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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

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

by
Thomas Vincent


XXVII. Ques. Wherein did Christ's humiliation consist?
Ans.
Christ's humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the misteries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time.

Q. 1. In what things did Christ humble himself?
A. Christ did humble himself 1. In his birth. 2. In his life. 2. In his death.

Q. 2. How did Christ humble himself in his birth?
A. Christ humbled himself in his birth, in that he, being the eternal Son of God, in time became man, and was born, not of a great princess, but of a mean virgin; not in a stately palace, but in a stable of an inn; and instead of a cradle, was laid in a manger. "He hath regarded the lowly estate of his hand-maiden." Luke 1:48. "And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7.

Q. 3. How did Christ humble himself in his life?
A. Christ did humble himself in his life, in that 1. He subjected himself to the law. "God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law." Galatians 4:4. 2. He conflicted with the temptation of the devil. "Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil." Matthew 4:1. 3. He endured the contradictions, reproaches, and indignities of wicked men. "Consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself." Hebrews 12:3. "If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?" Matthew 10:25. 4. He underwent the sinless infirmities of the flesh, such as weariness, hunger, thirst, and the like, in regard to his body; and grief and sorrow in regard to his soul. "Jesus being wearied with his journey, sat on the well." John 4:6. "When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungered." Matthew 4:2. "He is a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Isaiah 53:3.

Q. 4. How did Christ humble himself in his death?
A. Christ humbled himself in his death 1. In regard of the antecedents of it. 2. In regard of his death itself. 3. In regard of the consequences of it.

Q. 5. How did Christ humble himself in regard of the antecedents of his death? A. Christ humbled himself in regard of the antecedents of his death 1. In permitting Judas to betray him. 2. In submitting himself to the officers to take him. 3. In hearing Peter deny him. 4. In suffering the people to mock him, spit on him, buffet him, and Pilate to scourge and condemn him; with many affronts and indignities which were offered to him. Matthew 26, Matthew 27.

Q. 6. How did Christ humble himself in regard of his death itself?
A. Christ humbled himself in regard of his death itself, in that 1. The kind of his death was an accursed and disgraceful death, as also a lingering and painful death, being the death of the cross. "He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" Philippians 2:8. "Christ was made a curse for us; as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." Galatians 3:13. 2. he, together with the pain of his body on the cross, endured the wrath of God due for man's sin in his soul. "About the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46.

Q. 7. How did Christ humble himself in regard of the consequents of his death?
A. Christ humbled himself in regard of the consequents of his death, in that 1. He was buried. "And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb." Matthew 27:59-60. 2. He continued under the power of death for a time, namely, until the third day. "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matthew 12:40.

Q. 8. What doth Christ's humiliation assure us of?
A. Christ's humiliation assures us of our redemption, through the merits of his sufferings. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." Ephesians 1:7.

Q. 9. What doth Christ's humiliation, especially his death, teach us?
A. Christ's humbling himself unto death doth teach us 1. To humble ourselves and be lowly, like unto our Master. "Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart." Matthew 11:29. 2. That as Christ died for our sins, so we should die to sin, and not be unwilling to suffer and to die for his sake, if called thereunto. "If we be dead with Christ, we shall also live with him. Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin." Romans 6:8, 11. "Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind." 1 Peter 4:1.

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