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The Intercession of Christ

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 (Hebrews 7:25).

The Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 23 asks: “What offices does Christ execute as our Redeemer?” Answer: “Christ, as our Redeemer, executes the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both his estate of humiliation and exaltation.” Then in the following questions and answers the catechism explains that Christ as prophet he reveals God’s will for our salvation. As king he defends and protects us, and as priest he offered himself for the sins of his people and he continually intercedes for them.

In Hebrews 7:25 we perfectly see the office of Christ as priest. We are told that Christ intercedes for his people. But before we can look at these two points, we need to have a right view of Christ’s intercession. How does Christ intercede for his people? I believe John Calvin best answers this question. He says, “We are not to measure this intercession by our carnal judgment, for we must not think of Him as humbly supplicating the Father on bended knee and with outstretched hands. Christ however, is justly said to intercede for us, because He appears continually before the Father.” The intercession of Christ is his continual presence at the right hand of his Father.

Now the author of Hebrews 7:25 tells us two important things about this intercession: it is unfailing (he is able to save to uttermost) and unceasing (he always lives to make intercession). The intercession of ChrisT is unfailing because God the Father can never reject any of Christ’s prayers since Jesus’ prayers are always according to the will of the Father. It is also unceasing because Christ can never grow weary in interceding for his people. We sometimes grow weary in prayer, but that cannot be said of Christ. He lives to make intercession for his people.

So, due to Christ’s unfailing and unceasing intercession, all believers are assured that their faith will not fail. They will remain standing in Christ until the day he will call them to enter into his glory or when he shall come to this world in glory. This is why Paul states that he is confident that the one who has begun good work in us will also bring it to completion (Phil 1:6).

Peter’s life is a good proof  of this truth. On the night that Christ was betrayed, he said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”” (Luke 22:31). But Peter promised never to forsake Christ.

It did not take long for Peter to realize that Christ was right. Peter denied Christ three times. Then the Lord looked at him and he was convicted. He went out and wept bitterly probably repenting of his sin. But the story does not end there. Some days later after Christ’s resurrection, Jesus appeared to Peter by the shores of Sea of Tiberias. Christ restored Peter and commanded him, “Feed my sheep,” (John 21). That prayer he prayed for Peter never failed.

The unceasing and unfailing intercession of Christ is the hope for every believer. This is why when Apostle Paul is discussing the intercession of Christ in Romans 8, he also emphatically states that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

 

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2016 in Sound Teaching

 

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God-Centered Worship

 

Question number one of Westminster Shorter Catechism asks: What’s the chief end of man? The answer is: the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.

This is indeed the summary of the Bible’s teaching concerning us. God created us to glorify him or to worship him (1 Corinthians 10:31). But here we need to guard against a certain teaching which suggests that if we don’t worship God, God is incomplete. This is a very serious fallacy.

God is still glorified even if we don’t worship him. In theology, the glory of God is categorized into two namely intrinsic and ascribed glory. Intrinsic glory refers to the glory which God has always have had from eternity past and will always have forever. Even if we don’t worship him, God is still glorified. Ascribed glory refers to the glory we give him through our worship.

Therefore, we should never think that God needs our worship for him to be complete. Never! He is complete even without us worshipping him. Our worship is a response to His intrinsic glory.  When we truly know God, we always marvel at his glory and His glory leaves us with no any other choice but to bow down in adoration.

But sadly sometimes, in our churches, we have ‘worship services’ that are not God-centered hence don’t qualify to be called ‘worship services’ in the first place. God willing, in a couple of weeks coming,  I will take time to cite  examples of some  activities  in our worship services which are not God-centered.  To God alone be the glory!

 

 
 

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