Of God The Son 

11  Lord's Day

Question  29
Why is the Son of God called "Jesus", that is a Savior?

A. Because He saveth us, and delivereth us from our sins;(1) and
likewise, because we ought not to seek, neither can find salvation
in any other.(2)

(1) Matt 1:21  And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.

(2) Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we   must be saved.

Additional Questions:

1. What is the subject matter of this Lord's Day?  
It concerns the personal name of the Mediator, the name Jesus.

2. How many names of the Mediator does the catechism speak of?
Four, the names Jesus, Christ, the only begotten Son, and Lord.

3. Who gave the Mediator the name Jesus?  
The Lord Himself by means of the angel (Matthew 1:21).

4. What does the name Jesus signify?  
It means Savior, for He shall save His people from their sins.

5. Have others also had that name?  
Yes, it was the name of Joshua, the son of Nun, of Joshua the high priest, and of Hosea the prophet.

6. Have they had that name in the full significance of it? 
No, they were but types of the Mediator.

7. Is Jesus a complete Savior? 
Yes, for He saves perfectly those who come unto God through Him (Acts 4:12).

8. Has Hacquiring and the application be separated? 
No, the acquiring and the application are both a work of God.

Question  30 
Do such then believe in Jesus the only Savior, who seek their salvation and welfare of saints, of themselves, or anywhere else?

A. They do not; for though they boast of Him in words, yet in   deeds they deny Jesus the only deliverer and Savior;(1) for one of these two things must be true, that either Jesus is not a complete   Savior; or that they, who by a true faith receive this Savior, must  find all things in Him necessary to their salvation.(2)

(1) 1 Cor 1:13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or  were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 
1 Cor 1:31  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let   him glory in the Lord. 
Gal  5:4  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of     you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 

(2) Col 2:20   Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinance ?.
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 9:7  
Of the increase of His government and peace there shall   be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will   perform this.
Col 1:19 
For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; 
Col 1:20 
And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 

Additional Questions:

1. Against whom is this question directed?  
Against those who seek their salvation outside of the only Savior.

2. Where does the church of Rome seek their salvation? 
In their works, in saints, in penances, and in pilgrimages.

3. What do they do by this? 
They in deed deny the only Savior Jesus, although boasting of Him in words.

4. Why may one not seek elsewhere than Jesus?  
Because He is a complete Savior, and therefore everything is to be found in Him which is necessary for salvation.

5. Is this reminder also necessary for us?  
Yes, for every person by nature seeks salvation outside of the only Savior.

12  Lord's Day

Question  31 
Why is He called "Christ", that is anointed? 

A. Because He is ordained of God the Father, and anointed with  the Holy Ghost,(1) to be our chief Prophet and Teacher,(2) who   has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; and to be our only High Priest, who by the one sacrifice of His body, has redeemed us,(3) and makes continual intercession with the Father for us;(4) and also to be our eternal King,(5) who governs us by His word and Spirit, and who defends and preserves us(6) in ( the enjoyment of ) that salvation, He has purchased for us. 

(1) Heb 1:9  Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 

(2) Deut 18:18   I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put My words in his mouth; and   he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
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.
John 1:18  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 15:15  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for  all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.
Matt 11:27  All things are delivered unto Me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man  the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will   reveal Him.

(3) Psa 110:4  The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Heb 7:21   (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will   not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.)
Heb 10:14 
For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 

(4) Rom 8:34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of   God, who also maketh intercession for us. 

(5) Psa  2:6  Yet have I set My king upon My holy hill of Zion. 
Luke 1:33  And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever;   and of His kingdom there shall be no end. 

(6) Matt 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. 
John 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.

Additional Questions:

1. What is the subject matter of this Lordís Day? 
It is about the name Christ, the official name of the Mediator, and about the Christians.

2. What is the meaning of the name Christ?  
It is a Greek name and means Anointed; in the Hebrew language it is Messiah.

3. By whom was He anointed? 
He was appointed by God the Father and anointed with the Holy Ghost (Isaiah 61).

4. In what does this anointing consist?  
In an appointment from eternity with regard to His divine nature, and qualification in time with regard to His human nature.

