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The Wednesday Word: Astonished and Amazed!

Who is Jesus? He is the glory of heaven. His radiance is brighter than the sun. He was and is and always will be the Lord God. He is the eternal Word made flesh (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16).

When I consider Him, I’m astonished and amazed!

He is the Image of the Invisible God (Colossians 1:15-17; John 1:17). He is the perfect manifestation of God.

When I meditate on this, I’m astonished and amazed!

He is the mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Corinthians 8:6) – He is the only way to approach God.

When I reflect on this, I’m astonished and amazed!

He is Head over All Things (Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:27-28) – What a truth!

When I dwell on this, I’m astonished and amazed!

“He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: when He was reviled, He reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed himself to Him that judges righteously” (1 Peter 2: 22-23).

When I deliberate on this, I’m astonished and amazed!

Nevertheless, despite Him being sinless, “He was despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah. 53:3).

When I look thoughtfully at this, I’m astonished and amazed!

Many of his days upon earth were difficult days, clouded with care, and pain. So much so that he could say, “I am afflicted and ready to die even from my youth up” (Psalm 88.:15).

When I think about this, I’m astonished and amazed!

After the Kangaroo court they subjected Him to, “His face,” we are told, “was so marred, more than any (other) man’s, and his form more than the sons of men” (Isaiah 52:14).

When I envision this, I’m astonished and amazed!

How could they treat God in human flesh like this? What grace! What authority under control. He was the One giving them breath and keeping them alive as they brutalized Him.

When I visualize this, I’m astonished and amazed!

Listen to the groans of anguish as they beat and punched Him. The only mouth in the history of man that never uttered an unholy word was bruised and battered.

When I contemplate this, I’m astonished and amazed!

But, harder and more terrible than all this is the truth, “It pleased Yahweh to bruise him.” It was the Father who” put him to grief” (Isaiah 53:10).

Quite frankly, I’m astonished and amazed!

Yes, it was the Father’s voice that cried, “Awake, o sword, against my shepherd, against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd” (Zechariah 13:7).

In His last and darkest hour, when the storm of wrath burst upon him in all its fury, his Father’s arm was withdrawn!

Quite bluntly, I’m astonished and amazed!

At the cross, the light of God’s countenance was replaced by the awful darkness of God’s frown. The terrors of wrath fell upon Christ’s lovely head and caused him to release that piercing cry, “My God, My God, why hast THOU forsaken me,”

When I picture this, I’m astonished and amazed!

“Alas! and did my Saviour bleed,

And did my Sovereign die?

Would he devote his sacred head

For such a worm as I?

“Was it for sins that I had done,

He groaned upon the tree?

Amazing pity! grace unknown!

And love beyond degree.

“Well may I hide my blushing face,

‘When his dear cross appears;

Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,

And melt my eyes to tears.”

David Brainerd, the famous missionary to the American Indians, said, “I never got away from Jesus and Him crucified in my preaching. I found that once these people were gripped by the great evangelical meaning of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, I did not have to give them many instructions about changing their behavior.”

May we always be astonished and amazed by Jesus and thus live for His glory.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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Chapter 27-The Offices of Christ

The Offices of Christ

 

THREE offices are ascribed by the Scriptures to Christ–those of prophet, priest and king.

I. CHRIST AS PROPHET.

This word is to be taken in its wider sense of inspired teacher.

It is frequently confined, in common language, to one who foretells future events. But it literally means one who speaks for his God, and denotes a divine teacher merely. Thus Moses is spoken of as a prophet, and Christ was foretold as a prophet who should he like unto Moses.

It is in connection with this that the term Logos, or Word, applied to Christ in the 1st chapter of John is appropriate.

With the office of teacher, Christ united, as was common with the prophets, the prediction of future events and the working of miracles. But the office of teacher was his special work as prophet.

This work is discharged in the following ways:

1. In the personal revelations which he made, before the days of his incarnation, to our first parents, to the patriarchs and to others of their day, to Moses and the people of God in the wilderness, and to various others, as Manoah, the children in the furnace, etc. These were made in appearances of human form, in the burning bush, in the pillar of cloud and fire, in the Shechinah, etc., etc.

2. In the inspired revelations which he made through holy men of old, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. The Old Testament Scriptures are composed of a portion of these.

3. While on earth in his incarnation.

(1) Personally as, (a) he set forth by his own acts the divine attributes, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, eternity of existence, etc., and (b) as he exhibited God’s love for man, his hatred of sin, and his love of holiness and righteousness in the work of man’s salvation.

