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Question 42. Since then Christ died for us, why must we also die?

Answer. Our death is not a satisfaction for our sins, but only an abolishing of sin, and a passage into eternal life.



This answer is an explanation to the objection which we frequently hear made in the following form: He for whom another has died ought not him self to die, else God would seem to demand a double satisfaction for one offence. Christ now has died for us. Therefore, we ought not to die. Ans. It is conceded that we ought not to die for the sake of making satisfaction; but there are other causes why it becomes necessary for us to die. We do not die for the purpose of satisfying the justice of God, but that we may truly receive the benefits purchased by the death of another, that sin may be abolished, and a passage or transition be made unto eternal life. Our temporal death is then not a satisfaction for sin; but it is, 1.  An admonition of the remains of sin in us. 2. An admonition of the greatness of the evil of sin. 3. An abolishing of the remains of sin; and, lastly, a passage into eternal life; for the transition of the faithful to eternal life is effected by temporal death. Reply. Where the cause is removed, the effect can no longer remain in force. But the cause of death in us, which is sin, is taken away. Therefore the effect, which is death, ought also to be taken away. Ans. The effect is, indeed, taken away when the cause is wholly removed ; but in us the cause of death, which has respect to the abolishing of sin, is not entirely removed; although it be taken away as it respects the remission of sin. Or, we may reply, that sin, as far as it respects the guilt thereof, is taken away, but not as it respects the matter of sin which is not yet entirely abolished, but remains in us, to be removed gradually, that we may be required to exercise repentance, and be fervent in prayer, until, in the life to come, we be perfectly freed from all the remains of sin.

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