Lip Service Lordship

Bible Book: Luke  6 : 46-49
Subject: Lordship; Obedience; Devotion to Christ; Doing God's Will

His speeches were littered with Christian terminology. He spoke about the blessings of the Almighty, and the Christian confessions that would become the pillars of his new government. He held up a tattered Bible, and spoke of how he had drawn strength from its truths. The people of Germany thought he was sent from God, but history has proven that Adolf Hitler was anything but godly.

I hope you all know that not everything that comes out of a person’s mouth is always an accurate representation of what exists in their heart.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who say all the right things, but do the very opposite. The give lip service to the Lord, but their practice doesn’t match their profession.

They are like an interesting painting that was displayed in London many years ago. From a distance, the painting appeared to be a monk engaged in prayer. His hands were clasped, and his head was bowed. When you got closer to the painting, you found that monk wasn’t praying at all. He was squeezing lemons into a punch bowel!

At the close of Luke six, the Lord Jesus asks a very practical and powerful question. He asks, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ involves much more than just a claim. Jesus deserves and demands more than a lip service lordship.

This is a convicting question. It requires all of us to examine the authenticity of our Christian life. Those who hear this question must ask themselves, “Does my walk match my talk? Am I really all that I claim to be?”

There are three truths that I want us to draw from this text, and from this question, that deal with the issue of being real in your relationship to Christ. Notice first of all that in this passage:

I. Jesus Repeats A Correct Confession

It is apparent in our text that the people of Christ’s day had begun to recognize that He was certainly more than just a carpenter’s son.

Large crowds had begun to follow Him, and they were calling Him by the title, “Lord”. In verse 46, Jesus asks, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord…”

In this question, Jesus repeats the profession of those that were following Him. While their sincerity may have been in doubt, the accuracy of what they said about Jesus was not. They were correct to call Him, “Lord”.

Notice with me a couple of things about this correction confession. Notice first of all:

A. The Truth Of His Lordship

The Greek word that is translated “Lord” in verse 46, is a word that was used in a variety of settings, but in every case it was used to describe someone who was the owner or the master.

Even though many of the crowd that day were less than genuine in this confession of Christ’s lordship, they were completely correct to address Him as Lord.

Jesus of Nazareth, born of the virgin Mary, sinless in His life, sacrificial in His death, and supernatural in His resurrection is nothing short of Lord. He is, as they addressed Him, Lord.

In Acts 2:36, the Apostle Peter stood on the Day of Pentecost and boldly said, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Christian author, Josh McDowell, spent several years as a skeptic, investigating the claims of Jesus and Christianity. His goal was to disprove the Biblical definition of Jesus. However, by the end of his research and study, McDowell was a believer, and wrote a book about his findings entitled More Than a Carpenter.

I would confess with the crowds that first assembled around him, and with the millions since that have come to know Him, He is more than a carpenter. He is Lord!

He is Lord, He is Lord,

He has risen from the dead, And He is Lord,

Every knee shall bow, and Every tongue confess, That Jesus Christ is Lord.

When they called Him, “Lord”, their confession was correct. Notice not only the truth of His lordship, but notice also further:

B. The Terms Of His Lordship

Again, the title, “Lord”, signifies one who is the master or the owner. In Christ’s day, the word would

be used to describe the head of a house. It would be used to describe the guardian of another person. It would be used to describe one that had possession over a property or another person.

The people called Him, “Lord”, in recognition of His status as Master and Owner. In doing so, they were acknowledging His position among men and on earth.

What is the extent of His lordship? Ephesians chapter one, beginning in verse 20, tells us that God has exalted His Son to the very throne of heaven, “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet…”

Jesus is not just Lord of some things. The terms of His lordship are universal, eternal, and unconditional.

A. He is the Master and Owner of all things.

As the great preacher, S.M. Lockeridge once said, “He didn’t have to put His laundry mark on the lapel of the meadow. He’s the owner. He didn’t have to paint His initials in the corner of the sunset. He’s the owner. He didn’t have to put a copyright on the song that He gave the birds to sing. He’s the owner.”i

They called Him, “Lord, Lord”, and though they didn’t fully realize it, their confession was a correct one. He is the Lord of lords.

He rules and reigns as Master and Owner over all things, and the day is coming when all will confess with honesty and sincerity that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

As we look more closely at this text, we see not only that Jesus repeats a correct confession, but we see also further that:

II. Jesus Reveals A Clear Contradiction

Look again at verse 46. Jesus asks, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

In one breath, the people were calling Him, “Lord”, claiming His as Master and Owner, but then they were being disobedient to the commands He had given them.

Jesus confronts this clear contradiction head-on. He points out the hypocrisy of those that were calling Him one thing, but treating Him as something altogether different.

If your conduct doesn’t match your confession, then you have a contradiction. That is exactly what Jesus is revealing in this text. Notice a couple of things that are involved in this contradiction, and see if perhaps we too are guilty of this same thing. First of all, notice:

A. The Disobedience Involved

Jesus clearly states in verse 46 that the contradiction in the lives of these people had to do with the fact that they did not do the things He had said.

If you read the verses leading up to our text, you find that Jesus preached a powerful and demanding message.

He called for people to live selflessly, give sacrificially, and love unconditionally. He called men and women to love their enemies, forgive those that hurt them, and turn the other cheek.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus laid down multiple commandments and expectations for those that belonged to Him.

In our text, He confronts those that claimed His as Lord, but ignored His commands for their lives.

