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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel


Of the Application of Christ.

Q. 29. How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?
A. We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his Holy Spirit.


Q 1. What did our redemption cost Christ?
A. It cost him his own blood to obtain it; Hebrews 9:12. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Q. 2. Can none have the benefit of it, except it be applied to them?
A. No, if Christ be not applied, we cannot be saved; John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

Q. 3. Whose work or office is it to apply Christ to us?
A. It is the office and work of Godís Spirit; Titus 3:4-5. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

Q. 4. What means doth the Spirit use in applying Christ?
A. The external means he makes use of, is the ministry of the gospel; 1 Corinthians 3:5. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed?

Q. 5. Is this sufficient of itself?
A. No, the blessing and power of the Spirit must accompany it, or Christ cannot be applied; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance, as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.

Q. 6. To whom doth the Spirit apply Christ?
A. To those that were given him of the Father before the world was; Acts 13:48. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. John 14:17. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Q. 7. Is the application of Christ to a soul finished at once?
A. Though the first act of faith unites the soul to Christ, yet it is a continued act; 1 Peter 2:4. To whom coming, as unto a living stone.

Q. 8. What learn we from hence?
A. What a destitute thing the soul is that is out of Christ; Revelation 3:18. Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

Q. 9. What else doth it teach us?
A. The riches and dignity of believers. Christ and all his purchases are theirs; 1 Corinthians 3:22-23. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christís, and Christ is Godís.

Q. 10. What else doth it teach us?
A. The righteousness of God in the destruction of all unbelievers; John 5:40. Mark 16:16. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but lie that believeth not shall be damned.

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