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HC Memory Work LD 27-52

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HC Memory Work LD 27-52
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Preface

     The lessons of this book are based, as were those of the former book, upon the Lord’s Days of the Heidelberg Catechism, each lesson corresponding with an individual Lord’s Day.  As much as possible the content and wording are retained in order that, with each lesson, the catechumen may learn the Catechism itself.  May the Lord use this means to preserve the Heidelberg Catechism in our churches.

     This book covers the last half of the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Days 27-52.  It is designed to be used in connection with the Heidelberg Catechism Workbook II, written by Rev. D.H. Kuiper.

INTRODUCTION TO THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM

  The Heidelberg Catechism, the second of our Three Forms of Unity, received its name from the place of its origin, Heidelberg, the capital of the German Electorate of the Palatinate.  There, in order that the Reformed faith might be maintained in his domain, Elector Frederick III commissioned Zacharias Ursinus, professor at Heidelberg University, and Caspar Olevianus, the court preacher, to prepare a manual for catechetical instruction.  Out of this initiative came the Catechism, which was approved by the Elector himself and by the Synod of Heidelberg and first published in 1563.  With its comfort motif and its warm, personal style, the Catechism soon won the love of the people of God, as is evident from the fact that more editions of the Catechism had to be printed that same year.  While the first edition had 128 questions and answers, in the second and third editions, at the behest of the Elector, the eightieth question and answer, which refers to the popish mass as an accursed idolatry, was added.  In the third edition the 129 questions and answers were divided into 52 Lord’s Days with a view to the Catechism’s being explained in one of the services on the Lord’s Day.  That salutary practice is still maintained today, in harmony with the prescription of the Church Order of Dordrecht. In the Netherlands the Heidelberg Catechism was translated into the Dutch language as early as 1566, and it soon became widely loved and used in the churches there.   It was adopted by several National Synods during the later sixteenth century, and finally included by the Synod of Dordrecht, 1618-1619, among our Three Forms of Unity, a place which it has to this day.

LORD’S DAY 27

Q. 72.  Is then the external baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?

A.  Not at all; for the blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Ghost, cleanse us from all sin.1 

  1  Mat. 3:11; 1 Pet. 3:211 John 1:71 Cor. 6:11.

Q. 73.  Why then doth the Holy Ghost call baptism “the washing of regeneration,” and “the washing away of sins”?

A.  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 removed by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ;1 but especially that by 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.2 

  1  Rev. 1:51 Cor. 6:11.

  2  Mark 16:16Gal. 3:27.

Q. 74.  Are infants also to be baptized?

A.  Yes; for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the   covenant1 and church of God;and since redemption from sin by the blood of Christ, and the Holy Ghost, the author of faith, is promised to them3 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 from the children of unbelievers4 as was done in the old covenant or testament by circumcision,5 instead of which baptism is instituted in the new covenant.6

  1  Gen. 17:7; Acts. 2:39.

  2  1 Cor. 7:14; Joel 2:16; Mat. 19:14.

  3  Luke 1:14, 15Psa. 22:10Acts 2:39.

  4  Acts 10:471 Cor. 12:131 Cor. 7:14.

  5  Gen. 17:14.

2      Col. 2:11-13.

LORD’S DAY 27

Infant Baptism

1.       Is the external baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?

          Not at all; for the blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Spirit, cleanse us from all sin.

2.       Why then is baptism called “the washing of regeneration” and “the washing away of sins”?

          To teach us that, as the filth of the body is purged away by water, so our sins are removed by the blood and Spirit of Christ.  Revelation 1:5I Corinthians 6:11.

3.       Is there further reason God teaches us that baptism is the washing away of sins?

          That by this divine pledge He may assure us that we are spiritually cleansed from our sins as really as we are externally washed with water.

4.       Are infants of believers also to be baptized?

          Yes, for they as well as the adult are included in the covenant and church of God.

5.       Is there proof in Scripture that infants are included in the covenant?

          Genesis 17:7, “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”

6.       Is there a second reason infants are to be baptized?

          Redemption from sin by the blood of Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the author of faith, are promised to them no less than to the adult.  Psalm 22:9, 10; Mark 10:13-16.

7.       Can you prove from Scripture that redemption from sin and the Holy Spirit are promised to  children of believers?

          Acts 2:39, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

8.       What purpose does the sign of baptism serve?

          By this sign of the covenant they are admitted into the Christian church and distinguished from the children of unbelievers.  Acts 10:47I Corinthians 12:13.

9.       How were children of the covenant in the Old Testament distinguished from the children of unbelievers?

          By circumcision, which is replaced in the New Testament by baptism.  Colossians 2:10-13.

LORD’S DAY 28

Q. 75.  How art thou admonished and assured in the Lord’s Supper that thou art a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross, and of all His benefits?

A.      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,  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.1

       1 Mat. 26:26-28Mark 14:22-24Luke 22:19, 201 Cor. 10: 16, 17. 1 Cor. 11: 23-25.

 

Q. 76.  What is it then to eat the crucified body and drink the shed blood of Christ?

A.      It is not only to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ, and thereby to obtain the pardon of sin and life eternal;1 but also, besides that, to become more and more united to His sacred body by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us;so that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth,3 are notwithstanding flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone;4 and that we live and are governed forever by one Spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.5

  1  John 6:35, 40, 47, 48, 50, 51, 53, 54.

  2  John 6:55, 56.

  3  Acts 3:21. Acts 1:9-111 Cor. 11:26.

  4  Eph. 5:29-321 Cor. 6:15, 17, 191 John 3:24.

  5  John 6:56-58Eph. 4:15, 16.

Q. 77.  Where has Christ promised that He will as certainly feed and nourish believers with His body and blood, as they eat of this broken bread and drink of this cup?

A.       In the institution of the supper, which is thus expressed:1  The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, ....2-4

  1  1 Cor. 11:23, &c. Mat. 26:26. Mark 14:22. Luke 22:19.

  2  Ex. 24:8Heb. 9:20.

  3  Ex. 13:91 Cor. 11:26.   4        1 Cor. 10:16, 17.

LORD’S DAY 28

The Sign and Seal of the Lord’s Supper

 

1.       How are you admonished and assured in the Lord’s Supper that you are a partaker of the one sacrifice of Christ on  the cross?

          Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat the broken bread and drink the cup in remembrance of Him.  Matthew 26:26-28Mark 14:22-24.

2.  What promise does Christ add to this command?

          That His body was broken and His blood shed for me as certainly as I see the bread broken and the cup communicated to me.  Luke 22:19-20.

3.       What assurance is promised you in the command to eat and drink?

          That He feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life with His crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive and taste the bread and cup of the Lord. I  Corinthians 11:23-29.

4.       What is it, then, to eat the crucified body and drink the shed blood of Christ?

          It is to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ, and thereby to obtain pardon of sin and life eternal.  II Timothy 1:12.

5.       What blessed truth does eating and drinking Christ imply?

          We are more and more united to Christ’s sacred body by the Holy Spirit, who dwells both in Christ and in us.  I  Corinthians 12:11, 12.

6.       What is the result of the Spirit’s dwelling both in Christ and in us?

          It is twofold:

     1)   that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding “flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone.”   Ephesians 5:30.

     2)   and that we live and are governed forever by one Spirit as members of the same body are by one soul.  John 6:56-58.

7.       Where does the Bible record for us the institution of the Lord’s Supper?

          Jesus instituted the Supper in Matthew 26:26-29, and the apostle Paul also speaks of it in I Corinthians 11:23-29.

LORD’S DAY 29

Q. 78.  Do then the bread and wine become the very body and blood of Christ?

A.      Not at all; 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;1 so the bread in the Lord’s Supper is not changed into the very body of Christ,2 though agreeably to the   nature and properties of sacraments,3 it is called the body of Christ Jesus.

