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!
 

Grant

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

Cancelled 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

Cancelled 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
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Although Christ is God, and never would have sinned, still He could be tempted, and (I couldn't possibly explain this) He did feel the draw of temptation when it was presented to Him, which was part of His suffering. He was like Adam in that way, in that He was perfect, but being in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom 8) I would assume He was truly mutable as a man, or there is some way in which He is not like us, and could not suffer under temptation as we do.

Would love thoughts on Christ's suspectibility to temptation.

But amazingly, Adam though perfect was suspectible to temptation, and gave in as soon as it came, even in a Garden full of the goodness of God. Christ, however, was tempted in a wilderness, went 33 years without giving in. That shows how superior He is to Adam.

John Owen, Temptation, Ch. 3

"ADAM was the “Son of God,” Luke 3:38, created in the image of God, full of that integrity, righteousness, and holiness, which might be and was an eminent resemblance of the holiness of God. He had a far greater inherent stock of ability than we do, and had nothing in him to entice or seduce him. Yet this Adam no sooner enters into temptation than he is gone, lost, and ruined — he and all his posterity with him.Rom 5.12 What can we expect in a similar condition, if we have in our temptations, as he had, not only a cunning devil to deal with, but a cursed world and a corrupt heart also?"

If anyone wants an exercise that will show them the glory of Christ in His resisting of temptation, they should read Chapter 3 of John Owen's temptation, and then they should read about Christ in the wilderness in Matthew 4.

Chapter 3 of Temptation may be accessed here.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
still He could be tempted, and (I couldn't possibly explain this)

It's analogous to "An invincible army can still be attacked." And his omnipotence would have made the temptation even more pointed, since it would have upheld his humanity to endure it. We would crumble under the severest temptation. While that would be a sin, it would also mean the temptation would cease. Christ's divinity's upholding the humanity means it doesn't fold under pressure but endures even longer. The temptation, then, is all the more real.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
How astonishing in itself, and how humbling to the pride of man, that what is the consummation of Divine wisdom, should have been considered by him as foolishness! that the very heart and centre of the whole scheme of God for the salvation of the world should stand in the lifting up of the Son of Man on a malefactor's cross! The world, when it beheld the sight, could find occasion only for raillery and scorn. It could see nothing in such a spectacle, but what seemed fitted to awaken its indignation and contempt.

Patrick Fairbairn, ‘Christ on the Cross Drawing all Men to Him’ 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. 352.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
1 Timothy 3:16 - And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Hebrews 1:6 - And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

Meditations and ponderings.

The greatness of the King is known by the greatness of His subjects.

It helps us to see the glory of Christ by considering how great the angels are, and to consider their worship of Christ, which doctrine leads to greater godliness.

Their presence is so glorious that even the apostle John succumbed to temptation to worship one (Revelation 22:8-9)--What then was it for John to fall before Christ as though dead? (Rev. 1)

Four mighty angels surround Christ on His throne and shout for all eternity, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty" (Isaiah 6). All four are glorious angels in themselves, but they shield their faces in the presence of Christ.

They are extraordinarily intelligent (2 Samuel 14:17, Mt. 24:36), yet long to look into the riches of Christ's grace in the Gospel (1 Peter 1:12).

The angels received Christ into heaven upon His ascension with great joy and admiration (Ps 24, end).

They proclaim Christ or attend to Him at major events in redemptive history, such as His birth, His temptation in the wilderness, His wrestlings in the Garden, and His resurrection.

They are powerful. One angel slew the 185,000 armed men of Sennacherib. It was an amazing sight for the servant of Elisha to see the host of angels that stood by to serve him and his master. What then will be the amazement and terror when Christ shows up at the Last Day "with all his Holy angels"?

Because they are perfect, they see God more directly than we do, and are higher in wisdom and intelligence, they love God more fervently, they also hate sin more fervently, so in their ministrations they are flames of fire (Hebrews 1).

They are also humble. Though they are greater than us in purity, power, nearness to God, serviceability, they joyfully submit to serve the heirs of salvation for love to Christ, and with sincere love to His people. They are content that they must travel from heaven to earth (Genesis 24) to perform service in a world less glorious than the one of their native home, and also filled with sin that they loathe will all their being. The angel which came to John in Rev. 22 called himself a fellow servant, not esteeming himself greater than a fallen man.

And if this is how angels are, then what is Christ like, who excels all of them in glory, wisdom, and power, who is their creator, and who is the greater who blesses the lesser?

