“Sinners are given to extremes, and this is no less true of redeemed sinners than of unredeemed. Throughout the history of the church, Christians have tended to fall into extremes of emphasizing one or the other side of Christ’s heavenly rule.

Some have emphasized that Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and that His rule is absolutely universal. Christ’s kingdom is not restricted to the church. All areas of life are under His rule. Christ rules the state, the family and the private association, as well as the church. The church as an institution is only one among many objects and instruments of Christ’s rule over all things, they conclude.

Others have emphasized that Christ rules His church by the Word and Spirit. Indeed, it seems that the predominant view of the kingdom throughout the history of the church has been that the church is the kingdom of God. Christ’s rule is a rule of grace and mercy, and He rules His people in order to save them and bring them into the heavenly kingdom. The King gives gifts to His people, and His people respond in joyful worship and obedience. The kingdom is Christ’s rule over the church.

We are faced with the question, then, Does Christ rule over all things or over the church? As in so many theological disputes, the answer to this dilemma is a firm and unequivocal, yes!”

       (Peter Leithart, The Kingdom and the Power, p. 60)


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