(Adopted August 1980)
In Parallel Columns
after the pattern of his Creator, man wastodemonstratehisdependenceon God and his hope of final consummation of God’s purpose. This covenant required man to respond to God to the full capacity of his being as the image of God.
to rule over all things and bring His covenant people to share His throne and glory (Luke 22:30).
(Larger Catechism: 2-5; Shorter Catechism: 2-3)
1. Although the light of nature and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable;yetaretheynotsufficient to give that knowledge of God and of Hiswill,whichisnecessaryuntosalvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church; and afterwards, for the better preserving and
propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same whollyuntowriting:whichmakeththe Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now ceased. Rom. 2:14-15; Rom. 1:19-20; Ps. 19: 1-3; Rom. 1:32 with 2:1; 1 Cor. 1:21; 1 Cor. 2:13-14; Heb. 1:1; Prov. 22:19-21; Luke 1:3-4; Rom. 15:4; Matt. 4:4, 7, 10; Isa. 8:19-20; 2 Tim. 3:15; 2 Pet. 1:19; Heb. 1:1-2.
be rightly understood only in the light of the written Word. 1 Cor. 1:21.
CONFESSION TESTIMONY CONFESSION TESTIMONY
|by making the authority of its message|
|dependent onthe circumstances orthe|
|subjective experience of the reader.|
|7. We reject the notion that the process|
|of revelation was a mechanical one|
|in which the writers were reduced to|
|8. We also reject all theories of com|
|position that make the writers mere|
|editorsorcollectors of human tradition|
|human accounts or interpretations of|
|religious development under God.|
|9. We reject the teaching that prophecy|
|is history written after the event.|
|2. Under the name of Holy Scripture,|
|or the Word of God written, are now|
|contained all the books of the Old and|
|New Testaments, which are these:|
|Of the Old Testament:|
|Exodus The Song of Songs|
|1 Samuel Joel|
|2 Samuel Amos|
|1 Kings Obadiah|
|2 Kings Jonah|
|1 Chronicles Micah|
|2 Chronicles Nahum|
Of the New Testament:
|1 Corinthians||1 Peter|
|2 Corinthians||2 Peter|
All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life. Luke 16:29, 31; Eph. 2:20; Rev. 22: 18-19; 2 Tim. 3:16.
high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only wayofman’ssalvation,themanyother incomparableexcellencies,andtheentire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts. 1 Tim. 3:15; 1 John 2:20, 27; John 16: 13-14; 1 Cor. 2:10-12; Isa. 59:21.
6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions ofmen.Neverthelessweacknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.
the ground of our faith. It is the work of the Gospel to cast down reasonings against the knowledge of God, and to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:15; 2 Cor. 10:5.
2 Tim. 3:15-17; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Thess. 2: 2; John 6:45; 1 Cor. 2:9-12; 1 Cor. 11: 13-14; 1 Cor. 14:26, 40.
Scriptures, may have hope. Matt. 5:18; Isa. 8:20; Acts 15:15; John 5:39, 46; 1 Cor. 14:6, 9, 11-12, 24, 2728; Col. 3:16; Rom. 15:4.
19. All men have the right to read the Bible, to inquire into its meaning, and to adopt the doctrines it teaches. In studying the Bible men must depend upon the illumination of the Holy Spirit. They must use God-given human faculties and search in earnest for the truth, in submission to the authority of Scripture. In interpreting the Bible consideration must be given to the historical situation in which the passage was written, to the grammatical structure, and to the literary form. The instruction and counsel of fellow believers, of teachers of the Word, and creeds and confessions of the Church should be given due consideration. When men understand the message of the Bible, they must earnestly seek to obey that message in all that they think and do. Acts 2:42; John 5:39; 2 Tim. 2:15; Acts
(Larger Catechism: 7-11; Shorter Catechism: 4-6)
1. There is but one only, living, and true God: who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according 1.ThetrueGodisrevealedinScripture. AnyconceptofGod,howeversincerely held, that is contrary to Scripture is false, and in the end idolatrous. A knowledge of the true God is essential to saving faith. Rom. 10:14-17; Isa. 44:6, 10-17; Acts 17:22-29.
CONFESSION TESTIMONY CONFESSION TESTIMONY
|to the counsel of His own immutable|
|and most righteous will, for His own|
|glory; most loving, gracious, merciful,|
|long-suffering, abundant in goodness|
|and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgres|
|sion, andsin; the rewarder ofthem that|
|diligently seek Him; and withal, most|
|just and terrible in His judgments, hat|
|ing all sin, and who will by no means|
|clear the guilty.|
|Deut. 6:4, 1 Cor. 8:4, 6; 1 Thess. 1:9;|
|Jer. 10:10; Job 11:7-9; Job 26:14; John|
|4:24; 1 Tim. 1:17; Deut. 4:15-16; John|
|4:24 with Luke 24:39; Acts 14:11, 15;|
|Jas. 1:17; Mal. 3:6; 1 Kings 8:27; Jer. 23:|
|23-24; Ps. 90:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Ps. 145:3;|
|Gen. 17:1; Rev. 4:8; Rom. 16:27; Isa. 6:|
|3; Rev. 4:8; Ps. 115:3; Ex. 3:14; Eph. 1:|
|11; Prov. 16:4; Rom. 11:36; 1 John 4:8,|
|16; Ex. 34:6-7; Heb. 11:6; Neh. 9:32-33;|
|Ps. 5:5-6; Nah. 1:2-3; Ex. 34:7.|
|2. God hath all life, glory, goodness,||2. We reject any teaching which denies|
|blessedness, in and of Himself; and is||or obscures the difference between|
|aloneinanduntoHimselfall-sufficient,||God the Creator and man the creature|
|not standing in need of any creatures||or the rest of creation.|
|which He hath made, nor deriving any||Rom. 1:23-25; Acts 5:3-4.|
|glory from them, but only manifest|
|ing His own glory in, by, unto, and|
|upon them: He is the alone fountain|
|of all being, of whom, through whom,|
|and to whom are all things; and hath|
|most sovereign dominion over them,|
|to do by them, for them, or upon them|
|whatsoever Himself pleaseth. In His|
|sight all things are open and manifest;|
|His knowledge is infinite, infallible,|
|and independent upon the creature,|
|so as nothing is to Him contingent,|
|or uncertain. He is most holy in all|
|His counsels, in all His works, and|
|in all His commands. To Him is due|
|from angels and men, and every other|
creature, whatsoever worship, service or obedience He is pleased to require of them. John 5:26; Acts 7:2; Ps. 119:68; 1 Tim. 6:15; Rom. 9:5; Acts 17:24-25; Job 22: 2-3; Rom. 11:36; Rev. 4:11; 1 Tim. 6: 15; Dan. 4:25, 35; Heb. 4:13; Rom. 11: 33-34; Ps. 147:5; Acts 15:18; Ezek. 11:5; Ps. 145:17; Rom. 7:12; Rev. 5:12-14.
3. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. TheFatherisofnone,neitherbegotten, nor proceeding: the Son is eternally begotten of the Father: the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. 1 John 5:7; Matt. 3:16-17; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 1:14, 18; John 15: 26; Gal. 4:6.
3. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are equally to be worshipped by angels and men. Phil. 2:9-10; Heb. 1:2-3, 6, 8; 2 Cor.
7. The Holy Spirit, as the giver of life, is everywhere present and makes manifest the grace of God toward all His creatures. He supplies man’s powers ofreasonandconscience,restrainsHis disposition toward evil, and preserves a degreeofjusticeandmoralityinsociety. His common work for all mankind does not regenerate but leaves those who reject God without excuse. Gen. 1:2; Job 33:4; Ps. 104:30; Job 34: 14-15; Gen. 6:3; Isa. 32:15-17; Rom.
lievers to Christ, dwells in them as their Comforter, guiding, teaching and performing in them all those gracious activities by which they are sanctified andsealeduntothedayofredemption. His guidance and teaching cannot contradict anything written in God’s Word, but makes known the will of God to His people through prayer and submission to the Word. Rom. 8:14, 26-27; 1 Cor. 2:12-16; Eph. 4:30; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Rom. 15:4; John 16:5-11.
12.TheHolySpirit,abidinginbelievers, unites them to Christ the Head, and to one another in the Church which is His body. He imparts various gifts
and graces to all her members that they may serve Christ. He calls and fits His servants for their work, and qualifies all officers of the Church for their particular tasks. He makes effective the Word and the ordinances of the Gospel. ByChristworkingthroughHis Spirit, the Church will be preserved, increased, purified, and, at last, made perfectly holy in the presence of God to all eternity. Eph. 2:14-18; Eph. 4:1-5; Acts 2:4; 1 Cor. 12; Acts 13:2; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; 1 Thess. 1:5-6; John 20:22-23; Matt. 16: 18; Matt. 28:19-20.
