Q1: What is thy only comfort in life and death?
That I with body and soul, both in life and death, ( rom 14:7 rom 14:8 ) am not my own, ( 1 Corinthians 6:19 ) but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; ( 1 Corinthians 3:23 ; Titus 2:14 ) who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, ( 1pet 1:18 1pet 1:19 ; 1 John 1:7 ; 1john 2:2 1john 2:12 ) and delivered me from all the power of the devil; ( Hebrews 2:14 ; 1 John 3:8 ; John 8:34-36 ) and so preserves me ( John 6:39 ; John 10:28 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:3 ; 1 Peter 1:5 ) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; ( Matthew 10:29-31 ; Luke 21:18 ) yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, ( Romans 8:28 ) and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, ( 2 Corinthians 1:20-22 ; 2 Corinthians 5:5 ; Ephesians 1:13 Ephesians 1:14 ; Romans 8:16 ) and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. ( Romans 8:14 ; 1 John 3:3 )
Q2: How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?
Three; ( Matthew 11:28-30 ; Luke 24:46-48 ; 1 Corinthians 6:11 ; Titus 3:3-7 ) the first, how great my sins and miseries are; ( John 9:41 ; John 15:22 ) the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; ( John 17:3 ; Acts 4:12 ; Acts 10:43 ) the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance. ( Ephesians 5:8-11 ; 1pet 2:9 1pet 2:10 ; rom 6:1 rom 6:2 rom 6:12 rom 6:13 )
Q3: Whence knowest thou thy misery?
Out of the law of God. ( Romans 3:20 )
Q4: What does the law of God require of us?
Christ teaches us that briefly, Matt. 22:37-40, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ; Leviticus 19:18 ; Mark 12:30 ; Luke 10:27 )
Q5: Canst thou keep all these things perfectly?
In no wise; ( rom 3:10 rom 3:20 rom 3:23 ; 1john 1:8 1john 1:10 ) for I am prone by nature to hate God and my neighbour.( Romans 8:7 ; Ephesians 2:3 ; Titus 3:3 ; Genesis 6:5 ; Genesis 8:21 ; Jeremiah 17:9 ; Romans 7:23 )
Q6: Did God then create man so wicked and perverse?
By no means; but God created man good, ( Genesis 1:31 ) and after his own image, ( gen 1:26 gen 1:27 ) in true righteousness and holiness, that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love him and live with him in eternal happiness to glorify and praise him. ( Colossians 3:9 Colossians 3:10 ; Ephesians 4:23 Ephesians 4:24 ; 2 Corinthians 3:18 )
Q7: Whence then proceeds this depravity of human nature?
From the fall and disobedience of our first parents,Adam and Eve, in Paradise; ( 2 Corinthians gen.3 2 Corinthians gen.3 ; rom 5:12 rom 5:18 rom 5:19 ) hence our nature is become so corrupt, that we are all conceived and born in sin. ( Psalms 51:5 ; Genesis 5:3 )
Q8: Are we then so corrupt that we are wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness?
Indeed we are; ( Genesis 8:21 ; John 3:6 ; Genesis 6:5 ; Job 14:4 ; Job 15:14 Job 15:16 Job 15:36 ; Isaiah 53:6 ) except we are regenerated by the Spirit of God. ( john 3:3 john 3:5 ; 1 Corinthians 12:3 ; 2 Corinthians 3:5 )
Q9: Does not God then do injustice to man, by requiring from him in his law, that which he cannot perform?
Not at all; ( Ephesians 4:24 ; Ecclesiastes 7:29 ) for God made man capable of performing it; but man, by the instigation of the devil, ( John 8:44 ; 2 Corinthians 11:3 ; Genesis 3:4 ) and his own wilful disobedience, ( Genesis 3:6 ; Romans 5:12 ; Genesis 3:13 ; 1tim 2:13 1tim 2:14 ) deprived himself and all his posterity of those divine gifts.
Q10: Will God suffer such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?
By no means; but is terribly displeased ( Genesis 2:17 ; Romans 5:12 ) with our original as well as actual sins; and will punish them in his just judgment temporally and eternally, ( Psalms 5:5 ; Psalms 50:21 ; Nahum 1:2 ; 20:5 ; 34:7 ; Romans 1:18 ; Ephesians 5:6 ; Hebrews 9:27 ) as he has declared, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law, to do them." ( Deuteronomy 27:26 ; Galatians 3:10 )
Q11: Is not God then also merciful?
God is indeed merciful, ( exod 34:6 exod 34:7 ; 20:6 ) but also just; ( Psalms 7:9 ; 20:5 ; 23:7 ; 34:7 ; Psalms 5:5 Psalms 5:6 ; nah 1:2 nah 1:3 ) therefore his justice requires, that sin which is committed against the most high majesty of God, be also punished with extreme, that is, with everlasting punishment of body and soul.
Q12: Since then, by the righteous judgment of God, we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, is there no way by which we may escape that punishment, and be again received into favour?
