Lord's Day 21

Question 54.

What believest thou concerning the "holy catholic church" of Christ?

Answer. That the Son of God [a] from the [b] beginning to the end of the world, gathers, [c] defends, and [d] preserves to himself by his [e] Spirit and word, out of the [f] whole human race, a [g] church chosen to everlasting life, agreeing in true faith; and that I am and for ever shall remain, a [h] living member thereof.

Question 55.

What do you understand by "the communion of saints"?

Answer. First, that all and every one, who believes, being members of Christ, are in common, [i] partakers of him, and of all his riches and gifts; secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and [j] cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members.

Question 56.

What believest thou concerning "the forgiveness of sins"?

Answer. That God, for the sake of [k] Christ's satisfaction will no more [l] remember my sins, neither my corrupt nature, against which I have to struggle all my life long; but will graciously impute to me the righteousness of Christ; that I may never be [m] condemned before the tribunal of God.

[a]: John 10:11
[b]: Gen. 26:4
[c]: Rom. 9:24; Eph. 1:10
[d]: John 10:16
[e]: Isa. 59:12
[f]: Deut 10:14,15
[g]: Acts 13:48
[h]: 1Cor. 1:8,9; Rom. 8:35ff
[i]: John 1:3,4; Rom. 8:32; 1Cor. 12:13
[j]: 1Cor. 12:13
[j]: 1Cor. 13:5; Phil. 2:4,5,6
[k]: 1John 2:2; 2Cor. 5:19,21
[l]: Jer. 31:34; Psa. 103:3,4,10,11; Rom. 8:1,2,3
[m]: John 3:18

Lord's Day 31

Question 83.

What are [a] the keys of the kingdom of heaven?

Answer. The preaching [b] of the holy gospel, and christian discipline, [c] or excommunication out of the christian church; by these two, the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers, and shut against unbelievers.

Question 84.

How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the holy gospel?

Answer. Thus: when according to the command of [d] Christ, it is declared and publicly testified to all and every believer, that, whenever they [e] receive the promise of the gospel by a true faith, all their sins are really forgiven them of God, for the sake of Christ's merits; and on the contrary, when it is declared and testified to all unbelievers, and such as do not sincerely repent, that they stand exposed to the wrath of God, and eternal [f] condemnation, so long as they are [g] unconverted: according to which testimony of the gospel, God will judge them, both in this, and in the life to come.

Question 85.

How is the kingdom of heaven shut and opened by christian discipline?

Answer. Thus: when according [h] to the command of Christ, those, who under the name of christians, maintain doctrines, or practices [i] inconsistent therewith, and will not, after having been often brotherly admonished, renounce their errors and wicked course of life, are complained of to the church, [j] or to those, who are thereunto [k] appointed by the church; and if they despise their admonition, [l] are by them forbidden the use of the sacraments; whereby they are excluded from the christian church, and by God himself from the kingdom of Christ; and when they promise and show real amendment, are again [m] received as members of Christ and his church.

[a]: Mat. 16:19
[b]: John 20:23
[c]: Mat. 18:15,16,17,18
[d]: Mat. 28:19
[e]: John 3:18,36; Mark 16:16
[f]: 2Thes. 1:7,8,9
[g]: John 20:21,22,23; Mat. 16:19; Rom. 2:2,13-17
[h]: Mat. 18:15
[i]: Cor. 5:12
[j]: Mat. 18:15-18
[k]: Rom. 12:7,8,9; 1Cor. 12:28; 1Tim. 5:17; 2Thes. 3:14
[l]: Mat. 18:17; 1Cor. 5:3,4,5
[m]: 2Cor. 2:6,7,8,10,11; Luke 15:18

Lord's Day 51

Question 126.

What is the fifth petition?

Answer. [a] "And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"; that is, be pleased for the sake of Christ's blood, [b] not to impute to us poor sinners, our transgressions, nor that depravity, which always cleaves to us; even as we feel this evidence of thy grace in us, that it is our firm resolution from the heart to [c] forgive our neighbor.

[a]: Mat. 6:12
[b]: Psa. 51:1; 1John 2:1,2
[c]: Mat. 6:14,15