An Orthodox Catechism
Edited and Introduced by
Michael A. G. Haykin and
- Stephen Weaver, Jr.
Table of Contents
- General Introduction and The First Part: Of Man’s Misery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- The Second Part: Of Man’s Redemption (Introductory Questions) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- The Second Part: Of Man’s Redemption (God the Father) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- The Second Part: Of Man’s Redemption (God the Son) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- The Second Part: Of Man’s Redemption (God the Holy Spirit) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- The Second Part: Of Man’s Redemption (The Sacraments) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- The Second Part: Of Man’s Redemption (Baptism) . . . .
- The Second Part: Of Man’s Redemption (The Lord’s Supper) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- The Third Part: Of Man’s Thankfulness (Introductory Questions) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- The Third Part: Of Man’s Thankfulness (The Law of God) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- The Third Part: Of Man’s Thankfulness (Prayer) . . . . . .
- The Nicene and Athanasian Creeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
General Introduction and
The First Part:
Of Man’s Misery
A Catechism containing the Sum
of Christian Religion
- 1. What is your only comfort in life and death?
- That both in soul and body,a whether I live or dieᵇ I am not my own, but belong entirely to my most faithful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.ᶜ By his most precious blood fully satisfying for all my sins,ᵈ He has delivered me from all the power of the devil,ᵉ and so preserves meᶠ so that without the will of my heavenly Father, not so much as a hair may fall from my head,ᶢ yes, all things must serve for my safety.ʰ And by his Spirit also, he assures me of everlasting life,ⁱ and makes me ready and prepared,ʲ so that from now on I may live to him.
a 1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Thess. 5:10.
ᵇ Rom. 14:8.
ᶜ 1 Cor. 3:23.
ᵈ 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7; 2:2.
ᵉ 1 John 3:8; Heb. 2:14-15.
ᶠ John 6:39.
ᶢ Matt. 10:30; Luke 21:18.
ʰ Rom. 8:28.
ⁱ 2 Cor. 1:12; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14.
ʲ Rom. 8:24-25.
- 2. What must you know in order to enjoy this comfort and live and die happily?
- Three things. First, how great my sin and misery are.ᵃ Second, how I am delivered from all sin and misery.ᵇ Third, how thankful I must be to God for this delivery.ᶜ
ᵃ Luke 24:47; Rom. 3:23.
ᵇ Rom. 8:15; 1 Cor.6:11; Titus 3:3-8.
ᶜ Matt. 5:16; Rom. 6:11-13; Eph. 5:10; Titus 2:11-12; 1 Pet. 2:9; 3:10-12.
THE FIRST PART
Of Man’s Misery
- 3. How do you know about your misery?
- From the law of God.ᵃ
ᵃ Rom. 3:20; 5:20; 7:5, 13.
- 4. What does the law of God require of us?
- Christ summarizes his teaching to us in Matthew 22:37-40. “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ᵃ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.”
ᵃ Luke 10:27.
- 5. Are you able to keep all these things perfectly?
- No.ᵃ By nature I am prone hate God and my neighbors.ᵇ
ᵃ Rom. 3:10, 23; 1 John 1:8.
ᵇ Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:3; Titus 3:3.
- 6. Did God then make mankind so wicked and perverse?
- No,ᵃ he made mankind good and in His own image,ᵇ that is, in true righteousness and holiness,ᶜ that we might rightly know God his Creator, love Him with all our hearts, live with him in eternal happiness, and praise and magnify Him.ᵈ
ᵃ Gen. 1:31.
ᵇ Gen. 1:26-27.
ᶜ Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10.
ᵈ 2 Cor. 3:18.
- 7. Where does mankind’s wicked nature come from?
- From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve.ᵃ For this reason our nature is so corrupt and we are all conceived and born in sin.ᵇ
ᵃ Rom. 5:12, 18-19.
ᵇ Gen. 5:3; Psa. 51:5.
- 8. Are we so corrupt that we are completely unable to do any good and are prone to all evil?
- Yes, we are corrupt and prone to evil, unless we are born again by the Holy Spirit.ᵃ
ᵃ Gen. 6:5; Job 14:4; 15:16; Isa. 53:6; John 3:5.
- 9. Doesn’t God, then, do mankind an injustice by requiring in the law what we are not able to perform?
- No, God made mankind able to keep it the law.ᵃ But man, at the instigation of the devilᵇ and his own stubbornness robbed himself and all his descendents of those divine graces.ᶜ
ᵃ Eccl. 7:29.
ᵇ Gen. 3.
ᶜ Rom. 5:12-21.
- 10. Does God let this stubbornness and rebellion of man go unpunished?
- No. He is dreadfully angryᵃ toward the sins we are born with and the sins we ourselves commit. In just judgment, He punishes mankind with both present and eternal punishment, as He pronounces: “Cursed is the one who does not obey all the words of this law.”ᵇ
ᵃ Rom. 5:12.
ᵇ Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10.
- 11. Isn’t God also merciful?
- Yes, very much so! He is merciful,ᵃ but He is also just.ᵇ Therefore, His justice requires that sin committed against the divine majesty of God should also be punished with extreme (that is, everlasting) punishment both in body and soul.
ᵃ Exod. 34:6; Psa. 5:4-6.
ᵇ Exod. 20:5.
The Second Part:
Of Man’s Redemption
THE SECOND PART
Of Man’s Redemption
- 12. Since, then, we are subject both to earthly and eternal punishments by the righteous judgment of God, is there any way we may be delivered from these punishments and be reconciled to God?
- God will have His justice satisfied.ᵃ Therefore, it is necessary that we satisfy it either by ourselves or by another.ᵇ
ᵃ Exod. 20:5, 7; 23:7.
ᵇ Rom. 8:3.
- 13. Are we able to satisfy God’s justice by ourselves?
- Not one bit. Instead, we increase our debt every day.ᵃ
ᵃ Job 9:2-3; 15:15; Matt. 6:12.
- 14. Is there any creature in heaven or on earth able to satisfy it for us?
- No. For first, God will not punish one creature for sin another person committed. Second, a mere creature cannot sustain the wrath of God against sin and deliver others from it.ᵃ
ᵃ Job 4:18; 25:5; Psa. 130:3; Heb. 2:14-18; 10:5-10.
- 15. What kind of mediator and deliverer must we seek for then?
- One who is truly human and perfectly righteous, and yet in power above all creatures, that is, one who also is truly God.ᵃ
ᵃ Isa. 7:14; 53:11; Jer. 23:6; Rom. 8:3; 1 Cor. 15:25; 2 Cor. 5:14; Heb. 7:16.
- 16. Why is it necessary that this mediator be truly man and perfectly righteous as well?
- Because the justice of God requires that human nature pay for his own sin,ᵃ but since but he himself is a sinner, he cannot make recompense for others.ᵇ
ᵃ Rom. 5:12, 17.
ᵇ 1 Pet. 3:18; Heb. 7:26.
- 17. Why must he also be truly God?
- So that He might by the power of His Godhead endure in His body the burden of God’s wrathᵃ and might recover and restore to us the righteousness and life which we lost.ᵇ
ᵃ Isa. 55:3, 8; Acts 2:24; 1 Pet. 3:18.
ᵇ John 3:16; Acts 20:28; 1 John 1:2; 4:9-10.
- 18. Who is the mediator—true God and at the same time truly man and truly righteous?
- Our Lord Jesus Christ,ᵃ who became God’s wisdom for us—our righteousness, sanctification and redemption.ᵇ
ᵃ Matt. 1:23; Luke 2:11; John 14:16; 1 Tim. 2:5; 3:16.
ᵇ 1 Cor. 1:30.
- 19. How do you know this?
- From the gospel which God first revealed in the Garden of Eden,ᵃ then by the patriarchs and prophets,ᵇ then foreshadowed by sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law,ᶜ and lastly accomplished it by His only begotten Son, Christ our Lord.ᵈ
ᵃ Gen. 3:15.
ᵇ Gen. 22:18; 49:10-11; Acts 3:22; 10:43; Rom. 1:2; Heb. 1:1.
ᶜ John 5:46; Heb. 10:7ff.
ᵈ Rom. 10:4; Gal. 3:24; 4:4; Heb. 13:8.
- 20. So is salvation restored by Christ to all people who perished in Adam?
- No. Only those only who have true faith are engrafted into Christ or united with Him.ᵃ
ᵃ Psa. 2:12; Isa. 53:11; John 1:12; 3:36; Rom. 11:20; Heb. 4:2; 10:39.
- 21. What is true faith?
- It is not only a knowledge, in which I accept everything as true that God has revealed to us in His Word;ᵃ it is also an assured trustᵇ kindled in my heart by the Holy Spiritᶜ through the gospel,ᵈ in which I rest in God assured that forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness, and life is given not only to others, but also to me—and that this is given freely by the mercy of God by the merits of Christ alone.ᵉ
ᵃ Heb. 11:1-3; Gal. 2:20; James 2:19.
ᵇ Rom. 4:16; 5:1; 10:10.
