Christology

The Larger Catechism on Christ

Question 37

How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?

Christ the Son of God became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, (John 1:14, Matt. 26:38) being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance, and born of her, (Luke 1:27,31,35,42, Gal. 4:4) yet without sin. (Heb. 4:15, Heb. 7:26)

Question 38

Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God?

It was requisite that the Mediator should be God, that he might sustain and keep the human nature from sinking under the infinite wrath of God, and the power of death, (Acts 2:24–25, Rom. 1:4, Rom. 4:25, Heb. 9:14) give worth and efficacy to his sufferings, obedience, and intercession; (Acts 20:28, Heb. 9:14, Heb. 7:25–28) and to satisfy God’ s justice, (Rom. 3:24–26) procure his favour, (Eph. 1:6, Matt. 3:17) purchase a peculiar people, (Tit. 2:13–14) give his Spirit to them, (Gal. 4:6) conquer all their enemies, (Luke 1:68–69,71,74) and bring them to everlasting salvation. (Heb. 5:8–9, Heb. 9:11–15)

Question 39

Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be man?

It was requisite that the Mediator should be man, that he might advance our nature, (Heb. 2:16) perform obedience to the law, (Gal. 4:4) suffer and make intercession for us in our nature, (Heb. 2:14, Heb. 7:24–25) have a fellow-feeling of our infirmities; (Heb. 4:15) that we might receive the adoption of sons, (Gal. 4:5) and have comfort and access with boldness unto the throne of grace. (Heb. 4:16)

Question 40

Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God and man in one person?

It was requisite that the Mediator, who was to reconcile God and man, should himself be both God and man, and this in one person, that the proper works of each nature might be accepted of God for us, (Matt. 1:21,23, Matt. 3:17, Heb. 9:14) and relied on by us as the works of the whole person. (1 Pet. 2:6)

Question 41

Why was our Mediator called Jesus?

Our Mediator was called Jesus, because he saveth his people from their sins. (Matt. 1:21)

Question 42

Why was our Mediator called Christ?

Our Mediator was called Christ, because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost above measure, (John 3:34, Ps. 45:7) and so set apart, and fully furnished with all authority and ability, (John 6:27, Matt. 28:18–20) to execute the offices of prophet, (Acts 3:21–22, Luke 4:18,21) priest, (Heb. 5:5–7, Heb. 4:14–15) and king of his church, (Ps. 2:6, Matt. 21:5, Isa. 9:6–7, Phil. 2:8–11) in the estate both of his humiliation and exaltation.

Question 43

How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?

Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in his revealing to the church, (John 1:18) in all ages, by his Spirit and word, (1 Pet. 1:10–12) in divers ways of administration, (Heb. 1:1–2) the whole will of God, (John 15:15) in all things concerning their edification and salvation. (Acts 20:32, Eph. 4:11–13, John 20:31)

Question 44

How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?

Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering himself a sacrifice without spot to God, (Heb. 9:14,28) to be reconciliation for the sins of his people; (Heb. 2:17) and in making continual intercession for them. (Heb. 7:25)

Question 45

How doth Christ execute the office of a king?

Christ executeth the office of a king, in calling out of the world a people to himself, (Acts 15:14–16, Isa. 55:4–5, Gen. 49:10, Ps. 110:3) and giving them officers, (Eph. 4:11–12, 1 Cor. 12:28) laws, (Isa. 33:22) and censures, by which he visibly governs them; (Matt. 18:17–18, 1 Cor. 5:4–5) in bestowing saving grace upon his elect, (Acts 5:31) rewarding their obedience, (Rev. 22:12, Rev. 2:10) and correcting them for their sins, (Rev. 3:19) preserving and supporting them under all their temptations and sufferings, (Isa. 63:9) restraining and overcoming all their enemies, (1  Cor. 15:25, Ps. 110:1–2) and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory, (Rom. 14:10–11) and their good; (Rom. 8:28) and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God, and obey not the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8–9, Ps. 2:8–9)

Question 46

What was the estate of Christ’ s humiliation?

The estate of Christ’ s humiliation was that low condition, wherein he for our sakes, emptying himself of his glory, took upon him the form of a servant, in his conception and birth, life, death, and after his death, until his resurrection. (Phil. 2:6–8, Luke 1:31, 2 Cor. 8:9, Acts 2:24)

Question 47

How did Christ humble himself in his conception and birth?

Christ humbled himself in his conception and birth, in that, being from all eternity the Son of God, in the bosom of the Father, he was pleased in the fulness of time to become the son of man, made of a woman of low estate, and to be born of her; with divers circumstances of more than ordinary abasement. (John 1:14,18, Gal. 4:4, Luke 2:7)

Question 48

How did Christ humble himself in his life?

Christ humbled himself in his life, by subjecting himself to the law, (Gal. 4:4) which he perfectly fulfilled; (Matt. 5:17, Rom. 5:19) and by conflicting with the indignities of the world, (Ps. 22:6, Heb. 12:2–3) temptations of Satan, (Matt. 4:1–12, Luke 4:13) and infirmities in his flesh, whether common to the nature of man, or particularly accompanying that his low condition. (Heb. 2:17–18, Heb. 4:15, Isa. 52:13–14)

Question 49

How did Christ humble himself in his death?

