In Rom. 5:21, Paul states that eternal life is through “Jesus Christ our Lord.” That threefold name of our Savior is an interesting progression that we must go through to truly have salvation in Him.
Jesus. Jesus was His given name. Although it means “Savior” we have to remember that it was a very common name in first century Palestine. “Jesus” was the Greek form of the Hebrew name “Joshua.” It was very popular because of the old Testament hero of that name. Most people believe that there was a man named Jesus in first-century times who was a great teacher. When she was alive, the world’s most noted atheist, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, even admitted that Jesus existed. To believe that a man named Jesus walked the earth is good, but that is not enough to save.
Christ. Christ is His title. “Christ” means “anointed one.” This reveals the One anointed by the Father to die for mankind. He is the promised Messiah. Jesus Christ is the One who bore our sins on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). To believe this is to affirm what Peter did in Matt 16:16, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Many people believe that Jesus died for them, but that does not automatically make them saved (cf. Matt. 7:21). Certainly accepting Him as the Savior is an important step toward being saved, but one must still go one step further.
Lord. Lord indicates Jesus as our Divine Master. Calling Jesus “Lord” means that we recognize Him as having complete control over all of our lives. It means becoming a faithful servant to Him. It means dedicating your whole life to do things in His name. It requires sacrifice and commitment. Many want Jesus as a Friend and Savior (Christ), but not a Lord. But that’s what it takes to be saved in His name. Eternal life is in “Jesus Christ our Lord.” Jesus Himself asked, “why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). By the way, this includes baptism for the remission of sins as a part of His plan of salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 19:5).
So, can you really call Him “Jesus Christ my Lord”? You must if you are to be saved.
Broadway church of Christ