31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be  against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39 (ESV)
“In Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Our Lord, what beauty, what joy to be able to say that Jesus is our Lord. Paul finishes his discourse on suffering with these words. The epistle reaches its climax here, with these words. It is the high point of the epistle, and yet it is in this climax that we as Christians live.
Lord, the word has a long history and a lot of baggage. It was a word used for all manner of earthly men, the kind that would “lord it over” as Jesus Christ himself would speak of gentiles. Here you see the connotations. We don’t refer to many people as lords these days. Vaguely we think of some title used in England that seems to have a bit more majesty about it than “Mr.” in America, but the full meaning of it is lost on us. Of course, we still have landlords, and or slumlords. Perhaps we have experienced the abuse of such people who refuse to give a deposit back because the ceiling fans weren’t dusted when you packed up and left, or who wouldn’t have the plumbing fixed when it was supposed to be. In a manner of speaking, you live under that man’s thumb.
When Paul was righting this the word kyrios, lord, would have had baggage much worse than that. “Lord, have mercy” was often cried in vain to men not known for their mercy. It was a word used for those who sent out the tax collectors to collect the rents. When they were done the men who worked the fields would have barely enough to get them through the winter. But a man like Herod would grow fat drinking the wine that came from those same vineyards. Lords were not known for charity, pity, or mercy. Those that were known for such things did not remain lords long.
Yet lords had to protect their land and people from other lords. They were an investment. They had to execute justice among their people and keep the peace so that the work could be done. A lord ruled, and an earthly lord ruled according to earthly laws for earthly reasons. In some ways making it necessary to “lord it over” others.
Jesus Christ our Lord, is a Lord who is not unconcerned with earthly matters. Yet Jesus Christ is a spiritual Lord who rules spiritually through faith and the forgiveness of sins for heavenly reasons. He is our Lord, and we cry to him “Lord, have mercy” precisely because this is what he is known for, mercy, love and the forgiveness of sins. He is our Lord, he died for us. He died for us out of love. But he also rose again from the dead conquering all that would accuse us, the devil, the world and our sinful flesh. He is OUR Lord. He has sent all them packing who would lord over us in his place. He is our Lord and yet he doesn’t lord it over us. Instead, he defends us, protects us, and he who has overcome this world that gives us tribulation will not let anything separate us from his love, he invested his whole life into us.