5. Unto how many offices was He anointed?  
Unto three, namely, Prophet, Priest, and King.

6. By whom in the Old Testament was He typified in His offices?
By the anointed prophets, priests, and kings, such as Elisha, Aaron, and David.

7. For what purpose was He anointed as Prophet?  
It was to reveal the secret counsel and will of God regarding our complete redemption.

8. Why was He anointed as Priest?  
Because He with the one sacrifice of His body has delivered His church, and with His intercession continually intercedes for them with the Father.

9. Why is He called a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek? 
Because He is the only and eternal Priest.

10. Why was He anointed as King? 
To rule His people with His Word and Spirit, and by the acquired deliverance protect and preserve them.

11. Does Christ also minister His offices at the present? 
Yes, from heaven.

Question  32 
But why art thou called a Christian?

A. Because I am a member of Christ by faith,(1) and thus am partaker of His anointing;(2) that so I may confess His name,(3)  and present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to Him:(4) and also that with a free and good conscience I may fight against sin and Satan in this life(5) and afterwards I reign with Him eternally, over all creatures.(6)

(1) 1 Cor 6:15  Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them  the members of an harlot? God forbid.

(2) 1 John 2:27  But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as  the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.
Joel 2:28  And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men   shall see visions.

(3) Matt 10:32  Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. 

(4) Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,   acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 

(5) Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be   able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
1 Tim 1:18  This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy,  according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou  by them mightest war a good warfare; 
1 Tim 1:19  Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.
(6) 2 Tim 2:12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us. 

Additional Questions:

1. Where was the name Christian first given, and how did that happen? 
In Antioch believers were first called Christians out of enmity.

2. In general, who are they that are called Christians? 
All those who have received Christian baptism.

3. Who are true Christians?
Those who by a true faith are members of Christ.

4. What does it signify to be partaker of His anointing? 
It is to share in the anointing of Christ, for the elect are anointed in Him.

5. What does a Christian do as prophet? 
He confesses His Name.

6. What does he do as priest? 
He presents himself a living sacrifice of thanksgiving to Him.

7. What does he do as king? 
With a free and good conscience, he fights against sin and Satan in this life.

8. What is a free and good conscience?  
A free conscience is a conscience that knows of being delivered from the curse of the law, and a good conscience is a conscience that is sincere in its desires to serve God.

9. What will be the end of all strife?
To afterwards reign with Him over all creatures (2 Timothy 2:12).

13  Lord's Day

Question  33 
Why is Christ called the "only begotten Son" of God, since we are also the children of God?

A. Because Christ alone is the eternal and natural Son of God;(1) but we are children adopted of God, by grace, for His sake.(2)

(1) John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was  with God, and the Word was God. 
Heb 1:2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son,  whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds. 

(2) Rom 8:15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 
Rom 8:16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 
Rom 8:17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. 
Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 
Eph 1:6
  To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Additional Questions:

1. What is dealt with in Question 33?  
It deals with the name The Only Begotten Son.

2. What is meant when it says that Christ is the natural Son of God? 
It shows that Christ is Son by nature. The Father communicates from eternity to eternity the same divine Essence to the Son.

3. What is meant when it says that Christ is the eternal Son of God? 
It shows that God the Father has never been without the Son (Psalm 2:7; Proverbs 8:30).

4. Who are those who denied the eternal divinity of the Son, and who still do so? 
Among others, it was the Arians and Socinians; and the Jehovah Witnesses still do so.

5. Are believers also children by nature?  
No, they are adopted as children of God by grace for Christís sake.

6. Are they adopted children from eternity?  
They were chosen from eternity, but in time they are adopted to be children of God through faith.

Question  34 
Wherefore callest thou Him "our Lord"?

A. Because He hath redeemed us, both soul and body, from all   our sins, not with silver or gold, but with His precious blood, and has delivered us from all the power of the devil; and thus has made us His own property.(1)

(1) 1 Pet 1:18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1 Pet 1:19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 
1 Cor 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 

Additional Questions:

1. What is considered in this question?  
It is the name Lord.

2. Why is He called Lord? 
It is because He has made His people His property.

3. With what did He purchase His people?  
With the costly price of His precious blood (1 Corinthians 6:20).

4. From what does Christ deliver, and how does He do so?  He delivers from all the power of the devil by His suffering and death, and by His Spirit He does so internally.