God will have his justice satisfied: ( Genesis 2:17 ; 20:5 ; 23:7 ; 18:4 ; Matthew 5:26 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:6 ; Luke 16:2 ) and therefore we must make this full satisfaction, either by ourselves, or by another. ( rom 8:3 rom 8:4 )
Q13: Can we ourselves then make this satisfaction?
By no means; but on the contrary we daily increase our debt. ( Job 9:2 Job 9:3 ; Job 15:15 Job 15:16 ; Job 4:18 Job 4:19 ; Psalms 130:3 ; Matthew 6:12 ; Matthew 18:25 ; Matthew 16:26 )
Q14: Can there be found anywhere, one, who is a mere creature, able to satisfy for us?
None; for, first, God will not punish any other creature for the sin which man has committed; ( 18:4 ; Genesis 3:17 ; Hebrews 2:14-17 ) and further, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God's eternal wrath against sin, so as to deliver others from it. ( Nahum 1:6 ; Psalms 130:3 )
Q15: What sort of a mediator and deliverer then must we seek for?
For one who is very man, and perfectly ( 1 Corinthians 15:21 ; Jeremiah 33:16 ; Isaiah 53:9 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21 ) righteous; ( Hebrews 7:16 Hebrews 7:26 ) and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is also very God. ( Isaiah 7:14 ; Isaiah 9:6 ; Romans 9:5 ; Jeremiah 23:5 Jeremiah 23:6 ; Jeremiah 23:6 ; Luke 11:22 )
Q16: Why must he be very man, and also perfectly righteous?
Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned, should likewise make satisfaction for sin; ( ezek 18:4 ezek 18:20 ; rom 5:12 rom 5:15 rom 5:18 ; 1 Corinthians 15:21 ; Hebrews 2:14-16 ; 1 Peter 3:18 ; Isaiah 53:3-5 Isaiah 53:10 Isaiah 53:11 ) and one, who is himself a sinner, cannot satisfy for others. ( Hebrews 7:26 Hebrews 7:27 ; Psalms 49:7 Psalms 49:8 ; 1 Peter 3:18 )
Q17: Why must he in one person be also very God?
That he might, by the power of his Godhead ( Isaiah 9:6 ; Isaiah 63:3 ) sustain in his human nature, ( Isaiah 53:4 Isaiah 53:11 ) the burden of God's wrath; ( Deuteronomy 4:24 ; Nahum 1:6 ; Psalms 130:3 ) and might obtain for, and restore to us, righteousness and life. ( Isaiah 53:5 Isaiah 53:11 ; Acts 2:24 ; 1 Peter 3:18 ; John 3:16 ; Acts 20:28 ; John 1:4 )
Q18: Who then is that Mediator, who is in one person both very God, righteous man?
Our Lord Jesus Christ: ( 1 Timothy 2:5 ; Hebrews 2:9 ; Matthew 1:23 ; 1 Timothy 3:16 ; Luke 2:11 ) "who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." ( 1 Corinthians 1:30 )
Q19: Whence knowest thou this?
From the holy gospel, which God himself first revealed in Paradise; ( Genesis 3:15 ) and afterwards published by the patriarchs ( Genesis 22:18 ; Genesis 12:3 ; gen 49:10 gen 49:11 ) and prophets, ( Isaiah 53 ; Isaiah 42:1-4 ; Isaiah 43:25 ; Isaiah 49:5 Isaiah 49:6 Isaiah 49:22 Isaiah 49:23 ; Jeremiah 23:5 Jeremiah 23:6 ; Jeremiah 31:32 Jeremiah 31:33 ; Jeremiah 32:39-41 ; Micah 7:18-20 ; Acts 10:43 ; Romans 1:2 ; Hebrews 1:1 ; Acts 3:22-24 ; Acts 10:43 ; John 5:46 ) and represented by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law; ( Hebrews 10:1 Hebrews 10:7 ; Colossians 2:7 ; John 5:46 ) and lastly, has fulfilled it by his only begotten Son. ( Romans 10:4 ; gal 4:4 gal 4:5 ; Galatians 3:24 ; Colossians 2:17 )
Q20: Are all men then, as they perished in Adam, saved by Christ?
No; ( Matthew 7:14 ; Matthew 22:14 ) only those who are ingrafted into him, and, receive all his benefits, by a true faith. ( Mark 16:16 ; John 1:12 ; john 3:16 john 3:18 john 3:36 ; Isaiah 53:11 ; Psalms 2:12 ; rom 11:17 rom 11:19 rom 11:20 ; Romans 3:22 ; Hebrews 4:2 Hebrews 4:3 ; Hebrews 5:9 ; Hebrews 10:39 ; Hebrews 11:6 )
Q21: What is true faith?
