1. What should be the chief concern of man?
Man¡¯s chief concern should be to seek after the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.
2. How do we obtain righteousness?
We obtain righteousness through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we are saved.
3. What then must we do to be saved?
We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
4. Where are we told what we must do to be saved?
God has told us what we must do to be saved in his Word, the Holy Bible, which was written by men who were moved by the Holy Spirit.
5. In what two ways has God in the Bible revealed his will toward man?
In the Bible god has revealed his will toward man by the Law and by the Gospel.
6. What has God revealed about himself in the Bible?
In the Bible God has revealed to us that he is One God, that he is Spirit, and that he is Life, Light, and Love.
7. What do we mean when we say: God is Life?
¡¡ãGod is Life¡¡À means that he is eternal, unchangeable, and ever present.
8. What do we mean when we say that God is Light?
¡¡ãGod is Light¡¡À means that he is true, all-knowing, all-wise, holy, almighty, and just.
9. What do we mean when we say: God is Love?
¡¡ãGod is Love¡¡À means that he is blessed, good, gracious, and merciful.
10. What mystery concerning God does the Bible reveal?
The Bible reveals to us the mystery that in the one God there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and that these three are one.
11. In what creed does the Christian Church confess its faith in the Triune God?
The Christian Church confesses its faith in the Triune God in the Apostles¡¯ Creed.
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate: was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit; the one holy universal Christian Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
12. What is the First Article of the Christian Faith?
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
13. Of what does the First article of the Christian Faith treat?
The First Article of the Christian Faith treats of God the Father and of the work of Creation.
14. What do we mean when we say, ¡¡ãGod the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.¡¡À?
In the beginning God created heaven and earth by the power of his Word.
15. How does God constantly prove himself to be the Creator?
God constantly proves himself to be the Creator by his fatherly providence, whereby he preserves and governs all things.
16. What has God done for you?
I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that he has given me and still preserves my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, also food and clothing, home and family, and all my possessions.
17. What does God still do for you?
God daily and abundantly provides me with all the necessaries of life, protects and preserves me from all danger.
18. Why does God do this for you?
God does all this out of sheer fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness on my part.
19. What do you owe God for all this?
For all this I am in duty bound to thank, praise, serve, and obey him.
20. What are angels?
The angels are ministering spirits who are sent forth by God to do his will.
21. Have all the angels always obeyed the will of God?
No; for many of the angels once sinned against God and were banished to hell as enemies of God and man. The chief among the evil spirits is called the devil, or satan.
22. What is the principal creature on earth?
The principal creature on earth is Man, created in the image of God, so that we could know him and live in blessed fellowship with him.
23. Did man remain as he was created?
No; for our first parents fell away from God when they permitted satan to lead them into unbelief and disobedience.
24. What were the sad consequences of this fall of man?
By this fall man lost the strength and beauty of God¡¯s image and came under the power of satan, sin, and death. This corruption has been transmitted from Adam to all mankind.
25. What is man¡¯s condition since the fall?
Since the fall, man is not prepared to do good, but inclined to do evil. This inherited corruption is called original sin.
26. What is sin?
Sin is unbelief and disobedience in thought and desire, word and deed, whereby evil is done or good is neglected, whether thoughtlessly or wilfully.
27. What is the punishment of sin?
The punishment of sin is death, as it is written Romans 6:23: The wages of sin is death.
28. How manifold is this death?
This death is threefold: physical, spiritual, and eternal.
29. What did God in his mercy resolve to do to save mankind from sin and its punishment?
God in his mercy resolved from all eternity to save fallen mankind through his only begotten Son.
30. How did God prepare mankind for the coming of the Savior?
God prepared mankind for the coming of the Savior by the promises given in Paradise and to the patriarchs of Israel, by the Law delivered to Moses, by forms of worship in the Old Covenant, and by the preaching of the prophets.
