2023 Reading Plan
Below is a reading plan that I have created so that you may read from the Word of God regarding certain topics. It is a three-day schedule of readings for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It is not a large amount of reading because I want you to meditate upon the various subjects. Let us remember the Scripture tells us that blessed is the one who meditates on his law both day and night. I believe this process of reading and meditating can bring about greater change in your life helping you to conform more to the image of Christ. I want to encourage you to take up this practice of developing the habit to read more of the Word of God. Please remember, it is not about how much you read; but about how much gets in your heart. A bee that extracts nectar from a few flowers gains more than one that travels to more flowers not extracting the nectar at all. Then, once you have tasted the honey of the Word of God, let others have a taste with you. The following are just a few ideas to help you in your reading. 1. Start reading the Bible today -- there is no better time, and there's no reason to wait. 2. Set aside a specific time for each day. Set your schedule and then stick to it. Mornings are great, but feel free to use any time that works consistently for you. 3. Read the Bible for the sake of learning, not simply to accomplish your next reading. Say a short prayer to God before you begin, asking the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding from your meditation, then be refreshed by the words you read!
Blessings! Bishop Lowe
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." - 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV
God expects us to study and learn His Word. In addition, studying the Word of God will draw you closer to God, while providing you with wisdom and understanding about life's circumstances. We have provided this reading plan to assist you with your study of the Word of God.
Select a Panel to Begin Reading
Meditating on Love
January 17 Genesis 29:16-30
January 19 Leviticus 19:9-18
January 21 Deuteronomy 7:6-16
January 24 Deuteronomy 10:12-22
January 26 Proverbs 10:12; 13:24; 14:22; 15:17; 16:6; 17:17; 19:22; 20:6; 20:28; 27:5
January 28 Song of Solomon 8:1-7
January 31 Hosea 2:16-3:5
February 2 Luke 6:27-36
February 4 Luke 10:25-37
February 7 John 3:16-21
February 9 John 13:31-35
February 11 John 14:15-31
February 14 Romans 13:8-14
February 16 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
February 18 Ephesians 2:1-10
February 21 Ephesians 3:14-21
February 23 Colossians 3:12-17
February 25 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13
February 28 1 John 3:11-24
March 2 1 John 4:7-5:5
March 4 Revelation 2:1-7
Meditating on Christian Fundamentals
Meditating on Christian Fundamentals
- Q. 1. What is the supreme purpose of man?
- A. The supreme purpose of man is to glorify God, [a] and to enjoy him forever. [b]
[a]. Ps. 86:9; Isa. 60:21; Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 6:20; 10:31; Rev. 4:11
[b]. Ps. 16:5-11; 144:15; Isa. 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil. 4:4; Rev.21:3-4
Why must we glorify God?
Because he gives us our life.
Ps 100:3; Ro 11:36
Because He made all things for His glory.
If we refuse to give him glory, he still will get it in spite of us.
Ex 14:17; Ac 12:23; Mt 25:31
Because all creation gives Him glory.
Ps 19:1; Is 43:20
Because He is our hope
Ps 39:7;Ps 62:5
Because we have been adopted into his family.
1 Pe 2:9; Is 43:21
The angels are powerful, but Christ did not take on the nature of angels. He took on the nature of man. 2 Co 5:21 Though we were made less than the angels, through the grace of God we are now exalted above the angels. We are the bride of Christ!
How should we glorify God?
By being committed to glorify Him!
Jn 8:50;Mt 16:24
As you make a commitment to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, become committed to glorify him! You must exalt him above all things in the earth. There's nothing wrong with having a commitment to other things in life, but they must not supersede your commitment to put God first. The Levites were given their position because they honored God even above their family.
Dt 33:8; Jn 12:28
By confessing our sins. Confessing our sins honors God and brings glory to his name. Just like the thief on the cross gave glory to God.
Lk 23:41–43 Jos 7:19
By believing Him. Consider Abraham:
By defending His honor.
1 Sa 17:26; Ps 69:9
By being fruitful. Being saved is not enough.
Jn 15:8; Php 1:11; Mt 5:16
By being contented. Whatever state we are in.
2 Co 12:10
By working out our salvation.
By living for Him.
2 Co 5:15; Ga 2:20
How should we glorify God?
By rejoicing in Him.
Ps 100:2;2 Co 1:4;1 Th 1:6
By standing up for his Word.
Jud 3; 1 Pe 3:15
By praising Him.
Ps 50:23;Ps 86:12
By being zealous for his name.
Nu 25:6–11;Jn 2:14–17;Re 2:2
By doing all things considering Him; spiritual and natural.
1 Co 10:31;Ac 24:16
By being a witness to convert others for Him.
