Christ Prophet Priest And King Theology Religion Essay Example
Christ Prophet Priest And King Theology Religion Essay Example

Christ Prophet Priest And King Theology Religion Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1388 words)
  • Published: September 22, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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Berkhof (p.356) states that there are traditionally three offices associated with the work of Christ: prophetic, priestly, and kingly. These roles were also present in Israel during the Old Testament times, representing the work of the Messiah on Earth. Leaders in the early church, including Calvin, recognized the importance of distinguishing these offices (Berkhof, p.356). However, some theologians only acknowledge the prophetic and priestly roles related to Christ's work. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role and functions of a prophet and discuss how Jesus Christ fulfills the roles of Prophet, Priest, and King. It will also present alternative perspectives on Jesus Christ's prophetic, priestly, and kingly offices.

The establishment of the prophetic office can be traced back to Exodus when God chose Aaron as Moses' spokesperson. In Deuteronomy 18:14-15, Moses wa


rned against practicing witchcraft and divination because it was not permitted by their God. He informed them that God would raise up a prophet from among themselves whom they must listen to. Prophets represent God to people and speak on His behalf; they act as intermediaries between God and people.

The Old Testament predicts that Christ would come as a prophet while in the New Testament we see Him referring to Himself as such (Luke 13:33).Grudem (1994) suggests that Christ serves as a prophet, revealing God and speaking His words. According to Grudem (1994), Jesus claims to communicate the Father's message, receiving divine revelations and conveying them to people (Jn 8:26-28). Additionally, Grudem (1994) states that Jesus declares all Old Testament prophecies to be about him. This is confirmed in Luke 24:27, where it is said that Jesus interprets passages referring to himself

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from Moses and the prophets. Furthermore, Watson (1997) explains that Jesus serves as both the source and messenger of God's revelation. As a prophet, he teaches externally through his words and internally through the Spirit. His teaching impacts our hearts and gives us a taste of the word, leading us towards obedience and learning. Moreover, his instructions bring illumination. In discussing the Priestly office of Jesus Christ, Grudem presents three aspects illustrating how Christ functions as a priest.

Grudem (1994); Watson (1997)
Jesus, as a Priest, offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Through his actions, he continually brings us closer to God. In his role as Priest, Jesus prays for us without ceasing.
Adam also had roles as Prophet, Priest, and King. As a Prophet, Adam possessed true knowledge about God and remained faithful to Him and His creation. As a Priest, Adam offered prayers and praises expressing gratitude rather than sinfulness. Adam and Eve were given authority over God's creation as Kings in the Garden of Eden. However, sin disrupted these roles.
During Israel's existence as a nation, the roles of Prophet, Priest,and King were partially restored.Christ fulfilled the roles of a Priest and a Prophet when He arrived representing mankind in worship towards God and representing God in His message to people (Hodge,p .208). There is debate regarding whether these roles still exist today and how Christians fulfill them.
According to Grudem (p .630), Christians fulfill the role of Prophets by speaking truthfully about God to both believers and unbelievers.As Priests ,Christians offer sacrifices of praise and worship through Jesus Christ since they belong to the royal priesthood according to 1 Peter 2:9.Like Old Testament

Priests with animal sacrifices ,they have access to the Holy of Holies through Jesus Christ.Additionally ,Christians share in Christ's kingly reign as they are raised up and seated with Him in heavenly places (Grudem,p .630).In Matthew 2:2, it is mentioned that Jesus Christ was born as the King of the Jews but with a distinction from earthly kingship. His kingdom includes those who have been regenerated. Following his Resurrection, Jesus Christ commissioned his followers and declared that all authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). This authority will be fully realized upon Christ's return in the Second Advent (Mt 26:64) (Grudem, 2002).

During his recognition as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev.19:16), everyone will bow down to him and acknowledge him as Lord. Scholars have different perspectives regarding the roles held by Christ. Berkhof (1969) mentions Gerhard, a Lutheran theologian who first proposed the idea of three offices (p.356). However, some like Quenstedt dismissed these three offices as unnecessary. Others only recognized two offices for Jesus - prophet and king.

Even Lutherans themselves disagreed on the concept of Christ's offices, with Ernesti arguing against three offices as artificial and lacking biblical evidence. Later Lutheran theologians also rejected this differentiation (Berkhof, 1969,p .356). Similarly, Ritschl and Haering denied the existence of these three offices for Christ. Ritschl suggested using "career" instead of "office" to avoid confusion in describing Christ's roles (Berkhof, 1969,p .357).Ritschl argues that Christ's primary role is as a king, with the secondary roles of priest and prophet. However, Haering focuses more on naming rather than the three offices of Christ. According to Berkhof (1969), the Socinians

believe that Christ's work was limited to his public ministry. They view Jesus as one of the prophets who came before Mohammed and believe he prophesied about Mohammed based on John 16:7-11. Muslims do not see Jesus as the son of God or as God himself, but rather as one of many prophets from the Old Testament.

On the other hand, Roman Catholics affirm that priests receive holy orders through the laying on of hands and become partners in Jesus Christ's priesthood. Only priests are authorized to perform the Eucharist sacrifice. Despite these differing viewpoints, I personally believe that scripture indicates three roles for Christ: prophet, priest, and king.

In God's plan for humanity, He intended for them to fulfill these functions. When Jesus came to Earth, his purpose was to reinstate mankind to their original status by acting as God's prophet, priest, and king. As a prophet, Jesus conveyed good news and served as God's spokesperson. The Bible shows us that not everyone in Old or New Testament times was chosen by God to be a prophet according to His plan.

Serenius defines a prophet as someone who speaks on behalf of God and Jesus Christ under divine inspiration from the Holy SpiritThe primary duty of priests is to bring hope and redemption to people by delivering messages from God through words, revelations, visions, and actions. According to my belief system, Jesus arrived on Earth as a prophet revealing God's nature and spreading the message of hope and redemption globally. Even today, Jesus continues his prophetic ministry through the Holy Spirit using divine revelation found in scripture.

The practices carried out by priests in ancient times foreshadowed the

role of Messiah as a priest. The high priest in the Old Testament served as a predecessor to Jesus who would become the priestly Messiah. During that time, priests would make sacrifices for themselves and the people. However, Jesus selflessly offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins and those of the world. He acted as our representative before God, giving us access to God the Father and delivering His message on our behalf.

Similar to how high priests in the Old Testament interceded for themselves and others by entering the Holy of Holies, Jesus ascended to heaven as the ultimate high priest to seek us out in God's presence. As both Son of God and King, he shares in God's reign over all creation. I believe that his reign is firmly established within believers' hearts, and its administration is carried out through his word and the Holy Spirit.

The evidence of his kingship can be seen in how he gathers, organizes, protects, and perfects his church while being their kingJesus exercises his kingship as the head of the church, as mentioned in Ephesians 1:20-22 and 5:23. The kingdom of God primarily consists of Christ's kingship, firmly established in believers' hearts through the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. This kingdom exists presently and is also a promise for the future. As King, Jesus rules over all creation with power (Matthew 28:18) and has authority to transform lives. Today, Jesus continues to hold these offices. Even though distinguishing between true and false prophets can be challenging, I believe that these offices persist because God still communicates with us.

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