Westminster Larger Catechism Study

WLC – Q. 44. How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?

Q. 44. How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
A. Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering himself a sacrifice without spot to God, to be a reconciliation for the sins of the people; and in making continual intercession for them.

Vos wrote…

What is the difference between a prophet and a priest? A prophet is God’s representative in speaking to men; a priest is men’s representative in approaching God.

What book of the Bible most fully discusses Christ’s priestly office? While the functions of Christ’s priestly office are discussed in many books of the Bible with great fullness, his priestly office as such is discussed most fully in the epistle to the Hebrews. In the Old Testament , Psalm 110:4 is perhaps the most direct statement of Christ’s priestly office.

What is the relative importance of Christ’s priestly office? Christ’s priestly office is the central most supremely important one of his three offices of prophet, priest, and king. While we must regard the whole of Christ’s saving work as a unity, and should realize that no part of it is non-essential, still his work as priest is the very heart and center of his work as our Redeemer!

What error concerning Christ’s offices is common in modern “Liberalism”? Modern “Liberalism” seeks to retain the doctrine of Christ’s kingly office while either abandoning or denaturing the doctrine of his priestly office. Thus widely known and popular “liberal” teachers never weary of speaking about “the kingdom of God,” although they either deny or explain away the substitutionary atonement of Christ. Of course these “liberal” teachers put their own ideas into such a term as “the kingdom of God”; they do not mean by such an expression what historic orthodox Christianity has always meant by it. But they try to retain some kind of belief in Christ’s kingly office while giving up or bypassing his priestly office. We should realize that Christ’s work is a unity and none of his three offices can be retained in our theology without the other two. The Scriptures know only a Christ who is a prophet and a priest and a king. This is the only real Christ; all partial Christs are only the products of human ideas.

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