Lord of All

Title: Lord of All

Bible Book: Acts 10 : 36

Author: Franklin L. Kirksey

Subject: Christ is Lord; Lord; Lord Jesus



Lord of all is a designation reserved for Jesus Christ alone. While many might desire to be “Lord of all” there is only One who truly is “Lord of all.” Acts 10:36 reads, “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—.”

Drs. Elmer L. Towns and Alex McFarland recount the following: “In a sermon preached in the chapel of Princeton Seminary in the early part of the twentieth century, theologian Benjamin B. Warfield said that people today do not need the resurrection to believe in Christ's love; after all, He died for everyone. One could even believe in His triumph over evil. But with the resurrection we have the assurance that He [Jesus] is the Lord of heaven and earth whose right it is to rule and in whose hands are gathered the reins of the universe. ... [H]ad he not risen, could we believe Him enthroned in heaven, Lord of all? Himself subject to death; Himself the helpless prisoner of the grave; does He differ in kind from that endless procession of the slaves of death journeying like Him through the world to the one inevitable end? Fundamental to Christianity is the fact that Jesus should be Lord of all, Warfield said. It is essential that everything be subject to Him, including death. This last enemy too He must needs ... put under His feet; and it is because He has put this last enemy under His feet that we can say with such energy of conviction that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, not even death itself: and that nothing can harm us and nothing take away our peace.”[1] (Emphasis mine)

Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury, president of The King’s College and author of Recovering Classic Evangelicalism: Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. Henry, shares the following about the late Carl F. H. Henry: “Carl combined head and heart. Both piety and doctrinal precision mattered to him. Once, in a PhD seminar, a student asked 20th-century evangelicalism’s leading thinker: ‘What is the greatest question being asked in contemporary theology?’

Carl didn’t miss a beat: ‘The same question that the apostles posed to their generation: ‘Have you met the resurrected Lord?’’

[Dr. Thornbury concludes] That gritty, realistic response took me back to that library and to the books that helped secure my faith in the resurrected Lord. And all these years later, it’s clearer to me now more than ever: Carl F. H. Henry is still asking the right questions.”[2]

The context of Acts 10:36 records Peter preaching to Cornelius’ household. Acts 10:34-43 reads, “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

Acts 10:36 reads, “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—.”

Note three tremendous truths about Jesus Christ who is Lord of all.

I. Jesus Christ the Lord: The uncompromising expression of His Lordship.

“Jesus Christ the Lord” is the uncompromising expression of Jesus Christ’s Lordship. 2 Corinthians 4:5 reads, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.” The statement “Christ Jesus the Lord,” could be translated, “Jesus Christ as Lord” or “Jesus Christ the Lord.” Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe comments, “The Judaizers enjoyed preaching about themselves and glorying in their achievements. They were not servants who tried to help people; they were dictators who exploited people.”[3]

Dr. John Phillips (1927-2010) explains, “In the days of the Roman Empire, a citizen had to offer a pinch of incense on a pagan altar as a token of his loyalty to the Caesar cult. That was all—just a pinch of salt. Christians refused to do it and perished by the thousands for their loyalty to Christ.”[4] Dr. Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) further explains, “Caesar was more than an emperor; he was proclaimed god. Citizens were required by law to proclaim the same.”[5]
2 Corinthians 4:1-6 reads, “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5 reads, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Those who declare the uncompromising expression of His Lordship in or out of the pulpit are becoming rare these days.

II. Jesus Christ our Lord: The unifying profession of His Lordship.

“Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:3; 5:21; 6:11, 23; 7:25; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 9; 1 Timothy 1:12; and 2 Timothy 1:2)

Romans 1:3 reads, “Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh.” Romans 1:16 reads, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” The unifying profession of His Lordship whether Jew or Gentile is found in Romans 10:9-10, where we read, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” When you become a Christian you become part of a family, the family of God. Remember we trust in “Jesus Christ our Lord.” In much the same way, Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13). Jesus warns in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 12:46-50 reads, “While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, ‘Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.’ But He answered and said to the one who told Him, ‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.’” Remember our brotherhood is spiritual not just physical. While I can say to all men, you are my brother in Creation, I can only say to genuine believers in Jesus Christ our Lord, you are my brother in Salvation. There is a unity of all believers as we read in Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

III. Jesus Christ is Lord: The universal confession of His Lordship.

“Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:11). These are great words to engrave on your tombstone. One day everyone in the graveyard will confess it!

Philippians 2:5-11 reads, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Dr. John R. W. Stott (1921-2011) explains, “But whether scaling the dizzy heights of success or plunged into the depths of bitter rejection alone, he is the same Jesus. He is consistent. He has no moods. He does not change.

Again, the portrait is balanced. There is in him no trace of the crank. He believes ardently in what he teaches, but he is not a fanatic. His doctrine is unpopular, but he is not eccentric. There is as much evidence for his humanity as for his divinity. He gets tired. He needs to sleep and eat and drink like other men. He experiences the human emotions of love and anger, joy and sorrow. He is fully human. Yet he is no mere man.

