“Brethren, we must preach the doctrines; we must emphasize the doctrines; we must go back to the doctrines. I fear that the new generation does not know the doctrines as our fathers knew them.” — John A. Broadus
(Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Homiletics and the 2nd President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-1895)
“A people without a heritage are easily persuaded (deceived).” This quote is attributed to Karl Marx and it seems to be the defining mark of 21stcentury America and especially those who claim to be Christians. We have more access to information than all the other generations who went before us (combined) and yet we seem to know or care little for how we got here. Maybe, we can learn a thing or two from men who went before us, men like John Broadus.
John Broadus was a notable Southern Baptist who could teach our generation many things. I have picked his copy of “The Baptist Catechism” as an example of what Southern Baptists have historically believed. The quote below was taken from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Archives(archives.sbts.edu).
“John Broadus’s life is notable on a variety of fronts. While a pastor in Virginia, Broadus baptized Lottie Moon, who became Southern Baptist’s most famous overseas missionary. In the Civil War, Broadus preached before Confederate general Robert E. Lee and other Confederate generals, earning a standing invitation from Lee to preach for him. J. D. Rockefeller went further than Lee—he offered Broadus a hefty salary to become his pastor in New York City, an offer Broadus turned down. In 1886, on the 250th anniversary of Harvard University, the school conferred an honorary degree on Broadus due to his national academic reputation. In 1889, Yale University invited the professor to New Haven to deliver the Lyman Beecher Lectures on preaching. Broadus was the only Southern Baptist to address the Ivy League school in a series of talks. As a preacher, professor, and leader, Broadus looms large in Southern’s history and in the history of the SBC. He was an active churchman at Louisville’s Walnut Street Baptist Church. Broadus passed away on March 16, 1895.”
John A. Broadus, D.D., LL.D.
Sunday School Board of Southern
American Baptist Publication Society,
1420 Chestnut Street.
In 1890, feeling the need of a new and somewhat more extended Baptist Catechism than then existed, the American Baptist Publication Society, and the Sunday School Committee (now Sunday School Board) of the Southern Baptist Convention, each at about the same time, asked Dr. John A. Broadus to prepare such a work. At his suggestion it was arranged that the two bodies should unite in the publication. Accordingly, the catechism is now sent forth, having received the sanction of the official committees of both bodies, and by them is commended to their respective constituencies. No one is so well qualified as its honored author to gain a wide hearing in every part of our land, and it is earnestly hoped that the result may be a more thorough acquaintance with the doctrines of God’s Word, and a still greater unity in the faith which that Word inspires.
TO THE PARENT OR TEACHER.
To each lesson some advanced questions are added in fine print, after the manner of school-books, in order to make the treatment of the subject a little more complete and to meet the inquiries of many youthful minds. These fine-print portions may be learned at first by some classes or individuals, or may be combined with the lessons in reviewing the work; and some teachers will simply explain them after the lesson is recited. The desire has been to present the chief doctrines of the Bible from a devotional and practical point of view; and two or three lessons are introduced of a distinctly practical character. The lessons are arranged on what was thought a natural order, but some of them might be learned without the others, or the order could be varied. Several lessons would need to be divided for many children or classes; and where the catechism is used in connection with the International Series of Scripture lessons, as small number of the questions could be assigned for each Sunday, with constant review. The answers are generally given in terms supposed to be intelligible to children from ten to fifteen years; the technical terms of scientific theology are employed only when indispensable, and usually in such a connection as to throw some light on their meaning. Teachers might help by explaining beforehand any hard word that will occur in the questions or answers if the next lesson.
That John A. Broadus would be selected by both the American Baptist Publication Society and the Sunday School Board to write a Baptist Catechism should come as no surprise. Called by A. Ho. Newman, “perhaps the greatest man the Baptists have produced,” he was the most highly respected Baptist of his day, and in scholarship was without peer. Even as early as 1859, J.P. Boyce recognized the strength of Broadus’ influence and implied that his presence was needed for the successful founding of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Broadus’ Catechism includes 15 lessons and a section of suggested biblical passages for memorization. Each lesson consists of two types of questions: the first set is for all students and the second is for advanced students.
This method arose from much earnest contemplation on the part of Broadus. Originally the publishing houses sponsoring the project desired separate catechisms for three different age levels. Settling, however, for two different levels within one catechism, this format appeared to pose special problems. As Broadus struggled with the problem confronting him, he set forth a tri-fold qualification serving as his guideline. His marvelous implementation of this set of criteria should certainly aid anyone in evaluating the usefulness of catechisms. In December of 1891, he wrote:
“Notwithstanding various interruptions this morning I finished Lesson 1. for the “Catechism.” It is, of course, an extremely difficult task to make questions and answers about the existence and attributes of the Divine Being, that shall be intelligible to children, adequate as the foundation for future thinking, and correct as far as they go.”
“Baptist Catechisms, To Make Thee Wise Unto Salvation”, Tom J. Nettles
A CATECHISM OF BIBLE TEACHING
Lesson I. God.
