Reformed Catechism Week 29 Resources

Week 29 Question:

How can we be saved?

Week 29 Answer:

Only by faith in Jesus Christ and in his substitutionary atoning death on the cross; so even though we are guilty of having disobeyed God and are still inclined to all evil, nevertheless, God, without any merit of our own but only by pure grace, imputes to us the perfect righteousness of Christ when we repent and believe in him.

Week 29 Verse: Ephesians 2:8-9

Commentary

Being justified by faith, we have peace with God…. Judgment now decides for the sinner instead of against him. Memory looks back upon past sins, with deep sorrow for the sin, but yet with no dread of any penalty to come; for Christ has paid the debt of his people to the last jot and tittle, and received the divine receipt; and unless God can be so unjust as to demand double payment for one debt, no soul for whom Jesus died as a substitute can ever be cast into hell. It seems to be one of the very principles of our enlightened nature to believe that God is just; we feel that it must be so, and this gives us our terror at first; but is it not marvellous that this very same belief that God is just, becomes afterwards the pillar of our confidence and peace! If God is just, I, a sinner, alone and without a substitute, must be punished; but Jesus stands in my place and is punished for me; and now, if God is just, I, a sinner, standing in Christ, can never be punished. God must change his nature before one soul for whom Jesus was a substitute can ever by any possibility suffer the lash of the law. Therefore, Jesus having taken the place of the believer—having rendered a full equivalent to divine wrath for all that his people ought to have suffered as the result of sin, the believer can shout with glorious triumph, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Not God, for he has justified; not Christ, for he has died, “yes rather has risen again.” My hope does not live because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; my trust is not that I am holy, but that being unholy, he is my righteousness. My faith does not rest upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what he has done, and in what he is now doing for me. On the lion of justice the fair maid of hope rides like a queen.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892). An English Baptist preacher, Spurgeon became pastor of London's New Park Street Church (later Metropolitan Tabernacle) at 20 years of age. He frequently preached to more than 10,000 people with no electronic amplification. Spurgeon was a prolific writer and his printed works are voluminous—by the time of his death he had preached nearly 3,600 sermons and published 49 volumes of commentaries, sayings, hymns, and devotions.

From the reading for September 25 morning in Morning & Evening, Daily Reading by C.H. Spurgeon (Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1994).

Video Commentary

NCC Q29: How can we be saved? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Supporting Scriptures

John 17:3, 17; Romans 5:1; Romans 10:10; Romans 10:17; Romans 3:20-26; Galatians 2:16; Matthew 28:19-20; John 20:30-31; 2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 1:21

Prayer

Offended Sovereign! I am justly under sentence of death, and should I eternally perish, yet thou art righteous…. But is there nothing in thy revealed character that may encourage a miserable creature and a guilty criminal, to look for mercy and hope for acceptance? Art thou not a compassionate Saviour, as well as a just God? Is not Jesus thy only Son, and hast thou not set him forth as a propitiation through faith in his blood? To him, therefore, as my only asylum from divine wrath, I would flee…. I have no claim on thy mercy. Only, if it seemed good to thee to save the vilest of sinners, the most wretched of creatures; if it please thee to extend infinite mercy to one who deserves infinite misery and is obliged to condemn himself; the greater will be the glory of thy compassion…boundless grace shall have the glory.

Abraham Booth (1734–1806). An English Baptist minister, Booth served as pastor of Prescot Street Church in Whitechapel, London for 35 years as well as founding what is now Regents Park College for ministerial training in Oxford. He is most known for his work The Reign of Grace (from which this prayer is taken).

From "The Reign of Grace" in Works of Abraham Booth: Late Pastor of the Baptist Church, Volume 1 (London: Button, 1813), 87–88.