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Heidelberg Catechism (continued - pg3)

Rom.10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Eph.5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (e) Gen.26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Rev.5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (f) Rom.8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Rom.8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Eph.1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: Eph.1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: Eph.1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. Eph.1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (g) Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Eph.4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph.4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; Eph.4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, Eph.4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (h) Ps.23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. 1 Cor.1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor.1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 1 Pet.1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (i) 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 1 John 3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 1 John 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 2 Cor.13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? Rom.8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Question 55. What do you understand by "the communion of saints"?

Answer: 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; (a) 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. (b)

(a) 1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 Cor.1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom.8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 1 Cor.12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 1 Cor.12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Cor.6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. (b) 1 Cor.12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 1 Cor.13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 1 Cor.13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Philip.2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Philip.2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Philip.2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: Philip.2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: Philip.2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Question 56. What believest thou concerning "the forgiveness of sins"?

Answer: 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; (a) but will graciously impute to me the righteousness of Christ, (b) that I may never be condemned before the tribunal of God. (c)

(a) 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 2 Cor.5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2 Cor.5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (b) Jer.31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Ps.103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Ps.103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Ps.103:10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. Ps.103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Mic.7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Rom.7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Rom.7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Rom.7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (c) Rom.8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Rom.8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Rom.8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Rom.8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

22. Lord's Day
Question 57. What comfort does the "resurrection of the body" afford thee?

Answer: That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken up to Christ its head; (a) 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. (b)

(a) Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Philip.1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philip.1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: (b) 1 Cor.15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Cor.15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. Philip.3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Question 58. What comfort takest thou from the article of "life everlasting"?

Answer: That since I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, (a) 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. (b)

(a) 2 Cor.5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 2 Cor.5:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. (b) 1 Cor.2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

23. Lord's Day
Question 59. But what does it profit thee now that thou believest all this?

Answer: That I am righteous in Christ, before God, and an heir of eternal life. (a)

(a) Hab.2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Rom.1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Question 60. How are thou righteous before God?

Answer: Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ; (a) so that, though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and kept none of them, (b) and am still inclined to all evil; (c) notwithstanding, God, without any merit of mine, (d) but only of mere grace, (e) grants and imputes to me, (f) the perfect satisfaction, (g) righteousness and holiness of Christ; (h) 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; (i) inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart. (j)

(a) Rom.3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Rom.3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Rom.3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Rom.3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Rom.3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; Rom.3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Rom.5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Rom.5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Gal.2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Eph.2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph.2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Philip.3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (b) Rom.3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; (c) Rom.7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (d) Tit.3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Deut.9:6 Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people. Ezek.36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. (e) Rom.3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Eph.2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (f) Rom.4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. Rom.4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 2 Cor.5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (g) 1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (h) 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (i) 2 Cor.5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (j) Rom.3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Question 61. Why sayest thou, that thou art righteous by faith only?

Answer: 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; (a) and that I cannot receive and apply the same to myself any other way than by faith only. (b)

(a) 1 Cor.1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 1 Cor.2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (b) 1 John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

24. Lord's Day
Question 62. But why cannot our good works be the whole, or part of our righteousness before God?

Answer: Because, that the righteousness, which can be approved of before the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect, (a) 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. (b)

(a) Gal.3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Deut.27:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen. (b) Isa.64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Question 63. What! do not our good works merit, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?

Answer: This reward is not of merit, but of grace. (a)

(a) Luke 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

Question 64. But does not this doctrine make men careless and profane?

Answer: 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. (a)

(a) Matt.7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Of The Sacraments
25. Lord's Day
Question 65. Since then we are made partakers of Christ and all his benefits by faith only, whence does this faith proceed?

Answer: From the Holy Ghost, (a) who works faith in our hearts by the preaching of the gospel, and confirms it by the use of the sacraments. (b)

(a) Eph.2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph.2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph.6:23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Philip.1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; (b) Matt.28:19 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.28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 1 Pet.1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 1 Pet.1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Question 66. What are the sacraments?

Answer: 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. (a)

(a) Gen.17:11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. Rom.4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: Deut.30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. Lev.6:25 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy. Heb.9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: Heb.9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Heb.9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Heb.9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Ezek.20:12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. Isa.6:6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: Isa.6:7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Isa.54:9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

Question 67. 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? (a)

Answer: 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.