5. What does it mean to be His property?  
It means to belong to Him with body and soul, and to be willingly subservient to Him.

14  Lord's Day

Question  35 
What is the meaning of these words "He was conceived by the  Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary"?

A. That God's eternal Son, who is,(1) and continues  true and  eternal God,(2) took upon Him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary,(3) by the operation of the Holy Ghost;(4) that He might also be the true seed of David,(5) like unto His brethren in all things, sin excepted.(6)

(1) John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was  with God, and the Word was God.
Col 1:15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.
Psa 2:7  I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto Me,  Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.

(2) 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.
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.

(3) John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among   us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 
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. 

(4) Matt 1:18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:  When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 
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. 

(5) Psa  132:2  How he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob.
Acts 2:30  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according    to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on His throne. 
Rom 1:3  Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. 

(6) Philip 2:7  But God made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
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.

Additional Questions:

1. Of what does this Lordís Day speak?  
It speaks of the assuming of our human nature by the Son of God.

2. Was the incarnation of the Son of God the work only of the Son?
No, it was also the work of the Father, who sent Him, and of the Holy Ghost, who overshadowed Mary.

3. How did the Son of God become man?  
By the divine Personís assuming the human nature, thus becoming two natures in one Person.

4. Did He at His birth lay aside His divinity?  
No, He hid His divinity behind the veil of His human nature.

5. From whom did He assume His human nature?  
From the Virgin Mary.

6. Through whose activity did He assume our nature?  
By the working of the Holy Spirit.

7. Did He become like unto man in all things?
He is the true seed of David, like unto His brethren in all things, sin excepted.

8. Why did He assume our human nature?  
In order that He, in our human nature, might merit salvation and bring about the salvation of sinners.

9. Did He not bring His human nature with Him from heaven?  No, that is taught by the Anabaptists, but He assumed it from the Virgin Mary.

Question  36
What profit dost thou receive by Christ's holy conception and nativity?

A. That He is our Mediator;(1) and with His innocence and perfect holiness, covers in the sight of God, my sins, wherein I was conceived and brought forth.(2)

(1) 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.

(2) Ps  32:1  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
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.
Rom 8:34 
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God,  who also maketh intercession for us.

Additional Questions:

1. What is the subject of this question and answer?  
The profit of Jesusí holy conception and nativity.

2. To what does the word Mediator direct us?  
To Lordís Days 5 and 6, where the subject of the Mediator was discussed.

3. What must we earnestly consider?  
Whether He is our Mediator through the working of the Holy Spirit and true saving faith.

4. What does the Mediator do by His holy conception and nativity?
With His innocence and perfect holiness He covers in the sight of God the sins of His people, in which they were conceived and brought forth.

5. Was not only His birth sufficient?   
No, He also had to suffer and die, and thus bring about reconciliation through satisfaction.

  15  Lord's Day

Question  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,(1) the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind;  that so by His passion, as the  only propitiatory sacrifice,(2) He might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the favour of God, righteousness and eternal life.

(1) 1 Pet 2:24  Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Isa 53:12 
Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and  He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made  intercession for the transgressors.

(2) 1 John 2:2  And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Rom 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

Additional Questions:

1. Did Christ have to suffer? 
Yes, it was foretold in the Old Testament. See Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22.

2. In what way did He suffer? 
In soul and body. His soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Peter said, "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree."

3. How long did He suffer? 
All the time He lived on earth, but especially at the end of His life.

4. What did He endure in His suffering?  
He bore the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind, for Godís wrath is indivisible.

5. For what purpose has He suffered?   To redeem His people with soul and body from everlasting damnation and obtain for them the favor of God, righteousness, and eternal life.

6. What cannot be separated one from the other?  
The meriting and the applying. He applies the merited salvation to His people.

7. Did the Godhead suffer?
No, for the Godhead cannot suffer; the Godhead strengthened the human nature in its suffering.

