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Shorter Catechism, week 3

January 16, 2018

Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?
A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.[22]

Q. 8. How doth God execute his decrees?
A. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence.[23]

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Children’s Catechism, week 3

January 15, 2018

Q. 9. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, and has not a body like men.

Q. 10. Where is God?
A. God is everywhere.

Q. 11. Can you see God?
A. No; I cannot see God, but he always sees me.

Q. 12. Does God know all things?
A. Yes; nothing can be hid from God.

Q. 13. Can God do all things?
A. Yes; God can do all his holy will.

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 2

January 14, 2018

2. Lord’s Day

Q. 3. Whence knowest thou thy misery?
A. Out of the law of God. [a]

Q. 4. What does the law of God require of us?
A. Christ teaches us that briefly, Matt. 22:37-40, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” [a]

Q. 5. Canst thou keep all these things perfectly?
A. In no wise; [a] for I am prone by nature to hate God and my neighbour.[b]

Westminster Confession, week 2

January 13, 2018

Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scripture

4: The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.[9]

5: We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture.[10] And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.[11]

6: The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.[12] Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word:[13] and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.[14]

7: All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all:[15] yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.[16]

Canons of Dordt, week 2

January 12, 2018

The First Head of Doctrine: Divine Election and Reprobation

Article 3: The Preaching of the Gospel

In order that people may be brought to faith, God mercifully sends proclaimers of this very joyful message to the people he wishes and at the time he wishes. By this ministry people are called to repentance and faith in Christ crucified. For how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without someone preaching? And how shall they preach unless they have been sent? (Rom. 10:14-15).

Article 4: A Twofold Response to the Gospel

God’s anger remains on those who do not believe this gospel. But those who do accept it and embrace Jesus the Savior with a true and living faith are delivered through him from God’s anger and from destruction, and receive the gift of eternal life.

Larger Catechism, week 2

January 11, 2018

Q. 6. What do the Scriptures make known of God?
A. The Scriptures make known what God is,[14] the persons in the Godhead,[15] his decrees,[16] and the execution of his decrees.[17]

Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit,[18] in and of himself infinite in being,[19] glory,[20] blessedness,[21] and perfection;[22] all-sufficient,[23] eternal,[24] unchangeable,[25] incomprehensible,[26] every where present,[27] almighty,[28] knowing all things,[29] most wise,[30] most holy,[31] most just,[32] most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.[33]

Q. 8. Are there more Gods than one?
A. There is but one only, the living and true God.[34]

Q. 9. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
A. There be three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory; although distinguished by their personal properties.[35]

Q. 10. What are the personal properties of the three persons in the Godhead?
A. It is proper to the Father to beget the Son,[36] and to the Son to be begotten of the Father,[37] and to the Holy Ghost to proceed from the Father and the Son from all eternity.[38]

Q. 11. How doth it appear that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father?
A. The Scriptures manifest that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father, ascribing unto them such names,[39] attributes,[40] works,[41] and worship,[42] as are proper to God only.

Belgic Confession, week 2

January 10, 2018

Article 4: The Canonical Books

We include in the Holy Scripture the two volumes of the Old and New Testaments. They are canonical books with which there can be no quarrel at all. In the church of God the list is as follows: In the Old Testament, the five books of Moses– Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; the books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth; the two books of Samuel, and two of Kings; the two books of Chronicles, called Paralipomenon; the first book of Ezra; Nehemiah, Esther, Job; the Psalms of David; the three books of Solomon– Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song; the four major prophets– Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel; and then the other twelve minor prophets– Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. In the New Testament, the four gospels– Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles; the fourteen letters of Paul– to the Romans; the two letters to the Corinthians; to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians; the two letters to the Thessalonians; the two letters to Timothy; to Titus, Philemon, and to the Hebrews; the seven letters of the other apostles– one of James; two of Peter; three of John; one of Jude; and the Revelation of the apostle John.

Article 5: The Authority of Scripture

We receive all these books and these only as holy and canonical, for the regulating, founding, and establishing of our faith. And we believe without a doubt all things contained in them– not so much because the church receives and approves them as such but above all because the Holy Spirit testifies in our hearts that they are from God, and also because they prove themselves to be from God. For even the blind themselves are able to see that the things predicted in them do happen.

Article 6: The Difference Between Canonical and Apocryphal Books

We distinguish between these holy books and the apocryphal ones, which are the third and fourth books of Esdras; the books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Jesus Sirach, Baruch; what was added to the Story of Esther; the Song of the Three Children in the Furnace; the Story of Susannah; the Story of Bell and the Dragon; the Prayer of Manasseh; and the two books of Maccabees. The church may certainly read these books and learn from them as far as they agree with the canonical books. But they do not have such power and virtue that one could confirm from their testimony any point of faith or of the Christian religion. Much less can they detract from the authority of the other holy books.

Shorter Catechism, week 2

January 9, 2018

Q. 4. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit,[7] infinite,[8] eternal,[9] and unchangeable,[10] in his being,[11] wisdom,[12] power,[13] holiness,[14] justice,[15] goodness,[16] and truth.[17]

Q. 5. Are there more Gods than one?
A. There is but one only,[18] the living and true God.[19]

Q. 6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
A. There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;[20] and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.[21]

Children’s Catechism, week 2

January 8, 2018

Q. 6. Are there more gods than one?
A. There is only one God.

Q. 7. In how many persons does this one God exist?
A. In three persons.

Q. 8. What are they?
A. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 1

January 7, 2018

1. Lord’s Day

Q. 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
A. That I with body and soul, both in life and death, [a] am not my own, [b] but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; [c] who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, [d] and delivered me from all the power of the devil; [e] and so preserves me [f] that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; [g] yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, [h] and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, [i] and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. [j]

Q. 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?
A. Three; [a] the first, how great my sins and miseries are; [b] the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; [c] the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance. [d]