31. Where do we find the Law of God in brief form?
We find the law of God briefly given in the Ten Commandments.
32. What is the First Commandment?
I am the Lord thy God, who have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other God¡¯s before me.
33. What is meant by the First Commandment?
God forbids all idolatry and requires that we fear, love, and trust him above all things.
34. What is the Second Commandment?
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
35. What is meant by the Second Commandment?
God forbids us to worship him in any image; He requires us to worship him as he has taught us in his Word and revealed himself to us in his Son Jesus Christ.
36. What is the Third Commandment?
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
37. What is meant by the Third Commandment?
God forbids that we profane or abuse his name by cursing, false swearing, witchcraft, or unnecessary oaths, and requires that we use his holy name with fear and reverence.
38. What is the Fourth Commandment?
Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day and hallowed it.
39. What is meant by the Fourth Commandment?
God requires that we hallow the Lord¡¯s Day by resting from worldly employment, by diligently going to church, and by using the day for the welfare of ourselves and others, and thus to the honor of God.
40. What is the Fifth Commandment?
Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
41. What is meant by the Fifth Commandment?
God requires that I always honor father and mother by loving, obeying, and serving them, and caring for them in sickness, need, and old age; likewise, that I should respect all who, in God¡¯s providence, are my superiors.
42. What is the Sixth Commandment?
Thou shalt not kill.
43. What is meant by the Sixth Commandment?
God forbids not only murder, but every deed, word, and thought, whereby my own life or the life of my fellow-man is shortened or embittered; God requires that I help my fellow-man in every need and seek his welfare for this life and the life to come.
44. What is the Seventh Commandment?
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
45. What is meant by the Seventh Commandment?
God forbids the breaking of the marriage vow and requires all of us to be chaste in thought, word, and deed.
46. What is the Eighth Commandment?
Thou shalt not steal.
47. What is meant by the Eighth Commandment?
God forbids not only robbery and theft, but all unfair and dishonest dealings, and requires that we should help to improve and protect our neighbor¡¯s possessions and livelihood.
48. What is the Ninth Commandment?
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
49. What is meant by the Ninth Commandment?
God forbids perjury, slander, and all manner of falsehood, and requires not only that we should be truthful and sincere in our lives, but also that we should protect the honor and good name of our fellow-man.
50. What is the Tenth Commandment?
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor¡¯s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor¡¯s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor¡¯s.
51. What is meant by the Tenth Commandment?
God forbids all evil lusts and desires for wrongful possession or enjoyment, and requires that we seek our joy in him and in his loving care for us.
52. What is the summary of the Ten Commandments?
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deut. 6:5.) Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (Lev. 19:18.) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matt. 22:40.)
53. What does God declare concerning these commandments?
God says: ¡¡ãCursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them.¡¡À (Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10.) ¡¡ãYe shall therefore keep my statutes, and mine ordinances; which, if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.¡¡À (Lev. 18:5; Luke 10:28.)
54. What is meant by this declaration?
God threatens to punish all who break his Commandments, but to those who keep them he promises grace and blessing. We should therefore fear to do wrong and seek to do God¡¯s will.
55. Have you, or has anyone, ever perfectly kept the Law of God?
No man has ever perfectly kept the Law of God. By nature we are inclined to evil and have in many ways disobeyed God¡¯s Commandments and therefore well deserve the curse of the Law.
56. Can we in any way escape the curse of the Law and be saved?
We can escape the curse of the Law and be saved through the grace of God, by which the Gospel of Jesus Christ is given to us.
57. What has God in his grace and mercy done to save us?
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Gal. 4:4-5.)
58. What is the Second Article of the Christian Faith?
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate: was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
59. Of what does the Second Article of the Christian Faith treat?
The Second Article treats of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and of the work of redemption.
60. Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is true God and true man in one person, my savior, redeemer, and Lord.
