************ Catechism Sermon on Lord's Day 12 ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on July 23, 2017
Lord's Day 12
Sound doctrine. Remember? That's what we are looking at when we study the Catechism. Sound doctrine is true, reliable, trustworthy because it is doctrine based upon the Bible.
We need sound doctrine. We need it so badly. We need it so desperately. We need it to counter the lies and myths of the false church. We need it because most men have itching ears that do not put up with sound doctrine.
It is not enough to know sound doctrine. We must also believe it. It must be in our mind but it must also be in our heart.
So what does sound doctrine tell us today? What does saving faith believe? We continue our study of the Apostles' Creed. In the Creed we confess "I believe in Jesus Christ." Jesus is His name. Christ is His title. It is like President Trump; Trump is his name and President is his title. It is like Queen Elizabeth; Elizabeth is her name and Queen is her title. It is like Prime Minister Trudeau; Trudeau is his name and Prime Minister is his title.
The Hebrew word for "Christ" is "Messiah." Jesus -- the Savior -- is Christ; He is Messiah. More than that, He is Christ for me. I share in Him as Christ. That is the practical significance.
A The Catechism reminds us that the title "Christ" means "anointed." Since the title "Christian" comes from "Christ" this means the Christian is also anointed. The Christian shares in Christ's anointing. The Christian participates in Christ's anointing. Remember, this is one of the benefits of a true and a saving faith. Those with true faith are grafted into Christ and accept all His blessings. So, by faith, I share in Christ's anointing.
The Catechism asks "Why are you called a Christian?" Why does your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, say you are a Christian? Is it for the same reason many say our country is a Christian country? Then it means nothing. For our country is not and never will be Christian. Are you called Christian because you are in church today and your family, friends, and neighbors saw you headed in this direction? Is that the reason? Why are you called a Christian? The answer, the only answer, is because you share in Christ's anointing.
B In the Old Testament prophets, priests, and kings were anointed to their offices in the Kingdom of God. Do you remember when Aaron was anointed as high priest?
(Lev 8:10-12) Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. (11) He sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them. (12) He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron's head and anointed him to consecrate him.I've always loved the story of the anointing of David as king:
(1 Sam 16:10-13) Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, "The LORD has not chosen these." (11) So he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives." (12) So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one." (13) So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.Notice, oil was poured on the head of the one called to be prophet, priest, or king.
The oil used in such anointing was prescribed by the Lord and symbolized His Spirit. The oil symbolized that the person was filled with the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, gifted by the Spirit, qualified by the Spirit, and called by the Spirit to a particular office.
C There were many anointings, many christs, many messiahs in the Old Testament. Nevertheless, Jesus is "the Christ." No matter how many christs, how many messiahs, how many anointings there may have been, Jesus is "the Christ." He is the fulfilment of every christ that went before Him.
Jesus the Christ was anointed by the Spirit to be chief prophet, only high priest, and eternal king. We see this three-fold office of Jesus in our Bible reading. He is called "the faithful witness" (as Prophet); "the firstborn of the dead" (as Priest); and "the ruler of kings on earth" (as King).
You might ask when did Jesus' anointing take place? Remember the baptism of Jesus? At that time the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove.
Now, remember, we share in His anointing. We, too, are anointed with the Spirit. We, too, are anointed as prophet, priest, and king. Our three-fold office is taught in our Bible reading. He, that is Jesus, has made us to be a kingdom (that is, rulers); He has made us to be priests; He has made us to proclaim His glory and power for ever and ever (as prophets).
II Anointed as Prophet
A If Jesus, the Christ, is to save us He needs to be anointed as prophet.
In popular thought, a prophet is someone who foretells the future; but that is not necessarily the case. It is not essential for a prophet to foretell future things. A prophet may foretells future things, but that is not essential to him being a prophet. He may never foretell future things and still be a prophet.
What is a prophet? A prophet is God's representative, God's spokesman. A prophet is one who speaks in the name and with the authority of God. He is called to speak of God, and to speak for God, and to speak in the name of God. He says, "This is what the Lord says."
B A prophet speaks for God. This implies the prophet must know God. Not just know about God but know God as a person, know God intimately, know God and love God.
Who knows God better than Jesus? Who better than Jesus can represent God? Who better than Jesus can declare, "This is what the Lord says"? I say that because Jesus is the eternal Son of God. Remember the voice from heaven at the baptism of Jesus? "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." The Father knows Him and He knows the Father. He knows all that is in the Father. He is filled with the knowledge of the Father.
Jesus speaks for God. He is the Word become flesh. The eternal Word. The Word of God. As such, He has been anointed as "chief prophet and teacher."
What does Jesus say as prophet? He perfectly reveals to us God's eternal plan for our salvation. He reveals to us how wide and long and high and deep is the Father's love. He reveals to us the humiliation leading up to the cross and the exaltation after the grave.
