A number of scripture passages have been suggested as representing summaries of Biblical faith, appropriate for responding briefly to the question, “What do you believe?” The following collection is by no means complete but serves as a model for comparison with respect to the creeds and summaries that follow.
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD alone.
1 Kings 18:39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.”
Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
John 1:49 Nathaniel answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
John 6:68-69 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
John 20:28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Acts 8:36-37 And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?” And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Acts 16:31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
1 Corinthians 8:6 . . . yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says: “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:3-7 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
Philippians 2:6-11 . . . who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 Timothy 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, with instruction about ablutions, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
1 John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.
RULE OF FAITH
SECOND CENTURY, AS RECORDED BY IRENAEUS:
“. . .this faith: in one God, the Father Almighty, who made the heaven and the earth and the seas and all the things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was made flesh for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who made known through the prophets the plan of salvation, and the coming, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the bodily ascension into heaven of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and his future appearing from heaven in the glory of the Father to sum up all things and to raise anew all flesh of the whole human race. . .”
A BAPTISMAL CONFESSION
THIRD CENTURY, HIPPOLYTUS
“When the person being baptized goes down into the water, he who baptizes him, putting his hand on him, shall say: ‘Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty?’ And the person being baptized shall say: ‘I believe.’ Then holding his hand on his head, he shall baptize him once. And then he shall say: ‘Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was born of the Virgin Mary, and was crucified inder Pontius Pilate, and was dead and buried, and rose again the third day, alive from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the living and the dead?’ And when he saya: ‘I believe,’ he is baptized again. And again he shall say: ‘Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, in the holy church, and the resurrection of the body?’ The person being baptized shall say: ‘I believe,’ and then he is baptized a third time.”
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
THIRD CENTURY (?)
“The Symbolum Apostolorum was developed between the 2nd and 9th centuries. It is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator. “Legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after Christ’s ascension into heaven . . . each of the doctrines found in the creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The earliest written version of the creed is perhaps the Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus (c.215 A.D.). The current form is first found in the writings of Caesarius of Arles (d 542).
“The creed was apparently used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome, and, thus, became known as The Roman Symbol. As in Hippolytus’ version it was given in question and answer format with the baptismal candidates answering in the affirmative that they believed each statement.” (Introduction author unknown)
LATIN TEXT (C. A.D. 700)
Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad infernos*, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem et vitam aeternam. Amen.
- Other manuscripts have “ad inferos” = to the “middle or lower region” or “place of the dead.” “Ad infernos” means “into hell,” ie. the place of the damned. This is the cause of the variant English translations which follow.
TRADITIONAL ENGLISH VERSION
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. AMEN.
MODERN ENGLISH VERSION
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Potius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. AMEN.
THE NICENE CREED
ENGLISH VERSION 1549
(WITH A FEW MINOR UPDATES)
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
(The Interdenominational Committee on Liturgical Texts)
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son].
With the Father and the Son
he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. AMEN.
DEFINITION OF CHALCEDON
Following, then, the holy fathers, we unite in teaching all men to confess the one and only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. This selfsame one is perfect both in deity and in humanness; this selfsame one is also actually God and actually man, with a rational soul [i.e., human soul] and a body. He is of the same reality as God as far as his deity is concerned and of the same reality as we ourselves as far as his humanness is concerned; thus like us in all respects, sin only excepted. Before time began he was begotten of the Father, in respect of his deity, and now in these “last days,” for us and behalf of our salvation, this selfsame one was born of Mary the virgin, who is God-bearer in respect of his humanness. We also teach that we apprehend this one and only Christ-Son, Lord, only-begotten — in two natures; and we do this without confusing the two natures, without transmuting one nature into the other, without dividing them into two separate categories, without con- trasting them according to area or function. The distinctiveness of each nature is not nullified by the union. Instead, the “properties” of each nature are conserved and both natures concur in one “person” and in one reality [hypostasis]. They are not divided or cut into two persons, but are together the one and only and only-begotten Word [Logos] of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus have the prophets of old testified; thus the Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us; thus the Symbol of Fathers [the Nicene Creed] has handed down to us.
THE ATHANASIAN CREED
EARLY FIFTH CENTURY
Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic [apostolic/universal] faith, which except everyone shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally. Now the catholic faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties but one almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, nod made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and Holy Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal.
So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.
But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.
He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God, perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood.
Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one however not by conversion of the GodHead in the flesh, but by taking of the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by unity of Person. For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ.
Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire. This is the catholic faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.
THE CANONS OF THE COUNCIL OF ORANGE
CANON 1 If anyone denies that it is the whole man, that is, both body and soul, that was “changed for the worse” through the offense of Adam’s sin, but believes that the freedom of the soul remains unimpaired and that only the body is subject to corruption, he is deceived by the error of Pelagius and contradicts the scripture which says, “The soul that sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20); and, “Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are the slaves of the one whom you obey?” (Romans 6:126); and, “For whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved” (2 Peter 2:19).
CANON 2 If anyone asserts that Adam’s sin affected him alone and not his descendants also, or at least if he declares that it is only the death of the body which is the punishment for sin, and not also that sin, which is the death of the soul, passed through one man to the whole human race, he does injustice to God and contradicts the Apostle, who says, “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned” (Romans 5:12).
CANON 3 If anyone says that the grace of God can be conferred as a result of human prayer, but that it is not grace itself which makes us pray to God, he contradicts the prophet Isaiah, or the Apostle who says the same thing, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me” (Rom 10:20, quoting Isaiah 65:1).
CANON 4 If anyone maintains that God awaits our will to be cleansed from sin, but does not confess that even our will to be cleansed comes to us through the infusion and working of the Holy Spirit, he resists the Holy Spirit himself who says through Solomon, “The will is prepared by the Lord” (Proverbs 8:35, LXX), and the salutary word of the Apostle, “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
CANON 5 If anyone says that not only the increase of faith but also its beginning and the very desire for faith, by which we believe in Him who justifies the ungodly and comes to the regeneration of holy baptism — if anyone says that this belongs to us by nature and not by a gift of grace, that is, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit amending our will and turning it from unbelief to faith and from godlessness to godliness, it is proof that he is opposed to the teaching of the Apostles, for blessed Paul says, “And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). And again, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). For those who state that the faith by which we believe in God is natural make all who are separated from the Church of Christ by definition in some measure believers.
CANON 6 If anyone says that God has mercy upon us when, apart from his grace, we believe, will, desire, strive, labor, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, or knock, but does not confess that it is by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us that we have the faith, the will, or the strength to do all these things as we ought; or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7), and, “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10).
CANON 7 If anyone affirms that we can form any right opinion or make any right choice which relates to the salvation of eternal life, as is expedient for us, or that we can be saved, that is, assent to the preaching of the gospel through our natural powers without the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who makes all men gladly assent to and believe in the truth, he is led astray by a heretical spirit, and does not understand the voice of God who says in the Gospel, “For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), and the word of the Apostle, “Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).
CANON 8 If anyone maintains that some are able to come to the grace of baptism by mercy but others through free will, which has manifestly been corrupted in all those who have been born after the transgression of the first man, it is proof that he has no place in the true faith. For he denies that the free will of all men has been weakened through the sin of the first man, or at least holds that it has been affected in such a way that they have still the ability to seek the mystery of eternal salvation by themselves without the revelation of God. The Lord himself shows how contradictory this is by declaring that no one is able to come to him “unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44), as he also says to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17), and as the Apostle says, “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3).
CANON 9 Concerning the succor of God. It is a mark of divine favor when we are of a right purpose and keep our feet from hypocrisy and unrighteousness; for as often as we do good, God is at work in us and with us, in order that we may do so.
CANON 10 Concerning the succor of God. The succor of God is to be ever sought by the regenerate and converted also, so that they may be able to come to a successful end or persevere in good works.
CANON 11 Concerning the duty to pray. None would make any true prayer to the Lord had he not received from him the object of his prayer, as it is written, “Of thy own have we given thee” (1 Chronicles 29:14).
CANON 12 Of what sort we are whom God loves. God loves us for what we shall be by his gift, and not by our own deserving.
CANON 13 Concerning the restoration of free will. The freedom of will that was destroyed in the first man can be restored only by the grace of baptism, for what is lost can be returned only by the one who was able to give it. Hence the Truth itself declares: “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
CANON 14 No mean wretch is freed from his sorrowful state, however great it may be, save the one who is anticipated by the mercy of God, as the Psalmist says, “Let thy compassion come speedily to meet us” (Psalm 79:8), and again, “My God in his steadfast love will meet me” (Psalm 59:10).
CANON 15 Adam was changed, but for the worse, through his own iniquity from what God made him. Through the grace of God the believer is changed, but for the better, from what his iniquity has done for him. The one, therefore, was the change brought about by the first sinner; the other, according to the Psalmist, is the change of the right hand of the Most High (Psalm 77:10).
CANON 16 No man shall be honored by his seeming attainment, as though it were not a gift, or suppose that he has received it because a missive from without stated it in writing or in speech. For the Apostle speaks thus, “For if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose” (Galatians 2:21); and “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men” (Ephesians 4:8, quoting Psalm 68:18). It is from this source that any man has what he does; but whoever denies that he has it from this source either does not truly have it, or else “even what he has will be taken away” (Matthew 25:29).
CANON 17 Concerning Christian courage. The courage of the Gentiles is produced by simple greed, but the courage of Christians by the love of God which “has been poured into our hearts” not by freedom of will from our own side but “through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
CANON 18 That grace is not preceded by merit. Recompense is due to good works if they are performed; but grace, to which we have no claim, precedes them, to enable them to be done.
CANON 19 That a man can be saved only when God shows mercy. Human nature, even though it remained in that sound state in which it was created, could be no means save itself, without the assistance of the Creator; hence since man cannot safe- guard his salvation without the grace of God, which is a gift, how will he be able to restore what he has lost without the grace of God?
CANON 20 That a man can do no good without God. God does much that is good in a man that the man does not do; but a man does nothing good for which God is not responsible, so as to let him do it.
CANON 21 Concerning nature and grace. As the Apostle most truly says to those who would be justified by the law and have fallen from grace, “If justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose” (Galatians 2:21), so it is most truly declared to those who imagine that grace, which faith in Christ advocates and lays hold of, is nature: “If justification were through nature, then Christ died to no purpose.” Now there was indeed the law, but it did not justify, and there was indeed nature, but it did not justify. Not in vain did Christ therefore die, so that the law might be fulfilled by him who said, “I have come not to abolish them <the law and prophets> but to fulfil them” (Matthew 5:17), and that the nature which had been destroyed by Adam might be restored by him who said that he had come “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
CANON 22 Concerning those things that belong to man. No man has anything of his own but untruth and sin. But if a man has any truth or righteousness, it from that fountain for which we must thirst in this desert, so that we may be refreshed from it as by drops of water and not faint on the way.
CANON 23 Concerning the will of God and of man. Men do their own will and not the will of God when they do what displeases him; but when they follow their own will and comply with the will of God, however willingly they do so, yet it is his will by which what they will is both prepared and instructed.
CANON 24 Concerning the branches of the vine. The branches on the vine do not give life to the vine, but receive life from it; thus the vine is related to its branches in such a way that it supplies them with what they need to live, and does not take this from them. Thus it is to the advantage of the disciples, not Christ, both to have Christ abiding in them and to abide in Christ. For if the vine is cut down another can shoot up from the live root; but one who is cut off from the vine cannot live without the root (John 15:5ff).
CANON 25 Concerning the love with which we love God. It is wholly a gift of God to love God. He who loves, even though he is not loved, allowed himself to be loved. We are loved, even when we displease him, so that we might have means to please him. For the Spirit, whom we love with the Father and the Son, has poured into our hearts the love of the Father and the Son (Romans 5:5).