  1  1 Cor. 10:1-41 Pet. 3:21John 6:35, 62, 63.

  2  1 Cor. 10:16, &c. 1 Cor. 11:20, &c.

  3  Gen. 17:10, 11, 14Ex. 12:26, 27, 43, 48Acts 7:8Mat. 26:26. Mark 14:24.

Q. 79.  Why then doth Christ call the bread His body, and the cup His blood, or the new covenant in His blood; and Paul, the “communion of the body and blood of Christ”?

A.      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 fed to eternal life;1 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 receive by the mouths of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of Him;2 and that all His sufferings and obedience are as certainly ours as if we had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction for our sins to God.3

  1  John 6:51, 55, 56.

  2  1 Cor. 10:16, 17. 1 Cor. 11:26-28Eph. 5:30.

1      Rom. 5:9, 18, 19. Rom. 8:4.

LORD’S DAY 29

The Bread and Wine of the Lord’s Supper

 

1.       Do the bread and wine become the very body and blood of Christ?

          No, but as the water in baptism is not changed into the blood of Christ, so the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper is not changed into the very body and blood of Christ.  John 6:63.

2.       Why then are the bread and wine called the body and blood of Christ?

          Because this is agreeable to the nature and properties of sacraments, the bread and wine being only signs and confirmations appointed by God.

3.       Why does Paul speak of the “communion of the body and blood of Christ”?

          To teach us that, as bread and wine support this temporal life, so Christ’s body and blood are the true meat and drink whereby our souls are fed to eternal life.

4.       Of what does Christ assure us by the visible signs and pledges of the Lord’s Supper?

          That we are as really partakers of His true body and blood, as we receive by our mouths these holy signs in remembrance of Him.  I Corinthians 10:15, 16.

5.       How are we partakers of the true body and blood of Christ?

          By the operation of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.  Romans 8:14-16.

6.       What does the Holy Spirit work in us by which we are able to eat and drink Christ?

          Faith, which is the hand and mouth of our soul.  Belgic Confession, Article 35.

7.       What truth do we embrace by faith when we partake of this sacrament?

          That all of Christ’s sufferings and obedience is ours, as if we had in our own persons made satisfaction to God for our sins.  Romans 5:9, 18, 19.

LORD’S DAY 30

Q. 80.  What difference is there between the Lord’s Supper and the popish mass?

A.      The Lord’s Supper testifies to us that we have a full pardon of all sin by the only sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which He Himself has once accomplished on the cross;1 and that we by the Holy Ghost are ingrafted into Christ,2 who according to His human nature is now not on earth, but in heaven at the right hand of God His Father,3 and will there be worshiped by us4—but the mass teaches that the living and dead have not the pardon of sins through 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 worshiped in them; so that the mass, at bottom, is nothing else than a denial of the one sacrifice and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and an accursed idolatry.5

  1  Heb. 7:27Heb. 9:12, 26Mat. 26:28Luke 22:19, 202 Cor. 5:21.

  2  1 Cor. 6:17. 1 Cor. 12:13.        3        Heb. 1:3Heb. 8:1, &c.

  4  John 4:21-23Col. 3:1. Phil. 3:20. Luke 24:52, 53. Acts 7:55.

  5  Isa. 1:11, 14Mat. 15:9. Col. 2:22, 23. Jer. 2:13.

Q. 81.  For whom is the Lord’s Supper instituted?

A.      For those who are truly sorrowful for their sins,1 and yet trust that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ, and that their remaining infirmities are covered by His passion and death;2 and who also earnestly desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy;3 but hypocrites, and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat and drink judgment to themselves.4

  1  Mat. 5:3, 6Luke 7:37, 38Luke 15:18, 19.

  2  Psa. 103:3. 3  Psa. 116:12-141 Pet. 2:11, 12.

  4  1 Cor. 10:20, &c. 1 Cor. 11:28, &c. Tit. 1:16. Psa. 50:15, 16.

Q. 82.  Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who, by confession and life, declare themselves unbelieving and ungodly?

A.      No; for by this the covenant of God would be profaned, and His wrath kindled against the whole congregation;1 therefore it is the duty of the Christian church, according to the appointment of Christ and His apostles, to exclude such persons, by the keys of the kingdom of heaven, till they show amendment of life.

  1  1 Cor. 10:21. 1 Cor. 11: 30, 31Isa. 1:11, 13Jer. 7:21Psa. 50:16, 22.

  2  Mat. 18:17, 18.

LORD’S DAY 30

Proper Partakers of the Lord’s Supper

1.       What does the Roman Catholic Church teach in the mass?

          That the living and the dead have not the pardon of sins through Christ’s sufferings unless Christ is also daily offered for them by the priests.

2.       What comforting truth does the Lord’s Supper teach in contrast to the mass?

          That we have full pardon of all sin by the only sacrifice of Jesus which He Himself has once accomplished on the cross.  Hebrews 7:27; 9: 12, 26.

3.       What is a second error taught by the mass?

          That Christ is bodily under the form of bread and wine, and therefore is to be worshiped in them.

4.       What scriptural truth does the Lord’s Supper teach concerning Christ?

          That according to His human nature He is now not on earth, but in heaven, and will there be worshiped by us.   Ephesians 4:10Hebrews 1:3.

5.       What can be said, then, of the Romish mass?

          It is a denial of the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and also an accursed idolatry. 

6.       For whom is the Lord’s Supper instituted?

          For those who are truly sorrowful for their sins, and yet trust that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ.  Matthew 5:3, 6; Luke 7:37, 38; 15: 18, 19.

7.       What must be the earnest desire of those who come to the Lord’s Supper?

          They must desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives made more holy.  Psalm 116: 12-14I Peter 2:11, 12.

8.       What happens to hypocrites when they partake of the Lord’s Supper?

          Those who do not turn to God with sincere hearts eat and drink judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord’s body.  I Corinthians 11:28, 29.

9.       May those who by confession and walk declare themselves to be ungodly be admitted to the  Supper?

          No, for by this God’s covenant would be profaned and His wrath kindled against the whole congregation.  Psalm 50:16I Corinthians 10:21.

10.     What then is the duty of the Christian church toward ungodly members?

          To exclude these people by the keys of the kingdom until they show amendment of life.  Matthew 18:17, 18.

LORD’S DAY 31

Q. 83.  What  are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?1 

A.      The preaching of the holy gospel,  and Christian discipline,2 or excommunication out of the Christian church;3 by these two, the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers, and shut against unbelievers.

  1  Mat. 16:19.

  2  John 20:23.

  3  Mat. 18:15-18.

Q. 84.  How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the holy gospel?

A.      Thus:  when according to the command of Christ1 it is declared and publicly testified to all and every believer, that, whenever they  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;2 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 condemnation, so long as they are unconverted;3 according to which testimony of the gospel God will judge them, both in this and in the life to come.

  1  Mat. 28:19.

  2  John 3:18, 36. Mark 16:16.

  3  2 Thes. 1:7-9John 20:21-23Mat. 16:19. Rom. 2:2, 13­-17.

Q. 85.  How is the kingdom of heaven shut and opened by Christian discipline?

A.      Thus:  when according to the command of Christ,1 those who under the name of Christians maintain doctrines, or practices inconsistent therewith,2 and will not, after having been often brotherly admonished, renounce their errors and wicked course of life, are complained of to the church,or to those who are thereunto appointed by the church; and if they despise their admonition, are by them forbidden the use of the sacraments;5 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 received as members of Christ and His church.6 

  1  Mat. 18:15.

  2  1 Cor. 5:11, 12.    3         Mat. 18:15-18.

  4  Rom. 12:7-91 Cor. 12:281 Tim. 5:17. 2 Thes. 3:14.

  5  Mat. 18:171 Cor. 5:3-5.

  6  2 Cor. 2:6-8, 10, 11Luke 15:18.

