Monthly Archives: October 2015

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 43

    Q. 98. What is prayer?
    A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.

    The last 10 questions of the catechism take up the topic of prayer and focus specifically on the Great Prayer, the Lord’s Prayer. Practically this means that if your prayer life is in need of some encouragement, correction, or assistance, the next 10 weeks provide you with a very focused opportunity to think about prayer and to practice and participate in it.

    Before taking up each petition of the prayer, our catechism offers us a terse, but pregnant, definition of prayer. Summarily, prayer is an offering of our desires unto God. Put like that it is extremely intimate and personal. After all, … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 42

    Q. 96. What is the Lord’s supper?
    A. The Lord’s supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine according to Christ’s appointment, his death is showed forth; and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.

    Q. 97. What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord’s supper?
    A. It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.

    Here we come to the second of the two sacraments … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 41

    Q. 94. What is baptism?
    A. Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.

    Q. 95. To whom is baptism to be administered?
    A. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him; but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.

    When we think and talk about baptism it is helpful to do so under the categories of mode, meaning, and members. That is, how baptism is to be administered (mode); what … Read More »

  • Westminster Shorter Catechism, Week 40

    Q. 91. How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
    A. The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them; but only by the blessing of Christ, and the working of his Spirit in them that by faith receive them.

    Q. 92. What is a sacrament?
    A. A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ; wherein, by sensible signs, Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant, are represented, sealed, and applied to believers.

    Q. 93. Which are the sacraments of the New Testament?
    A. The sacraments of the New Testament are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

    Discussion – The catechism now moves from the word to the sacraments. It is worth reiterating that, along with prayer, these are the basic and rudimentary elements for the worship of God and … Read More »