Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 18

Question 46: What do you mean by saying, “He ascended to heaven”?

That Christ while His disciples watched, was taken up from the earth into heaven (1) and remains there on our behalf (2) until He comes again to judge the living and the dead (3).

1 – Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11
2 – Rom. 8:34; Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 7:23-25; 9:24
3 – Acts 1:11

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Question 47: But isn’t Christ with us until the end of the world as He promised us?(1)

Christ is true human and true God. In His human nature Christ is not now on earth (2); but in His divinity, majesty, grace, and Spirit He is never absent from us (3).

1 – Matt. 28:20
2 – Acts 1:9-11; 3:19-21
3 – Matt. 28:18-20; John 14:16-19

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Question 48: If His humanity is not present wherever His divinity is, then aren’t the two natures of Christ separated from each other?

Certainly not. Since divinity is not limited and is present everywhere(1), it is evident that Christ’s divinity is surely beyond the bounds of the humanity that has been taken on, but at the same time His divinity is in and remains personally united to His humanity (2).

1 – Jer. 23:23-24; Acts 7:48-49 (Isa. 66:1)
2 – John 1:14; 3:13; Col. 2:9

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Question 49. How does Christ’s ascension to heaven benefit us?

First, He is our advocate in heaven in the presence of His Father (1).

Second, we have our own flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that Christ our head will also take us, His members, up to Himself (2).

Third, He sends His Spirit to us on earth as a corresponding pledge (3). By the Spirit’s power we seek not earthly things but the things above, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand (4).

1 – Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1
2 – John 14:2; 17:24; Eph. 2:4-6
3 – John 14:16; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5
4 – Col. 3:1-4

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