ᶜ Matt. 16:17; John 3:5; Acts 10:45; Gal. 5:22; Phil. 1:19.
ᵈ Mark 16:16; Acts 16:14; Rom. 1:16; 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21.
ᵉ Acts 10:42-43; Rom. 3:24-25.
- 22. What must a Christian believe?
- Everything that is promised to us in the gospel, as summarized briefly in the Apostles’ Creed, the catholicᵃ and undoubted confession of faith of all true Christians:
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 Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried, He descended into hell,ᵇ the third day He rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, from where He shall come to judge both the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholicᶜ Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
ᵃ That is, the historic ecumenical creeds.
ᵇ Not that He (that is, Christ) went into the place of the damned, but that He went absolutely into the state of the dead.
ᶜ There is a catholic Church—and by catholic, we mean no more than the universal Church, who are chosen from mankind to everlasting life by the Word and Spirit of God.
- 23. Into how many parts is the Apostles’ Creed divided?
- It is divided into three parts:
God the eternal Father and our creation;
the Son and our redemption;
the Holy Spirit and our sanctification.
- 24. Since there is only one God,ᵃ why can we speak of three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?
- Because God has revealed himself in his Word—these three distinct persons are the one, true, eternal God.ᵇ
ᵃ Deut. 6:4; Isa. 44:6; 1 Cor. 8:4; Eph. 4:6.
ᵇ Psa. 110:1; Isa. 61:1; Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; Luke 4:18; John 14:26; 15:26; 2 Cor. 13:14; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 2:18; Titus 3:5-6; 1 John 5:7.
The Second Part:
Of Man’s Redemption
(God the Father)
God the Father
- 25. What do you believe when you say, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?
- I believe in the everlasting Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who created heaven and earth and all that exists out of nothing;ᵃ he also upholds and rules all this by His eternal counselᵇ and providence. I believe this God is my God and Father for Christ’s sake.ᶜ Therefore, I trust in Him and rely on Him,ᵈ and I do not doubt that He will provide everything necessary both for my soul and body.ᵉ But also, whatever adversity He sends me in this troublesome life is for my safetyᶠ—because as God Almighty, He is able to do it, and as a bountiful Father, he willing to do it.ᶢ
ᵃ Gen. 1:1-2; Job 33:4; Psa. 33:6; Isa. 45:7; Acts 4:24; 14:15.
ᵇ Psa. 104:3; 115:3; Matt. 10:29; Rom. 11:36; Heb. 1:3.
ᶜ John 1:12; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5-6; Eph. 1:5.
ᵈ Psa. 55:23.
ᵉ Matt. 6:26; Luke 12:22.
ᶠ Rom. 8:28.
ᶢ Isa. 46:4; Rom. 8:38-39; 10:12.
- 26. What is the providence of God?
- Providence is the almighty and ever present power of God,ᵃ in which he upholds and governs, as with his hand, heaven and earthᵇ and all creatures in it. He rules them so that those things which grow on the earth, as well as rain and drought, fruitfulness and barrenness, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty—all things do not come rashly and by chance, but by his fatherly counsel and will.ᶜ
ᵃ Psa. 94:9; Isa. 29:15; Ezek. 8:12; Acts 17:25.
ᵇ Heb. 1:2-3.
ᶜ Prov. 22:2; Jer. 5:24; John 9:3; Acts 14:17.
- 27. How does this knowledge of the creation and providence of God help us?
- It helps us to be patient in adversity,ᵃ thankful in prosperity,ᵇ and have our chief hopeᶜ about the future rest in God our most faithful Father. We can be sure that there is nothing which may withdraw us from His love.ᵈ For all creatures are so much in His power that without His will they can neither move or be moved.ᵉ
ᵃ Job 1:21; Rom. 5:3.
ᵇ Deut. 8:10; 1 Thess. 5:18.
ᶜ Rom. 5:4-5.
ᵈ Rom. 8:19, 38.
ᵉ Job 1:12; 2:6; Prov. 21:1; Acts 17:27.
The Second Part:
Of Man’s Redemption
(God the Son)
God the Son
- 28. Why is the Son of God called “Jesus,” meaning a “Savior”?
- Because He saves us from our sins;ᵃ and because salvation is not to be sought nor can be found in anyone else.ᵇ
ᵃ Matt. 1:21.
ᵇ Acts 4:12; Heb. 7:25.
- 29. Do those who seek for happiness and safety in saints,ᵃ or in themselves, or elsewhere believe in the only Savior Jesus?
- No. For although they boast themselves of Him as their only Savior, they deny the only Savior Jesus.ᵇ For either Jesus is not a perfect savior, or those who in true faith accept this savior have in himᶜ all they need for their salvation.
ᵃ “Saints” doesn’t refer to believers, but to those formally recognized by Catholic and Orthodox Churches after death.
ᵇ 1 Cor. 1:13, 30.
ᶜ Isa. 9:6; 43:11, 25; John 1:16; Col. 1:19-20; 2:10; Heb. 12:2.
- 30. Why is he called “Christ,” that is, the “Anointed One”?
- Because he was ordained by the Father and anointed with the Holy Spiritᵃ to be our chief Prophet and Teacherᵇ who has revealed to us the secret counsel and all the will of his Father concerning our redemption.ᶜ He was ordained and anointed as the high Priestᵈ who redeemed usᵉ by the one and only sacrifice of his body and continually makes intercession to his Father for us.ᶠ He was also ordained and anointed a Kingᶢ who rules us by his Word and Spirit, and defends and maintains the salvation which he purchased for us.ʰ
ᵃ Psa. 45:7; Heb. 1:9.
ᵇ Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22.
ᶜ Matt. 11:27; John 1:18; 15:15.
ᵈ Heb. 7:21.
ᵉ Rom. 3:24; 5:9-10; Heb. 10:12.
ᶠ Heb. 7:25.
ᶢ Psa. 2:6; Luke 1:33.
ʰ Matt. 28:18.
- 31. But why are you called a Christian?
- Because by faith I am a member of Jesus Christᵃ and a partaker of his anointing,ᵇ that I may both confess his nameᶜ and present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thankfulness,ᵈ and may also in this life fight against sin and Satan with a free and good conscience,ᵉ and afterward enjoy an everlasting kingdom with Christ.ᶠ
ᵃ Acts 11:26; 1 Cor. 6:15.
ᵇ 1 John 2:27.
ᶜ Matt. 10:32.
ᵈ Rom. 12:1; Heb. 13:15; 1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 5:8.
ᵉ Rom. 6:12-13; 1 Tim. 1:18-19.
ᶠ 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 1:6.
- 32. Why is Christ called the only begotten Son of God, when we also are the sons of God?
- Because Christ alone is the eternal Son, of the same nature as the eternal Father,ᵃ while we are but sons adopted by the Father by grace for Christ’s sake.ᵇ
ᵃ John 3:16; Rom. 8:3; Heb. 1:2-3.
ᵇ John 1:12; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:6; 1 John 1:3.
- 33. Why do we call Christ “our Lord”?
- Because by redeeming and ransoming both our body and soul from sin, not with gold or silver, but with his precious blood, and delivering us from all the power of the devil, he has set us free to serve him.ᵃ
ᵃ Rom. 14:9; 1 Cor. 6:20; Eph. 1:7; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; 1 Pet. 1:18.
- 34. What do you believe when you say that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary?
- I believe that the Son of God, who is and continues to be the true and everlasting God,ᵃ took the very nature of a man,ᵇ from the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary,ᶜ through the working of the Holy Spirit,ᵈ so that he might be the true Seed of David,ᵉ like his brothers and sisters in all things, except for sin.ᶠ
ᵃ John 20:28; Rom. 9:5; 1 John 5:20.
ᵇ Isa. 7:14; 9:6; John 1:14.
ᶜ Gal. 4:4.
ᵈ Matt. 1:20.
ᵉ Rom. 1:3.
ᶠ Phil. 2:7; Heb. 4:15; 7:26.
- 35. What is the benefit you receive by Christ’s holy conception and nativity?
- He is our Mediator, and with his innocence and perfect holiness he covers my sins,ᵃ in which I was conceived, so that they may not appear guilty in the sight of God.ᵇ
ᵃ Heb. 2:16-17; 4:15.
ᵇ Psa. 32:1; Rom. 8:3-4; 1 Cor. 1:30; Rom. 8:3-4.
- 36. What do you believe when you say Jesus “suffered”?
- I believe that the entirety of the time Jesus lived on the earth, and especially at the end of it, he sustained the wrath of God in both in his body and soulᵃ for the sin of all mankind. He did this so that by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice,ᵇ he might deliver our body and soul from everlasting damnation and purchase for us the favor of God, righteousness, and eternal life.
ᵃ Isa. 53:12; 1 Pet. 2:4; 3:18.
ᵇ 1 John 2:2; 4:10.
- 37. Why did he suffer “under Pilate as his judge”?
- He suffered so that being innocentᵃ and condemned before a civil judge,ᵇ he might deliver us from the severe judgment of God which remained for all mankind.ᶜ
ᵃ Luke 23:14; John 19:4.
