The Internal Government of Christ

The difference between mere religion and supernatural conversion is the transformation of the inner being of the sinner by the regenerating, sanctifying Spirit of God and the subsequent ruling government of Christ within us. This is the mystery and the hope of glory of which Paul writes in Colossians 1:27. Jesus rules the internal kingdom of our hearts by the Spirit who is forever wedded to the word of Christ, which we are to actively let dwell within us (Col 3:15-16). This internal government produces biblical wisdom and a lifestyle of worship and obedience while we are habitually “teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Of this internal government of Jesus, Richard Sibbes writes these powerful words in The Bruised Reed.

…wherever true wisdom and judgment are, there Christ has set up his government, because where wisdom is it directs us, not only to understand, but to order our ways aright. Where Christ as a prophet teaches by his Spirit, he likewise as a king subdues the heart by his Spirit to obedience to what is taught. This is that teaching which is promised of God, when not only the brain but the heart itself is taught; when men do not only know what they should do but are taught the very doing of it. They are not only taught that they should love, fear and obey, but they are taught love itself, and fear and obedience themselves. Christ sets up his throne in the very heart and alters its direction, so making his subject good, together with teaching them to be good. Other princes can make good laws, but they cannot write them in their people’s hearts (Jer 31:33). This is Christ’s prerogative: he infuses into his subjects his own Spirit. Upon him there does not only rest the spirit of wisdom and understanding, but likewise the spirit of the fear of the Lord (Isa 11:2).

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