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Showing posts from April, 2014

Catechism #18

Q. What is justification? A. Justification is the act of God’s free grace by which He pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight. Over the last few weeks we have seen that Christ is our Redeemer, but He is also our Justifier. The Bible speaks about our justification, which is the process by which God forgives our sins. Most people know Romans 3:23, but verse 24 is equally important: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came through Christ Jesus.” Romans 5:1 continues: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Justification comes from the word justify, and an easy way to remember the definition is God makes me “just if I” had never sinned. As the verses above show, justification is an act of God’s grace based on our faith; we cannot earn justification, which is why we needed a Redeemer.

Catechism #17

Q. How did Christ, the Son of God, become man? A. Christ became man by assuming a real body. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. In order for Jesus to be our Redeemer, He needed to live on earth as a man; He needed to live a sinless life in order to be a proper substitute for our sin debt. So Jesus came to earth in the form of a person—an event known as the incarnation—and was born with the mission to die. When Jesus came, He did so in the most miraculous way: He was born of a virgin. Biologically we understand this to be impossible, but with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). The virgin birth is recorded by both Matthew and Luke. Matthew 1:18 says, “When His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with to be with child from the Holy Ghost.” In verse 20 an angel appears to Joseph and confirms what Mary told him, “That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost…you shall call His nam

Catechism #16

Q. Who is the Redeemer of mankind? A. The only Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, who being the Son of God, became man. As we have previously seen, when Adam and Eve chose to sin against God they invited in the curse that leads to death and separation from God. The only way of escape for mankind is through redemption. After the first sin God killed an innocent lamb and used its skin to make a covering for our first parents. That act was a perfect foreshadowing of the redemption to come—an innocent lamb was sacrificed as a substitute so that the guilty party could be covered. Years later, when the nation of Israel was in slavery in Egypt, God sent the Ten Plagues to persuade Pharaoh to let His people go. The tenth plague, the death of the firstborn, was a horrific event that was the culmination of years of rebellion and idolatry in Egypt. But God, in His mercy, still gave each family a way out. God said that if each family would take a spotless lamb, kill it, and a

Catechism #15

Q. By what sin did our first parents fall from their original condition? 
A. Our first parents’ sin was eating the forbidden fruit. The first sin we see in the Bible was in the eating of the forbidden fruit by Adam and Eve. But as we saw last week, there are sins of commission and omission. The eating of the fruit was an act of commission—a sin that was committed in the Garden of Eden. But before Eve ever took her first bite, a few sins of omission occurred that led up to the sin of commission. First, notice that it was Eve, not Adam, that did all the talking with the serpent in Genesis 3. Yet it was Adam, not Eve, who was created as the spiritual leader of the family. For whatever reason Adam abdicated his role as the spiritual leader and stood silently by as Eve ate the fruit. After Eve’s bite, she gave it to Adam, and he ate it too. Not only did Adam omit his role as leader, Eve omitted her trust in the goodness of God. Not only did she misquote God