Confession of Faith (1617) - Article XVI
Of the life, suffering, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, and of his again receiving his glory with his Father.
Of this we confess: That the Lord Jesus, in the time of His humiliation in the flesh, being about thirty-three years, did not only with words, but also by works and deeds, set us a holy, godly example, to be looked to as the Captain of the faith, by all believers, and followed in the regeneration; for in his youth He was subject to His father and mother. And when His time was fulfilled, He entered in full obedience toward His heavenly Father, on the office and ministry imposed upon Him, proclaimed unto them His Father's good pleasure, made the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, the blind to see, cleansed the lepers, cast out devils, raised the dead from their graves, forgave men their sins, and promised eternal life to those who believe in Him.
These things Christ did not do in the same manner and form as His apostles and others, who performed miracles through a power and gift only received, which had been conferred upon and given them by Christ. But such was not the case with Christ; for He Himself had all power in heaven and earth; so that He said to the two blind men: "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" And further: "That ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins." And still further: "I will raise them up at the last day; and I give unto them eternal life."
Thus the Lord Jesus completely fulfilled and accomplished the works of His Father, and shone as a clear heavenly light into this dark world, convincing the same of her evil works, and pointing them out to her; by which He incurred the hatred of the blinded scribes and Pharisees, who did not know the light of truth, and who, from hatred and envy, censured Him for all these divine deeds attributing them to the devil; and thus they delivered this innocent one into the hands of the unbelieving heathen, Pontius Pilate. They also examined this dumb Lamb with many severe threats, mocked Him, spat in His face, smote Him with their fists, scourged Him, wounded His head with a crown of thorns, and finally stripped Him and stretched Him naked on the cross, nailed His hands and feet thereon, and thus suspended Him, as the Prince and Captain of all malefactors, between two murderers. In His bitter thirst they gave Him vinegar to drink, mixed with gall; they pierced His side with a spear, so that blood and water flowed out therefrom. Thus He gave up the ghost with a loud voice, commending it into the hands of His Father. And when He had died, heaven and earth were convulsed by this precious death and resurrection; so that the sun lost his brightness, and darkness came over All the earth; the earth quaked; the vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and many bodies of the saints arose from their graves, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
And as in the time of His flesh, suffering and death, He showed that He had become man, so He also showed herein that this very man was also true God with His Father; and that He had the keys of the power of death and hell, that He could again raise up the broken temple of His body in three days, and had the power to lay down His life, and to take it up again; so that it was impossible that He should be held by death, or that His holy flesh should see corruption, but rose triumphantly from the dead, on the third day, by the glory of the Father, revealed Himself to His apostles and others, and miraculously appeared unto them, as they were assembled with doors closed, ate and drank with them, and for forty days spake with them of many things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Then, in the presence of the apostles, He was taken up to heaven by a cloud, and sat down on the right hand of His Almighty Father in heaven.
Thus the only begotten Son of God suffered, was crucified and put to death according to the flesh; but thereby was again glorified and made alive according to the spirit, and again fully received His previous divine glory, and His equality with the Father. He will now die no more, neither will death have any more dominion over Him; but He shall live and rule as a reigning King of kings, and Lord of lords over mount Zion and the house of Jacob, forever and ever.
Of the unblamable life and conversation of Christ, and how He was subject to His father and mother, read: Luke 2:51; John 8:46; Acts 1:1.
And after His time was fulfilled, how He entered on the ministry imposed upon Him, and performed many glorious deeds in His Father's name, read: Mark 1:15; Matthew 8: 16; 9:35; 11:5; 12:15; John 10; Acts 10:38; Isaiah 53:7; 1 Peter 2:24.
And how He, as a light in the world, testified of their dark and evil works, and thus fell into the hands of sinners, read: "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil" (John 7:7; 1:5; 3:19; Matthew 27:18.)
How Christ in the time of His humiliation in the flesh was obedient to His heavenly Father, read: "He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:8).
"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered" (Hebrews 5:8).
Of the suffering, death, and burial of Christ, read: Psalms 22:16; 60:9, 21; Isaiah 53:7; 63:3; Acts 8:32; Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19; Acts 3:15; 1 Corinthians 15:4, 20; Matthew 27:57; Isaiah 53:9.
Of the resurrection of Christ, read: Matthew 28:7; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:7; 1 Corinthians 15:4, 20; Acts 3:26; 10:40.
How Christ again received the divine glory and likeness which He had forsaken; and how He ascended unto heaven, read: "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18; Psalms 8:6).
"Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and. to enter into his glory?" (Luke 24:26).
"Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crowndest him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet" (Hebrews 2:7-9; John 17:5).
"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior," etc. (Acts 5:30, 31; Philippians 2:9; Acts 2:33, 36).
"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up," etc. (Acts 1:9, 10; Mark 16:19;. Luke 24:51).
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