Freedom Through Jesus’ Lordship

by, Brian E. Trenhaile, MTh, June 30, 2008

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

I.       Concepts Regarding Freedom

         Modern Society’s Concept of Freedom

         Freedom from a Biblical Perspective

         The Biblical Concept of Lordship

         Lordship is Not Optional

II.      Satan’s Lordship

         How Satan Seizes Control

III.    Jesus’ Lordship 

         How to Give Jesus Control

IV.    Types of Freedom through Jesus’ Lordship

         Freedom from Sin  

         Freedom to Be Who You Are

CONCLUSION

BIBLIOGRAPHY


Freedom Through Jesus’ Lordship

INTRODUCTION

Freedom through Jesus’ Lordship is a simple enough statement.  But the depths of this truth are significant and profound.  The intent here is to look at Jesus’ Lordship from a Biblical perspective and to explain how to fully experience this Lordship.  Another goal is to elaborate on the freedoms that automatically come with Christ’s rule.  The Lordship of Satan is also discussed to help fully understand the Lordship of Jesus. 

Freedom is one of the major benefits that comes along with redemption.  With slavery prevalent in their society, the first century Christians had better grasp on this freedom.  This is how they saw the redemption that Jesus provided: First they were slaves to Satan a cruel and abusive lord.  In the marketplace (agora) they were put up for sale to the highest bidder.  Here they were publically degraded.  But then someone bought them.  Their new owner clothed them, then took them out of town and set them free.  This is basically what Jesus’ redemption did for us with His loving and tender lordship; He has freed us to be all that God created us to be.  Paul said, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1, NASB).

I. Concepts Regarding Freedom

Freedom from a Biblical perspective is quite different from the world’s concept of it. 

Modern Society’s Concept of Freedom

The world’s concept of freedom actually has its roots in Satan through the fallen nature of man. 

People don’t like being controlled, so explaining lordship is a good topic for modern society and the church.[1]  Warren Wiersbe made the following comment regarding this matter:

In a “do-your-own-thing” world it is easy to confuse license and liberty.  But don’t!  Because when you are free in Christ, only then are you free from the law, sin, men and your past.  Any you even have a future freedom to anticipate.  So take a look at freedom from a scriptural point of view – and enjoy! (Wiersbe back cover).  

Freedom from a Biblical Perspective

The Biblical perspective is quite different.  The world says, “fortune, fame, security and power” creates liberation.  Whereas the Bible says, “self denial” is the road to liberty.  “All the disciplines lead to freedom and self denial is the touchstone of the discipline of submission” (cf. Foster 96-109). 

The Biblical Concept of Lordship

Living in a democratic society, modern man has a hard time understanding the concept of having a king or lord.  Ladd describes the Biblical concept of Lordship as follows:

The taking up of the cross is something which takes place in the depths of the human spirit and is fundamental to one’s relationship to Christ.  If I am ready to die for Christ, then my life is not my own, it is His.  My life belongs to Him together with all that life includes.  Cross-bearing involves the question of lordship, rulership, of kingship.  Christ cannot rule my life until I count myself dead, crucified.  There can only be one ruler in my life: self or Christ.  When I take up my cross and die, Christ can rule (Ladd 105).  

Lordship is Not Optional

Lordship is always present.  Either we are serving God or Satan.  Jesus said we cannot server two masters; we will love one and hate the other (cf. Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13).  Paul describes these two lordships in the Book of Romans.  Paul says we are the slave to the one that we obey.  We can never really be free of lordship itself.  But we can be freed from Satan’s Lordship when we choose Christ’s Lordship (Kenyon 226-227).  In this matter, there is only one thing we are capable of.  We can and do “choose” the lord that we will serve (Lucado 188).

II. Satan’s Lordship

Satan works through lying, cheating and stealing (cf. John 10:10).  He is a cruel slave master.  He steals what belongs to God (Kenyon 222). 

When man fell spiritual death, the very nature of Satan entered into man and alienated man from God (Kenyon 179).  Under Satan man lives in a world of transgression and condemnation, in which sin is reigning in death (Ro. 5:12-21).  Blindness caused by Satan[2] is prevalent (II Co. 4:4; Kenyon 185).  Deception is the order of the day.  Jesus told the Pharisees you are of your father the devil and they did not even know it.

