The Church Corporately Returning to the Lordship of Jesus

Tshepang is the Southern Africa Director for Africa Inland Mission (AIM) and is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A. The Corporate Nature of the Church

The Church is bound together through an eternal covenant. The communal nature of the Church is directly derived from the very nature of God Himself who exists in perfect community as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

This is often a difficult reality to comprehend due to the individualistic nature of our modern society. Even as the Church, we are affected by this individualistic culture in more ways than we sometimes realize. As individualistic as we are raised to be, His church should be communal in outlook.

B. The Lordship of Jesus

Colossians 1:18 – “And He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy”.

“Unless Jesus is Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.” SM Zwemer.

The central message of the Bible, particularly the New Testament is that “Jesus Christ is Lord.” The Lordship of Jesus means He is the ruler, the boss, the master of your whole life.

In the context of a church that means the same. He is the ruler, the boss, and the master of that church. What He says GOES and the church completely surrenders to His will. He cannot be Lord of a part of you.

He is given full control of the entirety of the church and not just segments of the church. He controls the songs we sing in worship, the sermons we preach and how we use the finances of the church. For this to happen the church needs to absolutely and totally surrender to His Lordship.

C. Returning to the Lordship of Jesus

1. Acknowledgment of His Lordship

For absolute surrender to happen there must be an acknowledgment of His ownership of the church. The church is HIS and now ours. We are not our own. We were bought at a price. We belong to Jesus. We are His purchased possession (Eph 1:14). This acknowledgement will help us as we yield to the one who owns us and His church.

2. Getting rid of other “gods” and idolatry.

1 Samuel 7:3 – So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the LORD with all our hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit ourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”

i. John Piper defines an idol as “anything that we come to rely on for some blessing, or help, or guidance in the place of a wholehearted reliance on the true and living God”.

ii. Tim Keller defines an idol as “anything that has become more important to you than God”.

iii. Martin Luther defines idolatry as “Whatever your heart clings to and relies upon, that is your God; trust and faith of the heart alone make both God and idol.”

If the Church is to genuinely return to the Lordship of Jesus, then we must identify idols so we may get rid of them. Materialism, worldliness, love for pleasure, power and fame, comfort and entertainment are some of the main idols in the church today. The pursuit of pleasure, happiness and comfort are all self-centred. The Church must dethrone “self” and re-enthrone king Jesus.

Today’s culture in many places challenges the truth of God’s word and demands freedom from God. The Church has compromised the truth in order to be socially and culturally accepted.

Where culture promotes immorality through entertainment the Church has remained silent. Where culture incorporates animistic and humanistic worldviews with the Christian worldview the Church has also compromised. Where materialism is predominant, the Church has adopted an exaggerated gospel of prosperity.

All this need to be gotten rid of for the Church of Christ to return to His Lordship.

3. Corporate Repentance

The bible has many examples of corporate repentance. The books of Nehemiah and Ezra record the stories of corporate repentance and the sacrifices and blessings that came with it. Returning to the Lordship of Christ will require His Church to make difficult sacrifices just like the men of Israel who had to divorce and send their foreign wives away.

Zechariah 1:3 – Therefore say to them, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Return to Me, “declares the Lord of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the Lord.

Lamentations 3:40 – Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord.

Hosea 6:1 – Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.

As the church we need to repent for being inward focused and focus and being so influenced by the world.

D. What His Lordship looks like in a Church

Reading the gospels, it is clear that Christ’s passion was to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). He lived his life with a sense of urgency which is more prominent in John 4:35 “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest”. A verse before he had mentioned that his food was to do the will of him who sent him and to finish his work (John 4:34). What is the food of the church? Is it to do the will of Christ? I think it is.


If we love Him we will keep His commands (John 14:15). Submitting to his Lordship is part of that obedience to His person. He is calling His Church to return back to Him. To worshiping Him, to knowing Him and to making Him known to all the nations of the earth. The reason 41% of the world still doesn’t know about His love for them is because we as His church have decided to not obey Him. Today He calls us back to Him. To surrender to His Will and to His Lordship.

1 thought on “The Church Corporately Returning to the Lordship of Jesus”

  1. Totally agree
    We must confront idolatry, calling it out whilst declaring Christ’s Lordship and calling for repentance and trusting Christ to fulfill all that the idols promise. Once surrendered we offer ourselves fully to His Lordship and to live in loving obedience to His commands.
    The fact that so few believers can identify what the Great Commission is, is reflective of lack of discipleship and surrender to Christ the Lord of the harvest and soon coming King who will be worshipped by every tribe and tongue.


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