True faith is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his word, ( James 2:19 ) but also an assured confidence, ( 2 Corinthians 4:13 ; Ephesians 2:7-9 ; Ephesians 3:12 ; Galatians 2:16 ; Hebrews 11:1 Hebrews 11:7-10 ; Hebrews 4:16 ; James 1:6 ; Matthew 16:17 ; Philippians 1:19 ; Romans 4:16-21 ; Romans 5:1 ; Romans 1:16 ; rom 10:10 rom 10:17 ; Romans 3:24.25 rom 25 ) which the Holy Ghost ( Galatians 5:22 ; Matthew 16:17 ; 2 Corinthians 4:13 ; John 6:29 ; Ephesians 2:8 ; Philippians 1:19 ; Acts 16:14 ) works by the gospel in my heart; ( Romans 1:16 ; Romans 10:17 ; 1 Corinthians 1:21 ; Acts 10:44 ; Acts 16:14 ) that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness and salvation, ( Romans 1:17 ; Galatians 3:11 ; Hebrews 10:10 Hebrews 10:38 ; Galatians 2:16 ) are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ's merits. ( Ephesians 2:8 ; Romans 3:24 ; Romans 5:19 ; luke 1:77 luke 1:78 )
Q22: What is then necessary for a christian to believe?
All things promised us in the gospel, ( John 20:31 ; Matthew 28:19 ; Mark 1:15 ) which the articles of our catholic undoubted christian faith briefly teach us.
Q23: What are these articles?
1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell:5. The third day he rose again from the dead:6. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:9. I believe a holy catholic church: the communion of saints:10. The forgiveness of sins:11. The resurrection of the body:12. And the life everlasting.
Q24: How are these articles divided?
Into three parts; the first is of God the Father, and our creation; the second of God the Son, and our redemption; the third of God the Holy Ghost, and our sanctification.
Q25: Since there is but one only divine essence, (Deut.6:4; Eph.4:6; Isa.44:6; Isa.45:5; 1 Cor.8:4,6) why speakest thou of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?
Because God has so revealed himself in his word, ( Isaiah 61:1 ; Luke 4:18 ; gen 1:2 gen 1:3 ; Psalms 33:6 ; Isaiah 48:16 ; Psalms 110:1 ; matt 3:16 matt 3:17 ; Matthew 28:19 ; 1 John 5:7 ; Isaiah 6:1 Isaiah 6:3 ; John 14:26 ; John 15:26 ; 2 Corinthians 13:13 ; Galatians 4:6 ; Ephesians 2:18 ; Titus 3:5 Titus 3:6 ) that these three distinct persons are the one only true and eternal God.
Q26: What believest thou when thou sayest, "I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth"?
That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ( Titus, who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them ; Titus 1 2 ; Job 33:4 ; Job 38 39 ; Psalms 33:6 ; Acts 4:24 ; Acts 14:15 ; Isaiah 45:7 ) who likewise upholds and governs the same by his eternal counsel and providence) ( Matthew 10:29 ; Hebrews 1:3 ; Psalms 104:27-30 ; Psalms 115:3 ; Matthew 10:29 ; Ephesians 1:11 ) is for the sake of Christ his Son, my God and my Father; ( John 1:12 ; Romans 8:15 ; Galatians 4:5-7 ; Ephesians 1:5 ) on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt, but he will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body ( Psalms 55:23 ; matt 6:25 matt 6:26 ; Luke 12:22 ) and further, that he will make whatever evils he sends upon me, in this valley of tears turn out to my advantage; ( Romans 8:28 ) for he is able to do it, being Almighty God, ( Romans 10:12 ; Luke 12:22 ; Romans 8:23 ; Isaiah 46:4 ; Romans 10:12 ) and willing, being a faithful Father. ( Matthew 6:25-34 ; Matthew 7:9-11 )
Q27: What dost thou mean by the providence of God?
The almighty and everywhere present power of God; ( Acts 17:25-28 ; Jeremiah 23:23 Jeremiah 23:24 ; Isaiah 29:15 Isaiah 29:16 ; 8:12 ) whereby, as it were by his hand, he upholds and governs ( Hebrews 1:3 ) heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, ( Jeremiah 5:24 ; Acts 14:17 ) fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, ( John 9:3 ) riches and poverty, ( Proverbs 22:2 ) yea, and all things come, not by chance, but be his fatherly hand. ( Matthew 10:20 ; Proverbs 16:33 )
Q28: What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence does still uphold all things?
That we may be patient in adversity; ( Romans 5:3 ; James 1:3 ; Psalms 39:9 ; Job 1:21 Job 1:22 ) thankful in prosperity; ( Deuteronomy 8:10 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ) and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, ( Psalms 55:22 ; Romans 5:4 ) that nothing shall separate us from his love; ( rom 8:38 rom 8:39 ) since all creatures are so in his hand, that without his will they cannot so much as move. ( Job 1:12 ; Job 2:6 ; acts 17:25 acts 17:28 ; Proverbs 21:1 )
Q29: Why is the Son of God called "Jesus", that is a Saviour?
Because he saveth us, and delivereth us from our sins; ( Matthew 1:21 ; Hebrews 7:24 Hebrews 7:25 ) and likewise, because we ought not to seek, neither can find salvation in any other. ( Acts 4:12 ; john 15:4 john 15:5 ; 1 Timothy 2:5 ; Isaiah 43:11 ; 1 John 5:11 )
Q30: Do such then believe in Jesus the only Saviour, who seek their salvation and welfare of saints, of themselves, or anywhere else?
