January 15, 2007

Zacharias Ursinus (1534–1583) on Christ's Satisfaction

4) Objection. 4. If Christ made satisfaction for all, then all ought to be saved. , But all are not saved. Therefore, he did not make a perfect satisfaction.

Answer. Christ satisfied for all, as it respects the sufficiency of the satisfaction which he made, but not as it respects the application thereof; for he fulfilled the law in a two-fold respect. First, by his own righteousness; and secondly, by making satisfaction for our sins, each of which is most perfect. But the satisfaction is made ours by an application, which is also two-fold; the former of which is made by God, when he justifies us on account of the merit of his Son, and brings it to pass that we cease from sin; the latter is accomplished by us through faith. For we apply unto ourselves, the merit of Christ, when by a true faith, we are fully persuaded that God for the sake of the satisfaction of his Son, remits unto us our sins. Without this application, the satisfaction of Christ is of no benefit to us.
Zacharias Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, p. 215.

Ursinus, in the last sentence above, sounds like Calvin in his Institutes 3.1.1:
And the first thing to be attended to is, that so long as we are without Christ and separated from him, nothing which he suffered and did for the salvation of the human race is of the least benefit to us.

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