Let us behold His glory! - Christology thread

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” - John 1:14

Brothers and sisters,

Here is a thread that I intend for us to post about Christ. Anyone can post, but the goal of each post is simple: Help one another to see His glory. You can do this with a quote, a meditation, a Scripture passage, or start with ordinances, sacraments, the Law, the promises, the covenants, anything...the idea is to help one another not to see those things, but to see Him. Whatever about Christ causes us to worship, to believe more firmly, to increase in affections, to obey more joyfully, to put away our sins, please share.

The best things are the things that you can share from your own experience.

Only request: No debates.
 
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RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." - 1 John 1:3-4

Christ is to be known personally be us. Before conversion He is like any other man--Caesar, Napoleon, Aristotle. We hear of them, perhaps even admire them, but we can never know them. It is not so with Christ. He comes near to us and fellowships with us. He invites us to know Him personally, to grow in mutual love and excitement for one another.

We as believers ought to talk much about Christ with one another, with the goal that through our own fellowship with Him we may have riches to share with one another. By doing this, we grow in Him our Head, love one another more, and cause each other to love Christ more. And to a true Christian, to hear about Christ and speak about Him will be a joy.

Doesn't any good wife light up to hear good words about her husband? And don't the friends of the bride rejoice with her in celebration of the one she loves? So we, the bride, sharing our love and joy with one another, will grow the joy of our fellow church members to speak about Him. This means of Christ-centered conversations is one way to help one another that "our joy may be full."

"What is your beloved more than another beloved?". Does your experience of Christ differ from your experience of other men in history? Is he on par with them? Is He most eminent or yet still a stranger? Or can you say, as you know another person, that you know Him?
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Jonathan Edwards, the Logos is everything that the Father thinks of Himself, and accordingly has begotten the Son. And the Son must be begotten. Let this make for supreme meditation.

As God with perfect clearness, fullness, and strength, understands Himself, views His own essence, . . . that idea which God hath of Himself is absolutely Himself. This representation of the Divine nature and essence is the Divine nature and essence again: so that by God’s thinking of the Deity, [the Deity] must certainly be generated. Hereby there is another person begotten, there is another infinite, eternal, Almighty and most holy and the same God, the very same Divine nature. And this Person is the second person in the Trinity, the only begotten and dearly beloved Son of God. (Works of Jonathan Edwards, 21:116–17)

Taken from John Piper here, "Why does it matter that the Son was begotten, not made."
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
"Whom not having seen, you love..." - 1 Peter 1:8

"My heart is inditing a good matter:
I speak of the things which I have made touching the king:
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." - Psalm 45

A meditation stemming from our communion season, what does it mean that we love Christ? If asked why we love Christ, what do we often say? "Because He justifies me, He died for me, He sanctifies me, He brings me into the family of God, He will bring me to heaven." While these are great reasons to love Christ, to stop here is to say that we love Christ because of the benefits He gives us.

But persons in the Bible, when they speak about why they love Christ, speak rather differently. In Psalm 45, up until the Queen is mentioned, the benefits of relationship with Christ are not in view. The Psalmist's heart overflows not because of what he receives from Christ, but for who Christ is--Most fair of all men, a mighty conqueror, a righteous King, meek, true, faithful, whose uprightness deserves the highest unsurpassed joy, and who deserves all the dominion that the Father has given Him. The Shulammite woman in Song of Solomon 5, when challenged, "What is your beloved more than another", benefits are not in view, but the glory of her beloved, and she can hardly find words high enough to speak about His beauty, glory, and goodness. Then, her captivation with His glory inspires the daughters of Jerusalem to seek Him as well.

We would find it contemptuous if we knew a man wanted to marry a woman only for the benefits of marriage. So then, what if we are more familiar with what we get from our Lord than who He is? The Lord enable us to behold His glory, and while being supremely thankful for His benefits, to be consumed and captivated with Him!
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
Just this morning I was reminded in a beautiful way of Christ bearing our sins upon His heart from an Old Testament passage where the Lord is giving instruction regarding priestly garments, specifically the breastplate that was to cover the heart:

Exodus 28: 29-30 (KJV):
29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.

