Belgic Confession, week 26

June 28, 2017

Article 37: The Last Judgment

Finally we believe, according to God’s Word, that when the time appointed by the Lord is come (which is unknown to all creatures) and the number of the elect is complete, our Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven, bodily and visibly, as he ascended, with great glory and majesty, to declare himself the judge of the living and the dead. He will burn this old world, in fire and flame, in order to cleanse it. Then all human creatures will appear in person before the great judge– men, women, and children, who have lived from the beginning until the end of the world. They will be summoned there by the voice of the archangel and by the sound of the divine trumpet.[79] For all those who died before that time will be raised from the earth, their spirits being joined and united with their own bodies in which they lived. And as for those who are still alive, they will not die like the others but will be changed “in the twinkling of an eye” from “corruptible to incorruptible.”[80] Then “the books” (that is, the consciences) will be opened, and the dead will be judged according to the things they did in the world,[81] whether good or evil. Indeed, all people will give account of all the idle words they have spoken,[82] which the world regards as only playing games. And then the secrets and hypocrisies of men will be publicly uncovered in the sight of all. Therefore, with good reason the thought of this judgment is horrible and dreadful to wicked and evil people. But it is very pleasant and a great comfort to the righteous and elect, since their total redemption will then be accomplished. They will then receive the fruits of their labor and of the trouble they have suffered; their innocence will be openly recognized by all; and they will see the terrible vengeance that God will bring on the evil ones who tyrannized, oppressed, and tormented them in this world. The evil ones will be convicted by the witness of their own consciences, and shall be made immortal– but only to be tormented in the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.[83] In contrast, the faithful and elect will be crowned with glory and honor. The Son of God will “confess their names”[84] before God his Father and the holy and elect angels; all tears will be “wiped from their eyes”;[85] and their cause– at present condemned as heretical and evil by many judges and civil officers– will be acknowledged as the “cause of the Son of God.” And as a gracious reward the Lord will make them possess a glory such as the heart of man could never imagine. So we look forward to that great day with longing in order to enjoy fully the promises of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.


Shorter Catechism, week 26

June 27, 2017

Q. 37. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?
A. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness,[105] and do immediately pass into glory;[106] and their bodies, being still united in Christ,[107] do rest in their graves, till the resurrection.[108]

Q. 38. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
A. At the resurrection, believers, being raised up in glory,[109] shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment,[110] and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God[111] to all eternity.[112]


Children’s Catechism, week 26

June 26, 2017

Q. 82. What is the second commandment?
A. The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any things that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Q. 83. What does the second commandment teach us?
A. To worship God in a proper manner, and to avoid idolatry.


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 26

June 25, 2017

26. Lord’s Day

Q. 69. How art thou admonished and assured by holy baptism, that the one sacrifice of Christ upon the cross is of real advantage to thee?
A. Thus: That Christ appointed this external washing with water, [a] adding thereto this promise, [b] that I am as certainly washed by his blood and Spirit from all the pollution of my soul, that is, from all my sins, [c] as I am washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is commonly washed away.

Q. 70. What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?
A. It is to receive of God the remission of sins, freely, for the sake of Christ’s blood, which he shed for us by his sacrifice upon the cross; [a] and also to be renewed by the Holy Ghost, and sanctified to be members of Christ, that so we may more and more die unto sin, and lead holy and unblamable lives. [b]

Q. 71. Where has Christ promised us, that he will as certainly wash us by his blood and Spirit, as we are washed with the water of baptism?
A. In the institution of baptism, which is thus expressed: “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”, Matt.28:19. And “he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.”, Mark 16:16. This promise is also repeated, where the scripture calls baptism “the washing of regenerations” and the washing away of sins. Tit.3:5, Acts 22:16. [a]


Westminster Confession, week 25

June 24, 2017

Chapter 16: Of Good Works

1: Good works are only such as God has commanded in His holy Word,[305] and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention.[306]

2: These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith:[307] and by them believers manifest their thankfulness,[308] strengthen their assurance,[309] edify their brethren,[310] adorn the profession of the Gospel,[311] stop the mouths of the adversaries,[312] and glorify God,[313]whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto,[314]that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.[315]

3: Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ.[316] And that they may be enabled thereunto, beside the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will, and to do, of His good pleasure:[317] yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.[318]

4: They who, in their obedience, attain to the greatest height which is possibly in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.[319]


Canons of Dordt, week 25

June 23, 2017

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

Article 2: The Spread of Corruption

Man brought forth children of the same nature as himself after the fall. That is to say, being corrupt he brought forth corrupt children. The corruption spread, by God’s just judgment, from Adam to all his descendants — except for Christ alone — not by way of imitation (as in former times the Pelagians would have it) but by way of the propagation of his perverted nature.

Article 3: Total Inability

Therefore, all people are conceived in sin and are born children of wrath, unfit for any saving good, inclined to evil, dead in their sins, and slaves to sin; without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit they are neither willing nor able to return to God, to reform their distorted nature, or even to dispose themselves to such reform.