ᵇ Psa. 69:4; John 15:25.
ᶜ Isa. 53:4-5; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13.
- 38. Is it more beneficial to me, that he was hung on the cross—”crucified”—than if he had suffered any other kind of death?
- Yes. By the cross I am assured that he took upon himself the curse due to me, since by his death of the cross he was cursed by God.ᵃ
ᵃ Deut. 21:23; Gal. 3:13.
- 39. Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself to the point of death?
- Because the justice and truth of God could not be satisfied for our sins by any other means,ᵃ except by the very death of the Son of God.ᵇ
ᵃ Gen. 2:17.
ᵇ Phil. 2:8; Heb. 2:9, 14-18.
- 40. Why was he “buried”?
- So that he might show that he was truly dead.ᵃ
ᵃ Matt. 27:59- 60; Luke 23:53; John 19:38; Acts 13:29.
- 41. But since Christ died for us, why do we also have to die?
- Our death is not a satisfaction for our sins, but the abolishing of sin and our passing into eternal life.ᵃ
ᵃ John 5:24; Rom. 7:24; Phil. 1:23.
- 42. What other benefits do we receive by the death of Christ?
- That by virtue of his death our old man is crucified, slain, and buried together with Him,ᵃ figured in holy baptism, and from then on evil lusts and desires may not reign in us,ᵇ but we may offer ourselves to Him as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.ᶜ
ᵃ Rom. 6:6.
ᵇ Rom. 6:12.
ᶜ Rom. 12:1.
- 43. Why does the creed add that “he descended into hell”?
- That in my greatest pains and most grievous temptations I may support myself with this comfort: that my Lord Jesus Christ has delivered me—by the unspeakable distresses, torments, and terrors of his soul, into which he was plunged both in His life and then especially when he hung on the cross—from the torments of hell.ᵃ
ᵃ Isa. 53:10; Matt. 27:46.
Not that He (that is, Christ) went into the place of the damned, but that He went absolutely into the place of the dead.
See Dr. Usher in his Body of Divinity, 174 and Mr. Perkins on the Creed.
- 44. How does the resurrection of Christ benefit us?
- First, by his resurrection, he defeated death,ᵃ so that he might make us share in the righteousness which he won for us by his death. Second, we are now also resurrected by his power to a new life.ᵇ Lastly, the resurrection of our head, Christ, is a pledge to us of our glorious resurrection.ᶜ
ᵃ Rom. 4:25; 1 Pet. 1:3-4, 21.
ᵇ Rom. 6:4; Col. 3:1.
ᶜ Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:22-23.
- 45. How do you know that Christ “ascended into heaven”?
- Because Christ, while his disciples looked on, was taken up from the earth into heaven,ᵃ and there he remains for our sake,ᵇ until he comes again to judge the living and the dead.ᶜ
ᵃ Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9.
ᵇ Rom. 8:34; Eph. 4:10; Col. 3:1; Heb. 4:14; 7:25; 9:11.
ᶜ Matt. 24:30; Acts 1:11.
- 46. But isn’t Christ with us until the end of the world, as he promised us?
- Christ is truly God and truly man, so in his human nature he is not currently on earth;ᵃ but in his divinity, majesty, grace, and Spirit, Christ is never apart from us.ᵇ
ᵃ Matt. 26:11; John 16:18; 17:11; Acts 3:21.
ᵇ Matt. 28:20; John 14:17; 16:13; Eph. 4:8.
- 47. Does this mean the two natures in Christ are pulled apart, since it implies that his humanity isn’t located where his divinity is?
- No. Since Christ’s divinity is incomprehensible and present everywhere,ᵃ this means that his divinity is beyond the bounds of his human nature—and yet is present in his human nature and is personally united to it.ᵇ
ᵃ Jer. 23:23-24; Acts 7:48-49; 17:27.
ᵇ Matt. 28:6; Col. 2:9.
- 48. How does the ascension of Christ into heaven benefit us?
- First, he makes intercession to his Father in heaven for us.ᵃ Second, we have our own flesh in heaven as a sure pledge, that Christ who is our head will lift us, his members, upb to himself. Third, he sends us his Spirit as an additional pledge between him and us.ᶜ By the Spirit’s power we do not seek after earthly but heavenly things,ᵈ where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.ᵉ
ᵃ Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2.
ᵇ John 14:2; 20:17; Eph. 2:6.
ᶜ John 14:16; 16:7; 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14.
ᵈ Phil. 3:14; Col. 3:1.
ᵉ Eph. 1:20; Phil. 3:20.
- 49. Why is it also said, “He sits at the right hand of God”?
- Because Christ has ascended into heaven, to show that He is the head of His Church,ᵃ by whom the Father governs all things.ᵇ
ᵃ Eph. 1:20-23; 5:23; Col. 1:18.
ᵇ Matt. 28:18; John 5:22.
- 50. What benefit is this glory of Christ, our head, to us?
- First, that through His Holy Spirit, He pours on us, His members, heavenly graces,ᵃ and that He shields and defends us by His power against all our enemies.ᵇ
ᵃ Eph. 4:16.
ᵇ Psa. 2:9; 110:2; John 10:28; Eph. 4:8.
- 51. What comfort do you have by the coming of Christ again to judge the living and the dead?
- That in all my miseries and persecutions, I look with my head lifted up,ᵃ for the same Christ who yielded Himself to the judgment of God for me, and took away all curses from me, will come as judge from heaven to throw all His and my enemies into everlasting pains.ᵇ He will also translate me with all His chosen to Himself, into heavenly joys, and everlasting glory.ᶜ
ᵃ Luke 21:28; Rom. 8:23; Phil. 3:20; Titus 2:13.
ᵇ Matt. 25:41; 2 Thess. 1:6-10.
ᶜ Matt. 25:34; 1 Thess. 4:16-18; Jude 24-25.
The Second Part:
Of Man’s Redemption
(God the Holy Spirit)
God the Holy Spirit
- 52. What do you believe concerning the Holy Spirit?
- First, that he is true and eternal God, existing alongside the eternal Father and the eternal Son.ᵃ Second, that he is also given to me,ᵇ to make me a partaker of Christ and all his benefits through true faith,ᶜ to comfort me,ᵈ and to abide with me forever.ᵉ
ᵃ Gen. 1:2; Isa. 48:16; Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19.
ᵇ John 14:16.
ᶜ 1 Cor. 6:17; 1 Pet. 1:2; 4.
ᵈ Acts 9:31.
ᵉ John 14:16; 1 Pet. 4:14.
- 53. What do you believe concerning the holy and catholic Church of Christ?
- I believe that the Son of Godᵃ—from the beginning to the end of the worldᵇ—gathers, defends, and preserves for himself, by his Spirit and Word,ᶜ out of all of humanity,ᵈ a people chosen to everlasting life,ᵉ who agree in true faith.ᶠ I believe that I am a living member of that people,ᶢ and will remain so forever.ʰ
ᵃ Eph. 1:10-13.
ᵇ John 10:10; Rom. 3:25.
ᶜ Isa. 59:21; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 1:16; 10:14-17; Eph. 5:26.
ᵈ Gen. 26:4.
ᵉ Rom. 8:29-30.
ᶠ Matt. 16:16-18; Eph. 4:3-6.
ᶢ 2 Cor.13:5; 1 John 3:21.
ʰ 1 John 5:20.
- 54. What do these words mean [in the Apostles’ Creed], “the communion of saints”?
- First, that believers one and all, as members of Christ the Lord, have communion with him and share in all his treasures and gifts.ᵃ Second, that everyone should readily and cheerfully bestow the gifts and graces which they have received to the common use and safety of all.ᵇ
ᵃ Rom. 8:32; 1 Cor. 1:2; 6:17; 12:21; 1 John 1:3.
ᵇ 1 Cor. 12:21; Phil. 2:4-6.
- 55. What do you believe concerning “forgiveness of sins”?
- I believe that God, because of the satisfaction made by Christ,ᵃ will not remember my sinsᵇ or the sinful corruption within me, which I must fight all my life. Rather, he freely gives me the righteousness of Christ, so that I come not at any time into judgment.ᶜ
ᵃ 2 Cor. 5:19, 21; 1 John 2:2.
ᵇ Psa. 103:3-4; 10-12; Jer. 31:34; Rom. 7:24-25.
ᶜ John 3:18; Rom. 8:1-3.
- 56. What comfort do you have by “the resurrection of the body”?
- I take comfort knowing that my soul, after it departs from my body, will be taken up to Christ in this age.ᵃ I also take comfort in knowing that my body will be resurrected by the power of Christ, be united to my soul once again, and be made like the glorious body of Christ in the age to come.ᵇ
ᵃ Luke 23:43; Phil. 1:23.
ᵇ Job 19:25-26; 1 Cor. 15:53; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2.
- 57. What comfort do you take from the article [in the Apostles’ Creed] about everlasting life?
- I take comfort knowing that I already experience the beginning of everlasting life,ᵃ and that after this life I will also enjoy full and perfect joy,ᵇ when I will forever magnify God. This joy is a blessedness that surely no eye has seen, nor ear heard, neither has any person understood it.ᶜ
ᵃ 2 Cor. 5:1-3.
