This series will pivot from scripture to what I believe and hope you do also. Usually young people in some churches are required to complete a catechism, or courses in beliefs before they are permitted to join.
The catechism is from the Reformed Church of which the Presbyterian Church is one. Note that GiGi and I served in the Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, and the Catholic faiths and found more similarities than differences. But I really hope you can participate if you feel differently about these lessons.
The source of these lessons
The catechism and theological discussions are from “The Reformation Study Bible” which is Copyright © 2015 by Reformation Trust Publishing, a division of Ligonier Ministries.
“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright ©2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
Today’s reading is from the Westminster Catechism. In reading it you may think, “well I knew that.” The purpose of the catechism is to state the beliefs in simple but concrete forms.
- What is the chief and highest end of man?
Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever.
For example, you may not necessarily verbalize this, but you are learning skills both to amaze people and entertain. That is considered glorifying God because that is His will for you.
- How doth it appear that there is a God?
The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly that there is a God; but His Word and Spirit only, do sufficiently and effectually reveal Him unto men for their salvation.
- What is the Word of God?
The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience.
- How doth it appear that the Scriptures are the Word of God?
The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their majesty and purity; by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation: but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very Word of God.
You probably have noticed that I am using regular font for catechism entries and italics for everything else.
- What do the Scriptures principally teach?
The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.
WHAT MAN OUGHT TO BELIEVE CONCERNING GOD
- What do the Scriptures make known of God?
The Scriptures make known what God is, the persons in the Godhead, His decrees, and the execution of His decrees.
- What is God?
God is a Spirit, in and of Himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
- Are there more gods than one?
There is but one only, the living and true God.
- How many persons are there in the Godhead?
There be three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory; although distinguished by their personal properties.
- What are the personal properties of the three persons in the Godhead?
It is proper to the Father to beget the Son, and to the Son to be begotten of the Father, and to the Holy Ghost to proceed from the Father and the Son from all eternity.
- How doth it appear that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father?
The Scriptures manifest that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father, ascribing unto them such names, attributes, works, and worship, as are proper to God only.
- What are the decrees of God?
God’s decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of His will, whereby, from all eternity, He hath, for His own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time, especially concerning angels and men.
- What hath God especially decreed concerning angels and men?
God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of His mere love, for the praise of His glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory; and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof: and also according to His sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of His own will, (whereby He extendeth or withholdeth favor as He pleaseth), hath passed by, and fore-ordained the rest to dishonor and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of His justice.
- How doth God execute His decrees?
God executeth His decrees in the works of creation and providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will.
- What is the work of creation?
The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by the word of His power, make of nothing the world, and all things therein, for Himself, within the space of six days, and all very good.
- How did God create angels?
God created all the angels spirits, immortal, holy, excelling in knowledge, mighty in power, to execute His commandments, and to praise His name, yet subject to change.
- How did God create man?
After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female; formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground, and the woman of the rib of the man; endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls; made them after His own image, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, having the law of God written in their hearts and power to fulfill it, with dominion over the creatures; yet subject to fall.
There are only two “creeds” that you need to memorize. This is not to suggest you need to do it now. The best way is, most church services repeat one or the other, and that is the way I memorized them. They are printed in hymnals so you can read while the rest of the congregation says them.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
Born of the virgin Mary;
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven;
And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
The holy catholic * church; the communion of saints;
The forgiveness of sins;
The resurrection of the body;
And the life everlasting. Amen.
- The word “catholic” refers to the universal church.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And we believe in one holy catholic * and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
- What are God’s works of providence?
God’s works of providence are His most holy, wise, and powerful preserving, and governing all His creatures; ordering them, and all their actions, to His own glory.
- What is God’s providence toward the angels?
God by His providence permitted some of the angels, willfully and irrecoverably, to fall into sin and damnation, limiting and ordering that, and all their sins, to His own glory; and established the rest in holiness and happiness; employing them all, at His pleasure, in the administrations of His power, mercy, and justice.
- What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which He was created?
The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created, was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth; putting the creatures under His dominion, and ordaining marriage for his help; affording him communion with Himself; instituting the Sabbath; entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience, of which the tree of life was a pledge; and forbidding to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.
- Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created Him?
Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, through the temptation of Satan, transgressed the commandment of God, in eating the forbidden fruit, and thereby fell from the estate of innocency wherein they were created.
Occasionally I read something that I believe is worthy of interrupting the normal flow of this page. Today I read a post by Dave Perkins that effectively answered a question.
