Westminster Confession, week 35

August 27, 2016

Chapter 21: Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

4: Prayer is to be made for things lawful;[416] and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter:[417] but not for the dead,[418] nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.[419]

5: The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear,[420] the sound preaching[421] and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith and reverence,[422] singing of psalms with grace in the heart;[423] as also, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ, are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God:[424] beside religious oaths,[425] vows,[426] solemn fastings,[427] and thanksgivings upon special occasions,[428] which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner.[429]

6: Neither prayer, nor any other part of religious worship, is now, under the Gospel, either tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed:[430] but God is to be worshipped everywhere,[431] in spirit and truth;[432] as, in private families[433] daily,[434] and in secret, each one by himself;[435] so, more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by His Word or providence, calls thereunto.[436]


Canons of Dordt, week 35

August 26, 2016

The Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine: Human Corruption, Conversion to God, and the Way It Occurs

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

V

Who teach that corrupt and natural man can make such good use of common grace (by which they mean the light of nature) or of the gifts remaining after the fall that he is able thereby gradually to obtain a greater grace — evangelical or saving grace — as well as salvation itself; and that in this way God, for his part, shows himself ready to reveal Christ to all people, since he provides to all, to a sufficient extent and in an effective manner, the means necessary for the revealing of Christ, for faith, and for repentance.

For Scripture, not to mention the experience of all ages, testifies that this is false: He makes known his words to Jacob, his statutes and his laws to Israel; he has done this for no other nation, and they do not know his laws (Ps. 147:19-20); In the past God let all nations go their own way (Acts 14:16); They (Paul and his companions) were kept by the Holy Spirit from speaking God’s word in Asia; and When they had come to Mysia, they tried to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit would not allow them to (Acts 16:6-7).


Larger Catechism, week 34

August 25, 2016

Q. 140. Which is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.[800]

Q. 141. What are the duties required in the eighth commandment?
A. The duties required in the eighth commandment are, truth, faithfulness, and justice in contracts and commerce between man and man;[801] rendering to everyone his due; restitution of goods unlawfully detained from the right owners thereof;[802] giving and lending freely, according to our abilities, and the necessities of others;[803] moderation of our judgments, wills, and affections concerning worldly goods;[804] a provident care and study to get,[805] keep, use, and dispose these things which are necessary and convenient for the sustentation of our nature, and suitable to our condition;[806] a lawful calling,[807] and diligence in it;[808] frugality;[809] avoiding unnecessary lawsuits,[810]. and suretiship, or other like engagements;[811] and an endeavor, by all just and lawful means, to procure, preserve, and further the wealth and outward estate of others, as well as our own.[812]

Q. 142. What are the sins forbidden in the eighth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the eighth commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required,[813] are, theft,[814] robbery,[815] man-stealing,[816] and receiving any thing that is stolen;[817] fraudulent dealing,[818] false weights and measures,[819] removing landmarks,[820] injustice and unfaithfulness in contracts between man and man,[821] or in matters of trust;[822] oppression,[823] extortion,[824] usury,[825] bribery,[826] vexatious lawsuits,[827] unjust inclosures and depopulations;[828] ingrossing commodities to enhance the price;[829] unlawful callings,[830] and all other unjust or sinful ways of taking or withholding from our neighbour what belongs to him, or of enriching ourselves;[831] covetousness;[832] inordinate prizing and affecting worldly goods;[833] distrustful and distracting cares and studies in getting, keeping, and using them;[834] envying at the prosperity of others;[835] as likewise idleness,[836] prodigality, wasteful gaming; and all other ways whereby we do unduly prejudice our own outward estate,[837] and defrauding ourselves of the due use and comfort of that estate which God hath given us.[838]


Belgic Confession, week 8

August 24, 2016

Article 13: The Doctrine of God’s Providence

We believe that this good God, after he created all things, did not abandon them to chance or fortune but leads and governs them according to his holy will, in such a way that nothing happens in this world without his orderly arrangement. Yet God is not the author of, nor can he be charged with, the sin that occurs. For his power and goodness are so great and incomprehensible that he arranges and does his work very well and justly even when the devils and wicked men act unjustly. We do not wish to inquire with undue curiosity into what he does that surpasses human understanding and is beyond our ability to comprehend. But in all humility and reverence we adore the just judgments of God, which are hidden from us, being content to be Christ’s disciples, so as to learn only what he shows us in his Word, without going beyond those limits. This doctrine gives us unspeakable comfort since it teaches us that nothing can happen to us by chance but only by the arrangement of our gracious heavenly Father. He watches over us with fatherly care, keeping all creatures under his control, so that not one of the hairs on our heads (for they are all numbered) nor even a little bird can fall to the ground[20] without the will of our Father. In this thought we rest, knowing that he holds in check the devils and all our enemies, who cannot hurt us without his permission and will. For that reason we reject the damnable error of the Epicureans, who say that God involves himself in nothing and leaves everything to chance.


