Calling on the Name of the Lord in NT - 5

Subject:  Call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

1 Cor 1:2  To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place  call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.

The saints in the 1st Century are identified as people who "call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

Today, we will look at the words "Lord Jesus Christ".

In the NT, "Lord" can refer to Yahweh God, Jesus Christ or in rare occasions, a human master.  "Lord" carries the meaning of authority and ownership. 

In 1 Cor 1:2, "Lord" appears 2X and both refers to Jesus Christ.  

"Lord" actually is the most frequently title used on Jesus.

Let's look at these titles "Lord" and "Christ" so that we can understand this verse better. This will help us understand why in Acts 9:14 and Acts 9:21, the disciples were identified as those who 'call upon this name'.

We need to remember that Jesus was not born with the titles "Lord" and "Christ".  After Jesus had fulfilled his Messianic mission on earth, God appointed the titles "Lord" and "Christ" to Jesus. (Acts 2:36)  After Jesus' crucifixion and burial, God raised Jesus and ascended him to a high position sitting right next to God. 

In the Bible, we see  these combinations of words "Christ", "Christ Jesus", "Jesus Christ", "Lord Jesus Christ" and "Lord Christ Jesus" surrounding the name Jesus.  

When you look at the statistics in the Bible, you see a clear demarcation when Jesus is called "Lord" or "Christ". 

Take a look at these statistics graphs and they will speak for themselves:

Christ - 532X
   61X in Gospels              (Before Ascension)
 471X in Acts and Epistles (After Ascension)

The main occurence of "Christ" is in Acts and the Epistles, after Jesus' ascension.


Christ Jesus -  83X
  0X in Gospels              (Before Ascension)
83X in Acts and Epistles (After Ascension)

The combination "Christ Jesus" appears in Acts and the Epistles, after Jesus' ascension.


Jesus Christ - 140X
    5X in Gospels              (Before Ascension)
          135X in Acts and Epistles (After Ascension)

"Jesus Christ" appears mainly in Acts and the Epistles, after Jesus' ascension.

Whether the combination is "Christ Jesus" or "Jesus Christ" it means the same thing. 


Lord Christ Jesus - 11X
  0X in Gospels (Before Ascension)
11X in Epistles (After Ascension)

Lord Jesus Christ - 73X
  0X in Gospels (Before Ascension)
73X in Acts & Epistles (After Ascension)

"Lord Christ Jesus"  or "Lord Jesus Christ" mean the same thing. Together they come to 84X.  

This shows the importance of the title "Lord" given to Jesus Christ after ascension.

Summary of above statistics graphs:
  • The titles "Christ" & "Lord" are heavily stressed in Acts and Epistles for the obvious reason that Jesus in his obedience to God had fulfilled the redemptive work on earth for our salvation as Messiah and he has ascended into heaven.
  • In the 4 Gospels, sometimes people would address Jesus as "Lord" or "Rabbi".  The "Lord" in this sense is a polite title of respect.  But after ascension, "Lord" and "Christ" bring on a new meaning.
  • The new meaning is that Yahweh God grants these titles "Christ" and "Lord" to Jesus and ascended him to heaven, exalted him to a high place of honor & authority, sitting right next to Yahweh.  
  • These events happened at the beginning of Acts.  After Jesus' ascension, the apostles went around preaching openly that Jesus is the Christ.

With this background and understanding, we can try to understand 1 Cor 1:2 in a better light.

The early church disciples or saints were identified as those who called upon the name of our "Lord Jesus Christ" (Jesus with the 2 titles).  The early disciples responded to God's call of salvation and so they called on Jesus to be their Lord and Christ. They became 'new' people.  God caused them to be 'born anew' with the new life at baptism.  This was the distinguishing mark of early church Christians - those who called on this name (Acts 9:14, 21). 

Furthermore, calling Jesus "Lord" is to live under his lordship as the Church is the Body of Christ with Christ as the head. "Christ is the head of the church, he himself being the savior of the body." (Eph 5:23)  

God is the head of Christ. "I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman and God is the Head of Christ." (1 Cor 11:3)

To call on Lord Jesus is to submit and live in obedience to the lordship of Christ, the head of the Church, just as Christ lives in obedience to Yahweh, the Head of Christ.  Christ always lived and still lives under the Lordship of Yahweh.

We are to lead the church to live in obedience to the Lordship of Yahweh and Christ.  Even as Christ sits at the right hand of God, Christ is also submitting himself under the Lordship of Yahweh now.  

And God has bestowed on Jesus the name that is above every name.  And there comes a day 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. (Phil 2:11)

That day has not come yet and the church looks forward to that day.

Tomorrow we will look more specficially on the name of "Jesus".  We will then discover how this name helps us to call on Yahweh. 


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