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SPURGEON'S CATECHISM

Based on the Westminster Shorter Catechism and Baptist Catechism (updated by Roger McReynolds)

1. What is the main reason a person exists?

A: The main reason a person exists is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

2. What rule has God given to show us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?

A: The Word of God that is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments is the only rule to teach us how we may glorify God and enjoy Him.

3. What do the Scriptures teach above all else?

A: Above all else the Scriptures teach people what to believe about God, and what commitment God requires of them.

4. What is God?

A: God is a Spirit.  He is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

5. Is there more than one God?

A: There is only one God, the living and true God.

6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?

A: There are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one God, the same in essence, equal in power and glory.

7. What are the decrees of God?

A: The decrees of God are His eternal purpose, according to the counsel of His own will, where for His own glory He has foreordained whatever happens.

8. How does God carry out His decrees?

A: God carries out His decrees through the works of creation and providence.

9. What is the work of creation?

A: The work of creation is God's making all things from nothing, by the word of His power, in six days, and seeing that it was good.

10. How did God create man?

A: God created man male and female, after His own image, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, with supreme authority over His creation.

11. What are God's works of providence?

A: God's works of providence are His most holy, wise, and powerful upholding and ruling over all His creatures, and all their actions.

12. What sepcial command did God give man when He created him and put him in the garden of Eden?

A: When God created man, he entered into a covenant of life with Him, on the condition that he would obey perfectly; He banned him from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, on pain of death.

13. Did our first parents continue to live in the condition in which they were created?

A: Our first parents were each left to the freedom of their own will, but fell from their position by sinning against God, by eating the forbidden fruit.

14. What is sin?

A: Sin is any lack of conforming to, or breaking of, the law of God.

15. Did all humanity fall in Adam's first sin?

A: The covenant made with Adam included not only himself but all his descendants.  All Adam's offspring sinned in him and fell with him in his first sin.

16. Into what condition did the fall bring humanity?

A: The fall brought humanity into a state of sin and misery.

17. What is included in the sinful life into which humanity has fallen?

A: The sinful life into which humanity has fallen, consists of the guilt of Adam's first sin, the lack of original righteousness, and the corruption of their whole nature, which is generally called original sin, together with all actual sins that proceed from it.

18.  What unhappiness resulted from humanity's fall?

A: By their fall, all humanity lost fellowship with God, are under his wrath and curse, are responsible for all their unhappiness in this life, for death itself, and for all the pains of hell forever.

19. Did God leave all humanity to suffer death in their state of sin and hopelessness?

A: God, having only from His good pleasure from eternity past, elected some to everlasting life, entered into a covenant of grace to deliver them from their state of sin and hopelessness and bring them into a state of salvation by a Redeemer.

20. 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 was and continues to be God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person forever.

21. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?

A: Christ, the Son of God, became man by accepting a true body, and a neutral soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and given birth by her, yet without sin.

22. What duties does Christ fulfill as our Redeemer?

A: Christ, as our Redeemer, fulfills the duties of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, in both His state of humiliation and exaltation.

23. How does Christ fulfill the office of a prophet?

A: Christ fulfills the office of a prophet by showing us, through the Bible and the Holy Spirit, God's will for our salvation.

24. How does Christ fulfill the office of a priest?

A: Christ fulfills the office of a priest by offering Himself only one time as a sacrifice to satisfy God's justice, restoring us to God, and by continually praying for us.

25. How does Christ fulfill the office of a king?

A: Christ fulfills the office of a king by changing our wills to serve Him, by rulin and defending us, and in suppressing and conquering all His and our enemies.

26. What does Christ's humiliation include?

A: Christ's humiliation includes His being born, being born in poor conditions, being made under the law, experiencing the miseries of this life, coming under the wrath of God and the curse of death on the cross, and being buried and continuing under the power of death for a time.

27. What does Christ's exaltation include?

A: Christ's exaltation includes His rising from the dead on the third day, His ascending up into heaven, His sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in His coming to judge the world at the last day.

28. How do we have a part in the redemption purchased by Christ?

A: We have a part in the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effective work of His Holy Spirit in us.

29. How does the Holy Spirit make the redemption purchased by Christ apply to us?

A: The Holy Spirit makes the redemption purchased by Christ apply to us by creating faith in us, resulting in uniting us to Christ through our effective calling.

