Westminster Confession, Week 24

June 15, 2019

Chapter 15: Of Repentance unto Life

4: As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation;[298] so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.[299]

5: Man ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins, particularly.[300]

6: As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof;[301] upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy;[302] so, he that scandalizes his brother, or the Church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession, and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended,[303] who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.[304]

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Canons of Dordt, Week 24

June 14, 2019

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

Article 1: The Effect of the Fall on Human Nature

Man was originally created in the image of God and was furnished in his mind with a true and salutary knowledge of his Creator and things spiritual, in his will and heart with righteousness, and in all his emotions with purity; indeed, the whole man was holy. However, rebelling against God at the devil’s instigation and by his own free will, he deprived himself of these outstanding gifts. Rather, in their place he brought upon himself blindness, terrible darkness, futility, and distortion of judgment in his mind; perversity, defiance, and hardness in his heart and will; and finally impurity in all his emotions.


Larger Catechism, Week 24

June 13, 2019

Q. 101. What is the preface to the ten commandments?
A. The preface to the ten commandments is contained in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.[436] Wherein God manifesteth his sovereignty, as being JEHOVAH, the eternal, immutable, and almighty God;[437] having his being in and of himself,[438] and giving being to all his words[439] and works:[440] and that he is a God in covenant, as with Israel of old, so with all his people;[441] who, as he brought them out of their bondage in Egypt, so he delivereth us from our spiritual thraldom;[442] and that therefore we are bound to take him for our God alone, and to keep all his commandments.[443]

Q. 102. What is the sum of the four commandments which contain our duty to God?
A. The sum of the four commandments containing our duty to God is, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and with all our mind.[444]


Belgic Confession, Week 24

June 12, 2019

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 24

June 11, 2019

Q. 35. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace,[97] whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God,[98] and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.[99]


Children’s Catechism, Week 23

June 10, 2019

Q. 76. What is the sum of the ten commandments?
A. To love God with all my heart, and my neighbor as myself.

Q. 77. Who is your neighbor?

A. All my fellow men are my neighbors.


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 23

June 9, 2019

23. Lord’s Day

Q. 59. But what does it profit thee now that thou believest all this?
A. That I am righteous in Christ, before God, and an heir of eternal life. [a]

Q. 60. How are thou righteous before God?
A. Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ; [a] so that, though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and kept none of them, [b] and am still inclined to all evil; [c] notwithstanding, God, without any merit of mine, [d] but only of mere grace, [e] grants and imputes to me, [f] the perfect satisfaction, [g] righteousness and holiness of Christ; [h] even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me; [i] inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart. [j]

Q. 61. Why sayest thou, that thou art righteous by faith only?
A. Not that I am acceptable to God, on account of the worthiness of my faith; but because only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, is my righteousness before God; [a] and that I cannot receive and apply the same to myself any other way than by faith only. [b]


Westminster Confession, Week 23

June 8, 2019

Chapter 15: Of Repentance unto Life

1: Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace,[291] the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the Gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.[292]

2: By it, a sinner, out of the sight and sense not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature, and righteous law of God; and upon the apprehension of His mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God,[293] purposing and endeavouring to walk with Him in all the ways of His commandments.[294]

3: Although repentance is not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof,[295] which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ,[296] yet it is of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.[297]


Canons of Dordt, Week 23

June 7, 2019

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

V

Who teach that all people have been received into the state of reconciliation and into the grace of the covenant, so that no one on account of original sin is liable to condemnation, or is to be condemned, but that all are free from the guilt of this sin.

For this opinion conflicts with Scripture which asserts that we are by nature children of wrath.

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

VI

Who make use of the distinction between obtaining and applying in order to instill in the unwary and inexperienced the opinion that God, as far as he is concerned, wished to bestow equally upon all people the benefits which are gained by Christ’s death; but that the distinction by which some rather than others come to share in the forgiveness of sins and eternal life depends on their own free choice (which applies itself to the grace offered indiscriminately) but does not depend on the unique gift of mercy which effectively works in them, so that they, rather than others, apply that grace to themselves.

For, while pretending to set forth this distinction in an acceptable sense, they attempt to give the people the deadly poison of Pelagianism.

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

VII

Who teach that Christ neither could die, nor had to die, nor did die for those whom God so dearly loved and chose to eternal life, since such people do not need the death of Christ.

For they contradict the apostle, who says: Christ loved me and gave himself up for me (Gal. 2:20), and likewise: Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ who died, that is, for them (Rom. 8:33-34). They also contradict the Savior, who asserts: I lay down my life for the sheep (John 10:15), and My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends (John 15:12-13).


Larger Catechism, Week 23

June 6, 2019

Q. 99. What rules are to be observed for the right understanding of the ten commandments?
A. For the right understanding of the ten commandments, these rules are to be observed:

1. That the law is perfect, and bindeth everyone to full conformity in the whole man unto the righteousness thereof, and unto entire obedience forever; so as to require the utmost perfection of every duty, and to forbid the least degree of every sin.[422]

2. That it is spiritual, and so reacheth the understanding, will, affections, and all other powers of the soul; as well as words, works, and gestures.[423]

3. That one and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or forbidden in several commandments.[424]

4. That as, where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden;[425] and, where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded:[426] so, where a promise is annexed, the contrary threatening is included;[427] and, where a threatening is annexed, the contrary promise is included.[428]

5. That what God forbids, is at no time to be done;[429] what he commands, is always our duty;[430] and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times.[431]

6. That under one sin or duty, all of the same kind are forbidden or commanded; together with all the causes, means, occasions, and appearances thereof, and provocations thereunto.[432]

7. That what is forbidden or commanded to ourselves, we are bound, according to our places to endeavour that it may be avoided or performed by others, according to the duty of their places.[433]

8. That in what is commanded to others, we are bound, according to our places and callings, to be helpful to them;[434] and to take heed of partaking with others in what is forbidden them.[435]

Q. 100. What special things are we to consider in the ten commandments?
A. We are to consider in the ten commandments, the preface, the substance of the commandments themselves, and several reasons annexed to some of them, the more to enforce them.