Is Christ your king? A simple question, that most Christians would answer with a resounding YES, but stop and asked yourself that question again. Is Christ really your king? Do your deepest allegiances belong to Him?
I recently taught a series for the high school students at my church about Jesus’s three-fold office of Prophet, Priest, and King. It was a fascinating study and open my eyes to new ways to understand who Jesus is. One of my conversation partners was the Dutch Reformed theologian, Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920). Kuyper wrote extensively on Christ’s kingship in his three volume work, Pro Rege. I recently received a copy of the first volume from Lexham press and it has been a fantastic resource. At first glance, its size may look intimidating, but Kuyper originally wrote each of the chapters as a newspaper article, so they are quite accessible. Here are a few things that have struck me in my reading so far:
Jesus cannot just be your savior and friend, he must be where your deepest allegiances lie.
“You call him your Savior, Redeemer, Surety, and you delight in the redemption and salvation he obtained for you. But all of this has to do with how he has benefited you, to save you from perdition. But Christ is more—he is also your King. Saying so expresses the honor due him, but also expressed what you must be for Christ. The kingship of Jesus comes to you with a demand. It demands faithfulness, allegiance, and submission. It demands of you—especially in this Christian nation—that you confess him, that you stand up for him, and that you plead for the honor of his Name.” (Kuyper, Pro Rege, Vol. 1. Pg 10)
Our kingdoms lead to self glory. Christ’s Kingdom lead to self-sacrifice.
“In the former, everything was sacrificed for the sake of one’s own honor and greatness; in Christ, it was a matter of self-giving, devotion, self-sacrifice, self-abasement, and self-destruction—in order to bring eternal life to a people and to enrich them with the treasures of grace.” (Kuyper, Pro Rege, Vol 1. Pg 245)
Evangelicals talk about making “decisions” to follow Jesus, but in reality, King Jesus summons a remnant of humanity to himself.
This continuous process of dividing and choosing is intended to show that while humanity may withdraw from God’s authority, the Lord in his sovereign design places his hand on one part of the human race time and again, incorporates it into his covenant, subjects one generation after another to his majesty within that covenant, and thereby brings nearer and nearer the rise of the kingdom of heaven over against the kingdom of the world. (Kuyper, Pro Rege, Vol 1. Pg 398)
So again, is Christ your king? You may not get to vote him into office, but you do get to find rest from this life in the one who holds your life in his hands.