The Bible says in Philippians 2:9-11: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Allow me to share with you some commentary on this passage from the Bible Knowledge Commentary by Dr. John F. Walvoord and Dr. Roy B. Zuck:
God the Father is the subject in these verses, whereas in verses 6-8 God the Son was the subject. Christ’s obedience was followed by the Father’s exaltation of Him to the place of highest honor. God exalted and honored the One men despised and rejected.
Christ’s exaltation and His receiving a name that is above every name was the answer to His high-priestly prayer in John 17:5. The exaltation refers to His resurrection, ascension, and glorification at the Father’s right hand. His “name” is not merely a title; it refers to His person and to His position of dignity and honor.
Today’s quote is from William Booth. He said: “I must assert in the most unqualified way that it is primarily and mainly for the sake of saving the soul that I seek the salvation of the body.”
Our topic today is titled What Does it Mean that Jesus is “Lord”? (Part 1) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.
Even in English the word “Lord” admits several meanings. Facetiously, a wife might refer to her husband as her “lord and master.” In such a phrase the two terms “lord” and “master” are synonymous. Her husband is her master.
If I were to have an audience with, say, an ecclesiastical bishop, I might be briefed to address him as “my lord bishop.” “Lord” is simply an honorific title of respect that I would be glad to use. But since I do not belong to the church of which that man is a bishop, I am not acknowledging him as my master in any sense. I take no orders from him. I respect him for his position, and that is the sense in which I would address him as “my lord.”
When a circumstance seems inexplicable or entrapping, in our anxiety or helplessness we might cry in desperation, “Lord, help,” or in resignation, “The Lord knows.” Either exclamation acknowledges the superiority and perhaps sovereignty of God in that particular circumstance.
When I pray to the Lord, I often and usually unconsciously blend several meanings of the word. I recognize I am praying to a superior. Because I am a believer I acknowledge that superior as God. Usually, but regrettably not always, I realize that He is my master and in control of the matters about which I am praying. I often include the ideas of Friend, Comforter, Guide, and so forth when I pray to the Lord.
Actually you cannot say “lord” or “Lord” without including the meaning of superior or sovereign, even though you personally may have no relation to that lord and to his superiority or rule.
Of course Jesus is Lord. He is Lord because of who He is. He is also Lord of creation, Lord of history, Lord of salvation, Lord of the church, Lord of disciples, and Lord of the future. But even if there were no creation, no history, no salvation, no church, no disciples, and no future, He was, is, and always will be Lord.
But creation, history, and disciples do exist. How is He Lord to them? He is Lord in various ways and relationships. To the sinful woman He met at Jacob’s well in Samaria, He was simply a sir. She called Him lord as a matter of politeness. A centurion called him lord, meaning Rabbi or Sir. Jesus claimed to be the sovereign of the Sabbath. To His disciples, He said He was their Lord and Master. Thomas ascribed full deity to Jesus when he called Him his Lord and his God. “Lord” can also refer to idols, an owner of an animal, or a husband. Thus the word Lord has a variety of meanings and relationships in the New Testament.