Shorter Catechism, Week 51

December 18, 2018

Q. 104. What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
A. 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.[220]

Q. 105. What do we pray for in the fifth petition?
A. 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;[221] which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by his grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.[222]

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Children’s Catechism, Week 51

December 17, 2018

Q. 142. What will become of the wicked in the day of judgment?
A. They shall he cast into hell.

Q. 143. What is hell?
A. A place of dreadful and endless torment.


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 50

December 16, 2018

50. Lord’s Day

Q. 125. Which is the fourth petition?
A. “Give us this day our daily bread”; that is, be pleased to provide us with all things necessary for the body, [a] that we may thereby acknowledge thee to be the only fountain of all good, [b] and that neither our care nor industry, nor even thy gifts, can profit us without thy blessing; [c] and therefore that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures, and place it alone in thee. [d]


Westminster Confession, Week 50

December 15, 2018

Chapter 31: Of Synods and Councils

1: For the better government, and further edification of the Church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils.[559] And it belongeth to the overseers and other rulers of the particular church, by virtue of their office, and the power which Christ hath given them for edification, and not for destruction, to appoint such assemblies;[5591] and to convene together in them, as often as they shall judge it expedient for the good of the Church.[5592]

2: It belongs to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his Church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same; which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission; not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God appointed thereunto in His Word.[562]

3: All synods or councils, since the apostles’ times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.[563]

4: Synods and councils are to handle, or conclude nothing, but that which is ecclesiastical: and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble petition in cases extraordinary; or, by way of advice, for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate.[564]


Canons of Dordt, Week 50

December 14, 2018

The Fifth Head of Doctrine: The Perseverance of the Saints

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

VII

Who teach that the faith of those who believe only temporarily does not differ from justifying and saving faith except in duration alone.

For Christ himself in Matthew 13:20ff. and Luke 8:13ff. clearly defines these further differences between temporary and true believers: he says that the former receive the seed on rocky ground, and the latter receive it in good ground, or a good heart; the former have no root, and the latter are firmly rooted; the former have no fruit, and the latter produce fruit in varying measure, with steadfastness, or perseverance.

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

VIII

Who teach that it is not absurd that a person, after losing his former regeneration, should once again, indeed quite often, be reborn.

For by this teaching they deny the imperishable nature of God’s seed by which we are born again, contrary to the testimony of the apostle Peter: Born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable (1 Pet. 1:23).


Larger Catechism, Week 50

December 13, 2018

Q. 191. What do we pray for in the second petition?
A. In the second petition, (which is, Thy kingdom come,[1222]) acknowledging ourselves and all mankind to be by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan,[1223] we pray, that the kingdom of sin and Satan may be destroyed,[1224] the gospel propagated throughout the world,[1225] the Jews called,[1226] the fullness of the Gentiles brought in;[1227] the church furnished with all gospel-officers and ordinances,[1228] purged from corruption,[1229] countenanced and maintained by the civil magistrate:[1230] that the ordinances of Christ may be purely dispensed, and made effectual to the converting of those that are yet in their sins, and the confirming, comforting, and building up of those that are already converted:[1231] that Christ would rule in our hearts here,[1232] and hasten the time of his second coming, and our reigning with him forever:[1233] and that he would be pleased so to exercise the kingdom of his power in all the world, as may best conduce to these ends.[1234]

Q. 192. What do we pray for in the third petition?
A. In the third petition, (which is, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven,[1235]) acknowledging, that by nature we and all men are not only utterly unable and unwilling to know and do the will of God,[1236] but prone to rebel against his Word,[1237] to repine and murmur against his providence,[1238] and wholly inclined to do the will of the flesh, and of the devil:[1239] we pray, that God would by his Spirit take away from ourselves and others all blindness,[1240] weakness,[1241] indisposedness,[1242] and perverseness of heart;[1243] and by his grace make us able and willing to know, do, and submit to his will in all things,[1244] with the like humility,[1245] cheerfulness,[1246] faithfulness,[1247] diligence,[1248] zeal,[1249] sincerity,[1250] and constancy,[1251] as the angels do in heaven.[1252]


