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A Scripture Catechism, in the Method of the Assemblies Q. 80-89

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Q. 80. What is required in the tenth commandment?

A. The tenth commandment requires a full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit towards our neighbour, and all that is his.

  1. Has God the disposal of our outward condition?
    Yes: My times are in thy hand, Ps. 31:15.

    And does he order all events concerning us?
    Yes: He performeth the thing that is appointed for us, Job 23:14.

    Ought we therefore to be content with our condition?
    Yes: Be content with such things as you have, Heb. 13:5.

    Ought we to be content in every condition?
    Yes: I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content, Phil. 4:11.

    Must we be content with a little?
    Yes: Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content, 1 Tim. 6:8.

  2. Can we expect that our condition should be in every thing brought to our mind?
    No: For all is vanity, Eccl. 1:14.

    Is it therefore our wisdom to bring our mind to our condition?
    Yes: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound, Phil. 4:12.

    Is anything got by this?
    Yes: Godliness with contentment is great gain, 1 Tim. 6:6.

    And is this the way to be easy?
    Yes: In your patience possess ye your souls, Luke 21:19.

  3. Is that best which is?
    Yes: It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good, 1 Sam. 3:18.

    Must we therefore make the best of it?
    Yes: For wherefore should a living man complain? Lam. 3:39.

    And must we acknowledge it is better than we deserve?
    Yes: I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies, Gen. 32:10.

  4. Ought we to desire the welfare of our neighbours?
    Yes: Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth, 1 Cor. 10:24.

    And to pray for it?
    Yes: Supplications and prayers must be made for all men, 1 Tim. 2:1.

    And to be well pleased with it?
    Yes: Rejoice with them that do rejoice, Rom. 12:15.

    And to lay to heart our neighbour's troubles?
    Yes: Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them, Heb. 13:3.

    And is this a charitable frame of spirit?
    Yes: For charity suffers long, and is kind, 1 Cor. 13:4.

Q. 81 What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?

A. The tenth commandment forbids all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour, and all inordinate desires and affections to any thing that is his.

  1. Is it a sin to fret at the disposals of God's providence?
    Yes: For shall we receive good of the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil also? Job 2:10.

    Is it a sin to quarrel with them?
    Yes: For they that murmured were destroyed of the destroyer, 1 Cor. 10:10.

    Is it an evil thing to undervalue the mercies we have?
    Yes: As the Israelites that said, There is nothing besides this manna, Numb. 11:6.

    And to aggravate the afflictions we are under?
    Yes: As they that said, We die, we perish, we all perish, Numb. 17:12.

    May we in any thing be discontented?
    No: For we must in everything give thanks, 1 Thess. 5:18.

  2. Is it a sin against this commandment to envy our neighbour's welfare?
    Yes: For charity envieth not, 1 Cor. 13:4.

    Is envy an offence to God?
    Yes: For is our eye evil because his is good? Matt. 20:15.

    Is it hurtful to ourselves?
    Yes: For envy is the rottenness of the bones, Prov. 14:30.

    Is it the cause of much mischief?
    Yes: For where envy is, there is confusion, and every evil work, James 3:16.

    Is it a sin to be pleased with our neighbour's hurt or loss?
    Yes: He that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished, Prov. 17:5.

  3. Is it a sin to desire to sin?
    Yes: Lust not after evil things, as they also lusted, 1 Cor. 10:6.

    Does all sin begin in the lustings of the heart?
    Yes: For lust, when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin, James 1:15.

    Is it a sin to desire any temporal good inordinately?
    Yes: As Rachel, that said, Give me children, or else I die, Gen. 30:1.

    And is it a sin to lust after the delights of sense?
    Yes: As the Israelites who wept again, saying, Who will give us flesh to eat? Numb. 11:4.

    Must we therefore suppress all sinful desires?
    Yes: And make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof, Rom. 13:14.

  4. Is it a sin to set our hearts upon worldly wealth?
    Yes: Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world, 1 John 2:15.

    Is covetousness an offence to God?
    Yes: For it is idolatry, Col. 3:5.

    Will it be a vexation to ourselves?
    Yes: For he that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver, Eccl. 5:10.

