THE

SHORTER CATECHISM

EXPLAINED


QUESTION 29. How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?

ANSWER: 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 may we understand by redemption in this answer?

A. The whole of that salvation which is revealed and exhibited in the gospel, Psalm 130:7, 8.

Q. 2. Why is redemption said to be purchased?

A. Because having brought ourselves into a state of bondage and servitude, Gal. 4:24, we could not be ransomed, but at a great price, 1 Cor. 6:20.

Q. 3. What was the price of our redemption?

A. The precious blood of Christ, 1 Pet. 1:19.

Q. 4. What is it to be partakers of this redemption?

A. It is to have a share in it, or to be entered upon the begun possession of it, 1 Cor. 10:17.

Q. 5. Can we make ourselves partakers of redemption?

A. No; we must be made partakers of it, Heb. 3:14 -- "We are made partakers of Christ," &c.

Q. 6. Why cannot we make ourselves partakers of it?

A. Because we are altogether without strength, Rom. 5:6; and utterly averse to all spiritual good, John 5:40.

Q. 7. How then are we made partakers of redemption?

A. By the application of it to us.

Q. 8. What is meant by the application of redemption to us?

A. The conferring all the benefits of it upon us, and making them our own, by way of free gift, John 10:28 -- "I give unto them eternal life."

Q. 9. How was the application of redemption typified under the Old Testament?

A. By sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice upon the people, Ex. 24:8.

Q. 10. Does not the application of redemption presuppose the purchase of it?

A. Yes; if it were not first purchased, it could never be applied, Job 33:24.

Q. 11. How then could it be applied to the Old Testament saints, when it was not then actually purchased?

A. It was applied upon the credit of the bond, which the Surety gave from eternity, of making a meritorious purchase in the fullness of time, Prov. 8:23, 31.

Q. 12. Can the purchase of redemption avail us, if it is not applied?

A. No more than meat can feed, clothes warm, or medicines heal us, if they are not used, John 1:12.

Q. 13. When may the application of redemption be said to be effectual?

A. When it produces the saving effects for which it is designed.

Q. 14. What are these saving effects?

A. The opening of the eyes of sinners, and "turning them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God," Acts 26:18.

Q. 15. If the application of redemption be effectual, what need is there of any after endeavours, to grow in grace and holiness?

A. The giving us all things that pertain to life and godliness is the greatest encouragement and excitement to add to our faith, virtue, &c.; that is, to use all suitable endeavours, in the strength of grace, after spiritual growth, 2 Pet. 1:3, 5.

Q. 16. Is there any application of redemption that is not effectual?

A. Yes; there is an outward application of it in baptism, which is not, of itself, effectual, as is evident in the instance of Simon Magus, who was baptised, and yet remained in the "gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity," Acts 8:13, 23.

Q. 17. By whom is the redemption purchased by Christ effectually applied?

A. By his Holy Spirit, Tit. 3:5, 6.

Q. 18. Why is the application of redemption ascribed to the Spirit?

A. To show that each of the three persons, in the adorable Trinity, is equally hearty and cordial in the work of man's redemption; the FATHER in ordaining, the SON in purchasing, and the SPIRIT in applying it, John 6:57, 63.

Q. 19. Why is the Spirit, in this work, called the Holy Spirit?

A. Because, as he is essentially holy, Psalm 51:11; so he is holy in all his works and operations, Rom. 15:16.

Q. 20. Why is redemption said to be applied by the Spirit of Christ, or His Holy Spirit?

A. Because the Spirit is sent for this work more immediately by Christ, and through his mediation, John 14:16, as the leading fruit of his purchase, John 16:7.

Q. 21. What is the difference between the purchase of redemption and the application of it?

A. The purchase of redemption is a work done without us, Isa. 63:3; but the application of it takes place within us, Rom. 8:16.

Q. 22. To whom is redemption effectually applied by the Spirit?

A. "To all those for whom Christ has purchased it," John 10:15, 16,[34] and to none else.

Q. 23. "Can they who have never heard the gospel, and so know not Jesus Christ, nor believe in him, be saved by their living according to the light of nature?"

A. "They -- cannot be saved, John 8:24, be they ever so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, 1 Cor. 1:20, 21, or the laws of that religion which they profess, John 4:22; neither is there salvation in any other but in Christ alone, Acts 4:12, who is the Saviour only of his body the Church, Eph. 5:23."[35]

Q. 24. What means does the Spirit make use of in the application of redemption?

A. The Spirit of God makes use of the reading, 2 Tim. 3:15, 16, but especially the preaching of the word, for this end, Rom. 10:17.

Q. 25. Are these means of themselves effectual?

A. Not without the power and efficacy of the Spirit accompanying them, 1 Thess. 1:5.

Q. 26. What is incumbent on us, in way of duty, that the redemption, purchased by Christ, may be effectually applied to us?

A. To search for the knowledge of Christ as for hid treasure, Pro. 2:4, and to pray for the Spirit to testify of Christ, John 15:26, in the faith of his own promise: "He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you," John 16:14.


[34] Larger Catechism, Q. 59.

[35] Larger Catechism, Q. 60.


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