ᵇ John 17:3; Jude 24-25.
ᶜ 1 Cor. 2:9.
- 58. What benefit is there to you when you believe all these things [in the Apostles’ Creed]?
- That before God I am righteous in Christ, and that I am an heir of eternal life.ᵃ
ᵃ John 3:36; Rom. 1:17; 3:22, 24, 25, 28; 5:1; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-9.
- 59. How are you righteous before God?
- Only by faith in Christ Jesus. My conscience accuses me that I have grievously trespassed against all God’s commandments, and have not kept one of them,ᵃ and that I am still prone to all evil.ᵇ Yet if I embrace these benefits of Christ with a true confidence and persuasion of mind,ᶜ the full and perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christᵈ—without any merit of my ownᵉ—is imputed and given to meᶢ from the mere mercy of God.ᶠ He grants these to me as if I had never committed any sin, nor had ever been a sinner; rather, as if I myself had been perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me.ʰ
ᵃ Rom. 3:9.
ᵇ Rom. 7:23.
ᶜ John 3:18; Rom. 3:22.
ᵈ 1 John 2:1.
ᵉ Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 John 2:2.
ᶠ Rom. 4:4-5; 2 Cor. 5:19.
ᶢ Titus 3:5.
ʰ 2 Cor. 5:21.
- 60. Why do you affirm that you are made righteous by faith only?
- I please God not because of the worthiness of my faith, but because only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ is my righteousness before Godᵃ—and I cannot take hold of it, or apply it to myself any other way except by faith.ᵇ
ᵃ 1 Cor. 1:30; 2:2.
ᵇ 1 John 5:10.
- 61. Why can’t our good works be righteousness, or some part of righteousness, before God?
- Because the only righteousness which can stand God’s judgment must be in every point perfect and compliant with the law of God.ᵃ Even the best of our works are imperfect in this life and defiled with sin.ᵇ
ᵃ Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10.
ᵇ Isa. 64:6.
- 62. How is it that our good works merit nothing, since God promises that he will give a reward for them both in this life and in the life to come?
- This reward is not given by merit, but a gift of grace.ᵃ
ᵃ Luke 17:10.
- 63. But doesn’t this doctrine make people careless and ungodly?
- No. Those who are grafted into Christ through faith will bear the fruits of thankfulness.ᵃ
ᵃ Matt. 7:18; John 15:5.
The Second Part:
Of Man’s Redemption
- 64. Since faith alone makes us partakers of Christ and His benefits, where does this faith come from?
- From the Holy Spirit,ᵃ who kindles it in our hearts by the preaching of the gospelᵇ and other ordinances,ᶜ and confirms it by the use of the sacraments.ᵈ
ᵃ John 3:5; Eph. 2:8; 3:16-17; Phil.1:29.
ᵇ Rom. 10:17.
ᶜ Eph. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:16.
ᵈ 1 Cor. 10:16; 1 Pet. 3:21.
- 65. What are the sacraments?
- Sacraments are sacred signs and seals set before our eyes and instituted by God for this purpose: that he may declare and confirm the promise of his gospel to us. In this gospel he freely gives forgiveness of sins and everlasting life to everyone individually who believes in the sacrifice of Christ which he accomplished once for all on the cross.ᵃ
ᵃ Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 10:16; Rom. 6:3-6; Heb. 10:10.
- 66. Are both the Word and the sacraments intended to lead our faith to the sacrifice of Christ finished on the cross as the only ground of our salvation?
A.Yes. The Holy Spirit teaches us by the gospel, and assures us by the sacraments that the salvation of all of us stands in the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ offered for us upon the cross.ᵃ
ᵃ Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Gal. 3:27.
- 67. How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the New Testament?
- Two. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
The Second Part:
Of Man’s Redemption
- 68. What is baptism?
- A. Baptism is immersing or dipping a person in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, by those who are rightly qualified by Christ to baptize others.ᵃ
ᵃ Matt. 3:16; 28:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 8:38-39; Rom. 6:4.
- 69. Who are the proper subjects of this sacrament and ordinance?
- Those who profess repentance towards God, and faith in and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ.ᵃ
ᵃ Acts 2:38; 8:36-37.
- 70. Are infants to be baptized?
- No, by no means, for we do not have a command nor an example for infant baptism in the entire book of God.
- 71. Do the Scriptures anywhere expressly forbid the baptism of infants?
- It is sufficient that God’s divine written revelation commands the baptizing of believersᵃ—or else we attempt to make ourselves wiser than what is written. Nadab and Abihu were not forbidden to offer strange fire, yet for so doing they incurred God’s wrath, because they were commanded to take fire from the altar.ᵇ
ᵃ Matt. 28:18-19; Mark 16:16.
ᵇ Lev. 9:24; 10:1-3.
- 72. May the infant seed of believers under the gospel be baptized just as the infant children of Abraham under the law were circumcised?
- No. Abraham had a command then from God to circumcise his infant children, but believers have no command to baptize their infant children under the gospel.
ᵃ Gen. 17:9-12.
- 73. Since some say that the infants of believers are in the covenant of grace with their parents, why may they not be baptized under the gospel, just as Abraham’s infant children were circumcised under the law?
- By asserting that the infants of believers are in the covenant of grace, they must either mean of the covenant of grace (1) absolutely considered, and if so, then there is no total and final apostasy of any infant seed of believers from the covenant, but all must be saved then.ᵃ
ᵃ Jer. 32:38-40; John 10:28.
Or, (2) they must mean conditionally, that when they come to years of maturity, they by true faith, love, and holiness of life, taking hold of God’s covenant of grace, shall have the privileges of it. If this is their meaning, then what spiritual privilege do the infant children of believers have more than the infant children of unbelievers, if they live also to years of maturity, and by true faith and love take hold of God’s covenant? Furthermore, would not the seal of the covenant belong as much to the children of unbelievers as to the children of believers? Yes, since the infant children of the unbeliever sometimes comes to embrace God’s covenant, and the infant seed of the believer does not; as often this is seen to the sorrow of many godly parents.ᵇ
ᵇ Isa. 56:3-8; John 3:16; Acts 10:34-35.
Suppose all the infant children of believers are absolutely in the covenant of grace; yet believers under the gospel ought no more to baptize their infant children than Lot to circumcise himself or his infant children, if he had males as well as females, although he was related to Abraham, a believer, and in the covenant of grace, since circumcision was limited to Abraham and his immediate family. If the infant children of believers are absolutely in the covenant of grace, we may bring infants to the Lord’s Table because the same qualifications are required in the correct administration of baptism as for the Lord’s Supper.ᶜ
ᶜ Acts 2:41-42.
The covenant made with Abraham had two parts:
First, a spiritual component, which consisted in God’s promising to be a God to Abraham and all his spiritual seed in a particular manner,ᵈ whether they were circumcised or uncircumcised, who believed as Abraham the father of the faithful did.ᵉ And this was signified in God’s accepting such as his people which were not of Abraham’s seed, but bought with his money, and this promise was sealed to Abraham by circumcision, that through Jesus Christ (whom Isaac typified) the Gentiles, the uncircumcision which believed,ᶠ should have their faith counted as righteousness, as Abraham’s was before he was circumcised.ᶢ
ᵈ Gen. 17:19, 21; 21:10; Gal. 4:30.
ᵉ Acts 2:39; Rom. 9:7-8.
ᶠ Gal. 3:16, 28-29.
ᶢ Rom. 4:9-14.
Second, this promise consisted of a temporal component. Thus, God promised that Abraham’s seed should enjoy the land of Canaan, and have plenty of outward blessings,ʰ so he sealed this promise by circumcision.ⁱ Circumcision also distinguished the Jews as being God’s people from all the nations of the Gentiles, which were not yet the seed of Abraham. But when the Gentiles came to believe and by faith became the people of God as well as the Jews, then circumcision, that distinguishing mark, ceased. The distinguishing mark of being the children of God is now faith in Christ and circumcision of the heart.ʲ Therefore, whatever claim there may be to baptize the infants of believers avails nothing, whether their being the children of believers, their being in the covenant, or that the infant seed of Abraham, a believer, was circumcised. Circumcision was also limited to the family of Abraham—all others, though believers, are excluded. Circumcision was also limited to the eighth day, and whatever claim might be made, it was not to be done before nor after. It was limited to males, which if baptism came in the place of circumcision and is the seal of the covenant under the gospel, as circumcision was under the law, only males may be baptized. Just as under the law circumcision had particular regulations, so it is under the gospel concerning baptism. These regulations concerning baptism depend purely upon the will of the Lawgiver, that Prophet to whom we would do well to listen.ᵏ He determines to whom, when, and how baptism is to be administered.
ʰ Gen. 12:6-7; 13:15-17; 15:16, 18.
ⁱ Gen. 17:8-11.
ʲ John 1:12; Rom. 2:28-29; Gal. 3:26-28; Phil. 3:3.
ᵏ Acts 3:22.
