About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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The Lord Becomes Our Saviour


1 was raised in the Methodist tradition that taught one receives Jesus as Saviour at initial salvation and then at some later date surrenders his entire life to Jesus the Lord.  This doctrine is called Entire Sanctification.  When thinking that Jesus is first our Saviour whom we subsequently make our Lord we must clarify how the New Testament uses the word "Lord" as it applies to Jesus. 


Our English word "Lord" as seen in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word "kyrios."  In the first century Greco-Roman world in which the New Testament was written kyrios meant one having authority.  Kyrios is thus translated into English as Lord, lord, king, master, sir, or something similar.  To be hermeneutically precise we must understand kyrios as applied to Jesus, not from its Greco-Roman usage but from its New Testament usage.  To begin, I refer you to what the angel Gabriel told Mary in Luke 1:28.


"The angel went to her [Mary] and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.'"


The word "Lord" (kyrios) in this verse refers to God as being the ultimate universal authority who Gabriel said was with Mary.  Throughout Old Testament Judaism God was understood to be the Lord and the Lord was understood to be God.  The words "Lord" and "God" were synonymous.  We see this concept in verse 30 where Mary is seen finding favour with God - God referring back to Lord in verse 28.  Verse 32 speaks of the "Lord God" in reference to God.  In verse 38 Mary said she "is the Lord's (God's) servant."   


Understanding that throughout Jewish history the concept that the Lord is God and God is the Lord becomes significant in how Peter described Jesus in Acts 2:36.  He made a startling theological statement concerning the word "Lord" as it applies to Jesus.  Speaking primarily to a Jewish audience who understood that God is the Lord and the Lord is God Peter said this:


"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."


When Peter told his Jewish audience that Jesus was both Lord and Christ he was telling them that Jesus was both their Lord God to whom they must submit and their Messiah/Christ who could save them.  I believe Gabriel alluded to this when he told Mary her son would be called the Son of the Most High and the Son of God in Luke 1:32 and 35.  From conception Jesus was the Lord God in human form who would subsequently become the Saviour through His sacrificial death. 


Here is my point.  Before being Christ who saves, Jesus is God the Lord.  He can only save me because He is the Lord to whom I must surrender my life.  Only Jesus, the God who is Lord and the Lord who is God, could offer a sacrifice suitable to satisfy God's divine demands of justice and righteousness.  I conclude, therefore, that I do not receive Jesus as my Saviour at initial salvation and then make Him my Lord at a future date as Entire Sanctification asserts.  I surrender my life to Jesus at initial salvation because He is the Lord God who saves me upon my surrender to Him.  From then on my will struggles with His will. 


The gospel of Christ is this.  Surrender to Jesus the Lord and then He will be the Christ who saves you. 


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