Everything here represents my own opinion and not the opinion of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection or the United Methodist Church.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

How do you interpret the statement Jesus Christ is Lord?

This is post 4 of 17 in the Probationary Membership and Commissioning series.

Response to ¶324.9 of the 2004 Book of Discipline

How do you interpret the statement Jesus Christ is Lord?

I believe that the statement Jesus Christ is Lord is best interpreted through an examination of three words: Jesus, Christ, and Lord.

Jesus is a personal name that refers to an individual that lived in first century Palestine. The personal name of Jesus reinforces his humanity and points toward his unique identity among humanity. The meaning of the name Jesus also implies salvation. Christ is a title that points to the role of savior or messiah. This title has particular significance considering the Jewish expectations for the coming Messiah at the time of Jesus’ life on earth. Jesus Christ as Lord means that he is someone that has power, influence and authority.

I believe that the supreme power and rule of Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Word, extends to all of creation.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”12

Not only was Jesus present with the Father at all times and before creation, but through Jesus all things were made. This implies that nothing is outside the scope or care of Christ. Every aspect of creation is loved and has value; the light of Christ can be found in all places. As all things were created through Christ, Jesus Christ is Lord can and should extend to all creation.

It is important to affirm that Jesus Christ is the one Lord. There are no others that can successfully challenge the lordship of Christ. There are no other individuals or conceptions of God to be held on the same level as Jesus Christ. “The true God and His activity can never be perceived within the framework of a general philosophy. … It would have to look first at the true God and His activity – in a specific occurrence.”13

12 John 1:1-3 (TNIV).

13 Barth, Church Dogmatics III.3, 140.


Barth, Karl Church Dogmatics III.3: The Doctrine of Creation. Translators: G. W. Bromiley and R. J. Ehrlich. Editors: G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance. London: T & T Clark International, 2004.

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