Q. 45. How doth Christ execute the office of a king?
A. Christ executeth the office of a king, in calling out of the world a people to himself, and giving them officers, laws, and censures, by which he visibly governs them; in bestowing saving grace upon his elect, rewarding their obedience, and correcting them for their sins, preserving and supporting them under all their temptations and sufferings, restraining and overcoming all their enemies, and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory, and their good; and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God, and obey not the gospel.
Wow, there is much in this statement. May be best to briefly touch a few key points Vos comments on and let you read the rest.
Into what three spheres does the catechism divide the exercise of Christ’s kingly office? The three spheres are: (a) the sphere of the visible church; (b) the sphere of the invisible church; (c) the sphere of the world.
Which is the most important of these three spheres in which Christ’s kingly office is exercised? The sphere of the invisible church, or the body of the elect, is the most important, for it is for the benefit of the invisible church that Christ exercises his kingly office (a) in the visible church, and (b) in the world or universe.
Let’s focus in a bit more on the invisible church since many today are not familiar with that term.
What elements are included in Christ’s kingly rule in the invisible church? These elements are: (a) Bestowing saving grace upon his elect, by the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and lives, resulting in their being united to Christ in their effectual calling. (b) Rewarding the obedience of his people, both now by his providence, and at the Judgment by his supernatural power; and correcting his people for their sins, in his providential discipline during the present life. (c) Preserving and supporting his elect under all their temptations and sufferings, so that they are never overwhelmed with troubles, but are always kept from despair.