Westminster Larger Catechism
Click here to go to questions 98-196.
Question 1: What is the chief and highest end of man?
Answer: Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy
Question 2: How does it appear that there is a God?
Answer: The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly
that there is a God; but his Word and Spirit only do sufficiently and effectually
reveal him unto men for their salvation.
Question 3: What is the Word of God?
Answer: The holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of
God, the only rule of faith and obedience.
Question 4: How does it appear that the Scriptures are the Word of God?
Answer: The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their
majesty and purity; by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the
whole, which is to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince
and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation: but
the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart
of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very Word of
Question 5: 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.
Question 6: What do the Scriptures make known of God?
Answer: The Scriptures make known: What God is, the persons in the Godhead,
his decrees, and the execution of his decrees.
Question 7: What is God?
Answer: God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness,
and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible,
everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy,
most just, most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness
Question 8: Are there more Gods than one?
Answer: There is but one only, the living and true God.
Question 9: How many persons are there in the Godhead?
Answer: There be three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Ghost; and these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance,
equal in power and glory; although distinguished by their personal properties.
Question 10: What are the personal properties of the three persons in
Answer: It is proper to the Father to beget the Son, and to the Son to be
begotten of the Father, and to the Holy Ghost to proceed from the Father
and the Son from all eternity.
Question 11: How does it appear that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God
equal with the Father?
Answer: The Scriptures manifest that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God
equal with the Father, ascribing unto them such names, attributes, works,
and worship, as are proper to God only.
Question 12: What are the decrees of God?
Answer: God's decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of
his will, whereby, from all eternity, he has, for his own glory, unchangeably
foreordained: Whatsoever comes to pass in time, especially concerning angels
Question 13: What has God especially decreed concerning angels and men?
Answer: God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for
the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, has elected
some angels to glory; and in Christ has chosen some men to eternal life,
and the means thereof: and also, according to his sovereign power, and the
unsearchable counsel of his own will (whereby he extends or withholds favor
as he pleases), has passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonor and
wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his
Question 14: How does God execute his decrees?
Answer: God executes his decrees in the works of creation and providence,
according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel
of his own will.
Question 15: What is the work of creation?
Answer: The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by
the word of his power, make of nothing the world, and all things therein,
for himself, within the space of six days, and all very good.
Question 16: How did God create angels?
Answer: God created all the angels spirits, immortal, holy, excelling in
knowledge, mighty in power, to execute his commandments, and to praise his
name, yet subject to change.
Question 17: How did God create man?
Answer: After God had made all other creatures, he created man male andfemale;
formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground, and the woman of the
rib of the man, endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls;
made them after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness,and holiness;
having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it, and
dominion over the creatures; yet subject to fall.
Question 18: What are God's works of providence?
Answer: God's works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful
preserving and governing all his creatures; ordering them, and all their
actions, to his own glory.
Question 19: What is God's providence towards the angels?
Answer: God by his providence permitted some of the angels, wilfully and
irrecoverably, to fall into sin and damnation, limiting and ordering that,
and all their sins, to his own glory; and established the rest in holiness
and happiness; employing them all, at his pleasure, in the administrations
of his power, mercy, and justice.
Question 20: What was the providence of God toward man in the estate
in which he was created?
Answer: The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created,
was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him
liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth; putting the creatures under his
dominion, and ordaining marriage for his help; affording him communion with
himself; instituting the sabbath; entering into a covenant of life with
him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience, of which
the tree of life was a pledge; and forbidding to eat of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.
Question 21: Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created
Answer: Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, through
the temptation of Satan, transgressed the commandment of God in eating the
forbidden fruit; and thereby fell from the estate of innocency wherein they
Question 22: Did all mankind fall in that first transgression?
Answer: The covenant being made with Adam as a public person, not for himself
only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary
generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression.
Question 23: Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
Answer: The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.
Question 24: What is sin?
Answer: Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law
of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature.
Question 25: Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto
Answer: The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the
guilt of Adam's first sin, the want of that righteousness wherein he was
created, and the corruption of his nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed,
disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly
inclined to all evil, and that continually; which is commonly called original
sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions.
