New City Catechism – Week 25

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Personal/Family
Worship Guide
“His Mercy is More”
(by Matt Boswell & Matt Papa)
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Q25: Why was it necessary for Christ, the Redeemer, to die?

A25: Yes, because Christ’s death on the cross fully paid the penalty for our sin, God graciously imputes Christ’s righteousness to us as if it were our own and will remember our sins no more.

I need to get something off my chest: the statement “It’s better to give than to receive” never really made sense to me. On one level, it does. I think most people enjoy giving to others and knowing it meets a need or a desire. However, I really like getting stuff too! I realize that makes me sound selfish, but before you rush to judgment, make sure there isn’t something inside you that might agree with me a little.

The best presents are the ones you didn’t expect or really even deserve. I can still remember fondly when my father bought an army figure I had begged him for. The local hardware store used to sell a few of them, and they carried one specific one I hadn’t seen at any other stores. I tried to explain (as an eight year old) how rare that figure was and how valuable that made it. None of my friends had it, so I would also be the envy of them.

I think I finally broke him down and out of the blue, he came home with it one day. It’s weird how those little things stick in our minds through so many years. I can recall there was nothing special about that day. I hadn’t done any extra chores. I didn’t express my love for my parents anymore that day than usual. And we didn’t even have a dog that I could have walked. He just came home with it and smiled as he handed me the bag.

The unexpected or undeserved gift is not a foreign concept to a follower of Christ. Paul makes it very clear in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that Christ’s sacrifice is an all-encompassing gift from God. It was nothing we deserved. In fact, we deserve quite the opposite. Paul emphasizes that point in Romans 5. In our helpless and completely sinful state, Christ died for our sins.

This gift extends to even the vilest of offenders. Paul called himself the chief of sinners. Even the most godly among us, though, must never take advantage of the grace of God. We’re reminded this week of how complete Christ’s death was. It covered all sins. It’s a gift we don’t deserve.

-Pastor Jon