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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel

Of the Only Redeemer.

Q. 21. Who is the Redeemer of God's elect?

A. The only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person for ever.

Q. 1. What doth the name Redeemer signify?
A. It signifies one that frees another out of captivity and bondage, as Christ did us; Matthew 20:28. And to give his life a ransom for many.

Q. 2. What was the misery from which Christ delivered us?
A. A twofold misery, viz. Sin and hell. First, Sin; Matthew 1:2. Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins. Secondly, Hell; 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.

Q. 3. How did Christ deliver us from this misery?
A. First, by price. Secondly, By power. By price; 1 Peter 1:18, 19. Ye are not redeemed with silver and gold from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot. By power; Colossians 1:13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and bath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.

Q. 4. When was the redemption wrought by Christ?
A. It was decreed from eternity; it was actually wrought on the cross; Colossians 1:20. And (having made peace through the blood of his cross) by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Q. 5. How then could they be redeemed that died before?
A. Though Christ's blood was actually shed after the Old Testament believers died: yet the virtue of Christ's death extends to them, as well as us; Hebrews 11:39, 40. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise, God having provided some better things for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Q. 6. Why would not God deliver us without such a Redeemer?
A. Because it was not so much for the honour of his justice; Romans 3:25, 26. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that arc past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at. this time, his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.

Q. 7. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That all that are out of Christ are in a miserable bondage and captivity; John 8:36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Q. 8. What is the second instruction?
A. Hence see the heinous nature of sin, which required such a price to satisfy for it; 1 Peter 1:18, 19. We were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot.

Q. 9. What is the third instruction from hence?
A. The wonderful love of Christ in redeeming us at such a rate; Revelation 1:5. Who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.

Q. 10. What is the last instruction?
A. This strongly obligeth us to an universal holiness; 1 Corinthians 6:20. For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

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