(Larger Catechism: 12-14; Shorter Catechism: 7-8)
1. God from all eternity did, by the 1. We reject any teaching which asmostwiseandholycounselofHisown serts that God has not planned all that will, freely, and unchangeably ordain comes to pass. whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of
sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. Eph. 1:11;Rom. 11:33;Heb. 6:17;Rom. 9:15, 18; Jas. 1:13, 17; 1 John 1:5; Acts 2:23; Matt. 17:12; Acts 4:27-28; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33.
2. It is God’s decree which by itself completely determines the course of history; it is never the course of history which in any way determines or modifies God’s decree.
CONFESSION TESTIMONY CONFESSION TESTIMONY
|or perseverance in either of them, or|
|any other thing in the creature, as|
|conditions, or causes moving Him|
|thereunto: and all to the praise of His|
|Eph. 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:30; 2 Tim. 1:9;|
|1 Thess. 5:9; Rom. 9:11, 13, 16; Eph.|
|1:4, 9; Eph. 1:6, 12.|
|6. As God hath appointed the elect|
|unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal|
|and most free purpose of His will,|
|foreordained all the means thereunto.|
|Wherefore they who are elected, be|
|ing fallen in Adam, are redeemed by|
|Christ, are effectually called unto faith|
|in Christ by His Spirit working in due|
|season, are justified, adopted, sanc|
|tified, and kept by His power through|
|faith unto salvation. Neither are any|
|other redeemed by Christ, effectually|
|called, justified, adopted, sanctified,|
|and saved, but the elect only.|
|1 Pet. 1:2; Eph. 1:4-5; Eph. 2:10; 2|
|Thess. 2:13; 1 Thess. 5:9-10; Titus 2:|
|14; Rom. 8:30; Eph. 1:5; 2 Thess. 2:13;|
|1 Pet. 1:5; John 17:9; Rom. 8:28-39;|
|John 6:64-65; John 10:26; John 8:47;|
|1 John 2:19.|
|7. The rest of mankind God was||3. We reject the teaching that God is|
|pleased,accordingtotheunsearchable||unjust in choosing some sinners to|
|counsel of His own will, whereby He||salvation and leaving others to suffer|
|extendethorwithholdeth mercy, asHe||merited condemnation.|
|pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign|
|power over His creatures, to pass by;|
|and to ordain them to dishonour and|
|wrath, for their sin, to the praise of|
|His glorious justice.|
|Matt. 11:25-26; Rom. 9:17-18, 21-22; 2|
|Tim. 2:19-20; Jude 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:8.|
|8. The doctrine of this high mystery of|
predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel. Rom. 9:20; Rom. 11:33; Deut. 29:29; 2 Pet. 1:10; Eph. 1:6; Rom. 11:33; Rom. 11:5-6, 20; 2 Pet. 1:10; Rom. 8:33; Luke 10:20.
(Larger Catechism: 1, 15-17; Shorter Catechism: 1, 9-10)
fulfil it: and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures. Gen. 1:27;Gen. 2:7withEccl. 12:7,and Luke 23:43, and Matt. 10:28; Gen. 1: 26; Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24; Rom. 2:14-15; Eccl. 7:29; Gen. 3:6; Eccl. 7:29; Gen. 2: 17; Gen. 3:8-11, 23; Gen. 1:26, 28.
of varieties which has occurred is within genetic limitations provided at creation. Gen. 1:11, 20, 27; Gen. 2:2.
wealth, environment, health, energy and talents as gifts of God, for which he must give account. Gen. 1:26; Ps. 8:6; Gen. 2:15-17; Heb. 2:5-9; 1 Cor. 4:2; 1 Cor. 10:6, 11; 1 Pet. 4:10-11.
11.TheScripturesteachthateverything belongs to God; that the authority and power to obtain and use goods are givenbyGod;andthatmenaretoseek God’s glory in the use of their goods. The Scriptures direct how goods are to be obtained and used. No existing economicsystemincorporatesallthese teachings. 1 Cor. 10:26; Deut. 8:18; 2 Chron. 1: 12; Luke 12:13-21; Ps. 112; Acts 5:4; 1 Tim. 6:6-10, 17-19; Jas. 4:13.
propertyrightsandthatthestatehasno right to protect the weak and restrain evil in economic affairs.
14. We reject that form of socialism whichdeniestherighttoownproperty. We warn against the concentration of economic power in the hands of the state, as it tends to deprive men of the due reward of their labor. Deut. 17:14-20; 1 Sam. 8:10-18.
15.TheScripturesrequiretheChristian to exercise stewardship over his possessions. In view of that requirement, he should contribute gladly to the Lord’s work and give generously to the poor and needy. Under the old covenant the Lord required the practice of tithing. Recognizing the greater blessings under the new covenant and thefactthatChristendorsedtithing,the Christian should respond out of love by giving at least as great a proportion of his income to the Lord’s work through the Church. Deut. 26:12-15; Mal. 3:10; Matt. 23:23.
Mic. 2:2; 1 Cor. 10:24; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 6:6-10, 17-19.
Chapter 5: Of Providence
(Larger Catechism: 18-20, 141-142; Shorter Catechism: 11-12)
21:13 with Deut. 19:5; 1 Kings 22:28, 34; Isa. 10:6-7.
3. God in His ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to workwithout,above,andagainstthem at His pleasure. Acts 27:31, 44; Isa. 55:10-11; Hos. 2:2122; Hos. 1:7; Matt. 4:4; Job 34:20; Rom. 4:19-21; 2 Kings 6:6; Dan. 3:27.
CONFESSION TESTIMONY CONFESSION TESTIMONY
|character is demonstrated in the way|
|of unwarranted gambling the Chris|
|tian should avoid are lotteries, bingo|
|for gain, wagerings, raffles and bets.|
|Many of the same objections may be|
|brought against sweepstakes, door|
|prizes, drawings and other similar|
|practices. The Church should testify|
|against the dependence of public|
|agencies on revenues derived from|
|2 Thess. 3:9-10; Prov. 15:27; Prov. 16:|
|33; Ex. 20:15, 17; 1 Tim. 6:9-11.|
|4. The almighty power, unsearchable|
|wisdom, and infinite goodness of God|
|sofar manifestthemselves in Hisprovi|
|dence, that it extendeth itself even to|
|the first fall, and all other sins of angels|
|and men; and that not by a bare per|
|mission, but such as hath joined with|
|it a most wise and powerful bounding,|
|and otherwise ordering and governing|
|of them, in a manifold dispensation,|
|to His own holy ends; yet so, as the|
|sinfulness thereof proceedeth only|
|from the creature, and not from God,|
|who, being most holy and righteous,|
|neither is, nor can be, the author or|
|approver of sin.|
|Rom. 11:32-34; 2 Sam. 24:1 with 1|
|Chron. 21:1; 1 Kings 22:22-23; 1 Chron.|
|4:27-28; Acts 14:16; Ps. 76:10; 2 Kings|
|19:28; Gen. 50:20; Isa. 10:6-7, 12; Jas.|
|1:13-14, 17; 1 John 2:16; Ps. 50:21.|
|5. The most wise, righteous, and gra|
|cious God doth oftentimes leave for a|
|season His own children to manifold|
|own hearts, to chastise them for their|
former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and, to raise them to amorecloseandconstantdependence for their support upon Himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends. 2 Chron. 32:25-26, 31; 2 Sam. 24:1; 2 Cor. 12:7-9; Ps. 73; Ps. 77:1-12; Mark 14:66-72 with John 21:15-17.
5. Satan has power in the world which includespredictionsofthefuture,signs and wonders that deceive, and possession of persons. Satan often duplicates that which belongs to God even to the establishment of churches that serve him. Therefore Christians are to fleetheworkingofSataninsuchthings as fortune telling, horoscopes, astrology, palmistry, witchcraft, conjurings, seances, drug experiences and Satan worship. 2 Kings 23:24; Acts 16:16; Eph. 6:12; Lev. 20:27; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; Dan. 4:7; Isa. 47:12-15; Deut. 18:10-14; 2 Thess. 2: 8-10; Rev. 2:11.
Chapter 6 Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof
(Larger Catechism: 21-29; 149-152; Shorter Catechism: 13-19; 82-84)
1. Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptation of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory. Gen. 3:13; 2 Cor. 11:3; Rom. 11:32.
2.Bythissintheyfellfromtheiroriginal righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. Gen. 3:6-8; Eccl. 7:29; Rom. 3:23; Gen. 2:17; Eph. 2:1; Titus 1:15; Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10-19.
3. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation. Gen. 1:27-28, and Gen. 2:16-17, and Acts 17:26 with Rom. 5:12, 15-19, and 1 Cor. 15:21-22, 49; Ps. 51:5; Gen. 5:3; Job 14:4; Job 15:14.