    Will it be a vexation to our families?
    Yes: For he that is greedy of gain troubles his own house, Prov. 15:27.

  5. And injurious to our neighbour?
    Yes: For they that lay house to house, and field to field, would be placed alone in the midst of the earth, Isa. 5:8.

    Is covetousness the cause of much sin?
    Yes: For they that will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare, 1 Tim. 6:9.

    Must we therefore watch against it?
    Yes: Take heed, and beware of covetousness, Luke 12:15.

    And must we abstain from all the practices of it?
    Yes: Let your conversation be without covetousness, Heb. 13:5.

    And must we pray earnestly against it?
    Yes: Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness, Ps. 119:36.

Q. 82. Is any man able in this life 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 does daily break them in thought, word, or deed.

  1. Are any in this world perfectly free from sin?
    No: For there is no man that sinneth not, 2 Chron. 6:36.

    Was Christ, who was not a mere man, perfect?
    Yes: He knew no sin, 2 Cor. 5:21.

    Was Adam before the fall perfect?
    Yes: For God made man upright, Eccl. 7:29.

    Are the saints in the other life perfect?
    Yes: The glorious church is without spot or wrinkle, Eph. 5:27.

    But is any mere man since the fall in this life perfect?
    No: For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not, Eccl. 7:20.

  2. Are self-justifiers self-deceivers?
    Yes: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, 1 John 1:8.

    And do they put a great affront upon God?
    Yes: For if we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, 1 John 1:10.

  3. Are not we able to keep God's commandments better than we do?
    Yes: If I have done iniquity, I will do no more, Job 34:32.

    But are we able perfectly to keep them?
    No: For when I would do good, evil is present with me, Rom. 7:21.

    Though Noah was said to be perfect, yet did not he sin?
    Yes: For he drank of the wine, and was drunk, Gen. 9:21.

    And Job?
    Yes: For he cursed his day, Job 3:1.

    And Hezekiah?
    Yes: For his heart was lifted up, 2 Chron. 32:25.

    Was St Paul himself perfect?
    No: Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, Phil. 3:12.

  4. Do we sin daily?
    Yes: In many things we offend all, Jam. 3:2.

    Do we daily sin in thought?
    Yes: For, The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth, Gen. 8:21.

    Are we guilty of many tongue sins?
    Yes: In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin, Prov. 10:19.

    Are the best guilty of many defects?
    Yes: For when the spirit is willing the flesh is weak, Matt. 26:41.

    And of many inadvertencies?
    Yes: They are overtaken in a fault, Gal. 6:1.

    Can we tell how often we offend?
    No: Who can understand his errors? Ps. 19:13.

    Should we not therefore have recourse to Christ daily by faith and repentance?
    Yes: If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, 1 John 2:1.

Q. 83. Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?

A. Some sins in themselves, and, by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

  1. Is every sin done in God's sight?
    Yes: I did this evil in thy sight, Ps. 51:4.

    Is it heinous in God's sight?
    Yes: For he is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, Hab. 1:13.

    But is every sin alike heinous?
    No: He that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin, John 19:11.

    Are some sins in themselves more heinous than others?
    Yes: If a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him? 1 Sam. 2:25.

    Are presumptuous sins more heinous than others?
    Yes: The soul that doeth ought presumptuously, that soul reproacheth the Lord, Numb. 15:30.

    Was ever any sin so heinous as not to be forgiven?
    Yes: The Pharisees blasphemy against the Holy Ghost was so, Mat 12:32.

  2. Are sins against knowledge aggravated sins?
    Yes: That servant that knew his Lord's will, and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes, Luke 12:47.

    And sins against mercies?
    Yes: Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people, and unwise? Deut. 32:6.

    Especially against spiritual mercies?
    Yes: As Solomon who turned from the Lord God of Israel which had appeared unto him twice, 1 Kings 11:9.

    Are sins against reproof aggravated sins?
    Yes: He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck shall suddenly be destroyed, Prov. 29:1.

    And sins against our vows and covenants?
    Yes: Thou saidst, I will not transgress, Jer. 2:20.

  3. Are the sins of great professors aggravated sins?
    Yes: For the name of God is blasphemed through them, Rom. 2:24.

    And the sins of ministers?
    Yes: Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Rom. 2:21.

