Jesus Christ: Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ saves us spiritually by providing repentance and forgiveness. He saves us physically by providing the resurrection. Because of this we refer to Him as our “Lord and Savior.” This title is central to His mission.
Christ’s redeeming Atonement is the most important act that has ever occurred and is the very foundation of His gospel.
Matthew 25:31–34 helps us to understand Christ’s role as our Lord and Savior: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
“And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Jesus is our judge and the head of His Church. Working under the direction of God the Father, He created the universe and became Father of heaven and earth and “Creator of all things from the beginning” (Helaman 14:12). He has authority from God the Father to act as our mediator. Because of Him we can all be “born again” (John 3:3). As He ministers to us in each of these roles, Christ acts on behalf of our Father. Moreover, Jesus Christ and God the Father are 'one' in purpose, testimony, glory, and power (see John 17:11, 21).
From God the Father, Jesus inherited immortality. “As the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26). And because of Christ we can inherit all that the Father has. It’s little wonder that the scriptures refer so frequently to Jesus Christ: both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon serve as testimonies of His divinity. Lord is the most common name used to refer to Christ in the New Testament, with Savior being the second most frequent title. The name Savior puts Jesus Christ’s Atonement at the center of focus; our salvation is His work and glory (see Moses 1:39). The Book of Mormon teaches that God “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” (Alma 45:16). Through the sanctifying influence of Jesus Christ’s Atonement, He saves us from the sin that would otherwise prevent us from becoming like God and dwelling in His presence. In the earliest days of Christ’s Church, Jesus’s Apostles exhorted people to declare that Jesus is Lord in order to be saved. As Paul taught, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
But Jesus Himself clarifies this teaching in Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Salvation is attained now the same way it was then: we must have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of our sins, be baptized in His name, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and remain steadfast in keeping God’s commandments. In this way, we gain eternal life. As it is written in Hebrews 5:9, Christ is our Redeemer, “the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
Jesus Christ is God’s Only Begotten Son, the only one who can claim that title. Because of His divine nature, Christ possessed the ability to overcome death and live forever. The Savior said, “I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:17–18). Christ offered Himself willingly. His role as sacrificial lamb was His most important role as Lord and Savior in the divine plan of salvation.