We wrap up these studies on the 1st Commandment by looking at scripture where Jesus said He is King. Up to that point, Jesus had used parables to allude to his status as King, but He had told no one who He really was except His disciples. Now, near the end of His time on earth, Jesus acknowledged who He was to Pilate, the human who would condemn Him to death on the Cross.
The King is #1
A king is the ultimate power and authority in his land, with power over his entire kingdom, including its people. When Jesus affirmed that He was king of the Jews, He was in effect saying that He has power and authority over those who claim Him as their Savior. He comes first in the lives of His people.
Since Jesus claimed that He was one with the Father in John 14:7-11, then Jesus’ claims are God’s claims, too. Jesus’ claim to be King matches what God said in the 1st Commandment, wherein He said that nothing else, no other gods, come before Him. God claims first place in our lives, for He is King over all.
Jesus is Lord, Jesus is King!
It is common practice for a person who is being baptized to make a good confession of “Jesus is Lord” (which is just another way of saying, “Jesus is King”). This is scripturally sound doctrine, and was something I said when I was baptized on July 29, 2002. (Read Romans 10:8-10, 1 Timothy 6:12-16 for supplemental scriptures that teach about making this good confession, which Jesus also made to Pilate.)
When being baptized and making this good confession, a person is acknowledging and agreeing with Jesus when He said He was King. Do not gloss over this point. It seems small, but it really is not. It is very powerful to place your life, words, and beliefs in line with what Jesus said. When a person starts their life as a born again Christian, these are often their first words (if not verbally, then certainly in their heart). You are exchanging your old life for a new, born again life as a Christian, a life with Christ in you (Colossians 1:27). You are agreeing that God is “the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15), and He will now be Ruler, King, and Lord of YOU. How profound!
Wait…What About Me?
Recall that in Exodus 20:2-3, the 1st Commandment is recorded as: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before (besides) me”.
By definition, a king is ‘first’, so when Jesus is King, there are “no other gods before” Him. But, wait! What about when the ‘other god’ happens to be myself? What about an attitude of “I am king of my life”, “I run my own life”, or “I am master of my destiny”?
Oswald Chambers hit the nail on the head when he wrote that the nature of sin is “my claim to my right to myself”. He wrote:
“The nature of sin is not immorality and wrongdoing, but the nature of
self-realization which leads us to say, “I am my own god.” This nature
may exhibit itself in proper morality or in improper immorality, but it
always has a common basis—my claim to my right to myself.”
(From “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers, devotional date October 5th)
Who sits on the throne of my life? Me? Or Jesus? There can only be ONE King. When I persist in my claim to my right to myself, I violate the 1st Commandment by making myself my own god. Giving up my right to myself is part of being born again and becoming a slave to the only true King (Romans 6:16-18, Romans 6:16-18).
Call to Action
If you are a born again Christian you have received Christ and His atonement on the Cross for all sins. You have traded your old, sinful life for a new life of faith, a life of Christ in you (Colossians 1:27), so praise be to God for that gift! Go back and review any writings, photos, cards, etc. that you may have that commemorate that great event in your life. Celebrate it like you would a birthday or anniversary.
If you are not born again, or are not sure if you are born again, go back and read Jesus Said Be Born Again/Part 1 and Jesus Said Be Born Again/Part II. Go to God in prayer and ask Him to give you certainty, guidance, and counsel in this matter. Search scripture yourself regarding what the bible teaches about “the way to be saved” (Acts 16:17). You may also contact The Jesus Said Project. We will be happy to share with you scriptures for study topics in basic, foundational Christian teachings related to becoming a disciple of the King, Jesus Christ.