John Calvin & Jesus' Job Description

This is an unprecedented moment for this blog. This is the first time I've ever used material from John Calvin. 

If you don't know who Calvin is, he is a Swiss reformer (1509-1563) and theologian who is most commonly known as the father of the system of theology called "Calvinism" which is popular in new reformation movements and is seen in small ways in groups such as The Gospel Coalition. 

The reason Calvin hasn't appeared on this blog is because I don't agree with many of the tenets of Calvinism (I agree even less with The Gospel Coalition, but that's another post). It isn't that I think Calvin or Calvinists are evil, quite the opposite in fact, but I simply don't hold to the same theological points as Calvinist/Reformed traditions do.

With that being said, I recently read a chapter in Richard Foster & Gayle Beebe's book Longing For God that dealt with Calvin's contribution to spiritual formation & devotion. The chapter ends with Foster & Beebe talking about Calvin's "threefold office of Christ" and I found their summary of it powerful. I thought I'd share it here with you:

The threefold office of Christ is the divinely revealed solution to the threefold disease of sin: ignorance, guilt, and corruption. Christ by prophetic light overcomes our ignorance and the darkness of error. Christ by priestly merit takes away our guilt and reconciles us to God. Christ by kingly power removes our bondage to sin and death. The prophet enlightens the mind by the spirit of illumination; the priest heals the heart and soul by the spirit of compassion; the king subdues our rebellious affections by the spirit of sanctification. (119)

I encourage you to read over this slowly and meditate on these images of Jesus. You may find, as I do, that some of them are in tension with the Kingdom-role that Jesus came to play in fulfilling Israel's story and showing God's covenant faithfulness to creation. You may find new insights into the ways Jesus seeks to work in your life today.

I pray His Spirit engages you in powerful and refreshing ways through the words and thoughts of one of the great "dead guys."