Every year during the season of Advent I do a four part series in to match up with the four Sunday’s of Advent. In 2014 we explored the various heresies which facilitated the controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries. In 2015 we took an in depth look at the Niceno-Constantinopolitian Creed. This year, we will take a look at the eight clauses of chapter eight of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Each week we will tackle two clauses.
3. The Lord Jesus, in his human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure, having in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell; to the end that, being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a mediator, and surety. Which office he took not unto himself, but was thereunto called by his Father, who put all power and judgment into his hand, and gave him commandment to execute the same.
Although Christ never sinned, he was sanctified according to his human nature just as we will be, by union with God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. For us, our indwelling is finite, because we are finite. However, for the Son who is infinite, his union with the Spirit is likewise infinite. It is only through this infinite union that he can fulfill his role as both Mediator, and Guarantor, of the Covenant of Grace. This office was appointed to him by his Father, not by his own human will. All the authority we see Christ execute as a human, he executes because it was given to him by his Father.
4. This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake; which that he might discharge, he was made under the law, and did perfectly fulfill it; endured most grievous torments immediately in his soul, and most painful sufferings in his body; was crucified, and died, was buried, and remained under the power of death, yet saw no corruption. On the third day he arose from the dead, with the same body in which he suffered, with which also he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father, making intercession, and shall return, to judge men and angels, at the end of the world.
Although he was appointed by his Father, the Son also executed this office by his own will, since they share a singular will. While on earth, Christ merited a perfect active righteousness by positively fulfilling every command of the law. He also merited a perfect passive righteousness by suffering physically and spiritually. He really bodily endured suffering, died, was buried, and rose again. He really bodily was taken to heaven and reigns in power with is Father. He really bodily will return to judge all rational creatures in the end times. This article affirms the historical nature of the Gospel accounts of Christ’s life, death, resurrection, ascension, and looks forward to the historical nature of his return. This excludes all forms of Full Preterism which denies a future advent of the Lord, as well as all forms of Liberalism which deny a historical bodily resurrection. It also excludes any form of Gnosticism or Docetism which deny a historical bodily incarnation or death.