Belgic Confession, Week 24

December 12, 2018

Article 35: The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

We believe and confess that our Savior Jesus Christ has ordained and instituted the sacrament of the Holy Supper to nourish and sustain those who are already born again and ingrafted into his family: his church. Now those who are born again have two lives in them. The one is physical and temporal– they have it from the moment of their first birth, and it is common to all. The other is spiritual and heavenly, and is given them in their second birth; it comes through the Word of the gospel in the communion of the body of Christ; and this life is common to God’s elect only. Thus, to support the physical and earthly life God has prescribed for us an appropriate earthly and material bread, which is as common to all as life itself also is. But to maintain the spiritual and heavenly life that belongs to believers he has sent a living bread that came down from heaven: namely Jesus Christ, who nourishes and maintains the spiritual life of believers when eaten– that is, when appropriated and received spiritually by faith. To represent to us this spiritual and heavenly bread Christ has instituted an earthly and visible bread as the sacrament of his body and wine as the sacrament of his blood. He did this to testify to us that just as truly as we take and hold the sacraments in our hands and eat and drink it in our mouths, by which our life is then sustained, so truly we receive into our souls, for our spiritual life, the true body and true blood of Christ, our only Savior. We receive these by faith, which is the hand and mouth of our souls. Now it is certain that Jesus Christ did not prescribe his sacraments for us in vain, since he works in us all he represents by these holy signs, although the manner in which he does it goes beyond our understanding and is uncomprehensible to us, just as the operation of God’s Spirit is hidden and incomprehensible. Yet we do not go wrong when we say that what is eaten is Christ’s own natural body and what is drunk is his own blood– but the manner in which we eat it is not by the mouth but by the Spirit, through faith. In that way Jesus Christ remains always seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven– but he never refrains on that account to communicate himself to us through faith. This banquet is a spiritual table at which Christ communicates himself to us with all his benefits. At that table he makes us enjoy himself as much as the merits of his suffering and death, as he nourishes, strengthens, and comforts our poor, desolate souls by the eating of his flesh, and relieves and renews them by the drinking of his blood. Moreover, though the sacraments and thing signified are joined together, not all receive both of them. The wicked person certainly takes the sacrament, to his condemnation, but does not receive the truth of the sacrament, just as Judas and Simon the Sorcerer both indeed received the sacrament, but not Christ, who was signified by it. He is communicated only to believers. Finally, with humility and reverence we receive the holy sacrament in the gathering of God’s people, as we engage together, with thanksgiving, in a holy remembrance of the death of Christ our Savior, and as we thus confess our faith and Christian religion. Therefore no one should come to this table without examining himself carefully, lest “by eating this bread and drinking this cup he eat and drink to his own judgment.”[78] In short, by the use of this holy sacrament we are moved to a fervent love of God and our neighbors. Therefore we reject as desecrations of the sacraments all the muddled ideas and damnable inventions that men have added and mixed in with them. And we say that we should be content with the procedure that Christ and the apostles have taught us and speak of these things as they have spoken of them.


Shorter Catechism, Week 50

December 11, 2018

Q. 102. What do we pray for in the second petition?
A. In the second petition, which is, Thy kingdom come, we pray that Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed;[214] and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced,[215] ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it;[216] and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.[217]

Q. 103. What do we pray for in the third petition?
A. 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,[218] as the angels do in heaven.[219]


Children’s Catechism, Week 50

December 10, 2018

Q. 140. What becomes of men at death?
A. The body returns to dust, and the soul goes into the world of spirits.

Q. 141. Will the bodies of the dead be raised to life again?
A. Yes; “The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised.”


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 49

December 9, 2018

49. Lord’s Day

Q. 124. Which is the third petition?
A. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”; that is, grant that we and all men may renounce our own will, [a] and without murmuring obey thy will, which is only good; [b] that every one may attend to, and perform the duties of his station and calling, [c] as willingly and faithfully as the angels do in heaven. [d]