And if the angels love, worship, and serve Christ with such fervency, zeal, tirelessness, then how should we served Him who are redeemed by His blood, and united with their maker, with whom we will reign?
 
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RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Song of Solomon 2:1–2
I am the rose of Sharon,
And the lily of the valleys.
As the lily among thorns,
So is my love among the daughters.

Taken from my Logos copy of Matthew Henry's commentary, Hendricksen publisher:

Song of Solomon 2:1–2: See here, I. What Christ is pleased to compare himself to; and he condescends very much in the comparison. He that is the Son of the Highest, the bright and morning star, calls and owns himself the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys, to express his presence with his people in this world, the easiness of their access to him, and the beauty and sweetness which they find in him, and to teach them to adorn themselves with him, as shepherds and shepherdesses, when they appeared gay, were decked with roses and lilies, garlands and chaplets of flowers. The rose, for beauty and fragrance, is the chief of flowers, and our Saviour prefers the clothing of the lily before that of Solomon in all his glory. Christ is the rose of Sharon, where probably the best roses grew and in most plenty, the rose of the field (so some), denoting that the gospel salvation is a common salvation; it lies open to all; whoever will may come and gather the rose-buds of privileges and comforts that grow in the covenant of grace. He is not a rose locked up in a garden, but all may come and receive benefit by him and comfort in him. He is a lily for whiteness, a lily of the valleys for sweetness, for those which we call so yield a strong perfume. He is a lily of the valleys, or low places, in his humiliation, exposed to injury. Humble souls see most beauty in him. Whatever he is to others, to those that are in the valleys he is a lily. He is the rose, the lily; there is none besides. Whatever excellence is in Christ, it is in him singularly and in the highest degree.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Personal meditation

John 16:7 (KJV 1900): 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.

The disciples knew Christ's immediate bodily presence, but they knew Christ better after He departed. It was not until He ascended that Christ poured out the blessings of the New Covenant, which is a covenant bringing a communion far enhanced beyond that known and experienced in Old Testament times. The benefit of the Spirit revealing Christ to us from heaven is shown in that even the apostles appear to be quite different man after His ascension than before. There is conviction, firmness, boldness, steadfastness beyond anything we see in the Gospel accounts. What was not needed Christ in the flesh, but Christ by His Spirit.

True knowledge of Christ begins not by first pulling a book out on Christology, helpful as it is, but seeking the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who proceeds from the Son (as well as the Father), who reveals Christ to our hearts, not only to our heads, and persuades us of His reality, our union with Him, and His love and presence with us. By the Spirit, we behold the glory of Christ, though absent in body, as much as John speaks of in John 1:14.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Based on 1 Peter 1, can anyone tell of a time of communion with Christ (or Father and Spirit) in which they rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory?
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
A continuation of meditations in post #19, that Christ was seen of angels. These thoughts will not necessarily be coherent ones. Perhaps this will be good soil for productive meditation.

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John Owen argues that the angels more reflect the image of God than does humanity, because of their far greater power, might, and because of their holiness and unfallenness. They are spirit as God is spirit as well.
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If the angels--sinless, excelling human beings in glory, wisdom, strength--see that Christ is glorious, worthy of their full-hearted, immediate, thorough and joyful obedience, and they are not destined for the same honors that the redeemed saints are, then what excuse has a redeemed saint to love God any less than they do?
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Having read Matthew Henry on Luke 20:36 (we will be as the angels in heaven), a few thoughts.

The angels are a picture of what our glorified state is like. We can expect when coming to the intermediate state that like the angels, we will be sinless and perfectly holy. We will have a nature no less wondrous than theirs. We will know at that time a comparative intelligence and wisdom we did not have on the earth, and a sight of God which only they have been able to appreciate. As the world of heaven is only suitable for beings like the angels, so our souls will be made suitable for that world.

And why not? We are united with the Lord of heaven, which the angels are not. The best privileges of the kingdom belong to the royal family, and it is the church that will judge angels.

Why such great privileges? Because nothing less than this will do for beholding Christ's glory, and being partakers of the divine nature; and because Christ is eager that we behold His glory, He will spare no degree of glory so that we may behold it better and better.