8. Did Christ suffer for all people?
No, only for His people, the elect, those who were given Him by the Father (Matthew 1:21).

Question  38  
Why did He suffer "under Pontius Pilate, as judge"?

A. That He, being innocent, and yet condemned by a temporal judge, (1) might thereby free us from the severe judgement of God to which we were exposed.(2)

(1) Luke 23:14  Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto  me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined Him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse Him.
John 19:4  Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring Him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in Him.
Ps  69:4  They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took  not away.

(2) Gal 3:13  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one   that hangeth on a tree:
Gal 3:14  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the  Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise   of the Spirit through faith.

Additional Questions:

1. Under what judge did He suffer?  
Under the judge Pontius Pilate.

2. In what aspect does Pilate appear?  
He is the representative of the lawful government, for the Jews were under the dominion of the Romans.

3. Was the verdict and sentence of Pilate binding?  
Yes; even though the verdict was unjust, the sentence was nevertheless binding.

4. Was the judgment of Pilate necessary?  
Yes; by the jurisdiction of Pilate the justice of God was performed. He was innocent before the temporal judge, but yet guilty before Godís justice.

5. What blessed fruit was the result?
Godís people are thereby freed from the severe judgment of God.

Question  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;  for the death of the cross was accursed of God.(1)

(1) Deut 21:23  His body shall not remain all night upon the tree,  but thou shalt in any wise bury Him that day; ( for he that is   hanged is accursed of God; ) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
Gal 3:13 
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.

Additional Questions:

1. What death did Christ die? 
The death of the cross.

2. What kind of death was this? 
It was a painful, contemptible, and cursed death.

3. Why did Christ have to die the death of the cross?  
To redeem His people from the curse: "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13).

16  Lord's Day

Question  40
Why was it necessary for Christ to humble Himself even "unto death"?

A. Because with respect to the justice and truth of God, satisfaction for our sins could be made no otherwise,(1) than by the death of the Son of God.(2) 

(1) Gen 2:17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,  thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

(2) 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.
Heb 2:10  For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by  whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Phil 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled  Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Additional Questions:

1. Did Christ humble Himself unto death?  
Yes, for Godís Word clearly teaches that He really died.

2. Why did Godís justice require death?  
Because in no other way could satisfaction for our sins be made than by the death of the Son of God.

3. Why was it required by Godís truth?
God had threatened death upon sin, and Godís truth required that it also take place.

4. Did He suffer death to the full extent?  
Yes, He suffered death to the full extent. He died the corporal, spiritual, and eternal death in order to deliver from the threefold death.

5. Was His death also a necessary part of His suffering? 
Yes, this was because death was threatened as punishment upon sin, and He had to take away all the punishment.

Question  41
Why was He also "buried"?

A. Thereby to prove that He was really dead.(1)

(1) Act 13:29  And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a  sepulchre.
Mark 15:43  Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor,  which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in  boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
Mark 15:46  And he bought fine linen, and took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen, and laid Him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

Additional Questions:

1. Is it necessary to know that Christ really died?  
Yes, for only in it is Godís justice satisfied, and therein lies the reconciliation (Romans 5:10).

2. Who buried Him? 
Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus.

3. Why was He buried?
To prove thereby that He had really died.

4. What benefit does His burial have?  
He has sanctified the grave for His people.

Question  42
Since then Christ died for us, why must we also die?

A. Our death is not a satisfaction for our sins,(1) but only an abolishing of sin, and a passage into eternal life.(2)

(1) John 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth         My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Philip 1:23  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

Additional Questions:

1. Is the death of Godís people a punishment? 
No, it is a passage into eternal life.

2. Why is death a benefit for them?  
Because it is a permanent dying to all sin, and a deliverance from the body of sin and death.

3. What is the passage into eternal life? 

It is a passing through the valley of death unto eternal salvation: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).

4. Why does Christ not at once take up His people to Himself in eternal glory? 
It is because it pleased God in His eternal counsel to bring His people through death unto the eternal glory.

Question  43
What further benefit do we receive from the sacrifice and death of Christ on the cross?

