Savior, but not Lord?
Written by Rev. Nicholas Davelaar
Published in the Courier of Russellville, Arkansas
R.C. Sproul tells the story of an Englishman who travelled to Philadelphia during the Sixties.
This Englishman, between tours of landmarks such as Independence Hall, slipped into a shop specializing in colonial-era antiques. Among the antiques were signboards with slogans such as “Don’t Tread on Me.”
One sign in particular caught his attention. In bold letters it proclaimed: “We Serve No Sovereign Here.”
Given what he knew about the United States, this sign gave him pause: “He wondered how people steeped in such an anti-monarchical culture could come to grips” with what so many of them professed, namely the New Testament’s claim that “absolute sovereign authority and imperial power are vested in Christ.”
Indeed, how is that possible? How could people in our anti-monarchical culture come to terms with Christ’s lordship?
If we’re honest, our answers range from “not easily” to “barely” or even “not at all.” That’s reflected in our lives. It shows in our marriages, our families, our congregations, and beyond. Here and elsewhere plenty of us call Jesus our Savior, but we act as our own lords. And the results aren’t pretty.
Indeed, sometimes it seems as if we live in the days when the judges ruled. According to Judges 21:25, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” In that verse we also catch a whiff of the fact that this problem has much more with our sinful nature than the cultural DNA of this nation.
You who believe in Jesus as your Savior—do you also acknowledge and serve him as your Lord?
Or perhaps the more fruitful question for most of us: in what areas of your life is Christ calling you to come to grips with his lordship? And are you prayerfully reading your Bible and partaking of the preaching of his Word to that end?
The question isn’t so much whether you and I who believe in Jesus Christ need to grow, but rather how, and whether we’re making use of the means God has given us to grow in the grace and knowledge of his only Son, our Lord.
That noted, some of us need to come to grips with Christ’s lordship in the first place. We personally are not convinced we need a Savior or Lord. We truly do serve no sovereign—we are our own sovereign.
Here’s my question for you: how did you come to that conclusion? And where does it lead?
Think about that.
For further study, read Philippians 2:6-11.
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