Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | April 27, 2006

Christ the Lord

We live in a culture that is exceedingly individualistic and independent due to the wonderful liberties that we achieved politically.  In the West, especially in the US, we have been living in democracies (technically a Constitutional Republic) for a couple of centuries now.  Thus, we have no idea of what life used to be like under a monarchy.  Certainly, I am in no way suggesting that we should change our political system.  However, it appears to have produced a culture that is more autonomous and less community orientated than has been the case throughout history.

This autonomous ethic has sometimes had radical and illogical consequences on the policies and practices that are implemented in our culture.  For example, the policy of a woman’s right to choose has been exalted above the value of a human life.  Also the practices of divorce and single parenting, which can be attributed to this desire for independence, are increasingly more common.  Then there are the less serious evidences of the desire for autonomy American Idol, My Space, the ability to create your own custom postage stamp and even blogs to name a few.  For better or for worse all these things are now a part of our culture and are available for individuals to choose to participate in or not.  This individual autonomy has even had great influence in Church practice as well.

One thing is for certain, this new phenomenon of individualism has created a stigma towards any notion of slavery.  Although, they wouldn’t admit it every person in the whole world (let alone the West) are truly slaves to either one of two masters.  These two groups of people are either slaves of sin or slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ.   Of course, if this reality is communicated to the typical "autonomous" individual in the West they would think that you're nuts.  However, the testimony of Scripture reveals to us that we are either in bondage to sin or bond servants of Jesus Christ.  Today we are considering Question 34 of the Heidelberg Catechism, which summarizes this as follows: 

Q. Why do you call him "our Lord"?

 A. Because—not with gold or silver, but with his precious blood—1he has set us free from sin and from the tyranny of the devil, 2 and has bought us, body and soul, to be his very own. 3

1 1 Peter 1:18-19:  …knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
2 Colossians 1:13-14:  For He has rescued us from the domain of darkness, and trasnferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins… Hebrews 2:14-15:  Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerlesss him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
3 1 Corinthians 6:20:  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Timothy 2:5-6: For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and me, the man Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

After the fall, all humanity was plunged into bondage and became slaves to sin.  This bondage disqualified anyone from being able to enter into fellowship with our Holy and Righteous Creator.  However, in hearing the message of the Gospel the work of Christ has liberated us from our slavery setting us free from our former master.  We are not free though to be autonomous, our subjection has only been transferred from sin and death to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Living in an individualistic culture, however may not help this message sound that appealing.  It may sound unamerican to tell people in a free society that they are under bondage.  Nonetheless, it is the true assessment of the real condition as fallen humanity who despartely need to hear and understand the Gospel message.  

Finally, it should be clarified that Christ's Lordship is not isolated to only the Christian Church.  The Scriptures idenitfy Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.  It also states that one day ever knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Thus, acknowledging His Lordship is inevitable for every human being.  This knowledge should give us great comfort to know that our Lord is Lord of all.   

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