1. Who is God?
God is the only Being that has always existed, and he is the Creator and Preserver of all things.
2. How do we know that God exists?
We know that God exists from the worlds he has made and from our own sense of right and wrong; and the Bible above all tells of God.
3. Have men any reason for denying God’s existence?
It is foolish and wicked to say there is no God. (Ps. 14:1; Rom. 1:20)
4. How may we learn the character of God?
We learn the character of God partly from his works, mainly from his Word.
5. What does God know?
God knows all things, even the secrets of our hearts; God is omniscient. (Heb. 4:13; Eccles. 12:14)
6. What power has God?
God has all power; God is omnipotent.
7. Where is God?
God is everywhere, and all things are present to him; God is omnipresent. (Gen 16:13; Ps. 139:7)
8. What do we know as t the holiness of God?
God is perfectly holy; the angels praise him as holy. (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8)
9. Is God just?
God is always perfectly righteous and just. (Ps. 145:17)
10. Is God loving and good?
God is love, and he is good to all. (1 John 4:8; Ps. 145:9)
11. Is God all love?
God’s justice is truly a part of his nature as his love. (Rev. 15:3)
12. How ought we to feel and act toward God?
We ought to love God with all our heart and serve him with all out powers. (Deut. 6:5; 1 John 5:3)
13. Is it our duty to fear God?
It is our duty to obey God in filial fear, and to fear his wrath if we sin. (Eccles. 12:13; Heb. 10:31)
(a) May little children easily recognize that there is a God?
Young children often think and speak about God. (Ps. 8:2; Matt. 21:16)
(b) How do many persons practically deny that there is a God?
People practically deny that there is a God by living as if God did not exist.
(c) Why is it wrong to use images of God in worship?
Men would soon worship the image instead of God, and so God has positively forbidden such use of images. (Ex. 20:4, 5; Rom. 1:23, 25)
(d) Is it possible for God to do wrong?
For God to do wrong would be contrary to his very nature; he cannot deny himself. (2 Tim. 2:13)
Lesson II. Providence of God.
1. What is meant by the providence of God?
God cares for all his creatures and provides for their welfare.
2. Does God’s providence extend to the wicked?
God gives to the wicked, sunshine and rain and all the common blessings of life, thereby calling them to repentance. (Matt. 5:45; Ps. 145:9; Rom. 2:4)
3. Does God exercise any special providence over the righteous?
God makes all things work together for good to them that love him. (Rom. 8:28; Ps. 23:1)
4. Is God’s providence confined to great things?
God notices and provides for even the least things. (Luke 12:7)
5. Is there really any such thing as chance or luck?
There is no such thing as chance or luck; everything is controlled by the providence of God.
6. Does God act according to purposes formed beforehand?
God has always intended to do whatever he does. (Eph. 1:11; 1 Pet. 1:20)
7. Do God’s purposes destroy our freedom of action?
We choose and act freely, and are accountable for all we do. (Josh. 24:15; Rom. 14:13)
8. Does God cause evil?
God permits evil, but does not cause it.
9. Does God ever check and overrule evil?
God often prevents evil, and often brings good out of evil. (Gen. 45:5; Ps. 76:10)
10. What is the greatest example of God’s bringing good out of evil?
The crucifixion of Christ is the greatest example of God’s bringing good out of evil.
11. How ought we to think and feel about the providence of God?
We ought always to remember our dependence on God, and to trust his providential guidance. (James 4:15; Jer. 10:23)
12. When God in his providence sends upon us something painful, how ought we to feel?
When God sends in us something painful we ought to be patient, obedient, and thankful. (1 Sam. 3:18; 1 Thess. 5:18)
(a) Would it be possible to control great events while disregarding all little things?
Great things and little things are inseparable and dependent on each other.
(b) If all things take place according to fixed laws, how can it be that God controls them?
God created all the forces of nature, and made them act according to fixed laws, and so he controls them without violating the laws.
(c) Can God then answer prayer by his providential control without violating the laws of nature?
Yes, and the Bible assures us that God does answer prayer.
(d) What instances can you give of special providence in the story of Joseph?
(Gen. 37:28; 30:2, 3, 21-23; and ch.45)
(e) What example of speedy answer to prayer in the story of Hezekiah?
2 Kings 20:1-6.
(f) If we cannot explain the relations between divine predestination and human freedom, does that warrant us in rejecting either?
Both divine predestination and human freedom must be true from the very nature of God and man, and both are plainly taught in the Bible.
Lesson III. The Word of God.
Part I. The Books of the Bible.
1. How many separate books are there in the Bible?
There are thirty-nine books in the Old Testament, and twenty-seven in the New Testament.
2. What are the five books of Moses?
The five books of Moses are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
3. What are the other historical books in the Old Testament?
The twelve other historical books in the Old Testament are Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.
4. What are the five poetical books?
The five poetical books are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.
5. Which are the four greater prophets?
The four greater prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah (with Lamentations), Ezekiel, Daniel.