LORD’S DAY 31

The Keys of the Kingdom

 

1.       What is meant by “the keys of the kingdom of heaven”?

          It is the admonition and discipline the church is called to administer upon impenitent members.  Matthew 16:19.

2.       What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?

          There are two: the preaching of the holy gospel, and Christian discipline of excommunication out of the Christian church.

3.       Why are the preaching and Christian discipline called the keys of the kingdom?

          Because by them the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers and shut against unbelievers.  John 20:23.

4.       How is the kingdom opened by the preaching of the gospel?

          When it is publicly testified to all believers that, when they receive the gospel by faith, all their sins are forgiven them for the sake of Christ’s merits.  John 3:16-18, 36.

5.       How is the kingdom of heaven shut by the preaching of the gospel?

          When it is declared to all who do not sincerely repent, that they stand exposed to the wrath of God and eternal condemnation so long as they are unconverted.  John 3:16-18, 36.   II Thessalonians 1:7-9.

6.       When is the key of Christian discipline applied?

          When those who, under the name of Christians, maintain doctrines and practices inconsistent with that name.  I Corinthians 5:12, 13Titus 3:10, 11.

7.       How do erring members become known to the church?

          When, after having been often brotherly admonished, they are complained of to the elders of the church.  Matthew 18:15-17.

8.       What happens if the erring brother despises the admonition of the church?

          He is forbidden the use of the sacraments, by which he is excluded from the Christian church, and by God from the kingdom of Christ.  Matthew 18:17, 18I Corinthians 5:3-5.

9.       May excommunicated persons ever be readmitted into the church?

          Only when they promise and show real amendment of life may they again be received as  members of Christ and His church.  II Corinthians 2:6-11.

LORD’S DAY 32

Q. 86.  Since then we are delivered from our misery merely of grace, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we still do good works?

A.      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 to God for His blessings,1 and that He may be praised by us;2 also, that every one may be assured in himself of his faith by the fruits thereof;3 and that by our godly conversation others may be gained to Christ.4 

  1  1 Cor. 6:19, 20. Rom. 6:13. Rom.  12:1, 2. 1 Pet. 2:5, 9, 10.

  2  Mat. 5:161 Pet. 2:12.

  3  2 Pet. 1:10. Gal. 5:6, 24.

  4  1 Pet. 3:1, 2Mat. 5:16. Rom. 14:19.

Q. 87.  Cannot they then be saved, who, continuing in their wicked and ungrateful lives, are not converted to God?

A.       By no means; for the Holy Scripture declares that no unchaste person, idolator, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard, slanderer, robber, or any such like, shall inherit the kingdom of God.1 

1      1 Cor. 6:9, 10Eph. 5:5, 61 John 3:14, 15Gal. 5:21.

LORD’S DAY 32

The Necessity of Good Works

 

1.       How are we saved?

          We are delivered from our misery merely of grace, through Christ, without any merit of ours. 

2.       If we are delivered from misery merely of grace, why must we still do good works?

          Because Christ, having redeemed us by His blood, also renews us by His Holy Spirit, after His own image.  Ephesians 4:24Colossians 3:10.

3.       What is the result of Christ’s renewing us by the Holy Spirit?

          We testify by the whole of our conduct our gratitude to God for His blessings, and He is  praised by us.   Romans 12:1, 2.

4.       What assurance do we receive from our good works?

          We are assured in ourselves of our faith by the fruits thereof.   II Peter 1:10.

5.       What other purpose do our good works serve?

          By our godly conversation others may be gained to Christ.   Matthew 5:13-16Acts 8:4Romans 14:19.

6.       Can they be saved who, continuing in their wicked lives, are not converted to God?

          By no means, for the Holy Scripture declares that the unrighteous man shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  I Corinthians 6:9, 10Ephesians 5:5, 6.

7.       Can you give examples of an unrighteous man?

          Yes, an unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard, slanderer, robber, and such like.

LORD’S DAY 33

Q. 88.  Of how many parts doth the true conversion of man consist?

A.      Of two parts:  of the mortification of the old, and the quickening of the new man.1 

  1  Rom 6:4-6Eph. 4:22, 23Col. 3:51 Cor. 5:7.

Q. 89.  What is the mortification of the old man?

A.      It is a sincere sorrow of heart that we have provoked God by our sins, and more and more to hate and flee from them.1

  1  Psa. 51:3, 8, 17Luke 15:18. Rom. 8:13. Joel 1:12, 13.

Q. 90.  What is the quickening of the new man?

A.      It is a sincere joy of heart in God, through Christ,and with love and delight to live according to the will of God in all good works.2

  1  Rom 5:1, 2. Rom. 14:17. Isa. 57:15.

  2  Rom. 6:10, 11. 1 Pet. 4:2Gal. 2:20.

Q. 91.  But what are good works?

A.      Only those which proceed from a true faith,1 are performed according to the law of God,2 and to His glory;3 and not such as are   founded on our imaginations or the institutions of men.4

  1  Rom. 14:23.

  2  1 Sam. 15:22. Eph. 2:2, 10.

  3  1 Cor. 10:31.

  4  Deut. 12:32Ezek. 20:18Mat. 15:9.

LORD’S DAY 33

True Conversion

 

1.       Of how many parts does the true conversion of man consist?

          Of two parts:  of the mortification of the old, and the quickening of the new man.  Ephesians 4:22-24Colossians 3:5, 9, 10.

2.       What is this “old man” that must be put to death or mortified?

          It is our sinful nature, or flesh, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.  Ephesians 4:22Romans 7:18, 23.

3.       What is the “new man” that must be made alive or quickened?

          It is that inward man which through Christ is created in the image of God, and therefore delights in the law of God.  Colossians 3:10Romans 7:22.

4.       What is the mortification of the old man?

          It is a sincere sorrow of heart that we have provoked God by our sins; and it is more and more to hate our sins and to flee from them.  Psalm 51:17.

5.       What is the quickening of the new man?

          It is a sincere joy of heart in God through Christ, and a desire to live according to the will of God in all good works.  Romans 6:10, 11; Galatians 2:20.

6.       But what are good works?

          Only those that proceed from a true faith, are performed according to the law of God, and to His glory.  Romans 14:23Psalm 119:9;   I Corinthians 10:31.

7.       What works may seem as if they are good works but are not?

          Those founded on our imaginations or on the institutions of men. Deuteronomy 12:32Ezekiel 20:18, 19Matthew 15:8, 9.

LORD’S DAY 34

Q. 92.  What is the law of God?

A.       God spake all these words, Exodus 20Deuteronomy 5, saying:  I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

  I.     Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

  II.    etc.

Q. 93.  How are these commandments divided?

A.  Into two tables: 1 the first of which teaches us how we must behave towards God; the second, what duties we owe to our neighbor. 2

  1  Ex. 34:28, 29.

  2  Deut. 4:13. Deut.10:3, 4.

Q. 94.  What doth God enjoin in the first commandment?

A.  That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and flee from all idolatry,1 sorcery, soothsaying, superstition,2  invocation of saints, or any other creatures;3 and learn rightly to know the only true God;4 trust in Him alone,5 with humility and patience6 submit to Him;7  expect all good things from Him only;8 love,fear,10 and glorify11  Him with my whole heart; so that I renounce and forsake all creatures,12  rather than commit even the least thing contrary to His will.13

  1  1 Cor. 6:9, 10.   1 Cor. 10: 7, 14.

  2  Lev. 18:21Deut. 18: 10-12.

  3  Mat. 4:10Rev. 19:10.

  4  John 17:3.

  5  Jer. 17:5, 7.

  6  Heb. 10:36Col. 1:11. Rom. 5:3, 4. Phil. 2:14.

  7  1 Pet. 5:5, 6.