30. What is effective calling?

A: Effective calling is the work of God's Spirit, by which He persuades and enables us to accept Jesus Christ as freely offered to us in the Gospel.  The Holy Spirit does this by convincing us of our sin and unhappiness, making the knowledge of Christ clear, and changing our wills.

31. What benefits do those who are effectively called receive in this life?

A: Those who are effectively called receive in this life justification, adoption, sanctification, and the distinct benefits that either accompany them or flow from them.

32. What is justification?

A: Justification is an act of God's free grace, where He pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight, only because of the righteousness Christ credits to us, which is received by faith alone.

33. What is adoption?

A: Adoption is an act of God's free grace, where we are received into the family of God, and as His children, have a right to all the privileges of family members.

34. What is sanctification?

A: Sanctification is the work of God's Spirit, where we are made new again in the image of God, made able to die to sin more and more, and live a holier life.

35. What are the benefits in this life that flow or result from justification, adoption, and sanctification?

A: The benefits in this life that flow or result from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are assurance of God's love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Spirit, and increase in grace: all of which continue to the end.

36. What benefit to believers receive from Christ when they die?

A: The souls of believers are made perfect at their death and are immediately in heaven with the Lord, and their bodies, being still on with Christ, rest in their graves until the resurrection.

37. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?

A: At the resurrection, believers are raised up in glory, openly acknowledged by God, acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly happy in both soul and body in the pleasure of God's company forever.

38. What will happen to the wicked when they die?

A: When they die, the souls of the wicked will be cast into the torments of hell, and their bodies will remain in their graves until the resurrection and judgment of the great day.

39. What will happen to the wicked in the day of judgment?

A: At the day of judgment the bodies of the wicked, being raised from their graves, will be sentenced, together with their souls, to inexpressible suffering with the devil and his angels forever.

40. What did God first give humanity as their rule of law?

A: The rule of law that God first gave humanity, was the moral law, which is contained in the Ten Commandments.

41. What is the cornerstone of the Ten Commandments?

A: The cornerstone of the Ten Commandments is, to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind, and our neighbor as ourselves.

42. Which is the first commandment?

A: The first commandment is, "You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3)

43. What is required in the first commandment?

A: The first commandment requires us to know and acknowledge God as the only true God and our God, and to worship and glorify Him appropriately.

44. Which is the second commandment?

A: The second commandment is, "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments." (Exodus 20:4-6)

45. What is required in the second commandment?

A: The second commandment requires accepting, observing, and keeping pure, all worship and rules that God has setablished in His Word.

46. What is forbidden in the second commandment?

A: The second commandment forbids worshiping God by means of images, or any other way not established in His Word.

47. Which is the third commandment?

A: The third commandment is, "You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His Name in vain." (Exodus 20:7)

48. What is required in the third commandment?

A: The third commandment requires the holy and respectful use of God's names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works.

49. Which is the fourth commandment?

A: The fourth commandment is, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." (Exodus 20:8-11)

50. What is required in the fourth commandment?

A: The fourth commandment requires keeping separate to God such times as He has established in His Word, namely on entire day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to God.

51. How is the Sabbath to be kept separate?

A: The Sabbath is to be kept separate by making it a day of holy rest, excluding secular employment and recreation that are acceptable on other days, and spending the entire time in public and private worship, except for necessary work and tasks of mercy.

52. Which is the fifth commandment?

A: The fifth commandment is, "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12)

53. What is required in the fifth commandment?

A: The fifth commandment requires maintaining honor to everyone, whether higher in position, lower in position, or equal in position, by giving them the proper respect and obedience due them.

54. What reason are we given for obeying the fifth commandment?

A: The reason given for obeying the fifth commandment is a promise of long life and success--as far as it serves God's glory, and their own good--to all who will keep this commandment.

55. Which is the sixth commandment?

A: The sixth commandment is, "You shall not murder." (Exodus 20:13)

56. What is forbidden in teh sixth commandment?

A: The sixth commandment forbids, taking our own life, or the life of our neighbor unlawfully, or whatever may contribute to it.

57. Which is the seventh commandment?

A: The seventh commandment is, "You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14)

58. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?

A: The seventh commandment forbids engaging in all sexual immorality in thoughts, words, and actions.

59. Which is the eighth commandment?

A: The eighth commandment is, "You shall not steal." (Exodus 20:15)

60. What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?

A: The eighth commandment forbids whatever does or may prevent our own, or our neighbor's wealth or success.