They do not; for though they boast of him in words, yet in deeds they deny Jesus the only deliverer and Saviour; ( 1cor 1:13 1cor 1:30 1cor 1:31 ; Galatians 5:4 ) for one of these two things must be true, that either Jesus is not a complete Saviour; or that they, who by a true faith receive this Saviour, must find all things in him necessary to their salvation. ( Hebrews 12:2 ; Isaiah 9:6 ; Colossians 1:19 Colossians 1:20 ; Colossians 2:10 ; 1john 1:7 1john 1:16 )
Q31: Why is he called "Christ", that is anointed?
Because he is ordained of God the Father, and anointed with the Holy Ghost, ( Hebrews 1:9 ; Psalms 45:8 ; Isaiah 61:1 ; Luke 4:18 ) to be our chief Prophet and Teacher, ( Deuteronomy 18:15 ; Acts 3:22 ; Acts 7:37 ; Isaiah 55:4 ) who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; ( John 1:18 ; John 15:15 ) and to be our only High Priest, ( Psalms 110:4 ) who by the one sacrifice of his body, has redeemed us, ( Hebrews 10:12 Hebrews 10:14 ; Hebrews 9:12 Hebrews 9:14 Hebrews 9:28 ) and makes continual intercession with the Father for us; ( Romans 8:34 ; Hebrews 9:24 ; 1 John 2:1 ; rom 5:9 rom 5:10 ) and also to be our eternal King, who governs us by his word and Spirit, and who defends and preserves us in that salvation, he has purchased for us. ( Psalms 2:6 ; 9:9 ; Matthew 21:5 ; Luke 1:33 ; Matthew 28:18 ; John 10:28 ; rev 12:10 rev 12:11 )
Q32: But why art thou called a Christian?
Because I am a member of Christ by faith, ( 1 Corinthians 6:15 ) and thus am partaker of his anointing; ( 1 John 2:27 ; Acts 2:17 ) that so I may confess his name, ( Matthew 10:32 ; Romans 10:10 ; Mark 8:38 ) and present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to him: ( Romans 12:1 ; 1pet 2:5 1pet 2:9 ; rev 5:8 rev 5:10 ; Revelation 1:6 ) and also that with a free and good conscience I may fight against sin and Satan in this life ( 1 Peter 2:11 ; rom 6:12 rom 6:13 ; gal 5:16 gal 5:17 ; Ephesians 6:11 ; 1tim 1:18 1tim 1:19 ) and afterwards I reign with him eternally, over all creatures. ( 2 Timothy 2:12 ; Matthew 24:34 )
Q33: Why is Christ called the "only begotten Son" of God, since we are also the children of God?
Because Christ alone is the eternal and natural Son of God; ( john 1:1-3 john 1:14 john 1:18 ; Hebrews 1:1 Hebrews 1:2 ; John 3:16 ; 1 John 4:9 ; Romans 8:32 ) but we are children adopted of God, by grace, for his sake. ( Romans 8:15-17 ; John 1:12 ; Galatians 4:6 ; Ephesians 1:5 Ephesians 1:6 )
Q34: Wherefore callest thou him "our Lord"?
Because he hath redeemed us, both soul and body, from all our sins, not with silver or gold, but with his precious blood, and has delivered us from all the power of the devil; and thus has made us his own property. ( 1pet 1:18 1pet 1:19 ; 1 Peter 2:9 ; 1 Corinthians 6:20 ; 1 Corinthians 7:23 ; 1 Timothy 2:6 ; John 20:28 )
Q35: What is the meaning of these words "He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary"?
That God's eternal Son, who is, and continues ( Romans 1:4 ; Romans 9:5 ) true and eternal God, ( 1 John 5:20 ; John 1:1 ; John 17:3 ; Romans 1:3 ; Colossians 1:15 ) took upon him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary, ( Galatians 4:4 ; luke 1:31 luke 1:42 luke 1:43 ) by the operation of the Holy Ghost; ( John 1:14 ; matt 1:18 matt 1:20 ; luke 1:32 luke 1:35 ) that he might also be the true seed of David, ( Psalms 132:11 ; Romans 1:3 ; 7:12 ; Acts 2:30 )like unto his brethren in all things, ( Philippians 2:7 ; Hebrews 2:14 Hebrews 2:17 ) sin excepted. ( Hebrews 4:15 )
Q36: What profit dost thou receive by Christ's holy conception and nativity?
That he is our Mediator; ( Hebrews 7:26 Hebrews 7:27 ; Hebrews 2:17 ) and with His innocence and perfect holiness, covers in the sight of God, my sins, wherein I was conceived and brought forth. ( 1pet 1:18 1pet 1:19 ; 1 Peter 3:18 ; 1cor 1:30 1cor 1:31 ; rom 8:3 rom 8:4 ; Isaiah 53:11 ; Psalms 32:1 )
Q37: What dost thou understand by the words, "He suffered"?
