, must be preserved. And that unifies us. That’s what Paul’s getting at. This unifies us. One Lord. Therefore, one church. One Christ. We don’t redefine Him. We can’t. We are intolerant. This one Lord. One Lord. This is what defines our Christianity. If you think that you can find God apart from and without this one Lord, you’re altogether mistaken. Altogether. Paul said this, “What we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord…” You want something – those of you that go out today – you want something in your message? Maybe sometimes you wonder, what do I say? What do I say when I go up to the door? I’ll tell you this you can say: Jesus Christ is Lord. And you’ve got to do with Him. Let me remind you as you’re sitting there drinking your beer, watching your football game. Or, sitting there anticipating Thanksgiving. There is one Lord and you’ve got an appointment with Him and so do I. Oh brethren, this one Lord. What have we been told? If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you believe that God has raised Him from the dead – have you ever thought about that? You just kind of pass over that. “Oh, well, we have to confess Jesus Christ.” No, it says if you confess Him as Lord… Lord. You see, there’s a surrender. When you say, “Lord… Lord!” You’re saying, “I’m not Lord.” I lay down my weapons. I’m surrendering to follow You, to be saved by You in whatever way You save. But if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you believe in your heart that God raised this Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, Scripture promises you will be saved. You reject this Christ as Lord? You cannot be saved. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord… There it is – the Philippian jailer – what must I do to be saved? Call upon the name of the Lord.
See, Paul says when we preach, we preach He is Lord of all. Don’t just skip over that like that’s some sort of trivial addendum to His name, like we put a Mr. or Mrs. – like we just call Him the Lord Jesus Christ. We kind of fly over it. No, you need to take it seriously. Jesus took it seriously. He looked at people one day there in Luke 6. He says, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things I say?” You see, there’s an inconsistency. If you say it with your mouth, you need to believe it in your heart. And if you believe it in your heart, if there’s truly been repentance – remember, a change of mind – what is that change of mind? It goes from seeing Christ as small, insignificant, not the Lord – I’m Lord. I call the shots. No. “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and you don’t do the things I say?” You see, if there’s repentance, if you really have had a change of mind, if you’re really believing on and calling upon the Lord… Acts 2:21 there on the day of Pentecost – “It shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” We must be intolerant because no other Jesus can save. There’s one name under heaven among men whereby we must be saved. His name. Not another. One Lord. He’s the Savior and there is no other. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” “There is no other way to the Father except by Me.”
But there is a way to the Father. And don’t despise that way. Don’t ignore. We must be intolerant. One Lord. He alone. We must never say that God can be known without Him. We must be utterly intolerant at this point. And because all true Christians are intolerant at this point, that very intolerance unites every one of us. I could meet somebody far away in another country and it’s like, “Describe your Lord to me.” Amen. We are united. But if you say to me: I don’t care where I meet you. I could meet you right here in my own house. Right here at home. And you say to me: Christ isn’t enough. I need purgatory. Or you say to me He was a prophet, but He wasn’t God. Or you say to me, He’s weak. He’s effeminate. We need something else. We don’t have the same Christ. Intolerance. We’re welded into one by this absolute unity where there’s intolerance about the Person of Christ.
Listen, this is not the height of arrogance. Some might suppose that. When there’s intolerance, people say, they’re mean; they’re mean-spirited. They don’t accept other people. No, it’s not the height of arrogance and pride. Actually, for unity, for us all to be one, for us to all be intolerant around these truths, actually if you go back to Ephesians 4:2, it calls for humility. This is the height of humility because we’re not inventing this. This isn’t us being lifted up in our own pride in defining who Christ is. No. We’ve been where you are and we’ve come face to face. And what we had to do was bow to this Christ. We had to surrender.
Proper Estimation of the Lord
Actually, what is humility? What’s at the heart of it? The heart of it is proper estimation of self, proper estimation of Him. We bowed to God’s description of His Son. Totally inconsistent to call Him Lord and not do the things He says. You see, if you call Him Lord, and you do the things He said, that’s a picture of humility, not of pride and arrogance. It’s a picture of surrender. We’re surrendering to Him. We will not surrender to other people’s definitions of Christ. Because we’re surrendered to Him. It unifies. Just listen to this. You know this text, but listen to it in light of all that I’m saying. “The one who observes the day…” Some people observe days who are Christians. And some other Christians don’t observe the same day. We could bring in Sabbaths, we could bring in Passover. Whatever. But listen to this. “The one who observes the day observes it in honor of the Lord.” That is key. He’s Master. He’s sovereign. He’s in control. And when I do what I do, whether I keep it or don’t keep it, it’s in surrender to Him. See, I’m doing what I think He wants me to do. And I’m honoring Him. That’s unity. You know what? Even if you come to a different conviction about keeping the Sabbath, you keep it in honor of Him. I don’t keep it – that doesn’t disunify us. Because what we’re both seeking to do is honor the same Lord. That unifies us. And that’s the very point of Paul. “The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God. While the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord, and gives thanks to God. None of us lives to himself.” You don’t. And you don’t die unto yourself. “If we live, we live unto the Lord. If we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die we’re the Lord’s.” He’s owner. “For to this end Christ died and lived again that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” One Lord, brethren. One Lord.
