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35. Q. What do you believe when you say, He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary?
A. That the Son of God, who is,u and continueth true and everlasting God, took upon him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary,w by the operation of the Holy Ghost, that he might become at once the true seed of David,y and be like unto his brethren in all things, sin only excepted.a
u In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John i. 1. His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power. Rom. i. 3, 4; Col. i. 15; John xvii. 3.
▾ Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Rom. ix. 5.
w But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman. Gal. iv. 4. And behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. Luke i. 31, 42, 43.
That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. Mat. i. 20. And the angel answered and 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 i. 35. His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power. Rom. i. 3. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne. Acts ii. 30; Ps. cxxxii. 11; Luke i. 32.
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. Phil. ii. 7. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made
38. Q. For what reason should he suffer under Pontius Pilate as his judge?
A. That he being condemned innocent before a political judge, might deliver us from the judgment of God, which awaited all men.i
39. Q. But is there any thing more implied
holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness. Dan. ix. 24. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. Rom. iii. 25. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. v. 21. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John iii. 16. And for this cause he is the mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Heb. ix. 15. x. 10, 19.
h And Pilate said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people; and behold I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him. Luke xxii. 14. And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. John xviii. 38. I am innocent of the blood of this just person. Matt. xxvii. 24.
i Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him ; and with his stripes we are healed. Isa. liii. 4, 5. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. v. 21. Gal. iii. 13.
by the manner of Christ's death, on the cross, than if he had suffered by any other kind of death?
A. Certainly there is more. For by this I am assured that he took upon himself that curse which alighted on me.j For the death of the cross was held accursed of God.k
40. Q. Why was it necessary that Christ should humble himself unto death?
A. Because the justice and truth of God could be satisfied for our sins by no other means than by the very death of the Son of God.1
41. Q. Why was he buried also?
A. To prove that he was really dead.m
42. Q. But since Christ died for us, why is it necessary that we should die also?
A. Our death is not a satisfaction for our
i Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Gal. iii. 13.
And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree; his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) Deut. xxi. 22, 23.
Where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. Heb. ix. 16. The wages of sin is death. Rom. vi. 23. And without shedding of blood there is no remission. Heb. ix. 22. O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matt. xxvi. 39. Heb. ix. 14.
And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. Acts xiii. 29.
36. Q. What benefit do you receive by this holy conception, and nativity of Christ?
A. A confirmation of my faith, that he is our Mediator, and doth so cover with his innocency and perfect holiness my sins, in which I was conceived, that they may not come in the sight of God.c
37. Q. What do you believe when you say, He suffered?
A. That he, during the whole of his life which he spent on earth, but especially at the latter part
like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Heb. ii. 17.
For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Heb. iv. 15. For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. Heb. vii. 26; 1 Peter i. 19.
b Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once when he offered up himself. Heb. vii. 27. And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Heb. xii. 24; vii. 22.
e Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot or blemish. 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us unto God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. 1 Pet. iii. 18. By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Is. liii. 11; Ps. xxxii. 1; Rom. viii. 3, 4.
of it, sustained the wrath of God both in body and soul against the sins of all mankind, that he might by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice,e deliver our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and purchase unto us the favour of God, righteousness, and everlasting life.g
d He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. Is. liii. 11. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes we are healed. 1 Pet. ii. 24. Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh. 1 Pet. iv. 1. Then said he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death, tarry ye here, and watch with me. Mat. xxvi. 38. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke xxii. 44.
• And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour. Eph. v. 2. And he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John ii. 2. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. Heb. ix. 28. 1 Cor. v. 5. 1 Tim. ii. 6. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Heb. x. 14.
f Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Gal. iii. 13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son, in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Col. i. 13, 14. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Heb. ix. 12. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot or blemish. 1 Pet. i. 18, 19.
• Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, upon thy