One of the most powerful confessions of faith comes from the lips of “doubting” Thomas who responded to the resurrected Christ with these words in John 20:28: “My Lord and my God!” What exactly do these two expressions mean?
First of all, what does it mean for Jesus to be your LORD?
It means that Jesus is absolutely sovereign over your life as King and has every right to tell you how to live and what to believe. He demands from you ultimate allegiance and daily submission.
Many people like the idea of Jesus as Savior from their sins. They are very glad to have their sins forgiven and have a home in heaven and they resonate with Jesus as their Savior. But yet, they may bristle or get very uncomfortable for Jesus to be Lord because that means that they are accountable to Jesus. That means that they must repent and trust wholly in Him. It means that they must die to self every day. It means that they are not in control of their own lives, but Jesus has absolute control.
Romans 10:9 reads, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so 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.”
You often hear people say something like this, “Just make Jesus the Lord of your life.” That’s not quite accurate. It’s not in your power to make Jesus Lord; He already is LORD by virtue of who He is as the resurrected Christ. You don’t make Him Lord, but you bow to Him as Lord. You submit to Him as Lord. Bowing to Jesus as your Lord is a confession of absolute dependence on Jesus as the King-the ruler of your life.
Second, what does it means to confess Jesus as your God?
This means that Jesus is not a created being or some kind of super-human or exalted man, but that Jesus is absolutely and fully God in the flesh. Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Christ the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” John 1:1 reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Now for a good Jewish man like Thomas, this was a powerful confession because according to the Old Testament, they would recite the Shema from Deuteronomy 6:4-5: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Only God the Father (YHWH) was God and LORD and He deserved absolute worship. When Thomas confessed Jesus to be LORD and GOD, he was saying that Jesus is God in the flesh. He is the Lord to be worshipped.
This was also a very poignant confession because of John’s original audience who was receiving this written Gospel for the very first time. They were under Roman oppression with Emperor Domitian. He demanded that everyone in the Roman Empire address him as “our Lord and God.” Once a year, all citizens would have to go to the pagan temples and drop a pinch of incense at the altar and publically confess their allegiance to Domitian as their “Lord and God.”
Jesus will have no rivals. Jesus will have no equals. There is no middle ground with Jesus. When you confess Jesus as your Lord and God, you are confessing faith in Christ as the absolute sovereign King over the universe and God in the flesh who literally died on the cross and rose again and who will not share His glory with anyone.
Have you personally confessed Jesus as your Lord and God?