Thursday, March 18, 2010

The London Confession, 1644 (Part 5)

I would encourage you to remember one more function of confessions. While they are indeed intended to prove the orthodoxy of their adherents, they also are designed to express deeply stabilizing and equipping truths of the faith (Eph 4:14-15). Meditate on the work of Christ and let your soul rejoice in him as you consider this section of the London Confession.

XIV. THIS office to which Christ is called, is threefold; a prophet, priest, and king: This number and order of offices is necessary, for in respect of our ignorance, we stand in need of His prophetical office; in respect of our great alienation from God, we need His priestly office to reconcile us; and in respect of our averseness and utter inability to return to God, we need His kingly office, to convince, subdue, draw, uphold and preserve us to His heavenly kingdom .
Deut.18:15; Acts 3:22,23; Heb.3:1, 4:14,15; Ps.2:6; 2 Cor.5:20; Acts 26:18; Col.1:21; John 16:8; Ps.110:3; Song of Sol.1:3; John 6:44; Phil.4:13; 2 Tim.4:18.

XV. CONCERNING the prophecy of Christ, it is that whereby He hath revealed the will of God, whatsoever is needful for His servants to know and obey; and therefore He is called not only a prophet and doctor, and the apostle of our profession, and the angel of the covenant, but also the very wisdom of God, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, who for ever continueth revealing the same truth of the gospel to His people.
John 1:18. 12:49,50, 17:8; Deut.18:15; Matt.23:10; Heb.3:1; Mal.3:1;1 Cor.1 :24; Col.2:3.

XVI. THAT He might be a prophet every way complete, it was necessary He should be God, and also that He should be man: For unless He had been God, He could never have perfectly understood the will of God; and unless He had been man, He could not suitably have unfolded it in His own person to men.
John 1:18; Acts 3:22; Deut.18:15; Heb.1:1.

XVII. CONCERNING His priesthood, Christ having sanctified Himself, hath appeared once to put away sin by that one offering of Himself a sacrifice for sin, by which He hath fully finished and suffered all things God required for the salvation of His elect, and removed all rites and shadows, etc. and is now entered within the veil into the holy of holies, which is the presence of God. Also, He makes His people a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God through Him. Neither doth the Father accept, nor Christ offer to the Father, any other worship or worshippers.
John 17:19; Heb.5:7,8,9,10.12; Rom.5:19; Eph.5:2; Col.1:20; Eph.2:14, etc.; Rom.8:34; Heb.9:24, 8:1; 1 Pet.2:5; John 4:23.24.

XVIII. THIS priesthood was not legal or temporary, but according to the order of Melchisedek, and is stable and perfect, not for a time, but forever, which is suitable to Jesus Christ, as to Him that ever liveth. Christ was the priest, sacrifice, and altar: He was a priest according to both natures; He was a sacrifice according to His human nature; whence in Scripture it is attributed to His body, to His blood: Yet the effectualness of this sacrifice did depend upon His divine nature; therefore it is called the blood of God. He was the altar according to His divine nature, it belonging to the altar to sanctify that which is offered upon it, and so it ought to be of greater dignity than the sacrifice itself.
Heb.7:16, etc.; Heb.5:6, 10:10; 1 Pet.l:18,19; Col.1:20 22; Heb.9:13; Acts 20:28; Heb.9:14, 13:10.12,15; Matt.23:17; John 17:19.

XIX. CONCERNING His kingly office, Christ being risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and having all power in heaven and earth, He doth spiritually govern His church, and doth exercise His power over all, angels and men, good and bad, to the preservation and salvation of the elect, and to the overruling and destruction of His enemies. By this kingly power He applieth the benefits, virtue, and fruits of His prophecy and priesthood to His elect, subduing their sins, preserving and strengthening them in all their conflicts against Satan, the world, and the flesh, keeping their hearts in faith and filial fear by His Spirit: By this His mighty power He ruleth the vessels of wrath, using, limiting and restraining them, as it seems good to His infinite wisdom.
1 Cor.15:4; 1 Pet.3:21,22; Matt.28:18,19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:1, 5:30,31; John 19:36; Rom.14:9; John 5:26,27; Rom. 5:6,7,8, 14:17; Ga1.5:22,23; Mark 1:27; Heb.l:14; John 16: 15; Job 2:8;
Rom.1:21; Eph.4:17,18; 2 Pet.2.

XX. THIS His kingly power shall be more fully manifested when He shall come in glory to reign among His saints, when He shall put down all rule and authority under His feet, that the glory of the Father may be perfectly manifested in His Son, and the glory of the Father and the Son in all His members.
1 Cor.15:24,28; Heb.9:28; 2 Thess.1:9,10; 1 Thess.4:15,16,17; John 17:21,26.

XXI. JESUS Christ by His death did purchase salvation for the elect that God gave unto Him: These only have interest in Him, and fellowship with Him, for whom He makes intercession to His Father in their behalf, and to them alone doth God by His Spirit apply this redemption; as also the free gift of eternal life is given to them, and none else.
Eph.1:14; Heb.5:9; Matt.1:21; John 17:6; Heb.7:25; 1 Cor.2: 12; Rom.8:29.30; 1 John 5:12; John 15:13,3:16.


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