A. That by virtue thereof, our old man is crucified, dead and buried with Him;(1) that so the corrupt inclinations of the flesh may no more reign in us;(2) but that we may offer ourselves unto Him a sacrifice of thanksgiving.(3)

(1) Rom 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

(2) Rom 6:12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

(3) Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies    of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Additional Questions:

1. Of what does this question and answer speak?  
Of the benefit of Christís sacrifice and death.

2. What is here meant by the old man?  
The remaining corruption and enmity of our old nature after renewing grace.

3. What is signified by the crucifying, death, and burial of the old man? 
That the evil lusts of the flesh no longer reign in us.

4. Do these evil lusts reign in believers?  

These evils lusts reign in natural man, but in believers they no longer reign, even though at times they may have the upper hand.

5. What does it mean when it states: to offer ourselves unto Him a sacrifice of thanksgiving? 
It means to present oneís entire life in His service, and for this to constantly need the merits of the Mediator.

Question  44
Why is there added, "He descended into hell"?

A. That in my greatest temptations, I may be assured, and wholly comfort myself in this, that my Lord Jesus Christ, by His inexpressible anguish, pains, terrors, and hellish agonies, in which He was plunged during all his sufferings, but especially on the cross, has delivered me from the anguish and torments of hell.(1)

(1) 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.
Matt 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani that is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me.

Additional Questions:

1. Must we understand the descending into hell in a literal sense?

2. Who are they that teach Christ actually entered into hell?
a. Rome teaches that He had to deliver the Old Testament believers from the vestibule of hell.
b. Luther taught that He there displayed His victory.
c. Newer theologians say that there He proclaimed the gospel to the damned.

3. What is His descent into hell? 
The hellish agonies which His soul suffered before He died.

4. When did He suffer them? 
Especially in Gethsemane and on the cross.

5. How does the catechism describe the descending into hell? 
As inexpressible anguish, pains, terrors, and hellish agonies.

6. What comfort do Godís people receive from this? 
By it they are assured in their greatest temptations that their Lord Jesus Christ has delivered them from the anguish and torments of hell.

17  Lord's Day

Question  45
What does the "resurrection" of Christ profit us?

A. First, by His resurrection He has overcome death, that He   might make us partakers of that righteousness which He had purchased for us by His death;(1) secondly, we are also by His power raised up to a new life;(2) and lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.(3)

(1) 1 Cor 15:16  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

(2) Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

(3) 1 Cor 15 All
Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of   the dead? 
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
Rom 8:11  But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall   also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Additional Questions:

1. With what does Lordís Day 17 begin?  
It begins to speak of the steps of Christís exaltation. This Lordís Day speaks of His resurrection.

2. How many steps are there in Christís exaltation? 
Four steps: His resurrection, His ascension, His sitting at the right hand of God, and His coming again to judgment.

3. Why is nothing mentioned here of the fact of His resurrection?
Because in those days the resurrection of Christ was universally believed.

4. Is there a certainty that Christ arose?  
Yes, think of the testimony of the angels and the watchmen, of the many appearances of Jesus to the women and to the disciples, and of the testimony of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.

5. Whose work was the resurrection?  It was the work of the Triune God. The Father raised Him; the Son arose by His own divine power; and the Holy Ghost separated Him eternally from death.

6. How did He arise? 
With the same body, but now immortal and glorious.

7. When did He arise? 
On the third day after His death.

8. What does it mean that He overcame death?  
That He triumphed over all powers of death, and has brought immortality to light.

9. What is the profit of Christís resurrection?  
In the resurrection of Christ lies:

a. The justification of all His people;
b. Sanctification;
c. The raising from death and the pledge of a blessed resurrection.

10. Who are partakers of Christís resurrection?  
All those who are regenerated, that is all those who know the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10).

18  Lord's Day

Question  46
How dost thou understand these words, "He ascended into heaven"?

A. That Christ,in sight of His disciples, was taken up from earth  into heaven;(1) and that He continues there for our interest,(2) until He comes again to judge the quick and the dead.

(1) Acts 1:9  And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Mark 16:19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

(2) Heb 4:14  Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast   our profession.
Rom 8:34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God,  who also maketh intercession for us.
Eph 4:10  He that descended is the same also that ascended up  far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.

