Romans 14:9 “that He might be Lord…of the living.”
As we have seen in previous posts–
Submission to Jesus as Lord connects us to him in a personal relationship.
There is today a false idea that a person can take some aspect of Jesus and leave other parts for a later stage in Christian development. Some today think, “I want him as a Savior, but I’m not ready to accept him as my Lord. I could never let anybody tell me what to do.” Consider this important fact about Christ. He is not divisible. He is one Christ—prophet, priest, and king.
Christ cannot be divided so one can choose which parts of him to receive.
James Fisher (member of Scottish secessionist church 1697–1775) has given us an able exposition of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
Question. 23.29. When faith closes with Christ, does it not close with him in all his offices?
Answer. Yes; for Christ is never divided: we must have him wholly or none of him. (Fisher’s Catechism, 1753-1760).
Maybe “close with Christ” is foreign to our modern use in religion. It still retains its meaning in business. We must “close the deal.” (Close with Christ, 2017).
Hebrews 1:1-3 present Jesus Christ in his three-fold office as Messiah or Christ—
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Verse 2 presents Jesus Christ as prophet who has spoken God’s final revelation to us.
Verse 3a presents Jesus Christ as priest and once-for-all sacrifice for our sins.
Verse 3b presents Jesus Christ as King seated at the Father’s right hand.
These verse present the whole Christ we receive for salvation. When we exercise saving faith in Christ, we accept all three offices which he has or we do not exercise saving faith. Also, William Guthrie says—
[Closing with Christ] is that which is called faith or believing—the “receiving of Christ,” or “believing on His name” John 1:12. (Guthrie, 1658).
Receiving Christ as Lord is not sinless perfection, as some may think. There is still “the subduing of the Christian” to Christ. This takes a lifetime and is still incomplete until we arrive in glory.
I am reminded of a story I read somewhere, though I cannot remember where. It illustrates this point well.
One day a woman came into a clock-maker’s store and placed two hands of a great clock on his counter. She exclaimed, “These are running slow, so fix them.”
The clock-maker replied, “Madam, I cannot fix the hands if I do not have the whole clock.”
She angrily relied, “No! I won’t bring the whole clock in. You’ll take it apart. It’ll take a long time and cost me a great deal.”
“Nevertheless, I cannot fix any of it unless I have all of it!” the man replied.
It is the same way in regard to our Lord Jesus Christ and us. He must have all of us to fix any of us. It will take a long time, and it will be costly—it may cause temporary pain and suffering. However, God is the master “person-repairer.” He heals our hurts and fixes our problems so we can enjoy his presence and life both in this world and in the one to come.
O Lord Jesus Christ, you are my prophet—
I receive your words from Holy Scripture that
speak to my deepest need and guide my steps.
You are my priest—
I receive your offering of your sinless self on the cross to forgive my sin,
I rest on your obedience of the law of God on my behalf, and
I rely on your constant intercession for me at your Father’s right hand.
You are my king—
Subdue me to your ways.
Rule over me and lead me deeper into your kingdom.
Defend me from your and my enemies.
Conquer all that opposes your kingdom and
Come at the end to receive me into your presence. Amen.
Close with Christ (2017). Accessed February 5, 2017 from https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/close-with-christ.92083/
Fisher’s Catechism (1753-1760). Accessed February 5, 2018 from http://www.reformed.org/documents/fisher/index.html
Guthrie, William (1658). The Christian’s Great Interest. Accessed February 5, 2018 from http://media.sabda.org/alkitab-12/ccel/g/guthrie/interest/int12.htm
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