Outline of the Westminster Shorter Catechism


(A) INTRODUCTORY

Provision of Redemption
Life's Purpose and Holy Scripture - Questions 1 to 3

(B) WHAT WE ARE TO BELIEVE ABOUT GOD

The One and Triune God
God's Eternal Plan
Creation
Providence
Sin in the Human Race
God's covenant of Grace
Christ The Mediator
    The Person and natures of the Mediator
    The three offices of Christ
    Christ's state of humiliation
    Christ's state of exaltation
- Questions 4 to 6
- Questions 7 to 8
- Questions 9 to 10
- Questions 11 to 12
- Questions 13 to 19
- Question 20

- Questions 21 to 22
- Questions 23 to 26
- Question 27
- Question 28
Application of Redemption
God's Effective Call
Benefits in this life
    Justification
    Adoption
    Sanctification

Further Benefits
    In this life
    At death
    At the resurrection
- Questions 29 to 31
- Question 32
- Question 33
- Question 34
- Question 35

- Question 36
- Question 37
- Question 38

(C) THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MAN

Duty of the Redeemed
The Moral Law
    Brief Summary
    Exposition of the ten commandments
    Transgression and Penalty

God's command in the gospel
    Faith
    Repentance Leading to Life

The Means of Grace
    The Word of God
    The Sacraments

        Baptism
        The Lord's Supper
    Prayer
        Exposition of the Lord's Prayer
- Questions 39 to 40
- Questions 41 to 42
- Questions 43 to 81
- Questions 82 to 84
- Question 85
- Question 86
- Question 87
- Question 88
- Questions 89 to 90
- Questions 91 to 93
- Questions 94 to 95
- Questions 96 to 97
- Questions 98 to 99
- Questions 100 to 107

Life's Purpose and Holy Scripture – Questions 1 to 3.

Q. 1 What is the chief purpose for which man is made?

A. The chief purpose for which man is made is to glorify God,[a] and to enjoy him for ever.[b]

[a]. Psa 86:9;   Isa 60:21;   Rom 11:36;   1 Cor 6:20;   1 Cor 10:31;   Rev 4:11
[b]. Psa 16:5-11;   Psa 144:15;   Isa 12:2;   Luk 2:10;   Phil 4:4;   Rev 21:3-4

Q. 2 What rule has God given to direct us how to glorify and enjoy him?

A. The Word of God, which consists of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments,[a] is the only rule to direct us how to glorify and enjoy him.[b]

[a]. Mat 19:4-5 with Gen 2:24;   Luk 24:27, 44;   1 Cor 2:13;   1 Cor 14:37;   2 Pet 1:20-21;   2 Pet 3:2, 15-16
[b]. Deu 4:2;   Psa 19:7-11;   Isa 8:20;   John 15:11;   John 20:30-31;   Acts 17:11;   2 Tim 3:15-17;   1 John 1:4

Q. 3 What do the Scriptures principally teach?

A. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God,[a] and what duty God requires of man.[b]

[a]. Gen 1:1;   John 5:39;   John 20:31;   Rom 10:17;   2 Tim 3:15
[b]. Deu 10:12-13;   Jos 1:8;   Psa 119:105;   Mic 6:8;   2 Tim 3:16-17

The One and Triune God – Questions 4 to 6.

Q. 4 What is God?

A. God is a Spirit,[a] infinite,[b] eternal,[c] and unchangeable[d] in his being,[e] wisdom,[f] power,[g] holiness,[h] justice,[i] goodness,[j] and truth.[k]

[a]. Deu 4:15-19;   Luk 24:39;   John 1:18;   John 4:24;   Acts 17:29
[b]. 1 Kin 8:27;   Psa 139:7-10;   Psa 145:3;   Psa 147:5;   Jer 23:24;   Rom 11:33-36
[c]. Deu 33:27;   Psa 90:2;   Psa 102:12;   Psa 102:24-27;   Rev 1:4;   Rev 1:8
[d]. Psa 33:11;   Mal 3:6;   Heb 1:12;   Heb 6:17-18;   Heb 13:8;   Jam 1:17
[e]. Exo 3:14;   Psa 115:2-3;   1 Tim 1:17;   1 Tim 6:15-16
[f]. Psa 104:24;   Rom 11:33-34;   Heb 4:13;   1 John 3:20
[g]. Gen 17:1;   Psa 62:11;   Jer 32:17;   Mat 19:26;   Rev 1:8
[h]. Heb 1:13;   1 Pet 1:15-16;   1 John 3:3;   1 John 3:5;   Rev 15:4
[i]. Gen 18:25;   Exo 34:6-7;   Deu 32:4;   Psa 96:13;   Rom 3:5;   Rom 3:26
[j]. Psa 103:5;   Psa 107:8;   Mat 19:17;   Rom 2:4
[k]. Exo 34:6;   Deu 32:4;   Psa 86:15 vs Psa 117:2;   Heb 6:18

Q. 5 Are there more Gods than one?

A. There is only one God,[a] the living and true God.[b]

[a]. Deu 6:4;   Isa 44:6;   Isa 45:21-22;   1 Cor 8:4-6
[b]. Jer 10:10;   John 17:3;   1 Thes 1:9;   1 John 5:20

Q. 6 How many persons are there in the Godhead?

A. There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;[a] and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.[b]

[a]. Mat 3:16-17;   Mat 28:19;   2 Cor 13:14;   1 Pet 1:2
[b]. Psa 45:6;   John 1:1;   John 17:5;   Acts 5:3-4;   Rom 9:5;   Col 2:9;   Jud 1:24-25

God's Eternal Plan – Questions 7 to 8.

Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?

A. The decrees of God are his eternal plan, according to the purpose of his will, by which, for his own glory, he has foreordained whatever comes to pass;[b] /yet in such a manner as to be in no way the author of sin./

[a]. Psa 33:11;   Isa 14:24;   Acts 2:23;   Eph 1:11-12

Q. 8. How does God carry out his decrees?

A. God carries out his decrees in the works of creation and providence.[a]

[a]. Psa 148:8;   Isa 40:26;   Dan 4:35;   Acts 4:24-28;   Rev 4:11

Creation – Questions 9 to 10.

Q. 9. What is the work of creation?

A. The work of creation is the making by God of all things from nothing, by his powerful word,[a] in the space of six days, and all very good.[b]

[a]. Gen 1:1;   Psa 33:6, 9;   Heb 11:3
[b]. Gen 1:31

Q. 10. How did God create man?

A. God created man, male and female, in his own image,[a] in knowledge,[b] righteousness, and holiness,[c] with rule over the creatures.[d]

[a]. Gen 1:27
[b]. Col 3:10
[c]. Eph 4:24
[d]. Gen 1:28;   see Psa 8:1-9

Providence – Questions 11 to 12.

Q. 11. What are God's works of providence?

A. God's works of providence are his most holy,[a] wise,[b] and powerful[c] preservation[d] and control[e] of all his creatures, and all their actions.[f]

[a]. Psa 145:17
[b]. Psa 104:24
[c]. Heb 1:3
[d]. Neh 9:6
[e]. Eph 1:19-22
[f]. Psa 36:6;   Pro 16:33;   Mat 10:30

Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the state in which he was created?

A. When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, on condition of perfect obedience, forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil on penalty of death.[a]

[a]. Gen 2:16-17;   Jms 2:10

Sin in the Human Race – Questions 13 to 19.

Q. 13. Did our first parents continue in the state in which they were created?

A. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the state in which they were created by sinning against God.[a]

[a]. Gen 3:6-8;   Gen 3:13;   2 Cor 11:3

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 14. What is sin?

A. Sin is any failure to measure up to what God requires, or any disobedience to his commands.[a]

[a]. Lev 5:17;   Jms 4:17;   1 John 3:4

Q. 15. What was the sin by which our first parents fell from the state in which they were created?

A. The sin by which our first parents fell from the state in which they were created, was their eating the fruit[a] that God had forbidden.

[a]. Gen 3:6

Q. 16. Did all mankind fall in Adam's first disobedience?

A. Since the covenant of life was made with Adam[a] for his descendants as well as for himself, all mankind descending from him in the ordinary manner, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first transgression.[b]

[a]. Gen 2:16-17;   Jms 2:10
[b]. Rom 5:12-21;   1 Cor 15:22

Q. 17. Into what state did the fall bring mankind?

A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery.[a]

[a]. Gen 3:16-19, 23;   Rom 3:16;   Rom 5:12;   Eph 2:1

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 18. What is the sinfulness of that state into which man fell?

A. The sinfulness of the state into which man fell includes the guilt of Adam's first sin,[a] the lack of the righteousness[b] which he had at first, and the corruption every part of his nature,[c] which is commonly called Original Sin; together with all actual sins which flow from it.[d]

[a]. Rom 5:12, 19
[b]. Rom 3:10;   Col 3:10;   Eph 4:24
[c]. Psa 51:5;   John 3:6;   Rom 3:18;   Rom 8:7-8;   Eph 2:3
[d]. Gen 6:5;   Psa 53:1-3;   Mat 15:19;   Rom 3:10-18, 23;   Gal 5:19-21;   Jms 1:14-15

Q. 19. What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?

A. The fall brought upon mankind loss of communion with God,[a] and his wrath[b] and curse,[c] so that we are justly liable to all miseries in this life,[d] to death[ea] itself, and to punishment in hell for ever.[f]

[a]. Gen 3:8, 24;   John 8:34, 42, 44;   Eph 2:12;   Eph 4:18
[b]. John 3:36;   Rom 1:18;   Eph 2:3;   Eph 5:6
[c]. Gal 3:10;   Rev 22:3
[d]. Gen 3:16-19;   Job 5:7;   Ecc 2:22-23;   Rom 8:18-23
[e]. Eze 18:4;   Rom 5:12;   Rom 6:23
[f]. Mat 25:41, 46;   2 Thes 1:9;   Rev 14:9-11

God's covenant of Grace – Question 20.

Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the state of sin and misery?

A. God, solely out of his love and mercy, from all eternity elected some to everlasting life,[a] and entered into a covenant of grace to deliver them out of the state of sin and misery, and to bring them into a state of salvation by a Redeemer.[b]

[a]. Acts 13:48;   Eph 1:4-5;   2 Thes 2:13-14
[b]. Gen 3:15;   Gen 17:7;   Exo 19:5-6;   Jer 31:31-34;   Mat 20:28;   1 Cor 11:25;   Heb 9:15

Christ The Mediator : The Person and natures of the Mediator – Questions 21 to 22.

