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LD 6—Q16-19 Why must he be very man, and also perfectly righteous? #48677
Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:09 PM
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Question 16. Why must he be very man, and also perfectly righteous?

Answer: Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned, should likewise make satisfaction for sin; (a) and one, who is himself a sinner, cannot satisfy for others. (b)

(a) Ezek.18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezek.18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. Rom.5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Rom.5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. Rom.5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 1 Cor.15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Heb.2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Heb.2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Heb.2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 1 Pet.3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: Isa.53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isa.53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Isa.53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isa.53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Isa.53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (b) Heb.7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Heb.7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. Ps.49:7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: Ps.49:8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) 1 Pet.3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48678
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Exposition

It behooved our Mediator to be man, and indeed very man, and perfectly righteous.
First, it behooved him to be man. 1. Because it was man that sinned. It was necessary, therefore, that man should make satisfaction for sin. "As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin," c. "Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (Rom. 5:12. 1 Cor. 15:21.) 2. That he might be able to die. It was necessary that he should make satisfaction for us by his death, and by the shedding of his blood, because it had been declared, "Thou shalt surely die." "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission." (Gen. 2:17. Heb. 9:22.)

Secondly, it behooved him to be very man, descending from the same human nature which had sinned, and not created out of nothing, or let down from heaven, but subject to all our infirmities, sin excepted: 1. Because the justice of God required that the same human nature which had sinned, should likewise make satisfaction for sin. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." "And in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." (Ez. 18:20. Gen. 2:17.) It was necessary, therefore, that he who would make satisfaction for man, should himself be very man, having sprung from the posterity of Adam, which had sinned. The following passages of scripture are here in point: " Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." "He took on him the seed of Abraham; wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren," &c. (1 Cor. 15:21. 1. Tim. 2:5. Heb. 2:16, 17.) So the Apostle says also, that we are buried with Christ in baptism, crucified with him, raised with him, &c. (Rom. 6:4. Col. 2:12.) And Augustine, in his book on true religion, says: " The very same nature was to be assumed, which was to be delivered." 2. Because the truth of God required it. The prophets, who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, often described our Mediator as one that is poor, weak, despised, &c. The 53rd chap. of the prophecy of Isaiah furnishes us with a striking instance. 3. On account of our comfort: for if we did not know him to have sprung from Adam, we could not receive him as the promised Messiah, and as our brother, since the promise is, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 3:15; 22:18.) The Apostle Paul also says in relation to this: "He that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one, (that is, of the same human nature); for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." (Heb. 2:11.) It was necessary therefore that he should spring from Adam, in order that he might be our brother. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same," &c. (Heb. 2:14.) 4. That he might be a faithful High Priest, able to succor them that are tempted. " Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted." (Heb. 2:17-18.)

Thirdly, It behooved him to be a perfectly righteous man, one that was wholly free from the least stain of original and actual sin, that he might deservedly be our Saviour, and that his sacrifice might avail, not for himself, but for us: for if he himself had been a sinner, he would have had to satisfy for his own sins. "My righteous servant shall justify many." "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." "Christ also hath once suffered for sin, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." (Is. 53:11. 1 Pet. 2:22; 3:18.)
But he who is himself a sinner. If the Mediator himself had been a sinner he could not have escaped the wrath of God, much less could he have procured for others the favor of God, and exemption from punishment:
neither could the passion, and death of him, who did not suffer as an innocent man, be a ransom for the sin of others. Therefore " God hath made him to be sin for us, (that is, a sacrifice for sin,) who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." "For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's." (2 Cor. 5:26. Heb. 7:26-27.)

The man Christ was perfectly righteous, or has fulfilled the law in four respects. 1. By his own righteousness. Christ alone performed perfect obedience, such as the law requires. 2. By enduring punishment sufficient for our sins. There was a necessity that this double fulfillment of the law should be in Christ: for unless his righteousness had been full, and perfect, he could not have satisfied for the sins of others; and unless he had endured such punishment as has been described, he could not thereby have delivered us from everlasting punishment. The former is called the fulfilling of the law by obedience, by which he himself was conformable thereto; the latter is the fulfilling of the law by punishment, which he suffered for us, that we might not remain subject to eternal condemnation. 3. Christ fulfills the law in us by his Spirit, when he by the same Spirit regenerates us, and by the law leads us to that obedience which is required from us, which is both external and internal, which we commence in this life, and which we shall perfectly and fully perform in the life to come. 4. Christ fulfills the law by teaching it, and freeing it from errors and interpolations, and by restoring its true sense, as he himself said, " I am not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it." (Matt. 5:17.)

