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Judge and Savior

The last three posts in this series have presented Jesus as our judge. He is holy and righteous, and has received all power and authority from the Father to judge all men. The day is coming when he will do just that. This ought to be a cause for terror in the hearts of all who have not bowed to his lordship. But for those who are his, there is another side to Christ.


Paul refers to the fact that we must all appear before Christ’s judgment seat as “the terror of the Lord” (2 Cor 5:11 KJV), and well he might. Jesus the Lord, like his Father is holy and pure; we are neither. We live under his eye, he knows our secrets, and on judgment day the whole of our past life will be played back, as it were, before him and brought under review. If we know ourselves at all, we know we are not fit to face him. What then are we to do? The New Testament answer is: Call on the coming Judge to be your present Savior. As Judge, he is the law, but as Savior he is the gospel. Run from him now, and you will meet him as Judge then—and without hope. Seek him now, and you will find him (for “he that seeketh findeth”), and you will then discover that you are looking forward to that future meeting with joy, knowing that there is now “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). So—

Whilst I draw this fleeting breath;
When my eyelids close in death;
When I soar through tracts unknown,
See thee on thy judment-throne;
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee.

—J. I. Packer, Knowing God (InterVarsity Press, 1993), 146–147.

Posted 2009·01·06 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Christology · J I Packer · Justice (of God) · Knowing God

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Who Is Jesus?

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