Let us behold His glory! - Christology thread

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Song of Solomon 5:2-6
I sleep, but my heart waketh:
It is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying,
Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled:
For my head is filled with dew,
And my locks with the drops of the night.
I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on?
I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?
My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door,
And my bowels were moved for him.
I rose up to open to my beloved;
And my hands dropped with myrrh,
And my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh,
Upon the handles of the lock.
I opened to my beloved;
But my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone:
My soul failed when he spake:
I sought him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he gave me no answer.


We believe in one God and three persons. Like human persons, each divine person loves and seeks out company--our company. Each has emotions as we do, except worlds more, and different in nature. And in a special way, Christ seeks us because we are united to Him.

And like human persons, they can be grieved and offended. So Christ comes with love and affection for His bride, seeking fellowship, having a million reasons in His heart why He wants her company. Perhaps a call to prayer or more prayer, perhaps He wanted to grant further meditations, or perhaps He had looked forward to meeting her in the public worship; but she never answered these calls, she was absent without cause, or she was there in body but distant in spirit, and He could tell. The Beloved is put off, and does sometimes back off like one who has been scorned.

What scorning is like one who says she is too busy for the one that paid her death sentence, and by marriage made her queen and co-heir of all things?

And what love like the Savior who after this is willing to be found again?

And still call her undefiled?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
The king under whom Isaiah has hitherto prophesied is dead (v. 1), and, in all likelihood, he is cast down by that event. In this frame he repairs to "the temple" (v. 1), that he may pour out his laden soul, and takes his place (v. 6) hard by "the altar." But the temple is Christ — the altar Christ — the blood Christ — the very ashes are Christ; and as Christ thus meets his view, in all his sufferings and in all his love, peace would visit the afflicted saint again. O there is no relief for an anxious soul, no balm for a wounded soul, no light for a sad and gloomy soul, but Jesus!

John James Bonar, ‘Isaiah’s Vision of Christ’s Glory’ 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. 421.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
The king under whom Isaiah has hitherto prophesied is dead (v. 1), and, in all likelihood, he is cast down by that event. In this frame he repairs to "the temple" (v. 1), that he may pour out his laden soul, and takes his place (v. 6) hard by "the altar." But the temple is Christ — the altar Christ — the blood Christ — the very ashes are Christ; and as Christ thus meets his view, in all his sufferings and in all his love, peace would visit the afflicted saint again. O there is no relief for an anxious soul, no balm for a wounded soul, no light for a sad and gloomy soul, but Jesus!

John James Bonar, ‘Isaiah’s Vision of Christ’s Glory’ 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. 421.

Thank the Lord for our difficulties which force us to take no other refuge or peace anywhere except in Him, though the difficulties or chastisements be hard when we go through them. This must be what is meant by discipline's peaceable fruit of righteousness--the knowledge of the Savior who brings all peace, above all with God.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
We all see through a glass darkly. I still feel at times when looking at Christ like a man who is missing His glasses. Some of the glory, a sense of His beauty, and I steadily see more, but sometimes my vision is blurry.

As an example, I am still impacted by Jesus films growing up. They never failed to leave an impression that Jesus is not all that interesting. Some of my sanctification is just getting past those impressions. They show Him as a man, but not as God. As humbled and veiled, but not exalted. So important to guard against any visual images of His person whatsoever! Christ is no longer in humiliation, but in glory. We must be aware of anything which, if He comes knocking like in SoS 5, we are too uninterested to get up from our beds and go meet Him.

Sometimes we simply don't believe what we read. For example, we don't draw near expecting what the Shulamite woman did because it just seems out of bounds, too good for us. Perhaps we feel the same way about beholding His glory according to His prayer in John 17, or being partakers of the divine nature in 2 Peter 1.

Sometimes we're not willing to be humbled for our sins, that we may better see His grace.

Sometimes, that little voice that says, "Did God really say..."

Sometimes we are still trying to fashion one or all three persons according to our own imagination, which molds him into the bounds of our own imagination, and detracts from His incomprehensibility, which detracts His glory, which makes Him small in our eyes.

Sometimes we are just slow of heart to believe all that Christ tells us about Himself.

Sometimes we do not entertain the Spirit, so that we may be taught.

Sometimes the implications of who He is has staggering implications to us. It says something about our sins, our self-willedness, and calls us to deny ourselves. His person brings to light the true demand of holiness, and like Peter with the hard saying of Christ in Matthew 16 we reject what He has told us, because we don't savour of God's way of thinking, but man's. Or the other disciples saying, "This is a hard saying. Who can bear it?" We are not beyond having prejudice against Christ.