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48679
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Question 17. Why must he in one person be also very God?

Answer: That he might, by the power of his Godhead (a) sustain in his human nature, (b) the burden of God's wrath; (c) and might obtain for, and restore to us, righteousness and life. (d)

(a) Isa.9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa.63:3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. (b) Isa.53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Isa.53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (c) Deut.4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. Nah.1:6 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. Ps.130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? (d) Isa.53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isa.53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Acts 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 1 Pet.3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48680
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Exposition

It was necessary that our Mediator should not only be a man, and one that was truly such, and perfectly righteous; but that he should also be God--the true and mighty God-and not an imaginary Deity, or one that was adorned with excellent gifts, above angels and men, as heretics suppose. The reasons for this are the following:
1. That he might, by the power of his Godhead, sustain, in his human nature, the infinite wrath of God against sin, and endure a punishment, which, although it were temporal as it respects its duration, was nevertheless infinite in greatness, dignity, and value. If our Mediator had been only a man, and had taken upon himself the burden of God's wrath, he would have been crushed under its weight. It was necessary, therefore, that he should be possessed of infinite strength, and for this reason be God, that he might endure an infinite punishment, without sinking into despair, or being crushed under it.

There was a necessity that the punishment of the Mediator should be of infinite value, and equivalent to that which is eternal, that there might be a proportion between sin, and the punishment thereof. For there is not one sin amongst all the sins committed, from the beginning to the end of the world, so small that it does not deserve eternal death. Every sin is so exceedingly sinful, that it cannot be expiated by the eternal destruction of any creature.

It was proper, however, that this punishment should be finite in respect to time, because it was not necessary that the Mediator should for ever remain under death; but it became him to come forth from death, that he might accomplish the benefit of our redemption, that is, that he might perfectly merit, and having merited, might apply and bestow upon us the salvation which he purchased in our behalf. It was also required of our Mediator, both to merit and bestow righteousness, that he might be a perfect Saviour in merit, and efficacy. But these things could not have been accomplished by a mere man, who and of whatever strength he might have been possessed, if he, nevertheless, had not the power to come forth from death. It was necessary, therefore, that he who was to save others from death, should overcome death by his own power, and first throw it off from himself. But this he could not have done had he not been God.

2. It was necessary that the ransom Which the Redeemer paid should be of infinite value, that it might possess a dignity and merit sufficient for the redemption of our souls, and that it might avail in the judgment of God, for the purpose of expiating our sins, and restoring in us that righteousness and life which we had lost. Hence it became the person who would make this satisfaction for us, to be possessed of infinite dignity, that is, to be God; for the dignity of this satisfaction, on account of which it might be acceptable to God and of infinite worth, although temporal, consists in two things--in the dignity of the person, and in the greatness of the punishment.

The dignity of the person who suffered appears in this, that it was God, the Creator himself, who died for the sins of the world; which is infinitely more than the destruction of all creatures, and avails more than the holiness of all the angels and men. Hence it is, that the Apostles, when they speak of the sufferings of Christ, almost always make mention of his Divinity. "God hath purchased the Church with his blood." "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world." Yea, God himself, in Paradise, joined together these two: "The seed of the woman shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Acts 20:28. 1 John 1:7. John 1:29. Gen. 3:15.)
The greatness of the punishment which Christ endured appears in this, that he sustained the dreadful torments of hell, and the wrath of God against the sins of the whole world. "The pains of hell got hold upon me." "God is a consuming fire." "The Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all." (Ps. 116:3. Deut. 4:24. Is. 53:10.) From this we may perceive why it was, that Christ manifested such signs of distress in the prospect of death, whilst many of the martyrs met death with the greatest courage and composure.