CONCLUSION And thus according to the passages of holy scripture quoted above or the interpretations of the ancient Fathers we must, under the blessing of God, preach and believe as follows. The sin of the first man has so impaired and weakened free will that no one thereafter can either love God as he ought or believe in God or do good for God’s sake, unless the grace of divine mercy has preceded him. We therefore believe that the glorious faith which was given to Abel the righteous, and Noah, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and to all the saints of old, and which the Apostle Paul <sic> commends in extolling them (Hebrews 11), was not given through natural goodness as it was before to Adam, but was bestowed by the grace of God. And we know and also believe that even after the coming of our Lord this grace is not to be found in the free will of all who desire to be baptized, but is bestowed by the kindness of Christ, as has already been frequently stated and as the Apostle Paul declares, “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake” (Philippians 1:29). And again, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). And again, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and it is not your own doing, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). And as the Apostle says of himself, “I have obtained mercy to be faithful” (1 Corinthians 7:25, cf. 1 Timothy 1:13). He did not say, “because I was faithful,” but “to be faithful.” And again, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). And again, “Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (Jas. 1:17). And again, “No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven” (John 3:27). There are innumerable passages of holy scripture which can be quoted to prove the case for grace, but they have been omitted for the sake of brevity, because further examples will not really be of use where few are deemed sufficient.
According to the catholic faith we also believe that after grace has been received through baptism, all baptized persons have the ability and responsibility, if they desire to labor faithfully, to perform with the aid and cooperation of Christ what is of essential importance in regard to the salvation of their soul. We not only do not believe that any are foreordained to evil by the power of God, but even state with utter abhorrence that if there are those who want to believe so evil a thing, they are anathema. We also believe and confess to our benefit that in every good work it is not we who take the initiative and are then assisted through the mercy of God, but God himself first inspires in us both faith in him and love for him without any previous good works of our own that deserve reward, so that we may both faithfully seek the sacrament of baptism, and after baptism be able by his help to do what is pleasing to him. We must therefore most evidently believe that the praiseworthy faith of the thief whom the Lord called to his home in paradise, and of Cornelius the centurion, to whom the angel of the Lord was sent, and of Zacchaeus, who was worthy to receive the Lord himself, was not a natural endowment but a gift of God’s kindness.
THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM
Written by Olevianus and Ursinus and revised by the Synod of Dort
1. LORD’S DAY.
Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer. That I with1 body and soul, both in life and death,2 am not my own, but belong3 unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with his precious4 blood, hath fully5 satisfied for all my sins, and delivered 6 me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me7 that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair8 can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be9 subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me10 of eternal life, and makes11 me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
Question 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?
Answer. Three;12 the first, how great13 my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered14 from all my sins and miseries; the third, how I shall express my gratitude15 to God for such deliverance.
THE FIRST PART — OF THE MISERY OF MAN
2. LORD’S DAY.
Question 3. Whence knowest thou thy misery?
Answer. Out of the law of God.1
Question 4. What doth the law of God require of us?
Answer. Christ teaches us that briefly, Matthew 22:37-40, “Thou shalt
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all
thy mind, and with all thy strength.2 This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Question 5. Canst thou keep all these things perfectly?
Answer. In no wise;3 for I am prone by nature to hate God and my
3. LORD’S DAY.
Question 6. Did God then create man so wicked and perverse?
Answer. By no means; but God created man good,1 and after his own image, in2 true righteousness and holiness, that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love him and live with him in eternal happiness to glorify and praise him.3
Question 7. Whence then proceeds this depravity of human nature?
Answer. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, 4 in Paradise; hence our nature is become so corrupt, that we are all conceived and born in sin.5
Question 8. Are we then so corrupt that we are wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness?
Answer. Indeed we are;6 except that we are regenerated by the Spirit of God.7
4. LORD’S DAY.
Question 9. Doth not God then do injustice to man, by requiring from him in his low, that which he cannot perform?
Answer. Not at all;1 for God made man capable2 of performing it; but man, by the instigation3 of the devil, and his own willful disobedience, 4 deprived himself and all his posterity of those divine gifts.
Question 10. Will God suffer such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?
Answer. By no means;5 but is terribly displeased6 with our original was well as actual sins; and will punish them in his just judgment temporally and eternally, and he hath declared,7 “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”
Question 11. Is not God then also merciful?
Answer. God is indeed merciful,8 but also just;9 therefore his justice requires,10 that sin which is committed against the most high majesty of God, be also punished with extreme, that is, with everlasting11 punishment of body and soul.
THE 2ND PART — OF MAN’S DELIVERANCE
5. LORD’S DAY.
Question 12. Since then, by the righteous judgment of God, we deserved temporal and eternal punishment, is there no way by which we may escape that punishment, and be again received into favor?
Answer. God will have his justice1 satisfied; and therefore we must make this full2 satisfaction, either by ourselves, or by another.
Question 13. Can we ourselves then make this satisfaction?
Answer. By no means;3 but on the contrary we4 daily increase our debt.
Question 14. Can there be found anywhere, one, who is a mere creature, able to satisfy for us?
Answer. None; for, first, God will not5 punish any other creature for the sin which man hath committed; and further, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God’s eternal wrath against sin, so as to6 deliver others from it.
Question 15. What sort of a mediator and deliverer then must we seek for?
Answer. For one who is very man,7 and perfectly righteous; and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is also very8 God.
6. LORD’S DAY.
Question 16. Why must he be very man, and also perfectly righteous?
Answer. Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which hath sinned, should1 likewise make satisfaction for sin; and one, who is himself a sinner,2 cannot satisfy for others.
Question 17. Why must he in one person be also very God?
Answer. That he might, by the power of his Godhead3 sustain in his human nature, the burden of God’s wrath; and might4 obtain for, and restore to us, righteousness and life.
Question 18. Who then is that Mediator, who is in one person both very God, and a real righteous man?
Answer. Our Lord Jesus Christ:5 “who of God is made unto6 us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
Question 19. Whence knowest thou this?
Answer. From the holy gospel, which God himself first revealed in Paradise; 7 and afterwards published by the patriarchs8 and prophets, and represented by the sacrifices9 and other ceremonies of the law; and lastly, has fulfilled it10 by his only begotten Son.
7. LORD’S DAY.
Question 20. Are all men then, as they perished in Adam, saved by Christ?
Answer. No; only1 those who are ingrafted into him,2 and receive all his benefits, by a true faith.
Question 21. What is true faith?
Answer. True faith is not only a certain knowledge,3 whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his word, but also an assured4 confidence, which the Holy5 Ghost works by the gospel,6 in my heart; that not only the others, but to me also,7 remission of sin, everlasting righteousness8 and salvation, are freely given by God,9 merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits.
Question 22. What is then necessary for a christian to believe?
Answer. All things10 promised us in the gospel, which the articles of our catholic undoubted christian faith briefly teach us.
Question 23. What are these articles?
1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell:
5. The third day he rose again from the dead:
6. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:
9. I believe an holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
10. The forgiveness of sins:
11. The resurrection of the body:
12. And the life everlasting.
8. LORD’S DAY.
Question 24. How are these articles divided?
Answer. Into three parts; the first is of God the Father, and our creation; 1
the second of God the Son, and our redemption;2 the third of God the
Holy Ghost, and our sanctification.3
Question 25. Since there is but one only4 divine essence, why speakest thou of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?
Answer. Because God hath so5 revealed himself in his word, that these three distinct persons are the one only true and eternal God.
OF GOD THE FATHER
9. LORD’S DAY.
Question 26. What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?
Answer. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who1 of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them; who likewise upholds and 2 governs the same by his eternal counsel and providence) is for the sake of Christ his Son, my God and my Father; on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt, but he will provide me with all things necessary3 for soul and body: and further, that he will make whatever evils he sends upon me, in this valley of tears4 turn out to my advantage; for he is able to do it, being Almighty5 God, and willing, being a6 faithful Father.
10. LORD’S DAY.
Question 27. What dost thou mean by the providence of God?
Answer. The almighty and everywhere present power of God;1 whereby, as it were by his hand, he2 upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain3 and drought, fruitful4 and barren years, meat and drink,5 health and sickness,6 riches and poverty, yea, and all things7 come, not by chance, but by his fatherly hand.
Question 28. What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence doth still uphold all things?
Answer. That we may be patient in adversity8; thankful9 in prosperity; and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm10 trust, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall11 separate us from his love; since all creatures are so in his hand, that without his will they12 cannot so much as move.
OF GOD THE SON
11. LORD’S DAY.
Question 29. Why is the Son of God called Jesus, that is a Savior?
Answer. Because he saveth us, and delivereth us from our1 sins; and likewise, because we ought not to seek, neither can find2 salvation in any other.
Question 30. Do such then believe in Jesus the only Savior, who seek their salvation and welfare of saints, of themselves, or anywhere else?
Answer. They do not; for though they boast of him in words, yet in deeds they deny3 Jesus the only deliverer and Savior; for one of these two things must be true, that either Jesus is not a complete Savior; or that they, who by a true faith receive this Savior, must find all things in him 4 necessary to their salvation.
12. LORD’S DAY.
Question 31. Why is he called Christ, that is anointed?
Answer. Because he is ordained of God the Father, and1 anointed with the Holy Ghost, to be our2 chief Prophet and Teacher, who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; and to be our only High Priest,3 who by the one sacrifice of his body, has redeemed us, and makes continual4 intercession with the Father for us; and also to be our eternal King,5 who governs us by his word and Spirit, and who defends and6 preserves us in (the enjoyment of) that salvation, he has purchased for us.
Question 32. But why art thou called a christian?
Answer. Because I am a member of Christ7 by faith, and thus am partaker8 of his anointing; that so I may9 confess his name, and present myself a living10 sacrifice of thankfulness to him: and also that with a free and good conscience I may fight against sin and11 Satan in this life: and afterwards12 reign with him eternally, over all creatures.
13. LORD’S DAY.
Question 33. Why is Christ called the only begotten Son of God, since we are also the children of God?
Answer. Because Christ alone is the eternal and natural Son of1 God; but we are children2 adopted of God, by grace, for his sake.
Question 34. Wherefore callest thou him our Lord?
Answer. Because he hath redeemed us, both soul and body, from all our sins, not with gold or silver,3 but with his precious blood, and hath delivered us from all the power of the devil; and thus hath made us his own property.
14. LORD’S DAY.
Question 35. What is the meaning of these words-”He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary”?
Answer. That God’s eternal Son, who1 is, and continueth true and eternal 2 God, took upon him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood3 of the Virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Ghost;4 that he might also be the true seed of David,5 like unto his brethren in all things,6 sin excepted.
Question 36. What profit dost thou receive by Christ’s holy conception and nativity?
Answer. That he is our7 Mediator; and with His innocence and perfect holiness, covers in the sight of8 God, my sins, wherein I was conceived and brought forth.
15. LORD’S DAY.
Question 37. What dost thou understand by the words, “He suffered”?
Answer. That he, all the time that he lived on earth, but especially at the end of his life,1 sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind: that so by his passion, as the only2 propitiatory sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the favor of God, righteousness and eternal life.
Question 38. Why did he suffer under Pontius Pilate, as judge?
Answer. That he, being innocent, and yet condemned3 by a temporal judge, might thereby free us from the severe judgment of God to which we were exposed.4
Question 39. Is there anything more in his being crucified, than if he had died some other death?
Answer. Yes; for thereby I am assured, that he took on him the curse which lay upon me; for the death of the cross was5 accursed of God.
16. LORD’S DAY.
Question 40. Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even unto death?
Answer. Because with respect to the justice and truth of God, satisfaction for our sins could be made1 no otherwise, than by the death of the Son 2 of God.
Question 41. Why was he also “buried”?
Answer. Thereby to prove that he3 was really dead.
Question 42. Since then Christ died for us, why must we also die? Answer. Our death is not a satisfaction for our sins, but only an abolishing of sin, and a passage into4 eternal life.
Question 43. What further benefit do we receive from the sacrifice and death of Christ on the cross?
Answer. That by virtue thereof, our old man is crucified, dead and5 buried with him; that so the corrupt inclinations of the flesh may no more 6 reign in us; but that we may7 offer ourselves unto him a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Question 44. Why is there added, “he descended into hell”?
