December 1, 2021
Series: Christmas in Focus
Of course this series is about keeping Christ the focus. It is far too easy to be swept up into the chaos of Christmas. But it’s more.
For generations the promise of a savior was coming into focus- He would be a prophet like Moses, bringing the word of God to the people; a priest like the descendants of Aaron, bringing sacrifices to God; and a king like David, ruling with justice and righteousness. Like none before he would be the Prophet, the Priest and the King- The promised Messiah. The Christ.
What are the things that distract you from the focus of Christmas? What do you do, or what could you do, to keep the focus on Christ?
The Heidelberg Catechism interprets the title “Christ” in terms of the threefold office, on Lord’s Day 12, Question and Answer 31:
31. WHY IS HE CALLED “CHRIST, THAT IS, ANOINTED?
Because He is ordained of God the Father and anointed with the Holy Spirit to be our chief Prophet and Teacher, who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; and our only High Priest, who by the one sacrifice of His body, has redeemed us, and ever lives to make intercession for us with the Father; and our eternal King, who governs us by His Word and Spirit, and defends and preserves us in the redemption obtained for us.
 Ps 45:7 [Heb 1:9]; Isa 61:1 (Lk 3:21-22, 4:18);  Deut 18:15 (Acts 3:22);  Jn 1:18, 15:15;  Ps 110:4 (Heb 7:17, 21);  Heb 9:12, 10:11-14;  Rom 5:9-10, 8:34;Heb 9:24; 1 Jn 2:1;  Zech 9:9 (Mt 21:5); Lk 1:33;  Ps 2:6; Isa 61:1-2; Mt 28:18-20;Jn 10:28; 1 Pt 2:24; Rev 12:10-11, 19:16
WLC Q&A – 41-45
Q. 41. Why was our mediator called Jesus?
A. Our mediator was called Jesus, because he saveth his people from their sins.
Q. 42. Why was our mediator called Christ?
A. Our mediator was called Christ, because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost above measure; and so set apart, and fully furnished with all authority and ability, to execute the offices of prophet, priest, and king of his church, in the estate both of his humiliation and exaltation.
Q. 43. How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?
A. Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in his revealing to the church, in all ages, by his Spirit and word, in divers ways of administration, the whole will of God, in all things concerning their edification and salvation.
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.
Q. 45. How doth Christ execute the office of a king?
A. Christ executeth the office of a king, in calling out of the world a people to himself, and giving them officers, laws, and censures, by which he visibly governs them; in bestowing saving grace upon his elect, rewarding their obedience, and correcting them for their sins, preserving and supporting them under all their temptations and sufferings, restraining and overcoming all their enemies, and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory, and their good; and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God, and obey not the gospel.
Using the three-fold office, how can we interpret passages like Hebrews 1:1-3?
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Words hold power to bring life or death. To build up or to destroy. If appropriate, you could share words that have held power in your life for building up, or tearing down. (I suspect that all of us have had experiences of both.)
Prophets used words. Jesus is the Word made flesh. What words from Jesus and the Bible do you need to hear today? Feel free to share favorite bible passages or promises.
Close with prayer for one another.