As I think through answers to my Board of Ordained Ministry papers, I'll be sharing them here as a sort of log of my thinking. I'm sure they will change as I am changed by God's Holy Spirit at work in me drawing and working me toward holiness. Please feel free to comment and question.
This fourth question leads us to look at what gives Christianity power and uniqueness as a faith. This question: How do you interpret the statement “Jesus Christ is Lord” asks us to begin looking at our faith response to the call of God.
Jesus was a real, historical man in every way. He lived a real life, experienced real joys and pains while here on earth. God came as Jesus the Christ, the messiah of God’s children promised in scripture from Genesis to Revelation as witnessed to by the references to Jesus as “kurios”. This is normally understood on personal terms, “Jesus is the Lord of my life”; but Jesus is no less Lord over other important dimensions of life including the Lord of the church, the Lord of our culture, and ultimately Lord of the universe.
Personally, the Christian recognizes that Jesus is Lord as we surrender our lives to become his servant. The “kurios” term brings with it an understanding of God’s children as servants, willingly placing our lives in service to his will, just as Jesus did to God’s will. As a disciple of Jesus, James introduced himself in his letter as a servant of God providing a clear parallel in their authority. Jesus himself taught that as my Lord, I am left to forsake everything in following him, to the point of leaving behind my unburied dead, my homes and crops, abandoning parents and siblings; ultimately taking up my own cross and laying down my very life (Mark 8:34; 10:29; Matt. 10:37; Luke 9:60). As Lord, I give up all claims on my life and yield myself to his will, he takes priority over all of my other commitments. (Macleod 46)
Jesus is Lord of the church because he is the center of everything we do as the church. Corporately we relinquish our personal wishes and seek his will in and for our community. We worship him as an act of praise, we gather in fellowship with hospitality to glorify him, we follow him in discipleship in order to become more like him, we serve our church and our world so that others might experience him, and we are generous in response to his graciousness towards us. Further, Jesus is Lord in that he is King of the world’s cultures and societies, as scripture teaches in Colossians 1, “whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by [Jesus] and for [Jesus]. We don’t expect that every leader has surrendered their lives to Christ, nor doing the will of God, but we understand that they are in place for the glory of God. Jesus works through disciples to care for the widows and orphans, the poor and needy, the downtrodden and oppressed in society by surrendering wealth and power for the benefit of others. (71) Finally, Jesus is Lord as he is King over the whole of the universe as pointed to in the Colossians passage above; but further, Jesus is Lord over the universe, heaven, earth, and nature, and as Romans 8 reminds us, the whole of creation is longing to experience the fullness of the lordship of Jesus.
There is a uniqueness to the lordship of Christ in the various dimensions of life. Christ is fundamentally Lord over cosmos due to his identity as God. Jesus is Lord over our societies due to his sovereign nature. Jesus is Lord over the church due to his role as the foundation for its formation and the purpose of the church. We can understand that Jesus is Lord of man in that we are part of creation, he being our creator. But in order to become the Lord of MY life, there has to be a significant change in my thinking. I must cooperate with Jesus’s graceful work of cutting through the inward – selfish focus of the heart of man by inspiring the free will which only humans, created in the image of God are fortunate to possess. Jesus then becomes my Lord when I choose to surrender my life to him, allowing his will for my life become my will.
 The first time I heard discussion of the Lordship of Jesus to the four realms of life, personal, communal, social, and universal was in a class with Dr. Stephen Seamands at Asbury Seminary. I am not, however, aware of any writing specifically related to these concepts.
6/2014-2/2017 Pastor Gary Priddy