Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 21

May 24, 2015

21. Lord’s Day

Q. 54. What believest thou concerning the “holy catholic church” of Christ?
A. That the Son of God [a] from the beginning to the end of the world, [b] gathers, defends, and preserves [c] to himself by his Spirit and word, [d] out of the whole human race, [e] a church chosen to everlasting life, [f] agreeing in true faith; [g] and that I am and forever shall remain, [h] a living member thereof. [i]

Q. 55. What do you understand by “the communion of saints”?
A. First, that all and every one, who believes, being members of Christ, are in common, partakers of him, and of all his riches and gifts; [a] secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members. [b]

Q. 56. What believest thou concerning “the forgiveness of sins”?
A. That God, for the sake of Christ’s satisfaction, will no more remember my sins, neither my corrupt nature, against which I have to struggle all my life long; [a] but will graciously impute to me the righteousness of Christ, [b] that I may never be condemned before the tribunal of God. [c]


Westminster Confession, week 21

May 23, 2015

Chapter 13: Of Sanctification

1: They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection,[265] by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them:[266] the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed,[267] and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified;[268] and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces,[269] to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.[270]

2: This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man;[271] yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part;[272] whence arises a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.[273]

3: In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much prevail;[274] yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part does overcome;[275] and so, the saints grow in grace,[276] perfecting holiness in the fear of God.[277]


Canons of Dordt, week 21

May 22, 2015

The Second Head of Doctrine: Christ’s Death and Human Redemption Through It

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

I

Who teach that God the Father appointed his Son to death on the cross without a fixed and definite plan to save anyone by name, so that the necessity, usefulness, and worth of what Christ’s death obtained could have stood intact and altogether perfect, complete and whole, even if the redemption that was obtained had never in actual fact been applied to any individual.

For this assertion is an insult to the wisdom of God the Father and to the merit of Jesus Christ, and it is contrary to Scripture. For the Savior speaks as follows: I lay down my life for the sheep, and I know them (John 10:15, 27). And Isaiah the prophet says concerning the Savior: When he shall make himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days, and the will of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand (Isa. 53:10). Finally, this undermines the article of the creed in which we confess what we believe concerning the Church.

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

II

Who teach that the purpose of Christ’s death was not to establish in actual fact a new covenant of grace by his blood, but only to acquire for the Father the mere right to enter once more into a covenant with men, whether of grace or of works.

For this conflicts with Scripture, which teaches that Christ has become the guarantee and mediator of a better – that is, a new-covenant (Heb. 7:22; 9:15), and that a will is in force only when someone has died (Heb. 9:17).


Larger Catechism, week 21

May 21, 2015

Q. 91. What is the duty which God requireth of man?
A. The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.[397]

Q. 92. What did God at first reveal unto man as the rule of his obedience?
A. The rule of obedience revealed to Adam in the estate of innocence, and to all mankind in him, besides a special command not to eat of the fruit of the tree knowledge of good and evil, was the moral law.[398]

Q. 93. What is the moral law?
A. The moral law is the declaration of the will of God to mankind, directing and binding every one to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity and obedience thereunto, in the frame and disposition of the whole man, soul and body,[399] and in performance of all those duties of holiness and righteousness which he oweth to God and man:[400] promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening death upon the breach of it.[401]

Q. 94. Is there any use of the moral law to man since the fall?
A. Although no man, since the fall, can attain to righteousness and life by the moral law:[402] yet there is great use thereof, as well common to all men, as peculiar either to the unregenerate, or the regenerate.[403]


