The Baltimore Catechism
Revised Edition (1941)

Lesson 7
The Incarnation

"I believe ... in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary ..."
77. Did God abandon man after Adam fell into sin?
God did not abandon man after Adam fell into sin, but promised to send into the world a Saviour to free man from his sins and to reopen to him the gates of heaven.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting. (John 3:16)

78. Who is the Saviour of all men?
The Saviour of all men is Jesus Christ.

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, bearing witness in his own time. (I Timothy 2:5-6)

79. What is the chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ?
The chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus Christ is that He is God made man.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

80. Why is Jesus Christ God?
Jesus Christ is God, because He is the only Son of God, having the same Divine nature as His Father.

And the high priest said to him, "I adjure thee by the living God that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus said to him, "Thou has said it." (Matthew 26:63)

81. Why is Jesus Christ man?
Jesus Christ is man, because He is the son of the Blessed Virgin Mary and has a body and soul like ours.

82. Is Jesus Christ more than one Person?
No, Jesus Christ is only one Person; and that Person is the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

83. How many natures has Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ has two natures: the nature of God and the nature of man.

84. Was the Son of God always man?
The Son of God was not always man, but became man at the time of the Incarnation.

But when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, that he might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)

85. What is meant by the Incarnation?
By the Incarnation is meant that the Son of God, retaining His Divine nature, took to Himself a human nature, that is, a body and soul like ours.

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; and therefore the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)

86. How was the Son of God made man?
The Son of God was conceived and made man by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

87. When was the Son of God conceived and made man?
The Son of God was conceived and made man on Annunciation Day, the day on which the Angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she was to be the Mother of God.

88. Is Saint Joseph the father of Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ had no human father, but Saint Joseph was the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the guardian, or foster father, of Christ.

89. When was Christ born?
Christ was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Christmas Day, in Bethlehem, more than nineteen hundred years ago.

89a. How many years did Jesus Christ live on earth?
Jesus Christ lived on earth about thirty-three years.

89b. How did Jesus Christ spend His life on earth?
Jesus Christ spent His childhood, youth and early manhood in the home of His mother Mary and His foster father Joseph, working as a carpenter in the village of Nazareth in Palestine; He spent His last years in the work of His public ministry.

89c. What work did Jesus Christ perform in the course of His public ministry?
In the course of His public ministry Jesus Christ gave us an example of great virtue, preached the message of salvation, proved the truth of His message through miracles and prophecies, and established the Church with its sacrifice and sacraments for the salvation of men until the end of time.
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