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Wendelin's "Christian Theology": Doctrine of the Species of the Office of Christ, Part 1

THESIS I:  Hitherto the prior part of the exhibition of the Mediator, namely, the incarnation.  The other follows, namely, the function of the office, because of which He was incarnated.  Now, the office of Christ is the mediatorial function, committed to the Son as the θεανθρώπῳ/Theanthropos/God-man by the Father, and voluntarily undertaken and fulfilled by the Son, so that He might reconcile us to God.

* I.  Ἐνεργητικὴ/active Mediation is perfected in five degrees.  (1.)  Of an arbitrator, taking cognizance of and determining the cause between God and man.  (2.)  Of a messenger and legate, setting forth and explaining the agreements and conditions of the covenant.  (3.)  Of an Intercessor and Advocate, praying for and interposing on behalf of one party before the other.  (4.)  Of Sponsor, making satisfaction to the injured party on behalf of the injuring party.  (5.)  Of Governor, ruling, sustaining, and defending the weak party.

II.  Christ was Mediator even before the assumption of His human nature:  although He was not performing each and every part of the Mediatorial office before that, especially with respect to the priestly office:  whereby He was obliged to offer Himself as a sacrificial victim for men.  However, the future effects of this function were applied before the sacrifice was offered:  as sometimes captives are wont to be liberated because of a λύτρον/ransom to be paid somewhat later.  Whence Christ is said to be same same yesterday, today, and forever, Hebrews 13:8; the Lamb slain already from the foundation of the world, that is, in divine determination, acceptation, and revelation, Revelation 13:8.

 

THESIS II:  The species and parts of this office are to be considered.

 

THESIS III:  The species of the mediatorial office are three, the prophetic, priestly, and royal office.

EXPLANATION:  I.  These individual species of the mediatorial office concern the Church to be renewed, or even renewed in part, out of the fallen human race.  For, to no other end did Christ come in the flesh, except to seek what was lost, and to renew what had been destroyed, Luke 19:10.

It is to be observed against the Photinians and Socinians, who teach that Christ was going to be born, or come into this world, even if man had not sinned; so that it might be testified, that after this mortal life another immortal life remains:  which is completely foreign to the sacred books.

II.  The rationale of this threefold office is shown in a threefold way.

(1.)  From the need and weakness of men, which occurs threefold in man:  ignorance, estrangement from God,  and impotence in returning to God.  The prophetic office cures Ignorance; the priestly, Estrangement; the royal, the Impotence of returning.

(2.)  From the order of conferring salvation, which is threefold:  explanation, acquisition, and application.  The Prophetic explains the whole manner of salvation.  The Priestly acquires it by merit and intercession.  The Royal applies it.

(3.)  From the threefold manner of execution:  for, first, Christ taught as Prophet; then He offered Himself as Priest; finally, He entered upon His kingdom, and gloriously and powerfully administered the whole method of salvation, as King.

III.  The threefold office of Christ is indicated by the titles that are attributed to the Mediator in Scripture, Jesus, Christ, and Lord.

He is called Jesus, that is, Savior,[1] because He saves from the evil of guilt and punishment:  both by His merit, insofar as by a λύτρῳ/ransom paid for us He has merited for us the remission of sins, reconciliation with God, and eternal life:  and by His efficacy, because He applies to us the whole benefit of redemption by the power of His Spirit through faith, actually renews the image of God in us, and by the operation of His threefold office brings us back to eternal felicity by stages.

He is called Christ, that is, the Anointed One, because He was appointed, called, and installed to His threefold office,[2] being thoroughly equipped with all virtues necessary to fulfill His office.

He is our Lord by a fourfold right:

(1.)  Of creation and universal government:  because He created us and yet sustains and governs us in and with the world.

(2.)  Of redemption:  wherein, by the λύτρῳ/ransom paid for us, He delivered us from the power of Satan, of sin, and of death, and has led us back from most grievous servitude to a liberty altogether joyous, by the function of His mediatorial office.

(3.)  Of preservation:  because His continually preserves the good things acquired for us, and powerfully defends us against the open and clandestine efforts of all enemies.

(4.)  Of ordination:  because the Father gave us to Him, and has place Him over us as our head and king.

 

THESIS IV:  The Prophetic Office is a function of the Mediator Christ, whereby He teaches and instructs His Church.

EXPLANATION:  I.  Concerning the Prophetic office of Messiah, Moses prophesied of old, Deuteronomy 18:15, Jehovah will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me.  That by this Prophet Christ was indicated, is evident from Acts 3:22.  In the same sense He is also called Counsellor, Isaiah 9:6.  To this pertains also the appellation of Christ, λόγος/ Logos, that is, speech, word:  even if there is also another rationale of this appellation, namely, the mode of divine and eternal generation.

II.  The parts of Christ’s Prophecy, or Prophetic office, are two:  the external promulgation of doctrine, and the internal illumination of minds.  The promulgation of doctrine is either the preaching of the Gospel concerning the redemption of men accomplished by Christ:  or the true interpretation of the law, and vindication of it from the corruptions of men:  a specimen of which is found in Matthew 5.  To this pertains also the prediction of future events.

III.  Christ discharged His prophetic office immediately or mediatelyImmediately, according to His divine nature, in the Old Testament He instructed the Patriarchs and Prophets through visions, oracles, and dreams.  In the New Testament, according to both natures, by His external voice and internal illumination He taught the Jews, but especially His own disciples.

Mediately in the Old Testament He taught through the Patriarchs and Prophets.  In the New He yet teaches through the Apostles and their successors, the ministers of the Word; He gave to His disciples that illustrious commandment to teach, Matthew 28:19, Go ye and teach all nations.  Likewise, with Paul bearing witness, in Ephesians 4:11, He gave some, Apostles; but some, Prophets; and some, Evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.

Others note, that Christ is called a Prophet in a threefold relation:

(1.)  Of person:  because He is the wisdom of God, whose person He expresses χαρακτηριστικῶς/exactly.[3]

(2.)  Of office:  because He taught the Church immediately in the Old Testament with respect to one nature, namely, the divine:  in the New according to both natures.

(3.)  Of ministry:  because in both Testaments He also taught men mediately, through men, called to the office of teaching, either ordinarily or extraordinarily.


[1] Matthew 1:21:  “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus:  for he shall save his people from their sins.”  The name יהשע/Yehoshua/Joshua is composed of ‎יְהוָה/Jehovah and יָשַׁע, yasha, to save.

[2] See Hebrews 5:1-10.

[3] Hebrews 1:3:  “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person (καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ), and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high…”

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
24 de mai.

Westminster Larger Catechism 43: How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?

Answer: Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in his revealing to the church,1 in all ages, by his Spirit and word,2 and in divers ways of administration,3 the whole will of God,4 in all things concerning their edification and salvation.5 


1 John 1:18.

2 1 Pet. 1:10,11,12.

3 Heb. 1:1,2.

4 John 15:15 

5 Acts 20:32; Eph. 4:11,12,13; John 20:31

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
24 de mai.

An Introductory Theology Course! free and online! www.fromreformationtoreformation.com/introductory-theology 

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