“God has made him both Lord AND Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified…” Acts 2:36b (emphasis mine).
Sometimes we instinctively think of Jesus as Lord, ruler, Master, the One who calls the shots. We are comfortable with the idea that we are called to serve and obey Him, and our life is focused on doing our duty well. There is comfort in duty, in knowing exactly what is expected of us, in the feeling of accomplishment we get when we’ve been a good worker. The problem is, when we know Jesus only as Lord and not Christ as well, we are not living in the freedom and peace He has called us to. We are always on, always working, and are living as hirelings at best, and at worst even slaves…
Sometimes we instinctively know Jesus as our Christ, Messiah, our deliverer. We feel deeply the joy of being forgiven and rescued from “ruin and misery” (Romans 3:16). To live in this reality is to live in freedom, knowing that “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). The problem is, when we know Jesus only as Christ and not Lord as well, we are dangerously close to not truly following Jesus and living for HIS glory, but rather simply trying to USE God to give ourselves a better life for our own sake. We may feel like we’re living in freedom, but if we don’t understand that the purpose for our freedom is to enable us to better bring glory to God, our “freedom” is at best unfruitful laziness, and at worst, self-serving rebellion.
The Bible reminds us that a right relationship with God is one where Jesus is to us both Lord AND Christ. HE calls the shots and His glory is what matters most, but His love is lavishly poured out on us as His children and His deep desire for us is not slavish duty, but soul-stirring, life-filling joy. He has saved us FROM the misery of sin, TO the joy of building His Kingdom, and when we know Jesus as both Lord and Christ, we are then truly living as Citizens of Heaven.