61. Which is the ninth commandment?

A: The ninth commandment is, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (Exodus 20:16)

62. What is required in the ninth commandment?

A: The ninth commandment requires us to always be truthful, and keep and defend the truth about our own and our neighbor's good name, especially when giving testimony.

63. Which is the tenth commandment?

A: The tenth commandment is, "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's." (Exodus 20:17)

64. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?

A: The tenth commandment forbids all dissatisfaction with our own situation, envying or being upset over the success of our neighbor, and all excessive thinking about and desiring anything that our neighbor owns.

65. Is anyone able to keep the commandments of God perfectly?

A: No mere human, since the fall, is able to keep the commandments of God perfectly in this life, but actually breaks them every day in thought, word, and action.

66. Is all breaking of the law equally wicked?

A: Some sins, in their very nature and effect, are worse than others in God's eyes.

67. What does every sin deserve?

A: Every sin deserves God's anger, both in this life and the life that is to come.

68. How may we escape the anger and curse of God that we deserve due to our sin?

A: To escape the anger and curse of God that we deserve due to our sin, we must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, trusting alone to His blood and righteousness.  This faith is accompanied by repentance for the past and leads to holiness in the future.

69. What is faith in Jesus Christ?

A: Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving gift, where we receive, and trust on Him alone for salvation, as He is explained in the Gospel.

70. What is repentance that leads to life?

A: Repentance that leads to life, is a saving gift, by which a sinner, out of a true sense of sin, with hope in the mercy of God through Christ, and with shame and hatred of their sin, turns from their sin to God, with a full determination to strive to obey God.

71. What are the external and normal ways the Holy Spirit uses to give us the benefits of Christ's redemption?

A: The external and normal ways the Holy Spirit uses to give us the benefits of redemption, are the Word of God, by which souls are born again to spiritual life, baptism, the Lord's Supper, prayer, and medication, all of which strengthen believers in their most holy faith.

72. How is the Word of God used to achieve salvation?

A: The Spirit of God makes the reading, and especially the preaching of the Word of God, an effective means of convincing and converting sinners, and building them up in holiness and joy, through faith to salvation.

73. How is the Word of God to be read and heard to achieve salvation?

A: For the Word of God to achieve salvation, we must read and listen to it with commitment, preparation, and prayer, receive it with faith and love, store it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.

74. How do baptism and the Lord's Supper become effective instruments of grace?

A: Baptism and the Lord's Supper become effective instruments of grace, not from any virtue in them, or in the person who administers them, but only by the blessing of Christ, and the working of the Spirit in those who receive them by faith.

75. What is baptism?

A: Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, established by Jesus Christ, as a sign to the person baptized of their relationship to Christ, in His death, burial, and resurrection, of their being grafted into Him, of forgiveness of sins, and of their giving themselves to God through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.

76. Who may be baptized?

A: Baptism is for all those who actually proclaim repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and to no one else.

77. Are the infants of parents who claim to be Christians to be baptized?

A: The infants of parents who claim to be Christians are not to be baptized, because there is not a command nor example in the Holy Scriptures for their baptism.

78. How is baptism correctly performed?

A: Baptism is correctly performed by immersion, or dipping the entire body of the person in water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, according to Christ's example, and the practice of the apostles, and not by the tradition of sprinkling or pouring water, or dipping some part of the body.

79. What is the responsibility of those who are baptized according to the will of God?

A: It is the responsibility of those who are baptized according to the will of God, to join a well-regulated church of Jesus Christ, walk blamelessly before God, and keep all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.

80. What is the Lord's Supper?

A: The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of the New Testament, established by Jesus Christ; in which, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to His instruction, His death is portrayed, and those who are deserving by faith, share in the benefits of His body and blood, through personal spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace.

81. What is required to participate in the Lord's Supper?

A: It is required of those who would properly receive the Lord's Supper, that they understand the meaning of the Lord's body, know they are in the faith, are repentant of their sins, love the household of faith, and receive the Supper with a clear conscience before God, to avoid the risk of bringing judgment on themselves.

82. What is meant by the words, "until He comes," that are used by the apostle Paul regarding the Lord's Supper?

A: They clearly teach us that our Lord Jesus Christ will come a second time.  This is the joy and hope of all believers.

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