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Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 39

September 24, 2017

39. Lord’s Day

Q. 104. What does God require in the fifth commandment?
A. That I show all honour, love and fidelity, to my father and mother, and all in authority over me, and submit myself to their good instruction and correction, with due obedience; [a] and also patiently bear with their weaknesses and infirmities, [b] since it pleases God to govern us by their hand. [c]

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Westminster Confession, week 38

September 23, 2017

Chapter 22: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

4: An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation, or mental reservation.[452] It cannot oblige to sin; but in any thing not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man’s own hurt.[453] Not is it to be violated, although made to heretics, or infidels.[454]

5: A vow is of the like nature with a promissory oath, and ought to be made with the like religious care, and to be performed with the like faithfulness.[455]

6: It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone:[456] and that it may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out of faith, and conscience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for the obtaining of what we want, whereby we more strictly bind ourselves to necessary duties: or, to other things, so far and so long as they may fitly conduce thereunto.[457]

7: No man may vow to do any thing forbidden in the Word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded, or which is not in his own power, and for the performance whereof he has no promise of ability from God.[458] In which respects, popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.[459]

Canons of Dordt, week 38

September 22, 2017

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

IX

Who teach that grace and free choice are concurrent partial causes which cooperate to initiate conversion, and that grace does not precede — in the order of causality — the effective influence of the will; that is to say, that God does not effectively help man’s will to come to conversion before man’s will itself motivates and determines itself.

For the early church already condemned this doctrine long ago in the Pelagians, on the basis of the words of the apostle: It does not depend on man’s willing or running but on God’s mercy (Rom. 9:16); also: Who makes you different from anyone else? and What do you have that you did not receive? (1 Cor. 4:7); likewise: It is God who works in you to will and act according to his good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).

Larger Catechism, week 38

September 21, 2017

Q. 152. What doth every sin deserve at the hands of God?
A. Every sin, even the least, being against the sovereignty,[982] goodness,[983] and holiness of God,[984] and against his righteous law,[985] deserveth his wrath and curse,[986] both in this life,[987] and that which is to come;[988] and cannot be expiated but by the blood of Christ.[989]

Q. 153. What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us by reason of the transgression of the law?
A. That we may escape the wrath and curse of God due to us by reason of the transgression of the law, he requireth of us repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,[990] and the diligent use of the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation.[991]

Belgic Confession, week 12

September 20, 2017

Article 19: The Two Natures of Christ

We believe that by being thus conceived the person of the Son has been inseparably united and joined together with human nature, in such a way that there are not two Sons of God, nor two persons, but two natures united in a single person, with each nature retaining its own distinct properties. Thus his divine nature has always remained uncreated, without beginning of days or end of life,[44] filling heaven and earth. His human nature has not lost its properties but continues to have those of a creature– it has a beginning of days; it is of a finite nature and retains all that belongs to a real body. And even though he, by his resurrection, gave it immortality, that nonetheless did not change the reality of his human nature; for our salvation and resurrection depend also on the reality of his body. But these two natures are so united together in one person that they are not even separated by his death. So then, what he committed to his Father when he died was a real human spirit which left his body. But meanwhile his divine nature remained united with his human nature even when he was lying in the grave; and his deity never ceased to be in him, just as it was in him when he was a little child, though for a while it did not show itself as such. These are the reasons why we confess him to be true God and true man– true God in order to conquer death by his power, and true man that he might die for us in the weakness of his flesh.

Shorter Catechism, week 38

September 19, 2017

Q. 73. Which is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.[161]

Q. 74. What is required in the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.[162]

Q. 75. What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth, or may, unjustly hinder our own, or our neighbor’s wealth or outward estate.[163]

Children’s Catechism, week 38

September 18, 2017

Q. 108. Repeat the Lord’s Prayer.
A. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Q. 109. How many petitions are there in The Lord’s Prayer?
A. Six.

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 38

September 17, 2017

38. Lord’s Day

Q. 103. What does God require in the fourth commandment?
A. First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be maintained; [a] and that I, especially on the sabbath, that is, on the day of rest, diligently frequent the church of God, [b] to hear his word, [c] to use the sacraments, [d] publicly to call upon the Lord, [e] and contribute to the relief of the poor. [f] Secondly, that all the days of my life I cease from my evil works, and yield myself to the Lord, to work by his Holy Spirit in me: and thus begin in this life the eternal sabbath. [g]

Westminster Confession, week 37

September 16, 2017

Chapter 22: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

1: A lawful oath is part of religious worship,[443] wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calls God to witness what he asserts, or promises, and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he swears.[444]

2: The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear, and therein it is to be used with all holy fear and reverence.[445]Therefore, to swear vainly, or rashly, by that glorious and dreadful Name; or, to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred.[446] Yet, as in matters of weight and moment, an oath is warranted by the Word of God, under the New Testament as well as under the old;[447] so a lawful oath, being imposed by lawful authority, in such matters, ought to be taken.[448]

3: Whosoever takes an oath ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth:[449] neither may any man bind himself by oath to any thing but what is good and just, and what he believes so to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform.[450]

Canons of Dordt, week 37

September 15, 2017

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

VII

Who teach that the grace by which we are converted to God is nothing but a gentle persuasion, or (as others explain it) that the way of God’s acting in man’s conversion that is most noble and suited to human nature is that which happens by persuasion, and that nothing prevents this grace of moral suasion even by itself from making natural men spiritual; indeed, that God does not produce the assent of the will except in this manner of moral suasion, and that the effectiveness of God’s work by which it surpasses the work of Satan consists in the fact that God promises eternal benefits while Satan promises temporal ones.

For this teaching is entirely Pelagian and contrary to the whole of Scripture, which recognizes besides this persuasion also another, far more effective and divine way in which the Holy Spirit acts in man’s conversion. As Ezekiel 36:26 puts it: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; and I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh….

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

VIII

Who teach that God in regenerating man does not bring to bear that power of his omnipotence whereby he may powerfully and unfailingly bend man’s will to faith and conversion, but that even when God has accomplished all the works of grace which he uses for man’s conversion, man nevertheless can, and in actual fact often does, so resist God and the Spirit in their intent and will to regenerate him, that man completely thwarts his own rebirth; and, indeed, that it remains in his own power whether or not to be reborn.

For this does away with all effective functioning of God’s grace in our conversion and subjects the activity of Almighty God to the will of man; it is contrary to the apostles, who teach that we believe by virtue of the effective working of God’s mighty strength (Eph. 1:19), and that God fulfills the undeserved good will of his kindness and the work of faith in us with power (2 Thess. 1:11), and likewise that his divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3).