Belgic Confession, week 20

May 20, 2015

Article 29: The Marks of the True Church

We believe that we ought to discern diligently and very carefully, by the Word of God, what is the true church– for all sects in the world today claim for themselves the name of “the church.” We are not speaking here of the company of hypocrites who are mixed among the good in the church and who nonetheless are not part of it, even though they are physically there. But we are speaking of distinguishing the body and fellowship of the true church from all sects that call themselves “the church.” The true church can be recognized if it has the following marks: The church engages in the pure preaching of the gospel; it makes use of the pure administration of the sacraments as Christ instituted them; it practices church discipline for correcting faults. In short, it governs itself according to the pure Word of God, rejecting all things contrary to it and holding Jesus Christ as the only Head. By these marks one can be assured of recognizing the true church– and no one ought to be separated from it. As for those who can belong to the church, we can recognize them by the distinguishing marks of Christians: namely by faith, and by their fleeing from sin and pursuing righteousness, once they have received the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ. They love the true God and their neighbors, without turning to the right or left, and they crucify the flesh and its works. Though great weakness remains in them, they fight against it by the Spirit all the days of their lives, appealing constantly to the blood, suffering, death, and obedience of the Lord Jesus, in whom they have forgiveness of their sins, through faith in him. As for the false church, it assigns more authority to itself and its ordinances than to the Word of God; it does not want to subject itself to the yoke of Christ; it does not administer the sacraments as Christ commanded in his Word; it rather adds to them or subtracts from them as it pleases; it bases itself on men, more than on Jesus Christ; it persecutes those who live holy lives according to the Word of God and who rebuke it for its faults, greed, and idolatry. These two churches are easy to recognize and thus to distinguish from each other.


Shorter Catechism, week 20

May 19, 2015

Q. 31. What is effectual calling?
A. 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,[86] and renewing our wills,[87] he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ,[88] freely offered to us in the gospel.[89]


Children’s Catechism, week 20

May 18, 2015

Q. 69. Why do you need Christ as a prophet?
A. Because I am ignorant.

Q. 70. Why do you need Christ as a priest?
A. Because I am guilty.

Q. 71. Why do you need Christ as a king?
A. Because I am weak and helpless.


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 20

May 17, 2015

20. Lord’s Day

Q. 53. What dost thou believe concerning the Holy Ghost?
A. First, that he is true and coeternal God with the Father and the Son; [a] secondly, that he is also given me, [b] to make me by a true faith, partaker of Christ and all his benefits, [c] that he may comfort me [d] and abide with me for ever. [e]


Westminster Confession, week 20

May 16, 2015

Chapter 12: Of Adoption

1: All those that are justified, God vouchsafes, in and for His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption,[251] by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God,[252] have His name put upon them,[253] receive the spirit of adoption,[254] have access to the throne of grace with boldness,[255] are enabled to cry, Abba, Father,[256] are pitied,[257] protected,[258] provided for,[259] and chastened by Him as by a Father:[260] yet never cast off,[261] but sealed to the day of redemption;[262] and inherit the promises,[263] as heirs of everlasting salvation.[264]


Canons of Dordt, week 20

May 15, 2015

The Second Head of Doctrine: Christ’s Death and Human Redemption Through It

Article 8: The Saving Effectiveness of Christ’s Death

For it was the entirely free plan and very gracious will and intention of God the Father that the enlivening and saving effectiveness of his Son’s costly death should work itself out in all his chosen ones, in order that he might grant justifying faith to them only and thereby lead them without fail to salvation. In other words, it was God’s will that Christ through the blood of the cross (by which he confirmed the new covenant) should effectively redeem from every people, tribe, nation, and language all those and only those who were chosen from eternity to salvation and given to him by the Father; that he should grant them faith (which, like the Holy Spirit’s other saving gifts, he acquired for them by his death); that he should cleanse them by his blood from all their sins, both original and actual, whether committed before or after their coming to faith; that he should faithfully preserve them to the very end; and that he should finally present them to himself, a glorious people, without spot or wrinkle.

Article 9: The Fulfillment of God’s Plan

This plan, arising out of God’s eternal love for his chosen ones, from the beginning of the world to the present time has been powerfully carried out and will also be carried out in the future, the gates of hell seeking vainly to prevail against it. As a result the chosen are gathered into one, all in their own time, and there is always a church of believers founded on Christ’s blood, a church which steadfastly loves, persistently worships, and — here and in all eternity — praises him as her Savior who laid down his life for her on the cross, as a bridegroom for his bride.


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