Question 26: How is original sin conveyed from our first parents unto
Answer: Original sin is conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity
by natural generation, so as all that proceed from them in that way are
conceived and born in sin.
Question 27: What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?
Answer: The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God, his
displeasure and curse; so as we are by nature children of wrath, bond slaves
to Satan, and justly liable to all punishments in this world, and that which
is to come.
Question 28: What are the punishments of sin in this world?
Answer: The punishments of sin in this world are either inward, as blindness
of mind, a reprobate sense, strong delusions, hardness of heart, horror
of conscience, and vile affections; or outward, as the curse of God upon
the creatures for our sakes, and all other evils that befall us in our bodies,names,
estates, relations, and employments; together with death itself.
Question 29: What are the punishments of sin in the world to come?
Answer: The punishments of sin in the world to come, are everlasting separation
from the comfortable presence of God, and most grievous torments in soul
and body, without intermission, in hell fire forever.
Question 30: Does God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin
Answer: God does not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery,into
which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the
covenant of works; but of his mere love and mercy delivers his elect out
of it, and brings them into an estate of salvation by the second covenant,commonly
called the covenant of grace.
Question 31: With whom was the covenant of grace made?
Answer: The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and
in him with all the elect as his seed.
Question 32: How is the grace of God manifested in the second covenant?
Answer: The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant, in that he
freely provides and offers to sinners a Mediator, and life and salvation
by him; and requiring faith as the condition to interest them in him, promises
and gives his Holy Spirit to all his elect, to work in them that faith,
with all other saving graces; and to enable them unto all holy obedience,
as the evidence of the truth of their faith and thankfulness to God, and
as the way which he has appointed them to salvation.
Question 33: Was the covenant of grace always administered after one
and the same manner?
Answer: The covenant of grace was not always administered after the same
manner, but the administrations of it under the Old Testament were different
from those under the New.
Question 34: How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old
Answer: The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament,
by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the passover, and other
types and ordinances, which did all foresignify Christ then to come, and
were for that time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised
Messiah, by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.
Question 35: How is the covenant of grace administered under the New
Answer: Under the New Testament, when Christ the substance was exhibited,
the same covenant of grace was and still is to be administered in the preaching
of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the
Lord's Supper; in which grace and salvation are held forth in more fulness,
evidence, and efficacy, to all nations.
Question 36: Who is the Mediator of the covenant of grace?
Answer: The only Mediator of the covenant of grace is the Lord Jesus Christ,
who, being the eternal Son of God, of one substance and equal with the Father,
in the fulness of time became man, and so was and continues to be God and
man, in two entire distinct natures, and one person, forever.
Question 37: 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,
and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in
the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance, and born of her, yet without
Question 38: Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God?
Answer: It was requisite that the Mediator should be God, that he might
sustain and keep the human nature from sinking under the infinite wrath
of God, and the power of death; give worth and efficacy to his sufferings,
obedience, and intercession; and to satisfy God's justice, procure his favor,
purchase a peculiar people, give his Spirit to them, conquer all their enemies,
and bring them to everlasting salvation.
Question 39: Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be man?
Answer: It was requisite that the Mediator should be man, that he might
advance our nature, perform obedience to the law, suffer and make intercession
for us in our nature, have a fellow feeling of our infirmities; that we
might receive the adoption of sons, and have comfort and access with boldness
unto the throne of grace.
Question 40: Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God and
man in one person?
Answer: It was requisite that the Mediator, who was to reconcile God and
man, should himself be both God and man, and this in one person, that the
proper works of each nature might be accepted of God for us, and relied
on by us, as the works of the whole person.
Question 41: Why was our Mediator called Jesus?
Answer: Our Mediator was called Jesus, because he saves his people from
Question 42: Why was our Mediator called Christ?
Answer: Our Mediator was called Christ, because he was anointed with the
Holy Ghost above measure; and so set apart, and fully furnished with all
authority and ability, to execute the offices of prophet, priest, and king
of his church, in the estate both of his humiliation and exaltation.
Question 43: How does Christ execute the office of a prophet?
Answer: Christ executes the office of a prophet, in his revealing to the
church, in all ages, by his Spirit and Word, in divers ways of administration,
the whole will of God, in all things concerning their edification and salvation.