This is the classical complaint about Christianity and Judaism. David Hume gave it good voice.
“Epicurus’s old questions are still unanswered: Is he (God) willing to prevent evil, but not able? then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? then whence evil?”
C. S. Lewis knew this quote and asked this same question. If God is good and all powerful, why is there evil in the world? But when he set out to disprove Christianity by this sort of pursuit of answers, he ended up on the other end of the same question —
If there is no God, or He is impotent or doesn’t care, then why is there GOOD in the world? Why do humans know right from wrong and feel a burden to do right and not do wrong, if there is no God or if God can’t or won’t impose goodness? If that is the way things are, there should BE no goodness.
But there is a LOT of goodness, and it has been here for as long as there have been human beings. So, how to explain the consistency and universality of GOODNESS without God… that is the challenge. Lewis lost the challenge and had to admit God, and not much later he was a Christian.
Hume asked the great question but thought it was self-answering. It wasn’t.
Again, read these, don’t try to memorize them. I you wish to discuss them let me know.
- Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created Him?
Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, through the temptation of Satan, transgressed the commandment of God, in eating the forbidden fruit, and thereby fell from the estate of innocency wherein they were created.
- Did all mankind fall in that first transgression?
The covenant being made with Adam, as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity; all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression.
- Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.
- What is sin?
Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature.
- Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of that righteousness wherein he was created, and the corruption of his nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to all evil, and that continually; which is commonly called original sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions.
- How is original sin conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity?
Original sin is conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity by natural generation, so as all that proceed from them in that way are conceived and born in sin.
- What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?
The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God, His displeasure and curse; so as we are by nature children of wrath, bond slaves to Satan, and justly liable to all punishments in this world and that which is to come.
- What are the punishments of sin in this world?
The punishments of sin in this world, are either inward, as blindness of mind, a reprobate sense, strong delusions, hardness of heart, horror of conscience, and vile affections: or outward, as the curse of God upon the creatures for our sake; and all other evils that befall us in our bodies, names, estates, relations, and employments; together with death itself.
- What are the punishments of sin in the world to come?
The punishments of sin in the world to come, are everlasting separation from the comfortable presence of God, and most grievous torments in soul and body, without intermission, in hell-fire forever.
- Doth God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
God doth not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery, into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the covenant of works; but of His mere love and mercy delivereth His elect out of it, and bringeth them into an estate of salvation by the second covenant, commonly called the covenant of grace.
- Who is the redeemer of God’s elect?
The only redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever.
- How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to Himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.
- What offices doth Christ execute as our redeemer?
Christ, as our redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in His estate of humiliation and exaltation.
- How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?
Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by His Word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.
- How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
Christ executeth the office of a priest, in His once offering up of Himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us.
- How doth Christ execute the office of a king?
Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to Himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all His and our enemies.
- Wherein did Christ’s humiliation consist?
Christ’s humiliation consisted in His being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time.
- Wherein consisteth Christ’s exaltation?
Christ’s exaltation consisteth in His rising again from the dead on the third day, in ascending up into heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day.
- How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?
We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by His Holy Spirit.
- How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.
- What is effectual calling?
Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, He doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.
- What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life?
They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, sanctification, and the several benefits which, in this life, do either accompany or flow from them.
- What is justification?
Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.
- What is adoption?
Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges, of the sons of God.
- What is sanctification?
Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
- What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.
- What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?
The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves until the resurrection.
- What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
At the resurrection, believers, being raised up to glory, shall be openly acknowledged. and acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.
The Ten Commandments discussed below are the basis of religion. Even though the words may be different in other faiths, the fundamental beliefs of all religions that believe in God are the same. And where the discussion in the catechism seem overkill, they serve to train your neural network even more completely.
- What is the duty which God requireth of man?
The duty which God requireth of man is obedience to His revealed will.
- What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?
The rule which God at first revealed to man for His obedience was the moral law.
- Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?
The moral law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments.
- What is the sum of the Ten Commandments?
The sum of the Ten Commandments is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.
- What is the preface to the Ten Commandments?
The preface to the Ten Commandments is in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
- What doth the preface to the Ten Commandments teach us?
The preface to the Ten Commandments teacheth us that because God is the Lord, and our God, and redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all His commandments.
- Which is the first commandment?
The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- What is required in the first commandment?
The first commandment requireth us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and our God, and to worship and glorify Him accordingly.
- What is forbidden in the first commandment?
The first commandment forbiddeth the denying, or not worshipping and glorifying, the true God as God, and our God; and the giving of that worship and glory to any other, which is due to Him alone.
