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Author:Dr. Wes Bredenhof
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Congregation:Free Reformed Church of Launceston, Tasmania
 Tasmania, Australia
 
Title:The Anointed One supplies what is lacking
Text:LD 12 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday
Topic:God The Son
 
Preached:2020
Added:2010-06-11
Updated:2020-06-19
 

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

Hymn 4
Psalm 110
Hymn 44
Hymn 1
Hymn 68:1,6,7,8

Readings:  Zephaniah 3:14-20, Luke 4:14-30, Hebrews 10:1-18
Text: Lord's Day 12

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Dr. Wes Bredenhof, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.


Beloved congregation of our Lord Jesus,

What’s missing in your life?  What are you lacking?  Because we live in a broken world, I imagine that there might only be a few of us who would say that nothing is missing, nothing is lacking.  Perhaps none of us would say that.  Many of us realize there are gaps, there are places where something should be there or we would want it to be there and it isn’t.

Last Sunday afternoon, we considered the Son of God with his personal name “Jesus.”  That personal name reminds us that he is our Saviour.  This afternoon we’re going to look at his title, “Christ.”  As we do that, we’re going to build on what we heard last time and consider that he is the one who supplies the most important things that would otherwise be missing in our lives.  He is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One of God, and he is our all-in-all.  Without him, we would be so poor.  With him, we are so rich.

This afternoon I bring you God’s Word as we look at Christ,

The Anointed One who supplies what is lacking for us and through us

We’ll learn about him as:

  1. Our prophet supplying revelation and wisdom
  2. Our priest supplying refuge and intercession
  3. Our king supplying defence and escape

Jesus Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit.  Of course, that happened at his baptism in the Jordan River.  He was anointed with the Holy Spirit to be a prophet, priest and king.  These three offices appeared in the Old Testament and pointed ahead to Christ and were fulfilled by him.  The first of these offices is that of a prophet. 

There are several places in Scripture where our Lord Jesus either claims to be a prophet or is obviously acting in the capacity of a prophet.  One of those places where he explicitly claims to be a prophet is in what we read from Luke 4.  Jesus went to his hometown  and when Saturday rolled around (the Sabbath), he went to the local synagogue to worship God.  While there, he read from Isaiah 61.  In that passage, Isaiah speaks about his calling as a prophet.  Jesus says that Isaiah was speaking about the Messiah – the Messiah who was standing in the synagogue that day in Nazareth. 

That claim didn’t go over too well and the account ends with people trying to throw the Messiah over a cliff.  However, the point is that Jesus explicitly referred to himself as a prophet – “No prophet is accepted in his hometown.”  Furthermore, he described what his role as a prophet was.  He was ordained to do five things.  The first was to preach good news to the poor.  The second to proclaim liberty for the captives.  Then sight for the blind, freedom for the oppressed, and last of all to proclaim the year of God’s favour.  All of that has to do with redemption.  As a prophet, Jesus came to preach and to reveal himself as the one who can rescue and deliver from sin and its effects.  This he still does today through his Word, as we read it and as we hear it preached.

As a prophet, Jesus also came as the great truth-teller when it came to sin.  He boldly confronted sin.  He exposed sin, folly, and rebellion and commanded people to turn from their wicked ways, to repent.  Today too, with his Word, Christ continues to uncover the sin in our lives and our need to turn to him with repentance and faith.  In chapter 5, the prophet Isaiah issued his famous warning to those who call good evil, and evil good, who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.  Jesus was and is the perfect prophet who calls things for what they are.  He always gives the straight goods, exposing the real problem so he can provide the real solution.