Question 44: How does Christ execute the office of a priest?
Answer: Christ executes the office of a priest, in his once offering himself
a sacrifice without spot to God, to be a reconciliation for the sins of
his people; and in making continual intercession for them.
Question 45: How does Christ execute the office of a king?
Answer: Christ executes the office of a king, in calling out of the world
a people to himself, and giving them officers, laws, and censures, by which
he visibly governs them; in bestowing saving grace upon his elect, rewarding
their obedience, and correcting them for their sins, preserving and supporting
them under all their temptations and sufferings, restraining and overcoming
all their enemies, and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory,
and their good; and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God,
and obey not the gospel.
Question 46: What was the estate of Christ's humiliation?
Answer: The estate of Christ's humiliation was that low condition, wherein
he for our sakes, emptying himself of his glory, took upon him the form
of a servant, in his conception and birth, life, death, and after his death,
until his resurrection.
Question 47: How did Christ humble himself in his conception and birth?
Answer: Christ humbled himself in his conception and birth, in that, being
from all eternity the Son of God, in the bosom of the Father, he was pleased
in the fulness of time to become the son of man, made of a woman of low
estate, and to be born of her; with divers circumstances of more than ordinary
Question 48: How did Christ humble himself in his life?
Answer: Christ humbled himself in his life, by subjecting himself to the
law, which he perfectly fulfilled; and by conflicting with the indignities
of the world, temptations of Satan, and infirmities in his flesh, whether
common to the nature of man, or particularly accompanying that his low condition.
Question 49: How did Christ humble himself in his death?
Answer: Christ humbled himself in his death, in that having been betrayed
by Judas, forsaken by his disciples, scorned and rejected by the world,condemned
by Pilate, and tormented by his persecutors; having also conflicted with
the terrors of death, and the powers of darkness, felt and borne the weight
of God's wrath, he laid down his life an offering for sin, enduring the
painful, shameful, and cursed death of the cross.
Question 50: Wherein consisted Christ's humiliation after his death?
Answer: Christ's humiliation after his death consisted in his being buried,
and continuing in the state of the dead, and under the power of death till
the third day; which has been otherwise expressed in these words, he descended
Question 51: What was the estate of Christ's exaltation?
Answer: The estate of Christ's exaltation comprehends his resurrection,
ascension, sitting at the right hand of the Father, and his coming again
to judge the world.
Question 52: How was Christ exalted in his resurrection?
Answer: Christ was exalted in his resurrection, in that, not having seen
corruption in death (of which it was not possible for him to be held), and
having the very same body in which he suffered, with the essential properties
thereof (but without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to
this life), really united to his soul, he rose again from the dead the third
day by his own power; whereby he declared himself to be the Son of God,
to have satisfied divine justice, to have vanquished death, and him that
had the power of it, and to be Lord of quick and dead: all which he did
as a public person, the head of his church, for their justification, quickening
in grace, support against enemies, and to assure them of their resurrection
from the dead at the last day.
Question 53: How was Christ exalted in his ascension?
Answer: Christ was exalted in his ascension, in that having after his resurrection
often appeared unto and conversed with his apostles, speaking to them of
the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, and giving them commission
to preach the gospel to all nations, forty days after his resurrection,
he, in our nature, and as our head, triumphing over enemies, visibly went
up into the highest heavens, there to receive gifts for men, to raise up
our affections thither, and to prepare a place for us, where himself is,
and shall continue till his second coming at the end of the world.
Question 54: How is Christ exalted in his sitting at the right hand of
Answer: Christ is exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God, in that
as God-man he is advanced to the highest favor with God the Father, with
all fulness of joy, glory, and power over all things in heaven and earth;
and does gather and defend his church, and subdue their enemies; furnishes
his ministers and people with gifts and graces, and makes intercession for
Question 55: How does Christ make intercession?
Answer: Christ makes intercession, by his appearing in our nature continually
before the Father in heaven, in the merit of his obedience and sacrifice
on earth, declaring his will to have it applied to all believers; Answering
all accusations against them, and procuring for them quiet of conscience,
notwithstanding daily failings, access with boldness to the throne of grace,
and acceptance of their persons and services.