Shorter Catechism, week 34

August 23, 2016

Q. 60. How is the sabbath to be sanctified?
A. 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;[145] and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship,[146] except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.[147]

Q. 61. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A. 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.[148]

Q. 62. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments,[149] his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the sabbath day.[150]


Children’s Catechism, week 34

August 22, 2016

Q. 99. What is the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Q. 100. What does the ninth commandment teach us?
A. To tell the truth.


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 34

August 21, 2016

34. Lord’s Day

Q. 92. What is the law of God?
A. God spake all these words, Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21, saying: I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Q. 93. How are these commandments divided?
A. Into two tables; [a] the first of which teaches us how we must behave towards God; the second, what duties we owe to our neighbour. [b]

Q. 94. What does God enjoin in the first commandment?
A. That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and flee from all idolatry, [a] sorcery, soothsaying, superstition, [b] invocation of saints, or any other creatures; [c] and learn rightly to know the only true God; [d] trust in him alone, [e] with humility [f] and patience submit to him; [g] expect all good things from him only; [h] love, [i] fear, [j] and glorify him with my whole heart; [k] so that I renounce and forsake all creatures, rather than commit even the least thing contrary to his will. [l]

Q. 95. What is idolatry?
A. Idolatry is, instead of, or besides that one true God, who has manifested himself in his word, to contrive, or have any other object, in which men place their trust. [a]


Westminster Confession, week 34

August 20, 2016

Chapter 21: Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

1: The light of nature shows that there is a God, who has lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and does good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might.[404] But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture.[405]

2: Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to Him alone;[406] not to angels, saints, or any other creature:[407] and, since the fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the mediation of any other but of Christ alone.[408]

3: Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship,[409] is by God required of all men:[410] and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son,[411] by the help of His Spirit,[412] according to His will,[413] with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love and perseverance;[414] and, if vocal, in a known tongue.[415]


Canons of Dordt, week 34

August 19, 2016

The Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine: Human Corruption, Conversion to God, and the Way It Occurs

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

III

Who teach that in spiritual death the spiritual gifts have not been separated from man’s will, since the will in itself has never been corrupted but only hindered by the darkness of the mind and the unruliness of the emotions, and since the will is able to exercise its innate free capacity once these hindrances are removed, which is to say, it is able of itself to will or choose whatever good is set before it — or else not to will or choose it.

This is a novel idea and an error and has the effect of elevating the power of free choice, contrary to the words of Jeremiah the prophet: The heart itself is deceitful above all things and wicked (Jer. 17:9); and of the words of the apostle: All of us also lived among them (the sons of disobedience) at one time in the passions of our flesh, following the will of our flesh and thoughts (Eph. 2:3).

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

IV

Who teach that unregenerate man is not strictly or totally dead in his sins or deprived of all capacity for spiritual good but is able to hunger and thirst for righteousness or life and to offer the sacrifice of a broken and contrite spirit which is pleasing to God.

For these views are opposed to the plain testimonies of Scripture: You were dead in your transgressions and sins (Eph. 2:1, 5); The imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart is only evil all the time (Gen. 6:5; 8:21). Besides, to hunger and thirst for deliverance from misery and for life, and to offer God the sacrifice of a broken spirit is characteristic only of the regenerate and of those called blessed (Ps. 51:17; Matt. 5:6).


Larger Catechism, week 33

August 18, 2016

Q. 137. Which is the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.[766]

Q. 138. What are the duties required in the seventh commandment?
A. The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections,[767] words,[768] and behavior;[769] and the preservation of it in ourselves and others;[770] watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses;[771] temperance,[772] keeping of chaste company,[773] modesty in apparel;[774] marriage by those that have not the gift of continency,[775] conjugal love,[776] and cohabitation;[777] diligent labor in our callings;[778] shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto.[779]

Q. 139. What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required,[780] are, adultery, fornication,[781] rape, incest,[782] sodomy, and all unnatural lusts;[783] all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections;[784] all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto;[785] wanton looks,[786] impudent or light behaviour, immodest apparel;[787] prohibiting of lawful,[788] and dispensing with unlawful marriages;[789] allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them;[790] entangling vows of single life,[791] undue delay of marriage,[792] having more wives or husbands than one at the same time;[793] unjust divorce,[794] or desertion;[795] idleness, gluttony, drunkenness,[796] unchaste company;[797] lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays;[798] and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.[799]


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