Christ humbled himself in his death, in that having been betrayed by Judas, (Matt. 27:4) forsaken by his disciples, (Matt. 26:56) scorned and rejected by the world, (Isa. 53:2–3) condemned by Pilate, and tormented by his persecutors; (Matt. 27:26–50, John 19:34) having also conflicted with the terrors of death, and the powers of darkness, felt and borne the weight of God’ s wrath, (Luke 22:44, Matt. 27:46) he laid down his life an offering for sin, (Isa. 53:10) enduring the painful, shameful, and cursed death of the cross. (Phil. 2:8, Heb. 12:2, Gal. 3:13)

Question 50

Wherein consisted Christ’ s humiliation after his death?

Christ’ s humiliation after his death consisted in his being buried, (1 Cor. 15:3–4) and continuing in the state of the dead, and under the power of death till the third day; (Ps. 16:10, Acts 2:24–27,31, Rom. 6:9, Matt. 12:40) which hath been otherwise expressed in these words, He descended into hell.

Question 51

What was the estate of Christ’ s exaltation?

The estate of Christ’ s exaltation comprehendeth his resurrection, (1 Cor. 15:4) ascension, (Mark 16:19) sitting at the right hand of the Father, (Eph. 1:20) and his coming again to judge the world. (Acts 1:11, Acts 17:31)

Question 52

How was Christ exalted in his resurrection?

Christ was exalted in his resurrection, in that, not having seen corruption in death, (of which it was not possible for him to be held,)(Acts 2:24,27) and having the very same body in which he suffered, with the essential properties thereof, (Luke 24:3) (but without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to this life,) really united to his soul, (Rom. 6:9, Rev. 1:18) he rose again from the dead the third day by his own power; (John 10:18) whereby he declared himself to be the Son of God, (Rom. 1:4) to have satisfied divine justice, (Rom. 8:34) to have vanquished death, and him that had the power of it, (Heb. 2:14) and to be Lord of quick and dead: (Rom. 14:9) all which he did as a public person, (1 Cor. 15:21–22) the head of his church, (Eph. 1:20–23, Col. 1:18) for their justification, (Rom. 4:25) quickening in grace, (Eph. 2:1,5–6, Col. 2:12) support against enemies, (1 Cor. 15:25–27) and to assure them of their resurrection from the dead at the last day. (1 Cor. 15:20)

Question 53

How was Christ exalted in his ascension?

Christ was exalted in his ascension, in that having after his resurrection often appeared unto and conversed with his apostles, speaking to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, (Acts 1:2–3) and giving them commission to preach the gospel to all nations, (Matt. 28:19–20) forty days after his resurrection, he, in our nature, and as our head, (Heb. 6:20) triumphing over enemies, (Eph. 4:8) visibly went up into the highest heavens, there to receive gifts for men, (Acts 1:9–11, Eph. 4:10, Ps. 68:18) to raise up our affections thither, (Col. 3:1–2) and to prepare a place for us, (John 14:3) where he himself is, and shall continue till his second coming at the end of the world. (Acts 3:21)

Question 54

How is Christ exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God?

Christ is exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God, in that as God-man he is advanced to the highest favour with God the Father, (Phil. 2:9) with all fulness of joy, (Acts 2:28, Ps. 16:11) glory, (John 17:5) and power over all things in heaven and earth; (Eph. 1:22, 1 Pet. 3:22) and does gather and defend his church, and subdue their enemies; furnishes his ministers and people with gifts and graces, (Eph. 4:10–12, Ps. 110) and makes intercession for them. (Rom. 8:34)

Question 55

How does Christ make intercession?

Christ maketh intercession, by his appearing in our nature continually before the Father in heaven, (Heb. 9:12 ,24) in the merit of his obedience and sacrifice on earth, (Heb. 1:3) declaring his will to have it applied to all believers; (John 3:16, John 17:9,20,24) answering all accusations against them, (Rom. 8:33–34) and procuring for them quiet of conscience, notwithstanding daily failings, (Rom. 5:1–2, 1 John 2:1–2) access with boldness to the throne of grace, (Heb. 4:16) and acceptance of their persons (Eph. 1:6) andservices. (1 Pet. 2:5)

Question 56

How is Christ to be exalted in his coming again to judge the world?

Christ is to be exalted in his coming again to judge the world, in that he, who was unjustly judged and condemned by wicked men, (Acts 3:14–15) shall come again at the last day in great power, (Matt. 24:30) and in the full manifestation of his own glory, and of his Father’ s, with all his holy angels, (Luke 9:26, Matt. 25:31) with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, (1 Thess. 4:16) to judge the world in righteousness. (Acts 17:31)

Question 57

What benefits has Christ procured by his mediation?

Christ, by his mediation, has procured redemption, (Heb. 9:12) with all other benefits of the covenant of grace. (2 Cor. 1:20)

Question 58

How do we come to be made partakers of the benefits which Christ hath procured?

We are made partakers of the benefits which Christ hath procured, by the application of them unto us, (John 1:11–12) which is the work especially of God the Holy Ghost. (Tit. 3:5–6)

Question 59

Who are made partakers of redemption through Christ?

Redemption is certainly applied, and effectually communicated, to all those for whom Christ hath purchased it; (Eph. 1:13–14, John 6:37,39 , John 10:15–16) who are in time by the Holy Ghost enabled to believe in Christ according to the gospel. (Eph. 2:8, 2 Cor. 4:13)

The Westminster Larger Catechism: With Scripture Proofs. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

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