Christ the Saviour of sinners

The doctrine of redemption: Christ as our prophet.

Below are questions from the Westminster Shorter Catechism with answers and supporting Scripture proofs. Explanatory notes follow.


Q: What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?

A: Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet1, of a priest2, and of a king3, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.

1 Acts 3:22Acts 3:22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 For 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.  

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— 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.

2 Hebrews 5:6Hebrews 5:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  

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— Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

3Psalms 2:6Psalms 2:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. set: Heb. anointed upon...: Heb. upon Zion, the hill of my holiness  

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— Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

 

Q: How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?

A: Christ executeth the office of a prophet in revealing to us1, by his word2 and Spirit3, the will of God for our salvation.

1 John 1:18John 1:18
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.  

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— No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

2 John 20:31John 20:31
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.  

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— These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

3 John 14:26John 14:26
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  

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— The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.

 

The work of the Redeemer involves the discharge of three specific offices — prophet, Acts 3:22Acts 3:22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 For 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.  

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; priest, Hebrews 5:6Hebrews 5:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  

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; and king, Psalms 2:6.
In discharging these roles the Lord Jesus Christ provides all that is necessary to the full and eternal salvation of His people. It is for their eternal welfare and deliverance from sin that He is anointed by God to this work.

Christ’s work as Redeemer is divided into two parts — the work done in His state of humiliation, and that done in His state of exaltation. In each of these two states He did/does the work of prophet priest and king for His people.

 

I IT IS CHRIST WHO REVEALS TO MEN THE WILL OF GOD.

1. Without special revelation men are largely ignorant of the will of God. From natural revelation they may learn of the existence of God and something of His character and attributes, Rom 1:20Rom 1:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: so...: or, that they may be  

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. The will of God for men however is not made clear by natural revelation. This is especially the case when we understand man’s fallen sinful condition, his need of salvation and of a redeemer. There is nothing in natural revelation to convey anything to man on these vital matters.

2. A prophet is necessary who will communicate to mankind the will of God relative to his salvation. The Lord Jesus is presented in Scripture as a prophet, indeed as the greatest of all Prophets. Cp Luke 24:19Luke 24:19
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:  

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, Acts 3:22Acts 3:22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 For 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.  

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, John 1:14, 18John 1:14, 18
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.  

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.

 

II HE REVEALS THE WILL OF GOD BY HIS WORD AND SPIRIT.

1. Christ discharges this role in two ways:

  • By His word. The written word of God is the special revelation that God has given to men to reveal His will to them and especially to reveal the doctrines of redemption. Cp John 20:31John 20:31
    English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

    31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.  

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    . All of written Scripture is in view. It is all the word of Christ. Cp I Pet 1:10-11.
  • By His Spirit. The Saviour’s ministry as prophet to mankind involves their instruction by the Holy Ghost in the matters necessary to the will of God, their salvation and growth in grace. Cp John 14:26John 14:26
    English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

    26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  

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    , 16:14, I Cor 2:10, Rev 2:1, 7Rev 2:1, 7
    English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

    2 1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.  

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    . The preaching of the prophets of old was by the Spirit of Christ, I Pet 3:18-19; the inspired ministry of the apostles was by the Spirit of Christ and part of His prophetic ministry. The ordinary Spirit anointed gospel ministry of the church of Christ is also an aspect of this work.

2. The Spirit of God works through the written word. These two elements of Christ’s work go hand in hand. The word of God without the Spirit is not sufficient to reveal to fallen men their state and their need of Christ. Multitudes of sinners hear the word yet without the operation of the Spirit that word remains a dead letter. Nor does the Spirit work without the word. “The word of Christ without His Spirit CANNOT, the Spirit of Christ without His word WILL NOT, teach us the will of God for our salvation.” — Thomas Vincent.

 

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