  8  Psa. 104:27Isa. 45:7James 1:17.

  9  Deut. 6:5. Mat. 22:37.

  10       Deut. 6:5. Mat. 10:28.

  11       Mat. 4:10.

  12       Mat. 5:29, 30. Acts 5:29. Mat. 10:37.

  13       Mat. 5:19.

 

Q. 95.  What is idolatry?

A.  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.1

  1  2 Chron. 16:12. Phil. 3:18, 19. Gal. 4:8Eph. 2:12.

LORD’S DAY 34

Idolatry

 

1.       What is the Decalogue or the moral law?

          The law of the Ten Commandments.

2.       How are these commandments divided?

          Into two tables: the first teaches us how we are to behave toward God; the second, what  duties we owe to our neighbor. 

3.       What is the first commandment?

          “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20:3Deuteronomy 5:7.

4.       What does God forbid in the first commandment?

          That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my soul, avoid and flee from all idolatry.  I Corinthians 6:9, 10; 10:7, 14.

5.       What specific sins of idolatry are condemned by this commandment?

          Sorcery, soothsaying, superstition, and invocation of saints or any other creature.  Leviticus 18:21Deuteronomy 18:10-12.

6.       What does this first commandment require of you?

          That I learn rightly to know the only true God; trust in Him alone, with humility and patience submit to Him; expect all good things from Him only; love, fear, and glorify God with my whole heart.  John 17:3Jeremiah 17:5-7James 1:17;Deuteronomy 6:5.

7.       What will result when you obey the first commandment?

          I will renounce and forsake all creatures rather than commit the least thing contrary to God’s will.  Matthew 5:19; 10:37.

8.       What is idolatry?

          It is, besides the one true God who has manifested Himself in His Word, to have any other object in which men place their trust.  Philippians 3:18, 19.

 

LORD’S DAY 35

Q. 96.  What doth God require in the second commandment?

A.      That we in no wise represent God by images,1 nor worship Him in any other way than He has commanded in His Word.2

  1  Deut. 4:15. Isa.40:18. Rom. 1:23, &c. Acts 17:29.

  2  1 Sam. 15:23. Deut. 12:30.

Q. 97.  Are images then not at all to be made?

A.      God neither can nor may be represented by any means.1  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 or to serve God by them.2 

  1  Deut. 4:15, 16Isa. 46:5. Rom. 1:23.

  2  Ex. 23:24Ex. 34:13, 14Num. 33:52Deut. 7:5.

Q. 98.  But may not images be tolerated in the churches as books to the laity?

A.      No; for we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have His people taught, not by dumb images, but by the lively preaching of His Word.2

  1  Jer. 10:1, &c. Hab. 2:18, 19.

2      2 Tim. 3:162 Pet. 1:19.

LORD’S DAY 35

Image Worship

 

1.       What is the second commandment?

          “Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”  Exodus 20:4-6;Deuteronomy 5:8-10.

2.       What does God require in the second commandment?

          That I in no wise represent God by images.  Deuteronomy 4:15-19.

3.       How does the requirement of the second commandment affect our worship?

          We do not worship God in any other way than He has commanded us in His Word.  John 4:24.

4.       Are images, then, not at all to be made?

          God neither can nor may be represented by any means.  Isaiah 40:18-25; 46:5-7.

5.       But may images of creatures be made?

          Though creatures may be represented, God forbids to make or have any resemblance of them, either to worship them or to serve God by them.  Exodus 23:24Numbers 33:52Deuteronomy 7:5.

6.       May not images be tolerated in the churches as books to the laity?

          No, we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have His people taught, not by dumb images, but by the lively preaching of His Word.  II Timothy 4:2Romans 10:14, 15.

LORD’S DAY 36

Q. 99.  What is required in the third commandment?

A.  That we, not only by cursing1 or perjury, but also by rash swearing,2 must not profane or abuse the name of 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;3  so that He may be rightly confessed and worshiped by us,4 and be glorified in all our words and works.5

  1  Lev. 24:11Lev. 19:12Mat. 5:37Lev. 5:4.

  2  Isa. 45:23, 24.

  3  Mat. 10:32.

  4  1 Tim. 2:8.

  5  1 Cor. 3:16, 17.

Q. 100.  Is then the profaning of God’s name by swearing and cursing so heinous a sin that His wrath is kindled against those who do not endeavor, as much as in them lies, to prevent and forbid such cursing and swearing?

A.  It undoubtedly is, for there is no sin greater or more provoking to God than the profaning of His name; 1 and therefore He has commanded this sin to be punished with death.2

  1  Lev. 5:1.

3      Lev. 24:15.

LORD’S DAY 36

Taking God’s Name in Vain

 

1.       What is the third commandment?

          “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.”  Exodus 20:7Deuteronomy 5:11.

2.       What is forbidden by the third commandment?

          God forbids that we, not only by cursing or perjury, but also by rash swearing, profane or abuse the name of God.  Leviticus 19:12; 24:11-16, 23.

3.       In what subtle way can we violate the third commandment?

          When we by silence or connivance are partakers of the horrible sin of cursing in others.  Romans 1:32.

4.       What is required in the third commandment?

          That we use the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence.  Psalm 111:9

5.       What is the result of using God’s name with reverence?

          God will be rightly confessed and worshiped by us, and glorified in all our words and works.

6.       How heinous a sin is the profaning of God’s name?

          God’s wrath is kindled against those who do not endeavor, as much as in them lies, to prevent and forbid such cursing and swearing.  Leviticus 5:1.

7.       What must we remember when speaking to or about God?

          There is no sin greater or more provoking to God than the profaning of His name, and therefore He has commanded this sin to be punished by death.  Leviticus 24:10-16.

LORD’S DAY 37

Q. 101.  May we then swear religiously by the name of God?

A.      Yes; either when the magistrates demand it of the subjects, or when necessity requires us thereby to confirm fidelity and truth to the glory of God and the safety of our neighbor;1 for such an oath is founded on God’s Word,2 and therefore was justly used by the saints both in the Old and New Testament.3

  1  Ex. 22:11Neh. 13:25.

  2  Deut. 6:13Heb. 6:16.

  3  Gen. 21:24Jos. 9:15, 191 Sam. 24:222 Cor. 1:23. Rom. 1:9.

Q. 102.  May we also swear by saints or any other creatures?

A.      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 falsely;1 which honor is due to no creature.2

  1  2 Cor. 1:23.

  2  Mat. 5:34, 35.

LORD’S DAY 37

The Lawful Oath

 

1.       May we swear religiously by the name of God?

          Yes, either when the magistrates demand it of the subjects, or when necessity requires us by an oath to confirm fidelity and truth, to the glory of God and the safety of the neighbor.

2.       Is swearing an oath founded on God’s Word?

          We are instructed in Deuteronomy 6:13, “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.”

3.       Is there other proof that swearing religiously was approved of God?

          It was justly  used by the saints in the Old and New Testaments, and by God Himself when He blessed Abraham.   Genesis 21:24II Corinthians 1:23Hebrews 6:16.

4.       May we also swear by saints or any other creatures?

          No, for a lawful oath is calling upon God as the only One who knows the heart.  Psalm 94:11; 139:2.

5.       What does God do as the Discerner of man’s heart?

          He will bear witness to the truth, and punish a man if he swears falsely.  II Corinthians 1:23.

6.       How is God’s glory involved in the lawful oath?

          By the proper use of the lawful oath we bring honor to God’s name, an honor due to no creature.

LORD’S DAY 38

Q. 103.  What doth God require in the fourth commandment?

A.      First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be maintained;1 and that I, especially on the sabbath, that is, on the day of rest,2 diligently frequent the church of God,3 to hear His word, to use the sacraments,  publicly to call upon the Lord,4 and contribute to the relief of the poor,5 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 begin in this life the eternal sabbath.6

  1  Deut. 12:19Tit. 1:51 Tim. 3:14, 151 Cor. 9:112 Tim. 2:21 Tim. 3:15.

  2  Lev. 23:3.

  3  Acts 2:42, 461 Cor. 14:19, 29, 311 Cor. 11:33.

  4  1 Tim. 2:1.