6. Which are the twelve lesser prophets?
The twelve lesser prophets are Hosea, Joel, Amos; Obadiah, Jonah, Micah; Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah; Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
7. What are the five historical books of the New Testament?
The five historical books of the New Testament are Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts.
8. What are the fourteen epistles of Paul?
The fourteen epistles of Paul are Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians; Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians; 1 and 2 Thessalonians; 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus; Philemon; Hebrews.
9. What are the seven other epistles?
The seven other epistles are James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, Jude.
10. What is the last book in the Bible?
The last book in the Bible is Revelation.
Part II. Inspiration and Authority of the Bible.
11. Were the books of the Bible written by men?
The books of the Bible were written by men, but these men were moved and guided by the Holy Spirit. (2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Cor.14:37)
12. What special proof have we that the entire Old Testament was inspired?
Christ and his apostles speak of “Scripture,” or “the Scriptures,” as inspired by God, and we know that they meant exactly what we call the Old Testament. (John 10:35; 2 Tim. 3:16)
13. Does the Bible contain any errors?
The Bible records some things said by uninspired men that were not true; but it is true and instructive that these men said them.
14. What authority has the Bible for us?
The Bible is our only and all-sufficient rule of faith and practice.
15. What things does the Bible teach us?
The Bible teaches all that we need to know about our relations to God, about sin and salvation.
16. How ought we to study the Bible history?
We ought to study the Bible as a history of providence and a history of redemption.
17. Who is the central figure of the Bible history?
The central figure of the Bible history is Jesus Christ, the Hope of Israel, the Saviour of mankind.
18. What does the Bible do for those who believe in Jesus Christ?
The Bible makes those who believe in Jesus wise unto salvation. (2 Tim. 3:15)
19. What does the Bible contain besides history?
The Bible contains doctrines, devotional portions, precepts, and promises; it teaches us how to live and how to die.
20. With what disposition ought we to study the Bible?
We ought to study the Bible with a hearty willingness to believe what it says and to do what it requires. (John 7:17)
21. What great help must we all seek in studying the Bible?
We must pray that the Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible will help us to understand it. (Ps. 119:18; Luke 24:45)
(a) How do we know that Christ and his apostles meant by “the Scriptures” what we call the Old Testament?
We know from Jewish writers and early Christian writers, that those who heard Christ and his apostles would understand them to mean the Old Testament; and therefore they must have meant it so.
(b) What promise did our Lord give his apostles as to the Holy Spirit?
Our Lord promised his apostles that the Holy Spirit should bring all his teachings to their remembrance, and guide them into all the truth. (John 14:26; 16:13)
(c) Did the inspired writers receive everything by direct revelation?
The inspired writers learned many things by observation or inquiry, but they were preserved by the Holy Spirit from error, whether in learning or in writing these things.
(d) What if inspired writers sometimes appear to disagree in their statements?
Most cases of apparent disagreement in the inspired writings have been explained, and we may be sure that all could be explained if we had fuller information.
(e) Is this also true when the Bible seems to be in conflict with history or science?
Yes, some cases of apparent conflict with history or science have been explained quite recently that were long hard to understand.
(f) Has it been proven that the inspired writers stated anything as true that was not true?
No, there is not proof that the inspired writers made any mistake of any kind.
Lesson IV. Man.
1. How did men begin to exist?
God created Adam and Eve, and from them are descended all human beings.
2. What sort of character had Adam and Eve when created?
Adam and Eve were made in the image of God, and were sinless.
3. Who tempted Eve to sin against God by eating the forbidden fruit?
Eve was tempted by the Devil, or Satan, who is chief of the fallen angels, or demons.
4. What was the beginning of Eve’s sin?
The beginning of Eve’s sin was that she believed Satan rather than God. (Gen. 3:4-5)
5. What was the first sign that Adam and Eve gave of having fallen into sin?
Adam and Eve showed that they had become sinful by trying to hide form God. (Gen 3:8)
6. What was the next sign?
Adam and Eve tried to throw blame on others. (Gen. 3:12-13)
7. How did God punish their willful disobedience?
God condemned Adam and Eve to death, physical, spiritual, and eternal. (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1)
8. How does this affect Adam and Eve’s descendants?
All human beings are sinful and guilty in God’s sight. (Rom. 5:12)
9. How does this sinfulness show itself?
All human beings actually sin as soon as they are old enough to know right from wrong. (Rom. 3:23)
10. Will those who die without having known right from wrong be punished hereafter for the sin of Adam and Eve?
Those who die without having known right from wrong are saved in the way God has provided.
11. Can any human beings be saved through their own merits from the guilt and punishment of sin?
No; the second Adam, the Son of God, is the only Saviour of sinners. (Acts 4:12; Gen. 3:15)
(a) Was man to be idle in the Garden of Eden?
No, man was to keep the garden and to have dominion over the animals. (Gen. 2:15; 1:26)
(b) Is work a curse?
Work is not a curse, but anxious and wearing toil is a curse and a fruit of sin. (Gen. 3:17)
(c) Does the Bible elsewhere speak of Satan as a serpent?
