Archives For Devotion

Prophet, Priest, and King. Those three words have biblical tonnage tethered to them. Each communicate the person and work of Christ with succinct theological clarity.

The Heidelberg Catechism picks up this thread in question 31 (emphasis mine):

Q: Why is he called “Christ”, that is, the anointed?

A: Because he is ordained of God the Father, and anointed with the Holy Ghost, to be our chief Prophet and Teacher, who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; and to be our only High Priest, who by the one sacrifice of his body, has redeemed us, and makes continual intercession with the Father for us; and also to be our eternal King, who governs us by his word and Spirit, and who defends and preserves us in that salvation, he has purchased for us.

I have found that these three terms are also quite helpful in thinking through the believer’s response to the gospel in living a life of worshipful obedience.

Prophet: Christians are to make the good confession of faith, speak the truth of the gospel to one another and outsiders, and continue to be governed by the truth that, “it is written…” (Rom. 10.9-11; Col. 3.15-17; Matt. 28.18-20; 2 Tim. 3.16-17).

Priest: As believers we are to continually offer up the sacrifice of praise in response to the sufficient and unblemished work of Christ. Just like the burnt offering that was to be ever burning and consuming of the sacrifice, so too Christians, in our thinking and living, are to be ever burning and completely consumed with the glory of Christ in the gospel (Rom. 12.1-2ff; Heb. 13.15-16).

King: As we follow Christ we are to find ourselves striving against those things that are against Christ our King. We are to put sin to death, resist the devil, and look forward to reigning eternally with him (Rom. 6.12-13; Gal. 5.17ff; 2 Tim. 2.12; 1 Pet. 5.8-9).

These descriptions are not perfect but I have found them helpful in personally thinking through and communicating our response to the work of Christ as we endeavor to obey and reflect him in this world.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

As finite creatures we have trouble getting our arms around absolute knowledge. Even with the places or subjects that we are most familiar with, we often kick over another rock to discover something new.

This is not the case with God. He knows everything and everyone perfectly. He is the infinite God. His knowledge is complete. He is never learning or growing. Instead, he is utterly sufficient in his absolute and infinite perfection.

This is why such statements as John’s above are so astounding. God’s declares that he is light. This metaphor in the Scriptures refers to God’s purity or holiness as well as his knowledge. The assertion is that God is perfectly pure without any defect or blemish.

What makes this all the more astounding is that God himself is infinite. In other words, the infinite God has plumbed the depths of his infinite character, surveyed it, and concluded with credibility of his divine character: I am perfectly light! In the mansion of God’s character there is not a single room, closet, or hallway of iniquity—every room is bright light and a fragrance, a boquet of holiness!

As a result, believers are to walk in the light (1 John 1.5, 7). We are to press into his character and reflect it into the world around us. As we are doing this we are reminded that it is the holy and perfect sacrifice of Jesus (1 Jn. 1.7) that enables this. It is his holy blood offered for us that brings holiness to unholy people. As you can see it was God’s holiness (light) that determines the need for salvation as well as the nature of our new lives in Christ. Praise be to God that he has worked this in and through the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rejoice in and respond to this holy God–the God who is light!

A necessary reminder this morning:

Teach us, O God, that nothing is necessary to Thee. Were anything necessary to Thee that thing would be the measure of Thine imperfection: and how could we worship one who is imperfect? If nothing is necessary to Thee, then no one is necessary, and if no one, then not we. Thou dost seek us though Thou does not need us. We seek Thee because we need Thee, for in Thee we live and move and have our being. Amen.” (A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy)

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
(Romans 11:33-36 ESV)

ship

Like many, I wake up and think about what I need to get accomplished today and how I am going to do it.  My mind begins to infiltrate the various areas and sub areas of responsibility.  However, I am aware, even at this early hour of contemplation, that I am not going to get it all done.  And furthermore, that what I do get finished will not be without flaw.

In what can only be described as the grace of God, my mind was quickly drawn to Hebrews 7:

Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7.25)

The beloved Savior and High Priest does not, like the other priests, die.  Furthermore, he does not need to atone for his own sins (7.23ff).  As a result we have a perfect and eternal high priest who offered a perfect and eternally acceptable sacrifice to the Father.

I need to remember that even on my ‘best’ days I need to have my beloved high priest fervently, faithfully, zealously, and successfully pleading the merits of his righteous life and sacrificial death in my stead.  There is not a second that I live here on earth when I am not dependent upon this glorious work.

And furthermore, there is not a second throughout all eternity that his saints will not depend upon his gloriously flawless work!  This Jesus will not only be the song of my praise throughout eternity but also be the substance of why I can enjoy the presence of God throughout all eternity!

It is the flawless work of Christ that we now and forevermore will depend upon.  All of his ransomed saints will forever cling to his high priestly garments like barnacles upon a great ship.  Indeed the captain of our salvation will successfully navigate us to the celestial port.

In this his flawless person and duty are seen to be so attractive and refreshing to the sin plagued conscience.

Forgetting Not His Benefits

Erik Raymond —  October 28, 2011

Every now and then I like to write poetry. This comes from the 103rd Psalm.

Bless the LORD, O my Soul,
my lips His worth I now extol
From within this feeble frame,
I rise to bless His holy name
Forgetting not His benefits,
the only one of whom my praise is fit

You’ve forgiven all my iniquity
You’ve given me new eyes to see
You’ve showered me in mercy
You’ve crowned my life with love in Thee

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There is little debate among Christians as to the basics of how we should live as followers of Jesus in this world. We even find ourselves agreeing with many non-believers about the basic moral teachings of the Bible. However, it this matter of why that I’m after here. Why do you serve as a Christian? What is your motivation?

In the 10th chapter of Mark’s fast paced narrative of Jesus’ life we find those following Christ to be, well, hard-headed. They don’t seem to get it at all. After each time Jesus predicts his death in Mark, the disciples begin talking/thinking selfishly (8.31ff, 9.31ff, 10.33ff). They have the nerve to request the chief seats in the coming kingdom.

They have a problem with pride. They are self-orientated and self-consumed. How do you get these guys turned around? What is Jesus’ strategy?

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Having a new baby at home we are regularly reminded of the 127th Psalm. Good friends remind us of the fact that children are a blessing from God.

As I chew on this verse, sometimes in the middle of the night, I have to chuckle at the irony of God in this Psalm. If you have babies at home or have recently had the experience of newborns, you know exactly where I am going. The Psalmist pairs sleep and children together in a song for believers to sing about the blessings of God. I don’t think this is an accident. Believers should sing about the blessings of both sleep and children as they get up in the middle of the night or sleep through the night. This is a good passage to remind new parents of as they spend time with their kids ‘after hours.’

Walking through it proves to be very helpful and full of application.

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