30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually.

Praise the Son for continuously serving as our mediator, who bore our sins once and for all upon his heart. Oh Christ would you come quickly!
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Just this morning I was reminded in a beautiful way of Christ bearing our sins upon His heart from an Old Testament passage where the Lord is giving instruction regarding priestly garments, specifically the breastplate that was to cover the heart:

Exodus 28: 29-30 (KJV):


Praise the Son for continuously serving as our mediator, who bore our sins once and for all upon his heart. Oh Christ would you come quickly!

The breastplate also shows how near and dear all His people are to Him. Who can understand, what manner of love, that a holy God should keep us so near to Himself!

Song of Solomon 8:6–7
Set me as a seal upon thine heart,
As a seal upon thine arm:
For love is strong as death;
Jealousy is cruel as the grave:
The coals thereof are coals of fire,
Which hath a most vehement flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love,
Neither can the floods drown it:
If a man would give all the substance of his house for love,
It would utterly be contemned.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." - John 5:22-23

No one will ever be so qualified to judge as the Son. Had it been God without ever being joined to a human nature (still He is perfectly just and qualified to judge), the damned might say,

  • "You don't know what it was like to be tempted!" Christ not only knew what it was like, but was assaulted with the most vehement temptations that the mighty fallen Lucifer could throw at Him.
  • "You don't know what it was like to be poor!" Our Savior was born in a stable, and had no place to lay His head.
  • "You don't know what it's like to be oppressed!" Who ever was so unjustly condemned as the Savior?
  • "I was losing friends and family, it was too much for me to live a holy life!" Christ was thought mad by his own family members, was betrayed and abandoned, lost many of His disciples, and died alone and abandoned by His Father.
  • "Do you have any idea what the church did to me?" It's not like what the Jewish church did in unjustly excommunicating Him.
  • "Your justice is too strict; it's not fair!" Nothing was ever so "unfair" as for Christ to take away the sin of the world, and suffer the merciless wrath of God for crimes He did not commit.
  • "Enduring the wrath of hell is overkill for our crimes!" Christ thought it was fair, and as proof suffered hell to be poured out into his soul, without mercy, by the hands of a furious and avenging God.

And yet, in all these things, Christ did not sin.

So when Christ judges, it will be as a man who suffered greatly, more than any man ever has, thus it will be a truly informed and fair judgment. He was tempted, oppressed, faced sorrows and persecution as a man, and faced the righteous anger of God in full force as well as all the devil could throw at Him, yet He upheld the Law as right and just, and yielded to sin not even a moment. So when Christ judges, the conscience of every wicked man and woman will be forced to say it is a fair, good, and righteous judgment, and that their own judge in His humiliation for the sake of righteousness did not avail Himself of any of their excuses.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
We have been taught by the love of God to love our neighbor as ourselves. I see in the atonement the Son, as well as the Father, doing just this. How does such a great and holy God come to love in this fashion?

The Son in giving Himself for His bride, sacrificing all display of His glory to be humiliated. Immense zeal of love, to have not done for this for those that are sinless, but those that are enemies.

1 John 4:9–11 - "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. "

John 15:9, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.”. The love of the Son for us is no less than the Father's love for Him, by which I am forced to conclude that the Father's love is no less for us than for His Son's, even though the Son's reward is greater. But by union doesn't His blessedness become our's?

John 17:21, “And I have declared unto them thy name and will declare it, that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

For @Pergamum and his wife. A cozy American is unworthy to unloosen the sandals of war-torn missionaries to a people whom few know about, of whom fewer care about. Yet may God use such a truth to help you keep yourselves in the love of God, and to not become weary in well-doing. The Son alone knows what it is to love unto the very end of Himself.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
THE CALLING OF DAVID, COMPARISON TO CALLING OF Christ TO KINGSHIP

Mediations on David pre-figuring his greater Son.