Yet this is not even the full possession. There is still in heaven an anticipation of when our bodies will be received again. The final glorification is at the resurrection, when glorified and spiritual bodies--bodies of full and intense animation by the Holy Spirit--will be united to glorified souls, and then capable of knowing the glory of Christ in a way not possible to be known as a glorified soul alone. To the end that we may glorify God, and enjoy Him, and to behold the glory of Christ, so Christ will advance our nature to no less than--and far beyond, I believe--the nature of angels.

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Matthew Henry, from my Logos Hendricksen copy:

Luke 20:27–38 (MHCWB:CUOV): "They are equal unto the angels. In the other evangelists it was said, They are as the angels—ōs angeloi, but here they are said to be equal to the angels, isangeloi—angels’ peers; they have a glory and bliss no way inferior to that of the holy angels. They shall see the same sight, be employed in the same work, and share in the same joys, with the holy angels. Saints, when they come to heaven, shall be naturalized, and, though by nature strangers, yet, having obtained this freedom with a great sum, which Christ paid for them, they have in all respects equal privileges with them that were free-born, the angels that are the natives and aborigines of that country. They shall be companions with the angels, and converse with those blessed spirits that love them dearly, and with an innumerable company, to whom they are now come in faith, hope, and love. [4.] They are the children of God, and so they are as the angels, who are called the sons of God. In the inheritance of sons, the adoption of sons will be completed. Hence believers are said to wait for the adoption, even the redemption of the body, Rom. 8:23. For till the body is redeemed from the grave the adoption is not completed. Now are we the sons of God, 1 Jn. 3:2. We have the nature and disposition of sons, but that will not be perfected till we come to heaven. [5.] They are the children of the resurrection, that is, they are made capable of the employments and enjoyments of the future state; they are born to that world, belong to that family, had their education for it here, and shall there have their inheritance in it. They are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Note, God owns those only for his children that are the children of the resurrection, that are born from above, are allied to the world of spirits, and prepared for that world, the children of that family."
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
When reading Matthew 27:27-44 in private worship, I was struck at how they mocked Christ in all his offices as the mediator. Sometimes, we have a tendency to overlook such mockery, thinking that it is not a big deal. We do so especially in the case of Christ, because, so we reason, if you were going to be crucified, to be on the receiving end of mockery must have been very insignificant. The Lord, however, considers it to be persecution whenever his people are mocked and insulted for righteousness' sake (Matthew 5:11-12). How much worse is it then when sinners mock the Son of God. He was mocked in his kingly office (vv. 27-31), his prophetic office ("You who would destroy the temple and rebuild if in three days, save yourself!" v. 40a), and in his priestly office "If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross" (v. 40b), "He saved others, but he cannot save himself!" (v. 42a). And, of course, the references to the Son of God show us that they also mocked him in his person, as well as his mediatorial offices. This part of Christ's suffering should not be overlooked, as it was written for our learning.
 
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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
There is more glory under the eye of God, in the sighs, groans, and mournings of poor souls filled with the love of Christ, after the enjoyment of him according to his promises—in their fervent prayers for his manifestation of himself unto them—in the refreshments and unspeakable joys which they have in his gracious visits and embraces of his love—than in the thrones and diadems of all the monarchs on the earth.

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: 159.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Meditations based off reading Hugh Martin's "Shadow of Calvary."

The Father says to the Son in Psalm 2, "Ask of me."

A wonder in the Gospels, Christ praying in the Garden praying, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" Mt 26:39.

Christ is persevering in prayer for something He as a man is horrified to go through, that He may sinlessly "descend into hell", which was not imposed upon Him, but He voluntarily agreed to do. He the man did not want to suffer, or He would not have inquired about another way. But seeing no other way, and looking His execution dead-on, He knows that He needs divine strength to do it, as He says, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." This is work too great for a man. And He not only prays once, but has three separate rounds of intense prayer. Hebrews says He prayed with "loud cryings and tears." This is not a sedate and calm prayer. He probably did not look like He had it together. Jacob, wrestling desperately for hours with the angel did not parallel the extraordinary anxiety of Christ to snatch the needed blessing from His Father.

Most amazingly, Christ stayed until He got the blessing.

If Christ had not persevered in prayer that night, none of us could have been saved, as He would have disobeyed the Father who said, "Ask of me."

Because Christ did ask of the Father, He became per Psalm 2, "Heir to earth and nations all."
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
John Flavel, "The Fountain of Life", Ch. 1. Taken from ccel.org.

