Westminster Confession, Week 31

August 1, 2020

Chapter 19: Of the Law of God

3: Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits;[368] and partly, holding forth divers instructions of moral duties.[369] All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the New Testament.[370]

4: To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging under any now, further than the general equity thereof may require.[371]

5: The moral law does forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof;[372] and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it.[373] Neither does Christ, in the Gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.[374]

Canons of Dordt, Week 31

July 31, 2020

The Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine: Human Corruption, Conversion to God, and the Way It Occurs

Article 15: Responses to God’s Grace

God does not owe this grace to anyone. For what could God owe to one who has nothing to give that can be paid back? Indeed, what could God owe to one who has nothing of his own to give but sin and falsehood? Therefore the person who receives this grace owes and gives eternal thanks to God alone; the person who does not receive it either does not care at all about these spiritual things and is satisfied with himself in his condition, or else in self-assurance foolishly boasts about having something which he lacks. Furthermore, following the example of the apostles, we are to think and to speak in the most favorable way about those who outwardly profess their faith and better their lives, for the inner chambers of the heart are unknown to us. But for others who have not yet been called, we are to pray to the God who calls things that do not exist as though they did. In no way, however, are we to pride ourselves as better than they, as though we had distinguished ourselves from them.

Article 16: Regeneration’s Effect

However, just as by the fall man did not cease to be man, endowed with intellect and will, and just as sin, which has spread through the whole human race, did not abolish the nature of the human race but distorted and spiritually killed it, so also this divine grace of regeneration does not act in people as if they were blocks and stones; nor does it abolish the will and its properties or coerce a reluctant will by force, but spiritually revives, heals, reforms, and — in a manner at once pleasing and powerful — bends it back. As a result, a ready and sincere obedience of the Spirit now begins to prevail where before the rebellion and resistance of the flesh were completely dominant. It is in this that the true and spiritual restoration and freedom of our will consists. Thus, if the marvelous Maker of every good thing were not dealing with us, man would have no hope of getting up from his fall by his free choice, by which he plunged himself into ruin when still standing upright.

Larger Catechism, Week 31

July 30, 2020

Q. 127. What is the honour that inferiors owe to their superiors?
A. The honour which inferiors owe to their superiors is, all due reverence in heart,[658] word, [659] and behaviour;[660] prayer and thanksgiving for them;[661] imitation of their virtues and graces;[662] willing obedience to their lawful commands and counsels;[663] due submission to their corrections;[664] fidelity to,[665] defence,[666] and maintenance of their persons and authority, according to their several ranks, and the nature of their places;[667] bearing with their infirmities, and covering them in love,[668] that so they may be an honour to them and to their government.[669]

Q. 128. What are the sins of inferiors against their superiors?
A. The sins of inferiors against their superiors are, all neglect of the duties required toward them;[670] envying at,[671] contempt of,[672] and rebellion[673] against, their persons[674] and places,[675] in their lawful counsels,[676] commands, and corrections;[677] cursing, mocking[678] and all such refractory and scandalous carriage, as proves a shame and dishonour to them and their government.[679]

Q. 129. What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?
A. It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love,[680] pray for,[681] and bless their inferiors;[682] to instruct,[683] counsel, and admonish them;[684] countenancing,[685] commending,[686] and rewarding such as do well;[687] and discountenancing,[688] reproving, and chastising such as do ill;[689] protecting,[690] and providing for them all things necessary for soul[691] and body:[692] and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God,[693] honour to themselves,[694] and so to preserve that authority which God hath put upon them.[695]

Q. 130. What are the sins of superiors?
A. The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of them,[696] and inordinate seeking of themselves,[697] their own glory,[698] ease, profit, or pleasure;[699] commanding things unlawful,[700] or not in the power of inferiors to perform;[701] counseling,[702] encouraging,[703] or favouring them in that which is evil;[704] dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good;[705] correcting them unduly;[706] careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation, and danger;[707] provoking them to wrath;[708] or any way dishonouring themselves, or lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behaviour.[709]

Q. 131. What are the duties of equals?
A. The duties of equals are, to regard the dignity and worth of each other,[710] in giving honour to go one before another;[711] and to rejoice in each others’ gifts and advancement, as their own.[712]

Q. 132. What are the sins of equals?
A. The sins of equals are, besides the neglect of the duties required,[713] the undervaluing of the worth,[714] envying the gifts,[715] grieving at the advancement of prosperity one of another;[716] and usurping pre-eminence one over another.[717]

Q. 133. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, in these words, That thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee,[718] is an express promise of long life and prosperity, as far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good, to all such as keep this commandment.[719]

