Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Saturday, March 31, 2012

WSC 21: The "Only Redeemer" of "God's Elect"

From our beloved Catechism with words to remember and digest.

One can sum up the Reformed faith by listing five “only’s” — only Scripture, only Christ, only grace, only faith, and only to the glory of God. We look today at the second “only” in “Only Christ.” The apostle Paul would remind us in 1 Timothy 2:5 that “there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (ESV)

With another date of only localized Presbyterian topics, we return on this last day of March 31, to the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Standards. In question and answer 21, we read the words “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.”

We speak first about “the only Redeemer of God’s elect.” The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Redeemer to those whom the Father has given to the Son, as that phrase is continuously found in the high priestly prayer of Jesus in John chapter 17, or “the elect.” Peter clearly preached in Acts 4:12, when declaring the good news of eternal life in the days following the Ascension of Christ, that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (ESV)

See the repetitive statements! Despite what the Bahai religion states, despite what other religions claim, despite what your unbelieving neighbor believes, there is no one else! There is no other name under heaven! There is no other name given among men! It is ONLY CHRIST.

We need to echo the testimony of the apostle Paul when he wrote, “For although there may be so-called gods in heaven and on earth — as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’ — yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” (1 Corinthians 8:5, 6 ESV)

Last, our Confessional fathers remind us that the Lord Jesus Christ is both God and man, in two distinct natures as eternal deity and true humanity, yet only one person, forever. Our finite minds may not be able to fully understand it. But God’s Word, the Bible declares it, and on that Scriptural teaching we rest, firmly committed to it.

1 comment:

Kepha said...

As a Presbyterian, I thank you for your comments on the WSC.

"Solo Christo" is the doctrine that started the Reformed brand of Protestantism. This was driven home to me when I got hold of a copy of Zwingli's _Commentary on True and False Religion_. I believe that this is the key to Zwingli's symbolic understanding of Christ's presence in the Supper; for he greatly feared putting anything or anyone else in Christ's place.