(2) By his instructions, as he taught (a) in words to his disciples and others what he exhibited in his person as to the matters above stated, and (b) the truths relative to the kingdom he was to establish, its nature, its subjects, the relations they should bear to each other, to him and the Father, and their future destiny and glory as well as the condition and fate of those who should reject him.

4. By the instructions he gave through his apostles and other inspired men after his ascension.

5. By the revelation of himself in the lives and character of his true disciples in all ages.

6. By the instructions given through his preached word in all ages.

7. By the revelations of glory he shall make to the church of first-born ones in the world to come.

8. By the revelation which through these, he shall make of the glory of God to the universe of created intelligences.

 

II. CHRIST AS PRIEST.

The office of “Priest” is one of divine appointment. That of Christ corresponds to that of the High Priest under the Mosaic economy, and is foreshadowed by it. The Epistle to the Hebrews sets this forth very plainly and explicitly. The priesthood of Christ, however, varies from that of the High Priest in several particulars. Christ’s priesthood is perpetual, is in one person, without predecessor or successor, making one offering, once for all; an offering actually not symbolically effective, deriving value not from appointment alone, but from its nature also. In this case, also, the victim is the same person as the High Priest. Consequently Christ’s office as priest is to be contemplated in the twofold aspect of priest and victim.

1. As Priest, he offers up the sacrifice, laying it upon the altar of oblation, and through it appeasing the wrath of God, making reconciliation between God and man, and securing, in its proper presentation, the removal of guilt and punishment from man.

As Priest he also intercedes with God for pardon or justification or other blessings for all for whom he died, in all the respects in which his death is available for each.

The first of these priestly offices was discharged upon earth, the second is discharging in heaven. It does not cease with his life on earth, but he is represented as continuing as an ever-living High Priest to make intercession for us, Heb. 7:23-25; sitting down at the right hand of’ God, Acts 2:33-36; Heb. 8:1; 9:12-21. (See the law as to the Jewish High Priest entering in once every year in Heb. 9:27; also in the law laid down in Ex. 30:10; Lev. 16:2, 11, 12, 15, 34; see also Heb. 7:27; 10:10. 1 Pet. 3:18, confines it to their sufferings and does not include the offering.) It is not for the purpose of offering the sacrifice that he is there, Heb. 9:24, 25; but to make intercession for those for whom the sacrifice has already been offered, Heb. 10:11, 12, 14-18. These passages show it was such an offering as actually sanctified (v. 10), and purified (v. 14) them that are sanctified.

While we are not to suppose that he is engaged in actual spoken prayer before God, we are also not to understand by this a mere influence of his sacrifice continued without further activity on his part, but some real activity corresponding fully to the essence of prayer and petition, to which is due all the blessings to which his people attain.

This intercession is made for his people, Luke 22:32, John 14:16; 17:9, 15, 20, 24; Eph. 2:18; Heb. 4:14-16. The passages in Isaiah 53:12 and Luke 23:34 have been adduced as indicating intercession which avails in some respect for all men. But such benefits are not the result of intercessory prayer, nor of Christ’s atoning work conferring general benefits; but they come from the necessary co-existence of the persons thus benefited with those to whom the resulting benefits of the atoning work belong.

2. Christ as the victim.

(1) His qualifications.

(a) His sinlessness; for this position he needed to be pure, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and one in whom there was no sin. He must be a spotless Lamb.

(b) His humanity; that he might be of common nature with those for whom he died, and that he might be capable of suffering, and of such suffering as man may endure.

(c) His divinity; that his successful Prosecution of the work might be assured, and that his offering might have merit sufficient to ransom those for whom he died.

(d) His federal relation; that he might he a proper substitute for sinners, not any securing righteousness by obedience, but bearing and removing their guilt by making satisfaction for it.

(2) The offering. Thus qualified he was offered up as a victim; his body to the suffering which culminated in his death on the cross, and his soul to the anguish due to the realized presence of imputed sin, to the wrath endured from God, and to the separation from God’s favor while bearing that wrath.

 

III. CHRIST AS KING.

Christ announced to his disciples just before his ascension, “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.” Math 28:18. Peter at Pentecost declared, “that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified;” Acts 2:36.

Constant references had been previously made to his kingdom. It was not simply spoken of as the kingdom of God, and kingdom of heaven, but as closely connected with Christ. Luke 22:29, 30; 23:42; John 18:37.

