Speaker: Jake Rock
Well, I definitely want to welcome everybody, any friends and family that are joining us. We’re definitely glad to have you here and welcome to the north region of Orlando.
And if you if you’re joining us for the first time we’ve been going through this year, going through a journey each month through a different element of Ephesians Chapter four, that in that chapter, Paul talks about how he wants us to be completely one, completely unified under these certain things.
And he says be unified just like these things are. We talked about one faith. We have talked about one hope last month and this this month we’re actually covering the idea of lordship. What does it mean to be united like there’s one Lord? And let me let me get my screen share going here because I’ve got a little presentation for us.
So we’re talking about this concept of lordship.
And, you know, today we’re going to we’re going to explore this this word a little bit.
And I’ve been reading. I’ve been praying. I’ve been thinking for a couple of weeks now about about what what even to cover in this in this topic, this word of lordship, because this is a kind of a hard word to know exactly where to start. The Greek word for lordship that that is in the Bible and the New Testament is it’s curios. It’s actually where we get the word curiosity for us. And it literally, if you look at a definition of it, curios means lord or master, it’s a it’s a title to address, kind of like how you’d call somebody Lord So-and-so or or specifically a position a role of of being a master or like a like a slave owner or a king or something like that.
But like I said, it’s hard to know where to start because there’s over 700 references to this word in the New Testament. It’s literally all over the New Testament.
And this is a very, very big concept, an important concept to the first century church, like you don’t we don’t actually see that the name calling of Lord really as much in the Old Testament, as much as we see it in the New Testament because of its presence among Greek and Roman culture.
And and I want to to introduce really this concept of lordship with a diagram for us to help us wrap our minds around what this means for us in our own lives spiritually.
Lord, so if we picture this circle as our lives. Every one of us has a circle, every one of us has a life, and in each of our lives there’s a throne. Now, whoever sits on that throne in your life is the lord of your life. They’re the master, they’re the ruler, they are the controller, they’re the one that that leads and directs that the way that your life rolls.
But the question really that we’re seeking to kind of answer today and as we look into this word in the New Testament is who is on the throne of your life? Who is the lord of your life? And specifically, as we’ll see here is what does it mean to put Jesus in that place? So our title this morning is very simply one throne. That they’re supposed to be one lord, that means they’re supposed to be one throne in your life.
I think Brian already prayed, but I must say a prayer again. I’m feeling a little anxious and I want to I want to get connected with the spirit here.
Father, I just want to thank you so much for the opportunity that we have right now to be in your presence to connect with you. As we learn about this ever present topic in the New Testament of lordship, and what does it mean when when you want us to all be united under one Lord? Father, I pray that you will really speak through me. And please prepare our hearts for those of us that maybe aren’t present yet, God, that you hope prepare our hearts for what you want to speak to us in your word, we love you to your son, Jesus name we pray. Amen. \
I want to I want to look at a short scripture here to start off, and it’s one you might even be really familiar with in Romans ten verse nine, the Bible tells us that if you declare with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Now, this verse has caused a lot of stir in Christianity, not just contemporarily, but but over the years, because it often gets misrepresented and taken out of context, especially without understanding the history behind why a phrase like Jesus is Lord is so potent. It’s so powerful. That for us today, the concept, the idea of saying Jesus is Lord, we wouldn’t have a problem with this. This is this is a typical Sunday service.
This is a this is a we sing songs about the lordship of Jesus and declare that proudly and boldly that nobody would really bat an eye at that at saying Jesus is Lord.
But from a Roman perspective, for you to declare Jesus as Lord came with with an expectation because it was a concept we think was started with the Greeks, but it was carried on by the Romans.
But as part of your citizenship to become a Roman citizen, you had to declare among witnesses that Caesar is Lord, that you are you are subservient, you are ruled, you are led by Caesar.
Your life is not your own anymore. If you were a Roman citizen, you are now in the lordship of Caesar.
And still, for a Roman, there’s only one more, there’s only you would never use the word curios out loud unless it meant you were referring to Caesar.
And so this concept here that Paul is introducing to it, you know, it’s written to a Roman church. He says, if you declare Jesus as Lord, he is not saying he’s not saying some kind of religious mumbo jumbo, he’s not saying he’s not saying words in a worship song. He is saying a declaration out loud that would be in direct opposition of the Roman Empire. To declare anyone else other than Caesar as curios. I treason to be worthy of death.