Larger Catechism, week 25

June 22, 2017

Q. 103. Which is the first commandment?
A. The first commandment is, Thou shall have no other gods before me.[445]

Q. 104. What are the duties required in the first commandment?
A. The duties required in the first commandment are, the knowing and acknowledging of God to be the only true God, and our God;[446] and to worship and glorify him accordingly,[447] by thinking,[448] meditating,[449] remembering,[450] highly esteeming,[451] honouring,[452] adoring,[453] choosing,[454] loving,[455] desiring,[456] fearing of him;[457] believing him;[458] trusting[459] hoping,[460] delighting,[461] rejoicing in him;[462] being zealous for him;[463] calling upon him, giving all praise and thanks,[464] and yielding all obedience and submission to him with the whole man;[465] being careful in all things to please him,[466] and sorrowful when in any thing he is offended;[467] and walking humbly with him.[468]

Q. 105. What are the sins forbidden in the first commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the first commandment are, atheism, in denying or not having a God;[469] idolatry, in having or worshipping more gods than one, or any with or instead of the true God;[470] the not having and avouching him for God, and our God;[471] the omission or neglect of anything due to him, required in this commandment;[472] ignorance,[473] forgetfulness,[474] misapprehensions,[475] false opinions,[476] unworthy and wicked thoughts of him;[477] bold and curious searching into his secrets;[478] all profaneness,[479] hatred of God;[480] self-love,[481] self-seeking,[482] and all other inordinate and immoderate setting of our mind, will, or affections upon other things, and taking them off from him in whole or in part;[483] vain credulity,[484] unbelief,[485] heresy,[486] misbelief,[487] distrust,[488] despair,[489] incorrigibleness,[490] and insensibleness under judgments,[491] hardness of heart,[492] pride,[493] presumption,[494] carnal security,[495] tempting of God;[496] using unlawful means,[497] and trusting in lawful means;[498] carnal delights and joys;[499] corrupt, blind, and indiscreet zeal;[500] lukewarmness,[501] and deadness in the things of God;[502] estranging ourselves, and apostatizing from God;[503] praying, or giving any religious worship, to saints, angels, or any other creatures;[504] all compacts and consulting with the devil,[505] and hearkening to his suggestions;[506] making men the lords of our faith and conscience;[507] slighting and despising God and his commands;[508] resisting and grieving of his Spirit,[509] discontent and impatience at his dispensations, charging him foolishly for the evils he inflicts on us;[510] and ascribing the praise of any good we either are, have or can do, to fortune,[511] idols,[512] ourselves,[513] or any other creature.[514]

Q. 106. What are we specially taught by these words before me in the first commandment?
A. These words before me or before my face, in the first commandment, teach us, that God, who seeth all things, taketh special notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God: that so it may be an argument to dissuade from it, and to aggravate it as a most impudent provocation:[515] as also to persuade us to do as in his sight, whatever we do in his service.[516]


Belgic Confession, week 25

June 21, 2017

Article 36: The Civil Government

We believe that
because of the depravity of the human race
our good God has ordained kings, princes, and civil officers.
He wants the world to be governed by laws and policies
so that human lawlessness may be restrained
and that everything may be conducted in good order
among human beings.
For that purpose he has placed the sword
in the hands of the government,
to punish evil people
and protect the good.
And being called in this manner
to contribute to the advancement of a society
that is pleasing to God,
the civil rulers have the task,
subject to God’s law,
of removing every obstacle
to the preaching of the gospel
and to every aspect of divine worship.
They should do this
while completely refraining from every tendency
toward exercising absolute authority,
and while functioning in the sphere entrusted to them,
with the means belonging to them.
They should do it in order that
the Word of God may have free course;
the kingdom of Jesus Christ may make progress;
and every anti-Christian power may be resisted.1
Moreover everyone,
regardless of status, condition, or rank,
must be subject to the government,
and pay taxes,
and hold its representatives in honor and respect,
and obey them in all things that are not in conflict
with God’s Word,
praying for them
that the Lord may be willing to lead them
in all their ways
and that we may live a peaceful and quiet life
in all piety and decency.2

1The Synod of 1958, in line with 1910 and 1938, substituted the above
statement for the following (which it judged unbiblical):
And the government’s task is not limited
to caring for and watching over the public domain
but extends also to upholding the sacred ministry,
with a view to removing and destroying
all idolatry and false worship of the Antichrist;
to promoting the kingdom of Jesus Christ;
and to furthering the preaching of the gospel everywhere;
to the end that God may be honored and served by everyone,
as he requires in his Word.

2The Synod of 1985 directed that the following paragraph be taken from the
body of the text and be placed in a footnote:
And on this matter we denounce the Anabaptists, other anarchists,
and in general all those who want
to reject the authorities and civil officers
and to subvert justice
by introducing common ownership of goods
and corrupting the moral order
that God has established among human beings.


Shorter Catechism, week 25

June 20, 2017

Q. 36. What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
A. The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God’s love,[100] peace of conscience,[101] joy in the Holy Ghost,[102] increase of grace,[103] and perseverance therein to the end.[104]


Children’s Catechism, week 25

June 19, 2017

Q. 80. What is the first commandment?
A. The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Q. 81. What does the first commandment teach us?
A. To worship God alone.