Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Redemption Applied

Q. 29: How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ? 
Answer: We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his Holy Spirit. (WSC)

In the work of redemption, we move from the election of the Father, to the purchase of redemption by Christ, to the application of redemption by the Spirit. As 1 Peter 1:2 says, we are saved according to the “foreknowledge of the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood.” The blood of Christ and its benefits are applied to us by the Spirit. 

Of course, each person of the Trinity is involved in each work. Titus 3 mentions all of them when it says that the Father saved us by the “washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7). 

The Spirit brings life from Christ to us, regenerating and renewing us, being as it were a conduit that connects us to Christ and his benefits. Without this union with Christ, all of Christ's work avails us nothing. As John Calvin explains,
“so long as we are without Christ and separated from him, nothing which he suffered and did for the salvation of the human race is of the least benefit to us. To communicate to us the blessings which he received from the Father, he must become ours and dwell in us. Accordingly, he is called our Head, and the first-born among many brethren, while, on the other hand, we are said to be ingrafted into him and clothed with him, all which he possesses being, as I have said, nothing to us until we become one with him. And although it is true that we obtain this by faith, yet since we see that all do not indiscriminately embrace the offer of Christ which is made by the gospel, the very nature of the case teaches us to ascend higher, and inquire into the secret efficacy of the Spirit, to which it is owing that we enjoy Christ and all his blessings.” (Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.1.1)

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