Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Three-fold Ill in Us, The Three-fold Office in Christ

There are three main defects in man since the fall.

There is ignorance and blindness.
There is rebellion in the will and affections.
And in regard of his condition, by reason of the sins of nature and life, a subjection to a cursed estate, to the wrath of God and eternal damnation.

Now, answerable to these three grand ills, whosoever shall be ordained a saviour must provide proportionable remedies for these. Hereupon comes a threefold office in Christ, that is ordained to save man, to cure this threefold mischief and malady.

As we are ignorant and blind, he is a prophet to instruct us, to convince us of the ill state we are in, and then to convince us of the good he intends us, and hath wrought for us, to instruct us in all things concerning our everlasting comfort. He is such a prophet as teacheth not only the outward, but the inward man. He openeth the heart, he teacheth to do the things he teacheth. Men teach what we should do, but they teach not the doing of them. He is such a prophet as teacheth us the very things; he teacheth us to love and to obey.

And answerable to the rebellion and sinfulness of our dispositions, he is a king to subdue whatsoever is ill in us, and likewise to subdue all opposite power without us. By little and little he will trample all enemies under his feet, and under our feet, too, ere long.

Now, as we are cursed by reason of our sinful condition, so he is a priest to satisfy the wrath of God for us. He was made a curse for us, Gal. 3:13. He became a servant, that, being so, he might die, and undergo the cursed death of the cross; not only death, but a cursed death, and so his blood might be an atonement as a priest.

So, answerable to the threefold ill in us, you see here is a threefold office in Christ.

--Sibbes, R. (1862). The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, Volume 1 (A. B. Grosart, Ed.) (16). Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; W. Robertson.

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