Answer. That in my greatest temptations, I may be assured, and wholly comfort myself in this, that my Lord Jesus Christ, by his inexpressible anguish, pains, terrors, and hellish agonies, in which he was plunged during all his sufferings, but especially on the cross, hath8 delivered me from the anguish and torments of hell.
17. LORD’S DAY.
Question 45. What doth the resurrection of Christ profit us?
Answer. First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, that he might1 make us partakers of that righteousness which he had purchased for us by his death; secondly, we are also by his power2 raised up to a new life; an lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a3 sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.
18. LORD’S DAY.
Question 46. How dost thou understand these words, “he ascended into heaven”?
Answer. That Christ, in sight of his disciples, was1 taken up from earth into heaven; and that he continues2 there for our interest, until he comes again to judge the quick and the dead.
Question 47. Is not Christ then with us even to the end of the world, as he hath promised?
Answer. Christ is very man and very God; with respect to his3 human nature, he is no more on earth; but with respect to his Godhead, majesty, grace and spirit, he is at no time absent from us.
Question 48. But if his human nature is not present wherever his Godhead is, are not then these two natures in Christ separated from one another?
Answer. Not at all, for since the Godhead is illimitable and4 omnipresent, it must necessarily follow that5 the same is beyond the limits of the human nature he assumed, and yet is nevertheless in this human nature, and remains personally united to it.
Question 49. Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension into heaven?
Answer. First, that he is our7 advocate in the presence of his Father in heaven; secondly, that we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that he, as the head, will also8 take up to himself, us, his members; thirdly, that he9 sends us his Spirit as an earnest, by whose power we “seek the things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God,10 and not things on earth.”
19. LORD’S DAY.
Question 50. Why is it added, “and sitteth at the right hand of God”?
Answer. Because Christ is ascended into heaven for this end, that he might1 appear as head of his church, by whom the Father2 governs all things.
Question 51. What profit is this glory of Christ, our head, unto us?
Answer. First, that by his Holy Spirit he3 pours our heavenly graces upon us his members; and then that by his power he defends4 and preserves us against all enemies.
Question 52. What comfort is it to thee that “Christ shall come again to judge the quick and the dead”?
Answer. That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head5 I look for the very same person, who before offered himself for my sake, to the tribunal of God, and has removed all curse from me, to come as judge from heaven: who shall cast all his6 and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, but shall translate7 me with all his chosen ones to himself, into heavenly joys and glory.
OF GOD THE HOLY GHOST
20. LORD’S DAY.
Question 53. What dost thou believe concerning the Holy Ghost?
Answer. First, that he is true and co-eternal God with the Father and the 1
Son; secondly, that he is also given2 me, to3 make me by a true faith, partaker of Christ and all his benefits, that he may4 comfort me and5 abide with me for ever.
21. LORD’S DAY.
Question 54. What believest thou concerning the “holy catholic church” of Christ?
Answer. That the Son of God1 from the2 beginning to the end of the world, gathers,3 defends, and4 preserves to himself by his5 Spirit and word, out of the6 whole human race, a7 church chosen to everlasting life, agreeing in true faith; and that I am and for ever shall remain, a8 living member thereof.
Question 55. What do you understand by “the communion of saints”?
Answer. First, that all and every one, who believes, being members of Christ, are in common,9 partakers of him, and of all his riches and gifts; secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and10 cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members.
Question 56. What believest thou concerning “the forgiveness of sins”?
Answer. That God, for the sake of11 Christ’s satisfaction will no more12 remember my sins, neither my corrupt nature, against which I have to struggle all my life long; but will graciously impute to me the righteousness of Christ; that I may never be13 condemned before the tribunal of God.
22. LORD’S DAY.
Question 57. What comfort doth the “resurrection of the body” afford thee?
Answer. That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken1 up to Christ its head; but also, that this my body, being raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and2 made like unto the glorious body of Christ.
Question 58. What comfort takest thou from the article of “life everlasting”?
Answer. That3 since I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, after this life,4 I shall inherit perfect salvation, which5 “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man” to conceive, and that, to praise God therein for ever.
23. LORD’S DAY.
Question 59. But what doth is profit thee now that thou believest all this?
Answer. That I am righteous in Christ, before God, and an heir of eternal life.1
Question 60. How are thou righteous before God?
Answer. Only2 by a true faith in Jesus Christ; so that though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and3 kept none of them, and am still4 inclined to all evil; notwithstanding, God, without any5 merit of mine, but only of mere6 grace, grants7 and8 imputes to me, the perfect9 satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully10 accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me;11 inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart.
Question 61. Why sayest thou, that thou art righteous by faith only?
Answer. Not that I am acceptable to God, on account of the12 worthiness of my faith; but because only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, is my righteousness before13 God; and that I cannot receive14 and apply the same to myself any other way than by faith only.
24. LORD’S DAY.
Question 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part of our righteousness before God?
Answer. Because, that the righteousness, which can be approved of before the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect, and in all respects1 conformable to the divine law; and also, that our best works in this life are all imperfect and2 defiled with sin.
Question 63. What! do not our good works merit, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?
Answer. This reward is not of merit, but of grace.3
Question 64. But doth not this doctrine make men careless and profane?
Answer. By no means: for it is impossible that those, who are implanted into Christ by a true faith, should not bring forth fruits of4 thankfulness.
OF THE SACRAMENTS
25. LORD’S DAY.
Question 65. Since then we are made partakers of Christ and all his benefits by faith only, whence doth this faith proceed?
Answer. From the Holy Ghost, who works1 faith in our hearts by the preaching of the gospel, and2 confirms it by the use of the sacraments.
Question 66. What are the sacraments?
Answer. The sacraments are holy visible signs and seals, appointed of God for this end, that by the use thereof, he may the more fully declare and seal to us the promise of the gospel, vis., that he grants us freely the remission of sin, and3 life eternal, for the sake of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross.
Question 67. Are both word and sacraments, then, ordained and appointed for this end, that they may direct our faith to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, as the only ground of our salvation? Answer. Yes, indeed: for the Holy Ghost teaches us in the gospel, and assures us by the sacraments,4 that the whole of our salvation depends upon that one sacrifice of Christ which he offered for us on the cross.
Question 68. How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the new covenant, or testament?
Answer. Two5: namely, holy baptism, and the holy supper.
OF HOLY BAPTISM
26. LORD’S DAY.
Question 69. How art thou admonished and assured by holy baptism, that the one sacrifice of Christ upon the cross is of real advantage to thee?
Answer. Thus: That Christ appointed1 this external washing with water, adding thereto this2 promise, that I am as certainly washed by his blood and Spirit from all the pollution of my soul, that is, form all my sins, as I am3 washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is commonly washed away.
Question 70. What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?
Answer. It is to receive of God the remission of sins, freely, for the sake of Christ’s blood, which he4 shed for us by his sacrifice upon the cross; and also to be renewed by the Holy Ghost, and sanctified to be members of Christ, that so we may more and more die unto sin, and5 lead holy and unblamable lives.
Question 71. Where has Christ promised us, that he will as certainly wash us by his blood and Spirit, as we are washed with the water of baptism?
Answer. In the institution of baptism, which is thus expressed:6 “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost7,” “he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.” This promise is also repeated, where the scripture calls baptism the8 washing of regeneration, and the washing9 away of sins.
27. LORD’S DAY.
Question 72. Is then the external baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?
Answer. Not at all: for the1 blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Ghost cleanse us from all2 sin.
Question 73. Why then doth the Holy Ghost call baptism “the washing of regeneration,” and “the washing away of sins”?
Answer. God speaks thus not without great cause, to-wit, not only thereby to teach us, that as the filth of the body is purged away by water, so our sins are3 removed by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ; but especially that by4 this divine pledge and sign he may assure us, that we are spiritually cleansed from our sins as really, as we are externally washed with water.
Question 74. Are infants also to be baptized?
Answer. Yes: for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the5 covenant and6 church of God; and since7 redemption from sin by the blood of Christ, and the8 Holy Ghost, the author of faith, is promised to them no less than to the adult; they must therefore by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, be also admitted into the christian church; and be distinguished9 from the children of unbelievers as was done in the old covenant or testament by10 circumcision, instead of which11 baptism is instituted in the new covenant.
OF THE HOLY SUPPER OF OUR
LORD JESUS CHRIST
28. LORD’S DAY.
Question 75. How are thou admonished and assured in the Lord’s Supper, that thou are a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross, and of all his benefits?
Answer. Thus: That Christ has commanded me and all believers, to eat of this broken bread, and to drink of this cup, in remembrance of him,1 adding these promises: first, that his body was offered and broken on the cross for me, and his blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes, the bread of the Lord broken for me, and the cup communicated to me; and further, that he feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with his crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.
Question 76. What is it then to eat the crucified body, and drink the shed blood of Christ?
Answer. It is only to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ, and thereby to2 obtain the pardon of sin, and life eternal; but also, besides that, to become more and more3 united to his sacred body, by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us;4 so that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding “Flesh of his flesh, and bone5 of his bone”; and that we live,6 and are governed forever by one spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.
Question 77. Where has Christ promised that he will as certainly feed and nourish believers with his body and blood, as they eat of this broken bread, and drink of this cup?
Answer. In the institution of the supper, which is thus expressed:7 “The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said: 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: this8 cup is the new testament in my blood;9 this do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For, as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” This promise is repeated by the holy apostle Paul, where he says:10 “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one bread and one body; because we are all partakers of that one bread.”
29. LORD’S DAY.
Question 78. Do then the bread and wine become the very body and blood of Christ?
Answer. Not at all:1 but as the water in baptism is not changed into the blood of Christ, neither is the washing away of sin itself, being only the sign and confirmation thereof appointed of God; so the bread in the Lord’s supper is not changed into the very2 body of Christ; though agreeable to the3 nature and properties of sacraments, it is called the body of Christ Jesus.
Question 79. Why then doth Christ call the bread his body, and the cup his blood, or the new covenant in his blood; and Paul the “communion of the body and blood of Christ”?
Answer. Christ speaks thus, not without great reason, namely, not only thereby to teach us, that as bread and wine support this temporal life, so his crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink, whereby our souls are4 fed to eternal life; but more especially by these visible signs and pledges to assure us, that we are as really partakers of his true body and blood (by the operation of the Holy Ghost) as we5 receive by the mouths of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of him; and that all his sufferings6 and obedience are as certainly ours, as if we had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction for our sins to God.
30. LORD’S DAY.
Question 80. What difference is there between the Lord’s supper and the popish mass?
Answer. The Lord’s supper testifies to us, that we have a full pardon of
all sin1 by the only sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which he himself has once
accomplished on the cross; and, that we by the Holy Ghost are ingrafted2
into Christ, who, according to his human nature is now not on earth, but in
3 heaven, at the right hand of God his Father, and will there4 be
worshipped by us: – but the mass teaches, that the living and dead have not the pardon of sins though 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, as bottom, is nothing else than a5 denial of the one sacrifice and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and an accursed idolatry.
Question 81. For whom is the Lord’s supper instituted?
Answer. For those who are truly sorrowful7 for their sins, and yet that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their remaining infirmities8 are covered by his passion and death; and who also earnestly 9 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 and10 drink judgment to themselves.
Question 82. Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who, by confession and life, declare themselves unbelieving and ungodly?
Answer. No; for by this, the covenant of God would be profaned, and his wrath11 kindled against the whole congregation; therefore it is the duty of the christian church, according to the appointment of12 Christ and his apostles, to exclude such persons, by the keys of the kingdom of heaven, till they show amendment of life.
31. LORD’S DAY.
Question 83. What are1 the keys of the kingdom of heaven?
Answer. The preaching2 of the holy gospel, and christian discipline,3 or excommunication out of the christian church; by these two, the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers, and shut against unbelievers.
Question 84. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the holy gospel?
Answer. Thus: when according to the command of4 Christ, it is declared and publicly testified to all and every believer, that, whenever they5 receive the promise of the gospel by a true faith, all their sins are really forgiven them of God, for the sake of Christ’s merits; and on the contrary, when it is declared and testified to all unbelievers, and such as do not sincerely repent, that they stand exposed to the wrath of God, and eternal6 condemnation, so long as they are7 unconverted: according to which testimony of the gospel, God will judge them, both in this, and in the life to come.
