Schaff’s Catechism

A Catechism

for

SUNDAY SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES

in fifty-two lessons

WITH PEOOF-TEXTS AND NOTES.

 

by PHILIP SCHAFF

Professor in the Union Theological Seminary, New York.

 

FROM HOME TO THE SCHOOL

FROM THE SCHOOL TO THE CHURCH

FROM THE CHURCH TO HEAVEN

source

 

INTRODUCTORY LESSONS

I. The True End of Man

 

1. Who made you?

Almighty God, our heavenly Father.

2. Who redeemed you?

Our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. Who sanctifies you?

The Holy Spirit.

4. For what end were you created?

For the glory of God and for eternal blessedness.

5. What, then, should be your chief concern in this life?

To do the will of God, and to save my soul.

 

II. The Way of Salvation

1. Is it the will of God, that you should be saved?

Yes.

2. Why so?

Because God is love, and will have all men to be saved.

3. How has God revealed his love to you?

By giving his only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

4. Can you be saved by your own strength?

No; but only by the grace of God in Christ.

5. What must you do to be saved?

I must repent of my sins, and believe in Jesus Christ.

6. Where is the way of salvation pointed out to us?

In the Holy Scriptures.

 

III. Of the Holy Scriptures

1. Where has God revealed himself?

In the works of creation, in the conscience of man, and in the history of nations.

2. Where has God most fully and clearly revealed himself?

In His holy word, and in the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

3. Where is the Word of God contained?

In the Bible, or the Holy Scriptures.

4. What does the word Bible mean?

The Book of books, or the best and most important of all books.

5. Who wrote the Bible?

Prophets and Apostles, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

6. What are the contents of the Bible?

The revelation of the triune God in the creation, the redemption, and the sanctification of the world.

7. What benefit is the Bible to us?

It shows us the way of salvation and is the infallible rule of the Christian faith and life.

8. Who enables you to understand the Bible?

The same Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible and is given to believers.

9. What use should you make of the Bible?

We should diligently and devoutly read the Bible, as the book of God, and conform to its teachings.

 

IV. The Old and the New Testament

1. What are the two parts of the Bible?

The Old and the New Testament.

2. What does the word Testament mean?

The covenant which God made with man.

3. What covenants did God make with man?

First the covenant of the law through his servant Moses, and then the covenant of the gospel through his Son Jesus Christ.

4. What does the Old Testament contain?

The law and the promise.

5. What does the New Testament contain?

The gospel, which is the fulfillment of the law and the promise.

6. How, then, are both related to each other?

The Old Testament is the preparation for the New, and the New Testament is the perfection of the Old.

7. In what language was the Bible originally written?

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek; but both are now translated into almost every language of the world.

8. What is the sum and substance of both Testaments?

Jesus Christ.

 

V. The Old Testament

1. How many books does the Old Testament contain?

Thirty-nine.

2. How are they divided?

Into historical, poetical, and prophetical books.

3. Name the historical books.

First, the five hooks of Moses, severally called Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

4. Name the other historical books.

Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, First and Second Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.

5. Which are the poetical books?

Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes or the Preacher, and the Song of Solomon.

6. Which are the prophetical books?

The prophecies of the four greater, and the twelve minor prophets.

7. Name the greater prophets.

Isaiah, Jeremiah (with the Lamentations), Ezekiel, and Daniel.

8. Name the minor prophets.

Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

9. What are all these books called?

The canonical books of the Old Testament.

10. Why so?

Because they are divinely inspired, and, together with the New Testament, constitute the rule of faith.

 

VI. The New Testament.

1. How many books does the New Testament contain?

Twenty-seven.

2. How is the New Testament divided?

Into historical, doctrinal, and prophetical books.

3. Which are the historical books of the New Testament?

The four Gospels and the Acts.

4. Who wrote the Gospels?

The Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

5. What does the word Gospel mean?

The glad tidings of salvation in Christ.

6. Of what do the Gospels treat?

The life and doctrine, as well as the death and resurrection, of Jesus Christ.

7. Who is the author of the Acts of the Apostles?

Luke, the Evangelist.

8. What do the Acts contain?

The history of the founding and spread of Christianity under the Apostles, especially St. Peter and St. Paul.

9. Which are the doctrinal or didactic books?

Fourteen epistles of Paul, and seven catholic or general epistles.

10. Name the Epistles of St. Paul.

The Epistle to the Romans, First and Second Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, First and Second Thessalonians, First and Second Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews.

11. Name the catholic or general Epistles.

Two Epistles of Peter, three of John, one of James, and one of Jude.

12. Of what do the doctrinal books treat?

The Christian faith and life.

13. Which is the prophetical book of the New Testament?

The Revelation of St. John.

14. What are the contents of the book of Revelation?

A prophetical description of the conflicts and triumphs of the Christian Church till the glorious coming of Christ.

 

PART FIRST

VII. Of Prayer

1. What is prayer?

The raising of the heart to God and communing with him.

2. Why should we pray?

Because God commands us to pray, and because we are poor, needy creatures, who receive all temporal and spiritual gifts from the goodness of God.

3. Is prayer simply a duty?

It is not only a sacred duty, but also a precious privilege of the children of God.

4. What are the different kinds of prayer?

Petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise.

5. To whom should we pray?

Only to God, who is both able and willing to give us all we need.

6. How should we pray?

In the name of Christ, humbly and devoutly, with childlike faith in God’s mercy, and resignation to his holy will.

7. For what should we pray?

For all spiritual and temporal blessings, but not for any thing which is contrary to the will of God.

8. For whom should we pray?

For ourselves, for our parents, kindred and friends, and for all men, even our enemies.

9. Where can and should we pray?

Everywhere, but especially in the church,in the family, and in the closet.

10. How often should we pray?

At all times, but especially every morning and evening, and at every meal.

11. Does God hear our prayers?

Yes, God hears all our prayers, for He is omnipresent and omniscient.

12. Does God answer our prayers?

Yes, God answers our prayers for Christ’s sake, because He is our merciful Father.

13. But when does God refuse our prayers?

When we ask amiss or for things injurious to us.

 

VIII. The Lord’s Prayer

1. Which is the model prayer?

The Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus himself taught his disciples.

2. Repeat the Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

3. How many parts has the Lord’s Prayer?

Three parts: an address, six petitions, and a doxology.

4. How do you divide the petitions?

Into two classes, each consisting of three petitions.

5. What do the first three petitions refer to?

To the riches and glory of God, which we call down in prayer from heaven upon earth.

6. To what do the last three petitions refer?

To the poverty and need of man, from which we ascend to God in prayer.

 

IX. The Address

1. What is the address of the Lord’s Prayer?

Our Father who art in heaven.