Can anyone share an experience, an insight, a passage, where you felt as though before you saw Christ so indistinctly, but upon a better understanding it's as though the glasses had come on and you saw much more distinctly, and He became much more real to you? Or perhaps, even the Father or the Spirit? What is it that you did not understand, or you misunderstood, or where you needed refinement? How did you come to see the truth? What did it do to your communion with Christ? How did it change?
 
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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
There is none who can describe the heart of man like him who made that heart. There is none whose instructions so much merit our regard, as his who came into the world to teach us and to shed his blood for our redemption. He has a perfect knowledge of our ease, and the most disinterested regard to our welfare.

James Richards, ‘The Danger and Folly of Indulging a Covetous Temper’ in The New-Jersey Preacher: or, Sermons on Plain & Practical Subjects. By some of the Ministers of the Gospel, Residing in the State of New-Jersey. Vol. I. (New Brunswick NJ: Charles D. Green, 1813), p. 198.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
There is none who can describe the heart of man like him who made that heart. There is none whose instructions so much merit our regard, as his who came into the world to teach us and to shed his blood for our redemption. He has a perfect knowledge of our ease, and the most disinterested regard to our welfare.

James Richards, ‘The Danger and Folly of Indulging a Covetous Temper’ in The New-Jersey Preacher: or, Sermons on Plain & Practical Subjects. By some of the Ministers of the Gospel, Residing in the State of New-Jersey. Vol. I. (New Brunswick NJ: Charles D. Green, 1813), p. 198.

I'm guessing this quote is more extended to the application of Christ on the subject of covetousness, but it does trigger some other thoughts.

Isaiah 52:13
Behold, my servant shall deal prudently,
He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

My wife and I read this passage last night. This passage, in conjunction with your quote, runs with a running interest of mine lately--the theme of wisdom.

It's worth meditating on just what it meant for Christ to be prudent and wise.

A perfect knowledge of the Law of God, all its implications, Spirit-given and hard-studied acquaintance with the Scriptures, how to apply it in all situations including some high-stakes scenarios where men tried to trap him. He had to be righteous and blameless in both the sight of both God and man. God, whose holy eye would spot even the least imperfection; and man, who is more than happy to call out sin where it only appears so, even if there is none.

And as your quote says, and as John 2 says, He knew what was in a man, and knew what it was to be as wise as a serpent, gentle as a dove. And He had to ensure that when He came to trial, there would not even be grounds of even a possibility of having sinned, so it'd be clear that He was unjustly condemned.

And then, to be so wise in all respects as to be a perfect and sufficient Prophet, Priest, and King. Any of the three for any man required great wisdom and understanding. To do all three is above any other man. And I think I see all three offices in that quote.

His greatness is unsearchable, Psalm 145:3.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Charles Bridges on Proverbs, which I just read, which coincides with the last post. from faculty.gordon.edu (modified for readability).

Bridges takes the position that wisdom in Ch. 8 is without any doubt the Lord Jesus Christ. That's my position too.

Behold, the King in His moral beauty!

12. I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty in ventions.

How adorable is the Being here before us! His glorious perfections, each dwelling with the other in such harmonious combination! All the witty inventions of science are ultimately traceable to this heavenly source. (Exod. xxxi. 3–6; xxxv. 30-35. 1 Chron. xxviii. 19. Isa. xxviii. 24–29.) But his great mind was soaring far beyond. The vast discovery of man's salvation was now before his eyes (Verses 22–31) found out, not by laborious investigation, but by the intuition of the Infinite Godhead. Here is his most splendid display of wisdom (Eph. iii. 10) dwelling with prudencewisdom contriving for the highest end prudence directing the most effective means. The same perfect combination controls all his arrangements, both as "the Head of the Church" (Col. i. 18), and "the Head over all things to his Church " (Eph. i. 22), for her present good, and his eternal glory. ‘And what’ owe we individually, to "the riches of his grace, wherein," by the removal of insuperable difficulties, and the communication of suitable grace," he hath abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence!"

Prudence is commonly thought to be only a moral quality. Here we see it to be an attribute of Deity. The humanity of our beloved Lord was filled with this perfection. (Isa. xi. 2.) With what Divine acuteness of wisdom did he find out the knowledge of the inventions of his enemies, and put them to shame! (Matt. ix. 4-8; xxii. 15-46.) And how did this combination of prudence restrain him from hasty confidence (John, ii. 23, 24), remove him from premature danger (Matt. xii. 14-16. John, vi. 15), and preserve him from giving needless offence! (Matt. xvii. 27.) Praised be our God for such "treasures of wisdom," hid in our glorious Head," ready for distribution for every emergency of his people's need! (Col. i. 19; ii. 3.)
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Thanks @NaphtaliPress

From Jonathan Edwards' Narrative of a Surprising Work of God, conversion accounts from the First Great Awakening.

