The Gospel and the Sacraments: Questions 85 to 97

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

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

God’s command in the Gospel: Repentance

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

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]. Deut 6:16-18; Psa 119:18; 1 Pet 2:1-2
[b]. Psa 119:11; 2 Thes 2:10; Heb 4:2; Jas 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]

[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 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 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