18 September 2007

Westminster Wednesday

Before we jump into the study of Q&A #23, let's be reminded why we study the WSC. Speaking to some children, John Murray said, It will not only give you the most perfect human compendium of Christian truth that there is in the whole world, but it will be the finest mental exercise, and it will lay a foundation in your mind and in your life for a hundred other things as well as for true religion. If John Murray considers the catechism the most perfect human compendium of Christian truth then it certainly is worth a bit of study on our part. Let's take a look at number 23 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
Q: What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer? A: Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.
From Thomas Vincent we read:
Q. 1. What is it to execute an office?
A. To execute an office, is to do or perform what belongeth to the office.
Q. 2. How many offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?
A. There are three offices Christ doth execute as our Redeemer — 1. The office of a prophet: "Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you." — Acts 3:22. 2. The office of a priest: "Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek." — Heb. 5:6. 3. The office of a king: "Yet have I set my King upon my holy bill of Zion." — Ps. 2:6.
Q. 3. In what estate doth Christ execute these offices?
A. 1. Christ doth execute these offices in his estate of humiliation here on earth. 2. Christ doth execute these offices in his estate of exaltation now in heaven.
And from Matthew Henry:
1. Is Christ a complete Redeemer? Yes: for it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell, Col. 1:19. Is he completely qualified for the undertaking? Yes: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him, John 3:34. Is he authorized for it? Yes: for all things are delivered to him of the Father, Matt. 11:27. Has he a full commission? Yes: for the Father judgeth no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son, John 5:22. And has he an ability equal to his authority? Yes: for as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself, ver. 26.
2. Is there all that in Christ which fallen man stands in need of?
Yes: for Christ is all, and in all, Col. 3:11. Is he light? Yes: I am the light of the world, John 8:12. Is he life? Yes: in him was life, and the life was the light of men, John 1:4. Is he our peace? Yes: he is our peace, Eph. 2:14. Is he our head? Yes: he is the head of the body, the church, Col. 1:18. Is he the door? Yes: I am the door of the sheep, John 10:7. Is he the way? Yes: I am the way, the truth, and the life, John 14:6. Can we come to God as a Father, otherwise than by Jesus Christ as Mediator? No: for no man cometh to the Father but by me, John 14:6. Is he our food? Yes: I am that bread of life, John 6:48. Is he our friend? Yes: This is my beloved, and this is my friend, Cant. 5:16.
3. Is Jesus Christ a Redeemer in office?
Yes: for God hath exalted him with his own right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, Acts 5:31. Is he duly put in office? Yes: for him hath God the Father sealed, John 6:27. Does he duly execute his office? Yes: for he was faithful to him that appointed him, Heb. 3:2. Is he a Prophet? Yes: This is of a truth that Prophet that should come into the world, John 6:14. Is he a Priest? Yes: he is the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Heb. 3:1. Is he a King? Yes: he is King of kings, and Lord of lords, Rev. 19:16.
4. Did Christ execute these offices in his state of humiliation?
Yes: I have glorified thee on the earth, John 17:4. Does he execute them in his state of exaltation? Yes: for in heaven itself he now appears in the presence of God for us, Heb. 9:24. Is he then an all-sufficient Saviour? Yes: he is able to save to the uttermost all those that come to God by him, Heb. 7:25. And is he as willing to save as he is able? Yes: Whosoever comes unto me I will in no wise cast out, John 6:37.

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