We do not ask, Is Christ your “Saviour,” but is He, really and truly, your Lord? If He is not your Lord, then most certainly He is not your “Saviour ” Those who have not received Christ Jesus as their “Lord,” and yet suppose Him to be their “Saviour,” are deluded, and their hope rests on a foundation of sand. Multitudes are deceived on this vital point, and therefore, if the reader values his or her soul, we implore you to give a most careful reading to this little tract.
When we ask, Is Christ your Lord?, we do not inquire, Do you believe in the Godhead of Jesus of Nazareth? The demons do that (Matthew 8:28-29), and yet perish notwithstanding! You may be firmly convicted of the Deity of Christ, and yet be in your sins. You may speak of Him with the utmost reverence, accord Him His Divine titles in your prayers, and yet be unsaved. You may abominate those who traduce His person and deny His Divinity, and yet have no spiritual love for Him at all.
When we ask, Is Christ your LORD?, we mean, does He in every deed occupy the throne of your heart, does He actually rule over your life? “We have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6) describes the course which all follow by nature. Before conversion, every soul lives to please self. Of old it was written, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” And why? “In those days there was no king in Israel” (Judges 21:25). Ah, that is the point we desire to make clear to the reader. Until Christ becomes your King (l Timothy 1:17; Revelation 15:3), until you bow to His scepter, until His will becomes the rule of your life, SELF dominates, and thus Christ is disowned.
When the Holy Spirit begins His work of grace in a soul, He first convicts of sin. He shows me the real and awful nature of sin. He makes me realize that it is a species of insurrection, a defying of God’s authority, a setting my will against His. He shows me that in going my own way (Isaiah 53:6), in pleasing myself, I have been fighting against God, As my eyes are opened to see what a lifelong rebel I have been, how indifferent to God’s honour, how unconcerned about His will, I am filled with anguish and horror, and made to marvel that the thrice Holy One has not long since cast me into Hell. Listener, have you ever gone through this experience? If not, there is very grave reason to fear you are yet spiritually dead.
Conversion, true conversion, saving conversion, is a turning from sin to God in Christ. It is a throwing down the weapons of my warfare against Him, a ceasing to despise or ignore His authority. New Testament conversion is described thus: “Ye turned to God from idols to serve (be in subjection to, obey) the living and true God” (I Thessalonians 1:9). An “idol” is any object to which we give what is due alone unto God – the supreme place in our affections, the molding influence of our hearts, the dominating power of our lives. Conversion is a right-about-face, the heart and will repudiating sin, self and the world. Genuine conversion is always evidenced by, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6): it is an unreserved surrendering of ourselves to His holy will.
There are many people who would like to be saved from Hell, but who do not want to be saved from self-will, from having their own way, from a life of (some form of) worldliness. But God will not save on their terms. To be saved, we must submit to His terms. Listen to His terms, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord (having revolted from Him in Adam), and He will have mercy upon him” (Isaiah 55:7). Said Christ, “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath (all that is opposed to Me), he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33). Men must be turned “from darkness to light, and the power of Satan unto God,” before they can “receive forgiveness of sins, an inheritance among them which are sanctified”. (Acts 26:18)
Make no mistake upon this point: a conversion, which the Holy Spirit produces is a very radical thing. It is a miracle of grace. It is the enthroning of Christ in the life. And such conversions are rare indeed. Multitudes of people have just sufficient “religion” to make them miserable. They are plainly striving to serve two masters. They refuse to forsake every known sin – and there is no true peace for any soul until he does. They have never “received Christ Jesus the Lord” (Colossians 2:6). We also have to realize that “a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” If these vain professors were to be saved, “the joy of the Lord” would be their “strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). But the language of their hearts (not their “lips’) is, “We will not have this Man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14). Is that your case?
The great miracle of grace consists in changing a lawless rebel into a loving and loyal subject. It is a “renewing” of the heart, so that the favored subject of it has come to loathe what he loved, and the things he once found irksome are now winsome (2 Corinthians 5:17). He delights “in law of God after the inward man” (Romans 7:22). He discovers that Christ’s “commands are not grievous” (I John 5:3), and that “in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:11). Is this your experience? It would be if Christ Jesus is your LORD!
But to receive Christ the Lord is altogether beyond unaided human power. That is the last thing, which the unrenewed heart wants to do. There must be a supernatural change of heart before there is even the desire for Christ to occupy the throne. And that change, none but God can work (I Corinthians 12:3). Therefore “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found.” (Isaiah 55:6) “Search” for Him “with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) Dear listening friend, you may have been a professing Christian for years past, and you may have been quite sincere in your profession. But if God has condescended to use this short devotional to show you that you have never really and truly become saved—then praise the Lord for it is still the day of Salvation.