- 74. How are you encouraged and assured in baptism that you are a partaker of the only sacrifice of Christ?
- Because Christ commanded the outward washing of water,ᵃ joining this promise to it, that just as I am washed outwardly from the filthiness of the body with water, I am also certainly washed by his blood and Spirit from all uncleanness of my soul, that is, from all my sins.ᵇ
ᵃ Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38.
ᵇ Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:4; 16:16; Luke 3:3; Rom. 6:3.
- 75. What does it mean to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?
- It is to freely receive from God forgiveness for our sins, because of the blood of Christ which he shed for us in his sacrifice on the crossᵃ and also to be renewed by the Holy Spirit, and through his sanctifying us to become members of Christ, so that we may more and more die to sin, and live holy and without blame.ᵇ
ᵃ Ezek. 36:25; Zech. 13:1; Heb. 12:24; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:5.
ᵇ John 1:33; 3:5; Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 6:11; 12:13; Col. 2:12.
- 76. Where does Christ promise us that he will just as certainly wash us with his blood and Spirit as we are washed with the water of baptism?
- In the ordinance of baptism, which says, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”ᵃ This promise is repeated again when Scripture calls baptism the washing of the new birthᵇ and forgiveness of sins.ᶜ
ᵃ Matt. 28:19.
ᵇ Titus 3:5.
ᶜ Acts 22:16.
- 77. Is then the outward baptism in water the washing away of sins?
- It is not.ᵃ The blood of Christ alone cleanses us from all sin.ᵇ
ᵃ Eph. 5:25-26; 1 Pet. 3:21.
ᵇ 1 Cor. 6:11; 1 John 1:7.
- 78. Why then does the Holy Spirit call baptism the washing of the new birth and forgiveness of sins?
- God speaks this way with great cause, for this purpose, not only to teach us that as the filth of our body is purged by water, so our sins are also purged by the blood and Spirit of Christ,ᵃ but much more to assure us by this divine token and pledge that we are as surely washed from our sins with the inward washing as we are washed by the outward and visible water.ᵇ
ᵃ 1 Cor. 6:11; Rev. 1:5; 7:14.
ᵇ Mark 16:16; Gal. 3:27.
The Second Part:
Of Man’s Redemption
(The Lord’s Supper)
The Lord’s Supper
- 79. How does the Lord’s Supper encourage and assure you that you are a partaker of that only sacrifice of Christ offered on the cross and of all His benefits?
- Because Christ has commanded me and all the faithful to eat of this bread broken and to drink of this cup distributed in remembrance of him. With this he has joined the promise that his body was as certainly broken and offered for me upon the cross and his blood shed for me as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken to me and the cup given to me. Furthermore, my soul is no less assuredly fed to everlasting life with His body, which was crucified for me, and His blood, which was shed for me, than I receive and taste by the mouth of my body the bread and wine, the signs of the body and blood of the Lord, received at the hand of the minister.ᵃ
ᵃ Matt. 26:27-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:16, 20; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:23-25; 12:13.
- 80. What does it mean to eat of the body of Christ?
- It means to embrace, by an assured confidence of mind, the whole passion and death of Christ and by which to obtain forgiveness of sins and everlasting life.ᵃ It also means by the Holy Spirit, who dwells both in Christ and us, we are more and more united to his sacred body,ᵇ that although he is in heaven and we are on earth.ᶜ Yet nevertheless we are flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones.ᵈ And we forever live on and are governed by one Spirit, as the members of our body are by one soul.ᵉ
ᵃ John 6:35, 40, 47, 48, 50, 51, 53, 54.
ᵇ John 6:56.
ᶜ Acts 1:9; 3:21; 1 Cor. 11:26.
ᵈ John 14:23; 1 Cor. 6:15, 17, 19; Eph. 5:29, 30, 32; 1 John 3:24; 4.13.
ᵉ John 6:56-58; 15:1-6; Eph. 4:15-16.
- 81. Where has Christ promised that he will give his body and blood to be eaten and drank as surely as they eat this bread broken and drink this cup?
- In the institution of the Supper, the words of which are these:
“On the night that he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘Take and eat. This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after he had eaten, and said, ‘This cup is the mew covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.’”ᵃ
ᵃ Matt. 26:26ff.; Mark 14:22ff.; Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:23ff.
This promise is repeated by Paul, where he says, “The cup of blessing that 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 that are many are one bread and one body, because we are all partakers of one bread.”ᵇ
ᵇ 1 Cor. 10:16-17.
- 82. Are then the bread and wine made the actual body and blood of Christ?
- No. Just as the water of baptism is not turned into the blood of Christ, but is only a sign and pledge of those things that are sealed to us in baptism, so too is the bread of the Lord’s Supper not the actual body of Christ—even though it is called the body of Christ in keeping with the nature and language of sacraments.ᵃ
ᵃ Matt. 26:28; Mark 14:24; 1 Cor. 10:16-17.
- 83. Why then does Christ call bread his body and the cup his blood, or the New Testament in His blood? and Paul calls bread and wine the communion of the body and blood of Christ?
- Christ has good reason for these words. He not only teaches us that as the bread and wine sustain the life of the body, but also his crucified body and shed blood are indeed the food and drink of our souls, in which they are nourished to eternal life.ᵃ But more than that, by this visible sign and pledge, he assures us that we are as certainly partakers of his body and blood,ᵇ through the working of the Holy Spirit as we do receive by the mouth of our body these holy signs in remembrance of him. And also, that his sufferings and obedience is as certainly ours, as if we ourselves had suffered punishments for our sins and had satisfied God.
ᵃ John 6:51, 55, 56.
ᵇ 1 Cor. 10:16-17.
- 84. What difference is there between the Lord’s Supper and the Roman Catholic Mass?
- The Lord’s Supper testifies to us that we have perfect forgiveness of all our sins, on account of the only sacrifice of Christ, which he once fully accomplished on the cross.ᵃ It also testifies that we, by faith, are grafted into Christ,ᵇ who now according to his human nature is only in heaven at the right hand of his Father,ᶜ and there will be worshipped by us.ᵈ But in the Mass the living and the dead only have forgiveness of sins by the only sacrifice of Christ if he also daily offered for them by their priests’ sacrifices. Further, it is taught that Christ is bodily under the forms of bread and wine, and therefore is to be worshipped in them. So the very foundation of the Mass is nothing else but an utter denial of the only sacrifice and suffering of Christ Jesus, and a condemnable idolatry.
ᵃ Matt. 26:28; Luke 22:19-20; John 19:30; Heb. 7:27; 9:12, 26, 28; 10:10, 12, 14.
ᵇ 1 Cor. 6:17; 10:16-17; 12:13.
ᶜ Luke 24:5; John 20:17; Acts 7:55-56; Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:1; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; Heb. 1:3.
ᵈ John 4:21-24; Heb. 1:6, 8.
- 85. Who should come to the table of the Lord’s Supper?
- Only those who, first, are truly sorrowful that they have offended God by their sins, and yet trust that these sins are pardoned for Christ’s sake; second, who believe that whatever other weaknesses remain are covered by his suffering and death, yet desire more and more to go forward in faith and integrity of life. But hypocrites, and those who do not truly repent, eat and drink judgment on themselves.ᵃ
ᵃ 1 Cor. 10:21-22; 11:27ff.
- 86. Should those who declare themselves in profession and lifestyle to be unbelievers, profane, and ungodly to be admitted to the Lord’s Supper?
- No. This would profane the ordinance of God and stir up the wrath of God against the whole congregation.ᵃ Therefore, the church, using the keys of the kingdom of heaven, by the commandment of Christ and his apostles, inspired by the Holy Spirit, ought to exclude them from the Lord’s Supper until they repent and reform their lives.
ᵃ 1 Cor. 11:20-22, 34; Cf. Psa. 50:1ff; Isa. 1:11ff; 66:3; Jer. 7:21ff.
- 87. How should this ordinance of the Lord’s Supper be closed?
- In singing praises to God vocally and audibly for his great benefits and blessings to his church in the shedding of the most precious blood of his Son to take away their sin, which blessings are pointed out in this sacrament. Also, we find our Lord and his disciples concluded this ordinance in singing a hymn or psalm.ᵃ If Christ sang, who was going to die, how much more cause to sing have we for whom he died? He died so that we might not eternally die, but live a spiritual and eternal life with Father, Son, and Spirit in inexpressible glory.
ᵃ Matt. 26:30.
- 88. We confessed that those who in confession and life declare themselves to be unbelievers, profane, and ungodly should by the keys of the kingdom of heaven be kept from the Lord’s Supper. What, then, are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?
- The preaching of the gospel and church discipline, by which heaven is opened to the believers, and is shut against the unbelievers.ᵃ
ᵃ Matt. 16:19; 18:18.
- 89. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the gospel?
- The kingdom of heaven is opened by the command of Christ when it is publicly declared to everyone who believes that all their sins are pardoned by God because of the merit of Christ, when they embrace the promise of the gospel with genuine faith. However, the kingdom of heaven is shut when it is announced to all unbelievers and hypocrites that as long as the wrath of God rests on them, they will perish in their wickedness. So by the testimony of the gospel God will judge them in this life and also in the life to come.ᵃ
ᵃ Job 20:21-23; Matt. 16:19; John 12:48.
