Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Peter gave his first sermon on the day of Pentecost. As often happens when I listen to sermons on Sunday mornings, one sentence arrested me:

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Acts 2:36

“Both Lord and Christ”
Not just Lord, and not just Christ, but both Lord and Christ. What’s the difference? I turned to my trusted Greek dictionaries. The word translated “Lord” means “he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master.”* God has made Jesus Lord – the One to whom all things belong; the One to whom all people belong, whether they accept His ownership of them or not.

Fact: The Sovereign God of the Universe had made Jesus the Owner of all created things.

Paul picked up Peter’s theme in Philippians:

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11

The truth is we belong to Jesus. He is our Master, our Owner, the One to whom we will one day bow our knee. The choice we face is – will we accept His ownership and bow our knee today? Will that bowed knee represent our will – that is, will it mean that we have bowed our will to His will? Hmmm. I think bowing the knee is much easier than bowing the will, but they ought to be one and the same. Brian Doerksen sings a song “Today” that captures this theme: “Today I choose to follow You. Today I choose to give my ‘Yes’ to You.”

God has already made Jesus Lord; let’s not wait until some other day to accept that ownership. God made Jesus your Lord. Will you accept His Lordship?

God made Jesus both “Lord and Christ.” The word “Christ” literally means “anointed” and is the name given to the Messiah, the Son of God.* We see this in John 1:

[Andrew] found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ).
John 1:41

The word “Messiah” comes from the Hebrew word (the language of the Old Testament); the word “Christ” is the Greek word (the language of the New Testament). Both refer to Jesus. Who was the Messiah? He was the long awaited Savior. One of the values of reading the Old Testament is that it lays the foundation that the Israelites were looking and longing for the promised Savior to come. Christ, the Messiah, is the fulfillment of that promise and that great anticipation. He is the One who would save them and will save us from ourselves – our sinful nature – and throw open the doors to a vibrant relationship and intimacy with God.

God has made Jesus to be our Owner and our Savior. Both Lord and Christ. Not just our Owner. Not just our Savior. Both. As Owner, He can do with us as He pleases. As Savior, He is compassionate and strong. As an Owner, He could determine us to be worthless and throw us away. As Savior, He doesn’t have that option – we are of tremendous worth to Him and He desires the very best for each of us.

“Whom You Crucified”
I wasn’t there, but yes, I crucified Christ. It was my sin that required the death of a perfect sacrifice. If you all had lived perfect lives, Christ would have been crucified for my sin. It is Christ’s perfect sacrifice that pays the debt required by my wrongdoing. He is my Savior. His sacrifice saves me from eternal damnation and opens the doors to eternal life. Wow.

Sin is messy business, as I blogged about several days ago. As the Israelites were required to slaughter a lamb or bull to pay for their sins, Christ was the lamb slaughtered as payment for my sins. His sacrifice wipes my slate clean. His blood cleanses my soul. Again I say: Wow.

“God has made…”
It was God who elevated Jesus to the position of Lord and Christ. It wasn’t me, you, my pastor or your pastor, or even the Pope who made Jesus Lord and Christ. It wasn’t anyone who has ever lived on this earth who made Jesus Lord and Christ. It was the One who created the earth and all things in and on it. It was God, the Most High God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who made Jesus both Lord and Christ.

“Brothers, what shall we do?”

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Acts 2:37

After Peter’s declaration that God had made Jesus, whom they had crucified, both Lord and Christ, the crowd had one response: “Brothers, what shall we do?”

Peter’s response was one we need to be reminded of from time to time:

38Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Acts 2:38-39

Repent! Literally, “think differently!”** Bring your thinking into line with God’s Word. Come into agreement with Him that you have sinned, that sin requires a price and that Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, paid that price.

Be baptized – be cleansed of your sins. It’s interesting that the word “baptized” also means to be “overwhelmed.”** Be overwhelmed with the goodness of God. Be overwhelmed with His presence. Be overwhelmed to the point of giving Him complete control.

Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit – the One who comforts, reveals God and empowers believers to live the life God wants us to live.

This promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off – don’t believe it’s not for you. It is. If there is even the tiniest thing in you that whispers “yeah, but this isn’t for you, you’re not good enough” – that thing has a name – satan and he is a liar. He is the father of lies and there is no good in him. Choose to believe God. Repent, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

What will you do?

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Acts 2:37

I pray that your heart has been quickened as well. God has made Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. What will you do about it? Will you make Him Lord – Owner – of your life? Will you recognize Him as your Savior? Will you repent and be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. I pray that today you are overwhelmed with God’s grace, the Savior’s cleansing power and the revelation and peace of the Holy Spirit.

*From Thayer’s Greek Definitions from Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions, Electronic Edition STEP Files Copyright © 1999, Findex.com, Inc.

**From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries by James Strong, Electronic Edition STEP Files Copyright © 1998, Parsons Technology, Inc.

One Response to “Both Lord and Master”
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