Q. 21. Who is the Redeemer of God's elect?

A. The only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ,[a] who, being the eternal Son of God[b] became man,[c] and so was and continues to be God and man, in two distinct natures and one person for ever.[d]

[a]. John 14:6;   Acts 4:12;   1 Tim 2:5-6
[b]. Psa 2:7;   Mat 3:17;   Mat 17:5;   John 1:18
[c]. Isa 9:6;   Mat 1:23;   John 1:14;   Gal 4:4
[d]. Acts 1:11;   Heb 7:24-25

Q. 22. How did Christ, the Son of God, become man?

A. Christ, the Son of God, became man by taking to himself a body and a soul[a] like ours, being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her,[b] yet without sin.[c]

[a]. Php 2:7;   Heb 2:14, 17
[b]. Luk 1:27, 31, 35
[c]. 2 Cor 5:21;   Heb 4:15;   Heb 7:26;   1 John 3:5

Christ The Mediator : The three offices of Christ – Questions 23 to 26.

Q. 23. What offices does Christ fill as our Redeemer?

A. Christ as our Redeemer fills the offices of a prophet,[a] of a priest,[b] and of a king,[c] in his states both of humiliation and exaltation.

[a]. Deu 18:18;   Acts 2:33;   Acts 3:22-23;   Heb 1:1-2
[b]. Heb 4:14-15;   Heb 5:5-6
[c]. Isa 9:6-7;   Luk 1:32-33;   John 18:37;   1 Cor 15:25

Q. 24. How does Christ fill the office of a prophet?

A. Christ fills the office of a prophet in revealing to us by his Word[a] and Spirit[b] the will of God for our complete salvation.[c]

[a]. Luk 4:18-19, 21;   Acts 1:1-2;   Heb 2:3
[b]. John 15:26-27;   Acts 1:8;   1 Pet 1:11
[c]. John 4:41-42;   John 20:30-31

Q. 25. How does Christ fill the office of a priest?

A. Christ fills the office of a priest in his once offering up of himself to God as a sacrifice, to satisfy divine justice[a] and reconcile us to God;[b] and in making constant intercession for us.[c]

[a]. Isa 53:1-12;   Acts 8:32-35;   Heb 9:26-28;   Heb 10:12
[b]. Rom 5:10-11;   2 Cor 5:18;   Col 1:21-22
[c]. Rom 8:34;   Heb 7:25;   Heb 9:24

Q. 26. How does Christ fill the office of a king?

A. Christ fills the office of a king in making us his willing subjects, in ruling and defending us,[a] and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.[b]

[a]. Psa 110:3;   Mat 28:18-20;   John 17:2;   Col 1:13
[b]. Psa 2:6-9;   Psa 110:1-2;   Mat 12:28;   1 Cor 15:24-26;   Col 2:15

Christ The Mediator : Christ's state of humiliation – Question 27.

Q. 27. In what did Christ's humiliation consist?

A. Christ's humiliation consisted in being born, and that in a poor circumstance;[a] in being subject to God's law;[b] in undergoing the miseries of this life,[c] the wrath of God[d] and the curse of death on the cross;[e] in being buried; and in continuing under the power of death for a time.[f]

[a]. Luk 2:7;   2 Cor 8:9;   Gal 4:4
[b]. Gal 4:4
[c]. Isa 53:3;   Luk 9:58;   John 4:6;   John 11:35;   Heb 2:18
[d]. Psa 22:1 (Mat 27:46);   Isa 53:10;   1 John 2:2
[e]. Gal 3:13;   Php 2:8
[f]. Mat 12:40;   1 Cor 15:3-4

Christ The Mediator : Christ's state of exaltation – Question 28.

Q. 28. In what does Christ's exaltation consist?

A. Christ's exaltation consists in his rising again from the dead on the third day;[a] in ascending into heaven;[b] in sitting at the right hand[c] of God the Father; and in coming to judge the world at the last day.[d]

[a]. 1 Cor 15:4
[b]. Psa 68:18;   Acts 1:11;   Eph 4:8
[c]. Psa 110:1;   Acts 2:33-34;   Heb 1:3
[d]. Mat 16:27;   Acts 17:31

God's Effective Call – Questions 29 to 31.

Q. 29. How are we made to share in the redemption purchased by Christ?

A. We are made to share in the redemption purchased by Christ by the effective application of it to us by his Holy Spirit.[a]

[a]. Tit 3:4-7

Q. 30. How does the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?

A. The Spirit applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ by producing faith in us,[a] and by this uniting us to Christ in our effective calling.[b]

[a]. Rom 10:17;   1 Cor 2:12-16;   Eph 2:8;   Php 1:29
[b]. John 15:5;   1 Cor 1:9;   Eph 3:17

Q. 31. What is effective calling?

A. Effective calling is the work of God's Spirit by which he convinces us of our sin and misery, enlightens our minds in the knowledge of Christ,[a] and renewing our wills,[b] and so persuades and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ,[c] freely offered to us in the gospel.[d]

[a]. Acts 26:18;   1 Cor 2:10, 12;   2 Cor 4:6;   Eph 1:17-18
[b]. Deu 30:6;   Eze 36:26-27;   John 3:5;   Tit 3:5
[c]. John 6:44-45;   Acts 16:14
[d]. Isa 45:22;   Mat 11:28-30;   Rev 22:17

Benefits in this life – Question 32.

