Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 47

November 23, 2014

47. Lord’s Day

Q. 122. Which is the first petition?
A. “Hallowed be thy name”; that is, grant us, first, rightly to know thee, [a] and to sanctify, glorify and praise thee, [b] in all thy works, in which thy power, wisdom, goodness, justice, mercy and truth, are clearly displayed; and further also, that we may so order and direct our whole lives, our thoughts, words and actions, that thy name may never be blasphemed, but rather honoured and praised on our account. [c]


Westminster Confession, week 47

November 22, 2014

Chapter 29: Of the Lord’s Supper

1: Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein He was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of His body and blood, called the Lord’s Supper, to be observed in His Church, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of Himself in His death; the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in Him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto Him; and, to be a bond and pledge of their communion with Him, and with each other, as members of His mystical body.[539]

2: In this sacrament, Christ is not offered up to His Father; nor any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sins of the quick or dead;[540] but only a commemoration of that one offering up of Himself, by Himself, upon the cross, once for all: and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God, for the same:[541] so that the popish sacrifice of the mass (as they call it) is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one, only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of His elect.[542]

3: The Lord Jesus has, in this ordinance, appointed His ministers to declare His word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants;[543] but to none who are not then present in the congregation.[544]

4: Private masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest, or any other alone;[545] as likewise, the denial of the cup to the people,[546] worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about, for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use; are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ.[547]


Canons of Dordt, week 47

November 21, 2014

The Fifth Head of Doctrine: The Perseverance of the Saints

Having set forth the orthodox teaching, the Synod rejects the errors of those

I

Who teach that the perseverance of true believers is not an effect of election or a gift of God produced by Christ’s death, but a condition of the new covenant which man, before what they call his “peremptory” election and justification, must fulfill by his free will.

For Holy Scripture testifies that perseverance follows from election and is granted to the chosen by virtue of Christ’s death, resurrection, and intercession: The chosen obtained it; the others were hardened (Rom. 11:7); likewise, He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not, along with him, grant us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ Jesus who died — more than that, who was raised — who also sits at the right hand of God, and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? (Rom. 8:32-35).

Having set forth the orthodox teaching, the Synod rejects the errors of those

II

Who teach that God does provide the believer with sufficient strength to persevere and is ready to preserve this strength in him if he performs his duty, but that even with all those things in place which are necessary to persevere in faith and which God is pleased to use to preserve faith, it still always depends on the choice of man’s will whether or not he perseveres.

For this view is obviously Pelagian; and though it intends to make men free it makes them sacrilegious. It is against the enduring consensus of evangelical teaching which takes from man all cause for boasting and ascribes the praise for this benefit only to God’s grace. It is also against the testimony of the apostle: It is God who keeps us strong to the end, so that we will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:8).


Larger Catechism, week 47

November 20, 2014

Q. 182. How doth the Spirit help us to pray?
A. We not knowing what to pray for as we ought, the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, by enabling us to understand both for whom, and what, and how prayer is to be made; and by working and quickening in our hearts (although not in all persons, nor at all times, in the same measure) those apprehensions, affections, and graces which are requisite for the right performance of that duty.[1167]

Q. 183. For whom are we to pray?
A. We are to pray for the whole church of Christ upon earth;[1168] for magistrates,[1169] and ministers;[1170] for ourselves,[1171] our brethren,[1172] yea, our enemies;[1173] and for all sorts of men living,[1174] or that shall live hereafter;[1175] but not for the dead,[1176] nor for those that are known to have sinned the sin unto death.[1177]

Q. 184. For what things are we to pray?
A. We are to pray for all things tending to the glory of God,[1178] the welfare of the church,[1179] our own[1180] or others, good;[1181] but not for anything that is unlawful.[1182]

Q. 185. How are we to pray?
A. We are to pray with an awful apprehension of the majesty of God,[1183] and deep sense of our own unworthiness,[1184] necessities,[1185] and sins;[1186] with penitent,[1187] thankful,[1188] and enlarged hearts;[1189] with understanding,[1190] faith,[1191] sincerity,[1192] fervency,[1193] love,[1194] and perseverance,[1195] waiting upon him,[1196] with humble submission to his will.[1197]


