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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel

Of Christ's Incarnation.

Q. 22. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
A. Christ the Son of God became man by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.

Q. 1. Who is the only Redeemer of God's elect?
A. The Lord Jesus Christ is their only Redeemer, and there is no other Redeemer besides him; 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.

Q. 2. How is he the Son of God, or can be, as no other is so?
A. He is the Son of God by nature, from all eternity, and so no angel or saint is; Hebrews 1:5. For unto which of the angels said heat any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?

Q. 3. Why was it necessary he should become man?
A. That he might be capable to suffer death in our room; Hebrews 2:15-17. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham; 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.

Q. 4. Why must the Redeemer be God as well as man?
A. Because the blood of a mere man could not satisfy and redeem us; Acts 20:28. Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Q. 5. Do these two natures make two persons?
A. No, the human nature is united to the second person, and subsists in union with it; 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.

Q. 6. Was the union only for a time?
A. No, it continues and abides for ever; Hebrews 7:24. But this man, because he continueth ever, bath an unchangeable priesthood.

Q. 7. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. Hence we learn the transcendent love of God to poor sinners; John 3:16. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Q. 8. What is the second instruction?
A. Hence we learn the matchless love of Christ, that he should stoop to such a condition for us; 2 Corinthians 8:9. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be made rich.

Q. 9. What is the third instruction?
A. That the greatest sins are capable of remission to believers; John 1:29. Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.

Q. 10. What is the fourth instruction?
A. That those that be in Christ need not fear the denial or want of any other mercy; Romans 8:32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all; how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Q. 11. What is the fifth instruction?
A. Hence we learn how impious it is to ascribe any part of the glory of redemption to any other besides Christ.

Q. 12. What is the sixth instruction?
A. This teaches us the miserable condition of all that are out of Christ, and the necessity of their damnation, he being the only Redeemer.

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