For Christians, spiritual growth depends on a healthy diet that includes both the milk and meat of God’s Word. But before we can savor large portions of sound doctrine, we need to be able to digest the basics of biblical truth. Whether you are a pastor, Sunday school teacher, or parent, helping others enjoy the “solid food” of Scripture is one of the most important components of discipleship. Used properly, this catechism can help Christians, families, and churches enjoy the rich doctrines of Scripture and pursue our chief end to glorify and enjoy God forever.
Q: What doth the conclusion the Lord’s prayer teach us? A: The conclusion of the Lord’s prayer, which is, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen.” teacheth us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power and glory to him.
Q: What do we pray for in the sixth petition? A: In the sixth petition, which is, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” we pray, That God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.
Q: What do we pray for in the fifth petition? A: In the fifth petition, which is, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” we pray, That God, for Christ’s sake, would freely pardon all our sins; which we are able to be rather encouraged to ask, because by his grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.
Q: What do we pray for in the fourth petition? A: In the fourth petition, which is, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we pray, That of God’s free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them.
Q: What do we pray for in the third petition? A: In the third petition, which is, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” we pray, That God, by his grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
Q: What do we pray for in the second petition? A: In the second petition, which is, “Thy kingdom come,” we pray, That Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed; and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it; and the kingdom of glory may be hastened.
Q: What do we pray for in the first petition? A: In the first petition, which is, “Hallowed be thy name,” we pray, That God would enable us and others to glorify him in all that whereby he maketh himself known; and that he would dispose all things to his own glory.
Q: What doth the preface of the Lord’s prayer teach us? A: The preface of the Lord’s prayer, which is, “Our Father which art in heaven,” teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; and that we should pray with and for others.
Q: What rule hath God given for our direction in prayer? A: The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called The Lord’s Prayer.
Q: What is required to be the worthy receiving of the Lord’s supper? A: It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s super, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgement to themselves.
Q: What is the Lord’s supper? A: The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, his death is showed forth; and the worth receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace.
Q: To whom is baptism to be administered? A: Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him; but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.
Q: What is baptism? A: Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.
Q: What is a sacrament? A: A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ, wherein, by sensible signs, Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant, are represented, sealed, and applied to believers.
Q: How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation? A: The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them; but only by the blessing of Christ, and the working of his Spirit in them that by faith receive them.
Q: How is the Word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation? A: The the Word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer; receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.
Q: How is the Word made effectual to salvation? A: The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation.
Q: What are the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption? A: The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption, are his ordinances, especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.
Q: What is repentance unto life? A: Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience.
Q: What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin? A: To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requireth of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption.
Q: Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?A: No mere man since the fall is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed.
Q: What is forbidden in the Tenth Commandment? A: The Tenth Commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour, and all inordinate motions and affections to any thing that is his.
Q: What is required in the Tenth Commandment? A: The Tenth Commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbour, and all this is his.
Q: Which is the Tenth Commandment? A: The Tenth Commandment is, “thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
Q: What is required in the Ninth Commandment? A: The Ninth Commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbour’s good name, especially in witness- bearing.
Q: What is the reason annexed to the Fifth Commandment? A: The reason annexed to the Fifth Commandment is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment.
Q: What is the forbidden in the Fifth Commandment? A: The Fifth Commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing anything against, the honour and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations.
Q: What is required in the Fifth Commandment? A: The Fifth Commandment requireth the preserving the honour, and performing the duties, belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals.
Q: What are the reasons annexed to the Fourth Commandment? A: The reasons annexed to the Fourth Commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments, His challenging a special propriety in the seventh, His own example, and His blessing the Sabbath-day.
Q: What is forbidden in the Fourth Commandment? A: The Fourth Commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.
Q: How is the Sabbath to be sanctified? A: The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.
Q: Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath? A: From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath.
Q: What is required in the Fourth Commandment? A: The Fourth Commandment requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as He appointed in His Word; expressly one whole day in seven to be a holy Sabbath to Himself.
Q: Which is the Fourth Commandment? A: The Fourth Commandment is, “Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, 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 maid- servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
Q: What is the reason annexed to the Third Commandment? A: The reason annexed to the Third Commandment is, That however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape His righteous judgement.
Q: What is required in the Second Commandment? A: The Second Commandment requireth the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in His Word.
Q: Which is the Second Commandment? A: The Second Commandment is, “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing 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.”
Q: What are we specially taught by these words, “before me” in the First Commandment? A: These words “before me” in the First Commandment, teach us, That God who seeth all things, taketh notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God.
Q: What is forbidden in the First Commandment? A: The First Commandment forbiddeth the denying, or not worshipping and glorifying the true God, as God, [and our God,] and the giving of that worship and glory to any other which is due to Him alone.
Q. What doth the preface to the Ten Commandments teach us? A. The preface to the Ten Commandments teacheth us, That because God is The Lord, and our God, and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all His commandments.
Q. What is the preface to the Ten Commandments? A. The preface to the Ten Commandments is in these words, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house OF SLAVERY.”
Q. What is the sum of the Ten Commandments? A. The sum of the Ten Commandments is, “to love the Lord our God” with all our heart, all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.
Q: What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection? A: At the resurrection, believers being raised up in glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgement, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God to all eternity.
Q: What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death? A: The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves till the resurrection.
Q: What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification? A: The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.
Q: What is sanctification? A: Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.
Q: What is justification? A: Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.
Q: What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life? A: They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, and sanctification, and the several benefits which, in this life, do either accompany or flow from them.
Q: What is effectual calling? A: Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.
Q: How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ? A: The Spirit applieth to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.
Q: Wherein consisteth Christ’s exaltation? A: Christ’s exaltation consisteth in his rising again from the dead on the third day, in ascending up into heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day.
Q: Wherein did Christ’s humiliation consist? A: Christ’s humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time.
Q: How doth Christ execute the office of a king? A: Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.
Q: How doth Christ execute the office of a priest? A: Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us.
Q: How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man? A: Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her yet without sin.
Q: Who is the Redeemer of God’s elect? A: The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever.
Q. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery? A. God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.
Q: What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell? A: All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever.
Q: Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?A: The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called Original Sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.
Q: Did all mankind fall in Adam’s first transgression? A: The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him, in his first transgression.
Q: What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created? A: The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit.
Q: Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created? A: Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God.
Q: What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created? A: When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.