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Is then the external baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?
Answer. Not at all: for the [a] blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Ghost cleanse us from all [b] sin.
Why then doth the Holy Ghost call baptism "the washing of regeneration," and "the washing away of
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 are [c] removed by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ; but especially
that by [d] 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.
Are infants also to be baptized?
Answer. Yes: for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the [e] covenant and [f] church of God; and since
[g] redemption from sin by the blood of Christ, and the [h] 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 distinguished [i] from the children of unbelievers as was done in the old
covenant or testament by [j] circumcision, instead of which [k] baptism is instituted in the new covenant.
OF THE HOLY SUPPER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
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, [a] 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.
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 to [b]
obtain the pardon of sin, and life eternal; but also, besides that, to become more and more [c] united to his
sacred body, by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us; [d] so that we, though Christ is in
heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding "Flesh of his flesh, and bone [e] of his bone"; and that we live,
[f] and are governed forever by one spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.
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: [g] "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: this [h] cup is the new testament in my blood; [i] 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
This promise is repeated by the holy apostle Paul, where he says: [j] "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
Do then the bread and wine become the very body and blood of Christ?
Answer. Not at all: [a] 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 very [b] body of Christ; though agreeable to the [c] nature and properties of
sacraments, it is called the body of Christ Jesus.
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 are [d] 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 we [e] receive
by the mouths of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of him; and that all his sufferings [f] and
obedience are as certainly ours, as if we had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction for our sins
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 sin [a] by the only sacrifice of Jesus
Christ, which he himself has once accomplished on the cross; and, that we by the Holy Ghost are ingrafted
[b] into Christ, who, according to his human nature is now not on earth, but in [c] heaven, at the right hand
of God his Father, and will there [d] 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 a [e] denial of the one sacrifice and
sufferings of Jesus Christ, and an accursed idolatry.
For whom is the Lord's supper instituted?
Answer. For those who are truly sorrowful [g] for their sins, and yet that these are forgiven them for the sake of
Christ; and that their remaining infirmities [h] are covered by his passion and death; and who also earnestly
[i] 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 and [j] drink judgment to themselves.
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 wrath [k] kindled against the whole
congregation; therefore it is the duty of the christian church, according to the appointment of [l] Christ and
his apostles, to exclude such persons, by the keys of the kingdom of heaven, till they show amendment of
What are [a] the keys of the kingdom of heaven?
Answer. The preaching [b] of the holy gospel, and christian discipline, [c] or excommunication out of the
christian church; by these two, the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers, and shut against unbelievers.
How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the holy gospel?
Answer. Thus: when according to the command of [d] Christ, it is declared and publicly testified to all and every
believer, that, whenever they [e] 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
eternal [f] condemnation, so long as they are [g] unconverted: according to which testimony of the gospel,
God will judge them, both in this, and in the life to come.
How is the kingdom of heaven shut and opened by christian discipline?
Answer. Thus: when according [h] to the command of Christ, those, who under the name of christians, maintain
doctrines, or practices [i] 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, [j] or to those, who are
thereunto [k] appointed by the church; and if they despise their admonition, [l] 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 again [m] received as members
of Christ and his church.
THE THIRD PART--OF THANKFULNESS
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 gratitude [a] to God for his
blessings, and that he may be [b] praised by us; also, that every one may be [c] assured in himself of his
faith, by the fruits thereof; and that, by our godly conversation, others may be [d] gained to Christ.
Cannot they then be saved, who, continuing in their wicked and ungrateful lives, are not converted to
Answer. By no means; for the holy scripture declares [e] that no unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief,
covetous man, drunkard, slanderer, robber, or any such like, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Of how many parts doth the true conversion of man consist?
Answer. Of two parts; of [a] the mortification of the old, and the quickening of the new man.
What is the mortification of the old man?
Answer. It is a [b] sincere sorrow of heart, that we have provoked God by our sins; and more and more to hate
and flee from them.
What is the quickening of the new man?
Answer. It is a sincere joy of heart in God, through Christ, [c] and with love and [d] delight to live according to
the will of God in all good works.
But what are good works?
Answer. Only those which proceed from a true [e] faith, are performed according to the [f] law of God, and to his
[g] glory; and not such as are [h] founded on our imaginations, or the institutions of men.
What is the law of God?
Answer. God spake all these words,
Deut. 5, saying: I am the Lord thy God, which hath brought thee
out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
- Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Honor thy father and they mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord they God giveth
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
- 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.
How are these commandments divided?
Answer. Into two [a] tables; the [b] first of which teaches us how we must behave towards God; the second, what
duties we owe to our neighbor.
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, [c] sorcery,
[d] soothsaying, superstition, [e] invocation of saints, or any other creatures; and learn [f] rightly to know
the only true God; [g] trust in him alone, with humility [h] and patience [i] submit to him; [j] expect all good
things from him only; [k] love, [l] fear, and [m] glorify him with my whole heart; so that I renounce [n] and
forsake all creatures, rather than [o] commit even the least thing contrary to his will.
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. [p]
What doth God require in the second commandment?
Answer. That we in no wise [a] represent God by images, nor worship [b] him in any other way than he has
commanded in his word.
Are images then not at all to be made?
Answer. God neither can, nor [c] 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 them [d]
or to serve God by them.
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 people [e] taught, not by dumb
images, [f] but by the lively preaching of his word.
What is required in the third commandment?
Answer. That we, not only by cursing or [a] perjury, but also by [b] rash swearing, must not profane or abuse the
name of [c] 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 rightly [d]
confessed and [e] worshipped by us, and be glorified in all our words and works.
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
Answer. It undoubtedly is, [f] for there is no sin greater or more provoking to God, than the profaning of his
name; and therefore he has commanded this [g] sin to be punished with death.
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
confirm [a] fidelity and truth to the glory of God, and the safety of our neighbor: for such an oath is [b]
founded on God's word, and therefore was justly [c] used by the saints, both in the Old and New
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 [d] falsely; which honor is [e] due to no creature.
What doth God require in the fourth commandment?
Answer. First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be [a] maintained; and that I, especially on the
sabbath, [b] that is, on the day of rest, [c] diligently frequent [d] the church of God, to hear his word, to use
the sacraments, [e] publicly to call upon the Lord, and contribute to the relief of the [f] 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 thus [g] begin in this life the eternal sabbath.
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, and [a]
submit myself to their good instruction and correction, with due obedience; and also patiently bear with
their [b] weaknesses and infirmities, since it pleases [c] God to govern us by their hand.
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Last modified, 12-Jan-1997