That he, all the time that he lived on earth, but especially at the end of his life, sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind: ( Isaiah 53:4 ; 1 Peter 2:24 ; 1 Peter 3:18 ; 1 Timothy 2:6 ) that so by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, ( Isaiah 53:10 Isaiah 53:12 ; Ephesians 5:2 ; 1 Corinthians 5:7 ; 1 John 2:2 ; 1 John 4:10 ; Romans 3:25 ; Hebrews 9:28 ; Hebrews 10:14 ) he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, ( Galatians 3:13 ; Colossians 1:13 ; Hebrews 9:12 ; 1pet 1:18 1pet 1:19 ) and obtain for us the favour of God, righteousness and eternal life. ( Romans 3:25 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21 ; John 3:16 ; John 6:51 ; Hebrews 9:15 ; Hebrews 10:19 )
Q38: Why did he suffer "under Pontius Pilate, as judge"?
That he, being innocent, and yet condemned by a temporal judge, ( John 18:38 ; Matthew 27:24 ; acts 4:27 acts 4:28 ; luke 23:14 luke 23:15 ; John 19:4 ) might thereby free us from the severe judgement of God to which we were exposed. ( Psalms 69:4 ; Isaiah 53:4 Isaiah 53:5 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21 ; Galatians 3:13 )
Q39: Is there anything more in his being "crucified", than if he had died some other death?
Yes there is; for thereby I am assured, that he took on him the curse which lay upon me; ( Galatians 3:13 ) for the death of the cross was accursed of God. ( Deuteronomy 21:23 )
Q40: Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even "unto death"?
Because with respect to the justice and truth of God, ( Genesis 2:17 ) satisfaction for our sins could be made no otherwise, than by the death of the Son of God. ( rom 8:3 rom 8:4 ; Hebrews 2:9 Hebrews 2:14 Hebrews 2:15 )
Q42: Since then Christ died for us, why must we also die?
Our death is not a satisfaction for our sins, ( Mark 8:37 ; Psalms 49:7 ) but only an abolishing of sin, and a passage into eternal life. ( John 5:24 ; Philippians 1:23 ; Romans 7:24 )
Q43: What further benefit do we receive from the sacrifice and death of Christ on the cross?
That by virtue thereof, our old man is crucified, dead and buried with him; ( Romans 6:6 ) that so the corrupt inclinations of the flesh may no more reign in us; ( rom 6:6-8 rom 6:11 rom 6:12 ; Colossians 2:12 ) but that we may offer ourselves unto him a sacrifice of thanksgiving. ( Romans 12:1 )
Q44: Why is there added, "he descended into hell"?
That in my greatest temptations, I may be assured, and wholly comfort myself in this, that my Lord Jesus Christ, by his inexpressible anguish, pains, terrors, and hellish agonies, in which he was plunged during all his sufferings, ( Psalms 18:5 Psalms 18:6 ; Psalms 116:3 ; Matthew 26:38 ; Hebrews 5:7 ; Isaiah 53:10 ; Matthew 27:46 ) but especially on the cross, has delivered me from the anguish and torments of hell. ( Isaiah 53:5 )
Q45: What does the "resurrection" of Christ profit us?
First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, that he might make us partakers of that righteousness which he had purchased for us by his death; ( 1 Corinthians 15:16 ; Romans 4:25 ; 1 Peter 1:3 ) secondly, we are also by his power raised up to a new life; ( Romans 6:4 ; Colossians 3:1 Colossians 3:3 ; Ephesians 2:5 Ephesians 2:6 ) and lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection. ( 1cor 15:12 1cor 15:20 1cor 15:21 ; Romans 8:11 )
Q46: How dost thou understand these words, "he ascended into heaven"?
That Christ, in sight of his disciples, was taken up from earth into heaven; ( Acts 1:9 ; Matthew 26:64 ; Mark 16:19 ; Luke 24:51 ) and that he continues there for our interest, ( Hebrews 7:25 ; Hebrews 4:14 ; Hebrews 9:24 ; Romans 8:34 ; Ephesians 4:10 ; Colossians 3:1 ) until he comes again to judge the quick and the dead. ( Acts 1:11 ; Matthew 24:30 )
Q47: Is not Christ then with us even to the end of the world, as he has promised?
Christ is very man and very God; with respect to his human nature, he is no more on earth; ( Hebrews 8:4 ; Matthew 26:11 ; John 16:28 ; John 17:11 ; Acts 3:21 ) but with respect to his Godhead, majesty, grace and spirit, he is at no time absent from us. ( John 14:17-19 ; John 16:13 ; Matthew 28:20 ; Ephesians 4:8 Ephesians 4:12 )
Q48: But if his human nature is not present, wherever his Godhead is, are not then these two natures in Christ separated from one another?
Not as all, for since the Godhead is illimitable and omnipresent, ( Acts 7:49 ; Jeremiah 23:24 ) it must necessarily follow that the same is beyond the limits of the human nature he assumed, ( Colossians 2:9 ; John 3:13 ; John 11:15 ; Matthew 28:6 ) and yet is nevertheless in this human nature, and remains personally united to it.
Q49: Of what advantage to us is Christ's ascension into heaven?
