JESUS CHRIST THE LORD!
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (NKJV, KJV, ASV). Or: “For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (NASB, RSV, NIV is similar).
“Fulness” (plerooma) means ” … that which is brought to fulness or completion … sum total, fulness, even (super) abundance … of something … the full measure of deity … Colossians 2:9″ – Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich.
“Godhead” or “Deity” (theotes) means: ” … the state of being God, Godhead …” – Grimm-Wilke-Thayer. Trench says the language here means Jesus “was, and is, absolute and perfect God” (quoted in Vine, Vol. I, pp. 328f).
So the passage says that, in Jesus dwelt bodily “the full measure of” “the state of being God.”
Some claim that Jesus possesses only the characteristics of God, not His essence or substance. This confuses the language. The word used here for “Deity” (theotes) means the essence or state of being God. A different word (theiotes) means “divinity” or the characteristics of God. (See the definitions.) Nevertheless, how could Jesus possess “all the full measure of the characteristics of God in a bodily form” without being God? Even if the mistaken definition were accurate, the passage would still prove Jesus is God!
- All major standard translations say, “the Word was God.” None say “a god.”
- If Jesus is “god” in a lesser sense than the Father, then we would have two different true gods! Clearly Jesus is not a false god; hence He is true God. But if He is “god” in a different sense than the Father, that would violate the passages saying there is one true God!
- Many Scriptures use “God” (Gk. theos) without an article to refer to the true God. See Matthew 5:9; 6:24; Luke 1:35,78; John 1:6,12,13,18; Romans 17:17; and many others.
- Many Scriptures use “God” both with and without an article in the same context, yet both uses clearly refer to the true God. See Matthew 4:3,4; 12:28; Luke 20:37,38; John 3:2; 13:3; Acts 5:29,30; Romans 1:7,8,17-19; 2:16,17; 3:5,22,23; 4:2,3; etc.
- (5) The context of John 1:1-3 shows that Jesus is eternal and created all things. (See our later discussion on the character and works of Jesus). To call Him “God” in such a context must surely mean He is God in the same exalted sense as the Father.
- We will soon see other passages referring to Jesus as “God” using the definite article.
Chapter 10: Jesus Christ the Lord
Authority as Lord
Do you believe in Jesus as your Lord who rose from the dead? This is extremely important. Your spiritual life depends on it.
Romans 10:9. “If you declare with your lips, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Title of authority
What did people mean when they called Jesus Lord? Why did Paul use this title for Jesus over 200 times? What does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved? Why does God say that every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord?
Kurios, the Greek word translated Lord in the Bible was a title of authority. People used it to show respect. It could be simply a form of polite address like the English word sir. The head of a family was the lord of his house. Slaves called their master lord. Subjects recognized their ruler as their lord.
Kurios was also a title of worship given to the gods of many religions, as well as to Jehovah, the true God. In this sense the Bible uses the title Lord for both God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. To call Jesus Lord is to recognize His deity, His union with His Father, His supreme authority over the universe, and His right to rule our lives.
When Jesus is our Lord, we report to Him for orders and receive His instructions. We take everything to Him in prayer. His Word is our manual for daily living. We don’t have to worry about anything. Our Lord has all power, He knows all things, and He loves us. All we have to do is just trust Him and obey.
Proof of authority
Jesus proved His authority in His teachings. He amazed people by the absolute confidence with which He revealed truths about God and man. He called Himself the way, the truth, and the life.
Jesus proved His authority over nature. He walked on the stormy waves. His words, Peace, Be still, calmed a tempest. He changed water into wine. He fed 5,000 men, besides women and children, with five loaves of bread and two small fish. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Jesus proved His authority over disease and death. At His touch, the deaf heard, the blind saw, and the crippled walked. He called the dead back to life. He died and rose again.
Jesus proved His moral authority. He lived a sinless life. He established the best code of ethics ever known. He made ruined lives beautiful, pure, and useful. He was a perfect leader.
Jesus proved His spiritual authority. He forgave sins. He drove evil spirits out of their victims. He did the works of His Father and revealed God to man. He went back to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to His church.
Jesus proved His authority over His church. As Lord, He sent His followers out to evangelize the world and gave them supernatural power with which to do it. He backs us up with all the authority of heaven as we obey His orders.
John 13:13. “You call me Teacher and Lord, and it is right that you do so because I am.”
Matthew 28:18.20. “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I will be with you always, to the end of your age.”
Recognition as Lord
Head of the Church
All those who accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord are members of His church. Paul tells us in four of his epistles that Jesus is our Head and the church is His body. We have studied the privileges of union with Christ. We can enjoy them fully only to the extent that we give Jesus first place in our lives. The head must guide the body; not the body, the head. Each member has its own place and function in the body. We should all work together for the good of the body and to carry out the purpose of Christ our Head.