4.Fromthisoriginalcorruption,where-1. This corruption of man’s nature is by we are utterly indisposed, disabled, commonly called total depravity. Two and made opposite to all good, and examples in the Scripture demonstrate wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed that being human is not equivalent to all actual transgressions. being sinful—that of Adam before the Rom. 5:6; Rom. 8:7; Rom. 7:18; Col. 1: fall and of Christ in His human nature. 21; Gen. 6:5; Gen. 8:21; Rom. 3:10-12; Sincethefalleverypartofman’snature Jas. 1:14-15; Eph. 2:2-3; Matt. 15:19. is affected by sin. His understanding is
darkened; he is motivated by wrong
5.Thiscorruptionofnature,duringthis life, doth remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be, through Christ, pardoned and mortified, yet both itself and all the motions thereof are truly and properly sin. 1 John 1:8, 10; Rom. 7:14, 17-18, 23; Jas. 3:2; Prov. 20:9; Eccl. 7:20; Rom. 7:5, 7-8, 25; Gal. 5:17.
6. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner; whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal. 1 John 3:4; Rom. 2:15; Rom. 3:9, 19; Eph. 2:3; Gal. 3:10; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 4:18; Rom. 8:20; Lam. 3:39; Matt. 25: 41; 2 Thess. 1:9.
principles,isrebelliousandwhollyunable of his own will to love God or to obtain salvation. Natural men are not equally evil, nor as evil as they might be. They may conform to some human standards of goodness. Heb. 4:15; Gen. 6:5; Rom. 5:12-17; Rom. 8:7; Rom. 3:23; Rom. 7:18; Eph. 4:18; Gen. 3:22; Mark 10:20.
2. Every man was created in the image of God. His life, therefore, whether he is regenerate or unregenerate, should be recognized as having value to himself, to society, and to God. Prov. 16:4; Gen. 9:5-6; Matt. 10:29-31; Gen. 1:27; Rom. 5:7-8; Acts 17:24-29; Rom. 9:20-24.
Chapter 7: Of God’s Covenant with Man
(Larger Catechism: 30-36; Shorter Catechism: 16-20)
second death, Rev. 20:14-15) for all men. They therefore may enjoy the creation and have some fruitful toil in it for God’s glory, even though they be rebellious against Him. This is usually called common grace. Heb.12:14;2Cor.5:10,21;Col.1:16-20; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gen. 4:20-24; Ps. 76:10.
Supper: which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory; yet, in them, it is held forth in more fulness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the New Testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations. Col. 2:17; Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:2325; Heb. 12:22-28; Jer. 31:33-34; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 2:15-19; Luke 22:20; Gal. 3:14, 16; Rom. 3:21-23, 30; Ps. 32:1 with Rom. 4:3, 6, 16-17, 23-24; Heb. 13:8; Acts 15:11.
Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator
(Larger Catechism: 32-55, 57; Shorter Catechism: 21-28)
time was come, take upon Him man’s nature,withalltheessential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, compostition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man. John 1:1, 14; 1 John 5:20; Phil. 2:6; Gal. 4:4; Heb 2:14, 16-17; Heb. 4:15; Luke 1:27, 31, 35; Gal 4:4; Luke 1:35; Col. 2:9; Rom. 9:5; 1 Pet. 3:18; 1 Tim. 3:16; Rom. 1:3-4; 1 Tim. 2:5.
menanddevils.Hemakesthem,andall their counsels and efforts, serve God’s glory in the plan of redemption. Rom. 8:28; Eph. 1:22-23; John 17:1-5; Luke 9:26.
might discharge, He was made under the law, and did perfectly fulfil it, endured most grievous torments immediately in His soul, and most painful sufferings in His body; was crucified, and died; was buried, and remained under the power of death; yet saw no corruption. On the third day He arose from the dead, with the same body in which He suffered, with which also He ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of His Father, making intercession, and shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the world. Ps. 40:7-8 with Heb. 10:5-10; John 10: 18; Phil. 2:8; Gal. 4:4; Matt. 3:15; Matt. 5:17; Matt. 26:37-38; Luke 22:44; Matt. 27:46;Matt.26––27;Phil.2:8;Acts2:2324, 27; Acts 13:37; Rom. 6:9; 1 Cor. 15: 3-4; John 20:25, 27; Mark 16:19; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 9:24; Heb. 7:25; Rom. 14: 9-10; Acts 1:11; Acts 10:42; Matt. 13: 40-42; Jude 6; 2 Pet. 2:4.
5. The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience, and sacrifice of Himself, which He, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of His Father; and purchased, not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdomofheaven,forallthosewhom the Father hath given unto Him. Rom. 5:19; Heb. 9:14, 16; Heb 10:14; Eph. 5:2; Rom. 3:25-26; Dan. 9:24, 26; Col. 1:19-20; Eph. 1:11, 14; John 17:2; Heb. 9:12, 15.
ofGrace,andindoingso,accomplishes the Covenant of Works. Heb. 1:3; Heb. 2:5-9; Col. 1:16-20; Rev. 21:24-27.
6. Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after His incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof were communicated unto the elect in all ages successively from the beginning oftheworld,in andbythosepromises, types, and sacrifices, wherein He was revealed, and signified to be the seed of the woman which should bruise the serpent’s head; and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world: being yesterday and today the same, and for ever. Gal. 4:4-5; Gen. 3:15; Rev. 13:8; Heb.
ment or particular redemption. John 10:14-15, 25-30; John 3:16; Acts 20:28; Rev. 5:9; John 17:9-10.
8. The reprobate, because of their connection with God’s elect who live among them, are partakers of some benefits which flow from Christ’s death;divinejudgmentsaresometimes averted for the sake of the saints; the peace and prosperity of nations are furthered by the providence of God over His people; benevolence and temperance are promoted by the Church’s teaching and influence; and
such manner, and ways, as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation. John 6:37, 39; John 10:15-16; 1 John 2:1-2; Rom. 8:34; John 15:13, 15; Eph. 1:7-9; John 17:6; John 14:26; Heb. 12: 2; 2 Cor. 4:13; Rom. 8:9, 14; Rom. 15: 18-19; John 17:17; Ps. 110:1; 1 Cor. 15: 25-26; Mal. 4:2-3; Col. 2:15.
the world is continued under its present administration until all the elect are brought to salvation. Isa. 45:1-4; Matt. 5:13-14; Matt. 13:29; Isa. 65:8; Matt. 24:22; Jer. 29:7; Gen. 39:5; Gal. 6:10; Gen. 18:26; Ps. 75:3; Gen. 9:11.
Chapter 9: Of Free Will
age under sin; and, by His grace alone, enableshimfreelytowillandtodothat whichisspirituallygood;yetso,asthat by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil. Col. 1:13; John 8:34, 36; Phil. 2:13; Rom. 6:18, 22; Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:15, 18-19, 21, 23.
5. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone, in the state of glory only. Eph. 4:13; Heb. 12:23; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24.
1. We reject the teaching that the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is dependent upon the exercise of man’s free will.
Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling
(Larger Catechism: 66-68; Shorter Catechism: 31-32)
1. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart
of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by His almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace. Rom. 8:30; Rom. 11:7; Eph. 1:10-11; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Cor. 3:3, 6; Rom. 8:2; Eph. 2:1-5; 2 Tim. 1:9-10; Acts 26:18; 1 Cor. 2:10, 12; Eph. 1:17-18; Ezek. 36: 26; Ezek. 11:19; Phil. 2:13; Deut. 30:6; Ezek. 36:27; Eph. 1:19; John 6:44-45; Song of Sol. 1:4; Ps. 110:3; John 6:37; Rom. 6:16-18.
2. This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it. 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:4-5; Eph. 2:4-5, 8-9; Rom.9:11;1Cor.2:14;Rom.8:7;Eph.2: 5; John 6:37; Ezek. 36:27; John 5:25.
3.Electinfants,dyingininfancy,areregenerated,andsavedbyChristthrough the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth: so also, are all other elect persons who are uncapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word. Luke 18:15-16, and Acts 2:38-39, and John 3:3, 5, and 1 John 5:12, and Rom.
8:9 compared; John 3:8; 1 John 5:12; Acts 4:12.
4. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common Deut. 29:29; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:4647; 2 Tim. 2:19.
3.Wereject theteachingthattheGospel offer of salvation is freely and truly offered only to the elect. We reject the teaching that particular redemption is to be so understood and presented that Christ as ransom and propitiation is not preached or offered to all men indiscriminately.
operations of the Spirit, yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the law of that religion they do profess. And, to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested. Matt. 22:14; Matt. 7:22; Matt. 13:20-21; Heb. 6:4-5; John 6:64-66; John 8:24; Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Eph. 2:12; John 4:22; John 17:3; 2 John 9-11; 1 Cor. 16: 22; Gal. 1:6-8.
8. Evangelism is not only to seek the conversion of sinners but also to build them up to become effective in the Church’s continuing task. Col. 1:27-28; Eph. 4:12-15.
Chapter 11: Of Justification
(Larger Catechism: 70-73, 77; Shorter Catechism: 32-33, 36)
1. Those whom God effectually calleth, He also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous, not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, astheirrighteousness,butbyimputing theobedienceandsatisfactionofChrist unto them, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God. Rom. 8:30; Rom. 3:24; Rom. 4:5-8; 2 Cor. 5:19, 21; Rom. 3:22, 24-25, 2728; Titus 3:5, 7; Eph. 1:7; Jer. 23:6; 1 1. Justification is a legal declaration that the sinner is acquitted from the guiltofsin,andisconsideredrighteous before God. Although he is still an unworthy sinner, yet because he is united to Christ, he has Christ’s perfect righteousness imputed to him.
