“The following catechism has been used by various groups as a preparation for more advanced catechisms which find their format in the Westminster Shorter catechism. This version, edited and amended specifically for this volume, should serve as a preparation for later implementation of the Baptist Catechism” (Tom Nettles, Teaching Truth, Training Hearts: The Study of Catechisms in Baptist Life. To be published in early 2015 by Founders Press). See also, The Baptist Confession and The Baptist Catechism.
Table of Contents
- Part I: Questions about God, Man, and Sin
- Part II: Questions about the Ten Commandments
- Part III: Questions about Savlation
- Part IV: Questions about Prayer
- Part V: Questions about the Word, the Church, and the Ordinances
- Part VI: Questions about Last Things
Part I: Questions about God, Man, and Sin
Q.1: Who made you?
A. God made me.
Q.2: What else did God make?
A. God made all things.
Q.3: Why did God make you and all things?
A. For his own glory.
Q.4: How can you glorify God?
A. By loving him and doing what he commands.
Q.5: Why ought you to glorify God?
A. Because he made me and takes care of me.
Q.6: Are there more gods than one?
A. There is only one God.
Q.7: In how many persons does this one God exist?
A. In three persons.
Q.8: Who are they?
A. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Q.9: Who is God?
A. God is a Spirit, and does not have a body like men.
Q.10: Where is God?
A. God is everywhere.
Q.11: Can you see God?
A. No. I cannot see God, but he always sees me.
Q.12: Does God know all things?
A. Yes. Nothing can be hidden from God.
Q.13: Can God do all things?
A. Yes. God can do all his holy will.
Q.14: Where do you learn how to love and obey God?
A. In the Bible alone.
Q.15: Who wrote the Bible?
A. Holy men who were taught by the Holy Spirit.
Q.16: Who were our first parents?
A. Adam and Eve.
Q.17: Of what were our first parents made?
A. God made the body of Adam out of the ground, and formed Eve from the body of Adam.
Q.18: What did God give Adam and Eve besides bodies?
A. He gave them souls that could never die.
Q.19: Have you a soul as well as a body?
A. Yes. I have a soul that can never die.
Q.20: How do you know that you have a soul?
A. Because the Bible tells me so.
Q.21: What is your soul?
A. My soul includes all of me that should know and love God.
Q.22: In what condition did God make Adam and Eve?
A. He made them holy and happy.
Q.23: Did Adam and Eve stay holy and happy?
A. No. They sinned against God.
( Genesis 3:1-7; Ecclesiastes &:29; Hosea 6:7 where “men” = Adam )
Q.24: What was the sin of our first parents?
A. Eating the forbidden fruit.
Q.25: Why did they eat the forbidden fruit?
A. Because they did not believe what God had said.
Q.26: Who tempted them to this sin?
A. The devil tempted Eve, and she gave the fruit to Adam.
Q.27: What happened to our first parents when they had sinned?
A. Instead of being holy and happy, they became sinful and miserable.
Q.28: What effect did the sin of Adam have on all mankind?
A. All mankind is born in a state of sin and misery.
Q.29: What do we inherit from Adam as a result of this original sin?
A. A sinful nature.
Q.30: What is sin?
A. Sin is any transgression of the law of God.
Q.31: What is meant by transgression?
A. Doing what God forbids.
Q.32: What does every sin deserve?
A. The anger and judgment of God.
Q.33: Do we know what God requires of us?
A. Yes, he has given us his law both in our hearts and in writing.
( Romans 2:14-15 )
Part II: Questions about the Ten Commandments
Q.34: How many commandments did God give on Mount Sinai?
A. Ten commandments.
Q.35: What are the ten commandments sometimes called?
A. God’s moral law.
Q.36: What do the first four commandments teach?
A. Our duty to God.
Q.37: What do the last six commandments teach?
A. Our duty to our fellow men.
Q.38: What is the sum of the ten commandments?
A. To love God with all my heart, and my neighbor as myself.
Q.39: Who is your neighbor?
A. All my fellow men are my neighbors.
Q.40: Is God pleased with those who love and obey him?
A. Yes. He says, ‘I love them that love me’
Q.41: Is God pleased with those who do not love and obey him?
A. No. ‘God is angry with the wicked every day’
Q.42: What is the first commandment?
A. The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Q.43: What does the first commandment teach us?
A. To worship God only.
Q.44: What is the second commandment?
A. The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing 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: 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.
( Exodus 20:4-6; Deuteronomy 5:8-10 )
Q.45: What does the second commandment teach us?
A. To worship God in the right way, and to avoid idolatry.
Q.46: What is the third commandment?
A. The third commandment is, 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.
Q.47: What does the third commandment teach us?
A. To reverence God’s name, word, and works.
Q.48: What is the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, 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 manservant, nor thy maidservant, 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.
Q.49: What does the fourth commandment teach us?
A. To keep the Sabbath holy.
Q.50: What day of the week is the Christian Sabbath?