Satan is called a serpent in the book of Revelation. (Rev. 12:9; 20:2)
(d) What does the New Testament reveal that corresponds to the effect of Adam’s son upon his descendants?
The benefits of Christ’s salvation for his people correspond to the effect of Adam’s sin upon his descendants.
(e) How does the apostle Paul state this parallel?
“Through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin, death;” so likewise through on man came justification, and through justification, life. (Rom. 5:12-19)
Lesson V. The Saviour.
1. Who is the Saviour of men?
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Saviour of men.
2. Was Jesus himself really a man?
Yes, Jesus Christ was really a man; he was the son of Mary.
3. Was Jesus the son of Joseph?
No, people called Jesus the son of Joseph, but he was really the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)
4. Can you give any express statement that Jesus was God?
“The Word was God. . . .And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1, 14)
5. What then is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is both God and man, the God-man.
6. How does this fit Jesus to be Saviour of men?
Jesus the God-man can stand between men and God as Mediator.
7. Can you tell the meaning of the two names, Jesus Christ?
Jesus means Saviour and Christ means Anointed, like the Hebrew word Messiah. (Matt. 1:21; John 4:25)
8. What did Christ do on earth for us?
Christ taught the highest truths, he lived as a perfect example, and he died and rose again to redeem us.
9. What is Christ doing now for us?
Christ dwells in his people, intercedes for them, and controls all things for their good. (John 14:23; Heb. 7:25; Matt. 28:18)
10. What will Christ do hereafter for us?
Christ will come a second time and receive us unto himself, to be with him forever. (John 14:3; Heb. 9:28)
11. What must we do to be saved through Jesus Christ?
We must believe in Christ, must turn from our sins to love and obey him, and must try to be like him.
(a) How did Christ take our place?
He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might become righteous in God’s sight through him. (2 Cor. 5:21)
(b) Was Christ’s work necessary to make God willing to save men?
No, Christ simply made it right that God should save those who trust in him. (Rom 3:26)
(c) What was the origin of Christ’s mission to save?
The origin of Christ’s mission to men was in God’s pitying love for the world. (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10)
(d) Does God offer to save all men through Christ?
Yes, whosoever will may have salvation without cost. (Rev. 22:17; Isa. 55:1)
(e) Ought we to make this salvation known to all men?
Yes, it is our solemn duty to carry the gospel to all nations. (Luke 24:47)
(f) How can we carry this gospel to distant lands?
We can go ourselves as missionaries, or help to send others.
Lesson VI. The Holy Spirit and the Trinity.
1. Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, and is called the third person in the Trinity.
2. What did the Holy Spirit do for the prophets and apostles?
The Holy Spirit inspired the prophets and apostles to teach men their duty to God and to each other.
3. What did the Holy Spirit do for the writers of the Bible?
The Holy Spirit inspired them to write just what God wished to be written.
4. Did the Holy Spirit dwell also in Jesus Christ?
Yes, the Holy Spirit was given to Jesus without measure. (Luke 4:1; John 3:34)
5. When Jesus ascended to heaven, what did he send the Holy Spirit to do?
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to take his place and carry on his work among men. (John 14:16-17)
6. What does the Holy Spirit do as to the World?
The Holy Spirit convicts the world of its sin and its need of Christ’s salvation. (John 16:8)
7. What work does the Holy Spirit perform in making men Christians?
The Holy Spirit gives men a new heart, to turn form sin and trust in Christ. (John 3:5; Ezek. 36:26)
8. How does the Holy Spirit continue this work?
The Holy Spirit helps those who trust in Christ to become holy in heart and life. (Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 3:16)
9. Is the Holy Spirit himself divine?
Yes, the Holy Spirit is God. (Acts 5:3-4)
10. If the Father is God, and the Saviour is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, are there three Gods?
No, there are not three Gods; God is one. (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29)
11. What then do we mean by the doctrine of the Trinity?
The Bible teaches that the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet God is one.
12. Are we able to explain the Trinity?
We cannot explain the Trinity, and need not expect to understand fully the nature of God; we cannot fully understand even our own nature.
13. How is the Trinity recognized in connection with baptism?
We are told to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28:19)
14. How is the Trinity named in a benediction?
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” (2 Cor. 13:14)
(a) Did the Holy Spirit give men the power of working miracles?
Yes, the Holy Spirit gave to the apostles and others the power of working miracles. (Acts 2:4; 1 Cor. 12:11)
(b) What did the Saviour mean when he spoke of blaspheming the Holy Spirit?
Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit was saying that a work of the Holy Spirit was a work of Satan. (Mark 3:29)
(c) Is there any other unpardonable sin?
The Saviour says that every sin may be forgiven except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. (Mark 3:23; Matt. 12:31-32)
(d) What is the meaning of the word Trinity?
The word Trinity or Triunity means that God is in one sense three and in another sense one.