Question 56: How is Christ to be exalted in his coming again to judge
Answer: Christ is to be exalted in his coming again to judge the world,
in that he, who was unjustly judged and condemned by wicked men, shall come
again at the last day in great power, and in the full manifestation of his
own glory, and of his Father's, with all his holy angels, with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, to judge the
world in righteousness.
Question 57: What benefits has Christ procured by his mediation?
Answer: Christ, by his mediation, has procured redemption, with all other
benefits of the covenant of grace.
Question 58: How do we come to be made partakers of the benefits which
Christ has procured?
Answer: We are made partakers of the benefits which Christ has procured,
by the application of them unto us, which is the work especially of God
the Holy Ghost.
Question 59: Who are made partakers of redemption through Christ?
Answer: Redemption is certainly applied, and effectually communicated, to
all those for whom Christ has purchased it; who are in time by the Holy
Ghost enabled to believe in Christ according to the gospel.
Question 60: Can they who have never heard the gospel, and so know not
Jesus Christ, nor believe in him, be saved by their living according to
the light of nature?
Answer: They who, having never heard the gospel, know not Jesus Christ,
and believe not in him, cannot be saved, be they never so diligent to frame
their lives according to the light of nature, or the laws of that religion
which they profess; neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ
alone, who is the Savior only of his body the church.
Question 61: Are all they saved who hear the gospel, and live in the
Answer: All that hear the gospel, and live in the visible church, are not
saved; but they only who are true members of the church invisible.
Question 62: What is the visible church?
Answer: The visible church is a society made up of all such as in all ages
and places of the world do profess the true religion, and of their children.
Question 63: What are the special privileges of the visible church?
Answer: The visible church has the privilege of being under God's special
care and government; of being protected and preserved in all ages, not withstanding
the opposition of all enemies; and of enjoying the communion of saints,
the ordinary means of salvation, and offers of grace by Christ to all the
members of it in the ministry of the gospel, testifying, that whosoever
believes in him shall be saved, and excluding none that will come unto him.
Question 64: What is the invisible church?
Answer: The invisible church is the whole number of the elect, that have
been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head.
Question 65: What special benefits do the members of the invisible church
enjoy by Christ?
Answer: The members of the invisible church by Christ enjoy union and communion
with him in grace and glory.
Question 66: What is that union which the elect have with Christ?
Answer: The union which the elect have with Christ is the work of God's
grace, whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably,
joined to Christ as their head and husband; which is done in their effectual
Question 67: What is effectual calling?
Answer: Effectual calling is the work of God's almighty power and grace,
whereby (out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing
in them moving him thereunto) he does, in his accepted time, invite and
draw them to Jesus Christ, by his Word and Spirit; savingly enlightening
their minds, renewing and powerfully determining their wills, so as they
(although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able freely
to Answer: his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed
Question 68: Are the elect only effectually called?
Answer: All the elect, and they only, are effectually called; although others
may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the Word, and
have some common operations of the Spirit; who, for their wilful neglect
and contempt of the grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief,
do never truly come to Jesus Christ.
Question 69: What is the communion in grace which the members of the
invisible church have with Christ?
Answer: The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church
have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in
their justification, adoption, sanctification, and: Whatever else, in this
life, manifests their union with him.
Question 70: What is justification?
Answer: Justification is an act of God's free grace unto sinners, in which
he pardons all their sins, accepts and accounts their persons righteous
in his sight; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but only
for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed
to them, and received by faith alone.
Question 71: How is justification an act of God's free grace?
Answer: Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper,
real, and full satisfaction to God's justice in the behalf of them that
are justified; yet inasmuch as God accepts the satisfaction from a surety,
which he might have demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own
only Son, imputing his righteousness to them, and requiring nothing of them
for their justification but faith, which also is his gift, their justification
is to them of free grace.
Question 72: What is justifying faith?
Answer: Justifying faith is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner
by the Spirit and Word of God, whereby he, being convinced of his sin and
misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover
him out of his lost condition, not only assents to the truth of the promise
of the gospel, but receives and rests upon Christ and his righteousness,
therein held forth, for pardon of sin, and for the accepting and accounting
of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation.