2. Why do you address God as Father?

Because He is our reconciled Father in Christ, and because we should approach Him with childlike reverence and trust.

3. Why do you say, “Our Father,” and not, “My Father”?

Because we should pray not only for ourselves, but also for our brethren, and for all the children of God.

4. Why do you add, “Who art in heaven”?

Because God is far above any earthly father, and because in prayer we should raise the heart to heaven, where God dwells in eternal glory and where is our true home.

5. Is not God also on earth?

God is everywhere: the heaven is His throne, and the earth is His footstool.

 

X. The First Three Petitions

1. What is the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer?

Hallowed be Thy name.

2. What does this mean?

Grant that we may rightly know and worship Thee, the only true and living God, and glorify Thee in thought, word, and deed.

3. How is God’s name dishonored?

By cursing and swearing; by ingratitude to God, and contempt of his word and authority; by false doctrine and wicked practice.

4. What is the second petition?

Thy kingdom come.

5. What does this mean?

Reign in us more and more by Thy Holy Spirit, and spread the gospel over the whole world, until all nations shall be converted unto Thee and serve Thee in holiness and righteousness.

6. Why should we pray for the coming of the kingdom of God, since it has already come in Christ?

Because we ourselves are not yet perfect, and because a great part of mankind are either ignorant of Christ or Christians only in name

7. Who are not Christians?

The heathen, Jews, Mohammedans, and infidels.

8. Who are Christians only in name?

Those who profess Christ with their lips, but deny him in their lives.

9. What is the third petition?

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

10. What does this mean?

Grant that we may renounce our own evil will, and cheerfully obey Thine only good and perfect will, even as the angels and saints do in heaven.

11. What is the will of God concerning us?

That we should be holy, even as He is holy, and that by faith in Christ we should obtain eternal life.

 

XI. The Last Three Petitions

1. What is the fourth petition?

Give us this day our daily bread.

2. What does this mean?

Grant us all things necessary for the body; make us content with little, and grateful for all Thy gifts.

3. What is the fifth petition?

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

4. What does this mean?

Cleanse us from all our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ our Savior.

5. Why do you add: as we forgive our debtors?

Because we can expect no forgiveness of our sins from God unless we ourselves are also ready from the heart to forgive our neighbor, and to do good even to our enemies.

6. What is the sixth petition?

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

7. What does this mean?

Guard and strengthen us against the temptations of the flesh, the world, and the devil, and save us at last in heaven, where we shall be free from all sin and evil, and enjoy thee forever.

8. What is the doxology?

Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever,

9. What does this mean?

That God is both able and willing to give us all good things, and that we should give him all the glory and praise for ever and ever.

10. What do you express by the concluding word, Amen?

My fervent desire and strong faith in God, Who is faithful and true, that He will surely answer my prayer.

 

PART SECOND

XII. Of the Christian Faith

1. What is Christian faith?

The bond of a vital union of the soul with Christ, by which we become partakers of his life and all his benefits.

2. What belongs to true faith?

A knowledge of God and of Christ, a belief in his word, and a hearty confidence in his mercy.

3. What are the contents and object of faith?

The triune God and his holy word, especially the gospel of Christ.

4. Who works faith in us?

The Holy Spirit.

5. How does the Holy Spirit work faith?

By the means of grace, especially the preaching of the gospel.

6. What is the effect of faith?

Faith justifies and saves.

7. Is faith then the ground or cause of salvation?

No, Jesus Christ is the only ground of our salvation.

8. What, then, has faith to do with salvation?

It is the condition of salvation, because it accepts and appropriates Jesus Christ and his merits to our personal benefit.

9. What is the nature of justifying and saving faith?

It must be living and bring forth good works.

10. Is there also a dead faith?

Yes; the devils also believe and tremble.

11. Should we also confess our faith?

Yes; we should openly confess Christ before men, and never be ashamed of him.

 

XIII. The Apostles’ Creed

1. What is the Apostles’ Creed?

A summary of the chief articles of the Christian faith which are necessary to our salvation.

2. Why is it called the Apostles’ Creed?

Because it agrees with the doctrine of the apostles.

3. Repeat this Creed.

  1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

  2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

  3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.

  4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.

  5. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.

  6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

  7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

  8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,

  9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,

  10. the forgiveness of sins,

  11. the resurrection of the body, and

  12. the life everlasting.  Amen.

4. How is the Creed divided?

Into three parts, which correspond to the three persons of the Holy Trinity.

5. Of what does the first part treat?

Of God the Father, and our creation.

6. Of what does the second part treat?

Of God the Son, and our redemption.

7. Of what does the third part treat?

Of God the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification.

8. Why do you say: I believe?

Because I must believe for myself, and become personally united to Christ, in order to be saved.

 

XIV. The Existence and Attributes of God

1. What do you believe concerning God the Father?

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

2. What is God?

God is the eternal and perfect Spirit, the Author of all things, and the Giver of all good.

3. Whence do you know the existence of God?

From the works of creation, the conscience of man, the history of the world, and from the Holy Scripture.

4. Are there any reasonable men who deny the existence of God?

No, only the fool says in his heart there is no God.

5. What are the principal attributes of God?

God is eternal, almighty, omnipresent, omniscient, most wise, holy, righteous, longsuffering, and full of love, mercy, and truth.

6. What argument can be given to demonstrate the existence of God?

Because if there was ever a time when there was nothing, then there would be nothing now.

7. What does this teach us?

That something must have been eternal.

8. What is this something?

Either God or the universe is eternal.

9.  Why cannot the universe be eternal?

Because everything in the universe relies on something else to cause it to exist.

 

XV. The Unity and Trinity of God

1. Are there more gods than one?

No, there is but one living and true God.

2. But is not God triune?

Yes: God is triune in person, but one in essence.

3. Name the three persons in the one Divine being.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

4. Why do you believe in the Holy Trinity?

Because God has so revealed himself in His word, and continues so to reveal himself.

5. How does God reveal himself?

As Father in the work of creation, as Son in the work of redemption, and as Holy Spirit in the work of sanctification.

 

XVI. The Creation of the World

1. Who created the world?

God the Father Almighty.

2. What do you mean by the world which God made?

Heaven and earth, and all that in them is, things visible and invisible, men and angels.

3. Through whom did God create the world?

Through his Son, the eternal Word.

4. When did God create the world?

In the beginning of time.

5. Of what did God create the world?

Out of nothing, by His almighty will.

6. How was the world when God made it?

Very good.

7. For what end did God create the world?

For His own glory, and for the happiness of His creatures.

8. What does the article of creation teach you?

That in all the works of creation I should admire and adore the infinite majesty, power, wisdom, and goodness of God.