Question 85. How is the kingdom of heaven shut and opened by christian discipline?
Answer. Thus: when according8 to the command of Christ, those, who
under the name of christians, maintain doctrines, or practices9 inconsistent
therewith, and will not, after having been often brotherly admonished,
renounce their errors and wicked course of life, are complained of to the
church,10 or to those, who are thereunto11 appointed by the church; and if
they despise their admonition,12 are by them forbidden the use of the
sacraments; whereby they are excluded from the christian church, and by God himself from the kingdom of Christ; and when they promise and show real amendment, are again13 received as members of Christ and his church.
THE THIRD PART — OF THANKFULNESS
32. LORD’S DAY.
Question 86. Since then we are delivered from our misery, merely of grace, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we still do good works?
Answer. Because Christ, having redeemed and delivered us by his blood, also renews us by his Holy Spirit, after his own image; that so we may testify, by the whole of our conduct, our gratitude1 to God for his blessings, and that he may be2 praised by us; also, that every one may be3 assured in himself of his faith, by the fruits thereof; and that, by our godly conversation, others may be4 gained to Christ.
Question 87. Cannot they then be saved, who, continuing in their wicked and ungrateful lives, are not converted to God?
Answer. By no means; for the holy scripture declares5 that no unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard, slanderer, robber, or any such like, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
33. LORD’S DAY.
Question 88. Of how many parts doth the true conversion of man consist?
Answer. Of two parts; of1 the mortification of the old, and the quickening of the new man.
Question 89. What is the mortification of the old man?
Answer. It is a2 sincere sorrow of heart, that we have provoked God by our sins; and more and more to hate and flee from them.
Question 90. What is the quickening of the new man?
Answer. It is a sincere joy of heart in God, through Christ,3 and with love and4 delight to live according to the will of God in all good works.
Question 91. But what are good works?
Answer. Only those which proceed from a true5 faith, are performed according to the6 law of God, and to his7 glory; and not such as are 8 founded on our imaginations, or the institutions of men.
34. LORD’S DAY.
Question 92. What is the law of God?
Answer. God spake all these words, Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5, saying: I am the Lord thy God, which hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down 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 showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy; six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, 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.
5. Honor thy father and they mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord they God giveth thee.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man servant, nor his maid servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.
Question 93. How are these commandments divided?
Answer. Into two1 tables; the2 first of which teaches us how we must behave towards God; the second, what duties we owe to our neighbor.
Question 94. What doth God enjoin in the first commandment?
Answer. That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and flee from all idolatry,3 sorcery,4 soothsaying, superstition,5 invocation of saints, or any other creatures; and learn6 rightly to know the only true God;7 trust in him alone, with humility8 and patience 9 submit to him;10 expect all good things from him only;11 love,12 fear, and13 glorify him with my whole heart; so that I renounce14 and forsake all creatures, rather than15 commit even the least thing contrary to his will.
Question 95. What is idolatry?
Answer. Idolatry is, instead of, or besides that one true God, who has
manifested himself in his word, to contrive, or have any other object, in
which men place their trust.16
35. LORD’S DAY.
Question 96. What doth God require in the second commandment?
Answer. That we in no wise1 represent God by images, nor worship2 him in any other way than he has commanded in his word.
Question 97. Are images then not at all to be made?
Answer. God neither can, nor3 may be represented by any means: but as to creatures; though they may be represented, yet God forbids to make, or have any resemblance of them, either in order to worship them4 or to serve God by them.
Question 98. But may not images be tolerated in the churches, as books to the laity?
Answer. No: for we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have his people5 taught, not by dumb images,6 but by the lively preaching of his word.
36. LORD’S DAY.
Question 99. What is required in the third commandment?
Answer. That we, not only by cursing or1 perjury, but also by2 rash swearing, must not profane or abuse the name of3 God; nor by silence or connivance be partakers of these horrible sins in others; and, briefly, that we use the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence; so that he may be rightly4 confessed and5 worshipped by us, and be glorified in all our words and works.
Question 100. Is then the profaning of God’s name, by swearing and cursing, so heinous a sin, that his wrath is kindled against those who do not endeavor, as much as in them lies, to prevent and forbid such cursing and swearing?
Answer. It undoubtedly is,6 for there is no sin greater or more provoking to God, than the profaning of his name; and therefore he has commanded this 7 sin to be punished with death.
37. LORD’S DAY.
Question 101. May we then swear religiously by the name of God?
Answer. Yes: either when the magistrates demand it of the subjects; or when necessity requires us thereby to confirm1 fidelity and truth to the glory of God, and the safety of our neighbor: for such an oath is2 founded on God’s word, and therefore was justly3 used by the saints, both in the Old and New Testament.
Question 102. May we also swear by saints or any other creatures?
Answer. No; for a lawful oath is calling upon God, as the only one who knows the heart, that he will bear witness to the truth, and punish me if I swear 4 falsely; which honor is5 due to no creature.
38. LORD’S DAY.
Question 103. What doth God require in the fourth commandment?
Answer. First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be1 maintained; and that I, especially on the sabbath,2 that is, on the day of rest,3 diligently frequent4 the church of God, to hear his word, to use the sacraments,5 publicly to call upon the Lord, and contribute to the relief of the6 poor, as becomes a christian. Secondly, that all the days of my life I cease from my evil works, and yield myself to the Lord, to work by his Holy Spirit in me: and thus7 begin in this life the eternal sabbath.
39. LORD’S DAY.
Question 104. What doth God require in the fifth commandment?
Answer. That I show all honor, love and fidelity, to my father and mother, and all in authority over me, and1 submit myself to their good instruction and correction, with due obedience; and also patiently bear with their2 weaknesses and infirmities, since it pleases3 God to govern us by their hand.
40. LORD’S DAY.
Question 105. What doth God require in the sixth commandment?
Answer. That neither in thoughts, nor words, nor gestures, much less in deeds, I dishonor, hate, wound, or1 kill my neighbor, by myself or by another; but that I lay2 aside all desire of revenge: also, that I3 hurt not myself, nor willfully expose myself to any danger. Wherefore also the magistrate4 is armed with the sword, to prevent murder.
Question 106. But this commandment seems only to speak of murder?
Answer. In forbidding murder, God teaches us, that he abhors the causes thereof, such as5 envy,6 hatred, anger, and desire of revenge; and that7 he accounts all these as murder.
Question 107. But is it enough that we do not kill any man in the manner mentioned above?
Answer. No: for when god forbids envy, hatred, and anger, he commands us to 8 love our neighbor as ourselves; to show9 patience, peace,10 meekness,11 mercy, and all kindness, towards him,12 and prevent his hurt as much as in us lies’ and that we13 do good, even to our enemies.
41. LORD’S DAY.
Question 108. What doth the seventh commandment teach us?
Answer. That all uncleanness is accursed1 of God: and that therefore we must with all our hearts2 detest the same, and live3 chastely and temperately, whether in4 holy wedlock, or in single life.
Question 109. Doth God forbid in this commandment, only adultery, and such like gross sins?
Answer. Since both our body and soul are temples of the Holy Ghost, he commands us to preserve them pure and holy: therefore he forbids all unchaste actions,5 gestures, words, thoughts,6 desires, and whatever 7 can entice men thereto.
42. LORD’S DAY.
Question 110. What doth God forbid in the eighth commandment?
Answer. God forbids not only those1 thefts, and2 robberies, which are punishable by the magistrate; but he comprehends under the name of theft all wicked tricks and devices, whereby we design to3 appropriate to ourselves the goods which belong to our neighbor: whether it be by force, or under the appearance of right, as by unjust4 weights, ells,5 measures, fraudulent merchandise, false coins,6 usury, or by any other way forbidden by God; as also all7 covetousness, all abuse and waste of his gifts.
Question 111. But what doth God require in this commandment?
Answer. That I promote the advantage of my neighbor in every instance I can or may; and deal with him as I8 desire to be dealt with by others: further also that I faithfully labor, so that I9 may be able to relieve the needy.
43. LORD’S DAY.
Question 112. What is required in the ninth commandment?
Answer. That I bear false witness1 against no man, nor falsify2 any man’s words; that I be no backbiter,3 nor slanderer; that I do not judge, nor join4 in condemning any man rashly, or unheard; but that I5 avoid all sorts of lies and deceit, as the proper works6 of the devil, unless I would bring down upon me the heavy wrath of God; likewise, that in judgment and all other dealings I love the truth, speak it uprightly7 and confess it; also that I defend and promote,8 as much as I am able, the honor and good character of my neighbor.
44. LORD’S DAY.
Question 113. What doth the tenth commandment require of us?
Answer. That even the smallest inclination or thought, contrary to any of God’s commandments, never rise in our hearts; but that at all times we hate all sin with our whole heart,1 and delight in all righteousness.
Question 114. But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?
Answer. No: but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this2 obedience; yet so, that with a3 sincere resolution they begin to live, not only according to some, but all of the commandments of God.
Question 115. Why will God then have the ten commandments so strictly preached, since no man in this life can keep them?
Answer. First, that all our lifetime we may learn4 more and more to know
our sinful nature, and thus become the more earnest in seeking the
remission of sin,5 and righteousness in Christ; likewise, that we constantly
endeavor and pry to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that we may
become more and more conformable to the image of God, till we arrive at
the perfection proposed to us, in a life to come.6
45. LORD’S DAY.
Question 116. Why is prayer necessary for christians?
Answer. Because it is the chief part of1 thankfulness which God requires of us: and also, because God will give his grace and Holy Spirit to those only, who with sincere desires continually ask them of him, and2 are thankful for them.
Question 117. What are the requisites of that prayer, which is acceptable to God, and which he will hear?
Answer. First, that we from the heart pray to the one true God only, who hath3 manifested himself in his word, for all things, he hath commanded us to ask of him;4 secondly, that we rightly and thoroughly know our need and misery, that so we may5 deeply humble ourselves in the presence of his divine majesty; thirdly, that we be fully persuaded that he, notwithstanding that we are6 unworthy of it, will, for the sake of Christ our Lord, certainly7 hear our prayer, as he has8 promised us in his word.
Question 118. What hath God commanded us to ask of him?
Answer. All9 things necessary for soul and body; which Christ our Lord has comprised in that prayer he himself10 has taught us.
Question 119. What are the words of that prayer?
Answer. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
46. LORD’S DAY.
Question 120. Why hath Christ commanded us to address God thus: “Our Father”?
Answer. That immediately, in the very beginning of our prayer, he might
excite in us a childlike reverence for, and confidence in God, which are the
foundation of our prayer: namely, that God is become our Father in Christ,
1 and will much less deny us what we ask of him in true faith, than our
parents2 will refuse us earthly things.
Question 121. Why is it here added, “Which art in heaven”?
Answer. Lest we should form any3 earthly conceptions of God’s heavenly majesty, and that we4 may expect from his almighty power all things necessary for soul and body.
47. LORD’S DAY.
Question 122. Which is the first petition?
Answer.1 “Hallowed be thy name”; that is, grant us, first, rightly2 to know thee, and to3 sanctify, glorify and praise thee, in all thy works, in which thy power, wisdom, goodness, justice, mercy and truth, are clearly displayed; and further also, that we may so order and direct our whole lives, our thoughts, words and actions, that thy name may never be blasphemed, but rather4 honored and praised on our account.
48. LORD’S DAY.
Question 123. Which is the second petition?
Answer.1 “Thy kingdom come”; that is, rule us so by thy word and Spirit, that we may2 submit ourselves more and more to thee; preserve and3 increase thy church; destroy the4 works of the devil, and all violence which would exalt itself against thee; and also, all wicked counsels devised against thy holy word; till the full5 perfection of thy kingdom take place,6 wherein thou shalt be all in all.
49. LORD’S DAY.
Question 124. Which is the third petition?