    May the place be an aggravation of the sin?
    Yes: They provoked him at the sea, even at the red sea, Ps. 106:7.

    And the time?
    Yes: They turned aside quickly, Ex. 32:8.

  4. Is it an aggravation of sin, if it be done with contrivance?
    Yes: Woe to them that deviese iniquity, Mic. 2:1.

    And if it be done with delight?
    Yes: They rejoice to do evil, Prov. 2:14.

    And without blushing?
    Yes: They declare their sin as Sodom, Isa. 3:9.

    And if it be boasted of?
    Yes: Whose glory is in their shame, Phil. 3:19.

    And if it be often repeated?
    Yes: They have tempted me now these ten times, Num. 14:22.

    Should we take notice of these aggravations in our confessions?
    Yes: Aaron shall confess the iniquity of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, Lev. 16:21.

Q. 84. What does every sin deserve?

A. Every sin deserves God's wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come.

  1. Does sin provoke God?
    Yes: Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly, Hos. 12:14.

    Does it deserve his wrath?
    Yes: According to their deserts will I judge them, Ezek. 7:27.

    Does that wrath rest upon impenitent sinners?
    Yes: The wrath of God abideth on them, John 3:36.

    And is it just it should?
    Yes: For when God renders to every man according to his work, he renders indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, to every soul of man that doeth evil, Rom. 2:6,8.

  2. Does sin deserve God's curse?
    Yes: Cursed is every one that continues not in all things written in the book of the law to do them, Gal. 3:10.

    Can any avoid that curse?
    No: For all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee, Deut. 28:15.

    Can a man bear up under that curse?
    No: For it shall come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones, Ps. 109:18.

    Can a man fortify himself against that curse?
    No: For it shall consume the house, with the timber thereof, and the stones thereof, Zech. 5:4.

  3. Does sin deserve God's wrath and curse in this life?
    Yes: For these things' sake cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience, Col. 3:6.

    And in the life to come?
    Yes: For wrath is treasured up against the day of wrath, Rom. 2:5.

    Does every sin deserve God's wrath?
    Yes: For the wages of sin is death, Rom. 6:23.

    Is any sin venial in its own nature?
    No: For the blood of Christ is that which must cleanse from all sin, 1 John 1:7.

    Does your sin deserve this wrath and curse?
    Yes: If I be wicked, woe to me, Job 10:15.

Q. 85. What does God require of us, that we may escape the wrath and curse due to us for sin?

A. To escape the wrath and anger of God due to us for sin, God requires of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with a diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption.

  1. Is the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin?
    Yes: We are by nature children of wrath, Eph. 2:3.

    Has God provided a way of escape from that wrath?
    Yes: I have found a ransom, Job 33:24.

    Does the gospel show us that way?
    Yes: He shall tell thee words whereby thou mayest be saved, Acts 11:14.

    Is it through Christ that we may escape this wrath?
    Yes: It is Jesus that delivereth us from the wrath to come, 1 Thess. 1:10.

    Is anything to be done by us in order to our escape?
    Yes: Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in you, Phil. 2:12,13.

  2. Are we concerned to inquire what is to be done by us in order to our escape?
    Yes: Wherewithal shall I come before the Lord? Mic. 6:6.

    Will a convinced conscience put us upon this inquiry?
    Yes: When they were pricked to the heart they said, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Acts 2:37.

    Must we be serious and solicitous in this inquiry?
    Yes: As the gaoler that came trembling and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30.

    Must we be speedy in this inquiry?
    Yes: The morning cometh, and also the night, if ye will inquire, inquire ye, Isa. 21:12.

    Must we make this inquiry with resolution?
    Yes: They shall ask their way to Zion with their faces thitherward, Jer. 50:5.

    Must we apply ourselves to Christ with this inquiry
    Yes: Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? Matt. 19:16.

  3. Is that which is to be done by us for our salvation required of us?
    Yes: This is his commandment, That we believe, 1 John 3:23.

    And are we called upon to do it?
    Yes: Turn ye, turn ye: why will ye die, 0 house of Israel? Ezek. 33:11.