This is the most unifying of realities. Christians, think about it, we’re soldiers under one Commander. One Commander. One. He’s not divided. There’s one Lord. He has one purpose. He has one agenda. He has one plan, one goal, one purpose. He is not at odds with Himself. He has one will, one agenda, one direction. He’s taking us all somewhere. There’s movement here. The Lord is moving towards the end of time, towards when He’ll come. There’s a plan. There’s some place we’re headed. We’re moving under this one Commander and He is Lord. He is my Lord and there’s one Lord, so you don’t have a different one. He’s your Lord. The issue for each of us is are we surrendered to Him? His purposes are singular. Where’s He going? All authority has been given to Me. So what does He have to say to us? Okay, you go to all the nations. You know what His purpose is? His purpose is that Jesus Christ would be lifted up before all the nations. It’s the glory of God. And you know what? When people bow down and they say, “He is the Christ,” that glorifies God. Have you seen how when that widow’s son was raised and they even just said, listen, He is a prophet, but He’s more than a prophet. When they said “the great prophet,” “God has brought a prophet into the land,” you notice what it said? They glorified God. The glory of God is as we take this message because all authority has been given to this one Lord. And we go seek to make disciples. Every nation is going to bow down. Every nation is going to be represented there on judgment day. And we’re to go. We’re to go out there and we’re to lift Him up, even though we may be different members and differently gifted, the reality is that we have this one Lord and He’s pressing the whole church forward. We are moving towards eternity. We are all moving towards judgment day. We’re all moving in the direction of having to stand and face His approval or His disapproval. He’s the Judge of all. Remember, “I was naked and you clothed Me.” “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Have you ever heard that? It’s His approval. It’s His approval. Brethren, the most unifying thing that this church can have is not that we be clones of each other and not that we all have exactly the same convictions, but when all of our convictions are motivated by this one Lord and by His will and desiring to please Him, surrender to Him, follow Him, be about His business, that is the most unifying thing that can possibly happen in a church. The thrust. What is the thrust of it all? Hastening towards the day of His return. Hastening. Moving to that day when every knee shall bow, with finality and exclamation, that end is going to come. And what? Every enemy subject to Him. Every principality, ruler, power, brought to bow down. Everyone including the last enemy death. And Jesus Christ is going to turn the whole thing over to His Father. That is the end. We’re under the command of one Lord. He’s moving the troops. One body should respond to one Head. All nations – wherever God’s people are found bowing down. This unifying reality. Brethren, there’s nothing more certain. He that is with us is greater than he that’s in the world. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. Help has been laid upon one who is mighty. He is Lord.
Surrender to Him
Listen, to surrender to Him is the safest thing imaginable. Because He’s good. He doesn’t rule like the tyrants of this world. He doesn’t rule like the ways of bloody Islam or bloody Catholicism. He doesn’t rule that way. He rules by kindness. And He rules by shedding His own blood. He is Lord because He laid down His life for sinners and was raised from the dead. And He comes in kindness. And He said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” That’s the kind of Lord we have. We have the kind of Lord who hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors. We have the kind of Lord who saves sinners. We have the kind of Lord who is beckoning that people come to Him. We have the kind of Lord who was willing to empty Himself and be humbled and become a servant and become man so that He might die. That’s the kind of Lord that we have. And He is Lord. And just because He has come in weakness and humility in the past doesn’t mean He’s going to come like that when He comes again. He has risen. He is exalted. And it is expected that you bow down before Him and surrender to Him.
And if you do, there’s salvation to the uttermost. He will save you. He will take you to glory, to paradise. He will wash all your sins away. This is the kind of Lord we have. There is no other. This is the one Lord. The one Lord Jesus Christ that we all have to do with. He is Lord of the living and of the dead. And He is the one God has appointed to judge every single one of us. On that judgment day, you want to stand before Him having had all your sins washed away by the Judge. He won’t need convincing. He’ll bear the wounds glorified. He’ll bear them. There’ll be no convincing of the Judge because He Himself is the one who poured out His blood. But I’ll tell you this, if you stand before Him on that day and you did not willingly bow the knee to Him here, that day is going to be most terrifying. Paul said, “…knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” And we would persuade you. Don’t misinterpret His coming as a servant and His coming gentle and His coming meek and lowly the first time. Don’t misinterpret that. Because when He comes again, it will not be to offer you salvation. If you have not taken it, it will be to come and destroy His enemies. And be certain, that day is coming. It’s appointed. It’s appointed to you to die and then it’s appointed to you to face this Christ, this one Lord in judgment. And if you stand there in your sin, He will give the word: “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity.” And you’ll not resist. You will go because there is one Lord. And whoever you think it is, in that day you will know, and your own tongue will confess. Your own knee will bow. Can you imagine the picture? All the offspring of Adam. Through all the ages. See them there. There’s almost 8 billion now. Who knows how much longer life will go on? The world will go on. Can you imagine all the masses of mankind? You know what the noise is if I suddenly asked all of you right now to just drop to the floor. There would be that noise and then silence for the most part. Can you imagine just that sound of every knee, every head bowed? Can you imagine it? There He stands. Absolutely above all. A name above all names. In His glory. In His power, in His authority, in His beauty. It will be breathtaking. In one sense, there will be something in us wanting to not lift our eyes, (incomplete thought). For those people being forced, they’ll want to run and find a mountain to cover them. But for us there will be a beauty, I don’t know that even as our knees bend we’ll be able to take our eyes off of Him. Such glory, such majesty. This is reality. There is one Lord. And we’re going to see Him. Oh, you want to see Him with a smile, not with a frown, because He’s the Lord. And to have pleased Him, that’ll be everything in that day. To have displeased Him, you’ll desire the mountains to fall on your head and hide you from His eyes. You will wish to be anywhere but in that place.
Father, we want to do honor to Your Son, the one Lord Jesus Christ here in this place. We want to honor Him. We want to magnify Him. We want to proclaim Him. He is Lord. You’ve made Him such. Father, we thank You. One mediator. One Lord. One way. There is but one Christ. One Lord Jesus Christ. Lord, we pray, reveal Him to us all the more. Give us new sights, new glimpses, new perception, new manifestations. Come, Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself more and more we pray in Christ’s name, Amen.