William Barclay in his commentary on this, he says this is the key word of early Christianity. It has four stages of meaning and one is the normal title of respect, like the English, sir, the French monsieur.
Number two, it is the normal title of the Roman emperors. Number three, it is the normal title of the Greek gods prefaced before the gods name.
So just curios Zeus or curios Apollos the Lord, Lord Zeus, Lord Apollos. Number four in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scripture, It is the regular translation of the divine name Jehovah.
So it’s even like that the idea would be that even for in the Old Testament to call someone curios would be in direct reference to God, OK?
And he continues, he says, so then if a man called Jesus curios, he was ranking him with the emperor and with God. He was giving him the supreme place in his life. He was pledging an implicit obedience and reverent worship. To call Jesus curios was to count him unique. So I think it’s important, even as we’re getting into this and we’re just scratching the surface of this, that what this verse is not saying this is not a verbal transaction for salvation.
This is oftentimes how it gets how it gets portrayed. This scripture here, that to say Jesus Lord out loud means you’re you’re saved that means that it’s all good. That’s not what Paul was getting at here, because a 1st century Christian wouldn’t dare utter these words for the sake of piety, for the sake of religiosity, for the sake of a church service. This is something that he would be declaring his life in allegiance to Jesus over the Roman Empire in threat of death if somebody heard him say this out loud in the wrong audience. What this really dictates for us is that our faith hinges on Jesus sitting on top of that throne. But what we’re going to explore today is what does that mean, what does that mean that Jesus is supposed to be sitting on the throne of our lives. Turn Bibles over to Philippians, Chapter two. And this is our main scripture for today. What I’m actually going to do here is I’m going to turn off my screen here so you can just see my homely face.
I’ll bring it back after. OK, back at it, here we go. Phillipians Two. Now, I actually want to start in reverse, we’re going to start in verse nine here. And then kind of work our way back through this through this chapter. In verse nine, it says, therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth. And every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the father.
So here again, we’re seeing we’re seeing it show very definitively, Paul is saying at the end of his life, he says, look, there is no other name. Jesus isn’t a place. He’s in a league all of his own. And because of who he is, every nation should bow. Every tongue should confess that Jesus is curios. He is master Lord. He is ruler of my life.
He should be on the throne of my life. You know, it’s interesting. Someone shared this with me years ago, verse nine starts off with therefore. Whenever we see in the Bible the word, therefore we have to ask what it’s there for. All right. And it says that there’s something basically like what we’re going to read in these scriptures before this is is why, why should Jesus be on the throne? Why should our tongue confess? Why should we be willing as a Christian, you know, we can’t think of it in terms of a Roman. But if you were to stand in front of an ISIS audience from a from a group that was in direct threat of a Christian, why would you declare with your mouth Jesus is Lord?
And Paul is going to tell us here. Let’s go back to verse one. Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind, do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of others.
Let’s pause there for a moment. So Paul starts off with a pretty declarative thing, he says, therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ and keep in mind here, he’s writing this letter to a church and this is at the end of Paul’s life. Most scholars believe that this was one of the last things he wrote before he was beheaded.
So he’s kind of sharing things that are like you imagine somebody on their deathbed sharing important words with with with loved ones. He’s sharing this with the church. Important words here. He says, look, if you have any encouragement that there’s any part of you that is grateful to be connected to Jesus, there’s any part of you that loves Jesus, that follows Jesus, he says, then make my joy complete by basically loving each other. And he kind of goes through some things that if we were to look through these verses, they make a lot of sense, right?
If if you love Jesus, then we should love each other.
And he talks about being like minded, and that doesn’t mean thinking all the same, having the same goals, the same the same focus as Christians. Talks about being one in spirit, being having the same love, not not being humble instead of selfish. Don’t don’t make it about you make it about other people.
Think not just about yourself, but think about others. Stuff that would make sense that if you want to have a healthy home, these are good rules to live by in your home.
But then Paul doubles down in verse five, says, in your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Now, depending on which translation you’re reading, if you’ve got the older and Avino says your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, you’re your thinking, your mindset, the way you carry yourself, the part of you that’s internal should be the same as Jesus.
