When Jesus Is Lord (Part 1) - Bible Study

by Tom Bulick and Stephanie Thomas on

Bible Studies 1 document
1 Peter 3:13–18a

  • When Jesus Is Lord (Part 1) | The Scrolls | April 21, 2024

    Copyright Central Bible Church

The Scrolls is a weekly Bible study written by pastors and other leaders at Central Bible Church, based on that week’s sermon topic. Use The Scrolls as a personal Bible study tool, for family devotions, and for small group discussions. You can read part of it below. The downloadable PDF also includes discussion questions, more in-depth commentary, end notes, and a kids’ page designed for families to study the topic together. This lesson goes with the sermon "When Jesus Is Lord (Part 1)."

In 1 Peter 3:15, the apostle writes: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.” Of course, he is referring to Jesus, for in 1:3, he writes: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” It’s interesting to note how many times the words Jesus, Christ, and Lord appear in the same New Testament context—at least eighty-three. In the vast majority of these, the title “Lord Jesus Christ” is used to refer to Jesus of Nazareth. In the book of Romans alone, a number of passages refer to “the Lord Jesus Christ” (e.g., 1:7; 13:14), “Jesus Christ our Lord” (e.g., Rom 1:4; 5:21; 7:25), “our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1, 11; 15:6), and in one other Pauline passage to “my Lord Jesus Christ” (Php 3:8). Moreover, in Philippians 2:11, Paul writes: “Jesus Christ is Lord”—cf. “Jesus Christ as Lord” (2Co 4:5) and “Christ Jesus as Lord” (Col 2:6). In Peter’s second epistle, he refers to “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” three times (1:11; 2:20; 3:18).

But what does “revere Christ as Lord” actually mean? Does it not mean, acknowl-edge him as your sovereign God? To answer that question, one must understand that “Lord” (Gk. kurios) when used with reference to Jesus, while sometimes a polite form of address (e.g., Mt 8:8, 21; 15:27; 17:15; 18:21), most often is a substitute for Yahweh (yhwh), “the Lord” of the Old Testament, the Creator and Sustainer of heaven and earth, the omnipotent sovereign God. So one theologian writes: “When kurios is applied to Jesus, it is an unambiguous affirmation of deity, with only a few exceptions” (Stephen J. Wellum, God the Son Incarnate, 200).

There are many instances in the New Testament where “Lord” is used of Jesus Christ with this sense “the Lord” who is Yahweh or God himself—not only in the Gospels (cf. Lk 1:43; 2:11, 18; Mt 3:3; 22:44), but also in the epistles. Another theologian writes: “Such usage is seen frequently in the Epistles, where ‘the Lord’ is a common name to refer to Christ. Paul says, ‘there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist’ (1 Cor. 8:6; cf. 12:3, and many other passages in the Pauline epistles).

“A particularly clear passage is found in Hebrews 1, where the author quotes Psalm 102, which speaks about the work of the Lord in creation and applies it to Christ:

     You, Lord, founded the earth in the beginning,
     and the heavens are the work of your hands;
     they will perish, but you remain;
     they will all grow old like a garment,
     like a mantle you will roll them up,
     and they will be changed.
     But you are the same,
     And your years will never end. (Heb. 1:10-12)

“Here Christ is explicitly spoken of as the eternal Lord of heaven and earth who created all things and will remain the same forever. Such strong usage of the term ‘Lord’ to refer to Christ culminates in Revelation 19:16, where we see Christ returning as conquering King, and ‘On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords’” (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, 544-45).     

Central Message of the Text: 

Always be prepared to answer anyone who asks you about your salvation hope—not defensively but with gentleness and respect.

Family Talk:

So many times, we’re hyper focused on our kids’ salvation. Our heart’s desire is for our kids to know Jesus Christ and trust Him as Savior. We talk to them about Jesus, sing songs, share Bible stories and diligently bring them to church. Once they’ve trusted Christ, we celebrate big and feel a huge weight lift from our shoulders. Whew! They’re in! But guess what, Mom and Dad? That’s basically Step 1 of their Jesus story. It’s truly incredible that they know Jesus Christ and have a salvation experience. We honor that and celebrate with you! But now the work of discipleship really begins. What we truly desire for our kids is a deep, growing, abiding relationship with their Savior. One simple exercise that will help build that relationship is preparing them to share their story. Do they know how to communicate their salvation experience? Can they talk about sin and what that means in their “before and after” story? Can they communicate forgiveness of that sin and how they’re different because of Christ’s death on the cross? Can you? This week, share your personal salvation story with your kids. Help them understand the difference Christ has made in your life. Then, work with your kids and help prepare
them to have a gentle and respectful answer for the hope they have. It’s a comfort to have words ready that explain their salvation experience, plus it allows them to be on the ready to share Jesus’ love with others. Who knows, they might be the next great evangelist, and it all starts with this simple story. We’re praying for you!