Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 18

  • Q. 46.  How dost thou understand these words, “He ascended into heaven”?
    A.  That Christ, in sight of His disciples, was taken up from earth into heaven;1 and that He continues there for our interest,2 until He comes again to judge the quick and the dead.

  • Q. 47.  Is not Christ then with us even to the end of the world, as He hath promised?
    A.  Christ is very man and very God; with respect to His human nature, He is no more on earth;3 but with respect to His Godhead, majesty, grace, and spirit, He is at no time absent from us.4

  • Q. 48.  But if His human nature is not present wherever His Godhead is, are not then these two natures in Christ separated from one another?
    A.  Not at all, for since the Godhead is illimitable and omnipresent,5 it must necessarily follow that the same is beyond the limits of the human nature He assumed,6 and yet is nevertheless in this human nature and remains personally united to it.

  • Q. 49.  Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension into heaven?
    A.  First, that He is our advocate in the presence of His Father in heaven;7 secondly, that we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that He, as the Head, will also take up to Himself, us, His members;8 thirdly, that He sends us His Spirit as an earnest,9 by whose power we seek the things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God, and not things on earth.10

  1. Acts 1:9. Mark 16:19.

  2. Heb. 4:14. Rom. 8:34. Eph. 4:10.

  3. Acts 3:21. John 3:13. John 16:28.

  4. Mat. 28:20.

  5. Acts 7:49. Jer. 23:24.

  6. Mat. 28:20. John 16:28. John 17:11. John 3:13.

  7. Heb. 9:24. 1 John 2:1. Rom. 8:34.

  8. John 14:2-3. Eph. 2:6.

  9. John 14:16. 2 Cor. 1:22. 2 Cor. 5:5.

  10. Col. 3:1. Phil. 3:20.

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