- 90. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by church discipline?
- The kingdom of heaven is shut by the command of Christ to those who profess to be Christians, but who in their doctrine and life show themselves apart from Christ. This is because they will not depart from their errors, heresies, or wickedness, even after the church has admonished them. If they do not obey the church’s admonition, they are to be kept from the sacrament and shut out (removed) from the congregation by authority received from Christ, and by God himself shut out from the kingdom of heaven.ᵃ
ᵃ Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:3-5; 2 Thess. 3:14-15.
Yet the kingdom of heaven is opened if these people repent with their lives, even when carefully examined by the church. These people are to be received again in love and tenderness as members of Christ and his church.ᵇ
ᵇ 2 Cor. 2:6-7, 10, 11.
The Third Part:
Of Man’s Thankfulness
THE THIRD PART
Of Man’s Thankfulness
- 91. Since we are delivered by the mercy of God from all our sins and miseries without any merit of ours, only for Christ’s sake, why then are we to do good works?
- First, because, after Christ has redeemed us with his blood, he renews us also by his Spirit to the image of himself, so that as we receive so great benefits we will show thankfulness to God and honor him with all of our lives.ᵃ Second, so that every one of us will be assured of our faith by our fruit.ᵇ Third, that by our good testimony we may win others to Christ.ᶜ
ᵃ Rom. 6:1-4; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9, 12.
ᵇ Matt. 7:17-18; Gal. 5:22; 2 Pet. 1:10.
ᶜ Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 3:1-2.
- 92. Can those who are unthankful, careless in their sins, and are not converted from their wickedness to God be saved?
- By no means. For as the Scripture bears witness—neither sexually immoral persons, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor robbers, will enter into the kingdom of God.ᵃ
ᵃ 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Eph. 5:5-6; 1 John 3:14-15.
- 93. What does true repentance toward God or conversion to God consist of?
- It consists of the dying or mortifying of the old man and the renewing or quickening of the new man.ᵃ
ᵃ Rom. 6:4-6; 1 Cor. 5:7; 2 Cor. 7:11; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:5-10.
- 94. What is the dying or mortifying of the old man?
- To be truly and sincerely sorry that you have offended God by your sins and daily more and more hate them and avoid them.ᵃ
ᵃ Joel 2:13; Rom. 8:13.
- 95. What is the renewing or quickening of the new man?
- True joy in God through Christ,ᵃ and an earnest desire to order your life according to God’s will and to do all good works.ᵇ
ᵃ Rom. 5:1; 14:17.
ᵇ Rom. 6:10-11; 12:1-2; Gal. 2:20.
- 96. What are good works?
- Good works are only those things done by a true faith,ᵃ according to God’s law,ᵇ and are done only to his gloryᶜ—not those which are imagined by us as seeming to be right and good,ᵈ or which are delivered and commanded by people.ᵉ
ᵃ Rom. 14:23.
ᵇ 1 Sam. 15:22.
ᶜ 1 Cor. 10:31.
ᵈ Eph. 2:10.
ᵉ Deut. 11:32; Isa. 29:13; Ezek. 20:18-19; Matt. 15:9.
The Third Part:
Of Man’s Thankfulness
(The Law of God)
The Law of God
- 97. What is the law of God?
- The Decalogue or Ten Commandments.ᵃ
ᵃ Exod. 20; Deut. 5.
- 98. How are these commandments divided?
- Into two tables:ᵃ the first, given in four commandments, tells us how we should behave towards God; the second, given in six commandments, tells us what duties we owe to our neighbors,.ᵇ
ᵃ Exod. 34:28; Deut. 4:13; 10:3-4.
ᵇ Matt. 22:37-39.
- 99. What is the preface to the Ten Commandments?
- I am Yahweh, the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
- 100. What do we learn from the preface (to the Ten Commandments)?
- Three things: first, he shows that the right of all rule belongs to God himself, for He says “I am Yahweh.” Secondly, he says he is the God of his people, that through the promise of his abundant grace he might encourage them to obey him. Thirdly, he says, “I brought you out of the land of Egypt,” as if he should say, “I am he who has manifested myself to you and given all those blessings to you; therefore you are bound to show thankfulness and obedience to me.”ᵃ
ᵃ Exod. 20:2.
- 101. Do these things belong to us?
- They do, because they figuratively include and imply the blessings of the church. Also, this was a type of our wonderful deliverance achieved by Christ.
- 102. What is the first commandment?
- “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Ex. 20:3)
- 103. What does God require in the first commandment?
- God requires that just as I dearly cherish the salvation of my own soul, I should also shun and keep myself from all idolatry,ᵃ sorcery,ᵇ enchantments, superstitions, and praying to saints or any other creatures.ᶜ Also, I should rightly acknowledge the only and true God,ᵈ trust in him alone;ᵉ submit and subject myself to him with all humilityᶠ and patience;ᶢ look for all good things from him alone;ʰ and, lastly, with all of the affection of my heart, love him, revere him, and worship him,ⁱ so that I am ready to renounce and forsake anything or anyone, rather than to commit the smallest thing that may be against his will.ʲ
ᵃ 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 10:7, 14.
ᵇ Lev. 19:31; Deut. 18:11.
ᶜ Matt. 4:10; Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9.
ᵈ John 17:3.
ᵉ Jer. 17:5.
ᶠ 1 Pet. 5:5-6.
ᶢ Rom. 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 10:10; Phil. 2:14; Col. 1:11; Heb. 10:36.
ʰ Isa. 45:7; James 1:17.
ⁱ Deut. 6:5; Psalm 10:4; Matt. 22:37.
ʲ Deut. 6:2; Psa. 111:10; Matt. 4:20; 5:29; 10:37-38.
- 104. What is idolatry?
- Idolatry is making, imagining, or putting anything in the place of the one God in which I place my hope and confidence,ᵃ or replacing the one true God who has manifested himself in his word and works.
ᵃ John 5:23; Gal. 4:8; Phil. 3:19; Eph. 2:12; 5:5; 1 John 2:23.
- 105. What is the second commandment?
- “You shall not make any graven image, nor the likeness of anything which is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them, nor worship them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, and visit the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those that hate me, and show mercy to thousands of them who love me, and keep my commandments.” (Ex. 20:4)
- 106. What does the second commandment require?
- That we should not express or represent God by any image or shape and figure,ᵃ or worship him any other way than he has commanded in his word to be worshiped.ᵇ
ᵃ Deut. 4:15ff.; Isa. 40:18ff.; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:23ff.
ᵇ Deut. 12:30ff.; 1 Sam. 15:23; Matt. 15:9.
- 107. May any images or resemblances of God be made at all?
- God neither should be nor can be portrayed in any way. As for created things, although it is lawful to depict them, God nevertheless forbids their images to be made or possessed in order to worship or honor either them or God by them.ᵃ
ᵃ Exod. 23:24; 34:13-14, 17; Num. 33:52; Deut. 7:5; 12:13; 16:22; 2 Kings 18:4.
- 108. But may images be tolerated in churches, which may serve as learning tools for the common people?
- No, for that would make us wiser than God, who will have his church to be taught by the lively preaching of his word,ᵃ and not with idols that cannot even talk.ᵇ
ᵃ 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19.
ᵇ Jer. 10:8ff.; Hab. 2:18-19.
- 109. What is the third commandment?
- “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.” (Ex. 20:7)
- 110. What does God require in the third commandment?
- We must not use his name blasphemously or irreverently, not only by cursing or false swearing,ᵃ but also by unnecessary oaths.ᵇ We must not be partakers of these horrible sins with others either by silence or consent. We must always use the sacred and holy name of God with great devotion and reverence,ᶜ that he may be worshiped and honored by us with a true and steadfast confession and invocation of his name.ᵈ This should be the case in all our words and actions.ᵉ
ᵃ Lev. 19:12; 24:11ff.
ᵇ Matt. 5:37; James 5:12.
ᶜ 1 Tim. 2:8.
ᵈ Matt. 10:32.
ᵉ Rom. 2:24; Col. 3:17; 1 Tim. 6:1.
- 111. Is taking God’s name in vain by swearing or cursing so grievous a sin that God is also angry with those who do not forbid or hinder it with all their ability?
- Surely it is most grievous.ᵃ There is no sin greater or more offensive to God than the despising of his sacred name. This is why he even commanded this sin to be punished with death.ᵇ
ᵃ Lev. 5:1.
ᵇ Lev. 24:15-16.
- 112. May a person swear reverently by the name of God?
- Yes, a person may swear when lawful magistrates or necessity requires it. By swearing, in order to maintain and promote truth and trustworthiness for God’s glory and our neighbor’s good. This kind of swearing is grounded in God’s Word,ᵃ and therefore was rightly by saints in both in the Old and New Testaments.ᵇ
ᵃ Deut. 6:13; 10:20; Isa. 48:1; Heb. 6:16.