(a) Rom.6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Gal.3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Question 68. How many sacraments has Christ instituted in the new covenant, or testament?

Answer: Two: namely, holy baptism, and the holy supper.

Of Holy Baptism
26. Lord's Day
Question 69. How art thou admonished and assured by holy baptism, that the one sacrifice of Christ upon the cross is of real advantage to thee?

Answer: Thus: That Christ appointed this external washing with water, (a) adding thereto this promise, (b) that I am as certainly washed by his blood and Spirit from all the pollution of my soul, that is, from all my sins, (c) as I am washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is commonly washed away.

(a) Matt.28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (b) Matt.28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Matt.3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. Rom.6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Rom.6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (c) 1 Pet.3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Luke 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

Question 70. What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?

Answer: 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; (a) 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. (b)

(a) Heb.12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 1 Pet.1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Rev.1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, Rev.7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Zech.13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. Ezek.36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. (b) John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 1 Cor.6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor.12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. Rom.6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Col.2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Question 71. 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?

Answer: 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. (a)

(a) Tit.3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

27. Lord's Day
Question 72. Is then the external baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?

Answer: Not at all: (a) for the blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Ghost cleanse us from all sin. (b)

(a) Matt.3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 1 Pet.3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Eph.5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, Eph.5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (b) 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 Cor.6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Question 73. Why then does the Holy Ghost call baptism "the washing of regeneration," and "the washing away of sins"?

Answer: 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; (a) 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. (b)

(a) Rev.1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, Rev.7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 1 Cor.6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (b) Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Gal.3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Question 74. Are infants also to be baptized?

Answer: Yes: for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the covenant and church of God; (a) and since redemption from sin (b) by the blood of Christ, and the Holy Ghost, the author of faith, is promised to them no less than to the adult; (c) 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 (d) as was done in the old covenant or testament by circumcision, (e) instead of which baptism is instituted (f) in the new covenant.

(a) Gen.17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. (b) Matt.19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. (c) Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. Ps.22:10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly. Isa.44:1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Isa.44:2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. Isa.44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (d) Acts 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? (e) Gen.17:14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. (f) Col.2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Col.2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. Col.2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Of The Holy Supper Of Our Lord Jesus Christ
28. Lord's Day
Question 75. 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?

Answer: 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: (a) 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.

(a) Matt.26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. Matt.26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; Matt.26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Mark 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. Mark 14:23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. Mark 14:24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. 1 Cor.10:16 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? 1 Cor.10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 1 Cor.11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 1 Cor.11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 1 Cor.11:25 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 oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 1 Cor.12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Question 76. What is it then to eat the crucified body, and drink the shed blood of Christ?

Answer: 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; (a) but also, besides that, to become more and more united to his sacred body, (b) by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us; so that we, though Christ is in heaven (c) and we on earth, are notwithstanding "flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone" (d) and that we live, and are governed forever by one spirit, (e) as members of the same body are by one soul.

(a) John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. John 6:48 I am that bread of life. John 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. John 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (b) John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. (c) Col.3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Acts 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 1 Cor.11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. (d) Eph.3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; Eph.5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: Eph.5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. Eph.5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 1 Cor.6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 1 Cor.6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 1 Cor.6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. 1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (e) John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. Eph.4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Eph.4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Question 77. 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?

Answer: In the institution of the supper, which is thus expressed: (a) "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." 1 Cor.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." 1 Cor.10:16,17.

(a) 1 Cor.11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 1 Cor.11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 1 Cor.11:25 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 oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. Matt.26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. Matt.26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; Matt.26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Mark 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. Mark 14:23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. Mark 14:24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. 1 Cor.10:16 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? 1 Cor.10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

29. Lord's Day
Question 78. Do then the bread and wine become the very body and blood of Christ?

Answer: Not at all: (a) 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; (b) so the bread in the Lord's supper is not changed into the very body of Christ; (c) though agreeably to the nature and properties of sacraments, (d) it is called the body of Christ Jesus.

(a) Matt.26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. (b) Eph.5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, Tit.3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (c) Mark 14:24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. 1 Cor.10:16 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? 1 Cor.10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 1 Cor.11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 1 Cor.11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 1 Cor.11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (d) Gen.17:10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. Gen.17:11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. Gen.17:14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. Gen.17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. Exod.12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover. Exod.12:13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. Exod.12:27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD'S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. Exod.12:43 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof: Exod.12:48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. Exod.13:9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. 1 Pet.3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 1 Cor.10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 1 Cor.10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 1 Cor.10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 1 Cor.10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Question 79. 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"?