Above all, he was unselfish. Nothing is more striking than this. Although believing himself to be divine, he did not put on airs or stand on his dignity. He was never pompous. There was no touch of self-importance about Jesus. He was humble.

It is this paradox which is so baffling, this combination of the self-centeredness of his teaching and the unself-centeredness of his behavior. In thought he put himself first; in deed last. He exhibited both the greatest self-esteem and the greatest self-sacrifice. He knew himself to be the Lord of all, but he became their servant. He said he was going to judge the world, but he washed his apostles' feet.”[6] (Emphasis mine)


In Philippians 3:8 we find “Christ Jesus my Lord.” In a similar way Paul refers to “my gospel” in Romans 16:25-27, “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” This reminds us that each one of us need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Romans 10:13 reads, “Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Remember this is more than merely saying, “Jesus Christ is Lord.” Paul the apostle reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12:3, “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”

Rev. J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), founder of the China Inland Mission, states, “Christ is either Lord of all, or is not Lord at all.”[7] Similarly, Dr. Samuel Marinus Zwemer (1867-1952) warns, “Unless Jesus is Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.”[8]

Jesus said, in Luke 6:46, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” Dr. Adrian Rogers writes, “One who does not have Jesus as Lord of his life cannot call himself a Christian. Salvation is yielding to the lordship of Christ . . . This means more than saying the right words. . . . We do not take Christ ‘as Savior’; we can only take him as ‘Lord and Savior.’ In the same way, when people marry, the ‘I do’ signifies their acceptance of a lawfully wedded husband and wife. When I married, I did not take Joyce ‘as housekeeper’ or ‘as anything’ I took Joyce—all of her. And we take Jesus—all of him—Master (Lord), mediator (Jesus), and Messiah (Christ).

We may not fully understand all that the concept of marriage entails, and we may spend the rest of this life discovering it; but we are binding ourselves, committing and surrendering ourselves to that bond. We don't say, ‘I do’ with fingers crossed behind our backs; we don't accept Jesus with any reservations. He surrendered on Calvary without reservation. We will not have what he gives until we accept who he is: He is Lord! . . . It is not Christ and; it is Christ or. He died for us, and that is the redeeming claim of his lordship.”[9]

Dr. Vance Havner (1901-1986) shares, “I want to read to you what one of the greatest Baptist preachers of all time said. If I said this you would think I was overstating it. ‘If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord’s will, but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption. It is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do not imagine that the gospel is magnified or God is glorified by going to worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment simply by accepting Christ as their Savior while they are wedded to their idols and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so I tell them a lie. I pervert the gospel. I insult Christ and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.’ That was Spurgeon and that is the truth.”[10]

Drs. Stephen and David Olford write, “C. H. Spurgeon’s comment on our text is both insightful and appropriate. He writes: It is interesting to notice that the apostles preached the lordship of Christ. The word Savior only occurs twice in the Acts of the Apostles (5:31; 13:23). On the other hand, it is amazing to [observe] that the title Lord is mentioned ninety-two times; Lord Jesus thirteen times; and the Lord Jesus Christ six times in the same book. The gospel is ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.’ (Acts 16:31).

Like Spurgeon, Hudson Taylor was accustomed to saying: ‘Christ must be Lord of all or not Lord at all’ at every stage of our Christian life. It is a contradiction in terms to name Jesus ‘Lord’ over part of life. He can only be Lord of the whole of life. Christ must sway the scepter of sovereign rule over our entire personalities. In our preaching, we must ask: ‘Have you accepted Christ as Savior?’ and ‘Have you accepted Christ as Lord?’

The debate on ‘lordship salvation’ fails to recognize that you cannot separate saviorhood from sovereignty. As John Stott has put it, ‘When you come as a sinner, you open your hand to receive forgiveness and eternal life, but you come on bended knee.’

In our preaching of the gospel, then, it is important to inculcate the initial acceptance of Christ as Savior and Lord.”[11]

Romans 10:8-13 reads, “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”

"I remember," says the Rev. G. W. Moore in one of his books, "at one of our testimony meetings, a man stood and he said he had received a great blessing at Keswick. They asked him, 'What can you say about it?' 'Well,' he replied, 'I can say this: I was a Christian before I came to Keswick: Christ was my King; but I am afraid He was a constitutional sovereign, and I was a prime minister. Now He is absolute Lord, and that has made all the difference in my life, and brought a blessing.'"[12]

With the hymn writer, Adelaide A. Pollard (1862-1934), let us sing and mean:

Have Thine own way, Lord!

Have Thine own way!

Hold o'er my being Absolute sway!