Belgic Confession, Week 5

July 29, 2020

Article 9: The Scriptural Witness on the Trinity

All these things we know from the testimonies of Holy Scripture as well as from the effects of the persons, especially from those we feel within ourselves. The testimonies of the Holy Scriptures, which teach us to believe in this Holy Trinity, are written in many places of the Old Testament, which need not be enumerated but only chosen with discretion. In the book of Genesis God says, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” So “God created man in his own image”– indeed, “male and female he created them.”[6] “Behold, man has become like one of us.”[7] It appears from this that there is a plurality of persons within the Deity, when he says, “Let us make man in our image”– and afterwards he indicates the unity when he says, “God created.” It is true that he does not say here how many persons there are– but what is somewhat obscure to us in the Old Testament is very clear in the New. For when our Lord was baptized in the Jordan, the voice of the Father was heard saying, “This is my dear Son”;[8] the Son was seen in the water; and the Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a dove. So, in the baptism of all believers this form was prescribed by Christ: “Baptize all people in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”[9] In the Gospel according to Luke the angel Gabriel says to Mary, the mother of our Lord: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and therefore that holy one to be born of you shall be called the Son of God.”[10] And in another place it says: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.”[11] “There are three who bear witness in heaven– the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit– and these three are one.”[12] In all these passages we are fully taught that there are three persons in the one and only divine essence. And although this doctrine surpasses human understanding, we nevertheless believe it now, through the Word, waiting to know and enjoy it fully in heaven. Furthermore, we must note the particular works and activities of these three persons in relation to us. The Father is called our Creator, by reason of his power. The Son is our Savior and Redeemer, by his blood. The Holy Spirit is our Sanctifier, by his living in our hearts. This doctrine of the holy Trinity has always been maintained in the true church, from the time of the apostles until the present, against Jews, Muslims, and certain false Christians and heretics, such as Marcion, Mani, Praxeas, Sabellius, Paul of Samosata, Arius, and others like them, who were rightly condemned by the holy fathers. And so, in this matter we willingly accept the three ecumenical creeds– the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian– as well as what the ancient fathers decided in agreement with them.

Shorter Catechism, Week 30

July 28, 2020

Q. 45. Which is the first commandment?
A. The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.[119]

Q. 46. What is required in the first commandment?
A. The first commandment requireth us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and our God; and to worship and glorify him accordingly.[120]

Q. 47. What is forbidden in the first commandment?
A. The first commandment forbiddeth the denying,[121] or not worshiping and glorifying, the true God as God,[122] and our God;[123] and the giving of that worship and glory to any other, which is due to him alone.[124]

Q. 48. What are we specially taught by these words before me in the first commandment?
A. These words before me in the first commandment teach us, that God, who seeth all things, taketh notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God.[125]

Children’s Catechism, Week 30

July 27, 2020

Q. 91. What is the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment is, Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Q. 92. What does the fifth commandment teach me?
A. To love and obey our parents and teachers.

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 30

July 26, 2020

30. Lord’s Day

Q. 80. What difference is there between the Lord’s supper and the popish mass?
A. The Lord’s supper testifies to us, that we have a full pardon of all sin by the only sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which he himself has once accomplished on the cross; [a] and, that we by the Holy Ghost are ingrafted into Christ, [b] who, according to his human nature is now not on earth, but in heaven, at the right hand of God his Father, [c] and will there be worshipped by us. [d] But the mass teaches, that the living and dead have not the pardon of sins through the sufferings of Christ, unless Christ is also daily offered for them by the priests; and further, that Christ is bodily under the form of bread and wine, and therefore is to be worshipped in them; so that the mass, at bottom, is nothing else than a denial of the one sacrifice and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and an accursed idolatry. [e]

Q. 81. For whom is the Lord’s supper instituted?
A. For those who are truly sorrowful for their sins, and yet trust that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their remaining infirmities are covered by his passion and death; and who also earnestly desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy; but hypocrites, and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat and drink judgment to themselves. [a]

Q. 82. Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who, by confession and life, declare themselves unbelieving and ungodly?
A. No; for by this, the covenant of God would be profaned, and his wrath kindled against the whole congregation; [a] therefore it is the duty of the christian church, according to the appointment of Christ and his apostles, to exclude such persons, by the keys of the kingdom of heaven, till they show amendment of life.

Westminster Confession, Week 30

July 25, 2020

Chapter 19: Of the Law of God

1: God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and all his posterity, to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience, promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.[365]

2: This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables:[366] the first four commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.[367]

Canons of Dordt, Week 30

July 24, 2020

The Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine: Human Corruption, Conversion to God, and the Way It Occurs

Article 13: The Incomprehensible Way of Regeneration

In this life believers cannot fully understand the way this work occurs; meanwhile, they rest content with knowing and experiencing that by this grace of God they do believe with the heart and love their Savior.

Article 14: The Way God Gives Faith

In this way, therefore, faith is a gift of God, not in the sense that it is offered by God for man to choose, but that it is in actual fact bestowed on man, breathed and infused into him. Nor is it a gift in the sense that God bestows only the potential to believe, but then awaits assent — the act of believing — from man’s choice; rather, it is a gift in the sense that he who works both willing and acting and, indeed, works all things in all people produces in man both the will to believe and the belief itself.

Larger Catechism, Week 30

July 23, 2020

Q. 122. What is the sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man?
A. The sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man, is, to love our neighbour as ourselves,[646] and to do to others what we would have them to do to us.[647]

Q. 123. Which is the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment is, Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.[648]

Q. 124. Who are meant by father and mother in the fifth commandment?
A. By father and mother, in the fifth commandment, are meant, not only natural parents,[649] but all superiors in age[650] and gifts;[651] and especially such as, by God’s ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family,[652] church,[653] or commonwealth.[654]

Q. 125. Why are superiors styled father and mother?
A. Superiors are styled father and mother, both to teach them in all duties toward their inferiors, like natural parents, to express love and tenderness to them, according to their several relations;[655] and to work inferiors to a greater willingness and cheerfulness in performing their duties to their superiors, as to their parents.[656]

Q. 126. What is the general scope of the fifth commandment?
A. The general scope of the fifth commandment is, the performance of those duties which we mutually owe in our several relations, as inferiors, superiors, or equals.[657]