Lesson VII. The Atonement of Christ
1. What was Christ’s chief work as Saviour?
Christ died and rose again for his people. (2 Cor. 5:15; Rom. 4:25)
2. Did Christ voluntarily allow himself to be slain?
Yes, Christ laid down his life of himself. (John 10:17-18)
3. Was this Christ’s design in coming into the world?
Our Lord says that he came “to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
4. For what purpose did the loving God give his only Son?
God gave his only Son “that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
5. How could Christ’s dying give us life?
Christ took our place and died like a sinner, that we might take his place and be righteous in him. (2 Cor. 5:21)
6. Was it right that the just should die for the unjust?
The Saviour was not compelled, but chose, to die for the benefit of others.
7. Is it right for God to pardon men because the Saviour died?
God declared it to be right for him to pardon men if they seek salvation only through Christ. (Rom. 3:26)
8. May a man go on and sin, and expect to be saved through Christ’s atoning death?
No, we must live for Him who dies for us. (2 Cor. 5:15)
9. Is salvation offered to all men through the atonement of Christ?
Yes, salvation is offered to all, and all are saved who really take Christ for their Saviour. (Ezek. 18:23; 2 Pet. 3:9)
10. What is Christ now doing for men’s salvation?
Christ is interceding for all those who trust in his atonement. (Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34)
(a) Is the atonement of Christ sufficient for all men?
The atonement of Christ is sufficient for all, and would actually save all if they would repent and believe. (John 1:29; 3:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:14)
(b) Does God desire the salvation of all men?
God “wishes all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4)
(c) If any who hear the gospel are not saved, can they justly complain?
No, they cannot justly complain, for if they wished it, and would believe, they might be saved.
(d) Are the heathen, who never heard the gospel, condemned for not believing it?
No, the heathen are judged by the light they have, and are condemned for violating the law that is written in their hearts.
(e) Will God punish those who have not heard the gospel as severely as those who hear and reject it?
No, those who have not the gospel will be punished for disregarding what they know, or might know, of the true God. (Rom. 2:13; 3:23)
(f) Has God commanded his people to proclaim salvation to all men?
Yes, God commands his people to proclaim salvation to all men. (Matt. 28:19; Rom. 10:13-15)
Lesson VIII. Regeneration.
1. What is meant by the word regeneration?
Regeneration is God’s causing a person to be born again.
2. Are such persons literally born a second time?
No, the regenerated are inwardly changed as if they were born over again.
3. In what respect are men changed in the new birth?
In the new birth men have a new heart, so as to hate sin and desire to be holy servants of God. (Ezek. 11:19, 20)
4. Is this new birth necessary in order to salvation?
Without the new birth no one can be saved. (John 3:3)
5. Who produces this great change?
The Holy Spirit regenerates. (John 3:5-6)
6. Are people regenerated through baptism?
No, only those whose hearts are already changed ought to be baptized.
7. Are people regenerated through Bible teaching?
Yes, people are usually regenerated through the Word of God. (1 Pet. 1:23; James 1:18)
8. Can we understand how men are born again?
No, we can only know regeneration by its effects. (John 3:8)
9. Does faith come before the new birth?
No, it is the new heart that truly repents and believes.
10. What is the proof of having a new heart?
The proof of having a new heart is living a new life. (1 John 2:29; 2 Cor. 5:17)
(a) Why is water mentioned in connection with the new birth?
Water is mentioned in connection with the new birth to show that this is a pure birth, leading to a new and pure life. (John 3:5; Tit. 3:5; Rom 6:4)
(b) Does God give his renewing Spirit as he sees proper?
Yes, God gives his renewing Spirit to those whom he always purposed to save. (Eph. 1:3-4)
Lesson IX. Repentance and Faith.
1. What is it to repent of sin?
Repenting of sin means that one changes his thoughts and feelings about sin, resolving to forsake sin and live for God.
2. Does no repenting mean being sorry?
Everyone who truly resolves to quit sinning will be sorry for his past sins, but people are often sorry without quitting.
3. What is the great reason for repenting of sin?
The great reason for repenting of sin is because sin is wrong, and offensive to God. (Ps. 51:4)
4. Is repentance necessary to a sinner’s salvation?
Those who will not turn from sin must perish. (Luke 13:3; Ezek. 33:11)
5. What do the Scriptures mean by faith in Christ?
By faith in Christ the Scriptures mean believing Christ to be the divine Saviour, and personally trusting in him for our salvation.
6. Is faith in Christ necessary to salvation?
No person capable of faith in Christ can be saved without it. (John 3:6; Heb. 11:6)
7. Can those who die in infancy be saved without faith?
Yes, we feel sure that those who die in infancy are saved for Christ’s sake.
8. Are the saved without regeneration?
Infants are not saved without regeneration, for without holiness no one shall see God. (Heb. 12:14; John 3:2)
9. Can we see why persons capable of faith cannot be saved without it?
Persons capable of faith must by faith accept God’s offered mercy; and his truth cannot become the means of making them holy unless it is believed.
10. Is refusing to believe in Christ a sin?
It is fearfully wicked to reject the Saviour and insult God who gave his Son in love. (John 3:16; 1 John 5:10)
11. Do faith in Christ and true repentance ever exist separately?
No, either faith or repentance will always carry the other with it. (Acts 20:21)
(a) How is it that some persons say they believe the Bible to be true, and yet are not Christians?
