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John Frame – The King of the Ages

9 Nov

Geerhardus Vos formulated Jesus’ view of the kingdom as follows:

To him the kingdom exists there, where not merely God is supreme, for that is true at all times and under all circumstances, but where God supernaturally carries through his supremacy against all opposing powers and brings men to the willing recognition of the same.

On this definition, the kingdom is dynamic, indeed dramatic. It is a world-historical movement, following the fall of Adam, in which God works to defeat Satan and bring human beings to acknowledge Christ as Lord. It is, preeminently, the history of salvation.

God could have remedied the fall in an instant, sending his Son in an accelerated time frame, bringing him to death, resurrection, ascension, and triumphal return in a matter of seconds. Or he might have accomplished this work in a matter of decades, allowing for a somewhat more normal kind of historical development. But instead he determined a process spread over millennia. He spent centuries narrowing the messianic line to a chosen family, bringing them into the Land of Promise, ordaining the birth of his Son in the “fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4), accomplishing redemption in thirty-three years, and sending his disciples on a journey of several thousand years at least to bring this good news to all the nations.

Why he chose to stretch out the drama of salvation over so long a time is a mystery. The length of this time is related to other mysteries of Scripture, such as the problem of evil. We would not cry, “How long, O Lord?” (Pss. 6:3; 13:1; 80:4; 90:13; Hab. 1:2; Zech. 1:12; Rev. 6:10), if God had determined to complete his purposes in an instant, and the sting of pain and suffering would be much less if God were to abbreviate his story to a few decades. But God’s decision is clear: that the history of redemption will take millennia, leaving space for dramatic movements, ups and downs, twists and turns, longings and astonishments. Salvation is to be a great epic, not a short story. God will glorify himself, not by measuring his kingdom in time spans appropriate to human kings, but by revealing himself as “King of the ages” (Rev. 15:3 NIV).

~John Frame~

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief (Phillipsburg, New Jersey; P&R Publishing; 2013) p. 87-88

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Thomas Schreiner – God is Our King of Glory and Love

25 Jul


Focusing on God as King in the abstract apart from human beings does not do justice to the breadth found in the Scriptures. For the central message of Scripture also includes human being–the crown of creation–who are created in God’s image. Since God is King and Lord, it is his purpose and design that he be glorified in all things and by all people. Some have complained that such a God is narcissistic, but that objection misses the point. For God as King glorifies himself by giving himself to his human beings in love. God is honored as King when human beings receive and depend upon his love and experience his salvation. God’s glory and God’s love must not be placed into two separate compartments. Rather, God is glorified as Lord in his love for human beings. The sovereignty of God and his kingship take place in history, in the story recounted in the Scriptures, revealed supremely in the ministry and person of Jesus Christ.

~Thomas Schreiner~

The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids, MI; Baker Academic; 2013) p. xii-xiv

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