As a prophet, Jesus also came as the wisdom of God.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:24 that Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Similarly, in Colossians 2:3, the Holy Spirit reveals that “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are hidden in Christ.  But what is wisdom and what does it mean that Christ is the wisdom of God and supplies wisdom?  It refers to knowing how to apply what you know in all circumstances of life.  Wisdom is an attribute of God.  God is all-wise; he always knows exactly the right thing to do in each and every situation.  He always makes the right call.  Jesus Christ is the perfect human embodiment of that attribute of God.  As such he imparts wisdom to us through his Word and Spirit.  He gives us the ability to put knowledge into action in all the various circumstances of our lives. 

How we need our Prophet!  All around us there’s foolishness and superficiality.  The culture in which we live doesn’t promote careful reflection and thought about what we do, how we act, what we say, and think.  There’s a cesspool of foolishness everywhere we look.  If we’re honest with ourselves, there’s a lot of foolishness in our own hearts and lives too.  We need the Prophet to teach us wisdom and to lead us in wise ways. 

We also need the Prophet Jesus to continue uncovering sin in our lives.  Who else is going to do that?  There’s a saying that sin is like fungus – it grows best in the dark.  The world wants to keep sin in the dark.  One of the ways it does that is by redefining it – it’s not a sin, it’s a mistake.  A prominent politician gets caught in a scandal and he apologizes for his mistake.  Our Prophet Jesus supplies our lack of sense about sin and he calls it what it is and exposes it for what it is:  rebellion against God deserving eternal punishment.

Thankfully, the Prophet also meets us when we are convicted by his exposing the sin in our lives.  Where we lack, where we are poor, he comes with his riches, with glad tidings!  Where we have been captive, he comes with bolt cutters and a blow torch to deal with those chains.  Where we have been blind, he comes to give us sight.  Who else but our Prophet proclaims the year of God’s favour, the jubilee, the time of freedom and celebration?

This same Prophet also anoints us with his Spirit and sends us in his power.  We become his prophetic voice to the world around us.  We have a calling to expose sin and its foolishness.  Think of what Ephesians 5:11 says, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”  As those who share in Christ’s prophetic office, we ought never to tolerate sin and become calloused to it.  Instead, we’re to firmly, but lovingly uncover the evil and folly around us.  Call it what it is.  Then, as prophets, we also have a calling to point to the Saviour and the freedom he came to supply.  Yes, there is a lack of righteousness, but there is a Saviour who proclaims good news and that good news is all about him and what he has done.  As prophets, we confess his name to anyone we can, whenever we can, wherever we can!

So Jesus was anointed to be our prophet.  He was also anointed to be our priest.  One of my goals in preaching is to get us all more familiar with what the Bible says.  That may seem obvious, but it should never be taken for granted.  When we think about a certain aspect of Christ’s person or work, ideally we should be able to say, “Oh, I know where the Bible talks about that” and then be able to go right there right away.  So, when I say that our Lord Jesus is our only High Priest, I want you to be able to right away say, “Oh, of course, Hebrews is the place we go to find out more about that or understand that or explain it.”  There’s no other book in the Bible which develops the idea of Christ’s priesthood more than Hebrews.  When I say, “Jesus is our High Priest,” you should right away think, “We’re going to Hebrews.”

And so we are.  Hebrews 10 is the epicentre.  This powerful chapter shakes our world.  This is an 8 or 9 on the biblical Richter scale.   Hebrews 10 explains how Jesus Christ offered the once-for-all sacrifice so that we may be reconciled to God.  When we sin and feel guilt about what we’ve done, we can take refuge in the blood and offering that Christ has made as our great High Priest.  Hebrews 10:10 gives us that beautiful truth that through the one sacrifice of his body, we’ve been made holy.  Hebrews 10:14 says that we’ve been made perfect forever because of what Christ has done on the cross.  Because of Christ, God will remember no more our sins and lawless acts.  We have refuge in Christ, a place in which we are safe from the wrath of God against sin.       

However, the ministry of Christ as our priest didn’t end at the cross.  It’s not just something that happened in the past.  His priestly ministry still continues today, right now. Jesus intercedes for us constantly before the Father.  Loved ones, that is such an incredible, beautiful, comforting thing to know.  Romans 8:34 teaches it and tells us that he is interceding for us – present tense, that’s something he’s doing right now and something he’s doing constantly, something he’s going to continue doing.

