Belgic Confession, Week 15

April 14, 2021

Article 23: The Justification of Sinners

We believe that our blessedness lies in the forgiveness of our sins because of Jesus Christ, and that in it our righteousness before God is contained, as David and Paul teach us when they declare that man blessed to whom God grants righteousness apart from works.[54] And the same apostle says that we are justified “freely” or “by grace” through redemption in Jesus Christ.[55] And therefore we cling to this foundation, which is firm forever, giving all glory to God, humbling ourselves, and recognizing ourselves as we are; not claiming a thing for ourselves or our merits and leaning and resting on the sole obedience of Christ crucified, which is ours when we believe in him. That is enough to cover all our sins and to make us confident, freeing the conscience from the fear, dread, and terror of God’s approach, without doing what our first father, Adam, did, who trembled as he tried to cover himself with fig leaves. In fact, if we had to appear before God relying– no matter how little– on ourselves or some other creature, then, alas, we would be swallowed up. Therefore everyone must say with David: “Lord, do not enter into judgment with your servants, for before you no living person shall be justified.”[56]


Shorter Catechism, Week 15

April 13, 2021

Q. 24. How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?
A. Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by his Word[65] and Spirit,[66] the will of God for our salvation.[67]


Children’s Catechism, Week 15

April 12, 2021

Q. 49. What did God the Father undertake in the covenant of grace?
A. To justify and sanctify those for whom Christ should die.

Q. 50. What is justification?
A. It is God’s forgiving sinners, and treating them as if they had never sinned.

Q. 51. What is sanctification?
A. It is God’s making sinners holy in heart and conduct.


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 15

April 11, 2021

15. Lord’s Day

Q. 37. What dost thou understand by the words, “He suffered”?
A. That he, all the time that he lived on earth, but especially at the end of his life, sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind: [a] that so by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, [b] he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, [c] and obtain for us the favour of God, righteousness and eternal life. [d]

Q. 38. Why did he suffer “under Pontius Pilate, as judge”?
A. That he, being innocent, and yet condemned by a temporal judge, [a] might thereby free us from the severe judgement of God to which we were exposed. [b]

Q. 39. Is there anything more in his being “crucified”, than if he had died some other death?
A. Yes there is; for thereby I am assured, that he took on him the curse which lay upon me; [a] for the death of the cross was accursed of God. [b]


Westminster Confession, Week 15

April 10, 2021

Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator

6: Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after His incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof were communicated unto the elect, in all ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices, wherein He was revealed, and signified to be the seed of the woman which should bruise the serpent’s head; and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world; being yesterday and today the same, and forever.[196]

7: Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself;[197] yet, by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature.[198]

8: To all those for whom Christ has purchased redemption, He does certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same;[199] making intercession for them,[200] and revealing unto them, in and by the word, the mysteries of salvation;[201] effectually persuading them by His Spirit to believe and obey, and governing their hearts by His word and Spirit;[202] overcoming all their enemies by His almighty power and wisdom, in such manner, and ways, as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation.[203]


Canons of Dordt, Week 15

April 9, 2021

The First Head of Doctrine: Divine Election and Reprobation

Having set forth the orthodox teaching concerning election and reprobation, the Synod rejects the errors of those

VIII

Who teach that it was not on the basis of his just will alone that God decided to leave anyone in the fall of Adam and in the common state of sin and condemnation or to pass anyone by in the imparting of grace necessary for faith and conversion.

For these words stand fast: He has mercy on whom he wishes, and he hardens whom he wishes (Rom. 9:18). And also: To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given (Matt. 13:11). Likewise: I give glory to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and have revealed them to little children; yes, Father, because that was your pleasure (Matt. 11:25-26).

Having set forth the orthodox teaching concerning election and reprobation, the Synod rejects the errors of those

IX

Who teach that the cause for God’s sending the gospel to one people rather than to another is not merely and solely God’s good pleasure, but rather that one people is better and worthier than the other to whom the gospel is not communicated.

For Moses contradicts this when he addresses the people of Israel as follows: Behold, to Jehovah your God belong the heavens and the highest heavens, the earth and whatever is in it. But Jehovah was inclined in his affection to love your ancestors alone, and chose out their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as at this day (Deut. 10:14-15). And also Christ: Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! for if those mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes (Matt. 11:21).


Larger Catechism, Week 14

April 8, 2021

Q. 61. Are all they saved who hear the gospel, and live in the church?
A. All that hear the gospel, and live in the visible church, are not saved; but they only who are true members of the church invisible.[260]

Q. 62. What is the visible church?
A. The visible church is a society made up of all such as in all ages and places of the world do profess the true religion,[261] and of their children.[262]

Q. 63. What are the special privileges of the visible church?
A. The visible church hath the privilege of being under God’s special care and government;[263] of being protected and preserved in all ages, notwithstanding the opposition of all enemies;[264] and of enjoying the communion of saints, the ordinary means of salvation,[265] and offers of grace by Christ to all the members of it in the ministry of the gospel, testifying, that whosoever believes in him shall be saved,[266] and excluding none that will come unto him.[267]

Q. 64. What is the invisible church?
A. The invisible church is the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head.[268]

Q. 65. What special benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ?
A. The members of the invisible church by Christ enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory.[269]


Belgic Confession, Week 14

April 7, 2021

Article 22: The Righteousness of Faith

We believe that for us to acquire the true knowledge of this great mystery the Holy Spirit kindles in our hearts a true faith that embraces Jesus Christ, with all his merits, and makes him its own, and no longer looks for anything apart from him. For it must necessarily follow that either all that is required for our salvation is not in Christ or, if all is in him, then he who has Christ by faith has his salvation entirely. Therefore, to say that Christ is not enough but that something else is needed as well is a most enormous blasphemy against God– for it then would follow that Jesus Christ is only half a Savior. And therefore we justly say with Paul that we are justified “by faith alone” or by faith “apart from works.”[53] However, we do not mean, properly speaking, that it is faith itself that justifies us– for faith is only the instrument by which we embrace Christ, our righteousness. But Jesus Christ is our righteousness in making available to us all his merits and all the holy works he has done for us and in our place. And faith is the instrument that keeps us in communion with him and with all his benefits. When those benefits are made ours they are more than enough to absolve us of our sins.


Shorter Catechism, Week 14

April 6, 2021

Q. 23. What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?
A. Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet,[62] of a priest,[63] and of a king,[64] both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.


Children’s Catechism, Week 14

April 5, 2021

Q. 46. Did our Lord Jesus Christ ever commit the least sin?
A. No; he was holy, harmless, and undefiled.

Q. 47. How could the Son of God suffer?
A. Christ, the Son of God, became man that he might obey and suffer in our nature.

Q. 48. What is meant by the Atonement?
A. Christ’s satisfying divine justice, by his sufferings and death, in the place of sinners.