"The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the very marrow and kernel of all the scriptures; the scope and centre of all divine revelations: both Testaments meet in Christ. The ceremonial law is full of Christ, and all the gospel is full of Christ: the blessed lines of both Testaments meet in him; and how they both harmonise, and sweetly concentre in Jesus Christ, is the chief scope of that excellent epistle to the Hebrews, to discover; for we may call that epistle the sweet harmony of both Testaments. This argues the unspeakable excellency of this doctrine, the knowledge whereof must needs therefore be a key to unlock the greatest part of the sacred scriptures. For it is in the understanding of scripture, much as it is in the knowledge men have in logic and philosophy: if a scholar once come to understand the bottom-principle, upon which, as upon its hinge, the controversy turns the true knowledge of that principle shall carry him through the whole controversy, and furnish him with a solution to every argument. Even so the right knowledge of Jesus Christ, like a clue, leads you through the whole labyrinth of the scriptures."
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
John Flavel, "The Fountain of Life", Ch. 1. Taken from ccel.org. Aimed at pastors, applicable to all.

First, If this doctrine be the most excellent, necessary, fundamental, profound, noble, and comfortable doctrine, let us then take heed lest, while we study to be exact in other things, we be found ignorant in this. Ye know it is ignominious, by the common suffrage of the civilised world, for any man to be unacquainted with his own calling, or not to attend the proper business of it: it is our calling, as the Bridegroom’s friends, to woo and win souls to Christ, to set him forth to the people as crucified among them, Gal. 3: 1, to present him in all his attractive excellencies, that all hearts may be ravished with his beauty, and charmed into his arms by love: we must also be able to defend the truths of Christ against undermining heretics, to instil his knowledge into the ignorant, to answer the cases and scruples of poor doubting Christians. How many intricate knots have we to untie? What pains, what skill is requisite for such as are employed about our work? And shall we spend our precious time in frivolous controversies, philosophical niceties, dry and barren scholastic notions? Shall we study every thing but Christ? Revolve all volumes but the sacred ones? What is observed even of Bellarmine, that he turned with loathing from school divinity, because it wanted the sweet juice of piety, may be convictive to many among us, who are often too much in love with worse employment than what he is said to loathe. O let the knowledge of Christ dwell richly in us.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Thoughts and meditations for these times, with a spirit of friendly exhortation. Didn't want to post and feed the political chat, but Christ does have a right to be considered in these times. Please no debates, just think on it.

I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; This day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, And I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. - Psalm 2:7-8

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. - Matthew 28:18

"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 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, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. - Ephesians 1:20-23

The kingship of Christ is the great and most important of all political truths.

And the most neglected.

This is the truth which allows a Christian to dwell in perfect peace whether under righteous leaders or godless ones. The fact we don't may be due to its neglect.

Christ is King not only over the church but all nations (no debates in this thread please). For the one who believes this, He knows that all shifts in the balance of power, all world events, all providence, are by Christ, the God-Man Mediator. All authority in heaven and earth--over men and angels--is His. His throne is forever and ever, even commanding the kings and judges under penalty of death (Psalm 2). The Supreme Court still answers to a HigherSupreme Court.

It is also good for the King of the Church and Nations to be a man, so that He not only mediates sympathetically as a priest, but so that He rules sympathetically as a King. No angel would be qualified to rule over men because He is not "one among the brothers" as required under OT law for the King. But Christ is from among us. All the wisdom of God combined with the true experience of a man means that no one is better fit to govern creation and providence.

Add to that, for the sake of a people for whom the King shed His own blood.

Nothing so guarantees the outcome of the best of all worlds for the people of God. And no one is so fit to take vengeance on the enemies of the church.

The prophet Habakkuk was distressed about the moral decay of Jerusalem, and all the corruption and wickedness that was happening. He was also distressed when the Lord revealed that the solution would come through a judgment by a nation that was more wicked than Judah. But Habakkuk was taught, "The just shall live by his faith"--that is, by calmness and resigned faith in God, Habakkuk himself may still be at peace in the midst of the worst political calamities, and even (as seen in Chapter 3) rejoice even if all politics and economics fail.

What peace does not belong to us (Romans 5), when the King of Kings is our Savior?

The Lord grant that our view of Christ as our Priest-King will enable us to "live by faith."
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Song of Solomon 1:2
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: For thy love is better than wine.

Nothing moves the soul of a Christian like the messages of deep and affectionate love that Christ sends by His Spirit. This is heaven on earth, and the Christian desires it more than any other pleasure. Nothing creates emptiness and longing like the sense of their absence.
 
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