Christology


“I am sorry- (talking about the emergent church’s over-realized eschatology), but I am getting real sick of hearing about the kingdom, and never hearing anything about the King.”
-Mark Driscoll

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This communion is exercised in the following manner: In beholding the Lord Jesus in his beauty, desirability, and fullness. In doing so one attentively contemplates upon the Counsel of Peace, in which the Son of God out of love for His elect willingly offered Himself as their Surety. From there one descends to meditate upon His assumption of the human nature, His bitter suffering in its entirety, and then His cursed death. From there one proceeds to His resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God. In all of these one beholds His love, His willingness, the efficacy of the atonement, and all His fullness unto the salvation of the sinner. Here the soul pauses with longing eyes desiring a further, clearer, and closer view of His perfections. He desires to find delight in such contemplation, to be ignited with love, to joyfully acknowledge and approve of Him as such, and to praise and to magnify Him. In this manner a believer beholds Jesus (II: 94-95).

There is a vast difference between godly rulers and worldly rulers; much like between godly people and worldly people. Rulers are to look to the Lord Jesus Christ for the way in which they are to rule. The Second Psalm tells all rulers and kings that they are to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ lest they perish! Jesus is a just and merciful King!

What is the main differences between our King, and the rulers of this world? William Symington sums it up well in his magnum opus, Messiah the Prince:

Rectitude of intention characterizes all his (King Jesus’) plans. Everything is designed for the good of his people and the glory of the Godhead. Other kings may have sinister ends to serve: even when doing what is right in itself, they may have an ultimate respect to their own personal aggrandizement, to the advancement of some favorite courtier; or, supposing they move solely by a regard to the good of their subjects, they may be seeking this at the expense of some neighboring state.

Galatians 6:14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

We live in a world of braggers and men that elevate themselves. As Christians we are not to find great comfort or happiness in the things of this world. Our comfort, hope, love, and boasting should be in Jesus Christ and his cross alone! We are crucified to the world- we are dead to it! I think of Hebrews 11 which says that the world was not worthy of those contended for Christ. Not worthy. Does the world see us as one of them? Does Christ see us as more worthy than the world around us? Do we boast in ourselves, in our accomplishments, in our skills and abilities, our greatness- or do we boast in Jesus Christ and the cross which has bought us life?

The apostle, on the contrary, expresses his aversion to glorying in anything these men did; not in his outward carnal privileges, as a Jew; nor in his moral, civil, and legal righteousness; nor in his gifts and attainments; nor in his labours and success, as of himself; nor in the flesh of others, or in any outward corporeal subjection to any ordinance, legal or evangelical; his glorying and rejoicing were rather in the spirituality, the faith, hope, love, patience, order, and steadfastness of the saints, than in anything in the flesh, either his own or others:

and indeed he chose not to glory in any thing, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; meaning either the infirmities, reproaches, tribulations, and persecutions, which he endured for the sake of Christ, and the preaching of his Gospel; or the Gospel, the doctrine of the cross of Christ, and salvation by it:

or rather a crucified Christ himself, whom he preached; though counted foolishness by some, and was a stumbling to others: he gloried in him, and determined to know, and make known, none but him, in the business of salvation; he gloried in him as crucified, and in his cross; not in the wood of the cross, but in the effects of his crucifixion; in the peace, pardon, righteousness, life, salvation, and eternal glory, which come through the death of the cross; he gloried in Christ as his wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption: by whom the world is crucified to me: so that he feared not the worst men, and things in it, any more than he would one that was fastened to a cross, or dead; since Christ, by his crucifixion and death, had overcome the world, the prince of it, the men and malice of it, the sin that was in it, and had made him more than a conqueror also; his faith in a crucified Christ overcame the world likewise; so that he looked upon it as the Israelites saw the Egyptians, dead on the sea shore; nor did he affect and love, but trampled upon and despised, as crucified persons generally are, those things in it which are the most alluring to the flesh, the lusts of it; the doctrine of grace, of a crucified Christ, taught him to deny the riches, honours, pleasures, profits, and applause of the world; which were to him as dross, in comparison of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord:

the ceremonial law also, the elements of the world, were dead unto him, being nailed to the cross of Christ, to be of no further use and service unto men: and I unto the world; that is, am crucified to the world, as the Syriac and Arabic versions express it; that is, he was despised by the world for the sake of a crucified Christ, as the world was by him, in comparison of him; the world had no affection for him, as he had none for the world; and as the ceremonial law was dead to him, so he was dead to that, through the body of Christ, and had nothing to do with these beggarly elements, nor they with him, which sense is confirmed by the following words.
-John Gill

We find ourselves to be so important. We find our ‘rights’ to be of great concern to those around us. We desire vengeance on those who make us suffer, hurt, and cry. How often do we think in terms of what Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of God, suffered for his elect. How do you compare when it comes to your trials and afflictions?

Is there any among you that are impatient under your own personal trials and troubles, apt to howl under common afflictions from the hand of God, or swell with revenge under injuries from the hands of men! To such I would say, Behold the Lamb of God! Was Christ a lamb for meekness, and you are a lion for fierceness? Was he silent, not once opening his mouth, when he suffered most vile things from the hands of sinners and can you bear nothing? He suffered patiently, and deserved it not; you suffer impatiently, and have deserved infinitely more. O that you would learn to be more Christ-like in all your trials and afflictions! Let it not be said, that Christ carried it as a lamb when he was tried, and we like swine, grumbling or howling when we are tried. O get a Christ-like temper! -Flavel, Sacramental Meditations vi. volume 6, p.416-7

The most important part of Christ’s suffering experientially, is that he suffered for us! Christ interceded on our behalf on the cross and he lives to make intercession for us in heaven. Jesus Christ prays for us! He prays for our conformity to his image. This should bring us great hope as we come to the Lord’s table tomorrow. Christ intercedes for us. He who has begun a good work in you will bring it to completion!

Isaiah 53:11-12 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

For he IS the intercessor, and he that procured your entering in the way, will carry you on in it. He that procured a sanctified conviction to come in, will complete it! He that procured your justification, and pardon of sin, will also apply it to your conscience, and forth an intimation of it, when he thinks fit and sanctify you thoroughly. And this is indeed a great consolation to a sinner, that he who has begun a great work will perfect it; and he will not leave it; till it be at such a height of perfection, as it can be desired to be no higher! -Durham

In the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ, he took comfort in his mission. He took comfort in the fact that he was securing the salvation of his people. He prolonged his days when he saw his seed. Of course, the Scriptures speak of a chaff as well. There are those in the world that do not belong to Christ, but grow alongside the church- but are not his. As we reflect on the sufferings of Christ we need to be mindful of the fact that if we are his seed; then we have a standard of living that we are to live by. We are to reflect the one who bought us. We are to live lives of holiness as the Lord Jesus Christ lived a life of holiness.

He was put to grief for our lives, let us not put him to grief by our lives.

Isaiah 53:9-10 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

They who are Christ’s seed, carry along with them the impression of an obligation to, and an acknowledgment of him in whatever good they have gotten. They think themselves much obliged to Christ, and they acknowledge him for their life (as in Mal. 1.6).. A natively and genuinely disposed child acknowledges his father as his father, and reverences and loves his father as his father, but there are many that pretend to being from Christ, who think not themselves in his debt and common for it, and who know not what it is to walk under the conviction of their obligation to Christ for their supposed spiritual life and being. -Durham, Christ Crucified, 41-413.

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