18 May 2003
Ephesians 1:4-7, Titus 3:4-7, Galatians 3:21 & Romans 3:20-22
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
A. God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into the estate of salvation, by a Redeemer
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.20. Did God leave all mankind to die in sin and misery?
A. From all eternity and merely because it pleased Him God chose some to have everlasting life. These He freed from sin and misery by a covenant of grace and brought them to salvation by a redeemer.
1. Whom does God bring into a state of salvation?
God brings all his elect people into an estate of salvation to which he has chosen them.
2. Who are the elect people of God?
The elect people of God are those whom He has chosen to eternal life, chosen from all eternity out of His good pleasure.
3. What do we mean when we use the term “out of His good pleasure?”
We mean that even though man is lost and fallen, deserving nothing from God, it was God’s good pleasure to make provision for some men in what is called the covenant of grace.
4. How does God bring His elect into an estate of salvation?
God brings His elect to salvation by a Redeemer, (Acts 4:12).
5. What is the covenant of grace?
It is a covenant of eternal life and salvation to sinners, to be given them in a way of free grace and mercy. It is an arrangement between God and His elect.
6. Are there conditions to the covenant of grace?
Yes, there is a condition. The condition is faith, by which the elect have an active interest in Jesus Christ, (John 3:16, Acts 16:31).
7. What is the promise inferred in the covenant of Grace?
The promise is that God will cause His Holy Spirit to dwell in the elect and to work in them, creating the faith and virtue that He desires. In other words, what God requires, He gives. (J.B. Green)