- What are we specially taught by these words, before me, in the first commandment?
These words, before me, in the first commandment teach us that God, who seeth all things, taketh notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God.
- Which is the second commandment?
The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me: and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
- What is required in the second commandment?
The second commandment requireth the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in His Word.
- What is forbidden in the second commandment?
The second commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in His Word.
- What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
The reasons annexed to the second commandment are, God’s sovereignty over us, His propriety in us, and the zeal He hath to His own worship.
- Which is the third commandment?
The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
- What is required in the third commandment?
The third commandment requireth the holy and reverent use of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works.
- What is forbidden in the third commandment?
The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning or abusing of anything whereby God maketh Himself known.
- What is the reason annexed to the third commandment?
The reason annexed to the third commandment is that however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape His righteous judgment.
- Which is the fourth commandment?
The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it.
- What is required in the fourth commandment?
The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as He hath appointed in His Word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to Himself.
- Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath?
From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week, ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath.
- How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?
The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.
- What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission, or careless performance, of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.
- What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments, His challenging a special propriety in the seventh, His own example, and His blessing the Sabbath day.
- Which is the fifth commandment?
The fifth commandment is, Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
- What is required in the fifth commandment?
The fifth commandment requireth the preserving the honor, and performing the duties, belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals.
- What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing anything against, the honor and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations.
- What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’s glory, and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment.
- Which is the sixth commandment?
The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.
- What is required in the sixth commandment?
The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others.
- What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.
- What is the seventh commandment?
The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- What is required in the seventh commandment?
The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbor’s chastity, in heart, speech, and behaviour.
- What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.
- Which is the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.
- What is required in the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.
- What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth, or may, unjustly hinder our own, or our neighbor’s, wealth, or outward estate.
- Which is the ninth commandment?
The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
- What is required in the ninth commandment?
The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbor’s good name, especially in witness bearing.
- What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
The ninth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbor’s good name.
- Which is the tenth commandment?
The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.
- What is required in the tenth commandment?
The tenth commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbor, and all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.
- What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
The tenth commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbor, and all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.
- Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
No mere man since the fall is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed.
- Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?
Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.
- What doth every sin deserve?
Every sin deserveth God’s wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come.
- What doth God require of us, that we may escape His wrath and curse, due to us for sin?
To escape the wrath and curse of God, due to us for sin, God requireth of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption.
- What is faith in Jesus Christ?
Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation, as He is offered to us in the gospel.
- What is repentance unto life?
Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.
- What are the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption?
The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption are, His ordinances, especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.
- How is the Word made effectual to salvation?
The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching, of the Word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.
- How is the Word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?
That the Word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer; receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.
- How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them; but only by the blessing of Christ, and the working of His Spirit in them that by faith receive them.
- What is a sacrament?
A sacrament is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ; wherein, by sensible signs, Christ and the benefits of the new covenant are represented, sealed, and applied to believers.
- Which are the sacraments of the New Testament?
The sacraments of the New Testament are baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.
- What is baptism?
Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.
- To whom is baptism to be administered?
Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to Him; but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.
- What is the Lord’s Supper?
The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, His death is showed forth; and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of His body and blood, with all His benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.
- What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper?
It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s Supper, that they examine themselves, of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body, of their faith to feed upon Him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.
- What is prayer?
Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of His mercies.
- What rule hath God given for our direction in prayer?
The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in prayer, but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which Christ taught His disciples, commonly called, The Lord’s prayer.
- What doth the preface of the Lord’s Prayer teach us?
The preface of the Lord’s Prayer, which is, “Our Father which art in heaven,” teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.
- What do we pray for in the first petition?
In the first petition, which is, “Hallowed be thy name,” we pray, that God would enable us and others to glorify Him in all that whereby He maketh Himself known, and that He would dispose all things to His own glory.
- What do we pray for in the second petition?
In the second petition, which is, “Thy kingdom come,” we pray that Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed; and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it; and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.
- What do we pray for in the third petition?
In the third petition, which is, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven,” we pray that God, by His grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to His will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
- What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
In the fourth petition, which is, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we pray that of God’s free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy His blessing with them.
- What do we pray for in the fifth petition?
In the fifth petition, which is, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” we pray that God, for Christ’s sake, would freely pardon all our sins; which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by His grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.
- What do we pray for in the sixth petition?
In the sixth petition, which is, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” we pray that God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.
- What doth the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer teach us?
The conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, which is, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen,” teacheth us to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise Him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to Him; and in testimony of our desire and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen.