Compiled by C. H. Spurgeon
I am persuaded that the use of a good Catechism in all our families will be a great safeguard against the increasing errors of the times, and therefore I have compiled this little manual from the Westminster Assembly’s and Baptist Catechisms, for the use of my own church and congregation. Those who use it in their families or classes must labour to explain the sense; but the words should be carefully learned by heart, for they will be understood better as years pass.
May the Lord bless my dear friends and their families evermore, is the prayer of their loving Pastor. C. H. Spurgeon
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15)
Question 1. What is the chief end of man?
ANSWER. Man’s chief end is to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31), and to enjoy him forever (Ps. 73:25-26).
Question 2. What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify him?
ANSWER. The Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (Eph. 2:20; 2 Tim. 3:16) is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify God and enjoy him (1 Jn. 1:3).
Question 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
ANSWER. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man (2 Tim. 1:13; Eccl. 12:13).
Question 4. What is God?
ANSWER. God is Spirit (Jn. 4:24), infinite (Job 11:7), eternal (Ps. 90:2; 1 Tim. 1:17), and unchangeable (Jas. 1:17) in his being (Exod. 3:14), wisdom, power (Ps. 147:5), holiness (Rev. 4:8), justice, goodness and truth (Exod. 34:6-7).
Question 5. Are there more Gods than one?
ANSWER. There is but one only (Deut. 6:4), the living and true God (Jer. 10:10).
Question 6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
ANSWER. There are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one God, the same in essence, equal in power and glory (1 Jn. 5:7; Matt. 28:19).
Question 7. What are the decrees of God?
ANSWER. The decrees of God are his eternal purpose according to the counsel of his own will, whereby for his own glory he has foreordained whatever comes to pass (Eph. 1:11-12).
Question 8. How does God execute his decrees?
ANSWER. God executes his decrees in the works of creation (Rev. 4:11), and providence (Dan. 4:35).
Question 9. What is the work of creation?
ANSWER. The work of creation is God’s making all things (Gen. 1:1) of nothing, by the Word of his power (Heb. 11:3), in six normal consecutive days (Exod. 20:11), and all very good (Gen. 1:31).
Question 10. How did God create man?
ANSWER. God created man, male and female, after his own image (Gen. 1:27), in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness (Col 3:10; Eph. 4:24) with dominion over the creatures (Gen. 1:28).
Question 11. What are God’s works of providence?
ANSWER. God’s works of providence are his most holy (Ps. 145:17), wise, (IsAnswer. 28:29) and powerful (Heb. 1:3), preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions (Ps. 103:19; Matt. 10:29).
Question 12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the state wherein he was created?
ANSWER. When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; (Gal. 3:12) forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death. (Gen. 2:17)
Question 13. Did our first parents continue in the state wherein they were created?
ANSWER. Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the state wherein they were created, by sinning against God, (Eccl. 7:29) by eating the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6-8).
Question 14. What is sin?
ANSWER. Sin is any want of conformity to, or transgression of the law of God (1 Jn. 3:4).
Question 15. Did all mankind fall in Adam’s first transgression?
ANSWER. The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first transgression (1 Cor. 15:22; Rom. 5:12).
Question 16. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
ANSWER. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery (Rom. 5:18).
Question 17. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that state whereinto man fell?
ANSWER. The sinfulness of that state whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin (Rom. 5:19), the want of original righteousness, (Rom. 3:10) and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original sin (Eph. 2:1; Ps. 51:5), together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it (Matt. 15:19).
Question 18. What is the misery of that state whereinto man fell?
ANSWER. All mankind, by their fall, lost communion with God (Gen. 3:8, 24), are under his wrath and curse (Eph. 2:3; Gal. 3:10), and so made liable to all the miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever (Rom. 6:23; Matt. 25:41).
Question 19. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the state of sin and misery?
ANSWER. God having, out of his good pleasure from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life (2 Thess. 2:13), did enter 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 (Rom. 5:21).
Question 20. Who is the Redeemer of God’s elect?
ANSWER. The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2:5), who being the eternal Son of God, became man (Jn. 1:14), and so was and continues to be God and man, in two distinct natures and one person for ever (1 Tim. 3:16; Col. 2:9).
Question 21. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
ANSWER. Christ, the son of God, became man by taking to himself a true body (Heb. 2:14), and a reasonable soul (Matt. 26:38; Heb. 4:15), being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary, and born of her (Lk. 1:31, 35), yet without sin (Heb. 7:26).
Question 22. What offices does Christ execute as our Redeemer?
ANSWER. Christ as our Redeemer executes the offices of a prophet (Acts 3:22), of a priest (Heb. 5:6), and of a king (Ps. 2:6), both in his state of humiliation and exaltation.
Question 23. How does Christ execute the office of a prophet?
ANSWER. Christ executes the office of a prophet, in revealing to us (Jn. 1:18), by his Word (Jn. 20:31), and Spirit (Jn. 14:26), the will of God for our salvation.