Obj. The perfect fulfillment of the law by obedience might have been a satisfaction for our sins. But a mere man, had he only been perfectly righteous, might have fulfilled the law by obedience. Therefore, a mere man, being perfectly righteous, might have satisfied for our sins--and hence it was not necessary that our Mediator should be God. Ans. 1. We deny the major proposition, because it has already been shown that when obedience was once impaired, it was not possible that the justice of God could be satisfied for sin, unless by a sufficient punishment on account of the divine threatening, "In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." (Gen. 2:17.) 2. Although we may grant the minor proposition, that a mere man, by his obedience, might fulfil the law perfectly, yet this obedience could not be a satisfaction for the sins of another, because every one is bound to obey the law. It was necessary, therefore, that the Mediator should endure a sufficient punishment for us, and for this reason be armed with divine power; for the devils themselves are not able to sustain the burden of God's wrath against sin--much less could man. If it be objected, that the devils and the wicked do sustain and are compelled to sustain the eternal wrath of God, we answer, that they do, indeed, sustain the wrath of God, but not so as ever to satisfy his justice, and come out of their punishment; for their punishment will endure forever. But it behooved the Mediator to endure the burden of God's wrath, that, having made satisfaction, he might remove it from himself, and also from us.

3. It was necessary that the Mediator should be God, that he might reveal the secret will of God concerning the redemption of mankind, which he could not have done, had he been merely a man. No creature could ever have known, or discovered, the will of God concerning our redemption, had not the Son of God revealed it. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." (John 1:18.)

4. It behooved the Mediator to be God, that he might be able to give the Holy Ghost, gather a church, be present with it, and bestow and preserve the benefits purchased by his death. It did not only become him to be made a sacrifice, to throw off death from himself, and intercede for us with God; but it became him also to give assurance that we would no more offend God by our sins. This, however, on account of our corruption, no one could promise in our behalf, who had not the power of giving the Holy Spirit, and through him, the power of conforming us to the image of God. But to give the Holy Spirit, and through him to regenerate the heart, is peculiar to God alone, whose Spirit he is. "Whom I will send unto you from the Father." (John 15:26.) Only he, who is Lord of nature, can reform it.

5. Finally, it was necessary that the Messiah should be "THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." (Jer. 23:6.)
Obj. The party offended cannot be Mediator. Christ is the Mediator. Therefore, he cannot be the party offended, that is, God. Ans. The major proposition is true only when the party offended is such as admits of no personal distinctions; which, however, is not the case as regards the Godhead. Vide Ursini vol. i. p. 120.

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48681
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Question 18. Who then is that Mediator, who is in one person both very God, (a) and a real (b) righteous man? (c)

Answer: Our Lord Jesus Christ: (d) "who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (e)

(a) 1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Rom.9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Rom.8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Gal.4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, Isa.9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Jer.23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Mal.3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. (b) Luke 1:42 And she (Elisabeth) spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou (Mary) among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. Luke 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Rom.1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; Rom.9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Philip.2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: Heb.2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Heb.2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Heb.2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Heb.4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (c) Isa.53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Isa.53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Jer.23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. John 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? Heb.4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Heb.7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 1 Pet.1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 1 Pet.2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 1 Pet.3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (d) 1 Tim.2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Heb.2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Matt.1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 1 Tim.3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (e) 1 Cor.1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48682
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Exposition

We have now shown what kind of a Mediator it is necessary for us to have. The next question which claims our attention is, Who is this Mediator? That this Mediator is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, manifested in the flesh, is proven by these considerations:

1. It became the Mediator to be very God, as has been shown. God the Father, however, could not be the Mediator; because he does not work through himself, but through the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Neither is the Father a messenger; because he is sent by no one, but himself sends the Mediator. Nor could the Holy Ghost be the Mediator; because he was to he sent by the Mediator into the hearts of the elect. Therefore, the Son alone is this Mediator.

2. It was necessary that the Mediator should have that which it became him to confer upon us. It became him, now, to confer upon us the right and title of the sons of God, which we had forfeited; that is, it became him to bring it to pass, that God might, for his Son's sake, adopt us as his children. This, however, Christ alone was able to effect, because he alone had the right thereof. The Holy Ghost had not this right, because he is not the Son. Neither did it belong to the Father, for the same reason; and also because it became him to adopt us among his children, through the Son. Therefore, the Word, who is the natural Son of God, is alone our Mediator, in whom, as in the first begotten, we are adopted as the Sons of God, as it is said: "If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." "As many as received him, to them he gave the power to be called the sons of God." "Unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ." "He hath made us to be accepted in the Beloved." (John 8:36; 1:12. Eph. 1:5-6.)