 

XVII. Preservation and Providence

1. What do you mean by the preservation of the world?

That God, by his almighty and omnipresent power, keeps the world in existence, and, by his goodness, provides all his creatures with food, raiment, and shelter.

 

2. Does God Almighty care even for the smallest of his creatures?

God cares even for the fowls of the air, and the lilics of the field: how much more, then, for man, who was made in God’s image.

 

3. What do you mean by the providence of God and the government of the world?

That God rules the world according to an eternal plan of infinite wisdom and love, and causes all things, even sin and evil, to work together for the glory of His Name and the welfare of His children.

 

4. Is there, then, no such thing as chance?

No, all things come from the wise and fatherly will of God; seed-time and harvest, heat and cold, summer and winter, day and night, wealth and poverty, health and sickness, life and death.

 

5. What should the belief in Providence teach you?

To be thankful in prosperity, patient in adversity, and at all times to put my trust in God, Who does all things well.

 

XVIII. The State of Innocence

 

1. What is man?

Man is a rational and immortal being in a material body.

 

2. How did God create man?

God created man in his own image.

 

3. What does this mean?

God made man good and holy, gave him dominion over nature, and endowed him with all the faculties for intellectual and moral perfection.

 

4. What is the original state of man called?

The state of innocence.

 

5. Why so?

Because man was free from sin, and knew no sin.

 

6. Who were our first parents?

Adam and Eve.

 

7. Where did they live in the state of innocence?

In paradise, in blessed communion with God.

 

8. Are there other rational beings besides men?

Y es: the angels.

 

9. What are the angels?

Holy and blessed spirits in heaven, who serve God, and cooperate for the salvation of men.

 

10. Did all angels remain holy?

No; some fell from their first estate, and were cast out of heaven.

 

XIX. The Fall

 

1. Did our first parents remain in the stale of innocence?

No; they fell, and became sinners.

 

2. Wherein did the fall consist?

In disobedience to God.

 

3. What had God commanded them?

Not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

 

4. Why did God give them this commandment?

In order to exercise them in obedience, and to confirm them in goodness.

 

5. What were the stages of the fall?

First, doubt of the word of God; then, pride and lust; and finally, the actual transgression by eating of the forbidden fruit.

 

6. Who seduced Adam and Eve to sin?

The devil, in the disguise of a serpent.

 

7. Who is the devil?

The chief of the fallen angels, and the prince of darkness.

 

8. Was it necessary that man should fall?

No ; he might and ought to have resisted the temptation, as the good angels did before, and as Jesus did in the wilderness.

 

9. What were the consequences of the fall?

Death and expulsion from Paradise.

 

10. What is death?

All temporal and eternal evil ; but more particularly, the extinction of physical life.

 

11. Was the fall of man confined to our first parents?

No ; sin and death have passed upon all the descendants of Adam.

 

12. Is there, then, no single human being without sin?

Not one, except only Jesus Christ, who redeemed us from sin.

 

XX. Of Sin

 

1. What is sin?

The transgression of the law of God.

 

2. Whence do you know sin?

From the natural law of conscience ; but more fully from the revealed law of God.

 

3. Against whom can we sin?

Against God, against our neighbor, and against ourselves.

 

4. How do you divide sin?

Into original sin, and actual sin.

 

5. What is original, or hereditary sin?

The natural depravity or sinful disposition which we inherit from our first parents.

 

6. Wherein does this natural depravity consist?

In this: that man, without the aid of divine grace, is incapable of good, and prone to all evil.

 

7. What is actual sin?

All evil thoughts, words, and deeds.

 

8. How do you distinguish actual sins?

Into sins of commission, and sins of omission.

 

9. What is a sin of commission?

The doing of a thing which God has forbidden.

 

10. What is a sin of omission?

The leaving undone what God has commanded us to do.

 

11. How again are actual sins divided?

Into sins of weakness, and sins of malice.

 

12. What is a sin of weakness?

A sin of ignorance or carelessness, followed by sincere repentance, as in the cases of David and Peter.

 

13. What is a sin of malice?

A sin which is committed knowingly and wilfully, as the treason of Judas.

 

14. Can all sins be forgiven?

All sins can be forgiven for Christ’s sake, on condition of repentance ; with the only exception of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, or total and final impenitance.

 

XXI. Punishment of Sins

 

1. What have we deserved by our sins?

God’s righteous wrath and punishment.

 

2. Why does God punish sin?

Because he is holy and just.

 

3. Wherewith does God punish sin?

With temporal and eternal death.

 

4. What are the temporal punishments of sin?

A bad conscience, sickness, all sorts of evil and misery, and finally, physical death.

 

5. But have not the children of God also to suffer affliction and death?

Yes ; but by the wisdom and love of God, all the sufferings of this present life are made to advance the believer in holiness, and to prepare him for the joys of eternity.

 

6. Wherein does the eternal punishment of sin consist?

In the “entire separation of the sinner from God, and the endless pains of hell.

 

7. Will God punish all sinners alike?

God punishes every sinner according to the degree of his guilt.

 

8. Can we deliver ourselves from sin?

By no means; but we daily increase our guilt.

 

XXII. Preparation for Salvation

 

1. Did God leave man to the power of sin and death?

No ; God wrought out an everlasting salvation.

 

2. What do you mean by salvation?

Deliverance from sin and death, and the reunion of man with God through Jesus Christ.

 

3. Why has God wrought out such a salvation?

Because God is love, and has no pleasure in the death of the sinner.

 

4. Will all men, then, be saved?

No ; only those who truly believe in Jesus Christ, and accept his benefits.

 

5. When did God determine to save men?

From eternity.

 

6. When did he first promise salvation?

Immediately after the fall, when he said that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head.

 

7. What does this mean?

Christ will destroy the power of sin and the devil.

 

8. Through whom did God further promise salvation?

Through the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, through Moses, and the prophets of the old dispensation.

 

9. Did God also foreshadow this salvation?

Yes: in the law, in the worship, and the whole history of the people of Israel.

 

10. Who was the last prophet of the old dispensation?

John the Baptist.

 

11. What was the mission of John the Baptist?

He prepared the way of the Lord, and pointed to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.

 

12. When did God carry out the plan of salvation?

When the time of preparation was fulfilled.

 

13. Through whom did God carry out the plan of salvation?

Through his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

 

XXIII. Jesus Christ – His Names

 

1. What do you believe concerning Jesus Christ?

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hades; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven; and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judgre the quick and the dead.

 

2. What does the name Jesus signify?

Jesus means a Savior.

 

3. Why is he so called?

Because he saved us from sin and death.

 

4. What does the name Christ signify?

Christ, or Messiah, means the Anointed.