Some Lord's-Day-appropriate politics for you.

With some help from Matthew Henry:

David pictures the humiliation of Christ. David is not so much as invited to the sacrifice in 1 Samuel 16, and is esteemed less than his brothers. Christ began His earthly walk in a despised condition--born to a poor family, in a barn, laid in a feeding trough. Who believed that a son of a poor carpenter, who had not been schooled under the Rabbis, could possibly be the Messiah?

God often chooses the poor and despised to be rich in faith. David, the least of his brothers, is chosen to be king. So Christ, a lowly carpenter, is chosen to be King of the Church.

David is anointed and endowed while jealous Saul was in power. Christ is proclaimed king while jealous Herod is in power.

David came to Samuel probably in standard shepherd attire, yet he had a lovely countenance. Christ had no form or comeliness that we should admire Him, yet to those who could see, He was glorious (John 1:14).

David was not a military man, or a noble, but a pastor, and that was the best work to train the next king of Israel. So Christ is the Son of David, for as Mediator He is shepherd of the church.

The Spirit had rushed on David so that David would be given all necessary gifts to rule Israel. Christ at His baptism was anointed to His office and given the Spirit to fulfill His as Mediator-King.

So far He is David's son.

Yet being God joined with a human body, possessing natural divine right as God, and as God-Man having been elevated to His position at the right of the Father, ruling only righteously, perfectly, sinlessly, with infinite wisdom, having the Spirit without measure, forever, He is David's Lord.

David would first suffer and walk through the valley of the shadow of death before attaining his glorious kingship. So Christ would suffer humiliation before being exalted to the Right Hand of God.
 

Stephen L Smith

Moderator
Staff member
I have been reading through Vos' sermons (Banner of Truth 2020 ed). As folks will know Vos has an enriching way of bringing out doctrine into his sermons. I have just finished his sermon 'Rabboni" based on John 20:11-17. Here is a summary.

Mary came to the tomb, found no body there. She stood outside weeping. Mary's attitude to Jesus, more than perhaps any other disciple seemed to be characterised by that simple obedience which was evidence of an ever present need. It was an act of faith and love that drove her commitment. She knew that Jesus was her Saviour. She had an intimate bond with her Saviour. Clearly there was an element of unbelief with her sorrow. But who can blame her? She had been cut off her Lord for three days. Mary needs the person to person fellowship that only Jesus can give.

All humans need to trustingly look at sorrow in the face, scan its features, and search for help and hope. It is to be found in Christ. In our sorrows remember that the Lord has been there before us.

In her sorrow Mary missed something important. Angels were there to testify to our Lord's resurrection. Mary said "they have taken away my Lord" v13. To Mary the Lord was her Lord, her Saviour, the One who sought, saved, and owned her in her sins. We can be confident that, how dim our conscious faith, on the Lord's side the foundation of grace is never closed.

The first appearance of our risen Lord was given to Mary for no other reason than she needed Him first and needed Him most. We seen in this our Lord's tender sympathy. We can be thankful for the grace of Christ for the transition period - between resurrection and departure for heaven - a period to help the feebleness of our faith in the act of apprehending His glory.

Mary calls the Lord 'Rabboni'. The Lord had opened her eyes. This was the One who changes darkness to light and joy to sorrow. Jesus was there. That made all the difference.

Vos argues there is a rich covenantal relationship there. 'To be a Christian is to stand in conscious reciprocal fellowship with God, to be identified with Him in thought, purpose, and work, to receive from Him and to give back to Him in the ceaseless interplay of spiritual forces'. Thus Jesus is giving Mary deepest religious reality of the covenant because He gives Himself to her and she knows Him just as He knows her by name.

Jesus tells Mary not to cling to her v17. Our Lord must ascend to the Father and send His Spirit. An embrace would be broken by death. The true embrace would be when Christ ascends on high. The ascended Messiah would intercede for Mary. This is far better than a sub-eschatological embrace!