  4. Is faith in Jesus Christ required that we may escape this wrath?
    Yes: Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved, Acts 16:31.

    Is repentance required?
    Yes: Repent, and be converted, that our sins may be blotted out, Acts 3:19.

    Did our Lord Jesus preach these as the two great commandments of the gospel?
    Yes: The kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel, Mark 1:15.

    Did the apostles preach them?
    Yes: Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, aud faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 20:21.

    And is it required that we diligently use the means of grace?
    Yes: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, Matt. 28:20.

Q. 86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?

A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.

  1. Are we to believe in Jesus Christ?
    Yes: Ye believe in God, believe also in me, John 14:1.

    Is Christ in the word the object of our faith?
    Yes: For the word is nigh thee, Rom. 10:8.

    Is faith in Christ a grace?
    Yes: It is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, Eph. 2:8.

    Is it free grace?
    Yes: To you it is given on the behalf of Christ to believe in him, Phil. 1:29.

    Is it a saving grace?
    Yes: For we believe to the saving of the soul, Heb. 10:39.

    Is it that by which we live?
    Yes: The just shall five by his faith, Rom. 1:17.

    Is unbelief the great damning sin?
    Yes: They could not enter in because of unbelief, Heb. 3:19.

  2. Do we by faith assent to gospel truths?
    Yes: He that has received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true, John 3:33.

    Do we by faith consent to gospel terms?
    Yes: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, Matt. 11:29.

    Must both these go together?
    Yes: He said, Lord, I believe, and he worshipped him, John 9:38.

    Is there good reason for both?
    Yes: For it is both a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, 1 Tim. 1:15.

  3. Is this receiving Christ?
    Yes: Ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, Col. 2:6.

    Is it applying the righteousness of Christ to ourselves?
    Yes: Who loved me, and gave himself for me, Gal. 2:20.

    And consenting to it?
    Yes: We have now received the atonement, Rom. 5:11.

    Must we receive Christ to rule us as well as to save us?
    Yes: For him hath God exalted to be both a Prince and a Saviour, Acts 5:31.

    And is it enough only to receive him?
    No: As we have received him, so we must walk in him, Col. 2:6.

  4. Do we by faith rest on Christ alone for salvation?
    Yes: In his name shall the Gentiles trust, Matt. 12:21.

    And rely on his righteousness?
    Yes: That I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, Phil. 3:9.

    And do we rejoice in him?
    Yes: For we are the circumcision that rejoice in Christ Jesus, Phil. 3:3.

  5. Will faith in Christ produce good affections?
    Yes: For it works by love, Gal. 5:6.

    Will it purify the heart?
    Yes: Purifying their hearts by faith, Acts 15:9.

    Will it overcome the world?
    Yes: This is the victory, overcoming the world, even your faith, 1 John 5:4.

    Will it resist the temptations of Satan?
    Yes: The shield of faith quenches the fiery darts of the wicked, Eph. 6:16.

    Does it exert itself in obedience?
    Yes: For the gospel is made known to all nations for the obedience of faith, Rom. 16:26.

    And does it subject the soul to the grace and government of the Lord Jesus?
    Yes: My Lord, and my God, John 20:28.

Q. 87. 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, does with grief and hatred of his sin turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after, new obedience.

  1. Is true repentance, repentance unto life?
    Yes: God hath to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life, Acts 11:18.

    Is it a grace?
    Yes: If God peradventure will give them repentance, 2 Tim. 2:25.

    Is it a saving grace?
    Yes: Godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, 2 Cor. 7:10.

  2. Is repentance required of every one of us?
    Yes: God commandeth all men everywhere to repent, Acts 17:30.

    Is it necessary to our pardon?
    Yes: For repentance and remission of sins are preached to all nations, Luke 24:47.

    Is it given to qualify us for pardon?
    Yes: God hath exalted his Son Christ Jesus, to give repentance and remission of sins, Acts 5:3.

    Can we be saved without it?
    No: Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish, Luke 13:3.

  3. Is it necessary to repentance, that there be a sense of sin?
    Yes: Cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, Ezek. 16:2.

    Must there be an acknowledgment of sin?
    Yes: I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me, Ps. 51:3.

