We Believe: Jesus Is Lord -- By: Arthur L. Farstad

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 02:1 (Spring 1989)
Article: We Believe: Jesus Is Lord
Author: Arthur L. Farstad

We Believe:
Jesus Is Lord

Arthur L. Farstad

Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Dallas, Texas

For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.”
Romans 14:8, 9

I. Introduction

“Jesus Is Lord” was the motto adopted by the World Council of Churches over forty years ago. And a very good motto it is. However, in light of the pronouncements that have flowed from that largely liberal aggregation one wonders what they might mean by “Lord.”

Much more important to Bible Christians is what God’s Word has to say about the meaning of Lord as it refers to Christ Jesus. There is much discussion, and even dispute, today as to what it means to confess that “Jesus1 Is Lord.” What does Lord mean?

II. How Jesus Is Lord

A great deal can be determined about individuals and language groups by their vocabulary and by the frequency with which they use certain terms. For example, in the Athabaskan language (“Eskimo”) there are a host of words for snow at various stages. A classical Greek lexicon will reveal the wealth of words that the Greeks had for dog and dog-related activities (chiefly hunting).

When we look at a concordance to the Greek NT we are struck with the prominence of the word Lord (Kyrios). Moulton and Geden devote seventeen columns of small print to this word, plus four references to lordship or dominions (kyriotēs), seven uses of the related verb (kyrieuō) and two verses for the related adjective lordly or pertaining to the Lord (kyriakos).

Despotēs, whose English derivative (despot) has an undesirable connotation, is used frequently and helps complete the picture, overlapping with Kyrios in meaning.

The NT use of these words, chiefly Kyrios, sheds a flood of light on the question that we propose with God’s help to answer in this article: What do we mean when we say “Jesus is Lord”?

The word history, or etymology, of Kyrios does not help us a great deal. Turner defines the secular meaning of the Greek word, “apart from religious contexts,” as “ ...

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