Answer: 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; (a) 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; (b) 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.

(a) John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (b) 1 Cor.10:16 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? 1 Cor.10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

30. Lord's Day
Question 80. What difference is there between the Lord's supper and the popish mass?

Answer: The Lord's supper testifies to us, that we have a full pardon of all sin by the only sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which he himself has once accomplished on the cross; (a) and, that we by the Holy Ghost are ingrafted into Christ, (b) who, according to his human nature is now not on earth, but in heaven, at the right hand of God his Father, (c) and will there be worshipped by us. (d) But the mass teaches, that the living and dead have not the pardon of sins through the sufferings of Christ, unless Christ is also daily offered for them by the priests; and further, that Christ is bodily under the form of bread and wine, and therefore is to be worshipped in them; so that the mass, at bottom, is nothing else than a denial of the one sacrifice and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and an accursed idolatry. (e)

(a) Heb.7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. Heb.9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Heb.9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; Heb.9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb.9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Heb.9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Heb.10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb.10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; Heb.10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. Heb.10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. Matt.26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (b) 1 Cor.6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 1 Cor.10:16 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? (c) Heb.1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Heb.8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; Heb.8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (d) Matt.6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: Matt.6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Luke 24:52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, Acts 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Col.3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Philip.3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Philip.3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. 1 Thess.1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. Heb.9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. Heb.9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: Heb.9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Heb.9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Heb.9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. (e) Heb.9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb.10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; Heb.10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Heb.10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, Heb.10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; Heb.10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God; Heb.10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Heb.10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) Heb.10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Heb.10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Heb.10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, Heb.10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Heb.10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Heb.10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Heb.10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. Heb.10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Question 81. For whom is the Lord's supper instituted?

Answer: For those who are truly sorrowful for their sins, and yet trust that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their remaining infirmities are covered by his passion and death; and who also earnestly desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy; but hypocrites, and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat and drink judgment to themselves. (a)

(a) 1 Cor.10:19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 1 Cor.10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 1 Cor.10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. 1 Cor.10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? 1 Cor.11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 1 Cor.11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

Question 82. Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who, by confession and life, declare themselves unbelieving and ungodly?

Answer: No; for by this, the covenant of God would be profaned, and his wrath kindled against the whole congregation; (a) therefore it is the duty of the christian church, according to the appointment of Christ and his apostles, to exclude such persons, by the keys of the kingdom of heaven, till they show amendment of life.

(a) 1 Cor.11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. 1 Cor.11:34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. Isa.1:11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. Isa.1:12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Isa.1:13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Isa.1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. Isa.1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Isa.66:3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. Jer.7:21 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. Jer.7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: Jer.7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. Ps.50:16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

31. Lord's Day
Question 83. What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?

Answer: The preaching of the holy gospel, and christian discipline, or excommunication out of the christian church; by these two, the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers, and shut against unbelievers.

Question 84. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the holy gospel?

Answer: Thus: when according to the command of Christ, it is declared and publicly testified to all and every believer, that, whenever they receive the promise of the gospel by a true faith, all their sins are really forgiven them of God, for the sake of Christ's merits; and on the contrary, when it is declared and testified to all unbelievers, and such as do not sincerely repent, that they stand exposed to the wrath of God, and eternal condemnation, so long as they are unconverted: (a) according to which testimony of the gospel, God will judge them, both in this, and in the life to come.

(a) Matt.16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matt.16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matt.18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Matt.18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. Matt.18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Matt.18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matt.18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

Question 85. How is the kingdom of heaven shut and opened by christian discipline?

Answer: Thus: when according to the command of Christ, those, who under the name of christians, maintain doctrines, or practices inconsistent therewith, and will not, after having been often brotherly admonished, renounce their errors and wicked course of life, are complained of to the church, or to those, who are thereunto appointed by the church; and if they despise their admonition, are by them forbidden the use of the sacraments; whereby they are excluded from the christian church, and by God himself from the kingdom of Christ; and when they promise and show real amendment, are again received as members of Christ and his church. (a)

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