Many persons who say they believe the Bible are not willing to forsake sin, and often they do not really what the Bible says about Christ. (John 5:46)
(b) Is a man responsible for his belief as to the Bible?
Yes, a man is responsible for his belief as to the Bible because it depends partly on whether he is willing to know the truth, willing to forsake sin and serve God. John 7:17.
(c) Were not people in Old Testament times saved without faith in Christ?
The truly pious in Old Testament times believed in God’s promises of a future provision for salvation, and some of them looked clearly forward to Christ himself. (Gen 3:15; John 8:56; Ps. 110:1; Ps. 53:6)
(d) How can we explain the statement that Judas repented and killed himself? (Matt. 27:3-5.)
When it is said that Judas repented, that is another Greek word, which means simply sorrow, and not at all the repentance that leads to salvation. (2 Cor. 7:10)
Lesson X. Justification and Sanctification.
1. What is meant in the Bible by justification?
God justifies a sinner in treating him as just, for Christ’s sake.
2. Can any person be justified by his own works?
By works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Rom. 3:20)
3. How are we justified by faith?
Believing in Christ our Saviour, we ask and receive justification for his sake alone. (Rom. 3:24; 5:1)
4. Has this faith that justifies any connection with our works?
The faith that justifies will be sure to produce good works. (Gal. 5:6; James 2:17)
5. What is meant by sanctification?
To sanctify is to make holy in heart and life.
6. What connection is there between sanctification and regeneration?
The new birth us the beginning of a new and holy life.
7. Is justification complete at once?
Yes, the moment a sinner really believes in Christ he is completely justified.
8. Is sanctification complete at once?
No, sanctification is gradual, and ought to go on increasing to the end of the earthly life. (Phil. 3:13-14)
9. Is it certain that a true believer in Christ will be finally saved?
Yes, God will preserve a true believer in Christ to the end. (John 10:28; Phil. 1:6)
10. What is the sure proof of being a true believer?
The only sure proof of being a true believer is growing in holiness and in usefulness, even to the end. (2 Pet. 1:10)
11. To what will justification and sanctification lead at last?
Justification and sanctification will lead at last to glorification in heaven. (Rom. 5:2; 8:30; Matt. 25:21)
(a) How can it be right for Go to treat a believing sinner as just, when he has only begun a holy life?
God treats a believing sinner as just for Christ’s sake, and God will be sure to make him completely holy in the end. (Rom. 3:26)
(b) Does faith in Christ procure justification by deserving it?
No, faith does not deserve justification; it only brings us into union with Christ, for whose sake we are justified. (Rom. 8:1)
Lesson XI. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
1. Who ought to be baptized?
Every believer in Christ ought to be baptized.
2. Why ought every believer in Christ to be baptized?
Because Christ has commanded us to declare our faith in him by being baptized. (Matt 28:19; Acts 8:12, 10:48)
3. What is the action performed in Christian baptism?
The action performed in Christina baptism is immersion in water. (Mark 1:9, 10; Acts 8:39)
4. What does this signify?
The water signifies purification from sin, and the immersion signifies that we are dead to sin, and like Christ have been buried and risen again. (Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:4)
5. Does baptism procure forgiveness or the new birth?
No, baptism only represents regeneration and forgiveness like a picture. (John 3:5; Acts 2:38)
6. What is meant by our being baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?”
It means that we take God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit as our Sovereign and Saviour. (Matt. 28:19)
7. What is the solemn duty of all who have been baptized?
It is the duty of all who have been baptized to live that new life of purity and obedience which their baptism signifies. (Rom. 6:4)
8. What is the Lord’s Supper?
A church observes the Lord’s Supper by eating bread and drinking wine to represent the body and blood of our Saviour. (1 Cor. 11:20, 26)
9. Why ought the bread and wine to be thus taken?
Because Christ has commanded us to eat bread and drink wine in remembrance of him. (Luke 22:19)
10. Who ought to partake of the Lord’s Supper?
Those ought to partake of the Lord’s Supper who have believed in Christ, and have been baptized, and are trying to live in obedience to Christ’s commands.
(a) Can there be Christian baptism without immersion?
No, Christ was immersed, and commanded us to be immersed, and sprinkling or pouring water will not represent burial and rising again. (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12)
(b) If the person were very ill or the water could not be had, were not something else other than immersion suffice?
In cases of extreme illness or scarcity of water it is not a duty to be baptized.
(c) When we insist that nothing ought to be substituted for immersion, what is the principle involved?
The principle we insist upon is that of strict obedience to the Word of God.
(d) Ought the bread and wine to be taken by one person alone?
No, all the instances in the New Testament are of a church together taking the bread and wine.
(e) Does not the joint participation become a nod of fellowship?
Yes, our partaking together promotes Christian fellowship, but the word “communion” means simply the partaking. (1 Cor. 10:16)
(f) Why ought Baptists not to take the Lord’s Supper with believers of other denominations?
Because we think they have not been baptized, or are walking orderly as to church connection.