Do you realize that when you disobey the Word of God you become a living contradiction? When you call Him Lord, but disobey His word, you are in many ways a hypocrite and a liar.

I saw a sign once that said, “God didn’t give us the ‘Ten Suggestions’."

Likewise, Jesus Christ is not some sort of spiritual advisor, handing out suggestions. He is Lord, and we contradict that truth when we disobey His Word.

Notice something else about the clear contradiction that Jesus reveals in this text. Notice not only the disobedience involved, but notice also further:

B. The Disrespect Involved

Notice again verse 46. Jesus asks, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord...” Mark that word “call”. It is translated from a word that means not only to address someone, but to bid them, or call for someone.

In other words, these people were not just addressing Jesus; they were calling out to Him, wanting Him to do something.

They did not want to do what He said, but they did want Him to listen when they called. They wanted Jesus to do their bidding, but at the same time, they were not willing to obey Him.

Can you see the disrespect that Jesus is describing in this verse? How rude and disrespectful for these people to call on Christ to answer them when they were not willing to obey His commands.

How often is it that we disrespect the Lord Jesus by calling out to Him when we have refused to obey His call to us?

When there are needs in our life, and the pressure mounts, we are quick to call His name. We fall down at an altar somewhere and say, “Lord, Lord”, yet, when He asks us to obey, and do the things He says, we ignore His words.

Several years ago, the Wall Street Journal recorded an interesting objection from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. A representative said, “Never before have I heard such ill-informed, wimpy, back-stabbing drivel as that just uttered by my respected colleague, the distinguished gentleman from Ohio.”

There are times that we approach God with all the right language and yet we disrespect Him by the contradictory way in which we live our lives.

There is a third truth we draw from this passage. Notice not only that Jesus repeats a correct confession, and that Jesus reveals a clear contradiction, but notice also lastly that:

III. Jesus Relates A Crucial Conclusion

No one wants to be a hypocrite. When we call on the name of the Lord, we want to be sincere and genuine. For that reason, it is important that we heed the message our Lord is teaching in this text.

In order to help us be real and authentic in our relationship with Him, the Lord Jesus closes this passage with a parable about two builders. One built his house on a solid foundation, and the other did not.

By studying this little parable, we find the conclusion to question Christ posed in verse 46. Notice a couple of things about this conclusion. First of all, in this little analogy, we see:

A. The Priority Of Doing What Christ Says

Notice verse 47 and 48. Jesus says, “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth

them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.”

Jesus says that the man who hears and heeds His commands is like a wise builder who constructs a house that is able to withstand the storms and the floods.

Drawing from this analogy, ask yourself this question: What kind of Christian life are you building? What is the strength of your relationship to Christ?

The Word of God teaches us here that a strong Christian life is based upon a foundation of obedience. We lay the stones of this foundation every time we do what the Lord has called us to do.

When you love your neighbor as yourself, you lay a stone. When you give sacrificially, you lay a stone. Every time you forgive someone else, you lay another stone. When you read the Word and spend time in prayer, you build upon that foundation.

The Christian life is not some mystical, mysterious process. The Christian life is a matter of obeying Christ. Strong Christians are the ones who hear and heed His Word.

Several years ago, the Church of England made a change to the wedding vows recorded in the Book of Common Prayer. It was the first major change to the vows since the book was introduced in 1662. What was the change? The bride is no longer required to say “obey” in her vows to her husband.ii

Christianity has changed in many ways over the last 2,000 years. One thing has never changed. In the life of a Christian, obedience to Christ is a priority.

Notice a further truth we draw from this conclusion. We see here not only the priority of doing what Christ says, but notice also that we see:

B. The Peril Of Disobeying What Christ Says

Look at verse 49. Jesus concludes his parable of the two builders by saying, “But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”

The implication of this verse is clear. Disobedience is destructive to the Christian life. Those who hear Christ’s commands, and choose to disobey them are setting themselves up for a fall.

There was a couple that I counseled several years ago. They were a young, successful, twenty- something couple that hadn’t been together long, but it was clear that there were already cracks in their marriage.

They both had begun to lower some of the standards in their lives, and were practicing things they once knew were wrong and contrary to God’s Word.

In my talks with them, I would try to push them toward Christ, and try to encourage them to do what He had said, but that was not what they wanted to hear.

Sadly, I eventually got the call I had been expecting. The wife left, embroiled in a relationship with another man. The divorce was ugly and painful. To quote verse 49, “…the ruin of that house was great.”

When you choose to disobey the Lordship of Jesus Christ, you do so at your own peril. Disobedience is destructive to the Christian life.

For 161 years, Australia’s highest military decoration was the “Order of Maria Theresa”. What made this award so unique is that it was only given to the officer that had won a battle by being disobedient to his superiors.

In the Christian life, there are no rewards for disobedience, only ruin. There is a peril in disobeying what Christ says.


As we have seen in recent weeks, the Lord Jesus posed some pretty strong questions. This is surely one of the strongest.

He hears our profession on Sunday, when we sing, “Oh How I Love Jesus” and “I Am Thine, O Lord”. The problem is that He also sees us on Monday when we live as if we don’t know Him.

This passage reminds us that He is not interested in lip-service lordship. He wants those who will not only say He is Lord, but serve Him as Lord as well.

God help us to examine our lives, and see that we offer Him much more than lip-service.


i Lockeridge, S.M., taken from an audio tape of a sermon entitled “The Lordship of Christ”, circa 1979 ii Smith, E.E., Hypocrisy, 7/31/08,

iii Tan, Paul Lee, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations, p. 908