 

5. Why is he so called?

Because he was anointed with the Holy Spirit to be our perfect and eternal Prophet, Priest, and King.

 

6. Why are believers called Christians?

Because, being united to Christ by faith, and partakers of his anointing, they should follow his example and be transformed more and more into his holy image.

 

XXIV. Of the Person of Christ

 

1. What do you believe concerning the person of Christ?

Jesus Christ is the God-man, or true God and true man in one person, forever.

 

2. Why must he unite the divine and human natures in his person?

That he might be the mediator between God and man, and reconcile them.

 

3. How do you prove the true divinity of Christ?

From the divine names, the divine attributes, the divine works, and the divine honors, of Christ.

 

4. How do you prove the true humanity of Christ?

From his birth, his growth, his temptation, his sufferings, his death, and burial.

 

5. Did Christ become like us in all things?

Yes, in all things, sin only excepted.

 

6. What do you mean by the sinlessness of Jesus?

His freedom from original and actual sin, and his perfect holiness.

 

7. Was not Christ tempted like the first Adam?

Yes: he was tempted by the devil, but he overcame temptation, fulfilled the law, and revealed righteousness and life.

 

XXV. The Two States of Christ

 

1. What are the two states or conditions in the history of Christ?

The state of humiliation, and the state of exaltation.

 

2. What do you mean by the humiliation of Christ?

From infinite love to us, he freely laid aside his divine glory and majesty, and took upon himself the form of a servant.

 

3. What belongs to the state of humiliation?

Christ’s conception and birth, his passion fid death, his burial and descent into hades.

 

4. What do you mean by the exaltation of Christ?

After completing the work of redemption, he returned to the full possession of his eternal divine glory, and raised human nature to a share in this glory.

 

5. What are the stages of his exaltation?

His resurrection, his ascension, his sitting at the right hand of God, and his return to judgment.

 

6. What do you learn from the two states of Christ?

That I should follow my Savior in the path of humility and self-denial, so that I may become partaker also of his divine glory and majesty.

 

XXVI. Birth and Childhood of Christ

 

1. What do you believe concerning the birth of Jesus?

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, of the house of David, a true man, yet without sin.

 

2. Why did the eternal Son of God take up our human nature into fellowship with his divine person?

In order that he might live, suffer, die, and rise again for us, and thus accomplish in our nature the redemption of man.

 

3. When was Jesus born?

During the reign of Augustus, the Roman emperor, and Herod the Great, the king of the Jews.

 

4. Where was Jesus born?

In a stable at Bethlehem in Judea.

 

5. Why was Jesus born in such poverty?

That by his poverty he might make us rich, and draw even the humblest to himself.

 

6. What did the angels in heaven do at the birth of Jesus?

They rejoiced, and sang: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

 

7. What else happened at the birth of Jesus?

The Jewish shepherds from the field, and the heathen sages from the East, came and worshipped the child in the manger.

 

8. What occurred on the eighth day after Christ’s birth?

He was circumcised according to the custom of the Jews, and called Jesus.

 

9. What do you know of the childhood of Jesus?

“When he was twelve years old, he sat in the temple at Jerusalem, in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions, and had his chief delight in religion.

 

10. What else is reported of Jesus in his youth?

That he was subject to his parents, and increased in wisdom, and stature, and in favor with God and men.

 

11. What benefit do you derive from the birth and childhood of Jesus?

He hag redeemed our birth and childhood, and consecrated it to God; and has left to all children a perfect pattern of obedience and piety.

 

XXVII. Public Life and Word of Christ

 

1. Where and how did Jesus grow up?

At Nazareth in Galilee, in poverty and humility, as the son of a carpenter.

 

2. What took place before he commenced his public ministry?

He was baptized in Jordan, by John the Baptist.

 

3. Why was he baptized?

That he might fulfill all righteousness, and be solemnly consecrated to his public ministry.

 

4. What happened at the baptism of Jesus?

The Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove, and a voice from heaven said: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

 

5. What followed after the baptism of Jesus?

He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, as Adam and Eve were tempted in Paradise; but he overcame the temptation.

 

6. When did Christ enter upon his public ministry?

In the thirtieth year of his age.

 

7. How long did his public life last?

About three years.

 

8. Wherein did it consist?

He called and trained twelve apostles, taught the purest doctrine, and confirmed it by the holiest life, and by many miracles of power and mercy.

 

9. What was the design of Christ?

To found the kingdom of heaven on earth, which was to embrace the whole human family, and to last forever.

 

10. By what means was Christ’s kingdom to be founded and promoted?

Not by force, or any carnal weapons, but by spiritual and moral means, even his passion and death.

 

11. Of what benefit is the public life of Christ to you?

Christ is the perfect exemplar of piety and virtue, or of love to God and man, for our imitation.

XVIII. The Passion and Death of Jesus

 

1. When did Jesus suffer?

During the whole period of his life on earth.

 

2. What did he suffer?

Poverty and sorrow, and the hatred and opposition of an ungodly world.

 

3. When did he suffer most?

At the end of his earthly life, in the garden of Gethsemane, before Caiaphas and Pontins Pilate, and on the cross.

 

4. What did he suffer there?

He suffered unutterable pains in body and soul, and bore the guilt of the whole world.

 

5. Name the chief events of his passion.

He was betrayed by Judas, taken prisoner, denied by Peter, dragged before the Jewish and heathen tribunals, mocked, scourged, crowned with thorns, unjustly condemned, and crucified between two malefactors.

 

6. What death did Christ die?

The most painful and ignominious death of the cross.

 

7. How did he suffer all this?

Like an innocent lamb, with the greatest meekness, patience, and resignation to the will of God.

 

8. Why did Christ thus suffer and die?

Not for His sake, but in our stead, and for our benefit, out of free and boundless love.

 

9. What benefit do you derive from Christ’s passion and death?

He has redeemed us from the guilt and power of sin, and reconciled us to God.

 

XXIX. The Burial of Christ, and his Descent into Hades

 

1. What took place after the death of Jesus?

His body was laid in a new sepulcher in a garden, by his disciples, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, but did not see corruption.

 

2. What does the burial of Christ teach you?

That he truly died, and completed the full measure of man’s lot on earth.

 

3. What comfort do you derive from the burial of Jesus?

Christ has deprived the grave of its terrors and consecrated it for believers, so that their bodies sleep in Jesus in the hope of a blessed resurrection.

 

4. Where was the soul of Christ while his body rested in the grave?

In paradise, and in the region of departed spirits.

 

5. What comfort do you derive from Christ’s descent into hades, or the region of the departed?

Christ has delivered us from the terrors of hell, and opened the gate of heaven to all believers.

