‘To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciple’ – John 8:31
We live in a culture that is obsessed with weddings. It would seem that people even give more thought to their weddings than the actual marriages. At the wedding, the couple profess love for one another. It is a good and beautiful thing. However, what is even more important is that the couple actually love one another in their marriage. The profession of love marks the beginning of marital love not the entirety of it. The case is not closed when the man promises “for better for worse”; it has only began. What use is it if the man promises “for better for worse” and yet does not care for his wife at home. Yet, we celebrate weddings as though it were the end of the matter. As we make much of weddings and little of the actual marriages so, it seems, we make much of calling Jesus Lord and little of actually obeying Him as Lord. We will scour the earth to get people to declare Jesus as Lord but we have no energy to teach them to obey all things whatsoever He has commanded.
A disciple is not merely one who declares with his mouth that Jesus is Lord but one who obeys His teachings. ‘ To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples”’ . In Matthew 7:21, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Again, Jesus said in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” If you think that you are a disciple of Christ only because you have confessed Jesus as Lord, think again. True, Paul said in Romans 10:9-10, ‘If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’ (NIV) However, Paul clearly means “unfeigned faith” – not one that confesses that Jesus is Lord and yet does not obey Him as Lord.
If you are living in disobedience to Christ, you are headed to hell regardless of your so-called confession of faith. As Paul taught everywhere he went, “repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance ” (See Acts 26:20). You can recognize and proclaim Jesus as Lord but without obeying Him as Lord, your confession is fake and useless. Take heed of Paul’s warning to the Corinthians who were living in disobedience to Christ. “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NIV).
Just as professing love to your spouse during a wedding is meaningful only if you actually love your wife in your marriage, confessing the Lordship of Christ with your mouth is only meaningful if you obey Him as Lord. If you are not obeying Jesus as Lord, you are not truly His disciple even if you used your mouth to say He is Lord just like if you beat your wife you don’t really love your wife even though you said with your mouth at the altar, “for better for worse”. Faith unfeigned! (See 1 Timothy 1:5)