First, that he is our advocate in the presence of his Father in heaven; ( 1 John 2:1 ; Romans 8:34 ) secondly, that we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that he, as the head, will also take up to himself, us, his members; ( John 14:2 ; John 17:24 ; John 20:17 ; Ephesians 2:6 ) thirdly, that he sends us his Spirit as an earnest, ( john 14:16 john 14:7 ; acts 2:1-4 acts 2:33 ; 2 Corinthians 1:22 ; 2 Corinthians 5:5 ) by whose power we "seek the things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God, and not things on earth." ( Colossians 3:1 ; Philippians 3:14 )
Q50: Why is it added, "and sitteth at the right hand of God"?
Because Christ is ascended into heaven for this end, that he might appear as head of his church, ( Ephesians 1:20 Ephesians 1:21 Ephesians 1:23 ; Colossians 1:18 ) by whom the Father governs all things. ( Matthew 28:18 ; John 5:22 )
Q51: What profit is this glory of Christ, our head, unto us?
First, that by his Holy Spirit he pours out heavenly graces upon us his members; ( Acts 2:33 ; Ephesians 4:8 ) and then that by his power he defends and preserves us against all enemies. ( Psalms 2:9 ; Psalms 110:1 Psalms 110:2 ; John 10:28 ; Ephesians 4:8 )
Q62: What comfort is it to thee that "Christ shall come again to judge the quick and the dead"?
That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head I look for the very same person, who before offered himself for my sake, to the tribunal of God, and has removed all curse from me, to come as judge from heaven: ( Luke 21:28 ; Romans 8:23 ; Philippians 3:20 ; Titus 2:13 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ) who shall cast all his and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, ( 2thess 1:6 2thess 1:8-10 ; Matthew 25:41-43 ) but shall translate me with all his chosen ones to himself, into heavenly joys and glory. ( Matthew 25:34 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:7 )
Q53: What dost thou believe concerning the Holy Ghost?
First, that he is true and coeternal God with the Father and the Son; ( 1 John 5:7 ; Genesis 1:2 ; Isaiah 48:16 ; 1 Corinthians 3:16 ; 1 Corinthians 6:19 ; acts 5:3 acts 5:4 ) secondly, that he is also given me, ( Galatians 4:6 ; matt 28:19 matt 28:20 ; 2cor 1:21 2cor 1:22 ; Ephesians 1:13 ) to make me by a true faith, partaker of Christ and all his benefits, ( Galatians 3:14 ; 1 Peter 1:2 ; 1 Corinthians 6:17 ) that he may comfort me ( Acts 9:31 ; John 15:26 ) and abide with me for ever. ( John 14:16 ; 1 Peter 4:14 )
Q54: What believest thou concerning the "holy catholic church" of Christ?
That the Son of God ( Ephesians 5:26 ; John 10:11 ; Acts 20:28 ; Ephesians 4:11-13 ) from the beginning to the end of the world, ( Psalms 71:17 Psalms 71:18 ; Isaiah 59:21 ; 1 Corinthians 11:26 ) gathers, defends, and preserves ( Matthew 16:18 ; John 10:28-30 ; Psalms 129:1-5 ) to himself by his Spirit and word, ( Isaiah 59:21 ; Romans 1:16 ; Romans 10:14-17 ; Ephesians 5:26 ) out of the whole human race, ( Genesis 26:4 ; Revelation 5:9 ) a church chosen to everlasting life, ( rom 8:29 rom 8:30 ; Ephesians 1:10-13 ) agreeing in true faith; ( Acts 2:46 ; Ephesians 4:3-6 ) and that I am and forever shall remain, ( Psalms 23:6 ; 1cor 1:8 1cor 1:9 ; John 10:28 ; 1 John 2:19 ; 1 Peter 1:5 ) a living member thereof. ( 1john 3:14 1john 3:19-21 ; 2 Corinthians 13:5 ; Romans 8:10 )
Q55: What do you understand by "the communion of saints"?
First, that all and every one, who believes, being members of Christ, are in common, partakers of him, and of all his riches and gifts; ( 1 John 1:3 ; 1 Corinthians 1:9 ; Romans 8:32 ; 1cor 12:12 1cor 12:13 ; 1 Corinthians 6:17 ) secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members. ( 1 Corinthians 12:21 ; 1cor 13:1 1cor 13:5 ; Philippians 2:4-8 )
Q56: What believest thou concerning "the forgiveness of sins"?
That God, for the sake of Christ's satisfaction, will no more remember my sins, neither my corrupt nature, against which I have to struggle all my life long; ( 1 John 2:2 ; 1 John 1:7 ; 2cor 5:19 2cor 5:21 ) but will graciously impute to me the righteousness of Christ, ( Jeremiah 31:34 ; Psalms 103:3 Psalms 103:4 ; Psalms 103:10 Psalms 103:12 ; Micah 7:19 Micah 7:23-25 ) that I may never be condemned before the tribunal of God. ( Romans 8:1-4 ; John 3:18 ; John 5:24 )
Q57: What comfort does the "resurrection of the body" afford thee?