1 Co 10:31–33;1 Ti 2:3–4
By suffering for His name.
Mt 26:39; Heb 11:35–38;Re 12:11
By giving Him glory in all we do.
1 Co 15:10
Herod failed to give God glory
By living a holy life.
1 Jn 2:6
- Q. 2. What has God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
- A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, [a] are the only Scriptures to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. [b]
[a]. Matt. 19:4-5 with Gen. 2:24; Luke 24:27, 44; 1 Cor. 2:13; 14:37; 2 Pet.1:20-21; 3:2, 15-16
[b]. Deut. 4:2; Ps. 19:7-11; Isa. 8:20; John 15:11; 20:30-31;Acts 17:11; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 1 John 1:4
- Q. 3. What do the Scriptures primarily reveal?
- A. The Scriptures primarily reveal what man is to believe concerning God, [a] and what duty God requires of man [b].
[a]. Gen. 1:1; John 5:39; 20:31; Rom. 10:17; 2 Tim. 3:15
[b]. Deut. 10:12-13; Josh. 1:8; Ps. 119:105; Mic. 6:8; 2 Tim. 3:16-17
What we believe concerning God (Q. 4-38)
- Q. 4. What is God?
- A. God is a Spirit [a], infinite [b], eternal [c], and unchangeable [d] in his being [e], wisdom [f], power [g], holiness [h], justice [i], goodness [j], and truth [k].
[a]. Deut. 4:15-19; Luke 24:39; John 1:18; 4:24; Acts 17:29
[b]. 1 Kings 8:27; Ps. 139:7-10; 145:3; 147:5; Jer. 23:24; Rom. 11:33-36
[c]. Deut. 33:27; Ps. 90:2; 102:12, 24-27; Rev. 1:4,8
[d]. Ps. 33:11; Mal. 3:6; Heb. 1:12; 6:17-18; 13:8; Jas. 1:17
[e]. Ex. 3:14; Ps. 115:2-3; 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:15-16
- Q. 4. What is God?
- A. God is a Spirit [a], infinite [b], eternal [c], and unchangeable [d] in his being [e], wisdom [f], power [g], holiness [h], justice [i], goodness [j], and truth [k].
[f]. Ps. 104:24; Rom. 11:33-34; Heb. 4:13; 1 John 3:20
[g]. Gen. 17:1; Ps. 62:11; Jer. 32:17; Mat. 19:26; Rev. 1:8
[h]. Heb. 1:13; I Pet. 1:15-16; 1 John 3:3, 5; Rev. 15:4
[i]. Gen. 18:25; Ex. 34:6-7; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 96:13; Rom. 3:5, 26
[j]. Ps. 103:5; 107:8; Matt. 19:17; Rom. 2:4
[k]. Ex. 34:6; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 86:15; 117:2; Heb. 6:18
- Q. 5. Is there more than one God?
- A. There is only one God [a], the living and true God [b].
[a]. Deut. 6:4; Isa. 44:6; 45:21-22; 1 Cor. 8:4-6
[b]. Jer. 10:10; John 17:3; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 John 5:20
- Q. 6. How many persons are there in God?
A.6. There are three persons in God; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit [a]; these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. [b]
[a]. Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:2
[b]. Ps. 45:6; John 1:1; 17:5; Acts 5:3-4; Rom. 9:5; Col. 2:9;
- Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?
A.7. The decrees of God are his eternal plan, according to the purpose of his will, by which, for his glory, he has foreordained everything that ever happens [a].
[a]. Ps. 33:11; Isa. 14:24; Acts 2:23; Eph. 1:11-12
8. Q. 8. How does God execute his decrees?
A.8. God executes his decrees in the works of creation and providence[a].
[a]. Ps. 148:8; Isa. 40:26; Dan. 4:35; Acts 4:24-28; Rev. 4:11
9. Q. 9. What is the work of creation?
A.9. The work of creation is God making everything out of nothing, by the power of his Word [a], in the space of six days, and all was very good. [b]
[a]. Gen. 1:1; Ps. 33:6, 9; Heb. 11:3
[b]. Gen. 1:31
10. Q. 10. How did God create man?
A.10. God created man male and female, in his image [a], in knowledge [b], righteousness, and holiness [c], with dominion over the other creatures [d].
[a]. Gen. 1:27;[b]. Col. 3:10;[c]. Eph. 4:24;[d]. Gen. 1:28; see Ps. 8
What do we mean the image of God? The likeness of God. Not in outward appearance, but inwardly in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. God is eternal in the soul of man is eternal.