The real test question of conversion: "What think ye of Christ?"

Relish the responses.

From www.jonathan-edwards.org/narrative.html

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That calm of spirit that some persons have found after their legal distresses, continues some time before any special and delightful manifestation is made to the soul of the grace of God as revealed in the gospel. But very often some comfortable and sweet view of a merciful God, of a sufficient Redeemer, or of some great and joyful things of the gospel, immediately follows, or in a very little time: and in some, the first sight of their just deserts of hell, and God's sovereignty with respect to their salvation, and a discovery of all-sufficient grace, are so near, that they seem to go as it were together.

These gracious discoveries given, whence the first special comforts are derived, are in many respects very various. More frequently, Christ is distinctly made the object of the mind, in His all-sufficiency and willingness to save sinners; but some have their thoughts more especially fixed on God, in some of His sweet and glorious attributes manifested in the gospel, and shining forth in the face of Christ. Some view the all-sufficiency of the mercy and grace of God; some, chiefly the infinite power of God, and His ability to save them, and to do all things for them; and some look most at the truth and faithfulness of God. In some, the truth and certainty of the gospel in general is the first joyful discovery they have; in others, the certain truth of some particular promises; in some, the grace and sincerity of God in His invitations, very commonly in some particular invitation in the mind, and it now appears real to them that God does indeed invite them. Some are struck with the glory and wonderfulness of the dying love of Christ; and some with the sufficiency and preciousness of His blood, as offered to make an atonement for sin; and others with the value and glory of His obedience and righteousness. In some the excellency and loveliness of Christ, chiefly engages their thoughts; in some His divinity, that He is indeed the Son of the living God; and in others, the excellency of the way of salvation by Christ, and the suitableness of it to their necessities.

Some have an apprehension of these things so given, that it seems more natural to them to express it by sight or discovery, others think what they experience is better expressed by the realizing conviction, or a lively or feeling sense of heart; meaning, as I suppose, no other difference but what is merely circumstantial or gradual.

(...........)

The way that grace seems sometimes first to appear, after legal humiliation, is in earnest longings of soul after God and Christ: to know God, to love Him, to be humble before Him, to have communion with Christ in His benefits; which longings, as they express them, seem evidently to be of such a nature as can arise from nothing but a sense of the superlative excellency of divine things, with a spiritual taste and relish of them, and an esteem of them as their highest happiness and best portion. Such longings as I speak of, are commonly attended with firm resolutions to pursue this good for ever, together with a hoping, waiting disposition. When persons have begun in such frames, commonly other experiences and discoveries have soon followed, which have yet more clearly manifested a change of heart.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Also from Edwards' Surprising Work of God.

The love of one convert, Abigail Hutchinson, for Christ. Edwards says of this account, "I once read this account to some of her pious neighbors, who were acquainted with her, who said, to this purpose, that the picture fell much short of the life; and particularly that it much failed of duly representing her humility, and that admirable lowliness of heart, that all times appeared in her. But there are, blessed be God! many living instances, of much the like nature, and in some things no less extraordinary."

Though it's a wonderful read, it's helpful to remember this is an extraordinary time being examined by Edwards, and revival events though real are not meant to be normative experiences. God will give us enough sun to light our way for duty. The floodgates will forever be open in heaven. From jonathan-edwards.org.

-----------------------------

"She had many extraordinary discoveries of the glory of God and Christ; sometimes, in some particular attributes, and sometimes in many. She gave an account, that once, as those four words passed through her mind, wisdom, justice, goodness, and truth, her soul was filled with a sense of the glory of each of these divine attributes, but especially the last. Truth, said she, sunk the deepest! And, therefore, as these words passed, this was repeated, truth, truth! Her mind was so swallowed up with a sense of the glory of God's truth and other perfections, that she said, it seemed as though her life was going, and that she saw it was easy with God to take away her life by discoveries of Himself. Soon after this she went to a private religious meeting, and her mind was full of a sense and view of the glory of God all the time. When the exercise was ended, some asked her concerning what she had experienced, and she began to give an account, but as she was relating it, it revived such a sense of the same things, that her strength failed, and they were obliged to take her and lay her upon the bed. Afterwards she was greatly affected, and rejoiced with these words, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!

She had several days together a sweet sense of the excellency and loveliness of Christ in His meekness, which disposed her continually to be repeating over these words, which were sweet to her, meek and lowly in heart, meek and lowly in heart. She once expressed herself to one of her sisters to this purpose, that she had continued whole days and whole nights, in a constant ravishing view of the glory of God and Christ, having enjoyed as much as her life could bear. Once, as her brother was speaking of the dying love of Christ, she told him, she had such a sense of it, that the mere mentioning of it was ready to overcome her.

