In my latest series of posts I have been talking about why our Lord Jesus Christ is an all-
sufficient Savior. In doing so, I wanted to explore his three-fold office as Mediator. What it
means for Christ to be a mediator is for him to be in the middle between us and God in order to
bring us to God. In executing his saving work as our Mediator and Redeemer, he fulfills a three-
fold office of prophet, priest, and king. I have been working through the Second London Baptist
Confession of Faith (1689), Chapter 8, paragraph 10, which nicely summarizes these three
offices of Christ. In my last two posts I covered Christ’s prophetical and priestly office. In this
post I cover Christ’s kingly office.
Christ’s kingly office is perhaps his most misunderstood office among reforming
Calvinists. I once heard a Calvinistic pastor preach on Christ’s kingly office where he lamented
that believers will readily receive his priestly work in dying and interceding for them, but they
are hesitant to receive him as king because he demands obedience. This pastor was responding to
his experience with nominal Christians who profess to know God but deny him with their deeds.
They will talk about how Christ died for him, but they do not live their life for him – their life
remains unchanged. This pastor was correct to call out nominal Christianity and uphold the
necessity of obedience to Christ our King. Unknowingly, however, he presented Christ’s kingly
office from an Arminian perspective. In his sermon, Christ’s kingly office meant that he only
demands obedience from us and is waiting up in heaven for us to exercise our will in obedience
The reformed view, however, is wonderfully articulated in the Second London Baptist
Confession of faith: “and in respect of our averseness and utter inability to return to God, and for
our rescue and security from our spiritual adversaries, we need his kingly office to convince,
subdue, draw, uphold, deliver, and preserve us to his heavenly kingdom” (2LCF 8.10). Christ’s
kingly office is not merely his right to command obedience from us (which he does) where he is
waiting for us to exercise our will in obedience to him and using the threats of the law to
motivate us. Rather, his kingly office is where he frees our enslaved will and subdues our
rebellion, thus empowering us to obey him. And, as the confession says, by virtue of his kingly
office he preserves us to the end, guarding us from our enemies of sin, death, and the devil. So,
while we are commanded to obey, Christ our King gives us the power to obey by subduing the
enemy of our sin. While we are commanded to persevere to the end, it is Christ by virtue of his
kingly office who preserves us to the end by guarding and defending us from our spiritual
enemies of the curse, the devil, and our sin.
This topic requires more discussion and so in my next post I will explore the Scriptural
basis for this understanding of Christ’s kingly office, along with additional important aspects of
Brian Onstead is pastor of Trinity Bible Church in Powell, WY (https://tbcwyoming.com/). He was born and raised in Omaha, NE where he was saved and met his wife Jackie. He then spent three years in San Diego, CA where he attended Westminster Seminary California and the Institute for Reformed Baptist Studies. After graduating in 2015, he moved to Montana where he pastored a church for 4 years. In 2019, he moved to Powell, WY where he currently resides. He and his wife have been married for 10 years and have two young children. You can find his sermons on sermon audio and follow him on Twitter (@brianonstead).
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