Colossians 1:17,18. “In union with Him all things have their proper place. He is the head of his body; the church; He is the source of the body’s life; He is the first-born Son who was raised from death, in order that He alone might have the first place in all things.”
Romans 12:5,6. “We are one body in union with Christ and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body. So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us.”
Before Jesus sets up His kingdom on earth, He will take His church to heaven and prepare us to rule with Him. He will judge us all – dealing with our faults and failures, and rewarding us for whatever we have done for Him. His rule must be firmly established in every area of our lives before we can rule with Him in His everlasting kingdom.
2 Corinthians 5:10. “For all of us must appear before Christ, to be judged by Him, so that each one may receive what he deserves, according to what he has done, good or bad, in his bodily life.”
After the judgment, there is a great celebration in heaven known as the wedding feast of the Lamb. We read about this in Revelation. Twenty-nine times in Revelation Jesus is called the Lamb. This is His characteristic title of honor after His return to heaven. The church shares that honor as the bride of the Lamb.
Revelation 19:5.8. “Then there came from the throne the sound of a voice saying: Praise our God, all his servants, and all men, both great and small, who fear him! Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a great crowd, like the roar of a mighty waterfall, like loud peals of thunder. I heard them say: ‘Praise God! For the Lord, our Almighty God, is King! Let us rejoice and be glad: let us praise his greatness. For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb and His bride has prepared herself for it. She has been permitted to dress herself with clean shining linen. (The linen is the righteous deeds of God’s people.)”
King of kings and Lord of lords
To complete the picture of who Jesus is, we look into the future and see Him in His glory.
Revelation 1:7,8.” Look, He is coming with the clouds! I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God Almighty, who is, who was, and who is to come.”
Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet., the beginning and end. Jesus is the Alpha – the first cause, the source of reality. Jesus is the Omega – the One who will bring about the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose. He will bring all things into their right relationship. He will conquer all evil and reign forever as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Jesus described the critical times that would come before His return. Revelation adds many details: wars, epidemics, earthquakes, famine, polluted waters, fish dying, vegetation destroyed. oppression under a world dictatorship – death in the land.
Thank God that isn’t the end! Although sin brings suffering and death, Christ has redeemed a people for Himself and this earth to be the site of His perfect kingdom. Jesus is the Omega. He is coming soon to take possession of the world He created by His power and redeemed with His blood.
Revelation 19:11,13,14,16. “Then I saw heaven open, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True; it is with justice that he judges and fights his battles. The name by which he is called is The Word of God. The armies of heaven followed him…. On his robe and on his leg was written the name: ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’.”
Matthew 24:30; 25:31,32. “All the tribes of earth … will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. When the Son of Man comes as King, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on his royal throne, and all the earth’s people will be gathered before Him.”
lsaiah 11:4,6,91 35:1,5,6,10. “But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth…. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb. . . and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Revelation 21.3.5. “Now God’s home is with men He will live with them, and they shall be his people…. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief, crying, or pain. The old things have disappeared. Then the one who sits on the throne said, and now I make all things new!”
In this short course you cannot study all of Jesus’ titles or read all about His wonderful kingdom. However, we hope you know Jesus better now than you did and that you love Him more. We pray that you may know Him better every day as you wait for His return. Then some day when He comes you will see Him face to face, know Him as He really is, and be able to join in the universal song of praise to the Lamb:
Revelation 5:9-13. “They sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to break open its seals. For you were killed and by Your death You bought men for God,
From every tribe, and language.
and people, and nation.
You have made them a kingdom of priests
to serve our God;
And they shall rule on earth.
Again I looked, and I heard angels, thousands and tens of thousands of them! They stood around the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders, and sang in a loud voice: The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and strength, honor, glory, and praise! And I heard every creature in heaven, on earth.,and in the world below, and every creature in the sea – all creatures in the whole universe – and they were singing:
To him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, Be praise and honor, glory and might. For ever and ever!”
Now answer a few questions to check your knowledge.
1. According to Romans 10:9 what happens if you declare that Jesus is Lord and believe God raised Him from the dead?
a) You will be persecuted
b) You will be saved
c) You will find peace
2. Lord is a title used to express
a) recognition of authority.
b) recognition of equality.
3. How many times does Paul call Jesus Lord?
a) Over 100
b) Over 1000
c) Over 200
4. What is Jesus called in John 13:13
a) Savior and friend
b) Teacher and Lord
c) King of kings
6. What did Jesus order His followers to teach the people they baptized?
A) Build churches
b) To obey His commands
c) To help others
7. Paul calls Christ the __________ and the church His __________
a) Head, body
b) Lord, children
c) Savior, followers
8. Where can you find your proper place in life?
a) In union with Jesus.
b) In church
c) In service
9. Who must have first place?
a) Your family
b) Your ministry
10. Choose the three titles of Jesus in Revelation 19.
a) Faithful and True
b) Word of God
c) the Holy One
d) King of kings and Lord of lords
11. The only hope for the solution of the world’s problems is in
a) Scientific advancement