Belgic Confession, week 21

November 19, 2014

Article 30: The Government of the Church

We believe that this true church ought to be governed according to the spiritual order that our Lord has taught us in his Word. There should be ministers or pastors to preach the Word of God and adminster the sacraments. There should also be elders and deacons, along with the pastors, to make up the council of the church. By this means true religion is preserved; true doctrine is able to take its course; and evil men are corrected spiritually and held in check, so that also the poor and all the afflicted may be helped and comforted according to their need. By this means everything will be done well and in good order in the church, when such persons are elected who are faithful and are chosen according to the rule that Paul gave to Timothy.[75]

Article 31: The Officers of the Church

We believe that ministers of the Word of God, elders, and deacons ought to be chosen to their offices by a legitimate election of the church, with prayer in the name of the Lord, and in good order, as the Word of God teaches. So everyone must be careful not to push himself forward improperly, but he must wait for God’s call, so that he may be assured of his calling and be certain that he is chosen by the Lord. As for the ministers of the Word, they all have the same power and authority, no matter where they may be, since they are all servants of Jesus Christ, the only universal bishop, and the only head of the church. Moreover, to keep God’s holy order from being violated or despised, we say that everyone ought, as much as possible, to hold the ministers of the Word and elders of the church in special esteem, because of the work they do, and be at peace with them, without grumbling, quarreling, or fighting.

Article 32: The Order and Discipline of the Church

We also believe that although it is useful and good for those who govern the churches to establish and set up a certain order among themselves for maintaining the body of the church, they ought always to guard against deviating from what Christ, our only Master, has ordained for us. Therefore we reject all human innovations and all laws imposed on us, in our worship of God, which bind and force our consciences in any way. So we accept only what is proper to maintain harmony and unity and to keep all in obedience to God. To that end excommunication, with all it involves, according to the Word of God, is required.


Shorter Catechism, week 46

November 18, 2014

Q. 94. What is baptism?
A. Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,[193] 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.[194]

Q. 95. To whom is Baptism to be administered?
A. 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;[195] but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.[196]


Children’s Catechism, week 46

November 17, 2014

Q. 126. What sign is used in baptism?
A. The washing with water.

Q. 127. What does this signify?
A. That we are cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ.

Q. 128. In whose name are we baptized?
A. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 46

November 16, 2014

46. Lord’s Day

Q. 120. Why has Christ commanded us to address God thus: “Our Father”?
A. That immediately, in the very beginning of our prayer, he might excite in us a childlike reverence for, and confidence in God, which are the foundation of our prayer: namely, that God is become our Father in Christ, and will much less deny us what we ask of him in true faith, than our parents will refuse us earthly things. [a]

Q. 121. Why is it here added, “Which art in heaven”?
A. Lest we should form any earthly conceptions of God’s heavenly majesty, [a] and that we may expect from his almighty power all things necessary for soul and body. [b]


Westminster Confession, week 46

November 15, 2014

Chapter 28: Of Baptism

4: Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,[531] but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.[532]

5: Although it is a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance,[533] yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it:[534] or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.[535]

6: The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered;[536] yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God’s own will, in His appointed time.[537]

7: The sacrament of Baptism is but once to be administered unto any person.[538]


Canons of Dordt, week 46

November 14, 2014

The Fifth Head of Doctrine: The Perseverance of the Saints

Article 15: Contrasting Reactions to the Teaching of Perseverance

This teaching about the perseverance of true believers and saints, and about their assurance of it — a teaching which God has very richly revealed in his Word for the glory of his name and for the comfort of the godly and which he impresses on the hearts of believers — is something which the flesh does not understand, Satan hates, the world ridicules, the ignorant and the hypocrites abuse, and the spirits of error attack. The bride of Christ, on the other hand, has always loved this teaching very tenderly and defended it steadfastly as a priceless treasure; and God, against whom no plan can avail and no strength can prevail, will ensure that she will continue to do this. To this God alone, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be honor and glory forever. Amen.


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