Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Catechism

The denomination we are currently a part of, the PCA, uses the Westminster Catechism as their preferred catechism. As someone who didn't grow up in a denomination that stressed a catechism I have enjoyed having a list of questions and answers I can see and read to find out what exactly my denomination believes. Now, I like that catechism, at least the parts of it I've read. The first question is a fairly famous one, and honestly the only one I have memorized. But over the years I have found that it does help me in thinking about the purpose of my life as a whole and giving me a good perspective on things. So here it is:
Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.

It is short and sweet and yet a good reminder of what I should be about.

Our Sunday school curriculum at church is produced by the ARP, a different presbyterian denomination, that uses the Heidelberg catechism instead. As much as I like the Westminster catechism, there is something great about the Heidelberg, too. I especially love the first two questions, which make the catechism as a whole seem much more pastoral and encouraging than the westminster.

Q: What is thy only comfort in life and death?
A: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

Q: How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?
An: Three; the first, how great my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.

I feel like I should print this off and tape it to my mirror. There is so much encouragement all contained right there in that short paragraph.

I just thought that since I so often need to be reminded of these truths, maybe you all do too.

Anyone else with any favorite catechism questions or answers?

1 comment:

Jason B said...

The first questions of each are also my favorites. I grew up with the Heidelberg Catechism and learned the Westminster when we moved here.