Additional Questions:

1. What is the subject of this Lordís Day?  
It speaks of the second step of Christís exaltation-His ascension into heaven.

2. Why did He still remain forty days upon the earth?  
It was to manifest the certainty of His resurrection and to instruct His disciples further.

3. How do we describe His ascension into heaven?  
It was actual, visible, and local.

4. Were there witnesses to His ascension into heaven?
Yes, Christ was taken up from earth into heaven in the sight of His disciples.

5. Did His divine nature also participate in His ascension? 
His divine nature fills heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:24), but it was no longer hidden behind the veil of His human nature.

6. What was the purpose of Christís ascension?  
It was that He there would rule as King and pray as Intercessor, and also that one day He might receive His people unto Himself.

7. How long will He remain in heaven?  
Until He comes again to judge the quick and the dead.

Question  47 
Is not Christ then with us even to the end of the world, as He has promised?(1)

A. Christ is very man and very God; with respect to His human nature, He is no more on earth;(1) but with respect to His  Godhead, majesty, grace and spirit, He is at no time absent from us.

(1) Acts 3:21  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
John 3:13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
John 16:28  I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

Additional Questions:

1. What apparent difficulty does Matthew 28:20 present regarding His ascension? 
In Matthew 28:20 He said, "I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

2. How can this apparent contradiction be solved?  
According to His human nature He is in heaven, but His divine nature is omnipresent.

3. How is He then with His people?  
With respect to His Godhead, majesty, grace, and spirit, He is at no time absent from them.

4. Who can comfort themselves with Christís ascension?  Those who are risen with Christ (Colossians 3:1).

Question  48
But if His human nature is not present, wherever his Godhead is, are not then these two natures in Christ separated from one another?

A. Not at all, for since the Godhead is illimitable and omnipresent,(1) it must necessarily follow that the same is beyond the limits of the human nature He assumed,(2) and yet is nevertheless in this human nature, and remains personally united  to it.

(1) Acts 7:49  Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool:   what house will ye build Me? saith the Lord: or what is the place    of My rest? 
Matt 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with  power and great glory.

(2) Matt 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
John 16:28  I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
John 17:11  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in  the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine   own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as we are.
John 3:13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Additional Questions:

1. What do Lutherans teach regarding the two natures in Christ? 
They teach that the human nature of Christ is everywhere present, just as is His divine nature.

2. What does Godís Word teach? 
It teaches that the divine nature is omnipresent and not excluded from any place, but the human nature is only in one place.

3. Are the two natures then not separated from each other?  No, for the human nature always remains united to the divine nature.

4. What is meant when it is said that the divine nature is incomprehensible? 
The divine nature is beyond human comprehension, cannot be limited, and is infinite.

5. To what does all this direct us? 
To the unsearchable greatness and majesty of God and to the great mystery of godliness.

Question  49
Of what advantage to us is Christ's ascension into heaven?

A. First, that He is our advocate in the presence of His Father in heaven;(1) secondly, that we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that He, as the head, will also take up to Himself, us, His members;(2) thirdly, that He sends us His Spirit as an earnest,(3) by whose power we "seek the things which are above, where   Christ sitteth on the right hand of God, and not things on earth."(4)

(1) Heb 9:24  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
1 John 2:2  And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Rom 8:34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea
rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God,  who also maketh intercession for us.

(2) John 14:2  In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Eph 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

(3) John 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;
2 Cor 1:22  Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
2 Cor 5:5  Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

(4) Col 3:1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Philip 3:20  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also   we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Additional Questions:

1. How many advantages of the ascension are mentioned by the catechism?  Three:

(a) He is the Advocate in the presence of His Father for His people;
(b) Our flesh is in heaven as a sure pledge;
(c) He sends His Spirit as an earnest.

2. What is meant by His being an Advocate?  
That in heaven He, in the presence of His Father, requires the salvation of His people on the basis of His merits.

3. Why is our flesh in heaven a pledge?  
It is because Christ has assumed our flesh and has brought it into heaven as a guarantee that His people would follow.

