by Dr. Maynard Koerner
Lord’s Day 12 of the Heidelberg Catechism speaks of the significance of the name Christ, and the fact that as Christians we take on the name of Christ.
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.
32. But why are you called a Christian?
Because by faith I am a member of Christ and thus a partaker of His anointing, in order that I also may confess His Name, may present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to Him, and with a free conscience may fight against sin and the devil in this life, and hereafter in eternity reign with Him over all creatures.
The name Christ has reference to being appointed to and being placed into an office. In fact Christ is placed into three offices. The name Christ actually means the anointed one. In the Old Testament there were three offices by which God established His people.
The three offices were that of prophet, priest, and king. By these God revealed and proclaimed His Word, provided for the covering of sin through the work of the priests, and provided for His rule for His people by means of the king.
Through Christ as the prophet we have the fullness of the Word of God given to us. Thus we know God’s will for our lives. He is also the priest in that He provides for the sacrifice by which our sins are covered. By the covering for sins we are redeemed from the pollution and power of sin and further Christ continues to plead our case before the throne of God. Finally, through Christ who is our King God governs His people. That means that we have someone who protects us from our enemies. The ultimate enemy is Satan and his kingdom, thus we can be assured that Christ will protect us from Satan and that Satan cannot take us away from Him.
But the really neat thing is that by us taking the name of Christian, which is to take the name of Christ, we actually are “a partaker of His anointing.” That means that we participate with Christ in His anointing, in that we become prophets, priests, and kings with Him.
When you confess your faith and speak of the Gospel you are making known the word of God. When you live your life for Christ you are sacrificing yourself as a “living sacrifice” for Christ. When you reject the temptation of sin which is in you, and fight against the temptation of the world, you are beginning to establish the rule of Christ in your life. Further, by this rule you are with Christ bringing to bear the rule of Christ in the world in which you live.
Did you ever think of the fact that in reality you are a prophet, a priest, and a king? What a fantastic concept that is! Paul speaks in Ephesians 6 of the battle we must engage in. We can do so because we partake in the anointing of Christ.