Once, when she came to me, she said,-that at such and such a time, she thought she saw as much of God, and had as much joy and pleasure, as was possible in this life; and that yet, afterwards, God discovered Himself far more abundantly. She saw the same things as before, yet more clearly, and in a far more excellent and delightful manner; and was filled with a more exceeding sweetness. She likewise gave me such an account of the sense she once had, from day to day, of the glory of Christ, and of God, in His various attributes, that it seemed to me she dwelt for days together in a kind of beatific vision of God; and seemed to have, as I thought, as immediate an intercourse with Him, as a child with a father. At the same time, she appeared most remote from any high thought of herself, and of her own sufficiency; but was like a little child, and expressed a great desire to be instructed, telling me that she longed very often to come to me for instruction, and wanted to live at my house, that I might tell her what was her duty."
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
My psalm this morning was 145. Last line runs beautifully with the Rutherford quote:

My mouth the praises of the Lord
to publish cease shall never
Let all flesh bless His holy name
for ever and for ever

Oh, what love is it in Him that He will have such musicians as we are, to tune that psalm of His everlasting praises in heaven! Oh, what shining and burning flames of love are these, that Christ will divide His share of life, of heaven and glory, with you (Luke 22:29; John 17:24; Rev. 3:21)! A part of His throne, one draught of His wine (His wine of glory and life that cometh from under the throne of God and of the Lamb), and one apple of the tree of life, will do more than make up all the expenses and charges of clay, lent out for heaven. Oh! oh! but we have short, and narrow, and creeping thoughts of Jesus, and do but shape Christ in our conceptions according to some created portraiture!

O angels, lend in your help to make love-books and songs of our fair, and white, and ruddy Standard-bearer amongst ten thousand! O heavens! O heaven of heavens! O glorified tenants, and triumphing house-holders with the Lamb, put in new psalms and love-sonnets of the excellency of our Bridegroom, and help us to set Him on high! O indwellers of earth and heaven, sea and air, and O all ye created beings within the bosom of the utmost circle of this great world, oh come help to set on high the praises of our Lord! O fairness of creatures, blush before His uncreated beauty! O created strength, be amazed to stand before your strong Lord of hosts! O created love, think shame of thyself before this unparalleled love of heaven! O angel-wisdom, hide thyself before our Lord, whose understanding passeth finding out! O sun in thy shining beauty, for shame put on a web of darkness, and cover thyself before thy brightest Master and Maker!

Oh, who can add glory, by doing or suffering, to the never-enough admired and praised Lover! Oh we can but bring our drop to this sea, and our candle, dim and dark as it is, to this clear and lightsome Sun of heaven and earth! Oh but we have cause to drink ten deaths in one cup dry, to swim through ten seas, to be at that land of praises, where we shall see that wonder of wonders, and enjoy this Jewel of heaven’s jewels!

—Samuel Rutherford
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
For as many times as I have heard or considered exhortations to model our prayers after those of Paul, I am amazed at 1) how truly marvelous and rich the petitions are, and 2) how little they have gotten into my own prayers. Perhaps if we all habitually prayed in such a way, we'd be radically different men and women. In these, Christ is the source and fountain from which all blessing flows, and it is Paul's eager desire that Christ be closely, familiarly, exceedingly richly known to every believer. It's truly as good as it appears. And if Paul tells us these things by the Spirit, we may have them.

Nothing new or novel here. Just a fresh look.

Thanks @Stephen L Smith !

Ephesians 1:15–23
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 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:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.



Ephesians 3:14–21
14. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
 
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RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Isaiah 41:14–15 (KJV 1900): Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel;
I will help thee, saith the Lord,
And thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth:
Thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small,
And shalt make the hills as chaff.

I take worm in the sense of natural weakness, and not personal character.

Matthew Henry points out that if Christ in Ps 22 is regarded as a worm, no wonder if the church is; weak, defenseless, helpless. Bridges notes in his comments on Pr. 15:19 that by faith the worm--weak and impotent men--threshes the mountains.

Christ did become a worm--a true man with true weakness, frail and dependent in His human nature, having no considerable strength compared to the powers of darkness--much less the vengeful might of God. All things had to be given to Him by the Father. Not all the angels combined could have carried out the work of redemption (see here). All would have been crushed and overwhelmed in the attempt to accomplish redemption. How much less could a man bear this burden!

Yet in the Gospel, this lowly one has threshed the mountains.

Ephesians 1:19 - And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

@Stephen L Smith this seems parallel to Paul’s prayer in that, as Christ had done, so will the church thresh its own mountains—whether sin, temptations, trials, thus proving us to be more than conquerors. Henry and Poole I believe both applied the passage this way.

Have you read Carson’s book?
 
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