Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of Robert Barclay > Catechism and Confession of Faith > Chapter 3


Of Jesus Christ being manifest in the Flesh, the Use and End of it.

Question. What are the Scriptures which do most observably prophesie of Christ's Appearance?

A. The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee of thy Brethren, like unto me, unto him ye shall hearken [Deut. 18:15].

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a Sign: Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his Name Immanuel [Isa. 7:14].

Q. Was not Jesus Christ in being before he appeared in the Flesh? What clear Scriptures prove this, against such as erroneously assert the contrary?

A. But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the Thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be Ruler in Israel, whose Goings forth have been from of Old, from Everlasting [Mic. 5:2].

In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; The same was in the Beginning with God: All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made [John 1:1-3].

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was I am [John 8:58].

And now, O Father, Glorifie thou me with thine own self, with the Glory which I had with thee before the World was [John 17:5].

And to make all Men see what is the Fellowship of the Mystery, which from the beginning of the World hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ [Eph. 3:9].

For by him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in Earth, visible and invisible, whether they be Thrones, or Dominions, or Principalities, or Powers: All things were created by him and for him [Col. 1:16].

God hath in these last Days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed Heir of all things, by whom also he made the Worlds [Heb. 1:2].

Q. These are very clear, that even the World was created by Christ; But what Scriptures prove the Divinity of Christ against such as falsly deny the same?

A. And the Word was God [John 1:1].

Whose are the Fathers, and of whom as concerning the Flesh Christ came, who is over all God, blessed forever, Amen [Rom. 9:5].

Who being in the Form of God thought it no Robbery to be equal with God [Phil. 2:6].

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an Understanding that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ: This is the true God, and Eternal Life [1 John 5:20].

Q. What are the Glorious Names the Scripture gives unto Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God?

A. And his Name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace [Isa. 9:6].

Who is the Image of the Invisible God, the First born of every Creature [Col. 1:15].

Who being the Brightness of his Glory and the express Image of his Person (or more properly, according to the Greek, of his Substance) [Heb. 1:3].

And he was cloathed with a Vesture dipt in Blood, and his Name is called the Word of God [Rev. 19:13].

Q. After what manner was the Birth of Christ?

A. Now, the Birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph (before they come together) she was found with Child of the Holy Ghost [Matt. 1:18].

And the Angel said unto her, Fear not Mary, for thou hast found Favour with God: And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy Womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call his Name Jesus: He shall be Great, and shall be called The Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto him the Throne of his Father David. Then said Mary unto the Angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a Man? And the Angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: Therefore also that Holy Thing, that shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God [Luke 1:30-32,34-35].

Q. Was Jesus Christ, who was born of the Virgin Mary, and supposed to be the Son of Joseph, a True and Real Man?

A. Forasmuch as the Children are Partakers of Flesh and Blood, he also himself took part of the same, that through Death he might destroy him that had the Power of Death, that is, the Devil [Heb. 2:14].

For verily, he took not on him the Nature of Angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham; wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his Brethren, that he might be a Merciful and Faithful High Priest, &c. [Heb. 2:16-17].

For we have not an High Priest, which cannot be touched with the feeling of our Infirmities; but was in all Points tempted as we are, yet without Sin [Heb. 4:15].

And the Gift by Grace, which is by one Man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. [Rom. 5:15]

But now is Christ risen from the Dead, and become the First Fruits of them that slept; for since by Man came Death, by Man came also the Resurrection of the Dead [1 Cor. 15:20-21].

Q. After what manner doth the Scripture assert the Conjunction and Unity of the Eternal Son of God in and with the Man Christ Jesus?

A. And the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his Glory, the Glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father) full of Grace and Truth [John 1:14].

For he whom God hath sent, speaketh the Words of God; for God giveth not the Spirit by Measure unto him [John 3:34].

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil; for God was with him [Acts 10:38].

For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell [Col. 1:19].

For in him dwelleth all the Fulness of the Godhead bodily [Col. 2:9].

In him are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge [Col. 2:3].

Q. For what End did Christ appear in the World?

A. For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the Flesh, God sending his Son in the likeness of sinful Flesh, and for Sin condemned Sin in the Flesh [Rom. 8:3].

For this Purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the Works of the Devil. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our Sins [1 John 3:8,5].

Q. Was Jesus Christ really Crucified and Raised again?

A. For I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our Sins, according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he arose again the third day, according to the Scriptures [1 Cor. 15:3-4].

Q. What End do the Scriptures ascribe unto the Coming, Death and Sufferings of Christ?

A. For mine Eyes have seen thy Salvation, which thou hast prepared before the Face of all People, A Light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel [Luke 2:30-32].

Whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation through Faith in his Blood, to declare his Righteousness for the Remission of Sins that are past, through the forbearance of God [Rom. 3:25].

And walk in Love as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an Offering and a Sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling Savour [Eph. 5:2].

And having made Peace through the Blood of this Cross by him, to reconcile all things unto himself by him, I say, whether they be things in Earth or things in Heaven. And you that were sometimes alienated, and Enemies in your minds by Wicked Works; yet now hath he reconciled in the Body of his Flesh through Death, to present you Holy, Unblamable, and Unreprovable in his Sight [Col. 1:20-22].

Neither by the Blood of Goats and Calves, but by his own Blood he entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained Eternal redemption for us. How much more shall the Blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offer'd himself without Spot to God, purge your Consciences from dead Works, to serve the Living God [Heb. 9:12,14].

For Christ also hath once suffered for Sins, the Just for the Unjust (that he might bring us to God) being put to Death in the Flesh, but quickened by the Spirit [1 Pet. 3:18].

Hereby perceive we the Love of God, because he laid down his Life for us [1 John 3:16].

And for this Cause he is the Mediator of the new Testament, that by means of Death for the Redemption of Transgressions that were under the first Testament, they which are called might receive the Promise of the Eternal Inheritance [Heb. 9:15].

Q. Is Christ then the Mediator?

A. For there is One God, and One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time [1 Tim. 2:5].

Q. Was not Christ the Mediator until he appeared, and was Crucified in the Flesh?

A. He is the Lamb that was slain from the Foundation of the World [Rev. 5:12; 13:8].

Q. Is it needful then to believe that the Saints of old did partake of Christ, as then present with, and nourishing them?

A. Moreover, Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our Fathers were under the Cloud, and all passed through the Sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the Cloud and in the Sea; and did all eat the same spiritual Meat, and did all drink the same spiritual Drink, (for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ) [1 Cor. 10:1-4].

Q. But whereas most of these Scriptures before mentioned do hold forth, that the Death and Sufferings of Christ were appointed for the destroying, removing and remitting of Sin? Did he so do it while he was outwardly upon Earth, as not to leave any thing for himself to do in us, nor for us to do in and by his Strength?

A. For even hereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an Example, that ye should follow his Steps [1 Pet. 2:21].

Whereof I Paul am made a Minister, who now rejoice in my Sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the Afflictions of Christ in my Flesh for his Body's sake, which is the Church [Col. 1:23-24].

Always bearing about in the Body the Dying of the Lord Jesus, that the Life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our Body. For we which live, are alway delivered unto Death for Jesus's sake, that the Life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal Flesh [2 Cor. 4:10-11].

And that he dyed for all, that they which live should not hence-forth live unto themselves, but unto him that dyed for them, and also rose again [2 Cor. 5:15].

That I may know him, and the Power of his Resurrection, and the Fellowship of his Sufferings, being made conformable to his Death [Phil. 3:10].

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