Question 25 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, How does Christ fill the office of a priest?
Question 24 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, How does Christ fill the office of a prophet? The answer given is, Christ fills the office of a prophet in revealing to us by his Word and Spirit the will of God for our complete salvation. The purpose of a prophet is to speak the words […]
Jesus is the only one who has demonstrated the ability and the authority to fulfill all three of these offices in combination in one person.
The first observation that I need to make is that there is mystery here. We must acknowledge that complete understanding of this is beyond our reach as humans.
In the last few months, I have been reading about the first Ecumenical Councils of the church in the 4th and 5th Centuries. It was at these councils that the nature of Jesus was clearly defined for all of Christendom. Many of the misunderstandings about Jesus that survive today were addressed by these councils.
We like to think of ourselves as free moral agents with the ability to control our own destinies. We don’t want to have anyone tell us what we can or can’t do. We are taught that such freedom is our birthright and no-one should be able to take this away from us.
But those of us who are in Christ and have accepted his provision for us have had that guilt removed. We are no longer under condemnation (see Romans 8:1). We can begin to rise above the misery of this life and experience joy in our relationship with God.
Churches can have an inward focus (all about nurturing the members) and/or an outward focus (all about reaching those outside the church). It is my belief that in a healthy church, these two should both be present. I have been to churches that were so focused on body life that they became ingrown and unfriendly to outsiders. […]