Tuesday, May 21, 2013

John Craig's Long Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 6.1

An Introduction to the Life and Works of Scottish Reformer John Craig
John Craig's Long Catechism: A New Translation - Introduction
John Craig's Long Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 1
John Craig's Long Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 2
John Craig's Long Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 3
John Craig's Long Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 4.1
John Craig's Long Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 4.2
John Craig's Long Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 4.3
John Craig's Long Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 5.1
John Craig's Long Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 5.2
John Craig's Long Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 6.1

The Third Part of God’s Honor is Prayer,
Which is Declared in General With an Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer

Q.    Who is the Holy Spirit?
A.    He is fully God equal with the Father and the Son.

Q.    From where does He proceed?
A.    From the Father and the Son.

Q.    What is His general office?
A.    He puts all things in execution which are decreed by God’s secret council.

Q.    What thing does He in the order of nature?
A.    He keeps all things in their natural estate.

Q.    Where, then, do all of these alterations come from?
A.    From the same Spirit working diversely in nature.

Q.    Then the Spirit is but nature?
A.    No, for He is God ruling and keeping nature.

Q.    What does He do in worldly kingdoms?
A.    He raises and casts them down at His pleasure.

Q.    Why are these things attributed to him?
A.    Because He is the power & hand of God.

Q.    What does He do in the Kingdom of Christ?
A.    He gathers all of God’s elect to Christ.

Q.    Why is He called holy?
A.    Because He is the fountain of holiness and makes us holy.

Q.    When and how does He do this?
A.    By His mighty power He separates us from our natural corruption an ddedicates us to godliness.

Q.    What thing is this natural corruption?
A.    Blindness of mind, hardness of heart, and contempt of God.

Q.    How does He dedicate us to godliness?
A.    He lightens our minds, molests our hearts, and strengthens us.

Q.    What, then, is all flesh without the Spirit?
A.    Blind and dead in all heavenly things.

Q.    What other names does He have in Scripture?
A.    He is called the Spirit of faith, regeneration, strength, and comfort.

Q.    Why are these names given to the Spirit?
A.    Because He works all these things in us.

Q.    What are these graces called?
A.    Sanctification, regeneration, or new birth & spirit.

Q.    What is our corrupted estate called?
A.    The old man, the old Adam, and flesh and blood.

Q.    What follows upon our sanctification?
A.    A continual battle between the Spirit and the flesh.

Q.    Who strengthens and keeps us in this battle?
A.    The same Spirit who also gives us [not in original] final victory.

Q.    What is this battle to us?
A.    A sure seal of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Q.    What does the old man battle in himself?
A.    None at all against sin and wickedness.

Q.    In whom then is this battle?
A.    Only in the members of Christ and His Church through the presence of the Spirit.

Q.    What is the Church in which we confess here?
A.    The whole company of God’s elect, called and sanctified.

Q.    Do we believe in this Church?
A.    No, but we believe only in our God.

Q.    What do we believe about this Church?
A.    That it was, is, and shall be to the end of the world.

Q.    What do we need to believe this?
A.    For our great comfort and glory of God.

Q.    Declare that plainely.
A.    The love of the Father, the death of Christ, and the power of the Spirit shall ever work in some.

Q.    What follows this belief?
A.    The glory of God and confusion of Satan with our comfort.

Q.    Why is this Church only known to us by faith?
A.    Because it contains only God’s elect which are only known to God Himself.

Q.    When and how may we know them?
A.    When we see the fruits of election and holiness in them.

Q.    In what respect is the Church called holy?
A.    In respect of our justification and sanctification.

Q.    How do these two graces differ?
A.    The first grace (justification) is perfect, the second grace (sanctification) is imperfect.

Q.    What is the cause of that diversity?
A.    The first grace is in Christ and the second grace is in us.

Q.    Are not both of these gifts ours?
A.    No doubt, seeing Christ is ours.

Q.    Can we not come to a full perfection in this life?
A.    No, for the flesh continues to rebel against the Spirit.

Q.    Why does the Spirit not sanctify us perfectly?
A.    Lest we should milknowe our former captivity and redemption.

Q.    What admonition do we have of our estate?
A.    We should be humble, repentant, and thankful to our God.

Q.    Why is the Church called universal?
A.    Because it is spread through the whole world.

Q.    How many churches are there in the world?
A.    One Church and one Christ who is the head over one body.

Q.    Is it bound to any particular time, place, or persons?
A.    No, for then it would not be universal.

Q.    What is the communion of the saints?
A.    The mutual participation of Christ and His graces among His members.

Q.    What follows upon this communion?
A.    A spiritual union and communion among all of Christ’s members.

Q.    Where is this communion grounded?
A.    Upon their union with Christ who is their head.

Q.    Who makes our union with Christ and among ourselves?
A.    The Holy Spirit by His mighty power.

Q.    Is there any salvation without this communion?
A.    None at all, for Christ is the ground of salvation.

Q.    Can men be joined with Christ and not with His saints?
A.    No, nor can one be joined with the saints and not with Christ.

