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Golden Calves, The Incarnation and the Lord's Supper

December 5, 2010

Golden Calves, The Incarnation and the Lord’s Supper


Text: Selected Scriptures




Why “God with us?”

Why did God become man?




I. God became man because in eternity past God the Father devoted us to Himself.


“The gospel is God’s forethought, His blueprint to creation, not a mere afterthought because of sin,” (Graham Goldsworthy, According to Plan, p. 49).


“…all of us are inclined by nature (i.e., our fallen state) to hypocrisy, a kind of empty image of righteousness in place of righteousness itself abundantly satisfies us…” (John Calvin, Institutes, 1.1.2.).


“…all degenerate from the true knowledge of Him…vanity joined with pride can be detected in the fact that, in seeking God, miserable men do not rise above themselves as they should, but measure Him by the yardstick of their own carnal stupidity…thus out of curiosity they fly off into empty speculations. They do not therefore apprehend God as He offers Himself, but imagine Him as they have fashioned Him in their own presumption,” (John Calvin, Institutes, 1.4.1).


“Even though they are compelled to recognize some god, they strip him of glory by taking away his power…so they, by fashioning a dead and empty idol, are truly said to deny God,” (John Calvin, Institutes, 1.4.2.)

“continually depart from the true God and forsake Him, and, having left Him, you have nothing left except an accursed idol,” (John Calvin, Institutes, 1.4.3).


“man’s nature…is a perpetual factory of idols,” (1.11.8.). “whatever men learn of God from images is futile, indeed false,” (John Calvin, Institutes, 1.11.5.).


II. God became man because the justice of God requires that man, who has sinned, must pay for his sin.


“Why must He (Jesus) be a true and righteous man?”


“He must be a true man because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should pay for sin. He must be a righteous man because one who himself is a sinner cannot pay for others,” (Q. 16, Heidelberg Catechism).


“When our Second Adam fasted instead of feasting and ignored the serpent’s invitation to glory by interposing God’s Word, His resistance to Satan was credited to us as if we were there with Him in the wilderness of temptation just as we were there with Adam in his disobedience. Every victory over doubt, temptation, despair, and compromise is credited to each believer. We are not only saved by Christ’s death, but by His thirty-three years of perfect conformity to God’s will in heart, soul, mind, and strength. This means that there really was and is only one truly devoted 'victorious Christian,' and He devotes us to God not by showing us how to imitate His devotion, but actually and objectively devotes us to His Father by imputing to us His obedience in life and in death,” (Michael Horton, “Heaven Came Down: The Mission of Christ”).


“It is Christ’s commitment-His devotion, His obedience, His fervor, His relationship with God-that secures our salvation. Because He is devoted to God and all that belongs to Him is devoted to God, we too belong to God and will never be devoted to destruction.”




“When one does not preach faith and does not let our incorporation in Christ and our becoming a branch in Him be the matter of first importance, all the world relies on its good works,” (Martin Luther, What Luther Says, p. 741).


“We are so weak that we more readily follow the feeling of sin and death than this laughter and joy of the Gospel,” (Martin Luther, What Luther Says, p. 740).


“We have determined, therefore, that sacraments are truly named the testimonies of God’s grace and are like seals of the good will that he feels toward us, which by attesting that good will to us, sustain, nourish, confirm, and increase our faith,” (John Calvin, Institutes, 4.14.7).


© John Fonville

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