Authors' Bias | Interpretation: conservative

Print Article
Helpmewithbiblestudy.org

The Westminster Larger Catechism

Previous: Q. 1. What is the chief and highest end of man?

< BACK / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4


Q. 51. What was the estate of Christ’s exaltation?
A. The estate of Christ’s exaltation comprehendeth his resurrection (1 Cor 15:4), ascension (Mark 16:19), sitting at the right hand of the Father (Eph 1:20), and his coming again to judge the world (Acts 1:11; 17:31).

Q. 52. How was Christ exalted in his resurrection?
A. Christ was exalted in his resurrection, in that, not having seen corruption in death, (of which it was not possible for him to be held (Acts 2:24, 27), and having the very same body in which he suffered, with the essential properties thereof (Luke 24:39), (but without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to this life,) really united to his soul (Rom 6:9; Rev 1:18), he rose again from the dead the third day by his own power (John 10:18); whereby he declared himself to be the Son of God (Rom 1:4), to have satisfied divine justice (Rom 8:34), to have vanquished death, and him that had the power of it (Heb 2:14), and to be Lord of quick and dead (Rom 14:9): all which he did as a public person (1 Cor 15:21-22), the head of his church (Eph 1:20-23; Col 1:;18), for their justification (Rom 4:25), quickening in grace (Eph 2:1, 5-6; Col 2:!2), support against enemies (1 Cor 15:25-27), and to assure them of their resurrection from the dead at the last day (1 Cor 15:20).

Q. 53. How was Christ exalted in his ascension?
A. Christ was exalted in his ascension, in that having after his resurrection often appeared unto and conversed with his apostles, speaking to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God (Acts 1:2-3), and giving them commission to preach the gospel to all nations (Matt 28:19-20), forty days after his resurrection, he, in our nature, and as our head (Heb 6:20), triumphing over enemies (Eph 4:8), visibly went up into the highest heavens, there to receive gifts for men (Acts 1:9-11; Eph 4:10; Ps 68:18), to raise up our affections thither (Col 3:1-2), and to prepare a place for us (John 14:3), where he himself is, and shall continue till his second coming at the end of the world (Acts 3:21).

Q. 54. How is Christ exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God?
A. Christ is exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God, in that as God-man he is advanced to the highest favour with God the Father (Philip 2:9), with all fulness of joy (Acts 2:28; Ps 16:11), glory (John 17:5), and power over all things in heaven and earth (Eph 1:22; 1 Pet 3:22); and does gather and defend his church, and subdue their enemies; furnisheth his ministers and people with gifts and graces (Eph 4:10-12; Ps 110:1), and maketh intercession for them (Rom 8:34).

Q. 55. How doeth Christ make intercession?
A. Christ maketh intercession, by his appearing in our nature continually before the Father in heaven (Heb 9:12, 24), in the merit of his obedience and sacrifice on earth (Heb 1:3), declaring his will to have it applied to all believers (John 3:16); answering all accusations against them (Rom 8:33-34), and procuring for them quiet of conscience, notwithstanding daily failings (Rom 5: 1-2; 1 John 2:1-2), access with boldness to the throne of grace (Heb 4:16), and acceptance of their persons (Eph 1:6) and services (1 Pet 2:5).

Q. 56. How is Christ to be exalted in his coming again to judge the world?
A. Christ is to be exalted in his coming again to judge the world, in that he, who was unjustly judged and condemned by wicked men (Acts 3:14-15), shall come again at the last day in great power (Matt 24:30), and in the full manifestation of his own glory, and of his Father’s, with all his holy angels (Luke 9:26; Matt 25:31), with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God (1 Thess 4:16), to judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31).

Q. 57. What benefits hath Christ procured by his mediation?
A. Christ, by his mediation, hath procured redemption (Heb 9:12), with all other benefits of the covenant of grace (2 Cor 1:20).

Q. 58. How do we come to be made partakers of the benefits which Christ hath procured?
A. We are made partakers of the benefits which Christ hath procured, by the application of them unto us (John 1:11-12), which is the work especially of God the Holy Ghost (Tit 3:5-6).