4. What does Christ send as an earnest?  
He sends His Spirit, who was poured out on the day of Pentecost and was personally given to the church.

5. What do Godís people do through this Earnest?  
They seek and consider those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God, and not the things on the earth.

6. For what is the church thus being prepared?  
For eternal glory.

19  Lord's Day

Question  50   
Why is it added, "and sitteth at the right hand of God"?

 A. Because Christ is ascended into heaven for this end, that He might appear as head of His church,(1) by whom the Father  governs all things.(2)

(1) Eph 1:20  Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him  from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world,   but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22  And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church,
Col 1:18  And He is the Head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.

(2) Matt 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,    All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.
John 5:22  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed      all judgment unto the Son:

Additional Questions:

1. What is the subject of this Lordís Day?  
It speaks of the third step of Christís exaltation: His sitting at the right hand of God.

2. What does it mean to sit at the right hand of God?  
It signifies to be in the highest glory and adorned with the greatest power.

3. Must one literally understand the words "right hand"? 
No, for God is a Spirit and actually has no right hand.

4. In what way is Christ at the Fatherís right hand? 
He is there as Head of His Christian church. He is the Head over all things to the church (Ephesians 1:22).

5. What does He do at the Fatherís right hand?  
He shows that He is the Head of His Christian church, by whom the Father governs all things.

6. How must we understand this? 
Christ is given all power in heaven and in earth, namely, the power as Mediator given Him by His Father after His resurrection.

7. For what reason does He have power over all things? 
It is to govern His church, and to protect and preserve it.

Question  51 
What profit is this glory of Christ, our Head, unto us?

A. First, that by His Holy Spirit He pours out heavenly graces   upon us His members;(1) and then that by His power He defends and preserves us against all enemies.(2)

(1) Eph 4:8  Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

(2) Psa  2:9  Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
John 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.

Additional Questions:

1. What is the profit of Christís glory for believers? 
By His Spirit He pours His heavenly graces upon believers, and by His power He defends and protects them against all enemies.

2. What are these heavenly graces?
They are the saving gifts, the benefits of the covenant of grace.

3. What is pointed out by the words "pours out"? 
It points to great abundance (John 10:10).

4. Who are His members? 
His members are those whom the Father has given Him in the covenant and who are united to Him by a true faith.

5. Who are the enemies of the believers?  
They are the devil, the world, and their own flesh.

6. How does Christ defend and preserve believers?  
He does so by His power, for He stands above all those enemies; He has conquered them all.

Question  52  
What comfort is it to thee that "Christ shall come again to judge  the quick and the dead"?

A. That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head I look for the very same person, who before offered Himself for my sake, to the tribunal of God, and has removed all curse from me,   to come as judge from heaven:(1) who shall cast all His and my enemies into everlasting condemnation,(2) but shall translate me with all His chosen ones to Himself, into heavenly joys and glory.(3)

(1) Luke 21:28  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Rom 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Rom 8:24†† For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
1 Thess 4:16  For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

(2) 2 Thess 1:6  Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
2 Thess 1:7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,
2 Thess 1:8  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know  not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Thess 1:9  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power;
Matt 25:41  Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

(3) Matt 25:34  Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom  prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Additional Questions:

1. What is discussed in Question and Answer 52?  
It speaks about the last step of Christís exaltation: His coming again for judgment.

2. Who will then be the Judge? 
It will be Christ, the Savior, who shall appear visibly upon the clouds of heaven.

3. Who will be judged? 
All people, and also the devils, shall be sentenced.

4. Since we are aware of His return, what are we to do? 
We are to watch and pray.

5. When will this judgment take place?  
There is no person who knows that day and hour. He shall come as a thief in the night.

6. How often shall this returning take place?  
Only once, at the last day; thus there shall not be a kingdom of a thousand years.

7. On what basis shall this judgment be made?  
We shall be judged according to what we have done in the body, whether it be good or bad.

8. Why are not the believers condemned?  
It is because Christ has stood in judgment in their stead and has removed the curse from them.

9. What will be the punishment of the ungodly?  
They will be cast into eternal destruction.

10. What is the privilege of the believers?  
They shall be brought unto Him in heavenly joy and salvation (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).