61. How does the Bible testify that Jesus Christ is true God?
In the Bible Jesus Christ is called God; furthermore, the Bible testifies to his divine nature and works, and demands divine honors for him.
62. How does the Bible testify that the Son of God became true man?
Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary; he thereby entered into human nature and became in all things as we are, yet without sin.
63. How did Christ reveal himself as the savior before his death?
Christ revealed himself as the Savior before his death by his holy life, in which he perfectly fulfilled the Law of God; by his preaching the forgiveness of sin through faith in him; by his miracles, which are all works of life.
64. Whereby did Christ accomplish our redemption?
Christ accomplished our redemption by his suffering and death, in which he endured, in our stead, the wrath of God against sin, thereby redeeming us from sin, satan, and death.
65. Why was the death of Christ necessary for our redemption?
The death of Christ was necessary for our redemption because we, lost sinners, could be redeemed neither by teaching nor by example, but only by the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ in his suffering and death.
66. Of what importance is Christ¡¯s burial?
Christ¡¯s burial is a testimony that he had really died.
67. What is meant when we say, ¡¡ãHe descended into hell¡¡À?
This statement means that Jesus went to the place of departed spirits and brought them the message of salvation.
68. What does it mean to us that Jesus Christ arose from the dead?
The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves that he is the Son of God; that he is our Redeemer, in whom we have newness of life; and that we also shall be raised from the dead.
69. What does it mean to us that Christ ascended into heaven?
Forty days after his resurrection, Christ was visibly taken up into heaven, there to prepare a place for us.
70. What do we confess by the words ¡¡ãHe sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty¡¡À?
By these words we confess that the risen and ascended Christ is in heaven in the full power and glory of God.
71. What do we confess with the words ¡¡ãFrom thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead¡¡À?
With these words we confess that Christ will come again on the last day with great power and glory to take into eternal life those who believe, and to deliver into eternal death those who do not believe.
72. In which passage of Holy Scripture do we find the humiliation and exaltation of Christ briefly described?
We find the humiliation and exaltation of Christ briefly described in the passage Philippians 2:5-11:
|Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.|
73. A Summary of the Second Article of the Christian Faith.
74. What is the Third Article of the Christian Faith?
I believe in the Holy Spirit; the one holy universal Christian Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
75. Of what does the Third Article of the Christian Faith treat?
The Third Article of the Christian Faith treats of God the Holy Spirit and of the godly life which he makes possible.
76. What do we believe about the Holy Spirit?
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, with the Father and the Son, true and eternal God, a Lord and distributor of all gifts, who enables us to come to Christ, our Lord, and to remain with him forever.
77. By what means does the Holy Spirit do his work?
The Holy Spirit works through the Word of God and the Holy Sacraments, which are the means of grace.
78. In what manner does the Holy Spirit lead us to Christ?
The Holy Spirit makes known to us the call of God to come to Christ; he teaches us how, because of our sin, we need Christ; he leads us by repentance and faith to accept and follow Christ; he enables us thus to begin and live the new life of a child of God.
79. What is repentance?
True repentance consists in conviction of sin, sorrow for sin, confession and renunciation of sin, and longing for grace.
80. What is faith?
Faith is complete trust in God and willing acceptance of his grace in Jesus Christ.
81. What does God do for us when we come to him in repentance and faith?
When we come to God in repentance and faith, he forgives us our sins for Jesus¡¯ sake, counts the merit of Christ as belonging to us, and accepts us as his children. This is justification.
82. How does the Bible speak of the change in our life brought about by repentance and faith?
The Bible speaks of this change as being born again, or as being converted.
83. What does it mean to be born again?
To be born again means the beginning of the new life within us by the power of God¡¯s word and the sacrament of baptism. This is regeneration.
84. What does it mean to be converted?
To be converted means to turn from the broad way of the sinful life and to enter the narrow way of the godly life. (This is conversion.)
