Biblical Doctrine, Plainly Stated

By William S. Plumer, 1875


Having spoken of the offices of Christ as Mediator, let us consider his glory therein:

I. His glory as a PROPHET. He spoke with authority, and not as the scribes. He spoke with such power that the very men sent to arrest him were disarmed. When asked how this was, all they could answer was, "Never man spoke like this man." John 7:46. Those who heard him felt that the Searcher of hearts was speaking to them. As he himself was truth, all he said was true, and he was its author. He was also the substance of truth. He made known to us the true nature of God. He said, "He who has seen me has seen the Father." John 14:9. Nor did any one else ever so reveal the true nature of God: "Neither knows any man the Father, but the Son, and he to whoever the Son will reveal him." Matt. 1:27. The reason why that which was spoken by the prophets was good and pure, was because they spoke by the Spirit of Christ. 1 Pet. 1:11. "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6. As he who builds a house has more honor than the house, so Christ is more glorious than the greatest prophet, who was a mere man. Heb. 3:3.

As a prophet Christ has great power. He savingly impresses his lessons by the "exceeding greatness of his power to us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power." Eph. 1:19. As he said to Lazarus, Come forth, and the dead obeyed him; so he says to the soul sunk in ignorance and dead in trespasses and sins, and it hears the voice of the Son of God and lives. John 5:25. As the great teacher of his church Christ transmits to others power to teach the same blessed truths with authority; and in his name greater things are done than were done by him in person. John 14:12.

There is also glorious fullness and completeness in the teachings of Christ. He keeps back nothing that is profitable for us. He calls us friends, and treats us as such: "All things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." John 15:15. Christ has always been the Light of the world; and his light is the life of men. John 1:4-9. To him gave all the prophets witness. His glory shone out illustriously in his first miracle. John 2:11. As a prophet Christ taught us by his example also. John 13:15. His example was faultless. It showed us what he meant by his words. It proved that he enjoined nothing that could not be done. In all dispensations the power of Christ's truth has been made resistless by the Holy Spirit.

II. Let us dwell a little on Christ's glory as a PRIEST. None so great ever filled that office before or since the Mediator held it. His person was most glorious, being truly divine. Never was such a sacrifice made as that made on Calvary. His whole person made the offering. None deny that he died on the cross. But prophecy required that his soul should be made an offering for sin, and have bitter travail. Isaiah 53:10, His soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death, even before he was brought into the judgment-hall. Matt. 26:38. The reason was, he was treading the wine-press of his Father's wrath alone.

None was so faultless as he. Heb. 7:26, 27. He magnified the law and made it honorable, as prophecy said he would. Isaiah 42:21. His entire human nature was offered upon the altar of his divine nature, and thus his sacrifice was very glorious. It was a ransom—a full ransom-price for those whom he would redeem. Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Tim. 2:6. He glorified his Father so as no one else ever honored God. The union of his natures was so close that what he did and suffered in his human nature is spoken of as if it had been done and suffered in his divine nature. Acts 20:28. We fitly speak of him as a divine sufferer, though we do not mean that his divinity suffered, but only that the Divine Redeemer suffered in his human nature. The effect of such a priestly offering we should expect to be great on those who believe in it; and so it is. "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses." Acts 13:38, 39. The beloved disciple says, "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.

Other sacrifices never made perfect the worshiper as pertaining to the conscience. Heb. 9:9. All that the offerings made under the law of Moses did, was to purify the flesh—to make men ceremonially fit worshipers. "The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant." Hebrews 9:13-15. It is by his spotless life and amazing death that believers have the righteousness of God without the law; even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all those who believe. They are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:21-24.

III. Let us view Christ's glory as KING. He deserves all his royal honors. Isaiah 52:13; 53:12; 49:4. On this point Paul is very clear. He says of Christ, "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2:6-11.

Christ's kingly power is vast. On his head are many crowns. Rev. 19:12. Long ago his Father gave him the heathen for an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. Psalm 2:8. "He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." Psalm 72:8. Christ's kingdom is the more glorious because it is spiritual, and not carnal. He said to Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36. Nor shall this kingdom ever fade away. "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever." Psalm 45:6. "I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." 2 Sam. 7:13. "And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:33. So glorious is Zion's King, that he makes all his people kings and priests unto God! Rev. 1:6. As head of the church he alone is King. 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 1:22; 4:5. He shall never be superseded, but abides ever over the house of God; Heb. 10:21 and is heir of all things. Heb. 1:2-4.