3. The Son, alone, is the Word, the Ambassador of the Father, and that person who was sent to the human race, to reveal the will of God, through whom the Father operates and gives the Holy Spirit; and through whom, also, the second creation is accomplished; for it is through the Son that we are made new creatures. The Scriptures, for this reason, every where join the first and second creation, because the second was to be effected by the same person through whom the first was made. "All things were made by the Son." (John 1:3.) The Mediator was also to be a Messenger, and Peace-maker, between God and us, and to regenerate us by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Son alone is this Mediator.

4. It belongs to the Mediator to send immediately the Holy Spirit. But it is the Son alone who thus sends the Holy Spirit. The Father does, indeed, send the Holy Spirit, but it is through the Son. The Son sends the Spirit immediately from the Father, as he himself declares: "Whom I will send unto you from the Father." (John 15:26.)
5. It became the Mediator to suffer and die. But it was not possible for any of the persons of the Godhead to suffer and die, except the Son, who assumed our nature. "God was manifested in the flesh." " Christ was put to death in the flesh." (1 Tim. 3:16. 1 Pet. 3:18.) Therefore, the Son is the Mediator.

6. That the Son is the Mediator may be proven by a comparison of the prophecies of the Old Testament with their fulfillment in the New Testament.

7. The works and miracles of Christ establish his claims to the office of Mediator. " The works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me." "Believe the works." "When Christ will come, he will do more miracles than these." "Go and shew John those things which ye do hear and see. The blind receive their sight," &c. (John 5:36; 10:38; 7:31. Matt. 11:4-5.)
8. By these clear testimonies of Scripture: "There is one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." "Christ is made unto us of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption ;" that is, he is made unto us a teacher of wisdom, a justifier, a sanctifier, and a redeemer; which is the same as to say he is a Mediator and Saviour, both by his merit and efficacy; for in this declaration of the Apostle, the abstract is put for the concrete. (1 Tim. 2:5. 1 Cor. 1:30.)

It is here worthy of notice that the Mediator is said to be made unto us of God; which means that he was appointed and given. The Mediator ought to have been given by us, and to have proceeded from us, because we had sinned. But we were not able to give a Mediator, in as much as we were all the children of wrath. Therefore, it was necessary that he should be given unto us of God.

It is also worthy of notice that righteousness and holiness were one and the same thing in us before the fall, viz: an inherent conformity with God and the divine law, as they are now the same thing in the holy angels. Since the fall, however, they are not the same thing in us. For, now, Christ is our righteousness; and our justification consists in the imputation of his righteousness, by which we are accounted just before God. Holiness is the beginning of our conformity with God, whilst sanctification is the carrying forward of this conformity with God, which in this life is imperfect, but which will be fully perfected in the life to come; when righteousness and holiness will again be the same thing in us, as they are now in the holy angels. The sum and substance of the whole doctrine of the Mediator is contained in what now follows.

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48683
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Concerning the mediator

The doctrine of the Mediator, which is intimately connected with the glory of God and our comfort, must be carefully considered for the following reasons: 1. That we may acknowledge and magnify the mercy of God, in that he has given his Son to be our Mediator, and to be made a sacrifice for our sins. 2. That we may know God to be just, in as much as he would not, out of his clemency, pardon sin; but was so greatly displeased therewith that he would not remit it, except satisfaction were made by the death of his Son. 3. That we may be assured of eternal life, in having a Mediator who is both willing and able to grant it unto us.

4. Because the doctrine of the Mediator is the foundation, and substance, of the doctrine of the church. 5. On account of heretics, who at all times oppose, with great bitterness, this doctrine; and that, having a proper knowledge of it, we may be able to defend it against all their assaults.

The doctrine of the Mediator seems to belong to the article of justification, because there also the office of the Mediator is explained. But it is one thing to teach what, and what kind of a benefit justification is, and how it is received, which is done when the doctrine of justification is treated of; and it is another thing to show whose benefit it is, and by whom it is bestowed upon us, which properly belongs here.

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48684
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Question 19. Whence knowest thou this?

