The meaning of the statement, “Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God”. When this statement is broken down, it is seen to be a statement of two things about Jesus. One, He is the Christ; the other, He is the Son of God. One is a statement about His person – He is the Son of God, that is, divine. The other statement is about His work – He is the Christ. To confess Him to be the Son of God is to confess His deity. No one can make the good confession and be a modernist. The divine Sonship of Jesus is a fact often stated in the bible. It was prophesied in Psalms 2:7 and Isaiah 9:6. It was stated by Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:34,35). God claimed Him as His Son twice (Matt 3:17; 17:5). John the Baptist bore witness to the fact (John 1:34).
Now, to the other element of the statement. “Christ” is the Greek word meaning “Anointed”, just as “Messiah” is the Hebrew word for it. Thus, the “Christ” or the “Messiah” is the “Anointed One”. In former times, God had three classes of servants anointed; namely, prophets, priests, and kings. For example: Elisha was anointed a prophet (I Kings 19:16); Aaron was anointed a priest (Lev. 8:12); David was anointed a king (II Sam. 2:4). The Old Testament prophets often referred to Jesus as THE BRANCH. In Zech. 6:13 is the prediction that THE BRANCH would fulfill the three-fold office of prophet, priest, and king: “Even he (see preceding verse to identify Him as THE BRANCH) shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne (His work as king); and he shall be a priest (His work as priest) upon his throne; and the counsel of peace (His work as prophet) shall be between them both.” From a study of the Old and New Testaments, we learn that he was to be a particular kind of prophet, a particular kind of priest, and a particular kind of king. He was to be a prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:15-18), a priest after the order of Melchizidek (Psa. 110:4), and a king on the throne of David (Isa. 9:6, 7).
Let us turn to the New Testament to find out if Jesus actually was anointed, and if He is a prophet like Moses, a priest after the order of Melchizidek, and a kind on David’s throne.
He was anointed (Acts 4:27; Heb. 1:9). This anointing was with the Holy Spirit at His baptism (Acts 10:38). After this, He claimed to be anointed (Luke 4:16-18), and He blest Peter for confessing Him as the Christ (the anointed) (Matt. 16:16, 17). Two different passages in Hebrews set forth this three-fold work. Heb. 1:1-5: “God…hath in these last days spoken unto us purged our sins (His work as priest), sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (His work as king).” Heb. 12:2: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (His work as prophet): who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross (His work as priest), despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (His work as king).” Acts 3:22, 23 states that He is a prophet like Moses. Heb. 6:20 states and Acts 2:29-31 state that He is a king on David’s throne. Hence, Jesus was anointed by God to His three-fold office as prophet, priest, and king.
Man’s Need of the Christ Makes the Good Confession Meaningful Man needs a prophet because of ignorance. What does he know about his origin or his destiny other than that which God has revealed to him? He needs the truth of God to dispel falsehood, the light of God to dispel darkness, the Word of God to remove his ignorance.
Man needs a priest because of sin. Every man has sinned and come short of God’s glory. He cannot go to God directly — he must have a mediator, an intercessor, with God.
Man needs a king over his life because he cannot rule his life successfully. Man must have an example before he can attain. He must have an outside force to deliver him from a sinful and selfish life.
In all of these ways, he needs God’s prophet, priest, and king.
What Confessing Christ Should Mean to Us It means to acknowledge that we are ignorant (in need of a prophet) sinful (in need of a priest), and unable to successfully rule our lives (in need of a king).
It demands both humility and courage. According to the truth set forth in the preceding paragraph, it takes humility. This excludes from Christ’s kingdom all who will not humble themselves. On the other hand, having to confess Christ before men (Matt. 10:32, 33) takes courage. Thus, Christ has no secret followers.
If we confess Him as our prophet, we believe everything that He teaches. To Him we look for our instructions in all things. We hear Him in all things (Acts 3:22, 23). If we confess Him as our priest, we rely on His blood alone for our salvation from from sin. He is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:2). If we confess Him as our king, we submit to Him in all things. Everything we do, we do in His name (Col. 3:17; II Cor. 10:5). One who scripturally accepts Christ recognized all three of these things: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me (our king); and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God (our prophet), who loved me, and gave himself for me (our priest)” (Gal. 2:20).
Scripture Reference Matthew 10:32 Jesus said, “Therefore whoever confesses me before men, him I will also confess before my father who is in heaven.”
Mark 8:38 Jesus said, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Romans 10:9, 10 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
I Timothy 6:12, 13 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate…”
1 John 4:14 “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.”