Vos' conclusion is fitting. 'Let us not linger at the tomb but turn our faces and stretch our hands upwards into heaven, where our life is hid with God, and where He shall come again to reveal Himself. We will meet our Saviour in the early dawn, that eternal Sabbath that awaits the people of God'.

Reformed Forum reads Vos' sermon here
Reformed Forum discusses Vos' sermon here [I am indebted to this discussion for some key insights]
 
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RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
I have been reading through Vos' sermons (Banner of Truth 2020 ed). As folks will know Vos has an enriching way of bringing out doctrine into his sermons. I have just finished his sermon 'Rabboni" based on John 20:11-17. Here is a summary.

Mary came to the tomb, found no body there. She stood outside weeping. Mary's attitude to Jesus, more than perhaps any other disciple seemed to be characterised by that simple obedience which was evidence of an ever present need. It was an act of faith and love that drove her commitment. She knew that Jesus was her Saviour. She had an intimate bond with her Saviour. Clearly there was an element of unbelief with her sorrow. But who can blame her? She had been cut off her Lord for three days. Mary needs the person to person fellowship that only Jesus can give.

All humans need to trustingly look at sorrow in the face, scan its features, and search for help and hope. It is to be found in Christ. In our sorrows remember that the Lord has been there before us.

In her sorrow Mary missed something important. Angels were there to testify to our Lord's resurrection. Mary said "they have taken away my Lord" v13. To Mary the Lord was her Lord, her Saviour, the One who sought, saved, and owned her in her sins. We can be confident that, how dim our conscious faith, on the Lord's side the foundation of grace is never closed.

The first appearance of our risen Lord was given to Mary for no other reason than she needed Him first and needed Him most. We seen in this our Lord's tender sympathy. We can be thankful for the grace of Christ for the transition period - between resurrection and departure for heaven - a period to help the feebleness of our faith in the act of apprehending His glory.

Mary calls the Lord 'Rabboni'. The Lord had opened her eyes. This was the One who changes darkness to light and joy to sorrow. Jesus was there. That made all the difference.

Vos argues there is a rich covenantal relationship there. 'To be a Christian is to stand in conscious reciprocal fellowship with God, to be identified with Him in thought, purpose, and work, to receive from Him and to give back to Him in the ceaseless interplay of spiritual forces'. Thus Jesus is giving Mary deepest religious reality of the covenant because He gives Himself to her and she knows Him just as He knows her by name.

Jesus tells Mary not to cling to her v17. Our Lord must ascend to the Father and send His Spirit. An embrace would be broken by death. The true embrace would be when Christ ascends on high. The ascended Messiah would intercede for Mary. This is far better than a sub-eschatological embrace!

Vos' conclusion is fitting. 'Let us not linger at the tomb but turn our faces and stretch our hands upwards into heaven, where our life is hid with God, and where He shall come again to reveal Himself. We will meet our Saviour in the early dawn, that eternal Sabbath that awaits the people of God'.

Reformed Forum reads Vos' sermon here
Reformed Forum discusses Vos' sermon here [I am indebted to this discussion for some key insights]

What wonderful truths, especially to see the giving of the Spirit in the New Covenant as a superior embrace of Christ to us. And at the time we feel our need and go seeking Him, He comes to us.

John 16:7 - Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Believing with the heart unto righteousness, with the mouth we must make confession unto salvation. This is one of the evidences of the sincerity of our faith, the proof to ourselves, and the world around us, that our faith is a true and a saving faith, and not merely the cold speculative belief of the doctrine of Christ. If, indeed, we believe in Him, we must not be ashamed of him and of his words; we must hold fast our profession in opposition to all the persecutions and temptations to which we may be exposed, glorying in nothing save in the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified unto us, and we unto the world.

