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Shorter Catechism, Week 47

November 20, 2018

Q. 96. What is the Lord’s Supper?
A. The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, his death is showed forth;[197] and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace.[198]

Q. 97. What is required for the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper?
A. It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s Supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.[199]

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Children’s Catechism, Week 47

November 19, 2018

Q. 129. Who are to be baptized?
A. Believers and their children.

Q. 130. Why should infants be baptized?
A. Because they have a sinful nature and need a Savior.

Q. 131. Does Christ care for little children?
A. Yes; for he says, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

Q. 132. To what does your baptism bind you?
A. To be a true follower of Christ.

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 46

November 18, 2018

46. Lord’s Day

Q. 120. Why has Christ commanded us to address God thus: “Our Father”?
A. That immediately, in the very beginning of our prayer, he might excite in us a childlike reverence for, and confidence in God, which are the foundation of our prayer: namely, that God is become our Father in Christ, and will much less deny us what we ask of him in true faith, than our parents will refuse us earthly things. [a]

Q. 121. Why is it here added, “Which art in heaven”?
A. Lest we should form any earthly conceptions of God’s heavenly majesty, [a] and that we may expect from his almighty power all things necessary for soul and body. [b]

Westminster Confession, Week 46

November 17, 2018

Chapter 28: Of Baptism

4: Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,[531] but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.[532]

5: Although it is a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance,[533] yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it:[534] or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.[535]

6: The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered;[536] yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God’s own will, in His appointed time.[537]

7: The sacrament of Baptism is but once to be administered unto any person.[538]

Canons of Dordt, Week 46

November 16, 2018

The Fifth Head of Doctrine: The Perseverance of the Saints

Article 15: Contrasting Reactions to the Teaching of Perseverance

This teaching about the perseverance of true believers and saints, and about their assurance of it — a teaching which God has very richly revealed in his Word for the glory of his name and for the comfort of the godly and which he impresses on the hearts of believers — is something which the flesh does not understand, Satan hates, the world ridicules, the ignorant and the hypocrites abuse, and the spirits of error attack. The bride of Christ, on the other hand, has always loved this teaching very tenderly and defended it steadfastly as a priceless treasure; and God, against whom no plan can avail and no strength can prevail, will ensure that she will continue to do this. To this God alone, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be honor and glory forever. Amen.

Larger Catechism, Week 46

November 15, 2018

Q. 178. What is prayer?
A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God,[1147] in the name of Christ,[1148] by the help of his Spirit;[1149] with confession of our sins,[1150] and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.[1151]

Q. 179. Are we to pray unto God only?
A. God only being able to search the hearts,[1152] hear the requests,[1153] pardon the sins,[1154] and fulfill the desires of all;[1155] and only to be believed in,[1156] and worshipped with religious worship;[1157] prayer, which is a special part thereof,[1158] is to be made by all to him alone,[1159] and to none other.[1160]

Q. 180. What is it to pray in the name of Christ?
A. To pray in the name of Christ is, in obedience to his command, and in confidence on his promises, to ask mercy for his sake;[1161] not by bare mentioning of his name,[1162] but by drawing our encouragement to pray, and our boldness, strength, and hope of acceptance in prayer, from Christ and his mediation.[1163]

Q. 181. Why are we to pray in the name of Christ?
A. The sinfulness of man, and his distance from God by reason thereof, being so great, as that we can have no access into his presence without a mediator;[1164] and there being none in heaven or earth appointed to, or fit for, that glorious work but Christ alone,[1165] we are to pray in no other name but his only.[1166]

Belgic Confession, Week 20

November 14, 2018

Article 29: The Marks of the True Church

We believe that we ought to discern diligently and very carefully, by the Word of God, what is the true church– for all sects in the world today claim for themselves the name of “the church.” We are not speaking here of the company of hypocrites who are mixed among the good in the church and who nonetheless are not part of it, even though they are physically there. But we are speaking of distinguishing the body and fellowship of the true church from all sects that call themselves “the church.” The true church can be recognized if it has the following marks: The church engages in the pure preaching of the gospel; it makes use of the pure administration of the sacraments as Christ instituted them; it practices church discipline for correcting faults. In short, it governs itself according to the pure Word of God, rejecting all things contrary to it and holding Jesus Christ as the only Head. By these marks one can be assured of recognizing the true church– and no one ought to be separated from it. As for those who can belong to the church, we can recognize them by the distinguishing marks of Christians: namely by faith, and by their fleeing from sin and pursuing righteousness, once they have received the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ. They love the true God and their neighbors, without turning to the right or left, and they crucify the flesh and its works. Though great weakness remains in them, they fight against it by the Spirit all the days of their lives, appealing constantly to the blood, suffering, death, and obedience of the Lord Jesus, in whom they have forgiveness of their sins, through faith in him. As for the false church, it assigns more authority to itself and its ordinances than to the Word of God; it does not want to subject itself to the yoke of Christ; it does not administer the sacraments as Christ commanded in his Word; it rather adds to them or subtracts from them as it pleases; it bases itself on men, more than on Jesus Christ; it persecutes those who live holy lives according to the Word of God and who rebuke it for its faults, greed, and idolatry. These two churches are easy to recognize and thus to distinguish from each other.

Shorter Catechism, Week 46

November 13, 2018

Q. 94. What is baptism?
A. Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,[193] doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.[194]

Q. 95. To whom is Baptism to be administered?
A. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him;[195] but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.[196]

Children’s Catechism, Week 46

November 12, 2018

Q. 126. What sign is used in baptism?
A. The washing with water.

Q. 127. What does this signify?
A. That we are cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ.

Q. 128. In whose name are we baptized?
A. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 45

November 11, 2018

45. Lord’s Day

Q. 116. Why is prayer necessary for christians?
A. Because it is the chief part of thankfulness which God requires of us: [a] and also, because God will give his grace and Holy Spirit to those only, who with sincere desires continually ask them of him, and are thankful for them. [b]

Q. 117. What are the requisites of that prayer, which is acceptable to God, and which he will hear?
A. First, that we from the heart pray [a] to the one true God only, who has manifested himself in his word, [b] for all things, he has commanded us to ask of him; [c] secondly, that we rightly and thoroughly know our need and misery, [d] that so we may deeply humble ourselves in the presence of his divine majesty; [e] thirdly, that we be fully persuaded that he, notwithstanding that we are unworthy of it, will, for the sake of Christ our Lord, certainly hear our prayer, [f] as he has promised us in his word. [g]

Q. 118. What has God commanded us to ask of him?
A. All things necessary for soul and body; which Christ our Lord has comprised in that prayer he himself has taught us. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Matt.6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Q. 119. What are the words of that prayer? [a]
A. Our Father which art in heaven, 1 Hallowed be thy name. 2 Thy kingdom come. 3 Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. 4 Give us this day our daily bread. 5 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 6 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.