Answer: From the holy gospel, which God himself first revealed in Paradise; (a) and afterwards published by the patriarchs (b) and prophets, (c) and represented by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law; (d) and lastly, has fulfilled it by his only begotten Son. (e)

(a) Gen.3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

(b) Gen.22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Gen.12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Gen.49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Gen.49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:

(c) Isaiah 53. Isa.42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Isa.42:2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
Isa.42:3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
Isa.42:4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Isa.43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Isa.49:5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
Isa.49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Isa.49:22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
Isa.49:23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
Jer.23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
Jer.23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Jer.31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
Jer.31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jer.32:39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
Jer.32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
Jer.32:41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
Mic.7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
Mic.7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Mic.7:20 Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.
Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Rom.1:2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Heb.1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
Acts 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Acts 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

(d) Heb.10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
Heb.10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Col.2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

(e) Rom.10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Gal.4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal.4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal.3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Col.2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48685
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Exposition

This question corresponds with the third question of the Catechism, where it is asked: Whence knowest thou thy misery? Out of the law of God. So it is here asked: Whence knowest thou thy deliverance? Out of the gospel. Having, therefore, spoken of the Mediator, we must now speak of the doctrine which reveals, describes, and offers him unto us--which doctrine is the Gospel. After having spoken of the gospel, we must in the next place, speak of the way in which we are made partakers of the Mediator, and his benefits--which is by faith. First, then, we must speak of the gospel, which is, with great propriety, made to follow the doctrine of the Mediator, and the covenant,
1. Because the Mediator is the subject of the gospel, which teaches who and what kind of a Mediator he is.
2. Because he is the author of the gospel. It is a part of the office of the Mediator to reveal the gospel, as it is said: "The only begotten which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." (John 1:18.)
3. Because the gospel is a part of the covenant; and is often taken for the new covenant.

The principal questions to be discussed, in relation to the gospel, are the following:
I. What is the gospel?
II. Is it a new doctrine?
III. In what does it differ from the law?
IV. What are its effects?
V. From what does it appear that the gospel is true?

I. WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?

The term gospel signifies, 1. A joyful message, or good news. 2. The sacrifice which is offered to God for this good news. 3. The reward which is given to him who announces these joyful tidings. Here it signifies the doctrine, or joyful news of Christ manifested in the flesh; as "behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10, 11.)

The words are of a somewhat different signification. The former denotes the promise of a mediator that was to come; the latter is the announcement of a mediator already come. This distinction, however, is not always observed; and is rather in the words than in the thing itself; for both denote the same benefits of the Messiah, so that the distinction is only in the circumstance of time, and in the manner of his appearance, as is evident from the following declarations of Scripture: "Abraham saw my day, and was glad." "No man cometh to the Father but by me." "I am the door, by me if any," &c. "God hath appointed him head over all things to the church." "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever." (John 8:56; 14:6; 10:7. Eph. 1:22. Heb. 13:8.)

The gospel is, therefore, the doctrine which the Son of God, our Mediator, revealed from heaven in Paradise, immediately after the fall, and which he brought from the bosom of the Eternal Father; which promises, and announces, in view of the free grace and mercy of God, to all those that repent and believe, deliverance from sin, death, condemnation, and the wrath of God; which is the same thing as to say that it promises and proclaims the remission of sin, salvation, and eternal life, by and for the sake of the Son of God, the Mediator; and is that through which the Holy Spirit works effectually in the hearts of the faithful, kindling and exciting in them, faith, repentance, and the beginning of eternal life. Or, we may, in accordance with the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth questions of the Catechism, define the gospel to be the doctrine which God revealed first in Paradise, and afterwards published by the Patriarchs and Prophets, which he was pleased to represent by the shadows of sacrifices, and the other ceremonies of the law, and which he has accomplished by his only begotten Son; teaching that the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; which is to say that he is a perfect Mediator, satisfying for the sins of the human race, restoring righteousness and eternal life to all those who by a true faith are ingrafted into him, and embrace his benefits.

The following passages of Scripture confirm this definition which we have given of the gospel: "This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day." "And that repentance and remission of sin should be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 6:41. Luke 24:47. John 1:17.)

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48686
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II. Has the gospel always been known in the Church or is it a new doctrine?

The gospel sometimes signifies the doctrine concerning the promise of grace, and the remission of sins to be granted freely, on account of the sacrifice of the Messiah, who had not as yet come in the flesh; and then, again, it signifies the doctrine of the Messiah as already come. In the latter sense, it has not always been, but commenced with the New Testament. In the former sense, however, it has always been in the Church; for immediately after the fall it was revealed in Paradise to our first parents--afterwards it was published by the Patriarchs, and Prophets, and was at length fully accomplished, and revealed by Christ himself. The proofs of this are the following:

1. The testimony of the Apostles. Peter says, "To him gave all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." "Of which salvation the prophets have inquired, and searched diligently." (Acts 10:43. 1 Pet. 1:10.) Paul says of the gospel, "Which he had promised afore by his prophets." (Rom. 1:2.) Christ himself says, "Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me." (John 5:46.)

