Friday, January 18, 2008

The Lost Office of Jesus

It is no secret that a denial of the depravity of our nature, and our total inability to save ourselves, often co-exists with either the denial of the full deity and true humanity of Christ, or else the reduction of his work to that of an inspirational teacher. Christ is no longer needed as Prophet, Priest and King. In fact he is often reduced to Prophet and King and his Priesthood discarded as unnecessary to his work.

This is bad news for sinners. Christ is reduced to being a Moralizer and is no longer a Saviour. He will still be called a Saviour, and words like grace and faith with still be associated with him. The reality, however, is that his saving work has been so recast and reinterpreted, that it becomes "accept my teachings and obey my message of good news." No wonder that the focus has shifted, in some bestselling books, to the message of Jesus and sharp distinction from the message about Jesus (his person and work).

This Jesus has come to teach, to call followers to take up his teaching, to influence them by his example in life and in death, but not to do the work of saving them from their sins by atonement. This "Jesus" will do you no good. This "gospel" obscures how profoundly guilty, lost and unclean we really are. It also draws a veil over the infinite holiness of God.

Said John Owen:
...not apprehending the dread of our original apostasy from God, nor the consequences of it in the universal depravation of our nature, they disown any necessity either of the satisfaction of Christ or the efficacy of divine grace for our recovery or restoration.
John Owen, The Doctrine of Justification by Faith, p.20


Alan said...

WhereEVER do you get your photos from ?

Martin Downes said...

Google Images.

I usually prefer to use paintings (must be my A level Art background).

Alan said...

So THAT'S why your blog is so visually attractive !