How Satan Seizes Control

Warren Wiersbe wrote a very good book about Satan. He is very familiar with the wiles of the enemy.  In another book, he wrote the following insightful quote about how Satan subtly gains control through sin:

What did Paul say about sin?  He said that sin enslaves.  Sin always begins with freedom but it leads to slavery.  You may be playing with sin right now, or you may be contemplating sin.  You are a believer in Jesus Christ, but perhaps ideas of sin are lingering in the back of your mind.  I want to warn you that sin enters as a guest; then sin becomes a friend – you get to know each other and like each other.  Then sin becomes a servant.  It promises to serve you and give you pleasure.  But that servant becomes a master, that master becomes a tyrant, and that tyrant becomes a destroyer.  Sin always begins with freedom and ends with destruction and slavery (Wiersbe 42-43).  

III. Jesus’ Lordship

Jesus is a loving lord.  God translated us from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of His dear Son (cf. Col. 1:13).  Christ took back what Satan stole (Kenyon 222).  Our loving Lord took lordship for man’s benefit, not His own.  He really did not have to do this, but He wanted to set mankind free (Kenyon 220, 219, 220). 

Freedom occurs when we switch to His lordship.  Jesus said, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36 NASB).  He exchanges our unrighteousness for His righteousness (Kenyon 46, 51, 52, 55).  He takes the consequences of our unrighteous life upon Himself and gives us the benefit of His righteous life (II Co. 5:21).  He removes the Spiritual Death and brings Spiritual Life.  He brings in a world of grace, where righteousness reigns in life (Ro. 5:12-21).

He gives us a new nature and we now become adopted by God (Kenyon 185).  With this new nature Christ charges us to go back to our original created purpose and take dominion over the earth (cf. Kenyon 218).  But man is now elevated to even higher than before, for now he is also a joint heir with Christ (Kenyon 183).

How to Give Jesus Control

It is interesting to see how different authors share how Jesus is made Lord in a person’s life.  Like many biblical concepts, receiving Jesus Lordship has different facets.  Like facets on a precious jewel, each facet glimmers with beauty and forms a part of the whole.  The first facet is focused on “confessing Jesus as Lord” and it based on Romans 10:9, 10.  The second view states that “reckoning it” causes it to occur.  These valid views or facets are as follows:

Because man’s need can only be met by the Lordship of Christ over his life, the confessing of that Lordship is the way unto salvation … Man’s part is to confess the Lordship of Christ.  This is the highest order of repentance.  Repentance is not weeping or crying over sins committed in the past.  A man may be sorry for the way in which he has lived; although the reign of sin is the result of Satan’s lordship over his life. Repentance is deeper than that.  Repentance is to turn from Satan’s rule, from following him, to the Lordship of Christ.  Repentance is a public confession of the Lordship of Christ.  It is confessing in the presence of men and demons that you are following a new Lord and taking Him into your life.  When a man confesses the Lordship of Christ, he is delivered from the authority of Satan into the authority of Christ (Kenyon 227).  

Nineteen times in the book of Romans Paul uses the word (logizomai) that is translated “reckon.” Sometimes it is translated “impute” or “count.”  … To reckon means to rely on, to claim for yourself that which God says is true in the Bible …To reckon simply means to believe what the Word says is true – true in my life.  Reckoning is not trying to work up an experience.  Reckoning is simple believing what God said in Romans 6 is true.  I am not trying to work up an emotional experience.  I am simply believing what God said.  … Therefore, what God says in His word is true in my life.  Are you reckoning yourself to be dead indeed unto sin (that’s the negative) but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord (that’s the positive)?  The key word here is “Lord.”   Jesus Christ is not just a Savior, but He is also our Lord.  Are you reckoning on this?  (Wiersbe 46-47).  

The third view is by Ladd.  He stated that “cross bearing” is the method for making Jesus Lord.  This view was previously stated in the part entitled “The Biblical Concept of Lordship.”   

IV.  Types of Freedom Through Jesus’ Lordship

There are many types of freedom that accompany Jesus’ Lordship.[3]  Besides freedom from Satan’s Lordship; there is freedom from the Law, sin, other men, your past, from things and future freedom (Wiersbe 23-92).  We are free because Satan no longer has authority over us (Kenyon 182).  In fact Christ now gives us rule or authority over Satan our former lord (Luke 10:19; Col. 1:13; Kenyon 185-186; Hagan 19-54).  

