There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
The One Lord referred to is Jesus, who Paul’s favourite adjective for is: “Lord” (See Ephesians 1:2, 1:3, 1:15, 1:17, 3:11 etc). One of the distinctions of Lord Jesus from Father and Spirit is that whereas they are invisible (See 1 Tim 6:16, John 6:46), Jesus is God in the flesh. The apostle John could say “We have seen the glory of the One and Only” (John 1).
The Greek word used for Lord in the New Testament is Kyrios. It conveys two important truths:
- The Master. Every household in that day had a “Lord” or “Master”. It was a responsible role; providing for, caring for, representing in court, paying dowries, sorting debt problems for all the members of his household. When you read about the Lord Jesus, you understand why people liked to call him Lord; he was their protector, carer, provider, representative. 1 Peter 5:7 says cast your cares on him because he cares for you. He’s a servant Lord, choosing to use his position to serve his people.
- The LORD of Old Testament history. Israel’s name for God: “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” or “Lord of Hosts”, which conveyed his supremacy and covenant relationship with his people, was translated as Kyrios in the Greek version of the Old Testament (in New Testament times). But the new testament authors, when quoting old testament verses about Yahweh, would make clear that the Lord being referred to was Jesus. E.g. Mark 1:3 John the Baptist prepares the way for the LORD (a quote from Isaiah 40), referring to Jesus.
We observe in Jesus that he is both caring master and Lord of all:
Lord incarnate (Luke 2:10)
Lord over sickness
Lord over storms
Lord of sight
Lord of Harvest
Lord of Sabbath
Lord over all demonic powers
Lord of Lords
Lord over death through his resurrection
We must live for the One Lord. Deuteronomy 6:4 instructed Israel to pursue One Lord to save themselves from surrounding idolatry. The New Testament world was full of “go-to” idols. Beware of thinking you need more than the Lord Jesus. He’s the Lord of your salvation, of your health, of your finance of your relationships, of your family. Certainly use the blessings God provides: the NHS, financial blessings etc., but never make them the Lord. Always trust him alone.
Lordship of Jesus has three areas of application:
- Recognise him in Scripture. We recognise his Lordship through our devotion to his word, that he wrote. (Luke 6:46)
- Recognise his Spirit’s leadings. Jesus promised his sheep would hear his voice. We need to learn to be responsive to his promptings day to day.
- Recognise the Synergy of the Body of Christ. Following Jesus isn’t a solo pursuit. Ephesians 4:1-3 shows us it’s hard sometimes to walk in sync with other believers. Our devotion to one Lord helps us.
- The Caring Master. How did Jesus show caring authority during his earthly ministry and to whom. How does that model excellent leadership for us?
- Cast your cares on Him. What ways does God provide for us to cast our cares on him?
- One Lord. In our experience, what are the things where we find it harder to trust the Lord and easier to put our hope/comfort in something else?
- Following the Lord. Which of the three areas (obeying scripture, following Spirit’s promptings, or being in sync with other Christians) do you find hardest to apply and why?