STUDIES IN THE WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM
by Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn
A. Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.
Scripture References: Psalm 110:3; Isa. 33:22; I Cor. 15:25; Acts 12.17; Acts 18:9,10.
1. Does the Bible teach that Jesus Christ is a King?
Yes, the Bible teaches it in Psalm 2:6 and again in John 18:36.
2. When was Jesus Christ made a King?
He was made a King even from the very beginning. He was proclaimed as a King at His birth and again at His death.
3. How does Christ exercise His Kingship?
He exercises it in two ways:
(1) Over His elect people (John 1:49).
(2) Over His enemies and the enemies of His elect people (Psalm 110:2).
4. How does Christ exercise His Kingship over His elect people?
He exercises it by subduing them to Himself. He does this through the power of the Spirit in the Word so that He makes them willing to embrace the Saviour. He finds them as stubborn and disobedient and rebellious but He calls them unto Himself.
5. How does Christ exercise His Kingship by ruling His elect people?
He exercises it by ruling inwardly by His Spirit, by working in them the disposition of obedience unto Him.
6. What change does this make as to the people’s relationship with the Word?
The change is that though they are still in the world they are not really of the world but are members of Christ’s invisible kingdom. This also means that the world will hate them.
7. How does Christ exercise His Kingship over His enemies and the enemies of His elect people?
He exercises His Kingship by defending His people; by restraining and conquering all His and their enemies (by setting bounds and limits on them); by conquering them.
“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (Psalm 18:2).
Calvin tells us, in his commentary on this verse, that “David, therefore, here equips the faithful from head to foot.” He goes on to say, “Let us, therefore, learn from his example, to apply to our own use those titles which are here attributed to God, and to apply them as an antidote against all the perplexities and distresses which may assail us; or rather, let them be deeply imprinted upon our memory, so that we may be able at once to repel to a distance whatever fear Satan may suggest to our mind.”
It is true that as believers we must live in this world. And what a world it is in this day and time! The Lord told us that in this world we would have tribulation. A good translation of that word is “pressure, affliction.” It is not only a good translation but an apt one in this day and age. Hardly a day goes by that we are not faced with the pressures of life, with affliction of a tempest that arises to vex our very hearts and minds. How do we react to such times? Do we recognize that we have a Deliverer? Do we recognize that He is our King? Do we recognize that a King is always duty bound to defend, watch over his subjects?
Lina Sandell put it in true and helpful language:
“Help me then, in ev’ry tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, 0 Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy Holy Word.
Help me, Lord when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.”
Our heritage, through our great King, Is that we can be “more than conquerors” in the midst of all sort of tribulation. Our Catechism Question and Answer for this study is pertinent to us in this day. We go forth each day into battle with complete armour, the armour of God. Read again, Ephesians 6:13-17 and be thankful!
Published By: THE SHIELD and SWORD, INC.
Vol. 3 No. 26 (February 1963)
Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn, Editor