Fill with Thy Spirit Till all shall see

Christ only, always, Living in me.[13]

Dr. William Basil Jones (1822-1897) shares the following selection in his New Testament Illustrations: “Listen, dear reader! I have a message for you. Not from your chief magistrate, nor from your general; but from the King of kings; a gracious and tender invitation which comes to you from God the Father, from his Son Jesus Christ, and from the Holy Spirit, echoed back and urgently enforced by the pleadings of pious friends, perhaps a Christian mother. ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. [Isaiah 55:7] And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ [Revelation 22:17] There can be no mistake; these words are for you, if you are a sinner and need a Saviour. God invites; stay not therefore to inquire if you feel the need of salvation sufficiently. That feeling is only sufficient when it leads you to come; linger not in the vain attempt to find something to give in exchange for, or to merit, this salvation. The price is already paid, even the precious blood of Christ. His righteousness only can avail. Like the seamen in a storm on the coast, delay not, when a pilot is offered you, to say, Do I feel my need of him sufficiently? Can I do something to save my self? If you linger, your doom will be sealed. Hasten, then, to take the Lord Jesus Christ as your Pilot, your Guide, your All, remembering that this salvation is all of grace—the sinner is nothing, and can do nothing. All is done, and Christ must be all in all!

‘Come, ye weary, heavy laden,

Lost and ruined by the fall;

If you tarry till you're better,

You will never come at all.’”[14]

Dr. Newman Hall (1816-1902) shares the following: “During the last moments of a gracious lady, speech had left her: but she managed to articulate the word ‘Bring.’ Her friends, in ignorance of her meaning, offered her food, but she shook her head, and again repeated the word ‘Bring.’ They then offered her grapes, which she also declined, and, for the third time uttered the word ‘Bring.’ Thinking she desired to see some absent friends, they brought them to her: but again she shook her head; and then, by a great effort, she succeeded in completing the sentence-

‘Bring forth the royal diadem,

And crown Him Lord of all;’

and then passed away to be with Jesus.”[15]

Of course she was citing from Edward Perronet’s (1726-1792) “National Anthem of Christendom”:

All hail the power of Jesus' name!

Let angels prostrate fall,

Bring forth the royal diadem,

And crown him Lord of all.[16] (Emphasis mine)

[1]Elmer L. Towns and Alex McFarland, 10 Questions Every Christian Must Answer: Thoughtful Responses to Strengthen Your Faith. Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.

[2]Gregory Alan Thronbury, How I Almost Lost the Bible, Christianity Today, January/February 2015, Vol. 59, No. 1, Pg. 96, “My Higher Criticism Crisis,” Accessed: 01/08/15, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/januaryfebruary/how-i-almost-lost-bible.html?visit_source=twitter&utm_content=buffer22785&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer&start=3 .

[3]Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament, Vol. 1, (Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor Publishing, 2001), 641. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

[4]John Phillips, The John Phillips Commentary Series – Exploring Revelation: An Expository Commentary, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2004), 172. Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.

[5]Adrian Rogers, The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority: Getting an Upper Hand on the Underworld, (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishers, 2002), 107-108.

[6]John R. W. Stott, Basic Christianity, (London: Inter-Varsity Press, 1958), 53. Database © 2008 WORDsearch Corp.

[7]Roger Steer, Hudson Taylor: Lessons in Discipleship, (Singapore: OMF International, 1995), 34.

[8]S. M. Zwemer, The Solitary Throne, (London: Pickering and Inglis, 1937), 1.

[9]Rogers, Authority, 107-108.

[10]Vance Havner, “The Lordship of Jesus Christ,” Sermon Notes, (Selected Scripture).

[11]Stephen F. Olford with David L. Olford, Anointed Expository Preaching, (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2003), 287.

[12]The Christian Workers Magazine, Volume 18, Issues 7-12, (Chicago, IL: Moody Bible Institute, 1918), 814.

[13]Adalaide A. Pollard, “Have Thine Own Way Lord,” (1907).

[14]William Basil Jones, New Testament Illustrations: One Thousand Selected Passages, “Preaching Peace by Jesus Christ,” (Hartford, CT: J. B. Barr Publishing Co., 1875), 394. Accessed: 01/15/15, http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc2.ark:/13960/t7fq9sj7g;view=1up;seq=418 .

[15]Charles H. Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes: A Selection From Outlines of Discourses Delivered at The Metropolitan Tabernacle, From Matthew To Acts- CXXX To CXCV, (New York, NY: Funk and Wagnalls, 1891), 102. Accessed: 01/15/15, http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015065281217;view=1up;seq=108 .

[16]Edward Perronet, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” [known as the “National Anthem of Christendom”], (1780).

Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on Amazon.com in hardcover, paperback and eBook]

http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Miss-Revival-Spiritual-Awakening/dp/1462735428 & http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Biblical-Preaching-Giving-Bible/dp/1594577684 / [email protected] / (251) 626-6210

© January 18, 2015 All Rights Reserved

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