13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”15 He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
From the above scripture we see a few things that are critical to the Christian faith. The most important question concerning one’s salvation is ‘who is Jesus Christ?’. With the reprobate it has always been that what the majority believe, is the right thing. For e.g. if you were to ask an unbeliever who comes from a people setting where homosexuality or abortion is so rampant that it has become the fabric of his society, if you were ask this unbeliever what he thought of the Law of God that abhorred the sin of homosexuality and abortion, this unbeliever though he may not have participated in that sin, he will discount the Law of God just because the society he comes from teaches otherwise in majority.
So it was similar when Christ asked His disciples ‘who He is?’ the disciples first rattled off what society considered Christ to be, then when they were asked to answer that question for themselves, that was when they actually made a declaration of faith. This declaration of faith is that rock on which the Church is built by Christ, which hell cannot overpower even though it is right outside its gate.
9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
2 Peter 1
10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
Many a times in an Arminian setting, the belief is that so long as one acknowledges Christ as Lord, salvation is made available to the person but the truth of matter is, all shall confess that He is Lord (Phil 2:9-11). Today the hatred of God in the reprobate puts off this confession for another time but a time will come when this confession shall be so overbearing upon them that even the consuming fires of His wrath will not deter their perfect subjection and their knees shall be like ripe fruit falling to the ground in its time. You see only the believer shall know Christ as ‘Lord and Savior’ (2Peter 1:11) but the reprobate will only know Him as ‘Lord’ in time but never as Savior.
There are many in the Arminian setting, who say that they first acknowledged Christ as Savior when they believed and then as Lord. This may be case when people consider themselves and their works as what makes them what they are. You see such a believer, feels he has taken the onus to receiving the sacrifice of Christ for his sins and later when he begins to see change in his life coming out of obedience this believer says then that he has received Christ as Lord. However, such a school of thought shows that it is the believer himself and not the Word of God which is the standard of Christian life. When the Bible teaches that salvation is the finished work of Jesus Christ, then the true believer ought to know that there is nothing left for him to do, so as complete his own salvation. His salvation stems from the promises of God, which will never move. Heaven and Earth shall pass away but never His Word (Mat 24:35). He chose, He paid for and He sanctified; and though we are to work out our salvation, our iniquity can never cast aside His promise to His elect. For He Himself is Sovereign in the working out of our salvation.
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
This goes to show that a person, who truly acknowledges Christ as Savior, shall just the same acknowledge Him as Lord, which is dependent on his calling as God’s elect, for only then shall he trust in God (Word) and lean not on his own understanding (Prov 3:5). For those who say that they received Christ as Savior but their lives never showed that they have received Him as Lord, on the day of their judgment, though they may call unto Him ‘Lord Lord’, He shall cast them into the darkness for their lives never obeyed His rule (Moral Law) i.e. though they called Him ‘Lord Lord’, these hypocrites never received His Lordship in His salvation and thereby turn subject to receive His Lordship in His justice.
A believer in receiving Jesus Christ is brought to terms with His authority as Prophet, Priest and King. In theology, these three are the offices He holds as God the Son.
• He is thee Prophet about whom all Spirit-breathed scripture (the Bible – the only credible Word on God) points to (Luke 24:19-27). In His office as Prophet He teaches and admonishes the people of God, as a Shepherd unto His sheep (John 10), by the working of His Spirit.
• He is thee Priest of the highest order ‘Melchizedek’ (Heb 7), the only mediator between God and men, who offers Himself as the unblemished atoning sacrifice for His people (Heb 9:14).
• He is thee ‘King’: King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 17:14), where His enemies are made His footstool (Luke 20:43, Acts 7:49) and He rules over His kingdom with righteousness (Isaiah 32:1).
This ultimately is saving faith that you know Jesus Christ (John 17:3), as a Christian.