Though it is a fact that Jesus is God, Christianity is not a religion only about facts. Christianity requires believers to allow those facts to change them. The truth concerning God the Son should not only result in our belief, but also change our behavior. Many readily claim that Jesus is Lord—the tomb is empty and He has all authority—but their lives and theology fail to resemble the change these facts necessitate. Jesus himself said that merely mouthing him as Lord was not enough to save anyone. Obedience must be attached to such a confession (Lk. 6:46). Many on the day of judgment will claim to have submitted to the Lordship of Jesus, but their disobedience will prove otherwise (cf. Mt. 7:21-23).
If we really love Jesus, that love will be demonstrated when we keep his commands (Jn. 14:15; 15:14). Have we spent so much time with Jesus and it still has failed to make a change in us (Jn. 14:9)? The proof that Jesus is God is abundant in the New Testament, but is there abundant evidence in our lives that we really believe this? For Jesus to be Lord of our lives, we especially need two things.
To be saved like he said
Many in Christendom want Jesus to save them as long as He does it their way on their terms. There are many differing views of what humanity must do to be saved, but the New Testament gives only one plan. If one were to ask any individual who claims Jesus as Lord if they must listen to Jesus to be saved, they would unanimously say yes. Yet, there are very few who actually heed what Jesus says regarding salvation. Jesus said simply that one must believe and be baptized to be saved (Mk. 16:16). Without the help of any theological Ph.D., those in the first century understood and practiced this with relative ease (Acts 2:37-41; 8:35-38; 22:16). Nonetheless, there are those today who say baptism is not important; claiming that you can become a Christian without being baptized. Men have created faith only systems, grace only systems, and sinner’s prayers instead of harkening to God the Son. If Jesus is the one who will do the saving (and He is), then we should listen to what He says we must do.
Since Jesus is God in the flesh, we need to listen to what he says about how he plans to save us and what is required for sins to be forgiven. Some Christians even say, that baptism really is not important and perhaps the grace of God will cover the unbaptized and save them anyway. The truth is, baptism is as important as every other part of the plan of salvation; without which Jesus has not promised to forgive anyone’s sins regardless of who they are or what they have done (cf. Heb. 5:8-9). If we really believe Jesus is God the Son, we will say what He said regarding salvation.
To live saved like he said
The followers of Jesus should be easily identified in a world of darkness. The way Peter and John spoke in the early days of Christianity gave them away as those who had spent time with Jesus (Acts 4: 13). It is impossible to really believe Jesus is who he claimed to be and make no transformation in our lives. Paul pleaded with Christians in Rome to do the reasonable thing—based upon all God has done—and lived a transformed life (Rom. 12:1-2). Christians should be humble because God took on human flesh, lived the life we should have lived, and died the death we deserved to die (Rom. 12:3). We must not hoard our talents and abilities while criticizing others if we really believe in the Lordship of Jesus. We need to get off the pew and put our abilities into action (Rom. 12:5-8). Since Jesus is God, what he said about loving one another needs to be prioritized in the lives of His people (Jn. 13:34-35). We need to love one another like Jesus commands us to (cf. Rom. 12:9-10).
Too many Christians keep all their talents on the sports field or in the office at work and slug around in the church. We need to work for him and not be lazy because we really believe what he says about eternal reward and damnation for the slothful (Lk. 9:62; Rom. 12:11). Our world prizes the one with the most toys and gadgets, but Jesus applauded the benevolent and the giver. Do we really believe what Jesus said about possessions (cf. Lk. 12:15; Acts 20:35)? We need to have our hands out to give more than we have them outstretched to receive (Rom. 12:13).
The one thing about Jesus probably most difficult to imitate is the way he treated his enemies (Lk. 23:34). Yet, since He is God, I must treat my enemies the way he tells me to (Rom. 12:18-21). We sometimes feel that enemies are unworthy of our love and kindness, but God did not think so when Jesus died for us while we were still his enemies (Rom. 5:8). Is Jesus God in the flesh? Absolutely (Jn. 1:14)! This should change our lives and the way we view His Word. Jesus is more than a good teacher—He is The God teacher—and we need to be attentive and obedient students (Lk. 6:46)!