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New City Catechism - Question 27
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Posted by Paul Coumos, Cornerstone Elder

 

New City Catechism - Question 27

 

Q27:  Are all people, just as they were lost through Adam, saved through Christ?

A:  No, only those who are elected by God and united to Christ by faith. Nevertheless God in his mercy demonstrates common grace even to those who are not elect, by restraining the effects of sin and enabling works of culture for human well-being.

Kids' Answer:

No, only those who are elected by God and united to Christ by faith.

 

SCRIPTURE TO MEMORIZE:

1 John 5:11–12

"And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."

 

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES TO READ: 

John 1:10-13; John 3:16-18; Acts 4:12

 

LIFE APPLICATION:

Are all people saved through Christ? The answer to Question 27 of the NCC is given in terms of the Biblical truth that there are really only two people groups in the world: the elect and the non-elect. The elect are God’s “chosen ones,” those whom He calls out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pet 2:9-10). They respond to His call by placing their faith in Jesus Christ (Phil 3:9) and trusting fully and only in His finished work on the cross (Col 2:13-14). The non-elect do not respond to His call and do not put their faith and trust in Christ. They remain in their unbelief and die in their sins (John 8:24). No small difficulty arises in properly understanding these two terms as we wrestle to bring together the Scriptures which speak both of God’s sovereignty (elected by God) and man’s responsibility (united to Christ by faith). Yet, what is perfectly clear from the Bible is this truth: Only those who put their faith in Jesus Christ are saved - and sadly, that is not everyone. “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). What could be clearer than that?

 

Now in a world where there are believers and unbelievers, there are bound to be conflicts - conflicts of faith, conflicts of morals, and conflicts of relationships. But God has not left man to fend for himself in the midst of these conflicts. Instead, He has placed limits on man’s depravity in multiple ways (common grace). First, unbelieving man has the “work of the law” written on his heart so that he internally knows right from wrong (Rom 2:14-15). Man’s conscience convicts him of wrongdoing when he violates this internal law. Societal norms based on this innate knowledge of God and His ways are found in every culture throughout the world. Secondly, since that inner law is not completely understood and is suppressed by man’s sinful heart (Rom 1:18-20), God has given a more complete understanding of His ways in His Word, the Bible (special revelation), to further instruct and restrain the sinner. He has given us His Law and declared that its lawful use is to restrain the evildoer and thus protect the righteous (1 Tim 1:8-11). Much of western civilization was built on the foundation of this Law, and civil rulers themselves are called “ministers of God,” authorized to punish the evildoer and protect those who do right - as God defines right and wrong (Rom 13:1-4; 1 Pet 2:13-14). And finally, God superintends the whole of His creation to preserve, protect, and provide for all humankind, moving history towards His eternal purpose of manifesting His glory. In His compassionate loving-kindness, God has enabled “works of culture for human well-being,” as the NCC describes it. All people were created in God’s image, and even though that image in man has been tainted by man’s fall into sin, all people can still contribute their creativity and resourcefulness for the benefit, beautification, and preservation of the earth and the larger society. This in itself brings glory to God.

 

Culture has been described as “religion externalized,” that is, faith worked out in a society. To change a nation’s culture then, we must work to change that nation’s faith (1 Tim 2:2). What will be the fruit of sowing the seeds of the Gospel into the nation in which we live? Let the Gospel enlighten your prayers, your witness, your work, and your expectation!

 

CONNECTION TO CORNERSTONE’S STATEMENT OF FAITH: 

 

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men of sin, regenerate the believing sinner, to indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service. (Jn. 16:7-14; Jn. 3:5-7; Titus 3:5; I Cor. 6:19; Eph.1: 13; Jn.16: 13; Rom. 8:26,27; II Cor. 3:6)

 

The Role of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the agent of the new birth. At the moment of conversion/ salvation, a believer is regenerated, indwelt, sealed and baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the strength and guide of the believer's life. The believer is commanded to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit, which is yielding to the control of God in our lives. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is the Biblical prescription for power in serving Christ. (Jn. 3:5-7; 16:13; I Cor. 6:19; 12:13; Eph. 4:4-6; 5:18)

 

Mankind

We believe that man was created in the image of God, but fell into sin, and is therefore lost, and that only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained. (Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:7, 22; 3:1-6; Rom. 3:9-12, 23; 5:12, 18; 6:23; Jn. 3:3, 5-7)



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