According to 1 Corinthians 15:25, Jesus “must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” In what way is Christ reigning right now? Today, Harry Reeder explains how Jesus is executing His kingly office in the present age.
NATHAN W. BINGHAM: We’re recording live from Ligonier’s 2022 National Conference and I’m joined by Dr. Harry Reeder, the senior minister of Briarwood Presbyterian Church. Dr. Reeder, in what way is Christ presently reigning over the church?
DR. HARRY REEDER: Well, He is in heaven, and He is reigning over the church by His position of authority, and that He has been placed at the right hand of the Father. And He is reigning over the church functionally by His Word and with His Spirit. So, He has sent us the Word of God, and He has sent us the Spirit of God, and He is reigning through that.
Secondly, He is reigning by His benevolent leadership of giving. The Bible says, “He who descended is He who ascended and gave gifts to men” (Eph. 4:8). So, He is reigning through giving Apostles: that’s men. And He’s giving men for leadership in the official places of the church. He is giving women and their giftedness to the church. So, He gives people to the church. He gives ministries to the church: pastors, teachers, et cetera, and He also gives gifts to every single member of the church.
So, everyone is gifted by the Holy Spirit with their spiritual gift. There are ministries that Christ has established in His church and given to the church, and there are people that He has saved and gives them to the church. They were baptized and added to the church. So, they are a part of the living stones that make up the New Testament temple of God. And so, He’s ruling and reigning.
Secondly, He is the head over His church, and now He is sending His church as the embassy of the kingdom of God to extend the kingdom of God into this world. And I also believe He is ruling and reigning over all the nations. He has bound the strong man, so now the focus is not simply on one covenanted nation, Israel, but gaining and bringing God’s covenant people from every tribe and nation, while King of Kings, Jesus, is ruling and reigning through all of the nations.
Now, there’s much more that could be said, but for our brief time, finally, He is ruling and reigning, not only as Creator, not only as Redeemer, in and through His church. He is reigning as sustainer: His providence. He is upholding all things by the word of His power. He is also causing all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). He is also ordaining and ruling that the rain falls on the just and the unjust: common grace.
So, I think those would be ways to see Christ ruling and reigning. And you could go further: His intercessory work. But that’s where I would look at the Christ as King in this now but not yet fulfillment of the kingdom.
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