Thomas Watson – Christ’s Kingly Office

NPG D29707; Thomas Watson by John Sturt, after  Unknown artist

Question: How does Christ execute the office of a king?

Answer: In subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.

Let us consider now Christ’s regal office. ‘And he hath on his vesture, and on his thigh, a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords’ (Rev. 19:16).

Jesus Christ is of mighty renown, he is a king; (1) he has a kingly title. ‘High and Lofty’ (Is. 47:14). (2) He has his insignia regalia, his ensigns of royalty; corona est insigne regae potestatis [a crown is the symbol of royal power]. He has his crown (Rev. 6:2); his sword, ‘Gird thy sword upon thy thigh’ (Ps. 45:3); his sceptre, ‘A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom’ (Heb. 1:8). (3) He has his escutcheon, or coat of armour; he inserts the lion in his coat of arms: ‘The lion of the tribe of Judah’ (Rev. 5:5). The text says ‘he is King of kings.’ He has a pre-eminence of all other kings, and is called, ‘The Prince of the kings of the earth’ (Rev. 1:5). He must needs be so, for ‘by him kings reign’ (Prov. 8:15). They hold their crowns by immediate tenure from this great King. Christ infinitely outvies all other princes; he has the highest throne, the largest dominions, and the longest possession. ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever’ (Heb. 1:8). He has many heirs, but no successors. Well may he be called ‘King of kings,’ for he has an unlimited power. The power of other kings is limited, but Christ’s power is unlimited. ‘Whatsoever he pleased, that did he, in heaven and earth, and in the seas’ (Ps. 135:6). Christ’s power is as large as his will. The angels take the oath of allegiance to him. ‘Let all the angels of God worship him’ (Heb. 1:6).

How came Christ to be king?

Not by usurpation, but legally. He holds his crown by immediate tenure from heaven. God the Father has decreed him to be king. ‘I have set my king upon my holy hill: I will declare the decree’ (Ps. 2:6, 7). God has anointed and sealed him to his regal office. ‘Him hath God the Father sealed’ (John 6:27). God has set the crown upon his head.

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