Canons of Dordt, week 20

May 19, 2017

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

Article 8: The Saving Effectiveness of Christ’s Death

For it was the entirely free plan and very gracious will and intention of God the Father that the enlivening and saving effectiveness of his Son’s costly death should work itself out in all his chosen ones, in order that he might grant justifying faith to them only and thereby lead them without fail to salvation. In other words, it was God’s will that Christ through the blood of the cross (by which he confirmed the new covenant) should effectively redeem from every people, tribe, nation, and language all those and only those who were chosen from eternity to salvation and given to him by the Father; that he should grant them faith (which, like the Holy Spirit’s other saving gifts, he acquired for them by his death); that he should cleanse them by his blood from all their sins, both original and actual, whether committed before or after their coming to faith; that he should faithfully preserve them to the very end; and that he should finally present them to himself, a glorious people, without spot or wrinkle.

Article 9: The Fulfillment of God’s Plan

This plan, arising out of God’s eternal love for his chosen ones, from the beginning of the world to the present time has been powerfully carried out and will also be carried out in the future, the gates of hell seeking vainly to prevail against it. As a result the chosen are gathered into one, all in their own time, and there is always a church of believers founded on Christ’s blood, a church which steadfastly loves, persistently worships, and — here and in all eternity — praises him as her Savior who laid down his life for her on the cross, as a bridegroom for his bride.


Larger Catechism, week 20

May 18, 2017

Q. 87. What are we to believe concerning the resurrection?
A. We are to believe that at the last day there shall be a general resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust:[379] when they that are then found alive shall in a moment be changed; and the selfsame bodies of the dead which were laid in the grave, being then again united to their souls forever, shall be raised up by the power of Christ.[380] The bodies of the just, by the Spirit of Christ, and by virtue of his resurrection as their head, shall be raised in power, spiritual, incorruptible, and made like to his glorious body;[381] and the bodies of the wicked shall be raised up in dishonour by him, as an offended judge.[382]

Q. 88. What shall immediately follow after the resurrection?
A. Immediately after the resurrection shall follow the general and final judgment of angels and men;[383] the day and hour whereof no man knoweth, that all may watch and pray, and be ever ready for the coming of the Lord.[384]

Q. 89. What shall be done to the wicked at the day of judgment?
A. At the day of judgment, the wicked shall be set on Christ’s left hand,[385] and, upon clear evidence, and full conviction of their own consciences,[386] shall have the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them;[387] and thereupon shall be cast out from the favourable presence of God, and the glorious fellowship with Christ, his saints, and all his holy angels, into hell, to be punished with unspeakable torments, both of body and soul, with the devil and his angels forever.[388]

Q. 90. What shall be done to the righteous at the day of judgment?
A. At the day of judgment, the righteous, being caught up to Christ in the clouds,[389] shall be set on his right hand, and there openly acknowledged and acquitted,[390] shall join with him in the judging of reprobate angels and men,[391] and shall be received into heaven,[392] where they shall be fully and forever freed from all sin and misery;[393] filled with inconceivable joys,[394] made perfectly holy and happy both in body and soul, in the company of innumerable saints and holy angels,[395] but especially in the immediate vision and fruition of God the Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, to all eternity.[396] And this is the perfect and full communion, which the members of the invisible church shall enjoy with Christ in glory, at the resurrection and day of judgment.


Belgic Confession, week 20

May 17, 2017

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 20

May 16, 2017

Q. 31. What is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ,[86] and renewing our wills,[87] he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ,[88] freely offered to us in the gospel.[89]


Children’s Catechism, week 20

May 15, 2017

Q. 69. Why do you need Christ as a prophet?
A. Because I am ignorant.

Q. 70. Why do you need Christ as a priest?
A. Because I am guilty.

Q. 71. Why do you need Christ as a king?
A. Because I am weak and helpless.


Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s day 20

May 14, 2017

20. Lord’s Day

Q. 53. What dost thou believe concerning the Holy Ghost?
A. First, that he is true and coeternal God with the Father and the Son; [a] secondly, that he is also given me, [b] to make me by a true faith, partaker of Christ and all his benefits, [c] that he may comfort me [d] and abide with me for ever. [e]


Westminster Confession, week 19

May 13, 2017

Chapter 11: Of Justification

4: God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect,[244] and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification:[245] nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit does, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.[246]

5: God does continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified;[247] and although they can never fall from the sate of justification,[248] yet they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.[249]

6: The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament.[250]


Canons of Dordt, week 19

May 12, 2017

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

Article 6: Unbelief Man’s Responsibility

However, that many who have been called through the gospel do not repent or believe in Christ but perish in unbelief is not because the sacrifice of Christ offered on the cross is deficient or insufficient, but because they themselves are at fault.

Article 7: Faith God’s Gift

But all who genuinely believe and are delivered and saved by Christ’s death from their sins and from destruction receive this favor solely from God’s grace – which he owes to no one – given to them in Christ from eternity.


Larger Catechism, week 19

May 11, 2017

Q. 82. What is the communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
A. The communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is in this life,[357] immediately after death,[358] and at last perfected at the resurrection and day of judgment.[359]

Q. 83. What is the communion in glory with Christ which the members of the invisible church enjoy in this life?
A. The members of the invisible church have communicated to them in this life the firstfruits of glory with Christ, as they are members of him their head, and so in him are interested in that glory which he is fully possessed of;[360] and, as an earnest thereof, enjoy the sense of God’s love,[361] peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and hope of glory;[362] as, on the contrary, sense of God’s revenging wrath, horror of conscience, and a fearful expectation of judgment, are to the wicked the beginning of their torments which they shall endure after death.[363]

Q. 84. Shall all men die?
A. Death being threatened as the wages of sin,[364] it is appointed unto all men once to die;[365] for that all have sinned.[366]

Q. 85. Death, being the wages of sin, why are not the righteous delivered from death, seeing all their sins are forgiven in Christ?
A. The righteous shall be delivered from death itself at the last day, and even in death are delivered from the sting and curse of it;[367] so that, although they die, yet it is out of God’s love,[368] to free them perfectly from sin and misery,[369] and to make them capable of further communion with Christ in glory, which they then enter upon.[370]

Q. 86. What is the communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death?
A. The communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death is, in that their souls are then made perfect in holiness,[371] and received into the highest heavens,[372] where they behold the face of God in light and glory,[373] waiting for the full redemption of their bodies,[374] which even in death continue united to Christ,[375] and rest in their graves as in their beds,[376] till at the last day they be again united to their souls.[377] Whereas the souls of the wicked are at their death cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, and their bodies kept in their graves, as in their prisons, till the resurrection and judgment of the great day.[378]


Belgic Confession, week 19

May 10, 2017

Article 28: The Obligations of Church Members

We believe that since this holy assembly and congregation is the gathering of those who are saved and there is no salvation apart from it, no one ought to withdraw from it, content to be by himself, regardless of his status or condition. But all people are obliged to join and unite with it, keeping the unity of the church by submitting to its instruction and discipline, by bending their necks under the yoke of Jesus Christ, and by serving to build up one another, according to the gifts God has given them as members of each other in the same body. And to preserve this unity more effectively, it is the duty of all believers, according to God’s Word, to separate themselves from those who do not belong to the church, in order to join this assembly wherever God has established it, even if civil authorities and royal decrees forbid and death and physical punishment result. And so, all who withdraw from the church or do not join it act contrary to God’s ordinance.