III. Who will be the judge?

The judge will be Christ, the same person who is the mediator. “The Father hath committed all judgment to the Son, and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” (John 5:22, 27.) By this, however, we are not to understand that the Father and the Holy Ghost will have no part in this judgment, but it is committed to Christ because he will appear and pronounce the sentence in his human nature. But when he speaks, God will speak; when he judges, God will judge, and that not only because he is himself God, but also because the Father speaks and judges through him. “He was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” “He will judge the world in righteous ness by that man whom he hath ordained.” (Acts 10:42; 17:31.) This judgment, therefore, will belong to all the persons of the Trinity as it respects their consent and authority; but to Christ as it respects the visible scene, the announcement and execution of the sentence; for Christ will in a visible manner pass and execute sentence upon all. The church will also judge by giving its approbation to the decision of the judge. It is for this reason that Christ says that the apostles shall be seated upon twelve thrones, and that they shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Yea, Ave also shall approve and subscribe to the sentence which Christ will then pass.

The following reasons may be assigned for the appointment of the man Christ as the judge.

1. Because the judgment of men will require a visible judge; but God is invisible.

2. Because it is the good pleasure of God that the same mediator, who justified and saved the church, should also glorify it. “God will judge the world by that man whom he hath ordained.” “They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with great power and glory.” “The Father hath given him authority to execute judgment also because he is the Son of man“ Acts 17:81 Matt. 24:30. John 5:27.)

3. That we may have this comfort, that this judge, being our redeemer, our brother and our head, will be gracious to us, and will not condemn those whom he has purchased with his own blood, and whom he has deigned to constitute his brethren and members. This comfort may be said to consist, first, in the person of the judge, who is our brother and our flesh. Then in the promise of the judge, who has declared for our consolation: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life;” “and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life." (John 3:36; 5:24.) And lastly, in the end for which he will come, which is to deliver his Church, and to cast all his and our enemies into everlasting condemnation.

4. It is proper that the man Christ should be the judge on account of the justice of God, which demands that those who have reproached Christ, and rejected his benefits, should see him whom they have pierced, and be the more confounded by being compelled to con front him whom they have so strongly opposed.

Obj. But Christ says that he came not to condemn the world. How then shall he be the judge?

Ans. This he says of his first coming, which was not to judge, but to save the world. But in his second coming, of which we here speak, he will be the judge of the quick and dead.