That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken up to Christ its head; ( Luke 16:22 ; Luke 23:43 ; philip 1:21 philip 1:23 ) but also, that this my body, being raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and made like unto the glorious body of Christ. ( 1cor 15:53 1cor 15:54 ; Job 19:25 Job 19:26 ; 1 John 3:2 ; Philippians 3:21 )
Q58: What comfort takest thou from the article of "life everlasting"?
That since I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, ( 2cor 5:2 2cor 5:3 ) after this life, I shall inherit perfect salvation, which "eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man" to conceive, and that to praise God therein for ever. ( 1 Corinthians 2:9 ; John 17:3 )
Q60: How are thou righteous before God?
Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ; ( rom 3:21-25 rom 3:28 ; rom 5:1 rom 5:2 ; Galatians 2:16 ; Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 2:9 ; Philippians 3:9 ) so that, though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and kept none of them, ( Romans 3:9 ) and am still inclined to all evil; ( Romans 7:23 ) notwithstanding, God, without any merit of mine, ( Titus 3:5 ; Deuteronomy 9:6 ; 36:22 ) but only of mere grace, ( Romans 3:24 ; Ephesians 2:8 ) grants and imputes to me, ( rom 4:4 rom 4:5 ; 2 Corinthians 5:19 ) the perfect satisfaction, ( 1 John 2:2 ) righteousness and holiness of Christ; ( 1 John 2:1 ) even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me; ( 2 Corinthians 5:21 ) inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart. ( Romans 3:22 ; John 3:18 )
Q61: Why sayest thou, that thou art righteous by faith only?
Not that I am acceptable to God, on account of the worthiness of my faith; but because only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, is my righteousness before God; ( 1 Corinthians 1:30 ; 1 Corinthians 2:2 ) and that I cannot receive and apply the same to myself any other way than by faith only. ( 1 John 5:10 )
Q62: But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part of our righteousness before God?
Because, that the righteousness, which can be approved of before the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect, ( Galatians 3:10 ; Deuteronomy 27:26 ) and in all respects conformable to the divine law; and also, that our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin. ( Isaiah 64:6 )
Q63: What! do not our good works merit, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?
This reward is not of merit, but of grace. ( Luke 17:10 )
Q64: But does not this doctrine make men careless and profane?
By no means: for it is impossible that those, who are implanted into Christ by a true faith, should not bring forth fruits of thankfulness. ( Matthew 7:18 ; John 15:5 )
Q65: Since then we are made partakers of Christ and all his benefits by faith only, whence does this faith proceed?
From the Holy Ghost, ( Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 2:9 ; Ephesians 6:23 ; John 3:5 ; Philippians 1:29 ) who works faith in our hearts by the preaching of the gospel, and confirms it by the use of the sacraments. ( matt 28:19 matt 28:20 ; 1pet 1:22 1pet 1:23 )
Q66: What are the sacraments?
The sacraments are holy visible signs and seals, appointed of God for this end, that by the use thereof, he may the more fully declare and seal to us the promise of the gospel, viz., that he grants us freely the remission of sin, and life eternal, for the sake of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross. ( Genesis 17:11 ; Romans 4:11 ; Deuteronomy 30:6 ; Leviticus 6:25 ; Hebrews 9:7-9 Hebrews 9:24 ; 20:12 ; Isaiah 6:6 Isaiah 6:7 ; Isaiah 54:9 )
Q67: Are both word and sacraments, then, ordained and appointed for this end, that they may direct our faith to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, as the only ground of our salvation?
Yes, indeed: for the Holy Ghost teaches us in the gospel, and assures us by the sacraments, that the whole of our salvation depends upon that one sacrifice of Christ which he offered for us on the cross.
Q68: How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the new covenant, or testament?
Two: namely, holy baptism, and the holy supper.
Q69: How art thou admonished and assured by holy baptism, that the one sacrifice of Christ upon the cross is of real advantage to thee?
Thus: That Christ appointed this external washing with water, ( Matthew 28:19 ) adding thereto this promise, ( Matthew 28:19 ; Acts 2:38 ; Matthew 3:11 ; Mark 16:16 ; John 1:33 ; rom 6:3 rom 6:4 ) that I am as certainly washed by his blood and Spirit from all the pollution of my soul, that is, from all my sins, ( 1 Peter 3:21 ; Mark 1:4 ; Luke 3:3 ) as I am washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is commonly washed away.
Q70: What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?
It is to receive of God the remission of sins, freely, for the sake of Christ's blood, which he shed for us by his sacrifice upon the cross; ( Hebrews 12:24 ; 1 Peter 1:2 ; Revelation 1:5 ; Revelation 7:14 ; 13:1 ; 36:25 ) and also to be renewed by the Holy Ghost, and sanctified to be members of Christ, that so we may more and more die unto sin, and lead holy and unblamable lives. ( John 1:33 ; John 3:5 ; 1 Corinthians 6:11 ; 1 Corinthians 12:13 ; Romans 6:4 ; Colossians 2:12 )
Q71: Where has Christ promised us, that he will as certainly wash us by his blood and Spirit, as we are washed with the water of baptism?
In the institution of baptism, which is thus expressed: "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost", Matt 28:19. And "he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.", Mark 16:16. This promise is also repeated, where the scripture calls baptism "the washing of regenerations" and the washing away of sins. Tit 3:5, Acts 22:16. ( Titus 3:5 ; Acts 22:16 )
Q72: Is then the external baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?