Patrick MacFarlan, ‘On Goodness’ in The Free Church Pulpit; Consisting of Discourses by the Most Eminent divines of the Free Church of Scotland. Vol. I. (New York: Robert Carter, 1848), p. 331.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Believing with the heart unto righteousness, with the mouth we must make confession unto salvation. This is one of the evidences of the sincerity of our faith, the proof to ourselves, and the world around us, that our faith is a true and a saving faith, and not merely the cold speculative belief of the doctrine of Christ. If, indeed, we believe in Him, we must not be ashamed of him and of his words; we must hold fast our profession in opposition to all the persecutions and temptations to which we may be exposed, glorying in nothing save in the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified unto us, and we unto the world.

Patrick MacFarlan, ‘On Goodness’ in The Free Church Pulpit; Consisting of Discourses by the Most Eminent divines of the Free Church of Scotland. Vol. I. (New York: Robert Carter, 1848), p. 331.

Thanks Daniel. This is fruit for some good meditations. As Hebrews says, His faithfulness over the House of God becomes the motivation to hold fast our own profession, to not give way to worldliness, and to ensure we do not lose out on Canaan through unbelief.

Hebrews 3:1–2
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession (ie. homologia, confession), Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

I found in Hebrews 3:6
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence (Gk. parresia) and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

My Souter's Logos lexicon tells me that parresia is often used with an open and spoken confidence, falling in line again with profession.

"παρρησία, boldness, freedom, liberty, shown especially in speech; ἐν παρρησίᾳ, μετὰ πορρησίας, quite openly (opposite to ‘secretly’)."

So our manner of profession is not only verbally, but openly and confidently.

And if Christ unashamedly owned God as His Father, that He was about His Father's business, even though that confession brought Him to the cross, what excuse have we for sinful fear in not confessing our Savior? Especially when it is a confession that calls for rejoicing?

Mathew Henry's commentary on this verse (from my Logos Hendricksen edition):

Whose house we are: each of us personally, as we are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and Christ dwells in us by faith; all of us jointly, as we are united by the bonds of graces, truths, ordinances, gospel discipline, and devotions. [2.] With a characteristic description of those persons who constitute this house: “If we hold fast the confidence, and the rejoicing of the hope, firmly to the end; that is, if we maintain a bold and open profession of the truths of the gospel, upon which our hopes of grace and glory are built, and live upon and up to those hopes, so as to have a holy rejoicing in them, which shall abide firm to the end, notwithstanding all that we may meet with in so doing.” So that you see there must not only be a setting out well in the ways of Christ, but a stedfastness and perseverance therein unto the end. We have here a direction what those must do who would partake of the dignity and privileges of the household of Christ. First, They must take the truths of the gospel into their heads and hearts. Secondly, They must build their hopes of happiness upon those truths. Thirdly, They must make an open profession of those truths. Fourthly, They must live so up to them as to keep their evidences clear, that they may rejoice in hope, and then they must in all persevere to the end. In a word, they must walk closely, consistently, courageously, and constantly, in the faith and practice of the gospel, that their Master, when he comes, may own and approve them.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Christ being the image of God, the face of God, in him is God represented unto us, and through him are all saving benefits communicated unto them that believe. … The divine personality of Christ consists in this, that the whole divine nature being communicated unto him by eternal generation, he is the image of God, even the Father, who by him is represented unto us.

John Owen, ΧΡΙΣΤΟΛΟΓΙΑ: or, A Declaration of the Glorious Mystery of the Person of Christ – God and Man (1679) in William H. Goold (ed.), The Works of John Owen, D.D. (24 vols, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1850-53), 1: 19.
 

Pilgrim72

Puritan Board Junior
“It is by beholding the glory of Christ by faith that we are spiritually edified and built up in this world, for as we behold His glory, the life and power of faith grow stronger and stronger. It is by faith that we grow to love Christ. So if we desire strong faith and powerful love, which give us rest, peace and satisfaction, we must seek them diligently beholding the glory of Christ by faith. In this duty I desire to live and to die. On Christ’s glory I would fix all my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will be more and more crucified to this world. It will become to me like something dead and putrid, impossible for me to enjoy.”

- John Owen, The Glory of Christ
 
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