Now, if I were to give you at a core level, what I think Jesus is asking for us as disciples and followers of Jesus to be, it’s this. It’s not just doers. It’s not just people that do the things of Jesus. It’s to completely transform our thinking, to have the attitude and the mindset of Jesus. It’s like the difference of us saying, you know, like like Jesus, the parable of the Good Samaritan, he says go and do do likewise. Love this man.
OK, so we should take care of the poor, needy? Sure. Or how would Jesus love this person who’s in the poor, who is poor and needy?
Not just, hey, you need to love your brother and sister or you’re your wife and your husband or your friend or your roommate, you need to you need to love them. You need to be kind of them. Versus how would Jesus love this person?
That takes us to a completely different place in our mind. And then Paul basically jumps off from here, from this verse, this this hey, don’t just imitate Jesus in what he did, imitate Jesus in his thinking and the way he did things. And he goes on to illustrate this is the thinking of Jesus, verse six. Being in very nature God did not consider equality with God, something to be used to his own advantage, rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant and being made in human likeness.
And we’re going to be kind of eating this in small chunks here. We’re saying, look. If you think about the mindset of Jesus and Paul saying you should be humble and not just think about yourselves. Let’s talk about how Jesus did that.
Jesus was God in the flesh. He is God. And yet in his thirty three years here on Earth. He didn’t he didn’t name drop daddy a lot to get to. He didn’t name Daddy to get his own way. He didn’t name drop daddy for favor. Matter of fact, right before he gets to the cross, he says, look, I could ask my dad, I could name drop my dad and get 12 legions of angels right now to rescue me from this, but I’m not.
Because this is not about me. Jesus practiced this concept of lordship throughout the course of his life before we ever got introduced to it. And he actually says rather and this word, I studied this out early on in college, says it says he made himself nothing, this word like totally grabbed me when I was about 19 years old, like, what is this word? And the word nothing says he made himself nothing that the Greek means he emptied himself.
Anything that he would have been tempted to maybe take glory or take honor and in himself anything, any reason on Earth that he would have had to brag or boast or to put himself on a pedestal to make him the Lord over the Earth, which he totally could have. He said he chose not to. He emptied it. He he Jesus was not about his own ego.
Imagine if you and I decided, OK, you know what, for my life, my ego is going to take a backseat. The way that I think about life is not about my own, my own promotion, self promotion, my own wants and desires, my ego, I’m going to empty that part of me. That’s that’s a proactive it’s a verb.
It’s it’s I am choosing to let go of me. Because I want God to be glorified in my life, this is at the core of lordship. It’s not Jesus coming in to assume rule over your life, to strong hand you into being a servant of Jesus. It is you choosing to give up of yourself, to empty yourself. And Jesus did it in the most excellent way he he chose to live his life, even though he was God in the flesh as a servant.
Let’s keep reading. In verse 8 its says being found in appearance as man he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Now, this is this is powerful. That not only Jesus being God in the flesh, not only Jesus being a deity there at the very beginning, you could make a bold case in Genesis as God is sitting among the circle of nothingness, he says, come, let us make man in our image that he was talking to Jesus at the beginning. Colossians One kind of even paints that picture that everything was made through him. That Jesus, as a deity not just lived as a servant, he humbled himself not just to death, but a curse to death, a death that in the Old Testament says if you’re hung on a tree like this, you are you are among a cursed people.
God in the flesh, not just lived his life as a servant to those around him, but he had allowed himself, he emptied himself, the ego, to die as a servant of all people.
So this is a man we if we really understood this, if we really grasp this, if we let ourselves marinate in this truth for for a little bit, this would this would change every bit of the way that we carry ourselves. He became obedient to death, even on a cross, therefore, so what’s it there for? God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name that the name of Jesus, every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
And every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the father. This is why he should be sitting on the throne of your life. Why Jesus should be acknowledged as Lord is because he didn’t live for himself as a king here on this Earth. He didn’t live like the Roman emperors, he didn’t live even like King David and King Solomon, the ones that we that we look at in the Old Testament, Jesus didn’t live like that.