2. The promises and prophecies which relate to the Messiah, establish the same thing. This must, therefore, be carefully noticed, because God will have us know that there was, and is from the beginning to the end of the world, only one doctrine, and way of salvation through Christ, according to what is said, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and for ever." "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh to the Father but by me." "Moses wrote of me." (Heb. 13:8. John 14:6; 5:46.) Does any one ask, How Moses wrote of Christ? We answer, 1. By enumerating the promises which had respect to the Messiah. "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." "God shall raise up a prophet," &c. "A star shall rise out of Jacob." "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh come." (Gen. 12:3. Deut. 10:15. Num. 24:17. Gen. 49:10.) 2. He restricted these promises to a certain family from which the Messiah was to be born; and to which the promise was afterwards more frequently referred, and spoken of. 3. The whole Levitical priesthood, and ceremonial worship, as sacrifices, oblations, the altar, the temple, and other things which Moses described, all looked forward to Christ. The kings and kingdom of the Jewish nation were types of Christ, and of his kingdom. Hence Moses wrote many things of Christ.

Obj. 1. Paul declares the gospel was promised through the prophets; and Peter says that the prophets prophecied of the grace that should come unto us. Therefore the gospel has not always been. Ans. We grant that the gospel has not always been, if we understand by it the doctrine of the promise of grace as fulfilled through the manifestation of Christ in the flesh, and as it respects the clearness and evidence of this doctrine; for in ancient times the gospel was not, but was only promised by the prophets: 1. As concerning the fulfillment of those things which, in the Old Testament, were predicted of the Messiah. 2. In regard to the clearer knowledge of the promise of grace. 3. In respect to the more copious outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit; that is, the gospel then was not the announcement of Christ already come, dead, risen again, and seated at the right hand of the Father, as it now is; but it was a preaching of Christ, who would at some future time come, and accomplish all these things. Nevertheless, there was a gospel, that is, there was a joyful announcement of the benefits of the Messiah that was to come, sufficient for the salvation of the ancient fathers, as it is said, "Abraham saw my day, and rejoiced." "To him gave all the prophets witness." "Christ is the end of the law." (John 8:56. Acts 10:43. Rom. 10:4.)

Obj. 2. The apostle Paul says, the gospel was the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, and that in other ages it was not made known to the Sons of men. (Rom. 16:25. Eph. 3:5.) Ans. This objection contains an incorrect division, inasmuch as it disjoins things which ought not to be separated. For the apostle adds, in connection with the above, as it is now; which ought not to be omitted, because it shows that in former times the gospel was also known, although less clearly, and to fewer persons, than it now is. The objection is also weak, in affirming that to be strictly so, which was only declared such in a certain respect: for it does not follow, that it was then altogether unknown, because it is now more clearly perceived, and that by many more persons. It was known to the fathers, although not so clearly as to us. Hence the importance of the distinction between the words as above expressed.

Obj. 3. The law came by Moses, grace and truth by Jesus Christ. Therefore the gospel has not always been known. Ans. Grace and truth did indeed come through Christ, viz, in respect to the fulfillment of types, and the full exhibition and copious application of those things which were formerly promised in the Old Testament. But it does not follow from this, that the ancient fathers were entirely destitute of this grace: for unto them also the same grace was applied by, and on account of Christ, who would subsequently appear in the flesh, although it was given in smaller measures to them than to us. For, whatever grace and true knowledge of God has ever come to men, has come through Christ, as it is said, "The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." "No man cometh to the Father, but by me." "Without me ye can do nothing." (John 1:18; 14:6; 15:5.)

But it is said, the law was by Moses; therefore the gospel was not by him. Ans. This is so declared, because it was the principal part of his office to publish the law; yet he also taught the gospel, because he wrote and spoke of Christ, although more obscurely, as has been shown. But it was the peculiar office of Christ to publish the gospel, although he at the same time taught the law, but not principally, as did Moses: for he took away from the moral law the corruptions and glosses of false teachers--he fulfilled the ceremonial law, and abrogated it, together with the judicial law.

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48687
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III. In what does the gospel differ from the Law?

