Larger Catechism, Week 41

October 14, 2021

Q. 161. How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
A. The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not by any power in themselves, or any virtue derived from the piety or intention of him by whom they are administered, but only by the working of the Holy Ghost, and the blessing of Christ, by whom they are instituted[1047].

Q. 162. What is a sacrament?
A. A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ in his church,[1048] to signify, seal, and exhibit[1049] unto those that are within the covenant of grace,[1050] the benefits of his mediation;[1051] to strengthen and increase their faith, and all other graces;[1052] to oblige them to obedience;[1053] to testify and cherish their love and communion one with another;[1054] and to distinguish them from those that are without.[1055]

Q. 163. What are the parts of a sacrament?
A. The parts of the sacrament are two; the one an outward and sensible sign, used according to Christ’s own appointment; the other an inward and spiritual grace thereby signified.[1056]

Q. 164. How many sacraments hath Christ instituted in his church under the New Testament?
A. Under the New Testament Christ hath instituted in his church only two sacraments, baptism and the Lord’s supper.[1057]


Belgic Confession, Week 15

October 13, 2021

Article 23: The Justification of Sinners

We believe that our blessedness lies in the forgiveness of our sins because of Jesus Christ, and that in it our righteousness before God is contained, as David and Paul teach us when they declare that man blessed to whom God grants righteousness apart from works.[54] And the same apostle says that we are justified “freely” or “by grace” through redemption in Jesus Christ.[55] And therefore we cling to this foundation, which is firm forever, giving all glory to God, humbling ourselves, and recognizing ourselves as we are; not claiming a thing for ourselves or our merits and leaning and resting on the sole obedience of Christ crucified, which is ours when we believe in him. That is enough to cover all our sins and to make us confident, freeing the conscience from the fear, dread, and terror of God’s approach, without doing what our first father, Adam, did, who trembled as he tried to cover himself with fig leaves. In fact, if we had to appear before God relying– no matter how little– on ourselves or some other creature, then, alas, we would be swallowed up. Therefore everyone must say with David: “Lord, do not enter into judgment with your servants, for before you no living person shall be justified.”[56]


Shorter Catechism, Week 41

October 12, 2021

Q. 82. Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A. No mere man, since the fall, is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed.[173]

Q. 83. Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?
A. Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.[174]


Children’s Catechism, Week 41

October 11, 2021

Q. 114. What is the third petition?
A. “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Q. 115. What do we pray for in the third petition?
A. That men on earth may serve God as the angels do in heaven.


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 41

October 10, 2021

41. Lord’s Day

Q. 108. What does the seventh commandment teach us?
A. That all uncleanness is accursed of God: [a] and that therefore we must with all our hearts detest the same, [b] and live chastely and temperately, [c] whether in holy wedlock, or in single life. [d]

Q. 109. Does God forbid in this commandment, only adultery, and such like gross sins?
A. Since both our body and soul are temples of the holy Ghost, he commands us to preserve them pure and holy: therefore he forbids all unchaste actions, gestures, words, [a] thoughts, desires, [b] and whatever can entice men thereto. [c]


Westminster Confession, Week 41

October 9, 2021

Chapter 25: Of the Church

1: The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all.[489]

2: The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion;[490] and of their children:[491] and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,[492] the house and family of God,[493] out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.[494]

3: Unto this catholic visible Church Christ has given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and does, by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto.[495]


Canons of Dordt, Week 41

October 8, 2021

The Fifth Head of Doctrine: The Perseverance of the Saints

Article 5: The Effects of Such Serious Sins

By such monstrous sins, however, they greatly offend God, deserve the sentence of death, grieve the Holy Spirit, suspend the exercise of faith, severely wound the conscience, and sometimes lose the awareness of grace for a time — until, after they have returned to the way by genuine repentance, God’s fatherly face again shines upon them.

Article 6: God’s Saving Intervention

For God, who is rich in mercy, according to his unchangeable purpose of election does not take his Holy Spirit from his own completely, even when they fall grievously. Neither does he let them fall down so far that they forfeit the grace of adoption and the state of justification, or commit the sin which leads to death (the sin against the Holy Spirit), and plunge themselves, entirely forsaken by him, into eternal ruin.


Larger Catechism, Week 40

October 7, 2021

Q. 156. Is the Word of God to be read by all?
A. Although all are not to be permitted to read the Word publicly to the congregation,[1001] yet all sorts of people are bound to read it apart by themselves,[1002] and with their families:[1003] to which end, the holy scriptures are to be translated out of the original into vulgar languages.[1004]

Q. 157. How is the Word of God to be read?
A. The holy Scriptures are to be read with an high and reverent esteem of them;[1005] with a firm persuasion that they are the very Word of God,[1006] and that he only can enable us to understand them;[1007] with desire to know, believe, and obey the will of God revealed in them;[1008] with diligence,[1009] and attention to the matter and scope of them;[1010] with meditation,[1011] application,[1012] self-denial,[1013] and prayer.[1014]

Q. 158. By whom is the Word of God to be preached?
A. The Word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted,[1015] and also duly approved and called to that office.[1016]

Q. 159. How is the Word of God to be preached by those that are called thereunto?
A. They that are called to labour in the ministry of the Word, are to preach sound doctrine,[1017] diligently,[1018] in season and out of season;[1019] plainly,[1020] not in the enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power;[1021] faithfully,[1022] making known the whole counsel of God;[1023] wisely,[1024] applying themselves to the necessities and capacities of the hearers;[1025] zealously,[1026] with fervent love to God[1027] and the souls of his people;[1028] sincerely,[1029] aiming at his glory,[1030] and their conversion,[1031] edification,[1032] and salvation.[1033]

Q. 160. What is required of those that hear the Word preached?
A. It is required of those that hear the Word preached, that they attend upon it with diligence,[1034] preparation,[1035] and prayer;[1036] examine what they hear by the Scriptures;[1037] receive the truth with faith,[1038] love,[1039] meekness,[1040] and readiness of mind,[1041] as the Word of God;[1042] meditate,[1043] and confer of it;[1044] hide it in their hearts,[1045] and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives[1046].


Belgic Confession, Week 14

October 6, 2021

Article 22: The Righteousness of Faith

We believe that for us to acquire the true knowledge of this great mystery the Holy Spirit kindles in our hearts a true faith that embraces Jesus Christ, with all his merits, and makes him its own, and no longer looks for anything apart from him. For it must necessarily follow that either all that is required for our salvation is not in Christ or, if all is in him, then he who has Christ by faith has his salvation entirely. Therefore, to say that Christ is not enough but that something else is needed as well is a most enormous blasphemy against God– for it then would follow that Jesus Christ is only half a Savior. And therefore we justly say with Paul that we are justified “by faith alone” or by faith “apart from works.”[53] However, we do not mean, properly speaking, that it is faith itself that justifies us– for faith is only the instrument by which we embrace Christ, our righteousness. But Jesus Christ is our righteousness in making available to us all his merits and all the holy works he has done for us and in our place. And faith is the instrument that keeps us in communion with him and with all his benefits. When those benefits are made ours they are more than enough to absolve us of our sins.


Shorter Catechism, Week 40

October 5, 2021

Q. 79. Which is the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.[168]

Q. 80. What is required in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition,[169] with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbor, and all that is his.[170]

Q. 81. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own estate,[171] envying or grieving at the good of our neighbor, and all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.[172]