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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

The Shorter Catechism
of the Westminster Assembly
Explained and Proved
from Scripture

by
Thomas Vincent


XXVI. Ques. How doth Christ execute the office of a king?
Ans.
Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.

Q. 1. Over whom doth Christ exercise his kingly office?
A. Christ doth exercise his kingly office — 1. Over his elect people. "Thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel." — John 1:49. 2. Over his and their enemies. "Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies" — Ps. 110:2.

Q. 2. How doth Christ exercise his kingly office over his elect people?
A. Christ doth exercise his kingly office over his elect people— 1. In his subduing them to himself. 2. In his ruling them. 3. In his defending them.

Q. 3. What doth Christ's subduing his elect people to himself suppose?
A. Christ's subduing his elect people to himself doth suppose that at first they are stubborn and disobedient, rebellious, and enemies unto him. "For we ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, serving divers lusts." — Tit.3:3. "You were sometimes alienated, and enemies in your mind by wicked works." — Col. 1:21.

Q. 4. What doth Christ's subduing his elect people to himself imply?
A. Christ's subduing his elect people to himself doth imply his effectual calling of them, and bringing them under his government, wherein, by his word and Spirit, he doth conquer their stubbornness and enmity, and make them a willing people to himself. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." — Ps. 110:3.

Q. 5. How doth Christ rule his people?
A. Christ doth rule his people — 1. By giving them laws, unto which they are to conform their hearts and lives. "The Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king." — Isa. 33:22. 2. By annexing or adding to his laws threatenings of punishing the disobedient, and promises of rewarding the obedient. "I will kill her children with death; and all the Churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts; and I will give to every one of you according to your works." — Rev. 2:23. 3. By appointing Church officers, not only for declaring and publishing his laws, but also for the execution of some threatenings, who, having the key of discipline as well as the key of doctrine committed to them, are to rule under him in the Church, and have power of binding and loosing, of administering Church censures, and relaxing or taking them off. "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." — Matt. 16:19. 4. And chiefly, Christ doth rule his people inwardly by his Spirit, whereby he doth write his laws in their hearts, working in them a disposition and strength to yield to him that obedience which he requireth. "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts. " — Heb. 8:10. "Ye are the epistle of Christ, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." — 2 Cor. 3:3.

Q. 6. How doth Christ defend his people?
A. Christ doth defend his people — 1. By hiding them under his wings. "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings?
" — Matt. 23:37. "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." — Ps. 91:4. 2. By restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.

Q. 7. Who are the enemies of Christ and his people?
A. The enemies of Christ and his people, are the devil, the flesh, the world, and death.

Q. 8. What is it for Christ to restrain his and his people's enemies?
A. Christ doth restrain his and his people's enemies, when (their power remaining) he doth set bounds and limits to them, over which he doth not suffer them to pass.

Q. 9. What is it for Christ to conquer his and his people's enemies?
A. Christ doth conquer his and his people's enemies, when he taketh away their power in part, that they have not dominion over his people; but then he doth completely conquer them, when he doth bring all enemies under his feet, and utterly abolish and destroy them. "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." — Rom. 8:37. "For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet." — 1 Cor. 15:25.

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