Cor. 1:30-31; Rom. 5:17-19; Acts 10: 43; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9; Acts 13:38-39; Eph. 2:7-8.
Chapter 12: Of Adoption
(Larger Catechism: 74; Shorter Catechism: 32, 34, 36)
1. All those that are justified, God 1. All the elect, and only they, are vouchsafeth, in and for His only Son adopted into the family of God. The Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the adoptionofsaintsundertheOldTestagrace of adoption: by which they are ment dispensation was as real as that taken into the number, and enjoy the under the New Testament, although liberties and privileges of the children they were regarded as children under ofGod,haveHisnameputuponthem, age. Under the New Testament God receive the spirit of adoption, have ac-bestowsHisSpiritmoreabundantly.He cess to the throne of grace with bold-givesmoreknowledgeof,andintimacy ness, are enabled to cry, Abba, Father, with, Himself. He receives on equal arepitied,protected,providedfor,and grounds those from every part of the chastened by Him as by a father; yet world. He allows greater boldness in never cast off, but sealed to the day of approaching Him.
redemption, and inherit the promises, as heirs of everlasting salvation. Eph. 1:5; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 8:17; John 1:12; Jer. 14:9; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rev. 3:12; Rom. 8:15; Eph. 3:12; Rom. 5:2; Gal. 4:6; Ps. 103:13; Prov. 14:26; Matt. 6: 30, 32; 1 Pet. 5:7; Heb. 12:6; Lam. 3: 31; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 6:12; 1 Pet. 1:3-4; Heb. 1:14.
Eph. 1:5; Gal. 3:9; Heb. 13:9-10; Rom. 9:4; Jer. 3:4; Gal. 4:1-5; Matt. 11:11; 2 Cor. 3:10-18; Rom. 9:26; Ps. 72:17.
andtheuniversal brotherhoodof men, which denies the distinction between the saved and the unsaved. 1 John 2:23; John 8:44.
6. We reject the teaching that sonship, conferred in adoption, will ever be annulled by God.
Chapter 13: Of Sanctification
(Larger Catechism: 75-78; Shorter Catechism: 32, 35-36)
1. God’s work of sanctification is designed to restore the whole person after the image of God. The moral law of God, perfectly fulfilled in the life of Christ, reveals God’s holiness and declares His will to man, and is therefore the standard for sanctification. Rom. 8:29; 1 Thess. 5:23-24.
the whole man; yet imperfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part: whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. 1 Thess. 5:23; 1 John 1:10; Rom. 7:18, 23; Phil. 3:12; Gal. 5:17; 1 Pet. 2:11.
3. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may muchprevail;yetthroughthecontinual supply of strength from the sanctifying SpiritofChrist,theregeneratepartdoth overcome; and so, the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Rom. 7:23; Rom. 6:14; 1 John 5:4; Eph. 4:15-16; 2 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Cor. 7:1.
Chapter 14: Of Saving Faith
(Larger Catechism: 60, 72-73; Shorter Catechism: 29-30)
1. Saving faith is the gift of the triune God. It is the Father’s will that the elect should be united to Christ by faith. The Son,byHisdeath,providedthatsaving faith should be freely granted to them. The Holy Spirit, therefore, regenerates each one of them, enabling them to receive Jesus Christ by faith as their Lord and Savior. Rom. 3:25-26; Rom. 1:16-17; Col. 2:
12; Phil. 1:29; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1: 3; Eph. 1:3-14; Rom. 8:28-29.
3. This faith is different in degrees, weakorstrong;maybeoftenandmany ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory; growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith. Heb. 5:13-14; Rom. 4:19-20; Matt. 6: 30; Matt. 8:10; Luke 22:31-32; Eph. 6: 16; 1 John 5:4-5; Heb. 6:11-12; Heb. 10:22; Col. 2:2; Heb. 12:2.
erate people can be persuaded to believe without the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Rom. 9:16; Titus 3:5.
Chapter 15: Of Repentance Unto Life
(Larger Catechism: 76, 153, 194; Shorter Catechism: 85, 87)
4. As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation, so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent. Rom. 6:23; Rom. 5:12; Matt. 12:36; Isa. 55:7; Rom. 8:1; Isa. 1:16, 18.
5.Menoughtnottocontentthemselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins, particularly. Ps. 19:13; Luke 19:8; 1 Tim. 1:13, 15.
6. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof; upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy; so, he that scandalizeth his brother, or the Church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession, and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended, who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him. Ps. 51:4-5, 7, 9, 14; Ps. 32:5-6; Prov. 28: 13; 1 John 1:9; Jas. 5:16; Luke 17:3-4;
which they no longer have need of repentance. 1 Tim. 1:15.
Josh. 7:19; Ps. 51; 2 Cor. 2:8.
Chapter 16: Of Good Works
(Larger Catechism: 60, 73, 78; Shorter Catechism: 35)
CONFESSION TESTIMONY CONFESSION TESTIMONY CONFESSION TESTIMONY
|stop themouths ofthe adversaries, and|
|glorify God,whose workmanship they|
|are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto;|
|that, having their fruit unto holiness,|
|they may have the end, eternal life.|
|Jas. 2:18, 22; Ps. 116:12-13; 1 Pet. 2:9;|
|1 John 2:3, 5; 2 Pet. 1:5-10; 2 Cor. 9:2;|
|Matt. 5:16; Titus 2:5, 9-12; 1 Tim. 6:1;|
|1 Pet. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:12; Phil. 1:11; John|
|15:8; Eph. 2:10; Rom. 6:22.|
|3. Their ability to do good works is not|
|Spirit of Christ. And that they may be|
|enabled thereunto, besides the graces|
|they have already received, there is|
|required an actual influence of the|
|same Holy Spirit, to work in them to|
|will and to do of His good pleasure:|
|yet are they not hereupon to grow|
|negligent, as if they were not bound|
|to perform any duty, unless upon a|
|special motion of the Spirit; but they|
|ought to be diligent in stirring up the|
|grace of God that is in them.|
|John 15:4-5; Ezek. 36:26-27; Phil. 2:13;|
|Phil. 4:13; 2 Cor. 3:5; Phil. 2:12; Heb.|
|6:11-12; 2 Pet. 1:3, 5, 10-11; Isa. 64:7; 2|
|Tim. 1:6; Acts 26:6-7; Jude 1:20-21.|
|4. They, who in their obedience at|
|tain to the greatest height which is|
|possible in this life, are so far from|
|being able to supererogate, and to do|
|more than God requires, as that they|
|fall short of much which in duty they|
|are bound to do.||3. We reject the idea that we, by good|
|Luke 17:10; Neh. 13:22; Job 9:2-3;||works, can win favor with God, either|
|Gal. 5:17.||for ourselves or for others.|
|Rom. 3:20; Isa. 64:6.|
|5. We cannot, by our best works, merit|
|pardon of sin, or eternal life at the|
|hand of God, by reason of the great|
|disproportion that is between them|
|and the glory to come; and the infinite|
|distance that is between us and God,|
|whom, by them, we can neither profit,|
|nor satisfy for the debt of our former|
|sins, but when we have done all we|
|can, we have done but our duty, and|
|as they are good, they proceed from|
|His Spirit; and as they are wrought by|
|us, they are defiled, and mixed with|
|so much weakness and imperfection,|
|that they cannot endure the severity|
|of God’s judgment.|
|Rom. 3:20; Rom. 4:2, 4, 6; Eph. 2:8-9;|
|Titus 3:5-7; Rom. 8:18; Ps. 16:2; Job|
|22:2-3; Job 35:7-8; Luke 17:10; Gal. 5:|
|22-23; Isa. 64:6; Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:15,|
|18; Ps. 143:2; Ps. 130:3.|
|6. Yet notwithstanding, the persons|
|of believers being accepted through|
|Christ, their good works also are ac|
|cepted in Him, not as though they|
|were in this life wholly unblameable|
|and unreprovable in God’s sight; but|
|that He, looking upon them in His|
|Son, is pleased to accept and reward|
|that which is sincere, although ac|
|companied with many weaknesses|
|Eph. 1:6; 1 Pet. 2:5; Ex. 28:38; Gen. 4:|
|4 with Heb. 11:4; Job 9:20; Ps. 143:2;|
|Heb. 13:20-21; 2 Cor. 8:12; Heb. 6:10;|
|Matt. 25:21, 23.|
|7. Works done by unregenerate men,||4. By God’s grace, many unregener|
|although, for the matter of them, they||ate men have generous impulses and|
|may be things which God commands,||may lead outwardly moral lives. Yet|
|and of good use both to themselves||good works are only those things|
|and others: yet, because they proceed||done in obedience to His revealed|
|not from a heart purified by faith; nor||will, out of sincere love for Him and|
|are done in a right manner according||desire to serve Him. The Christian may|
to the Word; nor to a right end, the glory of God; they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God. And yet, their neglect of them is more sinful, and displeasing unto God. 2 Kings 10:30-31; 1 Kings 21:27, 29; Phil. 1:15-16, 18; Gen. 4:5 with Heb. 11:4, 6; 1 Cor. 13:3; Isa. 1:12; Matt. 6: 2, 5, 16; Hag. 2:14; Titus 1:15; Amos 5:21-22; Hos. 1:4; Rom. 9:16; Titus 3:5; Ps. 14:4; Ps. 36:3; Job 21:14-15; Matt. 25:41-43, 45; Matt. 23:23.
work with unbelievers in seeking the good of society, but his chief motive should be the glory of God. Christians should avoid any voluntary association in which they cannot maintain a consistent testimony for Christ. Rom. 14:23; Eph. 2:10; John 15:5; Rom. 12:1-2.