Q. 32. What benefits in this life are shared by those who are effectively called?

A. In this life those who are effectively called share in justification, adoption and sanctification, and the further benefits in this life which accompany or flow from them.[a]

[a]. Rom 8:30;   1 Cor 1:30;   1 Cor 6:11;   Eph 1:5

There is no comment for this question.

Benefits in this life : Justification – Question 33.

Q. 33. What is justification?

A. Justification is an act of God's free grace[a] in which he pardons all our sins[b] and accepts us as righteous in his sight[c] for the sake of the righteousness of Christ alone, which is credited to us[d] and received by faith alone.[e]

[a]. Rom 3:24
[b]. Rom 4:6-8;   2 Cor 5:19
[c]. 2 Cor 5:21
[d]. Rom 4:6, 11;   Rom 5:19
[e]. Gal 2:16;   Php 3:9

Benefits in this life : Adoption – Question 34.

Q. 34. What is adoption?

A. Adoption is an act of God's free grace[a] by which we are received into the number and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.[b]

[a]. 1 John 3:1
[b]. John 1:12;   Rom 8:17

Benefits in this life : Sanctification – Question 35.

Q. 35. What is sanctification?

A. Sanctification is the work of God's free grace[a] by which we are renewed throughout in the image of God[b] and are enabled more and more to die to sin and live to righteousness.[c]

[a]. Eze 36:27;   Php 2:13;   2 Thes 2:13
[b]. 2 Cor 5:17;   Eph 4:23-24;   1 Thes 5:23
[c]. Eze 36:25-27;   Rom 6:4, 6, 12-14;   2 Cor 7:1;   1 Pet 2:24

Further Benefits : In this life – Question 36.

Q. 36. What benefits in this life accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification?

A. The benefits in this life which accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification are: assurance of God's love,[a] peace of conscience,[b] joy in the Holy Spirit,[c] progress in holiness,[d] and perseverance in it to this life's end.[e]

[a]. Rom 5:5
[b]. Rom 5:1
[c]. Rom 14:17
[d]. 2 Pet 3:18
[e]. Php 1:6;   1 Pet 1:5

There is no comment for this question.

Further Benefits : At death – Question 37.

Q. 37. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?

A. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness[a] and immediately pass into glory;[b] and their bodies, being still united to Christ,[c] rest in their graves until the resurrection.[d]

[a]. Heb 12:23
[b]. Luk 23:43;   2 Cor 5:6, 8;   Php 1:23
[c]. 1 Thes 4:14
[d]. Dan 12:2;   John 5:28-29;   Acts 24:15

There is no comment for this question.

Further Benefits : At the resurrection – Question 38.

Q. 38. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?

A. At the resurrection Christ will immediately raise up in glory all believers;[a] he will openly acknowledge and acquit them in the day of judgement,[b] /graciously rewarding them according to their works of faith,/ and they will enter into the full enjoyment of God[c] for all eternity.[d]

[a]. 1 Cor 15:42-43
[b]. Mat 25:33-34, 46
[c]. Rom 8:29;   1 John 3:2
[d]. Psa 16:11;   1 Thes 4:17

The Moral Law – Questions 39-40.

Q. 39. What is the duty which God requires of man?

A. The duty which God requires of man is obedience to his revealed will.[a]

[a]. Deu 29:29;   Mic 6:8;   1 John 5:2-3

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 40. What rule did God at first reveal to man for his obedience?

A. The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience was the moral law.[a]

[a]. Rom 2:14-15;   Rom 10:5

There is no comment for this question.

The Moral Law : Brief Summary – Questions 41-42.

Q. 41. Where is the moral law set out briefly?

A. The moral law is set out briefly in the Ten Commandments.[a]

[a]. Deu 4:13;   Mat 19:17-19

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 42. What is the sum of the Ten Commandments?

A. The sum of the Ten Commandments is to love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.[a]

[a]. Mat 22:37-40

There is no comment for this question.

The Moral Law : Exposition of the ten commandments – Questions 43-81.

Q. 43. What is the preface to the Ten Commandments?

A. The preface to the Ten Commandments is: I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:2;   Deu 5:6

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 44. What does the preface to the Ten Commandments teach us?

A. The preface to the Ten Commandments teaches us that because God is the LORD and our God and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commandments.[a]

[a]. Luk 1:74-75;   1 Pet 1:14-19

Q. 45. Which is the first commandment?

A. The first commandment is: You shall have no other gods before me.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:3;   Deu 5:7

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 46. What is required in the first commandment?

A. The first commandment requires us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God and our God; and to worship and glorify him accordingly.[a]

[a]. 1 Chr 28:9;   Isa 45:20-25;   Mat 4:10

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 47. What is forbidden in the first commandment?

A. The first commandment forbids the denial of,[a] or failure to worship and glorify, the true God as God[b] and our God;[c] and it forbids giving that worship and glory to any other which is due to God alone.[d]

[a]. Psa 14:1
[b]. Rom 1:20-21
[c]. Psa 81:10-11
[d]. Eze 8:16-18;   Rom 1:25

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 48. What do the words "before me" in the first commandment teach us?

