As we began on Monday we looked at question 23 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, now to expand on these things we will look at question 24, which asks and answers, ‘Q: How does Christ execute the office of prophet? A: Christ executes the office of prophet, in revealing to us, by His Word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.’
Held within this answer are 3 things to see concerning the prophetic office of Christ:
1) Christ’s prophetic office is revelatory – by using the word revelatory I mean revelation. Not the book, but the action of revealing God’s truth to us. We often speak of the Bible as God’s revelation to us. This is what I mean by saying Christ’s prophetic office is revelatory, that it reveals the truth of God to us. This is mentioned in view every time Jesus teaches by words or actions. It is succinctly spoken to us in Hebrews 1:1-2, ‘Long ago in many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. But now in these last days, God has spoken to us by His Son…’ God used to reveal His truth to His people through the prophets, but now God reveals His truth to us through the Prophet, Jesus Christ.
2) Christ’s prophetic office reveals the will of God for our salvation – when the catechism states that Jesus reveals to us the will of God for our salvation, the will of God in view is not God’s decretive will or God’s preceptive will, no, the will of God revealed to us is the whole counsel of God, or everything God desires us to know, embrace, believe, and trust in to be saved. God did not have to reveal this to us, but in His grace He has done so through His Son.
3) Christ’s prophetic office reveals this will of God for our salvation to us by His Word and Spirit – by His Word meaning His teaching through His words and His actions as John 20:31 states, ‘These are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Christ, and by believing you may have life in His name.’ By His Word also meaning that Jesus is Himself the very Word of God come to us as John 1:1-14 states. So if we recall that a prophet spoke the very Word of God to God’s people, and since Jesus was the very Word of God become flesh, no wonder people were amazed at the authority He spoke with. By His Spirit means the sense in John 14:26, which states, ‘But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.’
So when it states that Christ prophetically reveals the will of God for our salvation to us by His Word and Spirit we should think first and foremost of the Scriptures, because it is the Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, which reveals the will of God for our salvation to us. So when we open the Bible we have in our hands the result of Christ’s prophetic office.
As God gave His Word to His people through the prophets, so now in our day (or as Hebrews states it, ‘In these last days…’) God has given us His Word through His Son by the power of His Spirit. This is why Col. 3:16 implores us to ‘Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.’
(Image courtesy of Gilbert Lennox Photography)