  5  1 Cor. 16:2.

3      Isa. 66:23.

LORD’S DAY 38

Proper Sabbath Observance

 

1.       What is the fourth commandment?

          “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 not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”  Exodus 20:8-11;Deuteronomy 5:12-15.

2.       What is the first requirement of the fourth commandment?

          That the ministry of the gospel and the schools be maintained.   Deuteronomy 12:19.

3.       What requirement is set forth in the term “Sabbath,” which means “rest”?

          That I cease from my earthly labors and spend the Lord’s day in spiritual activities.  Genesis 2:1-3Hebrews 4:1-11.

4.       What spiritual activity is required of you especially on the Sabbath?

          That I diligently frequent the church of God.  Psalm 122:1Luke 4:16, 31I Corinthians 11:18.

5.       What spiritual activities belong to your worship in the house of God?

          I am called to hear God’s Word, to use the sacraments, publicly to call upon the Lord, and contribute to the relief of the poor, as becomes a Christian.

6.       Why do we observe the “day of rest” on the first day of the week rather than on the seventh?

          Because Christ arose on the first day of the week, thus fulfilling the Old Testament Sabbath.  Hebrews 4:1-11John 20:19, 26I Corinthians 16:1, 2.

7.       What does this commandment require of you in all of life?

          To begin in this life the eternal Sabbath.  Isaiah 66:23.

8.       How do we experience in this life the eternal Sabbath?

      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.  Psalm 27:4.

LORD’S DAY 39

Q. 104.  What doth God require in the fifth commandment?

A.      That I show all honor, love, and fidelity to my father and mother and all in authority over me, and submit myself to their good instruction and correction with due obedience;1 and also patiently bear with their  weaknesses and infirmities,2 since it pleases God to govern us by their hand.3

  1  Eph. 6:1, 2, &c. Col. 3:18, 20Eph. 5:22Rom. 1:31.

  2  Prov. 23:22.

  3  Eph. 6:5, 6. Col.3:19, 21. Rom. 13:1-8Mat. 22:21.

LORD’S DAY 39

Honoring Authority

 

1.       What is the fifth commandment?

          “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth unto thee.”  Exodus 20:12Deuteronomy 5:16.

2.       What does God require in the fifth commandment?

          That I show all honor, love, and fidelity, to my father and mother.  Proverbs 4:3; 10:1.

3.       How do we honor parents?

          By submitting to their good instruction and correction with due obedience.  Proverbs 4:1Ephesians 6:1-3Colossians 3:20.

4.       But are not your parents sinners?

          They are; but I am called to bear patiently with their weakness and infirmities, since it pleases God to govern me by their hand. 

5.       Does the fifth commandment apply only to the authority of parents over children?

          No, it applies to all in authority over me: in the home, the church, the civil government, and in labor.  Hebrews 13:7, 17Romans 13:1-7Ephesians 6:5-9.

6.       What are the implications of the fifth commandment for membership in labor unions?

          Such membership is wrong because labor unions attempt to force the employer to obey the will of the employee, which is contrary to God’s command to obey those in authority.  I Peter 2:18-25.

7.       Is there ever a time when we may disobey those in authority?

          Yes, but only when they require of us disobedience to God’s commands; then we must obey God rather than men.  Acts 5:29.

8.       Does obedience to God ever give us the right to rebel against God-ordained authority?

          Never; we must always submit ourselves to their rule, whether just or unjust.  I Peter 2:19-23.

LORD’S DAY 40

Q. 105.  What doth God require in the sixth commandment?

A.      That neither in thoughts, nor words, nor gestures, much less in deeds, I dishonor, hate, wound, or kill my neighbor, by myself or by another;1 but that I lay aside all desire of revenge;2 also, that I hurt not myself, nor willfully expose myself to any danger.3  Wherefore also the magistrate is armed with the sword to prevent murder.4

  1  Mat. 5:21, 22Prov. 12:18Mat. 26:52.

  2  Eph. 4:26Rom. 12:19Mat. 5:39, 40.

  3  Mat. 4:5-7Col. 2:23.

  4  Gen. 9:6Mat. 26:52Rom. 13:4.

Q. 106.  But this commandment seems only to speak of murder?

A.      In forbidding murder, God teaches us that He abhors the causes thereof, such as envy, hatred, anger, and desire of revenge;1 and that He accounts all these as murder.2

  1  James 1:20Gal. 5:20Rom. 1:291 John 2:9.

  2  1 John 3:15.

Q. 107.  But is it enough that we do not kill any man in the manner mentioned above?

A.      No; for when God forbids envy, hatred, and anger, He commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves;1 to show patience, peace, meekness, mercy, and all kindness towards him,and prevent his hurt as much as in us lies;3 and that we do good, even to our enemies. 4

  1  Mat. 22:39Mat. 7:12.

  2  Rom. 12:10Eph. 4:2Gal. 6:1, 2Mat. 5:5Rom. 12:18Ex. 23:5.

  3  Mat. 5:45.

  4  Rom. 12:20.

LORD’S DAY 40

Murder

 

1.       What is the sixth commandment?

          “Thou shalt not kill.”  Exodus 20:13Deuteronomy 5:17.

2.       What does God forbid in the sixth commandment?

          That neither in thoughts, nor words, nor gestures, much less in deeds, I dishonor, hate, wound, or kill my neighbor, by myself or by another.  Proverbs 12:18Matthew 5:21, 22.

3.       Does the sixth commandment apply to my treatment of myself also?

          Yes, I may not hurt myself, nor willfully expose myself to any danger.

4.       To whom does God give authority to prevent murder?

          The magistrate is armed with the sword to prevent murder.   Romans 13:4.

5.       Does the sixth commandment speak only of murder?

          In forbidding murder God teaches us that He abhors the causes thereof, such as envy, strife, hatred, anger, and desire of revenge; and that He accounts all these as murder.  Galatians 5:20, 21James 1:20I John 3:15.

6.  But is it enough that we do not murder any man?

          No, for when God forbids these sinful desires, He commands us positively to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Matthew 7:12; 22:39.

7.       How do we show love for our neighbor?

      By showing patience, peace, meekness, mercy, and all kindness towards our neighbor, preventing his hurt as much as in us lies, and doing good even to our enemies.  Romans 12:10Galatians 6:2Ephesians 4:2Matthew 5:44, 45.

LORD’S DAY 41

Q. 108.  What doth the seventh commandment teach us?

A.      That all uncleanness is accursed of God;1 and that therefore we must with all our hearts detest the same,2 and live chastely and temperately,3 whether in holy wedlock or in single life.4

  1  Lev. 18:27.

  2  Deut. 29:20-23.

  3  1 Thes. 4:3, 4.

  4  Heb. 13:41 Cor. 7:4-9.

Q. 109.  Doth God forbid in this commandment only adultery and such like gross sins?

A.      Since both our body and soul are temples of the Holy Ghost, He commands us to preserve them pure and holy; therefore He forbids all unchaste actions,1 gestures, words, thoughts, desires,2 and whatever can entice men thereto.3 

  1  Eph. 5:31 Cor. 6:18.

  2  Mat. 5:28.

  3  Eph. 5:181 Cor. 15:33.

LORD’S DAY 41

Adultery

 

1.       What is the seventh commandment?

          “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”  Exodus 20:14Deuteronomy 5:18.

2.       What does the seventh commandment teach us?

          That all uncleanness is accursed of God, and that therefore we must with all our hearts detest the same and live chastely and temperately, whether in marriage or in single life.  Leviticus 18I Thessalonians 4:3, 4Proverbs 5:18-21Hebrews 13:4.

3.       What do the Scriptures teach about divorce?

          To divorce one’s spouse for any other reason than fornication is a violation of the seventh commandment.  Matthew 5:31, 32; 19:9.

