Previous Lord's Day
What is the meaning of these words-"He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin
Answer. That God's eternal Son, who [a] is, and continueth true and eternal [b] God, took upon him the very
nature of man, of the flesh and blood [c] of the Virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Ghost; [d] that he
might also be the true seed of David, [e] like unto his brethren in all things, [f] sin excepted.
What profit dost thou receive by Christ's holy conception and nativity?
Answer. That he is our [g] Mediator; and with His innocence and perfect holiness, covers in the sight of [h] God,
my sins, wherein I was conceived and brought forth.
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, [a] sustained in body and
soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind: that so by his passion, as the only [b] propitiatory
sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the favor of
God, righteousness and eternal life.
Why did he suffer under Pontius Pilate, as judge?
Answer. That he, being innocent, and yet condemned [c] by a temporal judge, might thereby free us from the
severe judgment of God to which we were exposed. [d]
Is there anything more in his being crucified, than if he had died some other death?
Answer. Yes [there is]; for thereby I am assured, that he took on him the curse which lay upon me; for the death
of the cross was [e] accursed of God.
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 made [a] no
otherwise, than by the death of the Son [b] of God.
Why was he also "buried"?
Answer. Thereby to prove that he [c] was really dead.
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 into [d] eternal
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 and [e] buried with him; that so the corrupt
inclinations of the flesh may no more [f] reign in us; but that we may [g] offer ourselves unto him a sacrifice
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, hath [h] delivered me from the anguish and torments of
What doth the resurrection of Christ profit us?
Answer. First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, that he might [a] make us partakers of that
righteousness which he had purchased for us by his death; secondly, we are also by his power [b] raised up
to a new life; an lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a [c] sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.
How dost thou understand these words, "he ascended into heaven"?
Answer. That Christ, in sight of his disciples, was [a] taken up from earth into heaven; and that he continues [b]
there for our interest, until he comes again to judge the quick and the dead.
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 his [c] 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.
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 and [d] omnipresent, it must necessarily follow that [e] 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.
Of what advantage to us is Christ's ascension into heaven?
Answer. First, that he is our [g] 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 also [h] take up to himself, us, his members; thirdly, that
he [i] 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, [j] and not things on earth."
Why is it added, "and sitteth at the right hand of God"?
Answer. Because Christ is ascended into heaven for this end, that he might [a] appear as head of his church, by
whom the Father [b] governs all things.
What profit is this glory of Christ, our head, unto us?
Answer. First, that by his Holy Spirit he [c] pours our heavenly graces upon us his members; and then that by his
power he defends [d] and preserves us against all enemies.
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 head [e] 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 his [f] and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, but shall
translate [g] me with all his chosen ones to himself, into heavenly joys and glory.
OF GOD THE HOLY GHOST
What dost thou believe concerning the Holy Ghost?
Answer. First, that he is true and co-eternal God with the Father and the [a] Son; secondly, that he is also given
[b] me, to [c] make me by a true faith, partaker of Christ and all his benefits, that he may [d] comfort me
and [e] abide with me for ever.
What believest thou concerning the "holy catholic church" of Christ?
Answer. That the Son of God [a] from the [b] beginning to the end of the world, gathers, [c] defends, and [d]
preserves to himself by his [e] Spirit and word, out of the [f] whole human race, a [g] church chosen to
everlasting life, agreeing in true faith; and that I am and for ever shall remain, a [h] living member thereof.
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, [i] partakers of him,
and of all his riches and gifts; secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and [j] cheerfully
to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members.
What believest thou concerning "the forgiveness of sins"?
Answer. That God, for the sake of [k] Christ's satisfaction will no more [l] 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 be [m] condemned before the tribunal of God.
What comfort doth the "resurrection of the body" afford thee?
Answer. That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken [a] up to Christ its head; but also, that this
my body, being raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and [b] made like unto the
glorious body of Christ.
What comfort takest thou from the article of "life everlasting"?
Answer. That [c] since I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, after this life, [d] I shall inherit perfect
salvation, which [e] "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.
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. [a]
How are thou righteous before God?
Answer. Only [b] by a true faith in Jesus Christ; so that though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly
transgressed all the commandments of God, and [c] kept none of them, and am still [d] inclined to all evil;
notwithstanding, God, without any [e] merit of mine, but only of mere [f] grace, grants [g] and [h] imputes
to me, the perfect [i] satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I never had had, nor
committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully [j] accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished
for me; [k] inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart.
Why sayest thou, that thou art righteous by faith only?
Answer. Not that I am acceptable to God, on account of the [l] worthiness of my faith; but because only the
satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, is my righteousness before [m] God; and that I cannot
receive [n] and apply the same to myself any other way than by faith only.
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 respects [a] conformable to the divine law; and also, that our best works in this
life are all imperfect and [b] defiled with sin.
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. [c]
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 of [d] thankfulness.
OF THE SACRAMENTS
Since then we are made partakers of Christ and all his benefits by faith only, whence doth this faith
Answer. From the Holy Ghost, who works [a] faith in our hearts by the preaching of the gospel, and [b] confirms
it by the use of the sacraments.
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, and [c] life eternal, for the sake of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross.
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, [d] that the
whole of our salvation depends upon that one sacrifice of Christ which he offered for us on the cross.
How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the new covenant, or testament?
Answer. [e] Two: namely, holy baptism, and the holy supper.
OF HOLY BAPTISM
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 appointed [a] this external washing with water, adding thereto this [b] 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 am [c] washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is commonly washed away.
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 he [d] 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, and [e] lead holy and unblamable lives.
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: [f] "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost [g]," "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 the [h] washing of regeneration, and the washing [i] away of sins.
Next Lord's Day
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Last modified, 12-Jan-1997