Tag Archives: Priest

“How you loved us, good Father” by Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430)

“Inasmuch as He was a man, He was a mediator, but inasmuch as He is the Word, He is not in the middle, because He is equal to God, and is God in the presence of God, and one God together with Him.

How you loved us, good Father, who did not spare your only Son, but handed Him over for the sake of us, the wicked!

How you loved us, for whose sake Your Son, through not considering it an act of robbery to be Your equal, was subjugated and reduced clear to death on the cross!

But He was the only one among the dead with free will, having both the power to lay down His life and the power to take it up again.

For our sake, He was both Your victor and Your sacrificial victim, and the victor because He was the victim.

For our sake He was both Your sacrificing priest and Your sacrifice, and He was the priest because He was the sacrifice. He was born from You yet acted as our slave, thereby turning us from Your slaves into Your sons.”

–Augustine of Hippo, Confessions, trans. Sarah Ruden (New York: Modern Library, 2017), 341-342.

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“The riches of Christ” by Charles Spurgeon

“When Jesus gave Himself for us, He gave us all the rights and privileges which went with Himself; so that now, although as eternal God, He has essential rights to which no creature may venture to pretend, yet as Jesus, the Mediator, the federal head of the covenant of grace, He has no heritage apart from us.

All the glorious consequences of His obedience unto death are the joint riches of all who are in Him, and on whose behalf He accomplished the divine will. See, He enters into glory, but not for Himself alone, for it is written, ‘Whither the Forerunner is for us entered.’ (Heb. 6:20)

Does He stand in the presence of God?—’He appears in the presence of God for us.’ (Heb. 9:24) Consider this, believer. You have no right to heaven in yourself: your right lies in Christ.

If you are pardoned, it is through His blood; if you are justified, it is through His righteousness; if you are sanctified, it is because He is made of God unto you sanctification; if you shall be kept from falling, it will be because you are preserved in Christ Jesus; and if you are perfected at the last, it will be because you are complete in Him.

Thus Jesus is magnified—for all is in Him and by Him; thus the inheritance is made certain to us—for it is obtained in Him; thus each blessing is the sweeter, and even heaven itself the brighter, because it is Jesus our Beloved ‘in whom’ we have obtained all.

Where is the man who shall estimate our divine portion? Weigh the riches of Christ in scales, and His treasure in balances, and then think to count the treasures which belong to the saints.

Reach the bottom of Christ’s sea of joy, and then hope to understand the bliss which God hath prepared for them that love Him. Overleap the boundaries of Christ’s possessions, and then dream of a limit to the fair inheritance of the elect.

‘All things are yours, for ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.'”

–Charles Spurgeon, “January 30 – Evening” in Morning and Evening (Geanies House, Fearn, Scotland, UK: Christian Focus, 1994),  69.

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“A complete Savior” by Herman Bavinck

“Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He does not just perform prophetic, priestly, and kingly activities but is Himself, in His whole person, prophet, priest, and king. And everything He is, says, and does manifests that threefold dignity.

Granted, in the one activity it is more His prophetic office that is evident to us, and in another it is His priestly or His kingly office that stands out; and it is also true that His prophetic office comes to the fore more in the days of the Old Testament and during His days of traveling around on earth, His priestly office more in His suffering and death, His kingly office more in His state of exaltation.

But actually He bears all three offices at the same time and consistently exercises all three at once before and after His incarnation, in both the state of humiliation and that of exaltation…

While it is not possible to separate them, the distinction between them is most certainly there. To be a mediator, to be a complete savior, He had to be appointed by the Father to all three and equipped by the Spirit for all three offices.

The truth is that the idea of humanness already encompasses within itself this threefold dignity and activity. Human beings have a head to know, a heart to give themselves, a hand to govern and to lead; correspondingly, they were in the beginning equipped by God with knowledge and understanding, with righteousness and holiness, with dominion and glory.

The sin that corrupted human beings infected all their capacities and consisted not only in ignorance, folly, error, lies, blindness, darkness but also in unrighteousness, guilt, moral degradation, and further in misery, death, and ruin.

Therefore Christ, both as the Son and as the image of God, for Himself and also as our mediator and savior, had to bear all three offices. He had to be a prophet to know and disclose the truth of God; a priest, to devote Himself to God and, in our place, to offer Himself up to God; a king, to govern and protect us according to God’s will.

To teach, to reconcile, and to lead; to instruct, to acquire, and to supply salvation; wisdom, righteousness, and redemption; truth, love, and power– all three are essential to the completeness of our salvation.

In Christ’s God-to-humanity relation, He is a prophet; in His humanity-to-God relation He is a priest; in His headship over all humanity He is a king. Rationalism acknowledges only His prophetic office; mysticism only His priestly office; millennialism only His royal office.

But Scripture, consistently and simultaneously attributing all three offices to Him, describes Him as our chief prophet, our only high priest, and our eternal king. Though a king, He rules not by the sword but by His Word and Spirit.

He is a prophet, but His word is power and really happens. He is a priest but lives by dying, conquers by suffering, and is all-powerful by His love. He is always all these things in conjunction, never the one without the other: mighty in speech and action as a king and full of grace and truth in His royal rule.”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006), 3:367-368.

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