4.       What do the Scriptures teach about remarriage after divorce?

          Since divorce does not sever the bond of marriage into which two have entered, remarriage would also violate the seventh commandment.  Mark 10:11, 12Luke 16:18Romans 7:1-3I Corinthians 7:10, 11.

5.       Does God forbid in the seventh commandment only adultery and similar gross sins?

          He also forbids all unchaste actions, gestures, words, thoughts, desires, and whatever entices men to commit adultery.  Matthew 5:27, 28; I Corinthians 15:33Ephesians 5:3.  

6.       What does God require of us in the seventh commandment?

          Since both our body and soul are temples of the Holy Spirit, God commands us to preserve them pure and holy.  I Corinthians 6:18-20.

LORD’S DAY 42

Q. 110.  What doth God forbid in the eighth commandment?

A.      God forbids not only those thefts1 and robberies2 which are punishable by the magistrate; but He comprehends under the name of theft all wicked tricks and devices whereby we design to appropriate to ourselves the goods which belong to our neighbor,3 whether it be by force, or under the appearance of right, as by unjust weights,4 ells, measures,5 fraudulent merchandise, false coins, usury,6 or by any other way forbidden by God; as also all covetousness,7 all abuse and waste of His gifts.

  1  1 Cor. 6:10.

  2  1 Cor. 5:10.

  3  Luke 3:141 Thes. 4:6.

  4  Prov. 11:1.

  5  Ezek. 45:9-11Deut. 25:13.

  6  Psa. 15:5Luke 6:35.

  7  1 Cor. 6:10.

Q. 111.  But what doth God require in this commandment?

A.      That I promote the advantage of my neighbor in every instance I can or may, and deal with him as I desire to be dealt with by others;1 further also that I faithfully labor, so that I may be able to relieve the needy.2

  1  Mat. 7:12.

  2  Prov. 5:16Eph. 4:28.

LORD’S DAY 42

Stealing

 

1.       What is the eighth commandment?

          “Thou shalt not steal.”  Exodus 20:15Deuteronomy 5:19.

2.       What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?

          God forbids those thefts and robberies which are punishable by the magistrates.  I Corinthians 5:10; 6:10.

3.       What does God comprehend under the name of theft?

          All wicked tricks and devices whereby we design to appropriate to ourselves the goods which belong to our neighbor, whether by force or by appearance of right.  Luke 3:14I Thessalonians 4:6.

4.       Can you give some examples of theft by deception?

          Unjust weights, ells, measures, fraudulent merchandise, false coins, and usury.  Psalm 15:5Proverbs 11:1Ezekiel 45:9-11.

5. Does God view as theft anything other than stealing?

          God also comprehends under theft all covetousness and all abuse and waste of His gifts.

6.  What does God require in the eighth commandment?

          That I promote the advantage of my neighbor in every instance that I can or may.  Matthew 5:38-42.

7.       What rule must we follow to promote the advantage of our neighbor?

          That I deal with my neighbor as I desire to be dealt with by   others.  Matthew 7:12.

8.       What does the eighth commandment require of us as far as our earthly labors are concerned?

          That I faithfully labor so that I may be able to relieve the needy.  Proverbs 5:16;   Ephesians 4:28.

LORD’S DAY 43

Q. 112.  What is required in the ninth commandment?

A.      That I bear false witness against no man,1 nor falsify any man’s words;2 that I be no backbiter, nor slanderer;3  that I do not judge, nor join in condemning any man rashly or unheard; but that I avoid all sorts of lies and deceit5 as the proper works of the devil, unless I would bring down upon me the heavy wrath of God;6 likewise, that in judgment and all other dealings I love the truth, speak it uprightly, and confess it;7 also that I defend and promote, as much as I am able, the honor and good character of my neighbor.8 

  1  Prov. 19:5, 9Prov. 21:28.

  2  Psa. 15:3.

  3  Rom. 1:29, 30.

  4  Mat. 7:1, &c. Luke 6:37.

  5  Lev. 19:11.

  6  Prov. 12:22Prov. 13:5.

  7  1 Cor. 13:6Eph. 4:25.

  8  1 Pet. 4:8.

LORD’S DAY 43

Bearing False Witness

 

1.       What is the ninth commandment?

          “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”   Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy  5:20.

2.       What is forbidden by the ninth commandment?

          God forbids that I bear false witness against any man, falsify any man’s words, or judge or join in condemning any man rashly or unheard. Proverbs 19:5, 9; 21:28; Psalm 15:3.

3.       What two sins which characterize us does the ninth command condemn?

          The sins of backbiting (defaming another person) and slander (falsely accusing another person).  Romans 1:29, 30Ephesians 4:25, 31, 32.

4.       What sins does the ninth commandment warn us to avoid?

          All sorts of lies and deceit as the proper works of the devil, unless I would bring down upon me the heavy wrath of God.  Leviticus 19:11Proverbs 12:22; 13:5.

5.       What does God require of us in judgment of others?

          That I love the truth, speak it uprightly, and confess it.   I Corinthians 13:6Ephesians 4:25.

6.       What does God require of us in all our dealing with others?

          That I defend and promote, as much as I am able, the honor and good character of my neighbor.  I Peter 4:8.

LORD’S DAY 44

Q. 113.  What doth the tenth commandment require of us?

A.      That even the smallest inclination or thought contrary to any of God’s commandments never rise in our hearts; but that at all times we hate all sin with our whole heart, and delight in all righteousness.1 

  1  Rom. 7:7, &c.

Q. 114.  But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?

A.      No; but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience;1 yet so, that with a sincere resolution they begin to live not only according to some, but all the commandments of God.2

  1  Rom. 7:14.

  2  Rom. 7:22, 15, &c. James 3:2.

Q. 115.  Why will God then have the ten commandments so strictly preached, since no man in this life can keep them?

A.      First, that all our lifetime we may learn more and more to know our sinful nature,1 and thus become the more earnest in seeking the remission of sin and righteousness in Christ;2 likewise, that we constantly endeavor, and pray to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that we may become more and more conformable to the image of God, till we arrive at the perfection proposed to us in a life to come.3

  1  1 John 1:9Rom. 3:20Rom. 5:13Rom. 7:7.

  2  Rom. 7:24.

  3  1 Cor. 9:24. Phil. 3:12-14.

LORD’S DAY 44

Coveting

 

1.       What is the tenth commandment?

          “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man servant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.”  Exodus 20:17Deuteronomy 5:21.

2.       What does the tenth commandment forbid?

          God forbids that even the smallest inclination or thought contrary to any of His  commandments ever arise in our hearts. 

3.       What does the tenth commandment require of us?

          That at all times we hate sin with our whole heart and delight in all righteousness.  Psalm 119:97, 103, 104.

4.       But can those who are converted to God keep these commandments perfectly?

          No, even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience.

5.       What must be the desire of the believer?

          That with a sincere resolution we begin to live, not only according to some, but all the commandments of God.  Psalm 17:1-5James 2:10-12.

6.       Why will God, then, have the ten commandments so strictly preached, since no man in this life can keep them?

          In order that all our lifetime we may learn more and more to know our sinful nature, and thus become more earnest in seeking the remission of sin and righteousness in Christ. 

7.       But should not these commandments be strictly preached as a rule of thankfulness as well?

      Yes, they must be preached in order that we may constantly endeavor to become more and more conformable to the image of God, and pray to God for grace to do so, till we arrive at the perfection of the life to come. 

LORD’S DAY 45

Q. 116.  Why is prayer necessary for Christians?

A.      Because it is the chief part of thankfulness which God requires of us;1 and also, because God will give His grace and Holy Spirit to those only who with sincere desires continually ask them of Him, and are thankful for them.2

  1  Psa. 50:14, 15.

  2  Mat. 7:7, 8Luke 11:9, 13Mat. 13:12Psa. 50:15.

Q. 117.  What are the requisites of that prayer which is acceptable to God and which He will hear?

A.      First, that we from the heart pray to the one true God only, who hath manifested Himself in His Word,1 for all things He hath commanded us to ask of Him; 2 secondly, that we rightly and thoroughly know our need and misery, that so we may deeply humble ourselves in the presence of His divine majesty;3 thirdly, that we be fully persuaded that He, notwithstanding that we are unworthy of it,4 will, for the sake of Christ our Lord, certainly hear our prayer,5 as He has promised us in His Word.6

  1  John 4:22, 23.

  2  Rom. 8:261 John 5:14.

  3  John 4:23, 24Psa. 145:18.

  4  2 Chron. 20:12.

  5  Psa. 2:11Psa. 34:18, 19Isa. 66:2.

       6 Rom. 10:13Rom. 8:15, 16James 1:6, &c. John 14:13Dan. 9:17, 18Mat. 7:8Psa. 143:1.

 

Q. 118.  What hath God commanded us to ask of Him?

A.      All things necessary for soul and body, which Christ our Lord has comprised in that prayer He Himself has taught us.2

  1  James 1:17Mat. 6:33.

  2  Mat. 6:9, 10, &c. Luke 11:2, &c.

Q. 119.  What are the words of that prayer?

A.      Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come.   Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.   Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.   For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

LORD’S DAY 45

The Necessity of Prayer

 

1.       Why is prayer necessary for Christians?

          Because it is the chief part of thankfulness which God requires of us. 

2.       Is there another reason prayer is necessary?

          God will give His grace and Holy Spirit to those only who with sincere desires continually ask them of Him and are thankful for them.  Luke 11:9.

3.       What is the requirement of that prayer which is acceptable to God?

          That we from the heart pray to the one true God only, who has manifested Himself in His Word, for all things He has commanded us to ask of Him. 

4.       What attitude is required of us to pray properly?

          We must rightly know our need and misery, that we may humble ourselves in the presence of God’s divine majesty. 

5.       Of what must we be fully persuaded in our hearts when we pray?

          That God, notwithstanding that we are unworthy of it, will, for the sake of Christ, hear our prayer, as He has promised us in His Word.  I John 5:14Psalm 145:18.

6.       What has God commanded us to ask of Him?

          All things necessary for soul and body, which Christ has comprised in that prayer He Himself has taught us. 

7.       What are the words of that prayer?

          “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”   Matthew 6:10-13.

LORD’S DAY 46

Q. 120.  Why hath Christ commanded us to address God thus:  “Our Father”?

A.      That immediately, in the very beginning of our prayer, He might excite in us a childlike reverence for and confidence in God, which are the foundation of our prayer, namely, that God is become our Father in Christ, 1 and will much less deny us what we ask of Him in true faith than our parents will refuse us earthly things.2

  1  Mat. 6:9.

  2  Mat. 7:9-11Luke 11:11Isa. 49:15.

Q. 121.  Why is it here added, “Which art in heaven”?

A.      Lest we should form any earthly conceptions of God’s heavenly majesty,1 and that we may expect from His almighty power all things necessary for soul and body.2

  1  Jer. 23:24.

  2  Acts 17:24Rom. 10:12.

LORD’S DAY 46

Addressing God in Prayer

 

1.       Why has Jesus commanded us to address God thus: “Our Father”?

          That immediately, in the very beginning of our prayer, He might excite in us a childlike reverence for and confidence in God. 

2.       Why is it necessary to begin our prayers with childlike reverence for and confidence in God?

          Such reverence and confidence are the foundation of our prayer.  

3.       But is God really our Father?

          God is become our Father in Christ, through whose blood we have been adopted by God to be His very own children. Galatians 4:5, 6.

4.       If God is our Father, of what can we be confident?

          He will much less deny us what we ask of Him in true faith, than our parents will refuse us earthly things.  Matthew 7:9-11Isaiah 49:15.

5.       Why is it added, “Which art in heaven”?

          Lest we should form any earthly conceptions of God’s heavenly majesty.  Isaiah 40:18.

6.       What assurance is ours when we address God as our Father “which art in heaven”?

          We are encouraged to expect from God’s almighty power all things necessary for body and soul.  Romans 10:12.

LORD’S DAY 47

Q. 122.  Which is the first petition?

A.      Hallowed be Thy name;1 that is, grant us, first, rightly to know Thee,2 and to sanctify, glorify, and praise Thee in all Thy works, in which Thy power, wisdom, goodness, justice, mercy, and truth are clearly displayed;3 and further also, that we may so order and direct our whole lives, our thoughts, words, and actions, that Thy name may never be blasphemed, but rather honored and praised on our account.4 

  1  Mat. 6:9.

  2  John 17:3Jer. 9:23, 24Mat. 16:17James 1:5.

  3  Psa. 119:137, 138Luke 1:46Psa. 145:8, 9.

4      Psa. 115:1Psa. 71:8.

LORD’S DAY 47

“Hallowed Be Thy Name”

 

1.       Which is the first petition?

          “Hallowed be Thy name”; that is, grant us, first, rightly to know Thee.

2.       What must we know of God?

          That He alone is the sovereign, almighty, and all glorious God who must be served and adored.  Romans 11:33-36Hebrews 12:28, 29.

3.       How is God’s sovereignty shown to us?

          In all His works, in which His power, wisdom, goodness, justice, mercy, and truth are clearly displayed.  Psalm 8:1Isaiah 40:27-29Lamentations 3:22, 23.

4.       What type of knowledge do we ask of God?

          A spiritual knowledge  by which we are able to sanctify, glorify, and praise Him in all His works. 

5.       What do we request concerning our lives in this first petition?

          We ask of God that we may so direct our whole lives that His name may never be  blasphemed, but rather honored and praised on our account.  Psalm 115:1.

6.       How is God’s name honored and praised by us?

          We order all our thoughts, words, and actions in such a way that by them we always hallow the name of our God.

LORD’S DAY 48

Q. 123.  Which is the second petition?

A.      Thy kingdom come;1 that is, rule us so by Thy Word and Spirit, that we may submit ourselves more and more to Thee;2 preserve and  increase Thy church;3 destroy the works of the devil4 and all violence which would exalt itself against Thee; and also, all wicked counsels devised against Thy holy Word; till the full perfection of Thy kingdom take place,wherein Thou shalt be all in all.6 

  1  Mat. 6:10.

  2  Psa. 119:5.

  3  Psa. 51:18.

  4  1 John 3:8. Rom.16:20.

  5  Rev. 22:17, 20.

5      1 Cor. 15:15, 28.

LORD’S DAY 48

“Thy Kingdom Come”

 

1.       Which is the second petition?

          “Thy kingdom come”; that is, rule us by Thy Word and Spirit that we may submit ourselves more and more unto Thee.  Psalm 119:5.

2.       What request do we make of God as regards His church?

          That He will preserve and increase His church. 

3.       Will Jesus at any time rule over an earthly kingdom?

          Never, for Jesus tells us in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world….”

4.       What then is this kingdom of God for which we pray?

          It is His spiritual rule through the Spirit of Christ in the hearts of His chosen people.  John 3:3, 5Luke 17:20, 21.

5.       What do we ask of God in the second petition as regards the enemies of His kingdom?

          That He destroy the works of the devil, all violence that would exalt itself against Him, and all wicked counsels devised against His holy Word.  Romans 16:20I John 3:8.

6.       To what does the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer direct our desires?

      To the new creation, where the full perfection of God’s kingdom takes place, and wherein God shall be all in all.  John 17:20-24Revelation 22:17, 20.

LORD’S DAY 49

Q. 124.  Which is the third petition?

A. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven;1  that is, grant that we and all men may renounce our own will,2  and without murmuring   obey Thy will,3 which is only good; that so every one may attend to and perform the duties of his station and calling4 as willingly and faithfully as the angels do in heaven.5 

  1  Mat. 6:10.

  2  Mat. 16:24Tit. 2:12.

  3  Luke 22:42.

  4  1 Cor. 7:24Eph. 4:1.