Brothers and sisters, listen carefully:  Jesus actually knows you, he loves you, he pays attention to your life, and he cares for you.  Hebrews 4 reminds us that he is a sympathetic High Priest.  He doesn’t do that because of anything in us, or because of anything we’ve done.  He does it because of what he has done and who he is, because he is our great and only High Priest.  He knows every hair on our head, everything that goes on every day in our lives, he knows every desire of our hearts, every thought in our minds, every fear, every worry.  Jesus knows it all.  And he still loves you!  Loved ones, the reality is that right now and at every single moment, you have a great high priest in heaven advocating and interceding for you.  He is bringing your hurts, your suffering, your needs, your sins, he’s bringing it all to the Father in a prayerful and loving way.  He’s doing that right now, he’s going to do it tomorrow, he’ll do it on Tuesday and every day from here till the day you’re with him in glory.    

This is the Priest we need.  Without him, we would have no refuge from our sins and from the wrath they justly earn.  Without him, we would have no one to speak up for us and to look out for us.  You’d have to look out for yourself and eventually that’ll tire you right out.  There’s a reason why Jesus calls us to himself to find rest for our souls.  We can rest in him and know that he supplies what we lack.  He takes care of all our needs like a good Shepherd taking care of his sheep.               

And brothers and sisters we share in the anointing of this High Priest.  We too have been anointed with the Holy Spirit.  Part of that involves what the Catechism mentions, namely presenting ourselves as living sacrifices of thankfulness of God.  Priests offer sacrifices, and the sacrifices we are to offer are our lives, ourselves.  Everything about us belongs to God and that shows in the way we live.  However, as we look to what is lacking around us, there’s another angle we should pursue with regards to our being priests, and how Christ works through us. 

This is the angle of intercession.  Christ intercedes for us.  What the world needs and is so often lacking are Christians who’ll go and do likewise, living out of their union with Christ.  According to passages like 1 Timothy 2:1, we have a calling to make intercessions “for all people,” not only for people in high positions of government and authority, but for “all people,” people from all ranks and stations of life.  Christ will supply what is lacking through us when we make prayerful intercession for our next door neighbour who doesn’t know the gospel.  Christ will supply what is lacking through us when we pray and intercede for the co-worker whose wife has some terminal illness and who doesn’t know peace with God through Christ.  Christ will supply what is lacking through us when we intercede in prayer for the college teacher undermining the Christian faith whenever she can, and we pray for her and ask God to bring her to repentance and faith.  In all these ways, we’ll act as priests to the world around us that needs intercession.  We act as those who share in the anointing of Christ.   

He is our Prophet, our Priest, and last of all our King.  Zephaniah is one of the minor prophets and probably one of the least well-known books of the Bible.  Seeing as how it only has three chapters, it likely took you a minute to find it.  But in this little book, we find this passage we read earlier, a passage where the prophet seems to be skipping on top of the mountains with joy.  Here’s someone who has a reason to praise God and to sing and shout.  Why?  Because the King is here!  The King is a warrior who gets rid of enemies and who protects and defends. 

We have enemies.  God’s people have always had enemies.  They’re out there and they’re real.  The two big ones are Satan and the world – they never stop attacking us.  But the biggest and most dangerous enemy is not out there.  The most dangerous enemy is the traitor within.  The remnants of our old sinful nature continue to attack us and try to drag us back to Egypt, back to slavery.  The remnants of our old sinful nature continue to try to snap those chains back on.  The lies we tell ourselves, “Oh, those chains are not really chains.  The Bible may say it’s chains, but come on, it’s more like a beach recliner in Bali.  Come on back and come back often, you’ll like it.  You’ll have time to be serious about God later.”  The deceitfulness of sin is amplified by the fact that these lies often well up from within our own hearts and minds.  I’ve been there and so have you.  It’s scary if you stop and think about it. 