 

6. What comfort do you derive from this fact?

That Christ has delivered us from the terrors of hell and the power of the devil.

 

XXX. The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ

 

1. What does the Bible teach concerning the resurrection of Christ ?

On the third day after his crucifixion, Christ rose from the grave in his glorified body, as the conqueror of death, and the prince of life, and appeared repeatedly to his disciples.

 

2. What is the import of this event?

By his resurrection, Christ completed the work of redemption, brought life and immortality to light, and gave us a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.

 

3. How should this faith move you?

To arise from the sleep of sin, and to walk with Christ in newness of life.

 

4. What do you believe concerning the ascension of Christ?

Forty days after his resurrection, Christ ascended visibly to heaven from Mount Olivet, in presence of the apostles, and sat down at the right hand of God.

 

5. Is Christ, then, absent from us?

Certainly not; he is always invisibly present with his people by his word and Spirit, in the full power of his mediatorial life and work, even to the end of the world.

 

6. What should the ascension of Christ teach you?

To seek those things which are above, so that we may become partakers at last of his heavenly glory.

 

XXXI. Christ’s Sitting at the Right Hand of God and His Return to Judgment

 

1. What do you mean by saying: “He sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty?”

That Christ, as the God-man, has part in the eternal glory and almighty power of God.

 

2. What is the work of Christ in heaven?

He rules and keeps his Church as a mighty King, and he intercedes for us as a merciful High-priest.

 

3. What comfort do you derive from this faith?

That at all times, even in tribulation and persecution, we are sure of the almighty protection of our Savior, who rules and overrules all things for our good, and will take us up at last to himself in heaven.

 

4. What does the Bible teach concerning the second coming of Christ?

On the last day, Christ will appear in great power and glory, raise the dead, and judge the world in righteousness.

 

5. What will he judge?

The thoughts, words, and deeds of men.

 

6. How will he hold judgment?

He will separate the righteous from the wicked, bring to light all their works, and award everlasting lii’e and everlasting punishment.

 

7. Do we know the time of the coming of Christ?

No; God alone knows the day and the hour when the Son of man shall come.

 

8. What should you do, therefore?

We should watch, and always be ready for the great day of judgment.

 

9. Need the pious be afraid of that day?

No; to the ungodly it will indeed be a day of terror, but to the godly, a day of joy and complete redemption.

 

XXXII. The Threefold Office and Work of Christ

 

1. What are the three offices of Christ?

He is our Prophet, Priest, and King.

 

2. Were there such offices before Christ ?

Yes, there were prophets, priests, and kings in the Jewish economy, who were types and forerunners of Christ.

 

3. How is Christ distinguished from them?

Christ unites all these offices in himself and is the last and perfect Prophet, Priest, and King of redeemed humanity, forever.

 

4. What do you mean by the prophetical offices of Christ?

Christ is the light of the world, and the truth itself, and has fully revealed to us the will and counsel of God in his doctrine and by his example.

 

5. What belongs to his prophetical office?

His doctrine, prophecies, and miracles.

 

6. What do you mean by the priestly office of Christ?

Christ has reconciled us to God forever by His own perfect sacrifice on the cross, and intercedes continually for us at the right hand of the Father, as our eternal High-priest.

 

7. What do you mean by the kingly office of Christ?

Christ is the head of His Church in heaven and on earth, ruling it by His word and Spirit, protecting it against all enemies, and directing all things for His glory and the good of His people.

 

XXXIII. Of the Holy Spirit

 

1. What do you believe concerning the Holy Spirit?

I believe in the Holt Spirit; the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

 

2. Is not the work of Christ sufficient for our salvation?

Certainly it is; but it must be applied to our personal benefit by the Holy Spirit.

 

3. How is this done?

The Holy Spirit testifies of Christ as the Savior of sinners, unites us to Him by faith, and makes us partakers of all His benefits.

 

4. Who is the Holy Spirit?

The third person in the Holy Trinity, proceeding from the Father, and the Son.

 

5. Why do you believe in the Divinity of the Holy Spirit?

Because the Bible makes him equal with the Father, and the Son, and ascribes to Him divine names, attributes, works, and honors.

 

6. What is the work or office of the Holy Spirit?

The regeneration, sanctification and glorification of the redeemed.

 

7. What does this mean?

The Holy Spirit creates, preserves, promotes, and perfects the Christian life in the children of God.

 

8. Was not the Holy Spirit active before Christ?

Yes: The Spirit wrought in the creation, inspired the prophets, sanctified believers under the Jewish economy, and comforted them by the hope of future redemption.

 

9. How does He work in the new dispensation ?

As the Spirit of Jesus Christ, applying to us the fulness of the accomplished redemption, and making us children of God and heirs with Christ of life everlasting.

 

10. When was the Holy Spirit poured out in this fulness upon the apostles?

On the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day after the resurrection of Christ.

 

11. Was the effusion of the Spirit confined to the day of Pentecost?

No: The Spirit works continually in the Church, through the means of grace, and dwells in all true believers as their guide and comforter.

 

12. How can you receive the precious gift of the Holy Spirit?

By prayer, and the right use of the means of grace.

 

XXXIV. The Christian Church

 

1. Where does the Holy Spirit dwell and work?

In the Christian Church.

 

2. What is the Christian Church?

The communion of all believers in Christ the head.

 

3. Who founded the Christian Church?

Our exalted Savior, on the fiftieth day after His resurrection, by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon His disciples, in Jerusalem.

 

4. Can the Church ever perish?

No: the gates of hell shall not prevail against Christ’s Church.

 

5. What are the essential attributes of the Church?

The Church of Christ is one, holy, and universal in its nature and destination; and is to become so more and more in its manifestation.

 

6. What is meant by die Church militant?

The Church on earth, in conflict with the ungodly world, till the coming of Christ.

 

7. What is meant by the Church triumphant?

The perfect kingdom of glory in heaven.

 

8. What is the mission of the Church on earth?

To bring unbelievers to Christ, and to prepare believers for heaven.

 

9. Does external communion with the Church suffice to save us?

No: we must be living members of the body of Christ.

 

10. What will become at last of dead and hypocritical members of the Church?

They will be cut off, and cast into the fire.

 

11. What do you mean by the Communion of Saints?

The true children of God in heaven and on earth are one in Christ, their common head and Savior, and should manifest this unity by brotherly love and mutual intercession.

 

XXXV. The Means of Grace

 

1. How does the Holy Spirit work in the Church?

By the means of grace.

 

2. What are the principal means of grace?

The Word of God, and the Sacraments.

 

3. How are these related to each other?

By the word of God salvation is preached to us; by the sacraments it is sealed,—that is, confirmed and made available to us.