85. Whereby are we assured of our justification?
We are assured of our justification by the testimony of the Holy Spirit, as it is written Romans 8:15-16: For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
86. What is necessary for us to continue in the godly life?
In order that we may continue in the godly life the Holy Spirit must daily transform and renew us in all our thoughts and actions and make us acceptable to God. This is sanctification.
87. What is meant by ¡¡ãChurch¡¡À in the Apostles¡¯ Creed?
By the one holy universal Christian Church we mean the entire body of true Christians.
88. Why is the church called ¡¡ãone¡¡À Church?
The Christian Church is called the ¡¡ãone¡¡À Church because it has one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, as it is written in Ephesians 4:3-6: Giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
89. Why is the Church called holy?
The Church is called holy because the Holy Spirit works mightily in it by Word and Sacrament to the end that all its members shall be made holy.
90. Why is the Church called universal?
The Church is called universal because God has meant it for all men, and because everyone finds in it what he needs.
91. Why is the Church called the ¡¡ãChristian¡¡À Church?
The Church is called the Christian Church because Christ alone is its foundation, its head, and its ideal.
92. What is the mission of the Church?
The mission of the church is to extend the Kingdom of God, that is, to lead men to Christ and to establish Christian principles in every relation of life.
93. What is the Kingdom of God?
The Kingdom of God is the rule of God established in the hearts and lives of men.
94. Where did Christ set forth the principles of his Kingdom?
Christ set forth the principles of his Kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew, chapters 5-7. Luke, chapter 6, verses 20-49.)
95. Has the Church already become all that we confess concerning it?
The Church has indeed existed at all times as the true Church, but has frequently erred and been corrupted; its future perfection, however, is certain, according to God¡¯s promise.
96. What do we understand by the communion of saints?
By the communion of saints we understand that all Christians, as members of one body, should love and help one another in all things.
97. What do we mean by the words ¡¡ãI believe in the forgiveness of sins¡¡À?
The forgiveness of sins is present in Christ for all mankind, and is offered by the grace of God to all sinners.
98. What do we understand by the resurrection of the body?
On the last day Christ will raise up all the dead, as it is written (John 5:28-29): For the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.
99. What do we mean by the life everlasting?
By the life everlasting we mean that in the resurrection all children of God shall receive the glory of Christ in body and soul and shall abide with him forever.
100. A summary of the Third Article of the Christian Faith.
101. What is prayer?
Prayer is the conversation of the heart with God for the purpose of praising him, asking him to supply the needs of ourselves and others, and thanking him for whatever he gives us.
102. In what prayer has the Lord Jesus taught us how to pray?
Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord¡¯s Prayer:
|Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. (Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4.)|
103. What is the meaning of ¡¡ãOur Father who art in heaven¡¡À?
Our heavenly Father desires us and all his children to call upon him with cheerful confidence, as beloved children entreat a kind and benevolent father, knowing that he is both willing and able to help us.
104. What do we pray for in the first petition: Hallowed be thy name?
We pray in this petition that God¡¯s name may be kept holy among us as it is holy in itself. This is done when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we as the children of God lead a holy life in accordance with it.
105. What do we pray for in the second petition: Thy kingdom come?
In the second petition we pray that we and all others may share in the Kingdom of God which was established by the redemption through Jesus Christ, and that its rule may be extended over all the world.
106. What do we pray for in the third petition: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?
In the third petition we pray that God¡¯s good and gracious will may be done by us and all men as cheerfully as it is done by the angels in heaven.
107. What do we pray for in the fourth petition: Give us this day our daily bread?
In the fourth petition we look to God as the One who supplies the needs of our body as well as of our soul, and we ask him to make us truly thankful for these his gifts.
108. What do we pray for in the fifth petition: Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors?
In the fifth petition we ask God for gracious forgiveness of our sins, and for willingness and strength to forgive others.
109. What do we pray for in the sixth petition: Lead us not into temptation?
In the sixth petition we pray that whenever we are tempted by satan, the world, and our flesh to do evil, God may protect and keep us from sinning.