Not at all: ( Matthew 3:11 ; 1 Peter 3:21 ; Ephesians 5:26 Ephesians 5:27 ) for the blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Ghost cleanse us from all sin. ( 1 John 1:7 ; 1 Corinthians 6:11 )
Q73: Why then does the Holy Ghost call baptism "the washing of regeneration," and "the washing away of sins"?
God speaks thus not without great cause, to-wit, not only thereby to teach us, that as the filth of the body is purged away by water, so our sins are removed by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ; ( Revelation 1:5 ; Revelation 7:14 ; 1 Corinthians 6:11 ) but especially that by this divine pledge and sign he may assure us, that we are spiritually cleansed from our sins as really, as we are externally washed with water. ( Mark 16:16 ; Galatians 3:27 )
Q74: Are infants also to be baptized?
Yes: for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the covenant and church of God; ( Genesis 17:7 ) and since redemption from sin ( Matthew 19:14 ) by the blood of Christ, and the Holy Ghost, the author of faith, is promised to them no less than to the adult; ( Luke 1:15 ; Psalms 22:10 ; Isaiah 44:1-3 ; Acts 2:39 ) they must therefore by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, be also admitted into the christian church; and be distinguished from the children of unbelievers ( Acts 10:47 ) as was done in the old covenant or testament by circumcision, ( Genesis 17:14 ) instead of which baptism is instituted ( Colossians 2:11-13 ) in the new covenant.
Q75: How art thou admonished and assured in the Lord's Supper, that thou art a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross, and of all his benefits?
Thus: That Christ has commanded me and all believers, to eat of this broken bread, and to drink of this cup, in remembrance of him, adding these promises: ( Matthew 26:26-28 ; Mark 14:22-24 ; luke 22:19 luke 22:20 ; 1cor 10:16 1cor 10:17 ; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 ; 1 Corinthians 12:13 ) first, that his body was offered and broken on the cross for me, and his blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes, the bread of the Lord broken for me, and the cup communicated to me; and further, that he feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with his crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.
Q76: What is it then to eat the crucified body, and drink the shed blood of Christ?
It is not only to embrace with believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ and thereby to obtain the pardon of sin, and life eternal; ( john 6:35 john 6:40 john 6:47-54 ) but also, besides that, to become more and more united to his sacred body, ( john 6:55 john 6:56 ) by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us; so that we, though Christ is in heaven ( Colossians 3:1 ; Acts 3:21 ; 1 Corinthians 11:26 ) and we on earth, are notwithstanding "flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone" ( Ephesians 3:16 ; Ephesians 5:29 Ephesians 5:30 Ephesians 5:32 ; 1cor 6:15 1cor 6:17 1cor 6:19 ; 1 John 3:24 ; 1 John 4:13 ; John 14:23 ) and that we live, and are governed forever by one spirit, ( John 6:56-58 ; John 15:1-6 ; Ephesians 4:15 Ephesians 4:16 ) as members of the same body are by one soul.
Q77: Where has Christ promised that he will as certainly feed and nourish believers with his body and bleed, as they eat of this broken bread, and drink of this cup?
In the institution of the supper, which is thus expressed: ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 ; Matthew 26:26-28 ; Mark 14:22-24 ; luke 22:19 luke 22:20 ; 1cor 10:16 1cor 10:17 ) "The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and: said: eat, this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying: this cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For, as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come." 1Cor 11:23-26.This promise is repeated by the holy apostle Paul, where he says "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread." 1Cor 10:16,17.
Q78: Do then the bread and wine become the very body and blood of Christ?
Not at all: ( Matthew 26:29 ) but as the water in baptism is not changed into the blood of Christ, neither is the washing away of sin itself, being only the sign and confirmation thereof appointed of God; ( Ephesians 5:26 ; Titus 3:5 ) so the bread in the Lord's supper is not changed into the very body of Christ; ( Mark 14:24 ; 1cor 10:16 1cor 10:17 1cor 10:26-28 ) though agreeably to the nature and properties of sacraments, ( gen 17:10 gen 17:11 gen 17:14 gen 17:19 ; exod 12:11 exod 12:13 exod 12:27 exod 12:43 exod 12:48 ; 13:9 ; 1 Peter 3:21 ; 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 ) it is called the body of Christ Jesus.
Q79: Why then doth Christ call the bread "his body", and the cup "his blood", or "the new covenant in his blood"; and Paul the "communion of body and blood of Christ"?
Christ speaks thus, not without great reason, namely, not only thereby to teach us, that as bread and wine support this temporal life, so his crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink, whereby our souls are fed to eternal life; ( john 6:51 john 6:55 ) but more especially by these visible signs and pledges to assure us, that we are as really partakers of his true body and blood by the operation of the Holy Ghost as we receive by the mouths of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of him; ( 1cor 10:16 1cor 10:17 ) and that all his sufferings and obedience are as certainly ours, as if we had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction for our sins to God.