Our study of Holy Scripture must never be a mere academic exercise – or for the sake of scholarship. Because, among other things one of the dangers in knowledge is pride. “I have memorized John Gill’s book, therefore I am more knowledgeable than you are. And since it is a theology book, I am even more spiritual than you.” Remember, a part of Satan’s temptation of Eve was in the area of knowledge. And when you stop to think about it, the suggested information was not bad or evil in itself. “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” “And when she saw that it might make her wise, she took of the fruit and did eat.” To be able to fully explain all that there is to know about the Lordship of Christ, doesn’t necessarily make us better Christians or even better people. Did Adam and Eve learn more about good and evil? In a sense, yes, they did, but it was to their detriment, not betterment.
If Bible doctrine doesn’t improve our relationship to the Lord, then it may be more dangerous than helpful. To know more of God’s holiness can be a blessing, but it can also be used of Satan to bring someone under conviction to the point of suicide. Bible doctrine is only properly understood when it renews our heart and sanctifies our conduct. And that includes what we might learn about the Mediatorial Lordship of Christ. What influence should this information and doctrine have on our heart and life? Remember, the devils also believe in God, in the deity of Christ, even in the Lordship of Christ, and they only tremble – they do not submit.
We must learn to EXALT the Lordship of Christ.
“Exalt” means to lift up, to elevate. Of course, there is a sense in which we cannot exalt Christ any more than He already is. And we certainly can’t add anything to His sovereign authority and Lordship. But there are two ways in which we can use that word. We can make sure that Christ Jesus is as exalted as He should be in our hearts. And we can glorify and make known the Lord’s exalted office to those around us.
And why should we do these things? Because if God the Father has exalted Christ to the highest seat of power, then we should maintain an exalted view of Christ in our own hearts. We should highly exalt Him in the praise and gratitude we render with our lips and our life. We should boldly testify to all men far and wide that Jesus Christ is LORD. If “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” then our tongues should be louder than most. The “God that made the world and all things therein (Christ Jesus), is Lord of heaven and earth” – Acts 17. Let us declare that by His grace, He has become our righteousness and strength. Let us urge upon all men their duty of hearty submission to Jesus Christ as Lord. Isaiah 45:22-25 – “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to Him shall men come; and all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed. In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. In the Lord shall all God’s elect be justified, and therefore in Him should they glory.”
While we exalt the Lordship of Christ we must personally HUMBLE ourselves under that same Lordship.
Logically, we might say that an ant is only a quarter inch long, or we might say it is only a centimeter long. But doesn’t it appear smaller when compared to an elephant? We can barely see them both at the same time. The comparison remains when we stand before the Lord. If we were alive 2,000 years ago and we had the good fortune of meeting Jesus of Nazareth. There is a good likelihood that many of us would have stood taller than He did. I doubt that Christ Jesus stood 6 feet tall. And we might have been prone to compare our physical height with His. But He is not the mere son of Mary, He is the eternal God and the LORD of Lords. With that in mind, there is no room for comparison – we aren’t in the same universe with Him. Before the Lordship of Christ we must learn to be humility – because we are nothing. The only rightful place for us before this exalted Lord is the lowest place we can find. We should be humbled into the dust before Him. How dare we take any of His glory for ourselves!
But here is a wonder of wonders: as we humble ourselves before Him, He in His Lordship is willing to exalt us! “Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” – Luke 14:11. This is the pattern He Himself set for us in His humiliation and exaltation, as set forth in Philippians 2:8-10. “And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 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…” It is the will of God that we submit ourselves to the Lord. And, as He puts it in James 4 – the gracious Lord, “giveth more grace, Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit your selves there for God,” And He will give you all kinds of victory and blessing, because He is Lord over all things – including the Devil.
This means that we can and should find ENCOURAGEMENT in the Lordship of Christ.
In what ways is our Lord limited? In what areas does He not have Mediatorial Lordship? Absolutely none. Therefore, when we have His commission and feel His leadership we should forge ahead. Let us carry on our labors for Christ – in faith trusting His Lordship – His dominion and sovereignty. We have every reason to be encouraged in our efforts for His cause because of the promises He has given us as Mediatorial Lord. “Verify, verify, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father” – to be exalted and glorified – John 14:12. Don’t ignore or reject the promises that your friend gives you, but remember he is no more omnipotent than you are. However, God the Father hath exalted His Son and added to His ontological Lordship – Lordship due to Him for the completion of the covenant.
We must not miss the cause-and-effect of that verse which I just quoted from John 14. Because of Christ’s exaltation, His servants on this earth do greater works than Christ Himself – when they do so in His Name and under His authority. This was certainly proved true in the ministry of the Apostles, as the Book of Acts shows us. Furthermore, Christ’s servants today, armed with the same gospel and empowered with the same Holy Spirit, should go forth with the same courage and confidence as did the Apostles.
Our risen, ascended, enthroned Lord sent the Holy Spirit to empower our service and witness. Jesus said, in John 16:7-11, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient far you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me; Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” As Peter said on that special Pentecost, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” It was through the Mediatorial Lordship of Christ that the miracles of Pentecost took place, including the salvation of several thousand souls.
With the enabling power of the Spirit of God, sent through the Lordship of Christ, we may expect fruit from our labors. How did Christ – before His exaltation – complete this sentence? “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth…………………..I will draw all men unto me.” Now that He HAS been lifted up by the authority of the Father, the statement is even more guaranteed. Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” Why can we expect fruit? Because Jesus Christ is LORD. Of course, Paul the apostle could testify of the work of the Spirit in his ministry. “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” – I Corinthians 2:4. Gospel laborers in our generation need to take this principle to heart. While it is true that apart from the Holy Spirit our labors are in vain. “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” – I Corinthians 12:3 – it is also true that, with the Holy Spirit, our labors must meet with success. Because the Mediatorial Lord has ordained it. Our Lord has not left us to our own resources. Consider again the great commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20 – “All power is given unto me.”
Mark’s account of the Gospels concludes with these words of mediatorial authority, “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God” – Mark 16:19. There is no reason for Christians today or in any day to pessimistically go about their Christian duties. That is unbiblical and unbelieving. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” – Luke 11:13. And I remind you that the Father sent the Spirit at the word of the enthroned Christ. “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me…”
Every knee is certain to bow before Christ. By His grace, some will bow in humble repentance and faith. Christ will undoubtedly carry out this work in the way He has ordained: – through feeble human instruments delivering the powerful message of salvation. God’s eternal purpose cannot fail. The Father “shall see of the travail of (Christ’s) soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant (Jesus Christ) justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities” – Isaiah 53:11. His people shall be willing to come to Him in the day that He is pleased to exercise His almighty power. “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” – John 6:37. How can we not be encouraged in the work of the gospel, confident expectation of a harvest?
Therefore we must PROCLAIM Christ as LORD.
Let us boldly tell all men everywhere that bowing to Christ is no optional matter. They will most assuredly bow to Him, either in this life or hereafter. How happy, eternally happy, is the one who in repentance and faith bows to Christ as Lord and Savior now! How sad, eternally sad, will he be who in shame and horror bows to Christ as Judge and Executioner! We see both cases in Isaiah 45:24 – “Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to Him shall men come; and all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed.”
In Revelation 6:15-17 we see all kinds of sinners trying in vain to hide from Christ the Lord. Many even wish for death if it would keep them from standing before Him in all His holy wrath. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
We have an obligation to tell the world that Jesus Christ is Lord. We have a commission to tell our neighbors that they must bow their knee to Christ. “He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”