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THE KINGLY OFFICE OF CHRIST, AS IT IS EXECUTED

THE KINGLY OFFICE OF CHRIST, AS IT IS EXECUTED

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Published by glennpease

2 COR. X. 5.

GASTIHG DOWN IMAGINATIOKS, AKD EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTETH IT-
SELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND BBINGIHG INTO CAPTIVITY
EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.

2 COR. X. 5.

GASTIHG DOWN IMAGINATIOKS, AKD EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTETH IT-
SELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND BBINGIHG INTO CAPTIVITY
EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.

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Published by: glennpease on Jan 24, 2013
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09/03/2013

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THE KINGLY OFFICE OF CHRIST, AS IT IS EXECUTED
SPIRITUALLY UPON THE SOULS OF THE REDEEMED.
BY JOHN FLAVEL.2 COR. X. 5.GASTIHG DOWN IMAGINATIOKS, AKD EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTETH IT-SELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND BBINGIHG INTO CAPTIVITYEVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.We now come to the regal office, by which our glorious Me-diator executes the undertaken design of our redemption. Hadhe not, as our Prophet, opened the way of life and salvation tothe children of men, they could never have known it ; and if they had clearly known it, yet except, as their Priest, he hadoffered up himself, to impetrate and obtain redemption for them,they could not have been redeemed virtually by his blood ; andif they had been so redeemed, yet had he not lived in the ca-pacity of a King, to apply this purchase of his blood to them,they could have had no actual, personal benefit by his death ;for what he revealed as a Prophet, he purchased as a Priest ;and what he so revealed and purchased as a Prophet and Priest,he applies as a King ; first subduing the souls of his elect tohis spiritual government ; then ruling them as his subjects, andordering all things in the kingdom of Providence for their good.So that Christ hath a twofold kingdom, the one spiritual andinternal, by which he subdues and rules the hearts of his people ;the other providential and external, whereby he guides, rules,and orders all things in the world, in a blessed subordination totheir eternal salvation. I am to speak from this text of hisspiritual and internal kingdom.These words hold forth the efficacy of the gospel, in theplainness and simplicity of it, for the subduing of rebellioussinners to Christ : and in them we have these three thino's toconsider.1. The oppositions made by sinners against the assaults of the gospel, namely, imaginations, or reasonings, as the wordXoyiiTfiag, may be fitly rendered. He means the subtleties,slights, excuses, subterfuges, and arguings of fleshly-mindedSERM. XVI. THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE. 139men ; in whioli they fortify and intrench themselves against theconvictions of the word : yea, and there are not only such carnalreasonings, but many proud, high conceits with which poorcreatures swell, and scorn to submit to the abasing, humble,self-denying way of the gospel. These are the fortificationserected against Christ by the carnal mind.2. We have here the conquest which the gospel obtainsover sinners, thus fortified against it ; it casts down and over-throws these strong holds. Thus Christ spoils Satan of his ar-mour in which he trusted, by showing the sinner that all this can
 