 

4. What is the word of God?

The revealed truth of God, which is taught in the Holy Scriptures, and continually proclaimed by the preaching of the gospel.

 

5. Who instituted the preaching of the gospel?

Jesus Christ, when he sent out the apostles with the commission: “Preach the gospel to every creature.”

 

6. What is a sacrament?

A holy ordinance instituted by Christ, whereby, under visible signs and seals, divine grace is offered and applied to believers.

 

7. What are the typical sacraments of the Old Testament?

Circumcision, and the Passover.

 

8. What are the sacraments of the New Testament?

Holy Baptism, and the Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper.

 

9. How are these two sacraments related to each other?

By Baptism we are introduced into communion with Christ; by the Lord’s Supper we are preserved and strengthened in it.

 

10. What is the effect of the sacraments?

They convey a blessing to the worthy, a curse to the unworthy, partaker.

 

11. What is necessary for the worthy reception of a sacrament ?

Sincere repentance of our sins, and a hearty faith in Christ.

 

12. Are the sacraments necessary to salvation?

We are bound to the ordinances of God, but God is free.

 

XXXVI. Holy Baptism

 

1. When did Christ institute holy Baptism?

After his resurrection, and shortly before His ascension.

 

2. By what words?

Teach All Nations, Baptizing Them In The Name Of The Father, And Of The Son, And Of The Holy Spirit; Teaching Them To Observe All Things Whatsoever I Have Commanded You.

 

3. What is the outward sign in Baptism?

Water, by which the purifying and renewing power of the Holy Spirit is represented.

 

4. What is the inward grace and spiritual benefit of Baptism?

The remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

5. What, then, is the nature of Baptism?

Baptism is a covenant of grace of the triune God with man, in which God promises forgiveness and salvation, and man vows obedience and devotion to him.

 

6. Will, then, all baptized persons be saved?

No; but those only who keep their baptismal vow and are faithful unto death.

 

7. What ii the consequence if me neglect our part of the baptismal covenant?

We forfeit its benefits and increase our guilt.

 

8. Is there forgiveness for sins committed after Baptism?

Yes: if we sincerely repent and take refuge in Christ.

 

9. What is the duty of those baptized?

They should ever more be thankful to God for receiving them into his covenant of grace, and never doubt his promises; but they should also renew their vows by daily repentance, and grow up to full manhood in Christ.

 

XXXVII. The Lord’s Supper

 

1. What is the second sacrament of the Christian Church?

The Lord’s Supper or the Holy Communion.

 

2. When did Christ institute this sacrament?

In the night before his crucifixion.

 

3. Give me the words of institution.

Our Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread; and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said:

Take, Eat: This is My Body, Which is

BROKEN FOR YOU : THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.

After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying: Drink Ye All Of It: This Cup is The

NEW TESTAMENT IN My BLOOD, WHICH IS SHED FOR MANY FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS : THIS DO YE, AS OFT AS YE DRINK IT, IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.

Matt. 26, 26-28; Mark 14, 22-24; Luke 22,19. 20; 1 Cor. 11, 23-25. (We have taken the text from St. Paul, but added from St. Matthew the words:

” Drink ye all of it,” and, “which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”)

 

4. What are the visible signs or elements of the Lord’s Supper?

Bread and wine, by which the body and blood of Christ are set forth and sealed.

 

5. What is the invisible grave of the Lord’s Supper?

The communion of the body and blood of Christ, -Who died for us and lives forever.

 

6. What is the meaning and design of this sacrament?

It is a memorial of the blessed sacrifice of Christ, whereby we commemorate his passion and death, and appropriate anew the benefits of his atonement.

 

7. What else is this sacrament?

A communion of the body and blood of Christ, whereby the souls of belicvers are nourished unto everlasting life.

 

8. What is it in addition to this?

A communion of believers with each other, as members of the same mystical body of Christ.

 

9. What, then, does the believer receive in the I.ord’s Supper?

Jesus Christ, who is the bread of life, together with all his benefits.

 

10. How do we receive this great blessing?

Not after a natural or carnal manner, but through faith, by the power of the Holy Spirit, who unites us to Christ.

 

11. Who are invited to the Iord’s Supper?

All believers who heartily repent of their sins, repose their whole trust in Christ, and hunger and thirst after communion with him.

 

12. What do unworthy communicants receive in the Lord’s Supper?

They eat and drink judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord’s body.

 

13. Should those guilty of gross offenses be admitted to the Lord’s Supper?

By no means; but they should be suspended, or even be cut off from the Church, until they repent.

 

14. How should we prepare ourselves for a worthy communion?

By prayer, by meditation on Christ’s passion, and by earnest self-examination as to our repentance, faith, love to Christ, to the brethren, and to all men.

 

XXXVIII. The Order of Salvation

1. What are the principal acts in the work of grace?

Election, vocation, regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.

 

2. What is election, or predestination to life?

The eternal purpose of free grace, whereby God has chosen us in Christ, that we should be holy and obtain salvation through him.

 

3. What use should you make of this doctrine?

It should increase our gratitude to God, make us more diligent and watchful in our conflict with sin, and give us comfort in our trials.

 

4. What is vocation, or calling?

The invitation given to the sinner, through the gospel, to enter into the kingdom of God.

 

5. What is conversion?

Conversion is a change of heart, by which we turn away from sin and turn to Christ, in true repentance and faith.

 

6. What are the marks of true repentance?

Knowledge of sin, hearty sorrow for it, hatred of it, and a sincere purpose to lead a life of holy obedience.

 

7. What are the marks of true faith?

Knowledge of Christ, assent to the truth of his gospel, and hearty trust in him as our Savior.

 

8. Can you repent and believe in your own strength?

By no means; but ouly by the power of the Holy Spirit, who enlightens our darkened understanding, and creates in us a new heart.

 

9. What do you call this great change?

Regeneration or the new birth, without which no man can enter into the kingdom of God.

 

10. What do you mean by regeneration?

That act of the Holy Spirit, by which we become partakers of the divine life, or new creatures in Christ Jesus.

 

11. Why do all men need regeneration?

Because they are all born of the flesh, are dead in sin, iorn ilms disqualified by nature for communion with a holy God.

 

12. What are the effects of regeneration?

By regeneration we become children of God, and heirs of eternal life.

 

XXXIX. Justification and Sanctification

 

1. What is justification?

Justification is an act of God, by which he pardons our sins, and applies to us the righteousness of Christ.

 

2. How is the sinner justified?

By the free grace of God in Christ through faith, which so unites us to Christ that he lives in us and we in him.

 

3. What is the effect of justification upon the heart?

Peace with God, which passes all understanding.

 

4. What is the evidence of justification?

Good works, or a holy life.

