Over the last few years, a growing heresy has crept into the church. It is the belief that you can get saved today, call upon Jesus as your Savior, and then, when you feel up to it, sometime down the road, you can give Him the privilege of confessing Him as Lord. Or not—it doesn’t matter! Whatever you want—it’s all about you! You may hear, in many churches, an appeal for the people to “Make Jesus Lord today!” That is about as heretical a statement as you will ever hear.
The people who teach this atrocious doctrine accuse us of linking salvation with works—as if confessing Jesus as Lord is a “work.” Whenever I hear these accusations I often wonder—“Why would they want to deny Jesus His rightful glory as Lord? Do they not want people to think that He is Lord?” What I hope you will take away from this series is the fact that if you want to be saved, you MUST confess that Jesus is Lord.
The overarching Scripture for this series is Romans 10:9 (ESV)—IF you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. What is the opposite of this statement? That if you don’t confess that Jesus is Lord, you will not be saved. It’s really that simple. Remember, these are not my words—this is what is clear from the Scriptures (unless you don’t want to believe the Scriptures).
The best place to start is in the Gospels themselves. We’re going to see that in the gospels that Jesus is declared to be Lord. In fact, Jesus is called “Lord” 124 times in the gospels alone Granted, many of these are simply repeated in more than one gospel. But since it is the Holy Spirit who spoke to the writers, don't you think that maybe God thinks this is a wee bit important?).
So let’s begin, and see who it is that calls Jesus “Lord.”
Jesus referred to Himself as “Lord”
- Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5—“For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
- Matthew 21:2-3, Mark 11:3, Luke 19:30-31—“Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her…And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them…”
- John 13:13—“You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for I am.”
His apostles called Him "Lord"
- Matthew 8:24-25—And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
- Matthew 14:28, 30—And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water”…he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
- Matthew 16:22—Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
- Matthew 17:3-4—And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here."
- Matthew 18:21—Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
- Luke 5:6-8—They caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking…When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
- Luke 12:41—Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”
- Luke 22:33—But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”
- John 6:68—But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
- John 13:6, 9—And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”…“Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
- John 13:36-37—Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?”…“Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”
- John 21:15-17, 21—Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You”…He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You”…He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You”…Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”
- James and John
- Luke 9:54—And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”
- John 14:5—Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
- John 20:28—“My Lord and my God!”
- John 14:8—Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
- Judas (not Iscariot)
- John 14:22—Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
His other disciples called Him "Lord"
- Matthew 8:21, 2; Luke 9:57-61—Someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go”…Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father”…And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
- Matthew 26:21-22—Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”
- Luke 10:17—Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
- Luke 11:1—One of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
- Luke 13:22-23—And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”
- Luke 19:33-34—But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.”
- Luke 22:38—So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”
- Luke 22:49—When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?”
- John 6:33-34—"For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
- John 12:12-13—Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” However, Jesus spoke of his death.
- John 20:24-25—Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
The Gospel writers called Him "Lord"
- Matthew 3:1-3—John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness…and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; make His paths straight.’”
- Luke 7:13—When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
- Luke 7:31—And the Lord said, "To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like?"
- Luke 10:1—After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also.
- Luke 11:39—Then the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean..."
- Luke 12:42—And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward…”
- Luke 13:15—The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?”
- Luke 17:5-6—And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed…”
- Luke 18:6—Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.”
- Luke 19:8—Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord…
- Luke 22:61—And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord.
- Luke 24:3—Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
- John 4:1—The Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John.
- John 6:23—However, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks.
- John 11:2—It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet.
- John 13:25—Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”
- John 20:18, 20—Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord…He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
- John 21:7—Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.
- John 21:12—Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord.
- John 21:20—Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?”
Those who received healing and forgiveness from Him called Him "Lord"
- The centurion
- Matthew 8:5-6—Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”
- Luke 7:6—Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof.”
- Matthew 8:2—And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
- Luke 5:12—And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
- A Canaanite woman
- Matthew 15:22, 25, 27; Mark 7:28—And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed”…Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”…And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
- The father of an epileptic boy
- Matthew 17:14-15—And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water."
- Mark 9:23-24—Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
- Luke 19:8—Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor…”
- The thief on the cross
- Luke 23:42—Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
- The strangers from Emmaus
- Luke 24:33-34—So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”
- The woman caught in adultery
- John 8:10-11—He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.”
- The man with a withered hand
- John 9:36-38—He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
The people closest to Jesus called Him "Lord"
- Mary, His mother
- John 20:11-13—But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping…she saw two angels in white…they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
- Mary Magdalene
- John 20:1-2—Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early…Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple…and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
- Luke 1:43—“But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
- Matthew 28:5-6—But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
- Luke 2:11—“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
- King David
- Matthew 22:43-45; Mark 12:36-37; Luke 20:42-44—He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘YHVH said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”
- John the Baptist
- John 1:22-23—Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the LORD,”’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
Everyone will, eventually, call Jesus “Lord”
- Matthew 7:21-22—“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven…Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name…”
- Matthew 25:36-37, 43-44—“‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?’...‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty…?’”
And this is just the beginning. We will see next week that Jesus is Lord in the Book of Acts.