Answer.1 “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”; that is, grant that
we and all men may renounce2 our own will, and without murmuring3 obey
thy will, which is only good; that so every one may attend to, and4 perform the duties of his station and calling, as willingly and faithfully as the5 angels do in heaven.
50. LORD’S DAY.
Question 125. Which is the fourth petition?
Answer.1 “Give us this day our daily bread”; that is, be pleased to provide us with all things2 necessary for the body, that we may thereby acknowledge thee to be the only fountain of all3 good, and that neither our care nor industry, nor even thy gifts, can4 profit us without thy blessing; and therefore that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures, and place5 it alone in thee.
51. LORD’S DAY.
Question 126. What is the fifth petition?
Answer.1 “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”; that is, be pleased for the sake of Christ’s blood,2 not to impute to us poor sinners, our transgressions, nor that depravity, which always cleaves to us; even as we feel this evidence of thy grace in us, that it is our firm resolution from the heart to3 forgive our neighbor.
52. LORD’S DAY.
Question 127. Which is the sixth petition?
Answer.1 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”; that is, since we are so weak in ourselves, that we cannot stand2 a moment; and besides this, since our mortal enemies,3 the devil, the4 world, and our own5 flesh, cease not to assault us, do thou therefore preserve and strength us by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in this spiritual warfare,5 but constantly and strenuously may resist our foes, till at last we6 obtain a complete victory.
Question 128. How dost thou conclude thy prayer?
Answer.7 “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever”; that is, all these we ask of thee, because thou, being our King and almighty, art willing and able to8 give us all good; and all this we pray for, that thereby not we, but thy holy name,9 may be glorified for ever.
Question 129. What doth the word “Amen” signify?
Answer.10 “Amen” signifies, it shall truly and certainly be: for my prayer is more assuredly heard of God, than I feel in my heart that I desire these things of him.
THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH
Chapter 1 Of the Holy Scripture,
Chapter 2 Of God, and of the Holy Trinity,
Chapter 3 Of God’s Eternal Decree,
Chapter 4 Of Creation,
Chapter 5 Of Providence,
Chapter 6 Of the Fall of Man, of Sin,
and of the Punishment thereof,
Chapter 7 Of God’s Covenant with Man,
Chapter 8 Of Christ the Mediator,
Chapter 9 Of Free Will,
Chapter 10 Of Effectual Calling,
Chapter 11 Of Justification,
Chapter 12 Of Adoption,
Chapter 13 Of Sanctification,
Chapter 14 Of Saving Faith,
Chapter 15 Of Repentance Unto Life,
Chapter 16 Of Good Works,
Chapter 17 Of The Perseverance of the Saints,
Chapter 18 Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation,
Chapter 19 Of the Law of God,
Chapter 20 Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience,
Chapter 21 Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath-day,
Chapter 22 Of Lawful Oaths and Vows,
Chapter 23 Of the Civil Magistrate,
Chapter 24 Of Marriage and Divorce,
Chapter 25 Of the Church,
Chapter 26 Of the Communion of the Saints,
Chapter 27 Of the Sacraments,
Chapter 28 Of Baptism,
Chapter 29 Of the Lord’s Supper,
Chapter 30 Of Church Censures,
Chapter 31 Of Synods and Councils,
Chapter 32 Of the State of Man After Death,
and of the Resurrection of the Dead,
Chapter 33 Of the Last Judgment
OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURE
I. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church; and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which makes the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.
II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these:
OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
Genesis Ecclesiastes Exodus The Song of Songs Leviticus Isaiah Numbers
Jeremiah Deuteronomy Lamentations Joshua Ezekiel Judges Daniel Ruth
Hosea I Samuel Joel II Samuel Amos 1 Kings Obadiah I1 Kings Jonah I
Chronicles Micah II Chronicles Nahum Ezra Habakkuk Nehemiah
Zephaniah Esther Haggai Job Zechariah Psalms Malachi Proverbs
OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
The Gospels according to Thessalonians II Matthew To Timothy I Mark
To Timothy II Luke To Titus John To Philemon The Acts of the
Apostles The Epistle to the Paul’s Epistles to the Romans Hebrews
Corinthians I The Epistle of James Corinthians II The First and Second
Galatians Epistles of Peter Ephesians The First, Second, and Philippians
Third Epistles of John Colossians The Epistle of Jude Thessalonians I The Revelation All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life.
III. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.
IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.
V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.
VI. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.
VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.
VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them. But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated in to the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner; and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.
IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.
X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.
OF GOD, AND OF THE HOLY TRINITY
I. There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long- suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.
II. God has all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He has made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things; and has most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever Himself pleases. In His sight all things are open and manifest, His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent, or uncertain. He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands. To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience He is pleased to require of them.
III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost: the Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.
OF GOD’S ETERNAL DECREE.
I. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions; yet has He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.
III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.
IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.
V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, has chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith, or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto; and all to the praise of His glorious grace.
VI. As God has appointed the elect unto glory, so has He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.
VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praised of His glorious justice.
VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.
I. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.
II. After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it; and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.
I. God the great Creator of all things does uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.
II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; yet, by the same providence, He orders them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
III. God, in His ordinary providence, makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at His pleasure.
IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extends itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, but such as has joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceeds only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.
V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God does oftentimes leave, for a season, His own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon Himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.
VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, does blind and harden, from them He not only withholds His grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts; but sometimes also withdraws the gifts which they had, and exposes them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan, whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God uses for the softening of others.
VII. As the providence of God does, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it takes care of His Church, and disposes all things to the good thereof.
OF THE FALL OF MAN, OF SIN,
AND OF THE PUNISHMENT THEREOF.
I. Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptations of Satan, sinned, in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin, God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory.
II. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion, with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body.
III. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed; and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation.
IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.
V. This corruption of nature, during this life, does remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be, through Christ, pardoned, and mortified; yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.
VI. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, does in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal.
OF GOD’S COVENANT WITH MAN.
I. The distance between God and the creature is go great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which He has been pleased to express by way of covenant.
II. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.
III. Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.
IV. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in scripture by the name of a testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the Testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed.
V. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the Gospel: under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come; which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the Old Testament.
VI. Under the Gospel, when Christ, the substance, was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper: which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the New Testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations.
OF CHRIST THE MEDIATOR.
I. It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man, the Prophet, Priest, and King, the Head and Saviour of His Church, the Heir of all things, and Judge of the world: unto whom He did from all eternity give a people, to be His seed, and to be by Him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.
II. The Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon Him man’s nature, with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.
III. The Lord Jesus, in His human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure, having in Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell; to the end that, being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, He might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a Mediator and Surety. Which office He took not unto Himself, but was thereunto called by His Father, who put all power and judgment into His hand, and gave Him commandment to execute the same.
IV. This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake; which that He might discharge, He was made under the law, and did perfectly fulfil it; endured most grievous torments immediately in His soul, and most painful sufferings in His body; was crucified, and died, was buried, and remained under the power of death, yet saw no corruption. On the third day He arose from the dead, with the same body in which He suffered, with which also he ascended into heaven, and there sits at the right hand of His Father, making intercession, and shall return, to judge men and angels, at the end of the world.
V. The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience, and sacrifice of Himself, which He through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, has fully satisfied the justice of His Father; and purchased, not only reconciliation, but an everlasting in heritance in the kingdom of heaven, for those whom the Father has given unto Him.
VI. Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after His incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof were communicated unto the elect, in all ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices, wherein He was revealed, and signified to be the seed of the woman which should bruise the serpent’s head; and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world; being yesterday and today the same, and forever.
VII. Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; yet, by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature.
VIII. To all those for whom Christ has purchased redemption, He does certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same; making intercession for them, and revealing unto them, in and by the word, the mysteries of salvation; effectually persuading them by His Spirit to believe and obey, and governing their hearts by His word and Spirit; overcoming all their enemies by His almighty power and wisdom, in such manner, and ways, as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation.
OF FREE WILL.
I. God has endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, determined good, or evil.
II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will and to do that which was good and well pleasing to God; but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it.
III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.
IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, He frees him from his natural bondage under sin; and, by His grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so, as that by reason of his remaining corruption, he does not perfectly, or only, will that which is good, but does also will that which is evil.
V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to do good alone in the state of glory only.
OF EFFECTUAL CALLING.
I. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.
II. This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.
III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
IV. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the laws of that religion they do profess. And to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested.
I. Those whom God effectually calls, He also freely justifies; not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.
II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification: yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love.
III. Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real and full satisfaction to His Father’s justice in their behalf. Yet, in as much as He was given by the Father for them; and His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead; and both, freely, not for any thing in them; their justification is only of free grace; that both the exact justice, and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.
IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit does, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.
V. God does continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified; and although they can never fall from the sate of justification, 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.
VI. 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.
All those that are justified, God vouchsafes, in and for His only Son Jesus
Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption, by which they are
taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children
of God, have His name put upon them, receive the spirit of adoption, have
access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry, Abba,
Father, are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by Him as by a Father: yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption; and inherit the promises, as heirs of everlasting salvation.
I. They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them: the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified; and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
II. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man; yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part; whence arises a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.
III. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much prevail; yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part does overcome; and so, the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
OF SAVING FAITH
I. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word, by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.
II. By this faith, a Christian believes to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein; and acts differently upon that which each particular passage thereof contains; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come. But the principal acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.
III. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong; may be often and many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory: growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance, through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.
OF REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE
I. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the Gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.
II. By it, a sinner, out of the sight and sense not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature, and righteous law of God; and upon the apprehension of His mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavouring to walk with Him in all the ways of His commandments.
III. Although repentance is not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ, yet it is of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.
IV. As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation; so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.
V. Man ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins, particularly.
VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof; upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy; so, he that scandalizes his brother, or the Church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession, and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended, who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.
OF GOOD WORKS
I. Good works are only such as God has commanded in His holy Word, and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention.
II. These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the Gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.
III. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, beside the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will, and to do, of His good pleasure: yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.
IV. They who, in their obedience, attain to the greatest height which is possibly in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.
V. We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom, by them, we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins, but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants: and because, as they are good, they proceed from His Spirit, and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s judgment.
VI. Notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him; not as though they were in this life wholly unblamable and unreproveable in God’s sight; but that He, looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections.
VII. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands; and of good use both to themselves and others: yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith; nor are done in a right manner, according to the Word; nor to a right end, the glory of God, they are therefore sinful and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God: and yet, their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God.
OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
I. They, whom God has accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.
II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which arises also the certainty and infallibility thereof.
III. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God’s displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.
OF THE ASSURANCE OF GRACE AND SALVATION.
I. Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God, and estate of salvation (which hope of theirs shall perish): yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before Him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.
II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation, the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God, which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption.
III. This infallible assurance does not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be partaker of it: yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto. And therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance; so far is it from inclining men to looseness.
IV. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which wounds the conscience and grieves the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God’s withdrawing the light of His countenance, and suffering even such as fear Him to walk in darkness and to have no light: yet are they never so utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart, and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived; and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair.
OF THE LAW OF GOD
I. 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.
II. 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: the first four commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.
III. 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; and partly, holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the New Testament.
IV. 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.
V. The moral law does forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; 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. Neither does Christ, in the Gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.
VI. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts and lives; so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin, together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of His obedience. It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin: and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience,and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof: although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works. So as, a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourages to the one and deters from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law: and not under grace.
VII. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely, and cheerfully, which the will of God, revealed in the law, requires to be done.
OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY, AND LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE
I. The liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the Gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, and condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law; and, in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin; from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grace, and everlasting damnation; as also, in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind. All which were common also to believers under the law. But, under the New Testament, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected; and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.
II. God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in any thing, contrary to His Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship. So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.
III. They who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, do practice any sin, or cherish any lust, do thereby destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life.
IV. And because the powers which God has ordained, and the liberty which Christ has purchased are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another, they who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God. And, for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity (whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation), or to the power of godliness; or, such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ has established in the Church, they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against, by the censures of the Church, and by the power of the civil magistrate..
OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP AND THE SABBATH-DAY
I. The light of nature shows that there is a God, who has lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and does good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture.
II. Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to Him alone; not to angels, saints, or any other creature: and, since the fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the mediation of any other but of Christ alone.
III. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship, is by God required of all men: and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, by the help of His Spirit, according to His will, with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love and perseverance; and, if vocal, in a known tongue.
IV. Prayer is to be made for things lawful; and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter: but not for the dead, nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.
V. The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear, the sound preaching and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith and reverence, singing of psalms with grace in the heart; as also, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ, are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God: beside religious oaths, vows, solemn fastings, and thanksgivings upon special occasions, which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner.
VI. Neither prayer, nor any other part of religious worship, is now, under the Gospel, either tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed: but God is to be worshipped everywhere, in spirit and truth; as, in private families daily, and in secret, each one by himself; so, more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by His Word or providence, calls thereunto.
VII. As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in His Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, He has particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week: and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord’s Day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.
VIII. This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest, all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up, the whole time, in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
OF LAWFUL OATHS AND VOWS
I. A lawful oath is part of religious worship, wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calls God to witness what he asserts, or promises, and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he swears.
II. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear, and therein it is to be used with all holy fear and reverence. Therefore, to swear vainly, or rashly, by that glorious and dreadful Name; or, to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred. Yet, as in matters of weight and moment, an oath is warranted by the Word of God, under the New Testament as well as under the old; so a lawful oath, being imposed by lawful authority, in such matters, ought to be taken.
III. Whosoever takes an oath ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth: neither may any man bind himself by oath to any thing but what is good and just, and what he believes so to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform. Yet it is a sin to refuse an. oath touching any thing that is good and just, being imposed. by lawful authority..
IV. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation, or mental reservation. It cannot oblige to sin; but in any thing not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man’s own hurt. Not is it to be violated, although made to heretics, or infidels.
V. A vow is of the like nature with a promissory oath, and ought to be made with the like religious care, and to be performed with the like faithfulness.
VI. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone: and that it may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out of faith, and conscience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for the obtaining of what we want, whereby we more strictly bind ourselves to necessary duties: or, to other things, so far and so long as they may fitly conduce thereunto.
VII. No man may vow to do any thing forbidden in the Word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded, or which is not in his own power, and for the performance whereof he has no promise of ability from God. In which respects, popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.
OF THE CIVIL MAGISTRATE
I. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, has ordained civil magistrates, to be, under Him, over the people, for His own glory, and the public good: and, to this end, has armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil doers.
II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto: in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth; so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Testament, wage war, upon just and necessary occasion.
III. Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; yet he has authority, and. it is his duty, to take order that unity and peace be. preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure. and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed,. all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline. prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly. settled, administrated, and observed. For the better. effecting whereof, he has power to call synods, to be present. at them and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them. be according to the mind of God. or, in the least, interfere in matters of faith. Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the Church of our common Lord, without giving the preference to any denomination of Christians above the rest, in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persons whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty of discharging every part of their sacred functions, without violence or danger. And, as Jesus Christ has appointed a regular government and discipline in his Church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief. It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretense of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance..
IV. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, to honour their persons, to pay them tribute or other dues, to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience’ sake. Infidelity, or difference in religion, does not make void the magistrates’ just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to them: from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted, much less has the Pope any power and jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and, least of all, to deprive them of their dominions, or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretence whatsoever.
OF MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
I. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.
II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed; and for preventing of uncleanness.
III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent. Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord. And therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies.
IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word. Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife. The man may not marry any of his wife’s kindred, nearer in blood then he may of his own: nor the woman of her husband’s kindred, nearer in blood than of her own..
V. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, gives just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract. In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce and, after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.
VI. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments unduly to put asunder those whom God has joined together in marriage: yet, nothing but adultery, or such wilful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage: wherein, a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case.
OF THE CHURCH
I. The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all.
II. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.
III. Unto this catholic visible Church Christ has given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and does, by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto.
IV. This catholic Church has been sometimes more, sometimes less visible. And particular Churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.
V. The purest Churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated, as to become no Churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, there shall be always a Church on earth to worship God according to His will.
VI. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.
OF THE COMMUNION OF THE SAINTS
I. All saints, that are united to Jesus Christ their Head, by His Spirit, and by faith, have fellowship with Him in His grace, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory: and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other’s gifts and graces, and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.
II. Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification; as also in relieving each other in outward things, according to their several abilities and necessities. Which communion, as God offers opportunity, is to be extended unto all those who, in every place, call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.
III. This communion which the saints have with Christ, does not make them in any wise partakers of the substance of His Godhead; or to be equal with Christ in any respect: either of which to affirm is impious and blasphemous. Nor does their communion one with another, as saints, take away, or infringe the title or propriety which each man has in his goods and possessions.
OF THE SACRAMENTS
I. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately instituted by God, to represent Christ and His benefits; and to confirm our interest in Him: as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church and the rest of the world; and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to His Word.
II. There is, in every sacrament, a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified: whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other.
III. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither does the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that does administer it: but upon the work of the Spirit, and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.
IV. There are only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained.
V. The sacraments of the Old Testament in regard to the spiritual things thereby signified and exhibited, were, for substance, the same with those of the new.
I. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church; but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of his ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in the newness of life. Which sacrament is, by Christ’s own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world.
II. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the Gospel, lawfully called thereunto.
III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but Baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person.
IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.
V. Although it is a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it: or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.
VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongs unto, according to the counsel of God’s own will, in His appointed time.
VII. The sacrament of Baptism is but once to be administered unto any person.
OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
I. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein He was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of His body and blood, called the Lord’s Supper, to be observed in His Church, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of Himself in His death; the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in Him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto Him; and, to be a bond and pledge of their communion with Him, and with each other, as members of His mystical body.
II. In this sacrament, Christ is not offered up to His Father; nor any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sins of the quick or dead; but only a commemoration of that one offering up of Himself, by Himself, upon the cross, once for all: and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God, for the same: so that the popish sacrifice of the mass (as they call it) is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one, only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of His elect.
III. The Lord Jesus has, in this ordinance, appointed His ministers to declare His word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants; but to none who are not then present in the congregation.
IV. Private masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest, or any other alone; as likewise, the denial of the cup to the people, worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about, for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use; are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ.
V. The outward elements in this sacrament, duly set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to Him crucified, as that, truly, yet sacramentally only, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ; albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.
VI. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ’s body and blood (commonly called transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant, not to Scripture alone, but even to common sense, and reason; overthrows the nature of the sacrament, and has been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions; yes, of gross idolatries.
VII. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements, in this sacrament, do then also, inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally but spiritually, receive and feed upon, Christ crucified, and all benefits of His death: the body and blood of Christ being then, not corporally or carnally, in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet, as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.
VIII. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this sacrament; yet, they receive not the thing signified thereby; but, by their unworthy coming thereunto, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, to their own damnation. Wherefore, all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Him, so are they unworthy of the Lord’s table; and cannot, without great sin against Christ, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto.
OF CHURCH CENSURES
I. The Lord Jesus, as king and head of His Church, has therein appointed a government, in the hand of Church officers, distinct from the civil magistrate.
II. To these officers the keys of the kingdom of heaven are committed; by virtue whereof, they have power, respectively, to retain, and remit sins; to shut that kingdom against the impenitent, both by the Word, and censures; and to open it unto penitent sinners, by the ministry of the Gospel; and by absolution from censures, as occasion shall require.
III. Church censures are necessary, for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren, for deterring of others from the like offences, for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump, for vindicating the honour of Christ, and the holy profession of the Gospel, and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the Church, if they should suffer His covenant, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders.
IV. For the better attaining of these ends, the officers of the Church are to proceed by admonition; suspension from the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for a season; and by excommunication from the Church; according to the nature of the crime, and demerit of the person.
OF SYNODS AND COUNCILS
I. For the better government, and further edification of the Church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils: and it belongs to the overseers and other rulers of the particular Churches, by virtue of their office, and the power which Christ has given them for edification and not for destruction, to appoint such assemblies; and to convene together in them, as outer as they shall judge it expedient for the good of the Church.
II. As magistrates may lawfully call a synod of ministers, and other fit persons, to consult and advise with, about matters of religion; so, if magistrates be open enemies to the Church, the ministers of Christ, of themselves, by virtue of their office, or they, with other fit persons upon delegation from their Churches, may meet together in such assemblies.
III. It belongs to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his Church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same; which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission; not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God appointed thereunto in His Word.
III. All synods or councils, since the apostles’ times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.
IV. Synods and councils are to handle, or conclude nothing, but that which is ecclesiastical: and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble petition in cases extraordinary; or, by way of advice, for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate.
OF THE STATE OF MAN AFTER DEATH,
AND OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
I. The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption: but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them: the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. And the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. Beside these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledges none.
II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed: and all the dead shall be raised up, with the selfsame bodies, and none other (although with different qualities), which shall be united again to their souls forever.
III. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonour: the bodies of the just, by His Spirit, unto honour; and be made conformable to His own glorious body.
OF THE LAST JUDGMENT
I. God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world, in righteousness, by Jesus Christ, to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father. In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, but likewise all persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.
II. The end of God’s appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord; but the wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.
III. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin; and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity: so will He have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly, Amen.
Question 1: What is the chief end of man?
Answer 1: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever.
Question 2: What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?
Answer 2: The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.
Question 3: What do the Scriptures principally teach?
Answer 3: The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.
Question 4: What is God?
Answer 4: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.
Question 5: Are there more Gods than one?
Answer 5: There is but one only, the living and true God.
Question 6: How many persons are there in the Godhead?
Answer 6: There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
Question 7: What are the decrees of God?
Answer 7: The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass.
Question 8: How doth God execute his decrees?
Answer 8: God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence.
Question 9: What is the work of creation?
Answer 9: The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.
Question 10: How did God create man?
Answer 10: God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.
Question 11: What are God’s works of providence?
Answer 11: God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.
Question 12: What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?
Answer 12: When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.
Question 13: Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created?
Answer 13: Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God.
Question 14: What is sin?
Answer 14: Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.
Question 15: What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?
Answer 15: The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit.
Question 16: Did all mankind fall in Adam’s first transgression?
Answer 16: The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him, in his first transgression.
Question 17: Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
Answer 17: The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.
Question 18: Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
Answer 18: The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called Original Sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.
Question 19: What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
Answer 19: Mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever.
Question 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
Answer 20. God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.
Question 21: Who is the Redeemer of God’s elect?
Answer 21: The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever.
Question 22: How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
Answer 22: Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her yet without sin.
Question 23: What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?
Answer 23: Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.
Question 24: How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?
Answer 24: Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by his word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.
Question 25: How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
Answer 25: Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us.
Question 26: How doth Christ execute the office of a king?
Answer 26: Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.
Question 27: Wherein did Christ’s humiliation consist?
Answer 27: Christ’s humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time.
Question 28: Wherein consisteth Christ’s exaltation?
Answer 28: Christ’s exaltation consisteth in his rising again from the dead on the third day, in ascending up into heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day.
Question 29: How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?
Answer 29: We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his Holy Spirit.
Question 30: How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
Answer 30: The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.
Question 31: What is effectual calling?
Answer 31: 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, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.
Question 32: What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life?
Answer 32: They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, and sanctification, and the several benefits which, in this life, do either accompany or flow from them.
Question 33: What is justification?
Answer 33: Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.
Question 34: What is adoption?
Answer 34: Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the Sons of God.
Question 35: What is sanctification?
Answer 35: Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
Question 36: What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
Answer 36: The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.
Question 37: What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?
Answer 37: The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves till the resurrection.
Question 38: What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
Answer 38: At the resurrection, believers being raised up in glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgement, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.
Question 39. What is the duty which God requireth of man?
Answer 39. The duty which God requireth of man is obedience to His revealed will.
Question 40. What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?
Answer 40. The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience, was the Moral Law.
