Westminster Shorter Catechism: Q21.1

WSC Question 21, Part I:  Who is the only Redeemer of God’s Elect?

Answer: The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continues to be God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person forever.

An explanation: This is an important catechism question and answer to put to memory! What beauty and glory in the content, and what succinctness and accuracy of Biblical teaching concerning Jesus Christ our Redeemer (the immense depths of true biblical, reformed catholic, Chalcedonian Christology is squeezed and “zipped up” in this one). The only and sole redeemer, there is no other (1 Tim. 2:5), is the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, who loves and saves God’s people from their sins by His precious blood on the cross (Rev. 1:6; Col. 1:19-20), is a unique person in that He has two distinct natures, both God and Man. “For in [Christ] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col. 2:9).

From before the ages, according to God’s purpose and grace in His electing mercies, He chose a people to be redeemed and called to a holy calling, not because of works, but all because of His grace (2 Tim. 1:9-10). God the Father, according to the purpose of His will, and for the praise of His glorious grace, chose His people to be holy and blameless before Him, and in love He predestined us for adoption as sons (Eph. 1:3-6).

The Father covenanted with the Eternal Son to provide for Him a body, a true human nature, to perform all perfect obedience on their behalf, and to die as true man on their behalf, taking their sins upon Himself. (Heb. 10:5-17). The Eternal Son willingly, out of love for His own, agreed to this covenant, saying “Behold, I have come to do your will, O God…” (Heb. 10:7; Psa. 40:6-8). And “by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10). Through this Covenant of Grace that the Father made with the Son and the Spirit on behalf of all believers (Heb. 13:20-21), He has now put His laws in our hearts and written them on our minds by His Spirit (Heb. 10:17), and has remembered their sins and their lawless deeds no more (Heb. 10:17). Because of the only redeemer of God’s elect, “there is no longer any offering for sin” (Heb. 10:18).

God’s elect are now forgiven, because the Eternal Son of God took upon Himself in permanent, personal, union and subsistence unto Himself our nature! Jesus Christ is one Person, with two distinct natures, both God and Man. The man Christ Jesus, enthroned at God’s right hand as King of kings and Lord of lords, is God Himself in the flesh, and a faithful and powerful and good and compassionate mediator for sinners (Heb. 2:14-18; 4:14-16). As God, He has goodness and power to bestow forgiveness to sinners, and His sacrificial offering on the cross was inestimably valuable as a payment for sins, because He is God (Acts 20:28); as man, He is a fit representative for sinful man, a faithful second Adam (Rom. 5:12-21), and performed all obedience required of a man as covenant head and representative and head in the place of the elect. God imputes Christ’s perfect righteousness to His elect, and gives them the Spirit to renew and renovate them into the image of God, revealed perfectly in the man Christ Jesus (Eph. 4:17-24; to be continued). More in Part II…

A Prayer: Glorious God-Man, Savior of the Elect, perfect Savior, and perfect man, thank you for your willing condescension to take upon my nature, and to live, die, and be resurrected and ascended in heaven for me (Phil. 2:5-11)! Thank you for taking my nature up into heaven, and giving me perfect righteousness before your Holy Father, and now my Holy Father! Thank you for your Spirit to help me to live holy before you.

In Christ’s love,
Pastor Biggs