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All Articles For Our Doctrine

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Chapter 3: Dead to Sin (continued) This question, however, the apostle most emphatically answers in the negative. He does so, first of all, by an indignant “God forbid!” The apostle is horrified at the very thought that such a conclusion should be drawn from his doctrine of justification by faith. Not only so, but in this well-known, emphatic exclamation, he also expresses what must rise spontaneously from the heart of every justified believer when the possibility is suggested to him to continue in sin, in order that grace may abound. Such a possibility is far from his mind. It is...

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The third possible explanation of the article concerning Christ’s descension into hell, and the one which, according to Dr. Phillip Schaff (Creeds of Christendom, II, 46), presents the meaning of the early church, is that it refers to “an actual self “-manifestation of Christ after the crucifixion to all the departed spirits.” And Dr. Schaff continues: “As such the descent is a part of the universality of the scheme of redemption, and forms the transition from the state of humiliation to the state of exaltation.” Whether or not “this is the historical explanation, according to the belief of the ancient...

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Q. 45. What doth the resurrection of Christ profit us? A. First, that 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; secondly, we are also by his power raised up to a new life; and lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection. Strikingly brief is the chapter of the Catechism on the resurrection of our Lord from the dead. No less than eight questions and answers were devoted to the suffering and death of Christ in the...

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To give the answer that the people believed the report of Mary that they had stolen the body of the Lord, as some do, would be too superficial, andsurely unscriptural, an interpretation of the words “and believed.” If that had been the meaning of the evangelist he must needs have added: “the words of Mary.” No, but he believed that Jesus had risen from the dead. The words that follow: “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead,” do not contradict this explanation. To be sure, they did not as yet understand...

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The resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day is of central significance for the economy of salvation. Even in the brief answer of the Heidelberg Catechism concerning this glorious truth, though it views Christ’s resurrection entirely from the aspect of our profit, this is expressed. For, according to the Catechism, the resurrection is, principally, the victory over, the swallowing up of death; it is the realization of our righteousness, the righteousness of which He makes us partakers; it is the power of a new life for all that are His; and it is the sure pledge, while it is...

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Chapter 2: The Idea Of Christ’s Resurrection (continued) In the eternal counsel of God, the resurrected Christ, the first begotten of the dead, the glorified Son of God in the flesh, stands logically first. In the divine decree He is conceived first, and He “openeth the womb” for every creature. All the works of God are subservient to the glory of this “image of the invisible God.” They are conceived after Him, and unto Him, so as to be adapted to Him. And in the perfect, finished works of God, as conceived in the divine good pleasure, He has the...

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This the Catechism means when it speaks of “that righteousness which he had purchased for us by his death.” He paid the price for our righteousness, the price that was demanded by God’s unchangeable justice applied to the guilty. That price was death. And the price must be paid, righteousness must be purchased. The suffering of death must be a voluntary act of love, just as sin is wanton rebellion and disobedience. And such an act of perfect obedience was the death of Christ. Hence, He purchased righteousness for us by His death. And the resurrection of our Lord is...

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Q. 46. How dost thou understand these words, “he ascended into heaven?” A. Thus that Christ, in sight of his disciples, was taken up from earth into heaven; and that he continues there for our interest, until he conies again to judge the quick and the dead. Q. 47. Is not Christ then with us even to the end of the world, as he hath promised? A. Christ is very man and very God; with respect to his human nature, he is no more on earth; but with respect to his Godhead, majesty, grace and spirit, he is at no...

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We must bear in mind that it is He of Whose presence with us the Catechism speaks. He, Jesus Christ our Lord, is ever present with us in His Godhead and majesty. He it is that never leaves us in respect to His grace and Spirit. It is the presence of the Son of God in the flesh, who united Himself with our nature, and still is God and man in unity of the divine Person; the presence, not merely of God’ the Creator, who calls the things that are not as if they were, but of God our Redemptor,...

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