Question 41. Where is the Moral Law summarily comprehended?
Answer 41. The Moral Law is summarily comprehended in the Ten Commandments.
Question 42. What is the sum of the Ten Commandments?
Answer 42. The sum of the Ten Commandments is, “to love the Lord our God” with all our heart, all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.
Question 43. What is the preface to the Ten Commandments?
Answer 43. The preface to the Ten Commandments is in these words, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
Question 44. What doth the preface to the Ten Commandments teach us?
Answer 44. The preface to the Ten Commandments teacheth us, That because God is The Lord, and our God, and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all His commandments.
Question 45: Which is the First Commandment?
Answer 45: The First Commandment is, “thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”
Question 46: What is required in the First Commandment?
Answer 46: The First Commandment requireth us to know and acknowledge God to be only true God, and our God; and to worship and glorify Him accordingly.
Question 47: What is forbidden in the First Commandment?
Answer 47: The First Commandment forbiddeth the denying, or not worshipping and glorifying the true God, as God, and the giving of that worship and glory to any other which is due to Him alone.
Question 48: What are we specially taught by these words, “before me” in the First Commandment?
Answer 48: 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.
Question 49: Which is the Second Commandment?
Answer 49: The Second Commandment is, “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 showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep my commandments.”
Question 50: What is required in the Second Commandment?
Answer 50: The Second Commandment requireth the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in His Word.
Question 51: What is forbidden in the Second Commandment?
Answer 51: The Second Commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in His Word.
Question 52: What are the reasons annexed to the Second Commandment?
Answer 52: The reasoned annexed to the Second Commandment are, God’s sovereignty over us, and the zeal He hath to His own worship.
Question 53: Which is the Third Commandment?
Answer 53: The Third Commandment is, “thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.”
Question 54: What is required in the Third Commandment?
Answer 54: The Third Commandment requireth the holy and reverent use of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, Word, and works.
Question 55: What is forbidden in the Third Commandment?
Answer 55: The Third Commandment forbiddeth all profaning or abusing anything whereby God maketh Himself known.
Question 56: What is the reason annexed to the Third Commandment?
Answer 56: The reason annexed to the Third Commandment is, That however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape His righteous judgement.
Question 57: Which is the Fourth Commandment?
Answer 57: The Fourth Commandment is, “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 maid- servant, 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.”
Question 58: What is required in the Fourth Commandment?
Answer 58: The Fourth Commandment requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as He appointed in His Word; expressly one whole day in seven to be a holy Sabbath to Himself.
Question 59: Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath?
Answer 59: From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath.
Question 60: How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?
Answer 60: The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.
Question 61: What is forbidden in the Fourth Commandment?
Answer 61: The Fourth Commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.
Question 62: What are the reasons annexed to the Fourth Commandment? Answer 62: The reasons annexed to the Fourth Commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments, His challenging a special propriety in the seventh, His own example, and His blessing the Sabbath-day.
Question 63: Which is the Fifth Commandment?
Answer 63: 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.”
Question 64: What is required in the Fifth Commandment?
Answer 64: The Fifth Commandment requireth the preserving the honour, and performing the duties, belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals.
Question 65: What is the forbidden in the Fifth Commandment?
Answer 65: The Fifth Commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing anything against, the honour and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations.
Question 66: What is the reason annexed to the Fifth Commandment?
Answer 66: The reason annexed to the Fifth Commandment is a 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.
Question 67: Which is the Sixth Commandment?
Answer 67: The Sixth Commandment is, “thou shalt not kill.”
Question 68: What is required in the Sixth Commandment?
Answer 68: The Sixth Commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others.
Question 69: What is forbidden in the Sixth Commandment?
Answer 69: The Sixth Commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.
Question 70: Which is the Seventh Commandment?
Answer 70: The Seventh Commandment is, “thou shalt not commit adultery.”
Question 71: What is required in the Seventh Commandment?
Answer 71: The Seventh Commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbor’s chasity, in heart, speech, and behaviour.
Question 72: What is forbidden in the Seventh Commandment?
Answer 72: The Seventh Commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.
Question 73: Which is the Eighth Commandment?
Answer 73: The Eighth Commandment is, “thou shalt not steal.”
Question 74: What is required in the Eighth Commandment?
Answer 74: The Eighth Commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.
Question 75: What is forbidden in the Eighth Commandment?
Answer 75: The Eighth Commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth or may unjustly hinder our own or our neighbour’s wealth or outward estate.
Question 76: What is the Ninth Commandment?
Answer 76: The Ninth Commandment is, “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”
Question 77: What is required in the Ninth Commandment?
Answer 77: The Ninth Commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbour’s good name, especially in witness-bearing.
Question 78: What is forbidden in the Ninth Commandment?
Answer 78: The Ninth Commandment forbiddeth whatsoever is prejudical to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbour’s good name.
Question 79: Which is the Tenth Commandment?
Answer 79: The Tenth Commandment is, “thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
Question 80: What is required in the Tenth Commandment?
Answer 80: The Tenth Commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbour, and all this is his.
Question 81: What is forbidden in the Tenth Commandment?
Answer 81: The Tenth Commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour, and all inordinate motions and affections to any thing that is his.
Question 82: Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
Answer 82: No mere man since the fall is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed.
Question 83: Are all transgression of the law equally heinous?
Answer 83: Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations are more heinous in the sight of God than others.
Question 84: What doth every sin deserve?
Answer 84: Every sin deserveth God’s wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come.
Question 85: What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?
Answer 85: To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requireth of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption.
Question 86: What is faith in Jesus Christ?
Answer 86: Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.
Question 87: What is repentance unto life?
Answer 87: Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience.
Question 88: What are the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption?
Answer 88: The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption, are his ordinances, especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.
Question 89: How is the Word made effectual to salvation?
Answer 89: The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation.
Question 90: How is the Word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?
Answer 90: The the Word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer; receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practise it in our lives.
Question 91: How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
Answer 91: The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them; but only by the blessing of Christ, and the working of his Spirit in them that by faith receive them.
Question 92: What is a sacrament?
Answer 92: A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ, wherein, by sensible signs, Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant, are represented, sealed, and applied to believers.
Question 93: Which are the sacraments of the New Testament.
Answer 93: The sacraments of the New Testament are, Baptism, and the Lord’s supper.
Question 94: What is baptism?
Answer 94: Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.
Question 95: To whom is baptism to be administered?
Answer 95: Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him; but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.
Question 96: What is the Lord’s supper?
Answer 96: The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, his death is showed forth; and the worth receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace.
Question 97: What is required to be the worthy receiving of the Lord’s supper?
Answer 97: It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s super, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgement to themselves.
Question 98: What is prayer?
Answer 98: Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies.
Question 99: What rule hath God given for our direction in prayer?
Answer 99: The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called The Lord’s Prayer.
Question 100: What doth the preface of the Lord’s prayer teach us?
Answer 100: The preface of the Lord’s prayer, which is, “Our Father which art in heaven,” teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.
Question 101: What do we pray for in the first petition?
Answer 101: In the first petition, which is, “Hallowed be thy name,” we pray, That God would enable us and others to glorify him in all that whereby he maketh himself known; and that he would dispose all things to his own glory.
Question 102: What do we pray for in the second petition?
Answer 102: In the second petition, which is, “Thy kingdom come,” we pray, That Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed; and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it; and the kingdom of glory may be hastened.
Question 103: What do we pray for in the third petition?
Answer 103: In the third petition, which is, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” we pray, That God, by his grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
Question 104: What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
Answer 104: In the fourth petition, which is, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we pray, That of God’s free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them.
Question 105: What do we pray for in the fifth petition?
Answer 105: In the fifth petition, which is, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” we pray, That God, for Christ’s sake, would freely pardon all our sins; which we are able to be rather encouraged to ask, because by his grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.
Question 106: What do we pray for in the sixth petition?
Answer 106: In the sixth petition, which is, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” we pray, That God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.
