We have considered in a previous article the personal names of the Lord as ‘Jesus’ and His official title as ‘Christ’. These express the wonders of His person and power. We would now present His pre-eminence in His title ‘Lord’. It is full of spiritual significance and eternal interest.
1. CHRIST THE LORD
Like ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ He was designated ‘Lord’ at His birth. The heralding angel made a clear announcement to the lowly shepherds concerning Him, ‘Unto you is born… Christ the Lord’, Luke 2. 11. Again, at the beginning of His public ministry John the Baptist called the nation to ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord’, Luke 3. 4. In both these statements, Jehovah is revealed. When He was thus made known to Israel they did not receive Him. They failed to believe He was the Lord. Later, however, Peter showed his distinct realization of His wondrous Person when openly by the lakeside he confessed, ‘I am a sinful man, O Lord’, Luke 5. 8. A further, fuller, unreserved confession was made by Thomas following the Lord’s resurrection, when he said, ‘My Lord and my God’, John 20. 28. We thus trace from the nebulous beginning of the angelic proclamation, the growing awareness among those whose hearts the Lord had opened, the wonderful significance of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As we enter the Acts it is evident that ‘Lord’ replaces ‘Jesus’ as the narrative name. He is preached as ‘Lord of all’ by Peter to the Roman centurion. Paul describes Him as the ‘Lord of glory’ and the ‘Lord of lords’, 1 Cor. 2. 8; 1 Tim. 6. 15. To call Him Lord is a confession of faith, loyalty and submission, Rom. 10. 9. It is the most blessed experience of a poor sinner to confess his guilt and turn to God, confessing the name of the Lord alone for salvation. This can only come by the power of the Holy Spirit. The very utterance of this name in truth is a seal of salvation. ‘No man can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Spirit’, 1 Cor. 12. 3. The owning of Him as Lord expresses the majesty of His person, the mystery of His power and the marvel of His passion.
2. THE LORD JESUS
This title brings before our minds and hearts’ affection the authority of Jesus. ‘For God hath made that same Jesus both Lord and Christ’, Acts 2. 36. It speaks of One who was here as a Man of Sorrows, now exalted to the highest place in heaven. As we sing in one of Sir Edward Denny’s greatest hymns:
Past suffering now, the tender heart
Of Jesus on His Father’s throne
Still in our sorrows bears a part
And feels them as He felt His own.
He is Lord in resurrection glory and is seated far above all upon His Father’s throne. We should magnify the name of the Lord Jesus, Acts 19. 17. We must also bow to His complete authority in every department of Christian living and church testimony. Everything is to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus. ‘Whatsoever ye do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him’, Col. 3. 17. He must be acknowledged in everything as the Lord, who has all authority in heaven and on earth. As for those who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus, what shall their end be? The Lord Jesus shall take vengeance on them, 2 Thes. 1. 7, RV. When saints are called to act for God on earth, it is in the name of the Lord Jesus and on the authority of the Lord Jesus, 1 Cor. 5. 4.
3. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We would consider this to be the full official title of the Redeemer and Sovereign. It should be used in all the gatherings of the saints with the utmost reverence and dignity. To realize that we are able to take a name like this upon our lips should fill our souls with awe and worship. Paul would remind the believers at Corinth of Him whose ownership they had denied in contrast to the many names they were found exulting in. So he said by the Holy Spirit, ‘Now I beseech you brethren through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment’, 1 Cor. 1. 10.
At the conclusion of most of the letters of Paul are the words ‘the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you’. May this desire of the apostle be our portion until the day when He shall come. We would say ‘Even so, come Lord Jesus’, and ‘the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all’, Rev. 22. 20-21.