Q. 59. Who are made partakers of redemption through Christ?
A. Redemption is certainly applied, and effectually communicated, to all those for whom Christ hath purchased it (Eph 1:13-14; John 6:37, 39; John 10:15-16); who are in time by the Holy Ghost enabled to believe in Christ according to the gospel (Eph 2:8; 2 Cor 4:13).

Q. 60. Can they who have never heard the gospel, and so know not Jesus Christ, nor believe in him, be saved by their living according to the light of nature?
A. They who, having never heard the gospel (Rom 10:14), know not Jesus Christ (2 Thess 1:8-9; Eph 2:12; John 1:10-12), and believe not in him, cannot be saved (John 8:24; Mark 16:16), be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature (1 Cor 1:20-24), or the laws of that religion which they profess (John 4:22; Rom 9:31-32; Philip 3:4-9); neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ alone (Acts 4:12), who is the Savior only of his body the church (Eph 5:23).

Q. 61. Are all they saved who hear the gospel, and live in the church?
A. All that hear the gospel, and live in the visible church, are not saved; but they only who are true members of the church invisible (John 12:38-40; Rom 9:6; Matt 22:14; 7:21; Rom 11:7).

Q. 62. What is the visible church?
A. The visible church is a society made up of all such as in all ages and places of the world do profess the true religion (1 Cor 1:2; 12:13; Rom 15:9-12; Rev 7:9; Ps 2:8; 22:27-31; 45:17; Matt 28:19-20; Isa 59:21), and of their children (1 Cor 7:14; Acts 2:39; Rom 11:16; Gen 17:7).

Q. 63. What are the special privileges of the visible church?
A. The visible church hath the privilege of being under God’s special care and government (Isa 9:5-6; 1 Tim 4:10); of being protected and preserved in all ages, notwithstanding the opposition of all enemies (Ps 115:1-2, 9; Isa 31:4-5; Zech 12:2-4, 8-9); and of enjoying the communion of saints, the ordinary means of salvation (Acts 2:39, 42), and offers of grace by Christ to all the members of it in the ministry of the gospel, testifying, that whosoever believes in him shall be saved (Ps 147:19-20; Rom 9:4; Eph 4:11-12; Mark 16:15-16), and excluding none that will come unto him (John 6:37).

Q. 64. What is the invisible church?
A. The invisible church is the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head (Eph 1:10, 22-23; John 10:16; 11:52).

Q. 65. What special benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ?
A. The members of the invisible church by Christ enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory (John 17:21; Eph 2:5-6; John 17:24).

Q. 66. What is that union which the elect have with Christ?
A. The union which the elect have with Christ is the work of God’s grace (Eph 1:22; 2:6-7), whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably, joined to Christ as their head and husband (1 Cor 6:17; John 10:28; Eph 5:23, 30); which is done in their effectual calling (1 Pet 5:10; 1 Cor 1:9).

Q. 67. What is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God’s almighty power and grace (John 5:25; Eph 1:18-20; 2 Tim 1:8-9), whereby (out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving him thereunto) (Tit 3:4-5; Eph 2:4-5, 7-9; Rom 9:11) he doth, in his accepted time, invite and draw them to Jesus Christ, by his Word and Spirit (2 Cor 5:20; 6:1-2; John 6:44; 2 Thess 2:13-14); savingly enlightening their minds (Acts 26:18; 1 Cor 2:10, 12), renewing and powerfully determining their wills (Ezek 11:19; 36:26-27; John 6:45), so as they (although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able freely to answer his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed therein (Eph 2:5; Philip 2:13; Deut 30:6).

Q. 68. Are the elect only effectually called?
A. All the elect, and they only, are effectually called (Acts 13:48): although others may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the Word (Matt 22:14), and have some common operations of the Spirit (Matt 7:22; Heb 6:4-6); who, for their wilful neglect and contempt of the grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never truly come to Jesus Christ (John 12:38-40; Acts 28:25-27; John 6:64-65; Ps 81:11-12).

Q. 69. What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
A. The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification (Rom 8:30), adoption (Eph 1:5), sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him (1 Cor 1:30).