Question 73: How does faith justify a sinner in the sight of God?
Answer: Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those
other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works that are the
fruits of it, nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed
to him for his justification; but only as it is an instrument by which he
receives and applies Christ and his righteousness.
Question 74: What is adoption?
Answer: Adoption is an act of the free grace of God, in and for his only
Son Jesus Christ, whereby all those that are justified are received into
the number of his children, have his name put upon them, the Spirit of his
Son given to them, are under his fatherly care and dispensations, admitted
to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God, made heirs of all
the promises, and fellow heirs with Christ in glory.
Question 75: What is sanctification?
Answer: Sanctification is a work of God's grace, whereby they whom God has,
before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through
the powerful operation of his Spirit applying the death and resurrection
of Christ unto them, renewed in their whole man after the image of God;
having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put
into their hearts, and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened,
as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life.
Question 76: What is repentance unto life?
Answer: Repentance unto life is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of
a sinner by the Spirit and Word of God, whereby, out of the sight and sense,
not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his
sins, and upon the apprehension of God's mercy in Christ to such as are
penitent, he so grieves for and hates his sins, as that he turns from them
all to God, purposing and endeavoring constantly to walk with him in all
the ways of new obedience.
Question 77: Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?
Answer: Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justification,
yet they differ, in that God in justification imputes the righteousness
of Christ;in sanctification his Spirit infuses grace, and enables to the
exercise thereof; in the former, sin is pardoned; in the other, it is subdued:the
one does equally free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and
that perfectly in this life, that they never fall into condemnation; the
other is neither equal in all, nor in this life perfect in any, but growing
up to perfection.
Question 78: Whence arises the imperfection of sanctification in believers?
Answer: The imperfection of sanctification in believers arises from the
remnants of sin abiding in every part of them, and the perpetual lustings
of the flesh against the spirit; whereby they are often foiled with temptations,
and fall into many sins, are hindered in all their spiritual services, and
their best works are imperfect and defiled in the sight of God.
Question 79: May not true believers, by reason of their imperfections,
and the many temptations and sins they are overtaken with, fall away from
the state of grace ?
Answer: True believers, by reason of the unchangeable love of God, and his
decree and covenant to give them perseverance, their inseparable union with
Christ, his continual intercession for them, and the Spirit and seed of
God abiding in them, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the
state of grace, but are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Question 80: Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in
the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation?
Answer: Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavor to walk in all good
conscience before him, may, without extraordinary revelation, by faith grounded
upon the truth of God's promises, and by the Spirit enabling them to discern
in themselves those graces to which the promises of life are made, and bearing
witness with their spirits that they are the children of God, be infallibly
assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein
Question 81: Are all true believers at all times assured of their present
being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved?
Answer: Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith,
true believers may wait long before they obtain it; and, after the enjoyment
thereof, may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers,
sins, temptations, and desertions; yet are they never left without such
a presence and support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into
Question 82: What is the communion in glory which the members of the
invisible church have with Christ?
Answer: The communion in glory which the members of the invisible church
have with Christ, is in this life, immediately after death, and at last
perfected at the resurrection and day of judgment.
Question 83: What is the communion in glory with Christ which the members
of the invisible church enjoy in this life?
Answer: The members of the invisible church have communicated to them in
this life the firstfruits of glory with Christ, as they are members of him
their head, and so in him are interested in that glory which he is fully
possessed of; and, as an earnest thereof, enjoy the sense of God's love,
peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and hope of glory; as, on the
contrary, sense of God's revenging wrath, horror of conscience, and a fearful
expectation of judgment, are to the wicked the beginning of their torments
which they shall endure after death.
Question 84: Shall all men die?
Answer: Death being threatened as the wages of sin, it is appointed unto
all men once to die; for that all have sinned.
Question 85: Death, being the wages of sin, why are not the righteous
delivered from death, seeing all their sins are forgiven in Christ?
Answer: The righteous shall be delivered from death itself at the last day,
and even in death are delivered from the sting and curse of it; so that,
although they die, yet it is out of God's love, to free them perfectly from
sin and misery, and to make them capable of further communion with Christ
in glory, which they then enter upon.