Freedom from Sin

We are freed from the reign of sin through Jesus’ lordship[4] (Kenyon 229).  “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:2, NASB).  Satan’s power is broken over us by Jesus (Heb 2:14).  Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:8; Kenyon 212).   

What is sin to the New Creation? Sin is anything that keeps us from walking in fellowship with the Father and the Master … Walking in the light of His Word is walking in our privileges and responsibilities.  Sin, therefore, is anything that will keep us from taking our place.  Sin is anything that causes the New Creation to walk in failure and weakness in the presence of the fact that Christ has been made our strength.  Unbelief which keeps us from rest and quietness in Him is sin …” (Kenyon 230).  

With Jesus’ lordship we also have provision to get right back into fellowship with God if we blow it (I John 1:8, 9).  To recognize fully His lordship is to recognize that sin has no power over us (Kenyon 230).

Paul said not to use our freedom for the flesh’s advantage.  “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13, NIV).

Freedom to be Who You Are

Kenyon believes that the church is too focused on avoiding sin.  He says we should be focused on releasing the New Creation that is within us.  Since God’s nature is love and we now have His nature, we should be focusing on releasing His agape love through ourselves.  Our focus should be on letting the New Nature come forth (cf. Kenyon 38, 39, 239, 241-247).

Conclusion

The statement “Freedom through Jesus’ Lordship” is a bit concise because there is another lord involved.  A more accurate amplified version of this statement would be “Freedom from Satan’s Lordship through the Lordship of Jesus.”  It simply does not make sense to accept Satan’s rulership, since what he offers is pure deception.  The nature and benefits of Jesus lordship are much greater and deeper than what we normally perceive in our modern culture.

The Bible is all about freeing man to live in his originally created purpose.  Man’s purpose is to fellowship with God.  This fellowship involves living under the loving authority of Christ the Lord.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bevere, John. Under Cover.  Nashville, Tennessee:  Thomas Nelson, 2001.

Foster, Richard. Celebration of Discipline – The Path to Spiritual Growth.  San Francisco, California:  Harper & Row, Publishers, 1978.

Hagin, Kenneth. The Believers Authority.  Tulsa, Oklahoma:  Rhema Bible Church, Inc., 2005.

Kenyon, Edward.  The Bible in Light of Our Redemption – Basic Bible Course.  Lynnwood, Washington: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1999.

Ladd, George. The Gospel of the Kingdom.  Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978.

Lucado, Max. Grace for the Moment, Volume I.  Nashville, Tennessee:  J. Countryman Publishers, 2000.

Van Der Puy, Abe. The High Calling of God, You Can Serve God Successfully.  Lincoln, Nebraska:  Back to the Bible, 1982.

Wiersbe, Warren.  Enjoy Your Freedom.  Lincoln, Nebraska: Back to the Bible, 1983.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptural quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.

Scripture references marked NKJV are taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION, Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982, by The Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Scripture references marked NASB are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org).

Scripture references marked NIV are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. NIV ®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.  All rights reserved.

Scripture references marked NLT are taken from the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION ®. NLT ®.  Copyright © 1996, 2004 by the Tyndale Charitable Trust.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.  All rights reserved.


[1]There is a secret place under the shadow of the Almighty, where there is liberty, provision and protection.  Yet, too many believers do not enjoy this hidden place.  Instead they seek freedom and security outside of it in a realm where the very opposite exists.  They are tricked into believing that true and lasting freedom can be found away from Divine authority (Bevere back cover). 

[2] Others of us find it hard to say yes to the will of God.  We have been deceived into thinking that the will of God will take us into boring unhappy paths.  We keep on giving the impression that we have the right to choose to do or not do God’s will.  When we think that way, it’s obvious that we haven’t been convinced of the lordship of our God.  We have small, inadequate thoughts of Him and so find it difficult to say yes to His will.  However, once we understand that He is Lord of all, then we enthusiastically say yes to His will (Van Der Puy 14).

[3] There are also many benefits to Jesus’ lordship.  Among many other things Christ the King provides His subjects with wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30), peace (II Thessalonians 3:6; Kenyon 231), protection (John 10:28-30), zoe life with provision (John 10:10) and healing (Matthew 8:17).

[4] For if by the transgression of one, death reigned through one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through One, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17, NASB).

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One Response to Freedom Through Jesus’ Lordship

  1. Pingback: Added Freedom Through Jesus’ Lordship | Scripture Jewels

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