Catechism Grades 8-12
Catechism Lessons for Grades 8-12
Dates listed are the dates which memory work is recited.
Q. 70. What is it to be washed with the blood and Spirit of Christ?
A. It is to receive of God the remission of sins, freely, for the sake of Christ's blood, which He shed for us by His sacrifice upon the cross; and also to be renewed by the Holy Spirit, and sanctified to be members of Christ, that so we may more and more die unto sin, and lead holy and unblamable lives.
Q. 71. Where has Christ promised us, that he will as certainly wash us by his blood and Spirit, as we are washed with the water of baptism?
A. In the institution of baptism, which is thus expressed: "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt.28:19). And "he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned." (Mark 16:16). This promise is also repeated, where the scripture calls baptism "the washing of regeneration" and the washing away of sins. (Titus 3:5, Acts 22:16).
Q. 72. Is then the external baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?
A. Not at all: for the blood of Jesus Christ only, and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from all sin.
Q. 73. Why then does the Holy Spirit call baptism "the washing of regeneration," and “the washing away of sins”?
A. God speaks thus not without great cause, to-wit, not only thereby to teach us, that as the filth of the body is purged away by water, so our sins are removed by the blood and Spirit of Jesus Christ; but especially that by this divine pledge and sign He may assure us, that we are spiritually cleansed from our sins as really, as we are externally washed with water.
Q. 74. Are infants also to be baptized?
A. Yes, for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the covenant and church of God; and since redemption from sin by the blood of Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the author of faith, is promised to them no less than to the adult; they must therefore by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, be also admitted into the Christian church; and be distinguished from the children of unbelievers as was done in the old covenant or testament by circumcision, instead of which baptism is instituted in the new covenant.
Q. 75. How art thou admonished and assured in the Lord's Supper, that thou art a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross, and of all his benefits?
A. Thus, that Christ has commanded me and all believers, to eat of this broken bread, and to drink of this cup, in remembrance of Him, adding these promises:
first, that His body was offered and broken on the cross for me, and His blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes, the bread of the Lord broken for me, and the cup communicated to me;
and further, that He feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with His crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.
Q. 76. What is it then to eat the crucified body, and drink the shed blood of Christ?
A. It is not only to embrace with believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ and thereby to obtain the pardon of sin, and life eternal; but also, besides that, to become more and more united to his sacred body, by the Holy Spirit, who dwells both in Christ and in us; so that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding "flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone" and that we live, and are governed forever by one spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.
Q. 77. Where has Christ promised that he will as certainly feed and nourish believers with his body and bleed, as they eat of this broken bread, and drink of this cup?
A. In the institution of the supper, which is thus expressed:
“The Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said: Eat, this is My body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying: this cup is the new testament in My blood; this do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For, as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come.” (1Cor. 11:23-26)
This promise is repeated by the holy apostle Paul, where he says
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” 1Cor.10:16,17.
Q. 78. Do then the bread and wine become the very body and blood of Christ?
A. Not at all: but as the water in baptism is not changed into the blood of Christ, neither is the washing away of sin itself, being only the sign and confirmation thereof appointed of God; so the bread in the Lord's supper is not changed into the very body of Christ; though agreeably to the nature and properties of sacraments, it is called the body of Christ Jesus.
Q. 79. Why then doth Christ call the bread "his body", and the cup "his blood", or "the new covenant in his blood"; and Paul the "communion of body and blood of Christ"?
A. Christ speaks thus, not without great reason, namely, not only thereby to teach us, that as bread and wine support this temporal life, so his crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink, whereby our souls are fed to eternal life; but more especially by these visible signs and pledges to assure us, that we are as really partakers of his true body and blood by the operation of the Holy Spirit as we receive by the mouths of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of him; and that all his sufferings and obedience are as certainly ours, as if we had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction for our sins to God.
