New City Catechism Week 51 Resources

Week 51 Question:

Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension?

Week 51 Answer:

Christ physically ascended on our behalf, just as he came down to earth physically on our account, and he is now advocating for us in the presence of his Father, preparing a place for us, and also sends us his Spirit.

Week 51 Verse:

Romans 8:34


Hail the day that sees Him rise,
Ravish'd from our wishful eyes!
Christ, awhile to mortals given,
Re-ascends His native heaven!

There the pompous triumph waits:
"Lift your heads, eternal gates,
Wide unfold the radiant scene,
Take the King of Glory in!"

Circled round with angel powers,
Their triumphant Lord, and ours,
Conqueror over death and sin,
Take the King of Glory in!

Him though highest heaven receives,
Still He loves the earth He leaves;
Though returning to His throne,
Still He calls mankind His own.

See! He lifts His hands above!
See! He shows the prints of love!
Hark! His gracious lips bestow
Blessings on His church below!

Still for us His death He pleads;
Prevalent, He intercedes;
Near Himself prepares our place,
Harbinger of human race.

Master, (will we ever say,)
Taken from our head to-day;
See Thy faithful servants, see!
Ever gazing up to Thee.

Grant, though parted from our sight,
High above yon azure height,
Grant our hearts may thither rise,
Following Thee beyond the skies.

Ever upward let us move,
Wafted on the wings of love;
Looking when our Lord shall come,
Longing, gasping after home.

There we shall with Thee remain,
Partners of Thy endless reign;
There Thy face unclouded see,
Find our heaven of heavens in Thee!

John Wesley (1703–1791). An English preacher and theologian, Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles, with founding the English Methodist movement. He travelled generally on horseback, preaching two or three times each day, and is said to have preached more than 40,000 sermons. He also was a noted hymn-writer.

From “Hymn for Ascension-Day” in The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley, by John Wesley, Charles Wesley, arranged by George Osborn, Volume 1 (London: Paternoster, 1868), 187–188.J


Video Commentary

NCC Q51: Of what advantage to us is Christ's ascension? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.


Supporting Scriptures

Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1; John 14:2-3; John 17:24; John 20:17; Ephesians 2:4-6; John 14:16; Acts 2:33; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 Corinthians 5:5; Colossians 3:1-4; Hebrews 9:24


We praise thee, we glorify thee, our merciful God and gracious Redeemer! Our souls have now refuge from thy revenging wrath. Thy promise is sure; Satan, and the world, and death, are overcome; our Lord is risen; he is risen, and we shall rise through him. O death! where is thy sting? O grave! where is thy victory? Our Saviour is ascended to his Father and our Father, to his God and our God, and we shall ascend! To his hands we may commit our departing souls! Our head is glorified, and it is his will and promise that we shall be with him where he is, to see his glory. He hath sealed us thereunto by his Holy Spirit. We were dead in sins, and he hath quickened us. We were dark in ignorance and unbelief, and he hath enlightened us. We were unholy and carnal, sold under sin, and he hath sanctified our wills…. We praise and glorify this Spirit of life, with the Father and the Son, from whom he is sent, to be life, and light, and love to our dead, and dark, and disaffected souls. We are created, redeemed, and sanctified, for thy holy love, and praise, and service: O let these be the very nature of our souls, and the employment and pleasure of all our lives! O perfect thy weak and languid graces in us, that our love and praise may be more perfect!… O bring us nearer thee in faith and love, that we may be more suitable to the heavenly employment of thy praise!… Prepare us all for that world of peace where the harmony of universal love and praise shall never be interrupted by sins, or griefs, or fears, or discord, but shall be everlastingly perfect, to our joy and to thy glory.… Amen.

Richard Baxter (1615–1691). An English Puritan, Baxter served as a chaplain in the army of Oliver Cromwell and as a pastor in Kidderminster. When James II was overthrown, he was persecuted and imprisoned for 18 months. He continued to preach, writing at the time that: "I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men." As well as his theological works he was a poet and hymn-writer. He also wrote his own Family Catechism.

From “A Shorter Form of Praise and Prayer for the Lord's Day” in “The Poor Man’s Family Book” in The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, Volume 19 (London: Paternoster, 1830), 637–639.