Volume. XXXI, No. 26
Sunday, 25 December 2016


From the Pastors Heart: Christ the King


We have studied these offices of Christ so far: prophet and priest.  Today, on this Christmas day, we are going to consider His kingship.  The Westminster Shorter Catechism, question 26, aptly explains how Christ carries out the kingly office: “Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling, and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.” As Dr. Barrett pointed out ironically, though the kingship of Christ is one of the most obvious of His messianic operations, yet in some ways it is the most confusing. This confusion is understandable, although it is not easy to explain everything.  The confusion, I think, comes from the simple fact that Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Trinity, who is God.  He is the Son of God, who is equal with God.  John 5:18 offers us two reasons why the Jews hated Jesus: “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”  Two reasons are: (1) They thought He broke the Sabbath rules.  (2) He made Himself equal with God by claiming that He is the Son of God.  We know that there is one God.  Jesus is equal with God, which means that He is God.  Then, who is God who is not Jesus, if there is only one God?  We understand this seeming difficulty by understanding the doctrine of the Trinity.  Jesus is God and the Second Person of the holy Trinity.  As God, He is sovereign over all things.  “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3)  Thus, He cannot but be a king by His own virtue. 

On the other hand, Jesus as the Christ was anointed and is on the throne.  We describe His status with kingship.  This messianic kingship refers specifically to Christ’s official authority to rule for God’s glory and for the ingathering of the whole number of God’s elect.  Because He is the sovereign King, He is able to keep and protect His church, and also to perfect it.  There have been some controversies over His kingship.  These controversies are not about whether He is the king or not.  There is a common understanding that He is the king.  However, when it comes down to His rule, a question arises on the timing of His rule.  Some argue that He rules as king right now in Spirit.  Some say that He will rule in the future, during the millennium in particular.  In order to understand His kingly rule, we need to examine the following aspects of His rule.

First, His rule is universal
It is proven in the Great Commandment in Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”  He commissioned His disciples to preach the Gospel throughout the world.  He assured them that He was given all power both in heaven and in earth.  It is a figure of speech called merismus.  It is a literary device using opposing expressions to include everything in between.  By claiming His power both in heaven and in earth, He declares that His power is sovereign and limitless anywhere.  It also implies that His kingdom is all we can think of and beyond, and His power and authority are universal without limits.  He is “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1: 21-22).  This universal rule of Christ will be consummated some day, when “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2: 10-11).  He is called the Lord, Sovereign Master.  Then, all will know that His kingship is irresistible.  All shall bow down before Him. 

Second, His rule is providential 
The Westminster Shorter Catechism, question 11, asks, “What are the works of providence?”  Its answer is, “God's works of providence are his most Holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures, and all their actions.”   This answer plainly explains why His kingship is providential.  “Providence refers to the constant ruling and preserving of the affairs of the kingdom.” Consider Colossians 1:16-18, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”  He keeps and sustains everything.  Similarly, Hebrews says that He upholds “all things by the word of his power” (1:3).  We ought to notice an underlying truth in all these verses.  “Christ is not a king in waiting or a king without a kingdom.  He rules now, and He rules well.  If we should ever doubt whether Christ is on the throne, we need only look to see if we can see anything.  If we can see something, that should be all the evidence we need.  If Christ were to stop ruling, there would be nothing left.  Millennial Rule - Christ’s kingship is millennial.”  It means that Christ rules today and is king universal, and also He will be king in His millennial kingdom, which will be in future.  We may safely say that He is and will be the only and unique King.  Christ will come again the “second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).  Christ will return to earth personally, visibly, bodily, gloriously, really.  It is my opinion that the Scripture teaches that the glorious return of Christ will commence His visible reign on the earth. On the basis of Revelation 20, that reign will last for a thousand years.  This passage prophesies that Satan will be bound for a thousand years and that there will be a group of people who will live and reign with Christ during that thousand years. At the end of that millennium, Satan will be loosed and will instigate a rebellion from the four quarters of the earth. All in all, it seems fairly clear that the whole venue is on the earth. Peter writes about the Day of the Lord that he describes as the “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3: 10– 13). This prophetic interpretation is called Premillennialism, which simply means Christ will return before the actual thousand-year reign.”

It comforts us that Christ the King rules us and the world now.  He is not a king in waiting, or a banished king who constantly attempts to regain his lost throne from his enemies and hopes for the best.  He was exalted through the resurrection and is on the throne.  He is the sovereign Lord, and without Him nothing can be sustained and preserved.  He is the ruler right now.  However, there will be a different manifestation of His kingship when He appears the second time.  It is a future aspect of His kingship.  It is no wonder that the saints of God in different generations, including our own, have prayed to Him, “Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.” 

Jesus Christ, our Messiah, holds three offices.  He is Prophet, Priest, and King.  Thank God for His grace and mercy through the incarnation of our Saviour.

Lovingly,
Your Pastor

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements


*Wishing all Hopefuls & visitors a very Blessed Christmas.
*Kitchen Roster - Helpers this week: Volunteers.
Helpers next week: Dn Sung Hyun Ma, Bros William Song & Phil Surman.
*Special Christmas Pot-bless/Farewell Lunch will now be at BCSA because of hot weather. If food preparation is quick, lunch will start earlier.
*Thank you to all those who helped to prepare the dining area for Christmas Lunch.
*Volunteers needed to clean up the dining area & kitchen after lunch today.
*Farewell to Rev Alfred & Sis Ruth Ngoma, & family as they move to Wagga Wagga. Today’s undesignated offerings will be given to them.
*Watchnight Service - Please come at 7.15pm to start on time. Please come & share with others what the Lord has done for you.
*Watchnight Service will be held at the Bible College of South Australia. Please prepare to come and share what the Lord has done for you in 2016.
*Sunday School Movie Night at Rectory CLG: Parents to please bring a plate of food for dinner and leave your children for the evening.


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Rev Alfred & Bro Timothy Ngoma; Dn Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng & family (Adl); & others arriving safely at their destinations.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.


Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Pastor Ki; Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev Patrick Tan (S’pore); Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); & others in affliction.
God’s comfort for Dn Raphael Ng & family on the homegoing of his maternal grandfather.
iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.
Cambodia Missions.
New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for Task Force & congregation.
God’s guidance and blessing to Rev Alfred & Sis Ruth Ngoma, Bro Timothy & Sis Thokozile as they start their new life in Wagga Wagga.
God’s guidance for our theological students next year - Dn Sung Hyun Ma & Bro Kevin Low.
Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.
Journey mercies: Rev Alfred & Sis Ruth Ngoma & family (Wagga); & others who are travelling.
Health & safety in pregnancy: Sis Tabitha Tan.
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
God’s guidance for settlement of new church on 20 Jan 2017.
Australia - Salvation of Australians & for our politicians to govern this nation with justice & equity.
God’s guidance for Covenant, Ebenezer, Hope & Providence BPCs to form an Australian B-P Presbytery.
Unity of doctrine & fellowship of Australian B-P churches.
Comfort & healing for those who were injured & lost loved ones in the terror attacks in Europe.


 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063