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4. Melchisedec (continued) Besides, if in the priesthood of Melchisedec we must see a small remnant, a faint glittering of Adam’s original priesthood, and if Christ is priest after the order of Melchisedec, it follows that also the priesthood of the Savior, in distinction from that of Aaron, is only a restoration of the original priesthood of man in the state of righteousness. And against this presentation of the matter we have grave objections. It is rooted in the false conception that salvation is nothing but the reparation and restoration of creation. What Adam failed to do, Christ accomplishes. If...

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5. After The Order of Melchisedec. (cont.) In both these respects, that the priestly office and the kingship were combined in one person, and that he was a priest for ever, Melchisedec is a type of Christ. Christ is the real Melchisedec, the royal priest, the king of righteousness, and the king of peace. He functions in both the royal and the priestly office. From this viewpoint it may be said, indeed, that there was a figure or image of this priesthood in that of the first Adam in paradise in the state of rectitude. He was an earthly image...

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Chapter 6: The One Sacrifice The moral theory of the suffering of Christ stands condemned, first of all, in the light of all that Scripture teaches us concerning the state and condition of the natural man, and the character of sin. For, according to Scripture, sin is guilt, and the sinner is liable to punishment, worthy of damnation, wholly unworthy of God’s favor, a child of wrath. Sin is not only, and not in the first place, an inherent weakness or defilement of the human nature, some moral imperfection that may be removed by the influence of some sound moral...

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It is for the elect, too, that the Lord prays in His sacerdotal intercession. Very clear this is from the Lord’s high priestly prayer as it is preserved for us in John 17. Expressly He declares there: “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” It is true, that in the narrowest sense and in the first instance these words have reference to the disciples. But this does not alter the fact that, according to Jesus’ own words “the world” is excluded from His prayer. This...

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Chapter 7: Atoned For The Elect (continued) We will close this chapter by adding to what has been said about Christ’s dying and making satisfaction for the elect only a few remarks concerning the Arminian presentation of this matter. First of all, it should be evident that the Arminian view of election can be of no value or help to him in the defense of a Christus pro omnibus, a Christ for all. The former cannot really serve as a basis for the latter. Also the Arminian professes to believe in the truth of election. It is too plainly taught...

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Chapter 8: Christ Our Intercessor (continued) The question is: how must we conceive of this intercessory prayer of our Lord as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary? How does He intercede for us at the throne of grace? In answer to this question, we must, on the one hand, eliminate from our conception of this heavenly mystery all that is earthy, temporal, and imperfect. Even though Scripture necessarily employs figurative language, and speaks in earthly language, to aid our understanding of the heavenly realities, yet we must never forget that all these terms and symbols have a deeper, spiritual,...

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Now, as we discuss the kingship of Christ in connection with the twelfth Lord’s Day of our Heidelberg Catechism, we must needs limit ourselves to a consideration] of this function of our Savior as an aspect of His office in general. If we fail to do this, we will be tempted also to treat of Christ’s exaltation at the right hand of God, whereby He is raised to the glory of His present dominion over all things. The two are, of course, closely connected. Yet, of the latter we must not speak here, for of this the Catechism speaks in...

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To the exposition of the name Christ and the offices of the Savior, the Catechism appends a discussion of the name Christian, and that, too, with personal application to the confessing believer who throughout the Heidelberger is the respondent to the questions. “But why are thou called a Christian? Because I am a member of Christ by faith, and thus am partaker of his anointing; that so I may confess his name, and present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to him: and also that with a free and good conscience I may fight against sin and Satan in this...

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Q. 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; but we are children adopted of God, by grace, for his sake. Q. 34. Wherefore callest thou him our Lord? A. Because he hath redeemed us, both soul and body, from all our sins, not with gold or silver, but with his precious blood, and hath delivered us from all the power of the devil; and thus hath made us his own property. The thirty-fourth answer is a...

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To avoid repetition, we must clearly distinguish just what subject the Heidelberg Catechism is discussing in the thirteenth Lord’s Day. We must not, in this connection, speak of the mystery of the incarnation as such, the doctrine that the Son of God assumed our flesh and blood from the virgin Mary. For this is treated in the following Lord’s Day. Nor is it the purpose of this part of the Catechism to discuss the mystery of the sonship of the second Person in the Holy Trinity, for this was treated in the eighth and ninth Lord’s Day of our Instructor....

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