    Must we acknowledge the fact of sin?
    Yes: Thus and thus have I done, Josh. 7:20.

    And the fault?
    Yes: I have done this evil in thy sight, Ps. 51:4.

    And the folly of it?
    Yes: O God, thou knowest my foolishness, Ps. 69:5.

    Must we acknowledge the original of sin?
    Yes: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, Ps. 51:5.

    Must we acknowledge ourselves odious to God's holiness because of sin?
    Yes: Behold, I am vile, Job 11:4.

    And obnoxious to his justice?
    Yes: If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand, Ps. 130:3.

  4. Must there be an apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ?
    Yes: There is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared, Ps. 130:4.

    Must that invite us to repent?
    Yes: The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance, Rom. 2:4.

    Is that evangelical repentance which flows from a hope of that mercy?
    Yes: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, Matt. 3:2.

    Can there be true repentance where there is a despair of mercy?
    No: Thou saidst there is hope; no, I have loved strangers, and after them will I go, Jer. 2:25.

    Have we reason to hope for that mercy?
    Yes: Turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy, Isa. 55:7.

  5. Must there be contrition for sin?
    Yes: When they heard this, they were pricked to the heart, Acts. 2:37.

    Must we turn from sin?
    Yes: Everyone mourning for his iniquities, Ezek. 7:16.

    Must we mourn greatly for sin?
    Yes: Peter went out and wept bitterly, Matt. 26:75.

    Must we mourn after a godly sort?
    Yes: Ye sorrowed according to God, 2 Cor. 7:9,margin.

    Must we mourn for sin with an eye to Christ?
    Yes: They shall look on him whom they have pierced, and mourn, Zech. 12:10.

  6. Must we hate sin?
    Yes: I hate every false way, Ps. 119:128.

    Must we loathe ourselves because of sin?
    Yes: I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes, Job 42:6.

    Must we be ashamed of ourselves before God?
    Yes: I am ashamed, and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God, Ezra 9:6.

    And must we humble ourselves greatly in his presence?
    Yes: As the publican that stood afar off; and would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, Luke 18:13.

  7. Must we confess our sins?
    Yes: For he that covers his sins shall not prosper, Prov. 28:13.

    And must we aggravate them?
    Yes: I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, Luke 15:18.

    And must we judge ourselves because of them?
    Yes: If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged, 1 Cor. 11:31.

    And must we cry earnestly to God for pardon in the blood of Christ?
    Yes: God be merciful to me a sinner, Luke 18:13.

  8. Must we turn from sin?
    Yes: Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions, Ezek. 18:30.

    From our own sin?
    Yes: Return ye now every one from his evil way, Jer. 18:11.

    And must we turn to God?
    Yes: If thou wilt return, O Israel, return unto me, Jer. 4:1.

    Are backsliders invited to return?
    Yes: Return ye backsliding children, Jer. 3:22.

    And should they accept the invitation?
    Yes: Behold, we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God, Jer. 3:22.

  9. In repentance must there be a change of the mind?
    Yes: Make ye a new heart, Ezek. 18:31.

    Must there be a change of the way?
    Yes: Cease to do evil, learn to do well, Isa. 1:16,17.

    Must there be a full resolution against all sin?
    Yes: Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols, Hos. 14:8.

    And a full resolution of new obedience?
    Yes: The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey, Josh. 24:24.

    And must we be serious in our endeavours accordingly?
    Yes: Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance, Matt. 3:8.

Q. 88. What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption?

A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates 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.

  1. Does Christ communicate the benefits of redemption?
    Yes: For of his fulness have all we received, John 1:16.

    Does he ordinarily communicate them by means?
    Yes: I will for this be inquired of, Ezek. 36:37.

    Is he tied to those means?
    No: For the Spirit, as the wind, bloweth where he listeth, John 3:8.

    But are we tied to the use of them?
    Yes: Where I record my name, I will come to thee, and will bless thee, Exod. 20:24.

    Are the ordinances the outward and ordinary means of grace?
    Yes: I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them, Ezek. 37:28.

  2. Are the word, sacraments, and prayer, the great gospel ordinances?
    Yes: Then they that gladly received his Word were baptized, and they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking bread, and in prayers, Acts 2:41,42.