Col 3:10; Ephesians 4:24;John 4:24; Genesis 1:28; Psalms 8; Genesis 2:18; Genesis 1:27-28
On what day did God create man?
Genesis 1:26;Genesis 1:31
Why was man created last? Man was God’s ultimate reason for the creation. He was created in the very image of God!
Psalms 8:6-8;Matthew 10:29-30;Job 7:17-18;Psalms 144:3;
How was man created different?
Genesis 2:7;Genesis 1:26-27
What is the substance of man’s body?
Genesis 2:7;Isaiah 64:8;Isaiah 29:16; Isaiah 45:9;Jeremiah 18:1-12
How did God create man in his likeness? God is a Trinity and man is a Trinity.
1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 10:28
11. Q.11. What are God's works of providence?
A.11. God's works of providence are his completely holy [a], wise [b], and powerful [c] acts of preserving [d] and governing [e] all his creatures and all their actions [f].
[a]. Ps. 145:17;[b]. Ps. 104:24;[c]. Heb. 1:3;[d]. Neh. 9:6;[e]. Eph. 1:19-22;[f]. Ps. 36:6; Prov. 16:33; Matt. 10:30
What are the parts of God’s providence? His preservation of things Psalms 36:6 Psalm 67:4.
How does God preserve things? By his word Psalms 119:89-91. When he makes provision of things needful for their preservation Psalms 145:15-16.
How does God govern things Psalm 66:7; Proverbs 16:9
Q. 12. What did God's providence specifically do for the man he created?
A.12. When God created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him on the condition of his perfect obedience, forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or he would die. [a]
[a]. Gen. 2:16-17; Jas. 2:10
Q. 13. Did our first parents continue in the perfect relationship in which they were created?
A.13. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the perfect relationship with God when they were created by sinning against God. [a].
[a]. Gen. 3:6-8, 13; 2 Cor. 11:3
Q. 14. What is sin?
A.14. Sin is disobeying or not conforming to the law of God law in any way[a].
[a]. Lev. 5:17; Jas. 4:17; 1 John 3:4
Why did God give his law?
The Law of God was given for living life abundantly and pleasantly!
John 8:31; Genesis 2:7-9; Genesis 2:15-17; Leviticus 18:5; Leviticus 25:18
Why did God give his law?
Obeying God's commands can protect us from harm and lead us to safety.
Proverbs 19:16; Deuteronomy 8
What are the benefits of meditating on God’s word?
Joshua 1:5-9;Psalms 1; John 8:31-32, 14:21
What are the consequences of obedience and disobedience to the law of God?
Deuteronomy 28 Ezekiel 18:4-9; Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 6:23
Nehemiah 9:20-31, Ezekiel 18:19-32
Where can God’s law be found?
Romans 1:18-20, Romans 2:15, Joshua 1:8
Who is responsible to obey the law of God?
Psalm 24:1, 50:12, 89:11; Exodus 9:29; 19:4-5; 1 Corinthians 10:26; Deuteronomy 10:14; Job 41:11
How many races are there in the earth?
Act 17:24-31;John 8:31-47; 1 John 3:8
How does one avoid the judgement for sin?
John 5:24; 1 John 1:9,3:4-9,; Romans 8:1-4 good
Q. 15. What was the sin our first parents committed?
A.15. The sin of our first parents was eating the forbidden fruit [a].
[a]. Gen. 3
Q. 16. Did all mankind fall in Adam's sin?
A. The covenant made with Adam [a] was not only for himself but also for his posterity; all mankind, being born from him, sinned and fell with him in his first transgression [b].
[a]. Gen. 2:16-17; Jas. 2:10
[b]. Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22
Q. 17. What condition did the fall bring mankind into?
A. The fall brought mankind into a condition of sin and misery [a].
[a]. Gen. 3:16-19, 23; Rom. 3:16; 5:12; Eph. 2:1
Q. 18. How is the current condition of mankind sinful?
A. The current condition of mankind is sinful because of the guilt of Adam's first sin [a], the lack of the original perfect righteousness of which he was created[b], and the corruption of his whole nature [c], which is commonly called the original sin; along with all the sins which come from the original sin [d].
[a]. Rom. 5:12, 19
[b]. Rom. 3:10; Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24
[c]. Ps. 51:5; John 3:6; Rom. 3:18; 8:7-8; Eph. 2:3
[d]. Gen. 6:5; Ps. 53:1-3; Matt. 15:19; Rom. 3:10-18, 23; Gal. 5:19-21; Jas. 1:14-15
May 23, 25
Q. 19. What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?
A. All mankind by the fall lost fellowship with God [a] and are under his wrath [b] and curse [c], and as a result made subject to all miseries in this life [d], to death [e] itself, and the punishment of hell forever [f].