be no defence to his soul against the wrath of God. But thatis not all : in the next place,3. You have here the improvement of the victory. Christdoth not only lead away these enemies spoiled, but brings theminto obedience to himself, that is, makes them, after conversion,subjects of his own kingdom, obedient, useful, and serviceable tohimself ; and so is more than a conqueror. They do not onlylay down their arms, and fight no more against Christ, withthem ; but repair to his camp, and fight for Christ, with thosereasons of theirs that were before employed against him : as itis said of Jerom, Origen, and TertuUian, that they came intoCanaan laden with egyptian gold ; that is, they came into thechurch full of excellent learning and abilities, with which theyeminently served Jesus Christ. " Oh blessed victory, wherethe conqueror and conquered both triumph together 1"* Andthus enemies and rebels are subdued, and made subjects of the spiritual kingdom of Christ. Hence the doctrinal note is,DocT. That Jesus Christ exercises a kinglyPOVTER OVER THE SOULS OF ALL WHOM THE GOS-PEL SUBDUES TO HIS OBEDIENCE.¦No sooner were the colossians delivered out of the powerof darkness, but they were immediately translated into thekingdom of Christ, the dear Son, Col. i. 13. This kingdomof Christ, which is, our present subject, is the internal spiritualkingdom, which is said to be within the saints ; " The king-dom of God is within you," Luke xvii. 20, 21. Christ sitsas an enthroned King in the hearts, consciences, and affectionsof his willing people, Psa. ex. 3. And his kingdom consists in" righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost," Rom. xiv.17, and it is properly monarchical, as appears in the margin.In the prosecution of this point, I will speak doctrinally tothese three heads :* Meyer, in loc.140 THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE. SERM. XVI.I. How Christ obtains the throne in the hearts of men.II. How he rules in it, and by what acts he exercises hiskingly authority. III. What are the privileges of those soulsover whom Christ reigns. And then apply it.I. We will open the way and manner in which Christ ob-tains a throne in the hearts of men, and that is by conquest :for though the souls of the elect are his by donation, andright of redemption ; the Father gave them to him, and hedied for them ; yet Satan hath the first possession : and so itfares with Christ, as it did with Abraham, to whom God gavethe land of Canaan by promise and covenant, but the canaan-ites, perizzites, and sons of Anak, had the actual possessionof it, and Abraham's .posterity must fight for it, and win it
 
by inches, before they enjoy it. The house is conveyed toChrist by him that built it, but the strong man armed keepsthe possession of it, till a stronger than he comes and ejectshim, Luke xi. 20 — 22. Christ must fight his way into thesoul, though he have a right to enter, as into his dearly pur-chased possession. And so he doth ; for when the time of recovering them is come, he sends forth his armies to subduethem ; as it is Psa. ex. 3, " Thy people shall be willing inthe day of thy power." The Hebrew may as fitly be render-ed, and so is by some, " in the day of thine armies ;"when the Lord Jesus sent forth his armies of prophets, apostles,evangelists, pastors, teachers, under the conduct of his Spirit,armed with that two-edged sword, the word of God, which issharp and powerful, Heb. iv. 12. But that is not all : hecauses armies of convictions, and spiritual troubles, to begirdand straiten them on every side, so that they know not whatto do. These convictions, like a shower of arrows, strike,point-blank, into their consciences ; " When they heard this,they were pricked to the heart, and said. Men and brethren,what shall we do ?" Acts ii. 37. Christ's arrows are sharpin the hearts of his enemies, whereby the people fall under him,Psa. xlv. 5, 6. By these convictions he batters down all theirloose, vain hopes, and levels them with the earth. Now all theirweak pleas and defences, from the general mercy of God, theexample of others, &c. prove but as paper walls to them.These shake their hearts, even to the very foundation, and over-turn every high thought there, that exalts itself against the Lord.This day, in which Christ sits down before the soul, andsummons it by such messengers as these, is a day of distresswithin ; yea, such a day of trouble, that none is like it. Butthough it be so, yet Satan hath so deeply intrenched him-SERM. XVI. THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE. 141self in tlie mind and will, that the soul vields not at the firstsummons, till its provisions within are spent, and all its towersof pride, and walls of vain confidence, be undermined by thegospel, and shaken down about its ears ; and then the souldesires a parley with Christ. Oh now it would be glad of terms, any terms, if it may but save its life ; let all go as aprey to the conqueror Now it sends many such messengersas these to Christ, who is come now to the very gates of thesoul ; Mercy, Lord, mercy, oh were I but assured thou wouldstreceive, spare, and pardon me, I would open to thee thenext moment ! Thus the soul is " shut up to the faith of Christ," as it is. Gal. iii. 23, and reduced now to the greateststrait and loss imaginable ; and now the merciful King, whoseonly design is to conquer the heart, hangs forth the white flagof mercy before the soul, giving it hopes it shall be spared,pitied, and pardoned, though so long in rebellion against him,if yet it will yield itself to Christ.Many staggerings, hesitations, irresolutions, doubts, fears, scru-ples, half-resolves, reasonings for and against, there are at thecouncil-table of man's own heart, at this time. Sometimes there

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