110. What do we pray for in the seventh petition: But deliver us from evil?
In the seventh petition we pray that the heavenly Father may deliver us from every evil of body and soul; and finally, when our last hour has come, graciously take us from this world of sorrow to himself in heaven.
111. What is the meaning of the closing words: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever?
By these closing words we mean to express our confidence that God will hear and answer our petitions; for he himself has commanded us thus to pray and promised that we shall be heard. Amen: That is, Yea, yea, it shall be so.
112. Why is prayer necessary?
Prayer is necessary because God will give his grace and his Holy Spirit only to those who earnestly and without ceasing ask them of him and render thanks unto him.
113. How should we pray?
We should pray humbly because of our need and unworthiness; and yet with faith, believing that for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord, God will certainly hear our prayer.
114. Are all our prayers answered?
All prayers are answered either in the way we expect God to answer them or in the way God knows will be best for us.
115. What is a sacrament?
A sacrament is a holy ordinance of the Church instituted by Christ himself in which by visible signs and means he imparts and preserves the new life.
116. How many sacraments has Christ instituted?
Christ has instituted two sacraments, Holy Baptism and the Lord¡¯s Supper.
117. With what words did Christ institute the sacrament of Holy Baptism?
Christ instituted the sacrament of Holy Baptism with these words in Matthew 28:18-20:
|All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I command you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.|
118. What does God do for us in Holy Baptism?
In Holy Baptism God imparts the gift of the new life unto man, receives him into his fellowship as his child, and admits him as a member of the Christian Church.
119. What does Holy Baptism require of us?
Holy Baptism requires of us that we by daily repentance renounce all sinful longings and desires, and by faith arise to a new life.
120. Why should little children be baptized?
Little children should be baptized because the new life is a gift of God¡¯s love, which little children need as much and are as able to receive as adults, for the Lord Jesus has promised unto them his Kingdom.
121. What does the baptism of children require of the parents?
The baptism of children requires of the parents that they help their children to grow in godly life by Christian teaching and training, by prayer and example.
122. What is confirmation?
Confirmation is the renewal of the baptismal covenant. The baptized children, having been instructed in the Christian faith, publicly confess their faith in their Savior Jesus Christ, promise obedience to him until death, and are received by the Church into active membership.
123. With what words did Christ institute the sacrament of the Lord¡¯s Supper or Holy Communion?
Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the night in which he was betrayed, took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to the disciples and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me. In like manner also he took the cup, after supper, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. (Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-25.)
124. What are the visible signs and means of the sacrament of the Lord¡¯s Supper?
The visible signs and means of the sacrament of the Lord¡¯s Supper are bread and wine, partaken of by the communicant.
125. What is the Lord¡¯s Supper?
The Lord¡¯s Supper is the sacrament by which we receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ as the nourishment of our new life, strengthen the fellowship with Christ and all believers, and confess that he has died for us.
126. What blessings do we receive as we eat and drink in the Lord¡¯s Supper?
As we eat and drink in the Lord¡¯s Supper we receive forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. For so it is written: Broken and shed for you for the remission of sins.
127. On what condition do we receive the blessings of the Lord¡¯s Supper?
We receive the blessings of the Lord¡¯s Supper only as we eat and drink with heartfelt repentance and true faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
128. What does our communion daily require of us?
Our communion requires that we daily keep in remembrance the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus, and that we consider well how hard it was for our Savior to bear our sins and the sins of the whole world, and to gain eternal salvation for us by offering up his life and shedding his blood. And since our sins caused the Lord Jesus the greatest sufferings, yea bitter death, we should have no pleasure in sin, but earnestly flee and avoid it; and being reclaimed by our Savior and Redeemer we should live, suffer and die to his honor, so that at all times and especially in the hour of death we may cheerfully and confidently say:
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