21 - What Sort of Redeemer Is Needed to Bring Us Back to God?

Question 21

Christians practice catechesis to instruct believers on the foundational truths of the Christian faith. This time we ask the question, "What sort of Redeemer is needed to bring us back to God?”

Bryan Chapell, the Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois, and the Founder and Chairman of Unlimited Grace, writes:

Why do we need a Redeemer who is truly human? One reason is so that he can identify with us. The Bible says he was “in every respect . . . tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). He went through our experience, so he understands what we go through. He is our High Priest. He understands how we suffer. We understand that God can identify with us, but even as he identified with us—by having lived a hard life, by having been humiliated, and by having gone through humble circumstances—he did it with perfect obedience, not doubting the love of his Father and not wavering from his Father’s path.

That means that not only could Jesus identify with what we experience as humans; he could become the perfect substitute for us. In my sin, I’m separated from God. He’s holy; I am not. For God to be just and holy, he cannot identify with my sin. God had to provide a way for my sin to be put on another. He did that by having his Son come in human likeness, human form, but living perfectly so that he could be the substitute for my sin.

Jesus, perfect God, perfect man, is the Redeemer that we needed, and he accomplished all that was necessary by identifying with our humanity and doing what God had to do to save us.

Isaiah 9:6 (NASB)

6For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

We can respond to question twenty-minute with the following answer: One who is truly human and also truly God.

Our Savior had to be fully God in order to fulfill the Law, but He also had to be fully man, so He could be our true representative to God. Jesus—fully God and fully man—met the requirements to be our Redeemer. What stands out to you the most about this answer? Why?
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Jesus, our Redeemer, came as God and as a human. His humanity allowed Him to become our representative before the Father. His deity strengthened Him to live a perfect life and therefore become the perfect, atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Does the answer to this question impact your Christian walk? If so, how and why?
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Read through Isaiah 9:6. Take a moment to reflect on Jesus’ humanity and deity. Use the space below to respond. You can write out a prayer, list the implications of Jesus’ nature, or brainstorm ways you can apply the principle to your life.
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The Catechism can help you remember the core beliefs of Christianity. Take time this week to learn the answer to this question and memorize Isaiah 9:6. Allow God to transform your heart, mind, and actions through the truth that Jesus came as fully God and fully man.

 To learn more about New City Catechism or to download the app, click here

NOTE: A previous version of the New City Catechism featured video teaching from Joshua Harris, who has since renounced Christianity and his work with the New City Catechism.