He lived as an example of a life that serves others for God’s glory, that that maybe the glory of God is not about what we gain here on this earth. It’s not about our bank accounts. It’s not about how where you retire in your company or whether you own your own company. Maybe it has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with, did you live your life as a servant for others because of your awareness of who God is?
He didn’t die the death of the lords of the Earth.
He didn’t die the memorial deaths of the the mummies in Egypt that are enthroned in enshrined encased in gold and wealth and all of these different things, he didn’t die of the death of a Roman emperor that would have been paraded through the streets of Rome afterwards, would have been mourned and mourned and memorialized. He died the death of a lord of heaven. Humbling himself. To save us lowly servants. Resulted being what’s the word I’m looking for, meaning left and a borrowed tomb, a tomb that wasn’t even his own.
Because he lived like a pauper. Why would someone say the words Jesus is Lord at the risk of death? Why would a gun to your head from a from an enemy that is against Jesus, why would you declare the words Jesus is my curios.
He’s my master, he is sitting on the throne of my life. Because he gave up everything. He gave up every view of lordship on this earth as a deity, as God in the flesh, to live as a servant and die for us.
But there’s some key words here that we’ve got to grab on to. If you notice there in verse ten it says that is the name of Jesus, every knee should bow. Paul is acknowledging something important here for us people. Whether you’ve been a part of this church, you’ve been a disciple for decades and decades or whether this is your first time joining us or you’ve never touched a Bible in your life, he’s saying, look every knee should bow to Jesus, every everyone should make Jesus lord of their life. He’s earned it, he deserves it. He has given up everything for it, but he’s not going to take it. Even though he should be. You have to decide to make him.
I’m going to go back to my diagram here for a minute. I got to move it. Going back to this diagram. What Paul is illustrating for us is that in this circle where this this throne of our lives is, there’s three ways that we can live. It’s always three. With you on the throne calling the shots, directing your life, you are the master and commander of your soul as has been said by many poets.
And Jesus, he’s best left out of it. This is a choice that we have to make. And that a lot of us are making. That we don’t want Jesus to be involved in our lives. Then there’s some of us that are good hearted. We know Jesus should be in our lives. We know Jesus should be present. We know Jesus should be around. So we want him in our lives, but we don’t want him on the throne.
We want him nearby, we want him to maybe throw some advice at us toss a scripture our way periodically. But we’re most comfortable when when we’re on the throne. Well, Paul is telling us here, obviously in this passage is that this needs to be switched. When it comes to our lives, the way Jesus made himself nothing and emptied himself, we need to empty ourselves of that seat on the throne to give Jesus that place because he’s not going to take it from you.
All of us have a choice, and we’re currently living in one of these three lives. You’re either on the throne or Jesus is. You know, between the first and the second one, it doesn’t really matter. Jesus is still not on the throne. He’s still not Lord. And I want to share here. Stop sharing again. I want to share here vulnerably that that as I’m preaching here this morning, I am coming to you from a from a place of weakness in this area.
I have been struggling with this concept of lordship, I would say just just even specifically this week and last night I was praying. I was just thinking to myself, man like, why? Why am I the one that’s preaching this weekend on Lordship? Well, why do I have to be the one to preach on this topic? You know, the biggest thing that God is showing me right now. Is that I like the idea of Jesus being on the throne of my life.
I want him to be there, I like that concept, but really, when I really look at the way that I make choices are what happens when things get hard I don’t want Jesus on the throne most of the time or a lot of the time or some of the whatever that is, because I want control. I want to direct and lead what my life is. And I know I’ve shared before and I and I and I’m sorry if it comes across like I’m complaining about life, I really don’t want it to, but life just continues to get more interesting for me and my family. You know, we’re currently living at my parents house right now.
We’re not even living in our own home because of these issues that we’re dealing with, with our septic system at our house.
And then then over the last couple of days, a few things have happened that have just added to the fun in the drama of our lives, as I’m over at my house trying to trying to take care of some things, I discover that we’ve got fleas in our house.
