The following is an extract from a sermon preached by John Newton, the famous slave-trader turned Christian preacher. In it he gives a simple explanation of the three offices of Christ – Prophet, Priest and King.
His text was ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.’ (Jeremiah 17:9-10). The full sermon titled The Deceitfulness of the Heart can be read at GraceGems.
O that we could all sincerely say..; that we were brought to this—to feel and confess our lost, undone estate, and our utter inability to save ourselves! Some such I would hope are in this assembly… To such I say—do not attempt to satisfy the Divine justice by any poor performances of your own! Do not think to cleanse or expiate the evil of your hearts by any of your own inventions; but, ‘behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ He died, that you may live; He lives, that you may live forever. Put, therefore, your trust in the Lord; for with him is plenteous redemption. His sufferings and death are a complete final atoning sacrifice for sin. “He is able to save to the uttermost;” and he is as willing as he is able. It was this brought him down from heaven; for this he emptied himself of all glory, and submitted to all indignity, shame and suffering! His humiliation expiates our pride; his perfect love atones for our ingratitude; his exquisite tenderness pleads for our insensibility. Only believe! Commit your cause to him by faith and prayer.
As a Priest, he shall make atonement for your sins, and present your persons and your services acceptable before God. As a Prophet, he shall instruct you in the true wisdom, which makes wise to salvation; he shall not only cause you to know his commandments, but to love them too; he shall write them in your hearts! As a King, he shall evermore mightily defend you against all your enemies. He shall enable you to withstand temptations, to support under difficulties, to break through all opposition. He shall supply you with everything you need, for this life, out of the unsearchable riches of his grace. He shall strengthen you to overcome all things; to endure to the end! And then he shall give you a place in his kingdom; a seat near his throne; a crown of life; and a crown of glory! For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay!
[A00039 – 20/06/2017]