[a]. Gen. 3:8, 24; John 8:34, 42, 44; Eph. 2:12; 4:18
[b]. John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; Eph. 2:3; 5:6
[c]. Gal. 3:10; Rev. 22:3
[d]. Gen. 3:16-19; Job 5:7; Ecc. 2:22-23; Rom. 8:18-23
[e]. Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 5:12; 6:23
[f]. Matt. 25:41, 46; 2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 14:9-11
Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in sin and misery?
A. From all eternity, God knew those who would have everlasting life. [a,] These He freed from sin and misery by a covenant of grace and brought them to salvation by a redeemer. [b].
[a]. Acts 13:48; Eph. 1:4-5; 2 Thess. 2:13-14
[b]. Gen. 3:15; 17:7; Ex. 19:5-6; Jer. 31:31-34; Matt. 20:28; 1 Cor. 11:25; Heb. 9:15
Q. 21. Who is the Redeemer of God's people?
A. The only Redeemer of God's chosen is the Lord Jesus Christ [a], the eternal Son of God [b], who became man. [c] He was and continues to be God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever [d].
[a]. John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5-6
[b]. Ps. 2:7; Matt. 3:17; 17:5; John 1:18
[c]. Isa. 9:6; Matt. 1:23; John 1:14; Gal. 4:4
[d]. Acts 1:11; Heb. 7:24-25
Q. 22. How did Christ, the Son of God, become man?
A. Christ, the Son of God, became man by assuming a human body and a soul like ours [a], being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her [b] yet he was sinless [c].
[a]. Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:14, 17
[b]. Luke 1:27, 31, 35
[c]. 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 1 John 3:5
Q. 23. What offices does Christ fulfill as our Redeemer?
A. Christ, as our Redeemer, fulfills the offices of a prophet [a], priest [b], and king [c] in both His states of humiliation and exaltation.
[a]. Deut. 18:18; Acts 2:33; 3:22-23; Heb. 1:1-2
[b]. Heb. 4:14-15; 5:5-6
[c]. Isa. 9:6-7; Luke 1:32-33; John 18:37; 1 Cor. 15:25
Q. 24. How does Christ fulfill the office of a prophet?
A. Christ fulfills the office of a prophet in revealing to us, by his Word [a] and Spirit, [b] the will of God for our salvation [c].
[a]. Luke 4:18-19, 21; Acts 1:1-2; Heb. 2:3
[b]. John 15:26-27; Acts 1:8; 1 Pet. 1:11
[c]. John 4:41-42; 20:30-31
July 1, 4
Q. 25. How does Christ fulfill the office of a priest?
A. Christ fulfills the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, [a] and reconciling us to God [b]; and by making continual intercession for us [c].
[a]. Isa. 53; Acts 8:32-35; Heb. 9:26-28; 10:12
[b]. Rom. 5:10-11; 2 Cor. 5:18; Col. 1:21-22
[c]. Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24
July 6, 8
Q. 26. How does Christ fulfill the office of a king?
A. Christ fulfills the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us [a], and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies [b].
[a]. Ps. 110:3; Matt. 28:18-20; John 17:2; Col. 1:13
[b]. Ps. 2:6-9; 110:1-2; Matt. 12:28; 1 Cor. 15:24-26; Col. 2:15
Q. 27. How was Christ humiliated?
A. Christ was humiliated by being born as a man into a poor family, [a] made under the law [b], undergoing the miseries of this life [c], the wrath of God [d], and the cursed death of the cross, [e]and in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time. [f]
[a]. Luke 2:7; 2 Cor. 8:9; Gal. 4:4
[b]. Gal. 4:4
[c]. Isa. 53:3; Luke 9:58; John 4:6; 11:35; Heb. 2:18
[d]. Ps. 22:1 (Matt. 27:46); Isa. 53:10; 1 John 2:2
[e]. Gal. 3:13; Phil. 2:8
[f]. Matt. 12:40; 1 Cor. 15:3-4
Q. 28. How is Christ exalted?
A. Christ is exalted by his rising again from the dead on the third day [a], in ascending into heaven [b], in sitting at the right hand [c] of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day [d].
[a]. 1 Cor. 15:4
[b]. Ps. 68:18; Acts 1:11; Eph. 4:8
[c]. Ps. 110:1; Acts 2:33-34; Heb. 1:3
[d]. Matt. 16:27; Acts 17:31
Q. 29. How do we share in the redemption purchased by Christ for us?
A. We share in the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effective application of it to us by his Holy Spirit [a].
[a]. Titus 3:4-7
Q. 30. How does the Holy Spirit apply redemption purchased by Christ to us?
A. The Holy Spirit applies the redemption purchased by Christ to us by producing faith in us [a], which unites us to Christ in our effectual calling [b].
