This Day in Presbyterian History:
Where Would We Be Without Christ being a Prophet
With an absence of Presbyterian historical dates for April 16, we return to the marvelous answers of the Westminster Shorter Catechism and specifically the doctrinal and experiential statement of Christ executing the office of a prophet to His people. Answer 24 states, “Christ executes the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by his Word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.”
In defining the term “prophet,” we see someone who is qualified and authorized to speak for another.” Immediately, we see Jesus is a “spokesman” or “mouthpiece” for the Father. The writer to the Hebrews hits us right at the first in chapter 1, verse 1 and 2 of this office. He writes, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son . . .” (ESV) God the Father has spoken to us by His Son, the Lord Jesus.
The instrument and agent of Jesus as the prophet of His Father are specified as “his Word and Spirit.” Notice the conjunction “and.” Both God’s written Word, the Bible, first spoken, and then written, and God’s Spirit are necessary for the effectiveness of the prophetic message. Both were promised, and both were given to the church of the ages for their salvation and sanctification.
Revealed to the church as the subject of His prophetic words, our Confessional fathers tell us that it was “the will of God for our salvation.” Jesus did not come to earth to answer every question upon the mind of man. He didn’t come to speak of art and science and history and math, etc. On one occasion, many of his professed followers left Him, because they had a false idea of His coming, believing it to be a political redemption from the empire of Rome. So great was the exodus, that perhaps not many more than that original twelve apostles now reminded with Jesus. Asking whether they would also leave, Peter sums up the convictions of those remaining when he replies, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (ESV – John 6:66 – 68). Jesus did then, and does now, and ever will possess those words of the good news of eternal life. We are all under a death sentence, for the wages of sin is death. But God’s Son fulfilled that sentence of death on our behalf, giving those who repent of their sins and trust in Him, eternal life instead.
Words to Live By: Summing up Christ’s prophetic office, as Prophet, his mediatorship is downward from God to us. As a prophet, as the Prophet, He meets the problems of man’s spiritual ignorance, supplying us with spiritual knowledge of the most important kind, that which affects eternity, and where we will spend it. Are you still ignorant, or have you been brought to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?
Through the Scriptures: Psalm 16 – 18
Through the Standards: The subjects of the effective call
WCF 10:2, 3
“This effective call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from any thing at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases: so also are all other elect persons who are uncapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.”;
WLC 68 — “Are the elect only effectually called?
A. All the elect, and they only, are effectually called . . . .”