1 Corinthians 12
The New Testament word for “Lord”—kurios—is a word which carried deep significance. It is now almost commonplace to speak of the Lord Jesus Christ, but this title did not come to Jesus easily.
In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is referred to as Lord in the full theological sense on only two occasions. The same is true of Matthew’s Gospel, while Luke utilizes the term some 17 times. It was, however, a favorite with Paul, who refers to Jesus as Lord 130 times in his epistles. It ultimately became the first Christian creed: “Jesus Is Lord.”
Kurios was the word used to describe the Roman Emperor, who was considered supreme. The one demand the Romans made upon the people they conquered was that they must acknowledge Caesar as Lord—supreme or without rival. It was at this point the clash came between the Christians and the Romans, for the Christian would acknowledge no one but God as supreme.
Thus, to refer to Jesus as Lord means that He is without a rival. After hearing a minister preach on the coming again of our Lord, Queen Victoria said, “I wish He would come during my lifetime so that I could take my crown and lay it at His feet.”
To acknowledge Jesus as Lord is a mark of the Spirit-filled life, “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). We personalize this truth, when we exclaim with Thomas, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
This submission will enable us to be effective witnesses in the field where God has called us to live and to work. We need to be reminded that the power of the Holy Spirit is not stored up in our little batteries; it flows in and through us as we maintain contact with God. We are transmitters of spiritual power, and need to be reminded of the truth declared by Edward Hale:
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can.
Bramwell H. Tillsley, Life in the Spirit