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All Articles For Our Doctrine

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In the Apostolic Confession, the confession that Jesus Christ is our Lord follows upon the declaration that He is the only begotten Son of God. And thissequence must not be broken or lost sight of in the explanation of the phrase nostrum Dominum, our Lord. The lordship of Jesus Christ over His Church as a whole, and over believers individually, is the lordship of the only begotten Son of God. It is true that in the way of sin and grace this lordship receives a new and deeper meaning. For the only begotten Son of God, as we shall learn...

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Q. 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 and continueth true and eternal God, took upon him the nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Ghost; that he might also be the true seed of David, like unto his brethren in all things, sin excepted. Q. 36. What profit dost thou receive by Christ’s holy conception and nativity? A. That he is our Mediator; and with innocence and perfect holiness,...

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Concerning the human nature which the Son of God assumed, the Heidelberg Catechism teaches us that He “took upon him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary. . . . that he might also be the true seed of David, like unto his brethren in all things sin excepted.” There are, in these words, especially four elements that must always be emphasized in our confession concerning the human nature of Christ, and which we must briefly discuss in this connection, namely: 1. That it is a real and complete human nature. 2. That...

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The early Church, after a long period of controversy about the truth concerning the incarnated Word, finally expressed the faith of the orthodox believers in the Symbol of Chalcedon, in the year 451, as follows: “We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto...

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Q. 37. What dost thou understand by the words, “He suffered?” A. That he, all the time that he lived on earth, but especially at the end of his life, sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind: that so by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the favor of God, righteousness and eternal life. Q. 38. Why did he suffer under Pontius Pilate, as judge? A. That he, being innocent, and yet condemned by a temporal judge,...

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Chapter 1: Atoning Suffering (continued) This wrath of God, the Heidelberg Catechism instructs us, Christ sustained. And this expression deserves special attention and emphasis, because it points to the deepest reason why the suffering and death of our Savior could be an atonement for sin.

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Chapter 2: Under Pontius Pilate (continued) The condemnation of Jesus by the world was the judgment and condemnation of the world. Thus the Lord had spoken a few days before he stood before the Roman governor, delivered by His people, to be tried by that representative of worldly justice: “Now is the condemnation of the world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” John 12:31. And there can be no doubt about the fact that he spoke these words with a view to his own condemnation and death. What was historically, as men view the events of...

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Chapter 3: The Death of The Cross (continued) Such is the meaning of the cross. No other death than that by crucifixion might the Lamb of God, that must take away the sin of the world, die. For Him it would not have been proper had He died suddenly of heart failure, or of some common disease, or of the weakness of old age. Nor might the enemy stone Him to death, as they sometimes sought to do even before His hour had come; or cast, Him down the precipice, as they meant to do at Nazareth; or, with the...

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Chapter 1: The Death of The Son of God (continued) What, then, is physical death? What does it mean for sinful man to die? And what is the meaning of the grave? From the viewpoint of experience, of what we, who are on this side of the grave, can see of death, it is the complete dissolution of our earthly house, the end of our earthly existence; and the grave is; corruption, our return to the dust, whence we are taken. It is an utter loss. In death the organism of the body collapses and is dissolved, and with it...

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Chapter 2: The Death Of Believers (continued) Moreover, it is only in the body of this death that believers are able to fulfill their calling in this world, according to God’s good pleasure over them. For they must, for a time, represent the cause of the Son of God in antithesis to the world of sin. They must be to the glory of the grace of (Him that called them in all their walk and conversation, fight the good fight of faith, and that, too, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. And in this cause they are...

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