Chapter 17: Of the Perseverance of the Saints
(Larger Catechism: 79-81; Shorter Catechism: 35-36)
1. They, whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally, nor finally, fall away from the state of grace: but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. Phil. 1:6; 2 Pet. 1:10; John 10:28-29; 1 John 3:9; 1 Pet. 1:5, 9.
CONFESSION TESTIMONY CONFESSION TESTIMONY
|2. This perseverance of the saints de|
|pends not upon their own free will,|
|but upon the immutability of the de|
|cree of election, flowing from the free|
|and unchangeable love of God the|
|Father; upon the efficacy of the merit|
|and intercession of Jesus Christ; the|
|abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed|
|of God within them; and the nature of|
|the covenant of grace; from all which|
|ariseth also the certainty and infalli|
|2 Tim. 2:18-19; Jer. 31:3; Heb. 10:10,|
|14; Heb. 13:20-21; Heb. 9:12-15; Rom.|
|8:33-39; John 17:11, 24; Luke 22:32;|
|Heb. 7:25; John 14:16-17; 1 John 2:|
|27; 1 John 3:9; Jer. 32:40; John 10:28;|
|2 Thess. 3:3; 1 John 2:19.|
|3. Nevertheless, they may, through the||5. We reject the accusation that the|
|temptations of Satan and of the world,||doctrine of the perseverance of the|
|theprevalencyofcorruptionremaining||saints is opposed to the believers’|
|in them, and the neglect of the means||responsibility to pursue their own|
|of their preservation, fall into grievous||growth in holiness.|
|sins; and, for a time, continue therein:|
|whereby they incur God’s displeasure,|
|and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to|
|be deprived of some measure of|
|their graces and comforts, have their|
|wounded, hurt and scandalize others,|
|and bring temporal judgments upon|
|Matt. 26:70, 72, 74; Ps. 51:title and vs.|
|14; Isa. 64:5, 7, 9; 2 Sam. 11:27; Eph.|
|4:30; Ps. 51:8, 10, 12; Rev. 2:4; Song|
|of Sol. 5:2-4, 6; Isa. 63:17; Mark 6:52;|
|Mark 16:14; Ps. 32:3-4; Ps. 51:8; 2 Sam.|
|12:14; Ps. 89:31-32; 1 Cor. 11:32.|
Chapter 18: Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation
(Larger Catechism: 80-81; Shorter Catechism: 36)
1. Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselveswithfalsehopes,andcarnal presumptions of being in the favour of God, and estate of salvation; which hope of theirs shall perish: yet such as trulybelieveintheLordJesus,andlove Himinsincerity,endeavouringtowalk in all good conscience before Him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed. Job 8:13-14; Mic. 3:11; Deut. 29:19; John 8:41; Matt. 7:22-23; 1 John 2:3; 1 John 3:14, 18-19, 21, 24; 1 John 5:13; Rom. 5:2, 5.
2.Thiscertaintyisnotabareconjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith, founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation, the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God: which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption. Heb. 6:11, 19; Heb. 6:17-18; 2 Pet. 1: 4-5, 10-11; 1 John 2:3; 1 John 3:14; 2 Cor. 1:12; Rom. 8:15-16; Eph. 1:13-14; Eph. 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:21-22.
sacraments or the use of any other means of grace is a proper basis of assurance.
temptation, by God’s withdrawing the light of His countenance, and suffering even such as fear Him to walk in darkness and to have no light: yet are theyneverutterlydestitute ofthat seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart, and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived; and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair. Song of Sol. 5:2-3, 6; Ps. 51:8, 12, 14; Eph. 4:30-31; Ps. 77:1-10; Matt. 26:6972; Ps. 31:22; Ps. 88; Isa. 50:10; 1 John 3:9; Luke 22:32; Job 13:15; Ps. 73:15; Ps. 51:8, 12; Isa. 50:10; Mic. 7:7-9; Jer. 32:40; Isa. 54:7-10; Ps. 22:1; Ps. 88.
10. We reject the teaching that a full assuranceofsalvationissoinseparably connected with saving faith that a believer cannot be saved without it.
11.Werejecttheteachingthatassurance of salvation leads to complacency, or is unimportant to the life and walk of faith, to prayer, and to good works.
Chapter 19: Of the Law of God
(Larger Catechism: 91-148; Shorter Catechism: 40-81)
1. This law is still the rule of God’s judgment of men. Christ has fulfilled the requirements of the law for His people by His perfect obedience and His propitiation for their sins. Gal. 3:10-14; Matt. 5:17-18.
duty to man. Jas. 1:25; Jas. 2:8, 10-12; Rom. 13:8-9; Deut. 5:32; Deut. 10:4; Ex. 34:1; Matt. 22:37-40.
6.Althoughtruebelieversbenotunder the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs, and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives; so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin; together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of His obedience. It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof; although not as due to them by the law, as a covenant of works. So as, a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law; and not under grace. Rom. 6:14; Gal. 2:16; Gal. 3:13; Gal. 4: 4-5; Acts 13:39; Rom. 8:1; Rom. 7:12, 22, 25; Ps. 119:4-6; 1 Cor. 7:19; Gal. 5:14, 16, 18-23; Rom. 7:7; Rom. 3:20; Jas. 1:23-25; Rom. 7:9, 14, 24; Gal. 3: 24; Rom. 7:24-25; Rom. 8:3-4; Jas. 2: 11; Ps. 119:101, 104, 128; Ezra 9:13-14; Ps. 89:30-34; Lev. 26:1-14 with 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 6:2-3; Ps. 37:11 with Matt.
5:5; Ps. 19:11; Gal. 2:16; Luke 17:10; Rom. 6:12, 14; 1 Pet. 3:8-12 with Ps. 34:12-16; Heb. 12:28-29.
7. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that, freely and cheerfully, which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done. Gal. 3:21; Ezek. 36:27; Heb. 8:10 with Jer. 31:33.
Chapter 20: Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience
(Larger Catechism: 28, 45, 83; Shorter Catechism: 2, 26)
1. The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the Gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law; and, in their being delivered from this present evil world,bondagetoSatan,anddominion of sin; from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; as also, in theirfreeaccesstoGod,andtheiryielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind. All which were common also to believers under the law. But, under the new testament, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected; and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the
law did ordinarily partake of. Titus 2:14; 1 Thess. 1:10; Gal. 3:13; Gal. 1:4; Col. 1:13; Acts 26:18; Rom. 6:14; Rom. 8:28; Ps. 119:71; 1 Cor. 15: 54-57; Rom. 8:1; Rom. 5:1-2; Rom. 8: 14-15; 1 John 4:18; Gal. 3:9, 14; Gal. 4: 1-3, 6-7; Gal. 5:1; Acts 15:10-11; Heb. 4:14, 16; Heb. 10:19-22; John 7:38-39; 2 Cor. 3:13, 17-18.
4. Conscience is a sense of right and wrong by which one evaluates his own thoughts and behavior. When one follows his conscience, he feels a measure of contentment; when he violates his conscience, he feels distress. Conscience is natural to man, and implies his accountability to God, but it is not the rule of faith and practice. Conscience shows the work of the law written on the heart, but is distorted by the work of Satan, by man’ssinfulnature,andbytheungodly standards of the world. The Christian’s conscience is to be directed by God’s revealed law, under the illumination of the Holy Spirit, with due attention to the teaching and admonition of the brethren. Although conscience is not infallible, a person should not do what he believes to be wrong. Rom. 2:14-15; 2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Tim. 4: 2-3; Rom. 12:1-2; Matt. 15:9; 2 Tim. 3: 16-17; Ps. 143:10; Rom. 8:5-9; Col. 3: 16; Rom. 14:14, 23.
righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:16; 2 Pet. 2:19; John 8:34; Luke 1:74-75.