Lesson XII. The Lord’s Day.
1. What does the word Sabbath mean?
The word Sabbath means rest.
2. Why was the Sabbath at first appointed?
The Sabbath was at first appointed to represent the rest of God after finishing the creation. (Gen. 2:3)
3. What says the fourth commandment given through Moses at Mount Sinai?
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. (Ex. 20:8, 11)
4. What does this show?
The fourth commandment shows that the children of Israel knew about the Sabbath, but were apt to neglect it.
5. When the Saviour was charged with breaking the Sabbath, what did he teach about it?
The Saviour taught that it was not breaking the Sabbath to heal the sick, to provide food for the hungry, or to do any work of necessity or mercy. (Matt. 12:3; Mark 3:4; Luke 13:15-16)
6. What change was gradually made under the direction of the apostles as to the day to be observed?
The day to be observed was changed from the seventh day to the first day of the week, the day on which the Lord Jesus rose from the dead. (John 20:1, 19, 26)
7. What is this day called?
The first day of the week is called the Lord’s day. (Rev. 1:10)
8. What do we find the first Christians doing on the Lord’s day?
They met for public worship, heard preaching, took the Lord’s Supper, and gave money for religious objects. (1 Cor. 16:2; Acts 20:7)
9. Ought we to keep the Lord’s day as the Sabbath?
Yes, we ought to keep the Lord’s day as a day of rest and holy employments.
10. Ought we to keep the Lord’s day as the first Christians did?
Yes, we ought to keep the Lord’s day as a day for public worship, with Bible study and preaching, for religious gifts and ordinances, and for doing good in every way.
(a) Does the New Testament say that the Sabbath was changed to the first day of the week?
No, the New Testaments speaks of religious exercises on the first day of the week as something that everybody understood. (1 Cor. 16:1-2; Acts 20:7; Rev. 1:10)
(b) What explanation have we of these statements?
Several Christian writers just after the apostles speak of worship on the first day of the week in such language as to show plainly what the New Testament references meant.
Lesson XIII. Some Duties of the Christian Life.
1. What is our duty as to speaking the truth?
We must always speak truth and never lie. (Eph. 4:25; Ex. 20:16; Rev. 21:8)
2. Is it possible to act a lie without speaking it?
Yes, to act a lie may be one of the worst forms of falsehood. (Acts 5:3)
3. What is our duty as to speaking evil of others?
We must never speak so as to wrong any person. (James 4:11)
4. What is meant by profane speech?
Profane speech is cursing or swearing, or speaking in an irreverent way of God, or of the Bible, or of anything sacred.
5. What does the Bible say about stealing?
“Thou shalt not steal.” (Ex. 20:15; Eph. 4:28)
6. Can you tell come things which this forbids?
The commandment forbids all unfair buying and selling, and failure to pay promised wages or perform promised work.
7. Is it wrong even to wish to take away another person’s property?
Yes, the Bible says we must not covet what belongs to another. (Ex. 20:17)
8. May we properly strive to do better than others?
Yes, we may strive to excel others, but we must not envy others nor try to pull them back. (1 Pet. 2:1)
9. May we revenge ourselves on those who have wronged us?
No, revenge is very wicked, and we must leave punishment of those who have wronged us with God. (Rom. 12:19)
10. Ought we to love our enemies just as we love our friends?
We ought to love our enemies as God loves his enemies, and so be ready always to do them a kindness. (Matt. 5:44-45)
11. What is our duty as to purity?
We must avoid all impure actions and words, thought and feelings.
12. How may Christians hope to perform these and all duties of the Christian life?
Christians may hope to perform their duties by watchful effort and constant prayer for the help of the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 26:41; Luke 11:13)
(a) Does truthfulness require us to tell everything we know or think?
No, we may keep to ourselves what others have no claim to know, when we are not professing to tell everything. (1 Sam. 16:2)
(b) When may we say things that will damage others?
We may say things that will damage others when the things said are true, and it is needful that they should be known to prevent wrong.
(c) What may we do for the punishment of one who has injured us?
If a person has injured us we may help to secure his punishment according to law, not for private revenge, but for public good.
(d) Is it ever right to take an oath?
It is right to take an oath only in a court of justice or on some other important occasion, and always in a very solemn way. (Matt. 26:63-64; 2 Cor. 1:23)
(e) Ought we to be careful about the example we set to others?
Yes, it is the duty of Christians to be the salt of the earth, and the light of the world. (Matt. 5:13-14)
Lesson XIV. Imitation of Christ.
1. Did the Saviour live a real human life?
Yes, the Saviour lived a real human life, but without sin of any kind.
2. Was he tempted to sin?
He was tempted in all points just as we are, but he always overcame the temptation. (Heb. 4:15)
3. Is it the duty of Christians to imitate Christ?
Yes, Christ has left us a beautiful and perfect example, which we ought to imitate. (1 Pet. 2:21; 1 Cor. 11:1)
4. How may we hope to imitate Christ?
We may hope to imitate Christ by the help of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:1)
5. What example did the Saviour set as to obeying parents?
The Saviour did as his parents directed, and “was subject unto them.” (Luke 2:51)
6. What example did he set as to the Scriptures?
The Saviour attended a Bible Class, and had great knowledge of the Scriptures even when a child. (Luke 2:46-47)
7. Did he use the Bible when tempted or suffering?
Yes, the Saviour quoted the Bible three times against the tempter, and twice while on the cross.