  5  Psa. 103:20.

LORD’S DAY 49

“Thy Will Be Done”

 

1.       Which is the third petition?

          “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”; that is, grant that we and all men may renounce our own will, and without murmuring obey Thy will.   Matthew 16:24Luke 22:42.

2.       How must we distinguish the will of God?

          As the will of His decree and the will of His command.

3.       What is the will of God’s decree?

          It is God’s eternal counsel according to which He works all things in this world.   Ephesians 1:11; I  Thessalonians 4:3.

4.       What is the will of God’s command?

          God’s law, which declares to us what we must think and will, say and do.  Psalm 40:8.

5.       What characterizes the will of God?

          It is infinitely wise and good.  Isaiah 40:12-14Romans 12:2.

6.       What is true of our own will and desires?

          Often our desires arise out of our sinful natures, and are not the will of God.  Romans 8:26James 4:3.

7.       Why must we renounce our will and obey God’s will?

      That everyone may perform the duties of his station and calling, as willingly and faithfully as the angels do in heaven.  Ephesians 4:1Psalm 103:20.

LORD’S DAY 50

Q. 125.  Which is the fourth petition?

A.      Give us this day our daily bread;1  that is, be pleased to provide us with all things necessary for the body,2 that we may thereby acknowledge Thee to be the only fountain of all good,3 and that neither our care nor industry, nor even Thy gifts, can profit us without Thy blessing;4  and therefore that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures and place it alone in Thee.5 

  1  Mat. 6:11.

  2  Psa. 145:15.   Mat. 6:25, &c.

  3  Acts 17:25Acts 14:17.

  4  1 Cor. 15:58Deut. 8:3Psa. 127:1, 2.

6      Psa. 62:11Psa. 55:22.

LORD’S DAY 50

Prayer for Daily Bread

 

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

          “Give us this day our daily bread”; that is, be pleased to provide us with all things necessary for the body.  Psalm 145:15Matthew 6:25-34.

2.       What do we acknowledge concerning God in the fourth petition?

          That God is the only fountain of all good and the giver of every good and perfect gift.  Acts 14:17; 17:25; James 1:17.

3.       What do we acknowledge concerning ourselves in the fourth petition?

          That neither our care nor industry, nor even God’s gifts, can profit us without God’s blessing.  Deuteronomy 8:3Psalm 127:1, 2I Corinthians 15:58.

4.       Does God reveal His grace to the ungodly man when He bestows on Him good gifts?

          No, for the curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked, but the Lord blesses the house of the just.  Proverbs 3:33.

5.       To what end do the good gifts which God bestows upon the ungodly lead?

          God uses those gifts to set him in slippery places and cast him down into destruction.  Psalm 73:17-19Matthew 16:26Romans 12:20.

6.       What do we ask of God concerning our attitude toward our earthly possessions?

      That we may withdraw our trust from all creatures and place it in God alone.  Psalm 55:22; 62:11.

LORD’S DAY 51

Q. 126.  Which is the fifth petition?

A.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors;1 that is, be pleased for the sake of Christ’s blood, not to impute to us poor sinners our transgressions, nor that depravity which always cleaves to us;2 even as we feel this evidence of Thy grace in us, that it is our firm resolution from the heart to forgive our neighbor.3 

  1  Mat. 6:12.

  2  Psa. 51:11 John 2:1, 2.

2      Mat. 6:14, 15.

LORD’S DAY 51

Prayer for Forgiveness

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

          “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”; that is, be pleased not to impute to us poor sinners, our transgressions.   Psalm 51:1.

2.       Why do we speak of sins as debts?

          The justice of God demands that payment be made for every one of our sins; and since we cannot ourselves pay for a single sin, we soon have a mountain of debt before God.

3.       But are not we asking God in the fifth petition to forgive our debts without payment being made? 

          Not at all, but we ask forgiveness for the sake of Christ, who through His death on the cross has made payment for our sins.  Romans 5:9-11I Timothy 2:5, 6.

4.       Do we ask God to forgive only our actual sins?

          No, we also ask Him to forgive the depravity of our natures which always cleaves to us.  Romans 7:23, 24.

5.       What evidence of God’s grace do we feel in us when we experience the forgiveness of sins?

          A firm resolution from the heart to forgive our neighbor.   Matthew 6:14, 15.

6.       Can we be assured of forgiveness if we do not forgive others?

          No, for Jesus emphasizes in the fifth petition that God gives us the grace of forgiveness only as we forgive one another.  Matthew 18:23-35; 6:14, 15.

LORD’S DAY 52

Q. 127.  Which is the sixth petition?

A.      And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;1  that is, since we are so weak in ourselves that we cannot stand a moment;2  and besides this, since our mortal enemies, the devil,3 the world,4 and our own flesh5 cease not to assault us, do Thou therefore preserve and strengthen us by the power of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in this spiritual warfare, but constantly and strenuously may resist our foes,6 till at last we obtain a complete victory.7 

  1  Mat. 6:13.

  2  Rom. 8:26Psa. 103:14.

  3  1 Pet. 5:8.

  4  Eph. 6:12John 15:19.

  5  Rom. 7:23Gal. 5:17.

  6  Mat. 26:41Mark 13:33.

  7  1 Thes. 3:131 Thes. 5:23.

Q. 128.  How dost thou conclude thy prayer?

A.      For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever;1 that is, all these we ask of Thee, because Thou, being our King and almighty, art willing and able to give us all good;2 and all this we pray for, that thereby not we, but Thy holy name, may be glorified for ever.3

  1  Mat. 6:13.

  2  Rom. 10:122 Pet. 2:9.

  3  John 14:13Psa. 115:1. Phil. 4:20.

Q. 129.  What doth the word Amen signify?

A. Amen signifies, it shall truly and certainly be; for my prayer is more assuredly heard of God than I feel in my heart that I desire these things of Him.1 

  1  2 Cor. 1:202 Tim. 2:13.

LORD’S DAY 52

Prayer for Preservation from Evil

 

1.       What is the sixth petition?

          “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”; that is, preserve and strengthen us by Thy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in our spiritual warfare.  Ephesians 6:11-13.

2.       Against whom do we fight in our spiritual warfare?

          Our mortal enemies: the devil, the world, and our own flesh, all of which cease not to assault us.  Ephesians 6:11, 12John 15:19Romans 7:23.

3.       Why do we ask God to preserve and strengthen us?

          Because we are so weak in ourselves that we cannot stand a moment.   Matthew 26:41.

4.       Why do we ask for the power of the Holy Spirit in us?

          That we might strenuously resist our foes till at last we obtain a complete victory.  II Timothy 4:7, 8.

5.       How do we conclude our prayer?

          “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever”; that is, all these we ask of Thee because thou are willing and able to give us all good.

6.       Why is God willing and able to give us all good?

          Because He is our King and He is almighty.  Psalm 145:1, 8, 18, 19.

7.       What desire do we express in the conclusion to our prayers?

          That in all that we pray for, our desire is that not we, but God’s holy name, may be glorified for ever.  Psalm 115:1Philippians 4:20.

8.       What does the word “Amen” signify?

      “Amen” signifies it shall truly and certainly be: for my prayer is more assuredly heard of God, than I feel in my heart that I desire these things of Him.  II  Corinthians 1:20II Timothy 2:13.

Last modified on 02 April 2013
Bruinsma, Wilbur

Rev. Wilbur G. Bruinsma (Wife: Mary)

Ordained: October 1978

Pastorates: Faith, Jenison, MI - 1978; Missionary to Jamaica - 1984; First, Holland, MI - 1989; Kalamazoo, MI - 1996; Eastern Home Missionary - 2006; Pittsburgh PRC - 2016.

Website: www.prcpittsburgh.org/

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