Larger Catechism, week 15

April 13, 2017

Q. 66. What is that union which the elect have with Christ?
A. The union which the elect have with Christ is the work of God’s grace,[270] whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably, joined to Christ as their head and husband;[271] which is done in their effectual calling.[272]

Q. 67. What is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God’s almighty power and grace,[273] whereby (out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving him thereunto)[274] he doth, in his accepted time, invite and draw them to Jesus Christ, by his Word and Spirit;[275] savingly enlightening their minds,[276] renewing and powerfully determining their wills,[277] so as they (although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able freely to answer his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed therein.[278]

Q. 68. Are the elect only effectually called?
A. All the elect, and they only, are effectually called:[279] although others may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the Word,[280] and have some common operations of the Spirit;[281] who, for their wilful neglect and contempt of the grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never truly come to Jesus Christ.[282]

Q. 69. What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
A. The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification,[283] adoption,[284] sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him.[285]


Belgic Confession, week 15

April 12, 2017

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 11, 2017

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 10, 2017

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 9, 2017

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 14

April 8, 2017

Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator

3: The Lord Jesus, in His human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure,[175] having in Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;[176] in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell;[177] to the end that, being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth,[178] He might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a Mediator and Surety.[179] Which office He took not unto Himself, but was thereunto called by His Father,[180] who put all power and judgment into His hand, and gave Him commandment to execute the same.[181]

4: This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake;[182] which that He might discharge, He was made under the law,[183] and did perfectly fulfil it;[184] endured most grievous torments immediately in His soul,[185] and most painful sufferings in His body;[186] was crucified, and died,[187] was buried, and remained under the power of death, yet saw no corruption.[188] On the third day He arose from the dead,[189] with the same body in which He suffered,[190] with which also he ascended into heaven, and there sits at the right hand of His Father,[191] making intercession,[192] and shall return, to judge men and angels, at the end of the world.[193]

5: The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience, and sacrifice of Himself, which He through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, has fully satisfied the justice of His Father;[194] and purchased, not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for those whom the Father has given unto Him.[195]


Canons of Dordt, week 14

April 7, 2017

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

VI

Who teach that not every election to salvation is unchangeable, but that some of the chosen can perish and do in fact perish eternally, with no decision of God to prevent it.

By this gross error they make God changeable, destroy the comfort of the godly concerning the steadfastness of their election, and contradict the Holy Scriptures, which teach that the elect cannot be led astray (Matt. 24:24), that Christ does not lose those given to him by the Father (John 6:39), and that those whom God predestined, called, and justified, he also glorifies (Rom. 8:30).

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

VII

Who teach that in this life there is no fruit, no awareness, and no assurance of one’s unchangeable election to glory, except as conditional upon something changeable and contingent.

For not only is it absurd to speak of an uncertain assurance, but these things also militate against the experience of the saints, who with the apostle rejoice from an awareness of their election and sing the praises of this gift of God; who, as Christ urged, rejoice with his disciples that their names have been written in heaven (Luke 10:20); and finally who hold up against the flaming arrows of the devil’s temptations the awareness of their election, with the question Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? (Rom. 8:33).


Larger Catechism, week 14

April 6, 2017

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 5, 2017

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 4, 2017

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.