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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lord or Savior?

Lord, Savior?  Is there a difference?  Are we wrong to assume that not only the title, but the purpose or office, have the same literal and figurative meaning(s)? 

Let's start by getting back to basics, and by that I mean that we have to start, with the goal of answering these few, but important, questions, by developing the knowledge of just what 'a' or 'the' Lord is.  Also, with 'a' or 'the' Savior is.  The very most basic of definitions for the word 'Lord' as used in regards to mankind's belief in God would be, according to Nelsons Dictionary of  Christianity,  Jesus Christ as the center of Christian worship, devotion, and obedience. In using the same source, Nelsons Dictionary of Christianity, we find the meaning of 'Savior' to be In the New Testament, Jesus Christ, the Holy One, who saves His people from sin and destruction and is the source of salvation. 

Now lets go back to the first of these three questions we started with, that being to determine if there is a difference between Lord and Savior, with the understanding that Jesus Christ, in recognition of the long established fact(s) concerning the Triune Being of God, is in fact the person of both.  In using just this one source of information, we can safely say that Jesus Christ the, or our, Lord is actively at the very center of our worship of God.  We can further solidify this statement by going to His Holy Word, the Bible.

'Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'  (John 14:6    NKJV)

Now, by taking a closer look at our definitions, it's not hard to identify the very important purpose, or office, performed by Jesus Christ as our Savior, that being to make available to all of mankind God's gift of Salvation.  And again we'll go to Scripture to put things solidly in proper perspective.

'And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;  for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.'  (Luke 19:9-10    NKJV)

So here we have it, plain and simple, easy enough for even me to understand without having to read it over several times.  Jesus Christ, as God the Son, is the Lord of all who Believes.  And Jesus Christ, as the Son of Man, or God Incarnate, came specifically to seek and to save that which was lost. 

I know that some of you'll may get tired of my bring the Salvation theme into just about everything I write, but it's just about impossible to study anything in the Bible without it connecting in some way or another with the Will of God for each of us.  Think about it for just a minute, if we take everything to do with Salvation and the Will of God for mankind out of the Bible, what's left?  We'd only have bits and pieces of the Old Testament left, and the bits and pieces would be a disjointed mess that didn't connect up properly. 

So, to get on with it, Jesus the Messiah, or Savior, came for this specific purpose.  He came to fulfill the Will of the Father, which was for Him to seek out everyone who'd become lost, or separated from, God.  We all know how this state of affairs came to be, with Adam and Eve committing the sin of disobedience there in the garden of Eden. 

'For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.'  (Romans 5:19    NKJV)

The apostle Paul perfectly stated man's status before God without Christ as God the Son, and then with Christ as the Son of Man, or God Incarnate. 

(Just a little note here on my use of the term 'God Incarnate' as I feel some may not be aware of the proper meaning of this phrase.  As is the case more often than not, words and phrases become distorted throughout the passage of time.  This happens accidentally sometimes, and sometimes it is by unfortunate design.  Then things get even more crazy when someone whose wife says doesn't play well with others attempts to use the word or phrase in a correct manner.  Incarnation basically means that Jesus Christ is the earthly manifestation of God, and that while this manifestation is ongoing, that He is fully God and fully human.  For those of you'll who didn't know what the term meant, and most people don't, you may have been just a bit surprised at how 'painless' it was to learn something you already knew but not by that exact term, right?  Okay, let's move on.)

Let's review.  Jesus Christ our, or the, Lord is understood by New Testament Believers to occupy the position of Mediator, or go-between, through whom Christians have a relationship with God the Father.  Jesus Christ our, or the, Savior came to fulfill the Will of God the Father in making available to mankind the means, or way, to reconcile ourselves to God.  Remember, the sin that was brought into the world by a simple act of disobedience separated man from God.  The shed blood of Christ, as the Son of Man, washed away that sin. 

So we have both literal and figurative meanings and applications going on here, especially when we get to Jesus Christ our Savior.  Literally He died on the cross as a perfect [human] sacrifice for our sins.  Figuratively His shed blood washed us clean from our sins, and by that action, we are each declared to be righteous by God the Father.

Be Blessed before Him in all that you are, all that you do, and in all of His perfect Will for you!

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