A. The first day of the week, called the Lord’s Day.
Q.51: Why is it called the Lord’s Day?
A. Because on that day Christ rose from the dead.
Q.52: How should the Sabbath be kept?
A. In prayer and praise, in hearing and reading God’s Word, and in doing good to our fellow men.
Q.53: What is the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment is, Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Q.54: What does the fifth commandment teach us?
A. To love and obey our parents.
Q.55: What is the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.
Q.56: What does the sixth commandment teach us?
A. To avoid hatred.
Q.57: What is the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Q.58: What does the seventh commandment teach us?
A. To be pure in heart, language and conduct.
Q.59: What is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.
Q.60: What doe the eighth commandment teach us?
A. To be honest and not to take the things of others.
Q.61: What is the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Q.62: What does the ninth commandment teach us?
A. To tell the truth and not to speak evil of others.
Q.63: What is the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.
Q.64: What does the tenth commandment teach us?
A. To be content with what we have.
Q.65: Can any man keep these ten commandments?
A. No mere man, since the fall of Adam, ever did or can keep the ten commandments perfectly.
Q.66: Of what use are the ten commandments to us?
A. They teach us our duty, make clear our condemnation, and show us our need of a Saviour.
Q.67: Does God condemn all men?
A. No. Though he could justly have done so he has graciously entered into a covenant to save many.
Part III: Questions about Savlation
Q.68: What is a covenant?
A. A covenant is an agreement between two or more persons.
Q.69: What is the covenant of grace?
A. It is an eternal agreement within the Trinity to save certain persons called the elect, and to provide all the means for their salvation.
Q.70: What did Christ undertake in the covenant of grace?
A. Christ undertook to keep the whole law for his people, and to suffer the punishment due to their sins.
Q.71: Did our Lord Jesus Christ ever sin?
A. No. He was holy, blameless, and undefiled.
Q.72: How could the Son of God suffer?
A. Christ, the Son of God, took flesh and blood, that he might obey and suffer as a man.
Q.73: What is meant by the atonement?
A. The atonement consists of Christ’s satisfying divine justice, by his sufferings and death, in the place of sinners.
Q.74: For whom did Christ obey and suffer?
A. Christ obeyed and sufffered for those whom the Father had given him.
Q.75: What kind of life did Christ live on earth?
A. Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to the law of God.
Q.76: What kind of death did Christ die?
A. Christ experienced the painful and shameful death of the cross.
Q.77: Who will be saved?
A. Only those who repent of sin and believe in Christ will be saved.
Q.78: What is it to repent?
A. Repentance involves sorrow for sin, leading one to hate and forsake it because it is displeasing to God.
Q.79: What is it to believe in Christ?
A. A person believes who knows that his only hope is Christ and trusts in Christ alone for salvation.
Q.80: How were godly persons saved before the coming of Christ?
A. They believed in the Saviour to come.
Q.81: How did they show their faith?
A. They offered sacrifices according to God’s commands.
Q.82: What did these sacrifices represent?
A. They were symbolic of Christ, the Lamb of God, who was to die for sinners.
Q.83: What does Christ do for his people?
A. He does the work of a prophet, a priest and a king.
Q.84: How is Christ a prophet?
A. He teaches us the will of God, reveals God to us, and really was God in human flesh.
Q.85: Why do you need Christ as a prophet?
A. Because I am ignorant.
Q.86: How is Christ a priest?
A. He died for our sins and prays to God for us.
Q.87: Why do you need Christ as a priest?
A. Because I am guilty.
Q.88: How is Christ a king?
A. He rules over us and defends us.
Q.89: Why do you need Christ as a king?
A. Because I am weak and helpless.
Q.90: What did God the Father undertake in the covenant of grace?
A. By His goodness and mercy, God the Father elected,and determined to justify, adopt and sanctify those for whom Christ should die.
Q.91: What is election?
A. It is God’s goodness as revealed in his grace by choosing certain sinners for salvation.
Q.92: What is justification?
A. It is God’s regarding sinners as if they had never sinned and granting them righteousness.
Q.93: What is righteousness?
A. It is God’s goodness as revealed in his law, and as honored in Christ’s perfect obedience to that law.
Q.94: Can anyone be saved by his own righteousness?
A. No. No one is good enough for God.
Q.95: What is adoption?
A. It is God’s goodness in receiving sinful rebels as his beloved children.
Q.96: What is sanctification?
A. In sanctification God makes sinners holy in heart and conduct so that they will demonstrate his goodness in their lives.
Q.97: Is this process of sanctification ever complete in this life?
A. No. It is certain and continual, but is complete only in heaven.
Q.98: What hinders the completion of sanctification in this life?
A. The Scripture says “The flesh lusts against the Spirit so that you cannot do the things you would.”
( Galatians 5:17 )
Q.99: Since we are by nature sinful, how can one ever desire to be holy and to gain heaven where God lives?
