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God. There can be no local right hand of God; the expression is used to denote that He is possessed of Divine power and glory, as the object of adoration and praise to the hosts of heaven, and the inhabitants of the earth; and that He exercises His dominion over all creation. St. Peter thus explains the subject, when he says of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, angels, and authorities, and powers being made subject unto Him.50 There He shall sit and reign, on the throne of heaven, as the King of glory, till all His enemies be put under His feet.51
This, then, we are to learn from the fact of the ascension into heaven of our Lord Jesus Christ; that He is the great King of heaven and earth, respecting whom it is declared, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom.52 He is a King to subdue His enemies, and to govern and bless His people. Because He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; therefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and hath given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
501 Peter iii. 22. 51 Corinthians xv. 25. 52 Hebrews i. 8.
that is, the King or Governor of the universe, to or in the glory of God the Father.53 Submission to His authority, is, then, our highest wisdom, since Almighty power belongs to Him. None can oppose Him and prosper. His enemies shall
be made His footstool.54
The way in which we are to manifest our submission to Him is, by seeking those blessings from Him which He is exalted as a Prince and a Saviour to bestow; even repentance, whereby we may forsake sin for the future; and forgiveness of sins,55 by means of which what we have done amiss for the past is blotted out. These are blessings which, as the King of heaven and earth, He bestows upon His people who call upon Him for them. Have we then received these blessings from Him? If we have mourned over our sins past with that godly sorrow which worketh repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of,56 if we have confessed them with humility and godly sincerity, as in the presence of the Searcher of hearts; and, looking for pardon through the blood of the Lamb of God, have sought grace to be enabled to forsake them, and no longer to live in the love and practice of any thing that is contrary to the word and will of God, but to walk henceforth in His holy ways; then we have evidence that our sins are
53 Philip. ii. 8-11. 54 Heb. x. 13. 55 Acts v. 31. 562 Cor. vii. 10.
forgiven us for His name's sake. But if we receive not these blessings from Him as a Prince and a Saviour, we are not among those who submit themselves to His authority, and who shall be blessed by Him hereafter. How important, then, is the inquiry, Are we among the obedient subjects of the Lord Jesus, the King of heaven and earth? Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him,57 who submit themselves to His authority. He will protect them from the power of all their foes, and especially from their spiritual enemies, whose power they have most reason to dread, when they flee to Him for succour. He will bless them abundantly, with all spiritual and eternal blessings. He will guide them with His counsel, and after that receive them to glory.58 In the great day of God, the King of glory will say unto them, Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world; and they shall then go into life eternal.59 While all those who have not become His willing subjects, will be treated by Him as His enemies, and be banished for ever from His blissful presence.
But our Lord Jesus Christ also sits on the right hand of God, as the High Priest of His church and people, or as their Mediator, Advocate, and Intercessor. He is called by the
57 Psalm ii. 12. 58 Psalm 1xxiii. 24. 59 Matthew xxv. 34, 46.
prophet Zechariah, A Priest upon His throne.60 In His Kingly character He displays His power. His Priestly character shows the love which He bears to His church and people. Though He is a Great High Priest passed into the heavens, yet He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He is One who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that have wandered out of the way. As our Mediator, He has entered into heaven itself, to appear in the presence of God for us.61 He is the one Mediator between God and men,62 Himself partaking both of the Divine and human natures; so that while He can condescend to regard our necessities, He is able to plead His own merits on behalf of those that believe in His name. As our Advocate, He makes mention of His own righteousness for our acceptance before the Majesty on high. As our Intercessor, He presents the memorial of His own bloodshedding and death, and intercedes for the humble and contrite in heart, Deliver them from going down into the pit of destruction, I have given Myself for their ransom. Thus He is able, in consequence of being at the right hand of God, endued with Divine power, to save them to the uttermost, who come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. As the High Priest of His church, who is set on
60 Zech. vi. 13. 6 Hebrews iv. 14, 15, v. 2, ix. 24. 621 Tim. ii.5.
the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, His love and His power are both engaged in behalf of those that call upon Him; so that their humble petitions meet with acceptance at the throne of grace, and an answer of peace is granted to them. Let us place our full confidence in Him, and it will not be in vain. We cannot fail of success in our petitions, when our Advocate and Intercessor is a Priest on His throne. And since He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, if we are the subjects of His kingdom, no enemy of His or ours can obtain the advantage over us. Such are the views which are presented to us by the ascension of Christ into glory, and His sitting on the right hand of God.
But while the holy Scriptures direct us to Him as sustaining the offices of a King and a Priest in heaven; they also mention the circumstance of His having ascended into heaven, as affording an assurance that He will descend from heaven in like manner as He was seen to
go up thither. He will appear in power and great glory to judge the world in righteousness. But to them that look for Him, He will then appear unto their salvation. May we be found among those who are waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we may be blessed by Him for ever.