Q. 70. What is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace unto sinners (Rom 3:22, 24-25; 4:5), in which he pardoneth all their sins, accepteth and accounteth their persons righteous in his sight (2 Cor 5:19, 21; Rom 3:22, 24-25, 27-28); not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them (Tit 3:5, 7; Eph 1:7), but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them (Rom 5:17-19; 4:6-8), and received by faith alone (Acts 10:43; Gal 2:16; Philip 3:9).

Q. 71. How is justification an act of God’s free grace?
A. Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice in the behalf of them that are justified (Rom 5:8-10, 19); yet in as much as God accepteth the satisfaction from a surety, which he might have demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own only Son (1 Tim 2:5-6; Heb 10:10; Matt 20:28; Dan 9:24, 26; Isa 53:4-6, 10-12; Heb 7:22; Rom 8:32; 1 Pet 1: 18-19), imputing his righteousness to them (2 Cor 5:21), and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith (Rom 3:24-25), which also is his gift (Eph 2:8), their justification is to them of free grace (Eph 1:17).

Q. 72. What is justifying faith?
A. Justifying faith is a saving grace (Heb 10:39), wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit (2 Cor 4:13; Eph 1:17-19) and Word of God (Rom 10:14-17), whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition (Acts 2:37; 16:30; John 16:8-9; Rom 6:6; Eph 2:1; Acts 4:12), not only assenteth to the truth of the promise of the gospel (Eph 1:13), but receiveth and resteth upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin (John 1:12; Acts 16:31; 10:43), and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation (Philip 3:9; Acts 15:11).

Q. 73. How doth faith justify a sinner in the sight of God?
A. Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works that are the fruits of it (Gal 3:11; Rom 3:28), nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to him for his justification (Rom 4:5; 10:10); but only as it is an instrument by which he receiveth and applieth Christ and his righteousness (John 1:12; Philip 3:9; Gal 1:16).

Q. 74. What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of the free grace of God (1 John 3:1), in and for his only Son Jesus Christ (Eph 1:5; Gal 4:4-5), whereby all those that are justified are received into the number of his children (John 1:12), have his name put upon them (2 Cor 6:18; Rev 3:12), the Spirit of his Son given to them (Gal 4:6), are under his fatherly care and dispensations (Ps 103:13; Prov 14:26; Matt 6:32), admitted to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God, made heirs of all the promises, and fellow-heirs with Christ in glory (Heb 6:12; Rom 8:17).

Q. 75. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is a work of God’s grace, whereby they whom God hath, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirit (Eph 1:4; 1 Cor 6:11; 2 Thess 2:13) applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them (Rom 6:4-6), renewed in their whole man after the image of God (Eph 4:23-24); having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts (Acts 11:18; 1 John 3:9), and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened (Jude 20; Heb 6:11-12; Eph 3:16-19; Col 1:10-11), as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life (Rom 6:4, 6, 14; Gal 5:24).

Q. 76. What is repentance unto life?
A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace (2 Tim 2:25), wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit (Zech 12:10) and Word of God (Acts 11:18, 20-21), whereby, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger (Ezek 18:28, 30, 32; Luke 15:17-18; Hos 2:6-7), but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins (Ezek 36:31; Isa 30:22), and upon the apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ to such as are penitent (Joel 2:12-13), he so grieves for (Jer 31:18-19) and hates his sins (2 Cor 7:11), as that he turns from them all to God (Acts 26:18; Ezek 14:6; 1 Kings 8:47-48), purposing and endeavouring constantly to walk with him in all the ways of new obedience (Ps 119:6, 59, 128; Luke 1:6; 2 Kings 23:25).

Q. 77. Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?
A. Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justification (1 Cor 6:11; 1:30), yet they differ, in that God in justification imputeth the righteousness of Christ (Rom 4:6, 8); in sanctification of his Spirit infuseth grace, and enableth to the exercise thereof (Ezek 36:27); in the former, sin is pardoned (Rom 3:24-25); in the other, it is subdued (Rom 6:6, 14): the one doth equally free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and that perfectly in this life, that they never fall into condemnation (Rom 8:33-34) the other is neither equal in all (1 John2:12-14; Heb 5:12-14), nor in this life perfect in any (1 John 1:8, 10), but growing up to perfection (2 Cor 7:1; Philip 3:12-14).

