Question 26 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “How does Christ fill the office of a king?“
The answer given is, “Christ fills the office of a king in making us his willing subjects, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.”
The first thought inspired by this answer is that Christ takes the initiative to make believers his willing subjects. In the original form, the answer states that Christ functions
We start life as, and sometimes continue to be, rebellious people unwilling to submit to Christ as king. But, through the power of the Holy Spirit, he subdues us and makes us into willing servants. He takes our hearts of stone and replaces them with living hearts that beat for him (Ezekiel 36:26).
Christ rules us through his word with the help of Church leaders. These leaders are given to us to better understand the Bible and how to apply it to the circumstances we face. Church leaders also defend us by preventing erroneous interpretation from leading us astray.
In one sense, the last part of this answer is easy to understand. Scripture tells us that Christ will return at some point to complete the work of restoration that he began while on earth. Paul tells us that when that restoration takes place, “. . . every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord . . . (Philippians 2:10–11).
Some may scoff at this since Christians have been saying this for nearly 2,000 years. Despite the promise of Jesus’ return, it has yet to happen. Also, the fact that bad things happen and evil rulers sometimes flourish can make this assertion hard to swallow. I understand the skepticism. The existence of evil and suffering presents difficult questions that are sometimes beyond our ability to answer.
For me, it boils down to whether or not I believe that Jesus is who he claimed to be. If the answer to that question is yes, then I need to believe the rest of what he said, including what he said about his return.
Each of has to choose to believe or disbelieve that Jesus is the rightful king. But, we should do so knowing that the stakes are high. Because if he is indeed the rightful king, then rebellion and disbelief will have devastating consequences.
I choose to believe.
What about you?