Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life for the week ending 03-25-01.
The Royalty of Jesus Christ
We have now begun chapter four in our study of Philippians. This chapter is divided into four paragraphs.
1. The perspective of the supergrace life, verses 1-7.
2. The parenthesis on the subject of grace orientation, verses 8-11.
3. A dissertation on the next objective after supergrace, ultra-supergrace, verses 12-19.
4. The final objective of the spiritual life on earth, surpassing grace, verses 20-21.
This is the stage of the greatest tests and pressures for the individual believer, because this is the ultimate goal that can be attained by the intake of doctrine. Dying grace is actually the reward for advancing through all the other stages. Remember our corrected translation of PHI 1:29...
PHI 1:29 "Because to you it has been graciously given with reference concerning Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on behalf of Him."
PHI 4:1-7 reveals the beginning of "no man's land," between supergrace and ultra-supergrace, where we finally experience what living in the minority is all about. In verse 1, the command is given to advance to ultra-supergrace and not retreat. It is an encouragement to advance in the spiritual life and never quit. For this is the most rewarding, and also the most difficult advance in all of the spiritual life for the believer.
PHI 4:1 "Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, so stand firm in the Lord, my beloved."
The Greek word "hoste" can be translated "therefore," "so that," "so then," or "wherefore," and introduces the result of living your life in light of everything that was taught in chapter three.
The following phrase, "my beloved brethren," is used to indicate members of the Royal Family of God. It is a technical term (not merely a reason to call each other "brother"), and its objective is to distinguish between the believers of this dispensation and other dispensations. It is meant to emphasize the privileges that belong to us as Royal Family. Paul clearly has a special relationship with the Philippian believers, not only as an apostle, but also the founder of their church. Paul recognizes the principle that the "Royal Family of God" is a special designation for the Church-age believer only. He makes it a special point to use the word "brethren" in his epistles, not to promote so-called "brotherhood," but cognizance of the tremendous mission and privilege that belong to believers in this age.
This is the only age in which all believers are Royal Family. The Royal Family is actually created by two ministries of God the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation - regeneration, by which we are born again into the family of God, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, by which we become royalty. The Royal Family of God has a very special purpose in the angelic conflict and a special relationship with God forever. So the opening phrase of chapter four, "Therefore, my beloved brethren," is used to emphasize our special place in God's plan. Paul wants us to become conscious of who God has designed us to be, so that we can move on to "no man's land."
"Therefore, my beloved brethren" points to the fact that Someone loves you unconditionally with no strings attached."Beloved brethren" is an important title, because this same word "beloved" is used as title for the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are in union with Him as members of the Royal Family of God. No matter how you feel about yourself, you are royalty!
In fact, this same adjective "agapetos," translated "beloved," was used in MAT 3:17 and in MAT 17:5 for the Lord Jesus Christ.
MAT 3:17 "And behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.'"
MAT 17:5 "While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!'"
This title revealed the attitude of God the Father toward God the Son in hypostatic union. At the virgin birth, God the Father gave God the Son the spark of life, making Him the God-Man. He exhaled both physical life and spiritual life into Him, and He came forth in exactly the same status in which Adam was created. Adam at his creation had physical life and spiritual life. Therefore, Jesus Christ is the Last Adam.
Jesus Christ is the only born Son of God. He was born as a man without the old sin nature and the imputation of Adam's sin. As of that moment, he was called "beloved," the object of the Father's total concentrated love. This is easily seen from such well-known passages as JOH 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only born Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
God's unlimited love was manifested toward two parties when the soul of Jesus Christ entered the world - love for Jesus Christ, the "beloved" of the Father, and love for the world - God the Father was giving the greatest gift of all, the Savior. Having no old sin nature and having lived 33 years without personal sin, Jesus Christ was qualified to go to the Cross and become our substitute and bear our sins. "Beloved" is a very appropriate title for the Lord Jesus Christ under these circumstances.
At the point of our salvation, not only were we born into the family God, but God the Holy Spirit also entered us into union with Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father. Being in union with Christ is absolutely unique; it had never occurred before the day of Pentecost, in A.D. 30, and will never take place again after the Rapture of the Church. From the very beginning of human history, after the failure of Adam and the woman, every person who believed in Christ, starting with Adam and Eve, were born again by the agency of the Holy Spirit. When anyone has believed in Christ, they have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, regardless of the dispensation.
Something phenomenal has been added in the Church-age, namely our union with Christ. It was never given before because Christ had not yet come in the flesh. The historical event of the incarnation, although prophesied, had not yet taken place. Our Lord had not yet gone to the Cross, been resurrected, ascended, and been seated at the right hand of the Father. Therefore, He did not have His third, and to us, His important, category of royalty. In all of human history, until the Father said to the Son, "Sit down at my right hand," no one was true royalty because Christ was not yet royalty as a human, and did not need a Royal Family.
