Acts 2:36 – “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified.” NASU
I don’t know about you but every time I read that verse it leaps off the page and into my spirit and I then pause to meditate on it. Peter was addressing the Jews and attesting to the truth that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb of God and the Son of God. He addressed the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Then he makes this incredible statement that Jesus was “both Lord and Christ.”
I’ve heard many preachers lament that too many have made Jesus Savior but not Lord of their lives. There is some validity in that and it is possible to believe that He is the Messiah without fully coming to terms with His Lordship in our lives. I had a preacher tell me that a “Carnal Christian was an Oxymoron.” He insisted there was no such creature. I did not want to argue but thought about the many people that I have encountered and even the times in my life when I named the Name of Jesus but allowed the flesh to direct some attitudes and even actions. If there could be no place for a Christian to drift there would be no place for chastisement and correction from our Lord through the Holy Spirit. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been taken to the woodshed before by the Spirit of God and corrected.
What I want to focus on is not Carnal Christians but the distinction between being Lord and being Christ. Both are the same person but two different aspects or dimensions of His ministry, position, and person. Peter tells the hearers that the Father made or gave Jesus both distinctions and functions. So, I believe the examination of the distinction is worthy of consideration.
LORD – – If you examine the language and search for understanding as to what this word implied and contained you find some interesting and revealing things. The word “lord” properly denotes “proprietor, master, or sovereign.” Peter is affirming that God has elevated Jesus to the position of King and in that has given Him dominion in the heavens or as we might better understand, “ruler of all things.” Everything is in subjection to Him and one day will bow before Him in full recognition. John 17:2 makes that clear saying, “For you granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to those you have given Him.” Paul reaffirms that in Ephesians 1:21 saying of Jesus that God had elevated him, “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” That is amazing! He is LORD of LORD and KING of KINGS. We belong to Him.
CHRIST – – This word refers to the ministry of Jesus as Messiah. Peter is informing them that they have crucified the Hope of the Nation and the world for that matter. He is Messiah. He is Savior. Jesus is the ONLY way to God and therefore the ONLY way to heaven. There are not many roads to Salvation. Jesus made that perfectly clear in John 10:9 when He declared, “I am the door.” In John 14:6 He expanded that reality saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” In Acts 4:12 we discover there is salvation in no other name, “for there is no other name under heaven given among me by which we must be saved.” Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. His blood was made in atonement for our sins and in His sacrificial death He bought us back from the legal control of the devil.
As Christ, He is my savior and as Lord, He is my sovereign and I serve Him. He can only become my Lord after He becomes my Savior. I enter his house through repentance and faith and I serve Him through obeying His commands, directions, and demonstrating His person and love. If it is possible to get to heaven without truly following Him as Lord and getting in as some have said, “by the skin of our teeth” I would hate to stand before Him without any fruit. I do not work to be saved but I long to do His will in this life and my daily prayer is, “Father hallowed by thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven and let it be done in me. Let me manifest your person and work the be both a vessel God can use and a laborer in the harvest field of God. Make me like Jesus.” I am not trying to make a deep theological argument about Lord and Christ but trying to urge you to seek Him as not only Savior but also as Lord in your daily life.
May the Lord bless you richly as you manifest Him to others today!