The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 29. How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?
A. We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his Holy Spirit.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.29. How are we made to take part in the redemption Christ bought?
A. We take part in the redemption Christ bough when the Holy Spirit effectively applies it to us.
1. What do we mean by the word "redemption" in this particular question?
The word redemption in this question could be labelled as the complete doctrine of salvation that is revealed in the Scripture. The "broad" use of the word is in use here. Warfield states, "He died as a ransom certainly; but the salvation purchased by this ransom-price works itself out steadily in its successive stages unto the very end." (Biblical Foundations, p.244).
2. How was this redemption purchased?
This redemption was purchased by the precious blood of Christ.
(1 Peter 1:19)
3. Is it not possible in some way for the believer to make of himself a partaker?
No, it is impossible for the believer to make of himself a partaker of redemption. The Bible teaches that we are totally unable to save ourselves, much less to deserve it.
4. By whom is our redemption applied?
Our redemption is applied by the Holy Spirit. It is his effectual working on us that brings it to pass.
5. How does this question help to make complete the doctrine of the Trinity?
It helps to make the doctrine of the Trinity complete by showing the work of the Holy Spirit in the work of redemption. We have seen how the Father ordains, the Son purchases and now the Spirit applies. Spurgeon had a favourite saying for the end of many of his sermons:
"We have heard the preacher,
Truth by him has been made known;
But we need a greater Teacher
From the everlasting Throne.
Application is the work of God alone."