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He was the altar according to His divine nature, it belonging to the altar to sanctify that which is offered upon it, and so it ought to be of greater dignity than the sacrifice itself. Concerning His kingly office, Christ being risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and having all power in heaven and earth, He doth spiritually govern His church, and doth exercise His power over all, angels and men, good and bad, to the preservation and salvation of the elect, and to the overruling and destruction of His enemies.

Jesus: Prophet, Priest, King

By this kingly power He applieth the benefits, virtue, and fruits of His prophecy and priesthood to His elect, subduing their sins, preserving and strengthening them in all their conflicts against Satan, the world, and the flesh, keeping their hearts in faith and filial fear by His Spirit: By this His mighty power He ruleth the vessels of wrath, using, limiting and restraining them, as it seems good to His infinite wisdom.

This His kingly power shall be more fully manifested when He shall come in glory to reign among His saints, when He shall put down all rule and authority under His feet, that the glory of the Father may be perfectly manifested in His Son, and the glory of the Father and the Son in all His members. The closest we may get to these things being applied to us is the priesthood of all believers, but that applies to every genuinely believer not just church leaders.

Even then, the priestly function of the priesthood of all believers is not, typically, the priestly function people want to claim for church leaders. The New Testament tends to picture leadership with shepherd imagery. That is, after all, what pastor Gk.


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We are undershepherds. The types of prophet, priest and king — that certainly are scriptural — are never applied to church leaders. They are applied to those who held those OT offices and, latterly, all applied to Christ who is the antitype of them all.

Priests, Prophets, Kings | Word on Fire

Our role as church leaders is not to apply those types to ourselves, but to serve under the one who fulfils them. Timothy Paul Jones says it well:. Skip to content. John ; ,50; ; Deut.

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John ; Acts ; Deut. In fact, this usage of the munus triplex falls far short when it comes to support either from Scripture or from church history. Particularly absent in Scripture is any clear identification of these offices with specific traits that different church leaders possess in differing degrees.

God had promised the Israelites that he would provide everything his people might need to flourish in the land if only they would remain faithful to his covenant. And yet, a time would come when the people would no longer be satisfied with what their God offered. This design would indeed provide Israel with a king—but the monarchy that Moses described would, in some sense, accomplish the opposite of what Israel would demand. The result would be a monarchy that would make Israel unlike any other nation under heaven.

In other nations, a king or priest might be seen as the son of a deity, divinely elevated above his subjects. The purpose of these prohibitions was to drive Israel to entrust their security to the faithfulness of God rather than relying on their own prosperity or political power. By copying the covenant anew, each king of Israel would engage in a sacred act that would produce a sacred artifact. In kingdoms surrounding Israel, covenant documents might be kept in a temple so that a priest could read the treaty to the king at designated times.

This personal copy of the covenant would serve as a working document to direct every judgment that the king handed down. It was in the virgin womb of a girl from Galilee that the consummate fulfillment of kingship began to blossom into the fullness that God had always intended Luke Even if we suppose that kingship is a type of leadership that can be conveyed to particular individuals in the church, the definition of a kingly leader as a dominant visionary strategist is unbalanced at best and fundamentally flawed at worst.


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  • Treating kingly leadership as visionary organizational strategy imports a very modern concept of leadership into old covenant kingship and, in the process, skews our understanding of church leadership in the new covenant. This is not to suggest that visionary strategies are unhelpful or unnecessary in leadership!

    The point is that Scripture never links these capacities to the office of king or even to a particular role in the church.

    The Prophet, Priest, and King Ministry of the Apostles in Acts 6

    Kingship in the old covenant was focused primarily on modeling covenant faithfulness and judging the people in righteousness, not on visionary leadership or strategic planning. Even more problematic for the claim that kingly leadership is conveyed to particular individuals in the church is the fact that kingship in the new covenant is never identified as the property of individual Christians.

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    Kingship in the kingdom of God is ascribed to God in Christ and to the whole people of God in union with Christ. Jesus promised his first disciples that they would reign alongside him Matthew ; Luke But this glorious privilege extended far beyond the apostles! Through union with Christ, every believer in Christ participates in the kingship of Christ, but this participation is corporate and communal, not individual. None of us is called to live as a kingly leader individually or independently in the church of Jesus Christ.

    Jesus' Three Offices: Prophet, Priest, and King

    When a few Christians in Corinth began to act like royalty in a manner that separated them from their fellow believers, Paul called them to return to unity with the body. Here, it is worth noting that, even in the New Testament,.

    It seems, then, that one of the primary expressions of our union with Christ the King will be participation in his judgment at the end of time.