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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 25. How does Christ execute the office of a Priest?
A. Christ executes the office of a Priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us.

1. Did fallen man need a Priest? Yes for every high priest is ordained for man in things pertaining to God, Heb. 5:1. Did Christ execute the office of a Priest? Yes: We have a great High Priest, Jesus the Son of God, Heb. 4:14. Was he appointed to this office? Yes: for Christ glorified not himself to be made a High Priest, Heb. 5:5. Was he confirmed in this office? Yes: for the Lord swore, and will not repent, thou art a Priest for ever, Heb. 7:21.

2. Did Christ as a Priest, make atonement for sin? Yes: he is a merciful and faithful High Priest, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people, Heb. 2:17. Did he do this by the sacrifice of himself? Yes: He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, Heb. 9:26. Was be himself the Priest? Yes: for through the eternal Spirit he offered himself, Heb. 9: 14. Was he himself the sacrifice? Yes: he made his soul an offering for sin, Isa. 53:10. Was he himself the altar? Yes: for we have an altar, Heb. 13:10. Would not the legal sacrifices serve? No: for it was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin, Heb. 10:4. Did God declare them insufficient? Yes: Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, ver. 5. Was this sacrifice necessary then? Yes: what the law could not do, in that it was weak, that Christ did, Rom. 8:3.

3. Did Christ as a sacrifice, bear our sins? Yes: his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, 1 Pet. 2:24. Did he bear them by the Father's appointment? Yes: the Lord laid on him the iniquities of us all, Isa. 53:6. Did he suffer for them? Yes: he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities, ver. 5. And not for any sin of his own? No: Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself, Dan.9:26. Did he suffer to satisfy for sin? Yes: he was once offered to bear the sins of many, Heb. 9:28. And was the satisfaction accepted? Yes: he gave himself for us a sacrifice to God of a sweet smelling savour, Eph. 5:2.

4. Did Christ offer himself voluntarily? Yes: No man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of myself, John 10:18. Was it his own act and deed to make his soul an offering? Yes: for he said, Father into thy hands I commend my spirit, Luke 23:46. Did this sacrifice need to be repeated? No: for by one offering he perfected for ever them that are sanctified, Heb. 10:14. Did Christ do this for the purchase of our pardon? Yes: for when he did it, he said, Father forgive them, Luke 23:34. Was it designed to save us from ruin? Yes: he gave his life a ransom for many, Matt. 20:28. And to reconcile us to God? Yes: for he made peace through the blood of his cross, Col.1:20. Is this our plea for peace and pardon? Yes: Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, Rom. 8:34. Is Christ then the great propitiation? Yes: he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world, 1 John 2:2. And have we hereby access to God? Yes: he suffered the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, 1 Pet. 3:18. And had the Old Testament saints the benefit of this sacrifice? Yes: for he was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, Rev. 13:8.

5. Does Christ, as a Priest, make intercession? Yes: for he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors, Isa. 53:12. Is he always doing this? Yes: he ever lives, making intercession, Heb. 7:25. Does he do this as an Advocate? Yes: if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, 1 John 2:1. And as a High Priest? Yes: Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord, Exod. 28:12. Does he make intercession in the virtue of his satisfaction? Yes: for by his own blood he entered into the holy place, Heb. 9:12.

6. Is Christ a Priest after the order of Aaron? No: but after the order of Melchisedec, Ps. 110:4. Is he a royal Priest? Yes: for he is a Priest upon his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both, Zech. 6:13. Is he a Priest that needs a successor? No: for this man, because he continueth forever, hath an unchangeable priesthood, Heb. 7:24. Is he a priest that needs a sacrifice for himself? No: for the law makes men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath makes the Son, who is consecrated for evermore, Heb. 7:28. Have all believers an interest in Christ's priesthood? Yes: for we have a High Priest over the house of God, Heb. 10:21. Is this an encouragement in our approaches to God? Yes: let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, Heb. 4:16. And is this it we must depend upon for our acceptance with God? Yes: for spiritual sacrifices are acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 2:5.

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