ᵇ Gen. 21:24; 31; Josh. 9:15, 19; 2 Sam. 3:35; 1 Kings 1:29; Rom. 1:9.
- 113. Is it lawful to swear by “saints” or other creatures?
- No. A lawful oath is invoking the name of God, through which we desire that he, as the only searcher of hearts, bear witness to the truth and punish the swearer if he knowingly swears falsely.ᵃ No mere creature deserves this honor.ᵇ
ᵃ 2 Cor. 1:23.
ᵇ Matt. 5:34-36; James 5:12.
- 114. What is the fourth commandment?
- “Remember that you keep the Sabbath Day holy. You shall labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. On it you should not do any work, nor should you, your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, your cattle, or the stranger that is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day, and made it holy.” (Ex. 20:8-10)
- 115. What are we taught by the fourth commandment?
- That one day in seven is to be kept for the worship of God. Under the Old Testament this was the last day of the week, but because of the gospel it has been changed to the first day of the week. The Lord’s Day is to be spent in private and public devotion, hearing the word diligently, practicing the gospel sacraments zealously, doing deeds of charity with a good conscience, and resting from works of service, except for cases of necessity. This was the commendable practice of the apostles, who best knew the mind of Christ as to the time of worship. We do not find in all the New Testament that any gospel church in the apostles’ time set any other day apart solemnly to worship God but the first day. They were right to do this. For if Israel, the natural seed of Abraham, was to keep the seventh day to keep up the remembrance of their deliverance out of temporal bondage, how much more are we bound to keep the first day in remembrance of Christ’s deliverance of us from eternal bondage.ᵃ
ᵃ Deut. 5:15; Psa. 40:9-10; Isa. 66:23; John 20:19-20; Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:33; 14:16, 19, 29, 31; 16:1-2; 1 Tim. 2:1-3, 8-9; Rev. 1:10.
- 116. What is the fifth commandment?
- “Honor your father and mother that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” (Ex. 20:12)
- 117. What does God require of us in the fifth commandment?
- That we show honor, love, and faithfulness to our parents and to all who have authority over us. We must submit ourselves with such obedience as is fitting to their faithful commandments and discipline.ᵃ Also, that we should be patient with their failingsᵇ—for by their hand God wills to rule us.ᶜ
ᵃ Exod. 21:17; Prov. 1:8; 4:1; 15:20; 20:20; Rom. 13:1; Eph. 5:22; 6:1-2, 5; Col. 3:20, 22-24.
ᵇ Prov. 23:22; 1 Pet. 2:18.
ᶜ Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:1; Col. 3:18-25.
- 118. What is the sixth commandment?
- You shall not murder.
- 119. What does God require in the sixth commandment?
- That in thought, in gesture, and even in deed, I neither reproach, or hate, or harm, or kill my neighbor, either by myself, or by another and that I put away all desire of revenge.ᵃ Furthermore, that I do not hurt myself or knowingly cast myself into any danger.ᵇ As a deterrent to murder, God has armed the magistrate with the sword.ᶜ
ᵃ Matt. 5:21-22; 18:35; 26:52; Rom. 12:19; Eph. 4:26.
ᵇ Matt. 4:7; Rom. 13:14; Col. 2:23.
ᶜ Gen. 9:6; Exod. 21:14; Matt. 26:52; Rom. 13:4.
- 120. But does this commandment forbid murder only?
- No. In forbidding murder, God further teaches that he hates the root, namely, anger,ᵃ envy,ᵇ hatred,ᶜ and desire for revenge, accounting them all as murder.ᵈ
ᵃ Gal. 5:20-21; James 1:20.
ᵇ Rom. 1:29.
ᶜ 1 John 2:9, 11.
ᵈ Matt. 5:21-22; 1 John 3:15.
- 121. Does this commandment only require that we harm no one?
- No. When God condemns anger, envy, and hatred, he requires that we love our neighbors as ourselves.ᵃ We must use tenderness, courtesy, patience, and mercy towards them.ᵇ We must also protect them from whatever may be hurtful to them, as much as we are able.ᶜ Indeed, we must be so loving that we do not hesitate to do good even to our enemies.ᵈ
ᵃ Matt. 7:12; 22:39.
ᵇ Matt. 5:5, 7; Luke 6:36; Rom. 12:10, 18; Gal. 6:1-2; Eph. 4:2.
ᶜ Exod. 23:5.
ᵈ Matt. 5:43-45; Rom. 12:20.
- 122. What is the seventh commandment?
- You shall not commit adultery.
- 123. What is the meaning of the seventh commandment?
- That God hates and abominates all sexual vileness and filthiness.ᵃ Therefore, we must hate and detest the same.ᵇ This also means that we must live temperately, modestly, and chastely, whether we are married or single.ᶜ
ᵃ Lev. 18.
ᵇ Jude 22-23.
ᶜ 1 Cor. 7:1-5; 1 Thess. 4:3-4; Heb. 13:4.
- 124. Does God forbid nothing else in this commandment but actual adultery and other external acts of sexual sin?
- No. Since our bodies and souls are the temples of the Holy Spirit, God will have us keep both in purity and holiness.ᵃ Therefore, deeds, gestures, words, thoughts, filthy lusts,ᵇ and whatever entices us to these sins, are all forbidden.ᶜ
ᵃ 1 Cor. 6:18-20.
ᵇ Matt. 5:27-28.
ᶜ Job 31:1; Psa. 39:1; Eph. 5:18.
- 125. What is the eighth commandment?
- A. You shall not steal. (Ex 20:15)
- 126. What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?
- God not only forbids theftsᵃ and robberies, which the civil government ought to punish, but also whatever evil tricks and schemes where we seek after the goods of others and attempt with forceᵇ or with deceit to take them for ourselves. These include inaccurate measurements of weight, size, or volume; false advertisement, counterfeit money, excessiveinterest,ᶜ or any other means of benefitting ourselves, which God has forbidden.ᵈ In addition, God forbids all greed and the squandering and abusing of God’s gifts.
ᵃ 1 Cor. 6:10.
ᵇ Ezek. 45:9.
ᶜ Psa. 15:5; Luke 6:35.
ᵈ Deut. 25:13-15; Prov. 11:1; 16:11; 1 Cor. 5:10-13; 6:10; 1 Thess. 4:6.
ᵉ Prov. 5:15; Luke 3:14.
- 127. What does God require in this commandment?
- That within my power, I do whatever I can for my neighbor’s good, and that I treat others how I want to be treated.ᵃ I am required to work faithfully, so that I may help others who are distressed with need or tragedy.ᵇ
ᵃ Matt. 7:12.
ᵇ Eph. 4:28.
- 128. What is the ninth commandment?
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (Ex. 20:16).
- 129. What does the ninth commandment require?
- That I do not bear false witness against anyone,ᵃ falsify anyone’s words, gossip,ᵇ harshly rebuke anyone, nor rashly condemn anyone before I’ve heard them.ᶜ I must carefully avoid and shun all kinds of lies and deceits, as these are the works of the Devil,ᵈ or else I will stir up the most grievous wrath of God.ᵉ In court and other affairs, I must follow the truth, speak it freely, and constantly confess a matter as it actually is. Also, as much as it depends on me, I must defend and promote the good name and reputation of others.ᶠ
ᵃ Prov. 19:5, 9; 21:28.
ᵇ Psa. 15:3; Rom. 1:29, 30.
ᶜ Matt. 7:1; Luke 6:37.
ᵈ John 8:44.
ᵉ Prov. 12:22; 13:5.
ᶠ Eph. 4:24-25; 1 Pet. 4:8.
- 130. What is the tenth commandment?
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, nor his wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor anything that belongs to him.ᵃ
ᵃ Exod. 20:17.
- 131. What does the tenth commandment forbid?
- That our hearts be moved by the smallest desire or thought against any commandment of God, but that we continually detest all sin and delight in all righteousness in our heart.ᵃ
ᵃ Rom. 7:7.
- 132. Can they who are converted to God observe and keep these commandments perfectly?
- No. Even the most holy people, as long as they live, have only a small beginning of obedience.ᵃ Yet they begin with a sincere and earnest desire, and endeavor to keep not just some, but all, the commandments of God.ᵇ
ᵃ Eccl. 7:22; Rom. 7:14-15; James 2:10.
ᵇ Rom. 7:22.
- 133. Why does God require his law to be preached exactly and strictly, even though there is no one in this life able to keep it?
- First, that we increasingly acknowledge how greatly prone our nature is to sin and sincerely desire forgiveness and righteousness in Christ.ᵃ Second, that we may always do this, imploring and craving from the Father the grace of his Holy Spirit.ᵇ It is by this grace that we may be renewed, day by day, to the image and likeness of God.ᶜ Once we depart out of this life, we will attain to that joyful perfection which is promised to us.ᵈ
ᵃ Rom. 7:24; 1 John 1:9.
ᵇ Psa. 22:5; Luke 11:13; Eph. 3:16.
ᶜ 1 Cor. 9:24-27; Eph. 4:17-24; Phil. 3:12-14; Col. 3:5-14.
ᵈ Phil. 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24-25.
