9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[e]12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The Lordship of Jesus Christ is not based on our works. Our life as Christians is based on our justification. To live a life where Christ reigns and is Lord over our lives means we believe in Christ’s work at the cross and acknowledge our total dependency on him.
Lordship doesn’t start where our salvation ends. It means we were saved by grace, we will also live in grace. Do not graduate from the gospel. Don’t think John 3:16 is for your unbelieving friends. It is also for you. It reminds us that we are helpless without Christ and that we need Him and the Holy Spirit to live out this life. To neglect the gospel in our daily living is to say I don’t need Christ anymore. He has saved me already and now let me prove to him I am a worthy child of God by obeying the law.
Let me break it to you: You cannot survive living under Christ lordship by proving to him how good you are and how you can keep all of his commandments. You have to trust in his transforming grace to live under His Lordship. You need His power. You need His grace.
Mark Driscoll in his book Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ said,
“In Christ, you’re graced. You’re chosen by grace, saved by grace, kept by grace, gifted by grace, empowered by grace, matured by grace, and sanctified by grace. You persevere by grace, and one day will see Jesus, the best friend you’ve ever had, face-to-face, by grace.”