Reprint from the March 1977 Word and Work.

Paul started the letter to the Romans by calling Himself “a bond servant of Jesus  Christ,” and ended  his salutation ion by using Jesus’  full title- “The Lord Jesus Christ” (1:7 ). It is strange how many use that full without having any idea of what the three words they are using actually mean. Let us look at these words in a little more detail.

The term ”Lord” appears so many times in the King James Bible that it takes over 22 pages of the large Strong’s Concordance just to list the appearances. Many of those in the Old Testament of course, are substitutes for the redemptive name of God, Jehovah, but the actual appearances of the word for “Lord” in the Greek and in the Hebrew are still very numerous, for many times these words are translated “Master,” ‘owner” and “sir.” Particularly is this true of kurios, the Greek word used in the New Testament and in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. Vine (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words) has a long discussion of the word, to which I simply refer you, since our idea here is to be brief.

When referring to Jesus Christ, the term “Lord” does two things: it indicates His deity and it indicates the fact that to Him all obedience is due. His will should be our command. As He) said to the Father, so should we say to Him, “Not my will but Thine be done.” He owned us by creation, He bought us on Calvary, and we owe all we are and all we have to Him. Let us not be like those of whom the Lord said, “Why call ye me Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Truly, as I heard Bro. Jorgensen  say so many times, “If He is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.” Call Him “Lord” and truly own Him as your Master.

“Jesus” is the name that the Son of God received when He became a man, given to Him in obedience to the command of the angel to Joseph (Matt. 1:21). The Greek word used here, lesous, is a transliteration of the Hebrew word we know as Joshua, meaning “Jehovah is salvation.” Our Lord’s human name gives honor to God and at the same time reminds us that He is Saviour, that He came into the world to save sinners. How glad I am that He accomplished the task He came for and that I can be reminded of His being Savior every time I use His human name. As “Lord” points to His place as Lord and Master, and as “Jesus” indicates His humanity yet being the divine Savior, the term “Christ,” the title of His position, completes this by pointing out that He is God’s great “Anointed One,’ through whom God deals with man in all three of the ways  that He deals with us. The Hebrew word translated “Messiah’ means “anointed one” also, thus speaking of the fact that the anointings with oil of prophets, priests and kings were symbols of the Holy Spirit anointing Jesus in three ways. Prophets speak for God to man, showing what He is like and bow we should serve Him. Priests speak to God for man, showing that a sacrifice has cleansed the worshipper. Kings deal with the relation of men to men for God. In “all God’s house”

Christ was the Faithful One who served, not as Moses, in God’s house, but over God’s house (Heb. 3:5, 6). “Christ” is not a name but a title showing His place over God’s house. He is all things to us-Lord, Savior, Prophet, Priest and King, and anything else

we really need. Let us truly bow before Him and reverence  Him  so that when we say “The Lord Jesus Christ” we are but reflecting our complete subjection, worship, and love of Him.


-Ernest E. Lyon (1915-2005) was the long time preacher at Highland in Louisville, KY.