 

5. Can there be true faith without good works?

No: true faith works by love, purifies the heart, overcomes the world, and abounds in fruits of righteousness.

 

6. What is sanctification?

Sanctification is continual growth in grace through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts, until we attain to perfection in Christ.

 

7. What are the chief Christian graces or virtues?

Faith, hope, and love.

 

8. What is glorification?

The completion of the work of grace at the coming of Christ, when we shall share in His glory and enjoy Him forever.

 

XL. The Resurrection of the Body, and the Life Everlasting

 

1. When will the work of grace be completed?

At the. glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2. What will take place at the coming of Christ?

The resurrection of the dead, and the judgment of the world.

 

3. Shall all men rise again?

Yes: the righteous shall rise unto the resurrection of life, the wicked unto the resurrection of damnation.

 

4. How will the resurrection be effected?

By the almighty power of God, who first made man of the dust, and can also raise him from the dust.

 

5. Where is the soul of the believer between death and the resurrection?

In blessed communion with Christ, waiting for the glorious resurrection of the body, and for the consummation of the kingdom of God.

 

6. On what ground do you nest your hope of a blessed resurrection?

On the resurrection of Christ, and our living union with him.

 

7. What will be the nature of the resurrection body of believers?

It will be a spiritual body, immortal, incorruptible, and like unto the glorious body of Jesus Christ.

 

8. What will follow the resurrection of believers?

The life everlasting, which begins already here with faith in Christ, but which will then be gloriously completed.

 

9. What do you mean by the life everlasting in heaven?

A state of perfect freedom from sin and death, and of unspeakable joy and glory in unbroken communion with the triune God and the innumerable company of saints and angels.

 

10. What are the employments of the saints in heaven?

They will see God, and love, serve, and praise him forever.

 

11. What effect should this hope have upon you?

It should inspire me to lead a holy life in the fear and love of God, so that I may die in peace and attain at last to the glorious resurrection of the just.

 

Part III

XLI. The Ten Commandments

 

1. What is your duty in view of what God has done fur you?

To be thankful for so great a salvation from sin and death, and to present myself a living sacrifice unto God.

 

2. How do you prove your thankfulness to God?

By keeping God’s holy law.

 

3. What is the substance of the law of God?

Love to God, and love to our neighbor.

 

4. Where is the moral law briefly summed up?

In the Decalogue, or the ten commandments, which God gave through Moses to the people of Israel from Mount Sinai, after their deliverance from Egypt, and before their entrance into the land of promise.

 

5. What is the use and design of the law?

It is to all men a mirror of the holy will of God, and of their own sinfulness; to the unconverted, a wholesome restraint, and schoolmaster to bring them unto Christ; to the converted, a rule of holy living.

 

6. But has Christ not abolished the law?

No: he has fulfilled the law in his doctrine and life; he has redeemed us from its curse; and he enables us, by his Holy Spirit, to keep it in its true ‘spiritual sense.

 

7. How are the ten commandments divided?

Into two tables, each consisting of five commandments.

 

8. Of what does the first table treat?

Of our duties to God, or of love to God.

 

9. Of what does the second table treat?

Of our duties to man, or of love to our neighbor.

 

10. What does each commandment comprehend?

Each commandment enjoins a virtue, and forbids the opposite sin.

 

XLII. The First Commandment

 

1. What is the preface to the ten commands?

I am the Lord the God who have brought thee out of the land of Egypt out of the house of bondage.

 

2. What does this mean?

God reminds us thereby of his holy majesty, and of his redeeming mercy, that we may keep his law not only from fear, but from gratitude and love.

 

3. What is the first commandment?

Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

 

4. What does God forbid in this commandment?

All kinds of idolatry, or creature worship.

 

5. What is idolatry?

The worship of any thing which is not God, as the stars, or animals, or men, or angels, or human imaginations.

 

6. What else may be called idolatry?

All improper attachment to ourselves, to the world, or to any creature, whereby we detract from the supreme honor and love due to God.

 

7. What does God require in this commandment?

That we fear and love God above all things, worship Him only, put all our trust in Him, and find our highest joy and delight in Him,

 

XLIII. The Second Commandment

 

1. What is the second commandment?

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

 

2. What does God forbid in this commandment?

The worship of images, and all false modes of worship which are contrary to the word of God.

 

3. Are all images, then, forbidden by God?

No: images of creatures are allowed, but not for idolatrous, or superstitious uses.

 

4. What does God enjoin in this commandment?

That we worship God, who is a Spirit, in spirit and in truth.

 

5. What belongs to the true worship of God?

The reading of the Holy Scriptures, the preaching of the gospel, prayer and praise, and the administration of the sacraments according to God’s appointment.

 

6. How does God enforce this commandment?

By reminding us of his zeal for the purity of worship, by threatening us with his wrath, and promising his mercy unto children and children’s children.

 

7. Why does he thus enforce this commandment?

Because God is unwilling to give his honor to any other, and because apostasy from the true worship of the Lord our God is the fruitful source of all manner of superstition and vice.

 

XLIV. The Third Commandment

 

1. What is the third commandment?

Thos shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes His Name in vain.

 

2. What do you understand by the name of God?

Every thing by which God makes Himself known to us,—his Names, titles, attributes, words, works, and ordinances.

 

3. What does God forbid in this commandment?

False and rash oaths, blasphemy, cursing, swearing, and all profanity in thought and speech.

 

4. In what cases are Christians allowed to swear?

When the magistrate, as the minister of God, demands an oath for the maintenance of truth and justice.

 

5. What is required in the third commandment?

That we think and speak with deep reverence of God and all holy things, and glorify the name of the Lord in our lives.

 

6. Why is a special warning added to this commandment?

Because sins of profanity are often overlooked or slightly thought of by men, but are, nevertheless, an abomination before God, and expose us to his righteous judgment.

 

XLV. The Fourth Commandment

 

1. What is the fourth commandment?

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

 

2. What does God forbid in this commandment?

All desecration of the day of holy rest, either by secular labor and amusement, or by idleness and neglect of divine worship.

 

3. Are all works, then, prohibited on the sabbath?

No: acts of worship, charity, and necessity are allowed, and commended by the example of our Savior.

 

4. How is the sabbath to be kept holy?

By acts of public and private worship, by devotional reading and meditation, by godly conversation and works of Christian charity.

 

5. Why was the Jewish sabbath celebrated on the seventh day of the week?

To commemorate the ereation, and the redemption of Israel from the bondage of Egypt.

 

6. Why is the Christian sabbath celebrated on the first day of the week?

To commemorate the resurrection of Christ, and our redemption from the bondage of sin and death, for which reason it is also called “the Lord’s Day.”