The Third Part:
Of Man’s Thankfulness
- 134. Why is prayer necessary for Christians?
- Because it is the primary part of thankfulness which God requires of us. Also, because God gives his grace and Holy Spirit to those who with sincere groanings ask them continually of Him, and give Him thanks for them.ᵃ
ᵃ Psa. 50:15; Matt. 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-13.
- 135. What is required for our prayers to please God and be heard by him?
- That we ask the only true God, who has manifested himself in his word,ᵃ all things which he has commanded to be asked of him.ᵇ This is to be done with a true affection and desire of our heart.ᶜ We are also, through an inward feeling of our need and misery, to cast ourselves humbly in the presence of his divine majesty.ᵈ We are to build ourselves on the sure foundation that we, though unworthy, yet for Christ’s sake, are certainly heard by God,ᵉ even as he has promised us in his word.ᶠ
ᵃ John 4:22-24.
ᵇ Rom. 8:26; 1 John 5:14.
ᶜ Psa. 145:18.
ᵈ Psa. 2:11; 34:19; Isa. 66:2.
ᵉ Psa. 143:1; Rom. 8:15-16; 10:13-17; James 1:6ff.
ᶠ Dan. 9:17-19; John 14:13; 15:16; 16:23.
- 136. What are those things which God commands us to ask of him?
- All things that are necessary for both soul and body, which our Lord Jesus Christ has comprised in the prayer he taught us.ᵃ
ᵃ Matt. 6:9-13; James 1:17.
- 137. What prayer is that?
- “Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”
- 138. Are Christians tied to this exact form of prayer?
- We are not. Our Lord here delivers to his church a brief summary of those things which we are to ask of God. Christ will have us also to ask for special things or specific benefits. The form prescribed is nothing else but a set of headings or general categories, in which all benefits both bodily and spiritual are implied. But all specifics of prayer must agree and correspond with this general form. We are not tied to this form, as appears from James 1:5, where the Apostle exhorts the saints, if anyone lacks wisdom they should ask of God who gives to all liberally. Though these words are not in the form of prayer particularly expressed in the Lord’s prayer, they are implied. Besides, we have examples of prayer in both the Old and New Testament that are not in this form, though all they asked was comprehended in this prayer. Therefore, the form of prayer delivered to us by Christ does not need to be copied.
- 139. Why does Christ teach us to call God “our Father” at the beginning of this prayer?
- That Christ might stir up in us a reverence and confidence in God that is proper for the children of God. This must be the ground and foundation of our prayer—that God through Christ is made our Father, and will not deny us anything when we ask him with a true faith, like our earthly parents do not deny us earthly things.ᵃ
ᵃ Matt. 7:9-11; Luke 11:11-13.
- 140. Why are the words “who is in heaven” added?
- That we do not have improper or earthly thoughts of God’s heavenly majesty, and also that we look for and expect from his omnipotence whatever things are necessary for our soul and body.ᵃ
ᵃ Jer. 23:24; Acts 17:24-27; Rom. 10:12.
- 141. What is the first petition?
- “Hallowed be your name.” In this we are asking, first, that you would grant us to know you rightlyᵃ and to worship, praise, and magnify your almighty goodness, justice, mercy, and truth, which shine in all your works.ᵇ Also, we are asking you to direct our whole life, thoughts, words, and works to the end that your most holy name would be not disgraced by us, but rather glorified with honor and praises.ᶜ
ᵃ Psa. 119:105; Jer. 9:23-24; 31:33-34; Matt. 16:17; John 17:3; James 1:5.
ᵇ Exod. 34:5-7; Psa. 119:137-138; 143:1-2, 5, 10-12; 145:8-9, 17; Jer. 31:3; 32:18-19, 40-41; 33:11, 20-21; Matt. 19:17; Luke 1:45-55, 68-79; Rom. 3:3-4; 11:22-23; 2 Tim. 2:19.
ᶜ Psa. 115:1; 71:8.
- 142. What is the second petition?
- “Your kingdom come.” In this we are asking that you would rule us by your Word and Spirit, that we may humble and submit ourselves more and more to you.ᵃ Also, we ask that you would preserve and increase your church,ᵇ destroy the works of the devil,ᶜ including any power that lifts up itself against your majesty. Make all those councils frustrated and void, which are taken against your word, until finally you reign fully and perfectly,ᵈ when you shall be all in all.ᵉ
ᵃ Psa. 119:5; 143:10; Matt. 6:33.
ᵇ Psa. 51:18; 122:6-7.
ᶜ Rom. 16:20; 1 John 3:8.
ᵈ Rom. 8:22-23; Rev. 22:17, 20.
ᵉ 1 Cor. 15:28.
- 143. What is the third petition?
- “Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” We are asking that you grant that that we, by renouncing and forsaking our own will,ᵃ may quickly and without any reluctance,ᵇ obey your most holy will. This we pray that every one of us may faithfully perform that duty and burden which you have committed to us,ᶜ even as the blessed angels do in heaven.ᵈ
ᵃ Matt. 16:24; Tit. 2:12.
ᵇ Luke 22:42.
ᶜ 1 Cor. 7:24.
ᵈ Psa. 103:20-21.
- 144. What is the fourth petition?
- “Give us this day our daily bread.” We ask that you give to us everything that is needed for this life, so that by these things we may acknowledge and confess you to be the only fountain from where all good things flow.ᵃ We also confess that all our care and work, and even your own gifts, are unfavorable and harmful to us unless you bless them.ᵇ Grant that, by turning our trust away from any creature, we place and rest our hearts in you alone.ᶜ
ᵃ Psa. 10:4; 145:15-16; Matt. 6:25-34.
ᵇ Acts 14:16-17.
ᶜ Deut. 8:3; Psa. 27:13; 62:11.
- 145. Which is the fifth petition?
- “Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.” On the basis of the blood of Christ, do not impute to us, most miserable and wretched sinners, any of our offenses or the corruption which still cleaves to us.ᵃ By your grace in our hearts, we sincerely purpose to pardon and forgive all those who have offended us.ᵇ
ᵃ Psa. 32:1-2; 143:2.
ᵇ Matt. 6:14.
- 146. What is the sixth petition?
- “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We are feeble and weak by natureᵃ and cannot stand one moment without our most deadly enemies, Satan,ᵇ the world,ᶜ and our own flesh,ᵈ incessantly attacking and assaulting us. Therefore, we pray that you would uphold, establish, and strengthen us by the might of your Spirit that we may not yield in this spiritual combat as conquered, but withstand our enemies both courageously and consistently,ᵉ until we get the full and perfect victory.ᶠ
ᵃ Psa. 103:14; John 15:5.
ᵇ Eph. 6:12; 1 Pet. 5:8.
ᶜ John 15:19.
ᵈ Rom. 7:23; Gal. 5:17.
ᵉ Matt. 26:41; Mark 13:33.
ᶠ 1 Thess. 3:13; 5:23.
- 147. How should you conclude this prayer?
- “For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.” We ask and crave all these things of you because you are our King and are almighty. Therefore, you are both willing and able to give them to us.ᵃ We ask these things that your holy name alone may receive glory.ᵇ
ᵃ Rom. 8:32; 10:11-12; 2 Pet. 2:9.
ᵇ Psa. 115:1; Jer. 33:8-9.
- 148. What does the final word, “Amen,” mean?
- This means that the thing is sure and should not be doubted. This is so because my prayer is much more certainly heard by God than I feel in my heart that I desire things from him.
ᵃ 2 Cor. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:13.
The Nicene and Athanasian Creeds
The Nicene Creed, A.D. 325
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things, visible and invisible. We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten Son of the Father, that is, of the substance of the Father, 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, both the things in heaven and the things in earth, who for us men and for our salvation came down and was incarnate. He was made man. He suffered and arose the third day. He ascended into heaven. He shall come to judge both the living and the dead. And we believe in the Holy Spirit. Those who say there was a time when the Son was not, therefore He was begotten, or He had His beginning of nothing, or that He is of another substance, or essence, or that affirm Him to be made, or to be changeable or mutable, these the Catholic and Apostolic Churches of God pronounce accursed.
The Athanasian Creed
Whoever will be saved before all things, it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith, which faith unless everyone do keep undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
And the catholic faith is this, 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, and another of the Holy Spirit, but the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, such is the Holy Spirit.
The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Spirit eternal; yet are they not three eternals, but one eternal.
Also, there is not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.
So likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, the Holy Spirit almighty, yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Spirit is Lord; yet are they not three Lords, but one Lord.
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by Himself to be 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, not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
And in this Trinity none are before or after another, none is greater or less than another, but the whole three persons are coeternal and coequal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in unity is to be worshiped.
He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting life, that we also rightly believe the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the right faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man, God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the world, and man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God, perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting; equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His manhood; who although He be God and man, yet is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God; one altogether not by confusion of substance, but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ, who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead, He ascended into heaven, sits on the right hand of God the Father almighty, from where He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and give an account for their own works: and them that have done good, shall go into life everlasting; and them that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith, which everyone should believe faithful.