the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
Perhaps more profound is the duty given us to imitate Jesus (1 Cor. 11:1) and be imitators of God as dear children (Eph.5:1). When we consider this obligation we typically think of the admonition in John's first epistle to copy Christ's way of living and to live our life as Jesus would live it (1 John 2:3-6). That's fine as far as it goes. But we cannot limit ourselves to issues of personal piety. In other words to imitate Jesus involves more than being a "good person." It includes a daily demonstration of His messianic reign: the imitation of Jesus as Prophet, Priest and King.
The prophets of Yahweh were evangelists, teachers (to teach is to speak truth), and counselors. For instance, Abraham was a prophet (Gen. 20:7), who won souls and preached in the name of Yahweh (Gen. 12:5, 8 – the Hebrew says Abraham made or "converted" souls in Haran and in Canaan he began to preach in the name of Yahweh, not "call upon the name of the Lord"). Additionally Abraham was a member of God's council (involved in deliberation), and a "counselor at law" who argued legal matters in God's court (Gen. 18:16-33).
As THE prophet, Jesus is an evangelist. From the beginning of his earthly ministry he came "preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God" (Matt. 4:17, Mk. 1:14). Furthermore, He taught from place to place, proclaiming truth and exposing error. He was more than a mere member of God's council; as the Everlasting Son He is God. In His humanity He confidently maintained that, "all things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son" (Luke. 10:22). And again, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father. ...I am in the Father, and the Father in Me ...the words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works" (John. 14:9-10. Cf. Col. 1:19, 2:9). Hence, Jesus brought charges against those who where in rebellion toward God and He warned them of the coming judgement (Matt. 11:20 etc.).
Christians manifest the messianic rule as prophet when we share the gospel with others. In addition, we express the prophetic aspect of the kingdom by taking a stand for truth and boldly proclaiming the mind of God in favor of babies still in the womb. We are entitled to do so because we are members of Christ's council and His counselors at law, given the responsibility of arguing God's case in this realm (John 15:1-15, esp. vs 14, 1 Cor. 2:14-16, 1 Peter 3:15 etc.). Therefore, in relationship to the pro-life cause, Believers must work to win souls, teach them the way of truth (including a godly understanding of human life), and boldly speak out against the murder of unborn children. To do otherwise is to hide the light of the Messiah's reign as Prophet under a basket.
Next Week: The Messianic Reign as Priest.