Larger Catechism, week 8

February 23, 2017

Q. 30. Doth God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
A. God doth not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery,[111] into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the covenant of works;[112] 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.[113]

Q. 31. With whom was the covenant of grace made?
A. The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed.[114]

Q. 32. How is the grace of God manifested in the second covenant?
A. The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant, in that he freely provideth and offereth to sinners a Mediator,[115] and life and salvation by him;[116] and requiring faith as the condition to interest them in him,[117] promiseth and giveth his Holy Spirit[118] to all his elect, to work in them that faith,[119] with all other saving graces;[120] and to enable them unto all holy obedience,[121] as the evidence of the truth of their faith[122] and thankfulness to God,[123] and as the way which he hath appointed them to salvation.[124]

Q. 33. Was the covenant of grace always administered after one and the same manner?
A. The covenant of grace was not always administered after the same manner, but the administrations of it under the Old Testament were different from those under the New.[125]

Q. 34. How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old Testament?
A. The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament, by promises,[126] prophecies,[127] sacrifices,[128] circumcision,[129] the passover,[130] and other types and ordinances, which did all fore-signify Christ then to come, and were for that time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah,[131] by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.[132]

Q. 35. How is the covenant of grace administered under the New Testament?
A. Under the New Testament, when Christ the substance was exhibited, the same covenant of grace was and still is to be administered in the preaching of the Word,[133] and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism[134] and the Lord’s Supper;[135] in which grace and salvation are held forth in more fulness, evidence, and efficacy, to all nations.[136]

Q. 36. Who is the Mediator of the covenant of grace?
A. The only Mediator of the covenant of grace is the Lord Jesus Christ,[137] who, being the eternal Son of God, of one substance and equal with the Father,[138] in the fulness of time became man,[139] and so was and continues to be God and man, in two entire distinct natures, and one person, forever.[140]


Belgic Confession, week 8

February 22, 2017

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 8

February 21, 2017

Q. 14. What is sin?
A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.[38]


Children’s Catechism, week 8

February 20, 2017

Q. 28. What is Sin?
A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of the law of God.

Q. 29. What is meant by want of conformity?
A. Not being or doing what God requires.

Q. 30. What is meant by transgression?
A. Doing what God forbids.


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 8

February 19, 2017

8. Lord’s Day

Q. 24. How are these articles divided?
A. Into three parts; the first is of God the Father, and our creation; the second of God the Son, and our redemption; the third of God the Holy Ghost, and our sanctification.

Q. 25. Since there is but one only divine essence, [a] why speakest thou of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?
A. Because God has so revealed himself in his word, [b] that these three distinct persons are the one only true and eternal God.


Westminster Confession, week 7

February 18, 2017

Chapter 4: Of Creation

1: It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,[85] for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness,[86] in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.[87]

2: After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female,[88] with reasonable and immortal souls,[89] endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image;[90] having the law of God written in their hearts,[91] and power to fulfil it;[92] and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change.[93] Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil;[94] which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.[95]


Canons of Dordt, week 7

February 17, 2017

The First Head of Doctrine: Divine Election and Reprobation

Article 12: The Assurance of Election

Assurance of this their eternal and unchangeable election to salvation is given to the chosen in due time, though by various stages and in differing measure. Such assurance comes not by inquisitive searching into the hidden and deep things of God, but by noticing within themselves, with spiritual joy and holy delight, the unmistakable fruits of election pointed out in God’s Word — such as a true faith in Christ, a childlike fear of God, a godly sorrow for their sins, a hunger and thirst for righteousness, and so on.

Article 13: The Fruit of This Assurance

In their awareness and assurance of this election God’s children daily find greater cause to humble themselves before God, to adore the fathomless depth of his mercies, to cleanse themselves, and to give fervent love in return to him who first so greatly loved them. This is far from saying that this teaching concerning election, and reflection upon it, make God’s children lax in observing his commandments or carnally self-assured. By God’s just judgment this does usually happen to those who casually take for granted the grace of election or engage in idle and brazen talk about it but are unwilling to walk in the ways of the chosen.


Larger Catechism, week 7

February 16, 2017

Q. 24. What is sin?
A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature.[92]

Q. 25. Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam’s first sin,[93] 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;[94] which is commonly called original sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions.[95]

Q. 26. How is original sin conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity?
A. 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.[96]

Q. 27. What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?
A. The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God,[97] his displeasure and curse; so as we are by nature children of wrath,[98] bond slaves to Satan,[99] and justly liable to all punishments in this world, and that which is to come.[100]

Q. 28. What are the punishments of sin in this world?
A. The punishments of sin in this world are either inward, as blindness of mind,[101] a reprobate sense,[102] strong delusions,[103] hardness of heart,[104] horror of conscience,[105] and vile affections;[106] or outward, as the curse of God upon the creatures for our sakes,[107] and all other evils that befall us in our bodies, names, estates, relations, and employments;[108] together with death itself.[109]

Q. 29. What are the punishments of sin in the world to come?
A. 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.[110]


Belgic Confession, week 7

February 15, 2017

Article 12: The Creation of All Things

We believe that the Father created heaven and earth and all other creatures from nothing, when it seemed good to him, by his Word– that is to say, by his Son. He has given all creatures their being, form, and appearance, and their various functions for serving their Creator. Even now he also sustains and governs them all, according to his eternal providence, and by his infinite power, that they may serve man, in order that man may serve God. He has also created the angels good, that they might be his messengers and serve his elect. Some of them have fallen from the excellence in which God created them into eternal perdition; and the others have persisted and remained in their orginal state, by the grace of God. The devils and evil spirits are so corrupt that they are enemies of God and of everything good. They lie in wait for the church and every member of it like thieves, with all their power, to destroy and spoil everything by their deceptions. So then, by their own wickedness they are condemned to everlasting damnation, daily awaiting their torments. For that reason we detest the error of the Sadducees, who deny that there are spirits and angels, and also the error of the Manicheans, who say that the devils originated by themselves, being evil by nature, without having been corrupted.


Shorter Catechism, week 7

February 14, 2017

Q. 13. Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created?
A. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God.[37]