New City Catechism 20.2

Question 20: Who is the Redeemer?

Answer: The only Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, in whom God became man and bore the penalty for sin himself.

Jesus Christ is “the eternal Son of God, in whom God became man.” Those words teach the biblical doctrine known as the “incarnation,” or the taking on of human nature by God the Son. As God the Son, Jesus has always existed. There was never a time when he wasn’t there with the Father and the Spirit, one God in three Persons. He is eternally God the Son, and his “Godness” (or divine nature) never came into existence or has ever changed in any way, nor will he ever change with respect to his deity. So when he became a man, don’t think of it as though he lost his deity or any part of his deity (because, after all, God has no “parts” to begin with!). The incarnation did not diminish God the Son at all.

So what happened in the incarnation? God the Son added human nature to himself, so that he who was God became fully God and fully man. He is not half God, half man. Nor is he a mixture of the two who is neither God nor man. He is fully God and fully man. And once the incarnation happened, it will never be undone. He remains fully God and fully man forever. Because it is only by being both God and man that he can reconcile God and man.

Suggested passage for family or personal reading: Philippians 2:1-11. What does this passage teach about who Jesus was before the incarnation? What does it tell us Jesus did in the incarnation? What will be the result for Jesus? How is he an example to us according to Paul in this passage?


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