Vos Group #40 — Vicariousness Defined

We continue our #VosGroup series by opening pages 165–166 of Vos’ book Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments to consider the definition of vicariousness. Orthodox Christianity recognizes the vicariousness of Christ’s life and death for sinners, but what does that mean precisely? Geerhardus Vos explores several possibilities and offers the best biblical option for understanding how Jesus lived, suffered, and died for his people.

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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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Johan Villamil

12 months ago

Dear brothers in Christ,

Thank you for taking the time to make this program, it has been a blessing to me and it is giving me a beter insight and understanding of the word of God.

I have had a question concerning this matter of the vicarious sacrifice of our Lord and Savior.

The reformed tradition as I understand it, divides this theme into 2 subjects as you in this episode named: passive obedience and active obedience, focusing on the passive obedience, named the substitutive sacrifice I have a question regarding one of the questions that we find in the catechism of Heidelberg, question number 17 which asks:

17 Q. Why must the mediator also be true God?
A. So that the mediator,
by the power of his divinity,
might bear the weight of God’s wrath in his humanity
and earn for us
and restore to us
righteousness and life.1
1 Isa. 53; John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:21

My question is regarding the word “must” formulated in the question, which talks of a “necessity” of the divine power helping the humanity of the Lord to bear God’s wrath.

Does Vos say anything about this necessity, this must of the divine nature of the Lord having part in the passive obedience in the vicarious substitution?

Thank you Brothers and God bless you all.


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