A. These words "before me" in the first commandment teach us that God, who sees all things, takes notice of and is much displeased with the sin of having any other God.[a]

[a]. Deu 30:17-18;   Psa 44:20-21;   Eze 8:12

Q. 49. Which is the second commandment?

A. The second commandment is: You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to thousands who love me and keep my commandments.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:4-6;   Deu 5:8-10

Q. 50. What are the duties required in the second commandment?

A. The second commandment requires us to receive, observe, and keep pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances as God has appointed in his Word.[a]

[a]. Deu 12:32;   Mat 28:20

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 51. What is forbidden in the second commandment?

A. The second commandment forbids the worship of God by images,[a] or any other way not appointed in his Word.[b]

[a]. Deu 4:15-19;   Rom 1:22-23
[b]. Lev 10:1-2;   Jer 19:4-5;   Col 2:18-23

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 52. What are the reasons attached to the second commandment?

A. The reasons attached to the second commandment are God's authority as our lawgiver,[a] the fact that we belong to him,[b] and the zeal he has for his own worship.[c]

[a]. Psa 95:2-3, 6-7;   Psa 96:9-10
[b]. Exo 19:5;   Psa 45:11;   Isa 54:5
[c]. Exo 34:14;   1 Cor 10:22

Q. 53. Which is the third commandment?

A. The third commandment is: You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:7;   Deu 5:11

Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment?

A. The third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God's name, titles,[a] attributes,[b] ordinances,[c] Word,[d] and works.[e]

[a]. Deu 10:20;   Psa 29:2;   Mat 6:9
[b]. 1 Chr 29:10-13;   Rev 15:3-4
[c]. Acts 2:42;   1 Cor 11:27-28
[d]. Psa 138:2;   Rev 22:18-19
[e]. Psa 107:21-22;   Rev 4:11

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment?

A. The third commandment forbids all unworthy use of anything by which God makes himself known.[a]

[a]. Lev 19:12;   Mat 5:33-37;   Jms 5:12

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 56. What is the reason attached to the third commandment?

A. The reason attached to the third commandment is that through the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the LORD your God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgement.[a]

[a]. Deu 28:58-59;   1 Sam 3:13;   1 Sam 4:11

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 57. Which is the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment is: Remember the sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien/stranger within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, but he rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the seventh day and made it holy.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:8-11;   Deu 5:12-15

Q. 58. What is required in the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his Word, in particular, one whole day in seven.[a]

[a]. Exo 31:13, 16-17

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 59. Which day of the seven has God appointed to be the weekly sabbath?

A. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly sabbath,[a] but thereafter he appointed the first day of the week, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian sabbath /or Lord's Day/.[b]

[a]. Gen 2:2-3;   Exo 20:11
[b]. Mark 2:27-28;   Acts 20:7;   1 Cor 16:2;   Rev 1:10

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 60. How is the sabbath to be sanctified?

A. The sabbath /or Lord's Day, which is given for man's good and as a pointer to his eternal destiny,[a]/ is to be kept holy by resting all that day from our work and recreations,[b] and spending the whole time in the public and private worship,[c] except the time spent in works of necessity and mercy.[d]

[a]. Mark 2:27;   Heb 4:4-5, 9-11
[b]. Exo 20:10;   Neh 13:15-22;   Isa 58:13-14
[c]. Exo 20:8;   Lev 23:3;   Luk 4:16;   Acts 20:7
[d]. Mat 12:1-13

Q. 61. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment forbids the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the misuse of the day by idleness, sinful acts, or unnecessary thoughts, words or works about our worldly affairs and recreations.[a]

[a]. Neh 13:15-22;   Isa 58:13-14;   Amos 8:4-6

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 62. What are the reasons attached to the fourth commandment?

A. The reasons attached to the fourth commandment are God's allowance of six days for worldly tasks,[a] his claim to special ownership of the seventh, his own example, and his blessing of the sabbath day.[b]

[a]. Exo 20:9;   Exo 31:15;   Lev 23:3
[b]. Gen 2:2-3;   Exo 20:11;   Exo 31:17

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 63. Which is the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment is: Honour your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:12;   Deu 5:16

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 64. What is required in the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment requires us to preserve the honour and perform the duties belonging to everyone in their different positions and relationships in life.[a]

[a]. Rom 13:1, 7;   Eph 5:21-22, 24;   Eph 6:1, 4-5, 9;   1 Pet 2:17

Q. 65. What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment forbids us to neglect or to do anything against the honour and duty which belongs to everyone in their various positions and relationships in life.[a]

[a]. Mat 15:4-6;   Rom 13:8

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 66. What is the reason attached to the fifth commandment?

