I Believe… Our Lord


At first glance, this line in the Apostles’ Creed may seem fairly insignificant. It’s only two words which could easily be lost or overlooked. But that would be a huge mistake: “and in Jesus Christ, His only son, our Lord….”

There is a wealth of information in those words “our Lord.” “Lord” is the English word used to translate the Greek word Kyrios, which was used 6,700 times in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew name for God, Yahweh or Adonai. All that to say, when we call Jesus “Lord,” we are implying that He is God.

And according to R.C. Sproul, “Adonai was the title that indicated God’s absolute authority and power.”[1] By calling Him Lord we are acknowledging not only that He is divine, but also that He is sovereign. Sovereign is defined as “[1] A supreme ruler, especially a monarch; [2] possessing supreme or ultimate power.”[2]

The question then becomes, if we confess that Jesus is “our Lord,” what does that mean for us in our everyday lives? Of course, we need to acknowledge that His is our sovereign, and that we need to submit to His authority. R.C. Sproul says, “The creed confesses that not only is he the Lord, but that he is our lord. At the heart of the Christian faith is the believer’s personal submission to the authority of God’s exalted King.”[3]

It also means that, if we are to live under His authority, we can have loyalty to no other master. James Dodd explains, “When we use the expression ‘our Lord,’ we declare that we renounce other masters; that we make no compromise with His enemies and refuse to have ‘fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,’ that… we accept Christ as our leader.”[4]

This is hard for many of us. We have so many things that occupy our minds; so many things we worry about. At this point in our lives, we have a difficult time seeing Jesus as the Sovereign when so many things are going wrong in our world. But take heart:

The final and climactic manifestation of Jesus as Lord will take place at his second coming when he will rescue believers from the coming wrath (1 Thess. 1:10), gather them to himself (2 Thess. 2:1), and overthrow lawless authorities (2 Thess. 2:8). It is the moment where Jesus will be by might what he is by right: the pantokrator, the divine master and commander over everything and everyone![5]

[1] R.C. Sproul, What We Believe (Baker Publishing Group, Kindle Edition), p. 98.

[2] https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/sovereign

[3] Sproul, p. 100, emphasis added.

[4] James Dodds, Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, ebook, p. 31.

[5] Michael F. Bird, What Christians Ought to Believe (Zondervan Academic, Kindle Edition), p. 91

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