The goal of every Christian should be to become Christ-like, and to live life with the courage, compassion, power and principles of Jesus. His greatest example was that He surrendered Himself completely to the will of the Father by offering His life as a sacrifice for mankind. Every Christian benefits from the work accomplished by Jesus. Now it is the Christian's turn to offer a sacrifice of self.
To acknowledge Jesus as Lord is to surrender to Him. The word surrender implies a giving up after resistance to the power of another, and, in this case, includes accepting the superiority of someone else. It is not accepting defeat, per se, as there is no loss of life or property. To surrender means the end of the fight, and there is no more argument. It is the solid realization that His way is a better way.
The 'Old Man' in Scripture refers to the sinful nature of humans. When Jesus died on the cross, He was mankind's substitute. Therefore, in the redemptive plan of God, all the sins of humanity were paid for in full by the death of Jesus. Romans chapter 6 teaches that the old man was crucified with Jesus, and just as Jesus died, sin nature died with Him.
In order to comprehend this walk in newness of life, obedience to Romans 10:9 is a requirement. A Christian must believe in the resurrection of Jesus and not only confess Him as Lord but make Him Lord of their life. To confess Jesus as Lord is to accept a new master other than self, a new boss, so to speak. To make Jesus Lord means to obey Him by learning His will as it is written in the Bible, and learning to walk by the Spirit as Romans 8 and Galatians 5 teaches.
To die to self so that Christ can live and work within a person is a fundamental principle in Christianity. The Bible teaches the Christian to put off or put away old ways of thinking, speaking and living, and to replace them with Christ-like ways. The lifestyle of self-centered living is without purpose and leads to destruction. In contrast, the Christian surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ is secure, sailing on a well-defined course with a rock-solid future.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5, 6)
In a world that saturates people with information, and promotes reliance on intelligence and education, to trust the Lord and not one's own understanding is almost unthinkable. But this is the nucleus of what it means to surrender. A surrendered Christian acknowledges God at every step, living a life of total trust in His miracle power and perfect plan.