4. And because the powers which God hath ordained, and the liberty which Christ hath purchased, are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another; they who, upon pretence of Christianliberty,shallopposeanylawful power, or the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God. And, for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity, whether concerning faith, worship or conversation; or, to the power of godliness;or,sucherroneousopinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ hath established in the Church, theymaylawfullybecalledtoaccount, andproceededagainstbythecensures of the Church, and by the power of the civil magistrate. Matt. 12:25; 1 Pet. 2:13-14, 16; Rom. 13:1-8; Heb. 13:17; Rom. 1:32 with 1 Cor. 5:1, 5, 11, 13; 2 John 10-11, and 2 Thess. 3:14, and 1 Tim. 6:3-5, and Titus 1:10-11, 13, and Titus 3:10 with Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Tim. 1:19-20; Rev. 2: 2, 14-15, 20; Rev. 3:9; Deut. 13:6-12; Rom. 13:3-4 with 2 John 10-11; Ezra 7: 23, 25-28; Rev. 17:12, 16-17; Neh. 13: 15, 17, 21-22, 25, 30; 2 Kings 23:5-6, 9, 20-21; 2 Chron. 34:33; 2 Chron. 15: 12-13, 16; Dan. 3:29; 1 Tim. 2:2; Isa. 49:23; Zech. 13:2-3.
Chapter 21: Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day
(Larger Catechism: 103-121, 178-196; Shorter Catechism: 45-62, 88-90, 98107)
1. The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and doth good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginationsanddevicesofmen,orthe suggestions ofSatan,under anyvisible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture. Rom. 1:20; Acts 17:24; Ps. 119:68; Jer. 10:7;Ps.31:23;Ps. 18:3;Rom.10:12;Ps. 62:8; Josh. 24:14; Mark 12:33; Deut. 12: 32; Matt. 15:9; Acts 17:25; Matt. 4:9-10; Deut. 4:15-20; Ex. 20:4-6; Col. 2:23.
CONFESSION TESTIMONY CONFESSION TESTIMONY
|2. Religious worship is to be given to|
|God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;|
|and to Him alone; not to angels, saints,|
|or any other creature: and since the|
|fall, not without a Mediator; nor in|
|the mediation of any other but of|
|Matt. 4:10 with John 5:23 and 2 Cor.|
|13:14; Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10; Rom. 1:|
|25; John 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:5; Eph. 2:18;|
|3. Prayer,with thanksgiving,being one|
|special part of religious worship, is by|
|God required of all men: and that it|
|may be accepted, it is to be made in|
|the name of the Son, by the help of|
|His Spirit, according to His will, with|
|understanding, reverence, humility,|
|and, if vocal, in a known tongue.|
|Phil. 4:6; Ps. 65:2; John 14:13-14; 1|
|Pet. 2:5; Rom. 8:26; 1 John 5:14; Ps.|
|47:7; Eccl. 5:1-2; Heb. 12:28; Gen. 18:|
|27; Jas. 5:16; Jas. 1:6-7; Mark 11:24;|
|Matt. 6:12, 14-15; Col. 4:2; Eph. 6:18;|
|1 Cor. 14:14.|
|4. Prayer is to be made for things law|
|ful, and for all sorts of men living, or|
|that shall live hereafter: but not for the|
|dead, nor for those of whom it may|
|be known that they have sinned the|
|sin unto death.|
|1 John 5:14; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; John 17:|
|20; 2 Sam. 7:29; Ruth 4:12; 2 Sam. 12:|
|21-23 with Luke 16:25-26; Rev. 14:13;|
|1 John 5:16.|
|5. The reading of the Scriptures with||4. Public prayer is to accompany the|
|godly fear; the sound preaching and||reading and preaching of the Word.|
|conscionable hearing of the Word,||Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 14:13-19.|
|in obedience unto God, with under|
|standing, faith, reverence; singing of|
|psalms with grace in the heart; as also,|
the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ; are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God: beside religious oaths, vows, solemn fastings, and thanksgivings, upon special occasions, which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in a holy and religious manner. Acts 15:21; Rev. 1:3; 2 Tim. 4:2; Jas. 1: 22; Acts 10:33; Matt. 13:19; Heb. 4:2; Isa. 66:2; Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19; Jas. 5: 13; Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 11:23-29; Acts 2:42; Deut. 6:13 with Neh. 10:29; Isa.
19:21 with Eccl. 5:4-5; Joel 2:12; Esther 4:16; Matt. 9:15; 1 Cor. 7:5; Ps. 107; Esther 9:22; Heb. 12:28.
repentance and renewed dedication to a life of obedience. Ex.34:28;1Kings19:8;Dan.10:2-3;Joel 1:14; Joel 2:12-13, 15; Matt. 4:2; Matt. 6:16-18; Mark 9:29; Acts 13:2-3.
|of the week; and, from theresurrection|
|of Christ, was changed into the first|
|day of the week, which, in Scripture,|
|is called the Lord’s Day, and is to be|
|continued to the end of the world, as|
|the Christian Sabbath.|
|Ex. 20:8, 10-11; Isa. 56:2, 4, 6-7; Gen.|
|2:2-3; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; Acts 20:7; Rev. 1:|
|10; Ex. 20:8, 10 with Matt. 5:17-18.|
|8. This Sabbath is then kept holy unto|
|the Lord, when men, after a due pre|
|paring of their hearts, and ordering of|
|their common affairs beforehand, do|
|not only observe an holy rest, all the|
|day, from their own works, words,|
|and thoughts about their worldly em|
|ployments, and recreations, but also|
|are taken up the whole time in the|
|public and private exercises of His||12. God promises rich blessings for|
|worship, and in the duties of neces||keeping the Lord’s Day holy.|
|sity and mercy.||Isa. 56:2-7; Isa. 58:13-14; Mark 2:27.|
|Ex. 20:8; Ex. 16:23, 25-26, 29-30; Ex.|
|31:15-17; Isa. 58:13; Neh. 13:15-19,|
|21-22; Isa. 58:13; Matt. 12:1-13.|
(Larger Catechism: 108, 113; Shorter Catechism: 50, 55)
1. A lawful oath is a part of religious 1. Thereisscripturalwarrantforswearworship, wherein, upon just occasion, ing with the hand uplifted. Christians the person swearing solemnly calleth shouldavoidallsuperstitiousorpagan God to witness what he asserteth, or customs in taking an oath. promiseth;andtojudgehimaccording Heb. 6:16-18; Gen. 14:22; Deut. 10:20; to the truth or falsehood of what he Ex. 6:8; Rev. 10:5-6. sweareth. Deut. 10:20; Ex. 20:7; Lev. 19:12; 2 Cor. 1:23; 2 Chron. 6:22-23.
4.Anoathistobetakenintheplainand common sense of the words, without equivocation, or mental reservation. It cannot oblige to sin: but in anything not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man’s own hurt. Nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics, or infidels.
Jer. 4:2; Ps. 24:4; 1 Sam. 25:22, 32-34; Ps. 15:4; Ezek. 17:16, 18-19; Josh. 9: 18-19 with 2 Sam. 21:1.
actofpledgingobediencetowhatGod has commanded in His covenant. Gen. 28:20-22; Num. 21:2; Deut. 23: 21-23; Josh. 24:24-25; 2 Chron. 34: 29-32.
Cor. 11:23-26; Josh. 24:24-25; 2 Chron. 15:2, 8-15; 2 Chron. 23:16; 2 Chron. 34:29-32; Neh. 9-10.
9. Covenanting in the New Testament takes the form of confessing Christ and His Lordship. In view of the continued emphasis of the covenantal relationship of God to men in the New Testament, it is appropriate for churches and nations to covenant to be the Lord’s and to serve Him. The statements or documents produced in these acts of covenant response are dependent upon the Covenant of Grace. They are statements of responsibility arising from the application of the Word of God to the times in which they are made. Such covenants have continuing validity in so far as they give true expression to the Word of God for the times and situations in which believers live. Isa. 45:23 with Rom. 14:11 and Phil. 2:11; Jer. 31:31 with Heb. 8:6-13; Ex. 19:5-6 with 1 Pet. 2:9-10.
Chapter 23: Of the Civil Magistrate
(Larger Catechism: 135, 136)
|1. God, the supreme Lord and King|
|of all the world, hath ordained civil|
|magistrates, to be, under Him, over|
|the people, for His own glory, and|
|the public good; and, to this end, hath|
|armed them with the power of the|
|sword, for the defence and encour|
|agement of them that are good, and||1. We reject the belief that civil gov|
|for the punishment of evildoers.||ernment is unnecessary or essentially|
|Rom. 13:1-4; 1 Pet. 2:13-14.||evil.|
2. God has given the exercise of all authoritytotheLordJesusChrist.Christ is the Divine Lawgiver, Governor and Judge.Hiswillconcerningthepurpose of civil government and the principles regarding its functions and operation are revealed in the written Word of God. The Holy Spirit enables even unregenerate rulers to fulfill their proper functions. A true recognition of the authority and law of Christ in national life can only be the fruit of the Spirit’s regenerating power in the lives of individuals. Deut. 4:39; Dan. 4:25, 32, 35; Matt. 28:18; Phil. 2:10; Eph. 1:22; Isa. 33: 22; Deut. 17:18-19; Isa. 45:1-7; Ezek.
Phil. 2:10; Rom. 13:4; Ps. 132:12; Ps. 103:17-19; Ps. 2:10-12.
2. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto; in the managingwhereof,astheyoughtespecially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth; so for that end, theymaylawfullynow,undertheNew Testament, wage war, upon just and necessary occasion. Prov. 8:15-16; Rom. 13:1-2, 4; Ps. 2: 10-12; 1 Tim. 2:2; Ps. 82:3-4; 2 Sam. 23:3; 1 Pet. 2:13; Luke 3:14; Rom. 13: 4; Matt. 8:9-10; Acts 10:1-2; Rev. 17: 14, 16.
God for the discharge of lawful duties rightfully assigned to them by human authority.Neithertheirofficialposition, however, nor the orders of their superiors, nor the will of the people, exonerates them from blame for any unscriptural action or inaction. Rom. 13:3-4; 2 Chron. 19:6-7; Prov.
3. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven: yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire; that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed; all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed; and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered and observed. For the better effecting whereof,hehathpowertocallsynods, to be present at them, and to provide, that whatsoever is transacted in them
be according to the mind of God. 2 Chron. 26:18 with Matt. 18:17 and Matt. 16:19; 1 Cor. 12:28-29; Eph. 4: 11-12; 1 Cor. 4:1-2; Rom. 10:15; Heb. 5:4; Isa. 49:23; Ps. 122:9; Ezra 7:23, 25-28; Lev. 24:16; Deut. 13:5-6, 12; 1 Kings 18:4; 1 Chron. 13:1-9; 2 Kings 23:1-26; 2 Chron. 34:33; 2 Chron. 15: 12-13; 2 Chron. 19:8-11; 2 Chron. 29––30; Matt. 2:4-5.
4. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, to honour their persons, to pay them tribute and other dues, to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience’ sake. Infidelity, or difference they both owe supreme allegiance to Jesus Christ. The governments of church and state differ in sphere of authority in that due submission to the governmentofthevisiblechurchisthe obligation of members thereof, while due submission to civil government is the obligation of all men. The governments of church and state also have different functions and prerogatives in the advancement of the Kingdom of God. The means of enforcement of the civil government are physical, while those of church government are not. Neither government has the right to invade or assume the authority of the other. They should cooperate to the honor and glory of God, while maintaining their separate jurisdictions. Rom. 13:1; Matt. 22:21; Col. 1:18; Acts 15:10; Ezra 7:10, 25-26; 2 Chron. 26: 18-19; Matt. 5:25; 1 Cor. 5:12-13.
20.Thoughresponsibleformaintaining conditions favorable to the spread of the Gospel, civil government should never attempt to convert men to Christ bythe useofforceorbypersecution. It should guarantee to all its subjects every human right given by God to men. It should, however, restrain and punish its subjects for those sinful actions which fall under its jurisdiction. 1 Tim. 2:1-4; 1 Pet. 2:13-14; Rom. 13: 4; Ezra 7:26; Neh. 13:17-21.
21. No civil government which deprives men of civil or religious liberty, fails to protect human life, or proposes toforcementodoviolencetothespirit andpreceptsoftheChristianreligionor
in religion, doth not make void the magistrates’justandlegalauthority,nor free the people from their due obediencetothem:fromwhichecclesiastical persons are not exempted; much less hath the Pope any power and jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and, least of all,todeprivethemoftheirdominions, or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretence whatsoever. 1 Tim. 2:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:17; Rom. 13:6-7; Rom. 13:5; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13-14, 16; Rom. 13:1; 1 Kings 2:35; Acts 25: 9-11; 2 Pet. 2:1, 10-11; Jude 1:8-11; 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:15-17.
interferes unjustly with private ownership of property, can in such matters rightfully expect the submission of its citizens or the blessings of God promised for obedience to Him. Acts 4:17, 19, 33; Deut. 27:19; Isa. 10: 1-2; Ex. 20:15; Isa. 1:23-26; Dan. 6:13; Heb. 11:23.
of all men, and to bring honor to the
name of Christ. 1 Pet. 2:13-14; Rom. 13:5; Acts 5:29; Titus 3:1.
of the Church.
30.GodaloneisLordoftheconscience, andthedecisionsofcivil courtscannot determinefortheChristianwhatismorally right and what is sinful. However, since civil government is an institution of God, it is within the legitimate province of the civil courts of a nation to determine what the nation’s laws and required oaths of allegiance mean or do not mean. A decision of a civil court
cannot legitimize sinful conduct, but it can place before a Christian a factual situationuponwhichamoraljudgment can be made. It cannot be proper for the Christian to assume that an oath of allegianceimpliessinfulrequirements, when the civil courts have explicitly contradicted such implication. Every oath must be understood in the sense intended by the authority requiring the oath. It is for the Christian and the Church to decide whether this sense involves sinful requirements. Matt. 22:21b; Rom. 13:5; Eccl. 8:4; 1 Thess. 5:21.
31. We reject any inference that civil government has jurisdiction over conscience.
Chapter 24: Of Marriage and Divorce
(Larger Catechism: 137-139; Shorter Catechism: 63-66, 70-72) (The Testimony also treats “Education of Children” in this chapter.)
disciplinetheirsexualdesires,maintain purity of thought and practice, and avoid situations which lead to sexual temptation. 1 Cor. 6:9, 15-20; 1 Cor. 5:1-5, 9-11; 1 Cor. 7:8-9; Rom. 1:26-28; Phil. 4:8; Prov. 5.
1. Marriage is to be between one man 3. By God’s appointment the marriage and one woman: neither is it lawful for relationship is to continue as long as any man to have more than one wife, both parties are living. Marriage may nor for any woman to have more than not be contracted for any other period. one husband; at the same time. After the death of one party the other Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5-6; Prov. 2:17. party may lawfully marry another.
Matt. 19:4-6; Rom. 7:2-3; Gen. 2:24-25; 1 Cor. 7:39.
4. Marriage is a covenant relationship made before God between a man and a woman. Prov. 2:17; Mal. 2:14; cf. Hos. 2:16
2. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed; and for preventing of uncleanness. Gen. 2:18; Mal. 2:15; 1 Cor. 7:2, 9.
as long as these laws are not contrary to Scripture. 1 Pet. 2:13.
1 Cor. 7:7.
Education of Children
is sinful. To a large extent instruction is based on a secular, humanistic philosophy which ignores God and sees man’s welfare as the highest good. Local schools vary widely, however, according to the standards of the community and the quality of the teachers. All Christians, especially those who are teachers, school administrators or board members, should bear witness to the whole truth of God as it relates to education. Matt. 12:30; 2 Sam. 23:3-4.
Chapter 25: Of the Church
(Larger Catechism: 60-65)
3.TheChurchisoneamongallnations, yet for the purpose of corporate worship and orderly procedures, distinct congregations and judicatories are warranted. Acts 15:22; Acts 16:4-5; 1 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; Col. 4:15-16.
4. There is a visible and an invisible aspect of the Church, but these are not two churches. Heb. 12:23; Rev. 3:1, 5.
5.Wereject theteachingthattheChurch originated in the New Testament and is an interruption of God’s plan for the Kingdom. Rom. 11:17-24; Heb. 9:13-10:18.
3. Unto this catholic visible Church Christ hath given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world; and doth by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto. 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11-13; Matt. 28: 19-20; Isa. 59:21.
terms used synonymously: elder, and
bishop or overseer. 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9; 1 Tim. 5:17; Acts 20:28; Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12: 28; Titus 1:7.
be said to result in the frustration of one’s divine vocation or the neglect of one’s spiritual gifts for ministry. 1 Cor. 12:14-26.
14. Divisions that separate believers into denominations mar the unity of the Church and are due to error and sin. It is the duty of all denominations which are true churches of Christ to seek reconciliation and union. Such organizational unity, however, should be sought only on the basis of truth and of scriptural order. It is the duty of every believer to unite with the branch of the visible church which adheres most closely to the Scriptures. Acts 15:22-29; 1 Cor. 10:17; Eph. 4:4-6; Acts 17:11-12.
15.The Churchmust havemembership requirements based on Scripture, to which every member gives his assent. Those who give such assent and their children are church members. Acts 2:39; 1 Cor. 7:14; Rev. 2–3. (See
Directory for Church Government,
chap. 1, sect. I.)
their duty to separate from it, and to
6.ThereisnootherheadoftheChurch, but the Lord Jesus Christ; nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God. Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22; Matt. 23:8-10; 2 Thess. 2:3-4, 8-9; Rev. 13:6.
unite with a sound church. Rev. 2:20-23; Acts 19:8-9; 2 Cor. 6: 16-17.
Chapter 26: Of the Communion of Saints
(Larger Catechism: 135-136, 141-142; Shorter Catechism: 68-69, 74-81)
1. All saints, that are united to Jesus Christ their Head by His Spirit and by faith, have fellowship with Him in His graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory: and, being united to one anotherinlove,theyhavecommunion in each other’s gifts and graces, and
1. Concern for fellow believers should be a restraint to evil, especially to un
are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man. 1 John 1:3; Eph. 3:16-19; John 1:16; Eph. 2:5-6; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5-6; 2 Tim. 2:12; Eph. 4:15-16; 1 Cor. 12:7; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; Col. 2:19; 1 Thess. 5:11, 14; Rom. 1:11-12, 14; 1 John 3:16-18; Gal. 6:10.
