Years ago I led the music in a church (a very small church you understand, but my knowledge of four guitar chords made me a relative virtuoso).
Well happily enough, Shout to the North has only four chords. So it went straight onto the 'playlist'. The only issue was my troubled conscience. You see, while I only knew four chords of guitar, I knew a whole six doctrines of theology (neat diagrams to boot). And something grated. The lyrics say "Jesus is Saviour to all." Now we can't be singing that can we?
I can't remember, but I think I used to hurry on through that line - Jesus is Saviour to those who call... or something.
Because here's my unexamined, gut-level assumption - Jesus is Lord of all and Saviour of some. Isn't that what all right-thinking evangelicals believe? Lord of all, Saviour of some. Which is basically to say that Jesus is fundamentally Lord but secondarily and more narrowly Saviour. He's Lord through and through, He's partially Saviour.
And this gut-level assumption is strengthened by the fear of universalism. (Fear is a wonderful tool to prevent us examining our beliefs). Surely if we sing "Jesus is Saviour to all" we're demolishing any distinction between saved and unsaved, aren't we?
Well no, that's not how the bible argues. Jesus is constantly called Saviour of the world (e.g. John 3:17f; 4:42) and Paul says:
We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, and especially of those who believe. (1 Tim 4:10)
So actually Jesus is Lord of all (but especially those who believe) and Saviour of all (but especially those who believe).
There is a distinction. It's there in the word 'especially.' But it's not in the scope of Christ's Lordship versus His Saviour-ship. He is equally both.
This has implications for many areas, but let's just think about evangelism. If I go with my gut-level assumption, how do I offer Christ to the unbeliever? Well I can't presume to offer Christ as Saviour can I? After all Jesus might turn out not be Saviour to this individual. So perhaps I conclude: it's safer to confront the unbeliever with His Lordship. And, on this understanding, this is a 'Lordship' that's considered somewhat apart from His Saviour-ship.
So I speak more of His hands raised up against us than His hands stretched out towards us. I define sin far more as rebellion against His rule than resistance against His grace. I offer salvation as submission to His sovereignty much more than resting in His rescue.
Now I will certainly mention those latter aspects. But they are deviations from the norm. They are potential fringe-benefits - not the main story.
In all this, I understand that there's massive overlap between Lordship and Saviourship. In fact that's really my point. When you say 'Jesus is Lord' you are saying 'The Saviour is Lord' (for 'Jesus' means Saviour!) His Lordship is expressed and established precisely in His cosmic salvation. Therefore we must not divide these aspects up and we certainly should not favour one over the other.
But if this is so then it can't be true that a preacher is good on 'Jesus is Lord', but not as strong on 'Jesus is Saviour'. If we're not holding out the Saviour-ship of Christ then we're not properly holding out the Lordship of Christ either.
So what if we took the song seriously? What if we really believed that Jesus is the Saviour of the world? Imagine that loved one who you pray for - you desperately want them to turn to Christ for you know that Jesus is their Lord. Do you know equally powerfully that He is their Saviour too?
In my conservative evangelical constituency we bang the Jesus is Lord drum very loudly. I'm just not sure we hold Him out as Saviour with equal passion. And it flavours our evangelism in some unhelpful ways.