Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV ““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
Every time I read those verses they give me pause. “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord” those words strike to the heart. Many people claim Jesus is their savior, they claim to be Christian, many may even call Him Lord. But to some Jesus will say, “I never knew you; depart from me you who practice lawlessness!”
Some have said that Jesus is obviously referring to unbelievers, but here’s the thing, they say, “Lord, Lord.” They believe they have entrance in to the Kingdom of God but Jesus said that they practiced lawlessness. What does it mean to practice lawlessness? To disobey God. The Vine’s Expository Dictionary says a “flagrant defiance of the known will of God.” In the King James the word used is iniquity which means unrighteousness.
So Jesus is saying those who practice lawlessness or unrighteousness are not known by Him. Now some Christians respond that because we are the righteousness of Christ we can’t be lawless or unrighteous but the fact is, that’s what sin is, sin is lawlessness, it is acting unrighteously. Some respond that if you believe you have to submit that it is being saved by a works and not grace.
Romans 6:1-4 NKJV “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Paul goes on to say in verses fifteen through nineteen, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”
Some will still respond, we are not under law but under grace, quit trying to bind believers to the law. We aren’t under the law that Jesus fulfilled, He is our sacrifice but that does not nullify obedience to the Word of God. Paul says in what we just read that we are to live in holiness and that is the opposite of lawlessness.
The law cannot save us from sin, it can only expose our need for the Savior but it is still holy, just and good. Look at the problems in our nation, we have those problems because we abandoned the law of God, we quit worshipping God as God, Romans chapter one outlines all of that.
Paul goes on to talk about our freedom from sin in Romans eight. Here is the focal point of this post, is Jesus Lord? Yes, He is in fact Lord of everything. But that being the case what is the difference between someone who doesn’t know Jesus and someone who does? The saved person submits to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The question isn’t is Jesus Lord, the question is are you submitted to Him AS Lord?
This is not an issue of being saved by works, this is about what salvation brings about in us. No one who belongs to God will continue in a lifestyle of sin. No one who belongs to God will fight against walking holy before Him.
With all due respect to those who say Lordship Salvation is a works based salvation, you simply have category errors. Yes, we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, but that produces in us holiness and sanctification. To say Jesus is Lord so we don’t have to submit to Him as Lord goes against Scripture.
Jesus being your Lord is all about obedience to Him. Colossians says we have been delivered from the power of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son. We read earlier in Romans the difference between being under the power of sin and walking in newness of life. That newness of life is the ability to walk with God, and walking with God is a walk of holiness and obedience. That isn’t legalism. Jesus said if you love Me you will obey Me. He said the one who loves Him is the one who keeps His commandments.
I want to close this post with some verses from John’s letter. 1 John 2:4-6 NKJV “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” Verses fifteen through seventeen, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
Remember the ones who ate the loaves and fishes, Jesus said they followed Him because they wanted food but when He said His flesh was true food and His blood was true drink it says many of His disciples followed Him no more. Scripture calls us to bear fruit, Jesus talked at length about this in John fourteen and fifteen.
Romans ten says we confess Jesus and believe in our hearts and I believe that but ask yourself this question, what fruit proves that confession is true? Submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.