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Gaining in Another Place: The Church as a Sea as Product of Christ’s Third Step in Exaltation

There were several steps to Christ’s exaltation including:

  1. His rising
  2. His ascending 
  3. His sitting
  4. His judging

Concerning his rising we think upon greatly this Easter week. Considering his ascending, sitting, and judging we meditate all life long. Not that we forget his rising, but they blossom in though to all the rest. He rose for our justification so the the beginning of his exaltation is also the end of ours, that we are already judged in Christ and therefore promised to be glorified together with him.

Now, today I read something on the sitting of our Lord. There are two very important Scriptures that come to play in Christ having sat down at the right hand of the Father. First, Psalm 110 as a whole. And second, 1 Corinthians 15:25.

“A Psalm of David. The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.” (Psalm 110:1–7)

“For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:25)

So, we may take heard in these days that Christ is in his heavenly session or rule now. John Flavel says it well:

“He was born in a stable, but now he reigns in his royal palace. Then he had a manger for his cradle, but now he sits on a chair of state. Then oxen and asses were his companions, now thousands of saints, and ten thousands of angels minister round about his throne. Then in contempt, they called him the Carpenter’s son, now he obtains a more excellent name than angels. Then he was led away into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, now it is proclaimed before him, “let all the angels of God worship him.” Then he had not a place to lay his head on, now he is exalted to be heir of all things….Then “he had no form or comeliness; and when we saw him, there was no beauty why we should desire him:” now the beauty of his countenance shall send forth such glorious beams’ s shall dazzle the eyes of all the celestial inhabitants round about this…O what a change is this! Here he sweated, but there he sits. Here he groaned, but there he triumphs. Here he lay upon the ground, there he sits in the throne of glory” (John Flavel, Works Vol 1, “The Fountain of Life” Sermon 51).

In Christ Jesus enthroned in heaven we may be assured according to Flavel that “Heaven overlooks hell” and “with the church, as it is with the sea: what it loses in one place, it gets it another; and so really loses nothing” (Ibid., p.521).

So, we may take heart, that the church loses nothing in these days that Christ presently rules. The church has at the present time lost its face to face fellowship but has gained it in another place, perhaps more glorious as the whole world is hearing the gospel. So, that perhaps if God mercifully allows our return to face to face fellowship, we may return with more faces. So, there is not a circumstance where the church really loses “nothing” for as Flavel rightly says, “as it is with the sea, what it loses in one place, it gets in another.” Why? Because Christ “must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Corinthians 15:25) and because God must make the enemies of Christ his footstool (Psalm 110:1). 

The exaltation of Our Lord has in it the hope of a sea that really ever loses nothing. The church will always gain in another place. For the church is like the sea, and is necessarily a product of the heavenly multiplication of Christ’s third step of exaltation. 

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:3)

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)