King Jesus has a way of dealing with these enemies, all of them.  He has a way of providing us with defence and escape.  Zechariah 4:6 describes the way he wages war:  “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”  Christ carries out his kingly office through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  But then the next question has to be how?  How does Christ work through the Holy Spirit?  The answer to that is found in Ephesians 6 where Paul tells us the Holy Spirit has a sword.  That sword is the Word of God.  Christ works through the Spirit working through the Word. 

Through the Word of God, Christ rules over us with his Spirit and he defends and preserves us.  Through the Word, he provides the way of escape when enemies seem to have us cornered.  Through the Word, we’re guaranteed safe passage to the Promised Land.                 

Loved ones, we can’t fight our spiritual battles with our own resources.  Our own resources are insufficient.  If we relied on ourselves, we’d be quickly overwhelmed.  In the Roman world, it would be like taking a wooden sword into battle against legionaries with steel blades.  In today’s world, it would be like taking a child’s water gun into battle against soldiers with automatic weapons.  King Jesus gives us his Word and Spirit for the battle, and these two combined are nuclear firepower.  With them, King Jesus promises to protect us. 

But of course, that doesn’t happen automatically.  That doesn’t happen with us as passive onlookers.  The Word will never have protective power for the one who ignores it.  The Bible won’t give us the resources to fight our enemies if we’re not regularly seeking to be fed and strengthened by it.  The Bible is the Sword of the Spirit.  I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to use a real sword.  It takes practice to be able to use a real sword effectively.  That same is true for the Sword of the Spirit.  One needs to pick it up and practice with it and be intimately familiar with it.  For instance, there’s the good discipline of Scripture memorization.  As we’re faced with our enemies from day to day, it’s always good to have God’s Word readily on our hearts and minds so the enemy can be fought off.  That’s how Christ will be working through us to fight against sin and the devil in this life.       

We share in Christ’s anointing as a king.  That means we recognize and we live out the reign of King Jesus.  We live that out in this world.  The world around us lacks a healthy perspective on authority.  Since at least the 1960s, there’s often been this ethos in our culture of “sticking it to the man,” thumbing your nose at authority, looking at authority as a bad thing.  The kingship of Christ needs to be brought to bear on this world by those who share in his anointing.  We need to communicate to this world that Christ is a good king whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.  We need to show the world that it is better to be a servant of King Jesus than a slave to sin.  Psalm 84:10, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”  The authority of this king should be embraced and it will be for good. 

Our Saviour is the Christ – anointed prophet, priest and king.  In him, we have a Saviour who provides for everything we need, whether in the areas of truth, relationships, or authority.  Every thing is in Christ and so God takes care of us as a loving Father.  We need never despair or doubt and if we should, we need to again look to Christ and fix our eyes on him.  In Christ, in the anointed One, we have everything.  In Christ, we lack nothing.  AMEN.           

Prayer:

Father,

We are grateful to you for Jesus Christ, our prophet, priest and King.  We praise you that through him our every need is supplied.  We thank you for his revelation and wisdom.  We thank you that we have the Word directing us to the gospel of what our Saviour has done for us, and how your Word gives us wise guidance for our lives.  We’re grateful for the refuge that our Saviour provides in his blood, for the intercession that he constantly makes for us.  This is such a relief and comfort to us.  Father, we also are glad that Jesus is our King and that he rules with his Word and Spirit and gives us defence and escape.  Father, we pray that you would help us in our spiritual warfare.  Help us also to live out our callings as prophets and priests. We pray that through us, Christ would work with his Holy Spirit to also supply the needs of others around us.  O God, please accept our thanks in him, and do all of these things for the magnification of your glory.

Father, we also bring before your throne our intercessions for...

       




* As a matter of courtesy please advise Dr. Wes Bredenhof, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.

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