Catechism Insight – Doctrinal Standard WSC #26 (Week 2 of 3)

Doctrinal Standard #26 (Week 2 of 3 )

  • Q. How is Christ a king?
  • A. As a king, Christ brings us under His power, rules and defends us, and restrains and conquers all His and all our enemies.

Memory Verses

  • Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11, ESV).


  • Study Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
    • Support Passages: Psalm 8:6; Ephesians 1:20-23, 6:10-13; Philippians 2:9-10; Hebrews 1:13, 2:8, 10:12-13
    • Bible Story: Matthew 4:1-11


  • C.I. Williamson provides a great explanation and meaningful insight behind the spiritual truths found in this week’s doctrinal standard.  Below is an excerpt taken from his book, The Westminster Shorter Catechism (pg. 112-114).
  • “Let us notice, in the first place, then, that the kingly work of Jesus Christ is a present spiritual activity. And perhaps it will help to make this clear if we contrast the teaching of the Catechism with a rather popular modern error called dispensationalism. Most people who hold to dispensational teaching are orthodox when it comes to many fundamental doctrines of our faith. But they have fallen under the influence of an artificial system of Bible interpretation. This system divides Bible history into certain periods (or dispensations) in which it is said that God has had different ways of dealing with men. During the time of Moses, for example, it is said that God dealt with men according to law, whereas at the present He deals with men by grace. The truth is, of course, that God has always maintained the law and always dealt with sinners (since the fall) by grace as the only way of salvation. But the point of interest here is that according to dispensationalists , Christ is not yet king. Dispensationalists say that He came to offer himself to the Jews as king, but when they refused, He delayed His kingdom. In the meantime God is saving men by the instrumentality of the Church. But when Christ comes again, then He will establish His kingdom, and rule on earth for 1,000 years, much after the manner of present earthly kings, except for the moral perfection of His reign.”
  • “Against this teaching stands clear teaching of Scripture. (1) The kingdom of Christ is already in existence. Paul says that when God has ‘delivered us from the power of darkness’ He also ‘hath translated un into the kingdom of his dear Son’ (Col. 1:13). (2) The kingdom of Christ is also spiritual and invisible. Jesus said, ‘My kingdom of God cometh not with observation’ (Luke 17:20). (3) It is a kingdom which will never end (Dan 2:44; 2 Peter 1:11), although it will give way to more perfect state of things at the end of the world (1 Cor. 15:24). His kingdom is now being extended. It will then be complete. So the basic error of the dispensationalist is that they separate the kingdom of Jesus Christ from the Church.”
  • “We must notice, in the second place, however, that it is also an error to say that the kingdom is the Church. This is the great error of the Roman Catholic Church. According to this teaching, the Roman Catholic Church itself represents the kingdom of Christ in this world. That is why the effort  is made to bring everything under the control of this Church. Every kind of organization and institution – schools, labor unions, political parties, etc. – should take orders from the Church. Only in this way, it is said, can Jesus Christ rule over all of life. He does this by means of His vicar, the Pope.”
  • “The Reformed view is this: while the Church and the kingdom of Jesus Christ are closely related, they are not identical. Christ is the king and head of the Church. But He also rules over a kingdom that includes much more than the Church. Thus it is the Reformed view that Christ should rule over every sphere of life, but not that the Church should exercise control over other organizations. The Church must indeed teach the Lord’s people what the Bible has to say about Christian schools, labor relations, politics, etc., but then it si the responsibility of the people to work out these principles under the direct kingship of Christ. In each sphere (or circle of life activity), in other words, the believer is directly responsible to Christ. It is Christ himself who rules the hearts of His people by His word and Spirit. And it is by this direct rule of His people which He effects in all that they do that the kingdom of Christ exists in this world.” [1]
  • C.I. Williamson provides a figure to help illustrate the three different views (see attached).

Discussion Questions 

  • Read 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 and discus if Jesus Christ is a king at this present time.
  • How does it make you feel that Jesus Christ is The King right now?
  • There might be times when it doesn’t seem like Jesus is a King in charge. Why do you think that is?
  • Scripture teaches that part of God’s kingdom is already in place here on earth. Why do you think God hasn’t fully given us His Kingdom?
  • Read through the memory verse and discuss how Jesus is sovereign over all and will bring about the praise and honor that is due to Him.

[1] Williamson, C.I. (2003). The Westminster Shorter Catechism – 2nd Edition. Phillipsburg, New Jersey, USA; P&R Publishing Company.


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