Soteriology -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 102:406 (Apr 1945)
Article: Soteriology
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


Lewis Sperry Chafer

(Continued from the January-March Number, 1945)

The Savior

A. The Person of the Savior

II. Christ’s Offices

It has been the belief, based on the Scriptures, of the Bible interpreters living in the Old Testament dispensation as well as those living in the New Testament dispensation, that the title Messiah of the Old Covenant and the title Christ of the New Covenant imply a threefold official responsibility—Prophet, Priest, and King. There is every reason to retain this general division of truth, and these are to be considered separately.

1. Prophet

The underlying conception of a prophet is that he is a channel or means of communication through whom God’s message may be delivered to man. In this respect the prophet’s service is the opposite of that of the priest, whose responsibility is to represent man to God. Both ministries belong equally to Christ and together constitute two major aspects of His mediatorial work. He, as Mediator, stands between God and man and represents each in turn to the other.

Distinction must be made between the prophet of the Old Testament and the prophet of the New Testament. In either instance the field of service is twofold—foretelling and forthtelling. The ministry of the Old Testament prophet was largely that of a reformer or patriot. He sought the restoration of the people who were under the covenants to covenant blessings. No better illustration of this will be found than John the Baptist—the last prophet of the old

order and the herald of the Messiah. Of him Christ said, “A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet” (Matt 11:9); and no greater prediction was uttered by John than that couched in the words, “Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Having the attitude of a reformer and revivalist, the Old Testament prophet was appointed of God to give warnings as to the chastisement of God that was impending upon His erring people, and, with the predictions, to give the witness from Jehovah that the purpose and faithfulness of Jehovah as to Israel’s ultimate blessings could never fail. Because of their sins, the people would suffer trials, but, in the end, God’s covenant blessings would be experienced since God could not change. With respect to Israel, “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom 11:29). Concerning the Old Testament prophet, an order of development is to be observed. He was first styled The ma...

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