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Christ in Our Place

April 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

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In His person and in His name we all enter the sanctuary fearlessly. And because He enters the Holy of Holies “in our name,” our worship “in the name of Jesus” also reaches the same place. His name bears us, sanctifies our being, hallows our lips which are otherwise defiled to sing hymns of praise, and leads our worship to heaven. We cannot invocate God and glorify His name except through Christ the Mediatory alone, who performs the priestly office by standing before God in our name. Through identifying completely with our humanity in order to act in our place, on our behalf, He not only ministers to us the things of God, but the things of us to God. As object, Christ is the one whom we worship as Lord and Head of creation and humanity; as subject, He is the one who, as Lord and Head, is the leader of our worship. As Calvin said, “Christ heeds our praises, and is the chief conductor of our hymns. ” (See footnote #90, p.157) As the chief worshipper, Christ proclaims the praises of God amid His people (Heb. 2:12). In John Thompson’s words: “Christ is the One who as the God-man comes as God, reveals himself, but is also representative man, being and doing in our place what we cannot be and do for ourselves.” True worship therefore consists chiefly not in what we do in our power, but rather in what Christ has done, and continues to do “in our name” as our great High Priest, the one true Leitourgos of the sanctuary (Heb. 8:2). In “the name of Christ” we are given a true participation in His communion with God which is understood as worship; and our being and earthly sacrifices have access to the heavenly sanctuary. The prime emphasis is not our response, but Christ’s response imputed to us.

–Dennis Ngien, Gifted Response: The Triune God as the Causative Agency of our Responsive Worship, 157.

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