[a]. Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 2:12-16; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 1:29
[b]. John 15:5; 1 Cor. 1:9; Eph. 3:17
Q. 31. What is our effectual calling?
A. Our effectual calling is the work of the Holy Spirit, who convinces us of our sin and misery, enlightens our minds in the knowledge of Christ [a], renews our wills [b], and persuades and enables us to embrace Jesus Christ [c], who is freely offered to us in the gospel [d].
[a]. Acts 26:18; 1 Cor. 2:10, 12; 2 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 1:17-18
[b]. Deut. 30:6; Ezk. 36:26-27; John 3:5; Titus 3:5
[c]. John 6:44-45; Acts 16:14
[d]. Isa. 45:22; Matt. 11:28-30; Rev. 22:17
Q. 32. What benefits do those that are successfully called have in this life?
A. They that are successfully called in this life partake of justification, adoption, sanctification, and the other benefits that accompany them or flow from them in this life. [a]
[a]. Rom. 8:30; 1 Cor. 1:30; 6:11; Eph. 1:5
Q. 33. What is Justification?
A. Justification is an act of God's free grace [a], by which he pardons all our sins [b] and accepts us as righteous in his sight [c], through the righteousness of Christ credited to us [d] and received by faith alone [e].
[a]. Rom. 3:24
[b]. Rom. 4:6-8; 2 Cor. 5:19
[c]. 2 Cor. 5:21
[d]. Rom. 4:6, 11; 5:19
[e]. Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9
Q. 34. What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of God's free grace [a], by which we are received into his family and have a right to all the privileges of children of God [b].
[a]. 1 John 3:1
[b]. John 1:12; Rom. 8:17
Q. 35. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the work of God's free grace [a], by which we are renewed throughout in the image of God [b] and are enabled more and more to become dead to sin and alive to righteousness [c].
[a]. Ezk. 36:27; Phil. 2:13; 2 Thess. 2:13
[b]. 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:23-24; 1 Thess. 5:23
[c]. Ezek. 36:25-27; Rom. 6:4, 6, 12-14; 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Pet. 2:24
Q. 36. What are the benefits in this life that accompany or flow from Justification, adoption, and sanctification?
A. The benefits in this life that accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification are the assurance of God's love [a], peace of conscience [b], joy in the Holy Spirit [c], increase of grace [d], and persevering in grace to the end of our earthly lives [e].
[a]. Rom. 5:5
[b]. Rom. 5:1
[c]. Rom. 14:17
[d]. 2 Pet. 3:18
[e]. Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:5
Q. 37. What benefits do believers receive from Christ when they die?
A. The souls of believers at their death are made perfectly holy [a], and they immediately pass into glory [b]; and their bodies, being still united to Christ [c], rest in their graves till the resurrection [d].
[a]. Heb. 12:23
[b]. Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:6, 8; Phil. 1:23
[c]. 1 Thess. 4:14
[d]. Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15
Q. 38. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
A. At the resurrection, believers are raised up in glory [a], are openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment [b], and are perfectly blessed to the full enjoying of God [c] forever [d].
[a]. I Cor. 15:42-43
[b]. Matt. 25:33-34, 46
[c]. Rom. 8:29; 1 John 3:2
[d]. Ps. 16:11; 1 Thess. 4:17
What God requires of us (Q. 39-107)
Q. 39. What does God require of man?
A. God requires man to obey his revealed will [a].
[a]. Deut. 29:29; Mic. 6:8; 1 John 5:2-3
Q. 40. What rule did God first reveal for man to obey?
A. The rule God first revealed for man to obey was the moral law [a].
[a]. Rom. 2:14-15; 10:5
Q. 41. Where is the moral law summarized?
A. The moral law is summarized in the ten commandments [a].
[a]. Deut. 4:13; Matt. 19:17-19
Q. 42. What is the summation of the ten commandments?
A. The summation of the ten commandments is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind: and our neighbor as ourselves [a].
[a]. Matt. 22:37-40
Q. 43. What is the preface to the ten commandments?
A. The preface to the ten commandments is, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:2; Deut. 5:6
Q. 44. What does the preface to the ten commandments teach us?
A. The preface to the ten commandments teaches us that God is the Lord, and our God, and Redeemer. Therefore, we are obligated to keep all his commandments [a].
[a]. Luke 1:74-75; 1 Pet. 1:14-19
Q. 45. Which is the first commandment?
A. The first commandment is, "You shall have no other gods before me." [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:3; Deut. 5:7
Q. 46. What is required in the first commandment?
A. The first commandment requires us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God and our God and to worship and glorify him accordingly [a].
