In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. This week I want to start looking at Christ’s office as king.
Firstly I want to show that Christ is a king because he has a people he calls to himself.
Jesus tells us himself that he is a king and that he has a people who submit to him as king. In John we read: ‘Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king’ (John 18:36-37).
Anyone can call themselves a king. But if you are a king you must have a people who are happy to call you king too. So if Jesus is a king, who are the people whom he calls his people?
James, the brother of Jesus, speaks of the kingship of Christ in his message at the Jerusalem council. He says: ‘Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: ” ‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’ that have been known for ages’ (Act 15:14-18).
James is saying that God has taken from the people of the earth a people for himself. In doing so he has rebuilt David’s tent (David was the famous king of Israel) and so established a monarchy again. David was a descendant of Judah and Judah was promised: ‘The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his’ (Genesis 49:10). Jesus is a direct descendant from both David and Judah and so has been established as the king forever over the people of God, both Israelites and Gentiles.
And you too can become part of the kingdom of Christ if you will trust in him. Are you part of the kingdom of Christ?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.