A. Our hearts must be changed before we can be fit for heaven.
Q.100: Who can change a sinner’s heart?
A. Only the Holy Spirit can change a sinner’s heart.
Q.101: What did the Holy Spirit undertake in the covenant of Grace?
A. He regenerates, baptizes, and seals those for whom Christ has died.
Q.102: What is regeneration?
A. It is a change of heart that leads to true repentance and faith.
Q.103: Can you repent and believe in Christ by your own power?
A. No. I can do nothing good without God’s Holy Spirit.
Q.104: How does the Holy Spirit baptize believers?
A. He puts them into the body of Christ by making them a living part of all those who truly believe in Him.
( 1Corinthians 12 )
Q.105: How does the Holy Spirit seal believers?
A. He comes to live within them to guarantee that they will receive the wonders God has promised those who love Him.
Q.106: How can you receive the Holy Spirit?
A. God has told us that we must pray to him for the Holy Spirit;
–but the evidence of His presence is seen most clearly in our trusting and loving the Lord Jesus Christ.
Part IV: Questions about Prayer
Q.107: What is prayer?
A. Prayer is talking with God.
Q.108: In whose name should we pray?
A. We should pray in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Q.109: What has Christ given to teach us how to pray?
A. The Lord’s Prayer.
Q.110: Can you repeat the Lord’s Prayer?
A. Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Q.111: How many petitions are there in the Lord’s Prayer?
Q.112: What is the first petition?
A. ‘Hallowed be thy name.’
Q.113: What do we pray for in the first petition?
A. That God’s name may be honored by us and all men.
Q.114: What is the second petition?
A. ‘Thy kingdom come.’
Q.115: What do we pray for in the second petition?
A. That the gospel may be preached in all the world, and believed and obeyed by us and all men.
Q.116: What is the third petition?
A. ‘Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’
Q.117: What do we pray for in the third petition?
A. That men on earth may serve God as the angels do in Heaven.
Q.118: What is the fourth petition?
A. ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’
Q.119: What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
A. That God will give us all things needful for our bodies.
Q.120: What is the fifth petition?
A. ‘And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.’
Q.121: What do we pray for in the fifth petition?
A. That God will pardon our sins, and help us to forgive those who have sinned against us.
Q.122: What is the sixth petition?
A. ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’
Q.123: What do we pray for in the sixth petition?
A. That God will keep us from sin.
Part V: Questions about the Word, the Church, and the Ordinances
Q.124: How does the Holy Spirit bring us to salvation?
A. He uses the Bible, which is the Word of God.
Q.125: How can we know the Word of God?
A. We are commanded to hear, read and search the Scriptures.
Q.126: What is a church?
A. A church is an assembly of baptized believers joined by a covenant of discipline and witness who meet together regularly under the preaching of the Word of God.
Q.127: What two ordinances did Christ give to his Church?
A. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Q.128: Why Did Christ give these ordinances?
A. To show that his disciples belong to him, and to remind them of what he has done for them.
Q.129: What is Baptism?
A. The dipping of believers into water, as a sign of their union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection.
Q.130: What is the purpose of baptism?
A. Baptism testifies to believers that God has cleansed them from their sins through Jesus Christ.
Q.131: Who are to be baptized?
A. Only those who repent of their sins, and believe in Christ for salvation should be baptized.
Q.132: Should babies be baptized?
A. No; because they can show neither repentance nor faith and the Bible neither commands it, nor gives any example of it.
Q.133: What is the Lord’s Supper?
A. At the Lord’s Supper, the church eats bread and drinks wine to remember the sufferings and death of Christ.
Q.134: What does the bread represent?
A. The bread represents the body of Christ, broken for our sins.
Q.135: What does the wine represent?
A. The wine represents the blood of Christ, shed for our salvation
Q.136: Who should partake of the Lord’s Supper?
A. The Lord’s Supper is for those only who repent of their sins, believe in Christ for salvation, receive baptism, and love their fellow men.
Part VI: Questions about Last Things
Q.137: Did Christ remain in the tomb after his crucifixion?
A. No. He rose from the tomb on the third day after his death.
Q.138: Where is Christ now?
A. Christ is in heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father.
Q.139: Will Christ come again?
A. Yes. At the last day he will come to judge the world.
Q.140: What happens to men when they die?
A. The body returns to dust, and the soul goes to be with God or to a place of suffering and waiting for judgement.
Q.141: Will the bodies of the dead be raised to life again?
A. Yes. ‘There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.’
Q.142: What will happen to the wicked in the day of judgment?
A. They shall be cast into hell.
Q.143: What is hell?
A. Hell is a place of dreadful and endless punishment.
Q.144: What will happen to the righteous in the day of judgement?
A. They shall live with Christ for ever, in a new heaven and a new earth.
Q.145: In light of these truths, what should you do?
A. I should strive with all my energy to repent of sin and believe savingly in the Lord Jesus Christ.