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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel


Of Christís Prophetical Office.

Q. 24. How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?
A. Christ executeth thc office of a prophet, in revealing to us his word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.


Q. 1. What doth Christís prophetical office imply?
A. It implies manís natural blindness and ignorance; 1 Corinthians 2:14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Q. 2. What else doth it imply?
A. That Christ is the original and fountain of all that light which guides us to salvation; 2 Corinthians 4:6-7. For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Q. 3. How doth Christ teach men the will of God?
A. He doth it by external revelation of it; Acts 3:22. For Moses truly said to the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear, in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you. And by internal illumination; Luke 24:45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scripture.

Q. 4. What need then of manís ministry?
A. Very much; for Christ hath instituted ministers as instruments, by whom he will teach us; Ephesians 4:11, 12. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists and some pastors, and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Acts 26:18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins.

Q. 5. Can no man savingly know the will of God without the teachings of Christ?
A. No; though common knowledge may be obtained in a natural way, yet not saving; Matthew 11:25. At that time Jesus answered, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord, of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Q. 6. How appears it that Christ is appointed to this office?
A. We have the written word for it; Acts 3:22. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you.

Q. 7. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. None need be discouraged at their natural weakness, if Christ be their teacher; Matthew 11:25. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Psalm. 19:7. The testimonies of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple.

Q. 8. What is the second instruction?
A. That it is a dreadful judgment to be spiritually blinded under the gospel; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Q. 9. What is the third instruction?
A. That prayer is the best expedient to obtain saving knowledge; James 1:5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Q. 10. What is the last instruction?
A. Learn hence the transcendent excellency of the knowledge of Christ above all other knowledge; Philippians 3:8. Yea, doubtless, I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.

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