All Articles For Believing and Confessing

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Lord’s Day 40 Q. 105. What doth God require in the sixth commandment? A. That neither in thoughts, nor words, nor gestures, much less in deeds, I dishonor, hate, wound, or kill my neighbor, by myself or by another; but that I lay aside all desire of revenge; also, that I hurt not myself, nor willfully expose myself to any danger. Wherefore also the magistrate is armed with the sword, to prevent murder.   Q. 106. But this commandment seems only to speak of murder? A. In forbidding murder, God teaches us that He abhors the causes thereof, such as...

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Previous article in this series: August 2018, p. 444. God created all things This good and almighty God created all things, both visible and invisible, by His co-eternal Word, and preserves them by His co-eternal Spirit, as David testified when he said: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth” (Ps. 33:6). And, as Scripture says, everything that God had made was very good, and was made for the profit and use of man. Now we assert that all things proceed from one beginning. The doctrine of creation...

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Previous article in this series: May 15, 2018, p. 373. Means not to be despised Nevertheless, we do not spurn as useless the means by which divine providence works, but we teach that we are to adapt ourselves to them in so far as they are recommended to us in the Word of God. Wherefore we disapprove of the rash statements of those who say that if all things are managed by the providence of God, then our efforts and endeavors are in vain. It will be sufficient if we leave everything to the governance of divine providence, and we...

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Lord’s Day 39 Question 104. What doth God require in the fifth commandment? Answer. That I show all honor, love, and fidelity to my father and mother and all in authority over me, and submit myself to their good instruction and correction with due obedience; and also patiently bear with their weaknesses and infirmities, since it pleases God to govern us by their hand. The law of the Ten Commandments is commonly divided into two groups: the first table (commandments 1–4) having to do with our love for God, and the second table (commandments 5–10) having to do with our...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2018, p. 279. The Epicureans We therefore condemn the Epicureans who deny the providence of God, and all those who blasphemously say that God is busy with the heavens and neither sees nor cares about us and our affairs. David, the royal prophet, also condemned this when he said: “O Lord, how long shall the wicked exult? They say, ‘The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive.’ Understand, O dullest of the people! Fools, when will you be wise? He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He...

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Lord’s Day 38 Question 103. What doth God require in the fourth commandment? Answer. First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be maintained; and that I, especially on the sabbath, that is, on the day of rest, diligently frequent the church of God, to hear His word, to use the sacraments, publicly to call upon the Lord, and contribute to the relief of the poor, as becomes a Christian. Secondly, that all the days of my life I cease from my evil works, and yield myself to the Lord, to work by His Holy Spirit in me;...

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Previous article in this series: December 15, 2017, p. 130. Introduction With chapter 6 of the Second Helvetic Confession, Heinrich Bullinger directs our attention to the providence of God. Along with the other Reformers, Bullinger subscribes to a robust doctrine of divine providence. God’s providence includes all things; no one and nothing is outside of the scope of God’s providence. Everything that takes place in time and in history is directed by the providence of God. Interestingly enough, Bullinger treats the truth of providence before the truth of creation and the fall of man into sin. That is not the...

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Lord’s Day 37 Question 101. May we then swear religiously by the name of God? Answer. Yes; either when the magistrates demand it of the subjects; or when necessity requires us thereby to confirm fidelity and truth to the glory of God and the safety of our neighbor; for such an oath is founded on God’s Word, and therefore was justly used by the saints both in the Old and New Testament. Question 102. May we also swear by saints or any other creatures? Answer. No; for a lawful oath is calling upon God, as the only one who knows...

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Previous article in this series: August 2017, p. 443. Introduction As we saw last time, the opening paragraphs of this fifth chapter of the Second Helvetic Confession establish the fundamental biblical truth that God must be worshiped through the only Mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ. They also condemn the worship of the Roman Catholic Church, which raises up other mediators alongside the only Mediator. These other mediators include especially the saints and the Virgin Mary. Over against Rome’s insistence that the faithful “adore, worship, and pray to the saints in heaven,” the SHC maintains that “God and Christ the Mediator...

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Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 36 Q. 99. What is required in the third commandment? A. That we, not only by cursing or perjury, but also by rash swearing, must not profane or abuse the name of God; nor by silence or connivance be partakers of these horrible sins in others; and, briefly, that we use the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence; so that He may be rightly confessed and worshiped by us, and be glorified in all our words and works. Q. 100. Is then the profaning of God’s name by swearing and cursing...

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