Q. 78. Whence ariseth the imperfection of sanctification in believers?
A. The imperfection of sanctification in believers ariseth from the remnants of sin abiding in every part of them, and the perpetual lustings of the flesh against the spirit; whereby they are often foiled with temptations, and fall into many sins (Rom 7:18, 23; Mark 14:66; Gal 2:11-12), are hindered in all their spiritual services (Heb 12:1), and their best works are imperfect and defiled in the sight of God (Isa 64:6; Ex 28:38).

Q. 79. May not true believers, by reason of their imperfections, and the many temptations and sins they are overtaken with, fall away from the state of grace?
A. True believers, by reason of the unchangeable love of God (Jer 31:3), and his decree and covenant to give them perseverance (2 Tim 2:19; Heb 13:20-21; 2 Sam 23:5), their inseparable union with Christ (1 Cor 1:8-9), his continual intercession for them (Heb 7:25; Luke 22:32), and the Spirit and seed of God abiding in them (1 John 3:9; 2:27), can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace (Jer 32:40; John 10:28), but are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (1 Pet 1:5).

Q. 80. Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation?
A. Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavour to walk in all good conscience before him (1 John 2:3), may, without extraordinary revelation, by faith grounded upon the truth of God’s promises, and by the Spirit enabling them to discern in themselves those graces to which the promises of life are made (1 Cor 2:12; 1 John 3:14, 18-19, 21, 24; 4:13, 16; Heb 6:11-12), and bearing witness with their spirits that they are the children of God (Rom 8:16), be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein unto salvation (1 John 5:13).

Q. 81. Are all true believers at all times assured of their present being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved?
A. Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith (Eph 1:13), true believers may wait long before they obtain it (Isa 50:10; Ps 88:1-3, 6-7, 9-10, 13-15); and, after the enjoyment thereof, may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers, sins, temptations, and desertions (Ps 77:1-12; Song 5:2-3, 6; Ps 51:8, 12; 31:22; 22:1); yet they are never left without such a presence and support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into utter despair (1 John 3:9; Ps 73:15, 23; Isa 54:7-10).

Q. 82. What is the communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
A. The communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is in this life (2 Cor 3:18), immediately after death (Luke 23:43), and at last perfected at the resurrection and day of judgment (1 Thess 4:17).

Q. 83. What is the communion in glory with Christ which the members of the invisible church enjoy in this life?
A. The members of the invisible church have communicated to them in this life the firstfruits of glory with Christ, as they are members of him their head, and so in him are interested in that glory which he is fully possessed of (Eph 2:5-6); and, as an earnest thereof, enjoy the sense of God’s love (Rom 5:5; 2 Cor 1:22), peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and hope of glory (Rom 5:1-2; 14:17); as, on the contrary, sense of God’s revenging wrath, horror of conscience, and a fearful expectation of judgment, are to the wicked the beginning of their torments which they shall endure after death (Gen 4:13; Matt 27:4; Heb 10:27; Rom 2:9; Mark 9:44).

Q. 84. Shall all men die?
A. Death being threatened as the wages of sin (Rom 6:23), it is appointed unto all men once to die (Rom 6:23); for that all have sinned (Rom 5:12).

Q. 85. Death, being the wages of sin, why are not the righteous delivered from death, seeing all their sins are forgiven in Christ?
A. The righteous shall be delivered from death itself at the last day, and even in death are delivered from the sting and curse of it (1 Cor 15:26, 55-57; Heb 2:15); so that, although they die, yet it is out of God’s love (Isa 57:1-2; 2 Kings 22:20), to free them perfectly from sin and misery (Rev 14:13; Eph 5:27), and to make them capable of further communion with Christ in glory, which they then enter upon (Luke 23:43; Philip 1:23).

Q. 86. What is the communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death?
A. The communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death is, in that their souls are then made perfect in holiness (Heb 12:23), and received into the highest heavens (2 Cor 5:1, 6, 8; Philip 1:23; Acts 3:21; Eph 4:10), where they behold the face of God in light and glory (1 John 3:2; 1 Cor 13:12), waiting for the full redemption of their bodies (Rom 8:23), which even in death continue united to Christ (1 Thess 4:14), and rest in their graves as in their beds (Isa 57:2), till at the last day they be again united to their souls (Job 19:26-27). Whereas the souls of the wicked are at their death cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, and their bodies kept in their graves, as in their prisons, till the resurrection and judgment of the great day (Luke 16:23-24; Acts 1:25; Jude 6-7).

