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Monday
Jun012009

Theological Term of the Week

priest (as an office of Christ)
The office by which Christ sacrificed himself for us and continues to intercede for us.

  • From scripture:
    Christ … offered himself without blemish to God…. (Hebrews 9:14 ESV)
    Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17 ESV)
    [Christ] holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God l through him, since he always lives m to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7: 24-25 ESV)
  • From the Westminster Larger Catechism:
    Question 44: How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?

    Answer: 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 his people; and in making continual intercession for them.
  • From In Understanding Be Men by T. C. Hammond:
    The New Testament clearly teaches that in the sacrificial office our Lord ministered in two ways:

    1. Actively, by steadfastly setting His face to go up to Jerusalem, voluntarily laying down His own life, and subsequently presenting Himself before the throne of God on behalf of the redeemed.

    2. Passively, by submitting to crucifixion at the hands of men. He offered Himself as the sacrificial victim.

    His present activity as High Priest consists in:

    1. His mediation and suretyship of the new covenant.

    2. His advocacy and intercession for His people at the throne of God.

    3. His providing and ensuring the right of access into the presence of God to the humblest Christian.

Learn more:

  1. John Flavel: The Nature and Necessity of the Priesthood of Christ
  2. John Murray: The Heavenly Priestly Activity of Christ
  3. Richard B. Gaffin, Jr.: Christ, Our High Priest in Heaven
  4. Wayne Grudem: Chapter 29: The Offices of Christ: Prophet, Priest, and King, part 1 (mp3)

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it. I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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