A. The reason attached to the fifth commandment is a promise of long life and prosperity (so far as it shall serve for God's glory and their own good) to all those who keep this commandment.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:12;   Deu 5:16;   Eph 6:2-3

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 67. Which is the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment is: You shall not murder.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:13;   Deu 5:17

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment requires all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life and the life of others.[a]

[a]. Eph 5:28-29

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 69. What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment forbids us to take our own life or to take unjustly the life of our neighbour, or anything tending to these ends.[a]

[a]. Gen 9:6;   Mat 5:22;   1 John 3:15

Q. 70. Which is the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment is: You shall not commit adultery.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:14;   Deu 5:18

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 71. What is required in the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment requires us to preserve our own and our neighbour's chastity in heart, speech, and behaviour.[a]

[a]. 1 Cor 7:2-3, 5;   1 Thes 4:3-5

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment forbids all impure thoughts, words, and actions.[a]

[a]. Mat 5:28;   Eph 5:3-4

Q. 73. Which is the eighth commandment?

A. The eighth commandment is: You shall not steal.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:15;   Deu 5:19

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 74. What is required in the eighth commandment?

A. The eighth commandment requires us to obtain lawfully, and to further, the wealth and material well-being of ourselves and others.[a]

[a]. Lev 25:35;   Eph 4:28 b;   Phil 2:4

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 75. What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?

A. The eighth commandment forbids whatever does or may unjustly hinder our own or our neighbour's wealth and material well-being.[a]

[a]. Pro 28:19-20, 22, 24, 27;   Eph 4:28 a;   2 Thes 3:10;   1 Tim 5:8

Q. 76. Which is the ninth commandment?

A. The ninth commandment is: You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:16;   Deu 5:20

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 77. What is required in the ninth commandment?

A. The ninth commandment requires us to maintain and promote truth between men, and our own and our neighbour's good name,[a] especially when called upon to bear witness.[b]

[a]. Zec 8:16;   Acts 25:10;   3 John 1:12
[b]. Pro 14:5, 25

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 78. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?

A. The ninth commandment forbids whatever misrepresents truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbour's good name.[a]

[a]. Lev 19:16;   Psa 15:3;   Pro 6:16-19;   Luk 3:14

Q. 79. Which is the tenth commandment?

A. The tenth commandment is: You shall not covet your neighbour's house. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or his donkey, or anything which belongs to your neighbour.[a]

[a]. Exo 20:17;   Deu 5:21

There is no comment for this question.

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

A. The tenth commandment requires full contentment with our own condition,[a] and a right and charitable attitude toward our neighbour and all that is his.[b]

[a]. Psa 34:1;   Php 4:11;   1 Tim 6:6;   Heb 13:5
[b]. Luk 15:6, 9, 11-32;   Rom 12:15;   Php 2:4

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 81. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?

A. The tenth commandment forbids all discontent with our own state;[a] envying and grieving at the good of our neighbour, together with all ungoverned longings and desires for things that belong to him.[b]

[a]. 1 Cor 10:10;   Jms 3:14-16
[b]. Gal 5:26;   Col 3:5

The Moral Law : Transgression and Penalty – Questions 82-84.

Q. 82. Is any man able to keep the commandments of God perfectly?

A. No mere human person, since the fall, is able to keep the commandments of God perfectly in this life, but breaks them daily in thought, word, and deed.[a]

[a]. Gen 8:21;   Rom 3:9-18, 23

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

A. Some sins, because of their nature and the circumstances, are more sinful in the sight of God than others.[a]

[a]. Eze 8:6, 13, 15;   Mat 11:20-24;   John 19:11

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 84. What does every sin deserve?

A. /Although some sins will be more severely punished than others,[a]/ yet every sin deserves God's wrath and curse, both in this life and the life that is to come.[b]

[a]. Mat 11:21-24;   Luk 12:47-48
[b]. Mat 25:41;   Gal 3:10;   Eph 5:6;   Jms 2:10

God's command in the gospel – Question 85.

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

A. To escape the wrath and curse due to us for sin, God requires of us faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and repentance leading to life[a] together with the diligent use of all the outward means by which Christ gives to us the benefits of redemption.[b]

[a]. Mark 1:15;   Acts 20:21
[b]. Acts 2:38;   1 Cor 11:24-25;   Col 3:16

There is no comment for this question.

God's command in the gospel : Faith – Question 86.

Q. 86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?

A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace[a] by which we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation as he is freely offered to us in the gospel.[b]

[a]. Eph 2:8-9;   cf. Rom 4:16
[b]. John 20:30-31;   Gal 2:15-16;   Php 3:3-11

There is no comment for this question.

God's command in the gospel : Repentance Leading to Life – Question 87.

Q. 87. What is repentance unto life?

A. Repentance leading to life is a saving grace,[a] by which a sinner having truly realised his sin and grasped the mercy of God in Christ,[b] turns from his sin with grief and hatred and turns to God[c] with full resolve and effort after new obedience.[d]

[a]. Acts 11:18;   2 Tim 2:25
[b]. Psa 51:1-4;   Joel 2:13;   Luk 15:7, 10;   Acts 2:37
[c]. Jer 31:18-19;   Luk 1:16-17;   1 Thes 1:9
[d]. 2 Chr 7:14;   Psa 119:57-64;   Mat 3:8;   2 Cor 7:10

The Means of Grace – Question 88.

Q. 88. What are the outward and ordinary means by which Christ gives to us the benefits of redemption?

A. The outward and ordinary means by which Christ gives to us the benefits of redemption are his ordinances, especially the word, sacraments, and prayer, and all these are made effective in the salvation of the elect.[a]

[a]. Mat 28:18-20;   Acts 2:41-42

The Means of Grace : The Word of God – Questions 89-90.

