Archive Jordan Ballor Nota Bene

Christ as Savior and King

Those who honor Christ only as their Mediator are easily tempted to call in his help as the physician for one’s sin-sick soul, but then, once that soul is conscious of its salvation and healing, to treat the Savior as we often do our earthly physicians — once healed, we let them go and head off again on our own way. In our minds we so easily remain then the key person, with Christ being merely the Savior we call on to rescue us, who offered us his help for healing, and who in reality did us a service.

Our view changes radically, however, when we fall on our knees before Christ as our divinely anointed King. Then he is the main actor whose honor and glory is at stake, and we are no more than unworthy servants [see Luke 17:10] whose only task and calling is to use our entire life in his kingly service, with all the power we have been given. Our religious convictions embrace atonement in a single moment, but Christ’s kingly service extends throughout our entire life, encompasses it in all its branches, and will one day pass into eternity. In this way, he alone remains the sun, and we are the planets orbiting around him, reflecting back his radiance. His subjects’ bond to him lies in his kingship, always drawing us in everything to him, and laying claim to our entire life.

–Abraham Kuyper, Pro Rege: Living under Christ’s Kingship: The Kingship of Christ in Its Operation, trans. Albert Gootjes, vol. 3 (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2019), 475.

By Jordan Ballor

Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012), and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous volumes. Jordan also serves as associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research of Calvin Theological Seminary.