[a]. I Chron. 28:9; Isa. 45:20-25; Matt. 4:10
Q. 47. What is forbidden in the first commandment?
A. The first commandment forbids the denying of [a], or not worshipping and glorifying Him as the true God [b], and as our God [c]; and forbids the giving of that worship and glory to any other, which is due to him alone [d].
[a]. Ps. 14:1
[b]. Rom. 1:20-21
[c]. Ps. 81:10-11
[d]. Ezek. 8:16-18; Rom. 1:25
Q. 48. What are we specially taught by these words, "before me," in the first commandment?
A. The words "before me" in the first commandment teach us that God, who sees all things, takes notice of and is very offended by the sin of us having any other god [a].
[a]. Deut. 30:17-18; Ps. 44:20-21; Ezek. 8:12
Q. 49. Which is the second commandment?
A. The second commandment is, "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:4-6; Deut. 5:8-10
Q. 50. What is required in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment requires the receiving, observing, and keeping, pure and complete, all the religious worship and ordinances that God has established in His Word [a].
[a]. Deut. 12:32; Matt. 28:20
Q. 51. What is forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment forbids the worshipping of God by images [a] or any other way not established in his Word [b].
[a]. Deut. 4:15-19; Rom. 1:22-23
[b]. Lev. 10:1-2; Jer. 19:4-5; Col. 2:18-23
Q. 52. What are the reasons for the second commandment?
A. The reasons for the second commandment are God's sovereignty over us [a], his ownership of us [b], and the zeal he has for his worship [c].
[a]. Ps. 95:2-3, 6-7; 96:9-10
[b]. Ex. 19:5; Ps. 45:11; Isa. 54:5
[c]. Ex. 34:14; I Cor. 10:22
Q. 53. What is the third commandment?
A. The third commandment is, "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain." [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:7; Deut. 5:11
Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God’s names, titles [a], attributes [b], ordinances [c], Word [d], and works[e].
[a]. Deut. 10:20; Ps. 29:2; Matt. 6:9
[b]. 1 Chron. 29:10-13; Rev. 15:3-4
[c]. Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 11:27-28
[d]. Ps. 138:2; Rev. 22:18-19
[e]. Ps. 107:21-22; Rev. 4:11
Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment forbids our treating as unholy or abusing anything in which God makes himself known [a].
[a]. Lev. 19:12; Matt. 5:33-37; Jas. 5:12
Q. 56. What is the reason for the third commandment?
A. The reason for the third commandment is that although those who break this commandment may escape punishment from men, the Lord our God will not allow them to escape his righteous judgment [a].
[a]. Deut. 28:58-59; 1 Sam. 3:13; 4:11
Q. 57. What is the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment is, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your Son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:8-11; Deut. 5:12-15
Q. 58. What is required in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his Word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy sabbath to himself [a].
[a]. Ex. 31:13, 16-17
Q. 59. Which day of the seven has God appointed the weekly sabbath?
A. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly sabbath [a]; and the first day of the week ever since Christ to be the Christian sabbath, and continuing to the end of the world, [b].
[a]. Gen. 2:2-3; Ex. 20:11
[b]. Mark 2:27-28; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10
- 60. How is the sabbath to be kept holy?
- The sabbath is to be kept holy by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly affairs and recreations that are lawful on other days [a]; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship [b], except so much as to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy [c].
[a]. Ex. 20:10; Neh. 13:15-22; Isa. 58:13-14
[b]. Ex. 20:8; Lev. 23:3; Luke 4:16; Acts 20:7
[c]. Matt. 12:1-13
- 61. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
- The fourth commandment forbids the omission or careless performance of the duties required, the treating the day as unholy by idleness, or doing that which is sinful, or unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly affairs or recreations [a].
[a]. Neh. 13:15-22; Isa. 58:13-14; Amos 8:4-6;
- 62. What are the reasons for the fourth commandment?
- The reasons for the fourth commandment are that God allows us six days for our own affairs [a], and by his own example, he makes the seventh day holy and blesses it [b].
[a]. Ex. 20:9; 31:15; Lev. 23:3
[b]. Gen. 2:2-3; Ex. 20:11; 31:17
- 63. Which is the fifth commandment?
- The fifth commandment is, "Honor your father and your mother; that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you." [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16
- 64. What is required in the fifth commandment?
- The fifth commandment requires respecting and treating everyone properly in their positions and relationship to us, as superiors, inferiors, or equals. [a].
[a]. Rom. 13:1, 7; Eph. 5:21-22, 24; 6:1, 4-5, 9; 1 Pet. 2:17
- 65. What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
- The fifth commandment forbids being disrespectful to or not treating others as their position or relationship to us demands. [a].
