“Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” Luke 6:46
On Sunday, Pastor Bryan Sullivan preached that the Lordship of Christ is foundational to Christian living. He warned us that we cannot enjoy the benefits of Christ without surrendering to His commandments, i.e. to live submissively under His sovereignty.
This sermon was so sound and precise regarding the doctrine of Lordship and obedience that I wanted to press upon our conscience more of the implications of these truths.
The obedience of the Christian cannot be separated from the Lordship of Christ. Gospel obedience flows from faith in the person and work of Christ; and saving faith confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord by the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12:3. Hearing and doing the Word of Christ is an essential mark of living under the Lordship of Christ. For Jesus said, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”
Obedience flows from faith in God’s saving grace. Some twist gospel obedience into salvation by works. But good works flow out of salvation by grace through faith, Ephesians 2:8-10. God’s grace is totally incompatible with human works-righteousness. Yet grace is the only source of good works in the life of a Christian. Paul teaches this in Titus 2:
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.” Titus 2:11–15
The grace that freely saves also sanctifies. So the grace of God that brings salvation sets up a classroom in our heart, teaching us holiness of life and zeal for good works. This is the very opposite of works- righteousness. Those who wish to earn eternal life by works seek their own glory and reject the grace of God.
God gives us perfect righteousness and eternal life in Christ by sheer grace ─ by grace alone. The wages of sin is death, but the free-gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, Romans 6:23. The grace that gives us these free gifts in Christ also produces the fruit of good works and true godliness in our lives.