Q.    What then should be our principal care?
A.    To hold fast our union with Christ our head.

Q.    What follows upon that.
A.    Then of necessity we are joined with all His saints and churches.

Q.    Should we not seek them and join with them eternally also?
A.    No doubt, whensoever we may be see them, or here of them in particuler.

    How the Church Can Be Known

Q.    How can we know this company for eternally?
A.    By the true profession of the Word and the holy Sacraments.

Q.    What if these tokens are not found among them?
A.    Then they are not of the communion of saints.

Q.    Can we with a clear conscience join ourselves with such?
A.    No, for they are not the holy Church of God where these tokens are not.

Q.    Then we depart from the universal Church?
A.    No, but we depart from the corruption of men and remain in the holy and universal Church.

Q.    But yet they will call themselves the Church?
A.    We should look to the true marks of the Church.

Q.    Can we leave a particular church where the word is not retained?
A.    No, albeit fundry other vices abound there.

Q.    But the multitude are wicked and profane.
A.    Yet there is a true Church where the word truly remains.

Q.    What then is the infallible token of Christ’s Church?
A.    The Word of god truly preached and professed.

Q.    Should we discuss who are saints in deed and who are not?
A.    No, for that only appertains to God and to themselves.

Q.    But by this can we be joined with the wicked in one body.
A.    That cannot hurt us nor profit them.

Q.    How is that?
A.    Because we and they are spiritually separated.

Q.    But they make the Word and the sacraments unfruitful.
A.    Not to us but to themselves only.

    Of the Gifts

Q.    Why is the remissions of sins put here?
A.    Because it is proper to the Church and members of the same.

Q.    Why is it proper to the Church only?
A.    Because only in the Church is the spirit of faith and repentance present [not original].

Q.    Who forgives sins and where?
A.    Only God through Christ is His Church here.

Q.    How often are our sins forgiven?
A.    Continually even to the end of our lives.

Q.    What need is there of this?
A.    Because sin is never thoroughly abolished here.

Q.    How do we get remission of our sins?
A.    Through the mercy of God and the merits of Christ.

Q.    Is there any remission of sins after this life?
A.    None at all, though some have taught otherwise.

Q.    Are both sin and the pain forgiven?
A.    No doubt, seeing that one follows upon the other.

Q.    However, oftentimes the pain remains after the sin.
A.    That pain is not a satisfaction for sin.

Q.    What is it then, seeing it comes for sin?
A.    It is a Fatherly correction and medicine preservation [Medcine preferuatiue].

For more on Craig, Scottish Theology, and Knox:
"The School of Faith" by Thomas F. Torrance: A Review
"Scottish Theology" by T. F. Torrance: A Review
"John Knox: An Introduction to His Life and Works" - A Review
"The Mighty Weakness of John Knox" by Douglas Bond: A Review
"John Knox & the Reformation" by M. Lloyd-Jones & Iain Murray: A Review
"John Knox" by Rosalind K. Marshall
Douglas Bond on the Legacy of John Knox

For more on Calvin and Calvinism:
"Foundations of Grace" by Steven Lawson: A Review
Was Calvin a Calvinist?  Helm Weighs In
Counterintuitive Calvinism: Tim Keller on Calvin's Institutes 

For more on the Reformation:
"The Reformation for Armchair Theologians" by Glenn S. Sunshine: A Review
The Theology of the Reformers  
The Unquenchable Flame  
"On the Necessity of Reforming the Church" by John Calvin
John Calvin:  A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology 
Christianity's Dangerous Idea
"Five Leading Reformers"     
 Was Calvin a Calvinist?  Helm Weighs In 
He Turned the Water Into Wine: MacArthur, Alcohol, & Christian Liberty
Theology Thursday | Calvin on the Redemptive Necessity of the Resurrection
Calvinist Baptists and the Many (False) Misconceptions
"Without the Gospel": A Gem From John Calvin
Calvin on God in Theology and the Christian Life
Calvin on Providence
Calvin on Treasures in Heaven
Calvin on Fasting
Calvin on Prayer: Why Bother?
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