Question 86: What is the communion in glory with Christ, which the members
of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death?
Answer: The communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible
church enjoy immediately after death, is, in that their souls are then made
perfect in holiness, and received into the highest heavens, where they behold
the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their
bodies, which even in death continue united to Christ, and rest in their
graves as in their beds, till at the last day they be again united to their
souls. Whereas the souls of the wicked are at their death cast into hell,
where they remain in torments and utter darkness, and their bodies kept
in their graves, as in their prisons, till the resurrection and judgment
of the great day.
Question 87: What are we to believe concerning the resurrection?
Answer: We are to believe, that at the last day there shall be a general
resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust: when they that are
then found alive shall in a moment be changed; and the selfsame bodies of
the dead which were laid in the grave, being then again united to their
souls forever, shall be raised up by the power of Christ. The bodies of
the just, by the Spirit of Christ, and by virtue of his resurrection as
their head, shall be raised in power, spiritual, incorruptible, and made
like to his glorious body; and the bodies of the wicked shall be raised
up in dishonor by him, as an offended judge.
Question 88: What shall immediately follow after the resurrection?
Answer: Immediately after the resurrection shall follow the general and
final judgment of angels and men; the day and hour whereof no man knows,
that all may watch and pray, and be ever ready for the coming of the Lord.
Question 89: What shall be done to the wicked at the day of judgment?
Answer: At the day of judgment, the wicked shall be set on Christ's left
hand, and, upon clear evidence, and full conviction of their own consciences,
shall have the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against
them; and thereupon shall be cast out from the favorable presence of God,
and the glorious fellowship with Christ, his saints, and all his holy angels,
into hell, to be punished with unspeakable torments, both of body and soul,
with the devil and his angels forever.
Question 90: What shall be done to the righteous at the day of judgment?
Answer: At the day of judgment, the righteous, being caught up to Christ
in the clouds, shall be set on his right hand, and there openly acknowledged
and acquitted, shall join with him in the judging of reprobate angels and
men, and shall be received into heaven, where they shall be fully and forever
freed from all sin and misery; filled with inconceivable joys, made perfectly
holy and happy both in body and soul, in the company of innumerable saints
and holy angels, but especially in the immediate vision and fruition of
God the Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, to all
eternity. And this is the perfect and full communion, which the members
of the invisible church shall enjoy with Christ in glory, at the resurrection
and day of judgment.
Question 91: What is the duty which God requires of man?
Answer: The duty which God requires of man, is obedience to his revealed
Question 92: What did God at first reveal unto man as the rule of his
Answer: The rule of obedience revealed to Adam in the estate of innocence,
and to all mankind in him, besides a special command not to eat of the fruit
of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was the moral law.
Question 93: What is the moral law?
Answer: The moral law is the declaration of the will of God to mankind,
directing and binding everyone to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity
and obedience thereunto, in the frame and disposition of the whole man,
soul and body, and in performance of all those duties of holiness and righteousness
which he owes to God and man: promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening
death upon the breach of it.
Question 94: Is there any use of the moral law to man since the fall?
Answer: Although no man, since the fall, can attain to righteousness and
life by the moral law; yet there is great use thereof, as well common to
all men, as peculiar either to the unregenerate, or the regenerate.
Question 95: Of what use is the moral law to all men?
Answer: The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature
and will of God, and of their duty, binding them to walk accordingly;to
convince them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution
of their nature, hearts, and lives; to humble them in the sense of their
sin and misery, and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they
have of Christ, and of the perfection of his obedience.
Question 96: What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate
Answer: The moral law is of use to unregenerate men, to awaken their consciences
to flee from wrath to come, and to drive them to Christ; or, upon their
continuance in the estate and way of sin, to leave them inexcusable, and
under the curse thereof.
Question 97: What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?
Answer: Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered
from the moral law as a covenant of works, so as thereby they are neither
justified nor condemned; yet, besides the general uses thereof common to
them with all men, it is of special use, to show them: How much they are
bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in
their stead, and for their good; and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness,
and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto
as the rule of their obedience.
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