Q. 89. How is the Word of God made effective to salvation?

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

[a]. Neh 8:8-9;   Acts 20:32;   Rom 10:14-17;   2 Tim 3:15-17

There is no comment for this question.

Q. 90. How is the Word to be read and heard, that it may become effective to salvation?

A. We must attend to the Word with diligence, preparation and prayer,[a] receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practise it in our lives,[b] so that it may become effective to salvation.

[a]. Deu 6:16-18;   Psa 119:18;   1 Pet 2:1-2
[b]. Psa 119:11;   2 Thes 2:10;   Heb 4:2;   Jms 1:22-25

The Means of Grace : The Sacraments – Questions 91-93.

Q. 91. How do the sacraments become effective means of salvation?

A. The sacraments become effective means of salvation not because of any power in them or in him who administers them, but only by the blessing of Christ and the working of his Spirit in those who receive them in faith.[a]

[a]. 1 Cor 3:7;   cf. 1 Cor 1:12-17

Q. 92. What is a sacrament?

A. A sacrament is a holy ordinance appointed by Christ,[a] by which, by visible signs, Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant, are represented, sealed and applied to believers.[b]

[a]. Mat 28:19;   Mat 26:26-28;   Mark 14:22-25;   Luk 22:19-20;   1 Cor 1:22-26
[b]. Gal 3:27;   1 Cor 10:16-17

Q. 93. Which are the sacraments of the New Testament?

A. The sacraments of the New Testament are, two only, Baptism,[a] and the Lord's Supper,[b] /and these take the place of Circumcision and the Passover in the Old Testament./

[a]. Mat 28:19
[b]. 1 Cor 11:23-26

The Means of Grace : The Sacraments : Baptism – Questions 94-95.

Q. 94. What is Baptism?

A. Baptism is the sacrament /of solemn admission into the church on earth/ in which the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,[a] signifies and seals our being grafted into Christ, and having a share in the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our pledge to be the Lord's.[b]

[a]. Mat 28:19
[b]. Acts 2:38-42;   Acts 22:16;   Rom 6:3-4;   Gal 3:26-27;   1 Pet 3:21

Q. 95. To whom is Baptism to be administered?

A. Baptism is not to be administered to any outside membership of the church on earth, until they profess their faith in Christ and obedience to him;[a] but infants descending from parents (one or both) professing faith in Christ and obedience to him, /are, for that reason, within the covenant and/ are to be baptised.[b]

[a]. Acts 2:41;   Acts 8:12, 36, 38;   Acts 18:8
[b]. Gen 17:7, 9-11;   Acts 2:38-39;   Acts 16:32-33;   Col 2:11-12

The Means of Grace : The Sacraments : The Lord's Supper – Questions 96-97.

Q. 96. What is the Lord's Supper?

A. The Lord's Supper is a sacrament in which, by giving and receiving bread and wine according to Christ's appointment, his death is proclaimed,[a] and those who receive rightly are by faith (and not by the mouth in a physical manner) made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.[b]

[a]. Luk 22:19-20;   1 Cor 11:23-26
[b]. 1 Cor 10:16-17

Q. 97. What is required to receive rightly the Lord's Supper?

A. It is required of those who would receive rightly the Lord's Supper, that they examine themselves as to their knowledge of the meaning and object of this sacrament, their faith to feed upon Christ, and their repentance, love and new obedience; for coming in an unworthy manner would bring judgement on themselves.[a]

[a]. 1 Cor 11:27-32

The Means of Grace : Prayer – Questions 98-99.

Q. 98. What is prayer?

A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires to God,[a] for things agreeable to his will,[b] in the name of Christ,[c] with confession of our sins[d] and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies.[e]

[a]. Psa 10:17; Psa 62:8;   Mat 7:7-8
[b]. 1 John 5:14
[c]. John 16:23-24
[d]. Psa 32:5-6;   Dan 9:4-19;   1 John 1:9
[e]. Psa 103:1-5;   Psa 136:1-26;   Php 4:6

Q. 99. What rule has God given for our direction in prayer?

A. The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in prayer,[a] but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called the Lord's Prayer.[b]

[a]. 1 John 5:14
[b]. Mat 6:9-13

The Means of Grace : Prayer : Exposition of the Lord's Prayer – Questions 100-107.

Q. 100. What does the preface of the Lord's Prayer teach us?

A. The preface of the Lord's Prayer (which is, Our Father in heaven) teaches us firstly to draw near to God with all holy reverence[a] and confidence[b] as children to a father[c] able and ready to help us;[d] and secondly, that we should pray with and for others.[e]

[a]. Psa 95:6
[b]. Eph 3:12
[c]. Mat 7:9-11, cf. Luk 11:11-13;   Rom 8:15
[d]. Eph 3:20
[e]. Eph 6:18;   1 Tim 2:1-2

Q. 101. What do we pray for in the first request?

A. In the first request (which is, Hallowed be your name) we pray that God may enable us and others to glorify him in all in which he makes himself known;[a] and that he would overrule all things for his own glory.[b]