The Doctrine of the Royalty of Jesus Christ
Point 1: Definition. The adjective "royal" means "kingly," or "pertaining to a crown." It is used to describe a king as the sovereign ruler of the people. The noun "royalty" connotes the regal quality or nature of a king. This concept is portrayed in the original Hebrew ("melek") and Greek ("basileus") languages of the Bible. Both words are used in connection with our Lord Jesus Christ and in other realms. The Bible clearly recognizes the various concepts and categories of royalty. Our Lord Jesus Christ now possesses three categories of royalty...
1. The royalty of His deity, by virtue of the fact that He is eternal and infinite God.
2. The royalty of His humanity, by virtue of the virgin birth, Incarnation, and First Advent.
3. The royalty of His Hypostatic Union, by virtue of His strategic victory at the Cross.
Point 2: The Divine Royalty of Jesus Christ. This is Christ's eternal and infinite relationship with the Godhead. Jesus Christ is eternal God. He has all the attributes of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He is equal and coeternal with them. As the manifest person of the Trinity, our Lord wears the crown of divine royalty, JOH 1:18; JOH 6:46;1TI 6:16; 1JO 4:12. The title for His divine royal patent is "Son of God," and this royalty has no beginning and no end. All Bible doctrine stems from His divine royalty.
Point 3: The Jewish Royalty of Jesus Christ. This is the royalty of our Lord's humanity. The royal patent of our Lord's humanity is the virgin birth, in which He became true humanity. At the point of His birth, He became Jewish royalty, directly descended from David and Bathsheba, in the tribe of Judah, and the family of Jesse.
- Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ's humanity, is descended from their son Nathan.
- Joseph, Jesus' legal but not real father, was descended from their son Solomon.
- Mary's line from Nathan is recorded in Luke; Joseph's line from Solomon is recorded in Matthew.
As Jewish royalty, our Lord fulfilled the Davidic covenant. In resurrection body in Hypostatic Union, Jesus Christ will reign forever as the Son of David.
Point 4: The Battlefield Royalty of Jesus Christ. This form of royalty is a result of the strategic victory of Christ in the angelic conflict. Our Lord lived in the predesigned plan of God, and was qualified by His impeccability to go to the Cross and be judged for our sins. That judgment was the beginning of the our Lord's victory. It culminated in His resurrection, ascension and session at the right hand of the Father. The Cross was the greatest battlefield in history! This battlefield royalty makes Jesus Christ the ruler of elect angels and regenerate mankind, COL 2:14, HEB 2:14.
Point 5: The Titles of Our Lord's Three Categories of Royalty.
- Divine royalty: Son of God ("Jehovah Elohim" in the Old Testament).
- Jewish royalty: Son of David.
These first two were combined in His Hypostatic Union, giving Him the title "Son of Man."
- Battlefield royalty: King of kings, Lord of lords, the Bright Morning Star.
"King of kings" gives Christ precedence over human rulers; "Lord of lords" gives Him precedence over angelic rulers, REV 19:16.
Point 6: The Royal Families of Jesus Christ.
- Divine royalty: God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ always had this family in His divine royalty and always will.
- Jewish royalty: The dynasty of David. All His ancestors from David and Bathsheba down to his legal father Joseph and His mother Mary.
(This includes His four stepbrothers, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, also called "Jude," and at least two stepsisters, all royal descendants, MAT 13:55-56.)
- Battlefield royalty: The Royal Family of God, every Church-age believer.
After our Lord's ascension and session, there was not, as yet, a royal family for His third royalty. Therefore, the Age of Israel was brought to an abrupt halt, and the Church-age was inserted, as the dispensation for the calling out of the Royal Family of God. Technical phrases used to describe the Royal Family include the "body of Christ," the "Church," the "bride of Christ," the "baptism of the Holy Spirit," "sanctification," and "beloved brethren." The Church-age is the "mystery" age, its doctrines being previously unknown.
Point 7: The royalty of Christ applied to His name. The royalty of our Lord's name is found in the three words,"Kurios Iesous Christos," the "Lord Jesus Christ." "Lord" refers to His divine royalty; "Jesus" means "Savior," emphasizing the strategic victory of the Cross, resurrection, ascension, and session (Heb 1); and "Christ" means "anointed" or "commissioned one," emphasizing His Jewish royalty.
Point 8: The Royalty of Jesus Christ at the Second Advent.
In REV 19:12-16, we read of the "many crowns" that go with the Lord's three royal titles. Each aspect of our Lord's royalty performs a specific function at the Second Advent. In His divine royalty, Jesus Christ controls history. Therefore, He judges the world, both on the battlefields of Armageddon and in the baptism of fire. He also establishes the Millennium and its 1,000 years of perfect environment as the last dispensation of history, a parallel to the first dispensation of perfection. In His Jewish royalty, Jesus Christ returns as the Son of David, regathers Israel, terminates their fifth cycle of discipline (restoring them as His client nation), fulfills their unconditional covenants, and rules forever over all born-again Israel. In His battlefield royalty, He terminates Satan's rulership, and incarcerates him at the end of the Millennium. Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, will supersede Satan as the ruler of the world.