The gospel and the law agree in this, that they are both from God, and that there is something revealed in each concerning the nature, will, and works of God. There is, however, a very great difference between them:

1. In the revelations which they contain; or, as it respects the manner in which the revelation peculiar to each is made known. The law was engraven upon the heart of man in his creation, and is therefore known to all naturally, although no other revelation were given. "The Gentiles have the work of the law written in their hearts." (Rom. 2:15.) The gospel is not known naturally, but is divinely revealed to the Church alone through Christ, the Mediator. For no creature could have seen or hoped for that mitigation of the law concerning satisfaction for our sins through another, if the Son of God had not revealed it. "No man knoweth the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him." "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee." "The Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." (Matt. 11:27; 16: 17.)

2. In the kind of doctrine, or subject peculiar to each. The law teaches us what we ought to be, and what God requires of us, but it does not give us the ability to perform it, nor does it point out the way by which we may avoid what is forbidden. But the gospel teaches us in what manner we may be made such as the law requires: for it offers unto us the promise of grace, by having the righteousness of Christ imputed to us through faith, and that in such a way as if it were properly ours, teaching us that we are just before God, through the imputation of Christ's
righteousness. The law says, " Pay what thou owest." "Do this, and live." (Matt. 18:28. Luke 10:28.) The gospel says, "Only believe." (Mark 5:36.)

3. In the promises. The law promises life to those who are righteous in themselves, or on the condition of righteousness, and perfect obedience. " He that doeth them, shall live in them." "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." (Lev. 18:5. Matt. 19:17.) The gospel, on the other hand, promises life to those who are justified by faith in Christ, or on the condition of the righteousness of Christ, applied unto us by faith. The law and gospel are, however, not opposed to each other in these respects: for although the law requires us to keep the commandments if we would enter into life, yet it does not exclude us from life if another perform these things for us. It does indeed propose a way of satisfaction, which is through ourselves, but it does not forbid the other, as has been shown.

4. They differ in their effects. The law, without the gospel, is the letter which killeth, and is the ministration of death: "For by the law is the knowledge of sin." "The law worketh wrath; and the letter killeth." (Rom. 3:20; 4:15. 2 Cor. 3:6.) The outward preaching, and simple knowledge of what ought to be done, is known through the letter: for it declares our duty, and that righteousness which God requires; and, whilst it neither gives us the ability to perform it, nor points out the way through which it may be attained, it finds fault with, and condemns our righteousness. But the gospel is the ministration of life, and of the Spirit, that is, it has the operations of the Spirit united with it, and quickens those that are dead in sin, because it is through the gospel that the holy Spirit works faith and life in the elect. "The gospel is the power of God unto salvation," &c. (Rom. 1:16.)

Obj. There is no precept, or commandment belonging to the gospel, but to the law. The preaching of repentance is a precept. Therefore the preaching of repentance does not belong to the gospel, but to the law. Ans. We deny the major, if it is taken generally; for this precept is peculiar to the gospel, which commands us to believe, to embrace the benefits of Christ, and to commence new obedience, or that righteousness which the law requires. If it be objected that the law also commands us to believe in God, we reply that it does this only in general, by requiring us to give credit to all the divine promises, precepts and denunciations, and that with a threatening of punishment, unless we do it. But the gospel commands us expressly and particularly to embrace, by faith, the promise of grace and also exhorts us by the Holy Spirit, and by the Word, to walk worthy of our heavenly calling. This however it does only in general, not specifying any duty in particular, saying thou shalt do this, or that, but it leaves this to the law; as, on the contrary, it does not say in general, believe all the promises of God, leaving this to the law; but it says in particular, Believe this promise; fly to Christ, and thy sins shall be forgiven thee.

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48688
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IV. What are the proper effects of the gospel?

The proper effects of the gospel are:

1. Faith; because "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." "The gospel is the ministration of the Spirit." "The power of God unto salvation." (Rom. 10:17. 2 Cor. 3:8. Rom. 1:16.)

2. Through faith, our entire conversion to God, justification, regeneration and salvation; for through faith we receive Christ, with all his benefits.

Re: Lord's Day 6—Heidelberg Catechism [Re: chestnutmare] #48689
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V. From what does the truth of the gospel appear?

The truth of the gospel appears--
1. From the testimony of the Holy Ghost.
2. From the prophecies which were uttered by the prophets.
3. From the fulfillment of these prophecies, which took place under the New Testament dispensation.
4. From the miracles by which the doctrine of the gospel was confirmed.
5. By the testimony of the gospel itself; because it alone shows the way of escape from sin, and ministers solid comfort to the wounded conscience.


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