[a]. Psa 67:1-3;   Psa 99:3;   Psa 100:3-4
[b]. Rom 11:33-36;   Rev 4:11

Q. 102. What do we pray for in the second request?

A. In the second request (which is, Your kingdom come) we pray that Satan's kingdom may be destroyed,[a] that the kingdom of grace may be advanced[b] and ourselves and others brought into it and kept in it;[c] and that /Christ's return and/ the kingdom of glory may come quickly.[d]

[a]. Mat 12:25-28;   Rom 16:20;   1 John 3:8
[b]. Psa 72:8-11;   Mat 24:14;   1 Cor 15:24-25
[c]. Psa 119:5;   Luk 22:32;   2 Thes 3:1-5
[d]. Rev 22:20

Q. 103. What do we pray for in the third request?

A. In the third request (which is, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven) we pray that God, by his grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey and submit to his will in all things,[a] as the angels do in heaven.[b]

[a]. Psa 19:14;   Psa 119;   1 Thes 5:23;   Heb 13:20-21
[b]. Psa 103:20-21;   Heb 1:14

Q. 104. What do we pray for in the fourth request?

A. In the fourth request (which is, Give us today our daily bread) we pray that by God's free gift we may receive a sufficient share of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them.[a]

[a]. Pro 30:8-9;   Mat 6:31-34;   Php 4:11, 19;   1 Tim 6:6-8

Q. 105. What do we pray for in the fifth request?

A. In the fifth request (which is, Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors) we pray that God, for Christ's sake, would freely pardon all our sins;[a] and we are encouraged to ask this because, by his grace, we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.[b]

[a]. Psa 51:1-2, 7, 9;   Dan 9:17-19;   1 John 1:7
[b]. Mat 18:21-35;   Eph 4:32;   Col 3:13

Q. 106. What do we pray for in the sixth request?

A. In the sixth request (which is, And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one) we pray that God would either keep us from being tempted to sin,[a] or support and deliver us when we are tempted.[b]

[a]. Psa 19:13;   Mat 26:41;   John 17:15
[b]. Luk 22:31-32;   1 Cor 10:13;   2 Cor 12:7-9;   Heb 2:18

Q. 107. What does the conclusion attached to the Lord's Prayer teach us?*

A. The conclusion attached to the Lord's Prayer (which is, For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever, Amen) teaches us to take our encouragement in prayer from God only,[a] and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power and glory to him.[b] And in testimony of our desire and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen.[c]

* The conclusion does not appear in Luke's record of the Lord's Prayer (Luke 11), and it is omitted in several important Greek manuscripts of Matthew 6. However, it is a perfectly scriptural kind of conclusion – see the texts cited.

[a]. Dan 9:4, 7-9, 16-19;   Luk 18:1, 7-8
[b]. 1 Chr 29:10-13;   1 Tim 1:17;   Rev 5:11-13
[c]. 1 Cor 14:16;   Rev 22:20

History of this document, Catechism software, credits, and footnotes

I was looking for an easy to use web-based version of the Shorter Catechism with equally easy to use scripture proofs but couldn't find one that was as easy as I thought it should be. So, on Jan 4th 2008, using the version of the Shorter Catechism taken from http://jdlblog.blogspot.com/2006/07/westminster-shorter-catechism-in.html[2] and cross-checking it with http://www.reformed.org/documents/wsc/index.html, I began the process of writing the first version of this page to meet my needs and the needs of anyone else who might be looking for the same thing. However, during the writing of that document it was noticed that jdlblogs's version was not really written in modern English and reformed.org's version, although the scripture references were very helpful, was never intended to be in modern English.

I was used to Rowland S. Ward's "The Westminster Confession and Catechisms in Modern English" which uses a very good and relevant 'modern' vernacular, so as a result, this document has been rewritten using Rowland S. Ward's text[3] and reformed.org's scripture references. The document you see here was completed on October 29th, 2009.

Catechism Software

e-Sword users can download this page as a topic file for the e-Sword Bible software, but only in .topx (for version 9.x and above) format. This page as a topx file is available here.

The Word users can download this page as a module for The Word Bible software. This page as a twm file is available here.

Credits

This version of the Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English with Scripture Proofs and Comments is thanks to the original work of Rowland S. Ward and modified for use here by Martin Eagle.

Words between the forward slashes [ / ] are those added by Rowland S. Ward in his book The Westminster Confession and Catechisms in Modern English (ISBN 1893009092), from which the questions, answers, and scripture references for this document have been taken.

Comments have been taken from Ward's other book, Learning the Christian Faith : The Shorter Catechism for Today (ISBN 0958624119).[3]

Footnotes

[1]. More information about the Westminster Shorter Catechism can be found on this page at Wikipedia.
[2]. jdlblog.blogspot.com's version has a few minor mistakes.
[3]. Rowland S. Ward's text means wording for questions, answers, comments and other additions. Permission to use Ward's text, including comments, is covered by the below statement found on page 2 of his book Learning the Christian Faith : The Shorter Catechism for Today (ISBN 0 9586241 1 9).

This modernised edition of the Westminster Confession and Catechisms may be freely quoted in books, and written or electronically transmitted material for non-commercial purposes, so long as it is quoted exactly and the source identified.


Permanent link for this resource is: http://matt2819.com/wsc_v2.html

Please report any errors on this page to WSCwSP_v2@matt2819.com.

* Scriptures taken from the English Standard Version

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