    Is singing of psalms also a gospel ordinance?
    Yes: Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, Eph. 5:19.

    Is it appointed for our own consolation?
    Yes: Is any merry, let him sing psalms, Jam. 5:13.

    And for mutual instruction?
    Yes: Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, Col. 3:16.

    And for God's glory?
    Yes: Singing with grace in your heart to the Lord, Col. 3:16.

  3. Has Christ appointed ministers of the gospel?
    Yes: He hath given pastors and teachers for the edifying of the body of Christ, Eph. 4:11, 12.

    Is the administration of ordinances committed to them?
    Yes: For they are the stewards of the mysteries of God, 1 Cor. 4:1.

    And must they attend that service?
    Yes: We will give ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word, Acts 6:4.

  4. Are gospel ordinances made effectual to all for salvation?
    No: For with many of them God was not well pleased, 1 Cor. 10:5.

    But are they made effectual to the elect?
    Yes: As many as were ordained to eternal life believed, Acts 13:48.

Q. 89. 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.

  1. Is the Word to be read by us?
    Yes: I charge you that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren, 1 Thess. 5:27.

    Is it to be read in solemn assemblies?
    Yes: Moses is read in the synagogues every sabbath day, Acts 15:21.

    Is it profitable to expound the Scriptures?
    Yes: They that read in the law of God, gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading, Neh. 8:8.

    Is the Word of God to be preached?
    Yes: Preach the word, be instant in season, and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, 2 Tim. 4:2.

    Is it the duty of all to hear the word?
    Yes: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches, Rev. 2:7.

    Will the bare reading and hearing of the Word profit?
    No: The letter kills, the Spirit gives life, 2 Cor. 3:6.

  2. But is the reading and hearing of the Word the ordinary means of convincing sinners?
    Yes: For it is mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds, 2 Cor. 10:4.

    And of startling the secure?
    Yes: By them is thy servant warned, Ps. 19:11.

    Is it the ordinary means of conversion?
    Yes: If the prophets had stood in my counsel, they should have turned people from their evil way, Jer. 13:22.

    And has it been the conversion of many?
    Yes: When the law of truth was in his mouth, he did turn many away from iniquity, Mal. 2:6.

    Is it the ordinary means of working faith?
    Yes: For faith comes by hearing, Rom. 10:17.

    And of renewing of the heart?
    Yes: For the seed is the Word of God, Luke 8:11.

    And of reforming the life?
    Yes: By the words of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer, Ps. 17:4.

  3. Is the reading and hearing of the word needful to those who are regenerate?
    Yes: For they are nourished up in the words of faith, and of good doctrine, 1 Tim. 4:6.

    Is it a means of building them up in holiness?
    Yes: It is for the perfecting of the saints, Eph. 4:12.

    Will it furnish them for all good?
    Yes: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works, 2 Tim. 3:17.

    Will it fortify them against all evil?
    Yes: For the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, Eph. 6:17.

    Is it a means of building them up in comfort?
    Yes: That we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope, Rom. 15:4.

  4. Does the Spirit of God make the word effectual for all these good purposes?
    Yes: When the hand of the Lord was with them, a great number believed, and turned to the Lord, Acts 11:21.

    Is it effectual through faith unto salvation?
    Yes: It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes, Rom. 1:16.

    Is it not a great mercy then to have plenty of the Word of God?
    Yes: Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound, Ps. 89:15.

    And should we not welcome those that bring it?
    Yes: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, Ps. 118:26.

DISCLAIMER: Creeds, catechisms, and confessions do not replace Scripture, nor the authority of Scripture. The creeds, catechisms and confessions are included herein for purposes of reference. Blue Letter Bible aims to provide resources that cover a range of traditional, orthodox, conservative Christianity, for the benefit of all of our users. The inclusion of the creeds, catechisms, and confessions does not necessarily mean that the ministry agrees with each and every point in each, since some are coming from different Christian perspectives of faith, practice and worship. The user may find them useful as tools to assist in understanding or teaching the Scriptures, since they were drafted based upon Scripture. Used in their proper context, they can continue to aid us as much today as they did for our forefathers in centuries past.

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Daily Devotionals

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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