Belgic Confession, Week 23

June 5, 2019

Article 34: The Sacrament of Baptism

We believe and confess that Jesus Christ, in whom the law is fulfilled, has by his shed blood put an end to every other shedding of blood, which anyone might do or wish to do in order to atone or satisfy for sins. Having abolished circumcision, which was done with blood, he established in its place the sacrament of baptism. By it we are received into God’s church and set apart from all other people and alien religions, that we may be dedicated entirely to him, bearing his mark and sign. It also witnesses to us that he will be our God forever, since he is our gracious Father. Therefore he has commanded that all those who belong to him be baptized with pure water in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.[76] In this way he signifies to us that just as water washes away the dirt of the body when it is poured on us and also is seen on the body of the baptized when it is sprinkled on him, so too the blood of Christ does the same thing internally, in the soul, by the Holy Spirit. It washes and cleanses it from its sins and transforms us from being the children of wrath into the children of God. This does not happen by the physical water but by the sprinkling of the precious blood of the Son of God, who is our Red Sea, through which we must pass to escape the tyranny of Pharoah, who is the devil, and to enter the spiritual land of Canaan. So ministers, as far as their work is concerned, give us the sacrament and what is visible, but our Lord gives what the sacrament signifies– namely the invisible gifts and graces; washing, purifying, and cleansing our souls of all filth and unrighteousness; renewing our hearts and filling them with all comfort; giving us true assurance of his fatherly goodness; clothing us with the “new man” and stripping off the “old,” with all its works. For this reason we believe that anyone who aspires to reach eternal life ought to be baptized only once without ever repeating it– for we cannot be born twice. Yet this baptism is profitable not only when the water is on us and when we receive it but throughout our entire lives. For that reason we detest the error of the Anabaptists who are not content with a single baptism once received and also condemn the baptism of the children of believers. We believe our children ought to be baptized and sealed with the sign of the covenant, as little children were circumcised in Israel on the basis of the same promises made to our children. And truly, Christ has shed his blood no less for washing the little children of believers than he did for adults. Therefore they ought to receive the sign and sacrament of what Christ has done for them, just as the Lord commanded in the law that by offering a lamb for them the sacrament of the suffering and death of Christ would be granted them shortly after their birth. This was the sacrament of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, baptism does for our children what circumcision did for the Jewish people. That is why Paul calls baptism the “circumcision of Christ.”[77]

Advertisements

Shorter Catechism, Week 23

June 4, 2019

Q. 34. What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of God’s free grace,a whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges, of the sons of God.[96]


Children’s Catechism, Week 22

June 3, 2019

Q. 74. What do the first four commandments teach?
A. Our duty to God.

Q. 75. What do the last six commandments teach?
A. Our duty to our fellow men.


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 22

June 2, 2019

22. Lord’s Day

Q. 57. What comfort does the “resurrection of the body” afford thee?
A. That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken up to Christ its head; [a] but also, that this my body, being raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and made like unto the glorious body of Christ. [b]

Q. 58. What comfort takest thou from the article of “life everlasting”?
A. That since I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, [a] after this life, I shall inherit perfect salvation, which “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man” to conceive, and that to praise God therein for ever. [b]


Westminster Confession, Week 22

June 1, 2019

Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith

1: The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls,[278] is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts,[279] and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word,[280] by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.[281]

2: By this faith, a Christian believes to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein;[282] and acts differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands,[283]trembling at the threatenings,[284] and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come.[285] But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.[286]

3: This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong;[287] may be often and many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory:[288] growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance, through Christ,[289] who is both the author and finisher of our faith.[290]


Canons of Dordt, Week 22

May 31, 2019

The Second Head of Doctrine: Christ’s Death and Human Redemption Through It

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

III

Who teach that Christ, by the satisfaction which he gave, did not certainly merit for anyone salvation itself and the faith by which this satisfaction of Christ is effectively applied to salvation, but only acquired for the Father the authority or plenary will to relate in a new way with men and to impose such new conditions as he chose, and that the satisfying of these conditions depends on the free choice of man; consequently, that it was possible that either all or none would fulfill them.

For they have too low an opinion of the death of Christ, do not at all acknowledge the foremost fruit or benefit which it brings forth, and summon back from hell the Pelagian error.

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

IV

Who teach that what is involved in the new covenant of grace which God the Father made with men through the intervening of Christ’s death is not that we are justified before God and saved through faith, insofar as it accepts Christ’s merit, but rather that God, having withdrawn his demand for perfect obedience to the law, counts faith itself, and the imperfect obedience of faith, as perfect obedience to the law, and graciously looks upon this as worthy of the reward of eternal life.

For they contradict Scripture: They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ, whom God presented as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood (Rom. 3:24-25). And along with the ungodly Socinus, they introduce a new and foreign justification of man before God, against the consensus of the whole church.


Larger Catechism, Week 22

May 30, 2019

Q. 95. Of what use is the moral law to all men?
A. The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature and the will of God,[404] and of their duty, binding them to walk accordingly;[405] to convince them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts, and lives:[406] to humble them in the sense of their sin and misery,[407] and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ,[408] and of the perfection of his obedience.[409]

Q. 96. What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate men?
A. The moral law is of use to unregenerate men, to awaken their consciences to flee from wrath to come,[410] and to drive them to Christ;[411] or, upon their continuance in the estate and way of sin, to leave them inexcusable,[412] and under the curse thereof.[413]

Q. 97. What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?
A. Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works,[414] so as thereby they are neither justified[415] nor condemned;[416] yet, besides the general uses thereof common to them with all men, it is of special use, to show them how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in their stead, and for their good;[417] and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness,[418] and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience.[419]

Q. 98. Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?
A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments, which were delivered by the voice of God upon Mount Sinai, and written by him in two tables of stone;[420] and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus. The four first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to man.[421]


Belgic Confession, Week 22

May 29, 2019

Article 33: The Sacraments

We believe that our good God, mindful of our crudeness and weakness, has ordained sacraments for us to seal his promises in us, to pledge his good will and grace toward us, and also to nourish and sustain our faith. He has added these to the Word of the gospel to represent better to our external senses both what he enables us to understand by his Word and what he does inwardly in our hearts, confirming in us the salvation he imparts to us. For they are visible signs and seals of something internal and invisible, by means of which God works in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. So they are not empty and hollow signs to fool and deceive us, for their truth is Jesus Christ, without whom they would be nothing. Moreover, we are satisfied with the number of sacraments that Christ our Master has ordained for us. There are only two: the sacrament of baptism and the Holy Supper of Jesus Christ.


Shorter Catechism, Week 22

May 28, 2019

Q. 33. What is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace,[91] wherein he pardoneth all our sins,[92] and accepteth us as righteous in His sight,[93] only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us,[94] and received by faith alone.[95]


Children’s Catechism, Week 21

May 27, 2019

Q. 72. How many commandments did God give on Mount Sinai?
A. Ten commandments.

Q. 73. What are the ten commandments sometimes called?
A. The Decalogue.