Q. 87. What are we to believe concerning the resurrection?
A. We are to believe that at the last day there shall be a general resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust (Acts 24:15): when they that are then found alive shall in a moment be changed; and the selfsame bodies of the dead which were laid in the grave, being then again united to their souls forever, shall be raised up by the power of Christ (1 Cor 15:51-53; 1 Thess 4:15-17; John 5:28-29). The bodies of the just, by the Spirit of Christ, and by virtue of his resurrection as their head, shall be raised in power, spiritual, incorruptible, and made like to his glorious body (1 Cor 15:21-23, 42-44; Philip 3:21); and the bodies of the wicked shall be raised up in dishonour by him, as an offended judge (John 5:27-29; Matt 25:33).

Q. 88. What shall immediately follow after the resurrection?
A. Immediately after the resurrection shall follow the general and final judgment of angels and men (2 Pet 2:4, 6-7, 14-15; Matt 25:46); the day and hour whereof no man knoweth, that all may watch and pray, and be ever ready for the coming of the Lord (Matt 24:36, 42, 44).

Q. 89. What shall be done to the wicked at the day of judgment?
A. At the day of judgment, the wicked shall be set on Christ’s left hand (Matt 25:33), and, upon clear evidence, and full conviction of their own consciences (Rom 2:15-16), shall have the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them (Matt 25:41-43); and thereupon shall be cast out from the favourable presence of God, and the glorious fellowship with Christ, his saints, and all his holy angels, into hell, to be punished with unspeakable torments, both of body and soul, with the devil and his angels forever (Luke 16:26; 2 Thess 1:8-9).

Q. 90. What shall be done to the righteous at the day of judgment?
A. At the day of judgment, the righteous, being caught up to Christ in the clouds (1 Thess 4:17), shall be set on his right hand, and there openly acknowledged and acquitted (Matt 25:33; 10:32), shall join with him in the judging of reprobate angels and men (1 Cor 6:2-3), and shall be received into heaven (Matt 25:34, 46), where they shall be fully and forever freed from all sin and misery (Eph 5:27; Rev 14:13); filled with inconceivable joys (Ps 16:11), made perfectly holy and happy both in body and soul, in the company of innumerable saints and holy angels (Heb 12:22-23), but especially in the immediate vision and fruition of God the Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, to all eternity (1 John 3:2; 1 Cor 13:12; 1 Thess 4:17-18). And this is the perfect and full communion, which the members of the invisible church shall enjoy with Christ in glory, at the resurrection and day of judgment.

Q. 91. What is the duty which God requireth of man?
A. The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will (Rom 12:1-2, Mic 6:8; 1 Sam 15:22).

Q. 92. What did God at first reveal unto man as the rule of his obedience?
A. The rule of obedience revealed to Adam in the estate of innocence, and to all mankind in him, besides a special command not to eat of the fruit of the tree knowledge of good and evil, was the moral law (Gen 1:26-27; Rom 2:14-15; 10:5; Gen 2:17).

Q. 93. What is the moral law?
A. The moral law is the declaration of the will of God to mankind, directing and binding every one to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity and obedience thereunto, in the frame and disposition of the whole man, soul and body (Deut 5:1-3, 31, 33; Luke 10:26-27; 1 Thess 5:23), and in performance of all those duties of holiness and righteousness which he oweth to God and man (Luke 1:75): promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening death upon the breach of it (Rom 10:5; Gal 3:10; 3:12).

Q. 94. Is there any use of the moral law to man since the fall?
A. Although no man, since the fall, can attain to righteousness and life by the moral law (Rom 8:3; Gal 2:16): yet there is great use thereof, as well common to all men, as peculiar either to the unregenerate, or the regenerate (1 Tim 1:8).