 

7. What is the design and use of the Lord’s Day?

To maintain public worship, to give rest to body and soul, and to prepare us for the eternal sabbath in heaven.

 

XLVI. The Fifth Commandment

 

1. What is the fifth commandment?

Honor they father and thy mother: that they days may be long upon the land which the Lord the God giveth thee.

 

2. What does God enjoin in this commandment?

That we cheerfully render to our parents, teachers, and other superiors, all due honor, love, and obedience in the Lord.

 

3. What is forbidden in this commandment?

All disrespect, disobedience, or neglect of our parents, teachers, or any other superiors.

 

4. What are the duties of parents?

To bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, for usefulness in this world, and for eternal happiness in the world to come.

 

5. What are the duties of superiors in general?

To promote, both by precept and example, the temporal and spiritual welfare of those intrusted to their care.

 

6. Why does God add a special promise to this commandment?

Because the family is the foundation of society, and obedience to parents is the condition of all trne happiness and prosperity.

 

XLVII. The Sixth Commandment

 

1. Of what do the last five commandments treat?

Of love to our neighbor.

 

2. Who is your neighbor?

Every man with whom we come in contact, and to whom we can do good, without distinction of race, character, or condition.

 

3. What is the sum of your duties to your neighbor?

To love him as myself, and to do unto him as I wish him to do unto me.

 

4. What is the sixth commandment?

Thou shalt not kill.

 

5. What is forbidden in this commandment?

Murder and suicide, or the willful destruction of human life, whether it be done by our own hands, or by the agency of another.

 

6. Who alone has a right to take human life?

The magistrate, who, as the minister of God, bears the sword for the punishment of evildoers,

 

7. Why are we forbidden to destroy human life?

Because God alone is lord over life and death, and because man is made in the image of God, and is our brother.

 

8. What else is forbidden in this commandment?

All provoking words, and feelings of envy, hatred, wrath, and revenge towards our neighbor.

 

9. What duties are required in the sixth commandment?

That we have a sacred regard for the life oi our neighbor and for our own, cheerfully assist him in all distress, and return good for evil even to our enemies.

 

XLVIII. The Seventh Commandment

 

1. What is the seventh commandment?

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

 

2. What does God forbid in this commandment?

All unchastity in thought, gesture, word, or deed, whether in or out of married life.

 

3. What else is here forbidden?

Bad company, intemperance in meat and drink, luxury and idleness, filthy conversation, obscene books, songs, and pictures, and whatsoever excites unchaste desires.

 

4. Why is unchastity such a heinous sin?

Because by unchastity we dishonor and corrupt our body and soul, which are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

 

5. What does God require in this commandment?

To be chaste and temperate, whether in the married or single state, and to keep our body pure, as a temple of the Holy Spirit.

 

6. What does God especially enjoin upon married persons?

Mutual esteem, love, and fidelity unto death.

 

7. What is marriage?

An inseparable union of life in love between one man and one woman, instituted by God in paradise, and reflecting the mystical union between Christ and his Church.

 

8. For what purpose has God instituted marriage?

For the mutual aid and happiness of married persons, for the propagation of the race, and for the building up of the kingdom of God through Christian nurture.

 

XLIX. The Eighth Commandment

 

1. What is the eighth commandment?

Thou shalt not steal.

 

2. What does God forbid in this commandment?

Robbery, theft, fraud, and all injury to the property of our neighbor.

 

3. What other sins are here prohibited?

Idleness, covetousness, wastefulness, and whatever may lead to theft and fraud.

 

4. What are the duties enjoined in the eighth commandment?

Labor and industry, honesty and fidelity in our dealings, contentment with our lot, kindness and liberality to our neighbor.

 

L. The Ninth Commandment

 

1. What is the ninth commandment?

Thou shalt not bear false witness against the neighbor.

 

2. What does God forbid in this commandment?

Not only false testimony before a court of justice, but also lying, slander, uncharitable judgment, and whatever tends to injure the good name of our neighbor.

 

3. Why is lying such a great sin?

Because God is a God of truth, and lies come from the devil, the father of lies.

 

4. What are the duties required in this commandment?

Truthfulness, honesty, good faith to our neighbor, and a sacred regard for his character and good name.

 

5. Is it ever lawful to speak an untruth?

No: all that we say must be true; but we may sometimes withhold the truth for the good of our neighbor.

 

6. What is your duty concerning your own name?

I should keep my name pure and blameless, and avoid even the appearance of evil.

 

7. Is it lawful to indulge in pride and vanity?

No: pride is sin, vanity a weakness, and self-praise folly; but humility which gives all glory to God, is the chief grace and ornament of a Christian.

 

LI. The Tenth Commandment

 

1. What is the tenth commandment?

Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

 

2. How does this commandment differ from the preceding commandments of the second table?

By tracing sin to its root, the evil desires and passions of the heart, from which all evil words and deeds proceed.

 

3. What does God forbid in this commandment?

All envy and selfish desires after anything that is our neighbor’s.

 

4. What is required in this commandment?

That we love our neighbor from the heart, wish him every blessing, and promote his temporal and eternal welfare.

 

5. What is the sum of all commandments?

To love God above all things, and our neighbor as ourselves.

 

6, Are you able of yourself to keep these commandments?

No; but only by the grace of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit, who makes me perfect in every good work.

 

7. Is full perfection attainable in this life?

No; but we should constantly strive after it, and press on toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 

8. To whom should you look as the great model of perfection?

We should always look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and follow His example.

 

LII. Concluding Questions

 

1. What have you now been taught?

I have been taught how to pray, what to believe, and how to live.

 

2. How should you pray?

I should pray without ceasing to our heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior.

 

3. What is the sum of the Christian faith?

The revelation of the infinite power, wisdom, and love of God in the creation, redemption, and sanctification of the world.

 

4. What is the sum of the Christian life?

To love God above all things, and our neighbor as ourselves.

 

5. What is your unerring guide in faith and practice?

No human wisdom, which passeth away, but the word of God, which abideth forever.

 

6. What is your highest aim?

The holy and blessed communion with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God, blessed forever.

 

7. What is your greatest good and comfort in life or in death?

That Christ is mine, and I am his, in body and in soul, in life and in death, now and forever. Amen.

 

My blessed Savior, Lord Divine,

I am Thine own, and Thou art mine.

I am Thine own: for Thou didst give

Thy precious life, that I might live.

And Thou art mine: with all my heart

I cleave to thee, my chosen part.

How dearly didst Thou purchase me!

Oh, let me never part from Thee!

 

The Apostolic Benediction

The Grace Of The Lord Jesus Christ, And The Love Of God, And The Communion Of The Holy Spirit, Be With You All. Amen.

 

THE END.

 

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