[a]. Matt. 15:4-6; Rom. 13:8
- 66. What is the reason for the fifth commandment?
- The reason for the fifth commandment is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it serves for God's glory and our own good) to all who keep this commandment [a].
[a]. Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16; Eph. 6:2-3
- 67. What is the sixth commandment?
- The sixth commandment is, "You shalt not murder." [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17
- 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?
- The sixth commandment requires all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life and the life of others [a].
[a]. Eph. 5:28-29
- 69. What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
- The sixth commandment forbids the taking of our own life, or the life of others, unjustly, or whatever leads to suicide or murder[a].
[a]. Gen. 9:6; Matt. 5:22; 1 John 3:15
- 70. What is the seventh commandment?
- The seventh commandment is, "You shall not commit adultery." [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:18
- 71. What is required in the seventh commandment?
- The seventh commandment requires the preservation of our own and our neighbor's sexual purity in heart, speech, and behavior [a].
[a]. 1 Cor. 7:2-3, 5; 1 Thess. 4:3-5
- 72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
- The seventh commandment forbids all sexually immoral thoughts, words, and actions [a].
[a]. Matt. 5:28; Eph. 5:3-4
- 73. Which is the eighth commandment?
- The eighth commandment is, "You shall not steal." [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:15; Deut. 5:19
- 74. What is required in the eighth commandment?
- The eighth commandment requires that we lawfully acquire and increase the wealth and material well-being of ourselves and others [a].
[a]. Lev. 25:35; Eph. 4:28b; Phil. 2:4
- 75. What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?
- The eighth commandment forbids doing anything that may unjustly hinder our own, or our neighbor's, wealth or material well-being [a].
[a]. Prov. 28:19ff; Eph. 4:28a; 1 Thess. 3:10; 1 Tim. 5:8
- 76. Which is the ninth commandment?
- The ninth commandment is, "You shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor." [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:16; Deut. 5:20
- 77. What is required in the ninth commandment?
- The ninth commandment requires us to tell the truth and maintain and promote it, concerning our own and our neighbor's reputation [a], especially in witness-bearing [b].
[a]. Zech. 8:16; Acts 25:10; 3 John 12
[b]. Prov. 14:5, 25
- 78. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
- The ninth commandment forbids anything that is contrary to truth or injurious to our own or our neighbor's reputation [a].
[a]. Lev. 19:16; Ps. 15:3; Prov. 6:16-19; Luke 3:14
- 79. What is the tenth commandment?
- The tenth commandment is, "You shalt not covet your neighbor's house, you shalt not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor's." [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21
- 80. What is required in the tenth commandment?
- The tenth commandment requires complete contentment with our own status in life [a] and a proper and loving attitude toward our neighbor and all that is his [b].
[a]. Ps. 34:1; Phil. 4:11; 1 Tim. 6:6; Heb. 13:5
[b]. Luke 15:6, 9, 11-32; Rom. 12:15; Phil. 2:4
- 81. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
- The tenth commandment forbids all discontentment with our own estate [a], envying or grieving at the good of our neighbor, and all improper emotions and affections to anything that is his [b].
[a]. 1 Cor. 10:10; Jas. 3:14-16
[b]. Gal. 5:26; Col. 3:5
November 23 (Thanksgiving)
- 82. Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
- Since the fall, no natural man can keep God's commandments perfectly but will break them in thought, word, and deed daily [a].
[a]. Gen. 8:21; Rom. 3:9ff, 23
- 83. Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?
- Some sins in themselves, because of their nature and the circumstances, are more heinous in the sight of God than others [a].
[a]. Ezek. 8:6, 13, 15; Matt. 11:20-24; John 19:11
- 84. What does every sin deserve?
- Every sin deserves God's wrath and curse, both in this life and that which is to come [a].
[a]. Matt. 25:41; Gal. 3:10; Eph. 5:6; Jas. 2:10
- 85. What does God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?
- To escape the wrath and curse of God, due to us for sin, God requires of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance leading to life [a], with the diligent use of all the visible means by which Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption [b].
[a]. Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21
[b]: Acts 2:38; 1 Cor. 11:24-25; Col. 3:16
- 86. What is faith in Jesus Christ?
- Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace [a], by which we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel [b].
[a]. Eph. 2:8-9; cf. Rom. 4:16
[b]. John 20:30-31; Gal. 2:15-16; Phil. 3:3-11
- 87. What is repentance unto life?
- Repentance unto life is a saving grace [a], by which a sinner, out of a true awareness of his sin and understanding of the mercy of God in Christ [b], with grief and hatred of his sins, turns from them to God [c], with the full intent of endeavoring after new obedience [d].