2. Saints by profession are bound to maintain a holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God; and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification; as also in relieving each other in outward things, according to their several abilities, and necessities. Which communion, as God offereth opportunity, is to be extended unto all those who, in every place, call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 2:42, 46; Isa. 2:3; 1 Cor. 11:20; Acts 2:44-45; 1 John 3: 17; 2 Cor. 8—9; Acts 11:29-30.
kind speech and action against one another. 1 Cor. 13; Eph. 4:31-32; Rom. 14:19; Jas. 3:16-18; Gal. 5:15; 1 Cor. 12.
CONFESSION TESTIMONY CONFESSION TESTIMONY
|and because the intemperate use of|
|alcohol is constantly being promoted|
|by advertising, business practices,|
|and social pressure, Christians must|
|be careful not to conform to the at|
|titudes and the practices of the world|
|with regard to alcoholic beverages.|
|To prevent damage to our neighbor,|
|to provide mutual help in godly liv|
|ing, and to strengthen each other in|
|living a disciplined life it is altogether|
|wise and proper that Christians refrain|
|from the use, sale and manufacture of|
|Prov. 20:1; Rom. 14:21; 1 Cor. 6:9-10;|
|1 Cor. 8:13.|
|6. The use of tobacco is detrimental to|
|health and is to be avoided because of|
|the responsibility to preserve the body|
|which is a temple of God.|
|1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Cor. 9:24-27.|
|7. The use of drugs for pleasure or|
|escape from moral responsibility|
|should be avoided; one should strive|
|for victory over physical and emo|
|tional weakness through the strength|
|of Christ and the power of the Holy|
|3. This communion, which the saints||Spirit, and make wise use of proper|
|have with Christ, doth not make them,||medical care.|
|in any wise, partakers of the substance||Phil. 4:13; Col. 1:10-14.|
|of His Godhead; or to be equal with|
|Christ, in any respect: either of which|
|to affirm is impious and blasphemous.|
|Nor doth their communion one with|
|another, as saints, take away, or infringe|
|the title or property which each man|
|hath in his goods and possessions.|
|Col. 1:18-19; 1 Cor. 8:6; Isa. 42:8; 1|
|Tim. 6:15-16; Ps. 45:7 with Heb. 1:8-9;|
|Ex. 20:15; Eph. 4:28; Acts 5:4.|
Chapter 27: Of the Sacraments
(Larger Catechism: 161-177; Shorter Catechism: 91-97)
1. The sacraments are signs of our covenant union with Christ and His Church, and our common profession that we are owned by Him. They are to be observed under the direction of the elders in a service of worship in which members of the congregation are present. 1 Cor. 11:23-24; 1 Cor. 10:21; Acts 2: 42; Num. 9:14.
2.Theadministrationofthesacraments is to be accompanied by the reading and preaching of the Word. Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7.
3. We reject the view that sacraments are mere symbols and not means of grace.
4.Wereject theviewthatthesacraments are not necessary in the Church.
Chapter 28: Of Baptism
(Larger Catechism: 161-177; Shorter Catechism: 92-95)
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the Gospel, lawfully called thereunto. Matt. 3:11; John 1:33; Matt. 28:19-20.
3. We reject the teaching that an essential feature of baptism is immersion. 1 Cor. 10:2; Heb. 6:2; Heb. 9:10; Luke
5. Althoughitbeagreatsintocontemn or neglect this ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated or saved without it; or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated. Luke 7:30 with Ex. 4:24-26; Rom. 4: 11; Acts 10:2, 4, 22, 31, 45, 47; Acts 8:13, 23.
|6. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied|
|to that moment of time wherein it is|
|administered; yet notwithstanding, by|
|the right use of this ordinance, the|
|grace promised is not only offered,|
|but really exhibited and conferred by||8. We reject the teaching that a person|
|the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of||cannot be saved without baptism; or|
|age or infants) as that grace belongeth||that persons are regenerated by bap|
|own will in His appointed time.||Luke 23:39-43; Acts 8:13, 18-23; Acts|
|John 3:5, 8; Gal. 3:27; Titus 3:5; Eph.||10:47.|
|5:25-26; Acts 2:38, 41.|
7. The sacrament of Baptism is but once to be administered unto any person. Titus 3:5.
Chapter 29: Of the Lord’s Supper
(Larger Catechism: 168-177; Shorter Catechism: 92-93, 96-97)
1. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein He was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of His body and blood, called the Lord’s Supper, to be observed in His Church, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of Himself in His death; the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment
and growth in Him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto Him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with Him, and with each other, as members of His mystical body. 1 Cor. 11:23-26; 1 Cor. 10:16-17, 21; 1 Cor. 12:13.
1. The Lord’s Supper is to be repeatedly administered to a Christian congregation, at such times as the session deems advisable, according to the needs of the congregation. Observance of this sacrament is a corporate and personal profession of continued adherence to the covenant bond entered into at baptism. 1 Cor. 11:23-26.
sacrament, do then also, inwardly by faith,reallyandindeed,yetnotcarnally and corporally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all benefits of His death: the body and blood of Christ being then, not corporally or carnally, in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet, as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses. 1 Cor. 11:28; 1 Cor. 10:16.
8. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this sacrament: yet they receive not the thing signified thereby, but by their unworthy coming thereunto are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord to their own damnation. Wherefore, all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Him, so are they unworthy of the Lord’s table; and cannot, without great sin against Christ while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto. 1 Cor. 11:27-29; 2 Cor. 6:14-16; 1 Cor. 5:6-7, 13; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15; Matt.
4.Previouspreparation,byself-examination, repentance of sin, meditation upon God’s grace, and resolution of new obedience is required of those who make this profession of their union with Christ and love to Him. 1 Cor. 11:27-32; 1 Cor. 10:21-22.
Chapter 30: Of Church Censures
1. The Lord Jesus, as King and Head of His Church, hath therein appointed a government, in the hand of Church officers, distinct from the civil magistrate. Isa. 9:6-7; 1 Tim. 5:17; 1 Thess. 5:12; Acts 20:17, 28; Heb. 13:7, 17, 24; 1 Cor. 12:28; Matt. 28:18-20.
the nature of the crime, and demerit of the person. 1Thess. 5:12;2Thess. 3:6,14-15;1Cor. 5:4-5, 13; Matt. 18:17; Titus 3:10.
Children who are baptized members are subject to that discipline.
(For specific details of discipline, see Book of Discipline.)
Chapter 31: Of Synods and Councils
(Larger Catechism: 123-133; Shorter Catechism: 63-66)
ministers of Christ of themselves, by virtueoftheiroffice,orthey,withother fit persons, upon delegation from their Churches, may meet together in such assemblies. Isa. 49:23; 1 Tim. 2:1-2; 2 Chron. 19:811; 2 Chron. 29—30; Matt. 2:4-5; Prov. 11:14; Acts 15:2, 4, 22-23, 25.
is ecclesiastical: and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern the commonwealth; unless by way of humble petition, in cases extraordinary; or by way of advice, for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate. Luke 12:13-14; John 18:36.
ities as it applies to their use of the power that has been given them. Acts 9:15; Ps. 119:46; Matt. 10:17-18; Luke 3:12-14. (Compare also the Testimony, chap. 23.)
Chapter 32 Of the State of Men After Death, And the Resurrection of the Dead
(Larger Catechism: 84-87; Shorter Catechism: 37-38)
1. The bodies of men, after death, return to dust and see corruption; but theirsouls(whichneitherdienorsleep) havinganimmortalsubsistence,immediately return to God who gave them: the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. And the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. Beside these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none. Gen. 3:19; Acts 13:36; Luke 23:43; Eccl. 12:7; Heb. 12:23; 2 Cor. 5:1, 6, 8; Phil. 1:23 with Acts 3:21 and Eph.
4:10; Luke 16:23-24; Acts 1:25; Jude 1: 6-7; 1 Pet. 3:19.
Chapter 33: Of the Last Judgment
(Larger Catechism: 56, 87-90; Shorter Catechism: 37-38)
ing all the dead will be raised and the world will be judged. John 5:28-29; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Ps. 96: 13; Ps. 98:9.
the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord: but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast intoeternaltorments,andbepunished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power. Matt. 25:31-46; Rom. 2:5-6; Rom. 9: 22-23; Matt. 25:21; Acts 3:19; 2 Thess. 1:7-10.
3. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity; so will He have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly, Amen. 2Pet.3:11,14;2Cor.5:10-11;2Thess.1: 5-7; Luke21:27-28;Rom. 8:23-25;Matt. 24:36, 42-44; Mark 13:35-37; Luke 12: 35-36; Rev. 22:20.
5. Believers are to look forward eagerly to the last great day, in which they will share in Christ’s final victory over evil and experience the fulness of joy which is found in the presence of God, forever. 2 Pet. 3:11-13; Ps. 16:11.