Why Do You Call Me Lord? 
 Jesus rightly demands more than lip service  

By Jon W. Quinn

46 "Why do you call Me, "Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?
47 "Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:
48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
49 "But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great." (Luke 6:46-49)

Following Jesus involves knowing the truth. Knowing the truth leads to freedom if we act upon it, and continue to do so. Jesus said,
"If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:31,32).

Among other things, this freedom includes the freedom from thinking that I have to please or impress everybody in some sort of popularity contest. Knowing the truth frees me from that. I live to please God, who is supreme in His universe. He, alone, in a changeless, unceasing way, is in command of my eternal destiny. He has determined where I will spend eternity if I continue in His truth. Quite simply, no one else has any say so at all in this matter. It is all in God's hands. I am secure as long as I know the truth as I continue in His word.

So, I am little concerned about the changes in the various denominational creeds from year to year. It is not my desire to seek approval of various religious conventions and the doctrines they issue or withdraw. It is not my concern to make sure my beliefs and practice match the prevailing thoughts and views of society in general. Opinion polls are interesting, and may help me know in what areas I need to be prepared to speak and defend the truth of Scriptures, but my beliefs are not based on the prevailing opinion about anything.

With this confidence, I am able to stand with the same resolve as the apostles did before the council and declare,
“(I) must obey God rather than men.” (See Acts 5:28-32). Jesus is Lord of my life. He is also my Savior. He must be both of these; both Lord and Savior. He will not be one without the other.

To Know the Truth
The first prerequisite of legitimately calling Jesus
“Lord” is to know the truth. One simply cannot “do the things” that He says if he or she does not know what those things are.

The Scripture is the inspired word of God. If I am a seeker of truth, I may as well know that if I leave the Scriptures out of my search then I will certainly fail to find the truth for which I seek. I will end up just as wrong as the Sadducees of Jesus' day as they rejected the idea of resurrection. Jesus told them,
“You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29).

The Pharisees, too, had their problems with the Scriptures. They seemed to be quite willing to set aside whatever Scriptures suited them in order to maintain the status quo of their religious system. So, in spite of the very obvious ways in which the Scriptures had spoken of the Messiah, and how Jesus fulfilled these Scriptures, they rejected Him. He said the them,
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40).

We can know the truth. The faith has been delivered to us, communicated not in some mysterious language of angels but in human language (Jude 3; Ephesians 3:4; 5:17). Know the truth!

To Tell the Truth
Another prerequisite of legitimately calling Jesus
“Lord” is to speak the truth. One simply cannot “do the things” that He says if he or she is unwilling to tell others about His gospel.

And, we must be accurate in our speaking forth His word. It is not up to us to just say anything that we wish. Accepting the authority of His Lordship over our lives includes the things we speak. So important is this aspect that the Scriptures say,
“Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God…” (1 Peter 4:11). God's own word must be the source and basis of the doctrines I teach others!

If God's word is going to perform its work in our hearts and lives, then it must be God's word that we preach, teach, speak and receive and not the word of men. Paul said,
“For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). We simply do not have the God-given right to do otherwise (Matthew 15:9; Colossians 2:18-22; 1 Timothy 1:3,4).

To Do the Truth
Another prerequisite of legitimately calling Jesus
“Lord” is to “do” the truth. He said we must “do the things” that He says.

This means knowing the truth, telling the truth, and then practicing what we preach. There must be the integrity in our characters that simply will not allow us to hypocritically tell others to do what we know is right but then not do it ourselves.

That is not to say we have reached perfection in our applications, but we do press on toward perfection (Philippians 3:12-14). When Jesus greets His faithful ones on the last day, He will greet them with the words
“Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23). The blessings come, and will come, forever, for those who do God's will. It is necessary to know the truth, but it is also necessary to do it. Jesus said, "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17). Jesus rightly requires more than lip service. Is Jesus your Lord and Savior? Do the things He says!

From The Bradley Banner 9/27/2009
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway

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