[a]. Acts 11:18; II Tim. 2:25
[b]. Ps. 51:1-4; Joel 2:13; Luke 15:7, 10; Acts 2:37
[c]. Jer. 31:18-19; Luke 1:16-17; 1 Thess. 1:9
[d]. 2 Chron. 7:14; Ps. 119:57-64; Matt. 3:8; 2 Cor. 7:10
- 88. What are the visible and natural means by which Christ communicates the benefits of redemption to us?
- The visible and natural means by which Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption are his ordinances, especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all of which are made effective for His chosen ones for salvation [a].
[a]. Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42
- 89. How is the Word made effective for salvation?
- The Spirit of God makes the reading, and especially the preaching of the Word, an effective means of convicting, converting sinners, and building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith to salvation [a].
[a]. Neh. 8:8-9; Acts 20:32; Rom. 10:14-17; 2 Tim. 3:15-17
- 90. How is the Word to be read and heard so that it may become effective for salvation?
- So that the Word may become effective to salvation, we must attend to it with diligence, preparation, and prayer [a]; receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives [b].
[a]. Deut. 6:6ff; Ps. 119:18; 1 Pet. 2:1-2
[b]. Ps. 119:11; 2 Thess. 2:10; Heb. 4:2; Jas. 1:22-25
- 91. How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
- The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not from any special power in them or the person that administers them; but only by the blessing of Christ and the working of his Holy Spirit in those that receive them by faith. [a].
[a]. I Cor. 3:7; cf. 1 Cor. 1:12-17
- 92. What is a sacrament?
- A sacrament is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ as a physical sign[a]; in which Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant, are represented, sealed, and applied to believers. [b].
[a]. Matt. 28:19; 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 1:22-26
[b]. Gal. 3:27; 1 Cor. 10:16-17
- 93. Which are the sacraments of the New Testament?
- The sacraments of the New Testament are Baptism [a] and the Lord's Supper [b].
[a]. Matt. 28:19
[b]. 1 Cor 11:23-26
- 94. What is Baptism?
- Baptism is a sacrament undertaken by the immersion in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit [a]. It signifies and seals our being joined with Christ, partaking in the benefits of the covenant of grace and our commitment to being the Lord's [b].
[a]. Matt. 28:19
[b]. Acts 2:38-42; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21
- 95. To whom is Baptism to be administered?
- Baptism is not to be administered to anyone outside the visible church until they profess their faith in Christ and obedience to him [a], but the children of church members can be Christened[b].
[a]. Acts. 2:41; 8:12, 36, 38; 18:8
[b]. Gen. 17:7, 9-11; Acts 2:38-39; 16:32-33; Col. 2:11-12
- 96. What is the Lord's Supper?
- The Lord's Supper is a sacrament in which there is the giving and receiving of bread and wine, according to Christ's directions to show forth his death and suffering. [a] Those who receive it in the right way share in his body and blood, not physically, but by faith, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace [b].
[a]. Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26
[b]. 1 Cor. 10:16-17
- 97. What is the right way to receive the Lord's Supper?
- The right way to receive the Lord's Supper is for a person to ensure they have a correct understanding of what it means to discern the Lord's body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest they come in the wrong way and eat and drink judgment to themselves [a].
[a]. 1 Cor. 11:27-32
- 98. What is prayer?
- Prayer is an offering up of our desires to God [a], for things that agree with his will [b], in the name of Jesus Christ [c], confessing our sins [d], and thankfully recognizing his mercies. [e]
[a]. Ps. 10:17; 62:8; Matt. 7:7-8
[b]. 1 John 5:14
[c]. John 16:23-24
[d]. Ps. 32:5-6; Dan. 9:4-19; 1 John 1:9
[e]. Ps. 103:1-5; 136; Phil. 4:6
- 99 How does God direct us to pray?
- The entire Word of God is used to direct us in prayer [a], but especially the Lord's prayer, which Christ taught his disciples. [b]
[a]. 1 John 5:14
[b]. Matt. 6:9-13
- 100. What does the preface of the Lord's Prayer teach us?
- The preface of the Lord's Prayer, which is, "Our Father which art in heaven," teaches us to draw near to God with all holy reverence[a] and confidence [b], as children to a father [c], able and ready to help us [d]; and that we should pray with and for others [e].
[a]. Ps. 95:6
[b]. Eph. 3:12
[c]. Matt. 7:9-11, cf. Luke 11:11-13; Rom. 8:15
[d]. Eph. 3:20
[e]. Eph. 6:18; 1 Tim. 2:1-2