8 June 2003
Acts 3:22, Luke 4:18-21, Hebrews 5:5-6, Revelation 19:16, Isaiah 9:6-7 & Psalm 2:6
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 23. 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.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.23. How is Christ our redeemer?
A. As our redeemer, Christ is a prophet, priest, and king in both His humiliation and His exaltation.
1. What do we mean by the term “office”?
The word “office” comes from the Latin “officium” and means any special duty or trust or charge laid upon or taken up by one person to perform for another. It is interesting to note that the term is never used to indicate what a person does for himself but is always implying what a man does for another. It is a term that is not used in Scripture, but is a Theological term used in our Standards.
2. What does it mean to “execute” an office?
To execute an office is to do or perform all that belongs to the office.
3. Was Jesus Christ ordained or appointed to these offices?
Yes, Christ was ordained to these offices from all eternity.
(1 Peter 1:20)
4. Why was it necessary for Christ to take upon Himself these three offices?
It was necessary for our salvation. Our salvation was revealed by Him as a Prophet; purchased by Him as a Priest; and applied by Him as a King. A wonderful way of putting this was the way used by the Rev. John R Mackay of the Free Church of Scotland as quoted by Dr. William Childs Robinson: “When I looked into my own heart I could see nothing but darkness, guilt and pride. But then I remembered that Christ is a Prophet who can dispel my darkness. Christ is a Priest who can remove my guilt. Christ is a King who can humble my pride.”
5. Is there anyone else in Scripture that had all three of these offices?
No, no one in Scripture had all three but Christ, not even those who were typical of Him in the Old Testament.
6. In what ways does Christ execute these offices?
He executes these offices in His state of humiliation here on earth and continues to do so in His state of exaltation now in heaven.