Q. 95. Of what use is the moral law to all men?
A. The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature and the will of God (Lev 11:44-45; 20:7-8; Rom 8:12), and of their duty, binding them to walk accordingly (Mic 6:8; James 2:10-11); to convince them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts, and lives (Ps 19:11-12; Rom 3:20; 7:7): to humble them in the sense of their sin and misery (Rom 3:9, 23), and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ (Gal 3:21-22), and of the perfection of his obedience (Rom 10:4).

Q. 96. What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate men?
A. The moral law is of use to unregenerate men, to awaken their consciences to flee from wrath to come (1 Tim 1:9-10), and to drive them to Christ (Gal 3:24); or, upon their continuance in the estate and way of sin, to leave them inexcusable (Rom 1:20; 2:15), and under the curse thereof (Gal 3:10).

Q. 97. What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?
A. Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works (Rom 6:14; 7:4, 6; Gal 4:4-5), so as thereby they are neither justified (Rom 3:20) nor condemned (Gal 5:23; Rom 8:1); yet, besides the general uses thereof common to them with all men, it is of special use, to show them how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in their stead, and for their good (Rom 7:24-25; Gal 3:13-14; Rom 8:3-4); and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness (Luke 1:68-69, 74-75; Col 1:12-14), and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience (Rom 7:22; 12:2; Tit 2:11-14).

Q. 98. Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?
A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments, which were delivered by the voice of God upon Mount Sinai, and written by him in two tables of stone (Deut 10:4; Ex 34:1-4); and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus. The four first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to man (Matt 22:37-40).

Q. 99. What rules are to be observed for the right understanding of the ten commandments?
A. For the right understanding of the ten commandments, these rules are to be observed:

1. That the law is perfect, and bindeth everyone to full conformity in the whole man unto the righteousness thereof, and unto entire obedience forever; so as to require the utmost perfection of every duty, and to forbid the least degree of every sin (Ps 19:7; James 2:10; Matt 5:21-22).

2. That it is spiritual, and so reacheth the understanding, will, affections, and all other powers of the soul; as well as words, works, and gestures (Rom 7:14; Deut 6:5; Matt 22:37-39; 5:21-22, 27-28, 33-34, 37-39, 43-44).

3. That one and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or forbidden in several commandments (Col 3:5; Amos 8:5; Prov 1:19; 1 Tim 6:10).

4. That as, where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden (Isa 58:13; Deut 6:13; Matt 4:9-10; Matt 15:4-6); and, where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded (Matt 5:21-25; Eph 4:28): so, where a promise is annexed, the contrary threatening is included (Ex 20:12; Prov 30:17); and, where a threatening is annexed, the contrary promise is included (Jer 18:7-8; Ex 20:7; Ps 15:1, 4-5; 24:4-5).

5. That what God forbids, is at no time to be done (Job 13:7-8; Rom 3:8; Job 36:12; Heb 11:25); what he commands, is always our duty (Deut 4:8-9); and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times (Matt 12:7).

6. That under one sin or duty, all of the same kind are forbidden or commanded; together with all the causes, means, occasions, and appearances thereof, and provocations thereunto (Matt 5:21-22, 27-28; 15:4-6; Heb 10:24-25; 1 Thess 5:22; Jude 23; Gal 5:26; Col 3:21).

7. That what is forbidden or commanded to ourselves, we are bound, according to our places to endeavour that it may be avoided or performed by others, according to the duty of their places (Ex 20:10; Lev 19:17; Gen 18:19; Josh 14:15; Deut 6:6-7).

8. That in what is commanded to others, we are bound, according to our places and callings, to be helpful to them (2 Cor 1:24); and to take heed of partaking with others in what is forbidden them (1 Tim 5:22; Eph 5:11).

Q. 100. What special things are we to consider in the ten commandments?
A. We are to consider in the ten commandments, the preface, the substance of the commandments themselves, and several reasons annexed to some of them, the more to enforce them.



Continued: Q. 101. What is the preface to the ten commandments?

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / NEXT >


Related subject:

Make a ready defense with gentleness and reverence… A look at Systematic Theology (Mar)

Topical Index: Confessions


Copyright © 2002 Helpmewithbiblestudy.org. All rights to this material are reserved. We encourage you to print the material for personal and non-profit use or link to this site. Please do not distribute articles to other web locations for retrieval or mirror at any other site. If you find this article to be a blessing, please share the link.