X-Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org (Unverified) X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Version 1.4.4 Mime-Version: 1.0 Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995 09:43:40 +0200 Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel From: Teus Benschop Subject: Catechism, 25 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Q. Where is Christ now, as to his human nature? A. He is ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father; that is, exalted in the highest glory, far above all creatures. Eph. 1:20, 21. After Christ stood up from the death, he appeared several times to his disciples and many other believers. "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God." (Mark 16:19) He ascended as a complete Person, with His body and soul, into heaven. There He sits at the right hand of God the Father. The right hand, that is the place of honour. Christ, being God's Son, received the most honourable place in heaven, namely at God's right hand. King Solomon, when his mother went unto him, placed a seat for her on his right hand, to honour her. "Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand." (1 Kings 2:19) Christ is raised from the dead, and God set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places. He is there far above all principality, above all power and might, above all dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. Q. To what end is he there so highly exalted? A. Particularly that he might from thence govern His Church, and there be our intercessor with the Father. The question might arise: What is Christ doing there, in heaven? The answer is then, that He is mainly doing two things. He governs His Church, and He prays for us. He governs the Church, for He is its Head. The Church, not those buildings of stone or wood, but the living Church, consisting of the righteous, is governed by Christ. He protects it against all attacks of the great Enemy, namely Satan. He rules the Church, giving it ministers, elders and deacons, as written in the Scriptures. He builds up the Church, using the preaching of the Word, and uses it to the conversion of His people. Now is the Church little in number, then it is large. Now is the Church persecuted, then it has freedom. Now is the Church in darkness, then it shines publicly. But Christ is its Ruler, and He knows how to govern things as He wills. It might be that the mockers ridicule the members of the Church, but Christ is their Strength. The Church is attacked from both inside through the hypocrites, and from outside through the declared enemies, but Christ governs all things. God "hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church". (Ephesians 1:22) Christ is also making intercession for us with the Father. When we sin, Christ prays for us, that the sins may be forgiven us. He shows His Father His accomplished work at the cross, and says: "Father, these are Mine, I have payed for them, forgive their sins". Christ is doing so for us continually. When Christ is making intercession for us, nobody can lay any thing to our charge. For, whatever they say, Christ prays for us, and their accusation is in vain. "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." (Romans 8:33,34) Isaiah already had prophesied it, that the Messiah, that is Jesus Christ, would make intercession for us. He says of Christ: "He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." (Isaiah 53:12) It is sure, that Christ has much work in heaven, when governing His church, for the enemies never cease from attacking. He also has much work in praying for us, for we never stop sinning. Q. Is he not with us then even unto the end of the world, as he has promised us? Matt. 28:20. A. With respect to his Godhead, majesty, grace and spirit, he is never absent from us; but with respect to his human nature, he remains in heaven, until he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead. He promised us that He would be with us even unto the end of the world. After Jesus had commanded His disciples to teach all the nations, and to let them observe all things whatsoever He had commanded them, He said: "Lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) And after He had said this, He ascended into heaven. So, the question arises, when He ascended, is He then not with us unto the end of the world? The answer is, that He, though absent with the body, yet, with His Godhead, He is with us always. With respect to His Godhead, He fills the universe, and is always with us. He sent also His Spirit to dwell in us, and He shows His grace to be with us. But with respect to His human nature, He remains in heaven, until He comes back to judge the quick and the dead. It is now the time of grace, but when Christ comes back, the time of grace will be ended. Then He will judge the quick and the dead, giving everybody according to his work. The unbelievers, having done much sins, will perish. But the believers, whose sins are forgiven, and who have done good works, will be saved. Christ is then, according to the body, in heaven, and not everywhere, as the Lutherans teach. "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:30) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Teus Benschop | email@example.com | editor of the list Chr-Exp "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel" More info? Send mail containing: review chr-exp Subscribe? Send mail containing: subscribe chr-exp Send that mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org Institute Practical Bible-education Web: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/ipb-e/ipbe-home.html ------------------------------------------------------------------------ file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/cate: cat-025.txt .