I’m up there trying to fix my Internet and I look down and I’ve got nine fleas crawling on my legs. Then yesterday, as we’re driving back, we’re spending time with some of the friends here in the north region. I get a phone call from my neighbor who doesn’t speak very good English, but he says he says you’re your hose is broken, your hose is broken, and we get to the house. And my lawn is dumping water. And somewhere underground, a pipe burst in our front yard and is literally just emptying water into our front yard. And I had to call the utility company to come and shut the water off and and I’m calling Robert Martin to get advice and help and stuff and and so I’m really like my arm is elbow deep in the ground trying to figure out where this where this where this leak is in our in our front yard. And as we’re driving back last night, and thank God and Robert was extremely helpful and Brian and Michelle came there and were helping me with some things and but I literally we’re driving home and I’m so frustrated.
I’m so, so discouraged. I’m so sad. I’m like just thinking, like, why can we not just have a normal week with this house? What is going on here? I’m thinking I’m supposed to be preaching on the lordship of Jesus tomorrow. And right now, I don’t think like this. If Jesus is supposed to be Lord of my life, even when things are hard like this, I don’t I don’t know that I like this very much.
I want lordship to feel better. I want it to be easier. You know, as I’m walking around my house and I’m trying to, like, get myself together, I wanted to cuss I wanted to yell, I wanted to I wanted to blame somebody. I want to blame the previous owner. I want to blame my neighbor. I wanted to I want to burn my house down for the insurance. And I was praying in frustration yesterday, just God, I don’t know what you’re doing right now, but I don’t like it. And I know that right now you’re supposed to be on the throne, you’re I’m supposed to I’m supposed to give up to empty myself here, to trust that you leading my life is better than me leading my life.
But right now, I’m having a hard time.
And what it illustrates constantly is that Jesus being Lord, especially for those of us that have already made that decision, you’ve already declared that out loud, not religiously, but because you want him to be the supreme ruler in your life, that this is not a one time decision.
This is not this is not lip service, this is not piety. This is not this is not hey, I want to get baptized.
This is I am making a daily decision to take myself off of the throne, to put Jesus on it. And next week we’re going to explore this some more when we’re at the park together. I’m gonna kind of do a part two of this and we’re gonna talk about what this looks like. This week, I hope that what you’re left with here and maybe even through just just my own mess, that that Jesus should be on the throne, there’s only one life that will honor God, and it’s with Jesus sitting firmly on the throne of our lives.
And he should be there and by these passages, by what Paul’s expressing here, he’s telling us, look, he’s he deserves to be there. He is worthy of being there. He’s trustworthy of being there the way he lived his life, the way that he died. He is worthy of that seat in your life, but you have to choose it. Who is on the throne of your life? You know, we’re taking communion here together in just a moment.
And what circled around to me in all this stuff is that what the Bible tells us here in Philippians two is that Jesus humbled himself to death on the cross. Now, what struck me as I was I was thinking about this in terms of lordship is jesus humbled himself to that place of death for you knowing that he wasn’t on the throne for you yet. He went to the cross, he allowed himself to die that death, knowing that he might have been as far out of your life as possible, knowing that maybe with good intentions, you were you wanted him nearby, but he but he wasn’t there yet. He died before he could ever sit on the throne of your life. And as we’re taking communion here together. When Jesus told his disciples, look, I want you to do this in remembrance of me, I want you to take these things to remember what I’m about to do for you. Remember remember how I gave up the seat of Lordship here on this Earth so I could be the lord of your life forever and on into eternity.
But I want to encourage us to take the time to humble ourselves. As we take these elements, as you take the juice, as you take the bread or cracker or whatever your element is right now. To evaluate which of these three lives my currently living. Who is on this throne of my life? And do I want, do I really want to give Jesus there to put Jesus there? Not not just to give him lip service, not not trying to offer some quick fix of salvation. This is this is about living your life with him being as lord of it.
Let’s bow our heads, let’s take communion together. Father, I just want to thank you so much, God, for your infinite patience with us. Father, I know my best day, I’m a mess. And God, I’m constantly trying to climb back onto that seat of lordship in my life. I thank you for your love, for your patience, for your mercy and for your forgiveness. And God, I pray that Paul’s words here will not fall to the ground, that we will take the the concept of Jesus, that Jesus should be the lord of our lives, that our knees should bow, our lips should confess.
And God to evaluate why it would be worth it, why we can trust Jesus to be on the seat of lordship in our lives. Father, I thank you so much. We humble ourselves before you right now and its in your son, Jesus’s name, we pray, amen.