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Lesson # 88: The Benefits of Redemption

Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 7:47
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Lesson # 88—The Benefits of Redemption

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Shorter Catechism Q & A #88

Q. What are the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption?

A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption, are his ordinances, especially the word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.

Memorize Q&A—Exposition

The benefits of redemption are effectually given in the Word of God, the sacraments of the baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and prayer. Therefore, to neglect these outward means of communication from our Lord is to neglect the blessings, which he has promised.

What does it mean?

Discuss the means and the nature of the benefits of redemption we receive:

  • by the presence of Christ, Matt. 28:19–20
  • by the receiving of the Word, Acts 2:41–42
  • by the fellowship of believers, Acts 2:46–47

What is our practice?

Our desire is to seek the fellowship of God in those means by which the Lord blesses us—as in Word, Sacrament, and Prayer—which are practiced in the fellowship of believers.

Quotes for thought and discussion:

Matthew Henry writes in his commentary of the Confession: “Are the word, sacraments, and prayer, the great gospel ordinances? Yes: Then they that gladly received his Word were baptized, and they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking bread, and in prayers, Acts 2:41–42. Is singing of psalms also a gospel ordinance? Yes: Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, Eph. 5:19. Is it appointed for our own consolation? Yes: Is any merry? Let him sing psalms, James 5:13. And for mutual instruction? Yes: Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, Col. 3:16. And for God’s glory? Yes: Singing with grace in your heart to the Lord, Col. 3:16.”

Paul (2 Tim. 3:16) declares the Word of God to be divinely inspired; “for, if it be so, it is beyond all controversy that men ought to receive it with reverence. This is a principle which distinguishes our religion from all others, that we know that God hath spoken to us, and are fully convinced that the prophets did not speak at their own suggestion, but that, being organs of the Holy Spirit, they only uttered what they had been commissioned from heaven to declare. Whoever then wishes to profit in the Scriptures, let him first of all, lay down this as a settled point, that the Law and the Prophets are not a doctrine delivered according to the will and pleasure of men, but dictated by the Holy Spirit.” (John Calvin, Commentary)

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