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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

The Shorter Catechism
of the Westminster Assembly
Explained and Proved
from Scripture

by
Thomas Vincent


XXII. Ques. How did Christ, being the Son o/ God, become man?
Ans.
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. Was it a voluntary act in Christ, the Son of God, to become man?
A. Yes; because he took on him the human nature, that he might be thereby fitted to be our Redeemer. "In burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin, thou hast no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come." Heb. 10:6, 7. "He took on him the seed of Abraham." Heb. 3:16.

Q. 2. Was Christ, the Son of God, a real man, like unto other men?
A. Christ, the Son of God, was a real man, taking to himself the two essential parts of man. 1. He had a real body of flesh, and blood, and bones; not a phantastical body, which is a body only in appearance. "Behold my hands and my feet: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." Luke 24:39. 2. He bad a real rational soul, and his divine nature did not supply the place of the soul. "Thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin." Isa. 53:10. "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." Matt. 26:3.

Q. 3. Was the birth of Christ like unto the birth of other men?
A. No; for Christ was born of a virgin, namely, the Virgin Mary. "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear son ." Isa. 7:14. "And Joseph took unto him Mary his wife; and knew her not till she had brought forth her first born son; and she called his name Jesus." Matt. 1:24, 25.

Q. 4. How could Christ be born of a virgin?
A. It was a miraculous conception, by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary. "And Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
And the angel said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:34, 35.

Q. 5. Was Christ born in sin like other men?
A. No; for however Christ took upon him the nature of man, and many human infirmities, yet he was perfectly free from sinful infirmities. "We have not a 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." Heb. 4:15.

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