Question 107: What doth the conclusion the Lord’s prayer teach us?
Answer 107: The conclusion of the Lord’s prayer, which is, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, amen.” teacheth us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power and glory to him. And, in testimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen.
11 Corinthians 6:19,20
31 Corinthians 3:23
41 Peter 1:18,19
51 John 1:7
61 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14,15
7John 6:39; John 10:28,29
8Luke 21:18; Matthew 10:30
102 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5
11Romans 8:14; Romans 7:22
131 Corinthians 6:10,11; John 9:41; Romans 3:10,19
OF THE MISERY OF MAN
3Romans 3:10; 1 John 1:8
4Romans 8:7, Titus 3:3
2Genesis 1:26,27; Colossians 3:10, Ephesians 4:24
3Ephesians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 6:20
4Genesis 3:6; Romans 5:12,18,19
5Psalm 51:5; Genesis 5:3
6Genesis 6:5; Job 14:4; Job 15:14,16
7John 3:5; Ephesians 2:5
2John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 11:3
6Romans 1:18; Deuteronomy 28:15; Hebrews 9:27
7Deuteronomy 27:27; Galatians 3:10
9Exodus 20:5; Job 34:10,11
11Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23
OF MAN’S DELIVERANCE
2Deuteronomy 24:16; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15
3Job 9:2,3; Job 15:14,15,16
4Matthew 6:12; Isaiah 64:6
6Revelation 5:3; Psalm 49:8,9
71 Corinthians 15:21; Romans 8:3
8Romans 9:5; Isaiah 7:14
21Peter 3:18; Isaiah 53:11
31 Peter 3:18; Acts 2:24; Isaiah 53:8
41 John 1:2; Jeremiah 23:6; 2 Timothy 1:10; John 6:51
5Matthew 1:23; 1 Timothy 3:16; Luke 2:11
61 Corinthians 1:30
8Genesis 22:17,18; Genesis 28:14; Romans 1:2; Hebrews 1:1; John 5:46
10Romans 10:4; Hebrews 13:8
1Matthew 1:21; Isaiah 53:11
2John 1:12,13; Romans 11:20; Hebrews 10:39
3John 6:69; John 17:3; Hebrews 11:3,6
5Romans 4:16,20,21; Hebrews 11:1; Ephesians 3:12; Romans 1:16; 1
Corinthians 1:21; Acts 16:14; Matthew 16:17; John 3:5
6Romans 10:14,17; Matthew 9:2
10John 20:31; Matthew 28:19,20
21 Peter 1:18,19
31 Peter 1:21,22
5Genesis 1:26; Isaiah 61:1; John 14:16,17; 1 John 5:7; John 1:13; Matthew
28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14
OF GOD THE FATHER
1Genesis 1; Gen 2; Psalm 33:6
2Psalm 115:3; Matthew 10:29; Hebrews 1:3; John 5:17
3John 1:12,16; Romans 8:15,16; Galatians 4:5,6; Ephesians 1:5; 1 John 3:1
4Psalm 55:22; Matthew 6:26
5Romans 8:28; Romans 4:21
6Romans 10:12; Matthew 6:26; Matthew 7:9,10,11
6Proverbs 22:2; Job 1:21
7Matthew 10:29,30; Ephesians 1:11
8Romans 5:3; Psalm 39:10
9Deuteronomy 8:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:18
12Job 1:12; Job 2:6; Matthew 8:31; Isaiah 10:15
OF GOD THE SON
31 Corinthians 1:13,31; Galatians 5:4
4Colossians 2:20; Isaiah 9:6,7; Colossians 1:19,20
2Deuteronomy 18:18; Acts 3:22; John 1:18; John 15:15; Matthew 11:27
3Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 7:21; Hebrews 10:14
5Psalm 2:6; Luke 1:33
6Matthew 28:18; John 10:28
71 Corinthians 6:15
81 John 2:27; Joel 2:28
11Ephesians 6:11,12; 1 Timothy 1:18,19
122 Timothy 2:12
1 John 1:1; Hebrews 1:2
2Romans 8:15,16,17; Ephesians 1:5,6
31 Peter 1:18,19; 1 Corinthians 6:20
1 John 1:1; Colossians 1:15; Psalm 2:7
2Romans 9:5; 1 John 5:20
3John 1:14; Galatians 4:4
4Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35
5Psalm 132:2; Acts 2:30; Romans 1:3
6Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 4:15
8Psalm 32:1; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Romans 8:34
11 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:12
21 John 2:2; Romans 3:25
3Luke 23:14; John 19:4; Psalm 69:4
5Deuteronomy 21:23; Galatians 3:13
2Hebrews 2:9,10; Philippians 2:8
3Acts 13:29; Mark 15:43,46
4John 5:24; Philippians 1:23
8Isaiah 53:10; Matthew 7:46
11 Corinthians 15:16
2Romans 6:4; Colossians 3:1ff
31 Corinthians 15; Romans 8:11
1Acts 1:9; Mark 16:19
2Hebrews 4:14; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 4:10
3Acts 3:21; John 3:13; John 16:28; Matthew 28:20
4Acts 7:49; Matthew 24:30
5Matthew 28:20; John 16:28; John 17:11; John 3:13
7Hebrews 9:25; 1 John 2:2; Romans 8:34
8John 14:2; Ephesians 2:6
9John 14:16; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5
10Colossians 3:1; Philippians 3:20
1Ephesians 1:20,21,22; Colossians 1:18
2Matthew 28:18; John 5:22
4Psalm 2:9; John 10:28
5Luke 21:28; Romans 8:23,24; 1 Thessalonians 4:16
62 Thessalonians 1:6,7,8,9; Matthew 25:41
OF GOD THE HOLY GHOST
1Genesis 1:2; Isaiah 48:16; 1 Corinthians 3:16
2Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 1:22
3Galatians 3:14; 1 Peter 1:2
5John 14:16; 1 Peter 4:14
3Romans 9:24; Ephesians 1:10
81 Corinthians 1:8,9; Romans 8:35ff
9John 1:3,4; Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 12:13
101 Corinthians 12:13
101 Corinthians 13:5; Philippians 2:4,5,6
111 John 2:2; 2 Corinthians 5:19,21
12Jeremiah 31:34; Psalm 103:3,4,10,11; Romans 8:1,2,3
1Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23
21 Corinthians 15:53; Job 19:25,26
32 Corinthians 5:2,3,6; Romans 14:17
51 Corinthians 2:9
1Romans 5:1; Romans 1:17; John 3:36
2Romans 3:22ff; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8,9
6Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8,9
7Romans 4:4,5; 2 Corinthians 5:19
81 John 2:1
102 Corinthians 5:21
11Romans 3:28; John 3:18
12Psalm 16:2; Ephesians 2:8,9
131 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 2:2
141 John 5:10
1Galatians 3:10; Deuteronomy 17:26
4Matthew 7:17,18; John 15:5
OF THE SACRAMENTS
1Ephesians 2:8; Ephesians 6:23; Philippians 1:29
2Matthew 28:19; Romans 4:11
3Genesis 17:11; Romans 4:11; Exodus 12; Leviticus 6:25; Acts 22:16; Acts
2:38; Matthew 26:28
4Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27
51 Corinthians 10:2,3,4
OF HOLY BAPTISM
1Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38
2Mark 16:16; Matthew 3:11; Romans 6:3
3Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3
4Hebrews 12:24; 1 Peter 1:2
5John 1:33; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:11
1Matthew 3:11; 1 Peter 3:11
21 John 1:7; 1 Corinthians 6:11
3Revelation 1:5; 1 Corinthians 6:11
4Mark 16:16; Galatians 3:27
5Genesis 17:7; Acts 2:39
61 Corinthians 7:14; Joel 2:16
8Luke 1:14,15; Psalm 22:10; Acts 2:39
9Acts 10:47; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Corinthians 7:14
11Colossians 2:11, 12, 13
OF THE HOLY SUPPER
OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
1Matthew 26:26, 27, 28; Mark 14:22, 23, 24; Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians
10:16,17; 1 Corinthians 11:23, 24, 25
2John 6:35, 40, 47, 48, 50, 51, 53, 54
3John 6:55, 56
4Acts 3:21; Acts 1:9,10,11; 1 Corinthians 11:26
5Ephesians 5:29,30,31,32; 1 Corinthians 6:15,17,19; 1 John 3:24
6John 6:56, 57, 58; Ephesians 4:15,16
71 Corinthians 11:23; Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19
8Exodus 24:8; Hebrews 9:20
9Exodus 13:9; 1 Corinthians 11:26
101 Corinthians 10:16,17
11 Corinthians 10:1,2,3,4; 1 Peter 3:21; John 6:35,62,63
21 Corinthians 10:16ff; 1 Corinthians 11:20ff
3Genesis 17:10,11,14; Exodus 12:26,27,43,48; Acts 7:8; Matthew 26:26;
51 Corinthians 10:16,17; 1 Corinthians 11:26,27,28; Ephesians 5:30
6Romans 5:9,18,19; Romans 8:4
1Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 9:12,26; Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:19,20; 2
21 Corinthians 6; 1 Corinthians 17; 1 Corinthians 12:13
3Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 8:1ff
4John 4:21,22,23; Colossians 3:1; Philippians 3:20; Luke 24:52,53; Acts
5Isaiah 1:11,14; Matthew 15:9; Colossians 2:22,23; Jeremiah 2:13
7Matthew 5:3,6; Luke 7:37,38; Luke 15:18,19
9Psalm 116:12,13,14; 1 Peter 2:11,12
101 Corinthians 10:20ff; 1 Corinthians 11:28ff; Titus 1:16; Psalm 50:15,16
111 Corinthians 10:21; 1 Corinthians 11:30,31; Isaiah 1:11,13; Jeremiah
7:21; Psalm 50:16,22
5John 3:18,36; Mark 16:16
62 Thessalonians 1:7,8,9
7John 20:21,22,23; Matthew 16:19; Romans 2:2,13-17
9 1 Corinthians 5:12
11Romans 12:7,8,9; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 1 Timothy 5:17; 2 Thessalonians
12Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:3,4,5
132 Corinthians 2:6,7,8,10,11; Luke 15:18
THE THIRD PART — OF THANKFULNESS
11 Corinthians 6:19,20; Romans 6:13; Romans 12:1,2; 1 Peter 2:5,9,10
2Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12
32 Peter 1:10; Galatians 5:6,24
41 Peter 3:1,2; Matthew 5:16; Romans 14:19
51 Corinthians 6:9,10; Ephesians 5:5,6; 1 John 3:14,15; Galatians 5:21
1Romans 6:4,5,6; Ephesians 4:22,23; Colossians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 5:7
2Psalm 51:3,8,17; Luke 15:18; Romans 8:13; Joel 1:12,13
3Romans 5:1,2; Romans 14:17; Isaiah 57:15
4Romans 6:10,11; 1 Peter 4:2; Galatians 2:20
61 Samuel 15:22; Ephesians 2:2,10
71 Corinthians 10:31
8Deuteronomy 12:32; Ezekiel 20:18; Matthew 15:9
2Deuteronomy 4:13; Deuteronomy 10:3,4
31 Corinthians 6:9,10; 1 Corinthians 10:7,14
4Leviticus 18:21; Deuteronomy 18:10,11,12
5Matthew 4:10; Revelation 19:10
8Hebrews 10:36; Colossians 1:11; Romans 5:3,4; Philippians 2:14
91 Peter 5:5,6
10Psalm 104:27; Isaiah 45:7; James 1:17
11Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37
12Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 10:28
14Matthew 5:29,30; Acts 5:29; Matthew 10:37
162 Chronicles 16:12; Philippians 3:18,19; Galatians 4:8; Ephesians 2:12
1Deuteronomy 4:15; Isaiah 40:18; Romans 1:23ff; Acts 17:29
21 Samuel 15:23; Deuteronomy 12:30
3Deuteronomy 4:15,16; Isaiah 46:5; Romans 1:23
4Exodus 23:24; Exodus 34:13,14; Numbers 33:52; Deuteronomy 7:5
52 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19
6Jeremiah 10:1ff; Habakkuk 2:18,19
1Leviticus 24:11; Leviticus 19:12; Matthew 5:37; Leviticus 5:4
41 Timothy 2:8
51 Corinthians 3:16,17
1Exodus 22:11; Nehemiah 13:25
2Deuteronomy 6:13; Hebrews 6:16
3Genesis 21:24; Jos. 9:15,19; 1 Samuel 24:22; 2 Corinthians 1:23; Romans
42 Corinthians 1:23
1Deuteronomy 12:19; Titus 1:5; 1 Timothy 3:14,15; 1 Corinthians 9:11; 2
Timothy 2:2; 1 Timothy 3:15
3Acts 2:42,46; 1 Corinthians 14:19,29,31
41 Corinthians 11:33
51 Timothy 2:1
61 Corinthians 16:2
1Ephesians 6:1ff; Colossians 3:18,20; Ephesians 5:22; Romans 1:31
3Ephesians 6:5,6; Colossians 3:19,21; Romans 13:1-8; Matthew 22:21
1Matthew 5:21,22; Proverbs 12:18; Matthew 26:52
2Ephesians 4:26; Romans 12:19; Matthew 5:39,40
3Matthew 4:5,6,7; Colossians 2:23
4Genesis 9:6; Matthew 26:52; Romans 13:4
5James 1:20; Galatians 5:20
6Romans 1:29; 1 John 2:9
71 John 3:15
8Matthew 22:39; Matthew 7:12
10Ephesians 4:2; Galatians 6:1,2; Matthew 5:5; Romans 12:18
31 Thessalonians 4:3,4
4Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:4-9
5Ephesians 5:3; 1 Corinthians 6:18
7Ephesians 5:18; 1 Corinthians 15:33
11 Corinthians 6:10
21 Corinthians 5:10
3Luke 3:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:6
5Ezekiel 45:9,10,11; Deuteronomy 25:13
6Psalm 15:5; Luke 6:35
71 Corinthians 6:10
9Proverbs 5:16; Ephesians 4:28
1Proverbs 19:5,9; Proverbs 21:28
4Matthew 7:1ff; Luke 6:37
6Proverbs 12:22; Proverbs 13:5
71 Corinthians 13:6; Ephesians 4:25
81 Peter 4:8
3Romans 7:15ff; James 3:2
41 John 1:9; Romans 3:20; Romans 5:13; Romans 7:7
61 Corinthians 9:24; Philippians 3:12,13,14
2Matthew 7:7,8; Luke 11:9,13; Matthew 13:12; Psalm 50:15
4Romans 8:26; 1 John 5:14
5John 4:23,24; Psalm 145:18
62 Chronicles 20:12
7Psalm 2:11; Psalm 34:18,19; Isaiah 66:2
8Romans 10:13; Romans 8:15,16; James 1:6ff; John 14:13; Daniel 9:17,18;
Matthew 7:8; Psalm 143:1
9James 1:17; Matthew 6:33
10Matthew 6:9ff; Luke 11:2ff
2Matthew 7:9,10,11; Luke 11:11; Isaiah 49:15
4Acts 17:24; Romans 10:12
2John 17:3; Jeremiah 9:23,24; Matthew 16:17; James 1:5
3Psalm 119:137,138; Luke 1:46; Psalm 145:8,9
4Psalm 115:1; Psalm 71:8
41 John 3:8; Romans 16:20
61 Corinthians 15:15,28
2Matthew 16:24; Titus 2:12
41 Corinthians 7:24; Ephesians 4:1
2Psalm 145:15; Matthew 6:25ff
3Acts 17:25; Acts 14:17
41 Corinthians 15:58; Deuteronomy 8:3; Psalm 127:1,2
5Psalm 62:11; Psalm 55:22
2Psalm 51:1; 1 John 2:1,2
2Romans 8:26; Psalm 103:14
31 Peter 5:8
4Ephesians 6:12; John 15:19; Romans 7:23; Galatians 5:17
5Matthew 26:41; Mark 13:33
61 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23
8Romans 10:12; 2 Peter 2:9
9 John 14:13; Psalm 115:1; Philippians 4:20
102 Corinthians 1:20; 2 Timothy 2:13