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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel


Of our Union with Christ.

Q. 30. How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
A. By working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.


Q. 1. Can none have saving benefit by Christ, but such as are united to him?
A. No, for as Adamís sin could not hurt us, except we had been in him; so Christís redemption cannot profit us, except we are in him; 1 Corinthians 1:30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

Q. 2. What are the bonds of this union?
A. The Spirit on Godís part; 1 John 3:24. And he that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him; and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. And faith on our part: Ephesians 3:17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.

Q. 3. What is the first property of this union?
A. It is an intimate union; Ephesians 5:30. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Q. 4. What is the second property?
A. It is an union never to be dissolved; Romans 8:35, 38. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Q. 5. What is the third property of this union?
A. It makes Christ, and all that he hath purchased, become ours; 1 Corinthians 3:22-23. All are yours, and ye are Christís; and Christ is Godís.

Q. 6. What is the fourth property of this union?
A. It is the foundation and root of all our spiritual and acceptable obedience; John 15:4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Q. 7. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That saving grace in the saints is immortal, being secured to them in and by Christ; Colossians 3:3. Your life is hid with Christ in God.

Q. 8. What is the second inference?
A. That the relation between Christ and believers is very near and intimate; Ephesians 5:30. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Q. 9. What is the third inference?
A. That believers need not be afraid to go down to the grave; Romans 8:38-39. For I am persuaded, that neither death nor life,

nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. And this union holds after death; Matthew 22:31-32. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.

Q. 10. What is the fourth inference?
A. That in wronging and persecuting the saints, men wrong and persecute Christ himself; Acts 9:4. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Q. 11. What is the fifth inference?
A. That in relieving and refreshing the saints, we relieve and refresh Christ himself; Matthew 25:35-36. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; and I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; 1 was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Ver. 40. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Q. 12. What is the last inference?
A. That there is a sympathy in Christ, under all the pressures and grievances of his people; Hebrews 4:15. We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

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