Friday, January 10, 2014

Jesus as Lord in the Remonstrant Tradition

Jesus did not become Lord; He has always been Lord. By "Lord," we assume His right to be sovereign over all creation: He governs the circumstances of our lives, including allowing or not allowing the manifestation of our free, evil choices, including their consequences; or those choices of others toward us, whether good or bad. Jesus is creator of all that is, seen and unseen (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16). He also sustains the entire universe (Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3). These realities are derived from His being God from eternity past. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created." (John 1:1-3 NET)

The Remonstrants confess that, according to His person, Jesus Christ is "true and eternal God, and at the same time, true and perfectly just man, in one and the same person. For as the natural, only begotten, and proper Son of God . . . in the fullness of time, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, He was made a man true and complete and born of the Virgin Mary, without any stain of sin."1 They confess that the office of Christ is threefold: "prophetic, priestly, and kingly, which the whole, in part, He faithfully administered now long ago in this world under that state of humiliation and abasement, and now also in part gloriously administers in heaven in a state of glory and exaltation."2

As Prophet, Jesus explained to humanity the salvation of God "to all who truly believe and obey." As Priest, He bore the cruel cross of the wrath of God Almighty against sin; even now He "continually appears before the face of God in heaven for the sake of men and effectively and gloriously intercedes for believers, exhibiting Himself indeed always and everywhere as a most faithful advocate and patron to them."3 Jesus has, however, always exercised His being Lord; and thus His being the rightful King He
already perpetually exercises, since, being once revived from death by the Father and raised to the throne of supreme majesty in heaven, and placed at the right hand of God in the highest, and having gained all power in heaven and earth, He magnificently rules everywhere.

Indeed He administrates all things according to His own will, that in the first place He may consider the safety of His believers, namely, since not only has He long ago instituted the ministry of the gospel for our good, but also powerfully preserves it uninterrupted against all types of obstacles and therein still admirably exerts His own spiritual efficacy.4
As both Lord and King, Jesus also "powerfully guards, protects and defends His faithful subjects in this life by the Spirit and His ministering angels against the schemes, frauds, snares, force and power of Satan, tyrants and all their other enemies"; this the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to do "until in the last judgment He utterly destroys the latter, and takes the former up into His heavenly and immortal glory and renders them eternally happy and blessed."5 He alone is worthy of this Kingship, to be noted as Lord over all, and "indeed upon these offices is built both the knowledge and worship of Jesus Christ Himself."6 Jesus cannot but be Lord over all because that is merely eternal reality.


1 The Arminian Confession of 1621, trans. and ed. by Mark A. Ellis (Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2005), 70.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid., 71.

4 Ibid., 72.

5 Ibid.

6 Ibid.


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