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Most Christians readily affirm Christ as Lord but very few think of Him as King. They distinguish between lordship and kingship; they see king as a worldly title and Lord as a nebulous, kind of spiritual title. This was not the case prior to modern times. Lord has always meant lawgiver, master or king. The customary address for the king was “my lord.” We saw in the article, “God as King,” how God told the Israelites that when they asked for a king, they had rejected Him, for He was their true king. This nation enjoyed a great degree of freedom. It was based on faith in God and obedience to His law-word. When the faith faded, obedience went with it; this led to anarchy and a request for man’s rule, followed by slavery.
This principle that God is King is repeated in the New Testament:
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor. 11:3).
This is a comprehensive statement of the entire scope of legitimate authority for mankind. We see that:
1. The family, with the man as the head is the basic unit of society.
2. The head of every man is Christ.
It follows that, if Christ is the head of every man, every man must look to Christ and not to any intermediaries as his King and lawgiver. There are no heads, lords, kings, or any other unqualified authorities between the families and Christ. He and He alone is King and they obey Him. Any intermediate authority figures are to be recognized as such only as they act in accordance with God’s word. This qualification gives the individual involved the authority and the responsibility to deny obedience wherever and whenever he believes it would contradict God’s law. This says that every man is responsible to first judge any request or command given by anyone on earth and then comply or not based on God’s law-word. The God-given authority structure for mankind rests, not on intermediate authorities but on the individual’s responsibility to God and God’s law.
This concept of individual responsibility is consistent throughout all of Scripture. For example: when false kings led Israel to sin, it was not just the kings that were judged. The entire nation ws deemed guilty and suffered God’s judgment. Sin is always an individual’s act and God does not judge unfairly. He judges those that are responsible, not the innocent.
America is now and will be further judged, not because of the wickedness of their rulers but because the people, especially His people, failed in their responsibility to be the salt and light Christ said they must be. For over a century now, they have done virtually nothing to stop their elected rulers from leading the nation deeper and deeper into sin.
It is past time for Christians to repent of their failure to recognize Jesus as King as well as Savior. Being a Christian isn’t just a free ride to heaven. As members of His body on earth, we have real and urgent responsibilities to fulfill. Shall we be so crass as to listen to the false teachers that tell us otherwise or is our love for Him greater than our love for ease and comfort in this world?
Lou Poumakis