1. Christ as the God-man is Mediatorial king.

As Son of God he had the right of rule over the universe. Of this he emptied himself and became man, that he might become Mediator and do the work of salvation. Having become man he died on the cross. On this account he has been exalted, so “that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, * * * and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the Father.” Phil. 2:6-11. Compare Acts 2:22-36, especially verse 36. “God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.” Also 1 Cor. 15:24-26.

2. Christ reigns over his spiritual kingdom, securing the final result of the establishment of that kingdom in the persons of all his people when he shall “present the church to himself, a glorious church.” Eph. 5:27.

3. He reigns over his visible churches on earth through the laws he has given, through the Spirit by which he dwells in them, and by his providences, overruling, controlling, and accomplishing all his purposes.

4. The rules over this world as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, causing all things to work together for his ends.

5. He rules over the universe. His sway is not limited to earth.

6. His Mediatorial reign is not confined to human subjects, but extends also to angelic. The angels of heaven are his attendants and his messengers.

7. He even rules over Satan and his evil angels. Their exercise of power for evil is permitted only for a time. Even during that time it is controlled by Christ; so that it is limited by his will, and is, therefore, truly subjected to him.

 

Rev. James Petigru Boyce, D. D., LL. D.,–Abstract of Systematic Theology–First published in 1887

A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-8-The Mediator

December 12, 2013 1 comment

The Mediator

 

1. What is a Mediator?

One who leads persons who are at enmity to become friends, or to be reconciled to each other.

2. Why is Christ called the Mediator?

Because He comes between man and God, and reconciles them to each other.

3. What offices does Christ discharge as Mediator?

The offices of Prophet, Priest and King.

4. Why is Christ called a Prophet?

A Prophet is one who speaks for God, and Christ is the Great Teacher of Divine Truth.

5. Why is He called a Priest?

It was the duty of the Priest to offer sacrifice for sin, and to pray to God to pardon the sinner. Christ is in both these respects the High Priest of His people.

6. In what sense is He a King?

He has no earthly kingdom; but He reigns in the hearts of saints and angels.

7. Is He not King of the universe?

He is and hence is called the King of kings and Lord of lords.

8. Will this reign ever be acknowledged by all?

It will at the judgment day.

James P. Boyce-A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine

The promises to Abraham belong to Christ, so that he can mediate them to God’s people

September 10, 2013 1 comment

Arthur PinkAS IT IS particularly the Old Testament promises of which Dispensationalists would deprive the Christian, a more definite and detailed refutation of this error is now required—coming, as it obviously does, within the compass of our present subject. We will here transcribe what we wrote thereon almost twenty years ago.

3. The Medium of the promises is the God-man Mediator, Jesus Christ, for there can be no intercourse between God and us except through the appointed Daysman. In other words, Christ must receive all good for us, and we must have it at second hand from Him.

Arthur W. Pink The Application of Scriptures-A Study of Dispensationalism

Confession statement 32

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XXXII THE only strength by which the saints are enabled to encounter with all oppositions and trials, is only by Jesus Christ, who is the captain of their salvation, being made perfect through sufferings; who hath engaged His faithfulness and strength to assist them in all their afflictions, and to uphold them in all their temptations, and to preserve them by His power to His everlasting kingdom.

John 16:33,15:5; Phil.4:11; Heb.2:9,10; 2 Tim.4:18.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46 

If the Gospel is believed, it will bring peace

April 8, 2013 1 comment

fullerI am well aware, that the great concern of persons in your situation, is to obtain peace of mind; and any thing which promises to afford this, attracts your attention. If this Gospel be believed with all your heart, it will give you peace. This is the good and the old way; walk in it and you shall find rest for your soul, but it is not everything which promises peace, that will ultimately afford it. It is at our peril to offer you other consolation, and at yours to receive it.

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

Confession statement 18

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XVIII THIS priesthood was not legal or temporary, but according to the order of Melchisedek, and is stable and perfect, not for a time, but forever, which is suitable to Jesus Christ, as to Him that ever liveth. Christ was the priest, sacrifice, and altar: He was a priest according to both natures; He was a sacrifice according to His human nature; whence in Scripture it is attributed to His body, to His blood: Yet the effectualness of this sacrifice did depend upon His divine nature; therefore it is called the blood of God. He was the altar according to His divine nature, it belonging to the altar to sanctify that which is offered upon it, and so it ought to be of greater dignity than the sacrifice itself.

Heb.7:16, etc.; Heb.5:6, 10:10; 1 Pet.l:18,19; Col.1:20 22; Heb.9:13; Acts 20:28; Heb.9:14, 13:10.12,15; Matt.23:17; John 17:19.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46