Q. 81. For whom is the Lord's supper instituted?
A. For those who are truly sorrowful for their sins, and yet trust that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their remaining infirmities are covered by His passion and death; and who also earnestly desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy; but hypocrites, and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat and drink judgment to themselves.
Q. 82. Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who, by confession and life, declare themselves unbelieving and ungodly?
A. No; for by this, the covenant of God would be profaned, and his wrath kindled against the whole congregation; therefore it is the duty of the Christian church, according to the appointment of Christ and his apostles, to exclude such persons, by the keys of the kingdom of heaven, till they show amendment of life.
Q. 83. What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?
A. The preaching of the holy gospel, and Christian discipline, or excommunication out of the Christian church; by these two, the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers, and shut against unbelievers.
Q. 84. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the holy gospel?
A. Thus: when according to the command of Christ, it is declared and publicly testified to all and every believer, that, whenever they receive the promise of the gospel by a true faith, all their sins are really forgiven them of God, for the sake of Christ's merits; and on the contrary, when it is declared and testified to all unbelievers, and such as do not sincerely repent, that they stand exposed to the wrath of God, and eternal condemnation, so long as they are unconverted: according to which testimony of the gospel, God will judge them, both in this, and in the life to come.
Q. 85. How is the kingdom of heaven shut and opened by Christian discipline?
A. Thus: when according to the command of Christ, those, who under the name of Christians, maintain doctrines, or practices inconsistent therewith, and will not, after having been often brotherly admonished, renounce their errors and wicked course of life, are complained of to the church, or to those, who are thereunto appointed by the church; and if they despise their admonition, are by them forbidden the use of the sacraments; whereby they are excluded from the Christian church, and by God Himself from the kingdom of Christ; and when they promise and show real amendment, are again received as members of Christ and his church.
Q. 86. Since then we are delivered from our misery, merely of grace, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we still do good works?
A. Because Christ, having redeemed and delivered us by his blood, also renews us by His Holy Spirit, after His Own image; that so we may testify, by the whole of our conduct, our gratitude to God for His blessings, and that He may be praised by us; also, that every one may be assured in himself of his faith, by the fruits thereof; and that, by our godly conversation others may be gained to Christ.
Q. 87. Cannot they then be saved, who, continuing in their wicked and ungrateful lives, are not converted to God?
A. By no means; for the Holy Scripture declares that no unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard, slanderer, robber, or any such like, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Q. 88. Of how many parts does the true conversion of man consist?
A. Of two parts; of the mortification of the old man, and the quickening of the new man.
Q. 89. What is the mortification of the old man?
A. It is a sincere sorrow of heart, that we have provoked God by our sins; and more and more to hate and flee from them.
Q. 90. What is the quickening of the new man?
A. It is a sincere joy of heart in God, through Christ, and with love and delight to live according to the will of God in all good works.
Q. 91. But what are good works?
A. Only those which proceed from a true faith, are performed according to the law of God, and to His glory; and not such as are founded on our imaginations, or the institutions of men.
Q. 92. What is the law of God?
A. God spake all the words of the law in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.
The ten commands follow. It isn’t necessary to memorize all of Ex. 20:1-17 since short summaries of the ten commands will be memorized in what follows.
Q. 93. How are these commandments divided?
A. Into two tables;
the first which teaches us how we must behave towards God;
the second, what duties we owe to our neighbor.
Q. 94. What does God enjoin in the first commandment?
A. That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and flee from all idolatry, sorcery, soothsaying, superstition, invocation of saints, or any other creatures; and learn rightly to know the only true God; trust in Him alone, with humility and patience submit to Him; expect all good things from Him only; love, fear, and glorify Him with my whole heart; so that I renounce and forsake all creatures, rather than commit even the least thing contrary to his will.
Q. 95. What is idolatry?
A. Idolatry is, instead of, or besides that one true God, who has manifested himself in His word, to contrive, or have any other object, in which men place their trust.
REMEMBER -Dates listed are the dates which memory work is recited.