08 May 2007

Westminster Wednesday

And time for another installment of Westminster Wednesday.

Q&A #3:
Q:What do the scriptures principally teach?
A: The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.

John Flavel's Exposition on the Catechism states:
Q. 1. Why is Faith conjoined with Obedience, and put before it?
A. Because Faith is the principle from whence all Obedience flows, and no man can perform any duty aright in the estate of unbelief. Hebrews 11:6. But without Faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God, must believe that he is.
Q. 2. Can there be no saving Faith where the Scriptures are not known and preached?
A. No; for the Apostle saith, Romans 10:14. How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a Preacher? and how shall they preach without they be sent? And v. 7. So then, Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Q. 3. Are not we bound to believe what learned men teach us, as Points of Faith, though the things they teach be not contained in the word of God?
A. No; if the things they teach be not contained expressly, or by necessary consequence in the Word of God, we are not obliged to believe them as points of Faith. Isaiah 8:20. To the Law, and to the Testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Galatians 1:8. Though we, or an Angel from Heaven preach any other Gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. And Christ hath charged us, Matthew 23:10. To call no man Master, for one is your Master, even Christ.
Q. 4. Are there some things in Scripture more excellent than others; because it's said, the Scriptures principally teach Matters of Faith and Duty?
A. Every part of Scripture is alike pure. Proverbs 30:5. Every word of God is pure, and of equal Authority, but not of equal weight; as several pieces of Gold are alike pure, and of the same stamp, but not of equal value.
Q. 5. What may be inferred hence for use?
A. First, Hence 'tis our duty to examine what we hear, by the Word, and not receive any Doctrine, because men confidently affirm it, but because the Scriptures require it. Acts 17:11. These were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so. Secondly, That Christian Religion is not notional, but practical; and that impractical faith saves no man. James 2:20. Faith without Works is dead.

How can we ever improve on that? We can't, no need to even try.

From Matthew Henry we read:
1. Is it necessary that we have a faith concerning God? Yes: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him, Hebrews 11:6. Can we have that faith without being taught? No: for how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? Romans 10:14. And have they not heard? Yes: verily their sound went into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world, Romans 10:18.
2. Is not the knowledge of God a great privilege? Yes: for this is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, John 17:3. Is it not the best knowledge? Yes: for the knowledge of the holy is understanding, Proverbs 9:10. Does the Scripture teach us that knowledge? Yes: for if we receive those words, and hide those commandments with us, then shall we understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God, Proverbs 2:1, 5.
3. Do not the works of creation prove that there is a God? Yes: for we understand by the things that are made his eternal power and godhead, Romans 1:20. And do not the works of providence prove it? Yes: for verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth, Psalm 58:11 But do not the Scriptures tell us best what God is? Yes: for no man hath seen God at any time, the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him, John 1:18.
4. Are we all concerned to get the knowledge of God? Yes: we should all know him, from the least even to the greatest, Hebrews 8:11. Must children get that knowledge ? Yes: I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father, 1 John 2:13. And must we all grow in that knowledge? Yes: we must follow on to know the Lord, Hosea 6:3.
5. Are we to believe what the Scripture reveals concerning God? Yes: for these things are written that we may believe, John 20:31. And must we believe all that the Scripture reveals? Yes: Believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets, Acts 24:14. Must we believe that which is not revealed? No : for the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. 2:11.
6. Does God require duty of man ? Yes: for unto man He said, Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil, that is understanding, Job 28: 28. Is it enough to believe the truth revealed, if we do not the duty that is required? No: for faith without works is dead, James 2: 26. Is it enough to do the duty required, though we do not believe the truth revealed ? No: for he that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, 1 John 5:10.
7. Does the Scripture teach us what duty God requires? Yes: He has showed thee what the Lord thy God requires of thee, Mic. 6: 8. And must we do the duty that the Scripture teaches? Yes: we must observe to do according to all that is written therein, and not turn from it to the right hand, or to the left, Josh. 1:7. Must this obedience always accompany faith ? Yes: for they which have believed in God must be careful to maintain good works, Tit. 3: 8.

No comments: