The Lord Jesus Christ is the Only Head of the Church

James Bannerman: The Church, as a society, owes its origin to Christ: it derives from Him its government and office-bearers; it receives from Him its laws and constitution; it draws from Him its spiritual influence and grace; it accepts at His hand its ordinances and institutions; it acts in His name, and is guided in its proceeding by His authority. In the expression that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, and in the fact that He is the only source of Church, power, there is much more implied that that He is the founder of the Christian society. He is both its founder and its administrator,–being the ever present source of life and influence, of ordinance and blessing, or law and authority, of word and doctrine within the community. Through His Spirit, and His word, and His ordinances, alike of government and grace, Christ both originates and administers His Church upon earth. Is it the spiritual

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If Christ is Lord, Everything Matters

By Jake Belder: It is common to hear Christians talk about “living in the light of eternity.” Not too long ago, there was a popular video going around in which Francis Chan talked about this very thing, using a long rope as an illustration. The Bible, of course, speaks of this too—Paul says that “we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. For…what is unseen is eternal (2 Cor. 4:18). And the glorious vision of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 gives us great hope for an eternal life in the new creation. While such a perspective is clearly biblical, it needs to be understood properly. When people begin to think in these categories, a common temptation is to view life as split into two areas: spiritual things that matter and that have eternal significance, and everything else, which does not. This perspective is not true to Scripture, and doesn’t honour the confession that most

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God in a Manger

  David Mathis’s three part series is a great refresher course on Christology (the doctrine of Christ). He writes: Advent is my yearly reminder to brush up on Christology, the doctrine of the person of Christ. I’ve found it helpful to approach the subject under three headings: Jesus as Lord (fully divine), Jesus as Savior (fully human), and Jesus as Treasure (one person). God in a Manger, Part 1: Jesus Is Lord In this Christological triad (Lord-Savior-Treasure), Jesus’ Lordship is tied to his divinity. He is rightly called Yahweh, the name surpassingly more excellent than the angels (Hebrews 1:4), the name above every name (Philippians 2:9). Here’s the connection between Lordship and the divine name. God in a Manger, Part 2: Jesus Is Savior Not only did he remain fully divine when he took humanity to himself, but the humanity that he took was full humanity. And so Jesus has a fully human body, emotions, mind, and will — and this in

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Stott on The Self-Substitution of God

We strongly reject, therefore, every explanation of the death of Christ which does not have at its centre the principle of ‘satisfaction through substitution’, indeed divine self-satisfaction through divine self-substitution. The cross was not: a commercial bargain with the devil, let alone one which tricked and trapped him; nor an exact equivalent, a quid pro quo to satisfy a code of honour or technical point of law; nor a compulsory submission by God to some moral authority above him from which he could not otherwise escape; nor a punishment of a meek Christ by a harsh and punitive Father; nor a procurement of salvation by a loving Christ from a mean and reluctant Father; nor an action of the Father which bypassed Christ as Mediator. Instead, the righteous, loving Father humbled himself to become in and through his only Son flesh, sin and a curse for us, in order to redeem us without compromising his own character. The theological words ‘satisfaction’

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“Who is occupying the throne today?”

“In our vision of ultimate reality, who is occupying the throne today? Are we authentic New Testament Christians, whose vision is filled with Christ crucified, risen and reigning? Is guilt still reigning, and death? Or is grace reigning, and life? To be sure, sin and Satan may seem to be reigning still, since many continue to bow down to them. But their reign is an illusion, a bluff. For at the cross they were decisively defeated, dethroned and disarmed. Now Christ reigns, exalted to the Father’s right hand, with all things under his feet, welcoming the nations, and waiting for his remaining enemies to be made his footstool.” —John Stott, The Message of Romans (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 162 (HT: Of First Importance)

The Lordship of Christ & the Kingdoms of this World

“Jesus Christ is Lord. That is the first and final assertion Christians make about all of reality, including politics. Believers now assert by faith what one day will be manifest to the sight of all: every earthly sovereignty is subordinate to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. The Church is the bearer of that claim. Because the Church is pledged to the Kingdom proclaimed by Jesus, it must maintain a critical distance from all the kingdoms of the world, whether actual or proposed. Christians betray their Lord if, in theory or practice, they equate the Kingdom of God with any political, social or economic order of this passing time. At best, such orders permit the proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom and approximate, in small part, the freedom, peace, and justice for which we hope.” ~ Richard John Neuhaus, quoted by D. A. Carson in Christ & Culture Revisited (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 2008), 203. (HT: The Big Picture)