C Now, remember, Christians share in His anointing. We have been anointed with the Holy Spirit to confess His name. His name. We aren't called to confess what men's ears want to hear. We aren't called to confess self-help guides. We aren't called to confess 5-steps to a better marriage, 8-steps to raising godly kids, 10-steps to becoming wealthy. We are called to confess Jesus. He must be the basis and heart of all we confess. Christ is prophet in us, and we must be His witnesses.
Now, as prophets we confess His name with, we confess His name to, and we confess His name before.
As prophets we confess His name with. We confess with the other members of this church. We confess with true Christian believers everywhere. We confess with true Christian believers throughout the ages. We confess with true Christian believers of every tribe and language and people and nation. We confess with true Christian believers of every color and race.
As prophets we confess His name to. We confess to those who don't know Jesus. We confess to unbelievers. We confess to our children and youth. We confess to those straying from the faith and the Christian life.
And, as prophets we confess His name before. We confess before the world. We confess before the godlessness of men. We confess before a world that hates Jesus and the Gospel and the church. We confess before a culture that doesn't want to hear His name and His call to repentance.
Why are you called a Christian? Because, anointed with the Spirit, I confess His name. Do you? Do you confess His name?
Why are you called a Christian? Because, anointed with the Spirit, I confess His name. Must not shame cover our faces? Do we not fall short in speaking of and for God? Do we not fall short in bearing witness? Do we not fall short in confessing His name with, to, and before?
III Anointed as Priest
A If Jesus, the Christ, is to save us He needs to be anointed as priest.
A priest represent a sinful people before God. On their behalf he offers bloody sacrifices. On their behalf he offers prayers and petitions.
Jesus is our only high priest. He has set us free by the one sacrifice of His body. As priest He offered Himself. As priest He suffered and died. His altar was the cross. And, as priest He continually pleads our cause with the Father. He prays for us and pleads for us and intercedes on our behalf.
B Who better than Jesus can be our high priest? He is one of us. He has our flesh. He shares in our humanity. In His humanity He suffered for us. In His humanity He died for us. In His humanity He sacrificed Himself as a sin offering for us. He is the Lamb of God. He is the perfect Lamb of God. He is the perfect sacrifice.
Who better than Jesus can be our high priest? He has been tempted in every way in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin. He is more than able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses. Through Him we can approach the throne of grace with confidence.
C Now, remember, Christians share in His anointing. Consecrated as priests, we do what Christ did: We offer ourselves. We offer ourselves as a living sacrifice of thanks. Meaning what? Meaning we live for Him. Meaning that all that I have and all that I am is for Him. Meaning that we are wholeheartedly willing and ready to live for Him. In all of life. At all times. In all places. Meaning that all our living -- what we think, say and do --is directed towards His glory. Meaning that we want to do His will rather than our own.
Why are you called a Christian? Because, anointed with the Spirit, I present myself to Him as a living sacrifice of thanks. Again, do we not have reason to hang our heads in shame? Too often we live for ourselves rather than for Jesus. Too often as soon as there is conflict between our will and the will of Christ, it is so hard to put down our own will.
IV Anointed as King
A If Jesus, the Christ, is to save us He needs to be anointed as king.
What does a king -- or ruler -- do? What is his job? It is his job to govern, to rule. It is his job to guard us and keep us safe against enemies.
Jesus is our eternal king. He governs and rules by His Word and Spirit. He guards us and keeps us safe in the freedom He won for us.
B Who better than Jesus can be our king? His is all authority. His is dominion over all things. He has been exalted to the highest place. Before Him every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth. He is Lord! He is sovereign? He reigns. He rules.
He is King and He has battled His way to victory. He has battled against sin, the devil, and his whole dominion. He has battled His way to victory. He Who is the resurrection and the life has defeated the grave. He Who has the key of Hades has defeated the devil. He Who has died for sin has defeated sin. His is the victory and His is dominion.
C Now, remember, Christians share in His anointing. Consecrated as kings we strive against sin and the devil. Consecrated as kings someday we will reign with Christ over all creation for all eternity.
Too often, I am afraid, it seems we are not kings as we go down to defeat after defeat in our battle against sin, and death, and Satan.
Why are you called a Christian? Because anointed with the Spirit, I strive against sin and the devil. Because someday I will reign with Christ over all creation for all eternity. Again, do we not have reason to hang our heads in shame. So many times we allow sin and the devil to prevail. So many times we fail to live victorious Christian lives. So many times we live as failures. So many times we allow sin and Satan to rule over us. So many times we live as slaves to sin and Satan.
Jesus is the Christ. Jesus is the anointed one. He is anointed as prophet, priest, and king.
We are Christians. This means we share in His anointing. This means we are the anointed ones. With Christ, we are anointed with the Spirit. With Christ, we are anointed as prophet, priest, and king.
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