8. What is his example as to public worship?
Our Lord’s custom was to go into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and worship. (Luke 4:16.)
9. What example did Christ set as to private praying?
Christ prayed often and much, sometimes through a whole night.
10. What example in doing good to men?
Jesus all the time “went about doing good.” (Acts 10:38)
11. What example as to the love of enemies?
Jesus prayed for the men who were crucifying him, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
12. What example as to loving Christians?
Christ laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:16; John 13:34)
13. What is our highest hope for the future life?
“We shall be like him.” (1 John 3:2)
(a) Which books of the Old Testament did the Saviour quote when tempted or suffering?
In the great temptation Christ three times quoted Deuteronomy (8:3; 6:13, 16). and on the cross he twice quoted the Psalms (22:1; 31:5).
(b) Did he use the Old Testament Scriptures on other occasions?
Yes, Christ often quoted Scripture to convince the Jews and to instruct his disciples.
(c) Can you mention some special occasions on which Jesus prayed?
(Luke 3:21; 6:12; 9:29; 11:1; John 17:1; Matt. 26:39, 42, 44.)
Lesson XV. The Future Life.
1. Do men everywhere believe in a future life?
In all nations and races men have generally believed in a future and endless life.
2. Does the Bible confirm this belief?
The Bible leaves no room to doubt that every human being will always continue to exist.
3. What becomes of the soul at death?
The soul is undying, and passes at once into blessedness or suffering. (2 Cor. 5:8; Luke 16:23, 28)
4. What becomes of the body after death?
The body returns to dust, but it will rise again. (Gen. 3:19; Eccles. 12:7; Acts 24:15)
5. Will the same body live again?
Yes, the very same body will live again, but greatly changed as to its condition and mode of life. (1 Cor. 15:42-44)
6. What is meant by the judgment?
The day of judgment means a great and awful day, on which the living and the dead will stand before Christ to be judged. (Acts 17:31; Matt. 25:31-32; 2 Cor. 5:10)
7. To what will Christ condemn the wicked?
Christ will send the wicked away to everlasting punishment in hell. (Matt. 25:41, 46)
8. To what will Christ welcome the righteous?
Christ will welcome the righteous to everlasting blessedness with him in heaven. (Matt. 25:34, 46)
9. Will there be different degrees of punishment?
The future punishment will be greater according to the degrees of sin, and the knowledge men had of God’s will and of the way of salvation through Christ. (Luke 12:47-48; Mark 12:40)
10. How is hell described in the Bible?
Hell is a place of darkness and torment, of endless sin and endless suffering.
11. How is heaven described?
Heaven is a place of light and holiness, of freedom from all sorrow and temptation, of blessed society and thankful praise to God. (Rev. 7:9, 10; 21:4)
(a) What do we know as to the period between death and the resurrection?
We know that between death and the resurrection there will be conscious existence of the soul, either in torment or in blessedness with Christ. (Luke 16:24, 23:43; Phil. 1:23)
(b) Is there any salvation provided in the future life for persons who died in their sins?
The Bible does not reveal any provision for salvation in the future life for persons who died in their sins, nor does it authorize any such hope.
(c) Are we authorized to believe in heavenly recognition?
The Bible warrants the hope that we shall know each other in heaven. (1 Thess. 2:19, Matt. 17:3-4)
Passages for Learning by Heart.
It is an excellent thing for the young to commit to memory many portions of Scripture. The following passages are recommended as suitable, and it is hoped that many will learn some of them, and add other selections as thought best.
The Ten Commandments, Ex. 20:1-17.
Psalms 1, 16, 19, 23, 25, 27, 32, 34, 51, 84, 90, 92, 95, 100, 103, 115, 116, 130, 139, 145.
Proverbs 3:1-20; 6:6-11; chap. 10; chap. 11; chap. 20.
Eccles., chap. 12.
Isaiah, chap. 40; chap. 53; chap. 55.
Matthew 5:3-16; chap. 6; chap. 7; chap. 25; 28:18-20.
Mark 14:22-25; 32-42.
Luke 15:11-32; 16:19-31; 18:1-14; 24:13-35.
John 1:1-18; 14:1-15; 20:1-23.
Acts 17:22-31; 20:17-38.
Romans 5:1-11; 8:28-39; chap. 12.
1Corinthians, chap. 13; chap. 15; 2 Corinthians, chap. 5.
Ephesians 3:14-21; 6:10-20.
Colossians 3:1-4; 4:2-6.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Hebrews 4:14-16; 11:1 to 12:3.
1 John 1:5 to 2:6; 3:13-24; chap. 4.
Revelation 1:9-20; 7:9-17; 20:11-15; chap. 21; chap 22.